Category Archives: Joliet

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

Posted in Community, Economics, Family, Food, Joliet | Comments Off

How To Save a Historic Building from Becoming a Parking Lot

Here in my hometown of Joliet IL, we have several architectural gems in the old downtown along the east bank of the Des Plaines River. Prominent among these is the acclaimed Rialto Theatre, which I’ve written about previously in my … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts, History, Humanities, Joliet, Land use | Comments Off

June 2014 Guest Talks and Conference Presentations

The first part of June has been exceptionally chatty, academically speaking, as I think I’ve had my busiest week ever in my 20-year academic career giving presentations and hobnobbing with colleagues at other institutions. Thus far I’ve been right here … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Education, Faculty, Joliet, Literature, Research, Roosevelt, Science, Sustainability, Urban nature | Comments Off

Joliet Kid Makes Good: John C. Houbolt (1919-2014), Space Flight Engineer for Moon Missions

Last week a local legend passed away at the ripe old age of 95. A former NASA engineer who played a key role in developing the technology and mission strategy for the Apollo moon landing missions, John C. Houbolt was … Continue reading

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Film Noir Star and Joliet Native Audrey Totter Dies at Age 95

I’m a big fan of obituaries, and always read them with great fascination. This week there was a dandy story of an elegant lady from my hometown of Joliet who passed away at the ripe old age of 95. Despite … 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

Posted in Arts, Community, Education, Family, Joliet, Music, News, Students | Comments Off

Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens

Question: What do the northeastern Illinois communities of Arlington Heights, Batavia, Chicago, Downers Grove, Evanston, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Northbrook, Oak Park, Plainfield, and St. Charles have in common with Cincinnati, OH; Nashville, TN; Pittsburgh, PA; Sioux City, IA; and Topeka, KS? Answer: All of them … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Joliet, Land use, News, Politics, Sustainability, Urban ecology | Comments Off

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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All’s Fair in Love, War, and Science Education

The great poet and critic T. S. Eliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month.” I’m unsure what he had in mind exactly. But it quite possibly could have been an elementary school science fair. As a professional educator, former … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Family, Joliet, Science | Comments Off

Bike to Coffee Shop; Get to Work

This week I’m discussing transportation with my Roosevelt University students in my online SUST 210 Sustainable Future class. Today I used three modes of transportation by 8:30am here in my hometown of Joliet, IL. First, I drove my daughter Esmé … Continue reading

Posted in Biking, Joliet, Sustainability, Transportation | Comments Off