It will always be a great day for baseball -- thanks to Ernie

Long before Ernie Banks, there was Major League baseball. Long before Ernie Banks, there was Wrigley Field. Long before Ernie Banks, Chicagoans loved baseball. It just wasn’t the same. By now, we all know that changed in 1953 when the dark star began to shine on the white skies over the “Friendly Confines” And while... Read more »

How do you spell tacky? How about T-o-p-i-n-k-a

As a rule, I don’t blog about state or national elections. And as a rule, I don’t carry a grudge. But there’s always an exception. It used to be the race for Illinois Treasurer, but when Judy Barr Topinka decided to be the state’s comptroller, that became the exception. As I said, I don’t carry... Read more »

You want THE TRUTH? As a matter of fact, I do

Last Tuesday was National News Engagement Day, a day dedicated to promoting newspaper readership by Americans, especially young people who seem to be oblivious to the need to be informed. In fact, according to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that 29% of those younger than 25 say they got no news... Read more »

Suburban fight for retail not an easy one

It’s just one store, but it’s likely a welcome addition to Buffalo Grove’s retail landscape. Marshalls, a national retailer of, according to its website, “fashionable, brand name family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise,” is planning to open in late Spring or early summer of 2015. The 27,100 square foot store, located in Woodland Commons... Read more »

So where you been? Campaign time means the start of the onslaught

It’s August, right? Finally. Recently people have asked me if I was still blogging about things in Big Animal Grove. But of course. Sometimes, however, things get chaotic and not everything gets done.  Like a blog. For the past six weeks I have been traveling around the country for either vacation or journalism workshops (mostly... Read more »

Happy Birthday to my favorite uncle...

Dear Uncle Sam, I was in a card shop the other day looking for a birthday card for you. I saw cards for kids, 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, and 60-year-olds. But none for a 238-year-old. That’s too bad.  I don’t think there’s a person who has an uncle who has done what you, or endured what you... Read more »

Mention my name in Sheboygan....once, and so?

People look at me funny.  I’ve gotten used to it. This is especially true when they find out I am a ::gasp:: Green Bay Packers fan. “‘WTF” — How can you be a Packers fan? My standard line is that my mother dropped me when I was a baby — but in reality, that’s probably... Read more »

Court ruling on eavesdropping may give new meaning to "open mic"

The ruling  by the Illinois Supreme Court that strikes down the state statute prohibiting the recording of conversations without permission may not be the panacea a lot of people are hoping for. The Chicago Tribune reports that the statute was considered among the strictest in the Country.  The Court said loud conversations in public could... Read more »

All the news that fits, they print -- as long as they make money

I stopped in the store the other day for some simple shopping.  Beer, peanuts and some Beef Jerky.  Maybe not the finest in culinary selections, but it was an easy trip to the store. Customer in, customer out. It’s a great model.  For groceries, shoes, luggage and generally most consumer goods and some services. But... Read more »

Hey, this ain't Denny's....

When asked how he liked kids, the late W.C. Field replied: “I like children. If they’re properly cooked.” So imagine how he would have felt had he been at the trendy Alinea restaurant Saturday night when some parents, who just had to be there, brought their 8-month-old kid. Got it?  Alinea, not Denny’s.  Alinea, got... Read more »