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Seoul Taco to take over space in Campustown

By the looks of it, there are a couple of new joints that will be taking over the old Wendy's location (608 S. Sixth Street) in Campustown — Seoul Taco and Strange Donuts.

Per STLToday:

Seoul Taco, the Korean-Mexican mashup food truck and restaurant, will open a location in Champaign, Ill.

"We just signed a lease," owner David Choi said on Tuesday. "We're slated to open in January for the next semester" at the University of Illinois.

This will be the second college-town address for Seoul Taco, which opened a joint location with Strange Donuts in Columbia, Mo., in March.

The article goes on to quote Choi saying it's in the "heart of Downtown", but we'll forgive him because, well, tacos.

Top image from Seoul Taco's website.

UPDATE: 4 p.m.

A little misinformation, but apparently this will be JUST Seoul Taco, which is still awesome. Thanks for the tweet back at us, Seoul Taco.


Recycle your electronics for free this Saturday

Have a crazy giant tube TV lying around? Me too. Wouldn't it be nice if you could get rid of it for free in an environmentally conscious way? Saturday is your day, my friend. Thanks to The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, the cities of Champaign, Urbana and Savoy, and the Champaign County Probation Office, you can now do so.

The program will take place at Parkland College from 8 AM-Noon, and a list of all accepted items can be found below.


Computer components:

- Computers, printers, copiers, monitors*, keyboards, speakers, mice, cables, PDAs

- Software, CDROM/floppy disks, UPS, tablet computers

- Computer parts including but not limited to: circuit boards, hard drives, optical drives,

- Networking equipment, hubs, switches, routers, cables, modems, scanners

- Ink cartridges


- Televisions*, VCRs, Radios, stereo equipment, tape recorders, record players,

- Electronic toys, amplifiers, electronic keyboards

- Hand-held gaming devices, game consoles, Walkmans, sewing machines

- Digital cameras, camcorders

Communication Devices and Other Office Electronics:

- Cash registers, typewriters, adding machines, calculators, label makers

- Copiers, duplicators, voice recorders

- Portable power banks and coin counters

- Telephones, PBX systems, answering machines, fax machines,

- CB radios, ham radios, cell phones, pagers, Black Berry/ Palm Units, GPS units,

- Rechargeable batteries, battery chargers and adapters, surge strips

- Video recorders, video monitors, security systems, walkie-talkies


- cables/cords/wire

- power supplies, ribbon cables, RAM

- remote controls, MP3 players, compact disc players, e-readers

- Bluetooth serial port adapter


* TVs or monitors with broken screens, broken glass or that are disassembled are not accepted.

* Microwaves * Electric motors

* Broken glass cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs or

* Thermostats, fire detectors

* Broken glass CRT monitors

* Alkaline batteries, other than installed in equipment

* Disassembled TVs or monitors

* Gas powered equipment or lawn equipment

* Refrigerators, dehumidifiers, air conditioners,

* Vacuum cleaners or Freon-bearing devices

* Desks, office furniture, or lighting

* Stoves, washers, dryers, garbage compactors, dishwashers

* Window fans

* Medical waste or household hazardous waste

* Treadmills, electronic exercise equipment

* Fluorescent lighting, ballasts, or other devices containing PCBs

* Can openers, toaster ovens, coffee makers, digital thermometers, digital        kitchen scales, or other small appliances


Vinyl is coming to the Urbana Free Library

From the press release:

Vinyl is Coming to The Urbana Free Library

Ready to go “old school”? Do you miss the pop and hiss of the record player needle making contact with the records? If so, it’s time to celebrate: Vinyl is making a comeback! Beginning October 30, 2015, you can find new and classic titles on brand new quality vinyl records. The collection will be divided by genres, including: Classical, Blues, Country / Folk / Bluegrass, Hip Hop, Holiday, International, Jazz, Movies & Shows, New Age, Reggae, Religious, Rock & Pop, and Soul / R&B.

Check out the growing collection HERE!

For more information, contact Joel Spencer at jspencer@urbanafree.org or call 217-367-4405


Chester’s BBQ to serve through JT Walker’s Brewery starting Thursday

Chester's BBQ most definitely holds it down as one of the best BBQ vendors around C-U, and now they'll be collaborating with JT Walker's in Mahomet to offer up their BBQ starting this Thursday, though will continue Wednesdays-Sundays on a regular basis.

Here's some information from the press release:

If you haven’t already heard, JT Walker’s Brewery is the place to be in the Mahomet and Champaign Urbana area on Thursday nights! If 13 beers on tap and 75 domestic, craft, foreign and seasonal bottled beers wasn’t already enough of a reason to come out and enjoy some local brews on a Thursday, JT Walker’s Brewery is now announcing their partnership with Chester’s BBQ truck to serve food daily at their popular local brewery.

Chester’s BBQ has become a local favorite in Mahomet. An award winning culinary treat, including Taste of Champaign-Urbana’s “Best Food Truck” in 2014 and “Staff Choice” in 2014, Chester’s BBQ is also proud to be partnering with JT Walker’s brewery and having a place to serve their delicious food on a regular basis.

Starting this Thursday, JT Walker’s brewery will be serving Chester’s BBQ in their kitchen during normal business hours, which are 4-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and Saturdays from 12-10 p.m. This Thursday, October 8th, JT Walker’s Brewery will be celebrating their partnership with Chester’s BBQ with live entertainment and drink and food specials all evening!


Unit 4 Schools celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

October is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and as such, the Champaign Unit 4 School District is celebrating via an impressively comprehensive program. Check out the full schedule below to see what's happening at which school.

Garden Hills

October 5, 6, 7

K-2 Latin American Story Time

October 6 & 8

Parkland men and women's soccer teams will visit to play with the kids at lunch time (11:05-1:05)

October 7

All school assembly  at 9:15 a.m. featuring percussionists, dancers, Capolina, and Garden Hills dancers

Latino family luncheon/social at 11:00 a.m. in the library

October 9

Students from all grades will have the opportunity to visit the Gallery, exhibition with arts and crafts from around Latin America from “La Casa Latina” at the University of Illinois from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

International Prep Academy

October 12-16

Power-point lessons about Hispanic Heritage for each day of the week
Daily activities: make a flag, create a piñata, etc. for each class
Story/craft in Spanish from the CLACS at U of I for each classroom
Bulletin board celebrating IPA teachers from Latin American countries.

The Newcomer class will interview teachers about their Latin American countries

Soccer players from Parkland will play with students at recess

October 15

All students have learned traditional Latin American dances and will perform in the afternoon and during the evening celebration taking place from 5-7 p.m.

PTA will provide traditional Latin American food for students


October 19-23 (Daily)

7:45-7:55 a.m. - WVOW internal television studio presentation

8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Latin American Story Time during students’ library times, Spanish and Portuguese books read by bilingual story-telling visitors

10:30 to 11:15 a.m. - School-wide student soccer games with Parkland soccer team during each classroom lunch recess.

October 23

Students from all grades will have the opportunity to visit the Gallery, exhibition with arts and crafts from around Latin America from “La Casa Latina” at the University of Illinois.

Students and their families gather in the ESL rooms for a traditional lunch. Families meet, get to know each other and mingle with teachers and administrators.

A Schoolwide Celebration will take place from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. This will include a Kickoff Parade with students and families dressed in traditional attire to parade around the school. They will carry flags and pull decorated wagons representing their countries. The parade will be followed by an all-school assembly featuring Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts performance), traditional Latin American Dance (U of I performers), a percussion performance (U of I student group), and an all-school dance demonstration.


Smile Politely seeking Opinion writers

Do you have opinions about Champaign-Urbana? Do you want to articulate them via the written word? If so, insert your Uncle Sam pun of choice here, because we want YOU! 

Applicants must have a grasp on local culture, as all articles must pertain to Champaign-Urbana. Don't worry, you don't have to be a perfect writer - we'll help with that part.

Perks of being an Opinion writer include, but are not limited to:

  • The therapeutic feeling of putting your feelings into writing.
  • A little extra spending money.
  • Valuable writing experience.
  • Sometimes people recognize you at the bar.

If this sounds like something you're interested in (as you damn well should be), fire an email off to info@smilepolitely.com and be sure to include a writing sample. 

EDIT: an earlier version of this post included a misspelling of the word "therapeutic" which was noticed by a man named Jonathan Phillip Sherrill, a human being, living in America, presumably. 


C-U Herb Society 40th Anniversary Celebration Herbal Harvest Potluck on October 7th

The Champaign-Urbana Herb Society will hold its 40th Anniversary Herbal Harvest Potluck on Wednesday, October 7th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center (Building W) at Parkland College.

This coming Wednesday, October 7th, in the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center (Building W) at Parkland College we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Champaign-Urbana Herb Society and our establishment and continuing maintenance of the Meadowbrook herb garden in Urbana. Out wonderful chef and party planner, Jane Myers, will be preparing two Harvest Soups, and our Harvest Soup buffet tables will be filled with our delicious herbal potluck dishes. Since its beginning in 1975 the Meadowbrook herb garden has had thousands of appreciative visitors. Many members have also cooperatively tended the beds learning about herbs and about gardening.

To learn more about the C-U Herb Society or to say hello to the gardeners, join them for a potluck! Please RSVP to cuherbsociety [at] gmail.com with your name and the name(s) of your guest(s).

Please visit the Facebook event page for more details.

Contact: Satomi Wakita (C-U Herb Society Publicity)

cuherbsociety [at] gmail.com


Tonight on SP Radio: Oktoberfest 2015

Join us tonight on Smile Politely Radio as we chat with some of Oktoberfest's organizers about the second year of the festival, the proceeds of which benefit DSC. Beer, brats, and polkaholism are sure to be topics of conversation. 

Smile Politely Radio airs each Friday at 5:30 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 FM in Champaign and is available as a podcast the following week. You can find our past episodes here.


Seven Saints hosting cocktail hour with North Shore Distillery

Seven Saints will host Cocktail Hour Retrospective with North Shore Distillery at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 8th. 

Join us with North Shore Distillery's Ambassador, Sarah Macfarquhar, for a guided cocktail tasting showcasing North Shore's limited edition spirits from years past, as well as amazing vodkas and award-winning gins available year-round. Hors d'oeuvres willl be served. RSVP to reserve your seat. Tasting purchased at event.

You can RSVP by calling 217-351-7775.

Photo from Facebook


City of Champaign videos earn national awards

From the press release:

City of Champaign Videos Earn National Awards

The City of Champaign recently received two national awards in the Government Programming Awards competition hosted by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). Multimedia Producer Janet Ahern accepted the awards on the City’s behalf during NATOA’s annual conference in September 2015.

The City-produced video Champaign Connection took First Place in the Interview/Talk Show category. The show is produced by City staff in order to educate residents about City services and functions. This is Champaign Connection’s third national honor since it debuted in 2008.

Another City-produced video, MobileMeter: Pay for Parking by Cell Phone, earned an Honorable Mention in the Public Education category. This video shows viewers how to use the new MobileMeter phone app to pay for parking meters in Champaign.

Both videos play regularly on Champaign Government Television (Comcast channel 5, U- verse channel 99) and are available for on-demand viewing at ci.champaign.il.us/CGTV.