Category: Word

Where’s the love?

This is what Champaign mayor Jerry Schweighart had to say about Safe Haven's recent move to St. Mary's Catholic Church.

"They're bound and determined to make an issue of it; otherwise, they'd move to Urbana."

So, people are losing their jobs and being evicted; they have no place to go...and this is how the city's mayor responds? I like Rev. Tom Royer's take a little better.

"Just because they have no address does not mean that they are not part of our community.

Just because they have no bank account does not mean they have nothing of value to share with others.

Just because they have no roof over their heads does not mean they have no dignity."

(Quotes taken from:


UC2B Proposal Released for Public Comment

Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (aka UC2b), a collaborative effort between the University of Illinois and the cites of Urbana & Champaign, have made their proposal public and invite feedback. Originally, this proposal was to be made public by August 5, 2009, but has only just today been released. The proposal is for American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, to lay the foundation for a longer term project of connecting every home, business, school, library, church and public building within Champaign & Urbana to a high-speed, fiber-optic network.

You can access the documents relating to this proposal here:

This federal proposal will be submitted Friday August 14th. Interested individuals and organizations in Champaign and Urbana are invited to read and submit feedback as soon as possible to:

Fred Halenar
Information Technologies Director
City of Champaign
102 N. Neil Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Phone: (217) 403-8970
Fax: (217) 403-8993


Some cities tolerate homeless camps

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article yesterday which acknowledged that many municipalities around the country (such as Nashville, Sacramento, and Lacey, Wash.) are relaxing municipal codes — or just not strictly enforcing existing laws — to allow tent communities to form.

Nashville is one of several U.S. cities that these days are accommodating the homeless and their encampments, instead of dispersing them. With local shelters at capacity, "there is no place to put them," said Clifton Harris, director of Nashville's Metropolitan Homeless Commission, says of tent-city dwellers.

With budgetary cuts across the country, it's just not a worthwhile use of police time to break up makeshift communities that are likely to form elsewhere.

After years of enforcing a tough anticamping law to break up homeless clusters, Sacramento recently formed a task force to look into designating homeless tracts because shelters are overflowing.


Some communities may be "less inclined to crack down quite as hard on people" because of the recession, said Barry Lee, a professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University.

Champaign even gets a mention.

Pastors in Champaign, Ill., last week asked the City Council to allow people to live in organized tent communities of as many as 50 people. Legalizing the camps is more compassionate and cost-effective than forcing "poor people who are camping because they have a lack of better choices to constantly have to fear being rousted and cited by police," says Joan Burke, advocacy director for Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, a homeless-assistance agency.

This is clearly a national issue, and one that governments in several cities much larger than Champaign are dealing with in a progressive, practical, and compassionate way.


Great Nationwide Kiss-In (Champaign-Urbana!)

Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Intersection of 6th and Green St.
Street: Green Street/6th Street
City/Town: Champaign, IL


Phil Reese

Tracy Nectoux

For more information:


Pygmalion to present Sufjan Stevens on September 26 at Highdive

Just one week after the festival ends, Pygmalion Music Festival will start promotion on next year's brouhaha by presenting Sufjan Stevens at The Highdive.

The Highdive? But isn't that a little small for an artist that sold over 1 million copies of his last record?

Yes. Very. But that is the way he wanted it.

Needless to say, tickets are cheap. $15 in advance. And there are only 400 of them. And you can only buy two at a time. And they are only available via will call to avoid scalping.

They go on sale August 15 via the Asthmatic Kitty website.

Oh, and Smile Politely might have a pair to give away as well. But you probably surmised that by now.


Station Theatre announces 38th season

2009 - 2010 Season

Absurd Person Singular
Directed by Joi Hoffsommer
September 10 - 19

My Name is Rachel Corrie
Directed by Mathew Green
October 8 - 24

Zombie Prom
Directed by Mikel Matthews
November 5 - 21

Love Song
Directed by Kay Holley
December 3 - 19

Directed by Eric Burton
January 14 - 30

A Body of Water
Directed by Aaron Polk
February 11 - 20

The Velvet Rut
Directed by Joi Hoffsommer
March 4 - 20

Always... Patsy Cline
Directed by Rick Orr
April 8 - May 1

See for more information.