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New horizons in innumeracy. Sandra Conn in Chicago Enterprise (June 1989): "One Chicago manufacturer, wondering why many of his products were defective, traced the trouble to the factory's boiler rooms, where workers monitored the gauges that measured steam levels. 'Half [of the employees] didn't know what temperature created steam,' he says. 'So they thought the boilers were running OK at anywhere over 200 degrees [Fahrenheit]. As a result, the boilers were putting out inconsistent steam. That was creating the defects.'"

Are scholarships available? The Illinois Department of Corrections estimates that it costs $28,802 per year to keep one juvenile prisoner in a state institution.

Let's see, who could we get to play Cardinal Cody? "The book I wish I'd written...is the definitive, no-holds-barred, tell-all history of the Catholic Church in Chicago," writes Michael F. McCauley in the Critic (Summer 1989). "Yes, there have been laudable attempts to record the history of the Archdiocese of Chicago--the early years, the Mundelein reign, the Meyer interlude, and the Cody era. But these have been, for the most part, sanitized for local consumption....The confrontation and clout that characterize Chicago-style politics clearly have left an indelible mark on Chicago-style Cathol-icism as well. This tale.... might even induce some hot-shot 'media producer' to develop this story into a blockbuster TV mini-series."

Dept. of literary illusions. From a cautionary Chicago Park District press release addressed to swimmers: "Don't play Peter Wolf and cry for help unless you really need it."

"At what price have low inflation and unemployment been achieved?" asks Loretta Graziano in Propaganda Review (Spring 1989). "Evidence suggests that the economic vigor of the '80s was a pact with the devil that will cost us our long-term economic soul. The orgy of borrowing by government, corporations, and consumers will eventually come due. Since the borrowed money was spent on current consumption rather than invested in future productivity, repayment will mean declining living standards. This price will be paid by everyone-- not just the homeless, not just the children and pregnant women who lack medical care, but the mainstream working people who are better off now than they were eight years ago. If the average hard-working voter had as much common sense as our founding fathers assumed, he would not knowingly enter such a pact. He would not have exchanged his economic future for a VCR and a BMW. The national consensus behind Reaganomics is predicated on the voter's lack of economic understanding."

$72,553 was the average conventional single-family mortgage loan made in Chicago in 1987, reports the Woodstock Institute in its 1987 Community Lending Fact Book. Lincoln Park received the largest number of loans ($229 million); Fuller Park, between Pershing Road and Garfield Boulevard, and between the railroad tracks that run east and west of the Dan Ryan, received the fewest ($599,000).

Back to the future: "In the 60's we succeeded in getting the University [of Chicago] to change its policy of segregation in its rental housing by sitting in and demonstrating," said social worker Nina Helstein (U. of C. '64) at an alumni demonstration for university divestment from firms investing in South Africa. "The University's current refusal to divest represents a similar pursuit of its economic interests in a socially irresponsible manner."

Letters we didn't feel like finishing: "You are invited to find out what Women in Franchising, Inc. (WIF) means when President and Founder Susan P. Kezios says, 'It takes brass ovaries.'"

Great Lakes? What Great Lakes? According to the Great Lakes Reporter (May/June 1989), "Analysts agree that the region has 'lacked a discernible image,' as the Great Lakes Commission's Mike Donahue put it. A Milwaukee city marketing survey conducted in 1987 agreed, with somewhat sketchy data indicating that residents of the East and West coasts have little impression of the Lakes region."

What if the IRS took that attitude? According to Karen Snelling of the Chicago Reporter (June 1989), "In 1988, the [Chicago Department of Inspectional Services' compliance] board scheduled more than 57,500 hearings, but only 9,629 property owners showed up. Leslie Jacobs, deputy commissioner for DIS, said her department assumes that the landlords have made improvements to comply with city codes when they fail to appear."

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

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