WCIA Channel 3 interviews board candidates, 10:00 pm

I was just informed that WCIA 3 will be running a segment on the 10:00 news focusing on the board candidates. And to air again tomorrow morning. Most likely it will be on the wcia website after 10 tonight.


UPDATE: Here is the WCIA online spot:


Posted in Community. Tags: , . 1 Comment »

Collaboration and compromise

Recently, Kathy Richards presented her petition to the Board (Nov 10 BOE meeting). I have been waiting for it to pop up on Vimeo, but I might just try to record it off CGTV 5 at some point. Maggie Hockenberry of WCIA caught up with Kathy and interviewed her yesterday:



I think one thing Ms. Hockenberry perhaps missed is that a vast majority of us support the school district regardless of the referendum, there are just details about the referendum that we disagree about. For some it is location, others it is Dr. Howard, and a whole bunch of other reasons are thrown in the cart.


A recent twitter thread evolved into a sort of a challenge, calling folks to get together and hammer this thing out; Park district, city council, MTD, CCRPC, the YES Committee, those who voted “no”, UIUC students urban planning, LA, ARCH, NRES…. I am sure we could pile on more. Obviously, we should have done this two years ago. But here we are.


I don’t know how else to say this, but perhaps we should in a sense just shut up about it and start “doing”. For those that support the referendum but are willing to look at other options, can we open up the box and think about sites that are smaller than 47 acres? For those that opposed the referendum, find a site that works and meets all the needs of the district (sans 47 acres). Pattsi has one idea that we need to flesh out a bit more. Others have re-suggested Spalding/Judah. It is not enough to say that Interstate Drive is bad for this and that reason; we need to go beyond that and come up with a real, practical solution. And we will have to compromise – it has been said a bajillion times “there is no perfect site.” So we need to prioritize and figure out what we really need. What are the non-negotiables? We have to be willing to give up some things, on both sides of the fence, to focus on what is really important.


From my point of view, the biggest driver is sheer capacity. If we reduce the number of children that are jammed-packed into the current buildings, we solve a lot of problems just with that alone. I agree, there are still other ramifications that need to be addressed. So let us stop talking and start addressing. Pattsi, when is our first charrette scheduled for? 🙂

Panelists for the Sept 30th Town Hall meeting announced

From Stephanie Stuart:

Champaign Community Unit School District #4 Board of Education and Administration will host a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the possible sites for a new Central High School on Monday, September 30 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Mellon Administrative Center.

The Town Hall Meeting will feature a panel of volunteer community members who will help to foster meaningful discussion around this topic. Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand will give a brief introduction and overview of the work done so far in the Future Facilities process, as well as an overview of the current conditions of Central High School. Board of Education members will be present, but will not run the meeting in order to encourage organic discussion amongst the panelists.

Attendees at the Town Hall will be able to submit written questions to moderator Amanda Porterfield of WCIA 3 News. Participants will also be able to submit questions to the panel via the District’s Facebook and Twitter accounts or submit questions via email to Community Relations Coordinator Stephanie Stuart at stuartst@champaignschools.org. Questions will be selected based on relevancy to the discussion and the panel will discuss as many community questions as possible during the allotted time.

Volunteer Community Member Panelists will include:

  • Alejandra Aguero – Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, University of Illinois College of Business

  • Patricia Avery – President, NAACP Champaign County

  • Imani Bazzell – Director of At Promise…of Success

  • Byron Clark – Sales Manager, Human Kinetics

  • Bruce Knight – Planning & Development Director, City of Champaign

  • Dan McCall – President, Bricklayers Local #8 of Illinois

  • Angie Patton – Marketing Coordinator at the University of Illinois, Edison Middle School PTSA President, and Central High School Parent

  • Bob Porter – Architect

  • Phil Van Ness – Attorney, former Champaign Board of Education member

  • Joe Williams – Principal, Central High School

Much less of an open format than I initially expected. It seems like the panelists will be doing a majority of the talking, after Dr. Wiegand gives an introduction and background. A very interesting cast of characters to say the least. Nobody from Neighborhood Services, nobody representing Garden Hills or any of the neighborhoods north of Bradley….  Also interesting that Ms. Porterfield (WCIA) will be moderating.

I hope you all get involved.

More news: WCIA's piece on the budget

It is interesting watching a story evolve and unfold through many different eyes. Today’s story gives a small window (a very tiny teeny small window) into my perspective, and also that of the COO Gene Logas:



The Facebook page is filling up with comments from the public. A very interesting read in and of itself:


News: budget, communication, still meeting at Houlihans

First: I have nothing major planned for Houlihans today. I’ll be there if you want to come and chat. I might be reading a tome on ecological justice and transportation decisionmaking.


Mr. Gene Logas followed-through on his attempt to get the (preliminary) budget documents posted online (hat tip to Will Kyles).


I have yet to go through them with a comb. I recommend skipping the “presentation” one if you want to go straight to the meat section.


On top of that, Read the rest of this entry »

Response to WCIA "Carrie Busey name" article

re: http://illinoishomepage.net/fulltext?nxd_id=341172

The “comment” section still seems broken. Not sure what is going on, but they appear to have technical difficulties. So here is what I typed up but could not post.

“Leaders say”? Who? “Research shows…..”

I would posit that the “issue” of the school name is indeed a trivial matter at the root. What is much more significant is the dialog surrounding said rumors, “unnecessary controversy” and proposals. It is how these conversations are happening versus how they should have been handled from the get-go back when Arlene Blank brought up the possibility in June 2010 and Culver is reported to have made a promise to the staff. The really important, and very healthy, discussions should have started *then*.

Instead what we have now is no small amount of mud-slinging which deteriorates relationships. And it doesn’t help that the public news media is taking part in the food fight.

It is good that broader discussions between groups (ie, the PTA and the Board President, the staff, etc) are finally taking place. It seems to me that discussions between those who disagree can be very helpful for all involved in terms of maturing as a community and learning to value and respect different opinions. That is what I long for. People are important and their thoughts have value.


As an aside, I am amused that WCIA picked up on Sue Grey joining the PTA next week. I am thinking they have someone reading the Carrie Busey PTA facebook page, which was only posted last night. I don’t think Unit 4 has made such a public announcement, yet.