Information for residents of the Chicago Metro area and water quality results. The link below gives information on water quality and the level of PFAS in Chicago’s water supply.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) is a group of man-made chemicals that spread to the environment and break down very slowly over time. The term PFAS refers to a group of thousands of chemicals with a similar chemical structure. They are found in many different consumer, commercial, and industrial products. As a result of their widespread use and persistent structure, many PFAS have been found in people’s blood and in the environment including water. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS may be linked to harmful health effects.
In Illinois, PFAS is more likely to be present in groundwater than surface water like the Great Lakes. Despite this, Chicago proactively sampled our drinking water for PFOS, a type of PFAS, in 2011 as part of a larger study on emerging contaminants and the detailed results are on our website:
Also, Chicago’s drinking water was sampled for chemicals within the PFAS group in 2014 during the U.S. EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 and in 2020 as part of the Illinois EPA PFAS Study. Both studies yielded non-detect results, which means if any PFAS were present, it was at such a low level that the laboratory instruments couldn’t detect it. Don’t be misled by the preceding underlined statement.
PFAS/PFOS Levels in the City of Chicago
Oldest man-made structure discovered in Louisiana and more ancient US ruins
Remains of the days
Certain places are renowned for archaeology and the remains of ancient civilizations. The US doesn’t tend to be one of them – but perhaps it should be. While city architecture rarely goes back earlier than the 19th century, head off the beaten path and you can find wall paintings, rock carvings and impeccably preserved pre-Columbian dwellings. In September 2022, the oldest known man-made structure in North America was discovered in Louisiana. Here’s where to find these tucked-away windows on the past.
Below, the miniature rose, The Fairy in the evening sunlight.
I took a few minutes to watch two Monarch butterflies feed on the marigold flowers today. This is the time of their migration south. I noticed movement among the marigolds and saw a praying mantis. Then two praying mantises… one brown and one green. I moved closer to make the butterfly take flight before the mantises could get to it.
Brown praying mantis in photo above, lower right.
It’s no secret that the ultra-wealthy love farms.
Bill Gates — the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of $136 billion — is the largest private farmland owner in the U.S.
And Romney expects more fat-cats to plow into the space.
“These multibillionaires are gonna look and say, ‘I don’t want to invest in the stock market, because as that goes up, I gotta get taxed,” Romney said.
“So maybe I will instead invest in a ranch or in paintings or things that don’t build jobs and create a stronger economy.”
It’s easy to see the appeal of farmland: It is intrinsically valuable and has little correlation with the ups and downs of the stock market.
And even in a hyperinflationary environment, people still need to eat.
Between 1992 and 2020, farmland returned an average of 11% per year. Over the same time frame, the S&P 500 returned only 8%.
These days, you don’t need to be a multibillionaire to get a piece of the action. Investors can gain exposure to farmland through publicly traded real estate investment trusts like Farmland Partners and Gladstone Land Corporation.
There are also new platforms that allow you to invest in U.S. farmland by taking a stake in the farm of your choice. You’ll earn cash income from the leasing fees and crop sales. And of course, you’ll benefit from any long-term appreciation on top of that.
Invest in artwork that appeals to you; artwork that is pleasing to you; artwork that makes you feel good when you look at it. This simple rule adds validity to your investment because if you like it and it brings pleasure to your eyes, then there is a great likelihood that it will do the same to/for others be they friends and or prospective investors.
Be aware of the hype of “exclusivity” and overpriced artwork offered by Masterworks.io. Keeping in mind the simple rule of investing in fine art as stated above, you will find greater reward and value in your artwork acquisition and investing.
Romney also mentioned paintings, which might be a little tough to understand.
Companies make profits. Farmland produces crops. But what can fine art deliver?
Well, it provides the one thing that matters most to investors: market-thumping returns.
Contemporary artwork has already outperformed the S&P 500 by a commanding 174% over the past 25 years, according to the Citi Global Art Market chart.
Artwork has become an increasingly popular way for investors to diversify because it’s a “real” physical asset with very little correlation to the stock market — much like precious metals and real estate.
In fact, the correlation factor between contemporary art and the S&P 500 was just 0.01 over the past 25 years. In other words, art zigs when stocks zag.
Earlier this year, Bank of America’s investment chief Michael Harnett even singled out artwork as a sharp way to outperform over the next decade — due largely to the asset’s track record as an inflation hedge.
Investing in art by the likes of Banksy and Andy Warhol used to be an option only for the ultra-rich, like Romney. But with a new investing platform, you can, too, just like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates do.
The bottom line
Whether you agree with Romney or not on farmland and artwork, inflation is happening.
The prices of numerous goods and services have gone up a lot over the past year. Meanwhile, the labor shortage could make things even worse.
For savers, it could lead to the serious deterioration of purchasing power.
So invest wisely.
What to Read Next
The tech billionaire keeps plowing millions into this asset class.
Art investment is no longer reserved for the wealthy
When Will Hummingbirds Leave Illinois? Here’s When Experts Say Migration Will Peak
As the snowy months approach, many pack up and head south for the winter, leaving the cool Chicago weather behind.
That includes hummingbirds — and according to experts, they start their migration long before the cold weather hits.
According to a post from the Chicago Botanic Garden, hummingbirds are often found in the Chicago-area yards during the late spring and early summer, when female birds build “golf-ball size nests” made from bits of soft leaves and spiderwebs. But by September, they’re already on their way out as part of the birds’ “great fall migration.”
“Hummingbirds tend to be out of the Chicago area by about the second week in October,” the post reads. “On their fall migration south, they either cross the Gulf or follow the Texas coast back to Mexico.”
And while there are more than two dozen hummingbirds in the United States, it’s the ruby-throated hummingbird that you might find in your Chicago-area backyard.
“The ruby-throated is the only hummingbird regularly found east of the Mississippi River,” the garden says. “During the summer, they are frequent residents at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Right now, many more are coming from Canada, stopping in search of nectar and insects. They’re building up energy for their long journey south” for the winter season.
Hummingbirds are typically in Illinois from May to October, though a scattering of them have been seen as early as March, according to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. You might have noticed them by the “hum” of their flapping wings, or their chatter, which sounds like high-pitched dolphin chatter,” the Forest Preserve says.
As for looks, they’re hard to missed. “Ruby-throated hummingbirds are bright emerald or golden-green on the back and crown, with gray-white underparts,” the Forest Preserve continues. “Males have a brilliant iridescent red throat that looks dark when it’s not in good light.”
Hummingbirds aren’t the only Chicago residents heading south for the winter. Butterflies are, too.
Dubbed as the “monarch migration,” the spectacle sees the winged insects embark on a months-long journey to Mexico, Doug Taron of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum says. The butterflies will pass through Chicago, the Mississippi Valley and Texas before setting up camp about 100 miles west of Mexico City, Taron says.
Typically, an abundance of butterflies can be spotted throughout September, with peak monarch migrations in the area falling Sept. 5-10, Taron noted.
Taron said there have been reports of butterfly clusters in central Michigan, which is an indication that the creatures “are definitely coming.”
Chicagoans will be able to make out bundles of butterflies well into October, too, as Taron said groups of stragglers are expected to round out the migration.