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Wednesday, April 16, 2008 02:20 pm

Cap City

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Untitled Document ILLUMINATIILLUMINATED Watch out, Abe, and step back, Obama — we’ve got some new celebrities in town. Kevin Smith and the rest of Illuminati Motor Works are steppin’ right outta the cornfields and directly into the limelight . . . the TV limelight, that is. Since we last heard from them [see Amanda Robert, “Eyes on the prize,” March 27], IMW has started negotiations with a feature documentary company from Chicago. If the deal goes through, “Seven” — their supergreen X Prize automotive contender — will be showcased in all its glory on the big screen. The group has also been contacted by VPRO Television, a Dutch company filming a news documentary on alternative fuels, and by WealthTV, the California company responsible for the Wealth on Wheels television series. Who’s the underdog now?

UISMAKESTHEPLANETROCK Judging by the rate at which small puddles have been forming at the feet of global-warming deniers and the uptick in patchouli and granola sales at area organic-food marts and head shops, Earth Day must again be upon us. The University of Illinois at Springfield will observe Earth Day 2008 (Tuesday, April 22) with a presentation by Dr. Debra Rowe, a faculty member at Michigan’s Oakland Community College and president of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. The program begins at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, in the UIS Public Affairs Center. Immediately before Rowe’s lecture, at 5:30 p.m., the Sangamon Valley Sierra Club’s energy and climate-change committee will meet in the PAC cafeteria. All events are (carbon) free and open to the public.

FAMILYTY Welcome home, Springfield family, welcome home. He’s been everywhere from New Jersey to Hawaii, and now hyperactive hunk Ty Pennington and the rest of his goodwill gang want to bring ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to the capital city. They’re searching for a family whose members have gone above and beyond, putting themselves last in their effort to help others. Community members may nominate their friends and heroes by sending short descriptions of deserving families to castingillinois@gmail.com by May 7. Nominations should include the name and age of each household member, the story of the family’s major challenges and how a makeover would make a difference, a contact phone number, and a recent photo of the family.

“TIMINGISEVERYTHING”
In the midst of talks about water rates, Mayor Tim Davlin seems to be rethinking his position on Hunter Lake. In his “State of the City” address, delivered on Monday, Davlin called for updates to the water department’s 70-year-old pump house. “We have an ‘invisible bandit’ in our city that we are fighting, and it’s called our infrastructure,” Davlin said. “And gambling on the continued reliability of our pump house is not a risk we can take.”
After the speech, reporters asked Davlin whether pursuing the second lake would be smart for Springfield, considering the millions of dollars required to address now-urgent infrastructure needs. “Timing is everything, and right now the timing doesn’t look so good for Hunter Lake,” Davlin replied.
TAKENTOTASC For the record, state Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, wants to create a commission to study the impact of Illinois drug laws on minorities. She does not, however, want $10 million to fund the commission, which is what some readers thought we reported in last week’s Cap City. The budget appropriation instead would be a “down payment” on a comprehensive statewide drug-treatment plan, says Daphne Baille, director of communications for Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities.
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