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The Land Connection announces Indiegogo campaign for Champaign Farmers’ Market

For those of you who enjoy The Land Connection's Downtown Champaign farmers market in the summer, here is your opportunity to give back. They have just launched an Indiegogo campaign to offer more family friend convening and learning spaces at the market this year.

For more info, including how to donate, check out the press release below:

In preparation for the May 16 kickoff of the Champaign Farmers’ Market, The Land Connection has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds and offer more family-oriented community convening and learning spaces at the Market.

As the Champaign Farmers’ Market enters its critical third season, The Land Connection and local farmers will continue to increase access to fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in a part of town that has very few options for buying groceries. The Champaign Farmers’ Market makes local food more accessible to Downtown Champaign and the surrounding neighborhoods and more affordable for struggling families, through the SNAP doubling program. The Market also provides more sales opportunities for local farmers, which in turn boosts the local economy.

The crowdfunding campaign is designed to meet four pressing needs:

  1. Bring fresh, nutritious, locally grown food to downtown Champaign and make it more accessible to the whole community,
  2. Help consumers learn about the nutritional value of locally-sourced foods, and how to store and prepare these products,
  3. Improve the economic viability of small and mid-sized farms in Illinois, and
  4. Provide a space in downtown Champaign that is not only dedicated to providing local food, but also a fun and safe place for families, farmers, and the community to gather. 

The fundraiser will help The Land Connection purchase supplies and equipment, make sure the Champaign-Urbana community knows about the market and our programs, and have trained staff available to serve our vendors and market patrons. Through these purchases, The Land Connection will continue their work creating a space in the heart of downtown Champaign on Tuesday afternoons that welcomes our community and promotes health, happiness, and well-being.

The campaign runs until April 21. Donations can be made via Generosity by Indiegogo at: 

https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/grow-the-champaign-farmers-market

About The Land Connection:

The Land Connection is a nonprofit that trains farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques; informs the public about the sources of our food and why that matters; and works to protect and enhance farmland so that we, and generations to come, will have clean air and water, fertile soil, and healthy, delicious food.

Contact:

Sarah Simeziane (Farmers’ Market Manager, The Land Connection)
sarah@thelandconnection.org
217-840-2128
206 North Randolph Street, Suite 400
Champaign, IL 61820

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Local March for Science scheduled for April 22nd

This year's Earth Day takes on new meaning as scientists in Washington D.C. and across the US take their concern for recent policy changes to the streets for the March for Science. The March for Science Champaign-Urbana is an official sister march, and will take place April 22nd from 5-7 p.m. at the Orpheum Children's Science Museum. The C-U march takes a unique approach by involving youth in our community. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to bring signs with messages about why they love science and why science is important to their future. Students will march on a sidewalk-route through downtown Champaign and will return to the Orpheum.

After the Youth March, four local scientists and science-advocates will give short speeches about how science has impacted their lives. There will be a focus on the intersectionality of social justice issues and science issues.

From the press release:

We promote science-based policies that benefit the Champaign-Urbana community and the greater public beyond. Science benefits everyone when we include the diverse voices of people from many backgrounds. We invite our neighbors of all professions and backgrounds to join this march. Together, we can improve our communities. Together, we will show our elected officials that science matters. Together, we will demand policies that protect our communities.

Visit the March for Science: Champaign-Urbana website to find out how to participate, donate, or volunteer.

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Rapper Reuben X releases new single and video

Former C-U resident and hip-hop artist Reuben X has released a new single and video. Entitled “BIG DREAM$,” the song’s title establishes the artist’s larger than life personality off the bat, and its accompanying video drives that point home. As a Chicago transplant, the title of Reuben’s track says it all about the young artist’s intention to take his music to the city and go full-tilt. Reuben is planning a tour that will find him in C-U this summer, and intends to release an album in the near future.

Part of Reuben’s confidence and drive came from his frequent visits to Mike Ingram’s Open Mic sessions, which were then held at Cowboy Monkey. C-U’s longest running open mic encourages local musicians to grow their talent, many of whom are then willing to take the next step in their career.

Stream Reuben’s video below, and catch the Open Mic at its new location inside Canopy Club every Monday at 8 p.m.

 

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Urbana Park District offering community garden plots for spring

In honor of the warmer temperatures and the incoming growing season, Urbana Park District are now offering plots in their community gardens, if you don't have access to one.

For a full list of offerings, check out what UPD has to say about their program below:

No room to plant a garden? Rent a plot for the season in Meadowbrook Park. Urbana Park District provides the space, the wheelbarrows and water and you provide the tools, seeds and hard work.

Rent an Organic Garden Plot: Community Gardening in Meadowbrook Park

GrowingSeason: March 5, 2017 - Nov 5, 2017

Age18andUp

Plant and grow your garden at the oldest local organic community gardens! Since 1975, the Meadowbrook Organic Garden program has supported healthy bodies and a healthy community.

We provide space, water, hoses and wheelbarrows. You supply tools, plants, labor,and optional fencing. A garden supervisor can assist with questions or concerns. Garden plots are rented in “as-is” condition, and participation  is at your own risk. For more information, call 217-384-4062 or read the garden manual at www.urbanaparks.org/meadowbrook-park/.

To Register for a Garden Plot:

  1. Register by calling 217-367-1544 or completing the registration form on page 61. Online registration is not available.
  2. In addition to the plot rental fee, gardeners pay a $30 deposit. The deposit is returned at the end of the growing season if  the gardener abides by the Urbana Park District’s published guidelines. Returning gardeners in good standing earn a discounted deposit.
  3. New gardeners must attend a Garden Meeting at the Anita Purves Nature Center or Meadowbrook Park, where garden plot selection will take place. You must register and pay for the garden at least two days prior to attending a meeting.

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Rodney Davis is still MIA

Rodney Davis has steadfastly refused to hold an in person town hall with his constituents from IL District 13. His constituents even set up a town hall and paid for it, asking only that he attend during his time in district. He refused. Instead he held a "tele-town hall" without any notice and seemed to randomly contact people to "attend" with only pre-screened questions. Without listening to the concerns of the people who voted him into office, he has stated his support for the Republican plan to replace and weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) whose 7th anniversary happens on March 23rd. Under the ACA, his district's uninsured rate has gone from 9.9% to 4.6%. He apparently views this as a negative because he spoke on the house floor about the importance of repeal and replace and posted his speech on his website.

The new Republican plan would potentially cause the loss of insurance for the 14,300 people in his own district who purchase insurance on the Marketplace. The new plan before Congress allows insurers to charge older policyholders 5 times as much for insurance as younger people (under Obama's plan it was 3 times as much) and with much lower subsidies from the government to help people afford it. 12,100 people in Davis' district received subsidies to afford insurance on the Marketplace. That is in serious jeopardy of being greatly reduced with the Republicans' plan. It would be basically a tax cut for the wealthy and a tax increase for the rest of us.

NBC News reports that it is likely that even those 50% of Americans who get our health insurance from our employers could be negatively impacted with this new plan because it is likely fewer employers will offer insurance. The bill being considered also plans to stop paying for services that Planned Parenthood provides to Medicaid recipients — things like birth control, mammograms, pap smears and prenatal care. AARP, nearly all insurers and the American Medical Association have all come out against this Republican bill. This bill would be terrible for our district, our state and our country but Rodney Davis has apparently made up his mind in support of the bill despite the negative ramifications it would have on his constituents and has refused to listen to our concerns.

Perhaps when you have free healthcare for life as a U.S. Representative you don't feel the need to worry about the negative impacts on the people who voted you into office. Please call Rep. Davis' office to let him know your opposition to this bill at 217-403-4690.

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Jay Bennett’s original Pieholden Suite Sound is getting demolished (UPDATED)

UPDATED: 8:53 pm:

Huge apologies to Matt DeWine, as this article was originally published incorrectly. The new Pieholden is still in operation, while the former studio is what is being demolished:

Matt DeWine, a sound engineer who worked with Bennett after Bennett left Wilco, has continued to operate Pieholden Suite Sound along with studio manager Josh Dumas.

The studio — described in a 2013 Chicago Reader story as a "recording playground" and a shrine to Bennett who collected vintage guitars —  moved out this past fall.

Here's the original content below. Deepest apologies for the misinformation. (PS)

———

While this isn't directly happening here in Champaign-Urbana, this feels like something worth posting: Jay Bennett's Pieholden studio in the Ukranian Village in Chicago is getting demolished. Per DNA Info Chicago, the studio and property will be wiped away to make room for condos. So it goes nowadays, sadly.

The ex-Wilco member Bennett has many ties to Urbana — the place where he died. Annie Weisner outlines it well in her review of his record, Kicking the Perfumed Air:

On May 24, 2009, musician, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett was found dead in his Urbana apartment from an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. Bennett had first come to CU as a student of secondary education, mathematics and political studies. He played in several local bands before joining the power pop group Titanic Love Affair, and after TLA's breakup Bennett eventually left Champaign to join Chicago-based band Wilco in 1994. Bennett had returned to Champaign-Urbana in 2007, and his friends said he seemed to be entering a calmer phase of life-working toward an online masters degree at UIUC, enjoying the relaxation of Urbana, and recording in Pieholden Suite Sound, the studio Bennett and manager Matt DeWine built from the ground up.

You should read Joel Gillespie's piece on the studio to get a look inside what it was like. RIP.

Photo from Undertow.

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C-U ex-pat Jonathan Childers featured in Rolling Stone

The annual South By Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival took place over the last two weeks in Austin, TX, where literally hundreds of bands perform in what is one of the biggest shitshows the music industry has to offer. That said, it is a fun time, though it depends on who you are.

Anyway, Jonathan Childers used to live here in Champaign-Urbana, contributing at SP at certain points (oh, that Jimmy John's thing), before his band The Leadership moved to Nashville in 2011. Their album Frontiers was one of the best albums over the course of the last half decade, and he performs in a band called Blank Range nowadays. 

Blank Range played some shows at SXSW and Rolling Stone took the opportunity to talk about the band, Childers, and the Nashville sound.

Here's an excerpt:

But it was Blank Range, a Nashville country-rock outfit featuring amped-up guitars with occasional steel-guitar atmospherics, plus the sort of precise vocal harmonies rarely heard in guitar-rock nowadays, that demolished the Yeti stage. Singer Jonathan Childers also earned sartorial extra credit by rocking a thrift-store cowboy look with a white-suit-and-hat ensemble that made him appear as if he just escaped from a high-school prom.

"I bought a pair of jeans off a guy at a show in Flagstaff, Arizona," Childers said after the set. "They were acid-washed, I wanted 'em and the guy said $10. But I gave him 20 since he was taking them off."

Pretty cool to see what Childers is doing and to have him and the band featured is great. Read the whole article, and in addition, listen to his band here.

Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns.

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Urbana’s next First Fridays taking place on April 7th

The collaboration between the City of Urbana and Imbibe Urbana pushes on this spring, as they host their April edition of First Fridays, taking place on April 7th.

April's version will feature two-days of a Revelry Market, featuring local businesses, and a Main Street Carnival on Friday evening.

For more information, check out what the City of Urbana has to say below:

 

 

APRIL 7, 5-9PM: REVELRY MARKET DAY 1 at the Cohen Building, 136 West Main Street

  • Art of Living at UIUC (Energy Boost Booth!)
  • Cara's Garden (Home goods)
  • Casey Lowry (Paintings)
  • Crass Stitching (Home goods)
  • Dewclaw (Live Music)
  • Evelyne Tardy (Jewelry) Reverly Market and Carnival Poster for Urbana's First Fridays
  • Glow by Lola (Body care)
  • Hilary Pope & Karissa McDermott
  • Kelly Hieronymus (Paintings)
  • Lumen (Cocktails and Decor)
  • Old Town Flowers (Natural Decor)
  • Phil Strang (Paintings)
  • Piper Pottery & Crafts (Pottery)
  • Rich Gouinlock (Paintings)
  • Same Street Textiles and Scrapyard (Home goods)
  • Steve Schaberg (Drawings)
  • WEFT Community Radio (Music inspired art)
  • Will Arnold (Zines and Photography)
  • The Wright Soapery (Body care)

APRIL 7, 6-10PM: MAIN STREET CARNIVAL*

Performance artists, Michael Moxie and Satina, are curating a whimsical, dazzling showcase on Main Street between Race and Broadway. Fire dancing, jugglers, hula-hoopers, poi spinners, live music, live art, DJ's and more! They are bringing in professional entertainers from around the Midwest! Don't miss it! Special guest stars: Urbana Fire Department with their fire truck for the kids!

APRIL 8, 11AM-3PM: REVELRY MARKET DAY 2 at the Cohen Building, 136 West Main Street

  • Art of Living at UIUC (Energy Boost Booth!)
  • Cara's Garden (Home goods)
  • Casey Lowry (Paintings)
  • Crass Stitching (Home goods)
  • Dewclaw (Live Music)
  • Evelyne Tardy (Jewelry)
  • Glow by Lola (Body care)
  • Hilary Pope & Karissa McDermott
  • Kelly Hieronymus (Paintings)
  • Lumen (Cocktails and Decor)
  • Old Town Flowers (Natural Decor)
  • Phil Strang (Paintings)
  • Piper Pottery & Crafts (Pottery)
  • Rich Gouinlock (Paintings)
  • Same Street Textiles and Scrapyard (Home goods)
  • Steve Schaberg (Drawings)
  • WEFT Community Radio (Music inspired art)
  • Will Arnold (Zines and Photography)
  • The Wright Soapery (Body care)
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City of Champaign creates household battery recycling program

If you have remotes, smoke detectors, or a Gameboy that you still play regularly around your house, there's a solid chance that you have some used-up batteries lying around, also. Luckily, the City of Champaign (more specifically, their Feed The Thing program) has just created a household battery recycling station at the Champaign Public Works office, located at 702 Edgebrook Dr.

Recycling is open from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm, with the requirement that if your battery is rechargeable (typically made from lithium), they must be taped on the ends before recycling.

The program will run in perpetuity and is just another way that C-U is trying to combat wasteful disposal of products.