News & Politics » City File

The City File

by

comment

"The computer is a tool--just like a lens, light source, or film emulsion--that you select for its effect on the final image," says John DeSalvo in Loupe (Spring), published by ASMP Chicago/Midwest. "I use image manipulation very cautiously....It's important that digital image manipulation is not considered an electronic gimmick, a passing fad, or a Band-aid for bad ideas"--all things that photography itself was once considered to be.

"Employers were not happy" when reform-minded Teamsters president Ron Carey removed corrupt leadership from Chicago Teamsters Local 705, writes David Moberg in In These Times (May 15). New local president Gerald Zero, a reformer, lunched at an Italian restaurant with one distraught business owner who said, "I always got along with [former local secretary-treasurer] Danny [Ligurotis]. We didn't have any problems. We didn't need a steward. What do you need? A car? Money? Women?" Zero says he replied, "Just take care of the members and I'll be happy," paid his share of the check, and left.

If state government cut out all tax incentives (aka loopholes) it would have an extra $3.3 billion to spend--a 25 percent increase in revenues, Illinois comptroller Loleta Didrickson asserts in the state's 1994 Tax Incentives Report. The problem is that the 157 tax incentives benefit individuals (to the tune of $1.6 billion) more than any other identifiable group--business incentives are reported at $783 million, charities $480 million, and "other" $455 million.

Affirmative action--no longer needed? From a recent press release by the Illinois Association of Minorities in Government: "In Illinois State Government, statistics show that 87% of the jobs paying over $50,000 are being held by white men. Simultaneously, two thirds of women and minorities earn less than the median salary of $30,000. Further, statistics show that from a total of approximately $1.6 billion in state contracts, the share for women and minorities was less than 20%."

TB cases in Chicago, as reported to the city department of public health: in 1982, 1050; in 1985, 649; in 1993, 798 (AIDS Chicago, First Quarter).

"The median income for Chicagoans is about one third of what aldermen will now receive," notes 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller in the IVI-IPO Action Bulletin (May), explaining why she voted against the post-election 36 percent pay raises, which boost each alderman's salary to $75,000 a year. "This disparity is too great. As the cost of living in Chicago continues to soar, a majority of residents are losing ground in their struggle to maintain a decent standard of living. The council's action last month seems to ignore this problem."

"We need to get away from the notion that reform must be gradual," writes Michael Fahy in Catalyst (May), arguing that the Chicago Board of Education should be replaced by "approximately 60 elected neighborhood boards, each with a high school and its feeder elementary and middle schools, comparable in size to other Illinois boards....When the Chicago River burst into our subterranean tunnel, we plugged the hole before we bailed out the basements. Our Board of Education will soon be asking for another bailout, but they never get around to plugging the hole."

"Expecting minority students to do dissertations about themselves trivializes our presence in the mainstream," says Marta Tienda, who chairs the U. of C. sociology department (University of Chicago Magazine, April). In 1974, having done her master's thesis on female employment in Mexico and attended a seminar on women in Latin America, she came back to her graduate professor and said, "Women's studies, I resign. Chicano studies, I resign. I won't do it....I will not be ghettoized."

Colonel McCormick for the 90s. Howard Tyner's two-sentence summary of the newspaper he edits, quoted in his college alumni magazine, the Carleton Voice (Spring): "The Tribune is a Midwest newspaper founded on common sense, free trade, and a deep suspicion of politicians, especially in Washington. Those principles are largely intact at the Tribune today."

Things Republicans don't want to know, from a random-sample poll by the Metro Chicago Information Center on South Michigan: "52% of adults in the Chicago region feel that O'Hare airport should add a runway to ease air traffic congestion. Only 34% disagree, and 15% report no opinion on the issue." Even in suburban Cook and Du Page counties, MCIC found opinion was pro-expansion by 47 to 39 percent.

"I've been here 25 years and I've seen one big change--students' attitudes," says June Ferguson, who graduated from UIC in 1969 and now works there as an assistant to the dean for student affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (UIC News, April 5). "Nowadays, students think they should be rewarded for trying, their performance should not be judged, but their so-called effort. They think if they go every day, do the minimum work, they'll automatically pass. I hear it over and over. They're not willing to be responsible for what they decide to do."

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

Add a comment