Press Releases/Announcements from local sources

Source Click on title to see the article at its original site.

31 Jan

District 33


Foundation Announces $10,000 Scholarship Raffle
"The Foundation for Educational Excellence for West Chicago Elementary School District 33 will kick off its $10,000 college scholarship raffle on Thursday, February 14, 2008. Tickets are $20.00 each and only 1,000 tickets will be sold through April 25, 2008. A second place prize of a $500 savings bond has been donated by DuPage National Bank. The drawing will take place on Thursday, May 1, 2008 near the beginning of the District 33 Board of Education meeting."
Letter to the Editor
"From time to time I write letters to the editor of the local newspaper, some times they get published and some times they don’t get published. It seems if. I agree with the paper’s view it get published. Here is one I don’t think would be published."
Carson's Community Day Booklets - Becky Hall
"The West Chicago City Museum has Community Day booklets for sale for only $5! For that $5 you get a $10 off coupon, plus several discount coupons, all valid on March 1st. This is an easy way to support the museum's goal to restore the old depot building AND save money for yourself! The City Museum is open from 10:30 to 3:30 Tuesday through Friday, and 11:00 to 3:00 on Saturday. Don't forget to go upstairs and see the exhibit!"
Letters to Editor:
  • Lauzen has shown he will serve us
    "I too was seriously disappointed with Dennis Hastert's performance over the last several years as our representative, in that while he was the Speaker of the House, the third highest public official of the United State of America, he allowed or, let our (Republican) majority dwindle to shame."
  • Voters should support Laesch
    "He believes small businesses pay too much for health care. He will fight for free trade. He wants to fix illegal immigration. He wants to end the war in Iraq. (His brother is serving in Iraq). He has a bipartisan view in his approach to problem solving. He will not accept PAC money. As my Republican neighbor (and Laesch convert) says: "He's real.""
Contractors now have to register with county
"DuPage County will now be able to provide residents with a list of registered, licensed and bonded contractors performing work in unincorporated areas.  This new requirement becomes effective Saturday, March 1, and will be administered through the Department of Economic Development and Planning."
Democrats show Obama the love
"Dirk Enger, a DuPage County Board candidate, said Edwards formulated a message of change long before Obama adopted the word as his campaign theme.  "The party seems to think the word change started in this election," said Enger, who volunteered for Edwards' first presidential campaign. "Change started in 2004 with Edwards."
PR Newswire
New York,NY
Community Calls on State to Review Safety of Canadian National's ...
"With the EJ&E having 133 grade-level
crossings along the line from Waukegan to Gary, the flow of commuter traffic will inevitably be hindered as CN makes the line its "Interstate 294 bypass" of freight traffic," Darch notes. "Simply stated, we are not equipped with the rail crossing infrastructure to handle a massive onslaught of freight traffic."
IL Delegation Calls on President to Move FutureGen Forward
"Many have argued that this abrupt about face by Secretary Bodman was the direct result of the FutureGen Alliance choosing Mattoon, Illinois as the site, over Texas applicants. While we'd like not to believe this theory, there is no other plausible explanation."
USDA Must Act to Ensure Safety of Food in the National School Lunch Program
"Durbin’s letters are in response to an investigative video report released by the Humane Society, depicting dozens of incidents of inhumane treatment of sick and weak animals at processing facility that is a leading supplier of ground beef to our nation’s schools."
Illinois National Guard ranked 49th for available equipment - WAND - Decatur,IL
"A new report ranks the Illinois Army National Guard 49th among the 50 states when it comes to available equipment... U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has long voiced concerns about shortfalls in Guard equipment."
Montel Williams Loses Job after Defending Troops on Fox News
"A former Marine and Naval officer, Montel lectured the stunned hosts on the stupidity of spending air time on the death of Heath Ledger, rather than covering the war in Iraq.  It was a spectacle rarely seen on live cable television, as Montel exposed and condemned both tabloid "news" shows and much of American culture for what they have each become: shallow and greedy."

30 an

Merle Berle


Around and About in West Chicago - 30 Jan 2008

  • The Greenest Regions compact
  • Ash Wednesday Special Worship Services
  • National Catholic Schools Week
  • How to Raise A Money-Smart Child
Fortune Makes the Under 20 Brazilian National Team
"Leah Fortune, a junior at Wheaton Academy, received word on January 29 that she was one of 17 players chosen to be a part of the 2008 Women’s World Cup under 20 Brazilian National Team. Fortune, born in Brazil to American parents, holds dual citizenship."
Letters to the Editor concerning local issues/candidates
Fire destroys kitchen of West Chicago golf club
"The ceiling of the kitchen was heavily damaged, and the adjoining dining rooms incurred some minor damage, Skubisz said.  “I’m sure the kitchen will need new ceilings, new walls and they’ll have to redo the electric system — there is considerable damage,” Skubisz said.  The Clubhouse, which is a frequently used for banquets, weddings and other events, will be closed until the damage is repaired."
Schillerstrom appoints panel to examine future of Convalescent Center
"“I tried to make it kind of a diverse group,” Schillerstrom said. “One of the nice things about a diverse group is that you get a wide variety views.”  The Convalescent Center has provided long-term medical and short-term rehabilitative care to residents since opening its doors in 1888. The county’s budget cuts since 2003 have led to cutbacks at the center, including the termination of 20 employees in 2007."
IL Delegation Calls on President to Move FutureGen Forward Despite Bodman's Objections
"Many have argued that this abrupt about face by Secretary Bodman was the direct result of the FutureGen Alliance choosing Mattoon, Illinois as the site, over Texas applicants. While we'd like not to believe this theory, there is no other plausible explanation."
Durbin reports $7.3 million campaign fund - WJBC News - Bloomington,IL
"The Springfield Democrat took in a bit more than $1 million from October through mid January, based on his disclosure report filed today. He spent about $359,000 during the period. Durbin has no primary challenger. Including his years in the House, the senator has spent about a quarter-century in Washington."
Obama Donates Challenged Funds - New York Times
"After another review of campaign contributions, an aide to Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday evening that the campaign was giving to charity $72,650 in donations tied to an indicted Chicago businessman, Antoin Rezko, who helped raise money for Mr. Obama’s Senate campaign four years ago."
Rep Peter Roskam


“The people of Illinois’ 6th District know all too well that Washington is broken.  A city that is often hamstrung with partisan politics, only reduces our ability to come together and find solutions to the problems we face.  “Congress’ successes lately, including an economic stimulus package and energy legislation, have been successful when, and only when, we have worked together. "
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff on behalf of: Army SSG Robert Miller, United States Army, Hometown: Wheaton, Illinois"
Department of Energy’s plans to dismantle FutureGen
“After an almost five-year long, rigorous site review process, the FutureGen Alliance announced on December 18th that Mattoon, Illinois will be home to the landmark project.  On November 30th, 2007, the Department of Energy sent a letter reaffirming that the project was moving forward as planned.  Only after it became clear that an Illinois site would be chosen over a Texas site, the Department suggested the project be delayed and now today, that it be dismantled."
Gov. Blagojevich launches first in the nation Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder program for Illinois Veterans

29 Jan

City of
ComEd Issues Storm Alert
"The City of West Chicago has been notified by ComEd that a storm alert for the entire ComEd service territory has been in effect since 11:00 a.m. today. As sustained winds of 25-30 miles per hour and gusts of 45-50 miles per hour are expected, ComEd is preparing for storm-related damage and resulting service interruptions."
[Readers are reminded that the right column always has a link to NOAA, where such warnings are always available.  In addition, a new link "Winter Driving" over there gets you up to date driving conditions in all states.  You have to wonder about the city bureaucrats that decided that this warning was a timely (4:41PM this afternoon) service. - Bob]
Community High School students ship computers to Angola
"The West Chicago students raised more than $800 in their advisory classes to purchase the special laptop computers from the One Laptop Per Child Program, which has a mission to empower children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child."
No traffic light warranted at busy school entrance
""Based on the results of the study, the intersection didn't meet the minimum requirements to warrant either stop signs or a traffic signal," Pacheco said.  As a part of the project, though, the hill on Prince Crossing Road as you approach the school from the north was planed down and flattened to make the area safer with better sight lines."
DuPage Democrats hope straw poll pumps up party
"The poll is a sign of growing activity and fervor in a local party operation that's long lived in the shadow of its GOP rival within the county.  Democratic voters in DuPage will see primary ballots with about twice as many names running for precinct committeeman than they've seen in recent years."
Letters to the Editor concerning local issues/candidates
Police beat
  • "Allison C. Godee, 20, of 2825 Manisfield Court, West Chicago, was arrested at 1:55 a.m. Saturday and charged with domestic battery and underage drinking at an apartment on the 100 block of Lakeside Drive, police said."
  • "Two West Chicago girls, ages 13 and 15, were arrested at 5:10 p.m. Saturday and charged with retail theft after stealing $38.97 in jewelry from Kohl's, 3840 E. Main St., police said"
the VA Inspector General's Report on the Marion VA Medical Center
“Today’s report from the VA Inspector General confirms what many of us in Illinois feared – the quality of medical care at the Marion VA Medical Center was substandard; hospital policies established to protect patients were ignored; and the assessments of medical personnel at the hospital were seriously deficient. As the inspectors who reviewed the Marion hospital put it, the quality of care at Marion was 'horrible.'
Durbin Comments on the State of the Union
“The President says he wants to reduce waste in Washington.  Nobody likes wasteful spending. Nobody wants millions of dollars inserted into bills in the dark of night.  But the right answer is to require full disclosure and transparency on all spending bills – exactly what the Democratic Congress did last year.”
on the Marion VA Medical Center Reports
"Our veterans should expect nothing less than world class care and treatment at our nation's veterans' facilities. I remain deeply concerned over the unacceptable breakdown that led to these tragic deaths and substandard care at the Marion VA Medical Center."
Ukraine's Commitment to Join NATO
"The extension of NATO membership to new democracies in Europe has helped create a zone of peace and prosperity across Europe and enhanced NATO's military capability by facilitating contributions from new members."


Governor Blagojevich calls first meeting of the Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force
“Our state is one of the nation’s leading producers of agricultural products, but imports more than 90 percent of its food,” Gov. Blagojevich said.  “If we could develop a system to satisfy consumers’ demand for organic and locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables and keep food sales in-state, we’d have a tremendous opportunity to improve the health of our diets and revitalize rural communities.”

28 Jan

St. Andrews CC - Clubhouse Fire
"The fire was confined to the kitchen area of the clubhouse. Companies on the scene conducted extensive overhaul of the fire area to make certain that the fire did not extend into the structural part of the building.  The fire was reported at 4:45 pm. It was elevated to an extra alarm to receive additional assistance at the scene. Approximately 35 firefighters were called to the scene to control the fire."
Wheaton Academy Mock Trial Team
"When only three of the five veteran Mock Trial students got on the bus for their trip to the tournament at the 16th Circuit Court of Kane County, Coach Jon Keith soon learned that due to illness his team would face a big challenge during the kick off tournament for the 2008 season. With only a half hour bus trip to prepare, the team had to scramble and agree who would fill four key roles. Yet, after two rounds and five hours of intense competition against eleven other Illinois elite Mock Trial schools, Wheaton Academy emerged as a finalist."
West Chicago
High School
  • "Come to the Varsity Girls’ Basketball Game on Thursday, January 31st at 7:30 p.m. in Bishop Gym!
  • Beginning at 6:30 p.m. the Wildcat Booster Club will provide free pizza and soft drinks to WEGO Students who attend the game that evening!
  • Bring a non-perishable food item (no glass containers) to the game and receive a raffle ticket for prizes to be pulled at halftime! Items collected will be donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
  • Our Boys’ Basketball Team will be entertaining us at half-time with a 3 point shooting contest!"
Trees, People, & the Law Symposium
  • Basics of Tree Law
  • Trees and Neighbor Law
  • Insurance Coverage for Tree Related Damages
  • Tree Risk Management
  • Using Tree Inventories to Limit Liability
  • Community Tree Ordinances
  • Expert Witnessing
Local schools facing shortage of science, math teachers
"Nationwide, 36 percent of seventh- to 12th-grade public school math teachers and 27 percent of science teachers did not major or minor in their subject area, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics."
[This is followed by the editorial Schools need deafening solution to 'quiet crisis'.  I admit to a personal interest. - Bob]
Wide-eyed looks at Fermilab
"The 6,800-acre Fermilab site is home to a prairie grass restoration project, a herd of buffalo and cultural programs including concerts, films, lectures and art exhibits.  On the 15th floor of Wilson Hall, with its panoramic view of the laboratory grounds and far beyond, Fermilab physicists met one-on-one with visitors for the popular "Ask-a-Scientist" program."
'No' to Winfield Township roads
"The message is clear - though it's not getting across in Winfield Township. After such a pattern of failure, why not go for a 1-cent increase, or a half-cent increase, anything but what has been a losing proposition?  We recommend a no vote on this proposal."
Letters to the Editor concerning local issues
Lauzen, Oberweis clash on Parkway
"More than $200 million in federal funds have been earmarked for "a north-south connector," and while the state is pursuing the Prairie Parkway project, Lauzen believes the money could be put to better use."
[More background on Rep.Hastert's interest in the expressway can be found at Hastert's $2 million land profit   Haster has endorsed Oberweis who supports the lucrative road. - Bob]
Thanking smokers - William Hooper
"I don't have to immediately take a shower and quarantine my clothes when I get home. And I'm not sick and coughing the next day. So thank you to all you smokers whom I noticed braving the frigid cold Saturday to have a smoke outside."
Chef Fanella keeps Restaurant Ownership in the Family
“We get the crowds from the places that close at midnight,” said Fanella, looking around the spacious dining area, “we got recognized for being open late.”   Tivoli also features live music three nights a week. Acts like Dakota, a young singer known for performing Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett tunes livens up the restaurant."
An entrepreneurial stimulus
"The nine-employee ITDA, which has offices at 549 W. Randolph and the DuPage National Technology Park in West Chicago, is funded in part via contracts with NASA, the Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration. The group hosts quarterly Monday Morning Meetings that showcase new business plans to local investors, and helps larger corporations like Caterpillar bring new tech-based divisions to market."
Naperville Sun Man gets year in prison for scuffle with cops
"It was a year ago that a West Chicago man scuffled with two Aurora police officers in the parking lot of a Naperville restaurant.  And now he'll serve a year in prison.  Alejandro Salinas, 25, of the 600 block of Blakley Street has been sentenced to one year in the Illinois Department of Corrections in exchange for his plea to aggravated resisting a peace officer, a Class 4 felony."
Spell Check Gaffe: You type Obama, Microsoft inserts Osama - Detroit Free Press
"There's a glitch, of sorts, with the popular Microsoft Word program that is starting to seriously irk those who follow politics, especially those who like Senator Barack Obama. Type in the word "Obama" and it comes up as a misspelling. Ask Word to suggest a word and it presents "Osama.""
Lessons of 1992 - New York Times
"First, those who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1)."

26&27 Jan

West Chicago
High School
"Students at Community High School District #94, in West Chicago, recently sent two laptop computers to Angola to open up the world to students in the war torn nation. Students raised over $800 in their advisory classes to purchase the special laptop computers from the One Laptop Per Child Program which strives to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child."
Schools balk at six-hour driving requirement
""We also expect the General Assembly will understand the need to provide funding to carry out this critical six-hour component. The bottom line is we want to save kids' lives."  Other districts that applied for waivers include Lake Park High School District 108, St. Charles District 303, West Chicago High School District 94..."
Fumes spark fire at St. Andrew's
"The flammable solvent was being used to remove floor tile. The fumes found an ignition source, possibly on a grill, according to a West Chicago deputy chief. The fire extended into the ceiling.  About a half-dozen people were working there at the time. The clubhouse, at 3N441 Route 59, was closed to business at the time."
14th Congressional District starting from scratch
"For more than seven of those 21 years, Hastert's clout was nearly off the chart. As Speaker of the House, he was second only to the vice president in succession to the Oval Office. Hastert delivered millions of dollars for projects, notably transportation, not only within his district but elsewhere in Illinois."
Briefs:Gallery 200 featured artist
The works of Bernadette Malovany, a member of the board of directors of the DuPage Art League, will be featured next month at West Chicago's Gallery 200. Malovany will host an opening reception beginning at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the gallery, 200 Main St. The program is a cultural initiative sponsored by West Chicago and the Cultural Arts Commission. For details, call (630) 293-9550 or visit
Donor drive draws hundreds
"With each day that passes, the family of 13-year-old Dianna Perez of West Chicago struggles to keep faith that a matching bone marrow donor will be found."
Oberweis pours $1.6 million into Congress race
"After pumping $1.69 million dollars into his own campaign, dairy mogul Jim Oberweis has gone through nearly twice as much money as other top spenders in the two Feb. 5 primary races to succeed former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, according to Federal Election Commission reports made public Friday."
THE primary challenge defining the dems
"Agree as they might, the candidates often are the only ones able to point out what makes them different -- Stein says he's the lone candidate talking about hungry children; Foster thinks his scientific approach works across the board; Laesch keys on his military background; and Serra touts a true "moderate" stance."
Not guilty plea for driver in Ark. bus crash that killed 4
"Tapia was driving a Tornado Bus Co. bus Nov. 25 in the rain when it crossed the median near Forrest City, and collided with a pickup truck and a tractor trailer.  Three people on the bus, including two Illinoisans, were killed, as was the driver of the pickup. The Illinois victims were Raul Lopez of West Chicago and Maria Del Carmen Fuentes Vallejo of Plano."
Hastert seat becoming expensive property
"Most expensive because Republican candidates Jim Oberweis, 61, of Sugar Grove, state Sen. Chris Lauzen, 55, of Aurora and Democrat Bill Foster, 52, of Geneva are combining to spend millions.  Most vicious because Oberweis and Lauzen are regularly ripping each other."
Wounded Illinois soldiers to attend State of the Union -  THI - Terre Haute,IN
"Durbin's office says Specialist Christopher Gross of Oswego and Staff Sergeant Mathew Ritenour of Chicago will join Durbin during the speech and attend the Secretary of State's dinner afterward.  Gross was injured in September during a firefight on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ritenour was injured in September during a unit patrol in Zabol Province, Afghanistan."
Obama and Faith on the Stump - New York Times
"As Mr. Obama traveled around South Carolina this week before Saturday’s Democratic primary, his campaign took on a Christian glow, with shout-outs to Jesus by the candidate, warm-ups by gospel choirs, and glossy leaflets that showed Mr. Obama speaking from a pulpit and clasping hands with a minister, his head bowed in prayer."
Great Lakes' Lower Water Levels Propel a Cascade of Hardships
"Decreased ice cover on the Great Lakes, probably caused by increasing air and water temperatures and high winds, is a major culprit in lowering water levels, which have hurt the shipping industry, forced lakeside power plants to extend their cooling pipes, frustrated recreational boaters, dried up wetlands and left coastal landowners with docks extending over yards of unsightly muck."
How Bush’s Fiscal Mismanagement Produced a Recession
"The Rogoff-Reinhardt study says that what’s happening in the United States right now has been predictable for some time and that the country is facing the real prospect of a long and severe recession, all the result of profligate fiscal practices and a failure to properly police the capital markets."

25 Jan

City of
Resolution States Objections to Proposed Railway Acquisition
"A Resolution passed by the West Chicago City Council at its January 21, 2008 meeting, formally conveys the City's objections to the proposed acquisition of the EJ&E West Company by the Canadian National Railway Corporation and its U.S. subsidiary, Grand Trunk Corporation (collectively, "CN") and urges the Surface Transportation Board to disapprove the proposed transaction based on the negative impact it will have on the City of West Chicago, its residents, business customers and the region"
"JAN 31ST 7:30-8:45, Helen Plum Library
West Chicago lauded for mud volleyball tourney
"Peggy Krauch, retired superintendent of recreation, said, "Richard Sheriff, a park district commissioner in 1978, directed Kathy (Doell) Farraday to start a mud volleyball tournament."  The first event held 30 years ago in the area by the old tennis courts had eight teams for two days of play."
Donor drive draws hundreds
"With each day that passes, the family of 13-year-old Dianna Perez of West Chicago struggles to keep faith that a matching bone marrow donor will be found.  Perez is battling leukemia, and undergoing her last round of chemotherapy."
Ballot integrity questions arise in race for 14th
"At issue is a provision in the agreement allowing local election authorities in the 14th Congressional District to clear the memory card data from the Feb. 5 special primary election so the cards can be re-used for the March 8 special general election. If the cards are not cleared, some election officials say they'd have to purchase more memory cards -- a cost the cash-strapped agencies claim they can't bear.  But Roy Lipscomb, technology director for the Evanston-based Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, said destroying such vital public records prematurely is unwise. Data on the memory cards might be needed in the event of a recount or to otherwise audit the election, he pointed out."
Lawsuit in crash awaits review by appellate court
"Lawyers for the Diamond's Gentleman's Club want to be dropped from the suit against John Homatas, arguing the club is not responsible in the wreck, largely because it does not serve alcohol -- the patrons bring it themselves."
Police beat
"Tyler B. Sparacio, 17, of 1952 Wessel Court, and Ryan M. Honer, 18, of 2420 Lindsay Court, West Chicago, were each cited Jan. 11 for disorderly conduct and reckless conduct after a fight at St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, according to a police report released Thursday. A school dean who tried to break up the fight was treated for a back injury at Delnor-Community Hospital after being knocked down, according to the report."
Time to pass the torch to Laesch
"His opponents are honorable men but we have enough millionaires and lawyers in Congress now. It's time to give the younger generation a chance to mold the country for their future. Lord knows the problems they will face ahead will be monumental."
Lauzen best choice for 14th District
"I submit that a vote for Lauzen is a vote for honesty, integrity, responsiveness and competent leadership. Chris Lauzen is a certified public account and a state senator. He is considered conservative socially and economically, yet there is far more.  He is also an honest man."
Democrats underwhelm the audience
"Bill Foster, who owns a theater lighting company, was talking to the stage manager about the auditorium's lighting. John Laesch was sketching out his opening statements in his white notebook.  Jotham Stein was searching the audience for his wife and 6-year-old son, who was wearing headphones."
Lawsuit against club could last for years
"The Chiariello and Simmons families are suing Homatas, along with Diamonds Gentleman’s Club, for the death of their loved ones. Homatas and Chiariello were drinking at the club near West Chicago about 30 minutes before the crash on Route 25 near South Elgin, prosecutors said."
19 Illinois high schools seek waiver from 6 hours behind the wheel
"Cost clearly is a factor too. Eggerding said Lyons Township may have to hire three teachers to accommodate the six-hour requirement, a move that would cost $150,000 to $300,000. At West Chicago High School, the program's cost may rise from $100,000 to $150,000, said Dan Johnson, chairman of the school's driver's education department."
Chicago Tribune religion writer ignores Obama's comments urging "respect and dignity" for Muslims - Media Matters
"In addition to setting the record straight about his own faith, should Obama also give a shout-out to his Muslim brothers and sisters and defend Islam?" But the previous day, during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Obama had said, "I think that those who are of the Muslim faith are deserving of respect and dignity.""
IL-14 John Laesch’s Fundraising Improves - But Not Enough To Compete With Bill Foster
"As he points out compared to John Laesch’s last quarter there’s improvement in John’s $67,000 for the quarter (Laesch raised $22,000 more among other things) - but I can’t see how that will be enough. Beating Jotham Stein’s declining fundraising in the quarter by about $5,500 may give you bragging rights - but not when you’re down hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Foster’s donors alone (and that doesn’t include the money Foster himself has donated or loaned to his campaign)."
Durbin & IL Delegation Ask State to Pass Capital Bill to Boost Economy
"U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with several members of the Illinois delegation, today sent a letter to Governor Blagojevich and Members of the Illinois General Assembly urging them to pass a state capital bill to move crucial infrastructure projects forward and boost economy."
Obama Joins Boxer, Senators to Introduce Bill to Reverse EPA
"Effectively tackling global warming demands bold and innovative solutions, and given the failure of this Administration to act, California should be allowed to pioneer. I commend Chairman Boxer for her leadership on this bill and on working to eliminate the damaging consequences of climate change around the world."
On FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds - The People's Voice - Nashville,TN,
"Edmonds found Turks trafficking in nuclear materials and narcotics, and they also has some links to Israel. Moreover, she seemed to be suggesting that profits from these criminal dealings made their way to the office of Speaker Dennis Hastert in the form of campaign contributions and bribes. According to Daniel Ellsburg’s account of her message: “Suitcases of cash were delivered to the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert at his home near Chicago from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.”"


Honoring The Honorable Eugene Sawyer, Former City of Chicago Mayor
"... to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff on behalf of: The Honorable Eugene Sawyer, Former City of Chicago Mayor"
Gov. Blagojevich urges governors of nation’s largest coal producing states to continue unified support for FutureGen

24 Jan

Deacon Harry A. Sheaffer - January 21, 2008
"Deacon Harry A. Sheaffer, age 76, of St. Mary’s Parish in West Chicago, passed away January 21, 2008. Deacon Harry was ordained on September 13, 1997 for the Archdiocese of Joliet."
West Chicago
High School
St. Patrick's Day Bash and Silent Auction Fundraiser
  • Saturday, March 15th, 2008 7:30 p.m.
  • St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago
  • Please join us to raise money for the 2008 After Prom Event!
"The faculty and administration of Community High School District #94 in West Chicago would like to congratulate Matt Ziffra, of Carol Stream, for being chosen Student of the Month for December 2007. Matt’s extensive list of activities and accomplishments make him an excellent candidate for this honor."
Fermilab workers start unpaid leaves Feb. 1
"The mandatory unpaid leaves, affecting about 1,900 people, will last through September, when a new budget year begins, unless cuts to Fermilab's current budget are restored by Congress.  Salaried workers will have to take off one full week every two months. Hourly workers will have to take off two days per month."
Election Update:
Endorsements: 14th Congressional District
  • "Foster touts his scientific and business background, which we believe gives him a leg up to deal with the complex problems faced today. He emphasizes border control and employer verification to fight illegal immigration, prefers good science over popular theory on energy issues, believes health care solutions should be driven by data and not ideology, and would push for better trade enforcement. His studied approach is real plus in an age of extremes."
  • "Oberweis gets the nod largely because we think he has a clearer picture of global trade and monetary policy, and because he would bring the costs-vs.-benefits attitude of a businessman to a body that needs it. Despite three previous failed campaigns, he persists in wanting to serve the public when he could be basking in the glow of his business success."
Foster campaign focusing on Oberweis
"In the past two weeks, Foster's campaign has highlighted reports that suggest Oberweis' Iraq plan lacks substance, as well as calling on the Sugar Grove businessman to distance himself from President Bush's war stance."
West Chicago: EPA to test again for contamination
"Retests for thorium contamination on sites in West Chicago will be done by the federal Environmental Protection Agency later this year.  Efforts to clean up radioactive soil produced by a now-closed Kerr-McGee processing plant have continued since the 1980s, and officials are still looking for traces of the radioactive element at three businesses and 41 homes in the area."
[This version attributes to Gary Gibula rather than "staff." - Bob]
Sen Durbin


Senate Judiciary Democrats Press Attorney General Michael Mukasey for Answers on Torture
"Mukasey was repeatedly asked questions by about waterboarding by Senate Judiciary Committee members during his confirmation hearings last October. He promised that if confirmed, he would review waterboarding and other interrogation techniques to determine whether or not they were illegal."
Sen. Obama


Q&A: Barack Obama - Christianity Today
"I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful."
[Ted Olsen, who lives on West Chicago's south side, was one of the interviewers for this article. - Bob]
Obama Calls on Senate to Swiftly Pass Indian Health Care Bill
"For more than fourteen years, Congress has failed to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and comprehensively modernize Native American health care services. This is unfair and unacceptable.  Today’s Native Americans are disproportionately suffering from debilitating illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The infant mortality rate is 150 percent higher for Native American infants than white infants, and the suicide rate for Native Americans is two and a half times the national rate. With these alarming statistics, improvements to Native American health care could not come at a more urgent time."
Obama Statement on the Bush Administration's Plan to Cut Counterterrorism, First Responder Budget
"In the wake of 9/11 and with the threats we face everyday, it's unacceptable that this Administration would cut funding for the first responders that we need to protect us from terror attacks and natural disasters here at home. After the debacle of the response to Hurricane Katrina, the Administration should be ashamed of proposing these cuts."

23 Jan

Merle Berle


Around and About in West Chicago - 23 Jan 2008
  • National Surface Board of Transportation Open House forums
  • St. Mary’s Parish School Open House
  • “Texas Hold ’Em,” sponsored by the West Chicago Rotary Club
  • Grand Re-Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at Jewel
  • Friends of the Library are seeking more members.
Dist. 94 wants elementary schools to consolidate
"Board president Tony Reyes said the four districts need to consider the matter as a way to create a more efficient and cost-effective learning environment for the roughly 7,200 students in the districts.  "I believe that anything we can do to further the education of our kids is worth the effort," Reyes said."
Briefs: West Chicago gets award
"The West Chicago Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant recently was honored by the Naperville-based Conservation Foundation and the DuPage River Coalition with a Clean Water Award. "
Police beat
"Four people were arrested on felony charges Sunday, one day after they used a stolen credit card to buy $848.41 in items from Kohl's, 3840 E. Main St., police said. Charged with felony counts of retail theft and unlawful use of a credit card were Arica C. Hannus, 17, of 658 Sand Creek Drive, Carol Stream, and Christopher R. Fleming, 22; William D. Fleming, 24; and Joseph A. Farmer, 18, all of 513 S. Carriage Drive Unit 1F, West Chicago, according to a police report. Christopher R. Fleming also was charged with felony forgery, police said. The suspects are scheduled to appear in court Jan. 31."
News Digest
"CBS 2 Chicago and news partner The (Aurora) Beacon News, a sister paper of The Courier News, will present a debate at 7 p.m. Thursday at Aurora University's Crimi Auditorium, 407 S. Calumet Ave., with Democrats vying for the open seat in Illinois' 14th Congressional District. The candidates are John Laesch, Joe Serra and Jotham Stein. CBS 2's Diann Burns will serve as the debate moderator."
Hiram Wurf


Foster, Laesch Pick Up More Endorsements in IL-14 Congressional
"Foster gained the endorsement of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle and the Kane County Chronicle after picking up the Chicago Tribune’s endorsement last week. Laesch picked up the endorsement of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local Union 196, which adds to his AFL-CIO endorsement and other endorsements from the UAW, Operating Engineers, the Northwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council, and others."
IL-14 Republican Michael Dilger’s Website - Fascinating
"Hard to imagine he’s got a got a ghost of a chance - but take a look at Republican Congressional Candidate Michael Dilger’s website - you’re unlikely to see another congressional candidate with one like it. Supposedly Dilger is doing internet radio too."
Sen Durbin


Durbin announces nominees for service academies - Quad-Cities Online - Rock Island,IL
"“I am pleased to once again have the opportunity to nominate an excellent group of young people to attend the service academies,” said Durbin. “The young men and women I nominate today are the community leaders of tomorrow.”"
Sen. Obama


Obama, Reagan and the Internet - New York Times
"Remember the context. Mr. Obama is speaking to voters in a swing state, Nevada, just before their caucuses (where he won more delegates but Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote). Reading the passage, it is clear that he is trying to reach out to Republicans and independents, with whom he has had some success in the early states while Mrs. Clinton has appealed more to traditional Democrats."
False Pretenses
"President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
[TPM adds. "You can relive every moment of the war hype on the site by watching videos, going over every false statement, and more." = Bob]

22 Jan

Mayor's Comments - 22 Jan 2008
"It seems like yesterday that a boy growing up on the Southside of Chicago watched TV and wondered what all the disturbance was about when a small time church minister marched in Selma Al. I had trouble understanding what people were so angry about this black and white segregation was and how it would affect me."
A New Herald Reporter Assigmed to West Chicago
Knowledgeable sources report "Jack Komperda is the reporter now assigned to cover West Chicago. He has been at Herald for some time. WC has been added to his beat of Carol Stream and Winfield."  This isn't like back when we had a local newspaper with an office and editor... but 1/3 of a reporter is better than none at all. - Bob
City of
City of West Chicago Receives Second Clean Water Award
"The West Chicago Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant was honored recently by the Conservation Foundation and the DuPage River Coalition with a Clean Water Award."
W. Chicago takes stand on rail sale
"The city council unanimously passed a resolution formally objecting to the $300 million sale, which would bring anywhere from 15 to more than 26 additional freight trains a day through several Chicago suburbs located along the rail line.  "If nothing else, this voices our concern to the railroad companies," West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman said. "We're planning on fighting this.""
Race at center of 14th Dist. Congressional debate
"Oberweis used the question to assert, as he did Sunday, that Lauzen has unfairly accused him of racism by mailing a flier quoting other people's criticism of Oberweis' 2004 television ad featuring a helicopter over Soldier Field and warning of the rapid influx of illegal immigrants. Lauzen said the mailing merely quotes others' interpretation of the ad."
The briefs
"Republican Party presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani will be the speaker at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the DuPage Republican Party on Feb. 1."

21 Jan

Funeral Home
Belton D. “Gus” Gustafson - January 18, 2008
"Visitation Sunday, January 20, 2008 from 2 to 7 PM at Norris-Walen Funeral Home (Ronald T. Segert-Director), 132 Fremont St., West Chicago, Lying-in-state on Monday, January 21, 2008 from 9 AM until time of service at 10 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 643 E. Washington, West Chicago, Pastor Steve Ziegler officiating. Interment Glen Oak Cemetery in West Chicago. 630-231-0060."
Patricia Clark -  January 20, 2008
"Patricia A. Clark, 70, a longtime resident of West Chicago, IL, died Sunday, January 20, 2008, peacefully at her home. Visitation Wednesday, January 23, 2008 from 11:00 a.m. until time of service 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial at Calvary Cemetery, West Chicago, IL"


  • How to Raise a Money-Smart Child

  • Forgiveness: The Gift You Give Yourself

  • Annual Book Sale

City of
City Council Agenda Jan. 21, 2008
  • Chamber of Commerce to Organize and Operate RailRoad Days
  • TopSoil Drive West of Kress Creek
  • Jigged Ventures, 620 Roosevelt Road
West Chicago Sister City 4th Annual St. Patrick's Traditional Irish Boiled Dinner
"West Chicago Sister Cities is hosting their 4th Annual St. Patrick's Traditional Irish Boiled Dinner on Saturday, March 15th, 2008 at the American Legion Hall, 123 Main Street. Cocktails at 6:00 pm (cash bar), Dinner served at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $18.00 at the door. Contact Melissa Birch at (630) 621-0128 to purchase tickets."
Federal cuts may doom Fermilab's prized project
"The International Linear Collider would stretch across a swath of land in the far West suburbs, bringing some of the world's top scientists together to study the essence of matter.  The group spent a Saturday morning touring Fermilab tunnels similar to those that would be required, donning hard hats, riding deep into the ground on freight elevators and stepping gingerly on damp stone paths."

Health issue drives support for Laesch
"John Laesch, candidate for Congress in the 14th District, is the only candidate who has a clear vision for solving the health care crisis in this country and that is why he will be getting my vote Feb. 5. We need a health care system that is about people before profits."

WHO: Greg Cameron
Paul Stringer will head Aspen Latino, the Hispanic marketing agency formed after the acquisition of Experiencia by Aspen Marketing Services, based in West Chicago."

Message offers close link between two struggles
"Barry Mehrman, of West Chicago, said he's made an effort to attend the temple's Martin Luther King programs.  "This is one of the events that I haven't missed," he said. "It's a great venue to bring our students to." "

The briefs
"Academically talented students interested in attending the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora may attend a preview day with their parents from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the campus, 1500 W. Sullivan Road, Aurora."

Message offers close link between two struggles
"Barry Mehrman, of West Chicago, said he's made an effort to attend the temple's Martin Luther King programs.  "This is one of the events that I haven't missed," he said. "It's a great venue to bring our students to." "

Racist question heats up Congressional debate
"An already tense race between 14th Congressional Republican candidates Chris Lauzen and Jim Oberweis got more tense Sunday when Oberweis pointedly asked Lauzen during a debate if Lauzen thinks Oberweis is racist."
School officials struggle with discipline as students' fascination with video-recorded fighting grows
"Huddled around a cell phone in a West Chicago school, the five boys immediately caught a teacher's eye because the use of such devices is banned there. But when officials looked more closely, they discovered a new disciplinary issue. The 8th graders were using the camera phone to watch video of a fake fight they staged in a bathroom at Benjamin Middle School."
8 Jewish senators reject 'malicious attacks' on Obama's faith
"Seven Democratic Jewish senators -- none who have endorsed a Democratic presidential contender -- signed an "open letter to the Jewish community" asking fellow Jews to reject "false and malicious attacks" being circulated about Sen. Barack Obama, who throughout his run has had to refute rumors he is a Muslim."
Man injured in one-car crash
"Police are investigating a one-car crash Monday near Route 38 and Fabyan Parkway.  One man was taken to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield with minor injuries, said Cmdr. Chris Shackelford, spokesman for the West Chicago Police Department."
TMCnet Whaleback Systems Opens New Sales Office in Chicago
"Coinciding with this, B&B Networks of West Chicago, DMi Technology Group of Bloomington, Ill., MCC Technology of Saint Charles, Ill., and TECH Systems of Gurnee, Ill. have joined the Whaleback Partner Program, a channel sales program for interconnect, value-added resellers (VARs), network integrators and IT services companies."
US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs - Strange Maps
"The creator of this map has had the interesting idea to break down that gigantic US GDP into the GDPs of individual states, and compare those to other countries’ GDP. What follows, is this slightly misleading map – misleading, because the economies both of the US states and of the countries they are compared with are not weighted for their respective populations."

19&20 Jan

Immigration divides GOP Senate hopefuls
"The three Republicans vying for the U.S. Senate nomination all oppose amnesty programs for illegal immigrants but disagree on whether it's realistically possible to deport the millions already here."

Police beat
"Jennifer Soto, 20, of 1240 Kings Cross Apt. 307, West Chicago, was arrested at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday and charged with retail theft after stealing three pairs of panties, valued at $32 total, from Von Maur, 3810 E. Main St., police said. Soto was given a notice to appear in court Feb. 21."

Laesch getting support in Letters to the Editor

Sticks, stones might break bones, but will attack ads hurt hopefuls?
""Looks like Chris Lauzen has been keeping bad company," the mailer reads.  Oberweis spokesman Bill Pascoe contends the ads are fair game because Lauzen brought it up himself, announcing to a local news reporter last month that he was giving back the funds. Calling Lauzen out for accepting the money calls into question Lauzen's argument that Oberweis is "big money and big insider establishment clout versus the rest of us in the grassroots," Pascoe said."

Residents fear trains, noise from EJ&E sale
"Public safety and traffic are just some of the concerns residents have with the possible sale. Noise and air pollution, impact on area wildlife and land vibrations from the trains are also problematic, residents said."

Experience gives Lauzen the advantage
"n the end, however, the clear distinction between the GOP candidates comes in the category of experience -- and that's where state Sen. Chris Lauzen wins hands down. For that reason, The Beacon News endorses Lauzen as the Republican nominee in both the special and regular elections for the seat held for two decades by the venerable Dennis Hastert."

Running for office in 14th district? Better remember to Bring your sling
"For example, if you believe Jim Oberweis, State Sen. Chris Lauzen is a "career politician" who takes dirty campaign contributions, and then attacks good men like Hastert to cover up for his own scandals.  And if you believe Lauzen, Oberweis is a millionaire trying to buy his way into office, someone who flouts the laws of the Federal Election Commission and can't stick to one set of principles."

Mystery candidate remains an enigma
"After putting up a successful fight to remain on the ballot last month, Dilger has made no public appearances to support his campaign, and has only surfaced a couple of times, most notably to file his candidate survey with The Beacon News.  ilger, a writer who resides at the Evanston YMCA (outside the 14th District), has started to set up a Web site for his campaign as well: Dilger promises the site will be up and running by Monday. "

The lure of the outdoors
"The watershed divide near Iron County, Wis., and Michigan's Upper Peninsula creates a geography of some 30 roaring waterfalls, where the waters flow either northward to Lake Superior or south to the Mississippi River. In winter, some waterfalls and their sculpted quietude can be seen from snowshoe and hiking trails near Hurley, Wis., and Ironwood, Mich., along the Montreal River."
Could Congress Be Waking Up? - NY Times
"In terms of both the number and significance of new public laws, however, last year’s Democratic majority significantly outperformed that Republican Congress. Only one item described in the Republican Contract With America was signed into law at the end of 1995, while most of the proposals the Democrats announced as their agenda were enacted ... In fact, between the 2006 and 2008 fiscal years, the cost of appropriations earmarks appears to have dropped from $29 billion to $14.1 billion."

18 Jan

Illinois Park & Recreation Association 2007 Best Special Event Award
"“Downright Dirty ”is the best description for the West Chicago Park District’s annual Mud Volleyball Tournament held during the city’s Railroad Days Festival. Recognizing the unique format, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association recently announced the park district as the winner of the 2007 Best Special Event Award. This award acknowledges public agencies for their exceptional and unique achievement in the development of programs and special events."
St. Mary's Parish School Open House
"St. Mary's Parish School will be hosting an Open House on Tuesday, January 29th from 9am-12pm and 5:30pm-7:30pm. We invite you to join us for an opportunity to learn more about our school."
City of
West Chicago's Gallery 200 Welcomes Award Winning Artist
"West Chicago, Illinois: January 17, 2008 - West Chicago's Gallery 200 welcomes award winning artist Bernadette Malovany as the February Featured Artist. Gallery goers will delight in her watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings which explore themes including local scenery, flowers, forest preserves and gardens created in an impressionistic and realistic style."
DuPage crowd speaks out against rail sale
""At what point does the need for commerce overshadow the public safety of local communities?" West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman asked. "What is that balance?"  The West Chicago city council is expected to pass a resolution on Monday opposing the pending sale, which depends on approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board."

Endorsement: US House 6
"We believe Jill Morgenthaler, 53, of Des Plaines is the best choice. Her background as a high-ranking homeland security adviser for Illinois, her work with Argonne National Laboratory and her long service in the Army Reserves give her a clear advantage over Roselle businessman Stan Jagla, 45."

DuPage Airport takes strides to scare ducks
"While pilots taking off from DuPage Airport in West Chicago occasionally strike ducks or other birds, the airport has never had any major accidents resulting from the strikes.  It uses special tactics to make sure the risk for such incidents is kept to a minimum."
Residents deride plan to run freight trains on EJ& E line
"The federal Surface Transportation Board, which is assessing the environmental and economic impact of Canadian National's proposal, has held open-house meetings this month to review the plan and gather feedback from communities that would be most affected, such as West Chicago, Mundelein, Barrington, Joliet, Matteson and Gary."
Sen Durbin Durbin Statement On The Death Of Former Cook County Board President John Stroger
"His lifelong commitment to serve those who struggle every day to find affordable, quality medical care is his legacy."

Durbin Comments On Tentative Agreement Between Labor And Amtrak
"Amtrak provides quick, cost-effective, and reliable public ground transportation to 30 communities in the State. Today’s agreement helped avert a possible strike that could have affected the more than 3 million people in Illinois who rely on Amtrak's services.”"

Illinois getting more than $29 million in extra funds to help poor ... - Belleville News Democrat
"U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said that the funds for Illinois are a portion of $450 million in additional assistance Congress secured this month for fiscal year 2008 and released by the Department of Health and Human Services.  “Help is on the way for Illinois residents who are facing a terrible choice — heating or eating,” Durbin said."

Lack of Obama Coverage
I used to follow Sen. Durbin's stuff with Sen. Obama stuff.. but the only things being written about him nowadays are campaign fluff and/or attacks, and I assume you get enough of that from your national news source.  The lack here is caused by the little on him with a state or local hook and is not to be construed as advocacy for or against..
Gov. Blagojevich asks President Bush for federal disaster declaration for severe flooding in Iroquois and Livingston counties

Gov. Blagojevich takes final action on plan to avert CTA doomsday and provide free public transportation to seniors
"“This Sunday can now truly be a day of rest.  People won’t have to spend it worrying about how they’re going to get to work, how they’ll pay for it, or whether or not they have a job,” said Governor Blagojevich . “This is the last step in what has been a long struggle to find a long-term transit funding solution. Not only is doomsday averted, but Illinois seniors will travel for free on public transportation.”  "

Honoring John H. Stroger, Jr.
Olbermann and IAVA’s Rieckhoff Slam O’Reilly on Homeless Vets Denial
"Sign our letter to Bill O’Reilly asking him to apologize to the homeless veterans for his damaging, dishonest remarks. Reickhoff’s IAVA has an open letter here. To learn more about or donate to US Vets, the organization where I met the vets in FOX ATTACKS! “Non-Existent” Veterans, go here."

17 Jan

Clean Coal
"Headlines in the papers have come up with the most blatant oxy-moron yet to be seen, "Clean Coal."  If ever there was something that isn't clean, it's Illinois coal. "
West Chicago woman celebrates 102nd birthday
"West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman, along with Rep. Randy Ramey, R-55th District, of Carol Stream, helped the crowd sing “Happy Birthday” and presented Barrett with a congratulatory certificate from the Illinois General Assembly."


Local Fermilab employees react to budget cut
"Fortner also fears the budget cuts will send the wrong message to those overseas.  “To continue to have cutting-edge projects for decades to come requires international collaboration,” he said. “If the money for those programs is being cut by the host country, that doesn’t send the right message.”

Bartlett, Hoffman Estates oppose rail sale
"Canadian National estimates the average number of daily trains using the EJ&E lines that run through Bartlett will jump from 5.5 to 23.5 trains per day. In Hoffman Estates, at least 15 additional freight trains would pass daily.  Bartlett's resolution brings up travel delays and the negative impact on emergency vehicle access. The planned Metra Suburban Transit Access Route, or STAR Line, also would be in jeopardy since it proposes using the EJ&E railroad to provide commuter rail service."

Endorsement: U.S. House 6
"We believe Jill Morgenthaler, 53, of Des Plaines is the best choice. Her background as a high-ranking homeland security adviser for Illinois, her work with Argonne National Laboratory and her long service in the Army Reserves give her a clear advantage over Roselle businessman Stan Jagla, 45."

Felony case hinges on if lizard is a 'companion animal'
"Defense attorney Timothy Mahoney, without disputing how the two lizards were knifed multiple times, argues reptiles don't give their human owners company on par with traditional pets.  "When you talk about a 'companion animal,' you're talking about walking it, caring for it … a dog or cat," Mahoney said Wednesday."

From the Democratic front ... Stein outlines his plan for economy
"He suggested passing a law that would force finance brokers to report financial information to the government, so people cannot claim less income than can be found in their financial transactions. And he said he does not expect to collect all the unpaid money at once, but would work to provide congressional oversight to an ongoing effort.  Stein would also roll back President Bush's tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and would push for a Constitutional amendment granting presidents a line-item veto. And he said that if Congress votes to bring home American troops from Iraq, that alone would save an additional $100 billion a year."

14th District trio talks health care
" Democratic congressional candidate Bill Foster released his health care plan this week, and his approach to federally funded medical services reads like a combination platter.  Foster takes a little from column A -- he wants comprehensive coverage for basic health care for all Americans. But he takes a little from column B, too, by retaining a competitive health care system for families and employers who choose additional coverage."

4 candidate debates next week
"And finally, there is The Beacon News/CBS-2 debate between three of the Democratic candidates -- Foster, Laesch and Stein -- on Jan. 24. The debate starts at 7 p.m. at Aurora University's Crimi Auditorium at 407 S. Calumet Ave.  That debate, like the Republicans' debate sponsored by The Beacon News this week, will stream live at"

The Business Ledger West Chicago--A Downtown Redone
"“We are selling community growth. I refer to myself as a peddler,” he said. “In my other job I am a manufacturer’s representative selling private label apparel.”  At the heart of West Chicago’s economic activity is the redevelopment of the downtown area, featuring an eclectic a mix of retail space, residential loft units and condominiums.  But all growth is not in the suburb’s downtown. Another center of development is the DuPage National Technology Park, which started construction of the infrastructure in 2005."

Activity Picking Up at Park for Technology in West Chicago
"The tech park is located next door to the DuPage Air Park, which houses the Technology, Research, Education and Commercialization Center (TRECC).  In addition to its proximity to the TRECC and the DuPage Airport, the park is near the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia and the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont.  To facilitate technology transfer, the park will feature a fiber-optic network that will carry more data at greater speed than data processing in home or in typical office buildings and parks..."


16 Jan

Merle Berle Around and About in West Chicago - 17 Jan 2008
  • Ron Sanford, pastor of Faith Community Church
  • National Surface Board of Transportation
  • Grand Reopening, Jewel-Osco, 177 E. Roosevelt Road
  • Garden Club Meeting
  • Eighth Annual Blooming Fest


EJ&E/CN Options
"The actions of governments become more amazing every day.  Here is the city of Barrinton, IL and the president of the DuPage County Board calling for environmental impact statements on the Canadian National Railway buying the Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railway."

Gloves come off in 14th District debate
"Oberweis said he doubted Lauzen's claim that he didn't know about the issues surrounding donor John Burgess and his company, International Profit Associates, until recently despite numerous media reports over the past few years.  "The question is, why'd you take it in the first place?" said Oberweis, a Sugar Grove businessman.  Responding to the accusation later in the debate, Lauzen accused Oberweis of "trying to destroy my reputation.""

Bartlett, Hoffman Estates oppose rail sale
"The speed and frequency of the trains, additional noise and environmental effects were some of the issues trustees raised.  The Bartlett village board passed a resolution Tuesday objecting to the proposed $300 million acquisition by Canadian National Railway Corp., which wants to shift a significant amount of train traffic from Chicago to EJ&E rail lines west and south of the city.

Ash borer strikes again: Bug spotted in south suburb
"Previously, the bugs have been found in unincorporated Kane County; Evanston, Winnetka and Wilmette in Cook County; Carol Stream and Glendale Heights in DuPage County and Peru in LaSalle County.  State officials now say the beetles have been found in public and private ash trees in Geneva, northeast of the intersection of Randall Road and Route 38."

Museum explores life during wartime
"This month, the West Chicago City Museum invites children to learn how a soldier’s hometown instilled a sense of belonging and pride during a time of war.  The museum will sponsor this month’s craft — to make Civil War regiment flags — from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at 132 Main St. in downtown West Chicago. Cost is free for all participants."
Debate crowd gets an earful
"At moderator Rob Johnson’s suggestion, the audience was quiet for most of the debate, even as the candidates attacked each other. It wasn’t until Johnson brought out campaign fliers from each candidate that the audience felt the need to express their approval in clapping — most of which came from those Bluetoothed political creatures in the back."
Laesch gets Lt. Gov. Quinn's endorsement
"Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn has endorsed John Laesch, Democratic primary candidate in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.  “John Laesch will be a strong voice for the veterans, consumers and taxpayers of Illinois and across the nation,” Quinn said in a statement."
Sen. Obama Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Community Choice Act:
"The United States must lead the world in empowering people with disabilities to take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society. We must build a world free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes, and discrimination. Policies must be developed, attitudes must be shaped, and buildings and organizations must be designed to ensure that everyone can live independently as full citizens in their communities."


Gov. Blagojevich announces free college prep testing program for high school freshmen and sophomores
“This program will give schools the opportunity to gauge the educational progress of their freshman and sophomores, as they prepare to take college entrance exams their junior year,”
Hiram Wurf


Jotham Stein Video On Child Hunger And Health Care - The Problem Isn’t The Effort
"Since his early biographical video, Stein videos have attempted to appeal to voters through a quirky ‘I’m not a professional politician’ appeal with mixed results. His latest effort dealing with child hunger and health care is quirky, but just doesn’t work for me."

15 Jan

Rep.Randy Ramey Critical School, Agency Budget Funding Bill Passes
"A budget implementation bill authorizing state spending for school districts, human services and countless other state agencies has been approved in the General Assembly, said State Rep. Randy Ramey (R-Carol Stream) who voted for the measure."
Presidential Candidates and Foreign Policy
"Recent furror over the assassination of B. Bhutto has resulted in all the presidential candidates now bieng concerned with their abilities to handle foreign policy.  No need to get excited.  There hasn't been a US foreign policy for 15 years."
City of
Downtown Art Banner Competition Announced by the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission
"The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission invites accomplished and emerging artists, with a connection to the City of West Chicago, either through residence, work or school, to submit digital files of original art for consideration for the Downtown Art Banner Competition."
Neighbors in the news
"Karyn Ustas of Addison, and Grace Martinez of West Chicago were cast in "Matrimony, Mayhem and Murder," a mystery-comedy to be staged by GreenMan Theatre Troupe of Elmhurst. Performances are Feb. 16, 17, 22 and 23 at Angelo's Ristorante in Elmhurst."
Yorkville mayor endorses Laesch
"A staunch supporter of former U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, Burd said Monday that Laesch, a Democrat from Yorkville, exudes the same down-to-earth personality she'd seen in Hastert during his early years as a representative.  "Usually when I meet candidates they have all their supporters around. With John, I was able to just go up and talk to him," she said."
Sen Durbin


Durbin, Daley Announce 20-Year Agreement with FAA to Occupy New O'Hare Control Tower - All American Patriots - Taeby,NA,Sweden
“This agreement is good for the FAA, good for the City of Chicago, and good for our nation’s air travelers,” Durbin said. “We now have a state-of-the-art air traffic control tower as part of a modernization project that will help reduce delays and congestion while increasing safety and capacity.”

14 Jan

Fortune Called Up to Brazilian National Soccer Team
"Leah Fortune, a junior at Wheaton Academy, was called up to the 2008 Women’s World Cup under 20 Brazilian National Team. Fortune, born in Brazil to American parents, holds dual citizenship."
Park district website
"With the arrival of the New Year, the West Chicago Park District launched a new Website, The site, designed by Woodfield Media, is easy to navigate, colorful and informative."
[It got a facelift... but three news items in three months, non-operative agenda and minutes links, and not knowing that WC has its own American Legion post constitute only baby steps towards the kind of "informative" that the taxpayer deserves. - Bob]
Rep.Randy Ramey Ramey Winter Coat Drive for Families in 55th Big Success
"State Rep. Randy Ramey (R-Carol Stream) brought in more than 1,900 coats from his annual coat drive that benefits needy families in his district."
Bartlett night out an award-winner
"Bartlett wasn't the only area town lauded for its efforts.  Mundelein, South Elgin and West Chicago placed in the top 50 in the same population category, and Wood Dale and Itasca were recognized for towns with under 15,000 people."
Full press on 14th debates
"The first debate, featuring GOP candidates Jim Oberweis and State Sen. Chris Lauzen, will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Aurora University's Crimi Auditorium, located in the Institute for Collaboration at 407 S. Calumet Ave. The event, being moderated by CBS anchor Rob Johnson, is free and open to the public."
Sen Durbin


Durbin, Daley Announce 20-Year Agreement with Federal Aviation Administration to Occupy New O'Hare Control Tower
"The agreement will allow Chicago to recover $42.3 million it spent building the tower and will allow it to complete the construction of the tower in time for the successful commissioning of the new runway 9L/27R, which is scheduled for November of this year."
  Air Traffic Controller Exodus Stifling Airline Industry in Chicago, US
"“Any air traffic control mistake that resulted in a mid-air collision would be a tragedy not only for those on board the airplanes but also for those who live and work around the crash site. The aftermath of a mid-air collision could be devastating to my Congressional district,” Roskam wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 in a formal letter to FAA COO Henry Krakowski."


Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff on behalf of:  Army PFC Phillip J. Pannier, United States Army, Hometown: Washburn, Illinois"

12&13 Jan

Verna Newsom -  January 11, 2008
"Memorial service, Thursday, January 17, 2008, 4:00 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, 331 George St., West Chicago, IL 60185. Interment Private. In lieu of flowers, donations to Trinity Lutheran Church."
Historic Congressional Forum to Air on Television, Monday, Jan. 21 ... - The Religion Wire (press release) - Batavia,IL
"Voters may e-mail forum questions to  “I hope the community would get behind this forum and its spirit with friends and family by having television house parties throughout the 14th district for this historic television debate on TLN,” notes TLN spokesman Brent Kenyon.  The 14th District Congressional Candidates Forum will be televised to Chicago area Comcast viewers on TLN, but also to TLN’s national network, and will be offered as a simulcast to local broadcasting stations."
Iraq front and center in 14th District
"While Foster, Laesch and Stein all oppose any long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq and give blistering critiques of the White House war policy, they differ in proposed approaches for winding down U.S. involvement.  Laesch, the only veteran in the field and a former military intelligence analyst, says categorically that he would vote against any additional funds for the war.

Carpentersville woman accused of identity theft
"Carpentersville police on Tuesday charged Ambrosio DeJesus-Flores, 39, of 133 W. Blair St., West Chicago, with stealing the identity of an 11-year-old girl and using the information for nine years for employment, securing a $149,000 mortgage, maintaining a cell phone account and registering cars."

ID theft victim spends nearly five years getting her name back
"At the same time, Melendez says she was denied numerous employment opportunities because of misinformation from another person using her number and spent countless hours trying to clear her name.  "It was frustrating because he had a job and was making money," Melendez said. "And what did I get? Nothing. For something that wasn't my fault.""

Movers and shakers
"J. A. Air Center, West Chicago, promoted Kellie Priessman-Paskewic to manager of sales development for mail order avionics and consumer GPS sales. Priessman-Paskewic, an active pilot with 800 hours of flight experience, joined J. A. Air Center in 1992. She holds a bachelor's and aviation management degrees from Lewis University."

We want your opinion: Take our 2-minute reader survey
[If you are reading this there is a high probability that you are not completely happy with the retreat of the West Chicago Press into the black hole of corporate ownership.  This is your chance, folks.  Take time out to do their very quick and easy survey... it takes only a minute or two.  Tell them what you think. - Bob]
The 14th District's wide web
""I think the Internet is one of the most effective tools for the democratic process," Lauzen said.  Green suggests the three Democrats agree on "90 percent" of the issues, but online tools make it possible to differentiate the trio on key issues. Those, for Stein, have been immigration and global warming -- both featured in YouTube videos."
Fermilab getting support for funding
"In a letter to President George W. Bush, Blagojevich asked for a return to full funding for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia and Argonne National Laboratory in Darien.  Sens. Barack Obama and Dick Durbin and Rep. Judy Biggert of Hinsdale also have signed a letter calling for a return to the full budget request for Fermilab."
Barack Obama Boycotts FOX - Buzz Flash
This link to a short Robert Greenwalt video was found at Buzz Flash.  It is notable because it covers concisely the apparent smear attempts by the network on the Illinois Senator, including the OhReilly spin of his shoving incident where the video shows him physically shoving and swearing at an Obama aid and the often debunked charge that Obama is a Muslim or attended a Madrassa school.

U.S. corporate elite fear candidate Edwards
"Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same -- Democrat John Edwards ... But beyond his profession, Edwards' tone and language on the campaign trail have increased business antipathy toward him. His stump speeches are peppered with attacks on "corporate greed" and warnings of "the destruction of the middle class.""


11 Jan

Merle Berle Around and About in West Chicago - 09 Jan 2008
  • Purchase of the EJ&E by the Canadian National Railway
  • Early Voting for the Feb. 5 General Primary Election
  • Daddy Daughter Date Night
  • Winnie the Pooh visits the library
  • “Transforming Every Student": The Campaign for Wheaton Academy"
Rep.Randy Ramey Vote early! Presidential Primary Election - February 5, 2008
"Representative Ramey provides answers to some "frequently asked questions" concerning early voting."
Lawsuit against drunken driver could be delayed
"The Kane County civil lawsuit against a strip club and one of its customers convicted in a deadly crash could be at a standstill until a higher court examines the case."

Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Valley reps not on board
"Local Republican lawmakers mostly voted against the bill, mainly for the same reasons -- the tax increases, they say, are not equal across the board, and many were hoping to see this measure as part of a statewide capital bill...  In fact, only one local Republican - Sen. John Millner, R-Carol Stream -- voted for the bill, while Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, voted present."

The Web race
"The five leading candidates in the 14th Congressional District race -- Democrats Stein, John Laesch and Bill Foster, and Republicans Jim Oberweis and Chris Lauzen -- each has a very defined Web presence stocked with news releases, video clips and a slew of policies ... The fourth Democrat, Joe Serra, has only a MySpace page, while the third Republican, Michael Dilger, has no campaign to speak of, virtual or otherwise."

[WegoWeb is currently working on a page that will link to websites of the all the candidates.  You will be informed when it is up. - Bob]

NYC Cloning Historical Trees for Future
"The target trees, five in each of New York's five boroughs, include nine different species... Among them is what may be the city's oldest tree, the St. Nicholas elm in upper Manhattan, which George Washington is said to have walked under 230 years ago during the American Revolution."

[A thankyou to Edith Makra, Community Trees Advocate for The Morton Arboretum for the heads-up on this article.  Is it time to make sure we have a program laddering replacements for the Burr Oaks of Manville and Reed Keppler? - Bob]

Hiram Wurf Transportation Bill Has DuPage Public Safety Fund Diversion Game Changer
"Today’s transportation bill is a game changer if it’s passed with Governor Rod Blagojevich’s proposal for seniors riding public transit free. Notice that in the transportation bill the same amount, a quarter of a percentage point of sales tax, can be used by counties for public safety spending."
Sen. Obama Obama Demands Gates Address Contractor’s Use of Riot Control Gas on U.S. Military Personnel in Iraq
"... calling on him to respond to reports that Blackwater Worldwide allegedly dispersed CS gas, a riot control substance, in an intersection populated by U.S. military personnel and Iraqi civilians in 2005. This gas temporarily blinded drivers, pedestrians, and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint."
Rep Peter Roskam


Made in the U.S.A.
"While domestic manufacturers often proudly display an American flag on their products, proclaiming "made in the U.S.A. ," it has become increasingly difficult to find products made here from home. In the global marketplace, American manufacturers are in direct competition with companies from China, India and beyond, making the need for federal resources and assistance crucial to leveling the playing field and keeping our nation's manufacturers competitive."

10 Jan

West Chicago
High School
Board Briefs for 1/8/08 are posted
  • Special Education Study Report
  • Cooling Tower Supplement
  • Superintendent Search Process
W. Chicago man accused of stealing 11-year-old's ID
"A West Chicago man Tuesday was accused of stealing an 11-year-old girl's Social Security number nine years ago and using it to buy a house and get a job, among other things, police said.  Police caught the theft when the victim, now 20, tried to collect Social Security benefits and get a cell phone.  Ambrosio DeJesus-Flores, 39, of 133 W. Blair St., was charged with felony identity theft, an offense that could land him in prison for four to 15 years if he is convicted."

How to extract troops at issue
"American soldiers need to come home from Iraq, Democrats Jill Morgenthaler and Stan Jagla both agree. But the two candidates for the 6th Congressional District differ on how to fix what's broken in the troubled region.  Morgenthaler, 53, has first-hand experience of the conflict after serving in Iraq as a colonel in the Army Reserve. She also until recently was the Illinois deputy chief of staff for public safety and homeland security adviser."

Rivals in 56th House race tackle transit
"The Federal Transit Administration recently told Metra that its New Start projects, including the STAR line, had been put on hold pending a transit funding solution in Springfield.  If Illinois can't provide matching funds, it could lose $1.5 billion in federal money for the STAR line, which would connect O'Hare International Airport with suburbs to the west and south."

EJ&E railway plan met with protests
"The EJ&E tracks also were intended to be a crucial part of the STAR Line, a proposed Metra rail service connecting Cook, DuPage and Will counties.  CN doesn't want STAR Line trains to piggyback on the EJ&E, although officials said Metra is welcome to build additional track alongside."

Dog doing well after Dec. 24 shooting
"About two weeks after he was shot in the head by a West Chicago police officer Christmas Eve, Hunter, Nancy Podschwit’s 5-year-old German shepherd-Labrador mix, has had his stitches removed and is generally healthy, his owner said."

County board member proposes banning alcohol at strip clubs
"Prompted by three deadly incidents since 2005 involving patrons of a strip club near West Chicago, a DuPage County Board member Tuesday proposed a law banning alcohol at adult businesses within the county.  Jim Zay, R-6th District, of Carol Stream, called on fellow board members to join him in quickly passing the law. State law prohibits strip clubs with full nudity from obtaining liquor licenses but allows patrons to bring their own alcohol to the establishments."

Lauzen rips Oberweis through the mail, at debate
"The verbal fireworks came hours after a hit piece was delivered to homes in the district with cartoon depictions of dead dairy cows representing dairy owner Oberweis’ failed campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.  Lauzen, a state senator for 15 years, also characterized the Republican primary as “a classic struggle between money and clout versus the rest of us in the grass roots.”"
Railway deal opens up debate on noise, traffic
"Spurred by organized campaigns, hundreds of suburban residents turned out Tuesday and Wednesday to air concerns over the deal at public hearings in Mundelein and Barrington. Another hearing will be held Thursday in Joliet, and four more are set for next week in Chicago, Gary, Matteson and West Chicago."
Sen. Obama


Obama Statement on the Flooding in East-Central Illinois
"As flooding continues to force many from their homes, I am proud of Illinois’ response and rescue efforts, and I am committed to working with local and state officials and relief organizations to ensure these communities can begin the recovery process as quickly as possible.”
Gov. Blagojevich vows to act quickly on long-term transit solution to avert CTA doomsday
“I’ve said clearly and frequently that I don’t think raising the sales tax is the right way to help the CTA and other transit agencies.  People already pay too much in taxes; I believe they should pay less, not more."
"Unlike the average American, the president, vice president and members of Congress all enjoy government-financed healthcare with few restrictions or prohibitive fees. They are never turned away for pre-existing conditions or denied care for what an insurance company labels "experimental treatments.""
  New Huckabee Ad in Michigan
[Is it any wonder the Chamber of Commerce is rumored to be planning on spending $50 Million to defeat this man?]

09 Jan

West Chicago
High School
Textbook Display
Elmer Zonta - January 5, 2008
"Elmer P. Zonta, 65, a twenty-one year resident of West Chicago, died Saturday, January 5th, 2008 as a result of an automobile accident in Texas... His lifelong career was his passion for the construction business. He was a former building inspector for the city of West Chicago, IL."
Zay Campaign Website Now Online
Jim Zay, current County Rep for District 6 which includes all of West Chicago, is running for reelection.  As of today, his website is now up and available.  The site includes position statements and numerous endorsements.  Voters are encouraged to check it out. - Bob
Gentleman's club's booze policy under fire
"Board member Jim Zay said he wants to close that loophole to increase public safety. He cited the deaths of six victims in two DUI-related crashes in recent years as the impetus for the legislation.  The drunken drivers in both cases had visited the strip club prior to the accidents, authorities said."
  Forums begin on EJ&E railway purchase
"The informal hearings, where the public can ask questions and give comments continue today from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. at Makray Memorial Golf Club, 1010 S. Northwest Highway, Barrington.  Another session will take place Jan. 17 at St. Andrews Golf Club, 3N441 Route 59, West Chicago."
  Economic policy fair game for candidates for the 14th District
"Oberweis, a businessman from Sugar Grove, called himself a "free trader."  "I believe free trade does in fact help both countries," Oberweis said. "It helps provide more consumer goods at lower cost to us and it does help provide jobs for other people throughout the world as well as the United States." "
  Police beat
"Samantha M. Beese, 18, of 3N745 Locust Ave., West Chicago, was arrested at 7:50 p.m. Thursday and charged with retail theft after allegedly stealing $72 in lingerie from Kohl's, 3840 E. Main St., police said. Beese was released with a notice to appear in court Feb. 7."
In agreement
"Foster suggested a comprehensive list of American citizens and an identification card for immigrant workers, tools that would help employers track illegal applicants. ("The U.S. is the only club I know of that doesn't have a list of its members," he said.)  But Stein criticized Foster's idea and said he would convene a panel of experts to determine the best way of securing the borders.  Laesch took the opportunity to criticize the Bush administration for its "message of fear.""


Noland says he'll back John Laesch
"State Sen. Michael Noland has said he will endorse Democratic congressional candidate John Laesch.  Noland, D-Elgin, had planned to announce the endorsement Tuesday evening at a candidates forum in St. Charles hosted by the League of Women Voters, he told The Courier News."
Hopefuls for Hastert's seat tackle war, health care
““We were looking forward to getting more information than we were getting in the paper,” Nancy Strohm said. “It was interesting to see all the candidates and hear their answers. It’s helpful to get to know them.”  “I wish they would stick to the questions and not campaign,” Richard Strohm said.”
Liquor ban in strip clubs sought by board member
"Board member James Zay of Carol Stream said his proposal was prompted by a strip club's recent claim in court that it bears no responsibility for a fatal car accident caused by a drunken driver who had been at the club shortly before the crash."
Rep Fortner Fortner Backs Fermilab Funding
"By introducing HJR82 Mike Fortner is working to get the State of Illinois on record to support a restoration of Fermilab's funds ... Fortner's resolution notes some of the important benefits of Fermilab to the state and nation, and urges Congress to restore funding both for this year and next."

08 Jan

Toll officials draw a blank on cheats tally
"Meanwhile, some drivers have racked up thousands of violations yet have not paid up. A combined $2.2 million is owed by the top 50 tollway violators for blowing through a total of 31,428 tolls.  Such problems, experts say, reduce the tollway's credibility after its breakneck expansion of I-PASS and as officials study a possible major expansion of toll roads throughout the region."
  Chasing toll cheats can be profitable
"The tollway has raked in a profit of about $56 million in the first five years of the new violation enforcement system, according to budget records.  Tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis said the agency doesn't look at the high fines as a way to bring in more cash, but as a deterrent to those who want to blow off tolls."
  Democrat goes after Bush, Oberweis
"Engaging in petty bickering at the expense of our military -- that's exactly what's wrong in Washington," Foster said. "Jim Oberweis has stood with the president on all his other Iraq policies, so people deserve an explanation about whether he supports President Bush now."
  Neighbors in the news
"Jim Miner of West Chicago was named Student of the Month at Community High School District 94 in West Chicago. A member of the football team for four years, Miner was named to the DuPage Valley All-Conference Team for football as a senior."
Fox Valley towns rally for Fermilab
"There is more bad news on the horizon, Volk said, because there is no paid programming for the lab beyond 2020.  "Without future experiments, the lab will just wither away," Volk said."
Officials fume at lab cuts
"State Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, also is sponsoring a resolution to restore the funding. In addition, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., are lobbying for an increase in funding for Fermilab."
[I suspect this refers to last night's article, Illinois Science and Technology Commission, which would hardly restore the federal funding. - Bob]
Forums to focus on sale of rail line
"Area sessions are scheduled for 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Makray Memorial Golf Club, 1010 S. Northwest Highway, Barrington; Thursday at the Jacob Henry Mansion, 15 S. Richards St., Joliet; and Jan. 17 at St. Andrew's Golf Club, 3N441 Illinois 59, West Chicago. For the complete list of meetings, visit"


Gov. Blagojevich urges President Bush to restore funding to Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory
“The omnibus spending bill you recently signed could cause dramatic funding cuts at Argonne National Laboratory, one of the nation’s largest and most important research centers.  In addition to these cuts, the bill includes significant cuts to Illinois’ other federal research facility, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory,” said Gov. Blagojevich in his letter.  “Without adequate federal funding, hundreds of people will lose their jobs while the United States will risk falling behind in science and technology leadership.” 
  Gov. Blagojevich announces grants to increase export sales of Illinois food products
“This program offers an opportunity for Illinois food companies to build name recognition in global markets, increase export sales that are so important for our agriculture industry and to help put more people to work,”
Two Rallies - Slate Video at TPM
"Here's John Dickerson at Slate looking at two rallies, one for Obama, one for Clinton at the same High School gym on two successive days ..."

07 Jan

Frank Pentimone Sr. - January 6, 2008
"Visitation Wednesday 9:00 a.m. until time of service 11:00 a.m. at Williams-Woodward Funeral Home, 820 Pine St., West Chicago, IL ( Rt. 59 & Pine Sts.) Interment Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, 528 So. 5th St., Suite 211, Springfield, Illinois 62701"
West Chicago
High School


FAFSA Night - reminder - Maura Bridges, Division Head of Support Services
     "To follow up from a letter sent to all seniors earlier this year - this is a reminder of Wednesday, January 9th’s FAFSA Night. Mr. Ward Rau, CHS counselor, will present information for SENIOR parents and their students regarding the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is required to seek financial aid. He will guide you through the steps for completing the form – whether you choose to file the paper form or electronically. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Weyrach Auditorium. Please use entrance H.
     This night may also be helpful for parents of college-bound juniors through you can not complete the form until the January of your child’s senior year.  If you are unable to make this evening you will find the PowerPoint presentation on EDLINE on January 10th."


"Alejandro Garcia of West Chicago, a junior at Community High School District #94, has been awarded the November PeaceBuilder of the Month."
City of
Crafters Wanted for West Chicago Blooming Fest
"Crafters are wanted for the West Chicago Blooming Fest, the city's annual downtown garden festival, scheduled to take place on Main Street in downtown West Chicago on Saturday, May 17, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m."
Critics call for reform of toll collection system
"The tollway's ability to catch toll cheats -- and the incentive for drivers to make sure they're paying in the absence of toll gates, rests on the policies and computer systems that send out violation fine notices.  Yet a Daily Herald investigation shows repeated flaws in the system -- some so significant that critics are calling for immediate action and longer-term reform."
[Representative Randy Ramey provided me with, the site where if you KNOW your drivers license number, account number, transponder number, blood type, middle name of your maternal great great great grandmother, and the value of pi to 27 digits, you can find out (and even change) your IPass transponder status. If only IPass were as helpful as the rep... - Bob]
  St. Charles man beat polio, became a success
""His was one of the last cases of polio in this area," said his son Tom Kuhn of West Chicago. "He had a walk-on tryout with the Cubs in 1943, and he was a promising pitcher with a great arm when tragedy struck him."  While his potential baseball career is an interesting side note, Kuhn will best be remembered for his prowess in accounting and business planning, and as a champion of laws that help the disabled."
  Support groups
"TOPS:ŒThe Take Off Pounds Sensibly is a non-profit weight loss support group. Details about the meetings is available at the Web site at or call Kyleen at (630) 966-8901 or (800) 932-8677.
• The West Chicago chapter meets from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at First Congregational Church, 525 N. Neltnor Blvd., West Chicago. For details call Donna at (630) 393-6223."
Police say threat suspect had gasoline, fireworks
"In a statement released Thursday, West Chicago police described how an officer located Watts Tuesday morning with what they called a "dangerous incendiary device," but made no reference to any threat. The department deferred additional details to the DuPage County state's attorney's office. A state's attorney's spokesman could not be reached."
  Lauzen gets Fitzgerald's support
"In 1992, Fitzgerald and Lauzen were part of the group of five aggressive, Republican political newcomers elected to the Illinois legislature. At the fund-raising dinner held at Aurora Christian High School this weekend, Fitzgerald said Lauzen's dedication and political stances haven't changed in all those years.  "This man is steel," Fitzgerald told the more than 500 supporters in attendance. "He will never turn his back on the people who elected him.""
Cigar smokers find haven from law to practice habit
"Durso of West Chicago feels that the shop is his sanctuary now that the Smoke-Free Illinois Act has severely limited where he can light up a stogie.  “It is against my constitutional rights,” Durso said about the law, which went into effect Tuesday. “Here, you can smoke a cigar and not be hassled.”"
Sen. Obama Does Obama prove US is colorblind? - China Daily - China
"Polls have indicated the vast majority of Americans say they would support a black candidate seeking the White House. A Gallup survey conducted in early 2007 found only 6 percent of men and 5 percent of women said they would not vote for a black presidential candidate - a seismic political shift from 50 years ago, when more than half those surveyed felt that way."
"In a 15-page 2005 exposé in Vanity Fair, concerning yet another, if perhaps-related, aspect of Edmonds' allegations, British reporter David Rose detailed charges of nearly $500,000 in bribes from Turkish interests, said to have been prepared for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL). His attorney has denied those allegations, though, in another BRAD BLOG exclusive, Edmonds challenged specific details of the denial."
Rep Peter Roskam


Campaign & Election News - Covering Key Races Around the Country - Swing State Project
"While the current holder of the seat, Peter Roskam beat Tammy Duckworth by the skin of this teeth, he did so during a year that has no presidential or senatorial coattails to assist the downballot races.  Col. Morganthaler can give Roskam yet another race for his life and anywhere we can put Republicans on the defense is one less place they can attack us and leaves less money for them to defend other seats."
Rep Fortner HB 4216 - Illinois Science and Technology Commission
"HB4216 was filed last week and would create a commission to act as the state's point group with expertise to coordinate big federal science projects that may come to Illinois."
IDHS announces new law to generate funds for Autism research and awareness
"In April 2004, Gov. Blagojevich and DHS launched the multi-agency Autism Task Force (ATF) as a means of addressing issues presented by the growing number of children and adults being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  As many as 22,000 children in Illinois have an ASD."
05&06 Jan  

City of


City Council Agenda for 07 Jan Meeting Posted:
This meeting has been moved to 7:30 AM at City Hall.  It appears to be a "pro forma" meeting with nothing but normal business functions and an executive session. - Bob
Lauzen puts no stock in poll funded by Oberweis
"A new poll commissioned by Jim Oberweis' congressional campaign shows the dairy magnate commanding a double-digit lead over GOP rival Chris Lauzen.  Conducted by Republican pollsters McLaughlin & Associates, the poll shows 46 percent of voters choosing Oberweis and 34 percent favoring Lauzen; the rest were undecided."
  DuPage tax supporters ready for month-long blitz
"In a nutshell, that hits it on the head," county board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said. "My belief is that the people of DuPage County are smart people who use their money wisely and if they understand the issue, this is something they've got to be supportive of."
  Congressional challengers pile on people in Washington
"Morgenthaler fielded a query about gambling expansion -- a state issue -- saying she opposes raising money through gaming.  To solve its revenue problems, the federal government should end tax breaks to special interests, Morgenthaler advocated.  "Why are we subsidizing energy (companies) and pharmaceuticals, and why are we funding an endless war?" she said."
14th District debate Tuesday in St. Charles
"The forum -- open to the public -- is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles.  Republicans Chris Lauzen, Jim Oberweis and Dilger are scheduled to appear with Democrats Bill Foster, John Laesch and Jotham Stein."
Sen Durbin


Durbin, Clark rally the troops prior to Iowa Caucus - WQAD - Moline,IL
"Thanks for helping Barack," he tells a volunteer.  And the senator stops by Obama campaign headquarters to pump up other volunteers.  "It's so important," Senator Durbin said. "A few votes can really make a difference."
  On the right track State's Amtrak routes could prosper from bill - The Southern - Carbondale,IL
"State Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, joined five other senators a year earlier to introduce the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. The act authorizes nearly $3 billion for Amtrak to maintain its current operations and upgrade equipment.  The bill passed in the Senate on Oct. 30 by an overwhelming 70-22 vote."
Sen. Obama


US Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama 'Deeply Troubled' by Kenyan ... - Voice of America
"I've been deeply troubled by the recent news out of Kenya. The instability and tragic violence pose an urgent and dangerous threat to the people of Kenya and to Kenyan democracy."
  Scuffle Occurs as TV Pundit Tries for the Attention of Obama - New York Times
"After a rally for Senator Barack Obama here Saturday, a brief tussle ensued between Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host, and a campaign aide for Mr. Obama, and it created enough of a stir for the Secret Service to become involved."
New Hampshire and Those Labor Ads - New York Times
"As Mr. Halperin reported, several members of the International Executive Board protested loudly in a letter to AFSCME president Gerald McEntee that an independent expenditure unit run by two people had been using funds solely to attack Senator Obama (and no other Democratic candidate)."
[If Mrs. Clinton uses a union to smear Obama AND Edwards, does she get credit for going negative? - Bob]
Rep Hastert


Hastert spent $147K on lawyers during sex scandal - USA Today
"Hastert, who was chastised for his response to allegations that Foley sent inappropriate messages to congressional pages, failed to disclose these payments to the Federal Elections Commission."
Rep Fortner Lawmaker pushes for state science authority - Springfield State Journal Register
"Rep. Michael Fortner, R-West Chicago, is pushing House Bill 4216, which would establish the 10-member Illinois Science and Technology Commission.  The legislation specifies that the new panel would “coordinate efforts on behalf of the state, units of local government and institutions of higher education in order to attract, retain and promote scientific endeavors and research facilities within the state.”"
WHAT’S NEW  - Robert L. Park Friday, 4 Jan 08
Huckabee's Attack Ad Runs After All -
"The ad Huckabee said he decided not to run has now appeared at least three times in Iowa anyway. It accuses Romney of being "dishonest" but shades the facts in the process."
[ You can see the video by clicking HERE. - Bob]

04 Jan

Rep Fortner


2008-2009 General Assembly Scholarship applications
"State Representative Mike Fortner is now accepting applications for students wishing to be considered for a 2008-2009 General Assembly Scholarship."

City of


Fredericka and Friends Kicks Off the 2008 Artist Series at Gallery 200
"A love of animals and nature is a common theme for those participating in Fredericka and Friends, an exhibit of the works of local artists during the January Featured Artist series at Gallery 200."
  January Craft Saturday Offers Fun and Civil War History
"Join the fun of January Craft Saturday at the West Chicago City Museum on January 19, 2008 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. As part of the Museum's continuing association with The History Channel's Save Our History program, the coordinated theme for the January activity will be the Civil War."
Kane County judges on alert after bomb threat
"Security at the Kane County courthouse remained tight Thursday after police said they arrested a man -- armed with a homemade bomb -- who threatened the entire judicial system, including two specific judges.  David H. Watts Jr. was being held on a $500,000 bond in the DuPage County jail on charges of felony possession of explosives. Prosecutors said they may pursue further charges at indictment."
  Have your say on possible takeover of EJ&E railway
"Here's a look at upcoming local open houses. Hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m...
Jan. 17 at St. Andrews Golf Club, 3N441 Route 59, West Chicago."
Police say threat suspect had gasoline, fireworks
" An Aurora man found with gasoline and fireworks on New Year's Day has several ties to the Kane County judicial system, although authorities have yet to discuss the reported threat he made against it.  Charged with possession of explosive or incendiary device, 40-year-old David H. Watts Jr. remains in DuPage County Jail on $500,000 bail."
  Pols on both sides give Foster support - Aurora Beacon News
"Longtime Aurora Alderman Mike Saville and Aurora-based Kane County Board member Gerry Jones are also among the nine to back Foster, a former Fermilab scientist seeking the Democratic nomination to replace now-retired Rep. Dennis Hastert.  "I'm excited and honored to see that my message ... is catching on in the district and receiving bipartisan support," Foster said in a statement."
Northwest Herald
Crystal Lake
Election officials file lawsuit over 14th District vote dates
"But election officials in that district say the 32 days between the special primary, on Feb. 5, and the special general election, on March 8, are not enough time to meet state and federal laws regarding absentee ballots and canvassing. Gov. Rod Blagojevich set the dates after Hastert resigned."
Lordstown students take in mayhem in Iowa
"Romney supporters got a pep talk from former house speaker Dennis Hastert, which may have boosted Romney’s chances, senior Andrew Berg said. Hastert told the students he was thankful young people were participating in politics, Berg said."
The Daily Muck -
"Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was penalized last year by the FEC for failing to disclose that his campaign fund went into debt for legal expenses related to the Mark Foley (R-FL) investigation. Hastert announced last year that he would retire from the House of Representatives. (Washington Post)"

03 Jan

Merle Berle

Around and About in West Chicago - 02 Jan 2008

  • 135th year of the Norris-Walen Funeral Home
  • Christmas tree garbage pick up
  • Adult Education program at the high school
  • Art Works by Fredericka and Friends
  • PeaceBuilder
Kathryn Goers - January 3, 2008
"Visitation Sunday 2-7 pm at Williams-Woodward Funeral Home 820 Pine St., West Chicago, IL . Funeral Monday prayers 9:30 am to St. Mary Church for Mass 10 am. Burial St. Mary Cemetery."


The Age of Giants
"Will the age of giants come again?  Not with the continuing arrogance, power grabs, suspension of habaes corpus, approval of torture, the promotion of greed, the old buddy system of reward, the continuance of the Patriot Act and the pillorying and condemnation of critics of such acts that diminish the entire United States at home and abroad."
Wheaton Academy Targets Summer Groundbreaking for New Athletic Field House
"Wheaton Academy has announced the successful realization of a $1 million anonymous challenge grant issued to spur giving toward the private Christian high school’s new fundraising initiative, Transforming Every Student: The Campaign for Wheaton Academy. The awarded challenge grant brings the fundraising total-to-date to $9.13 million, leaving $3.67 million still to raise to meet the effort’s overall $12.8 million goal."

City of


Police Arrest Man in Possession of Incendiary Device
"West Chicago, Illinois: January 3, 2008 - On Tuesday January 1, 2008 at approximately 9:04 a.m., a West Chicago Police officer observed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a business located in the 1000 block of West Roosevelt Road in West Chicago. The officer made contact with the sole occupant of the vehicle, found to be 40-year old David H. Watts Jr."
Man found dead at Pheasant Run resort drowned
"Resort workers pulled him out and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to St. Charles police.  He was pronounced dead at 3:42 p.m. at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva."
  Man charged with possessing incendiary device
"While securing Watts' vehicle, a police officer smelled a strong odor of gasoline and found a bottle at the rear of the vehicle, officials said.  Authorities said the bottle contained a liquid, had what appeared to be a wick sticking out of the mouth of the bottle and had several fireworks taped to it. The bottle was next to a large container that, police say, "was also of a suspicious nature.""
  Police beat
  • "Juan J. Esteban, 34, of 147 W. Washington St. Apt. 2, West Chicago, was arrested at 2:36 p.m. Sunday and charged with retail theft after stealing a $10.61 pair of infant shoes from Wal-Mart, 150 Smith Road, police said. Esteban was released on $1,000 bond with a Jan. 31 court date."
  • "Alejandro Salinas-Pino, 26, of 1N445 Neltnor Blvd., West Chicago, was arrested at 12:49 a.m. Tuesday and charged with speeding, improper lane usage, drunken driving and marijuana possession on the 700 block of West Main Street."
Officials: no time to run election by book
"Because there are only 31 days between the special primary election on Feb. 5 and the March 8 special congressional election, the local election authorities cannot meet standard election law requirements on such things as canvassing the primary vote and certifying the results, getting absentee voting started and other procedures.  The authorities will ask the federal court to accept a calendar they have developed to hold an election in such a short time after the primary."
Man found with bomb held
"A man wearing camouflage and face paint found with a homemade incendiary device this week might have been planning revenge against Kane County judges, officials said Thursday.  Police approached David H. Watts, 40, in a West Chicago parking lot about 9 a.m. Tuesday because his pickup truck was parked in an "odd position," DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett said."
  Bus driver in fatal Arkansas crash had drugs in system, prosecutors say
"Felix B. Tapia, 28, of Brownsville, Texas, has been charged with four felony counts of negligent homicide while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the Nov. 25 crash that killed four people, two of whom were from the Chicago area, and injured dozens more al"
Hiram Wurf Bill Foster Announces Local Endorsements From Democratic And Republican Officials
"Reinforcing his broad appeal as an experienced problem solver who will be able to work across party lines in Congress, Bill Foster today received the endorsement of the Republican former mayor of Newark, as well as the endorsements of numerous Democratic and Republican county board members and aldermen from around the 14th Congressional District."
Hastert, the Untold Story - Washington Post
"He says Hastert already "had decided to retire. It was clearly in his interest to accept the consent order that was offered to us rather than to fight what we thought was an erroneous legal position."  The question Passantino couldn't answer is why Hastert, who made millions of dollars off land deals while he was in Congress (including some that raised ethical questions), didn't pay his legal bills out of his own pocket rather than putting his lawyers on the campaign payroll and having his contributors foot the bill."
  FEC Adds Fine to Hastert's Legal Bills in Mark Foley Case - Washington Post
"According to FEC documents, Hastert (R-Ill.) failed to disclose in early January 2007 that his 2006 reelection campaign had run up $147,000 in legal bills stemming from his connection with the Foley investigation. Hastert agreed to settle the matter and pay a $1,000 penalty."
Governor Blagojevich proclaims January Radon Action Month
“Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, but it’s a health risk that can be eliminated if people test their homes and take action to reduce excessive levels,”


No more Nice Guy - Arkansas Democrat Gazette
"Now as even Broder concedes, Democrats in Congress are measurably more popular than Republicans (40 percent favorable to 32 percent ). They also exceed Bush’s favorability ratings, which remain near rock-bottom."

02 Jan

Cable Com
Channel 17
Cablecom Schedule Posted ... including:
  • Christmas in West Chicago
  • City Council (12/17/07)
  • Music and the Spoken Word
Rep.Randy Ramey January E-Newsletter
"Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all!  With the start of the New Year, several bills that I sponsored will now become effective laws in Illinois beginning Tuesday, Jan 1."
Forget the gym, head outside to burn off those holiday calories
"At the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, snowshoeing is allowed on all trails, but these trails are recommended:
Blackwell, Butterfield Road west of Winfield Road, Warrenville ...West DuPage Woods, Route 59 north of Roosevelt Road, West Chicago
Homes sales down, prices up in DuPage County
"West Chicago
homes sold: 2007: 197 2006: 280 29.6 percent decrease
median sale price: 2007: $290,000 2006: $276,500 4.9 percent increase"
New year, new promises
"Sable became serious about gardening when he moved to West Chicago in 1979. His plans for his 2-acre garden next spring include plenty of annuals. "I'll be trying Begonia 'Bonfire,' a showy, vigorous trailing begonia, and 'Palomar Prince,' an extraordinarily attractive fancy-leaved begonia," Sable says."

01 Jan

Due to server problems, last night's update was interrupted.  Sorry.  It was a slow day anyhow.  I will try to get everything up this afternoon. - Bob
The year in preview: What will make news in DuPage Co. in 2008
"West Chicago - New conference
West Chicago Community High School will explore how best to leave the DuPage Valley Conference. The school board last year passed a resolution expressing its intent to investigate ways to join a smaller existing athletics conference in the area or to create a new conference."
TPM´s Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials
"Although we had fun doing it, we altruistically started the project in order to help our friends at Powerline, who professed an inability to think of any Bush officials beset by scandal."
  Legal FictionsThe Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year. - Slate
"The Bush administration continues to limit our basic freedoms, conceal its own worst behavior, and insist that it does all this in order to make us more free. In that spirit, it seemed an opportune moment to commemorate the administration's worst legal justifications and arguments of the year."