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So that's how the pros do it! Mercantile Exchange futures trader and after-hours chef Robert J. Prosi, on his Big Boss Bar-B-Q Sauce: "I knew Big Boss was destined for success when my 11th batch came out perfectly because 11 is my lucky trading number as well."

Analogies we'd rather not pursue any further. "Campaigns are courtships," writes John Callaway in Eleven (July/August). "Candidates are on the make. Think of yourself as being pursued by two or three suitors, all of whom will try to make you realize how unloved you are by the others and what a tragic mistake it would be if you mated politically with anyone else."

Where are the machines to photograph the license plates of the scofflaws who run the tollways? Retired state auditor Robert Cronson in Illinois Tax Facts (June): "A 1990 auditor general's audit reported that the Toll Road charged tolls exceeding those authorized by its enabling act, which permitted use of the 'lowest possible' tolls to pay for highway reconstruction. The toll charges had created a $242 million surplus which the Toll Road used to begin construction of a new highway. The Toll Road contended that: (1) the requirement of the lowest possible rate meant the lowest reasonable rate, as determined by the Toll Road, and (2) when the law said 'reconstruction,' it meant 'construction.' The matter now awaits the outcome of a lawsuit filed by toll road users who are seeking to recover the surplus previously accumulated by the authority. In 1991, while this lawsuit was pending, the General Assembly enacted a law stating that the 1984 law that authorized 'reconstruction' meant 'construction.'"

Dept. of perverse results. "We were [focusing our affordable-housing loans] too much in the City of Chicago, according to the [Community Reinvestment Act] evaluation," Harris Bank's Edward J. Williams tells Susan Chandler in Chicago Enterprise (July/ August). "Although that's where the greatest need is, the law says you must deliver these products in your entire community. And they're right. We made the mistake of going where the need was."

Chicago radio stations with "no public affairs programming whatsoever," according to Active Voice (Summer), a publication of the Community Media Workshop: WAIT (850 AM), WJPC (950 AM, 106.3 FM), WWBZ (103.5 FM), and WUSN (99.5 FM).

"Most couples give up too soon." Winnetka psychologist Bobbie McKay, author of What Ever Happened to the Family?, says that two-thirds of blended families (two previously married spouses plus kids) end in divorce. Her estimate of the time it takes to successfully blend such a family: five to seven years.

What? Prevent homicides? Prevention is possible, according to Carolyn Rebecca Block of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, writing in its magazine the Compiler (Spring), because the violence that leads to homicide isn't rare or random. "Among non-Hispanic black male victims in 1989, few (less than 5 percent) were killed in a street-gang-related confrontation, but more than half (62 percent of those aged 25 to 29) were killed as a result of expressive violence outside the immediate family. Most of these were male-on-male competitive confrontations--escalating arguments." Since most of those killed had violent arrest records, treatment and intervention programs at the time of first arrest would help, says Block. Getting rid of guns would save lives too: "In expressive violence, people tend to use whatever weapon happens to be available. If a firearm is at hand, the chance of a fatal outcome is highest. Neighborhood-based campaigns to get firearms off the street and out of homes would reduce the death toll among black and Hispanic men in Chicago."

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

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