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Well, you could have that tumor removed surgically--but I know this really excellent exorcist... Alice J. Hees of Southern Illinois University and three colleagues have found that "a significant number of U.S. students preparing for careers in health and related fields and their teachers believe that illnesses can be traced to demonic possession."

"Chicago...has always had a notoriously short attention span regarding flash and fanfare, and little patience for glamour or superficial prestige--this is why clubs that you have to wait in line to get into never lasted here, why restaurants that ooze atmosphere but serve bad food are never patronized, and why the world-renowned authors who live here walk anonymously down city streets," writes Ann Wiens in the New Art Examiner (May). "It is also why we have a good many of the artists we do--artists who have chosen to live in Chicago because it readily affords them the opportunity to work, with minimal distractions....A recent New York Times Magazine article on 'The Art World Bust' (February 28, 1993) included New York sculptor Judy Pfaff's comment, 'I can walk into the Odeon or Barocco...and speed-read my place in the art world. If you're not hot, there's a lull when you walk in the door.'" Says Wiens, "Such a situation could never occur in Chicago, where artists visit restaurants primarily to eat."

"If we get ethics bills to a vote, we can pass them because no legislator wants to be on the record opposing ethics reform," Illinois Common Cause director Tracy Litsey tells Illinois Issues (May). "We know we have the votes to pass. Leadership knows we have the votes. We just can't get them to a vote." Who says Mike Madigan and Pate Philip don't get along?

"There is a curious psychological parallel between the nationalist madness in ex-Yugoslavia and the reaction in the West. The link is television," writes Diana Johnstone in In These Times (May 3). "As Yugoslavia was breaking up, the newly nationalist authorities in both Serbia and Croatia began using their state television to whip up fear of their neighbor....[Now] the horrors of this war are visible to people in Europe and America on their nightly newscasts, and the clamor to do something is rising....TV images move people to demand action (by others, usually) that can also be transmitted by television. There is something built into the media form that begs more for spectacular retribution than for long-term justice."

Buyer's remorse. There are only a handful of Michigan lakefront rentals, according to The Other Side of the Lake (May), "and prices are commiserate to what the homeowner has into it."

"School reform is alive and well, and although many of us are tired, we haven't given up," writes a Local School Council chair quoted in Catalyst (May). "Each year, it gets easier to accomplish change....I still believe our biggest enemies are the employees of the central office, whose main concern is their job security and who fight increased local control tooth and nail....The union also must cooperate and make concessions when it comes to salaries and job security. In these days and times, they are asking for privileges that no other employees (professional and trade) have."

A state that tries to attract more jobs by cutting taxes "is likely to fail," according to U. of I. tax researcher Therese J. McGuire, "either because taxes are not the important determinant of [business] location and expansion decisions that we suppose, or because the accompanying spending cuts"--in public education, health care, worker training, transportation--"will be viewed as even more onerous to the firms than the higher taxes."

Blasphemy in the City of Neighborhoods. Ed Zotti quotes the MacArthur Foundation's John Foster-Bey, who has come to doubt the conventional wisdom about fighting poverty through neighborhood empowerment. "Strategies aimed strictly at poor neighborhoods may disadvantage the poor even more, because development is happening everywhere else....Suppose a poor person gets a job in Naperville and then manages to find an apartment out there. If I'm concerned about poverty, I can't call that a failure" (Chicago Enterprise, May/June).

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

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