By Steve Robinson | January 29, 2008 - 10:35 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

The Climate ProjectNORMAL – Carolyn Treadway is on a mission to save the Earth – and after a speech she gave to a recent group of students and local citizens at Illinois State University, she is hoping she will have more help to complete that task.

On Jan. 28, Treadway was invited by ISU’s Environmental Task Force to speak to the 25 enrolled students in Dr. Jean Brehm’s Sociology class called “Society And Environment.”

The general public was also invited to hear her speech in a large lecture hall in Schroeder Hall on ISU’s campus, swelling the number of those in attendance in all to around 110 people.

In June 2006, a group called The Climate Project began operations based in Nashville, Tenn.-based non-profit organization was begun with the goal of increasing awareness of the climate crisis at a grassroots level, both in the United States and abroad.

Treadway said she was thrilled to be invited by Vice President Al Gore to be one of 1,000 people selected by Gore to attend the seminar he taught concerning the dangers our planet faces because of Global Warming in January 2007 in Nashville, sponsored by The Climate Project.

Treadway said people should be concerned because the signs of global warming are quite evident. She likened Earth’s current atmosphere to being like “a coat of varnish on an orange.”

To demonstrate her point, she showed slides of melting snowcaps at Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She stated that when glaciers in the Himalayas melt completely, 40 percent of the planet’s water source will be gone.

Using slides provided to her by her training sessions with Gore, Treadway warned an increase in carbon monoxide will decrease soil moisture anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent in coming years.

She said the affects of that might later be seen when farmers who plant corn and soybeans need to rethink where to plant their crops due to a lack of moisture.

“We could lose the polar ice caps sometime this century,” Treadway told her audience — the result of an increase in a temperature flux. She said a 1 degree increase in temperature at the equator was equal to a 12 degree increase at the North Pole, resulting in the increased likelihood of melting.

She said the increase in warmer temps has also created a resurgence in diseases like West Nile Virus and Malaria.

Treadway scolded President George W. Bush for his not adding America to the list of countries who signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1996. The objective of the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce greenhouse gasses which create climate change. It was agreed on in 1997.

“When are we going learn that we have a tiny pixel of a planet and we have to protect it?,” Treadway asked.

When not speaking on the global warming issue, Treadway, a grandmother who works as a personal life coach, family therapist, and pastoral counselor, operates GraceFull Life Coaching, based in Normal.

At the sessions Treadway attended in Nashville, speakers like herself sat in numerous large groups with climate experts present as Gore gave the lectures on the subject himself. A total of 2,000 people Gore has asked to teach about global warming’s effects, like Treadway, were present for the sessions.

Treadway said Gore gives the instructors the materials to be shared with the public and mandates that those he teaches the material to speak before 10 groups to pass on the message. When Treadway addressed Brehm’s class, she was on her 25th speech. She said she has had requests by others interested in the subject – enough interest to be able to give 10 more speeches.

By Steve Robinson | January 25, 2008 - 10:09 pm
Posted in Category: Pekin Daily Times, Tremont

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – Tremont High started the 98th Annual McLean County Tournament knowing full-well being the top seed here made them a moving target for opponents like Downs Tri-Valley going into the tournament semi-final Friday night.

Aggressive play by Downs Tri-Valley’s forced Tremont into double overtime on their way to a 72-71 Vikings win before a crowd of roughly 1,100 fans at Illinois Wesleyan’s Shirk Center.

Tremont (15-5) owned leads of 16-13 after one quarter, and 29-26 at halftime, largely on the scoring prowess of Turks senior guard Jeremy Pflederer who scored 21 of his team-high 24, including one trey, in the first half.

Midway through the third quarter, Tri-Valley (13-10) contained Tremont’s defense while simultaneously getting baskets from junior guard Alex Gelsthorpe, senior guards Jacob Lewis and Jeff Boward, all of those boosted by a trey by sophomore guard Gabe Cripe, putting the Vikings up 44-42 going into the fourth quarter.

Tremont chased Tri-Valley halfway through the quarter until two baskets, including one off of a steal, by junior guard Matt Workman put the Turks up, 50-46.

Tri-Valley cut the lead to 51-50 on free throws by senior guard Andrew Lauritson with 1:14 left in regulation.

Workman was fouled twice in the span of 10 seconds, hitting four free throws giving Tremont a 53-52 lead with 18.5 seconds left in the contest. But a three from Boward with 9.7 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, the game tied at 55-all after regulation.

Tremont found themselves chasing Tri-Valley throughout the first overtime until a bucket by senior forward Michael Galat timed the game at 61-all with 1:20 left. Having been fouled while making that shot, Galat added one free throw putting Tremont up, 62-61 to the delight of the Tremont faithful.

But a basket by Gelsthorpe with 53 seconds put Tri-Valley up 63-62 with 53 seconds left in the overtime.

Workman was provided a chance to take the game for Tremont when he was fouled by Vikings senior guard Luke Kaiser with 1.5 seconds left. But, while Workman’s first shot tied the game at 63-all, his second shot hit the rim and bounced away forcing double overtime.

Tri-Valley jumped out to 67-64 lead on two baskets by Gelsthorpe before baskets by sophomore forward Steven Szetela and senior guard Jordan Pflederer pushed Tremont in front, 68-67, with 1:43 remaining.

Tri-Valley went up 70-67 on a basket by Gelsthorpe, followed by going 1-for-2 at the free throw line, having been fouled by Galat.

TremontWorkman got another chance to save Tremont with two free throws with 27.3 seconds left, putting Tremont up71-70.

But Gelsthorpe drove down the lane on in the Vikings’ next possession, scoring what turned out to be the winning layup.

Tremont got the ball to junior guard Eli Botemps, who drove down the floor and tried for one last shot from the top of the key. The ball bounced off the rim and ricocheted back onto the floor where a mad scramble for it followed as time expired.

“The effort was there (and) both teams played extremely hard,” Tremont head coach Ron Martin said. “We just kept battling and battling, and had chances to win. But, we just came up short.”

Martin said his team’s play in the third quarter “went soft” in the third quarter allowing Tri-Valley to climb back into the contest.

“We stepped up, we got some great shots, and we had our chances,” Martin said. “For the circumstances we were under, I thought we did a great job.”

Tri-Valley head coach Jon Nelson recalled how his team played the Turks last season with not as much confidence last season, but said his team was not gun-shy Friday. “They got out there and got the job done,” he said after the contest.

Jeremy Pflederer led Tremont’s scoring with 24 points. He was joined in double-figures by 21 from Workman.

Gelsthorpe’s 24 points led Tri-Valley to victory. He was followed in double-figures by Boward’s 13, and 10 each from Lauritson and Kaiser.

The Turks will play for the tourney’s third place trophy Saturday night, against Fieldcrest beginning with a 3 p.m. tip-off. Heyworth beat Fieldcrest, 70-67, to advance to the championship game against Downs Tri-Valley beginning at 8p.m.

By Steve Robinson | January 24, 2008 - 10:49 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

Town of NormalNORMAL – For the second time in five months, concerns over a local developer’s desire to expand a property on which new townhouses would be built went before the Normal Town Council on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

At the regular council session, pushed back one day by the federal holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 21, Normal Town Council members debated whether to allow developer Jeff Tinervin to expand The Oaks On Hovey by 43 percent.

The increase would allow Tinervin to build more townhouses onto the property. But to do that required the Town rezone the property first, from being a single family residential neighborhood to being classified by the Town as mixed residential.

The council voted 6-1 to allow the change in classification after lengthy discussion. Council member Jason Chambers cast the lone dissenting vote.

Part of what may have contributed to the council’s approval was Tinervin continuing to work with the Town on a number of issues that came to their attention when he first addressed the council in August.

At that time, when the proposed development of six new townhouses, made up of 30 four-bedroom units, and adding 100 parking spaces to the property was brought before the council, a 6-1 vote to table the measure until early 2008 was the result.

In August, the council heard reports of the area being a mix of elderly, families with children, and college students. That mix, the council was informed then, frequently led to disputes among neighbors at times.

The council, in August, heard that there were frequent calls to police to resolve disputes as a result of the residential mix.

Also, at that time, City staff reported that the land must be rezoned from being considered family residential to mixed residential because college students, families with children, and seniors make up the groups of people who reside at the complex.

Tuesday’s vote means Tinervin’s request to rezone the 2.65 acres of land so that he can add 6 new buildings to the property has the Town’s approval.

Mercy Davison, Normal Town Planner, indicated to the council that Tinervin has increased the hours that private security patrols the property at night and given residents written regulations regarding what is expected of them by the property owners.

“(Tinervin’s) willingness to make changes and work with the neighbors is pretty high,” said council member Jeff Fritzen prior to the vote.

Council member Jason Chambers’ opposing vote came from his belief that future developers may not want to build single family units near the expanded property.

“This is a tough call, but Mr. Tinervin was asked (by the Town) to do certain things and he has,” said council member Cheryl Gaines prior to the vote.

Tinervin is looking to put six new townhouses, made up of 30 four-bedroom units, and adding 100 parking spaces.

The Oaks On Hovey already has 14 townhouses. The addition Tinervin wants to make would, when completed, give The Oaks On Hovey a total of 100 four-bedroom units and 380 parking spaces.

Sharing A National Agenda: Council member Sonja Reece, the newest member of the National League of Cities, presented the council with NLC’s Federal Lobbying Agenda for 2008. Among the areas targeted for discussion and action are Transportation, Housing, Safe Neighborhoods, Green Initiatives, and Immigration.

Reece said NLC is preparing to ask Congress for full Federal funding of a new Energy and Environmental Block Grant in the amount of $2 billion.

She said while the immigration issue does not have a significant impact on the Twin Cities, it has become critical for other cities and border states.

New “Sister Cities Committee” Member: The Bloomington-Normal Sister Cities Committee has a new member, as announced by Reece. The new member is Neil Dellinger, 500 Amherst, Normal. He is employed by Caterpillar, Inc.

Omnibus Agenda Approved: Among the omnibus agenda items the council approved were:

• The minutes of the public hearing Dec. 17, 2007 pertaining to a proposed amendment to an annexation agreement – Kelley Glen PUD.

• The minutes of a public hearing Dec. 17, 2007 pertaining to a proposed amendment to an annexation agreement – North Bridge Subdivision.

• The minutes of council’s regular meeting on January 7, 2008.

• A resolution requesting temporary closures of state right-of-way for annual community events.

• A resolution accepting the public improvements in the first addition to Collie Ridge Subdivision for maintenance.

• A resolution conditionally approving the final plat for the fourth resubdivision of Lots 1 and 2 of Northtown Subdivision by expedited process.

Two other items from the omnibus agenda were pulled for discussion by council members before voting on them.

The first was a resolution executing a contract for the design and construction of a building expansion to the Public Works Operations and Service Center with Morton-based CORE Construction for a total amount not to exceed $3,081,274 including alternatives for Bond and LEED Certification and approving the necessary budget adjustment. It passed unanimously.

Then, council members discussed a resolution accepting a proposal from Champaign-based Clark-Dietz Engineers to perform LEED consulting services for a total not to exceed $67,000 and approving the necessary budget adjustment.

The building in question is the new Public Works and Operations Service Center, located at 1301 Warriner St.

By Steve Robinson | January 22, 2008 - 10:32 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

Town of NormalNORMAL – The Normal Liquor Commission Monday night heard from members of a local group asking the Commission to consider requiring people who purchase kegs of beer to be registered.

Four members of the Bloomington-Normal Community Campus Committee attended the meeting with two BNCCC members addressing Commissioners.

In a 10-minute presentation, BNCCC member Kerri Calvert told Commissioners that members of her group went on “ride alongs” with Normal Police to observe how NPD handles parties where kegs are used.

She said her group’s members also went to owners of local liquor stores to let them know about the consequences involved of selling alcohol to minors. In Normal, penalties range from fines to suspensions after a certain number of infractions within the three year period for which licenses are granted through the Town.

Another BNCCC member, Scott Friedlein who is an officer with Champaign Police but was at the meeting as an individual, told Commissioners BNCCC would like to see the Town take a “pro-active approach” to keg registration.

He said BNCCC would like to see liquor store owners tell patrons what they can and cannot do once they purchase a keg. For instance, BNCCC would like to have store owners remind patrons that they cannot sell beer by the cup, among other illegalities.

Friedlein said that, in addition to that, the local universities could educate their students on the responsibilities involved with taking on the role of the host of a party where a keg is furnished.

He said approved party lists are also something to consider. Approved party lists are the result of those wishing to have kegs registering their function with local police, giving the authorities the chance to either approve or decline events due to reports of previous problems at registered locations.

“The emphasis is on education, not telling students they can’t hold events…can’t have a good time,” Friedlein said. “We’re telling them they need to be responsible.”

City Manager Mark Peterson, in response to a question from Commissioner Chris Koos, said the Town is giving liquor license holders a chance to respond to the idea before asking the Liquor Commission to put the idea to a vote.

Koos said he would like to talk to Champaign Police himself to obtain more information.

BNCCC member Bobbie Lewis-Sibley said before the meeting that BNCCC has the support of the Student Government Association at Illinois State University, and the presidents of all of the colleges in the community – ISU, Illinois Wesleyan University, Heartland Community College, and Lincoln College.

BNCCC is represented by people associated with ISU, IWU, HCC, and Lincoln College.

BNCCC has existed since June 2005 and is operating financially courtesy of a three-year $100,000 grant from Chestnut Health Systems.

Three Restaurants Fined: The Commission voted unanimously to fine three Normal restaurants for selling alcohol to minors.

The three restaurants were: Happy Valley Corporation, doing business as Flat Top Grill, 307 Veterans Parkway; Destihl, LLC, doing business as Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works, 318 S. Towanda Ave.; and Los Potrillos, Inc., doing business as Los Potrillos Real Mexican Cuisine, 201 N. Landmark Dr.

For each restaurant, the violation was a first offense. Each restaurant paid a $250 fine.

The Commission also approved the minutes of three meetings held in 2007, on Oct. 15, November 5, and December 17.

By Steve Robinson | January 21, 2008 - 10:42 pm
Posted in Category: Flanagan, Pekin Daily Times, Tremont

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – As top seed at the 98th Annual McLean County Tournament, the Tremont Turks are fully aware they are – but can’t afford to play like – marked men.

Knowing the bullseye was on their backs, the Turks came into Monday’s semi-final against 10-11 Flanagan playing a cautious first quarter on their way to a 49-32 win over the ninth seeded Falcons at the Shirk Center on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.

Jumping out to a fast 5-0 lead on baskets by senior guard Todd Cantrell and junior guard Matt Workman, along with a free throw by junior forward Matt Draear pushed Tremont (15-4) into a fast 5-0 lead.

FlanaganAlthough Flanagan caught up on baskets by junior guard Patrick Kelly and senior forward Alex Detwiler, and a free throw from senior forward Lucas Folkerts, tying the game at 5-all at the 2:30 mark in the quarter, a trey by Cantrell at the 1:17 mark helped Tremont go in front, 8-5 on their way to the 10-9 lead they owned going into the second quarter.

Tremont owned an 18-11 lead at one point in the second quarter before baskets by Detwiler, senior forward Dan Jones, and sophomore guard Drew Duffy allowed the Falcons to pull within three, 18-15, at halftime.

Tremont stayed in front on the strength of back-to-back baskets by senior guard Jeremy Pflederer, increasing Tremont’s lead to 22-18 with 5:45 in the third quarter, on his way to scoring a game-high 16 points.

The Turks owned a 29-26 lead going into the fourth quarter, and put victory out of Flanagan’s reach on the strength of a 9-0 march in the last quarter, led by baskets from Jeremy Pflederer and sophomore forward Steven Szetela. Szetela.

TremontTurks head coach Ron Martin said he was “a lot happier” with his team’s performance Monday, having been disappointed by the Turks loss on Friday night.

“Our pressure kind of wore Flanagan down in the fourth quarter. That’s when we got some easy looks and we finally made some layups,” Martin said.

“(The kids) were a little nervous coming into here because they had the number one bullseye on their backs coming into here,” Martin said. “I thought they responded well.”

“We looked like we played on our heels all night,” said Flanagan head coach John Hughs. “Against good teams (like Tremont), if you’re not willing to do the little things and execute right all the time, they’re going to take advantage of that.”

The Turks will square off in the tourney semi-final against Downs Tri-Valley Friday night, beginning with a 6:30p.m. tip-off. The fifth seeded Vikings upset fourth seed Ridgeview, 59-43 in the other quarterfinal on Monday here.