Digital Access

Digital Access
Access and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

News, features, sports, opinion and more!

Email Newsletters

Sign up for MyWebTimes email newsletters and stay in the know.
Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: Enough is enough

OK all you fireworks lovers, the big holiday was a week ago. Save your leftover fireworks for next year.

Some people light up the big bangers shortly after Memorial Day and continue firing them off for the next eight weeks.

Most of us like our residential neighborhoods quiet and peaceful at night, although the occasional loud nocturnal thunderstorms are out of our control.

To put it politely: Please knock it off with the loud fireworks on non-holidays.



A Gallup Poll that came out just in time for Independence Day last week shows just 45% of people surveyed are “extremely” proud to be an American. An all-time low.

Politically, only 22% of Democrats were extremely proud compared with 76% of Republicans.

Only 32% of those polled indicated pride in our politics.

What a surprise.

Not surprising; there’s still strong pride among those polled in everything from scientific achievements to the military and even our American culture.

If only

If only there was a little more civility in politics at all levels, especially the national level. Politics have always been a rough and tumble sport, but sometimes the anger that surfaces is over the top and impedes progress on important issues.

If only you didn’t have to sit through five minutes of commercials, a bunch of 10-second crime and entertainment headlines and cute animal stories between the “tease” and the actual detailed weather when trying to catch up on the evening news on your preferred TV station.

If only the motorist in front of you would get off the phone or stop texting so you could get to your destination.

There, I feel better already.

New taxes

That additional 19-cents-a-gallon state tax on gasoline isn’t so bad after all.

You’ll feel even less pain when streets, highways and other infrastructure improvements are finished and open. Of course there are quite a few construction delays currently. Be patient.

Some of us remember gasoline at under a quarter. That’s right, under 25 cents a gallon and lower during so-called gas wars. Of course there were fewer paved roads and not many four-lane highways in those days to maintain and fewer vehicles on the road. Most transit and rail was privately owned and operated.

And if you’re a smoker the added dollar to a pack of cigarettes might be a little tough on the wallet.

Maybe you should consider … nah forget it.

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

Loading more