Daily dose: Local history, Mayoral money, Judge Peters dies, Flider's new job, May Berenbaum & NYT, Biggest regrets, College kids partying too much

Daily dose: Local history, Mayoral money, Judge Peters dies, Flider's new job, May Berenbaum & NYT, Biggest regrets, College kids partying too much

Local history

In 1911, the woman’s suffrage bill with the referendum clause appended passed the Illinois Senate today 31-10. The fate of the cause nowrests entirely with the House of Representatives. The women who have been in Springfield lobbying for the bill are beside themselves with glee this afternoon but there is a strong probability that their hopes will be blasted when the Legislature gets back into action.

In 1961, Gov. Otto Kerner will cut the ribbon at the opening of the 1961 Homerama sponsored by the Champaign-Urbana Jaycees at the Urbana Armory. Accompanied by Champaign Mayor Emmerson Dexter, Urbana Mayor Stanley Weaver and Jaycees officials, the governor will head a motorcade from the Country Fair Shoping Center to Five Points in Urbana, where the group will have dinner at the Town and Country Restaurant.

From today's column

Mayoral money ...

If campaign disclosure reports — or the lack of them — are to be trusted, the mayoral races in Springfield and Danville are attracting a lot more interest and money than the one in Champaign.
Neither Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart nor his challenger, Don Gerard, has reported a campaign contribution of more than $1,000 since Jan. 1. That doesn’t mean they haven’t received any money; it just means they haven’t gotten a large contribution that needs to be disclosed under Illinois’ revised (and inadequate) campaign disclosure law. Schweighart and Gerard could each be raking in dozens of $999 contributions; we won’t know until after the April 5 election when their quarterly disclosure reports are filed.
But in Danville, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer has reported $6,000 in campaign donations since Jan. 1. Challenger James “Mouse” McMahon has received $8,000, of which $6,000 is from labor unions. Again, those are just their itemized contributions. Two other mayoral candidates, Rickey Williams Jr. and David Quick, report no large contributions since Jan. 1.
Springfield’s mayoral race is an entirely different universe. There are four candidates there, and only one of them, Frank Kunz, hasn’t received any contributions of $1,000 or more since Jan. 1. Former Mayor Mike Houston reports at least $29,219 in donations. Springfield restaurateur Mike Coffey reports at least $68,318. And Sheila Stocks-Smith is the front-runner — at least in terms of campaign donations — with at least $137,532 in campaign contributions, including money from Sen. Dick Durbin’s political action committee, the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association and several Democratic state legislators.

Longtime DeWitt County judge dies

From the Daily Pantagraph ...

CLINTON -- A former 6th Judicial Circuit judge who spent 22 years on the bench in DeWitt County died Tuesday after a series of strokes.
Stephen Peters, 66, died at Liberty Village Nursing Home, Clinton. Funeral arrangements are pending at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton.
"I regard him as a student of the law who loved what he did," said DeWitt County Judge Garry Bryan, who succeeded Peters on the bench. "He offered me some practical advice when I assumed the bench. He said, ‘Let the work come to you.' It was very insightful because he taught me not to get caught up in the moment and to keep your calm."
In 2006, Peters presided over the cases of Amanda Hamm and Maurice LaGrone. The couple was accused of drowning Hamm's three children in Clinton Lake in 2003.


New job for Rep. Flider

From the Decatur Herald & Review ...

DECATUR - Former State Rep. Bob Flider will take a job with a nonprofit organization focused on expanding broadband Internet service throughout Illinois, the group announced Monday.
"I've always said I'd like to stay involved in public service in an area where I could make a meaningful difference and I think this fits the bill," Flider said. "I've invested 20 years in public service and this is a way for me to do that in a different kind of way."
Flider, a Mount Zion Democrat who for eight years represented the Decatur area in the Illinois House, failed in his bid for re-election in November against Adam Brown, R-Decatur.
According to reports from the Illinois Campaign For Political Reform, the two men received a combined $1.2 million from their respective political party leaders. In the weeks leading up to the election, their campaigns blanketed the Decatur area with ads.
Flider stirred controversy in the last hours of his final term when in January he voted in favor of a 66 percent increase to the state's income tax, which he had for years publicly opposed.
Flider will be director of broadband impact for the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. The nonprofit group draws its funding from a variety of federal and state sources as well as grants, said Executive Director Drew Clark.


New York Times on Berenbaum

May Berenbaum, a brilliant entomologist and voice of reason amid all the heat over troubles with bee colonies in recent years, has won the $200,000 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. It’s well deserved.

The award is being given both for her work on the coevolutionary battles between plants and the insects that eat them and her role in clarifying the factors involved in the still-mysterious phenomenon called “ colony collapse disorder.” Early on, amid many shrill conclusions about the bee die-offs being the result of everything from pesticides to global warming, Berenbaum, who heads the entomology department at the University of Illiniois, Urbana-Champaign, looked with a longer view and offered perspectives like this one in a 2007 article of mine:


Biggest regrets

From The New York Times blog ...

We all have regrets, but new research suggests the most common regret among American adults involves a lost romantic opportunity.

Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign collected data from 370 adults in the United States during a telephone survey. They asked respondents to describe one memorable regret, explaining what it was, how it happened and whether their regret stemmed from something they did or didn’t do.

The most common regret involved romance, with nearly one in five respondents telling a story of a missed love connection. The second most common regret involved family issues, with 16 percent of respondents expressing regret about a family squabble or having been unkind to a sibling as a child.

Other top regrets involved education (13 percent), career (12 percent), money issues (10 percent), parenting mistakes (9 percent) and health regrets (6 percent), according to the study, to be published in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science.

“People did mention high school romances, the things that got away from them,’’ said Neal J. Roese, a psychologist and professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. “Some people said they should have studied something different in college, taken a different career path or followed their passions. Other people said they wished they’d worked less to spend time with children, a parenting regret we heard with some frequency.’’

The study is notable because past studies of regret have collected data primarily from college students and didn’t offer a look at regret among adults of varying backgrounds, education and experiences. Among college students, the biggest regrets tend to center around education, such as wishing that one had studied more or chosen a different major or career.


College kids having too much fun

From Inside Higher Ed ...

In the Midwest, administrators at Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan Universities are trying to avoid such chaos by discouraging students from attending an April Fool’s Day event whose stated purpose is to congregate thousands of drunk people. And Tufts University just announced that it’s canceling the annual Naked Quad Run, which – while a seasonal winter event – has caused similar trouble. The presidents of Albany and Illinois State both e-mailed students directly to condemn dangerous and irresponsible behavior, whatever the celebration; the president of Tufts echoed that sentiment in a student newspaper op-ed.

One of the more longstanding events affected by the spring crackdowns is Albany’s Fountain Day, a 40-year-old tradition centered around the heart of the campus, where students and others frolic in the water. While the president is only suspending the event, the fountain is slated for renovation and will be out of commission until 2012, at which point the future of the celebration could be reassessed.

After students became keen on drinking during Fountain Day, administrators shifted the event from a weekday lunch-hour to a Sunday afternoon gathering of students, faculty and staff. For a while it went smoothly, but in recent years more students – some underage – have shown up to Fountain Day drunk, said Christine Bouchard, vice president for student success. While the suspension of Fountain Day was partly damage control from the riots – to this end, the university also moved one of its spring breaks to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day next year – administrators have been concerned about the event for some time, she said.

“Even if a few students use the occasion to drink heavily, it would be one too many to have at a school-sanctioned event,” Bouchard said. “We’re trying to really use this as an occasion to redirect the conversation in a different way, so that students understand how important the reputation of their school is to the integrity of their degree. And I think once students start hearing this, they look at it in an entirely different way.” Bouchard said that after the riots, Albany received letters from employers who said they would not hire any of the university’s graduates.








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