talk

Lifting the shroud off mental illness and addiction

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It’s an awful sort of ride, the kind you fear might never end. The roller-coaster of life in a household plagued with addiction or mental illness, or both, isn’t something I’d wish on anybody. And while it can be a tiny bit irritating that pretty …

Town Talk: Eric Burdon, Joan Jett rock out memories at Festival Park

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I’m not a huge concertgoer. If I’m going to go to a show, it is going to be someone I want to see for a reason — often for what that artist meant to me at point in my life. And Joan Jett and the …

Glunz Beer Expo serves up craft brews and the hopsters who love them

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I headed out of Elgin Monday afternoon to attend Global Beer Expo XIX at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Always a fine time, the expo offers a chance for bars, restaurants and retailers to sample beers in the Louis Glunz portfolio and for …

They blinded me with science: My stint as a judge at the Discovery STEM Expo

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Way back when she was in high school — in a time before people had color television, even — Mimi Locknar’s science project was good enough to earn her a spot in a big fair at McCormick Place in Chicago. The experiment involved seeing if …

Monster jamming nice with nachos

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Operas. Musicals. Rock concerts. Jazz fests. Golf tournaments. Punk clubs. Irish bars. Absurdist dramas. Russian baths. Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Notre Dame games. Curling. Ski jumps. Cirque du Soleil. MythBusters. A 5-hour Elgin city council meeting. Even pro wrestling. I’ve been to all …

Unanswered questions about candidate questions from Elgin activists OCTAVE

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The first candidates forum for the Elgin City Council elections apparently will be held Jan. 12 and hosted by the activist group OCTAVE. According to Facebook posts, the event is to run from 6 to 8 p.m. that Saturday at the New Covenant Church, 865 …

Gathman: Avoiding disaster on the road a split-second decision

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Soldiers say that “there are no atheists in a foxhole.” When artillery shells and mortar fire are raining down on your head, exactly where each will land — 6 feet away where it will be absolutely harmless? Right inside your hole, where you’ll be blown …

Ward: A heavy toll for Hostess and members of its bakers union

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I know you all love to label me with the “L” word (liberal), but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only am I willing to take on the hippies (local left-wing activists), but you’re about to discover just how much I’ve come to …

Stop throwing civility under the school bus

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Whenever my favorite retired teacher and I get into a school bus discussion, she invariably exclaims, “Jeff, school buses are a combat zone.” My automatic response is always a self-assured, “Mmmm hmmm.” I’m not saying that the number of incidents is greater than when I …

Times when mercy goes too far

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Judges. When all else fails, we the people turn to these impartial arbiters as a last resort. Because, in the long line of citizen-government transaction phases we’ve been discussing, it’s judges who are the ultimate stewards of fairness and balance. Hence, the lady with the …

No point in council taking issue with this

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Since I can’t remember a series of news stories laying out like they have the past month, let’s not tempt the journalistic fates by questioning our good fortune. If you’ve been keeping track, our ongoing theme has been the appropriate give and take as it …

Anybody ask for a frappuccino with that flea bath?

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Since we’re on a roll, let’s continue with our theme of the previous weeks. What we’ve essentially been discussing is exactly what makes for a successful, statute-driven city council/citizen/law enforcement interaction. The first requirement is an ordinance with teeth. If no one takes you seriously …

Saving taxpayer money, for mercy’s sake

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Since we’re already on the subject, let’s continue with our law and order theme of the past two weeks. First we discussed the plethora of problems with Elgin’s new social hosting statute intended to hold parents accountable for underage drinking parties. Then we covered how …

Raising a toast to this overserving solution

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To just read about it makes me want to wax poetic. While most municipalities muck around in the municipal mindset, which generally consists of spending our money as fast as they can and thinking inside the box, the city of St. Charles just dealt a …

These penalties for parents not much more than a fine mess

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You know I’m a sucker for a handwritten note. As all manner of technological advances render cursive obsolete, it’s a real treat to receive a non-digital missive. And this reader’s particular quandary was the ease with which so many of today’s parents slough off responsibility …