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Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 12:22 am

What might Springfield do to boost population growth?

In 1909 its Chamber of Commerce undertook a campaign to make Springfield “the largest city by all odds in the state outside Chicago.” Our best Babbits insisted that there was “no good reason why...
Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 12:18 am

The right’s industrial policy is not about jobs

 Let’s talk about manufacturing in Illinois – everybody else is. Our new honorary president and our not-so-new governor have promised to bring back good manufacturing jobs, jobs just like the...
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 12:35 am

Remembering Springfield’s “greatest citizen after Lincoln”

 In 1922 a reporter from the Illinois State Journal dropped by the City Hall offices of Willis J. Spaulding at Seventh and Monroe. Spaulding was then the city’s Commissioner of Public Property....
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 12:17 am

Creeping conversions remain a problem after 28 years

 Organizers with the City of Springfield and the Springfield Regional Planning Commission held what amounted to an informal design charette the other day. Citizens were invited to imagine a futur...
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 12:23 am

A gift list of Illinois history books

 It’s gift-choosing time again, and who better than a professional wise man to ask what you ought to get those hard-to-shop-for friends? I have the perfect gift suggestion: a short shelf of the...
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 12:21 am

Some politicians want to bring back coal

 The new president, apparently, plans to make America toxic again. The New York Times reports that Comrade Trump has put a climate-change agnostic and friend of the coal companies in ch...
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 12:21 am

What the Trump win says about our rural parts

 Looked at in one way – actually, looked at in several ways – Donald Trump’s win was the revenge of the countryside against the city. While the billionaire common man couldn’t carry Illin...
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 12:23 am

Why the losers are winning in the U.S.

I am among those dismayed by the outcome of the November elections – not because people I disagree with elected the next President of the United States, but because they didn’t. Voters were asked...
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 12:20 am

Does a name determine one’s destiny?

 Some say that names are destiny. Surely jurist Learned Hand was doomed at his christening to take up the law, just as John Wisdom took up philosophy or Brandon Belt picked up a baseball bat. I a...
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 12:20 am

A look back at 35 years of bungling at the Y block

 Ever know a kid who never quite grew up because her parents wouldn’t let her? The Y block in downtown Springfield is a lot like that. I described the partial clearing of that parcel in 1978. (...

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