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28 Feb
none Around and About in West Chicago - 28 Feb 2013
  • Local Government Week
  • High School District 94 Winter Band Concert
  • St. Patrick’s Day Bunco Bash
  • Fire on 300 block of Harrison Street
  • Academic Excellence Award
Online Book Club - FB, Maureen Navadomskis
none"Love to discuss books but can't make it to the library? Join our Online Book Club! Each month we will be reading a brand new book with discussion questions and conversation posted regularly on our book discussion page at Shelfari!"
Wednesday Soup Supper - FB, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
none"Please come and join us for our mid-week Lenten services. Every Wednesday evening at 7:00. If you're hungry, come a bit early for our Soup Supper. We'd love to have you join us!"

The Illinois Environmental Council's photo.- FB, Mike Fortner
none"House Green Caucus co-chairs Rep. Ann Williams and Rep. Mike Fortner before the first green caucus meeting of 2012!"


none Police arrest 11 men involved in DuPage heroin conspiracy
Marijuana Leaf"Miguel Fernandez, 23, of the 200 block of Pomeroy Avenue in West Chicago, was charged with unlawful criminal drug conspiracy, seven counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to a person under the age of 18.  Fernandez was observed on numerous occasions purchasing heroin from various sources on the West Side of Chicago and distributing it to people in the DuPage County area, either for use or resale."
  • Assault weapons ban debate starts in Springfield
    Dang Wabbit"Illinois lawmakers today opened a heated debate on whether an assault weapons ban should be approved, a discussion that featured an early clash between a sheriff's association that opposes the measure and the Chicago police and the Quinn administration that want it.  A hearing before the House Judiciary Committee quickly established the dividing lines on the contentious issue brought to a head today by Speaker Michael Madigan, the Chicago Democrat who has aired out gun issues in several open debates among lawmakers."
  • Speaker gears up test votes on pension proposals
    none"At the Capitol, the measures are viewed as a "scared straight" approach that might give state workers a glimpse of the major financial pain that could be inflicted if lawmakers get fed up with the heavy resistance to any pension cost-saving idea put on the table.  The hearing on pension proposals mirrors an open debate Madigan held Tuesday in which lawmakers voted piece-by-piece on where concealed weapons should be banned in Illinois, a move Republicans decried as a political stunt."
  • DuPage Forest District hosts forum
    none"The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is looking for suggestions from the public about how to improve its services to the community in the months ahead. To further that aim, District 5 held a public forum Wednesday night at the Naperville Municipal Center so that ideas about the future direction for the District could be shared."

  • DuPage meeting puts emphasis on strong ethics policies
    none"In an age when most people don’t trust government officials, ethics guidelines are more important than ever. That seems to be a motivation for DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, who Tuesday participated in a two-hour ethics training session for county elected and appointed officials."

none State legislators introduce new employee pension fix
none"Backed principally by House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego and Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, the plan is very similar to other recent proposals in that it would limit retirement cost-of-living adjustments, raise employee contributions and ensure the state makes its required payment each year to the pension systems.  The latest proposal, though, also would create a new pension plan for downstate teachers and university workers that combines a traditional defined benefit plan with elements of a 401k-style defined contribution approach."
none Mississippi Republicans Would Prohibit Towns From Establishing A Minimum Wage - Think Progress
"No county, board of supervisors of a county, municipality or governing authority of a municipality is authorized to establish a mandatory, minimum living wage rate, minimum number of vacation or sick days, whether paid or unpaid, that would regulate how a private employer pays its employees."
none Talk Grows of Liberal Exodus from UMC - Juicy Ecumenism
none"Delegates affirmed the denomination’s official teaching that sex is “only” for marriage and that homosexual practice is “incompatible with Christian teaching” (¶161F of the Book of Discipline) by a significantly larger margin than the previous General Conference. For the first time, activists opposed to biblical teaching ultimately gave up on even contesting UMC policies aligning required behavior of clergy and denominational officials with this stand."
none Exclusive: The Woodward, Sperling emails revealed - Politico
"POLITICO’s “Behind the Curtain” column last night quoted Bob Woodward as saying that a senior White House official has told him in an email he would “regret” questioning White House statements on the origins of sequestration. The official in question is Gene Sperling, economic adviser to the president. The White House has since pushed back, saying the exchange was far more innocuous than Woodward claims."
What’s the Matter With Vermont? - Slate
"The IOM acknowledged that some parents’ attitudes toward vaccines have “shifted,” largely driven by concerns about side effects, but said its report, which is the “most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date,” should help reassure these parents. The IOM was clear: “Vaccines are among the most effective and safe public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death.” What’s more, “delaying or declining vaccination has led to outbreaks of such vaccine-preventable diseases as measles and whooping cough that may jeopardize public health.”"
26 Feb
none Cancellation of after school activities
Due to the heavy snowfall, we are cancelling all school-sponsored after school and evening activities.
Thank you,
Lalo Ponce, Superintendent
Community High School District 94
  • District 33 NewsBites
    • noneBand/Orchestra Concerts
    • Middle School Play
    • Survey of Schools
    • Save the Date - Student Art Exhibit
    • School Calendars
  • Raising the Bar on ISAT Results
    "The Curriculum Coordinating Council is comprised of teachers, administrators, parents and board members. The mission of this group is to create a revamped math and language arts curriculum aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. The new math curriculum was rolled out in the 2011-12 school year and officially adopted by the board of education in July of 2012. This year, a new language arts curriculum has been rolled out and will be implemented over a two year period, due to the extensiveness of the new standards."
Library Receives Community Health Benefit Grant from Cadence Health
none"The West Chicago Public Library District is the recipient of a Community Health Benefit Grant from Cadence Health in support of its efforts to address factors leading to obesity, reducing obesity, and reducing the burden of obesity-related disease in the community. West Chicago was the only library to receive this grant, and the monies totalling over $3,200 will be used as part of the Library’s “WeGo for Wellness” program series which begins March 2 and runs through May 25.
Author Dorothy Drummond Addresses West Chicago Rotary
"“No man, and no nation, is an island,” says Dorothy Drummond, former president of the National Council for Geographic Education, who addressed the weekly meeting of the West Chicago Rotary Club at Pal Joey’s Restaurant on February 20."
  • District 94 Receives an “A” on Illinois Policy Institute Transparency Audit
    none"Community High School District 94 is pleased to announce the results of its voluntary Government Transparency Audit done by the Illinois Policy Institute. Of a possible 100 points, CHSD94 achieved an impressive 93.8. This score exceeds that earned by any school district previously assessed by the Institute."
  • Community High School Presents Frankenstein
    none"WeGo Drama at Community High School continues their 2012-13 Season with a production of Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley’s novel. This powerful forty-minute play takes us into the discoveries and misfortunes of Victor Frankenstein, a nineteenth century scientist who produces life and watches his creation consume the world around him."
Dance Away the Winter Blues For the Benefit of the West Chicago City Musuem
none"Join the Friends of the West Chicago City Museum for an afternoon of dining and dancing at West Chicago's own Tango Argentina Club, Sunday, March 10, 2013 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., at 179 W. Washington Street, West Chicago."
Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program
none"In recent years, Illinois has experienced significant reductions in motor vehicle crash fatalities. While this is great news, there is much work left to be done to make Illinois roads as safe as they can be."


Registration Reminder - FB, Elect Karina Villa for District 33 Board of Education
"It's not too late to register to vote. I will be at St. Mary's Parish in WeGo along with many friends of my campaign this weekend at all of the masses. Lets RoCk the VoTe!"
none DuPage forest commissioners oppose consolidation proposal
none"The biggest selling point of breaking the DuPage County Forest Preserve Commission away from the county board more than a decade ago was to help prevent conflicts of interest.  So now that a state lawmaker is proposing legislation to reverse the historic split, forest preserve commissioners are warning that the inherent conflict between the county's development interests and the forest preserve's environmental mission would return if the boards are reunified."
Fed cuts could shut Illinois airport control towers
""They're already short-handed as it is. It certainly will compromise safety," Goss said. "It will make things difficult for the system. And it inevitably will cause delays."  Goss also said many corporations won't fly into airports that don't have an active tower. Waukegan and DuPage have a lot of corporate travel and could lose money in fuel receipts and other services."
none Some Illinois state parks could close without new revenue
none"The anticipated cuts could result in longer delays at busy airports like O'Hare; fewer dollars for Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy's only boot camp; unpaid furloughs for federal workers; and less money for national historic sites such as Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield.  "Cuts of this magnitude will inevitably have significant impact in Illinois and every other state, no matter how they are applied," said Abdon Pallasch, budget spokesman for Gov. Pat Quinn."
State lawmaker proposes law to regulate drones
none"Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss has introduced legislation that would require police to get a search warrant before using a drone to gather evidence. Along with banning the use of lethal and nonlethal weapons on the drones — except in emergencies — the proposal would require information a drone gathers to be destroyed unless it is part of an investigation.  Under the legislation, Illinois would step up to combat the issue of drones flying over U.S. airspace. President Barack Obama signed a Federal Aviation Administration mandate last year requesting the agency integrate unmanned aircraft into the national system."
none Report puts state's bill backlog at $22B in five years
none" Despite the projected increase, the federation said things have actually improved from the report it issued at this time last year. That report predicted unpaid bills could hit $35 billion in five years, more than the state’s entire operating budget for a year.  Msall said the improvement was the result of lawmakers enacting extensive reforms to the state’s Medicaid program that are projected to save $1.6 billion."
Republicans delay Illinois House hearing on firearms bill
Dang Wabbit"A federal court ruled the Illinois ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional and gave lawmakers until June to fix the situation.  Madigan filed a bill with no language in it and invited amendments from House members. Legislators filed 27 on Monday.  The discussion was to start at noon when the House came into session. But the GOP called a closed door meeting of their 48 members until 1:30 p.m."


Woman Dies in West Chicago Fire
"The damage was extensive, he said, but was confined to one room and believed that the house would be salvageable. He expected more details would be released on Monday.  An official with the DuPage County Coroner's office confirmed that one person died in the fire."
none Chinese scholar to Americans: Let go, and let the church develop in its own way - Faith & Leadership
"To the surprise of many in the West, Christianity is flourishing in China today, but it is a uniquely Chinese form of Christianity that grew outside of -- and often in opposition to -- the missionary movement, said Xi Lian, an authority on the church in China.  “The roots can be traced to the early 20th century, when independent groups emerged outside of the missions, in some cases very antagonistic to Western missions,” said Lian..."
none 1 Day Late on Rent Can Land You in Jail? A Shockingly Draconian Renters Law (Hard Times USA) - AlterrNet
none"Arkansas is the only U.S. state where tenants can wind up with a criminal record if they can’t afford to pay their rent on time. The state’s “failure to vacate" laws allow landlords, without independent investigation, to charge tenants with a misdemeanor offense and have them arrested if they fail to move out after receiving a 10-day eviction notice. Landlords can give tenants the notice after they are only one day late with their payment. ... landlord representatives say the law is used in the majority of eviction cases each year. Human Rights Watch found that at least 1,200 people were charged under the law in 2012, and more than 100 were convicted of a crime.
23&24 Feb
none This Week in West Chicago
Summary of Tentative Agreements Reached 2/11/2013 - FB, Susan Dieterle Stibal
none"Wordsmithing is still ongoing for the final contract, but the Tentative Agreement is now posted on D33 Website: "
Park District's Chili Fest! - FB, Mike Buenrostro Sr.
none"West Chicago Professional Firefighters Association Local#3970 won the "Peoples Choice" award lastnight at the Chili fest."
"We had a great time last night at the Park Districts Chili fest. Lots of great people attended and had fun to raise money for "Camp I am me" which assists noneburned children. West Chicago Fire Local#3970 won the "Peoples Choice" award. Congratulations to the West Chicago Park District for winning "Judges Choice". Thanks to our team for doing a great job making the chili especially after responding to a tragic fire in our town. It was a busy day. Thanks Theresa, Michael Jr, Jamie, Joe Klingberg, Bob Frommert, Greg Frommert, Bob and Peggy Winkler, Opie, Joe Buenrostro, Jason Day, Mike Day, Photo, Ron Ackerman, Matt Ackerman, Jayme Sheahan, Mike and Jill Vergara ans also the American Legion Post#300. We sure had a great time competing along with Addison fire, Winfield Fire, West Chicago Police and West Chicago Park Dsitrict. Hopefully we will see you at the " Breast Cancer Awareness" Chili cook-off fundraiser October 12th at Hawthornes Backyard."
Friends of Barbara Hernandez for Township Trustee - FB, Karina Villa
"Early voting ended yesterday! Now there are only TWO days left for election day!!!! Please make sure to go out and vote on Tuesday, Feb 26, 3013! (6am-7pm) it only takes 5 minutes of your time !!!  if your unsure about where to go vote please make sure to click the following link to find out:"
Second Ward Alderman - FB, Don Earley
none"I am still running for Alderman in the Second Ward in West Chicago.I'll be walking to meet most of the voters in the ward over the next few weeks."
none Wayne Woodward: Candidate Profile
  • "Occupation: Retired from IBM Corp in 1996, Realtor for 15 years, Handyman 5 years, Doenge's Office Supply as repairman, US Post Office as rural carrier, District 33 as a custodian, Oakfield Ford as salesman, IKON as repairman, Home owner assn property insp
  • Education: One semester of college at Elgin Community College, 10 months training in the US Army, many schools for IBM, one semester as a property appraiser, real estate sales person."
Two proposals target DuPage County Forest Preserve District
nonenone"The forest preserve district was separated about 10 years ago over concerns county board members couldn't balance development and environmental concerns.  The state lawmakers' efforts come as the forest district faces investigations into contract steering. And DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin talked with Pierotti at a meeting last year about consolidation.  Cronin says he's aware of both lawmakers' proposals but isn't pushing either."
COD blames higher salaries for tuition increase
none"But Breuder argued additional revenue is needed to offset the costs of the 3.55 percent salary increases for all employee groups in fiscal year 2014.  All together, the increases are expected to cost the college $3.6 million. Officials say an expected increase in the property tax levy of $1.4 million still leaves a $2.2 million gap. Raising tuition, they argue, covers it."
St. Charles man’s disappearance still a mystery
none"Spira was last seen about 7 p.m. Feb. 23, 2007, at Universal Cable Construction near West Chicago, a business he co-owned with David Stubben.  The two were the last two employees at Universal Cable Construction that evening, the sheriff's office said. Spira and a friend were to meet at a restaurant in Oak Brook at 8:30 that night, but Spira never showed up and was not heard from again. Seven months after Spira's disappearance, the Universal Cable Construction building burned down."
none Woman, 41, dies in West Chicago fire
none"A 41-year-old woman died Friday after a fire consumed a West Chicago home, friends and family at the scene of the fire said.  While fire officials did not give the victim’s name, family identified her as Stacey Mittman, who they said lived in the home in the 300 block of Harrison Street alone."
Some Illinois state parks could close without new revenue
none"One of Gov. Pat Quinn'sfirst acts after assuming office in 2009 was reopening seven state parks that predecessor Rod Blagojevich shuttered in a cost-saving move.  At the time, Quinn argued that closing the parks cost Illinois more in lost tourism dollars than the move saved.  But just three years later, ongoing money problems may lead to new state park closures just as the summer tourist season is heating up"
West Chicago School District 33 Student Art Show at Gallery 200
nonenone"The student art show titled Art is the Heart of the City celebrates Youth Art Month and will be open to the public during the month of March. Plus, the public is invited to a free reception for the show on Friday, March 8, 2013 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at which students, family, friends and faculty will be on-hand to share their enthusiasm for the arts programming in the District and the community at large."
  Gun hearing focuses on mass transit
Dang Wabbitnone"Gun rights advocates argue that people should be allowed to protect themselves from crime on their daily commute. But Chicago police and transit officials contend it’s a dangerous scenario that puts riders at an increased risk of being shot.  “Allowing people to carry concealed weapons in a confined space like a bus or a train, especially on an elevated track or a subway, would create an unsafe environment for the more than two million people who use mass transit in Illinois every day,” said Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool. “It would be a recipe for disaster.”"
none Quinn administration reintroduces prison early release program
" Illinois prison officials announced a revamped sentence-reduction plan Friday, again offering early release to inmates who behave behind bars, more than three years after corner-cutting on a previous program freed hundreds of violent prisoners and almost cost Gov. Pat Quinn an election.  But the impact of the newly minted "supplemental sentence credit program" on the state's bloated prison population is uncertain because of its stringent criteria. It will likely mean the release of far fewer prisoners than under the previous plan Quinn suspended in December 2009 after a scandal revealed by The Associated Press."
Illinois Supreme Court issues rules on foreclosures
Kruse House"Mortgage lenders in Illinois will have to prove to judges that they've offered underwater homeowners a variety of options, including modifications to their loans, before foreclosing, the state Supreme Court said Friday...  Before seeking a foreclosure judgment against a borrower, the lender will have to provide an affidavit to the judge explaining what had been done to help the property owner, such as providing information explaining foreclosure's process and consequences, loan modification, improved legal notice and mediation services in counties that offer them."
none Broken Immigration System Hurts Texas Construction Workers, Industry - AFL-CIO
none"The report says that because “undocumented immigrants comprise significant portions of industries like construction, more employers are left with few choices other than to hire unauthorized workers, or risk going out of business.
"Employers need an immigration system that allows them to legally hire the workers they need so they can focus on managing their businesses, not managing immigration policy."
It also notes that undocumented worker are ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous employers and receive lower pay, are less likely to receive safety training or be covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job."
none The Role of Faith in the 2012 Election - Barna Group
"Since 71% of evangelicals described themselves as “mostly conservative on political and social issues,” it is not surprising evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Mr. Romney (81% to 17%). As expansive as that support was, the 81% represented the lowest level of evangelical backing for a Republican candidate since Bob Dole garnered just 74% of the evangelical vote in his 1996 loss to Bill Clinton. It also represents a seven-point decline from the proportion awarded to John McCain in 2008."
none Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us - Time
"Yet those who work in the health care industry and those who argue over health care policy seem inured to the shock. When we debate health care policy, we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question: Why exactly are the bills so high?"
Buying a Gun? States Consider Insurance Rule - NY Times
Dang Wabbit"Lawmakers in at least half a dozen states, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, have proposed legislation this year that would require gun owners to buy liability insurance — much as car owners are required to buy auto insurance. Doing so would give a financial incentive for safe behavior, they hope, as people with less dangerous weapons or safety locks could qualify for lower rates."
21 Feb
none Around and About in West Chicago - 21 Feb 2013
  • Lions Club 38th Annual Spring Pancake Breakfast
  • Annual Spring Musical at Wheaton Academy
  • Randall Jacob Football Medal and Trophy
  • Cornelia (Neltnor) Anthony's Collection of Bookplates
none Board of Education Meeting - FB, Karina Villa
  • "Board of Education meeting tonight at 7:00. Open to all. WeGo Voters, come see what it's all about! Getting informed is how it starts!"
  • "I couldn't be more proud of my big brother (Antonio Jr Villa). He is the needs member of the Board of Education in District 33. Love you brother!" .
Winter Weather Advisory Prompts Reminders
A winter weather advisory is in effect from now through Friday, February 22, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.  Snow removal and parking regulations may be found here."
none Quinn criticizes new pension reform plan tied to income tax
none"Lang said he unveiled the legislation to address the state’s $96 billion pension debt now because proposed alternatives roll back benefits and fall short of being “constitutional and comprehensive.” But Lang’s proposal aims to fund retirement plans at 80 percent rather than 100 percent, the level Quinn and other reform proponents desire."
none Lang: Make income tax increase permanent to fund pensions
none" The 2011 state income tax increase would be made permanent and the receipts dedicated to pension payments under a plan floated Wednesday by state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie. Lang’s proposal also would require state workers to pay 3 percentage points more of their salaries toward their pensions, and the minimum retirement age to receive full pension benefits would be 67 for all five pension systems."
Group of state workers receives raises, despite no contract
" The workers, members of General Teamsters/Professional & Technical Employees Local 916, received 3 percent wage increases Jan. 1, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration confirmed.  The raises were awarded even though the contract covering the workers expired June 30 and a new agreement has not been negotiated."
Lawyers debate premium-free state retiree health insurance
"At stake is a law passed by the General Assembly last year that was designed to end the practice of premium-free health insurance for some state retirees. The state subsidizes health insurance for retirees, but those who retire with 20 or more years of service are entitled to receive state insurance for themselves without having to pay premiums. They must pay for dependent coverage and must meet co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses."
National Guard, Lincoln Home, meat inspections face sequestration cuts
none"The Lincoln Home National Historic Site also is making preparations, site superintendent Dale Phillips said Wednesday. And a group of Illinois Farm Bureau members meeting in Springfield was told that meat and poultry inspections would be among the first agricultural programs affected.  Maj. Brad Leighton with the Illinois National Guard said about 70 temporary employees statewide, including nearly 40 in Springfield, were to be notified Wednesday their jobs would end no later than March 9."
none The Wage Theft Epidemic - In These Times
none"Cuts to state minimum wage investigative units have happened with almost no fanfare. The change reflects budgetary realities and also a successful decades-long attempt by business groups to frame employee protections as a partisan issue, not suitable for public dollars. As union ranks shrink and average wages decline, weakened labor law enforcement represents yet another locus of power shifting away from the interests of the labor movement."
none Tim Tebow Cancels Speech At Anti-Gay, Anti-Islam, Anti-Mormon, Anti-Catholic Church - The New Civil Rights Movement
none"In a series of tweets, Tebow, 25, who plays for the NFL’s new York Jets, noted he was “was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance."
none Justice Department deal reduces BP's Deepwater Horizon fine by $3.4bn - The Guardian
none"A court order, handed down by a judge in New Orleans, means BP will no longer be liable for a maximum of $21bn in fines at next week's civil trial – after a judge ruled the oil company would not have to pay for 810,000 barrels of oil collected at the source of the broken well... The federal government has said it will establish gross negligence on the part of BP in the 2010 blowout, which killed 11 men and fouled the Gulf of Mexico. That could treble BP's fines under the Clean Water Act."
19 Feb
none West Chicago Sister Cities March meeting
  • March 7, 2013
  • 6:00 pm dinner; 7:00 pm meeting
  • Pal Joey's Restaurant, 440 E Roosevelt Road, West Chicago, IL
none DuPage fire alliance 'seamless' after first year
none""It used to be we had to assign people to everything they did," West Chicago Chief Robert Hodge said. "Now, it's seamless. Our guys go to work. They know what to do based on our standard operating guidelines. Our chiefs know what positions to take to support each other." ... In cases of general alarm calls, the time it took for all units — three engines, three trucks, two ambulances and five command officers — to arrive at structure fires dropped an average of almost five minutes, they said."
Suburban libraries go digital, add services
none"Looking ahead, library professionals say they expect more change to come. While printed books remain a huge part of libraries' business, the popularity of digital alternatives is exploding. That means libraries have to start thinking about what to do with the space now occupied by bookshelves, officials say. And many suburban libraries expect future generations of customers to be more diverse and tech savvy than current users."
none Teachers OK contract that includes raises, higher health insurance premiums
none"West Chicago teachers have voted to back a tentative three-year deal with the District 33 school board, which is scheduled to vote later this month and expected to approve the contract... The district's students and teachers returned to classrooms on Feb. 7 after the union and school board struck a tentative agreement to end a three-day strike.  Under the agreement, teacher salaries would be frozen this year, with raises to resume for years two and three of the contract."
none Supreme Court won't hear George Ryan's appeal
hypo-crat"Since his 2005 conviction, Ryan had filed a variety of legal challenges, most recently over the impact of a 2010 Supreme Court decision involving former Enron Corp Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling.  In that case, the court held that only bribery and kickbacks could be used to show "honest services" fraud."
Bill would merge transportation, planning agencies
none"Its 18-member board would be similar in political and geographical representation to the RTA's and CMAP's, coming from Chicago and the surrounding counties. But there would be a new political wrinkle: Three additional members would be appointed by the governor.  Under the legislation, the new agency would have specific goals, particularly "doubling the use of public transit" by 2040 and eliminating waste and duplicate efforts by RTA and CMAP."
none Ex-wardens: Mixing inmate groups a safety risk
"But strict segregation of inmates may become more difficult as the Illinois Department of Corrections struggles with budget cuts that have led to fewer staff members and the closure of one major prison, with another soon to be shuttered. Gov. Pat Quinn closed Tamms, the high-security southern Illinois lockup that for 15 years exiled gang leaders and violent inmates who caused trouble in general populations, saying it is too expensive to run in a state with a budget crisis, and plans to shut down the Dwight women's penitentiary."
none Work is Becoming More Like Prison As Some Workers Forced to Wear Electronic Bands That Track Everything They Do (Including Bathroom Breaks) - AlterNet
"The Irish Independent reports that grocery giant TESCO has strapped electronic armbands to their warehouse workers to measure their productivity, tracking their actions so closely that management knows when they briefly pause to drink from a water fountain or take a bathroom break. These unforgivable lapses in productivity impact workers' performance score, which management then apparently uses to terrify them into working faster."
none Longtime Advocate of Private Institutions Takes Up the Cause of Christian Colleges - Chronicle of Higher Education
"Christian colleges, which integrate faith and learning, "play a very important role within the family of higher education," says Mr. Blews.  Many, however, face deep financial challenges. Most are tuition-dependent, "and our families are not wealthy families," says Mr. Blews. That means advocating for student aid will be a high priority for him here in Washington, as it was in Michigan. (His entreaties "for the kids" in that state were described in a 1989 Chronicle profile.)"
none DC’s quest to silence Elizabeth Warren - Salon
"Yet, that very week, Warren showed she will likely be the opposite of a “silent senator.” She did this by slamming Republicans obstructing the nomination of a consumer regulator, publicly grilling negligent bank regulators and generally mustering a dominating performance at her very first committee hearing, thus generating national headlines."
16&17 Feb
none This Week in West Chicago
District 33 NewsBites
  • noneNo School
  • Festival of Music and Dance
  • Press Releases/D33 Dispatch
  • Final Spelling Bee Results,
Dist 94 Board Meeting Agenda February 19, 2013
  • noneThat the Board of Education approve the retirement and resignation effective at the conclusion of the 2012 - 2013 school year of Sione Moeaki, Deans’ Assistant ...
  • That the Board of Education approve the Supplemental Educational Services agreement for the 2012 - 2013 school year with ATS Project Success as...
"All Night Long" After Prom Meeting
none"Please join the All Night Long committee to plan a safe and affordable after prom experience for our CHS students. Plans are well underway, but we have lots more to discuss.  Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20th at 7p.m. in Commons (Entrance H). All are welcome. If you have any questions, contact Char Hey at 630-231-0108."
chili cook-off - FB Event, West Chicago Park District
none"You decide on the best chili around! Area Fire Departments, Police Departments and other Entities will compete in a chili cook-off. Hot dogs and all the fixings will be provided. Proceeds from this event fo to Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, "Camp I am Me". Raffles and Split-the-Pot drawings top the evening off. $8 at the door for ages 13+; $6 at the door for ages 12 and under and 55+. If you are interested in entering your chili please contact Kathy Burke at"
none Winter Wood Wonders Festival comes to Kane fairgrounds
none"The third annual show takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17, at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall, St. Charles.  It will feature many kinds of wood art, including carving, turning, woodworking, intarsia, furniture making, and more, said carver and organizer Shelly Weiser of Naperville."
none Teachers OK contract that includes raises, higher health insurance premiums
none"On health insurance, which both sides called the most difficult compromise, teachers will pay 30 percent of the health insurance premiums, up from the current 20 percent, Barclay said.  Barclay called the contract a good compromise and said the board will meet Feb. 21, when he expects the contract to be approved. It would be retroactive to Sept. 1, when the teachers' last contract expired, he said."
none WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 15 Feb 2013
none EPI: 'Signing Trade Deals Is a Terrible Jobs Strategy' - AFL-CIO
"The current model does much more than reduce tariffs (tariffs are taxes on imports). It also puts in place a bunch of rules that have made it advantageous for employers to move jobs offshore—resulting in unemployment, wage suppression and reduced union bargaining power. "


none The Last Supper: Germany's Great Church Sell-Off - SPIEGEL
""Upon this rock, I will build my church," Jesus said with confidence. He said nothing, though, about demolishing those churches.  Two millennia later, churches are being forced to make dramatic cuts due to dire financial straits and declining membership. "Between 1990 and 2010 we closed 340 churches, and of those 46 were demolished," says Thomas Begrich, head of finances for the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD), Germany's largest federation of Protestant churches. This, Begrich says, is only the beginning. "It may be necessary to give up an additional 1,000 buildings," he said."
none Downton and Downward - NY Times
none"Short of winning the lottery, education is the best route to a change in class status. Yet, because of the obsolete, factory-like nature of high school, which fails to propel at least a third of its students, and the confiscatory cost of college, the next rung up for 18-year-olds is becoming another haven for the rich.  .. The affluent, by a whopping 45 point gap, are more likely to finish college than those without means."
The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities’ climate woes: Triple-pane windows - Grist
none"The report takes as its starting point this foundational statistic: 75 percent of the readily measured carbon emissions in New York City come from buildings. That makes it very different from the nation as a whole, where agriculture and transportation are among the biggest culprits. At first glance, this looks like an obstacle: Inefficient buildings are much harder to replace than inefficient cars. And New York is already one of the country’s greenest cities per capita, which would seem to make a 90 percent cut more difficult than it would be elsewhere."
14 Feb
none Around and About in West Chicago - 14 Feb 2013
  • Healthy Aging Seminar
  • Final Bee for the Scripps Spelling Bee
  • Festival of Music and Dance
  • Troop 33 is having a Dine Out Night fundraiser
  • West Chicago Park District Chili Fest
none  Park District E-News and Updates
  • noneBaseball/Softball/T-Ball Registration
  • Chili Fest
  • Soup & Bread - Building Community One Pot at a Time
  • Community Theatre Auditions - Seussical the Musical
  • Summer Camp
  • Summer Employment Opportunities
none School conference hotels, food, travel cost taxpayers $277,086
none"Conference-related bills for 89 suburban school districts totaled more than $570,000. Almost half of those costs — $277,086.18 — went to cover hotel, food, travel and incidental expenses, according to financial records. The rest went to conference registration fees.  "We've got school districts all over the suburbs crying poor and taking what is effectively a taxpayer-paid vacation," said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute, an organization that tracks and analyzes government spending."
Cronin: Jury award 'a real black eye' for sheriff's office
none""This is a real black eye for that office, and it casts a shadow on all county offices," Cronin said Tuesday. "There will be a response from the county board to the sheriff because this impacts the taxpayers. I'm shocked and outraged."  Susan Lakics, a 16-year sheriff's employee, sued in 2009 alleging Zaruba passed her over for a promotion because of sexual discrimination and because he had a political beef with her husband, a former mayor of West Chicago."
none West Chicago teachers OK new contract
none"Teacher union members voted Tuesday to back the agreement, which was struck last week to end a teacher strike in the district... Under the agreement, teacher salaries would be frozen this year, with raises to resume for years two and three of the contract. The school board initially wanted to double the current 12-step salary schedule to a 24-step, with automatic annual salary raises of 2 to 2.5 percent, down from the previous 4.5 percent. The two sides settled for an 18-step schedule, with automatic raises at 3 percent, Barclay said. The union also agreed to eliminate automatic pension increases for the four years before retirement."
none Kirk seeks to name gun bill after Hadiya Pendleton
none"The next day, Kirk and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced a bill to make gun trafficking a federal crime and to end so-called straw purchases of guns in order to dry up the supply of guns to what he termed “dangerous drug gangs.” A straw purchase occurs when someone buys a gun on behalf of another person, usually someone who could not pass a federal background check."
none Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage
none"Illinois moved closer today to becoming the 10th state in the nation where same-sex couples can legally wed, after the Senate voted to lift a ban on gay marriage. Senators voted 34-21 to approve the measure, sending it on to the state House where Democrats also hold a majority. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he will sign the bill if the House approves it."
none Steans: Illinois Senate has votes to approve same-sex marriage
"Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said Wednesday she believes she has the 30 votes needed to pass a same-sex marriage bill through the Illinois Senate on Valentine’s Day Thursday."
Kirk: Back after stroke, intends to 'get something done' on guns
none" Kirk said passing legislation to address guns is one of his top priorities.  "My goal is to eventually get something done that actually saves a life, something that actually passes Congress that really does prevent what happened to the Pendleton family," Kirk said."
none Congress Is Trying to Kill Internet Privacy Again - Rolling Stone
none""CISPA does not authorize the government to monitor your computer or read your emails, Tweets and Facebook," he says. "It's clearly what the bill does not do."  Yet this conveniently ignores the part of CISPA which does give private companies the power to share our private emails, tweets and Facebook messages with the government – nullifying current privacy laws, which require companies to keep your private information, well, private."
none National Federation of Nurses Affiliates with AFT
none"A strong voice for nurses is particularly important now in this time of transition when America's healthcare system is being redesigned. Nurses are the most trusted healthcare providers, and this new partnership with the AFT will enable us to continue to be the voice for the patients we serve."
none The heavy metal-loving church - BBC
"The service itself lasts just a few minutes. A short sermon about Lent is interspersed with film clips and an electro soundtrack. The congregation sink into bean bags instead of filing into pews, and afterwards bread and wine are passed around at leisure. Informality reigns."
none Raytheon Video Claims Riot Software Can Track Users Via Social Networks - Corp Watch
none"Raytheon, a U.S. military manufacturer, is selling a new software surveillance package named “Riot” that claims to predict where individuals are expected to go next using technology that mines data from social networks like Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter."
FreedomWorks Made Video of Fake Giant Panda Having Sex With Fake Hillary Clinton - Mother Jones
none"In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently performing oral sex on the then-secretary of state... Former FreedomWorks officials who have been interviewed by Regnery and Martin say they do not know if the Clinton-panda video is under scrutiny by the investigators. But they say the episode was symptomatic of problems within the group."
12 Feb
  • School Climate and Learning Conditions
    none"Between Feb. 1 and the end of March 2013, teachers, students and parents will be asked to take a 15-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s climate and learning conditions."
  • Results of the District 33 Final Spelling Bee
    "The West Chicago District 33 Final Spelling Bee was held Thursday February 7, 2013 at the West Chicago American Legion Hall. Twenty District 33 students participated in the final bee."
  • Library Collecting for Annual Book Sale
    none"Donations are being accepted at the West Chicago Public Library District for the Friends of the Library annual book sale. The sale will be held in the Library program room from 9 am-4 pm on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9."
  • Annual Book Sale
    "Friends of the West Chicago Public Library District (FOL) will hold its annual book sale, Friday, March 8 and Saturday March 9, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the library, 118 West Washington Street, West Chicago. The proceeds from the sale are used to support special library purchases and events."
  • Library Launches New Online Book Club
    "Beginning next week, the Library will launch its new Online Book Club. Each month we will be reading a brand new book with discussion questions and conversation posted regularly on our book discussion page online."
  • PeaceBuilder of the Month for January 2013
    none"Jason Michonski is currently a Senior at Community High School. Jason received
    the PeaceBuilder Award for his great attitude here at the high school and for his
    desire to help others. Jason always has a smile on his face and warmly greets staff
    and fellow students. He is to be recognized and commended for his work here at
  • Textbook Adoption
    none"It is the policy of the Community High School District 94 Board of Education to place all textbooks that are proposed for adoption on public display for approximately twenty-one (21) days prior to final consideration by the Board."
  • Rise in Car Burglaries
    none"Though these crimes can take place anywhere, the reported incidents have primarily occurred in the overnight hours in the downtown residential areas (being the area between Washington Street and National Street, as well as Arbor Avenue and Rt. 59). The common factor in these cases was that the vehicles were left unlocked."
  • Coyote Sightings Prompt Wildlife Safety Reminders
    none"Coyote sightings in West Chicago have caused concern among some members of the community prompting the City of West Chicago to provide an information source intended to educate the public."
  • Gallery Theater - Audition Dates for Spring Production
    none"Gallery Theater of West Chicago has announced audition dates for its upcoming spring production of Over the River and Through the Woods on February 19 and 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Callbacks, if necessary, will be on February 24, 2013 at 4:00 p.m."
student trustee at Joliet Junior College is Foster's Guest at State of Union - FB, Fox Valley Labor News
none"“His story serves as an important reminder of the need to invest in education and in training to equip workers with the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy.  As we face potentially devastating cuts from the sequestration, I urge my colleagues in Congress to remember people like Mr. Bryant who are working to build a better future for their families and communities with training and education to get them on the path towards a career that will last.”".
Wayne Woodward Candidate for Mayor - FB, Sandra Cox Woodward
"West Chicago has always been my home, and has been a wonderful town in which to grow up, in part because the great people and community leadership over the years.  I would be very honored to be chosen Mayor 9th and continue the good work of our past leaders."
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! - FB,  Pineda for Mayor
"I need very energetic walkers this Saturday, the 16th to BLITZ our town with door hangers. Can you help? Join us at 8:30AM this Saturday, Feb. 16th, at the Fox Community Center (old Depot). We'll assign areas and meet back at the Fox Center for pizza. Hope to see you there!"
none Jury awards $1 million to DuPage deputy
none"In the suit, Lakics says a fallout occurred between her husband, the former mayor of West Chicago, and Zaruba. After, Zaruba treated her differently than other non-politically affiliated employees.  Lakics said she was denied opportunities to attend classes, passed up for promotions for lesser qualified employees and was subject to retaliation such as downgrading her reviews."
Supporters hit the lanes to help West Chicago-area boy
none"On Sunday, dozens of supporters gathered at Bowling Green Sports Center in West Chicago for a fundraiser designed to help the Payton family cover the costs of a transplant and Owen's ongoing medical care. Supporters spent $20 a ticket to bowl three games, and some participated in a Valentine's Day raffle as well."
Former DuPage Airport board chairman reflects on tenure
"The airport in West Chicago was $23 million in debt and operating at a loss. DuPage County Board members had even accused the authority of running a "scam" on the taxpayers and were calling on the airport to stop collecting property taxes. Goodwin and the rest of the authority board decided to run the airport like a business. Now the authority is debt-free, making a profit and working to reduce its reliance on property tax dollars."


  Jury awards $1 million to DuPage deputy in promotion dispute
none"Lakics, a 16-year sheriff's department employee, filed the discrimination lawsuit in November 2009. She alleged less qualified candidates were promoted and that her performance reviews were downgraded because of a 1998 feud between Zaruba and her husband, Steve, a former West Chicago mayor. The former political allies, both Republicans, argued over the sheriff's plans to operate a program for young offenders in West Chicago, the suit alleges. Afterward, the Lakics no longer supported Zaruba politically."
none Mandatory school age could fall from 7 to 5 in Illinois
none"In a move aimed at countering Chicago's crisis in K-8 truancy and absenteeism, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford has introduced legislation to lower Illinois' compulsory school age from 7 to 5. Experts say it is critical to establish the habit of attendance in kindergarten and first grade. Yet Illinois law does not make school compulsory until most children enter second grade, which school authorities say often prevents them from imposing consequences on parents of the youngest truants."
State lawmaker wants to limit tackling during high school football practice
none"Rep. Carol Sente, D-Lincolnshire, said her bill could help ensure the continued existence of a sport that has come under attack as researchers find links between football-related concussions and degenerative neurological diseases. "When you hear the statistics and see the injuries and talk to administrators, you realize there might be a point where football might have to change drastically because the schools will have trouble getting liability insurance," she said."
none Rich Are Getting Richer and It's Hurting Social Security's Finances - AFL-CIO
"While media pundits raise faux concern every time the Social Security trustees release their annual report, falsely declaring the program is in dire trouble—even though the future modest funding shortfall can easily be fixed by scrapping the cap—it's important we take a look at a major factor in Social Security's finances: rich people."
none How to Save a Dying Language - Smithsonian Magazine
"Aramaic as preserved in villages, before speakers left for big, polyglot cities or, worse, new countries. This usually meant elderly folk who had lived the better part of their lives in mountain enclaves in Iraq, Syria, Iran or Turkey. “The less education the better,” Khan said. “When people come together in towns, even in Chicago, the dialects get mixed. When people get married, the husband’s and wife’s dialects converge.”"
none Bogus Emergency TV Broadcast in Montana Warns of Zombies - Laughing Squid
"Montana TV station KRTV reported that someone hacked into their Emergency Broadcast System and broadcast of an impending emergency in several Montana counties. According to Great Falls Tribune, regular programming was interrupted with a voice-over that warned that bodies were rising from their graves and attacking humans (video 1, 2)."
09&10 Feb
Week End
none This Week in West Chicago
KARINA VILLA West Chicago District 33 Board of Education Candidate  - You Tube video
none West Chicago’s Gallery Theater Announces Audition Dates for Spring Production
none"Gallery Theater of West Chicago has announced audition dates for its upcoming spring production of "Over the River and Through the Woods" on February 19 and 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Callbacks, if necessary, will be on February 24, 2013 at 4:00 p.m."
none Illinois auditor general arrested on DUI charge in Springfield
"Police reported Holland failed field sobriety tests. Holland said he refused to take a breath test. Such refusal triggers a suspension of a license for a year, according to the police documents and the Illinois secretary of state’s office. He posted $100 bail.  Holland called the matter “unfortunate.”..  “I view this as a personal matter,” Holland said, declining further comment. He is scheduled for a court appearance next month."
Quinn signs into law $1.5 billion in new spending
none"The bill the governor requested includes $25 million for the Department of Children and Family Services and $12 million for mental health programs, but the priciest parts of the legislation were hundreds of millions of dollars for group health insurance costs and the roadwork that Quinn wants to get moving on in time for the spring construction season."
none WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Monday, 8 Feb 2013




none Sí, Se Puede, Teachers at Chávez Academy Vote for Union Voice - AFL-CIP
none"AFT Michigan President David Hecker says the vote makes it clear that:"Educators, whether they work in charter schools or traditional public schools, recognize the importance of collective bargaining and union membership as an avenue to improve learning and working conditions.""
none Accused 'Witch' Kepari Leniata Burned Alive By Mob In Papua New Guinea (GRAPHIC PHOTO) - Huffington Post
"AFP notes that many people in the island nation believe in sorcery rather than accept natural causes of death. While the 1971 Sorcery Act technically outlaws the burning of alleged witches, the practice persists. In 2009, another woman was burned alive for alleged sorcery, the news outlet points out."
none Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science - the Independent
none"The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.  However, an audit trail reveals that Donors is being indirectly supported by the American billionaire Charles Koch who, with his brother David, jointly owns a majority stake in Koch Industries, a large oil, gas and chemicals conglomerate based in Kansas."
07 Feb

Tentative Agreement
D33 Strike is Over...

none Around and About in West Chicago - 07 Feb 2013
  • Installation of Fred Gaede as assistant pastor for Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Introduction to Foxtrot
  • Ash Wednesday Services
  • Great Movies Made from Amazing Books
  • 74th safest city with a population of 25,000 or more
  • Hawthorne’s Backyard - Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day
  • Grand Opening of A.R.S. HVAC Supply, Inc.
  • We Grow Dreams Eighth Annual Bowlathon

Tentative Agreement – Teachers back in classrooms on Thursday, February 07, 2013
none"At 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2013, the Board of Education for West Chicago Elementary School District 33 announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on the District's three year contract with its teachers."
Special Meeting with the District 33 Board of Education Members
  • Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013
  • Place: West Chicago Middle School, Community Room in the Library
    238 E. Hazel Street
  • Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Spelling Bee Judge Needed - FB, Maureen Navadomskis
  • "Needed - Last minute judge for tonight's WeGo 33 District Final Spelling Bee at 6p at the American Legion Hall in West Chicago. Preferably a person in our community who does not have any personal connection to one of the finalists.  If you're interested, please message me here or give me a call - 630-596-3729."
  • "West Chicago District 33 Final Spelling Bee has been moved to West Chicago American Legion Hall - 123 Main St.  We will still be starting at 6pm.  Everyone is welcome to come out to cheer the kids on as we choose West Chicago's two finalists to represent us in the DuPage Regional Bee!
The West Chicago Public Library District To Host ACT Test Prep, Saturday, February 16
none" The West Chicago Public Library District will provide a free proctored ACT practice test for students, administered by Kaplan Test Prep, on Saturday, February 16 beginning at 1:00 pm. This test will include return scores with analyzed results."
  • noneWhen: February 7th, 2013 and February 8th, 2013
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Subway (in Walmart) 150 Smith Rd., St. Charles, IL

"Come pick up a delicious meal at the St. Charles Subway and help CHS students sail away All Night Long on the Spirit of Chicago, Bring this flyer and support the CHS students After Prom Experience.  Subway will donate 10% of the proceeds to ANL."

Michael Browning Memorial Scholarship Run to Remember
nonenone"The West Chicago FOP Lodge 85, in conjunction with the West Chicago Park District, is hosting the 1st annual Michael Browning Memorial Scholarship Run to Remember on April 20th, 2013."
Local Music Night Provides Monthly Entertainment
none"This month, Local Music Night will be held on Friday, February 15, 2013 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. and features the musical talents of Dusty Michael and Old Toby. Additionally, People Made Visible, a not-for-profit arts group with a mission of fulfilling the artistic, social, educational and cultural needs of the community, brings featured visual artist Manda Gerard-Zappia to the venue to display and talk about her photography."


none Dist. 33 teachers, board still talking, still disagreeing
none"Meanwhile, teachers are trying to solicit the support of parents by asking them to contact school board members and ask them to "treat (the district's) professional teachers in a fair manner," according to a letter to parents posted on the union's website. The letter also appeared as a full-page paid advertisement in Monday's Daily Herald."
[This is from yesterday.  The strike is over with a tentative agreement. - Bob]
none West Chicago teachers end strike
none"West Chicago elementary teachers are back in the classrooms this morning after nearly 12 hours of negotiations produced a tentative contract.  Talks began at 1 p.m. Wednesday and the deal was reached around 12:30 a.m., officials said  “Well, the negotiations were very difficult and obviously long. They were professional,” said Dave Barclay, District 33 school board member. “We’re just happy that they’re done now. We have no animosity toward our teachers and rebuilding relationships is going to be a priority.”"
none Quinn minimum wage hike could be tough sell
"But the best news for Quinn is that key Democratic lawmakers already are lined up behind an idea that’s popular with a large number of low-income workers. Senate President John Cullerton and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie quickly embraced it. Cullerton flatly predicted, “We’ll be able to pass a minimum wage bill.”  “I support it. It’s very, very popular in Illinois,” Cullerton said. “There is overwhelming support in the electorate.”"
Quinn's State of State to call for online voter registration
nonenone"Elections will be one of the speech's themes, as the governor seeks to allow voters to register online, according to a source familiar with the planned remarks. That could draw criticism from Republicans, who often cry foul about Democratic voting efforts in Chicago.  Quinn also will revisit a proposal he has long supported: Asking lawmakers to pass legislation allowing for an open primary in which voters would not have to declare their political party before casting a ballot."
none Quinn speech long on proposals, light on pensions
none" In a State of the State speech that could be the start of his re-election campaign, Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday called for a higher minimum wage, stronger gun control and passing a same-sex marriage bill.  In a nearly 40-minute speech, Quinn also called for an end to voters having to declare a party affiliation to participate in primary elections and reiterated that rising pension costs are diverting money from other state programs."
none Asian carp invade Will County Forest Preserve lake
none"The discovery is not alarming because the department already knew that Asian carp were in that area of the Des Plaines River, said Kevin Irons, manager of the aquatic nuisance species program for the department. But it is a troubling find because the department didn’t want to see the Asian carp migrate north of the Interstate 55 bridge.  “It’s a priority for us, and we will be in there,” Irons said. “We found them and now we’ve got to get them out.”"
none Global Unions Urge Release of Imprisoned Russian Trade Unionist - AFL-CIO
"Days after the union was founded, workers in one of the mine’s vehicle depots, dissatisfied with low pay and working conditions, announced a hunger strike. Alrosa refused to meet with them and instead unleashed a crackdown against trade union activists. When workers responded by preparing for a large-scale protest rally, Urusov was detained on suspicion of narcotics possession. The company’s deputy director for economic security was “coincidentally” present when the drugs were allegedly found on Urusov, enabling the deputy director to serve as an official witness, which is required under Russian law during police searches."
none Megan Phelps-Roper Has Left the Westboro Baptist Church - Patheos
none"We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt... We know that we can’t undo our whole lives. We can’t even say we’d want to if we could; we are who we are because of all the experiences that brought us to this point. What we can do is try to find a better way to live from here on."
none Fewer People Than Ever Trust Fox News - Business Insider
none"Trust in Fox News has hit a record low, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling released Wednesday.  Only 41 percent of respondents to the poll said that they "trust" Fox News, compared to 46 percent who said they do not. That's an astounding 17-point swing from 2010, when PPP first did the survey. Back then, 49 percent said they trusted it, and 37 percent said they did not."
Education miracles that aren't - LA Times
none"But the bigger message of the San Jose experience is that a single example of a school reform miracle, whether it's a new test or a new teacher evaluation system, is not the same as evidence-based, replicated, time-tested educational change. It might offer an intriguing glimpse of future possibilities, but it should not be widely adopted without proof that it is necessary or helpful... The impatience with the status quo is commendable, but the search for silver bullet solutions is leading schools in some dubious and possibly harmful directions."
05 Feb
none Strike Update - FB, Susan Dieterle Stibal
"D33 email: As of 10:00 p.m. tonight the District 33 Board and ETAWC, the Teachers' Union continue negotiation discussions with no designated end time. Parents need to plan on utilizing the District's alternative program or continue with their own child care for tomorrow, Wednesday, February 6th."
Sources of District 33 Strike Information
  • Support West Chicago District 33 Teachers
    none"Disclaimer: This is a community page that has no affiliation with the teachers or the school district of West Chicago. We put this page in place because we wanted to create a social environment where the community could show their support for the teachers of West Chicago District 33."
  • Wego Etawc
    "We are the Elementary Teacher Association of West Chicago (ETAWC) and we are dedicated to providing a quality education for the community we serve."
  • Elementary Teacher Association of West Chicago
    "This page is dedicated to providing you an idea of all the wonderful things going on in our classrooms (as well as what we work on at night, on weekends, and over breaks).  We are dedicated to our students' success! "
  • Elementary District 33
    [This is the district website and has been posting negotiations updates.- Bob]
  • School Board Walks Out On Bargaining Session
    none"Teacher negotiators learned tonight that a previously-unannounced school board meeting was scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on the final night before the strike, according to Kosmach.  “The board’s chief negotiator hasn’t even been present for the past two meetings,” said Kosmach, “and now they walked away from our meeting out without even having the courtesy to tell us they were leaving.  With this level of disrespect it’s not surprising that we haven’t been able to get anything done.”"
  • Correspondence to the West Chicago District 33 School Board
    "We can’t begin to tell you how disappointed we are that the school board negotiators chose to walk away from the bargaining table the night before a scheduled strike. The fact that your team left the building without even bothering to notify us is unfortunately consistent with the significant level of disrespect that we have experienced during the past sixteen months of negotiations."
  • Pic of Teachers on Picket Line - FB, Support West Chicago District 33 Teachers
    "Pioneer School teachers stand up for fairness. — with Mary Beth Cooney, Bridget Ryan Fors, Rosie Gutierrez, Kathy Grogan and Gaby Mancera in West Chicago."
    • Gaby Mancera - "Definitely proud of our staff!!!!"
    • Gaby Mancera - "and of everyone who came and brought us warm drinks and goodies"
    • Susan Wagner  - "Good for you! I'm with you in spirit. This is a long time coming."
  • District 33 Teachers Offer Salary
    ""Teacher negotiators made the offer for a wage freeze in the first year of a three-year contract during talks on Thursday evening. Teachers had previously offered concessions on all other remaining negotiations items, including teacher evaluation, health insurance, and retirement.
    [I apologize to the members of ETAQWC for having failed to post a link to this press release from 30 Jan. - Bob]

[There are many comments by parents/community members at . - Bob]

  • Inflenza information - D94, Beth A. Jones, M.S.Ed., RN, NCSN, IL CSN
    none"Over the last few weeks, the high school has seen a significant increase in absenteeism due to flu-like symptoms. Please review and follow the attached recommendations from the DuPage County Health Department. If you have questions regarding the health department’s information, please contact the health department as listed on the information sheet.  Thank you for your support in this matter."
  • Triple Author Visit to CHS
    "Community High School Learning Resource Center is pleased to announce our first author visit of the year featuring three Midwest authors: Julia Cross, Erica O’Rourke and Jennifer Rush on Wednesday, Feb. 13th."
  • Dist 94 Board Meeting Agenda February 5, 2013
    • noneTextbook Display for the 2013-2014 School Year
    • Semi-Annual Review of Closed Session Minutes
    • Destruction of Closed Meeting Audio Recordings
  • Meeting Scheduled for Today between Board of Education and ETAWC
    "District 33 Board President, Dr. Chris Scheck, just announced that the Board and ETAWC, the Teachers' Union will be meeting at 4:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, February 05, 2013 to continue negotiation discussions."
  • An Open Letter to the Parents, Teachers, and Community Members
    none"Parents should make the necessary preparations for a teachers' strike on Monday, February 4, 2013. District 33 will offer alternative programming during the school day ONLY to students in Grades 1 through 5 who have pre-registered. The West Chicago Park District, West Chicago Public Library, and Puente de Pueblo will offer additional programs. Parents can contact these organizations directly."
  • Freedom of Information Act Request
    "The Illinois School Students Records Act (ISSRA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows educational institutions to publicly release “directory information” relative to students, provided annual notice is given to parents/students. Consistent with the ISSRA and FERPA, and as set forth in the District’s 2012-2013 Parent/Student Handbook (the “Handbook”), the District has only designated the following information as “directory information”: student’s name and address; grade; date and place of birth; participation in officially-recognized activities and sports; periods of attendance; and degrees and awards received."

Fred Gaede Ordained - FB, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, West Chicago
none"In a very beautiful yet humbling ceremony this past Friday, Fred Gaede was ordained into the Holy Ministry. Please join us this coming Sunday at Trinity West Chicago, 2:30 p.m. for his installation. Plan on joining us for dinner following at the Courtyard restaurant in Warrenville."

none In West Chicago Dist. 33, even how talks ended is in dispute
none"The school board said the union rejected its settlement offer at 10:38 p.m. and also rejected a suggestion that it postpone the strike while continuing talks.  But Mary Catherine Kosmach, the union's chief negotiator, said teachers weren't aware the talks had ended.  "The board walked out and didn't tell us," she said. "We asked the mediator to ask them to consider other options, but they had already left. No dates have been set (for further talks) because they left the building without telling us."
Dist. 33 teachers, board return to bargaining table
none"Discussions broke off Sunday between the two sides after more than 16 months at the table, triggering Monday morning's walkout by 284 teachers.  But representatives of both sides confirmed just before noon that they were planning to resume talks in an effort to reopen classes for nearly 4,000 students at six elementary schools, one junior high and a preschool program that meets at two locations."
Campaign Picture - Karina Villa
"The future. When you ask what has become of our kids and think all is lost, look at this amazing young woman. She is our future. I will work for her and future generations. "
We Grow Dreams helps people with disabilities develop job skills
none"We Grow Dreams aims to make it possible — enjoyable, even — for older students and young adults to hone their abilities and build traits prized by employers.  Through its We Grow Dreams Greenhouse and Garden Center in West Chicago, people with disabilities have the opportunity to work in a supportive environment under the guidance of job coaches, employees and volunteers."
none District 33 schools closed as West Chicago teachers strike
none""We made another proposal to the board (Sunday), and they responded with an ultimatum," union negotiator Mary Catherine Kosmach said in a statement. "We were essentially told that they 'might' talk to us about insurance, but not unless we agreed to every item they've got on the table."  The union said teachers agreed to a salary freeze for one year. But a District 33 negotiator said step increases sought by teachers were beyond those of comparable districts and greater than inflation rates."
[See Video - Bob]
none Cullerton dismisses union tax proposals to support pensions
none"Cullerton is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1, which incorporates two separate pension reform plans into one bill. Both of those plans include reductions in cost of living adjustments to pension benefits.  We Are One Illinois, a coalition of public employee unions, is resisting any change to pension benefits. Instead, it has proposed to have workers contribute more toward their pension plans and that lawmakers enact tax changes the unions say could produce $2 billion for pensions."
Deadbeat Illinois: Services for elderly suffer from late payments
" The leaders of Lifescape and other organizations with IOUs from the state are frustrated. Lifescape leaders are worried their current services are unsustainable without that state aid.  “We have really looked at everything we can possibly look at,” she said. “Not-for-profits are known for operating on a skinny budget anyway.”"
Illinois Review Fmr. West Chicago Mayor now GOP spokesman for IL House Cities Committee
"State Rep Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) announced his new committee assignments Monday, highlighting that he will be the Minority Spokes Person for the Cities and Villages Committee and will continue to be the Minority Spokes Person for the Tollway Oversight Committee."
none New Poll: Illinois Voters Reject Harmful Pension Cuts, Support Union Plan and Collaborative Approach - We Are One
"Specifically, the poll of 500 voters finds the public opposes cutting pensions by 58-31, supports the coalition’s pension-funding plan by 59-23, and supports the call for a summit by 78-17.  "Illinois voters are sending a strong message to their political leaders," Illinois AFL-CIO president Michael T. Carrigan said."
Coalition of Michigan Lawmakers, Unions and Citizen Journalist File Lawsuit to Block 'Right to Work' for Less - AFL-CIO
none"Republicans in the Michigan legislature passed bills that eventually led to Michigan becoming the 24th "right to work" for less state. With their majorities in both the House and the Senate and encouragement from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, this was a pretty straightforward accomplishment. However, it was done with a crowd of thousands of protesters surrounding the Capitol building and filling its corridors."
none A killing, a life sentence and my change of heart - CNN
"Brendan replied, “We can’t love what he did. But we have to love him, because God made him for a purpose.”  Brendan is right. God made each of the juveniles serving life sentences for a purpose. I can no longer support a sentence that says never."
none Deficit Obsession Has Hurt The Recovery: CBO - TPM
none"“At an estimated $845 billion, the 2013 imbalance would be the first deficit in five years below $1 trillion; and at 5.3 percent of GDP, it would be only about half as large, relative to the size of the economy, as the deficit was in 2009,” if current laws don’t change, according to CBO... Looming fights over the sequester, government appropriations, and the debt limit could dramatically alter the fiscal outlook and thus the economic forecast, for the year and coming decade."
A Few Good (and Fair) Tax Hikes - Common Dreams
"While the current deficit hysteria is unmoored from reality, the right tax hikes could improve economic incentives, reduce obscene inequality and fund much-needed programs. Rather than the usual dust-ups over competing flavors of austerity, our budget debate should have healthy tax hikes front and center."
02&03 Feb
none This Week in West Chicago
04  6pm» Underground Art Club
      7pm» City Council Meeting
05  7pm» District 94 School Board
07  6pm» West Chicago Sister Cities February Meeting
      7pm» City Infrastructure Com
      7pm» District 33 School Board
      7pm» Knit Night
08  7pm» “Girls Night Out” Jewelry Making Classes with Britta Renwick
10  7pm» Barefoot in the Park
E-mail from district (for those who aren't on the email list) - FB, Maureen Navadomskis
none"Sunday, February 3, 2013 11:00pm
As of 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, the Board of Education and the Teachers' Union are continuing discussions regarding outstanding contractual issues.  It is the understanding of the Board of Education that unless an agreement is reached tonight there WILL be a teachers' strike tomorrow, Monday, February 4, 2013.  You will receive an auto dialer update by 5:00 a.m tomorrow morning regarding strike status."
Open house - Pineda for Mayor - FB, Becky Hall
  • noneKevin Ball Go get'em Rubin... I wish I could be there to give you my support! When I come visit this summer I'll be proud to stop by your office and congratulate you in person.
  • David L. Brummel Best Wishes, Ruben!
  • Lolly Frederick So sorry we missed your event, was in Chicago with grandkids. But you know you have our support. Doing a great job.
  • Laura Pollastrini Go Mayor Pineda! You make West Chicago proud!!
none Last-minute talks aim to avert West Chicago teachers strike (Video)
none"Elementary and middle school teachers in suburban West Chicago are threatening to strike on Monday if no contract deal is reached Sunday night.  The main issues are salary and the cost of health insurance. The negotiations in District 33 have been underway for 16 months and while they have hit a dead end, the talks continued.  The board had threatened to impose terms of the contract and chief union negotiator Mary Catherine Kosmach said negotiations broke down around 7 p.m. Sunday night."
none West Chicago District 33 contract talks heading for showdown
none"The union's chief negotiator, Mary Catherine Kosmach, said the board already has rejected the union's offer to freeze teacher salaries for the first year of the proposed pact. She said the teachers previously offered concessions on all remaining items in the negotiations. "We have done everything we can to try to avoid a strike," she said in a written statement. "We've compromised on every item.  "This package of concessions would save the school district over $2 million over the life of the contract, but for some inexplicable reason, the board is intent on driving teachers out.""
none Madigan brushes off labor group's call for a summit on pensions
none"In the House, rank-and-file lawmakers tried to get traction on a plan that would see workers chip in more from their paychecks and rein in automatic cost-of-living increases. Retirees would have not gotten automatic annual inflation bumps until age 67, and cost-of-living increases would have been frozen for several years under the proposal."
none Longshoremen Reach East Coast Port Deal - AFL-CIO
none""The tentative agreement reflects the culmination of good faith negotiations in which the parties successfully accommodated strongly held competing positions because of their commitment to problem solving."  The previous contract ended in September and several extensions were agreed to, including one last month that set a Feb. 6 deadline."
none Hoping to hold on to younger generations, Hispanic churches include more English - WaPo
"For years, non-Hispanic churches in the Washington area have been adding Spanish­language ministries in response to a growing number of newly arrived Hispanic immigrants. Now, in recent years, as the immigrant population has matured, churches such as Centro Cristiano have begun incorporating more English into their services. Many are also discarding conservative traditions brought from Latin America governing dress, gender roles and behavior."
none National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies - NRA
Dang Wabbit"The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI "Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws." Many of these organizations were listed as "Campaign Partners," for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton "assault weapons" ban. All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions."
'American Sniper' author Chris Kyle fatally shot at Texas gun range - US News
Dang Wabbit"Kyle, a Texas native who grew up hunting, served four tours in Iraq with Navy SEAL Team 3. His shooting during battles in Ramadi and Fallujah became legendary, and insurgents nicknamed him the "Devil of Ramadi" and put a bounty on his head.  He was credited with 160 confirmed kills, including one in 2008 in which he said he fired from 2,100 yards away -- 1.2 miles."
Social Security, Medicare benefits outweigh taxes you paid - Tampa Bay Times
" We thought this reader, and others, raised an interesting question: Are Social Security and Medicare payments actually a "partial refund" of what the beneficiary has already paid in? So we took a closer look.  The Urban Institute, a non-partisan research institute in Washington, D.C., produces statistics on this topic annually. Institute researchers figured out what people turning 65 in various years have already "paid in" to the system and what can expect to "take out" after they reach age 65."
[See charts at Current Retirees: Six Scenarios. - Bob]
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Unless specifically attributed to WegoNews, ALL items here express the opinions of their authors.  I disclaim any responsibility for opinions expressed by others.
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