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On the Light Side

April 24, 1990

CHICAGO (AP) _ Call it ″Ice Cream Wars.″

Instead of race, politics and patronage, the issues were chocolate, strawberry and vanilla in a series of ice cream commercials that feature five Chicago aldermen bickering over their favorite flavors.

The ads that debuted Monday for Edy’s Grand Ice Cream are a spoof on the city’s Council Wars, the political sparring that erupted in the City Council after the 1983 election of the city’s first black mayor, Harold Washington.

It’s part of the company’s effort to boost sales in the Chicago area by capitalizing on the public’s fascination with politics, Chicago-style.

The Oakland, Calif., ice cream maker’s campaign features three 30-second TV commercials.

″Order, please,″ commands the chamber speaker (an actor) as the aldermen argue. ″Yeah, order more vanilla,″ responds Alderman Roman Pucinski.

Alderman Edward Burke prefers blueberry, colleague Luis Gutierrez opts for strawberry, Lawrence Bloom can’t decide between chocolate and vanilla, and Danny Davis likes peach.

″Will the alderman yield?″ Gutierrez asks. ″Not until I’m finished,″ an ice cream-savoring Davis responds in the ad.

If truth be told, Davis said he had never tasted the product before the ads, and may not afterward.

″I love ice cream,″ the stout alderman said with a chuckle. ″But I have to be careful.″

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TAMARAC, Fla. (AP) - Who says dead men don’t tell tales?

Sam Feigenbaum had many choice words for federal bureaucrats after an error listed him as deceased and cut off Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Feigenbaum, 71, said he learned he was listed in Social Security Administration computers as dead when he applied for $2,860 in Medicare payments for hospital tests in February. Also, American Savings was ordered to return about $2,500 in Social Security benefits deposited in his account between July and February, he said.

″I begged the director of the bank, ’Don’t send the money away. I am not dead,‴ he said.

The confusion apparently stems from the death of Feigenbaum’s wife, Sara, in July. They shared the same first initial, and Feigenbaum’s Medicare claim number was identical except for the letter ″A″ at the end.

More than $700 has been returned to his bank account, but it will take longer to make the correction in the main Social Security computer banks to pay doctor and hospital bills, said Social Security branch manager Mark Spicker.

Last week, Feigenbaum said he received another letter from Medicare saying it will not pay his hospital bills.

″It’s cheaper to send someone to check whether I’m alive than to send so many letters,″ he said.

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