Friday, January 31, 2003

Silence for dollars

HalfWay Home will be the site of a day long "Meditation-thon" next weekend to benefit the newly renovated home for those in need of a place to live while they die.

Meditators are encouraged to get sponsors to help raise money for the project, which has the support of many spiritual leaders in Carbondale. Details are provided by Sirriya Din, pictured above.

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
-- Xenocrates

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Final offer

But the Faculty Association's spokesman Prof. James Kelly notes that it fails to address three important issues, so a strike may be inevitable. You can read
the article in today's DE.

Immodest proposal

As reported in a related article in the DE, when asked if assignments issued by replacement faculty would be counted, Prof. Mary Lamb said that it would be a conscience judgment made by individual teachers. "If the substitute gave an assignment that I don't agree with and that the students did badly on, I wouldn't penalize them for poor teaching," Lamb said.

In that case, Prof. Lamb won't mind if I "substitute taught" her Shakespeare classes. If the strike were to last long enough, I could chair my own Ph.D. dissertation on Shakespeare.

Brad's metier

Metier (metYAY). It's a French word, with an accent somewhere. It means personal specialty, as in Brad Cole's metier is saving the city money. The city would have saved $22,000 if they had listened to Brad and NOT bought new pole-sleeves for the parking meters.

In the caption, Brad's like "what's up with that?"

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Of strikes and balls

Taking a swing at the strike issue, I thought I missed wildly, claiming the majority of Carbondalliers, oppose a faculty strike next week. But then I learned that one person voted 700 times! So the scientific basis of the poll is invalid. No matter. The majority of people I know are against the strike, even though they may disagree with Wendler or the administration's position.

So I may still take a picket sign to the front of Faculty Association headquarters and to Anthony Hall to let them know what I think. A group of 48 non-union faculty made their disapproval known in a letter released today to local news media, as reported in the Southern Illinoisan.

On the other hand, I do support the FA's collective bargaining stance and right of teachers to walk out of classes on Feb. 2, and I won't cross the picket line to "substitute" unless the university offers to pay me a lot of money and gives me a "blue" parking sticker--and a pass to the Recreation Center, and season tickets to Saluki basketball games, plus a candy bar autographed by Kent Williams.

The looming strike has made everyone feel uneasy, both on and off campus (except the guy holding the placard above his head below.) A feeling of dread and confusion is palpable, like a coastal town at reports of an impending hurricane. Emergency preparations are being made. Calls have been out to Graduate Assistants to host classes off-campus in solidarity with the striking faculty.

Off course, not all faculty will strike, but enough to put a serious dent into the reputation of Carbondale and Southern Illinois University. It appears to be in everyone's best interest if the strike were averted. But how? One "knowledgable insider" I spoke to says binding arbitration is the only way. It has worked in other cases, such as Major League Baseball, why not at SIU? Apparently the administration has refused this option, and it may be too late now. The Daily Egyptian has an editorial about binding arbitration.

All in all, an excellent opportunity for Rod "Attaboy" Blagojevich to fly in here in his new Governor's plane, meet with the principal negotiators, and help them--make them--agree on a new contract. Governor Rod has demonstrated himself capable of taking the bull by the horns in the first days of his administration by firing hundreds of former Gov. Ryan's handpicked appointees, but does the gov have the balls to put his reputation on the line on the court of higher education? Firing people is much easier than getting them to agree on disparate issues.

Will Gov. Rod answer the call? Does he realize how much a strike will suck for SIU and the Carbondale community?

And speaking of sucking, there's this sign held angrily aloft on Tuesday by a disgruntled SIU student (an Art major, I've been told).

Let's hope it wasn't Graphic Arts. The kid may have a point.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Rooney Tunes

James Rooney worked at the White House under two Presidents. He has a picture of himself with Paul Simon and another famous politician. He thinks Carbondale should follow the Marion model of economic development. He speaks of the people of Carbondale as "sons and daughters of coal miners." He's lived in Carbondale for a year. He wants to put up police kiosks on the street. His vote-for-me card has an American flag on it.

Apparently, he's liked more by women voters than by men, who are turned off by his glib generalities and lack of concrete details.

So I took the liberty of making up an ad for James Rooney.

While in other news...

Brad Lives!

Finally heard from mayoral candidate Brad Cole and he's alive and well, none the worse for having lost an $80,000/yr job to the vagaries of party politics. His new COLE FOR MAYOR tee-shirts are Saluki maroon and grey, in contrast with his opponent's "Fighting Irish" green and white array.

And speaking of Salukis...

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Dawgies in the windows

Since it was about 20 degrees warmer today, I went outside to snap a warm photo. This one taken inside the Shoe Gallery, next door to Rosetta News, down the strip from Quatros.

Seven Saluki Dog statues are on display around town, according to a recent article in the Daily Egyptian.... An earlier article was published in 2000, when the statues first made their appearance.

Two more statues are on display at 710 Bookstore.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Strike too?

February 3 is the date called for. The word on the street is that a strike will be devastating to the economy of the City of Carbondale. Not only short term, but in the future. Some enterprising reporter for the Times, DE or SI ought to investigate the effect of recent strikes on other university towns, if she hasn't already.

Pre-strike rally?

A preventative measure, before the abrasion and the scab, so the city of Carbondale doesn't fall down and skin its knee on the concrete facts of economic reality.

Voter Registration on Campus

Carbondale Nightlife's editor-in-chief, Chris Wissmann, along with attorney Pat Kelly, and Lance Jack (occupation unknown) got 250 students and others registered to vote last week on the SIU campus, and will continue their effort today, in the Student Center and at Lentz and Trueblood Halls tonight.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Whither Brad?

I hope he doesn't mind me saying so, but Brad Cole had a bad week last week. He lost his new job (as Senior Administrator & Regional Manager of Central Management Services for the State of Illinois) to new Gov. Rod Blagojevich's purge of former Governor Ryan's appointees, while his opponent in the mayoral election, Maggie Flanagan, turned down his request for 6 debates. What next? Will Brad's library card be revoked?

As Brad's unappointed counselor, I would advise him to 'hang in there'. Exceptional men and women have always had to overcome adversity and disappointment on the path of great achievement.

In other news...

Sunday, January 19, 2003

For the Benefit of Ms. Kite

Tonight there were two more benefit events for worthy causes. At Chicago Underground a benefit for Maggie "Margaret" Flanagan, and later in the evening, at Hangar 9, a benefit for Makanda Fest. Music by The Dorians, St. Stephen's Blues and American Music.

After being benefited herself earlier in the evening, Maggie attended the Makanda Fest benefit at the Hangar (the best bar for hearing and dancing to bands in Carbondale). Maggie brought along Jennifer, the newest member of her team, a savvy veteran a recent congressional campaign and a hard-fought Homecoming Queen contest in college.

Sitting at the bar, as The Dorians set up, Maggie gave me an emory board and a ballpoint pen with her website address on the cylinder, which is difficult to read, because the pen is translucent and ink shaft obscures the small green lettering. The emory board works great, but during the band's break I went over to Maggie's table sat in the empty seat next to her and asked "Why emory boards? Are you targeting women voters?" The good-natured candidate laughed "No, my campaign is just keeping sharp."

She also said she turned down Brad Cole's request for 6 (!) debates in a letter she quoted to me from memory, but I won't try to, since I was on my second Bass Ale at the time. Maggie DID say she'd debate him in The League of Women Voters forum in March. Perhaps she or Brad will share their exchange in the pages of the Shawnee Network newsletter.

The Makanda Fest benefit really started to rock when St. Stephen's Blues took the stage. Robbie, Jimmy, Julie up front. The best rock and roll band in Carbondale didn't disappoint. Anita Hayden wasn't disappointed either. A few Makanda Fest tee-shirts and CDs got sold and enough money was raised to pay for flyers to promote the Festival.

In other news...

Dinner Theater for Mental Health

There was show last night at the Carbondale Civic Center. A Dinner Theater. The Tuna was Greater, while the salmon and roast beef served up by Heartland Catering was succulent and tender, and the room was filled with hungry Friends of Southern Illinois Regional Social Services, craving crazy entertainment. They got it. Stan Hale's production of Greater Tuna, about functional "mental cases" in a small Texas town was something the audience could relate to.

The event was hosted by Paul and Patti Simon prominent friends of SIRSS. Noticably absent were any mentally ill people in the crowd (except possibly one guy asking Harvey Welch the name of the greatest athlete in Carbondale history), but there were photographs of many success stories, including someone who's been seeing my daughter! Not the guy pictured above with Patti and Paul, that's Prof. Sam Goldman, another community leader and Friend of SIRSS.

Stan Hale's production of Greater Tuna was marvelous. Like "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" set in small-town Texas. Great performances by actors Ryan Patrick and Tim Robinson, of whom more later.

now, back to the future.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Long time comin'

A new improved Shawnee Network web site. More links. Redesigned entertainment page. News page. Directory. Home. Coming soon.

In the meantime...things are the same as they were at the time of my last post, but different. The weather has been "unseasonably warm" the past two days. For January.

In coming weeks, important decisions will be made by Carbondalliers in secret votes. To strike or not? To vote for whom for mayor and city council?

To SIRSS with Love

Are you a friend of SIRSS (Southern Illinois Regional Social Services)? Do you like fabulous food and fun? Do you have $50 to throw at Carbondale's mentally ill and the people who watch over them? Then buy a ticket to the "Friends of SIRSS Dinner Theater", have a steak dinner, broiled salmon and stuff and enjoy a performance of "Greater Tuna" at the Carbondale Civic Center on January 18 at 6:30 p.m.

For tickets or to sponsor, call June Hayes, 618-457-6703, ext. 239 before tomorrow.