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Gone fishing in the worst way. According to a National Audubon Society guide to seafood printed in the Shedd Aquarium's newsletter "Water Shedd" (October/November/December), the shrimp fishery has the highest "bycatch" of any fishery in the world. In other words, "for every pound of shrimp you buy, an average of seven pounds of other sea life was killed and shoveled overboard." Bon appetit!

"It's expensive to be poor," explains Valerie McWilliams in "Illinois Welfare News" (August), quoted in the Chicago Reporter (October). "If you pay to have your checks cashed at a currency exchange instead of a bank, you will pay a premium for that service....The record-high interest rate we have seen for a client of our [downstate legal-aid] office was an annual percentage rate of 752 percent."

Now it's a big branch campus. "For the first time in our history, we have a budget of more than $1 billion," boasts David Broski, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago, in "UIC News" (October 7). "That is an important milestone. Historically, we had been seen as a branch campus, but this is a pretty serious number."

Middle age. Former militant and continuing activist Bernadine Dohrn was interviewed for Robert Koppel's new book, Money Talks: Candid Conversations About Wealth in America, and had this to say: "Today, I'm constantly struck

by the fact that even people who are doing what's called public interest work will almost never say, 'Well, let's organize and do it' without asking first, 'Well, where are we going to go for the money? Which foundation are we going to speak to?' In those days [1966], nobody asked that. You didn't question who was going to underwrite our march into Cicero or Englewood. That was just not even an issue. We did it on a shoestring and on idealism and on a wish and a prayer, because we were right in principle, and that was more than enough!"

Languages in which the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners published their voter handbook this fall: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog.

The 630s are coming. According to a new report published by the state Department of Employment Security, "Where Workers Work," there were 499,000 jobs in the greater Loop area (16th to North, the lake to Halsted or Ashland) in 1991 and just 391,000 in all of Du Page County. In 1997 preliminary figures show Loop jobs now total 500,000, while Du Page is up to 478,000.

Inside a computer might be nice. Sign in the Northern Illinois University physical education department office: "If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?"

Most successful 1990s strategies for preventing volatile organic compounds from getting into the air, according to the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago: reformulated gasoline (saved 113 tons per day), limiting emissions from painting, coating, and printing (saved 33 tons per day), factory shutdowns (saved 32 tons per day), improved compliance with air-pollution permits (saved 26 tons per day), pump-handle vapor recovery at gas stations (saved 24 tons per day), and vehicle-emissions testing (saved 8 tons per day).

A river without banks. From the Friends of the Chicago River's newsletter "River Reporter" (Fall): "Since the mid-1800's, banks of the deep-water portions of the Chicago River (like the South Branch from downtown to Bubbly Creek) were built with vertical edges. Steel, wood, and concrete walls were essential for mooring boats close to docks. Indeed, the River's navigability played a large part in the unprecedented growth of this metropolis. Over the years, commercial navigation has declined, yet the impulse to use sheet piling has not. Many recent redevelopment projects along the River have specified sheet piling as an edge treatment where perhaps none is needed."

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