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What can I do…. November 17, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.

…to make this blog better?

Change the template?  Make it easier to comment? Moreauthors/posters?

Please enlighten me to make this blog a better experience.  Your feedback is extremely important!


Open Thread November 15, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
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You talk about something today…

Green-Day November 14, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
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Is this the beginning of something meaningful, or just an oasis of change?

Read this article to find out what I’m talking about…

The recent election was a strong performance for the Green party on a State and Local level.  The Green candidate for Governor, Rich Whitney, garnered significant support in his bid this November, and local candidates Futrelle and Yfantis were able to grab over 20% of the votes in their respective county board races.

I find this to be very interesting.  I’m not sure if this is a long term trend or just a temporary displeasure with the two major parties.  Personally, I think the Green party is very promising.  I just don’t know if enough other people feel the same way.

Another interesting topic in the article was instant runoff voting.  I’m not sure I get the whole gist of it from the article, but it sounds like an interesting option.  I think primaries are a joke anyway.

Hopefully the Green party continues to make improved showings, because until the two major parties start losing votes, they’ll never change.

Oh, by the way, here was my favorite quote from the article:

The Republican leadership is being “held accountable for some of its failed policies in Iraq,” while Democrats are not proving an alternative to corporate sponsorship of politics, he said.  (quoting Futrelle)

That is a dead money quote.  It couldn’t be more accurate in my opinion.

What do you think of the Green party?  They’re staying power?

Monday Night Football November 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.

Does MNF even interest anybody these days?

I don’t think so.  I’m not sure if the ratings agree with me, but I think they might.

The network doesn’t matter, the broadcast team doesn’t matter, and I’m beginning to wonder if the teams playing the game even matter.

They switched things from ABC to ESPN this year, and I can honestly say I haven’t watched a complete MNF game so far this season.  Most of the games have sucked, but hopefully with the flex schedule coming up, they’ll get better.

Here are my possible reasons for the lack of interest:

  • The start time is too late – an 8PM start time in the midwest is way too late for a 3 hour football game.  This is obviously geared towards the eastern time zones, and that is a shame.
  • Football overload – Yes, I believe there is so much emphasis on College Football Saturday and NFL Sunday that Monday people want a break from football.
  • ESPN – Why stay up past your bedtime for a usually non-interesting, non-meaningful game when you can watch the 1 minute worth of highlights the next morning?

Why do you think MNF is such a non-factor these days?

MLB Hot Stove: Edition #1 November 13, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.

Well, the Cubbies resigned Aramis Ramirez to a 5-yr deal worth $73 million and they also resigned Kerry Wood to a 1 year deal worth $1.75 million with bonuses that could make it worth $6 million.

Here’s the full article. 

Personally, I think Ramirez is one of the least clutch players in the NL.  He’s the A-Rod of the national league in my eyes.  He hits all sorts of home runs when it doesn’t matter, but strikes out when it does matter.  That said, the guy is a good player and I wouldn’t mind having him on my team.   Another thing that bothers me is that he can get real lazy at times.  I’m sure Pinella will like that.

Wood mystifies me.  I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t give him more of a base salary.  They’ve had Kerry Wood fever for so many years now, I’m surprised they didn’t pony up more money.  Even though I don’t like this signing, I think they should trade him while he’s got some value left, it might work out IF he stays healthy and IF he actually pitches out of the bullpen.  Good relievers are consistent and Kerry Wood is anything but that, so we’ll see how well he pans out in the bullpen.

Let me know what you think about these signings….

2006-2007 NFL – Week 10 November 12, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Uncategorized.

I’m a little late picking, so I’ll do the late games only.

Week 10 games I’m picking:

Dallas at Arizona
St. Louis at Seattle
New Orleans at Pittsburgh
Chicago at NY Giants

Tampa Bay at Carolina

My Picks:

Dallas, St. Louis, New Orleans, NY Giants, and Carolina

I think the Bears have been struggling (should be 1-2 in their last 3 games) and NY is playing with some added motivation.  Also, we’ll find out a lot about the Bears over the next month or so.  They play the Giants, Jets, Patriots, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay in their next 6 games.  The only two teams they’ve played so far with MORE than 3 wins are Seattle (5-3) and Minnesota (4-4).  Minnesota fumbled with a lead late, giving the Bears a W on opening weekend, and Seattle was without the reigning league MVP in Shaun Alexander.

I was a believer in the Bears for one week, and now I’m back to my previous stance….they look good in a weak NFC, but wouldn’t stand a chance against a really good team from the AFC.  Couple that with the fact that Berrian (their only deep threat) is questionable and Grossman has thrown 7 INTs his last 3 games, they’re not looking real hot.  If they go 3-3 or better over the next 6 weeks, including today, then maybe I’ll believe.

2006-2007 College Football – Week 11 November 9, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.

Week 11 looks to be a very good weekend for college football.  The most interesting game could be the one played tonight.  That game features #3 Louisville at #15 Rutgers.

Here are the games I’m picking:

#3 Louisville at #15 Rutgers
#16 Wisconsin at Iowa
Purdue at Illinois
#1 Ohio State at Northwestern
#2 Michigan at Indiana
South Carolina at #6 Florida
#8 California at Arizona
Miami (FL) at #23 Maryland
Nebraska at #24 Texas A&M
#9 Notre Dame at Air Force
#13 Tennessee at #11 Arkansas
Texas Tech at #17 Oklahoma
Alabama at #12 LSU
#4 Texas at Kansas State
#18 Wake Forest at Florida State
#21 Oregon at #7 USC

My Picks:

Rutgers, Wisconsin, Illinois, OSU, Michigan, Florida, California, Miami (FL), Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, Florida State, and USC.

Upset Alert: Louisville – Rutgers is playing excellent bal, and I think they get it done at home.

Post-Election Thoughts… November 9, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
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I’m a little late with this one, but oh well. Overall, I’m not really shocked by election night.

Basically the people I expected won. The only “surprises” were Frerichs winning in the 52nd and Beckett and Wysocki POUNDING Farney and the rest of the competition in County Board District 9.

On the state level, the Greens had an excellent showing. I’m not sure if that is because of their positions or the disappointment in the 2 major parties. My guess is the later.

I’m disappointed that no Greens could grab a spot on the County Board. The few Green party folks I’ve met are extremely nice, and would infuse a new, different, and fresh perspective to the County Board.

Nationally, the war in Iraq is obviously taking its toll on the Republican party. I didn’t think it was going to hurt republicans that bad, but I think it clearly did.  As this story indicates, Dems now control the house and senate.
Please feel free to post your thoughts.

Election Day: Predictions November 7, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Today is Election Day, so get out there and “rock the vote”!

Seriously, make your vote count and get to the polls sometime today.  The polls are open from 6AM to 7PM.   Go to the Champaign County Clerk website to check your voter registration status and locate your polling place.

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that each week I do the football pick ’ems.

Today, just call this my E-Day pick ’ems.  And my predictions are….

Governor:  Rod Blagojevich – Democrat
Attorney General: Lisa Madigan – Democrat
Secretary of State: Jesse White – Democrat

Comptroller: Dan Hynes – Democrat

Treasurer: Alexander Giannoulias – Democrat
Rep. in Congress – 15th District: Tim Johnson – Republican
52nd Legislative District: Judy Myers – Republican (Frerichs wins Champaign County, but not by enough)

55th Legislative District: Dale Righter – Republican (uncontested)

Rep. 103rd District: Naomi Jakobsson – Democrat
Rep. 104th District: Bill Black – Republican (uncontested)

Rep. 105th District: Shane Cultra – Republican (uncontested)

Rep. 110th District: Chapin Rose Republican (uncontested)

County Clerk: Mark Shelden – Republican

County Sheriff: Dan Walsh – Republican (uncontested)

County Treasurer: Dan Welch – Republican (uncontested)

County Board District 1: Chris Doenitz – Republican

County Board District 2: Stan James, Kevin Hunt – Republicans (uncontested)

County Board District 3: Brad Jones, Jonathan Schroeder – Republicans

County Board District 4: Steve Moser, Greg Knott – Republican

County Board District 5: Lorraine Cowart – Democrat

County Board District 6: Tony Fabri, Matthew Gladney – Democrats

County Board District 7: Mark Randall – Republican
County Board District 8: Thomas Betz, Ralph Langenheim – Democrats

County Board District 9: John Farney – Republican, Barb Wysocki – Democrat

Overall, nothing too surprising.  Overall, a not-so-exciting election, if you’re looking for really close races.

Feel free to disagree/agree, or chime in with your predictions on this Election Day…

52nd District Questionnaire: Joe Parnarauskis – Socialist Equality Party November 5, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

For those of you who might not know, Joe Parnarauskis is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) candidate for the 52nd Senate District seat.

Most of you in our area will be voting on this race on Tuesday (November 7th).

First, let me give a BIG thanks to Joe Pa for actually answering the questionnaire that I sent out.

The other two candidates, whom I will not mention in this post, didn’t even give a bother; not even a “sorry, we’re too busy” email.

Anyways, follow this link to see the original questions I sent to all 3 candidates. The questions are also listed below, before the responses.

Below are Mr. Parnarauskis’ answers. Enjoy, some very good reading.

J-dub’s Questionnaire
Joseph Parnarauskis
SEP candidate for state senate in the 52nd district

1. What do you like most about the 52nd District?

“The people. This district is full of honest and sincere working people and students.”

2. Who has inspired you the most personally, professionally?

“There are many people, but one in particular has inspired us during this campaign, and that is Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln practiced law in this area, and was called forward to leadership in the struggle to abolish slavery from the land. Lincoln was also the standard-bearer of a new third party—the Republican Party–that had to break down the old two-party duopoly that had for years propped up slavery.”

3. Give ONE reason why you are a better selection than the other 2 candidates?

“I am the only candidate who stands for the interests of working people.”

4. What do you think is the single most important issue (a.k.a. #1
priority) that needs addressed with relation to our District and/or State?

“Certainly, the biggest single issue facing working people in this area is the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many young men and women have been killed or maimed from this district and state, and billions of Illinois tax dollars have been squandered on it—depriving social services, education, and infrastructure of desperately-needed funds. Fundamental principles of the American republic and democracy are being undermined in the service of the so-called war on terror. On top of this, a recent study from Johns Hopkins found that 655,000 Iraqis have been killed so far in this war, which both the Democrats and Republicans have backed to the hilt.

“I am the only candidate on the ballot who opposes the war and calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US troops from all foreign bases. I think it is entirely legitimate—in fact, it is my duty as a candidate in a public election campaign—to draw attention to the most pressing issues of the day, regardless of the office I am seeking.

“In fact, the eruption of American militarism is bound up with social problems which find their direct expression in the 52nd district, and which are eminently pertinent to a state senator: the attack on democratic rights and the attack on working-class living conditions.

“In 2004 and 2006, as the SEP attempted to get on the ballot in this area, we were met with the full force of the American political establishment. This year, the Democrats spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and deployed dozens of their key personnel in the effort to exclude me from the ballot. We only achieved ballot access after 80 days of legal and administrative hearings, where we fought the Democrats every step of the way.

“Danville, near where I live, has been hit especially hard by the sharp redistribution of wealth to the super-rich. In Danville, unemployment is now 8.4%, only 70% of students graduate high school, and the median household income is declining the fastest out of all of the cities in all of the states in the US. Home prices fell by 18.4% last year, and are expected to fall again this year by an additional 20%.

“I encourage everyone to find out more about the SEP and my platform at our website, http://www.wsws.org.”

5. Abortion – Personally, do you agree/disagree with abortion? Legally, what would be your ideal abortion policy?

“Abortion should be fully legal, with full state financial support in cases of financial need. Abortion is a medical procedure that must be taken out of the hands of the politicians and placed back where it belongs: as a private decision between a woman and her doctor.”

6. Minimum Wage Increase – Would you vote to help raise the minimum wage, or would you like to keep the minimum wage the same as it stands now?

“I call for a sharp increase in the minimum wage, and in Springfield I would fight for the biggest increase possible. The current minimum wage is absurdly low. At the same time, I’m warning workers that the Democratic Party is talking about a miserly increase in the minimum wage only because we’re in an election year. Workers can’t be fooled by these false promises any longer. To defend their interests, workers have to build their own
socialist, international political party that can fight against corporate globalization, which is the ultimate source of the relentless attacks on workers’ living standards in this country and around the world.”

“I encourage everyone to read my statement on the issue here.”

7. Stem Cell Research – Is this a wise venture for the State? Should we be spending state funds to promote such research?

“Stem cell research holds open the possibility of major medical and scientific breakthroughs, and I support its development with state funding. As a registered nurse, I’ve witnessed over the years the important impact scientific research and development has on matters of life and death. Politicians with a religious agenda cannot be allowed to stifle scientific thought.”

8. Alternative Fuels – Do you feel as if we are doing as much as possible with respect to alternative fuels? Either way, please explain your answer.

“We in the Socialist Equality Party support serious scientific research on alternative fuels. But the notion that the replacement of alternative fuels for oil offers a way out of geopolitical conflict and environmental destruction–an idea that the Greens are busy peddling–is bankrupt. The basic issue is this: the commanding heights of the American and world economy must be taken out of the hands of the wealthy elite and placed under
the democratic control of working people. Only in such a way can a rationally-planned and humane economy develop. Again, I encourage your readers to visit our election platform at wwws.wsws.org. We believe we are the only party standing in this election that actually bothered to produce a platform.”

9. Social Security – Do we need to reform the Social Security system? If so, do you agree/disagree with President Bush’s idea to privatize the system? If you disagree with privatization, please briefly explain your solution.

“I oppose privatization of the Social Security system. This is a trick, pure and simple, to allow Wall Street to get its hands on enormous new resources. Privatization would produce a disaster for millions upon millions of working-class Americans. But the Socialist Equality Party doesn’t only defend the current system from attack. We call for a vast expansion of retirement benefits and a lowering of the retirement age. The right to a secure retirement is a basic human right.”

10. Higher Education/Pensions – Do you think we need to increase funding to our schools, most notably at the college/university level? If so, how would propose increasing the funding? Also, how would you remedy the under-funded pension system in our state?

“When they’re not campaigning for election, the Democrats and Republicans claim that there is simply not enough money to do all the things you ask in this question. We reject that position with contempt. There are abundant resources to provide free higher education to all, fund our primary and secondary school system far beyond the current level, and fully fund the state pension system. The immense resources generated by Illinois workers, however, are being squandered to line the pockets of the wealthy elite and to carry out the murderous war in Iraq, which is supported by both major parties. To offer just two examples, Illinois now has 19 billionaires worth a combined $40 billion dollars, and Illinois taxpayers have funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the tune of $20 billion dollars. These are enormous figures, and they put the lie to the claim that there’s just not enough money. In essence with the budgets they pass what the Democrats and Republicans are saying is that Illinois can no longer afford its workers and students. In fact, the opposite is the case: Illinois workers and students can no longer afford the superrich and the two parties they control!”

Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts and comments about Mr. Parnarauskis’ responses to my questions.

Also, be respectful of his replies or your posts will be removed. You can disagree/agree, critique, etc, but keep it intelligent and respectful!!!

Negative Campaign Ads October 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
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Read this article from the AP.
Here are my favorite bits:

So far this campaign, the political parties have exposed voters to nearly $160 million in ads attacking congressional candidates. How much spent painting a positive image? About $17 million.

The message ingrained in such a disparity in numbers: Don’t vote for a candidate; vote against the opponent.

At this point, Republicans have spent $87.5 million to oppose candidates and Democrats have spent $72.6 million. But the edge on negativity, according to independent analyses of the ads, goes to the GOP.

“Negative ads only work in two situations — when you are incredibly desperate or when you’re incredibly close to the end,” said Ray Seidelman, a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College who has studied political advertising and voter turnout.

I’m sure most of you can relate to this story.  Every person I’ve talked to about the 52nd Ads is ill over all the negative talk.  I guess I can’t figure out why campaign managers/staffers don’t get it.  I mean, 99% of people hate the negative ads, so why run them?  Cause your candidate stinks?  You’ve got nothing else to talk about?  Or do they really work?

I’ve got my opinions, for local and national races, what about you?

52nd District Questionnaire October 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Last Sunday, October 22nd, I sent an email to all 3 of the candidates in the 52nd District race. The email contained the following:


I’m a local blogger, and resident/registered voter in the 52nd Senate District. I’ve lived in various parts of the district my entire life. I’m writing this email with hopes that each candidate will respond and I can post the responses to my blog. The responses will displayed as they are given, and I will not modify them in any way. I will comment/critique them as I see fit, but I will not alter the responses. Fellow viewers of my blog may also comment on the posts as well.

Please note that I am not affiliated with any political party (I’ve never voted in a primary), but merely someone who tries to remain as unpartisan as humanly possible.

I must also point out, that I am trying to do this for a multitude of reasons:

1. I’d love to get unfiltered, real, responses from the actual candidates themselves; without any media interference/bias.
2. I’m hoping to put together a valuable series of posts for the few hundred people who visit my blog on a daily basis.
3. I believe my questions are pertinent issues for this election and this would be something that would not expel a large amount of time to complete.

Basically, you are free to do as you wish. The questions I have posed are listed below. Please feel free to elaborate where appropriate.

Also, ANSWER the questions. I do not want a negative campaign ad, as a response. Tell me about yourself, because that is what I am looking for.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have with respect to this email. The responses, if given, will be posted to my blog https://jdub217.wordpress.com

Hopefully, you will find time in your busy campaign schedule to complete this request.

Thank You,


1. What do you like most about the 52nd District?

2. Who has inspired you the most personally, professionally?

3. Give ONE reason why you are a better selection than the other 2 candidates?

4. What do you think is the single most important issue (a.k.a. #1 priority) that needs addressed with relation to our District and/or State?

5. Abortion – Personally, do you agree/disagree with abortion? Legally, what would be your ideal abortion policy?

6. Minimum Wage Increase – Would you vote to help raise the minimum wage, or would you like to keep the minimum wage the same as it stands now?

7. Stem Cell Research – Is this a wise venture for the State? Should we be spending state funds to promote such research?

8. Alternative Fuels – Do you feel as if we are doing as much as possible with respect to alternative fuels? Either way, please explain your answer.

9.Social Security – Do we need to reform the Social Security system? If so, do you agree/disagree with President Bush’s idea to privatize the system? If you disagree with privatization, please briefly explain your solution.

10. Higher Education/Pensions – Do you think we need to increase funding to our schools, most notably at the college/university level? If so, how would propose increasing the funding? Also, how would you remedy the under-funded pension system in our state?

So far, Joe Parnarauskis is the only candidate to respond. He replied, with all his answers, by the 24th. I have not heard a peep from either Judy Myers or Mike Frerichs. Not even an email saying, “Sorry, we’re too busy”. Basically, no acknowledgement that my email even existed. In case you are wondering, I sent the email to their campaign email addresses, which are plastered all over their websites.

This is my last effort to get participation from Myers and Frerichs. If I still receive no response, I’ll still post Parnarauskis’ answers.

For the rest of you non-candidates; Do you think my questions were/are pertinent? What else should I have asked? I probably know one that most of you will bring up, but I’ll wait and see what you have to say first.

Open Thread October 30, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
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You choose a topic today….  🙂

2006-2007 NFL – Week 8 October 29, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Football, Sports.
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Games I’m picking this week:

San Francisco at Chicago
Atlanta at Cincinnati
Seattle at Kansas City
Baltimore at New Orleans
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
St. Louis at San Diego
Indianapolis at Denver
Dallas at Carolina
Monday Night Football

New England at Minnesota

My Picks:

Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Carolina,  and New England

College Basketball: Preseason Rankings October 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.
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Here is a link to the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll:
Our beloved Illini are not in the top 25.   See my previous post about the Illini to get the latest.

On another note, I almost gagged to death when I saw Bruce Pearl on the ESPN College Basketball homepage.  The article was about Pearl’s personality.  If you’d like to read it, go here. 

Post your thoughts about the upcoming college basketball season.

Friday Night Lights – Playoff Edition October 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in H.S. Football, Sports.
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I missed the Friday games, but here are the saturday matchups I’ll pick (local teams 1A-6A):

#13 Carthage (6-3) at #4 Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley) (8-1) – Sat., 2:00
#11 Arcola (7-2) at #6 Mt. Olive (8-1) – Sat., 1:30
#5 Elmwood [E.-Brimfield Coop] (6-3) at #4 Sidell (Jamaica) [Salt Fork Coop] (6-3) – Sat., 1:00 @ Catlin
#5 Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda) (5-4) at #4 Spring Valley (Hall) (7-2) – Sat., 1:00
#5 Monticello (6-3) at #4 Decatur (St. Teresa) (8-1) – Sat., 1:00
#6 Pittsfield [P.-Griggsville-Perry Coop] (6-3) at #3 Tolono (Unity) (8-1) – Sat., 1:30
#12 Mahomet (M.-Seymour) (6-3) at #5 Breese (Mater Dei) (7-2) – Sat., 1:00
#16 Mattoon (5-4) at #1 Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (9-0) – Sat., 1:00 @ Memorial Stadium
#11 Normal (Community West) (6-3) at #6 Oak Forest (7-2) – Sat., 6:00

My picks:

GCMS, Arcola, Salt Fork, PBL, Decatur, Unity, Breese, Springfield, Oak Forest


Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.

The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the World Champions of baseball!!!

2006-2007 College Football – Week 9 October 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Football, Sports.
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Games I’m Picking this week:

#11 Notre Dame at Navy
Illinois at #17 Wisconsin
#19 Oklahoma at #23 Missouri
Georgia at #9 Florida
Miami (FL) at #21 Georgia Tech
#8 Tennessee at South Carolina

My Picks:

Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida, Miami (FL), and South Carolina

Upset Alert #1: Florida – Georgia has an outstanding defense, but they don’t score a lot either so it’s a push. With this game in Gainesville, I’ll still give the edge to the Gators but I wouldn’t count out the Dogs.

Upset Alert #2: Tennessee – Spurrier has owned Tennesse in his career. This game is in SC, and the Gamecocks play outstanding defense. This should be a great game, especially with the way Tennessee lights it up. This game will match strength (SC Defense) vs strength (TN Offense). I’ll take defense in this battle.

Not an exciting week in college football, but a few intriguing games….hence the 2 upset alerts. There are a few games where there are good 2 loss teams (see the Miami/Georgia/SC games) playing ranked 1 or 2 loss teams. The Notre Dame/Navy game is a good game if you’re a die hard/traditional college football fan.

County Board Meeting Tonight October 25, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Sounds like the County Board has called a special meeting tonight.

IP has a post about it, which you can read here. They also link to a News-Gazette article about it.

Basically, if you’ve followed the Champaign County Nursing Home issue, then you’ll probably be interested in what happens.

No matter what happens tonight, I just hope that we can get some closure to this issue, get the NH open, and move on to other important County business.

Also, is anybody else wondering why County Republicans haven’t started using the acronym NHM (a.k.a. Nursing Home Mold)? Dubya, would be proud.

I could see the press conferences and newspaper articles already…”Local republicans have determined that there was additional NHM found on site…”

Sorry, just me trying to be humorous again… 🙂

Tax Breaks Continued… October 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Read this article to get updated…Also, here is my previous post on this topic.

Let me give you a quick rundown. Last month, our County Board voted to not grant an enterprise zone to the Clearview Project out by the I-57/I-74 interchange. This is important because Christie, Carle, as well as other businesses, are looking to build in this area. The tax abatement will last for five years.

The Board changed their tune this month. They decided to grant the tax break this month.

County Democrats called attention to the practices of Christie and Carle. Most notably, the fact that they don’t take uninsured patients, etc.

Maybe the County Dems think it makes sense to not allow the break because you don’t agree with the business practices, but I don’t like that approach. I think it makes sense to not grant the tax break by determining whether or not this is a location worthy of an enterprise zone label. Honestly, that would be the more legal approach in my mind.

So let’s say you take the County Dems approach, and you really, truly care about the health care practices of these two businesses. Why not make a deal? Tell Christie and Carle that you’ll grant the enterprise zone if you hit certain “target” numbers for uninsured, medicaid/medicare patients, etc. If they don’t hit the numbers, they pay the county back…with interest even.

I don’t think that is too difficult, but maybe it would be. Maybe you’d have a hell of time monitoring that, but I wouldn’t think so. If they can monitor it, and point out the shortcomings of the two businesses; surely they could monitor the increase/decrease as well.

My conclusion is this. Obviously the County Dems threw out every possible reason to not grant the zone: they didn’t want to choose sides between Christie,Carle, & Provena, the zone didn’t classify (but the Ethanol plant not far away did), we don’t like the way Christie/Carle do business, etc. And in the end, they didn’t get any sticking points on either of those issues. So what was the point? Did you really mean any of it? I also wonder if all the Union folks, who usually donate lots of $ to Dem campaigns, who showed at the meeting had any kind of influence on the vote? I’m guessing that MIGHT have had a slight effect on just enough Dems.

In the end, the Board got the vote right; it only took two months and two tries.

I just wish everyone would cut the crap and things would get done a lot sooner and smoother.