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Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: Making snow removal a little safer


With snow totals topping the norms and occasional bouts of sub-zero temperatures earlier, this is the kind of winter many folks in Starved Rock Country remember. 

For the most part snow removal crews are getting the job done this winter with no serious injuries, at least through the storms earlier this month.

However, those of us who park in our garage in many residential neighborhoods would appreciate it if city plows didn’t block the driveway or alley entrances to the streets. Off-street parking hopefully helps get the streets cleared a little easier and safer. More off-street, or at least safer, parking practices might prevent those unfortunate contacts with snow plows that do happen. 

Hold the primary?

Old man winter buried a lot of 2018 primary campaign signs along city streets and country intersections. Is that fair to those candidates?

Maybe the March primary should be moved to warmer months, and that could include those local February primaries and April elections in other years.

Early voting dates, absentee voting schedules and other rules dealing with candidate petition signatures challenges all add to the confusion.

Russian meddling? Not again.

Let's have a parade

There’s been a lot of mixed reaction to President Trump’s reported desire to stage a big military parade in the nation’s capitol after he enjoyed the French Bastille Day parade in Paris last year.

Veterans and military folks seem split on the idea, the political class split on the issue as usual and the pundits got more fodder for a day or two.

Cable TV news bean counters were probably salivating too considering the ratings and advertising potential for a spectacular military parade. 

You have to admit it’s a “grand” idea, but undoubtedly a costly one. Stay tuned.

In sports

Major League Baseball’s spring training is underway.

It’s a great time of year for Cubs, White Sox, Cardinal fans and the diehards backing the other big league teams.

There’s good news for White Sox fans now that their team is moving their radio flagship to WGN from WLS. Who would’ve ever “thunk” the parent company of WLS, once home to Larry Lujack, Dick Biondi, Ron Riley and rock and roll, would be in bankruptcy court? But, that’s another story.

It’s that time of year, spring's in the air and the snowbirds are planning their trips home.

Batter up! 
  • 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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