This lovely little Champaign area blog is written locally–well in Birdland a few miles away by a woman with an eye and a heart for quiet moments on important things. Things that get lost in the clutter and noise of life.
Recent Letter From Birdland blogs are on milkweed–you know we need them in order for the monarch butterflies to survive.
Another was reprinted in the News Gazette and featured the Indianapolis Cultural Trail–didn’t even know it existed.
Mary Lucille Hays is the aiuthor of this fine site and periodically does writing workshops.
Today is the day as 21,000 runners take to the streets of Champaign Urbana for the running of one our area’s biggest events. Tons of info is available on the race website and you can even watch updates on local TV WCIA. it is called “The Extra Mile“.
If you are new to race day here are some pointers:
If you want to watch downtown Champaign is a good spot or just go to Memorial Stadium on the U of I campus
Watch out in traffic and relax. Look for a Illinois Marathon map and avoid those areas
Make a note to volunteer next year. The marathon site has an interactive map so you can volunteer in or near your neighborhood.
Yesterday at Busey Bank’s annual seminar, Phyllis Wise introduced this crisp new video on the vision for Champaign Urbana. Coming on the heels of the micro-urban video that introduced the concept, this one is more concrete and describes many of the plans and ideas that we will see take shape here in the years to come.
Yes fox have been seen in Champaign Urbana — increasingly in the past year or so.
I recall that the first I saw was – no joke- down on Fox Drive several years ago. There is a bit of a protected area along the stream that runs parallel to this south Champaign area and the large Devonshire Park just south offers a bit of natural habitat as well. So it was not totally surprising to see this bushy tailed mammal in that area.
The second fox I saw was last winter in the Clark Park area in Champaign. There was snow on the ground and here came a fox- actually several times -loping through the area in and out of back yards. Hunting I guess.
Just recently near the Champaign Country Club, a mama fox with four kit were observed sunning and playing in a backyard. They have a den under the deck of a home near the golf course.
There is no huge caution with fox in Champaign Urbana except that they have been known to bite people at times and then there is the possibility of damage to foundations if their dens get large.
We are due to get some serious rain the next few days and this is a perfect day to get some early spring garden in around Champaign Urbana. No joke- April 1 is not too early for some basic flowers and veggies.
If you are looking when to plant them- now or on October 1. Pansies like cool weather.
Our local Champaign Library has money problems. There have been some other controversies over the past few years related to nearby community patrons paying for usage. Then there was the proposal to cut evening hours at the Champaign Library. The issue now is operating funds.
Solving the CPL Deficit
Various ideas have come up to help raise funds for the library:
Charging for parking
Imposing a fee for meeting room usage
They have a donate button on their site
They have already cut funds in 70% of their programs
Late fees have been increased
Staff positions have been left unfilled
Even the beloved bookmobile has been put in mothballs–this is serious!
The problem relates to increasing costs (even though they have been actually cutting costs since 2009) and decreased property values starting with the economic downturn of 2008.
The Champaign City Council is discussing this and the Champaign City Manager has recommended a one-time payment of $273,436 to CPL.
They say it will be ready soon–and the rooms are being finished now. The new Hyatt Place in Downtown Champaign has seemed so long in coming and may well be ready for guests within a few weeks. Furniture has been unloaded according to their facebook page and the News Gazette ran a picture of their swimmimg pool with water in it last weekend.
The website for the Champaign County Clerk’s office has an interactive page that makes it easy to find your polling place in Champaign County. The list of polling places is linked to the map and you can get the info you need for times etc there as well.
Tuesday, March 18 is the day to vote
You see all kinds of signs around the are now–and debates are winding down. You can vote early in CU at a half dozen places in the area through March 15. But after Saturday you need to find your local spot and get there between 6a and 7p on Tuesday, March 18.