Source Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
30 July  
First-of-its-kind early childhood center faces vote in West Chicago
"Under an innovative public/private partnership, Dist. 33's investment is limited to the cost of the land ($230,000) and improvements as well as ongoing building maintenance. Educare of West DuPage will pay to build the $10 million school and run the program.  "This is really incredible bang for our buck in terms of district dollars," said Sue Stibal, a District 33 board member."
4 of 5 W. Chicago gardens featured on walk are on same cul-de-sac
"Eleven years ago, several homeowners who love to garden moved into just-built townhouses on the cul-de-sac. The builders had already landscaped the complex, but the gardeners envisioned much greater possibilities.  "All of us had gardens at our other houses, and when we moved here there was nothing," Young said."
DuPage Co. forms anti-bullying task force
""We want to have a comprehensive policy in DuPage County where we're going to deal with bullying in a very professional and compassionate way. And there are going to be sanctions in appropriate cases. We're not talking about pranksters, we're talking about bullying and we're going to deal with it the way it should be dealt with.""
Candidate drops out of governor's race 2nd time
"Last night, Walls sent out e-mails to reporters touting a T-shirt business that listed him as the contact. There was no word about his latest independent bid to run for governor, just a plug for customizable t-shirts.  It wasn't until today that a news release arrived from Green Party candidate Rich Whitney in which he claimed Walls' endorsement. Whitney said in the statement that he was "thrilled that he has the support of such an important force for social change in Chicago.""
Gov. Quinn: Nursing homes must hire more staff
"The law’s requirements follow a governor’s task force initiated after a series of news reports about assaults, rapes and murders at nursing homes. Members of the governor’s staff and officials from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office worked with advocates, legislators, nursing home operators, workers and residents to draft the legislation, they said."
New law penalizes employers who shortchange workers
"Starting Jan. 1, a repeat offense will be considered a felony, not a misdemeanor. Also, employers who violate wage theft laws will have to pay workers back from the date of nonpayment with interest and a $250 fine... Starting Jan. 1, a repeat offense will be considered a felony, not a misdemeanor. Also, employers who violate wage theft laws will have to pay workers back from the date of nonpayment with interest and a $250 fine."
Illinois voters to cast two U.S. Senate ballots in November
"This much is clear: People will pick one senator to serve a six-year term in the regular election, and another to serve the final weeks of Obama’s old term in a special election. The short-timer would serve from after the November election until the new senator is inaugurated in January."
Brady, Quinn battle over tax-hike report
" But Quinn, a Democrat, said Vaught, was “misconstrued” as he discussed competing plans that have been considered by legislators. The governor said he remains committed to a 1 percentage point increase in the income tax for education.  If that increase is blocked, Quinn said thousands of teachers will have to be laid off and local property taxes are likely to go “through the roof.”"
New Health Care Law Gives Medicare Lots to Celebrate at 45 - AFL-CIO
" “Before Medicare, millions of the nation’s seniors were uninsured. Since then, Medicare has been the bedrock of the nation’s health care system.”  The new health care legislation Congress passed this year gives Medicare—and the seniors who depend upon it—lots to celebrate, because the law enhances Medicare coverage."
The church behind the signs - Gainesville Sun, Fla.
"By all accounts - the church's Web site, interviews with current and former members and Terry Jones' own description - the church in Gainesville, as was the one in Germany, is structured with a for-profit business operating out of tax-exempt church property, using the unpaid labor of church members to maintain a steady stream of merchandise for sale online."
Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 Pakistanis view US as enemy - AP
"Mistrust of the U.S. among Pakistanis appears due in part to Washington's decision to turn away from their country after enlisting its support to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.  "They vividly remember us walking out in 1989 and being left to deal with their own security situation on their own," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Pentagon news conference Thursday. "The notion that, under those circumstances and not knowing whether they could count on us to be there, that they would hedge in one way or another is not a surprise."'
DA Won't Pursue Charges Against Gore - TPM
"The district attorney in Portland, Ore., announced today that he will not pursue charges against former Vice President Al Gore stemming from allegations of sexual assault... In a memo from the DA's office obtained by local media, prosecutor Don Rees listed 8 "deficiencies" the case that led to the decision not to prosecute."
Right-Wingers Stand By Their Fabricated Mexican Drug Cartel Raid Story - TPM
"The local law enforcement agency that would have responded if the Zetas had actually invaded is the Webb County sheriff's office. They too, were baffled, if not outright frustrated, by the reports. The sheriff's office's public information officer Maru De La Paz told TPM the story was "nothing but a rumor" and "there is nothing of that sort happening." And what about the source in the Laredo police department? "The Laredo police department has no jurisdiction" over the ranch land in question, she said."

 

 

29 July

 
Business Highlights - 08 July 2010
  • Display Gardens at Ball Horticultural Company
  • Theology-on-Tap
  • Santo Maria’s Ristorante Italiano's Seventh Anniversary
  • Cardinal Fitness Annual Health Fair
City of West Chicago Seeks Information on Recent Flood Damage
"Due to heavy rainfall and minor flooding on July 23 – 24, 2010 in DuPage County and the West Chicago area, the County was declared a state disaster area by the State of Illinois. As part of the process to seek a federal disaster declaration, the City must collect information on the extent of flooding and damage and forward this to the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management."
What You Should Know About: Scams & Fraud
"When dealing with contractors in general, have a plan. Follow these simple tips when thinking about hiring a general contractor:"
Quinn expected to sign DuPage Co. water reform bill
"Officials within Republican state Sen. Dan Cronin's campaign for DuPage County Board chairman said Gov. Pat Quinn will sign a controversial bill aimed at reforming the county's beleaguered water commission.  Quinn could sign the bill as early as Thursday, Cronin's camp said.  The bill that calls for all 13 members of the commission to be replaced at the end of the year and dissolve a quarter-cent sales tax in five years has been awaiting the governor's signature for months."
Tri-Cities in 60 seconds - 'Annie' in West Chicago:
"The West Chicago Park District Community Theater will perform "Annie" at 7 tonight and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday in the Weyrauch Auditorium at Community High School in West Chicago, 326 Joliet "
DuPage reports mosquitoes test positive for West Nile
"The batches that tested positive for the disease were found in Clarendon Hills, Darien, Bloomingdale, Roselle, Elmhurst, Bensenville, Lombard, Warrenville, Wheaton and West Chicago, DuPage health department officials said.  The increase in positive results was expected after heavy rains were followed by warm dry weather, officials said. Recent flooding provides more locations for females to lay eggs."
Police warn of rising tide of identity thefts
"St. Charles Police Department spokesman Paul McCurtain said several cases of identity theft have been reported over the last two weeks.  Throughout the area and across the country, such crimes have been on the rise as personal information such as bank statements and credit card applications have been seized, while Social Security numbers have been sold to falsify resident and work status. The FBI reports that it is the fastest-growing crime in the United States."
'Best job in the world'
""I have the best job in the world," she says, "it's nice to help people. This is definitely my path."  Schwab is a certified massage therapist, Reiki Master, Qigong instructor, and practitioner of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage."
Earthtimes Citadel Plastics Holdings Acquires QTR, Inc. Assets
"Citadel Plastics Holdings, Inc., a portfolio company of Wind Point Partners, today announced it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of QTR, Inc. of Evansville, IN, through its Evansville-based subsidiary, The Matrixx Group. The assets of QTR and the engineered resins product line of The Matrixx Group will eventually be combined into a new company, Matrixx-QTR. "
LifeStyle Grant & Power Landscaping and Wheaton Bible Church Give Back
"Grant and Power Landscaping, Inc. along with volunteers from Wheaton Bible Church created a new place to escape for the residents of Jubilee Village in Carol Stream, Illinois, in celebration of Earth Day 2009 and PLANET (Professional Landcare Network) Day of Service."
Durbin to FBI chief: Chicago needs help
""About six weeks ago I attended a funeral in Chicago,'' Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, began as FBI Director Robert Mueller was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "It was a young Chicago police officer named Thomas Wortham (IV), 30 years old. He'd served in Iraq, an extraordinary young African-American with a great life ahead of him.''"
Quinn to sign nursing home reform legislation
"The legislation will require many nursing homes to hire more staff members to care for residents.  The state's health department would also double the ranks of inspectors by 2013 to increase oversight.  The reforms are aimed at a pattern of violence in Illinois nursing homes stemming from the state's long reliance on the facilities to house younger adults with serious mental illness."
  • Quinn OKs tollway watchdog
    "“The tollway is being transformed from a politically connected patronage haven for insiders to a well-run, well-respected agency that provides efficiencies and ethical standards that will benefit all taxpayers,” said state Sen. Susan Garrett, a Democrat from Lake Forest."
  • State budget hampers local job development, Chamber officials say
    "“A lot of the things we saw the first couple of years I was here, while he (Blagojevich) was in office, seemed to be a little more political or public-relations oriented, and didn’t have much substance, whereas the current administration is trying to be more responsive,” said Plummer."
Rasmussen Reports Toplines - Illinois Senate - July 26, 2010 - 2010 Illinois Senate Race

 

Mark Kirk (R)

Alexi Giannoulias (D)

Some Other Candidate

Not sure

July 26, 2010

41%

43%

6%

10%

July 7, 2010

39%

40%

9%

12%

June 7, 2010

42%

39%

7%

12%

April 28, 2010

46%

38%

5%

12%

April 5, 2010

41%

37%

8%

13%

Mar 8, 2010

41%

44%

5%

10%

Feb 3, 2010

46%

40%

4%

10%

Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Quinn Budget Director: We Will Raise Taxes in January
" Vaught said an increase from the current 3 percent to 5 percent is likely. It would cost taxpayers $6 billion and would be the largest tax hike in Illinois history.  In 2009, Democrats in the Illinois Senate approved a similarly-sized tax increase, but the House has not acted on that increase. It's unclear from Vaught's remarks if he was referring to that increase – which could yet be passed by the House – or if he was referring to a new proposal."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Lance Corporal Frederik E. Vazquez, United States Marine Corps - Hometown: Melrose Park, Illinois"
Coalition Launches Drive to Fight Social Security Cuts - AFL-CIO
"As Social Security turns 75 years old Aug. 14, the nation’s most successful social program likely will be under attack by the federal budget deficit commission which by all accounts is considering benefits cuts and raising the retirement age."
Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Mosque? TPM Rounds Up The Latest In Right-Wing Fear-Mongering  - TPM
"The right-wing controversy du jour? Construction of several mosques throughout the U.S. -- perhaps most notably, a Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City. In many cases, the right-wing fear-mongering has fed a shrill campaign warning against Muslims inevitably using their places of worship to conspire to implant sharia law in the lives of unsuspecting Americans."
Opposition To Health Care Law Sinking - TPMDC
"The survey paints a picture of minimal, but intense, opposition to the law. Only 27 percent of those surveyed would like to see the bill repealed, while a significant majority are either supportive of the law or willing to give it a chance."
Durbin Backs Filibuster Reform - TPM
""It's been discussed," Durbin said. "Nobody's done that with the current Senate rules, so it would be a departure. I'm not going to rule it out or in. It will be a subject of conversation as we organize for the next Congress.... I would really want to take it to the caucus.""
 

28 July

 

Around and About in West Chicago - 28 July 2010

  • West Chicago National Night Out
  • Community Days Weekend
  • Community High School District 94 Budget
  • www.seventhfish.com
NEILL SORENSEN.
"A true outdoorsman, Neill fished and canoed many of the local lakes and rivers. He loved camping and could be found at the annual "TEVAfest" in Wisconsin. The Illinois Prairie Path was a favorite destination for daily bike rides. Neill was an avid reader, model builder and accomplished wood worker."
Vintage aircraft at DuPage
"Area residents will have the opportunity to climb aboard World War II vintage bombers when a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang fly into DuPage County this weekend on the Wings of Freedom Tour."
[See also Airport Community Days. - Bob]
Kane County police report
"The chase reached 70 mph in 30 mph zones at times. Police then terminated pursuit and advised police dispatch of the direction of the vehicle. Police still followed the vehicle but without emergency lights and at a reduced rate of speed. Bohochik then crossed into West Chicago where he was pursued by police there into Roselle, where he was eventually apprehended."
Funding set aside for DuPage children's center
"Envisioned for construction around 2015, the new facility will replace the center's present headquarters, an aging one-story space that once housed county Highway Department offices, just across County Farm Road from the county's office campus.  Preliminary estimates place the cost of the new building around $3 million. Planners would like to locate it near the other county offices -- but not too close to the courthouse, to minimize the chance that they could see someone who harmed them."
They're no cash cow
"In 2007, County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom floated the idea of relocating the fair to a site near DuPage Airport in West Chicago, and other officials have been even more vocal about breaking the lease, which nets the county just $1,350 per year, according to DuPage County spokesman Jason Gerwig.  If it loses its home of 54 years, the fair may find itself squeezed out of DuPage County altogether, like so many of the farms it once served."
Illinois beefs up tollway inspector general job
"The tollway was subpoenaed last year by federal authorities asking about contractors with ties for ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Quinn has 60 days to name the inspector general. The job is a five-year appointment and comes with subpoena powers.  Former FBI agent Jim Wagner has been the agency's watchdog since January as head of investigations. Quinn didn't say if he would slide Wagner into the new job."
Reps. Foster, Quigley Fight Pay-to-Play Practices
" Last night, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) and Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05) introduced an amendment that would prohibit any federally appropriated highway funds from being used to prevent States from enacting anti-pay-to-play laws. Pay-to-play is a practice where campaign contributions are exchanged for profitable government contracts.  “People around the country – especially here in Illinois – are tired of scandals that compromise taxpayer dollars and betray the public’s trust,” said Foster. “I am proud to work with my colleague, Congressman Quigley, to bring fairness and accountability to contracting processes that have too often fallen victim to corruption.”"
AARP endorses Roskam bill to combat Medicare fraud
""We applaud Sen. Gillibrand and Reps. Klein, Ros-Lehtinen and Roskam for coming forward with innovative ideas to stop fraud and punish those who commit it," LeaMond added. "These are important components in a more holistic effort to not only fight the fraud that is occurring, but also ensure fraud is stopped before it happens through strong preventive measures.""
House OKs Funds to Halt Mine Operators’ Safety End Run
"Mine operators around the country, like Massey Energy, owner of the deadly Upper Big Branch coal mine where 29 miners were killed in April, routinely escape tougher enforcement by appealing serious safety violations to a federal agency that’s bogged down with a 17,000-case backlog.  It can take the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC) more than two years before it finally adjudicates a case. During the appeals process, operators like Massey with troubling safety records avoid being placed under a stricter safety watch because of their pattern of violations."
Growing Bible App Sales Hint at Shifting iPad Demographics - The Atlantic
"Olive Tree's NIV Bible BibleReader is the highest-grossing iPhone Bible app right now, too, ranked second in books just behind Green Eggs and Ham. Between the iPhone and iPad, including free versions, Haninger said his company is getting 3,000 downloads a day. The iBible may not exactly be iBeer in its heyday, but sales on the iPad are growing, Haninger said, as the device has passed 3.5 million units sold. (Atlantic colleague Eleanor Barkhorn also pointed out to me that the NIV is considered to be the more "conservative" Bible translation and less likely to be used at more liberal mainline churches.)"
Why Some Republicans Want to ‘Restore’ the 13th Amendment - Newsweek
"“If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”"
27 July  

West Chicago
High School
CHS Students Help Put Together More Than Mortar and Bricks
"On Monday July 5th, the Community High School District 94 Habitat for Humanity Chapter took its first summer work trip. The eager group of seven students and two advisors drove to Rushford, Minnesota to work with the local Habitat affiliate as well as several Americore volunteers on a twin house in Rushford County, a small town about 20 miles outside of Winona, Minnesota."
Britta Renwick Zooms in
"Photographer Britta Renwick wants people to see Switzerland from her perspective - not only the traditional postcard photos, but how she views the details of her homeland through the lens of a camera."
New Businesses
"West Chicago Welcomes the Following New Businesses to the Community (as of 7/2010)"
DuPage among counties declared flood disaster areas
"The state disaster declaration will help communities in the 12 counties recover from devastation caused by flooding as a result of a series of thunderstorms Friday night into Saturday.  Counties declared state disaster areas are DuPage, Carroll, Cook, Henderson, Jo Daviess, Lee, Mercer, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago."
Analysis: Home sales up in Elgin, entire metro area
"According to an analysis of housing transactions for the first six months of this year conducted by RE/MAX, sales continued a steady rebound last month. RE/MAX looked at data available through Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the multiple listing service for Chicago and its Illinois suburbs, and it showed home sales in June were 26 percent higher in the seven-county metro area than they had been a year earlier, with 9,022 units changing hands."
Illinois a finalist for 'Race to the Top' funding
"Illinois is among 19 finalists for more than $3 billion in Education Department funding, Education Department Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday.  He said the state, 18 others and the District of Columbia emerged as finalists in the second round of funding in the "Race to the Top" program.  Thirty-five states and the district applied in the second round."
Commission to begin study of how to pay for higher education in Illinois
"A panel to study higher education finance in Illinois and recommend options for the General Assembly has its first meeting Tuesday.  The Higher Education Finance Study Commission is made up of legislators, academic finance experts, and a cross-section of education, business, labor and nonprofit leaders. The meeting is being held at the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center."
After school spending will be under state watch
" Quinn says the Department of Human Services will run the Youth Development Council, with operating funds appropriated from the lump sum budget for education.  The law also requires the Human Services Department to run a demonstration program to evaluate costs and impact. A report of their findings will be released in three years."
Two Senate elections on Nov. 2 likely
" A federal judge in Chicago planned to hold another hearing this week on what's shaping up to be dual Senate elections on Nov. 2 - the regular election to pick a senator to serve a six-year term and a special election to fill the final weeks of Obama's term.  The winner of the special election would serve until a new senator is inaugurated in January."
Quinn veto would allow disclosure of public employee evaluations
" Most public employee performance evaluations could be made public under an amendatory veto issued Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn.  Quinn’s change to House Bill 5154 would exempt only state and local law enforcement personnel from the requirement that performance evaluations be public information.  The bill originally would have exempted performance evaluations of all public employees from disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Quinn said that went too far."
Lawmakers object to tying furlough days to state holidays
" It would be a bad idea to make some state workers take no pay for up to a dozen holidays a year, Springfield-area lawmakers said Monday.  “I think even Scrooge gets Christmas off,” said state Rep. Rich Brauer, R-Petersburg."
Union Members Help Keep Daimler Plant Open—and More Bargaining News - AFL-CIO
"Multiple, Daimler Trucks North America: Good news in Portland, Ore., where a Daimler Trucks North America plant slated for closure will remain open after union members ratified new three-year contracts with the company. Most of the nearly 700 workers are members of Machinists (IAM) Local 1005, and others are represented by Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 1094, Teamsters Local 305 and SEIU Local 49."
Lawsuit claims school bias on Christian views - Washington Times
"Erin Martz, manager of ethics and professional standards at the American Counseling Association, said that although she couldn't specifically address Miss Keeton's case, "The ACA Code of Ethics serves to ensure that counselors and counselors-in-training conduct themselves in a way which is consistent with the ideals of the profession. As such, the core values of diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion are present throughout the code and are crucial to the ethical decision-making process."  Miss Keeton's case is one of several nationwide in which counseling students have been dismissed from programs or threatened with expulsion because of their Christian beliefs."
Biden touts stimulus projects in national parks - Salon
""For too long our nation's crown jewels have been neglected," Biden said. "Everything we're doing in this park is worthwhile and needed to be done anyway, whether times were good or bad."  So when the Recovery Act was passed in an effort to stabilize the economy, it included hundreds of national park upgrades and repairs that had been delayed or stalled, he said.  "We're beginning to polish once again these national jewels," he said."
Franken: Republicans ‘Don’t Want People To Get Jobs Before The Election’  - Think Progress
"And Republicans sort of take this stance that the best thing we can do is slow everything down so as little can happen as possible, so that we can both blame Democrats for not having stuff happen, like jobs bills and stuff like that. And so that, you know, I mean sometimes it’d be a legitimate difference of opinion on something, but sometimes it’s been ridiculous. But I do think that this whole approach of slowing everything down, in many ways I think it’s so that, they don’t want a jobs bill because they don’t want people to get jobs before the election. It’s a harsh thing to say, and I don’t want to impugn the motives of my colleagues, but I don’t get what they’re doing otherwise."

 

 

26 July

 
This Week in West Chicago
Arbutus Rose Watson - Born April 25, 1922, Baptized May 14, 1922, With Her Eternal Father July 19, 2010"
"Memorials to:
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 West Chicago
"This week's schedule is out. More of the same good thing... just in a different order. ;)"
Airport Community Days
"Please join us for our annual Community Days Weekend at DuPage Airport. The 2010 schedule includes:"
West Nile showing up in area mosquitoes
"Three batches of mosquitoes living in DuPage County have turned up carriers of the West Nile virus this summer. But don't take our word for it. Check for yourself online.  The DuPage County Health Department has launched an interactive map that allows visitors to track its monitoring of infected insect populations. The feature can be found at www.dupagehealth.org/wnv-map."
Pols disagree -- but agree state's situation is dire
""I really think creating jobs is the key to getting out of the situation," Holmes said. "We are seeing unemployment statistics that are downright scary."  Rauschenberger, a Republican from Elgin, said while job loss is a major consideration, the bigger problem in the state is fundamental.  "Excessive legislation, excessive regulation, excessive litigation," he said."
Participate in National Night Out on Aug. 3
"The Carol Stream Police Department and the village’s Outreach Community Center invite residents throughout Carol Stream to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 27th annual National Night Out from 6 p.m. to dusk Tuesday, Aug. 3, at Community Park at the east end of Thornhill Drive... Copyright 2010 West Chicago Press. Some rights reserved"
[I wonder if the West Chicago Press knows that West Chicago celebrates Night out... inquiring minds want to know. - Bob]
Earthtimes RiverGlass Grants Exclusive License Rights to The Boeing Company
"RiverGlass Inc. today announced an agreement with The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), granting exclusive license rights to resell RiverGlass software to the U. S. Federal and State and international government agencies, treaty organizations and port authorities. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed."
Sale of Lincoln land raises $100k for Rockford charity
"The recent auction of deeds to tiny plots of eastern Illinois land once owned by Abraham Lincoln raised $100,000 for a charity group, and the owner has plans for more."
Judge: Ill. prison isolation spurs mental illness
"U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy wrote in support of his decision on the hearings. He says the Tamms Correctional Center is known for its solitary confinement of inmates and "imposes dramatic limitations on human contact" among the prisoners.  Murphy says the isolation inflicts lasting psychological damage and emotional harm on inmates confined there for long periods."
Quinn forms anti-violence commission
"Gov. Pat Quinn announced Sunday that he has formed an anti-violence commission to gather testimony from those affected by violence.  That includes victims, neighborhood groups, authorities and experts in violence prevention."
Rep. Foster Statement on Wall Street Reform
“After a financial crisis that cost our country 8 million jobs and cost families in America more than 17 trillion dollars, it was imperative that commonsense rules of the road be put in place so that this kind of catastrophe never happens again. "
Rep. Foster Statement on Consolidation of Area USPS Facilities
"“I am deeply disappointed by the decision of the United States Postal Services to shift jobs and processing activities from the Fox Valley Processing & Distribution Center in Aurora to a facility in Bedford Park."

DEMOCRATIC WOMEN OF DUPAGE COUNTY ANNOUNCE ENDORSEMENTS - Democratic Women of DuPage County:
"Endorsements were given based on candidate statements that reflected commitment to the objectives of the organization, as well as alignment with the issues and demonstrated support for the Democratic Party. Major issues of concern include Human Rights, Taxes, Labor Issues, Healthcare and Immigration Rights. "

Blankenship Knows No Shame - AFL-CIO
"Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank discovered what those of us who watched Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship operate over the years have known for some time.  Blankenship, who has made a career of busting unions, violating mine safety laws, attacking environmentalists and shilling for the far right and corporate America, has no shame."
Ted Haggard: 'I Over-Repented' For My Meth-Gay Prostitute 'Crisis' - TPM Mucjraker
"Rev. Ted Haggard has been leading his own new church for the past few months, and in a Wall Street Journal profile says he thinks he "over-repented" for an affair with a male prostitute, which he refers to as "my crisis." ...  Haggard, who announced his new St. James Church in June, told the Journal: "Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football. Ted Haggard needs to be leading a church.""
Carter, Reagan, Revenue - NY Times
"One common reaction of conservatives, when you point out that the experience of the last 20 years offers zero support for the idea that tax cuts pay for themselves, is to start shouting “Jimmy Carter! Reagan! Supply side roolz!”  So I thought it might be worth presenting a bit of evidence from an earlier 20-year stretch. Here’s real federal revenue, in 2005 dollars, from 1970 to 1990. I’ve plotted the log, because it’s easier to look at trends:"
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"...  to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Sergeant Jesse R. Tilton, United States Army ... Hometown: Decatur, Illinois'
 

23 July

 
Downstate judge to hear Popejoy's traffic case
"Popejoy is charged with reckless driving, failure to give information after striking an unattended motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The first two charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $2,500 fine. He is due in court Aug. 3."
Morton Arboretum hosts world tree climbing championship
"Meiszner is among 54 arborists from 15 countries who will show off their skills scaling stately oaks in the arboretum's Daffodil Glade. They'll compete for cash prizes, but even more than that they'll have an opportunity to share techniques and expertise at the event coordinated by the International Society of Arboriculture."
Conflicting details in Kirk's 1976 lake rescue
"In the most recent instance, the 50-year-old North Shore congressman told a boating magazine that he stood on his overturned sailboat and watched the sun set, when in fact he was rescued in midafternoon on June 15, 1976."
Though state still owes $279 million, UI is under budget
"Tuition has crossed over to become a more important funding source for the UI than state tax payments, Knorr said, with tuition revenue up to $730 million this year, compared to $486 million in 2006, through price increases and higher enrollment.  The UI also did well in federal stimulus money, for a total of $170 million, but that money won't be coming back, he noted."
Lawmakers organizing group to study ethics reform
" Among the tasks on the team’s agenda is exploring the notion of public financing of election campaigns. But its first report isn’t due for 18 months.  Democratic legislative leaders have chosen four legislative and election-law veterans to the commission. Republicans have named three of the four picks they have. Gov. Pat Quinn’s office hasn’t announced its choices."
Rep. Foster Statement on Consolidation of Area USPS Facilities
"“I am deeply disappointed by the decision of the United States Postal Services to shift jobs and processing activities from the Fox Valley Processing & Distribution Center in Aurora to a facility in Bedford Park. I believe this decision was done without a fully transparent and accurate accounting of what savings might be achieved by the postal service."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Fiscal mismanagement carries high price
"Despite a U.S. Treasury rate of about .26, or almost half of the 2009 one-year U.S. Treasury rate of about .5 percent, this week the state took out a short-term loan which cost taxpayers 2.11 percent interest. That’s almost a full percentage point hike, or more than 80 percent higher than the 2009 rate.  So, if interest rates are down, why is Illinois paying higher interest?  Because of the state’s poor credit rating and ongoing financial woes."
Marchers Spotlight Massey Mine Deaths at CEO Blankenship Press Club Speech - AFL-CIO
"Inside the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., today, Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship tried to defend the indefensible—Massey’s coal mine safety record.  Thirty-one miners have died in Massey mines this year, including 29 in the April 5 explosion at the Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine. Fifty-four coal miners have been killed in the past decade at Massey mines."
Lawyer to hold rally for Christian missionaries - Detroit Free Press
"Majed Moughni said the rights of the four Christians were violated when police arrested them on July 19 during the Arab International Festival, one of the biggest gathering of Arab-Americans in the U.S. The missionaries claim that Islam promotes violence and want to convert Muslims to Christianity.  "They should never have been arrested," said Moughni, who is Arab-American and Muslim. "They have a constitutional right to freedom of speech and religion.""
Fox smears Sherrod as racist, Sherrod cancels Fox interview - Media Matters
"In Fox News' first on-air mention of Sherrod, Bill O'Reilly aired a portion of the Breitbart-pushed clip, then called her comments "simply unacceptable" and said Sherrod "must resign immediately.""

Timeline of Breitbart's Sherrod smear - Media Matters

 

22 July

 
'City boy' leads DuPage fair through history
"As he did so, McGuire bristled at a question he says he hears repeatedly. With the county's farmland down to about 6,000 acres, why does the fair still center around agriculture education?  "We still celebrate the history of the county and the important role agriculture plays in it," he said, while riding a golf cart to his next destination: a flap involving a Chevrolet display. "We are an agriculture fair and will remain an agriculture fair. But we'll also continue to make it fresh and exciting for people to come out and enjoy.""
College of DuPage issued village citations
"The College of DuPage was issued citations from the Village of Glen Ellyn for installing electrical signs on its campus, village officials announced today.  School contractors renewed installation of signs on its Glen Ellyn campus despite pledges to work the village on an interim agreement, according to a press release from the village."
Back to basics at the DuPage Co. Fair
"Events like Ag-Ventureland at the County Fair help highlight these agricultural processes for a more suburban audience.  "Fairs have been going on for thousands of years," McGuire said. "It's always about education, sharing new technology, new ideas, helping one another become more productive, do better things in your fields, sharing your talents so that others can learn.""
DuPage Co. nixes contentious water system
"Some said the plan was communicated poorly, and others alleged that the redrawing of boundary lines for the affected area was unfair or illogical. Many objected to being forced to pay for the project, which Lombard resident Paul Degroot estimated would add nearly $4,000 to his annual property tax bill for the next 20 years.  "For $80,000, I can buy a lot of wells," Degroot said at a mid-April County Board meeting."
Cantigny Introduces Benefits Program for Vets
"Members of Honor Club receive a generous discount on green fees at Cantigny Golf, and free parking at Cantigny Park. The program also includes 10% off in Cantigny’s restaurants and shops, and advance notification of special events."
Chicago warns residents about West Nile virus
"The Chicago Department of Health says it’s found mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus in traps in three neighborhoods on the city’s northwest side. The department says 11 Illinois counties have West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes so far this year. That includes Cook County."
Quinn staff: Furloughs same as last year
"Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for Quinn’s budget office, said the governor learned during a recent trip to Washington that federal Medicaid assistance the state was relying on probably won’t materialize, forcing the state to further economize.  “He needed to take action. People need to start planning for this. He wanted to give employees the most heads-up notice he could,” Kraft said."
Brazil’s CUT, AFL-CIO Working Together to Address Global Jobs Crisis - AFL-CIO
"Meeting today in Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Brazilian CUT President Artur Henrique da Silva Santos discussed a joint strategy for addressing the current global jobs and financial crisis and how best to support financial reforms and policies that lead to the creation of decent work. CUT is the largest labor union federation in Brazil. Read the joint statement here."

 

Growing movement of Christians skip the sermon, worship in small groups at home - Associated Press
"To get to church on a recent Sunday morning, the Yeldell family walked no farther than their own living room to greet fellow worshippers.  The members of this "house church" are part of what experts say is a fundamental shift in the way U.S. Christians think about church. Skip the sermons, costly church buildings and large, faceless crowds, they say. House church is about relationships forged in small faith communities."
Hosie Miller: Shirley Sherrod's dad, and a casualty in a forgotten war - Attytood
"Forty-five years ago, Hosie Miller was shot to death -- in the back, no less -- by a white farmer in what his daughter now describes as ostensibly a dispute over a few cows, although the exact circumstances were murky.  A grand jury investigated the case, and no one was charged. All of the grand jurors were white, as was typically the case before the passage of the landmark civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s."
 

21 July

 

Around and About in West Chicago - 21 July 2010

  • Becky Koltz, Director of Community Relations for West Chicago School District 33
  • Summer Morning Camp at the City Museum
  • “Annie”
  •  West Chicago National Night Out Against Crime and Drugs
  • “The Secret Gardens of the Kruse House”

Little Orphan Annie
"Little Orphan Annie of comic book fame appears on stage in the Community Theatre Production of “Annie,” sponsored by the West Chicago Park District. Persons attending are guaranteed a time of laughs and heart-felt moments as Annie tries to find a family to adopt her as the 50-member cast make this an entertaining production for adults and youths. They belt out the songs with intensity and enthusiasm."

Gary Saake - FaceBook
"Not all government agencies are fiscally irresponsible: Even with the State of Illinois owing Community High School District 94 $1,269.654.23.... we still managed to have a surplus of $32,000 on a cash basis for FY10. Perhaps Springfield and Washington could learn a thing or two from us?"

Mike Fortner - FaceBook
"I will be at the Republican booth at the Dupage County Fair this evening. I invite everyone to stop by to talk with me and enjoy the fair."

City slickers get chance to celebrate DuPage County's farming heritage
"Stephen Haas, his father and vice president of the DuPage County Fair Association, agrees.  "I think people need to know where their food comes from and people need to understand agriculture," he said. "While it's not being done in DuPage, every single person is involved in agriculture, whether it's the food they eat on their tables, the leather belts they wear, the baseball gloves, footballs - almost everything that we do in life today.""
A start, but only that, on openness
"Brian Day, an attorney who works with a statewide agency on behalf of governments, says that municipalities' delays on FOIA responses have more to do with "procedure and process" than releasing information, and many governments complain about the costs they're now incurring trying to comply with the new law.  But we're inclined to think that if more governing bodies made records available and easily accessible from the outset - as did Cary Elementary District 26 and Grayslake Elementary District 46, the complaints of both procedure and cost would be considerably diminished."
police reports
"Adolfo Perez, 37, of the 500 block of Lincoln Street in West Chicago, was arrested July 12 on charges of retail theft, according to a police report. Security at a Sears store on the 3700 block of East Main Street said they observed Perez enter the shoe department wearing a pair of white gym shoes, take a pair of work boots from a shelf and then walked away wearing different shoes than the ones he had on when he arrived at the store. Security detained Perez as he attempted to leave the store. The boots were valued at about $65. A police report indicates Perez was found with about $200 in his wallet when they transported him to the police station for booking."
Unions reach deal to end strike
"Union laborers and operating engineers reached a tentative three-year contract Monday night with the Mid-America Regional Bargaining Association after nine hours of negotiating. The deal ends a nearly 3-week-old strike that halted numerous construction projects in the region..."
Mighty Methodist and Congregational Float Builders
"A dedicated group from the First United Methodist Church and the First Congregational Church met in the early evening several days in a row before the West Chicago Railroad Days Parade to construct a float.   The First United Methodist Church of West Chicago is celebrating their 175th anniversary."
Ill. inmates can challenge transfer to supermax prison
"A federal judge says Illinois inmates have the right to challenge being transferred to the state's only supermax prison.  Tamms has drawn scrutiny from human-rights advocates because its inmates spend most days in solitary confinement — treatment that critics consider too harsh.
Furlough days could hurt pensions
" When Gov. Pat Quinn’s office issued an administrative order last week requiring non-union state workers to take 24 furlough days this fiscal year, the declaration said the resulting pay reduction would not affect pensions.  On Tuesday, the administration acknowledged that the additional furlough days will affect pensions and that it is working to alleviate the impact."
152,000 Illinoisans exhausted benefits from January to June
"More than 152,000 Illinoisans exhausted their regular 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits from January through June, according to figures at the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  The average weekly benefit in Illinois is about $308."
Rep. Foster Holds Successful Small Business Resource Fair
“As a former small business owner, I have created jobs, met payroll and provided benefits to my employees, and I understand the unique challenges that small businesses face,” said Foster.  “Small businesses are the engine that drives economic recovery, and I remain committed to doing everything I can to provide them with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed – from voting for legislation to free up credit to holding events focused on small businesses to enacting legislation that has resulted in the lowest overall tax rate seen in the last 60 years.”
The BP Disaster-China Connection - AFL-CIO
"Wow. If China can’t keep cadmium and lead out of children’s bracelets, it’s hard to understand why BP—flush with profits—would trust a Chinese firm to overhaul a key component in the Deepwater Horizon rig simply to save money. This is, after all, a life or death issue for oil rig workers. If the modification in China led to the failure of the blow-out preventer, what a monumental miscalculation it was, costing lives and causing our nation’s most severe environmental disaster."
Lesbian gets $35K settlement over canceled prom - Yahoo News
"A rural school district that canceled its prom rather than allow a lesbian student to attend with her girlfriend has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit the ACLU filed on her behalf.  The district also agreed to follow a non-discrimination policy as part of the settlement, though it argues such a policy was already in place.  Constance McMillen, 18, said the victory came at the price of her being shunned in her small hometown of Fulton."
Prosecutors: Anti-Gov't Shooting Suspect In CA Wanted To 'Start A Revolution,' Targeted ACLU - TPM Muckraker
"Police now say that Williams, an unemployed carpenter, told them that "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU," according to court documents.  The ACLU aims to defend civil liberties, and the Tides Foundation partners with nonprofits "dedicated to lasting progressive social change."  Williams' mother has said her unemployed son was upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.""
Breitbart's Sherrod narrative unravels - Media Matters
"I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it... I want to see the rest of the tape. I cannot believe Sherrod ended on "I took him to one of his own." Either she said something much worse after that (which we would have seen) or she said something much better.  If it was something "better" then we should have seen that, too."
[This is the best skinny on how the smear was done.  It includes important background information on previous scams, the Acorn prostitutes and the "praying to Obama" lies. The big story here continues to be that Faux manufactures news. - Bob]
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"...  that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Sergeant Donald R. Edgerton, United States Army ... Formerly of the Springfield area"
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"...  that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Officer Michael Bailey, Chicago Police Department"
 

20 July

 
The Sixth Annual Family Golf Outing
  • At Coyote Crossing Miniature Golf
  • Saturday, August 7, 2010 from 11:00 to 2:00
  • Route 64 and St.Charles Rd., West Chicago
  • $25 per Family (up to 6 people)
Rise in Car Burglaries Prompts Warning
"Despite recent arrests within the past few weeks, the West Chicago Police Department has seen an increase in the number of burglaries to motor vehicles. Though these crimes can take place anywhere, the reported incidents have primarily occurred in the overnight hours in subdivisions north of Hawthorne Lane. The common factor in all cases was that the vehicles were left unlocked."
GOP reps call for budget reform downstate
"Hultgren and Hatcher agreed the predominant problem in Springfield is debt, and the problems debt is causing -- chiefly the state being unable to pay its commitments. Illinois is as far as six months behind in paying money owed to local governments and service providers.  Both legislators said they have bills they support that deal with the deficit and better budgeting procedures. Hultgren is sponsoring a bill to make the budget timeline more closely match school funding cycles. He also supports a measure to cut unfunded mandates to schools."
GOP governor hopeful Brady tours Elgin plant
"At the end of his tour of Elgin Sweeper Co., Brady test-drove one of the firm's popular Pelicans, a three-wheeled street cleaner.  Prior to his ride, Brady made no speeches to employees but walked through the factory with company representatives, learning how the equipment is made before heading to two campaign stops in Lake Forest."
Items to be "Sold!" at Annual Forest Preserve District Auction
"Among the many items are cars, pickup trucks, tractors and utility vehicles. Maintenance equipment in the sale includes mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, blowers, seed spreaders, a snow blower and a rototiller. Bargain hunters can shop among jewelry, bicycles, rowboats, cameras, a small refrigerator, fishing gear, golf clubs, auto-repair parts, tools, office equipment and more."
Tentative deal reached to end construction strike
"The agreement between the Mid-America Regional Bargaining Association and the Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 was reached after a nine-hour bargaining session Monday. It includes a 3.25% increase in wages and benefits for each of the next three years. The hourly wage for construction laborers is $35.20, and for heavy equipment operators about $45. "
Politicians gearing up for Illinois State Fair
"Politicians are gearing up for the Illinois State Fair as the fall election quickly approaches.  Governor's Day for Democrats is Aug. 18 and Republican Day is Aug. 19.  The political parties rally at the fair on the director's lawn on their appointed days. Candidates mingle with supporters. And, there are plenty of speeches."
Quinn, Simon raise $5.1 million in election bid
"Quinn campaign spokeswoman Mica Matsoff said Quinn’s donations totaled $3.5 million to his campaign committee and another $1.6 million to a joint campaign committee he has with his running mate, Sheila Simon, daughter of the late Sen. Paul Simon."
Solis and Trumka: Our Future Depends on Immigration Reform - AFL-CIO
"On a live webcast, Solis and Trumka, both children of immigrants, called for reforms that secure our borders and provide a clear path to citizenship for those immigrants who are already here.  Both said the nation has benefited and will continue to benefit from the contributions of immigrants."
Religious group calls out Glenn Beck’s ‘warped gospel’, launches ad campaign - Raw Story
"Faithful America is airing the ad on Christian stations to reach viewers and listeners who frequently tune into Beck's programs. While Beck may think he speaks for Christians, thousands have signed petitions rejecting his views and expressing their outrage. The ads are part of Faithful America's "Driven by Faith, Not by Fear" campaign, an effort to counter the fear, lies and hateful rhetoric of extreme pundits and the Tea Party."
Billboard Battle in Bible Belt: 'One Nation Under God' or Not? - ABC News
"The signs read "One nation indivisible," a reference to the Pledge of Allegiance but deliberately omitting the words "under God."   The billboards, paid for by the North Carolina Secular Association, a coalition of groups including the Western North Carolina Atheists, were intended to show that even Americans who don't believe in God can be patriotic and to promote a sense of unity."
[Like all people born in 1948, in kindergarten I was taught the pledge.  By 1st grade they changed it... adding the "under God."  That conversion is why, without a comma, folks my age paused (I actually had one elementary teacher who insisted that we not do so.)  Next will they remove the "indivisible"?   Oops!  They already have. - Bob]
Fox News overlooked voter-intimidation allegations against Minutemen - Media Matters
"In contrast to Fox News' repeated hyping of voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 election, a search of the Nexis database indicates that Fox News' top shows did not report on similar allegations that members of the Minutemen harassed Hispanic voters at an Arizona polling center in 2006."
Bailout Recipients - ProPublica
"We're tracking where taxpayer money has gone in the ongoing bailout of the financial system. Our database accounts for both the broader $700 billion bill and the separate bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Below is the list of companies to which Treasury has committed money. "Revenue to Government" shows the amount that has been paid to the Treasury Department through interest, dividends, fees or the repurchase of stock warrants. Click on each recipient for more detail on the transactions."
19 July  
This week in West Chicago
  Arbutus Watson, beloved mother of Sharon Lemon died this evening in Pittsburgh, PA.
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"The new schedule is out. Start your week informed on the workings of West Chicago by watching the City Council live at 7PM on Monday. Railroad Days lives on this week on Channel 17. We are proud to announce that the 2010 Railroad Days Parade can be viewed Tuesday and Thursday at 7PM. Also, 2010 Railroad Days Music can been seen this week at 8PM on Tuesday and Thursday. This is the first time we've been able to bring both Railroad Days programs to our viewers one week after the Railroad Days event."
Van Buren County Officers Need Taser To Subdue Illinois Man
"Friday, Van Buren County Sheriff's Department deputies assigned to patrol the South Haven Township coastline and DNRE Critical Dune Areas observed a man -- later identified as a 39-year-old resident of West Chicago, Ill. -- driving a 2009 Kawasaki four-wheeled off-road vehicle (ORV) recklessly with a small child on the back of the vehicle. Deputies asked the man to stop and he fled the scene on the ORV... The deputy then gave chase on foot and caught the man before he was able to drive off on the ORV. The subject man fought with the deputy and had to be tasered before he could be subdued and restrained."
Can carp become boon for state?
"The Asian carp can become an economic engine for Illinois rather than a threat to the Great Lakes, according to a company that plans to harvest the fish from Illinois rivers and ship them to China, where they are a delicacy... This first-of-its-kind partnership will enhance the commercial fishing industry, create about 180 jobs and relieve pressure on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Electric Barrier System, designed to stop fish from moving further towards Lake Michigan, the release said."
WSJM Man Arrested For Driving ORV Recklessly With Child
"A deputy located the ORV behind a residence before spotting the subject attempting to run back to the vehicle. But the officer captured the man as he attempted to get back on. He needed to be tasered because he fought with the deputy. He was arrested for numerous charges including child endangerment and resisting arrest. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the incident."
Chicago
  Injury Lawyer Blog
Suburban Chicago Car Accident Kills Elderly Man
5 states sue to keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes
"In a case filed today in the U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois, attorneys general from Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania are again fighting to close Chicago-area shipping, eliminating the most direct path for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes. The case is similar to those twice rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court."
Quinn, Simon raise $5.1 million in election bid
"Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign says he and his running mate raised a combined $5.1 million during the first half of the year for their election bid.  Republican Bill Brady announced last week he had raised $3.6 million during the same period.  Quinn's campaign said today they had nearly $2.3 million in the bank as of June 30. That's about the same amount of money Brady, a state senator frm Bloomington, said he had available."
State bill to boost penalties for illegal gun possession
"Gov. Pat Quinn will join Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the family of a slain police officer in signing new gun legislation.  The bill will increase penalties for unlawful firearm possession. Quinn is scheduled to sign the legislation today at a park on Chicago's South Side... Wortham, a member of the Wisconsin National Guard, had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq."
Green Party candidates face another uphill battle in Illinois
"With a Republican governor already in prison, a Democratic governor possibly headed there and no shortage of missteps by the major-party candidates for governor and U.S. Senate, Illinois seems ripe for an alternative... “Yes, people are unhappy with their choices, but I think that usually takes the form of people not voting, as opposed to voting for Green candidates.”"
Quinn signs bills on dog fighting, seniors, veterans
"One new bill is aimed at getting financial institutions more involved in protecting seniors from exploitation.  The bill requires state agencies to develop training for financial employees to recognize the signs of financial exploitation and how to report abuse. The law takes effect immediately."
Alta Gracia Plant Shows Fair Practices Possible in Apparel - AFL-CIO
"The first-known apparel factory in the developing world to pay a living wage is operating in Alta Gracia, a small impoverished town in the Dominican Republic. For the first time, the 120 workers at the factory will be paid enough to support themselves and their families.  The factory and brand, named after the town, is owned by Spartanburg, S.C.-based Knights Apparel, the leading supplier of college-logo apparel to U.S. universities, according to the Collegiate Licensing Co."
Scholars: Westboro message at Marine's funeral offensive, but protected - York Daily Record
"The writers of all seven amicus briefs filed this week with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Westboro Baptist Church noted two things:
The protest by the Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his family was terribly offensive and presented a worldview with which they disagreed greatly.  And, despite that, all seven said the court must rule in favor of the Kansas-based church when it hears the appeal by Spring Garden Township's Albert Snyder in October."
THE PROBLEM WITH SHORT MEMORIES - Washington Monthly
""Only about a third of Americans (34%) know that the government's bailout of banks and financial institutions was enacted under the Bush administration."... For the record, the financial industry bailout passed in October 2008. It was requested by a conservative Republican administration (George W. Bush and Dick Cheney). It was enthusiastically endorsed by the House Republican leadership (John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Roy Blunt), the Senate Republican leadership (Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl), both members of the Republican presidential ticket (John McCain and Sarah Palin), and assorted, high-profile conservative voices (Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck).  At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot less than 34% of Americans knew this, too."
Report: Warmest June on record globally - CNN
"Warmer-than-average conditions were present across nearly all continents, including much of the United States, according to the organization's State of the Climate report, released Friday.  Although global sea surface temperatures ranked the fourth-warmest on record, the combination of land and sea anomalies pushed June 2010 past June 2005, previously the warmest June on record, the report said. June was also the fourth consecutive month in a row of record warmth worldwide."
 

16 July

 
Railroad Days Music 2010
"Check out this promo for the program coming next week on Channel 17. I enjoyed taping the bands and putting the program together. It's too bad some acts got rained out."
2010 Fine Arts Fiesta Award Winners Announced
  • Paul Nemejc - "Spring Encounter" (gouache)
  • Uwe Gsedl - "Tastee Freez Reflection" (photograph)
  • Molly McGhee - "Monarch Butterfly" (photograph)
  • Dianne Gage - "Blue Damsel" (beaded doll)

Educare of West DuPage: - Susan Dieterle Stibal
"UPDATE YOUR ALDERMAN ON EDUCARE at this Saturday's COFFEE WITH THE MAYOR! Join West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman & other city officials for an informal exchange of ideas, information and/or concerns. Sat, July 17 , 2010 8:00-11:00 a.m. City Hall - Stop by and share your views!"

Greenhouse gases in the future could give Chicago 100-degree days for a month
" Xin-Zhong Liang, an atmospheric scientist at Illinois State Water Survey and assistant professor at the UI, says that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current level rate, the region could have up to a month of 100-degree days.  "The model projection covers a relatively larger area than Champaign County. In general, the changes in heat waves will be similar between Champaign and Chicago, from the projection at the current model resolution," Liang said via e-mail."
Source: Chrysler may add 3rd shift in Belvidere, Toledo
"The Blade’s sources said Chrysler Group LLC is studying whether it should build its small and midsized vehicles at its Toledo North and Belvidere plants — and increase the operations of each to three shifts — or continue to use Sterling Heights and run two shifts at all three plants.  A Chrysler official at last week’s Belvidere City Council meeting confirmed that Chrysler will build a more than 500,000-square-foot addition to its 4 million-square-foot Belvidere assembly plant. But he did not specify how the space would be used."
Quinn favors death penalty moratorium; Brady would lift it
"Gov. Pat Quinn would maintain Illinois’ 10-year moratorium on the death penalty while his Republican opponent, state Sen. Bill Brady, would lift it, the two candidates’ campaigns said this week.  Their comments come at the same time as the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty released the results of a poll it commissioned showing that a majority of Illinois registered voters prefer some penalty other than death for the crime of murder.  The poll also found that fewer than 40 percent of registered voters even know Illinois has a death penalty."
Rep. Foster Statement on Senate Passage of Wall Street Reform Legislation
“In the wake of a financial crisis that has cost eight million jobs and has cost American families more than $17.5 trillion in net worth, there is no higher priority than putting in place common-sense rules of the road to prevent this sort of crisis from happening again. "
Obama Aide Meets With Republican ‘Old Friend’ on Medicare Fraud
"Nicholas Papas, a spokesman for DeParle’s office, said the meeting was “constructive.” Medicare may experiment on its own with data-mining software, even without legislation, he said. The technology relies on statistical analysis to predict results, and credit-card companies use data mining to pinpoint suspicious transactions as they occur.  “I would characterize her as sympathetic,” Roskam said by telephone after the meeting with DeParle."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Quinn uses executive authority to change primary election law
"On July 13, Gov. Pat Quinn amendatorily vetoed House Bill 4842, which requires the State Board of Elections to publish an electronic voter’s guide that would be posted online prior to the state’s general primary election. While the governor’s amendatory veto retains the original language, it also eliminates the state’s current requirement mandating a voter publicly declare his or her party affiliation when voting in the primary election, creating an open primary system in Illinois."
Won’t You Come See Us Queen Meg? - AFL-CIO
"After spending $90 million to capture the California Republican gubernatorial primary, billionaire and former eBay CEO “Queen” Meg Whitman is now spending some of her cash to attack Golden State nurses and their union, the California Nurses Association (CNA).  But she has refused CNA’s offer to meet face-to-face and defend her attacks and her Wall Street corporate agenda and its impact on nurses, patient safety and health care."
Argentinian priest defies Church on gay marriage - Americas, World - The Independent
"Jose Alessio, a Roman Catholic priest, backs a bill being debated in Congress this week that would grant homosexual couples marriage and adoption rights, flouting Church doctrine and subjecting himself to sanctions.  "I feel I'm in communion with God, my people and the Gospel, regardless of whether a bishop or the Pope decides to excommunicate me," he told the BAE newspaper.  President Cristina Fernandez supports the proposal on human rights grounds, which has angered religious groups in the nominally Catholic country. If the bill is passed, Argentina will be one of a handful of countries to have such a law."
Greenspan Calls for Congress to Let All Bush Tax Cuts Expire - Bloomberg BusinessWeek
"Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose backing of George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts helped persuade Congress to pass them, said lawmakers should allow the reductions to expire at the end of this year.  “They should follow the law and let them lapse,” Greenspan said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff,” citing a need for the tax revenue to reduce the federal budget deficit."
The Small Business Dodge - Mother Jones
"So that's the case. Letting Bush's tax cuts for the rich expire affects only a tiny number of small businesses; it doesn't affect them very much; and it generates revenues of $678 billion. If the only thing you care about is keeping taxes low for rich people, you won't be convinced. For the rest of us, it's a no-brainer."
Right-wing media attempt to erase "bigoted statements" from the tea party movement - Media Matters
"Following the NAACP's resolution condemning "the Tea Party's continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements," right-wing media have gone on the defense, going so far as to claim there is "no evidence of racism within the movement." But the NAACP's charge of "racist elements" within the tea party is supported by allegations of racial epithets hurled at African-American congressmen and racially charged signs and slogans from various tea party protests."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Staff Sergeant Christopher J. Antonik, United States Marine Corps ... Hometown: Crystal Lake, Illinois"
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
" ... all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Specialist Joseph W. Dimock II
United States Army ... Hometown: Wildwood, Illinois"
 

15 July

 
  Abutus Watson, mother of Sharon Lemon, has been transferred to a hospice facility in Pennsylvania.  Prayers are in order and appreciated.

West Chicago
High School

BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 94
July 20, 2010 – 7:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM – Entrance “H”

Learn About Prairie Animals at the City Museum
"Those who love nature up close and personal won’t want to miss Animals of the Prairie, sponsored by the West Chicago City Museum. The presentation takes place at the Museum, located at 132 Main Street in downtown West Chicago, on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m."
DuPage water panel lowers emergency reserve fund
"But commissioners wanting a lower amount suggested if the reserves hadn't been so high, the agency's financial problems would have been discovered sooner. In addition, a lower emergency fund balance could keep costs lower to residents. Water rates are expected to rise significantly in 2016 if Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill that eliminates a quarter-cent sales tax that goes to the commission and generates roughly $30 million a year.  "For us to have that much in these economic times is unnecessary," commissioner Jim Zay said."
When religion confronts zoning
"As we've seen time and again in the suburbs, church expansions, new mosques and proposed religious compounds tend to provoke a decidedly harsh rebuff from neighbors.  Sometimes concerns are legitimate: extra people creating too much traffic, inadequate parking, more noise, litter. Sometimes it's simple NIMBYism. And then there is the more insidious bigotry. We've seen every combination of reasons in objections to new houses of worship in the suburbs."
Brady calls on Quinn to sign law for online prisoner gallery
"The legislation, filed by Brady in his role as a state senator in February, passed both houses in April. It has sat on Quinn's desk since May 21. He has until July 21 to sign it, or it automatically becomes law.  While Brady said the legislation was "not a political initiative," he used it to criticize Quinn for the early release of 1,700 inmates by the Illinois Department of Corrections last December."
Online
PR News
Synergy Builders is proud to announce their new service offering,Wellborn Closet Systems
"Synergy Builders, a design-build home remodeling company is proud to announce their new service offering, Wellborn Closet System in Chicago.  Recently Synergy Builders, a design-build home remodeling company has proud to announce their new service offering, Wellborn Closets Systems in Chicago. Wellborn Closet Systems will help in maximizing your space and suit all your home and organizational needs. These closet systems are designed to help organize your closets, mud rooms, pantry rooms, laundry rooms, garage, linen closets, craft rooms etc. For more information on Wellborn Closet systems visit: www.wellborn.com."
Kirk has big lead over Giannoulias in fundraising
"Giannoulias raised about $900,000 between April and June, his spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said today. That leaves the rookie state treasurer with about $1 million in his campaign fund ahead of the Nov. 2 election.  Kirk, a five-term North Shore congressman, raised about $2.3 million this spring and had about $4 million on hand to start July."
Quinn's amendatory veto of open-primary law likely kills the legislation
"The original bill, HB 4842, required the State Board of Elections to compile an electronic voters guide before each primary election.  But Quinn amended the legislation to create a new way of conducting primary elections in Illinois. It would require election judges to give a voter the ballot for each established political party nominating candidates. Once inside the privacy of a voting booth, the voter would choose which party primary to vote in."
Ill. patients denied insurance asked to share stories
"The Illinois Department of Insurance wants to hear from consumers who were denied health insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions.  The department is trying to gauge demand for a new federally funded health plan and to find out which medical conditions led to denials."
Boone veteran feels ‘snubbed’ by drive-through denial
"Rogers, a frequent customer of McDonald’s on Chrysler Drive, was told Tuesday that he was no longer welcome to ride his scooter through the restaurant’s drive-through to make purchases. His mode of transportation, he was told, made him a safety risk. He’d been frequenting the drive-through for four years, and his scooter won’t fit through the restaurant’s doors."
American Legion holds annual state convention in Springfield
" Flanagan, in Springfield for the group’s 92nd annual convention, said the American Legion currently has 105,642 members in Illinois — down from 120,000 just three or four years ago.  “We’ve lost members, and it’s not due to deaths,” he said. “It’s the economic times and other things. In Illinois, we’re pretty much making up the difference when a member dies.”
Teachers union backs Quinn; Brady blasts him
" Gov. Pat Quinn picked up a key teachers union endorsement Wednesday, while Republican Bill Brady again blasted Quinn for granting early release to hundreds of inmates last year.  Quinn and his running mate, Sheila Simon, were endorsed by the Illinois Education Association. Brady, who opposes raising the state income tax, called the IEA’s endorsement of Quinn “disappointing.”"
Lehigh Valley Union Activists to Rep. Dent: Show Us the Jobs! - AFL-CIO
"Yael Foa, AFL-CIO senior field representative for the Northeast Region, recently rallied with Pennsylvania union members at the Bethlehem offices of Rep. Charlie Dent to protest his lack of action in creating good jobs. The event is one of dozens union activists are holding around the nation to hold lawmakers accountable for Good Jobs Now."

 

U.S. Church Lends Help To Anti-Gay Ugandan Pastor - NPR
"Among other things, the bill imposes the death penalty for gay sex with a minor, or having sex with your gay partner if you are HIV-positive. Two consenting adults can get life in prison. A straight person who knows someone is gay, and doesn't report it, could get prison time as well.  So why does Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas — a megachurch with some 6,000 congregants each week — financially support Ssempa? "
France votes to ban burka in public - The Vancouver Sun
"The National Assembly voted by a 335-to-1 margin, with Socialists and Communists abstaining, to deny people the right to cover their faces in all public places such as government and corporate buildings, trains and buses, as well as stores, markets and streets.  The bill would impose a fine of about $200 for violators, but men who force wives or daughters to cover their faces could receive a maximum one-year jail term and a fine of just under $40,000."
 

14 July

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 14 July 2010
  • “It’s Time to Begin,” watercolor painting classes
  • Third Annual Golf “Fore” A Cure
  • “Annie”
  • District 94 Education Foundation “Chair’ity Auction”
Thomas Tinnes
"Tom's life centered around church and his family. He was an active and well-loved member of St. Mary's Parish in West Chicago, attending 7:30 Mass daily and serving his church community with dedication. Tom worked over 45 years for Karr Cleaners in West Chicago and Wheaton. He enjoyed baseball, reading, crossword puzzles, telling goofy jokes, puns and spending time with family and friends. Ever the diehard Chicago Cubs fan, his favorite motto was, "Wait 'til next year!""
National Night Out
"The City of West Chicago marks its 21st year of participation in National Night Out, on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and spend an evening with neighbors, elected officials and police. Music, free food, soft drinks and give-aways will be part of the celebration."
Engineers unveil latest Route 59 plans
"Engineers are hoping their latest design of a Route 59 expansion through Naperville will be a gem.  The city and Illinois Department of Transportation are unveiling a new "diverging diamond" design for the I-88 interchange at Route 59."
[Readers may want to check the Wiki description of this kind of interchange by clicking here. - Bob]
Why proposed Muslim Center needs so much parking
"Kevin Gallaher was suggesting a 30-space parking lot despite claims that the building would house a maximum of only 20 worshippers at any of the day's five prayer services. That would leave 10 spaces perpetually unused."
Foster not a D.C. insider - Susan and Jerry Vogus
"The Congressman returns to the 14th District almost every weekend to participate in "Congress On Your Corner" sessions offering one-on-one time to any constituent with questions - at libraries, grocery stores, municipal offices, etc."
[Factcheck: Sen.Hultgren has 11+ years in the IL legislature plus 4 years as a paid County Commissioner.  Wiki reveals no successful career in the private sector before that.  Foster hasn't finished his second year in government after 22 years at Fermi and as a successful business owner.  Which is the "career politician" and insider?  I guess not every elected official is guilty of all we wish to accuse them of. - Bob]
Police report
  • "The rear window to a house in the 700 block of Hawthorne Lane was broken, as was a red vase in the house, between 9 a.m. May 31 and 9 p.m. July 1, police said.
  • Pedro Avila, 33, of the 300 block of E. Blair Street in West Chicago, was charged with fleeing and eluding police, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, speeding and driving without a valid license, at 3:10 a.m. July 4 in the 800 block of East State Street, according to a police report."
Despite reports, ‘God particle’ eludes Fermilab
"Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, the country's premier particle physics lab, has been searching for the Higgs for years, and lab leaders are hoping to discover it before the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland renders Fermilab's own Tevatron accelerator obsolete.  On Monday, a story appeared in The Daily Telegraph in London announcing that Fermilab may have found the slippery boson.  Unfortunately, the story "has no factual basis," in the words of one Fermilab official."
Free Garden Walk
"West Chicago Garden Club is sponsoring a free garden walk that starts at Kruse House where you can pick up a map, enjoy refreshments, and wander through the historic gardens that have been restored and are maintained by the West Chicago Garden Club."
Illinois paying for its big debt
"In peddling another $900 million in Build America capital projects bonds today, Illinois could face interest costs of about $9 million a year more than if the state were in better financial shape. The extra costs would total about $225 million over the life of the bonds.  The annual hit may not seem like a huge sum compared with the state’s $25 billion budget. But it’s more than Gov. Pat Quinn’s $8 million in cuts to the Department of Natural Resources, for example, or his $8 million in cuts for veterans programs."
Rep. Foster Announces Important Change For Our Veterans
“I am pleased that the VA has made a change so that veterans suffering from PTSD are promptly and properly cared for – and I am certainly pleased that veterans from wars fought in decades past may now be eligible for the claims that were previously denied.  I have never met anyone more heroic than the veterans recovering from life-changing injuries – we have to do everything we can to help them and their families recover as quickly as possible.”

Mike Fortner - FaceBook
"One of my legislative initiatives this year was to relieve local bee keepers from strict regulations requiring a lot of fancy processing equipment just to put honey in the little bears you might buy at the farmer's market. Earlier this year I sponsored and passed HB 6132 to treat honey as a raw agricultural product. As is often the case, an idenctical bill came from the Senate and SB 2959 became law yesterday."

'A Chart That Screams, "Extend Unemployment Benefits!" ' - Washington Post
""That giant gap consists of Americans who are unemployed, and couldn't get a job even if they wanted to," Indiviglio writes. "This emphasizes the need for Congress to extend unemployment benefits. It's pretty clear that millions of Americans remain unemployed because the jobs aren't there -- not because they aren't trying hard enough to find them. In fact, it's not even close.""
Poll: Texans Fed Up with Education Wars - Texas Freedom Network Insider
"Today the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released results from a statewide survey of what Texans think about the intersection of politics and religion with public schools. We released results from two questions back in May. One showed overwhelming support for putting teachers and scholars, instead of politicians on the State Board of Education, in charge of writing curriculum and textbook requirements. Another revealed that nearly 7 in 10 Texans agree that separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution."
How a Tiny Town Sent an International Water Giant Packing - AlterNet
"In 2008, weeks after communities all over the United States celebrated the Fourth of July, the tiny town of Felton, Calif., marked its own holiday: Water Independence Day. With barbecue, music, and dancing, residents marked the end of Felton’s six-year battle to gain control of its water system. The fight, like the festivities, was a grassroots effort. For when a large, private corporation bought Felton’s water utility and immediately raised rates, residents organized, leading what was ultimately a successful campaign for public ownership and inspiring other communities nationwide."

 

 

13 July

 

Educare Comments following Development Committee Meeting

  • Gary Saake is very pleased with the West Chicago Development Committee's meeting this evening where the members moved Educare of West DuPage gift to the community ahead with a resounding vote in favor of approving zoning and special use permits.

  • Susan Dieterle Stibal VERY HAPPY that the West Chicago Development Committee approved the zoning and special use permits tonight for EDUCARE of West DuPage. We have even gained some new EDUCARE fans as more council and community members learned about the benefits of this great preschool facility and programming! Final approval at upcoming full council meeting - stay tuned for a firm date.

  • Chris Scheck Thank you everyone who shared their thoughts and beliefs in Educare. I truly believe it made a big difference in the outcome tonight.

  • Educare of West DuPage Thanks to all the residents and community leaders who came and spoke in favor of Educare of West DuPage at last night's Development Committee meeting. Our project was approved and now moves on to the full Council (date to be announced soon). Keep those letters and calls coming to Aldermen to solidify support for this important project!

CableCom, West Chicago's Channel 17 - FaceBook
"Another great Railroad Days! We want to thanks all those who helped with the parade:

  • Announcers- Gene Rennels and Anna Durso

  • Cameras- Rebecca Tulloch and Axel Borja

  • Technical Director- Pat Kramford

  • Comcast Engineers- Mike and Don"

CN Railway Repairs at Grade Crossing
"The City of West Chicago has been notified that CN Railway has scheduled repairs of the subject grade crossing at Washington Street and Aurora Street beginning on August 2, 2010 at 8:00 a.m., and concluding on or before August 6, 2010 at 8:00 p.m."
Sales Tax Holiday is Sales Opportunity
"You may have already heard, but just in case you haven't, for a short period in August, the state's 5 percent sales tax will be eliminated for purchases of clothing and shoes. The so-called "sales tax holiday" would run from Aug. 6 - 15, 2010."
Zoning board hears debate on W. Chicago prayer center
"Already fighting accusations in court that the group is violating county zoning ordinances, neighbors opposing the proposal told the county's zoning board of appeals Monday that they don't believe promises made by the center's leaders to be good neighbors in the future... Gallaher said leaders expect anywhere from two to 20 worshipers to use the facility for about 15 minutes during any of the five daily prayer services that occur at sunrise, noon, midafternoon, sunset and an hour after sunset. County code calls for the center to have 30 parking spaces, but Gallaher suggested building a lot for 15 cars and landbanking space for 15 more spots if the county determines it's necessary."
Elderly West Chicago man killed in crash
"Police are continuing the investigation into a two-vehicle crash that left an elderly man dead as he attempted to leave a golf course Sunday night in an unincorporated area near Wheaton.  Thomas Tinnes, 81, of West Chicago was killed in the crash, according to the DuPage County Coroner's office."
Another Muslim center proposed in DuPage
"The Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs wants to move to West Chicago, seeking the same sort of conditional use permit the Irshad Learning Center unsuccessfully sought from DuPage County earlier this year.  Both properties include horse stables and riding corrals.  Both petitions include landscaping provisions and suggested parking configurations, proposed to help resolve neighbors' concerns.  There are differences, too. The West Chicago site has been in use, and the county has censured the organization for it. The Irshad group has yet to conduct worship activities on its property. The ICWS case is pending. The Irshad request is in court."
Zoning for Islamic center in DuPage debated
"More than 125 people crowded into a cafeteria at the DuPage County government center as the Zoning Board considered a request by the Islamic Center of Western Suburb for a conditional use for a religious institution at the single-family home at 28W774 W. Army Trail Road near West Chicago.  No action was taken at the meeting, the first of three steps before a final decision is rendered by the DuPage County Board in late September"
UI makes faculty pay focus of its state funding request
"The University of Illinois is trying to fend off faculty flight by boosting merit raises for professors who earn promotions – and by making faculty pay the focus of its 2011-12 state funding request.  Schools across the country "have recognized that Illinois has problems" and are trying to lure away the university's distinguished faculty, said Richard Wheeler, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs."
Group seeking support for state law allowing concealed-carry in Illinois
""When I'm in those states, I can carry a loaded firearm on my person or in my vehicle to protect myself," Rowe said. "But when I come home, I have to unload it and enclose it in a case and render myself a potential victim.""
Illinois seeks grant to monitor insurance premiums
"The department is applying for a $1 million federal grant to collect and analyze health insurance premium hikes in Illinois.  The grant money would come from the new national health overhaul law. The state application must be approved by federal officials. If approved, the grant money may be available next month."
New study shows 'bored now' correct about voters
"More than half indicated that they were confident that their answers were correct - but in fact only 3 percent of the people got more than half of the questions right. Perhaps more disturbingly, the ones who were the most confident they were right were by and large the ones who knew the least about the topic."
Netroots Nation: Vote on a Union Beer - AFL-CIO
"Unfortunately, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas isn’t able to get all of these—our choices are Miller and Leinenkugel beers. But we still have to pick which Millers and which Leinenkugels, and when we’re figuring out the order, we want to know what you want. So take the poll; we’ll do our best to get something for everyone."
Egyptian Islamists attempt to draw a veil over 'salacious' masterpiece - The Independent
"How come the Muslim world – at its moments of greatest crisis – will invariably manage to deflect its energies into the most preposterous cultural, historical or religious questions?  Egyptian Islamists have said they want to censor "salacious" passages from the One Thousand and One Nights, one of the Muslim world's priceless literary works."
Abused staffers net nearly $1M a year - Politico
"“You could imagine the repercussions for a congressman if an allegation becomes public,” said employment lawyer George Chuzi, who represented Christine Niedermeier, a former aide who accused Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of sexually harassing her several years ago. “It’s worth it to pay them, especially if it’s not their money, just to have the thing kept confidential. It’s worth it to them just to keep inappropriate allegations out of the public airwaves.”"
The Fox Cycle: From bogus right-wing attack to mainstream news - Media Matters
"As more and more media outlets follow Fox News' lead in covering the manufactured New Black Panther Party/Department of Justice (DOJ) scandal, Media Matters offers three case studies of previous bogus right-wing attacks that, with help from Fox News, went mainstream before being debunked."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Officer Thor Soderberg, Chicago Police Department"
 

12 July

 
This Week in West Chicago

Dispelling the Myths of Educare

  • Dispelling the Myths of Educare of West DuPage - Christine L. Scheck, Ph.D
    "Many noted economists, including Nobel Laureate James Heckman of the University of Chicago, have demonstrated that high quality early learning programs starting at birth have the greatest return on investment of any educational intervention – as much as a 16% annual rate of return. That is because these programs set the children on a path to success in school and later in life by building both cognitive and social skills."
  • Educare of West DuPage - Julie Pearson
    "To “blame” Educare on increased teenage pregnancy goes beyond ludicrous. Teenage pregnancy is going to happen…it has been happening far longer than Educare has been around. What Educare is doing is taking the steps necessary to give the teenage mother a chance in life so that they can give more to their children by giving their children a step up in life through education."

  • Dear District 94 Community
    "Many citizens in the community appear to misunderstand what Educare does and who it will impact and how it will ultimately impact all school districts including District 94. Statistics show that the earlier at-risk children are brought in to the education system and provided the opportunity to learn vital skills needed to succeed in their educational career, the better their success will be in the school system."

  • From Sue Stibal's Facebook Page

    • Susan Dieterle Stibal
      "TONITE 7PM-CITY HALL-DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING regarding EDUCARE. Come & let your aldermen know that you support this privately-funded birth to age 5 preschool in West Chicago. It's a wonderful opportunity to bring the best preschool programming to those that need it most. Learn why D33 and the City of West Chicago are working so hard to see this through!"

    • Kathe Elliott-Doremus
      "The citizens of West Chicago should be so grateful that Educare is interested in our community - this will benefit every taxpayer as we see improvement in performance in our schools going forward! Excellent schools impact home values - and to provide excellent schools, we need to reach out to any child who is at risk and give them tools to succeed in the future! I will do all that I can to support this effort - both as a community member and the President of D94 Board of Education!"

    • Alicia Riske Carriveau
      "I can't believe the people of West Chicago can't see what a great gift this is!!! I am so fed up with the attitude some of the people in this town have. West Chicago has a diverse community and I am proud of it!! If you don't feel the same way than move, so those of us who that support the community we live in can do what it takes to help the parents who want to give their kids a better life than they had. Isn't that the American dream!! "

    • Lisa Herrell Warren
      "I would challenge any 'nay' to spend a day volunteering in any one of our schools, actually working with the kids and then tell me we don't need Educare. It's a gift to our children! Accept it and say THANK YOU!"

    • Chris Scheck
      Unfortunately it seems the leadership in WC tends to perpetuate the opinion of many. We either educate these children before they enter D33 or, as taxpayers, we will pay for the supplemental services they will need as they enter our schools.

    • Bodie Lisa
      We've been trying to educate them for years now, what about this is changed with educare? Not that I'm a naysayer, I believe in education, but I don't believe in throwing good money after bad. I don't know everything about it, seems like there's alot of support from the big money people, but hey they do need employees. Just heard so much of it all before what's the guarantee???

Railroad day parade - FB - Marvin Boorsma
This is a gallery of 45 pictures taken during the RailRoad Days parade.
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"This week's schedule is out. Since we're still riding the Railroad Days wave, we're showing more old Railroad Days programs... But with a twist. This week we'll show the video from the year Railroad days was Heritage Days.  Also, we are showing the new program 'Park District Profile'. On Tuesday and Thursday, catch up on upcoming event..."
  • Pro-Life News: Fort Wayne, Indiana, Minnesota, Chicago, Abortion - LifeNews.com
    ""The West Chicago demonstration ordinance illegally restricts core speech protected by our federal Constitution. By agreeing to allow the peaceful pro-life protest tomorrow and to take a fresh look at that ordinance, the officials of West Chicago have wisely recognized the primacy of our sacred free speech rights," said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. "
  • Illinois Review: "Face the Truth" prolife tour commences in West Chicago  - Illinois Review
    "Despite threats from local officials as reported on Illinois Review yesterday, Pro-Life Action League's "Face the Truth Tour 2010" set up in West Chicago this am, hoisting pro-life placards, many of which feature images of aborted babies.  Organizer Eric Scheidler's just posted this photo on his Facebook page. Note the police cars in the background, perched over the protest."
Small-town vibe infuses West Chicago parade
""You have half the town in the parade and the other half watching," Burleigh said, noting that this is the first time in 12 years she's been in the parade.  The parade did feature some unique entries to go along with the requisite politicians, cheerleader squads, bands and Shriners. Several floats honored General Mills, which is celebrating its 50th year in West Chicago, and people donned Hamburger Helper mittens and Trix rabbit costumes."
W. Chicago man dies in car wreck near Wheaton
"An elderly West Chicago man died early Monday from injuries he suffered the night before in a crash near Wheaton.  Thomas Tinnes, 81, was pronounced dead at 1:49 a.m. at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. The accident remains under investigation."
State law cracks down on red light cameras
"The law requires an official to verify the violation before any citation is issued. Drivers also will be allowed to view the evidence online, and they can't be charged an extra fee for contesting the ticket.  The law gives drivers a little more leeway to stop beyond the white line at a red light, so long as they don't enter the intersection. Previously, even pulling past the line by a few feet could trigger a ticket."
Craig Welker Gets His First Hole In One!
"On July 9th, Hoffman Estates resident, Craig Welker got his first Hole In One on Course #2, Hole #11 at St. Andrews G. & C.C. in West Chicago. Craig, a college hockey ref, (and once a year golfer!) was playing in the AHAI golf outing when he shot his ace."
Brady's company stalled on project near interchange in Champaign
" Knight said that typically, the sanitary district would pay the portion of the sewer that serves the region at large. The developer usually will pay the portion that serves the specific property.  "In this case, the resultant developer share was just higher than (Bill) Brady wanted to absorb, and there weren't enough other developers sort of ready to go at the time to make it work," Knight said."
State's tax holiday covers more than pencils
"Illinois is the 14th state to create a tax holiday. Quinn’s critics say the timing couldn’t be worse because the state’s financial situation is so dire. Budget experts have estimated that the state could lose $40 million to $60 million during the tax-free period even though the goal is to convince people to spend more on items that don’t qualify.  Items that qualify cover clothing and footwear costing less than $100, including belts and suspenders, coats and jackets, gloves and mittens, lab coats, school uniforms, sneakers, socks and boots."
State to take applications for utility bill program
"The state has announced assistance applications will be taken beginning Monday, July 19, for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  The LIHEAP program provides assistance with utility bills for households with income up to 150 percent of federal poverty level.
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Illinois’ record-breaking year sets the stage for even worse 2011
"On the heels of Governor Quinn’s budget outline for Fiscal Year 2011, Comptroller Dan Hynes released a final Fiscal Year 2010 report that verified “Illinois ended the year in the worst fiscal position in its history.”  At the end of the fiscal year, which concluded on June 30, the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) balance was negative $4.692 billion—the lowest budgetary balance in Illinois history."
Work and Walk in Union-Made Boots with Discounts for Union Members - AFL-CIO
"The American-made, union-made boots by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) locals 668 and 717 members at the Weinbrenner Shoe Co., are  available online at TheUnionBootPro.com—and union members get a 27 percent discount. Walter Brown, owner of BootPro Solutions LLC, says roughly 98 percent of the work boots sold in the United States are made overseas, primarily China."
Basis of Ruling on Gay Unions Stirs Debate - NY Times
"“As far as an assertion of states’ rights goes, I believe it’s a good thing,” said Shelby Blakely, executive director of The New Patriot Journal, the group’s online publication. “The Constitution does not allow federal regulation of gay marriage just as it doesn’t allow for federal regulation of health care.”  “But I don’t want to come off saying I support gay marriage,” she added."
Ginsburg: Roe will hold - Politico
""Over a generation of young women have grown up, understanding they can control their own reproductive capacity, and in fact their life's destiny," Ginsburg said in rare public remarks. "We will never go back to the way it once was."   Ginsburg said that any changes in access to abortion simply hurts poor women."
Seven Things Republicans Were For Before They Were Against Them - Politics Daily
"So many Republicans have changed their ideas on so many major issues that it's hard to keep up. With the return of Congress this week, two of those issues – campaign finance disclosure and climate change – could play out in the Senate over the next month.  What accounts for the shifts? Evolving principles? Pressure from the right? Political Strategy 101, block Democrats and President Obama so they'll fail and look bad?"
 

09 July

 
  • Walking in West Chicago Railroad Days Parade - FB Barb Laimins and Donna May
    "Summer fun doesn't end on July 4th! We'll walk with the Winfield Township Democratic Organization though the streets of West Chicago so we can get the word out."
  • John Kruser - FB
    " See you all at Railroad Days in West Chicago tonight. Don't forget to buy your friendly, neighborhood, Channel 17 camera guy a beer. ;)"

More details emerge in DuPage judge's reckless driving charges
"Eventually, Popejoy allowed police to inspect his Jeep, but the judge declined to answer questions regarding whether he was driving, Holmer said. He said officers did not ask Popejoy to submit to a Breathalyzer or field-sobriety tests because they didn't detect the usual signs of intoxication. They also assumed Popejoy wouldn't cooperate because he declined to answer many questions.  "We can't compel him to take one," Holmer said, adding: "There weren't any of the typical signs of impairment that we look for, such as smell or slurred speech. None of that was apparent.""
More Quinn logic that escapes us
"We know Quinn has a tough job and that the problems are not all of his own making. He inherited a huge debt and chilling budget problems, and few in the legislature have worked with him to try to get things rectified.  But where's the common sense?"
Water budget talks on hold due to lack of quorum
"The shortage of commissioners meant the commission was unable to conduct business, including a public hearing on the budget for fiscal year 2011, which began May 1.  Instead, commission staff opened the public hearing on the budget without the commissioners present, with the intent to continue the hearing throughout the week and close it at the following meeting."
Illinois posts answers about health insurance pool
"The department warns that people currently enrolled in a separate Illinois high-risk pool shouldn't drop that coverage in hopes of lowering their premiums by joining the new pool. The new program will be limited in enrollment to an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 people and there's no guarantee of getting in.  More answers are posted on the department's website."
Senior citizens face major service cuts
" Previous budget cuts made by Springfield-based Senior Services of Central Illinois last year didn’t directly affect programs for seniors, executive director Karen Schainker said Thursday. But the backlog of payments the state owes Senior Services, which currently stands at almost $400,000, made additional cuts unavoidable, she said.  Schainker’s board has endorsed a state income tax increase to help resolve the state’s fiscal crisis, but she said she is frustrated with state officials’ inability to act."
Rep. Foster Tours Miner Elastomer Products Corp. in Geneva
“I enjoyed hearing about the success the company has had during my tour of the facility, and I look forward to continuing to support policies that will help create jobs and help people get back to work.”
Foster Tours International Paper in Montgomery
"By talking through the details of how their business works and listening to the concerns of Dave Geiger and other International Paper employees, I can continue to work to create additional jobs for our workers and opportunities for their families."
Foster Meets With Newly Appointed U.S. Marshal
“His career is full of professional and personal achievements, and I have no doubt that he will continue to serve our country and our community admirably in his new role.”
Instructor of Catholicism at UI claims loss of job violates academic freedom - The News Gazette
""Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing," the student wrote in the e-mail. "Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one's worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation." ... "My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches," Howell said. "I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I'm teaching and they'll never be judged on that."
Income Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Highest in Decades, Data Show - Huffington Post
"Arloc Sherman, a researcher for CBPP, said the income gap is expanding not because the middle class is losing income, but because the wealthiest incomes are skyrocketing.  "If income growth had been shared equally among all income groups, the families at the bottom would have $6,000 per year more than they do now, and the middle would have $13,000 more," he said. "
Biggest Defaulters on Mortgages Are the Rich - NY Times
"More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.  By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lender. About one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.  Though it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment."
 

08 July

 
West Chicago Sister City FREE Movie:- SISSI - The Fateful Years of the Empress
"This is the third and final segment of the fabulous trilogy when the Austrian empress finds affection of local Count Andrassy too intimate. She has experience frustrations of court life in Vienna, where dutiful Franz remains chained to his desk."
Jessica Oresteen - June 30, 2010
"She was an expert bridge player and enjoyed quilting and sewing. Jessica was a world traveler who loved swimming and sunbathing. She is survived by two daughters; Margaret Mary (Jeffrey) Howards of Leavenworth, KS and Kathryn Alice (James) Beifuss of West Chicago..."
Win a Commemorative Ornament from City Museum
"The July prize winner will receive a 2008 commemorative ornament of the historic Bradley House built in 1891, in addition to the 2009 Tastee Freez ornament which honors the 60-year old downtown ice-cream destination."
Railroad Days chugs into West Chicago with music, parade, art
"On the event's final day, General Mills Inc. will celebrate 50 years of business in West Chicago during the festival's themed parade "Nifty at Fifty." Lofton said people should feel like they stepped in a time machine as they see the antique floats pass by.  The Trix Rabbit will walk around during the parade, said Darrell Gaye, General Mills' float builder and company machine operator. The float will look like a birthday cake with large candles."
State's income drops by $2 billion over previous year
" It's no surprise, but devastating nonetheless: Revenue into the state's coffers for the fiscal year that ended last Wednesday dropped a breathtaking $2 billion, or 7 percent, from the year before.  In terms of dollars, it's the largest single-year decline ever, easily eclipsing last year's decline of $515 million.  In terms of a percentage decrease, it may be the biggest year-to-year drop since the Great Depression."
Money to help dropouts in Illinois restored
" The Alternative School Network reported 225,000 high school dropouts under age 24 in 2007.  Re-enrolling a dropout saves taxpayers $221,000 during his lifetime because education means increased earnings, more taxes paid, less welfare and health care dependence and fewer incarcerations."
Brady: Quinn should freeze government wages
" Bill Brady says Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn should revoke the raises he's given to staff members and freeze government wages.  The Republican candidate for governor said Wednesday that Quinn should take the action if he's "serious about controlling state spending.""
State set records for failing finances in fiscal 2010, comptroller says
" *The adjusted year-end General Revenue Fund balance was a negative $4.69 billion — a record.  *The backlog of unpaid bills on June 30 was $4.7 billion — a record.  *Because of the state’s financial condition, the amount of time it takes the comptroller’s office to pay bills once they arrive in the office is 153 working days — a record."
75th Anniversary of National Labor Relations Act: Unions the Answer Then and Now - AFL-CIO
"July 5 marked the 75th anniversary of the National Labor Relations Act—also known as the Wagner Act—one of the lesser known, but key components of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. In addition to Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, a federal minimum wage and laws regulating child labor—all controversial concepts at the time that we now take for granted as basic elements of fairness—the New Deal included the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which protected workers’ rights to join or form unions and engage in collective bargaining."
Washington State Pharmacy Board Backs Down On Rules In Pre-Trial Compromise - Religion Clause
"Now as the case was about to go to trial on remand, the state Board of Pharmacy has backed down and negotiated a compromise. In a stipulation (full text) filed yesterday by the parties in Stormans Inc. v. Selecky, the Board told the court that on June 29 it had begun a rule-making proceeding to adopt an amended rule that would permit facilitated referrals for all pharmacies and pharmacists when they are unable or unwilling to fill a prescription for any reason, including conscientious reasons."
Enviro Agency Dramatically Underestimated Oil Spill Effects When Signing Off On BP Lease, Docs Show - TPM
"A federal agency charged with protecting endangered species signed off in 2007 on a new round of oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that even if the new drilling led to a major oil spill, only some 60 endangered turtles would be killed, according to the official agency opinion reviewed by TPMmuckraker. But in the two months since the Deepwater Horizon blew, government scientists say more than 400 sea turtles have been found dead so far."
 

07 July

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 07 July 2010
  • 37th annual Railroad Days
  • Story Times in the Garden at Cantigny
  • First Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Car Show.
  • Library District Monday at the Movies
  • Third Annual Golf “Fore” A Cure
St. Charles OKs closing Route 64 for movie scene
"The St. Charles City Council decided Tuesday to close Route 64, in the area around the bridge over the Fox River, to allow for the filming of a movie by a local production company.  That section of the city's Main Street will be closed sometime between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2. The company plans to film from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and use only one of those dates."
The scams from Spain are really such a pain
"The stranded traveler plea is a new version of an e-mail scam that first went around in 2006, but has sprung up recently with such frequency that the FBI released a new warning last week. The e-mail is still effective because it plays on the good nature of people who are asked to make a quick decision. And, unlike that Nigerian prince who wrote you last week, the e-mail comes from the address of a friend you know -- which has led some people to send money without a thorough check."
Fest time -- it's Batavia's turn
I post this link not to urge you to attend, but to point out how it's nice to have an active local newspaper in which to puff events. Funny how a 10AM Satirday pet parade gets coverage but the West Chicago Press still has not posted the time of the RR Days parade.  - Bob
Partial tax break for back-to-school shoppers
"Parents will see a little extra change in their pocketbooks under a measure Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign into law this afternoon that would temporarily waive the state sales tax for back-to-school purchases.  Under the legislation, the state's 5 percent sales tax would be eliminated for items like clothing, shoes, sporting goods and computer accessories such as flash drives and printers. The so-called "sales tax holiday" would run from Aug. 6 to Aug. 15."
Ill. state rep. will keep pharmacy license despite DUI
"A state representative from southern Illinois will get to keep his pharmacy license in spite of his May drunk driving conviction.  The Illinois Department of Financial Regulation placed Rep. Ron Stephens on probation for a year.  Stephens is a Greenville Republican. He pleaded guilty to drunk driving in May and was sentenced to a year of court supervision following his March arrest in Decatur."
State budget gets leaner, but not for Quinn's staff
"They include a $24,000-a-year bump for the man promoted to shepherd the state through the fiscal storm. Budget Director David Vaught got a 20 percent raise to bring his pay to $144,000 in October when he moved to his new position from Quinn’s staff, where he was a senior adviser."
New law requires police to have rape kits analyzed
" Starting Sept. 1, police must submit evidence in sexual assault and rape cases to the Illinois State Police laboratory or one approved by that agency within 10 business days. The kits must be analyzed within six months.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Tuesday that the law will end inconsistencies in how different police departments handle sexual assault cases."
WaPo Whopper on Trumka, Social Security and Taxes - AFL-CIO
"Here’s a great way to save some Social Security money. Let more folks die before they can get a check.  Cold? Maybe. But pretty darn effective according to Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus.  Marcus seems to have taken offense at AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s objection to raising the retirement age and his call for the better-off among us to pay the Social Security tax on all their income, just like the rest of us do."
Gov. Bobby Jindal signs bills allowing guns in church, changing sex-solicitation penalty - Times Picayune
"Burns' bill would authorize persons who qualified to carry concealed weapons having passed the training and background checks to bring them to churches, mosques, synagogues or other houses of worship as part of a security force.  The pastor or head of the religious institution must announce verbally or in weekly newsletters or bulletins that there will be individuals armed on the property as members of he security force. Those chosen have to undergo eight hours of tactical training each year."
Show Him the Money - Washington Monthly
"With its legions of lobbyists, policy analysts, economists, and attorneys, its own rapid-response media center and law firm, its hundreds of international chapters and steady stream of officials, legislators, and foreign potentates flowing through its immense bronze-relief doors on H Street, the Chamber does act like a federal agency—or like a third political party on permanent campaign. “The Chamber views itself as a shadow-government policymaking body,” a former Chamber economist, Lawrence Hunter, said."
 

06 July

 
This Week in West Chicago
Celebrating Student Successes
  • Pioneer School Community Problem Solving Team Takes 1st Place at International Competition!
  • Future Problem Solving Students Place at Illinois State Competition
  •  Wordmasters
  • Honorable Mention in 2010 Toshiba ExploraVision Contest
Nominations for 2010 Brilliance in Business Awards
"The formal program, which conveys appreciation and acknowledges successful initiatives, projects, business practices and strategies is hoped to inspire, create momentum, increase satisfaction levels and stimulate further economic development. It also hopes to bring awareness to the level of diversity, creativity and corporate citizenship that epitomizes West Chicago business."
The elephants in Gov. Quinn's room
"Elephant No. 2: The fact that Illinois at least is starting the budget year with a budget, for a change, is no solace for those who rely on state funding. That's because Illinois still owes them more than $5 billion from last year. While Quinn's budget keeps general state aid for schools at last year's levels, schools aren't going to start rehiring or reinstating programs anytime soon. "Until they actually send the check, I think the school districts are wary," says Ben Schwarm, lobbyist for the Illinois Association of School Boards."
Ban on retroactive cancellations of insurance policies approaches
"Under the health care law's new regulations, insurance companies will be prohibited from rescinding coverage for state-regulated individual and small group coverage "except in cases involving fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of material facts," according to the federal government's HealthReform.gov Web site. If an insurer uncovers evidence of fraud, it must provide the affected consumer at least 30 days' advance notice for time to appeal."
New barriers to keep Asian carp in check
"The Army Corps of Engineers is building an additional electronic barrier in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal in the Romeoville area. And the corps is building a concrete barrier on the Centennial Trail north of 135th Street in order to stop the carp from entering the canal from the Des Plaines River in the event of a flood. A section of the trail has been closed for much of the rest of the year."
Health overhaul first provisions start to kick in
"The first stage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is expected to provide coverage to about 1 million uninsured Americans by next year, according to government estimates.  That's a small share of the uninsured, but in a shaky economy, experts say it's notable.  Many others — more than 100 million people — are getting new benefits that improve their existing coverage."
Quinn signs legislation on early voting; controversy continues
""Our elected state Legislature decided that votes on campus were more important, and that doing something to increase voting on campus was more important than increasing voting in Fisher or St. Joe or Pesotum," he said. "The decision needed to be made locally. Instead it was made by a legislative body and a governor who have no clue what's going on here in Champaign County.""
Heavy rains affect mosquitoes in northern Ill.
"Jane Lux, DeKalb County Health Department assistant administrator, says those breeding grounds are likely filled with floodwater mosquitoes, which aren’t believed to carry West Nile virus. Lux says the heavy rains also may be responsible for keeping the northern house mosquito at bay.  Lux says those mosquitoes do spread West Nile virus. She says experts usually see more cases of West Nile virus during summers that are hot and dry."
Subway restaurants still suffering from salmonella reports
" Sales continue to be down by one-third to one-half at Springfield-area Subway restaurants more than a month after dozens of Subways in central and northern Illinois threw out all vegetables suspected of causing a salmonella outbreak.  The illness hospitalized at least 26 people and sickened 103."
It's All Over - The Asian Carp Invasion
"From two different routes. Lake Calumet being the one. When you catch a twenty pound fish in Lake Calumet that's effectively like catching one in Lake Michigan.  And now comes reports that there are carp approaching the Maumee/Wabash shared flood plain. Up the Wabash and then down the Maumee into Lake Erie."
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R) 4th of July!!! - FB
This is a FaceBook gallery of pictures of Sen.Milner and his supporters during an 4th of July parades in Bartlett and Carol Stream.. - Bob
Union Values: Made In America
"Our country was born out of a fight to cast off colonial rule by a wealthy elite and govern ourselves as We, the People. This fight continues, and nothing more clearly represents this American effort to lift each other up than organized labor. On July 4, as we celebrate our independence I encourage people to recognize our ongoing battle by buying Made in USA goods, and by working for democracy and the rights of workers everywhere." 
Atheist Christopher Hitchens' cancer news prompts conversion debate - USA Today
"News that raging atheist Christopher Hitchens canceled his book tour for his Hitch-22 memoir to deal with throat cancer, has prompted some hot debate on conversions in dire distress. (Yes, I know, the phrase is "deathbed conversions," but, please, he's just begun treatment.)  Believers such as Francis Phillips in The Catholic Herald, muses that Hitchens, the "Scourge of God" might change his tune on the almighty and fire up some prayers."
Traditionalist Church of England groups warn of defections if gay bishop is ordained - Telegraph
"This could mean them being led by orthodox clergy elsewhere in England or even by those in Africa or South America as has happened in the USA, triggering bitter legal disputes over the ownership of their church buildings."
Angle Sends Cease-And-Desist To Reid -- For Reposting Her Own Website - TPM
"The short version of the story is as follows: After the former state Rep won Nevada's Republican Senate primary, Angle's campaign took down most of its website, and later replaced it with a relaunched version that in some ways toned down her right-wing rhetoric... Then, they say, the Angle campaign sent them a cease-and-desist letter, claiming misuse of copyrighted materials in the reposting of the old website -- which was, of course, being posted for the purposes of ridiculing Angle."
Democratic campaign committees losing big Wall Street donors - NY Times
"Take Jamie Dimon, the head of J.P. Morgan Chase, who is known for his close relationship with President Obama.  In 2006 and 2008, he donated $65,000 to the Democratic committees. This election cycle, he has not contributed at all to the DSCC or DCCC. At the end of March, however, he gave $2,000 to the campaign of Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who is seeking to claim Obama's former Senate seat."
[Sorry, Rep Kirk... the support of the Wall Street banksters makes me even less likely to support your candidacy. - Bob]
05 July  
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"It's the start of Railroad Days this week! Catch some previous RRD's on Channel 17 and then head out to the real thing starting on Thursday. There's a party in West Chicago!!!"
"Here's the new schedule. Catch the City Council meeting live on Tuesday at 7pm this week because of the holiday on Monday. Since Railroad Days starts on Thursday this week, we have a few rebroadcasts of programs from previous year's events. If you see Channel 17 at the Railroad Days festivities or parade, say hello and let us know you."
Wheaton Academy's Ryan Dzingel Earns All-State Honors
"Senior shortstop Ryan Dzingel has been named to the 2010 Illinois Class 3A All-State Team by the Illinois Baseball Coaches Association. Ryan is the first baseball player in the history of Wheaton Academy to earn such an honor. He was one of 19 individuals named to the squad. Ryan will be honored on July 26 at the Chicago White Sox game for being selected to the All- State Team."
Endangered prairie orchid a 'hidden treasure'
"Researchers have learned it takes more than just spreading seeds on marshy soil to make the orchids grow. It turns out a specific fungus has to be present in the soil for the plants to thrive. In addition, it's only a particular nocturnal family of moths that are responsible for pollinating the flowers when they blossom. And it's important to regularly remove any vegetation that may shade or smother the orchids."
Self-esteem: Teens feel great about themselves — but are they headed for a fall?
""It's this entitlement that is driving many of us crazy. It's like, where did we go wrong?" said Rita Berger, a West Chicago mother of a teenage son and daughter. "We're kind of the root problem. In our attempt to give (this generation) everything, they have not learned to work or appreciate things.""
DuPage Co. judge charged in hit-and-run
"Prosecutors said that at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Popejoy crashed into an unattended vehicle on Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ellyn. Popejoy left the scene of the crash, drove to his Wheaton home and parked his car in his garage, prosecutors said... The state's attorney's office was notified about the crash Thursday. Popejoy was originally charged with local ordinance violations, but will now be prosecuted by the state's attorney's office."
PETS TO BREATHE EASIER IN WEST CHICAGO, IL
"Invisible Fence of Chicagoland donated oxygen recovery masks for pets to the West Chicago Fire Protection District today, and conducted equipment training sessions and demonstrations with the department. Three recovery kits were donated to the department and each kit contains three pet oxygen masks in small, medium and large sizes."
Quinn to sign bicycle safety legislation
"According to the group one bill will establish new penalties for motorists that drive recklessly or unnecessarily close to bicyclists.  A second piece of legislation will create "Share the Road" Illinois licenses plates. The money from the license plates will fund education campaigns."
Quinn signs election laws on Fourth of July
"Among the legislation Quinn signed into law, one bill lets Illinois residents living overseas receive absentee ballots and registration forms electronically or by fax. Quinn's office says it also gives the Illinois governor the power to change absentee voting if there's an emergency.  The other new laws establish a grace period on the main campuses of Illinois' public universities for voter registration and creates early voting pilot programs. And a third law lets college students vote absentee from a school residence without having to give a reason."
No headquarters to close, state police confirm
"Even though the agency was appropriated $15.4 million less than in the previous year in the recently approved state budget, the money was more than anticipated, said State Police Capt. Scott Compton.  That means the headquarters can stay open, and the agency doesn’t anticipate massive layoffs announced earlier this year."
Fortner Website Dormant For Two Years
The last news item at Rep Mike Fortner's website is dated: "Jul 03, 2008 - 04:58 PM"  This does not mean that Rep Fortner has done nothing to inform his constituents.  I find 22 references in Soapbox, including two press releases in the last 11months.  He also now has a FaceBook presence and his university site.  Hey, we're into the election cycle.  I call on Mike to get serious about telling us what he's up to and why he is doing it. Mike, even though a physicist, your website should NOT be a black hole, your constituents deserve more than dark matter, and wave theory should be more than a hand gesture at supporters. - Bob
AFT Members Help Children Before Getting Down to Convention Business  - AFL-CIO
"Before each convention, AFT members take time to give back to the community where they are meeting, says AFT spokesperson Cynthia Garza.  More than 50 delegates have volunteered to help move the Tiny Tots Development Center in Seattle, where members of AFT’s Washington Educators in Early Learning work with young children. They’ll take on several projects, including moving the center to a new location, setting up classrooms, landscaping, making building and roofing repairs, helping teachers as they work with the children and leading arts and crafts time."
Houston’s Clergy Unites to Urge Support for Immigration Reform - NY Times
"The coordinated effort was part of a broad-based campaign begun in January by an interfaith group, the Metropolitan Organization, to lobby Congress to pass an immigration overhaul package this year. The group has collected 12,000 signatures to be sent to lawmakers and has organized workshops to persuade churchgoers to support their effort.  On June 22, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, made a strong appeal in a letter to the priests in all 150 parishes to address the question in their sermons this weekend. Later, the leaders of the Methodist, Episcopal and Lutheran Churches made similar requests of their ministers. Some Jewish leaders have also joined the campaign."
BP has steady sales at Defense Department despite U.S. scrutiny - Washington Post
""At some point, debarment attorneys throughout the government need to look at BP's record," she [Jeanne Pascal, a former EPA lawyer] said. "This is one of the wealthiest corporations in the world. . . . Do we want to do business with this foreign corporation, which has a horrendous record of chronically violating U.S. law? You have to look at the overall behavior pattern.""

 

 

Happy 4th of July

[3rd verse of America the Beautiful]

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.

02 July 134th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Business Highlights - 30 June 2010
  • Taqueria Tres Amigos
  • Case Study of Remodelers Advantage Roundtables
  • Murphy’s Ace Hardware - latex paint collection site
  • Donations to the West Chicago Park District Biggest Loser Competition
JULY E-NEWSLETTER
  • Happy Independence Day!
  • The Governor moves on the Budget
Animals of the Prairie
"Join us on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, for a lively presentation about Animals of the Prairie.  Naturalist Jack MacRae of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will report about all the wildlife you may encounter at the West Chicago Prairie. MacRae will tell you what to look for and how to find it and interesting stories about animal life. "
Railroad Days
"Offering an exciting array of entertainment options, from great food and carnival rides to a parade, fireworks and free local, regional and international entertainment, Railroad Days combines affordable family entertainment with good old-fashioned summer fun!"
2010 Powis Road Resurfacing Project
"The City of West Chicago has announced the 2010 Powis Road Resurfacing Project is tentatively scheduled to begin the week of July 5, 2010. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 27, 2010."
[Is this more of that Stimulus money benefiting West Chicago with jobs and better roads? - Bob]
PETS TO BREATHE EASIER
"Invisible Fence of Chicagoland donated oxygen recovery masks for pets to the West Chicago Fire Protection District today, and conducted equipment training sessions and demonstrations with the department. Three recovery kits were donated to the department and each kit contains three pet oxygen masks in small, medium and large sizes."
Roadway Construction Projects on Hold
"Due to a strike by the unions representing construction laborers and operators – including workers contracted by the City for its annual road construction program – the majority of the City’s road construction projects are currently on hold."
Door open for schools to chase wind power
"With little pomp and circumstance, Gov. Pat Quinn last week signed a measure into law that will allow schools across the state to join together to develop and operate wind farms.  To pass the legislation, chief sponsor Rep. Fred Crespo had to cajole electric utilities and legislators from both parties and houses to support the measure - or at least to not actively work against it."
Illinois economic gauge indicates sluggish recovery
" "While there appears to be little chance of a double-dip recession, the speed of recovery remains painfully slow in Illinois and the nation," said economist J. Fred Giertz of the UI Institute of Government and Public Affairs.  The index, which reflects growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income in Illinois, dipped to a low of 90 last September before rising to 91.8 in March, then dropping back for two months."
Sixth rabid bat found in Lake County this year
"Health experts in Lake County are urging residents to stay away from bats after another bat was found rabid in the area.  The Lake County Health Department says it has located a rabid bat in the bedroom of a Third Lake home on June 27 and two people who live in the home have been told they should receive rabies vaccinations. It's the sixth rabid bat found in Lake County so far this year."
Apprehension the rule for agencies that rely on state
" The state pays for most of the clients, Carter said. Without the program, many would have to go to nursing homes, which would cost more money.  For now, all Carter and her clients can do is hope for the best.  “I do know they’re making cuts,” Carter said. “I don’t know how it will affect this program.”"
Kirk raises $2.3 million in Senate bid
"The scandal over Republican Mark Kirk's embellishments of his military record aren't hurting his fundraising in a bid for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.  Kirk's campaign said Thursday it had its best fundraising quarter ever by collecting more than $2.3 million in the period that ended Wednesday. The five-term congressman raised $2.2 million last quarter."
Quinn signs new budget, but details still lacking
" Quinn announced reductions of about $509 million in spending plans for a variety of state agencies, but insisted the cuts are necessary to move the state forward.  “The core priorities of state government will be maintained,” Quinn said. “There will be some reductions across various agencies that aren’t the highest priority.”"
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."
Roskam Statement on June Unemployment Numbers
"Eventually, our economy will recover, but it will be through the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, not through out-of-control government spending on make-work projects.  Congress and this Administration need to focus on unleashing the innovation and investment that drive economic growth by lowering taxes ..."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Quinn`s budget cuts "more fiction than fact"
"Though supportive of any plan to scale back state expenditures in the face of a $13 billion budget deficit, Senate Republicans remain skeptical that Quinn has the resolve to make his proposed cuts."
Arizona Court Says Secret Ballot Measure ‘Unconstitutional’ - AFL-CIO
"Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig granted an injunction sought by Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 99 to prevent Proposition 108 from appearing on the ballot in November. The proposition, which was backed by the anti-union group Save our Secret Ballot (SOS Ballot), would have required secret ballots in all union elections and elections for public office. Employee Free Choice Act opponents wrongly claim the legislation would take away the right to a secret ballot election for union representation. In fact, the act would give workers—not employers—the option to choose whether to vote on union representation by signing union authorization cards."
A U.S. church and its "kill the gays" partner in Uganda - Salon
"Pressure is mounting on a Nevada megachurch to end its financial support of one of the key backers of Uganda's notorious "kill the gays" bill. But so far, the Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas is standing by Martin Ssempa, who has said that gays like to "eat da poo poo" and boasted of his efforts to "make sure that sodomy and homosexuality never sees the light of legality in this land of the pearl of Africa.""
Hopefully This Chart Will Get Congress To Stop Squabbling About New Jobless Benefits - Business Insider
"If next month's numbers look this bad, it will be pretty bad news for Democrats, who had allowed themselves to hope that things might be turning around. But it will be really bad news for households who have to manage through a long, ugly stretch of unemployment. Hopefully, this will spur Congress to stop squabbling over jobless benefits."
Lindsey Graham, This Year’s Maverick - NY Times
"“The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.” Now he said, in a tone of casual lament: “We don’t have a lot of Reagan-type leaders in our party. Remember Ronald Reagan Democrats? I want a Republican that can attract Democrats.” Chortling, he added, “Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”"
 

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]

 

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