The City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

The City File


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Jobs even the cops can't do. South suburban Matteson police detective Richard Walsh, quoted in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority's Trends and Issues 91: "I've had calls from parents who say, 'I just can't handle him. He's staying out at night, and he won't go to school.' Then I ask them, 'How old is your son?' And they'll say, 'He's 8.' Now what the hell do they expect us to do? They can't even discipline a little kid."

The USS Wolverine, launched August 22, 1942, at Madison Street and Lake Michigan, was something unique, according to John Laudermilk in the Chicago Maritime Society newsletter From the Pilot House (Fall): "a fresh-water, coal fired, paddle-wheel aircraft carrier." It and one other converted passenger ship were used to train 17,820 young Navy aviators (George Bush among them) in how to land on and take off from aircraft carriers. "Many pilots flew in the North American SNJ, the Navy's trainer of the era, but a great many other types of aircraft landed on the ships as well [including] the FM-2ÉF6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair fighters along with SBD Dauntless dive bombers and TMB Avenger torpedo bombers. Anyone who doubts the variety of planes that made approaches to either ship need only speak with present-day Chicago area scuba divers. The bottom of Lake Michigan is littered with vintage Navy aircraft."

"Melancholy, Black Bile and the Monochromatic," "The Stranded Body," and "Knock, Knock!... Who's There?" are titles in a forthcoming UIC lecture series. What's the discipline? (Answer below.)

Of the skyboxes, by the skyboxes, for the skyboxes. "What appears visually to be the main entrance to the new stadium--the gate at the corner of 35th and Shields, over which is engraved the words 'Comiskey Park'--is open only to team officials, the stadium's owners, and luxury suite leaseholders," writes Philip Bess in Inland Architect (September/October). "It is as if entry to public worship through the portals of the front facade of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome would be denied to the faithful and reserved for the Pope and his entourage."

"The main concern of educators should not be to make African-American or Irish-American or Italian-American children proud of their culture," contends John Garvey in Commonweal (August 9). "That's their parents' job. This is, once more, a case of public schools being asked to do what a larger culture, or network of subcultures, has failed to do....Self-esteem ought to be at the bottom of any educational curriculum, and literacy (narrowly defined) at the top."

Time for glasnost. Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois president Jim Nowlan in Tax Facts (July/ August): "As a former legislator (from the early '70s), I was struck by how deeply government went 'underground' at the point the governor and legislative leaders finally got serious about the budget. Each party's budget negotiators met in closed sessions. It's hard to be a watchdog when there's nothing to watch."

"College has become for the children of the middle class what the army is for working class kids--something to fill those awkward years between high school and the first divorce," writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (Sept. 12). "Ronald Leglon is associate vice-chancellor for academic affairs at the U of I-Chicago, and thus a man who is obliged to think deeply about such things. Says Leglon, 'One could theorize that in poor economic times education itself becomes an attractive alternative to the job market....We've seen a significant increase in the number of applicants, particularly from transfer students and graduate students. An amazing surge in fact. It's totally unexplained. We face a problem even processing them all.'"

Next: endorsements? According to the Chicago Park District, the 572 official volleyball teams at North Avenue Beach this summer (up from 350 teams last year) earned the District about $40,000 for its programming fund.

Don't rebuild a mistake, urges Alexander Polikoff, executive director of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, in One City (July/ August). "Aren't we forced to rebuild what we've got [CHA high rises] because alternatives are simply too expensive? The answer is no, they are not. CHA has already rebuilt two high-rises at a 'hard' (construction) cost of more than $50,000 per unit. The authority's estimates for rebuilding other buildings run to more than $80,000 per unit. Low-rise scattered sites are being built for hard costs of $65,000 per unit, and have much lower 'life-cycle' expenses than high-rises. Rent-subsidy units cost even less."

Answer: Architecture, of course.

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

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment