The City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

The City File

by

comment

"Like a bunch of vampires sentenced to serve in a chamber of eternal light, Chicago aldermen seldom stir, speak or even shout," writes Paul Green in Illinois Issues (October) on the death of Chicago politics in the Daley II era.

Things we have to apologize for. Five photo-based pieces at UIC's New Works Gallery deal with "issues pertaining to women's health," including violence against women, lesbian parenting, illness, miscarriage, and mastectomy. Each of the works is described in the exhibit's advance publicity, but only the description of Joanne Leonard's 1973 Journal, an account of her pregnancy and miscarriage, includes a disclaimer of the kind usually associated with a controversial or unpopular theme. Leonard writes, "It is probably important to note that when I made the journal, I was 33 years old. I had, for reasons of my own psychology, a very great longing to have a child. It would be troubling to me if, in being direct about my own very personal vantage from the past, I seemed to be making an argument in favor of an essentialist position. I don't believe that every woman wants to have a child, or ought to want to become a mother. I am giving this account as the telling of my own story, suggesting from it no general idea about woman, biology and destiny."

What passes for an economic-development strategy in Chicago. Federal funds being spent by the city on a demonstration underground parking lot at the Museum of Science and Industry: $35 million. Federal funds being used over five years on the city's industrial-park initiative: $12.1 million (Neighorbood Capital Budget Group).

In the age of fax and computer. "The Chicago Public Library is seeking to streamline its inter-library delivery system. It currently takes 7-14 days or longer for internal correspondence and books to travel between branches," according to Government Matters (Fall), newsletter of the Government Assistance Project. "The library team's goal is to reduce this time to three or four days."

Entities whose flags are imprinted on condoms sold by an Indianapolis vendor: the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Africa, Australia, Cuba, and Italy.

"We like to show quality films. We don't care who makes them," Chicago International Film Festival founder Michael Kutza tells New City (October 8). "[People often ask] 'Gee, why aren't you showing more black filmmakers, why aren't you showing more women filmmakers, more blah blah, more gay filmmakers, more Asian filmmakers?' It goes on and on.... I hate to ghettoize and I hate ghettoizing festivals. They were necessary once. Women's festivals were necessary to get the foothold. Gay and lesbian festivals were necessary, black festivals. I don't think they are any more."

Gee, I bought them both for the articles. Progressive editor Erwin Knoll (October) notes how much trouble Beacon Press had in finding a printer for U. of I. philosophy professor Richard Mohr's Gay Ideas: Outing and Other Controversies, which includes photographs and illustrations by gay artists, including the late Robert Mapplethorpe. One of the printing firms that turned down Gay Ideas prints Penthouse.

Hey, that's me! Timothy Fox of Bio-Imaging Research, Inc., of Lincolnshire, which will work with Argonne National Laboratory to apply magnetic resonance imaging to industrial uses: "In hospitals, MRI is very successful with wet, soft biological materials."

"You can usually tell the support for a program from the squeals that are heard when it is cut," Northwestern University management professor Donald Haider tells Rob Karwath in Chicago Enterprise (October)--but there were hardly any squeals recently when the state's alleged economic-development agency, the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, lost 70 percent of its budget and 33 percent of its staff.

Number of pre-1980 cars on the road in the Chicago area, according to the state EPA: more than 200,000, or 10 percent. Their share of ozone pollution: at least 30 percent. Number to be bought up and scrapped by the state: fewer than 1,000.

Things you would rather not know about. The state Department of Professional Regulation announced in August that it had reprimanded and fined a Kankakee physician for "performing arthroscopy on wrong knee of patient."

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

Add a comment