Source Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
01 July  
Bills: Separate canals, Lake Michigan to halt carp
"Legislation introduced in Congress on Wednesday aims to permanently prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes by permanently separating the Mississippi River Basin from Lake Michigan."
Critics say 401(k)-style state plan unworkable, expensive
"Critics of creating a 401(k)-style retirement benefit for public employees Wednesday pounced on gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady’s suggestion that the state move away from its current pension programs and into a system widely used in private industry.  The idea might actually increase the cost of retirement programs and would provide a less secure retirement for workers, opponents said."
Illinois Senate candidates spar over BP ties
" Both candidates released new attack ads Wednesday.  In one, Kirk claims he helped protect Lake Michigan from pollution by BP. He also points out a political aide to his Democratic opponent once lobbied for BP... In response, a Giannoulias ad accuses Kirk of lying to inflate his military record."
Senator slams for-profit colleges
"Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday that legislation to strengthen regulation of for-profit schools was ahead, complaining that some of the schools leave students with whopping levels of debt and "worthless diplomas."  While many schools are good, the Illinois Democrat said, others are "raking in huge amounts of federal dollars" while persuading low-income students to mortgage their futures on degrees that will not attract high-paying jobs."
Durbin introduces bill to stop Asian carp's spread
""Last week's discovery of an Asian carp in Lake Calumet was a wake-up call that we need to do more and we need to do it quickly," said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who cosponsored the Senate bill. "We can't wait while the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies broadly examine methods of controlling invasive species; we must act now."
Rep. Foster Pushes for Congressional Pay Cut | U.S. Congressman Bill Foster
"Today, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) joined a bipartisan group of Representatives asking for a reduction in Congressional salaries.  If successful, this would be the first Congressional pay cut in 77 years.  “Before Congress begins making the tough choices to get our fiscal house in order,” said Foster, “let’s make an easy one – cut our pay by 5%.”"
Durbin Blasts GOP For Blocking Unemployment Benefits Extension
"That's when Illinois' own Sen. Dick Durbin unloaded on the minority party, suggesting that political posturing, rather than concern about the deficit, is driving their obstruction.  "The record is clear: It is a party of no that is hoping that the voters will vote yes in November," he said. "I hope they remember that the Republicans had no alternative [proposal] when it came to this disastrous economic situation.""
Nelson Kills Unemployment Extension - TPM
"If Robert Byrd had been alive and on the Senate floor last night, the Democrats would have broken the Republican filibuster of the unemployment insurance extension bill. But Ben Nelson (D-NE) stepped forward to kill the bill and put any extension off until July."
Sean Hannity vs. The Code - Salt Lake Tribune
"Willes' new mission statement, some might call it a creed, includes pledges like: "I seek to lift, inspire, and help others find enduring happiness" and "I promote integrity, civility, morality, and respect for all people," and "I seek to instill light and knowledge in my work." As you can imagine, Sean Hannity, who is beloved by his listeners for saying things like -- "I'll tell you who should be tortured and killed at Guantanamo -- every filthy Democrat in the U.S. Congress," has a large problem in the civility-respect area."
Jesus Christ  'appears' on a drainpipe in Coventry  - Metro.co.uk
"We all know that the Lord likes to make his presence felt, be it on a naan bread, in a chip pan or even on Google maps, but now it seems he's taken to the drainpipes of suburbia as well.  Nurse Alex Cotton, 38, returned home from a football match with friends when the holy son decided to make his entrance. While chatting in the garden, eagle-eyed Cotton noticed the mysterious smudge, noticing that ‘It’s got his crown of thorns and beard,’"
High-Risk Insurance Pools Launched - Wall Street Journal
" Starting Thursday, Americans who have been denied coverage by an insurer because of a pre-existing health condition can apply for insurance through high-risk insurance pools.  The program is the first major plank of the health overhaul signed into law in March, and it's designed as a temporary provision to expand coverage until 2014, when a requirement kicks in that insurers accept all applicants."
[Today is the first day for HealthCare.gov, a new government website to explain Health Care Reform. - Bob]
 

30 June

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 30 June 2010
  • “Tools of the Trades,” at the West Chicago Historical Society Kruse House Museum
  • “Splish-Splash Turtle Bash"
  • "LEGO Mania”
  • First Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Car Show
Some rebuttal 'facts' on teacher pensions - Joe Purpura
"No Teacher Retirement System pension is over 250,000. 2. Seventeen pensions are between $200,000 and $250,000 - all retired administrators. 3. One hundred and fourteen are between $150,000 and $200,000."
[Is it about time for a cap on these pensions?  How about a concept: No pension should be more than the salary of a working Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. - Bob]
Board OKs lean COD budget
"To make up for projected shortfalls, which also include an expected district-wide drop in property values and subsequent decrease in funding from taxpayers, the college has examined every aspect of the budget.  Among the budget-reducing moves were a reduction in positions, a travel freeze, cuts in postage and publications, and required cabinet and presidential approval for any new hires."
Fourth of July Roundup - WEST CHICAGO
"Kline Creek Farm’s Celebrating the Fourth, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., with ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 3 and 4, on County Farm Road, half mile south of Route 64, West Chicago. Reading of Declaration of Independence, 1890s games, music and patriotic speeches. Bring a picnic, help make ice cream, and see the launch of a homemade hot-air balloon. www.dupageforest.com, (630) 876-5900."
The Underground Art Club Hosts a Public Reception at Gallery 200
"A free Public Reception has been scheduled for Friday, July 2, 2010 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. and will offer an opportunity for people to view the large collective body of work of the Underground Art Club - with over 50 pieces of original art by two of its professional artists, George Ceffalio and Jean Marcellin, for sale - and to engage with the artists about their work while enjoying free refreshments and live entertainment. "
Tips from the pros for photographing fireworks
  • "Use a tripod. You’ll need to use a long exposure to capture the streaks and shellbursts. This is the most important item you’ll need.
  • If you can, use a remote release so you don’t shake the camera during the exposure."
Ticket price to rise at presidential museum
" “Even though attendance remains good, our costs continue to go up,” said museum spokesman David Blanchette. “The amount we receive from the state isn’t going up. … We have to slightly raise prices in several areas to keep pace with expenses.”  On July 1, regular adult admission will increase from $10 to $12. Seniors and students will pay $9 instead of $7. Children ages 5-15 will pay $6 instead of $4. Military personnel will continue to pay $7. Children under 5 continue to be free."
Budget scalpel could cut deeply
"Don Moss, a lobbyist who works on behalf of mental health and developmental disabilities organizations, said he's hearing from providers that their contracts with the state to provide services are being cut.  Just as bad, Moss said, is that the state is already way behind on paying money promised in current contracts.  "We will see the roughest year ever," Moss predicted. "Lobbying for people with disabilities, I've never seen it this bad. Everything is a big question mark right now."  Although Quinn promised to protect school funding as much as possible, education interests also are bracing for the worst"
  • Kirk apologizes for 'carelessness' in describing military career
    " As Kirk apologized, however, he also acknowledged something his campaign had flatly denied just two weeks ago — that he was twice scolded by the Pentagon for improperly mingling politics with his military duties. He also tried to address criticism that he has made too much of his past teaching experience.  After a month of eluding questions and relying on written statements by his campaign, Kirk offered the mea culpa at his first news conference since reports surfaced about his false claims, including a prestigious military award that he didn’t win."
  • Giannoulias calls Kirk's apology 'hollow'
    " A spokesman for Alexi Giannoulias on Tuesday criticized Kirk, saying the congressman wasn’t careless as he claims. Spokesman Matt McGrath says Kirk "lied.“ McGrath contends there are too many inconsistencies for Kirk to claim he was careless.  Kirk has been dogged by embellishments of his military record, including claiming a prestigious award he didn’t win. Kirk on Tuesday said he isn’t perfect. But he says he’ll do better and it won’t happen again."
Governor candidates duel over minimum wage
"Quinn said he supports indexing Illinois’ minimum wage to inflation, as about 10 other states do. He sharply criticized Republican Bill Brady for suggesting the minimum wage should be rolled back by $1 to the federal level, which Quinn said would amount to a $2,000 annual pay cut for thousands of families."
Kirk Faces The Media, Says He "Wasn't Thinking"
"One mistake is careless.  Misrepresenting, embellishing or not telling the truth about 10 different phases of your military career over a 10-year period is a pattern of lies, plain and simple.   When these mistruths have been repeated on the floor of the House of Representatives, on a taxpayer-funded official website, in campaign television ads and materials, in press releases, on campaign websites, and from his own lips, Congressman Kirk's web of lies can't be fixed by one phony press conference."
Foster to Hold Small Business Resource Fair
"Representatives from the Department of Energy, Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Insurance, Illinois Small Business Development Centers, and the IRS will be will hold breakout sessions to discuss resources available to small businesses.  In addition, a wide variety of  government agencies and other organizations will be staffing information tables.  There is no cost associated with attending this event."
New Mine and Workplace Safety Legislation on Horizon - AFL-CIO
"Stronger enforcement tools, tougher penalties and broader workers’ rights are at the center of soon-to-be introduced workplace safety legislation.  The bill’s crafters say they were spurred by the deadly Massey Energy Upper Big Branch explosion that killed 29 coal miners; the Tesoro refinery blast that claimed the lives of seven Washington State workers; the BP oil rig blast that killed 11, the Connecticut Kleen Energy Systems explosion where six workers died and other recent workplace disasters."
Presbyterian decline worsens - Courier-Journal
"The denomination has suffered especially large losses in recent years -- 3 percent in 2008, 2.5 percent in 2007, 2 percent the previous two years -- partly due to wholesale losses of congregations. It has lost members every year since 1965, and this year's results put it below 50 percent of that year's total of 4.25 million.  The most frequently cited theories: liberal trends in theology, sexuality and politics; a hesitancy to evangelize; and/or the low birth rates and aging ranks of its main demographic -- non-Hispanic whites."
In Deficit "Town Meetings," People Reject America Speaks' Stacked Deck - Huffington Post
"According to America Speaks' own press release, when a scientifically selected group of participants picked up their electronic voting devices, they overwhelmingly supported proposals to
  • Raise tax rates on corporate income and those earning more than $1 million.
  • Reduce military spending by 10 to 15 percent,
  • Create a carbon tax and a securities-transaction tax."
League of Women Voters calls for 'Medicare for all' - Physicians for a National Health Program
"Noting the Obama administration's new health law falls short of providing affordable care to all U.S. residents, the national convention of the League of Women Voters passed a resolution Monday calling on the group's board to "advocate strongly" for "an improved Medicare for all."  The convention's 600 delegates, meeting in Atlanta on the group's 90th anniversary, voted more than 2 to 1 in support of the measure. In the run-up to the national meeting, nearly identical resolutions were adopted by more than 50 local chapters and 11 state organizations of the League, which claims more than 150,000 members nationwide."

 

 

29 June

 
Talking Book Center to Remain Open - DuPage Library System's Notes
"“I understand how important the Talking Book program is to our patrons,” said Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White. “I have spoken to patrons and heard their stories about how much the Talking Book program enriches their lives. For many patrons the Talking Book program is their link to the outside world. I am completely committed to the Talking Book program, and I am pleased that we will be able to keep Voices of Vision and our other Talking Book Centers open so that our print disabled patrons will continue to receive the materials they want and need.”"
Backyard Fundraiser for Maria Owens - FB
"On Wednesday, June 30th, I will be hosting my first fund raiser, a friends and family cookout from the hours of 6:00- 8:00 PM at my home located at 28111 Marion St. Winfield, IL 60190. (See attachment.) Tickets are $30.00 for individuals, $40.00 for couples, and $50.00 for the whole family.  Please RSVP for this event, or notify my campaign if you are willing to help out in other ways by replying to this e-mail. Ben@OwensforIllinois.com"
[See also Calendar item at Backyard Fundraiser for Maria Owens. - Bob]
Radioactive material removal resumes along DuPage River
"Tronox Inc., the chemical manufacturing company responsible for the cleanup efforts, filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009. After months of legal and political wrangling, a bankruptcy judge approved a plan to create a trust fund that will hold money needed to pay for the cleanup efforts in the portion of the river that runs through Warrenville. That move paved the way for cleanup work to resume."
Local unemployment takes a turn for the better
"In Kane County, the May unemployment rate was 10.5 percent, compared to 11.1 percent in April and 10.4 percent in May 2009. According to IDES, in Illinois, the May 2010 unadjusted unemployment rate was 10 percent, while the nationwide rate was 9.3 percent... "For the first time in three years, Illinois has declining over-the-year unemployment rates in some metro areas," IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell said in a release on the latest numbers."
Grant of almost $1 million will establish weatherization training center at UI
" The $959,635 grant to establish one of the state's first weatherization training centers could provide local jobs, as well as training for those jobs.  The federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant will support a training center on the Urbana campus for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program.  The UI Building Research Council has run the Weatherization Training and Certification Program, which has seven courses and 140 hours of instruction, for five years."
Quinn to make 'serious cuts' in state spending Wednesday
"“We will be announcing our decisions, probably on Wednesday, of how much money we can allocate to education, how much to health care, how much to public safety and all of the other priorities,” Quinn said.  Exactly what he will allocate to each area is another question. As he has before, Quinn said he will do what he can to protect education spending, although the State Board of Education last week announced $300 million in cuts to education programs."
  • Brady: Gun ruling 'a step in the right direction'
    " Brady also reiterated that he would support an Illinois law to allow regular citizens to carry concealed guns, but the right wouldn’t be automatic to all.  “I have said that I support laws which fully embrace Second Amendment rights,” Brady said. “In the case of concealed carry, many states have proven that with the right training, background checks and implementation, it works well.”"
  • Brady: Quinn didn’t fire ‘hacks’ Blagojevich hired
    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady said Monday that Gov. Pat Quinn, who took over the job after the ouster of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, did not remove “political hacks” Blagojevich named to state jobs.  He also told the Illinois Society of Association Executives, meeting in Springfield, “I like the director of transportation, but I think that more of an engineering sort ought to be involved” in that post."
Team being set up to aid Corrections computer operation
" The administration of Gov. Pat Quinn is in the process of beefing up a technical team located within the Illinois Department of Transportation so it can assist other departments – including helping the Department of Corrections keep track of current and former inmates.  Christine Cegelis, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, told The State Journal-Register Monday that an information technology “center of excellence” is being crafted at IDOT."
More than two dozen would-be candidates face petition challenges
"Among other candidates facing objections: are Will Boyd Jr., Greenville, an independent for U.S. Senate; former East St. Louis Mayor Carl Officer, a Practical Party candidate for U.S. Senate; Corey Dabney of Aurora, independent for U.S. Senate; Shon-Tiyon “Santiago” Horton, Alton, independent for U.S. Senate; Christopher Pedersen, Joliet, various offices including U.S. Senate; Gregg Moore of Chicago, independent for governor; Andy Martin, Illinois Reform party for U.S. Senate; Stephen Estill, Mason City, independent for governor; Michael White, Constitution Party candidate for governor; Mike Labno of Oak Brook, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate; Lex Green of Bloomington, Libertarian for governor."
Foster votes to extend homebuyer tax credit
"“From talking to realtors and homebuyers in the 14th District, and as someone who has gone through the steps of purchasing a home, I understand the process has an unpredictable nature and every step is prone to delays,” said Foster.  “By extending the closing deadline, we ensure that the families who have entered into contracts to buy homes have the time necessary to close and receive the tax credit.”"
AFL-CIO, UAW Back Honda Strikers in China - AFL-CIO
"The workers and consumers of America and the world will be watching Honda and other employers to ensure that Honda and other Chinese employers comply with core international labor rights, obey Chinese and international labor laws and bargain in good faith."
Vatican admonishes Austrian cardinal for comments - Assoc Press
"The Vatican on Monday issued an unprecedented rebuke of a top cardinal who had accused the retired Vatican No. 2 of blocking clerical sex abuse investigations, publicly dressing down a man who had been praised for his criticism of church abuse cover-ups.  The silencing of Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna and long considered a papal contender, drew heated criticism from clerical abuse victims. They said the Vatican should be honoring Schoenborn, not publicly humiliating him, for his calls for greater transparency and demands for a crackdown on priests who rape and sodomize children."
Critics Still Wrong on What’s Driving Deficits in Coming Years - Center of Budget and Policy Priorities
"Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. [6] (The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues."
GOPers Who Slammed Marshall's Activism Can't Name A Case Typifying It - TPM
"Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) came closest to citing individual cases, though ultimately fell back on a generalization.  "Perhaps the most activist decision in history, or actually it wasn't a majority decision, was Brennan and Marshall dissenting in every death penalty case because they said the death penalty violated the constitution," Sessions claimed. "The only thing it violated was their idea of what good policy was."
 

28 June

 
This Week in West Chicago
LAURETTA ANN ADAMS
"Lauretta Ann Adams of West Chicago Lauretta Ann Adams, 79, passed away Wednesday, June 16. Arrangements are being made by Norris-Walen-Segert Funeral Home, West Chicago, 630-231-0060. "
Golf Course of the Day: St. Andrews Golf and Country Club - LookAroundGolf.com
"One of the oldest family-owned golf course facilities in Chicagoland, St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in West Chicago, IL was built in 1926. Owned by the Jemesek-Hinckley family, St. Andrews offers a truly classic golf experience in a park-like setting. Two 18-hole courses spread over 300 acres give golfers a variety of rolling terrain, great wooded areas populated with mature trees with which to both challenge their game and enjoy a day of truly wonderful golf."
Channel 17 Programs 6/28-7/4
"We're gearing up for Railroad Days by showing programs from past years. We hope seeing all that fun in the sun and under the stars will put everyone in a Railroad Days mood."

West Chicago
High School
Community High School 1st Annual Wildcat Golf Outing
Play begins at 10:00 AM on Course 1 and Course 2 ... Tee times available until 11:40 AM
RAFFLES! GAMES! CONTESTS for LOWERING YOUR SCORE! SOUTHWESTERN BUFFET!
$75.00 per golfer - 18 holes, with cart and lunch at the halfway house
Proceeds of this event will support student clubs, sports, and activities at Community High School"
Merle Burleigh Named Grand Marshal for West Chicago's Railroad Days Parade
"It seems like everyone in West Chicago knows Merle Burleigh. Maybe that’s because the widely read author of At Home with Merle Burleigh has spent 32 years keeping her finger on the pulse of the community through active involvement with her family, her social circle and her profession as chronicler of all things West Chicago. Merle will be honored for her active role in shaping and promoting the community and faithfully reporting on the news of the day, by serving as the 2010 Grand Marshal of the community’s Railroad Days parade."
Museum News
Underground Art Club Hosts a Public Reception
"A free Public Reception has been scheduled for Friday, July 2, 2010 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. and will offer an opportunity for people to view the large collective body of work of the Underground Art Club - with over 50 pieces of original art by two of its professional artists, George Ceffalio and Jean Marcellin, for sale - and to engage with the artists about their work while enjoying free refreshments and live entertainment."
Missing West Chicago teenager found safe
"DuPage County sheriff's deputies picked up Erica Shipley after receiving an anonymous tip from another teenager "who knew exactly where she was," West Chicago Police Det. Patrick O'Neil said.  The missing teen's family had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to Erica's return, but the tipster did not give her name.  "Her motivation wasn't the reward," O'Neil said."
IDNR: Carp find brings urgency, not panic
" The discovery of a lone Asian carp upstream from an electric barrier designed to keep the invasive fish out of Lake Michigan has state officials and local businesses perplexed and urging the public not to panic.  A fisherman hired by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to sample area waterways on Tuesday pulled in the nearly 20-pound male bighead carp from the northwest corner of Lake Calumet near the Harborside Golf Course, about six miles downstream from Lake Michigan."
Employment program cuts off new applicants as demand outstrips supply
"Now, Put Illinois to Work is concentrating on "getting through the backlog" of applicants, said Joe Antolin, executive director of the Chicago-based Heartland Human Care Services, which is administering the program statewide.  More than 60,000 people have applied for work through the program, and as of Thursday, 16,200 had been placed in jobs, Antolin said.  Initially, the state had hoped to put 20,000 people to work through the program."
Quinn signs anti-bullying legislation
"Quinn said the new law “helps schools protect students so they can succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.”  It requires Illinois schools to have gang-prevention training and creates a 15-member School Bullying Prevention Task Force in the state. The task force must prepare a report for the Illinois governor by March 1."
Millionaires Killing Jobs
"Today, 1.2 million jobless workers lose their extended unemployment insurance (UI) because some Senate millionaires think a $300 a week unemployment check will make people too lazy to look for a job. This group also is pushing to reduce the nation’s budget deficit rather than use short-term spending to create desperately needed jobs for the nation’s 26 million unemployed or underemployed workers."
Worship of god and football undeterred by protests - The Globe and Mail - Toronto Globe and Mail
"Most business owners around the 200-year old church boarded up their windows and closed for the weekend. But St. Andrew's Reverend William Ingram opened the doors for the 10:30 a.m. Sunday sermon without hesitation.  “The church has been here for 180 years and we don’t intend to be deterred from gathering for faith and worship out of fear,” he said as he leaned back against the dark blue velvet in the front pew, an hour before he gave his sermon."
The Third Depression - Krugman, NY Times
"The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine."
 

25 June

 
13 year-old runaway Found  - Detective Patrick O'Neil, City of West Chicago Police
"Earlier this week, the West Chicago Police Department issued two press releases seeking the public’s assistance with locating a 13 year-old runaway. We are pleased to announce that the subject of that investigation has been found."

West Chicago
High School
Law Seminar - D 94 Board of Education,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 7:00 p.m., Administration Conference Room
Agenda
  1. Board Organization and Membership
  2. Board Function/Role
  3. Open Meetings Act
  4. Other Board Procedures
  5. Bidding
  6. Other
DuPage residents fight against Lake Michigan water
"Those residents say DuPage Election Commission records indicate a woman named Mildred M. Woods born in 1900 is still a registered voter in the area. If opposing residents are unable to locate the supposed 110-year-old, Woods' lack of an opposing vote would count as one favoring the proposal, according to the state law.  County board members who represent voters living in the impacted area said they are waiting for the objection period to end this week before making any judgments about the project's future."
[Citizens are reminded that West Chicago does NOT use Chicago water and I have heard nothing about the City planning on doing anything like this. - Bob]
Local family offering reward for return of missing daughter
"A local family is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the return of their daughter, a 13-year-old girl believed to be a runaway.  Erica Shipley was last seen leaving McDonald's at Route 64 and Route 59 in West Chicago with three girls around her age at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday."
Unemployment drops in May, but remains higher than a year ago
" Among Illinois' 102 counties, Champaign County had the 18th-lowest unemployment rate in the state. Many counties with the lowest rates were clustered in west central Illinois, including Brown County, with the low rate of 4.9 percent. Several counties east and southeast of St. Louis also fell in that category.  The highest rates in the state were in the Rockford area – Winnebago and Boone counties, with rates of 14 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively."
Lincoln papers project gets $400,000 in grants
"The grants, $143,446 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be spread over the next few years and will be administered by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation."

 

Durbin Blasts GOP For Blocking Unemployment Benefits Extension
"That's when Illinois' own Sen. Dick Durbin unloaded on the minority party, suggesting that political posturing, rather than concern about the deficit, is driving their obstruction.  "The record is clear: It is a party of no that is hoping that the voters will vote yes in November," he said. "I hope they remember that the Republicans had no alternative [proposal] when it came to this disastrous economic situation.""
Rep. Fortner Co-Sponsors Legislative Forum on Changes to Medicare
"At this forum, there will be a presentation and discussion on the Federal Healthcare Initiative and its future impact on Medicare. In addition, there will also be a financial presentation on reverse mortgages and their advantages, drawbacks and what to look for in protecting one’s own financial interests."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Illinois Overtakes California as Worst Credit Risk
"The credit default swap spread for the Illinois general obligation bonds increased to 313 basis points this week for a five-year contract, which means a bondholder must pay over 3% of the bond’s face value per year to be insured against default. California’s five-year credit default swap is currently at 293."
Republicans ‘Scrooge’ Workers, Kill Long-Term Jobless Help - AFL-CIO
"The 57-41 vote (with Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson from Nebraska joining all Republicans) fell three votes short of the 60 needed to end the filibuster against the bill. The bill also included aid for states facing huge budget shortfalls to keep 900,000 people on the job."
Abortion rights advocate protests, then joins Right to Life convention - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Mr. Baird, 78, who once ran the nation's first abortion clinic, was among those attending the National Right to Life Convention at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport on Thursday. A regular attendee, his routine for decades has been to picket from 11:30 to noon on behalf of abortion rights, then join his rivals for lunch inside.  "He and I vigorously support each other's right to protest," said the Rev. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life and a longtime acquaintance."
Hot Spring on Planet Earth - Environmental News Network
"It is getting more and more difficult to deny that global warming is occurring. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report recently about the state of the global climate, and the results were not pretty. It turns out the combined global land and ocean surface temperatures set a record in May. In fact, from March to May, it was the hottest spring on record. Furthermore, the whole first half of the year, from January to May was also the warmest on record."
 

24 June

 
Reward Offered for Information Leading to Return of Juvenile Runaway
"The West Chicago Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a juvenile runaway. Thirteen (13) year old Erica Shipley was last seen leaving the McDonald’s Restaurant at Route 64 and Route 59 in West Chicago, Illinois at approximately 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Erica was seen leaving the restaurant with three unidentified females of similar age. While there is no indication that Erica has been the victim of a crime, she is in need of medication for an undisclosed medical condition."
West Chicago police seek missing teen
"Erica Shipley was last seen around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday leaving a McDonald's restaurant at routes 64 and 59 in West Chicago. She was with three unidentified females close in age. Police said that while there is no indication Shipley was the victim of a crime, she needs medication for an undisclosed medical condition."
College of DuPage to proceed with sign construction
"Despite the threat of fines or an injunction from Glen Ellyn, College of DuPage plans to move forward with constructing electronic signs on its campus in the village.  “The college disputes the village’s claim of legal authority over improvements we make to our own grounds,” Joe Moore, the school’s associate vice president for external relations, said June 17. “For the safety of our students, employees and visitors, the college needs clear signs that are appropriately lit at night to allow people to safely travel our campus.”"
State's outstanding bills dog DuPage budget
"Midway through the spending year that began Dec. 1, 2009, the county's revenues are lower than what was expected at this point. Total income for the General Fund, the largest portion of the budget, is running nearly 27 percent below the $13.5 million anticipated at the half-year point in the current spending plan.  "Except for January, revenues consistently underperformed," Fred Backfield, the county's chief financial officer, told the County Board this week. "Two familiar issues have driven this underperformance: delays in payments or reimbursements from the state, and sales tax. But this year the impact, especially concerning state delays, is far more pronounced.""
Only a few small Illinois towns have more than one publication
"Porter said some areas of the state have a daily newspaper or a hybrid shopper with some news content – towns such as Mount Carmel, Centralia, Springfield and smaller communities... "I think it does show," Porter said, "that there's no lack of interest in news in a small town. I believe small-town papers are thriving because they're more focused on local news."
[Wouldn't it be nice if West Chicago had at least one?  The use of the name "West Chicago Press" is not because it still exists as a newspaper... it is just a search of the Glen Ellyn paper... so sad. - Bob]
Navy exaggerations damage Illinois Senate candidate
" Stocks said he recently took Kirk's picture out of the window at party headquarters.  "Financial supporters in my county have pledged they will not vote for Kirk," Stocks said. "Veterans have contacted me to complain about him. If I took a roll call of my precinct committeemen it would not bode well for Rep. Kirk... Kirk has largely disappeared from public view since apologizing for misstating his military credentials. He did give a speech Monday but wound up fleeing from reporters afterward when they wanted to ask questions about the issue.""
Area unemployment falls for fourth straight month
" Springfield unemployment remained above the year-ago rate of 6.5 percent, although three other markets — Peoria, Rockford and metro East St. Louis — had rates lower than a year ago, the first time in three years year-over rates have fallen in any of the 12 communities tracked by the department.  Unemployment in the Springfield market, which includes Sangamon and Menard counties, has fallen from a peak of 10.1 percent in February. The 7.1 percent rate remains the highest for the month of May since 1983, when it was 8.8 percent."
State wipes out expired leases, on track to save $20M in rent
"“Governor (Pat) Quinn delivered a clear directive to this agency to perform a top-to-bottom review of the state’s space needs, eliminate holdover leases and ensure that any space we pay for is being used in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” CMS Director James Sledge said in a written statement."
Illinois parolees disappear after being released early
" Dozens of parolees, including one imprisoned for his part in a 2008 murder, have disappeared after they were set free as part of a secret early release program, according to documents acquired by The Associated Press.  The parolees were let go as part of the “MGT Push” plan that Gov. Pat Quinn shut down in December after The Associated Press revealed it."
  • Foster to Hold Small Business Resource Fair
    "On the heels of a successful Small Business workshop the Congressman held in June, Rep. Bill Foster will be hosting a Small Business Resource Fair on July 19 at Elgin Community College's University and Business Center, located at 1700 Spartan Drive."
  • Rep. Foster Pushes to Save Aurora Postal Jobs
    "Today, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) sent a letter to the United States Postal Service in opposition to the anticipated decision to move postal operations from the Fox Valley Processing and Distribution Center in Aurora to the South Suburban Processing and Distribution Center in Bedford Park."
Workers Rally to Make It Right at Rite Aid - AFL-CIO
" Hundreds of Rite Aid workers and supporters from Pennsylvania, New York and California rallied this morning outside the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Harrisburg, Pa., to demand good jobs and a voice at work.  During the rally, Sylvia Estrada and Angel Warner, two workers from Rite Aid’s massive distribution center in Lancaster, Calif., described the five-year struggle by 550 employees to form a union."
The Supreme Court and the Future of Religious Freedom - Brookings Institution - Brookings Institution
"In the document dumps from the presidential library of Bill Clinton, there’s some suggestion that Elena Kagan thinks about these issues differently.  If Kagan is elevated to the Supreme Court, and she does part ways with Justices Scalia and Stevens on these matters, it could mark the first time a critic of the 1990 Smith decision and its weak reading of the Free Exercise Clause replaces a supporter of that decision.  This would move the Court closer to reinvigorating the Free Exercise Clause, and thus closer to providing additional protection for the peaceful practice of all faiths.
U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study - Reuters
"Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday."
Rich Russian comes to aid of Fort Ross - San Francisco Chronicle
" The idea of closing Fort Ross, the only Russian colonial settlement in California, caused a sensation in Russia last year and the Russian government dispatched Sergey Kislyak, its ambassador to the United States, to the windy outpost to show its support for the park.  Kislyak called Fort Ross "wonderful proof that the U.S. and Russia have a rich, largely positive shared history." He also wrote letters to Schwarzenegger and enlisted the aid of Medvedev and Vekselberg."
 

23 June

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 23 June 2010
  •  International Future Problem Solving Competition
  • Friends of West Chicago Park District and the West Chicago Rotary Club Golf Outing
  • Refresher Rules of the Road course
  • Fine Arts Fiesta
West Chicago Police Seek Public's Help in Locating Juvenile Runaway
"West Chicago, Illinois: June 23, 2010 - The West Chicago Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a juvenile runaway. Thirteen (13) year old Erica Shipley was last seen leaving a McDonald’s Restaurant at Route 64 and Route 59 in West Chicago, Illinois at approximately 1:40 PM Tuesday. Erica was seen leaving the restaurant with three unidentified females of similar age. While there is no indication that Erica has been the victim of a crime, she is in need of medication for an undisclosed medical condition.  Erica’s physical characteristics are as follows:
  • Female, white
  • 5’ 3” tall, 115 pounds
  • Red hair with blond highlights in the back
  • Last seen wearing dark blue V-neck T-shirt, light blue cuffed denim Capri pants
  • May not be wearing shoes

If you have any information concerning Erica’s whereabouts, you are urged to contact the West Chicago Police Department at (630) 293-2222.

DuPage Co. board chief gives up fight over tech park
"Schillerstrom said Goodwin, who heads Inland Real Estate Group, a multi-billion-dollar commercial real estate firm based in Oak Brook, bought this political victory.  "Mr. Goodwin and his money picked off tech park supporters one by one," Schillerstrom said. "Simply put, we cannot compete with a rich man who will do or say anything to win.""
DuPage midyear revenue down by $6.2 million
"State overdue payments are as late as December 2009, resulting in a shortfall of $3.7 million. Sales tax revenue is down 7.7 percent, or $3 million, as well. County finance officials were anticipating a 9 percent bump in sales tax revenue compared to last year, but now have revised that increase to a more modest 1 percent spike by the end of the year.  DuPage County Chief Financial Officer Fred Backfield could not explain a $1.2 million shortfall in April's sales taxes. He also could not explain why it does not match the national trend that shows an uptick in sales tax receipts."
Join Kline Creek Farm for "Celebrating the Fourth"
"Experience one of the country’s first holidays the old-fashioned way during “Celebrating the Fourth” at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago on July 3 and 4 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch, and spend a summer afternoon on the farm enjoying a free community celebration honoring our nation’s independence."
Ex-Naperville councilman is the king of nothing
"Over the years, Illinois taxpayers have sunk $34 million -- for roads, lighting and landscaping -- into a chunk of wasteland in West Chicago known as the DuPage National Technology Park... Created thanks to the efforts of former U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), former Illinois Senate President James "Pate" Philip (R-Wood Dale) and DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, it was dedicated in 2005 and is billed as "North America's most advanced business park."  It's also one of the loneliest. To date, just two buildings have been built there -- and one of them isn't occupied."
'Culture change' in UI administration, services could save tens of millions
" Information technology spending annually exceeds $250 million, and the report makes recommendations for streamlining IT functions, while improving performance, that could reduce spending by $18 million... "These savings are very possible by restructuring learning management, making more robust use of open-source (applications) and repurposing rooms that have been used for servers," he said."
Honor Flight Chicago - FaceBook
" I was honored to meet with area WWII veterans who traveled to Washington, DC to see the WWII Memorial. I thanked them for their service, and enjoyed visiting with the veterans from our area!"
Roskam op-ed in Huffington Post: Medicare Needs a Digital Eliot Ness - Huffington Post
"The trick lies in predictive modeling, which detects fraudulent claims that traditional rule-based systems cannot identify. Predictive modeling was instituted by the financial services industry in the early 1990s to control rampant credit card fraud. Within five years, 80 percent of financial services institutions had implemented predictive modeling. We can cut Medicare fraud by designing a comprehensive pre-payment predictive modeling system that they would apply before reimbursing any claims"
Obama Warns Health Insurers on Rate Hikes - AFL-CIO
"Health insurance companies should not use the new heath care reform law as an “opportunity to enact unjustifiable rate increases,” President Obama warned today at a White House ceremony marking the 90-day anniversary of signing the landmark bill, which he termed “a true patient’s bill of rights.”  The warning came a day after a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed that health insurers are raising prices by an average of 20 percent for working-age adults who are not covered on the job and who buy their own policies."
Steve Jobs Bans iPhone and iPad Porn, Becomes Christian Right Hero - Politics Daily
"A codicil in Apple's agreement with software and app developers stipulates that the company can bar applications or any material "that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable; [e.g.] materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic or defamatory." And in February, Apple de-commissioned thousands of apps with "sexual content" from iTunes.  "It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see," Philip W. Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing at Apple, told The New York Times."
RNC staffer fired in sex scandal paid $100,000 to ‘keep quiet’ - Raw Story
"The former chief of staff to the Republican National Committee received more than $100,000 in a "severance payment" after he was fired for his role relating to the discovery that the party had signed off on $2,000 in reimbursements for a sex-themed Beverly Hills club... Party insiders told ABC News the six-figure payout represented McKay's severance package, and came in exchange for him signing a strict confidentiality agreement. Two RNC sources, both of whom spoke on the condition they not be identified, said similar deals were struck with others who had been forced out in the last few months."
The Right's Latest Faux Obama Outrage - Mother Jones
"So, has the Jones Act really prevented the US from enlisting foreign help in the Gulf cleanup? Doesn't seem so. On June 15, Adm. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard's point man on the disaster, issued a press release noting that there are already 15 foreign-flagged ships working the spill—the act only applies to ships operating within three miles of shore, and there's plenty of work to be done outside that boundary."
Sen. Roland Burris to go two months early? Hope so. - Chicago Daily Observer
""First, every time that a vacancy happens in the state's senate delegation, the state must hold an election in which the people elect a permanent replacement to fill the vacant seat. Second, the executive officer of the state must issue a writ of election that includes a date for such an election to take place. Whether the vacancy is first filled by a temporary appointee...is a matter left up to the state and is governed by state law. The temporary appointment ends when the people fill the vacancy in an election.""
 

22 June

 
T S Specialties - Auto Repair - Yelp
"Anyways, they were SO NICE about things and VERY honest. And to make it even better, didn't charge me anything!! I am so used to mechanics ripping me off so this was a pleasant surprise. ... Bravo T&S thank you for running an awesome, honest, dependable repair shop in a world full of liars and cheats; five stars!"
[I spend a lot of time on the web and recently, while checking for a phone number, noticed this entry, that I thought some might find interesting and/or helpful.  Anyhow, it might not make the front page of the Trib, but it feels good to spread something nice said about someone. - Bob]
DuPage tech board asks to be dissolved
"State Rep. Mike Fortner, also a tech park board member, issued a statement last week calling for the board to be dissolved as well. Fortner said the board could "no longer be productive." Other tech park board members said Fortner didn't sign Monday's letter to Huizenga because he didn't agree with some of the language."
DuPage unveils online budget survey
"Accessible through the county's website at www.dupageco.org, the poll offers an opportunity for respondents to rank the issues most important to them and to identify the concerns they believe the county should prioritize in the upcoming budget process."
West Nile found in northern Illinois mosquitoes
"Arnold said that so far this year, 10 of the state’s 102 counties have reported either mosquitoes or birds testing positive for the disease.  Only five human cases of West Nile disease were reported in Illinois last year, and only 20 in 2008.  The worst years for human cases of West Nile in Illinois were 2005, with 252 cases, and 2006, with 215."
Cohen files as independent candidate for governor
"Cohen, who had been accused of domestic abuse, using steroids, and being behind on child support, tearfully withdrew as the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor on Super Bowl Sunday... Cohen spent $2 million or more on his lieutenant governor race and said he didn’t know the cost of the petition drive for governor, other than to say it was more than $10,000 and that he’s self-funded his campaign... Among other filers Monday were slates of Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates for U.S. Senate and state constitutional offices."
Foster to Hold Small Business Resource Fair
"Representatives from the Department of Energy, Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Insurance, Illinois Small Business Development Centers, and the IRS will be will hold breakout sessions to discuss resources available to small businesses.  In addition, a wide variety of  government agencies and other organizations will be staffing information tables.  There is no cost associated with attending this event."
Mark Kirk Slips In Polls After Military Record Scandal - Huffington Post
"After a boost in April, a Rasmussen poll conducted Tuesday shows Kirk back down to where he was before his opponent Alexi Giannoulias' family bank closure. As of Tuesday, 42 percent of those polled said they supported Kirk in the race for President Obama's former Senate seat. In April, he was polling at 46 percent.  Giannoulias had support from 39 percent of those polled."
Report: Unions Can Win Battle Against Forced Labor - AFL-CIO
"On any given day, as many as 12 million men, women and children around the world are working as forced laborers, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). Between 40 percent to 50 percent of the victims are children. Last year, the ILO estimated that one out of every five forced laborers in the world is the victim of organized human trafficking."

 

PETA offers to rebuild Jesus statue with vegan message - Dayton Daily News
"PETA sent a letter to the church’s pastors, the Revs. Lawrence and Darlene Bishop, saying the money would be donated in part by a devoutly Christian PETA supporter.  “An ever-growing number of Christians believe that eating the flesh of God’s creatures supports the unholy cruelty of today’s filthy factory farms and slaughterhouses,” the letter stated."
U.S. contractors bribing Afghan Taliban for safe passage, House probe finds  - LA Times
"Private security contractors protecting the convoys that supply U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars a week in “passage bribes” to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads, a congressional investigation released Monday has found.  The alleged payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors, who outnumber American troops in Afghanistan, 130,000 to 93,000."
Grayson Paid Company Formed By Fla. Tea Party Candidate - WKMG Local 6 in Orlando
"“We’re all against what Fred O’Neal has done” by creating the Florida Tea Party and running a candidate against Grayson, said Patricia Sullivan, a Lake County tea party organizer seeking the Republican nomination to oppose Grayson in November.  “It more likely than not is going to split the Republican Party. I'm totally opposed to this Florida Tea Party,” said another Republican candidate, Dan Fanelli, adding he spurned Guetzloe’s efforts to recruit him to the Florida Tea Party."
21 June  
This Week in West Chicago

[Readers are reminded that ANY West Chicago event can be added to the WegoNews calendar by emailing info to lemon@wegonews.com.  Please check the calendar (The link is above in the banner menu.) often. - Bob]

Channel 17 Programs 6/21- 6/27
  • "See the City Council Meeting live at 7pm Monday evening. The meeting will be repeated at 6pm on Wednesday and Friday.
  • On Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm, tune in to see The Cycling Sisters Ride The Underground Railroad. This is an interesting presentation that was recorded at the West Chicago Public Library.
  • Another of the 'Lost Tapes' debuts at 7pm on Wednesday and Friday. Artworks 2002 display the talents of Community High School students in Art, Music and Forensics."
Grant will help UI fund open-source textbook initiative
"Last year, Durbin sought a $300,000 appropriation for the UI and Benedictine University in Lisle to create two open textbook programs... The senator's proposal was for the open-source textbooks to be free; Evans said that the thinking now is the costs would be minimized, not free, with savings in delivery by having them on websites or sent to electronic-book readers like the Kindle."
Statehouse Insider: Quinn believes he has support for plan
"At some point, either the pension systems don’t get their money, which they say will cost them billions in lost future investment income, or putting money into the pensions means squeezing all of the other people waiting for what the state owes them. The third option is borrowing the money, which Quinn argues is cheaper in the long run and means more money will be available for other expenses."
State's bond rating takes another hit
"Fitch Ratings dropped the rating a step, from A-plus to A, which Fitch said “reflects the continuing unwillingness of the state of Illinois to take action to address its significant budgetary problems. The recently enacted FY 2011 budget does not begin to address the current operating gap, relying almost entirely on various forms of deficit financing to close the gap.”"
Most state offices allow benefits for same-sex partners
"Most Illinois constitutional officers already offer their employees who are in same-sex domestic partnership the benefits included in an executive order signed by state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias ... The Illinois Department of Central Management Services extended benefits to include domestic partners in 2006. The Domestic Partner Group Insurance Benefits policy, which was updated last May, includes health insurance, but does not include family or medical leave.  Quinn has said he supports legislation to create civil unions in Illinois, giving same-sex couples the same rights as those who are married."
Rep. Foster Votes to Extend Credit to Small Businesses to Spur Job Creation
"“As a former small businessman, I have created jobs, made payroll and provided benefits, but without a line of credit, a business can’t grow, sell more products or create more jobs” said Foster.  “I voted for these bills because I have talked to small business owners who are frustrated that during these tough times, they can’t get access to the money that they need to succeed.”"
Rep. Foster Statement on EPA Delay on Ethanol Blend Decision
"I do not believe it is necessary to postpone an ethanol blend increase.  By delaying, the EPA is holding back an industry that has the potential to create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  As an interim measure, even an increase to a 12 percent blend wall would have been a substantial improvement.”
Rep. Foster Welcomes Art Competition Winner to DC
"“I congratulate Ms. Marchwiany on her outstanding artistic achievement – the 14th Congressional District of Illinois is well represented by her piece of artwork,” said Foster.  “I was pleased to meet with this gifted young artist, and I know she has a bright future.”"
Trumka: Immigration Reform Crucial For New Economy AFL-CIO
"But we cannot talk about any meaningful workforce strategy without confronting our own “contradictions, hypocrisy and history on immigration,” he said. In a dynamic global economy in the 21st century, "we simply cannot afford to have millions of hard-working people without legal protections, without meaningful access to higher education, shut off from the high-wage, high-productivity economy.""
Pope Joan film sparks Roman Catholic Church row - Telegraph
"The film has fuelled disagreements over whether Pope Joan really existed or, as the Church has always maintained, she was a mythical figure used by the early Protestant Church to discredit and embarrass Rome.  For a Church that even in the 21st century remains staunchly opposed to the idea of female priests, a female Pope was anathema.  To make matters worse, the deception is said to only have been found out when Joan gave birth during a procession through the streets of Rome."
How a Right-Wing Immigration Lie Went Viral - Mother Jones
"Did California really pass an immigration law that's just as punitive as Arizona's—but just failed to enforce it? That's the claim currently richocheting around right-wing blogs and Tea Party sites—trickling all the way up to conservative standard-bearers like The Washington Times. ... The state did pass such as law as part of Proposition 187, a harsh immigration measure that tried to deny any state-sponsored services to illegal immigrants. But the law is no longer enforceable—because the federal courts struck it down over a decade ago."
 

18 June

 
West Chicago students win international contest
"The students in Kathy Grogan's Gifted and Talented Education class worked on a project to obtain fencing and warning signs along railroad tracks that run through a field near the school.  The fence was already planned as part of an agreement between West Chicago the Canadian National Railroad, but the students obtained grants and donations for warning signs in English and Spanish."
  • Village, College of DuPage disagree on electronic signs
    "Village Manager Steve Jones said village officials have had informal and formal discussions with the the college expressing their concerns.  In an April letter to the college, village officials stated the school's new message signs violate Glen Ellyn's codes, Jones said."
  • College of DuPage plans to proceed with construction, despite possible fines and an injunction
    ""The college disputes the village's claim of legal authority over improvements we make to our own grounds," said Joe Moore, the school's associate vice president for external relations Thursday. "For the safety of our students, employees and visitors, the college needs clear signs that are appropriately lit at night to allow people to safely travel our campus.""
"Come back to the Fair" DuPage County Fair July 21 - 25
"“We have something for everyone”, says McGuire. Our fair is a great family event in Wheaton, with animal displays and competitions daily, commercial exhibits, agricultural learning and hands-on  activities for all ages, horse shows, home economics contests, lots of free entertainment in the Entertainment Tent, the Balster’s Magic Stage and the Kid Bucks Stage, plus some acts roaming the grounds."
DuPage Co. radio system goes to municipalities
"Each prospective member community was issued a binder outlining the service as the board now envisions it. The ETSB would furnish interoperable radios and related equipment, enabling police and fire agencies to communicate rapidly and reliably through the StarCom 21 (State Radio Voice Communications for the 21st Century) network.  The departments and their respective governing bodies have until Aug. 27 to review the material, consult with their legal teams and let the ETSB know whether they will sign the necessary intergovernmental agreement."
Illinois marks end of slavery with 'Juneteenth' events
"Gov. Pat Quinn plans to mark the day at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago. He'll honor the founder of the museum.  Officials also plan songs, poetry and speeches during an event at the Thompson Center in Chicago."
Report touts high-speed rail via C-U
" The report noted that five 110-mph routes (Chicago-St. Louis, Chicago-Minneapolis, Chicago-Cincinnati, Chicago-Pontiac, Mich. and Chicago-Cleveland) already have received preliminary funding and that three 220-mph routes (Chicago-St. Louis, Chicago-Minneapolis and Chicago-Detroit) are seeking funding.  The 220-mph route between Chicago and St. Louis would have 2 million riders a year by 2035, the study said. The current Amtrak train between Chicago and St. Louis, through Bloomington-Normal and Springfield, has about 500,000 riders a year."
Maria Owens is angry, disgusted and running for 95th Illinois congressional district representative - Examiner
"Mrs. Owens describes herself as a moderate Democrat who supports term limits for elected officials at all levels, economic tax relief to lure and keep businesses in Illinois with an emphasis on green industries and a limit on the amount of money candidates can spend on their campaigns. She would like to punish employers who hire illegal aliens and believes no-one with any type of criminal record should be allowed to immigrate to our nation. Plugging loopholes in the income tax regulations is a high priority with her. As a retired educator she is committed to education reform."

 

Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Illinois receives second June credit downgrade
"Senate Republicans noted that the common theme in the downgrades reflects a lack of political will to take action on the state’s budget problems. Fitch noted that the Fiscal Year 2011 budget failed to address the state’s massive operating deficit and “relied almost exclusively on borrowing to close its sizeable budget gaps.”"
Senate Republicans Kill Jobs Bill, Block Jobless Aid - AFL-CIO
"Not only did Senate Republicans turn their backs on jobless workers–they also protected Wall Street investors and big oil companies like BP. The bill would have closed tax loopholes that allow hedge fund and other investments managers to shelter income at lower tax rates than working families pay on their income. It also increased the liability taxes on oil companies. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said Republicans said "“Yes” to the special interest groups they always stand by.""
Church: Softball team with gay coach can't play - USA Today
"Jacobson said her team is made up of straight and gay players. They were looking for more games to play when they discovered the Cordova church had a league.  Jacobson said she registered, paid the entry fee and attended an organizational meeting. Later, a church official called her seeking another meeting. At that one, officials began questioning whether she was gay. When she said she was, they told her the team could not play."
ACORN Vindicated of Wrongdoing by the Congressional Watchdog Office - CommonDreams
"Nearly two dozen members of Congress requested an investigation after a series of complaints against ACORN and its affiliates. The complaints included an embezzlement matter, several cases of voter registration fraud, and the release of edited and misleading videotapes, secretly made by conservative activists that appeared to implicate ACORN workers in several offices facilitating prostitution. In fact the staff in most of ACORN's offices turned the pair away, reported the couple to the police, refused to provide them any aid, and in one case tried to convince the phony prostitute to get counseling. In no ACORN office did employees file any paperwork or do anything illegal on the duo's behalf."
[I wish Rep Roskam, who threw accusations around to smear this group, would now "Man Up" and issue an apology. Reckless untruths, promulgated extensively, are no better than lies.  - Bob]
 

17 June

 

Becky Hall - FaceBook
"Congratulations to the kids from West Chicago's Pioneer school that just won Junior Division FIRST PLACE at the INTERNATIONAL Future Problem Solvers Championships! Great project, and clearly a lot of hard work. Good job."

 

Pioneer Students Place 1st in International Problem Solving Competition
"Eight 5th and 6th grade students from Pioneer School placed first in the Junior Division in Community Problem Solving at the International Future Problem Solving Competition this past weekend... The Pioneer students competed against students from 32 other states, and students from Canada, Great Britain, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia."
Philip sides with DuPage Airport board on tech park
""We need more leaders like you and your fellow commissioners that will stand up for the taxpayer and draw a line in the sand against wasteful spending," Philip wrote to airport board Chairman Dan Goodwin. "Schillerstrom's scheme to give the DuPage Technology Park Board taxpayer land and taxpayer money without accountability is one of the worst ideas I have heard of in my 33 years of public service.""
Just the facts, candidates, on resumes
"People seek office for a variety of reasons, and we'd like to believe most of them are well-intentioned. Still, truthiness is bound to creep into fliers, interviews and online questionnaires. The public has no tolerance for exaggerations and misstatements. Good governance requires that, when the votes are counted, upfront and honest candidates are left standing."
Geological Survey gets funding for next phase of accurately measuring state's ups and downs
"More high-tech parts of the project include acquisition of high-resolution digital elevation data using remote sensing technologies and the installation of Continuously Operating Reference System so that users receive GPS signals to provide real-time location corrections.  According to the National Geodetic Survey, Illinois is ranked in the bottom 10 states for the quality of its elevation data, including topographic maps."
Former Fla. Gov. Bush stumps for Bill Brady
"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was expected to appear Thursday with Brady in Chicago after a fundraiser in Bloomington on Wednesday for the downstate lawmaker.  Bush is the brother of former President George Bush."
Late trains could force railroads to give up high-speed rail grants
" Freight railroad companies are balking at federal demands that they either pay for infrastructure upgrades to ensure high-speed passenger trains run on time or pay back billions of dollars in federal grants for high-speed rail if Amtrak trains fall behind schedule.  Included in the grants is more than $1.1 billion to pay for high-speed rail between St. Louis and Chicago via Springfield. The Union Pacific railroad owns the right-of-way, and no project can proceed without the railroad’s permission."
Subway apologizes for salmonella outbreak in Illinois
"The Illinois Department of Public Health says people began getting sick after eating in Subway restaurants beginning May 11.  Kane noted that all the cases cited by the health department are in people who ate at the restaurants before June 3. He said that since then, the chain has discarded and replaced lettuce, green peppers, red onion and tomatoes."
Trenton Voters Say ‘No’ to Private Water - AFL-CIO
"Union and community activists in Trenton, N.J., rallied voters with door-to-door campaigning to beat back the New Jersey American Water Company’s nearly $250,000 advertising and mail blitz to privatize a prized and profitable part of the city’s water system."
Military shifts on reproductive health - Politico
"“I do think it’s a sign of the times,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It’s the recognition that reproductive health care for women is basic health care. The world has changed, and women play a larger role in the military. These are all very positive steps.”   These shifts in military policy are particularly notable in light of the numerous anti-abortion provisions flying through state legislatures. Catalyzed by the health reform debate, anti-abortion advocates have just passed some of the most restrictive abortion laws in recent memory."
Palin Lies: Claims Obama Refused Help in Gulf from Norway, Netherlands – But They Are on Site - Pensito Review
" PALIN: They can’t even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch. They are known in the Norwegian. They are known for — for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills.
This was a lie ripped from that day’s Fox News’ Republican talking points:"
House Conservatives Call Escrow Account 'Chicago Style Shakedown' - Republican Study Committee via TPM
"However, in an administration that appears not to respect fundamental American principles, it is important to note that there is no legal authority for the President to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account.  BP's reported willingness to go along with the White House's new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics."
[In the war against BP's fouling of the Gulf, the "Republican Surrender Monkeys" think Obama is a bully... It's not just Barton ... Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Rush Limbaugh, Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)  - Bob]
 

16 June

 

Around and About in West Chicago - 16 June 2010

  •  88 years of St. Mary’s Parish School
  • Putting Sears Homes on the Map: The Mail Order House Phenomenon 1906-82
  • Faith Community Church Vacation Bible School
  • West Chicago School District 33 Referendum
Longtime choir director finds his own music in model railroading
"His current layout took five years to construct and features 220 freight cars, a passenger train and a variety of landscapes, from a newly built oil field to a cityscape and farm.  "It's a work in progress," Benner said. "Train layouts, invariably, are not finished."  The O-gauge railroad with its 11-to-12-inch long cars runs around a 44-by-45-foot room, with an upper passenger line extending through a tunnel Benner drilled in the wall into a 15-by-17-foot annex."
State pension systems not trying to unload BP stock
"State-funded pension systems have millions invested in British Petroleum, whose stock price has plummeted since the onset of the Gulf oil spill disaster.  However, the funds are not rushing to divest themselves of the stock, which represents only a small part of the total assets held by the five funds.  The Teachers Retirement System, which handles pensions for teachers outside the city of Chicago, held about $46 million in BP investments as of Monday, said TRS spokesman Dave Urbanek."
Pentagon warnings add to Kirk military controversy
" The Defense Department said it has twice warned Kirk after incidents in which he conducted political business while on duty ... “Commander Kirk was counseled about both of the incidents,” according to a statement provided by Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. April Cunningham Monday night... The Defense Department required Kirk to sign a statement acknowledging that political activity is not permitted while on active duty before he was given permission to return to Afghanistan in December 2009."
Pension systems not trying to unload BP stock
"The Teachers Retirement System, which handles pensions for teachers outside the city of Chicago, held about $46 million in BP investments as of Monday, said TRS spokesman Dave Urbanek. About $42.3 million was held in an international equities portfolio and $3.7 million through an index portfolio. In both cases, Urbanek said, the BP investments amounted to .74 percent of the portfolios."
DuPage County budget planners foresee lean 2011
"The lingering specter of projects postponed in the current spending year also plays a role in how officials see the next spending blueprint, which must be approved by the end of October. The county's fiscal year extends from Dec. 1 through Nov. 30."
Elgin-centric website launching
"BocaJump content will include a daily Elgin-based coupon, along with releases from local nonprofits, schools, hospitals, faith groups, the library, chamber of commerce and the city. It will hold a business directory, restaurant profiles and nightlife features. And Bailey will be among the site's columnists, writing pieces similar to what he wrote at The Courier."
Kirk's military service controversy: 45% of voters say Kirk not truthful
"The controversy surrounding Kirk's military record has taken a toll on him. 45% of voters believe he hasn't been truthful about his military service. The scandal has pushed Kirk into the headlines and has gained him unsightly name recognition. Kirk's favorability ratings have taken a hit--31% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of him today in comparison with 23% on the previous poll.
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)

John Millner
"Hello all! I'm excited that my new campaign website is now up and running! Check it out, ask for a yard sign, or sign up to volunteer at http://www.johnmillner.org/"

 

Greed Behind BP, Mine Disasters - AFL-CIO
"As oil mucked the Gulf of Mexico and families mourned 11 dead rig workers, BP officials proclaimed that the corporation’s priority always was safety. This tracked the tack taken by Massey Energy, whose officials also declared safety was paramount after an explosion in the corporation’s Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers.  CEOs commonly make such incongruous assertions to protect profits after corporate-caused disasters. They’re driven by the same factor that is fundamental to the catastrophes—greed."
Freeze widened on Agape Ministries assets - Australian Broadcasting Corporation News
"Their claims allege the religious group promised them a haven on a South Pacific island, to protect them from microchips the government was planning to implant in all humans.  It claims the religious group told its members they would go to hell if they were microchipped and that the government would put them in concentration camps, gas or behead them if they refused the chips."
Bachmann Blasts 'Redistribution Of Wealth' Escrow Fund - TPM
""The president just called for creating a fund that would be administered by outsiders, which would be more of a redistribution-of-wealth fund," said Bachmann. "And now it appears like we'll be looking at one more gateway for more government control, more money to government.""
Greenpeace Solar Powers World Cup Festivities - Buzz Flash
"The large-screen TV powered by the sun has been placed in the Jericho community hall. The entire setup is powered by solar panels and generators, erected by schoolchildren, trained by Greenpeace for the task. Greenpeace Africa kicked off this Thangkollo ya Solar (Solar Kick Off) project to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy sources in South Africa."
 

15 June

 
Seatbelt Safety and Awareness Campaign Proves Successful
"The West Chicago Police Department announced that Campaign #3 of the Illinois Department of Transportation funded grant was successful in educating the motoring public on Seatbelt Safety and Awareness. The Campaign ran from May 14-May 31, 2010 and resulted in 43 citations being issued for Seatbelt and Child Restraint violations."
  • Papermaking with Prairie Seeds Presented by the West Chicago City Museum
    "On Saturday, June 19, 2010 the West Chicago City Museum presents paper artist Cheryl Mahowald, who will demonstrate the craft of making paper. Participants will be able to make and take their own sheet of handmade paper embedded with prairie plant seeds. The paper can later be planted to grow your own prairie garden."
  • Museum Summer Day Camp
    "It's not too late to sign up for the June 29th Museum Morning Day Camp to be held at the City Museum on June 29th from 9:00am - 11:30 am for children ages 6-13. Call the Museum at (630) 231-3376 today and register your child for this free activity."
DuPage airport board chairman expects the ax
"Goodwin's "right thing" is a plan to open up the 450 acres of developable land at the DuPage National Technology Park to more than just technology-based firms.  To Schillerstrom, it's the wrong thing. The county board chairman wants to remove the airport board from having any oversight of the tech park land and allow a tech park board to handle future land deals."
Airport chairman disputes need for tech park
"Additionally, the agreement would stipulate that the DAA would sell undeveloped land for $1.66 per square foot, a loss of $1.24 a square foot from what taxpayers have invested in the property in the original purchase and subsequent upgrades.  Moreover, the DNTP board would act as a quasi-government body, one Goodwin said would not be subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act or Freedom of Information statutes."
Pentagon explains Kirk politicking on active duty
"The Pentagon today offered details to support its assertion that Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk twice violated military policy by participating in political activities while on active duty -- once in 2008 and once in 2009."
Cops seize explosives that could 'level an entire city block'
"Police were called to the home in the Timber Ridge Trailer Park on Thursday and found Felicia West and her 5-year-old daughter surrounded by 300 pounds of small consumer fireworks, large professional fireworks, 51 pounds of flash powder, about 200 pounds of aluminum powder, seven 50-kilogram containers of suspected potassium perchlorate (a chemical used in fireworks), 3,300 M-type explosives, 1,000 empty cardboard tubes and four empty 50-pound containers of aluminum powder, according to the sheriff's office."
[I have a call out to the WC Fire Dept regarding my continuing concern over storage of explosives in WC residential areas.  See also March 30th post,  Exploding ammo greets firefighters at home near Bartlett.  - Bob]
Illinois applies for high-speed rail funding
"The Midwest High Speed Rail Association on Monday said it applauded Illinois officials, including Gov. Pat Quinn, for making high speed rail a priority. The Illinois Department of Transportation applied for the grant money. The money would be used to begin designs for a 220-mph bullet train between Chicago and St. Louis.  The money would pay for the study of potential routes, the development of a business plan and an environmental review."
UI review says Extension might be better off going it alone
"Extension, which is linked to a nationwide federal program, is now part of the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences here. The program has an $85 million budget, of which $65 million is allotted to agriculture-related programs."
Extension office says black flies are biting this year
"“No longer are they simply a nuisance,” said a press release from the extension office. “Now, they buzz around the ears, neck, eyes, collar and they seem to bite.”  The black flies, also known as buffalo gnats, have previously bit livestock. Now, however, they are also leaving large welts on people."
State DNA database more than 20,000 samples behind
"A state database is still missing about 20,000 DNA samples from convicted felons that could be key to solving crimes.  Authorities say efforts to collect samples continue to lag — eight years after Illinois started requiring convicted felons to submit DNA.  There's some good news, though. The backlog stood at an estimated 50,000 as recently as September, and DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett says the effort is clearly making progress."
KIRK SIGN REMOVED FROM DECATUR REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN OFFICE - Decatur Tribune
"Now, about that sign. Who took it out of the window is not exactly known, but the Macon County’s Republican Party head honcho, Jerry Stocks, is said to be upset with Congressman Mark Kirk’s “misstatements” about his military service. The “misstatements” have soured a lot of Republicans on Kirk’s candidacy to replace Senator Roland Burris in the November election, and left them wondering what the difference is between a “misstatement” and a “lie”."
Mark Kirk Slips In Polls After Military Record Scandal - Huffington Post
"After a rough few weeks for Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk, his poll numbers have dipped slightly--and 63 percent of those surveyed found the scandal surrounding his military record to be at least somewhat important.  After a boost in April, a Rasmussen poll conducted Tuesday shows Kirk back down to where he was before his opponent Alexi Giannoulias' family bank closure. As of Tuesday, 42 percent of those polled said they supported Kirk in the race ..."
Just so you appreciate how big this story is on the web, consider the following headlines:
Jobs Bill: Action Needed Now - AFL-CIO
"As the U.S. Senate considers a much-needed jobs bill with no certain date for a vote, the AFL-CIO union movement continues to push lawmakers to put the needs of workers and the economy before concerns over the nation’s budget deficit. Of the nation’s 15 million jobless workers, 6.8 million have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. If Congress fails to act on the jobs bill and allows federal unemployment insurance (UI) to expire, 8.2 million workers will exhaust their benefits by the end of 2010."

 

Haley’s path to Christianity leaves some evangelicals uneasy - CNN
"Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, still attends Sikh services occasionally with her parents and extended family. In 2004, after winning her first term in the state legislature, the Charlotte Observer quoted Haley as saying she and her family attend "both" Methodist and Sikh services.  As routine as that may sound to families of mixed faith, her ties to the Sikh tradition have left some evangelicals in the state uneasy."
Angle: 'Getting Out Of Medicare And Social Security Is Not Up For Grabs' - TPM
"Going on in the interview, Angle talks about how as a Senator she would work with other legislators to formulate a proper solution for her idea, haggling over the details and implementation of privatization without giving up on the main idea itself: "The idea of privatizing and getting out of Medicare and Social Security is not up for grabs.""
Singapore Gets Wired for Speed - NY Times
"This island city-state, thanks to its small size and a big public investment, could soon be the first country blanketed with a fiber optic infrastructure so fast that it would enable the contents of a DVD to be downloaded in only a few seconds."

 

 

14 June

 
This Week in West Chicgo

[Folks are reminded that you get an item listed on the WegoNews calendar by merely emailing info about it to lemon@wegonews.com. - Bob]

District 94 Board of Education  Meeting Agenda June 15, 2010 - 7:00 p.m.
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 - FB
"We continue to show The ECC Steel Band, Celebrate Our Heritage and Blooming Fest this week. Please let us know if you like those programs. More new programs next week."
West Chicago police sergeant fired for holding movie night
"A longtime West Chicago police sergeant was fired this week for showing on-duty officers a movie as a "reward" during their shift.  Sgt. Leonardo Aviles, a 19-year veteran of the department, has been on unpaid administrative leave since November."
Can Z's lead to A's? West Chicago students want later classes
"For the most part, they can't help it. At puberty, the body's internal clock reboots. Teenagers' bodies don't start secreting melatonin - the brain chemical linked to sleepiness - until approximately 11 p.m. And it stays in their bodies until 8 a.m. or so, which is why teens are so notoriously difficult to drag out of bed."
Schock wants New Philadelphia studied for national park
"New Philadelphia was the first town founded by a free black in 1836.  Frank McWorter purchased his freedom, as well that of his wife and other family members, then settled in New Philadelphia, which would become a station along the Underground Railroad."
One man's Lincoln dream -- a giant penny in Springfield
"His idea is to put up a big Lincoln penny on Capitol Avenue near the Statehouse. It would be over 10 feet high and, he believes, would become a “must photograph” location for tourists to Springfield."
[This would be almost twice the size of the current World's Largest Penny in Woodruff, WI ...I am sure you all have vacation snap shots of that. - Bob].
New Info on Health Care Reform Law Available From HHS
"Several brochures and other resources are available, too, including:
  • The $250 Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” rebate, here;
  • Young Adult Coverage Fact Sheet, here;
  • How to use a new Internet portal to help individuals and small businesses identify insurance options in their state, here.
Scientology: No kids allowed - St. Petersburg Times
"More than a dozen women said the culture in the Sea Org pushed them or women they knew to have abortions, in many cases, abortions they did not want.  Some said colleagues and supervisors pressured them to abort their pregnancies and remain productive workers without the distraction of raising children."
Will Prayer Resolve Oil-Spill Crisis on Alabama Beaches? - Legal Schnauzer
"Jo Dawson, a member of Bethel Baptist Church of Pea Ridge in Shelby County, told The Birmingham News ... "The best thing to do is pray," Dawson said. "I don't think BP is going to solve this. Only God can stop this. We need to pray to God to stop the leak and keep the ecosystem from being destroyed. I don't see any solution but divine intervention."
Truth or Consequences - BlogActive.com
"Until now, Mark Kirk elected not to play the typical Washington game. Instead of supporting his party's dismal record on gay rights, Kirk received Human Rights Campaign ratings of 67% in 2002, 88% in 2004, 76% in 2006 and 85% in 2008. That's more impressive than a lot of Democrats. I even let Kirk slide by when he didn't co-sponsor earlier legislation relating to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. My thoughts then were that he wasn't THAT bad on gay stuff and that the bill was going nowhere anyway."

 

 

11 June

 
Water commission begins leader search
"Cheney, the Democratic candidate, said finding a general manager was less important than having qualified commissioners making that decision.  "I don't think it's going to make much of a difference whether this old boys club or the next old boys club makes the decision about the next general manager," she said. "Until we change the way commissioners are appointed, the taxpayers of DuPage will continue to suffer.""
DuPage water commission postpones vote on contract
"The DuPage Water Commission has tabled a proposal to more than quadruple the cost of a consultant's contract.  Commissioners asked for additional documentation regarding the consultant's claims he did $87,000 worth of work on a $5,000 contract."
Deadbeat state leaves book sharing in a bind
"Robust and rapidly growing for the past several years, late payments from the state to the tune of $880,000 have left the North Suburban system with no operating funds left, Hayes said. Last month, the system was forced to abandon the majority of its regularly provided services and lay off its director and nearly all its staff."
Emerald ash borer found in Rock Cut State Park
"“Winnebago County already was under quarantine when this discovery happened,” Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said. “So, although this is the first time the beetle has been detected there, no immediate adjustment to the department’s EAB quarantine boundaries is necessary. “"
Great Lakes Senators Request Separation Study
"In what could amount to a silver lining around the dark Asian Carp cloud, recently Great Lakes senators drafted a letter to their fellow Senators to request that the Army Corps of engineers do a formal study on what it would take to create hydrological separation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin. Actually make that re-create the separation that was breached when the Chicago River was reversed. As Great Lakes on the Ground reports such a separation could contain other win-win scenarios:"
  • DoD Under Secretary says Mark Kirk broke the law - Nitpicker
    "It should be pointed out, though, drill weekends are not usually referred to as "active duty," so it's possible the violations mentioned in the memo are separate from the Twitter issue and may have occurred while he was on annual training, perhaps including his service in Afghanistan in December 2008 to January 2009. Until the Kirk camp or the DoD responds, however, there's no way of knowing when Kirk violated the regulations (and the law) or, perhaps more importantly, how he avoided punishment for those violations."
  • Mark Kirk warned by Defense Department not to campaign while on Navy reserve duty
    Chicago Sun-Times
    "In another embarrassing revelation for Illinois GOP Senate candidate Rep. Mark
    Kirk, a commander in the Navy reserves caught embellishing his military record, a Department of Defense document surfaced Wednesday showing his superiors expressed "concerns arising from his partisan political activities during his last two tours of active duty.""
Minnesota Nurses Stage 24-Hour Strike for Patient Safety
"“One, two, three, four—more nurses needed on the floor!” strikers chanted as they picketed outside Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. The nurses are seeking guaranteed staffing levels they say are necessary to ensure patient safety and quality of care.  Hospital administrators kept the facilities operating with the help of replacement nurses hired through national agencies that specialize in providing staff during strikes."
Anglicans fail to resolve gay-marriage debate - Canwest News Service
"On the second last day of General Synod, a tri-annual gathering of clergy and lay leadership aimed at setting church policy, members essentially agreed to disagree on the fractious issue that's torn the church apart in recent years.  At the end of the day, the church resolved to continue to "engage in theological and scriptural study of human sexuality" and to include the "voices of gays and lesbians" in those discussions."
Experts: Gulf Workers’ Levels of Chemical Exposure May Be ‘Perfectly Legal, but Not Safe’ - ProPublica
"Sampling results released by BP this week show that both benzene (a carcinogen) and 2-butoxyethanol ( a compound in Corexit, one of the dispersants being used) have been found above the recommended exposure limits set by NIOSH, while still within the permissible exposure Limits set by OSHA. For both these chemicals, OSHA’s limit is greater than NIOSH’s by a factor of 10... "There’s “a lot of discussion about how protective are OSHA standards, given that they don’t get updated because Congress listens to the regulated community.”"
From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence - Huffington Post
"A few days later, the jig was up with the booms. Oil was making landfall in four states and even BP can't be everywhere at once. CBS 60 Minutes Australia found entire sections of boom hung up in marsh grasses two feet above the water off Venice. On the same day on the other side of Barataria Bay, Louisiana Bayoukeeper documented pools of oil and oiled pelicans inside the boom - on the supposedly protected landward side - of Queen Bess Island off Grand Isle."

 

 

10 June

 

Educare Update - Susan Dieterle Stibal
"Being built in WEST CHICAGO! Click on the link for the latest update!
http://www.educareofwestdupage.org/
Educare of West DuPage is full-day, full-year program to prepare young, at-risk children for school by implementing the approaches and practices that science tells us are necessary to help young children grow up safe, healthy and eager to learn."

Consultant wants 440 pct. hike in water commission contract
"Zeilenga wrote to the board that Phil Peloquin, a financial analyst with the agency, reported putting in 290 hours on the recent $40 million loan agreement with Northern Trust Bank. At the consultant's rate of $300 an hour, that amounts to $87,000 worth of work, the memo states.  "Based on my discussion with Mr. Peloquin, he is suggesting an additional $20,000 beyond the original $5,000 (contract) and also $2,000 for travel expenses," Zeilenga wrote."
DuPage gang member sentenced for having gun
"A West Chicago street gang member on Wednesday became the first person in DuPage County to be convicted and sentenced under a new state law that makes it illegal for a gang member to have a gun in his possession.  Jose Melendez, 20, of the 100 block of Main Street, had a .380-caliber handgun in his possession when West Chicago police, acting on a tip, went to his girlfriend's apartment on March 30, Assistant State's Attorney Steven Knight told Judge Blanche Hill Fawell. Melendez, a known gang member, admitted that the gun was his."
Salmonella outbreak reported in 24 Illinois counties
"The scope of last month’s salmonella outbreak linked to Subway restaurants in Illinois is widening as health officials continue an investigation.  The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that 68 people have been sickened, including 24 who were hospitalized.  The outbreak touched 24 counties."
Illinois AG warns seniors of Medicare rebate scam
"The first $250 rebate checks are being mailed this week to seniors in Medicare’s drug coverage gap, known as the “doughnut hole.”  The checks are a benefit of the new federal health law. They reimburse seniors for money spent on prescription drugs.  Checks go out automatically. And Madigan says consumers shouldn’t provide any personal information to anyone who calls them about a rebate."
Giannoulias questioned on website claim
"The back-and-forth over which candidate is more trustworthy in the Illinois Senate race continued Wednesday as Democratic Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias corrected a claim on his website that he served on the board of a banking group when he didn’t.  The flap continues the debate over character in the race for President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat that heated up when Republican Mark Kirk acknowledged embellishing his military record, including claiming a prestigious award he didn’t win... The [Giannoulias] site now matches his official state website, which mentioned the committee work."
ThomasNet
Industrial News Room
Multifunctional Interferometer analyzes thick and thin films.
"Taylor Hobson, a global leader in ultra-precision measurement instrumentation, has introduced the Talysurf CCI SunStar coherence correlation interferometer that merges world-leading non-contact dimensional measurement capability with advanced thin and thick film analysis technology... The CCi SunStar also is ideal for the study and development of new solar cell materials and structures used in second- and third-generation thin-film solar cells."
Rep. Foster Announces ‘Donut Hole’ Relief, Warns Seniors of Potential Scams
"“When I listen to seniors back in my district, I hear how prescription drug prices are draining away their life savings and are threatening their well-being – and the donut hole is a big part of that,” said Foster.  “This check will be the first step to help defray some of the costs caused by the donut hole.”"
Rep. Foster Passes Legislation to Honor President Reagan
"“I am proud to have worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to pass this bill to celebrate the life of President Reagan,” said Foster.  “Born in Tampico, Illinois in 1911 and raised in Dixon, President Reagan spent his life upholding the strong values of small town America and today, we honor the life and values of our hometown hero.”"
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
It’s Official: State’s credit now tied for worst in the nation
"Moody’s Investors Service lowered Illinois’ bond rating recently, pointing to the state’s inability to address its financial problems, including an unbalanced budget, billions in unpaid bills and faltering revenues. Moody’s said the failure to tackle Illinois’ fiscal issues “underscores a chronic lack of political will that indicates further erosion of an already weak financial position.”"
Sandbags, Oil Spills and Wall Street
"Fortifying America through prevention is a far more rational and less costly approach than throwing hundreds of billions of dollars to profit-making companies.  In the next few weeks we will see the well-paid financial lobbyists hurl handfuls of sand to slow down the gears of financial reform. They will do the bidding for the Big Banks and the Wall Street giants who abdicate their liabilities onto the back of the American taxpayers."
After Surprise Victory, Lawsuit Is Dropped and $1 Is Awarded - New York Times
"Ms. Craig, a nondenominational Christian who had worked as a security guard at schools for several years, refused to be fingerprinted or accept the new card, insisting that she was guided against doing so because she feared the cards carried “the mark of the beast” described in the Book of Revelation."
More Americans Dislike the Tea Partiers Than Ever Before - Alternet
"For the Tea Party folks to appeal to most reasonable-minded people, you have to accept that industry, that corporations are less threatening than government. You could make the argument that government is perhaps incompetent when it comes to policing corporations, you can also make a damn good argument that they are too influenced by corporations, but you can’t really say they are more threatening."
 

09 June

Around and About in West Chicago - 09 June 2010

  • Community High School District 94 Retirements
  • Flag Retirement Ceremony
  • Closing of St. Mary’s Parish School
  • Trinity Lutheran Church Bible Vacation School

EduCare Campaign - FB - Susan Dieterle Stibal
"EDUCARE YARD SIGNS going up around town today! Did you order yours? Please let me know your address if you would like one: "West
Chicago Welcomes Educare""

 

West Chicago City Museum Prairie Exhibit
"“A Prairie Primer: an exploration of the intersections of art, history and stewardship” is on exhibit through August 28, 2010 at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, West Chicago.  Topics explored will be prairie formation, the diversity of plant and animal life found, and restoration and protection along with interactive children’s activities and tours of the West Chicago Prairie, a 316-acre site containing the greatest plant diversity in DuPage County with over 600 plant and wildlife species.  For more information, call (630) 231-3376 or e-mail the West Chicago City Museum at museum@westchicago.org."
Pictures from Maria Owen's Campaign Kickoff
Maria, candidate for Illinois House of Representatives 95th District, has posted pictures of her Campaign Kick-Off at Warrenville City Hall.
Call for Vendors - Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration
"Applications accepted through July 30, 2010
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."
Schillerstrom delays DuPage Airport Board appointments
"In recent weeks, Schillerstrom said he has been contacted by the airport board, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities, West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman and the property's land management and marketing firm - all imploring him to loosen occupancy restrictions at the site. But that's unnecessary, Schillerstrom said, noting that some of the tech park's 450 acres are available for all types of development, yet remain vacant."
DuPage buys three generators amid concerns about rest of project
"DuPage County Board members agreed Tuesday to buy three new generators for $1.8 million, but some say it solves only a portion of the county complex's backup power system issues.  The generators are part of an as-yet unfunded $11.7 million project for a system that would make sure all county facilities making up the complex in Wheaton have fully functioning electricity, including heat and air conditioning, during power outages.  The cost to manufacture the generators is covered in this year's budget, but uncertain is where the money will come from to finish the project."
State law would overturn local rules on political signs
" Gov. Pat Quinn last week signed House Bill 3785 into law, which prohibits Illinois municipalities from placing time restrictions on placement of political signs on private property. The legislation allows “reasonable restrictions as to size,” but none as to time.  A statement from the governor’s office says the new law brings Illinois into compliance with court rulings, including a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said that outdoor political signs are protected First Amendment speech."
Quinn, Brady joust over credit rating cut
" Gov. Pat Quinn hit back Tuesday at state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, who criticized the Quinn administration after Illinois’ credit rating was cut Monday. Brady said it was the result of Quinn’s failed economic policies.  “You have a person who didn’t even show up in the General Assembly,” Quinn said of Brady. “Less than half the time did he show up for important votes. I’m not sure I want to take advice from someone who takes their pay, but doesn’t show up for work.”"
AFL-CIO endorses Democrats throughout state
" The Illinois AFL-CIO Tuesday made endorsements in state and federal races in Illinois – virtually all of them Democrats.  Among those getting the nod from the group, representing nearly 1 million union members across the state, were Gov. Pat Quinn for election to a full term and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias for U.S. Senate."
Faith and Freedom - Inside Higher Ed
"Christian Higher Education Canada has announced that it is organizing meetings to bring together faculty members and administrators from a range of institutions to discuss and, maybe, define academic freedom. The group's announcement comes as the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the largest faculty association in the country and a union as well, has moved to investigate colleges that require statements of faith -- pledges of shared belief, frequently accompanied by a code of conduct -- as a condition of employment."
Reid Opponent Embraces Patriot Group That Warns Of 'Giant Concentration Camps' - TPM
"The Reid camp is already signaling it plans to paint Angle as an extremist -- or even a paranoid -- by highlighting statements like her recent observation that Americans are "afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways."  Angle's endorsement of the Oath Keepers will only bolster that image. The group is preoccupied with nightmarish visions of U.S. citizens being marched into Nazi-style concentration camps."
Federal Contractor Misconduct Database - POGO
"The government awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations. In the absence of a centralized federal database listing instances of misconduct, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is providing such data... 48. BP P.L.C.  $1564.7m  49  $1524"
Lessons of Financial Collapse Can’t Be Ignored - AFL-CIO
"Angelides is chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission charged with finding the causes and culprits behind the nation’s economic disaster. Speaking at panel discussion this afternoon at the America’s Future Now conference,  Angelides said he dubbed the meltdown, “the immaculate financial crisis” because no one on Wall Street, the Big Banks or the deregulating policy makers that controlled the reins of the system, will take responsibility."
 

08 June

 
Possible Medicare "Doughnut Hole" Rebate Check Scams
The following is the text from an email from Melissa.Hansen of Illinois Department of Insurance warning seniors about current Medicare scams.  I appreciate Rep Ramsey's concern in forwarding this to WegoNews. - Bob

West Chicago
High School
PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for June 2010 - KEVIN BICEK
"Kevin Bicek of West Chicago, a Junior at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the June PeaceBuilder-of-the-month. Kevin received the PeaceBuilder Award because his fellow classmates and teachers routinely observed Kevin doing caring and helpful acts towards others. Kevin is to be commended for his continued effort to improve the atmosphere at Community High School."
Navistar still hot topic at Lisle village board meeting
"The back-and-forth between the two sides was interrupted by West Chicago Chamber of Commerce and Industry President David Sabathne who told the board that West Chicago would be happy to have Navistar move to that city. He suggested the long-vacant DuPage National Technology Park south of the DuPage Airport would be a perfect fit for Navistar's headquarters or the controversial proposed technology center.  "We've got railroads and an airport, so no one's going to complain about the noise out there," he said. "Come to the tech park. Any of it or the whole thing.""
Feud brewing over West Chicago tech park
"West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley are now asking Schillerstrom to look into other potential uses for the property.  "In order to realize a better return on the vast public investment made by the state, I am writing ... to encourage the DuPage Airport Authority Board to consider broadening the scope of the park beyond technology to include other general industrial uses," Ribley wrote."
Wheaton residents to see water bills rise
"Wheaton officials say there is a gap between expenses and revenue in the city's waterworks fund, in part because the DuPage Water Commission has increased its price for Lake Michigan water. The commission, which provides lake water to more than two dozen municipalities and agencies in the county, now charges its members $2.08 per 1,000 gallons."
[Luckily, WC steered clear of this when they opted to build our own water plant. - Bob]
Campaign no excuse to neglect duty
"We're more in line with Paul Green, a political science professor at Roosevelt University, who said: "You get elected to vote on issues. There are only 59 senators who can vote. There are a lot of people who can give speeches."  It's the votes, not the speeches, that should help voters distinguish between the candidates."
Teacher discipline tactic: humiliation - Debbie Culbertson, West Chicago
"After several requests from the teacher to stop playing with them and pay attention, she had to ask him to take them off and bring them to her... However, I found out that instead of just confiscating his property, she demanded that he put his wrist bands in the classroom "prize bin." Throughout the school day, the teacher invited my son's classmates to go to the prize bin and pick out prizes, and my son had to watch while his collection was redistributed to his friends and classmates."
  • Worship Service Celebrated 130 Years of Women Supporting Missions
    "“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Her children rise up and call her happy.” – Proverbs 31:25, 26, 28. The recognition of women through the ages would not be possible without the past and present service that sets the example for the future. All women, regardless of religious affiliation, are eligible to join. Call 630-231-3344 for additional information."
  • South Pacific Dinner to Benefit Adopted Child
    "The First United Methodist and First Congregational Women are hosting a fundraising dinner on Saturday, June 12, 2010.  A portion of the funds raised, along with designated donations, will be sent through Compassion International to help support the family of Nixson Louijuste, who reside in Haiti."
Quinn to sign bill aiding Illinois universities
"State government owes universities hundreds of millions of dollars. Some schools report they're so broke that they can barely make payroll each month.  The legislation would let them borrow the same amount the state owes them. The money would have to be repaid in a year or within 10 days of the state paying its bills."
Moody's downgrades state bonds, revenues continue slide
" Moody’s cut Illinois’ rating on general obligation bonds from Aa3 to A1, blaming state government’s failure to come up with a permanent solution to its financial problems. Instead, lawmakers relied on a series of one-time fixes to cobble together a spending plan.  “This failure underscores a chronic lack of political will that indicates further erosion of an already weak financial position,” Moody’s said in an opinion about the state’s credit rating.
Congressman Kinrk, fabulist - Rachel Maddow
Misremembering it Wrong .... should actually be remembering it wrongly. I think we have a right to expect it to be grammatically correct even if it is factually wrong. - Bob
Fabricating Connections with Rod
"You can't blame Republicans for trying.  After all, Democrats would do the same thing.  But, still, I had to chuckle at this item in the Hotline On Call blog from the National Journal:

"Now, as Blagojevich's corruption trial kicks off in Chicago, the RGA is running ads linking the 2 governors, even though Quinn supported Blagojevich's impeachment last year.""

Evangelicals reject gay partners in immigration bill - Baptist Press
""Same-sex domestic partnerships will doom any effort for bipartisan support of immigration and will cause religious conservatives to withdraw their support," Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver said in the statement. "If same-sex domestic partnerships are included, the immigration bill will have no chance of passing.""
Jobs, Economic Fears—Not Love of Right—Fuel Workers’ Anger - AFL-CIO
"The nation’s working families “are understandably frustrated, anxious and angry,” says AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker.  “They are angry at Wall Street and the government…they don’t see anybody out there fighting with passion for good jobs…the forces of the right are at work to turn that anger in a dangerous direction.”
BP Will Never Be Held Accountable
"There you go. Fast-track approvals by waiving environmental reviews and granting "categorical exclusions". In other words, tell the oil companies like BP that it's totally okay to ride their iron horses out to the wild coastal frontier without regard for safety or environmental damage.  Worth noting: BP liked those categorical exclusions so much they were lobbying as late as April of this year for more of them."
 

07 June

 
Retired Educator & Grandmother Announces State Rep Bid
“The dysfunction in Springfield is deplorable,” Owens said. “They are all more interested in playing partisan games and making excuses for their lack of effectiveness. Even worse than their meager legislative accomplishments is their nonchalant attitude. We need full-time representation in Springfield. These part-timers treat this important responsibility as more of a hobby than something that deserves complete commitment. In times like these, in the face of the enormous challenges that confront us, we need elected officials who are focused on the job seven days a week.”

CableCom, West Chicago's Channel 17
"Start your week with the City Council meeting live, Monday at 7pm,  on Channel 17. Then, on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, watch a new program, The Elgin Community College Steel Band performing at the West Chicago Public Library.  At 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, we have a new Club Aztecas program called Celebrating Our Heritage. Thanks to Sal Tamayo and the Club Aztecas kids for this great program.  For those of you who missed Blooming Fest this Spring, don't worry. We have a look at Blooming Fest at 7pm on Wednesday and Friday. This program will have you making sure you don't miss the Fest next Spring.  Notice three new programs and no 'Lost Tapes'? Never fear, we'll have a lost tape in two weeks. ;)"

What You Should Know About Door-to-Door Solicitors
"... the West Chicago Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of the City's ordinance requiring that solicitors register at the Police Department. If a prospective solicitor's application for registration is approved, he/she is issued an identification card."
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois Passes Through West Chicago
"Beginning at 8:00 a.m. at City Hall, members of the West Chicago Police Department will raise funds and awareness by running with a lighted torch to symbolize the Flame of Hope, down Wilson Avenue to Conde Street and south on Joliet Street to Roosevelt Road."

West Chicago
High School
CHS Earns 4th Place at the National Personal Finance Challenge
"Four students from Community High School, District 94 finished in 4th place at the National Personal Finance Challenge. The National Personal Finance Challenge took place on May 20 in Kansas City and was sponsored by the National Council on Economic Education."
Quinn to tour central Illinois storm-damaged towns
"Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to tour a central Illinois community damaged by a tornado and storms over the weekend.  Quinn plans to arrive in Dwight this afternoon.  The community of about 4,300 people in Livingston County was one of the hardest hit by Saturday's storms. About 40 mobile homes and 10 other homes were destroyed or damaged. Dozens were injured but no deaths were reported."
Proposal could save state police officers, headquarters
" Senate Bill 3695 would double administrative fees charged for traffic violations and direct the new money – an estimated $23 million -- to the State Police. The measure is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn.  The money could keep 460 troopers from being laid off and avert the closure of five district headquarters. The affected headquarters are in Litchfield, Carmi, Pecatonica, Macomb and Des Plaines."
Online
PR News
Synergy Builders Hosts Fellow Remodelers for an In Depth Analysis ...
"West Chicago, IL,John Habermeier, Owner of Synergy Builders, West Chicago, IL, recently hosted a Case Study Meeting of Remodelers Advantage Roundtables, an Industry think-tank for top remodelers. Thirteen remodeling executives from across the nation met in West Chicago to provide each other with input and advice on how they can continually improve the services and products each company offers."
Kirk's Radio Comments Come Back To Haunt Him
"Over the weekend, the Sun-Times' Abdon Pallasch reported that Kirk's "problems with exaggeration ... go beyond his military record to his comments about foreign policy issues that are supposed to be his strong suit." As an example, Pallasch brought up the congressman's false claim in June 2008 that China was drilling for oil off the shore of Cuba (which we debunked at the time):"
Kirk’s “Factual” Quirks - Madeleine Begun Kane
"Mark Kirk is astoundingly lax
When he spouts international “facts.”
Be it China or France
Or Iranian rants,
He’s deceptive and wrong to the max."
Glo digital Bible designed to reach a younger generation - Washington Post
""The biggest advantage of Glo is you can access the Bible through whatever device you have in your hands," Saba said. The Glo is available only for personal computers and laptops, but the intent from its inception was that it would be applicable to mobile devices, he said."
BP Oil Spill: A Slippery Slope to FEMA Detention Camps? - Mother Jones
"In an interview with Mother Jones, Evensen explained that he had heard about this massive governmental operation from a "buffet meal of state and local law enforcement" sources, many of whom find him—rather than the other way around—thanks to his media appearances and Internet postings. (Evensen lives in Michigan.)  The podcast of this show soon made its way into the Tea Party world and was circulating on various listservs this week, with headlines like "Forced evacuations of 40 million begin in less than two weeks. Anyone within a thousand miles of the Gulf of Mexico needs to listen to every word of this." John Kaminiski, a "truther" who believes Jews blew up the World Trade Center, warned in an email that "If you don't leave now, you will never make it. You will either die on the road, or in a FEMA camp. The troops are already in place." 
Bhopal campaigners condemn 'insulting' sentences over disaster - The Guardian
"The accused, several of them now in their 70s, were convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to two years in prison but bailed pending an appeal... Up to 25,000 people are thought to have died after being exposed to clouds of lethal gas that escaped from a chemical plant run by the US company Union Carbide on 2 and 3 December 1984."
Air Traffic Controllers Help You Avoid Airline Delays - AFL-CIO
"Here’s a way to avoid delays at the airport when you head off for vacation this summer. The Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA) reminds travelers about the union’s great site: http://AvoidDelays.com.  Launched in 2006, AvoidDelays.com is the first tool of its kind to help the flying public. Using a mix of historical and live flight data directly from the Department of Transportation, the website provides information on which airports have a history of delays and how to get avoid getting stuck in an airport when you really would rather be on the beach or touring a European capital."
 

04 June

 
DuPage mayors accuse state Sen. Cronin of vote-trading
"A DuPage County mayors group is accusing State Sen. Dan Cronin of promising to favor Gov. Pat Quinn's pension borrowing bill in exchange for Quinn's support of turning over operational control of the DuPage Water Commission to the county."
Are taxpayers ready to let College of DuPage take on more debt?
"College of DuPage is close to paying off most of its debt from previous projects. But it also has a wish list of about $168 million worth of work that could be done at the college.  The question may be whether to extend its existing debt for another 20 to 25 years, or allow its debt to expire - and, accordingly, its tax rate to drop."
Postpone new rules for preschool
"We don't doubt that better serving at-risk youngsters would greatly enhance their ability to succeed in school. Nor do we want school districts to stop offering what they already do. But this is not the time for expensive new programs. Our local districts with preschools should continue to determine the best way to give these students a solid start in a way that won't hinder important programs already in place."
WTTW parent plans to cut 12% of workforce
"The parent of public broadcaster WTTW-Ch. 11 said Friday it plans to cut around 12 percent of its workforce as part of an effort to cut $3 million in operating costs in response to declining revenue."
Health officials investigate salmonella cases at some Subway restaurants
"According to a written release from the Illinois Department of Public Health, persons identified with salmonella had eaten at Subway locations in 14 counties, including Champaign, Sangamon, Schuyler, Christian, Bureau, LaSalle, Cass, Peoria, Shelby, Warren, Macon, Ogle, Fulton and Tazewell."
Report: Violent assaults in hospitals too common
"The suburban Chicago-based Joint Commission is urging hospitals to take action in an alert released Thursday.  The group’s database shows increasing reports of assault, rape and murder in the nation’s health care facilities.  The most reports occurred during the past three years. "
34 sickened by salmonella outbreak at Subways
" The Subway chain has voluntarily withdrawn fresh produce from suspected dates from its restaurants and is cooperating in the investigation.  Officials urge anyone who got sick after eating at Subway restaurants in Illinois on or after May 10 to contact their health care provider or local health department."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Republicans offer budget alternatives
"Changes to the state’s pension system to make them more affordable, for example, were first pushed by Senate Republicans.  Other examples of bipartisan cooperation have included reforms of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (McPier), the 2009 infrastructure improvement program, financing changes that allowed mass transit in the Chicago region to keep running, a new law to encourage broadband expansion, and the bipartisan CLEAR Commission, which works to update the state’s criminal code."
How religion made Jews genetically distinct - New Scientist
"In a study of over 200 Jews from cities in three different countries, researchers found that all of them descended from a founding community that lived 2500 years ago in Mesopotamia... The main reason that Jews continue to form a distinct genetic group, despite their wide dispersal is the exclusivity of the Jewish religion and the tight restrictions it imposes on marriage to those outside the Jewish faith."
Officer estimates enough for speeding convictions  - Assoc Press
"The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an officer's visual estimation of speed is enough to support a conviction if the officer is trained, certified by a training academy, and experienced in watching for speeders. The court's 5-1 decision says independent verification of a driver's speed is not necessary."
Economy and Jobs at Heart of Working-Class Anger - AFL-CIO
"But, as panelists at a special AFL-CIO and Working America forum explored today, it isn’t Beck’s bellowing or Rush’s ranting that’s really behind that anger—they’re just exploiting it.  Working people are mad about an economy that’s punished them with vanishing jobs and lost homes and rewarded Wall Street with bailouts and bonuses while they see a government that doesn’t seem capable of fixing what’s gone wrong or holding anyone accountable."

 

 

03 June

 

West Chicago
High School
PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for May 2010
"Zachary Gebis, of West Chicago, a Junior at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the May PeaceBuilder-of-the-month. Zachary received the PeaceBuilder Award due to his passion to help others in need both inside and outside the high school."
Student-of-the Month for June 2010 - ANNA DURAN
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Anna Duran, of Carol Stream, for being chosen Student of the Month for June. A singer and a dancer, Anna is a member of the A Cappella Chamber Choir and Concert Choir and is the secretary of Dance Production."
JUNE E-NEWSLETTER
  • Legislative Session
  • Emergency Budget
  • Pension Borrowing Bill
Reminder - MARIA OWENS -Campaign Kick-Off
Maria Owen's official campaign kickoff is at 10:00 am on Monday, June 7, 2010 at Warrenville City Hall  Breakfast refreshments will be served.
Kirk must apologize instead of attack
"That said, it's hard to understand Kirk's response to disclosures that he misstated his military record for years. In an age of deep distrust of politicians, Kirk's mistake - appearing to have assumed for himself credit for an award honoring an entire unit he led during the Serbian conflict in the 1990s - is a serious lapse, for which he has not apologized but lashed out at his opponent."
Press association questions District 204 e-mail chain
""Working out kinks and discussion to gather consent is precisely what meeting time is for," Sharp said Wednesday. "Those conversations are not suited for an e-mail chain that may or may not be a violation of the Open Meetings Act.""
[I post this only because similar email communications occur in our government bodies also... and they are working so smoothly. - Bob]
Scams against seniors on rise, Madigan warns
"Madigan said complaints of scams and frauds -- especially on seniors -- have been on the rise. She urged people to contact her office along with the police when they suspect fraud.  "In terms of the volume of the calls we're getting at the attorney general's office, it is increasing in direct correlation with the downturn in the economy," Madigan said."
Kirk defends efforts to correct military record
" Chicago newspapers Wednesday quoted Cmdr. Danny Hernandez, a Navy spokesman, as saying the Navy contacted Kirk’s office last week.  “We just let him know that you, the media, were asking questions about who the Intelligence Officer of the Year was,” Hernandez told the Chicago Tribune.  The Chicago Sun-Times said passing such information on to Kirk’s office is a courtesy afforded all members of Congress who are subject to media questions."
Illinois tries again for federal school funding
" Federal evaluators are starting from scratch this go-round to determine which states will share the remaining $3.4 billion available in the program. Illinois was among states that submitted their second-round applications Tuesday.  State School Superintendent Chris Koch said Illinois’ second application is better than the first."
Bill Foster's Photos - St. Charles Memorial Day Ceremony - FB
Fessin' Up - TPM
"The Senate campaign of Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is acknowledging an earlier Richard Blumenthal-eque embellishment by Kirk of his military record. As we noted yesterday, Kirk's House website at one point touted him as having served "in" Operation Iraqi Freedom, when in fact he served during that time, but not in Iraq."
Low Road Attacks Shouldn’t Hinder Kirk in Illinois - Illinois Review
"Moreover, if Kirk got elected to the Senate, he’d bolster a “big tent” GOP center that’s deeply challenged by right-wing “purifiers.” ... As a House Member, Kirk bucked his party to support embryonic stem cell research and expanded children’s health care. He also opposed — wrongly, in my view — oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."
New start for former Episcopalians - Boston Globe
"A group of former Episcopalians who broke away from their denomination because of concern over blessings for homosexual couples, as well as other issues, have chosen a former Catholic church in this mill town on the New Hampshire border as regional headquarters for the more traditional Anglican denomination they are attempting to construct in the United States."
Steelworkers Help Green Light New Energy-Efficient Bulbs - AFL-CIO
"Here’s a way to reduce your carbon footprint and support good green union jobs. Check out the new Sylvania Super Saver halogen light bulbs made by the United Steelworkers (USW) in a Wellsboro, Pa., plant.  As more and more households turn to the energy-efficient bulbs over the familiar incandescent light bulb that sucks up much more energy, many manufacturers are shutting down their U.S. operations and producing the new bulbs overseas."
Closing the Hole in the Gulf: A Petroleum Engineer Responds - TPM
"A petroleum engineer who's worked in the oil industry tells me BP is doing the minimum to clean up the oil and everything it can to protect its bottom line. According to the engineer, here's what BP should be doing right now to mitigate the damage. If the President were to put BP into temporary receivership, he'd have the power to get BP to:"
Second man claims sexual relationship with Haley - Post and Courier
"A second man in as many weeks has claimed that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with state Rep. Nikki Haley, the GOP front-runner for governor.  Lobbyist Larry Marchant told The Post and Courier on Wednesday that he had “sexual relations” with Haley, who repeatedly has said she’s been 100 percent faithful to her husband of 13 years."
 

02 June

 
News flash - Barb Laimins - Face Book - June 2, 2010 at 8:05pm
"Gordon Cole is the new business manager at the high school"
Around and About in West Chicago - 02 June 2010
  • Annual Community Memorial Day Ceremony
  • Touch-A-Truck
  • Wayne Township Recycling Event
  • Law Enforcement Run for Special Olympics
Touch-a-Truck
"Have you ever wondered what it's like to sit in a fire truck, dump truck, cement mixer or police car? The West Chicago Park District in conjunction with the West Chicago Police Department offers this opportunity free to kids of all ages. For more information, contact the West Chicago Park District at (630) 231-9474.
Community Curfew
"It is unlawful for a person less than seventeen (17) years of age to be present at or upon any public assembly, building, place, street or highway at the following times unless accompanied and supervised by a parent, legal guardian or other responsible companion at least eighteen (18) years of age approved by a parent or legal guardian or unless engaged in a business or occupation which the laws of this state authorize a person less than seventeen (17) years of age to perform:
  1. Between 12:01 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Saturday;
  2. Between 12:01 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Sunday; and
  3. Between 11:00 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday, inclusive, and 6:00 a.m. on the following
    day.

It is unlawful for a parent, legal guardian or other person to knowingly permit a person in his custody or control to violate the City's curfew ordinance.

Railroad helps W. Chicago students collect awards in person
"Gifted students from West Chicago will get to compete in an international competition next week after all, thanks to a $7,000 check from the Canadian National Railroad.  And to a dogged detective from the West Chicago Police Department, who helped make it happen."
DuPage Co. mulls interim loan for children's center
"Almost Home Kids, originally known as the CoACH Care Center, is planning to renovate and expand its 4,000-square-foot quarters on Route 53, to enable its staff to care for a dozen medically fragile children at a time. The current capacity is 10 kids. Most of the families served by the center have incomes at or below the poverty level.  The county's Development Committee has put its support behind a request that the county step in and provide $175,000 that has been promised by the cash-strapped state, but has not yet come through."
How Fox Valley towns market themselves
"That's how South Elgin arrived at its new trolley logo and village slogan -- "Where Tradition Meets the Future" -- in 2008.  The former logo -- featuring a person fishing, the river, a trolley and a mill wheel -- looked dated and was too intricate to easily reproduce on plaques and village signs, South Elgin Village Administrator Larry Jones said. It had been created in-house in 1987 and no longer represented the village, he added."
[This a little too close to "Where History and Progress Met ...  - Bob]
 
ComEd warns customer about rise in impersonators
"These impersonators use a number of tactics to snare their victims, according to a release from ComEd. In some cases, the scam artists wore plain clothes, and other times they wore some clothing similar to a utility worker such as a hard hat, a shirt with a ComEd logo, or a generic orange safety vest."
Presidential museum admission to climb $2
"According to a news release, the increase is necessary to keep pace with the rising cost of operating the museum, which draws about 400,000 visitors each year, more than any other presidential library/museum complex. Admission fees supplement state funds that pay for daily operational expenses."
Durbin: No Tax Dollars Should Go Towards Oil Clean-Up
"After another effort by BP to plug the oil leakage in the Gulf Coast failed this past weekend, the odds improved that Congress will pass legislation increasing the limits on the legal liability of companies responsible for oil spills. In an interview yesterday, Illinois' own Sen. Dick Durbin said taxpayer dollars shouldn't be spent on the disaster."
Dallas-based ComStar Media's goal is clean TV, not televangelism - Dallas Morning News
" Wyatt and Schuller became business partners a year later, forming a family-focused media company in Dallas. ComStar Media plans to combine TV, radio and Web strategies, and relaunch itself under a new brand this fall. It wants to use original programming for targeted TV and radio audiences to drive traffic online and vice versa.  ComStar already reaches 50 million households, thanks to two acquisitions last year."
Red Cross Workers Strike over Stalled Talks, Blood Safety Concerns - AFL-CIO
"One of the key issues, the unions say, is blood drive staffing practices that workers believe are key to protecting donor and blood safety. Workers say the Red Cross is putting donors and workers at risk by understaffing blood drives, replacing nurses with unlicensed supervisors, forcing employees to work unrealistic schedules and turning blood collection into an assembly line/fast-food process."

 

Kerry: Legislation Ensuring Broadband Access for Disabled May Pass in 2010 - Speed Matters
"The bill would require the FCC to set "standards to ensure the accessibility, usability, and compatibility of advanced communications and the equipment used for advanced communications by individuals with disabilities."  Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who introduced a similar bill in the House, affirmed that passage of the legislation is an achievable goal this year."
 

01 June

 

West Chicago
High School
Student-of-the Month for May 2010
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Devan Patel, of West Chicago, for being chosen Student of the Month for May.  Devan competes academically as a member of the Scholastic Bowl team and the LifeSmarts team."
Cheney calls for municipal majority on DuPage Water Commission
"With 97 percent of the DuPage Water Commission customers coming from municipalities, Democratic county board chairman candidate Carole Cheney believes those towns should have more representation within the embattled agency.  "I haven't heard a nonpolitical explanation why the county has a seven-to-six majority on that board," she said. "No one has explained why municipalities aren't entitled to a simple majority.""
Kirk, Giannoulias at Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade. Kirk defending military record
"The Post broke the news that as the newspaper was looking into Kirk's record, Kirk on his campaign website put up this statement on May 27:  "Upon a recent review of my records, I found that an award listed in my official biography was misidentified as 'Intelligence Officer of the Year.'"
Unexpected web-enabled kiosks result of $100K grant
"Downtown Springfield Inc. plans soon to unveil the web-based informational kiosks at Eighth and Adams streets, near the Prairie Capital Convention Center, and at Sixth and Madison streets, near Union Station and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Tarps now cover the kiosks.  DSI executive director Victoria Clemons said DSI wound up with a $100,000 grant for downtown improvement in one of the ex-governor’s last go-rounds with the General Assembly over capital spending."
School holiday: Taxes lower on classroom purchases
" The General Assembly will offer a sales-tax holiday on school supplies from Aug. 6 to Aug. 15.  The state will temporarily suspend 5 percent of the tax. So parents buying clothing, shoes and most school supplies will pay only 1.25 percent.  The holiday could cost the state $40 million to $60 million in lost tax revenue."
BP will pay for oil spill and its consequences, Durbin says
" “They’re going to pay for it, not the taxpayers of this country,” said Durbin, a Springfield Democrat and the Senate’s assistant majority leader. “This was their mistake, their accident, it’s going to be their responsibility.”  Durbin spoke about the BP oil disaster Sunday afternoon at Springfield’s Washington Park, following a news conference called to promote legislation that would tighten regulations on dog breeders."
Memorial Day Activities
"Bill Foster remembered the men and women in uniform who gave their lives for our country at Memorial Day events in St. Charles, Elburn, Aurora and West Dundee this weekend."
Kirk Embellishments About Military Service Go Back Years - TPM
"Welch says that diminishes other service members who perform similar duties.  "By all accounts he sounds like an excellent intelligence officer," Welch told me. "But when you have to lie and make self-aggrandizing claims about your service, you're saying that's not enough.""
The first domino falls? - NitPicker
"While Kirk isn't wearing unearned ribbons, he has time and time again claimed the unearned glory of a veteran of two wars and the exalted status of a combat veteran of another.  You might get the name of an award wrong, but it's unlikely he forgot he wasn't in combat."
An unemployment insurance balancing act - Pew Center
"In Maryland, a new college graduate who lands her first job and gets laid off  in the first nine months would be denied unemployment benefits under current state rules. The same is true for a factory worker in Michigan who just entered a training program to learn a new trade and for a single mom in Texas who can only work part-time because she cannot afford child care."
A Right-Wing Schism Over Immigration Reform? - Mother Jones
"The evangelical leaders’ unequivocal push for immigration reform is all the more striking because on most other topics, religious conservatives have tended to walk in lockstep with the Republican party—particularly social issues such as gay marriage and abortion. But when it comes to immigration, demographic changes give evangelical churches an incentive to embrace a more liberal policy. While the majority of Latinos in the US are Catholic, a rapidly growing number are joining evangelical churches."
Wall Street Invite: Come Meet Privately With Congressmen Negotiating Financial Reform! - TPM
"The plain language of the invitation--such as the line: "so-called Wall Street Reform bill"--is taken straight from the GOP rhetorical playbook.  Regardless of which elected officials are being targeted, though, if you wanted evidence that Wall Street hasn't given up the fight--and hasn't lost its powerful friends in Washington--look no further. You can read the entire invitation below."

 

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