Letter from Birdland: Finding peace on the water

We are sitting in the cockpit of a sailboat anchored in a cove of Chambers Island in Green Bay. Michael is looking thoughtfully at the horizon, and I am still nibbling at our picnic lunch — kipper snacks, apples, hummus, cucumbers and cheese. My husband and I packed for this trip specifically so we wouldn't have to use the galley much.

The Reluctant Townie: You can shop like a king at Aldi

A trip to the grocery store can really take a bite out of your budget. But it doesn't have to. What if I told you there was an enchanted land of low prices and strange customs? That place is Aldi, a lo-fi grocery store where you can shop like a king. But there are some things you need to know before you venture into this exotic land.

Local reviewers', veterans' highest-ranking war movies

"Dunkirk" is this weekend's big movie. It's the true story of 400,000 British soldiers trapped by the Germans on the wrong side of the English Channel and how they escape at the beginning of World War II.

It got staff writer PAUL WOOD thinking: What would movie buffs and veterans pick as their favorite war movies?

Getting Personal: Abby Foster

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 2017 Miss Illinois Abby Foster chats with staff writer Melissa Merli. The 20-year-old from Danville is a student at Ball State University.

What interests you the most right now?

Library events, July 23-29, 2017

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday at the main library, Rachel Z will introduce Zumba at this week's Fit & Fabulous workshop. Zumba combines lively music with movement that's more dance than fitness.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, July 23, 2017


U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

Here's a lovely poem that imagines the afterlife by Emily Ransdell, who divides her time between Washington and the Oregon coast. This poem appeared first in The Cortland Review.

Bowling in Heaven

Like newlyweds,

my parents slip out of their clothes.

For the retirees, July 23-29, 2017

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 15 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 217-359-6500.

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

C-U haiku, July 23, 2017


drift lightly to shore

now weary of the rowing

moved by the soft winds — Kathleen Peterson, Champaign

Submissions may be made to with C-U haiku in the subject line. Include your name and city, which will be published with your haiku. Submissions may be edited.

Loch Ness and its monster


For The News-Gazette

Does Nessie exist? That's the $64 million question.

But, no trip to Scotland is complete without a bit of monster spotting.

Need a break from tracking down your roots? Then how about trying to track down Nessie, the famous monster in Loch Ness.

Kelly Strom: Not your father's comic books

Comic books are not just for kids anymore. In fact, the adult versions aren't usually called comic books, as they go by the more sophisticated term graphic novels.

Our customers may not be aware that we have a great collection of these books on the second floor of the Champaign Public Library.