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TALKING POINTS: Tax time is approaching

Is this a great time of year or what?

The deadline for filing your federal and state income taxes approaches. If you haven’t already filed and paid up, time’s running out. If you’re getting a refund or have already received it, spend it wisely, and please try to spend it locally.

Above all, don’t let the deadline pass without filing and don’t try to hide stuff. It’s not worth it.

Here in Starved Rock Country property tax time follows income tax filing deadlines quickly.

So make the deadlines and the sacrifices and then sit back the rest of the year and enjoy all those government services and projects you’re paying for.


Mayor Bob Eschbach will be stepping down in a few weeks after 20 years in the big office at Ottawa’s City Hall.

The City of Ottawa’s progress over the last 20 years should be a source of pride. The accomplishments and planning have been phenomenal.

The famed architect Daniel Burnham was once quoted as saying “make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” Burnham was one of the architects of the Chicago Plan at the beginning of the last century.

That pretty much describes Mayor Eschbach’s 20 years in the Ottawa Mayor’s Office.

Good job Bob, although, on a personal note, those Ottawa City Plan Commission meetings you chaired before you were elected mayor were awfully long and boring sometimes.


A big thank-you to all to the city, state, county and township road crews for filling the worst of the potholes, if only temporarily, this spring.

A bad winter and streets and roads way past their normal maintenance time contributed to some strut busting trips in Starved Rock Country.

There probably won’t be a lot of complaints about more road construction work this season, although the bill won’t be cheap.

If you find yourself getting upset waiting behind a flagman this summer just stop and think about last winter’s pothole crop.


Distracted driving is a common human failure, but in Illinois and across the country lately it’s become an epidemic.

Three State Troopers and several other law enforcement officers have been lost to motorists simply not paying attention.

Enough is enough.

Are you listening Springfield, Washington, D.C. and are you paying attention, that’s you behind the wheel?

Slow down and move over. Thank you.

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

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