DAILY DIRT: Illinois well-represented among ‘Dirtiest Cities in America’

Chicago River

Chicago is not the dirtiest city in Illinois, but one of its neighbors is.

Daily Dirt for Sunday, June 23, 2024

Missouri’s got some work to do to catch up … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 986 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Illinois has eight cities “ranked” — or simply “rank” — when it comes to the 2024’s Dirtiest Cities in America.

Lawnstarter.com’s annual rankings grade the 300-plus largest U.S. cities, based on four categories: air pollution, water quality, waste management and levels of local dissatisfaction.

The top, or worst, five cities are:

1. San Bernardino, Calif.: Pollution and overall disgruntlement among its citizens were the major factors.

2. Detroit, Mich.: Living conditions are the principal drawback in the so-called Motor City.

3. Reading, Pa.: The only category this city did not score near the bottom in was infrastructure. They may not have much in Reading, but at least they’re organized. 

4. Newark, N.J.: The third-highest amount of unhappy residents in the nation.

5. Ontario, Calif.: Another highly polluted west-coast site.

The worst-ranked Illinois cities:

  • 24. Schaumburg
  • 27. Chicago (OK, I’m surprised, too, that it is only this low.)
  • 58. Rockford
  • 69. Naperville
  • 104. Aurora
  • 151. Springfield
  • 166. Evanston
  • 254. Bloomington
  • 272. Peoria
  • 289. Champaign

The worst-ranked Missouri cities:

  • 89. Kansas City
  • 109. St. Joseph
  • 133. St. Louis
  • 226. Springfield

2. Did you know (Part 45)

  • That Beatlemania might have arrived in the U.S. earlier than it did if not for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. CBS News had slotted a segment on the band and how popular it was in England for its nightly newscast on Nov. 22, 1963 — the day JFK was shot and killed in Dallas. A few weeks later, legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite decided the country could use a break from its collective grief and decided to finally air the Beatles story. The rest, as they say, is musical history.
  • That the so-called British Invasion of pop music also included numerous female headliners, not just groups like the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Arriving at the same time on our TV sets and radios were the sounds of talents like Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithful and Sandie Shaw.
  • That between 1960 and 1999 the most popular name for a boy among U.S. births was Michael. Jacob finally unseated Michael in the decade of the 2000s.
  • That the 255,541 square miles of Alberta, Canada has been rat-free — or very close to it — for decades. Check it out, it’s an interesting read.
  • That hand sanitizers can kill 99.9 percent of germs, but Chuck Norris can kill 100 percent of whatever he wants.

3.This might hit home a bit more if you’re a baby boomer, but have you ever thought about some of the household items we rarely — or never — use anymore? Here are five:

  • Typewriters: With the advent of computers, printers and paperless documents, they’re no longer a household necessity, which is rather sad. The first new (electric) typewriter I ever purchased as an adult was a big deal.
  • Landline phones: Our house finally cut the cord — literally — about five years ago. Another sad day.
  • Paper phone books: Remember when some of those things were about the size of an encyclopedia?
  • Telephone answering machines: Remember when you couldn’t wait to get home and see who might have called? Ah … good times.
  • Rolodexes: I’m glad these things are a part of history. I hated them when they were actually relevant.

Steve Thought O’ The Day – Separated at birth? Comedian Jim Carrey and former Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Perry is the cleanest city in Missouri.

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