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Stories & Beer with Rich Smith, Hannah Gamble, more on Wednesday, March 18th

From the Facebook event:

at 6:00 p.m.

Stories & Beer presents Rich Smith & Hannah Rebecca Gamble, both of whom are coming through town on a super-rad reading tour. Come grab a beer us at The Pig on Walnut. It'll be fun.

Here is a really beautiful poem that Hannah wrote and published in Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine


and here is a really beautiful poem that Rich published over at Hobart:


Here is a really nice thing that Matthew Dickman has to say about Rich's book, All Talk: 

"Rich Smith’s All Talk is like listening to my own inner-life but hearing it articulated in a way that makes sense, it’s like figuring out something about the world and then knowing we might never really know what the world is. I read these poems and I feel an urgency, I feel better about things, I feel tongue-tied. Smith’s work makes me want to smoke cigarettes, order for the whole bar, fall in love, and die in some happy but messy way."


and here is a really nice thing that Tony Hoagland said about Hannah's book, your invitation to a modest breakfast:

“Like the favorite daughters of a Sufi master, these liberating poems of Hannah Gamble love contradiction and whirling, and intimacy–their seriousness is droll, their humor warm and dark, their fables of selfhood are teasing and honest in marvelous and uncommon ways. They are truly delightful and robustly original—a poetic joy.” 



Papa Del’s moving off campus to old Orange and Brew location

A bit of news to start out your Saturday morning: Papa Del's is moving. Per the News-Gazette's report — the move is likely to take place this fall, and their second restaurant, located at the Crossing, will be incorporated into the new location. Some notable info from the article:

Papa Del's has been a mainstay on the University of Illinois campus since 1970. Its next home, the one-time Coca-Cola bottling company, has been a revolving door in recent years — housing Jillian's (1994 to 2008), Buttitta's Famiglia Ristorante (2010-11) and Orange & Brew Saloon & Grille (December 2013-December 2014).

In addition to leaving its campus location, Seten said it's likely that its second restaurant, in southwest Champaign's Village at the Crossing, would be incorporated into the new location.

"I think we might like to combine everything and have one giant factory," she said.

Owner Bob Monti signed a contract on Friday making 1201 S. Neil the restaurant's new home, Seten said.

Interesting. I suppose I understand the idea of consolidating the two, but will something finally stay put for the long run in this somewhat-doomed location in C-U

Top photo by Sam Logan


Oh yes it’s ladies night… At Apricot Lane

Hey ladies in the place I'm callin out to ya!

Did that 27 year-old pop culture reference get your attention? Good. The rest of that jam by the Beastie Boys is obviously a little funky and a little raunchy, but that opening line is perfect for this. I truly am calling out to the ladies of Champaign-Urbana.

Cancel your plans on Tuesday and call up some of your girlfriends that you haven't seen in awhile and make some plans. You haven't connected enough because life's gotten in the way: it's been cold, work has been crazy, you just haven't had a minute to have that brunch and a mimosa or the appetizers and glass of wine after work.

It happens.

So make some plans on Tuesday (that's March 10th). It's the middle of the week and it's the right time to have something to look forward to. The weekend is still far enough off, but you can you spend this weekend planning. Set up an 8 p.m. dinner downtown (Urbana or Champaign) and tell the significant other that you're going to be a little late. But let's not start at 8. We don't need to compress this night out.

Any good night starts with a pre-game, a warm-up. It just so happens that on Tuesday there's going to be a perfect warm-up for your night out. From 5:30-7:30, Apricot Lane is hosting Girl's Night Out. There's going to be wine tasting, snacks, an opportunity to win Apricot Lane fashions, and a 20% discount on your purchase. The event is being put on by chamabanamoms.com, so you know it's going to be fun.

Why not get your girlfriends together to do a little shopping, wine tasting, and re-connecting before going out on the town for dinner? It's Tuesday, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun.

Hey ladies, get funky.


Technology Entrepreneur Center seeking Marketing Coordinator

Our friends over at the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) are in need of a Marketing Coordinator — which you can read all about below.

The Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering is seeking an outstanding marketing professional to join our team as the Marketing Coordinator. We just reposted our job description here: http://go.illinois.edu/TECMarketingCoordinator

Perhaps you're that person? Check out the full listing for all the details.


Lower U of I tuition without cost to taxpayers? Yes.

Jay Rosenstein, of In Whose Honor? fame, has come up with an extremely reasonable plan to lower tuition for U of I students without cost to taxpayers. Simply put, it's by taking revenues from the ESPN/NCAA deal to fund the academic side of the University. He calls it the "20 for 25 Plan" and it's worth a read and discussion. If you're so inclined you can sign a petition to get the ball rolling.

Check out the full plan here.

UPDATE: Rosenstein has written a column for the Huffington Post regarding this plan. You can read that here.


Gear up for gardening season at Common Ground

In the wee hours of March 3, 2015 we had a nice dose of mid-winter weather. An ice storm that reduced bus activity for students and caused regular folks to curse Mother Nature as they chopped and hacked at the 1/8th of an inch of ice off of our cars.

That was terrible.

The thing is, is that this weather is going to be over soon. Seriously! We've endured snow and cold for a handful of months now, and truthfully spring is near. That old saying of April showers and May flowers and all of that. That's coming up quicker than you may think.

With those rain showers and the impending sunshine comes the opportunity to put together a garden. A little word from the wise, though. If you want your garden to be good and useful, you need to start planning it now. Despite the snow and ice and all of the things that would prevent you from actually planting things, you've got to set your brain to be prepared.

Thankfully, Common Ground Food Co-op can help you get your mind right and ready for gardening season.

This Sunday, from 1-2 p.m., you can take a class that will teach you how to save money by starting your garden from seed. The class is led by Carey Smith, a former coordinator of Food Not Lawns!, and a current community educator.

It's just an hour, but if you want to start prepping for a great garden, it'll be worth your while. It costs $5 or $8 depending on whether or not you're an owner at Common Ground and you can sign up right here.


Urbana Sweetcorn Festival celebrates 40 years with new logo and website

The Urbana Sweetcorn Festival is celebrating it's 40th year this year by revealing a new website and logo. The newest logo is above and details on the fest and website are in the press release below.

From the release:

URBANA, Ill.—It started as a humble downtown celebration sponsored by Busey Bank as a thank you to customers and the community at large. Over the years, the festival has grown tremendously due in large part to the downtown business development, inclusion of national music acts, community investment and the best sweet corn you can eat.

This year, the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival celebrates 40 years of family, fun, food, music and sweet corn on August 28 and 29. Festival organizers are making some changes to the event in honor of the 40th year, highlighted with the debut of a new festival logo and a new website, www.urbanasweetcornfestival.com.

“The Sweetcorn Festival has grown to become one of the largest free festivals in the area, so it made sense to give the event its own website. And celebrating 40 years created the perfect opportunity to make these changes and give the festival logo a fresh look,” said Cynthia Chandler, executive director of the Urbana Business Association, the event’s organizers.

This year’s festival will take place in downtown Urbana on Main Street, between Race and Vine Streets on Friday, August 28, 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, August 29, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Festival schedule will soon be available at www.urbanasweetcornfestival.com.

For more information on the 2015 Urbana Sweetcorn Festival or other UBA activities, contact the UBA at (217) 344-3872 or email ed@urbanabusiness.com.


CUDO Plays Season 2 Grand Exhibition this Sunday at Urbana Civic Center

From the Facebook event:

You've seen their alphas. You've seen their betas. Now, play the finished games at the CUDO Plays Season 2 Grand Exhibition! Come and support all of the teams at the Urbana Civic Center, and experience the games they've worked on for the past six months!

Game play will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the awards ceremony is at 7:30 p.m.! Bring all your friends and family and share these amazing games!

The Urbana Civic Center is located at 108 E. Water Street, Urbana.


News-Gazette makes it easy to call the mayoral election

The News-Gazette is doing god's work and offering a scientific poll to see which mayoral candidate is going to get the most local support. I'm a little disappointed there's not a write-in option because I feel like Herp Derpson or Brian Scalabrine might take this one down.

In all seriousness, this poll is doing a pretty damn good job of calling the mayoral race already. As the results show above, Deb Feinen, Joe Petry, and Karen Foster are going to eliminate each other's votes in this fatal four-way match and Don Gerard is going to retain the title easily.