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26 Feb  
St. Baldrick's Event
"Hosted by the West Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85, over a dozen officers have teamed up to raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to childhood cancer research, by shaving their heads."
Her husband's killer, ten minutes away
"Ramey commended McNally for her poise and stoicism and said he hopes that if the bill become law, it helps bring the family closure.  "Knowing (the legislation) won't directly affect her, but will help others, I think that helps her deal with the whole situation," said Ramey who is also considering introducing a bill dealing with escapees that stems from the incident last year."
"The scholarship will be for one year, in the amount of $2,500, renewable each year for a maximum of four years or $10,000. This scholarship will not be determined upon financial need. This scholarship will be offered to four deserving students who are presently enrolled in one of the following high schools: ... St. Charles East, ... West Chicago Community, ... and Wheaton Academy."
Quinn: Taking away seniors’ rides won’t pass
"The Illinois House this week passed a measure to scale back the program to make it an income- based benefit. Under that plan, free rides would continue for people 65 and older whose annual income is under about $27,600 — or $36,600 for a two-person household.  Quinn wouldn’t say today if he would sign the measure to limit the benefit. He says he doesn’t think that will pass the Illinois Senate."
Senate Dems float redistricting proposal
"But it still calls for legislators to take first crack at the maps – either by the House and Senate drawing maps for their own chambers or the legislature and governor agreeing to new maps together.  Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat who heads the redistricting panel, said the idea is to shine more light on the map-drawing process and get more outside input on the best setup."
Durbin: Public deserves coverage comparable to Congress'
"“I looked around that room and realized that virtually every member of Congress in that room is part of a health insurance exchange run by the federal government -- with imposed minimum standards on the health insurance companies,” Durbin said in a news conference following the summit. “Our Republican friends who find this so objectionable for the rest of America live with it every day."
Rep. Foster at Ideological Center of House
"Today, the 2009 National Journal Magazine released its annual ‘Congressional Vote Ratings’ issue, in which Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) is ranked at the ideological center of the House of Representatives, highlighting his record of independent and thoughtful votes."
VA GOP Legislator: Disabled Kids Are God's Vengeance - Daily Kos
""The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children," said Marshall, a Republican.  "In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest.""
Whirlpool Threatens Workers: Protesting Plant Closure Risks 'Future Jobs' - Huffington Post
"A major corporation planning to shut down a factory in Indiana has warned its union workers that they'll endanger their future job prospects if they protest the plant's closing ... The labor community, naturally, was in an uproar, pointing to the $20 million that the Whirlpool Corporation received as part of the president's economic stimulus package."
Afflicting the Afflicted - New York Times
"In reality, House Republicans don’t have anything to offer to Americans with troubled medical histories. On the contrary, their big idea — allowing unrestricted competition across state lines — would lead to a race to the bottom. The states with the weakest regulations — for example, those that allow insurance companies to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence — would set the standards for the nation as a whole."
New Evidence of Runaway Toyotas May Help Imprisoned Camry Owner - ABC
"There was no evidence of alcohol or drug impairment in the case, which occurred on a Sunday afternoon in June 2006 as Lee returned home from church with his pregnant wife and other members of his family.  Lee's car hit the other car at a speed estimated between 70 and 90 miles per hour. Lee testified he shouted to his family, "Brakes, brakes not working," moments before the fatal crash."

25 Feb

Victims Rights Legislation Receives House Approval
"“This legislation arose out of a situation in which a defendant was found not guilty of the murder by reason of insanity,” said Ramey. “The defendant was then housed at a Department of Human Services (DHS) facility in close proximity to the surviving family members of the victim, creating a frequent painful reminder to the family of the loss of their loved one. This bill would allow DHS to review victim impact statements and consider, among other things, the proximity of a facility to surviving victims when evaluating a defendant for placement.”"

"This year Winfield Township will again host an Open House. This open house will be on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Winfield Township Road District Office located at 30W575 Roosevelt Road, West Chicago, IL, which is on the southeast corner of Roosevelt Road and Town Rd. Snacks and hot dogs will be served while supply lasts. Come share a snack with your neighbors, the elected officials and office staff."
Schools fear budget cuts will hamper improvement
"Data released Oct. 31 by the State Board of Education reported that 41 percent of the state's 3,806 schools failed to meet No Child Left Behind benchmarks in 2009. In 2008, only 31 percent missed the mark... Schools have even more cause for worry next year.  Along with benchmarks rising to 77.5 percent, district budgets are being slashed across the board."
Birkett defends handling of Nicarico case
""As a prosecutor, I had serious concerns about going forward (with the Cruz and Hernandez prosecution)," Birkett said.  Birkett said that besides a lack of physical evidence connecting either man to the crime, he personally had 147 unanswered questions he felt were pertinent in proving the state's case."
March 20 Prom Dress Sale To Benefit Community High School Education Foundation
"Gently worn prom dresses, all donated for the event, will be sold to help raise money for CHS District 94 Education Foundation, who is partnering in the event. Dresses may be donated for the event by emailing Patti Kozlowski, CHS Clothing II teacher, at before Friday, March 5."
Layoffs unsettle UI's Facilities and Services employees
"A laid-off Facilities and Services worker says employees are "on pins and needles" as layoffs at the University of Illinois continue... The campus released updated numbers Wednesday that said Facilities and Services has given 35 employees layoff notices since July 2009.  Of those 35, 23 were no longer employed by the department as of Monday, but four of them have found other employment within the UI, said spokeswoman Robin Kaler.
Quinn considers $2B in budget cuts
"Quinn’s office launched a Web site that lays out Illinois’ dire economic situation, seeking taxpayers’ input on fixing the fiscal mess two weeks before the Democrat unveils his budget plan for the coming year.  It suggests a needed $2.2 billion cut in spending — mostly in elementary and secondary education, where funding would drop 15 percent even as school districts are already struggling with late state payments.  Even then, Illinois would end the 2011 fiscal year with an $11.5 billion deficit."
Committee OKs plan to eliminate lieutenant governor
"An Illinois House committee has approved a plan to allow voters to decide whether to abolish the state’s No. 2 post.  House Speaker Michael Madigan says the position of lieutenant governor is unnecessary. His proposed constitutional amendment would go before voters in November."
Senate panel advances legislative scholarship changes
"The Cullerton-sponsored bill would prohibit lawmakers from giving scholarships to students from whose family the lawmaker had taken money in the last five years. It would also prohibit a recipient from donating to that lawmaker for five years after receiving the award."
Illinois faces $2 billion in cuts; education hit hard
"The information doesn’t provide great detail about the budget plan Quinn will propose March 10. But the outlines show what will happen if state revenues don’t increase.  Federal stimulus money that propped up education budgets this year will expire, costing elementary and secondary education more than $900 million."
Street Fight: Ohio Clergy Seeks End Of Tax Exemption For D.C. Structure Owned By `The Family' - Talk to Action
""As we understand it, C Street Center has no recognized creed or form of worship, no distinct ecclesiastical government, and no formal code of doctrine," observes the clergy letter. "To the best of our knowledge, it is not led by ordained ministers, and its leadership is not selected based on the completion of any prescribed studies for the preparation of ministers. We are not aware of it holding regular religious services that are open to the public, it has no Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young, and it has no distinct religious history."  Clergy Voice asserts that the C Street Center is really a boarding house and concludes, "An organization whose chief activity is providing room and board to Members of Congress is not a church.""
Whirlpool Warns Workers to Skip Friday Rally - AFL-CIO
"In an internal newsletter at Whirlpool Corp.’s Evansville, Ind., plant, Paul Coburn, vice president of Whirlpool’s Evansville Division, says the decision to close the plant and kill 1,100 jobs will not be reconsidered and warns workers about attending a Friday rally protesting the shutdown:  "…these negative activities will only hamper employees when they look for future jobs….We fear that potential employers will view the actions of a few and determine whether they would want to hire any of Evansville Division employees in the future.""
The Attack on Climate-Change Science - Tom Dispatch
"If you have a three-page report, it won’t be overwhelming and it’s unlikely to have many mistakes. Three thousand pages (the length of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)? That pretty much guarantees you’ll get something wrong.  Indeed, the IPCC managed to include, among other glitches, a spurious date for the day when Himalayan glaciers would disappear. It won’t happen by 2035, as the report indicated -- a fact that has now been spread so widely across the Internet that it’s more or less obliterated another, undeniable piece of evidence: virtually every glacier on the planet is, in fact, busily melting. "

24 Feb

Around and About in West Chicago - 24 Feb 2010
  • McNulty Irish Dancers
  • Crumbling Condition of the Parapet Wall
  • Donations of Prom and/or Bridesmaid Dresses
  • St. Patrick’s Day Bash
  • West Chicago Park District’s Maintenance Building
Board Briefs - Thursday, February 18, 2010
"The regular meeting of the Board of Education was held on Thursday, February 18, 2010, beginning at 7:00 p.m."

West Chicago
High School
“Dancing With the Staff” Competition
"Community High School’s “All Night Long” Post-Prom Committee will be hosting its annual St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser at St. Andrews Country Club in West Chicago on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 7-11 pm."
"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."

Heavy Snow: A Love Story
"Home from school, one child sat astride her mother’s lap, their torsos pressed tightly together, their arms entangled. The child explained how the building of snowmen–those few transcendent moments bursting with wonder, friendship, and unrestrained joy–broke her heart. “It can never happen again,” she said. “It can never, ever happen again. My beautiful school is gone.  I don’t want my school to be gone.”"

$10 million budget surplus for DuPage County
"The county board had initially anticipated spending down some of the county's $44.7 million in reserves in 2009, but now the reserve fund is up to $46.9 million as a result of the surplus. The county normally keeps its reserve funds between 20 percent and 25 percent of the annual general fund. The reserves would now be 27.5 percent of the projected 2010 general fund revenues."
Wayne man sued over fatal crash again
"The suit against Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso, 19, was filed in Kane County last week by the parents of Colton Kumerow of St. Charles, one of two back-seat passengers who survived the June 14, 2009, crash in St. Charles... Lorusso has pleaded not guilty to felony charges including reckless homicide for his role in the crash, which killed Cameron Godee, 18, of West Chicago. His attorney, Vince Solano, could not be reached for comment Tuesday."
Kids have a blast learning science at Fermilab event
"Mr. Freeze's performance was only one of the treats for them Sunday afternoon, as Fermilab -- the country's preeminent particle physics laboratory -- threw open the doors of Robert Wilson Hall for its annual Family Open House.  Kids could tour the lab's particle accelerators, make their own telescopes, and watch as scientists like Zimmerman explained the basics of scientific principles with a wink and a smile."
County Board hears report on homelessness
"Simler reported that in Fiscal Year 2009, 1,512 DuPage residents were reported as homeless, including 368 under the age of 18 and 169 under 5.  Simler noted that the figure likely represented an undercount, since it only included those who had spent time in a shelter and didn't reflect people who had doubled up with other families or found accommodations other than county shelters."
C'mon kids, Wheaton Academy puts on show: 'Singin' in the Rain' opens Feb. 26
"Wheaton Academy students are busy buckling their tap shoes and raising their umbrellas as they get ready to open their spring production of the beloved American classic musical “Singin’ in the Rain.”"
Community High School post-Prom committee to host 'Dancing with the Stars' competition
"Community High School’s “All Night Long” Post-Prom Committee will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at St. Andrews Country Club in West Chicago."
Benjamin Middle School Students Plan Mini-Relay Events In Support Of Relay For Life Of West Chicago/Warrenville
"Fifth through eighth grade students at Benjamin Middle School, West Chicago, will announce Wednesday, Feb. 24 a series of special educational programs and events designed to help promote cancer awareness and raise funds in behalf of the Relay For Life of West Chicago/Warrenville.  The mini Relay events will feature fundraising activities including a volleyball competition pitting staff against students, sock hop social and a walk/race. Lunchtime educational activities promoting healthy lifestyle choices and cancer prevention also are planned."
GOP legislators back Fair Map Amendment
"Should the amendment pass, the redrawing of district maps would occur in public meetings. Fortner said citizens would be invited to come to the meetings with their own ideas or maps and share their input. While this may still drawn in special interest groups or people with political motives, it would allow the public a chance to speak, he said."
Quinn to post state budget data online today
"Gov. Pat Quinn's office is scheduled to post preliminary budget information online today in an effort to solicit public input as he crafts the state's annual spending plan.  The state is facing unprecedented money woes including an estimated $13 billion deficit. The governor's site,, will go live at noon."
Committee OKs question on axing No. 2 post
"An Illinois House committee has approved a plan to allow voters to decide whether to abolish the state’s No. 2 post.  House Speaker Michael Madigan says the position of lieutenant governor is unnecessary. His proposed constitutional amendment would go before voters in November."
Who's getting paid by state government?
"“Our priorities for the remainder of the fiscal year have to be debt repayment, general state aid to schools, expedited Medicaid payments and payrolls to keep government running,” said Hynes spokeswoman Carol Knowles. “We can't afford to have our credit rating downgraded even further.”  The single biggest monthly commitment facing the state is repaying short-term loans obtained earlier in the year. Just over $500 million a month is needed through the end of the budget year June 30, except for April, when the repayment jumps to $750 million."
UIS, unions reach agreement over employee furlough days
"Civil service employees weren’t included in the furlough order. But U of I President Stanley Ikenberry asked the campuses in a Jan. 5 letter announcing the furloughs to seek “comparable cost reductions” from civil service staff.  UIS public relations director Derek Schnapp said Tuesday that UIS had reached tentative agreements with unions representing operating engineers, painters, carpenters, electricians and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees."
Provisions of Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Go Into Effect
"Today, certain provisions of the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights go into effect. Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) voted for this legislation, which is designed to protect taxpayers from unfair and abusive practices."
Rep. Foster Praises Award-Winning Gail Borden Public Library
"“For more than 100 years, the Gail Borden Public Library has been a beloved public resource, bringing residents together to learn and grow, and also partnering with area groups and organizations to energize our community,” said Foster."
Roskam to Attend White House Health Summit
  • Roskam - "commonsense reforms to cut costs and increase access"
  • Boehner - "commonsense ideas that would lower health costs, increase access"

[Little empty plastic heads... you pull the string on the back and they say stuff. - Bob]

2 Suspected Arsonists In Smith County Jail - Tyler Morning Telegraph
"Those close to the investigation said neither suspect has given a motive for the fires.  "We just don't know at this point," one official said. "We're just glad this is over."  "This investigation is not complete. No investigation is finished until guilt is proven in court. But today marks a significant milestone," Champion said. "The arsons in these communities have been devastating, but the citizens have been resilient and aided each other and the investigation.""
Umps Make Right Call, Vote for OPEIU Affiliation - AFL-CIO
"No arguing with the umpire on this call. The 215-member Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU) voted by 91 percent to affiliate with the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU).  AMLU President Shaun Francis says the umpires’ decision:  “is the next step in a progression toward improving the lives and working conditions of some of the hardest working and most underappreciated people in the game.”
Meet the Hypocrite Half-Dozen
"The switchers who voted no on cloture but yes today:"
  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Thad Cochran (R-MS)
  • James Inhofe (R-OK)
  • George LeMieux (R-FL)
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Roger Wicker (R-MS)

23 Feb


Travel Day ... today's update may be late or sparse. - Bob

West Chicago proton therapy project still stalled
"The project has been plagued by funding problems for more than a year. Financial matters weren't helped when the state planning board approved construction of a neighboring proton therapy center to be built in Warrenville by Central DuPage Hospital and ProCure Treatment Centers. That project is on schedule to be completed early next year."
Schools advertise what they're owed
"When that stimulus money dries up by June 30, Illinois' education deficit is expected to skyrocket to $1 billion -- what state officials call a "catastrophic" level. Many school boards across the state are voting in the next few weeks on how many teachers might be laid off next school year because teachers must be notified in March if their jobs are targeted."
Conditions right for major spring flooding
"Those factors include significant winter snow in northern states like North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, and heavy rain last fall in parts of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa.  That water became trapped in the soil when the ground froze. Once the ground thaws when the weather warms, significant runoff could cause rivers to rise."
UIC gets grant to study advertising, diets
"The four-year project is considered unique because it'll try to specifically measure the influence of advertising. Many other studies have focused on the consequences of spending too much time sitting and watching TV."
9 laid off in UI facilities department
""Thirteen people received layoff notices in November 2009, but they were extended in December and January, because we had enough work for them," Urbana campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said. "Last Friday, we had to let nine of them go.""

22 Feb


At the upcoming Fun Fair
Friday, February 26, 5-8:30 pm"

Reminder: District 33 Town Hall Meetings
  • Location: West Chicago Middle School Library Learning Center
  • Date: Thursday, February 25, 2010
  • Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm EST
ReForm Starts Here!
  • Location: Elmhurst College (Frick Center - North Prospect Room), 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst
  • Date: Monday, February 22, 2010
  • Time: 10:00am-10:30am EST

Sign the Petition
Drop Off/Pick Up Petitions

Never Let Your Guard Down with Your Credit Cards - Ill CPA Society
"Certain provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) effective February 22, 2010 put new rules on credit card companies. While these rules offer more protection for consumers - such as a 45-day notice of pending rate or fee hikes, no rate increases for the first 12 months after opening an account and other restrictions on rate increases and fees - the Illinois CPA Society warns you to never let your guard down when it comes to your credit cards."
Hastert's perks come under scrutiny
"It's a perfectly legal, but little-known, perk available to the men who have served as Speaker of the House: for five years after they retire, taxpayers provide a fully staffed office... In 2009, the budget for the low-key Yorkville office was nearly half a million dollars. Tax dollars have paid for cable bills, truck payments, office supplies and three staffers."
Project to expand broadband in northern Illinois
"The project involves a proposed fiber-optic cable network service area of 139 miles in northern Illinois.  Money for the project includes $1.3 million in Illinois Jobs Now! funds for the DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority; $11.8 million in federal stimulus funding; $1.3 million from DeKalb Fiber Optic; $150,000 from Northern Illinois University; $100,000 from Kishwaukee Hospital; and $75,000 from DeKalb County."
6 dogs shot during drug raid on house near Elgin middle school
"Raiding a home across the street from Ellis Middle School that reportedly was being used as an indoor marijuana farm, a task force of police also discovered 21 vicious pit bulls that apparently were being trained for dogfighting. Officers said that when the dogs began attacking them and each other, police shot six of them to death and trapped the other 15."
Illinois agencies host job fair for veterans
"Several state agencies say they're hosting job information fairs for veterans.  The Illinois Department of Transportation says there are well-paying jobs available in road maintenance, like in snow and ice removal.  Interested candidates will have to apply, take a test and sit for an interview. Applications are available online at"
Civic Federation calls on Illinois to raise income tax rate
"Underscoring Illinois' bleak financial outlook, one of the state's most prominent tax watchdog groups says it's time to bite the bullet and raise the personal income tax rate by 66 percent.  It's unclear how much traction the Civic Federation's tax hike push will get in Springfield, especially in an election year. Embracing tax increases is typically seen as the political kiss of death for officeholders."
  • UI's bond rating off watch list, but outlook is 'negative'
    " Illinois' fiscal troubles prompted investment services to downgrade the state's bond rating last year, ranking it second worst in the country after California.  The fallout affected state universities, with Moody's Investment Service lowering its bond rating to A3 (upper-medium grade, low credit risk) for Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois and Illinois State universities and placing those schools on its "watch list" for further downgrades."
  • UI is paying flood of bills by using its rainy day account
    " The University of Illinois faces a cash-flow crisis that any homeowner – maybe a really rich homeowner – can identify with.  The state owes the UI about $475 million for services rendered over the past seven months."
Provisions of Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Go Into Effect
"Today, certain provisions of the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights go into effect. Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) voted for this legislation, which is designed to protect taxpayers from unfair and abusive practices."
Will Religious Right’s ‘Mandate to Save America’ corral the Tea Party crowd? - BuzzFlash
"Back in 2006, before there was a Tea Party movement, Dick Armey,... “I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There's a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn't work unless it's dumb, shallow as water on a plate. These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic. These issues become bigger than life, largely because they're easy. There ain't no thinking." "
Obama’s spiritual life takes more private turn- Boston Globe
"But since President Obama took office a year ago, his faith has largely receded from public view. He has attended church in the capital only four times, and worshiped half a dozen times at a secluded Camp David chapel. He prays privately, reads a “daily devotional’’ that aides send to his BlackBerry, and talks to pastors by phone, but seldom frames policies in spiritual terms.  The greater privacy reflects not a slackening of devotion, but a desire to shield his spirituality from the maw of politics and strike an inclusive tone at a time of competing national priorities and continuing partisan division, according to people close to the White House on faith issues."
Tell Whirlpool: ‘Keep It Made In America—Save Our Jobs’ - AFL-CIO
"The Whirlpool Corp. makes a big deal of its concern for the environment and the poor. But now, the company is about to throw 1,100 workers at its Evansville, Ind., refrigerator plant onto the streets and move their jobs to Mexico, where labor and environmental laws are weaker.  You can show solidarity with the Whirlpool workers, most of whom are members of IUE-CWA, by signing an online petition urging Whirlpool to reverse its decision and Keep It Made in America: Save Our Jobs. Click here to sign the petition."
Schwarzenegger Calls Out GOP On Stimulus Hypocrisy, Praises Recovery Act For Creating Jobs In California - Think Progress
"I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs. Then they go out and they do the photo ops and they’re posing with the big check and they say, “Isn’t this great?”"
Republicans Voting Against Stimulus Then Asked Obama for Money - Bloomberg
"Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming named by President Barack Obama as co-chairman of a new deficit- reduction commission, said about-faces on government funding aren’t surprising.  “It’s the original sin of Washington -- it’s hypocrisy,” Simpson said. “You can’t do that then say you go out and cut the other stuff.”"

19 Feb

Committee Approves Victims Rights Legislation
"An Illinois House committee, on Thursday, February 18, approved legislation to extend the rights of victims by allowing victim impact statements to be reviewed and considered when determining the placement of a defendant found not guilty of an offense by reason of insanity, according to state Rep. Randy Ramey (R-Carol Stream), the chief sponsor of the bill."
No Facebook, no Twitter, just love
"Valentine's Day may be over, but keep the lovey-dovey mood alive with a visit to Kline Creek Farm for Courting in the 1890s... 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Free; 630-876-5900 or"
Quinn has asked Tammy Duckworth to be his running mate
"But the governor said Duckworth told him she has other considerations to weigh, including her job with the Obama administration in Washington. She serves as the assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Veterans Administration."
State Supreme Court denies pension for George Ryan
"Justice Bob Thomas, the former Bears kicker, wrote the majority opinion against Ryan.  "George H. Ryan Sr. has clearly forfeited all of the pension benefits he earned from the General Assembly retirement system. As the victims of Ryan's crimes, the taxpayers of the state of Illinois are under no obligation to now fund his retirement," the opinion reads."
Ex-Gov. George Ryan must forfeit state pension
"Ryan wasn’t convicted of committing any crimes when he held those offices.  But the high court ruled 6-1 today that he’s ineligible for any state pension.  Before his conviction, Ryan had been due to draw a pension of more than $197,000."
[Is it just me or is when the crimes were committed more important than when the conviction occurred? - Bob]
Durbin reassigns aide, fires part-time employee
"Even though no evidence of sexual harassment was found, the senator has determined that Michael Daly, a former campaign manager and close aide for a quarter-century, will no longer have supervisory responsibilities, according to Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker... Meantime, Durbin fired a part-time, $20,184-a-year aide, Kathleen Rooney, who was found to have violated Senate ethics rules in not seeking a waiver to allow her to write the book..."
Illinois GOP leaders seek change in remap procedures
"If they can’t reach agreement, the job falls to an eight-member commission. If that panel splits on partisan lines, a ninth commission member is chosen by lot to break the tie.  In each of the last three remaps, the final decision ended up in the hands of the tie-breaker, and the party that won the tiebreaker created districts that tilted heavily toward its candidates."
[Visit to read the Illlinois Fair Map Ammendment. - Bob]
WHAT NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 19 Feb 2010
Views: On Teaching Christianity - Inside Higher Ed
"For all other religions, one could imagine, even in America, that the state might go ahead and display some of their symbols as a kind of token of recognition — it’s with Christianity that the doctrine of the separation of church and state really takes on its existential heft. Thus it is understandable that having a professor teaching Christian theology seems to be problematic in a way that teaching Buddhist philosophy or Talmudic exegesis is not."
Trumka: Creating Jobs Is Best Way to Fix Deficit - AFL-CIO
"Trumka cited data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that most of the deficit over the next 10 years will come from the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the rich, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, spiraling health care costs and the recession."
World's top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates - Guardian
"The study, conducted by London-based consultancy Trucost and due to be published this summer, found the estimated combined damage was worth US$2.2 trillion (£1.4tn) in 2008 - a figure bigger than the national economies of all but seven countries in the world that year.  The figure equates to 6-7% of the companies' combined turnover, or an average of one-third of their profits, though some businesses would be much harder hit than others."
Giles Admits O'Keefe, Breitbart ACORN 'Pimp' Story was a Lie: 'That Was B-Roll, Purely B-Roll' - Brad Blog
"Speaking to Washington Independent reporter David Weigel today at CPAC, Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute in James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart's infamous, highly-doctored, heavily-overdubbed, secretly-taped ACORN hit videos, confirms what we've been reporting for several weeks here: O'Keefe never dressed as a pimp in the offices of ACORN."
[You will remember that this fraud caused Rep Roskam and others to defund Acorn and was the impetus to my challenge to local Republicans about voter fraud, which they have never answered. - Bob]

18 Feb

W. Chicago High parents vow to fight on over conference switch
"Cathie Sanzeri was at Tuesday's school board meeting, during which Principal Moses Cheng said that, for the time being, the school will remain in the DuPage Valley Conference.  But Sanzeri said some board members' comments made her hopeful something could get done, whether it means moving to the fledgling Metro Suburban Conference or the more-established Upstate 8."
Fox Valley region at top of state in health study
"Area experts in public health weren't too surprised by the report released Wednesday concluding that Kendall and DuPage counties are home to the state's healthiest residents... Researchers rated collective health on two barometers: health outcomes, defined as longevity and how well people feel while they're alive; and health factors, including behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment."
Daily Chronicle
DeKalb, IL
Foster to lead budget deficit working group
"U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Batavia and Rep. Bob Etheridge of North Carolina will co-chair the newly formed Budget Discipline Working Group, which will promote fiscally responsible policies that target federal spending and the reduction of the deficit and national debt."
West Chicagoan to Bike Across the United States
"Dave Runyan of West Chicago will begin biking across the United States on February 27, 2010. The ride begins at Point Loma, Ocean Beach, CA and will culminate in St. Augustine, FL about six weeks later. He will follow the southern, transcontinental rout as mapped out by Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Missoula, Montana."
... while reform hits a wall
"So what is on the reform agenda this session? Good question. So far the only measures that are moving are the ones going in the wrong direction.  Suddenly it's open season on government transparency, one of the few areas in which actual progress was made last year. Half a dozen bills have been filed to roll back provisions of the new law. Some would restore oft-abused roadblocks, such as prohibitive fees, meant to thwart access to public records. Others would exclude broad categories of public records from inspection."
[Thanks to the Illinois House Republican Organization for the FaceBook heads-up on this. - Bob]
Study: Cost of closing Chicago locks exaggerated
"John Taylor, an associate professor of supply-chain management at Wayne State, and a transportation consultant told reporters today that Illinois officials and some in the boating and shipping industries have exaggerated the economic impact of lock closure. Many jobs would be lost, Taylor said, but others would be gained by the creation of new truck and rail terminals to carry freight to their final destinations."
Former House Speaker Hastert's perk costs taxpayers $1M
"Hastert, 68, a lobbyist and business consultant who retired from Congress in 2007, has hired three of his former staffers at salaries of more than $100,000 apiece to run the publicly financed office.  Taxpayers also are paying monthly rent of $6,300 to a company partly owned by three sons of a Hastert mentor and business partner. Other public funds go for an $860-a-month 2008 GMC Yukon leased from a dealership owned by a Hastert friend and campaign donor."
Ill. GOP leaders seek change in drawing districts
"The current system is set up so that if Democrats and Republicans deadlock over a new political map, the winner is chosen by random chance. Then that party gets to draw the districts however it wants.  The Republican proposal is an amendment to the state constitution. That means lawmakers would have to approve it before the change could be put on the ballot in November."
Tattoo permission bill heads to Ill. House
"It’s prompted by Springfield resident Robert Huck, who says his daughter had a friend’s mother sign the required consent form for her to get a piercing — and there was nothing he could do about it.  “As long as the piercer has no reason to believe they are lying, it is perfectly legal,” Huck told the committee."
Study: States must fill $1 trillion pension gap
"The Pew Center on the States released a survey Thursday of state-administered pension plans, retiree health care and other post-employment benefits in all 50 states that blamed a decade's worth of policy decisions for leaving them shortchanged.  The result for some states will be "high annual costs that come with significant unfunded liabilities, lower bond ratings, less money available for services, higher taxes and the specter of worsening problems in the future," the study said."

NIU Receives $7.5 Million in Stimulus Funds - FaceBook
Bill Foster just announced that NIU will receive $7.5 million in stimulus dollars to advance health information technology throughout the state. NIU estimates that 140 jobs will be created or retained by this funding!

Rep. Foster Issues Stimulus Report Card
"Said Foster, "There is no doubt that the stimulus has had a huge effect in halting and beginning to roll back the nationwide economic calamity that we were facing one year ago.  In the 18 months before the stimulus, household wealth fell by more than 17 trillion dollars – more than $50,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States.  Since the stimulus passed, the drop in household wealth has halted and reversed, and household net worth has recovered by more than $5 trillion dollars (see graph at"
Rep. Foster Announces $7.5 Million Stimulus Award for Health Information Technology at NIU
“Advancements in health IT significantly improve our health care system by reducing the costs of maintaining and tracking medical records, increasing efficiency and reducing medical errors and duplicative tests,” said Foster.  “I am pleased that the stimulus will allow NIU to take a leading role in the use of health IT by our area health care providers, as it will greatly benefit doctors and patients alike.”
Roskam On One-Year of "Stimulus"
"Americans deserve better than the failed spending adventure Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid have thrust on us, heaping mountains of debt on our kids and grandkids, while failing to create jobs they promised and our economy needs.  My constituents are eager for jobs and policies that will bring our economy back, not more record spending, record debt and an incredulous lack of jobs to show for it.”"

Roskam gets a HYPOCRAT symbol because of the following requests: (see

  • Water Resources Development Authorization Requests
  • $30M for the Elmhurst Rd. and I-90 full interchange project West of O’Hare Airport in Elk Grove Village
  • $775,000 for additional ramps and expansion of the I-290/Thorndale interchange
  • $10M for IL Route 19 and York Road intersection and grade separation improvements including gateway enhancement in south Bensenville
  • $2M for Hill Ave. bridge rebuild between Glen Ellyn and Lombard over the east branch of the DuPage River.
  • $2M for Phase II & III engineering and construction of North Ardmore Ave. bridge rebuild south of North Avenue over the existing CCP rail line
  • Authorization for the METRA Union Pacific West line upgrades and improvements project
  • Authorization for the METRA STAR line proposal


Roskam Misleads On Obama And Medical Liability
"While medical malpractice reform is an important issue, malpractice costs represent only 0.46 percent of total health care expenditures. Republicans attempt to group the larger problem of practicing too much defensive medicine with liability reform, but as Kate Steadman explains, “the research that has been conducted indicates, for the most part, that defensive medicine has little effect overall and that states with tort reform only have slightly lower rates of spending than those without.”"
Churches often buy, not burn, their ashes - Houston Chronicle
"Traditionally, churches would ask their congregations to bring in palm fronds from the previous year's Palm Sunday and ceremonially burn them. The process is a bit messy, and a handful of palm fronds rarely produced enough ashes to mark the thousands of foreheads... Buying the ashes has been an easier option for churches for decades. A 2-ounce bag, enough for about 1,000 people, runs for $12.75 at Sacco's, near downtown."
[Thank God that they are not imported from China ... or are they? - Bob]
One Year Later, the Recovery Act Is Working - AFL-CIO
"If there’s one thing Americans agree on, it’s that we need more jobs now. That reality is often twisted by conservatives, who say the one-year-old economic recovery plan has failed. But they are just wrong... The fact is that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is still working, generating more than 2 million jobs and laying the foundation for future economic growth.
Lobby Firm Tells Clients How To Sway Elections While Avoiding 'Public Scrutiny' - TPM
"[G]roups of corporations within an industry may form coalitions or use existing trade associations to support candidates favorable to policy positions that affect the group as a whole. While corporations that contribute to these expenditures might still be disclosed, this indirect approach can provide sufficient cover such that no single contributing entity receives the bulk of public scrutiny."

Stop the Kennedy Smears - Brave New Films
"I was amazed to find reading those pages that every single conversation with the President in the Oval office or elsewhere in which I according to the script participated, never happened. There were no such conversations... A minimum amount of research could've avoided the remarkable number of obvious errors of that kind in this script." - Ted Sorensen

The Democratic Agenda
"Congressional Democrats really need to decide if they're going to let their agenda be dictated by voters who won't support them no matter what they do. These numbers provide pretty clear evidence that most of the voters opposed to health care and repeal of DADT will not consider voting Democratic even if the party decides not to move on those issues."
17 Feb
Around and About in West Chicago - 17 Feb 2010
  • All District Band Concert for Elementary School District 3
  • DuPage County’s head public defender
  • Voice of Democracy competition
  • Wegner Elementary School Fun Fair
March 2010 Library Events

[Folks are reminded to occasionally click on the "calendar" link in the banner menu to see West Chicago's upcoming events, like these. - Bob]

West Chicago
High School
Budget Letter - February 2010 Update
"We are pleased to announce that since our last update, the outlook for our financial situation appears somewhat more positive. In late January, the District received accrued impact fees from the Village of Winfield. This has allowed us to reduce our anticipated deficit and permits us to scale back our recommended reductions."
Asian carp fight comes to DuPage County
"Forest preserve commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday allowing the Army Corps of Engineers access to Centennial Trail, which abuts Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near Darien, to build a fish barrier. The barrier constructed of mesh and concrete would theoretically prevent Asian carp from bypassing other barriers in the event of a Des Plaines River flood similar to one that occurred in 2008, forest preserve officials said."
West Chicago Catholic school closing amid protests
"Bishop J. Peter Sartain, head of the Joliet Diocese, recently announced that St. Mary's and two other west suburban schools would close in June as part of a cost-cutting and consolidation plan. The moves came after an intensive two-year study of the diocese that was overseen by an educational consulting firm, he said.  But the consultants never recommended closing the school. It was the church's pastor, Rev. John Balluff, who wrote the bishop calling for the closing and proposing that the school reopen as a smaller early childhood center for poor Latino families. Balluff also proposed funds be redirected to finance a church addition.
City tacks on 19 new parcels (scroll down)
"The move did not sit well with several residents who live on Pomeroy Street. All nine homeowners on the dead end street wished to remain unincorporated.  "I protest the increase in taxes this will bring," said Michael Ferguson, who lives in the affected area. "There is no real benefit to any of the citizens in annexing our properties." ... Most of the 19 parcels were surrounded by land already within West Chicago city limits."
State Senate bars reporters as it meets in secret
"Lawmakers barred reporters from the meeting, saying it was a joint gathering of the Democratic and Republican caucuses that was not required to be public under the state Constitution or open meetings law.  Reporters were offered the opportunity to get the information from the budget experts at a post-meeting news conference, but Democratic and Republican leaders said they wanted the meeting private to encourage a frank exchange between public officials."
Biologists fish for elusive Asian carp in ship canal
"With DNA research indicating the presence of the invasive fish in Chicago area waterways, seven crews of fisheries biologists centered their search around discharges of warm water next to wastewater treatment plants. They used netting and electrical shock to herd fish into areas of the canal."
Group warns that Illinois budget suffering
"NCSL blames slowing revenues for growing budget gaps, noting states have reported budget gaps of nearly $430 billion for the budget years running from 2008 to 2012.  A major problem looms, as federal stimulus money that pumped billions into state budgets for education and health care could dry up by the end of the year."
State Capitol Q&A: Lawmakers file thousands of bills; few will become law
"Many bills are the usual suspects of legislative activity — strengthening criminal penalties for drug and sex offenses, loosening gun restrictions, offering tax breaks and incentives to businesses, seniors and other constituencies.  But there’s also an influx of ideas to change the state’s Constitution. Dozens of proposed constitutional amendments are aimed at the fabric of state government’s structure — and in some cases would make dramatic change."
Rep. Foster Announces $99,500 in Stimulus Funds for NIU
"Today, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) announced that Northern Illinois University will receive a grant worth $99,500 to spur job creation in Whiteside County.  This funding is made possible by the stimulus, which Foster voted for.  “I am pleased to announce that NIU will receive nearly $100,000 to help spur the economies of our rural communities,” said Foster."
Foster Now Accepting Appropriations Requests
"“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.”"
Agency that monitors religious freedom abroad accused of bias - Washington Post
"Was the commission's extensive work condemning textbooks used by a Saudi-run private Islamic school in Northern Virginia a legitimate international issue or an example of anti-Muslim bias? Is the commission's decision not to speak out for two years against efforts in Switzerland to ban minarets evidence of bias or of its desire to focus on harsher oppression elsewhere? Was hand-delivering a New Testament Bible to a Catholic priest in a Vietnamese prison the moral thing for a commissioner to do or a public-relations blunder for a country already seen by some as on a Christian crusade?"
Union Leaders Praise Obama’s Support for Nuclear Plant - AFL-CIO
"Union leaders praised President Obama’s announcement yesterday of federal loan guarantees for the construction of two advanced reactors at the Plant Vogtle nuclear power station in Georgia. They said it is a major step forward in addressing the nation’s energy needs as well as creating badly needed jobs. And they urged the president to ensure all the components used in the plant are made in America."
Judging Stimulus by Job Data Reveals Success  - NY Times
"Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative."

16 Feb


West Chicago
High School
CHS to Present Winter Play “Our Town”
"Community High School District 94 presents the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Our Town, by Thornton Wilder. Performances are scheduled for Thursday, February 18, Friday, February 19, and Saturday, February 20, at 7:30 PM in Weyrauch Auditorium ...  The winter play is directed by Mr. Charles Berglund and Student Assistant, senior Jackie Leeseberg (West Chicago)."
Wheaton employee laid off six months short of 20-year anniversery - FaceBook
"Klein said he understands the city's financial difficulties and is not claiming his dismissal was illegal. He just thinks the city might have shown "a little creative humanity." ... Before caring for his wife consumed his time, Klein garnered a small measure of fame in West Chicago as a blues singer. He often played at the Cobblestone Road Tavern under the name "Rockin' Daddy," specializing in songs by Muddy Waters, said friend Cheri Reid."
[This item was brought to my attention by a former student, Heather Gray, who wrote to the City of Wheaton: "...this is absolutely despicable in my opinion. ESPECIALLY when you and all the other members of the current city administration are VERY aware of his wife's medical condition and the fact that he will not be eligible for medical benefits." - Bob]
Open House on Future of Greene Farm Barn
"Preliminary plans to stabilize the Greene Farm barn will be available, and display boards will feature potential renovations for the structure as a multipurpose space. At 6:30 p.m., the District’s consulting architect will deliver a presentation on the barn’s present condition. After, District staff will answer questions about potential renovations to the barn."
Benjamin Foundation Hosts Trivia Night Fundraiser
"Fifteen teams of eight players each enjoyed an evening of fun, food and some healthy competition to raise money for the schools served by the Benjamin Foundation including Evergreen Elementary School in Carol Stream and Benjamin Middle School in West Chicago. The winning team, the Octobrains, won three out of four rounds of trivia questions to capture the title of grand champions."
Sampling for carp to begin in Chicago area
"Weather permitting, biologists will begin sampling in Chicago-area rivers and canals Wednesday for silver or bighead Asian carp that have made it past an electric fish barrier system.  Crews will focus on areas where warm water from industrial operations enters the waterways. Fish tend to congregate near the warmer water in the winter as temperatures drop."
Cohen's withdrawal as Lt. Gov. candidate official
"Scott Lee Cohen's letter withdrawing his nomination as Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor was received today by state election officials.  Dan White, executive director for the Illinois State Board of Election, said the letter was dropped off this morning at the state offices."
Brady's lead grows by 6 votes in Champaign County
"Thirty-one Republican absentee and provisional ballots were counted Tuesday morning in the Champaign County clerk’s office, giving Brady 12 more votes, and six more for Dillard and former Illinois attorney general Jim Ryan, plus two more votes apiece for Andy McKenna, Dan Proft and Adam Andrzejewski and one more for Bob Schillerstrom."
[Just so we don't forget that the Publicans are still fighting over their nominee. - Bob]
FOIA overhaul already under siege by legislators
"Less than a year after unanimously approving an overhaul of the state Freedom of Information Act to make public records more accessible, legislators have introduced at least a half-dozen bills aimed at making access more difficult.  Proposals range from barring disclosure of government employee performance evaluations to easing limits on fees government bodies can charge for documents to making awards of legal fees optional in cases where requesters prevail in lawsuits against government bodies that withhold records."
IEMA encouraging workplaces to be ready for disasters
"When a tornado strikes or a fire ignites, workers at St. Joseph’s Home of Springfield know where to take residents and themselves to be safe within the nursing home complex.  But the nursing home doesn’t have a formal plan in the event that a natural disaster would leave St. Joseph’s Home itself so severely damaged that it would be unusable.  That’s something the Illinois Emergency Management Agency hopes to change at workplaces throughout the state."
Judge orders two religious billboards that violate laws to be taken down - The Courier-Journal
"“Our courts will not regulate nor impose their religious beliefs on any party,” Morris wrote in an opinion he filed on Friday in LaRue Circuit Court. But “legislative bodies may regulate … the placing of billboards on our highways. … One can well imagine the obvious trashing of our highways if there was no regulation in place and every resident that happened to live beside a highway was free to place whatever size sign that he/she wished to place.”"
Arkansas Workers: We Need Jobs Now - AFL-CIO
"At the press conference, Jobs for America Now, a coalition of union, religious and activist groups, released a report showing that Arkansas may have to make some disastrous cuts in services unless it receives more federal assistance.  According to this report, economists predict that without federal assistance to state and local governments with budget shortfalls, 900,000 Americans could lose their jobs in fiscal year 2011, and 3 million will lose their jobs by 2012."
In latest attack on climate science, conservative media distort BBC interview with CRU's Phil Jones - Media Matters
"These media outlets have seized on Jones' statement that since 1995, the warming trend "is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level" to falsely suggest that temperatures since the mid 1990s disprove global warming and to falsely claim, in Jim Hoft's words, that Jones "admit[ted] there is no global warming.""



15 Feb


West Chicago
High School
"This year the CHS Education Foundation welcomes both youth and adults to the 4th Annual West Chicago 3-on-3 Wildcat Classic Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 13th, 2010. This event is being presented by Quest Food Management in order to benefit the District #94 Community High School Education Foundation. All players will receive a Wildcat Classic t-shirt and each division champion team member will receive a trophy. The open division champion team will receive a cash prize."
United Methodist


"The First United Methodist Church of West Chicago will hold a Service of Ashes and Reconciliation on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.  The service will be held at 643 E. Washington Street in West Chicago."
Lenten Study "The Shack"
"Each Wednesday, starting February 24th (orientation) through March 24th, the church will host discussions on "The Shack" beginning at 6:00 p.m.  A warm Lenten supper will be served in exchange for a donation.  Purchase your copy of the book and start reading."
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Feb 15- Feb 21
"Channel 17 was fortunate to be the Official Video Group for the 2009 Heartland International Tattoo and will be airing the video on Wednesday and Friday at 7:30pm, this week. The Tattoo is an international music and dance festival. We hope everyone will tune in to enjoy the music, dancing and pageantry."
It took a stroke for West Chicago photographer to find his calling
"Indeed, he started out using a simple point-and-shoot. Now he has a professional studio in the basement of the West Chicago home he shares with his wife, Tina, and their children. He works primarily with fashion models who are building their portfolios, but his assignments have included shooting photographs of subjects from scuba divers to farmers."
West Chicago hoping to find home in smaller conference
"But now, members of the school's conference advisory subcommittee think they've found a better fit. The 4-year-old Metro Suburban Conference includes Fenton High School in Bensenville; Elmwood Park; Riverside-Brookfield; Ridgewood High School in Norridge and Christian schools in Elmhurst and Lansing. Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn joins the conference next year.  The committee report will be presented to the District 94 school board on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the school, 326 Joliet St."
DuPage water commission rates jump more than planned
"The additional revenue generated from the rate increase will be used to offset the accidental expenditure, discovered late last year, of more than $19 million of the commission's reserve funds.  The new rate will be $2.08 per 1,000 gallons. Currently, the commission charges customers $1.77."
St. Alexander keeps doors open
"St. Alexander School in Villa Park will stay open for another year, after being recommended to close by the Diocese of Joliet late last year.  After nearly two months of fundraising to keep the doors open, principal Glenn Purpura received the Diocese’s decision Jan. 28 that the school could remain open for the 2010-11 school year."
[Does this mean there is hope for St.Mary's? - Bob]
Foster, Montgomery mayor meet with residents
"U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Geneva, will conduct his 54th Congress on Your Corner session today, with Marilyn Michelini, village president of Montgomery, as his special guest."
Home Show goes far beyond decorating ideas
"The Old House New House Home Show at Pheasant Run Mega Center this weekend offers a host of ways to freshen a house you're tired of but can't sell in the current real estate slump."
Visit Shedd Aquarium for free
"Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is offering five straight days of free admission.  Officials say admission to the aquarium’s original galleries will be free starting today, President’s Day, through Friday, Feb. 19. The free days are sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund."
State can't afford to improve dental service for poor, official says
"But amid a recession and a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit, the tens of millions of dollars that would be needed to make a dent in the problem aren’t available, Illinois Medicaid director Theresa Eagleson said.  “I don’t think the dental-access issue is an Illinois problem alone,” she said. “And it’s not that people don’t want to fix this problem, or other access issues in pockets of the state. It’s a balancing act all the time between less money available and people in need and priorities.”"
White House reaches out to Roskam on health care - Daily Herald
"Asked if he feared being painted as an Obama patsy within Republican circles, Roskam said that would not happen. He said he made it clear if the White House expects Republican votes, then the president needed to start getting behind individual proposals that Republicans are comfortable with and have supported."
[Is this like the 160 Republican amendments on HELP's bill that resulted in absolutely none, zero, nada, nilch Repulbican votes on the bill... more compromise talk with no intention of actually doing anything? - Bob]
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 12 Feb 2010
Our Founders were NOT Fundamentalists - Daily Kos
"Today’s fundamentalists would have DESPISED the actual Founders. Franklin’s joyous, amply reciprocated love of women would evoke their limitless rage. Jefferson’s paternities with his slave mistress Sally Hemings, Paine’s attacks on the priesthood, Hamilton’s bastardly philandering, the grassroots scorn for organized religion---all would draw howls of righteous right-wing rage.  Which may be why theocratic fundamentalists are so desperate to sanitize and fictionalize what's real about our history."
East Texas pastor sees déjà vu in 7 church fires - Houston Chronicle
"In June 1996, the Lighthouse, founded by his father, was wrecked by a deliberately set fire — the first of more than 40 suspicious blazes that roared through the Hunt County city of 25,000 before year's end. The Greenville fires, many of which hit minority neighborhoods, coincided with an alarming rash of church arsons across the American South.  Almost 300 houses of worship — about 40 percent of them African-American — were targeted nationally in 1996. Authorities arrested 199 people — Anglo, black and Hispanic."
Restaurant Industry Serves Up too Many ‘Low Road Jobs’ - QAFL-CIO
"A new report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), an advocate group for restaurant workers, reveals that up to 90 percent of restaurant staff is not offered health insurance or sick days and, as a result, many report to work sick.  A substantial number are forced to work “off the clock” and the national median hourly wage for food preparation and service workers is only $8.59, including tips, which means that half of all restaurant workers nationwide actually earn less."
Rachel Maddow Calls Out Republican Stimulus Hypocrites - FireDogLake
"As Rachel sums it up, the Republicans don’t care about honesty or policy or ever working with Obama and the Democrats. So asking them to behave responsibly is like trying to teach your dog to drive."
Bob Kincaid: Last Man Standing in Liberal Radio Network Land - Buzz Flash
"He explained that progressives are less tolerant of on-air endorsements than conservatives, making such a model less profitable for a liberal station. Head On's model is more BuzzFlashian than Air-American. You won't hear him hawking gold or Swedish mattresses.  "We're supported almost exclusively via listener contributions," he said. "Nobody's getting paid here. This is an all-volunteer effort.""
[Disclosure:  The Head On logo that appears on this page is not an advertisement... it is just a convenient link which I use to occasionally listen to this far left wing radio station. - Bob]

Cuba's aid ignored by the media? - Buzz Flash
"...Before the earthquake struck, 344 Cuban health professionals were already present in Haiti, providing primary care and obstetrical services ... One major international news agency's list of donor nations credited Cuba with sending over 30 doctors to Haiti, whereas the real figure stands at more than 350, including 280 young Haitian doctors who graduated from Cuba. The final figure accounts for a combined total of 930 health professionals in all Cuban medical teams making it the largest medical contingent on the ground."


12 Feb

Proposals seek 'sensitive balance' in teen sexting
""If our job is to protect our children, why in the heck would we want to make them sex offenders for the rest of their lives?" said Richard Wistocki, a Naperville police officer who investigates juvenile Internet crimes and testified in support of the proposed legislation."
Judge: jury to consider negligence in golf lawsuit
"In August 2005, a drive by Naperville businessman Raymond Kinney hit Lillian Demo of West Chicago on the head. Kinney was participating in St. Andrews Golf & County Club's annnual DuPage County Republican Day."
Ode to St. Mary's School - PaToney
"I was quite saddened to find out that the wonderful school I attended is due to close at the end of this school year.  I put my feelings about the school and parish into these words: "
Illinois Sheriff’s Association Scholarships Available
"Sheriff John E. Zaruba, along with the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, announced today that a scholarship will be awarded to a DuPage County resident who wishes to pursue higher education during the 2010-2011 academic school year. The scholarship will be in the amount of $500.00. The scholarship is to be applied to tuition, books and fees only."
Report says state’s children in crisis
"But as is so often the case these days, the job disappeared, the savings were exhausted and his prospects for employment are such that he now makes about one-quarter of his former salary. So instead of enjoying their high school years, Paul's teenage children are looking for work to help the family stay in its home.  As the nation struggles with the worst recession since the 1980s, variations of Paul's story are becoming all too frequent throughout DuPage County. The economy is reaching into families and affecting children of all ages."
Groups pitch furlough days with a purpose
"Some University of Illinois professors plan to take part in a campus teach-in or volunteer in the community – or both – as part of their first common furlough day Monday.  The Campus Faculty Association has scheduled a "teach-in" Monday afternoon on the UI's budget crisis, demanding that budget decisions "be motivated by the core values of teaching, research and public engagement" and be "open, transparent and collaborative.""
Love stinks! Minn. farmer creates manure heart
"Nothing says “I love you” like a half-mile wide heart made out of manure.  A southern Minnesota man created the Valentine’s Day gift for his wife of 37 years in their farm field about 12 miles southwest of Albert Lea."
[The aerial photo is available here. - Bob]
'Sexting' bill gets blocked in House committee
"Senger said the law, which hasn’t been updated since 1961, is outdated because of technology. But she said some prosecutors are hesitant to weaken the state’s stance on child pornography.  “We need to craft something that doesn’t do that, either,” Senger said."
Excavation uncovers evidence supporting mosaic Jerusalem map - The Jerusalem Post
"For the first time the main road of Jerusalem, dated 1,500 years ago, has been discovered. An Israel Antiquities Authority archeological excavation in the heart of Jerusalem’s old city confirms a description of the road on the Madaba Map – an ancient mosaic map from the sixth century CE, measuring eight by 16 meters, and located in a church in Madaba, Jordan."
[Careful inspection shows 17 major intersections marked as future sites of fast food burger franchises.  - Bob says satirically.]
No Republicans Whined When Bush Made 171 Recess Appointments - AFL-CIO
"Earlier this week, Republicans proved the lesson we all learned in school, “the majority rules,” doesn’t apply to the U.S. Senate. With every single Republican vote and two from defecting Democrats (see below), Republicans sustained a filibuster against Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). "


Poll: How Gays Are Described Influences Support For DADT Repeal - TPM
"A new CBS News/New York Times poll released this afternoon shows 57% of Americans approve of "homosexuals" serving in the military. Change the word "homosexual" to "gay men and lesbians" and the support jumps to 70%... On the "serve openly" question, 44% were in favor when the word "homosexual" is used, and 42% were opposed. When that word was swapped for the alternate "gay men and lesbians" wording, support for serving openly jumped to 58%."

11 Feb

St. Mary's, you make us feel quite blessed - Pete Kovac, West Chicago
"We heard of your closing and mourn that final bell
We carry our memories and our stories to re-tell
You are our school, our parish and our family
You are our future, our present and our history"
DuPage voters may decide fate of St. James Farm improvements
""If people want to pay a little extra for the work out there they should make that determination," Pierotti said. "I don't believe the people will tell us that if we have 25,000 acres and 60 preserves they want us to direct all our capital funds to one facility."  It's unclear when the district would seek voter input. The next election is Nov. 2. It's also unclear how much the district would seek since the current plan lacks details."
Earthquake cements Pingree Grove on map
"TV crews from Channel 5 and Channel 7 were in the parking lot of the village hall, hearing Village President Wyman "Clint" Carey tell how his village had grown from 124 people to 4,000 in a decade as the cameramen carefully worked in pictures of a passing freight train to capture the quaintness of the town's business district."
State set to cut funding for schools
"While the state has stopped and started other payments to the schools during its current budget crisis, general state aid was the only part that continued uninterrupted.  If Chapa LaVia is correct, that could change next year.  "It looks like we're coming to some huge drops in general state aid," Chapa LaVia said. "It's looking like anywhere from $600 to $700 per-pupil drop.""
Madigan proposes eliminating lieutenant governor
""I have thought for quite a while that the office could be eliminated, should be eliminated. And I think we have an opportunity now, with the events coming out of the primary, where we ought to be able to adopt this resolution and going forward provide that we should be without that office anymore," Madigan told WGN 720-AM's John Williams this morning."
Illinois home sales up 35% in 4Q, still down for year
"Thanks to lower home prices and the first-time buyer's federal tax break, fourth-quarter home sales rose 35.6 percent to 29,822 single-family homes and sold. However, for the year sales were down 1.4 percent. The statewide median home price was down 5.5 percent, to $155,000, during the fourth quarter and $157,000, down 14.6 percent, for the year."
Buyout offer has proven popular with UI employees
"More than 200 Urbana campus workers have applied for buyouts in the first week since the University of Illinois offered them.  The buyouts would be equal to six months' salary, up to $75,000.  Urbana campus chief spokeswoman Robin Kaler said it wasn't known yet how much that could save the UI, since not all applicants will be given the buyouts if their jobs are deemed not cost-saving."
State measure to outlaw 'sexting' on hold
"Right now, sending and requesting these types of messages are considered Class 1 felonies with prison time possible.  The bill would break down sexting into three categories: sending photos, requesting photos and distributing photos. Each category would come with its own punishment -- misdemeanors for sending and requesting, and a Class 4 felony for distributing."
More Illinois kids in poverty, report finds
"The report shows how the economic recession is hurting state children and families in a variety of areas, from poverty to education and health care. Childhood poverty is expected to top 24 percent statewide by 2011 — the highest level since the 1960s."
House votes to give Quinn more time on budget
"Supporters contend the plan offers another benefit by having the governor put online by Feb. 24 budget numbers showing estimated revenue and required spending for next year. The site also will take public and lawmaker input on budget plans in the two weeks leading up to his address... But Republicans who opposed the idea say delaying the speech again puts off key spending decisions that should have been made long ago."
Wheaton City Council to shift prayer to before opening gavel - Chicago Tribune
"The city received a letter in November from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison, Wis., group, saying Wheaton's practice of inviting religious leaders to offer an invocation at meetings violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits laws "respecting an establishment of religion."  After reviewing of the issue, City Attorney James Knippen said Wheaton's practice was within constitutional guidelines, but he suggested to the council at its Monday planning meeting that the city tweak its policy and formalize it within city ordinances."
NASA Budget Cuts Could Cost 1,200 Jobs - AFL-CIO
"The members of Transport Workers (TWU) Local 525 have a front-row seat to America’s space program. The local represents 1,200 ground crew and emergency support staff of both manned and unmanned rockets on Cape Canaveral. But proposed budget cuts threaten those good union jobs and endanger the space exploration program overall."
ACORN Calls NYT Sr. Editor's Email on Misreported O'Keefe 'Pimp' Story 'Troubling and Disturbing' - Brad Blog
""Mr. O'Keefe lied to get his apppointment. He was not dressed like he is on the Internet. And when we got suspicious about the questions he was asking at the Philadelphia ACORN Housing office, we called the police and filed this report," she [Katherine Conway Russell, the Office Director for ACORN Housing Corp. in Philadelpia] says."
[My Republican friends are reminded of my Sept 29th challenge: "If one of my Republican friends will please provide me with a credible link to a single case where an Acorn registered voter was convicted of voting illegally, I will post the link with a thank you."  I'm still waiting. - Bob]
The National Anthem -- And Why We Need Health Care Reform So Desperately - Robert Reich, TPM
"In the meantime, next chance I get I'm switching to another insurer -- if that makes any difference at all in what I pay or the service I get, which seems increasingly doubtful. I'm also joining any Tea Party of mad-as-hellers fed up with how Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Wall Street, and much of the rest of corporate America have taken over our democracy."

10 Feb

Around and About in West Chicago - 10 Feb 2010
  • Local Churches Special Lenten Services
  • High School District 94’s winter play - “Our Town”
  • Annual Firehouse Chili Fest
  • Wildcat Preschool
Feb. 4th Board Briefs
"The Committee of the Whole meeting of the Board of Education was held on Thursday, February 4, 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"
"Imma Raphael and Fontana Blu would like to cordially invite you to a very special event benefiting the tragedies that occurred about a month ago in Haiti...
* Free food/appetizers prepared by: Imma Raphael, Fontana Blu, and Chef Jose Anglada (Cater 2 Me)
* Live music by: The Nygel Ajax Band (50's, 60's, 70's through Today)
* $5 Minimum donation @ the door ( Make checks payable to American Red Cross)
* Door prizes and giveaways all afternoon long!"
SandPiper again open for dinner
The Sandpiper Restaurant, 100 S Neltnor, West Chicago (the SW corner of Rt. 59 and Geneva/Washington) is again open for dinner.  Their new hours are 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM seven days a week.
A New Web Calendar Hooked into WegoNews
I have two hopes for the new calendar (try the "calendar" button in the menu banner... that hackers don't get into it with spam and that readers will drop email to me about their upcoming events... event, time, date, description to  Like the above item, I can post your info and post a link on WegoNews' first page. - Bob

West Chicago
High School
PeaceBuilder of the Month for January 2010
"Javier Perez, of West Chicago, a Freshman at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the January PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month.  Javier received the PeaceBuilder Award for assisting other students both inside and outside the classroom. He is to be commended for his service and desire to improve the atmosphere here at WeGo. "
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Red-light camera law needs more
"State Sen. John Millner, a Carol Stream Republican, introduced legislation Tuesday he said would address problems identified with photo enforcement of red-light laws.  The solutions? New signs, repainting the cameras and prohibiting municipalities from shortening the yellow-light time."
Earthquake rattles western suburbs
"The pre-dawn earthquake that rattled windows and vibrated beds across northern Illinois did not appear to inflict serious damage... According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the minor earthquake was centered a mile south-southeast of Pingree Grove, about 21 miles north-northwest of downtown Aurora, and measured 3.8 magnitude on the Richter scale. Initially officials reported the epicenter was farther west, between Burlington and Sycamore, and measured at 4.3 on the Richter scale."
At quake's ground zero, Teri and Don Pollnow
"The earthquake that rattled northern Illinois today had its epicenter at 42.053 degrees north latitude and 88.412 degrees west longitude, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  That's on the five acres behind Teri and Don Pollnow's home on Plank Road in Elgin.  Teri Pollnow, who works at a local bank, was already awake at 4 a.m. when she felt strong vibrations shaking the couple's ranch house near Hampshire."
UI opposes university bond sales
" Like other universities, SIU was owed millions by the state, which is months – and hundreds of millions of dollars – behind on payments to agencies and vendors because of a huge budget deficit.  The state eventually came through with enough money to cover SIU's December payroll, but not before students, parents and faculty bombarded the school with questions about whether it would reopen for the spring semester, said Dave Gross, SIU's executive director for government and media affairs."
Engineers give Illinois infrastructure low marks
"The report card issued today by the Illinois chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the state a D-plus in its overall infrastructure quality. The grade was combined from nine categories, covering everything from roads and bridges to water system quality.  Aviation and bridges earned the highest state grade of C-plus, while navigable waterways was lowest with a D-minus. Other areas receiving low marks were drinking water and transit at D-plus and rail and roads with a D."
Quinn to put budget information online
"In a letter sent to lawmakers Tuesday, Quinn says he wants to give his budget address March 10. On Feb. 24, he’ll put information online for lawmaker and public perusal to set up the next year’s budget, he says. His Web site on that date will include a detailed look at revenues and spending for the current budget year and estimated revenues and spending obligations for the next budget year."
Sales tax crunch eases for some area municipalities
"The amount of sales tax revenue flowing back to area municipalities declined year-over-year for the 16th straight month in November, further straining municiple budgets that already have holes from declines in other kinds of taxes.  The news wasn’t bad for everyone though, as some municipalities actually reported increases."
Madigan: Lawmakers to help pick Quinn running mate
"Madigan, who also is chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, said he plans to meet with Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton to discuss filling the vacant position of nominee for lieutenant governor. The three of them will submit the name of a candidate to the party's central committee, which formally makes the choice."
Illinoisans slated to lose jobless benefits without new extension
"Some jobless could start losing their benefits as early as next week. Greg Rivara, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said those whose state benefits have not expired by Feb. 20 won’t roll into the next tier of extensions. Anyone who exhausts an extension after Feb. 27 won’t roll on to the next extension.  The unemployment benefit extensions are expected to be part of the jobs bill now being considered by the Senate ..."
[This bill will face another partisan Republican filibuster in the Senate ... they will play their fiddle as the workers lives go up in flames. - Bob]
Saudi billionaire eyes new links with News Corp. - Yahoo News
"The Saudi billionaire [Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king] whose investment firm is one of the biggest stakeholders in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said he is looking to expand his alliances with the media giant, in the latest indication that his appetite for growth remains robust even as his company retrenches...Kingdom Holding's statement said Alwaleed is already the second largest stakeholder in News Corp., with 5.7 percent of the shares of the media company."
[This is the same Alwaleed that offered Rudy Giulliani $10 Million in 9-11 aid and funds Israli suicide bombers and for whom the Supreme Courts recent decision will allow unlimited political contributions to sway US elections and policies. - Bob]
Study: More than third of Presbyterian Church USA members say other faiths can find salvation
"But one in three members of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination seem to believe there's some wiggle room for non-Christians to get into heaven, according to a recent poll.  The Presbyterian Panel's "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians" found that 36 percent of members disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: "Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved.""
AFL-CIO/NEA Labor Solidarity Partnership Agreement Extended - AFL-CIO
"As a result of the historic agreement, signed in Feb. 2006, 20 NEA local associations–representing more than 30,000 members in five states and the District of Columbia–have directly affiliated with the AFL-CIO and its state and local bodies. The partnership was to have expired on Dec. 31, 2009.  "
The Story That No One Will Tell - Huffington Post
"The story that everyone wants to tell is that the Democratic Party is disheartened and disintegrating. Teabagger Republicans are juiced up and on top. Or so the media says, over and over again.  But the House candidate who raised the most money in the entire country during the last FEC reporting period -- $860,000 in three months -- is not a teabagger. He is not boosted relentlessly by Fox News. He's not even a Republican. He doesn't think that the Earth was created 6000 years ago, that President Obama was born in Kenya, or that global warming is a hoax."
Wal-Mart Cuts Over 13,000 Of What It Calls Jobs - The Onion
""We tried to solve the problem by cutting what is hard for me in good conscience to even call benefits," Duke said. "We even tried negotiating with what we would probably refer to as the workers' union if, in fact, they even had such a thing. But ultimately, our only feasible option, financially, was to make what I'm going to just lie and call a very hard decision and let go some of the faceless drones that I condescendingly refer to in public as members of our 'corporate family.'""
[Caution... This satire site is usually not this dark. - Bob]

09 Feb


West Chicago
High School
West Chicago VFW Awards $5,000 to CHS Students
"Representatives from the West Chicago VFW Post 6791 and from the Ladies’ Auxiliary awarded $5,000 in prize money to Community High School students at the February 2nd Board of Education meeting.  Forty-one students from Community High School entered the contest, which is designed to foster patriotism, and allows students the opportunity to voice their opinion in a three- to five-minute recorded essay based on an annual theme. This year’s theme was "Does America still have Heroes?” "
Wheaton taking aim to reduce coyote population
"City council members decided Monday to seek prices from several licensed trappers to begin a citywide effort to capture and euthanize coyotes.  Traditionally, Wheaton and other municipalities have used public awareness campaigns to educate residents on how to coexist with coyotes. The biggest piece of advice has been to never feed or get close to the animals."
DuPage family planning program gets farmed out
"Marie Doll, former women's health program manager who oversaw the family planning services program for the county, said she has reservations about the transportation issues associated with the transition. But she wasn't surprised it happened. Doll said funding has stagnated for 10 years while the program has gotten more expensive to run.  "The program was in existence for over 30 years and I'm just sad that what was really an exemplary program had to be moved," she said."
Technology Center of DuPage celebrates 35 years
"DuPage County has been offering something exceptional to its high school students for the past 35 years: an option of receiving college credit while being a high school student at the Technology Center of DuPage.  Today, the center has almost 1,300 students from 24 high schools who are enrolled in more than 21 career and technical programs as part of their high school curriculum."
Helping Hispanic seniors feel welcome
"According to the National Hispanic Council on Aging in Washington, D.C., estimates show that Hispanics -- who now make up the largest minority group in the United States -- will represent a significant segment of the population by 2030, with a growth rate of 555 percent.  "By 2030, it is projected that the Hispanic elderly will comprise 11.2 percent of the United States elderly population and by 2050, 17.5 percent," the council's Web site states."
Cantigny Shows Best Photos of 2009
"The images now displayed were chosen by Cantigny judges from among more than 1,000 photographs submitted by 125 participants. All were shot at Cantigny Park and Cantigny Golf, the 500-acre former estate of Robert R. McCormick in Wheaton."
University leaders ask state for reliable payment schedule for overdue money
"The state’s public university presidents and chancellors released a joint letter today asking state leaders to commit to a reliable payment schedule for the schools’ past-due appropriations.  The letter calls on Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes to provide a payment plan for fiscal 2010 appropriations. It also asks elected leaders to work together to develop long-term financial solutions to the state’s budget crisis."
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Rewrite of state's red-light camera law proposed
"State Sen. John Millner, R-Carol Stream, today introduced Senate Bill 3140 to rewrite the current law that allows lights in a few Illinois communities, including Peoria and Chicago.  Millner says the changes were prompted by input from violators, law enforcement and news media and add some “common-sense additions” for drivers to more easily understand what they can and can’t do."
Cohen move gives Democrats a rare do-over
"Democrats in Illinois are getting a political do-over: the chance to pick a new lieutenant governor nominee themselves now that Scott Lee Cohen, the primary winner, dropped out of the race because of revelations about his checkered past."
Regional changes could have altered primary election results
"Ryan handily won suburban DuPage County, while McKenna won Cook by about 15,000 votes.  Brady received only 5 percent support in Cook County. He had only about 8,200 votes there, compared to 47,000 for McKenna, 32,000 for Ryan and 29,000 for Dillard.  *Head-to-head, Brady did better than Dillard in 84 of the 102 counties. In some counties, Brady stomped Dillard. But those were mostly smaller, low-vote counties."
Spreading the Word by iPhone - Broadcasting & Cable
"700 Club is still the cable and syndication leader of the niche market, with a fourth-quarter 0.24 live Gross Average Audience (GAA) rating on CBN and a 0.05 on cable via ABC Family, according to Nielsen. In June 2009, CBN launched 700 Club Interactive, which airs daily on ABC Family ... “Our experiments in interactive television—how to bring chat and Skype video into a television show, and really interact with an audience in real time and do that through streaming video and on-demand video—really seem to have resonance in a younger demographic,” Gordon Robertson says."
Judge to Pratt & Whitney: Keep Work in U.S. - AFL-CIO
"A federal court issued an injunction Feb. 4 against Pratt & Whitney, preventing the company from moving work and equipment out of their Cheshire and East Hartford, Conn., plants and keeping 1,000 hourly and salaried workers on the job. Machinists (IAM) District 26 had filed suit, saying the decision to move the work violated their contract.  The ruling stops the company’s immediate plans to move the work to Singapore, Japan and the state of Georgiia."
Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash - Washington Times
"The letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, expose the gulf between lawmakers' public criticism of the overall stimulus package and their private lobbying for projects close to home.  "It's not illegal to talk out of both sides of your mouth, but it does seem to be a level of dishonesty troubling to the American public," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington."

08 Feb

General Assembly Scholarship Applications Available
"Applications are currently available for residents of the 55th Legislative District who may be interested in applying for an Illinois General Assembly Scholarship, state Rep. Randy Ramey (R-Carol Stream) announced today."
Crossing Borders: Connection Stories - St.Mary's Matters
"It has been just over a week since our St. Mary's Parish School family learned of the Diocese of Joliet's plan to close our school.  In that time, we have experienced a dizzying and contradictory "array of emotions, " including "sadness, frustration, anger, disappointment, and confusion, but also including stirrings toward a desire for truth, "peace," understanding, and a brighter future."
"The West Chicago Sister Cities is offering a FREE MOVIE - "IN SEARCH OF MOZART"  Friday, February 19, 2010 - 7:00PM at the West Chicago City Hall, 475 Main Street.  This is a detective story that travels to the heart of old Europe and to the heart of the genius himself.  Produced in association with the world's leading orchestras, opera houses and musicians, told through a 25.000 mile journey along every route he followed.  The movie was released in 2006 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's

West Chicago
High School
Student-of-the-Month December 2009
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Kathryn Pusateri, of Carol Stream, for being chosen Student of the Month for December."
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Feb 8- Feb 14
America is on a path to economic recovery - Office of the Speaker
This is just a graph of the monthly job losses for the last two years.  Sometimes you just have to step back and look at where we've been and which way we are headed.  I'm tired of people who measure the economy with the GNP and the Dow.  Every time the price of gasoline goes up, it adds to the GNP.  Every time a corporation lays off thousands of workers its stock goes up.  I prefer to view the economy as the engine that provides meaningful work to citizens that earn a living wage and judge it by how well THAT is working.  The graph gives me hope that we will soon be doing better. - Bob
Delnor to offer lifeguard training sessions
"Pre-Course Testing is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, consisting of a 300-meter, nonstop swim using freestyle and breast stroke, as well as a surface dive to a depth of 7 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object and swimming 20 meters with the object. Lifeguard candidates must be 15 years of age by May 1, 2010."
Good government doesn't just happen
"In each case, a large field of candidates increased the longshot chances for victory by two candidates almost no one took seriously. Six candidates ran in the Democratic primary. Six ran in the Republican primary. Few people could list them, much less distinguish between them.  Quick! A show of hands, please, of anyone who can name any of the candidates other than Cohen and Plummer. Bonus round! A show of hands of anyone who, prior to reading this editorial, could name Plummer, even after he's won."
Biggert, Foster heat up breakfast discussion on health care, economy
"A little-known fact about the economic crisis, according to Foster, is that during the last 18 months of the previous administration, about $15 trillion of household net worth was already destroyed. That amounts to $50,000 for every man, woman and child, he said.  "More wealth was destroyed than the national debt under the previous administration," Foster said."
Tearful Cohen drops out of lieutenant governor's race
""It is my hope, and I pray with all my heart, that I didn't hurt the people that I love so much," Cohen said. "All I ever wanted to do was to run for office and to help the people, not cause chaos."  "There is uncertainty that if I continue to run that the Democrats will win November," Cohen said."
400 votes down, Dillard not out in GOP gov race
"He trails state Sen. Bill Brady by about 400 votes -- but up to 11,000 absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be tallied, Dillard contended as he refused to concede defeat in the race."  "All of the ballots have not been counted, so the election is not over," Dillard said during a news conference. "In a race this important, every vote must be counted.""
Quinn says Hynes not interested in being his running mate
"Cohen dropped out of the race Sunday night, citing a lack of support from Democratic officials and concerns that controversies over his background could hurt the ticket. His decision came after a private meeting Friday with Democratic Party chairman and House Speaker Michael Madigan.  Quinn said this morning that he felt "sympathetic" for Cohen when he watched his tearful announcement Sunday"
Asian carp discussion moves to Washington
"Midwest governors are scheduled to visit the White House today to meet with top presidential environmental adviser Nancy Sutley on how to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will participate but not in person because of the snowstorm that has made travel to Washington difficult. He will participate by phone. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle are still expected to be there."
More charities added to state income-tax form options
"The state's network of food banks and the six Illinois Crisis Nursery agencies are included for the first time as eligible charities for taxpayer checkoff donations."
Politicians stay in touch via Facebook, too
"“I think one of my kids set that up, and I’m not really into it,” Winters said. “I like to look somebody in the eye and talk to them.”  Winters said he understands the benefits of social media and may eventually find a use for it.  “I know I need to modernize, but I haven’t gotten there yet,” he said. “I know this is something that I want to become more comfortable with and sit down and do it.”"
[Local pols with FB pages include Kwasman, Murphy, Saake, Cole, Ramey, Hultgren and Schillerstrom.  Unfortunately, Roskam has defriended me, not even allowing me to read his page. - Bob]
State lawmakers returning this week to packed agenda
"Illinois lawmakers return to work in earnest this week and have an overflowing agenda of problems to deal with from now until May.  None is bigger than the state’s hobbled budget, with a deficit of $13 billion or more. With hot races for the governor and many lawmakers in the prospect for this fall, however, any real progress could be put off until later."
Durbin to chair Giannoulias campaign
"Asked prior to the primary about the bank’s questionable loans, Giannoulias said he would discuss the matter after the election. But Giannoulias said Sunday the questions he now faces are the same ones he answered while running for treasurer four years ago.  “These sort of guilt-by-association attacks didn’t work then, and they’re not going to work now,” he said. “People saw through it the first time. You’ve got to give voters a little more credit.”"
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 5 Feb 2010
Pentagon Plans to Provide Emergency Contraception on US Military Bases Worldwide - Feminist Majority Foundation
"The Pentagon will begin providing emergency contraception (EC) at US military base health facilities worldwide, the Department of Defense announced yesterday. The change is a result of a recommendation from the Pentagon's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which voted in November 2009 that both Plan B and generic Next Choice should be included on the basic core formulary, a list of medications that are required to be stocked at all military health facilities, according to the Washington Post."
Anthem Blue Cross dramatically raising rates for Californians with individual health policies - LA Times
"Policyholders are incensed over rate hikes of as much as 39%, which they say come on top of similar increases last year. State insurance regulators say they'll investigate... Anthem Blue Cross is telling many of its approximately 800,000 customers who buy individual coverage -- people not covered by group rates -- that its prices will go up March 1 and may be adjusted "more frequently" than its typical yearly increases.  The insurer declined to say how high it is increasing rates. But brokers who sell these policies say they are fielding numerous calls from customers incensed over premium increases of 30% to 39%, saying they come on the heels of similar jumps last year."
Obey Tells GOP They Can't Have Their Pork And Eat It Too - Huffington Post
""I would have some difficulty taking seriously members who pose for political holy pictures by sending letters asking for increased funding and then vote against that legislation that requested funding," he writes. "I understand there are huge temptations in this institution to try to have it both ways. But, in a tight budget year, that is going to be very hard even for the most spectacularly inconsistent of members.""
What if senators represented people by income or race, not by state? - Washington Post
"What about a Senate in which voters cast ballots for candidates campaigning to win over a certain age group? Thirteen senators would vie for 18-to-24-year-olds, who strongly support measures such as the cap-and-trade climate bill and marriage rights for gays. Nearly all of these senators would be Democrats. Americans over 65 would control 16 seats -- and would be mostly Republicans interested in protecting Medicare and the broader status quo. The baby boomer bubble would be largely in the eldest category, though its stragglers would round out the segment of voters, probably split between the parties, that is edging up on retirement. Thirty-six senators would serve 25-to-44-year-olds, and 35 senators 45-to-64-year-olds -- and would be likely to push the very issues now on the table, including health care, entitlement viability and tax breaks for the middle class."

05 Feb

Sen. Franken, others introduce legislation to ban toxic heavy metal cadmium found in children's jewelry - HometownSource
"“This is a no brainer - we can’t let unsafe products from other countries poison our children,” said Sen. Franken. “We’ve already banned the use of lead in children’s products but now more and more manufacturers are using cheap metals like cadmium, barium, and antimony in its place. The Safe Kid’s Jewelry Act makes sure that these toxic metals don’t end up around the necks of our children.” "

West Chicago
High School
Student-of-the Month for January 2010
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Michael Russo, of Winfield, for being chosen Student of the Month for January."
Reminder for Market Day Orders
"Please help support our student organizations by placing orders with Market Day. February’s Market Day profits will benefit the International Club.  The next Market Day pick up will be Thursday, February 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm. You must place your order by: Monday, February 8th at 11:00pm CST. Pick up time is 5:00-5:45 pm in Commons.  Click on the following website to access Market Day to place your order: .. Our School is listed as Community High School Activities - Account #6816.  Thank you for your continued support of Market Day and West Chicago High School student clubs and organizations."

Truth Telling: Discovering the Real Story Behind St. Mary's Fate
"Today, though, we have come into possession of a rather extraordinary bit of communication, which suggests that we have yet to discover the entire truth behind St. Mary’s premature, unnecessary, and unexpected demise.  We invite you to consider this bit of data for yourself:"
[I have a call out to confirm the authenticity of the email, but can confirm that the signature matches. - Bob]

Wheaton Academy Presents Singin’ in the Rain
"It is time once again for the Spring Musical, and this year the Academy Theatre is proud to present the Broadway musical Singin’ in the Rain.  The performances are February 26 and 27 and March 4, 5, and 6. All shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and dessert is served at intermission. Ticket information is available on and tickets are available for $10 per person.
"Visitation for Carson Dean Dierschow, 16½ months old, will be from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Norris-Walen-Segert Funeral Home, 132 Fremont St. (one block north of Washington St. and Main), West Chicago. Born Sept. 13, 2008, in Winfield, to Christian and Gale Dierschow, he passed away Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010, at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He is survived by his loving parents, Christian and Gale of Sycamore; sister, Addison; paternal grandfather, Dean Dierschow of West Chicago..."
On or off the ballot?
"Most Democrats want more information: when the girlfriend failed to show to up to testify, it ended the case legally, but didn't answer questions about what really happened.  "I have to look into it," said state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora. "He won the vote. I wouldn't want to overturn that without having the facts in front of me.""

GOP House leader to Cohen: Explain yourself
"Months before the general election, Cohen admitted that he had been charged with domestic battery. His former girlfriend alleged Cohen held a knife to her throat. The charges were dropped when the woman refused to cooperate with police after making the report.  As a former Kendall County prosecutor, Cross has seen women make an allegation only to refuse to cooperate days later. Less often, he saw women make false claims.  But that's the problem: There's no definitive answer about whether the case was dropped because of a false claim, bad evidence or any other reason."

DuPage County and Death Row
  • Two on death row for DuPage County crimes:
  • DuPage man once on death row to be retried:
  • People facing the possibility of death sentences in DuPage crimes:
  • Murderers who avoided death row:
Dillard on final count in GOP gov race: 'It will be a while'
"Dillard, the state senator from Hinsdale, previewed a press conference he scheduled for 1 p.m. today, saying 5,000 to 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted, and the state elections board does not have to certify the results before Feb. 16.  "Let's get all the votes in, let's get a final count," he said."
UI union cries foul over new furlough, pay-cut policies
"It alleges the university violated the state's labor act by failing to bargain for changes in employee notices of appointment and unilaterally imposing furloughs.  The UI announced last month that 11,000 employees would have to take unpaid days off before the end of the semester – 10 for top administrators and four for faculty and academic professionals who earn more than $30,000 a year. The move was expected to save the school $17 million."
Brady needs to reach out to Chicago area, Edgar says
"“He’s got to be careful,” Edgar added. “If he does move to the center, which I think he needs to do, he needs to do it in a way that … doesn’t look like he’s going back on positions he’s taken or changing his philosophy just for political reasons.”  Brady is pro-life on abortion, opposes any state tax increase and wants to cut state agency budgets 10 percent across the board.  “I think 10 percent across the board will be extremely difficult,” Edgar said. “There are some programs you can’t cut, ’cause people will die. Now, there’s other programs you can cut.”"
Not a lame duck, but Quinn still faces hurdles
"Quinn made a bold prediction to The State Journal-Register editorial board about the income tax increase he believes is necessary for the state to solve its budget problems, a prediction that was based on his winning the primary election.  “We’re going to pass it, I hope, in the first quarter,” Quinn said. “People of good faith, hopefully of both parties, understand that we’ve got to do this for the good of the state. After the primary, there will be some people who will take another look at this.”"
Foster To Lead Budget Deficit Working Group to Promote Deficit and Debt Reduction
"“The New Democrat Coalition is a group of moderate, pro-business Democrats, many of whom have started or participated in a business before their elections to Congress,” said Foster.  “We understand that we are not going to have a healthy business climate until we get our fiscal house in order.”"
Illinois congressmen seeks to limit coal ash regulation - WGN
"A bipartisan group of Illinois congressmen warned the White House on today that federal regulation of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power plants, could devastate Illinois' economy.  Four Democrats and four Republicans, including several from the Chicago suburbs, told the Office of Management and Budget in a letter that regulating coal ash as hazardous material would impost "steep costs" on Illinois energy consumers, who draw much of their power from coal."
[Readers are referred back to 12 Jan post, Toxic coal ash waste piles up in 32 states which points out that this material includes all the toxins and pollution that is not allowed to be discharged into the air and is like the material from the Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill. - Bob]
One in eight Americans needs emergency food assistance - World Socialist Web Site
"In what is the largest single study of domestic emergency food assistance ever carried out, Feeding America conducted 61,000 face-to-face interviews and surveyed more than 37,000 charitable agencies in its network to assess the level of “food insecurity” among their clients. “Food insecurity” means, simply, that people are going hungry... The FA investigation revealed the organization now serves 37 million people annually, of which 14 million are children. This marks an alarming 46 percent increase in people seeking emergency hunger relief since 2006."
[I thought I'd post this one so some of my Republican friends would know what the true liberal media thinks. - Bob]
U.S. Jobless Rate Now 9.7%, but Millions Fear Losing Unemployment Insurance - AFL-CIO
"Among the worst aspects of the nation’s unacceptably high unemployment rate—and there are many—the growing numbers of long-term jobless workers is something that can, and must, be addressed immediately. Long-term U.S. unemployment (those without a job for 27 weeks or longer), with more than 6 million unemployed workers out of a job for more than six months. In January, the number of long-term unemployed workers worsened, to 6.3 million workers."
The deficit blame game - Salon
"Two weeks before Obama was inaugurated, the Congressional Budget Office projected the 2009 deficit at $1.2 trillion, adding that due to the economic crisis the new administration also inherited, "collections from corporate income taxes are anticipated to decline by 27 percent and individual income taxes by 8 percent; in normal economic conditions, they would both grow." Mandated spending on unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc., increased... Economic stimulus and all, new spending by the Obama administration amounts to roughly 10 percent of this year's deficit.  The GOP response to these incontrovertible facts amounts to boo-hoo-hoo."
Roots Of Conservative Failure: Bush Called Deficits "Incredibly Positive News" - Campaign for America's Future
"On August 25, 2001, just seven months after taking office, George W. Bush learned that his budgets had already erased the previous administration's huge surplus -- that was paying off our country's debt at a rapid rate -- and had instead forced the country to start borrowing again. Bush said it was "Incredibly Positive News'' "

04 Feb

With the election done and the smoke now clearing, WegoNews wants to thank local candidates Al Murphy and Matt Fuesting for their efforts. - Bob
Around and About in West Chicago - 03 Feb 2010
  • District 94 2010-2011 Budget
  • St. Mary’s School Closing
  • People Made Visible
  • Wheaton Academy Artist Series
  • Freedom of Information Officers

West Chicago
High School
Wildcat Preschool Coming in February
"The program operates under the supervision of Patti Kozlowski but is run by students enrolled in the Child Development 2 and Advanced Child Development classes. The students apply what they have learned about the various stages of child development in a pre-school classroom setting. The preschoolers learn their primary skills while enjoying social interaction."
Quietly Giving: Volunteer Stories
"Today we honor the many generous volunteers whose dedication has enriched our school from its inception to the present.   Generations of parents and community members have put their love for St. Mary’s into quiet but powerful action."
There’s No Place Like Home: Transition Stories
"Even as we continue to celebrate the school and to insist on clarity about the whys and wherefores of its tragic, premature, and unexpected demise, St. Mary’s parents and students have begun the process of visiting other schools to determine which of these might make the best alternatives when the next academic year rolls around."
attack on Hultgren
"Republican candidate for Illinois' 14th Congressional District State Sen. Randy Hultgren's real record of raising taxes stands in stark contrast to his hypocritical pledge to oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates," said Gabby Adler... Adler then pointed out a Hastert radio ad that said, "Sen. Randy Hultgren voted for a massive $31 billion tax increase just last year ... "
Area Boy Scouts celebrating years of service
"The National Hall of Leadership is just one of many programs being unveiled this year as part of Scouting's 100th anniversary. Plans also include: the Alumni Reconnect, Generations Connection, Get in the Game with Geocaching, Year of Celebration patch program, Pitch for Scouting, Shining Light Across America webcast from the National Jamboree, and the largest Scout-O-Rama event, to be held at Cantigny Park May 15, in conjunction with a Camporall for 5,000 registered Scouting members at DuPage County's St. James Farm May 14-16."
Aurora limits comments on Facebook
"But on Friday, Roth posted a note saying the page would no longer accept those comments... What Roth quickly discovered is that Facebook doesn't allow users to block comments. (It does, however, include a setting that would make those comments invisible to visitors of the page.) Since Friday, fans of the Aurora page have expressed their — mostly negative — opinions of the decision in comments beneath Roth's post."
Foster, Hultgren ready to battle it out in 14th
"It only took about 12 hours for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to fire the first shot of the 14th Congressional District's general election.  In an e-mail sent Wednesday morning, DCCC spokesman Gabby Adler charged State Sen. Randy Hultgren with hypocrisy -- specifically, with voting to raise taxes while pledging not to.  Three hours later, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out an e-mail of its own, accusing Rep. Bill Foster of being "a key player in advancing the Democrats' out-of-touch agenda" and "completely ignoring the needs of our economy."
Illinois Supreme Court: Malpractice cap 'invalid'
"State lawmakers in 2005 passed legislation, which was signed into law by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, that established caps on noneconomic damages of $500,000 in cases against doctors and $1 million against hospitals. Illinois followed other states, such as California, that capped damages years ago.  But Justices writing said they were not persuaded by arguments used in other states. "That ‘everybody is doing it," is hardly a litmus test for the constitutionality of the statute," Justices writing for the majority opinion said."
Emotional Hynes ends Democratic governor campaign
""Well, the people have spoken, and the votes have been counted. And I'm here to report that we rose up but fell just a little short," Hynes said at a news conference at his River North campaign headquarters. "And if democracy means anything, it means that the campaign with more votes wins.""
Hynes concedes to Quinn for governor
"Hynes had trailed his rival for the Democratic nomination by a few thousand votes Tuesday, and Quinn's lead has grown as more ballots have been counted.  With the Democratic race decided, the spotlight remains on Republicans, who have also been waiting for a primary winner to emerge in the governor's race."
Illinois candidate denies harming girlfriend
"Cohen was arrested on allegations that he held a knife to the woman’s throat and pushed her head against a wall. The police report noted abrasions on her neck and hand.  The charges were dropped after the girlfriend failed to show up for a court date."
State Capitol Q&A: It's never that easy in Illinois
"Q: Why was everything so tight?
A: Several factors contributed.  Turnout was low statewide — incredibly low. Some estimates had unofficial turnout statewide below 30 percent, and that’s off the usual upper 30 percent numbers that are usually seen in these elections.  In some areas, it was much lower — in the low 20s or even in the teens, as in Sangamon County. Low turnout usually favors incumbents or the candidates with the best organizations. But Tuesday’s results also showed that huge spending doesn’t guarantee a victory, because big-spending GOP gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna came in third.
Obama to meet with Dalai Lama in mid-February - Washington Post
"The Obama administration needs China's cooperation on a multitude of international issues -- such as climate change, the global financial crisis, efforts to persuade Iran to give up its alleged nuclear weapons program and attempts to persuade North Korea to return to negotiations on its own nuclear program.  "China resolutely opposes the visit by the Dalai Lama to the United States, and resolutely opposes the U.S. leader having contact with the Dalai Lama in any name or any form," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Wednesday, echoing a statement by a senior official in the Communist Party's United Front Department on Tuesday."
Solis Backs Employee Free Choice, Strong Enforcement of Wage, Safety Laws - AFL-CIO
"Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says workers face increasing obstacles when they try to form unions and “we need to restore their freedom to do so.” In testimony before the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee today, Solis looked back at the department’s actions in 2009 and forward to its 2010 agenda.  In reiterating the Obama administration’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act, Solis said: "I will work to ensure that workers’ rights will be protected."
Slash and Privatize: How House GOP's Shadow Budget Eliminates Deficit ... In About 50 Years - TPM
"OMB Director Peter Orszag last week said the Ryan budget provides a "contrast" to the White House plan and criticized the Social Security and Medicare elements.  "[I]ndividuals are on their own in the health care market. And the voucher does not keep pace with health care costs over time," Orszag said of the Medicare portion of the plan.  "There are many aspects of that that are worthy of further discussion and debate, but it is a dramatically different approach in which much more risk is loaded onto individuals and in which the Medicare program in particular is dramatically changed from its current structure," Orszag said."

03 Feb

Primary Election Results as of 9:54 with 96.53% of precincts reporting.
Position Party Candidate  
County Board District 6 Republican Robert L. Larsen 55.18%
    Matt Fuesting 30.57%
    Paul Darrah 14.25%
Forest Preserve District 6 Republican Al Murphy 44.63%
    Roger G. Kotecki 55.37%
Regarding the news of the closing of St. Mary's School
"For all St. Mary's School families who are West Chicago residents and who choose to send your children to District 33, I would extend an invitation to contact our office to gather the information you need to feel comfortable and help your child(ren) transition to District 33 schools. "
Regarding Educare and St. Mary's
"At one point there was brief consideration of Educare of West DuPage renovating and locating in the St. Mary's facility, but that was determined not to be a viable option. It is difficult to renovate an older facility to meet the design requirements of an Educare network facility. Building a new facility is most likely the best option, and several million dollars are currently pledged from private philanthropists toward that end."
Kotecki wins GOP nod in DuPage forest Dist. 6
"A longtime DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioner beat back a vigorous challenge from a West Chicago city councilman in the race for the GOP nomination in District 6.  With 100 percent of the votes tallied Tuesday, incumbent Roger Kotecki had 55 percent of the votes and Al Murphy had 45 percent, according to unofficial results."
Larsen wins DuPage District 6 GOP primary
"With all precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed Larsen received 55 percent of the votes.  Meanwhile, West Chicago Alderman Matt Fuesting received 31 percent and DuPage County State's Attorney Spokesman Paul Darrah earned 14 percent in his first run for public office."
Hastert name no match in 14th
"State Sen. Randy Hultgren became the Republicans' choice Tuesday night to face Rep. Bill Foster in the 14th Congressional District this fall. Hultgren won the GOP primary race over attorney Ethan Hastert, son of former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert."
Hultgren wins 14th District Republican nomination -
"With all precincts reporting in Kane County and most in DuPage County and Aurora, Hultgren secured his victory over opponent Ethan Hastert, of Elburn. The final Kane County tally gave Hultgren 55.59 percent to Hastert’s 41.02. DuPage County results currently show Hultgren with 68.96 percent to Hastert’s 31.04, with 37 out of 39 precincts reporting. In Aurora, with 69 out of 74 precincts reporting, Hultgren holds a 61.92 percent to 38.08 percent lead over Hastert."
[It is incredible to me that I found this link under the Batavia Republican and not the part of the Suburban Life website for the West Chicago Press. - Bob]

ELECTION 2010: Updates, analysis and real-time results for DuPage County

Kirk, Giannoulias to vie for Obama's old U.S. Senate seat
"Giannoulias was quick to go after the five-term congressman.  "Come November, congressman, your days as a Washington insider are over," Giannoulias said at his victory party.With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Kirk had 402,727 votes, or 56 percent, easily trouncing the field of five other little-knowns candidates."
Jeffrey, Marci Beagley found guilty in Oregon City faith-healing trial - The Oregonian
"A Clackamas County jury sent a clear signal Tuesday that parents who rely solely on faith healing to treat their children face prison if a child dies.  Jeffrey and Marci Beagley were found guilty Tuesday of criminally negligent homicide in the death of their 16-year-old son, Neil. The boy died in June 2008 of complications from an undiagnosed congenital urinary blockage after his parents attempted to heal him with prayer, anointing with oil and laying on of hands."
Report: Union Membership Benefits Workers in Every State
"These findings demonstrate that, across the states, workers who are able to bargain collectively earn more and are more likely to have benefits associated with good jobs. Taken together these data strongly suggest that better protection of workers’ right to unionize would have a substantial positive impact on the pay and benefits workers in every state."

02 Feb

Father Balluff's Alternate Proposal
"Hispanic parents and their pastor need to find a seat at mass before they consider the possibility of a desk at the school... In order tomove forward with critically needed church addition I need your help in avoiding adding to the parish debt."
February E-Newsletter
"Despite the rough start, I am optimistic and looking forward to the new legislative session. I have already filed a number of important pieces of legislation including a proposed constitutional amendment enhancing victims' rights and a proposal to remove the authority of the Director of the Dept. of Corrections to award certain good conduct credits to inmates."
Results of hunger study show large increase in those needing food
""Some people have a stereotype that people using the food pantries are just lazy and don't want to work," he said. "But 43 percent of the households include at least one employed adult. These are working, but underemployed families."  And many of those underemployed who ask for food are first-time visitors to local food charities, pantry directors say."
DuPage chairman hopefuls raise almost $500,000
"The lion's share of that was raised by state Sen. Dan Cronin, whose campaign finance reports indicate he has collected $262,625 in cash contributions and in-kind donations on top of the nearly $80,000 he started with.  None of the other three came close to Cronin's tally."
Drunken driver injures St. Charles pedestrian
"The garbage was thrust through a window at 113 W. Main St while Rericka's truck hit a second tree before coming to rest, police said. He was charged at the scene with aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison or probation."
West Chicago man charged with DUI in crash
"Police later determined that Rericka [Donald Rericka Jr., 29W200 block of Helen Avenue] lost control of his Chevy Silverado pickup truck while driving south on North Second Street, making a left onto Main. Rericka drove up on the south curb, hit a tree next to the sidewalk, then hit a garbage can, police said.  The tree snapped at the base and fell on a crowd of pedestrians walking east, police said. The tree hit a 48-year-old Geneva woman, who then hit her head on the wall of a building, police said.  The garbage was forced across the sidewalk by the car and broke the window of a business in the 100 block of West Main Street, police said. The truck continued east, knocking down another tree, police said. Rericka was arrested and held for afternoon bond call, police said."
Ethanol demand key to grain prices in 2010, U of I economist says
"Both corn and soybean prices have fallen in the last three weeks, since the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a larger corn harvest than expected in 2009 and in anticipation of a “monster” soybean crop in Brazil, said Darrel Good.  “The challenge for some is going to be if they want to plant corn where they had corn last year,” Good said, noting that a wet spring and fall resulted in one of the latest harvests in decades last year."
Illinois’s Daddy Problem
" But factionalism is so ... January. The Republicans are in the Scott Brown zone. Kirk is running around reminding people that the Senate seat in question is “not Obama’s seat but the people’s seat,” and doing everything to look Brownlike short of taking off his clothes for a Cosmo spread.  Meanwhile, just to be safe, he has denounced his own vote for the House cap-and-trade energy legislation and has been begging Sarah Palin for an endorsement."
The grisly truth about the Super Bowl abortion ad -  Slate
"In 2001, the American Journal of Epidemiology published an analysis of 7.5 million births that took place in the United States in 1995 and 1996. Abruption was documented in 46,731 of these pregnancies. Six percent of normal pregnancies produced babies with birth weights low enough to risk long-term health damage. Nearly half the abrupted pregnancies produced such babies. Ten percent of normal pregnancies ended in premature births; most abrupted pregnancies ended that way. In normal pregnancies, the perinatal mortality rate—death of the fetus after 20 weeks gestation, or death of the baby in its four weeks after birth—was less than 1 percent. In abrupted pregnancies, the rate was roughly 12 percent. If the total number of abrupted pregnancies in the United States in those two years was 46,731, then the number of fetuses and babies killed by placental abruption was 5,570."
The Quiet Revolution - The New Republic
"Yet there is one extremely consequential area where Obama has done just about everything a liberal could ask for--but done it so quietly that almost no one, including most liberals, has noticed. Obama’s three Republican predecessors were all committed to weakening or even destroying the country’s regulatory apparatus: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the other agencies that are supposed to protect workers and consumers by regulating business practices."
The Tea Party Dog That Didn't Bite? - TPM
"As we've reported, Kirk was once a barometer for the middle but has tacked to the right during the primary. Democrats are happy either way - if he loses, they think a tea partier would be easier to defeat and if he wins they will portray him as a flip-flopper in the general election.  With just one day left in the race, TPMDC tracked down tea party organizers in Illinois who all dismissed the polls as not capturing voters' anger or the lack of support Kirk holds downstate."
New GOP Agenda Debuts
"Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) was on Chris Matthews show a few moments ago and rolled out his idea for the Republican platform to get the federal budget into line: cut benefits and for everybody now under 55 and privatize the program like President Bush tried to do in 2005."

01 Feb

Remember ... Tomorrow is the Primary Election ... VOTE!
Response to Joliet Press Release
Haiti Relief Donation Events
"People Made Visible will be collecting items for the relief efforts in Haiti on Saturday, February 6th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and on Monday, February 8th from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Items can be dropped off at the Rockwell building, 108 Sherman Street, located behind St. Michael's United Church, 400 W. Washington Street in West Chicago. Your generous donations will benefit the work being done by the Friends of the Children of Haiti and the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti."
Gordon Cole Endorses Al Murphy for County Forest Preserve
"To all my friends in western DuPage. Please vote for AL MURPHY for Forest Preserve. He is a small business owner, an alderman and a scoutmaster. He needs all of our support. It is truly time for some new voices on that board. THANKS"
High School Winter Jazz Concert - Becky Hall
"You may enter the school through entrance F by the auditorium. From there, take a right, then a left at the first hallway to follow the north side of the auditorium hallway to the band rooms double doors."
[Today is the debut of the new WegoNews Calendar.  You can have an event added to it by emailing, name, location, date, time and a brief description to - Bob]
Family Night February 9

Grow Together Through Family Conversations
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
West Chicago Middle School Cafeteria 238 E. Hazel Street

West Chicago
High School
Wildcat Booster Club Meeting
"You are invited to attend a meeting of the Wildcat Booster Club on Monday, February 1, at 7:00 pm in room 197.  The Wildcat Boosters are parents and staff members who care about our school, our community, and our kids. Our purpose is to promote unity, camaraderie, sportsmanship, assist in fundraising, encourage school and community spirit and to support extracurricular activities at Community High School."
West Chicago Public Access Playback - Feb 1- Feb 7
"One program note, we will be airing the WTRO Candidate Forum at 8:30pm on Monday, after the City Council meeting. The program was recorded 1/27/10 but due to the editing computer losing a hard drive during the editing process, the program was unavailable until now."
March Events at the Gallery - City of WC
Opening Reception for Thru My Eyes
"West Chicago's Gallery 200 Welcomes Photographer Uwe Gsedl Opening Reception for Thru My Eyes Friday, February 5, 2010 6:00 - 9:00 p.m."
St. Mary's parishioners upset over school's closing
"In November, the Diocese of Joliet concluded a yearlong study that found St. Mary's lacking enough diversity for the area. As officials prepared a response, the Rev. John Balluff, the church's head pastor, prepared a separate, unilateral response that rejected the diocese's recommendation of increasing diversity. Instead, he offered an alternative that included a smaller school focused on Hispanics and those living in poverty."
Bald eagles in DuPage? Absolutely!
"It did happen for Candace Barry outside her home in West Chicago. She encountered a baldy in October when taking pictures of the fall color. She first saw it on the ground just 50 yards away, then managed a few good photos of the bird in flight.  "I truly felt blessed to walk out and find an eagle," Barry said. "My dad saw one about 60 years ago in his backyard and I always thought that was a great story. I never imagined I would have my own to tell.""
Why can't we keep campaigns positive? - Katy Stoll, Dundee
"Well, it looks like it only took six weeks for Hultgren to renege on his promise. He has now insinuated that Hastert would advocate human sex trafficking and human rights violations. What? I find such accusations highly offensive and deplorable.  Some may say, "Well, that's politics."  I say, "I'm tired of that kind of politics!""
DuPage chairman hopefuls raise almost $500,000
  • "Cronin's coffers were filled by a number of Illinois businesses and political action committees, but his largest single donations of $10,000 each came from Chicago-based engineering firm Knight Partners and the Inland Real Estate Group PAC out of Oak Brook."
  • "Olson entered the race with $60,000 in loans she had made to herself, which made up nearly half of the $130,000 she started the campaign with."
  • "Pankau loaned her campaign $8,000, but raised funds from an array of corporate, political and union committees as well."
  • "He [Gary Grasso] loaned his campaign $15,000 late last week and received his largest single contribution in the amount of $5,000 on Jan. 20 from Oak Brook-based development firm Inter Continental Real Estate."
Metra fares going up starting Monday
"On all Metra lines, weekend fares to Chicago will increase to $7. Weekend passes are good for unlimited rides on both Saturday and Sunday for all stations.  The penalty for on-board purchases will increase to $3. This penalty is not assessed on passengers who board at unmanned stations."
Candidates airborne on day before primary
  • Gov. Pat Quinn starts in Chicago and is scheduled to hit airport rallies in Rockford, the Quad Cities, Peoria, Decatur and Marion.
  • Republican Bill Brady has stops in Peoria, Moline, Champaign, Marion and Chicago.
  • Republican Jim Ryan will sandwich a midday visit to the statehouse press corps in Springfield around campaign stops in Chicago to start and end the day.
  • Democratic Senate candidate Cheryle Jackson is keeping it a little more local, with a campaign swing reaching from the South Side and south suburbs to downtown Chicago.
Both parties have full slates for U.S. Senate nominations
"Six Republicans and four Democrats are vying in Tuesday’s primary to be their respective parties’ candidate. (A fifth Democrat, Jacob Meister, announced Sunday that he was dropping out of the race, although his name still will appear on Tuesday’s ballot.) The winners of those contests will join the lone Green Party candidate, LeAlan Jones of Chicago, on the general election ballot in November."
[Like Friday's summary of gubernatorial candidates, this is a pretty straightforward election resource. - Bob]
Durbin: Use TARP funds to promote employment
"“This will be money that was given to the big banks, paid back to the federal government with interest, which we will now reinvest back into creating jobs for this economy,” the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate said. “I think taking a portion of it to try to revitalize our local economy and create good, paying jobs is money well spent.”"
My Closing Statement
"When President Obama announced his stimulus program, I cut through the red tape to get billions of dollars out the door and into the pockets of Illinois workers and businesses – making Illinois a national leader in putting stimulus funds to work.  When President Obama asked for my help in converting an unused Illinois facility into the safest federal prison in the nation so that he could keep his promise to close Guantanamo Bay, I told him Illinois would be proud to serve the national interest."
Roskam Asks Former Colleague Obama: Where is the Bipartisanship You Had in Illinois?
[Rep Roskam quotes his accusatory question but doesn't  bother to quote the answer.  Was he listening? Anyhow, that's why I don't quote him here. - Bob]
Academics fight rise of creationism at universities - Guardian
"There is an insidious and growing problem," said Professor Jones, of University College London. "It's a step back from rationality. They (the creationists) don't have a problem with science, they have a problem with argument. And irrationality is a very infectious disease as we see from the United States."
Baptists say they were trying to do good in Haiti - Guardian
"Ten U.S. Baptists arrested trying to take 33 children out of earthquake-shattered Haiti say they were just trying to do the right thing, applying Christian principles to save Haitian children.  Prime Minister Max Bellerive told The Associated Press Sunday he was outraged by the group's "illegal trafficking of children" in a country long afflicted by the scourge and by foreign meddling."
Unions Save Jobs, Wages in New York - AFL-CIO
"The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s)  regional office in upstate New York announced it will seek an order requiring Momentive Performance Materials to undo its one-year-old “restructuring” that cut 400 workers’ pay by an average of 25 percent and restore wages and other contract provisions."
This Is Our Moment - NRDC Action Fund
"Everyone knows we have a dependence on oil we buy from countries that don't share our values. This threatens our security and our integrity. And it needs to stop. We know it does. Still, we've seen our dependence on foreign oil grow and pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. But we can change that. Now."
Neo-Nazis, Militants Eye Tea Party for Recruitment - Huffington Post
"But militants are not the only ones infiltrating the Tea Party movement. The white power movement views Tea Parties as opportunities to recruit as well as incite violence, as is evidenced by postings on the white power website Stormfront:
Whites Forward: "Go where our people are starting to stand up around symptoms of the problem, and INTERVENE to guide them. Just because these started as an anti-tax protest doesn't mean that they must be limited and can't be developed upward toward an explicitly racial mass struggle.""
The Tea Party is Over
"Hultgren has taken right-wing positions on spending, health care, abortion, and gay rights. He sponsored a bill to remove protections from discrimination because of sexual orientation, and claims the health care bill "will kill people." Call Randy at 630.549.0139 and tell him to reject the dangerous ideas of the Tea Party."


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