* Prices for Illinois farmland are skyrocketing thanks to current (and presumably future) demand for ethanol.
* Alex Kotlowitz has a long, engaging piece on conflicts over immigration in Carpentersville in this week's New York Times Magazine.
* The Trib has a piece on FoundClothing, a blog about clothes found around the city's streets by Lauri Apple, a frequent and talented contributor to the Reader's flickr group (you can see her photos here).
* Mike Quigley is preparing an ordinance that would ban the use of county funds to buy bottled water, with the rationale that it's free and less wasteful to use a glass or a water fountain. If we're following New York's lead on taking an environmentally responsible position on drinking water, perhaps we can get some local seltzer delivery.