IllinoisTimes - Fletcher Farrar: Reporter at Large http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-49-1-fletcher-farrar-reporter-at-large.html Sun, 21 Sep 14 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Cannibalism in Illinois http://illinoistimes.com/article-13033-cannibalism-in-illinois.html Cannibalism in Illinois
 As sponsors try to get the General Assembly to once again consider the issue of expanding riverboat casino gambling, there is growing concern about cannibalism in Illinois. New young casinos lik...]]>
Just give me a moment - Could the U.S. be heading for an era of great reform? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13003-just-give-me-a-moment.html Just give me a moment - Could the U.S. be heading for an era of great reform?
 The shutdown of both the government and the American spirit was still in full effect when U of I professor Robert McChesney addressed about 300 environmentalists at the annual fundraising banque...]]>
What’s wrong with the New York Times? - Placing faith in the archaic notion that journalism sells http://illinoistimes.com/article-6038-whatrss-wrong-with-the-new-york-times.html What’s wrong with the New York Times? - Placing faith in the archaic notion that journalism sells
I love the New York Times. I quote it so often my kids think I don’t know anything I didn’t read there. So naturally I was drawn to the long piece in May’s Vanity Fair on NYT publish...]]>
Archaeology and a newspaper editor - Dishes dumped “out back” yield stories of a friend of Lincoln in early Springfield http://illinoistimes.com/article-5870-archaeology-and-a-newspaper-editor.html Archaeology and a newspaper editor - Dishes dumped “out back” yield stories of a friend of Lincoln in early Springfield
A plain white pitcher, a bowl, a broken plate and a whiskey bottle from the mid-to-late 1830s are among the finds from Floyd Mansberger’s digs on the block where the Abraham Lincoln ...]]>
The questionable future of FutureGen - Political clout may not be enough to make this project work http://illinoistimes.com/article-5826-the-questionable-future-of-futuregen.html The questionable future of FutureGen - Political clout may not be enough to make this project work
When U. S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu met with the FutureGen Alliance on Monday to discuss whether to proceed with a large-scale coal gasification demonstration plant near Mattoon, he fa...]]>
When the Crime Stoppers dumpster came to my street - Is this good police work, or a substitute for it? http://illinoistimes.com/article-5792-when-the-crime-stoppers-dumpster-came-to-my-street.html When the Crime Stoppers dumpster came to my street - Is this good police work, or a substitute for it?
When I first heard about the new Crime Stoppers drug dumpster, I found it amusing. A trash dumpster, welded shut, painted orange, is stenciled with, “A suspected drug house is in thi...]]>
For local banks, Springfield is a good place to be - Shielded from the worst of the chaos, they ride out the recession with confidence http://illinoistimes.com/article-5752-for-local-banks-springfield-is-a-good-place-to-be.html For local banks, Springfield is a good place to be - Shielded from the worst of the chaos, they ride out the recession with confidence
As America looks around for someone to blame for the current economic mess, bankers are the easiest target in sight. “No one wants to hug a banker,” reads a recent Newsweek hea...]]>
The lies and demise of Roland Burris - We need a higher standard than telling the truth http://illinoistimes.com/article-5707-the-lies-and-demise-of-roland-burris.html The lies and demise of Roland Burris - We need a higher standard than telling the truth
It is a sad and sickening sound, that of another good reputation gurgling down the drain. Only a few weeks ago, Roland Burris was remembered as a trailblazer in Illinois politics, who had...]]>
Two strong women I knew - The people, the animals and the stories that shape our lives http://illinoistimes.com/article-5672-two-strong-women-i-knew.html Two strong women I knew - The people, the animals and the stories that shape our lives
Georgina Blair died last week at 92. When I visited in her home on the family farm in Virden a few years ago, she showed me this picture of her and her father with one of his prize mules,...]]>
What if things are as bad as Obama says? - Stirring words are welcome in troubled times http://illinoistimes.com/article-5638-what-if-things-are-as-bad-as-obama-says.html What if things are as bad as Obama says? - Stirring words are welcome in troubled times
People are so ready to be relieved of the Bush presidency, and to end the Iraq war, that Barack Obama could have said anything, or nothing, in his inaugural address and it would still be ...]]>
The homeless taking care of business - With clear goals, H.U.C. goes to work http://illinoistimes.com/article-5600-the-homeless-taking-care-of-business.html The homeless taking care of business - With clear goals, H.U.C. goes to work
At this business meeting of homeless people, some of the speeches are long and rambling, but that’s no different from many of the church and professional meetings I sit through regu...]]>
It’s the stupid economy - Rough days lie ahead. How we react will make the difference. http://illinoistimes.com/article-5560-it%25C2%2592s-the-stupid-economy.html It’s the stupid economy - Rough days lie ahead. How we react will make the difference.
The national economic crisis brings a sense of foreboding to a small city like Springfield. Sometimes the nation’s worst weather bypasses here; the coasts get the hurricanes, fires a...]]>
Say no to Hunter Lake - There are less expensive and less damaging alternatives. Building a dam is overkill. http://illinoistimes.com/article-5535-say-no-to-hunter-lake.html Say no to Hunter Lake - There are less expensive and less damaging alternatives. Building a dam is overkill.
Hunter Lake is a 40-year-old idea whose time, if there ever was one, has passed. The 3,010-acre lake would hold far more water than Springfield needs. There are less expensive alt...]]>
What Newsweek said about Springfield - There’s more to the story of ‘Corruption in the Land of Lincoln’ http://illinoistimes.com/article-5499-what-newsweek-said-about-springfield.html What Newsweek said about Springfield - There’s more to the story of ‘Corruption in the Land of Lincoln’
When I saw Newsweek on my caller ID a couple weeks ago I thought my subscription must have expired. Instead it was Michael Isikoff, the veteran investigative reporter. Isikoff had written articles f...]]>
From Bug Tussle to Henpeck, it’s a trip - Fun with the place names of Illinois http://illinoistimes.com/article-5387-from-bug-tussle-to-henpeck-it%25C2%2592s-a-trip.html From Bug Tussle to Henpeck, it’s a trip - Fun with the place names of Illinois
The 1821 Sangamon County commissioners established the temporary county seat on Spring Creek, so they named it Springfield. But the town's real founders — Elijah Iles, Pascal Enos and ...]]>
Architecture and democracy on the public square - Our circumstances shape our buildings, then the buildings shape us http://illinoistimes.com/article-5347-architecture-and-democracy-on-the-public-square.html Architecture and democracy on the public square - Our circumstances shape our buildings, then the buildings shape us
Untitled Document The tour begins on the Old State Capitol Plaza, by the law office where Lincoln walked to work. He must have stopped right here to talk, about the future of the coun...]]>
Time for tax reform in Illinois - There’s no need for budget crises in a wealthy, low-tax state http://illinoistimes.com/article-5300-time-for-tax-reform-in-illinois.html Time for tax reform in Illinois - There’s no need for budget crises in a wealthy, low-tax state
Now that the Illinois General Assembly has acted to restore Gov. Rod Blagojevich's budget cuts — using a one-time-only gimmick to supposedly fund the deficit — it's time to ...]]>
George Ryan and the politics of corruption - A new book recounts the sordid history of Illinois’ past 30 years http://illinoistimes.com/article-5265-george-ryan-and-the-politics-of-corruption.html George Ryan and the politics of corruption - A new book recounts the sordid history of Illinois’ past 30 years
Former Gov. George Ryan is remembered for two things. First, that he went to prison after being convicted on corruption charges. Second, that, in his final days in office, he cleared out dea...]]>
The convention center’s bold new plans - Entertainment paves the way for expansion http://illinoistimes.com/article-5220-the-convention-center%25C2%2592s-bold-new-plans.html The convention center’s bold new plans - Entertainment paves the way for expansion
The Prairie Capital Convention Center is the sleeping giant of downtown Springfield. Now 30 years old and showing signs of wear, the big gray box is about to wake up and make itself known in...]]>
Going to the Johns - Fighting prostitution from the demand side http://illinoistimes.com/article-5201-going-to-the-johns.html Going to the Johns - Fighting prostitution from the demand side
The women who walk by my house, sometimes early in the morning, are always polite when I ask them to go work someplace else. If they don't leave, I call the police, who come by if they're no...]]>
Blago’s war on Springfield - What did we do to deserve this? http://illinoistimes.com/article-5185-blago%25C2%2592s-war-on-springfield.html Blago’s war on Springfield - What did we do to deserve this?
Why has Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared war on Springfield? His latest assaults on the local economy make many ask, "What did we do to deserve this?" Those searching for answers say his a...]]>
Newspaper next - Tough times call for rethinking and asking new questions http://illinoistimes.com/article-3971-newspaper-next.html Newspaper next - Tough times call for rethinking and asking new questions
The news about traditional newspapering can only be described as dismal. Last week the editor of the Chicago Tribune and the publisher of the Los Angeles Times stepped down from their jobs a...]]>
Dilatory government doesn’t get it done - Fights over accounting don’t help the Medicaid mess http://illinoistimes.com/article-48-dilatory-government-doesn%25C2%2592t-get-it-done.html Dilatory government doesn’t get it done - Fights over accounting don’t help the Medicaid mess
Untitled Document Illinois Auditor General William Holland was so angry over the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ delays in submitting information over the pas...]]>
No new restrictions on redevelopers - Springfield needs a neighborhood development policy http://illinoistimes.com/article-5110-no-new-restrictions-on-redevelopers.html No new restrictions on redevelopers - Springfield needs a neighborhood development policy
Untitled Document Frustrated builders call it the last straw — a union-originated Springfield ordinance to require those who get city grants to contribute to an apprentices...]]>
Building the new Springfield High School - The best location is where it is http://illinoistimes.com/article-5069-building-the-new-springfield-high-school.html Building the new Springfield High School - The best location is where it is
Untitled Document The idea of replacing Springfield High School with a $57 million new building in a cornfield on Springfield’s west side is so lame, so yesterday, so pre-O...]]>
Going to church with Mom - My boyhood church keeps the faith, contemporary-style http://illinoistimes.com/article-5009-going-to-church-with-mom.html Going to church with Mom - My boyhood church keeps the faith, contemporary-style
Untitled Document On Mother’s Day I go to church with Mom. She’s still with our old home church, Central Christian, though it’s hardly the same church I grew up...]]>
Grammar and the governor - Language to make Illinois better http://illinoistimes.com/article-4982-grammar-and-the-governor.html Grammar and the governor - Language to make Illinois better
Untitled Document Punctuation and grammar, used well, can not only make us communicate better, and look better for having done so, they can also make us feel better. Commas and c...]]>
Saving Rwanda’s orphans, one entrepreneur at a time - “Giving Hope” encourages youngsters to dream, then get to work http://illinoistimes.com/article-433-saving-rwanda%25C2%2592s-orphans-one-entrepreneur-at-a-time.html Saving Rwanda’s orphans, one entrepreneur at a time - “Giving Hope” encourages youngsters to dream, then get to work
Untitled Document Rwanda is known as a place of death, but I wish that everyone could see the life in the faces of some of its orphans. It was 14 years ago this month that the sl...]]>
What an activist learned in jail - Diane Lopez Hughes came home more dedicated, but different http://illinoistimes.com/article-4904-what-an-activist-learned-in-jail.html What an activist learned in jail - Diane Lopez Hughes came home more dedicated, but different
Untitled Document They say that time behind bars makes criminals better at what they went in for. A gangbanger makes more gang connections, and a small-time bank robber learns fr...]]>
Music says “hope” better than politics can - A transcendental evening with the Illinois Symphony Chorus http://illinoistimes.com/article-4854-music-says-%25C2%2593hope%25C2%2594-better-than-politics-can.html Music says “hope” better than politics can - A transcendental evening with the Illinois Symphony Chorus
Untitled Document The subject of hope has gotten so much press, there was bound to be a pushback. During a recent debate, our guy had to carefully explain that hope doesn’t...]]>