Fantastic American urban landscape

By P. Gregory Springer/For The News-Gazette

Photos by P. Gregory Springer and Mark Feldman

"Find another city," the punk poet Patti Smith told artists fleeing rent-soaring and tourist-clotted New York.

For some, the new cool landscape turns out to be Detroit.

Life with a third-shifter: Cherish time spent together

When it's fully dark, my wife starts to wake up and rise from her bed for the graveyard shift. She may have a bite to eat. Unlike vampires, there will be plenty of garlic. She puts garlic in almost anything.

Hours later, Margarita is back in time for us to have breakfast.

Letter from Birdland: Feasting on an abundant harvest

Summer has come crashing down on Birdland just in time for school. After months of mild, sweet weather, it's soupy outside. The damp coolness means the yard is lush and green. The grass is tall. Black-eyed Susans and a few shasta daisies open into the sky. Butterflies abound, and in the afternoons, hoards of dragonflies fly in dodging patterns over our heads.

Reluctant Townie: The day you descend into adulthood

As a child (and as a man-child well into my late 20s), I would often speculate as to when the magical transition might occur that would make me feel like a grown-up. Would my descent into adulthood be gradual and visible to the naked eye? Or would I just wake up one day to find myself with working adult kung-fu grip and matching business socks?

Pet Talk: Evaluating risks

By Sarah Netherton/University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Vaccines are important for the health of people and pets alike.

The graveyard shift: It's not for everybody, but those who work it embrace it

About the time most of us are about to nod off, Doug Dubson is fresh from the gym and ready to start his 11 p.m. shift at Plastipak.

"I'm 180 degrees from everybody else. Your breakfast is my dinner. It's the same day, but I can get my errands done during the days when things are open and people are at work," the Urbana man says.

John Roska: Credit card debt has statute of limitation

Q: I've paid a closed credit card account for several years, but I still owe over $1,000. I'm 70 years old, on a fixed income and don't own any real estate, so I don't see how I'll ever pay this off. What can I do? Should I declare bankruptcy? Will the statue of limitation run out at some point?

Don Follis: Crucial conversations are vital for a meaningful life

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," said Martin Luther King Jr. I thought about this quotation when I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit earlier this month.

Getting Personal: Ward Gollings

Getting personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, Ward Gollings of Urbana chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. Gollings used to play in bands, but now he brings them to Champaign-Urbana as a respected booking agent. He says he feels like he's 47 going on 27.

For the retirees, Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2014

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Bodnar, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Services of Champaign County.