City Barbs Turns 5

Most blogs don’t last a year, but we’ve been here five as of today, tallying over 700 posts and nearly 4,000 comments.

Many thanks to CB contributors, whether you write for us or read us or send background, tips and juicy rumors to follow!

New Category: Local Voices

Here’s a little meta to accompany morning coffee. I’ve separated out the “Blogroll” category so that statewide or national watchdogs and policy wonks now reside under the “good government” heading and the truly local sites and blogs under “Local Voices.” Today I welcome Dan Kenney’s issues blog, Prairie Voice. Let me know in comments if a local gem has escaped my notice!

Registration Change

We’re getting a lot of junk registrations lately so I’ve changed the settings for the time being, eliminating the “anyone can register” option. If you are not a current subscriber to CB but would like to be able to leave comments, please e-mail me at To register you I’ll need your real name, your user name if different from your real name, and a valid e-mail address. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Open Thread 5/4

Use this space as a catch-all for commenting on the city budget hearings, to give good link for the new Open Books page (I am particularly interested in a few good databases), or whatever else is on your mind.

Forgot to tell you that Norway Farms is parking at G&L’s Auto Repair on Thursdays from 11-1:30. Milt does this every year because the asparagus always needs pickin’ from about a month before the DeKalb Farmers’ Market begins. G&L is on South Fourth across from the Lehan’s-Dollar General building.

Last Thursday I bought two 1-lb bunches for five bucks and sauteed about 3/4 lb of the slenderest tenderest with green peas and thyme. Today the rest goes into soup.

The Farmers’ Market starts June 3.

Changing Our Look

Though the site is mainly about the content, every once in awhile there’s a temptation to try on a new outfit. It’s not just about looks, either, but about updating so’s maybe we can test a couple different widgets and add pages.

Over time I’ve loaded up on themes I like. This week I’ll activate a few, so the site will look different every day or two. Some of them might look a little busy after 4-1/2 years of the relatively uncluttered Binary Bonsai. (OK, maybe a lot busy.) My main requirement is that it looks OK in a variety of browsers. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with a two-column format. Outside of those things I haven’t made any decisions yet, so if you care feel free to give me your two cents in the comments.

This first candidate is fairly tame (as in: not much different) and called RCG Forest. I really like the overall readability of it, and given enough time I might figure out how to exchange the forest view with a barbed wire graphic.

Update 5/4: Today’s theme is called Seasons. It changes automatically four times per year. I like the archiving and will try to add it no matter what we end up with.

Update 5/6: Now here’s something different. Thursday’s theme is Morning Coffee.

Citybarbs Celebrates 4

In early November 2005, Joe Croft plunked down $117 for a year of web hosting and posted an article about growth, sprawl and logistics in DeKalb.

The topics change but the need stays the same. Yesterday I renewed the hosting service for another year, and you know what? I’m still pumped. I feel like we’ve barely begun plumbing the potential of hyperlocal blogs in DeKalb.

Many, many thanks to the folks who have posted articles, lurked, left comments and/or contacted me behind the scenes.



UPDATE 10/11: I’ve upgraded WordPress and databases. Let’s try normal comment procedures again.

Two CB friends have reported trouble signing in, so for the moment I’ve adjusted the settings to lift the requirement to sign in before commenting. Please let me know if something is glitchy.