A new radio station will soon be on the air in central Illinois. It’ll be the voice of Illinois Central College on FM 90.7 and will primarily serve the students and faculty. A high ranking school official told me the station will also be a valuable marketing resource enabling the community to learn more about ICC. The new educational station joins Bradley University station, WCBU, on the FM dial. Congratulations to Illinois Central College for making it possible for students interested in broadcasting as a career to receive on-the-job training.
CONGRATULATIONS ON ANOTHER GREAT YEAR
Peoria continues to shine before the rest of the state in hosting the Illinois High School Association basketball tournaments. All those volunteers, past and present, who make possible the positive and exciting events of the two weekend tournaments, are to be commended.
Among those are the people who serve as hosts for the various teams. Volunteers like Bob Sulaski, a retired Caterpillar executive, welcome the players and their coaches. The highlight of the experience, says Sulaski, is hosting the team for an evening dinner. “I answer a lot of their questions about Peoria and Bradley University,” he said. “The players are always polite and well-behaved which is a tribute to their coaches.”
The most disappointing part of the March basketball tournaments was having to look at all those ugly tattoos. It’s one thing for NBA and college players to walk around looking like comic book pages, but to see high school kids sporting these stupid drawings is something else. All the tattoos and jewelry hanging from ears and noses among our youth today seems symbolic of how screwed up parenting has become.
It reminds me of the wonderful joke Royce Elliott tells about the guy who went to the bar, “The Gay Nineties,” where the guys were gay and the women in their nineties. He said he looked around and saw two guys holding hands at the bar and two women embracing at a table and asked the guy he was dancing with, “What kind of joint is this anyway?”
Have you noticed how obsessed the Journal Star is with President Obama? They’ve run more pictures of Obama in the last year than they did of George Bush for his eight years. Recently, in just the front section, there were four photos of Obama and a few days later, three more, including two on the front page. I guess the rumor is true that the folks at the newspaper have removed their pinup of Jane Fonda from the men’s room and replaced it with one of Obama.
Officials of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame are all smiles these days. They set an attendance record at this year’s 29th Annual Induction Banquet with 724 people on hand.
Individuals inducted included former Bradley basketball player Mike Chianakas; softball pitcher Tonya Gilles Koch; Metamora High School’s Mr. Football, Marty Stromberger; and local motorcycle legend, Wayne Wiebler. The Hall of Fame also inducted the Manual football teams of 1975, 1976, and 1977, the 1974 Central football team, and the Pekin tennis teams of 1950, 51, and 52. Honored as Tri-County Coaches of the Year were Sue Sinclair of ICC and Pat Ryan of Metamora. The Athletes of the Year were Sherrick McManis of Northwestern University and swimmer Becky Stoughton of Notre Dame. Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy was presented the Neve Harms Award.
As more and more information is revealed about the poor financial condition of District 150, recent decisions by the board look even more ridiculous. The board voted to close Woodruff High School and then made a financial commitment to open a new charter school. Next they hired a new Superintendent with a bonus of $10,000 for a “Job Coach” to help her succeed.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
District 150 officials are spending millions to retro fit Peoria High School in order to accommodate the transfer of 650 Woodruff students next school year. District insiders are telling me the odds are not good that workers will complete the necessary projects by the time school starts in late August. What happens then?
CLOSE THE DEPARTMENT
While the country continues its financial decline with unemployment in Peoria at over 13% and 20% in Rockford, Democrat leadership in Washington might want to take another look at what President Ronald Reagan proposed in the 1980’s. Reagan suggested eliminating the Department of Education and its more than 4,000 employees created by that great innovator, Jimmy Carter. Reagan said it wasn’t the responsibility of a Washington bureaucrat to educate our children but a parental right and responsibility. Reagan suggested a voucher program so parents can choose which school, public or private, their children can attend. Of course, he failed at that idea, but Canadians haven’t. Since Obama has replicated the Canadian idea for healthcare, perhaps he should look at the Canadian educational system of choice. Our northern neighbors have no expensive Department of Education opting instead for local provincial control that is providing direct per student grants or vouchers to private, independent and religious schools. The grants are available to families of all income levels. Provinces with school choice programs have seen higher student achievement. A study found that competition created by such programs resulted in improved public schools with higher student success. Don’t get your hopes up for such a system in this country. President Obama is opposed to educational choices, but loves to spend our money. His 2010 budget for the Department of Education is a record $78 billion.
Speaking of choices, Bradley University continues to make wrong choices for speakers. Angela Davis, a former member of the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted List, who purchased guns for the Black Panthers, and was a vice presidential candidate for the Communist Party, was a well-paid speaker on the Hilltop. Like another left-wing radical, Bill Ayers, Davis was later a college professor. As if Davis coming to the university wasn’t bad enough, her trip was preceded by an appearance of leftist journalist, Leonard “The” Pitts. That’s what I respect about today’s universities. They are so good at providing diverse educational opportunities. Diversity to them is not right and left, but left and far left.
Peorian, Ray LaHood, was the center of attention on Chicago’s morning radio show, “Don Wade and Roma,” Monday, March 15. The Secretary of Transportation for the Obama administration had written an op-ed piece for the Chicago Tribune endorsing national healthcare. LaHood said if he was still in the House of Representatives he would vote for the Obama bill. Don Wade called the LaHood article “a piece of sewage” among other things. It was one of the most harsh criticisms I had ever heard from Wade who’s been doing the morning show with his wife on WLS since 1985. Other callers had similar negative remarks about LaHood. The critics should remember the old adage, “You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” LaHood, after all, is serving at the pleasure of President Obama.
Have you noticed the trend toward using young 19-23 year old girls to do TV commercials from cars to restaurants? It’s an interesting marketing ploy, but does it work?
Speaking of TV commercials, I think the CIA should end water-boarding of terrorist prisoners by forcing them to watch two days of “Bewitched” re-runs or a full day of nothing but Sherman’s commercials. Either would force the prisoners to spill their guts.
Unless I’m mistaken, I thought I saw Peorian Hal Fritz at the microphone during Medal of Honor ceremonies at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The event was covered by Brian Williams and NBC on WEEK-TV. Fritz is a Medal of Honor winner and active locally on behalf of veterans.
Both Bradley and Illinois had unceremonious conclusions to their basketball seasons. Bradley wisely chose not to participate in any of the poor quality post-season tournaments while Illinois was harshly bounced from the NIT by a superior Dayton team.
Meanwhile, former Illinois player Jamar Smith had a spectacular season playing for Southern Indiana University. Smith, who left Illinois under a dark cloud, wound up as the Division II Player of the Year according to the magazine, “Basketball Times.” He set records for 3 point shooting and average points per game, 20.2, for his two year career at the school.
Gosh, what if he had played for Illinois this year? The word is Smith will be visiting a couple of NBA tryouts.
Illinois junior guard Demetri McCamey says he’ll explore the NBA but will drop out if he’s not selected in the first round. Not.
WANT TO LIVE LONGER?
Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones of Northwestern University and some of his associates, have developed seven steps for longer life. Called “Life’s Simple 7,” they are:
• Never smoked or quit more than one year ago
• Body mass index of less than 2.5
• Physical activity of at least 150 minutes a week (moderate intensity)
• Maintaining a healthy diet
• Total cholesterol less than 200
• Blood pressure below 120/80
• Fasting blood glucose less than 100
The American Heart Association says if you can reach age 50 successfully following these seven steps, you can probably live another 40 years free of heart disease and stroke. Of course, you always run the risk of getting hit by a car driven by someone who didn’t follow the seven steps.
Vice President Joe Biden should’ve been a comedian. I remember when Dan Quayle was victimized by the media for incorrectly spelling potato. The “foot in the mouth” disease Biden has makes Quayle look like Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. The latest gaffe came when Biden, before a “live” microphone, called passage of the Obama health plan, “A big f—ing deal” as he hugged the President. He also greeted the Irish prime minister at the White House by extending condolences to his mother, saying, “God bless her soul.” The prime minister’s mother is ill, but not dead.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“What a strange and sad notion is the concept that has gained currency in recent years that humanitarian progress is achieved by relieving people of problems rather than by making them self-reliantly able to handle problems.” —Dr. Norman Vincent Peale