UPDATE: Children’s Discovery Museum ERROR

A reader sent this story to a friend who knows Chinese and asked for an opinion.  Here is the response he received: The Oriental writings are all correct Chinese writings; but NOT translation of the English. ________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The pic below was taken at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal. The exhibit is […]

UPDATE: If laws don’t matter, it’s our fault

Ben Yount finally agreed to hold an event here in September! He mentioned your emails!  Thanks. _______________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,  “A republic, if you can keep it.” I was at […]

Congrats Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Somebody at the City finally read the Open Meetings Act LAW!  This note is included on the Agenda for Monday night: David Hales has an ongoing problem approving minutes.  Last March I had to file a Freedom of Information Act for the minutes of the meeting held 9/21/15.  What happened at that […]

Gold plated government

By:  Diane Benjamin Some months ago a presentation at a Bloomington City Council meeting talked about the ObamaCare Luxury Tax and how the City might be hit with HIGH penalties.  Some of the aldermen had never heard of it. From this link:  money.cnn.com/2015/12/18/news/economy/obamacare-cadillac-tax/ The tax has been delayed because people subject to the tax have […]

Tari: Seriously, citizens deserve truth

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari was on WJBC again this morning:  Tari Renner Bloomington Mayor 8-10-16 Starting around 12:40 Tari discusses the Liquor Commission yet again.  Kudos to Scott Laughlin for questioning some of Tari’s statements. Tari is trying to justify the Open Meetings Act violations by using State Law.  He seems to forget Bloomington is […]

Giebelhausen appears

By:  Diane Benjamin If you missed Jeff’s comments at last Monday’s Bloomington City Council meeting, just hit PLAY below.  He spoke during Public Comment, not on an agenda item. I’ve been thinking a lot about the proposals for a downtown hotel.  From on-line comments and emails, there is a lot of support for a hotel […]

Renner: the hotel bill

By:  Diane Benjamin See this post from 7/22:  More-tari-eating-by-himself? A list of P-Card charges from June are included. Mayor Renner attended the US Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, the hotel bill was $1,044.52. The conference was June 24 – June 27.  USmayors.org/84thAnnualMeeting This is a copy of the bill – obtained under FOIA: $756 was […]


Source:  Guns Save Lives  http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=21998 Land of Lincoln Credit Union learns nothing, continues with the same failed policy Land of Lincoln Credit Union at 115 Susan Drive in Normal, IL is proud of their “NO GUNS” signage. For many months, they have stuck with their sign advertising themselves as not welcoming to card-carrying good guys […]

Tari: Is truth too difficult?

By:  Diane Benjamin This item was pulled from the agenda by Tari Renner before Public Comment.  He said he would explain later. Watch the video below – just hit PLAY. The packet for the meeting has this explanation of the change: That’s important because the Boards and Commissions post agendas and minutes and are required […]

Amelia votes to send husband money!

By:  Diane Benjamin Alderman Amelia Buragas normally recuses herself from votes when they involve sending money to Farnsworth Group.  Her husband Michael is employed by them. Last night she didn’t recuse herself from this vote: These are the people promoting bike paths on major roads and subsidizing buses. They also promoted the East-Side Bypass and […]

Power to Tari or the people?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Bloomington City Council will discuss eliminating the Liquor Commission, thus transferring power to Tari. Keep in mind the Liquor Commission under Steve Stockton was Steve and FOUR citizens.  Under Renner, it has been Tari and TWO citizens. The entire reason for this change is because Tari operated the Commission outside […]


I was notified last night approval of release will be on the 8/22 agenda. Lawsuit pending until then. . By:  Diane Benjamin Laws evidently don’t matter to the current City of Bloomington Leadership.  Government “for and by the people” has become sit down, shut up, and we might get to you eventually. They have until […]

Kirk vrs Duckworth

By:  Diane Benjamin The choices we have for US Senator are almost as despicable as the choices for President.  Mark Kirk votes with Democrats way too often.  He rarely represents me. Voting 3rd party for Senate won’t accomplish anything, even though I’ve thought about it.  I am now voting for Kirk because of one picture […]

Tari seizes his throne Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin August 2nd I wrote a story about Bloomington’s Liquor Commission:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/02/is-tari-declaring-himself-king/ Monday night Tari wants to be granted all power to enforce, permit, and control liquor in Bloomington.  From the agenda:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11004 From the packet page 238:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11003 The only “confusion regarding the authority of the local” Liquor Commission has been FOLLOWING […]

How much did Fireworks cost?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for approval Monday night, obviously the money is already spent:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=10998 In case you always wondered how much the Fireworks show cost:  http://www.manta.com/c/mm0jw7x/miand-inc   Economic Development:   No idea what he did for $5400.  Anybody want to FOIA?   Paid every month   Paid every month   Paid […]

Congrats! They did it again

By:  Diane Benjamin Sick Leave Buy Back will cost Bloomington taxpayers for decades.  New employees are no longer eligible as of (I think) 2013.  All other employees could be getting paid for unused sick leave when they retire.  The City is too chicken to tell employees it isn’t fair for them to get a benefit […]

Uptown TIF and Taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin TIF’s create a slush fund for government to use – supposedly for economic development.  The increase in property values due to redevelopment create more taxes the City keeps instead of sharing the increase with all taxing bodies. In 2013, The Town of Normal shared some taxes – I don’t know what agreement […]

Food fight: Downtown Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin I find it hilarious that Renner’s claim to economic development victories include two businesses stolen from Normal:  Dick’s Sporting Goods and a Kroger’s Superstore.  Both wanted more room, more room just happen to available in Bloomington – of course tax rebates didn’t hurt.  He still claims Greentop, Hy-vee, and now Ovation theaters.  […]

The “Complete Streets” scam

By:  Diane Benjamin The local minority that ride bikes expect their right to ride to be superior to your right to drive. They have the Federal and State government on their side because cars are evil.  (See the global warming scam) Last night I was driving East on Front from downtown Bloomington.  It was almost […]

Finally some data – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin See Part 1 here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/03/finally-some-data/ The below is from data posted on the City of Bloomington website by the Finance Department. From Page 9:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=10958 Sewer and Storm water fees will be your next tax increase.  You could get a garbage increase too. A summary of Sewer and Storm Water operations is […]

Finally some data!

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington Finance Department posted a summary as 4/30/16 – the end of the City’s fiscal year:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=10958 The information is un-audited and tax receipts from State sources lag months behind, but the 63 pages provides a good snapshot of where finances were at the end of April. Below is […]

Is Tari declaring himself KING?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Liquor Commission under Steve Stockton had 5 members.  Under Tari Renner it only has three people, including himself.  Tari controls the commission with one compliant person on the board who agrees with anything Tari wants. Rumors abound that Tari is going to BE the Liquor Commission from now on, nobody else […]

Matt Sorensen: He knew

By:  Diane Benjamin Last November a vote by the County Board resulted in a property tax increase when a vote to dip into LARGE reserves was defeated.  Matt Sorensen voted NO to break a tie:  https://blnnews.com/2016/03/24/county-50000000-in-reserves/ The financial statements as of 12/31/2015 have been issued (CAFR).  I’ve barely begun reviewing the 221 pages, but this […]

Prediction: David Hales

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales began as City Manager in January of 2009.  In January of 2017 he will be vested in his pension.  Yep, 8 years is all it takes. I predict he will take the money and run! The City of Bloomington was failing when he got here and it’s headed downhill now.  […]

Connect Transit Theft

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit issued their 12 month UN-audited financial statements at their last meeting. Celebrate now – they didn’t lose as much as they budgeted: Page 7:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/July%2026,%202016%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf They did lose more than $1 million in June bringing the year total to just short of $10 million. Has ANY local press reported on […]