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31 Aug  
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Aug 31- Sept 6


"The Winfield Township Road District will begin its Fall Brush Pick-up Tuesday, (Due to Labor Day), September 8, 2009 and Monday October 5, 2009, for residents of unincorporated Winfield Township. Residents must adhere to the following guidelines."
All Night Men’s Softball Tournament
"A unique competition tests the skills of athletes at the West Chicago Park District’s 2009 All Night Men’s Softball Tournament from 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, to 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 27 at Reed-Keppler Park, National Street and Arbor Avenue. Each team participating in the double elimination tournament has a designated spot in the park for tents and grills."
Two Offenders Apprehended and Charged
"Members [of the West Chicago Police Department were dispatched to the 100 block of Main Street for a call of shots fired in the area on Sunday, August 30, 2009 at approximately 1:10 a.m. Witnesses on the scene confirmed that several shots had been fired in the vicinity. No one was injured by the gunfire. "
Arrests made in West Chicago shooting
"Police charged Dante Farfan, 17, of the 2100 block of Pepper Valley Road in Geneva and Irvin Naranjo, 18, of the 700 block of Main Street in West Chicago, with aggravated attempted battery with a firearm, according to a police report.  If convicted, the suspects face a prison sentence of between four and 15 years."
West Chicago veterans restore vintage F-84 fighter jet
"In a crowded Saturday ceremony, held three years to the day the F-84 arrived, the West Chicago veterans who long labored to get her here officially dedicated the jet.  "I'm kind of numb," said Kenneth Richardt, of West Chicago VFW Post 6791. "This is in memory of everyone who gave their lives for our freedom.""
Foster touts one way to reduce medical costs
"Those efficiencies include smaller nurse-to-patient ratios, lower rates of infection and fewer incidents of patients dying in care. Giamberdino told Foster this is accomplished by spending less money on the facility and expensive equipment and more dollars on staff. In other words, why use a laser to remove someone's tonsils when the old fashioned way also works and is more cost-effective? Doctors at the center also have less difficulty moving from patient to patient and one surgery to the next as the smaller staff allows for easier coordination with nurses, Giamberdino told Foster."
GOP targets Foster on health care
"The ad implies that because Foster is a Democrat, he will back Obama's health care plans.  The ad also alleges the reform proposal will cut $500 billion from Medicare. Obama and supporters of preliminary legislation say Medicare service cuts are not on the table.  Gabby Adler, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called the ad "playing politics" and "ridiculous accusations.""
Two DuPage groups tackling health care reform
"Siobhan Kolar of the West Suburban Faith-based PEACE Coalition said a meeting on the phone isn't as good as a live event.  "A conference call is not a substitute for democracy," Kolar said. "Democracy is about showing up. It's not about conference calls - no matter how many people are on it."  Kolar invited Roskam and Biggert to sit on the panel but both declined, citing previous commitments."
Opponents fearful of new railroad moves
"The Surface Transportation Board has asked for further clarification of CN's request, and Waldron said that will be provided soon. No decision has been made on whether to grant the trackage rights.  TRAC has once again urged the Transportation Board to reconsider its approval of the EJ&E deal, and Weisner is hoping that the newly confirmed chairman of that board, Daniel Elliott, will "take a cold, hard look at things not just view them through rose-colored glasses." "
A phone call, not town hall for Rep. Foster
"Foster's staff said the telephone town hall is a way to put the dialogue above the partisan shrieking, but one woman who was unable to get on the list to take part in the conference call feels Foster is dodging public input.  "I follow politics on a regular basis. I care about this country, I care about my kids. The way things are run, I at least want my voice to be heard," said Michelle Budzyn, 37, of Sugar Grove Township. "It's very frustrating.""
[To be fair, it should be noted that Republican Rep Roskam, who faces no astro-turf threat of disruption, also used a telephone town hall. - Rob]
University of Illinois senate postpones vote
"The University of Illinois faculty-student senate on Monday decided to postpone a vote on President B. Joseph White and Chancellor Richard Herman.  After a lengthy closed session, the senate voted 91-66 to delay a resolution forwarded last week by one of its committees."
U of I trustees who resigned left hanging
"University alumni Kenneth Schmidt, David Dorris and Devon Bruce and fellow trustee Robert Vickrey all told Quinn they’d resign for the good of the school but would like to be reappointed.  Now, they’re left hanging. Quinn allowed two trustees who refused to go to keep their positions, and he appointed two new board members this week. There has been no word on the fate of the other four."
Rep. Foster Announces $15 Million in Clean Cities Stimulus Funds for Illinois
"Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) announced that the Chicago region will receive an award of $14,999,658 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Program for alternative fueling and electric vehicle charging stations.  This grant was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Foster voted for."
Tempe pastor reiterates wish for President Obama's death - ABC, Pheonix
"Parishioners leaving the Faithful Word Baptist Church Sunday carried not just their Bibles, but guns as well.  Pastor Steven Anderson said he and his congregation have received death threats after a controversial sermon earlier this month.  "Guns are a great deterrent," said Anderson. "We haven't had any violence because people know if they come down here swinging a baseball bat, we're ready to protect ourselves."
[What concealed weapon would Jesus carry? - Bob]
AFCSME Wraps Highway to Health Care Road Tour
"In Washington, D.C. today AFSCME President Gerald McEntee and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will speak at an event at AFL-CIO headquarters culminating the rock and roll themed tour. AFSCME is part of Health Care for America Now, a national grassroots coalition pushing for health care reform that includes a robust public option to compete with private insurance companies."
Per-Student Spending Gaps Wider Than Known - Washington Post
"Private schools without religious affiliation spend almost twice as much per student as their public and Catholic counterparts and more than double that of other Christian schools nationwide, according to a new study."

28 Aug


West Chicago
High School
LifeSmarts Program Receives Recognition
"The District 94 Education Foundation has recognized Community High School’s LifeSmarts program by placing signs throughout the community. The signs acknowledge eight State championships won by teams from District 94 since 2000! The Education Foundation wanted to recognize these students for their commitment to learning about consumer education."
Crafts at the West Chicago City Museum
"One Saturday a month, from11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., the West Chicago City Museum will hold free craft activities for children to learn about local history and the world around them while creating a treasure to take home."
West Chicago VFW to dedicate Korean War-era jet
"Twenty years ago, Kenneth Richardt's desire to honor his fallen brother resulted in West Chicago VFW Post 6791 getting its signature M47 tank.  On Saturday morning, the post is going to dedicate Richardt's latest labor of love: A refurbished F-84 jet mounted on a pylon near the tank and cannons in front of the clubhouse along Route 59."
Former Defense Department worker eyes 14th Congressional seat
"And he's not scared of taking on Hastert, who had already amassed $87,000 in campaign contributions within two weeks of announcing his candidacy in July.  "For one thing, historically, primary elections are won by the message, the organization you've built and the money, in that order," Vargas said.  The Federal Election Commission campaign finance Web site does not list any contributions for Danklefsen, as of the July 15 quarterly report. The next quarterly financial report is due Oct. 15."
Group seeks to overturn CN railroad deal
"Darch and her group, The Regional Answer to Canadian National, or TRAC, claim CN wants to increase rail traffic by requesting additional access.  CN spokesman Patrick Waldron denies that. He called the action routine.  "It won't result with any new traffic on the EJ&E. The trackage rights do not entail different rerouting of additional trains" beyond what CN spelled out before the acquisition, Waldron said."
To Barbie with love: admirers share their memories
"Rockett got into Barbie collecting about 10 years ago while purchasing holiday Barbies for her daughter.  "Sitting down playing Barbie with my daughter was a way of sharing something I loved and it brought me back to being a little girl again," she said."
Vote may censure University of Illinois leadership
"When the Urbana faculty/student senate votes Monday in regard to a letter recommending that both the president and chancellor be changed, the decision won't be binding.  But a call for the resignations of President B. Joseph White and Chancellor Richard Herman would be a remarkable event in the history of the University of Illinois."
Gov. Quinn vetoes campaign caps bill
"Legislators and advocacy groups already have begun negotiating on a new campaign finance plan, Quinn said.  "I think if you're going to do this right, we must have consensus," he said."
I predict that somewhere in America today, a Republican who argues that health insurance rates could be reduced by removing the fraud and waste in the health care industry, will object to the government having access to financial records that would allow the justice system to detect, prosecute, and punish the offenders.  Citing privacy concerns, they will ignore that there has been none since the Republicans passed the Patriot Act.
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 28 Aug 09
How to save Fido when the Rapture hits - Victoria Advocate
"A company called Eternal Earthbound Pets, USA is made of up of a group of animal-loving atheists who, for a small fee, will take care of your beloved Fido and Mr. Fluffy Poo once you are taken up to heaven during the Rapture... Their service plan is simple enough: "For $110.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved. Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $15.00 fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged friends.""
A Million And A Half U.S. Workers Will Exhaust Unemployment Benefits By Year's End - Workers Independent News
"Those projections by the National Employment Law Project come a day after a Federal Reserve official said the real U.S. unemployment rate is closer to 16 percent, significantly higher than the 9.4 percent claimed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those comments were made by Atlanta Fed Chief Dennis Lockhart during a chamber of commerce speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee."
America’s Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making - NY Times
"About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.  If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits."
Innocent Man May Have Been Executed Based on Faulty Science  - ACLU
"A report (PDF) released Tuesday by Dr. Craig Beyler to the Texas Forensic Science Commission found that a fire which killed three children in 1991 was not arson. This finding is important because the children were not the only people killed as a result of that fire. Their father, Cameron Willingham, was executed in 2004 after being convicted of murdering them by intentionally setting the fire."

27 Aug

Around and About in West Chicago - 27 Aug 2009
  • Train Whistles
  • First United Methodist Church/First Congregational Church is hosting “Journey Through the 40s,”
  • West Chicago Park District’s senior citizen monthly social gathering
  • City Council passed an ordinance for various text amendments to zoning code.
Faculty leaders want top U. of I. officials out
" University of Illinois faculty leaders this morning urged the replacement of the school's president and chancellor because of an admissions scandal that has rocked the state's top public institution... While others around the state have weighed in on the future of President B. Joseph White and Chancellor Richard Herman, this marks the first time the faculty have taken a stand. Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday he would put great weight into the faculty's position.
Illinois coal plants sued over dirty air
"In a 75-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the federal and state governments accused Midwest Generation of extending the life of its aging power plants without installing pollution controls required under the federal Clean Air Act."
Citing loopholes, Quinn to veto campaign finance reform
"Gov. Pat Quinn today will veto the high-profile campaign finance bill that he once hailed as landmark, choosing to side with critics who say it is riddled with loopholes, an administration source says.  "The governor made the decision to veto based on feedback from the community and legislative leaders and the belief that lawmakers can do better," the source said."
Two UI trustees appointed by Quinn to lead reform
"The two newest University of Illinois trustees have no UI ties and didn't apply for the job.  But Gov. Patrick Quinn says Christopher Kennedy and Lawrence Oliver are well-suited to lead the effort to "reform, rebuild and repair" the school's reputation and troubled admissions system.  "This is the worst university scandal we've ever had in the state of Illinois," he said. "There are not two better people to help us get a good start.""
UI President White says he had considered resigning
"White, who met with the UI's Senate Executive Committee this week, said he was caught off-guard by the scandal over politicians and trustees helping individuals in the Urbana campus, because with a $4 billion budget, he expected problems to more likely come in areas where money changes hands, as in hiring and contracts."
Quinn vetoes campaign finance bill
"Republican lawmakers and others have called the legislation a sham bill meant only to look like reform in the wake of the scandal surrounding former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  After supporting the bill in the spring, Quinn had been signaling that he might veto it and start over or use his amendatory veto power to rewrite it and send it back to lawmakers."
Plenty more Lincoln celebrations to come
"Now, attention is turning to sesquicentennials.  As the bicentennial year winds down, planning has begun for 150th anniversary commemorations in 2010 of Lincoln’s election to the presidency, 2011 for the outbreak of the Civil War and 2015 for Lincoln’s assassination and burial in Springfield."
Rep. Foster Announces $15 Million in Clean Cities Stimulus Funds for Illinois
"Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) announced that the Chicago region will receive an award of $14,999,658 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Program for alternative fueling and electric vehicle charging stations.  This grant was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Foster voted for."
Foster Announces More Than $40 Million in Stimulus Funds Sent to Illinois Today
"Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) announced that the state of Illinois will receive $40,528,400 in funding today for energy efficiency improvements and the promotion of renewable energy projects.  The funding was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Foster voted for."
  • SEPTEMBER 19th 12-3:30. IBEW 28600 Bella Vista Parkway, Warrenville, IL 60555

Bob leads County in attracting new jobs - Naperville Sun
""It's a work in progress, and this is another step forward," Wiley said.  He emphasized that new jobs would not be created by the move. In addition to the relocation of the 1,500 people who currently work in the office on Winfield Road, some 2,000 positions now situated elsewhere would come to old Lucent complex, he said."

Schillerstrom Continues Fight Against Video Poker - Face Book
"The more communities learn about Video Poker, the more they realize it's not worth the gamble!"
I predict that somewhere in America today, a person that a person moved by the two weeks of ceremony and national observances  that preceded President Reagan's burial will complain about the "over the top" coverage of Senator Kennedy's comparatively quick and subdued funeral plans.
State: Jews most frequent target of hate crimes - Times Herald-Record, New York
"The report analyzed crime data submitted to the state by police agencies from all 62 counties. The results of the state's number-crunching are distilled in an eight-page report made public last week.  The report found that police agencies identified 596 hate crimes throughout New York last year. Jews were targets 36 percent of the time, with blacks targeted 25 percent of the time, gay men, 11 percent, and Hispanics, 4 percent."
Have a Health Care Reform Headache? - Nursing Link
  • "66 percent of the uninsured were either poor or near poor, as defined by the federal poverty level.
  • Young adults, age 19-29, comprise a large share of the uninsured, mostly because of their low incomes.
  • 79 percent of the uninsured were U.S. citizens. "
Letter to Honorable Charles B. Rangel Scoring Health Reform Bill - Congressional Budget Office
"According to CBO's and JCT's assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a
net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.
That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill's insurance coverage
provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO
estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions
that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those
10 years."
NPR Slices and Dices Michael Steele - TPM
"On Morning Edition today, Michael Steele gets tied in knots trying to explain how the GOP (or maybe just Steele himself?) wants to preserve Medicare against cuts, while also cutting Medicare and opposing government-run health care programs in general. It's an impossible dance for anyone, but Steele is burdened with two left feet."
[You can hear the audio here. - Bob]
Files prove Pentagon is profiling reporters  - Stars and Stripes
"Contrary to the insistence of Pentagon officials this week that they are not rating the work of reporters covering U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes has obtained documents that prove that reporters’ coverage is being graded as “positive,” “neutral” or “negative.” ... “They are not doing that [rating reporters], that’s not been a practice for some time — actually since the creation of U.S. Forces–Afghanistan” in October 2008, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters Monday."
[Isn't saying it is no longer happening an admission that prior to the election, it was happening? - Bob]

26 Aug


West Chicago
High School

Adult Education Classes
  • FREE English Classes
  • FREE Citizenship Classes
  • Informe de Prensa Sobre Clases de ESL, Ciudadanía y GED
Artist Lori Majcen's Portraiture
"Long time Carol Stream, Illinois resident Lori Majcen began her art career early in life. Half of a twin set, Lori and her sister spent many hours in their high chairs with paper and crayons. Her enthusiasm for drawing took hold, and eventually led to formal instruction with Richard Lund in the early 80’s at the College of DuPage."
'It would take 5 people to replace him'
"A wooded stretch of Schick Road in unincorporated West Chicago near the murder scene. Terry Bratcher of West Chicago and Keith Allen of Chicago are charged with first-degree murder and home invasion in the death of Carl W. Kuhn."
At first, no concrete evidence of a murder
"In some respects, initial evidence suggested Carl Kuhn died of natural causes.  Authorities found the 82-year-old Bartlett man dead in a bed with no outward signs of trauma at about 9 p.m. Friday.  They later would determine Kuhn had been strangled. But broken blood vessels in the eyes - often a telltale sign of a strangulation or suffocation - were not present."
DuPage County hires 4 lobbying firms
"The biggest new contract went to Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Washington, D.C., for $120,000. The DuPage Airport Authority is also paying the firm another $60,000 to handle lobbying efforts on its behalf.  The other Washington-based firm is the BGR Group, which received its first contract with the county for $96,000 this year. Healy said BGR was chosen because they have expertise in health-related issues and finding grants."
  Critics: DuPage ethics rules fall short
"In a recent letter to The Sun and in comments made this week before the commission's three appointed members and assorted staff, critics charge that the draft measure doesn't do enough to prevent conflict of interest when people are cut loose from the election body. Referred to as a revolving-door provision, the stipulation would set a minimum timeframe before employees and commissioners can go to work for vendors doing business with the commission."
Charges filed in death of elderly man
"Bond has been set at $3 million for 21-year-old Keith Allen of Chicago, who DuPage County authorities say confessed to the murder of 82-year-old Carl Kuhn. Judge George Bakalis on Tuesday denied bond for a co-defendant, 43-year-old Terry Bratcher of West Chicago."
Retired lawyer, gun collector killed by ex-client, authorities say
"Retired attorney Carl Kuhn was 82 when he died at home, so no one doubted his sons when they said for public consumption that he had died of natural causes.  But all the while, they knew that DuPage County detectives thought something was suspicious and had opened a homicide investigation. The house, near Bartlett in unincorporated DuPage County, appeared to have been ransacked, Assistant State's Atty. Robert Berlin said."
Inspector general quits to run for Senate
"Chicago's corruption-fighting Inspector General David Hoffman has resigned to enter the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, removing what appeared to be a giant thorn from Mayor Daley's side.  Hoffman enters a Democratic field vying to replace U.S. Sen. Roland Burris that already includes Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Cheryle Jackson, the president of the Chicago Urban League."
Senate Executive Committee to discuss admissions report
"The 15-member Senate Executive Committee will be meeting in a closed session on Thursday morning to discuss how to respond to the Mikva Commission's final report to Gov. Pat Quinn... The final commission report on "Category I" admissions blamed high-ranking UI officials for using their influence to reverse the rejection of applicants and called on all the UI trustees to offer their resignations to Quinn."
Quinn says he'll act on trustees today
"Quinn said that today he will detail his plans for the board and holdout trustees Montgomery and Frances Carroll, who have refused the governor's call to resign. The governor wouldn't say what he plans to do, but he promised to act "with certainty and with dispatch.""
Taxes going up on candy, shampoo, liquor
"Munch on a handful of plain, dry-roasted peanuts for a snack, and you are eating food taxed at 1 percent. Buy the honey-roasted version, and you are eating candy, which is taxed at 6.25 percent at the state level."
Quinn: Legislative scholarships should be based on need
"Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday said the university-funded scholarships that state lawmakers hand out should be need based and be part of discussions this fall at the Capitol about shortfalls in state financial aid funding."
Rally against high-speed train route to be held
"A rally in opposition to plans to route high-speed trains along the Third Street rail corridor is scheduled for 5 p.m. today on Jefferson Street between Second and Fourth streets.  The rally, the second in a series to take place on succeeding Wednesdays, will focus on the impact of the proposal on businesses."
Court Dismisses Abortion Protesters' Bid To Stand On Handicapped Ramp - Religion Clause
"... the court held that it was reasonable to require the protesters to stay on the sidewalk next to the ramp. Their presence on the ramp impairs access to the clinic, while walking instead alongside the ramp still gives them access to everyone entering the clinic."
Recession's Effects Will Impact Workers Through 2014 - Workers Independent News
"Based on Congressional Budget Office projections, the report says we’re facing what looks like a sustained period of low economic growth and high unemployment. Employment isn’t expected to fully rebound from this recession until 2014. As a result, consumption – the driving force in the economy – will be reduced through 2014."

Bottled-water scam finally feels squeeze
"The sad part is that ending the bottled-water fad took a recession, when common sense should have kicked in long ago.  While some bottled water does come from the natural springs and mountain lakes depicted on the labels, most is just municipal tap water - water that is packaged and sold at enormous cost. Two years ago, the Earth Policy Institute estimated that each gallon of bottled water costs $10 a gallon to go from the groundwater to your lips."

Fox News, NRO, Limbaugh run with "death book" smears - Media Matters
"As Media Matters for America noted, the organization Towey founded, Aging with Dignity, sells "Five Wishes," a booklet that, like "Your Life, Your Choices," is designed to guide people in the creation of a living will. Huffington Post news editor Marcus Baram reported on August 22 that "Towey seems to have his own axe to grind" in criticizing "Your Life, Your Choices" in that Towey "has repeatedly tried to get the government to spend millions to purchase his 'Five Wishes' book," citing "VA sources.""

25 Aug

Bartlett gun collector smothered, robbed in break-in
"The pair then targeted his home for a robbery and stole 43 guns, most of which were recovered by police.  Terry S. Bratcher, 43, of the 3N500 block of Route 59 in West Chicago, and Keith L. Allen, 21, of the 10000 block of S. LaSalle St. in Chicago, have been charged with first-degree murder and home invasion, DuPage County Sheriff John E. Zaruba said in a news release Tuesday morning."
Two charged with murder of 82-year-old gun collector
" Zaruba said that during the department's investigation of the death, deputies learned that two men had decided to burglarize the home intending to steal firearms from Kuhn, who was a known avid firearms collector. They are accused of smothering Kuhn during the burglary.  Charged with first-degree murder and home invasion in the case are Terry S. Bratcher, 43, of the 3N500 block of Route 59, West Chicago, and Keith L. Allen, 21, of the 10000 block of South LaSalle Street, Chicago."
2 Charged In Murder Of 82-Year-Old Firearms Collector In West Chicago
"Carl W. Kuhn was found dead around 9 p.m. Saturday at his home in the 29-W-400 block of Schick Road in unincorporated Bartlett, according to the DuPage County sheriff's office.  Authorities have now charged Terry S. Bratcher, 43, of West Chicago, and Keith Allen, 21, of Chicago's Far South Side, with Kuhn's murder, according to the sheriff's office."
West Chicago Citizen Corps Offering the Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) Course
"September is National Preparedness Month and the City of West Chicago would like residents to know that the West Chicago Citizen Corps is offering another Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) course. The seven week course will meet every Tuesday evening starting September 15, 2009, from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m."
Home prices rise 3 percent in second quarter
"The monthly index of 20 major cities increased 1.4 percent from May to June to 142, the second straight month the index registered a gain. All but two cities, Las Vegas and Detroit, saw home prices rise, and Dallas and Denver clocked their fourth-straight monthly increase.  Prices, however, have a long way to go to recover completely. Every metro showed annual declines, with fifteen reporting double-digit drops."
State unemployment increases, but slower
"Illinois payroll employment declined by 13,000 jobs in July 2009, but the pace of job loss has decelerated for four consecutive months. The number of unemployed increased for the 10th consecutive month to 692,500, reaching its highest level since April 1983. Nearly 5.7 million people held payroll jobs in Illinois in July, the lowest level since May 1996."
Health-care vote prompts Democrat to challenge Schock
"“I was told … he may never look at me again. He may never even speak. I can’t even begin to describe the pain.”  Ray said his family decided to “risk financial ruin” to get their son the best treatment possible.  “When the bills started to come in, it was overwhelming,” he said, and the family ultimately filed for bankruptcy.  However, Sam Ray responded well. He is a third-grader in public school and is considered now to have high-functioning autism."
Higher ticket price boosts state fair revenues
"The 2009 version of the Illinois State Fair may have been down in attendance from its 2008 counterpart, but a higher admission price boosted gate revenue by $1 million – one-third more than in 2008."
New law will allow some to treat themselves with antibiotics
"The practice, known as "expedited partner therapy," authorizes medical professionals who treat someone for gonorrhea or chlamydia to give the patient a single-dose antibiotic to pass along to his or her sexual partner.  The goal is to curb the spread of STDs by preventing sexual partners from re-infecting each other, especially if just one partner seeks medical attention."
4chan hackers target Christians on Facebook - The Age
"The online group called 4chan - which hacked former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin's email account and spread hoax news about a spate of celebrity deaths - is now targeting Christians on Facebook.  The hackers stole login details and passwords from an unnamed Christian dating site and used them to break into Facebook accounts."
Former Lowe’s Workers Win $1.72 Million Sexual Harassment Suit - Workers Independent News
"Two of the employees said they were being harassed by co-workers who thought they were gay and a third employee was a female who had allegedly been harassed by a supervisor. The three workers will split the settlement which is the largest such settlement ever awarded per employee in the western United States."
China Racing Ahead of America in the Drive to Go Solar - NY Times
"Chinese companies have already played a leading role in pushing down the price of solar panels by almost half over the last year. Shi Zhengrong, the chief executive and founder of China’s biggest solar panel manufacturer, Suntech Power Holdings, said in an interview here that Suntech, to build market share, is selling solar panels on the American market for less than the cost of the materials, assembly and shipping.  Backed by lavish government support, the Chinese are preparing to build plants to assemble their products in the United States to bypass protectionist legislation."
IU national survey finds majority of Americans believe 'myths
"Findings from a national survey of Americans by researchers from Indiana University Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR) and the Indiana University Center for Bioethics says that Americans do believe the "myths" about health care reform, confirming that the White House may indeed be losing this battle.  "A surprisingly large proportion of Americans believe what the White House has dubbed 'myths' about health care reform," said CHPPR director Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S. "Ironically, we found that the least believed myths, such as those related to mandatory end-of-life decisions and euthanasia counseling, are those that have gained the most traction in the media and have resulted in changes to the House bill.""
Augmented Reality: 5 Barriers to a Web That's Everywhere - ReadWriteWeb
"It's widely believed that the operating system for the iPhone 3Gs will be updated this Fall, possibly in September, to allow developers to use the phone's location awareness and internal compass to orient displays of information and imagery placed on top of the view through the camera."

24 Aug

West Chicago Public Access Playback - Aug 24- Aug 30


6:00 PM City Council (8/17/09)
  7:00 PM Grill Dog
7:30 PM Outspoken
8:00 PM Variety Island
9:00 PM WCMS Variety Show
Wheaton Academy unveils $9 million in new athletic facilities
"The 38,000-square-foot facility includes three practice courts, locker rooms, a weight room, athletic offices, wrestling room, two classrooms and storage space.  Frost said the field house was built to compliment the existing 60-year-old gym, the Warrior Dome.  That gym was renovated as well. The locker rooms, bathroom and weight room were removed so that it will now fit 1,000 spectators, up from 600. The facility will host the school's varsity sports contests."
Foster gets up-close image of health care
"Foster was interested in knowing how many of the patients have health insurance.  "The problem is the economy -- people are losing their insurance. (But) we don't turn anyone away," she said, although the state of Illinois is a year behind in reimbursement payments.  Magnuson recently visited Foster's Washington, D.C., office to discuss health care issues."
[With the Health Care Issue so big, Foster talks to dialysis patients and Roskam meets with bottle water company executives.  Hmmm? - Bob]
SC schools ready all-day kindergarten programs
" Adding to the usual flurry of preparation schools must make each August, the St. Charles School District has the extra rush of preparing two brand-new programs for the 2009-2010 school year.  This year, the district rolls out its new all-day kindergarten and gifted middle school programs. Both programs were based on community input during outreach meetings that started last year."
Rally highlights concerns about public health care option
"Foster spokesman Dan McDonald said the congressman was at festivals in DeKalb and Elburn Saturday and was not hiding.  "He was not aware of the public rally and we are closed on Saturday," McDonald said. "We were not invited.""
Statehouse Insider: Gene saves the day for GOP
"There was no flag in the room for them to face while reciting. What to do?  Why, call on a fellow named Gene to come to the rescue. Gene was wearing a shirt decked out in an American flag pattern. He came forward, and the group of assembled Republicans pledged allegiance to his shirt."
[This has been picked up nationally by Democratic Underground. - Bob]
Politics kept pollution cases from AG's office
"The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has not sent a criminal case to Madigan’s office for two years, according to a Chicago Tribune story, which cited interviews, state records and memos. By contrast, in 2003, the IEPA sent nearly 30 cases to the attorney general’s office.  The report said members of the ousted governor’s administration refused to work with Madigan’s office due to political feuding."
Fox News peddling nonsense about death panels for disabled veterans
"  1) What we’re talking about here is simply a guidebook on preparing living wills.
    2) It’s no more mandatory under Obama than it was under Bush.
The Bush directive on this matter reads exactly the same as the Obama directive:"
Health Care Survey
"For the past few months in meetings, open houses at my office and at sessions of Congress on Your Corner, I have listened to the concerns of constituents throughout the 14th District.  In an effort to further engage you on this issue, I would like to ask you to participate in the following survey, so I better understand your thoughts and concerns about health insurance reform."
Illinois Republican Day At the State Fair - You Tube - ILGOPNETdotcom
"Interviews with State Party Chairman Andy McKenna, Congressman Ray LaHood, and Minority Leader Tom Cross. "
I predict that somewhere in America today, a person that regularly reads their horoscope will wonder how I am coming up with these predictions.  [To be honest, I am more scientific than astrologists.  I use exponential regression of deflections of paths of wooly worms to extrapolate ASCII codes.  I suspect that this is approximately 27.367% more accurate than a Ouija board. - Bob]
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 21 Aug 09
Religous Hate in Western Kentucky Borders on the Occult - HillBilly Report
"Let us pray.  Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally.  God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us.  We bless them, but they curse us.  Therefore find them guilty, not me.  Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people.  Plunder their fields, and seize their assets.  Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus' name. Amen."
AUDIO: Arizona pastor's sermons call for execution of gays, Barney Frank and the President - The Political Carnival
"Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona [...] calls for the execution of gays in numerous sermons that you can listen to here.  "The same God who instituted the death penalty for murders is the same god who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals, sodomites and queers""
Mercury Marine union in Fond du Lac rejects pact - Journal Sentinel
"Sunday, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 1947 voted by what it called a wide margin to reject contract concessions that could have saved more than 800 manufacturing jobs and may have brought more employment to Fond du Lac.  As a result of the vote, Mercury says it will move much of its manufacturing over the next 36 months to Stillwater, Okla., where it has operated a plant for 30 years."
Steele: Roy Blunt Should Be Cleaned Out Of The "Crapper" - TPM
""His [Matt Blunt's] daddy [Roy] screwed around with a tobacco lobbyist. Then slips language into the homeland security bill favorable to the tobacco lobbyist," said Jericho. "I mean here is a guy that has committed adultery multiple times. Yet he had a senior position, and still does, in the Republican Party. Guys like Papa Blunt make us sick to our stomach. They aren't conservatives, and they sure don't reflect moral absolutes the way that we expect the Republican Party to stand up."  Steele responded: "Look, now don't, don't sit - I mean, I agree with you. When, when, -- when stuff gets in the crapper, you gotta clean it out.""

21 Aug

Invent the Future Workshop - Edith Makra, Urban Forester at Morton Arboretum
"Though there are a few neighborhood workshops remaining (see link to website below for a complete list), the really exciting one will be held at Morton Arboretum Visitor Center on Thursday August 27th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Please come to this important event ...Please contribute your ideas about the future of the economy, transportation, housing, land use, open space, the environment and other quality-of-life factors. This planning session gives us a rare opportunity to share the vision of a robust a urban and community forest for the region."
  • College of DuPage fall enrollment jumps 7.7 percent
    "Fall enrollment of full-time students at College of DuPage is up 7.7 percent compared to last year.  The spike is attributed in part to high unemployment in the region; the recently unemployed often return to school to learn new skills in hopes of re-enetering the job market, officials say."
  • New COD budget calls for 6 percent hike in revenue
    "The college will receive $6.7 million more in property taxes and $5.6 million more in tuition and fees than last year.  That's mainly because state funding contributions and interest income from investments decreased. State funds amounting to $13 million account for just 8.5 percent of the college's operating revenue, down 2 percent from the year before... COD President Robert Breuder said the state is supposed to be funding community colleges at 33 percent. He wasn't sure the state would even come through with the limited funding the college is due from the state this year since COD didn't get all of the funds owed to it last year."
Teen pleads not guilty in St. Charles fatal
"A Wayne teen pleaded not guilty on Thursday to reckless homicide in connection with an alcohol-related crash in June... Passenger Cameron Godee, a 17-year-old from West Chicago, died from his injuries. Two other passengers were hurt, including Chelsea Mertz, whose family has sued Lorusso and his father over the brain injury she sustained."
Gov. Quinn resets deadline for action on UI trustees
"Quinn said in Chicago Thursday that students deserve a solution quickly. But he wouldn't give details about how he'll handle the two trustees who haven't resigned.  Quinn wouldn't say whether he would fire James Montgomery and Frances Carroll if they haven't stepped down by Monday. Another trustee has said the two don't plan to resign."
Health overhaul myths taking root
"To be sure, presenting Congress and the country with the nuts and bolts of a revamped system of health insurance is no guarantee of success for a president — just ask Bill and Hillary Clinton. Their famous flop was demonized, too. After all, the devil does lurk in details... It can also lurk in generalities, it seems... A new NBC News poll suggests some of the myths and partial truths about the plans under consideration are taking hold."
Lawsuit seeks to stop coal mine development
"Thomas DeVore claimed that a Hillsboro Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation granting a special use permit to Hillsboro Energy to construct its Deer Run coal mine on land east of the city was erroneous and contrary to law.  The Hillsboro City Council voted on Nov. 10, 2008, to change the zoning ordinance to permit mining in an agricultural district."
Illinois GOP chairman McKenna quits
"A long line of Republican candidates for statewide offices descended on the Illinois State Fair Thursday, only to be overshadowed by the announcement that state party chairman Andy McKenna was resigning."
  • Link from Bob Schillerstrom - FaceBook
    "Thank you to our army of supporters at Republican Day at the State Fair - you made an impact! Watch the report.."
  • IL GOP Picks New Chairman - MyFox Chicago
    "On the day that Republican leaders from across Illinois gathered at the State Fair, party chairman Andrew McKenna resigned and was quickly replaced by Pat Brady, a relative newcomer."
Roskam Speaks on health care
"The congressman took questions and listened to comments from more than a dozen people during the hour-long call. It was the third tele-meeting Roskam has held in the past month, and he said he’s been encouraged by the interest."
[I'm sure I would have heard about the event beforehand and you could have listened in had Roskam not "unfriended" me at FaceBook.  Is it a open town hall meeting if only known friends/supporters are allowed to attend? - Bob]
Progressive Public Option Pressure Grows
"Will it [a co-op] work? Republican obstructionists, including Rep. Peter Roskam, have already decided that the alternative is equitable to government-run health care and won't back the plan because that provision was included. "We have to make sure [the public option] is really off the table," Roskam said on WLS' Don Wade and Roma yesterday, "and not recast with a different name.""
Textbooks being written for Texas schools appear to lean to the right - Houston Chronicle
"The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks.  The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.”"
[Warning... Texas and California, to large indispensable websites, with statewide adoption, dictate the content of textbooks nationwide. - Bob]
Employees join in purchase of Fein Brothers - Journal Sentinel
"Two longtime employees of Fein Brothers have teamed with a Madison businessman to buy the inventory, assets and brand of the restaurant supply store founded more than 80 years ago. Todd Minkin, a 20-year employee, and Ben Minkin, a 12-year employee, joined with Kevin Kavanaugh, who owns a restaurant supply store in Madison, to form Dine Out Inc."


Poll: Huge Majorities of Fox Viewers Duped by GOP Lies about Reform - 75% Believe in ‘Death Panels’ - Pensito Review
"Just days after a poll found Fox News to be the least trustworthy among the cable channels, a new poll from NBC News — not teaming this time with Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall St. Journal — finds that around three-quarters of self-identified Fox viewers believe the four big lies being promulgated by the GOP about health-insurance reform:"

20 Aug

New Laws Target Distracted Drivers
"In response to compelling evidence to show that texting or using a cell phone while behind the wheel increases the likelihood of crashing, on August 6, Illinois joined 14 other states in banning texting while driving. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that will make it illegal for drivers to talk on a cell phone when driving through school speed zones or construction areas."
Health Care Reform - Gene Rennels
"I don’t want anyone to dictate how, why or when. I am a citizen of the United States and I have freedom of choice. It doesn’t matter how much honey and cologne you pour over this bill, it still stinks as bad or worse than your Wall Street bail-out (TARP) and your just throw the taxpayers money at it – that will cure everything mind set."

West Chicago
High School
New District 94 Teachers Attend Annual Lions Club Luncheon
"Teachers new to Community High School District 94 in West Chicago pause for a photo as they leave to attend the Annual West Chicago Lions Club luncheon in their honor. The Lions have sponsored this event for the past 46 years!"
UI, Wisconsin in tie for 39th best on magazine's list
"The University of Illinois has once again been recognized as one of the great state schools, along with Big Ten rivals Michigan and Wisconsin.  The Urbana campus tied with Madison for 39th-best university in the nation in U.S. News & World Report university rankings, released today. Among public universities, the UI and Wisconsin were ranked at No. 9."
Cleanup begins after tornadoes hit Midwest states
"In Illinois, at least 19 people were hurt and dozens of homes and businesses destroyed. Officials say one was injured when the wind flipped a car and another was blown off his motorcycle."
Rockford AirFest 2009
"Two Air Force F-22A Raptor fighter jets will land at 12:30 p.m. today at Chicago Rockford International Airport in advance of this weekend’s AirFest 2009. .. One Raptor will be the headliner at AirFest. It is faster and sleeker and has more maneuverability than those flown by the Navy Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds at past shows. The other Raptor will be on static display, though under armed guard.
State warned not to fund religious activities
"Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Anti-Defamation League told state officials they’ve identified at least 97 religious organizations that would get the money from the capital construction bill signed into law last month.  They pointed out in a letter to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity that the constitutional separation of church and state forbids using tax dollars for religious purposes and that the grants carry no restrictions."
Roskam talks with WQA, RainSoft leaders
"Rep. Peter J. Roskam, a Republican representing a district in Chicago’s western suburbs, toured the Elk Grove Village, IL, manufacturing facility of RainSoft, a division of Aquion Water Treatment Products LLC on August 17."
I predict that somewhere in America today, some poor mope who thinks that it was right and just for recently released Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme to serve more than three decades for "assaulting" Republican President Gerald Ford with an unloaded gun, will consider taking a loaded gun to an Obama event thinking "and I said, 'I gotta go and talk to him,' and then I thought, 'That's foolish. He's not going to stop and talk to you.' People have already shown you can lay blood in front of them and they're not, you know, they don't think anything of it. I said, 'Maybe I'll take the gun,' and I thought, 'I have to do this. This is the time.'"
DART suspends driver after she refuses to use bus bearing atheist ad - Des Moines Register
"On Monday, the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority suspended bus operator Angela Shiel after she refused to drive a bus with an Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers ad on its side. Shiel, 41, said the ad's message, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone," went against her Christian faith.  Earlier this month, DART removed the ads from the buses following complaints from riders. DART returned the ads to the buses after receiving new complaints, including from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa."
Worker Furloughs in Maryland's Prince George's County Ruled Unconstitutional - Workers Independent News
"Williams added that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from passing laws that impair “the obligation of contracts.” Furloughs impact the wages agreed to in worker contracts."
The Hidden HEalth Tax - Rep John Dingle [Scroll down to picture of check - Bob]
"This year, every insured American family will pay $1,017 -- and insured singles will pay $368 per year -- in insurance premiums just to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. That's $42.7 billion this year - or $1,354 per second. This "Hidden Health Care Tax" is the undisclosed insurance premium surcharge, paid by America's businesses and insured Americans, that subsidizes the uncompensated health care costs of the uninsured."



19 Aug

Around and About in West Chicago - 19 Aug 2009
  • Budget for Community High School District 94
  • Second LEGO Mania
  • Dedication of Wheaton Academy Heritage Field House
  • Dedication of F-84
  • Cater2Me
Your 2010 primary primer: Where the donkeys and elephants stand
"Local races that could draw top dollar and attention:
14th Congressional District: The son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Ethan, is looking to reclaim the seat from freshman Democrat Bill Foster of Batavia."
Sheriff Calls for Zero Tolerance as Children Go Back to School
"Sheriff John E. Zaruba announced today his annual “Back to School Safety Strategy and Traffic Safety Campaign.” The traffic initiative started in June when DuPage County residents saw signs popping up around the county reminding motorists to “Protect our Children – SLOW DOWN.” It will now continue with the Sheriff’s “Zero Tolerance in School Zones” campaign that coincides with the opening of school."
Four more University of Illinois trustees step down
"Four more University of Illinois trustees said they will resign in the ongoing fallout from an admissions scandal.  Trustees David Dorris, Ken Schmidt and Robert Vickrey confirmed Tuesday that they offered their resignations to Gov. Patrick Quinn, who has repeatedly asked all nine trustees to give up their seats. Quinn spokeswman ashley Cross said Trustee Devon Bruce was expected to do the same."
Study: End-of-life counseling improves mood
"The study of 322 patients in rural New Hampshire and Vermont also suggests the counseling didn’t discourage people from going to the hospital. The research didn’t look at costs.  The study’s publication in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association coincides with the fight over health-care overhaul proposals in Congress."
Quinn signs law that requires local food purchases for state agencies
"The measure sets up a system in which state agencies would purchase 20 percent of the food for prisons and other facilities from local sellers by 2020. State-funded institutions such as public schools would shoot for 10 percent locally purchased food by 2020."
Market Wire RiverGlass Introduces Web and File System Scanner to Open Source
"The company was formed in 2003 to commercialize eight years of grant-funded research at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. RiverGlass provides application solution to government agencies and command in defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and major corporations. RiverGlass is a private company with principal offices in West Chicago, Illinois and Champaign, Illinois."
Progressive Block -- no Jan? No Mike? No Danny?
"Update: now over $95,000.
Over $64,000 $67,000 has been raised on Act Blue since this morning for a list 57 congresspeople who signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi and 18 that took the FDL Pledge to vote against any health care reform bill that didn't include, at the minimum, a robust public option... Maybe it would help if they knew that there was a crisp 10-spot in it for each one of them if they are willing to add their names to that list (which I think they can do via the FDL Pledge)."
Senate holds second hearing on gerrymandering
"At the Springfield hearing, lawmakers heard from Peter Watson, legal counsel to the Minnesota State Senate, who discussed federal requirements for drawing legislative maps that will withstand court challenges. Watson was joined by Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who provided an overview of redistricting trends in other states."
I predict that somewhere in America today, a Republican who thinks the sky will fall if Medicare is allowed to negotiate lower prices on pharmaceuticals (like the VA's 40% discount) will show up at a WallMart to buy a new faucet ... for which he will pay full asking price because his local hardware was put out of business. WallMart's profit will be large because their nationwide dominance in retail sales gives them gigantic power to lower prices when negotiating with Chinese suppliers.
US church leaders urge Obama to end Cuba embargo - Associated Press
"Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida, said the U.S. church welcomed a recent move by Washington to relax travel restrictions on Cuban Americans with family in Cuba as well on the remittances they can send to those families. But he said there is much more to be done.  Wenski said at a news conference that the U.S. church hopes "both sides listen to their better angels" and move to normalize ties."
Unemployed Workers Taking Advantage of COBRA Subsidy - Workers Independent News
"Known as COBRA, the plan helps laid-off workers continue employer health coverage for up to 18 months after leaving a job. A portion of the economic stimulus plan has made COBRA more affordable by subsidizing 65 percent of premiums for individuals laid off between September 2008 and the end of this year."
Our view on health care: Dispute over ‘public option’ veers into fantasyland - USA Today
"The dirty secret of our health care system is that it already is dependent on government or, more precisely, government waste. More than 46% of all medical service in the USA, about $1 trillion annually, is paid for directly by taxpayers. Private insurers cover 42%, and the remainder is paid out of pocket. In addition to what government pays directly, it pumps in more than $200 billion a year in tax subsidies."
Mythbusting Canadian Health Care - Campaign for America's Future
"If we're going to have this conversation, it would be great if we could start out (for once) with actual facts, instead of ideological posturing, wishful thinking, hearsay, and random guessing about how things get done up here.  To that end, here's the first of a two-part series aimed at busting the common myths Americans routinely tell each other about Canadian health care."

18 Aug

Raw sewage spills into Fox River in St. Charles
"Whatever caused the break put a 6-by-6-inch hole in the side of the cast-iron pipe, public works superintendent Mark Koenen said.  "It was a mess," he said.  The station, which elevates sewage to send it to one of the city's two treatment plants, has been closed and the sewage rerouted."
Cross my heart: Tom's not running for gov
"Cross, R-Oswego, said on Monday that he was aware of the rumors about a gubernatorial bid and that he did consider such a run. In the end, he opted not to, citing work with the 84th District and a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons."
St. Charles sewage leak still a mystery
"It spilled out of the facility and ran through the grass and eventually made its way to the river, Public Works Director Mark Koenen said.  Whatever caused the Sunday afternoon leak, which spewed for about 40 minutes, was still unknown Monday."
Republicans push reform for legislative maps
"Sens. Kirk Dillard and Dale Righter today stressed the need for redistricting reform with the editorial board of The State Journal-Register. It's part of a statewide push they're making as senators look at whether the process for drawing legislative maps is flawed."
State worker salary site lacks prominent officials
"State Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, said a new, so-called transparency portal -- located at -- that is “second to none in the United States” will allow anyone with Internet access to find out how much taxpayers pay to any state employee. The salary information, Tryon said, will combat unfair hiring practices and gender discrimination."
I predict that somewhere in America today, an aging hippie that participated in a draft office sit-in during the 60's will complain about the rude behavior of protestors at a Democratic congress critter's town hall meeting.  He/she will not use Spiro Agnew's phrase, "cacophony of irrational radical rhetoric."  At the same time, a former Chicago policeman who cracked heads during the Democratic Convention will tell a Democratic congress critter to "keep your hands off my Medicare."
Health care reform enters faith arena - Rapid City Journal, South Dakota
"“I believe that all people of faith have to recognize how poorly we are meeting the needs of U.S. citizens at incredible costs and that we do have a moral responsibility to provide health care to all citizens,” Gerenz said.  The retired schoolteacher is a member of the Black Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She supports health care reform, and the campaign announced last week by the leaders of more than 25 religious denominations and groups, including evangelical Christian spokesman Jim Wallis of Sojourners."
GM boosts output, bringing 1,350 workers back - Dretroit Free Press
"To meet the demand, GM said it is adding a shift at the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant where the Chevrolet Cobalt compact car is built.  GM is also adding a shift at its CAMI facility in Ontario, Canada, where the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover are assembled.  In addition, GM said it expects to increase production at plants building the Chevrolet Camaro (built in Canada), Cadillac SRX (built in Mexico) and CTS Wagon (built at Lansing Grand River) and Buick LaCrosse (built in Fairfax, Kansas)."
Billionaires for Wealthcare - Humanleague002
"If God loved the poor people he wouldn't let them get sick."

[If you watch closely, you can see one of the protesters with a side arm strapped on his side, but this video really dispels the impression of the main stream media of angry, humorless tools of corporate America chanting about the evils of Medicare, Medicade, the VA, military health care and other government run programs. - Bob]



17 Aug

Foster and Health Care
"Mr. Foster has indicated that he hasn't made up his mind on health care. When will he do that? When will he listen to the cares of the people in his district? This legislation is too important to be left to just Mr. Forster making up his mind with the help of the leadership of his party and not the input of the people of his district."
School Choice - D33 Key Communicator Message
"As a part of NCLB, District 33 has had to provide in-district school choice to parents at four elementary schools this year since these schools did not make AYP in reading two years in a row. (Of note, all but one elementary school did make AYP in math.)"
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Aug 17- Aug 23
"We've got a new program called 'Grill Gog' from a Public Access channel in San Diego. It plays this week on Wednesday and Friday at 7PM. There's also a new edition of the 'Outspoken' program which is immediately following 'Grill Dog'." - John Kruser
Road Safety Campaign
"The West Chicago Police Department announced that Campaign #4 of the Illinois Department of Transportation funded grant was successful in educating the motoring public on Seatbelt Safety and Awareness. The Campaign ran from June 19-July 6, 2009 and resulted in 246 citations being issued for Seatbelt and Child Restraint violations."
Olson joins GOP hopefuls for DuPage Board chairman seat
"What I offer is a thorough understanding of the issues at the county level and a record of having worked on these issues," she said. "I grew up here, raised a family here and I'm a small-business owner here. The things other candidates have talked about wanting to do are things I've actually worked on; like transparency, accountability, ethics reform and green initiatives."
Secure Energy Thanks Members of Illinois and Missouri ...
"Energy received notice from Representatives ...Peter Roskam (IL-6), and Senators Christopher Bond (MO), Roland Burris (IL), and Richard Durbin (IL) that a bipartisan, bi-state letter has been sent to National Energy Technology Laboratory Director Carl Bauer urging him to carefully review Secure Energy's grant application for funding authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for "Carbon Capture and Sequestration from Industrial Sources and Innovative Concepts for Beneficial C02 Use" relating to Secure Energy's plant in Decatur, IL.
[Not there to deliver a vote, Mr. Roskam, apparently, still wants the money ... and credit for it. - Bob]
Why do brides change their names after marriage?
"Days after Keriann Moore returned from her honeymoon last month, she drove to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security office to shed her maiden name, Obrachta. The change will be an adjustment since for years she's been known as "Miss O." at the West Chicago middle school where she works."
Allan Golonka Gets His First Hole In One!
Seven new license plates for veterans
"Secretary of State Jesse White has announced the availability of seven new license plates specifically designed for veterans: Air Force Cross, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Army Plate, Navy Plate, Paratrooper Plate and Korean Service Medal."
I predict that somewhere in America today, a teabagger/birther/town-heller/flat-earther will appear at a town hall wearing a "Kill Obama ... Kill Michelle and her two dumb kids" TShirt. He/she will be applauded. A moderate Republican will show the courage to admit that there are some patient protection provisions in the various bills that should be made law... he/she will be booed.
The Hidden Reality of Abortion -- Empowering Men -
"The Culture of Death often presents itself in terms of liberation. Yet, at every turn, this liberation is actually an enslavement. The availability of legalized abortion has led to the deaths of over 40 million unborn children in the United States alone. Beyond this, it has produced a social catastrophe evident in patterns of female poverty and the abandonment of both women and children by irresponsible males. Furthermore, it has severely weakened the moral protections and obligations that bound men to women and children, effectively allowing men to demand abortion as a means of escaping their responsibility to marry and to take responsibility for their children."
Economic Report: Income inequality has reached all time high - Workers Independent News
"Income inequality has reached an all-time high. According to the study by University of California, Professor Emmanuel Saez the top one percent of wage earners in America took home 49.7 percent of all wages in the country in 2007. Between 2002 and 2007 the top one percent captured two-thirds of income growth while incomes for the bottom 99 percent only grew by 1.3 percent."
Brutal truth about US healthcare - Belfast Telegraph
"In the week that Britain's National Health Service was held aloft by Republicans as an "evil and Orwellian" example of everything that is wrong with free healthcare, these extraordinary scenes in Inglewood, California yesterday provided a sobering reminder of exactly why President Barack Obama is trying to reform the US system."
DEVELOPMENT: Should Water Be Legislated as a Human Right? - Inter Press Service
"Barlow said a recent example was the sale of privately traded water rights in Australia (which were introduced as a way to move water use toward sustainability) to a big American investment fund. This means that not only is this water not in public control, it is not even in the hands of Australians any more, she added.  Asked how investors can help solve the world’s water problems, Jones told IPS that investors can ensure that the water services investments they make would bring about the human right to water."

14 Aug

Hot about health care, but Foster on trip
"But at Thursday afternoon's meeting at the Geneva Library, about 150 people showed up with one thing in mind: health care.  For some, their No. 1 question was: where was Foster? The congressman is with 20 other legislators on a junket to Israel, which Dan McDonald, Foster's press representative and one of the staffers at the meeting, called "a fact-finding trip" regarding the situation in the Middle East."
5 ambulances at Fabyan/Route 38 crash
"Five family members were hospitalized after the van they were inside rear-ended a dump truck in West Chicago Friday afternoon. The West Chicago Fire Department dispatched five ambulances to the intersection of West Roosevelt Road and Washington Street."
Man, teen charged with armed robbery in West Chicago
"A man and a 16-year-old were charged with armed robbery, accused of stealing money at gunpoint from a man sitting in his vehicle in the 100 block of Turner Court in West Chicago on Monday afternoon, police said."
OPhotograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)fficals reach tenative agreement on project to bring water to West Chicago school
"The two parties met Thursday with State Senator John Millner, R-Carol Stream, and State Senator Randy Ramey, R-Carol Stream, to discuss stipulations for a contract that would allow the village to run a 9,000-foot water main down Fair Oaks and St. Charles Roads, which fall under the jurisdiction of the township."
Carol Stream, township near deal on water for school
"Wayne Township and Carol Stream officials have come to terms on a proposed intergovernmental agreement that would give Benjamin Middle School and neighboring homeowners the chance to get Lake Michigan water."
Several hurt in West Chicago crash
"Four or five people were taken to area hopsitals after a dump truck collided with a minivan about 12:15 p.m. Friday at Fabyan Parkway and Roosevelt Road in West Chicago, police said. None of the injuries was serious; the people were hospitalized as a precaution, police said."
West Chicago Public Library Celebrates Summer Reading
"The West Chicago Public Library hosted a tremendous celebration of summer reading on Saturday, August 8, when over 430 kids and parents enjoyed an interactive performance of magic, juggling, and acrobatics by the Pocket Circus.  Ice cream treats cooled off the crowd following the performance, and drawing prizes were awarded for those kids who reached their summer reading goals."
New law targets pension “padding”
"A measure received the governor’s approval that will prevent lawmakers and judges from “padding” their pensions at the end of their careers.  For years the rules regulating legislative and judicial retirement benefits have been criticized for allowing lawmakers to end their careers at a significantly higher salary—thus ensuring a hefty long-term “boost” to their pensions. Recent reports of blatant pension padding sparked media criticism and public outrage."
Senate Week in Review: August 3 – 7
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 14 Aug 09
I predict that somewhere in America today, a teabagger/birther/town-heller/flat-earther will appear at a town hall wearing a "Kill Obama ... Kill Michelle and her two dumb kids" TShirt. He/she will be applauded. A moderate Republican will show the courage to admit that there are some patient protection provisions in the various bills that should be made law... he/she will be booed.
The Attack on ObamaCare: Gay  - The New Republic
Reader JP just alerted me to an email blast from a group called "The Pray In Jesus Name Project." It suggests that ObamaCare will not only pull the plug on grandma, but also result in a gay and transgendered takeover of the entire health care system. Among the bogus claims in the group's petition:  .."
Send a letter to Walmart executives denouncing their financial support of hate speech
"Barack Obama "has exposed himself as a guy... who has a deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture." "This guy, I believe, is a racist."  This is the kind of drivel Glenn Beck has been spewing lately. We know. We know. Not much that comes out of the Fox News host's mouth surprises you anymore, but guess what: Glenn Beck's hate speech is being sponsored by, you got it, Walmart."
Real Story Behind Ejection At McCaskill Town Hall - Racist Destroyed Woman's Picture Of Rosa Parks - Crooks and Liars
" The news only showed the woman being escorted away by the police. What happened was the women walked in with signs, the crowd booed and yelled at the women. The women rolled up their posters and put them down... The poster was not of Obama, it was not pro health care, the poster that was taken from the woman and wrinkled up into a ball was of Rosa Parks.

13 Aug

Tough questions, no shouting likely at Foster meeting
"On the heels of town hall meetings that have become shouting matches across the country, this meeting is not expected to include the same verbal fireworks.  "It will be to ask questions, not to protest," said Cody McCubbin, of Geneva, Kane Young Republicans chairman. "We will have serious questions, and his staff should be informed enough to answer them. And if they can't, they can get back to us.""
Vigorous debate on health care for Biggert, Kirk
"Biggert and Kirk argue a government-run insurance plan for the middle class and poor - as opposed to options already available to the disabled and seniors - would be so cheap it will run private companies out of business. Additionally, they pointed to a proposal to force private insurers to abide by government standards, making it harder for them to turn a profit. "Everyone will be required to go into this plan," Biggert insisted."
Carol Stream, Wayne Twp. come up dry on water compromise
"Responding to complaints from dozens of Benjamin parents, Wayne Township Highway Commissioner Ken Spitz this week said he's willing to work with Carol Stream to provide water service to the middle school in an unincorporated area near West Chicago.  But the proposed intergovernmental agreement Spitz wants the village to sign would delay water main installation along Fair Oaks Road until both government entities resolve their disagreements about the $2.8 million project."
I predict that somewhere in America today, a temp worker for an astro-turf organization like Americans for Progress will ask himself, "Why does this organization that is working so hard to protect private health insurance, not have a policy that covers me?"
Blessed Insurance - Christianity Today
"The term "adverse selection" refers to potential program beneficiaries — often young, healthy pastors — who choose to find less expensive health insurance on their own. When they opt out of a denomination's plan, the denomination is left with a pool of pastors who are older or ill. This causes rates to rise, which in turn prompts more pastors to seek cheaper rates elsewhere.
Faith-based Mutual Insurers Worry about Health Care Reform - Christianity Today
" Generally speaking, members of health-sharing groups—all of whom are professing Christians—pay a monthly fee that can range from $285 to $450 a month for a two-parent family. That fee is either sent to the ministry, which in turn passes it on to other members with certain medical bills, or sent directly to members in need.  It's an unorthodox way to pay medical expenses—and insurance regulators remain leery—but members say it's simply the latest incarnation of a 2,000-year tradition of believers carrying the burdens of other believers."
Focus on the Family selling its money-losing gay workshops
"The Love Won Out conferences on "leaving homosexuality" will be handed over in November to a longtime ministry partner, Orlando, Fla.-based Exodus International.  "The economic challenges led us to this strategic decision," Focus vice president Gary Schneeberger said Wednesday. "Love Won Out is not an inexpensive event to stage, and rarely, in over 50 cities where it's been held, have we ever made back our investment, despite good attendance." "
Kaiser Permanente Slashes Jobs In Response to a Loss of 36,000 Subscribers - Workers Independent News
"Kaiser Permanente will be slashing 1,850 jobs in California. Income for day-to-day operations shrank by 18 percent during the second quarter and 36,000 subscribers have left the company over the first half of the year. The major reason for the health care giants subscriber shrinkage is being attributed to laid off employees losing employer-provided health care."
SPLC Report: Militia Movement Resurgent, Infused with Racism - Southern Poverty Law Center
"A key difference between today and the 1990s is that the federal government is now headed by a black man. That fact, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration, has helped infuse the militia movement with a strong element of racial animus, which was not the primary motivation in the past.  Another factor in the rise is the proliferation of cable TV hosts who are willing to use their platforms to spread and legitimize antigovernment propaganda, such as the conspiracy theory about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps and the unsubstantiated claim that Obama's presidency is illegitimate because he was born in Kenya."

12 Aug

Around and About in West Chicago - 12 Aug 2009
  • Second Annual Kid’s Photo Contest
  • Dennis Keefe as the new Deputy Chief and Wade Johnson as the new Lieutenant
  • West Chicago National Night Out
  • Catholic Daughters of America National Education Contest
Welcome Back to School! - Elementary District 33
"Students new to District 33 may register at their neighborhood school Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. beginning Monday, August 10, 2009. Parents should register their children as soon as possible so the District may accurately determine class sizes and staff needs."
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Aug 10- Aug 16
"Fri 6:00 PM City Council (8/3/09)
       7:00 PM Jazz Night
       8:00 PM Showers of Fashion
       9:00 PM Singing In The Rain"
West Chicago Police Arrest Two Suspects in Armed Robbery Case
"On Monday, August 10, 2009 at approximately 1:05 p.m., members of the West Chicago Police Department were dispatched to the 100 block of Turner Court for a call of an armed robbery that had just occurred."
Freight forum stokes EJ&E concerns
"The mayors said there was a disconnect between the government approving the merger but holding back money to pay for improvements. "There needs to be more planning," Darch said. "If you approve a deal making freights flow faster, there's got to be planning for the impact on communities.""
Dist. 25 community baffled by water debate
"It was inconvenient, but she preferred it to drinking the "awful" tasting well water at the school in an unincorporated area near West Chicago.  Now with that same well water damaging the school's plumbing and a lack of area fire hydrants causing safety concerns, Panicali and other Benjamin parents are baffled about why a plan to supply the neighborhood with Lake Michigan water hasn't materialized."
Rapper Funky49 rocks out about Fermilab
"On Tuesday evening Rush, known by the moniker "Funky49" to the science rap community, came to Fermilab for a communication seminar on using rap as a teaching tool, he also performed the 'Fermirap' song. Rush will spend the next two days filming a music video for the song at Fermilab that will eventually be released on YouTube."

"Rock stars of physics, particle business Smash matter, antimatter and witness Quarks, bottom to top they don't stop "Where the Higgs at?" yo that's their mark Where the Higgs at? x3 go go go!"  [This is just wrong on so many levels. - Bob]

New laws will allow more to qualify for energy assistance
"The first measure expands the eligibility of the two programs from 150 to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which will in turn allow the state to receive funding from the federal stimulus package, according to a statement from Quinn’s office. The 2009 poverty rate is $22,050 for a family of four, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services... State Representatives Linda Chapa La Via, D-Aurora, Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago and House Republican Leader Tom Cross, R-Plainfield, also all voted yes."
National Night Out Festivities Partner Police with Community at 20th Annual West Chicago Event - Photo Collection
"The West Chicago Fire District platform truck provided an aerial view of West Chicago’s National Night Out at its new location in Reed-Keppler Park, 129 W. National Street."
Board rejects policy on religion in school - Rutland Herald, Vt
"Despite rejecting the proposal, School Board Chairman Eric Hults said the school would need some sort of policy in place, and could suffer for lack of one.  "We've crossed the bridge," he said, prior to the vote. "We can no longer plead ignorance on something going on in school that should not be going on in school."  The controversy started in December after the Benson Village School's principal removed holiday-themed artwork created by students from the walls. Amid questions over what, exactly, was allowed and prohibited, the board created a task force to draft a policy."
Mercury Marine, union discuss ways to keep plant open  - Journal Sentinel
"The union and company met for about seven hours and resolved some agenda items, according to the company, which said that more talks were scheduled for Wednesday and possibly Thursday and Friday.  Mercury is considering moving its Fond du Lac operations, employing about 2,000 people, to Stillwater unless the company finds ways to reduce its costs here."


Bachmann's Son Joins Government Re-Education Camp - TPM
"And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums."
Who cares if Professor Stephen Hawking lives or dies. Actually, we all do - Guardian
"We say his life is far from worthless, as they do at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, where Professor Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, was treated for chest problems in April. As indeed does he. "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he told us. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived." Something here is worthless. And it's not him."
Ernestine for - You Tube
"California OneCare found Ernestine! She's a perfect symbol of what's wrong with our health care system. Find out how we can fix it at "



11 Aug

DuPage County Board may outlaw video gambling
"Just weeks after proposing a ban on gambling machines at nearly three dozen eligible bars, restaurants, golf courses and social clubs in unincorporated parts of the county, the board is planning to make its opposition official.  There are some, however, who believe it is moving too fast... West Chicago is planning September public hearings to decide the fate of devices there."
National GOP targeting suburban Democrats
"The challenge to Foster seems well under way with Ethan Hastert, the son of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, making a run to retake his father's district. Ethan Hastert is able to draw from his father's connections as well as his own Washington, D.C., contacts and his last name is well known in the Far West suburban district."
DuPage board considers video poker ban
""The reason an ordinance like this was drafted in the first place was because it was seen as the right thing for the county to have," Gerwig said. "At this point, it's fair to say the board is poised to ban video gaming in unincorporated DuPage County.""
I predict that somewhere in America this evening a Town Hall Meeting Disruptor will claim that a disturbance is the Democratic Congress Critter's fault because it is his/her policies that made the protestors so angry.  Similarly, a man arrested by the police for beating his wife will claim it was her fault because she didn't cook what he wanted for dinner.
ACLU Says It's Not Kosher to Define Kosher - The National Law Journal
"The 1980 law mandates that any food sold as kosher in the state of Georgia must meet the "Orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements." ... But not all Jewish people in Georgia are Orthodox and not all Jewish sects have the same kosher standards, the ACLU argues, so what's kosher to one group may not be to another. The state infringes on religious liberty, says the ACLU, when it decides which rabbis are legitimate enough to decide kosher standards."
New Hampshire Gives Workers Extra Protection from Mass Layoffs and Plant Closures - Workers Independent News
"Plant workers in New Hampshire now have extra protections if a company plans to enact mass layoffs or shutter a plant. Under the New Hampshire Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, large companies must offer 60 day notice before taking such action. New Hampshire is the 17th state to enact such a law."
Averting the Worst  - Paul Krugman, New York Times
"Once you take into account the need to find employment for a growing working-age population, we’re probably around nine million jobs short of where we should be... We haven’t yet reached the point at which things are actually improving; for now, all we have to celebrate are indications that things are getting worse more slowly.  For all that, however, the latest flurry of economic reports suggests that the economy has backed up several paces from the edge of the abyss."
Fight back against health insurance lies - Brave New Films
"What does UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley have to lose if Congress passes real healthcare reform this year? Well, for starters, his nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in unexercised stock options might lose a few pennies on the dollar.  What does Isabella, a four year-old girl in Winsconsin who is physically incapable of eating and has had to be tube fed her entire life, have to gain from healthcare reform? The treatment she needs to live a normal life."
2009 Paavo Nurmi

I'm posting this just because it is a little fun they have up in the north woods. - Bob


10 Aug

I predict that somewhere in America this evening a gun-toting white supremacist who thinks all non-whites are mud people and should be sent back where they came from, will attend a Democratic town hall meeting. Standing next to him will be a partisan Republican, a kindly and caring church elder who gives extra for the church's mission in Africa. From a distance or in the crude video which will be given to the Party for later use in campaign hit pieces, it will be very difficult to tell them apart. - Bob
Candidate in 55th - FaceBook
"Randy Ramey will seek re-election for the 55th District where he has served the community for the past four years. He will continue to fight for lower taxes and a balanced budget. He believes he has a proven record of fighting for his constituents. Representative Ramey is running for his fourth term. Call 630-271-3741 if you would like to help."
Crash shuts down Route 59 in West Chicago
"The head-on collision shut down Route 59 at James Street for more than an hour, police officials said.  West Chicago Fire Department Lt. Lee Westrom said the driver of the car had to be extricated from his vehicle, although he said the injuries didn't appear serious."
Don't let this redistricting idea die without a debate
"Fortner's constitutional amendment would give people the tools and information to map the districts that determine who is elected to the state legislature and Congress. The maps would be judged using objective criteria. The legislature, with a three-fifths vote, would have to pick one of the three top scorers."
Chicago's west suburbs in a wait-and-see game on video gambling
  • "The recent legalization of video gambling in Illinois has some communities pondering whether they should welcome gaming machines or prohibit them before the virtual cards are even dealt.  "My intuition is that our residents will not want video poker," said Mayor Michael Kwasman of West Chicago, where city officials are considering a referendum measure on whether it should be allowed, "but this is an open government, and citizen input drives our administration.""
  • "West Chicago's Public Affairs Committee is set to discuss the video poker issue at its Aug. 24 meeting before making a recommendation to the City Council on pursuing a referendum initiative.  "I'll certainly be open to hear what folks have to say about it," said the committee's chairman, Ald. Lori Chassee. "We'll look at the pros and cons and listen to what people think about video poker and convenience gambling.""
Kruse House Museum and Gardens Showcase Downtown Treasure
"Visitors to the Kruse House Museum, 527 Main Street, are delighted by the gardens which have been restored and maintained by the West Chicago Garden Club."
Sheriff Gives a Link to Seniors During an Emergency
"In 2001, DuPage County Sheriff John E. Zaruba launched a program called Cell Link to give senior citizens immediate access to help in an emergency.
The Cell Link program provides donated cell phones to senior citizens who may otherwise not have the need or funds to purchase one. These cell phones are programmed to dial 911, but cannot make or receive any other outside calls."
Sign up now to visit Rep. Bill Foster's office in Batavia this week. - President Obama
"As you've probably seen in the news, special interest attack groups are stirring up partisan mobs with lies about health reform, and it's getting ugly. Across the country, members of Congress who support reform are being shouted down, physically assaulted, hung in effigy, and receiving death threats. We can't let extremists hijack this debate, or confuse Congress about where the people stand."
Has APA given nod to gay change therapy? -  Baptist Press
"For those who say homosexuality is an unchangeable characteristic, the report said, "[T]he results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts]." It also affirmed APA's position that homosexual attractions are "normal and positive variants" of human sexuality.  For those who believe homosexuality can be changed, the report concluded, "The appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek [sexual orientation change efforts] involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients ... without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.""
Is there trouble in the House of Mouse? - Workers Independent News
"There could be trouble in the House of Mouse. A dispute over health care has led to employees at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California to reject a most recent contract offer. The more than two thousand workers at the three hotels have been working without a contract for 18 months."
Socialized medicine, evil, and death to old people - San Francisco Chronicle
"So if you truly do not support the notion of socialized medicine, please call call your senator and congressperson and ask them to rescind and take away all Medicare, VA Hospital System, SCHIP and Medicaid. If you've ever benefited from these programs, return the money. We do have a big deficit. It would be the fair thing to do, right?"

07 Aug

I predict that somewhere in America today, a doctor will spend more time arguing with a health insurance company bureaucrat for pre-approval of a medically necessary procedure than he spent with the patient diagnosing the condition.  The bureaucrat will then call his congress critter to say that he doesn't want the government between HIM and HIS DOCTOR. - Bob
  • The Path to On the Job : Murder, reflection, and where TV cop shows fail
    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Investing Today & Retirement Planning: Making Money or Making Mistakes?
    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Your Fall Garden Calendar
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
“Safe Route to School” Grants
“As our kids go back to school this month, this program is one additional safeguard our towns can put into place to ensure the safety of our kids going to and from school. In addition to safety, the construction of these sidewalks and bike paths will hopefully motivate our children to be more active,”
Birkett says he can't beat Madigan, bows out of attorney general race
"Up until Thursday, Birkett stood by his decision to run despite facing a rematch against Madigan, daughter of powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan and a powerful Democratic politician in her own right. But, Birkett said, further examination proved to him he couldn't beat her.  "I've taken a reality check," he said. "I've assessed all the relevant factors."  Topping the list was money."
Suit filed in fatal St. Charles crash
"The suit claims Lorusso, 18, of West Chicago, was driving 40 mph over the speed limit in the residential area when the crash occurred. Prosecutors have said Lorusso's blood-alcohol content level was .227 in a hospital blood draw, which also turned up marijuana. He is free on $500,000 bail with a hearing scheduled for later this month. Lorusso has not entered a plea in the case."
Birkett won't run for AG
"Birkett announced last month that he would seek the Republican nomination for attorney general. But that was before Madigan, a Democrat, made her surprise decision to run for re-election instead of aiming for the governorship or the U.S. Senate.  Her decision meant that if Birkett were the Republican nominee, he would face a popular politician with powerful fundraising abilities and political connections. He also would be facing the woman who beat him for the job in 2002."
Family Calendar
  1. "Kline Creek Farm: Watch the blacksmith repair equipment and demonstrate the tools and techniques of the trade at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 8. See how 1890s farmers used steam power. Watch a threshing machine in action, and learn how to separate seed heads from chaff and straw. Then, stop in the summer kitchen, and see what went into feeding the crew at 10 a.m. Aug. 8 and 9. At Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Call 630-876-5900."
  2. "West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve: Observe birds, butterflies and wildflowers in bloom at 8 a.m. Aug. 8. At Industrial Drive one-half mile south of Hawthorne Lane. Call 630-961-2041."
Illinois’ bond rating reaches new low
"The recent downgrading is a sign that the financial community is concerned about the state’s financial condition. Years of borrowing without reducing spending have significantly contributed to the state’s financial woes. In fact, Fitch noted that Illinois “did not take actions to build its reserves or restructure its finances as its economy and the national economy grew over the last five years leading to this recession.”"

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 6 Aug 09





The Religious Right Gets In On the Town Hall Fun - Right Wing Watch
"Focus on the Family Action has been sending e-mail alerts to subscribers that encourage them to attend town-hall meetings and demand that abortion funding be explicitly excluded from any reform bill, according to Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for the Colorado Springs-based group."
AFL-CIO Waging Intensive Grassroots Health Care Reform Campaign
"The AFL-CIO says it’s organizing a 30-day intensive grassroots campaign calling on Congress to side with working families and not with insurance companies on health care reform. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says the choice before Congress is clear – side with health insurers and vote for legislation that continues their control over health care or vote for reform that puts people in charge of their health care."

CNN Won't Run This Ad...
"... And CNN wonders why they're having a hard time holding off the surging MSNBC?  First, they allow Lou Dobbs to froth at the mouth... now they're refusing to run an ad critical of the health insurance industry... What the hell?  MSNBC will be running the ad, and you can see it here anytime... "

Three advertisers drop Glenn Beck - Democratic Underground
"LexisNexis has pulled its advertising from Beck and says it has no plans to advertise on the program in the future. Both Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance called the Beck advertising placements an error that they would correct."

06 Aug

Happy Hiroshima Day!
I predict that somewhere in America this evening a prisoner served a well balanced, nutriciaous supper will fall asleep assured that if he is injured the next day playing basketball, he will receive appropriate medical care at the taxpayers' expense.  Also this evening, a single mom having served her children breakfast cereal for supper will lie awake worrying about paying for drugs she needs to take to stay healthy enough to go to work the next day. - Bob

August E-Newsletter

  • The $26 billion spending plan

  • Civil Air Patrol Open House

  • Local Health and Wellness Expo

DuPage committee rejects plan to convert house to social club
"But neighbors also complain that the property owners, who would still live in the top floor of the house, are trying to get the property off the tax rolls by seeking the conversion either as a religious institution or a charitable organization.  Hoss said the zoning board cannot consider property tax impact and that was not a consideration in the board's denial."
Stimulus check will keep Fermilab open for next 20 years
"Fermilab Director Piermaria Oddone publicly thanked Congressman Bill Foster, a former Fermilab employee, for helping secure the money on Wednesday. The cash infusion means job security for the nearly 2,000 employees of the lab and new, short-term, jobs for the local construction industry."
EJ&E foes prep for next battle
"As if to set the stage for that battle, on Thursday TRAC again called for the federal government to re-examine Canadian National's safety plan for the suburban line. They also requested that Canadian National be forbidden from shifting new train traffic onto that line until the safety plan has been reviewed and updated."
Welcome home, money
" Local contractors, machinists and air-conditioner technicians are among those who will see some of the millions of dollars in federal stimulus money headed for Fermilab.  During a press conference at the high-energy particle physics lab on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Geneva, said Fermilab will see the first $45 million of its federal stimulus money in about two weeks and can be expected to start spending the money shortly thereafter."
Health Care Round-Up: Schock Misleads, Bean And Foster Still Undecided - Progress Illinois
"The Center for American Progress' Ruy Teixiera points to Pew Research Center data proving Americans are still broadly supportive of the president's goals: 79 percent support "requiring insurance companies to sell health coverage to people, even if they have pre-existing medical condition;" 65 percent support "requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it;" 63 percent support "raising taxes on families with incomes of more than $350,000 and individuals earning more than $280,000;" and 52 percent support "a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans.""
Programs to change gays to straights don't work, report says - CNN Health
"At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."
Labor Joins Illinois Government, Employers In Helmets To Hardhats Agreement With Army Reserve And National Guard - Workers Independent News
"The state of Illinois, City of Chicago, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Teamsters, and dozens of Chicago and state employers signed an historic Helmets To Hardhats agreement with the Army Reserve and National Guard Wednesday at Teamster City in Chicago. The program helps military veterans get into solid construction trade careers. John Coli is President of Teamsters Joint Council 25."
We're All Kenyans Now - TPM
"Like you, I've always wanted my own Kenyan birth certificate. And now there's where you can have one made up for yourself in just a few minutes.  Here's one TPMer Eric Kleefeld just used it to whip up."
Strange Bedfellows - Seatle Post Intelligencer
"The poll, by Angus Reid Strategies, found that 65 percent of Canadians have a "very positive" or "moderately positive" impression of single-payer health care in their country. A whopping 79 percent of Canadians have a negative opinion of health care in "the States."  By contrast, only 43 percent of Americans give thumbs-up to this country's health care system. "

05 Aug

I predict that somewhere in America this evening a church group will have a spaghetti dinner to raise money for some little kid that needs a kidney transplant.  They will fall short ... the kid will die.  Also this evening numerous health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists will attend $200 per plate fund raisers for politicians who will promise to vote against provisions that would have funded that operation. - Bob
Around and About in West Chicago - 05 Aug 2009
  • Consulate Mobil de Mexico
  • Senior Circle of Wellness Fair
  • Wildcat 9U to 14U Travel Baseball tryouts
  • West Chicago food pantry Feeding Northwest DuPage
  • Alderman Al Murphy won the third place trophy in the Cow Milking Contest
Victim Impact Bill Becomes Law
"A victim impact statement is part of a criminal sentencing hearing where the court is determining punishment for the crime. The impact statement will be used by the court along with other appropriate factors in determining if the person is in need of mental health services on an impatient or outpatient basis or not at all."
Shillerstrom Denies Daily Herald Report - Facebook
" I strongly support investment in roads, bridges and schools. But I find it unacceptable to put Video Poker in restaurants and other community locations to pay for it."
[Shillerstrom posted this at Facebook in response to DuPage's Schillerstrom urges towns to pass on video gambling. - Bob]
Fermilab getting $60 million more in stimulus funds
"Construction of the superconducting radio frequency collider is expected to start this fall, and should employ about 125 people in full-time on-site construction jobs, Jackson said. Concrete and steel for the projects will be made in the United States, she said.  "These are projects we would not have been able to do without Recovery Act funding," Jackson said."
Fermilab getting $60 million more in stimulus funds
"Fermilab has already received $43 million in stimulus funds.  More than $57 million will be used on developing new technology for a particle collider to replace Fermi's Tevatron."
Millions announced in Illinois research funding, including Fermi
"U.S. Sen. Roland Burris on Tuesday announced the federal stimulus money from the Department of Energy. Burris says the funding will go for important scientific research projects and will create "essential and much needed jobs.""
County supports World Breastfeeding Week
"The Kane County Health Department supports World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, as a way to increase awareness of the benefits breast-feeding.  The Kane County Breastfeeding Coalition is a group comprised of lactation consultants, nutritionists, nurses and educators who are working on a unified, countywide message that "Breast milk is more than just food.""
[Hey!  Sharon is a lactation consultant at Delnor... I had to post this one. - Bob]
Fermilab hits stimulus jackpot
"Fermilab will receive another $60.2 million in federal funds, the second round of money the lab is getting from the federal stimulus package.  U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Geneva, will announce the release of the money at noon today at the high energy physics laboratory where he once worked."
Bangladesh Police Torture Pastor and Two Others - Compass Direct News
"At the urging of local Muslim leaders, police in western Bangladesh have tortured a pastor and two other Christians for legally proclaiming Christ.  Habibur Rahman, 45, pastor of Boalia Spiritual Church (Boalia Ruhani Jamat) in Boalia in Cuadanga district, 220 kilometers (136 miles) west of Dhaka, said he was about to meet with 11 others for a monthly meeting on evangelism at 8 p.m. on June 8 when local police stormed in and seized him and Zahid Hassan, 25, and a 40-year-old Christian identified only as Fazlur."
Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin Helps Advance Reform, Will Bring Up Single Payer Health Amendment - Workers Independent News
"Wisconsin’s Second District Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was credited on Friday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman for helping bridge a divide and moving health care reform legislation forward. Baldwin’s amendment allows progressive Democrats to keep subsidies for middle-income Americans while creating new cost saving provisions for conservative Democrats."
Congress' own healthcare benefits: Membership has its privileges - Los Angeles Times
"Lawmakers can choose among several plans and get special treatment at federal medical facilities. In 2008, taxpayers spent about $15 billion to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents."
[Whoooaaaaa!!! You mean the government employees who run Medicare and Medicaid have private insurance.  Isn't that kinda like GM executives driving Hondas?  What's next ... the generals not covered by the VA? - Bob]

04 Aug

Kirk presents rival plan for health care reform
"Yet U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Batavia Democrat, was more supportive. "After listening to the concerns of families and meeting with businesses, Congressman Foster is convinced we have to improve the way health insurance is provided," said a statement from his office. "We need to make changes to cut costs and cover those with pre-existing conditions.""
'Outrageously successful'
""I think it's the first program I've seen the government come out with that is stimulating sales."  The rebate program last week boosted new car sales by 50 percent at his dealership, Cahan said. He declined to release the specific number of cars sold.  Sales Manager Sam Youngs at McGrath Honda Of St. Charles said they made more than 30 new-car deals in one week because of the program."
[Too bad The "Just Say No" Party removed the buy American provision in the original draft of this law. - Bob]
What They Think
INX Announce Management Promotions
"In accepting his new role at INX International, Kataura has more than 20 years experience working at SAKATA INX’ Research and Development group to rely on... Mr. Kataura will work at the Research and Development facility of INX International in West Chicago, Illinois."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... to fly the flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff on behalf of: Sgt. Gerrick D. Smith, United States Army - Hometown: Sullivan, Illinois"
Perry: Laws, religion do mix - San Antonio Express-News
"Perry told the church that this is a time “of great spiritual battle as we engage in a struggle for the future of our state, for the future of our country. People of faith need to be actively engaged in the debate that is raging in the public arena.”  Vaughn, appointed by Perry to promote volunteerism on the board of the OneStar Foundation, said he appreciated the governor's comments about people of faith getting involved in public discourse."
"Astroturf" Groups Disrupt National Dialog on Health Care Reform
"In Texas this weekend a town hall with Rep. Lloyd Doggett devolved into chanting of “Just Say No” prohibiting concerned constituents from asking follow-up questions about the potential health reform legislation. According to a recent article published by Reuters of the 46 million Americans currently living without health insurance 6 million of them are in Doggett’s state. That gives Texas an uninsured rate of 25 percent – the highest in the country."
The Most Important Number in Politics Today - Washington Post
"There are currently 29 states in which Democrats enjoy a 10-percentage point (or more) edge on party identification. Compare that to just four states where the Republican edge is ten points or higher (Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Alaska) and one (Alabama) that leans toward the GOP.  Add up the 29 states that are in the solidly Democratic category, according to Gallup, and you get 350 electoral votes; add up the four states in the solidly Republican category and you get 15 electoral votes."
Cops Tase Pregnant Mother & Grandpa At Kids Baptism Party In Virginia! - You Tube
"Prince William County Police responded to a noise complaint at a child's baptism party. By the time they left, a grandfather and a pregnant woman had been Tasered. On Tuesday night, a Manassas family said cops went too far. The 55-year-old homeowner is a church family counselor and a bible study teacher. He says he was hosting a party for his new godchild. However, he and the pregnant mother of the baptized boys face serious charges. Relatives are charging police used excessive force just to quiet down the backyard party."

03 Aug

Representative Randy Ramey announces that he will seek re-election
"Representative Ramey will seek re-election for the seat where he has served the community for the past four years. He will continue to fight for lower taxes and a balanced budget. He believes he has a proven record of fighting for his constituents. Representative Ramey is running for his fourth term."
Senior Circle of Wellness Fair
"West Chicago Park District hosts Senior Circle of Wellness Fair from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 7, 2009 at Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street, Entrance H. The free event offers senior citizens and/or their family members information on a broad range of senior-specific topics such as financial planning, nutrition, community living facilities, travel, insurance, dental and medical care."
Social Services Unit Moves to New Location
"As of August 3, the Police Department's Social Service Unit has moved to new location, 461 Main Street.  The Social Services Unit falls under the umbrella of the Police Department, and its mission is to facilitate the effective delivery of bi-lingual services and resources to the residents of West Chicago. "
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Aug 3- Aug 9
"Were celebrating National Night Out this week by showing past NNO events all this week." - John Kruser
Hope springs eternal for legislation spurred by EJ&E fight
"Towns that would get fewer trains were pitted against municipalities slated to gain freights causing a bitter split that also divided the region's congressional delegation.  The Taking Responsible Action for Community Safety Act would require the STB to consider the safety and environmental impact of rail mergers on local communities."
National Night Out events getting 'bigger and better' - West Chicago:
"6 to 8:30 p.m. at Reed-Keppler Park, 129 W. National St. Includes DuPage County Sheriff's Office representatives, displays, vehicles, demonstrations, and meet-and-greet with Dora the Explorer, Elmo and McGruff the Crime Prevention Dog. The West Chicago Lions Club will serve hot dogs and local businesses will pass out free samples. Info: (630) 293-2222."
Foster Announces GI Bill Benefits Now in Full Effect
"Eligible students could receive payment of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies, college fund (“kicker”) payments, a rural benefit payment, and a Yellow Ribbon benefit. These benefits will be available to an estimated 2.1 million members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists, members of the National Guard, and all of the children of service members who have died during active duty since September 11, 2001."
Foster Votes to Extend Successful Cash for Clunkers Initiative
“The positive consequences of this bill are threefold; it stimulates the economy by putting money directly into the pockets of middle-class families, it provides a boost to the struggling auto industry, and by taking old, energy inefficient cars off the road, it improves our environment and reduces our dependence on imported oil.”
Medicare Fraud Proves Fed-run Health Care Won't Work
"Even given the systemic problems, many are making the case for modeling a new government-run option on our Medicare system, at our own peril."
[The three national/socialist healthcare plans, Military, Vets, Medicare, have the highest patient satisfaction numbers.  By his arguments here, he would end them.  This guy hasn't approved of a change in health care since Terry Schiavo... how's that working out? - Bob]
House backs executive pay limit - Philadelphia Inquirer
""This bill," said Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R., Ill.), "is an invitation for political meddling at its worst in the private confines of companies that are trying to work hard to create jobs.""
[No health care for working stiffs... but he's fighting to protect the bonuses of the guys on Wall Street against "Say on Pay".  - Bob]
"We saw Cuba's universal health care system in action. We visited the Latin American School of Medicine, where full scholarships are given to young people from 29 nations; and we were present at the school's graduation ceremony — which included 17 students from low-income communities in the US.  We saw the beauty and dignity, the creativity and the giving spirit of the Cuban people. And we saw the cruel effects and the enormous costs of the US economic sanctions."
Two Wal-Mart Opposition Groups Merge - Workers Independent News
"Two Wal-Mart opposition groups are joining forces. The Service Employee International union backed Wal-Mart Watch and the United Food and Commercial Workers backed WakeUpWalMart will merge. They plan to continue operations under the Wake Up Wal-Mart moniker."
Jonathan Alter: What’s Not to Like? - NewsWeek
"I'm with that woman who wrote the president complaining about "socialized medicine" and added: "Now keep your hands off my Medicare." That's the spirit!  Why should I be entitled to the same insurance that members of Congress get? Blue Dogs need a lot of medical attention to treat their blueness. I'm just a regular guy and definitely deserve less."
Obama isn't just Kenyan, he's also the Antichrist? - Salon
"And while it may be easy to mock the video -- for its spooky music, its insane conclusions and, oh, yes, also the fact that it misspells "heights" as "heigths" -- there's no doubt some people on the right's lunatic fringe will take it as, well, gospel. After all, it's been more than a year since Obama's campaign posted a copy of his Hawaii birth certificate. By this time next year, will Lou Dobbs be asking why Obama hasn't put the Antichrist rumors behind him yet?"
'Birther' Movement Reeks With the Rotten Stench of Racism - the Skeeter Bites Report
"The lower-left-hand corner of the alleged documents [Kenyan birth certificate] refers to the "Republic of Kenya." But Kenya did not gain its independence from Britain until 1963 -- when the young Barack was two years old.  Most importantly, Dunham never set foot on Kenyan soil -- In fact, the president's mother did not leave the United States until 1967, when she moved to Indonesia to live with her second husband,..."

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