All Opinions Content

FutureGen project has worldwide implications

Sit through a presentation on the proposed FutureGen power plant and the immediate response is, "What are we waiting for?"

Indeed, the advanced technologies that would be used on the FutureGen plant are not pie-in-the-sky. They've been researched, tested and are included on a power plant under construction in Germany. That plant is expected be on line at least four years before the proposed low-emissions, coal-fired power plant in the United States.


City should stop putting money into North First Street building

Champaign officials apparently haven't thrown enough good money after a bad investment. Now they're considering whether to remodel a bar and banquet hall on North First Street – one that the city essentially owns after a fraternal lodge defaulted on its mortgage – and turn it into a city office building.

Enough!


Silly rulings harm court system

Every now and then a federal court issues an opinion that is so bizarre that it cries out for review by a higher court.

The U.S. Supreme Court accepts only a relative handful of the hundreds of requests it receives each year, so it's a long shot that the high court will review a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. But it ought to.


Thanks to technology, we're detecting more tornadoes

It's good to be respectful of tornadoes. East Central Illinois has had its share of twisters in recent years, and has been a witness to the damage they can wreak.

But likewise the recent spate of tornado sightings shouldn't cause Illinoisans to head to the storm cellar and stay there until October. There's a pretty good explanation for what seems like an epidemic of tornadoes this spring: improved technology.


Cops in the schools plan will be a reality in Champaign

After considerable lobbying and emotional public meetings, the Champaign school board and city council have approved a plan to place full-time police officers – called school resource officers – in the city's middle and high schools.

There's no call for celebrating this decision because it does not reflect well on the current state of discipline in the schools. But if there's to be any improvement – and there must be improvement – this action is necessary.


New top Bush aide rebuilding the team

With a new chief of staff on board at the White House, political observers in Washington are expecting a big shakeup in personnel.

Josh Bolton, taking over Monday for longtime chief of staff Andrew Card, did nothing to quash those rumors when he met with top White House aides and announced that anyone thinking of leaving by the end of the year should leave now.


Just-politics defense goes down in flames

A federal jury's decision to find former Gov. George Ryan and a co-defendant guilty on all charges was a stunning triumph for federal prosecutors pursuing the stench of corruption in Illinois state government.

The jury's decision not only was a staggering personal defeat for Ryan but also an emphatic rejection of his claim that what the government alleged to be criminal wrongdoing was just innocent politics-as-usual, a case of a successful politician helping his friends and supporters.


Will the real turkeys please step forward?

Despite the best efforts of law enforcement, the alleged reign of terror conducted by a gang of local wild turkeys continues unabated in Urbana.

The turkeys apparently are tough hombres who have no intention of being removed from idyllic Urbana and moved to a more rustic locale. And why shouldn't they object?


State can't pay its bills on time, so it shouldn't take new duties

It would not have been a good idea to send in your Illinois income tax return yesterday with a note saying that you owe the state money but can't pay right now; can we get back to you in three or four months? The state Department of Revenue, which depends on that money to finance state and local government operations, needs that cash and is in no mood to negotiate.

But the state itself is deep in arrears, even though state tax receipts are healthy and near record levels. And some businesses and health care providers who depend on state reimbursements are understandably angry.


Election battle over, but party fight is not

It's looks like the feud between the modern-day Hatfields and McCoys (the Beckettcrats vs. purist Democrats) in Champaign County Board District 9 is over for the time being. Too bad.

There's nothing like a good, clean street fight to provide some first-rate entertainment, and the battle over who would win the Democratic Party's two nominations for the county board was nothing if not interesting. One might even call it historic. After all, how many elections end with a tie vote and the winner (Wysocki) decided by a coin flip?