Smile Politely

SPews: July 16, 2010

Howell E-mail: ‘Teaching at UIUC no more’,” Daily Illini, July 15

Dear Former Students:

I write to inform you of a drastic change in my life in case you have any interest, and especially in case you were thinking of taking a course with me in the future. I will no longer be teaching at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The reason is that the Dept. of Religion dismissed me for teaching the Catholic position on homosexual acts in my class “Introduction to Catholicism.”



Urbana to be recognized for bike-friendly status,” News-Gazette, July 15

A representative of the League of American Bicyclists will present city officials with a sign recognizing Urbana as a Bike Friendly Community. The city will also have a bike rodeo and a family bike ride.

. . .

Urbana was the only city in Illinois to get the nod this round and the first downstate city to be so recognized. Chicago, Naperville and Schaumburg are the only other Illinois cities recognized as Bicycle Friendly Communities.

Natural History Building damage has UI professors, students scrambling,” News-Gazette, July 15

Work is under way to shore up sagging, century-old floors at the University of Illinois Natural History Building, where longer-term structural repairs will cost at least $18 million.

Meanwhile, professors and students who work in the UI’s oldest academic building are scrambling to find new quarters as the campus tries to make part of the building usable before fall classes start Aug. 23.

UI faculty member’s oil skimmer could collect 100 barrels per day,” Daily Illini, July 15

Tim Lindsey, associate director of the University’s Illinois Sustainability Technology Center, has developed a functioning model of his version of an oil skimmer that pulls oil toward it while remaining stationary. Although the model is currently only about 20 inches long, floating in a kiddy pool and captained by two LEGO men, Lindsey hopes the project will get funding and eventually find a place in the wide effort to clean up the excess oil in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizen oil rig explosion in April.

Quinn wants open primaries for Illinois,” State Journal-Register, July 13

Springfield Ward 5 Ald. Sam Cahnman said he got a clue last month that Gov. Pat Quinn might use his amendatory veto power to try to bring open primaries to Illinois.

Quinn did exactly that Tuesday, rewriting legislation Tuesday to let people vote in Illinois primary elections without having to publicly declare a political party.

. . . 

“The choice to favor one political party over another is a personal one and should be between a voter and his or her conscience,” Quinn wrote in an amendatory veto message to lawmakers.

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