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Trib columnist say farewell to readers

As one would expect, media columnist Robert Feder has been tirelessly tracking and reporting on the buyouts being taken in the wake of Alden Global Capital’s purchase of Tribune Publishing.

His May 24 column in the Daily Herald shared the email Colin McMahon, editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune and chief content officer of Tribune Publishing, had sent to his staff.

"What comes next for Chicago Tribune and for our newsroom is uncertain,” the email read. "I expect to get some direction next week when our new owners officially take over. Until then, take a breath,
practice your craft, control what you can.”

For dozens of staff, including household-name columnists, controlling the controllables has meant taking a buyout.

Feder first reported June 17 that after 40 years with the Chicago Tribune, progressive columnist Eric Zorn had taken a buyout from the notorious newspaper-shredding hedge fund. In that same column, he reported that on June 14, columnist Heidi Stevens had applied for a buyout after 23 years at the paper.

In his June 19 column, Feder reported John Kass had taken a buyout after 38 years at the Trib, and the next day, he reported that Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Schmich had bowed out after 36 years.

On June 22, Feder wrote that Dahleen Glanton, “who brought a thoughtful perspective on issues of race, poverty, violence and social justice to Tribune readers,” had announced on social media she was leaving the Trib. The following day, he reported Phil Rosenthal had left after 16 years.

Those are just the premier columnists. Here are some snippets from their goodbyes.

John Kass still has ‘a few spears left to throw’

“Love isn't a pie with only so many pieces. What do I love most? God, our country, Betty and the boys, our extended family. But I have loved the Chicago Tribune. I've loved this newspaper from the moment I walked through the doors of the Tribune Tower as a smartass kid copy boy more than 40 years ago.

“... What happens next? An adventure happens. I'm not going away. If you follow me on Facebook and listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast, you'll learn all about it. Old Laertes puttered around in his garden talking to his plants. I'm no Laertes. I still have a few spears left to throw. Let's see what happens.”

Mary Schmich knows her ‘Limits’

“Tribune readers have introduced me to music, books, plays and poems, often ones about the nature of grief, the power of nature, and the complexity of love. One of those poems is Jorge Luis Borges' "Limits", about the impermanence of everything. For years it hung next to my desk in Tribune Tower: If there is a limit to all things and a measure And a last time. … Those lines popped into my mind as I sat down to write this column, for the last time. After 41 years in the newspaper business, I'm taking a buyout and leaving my Tribune job.

“ … I've never written a column that I didn't wish was better, including this one. But I've done it as well as I knew how, never forgetting, even when I cursed the constant deadlines or felt bad that I couldn't
answer all the email, that there was nothing better than being granted this education and this connection with the world, with all of you."

Heidi Stevens fit the job to her

“It's been a funny fit in some ways. Journalism demands a certain amount of stoicism and a fair bit of cynicism; I'm not great at either. You probably know the journalism axiom, ‘If your mother says she loves you, check it out.’ It hung on the wall of the City News Bureau of Chicago, a daily reminder not to believe everything you're told. If your mother says she loves you, I want to give her a hug. I love mothers. I don't want to fact-check mothers. But journalism requires you to leave your comfort zone and track down the truth. So I've done my best.

“... For now, goodbye. If you're on social media, you know where to find me. I will always want to hear from you. Unless you send me a lot of hate mail, in which case it's probably time to move on. My life and my work has been immeasurably enriched by our conversations. I'm eternally grateful. Take good care of yourselves and each other. I really do believe that's our calling.”

In the June 29 edition of the Tribune, columnist Rex. W. Huppke, tongue firmly in cheek no doubt, announced that he’s not taking a buyout.

“Over the past week or so, you've read farewell columns from wonderful opinion writers who for years graced the pages of this newspaper. This is not one of those columns. For that, I apologize. As soon as my remarkable colleagues began announcing their departures, I started receiving concerned emails from readers. Some were afraid I might be going, while others were understandably worried I might be staying.

“... We have stories to tell, news to cover and wrongdoing to root out. And I have some creative swear words I still hope to sneak into the pages of this paper. Off we go.”

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Press Releases

Associated Builders and Contractors of Illinois highlights diversity strategies during Construction Inclusion Week

Oct. 13, 2021
Media Contact: Alicia Martin, president of ABC Illinois


SPRINGFIELD — ABC Illinois today announced how its members are creating the right  conditions to embrace an inclusive and diverse workforce during Construction Inclusion Week, Oct. 18-22.   

In 2017, ABC Illinois established the Community Builders Program, which gives people from diverse backgrounds who face employment barriers the chance to learn a trade and begin a career in construction. The program upskills directly in the communities where participants live, taking a holistic approach to teaching a skill, providing career mentoring, and helping with job placement. By bringing free craft education to over 200 individuals who have faced barriers to employment, ABC Illinois is expanding the talent pipeline and rehabilitating disadvantaged communities, families, and career-seekers.  
“The diversity of ABC Illinois helps drive business growth and profitability, and the Community Builders Program is based on our belief that inclusivity, diversity and equity will change the way we fill construction jobs here in our state,” said Alicia Martin, President of ABC Illinois. “We are breaking down the barriers that hold some people back based on factors that have nothing to do with their abilities and desires. The merit shop philosophy aligns with the principles of inclusion, diversity and equity, ensuring every individual has a chance to succeed.”  
“Construction Inclusion Week is an invitation to every member of the 7.4 million-strong construction work forces to unite to advance inclusion, diversity and equity,” said ABC Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Tia Perry. “Achieving an inclusive, equitable and culturally competent workforce that is welcoming to all people is the essence of the merit shop philosophy. ABC Illinois is creating the conditions that appeal to an inclusive workforce.”  
ABC’s diversity outreach is led by the association’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee on which both Martin and Perry serve. The committee was established in 1999 as a key component of ABC’s value proposition to develop people, win work and deliver work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. Visit diversity.abc.org to learn about ABC’s IDE strategy.
About Construction Inclusion Week: Construction Inclusion Week harnesses the collective power of the construction industry to build awareness regarding the need to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry. For more information, visit constructioninclusionweek.com.

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Illinois Principals Association encourages principal appreciation in October

Sept. 30, 2021
Media Contact: Alison Maley, Government and Public Relations Director


SPRINGFIELD — Lifetouch and the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) encourage all communities in Illinois to celebrate Principal Appreciation Week October 24-30, 2021, and Principal Appreciation Day on Friday, October 29, 2021. This state-endorsed recognition was first approved by the Governor of Illinois in 1990 and is celebrated annually. The IPA also joins the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to recognize October as National Principals Month.

Principal Appreciation Day provides learning communities an opportunity to publicly recognize the work, commitment and importance of principals, assistant principals, and deans throughout the state. Lifetouch and the IPA invite all teachers, students, parents, and community members to perform some act of appreciation on Friday, October 29th to acknowledge the leadership of building administrators in Illinois’ public and private schools.

“In these challenging times, school leaders are faced with extraordinary decisions that affect the lives of those under their care,” said Dr. Marcus Belin, IPA President and Principal of Huntley High School, Huntley, IL. “The purpose and value school leaders bring to the field of education is immeasurable. What I value most is their relentless determination to move education forward and to serve their communities in a meaningful way. Let us take a moment to recognize the hard work that principals give, day in and day out.”

The 2021-2022 school year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Illinois Principals Association. Initial conversations to create a statewide principals association began in 1966 and members formally ratified the organization in the Fall of 1971. The IPA was formed when the Illinois Elementary School Principals Association (IESPA), the Illinois Junior High School Principals Association (IJHSPA), and the Illinois Secondary School Principals Association (ISSPA) joined into one organization. The IPA has long been recognized by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and other state and national agencies and organizations as one of the premier principals’ groups in the nation due to its large, diverse membership, legislative and policy initiatives, service to members and especially for the quality and range of its professional learning programs.

“School leadership matters, especially right now,” said Dr. Jason Leahy, IPA Executive Director. “As a former principal and having visited dozens of schools throughout Illinois, the quality of a school’s learning environment and the ability of a school to do what is best for its students comes as a direct result of the leadership provided by the school’s principal and leadership team. Courageous leadership is essential to equitably educate students and work to provide the resources and support they need to reach their potential. It is important that we recognize and encourage our schools’ leaders every day. The pandemic has heightened the need for us to intentionally share appreciation for those who do so much for our State’s young people.”

Lifetouch is proud to be the official school photographer for the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Lifetouch is honored to support local members of the Illinois Principals Association in recognition of “Principal’s Appreciation Day.” Lifetouch is excited to have joined forces with Shutterfly to bring together two industry leaders who share a common purpose – to share life’s joy through capturing and preserving memories with the click of a camera. While we continue to deliver the quality photography and service you expect from Lifetouch, we are creating a new, innovative experience that will allow you to do more with your photos than ever before. As a part of our mission to help you share your memories, Lifetouch and Shutterfly are truly better together! Learn more at: https://schools.lifetouch.com/shutterfly/

The Illinois Principals Association is a leadership organization which serves over 6,000 educational leaders throughout the state of Illinois and whose mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. For more information about the IPA, please visit www.ilprincipals.org

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Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
hires new tourism manager

Aug. 16, 2021
Media Contact: Scott Dahl
217-789-2360, ext. 5531


SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau announces the hiring of a new Tourism Manager to lead the Springfield Visitors Center and tourism efforts for the City of Springfield.  

Sarah Waggoner will assume the position, held by Jeff Berg who has been with the SCVB for nearly two decades, beginning on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Sarah brings an extensive résumé of tourism experience, most recently as tourism coordinator for the City of Litchfield. Most notably, she developed and oversaw the Litchfield Pickers Market, including coordination of the market, social media and marketing efforts. Additionally, her responsibilities included budget management, website functions and developing overall marketing strategies for the City of Litchfield tourism effort.
As tourism manager for Visit Springfield, Sarah will be tasked with managing the Visitors Center, serving as liaison to state and federal historical sites and institutions as well as all programming and scheduling for the History Comes Alive summer program, in its 13th year in 2022.  

About Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Springfield, Illinois. As a department of the City of Springfield, the SCVB markets the capital city as a unique convention, meeting and leisure destination in support of our City, our community and our hospitality partners.scott.dahl@springfield.il.us

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For more information, or to schedule an interview with Scott Dahl, please call 217-789-2360, ext. 5531; 217-341-9802 or e-mail scott.dahl@springfield.il.us



Warbirds over Greenville, Illinois

Aug. 16, 2021
Craig Baumberger, member, Greenville Pilots Association

Airstravaganza 2021 will be held at the Greenville Illinois Airport on Oct. 9-10. The main attraction will be a visit by the Mitchell B-25 bomber and the Grumman TBM (torpedo bomber) of the Missouri wing of the Commemorative Air Force based at St Charles, Missouri. These aircraft will be on static display on Saturday, Oct. 9, and will be available for rides on Sunday, Oct. 10. This is a rare opportunity for the general public to purchase a trip aboard the B-25, the bomber that flew from the USS Hornet in 1942 to deliver the first retaliatory blow against the Japanese in World War II. Rides will also be available in the TBM, the largest single-engine military aircraft in World War II and the same type flown by President George H.W. Bush in the Pacific. This is a great opportunity to get a look up close at an important part of our military history.

Rides in the B-25 will cost $395. Five people at a time will ride, with the opportunity to move around the aircraft while in flight and check out the cockpit, bombardiers station, and the cramped quarters in the fuselage. TBM rides will cost $895. There will be a limited number of rides available, so they should be booked in advance. In addition to the warbirds, Waco biplane rides will be available if booked in advance. Cessna and helicopter rides will be available on Saturday, Oct. 9

For info and to reserve a flight, contact Kevin Blaney at 618-520-5362 or kfblaney@gmail.com. Mention "warbirds."

The event is supported by the Greenville Airport Authority and conducted by the Greenville Pilots Association/EAA Chapter 1382. For info or to volunteer, call Craig Baumberger at 618-322-3532 or the Greenville Airport at 618-664-0926. Also, check it out on Facebook or contact gaa@gmail.com. Greenville Airport is located approximately 5 miles south of Greenville on Illinois Route 127 at 1574 Sky Lane, Greenville.

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Disaster Checklist for Newspapers

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