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Northern Public Radio invites you to comment on or respond to any Perspective in the comments section at the bottom of each article, in keeping with our Discussion Policy.

Policing Policy To Empower Citizens

Feb 18, 2015

The headlines are wrong.  There need not be conflict between cops and citizens‎ in our communities.  In fact, there are policing strategies that reduce crime while empowering citizens.

The overarching strategy is community oriented. Rather than cruising in patrol cars, reacting to emergency calls, officers immerse themselves in the community and become part of it. They get to know citizens and their concerns.  Cops and citizens cooperate and develop an understanding.

It's A Matter Of Trust

Feb 16, 2015

I don't want the next few seconds to scare you.  

Especially if you are driving over a bridge right now.

Another Take On That Egg-Vs.-Chicken Thing

Feb 13, 2015
Dan Klefstad

Editor's note: NIU faculty member Dan Libman presented his Perspective on the age-old question of the sequence in which chickens and eggs arrive. It was somewhat tongue in cheek, but one of Libman's colleagues offered this more serious riposte:

Dan, I appreciate your perspective on this age-old question, but I’m afraid your interpretation is foundationally, logically, and fundamentally incorrect.

Get Passenger Service On The Right Track

Feb 12, 2015

Northern Illinois University is the only state-run college in Illinois not served by Amtrak. This fact seems perpetually shelved by those in state and federal government who research ways to expand Amtrak in Illinois.

Plans for a new Amtrak line from Chicago to Rockford to Galena are moving forward steadily and, by government standards, aggressively. Do those in charge of choosing new Amtrak service, and Amtrak itself, really believe a line to Galena is going to make money?

Reading Online Can Help You Meet Goals

Feb 11, 2015

Are you planning to read more this year and catch up on some of the "Best of 2014" lists?  Chances are you’ll be using an e-reader or other mobile device and accessing e-books from your library or a commercial website.

Maybe your local library is participating in “eRead Illinois,” a program made possible by a grant from the Illinois Secretary of State and the State Library.  You can see the list of libraries at

Get Back To Where We Once Belonged

Feb 10, 2015

If you’re a parent with kids in traveling sports, you certainly understand the impact of sports tourism on your wallet.

The Rockford region has long been a leader in sports tourism. However, in recent years we fell behind as other communities invested in sports facilities and captured tournaments that previously had come to our region.

Now, thanks to the Reclaiming First initiative led by the Rockford Park District and Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, we are poised to “reclaim first” in the competition for the economic benefits of sports tourism.

What Makes A Student Of Ethics?

Feb 9, 2015

If one is to be ethical, does it mean that one should study ethics?

It seems to me that many people say they are ethical and maybe they are, but doesn’t it beg the question that to be truly ethical, one needs to be proactive in the actual study of ethics? Not just an ethics course in college but an ongoing process of the study of thinking ethically?

We can learn behavioral ethics from mentors, family and other significant people in our lives through role modeling. But is it really enough to continually sustain our “being ethical?”

Which Really Came First?

Feb 6, 2015

Want to know which came first, the chicken or the egg? I’ll tell you because I know. This is not a trick to keep you listening, I actually do have the answer.

Ever since I became a chicken owner, I have become increasingly aware of how difficult it is to discuss my flock. Not because this area of animal husbandry is particularly complex; in fact, the opposite is true. Tending chickens is so primal, so basic, that it defies metaphor itself.

What Can I Do Each Day?

Feb 5, 2015

When I was young my neighborhood extended to the end of the block – we kids knew the good or bad of everyone.  Today my neighborhood is the world, with unlimited boundaries and scopes for my imagination.

Now more than ever, the actions of one can and will touch many lives and the ripple will be beyond my view.  Living in this world requires a different sense of accountability for my behavior.  I no longer act alone.

Leaders Must Address Our Plight

Feb 4, 2015

Bruce Rauner is now governor.  He inherited‎, and thus we face, a budgetary crisis.   Both national and regional news media have described our plight in detail, and in depressing terms.

The current budget will expire in June and, unless something is done we will face a huge deficit.  Actually, things might get much worse, since the temporary income tax increase has expired.   Either spending must be cut, taxes must increase, or both. Otherwise we will face a rolling disaster.

A Standard For Student Dreams

Feb 3, 2015

I teach American History to seventh-graders. With a zest for life and no care about Common Core Standards, students cut to the chase. Why learn obscure facts? Why show text evidence and analyze primary sources? Common Core states I have to teach these things. So I do. But I teach more.

Teaching American History reaches beyond facts and skills. Kids need to understand and actively live out their own American Dreams—to create worlds that do not exist yet.

Are You Really Listening?

Jan 30, 2015

Stephen Hawking, a brilliant mind trapped in a paralyzed body, made this observation:

"For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen."

Well, genius as he is, I have to say Mr. Hawking was only half right.

People certainly have learned how to talk (and talk and talk and talk), but I am not so sure they really know how to listen.