IllinoisTimes - Illinois - James Krohe Jr http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-65-1-illinois-james-krohe-jr.html Wed, 23 Apr 14 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Rearranging the desks - The CEC pushes government into the 20th century http://illinoistimes.com/article-13769-rearranging-the-desks.html Rearranging the desks - The CEC pushes government into the 20th century
 The citizens panel gathered to find what it called opportunities for economy in the provision of public services in Springfield and Sangamon County. Upon investigation, they found that the cemet...]]>
Legislative little me’s - Basing representation on demography, not geography http://illinoistimes.com/article-13730-legislative-little-me%25E2%2580%2599s.html Legislative little me’s - Basing representation on demography, not geography
 In a country where people of like social class (and thus political views) tend to huddle together like bison in a blizzard, defining the geographical reach of a given legislative district goes a...]]>
Please Mr. Postman - The pleasures and perils of the epistolary romance http://illinoistimes.com/article-13696-please-mr-postman.html Please Mr. Postman - The pleasures and perils of the epistolary romance
 Just when I thought I could learn to forget herRight through the door come a tear-stained letter.– “Tear-stained Letter,” Richard Thompson“We will go out and write poetry in red chalk on...]]>
Prince of demagogues - Stephen A. Douglas and Illinois’ populist past http://illinoistimes.com/article-13667-prince-of-demagogues.html Prince of demagogues - Stephen A. Douglas and Illinois’ populist past
 The prospect is in store of two rabble-rousing populists trading insults for the next seven months. Each will try to tap the deep vein of grievance that runs through a middle class convinced tha...]]>
Home and away - Leaving home does not always mean losing it http://illinoistimes.com/article-13624-home-and-away.html Home and away - Leaving home does not always mean losing it
 “He went to places of lost happiness, and increased his misery by beholding the old faces no more, and the old days vanished.” That was Edgar Lee Masters, writing in Vachel Lindsay: A Poet i...]]>
Shaking up Springfield - If you liked Dan Walker, you’ll love Gov. Bruce Rauner http://illinoistimes.com/article-13597-shaking-up-springfield.html Shaking up Springfield - If you liked Dan Walker, you’ll love Gov. Bruce Rauner
 “To those who have grown rich on the public dollar, to those who have won secret grants and contracts, to those in government who put themselves first and the taxpayers second – to you I bri...]]>
Honest money - Would vote-buying improve elections? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13565-honest-money.html Honest money - Would vote-buying improve elections?
Am I the only one? Watching the Republican gubernatorial primary reminds me of a homecoming king contest that pits the quarterback whose dad bought him a convertible against the student council vice-p...]]>
Demanding answers - Does water conservation add up for Springfield? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13539-demanding-answers.html Demanding answers - Does water conservation add up for Springfield?
 This month, City Water, Light and Power announced it would ask the city council to approve updating the water demand analysis done for the department in 1991, the better to assess how best to me...]]>
Betting with other players’ chips - TIF projects are a bad bet for 186 schools http://illinoistimes.com/article-13509-betting-with-other-players%25E2%2580%2599-chips.html Betting with other players’ chips - TIF projects are a bad bet for 186 schools
 This caught my attention while reading the paper the other day – caught my attention in the same way that swallowing something unexpectedly nasty catches one’s attention. In the estimation o...]]>
Name-calling - What do you call Springfield residents? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13478-name-calling.html Name-calling - What do you call Springfield residents?
 Many years ago, when the creeks ran clear  and deer roamed free in the wooded groves of downtown Springfield, I was leaving Lanphier Park after watching the Springfield Redbirds play a ball...]]>
Changing the rules - Should people change the people’s government? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13461-changing-the-rules.html Changing the rules - Should people change the people’s government?
 Proposals to change the Illinois Constitution, I’ve noticed, are like UFO sightings: They tend to come in bunches. At the moment, the skies above Springfield are filled with strange apparition...]]>
Trial by jury - Dragooning jurors to serve justice is unjust http://illinoistimes.com/article-13424-trial-by-jury.html Trial by jury - Dragooning jurors to serve justice is unjust
 The United States ended military conscription in 1973, but draft-dodgers still roam the land – ordinary citizens drafted involuntarily into service as trial jurors by the courts. Many objectio...]]>
A new Dawn at the Statehouse? - What are the statues on the Capitol lawn for? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13387-a-new-dawn-at-the-statehouse.html A new Dawn at the Statehouse? - What are the statues on the Capitol lawn for?
 On Jan. 9, Rich Miller of CapitolFax took a break from chronicling Illinois lawmakers who ought to be forgotten to ask a queston on his blog about one who ought to be remembered: Should there be...]]>
God lets Ingersoll off - The legend of the Statehouse cornerstone http://illinoistimes.com/article-13370-god-lets-ingersoll-off.html God lets Ingersoll off - The legend of the Statehouse cornerstone
Atheists don’t expect to rise from the dead, but one famous dead agnostic came up, as it were, when I was reflecting last week on the fear and loathing that atheists excite among some Illinoisans. A...]]>
Your money’s no good here - A small town protects itself against an atheist plot http://illinoistimes.com/article-13344-your-money%25E2%2580%2599s-no-good-here.html Your money’s no good here - A small town protects itself against an atheist plot
What in the name of Joe McCarthy is going on up north? In case you didn’t read about it, here’s what’s happened so far. In October, American Legion Post 134 in the Cook County town of Morton Gro...]]>
All for one – and ‘for’ for all - The rise of the all-purpose preposition http://illinoistimes.com/article-13319-all-for-one-%25E2%2580%2593-and-%25E2%2580%2598for%25E2%2580%2599-for-all.html All for one – and ‘for’ for all - The rise of the all-purpose preposition
 These days, the editor’s desks of most newspaper and web news outlets are occupied by the very tender bottoms of bright boys and girls who are younger than some of my house plants. These are t...]]>
Over regulation - Local entrepreneurs bite the hand that feeds them http://illinoistimes.com/article-13267-over-regulation.html Over regulation - Local entrepreneurs bite the hand that feeds them
 Court and Karen Conn are peeved. In the current issue of Compass, the magazine of the libertarian Illinois Policy Institute, they air several gripes about their problems doing business in the ca...]]>
Comic timing - Why are drummers the butt of so many jokes? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13251-comic-timing.html Comic timing - Why are drummers the butt of so many jokes?
What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.I don’t know why I have always enjoyed drummer jokes. My father is a professional drummer, and a fine one, so one should not read...]]>
Promises, promises http://illinoistimes.com/article-13219-promises-promises.html Promises, promises
The headlines all say that the General Assembly has reformed Illinois’ public employee pension system. The headlines lie. Legislators didn’t reform what has become an unworkable system, although t...]]>
Foreground music - Some diners do not go to restaurants to be entertained http://illinoistimes.com/article-13189-foreground-music.html Foreground music - Some diners do not go to restaurants to be entertained
Thinking of oneself as a fogey is so poignant for a boomer, so vested are we in being the nation’s new generation. When we find more and more Xers taking our favorite seats on the bus, we react with...]]>
What they had to do - Thanksgiving and the War of 1812 in Illinois http://illinoistimes.com/article-13160-what-they-had-to-do.html What they had to do - Thanksgiving and the War of 1812 in Illinois
 Thanksgiving is the time of year when some white people serve up a heapin’ dish of guilt. The season reminds us all of the circumstances of the founding of the nation, when it was the white pe...]]>
Telling good from bad http://illinoistimes.com/article-13119-telling-good-from-bad.html Telling good from bad
“Everything’s on the Web.” It’s laughably untrue, but there is still too much stuff for most of us to make sense of. Thus the debate now raging on the Internet – by which I mean a lot of peo...]]>
Clio in the cornfields - Why do so many cities with history not have a history? http://illinoistimes.com/article-13101-clio-in-the-cornfields.html Clio in the cornfields - Why do so many cities with history not have a history?
 Most towns of any size have history that is worth reading about, but surprisingly few have a good history in which they might read it. By “a good history” I mean a single-volume history for...]]>
Having fun saving the world - Springfield’s Kidzeum promotes “health and wellness” http://illinoistimes.com/article-13066-having-fun-saving-the-world.html Having fun saving the world - Springfield’s Kidzeum promotes “health and wellness”
 If we are to believe the hype – and of course we are meant to believe it – the proposed Kidzeum of Health and Science will save the earth, rescue our children from disease and invigorate the...]]>
Courting new fans - The Velasco Tennis Center opens in Washington Park http://illinoistimes.com/article-12963-courting-new-fans.html Courting new fans - The Velasco Tennis Center opens in Washington Park
PHOTO BY DAVID HINE Is it entirely a coincidence that the Washington Park tennis courts, where the Springfield Park District offers lessons for young players, now are painted like a child’s bed...]]>
Pennies and nickels - ADM is asking a broke Illinois for money http://illinoistimes.com/article-12938-pennies-and-nickels.html Pennies and nickels - ADM is asking a broke Illinois for money
 For a lot of people in Springfield, Decatur is just a place to stop when you get hungry on the way back from a U of I game. But people live there too – at least some still do; the city has los...]]>
Rodney Davis warns of disaster - The congressman confronts complexity, and gets confused http://illinoistimes.com/article-12910-rodney-davis-warns-of-disaster.html Rodney Davis warns of disaster - The congressman confronts complexity, and gets confused
 Usually, when I read Mad-Hatteresque pronouncements from members of the Republican caucus of the U.S. House, I am reminded of the works of Lewis Carroll. Reading the remarks by 13th District con...]]>
Fixing the wrong problem - Term limits are bad politics and worse government http://illinoistimes.com/article-12884-fixing-the-wrong-problem.html Fixing the wrong problem - Term limits are bad politics and worse government
“Throw the bums out!” I say.Ah, if only we knew who the bums are. Bruce Rauner thinks he knows – they are public sector unions, public school systems and the politicians who enable t...]]>
Old arguments - Is the state spending too much to restore the Statehouse? http://illinoistimes.com/article-12862-old-arguments.html Old arguments - Is the state spending too much to restore the Statehouse?
Ordinarily, I would be thrilled that so many people were discussing the merits of the ongoing historical restoration of the Illinois Capitol. Except they aren’t. They’re discussing “...]]>
The people's art museum - Restoration makes the Statehouse too grand for politics http://illinoistimes.com/article-12829-the-peoples-art-museum.html The people's art museum - Restoration makes the Statehouse too grand for politics
Soon, the West Wing of the Illinois Capitol will emerge after two years inside a cocoon of plywood and tarps. The structure was closed off, paradoxically, to make that part of the building both newer ...]]>