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Which toppings? Domino's Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan "is wonderfully Philistine," reports James Krohe Jr. in Chicago Times (March/April 1990). "'The concept of delivering a hot, tasty pizza in 30 minutes or less,' he has said, 'is pure and needs no embellishment, any more than a Frank Lloyd Wright design might need a Gothic tower grafted onto it.' He works in a $2.5 million private office, and when the learned and the powerful gather at his table from around the world, he feeds them pizza."

Yes, but lawyers cost more. Nancy Stein, University of Chicago professor of psychology and education, just completed a study of argument among children and adults, and told the U. of C. Chronicle (February 8), "I've looked at other studies dealing with the way lawyers argue and I've noticed that when you compare them to second graders, you find that they argue exactly the same way."

"Chicago annually spends less than two dollars per capita on [library] books and materials, far less than other major U.S. cities. Cleveland, Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis, and Baltimore spend more than twice that amount," writes Bill Wyman in Chicago (March 1990). No wonder that "librarians and administrators say that the Chicago Public Library has been getting worse for the past 20 years.... For the most part, people seem to have forgotten what a library ought to do for them, and simply stay away." At 4 PM on a typical weekday, Wyman found "vast sections" of the library's temporary quarters (400 N. Franklin) "nearly deserted. On the government documents floor, a single patron sits. On the periodicals floor--the periodicals floor of one of the largest libraries in the world--perhaps a dozen readers sit quietly. Even downtown's homeless don't bother with this library."

Don't buy that second home in Transylvania just yet. From the Clarion Associates, Inc., February 1990 newsletter: "As we look ahead at the 1990s, two scenarios are equally plausible" in real estate. "In one, Japanese and western European capital moves from real estate opportunities in the United States to significant new opportunities in the developing free market economies of eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and China. Equally credible is the countervailing viewpoint--capital seeks stability and the political and economic situations in east Europe and the Soviet Union will get worse before they get better. Proponents of this second viewpoint see the United States as the only continuing safe haven for real estate investment in a time of turmoil. We generally gravitate to the second viewpoint."

"Gentrification fuels the process of urban slums by lumping all people of a certain economic status into the same geographic area," according to the Chicago Rehab Network, one of whose programs is the Neighborhood Lending Program, under which First National Bank of Chicago, Harris Bank, and the Northern Trust have agreed to lend $200 million for the rehabilitation of inner-city properties between 1989 and 1994. "We believe that NLP funds must be targeted to ensure the availability of affordable housing in all communities."

Estimated value of time volunteered to Chicago nonprofit organizations by CPAs for the Public Interest last year, according to the organization's annual report: $218,000.

Free world? James Petras in In These Times (February 21-27): "The Soviets have accepted the transformation of Poland from a communist-dominated regime beholden to the Kremlin to a parliamentary capitalist regime intent on establishing deep structural ties with the West. In this process, Moscow did not intervene in Poland's electoral process or organize or advocate armed intervention to undermine its transition to capitalism. In contrast, the U.S. has financed a decade-long military effort to restore its political clients in Nicaragua--it has organized an economic embargo, mined the harbors and authored a text on the assassination of political opponents.... [and] allocated $8 million to subsidize client groups" in the Nicaraguan elections.

A burning issue. "Once built, incinerators cripple efforts to reduce or recycle wastes since they create their own demand for garbage," writes Joan D'Argo of the regional office of Greenpeace, criticizing the U.S. EPA's plan to increase the burning of garbage. "Incinerators and recycling centers compete for the same resource: garbage. They are fundamentally incompatible industries. In addition, for every three tons of valuable resources burned, one ton of toxic ash is created which has to be dumped somewhere."

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

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