IllinoisTimes - Illinois - James Krohe Jr http://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-65-1-illinois-james-krohe-jr.html Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 A pause to reflect - After a thousand columns, it’s time for a break http://illinoistimes.com/article-19572-a-pause-to-reflect.html A pause to reflect - After a thousand columns, it’s time for a break
 This week’s column is the 1,000th to appear under my name in this paper, and I’ve decided it’s time to take a break from weekly opinion-mongering. After so many essays, even I am getting t...]]>
Springfield, reimagined - The newest draft city plan is a good one http://illinoistimes.com/article-19548-springfield-reimagined.html Springfield, reimagined - The newest draft city plan is a good one
 The Springfield city council has before it a draft of a new comprehensive city plan, City of Springfield Comprehensive Plan, “Forging a New Legacy,” intended to guide development in the capi...]]>
In the crosshairs - Is state government ready for Armageddon? http://illinoistimes.com/article-19499-in-the-crosshairs.html In the crosshairs - Is state government ready for Armageddon?
 Oh dear – the North Koreans are threatening the United States with a preemptive nuclear strike. In November, Kim Jong-un ordered a test launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which has the potentia...]]>
No mere bump on a log - Logan Hay, once Springfield’s best-known citizen, is forgotten http://illinoistimes.com/article-19474-no-mere-bump-on-a-log.html No mere bump on a log - Logan Hay, once Springfield’s best-known citizen, is forgotten
 The Illinois Bicentennial looms. In the Illinois that exists, the Rauner administration looks forward to beer parties and pantomime shows. In the Illinois of my daydreams, historians scribble aw...]]>
Grave matters - The dead still have things to teach us http://illinoistimes.com/article-19460-grave-matters.html Grave matters - The dead still have things to teach us
 Cemeteries are not only places to park dead uncles while they await their maker. They also are, or were, parks, picnic grounds, trysting places, settings for patriotic rituals and party venues f...]]>
Poor outcomes - Spreading white poverty and failing schools http://illinoistimes.com/article-19432-poor-outcomes.html Poor outcomes - Spreading white poverty and failing schools
 It is possible paint a picture with numbers. The State Journal-Register did it the other day when it used data from the Illinois Report Card, the state’s education data source, to draw before-...]]>
Shame on you - Pointing fingers at sex pests http://illinoistimes.com/article-19411-shame-on-you.html Shame on you - Pointing fingers at sex pests
 The news from the Illinois Statehouse almost makes one nostalgic for the Illinois politicians of old, those sticky-fingered but charming rogues. Today’s Capitol, we learn, is a playpen for not...]]>
Reading aloud - Communal reading as tells a city’s story to itself http://illinoistimes.com/article-19376-reading-aloud.html Reading aloud - Communal reading as tells a city’s story to itself
 Unless we are blessed with snow, December hereabouts can be a grim month, which might have been one of the reasons that Vachel Lindsay decided to shuffle off this mortal coil on the fifth of tha...]]>
How high can you go? - The bidding is underway for Amazon’s new headquarters http://illinoistimes.com/article-19360-how-high-can-you-go.html How high can you go? - The bidding is underway for Amazon’s new headquarters
 Usually, Amazon sells stuff at a discounted price. At the moment it is trying to sell something at the highest possible price – a second headquarters operation somewhere other than its hometow...]]>
Business as usual - Sangamon County tries to reinvent the wheel http://illinoistimes.com/article-19326-business-as-usual.html Business as usual - Sangamon County tries to reinvent the wheel
 In 2015, in a rare lucid moment (see “A place for business to live,” Aug. 6, 2015), I suggested that Mayor Jim Langfelder’s just unveiled economic development commission include not only t...]]>
Stellar! Stellar! - Springfield’s U of I passes the hat http://illinoistimes.com/article-19295-stellar_-stellar_.html Stellar! Stellar! - Springfield’s U of I passes the hat
 UIS wants to be everything it can be in spite of the General Assembly, so it has launched a four-year, $40 million fundraising campaign, “Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of I...]]>
What Columbus Day means to us - Another hero of a bad cause creates controversy http://illinoistimes.com/article-19262-what-columbus-day-means-to-us.html What Columbus Day means to us - Another hero of a bad cause creates controversy
 In my youth, Springfield’s Roman Cultural Society held an essay contest every year in which grade school kids were invited to address the topic, “What Columbus Day  Means To Me.” I ne...]]>
Making Illinois safe for the Bs - Two legislators want to reform higher ed http://illinoistimes.com/article-19231-making-illinois-safe-for-the-bs.html Making Illinois safe for the Bs - Two legislators want to reform higher ed
 Public higher education is in trouble in Illinois. Enrollment at most of the former “normal” schools is down, costs are rising and the best in-state students are signing up to attend out-of-...]]>
What would Willis do? - Will CWLP not have to clean up its act? http://illinoistimes.com/article-19211-what-would-willis-do.html What would Willis do? - Will CWLP not have to clean up its act?
 For years the Sierra Club has played the conscience of City Water, Light and Power in the absence of mayors and aldermen capable of the role. Most people can agree that having a conscience is a...]]>
Editor's Note 9/28/17 http://illinoistimes.com/article-19187-editors-note-9_28_17.html Editor's Note 9/28/17
 Unfolding events in Washington and Springfield remind us of the need to vote to make our voices heard. If we don’t vote we are delivered an outcome we had no hand in creating. If we vote we st...]]>
The politics of pretty - An election is just another beauty pageant http://illinoistimes.com/article-19188-the-politics-of-pretty.html The politics of pretty - An election is just another beauty pageant
 My favorite Miss America was Vonda Kay Van Dyke (1965), forever famous as the first  Queen of Atlantic City to use ventriloquism in the talent portion of the contest. She later wrote a seri...]]>
Foreign exchange - Is the Asian enrollment boom at the U of I about to bust? http://illinoistimes.com/article-19149-foreign-exchange.html Foreign exchange - Is the Asian enrollment boom at the U of I about to bust?
 A college campus is a sleepy place in the summer, which makes summer a good time to go sightseeing. I’ve always enjoyed visiting the main campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana for tha...]]>
Parking smartly - Smartphones? We need smart cars to save downtown http://illinoistimes.com/article-19126-parking-smartly.html Parking smartly - Smartphones? We need smart cars to save downtown
 Attorneys in their sunset years dream of the day when they no longer have to start a day knotting a necktie, governors of when they can complain about bills without people expecting them to know...]]>
A certain despair - August is no time for faint-hearted gardeners http://illinoistimes.com/article-19092-a-certain-despair.html A certain despair - August is no time for faint-hearted gardeners
 It is late August as I write this, a time of year when gardens and gardeners alike begin to look a little, well, tired, for reasons I explored in the column, which appeared in our paper of Aug....]]>
Drawing fire - A cartoon again excites believers http://illinoistimes.com/article-19075-drawing-fire.html Drawing fire - A cartoon again excites believers
 At least no one demanded that such cartoons be suppressed a la Charlie Hebdo. No blood at IPI was shed, and no one issued a fatwa against Mr. Allie, even if ritual murder was in the air around t...]]>
Monumental folly - Southern soldiers fall again http://illinoistimes.com/article-19047-monumental-folly.html Monumental folly - Southern soldiers fall again
 Not since Chancellorsville have so many rebel soldiers fallen in battle. Across the U.S., statues and other memorials to Confederate heroes from the Civil War are being driven from their pedesta...]]>
A matter of perspective - Springfield as portrayed in panoramic maps http://illinoistimes.com/article-19005-a-matter-of-perspective.html A matter of perspective - Springfield as portrayed in panoramic maps
 Springfieldians are always trying to get above themselves. As I noted in “Seeking the scenic in central Illinois” (Aug. 19, 2010), something must be seen to be scenic, and seeing the landsca...]]>
In the boring summer time - It’s time to talk – and talk – about baseball http://illinoistimes.com/article-18987-in-the-boring-summer-time.html In the boring summer time - It’s time to talk – and talk – about baseball
 It’s summer, when spouses (usually women, but not always) show up in ERs seemingly catatonic because their mates have begun talking, again, about the Cub curse or the Cardinal way. Baseball it...]]>
It’s only fair - Rauner’s principled opposition to SB 1 http://illinoistimes.com/article-18947-it%25E2%2580%2599s-only-fair.html It’s only fair - Rauner’s principled opposition to SB 1
 Sooner or later, every rookie reporter must face the ugly facts: Somewhere, sometime, there will be a school board meeting she will have to cover. A veteran opinion monger like me faces a simila...]]>
Agency problems - The dilemmas of public power on a warming planet http://illinoistimes.com/article-18934-agency-problems.html Agency problems - The dilemmas of public power on a warming planet
 As I write this the weather is, as my grandmother used to say, sultry. Central Illinois is not on the Gulf coast, but Gulf air is in central Illinois much of the year. The damp heat typical of s...]]>
Parade unrest - Remembering the State Fair parade http://illinoistimes.com/article-18910-parade-unrest.html Parade unrest - Remembering the State Fair parade
 The mayor and others have complained about the state fair’s plans to change the route of its annual Twilight Parade. In my view, they didn’t change it enough: a better route would have the p...]]>
The next big thing - Illinois needs a modest proposal to fix its pensions http://illinoistimes.com/article-18889-the-next-big-thing.html The next big thing - Illinois needs a modest proposal to fix its pensions
 Every parent knows how hard it is to have a serious conversation when there’s a two-year-old throwing a tantrum in the next room. Thank goodness enough grownups in the General Assembly ignored...]]>
On not doing wrong - Bishop Paprocki stands guard against corruption http://illinoistimes.com/article-18863-on-not-doing-wrong.html On not doing wrong - Bishop Paprocki stands guard against corruption
 A new set of guidelines issued by Springfield’s Bishop Thomas Paprocki bans people in same-sex marriages from receiving funeral rites in local Roman Catholic churches, receiving communion or s...]]>
Real innovation - Rethinking, not just reforming, public higher ed http://illinoistimes.com/article-18838-real-innovation.html Real innovation - Rethinking, not just reforming, public higher ed
 We can all agree that Illinois’ public higher education system is in a state of crisis – or rather crises. Bruce Rauner, living in his own private Illinois, believes that tax-supported colle...]]>
Race, class and representation - Reinventing city government 30 years ago http://illinoistimes.com/article-18814-race-class-and-representation.html Race, class and representation - Reinventing city government 30 years ago
Come fall, it will be 30 years since the City of Springfield’s new aldermanized city council first convened. I voted for it, and I wrote about it. A new system of representation had been forced by a...]]>