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Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 12:20 am

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...
Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 12:22 am

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...
Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 12:10 am

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...
Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 12:20 am

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...
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 12:23 am

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...
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 12:24 am

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-...
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 12:17 am

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...
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 12:19 am

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...
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 12:22 am

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...
Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 12:19 am

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...

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