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TALKING POINTS: We're going to have a celebration

Jim French
Jim French

Let’s get ready to unite across the state this year to celebrate our Illinois Bicentennial.

Yes, even you grumblers are invited, although some of you are still dead set on leaving because you’re upset about taxes, Illinois politics or whatever else you’ve found to complain about.

Illinois will be marking its 200th birthday Monday, Dec. 3, with a wide variety of events, celebrations, exhibits and no-doubt a special birthday party or two across the “Land of Lincoln.” Communities across Starved Rock Country are already planning to mark the occasion. Let’s party like it’s 1818 or maybe 1918.

Same old, same old

Our 200-year-old state continues losing population by the day, no, make that the hour, apparently because of high taxes, the political situation or anything else a lot of pundits and editorial boards can come up with.

A casual observer might think the solution is a complete overhaul of state government by flipping the majority in the legislature to their favored party, not to mention electing or re-electing a solid block of favorites to state offices. If only it were that easy.

Look on the bright side, at least the state’s population is a lot higher than it was in 1818 or 1918 or even more recently.

Watch where and how
you park in Ottawa

It’s good to see Ottawa city fathers finally cracking down on illegal parking — even those who might park their vehicle with part of a tire on a white line.

Hopefully a few tickets will be presented to those who park on city-owned berms, park on the wrong side of a two-way street and disobey no-parking restrictions at will. More violations mean more fines and what better use for the revenue from parking and other ordinance violations than pothole repair.

10 years into smoking ban

The Associated Press reports the Illinois indoor smoking ban has become a part of life. The number of smokers has dropped about 5 percent. Maybe some of them are among those moving out of Illinois, although similar smoking restrictions are fairly common nationwide.

It hasn’t been easy for some bar or restaurant owners and other businesses including the tobacco companies. And it’s certainly not easier for those who have the habit or simply enjoy a cigarette once in awhile. We’re all said to be a whole lot healthier, though.

JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing newsroom@mywebtimes.com.

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