The City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

The City File


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


"It's a common assumption that people are not convinced about the importance of vaccinations," says Dr. Cai Glushak of the University of Chicago Hospitals Pediatric Immunization Program, quoted in the Joyce Foundation's October report "Testing Strategies to Raise Immunization Rates." "But we didn't find that" in CHA's Robert Taylor Homes. "Instead, we found that parents are confused about the complexity of the schedule or don't know that kids are lacking specific immunizations." (More than a third of kids whose parents thought they were fully immunized weren't.) In addition, the report notes that finding parents to explain immunizations to was not easy: "For one month, for example, the outreach team had to stop contacting residents because of a gang war (workers are now wearing bulletproof vests). It is unsafe to visit families during the evening. Also, the hallways of Robert Taylor Homes are outdoors, and the program had to suspend operations for a week during a severe cold spell."

Law students: Drop out now unless you're perfect, advises Ron Coleman in Student Lawyer (October): "If you can't produce a perfect cover letter--zero typos, zero grammatical errors, zero stylistic groaners--forget it. Because your cover letter is the single most important document you will ever draft. If it's not perfect, you've documented that you don't know how to do it right and that you lack the judgment to find someone who does know how." And don't get him started on resumes: "I've been amazed at what I've seen....Whom do you think you're fooling when you say 'upper 43 percent of class'? Do you think we deduce from that that you're number three? If you're number 86 out of 200, that's 'upper half.' When you write 'upper 43 percent,' besides showing the recipient that you think he' s stupid, you're showing him or her that you don't know the proper way to advocate--to present an idea in its best possible credible light."

Advertising vehicle. Rick Perlstein skewers the allegedly political magazine George in In These Times (October 2): "The idea that politics can be depicted free from acrimoniously contending visions about how best to live is a child's vision of the world. It is also a stock-jobber's vision of the world."

"I've had parents come to me and say, 'My three year old knows how to use the remote control and has a temper tantrum if I turn off the television.' It makes me wonder who is in control," the Erikson Institute's Kathleen Kostelney tells MOMents (September). "Even four hours a day of public television is not good." As for the Power Rangers, "Focus groups of five year olds who watch the show revealed that children actually think their friends will explode if hit, like they do on the show."

What, then? Quoted from Anglican Digest in Martin Marty's Context (October 1): "It is a great mistake to think that God is chiefly interested in religion."

"Silence and apathy from the general public will result in a loss of trains" to Milwaukee, Carbondale, Saint Louis, and Quincy, according to Ken Bird, president of the Illinois Association of Railroad Passengers, in Railgram (September). "Unless the Illinois General Assembly approves a supplemental appropriation of $2.5 million this fall," the state will have no more money to fill the gaps left by Amtrak's financial problems.

U.S. representatives from Illinois most often missing in action from January 1993 to September 1995, according to Illinois Politics (September): Mel Reynolds (258 votes missed out of 635), Sidney Yates (110 votes missed, some because of illness), and Bobby Rush (74 votes missed).

I'm not right for you but the Army-Navy surplus store might be. "You meet people and you know if you can make a hat for them or not," hat maker Stacey Porter of the local Millinery Arts Alliance tells The A List (September/October). "You can point your finger and say, 'I'm not right for you but Linda Campisano is.'"

"Congress's expressed desire to foster a free marketplace cannot be taken seriously until [Archer Daniels Midland Corporation's] corporate hand is removed from the federal till," writes James Bovard in Cato Institute's Policy Analysis (September 26). He argues that almost half of the downstate Decatur-based corporation's profits come from products "heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM's corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30."

List of sins available to repent in an on-line confessional described in the Chicago-based Christian Century (October 11): murder, adultery, sloth, lust, avarice, deception, gluttony, pride, anger, covetousness, and misplaced priorities.

"Some University of Illinois students had a big protest rally in my office this spring," downstate Republican state representative Rick Winkel tells Illinois Issues (October). "They were carrying signs saying, 'Reduce defense spending' and 'Down with the Contract With America and Newt Gingrich.' I finally asked them if they knew the difference between state representatives and members of Congress."

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

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →