Top photo shows demolition of Citizens Building Parking Garage. Also shown in three photos is how Central Park is looking great. Photos shot Friday afternoon 6/7/13. (See Editor's Notebook in left column for more details.)
Mark “Rip” Roehrs, who contributed five hits in Sunday’s Rock Springs Ground Squirrels games including a double and a home run, takes the striker’s line. Complete story in Wednesday’s print edition of the Decatur Tribune. (Photo by Christine Sipula)
State Rep. Sue Scherer (right) welcomes Southeast High School freshman Alexus Henry (left) and fellow members of the Spartans Class 2A state champion track team to the Capitol recently. Henry helped Southeast place second in the state in the 4x400 relay, and secure its fourth straight state championship.
Friday Night's Storm Runs
Along North Oakland
Nelson Park Golf Course ClubhouseIs Demolished Thanks to Matt Honnold for the two photos above showing the demolition of the Nelson Park Golf Course Clubhouse.
Honoring Those Who Gave Their All For The Freedom
We Enjoy Today
Memorial Day services were held in the Fairview Park Pavilion this morning (Monday).
The photo above, and many more photos of services in Fairview Park and Graceland Cemetery will be printed in Wednesday's print edition of the Decatur Tribune. The photos were shot for the Tribune by George Strohl.
MORE PRESSURE: The Central Park Fountain looked to be fully operational this morning (Tuesday) when i walked through the park, so whatever problem there was (if any) with the water pressure earlier, it has been fixed. The heavy rain we had for awhile this afternoon should also help the new sod -- while it made your grass at home grow even faster.
REMINDER: I received the following reminder from the City’s Public Works Department today: "Beginning Wednesday, June 19, 2013, the traffic flow on North Park Street and South Park Street around Central Park will permanently change. Starting June 19, 2013, travel will be westbound on South Park Street from Franklin Street to North Water Street and eastbound on North Park Street from North Water Street to Franklin Street. This permanent directional change in traffic around Central Park will allow for a safer experience when accessing Central Park. Changing the flow of traffic around the park is a design element included in the original streetscape concept plan. Motorists should slow down, use extreme caution and be prepared for delays around Central Park as the change is implemented and while everyone is getting used to the new direction of travel.” This should be interesting to watch. Hopefully the change will be a smooth one, but it will take some adjustment in our thinking.
FOUNTAIN ON -- The Central Park fountain was operating this morning (Monday) when I walked through the park. I don't believe it is fully operational because the water over the bowls isn't flowing freely and the sprays are not as high as is normally the case. Like anything else, there's always a few "bugs" to work out before something works like it was meant to work. Still, having the fountain on is a good sign especially on a day that is so hot and humid out.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY: “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” --Norman Vincent Peale
UPDATE ON STORYBOARD -- City Manager Ryan McCrady sent me a message and the above photo a few minutes ago showing the Looking for Lincoln storyboard has been replaced. It must have happened in the last day or two because I walk by the storyboard about everyday. McCrady said The Looking For Lincoln coalition is handling the repair and replacement of the faded story boards.
"It will be honored as part of the manufacturer’s warranty at no cost to the City," he said. "The repair is expected in the very near future."
The future was nearer than he thought. About five minutes later he wrote that the storyboard had been replaced.
It looks much better and we won't have to strain our eyes to read it. Good job.
STILL LOOKING -- I couldn’t help but notice how faded the “Looking For Lincoln” storyboard is that’s near the Abraham Lincoln statue in the northeast corner of Lincoln Square (Main and Main for newcomers to our community). As the above photo shows, if visitors are going to be “Looking For Lincoln” in Lincoln Square, they may strain their eyes reading the faded print. I was mayor when we authorized ordering and installing the storyboards downtown. I think the others are in pretty good shape, but we ought to get our money back or a new storyboard to replace the one in Lincoln Square. With the downtown streetscape enhancements looking better all of the time, the faded storyboard makes the walking tour a little less than it could be and I’m sure the city manager realizes that something needs to be done with it
Treasurer Dan Rutherford
RUTHERFORD CALLS -- Thanks to Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford for calling this afternoon to explain why his candidacy for governor announcement tour did not stop in Decatur. I complained about in an earlier post below and indicated that Decatur does not get enough respect. Rutherford told me that he plans to spend a lot of time in Decatur during the campaign and certainly has nothing against our community. He indicated there were only so many places he could make the announcement and he also received some criticism from another community where he didn't stop during his three days of news conferences. One problem with Decatur is that it is located between Champaign and Springfield and television news coverage overlaps our city and campaigns generally feel announcements in those two cities will be viewed by residents of Decatur. As a former mayor of Decatur and big supporter of our community, I know better than anyone that we have to fight for some recognition and respect and Rutherford told me that he understands that and also said, not only will he be spending time in Decatur during the campaign, but will visit us often when he is elected governor.
Since I was hard on him for not stopping in our city, I'm pleased he took the time to call and explain why. He also recognized the reason for my feelings about our community on the "respect" issue. I look forward to talking with him during the campaign.
CAMPAIGN HELP --I'm sure the Democratic Party is downright giddy over what is happening in the 13th Congressional District.
Last week’s announcement by former Miss America Erika Harold, that she is going to challenge U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) for the Republican nomination had to be music to the ears of high level Democrats. After all, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been blasting away at Davis in news releases crossing my desk several times a week since Davis took office five months ago. Now, they have two Republicans who are going to be fighting it out all the way to next year’s primary election -- and spending a ton of money in the process. That’s money the Republican winner will not have available to spend in the general election in November, 2014, when facing the Democrat nominee, Ann Callis of Troy. She will have plenty of money to spend on her campaign. From the day Davis was elected, the Democrats put a defeat target on his back and committed big bucks for the Democratic challenger who would face him. Now some Republicans, via Harold, are trying to get rid of their own freshman Congressman, who won the office just last November.
NOT SO FAST -- There is no question that Erika Harold and Ann Callis are both strong challengers and attractive candidates for their respective parties because of their education, careers and background. However, don’t sell Davis short. Although appointed by county chairmen to replace retiring U. S. Rep. Tim Johnson on the ballot last year, he campaigned hard and raised a lot of money in a short period of time. He’s proven to be a tireless worker and back in January received some choice committee and subcommittee assignments in Congress that are perfect matches for the 13th District. Most of all, some Republicans I’ve talked with feel that he hasn’t even been given a chance in such a short time in office to prove what he can do for the district. So far, some of the staunch backers of Davis, such as former Gov. Jim Edgar and Congressman Aaron Schock, are standing by him. I haven’t heard anyone say that Harold is not a great candidate for the Republican Party. The criticism I’ve heard is that she should be running for another office and not an office already held by a freshman Congressman of the same party. By the way, for those who think that Davis won last year because Dr. David Gill was a push-over with his far left leanings, don’t forget that Gill beat rising Democratic star Matt Goetten -- the choice of Sen. Dick Durbin and most county chairmen, in the Democratic primary.
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