War on plastic — from guns to plow shares

Hemp

Luke Haverhals likes to carefully calibrate his aim at problems – avoiding the distractions of little problems and keeping his focus on the big ones. Those, he contends, are petroleum and plastic. “Agriculture at its worst is still better than…

The voting rights lawsuit and cumulative voting

Editor’s Note: Joyce Banks was lead plaintiff in a 1987 lawsuit against the city of Peoria, Peoria Public Schools and Peoria Park District to get fair representation for African Americans in elected government positions. Cumulative voting helps ensure this goal.…

Green New Deal

Three members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation are co-sponsoring the Green New Deal, an ambitious public-works plan to address climate change and inequality, and though it faces stiff Republican opposition, it resonates with the public. Democratic U.S. Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia,…

Bill Knight | “Centrism” is an ideology, too

Cautious or incremental approaches can be sensible. If you aspire to play with the Heartland Festival Orchestra, it’s pragmatic to practice well before approaching conductor David Commanday; if you dream of running in June’s Steamboat Classic, gradually getting in shape…

Editorial | “Your Loyalties Are Your Life”

S.A. Shepler (c) 2019 Community Word

That was the headline on a recent New York Times opinion column written by David Brooks. While nothing was mentioned in the column about unions, hedge funds or newspapers, the column speaks loudly to the Peoria community, our daily newspaper…

Letter to the Editor | The CAFO loophole

A CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) is threatening the entire town of Princeville, and politicians are helpless to stop it. That’s because of a sneaky loophole in the law. Nearby county boards have recently approved resolutions opposing proposed CAFOs in…

Serendipity | Cleaning for company

When my three children were growing up, and old enough to understand some workings within a household, if they saw me dusting or vacuuming, they usually asked, “Are the ladies coming over?” They were non-specific about which ladies, and their…

Real Talk | They steal our Rhythm, but not our Blues

Blackface legacy is one of white supremacy and exploitation of Black identity. Historian Dale Cockrell attributed the fascination for blackface to the psyche of poor working-class white people, who felt marginalized both economically and socially and didn’t feel included in…

Nature Rambles | Vital lands in the Prairie State

Chillicothe Bottoms

I recently had the opportunity to take part in an annual workshop called the Vital Lands Illinois Summit. This is a gathering of Illinois Land Trusts, conservation organizations, and agencies that are all playing roles in the preservation and stewardship…

Inland Art | Inland Update

The Community Word is framed by a 1960s style of liberalism –– a sanguine perspective where so-called average and so-called fortunate people have a stake in reciprocal social outcomes. In 2017, I began contributing to the paper’s composite demographic ––…

Art: What is it Good For? | Arts help heal

Jaci Musec

Stress is a killer. It’s not always obvious how it makes us sick, but more and more the healthcare industry is recognizing how stress and accompanying anxiety can literally make us sick. The American Psychological Association reports a link between…

Arts Beat | March 2019

MUSIC March 1: Cousin Eddie “Live at the Five Spot.” 5:30-7:30 p.m., Contemporary Art Center. 674-6822. March 1, 8 and 15: Dave Hoffman & Friends. 5 p.m. Two25 at Mark Twain Hotel. 282-7777. March 1: Blackjack Billy. 9 p.m. Crusens…

West Peoria News | Meet the candidates

The upcoming city consolidated election on April 2 has the following candidates vying for office: Mayor James R. Dillon; City Clerk Mary Barnes; Treasurer Julie McGill; Ward 1 Alderperson Hazel Thomas; Ward 2 Alderperson Jeff Reagan; Ward 3 Alderperson Jeff…

Labor Roundup | March 2019

Top congressional Democrats plus Bernie Sanders last month moved to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. With support from more than 180 House Democrats, the bill is expected to pass the new Democratic-run House. It’s…

Love your Valentine and love the planet

Kira Santiago

Kira Santiago understands the complexities of expressing love on Valentine’s Day. She wants to remind people that when thinking about love, extend thoughts to local, sustainable and organic. Organic matters for flowers as well as food! Santiago is an organic…

Untold stories from government shutdown

While furloughed federal employees are assured they will get back pay following the government’s temporary shutdown, contract workers have no such assurances. There are about 35 independent contract workers at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria. Requesting…

“Medicare for All” increasingly popular

Health care’s high costs, inferior coverage and lack of inexpensive options aren’t news, but within 72 hours early last month, a few things sparked renewed interest in the increasingly feasible Medicare for All – news about price hikes for various…

Health care costs burden the country

Central Illinois is familiar with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which for decades has treated children with leukemia. But few realize the cost associated with one of the most effective medicines used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): Gleevec. Manufactured…