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Cut down in the prime of life. Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project reports that "the Dairyland Power Cooperative closed its 18-year old LaCrosse reactor in Genoa, Wisconsin in May 1987 because it was too costly to operate." Reactors are normally planned to have a useful life of 30 years.

"Piano factories, high schools, print shops, soda pop plants and shoe factories are taking on a new life as residential showplaces," bubbles the Oak Brook office of Sears's Coldwell Banker. Those who worked there in pregentry days might be forgiven for thinking they were already alive.

"MSD offers us a chance to look at what would happen if women ruled the world--or at least were a majority of the governing body," reports the Illinois Women's Advocate (November 1987). Since the 1986 election, five of the nine elected commissioners of the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago have been women. What difference does it make? Some, but not much. "All felt that women see their role as commissioner differently than the men. 'We see community outreach and attending local meetings, including taking the heat for what MSD does, as part of our job,' commented Aurelia Pucinski. 'The men seem a little surprised that we want to attend these meetings, but I feel it's an important part of the work we do.'" Not so important, however, that it can't be dropped at the request of the Democratic slate makers.

"The desire to 'make it' before it's too late" is one reason personnel executives surveyed by Personnel Journal (November 1987) think that middle managers 40 to 45 years old are the most likely to, well, "exhibit tendencies toward unethical behavior."

It's morning-after in America. "Last year Chicago distributed almost 300,000 emergency food boxes, more than 17 times the number issued in 1980," reports the city's Budget in Brief. "During the first four months of this year, demand for emergency food boxes reached an annual level of 420,000 boxes, or about 33 percent higher than had been planned for 1987. According to our studies, more than three-quarters of those receiving these boxes live in 'deep poverty,' with an income of less than half the amount in the federal poverty guidelines."

Dept. of false impressions: According to Hyde Park Hospital's Healthnews (Autumn 1987), only 30 percent of adult Americans smoke. But young people think that 66 percent do.

You know who you are. Developer Randall Langer controls about 500 housing units in that portion of Uptown now being gentrified and marketed as "Sheridan Park," write Patrick Barry and Thom Clark in One Reports (Fall 1987), newsletter of the Organization of the Northeast. "He says 232 were substantially rehabbed and marketed to young urban professionals--those who scan the Chicago Reader and find Langer's quarterpage ads touting 'charm' and 'quality' but fail[ing] to mention the address or neighborhood of the buildings."

Do you have three hours a week of spare time you don't know what to do with? Then c'mon down to the State of Illinois Center (aka Thompson's Tower), where the state is trying to find volunteer guides to show around the two million tourists a year who come to gawk at the gov's glass house.

Dunk that portfolio! Some black-owned businesses, such as the downtown investment firm, Ariel Capital Management Inc., open their doors to the black community, says the Chicago Reporter (November 1987). "'We invite school children to come by and see our operation,' says Darice Wright, Ariel's senior vice president. 'We show them the stock machine, and a list of our clients. They are excited by the idea of managing billions of dollars. We expose them to young blacks doing something other than playing basketball.'"

Where in Chicago can you find a full-service center for filmmakers? "It's an exceptionally difficult vision to realize," writes Glenn Coleman in Chicago Enterprise (November 1987), "but Chicago's film and video colony is working at it in the Westgate area, an almost-trendy neighborhood around Ashland Avenue and Randolph Street. Two video production and post-production houses, Telemation and Renaissance Video, relocated there this year, but presiding over the neighborhood is Studio Networks, a 90,000-square-foot complex offering the largest soundstage in the Chicago area."

"All cities go through cycles of rise and decline," writes Judith Stockdale in the Trust Quarterly (Fall 1987), published by the Chicago Community Trust. "Those with initiative have been able to adapt and endure. Chicago is at the point now of being reinvented."

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

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