WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Gayle Carper

Ad Wars

Apr 10, 2019

This is a commentary.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are not necessarily those of Western Illinois University or Tri States Public Radio.

I get really tired of pop-up ads on my various computers. To fight the ads, I tried a few things. When shopping, I open an incognito page to learn about items I might want to buy.  I paused or turned off as many activities as possible on Google.  I turn off location on my cell phone unless I get lost.

Fact or Fiction?

Mar 13, 2019

This is a Commentary.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are not necessarily those of Western Illinois University or Tri States Public Radio.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…”

Charles Dickens began the novel A Tale of Two Cities with these words in 1859. They could easily apply to social media today.

WIU Rally: "Stand Up, Fight Back"

Mar 7, 2019
Emily Boyer / Tri States Public Radio

A large crowd gathered late Wednesday afternoon in front of Western Illinois University's main administrative building on the Macomb campus.

Faculty, students, staff, and community members huddled on the steps of Sherman Hall in the cold, chanting, and waving signs with messages such as "Faculty is committed to WIU,"  "Teaching makes admin jobs possible," and "Fight for our families." The group was there for a rally in support of the 132 employees who received layoff notices on March 1.

The Prescription Drug Mystery

Feb 13, 2019

Recently I learned that I could get a necessary prescription medication cheaper if I didn't use my insurance.  I was happy – no more yearly forms to fill out, appeals to make, alternative drugs to try.  And then it dawned on me – I still had to pay my premium, but the insurance company didn't have to pay for my medication. Here is how it works for me. If I get my prescription through my coverage at OptumRx, my cost is $50 per month, and that includes  a detailed and lengthy approval process required by a nameless corporate entity who doesn't know me and whose concern is company profit. If I don't use the coverage, and purchase my prescription at a local pharmacy with an on-line discount coupon, my cost is $35 per month, no approval needed except by my trusted nurse practitioner Brenda Powell Allen.

New Year, New Laws

Jan 16, 2019

I read a public radio article titled Survey Finds the Public Lacks Knowledge of State Government that inspired me to take a look at the Illinois General Assembly – our elected representatives and senators. It's easy to conclude that our elected state officials accomplish little since they couldn't agree on a state budget for more than two years, and have not followed their own pension funding rules for decades. We don't have much personal contact anymore since few elected officials of either party have public meetings without pre-selecting their audiences. It is hard to get a positive impression from election materials alone.

2018: A Year for Anniversaries

Dec 12, 2018

2018 was a year for 50th anniversaries. Fifty years ago, in 1968, The Beatles gave us the White Album.  The movies Funny Girl and 2001: A Space Odyssey were released. The rock musical Hair stunned audiences, me included. Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and 60 Minutes premiered on television.  The world lost Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Emergency 911 service started in the U.S. There was the first successful heart transplant and The Poor People’s March on Washington.

Macomb Leads National Trend

Nov 7, 2018
Rich Egger

Did you know that of the 5,575 public statues depicting historic figures on display  throughout the United States, only 200 - 4% - of these monuments are of women?

Friends With Differences

Oct 10, 2018

I recently had the great pleasure of reconnecting with a former student of mine who graduated from WIU in 1989. Todd was a memorable student. He was one of an elite group of undergraduates to be chosen for an internship with the U.S. Supreme Court,  and went on to an outstanding legal career.

Positively Macomb

Sep 12, 2018

I’m a pessimist, and I've been feeling gloomy about the future of our region with the bad news from Western Illinois University.  There are fewer students, more jobs lost and the sudden, unexplained defunding of this NPR affiliate, Tri States Public Radio.  Faculty, staff and community members feel left out of the decision-making process. There is a rolling negative effect outside of the university campus on Macomb and the region and the people living here.

But I’ve been hanging around some optimists.  They have made me look beyond WIU to find the good things happening in our community.

Equal Pay Day 2018

Apr 18, 2018
Rich Egger

April 10 was Equal Pay Day. This is the date representing how far into 2018 women have to work in order to catch up to what men were paid in 2017.  Equal Pay day shows the gender pay gap between men and women.   As a group, women make about 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. For women of color, that number drops: 63 cents for black women, whose Equal Pay Day isn’t until August 20, and 54 cents for Latinas who must work until November 1 for their Equal Pay Day. The gender pay gap exists in every profession, every occupation, at every level of education, in every country. 

Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Me

Mar 14, 2018

I am delighted by the response to the movies Wonder Woman and Black Panther.  Both are inspiring to children. Both movies show powerful role models for women  and people of color as leaders with strength and compassion.  Both are celebrations of the importance of representation in pop culture. It really does matter to see someone just like you in the role of hero.

If I Were a Man

Feb 14, 2018

If I were a man, I'd be embarrassed and insulted right now. 

Over the past few months, thousands of women have spoken publicly about what's been done to them - sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, derogatory comments -because they are women. 

Rules I Try to Live By

Dec 20, 2017

Since I promised to do these commentaries, I decided to use the opportunity to organize.

The Only Crime for which the Victim is Blamed

Nov 8, 2017
Rich Egger

Once again, we are in a news cycle where powerful, famous men's sexual assaults are being made public.  The men say the sex was consensual, meaning, of course, that no one forced them to do anything they didn't want to do.  The men say they now know their conduct was unacceptable.  Scores of courageous women disclose private, humiliating, and hurtful events. Then we have a national conversation about what women should do to avoid sexual assault and sexual harassment, because, you know, men are men.

The Law of the Land

Oct 18, 2017
Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

In October, most people look forward to Halloween; as a lawyer, I look forward to the start of a new United States Supreme Court term.  Starting now and working through next spring, the Court will decide over 40 cases. Some of these decisions will have significant effects on the value of our votes, our cell phone privacy, marriage equality, union membership, education for disabled kids, police use of force, transgender rights, deportation and many more issues.

Looking For Government That Works? Try Local

Sep 27, 2017
Rich Egger

I doubt that many people would disagree with me when I say big governments – those in  Washington DC and Springfield -  have not been working very well in the past few years.  Washington and Springfield seem to have a very difficult time doing anything. 

Macomb Debates Re-Investing in Spring Lake Park

Mar 14, 2017
TSPR Emily Boyer

There’s some debate over how the city of the Macomb should spend its share of profits from Spring Lake Park.

Gayle Carper to Join Macomb City Council

Mar 25, 2016
Rich Egger

Macomb aldermen unanimously supported Mayor Mike Inman's appointment of Gayle Carper to fill the vacant city council seat in the Fifth Ward.  The seat became available when Clay Hinderliter resigned because he moved out of the city.

An Art and Gift Market in Macomb will feature locally produced works in a variety of mediums: photography, jewelry, yarn crafts, wearables, upcycled art, and more.

Rich Egger

The Al Sears Jazz Festival and the Gazebo Art Festival will team up again this year for a day of music and art in Chandler Park.  The jazz fest will also feature other performances throughout the weekend.

WCIAC

Holiday shoppers looking for gifts that are not mass produced might find what they’re looking for in Macomb.

Gazebo Arts Festival committee

The leaves on the trees in Macomb’s Chandler Park have not yet started changing colors, but there will nonetheless be plenty of color in the park on Saturday, September 21.