City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

City File

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Why Senator Fitzgerald is not crazy. Ronald Rotunda, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes in the National Review Online (June 18): "The Constitution gives Congress plenty of ways to deal with O'Hare, but they all cost money: Congress can use its spending power to expand the airport; it can give the state money on the condition that it expand the airport; it can order federal officials (the Army Corps of Engineers) to build the O'Hare expansion. But Congress may not simply order or authorize state or city officials to violate state law [which requires a state permit for airport expansion]....The proposed federal law dealing with the expansion of O'Hare Airport...authorizes Chicago, a city created by the state, to do that which Illinois law prohibits."

Ecotourism is (not) where you find it. David Nicholson-Lord, writing in "Resurgence" (May-June): "I have heard a casino in Laos described as ecotourism--because it was sited in untouched countryside."

The nature of what's to come for Archer Daniels Midland: trial by jury. "There is evidence both that the HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] market has a structure that is auspicious for price fixing and that during the period of the alleged conspiracy the defendants avoided or at least limited price competition," wrote Seventh Circuit federal appeals court judges Bauer, Posner, and Kanne on June 18, overruling a Peoria judge who'd dismissed a civil suit against ADM, A.E. Staley, Cargill, and American Maize-Products. The appellate judges said that a jury should get the chance to hear the facts and decide whether "there was an actual, manifest agreement not to compete."

"On campuses, there is a renewed interest in religion," Leon Kass, of the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought and the President's Council on Bioethics, tells Christianity Today (christianitytoday.com): "Twenty years ago when I taught a course on the organism, the class was filled with materialists and I had to make the argument for something other than materialism. Now, if I get a class together, I have to make the argument that materialism might have something to be said for it. Many, many young people sense there is more to life than mechanism, power and technique."

People who live in denser neighborhoods with more public transit have fewer cars and drive less, in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles alike, according to an article published in Transportation Planning and Technology (January), one of whose five authors is Peter Haas of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Next question: which is the cause and which is the effect? Does living in transit-friendly neighborhoods lead people to drive less? Or do people who already want to drive less seek out such neighborhoods?

Teachers with nothing to learn. Jennifer Hester was one of four full-time teachers hired through the University of Illinois at Chicago in a pricey effort to revamp teaching styles at troubled Manley High School, beginning in 1999. "Many teachers [at Manley] already had their backs up about the UIC team, whom they believed had been sent to 'fix' them," reports Elizabeth Duffrin in Catalyst Chicago (June), and Hester, a doctoral student with no high school teaching experience, "knew she would have to prove herself. Faculty response to her training that first year fell three ways, [Hester] says. An enthusiastic third of Manley's 51 teachers made 'a good-hearted attempt' to use the new strategies with their students. Another third were politely receptive but made no effort to change. 'And the other third--blatant resistance,' she says. Some did paperwork while she talked."

Titles we wish we'd thought of, from a forthcoming book by Philippe Gigantes: Power & Greed: A Short History of the World.

Why libertarians shouldn't associate with conservatives. "Twenty years into the 'Age of Reagan,' the state is bigger and more powerful than ever, particularly in its most coercive manifestations," writes Kevin Baker in Harper's (May). "We have more police, more prisons, than ever before, along with a military that is soon to be funded at levels beyond those of the Cold War, and a $30 billion national-security apparatus."

Add a comment