Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]

Koos, Council: Shut up citizens!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy.  They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League. First, you need to understand what the IML is.  See this story:  […]

Facts Mr. Koos

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I attended the GOP breakfast because it featured the candidates for the Normal Town Council and Normal Township. Chris Koos made a comment about Uptown 2.0 I find hard to believe.  He claims there isn’t enough retail and office space in Uptown now, so Uptown 2.0 is to provide more. […]

Chamber makes themselves immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is proving again they do not represent voters and taxpayers – they represent government. Chris Koos announced on Facebook that he was endorsed by them for reelection.  The Chamber website doesn’t say anything about the current election endorsements. Just in the last few months Koos threw […]

Normal’s follies

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill’s and Payroll for Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2581 I don’t know what arrangement Normal made to get Home Depot to build here, but this is the perfect example of why Sales Tax receipts are declining: Menards isn’t getting rebates, so they are at an unfair advantage.  It’s called crony capitalism, picking winners and […]

Another Pantagraph reject letter

By:  Diane Benjamin This time the writer didn’t get a response from the Pantagraph after submitting this letter, it was just never printed. The writer sent it BEFORE the primary, and since it still applies there was no reason it wasn’t printed, except it doesn’t reflect the views of the paper.  The name has been […]

Normal: What the media is missing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media can’t read or they have a short attention span and can’t make it through the 7 page Attorney General letter declaring Normal’s Public Comment Policy illegal. It is MUCH more than the 45 day rule.  That one was a no brainer! See the changes Normal is planning to make […]

Wrong Track? Obviously

By:  Diane Benjamin Unemployment numbers for January 2017 are now available on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Current_Monthly_Unemployment_Rates.aspx Unemployment is on the way up in Bloomington-Normal.  The first column is Jan-17 – then Dec-16 the Jan-16. Of course the closing of Mitsubishi has hurt the local economy, but local governments still hasn’t figured […]

Koos, Media – you can quit pretending now

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Normal Mayor Chris Koos has been pretending with the help of media that changing the Town’s Public Comment Policy is his idea. It wasn’t! Today the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion that slaps him around on numerous counts. (Did the AG suddenly start doing their job?  Maybe!) Craig Stimpert […]

Where are Dan Brady and Keith Sommer?

By:  Diane Benjamin Every ONCE in awhile Springfield does something right.  Bill HR3626 is on its seconding reading (it take 3 before a vote) to clarify the text of the Open Meetings Act.  Illinois law is always written vague, seemingly on purpose. HR3626 states that citizens can not be limited to speaking (Public Comment) only […]

2 emails to government you need to see

By:  Diane Benjamin Local CPA Carl Woodward injects himself occasionally in local government when he sees something everyone is missing.  You should know he supported and funded Tari Renner 4 years ago, he no longer supports him.  (I tried to talk sense to him, he didn’t listen) Within the past week or two he has […]

Send a local message to Springfield:

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal spent $100,000,000+ on Uptown and they aren’t done spending money.  See this story:  http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/illinois/small-town-downtowns-il/ 9 Small Towns In Illinois Where Downtown Is The Place To Be Normal isn’t on the list and it isn’t a downtown destination, unless you like the taxpayer-funded free events.  These 9 cities used existing buildings.  Quaint […]

Rivian-What they got from Illinois

By:  Diane Benjamin I sent a FOIA request to the State of Illinois on February 6th for information on the Rivian incentives.  I finally received it today. Rivian received NO money up front, the story is not going to be repeated in Illinois that happened in other states. The entire deal is based on the […]

Normal’s Debt and Public Comment Policy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard that one guy running for re-election on the Normal Town Council is telling people as he campaigns door to door the debt isn’t a problem.  I believe he is actually calling other candidates liars for questioning the debt. Hit play on the video below from last Monday’s meeting.  The speaker […]

Metro Zone – Normal is devastated

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back – this time without Koos’ challenger on the opening screen.  Coincidence?   By:  Diane Benjamin Just hit play below to hear the Metro Zone discussion by the Normal Town Council last night.  Bloomington’s Mayor Tari Renner was there, […]

The local Fascists

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back, maybe Koos didn’t like Marc Tiritilli on the opening screen! By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council met last night to approve the budget and talk about Metro Zone. The ruling proletariat is feeling the election heat.  They […]

Remember Melanie Spellmeyer, ISU, and Central Catholic?

By:  Diane Benjamin When the Central Catholic girls were playing basketball at Red Bird Arena for the State Championship, an ISU employee violated their fans free speech rights.  She told them they were not allowed to wear anything related to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In case you missed the story, see it here:  […]

Miscellaneous!

By:  Diane Benjamin 1) State Farm is expanding again – in Atlanta.  They are building an office for up to 10,000 employees:  http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/watch-crews-implode-dunwoody-office-building/iZnPJmTxmPswgoj4gJwEeL/ 2) Cities 92.9 is holding a Bloomington mayoral debate next Wednesday.  They showed total disregard for church activities that normally happen on Wednesday evenings, but worse – Wednesday evening services during the […]

Renner’s Big Mouth

By:  Diane Benjamin Is the Metro Zone fight between Bloomington and Normal REAL, or a campaign stunt? I’m leaning toward real. Side Note: Normal’s budget for 2016-2017 was more than $120 MILLION.  The estimated $1.2 million Normal would lose from Metro Zone represents 1% of their total budget.  The Normal Town Council had no problem […]

Like empty buses?

By:  Diane Benjamin I really hope you enjoy seeing huge empty or almost empty buses running all over Bloomington-Normal because you are paying for them! The January finances are on online:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/February%2028,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf Income in January was a whooping $110, 632. Expenses were $1,052,685. Anybody see a problem? Anybody see the same problem connect Transit has […]

Koos needs term limits!

By:  Diane Benjamin Charlie Schlenker did a great job moderating the forum last night between Chris Koos and Marc Tiritilli.  Listen to the one hour broadcast HERE Both the Pantagraph and WGLT coverage called Tiritilli a District 87 teacher.  Both failed to mention he teaches PHYSICS.  Marc obviously needs exceptional intelligence for that job and […]

What is the local media thinking?

By:  Diane Benjamin A fake Twitter account was created only to defeat Ian Bayne.  Twitter is a sewer where people hide behind fake names they think nobody can trace back to them.  Twitter allows almost anything, so these local leftists are allowed to spew as much hate and false information as they want. What should […]

Normal: Debate TONIGHT

By:  Diane Benjamin There is an easy fix for the relationship now spinning out of control between Bloomington and Normal: Dump Both Mayors Tari Renner and Chris Koos will never have enough of your money to achieve their versions of Utopia.  Bloomington stole Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kroger’s from Normal by handing taxpayer money to […]

UPDATE: What’s the penalty for HATE speech?

No one at ISU has responded to my requests for a comment.  They are hoping this blows over if they pretend nothing happened. By:  Diane Benjamin Saturday – Redbird Arena, Illinois State University – Central Catholic High School girls basketball team is playing for the State Championship. Many Central kids arrived at the game wearing […]

Why have Metro-Zone talks been in secret?

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens have a right to know what their government is doing.  Obviously both local governments don’t think you have that right – just look at the North Main Property the City of Bloomington has $1.4 million tied up in.  The City purchased the land a year ago without ever saying why. Now […]

Normal’s Lavish Lunacy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to some residents of Normal who don’t understand Normal’s desire for an underpass at the Amtrak station.  WJBC has a nice picture of where they want to put it – between the Amtrak station and the Children’s Discovery Museum.  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/02/06/normal-taking-next-step-toward-possible-uptown-pedestrian-underpass/ Last October Normal spent another $1.4 million to “study” the […]

Victory! ISU’s Public Comment Policy

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois State University’s Public Comment policy used to be even worse than the Town of Normal.  Not any more! See the new policy here:  http://illinoisstate.edu/trustees/comment.php The policy is: Sign up before the meeting Public Comment lasts up to 30 minutes Speakers get 5 minutes There is no 45 day rule before you […]

County Drug Deaths

By:  Diane Benjamin Chalk this story up to I just wanted to know the facts. I sent a FOIA to the County for the number of drug deaths and type of drug used for 2016 and so far this year.  I received the information today: All I can add is:   If you use one […]

Normal issues a GAG order

By:  Diane Benjamin Last December I wrote about Normal”s Public Comment policy:  https://blnnews.com/2016/12/06/normals-illegal-public-comment-policy/ At least two citizens of Normal filed Requests for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office asking her to rule on their policy.  I asked one of them if I could print both what the Town of Normal claimed and his response.  […]

Normal: Less than 18 years ago

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos has been mayor of Normal since 2003.  Voters claim to want term limits – isn’t 14 years enough time to enact one? More reasons exist to dump Koos though.  At the end of FY 2016, the Town was $99,974,191 in debt!  Almost $100 MILLION!  The population reported to the State […]

Normal: Saturday is the day!

Normal resident Craig Stimpert is hosting an Open House so you can meet Marc Tiritilli: February 18th from 10 – 11:30 5 Crestwood Court – between School and Fell Streets, near Calvary Baptist Church Come and meet Marc, ask questions, leave whenever you want.  Marc is an exceptional candidate you NEED to meet! If you […]

Sports Complex? Got more jokes?

By:  Diane Benjamin Anonymous Editorial writer today thinks a soccer/sports public-private partnership is worth pursuing.   That means the “private” gets to use it while the “public” gets stuck with the bills! Take a journey back in time:                           Preview I went to […]

#ResistNormal via New York

By:  Diane Benjamin Local protesters are claiming their protests are local.  The ORIGINAL #ResistNormal Meetup group tells a different story. Meetup is a website anybody can use to organize groups.  This was the post that started this “local” group: Rep. Rodney Davis is correct.  This group now has local members, but it was started from […]

What Normal is paying tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills for approval tonight:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2509 This is for the Big Group going to DC to beg for money: The media gets paid: Bikes: Normal paid Connect $32 for their employee’s rides + this subsidy: Video for Uptown, events?  I have no idea, but it’s a frequent expense. Elections matter – this expense […]

Update: What the “welcome” sign means

This sign is at U-High.  Normal Community also has one.  Evidently being here legally isn’t a requirement. ____________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin This is the sign Not In Our Town supporters are putting around town: It means one thing to the people upset that Hillary Clinton lost the election and something totally different to everybody else. […]

Fly on the Wall: Marriott

The parent company of the Marriott in Uptown Normal filed for bankruptcy last June.  See the bankruptcy story HERE Now the local hotel is failing to honor “commitments” made citing their pending bankruptcy. Trouble? Trouble for the Uptown TIF? Anybody asking? . . .  

Ethics Law everybody ignores

By:  Diane Benjamin From Attorney Tyson Manker:  http://tysonmanker.com/ America is the greatest nation on Earth. Thanks to the Constitution and its enduring principles, We the People enjoy freedoms unknown in many parts of the world. However, right now in America there is a serious lack of honest leadership in Government at all levels. Both nationally and locally, […]

Vote early? Why you shouldn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin If you attended the last mayoral debate at the Doubletree, you know the large room was packed.  Unfortunately, the League of Women Voters and WGLT are holding another debate in Uptown.  Yes, it makes perfect sense to hold a Bloomington mayoral debate in Normal!  (Sure) It’s being held at the ISU Galleries.  […]

WGLT: Your local tax dollars

By:  Diane Benjamin UPDATE to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/01/23/redistributing-your-wealth/ Since WGLT is National Public Radio, your federal tax dollars already fund them.  They aren’t allowed to sell advertising, all they can do is “underwritten by” non-specific ads. That doesn’t keep your local tax dollars from ending up in their pocket though.  I received this information under […]

Pravdagraph writes fiction?

Note: The original version stated Doug Fansler is running for Normal Town Council, he isn’t. By: Diane Benjamin The new name for the local newspaper was coined by a resident of Normal with experience in the FAKE NEWS they report.  Since other media outlets get their news from the paper, it’s easy in Bloomington-Normal to […]

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