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Brightening The Ides Of March

Mar 29, 2018

“Beware the Ides of March!”

William Shakespeare penned this line in his play, “Julius Caesar.”

It was an ominous warning voiced by a soothsayer to Julius Caesar before he made his way to the Roman Senate on March 15, 44 BC, where he met his death by assassination. It was carried out by angry senators who felt Caesar was amassing too much power in the Roman Republic. But in history, it marks the shift from the Republic to the start of Roman empire-building.

The Wrong Way To Count GIs

Mar 28, 2018

One recent morning I heard a news segment on NPR regarding the upcoming 2020 Census. It was not only disturbing and heartbreaking but, quite simply, sounded corrupt and immoral.

“The U.S. Census Bureau has announced it will change the way it counts troops deployed overseas …”

As a 10-year U.S. Navy Veteran, I always considered Rockford my home. I was born and raised here, my family and friends resided here, and I always planned to return. Now I once again work and reside here.

Good News Amid State's Decline

Mar 27, 2018

The population of Illinois is in decline, but much of northern Illinois is growing. Population growth by county shows our region is the state’s bright spot. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing counties in Illinois are along or near Interstate 88.

Kane, Kendall and McHenry counties are growing the fastest. These three counties combined have grown between 6.1% and 9.8% the past 10 years.

A Little Bit Of Help Is Good

Mar 26, 2018

As a freshman attending Western Illinois University in 1993, I was introduced to Abraham Maslow -- via textbook, of course -- in my Intro to Sociology class. Mr. Maslow is famous for developing what is commonly referred to as “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.”

This well-recognized pyramid outlines humanity’s basic needs for survival. In the middle of this five-layer pyramid is “Love/being.” As humans, we all have a need to be loved and to be a part of a larger unit. Thus, the importance of family and friends.  

It's All In The Definition ...

Mar 23, 2018

I grew up in Texas. The most ambiguous word in my adopted home, the Upper Midwest, is “spring.”

In Texas we knew what spring meant. It was an event. It happened on a day in March. The birds sang. The bluebonnets bloomed. The grass unfurled its delicate verdant green. All coats were shorn. This happened on a single day. It was spring, and it never looked back. In just a few months, we knew, we would be able to save electricity by frying our eggs on the driveway cement.