quick takes 5-27-04
Some 30 social service leaders and volunteers broke into nine teams last Friday night and spent four hours scouting Springfield's city limits for homeless people.
While the final results have yet to be released, it appears the tally matches almost exactly the findings from last year of slightly more than 400.
Rita Tarr, a chief organizer of the count, said 79 homeless people were discovered Friday, from mothers with children to transients staying in pup tents in wooded areas.
Those currently staying in shelters are automatically named to the list.
People identified as homeless received care packages of food and drinks, or toiletries, prepared by students of Lincoln Land Community College.
But people doubling and tripling up with friends and relatives, who also are considered homeless according to federal standards, are not included in the count.
Including those persons would more than double the recent count, Tarr says.
"It's not an accurate portrayal, but we're in the ballpark," she says.
OH, THAT OBAMA
Barack Obama, Illinois' Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, is featured in the May 31 edition of The New Yorker magazine, currently available on newsstands and at www.newyorker.com.
The 5,700-word profile covers familiar ground: Obama's personal history, his academic achievements, his work as a community organizer, his progressive legislative record, his impressive primary victory in March. The story also gauges Obama's prospects against Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, described by the magazine as "not the usual vanity candidate."
One highlight of the profile: When U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, recounts her recent visit to the White House. President Bush noticed the congresswoman was wearing an "Obama" button.
"He jumped back, almost literally," Schakowsky tells New Yorker writer William Finnegan. "I knew what he was thinking." She says she reassured the president: "it was Obama, with a 'b.'"