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Category: Word

City of Urbana buys first electric car

Good news out of the City of Urbana, today. They're introducing the City's first fully electric car, replacing an old pickup truck to reduce emissions and fuel costs.

A phenomenal example of commitment to combat climate change on a civic level right here in our own back yard. That's pretty neat.

For more information, check out the press release below:

It’s just been one month since the City of Urbana purchased its first electric vehicle (EV); a 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, for use in the City’s environmental sustainability division. The EV replaces a 2001 GMC pick-up truck, saving the City more than $800 on fuel costs annually, based on driving 5,000 miles per year, and eliminating approximately 5,250 lbs. of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.¹    The Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a 62-mile range and zero tailpipe emissions.

Urbana’s recycling coordinator, Courtney Kwong, says the car is not only an environmentally friendly form of transportation, but also cost-effective in the long term.  “The EV provides a sustainable, eco-friendly, alternative form of transportation; and acts as an educational tool in the community,” Kwong said.  “It reduces our carbon footprint, making it a smart choice for a greener fleet.”

National Drive Electric Week is taking place this week (September 10 – 18), making this the perfect opportunity to promote the newest addition to the City of Urbana’s fleet.  City officials are excited to introduce the EV as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption.  Officials say the EV is the first step in greening the City’s fleet by replacing old vehicles with newer, cleaner alternatives.



Celebration of Champaign County’s labor history

Tonight at 5 p.m., working men and women from across Champaign County will join Rep. Carol Ammons for a celebration of Champaign County's labor history.

The event takes place at Laborer's Hall (108 E. Anthony Dr. #1, Urbana). Dinner will be provided by Laborer's Local 703.

The event will include information about unions, the chance to learn about unions in our County, and activities for kids.


Next steps for a transformed university

Last week, the Black Students For Revolution released their demands for a transformed university

These include:

  • WE DEMAND that UIUC immediately and permanently halt tuition hikes.
  • WE DEMAND that the racial and economic demographics of UIUC students, faculty and staff reflect the racial and economic demographics of Illinois by 2032.
  • WE DEMAND that all on-campus sexual predators, especially those affiliated with the Greek Life system, face severe penalties for all forms of sexual violence.
  • WE DEMAND that UIUC makes a permanent commitment not to consolidate or combine the LGBT Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center in addition to the continued autonomy of all cultural centers and ethnic studies programs.

Tonight at 7 p.m., the organization will meet in Greg Hall 223 to discuss the next steps for this document.


WILL hosting Vintage Vinyl Sale on October 1st

WILL will be hosting their annual Vintage Vinyl Sale on October 1st - one of the biggest collections of records, CDs and DVDs in the area.

The sale will take place at Fluid Events Center in west Champaign, and will run from 8 am to 6 pm. Donations will be accepted at the locations listed above until September 28th.

For more info, check out the event's description here: 

One of the Midwest’s best sales of used vinyl records, DVDs, CDs, and other donated musical ephemera is coming back October 1, 2016, and it will totally rock your socks off!

All proceeds from the sale will benefit Illinois Radio Reader, a service of Illinois Public Media, which provides the reading of local newspapers, magazines, books, and much more to the visually impaired in East Central Illinois.


Upper Bout offering 10% discount to all U of I and Parkland students

If you're a student at the University of Illinois or Parkland College - we've got some good news. The Upper Bout, Champaign's finest guitar dealer, is now offering a 10% discount on all strings, guitars, pedals and accessories to students.

All you need to do to reap the rewards of this benefit are show up with your student ID. It's a great way to save money while also getting familiar with one of the finest small businesses in Champaign-Urbana - a win/win, really.

For more info, check out The Upper Bout's website.


Smile Politely seeking Music writers

We're always seeking new writers at Smile Politely, and the Music section is no exception.

Do you love reading about music on Smile Politely and want to be a part of it? Do you hate reading about music on Smile Politely and think you can make our section better? Either way, we could use your help. Whether you're interested in talking about a touring band coming through, review a local album or show, talk to local bands, and things of the like, let us know.

Not a writer, per se? Well, neither are we for the most part. We're just engaged community members populating a magazine the best way we know how to.

Shoot us an email at and we can discuss.


Barrelhouse 34 celebrating Oktoberfest this weekend

Barrelhouse 34 is hosting its first Oktoberfest:

It's our first ever Oktoberfest!

Rain or shine we will be dressed in our lederhosen and dirndls serving up seven specialty drafts, along with hot pretzels, brats and sauerkraut.

We've specially ordered durable steins that will withstand each round of Ein Prosit and endless collisions for every Prost!
***Each stein comes with a free fill and a ticket to Monday Night Beer Class ($10).***

DOORS OPEN AT 2:00. Saturday, September 17th.

On Saturday, September 17th from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., you can celebrate and consume all the German beer and food your little heart and wallet desire. 

Image from Facebook. 


The Virginia Theatre’s movie spotlight for September is Inarritu

This week's film is Birdman, screening on Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. 

This is a film about theatre, shot like a play. The entire movie is filmed with impossibly long one-shots where the camera follows a character throughout labrynthine hallways between greenrooms and the wings. The special effects (especially the flying shots) are overwhelming to take in. The entire time you watch, it is impossible to ignore just how beautiful and difficult the whole endeavor is. 

That's externally. You are also are privy to the interior thoughts of a narcissistic actor, widely considered to be bad, grasping to haul himself up to respectability. You get to witness the detrimental behavior of a good actor bending beneath the pressure to maintain, and quickly sliding down into a bad place. Both of them effect their relationships in unexpected ways. Equally confusing is the image of a clean and tidy Zach Galifinakis. 

If you missed this film in the theatre the first time, I encourage you to check it out this week. As usual, it's only $5, so there's minimal risk and a high probability of reward. 

The week of the 26th, the film will be The Revenant, again at 7 p.m. for $5. Coincidentally, that week will also hold the possibility to see Deke Weaver's  Unreliable Bestiary: BEAR at KCPA, which would make for a hell of a double-feature.

Buy your tickets to either film or both online.


IMC to host hip-hop conversational workshop

Urbana's Independent Media Center will be hosting a workshop and discussion focused on the role of hip-hop in the youth community. Topics include the past and present culture of hip-hop, how it plays into modern society, and the potential that this culture and its members have to impact and change the future for the better. The event will feature a variety of speakers that range from scholars studying the subject to musicians involved in the craft first-hand.

The session will take place tomorrow, Sept. 12th, from 6 - 8 p.m. The workshop is intended for teens and young adults ages 16-24, but interested people outside of that range are encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit the event page here.


Local SSA employee refuses to watch diversity video; gets suspended

This is a real headline that appeared in The News-Gazette yesterday. This is not an article from The Onion and not satirical in the least bit, but rather, is a real headline ripped right out of a real world newspaper about a real issue in 2016:

Man would rather get fired than watch diversity video

Yes, one of Central Illinois' very own, a local employee at the Social Security Administration, has refused to watch a mandatory video on LGBT diversity and inclusion, and has refused to do so, kind of like how Kim Davis refused to honor the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage.

He's the local martyr that none of us needed, proving that regression is alive and well once again.

For more, check out The News Gazette's feature here.