Wednesday, November 29, 2017

As Economy Slides Schisms Heal Maybe

This will never happen in the realm of Lincoln history, between the State Historic Preservation Agency, the Illinois State Historical Society, the historians who take sides on whether Mary Todd Lincoln was aware of her actions or if she was suffering from Diabetes, whether her letters to family in the south included military secrets or not, and so on.

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (GSCC), according to the article in the Illinois State Journal-Register, has endorsed consolidating efforts to develop the local economy. The caveat is that it "would be up to individual investors," whatever that means.

The city gives $100,000 to the GSCC annually. One online commenter said it was at the expense of the overtime police budget. It's bound to be at the expense of someone.

Consolidation of economic development efforts is a huge opportunity for a big money grab. Some people will get hired at exorbitant salaries, probably kicking some coin under the table for the big favor. Hey, it's Illinois, after all.

The ebb and flow of schisms where large sums of public money are concerned is starting to smell a little contrived, but such a long con job would require a team effort among some very safely entrenched families, not just within the local area, but the whole state.

Maybe my imagination is running away from me. We were all taught as children to treat others as we would want them to treat us, so naturally, I assumed that people actually did that. Naively I thought Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism was just that, a philosophy, and not the reality of human behavior where self-service and self-preservation always supersede altruism.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bump Stocks Survive in Springfield

Today the Illinois House voted on a ban of firearm bump stocks. The devices used in Las Vegas to increase the rate of fire to nearly fully automatic speed, contributing to the death of 58 people and injury of 546 more. Today, Illinois rejected the ban.
Photos are not a close approximation, but you get my point?
Tim Butler (R-87), Sarah Wojcicki Jimenez (R-99) and Sue Scherer (D-96) all whose districts overlap Springfield, voted against the bill. so this isn't a partisan issue apparently. Jimenez isn't running for reelection, Tim Butler ran unopposed in the last election. Scherer was unopposed in the last general election but did have opponents in the primary. Source:

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Sangamon County Project

The Illinois State Journal-Register published what I think is its most important article, ever.

It was just a few lines of copy. You probably skimmed through it and didn't think much of it. Who can blame you. It was about another study on economic development in Sangamon County.

I downloaded and read the report, and highlighted some parts so you could skim through it faster. It paints a grim picture of the general malaise of Central Illinois.

Generations ago, one organization started in the beginning, but then egos clash and schisms within the larger organization cause fragmentation and formation of competing organizations. Then every five or ten years, one of the organizations hires an outside consulting firm to do an economic development study, and nobody likes what they have to say, so they ignore it.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Elder Care Crisis

The Baby Boomers are aging into the dependent phase of life. Record numbers are requiring much more attention and around the clock care. Theirs was the generation that set into motion Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Now their children's generation wants to raid those trust funds.

Back in May of 2015, The Quincy Herald-Whig reported that nursing homes face a $55 million cut in Medicaid funding and more if Governor Bruce Rauner's budget is passed. May 26, 2017, NPR Illinois reported that "...nursing home evictions in the state have more than doubled in the last five years.." On September 6, 2017, The State Journal-Register reported Oak Terrace closing followed shortly reported by WAND TV's report that Lincoln Manor in Decatur will be closing. Both facilities cited financial problems and this may just be the tip of the iceberg. State legislators are jumping ship.

There is a movement afoot to cut funding from one program in favor of another, which will inevitably hurt some people.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Crime page updated

The Crime page was updated. Now there are links to three maps where you can see crimes in your own area. You can also compare the crime map to the Justice Map which shows census data.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What do do with the Y block

Downtown Springfield has peaked and won't grow more economically unless we get "more skin in the game," which means not just trying to temporarily attract more visitors, but actually get more people living in the downtown area.

I think the best example I found for the old Y Block is near downtown Seattle. It's called Thornton Place, Here's the map:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hi, it's been a while

I don't make any money from this yet, so I must find other sources of income for the time being. I do have some updates from other sections.

Sage of Springfield recently posted a list of data sources for the current crop of Illinois Gubernatorial candidates. If you want an even bigger billionaire than Bruce Rauner running the sate, then J.B. Pritzger is your man.

If you prefer someone almost if not more progressive than Bernie Sanders, then Daniel Bliss is the one for you.

The data is there for you to use your own judgement. You can use the Politics page to find your district and representatives at most levels.

At Twitter I'm not really directly following people anymore, I have them all organized in Lists. From time to time as the situation warrants I can follow or unfollow anyone in my lists to keep my main feed relevant. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Vandals in Washington Park

Photos from a recent spate of vandalism in Washington Park which occurred over the weekend when Springfield was supposed to be in the grip of an ice storm. From January 14-16, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why does nothing cool seem to last in Springfield?

Someone I know started a business in downtown Springfield several years ago, actually a little over a year before the Great Recession of 2008, but I wonder if the recession really had anything to do with the business ending.

She had all sorts of cool ideas for promoting her business as well as stimulating public interest in downtown Springfield, but she was met with resistance. It seems most of the downtown businesses who managed to survive the recession, did so because they are shored up by hidden outside sources of income, and the shops are mostly just hobbies.

It makes me wonder why Vinegar Hill Mall had such a high turnover, and why the downtown business occupancy is pretty low. A month after I left for the west coast in 2012, the Illinois Times published an article called Making Downtown Lovable. I returned to Springfield in October of 2016, and all I noticed was that the Cardologist has relocated next to Recycled Records and there's a Hy-Vee down on MacArthur, give or take a few new restaurants popping up in old locations.

The fancy face of downtown is loaded with a lot of mascara, eye-liner and lipstick, paid for mostly by allowances dolled out by spouses who are state employees, lawyers, doctors or other large business owners.

If you think you can just start up a business cold in downtown Springfield, think again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Springfield Growing Pains Extend to After Hours Too

The State Journal-Register reported that Ward 6 Alderman Chuck Redpath proposed new rules for downtown 3 a.m. bars in Springfield, IL. It seems doubtful that there is money to hire more police for the third shift, so the alternative is to rein in the businesses instead.

Why? Because of stuff like this: Springfield, IL TRASH fighting on New Years Eve

If this town really wants to grow up to be a big city, perhaps it could use some help from local super heroes like Phoenix Jones and the Rain City Super Heroes Movement.