(Happy) New Year

I was all set to write at least one story today, that is until my daughter texted me a pic of Dad with my son. Dad’s obituary is printed today in the Decatur paper: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/herald-review/name/walter-sroka-obituary?n=walter-sroka&pid=200993241 One of my brothers found a voicemail from dad on a old phone this week. It was a wonderful message, […]

Report: Normal is normal

By: Diane Benjamin This story was posted yesterday: https://www.buckys5thquarter.com/2021/12/29/22856964/does-your-college-town-suck-illinois-state-university-redbirds-normal Yes, the title is: Does your college town suck? Illinois State University It might be a biased story because the writer appears to be comparing Illinois to Wisconsin. He must not know about Rivian, it isn’t mentioned in the story. It is an interesting read though. […]

IDPH update – breakthrough cases

By: Diane Benjamin https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine/vaccine-breakthrough.html As of 12/29/21: See the last line – this data could be weeks old. Breakthrough cases that did not require hospitalization are not included in the above. Obviously the vaccine doesn’t prevent infection, doesn’t prevent hospitalizations, and doesn’t prevent deaths. The number hospitalized has doubled since early November. Deaths have doubled […]

Social and Emotional Learning

By: Diane Benjamin Illinois Public Schools are required by law to use Social and Emotional Learning. You can see the current plan on the Illinois State Board of Education website: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Social-Emotional-Learning-Standards.aspx Social and Emotional Learning can easily be summed up with this quote for the document I linked in the Critical race Theory story is […]

BCPA’s astonishing lack of transparency

By: Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-114 No BCPA event reports have been posted to the City website. Evidently I have to FOIA all of them. From this year’s budget: $1,700,000 of the Revenue is from Home Rule Sales Tax. Of that $840,206 goes to bond payments. See the complete BCPA presentation in the budget starting on PDF […]

Of course CRT is taught

By: Diane Benjamin Critical Race Theory has lots of different names, it may not be called CRT in the schools but the principles of CRT are taught. District 87 has Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees – even though agendas for their subgroups are supposed to be posted, nothing is. https://www.district87.org/domain/2157 Unit 5 has a Diversity, […]

Kathleen Lorenz can’t be left out

By: Diane Benjamin The speech below was right after Pam Reece declared there isn’t a problem with tap-on fees. She of course had to take on Stan, she called it “his thing” even though he’s wrong. She obviously didn’t read the annexation agreement for the Kerrick Road property that called for $300 an acre, the […]

New Laws January 1st

https://www.capitolnewsillinois.com/NEWS/new-state-laws-taking-effect-jan-1 Over 300 new laws take effect on 1/1/2022. The article details just a few. Minimum wage goes up to $12 an hour, but buying a car from an individual will cost you more in sales taxes. A link inside the story has a list of all the bills, it was compiled by Illinois Senate […]

BCPA losses keep mounting!

By: Diane Benjamin THREE more events – all losers: Report shows a profit of $142.68. With performance fee the loss is ($9,257.32). 192 attended Performance Fee: Report shows a loss of ($2,566.37), with performance fee the loss is ($33,066.37). 107 attended. Performance Fee: Report shows a profit of $3,944.97, with performance fee the loss is […]

Update: Normal: Comedy Central

The fireworks code was re-written in 2005, the terminology looks pretty much the same however. Blank Cartridges is still in the law: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1634&ChapterID=38 Novelty items are still exempt, Normal did regulate those anyway stating they can only be sold in approved buildings. By: Diane Benjamin This won’t be the only story about last night! One […]

More code changes, did anyone read what they proposed?

By: Diane Benjamin https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4180 The first thing to note in the 2nd pic below is the word Add. Next see PDF page 5 in the current code: https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/7767/Chapter-17—Misdemeanors?bidId= The above looks pretty much the same as what is proposed to “Add”, just a different Section number: Blank Cartridges is in both texts. In the latest […]

Normal goes “woke” tonight

By: Diane Benjamin https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4180 When someone believes being called the correct pronoun will make their life better, they have no other problems to solve. Their life has to be perfect except for those pesky pronouns. Fix those and everything will be perfect. (until they find other long established norms to be offended about) Tonight Normal […]

UPDATE: Chemberly’s Campaign Fleece

I missed more Chemberly food spending: By: Diane Benjamin Chemberly’s participants in her “Youth on Mission”: She claimed earlier that she only had 8 kids, maybe some of the masked wonders are her paid assistants. What she is really doing is training activists. Chemberly doesn’t understand we are a Republic, not a Democracy. We elect […]

Heartland College Hypocrisy

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader One thing COVID has revealed is authoritarians adore telling other people how to live while not following the same rules themselves. Pritzker, a high risk to die from COVID himself for being obese, loves locking the State down and masking kids. Illinois is the only state in the Midwest […]

Fly on the Wall: Chemberly Cummings

Flying around State Farm I saw a “podcast” featuring Chemberly. As an elected official, is it smart to admit you have suffered from anxiety, depression, mental health issues, and physical issues most of your life Chemberly? Going for a sympathy vote? I remember when Democrats proclaimed Trump mentally ill (he isn’t) and called him a […]

YOU can help the Kentucky tornado victims!

Donating this way is always better because your cash doesn’t get lost in the non-profit bureaucracy! Evergreen FS wants to stuff a semi with aid items for the tornado victims in Mayfield Kentucky. They are accepting donations beginning today: See more information here: https://www.evergreen-fs.com/Fill-A-Truck?fbclid=IwAR03pO7P4M0qlrDb10R4xOtPM8DoCwgYrOG1bHa89VAdS-SCE9kt3KVjsNk Drop off items at 402 N Hershey Bloomington. Available times are […]

Yesterday was Bill of Rights Day-Except in District 87: Part 2

By: Diane Benjamin See Part 1: https://blnnews.com/2021/12/16/yesterday-was-bill-of-rights-day-except-in-district-87-part-1/ Barry Reilly tried to get Fitzgerald Sameday to withdraw from the School Board election, some of the email exchanges are already public like the one below. Reilly went so far as to send Fitzgerald the forms he needed to get his name removed from the ballot: Last April […]

Yesterday was Bill of Rights Day-Except in District 87: Part 1

By: Diane Benjamin I was planning on posting this yesterday, it fit in well with Bill of Rights Day! I wasn’t able to when the Internet went out. This story started out really long! Instead of one long story it will be in 2 parts. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution were ratified on […]

Proof the Normal Municipal Code is immaterial

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal is well known for making their own rules. Some developers are charged sewer tap-on fees, some aren’t. If you are Stan Nord and they “forgot” to charge the owner at the time the sewer connection was made, you get charged. Being 4 owners ago when they “forgot” is […]

Since eliminating BEC isn’t on the ballot:

The below was sent by the local GOP, Democrats likely sent it out too. People who demand the law be followed are needed, BEC needs a watchdog. Here is the news release from the BEC.  DATE: November 24, 2021SUBJECT: Announcing commissioner position vacancy on the City of Bloomington Board of Election Commission The Bloomington Board […]

Mboka pretends he’s Renner

By: Diane Benjamin One of the policies instituted by Tari Renner was limiting discussion at Council meetings. Pre-Tari there were no limits, Agendas are now issued with the amount of time the Council will spend on each item. Why are your elected representatives not allowed to talk as long as they want? The Council represents […]

Butler still trying to seal his records

By: Diane Benjamin John Butler is still going to court to get his records sealed on Friday: He hasn’t heard all the documents are already public? https://blnnews.com/2021/11/12/the-coliseum-case-documents/ Maybe I should post them on their own JohnYaleButler.com website! I’ve had a FOIA pending with County since October 29. They extended it until December 8th and still […]

Is Normal playing politics?

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal is getting almost $11 million in American Rescue Funds over 2 years. Remember this slide from the Town of Normal Work Session on spending the windfall? https://blnnews.com/2021/12/07/normals-work-session-lack-of-transparency/ See the $3.5 million for the Savannah Green neighborhood. I have a map of that area below, but first you need […]

Bloomington’s final meeting of the year

By: Diane Benjamin Council is meeting tonight at 6:00 to clear the rest of December for Christmas. None of the event reports at the BCPA have been posted on line: https://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-114 Evidently I have to FOIA all shows. Is the City afraid to tell citizens how much is lost to subsidized entertainment for the well […]

Proof: How much you get paid doesn’t mean you are smart

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal attorney made a lot of money last year: Yep, $195,105 because he’s a LAWYER. I’ve written before about things he gets wrong, last Monday night he did it again. He is supposedly the resident expert on Roberts Rules of Order, Koos frequently asks him procedural questions. Monday night […]