WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Local Commentaries

The opinions expressed in these commentaries are not necessarily those of Tri States Public Radio or Western Illinois University. Diverse viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged.

"Third Places" – The Heartbeat of a Community

Sep 21, 2016
Courtesy Ann Comerford

My grandfather owned a bar – Curly's in Decatur, IL – it is still there – different owners, different place. But it was a special place in our family and impacted my future in ways I only understood later in life.

On the first day of school for my children, and for me too, I ran into my fifth grade teacher, Judy Marshall, in the County Market parking lot. Mrs. Marshall instilled a passion for history and archeology in her students, introduced me to The Diary Of Anne Frank, had us memorize portions of The Gettysburg Address and The Constitution of the United States of America, and bolstered my love of art. 

Shane Balkowitsch/Wikimedia Commons

A little over 850 miles west of Macomb a war is being waged over something that is necessary to all life on earth.  Water. 

Emily Boyer

Last weekend I went to Minnesota. We arrived late Thursday night and my sister told me I had to meet her at Rice Park in St. Paul after 10 p.m. to play Pokémon Go because "that’s when the magic happens."

The Public Sphere of Past and Present

Aug 29, 2016
Rich Egger

This week I am honored to give the fourteenth annual John Hallwas Lecture on the Liberal Arts, which is sponsored by WIU’s College of Arts and Sciences. My talk, titled, “The Public Sphere of Past and Present, and the Place of the Liberal Arts,” will answer basic questions about the public sphere, including what it first was, what it is today, and why its long relationship with the liberal arts matters.

Commentary : Is World Peace Possible?

Aug 3, 2016
Beth Howard / http://theworldneedsmorepie.com/

Last summer, I left my home in Donnellson, Iowa and traveled around the world, baking pies in 9 countries as a way to promote cultural tolerance. I returned with the intention of writing a book about my experience.

Jason Parrott

In July 1984 I was 12 years old. Walter Mondale, a former senator from my home state of Minnesota, chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate for the 1984 Presidential election.

Rich Egger

I've been thinking a lot about choices lately.  My autonomic nervous system makes decisions each and every minute to keep me alive that I am only remotely aware of. 

Rich Egger

When we moved to Macomb 5½ years ago, Jack was getting ready to start kindergarten and Lucy wasn't even walking yet. Now, I have a child at Edison and a kindergartener at Lincoln (who once she started walking never looked back). On National Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to thank all the Macomb teachers who have touched the lives of my children.

The Value of a Diverse Curriculum

Apr 27, 2016
Rich Egger

This has been a difficult year, probably the most challenging I've had in my 23 year career at Western Illinois University.  In light of a politically manufactured budget crisis and the heightened scrutiny of programs that aren't perceived as giving the state a positive return on its investment, I've thought a lot lately about the value of higher education, and of public higher education in particular. 

Rich Egger

The day after the most recent round of bad news, I woke, mournful, and palmed my cup of coffee in silence.  I read Mary Oliver’s "Mindful," a poem that of late I have found to be of comfort. 

Why I Craft

Apr 13, 2016
Rebekah Buchanan

I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't crafting in some way. I recently found a latch hook rug of a cocker spaniel I made when I was seven or eight. Our house is littered with crafting projects I'm working on and ones I've completed. In a job that relies heavily on being intellectual, crafting has always been a way for me to engage in something creative.

Heather McIlvaine-Newsad

Grief is a curious sensation.  To me it feels like a combination of hollowness and heaviness seeping into the cells of each and every muscle.   It sits across the tops of my shoulders and bleeds into the space behind my heart. 

The Challenges Faced by Women at WIU

Mar 31, 2016
Rich Egger

When I opened the Women's Center in 1986, I had a lot to answer for.  One male faculty member stormed into my office a week after we opened, demanding to know why we needed a Center.  Another wrote a scathing attack in the Courier.

WIU & Macomb Have Value - Let's Save Them!

Mar 28, 2016
Rich Egger

Several weeks ago, many of us listened proudly as Macomb Junior High student Evan Stegall read his prize-winning essay "What I Like About My Hometown."  In it, Evan highlighted the partnership between the community and the university that makes Macomb what he called an "oasis," a place where a strong education is available and valued, a wide variety of cultural experiences are plentiful, and individual potential is nurtured.

WIU Women's Center Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Mar 23, 2016
Rich Egger

Since its establishment in 1986, the Western Illinois University Women's Center has been a vital resource for people of all genders on campus and in the community.

Rich Egger

On February 29th, my children and I found ourselves coatless in Chandler Park, enjoying the pink evening hour of a jeweled day. My daughter and I investigated the bronze statue entitled "Facing the Storm."

Benjamin J. DeLong/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Somehow I thought that as I entered my 49th trip around the sun, my life would be a little less stressful.  Ha! 

Rich Egger

March is Literacy Advocacy Month.  Literacy at its very core is the ability to read and write. That ability to read and write is one of the most important things we can encourage in our children and in our community. 

Your Health Insurance: Knowledge is Power

Feb 25, 2016

I'm here today to talk about health insurance. No, not what makes the news -whether to repeal the ACA, cutting Medicare and Medicaid,  going to Canada or another country for prescription drugs or procedures.  What I want to talk about is the importance of  knowing the details of your own individual health insurance policy.

What I Like About My Hometown

Feb 24, 2016
Jonathan Ahl

The Pope didn't choose to visit my hometown on his recent visit to the United States nor was it a prospective site for the 2018 Olympic games.  It's not a place to find high-end shopping malls and you won't find many popular chain stores either.   What you will find in Macomb, Illinois is a community of people, teachers, farmers, business owners, and public servants who foster core values in living and tirelessly dedicate themselves to improving the quality of life.

flickr/ Emilio Kuffer

Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan for next fiscal year seeks to fix the foundation while the house is on fire.

Rich Egger

I never wanted to be a disaster researcher.  In fact, I tried my hardest to avoid it.  The first site for my dissertation research was supposed to be near the town of Campeche in the Yucatan Peninsula.  In October of 1995, while preparing to go to the field, not one but two hurricanes made landfall within a week of each other.  I decided to move my research to Ecuador. 

Alondra Olvera

Stories are so important. True, I'm a fiction writer and a teacher, but I've been enamored of stories since I can remember, even before I could write myself.  I've looked to stories, both written and verbal, to reveal the world and explore my place in it. I've also looked to stories to come to know myself, and others.

Motherhood

Feb 3, 2016
Rich Egger

This commentary will air a day after my son and eldest child, Jack, turns ten. The past few weeks I've been reflecting a great deal on what that means.

Debunking the Myth of the U.S. As a Colorblind/Post-Racial Society

Jan 28, 2016
Rich Egger

The white racial frame is a sociological concept developed largely by sociologist Joe E. Feagin. It takes us beyond the more commonly applied concepts of racial "prejudice" and bias when examining race. It affords a deeper, broader analysis of systemic racism.

Creative Commons

There's nothing like holding an infant to root me in one spot, consumed by wonder.  So tiny. So innocent. When I hold a baby, I still feel awe because so much has to happen for us to be labored into the world.

Lessons of a Presidential Campaign Volunteer

Jan 20, 2016
Beth Howard

I recently moved to a farm in Southeast Iowa, where I'm surrounded by corn, cows and, now, snow. That's quite a change for a former city girl. I work from home so I don't have many opportunities to get integrated into my new community. I tell myself, you want opportunities? You create them.

Our nation honors the life, legacy, and dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Believe it or not, he devoted a large amount of his life to supporting unions.

"David Bowie - Heroes" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

David Bowie died this past Sunday.  Like many, I was shocked and saddened to hear of his death.  His music has been an influential part of my life, although not always in the forefront. 

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