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"We have more leisure time to do things that wreck our bodies," says Thomas L. Jones of the University of Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Education Services. "More accidents are occurring. . . . And better medical care is allowing people both to survive accidents that leave them disabled and to live longer, acquiring the disabilities of old age." Sure enough, during the 1970s, the number of physically disabled people rose by 39 percent, while the overall population increased only 10 percent--so he's onto something, and so is the U. of I., which established the nation's first university program for the disabled 40 years ago.

"Could trout farming be profitable for you?" "Lamb slaughtering, cutting, preserving, and cooking on the farm," and "Conservation tillage: things to consider" are three of the free pamphlets U.S. Representative Cardiss Collins is offering to her west-side and near-west-suburban constituents.

Has Chicago theater topped out? Maybe so, according to the 1986-87 Theatre Chicago Reference Book: "During the 1986-87 season, attendance at Chicago's professional theatres reached 2.73 million, a marginal increase from 2.65 million in 1985-86, despite increased dollars spent to attract new theatregoers. Along with this lack of growth at the box office, there has been no major increase in public or private support for theatre, jeopardizing the future of Chicago's not-for-profit theatres which are struggling with a deficit of $800,000."

Prairie dreaming. "I have a vision," writes John Sheerin in Natural Area Notes (September 1987). "I see a fantastic special, one-hour, Channel 11 program about the tall-grass prairie and the preservation movement. I see Dr. Betz explaining prairie ecology. I see Ron Panzer and 50 different species of prairie butterflies. I see Steve Packard at Cap Sauers discussing savanna. I see a wide screen TV entirely covered with prairie fire. I see Valerie Spale identifying rare plants at Wolf Road. I see George Dunne dedicating the 500-acre Indian Boundary Prairie Preserve and the MSDGC commissioners dedicating the Lockport Prairie. I see Marty Robinson asking you to subscribe to Channel 11. This special hasn't been produced yet, but it will be, someday."

Second (rate) city. Amount Peoria spends, per capita, on its public library: $18.87. Amount Chicago spends: $14.76. (Chicago Times, November/December 1987)

"We're very close to eliminating all-white enclaves in Chicago and the suburbs," Kale Williams of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities tells the Chicago Reporter (October 1987). "In the near future, there won't be any place where blacks don't live. If we are successful in stopping the resegregation process in the north and southwest, then we can see more rapid progress. If not, it will take longer to reach the point when race is not the dominant factor in housing choice."

So few antiques, so much time. Is the midwest running out of prime architectural artifacts? This spring, the operators of Leslie Hindman's Salvage One on South Sangamon discovered, removed, and sold 40 linear feet of walnut cabinets with Prairie School leaded glass doors, according to Hindman's Auction Bulletin (Autumn-Winter 1987). But in July the Salvage One honchos went to England--where they bought a bunch of 19th-century mantels, doors, light fixtures, six-foot bathtubs, garden benches, etc. Why? According to manager Peter Early, "because of the increasing difficulty in finding top quality architectural elements to diversify our inventory in the Midwest."

"The average American doesn't understand dance," complains the Chicago Dance Coalition Newsletter (Summer 1987), because "the only dance exposure most of us received in school was a six-week P.E. unit in folk dance. Until dance principles are as much a part of education as the 3 primary colors, the art form will never pull the same kind of audiences that football does, nor receive the same type of mass distribution, salaries, etc." We're looking forward to the first NDL strike.

"Will poor people--simply because they are poor--not get the health care they need?" Could be, writes Tom Andreoli in Chicago Enterprise (October 1987). "There is a disturbing trend of hospital closings and reduced availability of health care in inner-city communities--precisely where the jobs and medical attention are needed most. Chicago's three hospital closings last year took place in such communities. And imperiled Provident Medical Center has educated black physicians for nearly 100 years. Meanwhile, more than a dozen hospitals now crowd the lakefront between the Near North Side and Rogers Park (the so-called "Bed Pan Alley'), taking advantage of paying professionals and affluent retirees."

"We're very close to eliminating all-white enclaves in Chicago and the suburbs," Kale Williams of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities tells the Chicago Reporter (October 1987). "In the near future, there won't be any place where blacks don't live. If we are successful in stopping the resegregation process in the north and southwest, then we can see more rapid progress. If not, it will take longer to reach the point when race is not the dominant factor in housing choice."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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