Cook County vs. Students

November 13, 2009 A scene in the 1987 movie “The Untouchables” shows Sean Connery as a Chicago beat cop instructing federal agent Kevin Costner on how to play tough in the Windy City. Connery finishes his bare-knuckles-to-handguns lesson with this flourish: “… and that’s the Chicago Way!”

Priceless photos of the past

November 12, 2009 Cameras are valuable for many things, and among the most important is to capture landmarks before they are gone. “Lost America: From the Atlantic to the Mississippi,” a 244-page, 9 1/4- by 11-inch book published by Pyne Press in 1971, demonstrates why.Some of the most gorgeous buildings in the world are pictured in this volume, along with their dates of construction and demolition, if known, and estimated dates if not.

Support needed

November 11, 2009 Ah, Veterans Day. What better time to show our support for our men and women in uniform?But have we really been supporting them?Sure, we thank them when we see them at the airport.We attend parades and Veterans Day events to show our appreciation.And with good reason.According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 42 million American men and women have served during wartime.Nearly 1.2 million died while serving., and 1.5 million were wounded.

Veterans Day is for ordinary people

November 11, 2009 When then-Gov. Ronald Reagan introduced returning POW John McCain at a speaking engagement in 1974, the future president asked, “Where do we find such men?”He was speaking of many veterans when he answered, “We find them in our streets, in the office, the shops and the working places of our country and on the farms.”In other words, Reagan was referring to ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. And it isn’t just the men.

Table graces

November 10, 2009 Growing up, we never said “grace” in my house. My mom was raised Catholic and my dad a Baptist. Somewhere along the line, they both left their childhood churches, and by the time we came along, religion was no longer part of their daily lives.

Scrooge and the Christmas Nazi

November 10, 2009 Need to get into the Christmas spirit? Head to Branson on Halloween!Rest and relaxation were the order of the day a couple weekends ago when Gary and I took off with his family for the bright lights of Branson. This was the second year in a row we went on Gary’s birthday, which falls on Halloween.We lucked out picking the only weekend of the season with sunshine immediately before, during and after our trip! I guess sometimes the sky and weather gods were happily looking down on us.

Practice tolerance

November 9, 2009 The Fort Hood massacre is said to have been committed by a Muslim and it would be easy to blame it on the Islamic faith and people who look middle eastern without considering that Timothy McVey, Albert DeSalvo, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy weren’t of that faith. Let’s be calm and practice tolerance.Chief Michael AndersonOhatchee, Ala.

‘Sesame’ turns 40

November 9, 2009 It’s the big 4-0 for Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, the Cookie Monster and the entire “Sesame Street” gang this week.  The children’s show, which premiered Nov. 10, 1969, was just 14 years old when I was born in 1983. I was a regular viewer by the age of 4. “Sesame Street,” even today, is one of those timeless shows and I have such fond memories of the characters who made me laugh and learn.

Letter to the editor

November 6, 2009 Dear editor:The Obama administration continues to pursue a breathtaking destructive array of measures that is giving us a feeble and jobless “recovery,” reckless spending and borrowing, higher taxes, forced unionization, a proposed socialistic health care system, and the list goes on. The major focus of which is a larger centralized government controlling our lives. The only thing the government fears is losing re-election. One can only hope that the Democrat Congress is committing political suicide come the next election cycle.

Religion right before the fight

November 6, 2009 Antonio Peck was in kindergarten in 1999 when his family filed suit against the Baldwinsville, N.Y., school district. Antonio is in 10th grade now — and his family is still waiting for the case to be resolved. At this rate, he’ll be a college graduate when the courts finally render a decision.