Easter Joy

He is risen indeed! Happy Easter.

BHS – Scoundrels & Liars

By:  Diane Benjamin This BHS and student walkout story is getting more serious. __________________________________ If you missed the previous stories, catch up: https://blnnews.com/2018/03/30/district-87-hiding/ https://blnnews.com/2018/03/22/remember-the-student-walk-out-bhs/ __________________________________ 1) From the District 87 website about FOIA requests:  https://www.district87.org/Page/309 Note:  they want to charge .15 cents for FOIA requests after the first 50 pages. The email below is in response […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Normal’s employee compensation

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal finally decided to post some employee compensation:     http://www.normal.org/documentcenter/view/7527 They only included salaries over $75,000, a little over 300 of them.  Since they don’t have many more employees than that, it’s close to everybody. I was looking around on OpenTheBooks.com and found some interesting numbers.  This information comes […]

District 87: Hiding!

By:  Diane Benjamin On March 22nd I wrote about a document handed out to kids at BHS during their student walkout concerning gun violence:   https://blnnews.com/2018/03/22/remember-the-student-walk-out-bhs/ This is the email that made me want to know what the document says: The email says WE will provide copies. Note also the email says the copies were given […]

State Farm: Armed Guards

Another employee told me tonight the guards will be visible Monday. __________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin I’m hearing reports that State Farm will have armed guards at all doors starting today.  Tomorrow a wave of displaced workers starts exiting the company. (Anybody else find it ironic our kids don’t get the same security at school?)  There […]

WGLT finally sees the light?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this recent WGLT story:  http://wglt.org/post/new-documents-link-vague-coliseum-contract-criminal-charges The former Coliseum management could get greatly reduced sentences because the documents WGLT presented prove the City didn’t care – as in David Hales didn’t care.  Hales was paid huge bucks to manage the City, he failed.  I really hope he is called as a witness to […]

Why is Fazzini signing contracts?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember former Bloomington Alderman Rob Fazzini?  You might remember him from his attempt to create Super Aldermen who represent the whole City, or you might remember his plan to turn the garbage into jet fuel, or maybe his statement that gas taxes don’t necessarily raise the price of gas. Since I heard […]

Update: Tari on WJBC

It looks like WJBC is going to hide the Tari interview, it isn’t posted.   By:  Diane Benjamin Tari again forgot he changed the rules for his “Open Houses” on WJBC this morning.  Evidently Scott Laughlin forgot too.  Funny how the City website still says you have to make an appointment:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7500/17?backlist=%2fHome%2fComponents%2fNews%2fNews%2f4327%2f18%3fbacklist%3d%252F Did you know […]

Tari speaks in the Pravdagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin It looks like the Pantagraph is now allowing Tari to write about himself, from March 23rd: http://www.pantagraph.com/special-section/bloomington-a-leader-in-open-government-communication/article_6376ee0b-1adf-58cd-ab19-55d71d5eccfd.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest I wonder what section they ran this in? The article/editorial has some problems.  Tari must have forgotten he changed the rules for his “Open Houses”.  They aren’t open, citizens have to make an appointment.  The […]

Bloomington, the rest of the meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin (Something isn’t right about the Habitat solar panels, I’m waiting to hear back from an expert.) The $135,000 sales tax rebate to Habitat got tabled.  Austin Grammer stated the City asked Habitat how they could help them with their project.  In other words, the City volunteered to give them money.  Solar panels […]

Wasting time doing nothing

By:  Diane Benjamin Government should operate on facts, not feelings.  The illegal immigration issue won’t be solved in Bloomington for the same reason it isn’t solved in DC.  It has nothing to do with people not being able to make decisions.  They have decided: To some laws matter, to others they don’t. The people camping […]

Since immigration laws don’t matter . . .

Let’s deface public property!  Yes, that’s City Hall.  I’m told it says:  Separate ICE and the police not immigrants Now everybody can draw on City Hall since nothing happened to these folks!

Nice Pantagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin Today the paper has a cool graph showing City of Bloomington budgets for the last 10 years.  I recapped the same info here:     https://blnnews.com/2018/03/08/bloomington-budget-workshop-saturday/ See the Pantagraph graph here – bottom of the story: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/council-eyes-business-fees-overdue-parking-fines-to-balance-budget/article_b1dd3a23-7b7c-50aa-8f9e-30046a7375a9.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1 Instead of pretending spending is up over 10 years, they should have marked on the graph […]

Security Fail – Heyworth High School

By:  Diane Benjamin Last Friday the Heyworth High School was put on lock-down.  A former student, who appears to have mental issues, was able to get in the school.  He slipped in behind several students who were buzzed in when they returned from another building. Reports I’ve seen say the police were called, the guy […]

Why people flee: Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Forbes magazine printed the latest addition of what states people are fleeing based on data from United Van Lines data. Illinois is #1 https://tinyurl.com/Forbes-United-Van-Lines While McLean County and Normal were smart enough to cut spending, Bloomington is looking for more revenue tonight. Tari Renner is quoted in the paper saying City budgets […]

Another Bloomington OMA violation?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the February 12th meeting when alderman comments had Karen Schmidt accusing Tari Renner of disparaging public remarks about the 5 alderman blocking his Welcoming Ordinance?  Remember Alderman Bray pulled the minutes at the February 26th meeting because they didn’t accurately summarize the comments made?  https://blnnews.com/2018/02/27/bloomington-council-festivities/ The February 12th meeting minutes are still […]

Courtesy of the Progressives:

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday a lot people rallied in downtown Bloomington to force government to limit 2nd Amendment rights. Tonight the radicals are rallying to force a vote on protecting people living in Bloomington illegally.  They will show up at Council tomorrow night. One of these radicals is raising money to move to a new […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Where is the Prosecutor?

By:  Diane Benjamin The biggest problem I see in Illinois is prosecutors unwilling to hold government officials accountable.  State’s Attorneys across the state refuse to do their job.  Equal justice under the law doesn’t exist.  I don’t know if its lack of staff or just being afraid to upset the status quo. Here’s the latest […]

UPDATE: Torturing some, ignoring others

This church needs to file a lawsuit against the City of Bloomington for discrimination.  Government can’t pick and choose who they want to fine or put out of business. Any lawyers willing to help them out?  The City has unlimited funds – or at least they think they do! Meanwhile, nobody is helping them out. […]

Bloomington – FOIA please!

By:  Diane Benjamin So much spending, so little information.  Some items require an explanation, leave a comment for items YOU will FOIA.  I have far too many outstanding FOIA’s already. Bills and Payroll for Monday:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16156 Your March contribution to mostly empty buses: Anybody want to guess what this is? Media payoff: I wonder how […]

Bloomington: More One Voice

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill and Payroll for Monday:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16156 One Voice is an annual trip to Washington DC to beg for money.  Instead of meeting with Illinois representatives IN Illinois, taxpayers are forced to pay for this farce. Just for Bloomington – 4 people went to Washington DC.  Each was charged $1600 by Economic Development Council […]

Remember the Student Walk out? (BHS)

By:  Diane Benjamin Students have every right to be upset when they are being slaughtered in their schools.  Funny how the outrage isn’t aimed at the law enforcement who waited outside the Florida High School instead of doing their job! Suddenly, students across the country wanted to hold a demonstration at 10:00 on March 14th.  […]

District 87 – Useless inspection

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve never understood the logic of scheduling an inspection if the intent is to see what it really happening.  Is the real reason to show complete compliance instead of reality? The email below is from the principal of BHS to all staff.   It was received by FOIA. “ROE Inspection” is Regional Office […]

Want to know why Mark Tititilli was fired?

By:  Diane Benjamin The School Board and Administration aren’t talking.  Mark has too much class.  Received by FOIA – from one of his students.  I’ve got LOTS more, including a cover sheet where the FOIA officer misspelled Marc’s last name in numerous places.  If you aren’t disgusted after reading, what does it take?  Maybe look […]

Motivation Required

I’m sitting here with a 4 inch stack of FOIA request to go through as well as numerous massive digital requests I just received.  I’ve got at least two huge investigations going without a State’s Attorney in sight willing to prosecute.   The Public Access office won’t acknowledge receiving a Request for Review I filed 3 […]

2A ALERT – March 24th Bloomington

Bloomington: 11:00 AM, History Museum, 200 Main http://www.gunssavelife.com/call-action-gun-owners-needed-counter-demonstrations-saturday/ CALL TO ACTION! Gun Owners Needed for Counter-demonstrations THIS SATURDAY! Illinois gun owners live their lives without thinking much about gun control – most of the time.  Right now though, Illinois gun owners see red with the passage of bills to ban common guns and standard-capacity magazines.  To […]

Say hello to Governor JB

By:  Diane Benjamin Bruce Rauner will not be able to recover.  In his acceptance speech he said Jeanne Ives ran a principled campaign.  He didn’t.  Illinois is much worse since Rauner has been governor, he doesn’t deserve 4 more years.  Besides the lies he told during the campaign, he is responsible for making Illinois a […]

Race Baiting Nikita Richards

By:  Diane Benjamin This post appeared today on Nikita Richard’s personal Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/nikita.richards.9 Facts matter Nikita.  You need some. Yes the victims in the first few bombing were black.  The victims of the trip wire bomb were both white.  The latest bomb was in a FedEx facility.  How is that targeting prominent Black families? […]

Grown men crying

By:  Diane Benjamin I wish video existed at Tom Hamilton’s last meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  I’m betting the accolades were so sugary sweet the then Council and mayor risked diabetes.  I’m betting nobody mentioned The Grove or the never used fire station or the unusable water tower built during his tenure.  I’m betting […]

Live Streaming tells the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin If local governments had not started Live Streaming meetings, the media would be your only source for information. So far I haven’t seen a word about Stan Nord speaking at the Normal Town Council meeting last night. Mr. Nord spoke about property he is trying to develop on West College.  He accused […]

Facts: Local jobs disappearing

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week the local media reported the low local unemployment rate.  Here’s an example from WJBC:   http://www.wjbc.com/2018/03/15/bloomington-normal-jobless-rate-remains-lowest-in-state-2/ They must be afraid to report the rest of the story: https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMU17140100000000001?amp%253bdata_tool=XGtable&output_view=data&include_graphs=true This chart is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics These numbers are the actual number of people employed – in thousands. In the […]

No Excuses – Vote tomorrow

If you are only voting on a referendum, you do not need to pick a party. County sample ballots available here: http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/elections City of Bloomington sample ballot available here: http://www.becvote.org/wordpress/electiondatesandoffices/specimen-ballot/ Picking a party because the candidates you want to vote for are running in that party does NOT make you a registered anything.  Illinois doesn’t […]

Court: No justice

By:  Diane Benjamin In January I told you I had filed a lawsuit against the Town of Normal for a 3 1/2 hour Executive Session.  A check had been written to a consultants for more than $5000 labeled “planning session”.  Details here:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/31/normal-investigated-and-sued/ Thursday was the first court date, Judge Foley dismissed the case.  Even though […]

Rent Payments and more Normal spending

By:  Diane Benjamin For approval Monday night:   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2919 See page 14 for what “buy local” looks like:  Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, etc etc – plus some others. Eating your money: Looks like a few more employees got free bus rides, who got the shirts? More money to non-profits, 2nd of 3 payments for the bike sharing […]

More on Uptown Circle

By:  Diane Benjamin Followup to yesterday’s story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/16/hum-uptown-circle/ As reported yesterday, this new building in Uptown has no tenants on the first floor.  The Town of Normal is renting the entire second floor: According to the Pantagraph from 7/4/2016: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/normal-eyes-design-contract-for-office-space/article_9d3ad5b1-f04d-5709-a834-2d10fe6db9eb.html The town will lease 13,780 square feet of office space for 15 years, with renewal options, […]

Weekend fun – Sort of

Hum, Uptown Circle

By:  Diane Benjamin Memory Lane: Remember when Normal promised to pay Bloomington Landmark Development around $1,825,000 to bring Portillos to town? The documentation said Sales taxes will easily cover the cost in about 7 years:    https://blnnews.com/2016/12/02/portillo-town-monday-night/ That was in December of 2016. Just over a year later Normal wrote a huge check to Bloomington Landmark […]

District 87-Run backwards

By:  Diane Benjamin Ever feel like people you elect to a local office, like alderman and trustees, don’t represent you? How about School Board members?  Who do they work for? In District 87 the people you elect to represent you don’t work for you. From the District 87 website: https://www.district87.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=334&dataid=75&FileName=2.020-Powers%20and%20Duties%20of%20the%20School%20Board.PDF Does the Board use this […]

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