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Debra Shore

Entries by Debra Shore

The Empire of Locked Roots

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 9:04 AM

Given the recent severe drought -- and intense rains -- it's worth considering which plants do well in northeast Illinois and why.

When European settlers made their way from the east to Illinois, emerging out of the hardwood forests of Appalachia into the tallgrass prairie of the heartland, they were...

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Reversal & Fortune -- A Fateful Anniversary

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 3:33 PM

Sometimes I try to imagine what Chicago in the 1880s must have been like -- the city center had been rebuilt after the Great Fire but there was no sewage treatment, no water filtration to make lake water safe to drink, the river was the prime dump site for all...

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Let Us Now Praise Rake and Broom

(3) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 3:03 PM

I have just come inside after two hours of raking leaves on a beautiful fall day (and I'm not done). Still, I am prompted once again to reflect on the transfer of worthy work from the historic use of our bodies -- using our own muscles and burning calories provided...

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Where I Stand on Cleaning Up the Chicago River

(4) Comments | Posted May 18, 2011 | 2:54 PM

On May 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a forceful letter to the State of Illinois stressing that the state should adopt new water quality standards for major stretches of the Chicago Area Waterway System, including the Chicago River. The EPA indicated that portions of the Chicago...

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World Toilet Day: A Modest Proposal

(9) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 2:09 PM

No, I am not suggesting that the world is in the toilet, nor that it belongs there.
I have been reading a fascinating and informative book by Rose George called The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters.

This is where I...

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The Audacity of Slope, or How The River Gets Its Groove Back

(2) Comments | Posted June 22, 2009 | 1:46 PM

On May 29, 1889, the Chicago Sanitary District was established by the Illinois General Assembly in order to protect the drinking water supply for people in Chicago. This recent anniversary prompted me to wonder, What would have happened if Chicago had not reversed the river? Would Chicago still have managed...

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A Day Without Water?

(4) Comments | Posted March 23, 2009 | 12:38 PM

Since March 22 was World Water Day, let's conduct a thought experiment: Imagine a day without water. Brush your teeth in the morning with toothpaste and saliva (No rinsing!). No shower, no bath, no washing your face. No flushing the toilet. No coffee or tea. No pop, no milk,...

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River Reversal: Chicago's Special Anniversary

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2009 | 4:20 PM

It's been said that all problems started out as solutions (I'm paraphrasing journalist Eric Sevareid here).

On January 17, 1900, in the culmination of a grand engineering scheme to protect the drinking water supply for residents of Chicago, the last barrier separating the Des Plaines River from Lake Michigan...

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Storm of the Century

(4) Comments | Posted September 15, 2008 | 10:03 AM

Residents of the Chicago region have begun mopping up from the largest one-day rainfall recorded since records have been kept and you probably have lots of questions about it.

I'm a member of the nine-member elected board of commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago...

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