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A Publication of WTVP

Car Sharing in Champaign

Students at the University of Illinois have a new way to get around
town. Zipcar, the world’s largest provider of cars on demand, has
partnered with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the cities
of Champaign and Urbana, and the University to provide six self-service
cars available on demand for students and locals alike, 24 hours a day.

The car-sharing concept came to the area in an effort to become more
cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. Membership with Zipcar
includes gas and insurance when using the fuel-efficient cars, and fees
depend on student or residential status. The service is ideal for
students attending a large university, who might occasionally need a
car but either can’t afford to have one on campus or don’t need one
often enough to make it worthwhile.

By encouraging car sharing and fuel efficiency, Zipcar relieves
traffic congestion, reduces pollution and saves money. The average
member can save up to $500 a month compared to car ownership, according
to zipcar.com. Hassle-free, good for the environment and cost-efficient too—what’s not to like? So when will Zipcar play in Peoria?


Handle Attacks with Grace

It’s happened to all of us—you’re in a meeting and an overaggressive coworker has a negative outburst. To best handle the situation and avoid making it worse, acknowledge the valid points the person may be making and praise his or her positive intent. It’s also good to use the first person singular when responding, and avoid aggressive “you” talk. As Ann Marie Sabath says in Business Etiquette, “When your attacker hears responses such as, ‘You always,’ ‘You never’ or ‘What you fail to realize is,’ he or she has little choice but to escalate the conflict.”


For Online Readers

Most websites pay little attention to the readability of their online text, and avid readers are often ensnared in a tangled web of online ads and nonessential widgets. To address this problem, Arc90, a Brooklyn-based company, has created Readability, a browser extension designed to remove the clutter around what you’re reading. While not 100-percent effective on every site, Readability works quite well for most. Try it out at lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability.


My Faves

Lowell "Bud" Grieves is a long-time entrepreneur and former mayor of Peoria. He owns the Mark Twain Hotel and is a partner in the new restaurant Two25. A lifelong conservationist, he is currently developing his 400-acre farm outside of Canton into a wildlife habitat through the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.

What’s on Your iPod?

  1. “Imagine” by John Lennon
  2. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
  3. “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees
  4. “No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley
  5. “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys
 

Movies

  1. Schindler’s List
  2. The Shawshank Redemption
  3. Saving Private Ryan
  4. Forrest Gump
  5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Books that Made an Impact

  1. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  2. Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw
  3. The Book of Certitude by Baha’u’llah
  4. The Source by James Michener
  5. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Musicians

  1. Eric Clapton
  2. Billy Joel
  3. Simon and Garfunkel
  4. James Taylor
  5. Elvis Presley

Peoria Restaurants

  1. Two 25
  2. Rizzi’s
  3. Agatucci’s
  4. 2 Chez
  5. Hofbrau
  6. One World

Bringing the Blues to You

In early 2009, the River City Blues Society began a weekly Wednesday night blues series at the Dragon’s Dome in Pekin, in conjunction with the Concorde Inn. With shows starting at 7pm, the series is designed so people can enjoy the music but still make it to work on time the next day. Each show features regional and touring national blues musicians and costs a mere $3 for RCBS members and $4 for non-members.

Here are some shows coming up in June:
JUNE 3rd: Rob Williams’ Soggy Bottom Blues Band
JUNE 10th: The Plateros, a Native American family blues band from a small Indian reservation near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The group includes a 14-year-old guitar player.
JUNE 17th: Joanna Shaw Taylor, a blues enthusiast from Great Britain. Her debut album, White Sugar, was released in January.
JUNE 24th: Gina Sicilia, an amazing singer who wrote her first song at the age of 12. Sicilia just released her sophomore CD, Hey Sugar.

In July and August, Bryan Lee & the Power Blues Band, Laurie Morvan Band, Levee Town and Eddie Turner are among the performers bringing the blues to central Illinois. Check out RiverCityBlues.com for more information.


A New Type of Registry

As the summer heats up, wedding season kicks into high gear. For the couples who have everything—or are looking for a unique alternative to the traditional registry—JustGive.org allows you to create a list of favorite charities to which guests can donate. The 501(c)(3) organization is dedicated to increasing charitable giving by leveraging technology to connect people to more than one million nonprofits. With so many charitable causes to choose from, every couple is sure to find their favorite. Visit the website’s “Wedding Center” to register or make a donation in lieu of favors or bridal party gifts.


No Substitute for a Restful Retreat

It’s true that Americans take less vacation time than their foreign counterparts. In fact, many Americans fail to use the vacation days they do have. Whether due to a workaholic attitude or the turbulent economy, the truth is that skipping vacations actually lowers productivity.

A recent Expedia.com study found that the lack of vacations can lead to health risks, higher stress levels and lower productivity. Thirty-six percent of U.S. workers say they feel better about their jobs and are more productive upon returning from vacation. But one third of workers do not always use all of their vacation days, according the website’s sixth annual "Vacation Deprivation" survey.

Working more than necessary might satisfy your boss for the moment, but it probably won’t make you happy, and in the long run, the quality of your work may suffer. Vacations are a chance for families to unwind and spend time together. If you are working longer hours than us ual, your family relationships may be suffering, and a vacation can help restore them.

According to The New York Times, a 2006 study found that 14 percent of Americans go on vacation for two weeks or more at a time—a number that is probably even less now. According to the Harris Interactive polling group, Americans miss out on 438 million vacation days each year—worth about $60 billion and representing about 51 million, or 35 percent, of workers.

In addition, with so many workers taking Blackberries and laptops on the road, vacations end up being work-away-from-work weeks instead of restful retreats. While it’s inevitable that one may have to fulfill some work commitments while on vacation, it’s good to concentrate on  family or friends for a few days. The office will still be waiting for you when you get home! iBi

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