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Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 12:01 am

A drummer who hasn’t missed a beat in 90 years

 I can only barely keep time, but while I could never be a drummer I love to talk with my father about the drummer’s craft. He’s worked as a professional musician for 76 years now – he’ll...
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 01:01 am

A trek across a cornfield crosses hundreds of years

 It was August and the ripening corn stood taller than we did. The field was bounded by the old Illinois Terminal tracks, South Grand, Cook and the 66 bypass, as it then was still known, Everett...
Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 12:01 am

Shouldn’t profit-seeking nonprofits pay property taxes?

The debate that Illinois ought to be having about government finance is not how much property owners should pay in taxes, but which property owners should pay. Large quasi-corporate nonprofit corporat...
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 12:01 am

How not to plan for urban green space

 The problem in a city that likes to think of itself as forward-looking is that it seldom looks back long enough to learn from its own past. That, anyway, was the conclusion I came to after think...
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 12:01 am

Two-wheeled transportation comes to Springfield

 It isn’t quite ISIS crossing the Mexican border, but from the way that some people reacted to it, you’d have thought that the arrival of bicyclists on Second Street threatened our American W...
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 12:01 am

Can governors change history?

 One of the quainter rituals of any campaign, along with “debates,” is the newspaper editorial endorsement. It proceeds from three dubious assumptions – one, that anyone reads editorials be...
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 12:01 am

Is recycling food waste a fad or the future?

 As much as 40 percent of the food that Americans buys in the supermarket is tossed uneaten into the trash, according to estimates from the USDA and the federal EPA. Edibles go bad in the fridge...
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 12:01 am

Is the national pastime past its time?

 Woman of the Year, the 1942 movie starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn:  Sportswriter Tracy invites the Hepburn character to her first baseball game, at Yankee Stadium. She arrives...
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 12:01 am

Finding ourselves gets harder all the time

 You would think that the one inarguable fact about Illinois is that it is a Midwestern place. Walt Hickey, a writer for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, commissioned a web poll of self-identifie...
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 12:01 am

Gotham has always drawn Springfieldians to the bright lights

 It is natural in this season to think of New York City, but this year I have been thinking of it in a happier light than the 9/11 anniversary casts on it. I had reason to read the interview that...

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