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Excuse me, officer, don't you have more pressing business than writing me that speeding ticket? According to John Sullivan in the Chicago Reporter (September), "The Illinois State Police is breaking the law by failing to count hate crimes. ...State police have been unable to solve the maddening computer glitches that have left [their aggressive new crime reporting] system useless, said spokesman Mark McDonald. But instead of returning to the previous method of recording hate crimes, the state inexplicably stopped counting them at all."

"Women need to decide who has the primary responsibility for the health and safety of their bodies," writes Leslie Marmon Silko in Hungry Mind Review (Fall), making a feminist argument for gun ownership and usage. "We don't trust the State to manage our reproductive organs, yet most of us blindly trust that the State will protect us (and our reproductive organs) from predatory strangers....Those who object to firearms need trained companion dogs or collectives of six or more women to escort one another day and night. We must destroy the myth that women are born to be easy targets."

"The native mussel fauna in the Illinois River show a significant recovery when compared to studies done 27 years ago," writes John Schwegman of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in a press release summarizing a state natural history survey report presented in October. "Four species of mussels that had been extirpated from the river by 1968 have now reestablished themselves. The most dramatic recovery was in the upper reaches of the river where 12 native mussel species are found now and not a single live mussel was found in the late 1960s. This recovery is attributed to cleaner water resulting from clean up of sewage effluent from the Chicago area."

Is your convention too big for a hotel but too small for McCormick Place? VOA Associates on South Michigan notes that Navy Pier's exhibition halls were built to fill that void--and are already booked into 1999, with some bookings for 2006.

The two best law schools for women in the Chicago area, according to National Jurist (October/November), are Chicago-Kent College of Law and DePaul, based on a student poll, on percentages of women students and faculty, and women in leadership roles. Out of 168 schools, Chicago-Kent ranked 18th, DePaul 19th--and the University of Chicago 166th.

On the way. Percentage of Illinois municipal waste recycled in 1990: 5.1, according to the state EPA. In 1994: 19.

The "Ghetto Avoidance Pattern" is "among the least-talked-about gaps in American life," writes William Upski Wimsatt in In These Times (October 30). "Our literature suffers from an analogous gap. We need a literature about being spoiled. Enough of this literature about struggle! Most people who read in this country are spoiled and boring, yet all they want to read about is struggle and adventure."

"In the court of public opinion, white criminals are individuals, whereas blacks' crimes always imply collective guilt," writes Northwestern political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. in the Progressive (December). "Claus Von Bulow was just a rich man who killed his wife for her money and got off, thanks to a high-priced legal team that overlapped O.J.'s. No public fretting about whether he represented a homicidal lust for gratuitous wealth among white men."

"One of the most depressing revelations to emerge from the ongoing trench warfare over public funding for the arts has been the seeming inability of art professionals to provide cogent arguments about why what they do should be seen as important by anybody else," writes David Hoppe in the Chicago-based New Art Examiner (November). "Attacked by disingenuous, opportunistic, right-wing politicos, the best ripostes our leading cultural poobahs usually muster are uplifting platitudes or, possibly worse, market-derived forms of self-justification of the 'art is good for business' variety. The cumulative effect of all this sputtering has only been to underscore the lack of consequence serious art has in the lives of most Americans."

Racism takes a holiday. Result of a survey by the U.S. General Accounting Office (June 1995): "GAO did not find that minorities or low-income people were overrepresented near a majority of the nonhazardous municipal landfills. According to GAO's nationwide sample of municipal landfills, less than half of such landfills had a percentage of minorities or low-income people living within 1 mile of the facility that was higher than the percentage in the rest of the county."

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

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