Thumbs down to the 639 days that Illinois has been without a budget. Locally, we felt the sting again Wednesday when Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn said the Carbondale campus is going to have to find $30 million in potential cuts because of the lack of state funding and declining enrollment. Oh, and that’s on top of the $21 million in cuts the university previously identified. It’s not a good situation. Lawmakers need to get together on a budget, and it has to happen soon. No more delaying. No more politics. Our state’s universities can’t keep going on like this. Neither can anybody else. Just get it done.
Thumbs up to all of the local candidates vying for spots in next week’s municipal elections. Running for public office is difficult, and very time constraining. It also takes a special kind of person to be in the public eye like many of them will be. Running for election can also take its toll on a family. On Tuesday, we’ll go out to the polls and vote on anything from school boards to city councils to mayors. Some candidates will win, some will lose. But everybody running for a spot should be noticed. These are our future leaders, the leaders that will shape city government in the coming years.
Thumbs down to U.S. Representative John Shimkus for a series of tweets March 24 concerning what appeared to be the impending repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The tweets involved stories from constituents outlining their complaints with the ACA and were accompanied by this statement, “My constituents have judged that law, and more than 60 votes I’ve cast to repeal & replace it, through 7 years and 4 election cycles.” To be perfectly clear, Mr. Shimkus was perfectly within his rights to Tweet the information. But, the Tweets, combined with Mr. Shimkus’ statement, seemed to suggest a unanimous opinion that doesn’t exist.
Thumbs up to John Mann of Pinckneyville who is retiring after a long career at Mann and Son Sporting Goods in Pinckneyville. Mann is selling the business to a long-time employee, but he is stepping aside to enjoy some fishing and shooting himself. In addition to the traditional sporting goods business, Mann became a master gunsmith, one of eight premier Remington repair locations in the United States.
Thumbs up to the annual 11 Days of Compassion being observed in Carbondale. The observance, sponsored by Nonviolent Carbondale runs from April 1-11. Given the troubling amount of violent crime Carbondale has experienced in the past couple years, this observance is a welcome offering. “It’s exploring compassion, dialogue, conflict resolution and embracing diversity in the community,” said Diana Brawley Sussman, one of the event’s organizers and the director of the Carbondale Public Library. “We were really looking for programs that will develop a communication skill set, and we were looking for opportunities to put (people) in other peoples’ shoes.” The observance includes programs, panel discussions and documentary showings. Compassion is something we can all aspire to.
Thumbs up to Ryan Povolish of Carbondale for catching a state record crappie at Kinkaid Lake this week. As response on social media indicates, catching a state record fish is big news in Illinois — at least in this part of the state. For those in the ichthyological weeds, Povolish caught a 4 pound, 8.8 ounce black crappie in Kinkaid Lake, topping the previous record for a scant .06 of an ounce. The previous record, set at Rend Lake, had stood for nearly 40 years.
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March 31, 2017 at 08:01AM