March 2006
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  • Karrie E. Alms: Amazing insight into the world of politics awaits any reader at pibgorn … from a Demon’s...
  • Tony: Homefield is Dynegy. Dynegy is Ameren. There Charging You twice for the same energy. Do you really thihk $.04...
  • SouthEnder: Also does anyone remember the Velvet Freeze located on Jefferson St, up the street from the Warner Homes....
  • Eric Pollitt: I flew economy class to Hong Kong for Christmas vacation, which is a 14 hour flight. When I got back...
  • Mike: Homefield has been sold to dynery. Google dynegy scandal to see who your new parent is. If this upsets you give...
  • mortified: Fun while it lasted. Godspeed!
  • aaron: your blogging will be missed but i know that your spirit of fairness will remain alive in your other...
  • Jon: CJ, your blog was a revelation and an inspiration. You have a wonderful talent that is an asset to the...
  • Billy Dennis: Of course the Chronicle is done: Screw you. The Chronicle is one of the best researched blogs...
  • Paul Wilkinson: CJ, am sorry you have ended your blog. It was well done. It seems many have given up as we keep...
  • Sharon Crews: Your voice is definitely needed in this community. Thanks for all your insights.
  • emergepeoria: Your blog is great resource to research Peoria issues. I hope you leave it up.
  • BucketHead: I was not suggesting that, I believe the both of you had very strong common sense and that lead to your...
  • C. J. Summers: Without anonymity, there is no courage among my detractors. Take a look back at the wide variety of...
  • Of course the Chronicle is done: Without Sandberg to give stores to the Chronicle there is no Chronicle.

If you live close to a park or school, beware

I got to thinking about the park and school districts’ plan to site a school at the corner of Frye and Prospect. Their justification for this is that they need 15 acres to build a new school, and thus the current campuses aren’t large enough. They also see an intergovernmental agreement as a major […]

State does not require 15 acres to build new schools

I listened to WMBD radio’s morning show today and they interviewed Ken Hinton on the school & park districts’ school-building plan. I don’t have a transcript of the interview, so I can’t swear to what exactly he said, but I came away from the interview believing the State of Illinois requires new schools be […]

Kellar Branch Update: Western spur gets its first test

Carver Lumber finally received rail service again when Union Pacific dropped off three cars on the western spur and Central Illinois Railway delivered them to Carver’s loading dock on Thursday, March 16. Local blogger and train enthusiast David Jordan reported this event on the PeoriaRails Yahoo Group:

Central Illinois Railroad made its first revenue run today.

DRSX SW-9 #1207 pulled the three cars from Pioneer Jct. [where the western spur meets the Union Pacific line] and delivered them to Carver Lumber, restoring service to this customer for the first time in seven months, and becoming the first revenue freight train to operate on the former Union Pacific Pioneer Industrial Lead since the last boxcars were delivered to International Paper before closure in late 1995.

Boxcar BCOL 60384 is on spot by the unloading platform, centerbeam flat car TTZX 34700 was already unloaded by 4:00pm while the second boxcar, HS 3185, sits just inside the gate waiting to be spotted (still coupled to the TTZX car). A fourth car (TTZX 84700) is enroute . . . .

Central Illinois Railway (CIRY) never did provide service to Carver Lumber over the Kellar Branch as the city promised and CIRY’s contract stipulated. They attempted it once with insufficient equipment and ended up with a runaway train and a derailment. During the seven months they were without rail access, Carver Lumber had to ship their freight by truck, adding over $25,000 to their shipping costs.

You may remember that Carver Lumber reported this to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and asked the Board to stay their order allowing the city to remove the Kellar Branch tracks. Carver wanted the order stayed until they started receiving rail shipments again and could get assurance that service via the western spur would be comparable to the service they used to receive from Pioneer Industrial Railway (PIRY) over the Kellar Branch.

Now that they’ve received their first shipment over the new spur, they will presumably be replying to the STB with their report on the adequacy of service they’re receiving. Rail experts speculate that Carver will be paying more for rail service due to the additional routing of shipments.

Meanwhile, PIRY has been busy filing multiple requests with the STB and litigation in state court and U.S. Appeals Court. The U.S. Appeals Court case is apparently on hold pending the Board’s decision on whether to lift their stay or reopen the proceeding that allowed service to be discontinued over the Kellar Branch.

So, expect this to drag out for a while.

Continue reading Kellar Branch Update: Western spur gets its first test

Council roundup: Longevity pay gets the short straw

Long-time city employees will no longer be rewarded for simply sticking it out a requisite number of years.  The city council voted to eliminate longevity raises/bonuses for city managers and give salary increases based on merit alone, like most businesses nowadays.

If I worked for the city a long time, I would probably be […]

Council roundup: Hotel “request for proposal” approved

The city council wants to get proposals for a new hotel that would be physically connected to the Peoria Civic Center.  The Civic Center Authority believes that such a hotel is crucial for the success of the civic center expansion.  According to the all-knowing, all-seeing consultants, convention centers “in northern climates” are more successful […]

Council roundup: Council quiet on noise ordinance

The city council tonight deferred action for two weeks on a proposed noise ordinance revision.  The council agenda included an item that would give the police the power to impound a vehicle that violates the noise ordinance (noise so loud it can be heard from 75 feet from the vehicle). Councilwoman Van Auken explained […]

Manifest Destiny

It disturbs me that Mexican President Vicente Fox is pleased that the U.S. is working on passing the closest thing to amnesty as they can for illegal Mexican immigrants. According to the Associated Press:

Mexican President Vicente Fox said the vote was the result of five years of work dating to the start of […]

Cable franchise agreement to be extended until July 15

The 20-year cable franchise agreement the City of Peoria has with Insight Communications is set to expire April 15, but the city is offering to extend it until July 15, according to Randy Ray, corporation counsel for the city.

Ray didn’t explain further, so the rest of this post is pure speculation.

It appears […]

Lane Evans will retire

WMBD-AM 1470 reports that U.S. Representative Lane Evans will not run for reelection due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed in 1995 and has been unable to work since February 14 of this year. He is 54.

He just won the nomination for another term in last Tuesday’s primary, so now […]

City planning largely to blame for isolation

I’ve been commenting on quite a few Journal Star articles today. I should send them a thank-you note for supplying me so much material. But they did have another interesting piece — this one on elderly residents who stop driving due to safety concerns.

The subhead for the article reads, “the loss of independence […]