Houlihans tomorrow (April 10th)

We are going to celebrate and possibly call this our last official weekly Houlihans gathering. We may do more on a sporadic schedule, but after almost three years of meeting, we are backing off.

Come join us for the last hoorah! 🙂

Houlihans today

Yes, I’ll be at Houlihans. Anyone up for talking about candidates? *grin* Any other topic on your mind?




PS – I have a very nice show-n-tell in preparation for the Sunday charrette

houlihans: high school siting pseudo workshop

Tomorrow at 11:30 at Houlihans, we will have a bare-bones mock up of a high school siting workshop (ie, charrette). It’ll be rough – the idea is what we are looking for your input on how to do a real charrette.


To help, I am bringing a 3′ by 3′ color (barely) printout of the school district, all streets (major arteries labelled), and schools (private and public). I will also bring a bunch of pens (and pencils if I can find some around the house).


What you can bring: colored pencils/markers, monopoly hotels/houses (I don’t have any *sad face*) and a wealth of ideas. Also someone willing to take notes and pictures would be helpful.


What I will not have ready: demographic overlays for income levels, population density, etc. I will bring the Dejong Richter packet as a separate document for reference.


The objective: we will figure out 1) what the process of figuring out Central looks like, and maybe even 2) come up with some creative ideas. Just today I ran across someone who had an idea I had never heard before, and I’ll share that at the meeting tomorrow.


This is a trial run to see how it goes. When we get ready for Prime Time(r), we will advertise in the News-Gazette and elsewhere.

Houlihans today @ 11:30

I am hoping to be at Houlihans at 11:30 today, but with a new baby I might be a couple minutes late.


Anyway, I am hoping to start some serious planning for a charrette (workshop) on the high school siting thing-a-ma-bob. Chuck Jackson has some questions and thoughts he wants to throw around about pre-school.


Hope to see you there!

No Houlihans this week



As an appetizer for a future Houlihans-ish gathering, we are planning a workshop or two with large posterboards and tactile things to mark up and move around. 🙂 More to follow.

Houlihans Feb 13: special guest Julian Rappaport

This Wednesday (Feb 13), Julian Rappaport will be joining us at Houlihans. Julian wears many hats; emeritus professor of psychology at the UI, former president of the county board of health, and he serves on the Champaign County Community Justice Task Force, among other things. I have spoken with Julian in the past and have been very impressed with his level-headed ideas and practical suggestions.

Houlihans this week

I am hoping to finalize our board member questions by Wednesday so we can start putting wheels into motion. There are 3 obvious favorites so far, but I am waiting to see if others percolate up to the top. “Tell all your friends….”


Additionally, this Wednesday we will be joined by another UofI Urban Planning student; she is taking a look at school accessibility, and being relatively new to the US, she realizes she needs to learn a lot about the public schools we offer here first. So she is hoping to chill with us and learn. Please drop by to join in to share your own thoughts. (Hmm….. wonder if I should bring pictures? If nothing else, the map of the district and all the schools…..)


PS – who is going to the school board meeting tonight?

Come join us at Houlihans with Scott Leopold and Stephanie Stuart: TUESDAY, Jan 15, 11:30

Just a reminder that we are meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan 15th at 11:30 at Houlihans. *NOT* Wednesday this week. 🙂

Scott presented some very interesting information at tonight’s board meeting – it was chock full of data and it would be easy to provoke questions. So if you are looking for answers, there is a really good chance you can find them at Houlihans tomorrow. If you are unable to make it, post a question here and I’ll act as a proxy for you. We may even have another special guest to help us talk high school siting.

I have my own questions from tonight’s meeting, not to mention comments and observations. I’ll have a more comprehensive write-up tomorrow (it’s late already), but here are a couple:

  • How does the birth-rate trend in Champaign correlate to the recession?
  • Scott mentioned on a couple occasions the need to annually review the data (as part of the “living” document); who is going to do that? How? What tools will we use?
  • I still want to see the data more palatable, maybe by visualizing it. For example how about a animated population density change year over year, ala Hans Rosling?

Houlihans: school board candidates and DeJong

This week I have made an open invitation to the school board candidates to come out and join us for informal conversations at Houlihans. At least two school board candidates will be in attendance, and unfortunately I know two others will not be able to attend. My goal is simply meet-and-greet style; I might have some questions I am curious about, but I am not going to grill candidates interview-style at all.


Next week (Tuesday or Wednesday, Jan 14 or 15, TBA) we are meeting with Scott Leopold again. Woot! 🙂