UIC officials shot themselves in foot

A university library's job is to assist researchers, not block their access to needed records.

After an initial misstep, officials at the University of Illinois at Chicago have released the voluminous records of an education-related nonprofit organization chaired by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Welcome replacement for Lakeside Terrace

The Crystal View Townhomes development, proposed for the 9.34-acre site that once was the location of the Lakeside Terrace public housing project in north Urbana, will be an attractive, creative and welcome addition to the community.

It's taken some time, mostly because of delays in lining up needed government funding, but it appears that ground will be broken this fall for a 70-unit townhouse project in north Urbana that will replace the old Lakeside Terrace public housing project.

Start and end to reforms?

Only in Illinois would an ethically challenged governor lecture an ethically challenged Legislature on how to clean up state government.

Earlier this year Illinois legislators passed ethics reforms that good-government groups said were imperfect but at least offered some improvement. The principle provision would have banned individuals or businesses with state contracts of $50,000 or more from giving campaign contributions to the statewide officeholder who oversees the contracts. But Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has filled his campaign treasury for years largely with money from those state contractors, earlier this week said the bill "does not go far enough."

Better care for Cahokia Mounds

Two University of Illinois archaeologists have suggested that the state may not have the resources to properly care for the magnificent Cahokia Mounds in southwestern Illinois.

Most Illinoisans are fully aware of the shortcomings of our state government.

Dinner at the Farm offers fresh food, conversation, perspectives

As chef Alisa DeMarco rolled the dough for a peach crostata for the first Dinner at the Farm at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, she said the food would be just half of the experience.

She, along with farm owners Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell, wanted their guests to also enjoy the peacefulness of the land and the diversity of the farm, the sunset and each other.

Except for the sun that bore down on diners until it dipped closer to the horizon the evening of Aug. 16, the experience, with a five-course meal of local and mostly organically grown food, with the emphasis on fresh, was convivial, delightful and memorable.

Tax-cut proposals scare pols

Will voters send a message about excessive state government spending in the upcoming election?

Voters in Illinois can be forgiven if they think their state has a monopoly on dysfunctional government.

School funding back in court

Advocates of more money for K-12 education in Illinois are asking the courts to intrude on a legislative issue.

Periodically in Illinois, some of our politicians grow frustrated with the democratic process and attempt an end-run around the Legislature and voters by asking the courts to simply order that elementary and secondary education receive more money.

Narrowly defined progress at Urbana High School

Urbana High School officials are celebrating Prairie State Achievement Exam scores even though overall reading scores are lower than five years ago and reading scores among African-American students have declined significantly.

The gleeful press release from the Urbana school district about its improvement in Prairie State Achievement Exam scores ("... the results have UHS staff and faculty smiling.") is not only unwarranted, it's almost embarrassing. The school district is reverting to more "spin" to put the best face on mediocre test scores.

Carle expansion moves ahead

Investing in the future of a hospital takes a lot of money.

Carle Foundation Hospital took a significant step toward preparing for its long-term future when a state planning board approved the Urbana hospital's plan to build a $236 million addition.

Legislative perks go too far

Uncovering congressional corruption may become a thing of the past if members of Congress persuade the court that investigators have no right to inquire into their conduct.

Author and humorist Mark Twain once remarked that members of the U.S. Congress are this only country's only native criminal class.