Vincennes Indiana

Founded in 1732, Vincennes is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Indiana and one of the oldest settlements west of the Appalachians. The City was founded by François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes

In 1736, during the French war with the Chickasaw nation, de Vincennes was captured and burned at the stake in the modern state of Arkansas

"Lt Col George Rogers Clark  rounded up enough men to outnumber the British and planned a brilliant surprise attack on Fort Vincennes in the heartache of winter, a horrible time when no armies were expected to be able to attack due to illness, lack of food, and the flood waters were high during this time. The Patriots won the Battle of Vincennes on February 23–24, 1779."  

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Visiting Chattanooga  today. Very nice city on the Tennessee River. The photo above is a sculpture / garden / walkway / covered pavillion. Very nice.

Bridge over the Tennessee River - downtown, with sculpture and new housing.

Hills surrounding the City is always attractive for an Illinois / Florida Flatlander like me.

The downtown aquarium is a nice building.

I think they have my goat.

Nice housing downtown.

I always like to walk around a new city in the early morning.  Now I take photos with my cell phone and post them to Facebook and one of my blogs. I took these photos this morning.

We were in Chantanooga 28 years ago. They have made a lot of nice improvements. A successful city is continually renewing and revitalizing its older neighborhoods. I would say Chantanooga is doing a fine job. 




Problems with Health Care

Another problem with Health Care. And a conflict of interest.

You can make a pretty good argument for encouraging other people to eat poorly, smoke, and take huge risks in order to control population growth and health care costs.

Just kidding. Keep eating your broccoli.


Beth and I had an enjoyable lunch today with Pete and Eileen Pointner on St. Armands Circle in Sarasota. Fun getting together with colleagues.  We solved most of the planning problems of the world today.


Planning Connections Book
Planning Connections
By Pete Pointner

Planning Consultant
“In Planning Connections, Pete Pointner has given us the accumulated wisdom of his long and distinguished career as a professional urban planner who has had the opportunity of working across the planning spectrum. The book presents a range of case studies through which Pointner confirms and illustrates basic planning principles which have continuing applicability to our present attempts to create communities that can facilitate a high quality of life for their residents, workers and businesses. Planning Connections is a solid resource for planning practitioners, teachers and students”
Leslie S. Pollock FAICP, founding principal of Camiros, a nationwide consulting firm

Building Retrofit


At Edge of Paris, a Housing Project Becomes a Beacon

Frédéric Druot
La Tour Bois-le-Prêtre A public housing project in Paris has been upgraded from a standard tower into a pleasing landmark, above, with sunny balconies. More Photos »

PARIS — Hard by the noisy highway, overlooking a cemetery and a former garbage dump, La Tour Bois-le-Prêtre glimmers on a spring morning. Sheathed in a fresh cloak of glass balconies and corrugated aluminum panels, it rises on the edge of this city amid a landscape of decaying cement-and-brick housing blocks.

    Druot, Lacaton & Vassal
    La Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, before its renovation. More Photos »

    This half-century-old tower used to be one of those blocks. Its makeover, by a creative team of local architects — Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal — is a case study in architectural ingenuity and civic rejuvenation. It’s a challenge to urban innovators, too. Instead of replacing the old tower with an entirely new building, the designers saw what was worthwhile about the existing architecture and added to it.


    1940 Census

    72 Years Later

    On April 2, the National Archives and Records Administration will make individual records from the 1940 Census available to the public for the first time. We invite you to explore our site to see how America has changed since the 1940s. We use compelling links, infographics, and photos to compare the 1940 Census with corresponding information about the 2010 Census. Additionally, be sure to check out our Facts for Features to learn about some of the major innovations in development for the 2020 Census that will control costs and improve efficiency.

    Get Ready, Because
    We Want You To Explore Your Family History

    image of Uncle Sam poster
    This is an image of a poster used for promotional efforts during the 1940 Census. Check back prior to the April 2nd records release to see how we have put a new spin on an old favorite.

    Explore the Connections to America's Past

    Pleasing People

    Thanks to Gayle Maxey for sharing.


    National Planning Conference

    Webinars from APA's National Planning Conference

    Can't make it to L.A. for APA's 2012 National Planning Conference? You don't have to miss out on everything the conference has to offer.

    Short courses

    Two short courses at the conference will be available as webinars. Take advantage of the top-level professional development that APA's National Planning Conference provides — without leaving your desk.

    AICP members earn CM | 6.25 for each course.

    Evidence-Based Sustainability

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    7:15 a.m.–5:15 p.m. PT

    arrow  Learn more

    Retrofitting Streets and Corridors 
    Monday, April 16, 2012
    9 a.m.–6:45 p.m. PT

    arrow  Learn more

    English Lesson 1

    Since we're now living in the time of e-mail and the more common use of the written language, it is time for an English lesson.

    Here are some rules to keep in mind when using the Queen's English:

    1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

    2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

    3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

    4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

    5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat).

    6. Always avoid annoying alliteration.

    7. Be more or less specific.

    8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are 
    (usually) unnecessary.

    9. Also, too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

    10. No sentence fragments. No comma splices, run-ons 
    are bad too.

    11. Contractions aren't helpful and shouldn't be used.

    12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

    13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than 
    necessary; it's highly superfluous.

    14. One should never generalize.

    15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

    16. Don't use no double negatives.

    17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.


    Quote du Jour"The income tax has made more liars out of the 
    American people than golf has. Even when you 
    make a tax form out on the level, you don't know 
    when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr." 
    -- Will Rogers 


    "English Lesson II"18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

    19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

    20. The passive voice is to be ignored.

    21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. 
    Parenthetical words however should be enclosed 
    in commas.

    22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one 
    would suffice.

    23. Kill all exclamation points!!!!

    24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others 
    use them. {The fact that 'irregardless' did not light 
    up as 'improperly spelled' scares me. - LadyHawke}

    25. Understatement is probably not the best way 
    to propose earth shattering ideas.

    26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and 
    omit it when its not needed.

    27. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. 
    Tell me what you know."

    28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a 
    thousand times: resist hyperbole; not one writer in 
    a million can use it correctly.

    29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

    30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid 

    31. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be 

    32. Who needs rhetorical questions?

    33. Exaggeration is a million times worse than 

    34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

    35. Run Spiel Chek.


    MiniLook Kiev

    Nice Video about Kiev, Russia. It’s called “MiniLook Kiev”

    Thanks to the Urbanophile for sharing.

    Technology is Great

    Google Voice is a great program. You get a free phone number that rings to your gmail account. It records and transcribes the message.

    Sometimes it makes a few mistakes. Our friends called us to invite us to an event. The transcription below is not quite accurate:

    "Hi. This is payloads com. We've got a lot of our Friday 8 I don't. I don't have to leave like to know if you guys are available on Saturday. There is a fractional downstairs. It's under water and then we thought of. Another said Lucky. Or A. Yup lunch. I'm so excited enjoyable time, check the calendar you think that that you are able to join stylus, so give us a call back. My cell number is 94141.Thanks, 35 talk to you soon. I don't."


    Economic Performance Scorecard

    Peoria, IL (March 22, 2012) — Greater Peoria scores excellent when it comes to economic performance, innovation, people and livability according to the Greater Peoria Regional Economic Scorecard released today by The Heartland Partnership.  The Heartland Partnership, CEO Roundtable volunteers and Bradley University business professors have spent more than a year gathering data on hundreds of categories to see how the region stacks up. 

    According to Scorecard project coordinator Ryan Spain, “In order to remain a leader in the Midwest, we need a baseline set of measurements so we can better understand how we perform and how we rate compared to regions we consider our competitors and the regions we aspire to be like.”  Competitor communities were identified as Chattanooga, TN; Quad Cities; Dayton, OH; Fort Wayne, IN; Grand Rapids, MI; Lexington, KY; Rockford; and Springfield, MO.  Communities we aspire to be like included Des Moines, IA; Omaha, NE; ad Madison, WI. 

    Jim McConoughey, President and CEO of The Heartland Partnership explained the scorecard as a proactive approach to determining the strengths and weaknesses of the region “Up to this point, the majority of our efforts have been focused internally, but it is no longer enough to simply measure our internal progress from year to year.  We must understand how Greater Peoria performs in relation to our competitors as well.” 

    Five main categories were analyzed and Greater Peoria demonstrates great results when it comes to productivity, generation of intellectual property and access to healthcare but progress is needed to improve our business climate and provide additional support for small businesses.  Here’s a look at the specific scores for the five categories:
    a.       Economic Performance is critical to every community and improving economic performance is the ultimate goal for all community leaders. A strong, vibrant economy leads to improved living standards, job growth, higher wages and more opportunities for all stakeholders. 
    Greater Peoria scored 137 which is 5th & above US average of 100
    b.      People are the most important resource in an economy.  A highly educated and experienced workforce with the knowledge and ability to perform specialized tasks, respond to opportunities and adapt to a changing economic environment will result in greater productivity for local businesses and attract new businesses to the area. Greater Peoria scored 134 which is 5th & above US average of 100
    c.       Innovation is the growth engine of an economy. The ability for a community to establish an innovative environment will attract dynamic new businesses to the area.  Residents can expect higher-wage jobs, lower unemployment and an increased standard of living.
    Greater Peoria scored 71 which is 4th & below US average of 100
    d.      Business & Entrepreneurship are essential for a thriving community. A favorable environment will be supportive of local entrepreneurs and entice new companies into the region, resulting in job growth, infrastructure investment and increased living standards.
    Greater Peoria scored 135 which is 9th & above US average of 100
    e.      Livability includes cost of living, safety, healthcare access, cultural opportunities, a sense of community and convenience.  Livability is taken into account when a worker decides where to locate. An area is more likely to attract and retain high-quality talent if it can offer a comfortable lifestyle and a pleasant environment to raise a family.
    Greater Peoria scored 115 which is 5th & above US average of 100
    A handful of communities across the country have done similar projects however, according to Dr. Larry Weinzimmer, Caterpillar Professor of Strategic Management at Bradley University, the methodology used in the Greater Peoria Regional Economic Scorecard is different than any other because of the statistical analysis provided by Bradley University. 

    Scorecard task force member Dan Daly said while this analysis doesn’t provide every solution to the issues identified, it will serve as a platform on which community and business leaders can build future strategic development efforts.  “Having strong data as the foundation for strategic development, will increase the probability for success and will help ensure the long term growth of Greater Peoria.” 

    Bill Cirone, task force member, explained the Heartland Partnership is not going to solve all of the issues identified through this project on its own.  “Overcoming the challenges we have identified will require cooperation between state and local governments, as well as partnerships with the business community.  The Heartland Partnership needs you, the residents in this region, to get involved and make a difference.  We have the roadmap now so let’s work together and make sure we’re headed in the right direction.” 

    The Greater Peoria Economic Scorecard will become an annual report to track progress and identify regional weaknesses year over year.  There will be community forums and the scorecard group will be presenting their findings throughout the region.  If you would like a presentation for your organization or business, email us at info@greaterpeoriascorecard.com and visit www.greaterpeoriascorecard.com for more information. 

    Congratulations, Peoria.  Economic Development Plays in Peoria

    Thankful For Facebook


    Sarasota Sister Cities

    Started another blog yesterday for Sarasota Sister Cities.  My wife Beth Ruyle and I have both joined the organization.

    Check it out at:

    A List of all my blogs - Far too many.