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Why your tree died. "Underdeveloped root systems are a major problem for urban trees," according to the Morton Arboretum's Urban Vegetation Laboratory Report (volume one, number one, 1988). "Rooting spaces are usually restricted by pavements and structures. The space that is available is often of poor quality. . . . Urban soils are usually highly disturbed and seldom suited for good root growth. This results in physiological stress on the entire plant, rendering it less vigorous and more susceptible to secondary attack by insects and infectious diseases."

Dorothy up-to-date. A musical play called The Wizard of A.I.D.S. is to be performed throughout the Chicago area this summer, according to Chicago's AIDS Educational Theatre. "In this parody of L. Frank Baum's classic tale, Dorothy travels to the land of A.I.D.S. (Aware Individuals Deserving Survival) and defeats the Wicked Witch of Unsafe Sex." Whew!

"One of the most depressing things for those of us who live on the South Side," says University of Chicago political scientist Gary Orfield in a recent TRUST, Inc. report, "is to drive up Martin Luther King Drive, up State Street in the morning at rush hour and see there isn't any rush hour. At a time that people would be going to work, there are very few cars on the street. It's as if their economy was not connected to the economy of what is a very powerful regional and national employment center."

What do the National Women's Political Caucus, National Urban League, American Agriculture Movement, Citizens for Tax Justice, and the National Conference of State Legislatures have in common? They take money from the tobacco industry--giving the cigarette lobby new friends among labor, black, Hispanic, and women's groups, reports Myron Levin in the APF Reporter (Spring 1988). "In the old days--when states and city councils left tobacco pretty much alone, and senior southern pols repulsed the few attacks in Congress--such creative liaisons weren't needed. Today, the industry must try killing foes with kindness--as it has, for example, by showering money on fire prevention groups to blur cigarettes' status as the leading cause of fatal fires."

And now, a comforting thought as you fly off on vacation, from Senator Paul Simon (Congressional Record, June 14): "At O'Hare we today have fewer than 30 fully qualified, experienced air traffic controllers in contrast to 75 prior to the 1981 strike, and we have a lot more air traffic today."

On behalf of censorship: "Nobody can tell me that when a woman is gagged and hung from something that this is an expression of free speech," Andrea Dworkin tells On the Issues (volume nine, 1988). "Nobody can tell me that the use of her body in those ways can be a protected right of speech for anyone. Pornography is a significant practice that helps to silence women in society. It's a practice of terrorism, it's a practice of intimidation, it's a form of making you know your place in society. . . . These courts [that held antipornography ordinances unconstitutional] said that the pornography was more important than women's lives while acknowledging that pornography did the harm to women that we said it did." In other words, "real women being sexually violated or hurt in pornography legally belong to men as 'speech.' If women are speech, men can do whatever they want to them."

The good news is that the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board has removed 27 plants from the state's lists of endangered and threatened plants. The bad news is that 23 of them were removed "because they are no longer known to exist in Illinois."

Mom, more; I'm still not satisfied. From Harper's "Index" (July 1988): "U.S. military spending during the Reagan administration, per second: $8,607."

Who's that in those weeds? From On the Move's interview with South Chicago Community Hospital president Harlan H. Newkirk (April 1988): "Society is going to have to make a decision. We can't decide to send defense mechanisms to South America, the Middle East or to Asia, while here in Chicago people are not receiving care. Many Chicagoans are suffering from malnutrition and a lack of medical care. I think this is an atrocity. It's tragic. One of these days, society is going to come roaring out of the weeds to make sure that we, as a voting public, do something about the situation."

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