Publications

June 16, 2020

On the Water Front: A Wet May, a Rising Lake, and Flooding Again

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By now most of you know that Chicago and Cook County recorded the wettest May on record—9.51” recorded at O’Hare—a full 1.26” over the previous record set in…wait for it…May 2019. That’s a total of 156 billion gallons of water if it had been evenly distributed across the expanse of Cook County.
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April 22, 2020

Water-y Quiz

Greetings, all, on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day when we will not be outside in happy throngs agitating on behalf of Mother Earth, celebrating our place in the sun, our common home, and resolving to be more caring stewards. Still. I hope you are staying home, staying alive, staying strong.
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April 14, 2020

All You Can Flush—Pee, Poop, and Toilet Paper!

That’s right—flush NOTHING else down the toilet. Not paper towels, not disinfecting wipes, not diapers, not wet wipes, not dental floss, not baby wipes, not disposable sanitary products, not Kleenex, not napkins, not even so-called flushable wipes. Put them in the trash instead. Why? Because wipes clog pipes!
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March 28, 2020

Urgent—medical personnel need protective equipment—can you help?

As you know, ER doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. But they are facing a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE)—the protective face masks, gloves, medical gowns, and similar items that make it possible for them to do their jobs safely.
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March 24, 2020

It’s Wild Out There

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First, you hear the sound — guttural, otherworldly, ancient. Not a caw or a cluck. What is it? Then, gazing up — oh, oh, there! High overhead, graceful, legs trailing. Sandhill cranes. Circling once over the meadow, then flying on, migrating from their winter homes to summer places in the north. It is spring.
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March 16, 2020

Neighborliness in a Time of Pandemic Panic, or, Calling Mr. Rogers

A friend of mine who lives on the West Coast posted the most wonderful thing to Facebook yesterday. She had written notes to her neighbors to say, in effect, “We’re here. Call if you need us. You’re not alone.” I was so touched by her gesture and I plan to do the same. What a lesson in how to be neighborly in this time of pandemic preparedness—and panic.
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