Source Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
30 April  
Marcie Schulien has been found alive - Becky Hall
"Marcie Schulien has been found alive. I don't have more details but have heard from both her husband and her mother that she is at a Chicago police station and the family is on the way there.  Thank you all for your support. Many of you had never heard of Marcie, and the outpouring of support from strangers has helped her family and friends immensely."

West Chicago
High School
April 2010 PAWS Awardees
"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."
Board of Education Meeting Agenda
  • Community High School District 94
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2010 -- 7:00 p.m.
They're hiding key records from you
"Late last year, elected officials crowed and patted themselves on the back while approving an improved Freedom of Information Act that was long overdue. Then, within weeks, when they apparently thought you weren't paying attention, they excluded teacher and administrator evaluations from it. Now, three months later, they are excluding other public worker evaluations.  While we understand that it can seem invasive to be a public worker and have your evaluations shared, the truth is that it comes with being a public servant."
West Chicago’s Blooming Fest Celebrates 10 Years of Growing Community
"Over 80 vendors, including local businesses have registered to participate and will line Main Street. Plus, a 30’ x 40’ dedicated tent overflowing with hearty specimens from Garden Club member gardens will occupy Galena Street..."
UI report on Institute of Aviation; no call for elimination, but future is questioned
""While the team was unable to come to an overarching conclusion regarding the long-term viability of the Institute of Aviation, owing to the emergent status of key issues such as the decision to relocate tenure-system faculty currently associated with the Institute to other campus units..."
House rejects Dem redistricting plan; Fair Map petition dropped
"The House voted 69-47 on largely partisan lines for the Democratic plan, Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 121, but 71 ‘yes’ votes were needed.  Democrats cast all the ‘yes’ votes, while Republicans and one Democrat voted ‘no.’"
House Democrats polling members on budget options
"House Democrats are polling their members about giving Gov. Pat Quinn extensive emergency powers for more control over how money is spent in the next budget.  With adjournment looming on May 7, Democrats also are asking where cuts should be made while sparing education funding. They also want to gauge support for a series of smaller tax hikes (like a cigarette tax increase), but not the income tax increase sought by Quinn."
Evaluation shield bill goes to governor
"Less than six months after an updated Freedom of Information Act became law in Illinois, lawmakers sent the governor a proposal that would allow public employee performance evaluations to be kept private."
Roskam Tapped to Help Lead New Contract with America
"The project, Republican leaders say, will be built in part from a social media network where the GOP solicits input from people around the country."
[This is so wrong on two levels.  Is it intended to mask Roskam's moderation by confusing his position with the Freedom Works astro-turf document with a similar name pushed by the Tea Party movement?  (His website makes no mention of his endorsement by moderate Republican Mitt Romney.)   I reject all argument that Roskam supports citizen input from social networking sites as long as he continues to block me on FaceBook. - Bob]
Choosing between coal dependence and economic growth
"No coal plant construction has broken ground in over a year. The retirement of 20 aging, inefficient pulverized coal power plants have been announced in the last three months.  While coal is in decline, the growing Illinois wind industry surpassed 1,000MW of capacity in 2009 and created over 6,000 jobs. Springfield already gets about 19% of our power from wind. The General Assembly is now considering legislation to jump start Illinois solar power as well."
A Crisis for the Faithful in India - The Wall Street Journal
"Yet their service has come to an abrupt end in the past decade as the vulture population plummeted due to a fatal reaction to a common painkiller given to the livestock and humans that the birds eventually feed upon. Ongoing habitat shrinkage has exacerbated the decline. With vultures virtually extinct, the Parsis are left struggling with the question of how to preserve traditions when modern forces conspire against them."
Two Dead in Kentucky Mine with Record of Roof Support Problems - AFL-CIO
"The nonunion Dotki Mine, about 150 miles west of Louisville, is owned by Alliance Coal Co. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) records, the roof at the mine collasped 19 times in the year before Wednesday’s incident, resulting in 13 injuries. MSHA has cited the mine 11 times this year for violations pertaining to roof support.  State inspectors also cited the mine for roof support problems, including placing roof bolts too far apart, according to the Associated Press. "
DeLay Money Laundering Case May Finally Be Headed To Trial - TPM
"DeLay and the two other men allegedly raised $190,000 in corporate money in Texas through a fundraising committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, and sent it the Republican National Committee, which in turn distributed the money to candidates in Texas, where corporate donations are banned... "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously ruled that the lower state 3rd Court of Appeals erred when it accepted the co-defendants' arguments that the money laundering law did not apply to them because the funds involved were checks, not cash.""

 

 

29 April

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 29 April 2010
  • Public Works Projects
  • City’s Eighth Annual Citywide Collection
  • 18th annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive
  • Grand Opening of the new Fire Stations
  • Kozlowski Lifetime Membership Award
WC Library's May Adult Activities

[Readers are reminded that they can check the calendar while planning group activities and send information by eMail to get their activities/events listed on this calendar. - Bob]

Friends of the WC Museum Monthly Drawing
"The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum are announcing a monthly chance to win an item from the City Museum’s gift shop! ... Stop by the City Museum during open gallery hours Tuesday-Friday 10:30a.m.-3:30p.m. and Saturdays 12:00p.m.-3:00p.m. to put your name to take home this wonderful prize!"
  Sting nabs 27 foreign-born gang members
"A total of 28 arrests were made in the three-day operation which wrapped up Tuesday, targeting illegal immigrants with ties to violent street gangs, according to a release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Arrests were made in Chicago, Aurora, Elgin, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, West Chicago, Wheeling and Wood Dale."
Feds grill CN on rail crossing blockages
"Data was collected from automatic sensors on the crossing gates that send signals when those gates are down for more than 10 minutes.  Gordon Trafton, who testified as special adviser to the railroad's leadership team, said CN had concerns with the cellular technology used to collect the information and the number of people it takes to collate it."
Four area fire departments assist with school bus accident
" Ambulances from Geneva, West Chicago, Winfield and Wheaton Fire Departments transported six children to CDH for minor, non-life threatening injuries. The other children were moved to two other buses after Plainfield School District officials came to the scene.  The driver of one of the school buses was cited for following too closely, according to police."
Residents address train noise, pollution concerns to Union Pacific ...
"Meyers said when she bought her home in 1987, “we were well aware there would be trains going by our house every day. Not a problem. Train noise does not bother us in that regard. But, when the Union Pacific bought the line — I’d say it was 10 years ago, maybe a little longer — they started staging trains, which means we became a rail yard instead of just a place where trains pass through and stop for commuter traffic. That presented a huge issue of quality of life and noise and pollution because trains are idling ... in people’s backyards.”"
Police respond to school bus accident
"Ambulances from West Chicago, Winfield, Geneva, and Wheaton Fire Departments transported six students to Central DuPage Hospital with minor, non-life threatening injuries.  The other children were moved to two other buses after Plainfield School District officials came to the scene.  The driver of one of the school buses was cited for Following Too Closely."
First Division Museum Names Photo Winners
"“Our goal was to show the public, from a soldier’s viewpoint, the full range of roles that 1st Division soldiers are playing in the Global War on Terror,” according to Teri Bianchi, exhibits manager for the museum. “The contest was open to any soldier assigned to or operating with any element of the Division, and we asked for images depicting their most recent deployment and training.”"
Bill granting tuition break for fifth and sixth years of college sent to governor
""This is a matter that I would submit is not a choice of a student," Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, said. "Very often individuals coming out of, in particular, the Chicago Public Schools system, are not being served properly. They are not being served for their continuation in a university setting. Through no fault of their own they have to engage in remedial programs that extend their bachelor degree program a little longer."
Senate panel rejects absent candidate's proposal for term limits
"Informed that term limits would apply only to the Legislature, Hendon said, "To me, if Sen. Brady wanted to do it right, he would limit the terms of mayors, presidents of county boards and the office he's trying to seek, because this legislation, if we passed this, wouldn't affect him.""
Quinn cool to Democrats' redistricting plan
"At an appearance in Glenview on Thursday, the Democratic governor said he's not sure the plan amounts to real reform.  Quinn says the measure isn't "moving the ball forward that much."  A House vote could come at any time. The plan has already been approved by the state Senate."
Illinois lawmaker plans same-sex marriage in Iowa
"“Now, Iowa is a great place, but it isn’t the state where I grew up. It isn’t the state where I represent 100,000 people ... and it isn’t the state where my family and friends live,” said Mell, D-Chicago. “So while this is a happy day and one to celebrate, it is also bittersweet.”  Mell said she looks forward to the day when same-sex couples can marry in Illinois."
Tuition freeze extension heads to governor
"Senate Bill 3222 is an extension of the Truth in Tuition Act, signed into law in 2003. Under that law, students lock in tuition for four years of college when they start as freshmen.  Under the new law, students who continue their studies for another two years would be charged the same amount for those two years as students who began college a year behind them."
Illinois rep announces engagement, spotlighting gay marriage
"Rep. Deborah Mell rose on the House floor Wednesday to share some "bittersweet" news. The sweet: She's engaged. The bitter: Illinois doesn't recognize gay marriage, so she plans to get married in Iowa ..."
Redistricting proposal advances to House floor
"A Democratic-backed redistricting plan is just one step away from legislative approval. But it still lacks the crucial support from Republicans in the Illinois House to clear that final step."
Rep. Foster Joins Transparency Caucus
"“As a firm believer that a transparent government is a more accountable one, I have worked to ensure that my constituents have full access to the work that I am doing on their behalf,” said Foster. “I look forward to working with this caucus to spread transparency throughout our government, helping the public to access and analyze government information.”"
Rep. Foster Votes to Block Automatic Pay Raise
"“At a time when Congress must restore fiscal discipline to address the deficit, automatic pay raises for Members of Congress are not the answer,” said Foster.  “This pay increase is unnecessary and inappropriate.”"
Christian sex therapist Gary McFarlane loses appeal bid - BBC
"Gary McFarlane, 48, from Bristol, was sacked by Relate Avon in 2008. He claimed the service had refused to accommodate his Christian beliefs.  Lord Justice Laws said legislation for the protection of views held purely on religious grounds cannot be justified.  He said it was irrational and "also divisive, capricious and arbitrary". "
US panel names Saudi Arabia, China, 11 others as serious religious rights violators - LA Times
"The panel's report also criticized the current and former administrations in Washington for doing far too little to make basic religious rights universal.  That is the goal of the congressional act that founded the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 1998. The commission investigates conditions in what it calls "hot spots," where religious freedom is endangered. Its job is to recommend U.S. government policies to improve conditions."
Buy America: Good Policy, Not Protectionism - AFL-CIO
"Despite the claims of its critics, the Buy America provisions in the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is not protectionism, but a reasonable and legal response to the failure of global economic policies to benefit U.S. workers, writes Robert Baugh, executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council."
[Please refer to the links at the bottom of the right column and feel free to send me links to similar sites that you use. - Bob]
United States Of Ameri-WHA? Crazy Legislation From Across The Nation - TPM
"February 2010: The state House passes a resolution that "urges" public schools to teach global warming as "a scientific theory rather than a proven fact," and to be sure to include the "astrological" (among other) factors that could be effecting global weather patterns."
 

28 April

 

Sharon Watson Lemon . - FB: "Today! 31 cent ice cream at Baskin Robbins. All proceeds go to Fallen Fireman."

Business Highlights - 28 April 2010
  • Esperanza Alfaro, Vice President/Cashier at DuPage National Bank
  • Natural Healing Whole Dog Wellness
  • UPCOMING EVENTS
Navigating the American Education System (NAES) Graduation
"The goal of NAES is to increase parent involvement among Hispanic families through the disemination of information, by sharing ideas, beliefs, and experiences, and by creating a community of parents who relaize how much they can support their children to improve academic performance."
Celebrating Our Heritage
"Students and staff members from Gary School will perform dances, songs, poems and skits representative of different heritages. Students, staff, staff family members, and community members will be performing. Admission is $1 per person. Food will be available after the performance at a nominal cost."
CableCom, West Chicago's Channel 17Programs 4/26-5/2
" Here's another promo for a new program we'll be showing next week. It's National Night Out 2005 and another one of the 'Lost tapes'."
School Bus Accident
"On Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 9:16 a.m., the West Chicago Police Department and the West Chicago Fire Protection District responded to IL59 and Glen Avenue for a three vehicle traffic crash involving two school buses. The school buses, operated by First Student, were occupied with almost 90 students from Plainfield North High School on their way to St. Charles for a field trip."
Bicycle Registration Program
"The West Chicago Police Department would like to remind its residents of their Bicycle Registration Program. This program allows any resident (if under the age of 17, a parent/guardian must enroll) to register their bicycle by giving the police department all the information on that bicycle, should it ever be lost or stolen."
Protecting Our Local Waterways
"The Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) ordinance prohibits the discharge of contaminants into the storm water system affecting the quality of our local waterways and those in the community surrounding them."
[It should be noted that this release confuses greywater with sewage ... spending most of the space on what it admits is not an "illicit discharge.  The current laws DO NOT allow the city to form Car Wash SWAT Teams to accost folks who wish to wash their cars... there is not yet cause for Tea Baggers to drive shiny clean cars as an act of civil disobedience.  I am hoping for a clarification and apology for this press release. - Bob]
Downtown Banner Project
"A juried contest of original art works submitted by both local and regional artists has resulted in the creation of nineteen 30” x 60” banners that will be hung on street poles along Main Street in downtown West Chicago from May – September."

West Chicago
High School
Reminder for Market Day Orders Account #6816.
"Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. Place your order now for your picnic supplies from Market Day. Please help support our student organizations by placing orders with Market Day. May’s Market Day profits will benefit the Thespians. There is only 1 more Market Day delivery for this school year.  The next Market Day pick up will be Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm. You must place your order by: Monday, May 3rd at 11:00pm CST. Pick up time is 5:00-5:45 pm in Commons."
2 school buses, car collide in W. Chicago
"Tom Hernandez, a spokesman from Plainfield School District 202, said a car stopped in front of the first bus, which caused the first bus to slam on its brakes. The bus then hit the car, then was hit from behind by the second bus, he added.  "Three students received minor injuries, like a couple of bloody noses and a stiff neck," he said. "Those students were taken to Central DuPage Hospital and will be OK.""
A look at other findings in CN audit
"Noise and vibration. TRAC, a coalition of towns opposed to the EJ&E purchase, told the STB noise from train traffic was excessive. The auditors found no evidence train noise and vibration was above what the STB allowed for. But they noted that affected communities need to talk to CN about noise problems and CN is required to respond. Auditors specifically recommended CN work with Barrington and Deer Park over such concerns."
  • Key vote awaits DuPage Water Commission
    "Although his proposal includes the pending repeal of a local sales tax, the move will cost millions of dollars that probably will be incrementally passed on to the commission's customer cities.  "It is going to happen," Ramey said of a water rate increase. "They have six years to straighten it out, or get their water rates to where it's supposed to be so they no longer need the sales tax.""
  • Residents accuse DuPage of shenanigans with water map
    "Hildreth and other opponents said the issue should have died when only 48 percent of the 622 property owners surveyed in the area favored the water connection plan. They complain that instead, county officials removed 212 properties along the eastern edge of the survey area from the results. The new data had 62 percent of the property owners favoring the water hookup."
State House, Senate Dems divided on tax bill
"Area House and Senate Democrats are split in their support for House Bill 174, a measure that would raise the state's income tax rate from 3 to 5 percent, as well as applying sales tax to 39 consumer services.  Proponents of the bill, such as Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, said the plan would generate as much as $5 billion in new revenue, with half going toward education spending."
Immigration reform march approved
"Aldermen on Tuesday granted a permit to organizers of the March for Peace and Justice, an event expected to draw thousands to East Side streets Saturday morning. It will be the first such march in Aurora since 2006, when roughly 10,000 people took to the streets to show support for immigrant rights."
6 hurt as 2 school buses collide in West Chicago
"Five students and an adult suffered minor injuries in a collision between two school buses this morning in West Chicago, a hospital spokeswoman said.  The students were on a school field trip, said Amy Jo Steinbruecker, spokeswoman for Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield."
That didn't take long: Black's portrait bill headed to Quinn after minute of consideration in Senate
"Black's bill originally barred any portrait of an impeached and convicted governor from hanging in the second floor of the State Capitol where the "Hall of Governors" is located. It later was amended to allow a portrait, provided it was paid for with private funds. Estimates of the cost of a large portrait like those in the hallway range from $8,000 to $20,000."
Palin to headline fundraiser in Illinois
" Illinois Republicans don't hold any statewide offices and the party is trying to win in some high-profile races this November.  Republican Congressman Mark Kirk is locked in a tight race for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. In the race for governor, state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington is challenging Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn."
Laura Bush's book talks about guilt after 1963 fatal accident
"In her new book, "Spoken from the Heart," she describes being wracked by guilt and losing her faith for many years after she ran a stop sign and slammed into another car in 1963."
Redistricting proposal advances to House floor
"The measure would still let the legislature draw new maps first, but would change the steps in the redistricting process if lawmakers fail to pass a remap plan.  SJRCA 121 still needs at least one House Republican vote to be approved, but House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, said Tuesday that won’t happen."
Support lacking for state retiree insurance rate increases
"In his budget plan, Quinn proposed capping the state subsidy for retiree health insurance at $300 per month, for an estimated savings of more than $250 million. According to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the full monthly cost of insuring non-Medicare retirees ranges from $590 to $804 a month, depending on whether they are enrolled in managed care or a fee for service health plan."
Income Donated to Food Bank - FaceBook
"The FY 2009 Congressional pay increase was enacted before I was elected to Congress, yet it is still included in my salary. Because of this, I donate the amount of the FY 2009 pay hike ($4,700) to the Northern Illinois Food Bank each year. The photo is from January 2010, when I gave my annual pay raise donation to the NIFB."

 

Roskam, House GOP Lead Online With #218hcr
"Republicans are well positioned in the arenas of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with a voice and a message. But the nature of these forums is that they are interactive and at their core opportunities for constituents to communicate to Congress. Americans have a renewed sense of clarity about their need to engage in the public square. Republicans get it and are listening."
[This is such crap.  Not "opportunities for constituents to communicate" as long as Roskam continues to block me from even seeing his FaceBook page, much less exercise free speech by commenting to him, Roskam has earned his HYPPO-CRAT logo this time. - Bob]
High court supports Mojave cross in Calif. - Washington Post
"The case, which involved a white cross erected by veterans more than 75 years ago to honor the dead of World War I, splintered the court. The court's conservative members prevailed, but six of the nine justices wrote to explain their views.  It did not provide a clear rule for the future -- or even explicitly say that the cross could remain in place."
AFL-CIO ‘Death on the Job’ Report: 5,214 Killed at Work in 2008 - AFL-CIO
"The AFL-CIO’s 19th annual workplace safety report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” also reports that in 2008, along with the 5,214, workers killed, another 50,000 workers died from occupational diseases, while at least 4.6 million workers were reported injured, unreported injuries could push that total to as many as 14 million workers."
Report: CA Voters Tricked Into Registering As Republicans With Pot Petition - TPM
"The Orange County Register reported last week that the Orange County District Attorney's office announced it would team up with the Secretary of State on the case, following a Register report that 99 written complaints were filed since March by voters who said they were registered as Republicans without their consent.  Another 74 voters reached by the Register said they, too, were unwillingly made members of the GOP."
[This, by iteself, is more voter registration fraud that ACORN was ever charged with.  My Republican friends have long forgotten my challenge for links to indictments and/or convictions of ACORN... isn't it time for them to do some apologizing? - Bob]
 

27 April

Gas = $2.90 ... bridge = $3.75 ... AuTrain Bay = priceless.

The Above items will be fixed tomorrow.  Sorry, I'm tired and need sleep. - Bob

Carping on waterways?
"The U.S Supreme Court met Friday to review the latest court documents filed by attorneys from Michigan and six other states. That group wants to close portions of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that lead into Lake Michigan. This is their second attempt to stop the invasive fish species by closing the entryway to the Great Lakes."
Health Kit Supplies Still Urgently Needed
"The UWM of the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago is continuing to college health kit supplies to be distributed through the Church World Service following any disaster that occurs in the U.S. and around the world.  "
'Sexting' bill, lt. governor changes go to Quinn
"The first measure aims to educate teens about the dangers of "sexting" while modernizing state statutes for the Internet age. Under current Illinois law, teens caught with nude photos of other juveniles can be charged as sex offenders, lawmakers said."
Giannoulias blames Bush policies for economic disaster
"Giannoulias said Republican candidate Mark Kirk "has been a big part of these problems. I look forward to having these debates on his votes against Wall Street reform, on votes to increase the federal deficit and federal debt. When the economy was thriving and things were going great and business was growing over the last decade, under George Bush and Congressman Kirk, the national debt actually doubled.""
Flood of calls prompts IHSA to amend new eligibility rule
"But the IHSA voted to amend the rule. It now says students in multiple high school districts may attend a districtwide academy and remain eligible as long as they are incoming freshmen or a transfer student entering the district for the first time."
Illinois resources chief says court decision on Asian carp will help
"He said the underwater electric barrier near Lockport is working. No Asian carp have been found above the barrier although carp DNA has been found. In an earlier conversation with me, he speculated that perhaps the DNA tests were so sensitive that they could pick up evidence of carp even though they were miles away."
Redistricting proposal advances to House floor
"A House committee voted 10-7 Tuesday to move the plan, Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 121, to the House floor.  The measure would still let the legislature draw new maps first, but would change the steps in the redistricting process if lawmakers fail to pass a remap plan."
Quinn not sending National Guard to Chicago without Daley's OK
"Democratic state Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford want Quinn to order troops to Chicago because of recent violence, including one night when seven people were killed.  Daley and Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis say a key to ending violence is getting guns off the street. Weis says he doubts the National Guard is the answer."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 23 Apr 10
  • CELL PHONES: FIVE BILLION ARE IN USE AROUND THE WORLD.

  • COSMOS: THE COHORT STUDY ON MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS.

  • WALL STREET: DERIVATIVE-CRAZED PHYSICISTS 15 YEARS AGO.

Evangelical group claims 'Noah's Ark' discovery in Turkey - Hurriyet Daily News
"A group of Hong Kong and Turkish evangelical explorers said Monday they believe they may have found Noah's Ark at the top of Turkey’s legendary Mount Ararat.  The team said they recovered wooden specimens from a structure on the eastern Turkish mountain that carbon dating indicated was 4,800 years old – from roughly the same time period the ark is said to have been in use."
Government charges ex-protector of whistle-blowers - Assoc Press
"Federal investigators charged the nation's former top protector of whistle-blowers Thursday with criminal contempt of Congress... The charging papers filed in the case are known as an "information" and ordinarily signify that a defendant is preparing to enter a guilty plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors.  Bloch had been under investigation for allegedly retaliating against his own employees.
Is the SEC Porn Story a New Problem, or Political Ploy? - ProPublica
"Oddly enough, news of the SEC’s porn problem is not a new revelation. In 2008, we reported [4] that the inspector general had discovered the agency’s pornography problem, and it wasn’t limited to just watching the stuff. One SEC employee went so far as to start his own private pornography business using SEC resources, “including Commission Internet access, e-mail, telephone and printer.”"
 

26 April

 
What ever happened to the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad?
"The Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railroad offered its first run from Aurora to Chicago in August 1902. A year later, it added the Wheaton to the Elgin leg. By 1909, the railway had another leg that served West Chicago, Geneva and St. Charles."
Supreme Court steers clear of Asian carp dispute
"The justices on Monday turned down a new request from Michigan to consider ordering permanent closure of Chicago-area shipping locks to prevent the invasive fish from threatening the Great Lakes.  The court had previously declined to order the locks closed on an emergency basis while it considered whether to hear the case."
2 Chicago state reps: Bring in the National Guard
""Is this a drastic call to action? Of course it is," Fritchey said. "Is it warranted when we are losing residents to gun violence at such an alarming rate? Without question. We are not talking about rolling tanks down the street or having armed guards on each corner."  What he envisions, Fritchey said, is a "heightened presence on the streets," particularly on the roughly 9 percent of city blocks where most of the city's violent crimes occur."
Giannoulias campaign releases ad about failed bank
"In the 60-second spot, Giannoulias talks directly to voters about the bank where he was a loan officer before being elected in 2006.  "I was very proud to be a part of it, and when I left, over four years ago, it was in good shape. But no one could have foreseen these problems," Giannoulias says as the ad flashes a headline"
31 Illinois banks closed since fall of 2008
" The shutdown of seven Illinois banks on Friday brought to 31 the number of banks closed in the state since the financial market crisis began in the fall of 2008, according to records from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.  Illinois trails only Georgia, where 36 banks have failed. California and Florida had 24 bank failures each. Minnesota rounded out the top five with nine."
Seattle cartoonist launches "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" - Assoc PRESS
"After Comedy Central cut a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris wanted to counter the fear. She has declared May 20th "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.""
We’d Hate to Close the Plant. You Won’t Be Joining a Union, Will You? - AFL-CIO
"A new video from the Electrical Workers (IBEW) gives a pretty clear picture of the behind-closed-doors intimidation and veiled (and not-so veiled threats) workers who are trying to form a union are forced to endure. In union organizing drives, 78 percent of employers force workers to attend closed-door meetings."
23 April
State committee green lights energy plan for schools
"The Senate Energy Committee approved a proposal Thursday that would allow school districts to build their own wind turbines, solar panels or similar renewable energy sites in order to make up for their own energy costs to providers such as ComEd or Ameren.  The proposal has been almost two years in the making, according to state Rep. Fred Crespo, a Democrat from Hoffman Estates and the proposal's lead sponsor."
Carle, UI have new research alliance
"Carle doctors and University of Illinois researchers will work side by side in a new biomedical research center at Carle's Mills Breast Cancer Institute in Urbana.  A new research alliance between the Carle Foundation and the UI was announced Thursday."
Groups continue lobby effort to block budget cuts
"Mental health, education and labor organizations echoed concerns about proposed cuts to state programs during a string of state Capitol news conferences Thursday.  The message followed Wednesday’s rally at the Statehouse, where nearly 15,000 protesters demanded that lawmakers raise taxes to keep state programs in tact."
Frontier gets Illinois OK to buy Verizon phone lines -- with conditions
"An increase from the current requirement for 80 percent broadband coverage to 85 percent by the end of 2013 was among conditions set by the Illinois Commerce Commission for the sale of Verizon lines to Frontier Communications of Connecticut."
Ga. Mennonite Community May Be Able To Self-Insure - Associated Press
"A small community of Mennonites in south Georgia is close to winning the right to insure itself rather than using auto plans required by the state.  A bill allowing the 100-member community to self-insure rather than buy car insurance which is considered gambling in their religion passed the Georgia Senate on Wednesday. The bill passed 40-5, after passing the House in March."
G-20 Labor Leaders Meet at AFL-CIO for Labor Summit - AFL-CIO
"When the world’s banks were going under, governments jumped to their aid. Now with record numbers of people out of work, it’s past time for governments to put working people first, or the fledgling economic recovery could fall apart. Leaders from the G-20 nations issued this warning while in Washington, D.C., this week for the first-ever meeting of G-20 labor ministers and employment ministers with labor and business leaders April 20-21."
 

22 April

 

April 22nd is the
40th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Blooming Fest Celebrates 10 Years
"Ten years and growing, West Chicago’s Blooming Fest is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year. The seasonal event has grown from the West Chicago Garden Club’s plant sale with a handful of craft vendors in a parking lot, to a blockbuster downtown garden festival."
Forestry Maintenance Program is Underway
"The City of West Chicago's Forestry Maintenance Program is underway. Parkway trees in selected areas throughout the City will be trimmed. Included in this program will be some whole tree removals of trees noted as dying, dead, potentially hazardous or too large for the confined space in which they have been planted.
CN in hot water for underreporting crossing blockages
"But while CN recorded 14 cases when stopped trains blocked crossings for 10 minutes or more between November and December, STB consultants found 1,457 instances caused by stopped or slow moving trains.  The agency ordered the railroad to attend a hearing April 28 in Washington, D.C., "to explain why this blocked crossing data they had in their possession was never disclosed to the agency," STB Chairman Daniel Elliott wrote to congressmen Wednesday."
CN: 14 crossing delays; report says 1,457
"In response to complaint letters received from residents along the EJ&E, the STB launched an independent audit of those reports — specifically, the ones filed in November and December 2009. The audit was conducted by HDR Inc., a company that also worked on the initial environmental impact study for the transaction in 2008."
Eddie Hinojosa Gets His First Hole In One!
"On April 9th, West Chicago resident, Eddie Hinojosa got his first Hole In One on Course #2, Hole #2 at St. Andrews G. & C.C. in West Chicago. He was introduced to the sport by his father-in-law, back in 1995. Eddie used a 21 degree hybrid to cover the 194 yard distance to the cup."
Rep. Foster Votes to Strengthen Veterans’ Health Services
"“Our veterans have shown tremendous bravery and courage defending our country, and it is important that we not only provide them with the medical care and support they deserve, but that we support their caregivers and family members as well,” said Foster.  “Many wounded veterans have family members who have left jobs to take care of them full-time, and this legislation provides caregiver support services to ensure our wounded veterans are getting proper care.”"
$600,000 Funding for NIU Program  - Face Book
"Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) joined NIU Provost Ray Alden, NIU faculty, NIU students and members of the American Legion to announce that he has secured $600,000 in Federal funding for a NIU program that will train specialists to work with visually impaired veterans. Funding for the project was included in the Omnibus Appropriation..."
Fox Valley
  Villages Sun
Aurora teachers trek to Springfield to be heard
"The teachers tried to arrange meetings with local legislators, ranking them in priority by those who oppose the tax hike. Locally, state Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, and state Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, were high priorities since they oppose House Bill 174."
Evangelist chosen to lead Army prayer day says Muslims ‘enslaved by Islam’ - The Raw Story
"The Christian evangelist invited to serve as honorary chairman of the Army's National Day of Prayer declined to walk back remarks accusing Islam of being a "wicked and evil" religion in an interview broadcast early Thursday... "I speak out for people that live under Islam," he said, "that are enslaved by Islam and I want them to know that they can be free, free through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone.""
Trumka: Building ‘Real’ Things—Not Financial Fantasies—Creates Jobs - AFL-CIO
"As the economy tanked during the recession that started in 2007 under George W. Bush’s watch, construction work on power plants, office buildings and factories stopped and are still stalled. Trumka said the fingerprints of Wall Street’s greed are all over the economic crime scene."
Born to Lose - Fiore, SFGate
"Mark Fiore, a Bay Area cartoonist and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, appears every Thursday on SFGate."
[This is as good an explanation of bank reform as you can find on the broadcast networks. - Bob]
Booby trap probe leads to Calif. raids, arrests - TPM
"District Attorney Rod Pacheco said everyone arrested was connected to white supremacist groups.  "They are upset with our aggressive posture against all gangs," Pacheco said. "White supremacist gangs have been very violent, especially toward law enforcement."  Hemet police have been targeted at least three times. In one case, a ballistic device strapped to a fence at the gang unit compound sent a bullet within inches of an officer's face."
REPORT: Fox Newsers rally for GOP in more than 300 instances and in nearly every state - Media Matters
"In recent years, at least twenty Fox News personalities have endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates or causes, in more than 300 instances and in at least 49 states. Republican parties and officials have routinely touted these personalities' affiliations with Fox News to sell and promote their events."
21 April  
Around and About in West Chicago - 21 April 2010
  • Educare of West DuPage Informational Meeting
  • West Chicago Middle School Spring Play
  • West Chicago Sister Cities Maifest
  • Sixth Annual We-Go Run
  • City’s annual Citywide Collection
CERT on WIND560 RADIO
"This Saturday between 8:00am and 9:00am two members of West Chicago CERT will be interviewed by Wayne Messmer live on WIND560 Radio. Randy Dieter and Don Koltz are scheduled for a 10 minute 30 second segment on the Homelife Radio Show. Lets all listen in and tell everybody you can to listen and show support for our fellow team members."
Call to act - Redistricting Matters - Becky Hall
"Today I'm asking you to consider acting on an issue that matters to all of us: who controls drawing the lines of our districts for both state and federal representation!"
BloomingFest Schedule - May 15th
  • Main Street Activities: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • West Chicago Garden Club Plant Sale
  • Chicago Corvette Club Wheels Exhibit
  • Children’s Activities
  • Mini Theatre Troupe Puppet Show

[The link takes you directly to the complete schedule. - Bob]


West Chicago
High School
Student-of-the-Month for March 2010
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Blair Skarin for being chosen Student of the Month for March."
Congressman: 110 mph high-speed rail really isn't that fast
""Incremental development is the best way to do this," Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said. "It's not one size fits all."  Speedier trains on the Chicago to St. Louis route should decrease travel times from 5 hours and 20 minutes to 3 hours and 49 minutes.  "It reduces the trip time by one-third," Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, a South suburban native, said. "That's substantive. Reliable, on-time service will attract passengers and attract commercial development.""
Bill Brady to speak at Aurora GOP reception
"Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady and lieutenant governor candidate Jason Plummer will be featured guests at the Aurora Township Republicans' Lincoln Day Reception.  Brady, a state senator from Bloomington, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 13 at the Paramount Theater, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora."
1360 WLBK
DeKalb County's News
NIU Receiving $600T to Train Specialists to Help Blind Vets
"Northern Illinois University is receiving federal funds to train students who will become specialists in helping soldiers who have lost their vision while serving their country.  Congressman Bill Foster announced the $600,000 grant Monday at the American Legion in DeKalb."
Rally by tax-hike backers could shut down state Capitol
"Thousands of protesters are scheduled to descend on the Capitol today potentially shutting the building down for a while as they press for a tax increase to stave off major budget cuts.  The protest will unfold against a backdrop in which Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing for an income tax increase that lawmakers are reluctant to approve ahead of the November election."

Audit questions railroad's tally of traffic tie-ups
"In its November and December 2009 monthly reports, the railroad reported only 14 blockages. But the independent audit conducted on behalf of the board by consultant HDR Inc. found 100 times as many -- 1,457 instances during that same period of crossings blocked for 10 minutes or more, the board said."

Committee kills 4-day-school bill
"The legislation (HB 4886), which was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, mustered only two votes in the Senate Education Committee. All Republicans on the committee opposed it, as did a number of unions, including the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Chicago Teachers Union, the AFL-CIO and the AFSCME."
Ill. officials want every child to have savings account
"Kelly says the accounts will "foster a new generation of responsible savers." Advocates say the program is important because it's never too early to start saving money.  Panel members began meeting Tuesday. They'll hold four public hearings around the state starting next month."
Quinn taking another run at budget plan
"Quinn huddled with the four legislative leaders for two hours Tuesday reviewing the latest plans for coping with the state’s $13 billion deficit. Quinn’s latest plan includes dipping into emergency reserves and the tobacco settlement fund, additional borrowing and assumes passage of both a cigarette tax increase and the 33 percent income tax surcharge Quinn’s proposed for education."
Rules on ethanol blends postponed for a year
"The Illinois Department of Agriculture has postponed for a year updated blending rules for ethanol-based fuels sold in the state.  Petroleum shippers and refiners had asked for more time because of concern that some out-of-state shippers would not be able to comply with the quality and performance standards that were scheduled to take effect May 1."
State Capitol Q&A: Legislation would regulate eyeball tattooing
"Senate Bill 3359 would make it illegal for anyone, except licensed physicians, to tattoo the whites of a person’s eyeballs. Scleral tattooing is an experimental practice in which dye, ink or sometimes even jewelry is injected into the whites of the eyes, using a needle or scalpel.  It is considered extremely dangerous and could result in scarring or hemorrhaging of the eye, or even blindness."
Is Gov. Quinn Selling Progressives Out?
"But now we see Gov. Quinn apparently over his head in handling what we must admit is a horrible state budget crisis that no one deserves to inherit.  And as the Governor flounders away, we see him turning his back on many in the progressive community while he in effect plants his lip on Rich Daley's tush to get the political support he needs to have Illinois muddle through and have Quinn squeak through to a four-year term."
Charities in a state of anxiety over funding - The Guardian, UK
"This is not to say that the typical charity no longer looks to donations for the lion's share of its income. Almost four in five voluntary organisations receive not a penny from the state. But 38,000 do – and, of these, 23,000 mainly larger charities rely on central or local government funding for more than half their revenue. In the employment and training field, the reliance extends to an average 70% of revenue."
Nurse-Patient Ratio Laws Save Lives, New Study Shows
"California’s nurse-to-patient staffing law reduces patient deaths, allows nurses to spend more time with each patient and helps keep experienced nurses on the job, a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers documents.  The study shows that if other states followed the California ratios, patients’ lives also would be saved, too."
Farm Workers Fight for an Extra Cent - InterPress Service
"Chanting "No more slaves! Pay a living wage!", hundreds of farmworkers, students and others marched 22 miles through central Florida for three days, calling on the Publix supermarket chain to pay an extra penny to the impoverished workers who pick their tomatoes."
Senate Takes Steps on Backlog of Nominations - NY Times
"The Senate showed signs on Tuesday of breaking a logjam of nominations being blocked by Republicans over growing objections from the White House and Democrats in Congress.  The Senate voted to confirm Lael Brainard on Tuesday to be Treasury under secretary for international affairs, nine months after she was nominated. The vote was 78 to 19."
Ex-Cop Michael Hunter Pleads Guilty in Danziger Shooting - ProPublica
"Former New Orleans police officer Michael Hunter pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiring to obstruct justice and failure to report a felony for his role in the Danziger Bridge shootings, which occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He’s the third ex-cop to admit guilt in the ongoing case."
 

20 April

 

420 - Is your child celebrating today?

All District Family Night
"Have fun while learning to keep your family safe on the internet, from fire, by railroad tracks, by water, and when riding your bike."
We Go Run
"All eight District 33 Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTO's) are racing to the finish line planning We Go Run, a 5K run/walk (3.1 miles), 10K run (6.2 miles), and children's races (1-mile run ages 6 - 14 and 100 yard Kids Dash ages 8 and under). Students, parents, staff and community members are invited to participate."

West Chicago
High School
PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for March 2010
"Nil Parikh of West Chicago, a freshman at Community High School District #94, has been awarded the March PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month. Nil thinks that achieving peace with others is something for which all people should strive. He credits his father with instilling messages of peace to him at an early age."
Prom Ticket Announcement
"Prom ticket sales for Juniors and Seniors have been extended. Tickets will be sold in the Student Activities Office during lunches through Friday. Students will need their school ID in order to purchase tickets.  Post Prom ticket sales begin Wednesday, April 21 and will be sold during lunches in the Main Commons."
Water commission hero could lose benefits
""It was not my intent, nor do I believe it is the House sponsor's intent, to have this man adversely affected by this reform bill," Cronin said. "We appreciate his service and I apologize and will try to fix it as soon as possible."  Cronin said since he only recently discovered Skiba's problem, he was unsure of what the solution would be. However, he believes a simple language amendment would fix the issue and it won't affect the future of the bill."
Want to volunteer? Check out Giving DuPage online, at open house
"Giving DuPage is a countywide clearinghouse of not-for-profit organizations. Its Web site - givingdupage.org - has information on getting started as a volunteer or donor and a searchable database designed to match your interests and talents with the needs of local nonprofits."
Fermilab lecture to discuss little-known neutrinos
"Neutrinos are among the most abundant particles in the universe. The sun is a neutrino factory, and trillions of neutrinos cross our bodies every second. Yet we know very little about these particles and the role they have played in the evolution of the universe."
Gain Health in Biggest Loser Summer Competition
""It is a win, win situation for persons entering the West Chicago Park District’s Biggest Loser Summer 2010 Competition. This is the opportunity to gain information on nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, and at the same time, lose some unwanted pounds. “It is based on the popular television show, but with a local twist and fun for all,” said Chelsea McKone, facility manager.""
Quinn to release tax returns
"The Chicago Democrat has criticized his Republican opponent, Bill Brady, for not releasing his returns.  Brady, a state senator from Bloomington, has said there's "nothing to be gained" by letting voters see his tax returns... Quinn's 2008 returns claimed wages of $120,227 and showed he paid $28,354 in federal taxes. He reported giving $12,380 to charity."
Ill. Senate president’s son pulled over 8 times
"Court records show that Illinois Senate President John Cullerton’s son has been pulled over eight times on Illinois roads since 2001 for citations that include going 115 in a 65 mph zone and driving under the influence.  The Chicago Tribune reports that court records and interviews show some of those traffic stops occurred while Garritt Cullerton was driving a car with the official Senate license plate “6.”  In the most recent stop, Chicago police cited Garritt Cullerton for DUI while he was driving a state-owned vehicle Sunday."
Kirk to refund Goldman Sachs contributions
"Republican Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk promised Monday to refund campaign donations from Goldman Sachs employees after the investment bank was hit with civil fraud charges ... Kirk didn’t say how much money he would refund, and his campaign did not immediately provide a final tally."
Grant will train NIU students on care for blind veterans - Daily Chronicle
"Foster stressed the need for rehabilitation services for visually impaired veterans, especially as the wars continue in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. About 13 percent of wounded service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered a serious eye injury, according to the Blinded Veterans Association.  "We don't have to do our veterans a favor, we simply have to repay them," Foster said."
Illinois Small Businesses Will Be Notified About Eligibility for Health Reform Tax Cuts
"“As a small businessman, I have met payroll and provided health insurance to my employees, and I understand the unique challenges small businesses face,” said Foster.  “One of the reasons I supported health insurance reform was that the final plan is a good deal for small businesses, and I hope that small businesses in my district take advantage of the new tax credits that are available.”"
Roskam And The Luntz Playbook
"Like his GOP colleague Mark Kirk, Roskam has clearly been pouring over the memos supplied to the Republican caucus by conservative pollster Frank Luntz. Back in January, Luntz advised the minority party to defend Wall Street from new regulation by characterizing all financial reform efforts as leading to "endless bailouts." Of course, this is patently absurd. The entire animus behind the financial reform push, aside from protecting consumers, is to prevent the need for further bailouts."
Let me get this straight.
"The Tea party gathers at various sites around the country, including Chicago, to complain that their taxes are too high.  They hear speakers atacking the president who put through the biggest tax cut for the common man in Americn history.  Then thyy go backk home to campaign for congressmen who voted against that tax cut."
Concerns about Alexi Giannoulias misguided
"One of these "concerns" that people are supposed to have is over Alexi's fund-raising prowess.  You see, Alexi only raised $1.2 million to Kirk's $2.2 million in this quarter.  Kirk, of course, has benefitted greatly from his support from Wall Street firms and Big Banks, ... Alexi, though, has taken a different tack.  His ethical guidelines prevent him from taking money from corporate PACs, like those who have contributed more than 2 million dollars to Mark Kirk."
Ark. unmarried adoption ban is overturned - Baptist Press
"The April 16 ruling by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Christopher C. Piazza strikes down the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act, which passed 57-43 percent in 2008 and which prohibited cohabitating couples -- heterosexual or homosexual -- from adopting. Piazza said the law violates the Arkansas constitution's guaranteed right to privacy and forces couples "to choose between becoming a parent and having any meaningful type of intimate relationship outside of marriage." The law, Piazza said, targets a "politically unpopular group.""
Court Upholds OSHA’s Power to Protect Workers
"The saga began when Eric Ho, a contractor in Houston, hired 11 immigrant workers in 2003 to remove asbestos from a building but did not train them or provide them with respirators. After a city inspector issued a stop-work order because of asbestos violations, Ho directed employees to work at night behind locked gates.  OSHA cited Ho for 22 separate violations—11 for not training each worker and 11 for not providing a respirator for each worker. Amazingly, the Bush administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission overturned the majority of the citations, saying Ho could only be cited once for not training workers and once for not providing respirators. That meant Ho only had to pay two fines, not 22."
Lobbyists focus on senators examining derivatives - Boston Globe
"With so much money at stake, it is not surprising that more than 1,500 lobbyists, executives, and bankers have made their way to the Senate committee that tomorrow will take up legislation to rein in derivatives, the complex securities at the heart of the financial crisis, the billion-dollar bank bailouts, and the fraud case filed against Goldman Sachs.  The forum for all this attention is not the usual banking and financial services committees, but rather the Senate Agriculture Committee, a group more accustomed to dealing with farm subsidies than with the more obscure corners of Wall Street."

 

 

19 April

 

This Week In West Chicago
District 94 Recognized for Financial Excellence - FB
  • "Congratulations to Community HS District 94 for being recognized by ISBE for obtaining the highest category in financial excellence. May sound like mumbo jumbo to some but considering the economic devastation hitting some schools, our Admin., staff and all others involved deserve kudo's. And thanks to the previous BOE for putting us on the right track!" - Kathe Elliott-Doremus
  • "Not just Financial Recognition, a 4.00 score out of a possible 4.00. Something the District has never attained previously, and it was attained even with the State of Illinois owing us over $800,000 at the end of 2009. Think anyone will connect the fiscal policies of the board with the District being in much better financial condition than surrounding districts? Nah". - Gary Saake
D94 Educational Foundations Recognized - FB
"Congratulations to the Community High School District 94 Education Foundation for being named as a recipient of an Award of Merit in the 2010 Distinguished Service Awards Program sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA). Those of us on the board are grateful for all the Ed Foundation does for the school!" - Gary Saake

West Chicago
High School
6th Annual We Go Run
  • "Date: Sunday, May 2, 2010
  • Location: Community High School, West Chicago, Wood and George Streets
  • Race Day Registration/Packet Pick-up: 6:30-8:40 AM
  • Race Start Time: 5K/10K: 8:00 AM 1 Mile: 9:15 AM
  • Kids Dash: 9:30 AM
  • Awards Ceremony: 9:45 AM in the stadium"
District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda
  • April 20, 2010 – 7:00 P.M.
  • ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM – Entrance “H”
  • 326 JOLIET STREET, WEST CHICAGO, IL 60185"
Biggest Loser Summer 2010 Competition.
"It is a win, win situation for persons entering the West Chicago Park District’s Biggest Loser Summer 2010 Competition. This is the opportunity to gain information on nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, and at the same time, lose some unwanted pounds. “It is based on the popular television show, but with a local twist and fun for all,” said Chelsea McKone, facility manager."

2010 Winfield Township Meeting
"Illinois still has annual township meetings at which normal citizens can show up, propose a law, and pass it, just like the classic town hall meetings of New England. They are often not well attended. This one, on April 12, 2010 was in West Chicago, IL, a town of 28K people. It had about 60 residents in attendance."

Channel 17 Programming Schedule for April 19 - April 25, 2009
"Watch the City Council meeting live on Monday at 7:00PM. If you can't catch it then, see the rebroadcasts at 6:00PM on Wednesday and Friday. We have a new program at 7:00PM on Wednesday and Friday. Watch Railroad Days Music 2007 to see a little bit from all of the bands that performed. We're now caught up on all the uns...een video from past Railroad Days events and looking forward to this year's big party.  Be sure to keep an eye on our schedule because we have discovered even more 'Lost Tapes'. More memories on their way!!!"
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R) Sen. Millner's letter to the editor on redistricting reform - FaceBook
"More than 40 newspaper editorials across the state have echoed the call of government reform advocates – including the League of Women Voters, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and Better Government Association – to remove politicians from the legislative district map-making process and use an independent commission that will put an end to gerrymanding and incumbent protection."
DuPage County briefs - EPA discusses river cleanup
"Representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide information about efforts to clean the Kerr-McGee Kress Creek site at 7 p.m. Monday, April 26 at Warrenville city hall, 28W701 Stafford Place. Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions of those in charge of cleaning the West Branch of the DuPage River from Butterfield Road to the Warrenville Dam. For details, call Janet Pope, EPA community Involvement coordinator, at (800) 621-8431, ext. 30628."
St. Charles schools chief readies for busy summer of budget shuffling
"The best-case scenario, Schlomann said, is a $2 million cut. District 303 is already preparing with how to deal with that by prioritizing a list of about $4 million in potential budget cuts. That's in addition to the $5 million worth of slashing the school board approved in January, which included the loss of several teachers.  Trying to shave $4 million likely means not buying eight slightly used school buses to retire some of the current fleet. Not buying new text books is near the bottom of the list of options. Everything else, including reducing substitute teachers' pay, is somewhere in the middle."
Amber Alerts available for cell phone owners
"The Oswego Police Department is recommending citizens sign up to receive wireless notifications for Amber Alerts... Residents can sign up to get the Amber Alerts on their cell phones in a text message by going to www.amberillinois.com, clicking on wireless amber alerts, then following the directions."
New pensions: bane of teachers or needed reform?
"Even though public school teachers do not receive Social Security benefits and solely rely on their pensions when they retire, Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, the largest taxpayer advocacy group in the state, called the pension reform legislation "a small step in the right direction." ... "They shouldn't be getting pensions we can't get," in the private sector, he said. "I have to work until I drop. They should, too.""
Forest Preserve District Celebrates National Volunteer Week
"An annual event since 1974, National Volunteer Week provides a special opportunity to thank those who give their time in service and to encourage people of all ages to get connected to their communities by volunteering.  For more information about volunteer opportunities with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, call Volunteer Services at 630-933-7681, or e-mail volunteer@dupageforest.org."
Week 7 Pedal4Peace Completion - Bike Across the United States to Raise Funds
"They were welcomed home in West Chicago on Tuesday, April 12, 2010 to a pizza party given by their children and friends.  Dave drove Mike and Paula back to Linden, IA.  There was an inglorious end for the RV as it became stuck in the mud next to their home.  Check http://twitter.com/Pedal4Peace to learn the fate of the trailer and RV."
Report: Tolls may be raised for I-PASS users
"Crain's reports: Faced with up to $4 billion in critical repairs on the I-90 tollway and $7 billion in debt already on the books, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority leaders are quietly considering what they previously declared unacceptable: raising tolls on passenger cars using the system's electronic I-Pass lanes."
Springfield lobbying trip planned for final UI furlough action day
" The event is the last of four Common Furlough/Action Days planned by the Campus Faculty Association at Illinois.  History Prof. James Barrett said some faculty felt the focus for the last common furlough day should be on state officials, rather than UI administrators, "since the real problem is in Springfield.""
Ill. Senate chief's son cited with DUI in state-owned car
"Authorities say the 26-year-old son of Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has been cited with driving under the influence in a vehicle registered to the state Senate... Ursitti says Cullerton was cited with DUI, negligent driving and improper lane usage. He's due in court on May 26.
Durbin to introduce bill aimed at banks
"“I want the biggest financial institutions in America that received bailout funds to pay that back to the taxpayers, put that money back into the federal treasury to reduce the deficit,” he said. “It will basically say, ‘If you took billions of dollars out of the treasury and didn’t pay it back in full, you’ve got to pay the difference in a tax on your bank.’ This bank tax, I think, is only fair.”"
Religion Might Not Be Welcome - Chronicle of Higher Education
"George Cunningham, who heads the Laboratory for Diversity in Sport in the Department of Health and Kinesiology and specializes in workplace, gender and diversity issues, says workers who are religiously different from others in the workplace are likely to have poor experiences at work. This is particularly the case for persons whose religious beliefs are an important part of their identity, he contends.  The study is published in the current issue of Social Justice Research."
FV Labor News sues competing publication - Beacon News
"Fox Valley Labor News claims the defendants "conspired to and did publish" a paper on or about June 3, 2008, while working for the Labor News until they all simultaneously left the company on Aug. 18, 2009.  The company also alleges the employees diverted legal notices away from Fox Valley Labor News to their own publication and caused members of large unions to cancel their subscriptions and switch to The Voice."
Maddow On Koch 'Caught Red Handed' Backing Tea Partiers - TPM
""So David Koch, founder of Americans for Prosperity, wants you to know that he's not at all funding the tea party movement -- except for that part where he totally funds the tea party movement," Maddow said in the segment. "But other than that, just wants to get the facts clear."
[My Republican friends might be interested in my video of the Bessemer Tea Party on 12 Apr 2010... complete with the buses. - Bob]
Looters in Loafers - Paul Krugman - NY Times
"We’ve known for some time that Goldman Sachs and other firms marketed mortgage-backed securities even as they sought to make profits by betting that such securities would plunge in value. This practice, however, while arguably reprehensible, wasn’t illegal. But now the S.E.C. is charging that Goldman created and marketed securities that were deliberately designed to fail, so that an important client could make money off that failure. That’s what I would call looting."
 

16 April

 

Bald Eagle vs Crow - Facebook - Ken Nikula
"One of my youtube videos has received 19,000 views (oddly enough) and youtube asked me if I wanted to be in the youtube revenue sharing program. I thought that was prettyy cool."
[Ken is a friend from Ironwood, near where I spend time in Hurley.  If you wonder why I spend a lot of time there rather than in WC, check out this video he picked off from his deck. - Bob

LaCrosse Team Wins
  • "The West Chicago Lacrosse team was victorious tonight at their first game ever at the high school stadium. Special thanks to Doug Mallaney the Athletic Director for making this happen. We truley appreciate your support and assistance." - Gordon Cole
  • "What a great game...and was so nice to see the bleachers full of great fans!!! Thank's for coming out everyone!!" - Kathy Miessler Wheeland
DuPage Water Commission OKs budget filled with uncertainty
"The $110 million worth of expenses hinges on the financially strapped agency receiving a $40 million loan and a water rate of $2.08 per 1,000 gallons. If the commission is unable to secure the loan, the body will have to increase the rate significantly to cover shortfalls created by the misappropriation of the commission's $69 million reserve funds."
Law enforcement officials decry state preschool cuts
"With $1.4 billion a year now being spent on corrections in Illinois, the group claims that increasing access to preschool for high-risk kids and adding components that address behavior problems could eventually cut prison costs by $350 million a year. How long that might take, however, the group didn't say."
Upgrades planned for Metra's UP West line
"The infrastructure fixes include: modernizing signals between Elmhurst and West Chicago to allow trains to run closer together; installing two crossovers - switches connecting parallel tracks - at Lombard and Wheaton; and constructing triple tracks in sections where it's just two tracks between River Forest and Elmhurst as well as West Chicago and Geneva.  "This will increase the fluidity of the line," Tupper said."
"What fluidity means to WC is more train traffic and more time with the gates down. - Bob]
Week 7 Pedal4Peace Completion - Bike Across the United States to Raise Funds
"The bikers have not always chooses to follow the route exactly, but in general stayed the outlined course.  There are 7 maps all together and each time a map has been completed the group celebrated.  Today they started map 7 which will take them the rest of the way to St. Augustine.  It has been a long time since the 8 flats a day and the RV tire debacle."
DuPage Water Commission legislation linked to a member
"Cronin and Ramey introduced the legislation in response to recent controversy that developed after the commission's now-dismissed financial administrator spent down $19 million of the commission's $20 million in reserve funds without informing the commission.  On March 3, Ramey said he inserted Zay's language proposing the Water Operations Committee into a previously filed House "shell bill," a bill filed without any language in it yet.  Two days later, Zay denied knowledge of the legislation, saying, "That's the first I've heard of this option.""
Claims not so 'exaggerated' 50 years after PLATO
"The PLATO computer system at the University of Illinois innovated both in hardware – including plasma display and touch screens – and software – educational innovations, email, interactivity with other users and even instant messaging as early as 1961."
Job market in Illinois improves, but unemployment rate rises
"“It is not surprising that Illinois simultaneously would experience job creation and slight increases in the unemployment rate. As jobs are created, people become more encouraged about their ability to find a job and therefore re-enter the work force,” O’Donnell said."
State to see $5 billion in road, bridge work
"“This will be the biggest construction season of all time in Illinois,” Gov. Pat Quinn boasted Thursday.  State Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said the $5 billion number isn’t limited to projects that will be started and completed this year. It includes projects begun earlier, but not yet completed and also projects that will start this year, but not be completed for several construction seasons.  Still, Hannig said, just a couple of years ago, the comparable number was less than $3 billion."
GOP governor candidate won't release tax returns
"Brady said voters who want to know more about his financial ties can examine the "statement of economic interests" he must file with the state.  The statement shows that he has links to a long list of businesses, from real estate firms to construction companies to a radio station, but it says nothing about how much money Brady is making or losing.  "The economic disclosure we have provided ... gives citizens full disclosure and transparency of all my business interests," Brady said."
Foster’s Votes Helped 98 Percent of Illinoisans Receive Tax Cut in 2009
"“Many people don’t realize that the Stimulus plan alone contained $288 billion in tax cuts and benefits to families and businesses across the country,” said Foster.   “As an advocate of tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class, I was pleased to see that the Citizens for Tax Justice report found that 98 percent of working families in Illinois received a tax cut from the Stimulus, and that the average savings for Illinoisans was $1,209.”"
A Shining Target on a Hill That Nobody Tries to Hit - Wall Street Journal
"No one has ever challenged the constitutionality of the Cathedral, and rightly not. The Establishment Clause, as understood for most of the nation's history, does not concern itself with such passive ceremonial nods to religion.  The Cathedral is a private entity. It stands on private land and no public money has ever been used for its construction, maintenance or for any other expenses. Congress has no say in its operations (although the first board of trustees, named in the charter, included the sitting vice president and chief justice). The Cathedral has no formal governmental role."
Short-Term Jobless Aid Breaks Republican Stranglehold, Obama Signs - AFL-CIO
"But with unemployment still remaining at an official 9.7 percent and more than two in every five unemployed workers out of work for more than six months and more than five jobless workers for each job opening, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says Congress must pass a yearlong extension "so working families don’t face Republican obstruction and uncertainty every single month.""
O'Reilly v. Coburn: The Evidence Fox News Does Claim You'll Go To Jail - TPM
"Coburn had said, specifically, that Fox tells viewers they may go to jail if they don't buy health insurance. O'Reilly claimed that "Nobody has ever said it." So Coburn backed off: "Maybe it wasn't fair," he said.  The thing is, Fox News hosts, anchors and guests have made the claims over and over."
GOP operatives crash the tea party - Politico
"Aided by campaign-style advance work and event planning, slick ads cut by Russo Marsh, impressive crowds and a savvy media operation, the political action committee run by Wierzbicki, Russo Marsh founder Sal Russo and a handful of other Republican operatives has also emerged as among the prolific fundraising vehicles under the tea party banner."
 

15 April

 
Educare Informational Meeting
"District 33 and Educare of West DuPage would like to invite you to a community meeting to learn more about this exciting partnership to bring a nationally recognized state of the art preschool to West Chicago."
Legislative Letter-writing Event
"Volunteers will be on hand to assist parents and community members with writing letters to their elected representatives. Participants may arrive anytime between 5:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Babysitting will be provided for those who need child care to be able to attend."
West Chicago Middle School Announces 2nd Quarter Honor Roll
"Students making High Honor Roll received all A's in achievement and all 1's in effort. The area of Achievement means the student's grades are average "B" or above. Students are also graded in the area of effort, with "1" being the highest grade."
Town Hall Meeting DVD Now Available
"The Board of Education held Town Hall Budget meetings in late February to notify parents and community members about impending budget cuts for the 2010-2011 school year. DVDs of that meeting are now available for interested persons to borrow. Copies can be checked out at all 8 District 33 schools, or at the District office, 312 E. Forest Avenue. The presentation is also available on our website as a text-only version at www.wegoed33.k12.il.us. Follow the budget reduction links on the main page."
First WC lacrosse game in the stadium.. EVER  - Facebook
"This will be the first West Chicago lacrosse game to be played on the football field ever. The game will be a varsity game against Sandburg high school. BRING EVERYONE YOU KNOW"

West Chicago Illinois Torch Run Car Show - Facebook
"We are Having a car show on 7/10/10 @ Signarama in West Chicago. Moon jump,facepainting ,fun stuff for the kids too! ... Approximately 3,000 officers representing every branch of law enforcement across the state from local police officers to FBI agents will carry the Flame of Hope nearly 1,500 miles, running through thousands of Illinois communities via 23 different legs (routes) to its final destination – the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in June in Normal.

Lawmakers may strip DuPage Water Commission of sales tax
"Critics have derided the effort as a power grab by the next potential county chairman. In response, Cronin said he might be willing to forgo having the county take over the commission so long as the sales tax ends.  The commission was given sales tax authority to help finance the initial pipelines. It also charges fees for providing the water to communities. Cronin said there's no need for the sales tax anymore and his legislation would end it in 2014."
Democrats push redistricting plan through Senate, House fate uncertain
"Using their supermajority, Senate Democrats pushed their own legislative redistricting plan to victory in the Senate on Wednesday.  But the proposal may have more trouble in the House.  The Democrats needed the vote of virtually every one of their 37 members to approve the constitutional amendment in the Senate."
Officials: Invasive bug may have infested tree 4 years ago
"Illinois Department of Agriculture officials confirmed to city officials last week the presence of the emerald ash borer in Boone County, and now say the bugs may have infested a tree more than four years ago.  The infected tree, which will be cut down this summer, contained D-shaped exit holes, where the bugs exited after living off the tree’s nutrients."
Quinn OKs lower pensions for future state workers
"Quinn inked legislation he said would stabilize underfunded state retirement systems and save $400 million just this year to use toward closing a monstrous deficit.  But he risked his political standing with labor unions who argue the pension reform pushed through the Legislature does nothing to solve existing problems with what is one of the nation’s worst-funded retirement programs, but merely cuts what already are unremarkable retirement payments."
Reunited set of math problems gives clues to how Lincoln learned
"Daniel Stowell, editor of the Papers, said the document gives researchers additional insight on Lincoln’s style of learning.  “He was copying these questions and answers out of the book,” Stowell said. “We know that later on, when he was a politician and an attorney, he would read the newspapers out loud to himself. He told people, ‘Well, that gives me two senses, I see it, but I also hear it.”"
House rejects crime victims amendment
"House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 19 received only 65 of the needed 71 ‘yes’ votes for approval, but its sponsor used a parliamentary move to bring it up for a later vote.  This amendment would strengthen the rights provided to crime victims, especially in criminal cases on appeal. Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, said the intent of the measure should make it overwhelmingly popular with lawmakers."
Roskam Advances The "Doc Fix" Myth
"Moreover, rather than trying to hide the "doc fix" problem, congressional Democrats are currently working to solve it. Already, they've tossed a temporary patch into the unemployment benefit extension bill (H.R. 4851) the Senate is voting on this week (which would have passed before the spring recess ... had GOP Senators not filibustered it)."
[To an ostrich, anything above ground looks hidden. - Bob]
United Church of Christ to spread diversity, openness message shunned by TV via social networking sites - Plain Dealer
"Rejections of the 30-second spots -- which showed unnamed churches turning away gays and people of color -- erupted in a continuing battle between the UCC and broadcasters over free speech, censorship, discrimination and promoting religion on public airways.  Now, the UCC -- pushing the same messages of inclusion and tolerance-- has turned its back on television and is heading into cyberspace with a massive, direct advertising campaign via the Internet."
Blanche Lincoln Got $1.3 Million from Wall Street
"Two years after the bailout, we still don’t have appropriate oversight of Big Banks’ investment activities.  "Why? Well I think it has something to do with the fact that the financial industry has spent $340 million just in the last two years against doing anything in the way of reform. At the same time, our incumbent Senator has taken over $1.3 million in contributions from Wall Street banks, commercial banks, executives and so forth.""
WikiLeaks Video - The Greater Horror - The Agonist
"The incorrect identification of a camera as an RPG (above image) is the basis for all that follows in this first segment of the tape - the shooting of the men gathered on the street and the destruction of the van.  This is war, a war that was not planned or initiated by the crew of the Apache helicopter. The truly responsible parties for starting the war did so with premeditated intent. They deliberately lied to and deceived the public. They are the very first cause of the war and all of the deaths and suffering."

 

 

14 April

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 14 April 2010
  • Simply a Mom
  • 2010 Relay for Life West Chicago/Warrenville
  • District 94 Special Olympics Track and Field
  • Wellness Walk Day
  • Autumn Flame fundraiser
Maria Owens has Website Up
Maria Owens, former West Chicago Park and West Chicago High School board member, is running for the Illinois House in District 95.  Her website is now up at http://owensforillinois.com/.  "They need people representing them that can work for the betterment of our state, and not for their own political gain or that of their political party. We need team players who will play for Team Illinois, not Team Democrat or Team Republican."
We Go Run (and Walk) for Education
"The race will start and finish at Community High School's Memorial Stadium (Wood and George Streets) on Sunday, May 2, 2010, beginning at 8:00 AM. Registration fees for the 5K walk/run and 10K run are $20.00 on or before April 30, and $25.00 after. Tech shirts are guaranteed for the first 250 participants."

West Chicago
High School
2010 Foreign Language Honor Society Inductees
"On Tuesday, April 13, seventy-eight Community High School students from Carol Stream, Winfield and West Chicago were inducted into the French, German, and Spanish National Honor Societies. Membership in these Honor Societies represents outstanding achievement in at least two years of study of a foreign language, academic excellence in all other classes, and the intent to continue the study of a foreign language."
Information for senior parents
"The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is suspending the announcement of 2010-11 Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for all students whose initial 2010-11 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is received by the Central Processing System (CPS) on or after April 19, 2010. The decision to suspend award announcements at this time is based on the governor's proposed FY2011 budget (as indicated in a March 16, 2010 State Legislative Update) and the fact that the number of eligible applications is 32 percent higher than in 2009-10. All students planning to enroll in college during the 2010-11 academic year are encouraged to complete their FAFSA by midnight on April 18, 2010. Any student submitting their FAFSA after that date risks losing eligibility for the MAP grant funds."
Gifted students from West Chicago win top state award
"Gifted students from West Chicago won first in the state for their project to get a fence built around railroad tracks near their elementary school.  Pioneer Elementary School fifth and sixth graders are set to compete in June with students from around the world - but their cash-strapped school district can't afford to send them.  "We're very determined that we're going to go," said teacher Kathy Grogan."
E-filing up but a few post offices still cater to tax procrastinators
"For old-fashioned filers, insisting on paper documents sent through the mail, beware. Only two suburban distribution centers are available - in Palatine and Carol Stream - where a worker will accept and postmark your return until 11:59 p.m. Thursday.  Otherwise, you're on your own to weigh and postmark the documents in an automated postal center inside many suburban post offices."
[Note: West Chicago is not listed as having an automated postal center. - Bob]
Report: Save $1.5 million with DuPage takeover of water agency
"Downers Grove Mayor Ron Sandack said no one is accountable under the commission's current governance structure. He said putting the county board in charge of the commission would not be detrimental.  "We serve the same constituents," Sandack said. "There's no reason for a DuPage Water Commission anymore. There's no reason for any government with built-in redundancies and inefficiencies.""
[This is simply wrong.  West Chicago is in the county and NOT part of the water district and should not be taxed to support it. - Bob]
DuPage County Board gives Navistar a green light
"And the 1,700 new jobs expected at the Warrenville Road campus, along with the enhanced peripheral employment projected, should be convincing enough, he said.  "That is hundreds of millions of new dollars that will be rolling around this county," Zediker said."
Illinois hospitals open a window on their performance
"A good deal of the information will be available for the first time at 8 a.m. through the hospital site, www.illinoishospitals.org. The rest can be accessed elsewhere, but the site brings it together in one place, in considerable detail and with profiles of Illinois medical institutions."
Illinois hospital report card adds new information
"Red means the hospital’s performance was worse than the state or national average. Green means better. Yellow means no better or worse than average.  For instance, consumers can see whether their local hospitals are significantly better or worse than the state average on injuries to babies during birth. Patients can see how many times a foreign object such as a surgical sponge was left inside a patient’s body during a procedure."
State Capitol Q&A: Crime victims' rights subject of amendment proposal
"Victims would be able to go to court and ask that rights they were denied be enforced. They also would have the right to be notified about post-judgment proceedings and to make a statement at sentencing and other hearings related to early release or parole.  Victims and their family’s safety would have to be considered when judges decide whether to release a suspect on bond and what the bond amount would be, as well is when a convict is seeking parole."
Gov. Quinn to sign pension reform bill today
"Gov. Pat Quinn today will sign into law a controversial plan to cut pension benefits for future state workers. The measure is estimated to save the state about $100 billion over the next few decades, and Quinn has proposed using $300 million of those savings in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1."
Bill Brady's Most Extreme Positions: Getting To Know The Leading Candidate For Illinois Governor- Huffington Post
"Over the top? Maybe. But Brady's positions on social issues are as conservative as it gets. At the same tea party event last weekend, he implied that the Democrats winning in November could make America not "worth coming back to."  "There are men and women serving our country, putting themselves in harm's way to protect this country's liberty and freedom," Brady told the group. "We have a choice to make. Are we willing to fight through November to make sure they have a country worth coming back to?""
Bill asks voters to let state money go to religious agencies - Tampa Tribune
"The proposal, titled the Religious Freedom Act, would repeal a section of the Florida Constitution prohibiting the state from spending money, directly or indirectly, on "any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution."  It would also insert wording to ban the state from excluding groups or individuals based on their religion from contracting or otherwise participating in state programs."
Report: Whirlpool Closing Will Cost Indiana Millions of $$$ - AFL-CIO
"The study estimates the plant closure will throw 2,502 people out of work. That includes 966 Whirlpool workers who live in Indiana and another 1,536 who work in businesses that will lose significant clientele after the plant shuts down. That total doesn’t include job loss in the neighboring states of Illinois and Kentucky, where 20 percent of the employees live."
Glenn Beck Inc - Forbes Magazine
"With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth."

 

 

 

13 April

 
Township Meetings Tonight - League of Women Voters
  • "Winfield Township's Annual Meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 13th, 7:00 pm at the West Chicago's City Hall, 475 Main Street, West Chicago.  PLEASE try to arrive no later than 6:45 pm to sign in. Residents will be required to show driver's license or I.D. proving residence in Winfield Township."
  • "On the agenda of note is a question of Public Financing for state elections which aligns with League's positions. If members of the community come out and vote yes, then the Townships will put the question on the ballot this fall as an advisory referendum.  A positive vote in the fall (if the issue gets onto the ballot here) would alert our elected officials that this is an issue people care about and then they might craft some laws to the effect that public financing could be made available to people who would like to run for state office in Illinois.
    More information is available at http://www.ballot-integrity.org/CEC.htm including a video by Bill Moyers on the issue."

Emerald Ash Borer Reaches West Chicago
"A recent discovery confirms the infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in trees located within West Chicago, prompting the City to advise residents on the efforts being made to contain the spread of the invasive beetle species."

Emerald ash borer found in West Chicago
"Public Works Director Rob Flatter said it was "just a matter of time" before the pest made its way to the city, as infestations were found in Carol Stream and St. Charles. Public works employees had been monitoring ash trees on the southwest and northwest sections of West Chicago, and officials say they will continue to look for spread of the pest so trees can be properly removed."
DuPage officials say tick activity high
"One of the less pleasant sides of the improved weather is increased activity of ticks. And health officials are warning people to take precautions against tick-borne diseases. Ticks become most active when the ground temperature is above 40 degrees. And if infected, they can transmit illnesses such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease."
Should DuPage Co. water panel be disbanded?
"But Furstenau, who will represent Naperville and surrounding areas on the board, disagrees that such a merger would solve the commission's problems. Rather, he said, County Board control could cost taxpayers. "If we put this in the county's hands, they could slide that money to anywhere else in the county," he said, referring to the estimated $28 million the sales tax on water generates annually."
Emerald Ash Borer found in West Chicago, Wheaton has unconfirmed case
"“It could be really devastating,” Rob Flatter, West Chicago director of public works, said. “We knew it was just a matter of time before the EAB attacked West Chicago.”"
Representative pushes bill to review insurance hikes
"Schakowsky praises President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, but she said laws that protect consumers from excessive insurance premium hikes need to be addressed.  The bill would give the secretary of health and human services authority to stop or change insurance rate increases that are considered unreasonable. It would also order insurance companies to pay consumer rebates."
Only one constitutional amendment moves in Senate
"“The intent is to limit the ability of lawyers who have been licensed for one, two or three years who run on the basis of ballot position and a nice-sounding last name,” said Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, who sponsors the idea and heads the subcommittee."
Lawmakers may let schools adopt 4-day week
"Students wouldn't miss any time in school because the four in-session days would be longer. But with Friday or Monday off, transportation costs would drop, along with some utility bills and costs for hourly workers, such as cafeteria cooks and custodians.  Lawmakers overwhelmingly supported Black's bill once they understood the change would be voluntary. But it wasn't unanimous."
Street-legal golf carts, ATVs in works in Williamsville
"The law says golf carts, four-wheeled ATVs and similar “non-highway vehicles” may operate only on streets with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less.  The drivers must have valid Illinois drivers’ licenses, and the vehicles must have brakes, steering, a rear-view mirror, headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, reflectors on the front and back and “slow-moving vehicle” signs in the rear. Seat belts aren’t required."
Giannoulias fundraising falls short of Kirk total
"“Making a pledge not to take money from federal lobbyists and corporate PACs, I can tell you, makes things tougher. That’s the reality of it,” said Giannoulias, who is in his first term as state treasurer."
Foster tours Sertech in Batavia
“I have made it a priority to visit companies like Sertech so that I can better understand the needs of area small businesses in the current economic climate,” said Foster.   “As Congress reconvenes this week, I will keep these small and growing businesses and the information I’ve gathered in mind as we work to promote policies that will spur economic development and job growth.”
Millions of Unchurched Adults Are Christians Hurt by Churches But Can Be Healed of the Pain - Barna Research
"The Barna data indicate that 28% of the adult population has not attended any church activities, including services, in the past six months. That translates to nearly 65 million adults. When their children under the age of 18 who live with them are added to the picture, the number swells to more than 100 million people. While the aggregate proportion of unchurched adults is down from its high point of the past quarter century (32%), it remains within sight of that high water mark."
Senators End Impasse on Extending Jobless Aid - NY Times
"Four Republican senators — Scott Brown of Massachusetts, George V. Voinovich of Ohio and Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine — joined Democrats to overcome the legislative standoff that had resulted from Mr. Coburn’s objections last month."
[How do they do an article like this without using the word "filibuster"?  The simple truth is that a Republican filibuster of help for our fellow citizens was beaten. - Bob]
Ronald Reagan's War on Labor - DickMeister
"Reagan's war on labor began in the summer of 1981, when he fired 13,000 striking air traffic controllers and destroyed their union. As Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson noted, that was "an unambiguous signal that employers need feel little or no obligation to their workers, and employers got that message loud and clear -- illegally firing workers who sought to unionize, replacing permanent employees who could collect benefits with temps who could not, shipping factories and jobs abroad.""
Making Financial Reform Fool-Resistant  - NY Times
"The point is that the Dodd bill would give an administration determined to rein in runaway finance the tools it needs to do the job. But it wouldn’t do much to stiffen the spine of a less determined administration. On the contrary, it would make it easy for future regulators to look the other way as another bubble inflated.  So what the legislation needs are explicit rules, rules that would force action even by regulators who don’t especially want to do their jobs."
 

12 April

 
This Week in West Chicago
Channel 17 Programs 4/12-4/18
"This week's schedule is up and out. Take a look to figure out your viewing plans for this week. Don't forget to enjoy the weather, too."
Fertilizer/Weed Control Application Notice
"The following facility/school will receive a fertilizer application on any of the following dates:  April 24th & 25th, 2010.
  • East High School
  • Wredling Middle School
  • Administration Bldg.
  • Thompson Middle School
  • Richmond Elementary
  • Haines Middle School

Hours of application will be Dawn till Dusk - Inclement weather dates: TBD.  For questions or concerns- please call Facilities Mgmt 630-377-4806.  If at any time you wish to update your D303 news subscription or unsubscribe, please follow this link http://www.d303.org/ENews/tabid/130/Default.aspx.

Recession hits 'private public' schools, too
"A study published last month by a nonprofit think-tank, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, reported that more than 1.7 million American children attend "private public schools" - filled with predominately white children, with less than 5 percent coming from low-income homes.  In Illinois, 45 of the 60 schools deemed "private publics" are in the suburbs."
150 rally for pro-gun rights
"Among the speakers and proponents of a right-to-carry law in Illinois were Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, a Democrat, state Sen. Chris Lauzen of Aurora, a Republican, and organizers of the online forum IllinoisCarry.com, based in downstate White County.  Meeting at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, advocates said they want citizens of Illinois to have the same or similar rights as residents of 48 states which have some type of concealed carry law. Currently, Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states without laws on the books regarding the right to carry firearms."
College officials: loan changes benefit students
"The legislation immediately ends the federally guaranteed student loan program, in which banks and financial institutions made loans that the U.S. Department of Education guaranteed against default.  Instead, all new loans starting July 1 will be made through a direct loan program, in which the money comes directly from the federal government."
Catch and release: schools in the west suburbs fish for a state title
"West Chicago’s Wheaton Academy, Wheaton Warrenville South and St. Francis High Schools all have teams competing in the April 23 sectionals—Wheaton Academy will compete at the Shabbona Lake Sectional in Shabbona, and both Wheaton Warrenville South and St. Francis will be competing at the Busse Woods Reservoir Sectional in Elk Grove."
Apollo 13 crew to reunite in Chicago today
"The Adler Planetarium says crew members James Lovell and Fred Haise along with mission flight directors Eugene Kranz, Gerald Griffin and Milton Windler are to reunite at the planetarium on Monday afternoon."
Honor Flight scheduled for largest group of WWII vets yet
"A group that provides free plane trips to Washington D.C. so area veterans can see the National World War II Memorial is getting ready to conduct its biggest event to date.  On April 21, 104 World War II veterans from central Illinois are scheduled to board a plane at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport for the trip east. They will spend the day in Washington and return to Springfield in the evening."
   
More Health Care Misinformation From The Illinois GOP
"Contrary to Roskam's suggestion, most of that increase in the Internal Revenue Service budget will not be dedicated to "enforcement" of the new mandate that individuals have health insurance, as FactCheck.org explained in a March 30 article:"

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 9 Apr 10

  • RESTART: WHY NOT, WE STILL HAVE THOUSANDS MORE.

  • BEYOND GREEN: BORLAUG’S "TWO CONTENDING POWERS."

  • APOCRYPHA: SCIENCE BOARD HIDES AMERICAN IGNORANCE.

Vatican forgives The Beatles for 'bigger than Jesus' comment - The Telegraph
"In an astonishing turnaround the Church dismisses previous moral outrages including blasphemous remarks, drug taking and even the dissemination of Satanic messages through their music.  While recognising that John, Paul, George and Ringo, were no saints during their time in The Beatles, the Vatican assures followers they were by no means the worst behaved rock and rollers of their generation."
Wall Street’s Lobbying On Financial Reform Can’t Duck 2010 PayWatch Spotlight - AFL-CIO
"Be sure to be here tomorrow when the 2010 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch shines its spotlight on Wall Street’s Big Six: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo/Wachovia.  The six banks, which received billions of dollars from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Assets Relief Program, now are spending millions of dollars to lobby on financial reform in Congress."
That's Kind of Off Message - TPM
"A bunch of his emails have just surfaced with racist appeals, porn and even some good old bestiality thrown in for good measure. One email features video of an African tribal dance, entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal.""
The Corporations Already Outspend The Parties - The Atlantic
"As it turns out, the surge of contributions into the U.S. Chamber has already caused its budget on lobbying, grassroots and advertising to surpass that of both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee for the first time in recent memory. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its national subsidiaries spent $144.5 million in 2009, far more than the RNC and more than double the expenditures by the DNC."
 

09 April

 
We Go Run sponsorship - FB
"All eight District 33 Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) are jointly planning the 6th annual We Go Run, a 5K and 10K race, as well as children's races... Each $5.00 increment sponsors one District 33 student to run.  Proceeds will benefit all eight
West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Parent-Teacher Organizations."

West Chicago
High School
DVC Jazz Festival this evening featuring:Community High School's Jazz Band
  • "West Aurora High School, 1201 West New York Street, Aurora
  • 7:00 pm
  • $3.00 Admission

Come support our high school jazz band, AND also hear some other great bands in our DuPage Valley Conference!"

Saints Fans,
"Senior STCE Baseball player T.j. Travis has been nominated player of the month and needs your vote! It will only take a minute. Click on site below. You have to register first, then they will send you an email with a link to finish registration, then you have to choose his town St. Charles and vote for T.j. You can only vote once so tell your friends and family."
West Chicago Mexican Independence Day Celebration Looking for Participants
"Currently, the focus is on attracting parade participants, as well as crafters, artists, businesses and food vendors for booth spaces that will occupy Main Street, along with downtown businesses, live entertainment and children’s activities."
Schools to state: Don't balance budget on our backs
""This is a death blow to schools," Brent Clark of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the premier advocacy organization for school administrators in the state, said, referring to the proposed education cuts. "The time to solve this crisis is now."  Clark said that the state will shed more than 20,000 school jobs if the governor's proposed education budget is approved."
Edgar: Higher taxes needed
"Edgar says the state can't fix its budget mess without a tax increase. The state faces a $13 billion budget deficit... Edgar has previously called Brady's plan to make a sweeping 10 percent budget cut "naive" and on Thursday he said Brady needed to "flush out his budget policies.""
Report says states' pension woes won't end for years
"The Center for State and Local Government Excellence said in a report Thursday that the recession and resulting stock market declines hurt the assets of public pension plans while also squeezing tax revenues needed to keep up with funding pension obligations.  “The numbers are not going to look good for the next five years,” said Alicia Munnell, director of retirement research at Boston College, who compiled the study."
University of Illinois lowers projected tuition hike to 9 percent
"Incoming students should expect tuition to increase at least 9 percent at the University of Illinois’ three campuses this fall, interim President Stanley Ikenberry said Thursday, cutting back his earlier worst-case prediction of a 20 percent hike.  Ikenberry said the university’s own cost-cutting is yielding enough savings to allow him to lower the projection he made earlier this year."
Former prisoners of war to be honored today
"The American Ex-Prisoners of War Recognition Day Ceremony is scheduled for noon today on the lawn of the Executive Mansion, 410 E. Jackson St.  The event is hosted by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Illinois, American Ex-Prisoners of War."
State warns against alcohol sales to minors
"Recent crackdowns in Illinois have helped limit the access of alcohol to minors, but it is still a problem, according to a press release about “Project Sticker Shock.” During compliance checks from last October to March, nearly 15 percent of establishments selling alcohol failed to check for age. But that’s down from nearly 25 percent a year earlier."
Foster Announces Congressional Art Competition
“This competition is a fantastic opportunity to recognize our talented young artists,” said Foster.  “I encourage any interested high school student to submit a piece of artwork in the competition for the chance to represent the 14th District in the U.S. Capitol.”
ArchPundit Babykillers! And The Tea Party/Illinois Review are Stuck with Him
"If Mark Kirk succeeds, their entire argument falls on its face. They have argued the path to true Republican resurgence in Illinois is abandoning the middle of the ideological spectrum and running wingnuts who please the base.  It is only the True Conservative (TM) who can beat the dastardly Democrats.  Yet, they are on the verge of being shown to be completely irrelevant to the GOP calculation in selecting candidates.  If they win with Kirk, it demonstrates the entire argument by the right wing over the last few years is utter nonsense."
Southern Baptists may cut Druid Hills church - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"David W. Key Sr., director of the Baptist studies program at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, said many people cite St. Paul’s words from 1 Timothy 2:12: “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent.”  “I don’t support the idea that men should have authority over women,” Key said. “Women have been taking on more and more significant roles in church life as they have in community life, and this is a reaction to that change. I think that’s why the Georgia Baptist Convention leadership feels threatened.”"
45 Deaths Show Massey’s Safety Problems Not Confined to Upper Big Branch - AFL-CIO
"Every year, like clockwork, at least one person has been killed since 2000 on the property of Massey or one of its subsidiaries….No other coal operator even comes close to that fatality rate during that time frame. That demands a serious and immediate investigation by [Mine Safety and Health Administration] MSHA and by Congress."
The Internet’s Last Hope - Mother Jones
"Of course, the telecoms are likely to fight any attempt to preserve net neutrality. The appeal of reclassification is that it's far less complicated than winning a Supreme Court case or marshaling 60 votes in the Senate. Three of the FCC's five commissioners have already expressed support for net neutrality. All that’s needed to make reclassification happen is for those commissioners to keep their word."
Coburn: Don't Believe Everything You Hear On Fox News - TPM
""Don't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody's no good," Coburn added.  Coburn urged audience members to widen their points of view by reading and watching different media outlets, not just the ones they agree with."
Deconstructing the facade of John Ensign - Las Vegas Sun
"In interviews with the Las Vegas Sun, more than a dozen friends, associates and Republican allies, some of whom have known Ensign for years, describe him as a politician who has grown narcissistic and reckless — a detached, self-righteous figure with almost no regard for those who helped send him to Washington or keep him there."
 

08 April

 
Former Huntley man seeks new trial on child battery charge
"Siedelberg, 28, of West Chicago, was found guilty of the Class X felony after a three-day trial in December in which he admitted striking the boy's head on the piece of furniture - causing likely permanent brain damage - but said it was an accident.  A pediatric neurologist testifying for McHenry County prosecutors said that was virtually impossible, stating that the force required to cause the boy's injuries was similar to that from a serious car crash or fall from a second-story window."
Kane County Tea Party may bring together former foes
"Hultgren, a state senator from Winfield, is expected to attend the Tea Party event if he's not committed to votes in Springfield that day... "Randy is certainly the choice over Bill Foster," Danklefsen said. "Randy has a couple votes on his score card that will make it tough for some people to support him."
Tri-Cities police blotter
"Isabel Cortes, 17, of the 200 block of High Street in West Chicago, and Noemi Arellano, 18, of the 200 block of Sophia Street in West Chicago, were charged with retail theft March 30, according to a police report. Store security at Kohl's, 3840 E. Main St., observed Cortes and Arellano select several clothing items from throughout the store and enter a fitting room. The two then exited the fitting room without any of the merchandise."
Foster says health care helps businesses
"Speaking at an event organized by the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local State Farm agent Brian Pool, Foster talked about the economy, the stimulus package and, of course, the health care bill... Foster, citing factors such as the health-care tax credits for businesses with fewer than 25 employees, said the Democrat-led health overhaul will help small businesses compete for employees against larger businesses that can offer better health insurance."
$15 million from U,S. will go to UI for improving security of electronic medical records
" The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded, from stimulus money, the funds to the Urbana campus to develop "security and risk mitigation policies and the technologies necessary to build and preserve the public trust as health information technology systems gain widespread use."  The money will go to the Information Trust Institute, a multidisciplinary cross-campus research unit housed in the College of Engineering in Urbana."
Despite zero in governor's budget, Lincoln's Challenge will get funding
""The budget for next year does not have any money in it for Lincoln's Challenge," said Staff Sgt. Stephanie McCurry of the National Guard, "but we've been assured by the governor's office that a fund source will be found to support next year's operation."  Still up in the air, McCurry said, is the size of the two 22-week classes of troubled high school-age youth that will be served next year. It also is unclear where the cash-strapped state will get the funding to support the program."
Battle over state's legislative districts set to begin
"Democrats will need at least some Republican support to get their preferred reforms approved. The GOP says those plans don’t go far enough. So what will prevail — reform that some see as flawed or the status quo?  Here is a look at the competing plans and what’s up next."
New ethanol rules could add to summer gas price hikes
"Matt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington, D.C., said refiners and distributors have known about the revised standards for months and have had time to prepare.  “The oil industry has pretty strong representation on the boards that set these standards,” Hartwig said in an e-mail.  “It sounds a bit like them looking for a scapegoat so they can raise prices again. Ethanol is trading at such a discount to gasoline today that refiners should be blending all they can and passing the savings on to consumers,” he added."
Foster Tours Freudenberg Household Products in Aurora
"Tim Molek, General Manager and CEO of FHP, said, “We are deeply impressed with how interested Congressman Foster is in what we do.  He asked us a number of questions that clearly indicates his constituents are his #1 priority and he wants to know how business can continue to help build his district, and thus the economy.”"
Christian radio station on air in Iraq - UPI
"The Voice of the New Testament went on air in Basra province this week from offices at the Basra National Evangelical Church.  Ahmad al-Sulayti, the deputy head of the Basra city council, said city leaders gave the station immediate permission to start broadcasting.  "We consider this a big achievement in the new Iraq," he said. "It proves there is an opening to all the other cultures" in the country."
The Shocking Truth: Newt & Co. Lie About Health Care Reform - AFL-CIO
"Let’s start with Newt and his oft-repeated claim that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hire 16,000 new “agents” to act as “health police.” Media Matters notes that both FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com debunk Gingrich’s dire warning about IRS agents in the exam room with you.  The basics are (click here for the details) he is using a figure from a Republican House Ways and Means Committee report that looked at a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis. The report examined how many new employees, clerks, accountant, telephone operators and the like, not the dreaded auditing IRS agents, the IRS might need to hire to inform small business and workers about tax credits and subsidies they are entitled to under the new law.
Building a Green Economy - NY Times
"The casual reader might have the impression that there are real doubts about whether emissions can be reduced without inflicting severe damage on the economy. In fact, once you filter out the noise generated by special-interest groups, you discover that there is widespread agreement among environmental economists that a market-based program to deal with the threat of climate change — one that limits carbon emissions by putting a price on them — can achieve large results at modest, though not trivial, cost."

07 April
 
Around and About in West Chicago - 07 April 2010
  • 64th Anniversary Banquet of Past Commanders
  • Friends of West Chicago Parks Foundation 5K Run/Walk
  • Wheaton Academy International Café
  • Annual Town Meetings of Illinois Townships
  • Catholic Daughters of America, St. Mary’s Parish Spring Salad Luncheon
April E-Newsletter
  • Annual State Budget Address
  • Legislation Update
    • Senate Bill 2504
    • Senate Bill 3176
Baseball/Softball Enrollment
"Bucking the trend of a decrease in participants that is seen in other recreational organizations and park districts, West Chicago Park District has an increase in the number of youths going “to bat” in its in-house baseball and softball leagues."
  • Proposed new road could connect I-80, I-88
    "What bypasses Oswego, connects interstates 80 and 88, and travels north and south through Kendall County?  No, not the Prairie Parkway. Instead Kendall County and Oswego officials are discussing a county highway connection that could provide a much-desired beltway around the west side of Oswego."
  • Prairie Parkway project still in pipeline
    "And while there is no specific money for construction coming from the state of Illinois or the federal government this year, there remains some federal construction money earmarked ... Those earmarks are $150 million toward building the main road between Interstates 80 and 88 from central Kane County down to Minooka in Grundy County, and another $50 million for work that will be needed where the Prairie Parkway crosses Route 34."

"[Do we all remember how the $200 for engineering of the Prairie Parkway resulted in massive profits for Speaker Hastert? - Bob]

Study puts cost of closing locks to keep out carp at $4.7B
"An economic impact study commissioned the by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce projects the cost of closing Chicago-area navigational locks to shipping could be as much as $4.7 billion over the next 20 years, an estimate far exceeding the one produced by two business consultants hired by Michigan's attorney general in February."
2 more UI units will undergo budget reviews
"Two more University of Illinois units – the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the university and law libraries – are under budget review.  Interim Chancellor Robert Easter and Richard Wheeler, acting vice chancellor for academic affairs, began appointing teams of faculty and administrators in February as part of an ongoing evaluation of how the campus can use its resources more efficiently, given that the state is about $400 million behind in payments to the UI, and the situation could worsen."
State Capitol Q&A: Bill would require insurance to cover smoking progams
"A proposal in the Illinois House, House Bill 5766, would require a person’s health insurance coverage to include up to $500 worth of smoking cessation programs. Supporters say cessation programs – which could range from nicotine gum to counseling -- would drastically cut health care spending statewide."
Supreme Court May Lack Protestants, After Stevens Leaves - NPR
"In fact, six of the nine justices on the current court are Roman Catholic. That's half of the 12 Catholics who have ever served on the court. Only seven Jews have ever served, and two of them are there now. Depending on the Stevens replacement, there may be no Protestants left on the court at all in a majority Protestant nation where, for decades and generations, all of the justices were Protestant."
Telecom workers, supporters rally at FCC against proposed sale of Verizon landlines to Frontier - Speed Matters
""As the Illinois Commerce Commission's Administrative Law Judge, the West Virginia Consumer Advocate Division and the Public Service Commission staff have all found, this deal will result in a lack of financial fitness that cannot be cured or subject to a compromise – it will simply render Frontier unfit to assume the responsibility for 4.8 million access lines serving citizens of the 14 affected states with an essential public service," said Collins.  At the meeting, members told Commissioner Copps that the proposed deal is too risky for West Virginia and the other 13 effected states."
Who Killed the Miners? Profits Over Safety? - Common Dreams
"Of the $1.5 million in penalties MSHA proposed since 2007, Massey has actually paid less than $300,000.  The proposed fines for this year alone amount to about $190,000. Last year, the mine faced $900,000 in fines for more than 450 violations, including 48 "unwarrantable failure orders," which are considered serious.  Many of those citations and fines are being contested."
The American Economy and the American Dream - NewDeal2.0
"People didn’t increase their public transit use out of environmental concern, no, solely for economic reasons. Two years ago, when gasoline was plus $4 a gallon, and with every wisp of news the economy is strengthening the price heads quickly back, public transit use greatly expanded. Thinking we’re going to rebuild the auto-industry at 35 mpg is stupid, whether looked at from an environmental, economic, or war and peace perspective"

06 April
 

West Chicago
High School
Reminder for Market Day Orders
"Now that Spring Break is over and the students are back in school - not digging in your freezer - it is time to restock the goodies. Please help support our student organizations by placing your orders with Market Day.  April’s Market Day profits will benefit our very own CHOIR organization.  The next Market Day pick up will be Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm. You must place your order by: Monday, April 12th at 11:00 pm 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: http://www.marketday.com/. Our School is listed as Community High School Activities - Account #6816.
Week 6 Pedal4Peace - Bike Across the United States to Raise Funds
"Monday March 29, 2010 – The guys rode about 112 miles today and no flats!  This is there last night in the state of Louisiana.  There should be nothing to hinder riding three more miles and crossing the Louisiana-Mississippi line tomorrow!  Less than two weeks to the finish line!  Carrie and family drive back to Illinois in twelve hours."
3rd wave of hailstorms hits during morning rush
"Another round of heavy rain, hail and high winds hit parts of the Chicago area this morning, following two lines of  severe thunderstorms overnight that left hailstones as large as baseballs in their wake, as well as downed trees and power lines. Wind gusts of nearly 70 mph were reported.  Golf-ball-size hail came down in Batavia, and half-inch hail was reported in Morton Grove, according to the National Weather Service."
Cameras make Chicago most closely watched US city
"New York has plenty of cameras, but about half of the 4,300 installed along the city's subways don't work. Other cities haven't been able to link networks like Chicago. Baltimore, for example, doesn't integrate school cameras with its emergency system and it can't immediately send 911 dispatchers video from the camera nearest to a call like Chicago can.  Even London — widely considered the world's most closely watched city with an estimated 500,000 cameras — doesn't incorporate private cameras in its system as Chicago does."
Executive Mansion's condition deteriorates
"Major problems now include:
  • The air conditioning and heating are obsolete and need replacement.
  • Sewage occasionally backs up in the basement.
  • The elevator breaks down regularly. If the elevator breaks down, the building is not ADA accessible.
  • The roof leaks.
  • Hot water is not available at times."
Atheist Author Gina Welch on Joining Evangelicals - Time
"It's very easy to roll your eyes at the whole culture if you don't have any stake in anyone participating in it. Once I developed friendships with people whom I cared about, it was easier for me to see the appeal. It's no accident that evangelical Christianity is as popular as it is...  The emotional, intoxicating experience of being at church and hearing that music, and the whole structure of a Sunday service, was moving to me. And I don't believe in God."
New Labor Dept. Drive Sets to Stop Wage Theft - AFL-CIO
"Last year, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the department’s Wage and Hour office, under former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, had failed miserably in enforcing minimum wage and overtime laws. The division’s failure to act, says the report, "left thousands of actual victims of wage theft who sought federal government assistance with nowhere to turn."
ExxonMobil paid no federal income tax in 2009 - Think Progress
"Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last year reported a record $45.2 billion profit, paid the most taxes of any corporation, but none of it went to the IRS: "Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. No wonder that of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas.""
Maddow Blasts ACORN 'Pimp' Hoax, 'ClimateGate', 'The Triumph of Fake Politics'
"Maddow takes the opportunity to highlight not only the "triumph" of the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, but of other successful GOP-played/MSM-enabled scams such as "ClimateGate"...  faked GOP outrage about recess appointments, health insurance reform, Miranda rights and civilian trials for accused terrorists, the stimulus bill, "death panels", Obama's birth certificate, supposed threats to the Second Amendment, armed IRS agents coming to get you, abuse of the census, Obama's "plans" to ban sport fishing, et al."

05 Apr

Hands Only CPR

JAMES ALLEN HARLSON
"His dedication to the community was evident in his 12-year position as fire commissioner of the West Chicago Fire Department and past commander of the American Legion Post 300."
Carol Flens  April 2, 2010
"Carol Flens, age 74, Fifty-Three year resident of West Chicago, passed away on Friday, April 2, 2010. She was born on December 27, 1935 in Chicago to Charles and Clara Bellman. Carol was united in marriage on July 6, 1957 to John Flens."
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 West Chicago, Illinois
"Have you seen coyotes around your neighborhood?  Watch 'The Urban Coyote' (Wed & Fri, 7PM) to learn everything  you need to know about coyotes. Check out our schedule to see all the programs we offer this week."
DuPage Co. thorium cleanup payments stalled
"Tronox, the bankrupt chemical company in charge of thorium remediation operations in West Chicago and along parts of the West Branch of the DuPage River, was to receive the payment from federal Recovery Act funds. However, the Justice Department interceded at the behest of local and congressional officials who wanted to make sure the money was spent where it was intended.  Without any stipulations, Tronox could have used the funds to pay off creditors instead of putting it toward the cleanup work that needs to be completed."
District 303 prepares more than $4 million in new cuts
"St. Charles Unit District 303 officials thought they had solved their budget problems in January by instituting $5.5 million worth of cuts, but a tumultuous state budget will force the district to plan for an additional $4 million in belt tightening... The majority of the expense reductions come in the form of delaying the update of science textbooks for one year ($1.2 million) and keeping district's current computers, maintenance vehicles and school buses in working order for another year rather than purchasing new versions ($915,000)."
A Plank Road Panther?
"Could as many as 16 witnesses in the Elgin-Pingree Grove area be mistaken when they claim to have seen the mysterious big cat we have named the Plank Road Panther?  Probably, said an assemblage of experts on the mountain lion (which also is known as the cougar, puma or American panther)."
"Wildcat Sticks & Stones Classic" Lacrosse Tournament
"The West Chicago Lacrosse Club is hosting it's annual High School Lacrosse Tournament on April 17Th & 18Th.  18 local and out of state teams will be participating. Over 400 Varsity and JV level players will compete through out the weekend on 4 fields at the West Chicago Middle School."
[Please notice that this is listed on WegoNews' calendar at Sticks & Stones Classic" - Bob]
Two-year colleges are getting crowded
"But community colleges are grappling with an unprecedented dilemma brought on by the recession. Enrollment is up at the same time the state is facing a budget crisis that has led it to cut education funds and then fail to even hand over money the schools still have coming."
New health-care law has early benefits
""One of the great benefits of the reform is to provide meaningful, comprehensive care," said Michael McRaith, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also calls for the federal government to send money to Illinois so that thousands more people with pre-existing conditions can be covered through the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan, McRaith said.  "We know there's a desperate, crying need for people with pre-existing conditions who need health insurance," he said."
Gunn High School Sings Away Hate Group - Not in Our Town
"When the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions, students at Gunn High School decided they could not sit quietly."
Some Christians suspicious of going green
"Yet going green has not caught on at many other evangelical churches. The is due in part, no doubt, to simply having other priorities. Though for some evangelicals the reasons become complex.  One appears to be that environmentalism can be perceived as idolatry because it suggests worshiping creation rather than its creator. Other reasons appear to center on politics and a distrust of science."
A Crisis in Faith  - California Progress Report
"This is because they know that something is deeply wrong in our state and in our neighborhoods. They know that government can and should do more to help. They also know that government has turned its back on them to bail out rich executives and big banks while their own families are torn apart, their jobs disappeared, and their homes foreclosed."
Right-wingers ignore facts as they rewrite U.S. history - McClatchy Newspapers
"It's not just historians who contest history, however. It's also politicians and pundits.  "There's clearly a political impetus behind this that connects to the issues of today," Fischer said, such as labeling President Barack Obama a socialist. "But when history is ignored to do it, that can be dangerous."  Here are recent examples of new conservative versions of history:"
Boehlert: What if Fox News actually wants mob violence? - Media Matters
"Speaking out of both sides of their mouths with astonishing ease, conservatives denounced liberals who protested Coulter's appearance in Canada, and then played defense on behalf of marauding right-wing radicals who unleashed death threats, threw bricks through office windows, and hurled epithets at politicians."
 

02 April

 
This Week in West Chicago

The calendar has been updated with 11 May and June activities provided by the City... have you checked it lately?


West Chicago
High School
CHS Seeks Nominees for Hall of Honor
"Nomination letters for the Hall of Honor should be sent to Dr. Moses Cheng, Principal of Community High School District 94, 326 Joliet Street, West Chicago, IL 60185. The deadline for nominations is April 23, 2010."
Call for Vendors for Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration
"Organizers of West Chicago’s Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration are preparing for another successful downtown event which takes place on Sunday, September 12, 2010 from noon – 9 p.m.  Currently, the focus is on attracting crafters, artists, businesses and food vendors for booth spaces that will occupy Main Street, along with downtown businesses, live entertainment and children’s activities.  For additional information, contact Valeria Perez at (630) 293-2200 ext. 170 or visit www.westchicago.org to download a vendor registration form."
Applications accepted through July 30, 2010
Ex-West Chicago church deacon expected to remain in jail
"George Valdez had his first court appearance Thursday since being charged with raiding coffers at St. Mary's Parish for three years until last fall when the alleged theft scheme unraveled.  The 58-year-old West Chicago man also served as St. Mary's business manager. "
Half of suburban residents still uncounted in census
"A snapshot of census participation rates - on today, Census Day - shows that, overall, suburban residents have filled out the form at a higher rate than most Americans.  Nationally, the census participation rate is 52 percent... West Chicago 51%"
[For an interesting take on what is happening with the census, see Wingnut Blowback from TPM. - Bob]
State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias will kick off Money Smart Week in DuPage
"Since becoming state treasurer, Giannoulias has overhauled the state’s Bright Start College Savings Program, passed legislation to remove predatory credit card marketing from college campuses and led efforts to crack down on debt settlement scams."
State programs offering Energy Star rebates
"The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is putting on the program while the federal stimulus money lasts. The state department received nearly $12.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to pay for the program, which has been divided into two phases. Rebates on water heaters and heating and cooling equipment started at the end of January."
Republicans no sure bet in Illinois election
"And given the political makeup of the state, minority Republicans won’t be able to make much headway on national issues like the Obama administration’s passage of health care reform, said Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the university.  “It’s going to be a bad idea to run against Obama, who is still wildly popular here,” he said. “Health care reform has more support in the state than it does nationwide.”"
Appellate court overturns cap on nursing home fines
"The Illinois Department of Public Health no longer is barred from fining nursing homes more than $10,000 when they provide bad care, but the department doesn’t plan to immediately issue higher fines, a spokeswoman said Thursday... Public Health also will continue to use a tactic officials began to employ after Zappa’s ruling: issuing multiple $10,000 fines instead of one large fine against nursing homes found to be providing substandard care."
Illinois, short by billions, still cuts 2-cent checks
"The state of Illinois plans to send Peoples Gas 2 cents in interest on an overdue gas bill for Fritchey's Chicago district office. It is also handing over 14 cents to Commonwealth Edison as interest on another late payment.  Those amounts aren't a fluke.  The Illinois comptroller's office, which writes the state's checks, has 4,900 vouchers for less than $5 each awaiting payment,"

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 2 Apr 10

  • CHECK-IN: NEW PROTOCOL FOR FLIGHTS TO THE U.S.

  • CELL PHONES: CANCER IN MAINE IS MAINLY IN THE BRAIN.

  • NASA: CLIMATE RESEARCH IS NOW A MAJOR FOCUS.

  • CLIMATEGATE:  CLIMATE RESEARCH UNIT IS CLEARED – SORT OF.

Nebraska Lawmakers, Seeking to Restrict Abortion Care, Ignore Science, Evidence, and Pleas of Parents - RH Reality Check
"As currently written, the only exemption to the ban is for the mother to be near death or irreversible physical harm, creating the most restrictive ban ever passed. Mental health exemptions are often used in the case of women who discover after the 20th week that their child has an irreparable fetal anomaly that would endanger the pregnancy or cause great pain to the fetus if brought to term."
Coming Soon: High-Speed Rail and 750,000 New Jobs - AFL-CIO
"In the near future, we will be able to travel what is now a seven-hour trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just two-and-a-half hours in a high-speed train that eliminates the hassle of traffic and adds fewer emissions to pollute the atmosphere.  In a new video (left) from the Electrical Workers (IBEW), Bill Bohné, director of the union’s Rail Department, says the plan to build a high-speed rail system in California is good for the economy."
Immigrants being held for Census count, then deported - Facing South
"Within facilities like Port Isabel, detainees likely won't be able to opt out of the census. According to Census Bureau officials, for the last month detention center employees have been completing census forms on behalf of inmates like Henry Arroliga.  "They're using them to secure federal funding and political power, and then they're shipping them out of the country," Rivera said. "It's an insult.""
Going To Extremes: The Obama Era's Top Ten Anti-Government Flare-Ups - TPM Muckraker
"That resurgence has been driven in part, say experts, by the election of President Obama. But during the Obama era, threats of anti-government violence -- and even the real thing -- have become more widespread. In fact, with disaffected Americans from Massachusetts to California freaking out against the Feds en masse, it sometimes seems that going postal has become all the rage. Of course, in some cases, that anti-government animus long predates the election of our current president. But there seems to be something about the current climate that's contributing to the rash of incidents."
 

01 April

 

Around and About in West Chicago - 01 April 2010
  • Schedule of Activities and Worship Services
  • West Chicago Park District Family Days
  • Annual Township Meeting
  • General Mills 50th anniversary
Man indicted in West Chicago church theft
"George Valdez, 58, is accused in a 30-count felony indictment of stealing from St. Mary's Church between September 2006 and September 2009. His arrest comes at an already difficult time for parishioners.  A Shorewood priest, Alejandro Flores, 37, is facing Kane County charges after being accused of molesting a St. Charles boy during a five-year period that began while the man was a seminarian at St. Mary's. Furthermore, the parish school also will close this summer due to nearly $730,000 in debt. "
Five suburbanites tell why they welcome health care reform
"While the public debates the new health-care reform law, one group of suburban residents breathed a sigh of relief: those desperate for health insurance.  Some were dropped by their insurance companies. Some lost their jobs. Others lost a spouse who had insurance, or couldn't afford rising premiums."
New Lt. Gov. hopeful Simon says education is a priority everywhere
"Sheila Simon, who was selected Saturday to run as the Democratic Party candidate for lieutenant governor, met with about 25 women from the political, education and labor fields at a Naperville restaurant to hear what they thought should be the state's top priorities. The stop came as part of a statewide, multiday campaign tour.  Simon also visited Sherman Hospital in Elgin and stopped in Joliet before heading back home to Carbondale."
Wayne teen pleads guilty to fatal DUI crash in '09
"Prosecutors said that Lorusso's blood-alcohol concentration was .227 and there was THC in his system on June 14, 2009, when he crashed his Ford Explorer in the 3100 block of Royal Fox Drive in St. Charles.  Authorities said that Lorusso's vehicle was traveling about 77 mph in a 25 mph zone when it left the roadway, striking a mailbox, parked car, and two trees before it came to a stop, wrapped around the second tree.  Lorusso's friend and front-seat passenger Cameron Godee, 18, of West Chicago, was pronounced dead on the scene. Two other passengers were seriously injured."
Lt. Gov. hopeful Simon visits Elgin
"Women's health issues were the focus of lieutenant governor nominee Sheila Simon's visit to Elgin on Wednesday.  The Democrat from Carbondale toured parts of Sherman Hospital and participated in a round-table discussion with medical professionals before heading to Naperville and Joliet for more tours and discussions."
week 5 Pedal4Peace (2 of 2) - Bike Across the United States to Raise Funds
"For additional information read the summary article in TribLocal and for more detailed information visit The Hidden Peddler blog at http://pedal4peace.blogspot.com/ or make a donation at www.pedal4peace.org or search Facebook Pedal4Peace."
One in four elderly need care decisions made for them
"A significant number of the elderly — more than one in four — will eventually need someone to make end-of-life decisions about their medical care, a new study suggests.  The results illustrate the value of people making their wishes known in a living will and designating someone to make treatment decisions for them, the researchers said."
State officials insist school reform willl happen
"However, Illinois officials still plan to move forward with a series of reforms included in their application — changes such as linking teacher evaluations with student growth and new student assessments — even if they aren’t federally funded.  That prospect has many local administrators worried they could be stuck with even more unfunded requirements."
Belgium Moves to Ban Burqas Worn in Public - NY Times
"The proposal, which will be put to the full Parliament after the Easter break, highlights the political sensitivity of Islamic dress for European politicians grappling with the challenges of integrating its expanding Muslim population.  It came in the midst of debates in France and the Netherlands over the wearing of head scarves or veils, and followed a referendum vote in Switzerland against building minarets."
End the Denial. Label China a Currency Manipulator - AFL-CIO
"In mid-March, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao flatly denied that China deliberately suppresses the value of its currency against the dollar, a practice that decreases the price of its exports and increases the cost of American goods imported into China. Similarly, the U.S. Treasury Department, which is required by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to name foreign currency manipulators in biannual reports, has not in the past decade and a half called out China—including in the past two reports submitted during the Obama administration."

 

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