IllinoisTimes - Illinois - James Krohe Jr http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-65-1-illinois-james-krohe-jr.html Mon, 05 Dec 16 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Country blues - What the Trump win says about our rural parts http://illinoistimes.com/article-17979-country-blues.html Country blues - 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...]]>
Minority wrongs - Why the losers are winning in the U.S. http://illinoistimes.com/article-17956-minority-wrongs.html Minority wrongs - 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...]]>
As the crow is bent - Does a name determine one’s destiny? http://illinoistimes.com/article-17923-as-the-crow-is-bent.html As the crow is bent - 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...]]>
People, not Pontiacs! - A look back at 35 years of bungling at the Y block http://illinoistimes.com/article-17901-people-not-pontiacs_.html People, not Pontiacs! - 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. (...]]>
Old letters - Mid-Illinois in the mid-1800s comes alive again http://illinoistimes.com/article-17866-old-letters.html Old letters - Mid-Illinois in the mid-1800s comes alive again
 Hepzibah was a young woman of a sort we’ve all known – smart, full of gumption and eager for a little bit more from life than life was prepared to give her. “It does seem to me that any on...]]>
Keeping what’s ours - Trump’s not the only one wanting to build walls http://illinoistimes.com/article-17857-keeping-what%25E2%2580%2599s-ours.html Keeping what’s ours - Trump’s not the only one wanting to build walls
 All that banging and buzzing you might have heard coming from the Springfield city council chambers in September was the council and mayor building a wall along the city’s border with Sangamon...]]>
Looking backward - I become an historian http://illinoistimes.com/article-17817-looking-backward.html Looking backward - I become an historian
  Next summer, if things go well, I will become an historian, to the extent that the published author of a book-length history of mid-Illinois can be called an historian. In truth, I am untr...]]>
Where the redbuds are always in bloom http://illinoistimes.com/article-17793-where-the-redbuds-are-always-in-bloom.html Where the redbuds are always in bloom
 If its citizens struggle to see anything new in a landscape with which they have become too familiar, what is the poor landscape photographer to do? In Larry Kanfer’s case, he does nothing muc...]]>
Who’s rigging elections? - Wronging a precious right http://illinoistimes.com/article-17781-who%25E2%2580%2599s-rigging-elections.html Who’s rigging elections? - Wronging a precious right
 “You cheated!” is the lament of sore losers everywhere. Donald Trump warns – ominously, ludicrously – that the November election will be rigged too, presumably because the Democrats will...]]>
Men in power - Donald Trump’s run for the White House in 1992 http://illinoistimes.com/article-17753-men-in-power.html Men in power - Donald Trump’s run for the White House in 1992
 Donald Trump has run for the presidency before. He ran in 1968 disguised as George Wallace and again in 1996 as Patrick Buchanan. He also ran in 1992, as my excerpted column from Oct. 29 of that...]]>
None of your business - Is the city smart enough to pull off the Y block deal? http://illinoistimes.com/article-17728-none-of-your-business.html None of your business - Is the city smart enough to pull off the Y block deal?
 How embarrassing. The City of Springfield finds itself in the same bind as the young swain who, wooing a sophisticated lovely, invites her to a posh dinner only to realize at the end of the meal...]]>
How’ve you been? - An aging high schooler looks back http://illinoistimes.com/article-17682-how%25E2%2580%2599ve-you-been.html How’ve you been? - An aging high schooler looks back
 The “I go to my reunion” essay is a staple of the genre. By now there is nothing new that can be said, but readers read them anyway, fearful that other people’s reunions were better than t...]]>
Fair deal - Turning the state fair into an expo of real rural life http://illinoistimes.com/article-17657-fair-deal.html Fair deal - Turning the state fair into an expo of real rural life
 When the Illinois State Fair was first staged in 1853, country people went there to see other country people. Later, city people went to see country people. These days  –  well, I’...]]>
Refined, delicate and urban - Marking the Centennial’s centennial http://illinoistimes.com/article-17636-refined-delicate-and-urban.html Refined, delicate and urban - Marking the Centennial’s centennial
 Last week, in “Getting it right this time,” I proposed that the State of Illinois commemorate the bicentennial of its founding in 1818 not with celebration but with remediation, in the form...]]>
Getting it right this time - Ideas for an Illinois bicentennial http://illinoistimes.com/article-17588-getting-it-right-this-time.html Getting it right this time - Ideas for an Illinois bicentennial
 Yes, I know – who feels like celebrating the state of Illinois? The commonwealth will be 200 years old in 2018, and no one in state government seems prepared to party. As our Erika Holst recen...]]>
Get right or get out - Fearful Illinoisans confront the Other http://illinoistimes.com/article-17573-get-right-or-get-out.html Get right or get out - Fearful Illinoisans confront the Other
 Back in June, news got about that there was waiting on the governor’s desk a bill to set up a Muslim Advisory Council. Kumbaya gestures of this sort have long been popular among politicians pa...]]>
Bouncing back - A dumb old fad gets – a little – smarter http://illinoistimes.com/article-17548-bouncing-back.html Bouncing back - A dumb old fad gets – a little – smarter
 The wonderful thing about getting older is watching people falling for the same cons their grandparents did. The Philippines invasion became Vietnam became Iraq. Trump is Buchanan again, who was...]]>
Yabba Dabba Doo-ing it - Recalling the broken promise of the PCCC http://illinoistimes.com/article-17528-yabba-dabba-doo-ing-it.html Yabba Dabba Doo-ing it - Recalling the broken promise of the PCCC
 We learned July 18 that the directors of the Prairie Capital Convention Center approved the sale of naming rights to the building to the Bank of Springfield. Mike Coffey Jr., chairman of the boa...]]>
Revising a revision - Are the Rauners giving Illinois a mansion it really wants? http://illinoistimes.com/article-17490-revising-a-revision.html Revising a revision - Are the Rauners giving Illinois a mansion it really wants?
You know how it is. You repaint the living room, and suddenly the furniture looks shabby. So you replace that, which makes the carpet look worn. Over on Jackson Street, they finally fixed the leaky ro...]]>
The burdens of office - Doing good by doing nothing http://illinoistimes.com/article-17473-the-burdens-of-office.html The burdens of office - Doing good by doing nothing
 I know that my life makes you nervousBut I tell you that I can’t live in serviceLike the doctor born for a purpose— The Clash/”Rudie Can’t Fail”Critical though I feel obliged to be of...]]>
Wasted - Cutting costs does not necessarily cut waste http://illinoistimes.com/article-17449-wasted.html Wasted - Cutting costs does not necessarily cut waste
 An old rule of thumb among business owners holds that half of all the money they spend on advertising is wasted. The problem is no one knows which half. The question of waste in government spend...]]>
Everybody join in - Illinois needs a new state song for a new era http://illinoistimes.com/article-17420-everybody-join-in.html Everybody join in - Illinois needs a new state song for a new era
 You know how some songs seem just right for the moment? Charles H. Chamberlain and Archibald Johnston’s isn’t. The state of Illinois made their “Illinois” the official state song in 1925...]]>
At the corner of Someplace and Nowhere - Street names as archaeology http://illinoistimes.com/article-17386-at-the-corner-of-someplace-and-nowhere.html At the corner of Someplace and Nowhere - Street names as archaeology
 Attentive readers might have noticed my recent preoccupation with the problem of place – how people come to define a place as a “place” and what it means to the people who live there. (See...]]>
Planning a mess - Does the city of Springfield need its own planner? http://illinoistimes.com/article-17370-planning-a-mess.html Planning a mess - Does the city of Springfield need its own planner?
 It sounded like a Seinfeld episode. The Salvation Army buys a building on Ninth Street for a new homeless shelter and spends half a mill fixing it up, only for Mayor Jim Langfelder to tell them,...]]>
Pots and kettles - The governor tries to divide Illinois against itself – again http://illinoistimes.com/article-17334-pots-and-kettles.html Pots and kettles - The governor tries to divide Illinois against itself – again
 Bruce Rauner is trying to divide Downstate from Chicago over school funding. It’s a low tactic that has a long tradition, as I noted in this column from the IT of June 5, 1981. The much longer...]]>
The blossomy haw, remembered - Natural beauty and politics http://illinoistimes.com/article-17314-the-blossomy-haw-remembered.html The blossomy haw, remembered - Natural beauty and politics
 Paul Scott Mowrer was born in Bloomington in 1887 and lived there until he was in the sixth grade. In short, everything important that can happen to a boy in the normal course of growing up happ...]]>
Something there is that doesn’t love a tree - Re-treeing Springfield means transplanting attitudes too http://illinoistimes.com/article-17299-something-there-is-that-doesn%25E2%2580%2599t-love-a-tree.html Something there is that doesn’t love a tree - Re-treeing Springfield means transplanting attitudes too
 Careful readers of his paper will know that Sustainable Springfield is encouraging businesses and landowners to allow the organization to plant native and/or non-invasive tree species on their p...]]>
Undesirables - A new project to stimulate downtown living – 33 years ago http://illinoistimes.com/article-17264-undesirables.html Undesirables - A new project to stimulate downtown living – 33 years ago
This week our look back over IT’s 40 years is occasioned by the City of Springfield’s halting efforts to redevelop the Y block. Hopes that a residential building here will magically transform down...]]>
Playing the suckers - “Heads I win, tails you lose” is a lousy state motto http://illinoistimes.com/article-17246-playing-the-suckers.html Playing the suckers - “Heads I win, tails you lose” is a lousy state motto
Homeopathy figures prominently in the annals of medical quackery. It is based on the idea, or rather the hope, that “like cures like,” meaning that a disease can be cured by whatever produces simi...]]>
Why don’t we do it beside the road? http://illinoistimes.com/article-17196-why-don%25E2%2580%2599t-we-do-it-beside-the-road.html Why don’t we do it beside the road?
 You wouldn’t ask a carpenter how to build a happy marriage. The residents and business owners along MacArthur Boulevard between South Grand and Wabash did something similar when they asked tra...]]>