Building LEED: Children’s Discovery Museum

By: Diane Benjamin’ Illinois ranks third, behind Washington DC and Massachusetts, in the LEED certified number of square feet per capita. Many of those LEED buildings are in Normal. The new Uptown buildings have it written on the doors, Normal requires LEED construction whenever they can. The Children’s Discovery Museum is one of those […]

Normal tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Remember this story: Plumber and Pipefitters Local 99 wrote a letter to Chris Koos upset a water main project was awarded to an out of town contractor – SNC Construction. Tonight this company is being awarded another contract totaling $610,764.92. The disgusting water is getting fixed: The Water Department’s FY2020-21 […]

Normal Part 2

By: Diane Benjamin Part 1: Remember pre-Stan when meetings lasted about 10 minutes? Last night was close to 3 1/2 hours mostly because items were included that didn’t need to be. The Council heard a report from Beth Whisman concerning how Cultural Arts is surviving COVID. All the the part time staff, around 40 […]

Normal – 10/5/2020

By: Diane Benjamin Who gets to explain at this meeting why payments can’t be discussed? So far Kevin McCarthy and Kathleen Lorenz have proclaimed they are all in the budget. Place your bets now on who the baton gets passed to for this meeting! Below are a few choice examples nobody can ask about. […]

Normal “No Bills” Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike Bloomington, that now has a financial report to the Council every month, Normal issues a report once a year in September.  They call it a Financial Trends Report.  Do citizens have to wait until September to find out just how bad Revenue is now? The turndown isn’t stopping them from spending […]

Normal: Koos steps in it again

By:  Diane Benjamin The only Public Comment last night was from Doug Fansler.  See 6:20.  He wondered who invited the climate activist to speak at the last meeting.  He had emailed the Council and City Manager but was not satisfied with the scant answers.  Doug agreed we need a warming and a cooling plan but […]

Normal: Subsidizing Culture

By:  Diane Benjamin The charts below are from the current Town of Normal budget unless otherwise stated: PDF page 64 – Revenue projections for Children’s Discovery Museum and the Normal Theater PDF page 121 – CDM Expense projections PDF page 123 – Theater Expensive projections Projected Revenue: Children’s Discovery Museum   $1,003,050 Normal Theater   $259,700 […]

Oops: More on Normal for Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin The Children’s Discovery Museum has a new Wind exhibit.  Just like real wind turbines, it was subsidized with tax dollars.  They got a grant from the bankrupt State of Illinois – Department of Natural Resources. The grant didn’t cover the entire expense however.  The problem is somebody forgot to get Council approval […]

Normal feeds themselves and more

By:  Diane Benjamin See the entire response to my FOIA  HERE I filed a FOIA request for some items identified in this story: The Koos accident report was part of the FOIA: Page 25 says Mayor’s insurance pending – it wasn’t his fault, so why is his insurance pending? Also FOIA’d was: If Normal […]

Two quick stories

By:  Diane Benjamin I hear the Children’s Discovery Museum has taken down the “Hello From Japan” exhibit with Chinese writing instead of Japanese.  See this story if you missed it the first time: The next story will gross out some of you and others will say “What’s the big deal?”.  Let me know your […]

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 […]