Source Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
29 Jan  
Untold Stories: Ethics Matter - St. Mary's Matters
"Closing a Catholic school, after all, is not merely an economic event, but also a personal, emotional, and spiritual one... The School Board members who discovered the fate of their school via the press release wonder why the Diocese of Joliet and St. Mary’s Parish do not share their ethical framework."
Al Murphy Responds to CAMBr - FaceBook
"I like the idea of building a track/trail for mountain biking.  A few thoughts would be to look at perhaps the landfill preserves....Blackwell, Mallard lake, And Green valley.  Each of the preserves have the possibilities of also tying into regional trail user's access. It's a great idea, one on which can be built upon and molded into a great asset for the entire district.  I would like to hear more!!!!"

West Chicago
High School
"Based on guidelines that were set last year, each Division is asked to nominate two students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Learning, Living, or Leadership. The recipients of the PAWS awards this month are a testament to the importance of hard work, perseverance, and community."
District 94 won't cut teachers
"A check for $170,000 in impact fees from Winfield arrived just in the nick of time for West Chicago Community High School District 94.  The money saved three of the four teaching positions the school board was considering cutting this week due to a budget shortfall. The positions are in math/science, English and social studies."
Dist. 33 to host town hall meetings about budget woes
"School officials will use two town hall meetings to explain West Chicago Elementary District 33's $3 million budget shortfall and what it means to parents and the community.  The first two-hour session will be conducted in Spanish at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at West Chicago Middle School, 238 E. Hazel St. The second will be in English at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the same location. "
Diocese to close West Chicago school, consolidate others
"Among myriad moves, the plan, as outlined in a multi-page report from Bishop J. Peter Sartain, calls for the closing of St. Mary School in West Chicago at the end of the school year.  The diocese pledged to help families from that school enroll at other Catholic schools, especially St. John the Baptist in Winfield and St. Irene in Warrenville."
Video gaffe slips past DuPage Co. board chair candidate
"Newman - who is also editor of the Journal of Political Marketing - said candidates should constantly monitor and evaluate the success of the content on the Web site and not "compromise on the importance of good taste of what one puts on their Web site."  Grasso said the video was produced by friends of his high school-age son and posted on YouTube. Grasso said his webmaster heard about it and linked it to the campaign Web site about a week ago."
Joliet diocese to close or merge schools in Will, Dupage
"The Diocese of Joliet will close three elementary schools in Joliet, West Chicago and Momence at the end of this school year, according to a school report released to priests in the diocese this afternoon.  The closures were included as part of a recently concluded 1-½ year-old study of Catholic schools and strategic plan for education in the diocese,. The report -- released by Bishop J. Peter Sartain -- also recommends combining some schools in the south suburbs and in DuPage County."
UI program awarded six-year grant
"The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois has been awarded a six-year, $1.25 million grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The grant will fund 10 post-doctoral fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences during the next six years, with the first appointments to begin in the fall. The Illinois program will name two fellows each year, who will research a wide range of humanities topics and teach four courses each during their two-year terms."
If Quinn loses, state gets lame duck for a year
"Illinois has had lame duck governors in recent history, but Quinn would be different. He would be the only governor fired by voters since Democrat Dan Walker lost the 1976 primary.  Three other governors since then — Republicans Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar and George Ryan — became lame ducks by their own choosing when they didn’t run for re-election"
Eight candidates for governor seeking unenviable job
"Unemployment is soaring, and tax receipts are tanking. The state’s budget deficit is hovering in the $11 billion to $13 billion range, and nearly every day brings new stories of public institutions, social service providers and businesses that are stretched to the limit because the state isn’t paying money it owes to them.  To fix the problem, the governor who takes office in January 2011 will have to oversee what will surely be unpopular actions -- stiff spending cuts or tax and fee increases or a combination of both."
[This is a comprehensive look at all candidates from both parties... one of the best election sources that I have seen. - Bob]
Giannoulias leads Kirk in poll
"Democrats will start out with an advantage in the general election if Alexi Giannoulias is the party's nominee for Barack Obama's old Senate seat, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling.  Giannoulias leads Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk by eight percentage points, 42-34, while Kirk leads former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman 37-36 and Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson 38-36."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 29 Jan 10
Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret - NY Times
"A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution."
Doctor’s Killer Puts Abortion on the Stand - NY Times
"Mr. Roeder has pleaded not guilty to murder, but defense lawyers had argued that his beliefs about abortion might warrant a voluntary manslaughter conviction if jurors concluded that Mr. Roeder possessed, as Kansas law defines it, “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.”"
‘Buy America’ Puts People to Work - AFL-CIO
"A new report presents clear evidence that including Buy America provisions in last year’s stimulus package has created jobs and makes the case that the rules should be strengthened in jobs legislation being considered on Capitol Hill."
Hate Groups Go Green - Campus Progress
"The nonprofit Center for New Community (CNC), a Chicago-based group that monitors and reports on white nationalist threats, was the first to discover the anti-immigration activist’s attendance at the environmental conference. “Mainly they serve as a mobilizing arm,” says Jill Garvey, a researcher at the organization, when talking about NumbersUSA. “They’re very active online. Beck generally talks about population growth and negative effects of immigration on the environment. But most of the time immigrants are the victims of environmental problems and not the cause.”"

28 Jan

CHS Dist 94 Budget Cuts - FaceBook - Christy Killinger-Lauf
"In my opinion, the Theater program is small, but and importat [sp] part of the school. We need to let the school board know how we feel. This, along with the other budget cut recommendations, will be discussed at the next BOE meeting, January 26th. Please send an email to the above Board members expressing your feelings regarding these cuts."
New brochure/Mailer
"Government is the business of the people.  We need a commissioner who treats it as such.  Our commissioner should be a steward of the taxpayers’ money, not just a tax and spend politician."
Last Call for Artists
"The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission invites accomplished and emerging artists with a connection to West Chicago (either through residence, work or school); or currently living in the Chicagoland area, to submit digital files of original art for consideration in the Community Banner Project Competition."
West Chicago school class working on safer rail crossing
"Now, her [Kathy Grogan]  talented fifth- and sixth-graders are working on a new problem - the railroad tracks that run through a field near their school. Children often play there, and a 3-year-old girl was struck and killed two years ago. The goal of Project ETA (Eliminating Train Accidents) is to get fencing or warning signs in English and Spanish put up around the tracks.  "West Chicago was founded from having so many trains, and we thought it would be important to make it safe," said Nayeli Lara, 11."
  • Forest preserve candidates spar over land use
    • "Murphy calls for more access points, more trails and possibly even longer hours to accommodate early morning fishing and early evening joggers."
    • ""Virtually, every aspect of the forest preserve system is open to the public. (People) can walk anywhere there is dry land," Kotecki said."
  • DuPage forest board hopefuls pick favorite preserves
    • Al Murphy
      1. McDowell Grove: Site of the Murphy clan's family picnics. "I remember walking across the dam barefoot as a kid."
    • Roger Kotecki
      1. West Chicago Prairie: Because he has worked there as a prairie steward and for its "grandeur in the various seasons."
Dist. 6 hopefuls not worried about handling larger budget
"In West Chicago, Fuesting has sat on the finance committee and also was a business major in college. At one time, he owned his own business. The city's total budget was around $49 million last year.  He said his experience in business will serve him well, should he be elected."
Let's keep our wits during budget crisis
"School boards, administrators and teachers unions must be innovative in their approach to solve these money problems and develop a new framework for extracting the best educational experience for the dollar - just like the private sector. Cuts need to be focused, thoughtful and prioritized. That may mean paring back on administrative costs to preserve classrooms."
[Thanks to D94 School Board member, Gary Saake, for posting a heads up on this one on his FaceBook page. - Bob]
DuPage Co. board candidate forum isn't a big draw
"While the Wayne Township Republican Organization event was sparsely attended by GOP candidates and their supporters, the audience was even more sparse. Candidates and their respective entourages outnumbered the fewer than 40 people who attended the event.  The forum was intended to be a last opportunity for GOP chairman candidates to debate before Tuesday's primary, but only state Sen. Carole Pankau and Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso attended. State Sen. Dan Cronin and county board member Debra Olson did not appear at the forum."
NIU gets state cash to change use of Cole Hall
"Northern Illinois University will receive $10.3 million from the state of Illinois for construction projects, which includes refurbishing and changing the use of the building where a gunman opened fire on a geology class two years ago, killing five students, university officials said Wednesday."
West Chicago's Gallery 200 Welcomes Photographer Uwe Gsedl
"Although known as a graphic artist by most in his community, Thru My Eyes will break barriers and reveal another facet of Gsedl’s creative prowess to friends and neighbors. Those unfamiliar with the man will discover a fresh, new talent in the world of studio photography."
Idea pays off for UI, prof with deal with Samsung
"The UI hopes other electronics companies follow Samsung's lead and sign similar licenses. If so, the university could enjoy a substantial revenue stream.  "The potential is in the millions, from all the potential licensees," said Mark Kaczor, senior technology manager for the UI's Office of Technology Management."
Revised Blago indictment expected next week
"The new indictment is expected to be essentially a revision of the corruption charges the ousted former governor is facing, alleging the same misconduct.  It is being prepared in case the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a federal law Blagojevich is accused of violating — depriving Illinois taxpayers of their right to his honest services."
Governor candidates cash in before law takes effect
"At least $5 million worth of donations from individuals, businesses and unions and political committees to gubernatorial candidates since last July exceed limits enacted last fall to curb the influence of money on state politics. In some cases, the donations make up a large chunk of candidates’ money... McKenna has accepted at least $1.97 million in donations that would exceed next year’s limits.  Richard Duchossois and his son Craig, who run Duchossois Industries Inc., contributed at least $175,000 that could not be accepted next year. McKenna has taken in the most contributions from businesses in money that would not be allowed next year. Still, his campaign said he would like to curtail the spending even more."
$1B high-speed rail grant less than Illinois sought
"The federal government is giving Illinois more than $1 billion to start work on a high-speed passenger train route between Chicago and St. Louis.  It’s enough money to improve speeds, safety, sidings, stations, signals and crossings on existing track. It’s not as much as the state had sought, however, and not enough to ensure fast, reliable passenger service along the route."
Foster reacts to President Obama's State of the Union Address [HD] - FaceBook
"I was pleased to see the President address cutting the deficit and the need to pay down the debt in his first State of the Union Address."
[The audio on this video is very weak. - Bob]
Dixon soldier attends State of the Union address -
"CID Special Agent Chris Van Natta, who is home for two weeks from Afghanistan, was invited to the speech by Representative Bill Foster.  Foster says it's his way of thanking Van Natta for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Time For Agreement Between Action and Rhetoric
"Tonight, President Obama will call for a three-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending."
[I will not link to a response to the State of the Union so obviously written before the speech was given.  Listen-think-react... it's an idea whose time has come. - Bob]
Giannoulias Tops Kirk in Illinois
"A new Public Policy Polling survey in Illinois finds Alexi Giannoulias leading Mark Kirk in Illinois' Senate race, 42% to 34%.  Kirk bests the other two candidates, topping Cheryle Jackson, 38% to 36%, and edging David Hoffman, 37% to 36%."
Utahns split over teaching students about birth control - Salt Lake Tribune
""This is a very scary topic for a lot of people," Urquhart said. "People I talk with initially have a strong reaction one way or another but if we can talk about the particulars of the bill, they almost universally approve of it."  Now, state law allows, but doesn't require, educators to teach students about contraceptives, and it prohibits "advocacy or encouragement" of their use.
Sex Ed in Mississippi: Why 'Just Wait' Just Doesn’t Work - RH Reality Check
"Key indicators for health among Mississippi's adolescents present a bleak picture. Mississippi has the highest teen birth rate in the country. Young people in the state also rank above the national average for rates of risky sexual activity, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. The state's poor sexual health outcomes make it clear that young people lack access to the adequate sexual and reproductive health information and care they need to protect themselves and make safe and healthy decisions."
Walmart Sam’s Club Lowering Worker and Community Standards - Wakeup WalMart
"The mass layoffs raise serious questions such as whether or not older and more senior workers were targeted for lay off. Why hasn’t Walmart made a clearer path to employment with Shopper Events for these 11,000 associates – which they clearly have the power to do? And for workers hired by the outsourced company, what kind of jobs will Shoppers Events provide to the new applicants? Why is Walmart telling workers they must agree not to pursue age discrimination claims in order to qualify for severance pay?"
Endorsement of McCain alienates Palin supporters - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Sarah, your support of McCain shows bad judgment and brings into question the validity of your words. You can forget any political ambition if you support Amnesty – which John McCain does. Conservatives don’t forget.”

27 Jan

Around and About in West Chicago - 27 Jan 2010
  • West Chicago Police Deputy Chief Bruce Malkin Retires
  • West Chicago Elementary School District 33 is having a special board meeting
  • “Shipwreck Tales of the Great Lakes”
  • WeGo together for Kids Parent Literacy Project
New Local Website
Friends of St. Mary's Parish School. have posted a new website,  It looks great.  Thanks to Phil Weibler for the heads-up and link. - Bob

West Chicago
High School
Hoffman Estates posts employee salary information
"nternet users now can point their Web browsers to and then click to download PDF files containing information about village workers from all departments including firefighters, police officers, village managers and department heads.  Information on the village board, including Mayor William McLeod and the trustees' salaries, is also included.
[One local wag has already asked me, "Do you think WC will ever list this on their website?"   I will post the comment of any local Pol that thinks it is a good idea. - Bob]
Schillerstrom says no 'backroom deal' made for his support of Ryan
"Schillerstrom announced this morning he is dropping out because of trouble raising money. At a press conference in Chicago, he said Ryan was the best out of the other six gubernatorial candidates to lead the Republican ticket.  "I know he will bring the leadership we desperately need," Schillerstrom said.  The announcement comes two days after candidates had to report their fundraising totals for the past six months. Schillerstrom raised more than $660,000 since the summer, and he spent all but about $120,000 by Jan. 1."
Obama to reveal fate of Midwest high-speed rail corridor.
"A Midwest proposal involving Illinois and eight other states is considered a strong contender.  Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to announce grants for 13 major corridors during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Fla., Thursday."
New 'undervoting' law drawing local clerks' ire
""It's intrusive. It's an invasion of the people's right to a secret ballot," Vermilion County Clerk Lynn Foster said. "This is really a lousy piece of legislation. It doesn't correct anything because an undervote is not a mistake. It's a choice. And people have an absolute right to determine what they will and will not vote on.""
Pawnbrokers see upside to submitting inventory reports
"A city ordinance passed Monday, requiring local pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to submit inventory reports online, will make his job easier.  “It’s just doing one thing instead of faxing it to multiple places,” he said. “Why would I want to make my life harder?”  Police said they are hoping the online database will help them track any stolen or lost items sold at Rockford pawn and secondhand shops."
GOP governor candidates mock McKenna in his absence
"Andy McKenna’s decision not to take part in the debate brought mockery from the other Republicans. One accused him of going underground like a mole. Another said McKenna’s wealthy father had grounded him.  The candidates also accused McKenna of unethical behavior for using his former position as chairman of the Illinois Republican Party to include his name in a party-funded poll to gauge the prospects of various candidates. A party investigation found McKenna acted improperly, and he has apologized."
State Capitol Q&A: Illinois primary also a test of new eVoter Web site
"The Web site was created by Political Technologies LLC and has been running since last November.  “The idea is that not only can (voters) get information on the candidates, but it’s a way to help organizations and (candidates) get out their message in a cost-effective manner,” CEO Adam Kravitz said.  Kravitz said voters can use their home addresses to search for sample ballots. The site also provides more information on candidates with registered profiles."
[This is the same site that Rep Ramey mentioned in a  19 Jan post on FaceBook. - Bob]
State, AFSCME reach deal, avoid layoffs
"American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 also won an agreement that no additional state facilities will be closed before June 30, 2011.  AFSCME workers will get only 1 percent raises this July 1 and on Jan. 1, 2011, instead of the 2 percent their contract calls for in each case. However, the remainder of the raises will be due on June 1, 2011."
Campaign for
Political Reform
Visit ICPR's New Website to Follow the Money for Next Tuesday's Elections
"The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) today launched a new feature on its website ( to help the public track campaign finance reports for candidates for US Senator, Illinois Governor and Cook County Board President.  The section, updated daily, provides the most recent campaign finance records, listing top donors with profiles of most of the big sources of money."
"Since I took office, I’ve voted against the President’s budget every time because I did not think it did enough to lay out a plan to pay down the national debt.  It appears that the President will propose a three year freeze on increased spending for many domestic programs in his State of the Union Address tomorrow evening, and I think this is a step in the right direction. However, we must do more to get our long-term spending and deficit under control."
Kentucky Senate passes ultrasound abortion bill - The Courier-Journal
"A doctor who did not follow the bill’s provisions could be fined up to $100,000 for a first offense and up to $250,000 for subsequent offenses. Any offenses would be reported to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure... There was little discussion on the measure. But abortion rights proponents have argued in the past that such measures are paternalistic and assume wrongly that women obtaining abortions haven't fully thought about what they are doing.
Global Unions: Reform Banks Worldwide
"John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, warns that unless governments around the world, especially the European Union, act fast and in step with U.S. plans, bankers will move to take advantage of inadequate regulation in other jurisdictions."
Google Toolbar Still Spies When Told Not To -
"Edelman has plenty of other criticism for Google: He details tests which show that, even after the user disables "Google Toolbar" using the IE Manage Add-ons feature, it continues to report. The only possible explanation of this is that the monitoring components of Google Toolbar do not run as part of that Add-on."
Bought and paid for - University at Buffalo, The Spectrum
"The premise of Durbin’s bill, which actually works on local levels, is to set up a public financing system that rewards politicians for getting smaller donations from many more donors.  But for now, it doesn’t seem like the government will protect average citizens from the power of big money.  Thomas Jefferson said it best: “I hope we crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations.”  Besides, it’s not like the majority of Americans work for small businesses, but 100 years of precedents don’t mean much anymore.
26 Jan  
Troop 21 Ski Trip
"Scout Master Al Murphy of Troop 21 announced that Boy Scout troop  21 is going on a Wisconsin weekend ski adventure to Tyroll Ski Basin in Mt. Horeb Wisconsin this weekend."
[This is the same Al Murphy running for the Forest Preserve Board... you can see his later mailer HERE. - Bob]
Town Hall Meeting on Budget Concerns for 2010 - 2011 School Year
  • "Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:00 - 9:00 pm
  • West Chicago Middle School Library Learning Center 238 E. Hazel Street, W. Chicago
  • Use northwest parking lot and follow the signs."
Candidate Forum In West Chicago - FaceBook
Event: WTRO - Republican Candidate Forum
"Sponsored by Wayne Township Republican Organization
What: Informational Meeting
StartTime: Wednesday, January 27 at 7:00pm
EndTime: Wednesday, January 27 at 9:30pm
Where: St. Andrew's Golf Club, RT 59, just north of RT. 64 in West Chicago
Durbin needs to learn about Asian carp - Thomas Marks, Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council
"He upset me and I believe he is out of touch as to the severity of the problem. The Asian carp have breached the barrier. Durbin said, "We don't yet know which actions should be taken to ensure that these carp don't reach Lake Michigan... We are not in denial of the problem."  Senator Durbin, where have you been? You are not in denial, you are oblivious."
Mooseheart to take in 50 quake victims
""We have offered temporary accommodations for up to 50," Mooseheart Executive Director Scott D. Hart said Monday. "We don't know how many children we will be sent or their age range.  "We really don't know at this point exactly how long 'temporary' might be -- it could mean a few days, weeks or months.""
Hultgren apologizes after ad rips Hastert
"Hastert is an attorney with the law firm of Mayer Brown in Chicago, which does represent several mining interests around the world. The firm is also a major donor to Hastert's campaign.  But Hastert campaign spokesman Andrew Nelms said the candidate has "never had anything to do with human trafficking," which he called "reprehensible."  In an automated call to voters on Monday, Hultgren apologized for "discussing some questionable clients of my opponent's law firm.""
Forest preserve district 6 candidates go head to head in Feb. 2 primary
"“[Commissioners] should have had an environmental impact study before they ever made an agreement,” he said. “My decision would have hinged on the environmental impact study and how Navistar would use the land.”  The Republican hopeful said his frequent use of the county’s forest preserves was a significant factor in his decision to run for commissioner.  “I’ve been a Scout master for the last eight years,” Murphy said. “I’ve seen a lot of deficits at the forest preserves that can be easily fixed.”"
Quinn, Daley laud Ford jobs
"Gov. Pat Quinn today credited the 1,200 new jobs at a Ford assembly plant in Chicago to an automotive tax credit program he signed into law late last year. Speaking at a news conference alongside Mayor Richard Daley to formally announce the deal, Quinn said the state is providing Ford $20 million in tax incentives in return for a $400 million investment by the company in its Chicago plant."
SIU medical school gets $3.5M to study Alzheimer’s
"The projects include a study clarifying how diabetes and Alzheimer’s are related. Another is investigating if a decline in the good type of fats in brains of mice with Alzheimer’s contributes to memory problems.  The funding for these projects is from various public and private sources including the National Institutes of Health."
Small towns concerned about high-speed rail
"Some small communities along the proposed high-speed rail line between Chicago and St. Louis are worried that, while Springfield’s concerns about the plan are being addressed, their worries about public safety, traffic and quality of life aren’t receiving enough attention.  In Williamsville, for instance, the Union Pacific Railroad’s tracks cut across Main Street, which brings traffic from Interstate 55 into the village. More and faster trains could increase emergency response times, endanger pedestrians and possibly jeopardize buildings along the tracks, Village President Tom Yokley said."
Quinn, Hynes get more personal in last debate
"Quinn repeatedly invoked Hynes' father, retired Chicago politician Tom Hynes, to criticize his son over a campaign ad and pension reform.  "I think Pat Quinn has become disoriented. He thinks he's running against my father. I know you've been in politics for 30 years, but my father retired 15 years ago, maybe you should too," said Hynes, Illinois' comptroller."
IlliniPundit Dillard, Hynes Leading For Governor
  • "Hynes’ slight advantage is due largely to a 45-38 lead with African Americans, suggesting that a controversial ad featuring former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington making disparaging comments about Quinn may be working to Hynes’ advantage. The two candidates are tied among white voters with Quinn holding a 44-36 lead with Hispanics."
  • "The Republican race is even more up for grabs with five candidates polling within eight points of each other. Kirk Dillard is at 19%, followed by Andy McKenna with 17%, Bill Brady with 16%, Jim Ryan at 13%, and Adam Andrzejewski at 11%."
Multimedia Bible puts maps, tours, encyclopedia in reach of everyday Christians - Denver Post
"In the digital age, the word of God is no longer just the word of God.  The Bible becomes a multimedia, interactive adventure — if you have the 2 gigabytes of RAM needed to run the new GLO digital Bible.  The GLO (pronounced "glow") Bible has chapter and verse, but also 2,400 photos, 700 paintings, 7,500 encyclopedia articles, 500 virtual tours of the Holy Land, aerial maps and 3 1/2 hours of high-definition video — with every cross-reference imaginable at your fingertips."
Middle Class Task Force Addresses Child Care, College Costs, Retirement Security - AFL-CIO
  • "Nearly doubling the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle-class families making under $85,000 a year and a $1.6 billion increase in child care funding for families struggling to enter the middle class.
  • Limiting a student’s federal loan payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance.
  • Creating a system of automatic workplace IRAs, requiring all employers to give the option for employees to enroll in a direct-deposit IRA."
Tea Party Disputes Take Toll on Convention - NY Times
"A Tea Party convention billed as the coming together of the grass-roots groups that began sprouting up around the country a year ago is unraveling as sponsors and participants pull out to protest its expense and express concerns about “profiteering.”  The convention’s difficulties highlight the fractiousness of the Tea Party groups, and the considerable suspicions among their members of anything that suggests the establishment."
Tea Partying Militia Leader Arrested for Rape, Possessing a Grenade Launcher - IREHR
"Dyer has played a bridge role between the Tea Parties and the Oath Keepers, an organization that seeks to enlist military and law enforcement personnel to disobey orders they regard as unconstitutional. The group promotes many of the outlandish theories about gun confiscation and the rounding up of people into concentration camps. Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, previously praised Dyer in speeches, but is now backtracking claiming that Dyer isn't a member because he never officially signed up and paid dues. Not everyone is looking to distance themselves from Dyer. Others in the movement almost immediately began calling Dyer the “1st P.O.W. of the 2nd American Revolutionary War.”"

25 Jan

Board Briefs - January 21, 2010
"The regular meeting of the Board of Education was held on Thursday, January 21, 2010, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Board Members in attendance: Julie Pearson, Brenda Vishanoff, Karla Bruce, Dave Barclay, Sue Stibal, Deborah Ramsey, Chris Scheck"
Questions from District 94 Parents
"We have read and listened with interest to the budget cuts you are considering. We have several questions we would like addressed at the upcoming School Board meeting on Tuesday, 1/26/10. Attached are the questions in addition to suggestions that have been offered by other parents and community members.  We hope these questions illustrate our desire that you save as many teaching positions as possible. We do not want any teachers that directly impact our children's education to be cut."
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Jan 25- Jan 31
Proponents say College of DuPage public supports tax dollars for ESL
"College officials say the ESL program has needed a $4 million subsidy in local property taxes during the past five years. The generally free classes are supposed to be covered by state and federal funds. In an effort to curb the college's costs, COD officials ratcheted up class-size standards to economize service and cut some higher-level classes that the state was no longer funding."
  • Birkett endorses former boss Ryan for governor
    "DuPage State's Attorney - and Ryan protégé - Joe Birkett threw his support behind his former boss Sunday. Birkett was one of Ryan's top lieutenants when Ryan was the county's top prosecutor from 1984 to 1995."
  • DuPage Co. Board chairman hopefuls lob accusations of waste
    "It may be hard to campaign on a platform of eliminating government waste if the candidate earned $3,000 to lead a committee that met for less than 10 hours during the course of a year.  That's the accusation state Sen. Carole Pankau leveled against one of her three opponents in the race for the GOP DuPage County Board chairman nomination in the Feb. 2 primary. The problem is, it's inaccurate."
Congressional candidates criticized for 'carpetbagging'
"One of the most noteworthy cases in recent Illinois history arose in 2004 when Maryland Republican Alan Keyes was brought to Illinois by the party to run for the U.S. Senate against then-state Sen. Barack Obama. Keyes lost overwhelmingly, paving the way for Obama's eventual rise to the Oval Office."
Schillerstrom says no 'backroom deal' made for his support of Ryan
"Schillerstrom is a social moderate, and until the press conference he was scheduled this morning to meet with an abortion rights group; Ryan has said he would support any measure that would reduce the number of abortions in the state. To raise state funds, Ryan has proposed the sale or long-term lease of the Illinois Tollway; Schillerstrom this week called that measure "another smoke and mirrors way to get through a term."  But at today's press conference, Schillerstrom downplayed their differences."
D303 cuts 2010-11 school year budget
"In the end, the school board voted to make cuts to the 2010-11 school year budget that will effect middle-school musicians, saying it was the fiscally responsible thing to do.  "There are no good choices, just less-bad choices," Superintendent Don Schlomann told the board following the presentation."
  • Republicans hope to paint 14th District red again
    "Both State Sen. Randy Hultgren and attorney Ethan Hastert, son of Dennis Hastert, have refrained from the kind of attacks that characterized the last race, and the result has been a quieter, more issue-focused primary campaign.  On those issues, they are almost entirely in agreement, and the campaigns have tried, in Hultgren's words, to "show contrasts without getting personal.""
  • Hastert campaigning on more than famous name
    "Unlike his primary election opponent, State Sen. Randy Hultgren, Hastert believes that business owners are not looking for tax credits to help them get and stay profitable. He says the business owners he has talked to simply want government to get out of the way."
  • Hultgren wants government to back off on business
    "Hultgren says there are solutions to the economic mess that can be enacted immediately. He would like to see the federal research and development tax credit extended for 10 years, and other tax cuts and credits extended to businesses."
UI researchers use gamers' brains to analyze learning
"A study conducted at the University of Illinois looked at MRI brain scans of men and women trained on "Space Fortress," an approximately 30-year-old video game developed at the UI, and discovered that how well gamers performed could be predicted by the size of certain regions of their brains."
Quinn, Hynes meet in last debate before primary
"Hynes criticizes Quinn over his handling of the state’s financial crisis. The deficit could top $11 billion this year.  Quinn says Hynes doesn’t have a workable plan to fix the state’s finances.  Both men are campaigning on an income tax increase, but Hynes’ plan would require a constitutional amendment to enact."
Source: Obama to skip jury duty in Chicago suburbs
"administration official confirmed to The Associated Press today that the president alerted the court weeks ago that he won’t be able to make it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.  Obama was summoned for jury duty at the Bridgeview courthouse in suburban Chicago starting Monday. The summons had arrived at the Obama home on Chicago’s South Side."
Abortion opponents rally at Capitol
"Mark Harrington, Midwest regional director for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, said candidates should be judged first on their abortion stance.  “Pro-lifers are characterized as single-issue voters,” Harrington said. “I ask you, is there any other issue than the right to life?”"
Sierra Club supports DuPage Republicans
"Honorees include: Dan Cronin (State Senator and candidate for DuPage County Board Chairman), Dewey Pierotti (DuPage Forest Preserve President), Roger Kotecki (DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner) and Mike Formento (DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner)."
Roe v. Wade Supporter Scott Brown, Improbable Pro-Life Hero - Politics Daily
"As Ruse noted, almost as an aside, Scott Brown (who is Protestant) is also a firm supporter of Roe, which Brown has said is "the law of the land, and I don't plan on overturning it." Indeed, his language on the issue sounds much like that of Barack Obama. Brown's Web site highlights the "need to reduce the number of abortions in America" and his belief that "there are people of good will on both sides of the issue and we ought to work together to support and promote adoption as an alternative to abortion.""
The Message of Massachusetts: Jobs - AFL-CIO
"Poll results show that Massachusetts voters punished Coakley—and Democrats—for neglecting the issue most vital to them: jobs. If politicians had studied earlier polls or attempted to actually get in touch with mainstream, Main Street Americans—or just listened to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s address at the National Press Club on Jan. 11—they’d have known to focus on jobs. The message of Massachusetts should be clear: If Democrats want to save their own jobs in the midterm elections this fall, they must create jobs now."
Great television/bad journalism: Media failures in Haiti coverage - OpEdNews
"How many people watching Cooper's mass-mediated heroism on CNN know that U.S. policy makers have actively undermined Haitian democracy and opposed that country's most successful grassroots political movement? During the first days of coverage of the earthquake, it's understandable that news organizations focused on the immediate crisis. But more than a week later, what excuse do journalists have?"
John Ensign will face investigation - Politico
"POLITICO reported Tuesday that the FBI has begun contacting former Ensign aides, seeking to interview them regarding Ensign’s dealings with Doug and Cindy Hampton. Ensign had an extramarital affair with Cindy Hampton, his former campaign treasurer, and then arranged for lobbying work for Doug Hampton, himself a former top Ensign aide, when the two left the senator’s payroll in April 2008."

22 Jan

To send aid to Haiti, text "haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross or try one of the following links and phone numbers. - Bob
Red Cross
....... Operation USA
Doctors Without Borders
  The Salvation Army1-1-800-SAL-ARMY
Former Pheasant Run manager admits stealing $207,000
"The 55-year-old Aurora woman admitted pilfering the money during a nearly five-year period beginning in September 2002 while working as the facility's accounts receivable manager.  Hutchison was employed at the resort for 15 years."
Planners goal for suburbs in 2040: less traffic, less pollution
"Priorities include better transportation and less congestion, walkable neighborhoods where amenities like stores, schools and parks are just a stroll away, conserving water and energy, improving schools, offering opportunities to buy local produce, better parks and green infrastructure."
Feds seek input on CN rail effects
"The Surface Transportation Board, newly led by Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III, requested the information.  Will County Board Chairman Jim Moustis likes the idea.  "I think the change of leadership at the STB is related to the fact that they are more responsive now to the impact on us here locally," Moustis said Thursday."
SC cuts $4M from 2010-11 school budget
"The board voted 6-0 to cut $4.1 million from the budget for at least one year. The district actually needs about $5.5 million in reductions, but by using $1.4 million in federal stimulus funds for special education program costs, the total cuts needed were reduced.  However, if the state doesn't pony up with the money owed to the district, more cuts may be on the way, Schlomann warned. Currently, the state is about $5 million behind in its payments to St. Charles schools."
Parent Literacy Project Seeks Volunteer Tutors
"Tutors may be retirees, homemakers, or employed full-time. Tutors need not be experienced in teaching or be bilingual. Tutors, however, must be over 18 years old, have graduated from high school, and be fluent in English.  Volunteer tutors receive comprehensive training in a series of six workshops, preparing for English as a Second Language instruction. After training, tutors meet with their adult learners for two hours a week, at a convenient time and location for both."
Organizations divided on adoptions of Haitian children
"U.S. Reps. Bill Foster and Peter Roskam of the Chicago area have joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in blasting the U.S. government for the "chaos" that resulted from opening the door for adoptions without a larger plan to get children out."
Schillerstrom dropping out of GOP governor's race
"Citing a lack of campaign money, Republican governor candidate Bob Schillerstrom will drop out of the race today and endorse Jim Ryan.  Schillerstrom's campaign confirmed the candidate will end his campaign at an 11 a.m. Loop news conference."
Schillerstrom out of governor’s race
"The DuPage County Board chairman was scheduled to make the announcement today at a news conference. Schillerstrom will throw his support to former Attorney General Jim Ryan.  Spokesman Brad Hahn says Schillerstrom was not able to raise enough money to be competitive in the final push to the Feb. 2 primary."
U. of Ill. expects sharp tuition hike
"University of Illinois interim President Stanley Ikenberry says the school will probably raise tuition for incoming freshmen by at least 9 percent this summer.  Illinois and other state universities are scrambling to cover costs as they wait for millions of dollars being withheld by the state as it struggles with a growing deficit. Illinois alone is owed more than $400 million."
Statewide candidate election finance reports
"Bob Schillerstrom, Naperville
Raised: $661,139
Spent: $673,505
Cash as of Dec. 31: $119,874
Notable donations/spending: $100,000 loan to himself; $433,218 from selling assets; $95,000 to Burnham Strategies Group LLC for consulting"
[Although trailing McKenna and Dillard in fundraising, perhaps a poll reported at IlliniPundit showing his support at 2.13% has something to do with this also. - Bob]
Hynes winning money race over Quinn; McKenna leads GOP
"Incumbent Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn had less than half as much money as his Democratic opponent heading into the final weeks before the primary election, according to campaign finance records. And among seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor Feb. 2., businessman Andy McKenna has far outpaced his rivals."
Hynes, Quinn go on attack in ads, debate
"Comptroller Dan Hynes’ one-minute ad features video of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, explaining why he removed Pat Quinn as the city’s revenue director in 1987. Later, in his meeting with Quinn, Hynes accused the governor of living in “his own reality” instead of facing facts.  The governor’s 30-second spot blames Hynes for failing to catch misdeeds at a historic black cemetery. During the debate, Quinn accused Hynes of working against Washington more than 20 years ago and said Hynes should be ashamed of dragging the late mayor into the race."
IlliniPundit IL GOP Governor Polling
"Andrezejewski 5.64%, Brady 8.30%, Dillard 22.38%, McKenna 13.52%, Proft 6.03%
Ryan 10.26%, Schillerstrom 2.13%, Unsure 31.74%"
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 22 Jan 10
Firm to Remove Bible References From Gun Sights - NY Times
"As word of the practice spread, it was condemned by civil liberties groups and some religious groups in the United States and abroad.  Michael L. Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said that several of the group’s members, including active-duty military personnel, had contacted him in recent weeks to complain about the subtle religious references on their weapons and that he had alerted ABC.  “The Constitution won today,” Mr. Weinstein said of the company’s decision."
The Working Class Has Spoken. Will Democrats Listen? - AFL-CIO
"The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates among 810 voters for the AFL-CIO on the night of the election, also found that although voters without a college degree favored Barack Obama by 21 percentage points in the 2008 election, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley lost that same group by a 20-point margin."
Leading Health Care Experts Tell House To Pass Senate Health Care Bill - TPM
""Both houses of Congress have adopted legislation that would provide health coverage to tens of millions of Americans, begin to control health care costs that seriously threaten our economy, and improve the quality of health care for every American," reads a letter, obtained by TPMDC. "These bills are imperfect. Yet they represent a huge step forward in creating a more humane, effective, and sustainable health care system for every American. We have come further than we have ever come before. Only two steps remain. The House must adopt the Senate bill, and the President must sign it.""
21 Jan  
Around and About in West Chicago - 20 Jan 2010
"Sgt. Patrick Henning, former West Chicago resident, received the Bronze Star for Valor at a special ceremony for soldiers in the Aurora-based Charlie Troop 2, 106th Calvary, Sunday, January 10, 2010 at the National Guard Armory in Aurora. During his tour in Afghanistan, Henning, in a heavy machine-gun fire situation on July 4, 2009, led efforts to aid a fellow National Guard soldier who was wounded and volunteered to return for the body of another soldier killed during an engagement. As Pat describes it, “Basically, during a conflict with enemy forces, I secured the area to rescue an American soldier and volunteered to recover the body of an Afghan policeman killed during this conflict.” His parents Dale and Kathy (McCabe) Henning, residents of West Chicago, attended the ceremony."
Fortner Sponsored Legislation Changes Enrollment Age for First Graders
"Private schooled kindergarteners will now be able to enter first grade at an earlier age under legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) and signed today into law by Governor Quinn."
Cause of N. Aurora death unknown
"A cause of death for Bonnie Newsome, 50, of West Chicago, has not been determined.  Newsome was found in a side yard of a house at 19 N. Lincolnway (Route 31) in North Aurora Sunday afternoon.  North Aurora police say foul play is not suspected."
Officials fear GOP candidate's tax plan
"Hinsdale businessman Adam Andrzejewski said if elected governor he would reduce or eliminate "revenue sharing to local municipalities," which could include the state withholding local government's portion of the state's income tax... "If you look at it and peel back the layers on it, that would be the single largest property tax increase in the state's history. You're going to push the state's problems on municipalities and local taxpayers," said Mark Fowler, executive director Northwest Municipal Conference..."
Feds reaching out after EJ&E merger
"Now, the STB is issuing questionnaires to 33 elected officials seeking input on noise, traffic delays, vibrations and street blockages.  The agency has hired an independent consultant to analyze the results and compare them with regular reports filed by CN it was required to as a result of the merger. The scrutiny will allow the board "to determine whether CN's compliance reports are accurate and complete," the STB said."
State's financial woes take center stage at GOP gubernatorial debate
""I'm a real outsider running against six insiders," he said. "I think Illinois is ready for a Scott Brown experience."  Andrzejewski said he would issue an executive order for an audit of all state spending and would work to enact term limits for legislators and require disclosure of financial records for all elected officials."
Some UI faculty welcome option to take a pay cut
""There were all these people saying, 'We can't possibly work only 32 hours a week; we need more time to get our jobs done,'" Wheeler said. "In many cases it came with a statement that said, 'We're willing to give up the pay because that's necessary, but please don't make us stop working.'""
Quinn’s challenger had double the money
"Hynes is the state comptroller. He reported $3.1 million in his campaign chest at the end of December.  Quinn is seeking election to a full term. He had $1.5 million in his account.  Quinn raised $3.9 million in the last half of 2009. Hynes brought in $2.3 million."
Brady criticizes GOP rivals on taxes, ethics
"“When Jim Ryan and Kirk Dillard were supporting tax increases, I was fighting against them,” Brady said.  And he accused Andy McKenna of an ethics violation during his tenure as Illinois Republican Party chairman.  His targets bristled at the accusations.  They want to solve the state’s massive budget problem through unspecified budget cuts. They support eliminating fees, taxes and regulations discouraging business growth in Illinois. They say Democrats have allowed government waste and corruption to flourish."
GOP governor candidates: We can fill budget hole
"The seven Republican candidates for governor steadfastly maintained Wednesday that they can balance a state budget now estimated to have an $11 billion hole without raising taxes.  In sessions before The State Journal-Register editorial board, the seven were vague about how filling that hole without more revenue will affect state employment, including in Springfield."
[They get the "Reptadon" graphic as a simple truth in advertising issue... if you claim you can end the budget crisis with cuts, tell us exactly what the cuts will be.  Who is going to get hurt? - Bob]
Roskam Agrees with AFL-CIO
"Trumka [AFL-CIO President] said: This "bill taxes the middle class by taxing workers' health plans. Not just union members' healthcare plans, in fact most of the 31 million uninsured or injured employees who will be hit by the excise tax are not union members. The benefits tax ... puts its working Americans who need healthcare for their families against working Americans struggling to keep health insurance for their family."  He was exactly right."
[Does Roskam now agree with the Democratic progressives who would prefer a 3% increase on incomes over a quarter of a million per year?  Why don't I trust him? - Bob]
8 Arrested in Firebombing of Malaysian Churches - NY Times
" The attacks followed a recent court ruling that struck down a government ban on the use of Allah to mean God in Malay-language Christian scriptures in this predominantly Muslim nation.  The word Allah had been used for centuries in Malay-language Bibles without major opposition either in Malaysia or in neighboring Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation."
UAW Donates $500,000 to Haiti Relief as Unions Continue Strong Aid Efforts
"The people of Haiti desperately need food, water, medical care and hope. The women and men of the UAW stand with thousands of other organizations and ordinary citizens in their desire to help the Haitian people meet their basic human needs."
"In its comments, PEER commends the NPS effort but suggests that the rulemaking be extended to cover all non-federal minerals, not just oil and gas. PEER points out that at present, there are no regulations that govern operations in parks in connection with non-federal minerals, other than petroleum.  Non-federal mineral rights besides oil and gas are also being developed in several parks and extraction rights exist in many areas of the national park system. These rights include sand and gravel and coal. Where the NPS regulates these operations, if at all, the NPS must apply a patchwork of ill-fitting rules, such as those governing commercial vehicles."
Stevens Accuses Supreme Court Conservatives of Judicial Activism - MotherJones
"The majority’s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past. Congress hasplaced special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907....We have unanimously concluded [in 1982] that this “reflects a permissible assessment of the dangers posed by those entities to the electoral process"...and have accepted the “legislative judgment that the special characteristics of the corporate structure require particularly careful regulation...The Court today rejects a century of history when it treats the distinction between corporate and individual campaignspending as an invidious novelty born [in a 1990 opinion]."



20 Jan


West Chicago
High School
PeaceBuilder of the Month for December
"Beth Berg, of Winfield and a Junior at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the December PeaceBuilder of the month for her devotion to helping others and also for being a source of inspiration for the students and staff alike at WeGo. She is to be commended for her service and desire to improve the atmosphere at CHS."
Know the facts! - FaceBook, Al Murphy
"The current Forest Preserve Board gave themselves a 12% (yes, I said 12%!!) raise this year while freezing their employee's salaries. Shame on them! Time for a change. Elect Al Murphy. Please pass on our message that this is unacceptable and the voters will not tolerate it."
For DuPage County Board District 6, Republican: Fuesting
"We endorse Fuesting based on his work in West Chicago and innovative ideas that include a "Buy DuPage" campaign to give an edge to local companies seeking to do business with the county. An attorney, his strong personality will serve him well on the board."
District 94 identifies possible budget cuts
"In addition, athletic coaching and activity sponsor positions totaling $44,000 could be cut next year. The positions include the winter play director, assistant director and set director; intramural adviser; Students Against Destructive Decisions sponsor; and sponsor of the Mind's Eye Literary magazine."
Local, state officials happy with carp ruling
" A federal motion to close the Chicago canal system was denied Tuesday, just hours before officials announced the discovery of Asian carp DNA in Lake Michigan.  Major General John Peabody of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the DNA announcement Tuesday during a teleconference with members of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee."
Text of e-mail authorizing voluntary pay cuts at UI
"The feedback I've received regarding our current budget crisis on campus has not only been extremely helpful, but it also has confirmed what I've always believed: People care deeply and passionately about this university. That same constructive feedback led directly to an option to furloughs, a voluntary and temporary salary reduction. And we are pleased to be able to offer that alternative to our faculty and academic professionals."
UI board to vote on higher fees for Urbana campus
"Urbana fees will increase by 2.8 percent, from $1,382 a semester to $1,421 a semester.  The increases come in an atmosphere of cost-cutting at the university, which the state has not reimbursed fully for months, resulting in furloughs and possible layoffs."
New York Times to charge for Web access in 2011
"The New York Times says it will charge readers for full access to its Web site starting in 2011, a risky move aimed at drawing more revenue online without driving away advertisers that want the biggest possible audience.  The potential pitfalls have made most other major newspapers hesitant to take a similar step.  But after months of deliberation, the Times said today that it will use a metered system, allowing free access to a certain number of articles and then charging users for additional content."
Illinois farmers will likely miss out on record harvest
"Despite a corn harvest that is continuing through the winter, U.S. farmers produced record yields of corn and soybeans in 2009.  But Illinois farmers aren't likely to set any records."
Bakke: Pawnee women appear flawless in Internet ads
"When we click on certain Web pages, the page reads our IP address and adjusts its advertisements to show a local person, usually a woman, from wherever we are. Up here in the newsroom, it’s always Pawnee.  It’s called geo targeting. Software determines the location of the person clicking on the Web page, then delivers different content depending on that person’s location. If the same Web page advertisement is called up from a computer in Pennsylvania, the person on the keyboard could be seeing these very same women doing the very same wonderful things — except they will be from Allentown or Schenectady."
State Capitol Q&A: Acquiring Race to the Top funds
"Race to the Top is an extension of President Obama’s stimulus package, a competitive grant program that will shell out more than $4 billion to states whose education-reform initiatives stand above the rest. The program also requires school districts to agree to meet certain standards to participate. Illinois is seeking more than $500 million from that pot."
Foster Now Accepting Appropriations Requests
"“As the Representative of the 14th District, I am an advocate for those I represent, making requests to the House Appropriations Committee to obtain federal funding that would benefit communities across the district,” said Foster.  “For example, over the past two years, I was able to secure funding for projects like the Glenwood School for Boys and Girls’ West Learning Resource Program, computer and automotive training programs at Waubonsee Community College and for the Northern Illinois Proton Therapy Treatment and Research Center to advance the treatment of malignant tumors that are uncontrollable through conventional cancer techniques.”
Information for those currently in the process of adopting a child from Haiti
"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, working with the U.S. Department of State, have announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned children in Haiti to enter the United States temporarily on an individual basis to ensure that the adoption process can continue, enabling children already in the process of adoption to join their adoptive families."
Democratic Slate of Candidates
"We have a nearly full slate of great candidates coming into the primary election, but they need your support. View a full list here with names and web links only, or a partial list including brief descriptions and pictures here,..."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 15 Jan 10
    "I propose replacing the polygraph with a coin toss. That would
    identify 50 percent of the double agents compared to zero with the
    polygraph. The unfortunate increase in false positives constitutes
    collateral damage, which is inevitable in war."
Academic and Publishing Freedom - Inside Higher Ed
"The piece was edited and the cover was designed and approved. But the article was killed at the last minute by the president of Christianity Today International, a ministry founded by Billy Graham that publishes Books & Culture and many other periodicals. According to the editor of Books & Culture, no article has been blocked in its 15-year history and he stands behind the killed piece."
Trumka: Massachusetts Election Shows Need for Results in Washington - AFL-CIO
"The American people are urgently expecting RESULTS from Washington. If elected officials want the support of working families, they need to fight to win legislation on jobs, health care and financial regulation. Americans need champions who will fight for their cause."


Phila DA withdraws criminal charges against Managing Editor - OpEdNews
"He continued, "I think that is an unfortunate development that has been a pattern and practice that has been adopted by many municipalities throughout the country whether it's in Pittsburgh or in New York during the convention or here in Philly in the conventions in 2000, there seems to be a real effort on the part of police and authorities to eliminate or to discredit or to undermine the independent media documenting an event involving a political protest. It's unfortunately the trend in a very dangerous development involving first amendment rights not only of protesters but of those who are trying to convey the coverage and convey the message the protesters bring.""

19 Jan


West Chicago
High School
Annual Lockdown Drill
"As part of our ongoing effort to promote school safety, and in cooperation with the West Chicago Police and Fire Departments, Community High School will be conducting a simulated lockdown on Tuesday, January 26th during second hour. The simulation will consist of several key elements including the secure lockdown of the entire building, a simulated intruder, and several area K-9 units. As a result, the entire campus will not accept visitors to the building during this time (8:38-9:31). This replication should not disrupt the academic process in any given class. Thanks for your cooperation and support of District 94."
[Interestingly, this email was sent out at 10:51, more than an hour after the event. - Bob]
Official Profile of Randy Ramey Candidate 2010 Illinois Republican Party Primary
"Official Profile of Randy Ramey Candidate for State Representative, 55th Representative District in 2010 Illinois Republican Party Primary"
[ posts profiles and endorsements for candidates in IL and local races. - Bob]
West Chicago woman found dead in North Aurora
"Police were called at 12:05 p.m. They found 50-year-old Bonnie Newsome, of the 30W300 block of North Avenue. She was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics at 12:18 p.m.  Police say her body had no obvious signs of trauma and that there is no evidence of foul play."
Cronin for DuPage chairman, GOP
"Similarly, Olson has called for an end to accepting campaign contributions from vendors that do business with the county. Frankly, we like the idea, though Cronin suggests such an ordinance might not withstand constitutionality tests. He favors better disclosure, and we agree this should be a priority."
Hultgren, Hastert show similarities in debate
"The one area on which they diverged was tax credits. Hultgren suggested expanding tax credits for those creating jobs, and extending a current research and development credit for another 10 years. But Hastert said in his travels through the district, he has found that homeowners and business owners simply want the government to leave them alone, not offer them "more tax forms to fill out in triplicate.""
Supreme Court denies request for injunction in Asian carp dispute
"After Michigan filed its request before the high court, the justices were told that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the locks between the rivers and Lake Michigan. For this reason, the U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan had urged the justices to reject Michigan's motion. She said Michigan should have sued the Army Corps, rather than the state of Illinois.  It appears the justices took her advice and steered clear of the dispute between Michigan and Illinois."
All 7 GOP gubernatorial candidates to attend debate
"Unlike two earlier GOP debates in Champaign, all seven candidates – Adam Andrzejewski, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, Andy McKenna, Dan Proft, Jim Ryan and Bob Schillerstrom – have said they will attend the meeting Wednesday."
Study: More needed to engage girls in science
"But men in science-related careers still far outnumber women, and a study by two Northern Illinois University professors says that high school girls are bored, disengaged and stressed in science classes when compared with boys.  According to National Science Foundation data, women make up about 26 percent of the country’s scientists and engineers. The number is similar in Illinois."
No holiday from sniping in governor's race
"Hynes has repeatedly criticized Quinn for a budget deficit expected to top $11 billion this year. He also said Quinn didn’t offer any new solutions to fix the budget during his recent State of the State address ... He also knocked Quinn again for a program that let some violent offenders out of Illinois prisons early to save money... Quinn shot back that Hynes is a name-caller who wants to “tear someone else down.”  “I don’t think we’re ever going to have a governor in Illinois who’s a nay-sayer,” said Quinn, who also attended the holiday breakfast."
Rep. Foster’s Resolution Honoring Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) Passes U.S. House of Representatives
Concluded Foster, “I congratulate IMSA on being named the Star Innovator of 2009. I am also proud of the achievements of its teachers and graduates including the inventor of the original Web browser, the founder of YouTube and dozens of surgeons, fighter pilots and scientists.”
Information on Earthquake in Haiti
"I commend the quick action by the Obama Administration and the millions of Americans and citizens of the world touched by the haunting images from Haiti. As a husband and father, I cannot fathom the grief that this earthquake has caused and fully support all efforts to relieve the pain and suffering of those impacted by this terrible disaster."
Pro-lifers to protest huge Houston clinic - Washington Times
""Planned Parenthood promoting abortion in the minority community is a massive form of genocide," said Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md. "On Martin Luther King Jr.'s day, we're there to say although things have gotten better for blacks across the country, their fundamental right to life is not being honored by the abortion industry." ... Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla said that about 93 percent of its services will be family planning, birth control and preventive health care, hence the name "Prevention Park" for the new locale."
Airline Pilots, AFSCME Come to Haiti’s Aid - AFL-CIO
"Wherever there is a need for help, union members are quick to respond. With estimates as high as 100,000 killed and 40,000 buried during this week’s earthquake in Haiti, three crews of pilots and flight engineers of the Canadian airline First Air, all members of Air Line Pilots (ALPA) Councils 240 and 241, are flying relief supplies to the Caribbean for the U.S. Agency for International Development."

18 Jan

Adelaide Zimmerman
"Adelaide “Adele” Zimmerman, born January 28, 1931, the oldest of four children passed away Friday, January 15th surrounded by her family. While studying at Loyola University for her Bachelors of Art degree in English, Adele met and married William once they both graduated. They lived in Chicago on Sedgwick until moving their growing family to West Chicago in 1957 into a small home on Elmwood"
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Jan 18- Jan 24
Wed 6:00 PM City Council (1/18/10)
  7:00 PM Judy Gardner Talks Real Estate
  8:30 PM Lights, Camera, Dance
Illinois Premise Alert Program to Assist First Responders
"First responders who have this information will be able to more effectively handle situations involving these special needs individuals. If an officer knows they are responding to the home of an autistic person, they will know in advance to speak softly and move slowly around that person. If the fire department is responding to the home of a paralyzed subject, they can prepare themselves for a more complicated rescue."
St. James development plan focuses on horses, trails and sculptures
"Kotecki said it shouldn't be a problem to draw equestrian events to the property.  "There are some really remarkable facilities there," Kotecki said of the barns, riding ring and dressage arena. "It has one of the largest and finest indoor horse arenas in Illinois, and that's something you just don't turn your back on.""
  Will Co. still fighting CN Railway
"Although many towns fought the purchase, it happened. After the sale, Will County and other municipalities filed a lawsuit alleging that environmental issues along the route weren't solved before the sale, among other issues."
Despite suburbs' attempts to derail plans, Canadian National Railway's Chicago bypass on track
"But residents and local officials have complained that train noise and vibrations from the CN's more powerful, multiple locomotives are wreaking havoc on home life.  "The engines make ungodly noises and vibrations. ... They would wake the dead," said Michele Oehlerking, who lives across the street from the tracks in Hawthorn Woods. "The house shakes and the lampshades jiggle. In summer, you can't hear the TV when the trains go by.""
Illinois CPA Society Offers Free Tax Preparation for Military Personnel and Their Families
"To help them at least in a small way, the Illinois CPA Society is offering free preparation of personal federal and state income tax returns through its Military Service Tax Preparation Project, offered in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The project matches families with CPA volunteers throughout the state who can guide them through tax benefits, exclusions and extensions that are unique to members of the armed forces."
Lieutenant governor's race features crowded field
"Once vacated out of sheer boredom, the position has quickly become a trendy career path thanks to Pat Quinn. He became the first lieutenant governor in more than 30 years to parlay the position into the state's No. 1 job by succeeding embattled and impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Now, the office is a proven commodity – a potential springboard for future political growth. At least, that's the way it appears to political outsiders."
Quinn signs Illinois cemetery oversight law
"Quinn’s office said the new law includes reforms and recommendations from the state’s Cemetery Oversight Task Force... The governor said with the new law, “bereaved families will have a place to turn if they are not satisfied with the services provided by cemeteries, funeral directors and embalmers.”"
U of I to launch Web site detailing school finances
"Officials at the University of Illinois say they’re creating a Web site that will allow people to review the school’s budget and give feedback.  University spokeswoman Robin Kaler says the idea is to make one place for students, staff and faculty to learn as much as they want about how financial decisions are made."
On Moving the Ball and Being Mean
"After we finished walking the precinct, driving home, I asked Sophie if she was ok, if she was bothered or curious about what the man said. She said, "I’m fine Mama. I didn't hear exactly what he said but I could hear that he was mean."  What’s the phrase? From the mouths of babes? Oh, yeah.  Sophie and I have a primary wish for everyone running this cycle—incumbents and challengers alike: May the next two weeks be sportsmanlike, civil and move people to care enough to go to the polls and vote."
Educators Endorse David Hoffman - Hoffman for Illinois
"This weekend, the Illinois Education Association (IEA), an organization of over 133,000 educators, endorsed David Hoffman for U.S. Senate.  IEA said of David, "We were very impressed by David Hoffman. His intelligence and commitment to public education make him our strong choice for the Democratic nomination.""
'Explain Christian nation declaration' - Times of Zambia
"On Sunday December 29, 1991 second Republican president, Frederick Chiluba declared Zambia as a Christian nation.  Mr Banda said as a Christian community, Zambia was mandated to do missionary work of evangelising to those of other creeds by sowing the fruits of love.  He said Zambia was a nation of unity and peace, adding the country would fight all vices of human degradation with Godly resolve.  President Banda urged Zambians not to take the peace the nation had enjoyed for granted because if people became careless and forgot the peace provider, Jesus Christ, the country might open a window to the enemy."
Civil Rights Pioneer: Post-Racial World Doesn’t Exist
"I don’t know where I was when racism disappeared from these United States of ours. This new right and the Tea Partiers have taken the position that anybody who talks about racial discrimination or affirmative action is a whiner or a civil rights pimp. We have to get off the sidelines and attack [that kind of language]….They are taking parts of our gains and using it against us. And it’s ridiculous."
Naomi Klein on how corporate branding has taken over America - Guardian
"There are many acts of destruction for which the Bush years are rightly reviled – the illegal invasions, the defiant defences of torture, the tanking of the global economy. But the administration's most lasting legacy may well be the way it systematically did to the US government what branding-mad CEOs did to their companies a decade earlier: it hollowed it out, handing over to the private sector many of the most essential functions of government, from protecting borders to responding to disasters to collecting intelligence."
Backgrounder: It’s Cold and My Car is Buried in Snow. How Can Global Warming be Happening? - Union of Concerned Scientists
"The Northeast is not alone. According to Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, released last year by 13 federal agencies, Great Lakes states are experiencing more precipitation because the lakes have less ice and more open water in the winter. The maximum seasonal coverage of Great Lakes ice decreased approximately 30 percent from 1973 through 2008. That means more lake water is likely to evaporate into the atmosphere, resulting in heavier snowstorms."

15 Jan


West Chicago
High School
CHS District 94 -- 2010-2011 Budget
"While maintaining a commitment to spending tax dollars wisely and maintaining a balanced budget, the Board is interested in seeking alternate funding sources such as accepting dollars for displaying advertisements in the school’s facilities. Increases in student fees are being considered in an effort to increase revenues, as well.  The Board will continue to discuss budgetary reduction recommendations at its next regularly scheduled meeting on January 26, 2010."
Art and History - Two New Displays
"Visitors to West Chicago’s City Hall at 475 Main Street will find more than the usual menu of services on their next visit. Art and history await their enjoyment through the installation of a rotating local art series and a new permanent display that uses text, photographs and artifacts to invite discovery of West Chicago’s early history and subsequent development."
West Chicago District 94 discusses cutbacks
""We have some tough decisions to make as a board," said Katherine Doremus, who took over as president this week. John Jensen stepped down because of a heavy work travel schedule but remains on the board.  "We are trying to spread everything out over as many minor areas as possible to minimize the impact on education and our staff," Doremus said."
New law protects teacher evaluations from FOIA requests
"The legislation, which was shuttled to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk after a 48-4 Senate vote Wednesday, moves to tie public schoolteacher performance evaluations to student growth.  Yet those evaluations - along with those of principals and school administrators - would be exempt from release to the public under Freedom of Information Act requests."
DuPage water commission seeking leader
"The process might not be so daunting if not for the fact that the last financial administrator left the commission three months ago with a reserve fund depleted to the tune of $19 million, which turned out to be a surprise to everyone including commissioners and the commission's general manger."
Hynes the clear choice for Democratic governor
"While we don't agree with all of Hynes' plans, particularly casino expansion, he has laid out specifics. They include $1.5 billion in spending cuts, firing some workers hired by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, increasing cigarette and gambling taxes and closing corporate tax loopholes. He also wants to put a referendum on the fall ballot for a progressive income tax."
Rt. 38/Kautz overpass work to start this year
" A long-awaited road project important to both central Kane County and DuPage County could get under way this year.  The Illinois Department of Transportation will seek bids in late summer or fall for the $33 million overpass at Route 38 and Kautz Road, just east of Geneva. Accordingly, the state is lining up local governments in the area who need to get work done to facilitate that project."
Some judicial candidates object to bar ratings
"Seven candidates in the 16th Circuit Court judges races were not recommended in an evaluation released this week by a statewide attorneys group.  Of the more than 1,400 ballots mailed by the Illinois State Bar Association to local attorneys, about 400 were returned with ratings of the judicial candidates on such topics as integrity, court management and health, among several criteria. Their ratings determined whether they would be listed as "recommended" or "not recommended.""
Explore “Wonders of Winter” in DuPage County Forest Preserves
"“Wonders of Winter” admission and parking are free. Mayslake Forest Preserve is located at 1717 W. 31st St., one-quarter mile west of Route 83. For more information, call 630-933-7248."
Local Music Night at West Chicago's Gallery 200
This is just yesterday's press release posted by city staff.  I wonder if I should bother linking to these if they are already posted here. - Bob
GOP governor hopefuls differ on ethical reforms
"Brady and Dillard said Illinois needs to enact workers compensation reforms so that costs to businesses in Illinois are comparable to those in Indiana; Brady said Illinois' are twice as high as Indiana's. Andrzejewski said Daniels had cut taxes and reduced spending and ended up with a budget surplus in Indiana. "Government in Illinois needs to start living like that and living like we live at home," he said.  The two presumptive frontrunners in the GOP gubernatorial race – former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan and former state party Chairman Andy McKenna – skipped the Channel 12 forum."
Schillerstrom says being social moderate gives him edge in governor's race
"“Besides being a tested and known fiscal conservative, we are clearly the social moderates on the Republican side in this race,” Schillerstrom told reporters at the Statehouse. “I am the only pro-choice candidate out of the seven running.”  He said he thinks that wanting to criminalize abortion is “out of touch with the way the majority of people in Illinois think.”  “I do think a social moderate is the only type of Republican that can win in the general election,” said Schillerstrom, a Naperville resident and chairman of the DuPage County Board."
Quinn defends tax increase push
"Quinn said he is the only candidate for governor from either party telling the truth about the state’s financial problems and that a tax increase is needed to get out of them.  “I think there is something praiseworthy about someone telling the truth about our public finance,” Quinn said. “The other candidates are really trying to hoodwink the voters.”"
Payment squeeze continues to cut into social service budgets
"Quinn told The State Journal-Register editorial board Thursday that $900 million freed up by a recent state bond issue might hasten state payments to some organizations and businesses.  But Quinn said he didn't know who would benefit from the borrowing, how much relief they'd receive and when they would receive it.  As a long-term solution, Quinn, who is being challenged by Comptroller Dan Hynes in the Feb. 2 Democratic primary for governor, has called for a 50 percent increase in the state income tax."
Stupid Pat Robertson Quotes -
"7. "(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." –Pat Robertson"
Tea Party, Meet the Religious Right - American Prospect
"But the gathering, to be held at Nashville's Opryland Hotel, is interesting for another reason as well: It marks the attempt of the old-school Christian right to take over the tea-party movement. Speakers joining Palin include Rick Scarborough, Roy Moore, and Joseph Farah, men who are radical even by religious-right standards. Their presence shows that the tea-party movement is no longer merely populist, libertarian, or anti-government, if it ever was. It is theocratic."
IAM Initiative Helps the Jobless ‘Cube by Cube’
Called “Ur Union of Unemployed,” or UCubed for short, the IAM initiative will function as an online community, with small groups of unemployed activists in a single ZIP Code forming “cubes” and ultimately becoming a linked network with considerable political and economic influence.  IAM President Tom Buffenbarger says UCubed’s goal is to provide: “a measure of relief and an end to the isolation, frustration and depression that so many unemployed workers experience. Working together, they can build a network of mutual support and help each other to get through the next few years.”"
Deals to Restrain Generic Drugs Face a Ban - NY Times
"In recent years, critics say, deals between name-brand makers and generic makers have delayed the introduction of a range of generics including cancer drugs, antidepressants and prescription-strength antacids. The F.T.C. has estimated that such deals currently cost American consumers $3.5 billion a year... Opponents of the generic agreements — maligned as “pay for delay” deals — say they are standard industry practice and help prop up monopoly pricing."
The Rehabilitation Of Joseph McCarthy? Texas Textbooks Process Grinds On - TPM
"Now, in the home stretch of a process that will set the state's nationally influential standards, a liberal watchdog group is worried that the State Board of Education will try to push through changes to claim that communist-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy has been vindicated by history, among other right-wing pet issues... What's at stake here is not just what Texas students learn in high school. Because the state represents one of two largest markets in the country, publishers tailor their books to the Texas standards. Those same textbooks are then sold in smaller states around the country."
Illinois Brief - ACLU
"A law posing real danger to young women remains enjoined thanks to action by the ACLU of Illinois. The Parental Notice of Abortion Act requires a doctor or clinic to notify an adult family member 48 hours prior to providing an abortion to a young woman in Illinois. The law has not been enforced since its passage in 1995, largely because it failed to provide an adequate alternative to notice required by the United States Constitution.  After more than a decade of inaction, the past several months have been turbulent and fast-moving."
14 Jan  
Community Calendar Now Available
"The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum are beginning the new decade by celebrating the community's storied past and exciting future through a retrospective calendar, which not only includes photos significant to West Chicago's rich history but also functions as a guide to upcoming events and local attractions."
Local Music Night at West Chicago's Gallery 200
"Among the musicians performing popular and original music in January will be Samantha Weibler, Laurie Schaefer, Al Recendez, John Keeney and others. Free refreshments will be provided and all are welcome. Any musician interested in being a part of this or future events, or music enthusiasts interested in helping to organize Local Music Night, are asked to contact Mandy Rakow at"
Volunteers play key role in DuPage Co. forest preserves
"The importance of volunteers is not lost on Keith McClow, who works with them daily as a site manager for Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago.  With limited funds and a very small staff, McClow said, volunteers are an invaluable asset to the site, a living-history farm that showcases life in the late 1800s."
Our Republican pick for governor: Jim Ryan
"While other candidates in this race speak in sound bites about holding the line on taxes or making politicians angry by refusing spending requests, Ryan takes a measured approach, saying the budget can be fixed by employing "patience, political courage and creativity." He opposes an income tax hike. But he also has not signed a strict anti-tax pledge."
Drawing the line
"State Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, also said he plans on circulating petitions in favor of the amendment.  He said the amendment as written would compel the parties to cooperate when designing a legislative map.  “This has been shown to work in other states,” Fortner said. “Our system is so broken. This would address a lot of what’s wrong here.”"
Quinn administration proposes sweeping nursing home reform
"A top aide to Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing an array of sweeping reforms that could dramatically restructure how Illinois cares for nursing home residents and the mentally ill.  The initiatives, proposed today by Quinn's Nursing Home Safety Task Force, are designed to end the chronic violence and abuse that plague some facilities, and to foster better treatment for people with serious mental illness, according to task force chairman Michael Gelder."
Few candidates expected at GOP Senate debate
"Some challengers are crying foul even though it’s a time-tested strategy for top candidates to ignore the trailing candidates whenever possible.  At least three of the six Republicans running for the seat plan to attend the debate. Those so far confirmed have barely registered support in the polls that show Kirk with a huge lead."
Illinois tax-filing season begins Friday
"“If you file electronically you can expect your refund in about a week, and your federal refund in about two weeks, if you use direct deposit,” Hofer said.  The average refund in 2009 was $304 in Illinois. E-filing for tax professionals opens at midnight tonight, while Internet filing at opens at 8 a.m. Friday."
Lawmakers alter FOIA rules for teachers
"Months after approving what was billed as a sweeping reform of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, legislators, at the behest of teachers’ unions, on Wednesday barred disclosure of performance evaluations for teachers, principals and school superintendents.  The measure doesn’t affect evaluations of janitors, secretaries, teacher aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers or any other type of school employee, nor, as written, does it have any impact on municipal, county or state workers."
Quinn defends tax increase push, early release
"Quinn said he’ll challenge lawmakers to “do what’s right” and support a plan to fix the budget shortfalls. But he couldn’t specifically say how his win would persuade a legislature reticent to make tough decisions to back a politically dangerous tax increase in a re-election year.  Quinn also said he’s urged House Speaker Michael Madigan and House Minority Leader Tom Cross to set aside their differences and put together some combination of votes to support his tax plan."
Crackdown sends 129 early release parolees back to prison
"Nearly 130 parolees released from prison early are back behind bars because of an extraordinary crackdown led by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration, which has been stung by denunciations of a secret program that freed 1,700 inmates weeks ahead of time."
Roskam Statement on Earthquake in Haiti
"The Haitian people deserve and require the full support of Americans and others around the world as they attempt to recover from the widespread devastation. I know Americans’ goodwill can help a great deal, and I applaud President Obama’s immediate decision to assist in this catastrophe of major proportions.”
[Will he have to Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson for saying this? - Bob]
Pat Robertson: Haiti 'Cursed' By 'Pact To The Devil' - Huffington Post
"They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."
I Thought They Said "Hades" - Borowitz Report (Satire)
"Rev. Robertson said that he had heard the report of the earthquake on the radio and had misinterpreted its location: "For the life of me, I thought God was punishing Hades, which does in fact have a pact with the Devil.""
Union Members Mobilizing to Help Haiti
"The union movement is mobilizing its members to provide assistance and calling for a massive global relief effort. You can help Haitian workers in distress by donating to the Solidarity Center’s Earthquake Relief for Haitian Workers’ Campaign. Click here to make a donation and here to learn more about how the center is working to help Haitian workers. "
Report: Mobile Donations To Haiti Top $2M - Fierce Mobile Content
"U.S. mobile subscribers have texted donations of more than $2 million to the Red Cross in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday. Mobile donations solutions provider mGive launched the effort in association with the Red Cross and the U.S. Department of State--by texting HAITI to 90999, subscribers pledge $10 to the relief cause. The donation will appear on their next mobile bill, with 100 percent of the funds going to the Red Cross."

13 Jan

Around and About in West Chicago - 13 Jan 2010
  • Winfield Township Republican Central Committee Winter Brunch
  • “Take Charge of Your Life: Plan Your Best Year Yet!”
  • National Geographic Geography Bee
  • Local Music Night
Quinn Misses Mark with the State of State Address
""The Governor's speech today was nothing more than a campaign speech, clearly he's only focused on getting through the February primary," Ramey said. "Under years of fiscal mismanagement by Democrats who control state government we are in a full blown financial crisis."
No resolution in DuPage tree dispute
"County board member Jeff Redick suggested that instead of passing the cost on to consumers to replace the trees, the power company should take a more long-term look at a solution to the problem. He believes that the company could save millions of dollars by removing trees that interfere with power lines and replacing them with trees and brush that will never grow to the height where they would interfere with the lines."
Secret report digs into problems at tollway oases
"In a March 2008 e-mail to tollway executives and board members, attorney Tom Bamonte attached copies of the inspector general report, writing that its author "does not find any actual wrongdoing but concludes that there is an appearance of impropriety."  Bamonte's e-mail, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Daily Herald, also states the report "criticizes the public/private partnership model that was used for the redevelopment of the oases. As noted on the face of the document, the report should not be circulated.""
Opponents attack Olson's finances in DuPage GOP race
"Debra Olson painted a giant target on her back in the shape of a dollar sign when she announced she'd hold herself to a higher campaign finance standard in her bid to win the Republican nod in the DuPage County Board Chairman's race.  The District 4 board member said she won't accept money from people or companies that do business with the county when she announced her candidacy. ... Both Cronin and Pankau admit they've received campaign funds from vendors, lobbyists and political action committees, but they contend they never said they wouldn't and all the donations they've accepted are properly accounted for and legal."
DuPage County Board rejects Muslim center
"The 10-7 vote followed testimony from opponents of the Irshad Learning Center, who said the facility would be inconsistent with the subdivisions that have been built around the 3-acre site. One commenter from out of the area leveled charges that Irshad and organizations suspected of funding Islamic terrorist activities are one and the same.... "This isn't about religious rights," James Zay of Carol Stream said. "This comes down to a property-rights issue.""
Sheriff’s Jail Passes Inspection
"In November of 2009 a Criminal Justice Specialist completed a full inspection of the jail facility, which included interviews with Corrections staff. All areas of the facility were found to be in complete compliance, with no recommendations for corrections or changes. The report also contains a compiled list of all the improvements that have been made in the jail since the inspection in 2008."
Johnson (R-Urbana) endorses Kirk for Obama's old Senate seat
""Mark Kirk shares my commitment to job creation, economic growth and care for our nation's veterans," Johnson said on Tuesday. "He will fight to keep taxes low, cut wasteful spending and deliver for regional innovators like the University of Illinois and FutureGen. After serving with him for nearly a decade, I know Mark Kirk will be a senator we can all be proud of."
State lawmakers set new standards for education funds
"Leading the way on what they did was Senate Bill 315, which the House voted for 74-37. That measure helps better position the state's bid for roughly $500 million in federal funding through the new Race to the Top program, offering money to states moving forward with education reform.  The measure strengthens evaluations for teachers, principals and superintendents by linking them more directly with improvement in student performance."
New Lincoln penny to be unveiled in Springfield
"The new penny features an updated permanent design on the coin's tails side that shows a Union shield. It will replace the longtime design that featured the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.  The ceremony will be the second in six months to celebrate a penny's release in Springfield.  In August, U.S. Mint officials released at the Old State Capitol the third of a four-penny series depicting stages of Lincoln's life. Those pennies were released in conjunction with Lincoln's 200th birthday celebrations last year."
House passes Race to Top education funding measure
"State lawmakers handled everything from a pitch for a big pot of federal education money to stronger cemetery regulations Tuesday, but some say they’re not doing enough on the work that really matters.  Legislators approved several measures on the first of a two-day session week. They’ll do some more work today and hear from Gov. Pat Quinn in his State of the State speech, then go home until after the Feb. 2 election."
Quinn to propose new ethics initiative
"Quinn is pushing for a constitutional amendment that would allow citizens to propose ethical reforms and put them to binding referendum measures on the ballot. First the Illinois House and Senate would have to authorize a November referendum that would allow citizens to propose reforms in future years."
Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh Haiti comments draw fire - College News
"Robertson, the go-to guy for agreeing with outlandish premises surrounding victim-blaming after horrific tragedies, said that the reason for Haiti’s earthquake was that the nation-state made a deal with the devil. ... On his radio program Wednesday morning, Rusty said that President Barack Obama and company would use Haiti to get closer to the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country” while adding that the U.S. has “already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”"
Parishioners Flock To Microchurches For Worship - Assoc Press
"Microchurches have been around since New Testament days but have become more popular in the past decade. Though the groups differ widely in their practices, the majority serve less than 100 members, typically don't own the building where they meet, often practice nondenominational evangelism and intentionally offer believers a worship atmosphere unlike that of established churches. Many of the groups wish to remain small and will plant a new congregation if numbers grow too large."
In Trade, Too Often, the Victim Is Blamed - AFL-CIO
"Instead of describing it as an important victory for U.S. industry and workers, one in which they proved to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that China violated international trade rules, the corporate media characterized it as Americans unnecessarily picking a fight with China’s government.  That’s exactly what happened in September when the United Steelworkers won tariffs in a trade case regarding imported Chinese tires."
The fundamental unreliability of America's media - Salon
"Unjustified anonymity -- especially when mindlessly repeating what shielded government sources claim in secret -- is the single greatest enabler of false and deceitful "reporting."  Despite (or, really, because of) its unparalelled record of producing lies, it will never stop, because agreeing to it is how "journalists" end up being selected as favored message-carrying servants for the powerful. "

12 Jan


West Chicago
High School
West Chicago High School - 2010-2011 Budget Letter
"We want to give you an update on our budget process for the 2010-2011 school year. In November, a letter was posted on the district website outlining the challenges we will have balancing the budget for next year. This is a challenge we are sharing with most all the districts in the state along with many entities supported by Public funding."
Blooming Fest to Celebrate a Milestone Anniversary
"Record-breaking attendance is anticipated for the this year's Blooming Fest, scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Currently, the focus is on attracting hand-crafters, artists (photography, sculpture and jewelry), and garden-related vendors to share the 80+ booth spaces with downtown businesses, live entertainment and children’s activities."
Get Your 2010 Community Calendar Today
"Providing 12 months of historic images, the Community Calendar features events at local attractions throughout the year. Help support your local museum by purchasing a calendar today. Calendars are $10, $8 for Friends members."
Republican candidates look to replace Schillerstrom
"All four mostly agreed on the major issues, sticking close to bread-and-butter Republican points like low taxes, small government and transparency. Most disagreements were the result of the candidates having different strategies to accomplish those goals.  After a winner is decided in the Republican primary, the November election will show whether or not the DuPage Democratic Party will be able to maintain the momentum from the 2008 election. The party broke the Republican’s complete control of the county by electing three Democrats to the 18-member board."
DuPage board votes against Islamic center
"The county's development committee had recommended approval for the project, although the county's zoning board unanimously had voted against recommending approval.  Board members clearly were not swayed by several of the conditions required by the development committee, including barring exterior sound amplification, prohibiting events and activities on the property after 10:30 p.m., allowing no more than one live-in caretaker and restricting the number of parking spaces to 27."
Officials meet on Asian carp problem today
"Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert are hosting a bipartisan briefing this morning on Asian carp.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley are scheduled to appear at the 10 a.m. event at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium."
New organization combats distracted driving
"FocusDriven is modeled on Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which taught motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving.  “Just as groups like MADD changed attitudes about drunken driving, I believe FocusDriven can help raise awareness and change the way people think about distracted driving,” LaHood said in a news release. “Together, I hope we can put an end to this dangerous practice.”"
Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald Endorse Hoffman
""Hoffman is what Illinoisans deserve -- and should expect -- in a United States senator. He's an incorruptible man who tells truth to power, and his commitment to open and honest government is unquestioned."-Chicago Tribune"
Hoffman cleans up: Endorsements, that is.
"Despite suggestions that Dem US Senate candidate David Hoffman is a regional candidate, Mayor of Urbana Laurel Prussing expanded Hoffman's endorsement reach by joining influencers like IVI-IPO, the Daily Herald, the Trib, and, today, the Chicago Sun-Times.  In this cold, short election season, where one of the fastest growing FaceBook pages is the "No February Elections" page is that going to be enough to overcome Giannoulias' name recognition and residual good will lead?  Only God (or FSM, if you prefer), and the pundits on this page know!"
Document offers guidelines for religion in the public square - Associated Baptist Press
"A diverse group of religious and secular leaders unveiled a joint statement Jan. 12 aimed at advancing public understanding about legal rights and limitations on religious expression in the public square... Some support overturning laws and court decisions cited in the document, while others agree with them. Despite those differences, she said, they agree in many cases on where the law stands today."
John Sweeney Named Harvard Fellow
"AFL-CIO President Emeritus John Sweeney has been named a resident fellow for the spring term at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. When Sweeney retired as AFL-CIO president in September, he vowed to become a “union warrior at large,” and now he will share his more than 50-years experience in the U.S. union movement with Harvard students.  The institute is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and resident fellows participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community and lead weekly study groups on a range of topics."
Michigan Tea Partiers Boycott Detroit Auto Show Protest - TPM
"The AP was on the scene at the protest and found just two tea partiers in attendance. That's despite a national call for a rally at the show by the National Tax Day Tea Party last week... Instead, they ran into an online campaign to shut down the protest from Michigan tea partiers who called it an affront to the thousands of Michiganders who rely on the auto industry for a paycheck.
Al Franken Pushes Military To Offer Emergency Contraception To Soldiers Abroad - Air America
"The bill would require that all military pharmacies stock emergency contraception and offer it to servicewomen without a prescription, as the Food and Drug Administration currently allows civilian woman to obtain it. Currently, servicewomen face spotty access to emergency contraception coverage, particularly in facilities abroad, even as they were recently threatened with court martials if their primary contraception failed, if they were sexually assaulted or if they simply failed to use contraception and then became pregnant... In 2002, the Bush Administration interfered in a Pentagon effort to add emergency contraception to its Basic Formulary, which would have required that all military medical facilities keep it in stock."

11 Jan

Early Voting - Frank Napolitano at Al Murphy for DuPage Forest Preserve District 6
"Early Voting starts tomorrow in DuPage County. Please remind your friends and neighbors to go out and vote for Al Murphy for Forest Preserve District 6.  You can go to any DuPage county early voting location, which are listed on the following link."
Early Voting Locations
  • Valentine’s Day Cookie and Cupcake Decorating
    Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Chinese New Year Cooking Program
    Wednesday, Februrary 10, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Are You Managing Your Stress, or is it Managing You? Healthy You Series
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 7, 2010 Board Briefs
"The Committee of the Whole meeting of the Board of Education was held on Thursday, January 7, 2010, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Board.  Members in attendance: Mrs. Julie Pearson, Mrs. Brenda Vishanoff, Mrs. Karla Bruce, Mr. Dave Barclay, Mrs. Sue Stibal, Dr. Chris Scheck "

West Chicago
High School
Edline Posting During Finals Week
"Due to the extended time needed to grade final exams and since final exams are scheduled to be given on January 14th, there will be no Edline grade posting on Thursday, January 14, 2010. We will resume posting grades to Edline on January 21st to reflect cumulative grades. Please remember that grades posted on Edline should not be considered final or absolute. If you have any questions relative to your son’s/daughter’s grade or would like to have an accurate account of your son’s/daughter’s grade, please feel free to contact the classroom teacher."
City of West Chicago's 2010 Budget
"Speaking on behalf of the entire City Council, Mayor Mike Kwasman reiterated the City’s core value of assuring a safe, cohesive and dynamic community that is responsive to the needs of both citizens and businesses as it strives for continuous improvement. “The overriding goals of our fiscal planning must be to support the high standards set by the community and provide long-term value at reasonable cost," he added."
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Jan 11- Jan 17
Tues  6:00 PM COD Images
  6:30 PM Outspoken
  8:00 PM How To Homebrew
  9:00 PM Old Turner Junction
DuPage forest board hopefuls focus on finance
"Roger Kotecki of Warrenville, who has served on the forest preserve commission since 1990, is being challenged by West Chicago's Al Murphy. The winner will advance to the general election in November to face Democrat Shannon Burns, a 55-year-old West Chicago resident who owns Peaceful Hearts Therapies in Naperville. Burns is running unopposed in the Democratic primary."
DuPage candidates on tree-trimming issue
"None of the four GOP candidates seeking their party's nomination for the DuPage County Board Chairman's seat likes what ComEd has done to hundreds of trees along several trails in the county.  They also agree something needs to be done to prevent further deforestation, but opinions diverge on how to make that happen.""
Hoffman in Democrat Senate primary
"We like that Hoffman refers to himself as a pro-growth Democrat who understands that the ballooning deficit needs to be reduced by rooting out wasteful and inefficient spending and prioritizing economic growth... Hoffman has shown an independent streak that we find refreshing ... But Hoffman's chief attribute is his background in rooting out corruption and promoting ethics.
GOP primary for Senate: Mark Kirk
"As for some Republican voters concerned enough about his social views to be tempted to prefer losing with a "true conservative" rather than winning with the more moderate Kirk, consider this: In the current health care debate, as one example among many issues, would it truly have made no difference if Kirk, rather than Roland Burris, had been Illinois' junior senator?"
Kline Creek Farm Hopes for Bumper Crop of Ice
"If weather conditions permit, Kline Creek Farm staff and volunteers will take to Timber Lake just as farmers would have done over a century ago. See how a checkerboard pattern is scored and how ice is cut into large blocks using a saw."
West Chicago Middle School Announces First Quarter Honor Roll
"Students are credited in two areas. The area of Achievement means the student's grades are average "B" or above. Students are also graded in the area of effort, with "1" being the highest grade. Students making High Honor Roll received all A's in achievement and all 1's in effort."
Illinois budget woes: State's unpaid bills hit a record $5 billion, and the cries of pain are getting louder
"Quinn wanted lawmakers to raise the income tax in October. They said they'd try in the new year. But that's not likely to happen this week when Quinn delivers his State of the State speech. The rationale? Same as it ever was: There's an election coming up.  Now the deepening shortfall is starting to get noticed, and the cries of pain are growing louder."
Illinois lost 709 manufacturers in 2009
"Illinois lost almost 52,000 industrial jobs and 709 manufacturers in the past year, making it one of the worst years for the state's manufacturing sector in the last century, according to a longtime chronicler of the industry."
Candidates offer different plans to fix UI's financial woes
"Republican gubernatorial candidates Dan Proft and Andy McKenna had also been scheduled to appear at the debate in Champaign, but they did not attend. Two other Republicans, Bob Schillerstrom and Jim Ryan, had never committed to attending the debate."
Transportation boss lauds U.S. investment in autos
"“This was a good investment of taxpayer dollars in an industry that needed a little bit of an infusion of resources,” LaHood said. He noted that GM had recently repaid the government $1 billion in loans and was showing signs of recovery. “Today is a new beginning.”  LaHood joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., more than a dozen lawmakers and other Obama administration officials at the auto show in a sign of support for the industry."
Quinn names Illinois public health advocate
"Gov. Pat Quinn has named a former personal physician to Dr. Martin Luther King as Illinois’ public health advocate.  Quentin Young marched beside King during a protest in Chicago in 1966 and treated him when an angry spectator hit him with a rock.  Quinn created the position of public health advocate in November. The office will help to develop public health strategies that prevent, diagnose, treat and cure diseases."
Daily Herald endorses Hoffman for Senate
"Today the Daily Herald added it's voice to IVI-IPO's, Abner Mikva's, Miguel Del Valle's and others in endorsing David Hoffman for US Senate. They said:

Hoffman has shown an independent streak that we find refreshing even if we don't always agree with him. He does not support the Obama administration's plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. He also believes in more educational reforms than he says the Democratic Party has been willing to support in the past."

Tribune's statewide office endorsements
"The Trib today announced their endorsements for the statewide constitutional offices.  On the Democratic side: Lisa Madigan and Jesse White are running in uncontested races. The Trib endorses Art Turner for Lt. Governor, Robin Kelly for Treasurer and Raja Krishnamoorthi for Comptroller."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 08 Jan 10
Willow Creek in national spotlight for work toward racial harmony - Daily Herald
"Only then did he come to recognize how strongly anti-segregation messages ran through the scriptures he'd been studying all his life.  "Certain passages that today rock my mind and heart about racial reconciliation make me wonder how anybody could miss them," Hybels said. "But I was that 'anybody' for a long time.""
Trumka: Washington Lacks Political Courage to Fix Nation’s Jobs Crisis
"Today’s economic crisis and the decline of the nation’s middle class “cries out for political courage,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a major address on the economy and jobs crisis at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., this afternoon. But that courage, he said, is not much in evidence….Too many people in Washington seem to think that now that we have bailed out the banks, everything will be okay."

Toxic metal in kids' jewelry from China - Yahoo News
"The most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for the AP contained a startling 91 percent cadmium by weight. The cadmium content of other contaminated trinkets, all purchased at national and regional chains or franchises, tested at 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children."

Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail  - NY Times
"As one man lay dying of head injuries suffered in a New Jersey immigration jail in 2007, for example, a spokesman for the federal agency told The Times that he could learn nothing about the case from government authorities. In fact, the records show, the spokesman had alerted those officials to the reporter’s inquiry, and they conferred at length about sending the man back to Africa to avoid embarrassing publicity."

08 Jan

DuPage chairman candidates look at ethics, transparency
"The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions related to the primary. Today is the fourth installment of a five-part series looking at what the hopefuls in the contested GOP race for chairman had to say.
Q. What is your position on the county's efforts to enact ethics and transparency reforms?"
Tri-Cities police reports
"Jose Eduardo Perez, 17, of the 1000 block of Hahn Place in West Chicago was charged Dec. 30 with retail theft, according to a police report. Store security at Von Maur, 3810 E. Main St., observed Perez select three pairs of jeans and enter a fitting room. Perez exited the fitting room with only two pairs of jeans and left the store without paying for any items. Security stopped Perez, and he admitted to taking the jeans without paying for them."
Make public access law work for all
"Now those revisions are in the hands of local governments. Some, like the city of Geneva, may be inclined to be overly cautious. Geneva, like other communities, sends city news and information through mass e-mails to anyone who signs up. Last month, a memo told subscribers that because of the new provisions, their personal e-mail addresses could be made public through an FOI request. Some 200 people promptly dropped their subscriptions.  However, personal e-mail addresses are listed among several exemptions - private information like Social Security numbers, personal phone numbers and medical records - that don't have to be made public."
Early retirement might be offered at UI
"The retirement program being discussed is the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, originally written by former Vice President Sylvia Manning for all three campuses, but not yet implemented, said Michael Lillich, assistant director in the Office for University Relations.  Interim President Stanley Ikenberry, in an interview this week with The News-Gazette, said the plan is only in the talking stages but could be a reality in a matter of weeks if the UI's financial picture does not rapidly improve.
U of I expects to make early retirement offers
"The university is waiting on $436 million in overdue state payments. Illinois’ state government is behind on payments to universities and a long list of other public entities but can’t pay because of a growing budget deficit."
Illinois reports 3 new deaths related to swine flu
"Illinois health officials are reporting three new deaths and 67 new hospitalizations linked to the swine flu virus.  Today’s update brings total swine flu deaths in Illinois to 86. Nearly 2,700 people have been hospitalized with swine flu in the state since April.  Sickness from the virus has continued to ease its grip on the state. But health officials continue to urge vaccination and simple steps such as hand-washing and staying home when sick."
Lt. governor candidates disagree on taxes, whether office is needed
"The six Republican candidates for lieutenant governor Thursday all said they’d emulate Gov. Pat Quinn in one way – by attending the funerals of fallen soldiers, which Quinn started doing before ascending to the state’s top job.  Beyond that, the candidates were all harshly critical of state government under the Democratic governor and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly."
Foster Works as UPS Driver, Talks to Geneva Small Businesses
"Rep. Bill Foster helped a UPS driver deliver packages in Geneva, and talked to local businesses about the economy. Foster makes it a priority to listen to constituents during meetings, at sessions of Congress on Your Corner and in events with area organizations, but sometimes, the best way to understand where someone is coming from is to spend some time in their shoes."
Church attacks condemned - The Straits Times, Malaysia
"MALAYSIAN political leaders, both from the government and opposition, were unanimous and united in condemning those involved in attempting to burn down several churches on Friday.  MCA president Ong Tee Keat, who is also Transport Minister, in his latest blog posting condemnedthe act which he deemed 'such a cowardly show of brute force and intimidation, and there is neither excuse nor justification for them.'"
All American Clothing Co.
"We care that thousands of manufacturers in this country sacrifice quality for less-expensive labor in other areas of the world, to increase the bottom line. We continue to lobby in Washington D.C. for programs that responsibly limit the quantity of imported products coming into this country while still pursuing a policy of fair trade with our many global neighbors. We care about the environmental, sociological, and financial implications of this policy."
  Honoring Illinois' Fallen
" to fly the flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff on behalf of: Senior Airman Bradley Randall Smith - Hometown: Troy, Illinois"

07 Jan

Around and About in West Chicago - 07 Jan 2010
  • Crossroads Chevrolet & Buick
  • Early Voting
  • Reception for Matt Fuesting
  • Community Banner Project Competition
  • Two Fires this Weekend

West Chicago
High School
Thursday, January 7, 2010 Cancellations
"Due to inclement weather conditions, all after school games, practices, and activities scheduled for today, January 7, 2010 have been cancelled."
  DuPage County briefs - Volunteers needed:
"The People's Resource Center is seeking volunteers to teach weekly Kids Art classes at two sites in West Chicago and one in Wheaton. The Kids Art program promotes creative expression, critical thinking and interpersonal functioning for at-risk children ages 6 to 15. Dates and times are flexible, but classes must take place weekdays between 3 and 6 p.m. Volunteers must commit to an hour of teaching per week. A binder of project ideas and resources will be provided, along with all supplies. Contact Lesley Gena at (630) 682-5402 ext. 241."
Quinn's our pick in Democratic primary
"Where Blagojevich is underhanded, Gov. Quinn is an open book. Where Blagojevich is flashy, Quinn is rumpled and real. And, most important, where Blagojevich is dishonest and manipulative, Quinn has proven himself over a long career to be a man you can trust.  As Illinois' accidental governor, Quinn has had a bumpy ride. But nearly a year after landing the job, his integrity, passion and commitment to fight for the little guy are still what Illinois needs."
Census shows sharp drop in people moving from Illinois
"In contrast, states such as Illinois, New York and Massachusetts have gotten a respite from relentless migration losses, says Johnson, who analyzed the data unveiled Dec. 23. "It is even causing quite a stir in political circles because it is upsetting the calculations about reapportionment--the fast growing states that everyone expected to grab additional seats may not come to pass if the slowdown lasts another year.""
Tollway: Signs reflect new speed limits for trucks
"The speed limit for trucks that weigh more than 4 tons increased Jan. 1 to 65 mph from 55 mph along rural interstates in Illinois.  The state tollway says that means the speed limit for those trucks has changed on portions of Interstate 90, or the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, and Interstate 88, or the Reagan Memorial Tollway.  The Illinois Tollway says motor homes, campers and trailers also can travel at 65 mph in the designated areas."
Grace period for voter registration starts
"The state Board of Elections says people who register during the grace period can’t vote at an early voting site or at a polling place on Election Day.  They need to vote at the same office where they registered to vote. The state says they can also vote by mail at the discretion of the local election authority."
The planet doesn't lie
"POSTSCRIPT: If you can’t refute any of the foregoing, spare us your meaningless arguments about how you don’t like Al Gore. This debate is about science, not personalities."
Electric agency to spend $300 million on wind energy
"Payments to wind-farm operator NextEra Energy Resources work out to about $1.2 million a month or $50 million a year. But Mueller said the payments are within the context of $150 million a year in annual IMEA revenues.  He said the revenues are expected to rise to $250 million a year once sales of wind energy and credits reach capacity."
Universities other than U of I hoping to avoid furloughs
"Other state schools are owed smaller amounts, but with annual budgets much smaller than the U of I’s $4.7 billion — 15.9 percent of which comes from the state — the money is often more significant.  At Southern Illinois University, 55 percent of the $420 million budget is supposed to come from the state.  But it became clear months ago that SIU couldn’t count on the money, at least not on time, said Rod Sievers, a spokesman for the Carbondale campus."
Hynes, Quinn trade accusations over prisoner release program
"Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes had more harsh words Wednesday for Gov. Pat Quinn over an early-release program for prisoners, while Quinn clammed up amid withering criticism of the program he has acknowledged was a “big mistake.”  “In terms of saving money and cutting costs, it was their priority to release dangerous criminals into our communities. These are bad priorities and it demonstrates bad judgment,” said Hynes, Quinn’s opponent in the Feb. 2 Democratic primary.""
Demand for 'designer babies' to grow dramatically - Times Online
"By 2020, researchers will have discovered many more genetic variations that substantially raise the risk of common conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and psychiatric disorders, and it will be possible to detect these in embryos, he said. This will feed much wider interest in embryo screening, which is currently used by only a few dozen couples each year, and encourage fresh controversy over the ethics of designer babies."
House or Senate Health Care Reform? Compare for Yourself - AFL=CIO
"Health care reform advocates say that more than three-quarters of the bills’ provisions share such features as consumer protections, more affordable coverage for active workers and retirees and seniors, expanded coverage and cost containment.  But there also are significant differences in the bills. Overall, as we have reported, the House bill comes closer to AFL-CIO’s health care reform goals..."
Another Poll Shows Blumenthal Way Ahead For Dodd's Senate Seat - TPM
"Blumenthal leads former Rep. Rob Simmons by 56%-33%; Blumenthal leads former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon by 58%-34%; and Blumenthal leads financial analyst Peter Schiff by 60%-24%. These results are fairly similar to yesterday's numbers from Public Policy Polling (D), which was conducted just before the news of Dodd's retirement and Blumenthal's entry into the race."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Quinn's Office to fly the flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff on behalf of: Sgt. Albert D. Ware - Hometown: Chicago, Illinois"

06 Jan


West Chicago
High School
upcoming FAFSA night - Maura Bridges, LCPC, Division Head of Support Services
"To follow up from a letter sent to all seniors earlier this year - this is a reminder of Wednesday, January 13th’s FAFSA Night. Mr. Ward Rau, CHS counselor, will present information for SENIOR parents and their students regarding the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is required to seek financial aid. He will guide you through the steps for completing the form – whether you choose to file the paper form or electronically. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Weyrach Auditorium. Please use entrance H."
  • State of the State Address
  • Ideas for Legislation
  • Thanks for Supporting Our Troops
  • Special Thanks to Those Who Gave
  • Women's Advisory Committee
  • New Laws Sponsored by Rep. Ramey Starting Jan. 1
Fortner Accepting Applications for Illinois General Assembly Scholarship
"State Representative Mike Fortner is currently accepting applications for the Illinois General Assembly Scholarship. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be a full time student enrolled at a state university and live in the 95th district which includes parts of Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, and West Chicago."
DuPage chairman candidates offer plans for county
"The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions related to the primary. Today is the third installment of a five-part series looking at what the hopefuls in the contested GOP race for chairman had to say."
Quinn must own up to prison mistake
"Ultimately, 1,718 inmates were released between September and December after getting up to six months off for good behavior the minute they entered prison, reversing a policy that every inmate spend at least 61 days behind bars.  Forty-eight went back to prison for parole violations, and Quinn acknowledged eight are accused of new crimes."
Roeser wants nothing to do with Martin ad
"Andy Martin's political ad questioning the sexual orientation of Mark Kirk, the Republican Party's front-runner in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois, continues to run in the Chicago market. But on Tuesday, local businessman Jack Roeser, who is quoted in the ad, said he is having his attorney look into getting the spot off the radio and/or having his name removed from it.  "I have nothing to do with that SOB," Roeser said about Martin. "His reputation precedes him. I don't like being quoted by him, and I don't support anything he does.""
Candidate forum set for tonight in Wheaton
"The League of Women Voters and numerous chambers of commerce will hold candidate forums in Wheaton tonight and tomorrow night from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Wheaton Park District Community Center.  Tonight, candidates for Forest Preserve Districts four and six, and US Congressional District 14 will participate."
Trail system boosts stimulus odds
"The newly launched Forward Coalition -- a partnership of several dozen county entities focused on countering the growing problem of childhood obesity -- submitted an application in November for about $10 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds being distributed through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
St. Andrews G. & C.C. 2010 Eskimo Open
"On Sunday, January 3rd, St. Andrews G. & C.C. held its annual Eskimo Open. The temperatures started at minus 5 degrees and barely made it to the double digits, with a 12 inch snow base on the ground. Twenty hardcore golfers braved the elements to participate in this year's event."
Indian Knoll School hosts National Geographic Geography Bee January 21
"Students at Indian Knoll School in West Chicago Elementary School District 33 have been preparing for this advanced geography challenge. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. After classroom elimination rounds, the following students have advanced to the next level of the competition:"
Longtime city cop to run prison release programs
"Quinn appointed Michael McCotter to serve as chief public safety officer at the Illinois Department of Corrections, a position he announced last week after halting a program that let convicts out of prison extra early by awarded them good-time credit at an accelerated pace."
Quinn says relief for UI should come in February
"The University of Illinois should get some financial relief soon from a new round of state borrowing, according to Gov. Pat Quinn.  Quinn said Tuesday in a recorded press briefing that the state plans to borrow another $3.4 billion to meet pension obligations and provide about $1 billion in much-needed cash to reduce its backlog of bills."
Depression was worse situation for UI campus
"Although University of Illinois interim President Stanley Ikenberry called Tuesday's announced furloughs and budget cuts "unprecedented," there have been more severe midyear salary reductions at the UI.  On March 1, 1933 – during the depths of the Great Depression – the university instituted a 10 percent salary reduction for all staff and employees making more than $1,000 a year. The measure saved the UI about $500,000 a year."
State official puts lobbyist registrations on hold
"A post on White's Web site indicates that the lobbyist registration system is disabled "because of a temporary restraining order entered by the U.S. District Court" in Chicago. That court in late December blocked lobbyists in nonprofit organizations from paying more for registration.  Lawmakers last spring approved a large increase in fees, requiring lobbyists to pay nearly three times what they have in the past to be registered, as part of ethics reforms that required stronger oversight by White's office of lobbyist activities."
Hynes: Unpaid bills $5.1 billion
"Hynes issued a quarterly report Wednesday saying the state is facing "the most dangerous fiscal conditions in modern history." The deficit is expected to top $11 billion this year.  Hynes says the backlog of bills is even higher if short-term loans that need to be repaid soon are included along with health care bills not yet sent to his office."
State Capitol Q&A: Arbitration could lead to deal in state layoff lawsuit
"Gov. Pat Quinn’s efforts to eliminate hundreds of state worker jobs remain tied up in court.  The administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees were scheduled to argue the case today in the Fifth District Appellate Court.  Instead, the hearing has been postponed indefinitely while the two sides engage in arbitration. Court documents indicate a deal might be close, but that doesn’t guarantee that any jobs will be saved."
Attorney general adds staff, contacts on open records law
"Attorney General Lisa Madigan has expanded her staff and is offering phone and electronic contact options to help deal with the state’s new open records law.  Lawmakers approved a rewrite of the state’s Freedom of Information Act last spring to better ensure governmental bodies are providing proper access to their records."
Will Quinn's re-election be derailed by a math problem? - Carl Nyberg
"White was paroled early (December 16, 2009) from a prison sentence (for a crime with a firearm) that was supposed to end no earlier than August, 2010. The spokesperson for Illinois Department of Corrections, Januari Smith, explained that Smith had received 180-days credit for good behavior. Smith denied White sentence was cut short under Gov. Pat Quinn's now-discontinued MGT Push program."
Mass. College of Pharmacy bans covering of the face - Star Banner, Florida
"The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has banned students, faculty, and staff from covering their faces on its three campuses in an effort to ensure public safety, a college spokesman said yesterday.  But the new policy has drawn flak from a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, which wants the school to exempt Muslim women who veil their faces for religious reasons."
Better Enforcement = Fewer Mine Deaths - AFL-CIO
"He says a key factor contributing to the record low number of deaths include enforcement of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and continued implementation of the MINER Act, enacted by Congress in 2006.  That’s quite a change from MSHA under the Bush administration. According to the Charleston Gazette, MSHA failed to issue more than 4,000 fines for recorded safety violations and Bush threatened to veto the MINER Act."
Union mocks Limbaugh’s new found ‘love’ of socialized medicine - Raw Story
"The group mocks the right-wing host's unknowing double-standard with a headline that reads, "Hell Freezes Over: Rush Limbaugh Loves Union Hospitals and Socialized Medicine"... "Hawaii’s health insurance premiums are nearly tied with North Dakota for the lowest in the country, and Medicare costs per beneficiary are the nation’s lowest," the Times noted. Hawaii also has the lowest percentage of uninsured citizens among all 50 states and its residents have a longer life expectancy than Americans in the continental U.S."
Conservatives Should Learn To Google Before Claiming Obama Doesn’t Use The Words ‘Terror’ Or ‘Terrorism’ - Think Preogress
"Last week, former Vice President Dick Cheney attacked the Obama administration’s approach to terrorism, saying that Obama has been “trying to pretend we are not at war.” The White House aggressively hit back at Cheney, saying he either “willfully mischaracterized” Obama or is “ignorant of the facts.” Politifact called Cheney’s criticism “ridiculously” false because “a review of Obama’s statements of the past year makes it clear he has often said the United States is at war against terrorist organizations.”"

05 Jan

DuPage Co. Board Chairman candidates face tough economy
"The field features state Sen. Dan Cronin of Elmhurst; Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso; DuPage County Board member Debra Olson of Wheaton; and state Sen. Carole Pankau of Itasca.  The winner will advance to the November election to face Democrat Carole A. Cheney, 48, an attorney from Aurora who has never held elected office and is running unopposed in her party's primary."
Selling tollway idea drives GOP skirmish
""It is worth looking at," said the Elmhurst Republican. "How you structure it will determine whether it is a good deal or a bad deal."  Selling the tollway was one of Ryan's plans for "fiscal discipline" released Monday.  State Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington quickly attempted to attack Ryan on the idea, saying it was "opening the door to a very dangerous practice." He raised the specter of the controversial lease of parking meters in Chicago.  Yet, just a few weeks ago Brady talked highly about selling the tollway system, saying, "You have to make sure that when you sell it you are selling it in a way that works.""
DuPage sets informational meetings for grants
"The meetings will be held on at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, and 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, in Room 1-500B of the Jack T. Knuepfer Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton.  The Human Services Grant Fund is a pool of funding created by DuPage County to provide assistance to organizations that serve the Human Services needs of DuPage County residents. This year, the fund will distribute $1 million to grant recipients."
Early election focus snowed under by holidays
"So, the last thing you're thinking about is an election.  But there's one coming up, less than a month away on Feb. 2, the primary election for county, judicial and statewide office. That includes U.S. senator and governor, and if you want to vote in the primary for those offices, today is the last day you can register."
Jan 21 Kickoff Celebration For the Relay For Life Of West Chicago/Warrenville
"Cancer survivors, caregivers, team participants and anyone interested in learning more about the Relay For Life of West Chicago/Warrenville are invited to attend a special event kickoff celebration from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Courtyard Banquet & Restaurant, 3S200 Route 59, Warrenville."
'No longer possible' to avoid furloughs at UI
""I am hereby directing the chancellors, deans and other University administrators to join me in taking a total of ten furlough days -- or two days per month beginning in February and through the pay period ending on June 15, 2010," says the email to UI staff."
Illinois to receive $9 million in federal grants
"Burris’ office says the money will go to Illinois counties to provide services, food and shelter to those struggling during the economic downturn. Burris says the “funds will assist in alleviating some of the economic difficulties among Illinoisans while we continue down the road to economic recovery.”"
Deadline to register to vote in Feb. 2 primary is Tuesday
"To avoid extraordinary measures, however, people who will be 18 by the primary and haven’t registered, or who have changed their name or address since last updating registration records, should register by today. That way, they will be able to vote at their polling place on the day of the primary — or take advantage of absentee or early voting."
Illinois’ fiscal woes result in negative watch from Fitch Ratings
"The comments provided by Fitch Ratings said that placing the state on negative watch “reflects the magnitude and persistent nature of the state’s fiscal problems.” Fitch specifically cited Illinois’ “poor financial performance” and a 2010 budget that did not address the sizeable accumulated deficit and which relied on one-time revenue streams to close the budget gap.  This is another in a series of negative reactions to Illinois’ budget situation, which recently resulted in December downgrades from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s for Illinois’ general obligation bonds for pensions and capital projects. Fitch downgraded the state to an A from an AA- in July 2009."

04 Jan

West Chicago Public Access Playback - Jan 4- Jan 10

West Chicago
High School
Booster Club Meeting:
"The Wildcat Booster Club meeting scheduled for Monday, January 4th, has been postponed.  The meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, January 11th."
Reminder for Market Day Orders
"Now that the holidays are over and the kids have gone back to school, it is time to restock your freezer with Market Day goodies.  Please help support our student organizations by placing orders with Market Day."
Wheaton Academy Starting the New Year Strong with Cutting Edge Academic Program
"On Monday, January 4, Wheaton Academy launched its annual Winterim program. Wheaton Academy is one of the few private schools around the nation that offer such a program. Winterim runs for the first two weeks of January and provides opportunities for students to take a variety of classes like World War II: Changing History and Challenging Values, Cooking for Guys, and Fitness for Life. These are just three of the 48 classes that are being offered during Winterim."
Coyote Sightings Prompt Safety Reminder
"Residents are advised to keep the ground clear of pet and wild animal feed, and never leave a small pet unattended outside. Education is a big piece to understanding how to co-exist harmoniously with coyotes and other wildlife species, and a good source of information is the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website,"
No one hurt in West Chicago apartment fire
"Firefighters were called to the 1200 block of Kings Circle at about 11 p.m. Sunday with reports of smoke and fire. Units arriving on the scene met with the resident of the apartment, who said flames and smoke were showing inside.  Firefighters evacuated the building, as well as an adjoining apartment complex, and attacked the fire inside, the release said."
Candidates for DuPage County board chairman outline top campaign issue
"Four high-powered Republicans are seeking their party's nomination for DuPage County Board chairman in the Feb. 2 primary election.  The field features state Sen. Dan Cronin of Elmhurst; Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso; DuPage County Board member Debra Olson of Wheaton; and state Sen. Carole Pankau of Itasca."
Message for a new era in political ethics
"The ethics commission decision comes at a good time to remind us, one, that that loophole must still be closed and, two, that it's just plain time to put 2009 behind us. It's time now to look ahead to a new era in ethics in state government - and to an expectation that lawmakers will adhere not just by the always parsable letters of the law but by its inherent and unbending spirit."
Even today, a voice for the otherwise voiceless
"Governments host their own Web sites these days with useful information about their jurisdictions, but will those sites question their spending? Citizens provide news from the spare room upstairs and sometimes very well, but the standards of accuracy and fairness can be a question. Left-wingers and right-wingers engage in investigative research, but it's vested to prove a point-of-view. Television covers the news and often well, but it's rarely local to the school board or Main Street."
[This might be a good time for WegoNews to thank all the journalist to whom we regularly link.  We urge you to read the whole article and notice THEIR advertisers.  After all, they are the ones who pay the bills. - Bob]
School bills are due, but state won't pay
"When the quarterly payments came due at the end of the year, the state again missed its categorical and grant payments to all 871 Illinois school districts.  This money is supposed to fund projects like school buses, special education, reading programs and early childhood development. But the money's not coming, instead getting added bill by bill to an already $4.5 billion IOU the state has for services from schools to homeless shelters."
Central Ill. paper suspends comments on Web site
"In a note, editor Mark Pickering says that in recent weeks, there have been too many comments that are offensive and include personal attacks that have nothing to do with stories.  "The problem is one of civility," he wrote."
Illinois Asian carp: New York attorney general to file brief in Supreme Court
"Cuomo said he plans to file a brief Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Michigan's request for an injunction to close a Chicago canal connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi water basin. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio also are supporting the request.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reviewing the suit.  The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has said that closing the canal would not prevent the carp from migrating."
Quinn to name new head for ICC today
"A news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. The ICC regulates utility rates. According to the ICC's Web site, current chairman Charles Box was appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich effective in January 2006."
Quinn, foes spar on early prison releases
"In a news conference, the Democratic governor blamed his prisons director for dropping a policy of requiring every inmate to serve at least 61 days. He said the 61-day minimum would be restored and his administration would take steps to overhaul policies on who gets time off for good behavior and when they get it."
Med marijuana bill gets support from some in GOP
"Jim Ryan, the former state attorney general and a cancer survivor, said he could support a "narrowly drawn" bill legalizing medical marijuana.  "It can provide needed relief for patients with various afflictions," said Ryan, a Republican.  Rival Republican Bill Brady took the opposite view.  "Legalizing medical marijuana appears to me to be nothing more than moving us down the slope of legalizing marijuana," said Brady, a state senator from Bloomington."
Quinn reversal on early release leaves unanswered questions
"Quinn left the impression that he’s obligated to hand out good-behavior benefits to inmates who qualify for it, when the law says awarding good time credit is discretionary.  Quinn also confused the issue of how much he knew in advance about granting early release to short-term prisoners, even violent ones."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 01 Jan 10
District: Teacher accused of burning kids asked about religion - Assoc Press
"Freshwater at first denied he ever surveyed students beginning his eighth-grade science class. But when shown completed questionnaires, he said it appeared the school had gone through his room.  An internal investigation concluded that Freshwater burned students with a high-frequency generator and preached his Christian beliefs in class."
Is Jim DeMint Undermining Airport Security to Bust Unions? - TruthOut
"He and his colleagues will do what's needed to protect the public, contrary to right-wing falsehoods about their insisting on following petty union rules that thwart effectiveness. For instance, in just the last few days at the Los Angeles airport, McClain observes, all vacations were canceled and a full contingent of officers was placed on duty. "Management has the discretion to change the days [of our shifts] and maximize deployment," he says. "There was no process or meeting or a conference about this. The chief just said, `Vacations are canceled and this is going to happen.' His [DeMint's] claims about unionization and homeland security have no validity.""
Yes, It Was Torture, and Illegal - New York Times
"Reversing the Circuit Court would not have ended the matter. The plaintiffs would still have had to prove their case at trial. They deserved that chance... Anyone who doubts the degree of executive branch pliability in this realm needs to consider this: The party that urged the Supreme Court not to grant the victims’ appeal because the illegality of torture was not “clearly established” was the Obama Justice Department."

01 Jan

New laws starting Jan. 1 address distracted driving, bowling shoes
"More than 250 new state laws take effect tomorrow covering a dizzying array of topics and penalties. The Daily Herald pored over the list to find 10 of the more interesting -- if not curious -- laws hitting the books in 2010."
DuPage County residents given ‘access’ to free healthcare
"While Access DuPage accepts new patients every day, many of its non-profit partners are struggling with funding.  “The challenge has been that our volumes have increased dramatically,” Murphy said. She said that they currently have 11,000 enrollees, while 18 months ago, they were at 7,500. The program costs about $400 a year per patient.  “Our goal continues to be to stay open to new enrollees, because we know we’re the program of last resort,” Murphy said."
Looming layoffs?
"After funds were slashed and then partially restored in Springfield's budget wranglings last summer, some of the area's nonprofits were bracing for even more cuts in state money right around now. That, they knew, would likely force them to put more people in the unemployment lines. While at this point the ax hasn't fallen again, they're not exhaling yet."
Pension sweeteners cost city millions, study finds
"The 105-page study, done by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, examined police and firefighter pension funds between fiscal year 2004 and 2008 in five cities: Arlington Heights, Bellwood, Champaign, Springfield and Wilmette.  The analysis, said to be the first of suburban and downstate pension funds conducted by an independent body, showed that state-mandated pension increases for Springfield firefighters cost the city more than $2.9 million in five years. Extra benefits approved for Springfield police totaled more than $2 million over the same period."
ABC's Inaccurate Gitmo-Abdulmutallab Story Got Major Pickup - TPM
"The only problem? As documented by Gawker, one of those two leaders -- IDed in the story as "Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi" -- had reportedly surrendered himself in February and ended up in the hands of Saudi authorities. This fact -- reported at the time by the AP -- means that, as ABC's correction noted last night, he "therefore could not have played a direct role in organizing the attempt to bring down Northwest flight 253.""
[I don't know if this is a correction of yesterday's post or not.  OK. one was not involved... but if one was, it is still an indictment of how the Bu$h administration selected who to release from Gitmo. - Bob]


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