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There'll always be a drug problem. The Chicago Dental Society reminds us in a recent news release of a study that found 40 people during the 1980s who suffered from a hard-to-diagnose cause of mouth problems: cinnamon abuse. "Nearly all the cases were people who were trying to quit smoking and were chewing large amounts of cinnamon gum or sucking on hard candy that contained cinnamon."

And he turned the wine into water. New on the bookshelf: Mark as Recovery Story, which, according to a publisher's catalog, "interprets the Gospel of Mark in terms of Twelve-Step recovery. Identifying numerous previously unrecognized ambiguities in the gospel's Greek text and using unprecedented linguistic and rhetorical insights and revolutionary images of the history, story, and spirituality of Jesus, [UIC's] John Mellon portrays Mark's mysterious 'insider' audience as a movement of ex-inebriates turned waterdrinkers, alcoholics whose spirituality of powerlessness resembles that of Alcoholics Anonymous today."

"Not having a workable procedure for unloading spent nuclear fuel is like taking off in an airplane without landing gear," says Tanya Cabala of the Lake Michigan Federation in a recent press release. On the east side of the lake Consumers Power Company has loaded spent nuclear fuel into concrete casks near the lakeshore at its Palisades nuclear plant--despite the lack of a workable procedure for unloading the stuff. LMF wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hit the company with a $1.3 million fine.

"At worst the war on poverty ended in a stalemate," according to Northwestern University's Christopher Jencks and the University of Chicago's Susan Mayer in a study of child poverty rates for the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research (CUAPR News, Summer). Census Bureau figures show the poverty rate for U.S. children rising from 14 percent in 1969 to 19.6 percent in 1989. Jencks and Mayer adjusted the statistics for a number of potential errors and found that the proportion of children in households below the poverty line probably fell between 1969 and 1989. For instance, they claim that the Census Bureau overstates inflation, excludes contributions of nonrelatives living in children's households, and fails to count food stamps, rent subsidies, and likely unreported income.

125: number of city permits required to hold Taste of Lincoln Avenue, according to Marty Marks in the Lincoln Parker (Summer).

"Expert opinion has crystallized on who has been the greatest mayor in Chicago's 150-year history," reports UIC historian Melvin Holli in Public Perspective (August/September). The consensus of experts he surveyed places Richard J. Daley (1955-'76) solidly in first place, followed--at a distance--by Carter Harrison Jr. (1897-1905, 1911-'15), and Harold Washington (1983-'87).

"Based on the fallacious assumption that the poor in this country have been rejecting opportunities in favor of a welfare check ($377 a month in the State of Illinois for a family of three), neither of the bills currently being considered by Congress takes the reality of a shrinking job pool into consideration," according to a recent newsletter published by the Public Welfare Coalition.

Record time for the Backward Mile race to be run October 28 at Charlie's Ale House on West Webster, according to Chicago Runner (Fall): 6:45 for men and 8:39 for women.

"It's paint ordinary Not In My Back Yard politics at the local level as something grander and more progressive," writes Adolph Reed Jr. of the Coalition for New Priorities in the Progressive (October). "Mobilization by residents of a threatened neighborhood to stop a corporate development project can be a very good thing. But the visions that support such mobilizing aren't necessarily progressive; they can rest on the same kind of parochial territorialism that prompts demonstrations against housing desegregation. In fact, opponents of open housing routinely see themselves as the victims of oppressive government and evil realtors. Even the slow-growth movement in local politics isn't unambiguously democratic or anti-corporate. Often enough it simply represents the efforts of those who arrived last week to keep anyone else from arriving next week. We have to recognize such struggles' ambiguity if we are to realize their best tendencies."

"You can't go wrong if you buy a body-builder a shirt as a gift," kinesiology student and personal trainer Kent Probst tells UIC News (August 23). "If it's too big, they'll be flattered. And if it's too small, they'll wear it."

"If Chicago had seriously gone about lowering electric rates," asks Lois Anne Rosen of the Labor Coalition on Public Utilities in the organization's newsletter, the Challenger (September), "how many seniors who died [in the July heat wave] might have had their own fans and air conditioners and might be alive today? Or their children might have had better jobs and been able to give their parents air conditioners, because lower electric rates are more attractive to business and industry."

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

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