Category Archives: Community

Diversity Week at RU, Feb 29-Mar4

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Mitchell’s Food Mart — A Thriving Throwback in Joliet

This essay was published as an op-ed piece entitle “Mitchell’s Still Has Magic for Me” in the Joliet Herald-News, p14, on 30 December 2010. I offer it here five years later as a commentary on supporting local economies and celebrating the … Continue reading

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SUST 350 Course Preview for Fall 2015

This coming fall semester (2015) I will be offering a transformational service learning course, SUST 350 Service and Sustainability, at the Chicago Campus. Our course theme is Urban Farming, Environmental Education, Community Development, & Social Justice. Title/number: SUST 350 Service and Sustainability … Continue reading

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IL EPA Hears Southeast Side Residents’ Complaints about Petcoke Piles along Calumet River

Last Thursday the Illinois EPA held a contentious public meeting on Chicago’s SE Side to hear residents’ concerns and complaints about the massive piles of petcoke — a waste by-product of tar sands oil refining done in nearby Whiting, IN … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago, Community, Health, Land use, News, Pollution, Rivers, Social justice, Waste & Recycling, Water | Comments Off on IL EPA Hears Southeast Side Residents’ Complaints about Petcoke Piles along Calumet River

Piles and Piles of Petcoke: Environmental Justice along the Calumet River

Today’s Mike Nowak Show on WCPT features a segment about the petcoke controversy in the Calumet Region of Chicago’s far South Side. This waste by-product from the refining of oil from the tar sands of Canada has been piling up … Continue reading

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Back to School in Joliet: Reflections on Junior High

As Labor Day recedes sadly into the distance and we come to grips with the fact that, yes, another school year has officially begun, I can’t help reflecting on the pervasive and damaging myth within American educational culture that junior … Continue reading

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Action Research at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm

Many of the writing and research assignments I give my students at RU are fairly straightforward and prescriptive. I give them a lot of concrete guidelines and freedom to choose a topic; they crank out the work; and then I … Continue reading

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Remembering Don Reiter

Today in Joliet, while picking up a prescription after dropping my daughter off at school, I ran into a friend from my Jr. High days. Lori and I both worked at Plainfield Road Pharmacy back in the 1980s, when the … Continue reading

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Accelerate 77 Share Fair Celebrates Sustainability in Chicago

Looking for a cool sustainability-themed event this coming weekend? Here you go: this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Truman College on Chicago’s North Side, the Institute for Cultural Affairs will host the “Accelerate 77″ Share Fair that brings together … Continue reading

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Labor-Managment Conflict in Blue-Collar America: The Caterpillar Strike in Joliet

Without Caterpillar Corporation, I probably wouldn’t exist. Once upon a time, a Kansas farm boy (my grandfather) moved to central Illinois with some of his brothers to find work. He eventually caught on at Caterpillar in Peoria, where he became … Continue reading

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