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The City File



"The dearth of true monuments in Chicago may be explained by the fact that nothing really significant has occurred here," writes Paul Krieger in Inland Architect (May/June). "It is more likely, however, that Chicago has always been too busy being Chicago to build monuments to itself, especially the kind that cannot be leased out....There is always the chance for the chewing gum or deep dish pizza monument, and no doubt foreigners would flock to a 60-foot-high tommy gun monument to Al Capone. Michael Jordan certainly has the right proportions for a monument.... Richard J. Daley in a double-breasted toga would certainly be appropriately regal. Jane Addams would probably not like a big monument. Frank Lloyd Wright would probably like a very big monument....Presidential Towers, if empty, could rival Mount Rushmore by being dedicated to Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding, Chester Arthur, and Richard Nixon, a very different set of presidents."

Letters we were afraid to finish, from a New York PR firm: "The number of pages faxed in 1991 equals about 11,700,000 copies of War and Peace!"

"The board actually saves money if kids drop out," write Michael Selinker and Michelle Martin in Catalyst (June), citing Fred Hess of the Chicago Panel on School Policy and Finance. "A quarter of CPS revenue comes from state reimbursements dependent on student attendance. But the other three-quarters come from property taxes and government grants, which don't vary with attendance. 'If a kid drops out, what we lose is the 25 percent that the state provides,' Hess explains. 'The rest keeps coming in, but we don't have to spend it on that kid.'"

A great city sure would benefit from a great newspaper. Total number of Chicago Tribune articles during 1989 and 1990 actually reporting on Native Americans living in Chicago: 1. Sun-Times: 10 (Chicago Reporter, May).

Why there is no monetary incentive to stay on welfare. "According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.), the market value of a one bedroom apartment in Chicago is $543. A single woman with one child receives $265 per month in Public Aid" (Illinois Women's Budget, Fiscal Year 1993).

The more things change... "In 1963 when I came to Chicago it was not like New York," writes Elizabeth Hollander in her contribution to Harold Washington and the Neighborhoods. "The center of the city was dead after six, Wacker Drive had many handsome buildings and nowhere to stop for a cup of coffee. The carefully replanned Hyde Park neighborhood eliminated interesting tiny shops in the name of renewal and replaced them with shopping centers surrounded by parking lots. The politics and the racism appalled me. Not only was the city dominated by Mayor Richard J. Daley and his machine, the liberal forces seemed to have been shaped by Daley so all of their activities were anti-Daley, not really independent. When I expressed an interest in racial integration at work everyone said, 'Oh, you must live in Hyde Park.'"

There's a reason why the op-ed page is on the right. Extra! (June) reports that the last available national figures (1990) show the top seven syndicated political columnists, far ahead of the rest of the pack in both total circulation and number of papers, are conservatives George Will (# 1), James Kilpatrick (# 2), William Safire (# 6), and William Buckley (# 7); centrists David Broder (# 3) and Mike Royko (# 5); and liberal Ellen Goodman (# 4). One result: "Five of the top seven columnists wrote columns about Earth Day, all with a decidedly skeptical tone....A left or even liberal position on Earth Day was totally missing. None of the seven columnists wrote as an advocate for the environmental movement, despite its widespread popular support in the United States. Nor was a critique of Earth Day's relationship to its corporate sponsors part of the columnist discourse. As with columns on race, we find an articulate perspective of the right, a centrist skepticism, and no sign of any voice from the left."

It's not which sex you elect, it's what they believe. According to the Women's 1992 Voting Guide, only an estimated 45 percent of women legislators consider themselves feminists.

"The first black woman in the United States to receive a doctoral degree was Georgiana Rose Simpson, who received her Ph.D. in Germanics from Chicago in 1921"--University of Chicago Chronicle, May 14.

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

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