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.

My Time on the Other Side of the Microphone

Jul 23, 2015
Jamie & Jason Parrott

The powerful windstorm that hit Quincy on Monday, July 13 brought down hundreds of trees and knocked out power to thousands throughout the city.  It's the type of moment when a journalist thinks, "It's time to get to work" -- unless one of the homes that's been damaged is your own.

Reaching Across Party Lines

Jun 21, 2015
AmosDoyle/Wikimedia Commons

The members of the McDonough County Interagency Council, which is a networking group of social service agency providers, annually schedule a meeting with our Illinois State Senator and Representative.

A Welcoming & Inclusive Environment

Apr 22, 2015

On Thursday nights at 6:30, in the University Union’s Sandburg Lounge you’ll find full tables, laughter, students hugging, and Unity Executive Board members welcoming General Assembly members to our weekly meetings.

In Praise of a Liberal Arts Education

Mar 19, 2015
Rich Egger

This is an open letter to State lawmakers Norine Hammond and John Sullivan:     

As an alumna and faculty member of Western Illinois University's College of Arts and Sciences, I ask you to consider my testament to the value of Western's liberal arts-based education. 

I am an educator and a parent with daughters in the 7th and 8th grades in the Macomb Public Schools.  Like many others schools - although not all - throughout the nation, Macomb schools will be administering the PARRC exam this month to its students.

Breaking Out of the Testing Trap

Feb 22, 2015

Like many Macomb parents, I’m not pleased with high-stakes testing. 

Personal Stories of Combat and Peace

Feb 9, 2015

In the bottom drawer of my desk are among my most valuable possessions—the letters my brothers sent when they were active duty Marines.

A Dark Anniversary

Feb 5, 2015
Dickson Mounds Museum

My brother Chad disappeared Feb. 8th, 1998 in the Spoon River at the Bernadotte dam.

Warner Bros.

A couple of weekends ago, my husband Michael and I did something we haven’t done in years.

I'm a Person, Not a Place

Jan 22, 2015

I never had an abortion, but I should have.  I am sure of this after reading Katha Pollitt's highly acclaimed book, Pro:  Reclaiming Abortion Rights

A New Year’s letter to my son

We, Too, are Bidden

Dec 17, 2014
Wiki Commons

A personal hero, newspaper columnist and labor activist Heywood Broun, was known for his progressive views and his passionate interests – from sports and books to poker and Christmas.

teachers.net

Time magazine recently had a cover story bashing teachers that was not just one-sided, but as misleading as less-respected voices on talk radio and cable TV.

Abby Wendle

Illinoisans disappointed because the U.S. Senate didn’t pass the Keystone XL pipeline measure letting multi-national corporations bring tar-sand Canadian oil down through the Great Plains above major water sources to get crude to refineries to export: Take heart. Another pipeline is planning to plow through 12 Illinois counties after digging up Iowa and the Dakotas.

Wiki Commons

For this Thanksgiving, last winter’s “polar vortex” became this season’s “bomb cyclone” – meteorologists’ trendy term for an intense, fast-moving storm resulting from the jet stream shifting and sending frigid air roaring south into the United States, icing the roads and causing wind-chills to flirt with zero.

But the cold can’t last forever.

When ‘Waters of the United States’ Aren’t Even Waters

Nov 24, 2014
Wiki Commons

Silly is a funny word. You call babies and toddlers silly when they smile and coo and do funny things.  But adults, especially farmers, are rarely called silly. 

Friends of Lane Evans

Lane Evans had an easy smile, but downstate Illinois’ progressive champion for working people and veterans was a bit bashful and didn’t often laugh out loud.

Wiki Commons

After last week’s midterm election, Washington’s Republican leaders imagine their future as “Interstellar.”

Wiki Commons

The public-comment period on a new rule about water ended two weeks ago, but the uproar over a “government takeover” of ditches remains.

Wiki Commons

Wall Street seems like a casino where the problem gamblers ARE the House, and they only bet on sure things. “Wall Street hates uncertainty,” analysts say.

Rich Egger

Organizing can achieve results, and collective strength sometimes overcomes powerful interests.

The Overscheduled Family

Oct 20, 2014
Rich Egger

Fall has its strong points, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s also a kind of special hell for parents of school-age children.

Election Could Lead to “War on Workers”

Oct 15, 2014
Wiki Commons

Among the U.S. Senate’s almost unique powers of conducting impeachment trials, ratifying treaties, and voting on appointments as ambassadors and Supreme Court Justices, it can decide whether to confirm Presidential nominations to high-level positions in federal departments and agencies, including the Attorney General and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Rich Egger

Many Americans are worried about the influence that for-profit corporations and the rich have on elections, but will that concern translate unto a healthy turnout for the Nov. 4 election?

Jamelle Bouie/flickr

Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Tom Jackson last week apologized to the family of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown.

Workers who used to be on the edges of the economy – day laborers and temps, freelancers and adjuncts, independent contractors and contingent employees – are closer to the core.

My Life with Dogs

Sep 17, 2014
Wiki Commons

This week I’m one of the Baby Boomers who’ll be added to the ranks of the program that’s the closest this country has to universal health care: Medicare. Whew! Made it! I almost feel winded, like I should be panting.

Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

Sep 11, 2014
Wiki Commons

I’m a survivor of sexual assault.

Wiki Commons

The mere accumulation of facts doesn’t always lead to good conclusions, judgment or wisdom. Too many of us, progressive and conservative alike, can fall victim to extrapolation or correlation.

Wiki Commons

In two controversial decisions this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court made it more difficult for unions to operate, and could make it more important to come up with innovative ways to do their work.

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