Fran Alexander

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FRAN ALEXANDER: A watershed moment

Illinois River organization works to change behaviors

"We look beyond the river banks and see the future and how the Illinois River will support our lives into the next centuries."

FRAN ALEXANDER: Trusting the land

Organization devoted to preservation in midst of growth

Have you ever had a special place, a little spot where you maybe have gone to put your feet in the creek, to smell the pine trees, to listen to the birds or the frogs and crickets, or to just be alone? Or, do particular experiences depend on particular places? For example, the short county road to our home is a tunnel of trees, but driving it can change a rough day into a more peaceful one, similar to a shower that washes away stress.

FRAN ALEXANDER: Parks and the future

‘Imagine Tomorrow’s Parks’ designed to influence Fayetteville’s course

If I had my way, Fayetteville would stop promoting itself, stop winning national awards and hide from the rest of the world. But, I don't have much of a success record in getting my way. So all I, or any of us, can do is tell local elected officials and their staff how we think things should be in our town and region and hope for the best.

FRAN ALEXANDER: Making climate progress

Organizations harness energy of people who care

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, try to change what needs changing and say to hell with the roadblocks.

FRAN ALEXANDER: Should we avoid chemical soup?

Forest Service ponders ways to deal with invasive plants

Sometimes things just get out of hand. The U.S. Forest Service has some housekeeping, or rather forest-keeping, to do, and recently made an effort "to gauge public interest and input" about their tidying-up plans. There have been meetings in Deer, Hector and Cass to take questions and discuss the "Roadside Vegetation Management and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species Control Project," among other things.

FRAN ALEXANDER: The youth speak loudly

Parkland students passionate in response to shooting

"These adults, these politicians, these lawmakers, these legislators, they were supposed to protect us. And they didn't."

FRAN ALEXANDER: Salamanders, pterodactyls and earmuffs

Process of electing U.S. leaders has gotten out of whack

Successfully raising five sons to adulthood qualifies a mother for sainthood, and my husband's mom certainly earned her heavenly stars. She wisely knew how to keep her boys playing fairly, thereby limiting injuries, I assume, especially when navigating the constant feeding of her growing herd. When it came to pies, for example, one got to cut and another got to choose. And, when the remainder of the food was passed around the table, if there was enough for one more serving, the last person holding the dish had to ask if anyone wanted any more. It taught them long-term civility over momentary gluttony.

FRAN ALEXANDER: The land speaks

Ex-agency deputy fights on to preserve forest lands

"There is no right way to do the wrong thing."

FRAN ALEXANDER: The perilous lives of girls

Men do damage with sexually incorrect actions against women

It starts in childhood. Not wanting to frighten, but still trying to explain, parents begin gently, if they are smart, to let a child know there is a limit to trust.

FRAN ALEXANDER: Smoke gets in their eyes

House passes Westerman’s forest bill; Senate should say no

This upside-down world we're living in leaves us questioning not only what we are told, but distrustful that our facts might actually be fallacies. Up is down, right is left, black is white and right is wrong. Under these conditions, scrutinizing all laws for their true intent, in spite of their titles, is vital.

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