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31 Aug

Happy 100th Anniversary of
Republican Teddy Roosevelt's “New Nationalism” address.

"One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now. "

DuPage voters face bounty of ballot questions
"Medinah and West Chicago elementary school districts are asking for property tax increases to cover school renovation projects amounting to $8 million and $39 million respectively."
Performance-based college funding considered at education summit
"Fingerhut in a written statement explained why he believes performance-based funding makes sense. "Large numbers of drop outs or dropped courses represent the ultimate in financial inefficiency," he said. "And it is just plain wrong to take students' tuition dollars, or encourage them to go into debt, to take courses that experience and data suggests they have a high likelihood of not completing.""
Funding for St. Charles bridge can't find congressional support
"St. Charles officials have abandoned hope for securing federal money for its $30 million Red Gate Bridge project through U.S. Rep. Bill Foster's office.  And even if voters select a new congressman in November, the city now believes the Illinois Department of Transportation is its best bet at nabbing any stimulus funds still out there for bridge projects.  Mayor Don DeWitte has had several discussions with Foster's office about securing money for the project, but those talks have resulted in Foster refusing to choose sides in a political tug-of-war between St. Charles and Wayne."
Durbin 'most eloquent'? According to magazine survey, yes
"Sens. Dick Durbin and Roland Burris figure prominently in the just-released list of "Best & Worst of Congress," in the September issue of Washingtonian magazine.  Durbin emerges as highly regarded, but the best that can be said for Burris is that he didn't make the top 3 in a category called "biggest disappointment," which was led by Republican newcomer Scott Brown of Massachusetts."
Giannoulias to challenge GOP budget record
"An excerpt from the speech includes Giannoulias saying that Kirk's claim of being a fiscal conservative is "about as true as his claims to have come under fire in combat."  Kirk apologized this summer for exaggerating his record as an officer in the Navy Reserve. He will no longer discuss the details, including his past references to coming under fire."
Rep. Foster Visits Plano, Discusses Economic Development with Mayor Hausler
"“Right now, there is nothing more important than job creation, and I appreciate the insight that Mayor Hausler provided about the current economic challenges facing Plano,” said Foster.  “I remain committed to doing everything possible to continue to promote economic growth, and by visiting individual communities in the 14th District, I am better able to advocate for the economic needs of those I represent.”"
Rep. Foster Visits Wind Turbine Construction Sites
"“As a scientist and businessman, I greatly enjoyed visiting the wind turbine construction sites today to witness the wind farm’s progression,” said Foster.  “This project will provide many jobs for Lee and Bureau County residents, but aside from promoting economic development, this wind farm will help our communities – and our country – lessen our dependence on foreign oil and gas.”"
Alexi Giannoulias Fires Up the Vols - video
"On August 28th, volunteers from all over the nation got together to knock on doors on behalf of Democratic candidates.  Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois' Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Barack Obama, came to Chicago Heights to talk to its volunteers before heading out the door."
Groups Push EPA On Coal Ash Pollution Downstate
"No one denies that the ash is toxic; it's laced with mercury, cadmium and arsenic, heavy metals associated with cancer and other illnesses.  In May of last year, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to regulate coal ash, citing fears the contaminant could leach into drinking water supplies around the country.  In Illinois, there are more than a dozen sites where liquified coal ash is stored in ponds similar to the one that failed in Eastern Tennessee, the Tribune has reported. "
State Renegotiating Building Leases
"State government is trying to save money by taking a closer look at the building leases that house agency offices. From the State-Journal Register:
"The cash-strapped state government has been terminating leases all across Illinois and renegotiating others with the goal of saving money. The Department of Central Management Services says it has cut its lease costs by $20 million in recent months through consolidations, relocations and renegotiations.""
Honeywell Locks Out USW Local Over Health Care - The Seminal
"Honeywell didn’t care if the workers liked their health care plan. This corporation said it was not going to let them keep it. The members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7-669 refused to accept the company proposal to increase workers’ out of pocket health care maximum to $8,500 a year and to end retiree health coverage. The union proposed to continue working as they bargained. Honeywell said no and locked the doors."
Liberation Theology for beginners - Washington Post
"But then, once you "see" that the world is full of contradictions, what are you going to do about it? For this, you can do no better than to read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. For all Christian liberation theologians, the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are central, even pivotal, and none as important as Jesus' longest sermon. (Luke 6: 17-59). As Jesus teaches at the end of that sermon, it's not good enough to just keep saying the word "Lord," you need to actually follow the teaching and take care of the poor."
Focus On The Family: Anti-Bullying Efforts Are A Gay Front - TPM
"Cushman's argument has two levels: first, she says anti-bullying efforts wrongly put the focus on the "characteristics of the victim" instead of the "wrong actions of the bullies." Second, she thinks that gay rights activists are using the whole issue to sneak their agenda into the nation's schools. She denounced the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)."
 

30 Aug

 
This Week in West Chicago

West Chicago
High School
Market Day
"Our first sale will be Thursday Sept. 9th at 5:00 p.m.in Commons.   You must place your order by: Monday, Sept.6th at 11:00pm CST.  Pick up time is 5:00-5:45 p.m.  Click on the following website to access Market Day to place your order: http://www.marketday.com/.  Our School is listed as Community High School Activities  - Account #6816.   Special September Promotion for online orders only is: FREE APPLE PIE when you order $80. Enter promo code: APPLE"
2010 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
"On Saturday, September 25th, the CHS Education Foundation will honor the 2010 Distinguished Alumni at their Autumn Flame event."
Josephine Schumacher d. August 27, 2010
"Josephine E. Schumacher, age 89, of Naperville, formerly of West Chicago, passed away on Friday, August 27, 2010 at Community Nursing Home in Naperville. She was born on December 13, 1920 in West Chicago, IL to Geo. Fred and Elizabeth Hummel. Josephine attended West Chicago High School. After high school, she worked for the DuPage County Treasurer’s office"
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Candidates take special needs funding
"Pierog spoke on how the bloated budget and cuts affect special needs programs.  "We also have to realize that our siting senator (Millner) voted against pension reform and he also voted against an amendment to hold each of our programs accountable at the end of the year - take a look at all the voices and all of the votes on both sides of the party line to make sure they represent your thoughts, your interests and your philosophy exactly.""
Greener
Package

 

Plantable nursery pot biodegrades in soil
"“The intention was to design a pot that can be planted in the ground,” explains Greg Trabka, new product development manager for West Chicago, IL-based Ball. “We chose Mirel because it is soil-biodegradable. When you introduce it into the soil, it is actually seen by microbes as a food source.” ... While SoilWrap degredation begins as soon as soil is placed in the pot, the process accelerates only after the pot is planted, allowing plenty of time for use in the greenhouse and garden center. Once in the ground, the pot is said to completely biodegrade within 12 months."
Kirk to talk trade, pick up Cat exec's endorsement
"According to speech excerpts provided by his campaign, Kirk will declare that Asia is now more important than Europe to America's economy and security. He'll urge China to push Iran and North Korea to cooperate with the international community."
Group protests state’s refusal to allow rally
"Protest organizers said they believe the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency denied the request by Restore Our Constitution, a Decatur-based conservative group, because of the group’s political beliefs...  The agency has denied 10 requests in the past two months, including those for a college faculty group reception, a state university alumni reception, a legislative research function, a retirement reception, and several weddings and wedding reception requests."
Quinn Campaign Ad Focuses On Brady's Pro-Gun Positions
"The Quinn campaign has already published a detailed run-down of Brady's pro-gun positions (a list that serves as a corrective to the paucity of information about the issue on Brady's own website). Given the stark differences between Quinn and Brady on an assault weapon ban and other gun-related policy, the issue may continue to come up, though some commentators want a greater focus on jobs and the economy. "
Green Party, Whitney, in Schaumburg Septemberfest Parade - FB
"10:00 AM step-off, lineup starts at 8:30 AM.  For info or directions email SchaumburgGreens@gmail.com.  Lineup on north side of Wise Rd east of Summit. Many parade participants park .5 mi west in the Jewel parking lot at Roselle Rd. and Wise Rd."
Rich Whitney Blasts Latest Rasmussen Poll
"“This polling can only further Rasmussen’s reputation for inaccuracy and bias toward more right-leaning candidates. It apparently has an agenda and is not being objective. No reputable media source should use their polling or report their so-called ‘findings’ until they clean up their act."
Bill Brady comprehensive job creation plan
"Key elements of these cornerstones include reforming the tax code to eliminate barriers to competitiveness and relieve individuals of onerous taxes, such as the estate tax; developing and implementing a strategic plan to guide state government rather than living year-to-year; putting the state’s fiscal house in order by taking a long-hard look at the relationship between programs and funding, taking politics out of the equation; and bringing business and labor to the table to work together to improve the job climate for the good of all of Illinois."
NRSC pledges $3.4M for Kirk - Politico
"The national party committees can spend up to $1.7 million in coordinated funds in Illinois, according to federal election rules. However, the NRSC, according to a source close to the committee, will take advantage of a recent court-ordered special election that effectively doubles the total allowable amount that candidates can collect in fundraising — and committees can spend in coordination with candidates."
[Follow the money... if you want to know how a candidate will vote, look for who has bought him. - Bob]
Public Backs Ending Tax Cuts for Rich, and More - AFL-CIO
"Most Americans support ending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  A new CBS News poll finds that a majority of Americans, 56 percent, say the tax cuts for the wealthy should expire for households earning more than $250,000 per year, as Democrats have proposed."
Some evangelicals on defensive over partnering with Glenn Beck, a Mormon - CNN
""The Apostle Paul warns Christians against uniting with unbelievers in spiritual endeavors," Howse wrote. "While I applaud and agree with many of Glenn Beck's conservative and constitutional views, that does not give me or any other Bible-believing Christian justification to compromise Biblical truth by spiritually joining Beck."  Much of the criticism - along with confusion about the propriety of evangelicals politically linking arms with Mormons - is less formal and more rooted among in-the-pews churchgoers than evangelical elites."
Is Mexico Really Sending Its Police To Patrol Staten Island? - TPM
"A breathless report published recently by the American Free Press titled "MEXICAN POLICE TO PATROL NY?" told an unbelievable story. The writer, Jeff Smith, reported that the government of Mexico would soon "begin patrolling the New York City borough of Staten Island to 'safeguard' its nationals there." .. But the Mexican consulate, New York City politicians, and various news reports, including the Times, reveal a very different picture: a neighborhood plagued by a wave of assaults against immigrants,... Not a national security story, but a community safety one.

Chamber emerges as formidable political force - Assoc Press
"The country's largest business lobby has pledged to spend $75 million in this year's elections. That's on top of a lobbying effort that already has cost the organization nearly $190 million since Barack Obama became president in January 2009... American Crossroads, created with the help of Republican masterminds Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. It has pledged to raise $50 million to help Republicans this year."

 

27 Aug

 
Wildcats Win - FB
Church plan in DuPage County upsets some
"Some complained that the proposed changes to the county's zoning laws targeted Muslims who have been trying to create worship centers throughout the county.  Zoning board member Mike Loftus, who led the hearing, called the accusations "inflammatory" and asked that those statements be stricken from the record.  "If anyone thinks this board is anti-Islamic, we do not do that," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and let you tell us this is singling out a specific religion.""
Suburban schools question Quinn's tax swap call
"With school district budgets being finalized each summer and rubber stamped by boards in August or September, he said, it would be "extremely difficult" to get a handle on the funds they're getting.  Besides, with a $13 billion deficit and piles of unpaid bills, the state often has failed to deliver in a timely fashion the money it promises to school districts.  State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus said as of Aug. 23, Illinois was $773.9 million behind in payments to schools for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Some bills, Fergus said, go as far back as Feb. 10."
Driver reassigned after kindergartner dropped off alone at St. Charles stop
"The girl was to be picked up at Oak and 19th streets in the morning and dropped off at Fifth and State streets in the afternoon. "That's not unusual," Blaney said of the different pickup and drop-off points... The child's mother told the district she was told by the bus driver Wednesday morning that the girl would be dropped off at 19th and Oak in the afternoon, Blaney said. The bus driver denies telling the mother that, he added."
$5.3 million settlement in Carol Stream woman's death
""Samantha went to the right hospital at the right time, was seen by the right specialists and had the right tests performed," Mertz said. "If anybody had been paying attention to the MRI results, she still would be alive today."  The case was set for trial Oct. 25 in DuPage Circuit Hollis L. Webster's courtroom. Instead, the $5.3 million settlement was reached Thursday."
Judge increases Warrenville alderman's bail
"A beleaguered Warrenville elected leader's bail was increased Thursday after prosecutors argued he used his elected position to swindle money from acquaintances despite already facing charges regarding a bad check.  Alderman Christopher S. Halley has been locked up since Aug. 17 after failing to raise $7,500 bail on theft by deception and deceptive practices charges. It's his second arrest in recent months. He was accused in March of bouncing a $1,500 check to a friend, but Halley immediately posted $5,000 bail for his release."
DuPage County seeks to clarify zoning rules
"The law, he said, requires that religious groups be assured of adequate "avenues of expression," or alternative sites.  "There are ample opportunities, we find, for places of assembly to locate in nonresidential zoning districts," Hoss said.  According to numerous residents who addressed the zoning panel, however, the proposed changes are unreasonable. Some suggested they would violate constitutional freedoms, and other said barring places of worship from neighborhoods would be harmful."
Proposal to ban religious facilities in unincorporated DuPage draws a crowd
"Dan Easley, of unincorporated West Chicago, who is against the proposed ordinance, said the amendment would dramatically reduce areas for churches in the county.  "It pushes them out of the neighborhood and on the highways," Easley said. "Churches belong in neighborhoods.""
DuPage Valley at a glance
"Others to watch: ...  John Ragano, West Chicago, Jr., OL/DL;  ... Brad Wilson, West Chicago, Sr., RB/LB;
State pension systems planning to sell assets
" TRS is potentially looking at a big asset sale this year — as much as $3 billion out of a fund balance of about $33 billion. TRS expects to liquidate about $250 million in assets each month until the state delivers on its share of this year's pension obligation.  The General Assembly didn't agree on pension funding last spring and isn't back in session until after the Nov. 2 elections. Gov. Pat Quinn has said the state will meet its obligations this year."
State pension systems planning to sell assets to pay benefits
" Illinois’ five state-funded pension systems are faced with selling assets to pay for retiree pension benefits, in part because state government isn’t paying its share of pension costs.  The sales will drive the systems even deeper into debt because they won’t have either the assets or income from the state to invest."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Second investigatory panel emphasizes public safety
"Birkett cautioned lawmakers to make public safety the top priority when considering any prisoner early-release program. Any inmate who is released early without having clearly demonstrated a clear commitment to rehabilitation is a “high-risk” release, Birkett warned."
How To Keep An Economy Down - PointsAndFigures.com
"Under current law, the lowest tax bracket, at 10%, will be eliminated.  That rate will rise to 15%, costing almost 100 million families who can ill-afford it an extra $500 in taxes next year.  Similar increases will affect each of the other marginal tax rates, all the way up to a top effective personal income tax rate of 41.6%.  Just as troubling for many families will be the reinstatement of the marriage penalty and cuts to the child tax credit."
[And to avoid this, all the Republicans have to do is accept the Democratic compromise to renew the tax cuts EXCEPT FOR THOSE MAKING OVER $250,000 PER YEAR. - Bob]
Trumka Takes It to Palin in Her Back Yard - AFL-CIO
"In this charged political environment, her kind of talk gets dangerous. “Don’t retreat…reload” may seem clever, the kind of bull you hear all the time, but put it in context. She’s using crosshairs to illustrate targeted legislators. She’s on the wrong side of the line there. She’s getting close to calling for violence. And some of her fans take that stuff seriously. We’ve got legislators in America who have been living with death threats since the health care votes."
Hostility across U.S. jars Muslim college students - Washington Post
"For weeks, their faith had been under attack by some opponents of a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero. Every time they turned on the TV, there were new reports of anti-Muslim sentiment: mosque construction being opposed hundreds of miles from Ground Zero; a Florida pastor vowing to burn copies of the Koran to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11; a poll showing that 43 percent of Americans hold unfavorable views of Muslims. And just this week, a Muslim cabbie was stabbed in New York.  All of it points to a swelling hostility that many of these students had scarcely known was there and that religious and political leaders worry could fuel alienation and radicalism among some young American Muslims."
Segregation in Mississippi Public Schools in 2010?  - ABC News
"Federal District Judge Thomas Lee agreed with the Justice Department's claim that the school administration was transferring mostly white students out of district to a "racially identifiable white school," while the enrollment in their home district "has become predominantly black.""
How the Stimulus Is Changing America - Time
"Yes, the stimulus has cut taxes for 95% of working Americans, bailed out every state, hustled record amounts of unemployment benefits and other aid to struggling families and funded more than 100,000 projects to upgrade roads, subways, schools, airports, military bases and much more.
Building a Nation of Know-Nothings - NY Times
"Yet a president’s birthday or whether he was even in the White House on the day TARP was passed are apparently open questions. A growing segment of the party poised to take control of Congress has bought into denial of the basic truths of Barack Obama’s life. What’s more, this astonishing level of willful ignorance has come about largely by design, and has been aided by a press afraid to call out the primary architects of the lies."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Corporal Christopher J. Boyd, United States Marine Corps - Hometown: Palatine, Illinois"
 

26 Aug

 
DuPage cracking down on building code scofflaws
"Under the new law, a county-appointed hearing officer will preside over the case after a property owner has been red-tagged. The hearing date will be set shortly after that. A county zoning department employee will argue the county's case and the property owner can choose to defend themselves or hire a lawyer, Redick said. The hearing officer's decision is binding, but property owners found guilty can appeal to the court. The county cannot appeal a decision that doesn't go in its favor, Redick said."
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Candidates to address special needs forum
"The forum will give parents, educators and others the opportunity to discuss with the candidates their concerns and provide ideas to improve education and services for special needs children and adults."
2 Fox Valley banks on 'most troubled' list
"Both Old Second National Bank, based in Aurora, and Valley Community Bank, out of St. Charles, were given lowest marks by the Bartmann Bank Monitor Report this week. The report, compiled by financial expert Bill Bartmann and released on his website (www.nextbanktofail.com), tracks banks Bartmann believes are at risk."
DuPage OKs grant for low-income veterans' housing
"County Board Member Dirk Enger — a Marine veteran of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, and a former co-director of the shelter — was pleased to see the county clear the way for badly needed services.  "This is the only way that the shelter can take care of veterans under affordable housing," Enger said."
7 Illinois counties get $23.4M in flood aid
"Federal officials so far have approved $23.4 million in disaster assistance for seven Illinois counties hit by recent flooding.  At the same time, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, today announced it had awarded $23.5 million to the state to reduce damage from future disasters.  Carroll, Cook, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties had major flooding from July 22 through Aug. 7."
Quinn changes furlough rules for state workers
" Quinn has ordered about 2,700 non-union state workers to take 24 unpaid days off this budget year because of Illinois' budget crisis.  Under the new rules, those workers can to use vacation and personal days to fulfill their furlough requirement. The administration on Wednesday said that means workers won't lose pay if they schedule furlough days to coincide with vacation and personal days off."
Quinn official's violations like 'jaywalking,' ethics advocate says
" The director of a reform group who pushed the 2003 ethics law that Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff ran afoul of said Jerry Stermer’s resignation over three prohibited e-mails was “overkill.”  “In terms of whether this is a hanging offense, absolutely not,” said Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “People make mistakes. As far as I know, we’re still hiring human beings. This wasn’t a mistake I couldn’t see myself doing.  “In this particular situation, you’ve got a man who’s widely thought to be an honest and honorable guy who reports his own mistakes, and then we spend resources and months sorting through 37,000 e-mails.”"
Kirk, Giannoulias agree to Senate debates
" Representatives say the U.S. Senate candidates will face off on Oct. 10 on NBC's "Meet the Press." They've also agreed to participate in the Oct. 19 League of Women Voters' debate on Chicago's WLS-TV.  The campaigns remain in talks about more debates or forums before Election Day on Nov. 2. Early voting starts in mid-October."
FiveThirtyEight Predicts Tight U.S. Senate Race
"At his new home with the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver just released his latest U.S. Senate forecast. In 2008, the former baseball statistician correctly predicted all 35 Senate contests, so his algorithm is worth tracking. As of today, Silver is giving U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias a one-point lead in the tight contest. But the blogger does write that Illinois is one of the states that "may determine whether Republicans indeed have a chance of taking over the Senate.""
Tenth
Congressional
District
Democrats
Giannoulias, Durbin Expose The Real Mark Kirk
  • "KIRK VOTED AGAINST EXTENDING JOBLESS BENEFITS FOR NEARLY 140,000 ILLINOISANS STRUGGLING IN THE RECESSION IN JUNE 2010"
  • "KIRK SUPPORTS BUSH’S TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS THAT ADD TRILLIONS TO NATIONAL DEBT"
  • "KIRK VOTED FOR EVERY RECKLESS BUSH BUDGET THAT TOOK RECORD SURPLUS TO RECORD DEBT"
  • "KIRK VOTED FOR BILLIONS TO COMPANIES THAT SHIP JOBS OVERSEAS"
Tomato Pickers’ Struggle Coming to a Grocery Store Near You - AFL-CIO
"The fight for justice for tomato pickers is headed to grocery store aisles across the country now that the top three food service companies and the four largest fast-food companies have signed agreements to improve wages and working conditions in the Florida tomato fields... The workers are demanding safer, more humane working conditions and a penny more per pound of tomatoes picked. Florida tomato pickers earn 45 cents for a 32-pound bucket of tomatoes, a rate that has not changed for three decades."
Virginia AG tells cities: creches and other religious monuments OK - UPI
"I live in Virginia, so it's a little embarrassing to report that our attorney general, who's been a dream come true to the state's active Christian right since taking office in January, is at it again – in a way that will undoubtedly impact Jewish groups across the state, not to mention my tax bill."
Rotten Eggs and Our Broken Democracy - Common Dreams
"In 1997, DeCoster Egg Farms agreed to pay a $2 million fine after then-Labor Secretary Robert Reich described his farm “as dangerous and oppressive as any sweatshop.” In 2002, DeCoster’s company paid $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Mexican women who reported they were subjected to sexual harassment, including rape, abuse and retaliation by supervisors. Earlier this summer, another company linked to DeCoster paid out $125,000 to the state of Maine over animal-cruelty allegations."
Walmart, Tyson recall 380,000 pounds of tainted ‘deli meats’ - Grist
""The products were distributed nationwide to a single retail chain," the FSIS press release states demurely, too polite to call out retail mammoth Walmart, the largest seller of groceries in the United States. It also refrained from fingering Tyson Foods, the globe's second-largest meat company, as the ultimate source of the bad meat. Tyson, it turns out, owns Zemco Industries."
 

25 Aug

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 25 Aug 2010
  • District 94 Board Resignation and Vacancy
  • Brilliance in Business Awards
  • United Methodist and Congregational Women Annual Salad Luncheon
  • West Chicago Lions Club 45th Annual New Teachers Lunch
  • Road Construction Projects
Birkett eyes DuPage County judgeship
"Birkett first told the Daily Herald in February he would not seek a fifth term as the county's top prosecutor, and most likely would vacate his elected position before his term ends in two years, if a suitable successor is tapped.  Birkett privately sought a DuPage County circuit spot last month after Judge Perry Thompson retired, but Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas had promised the seat to Robert G. Gibson, a 27-year attorney with whom Thomas attended college."
More money possible for flooding controls in DuPage
"Zay accused Fichtner of disregarding the need for flood controls on the west side of the county because Fichtner represents east side residents. Zay said the county spent almost $100 million on east side flood controls over the years.  "I guess the other side of the county is not entitled to the same flood controls," Zay said.  Schillerstrom said the stormwater projects were intended to cover 100-year flood events. Zay noted that some of the proposed changes wouldn't keep areas of the county that flooded late last month from flooding again if the same conditions occurred again in the future."
Roskam should pay for his fliers
"While Roskam should be commended for suddenly becoming fiscally "aware" (a recent development) I was appalled to read on the back, "This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense." These are obviously campaign fliers.  If Roskam really cared about government spending and congressional ethics, why doesn't he save taxpayers' money and use some of his huge campaign fund..."
DuPage officials awaiting decision in Irshad case
"While they proceed with their effort, they continue to gather in borrowed space at a Methodist church several miles east of their property.  The organization's board and its legal representatives spent about a year working to have the request granted, agreeing to modifications intended to address the concerns of neighbors who predicted the center's operations would hinder their quality of life."
CEO: DuPage Credit Union not failing
""I have no idea how something like that could get on there, because that data is entirely false," Palumbo said. "Here at the DuPage Credit Union, we're currently having one of the best quarters we've had in years. Our profitability, equity growth and capital are all up, and to suggest we are having problems currently is false — nothing could be further from the truth.""
DuPage sharpens vision for infrastructure bond plan
"DuPage County officials sharpened their focus on a proposed $69.9 million infrastructure bond issue in a meeting Tuesday night, concentrating on ways to squeeze the most mileage out of the potential new low-interest debt, part of the federal Recovery Zone program."
Wheaton College dormitory locked down today after found bullets
"At about 2:30 p.m., College Public Saftey, police and the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office canine unit finished searching the premises. No weapon or other dangerous device were found. The dormitory was reopened after the search."
Biopsy results show Durbin cancer free
"Doctors say no further treatment is expected, the statement said.  Durbin, the Senate assistant majority leader, resumed a full schedule last week, said Christina Mulka, his press secretary. His activities included appearing at the Illinois State Fair and campaigning downstate with Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, she said."
Quinn: Chief of staff was to be suspended before he quit
"Gov. Pat Quinn said he had planned to suspend his former chief of staff, Jerry Stermer, for sending campaign-related e-mails from his state e-mail account before Stermer resigned on Sunday after the Chicago Sun-Times began asking about an investigative report regarding the e-mails."
Illinois strikes out again for federal school funding
" Galvanized by the first-round defeat, Illinois education officials sought more support for its plan and lawmakers adopted legislation overhauling school-principal preparation that federal reviewers thought was missing from the state’s first application.  However, Illinois dropped to 15th out of 19 finalists in the second round."
Rasmussen: Giannoulias 42%, Kirk 40%
"A new poll released by Rasmussen Reports shows Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias holding a slight edge over U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk in the race for U.S. Senate. Here are the topline results from the survey (with the results of the four previous Rasmussen polls in parentheses):
     Giannoulias: 42% (40%, 40%, 39%, 38%)
     Kirk: 40% (40%, 39%, 42%, 46%)
You can check out TPM's polltracker for the race here."
The Deadline Looms For Put Illinois To Work
"The federal stimulus package, much derided by Republicans in Illinois, is doing wonders for the economy. The Congressional Budget Office released a report yesterday showing that the law created 3.3 million jobs in the second quarter of 2010 alone and may have prevented a double-dip recession. One successful program that owes its existence to the recovery bill is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund, which has provided private employers subsidies to hire (for $10-per-hour) folks who are eligible."
Green Party’s Whitney: Quinn has ‘peaked’
"At a Springfield news conference, Whitney referenced recent independent polls that have shown Brady leading the race for Illinois governor. Whitney urged voters who don’t want to vote for Brady to vote for him instead of Quinn.  “He’s peaked,” Whitney said of Quinn. “He can only go down.”"
Pat Quinn's Illinois: No Jobs, No Reform
"“Illinois lost 20 thousand jobs last month alone,” he said.  “This latest revelation proves we won’t ever solve our fiscal crisis under a governor consumed by politics, not jobs,” he said."
Labor Says Mott's Apples Are Rotten to the Core - TruthOut
"Beal said he and the other union workers were shocked when DPS - despite a profit of $555 million on sales of $5.5 billion last year - demanded massive contract concessions; among them, slashing wages by $1.50 an hour, the elimination of pensions for new employees, a 20 percent reduction in their 401K's and a change in their health plan Beal says would force members to pay out of pocket an additional $6,000-$8,000 a year."
Troops: Skipping Christian concert got us punished - AP
""My whole issue was I don't need to be preached at," Smith said in a phone interview from Phoenix, where he is stationed with the National Guard. "That's not what I signed up for."  Smith, 21, was stationed in Virginia for nearly seven months for helicopter electrician training when the Christian rock group BarlowGirl played as part of the "Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concerts.""
Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Hear Bias Suit - NY Times
"Nine years after the suit was filed, the central issue before the Supreme Court will not be whether any discrimination occurred, but whether more than a million people can even make this joint claim through a class-action lawsuit, as opposed to filing claims individually or in smaller groups.  In April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled 6-5 that the lawsuit could proceed as a jumbo class action — the fourth judicial decision upholding a class action.  The stakes are huge. If the Supreme Court allows the suit to proceed as a class action, that could easily cost Wal-Mart $1 billion or more in damages, legal experts say."
The Parent Company Trap - The Daily Show
"Fox News is either evil or stupid for not mentioning that Alwaleed bin Talal is News Corp.'s largest shareholder."

 

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: Lance Corporal Kevin E. Oratowski, United States Marine Corps - Hometown: Wheaton, Illinois"
 

24 Aug

 
Training Plus Inc. and West Chicago Partnership for Business - Lolly Frederick
"Training Plus, Inc. is partnering with the West Chicago Chamber to provide training programs that can provide new knowledge and/or skills for your employees. There may be grant assistance for qualifying companies that can provide additional discounts to your company.  You DO NOT NEED TO BE A CHAMBER MEMBER to take advantage of this opportunity."
[Scroll down to see entire schedule. - Bob]
This months issue of the Business Highlights will be delayed.  Sorry. - Bob
Group makes pitch for Illinois pension reform
""The core of the problem is that pensions and retiree health care have not been funded appropriately for decades and are not sustainable in their current form," White said.  Lawmakers overhauled public sector pension plans earlier this year. The changes included raising the retirement age for future state, school, university and local government employees to 67."
[Hmmm... since the state has not paid their fair share in the past, they should not have to pay going forward? - Bob]
Roskam mailing was 'disrespectful' - Marian Tomlinson, Glen Ellyn
"It is a relief to hear there is a pre-election black-out period when politicians like Peter Roskam can't send unsolicited campaign materials disguised as "reports." His recent slick flyer is so clearly partisan campaign politics that I was shocked he would use his franking privilege to send it.  He ought to have more respect for the taxpayers than to make us pay for his partisan mailing."
DuPage sets budget forums
"The hearings are slated for 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in the council chambers at Westmont Village Hall, 31 W. Quincy St.; 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 23 in Room 2200 of Addison Village Hall, 1 Friendship Plaza; and 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in the council chambers at West Chicago Village Hall, 475 Main St."
Daily Chronicle
DeKalb
Foster: Stimulus plan helped the country
"After the financial meltdown in 2008, the country saw a $17.5 trillion loss of household net worth, Foster said, which has since turned around. He defended the stimulus and bailout dollars spent, adding that “doing nothing and letting it collapse is actually worse for the taxpayer than doing something.”  He said he’s heard people complain they haven’t seen enough positive change since the stimulus money was handed out, but he told the group that it can take time to prove effective after what he called society’s over-consumption."
ThomasNet Industrial News Room Supplier of Mobile Carts, Trucks, Cabinets and Benches Rolls out Online Sales Strategy
"CartDepotUSA.com is the new online sales channel for Nation's Material Handling. As a distributor, Cart Depot USA offers hundreds of options for different carts including mobile carts for a healthcare facility, a hand truck in a warehouse, or a table or work bench in a laboratory. No matter what it's moving, CartDepotUSA.com has hundreds of selections."
Illinois shut out in U.S. 'Race to Top' school grants
"Illinois officials had bolstered their application for the second contest by winning support from more than half of the state's 869 school districts and 234 teachers union locals. The state had pledged to test the knowledge of every incoming kindergartner, turnaround its lowest-scoring schools and build a statewide network to improve science and technology instruction in classrooms from Antioch to Springfield if it won."
Quinn set to announce new chief of staff
"Stermer resigned Sunday after a probe of his admission that he had "inadvertently" used his state e-mail account to send three messages, including campaign-related ones. He said executive inspector general James Wright later determined they were prohibited under state ethics rules."
Savage: Illinois' Low Income Tax Way Too High
"On what data is Savage relying to make that bold prediction? Of the 41 states that impose an individual income tax, Illinois' 3 percent rate is the lowest in the nation. Only in supply-side fantasy land would dropping that rate even further lead to massive gains in economic growth. For more context about Illinois' income tax debate, check out the primer we published earlier this month."
Golden Years Plaza Renovation Celebration - Picture Gallery
"Rep. Foster celebrated the completion of the water pipe renovation project, which received stimulus funding to improve living conditions for the residents of Golden Years Plaza, while also creating jobs."
Thanks to Rep. Foster, Golden Years Plaza Has Been Renewed to Help Seniors for Another 40 Years
"“I’m pleased to see the stimulus here at work in DeKalb County – this project helped to create jobs and also helped to update and preserve Golden Years Plaza for current and future residents,” said Foster.  “This long overdue renovation had to be performed soon in any case, and doing it now when our economy needs the jobs makes perfect sense.  While there is still much work to be done to put people back to work, it is important to celebrate the local victories that are helping to propel our economy in the right direction.”"
Rich Whitney to Have Two Events in Springfield with Move to Amend
"Mr. Whitney will be joined by Laird and Robin Monahan. They are two brothers who are walking across the United States to raise awareness about the need for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood."
Brady Campaign on Quinn Inspector General Firing
"Today’s revelation suggests that on the very day Pat Quinn was confronted with evidence by the Inspector General of an ethics violation, Pat Quinn put his political interests before citizens yet again and fired the Inspector General himself."
[This is just bonkers.  If he had not resigned, I'm sure that would have caused objection also. - Bob]
UAW Joins Blue Green Alliance - AFL-CIO
"The Blue Green Alliance is a partnership among nine unions and two major environmental groups dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.  The Alliance last week launchedThe Job’s Not Done Tour,” a three-week, 17-state, 30-city bus tour to remind lawmakers that Congress has stalled on legislation to create and save millions of jobs across the country through a clean energy economy."
Christian Nationalism's War with Islam - Consortium News
"An underlying issue in the dispute over a proposed Islamic center near the site of 9/11’s Ground Zero is the emergence of Christian nationalism, which embraces a vision of the world in which every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Christ is Lord."
Investigation Documents Cruelty of Bear Baiting - Humane Society [Warning: The video with this article is bothersome. - Bob]
"A black bear cowers in the corner of a pen in rural South Carolina. She is tethered to a stake, surrounded by hundreds of onlookers.  She is foaming at the mouth and popping her jaws, behavior that means she is terrified. Her captors have cut or removed her claws and many of her teeth, leaving her defenseless.  Three hounds run at the bear from one end of the arena, barking furiously. Some of them bite her face and legs. Others jump on her. She backs up on her hind legs, trying vainly to shield her face. The assault continues for four hours, as nearly 300 dogs attack her in quick succession."
 

23 Aug

 
This Week in West Chicago
Public Budget Hearing - FB - Donna M. May
"The DuPage County Board is having a Public Budget Hearing!!! Right here in West Chicago!!! Okay guys lets fill the room!It is a month away so make plans now and RSVP to this event!!!"
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"The new schedule is out. Watch new editions of Paper Crafting Trends and IRM-TV starting at 7pm on Wednesday and Friday. Catch some Lost Tapes on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm as we present National Night Out '08 & '07. It may have rained out this year but get your National Night Out fix on Channel 17, West Chicago."

West Chicago
High School
Voice of Democracy Student Contest
"All CHS students are invited to participate in the 2010 Voice of Democracy contest sponsored the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 6791 and the Ladies Auxiliary. In 2010, over $5000 in scholarship monies were awarded to over 40 students from all grade levels.  To enter, students must type a 3-5 minute speech on the topic, ""Does My Generation Have a Role in America’s Future?" and record the speech on CD or cassette. All materials must be submitted to Ms. Daneels of the Humanities Department no later than Friday, October 15th, 2010."
  • DuPage Co. chairman candidates weigh in on water costs
    "Cronin is still pushing for the agency to become a county utility.  "I believe consolidation with the county is a big part of the solution," he said. "A lot of these problems wouldn't have occurred if we had the strength of the resources and breadth of county government behind it."  Cronin's Democratic opponent in the Nov. 2 election, Carole Cheney, said the water commission's shortcomings highlights the need for technology and computer software upgrades at the county that are currently under consideration. She doesn't believe the county's resources would have stopped the financial mistakes that plagued the water commission."
  • DuPage Water Commission's financial fix hits $2 million
    "A study was performed to show how "modest" incremental increases to the water rate over 15 years can make up the misspent reserves. Financial reports provide more detailed accounting. All commissioners, instead of just three or four, are now part of the commission's financial oversight committee. The commissioners also point to the $3 million shaved off this year's proposed operating budget. Much of that came from a reduction in planned maintenance costs"
DuPage County briefs
"The DuPage County Forest Preserve District will help residents step back in time for an old-fashioned country fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 4 and 5 at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, near West Chicago"
Landmark statue gets makeover
"The 18-foot statue of a Revolutionary War soldier has been sitting in a huge rocking chair outside the Custom Furniture store along Route 25 in Valley View since it was carved to celebrate the bicentennial in 1976. The Pakan family, who own the store, removed the statue's forearms, hands and 14-foot musket this year because of damage from carpenter ants and decay."
DuPage County to consider controversial zoning change
"County zoning meetings have turned heated lately as residents have spoken out against Muslim groups seeking permits to open religious facilities or expand services near West Chicago and Willowbrook.  The tense hearings come just a few months after an Islamic group filed a federal lawsuit against the county, alleging discrimination in the rejection of a zoning proposal for an Islamic educational center and place of worship near Naperville."
Hearing today on lawsuit over Asian carp
"A hearing will be held today in a multistate lawsuit that demands tougher federal and municipal action to prevent Asian carp from overrunning the Great Lakes and decimating the fishing industry.  The suit has been filed in the federal court in Chicago by Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania."
Quinn's chief of staff quits over ethics lapse
"Jerry Stermer's resignation Sunday is effective immediately, said Ashley Cross, Quinn's government spokeswoman.  Cross said Stermer quit because he "didn't want anything to be a distraction" to Quinn with just over two months left before the Nov. 2 election."
Candidates would merge state treasurer, comptroller
" They say the merger would save about $12 million in rent and salary by eliminating duplication.  Comptroller candidate Judy Baar Topinka admitted Monday that it would be tough to change the state constitution to allow the merger. But she says it's not impossible.  The two separate offices were created 40 years ago to ensure one corrupt official couldn't embezzle or misspend tax dollars."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Illinois Joint Investigatory Panel on Early Release to meet Wednesday in Chicago
"Administrators for Quinn and the Illinois Department of Corrections Director Michael Randle are among those who have been invited to testify at the panel. Though no representatives from the Quinn administration were present at the Peoria meeting, it was attended by a bipartisan group of local lawmakers."
Growing Inequality Threatens Middle Class and Democracy
  • "Fifty million Americans couldn’t afford to buy enough food to stay healthy at some point last year…
  • In 1978, the average per capita income for men in the United States was $45,879. The same figure for 2007, adjusted for inflation, was $45,113..
  • Statistically, less affluent Americans stand a 4 percent chance of becoming part of the upper middle class—a number that is lower than every other industrialized nation except México and Turkey."
L.A. faith leaders support Muslim center in New York - LA Times
"Standing near a poster that read, "An attack against one is an attack against all," about 30 representatives of various faiths gathered Friday outside a central Los Angeles mosque to announce their support for an Islamic center planned near ground zero in New York.  Speakers at the multi-faith event outside the Islamic Center of Southern California denounced opposition to the New York building as a reflection of anti-Muslim bigotry, and called it anti-American because it divides the country and is not respectful of the constitutional right to freedom of religion."
Ron Paul to Sunshine Patriots: Stop Your Demagogy About The NYC Mosque! - RonPaul.com
"It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”  The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque."
Who Rules America - Phil's StockWorld
"Our friends in the top 10% already have 93.3% of the business equity and own 98.5% of all Financial Securities (in case you ever wonder why "Main Street" doesn’t give a damn about "Wall Street") but they only have 79.4% of the trusts so they love to use "Death Tax" to appeal to the little people who do sometimes get an inheritance. Due to 401Ks, the poor do own 18.8% of the stocks although that number has been dropping all year as they flee the markets and the wealthy already own 87.8% of all non-residential real estate so nothing left to steal there."
Pac-Man Hacked Onto a Touch-Screen Voting Machine Without Breaking 'Tamper-Evident' Seals - BradBlog
"This is the Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen DRE voting machine. In 2008, it was used in jurisdictions with almost 9 million voters. Alex Halderman and Ari Feldman replaced the voting software with Pac-Man. They did this in three afternoons, without breaking any tamper-evident seals. It would be easy to modify the software to steal votes, but that's been done before, and Pac-Man is more fun."
 

20 Aug

 

West Chicago
High School
Board Member Resigns
"At its regular meeting on August 17, 2010, John Jensen advised the Board of Education of Community High School District 94 of his resignation as Board member effective at the end of the meeting convened on the same date. Mr. Jensen, who has served the District since his election in April 2003, is resigning due to conflicts in schedules."
Women Behind West Chicago's Mexican Independence Day Celebration
"Cultivating the celebrated ethnic diversity of their community, five dynamic women, Pastor Maria Ramirez, Sara Phalen, Valeria Perez, Anna Rosalez and Jackie Ocampo-Gutierrez are the guiding forces of the West Chicago Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration which is scheduled for Sunday, September 12, 2010."
West Chicago Honors Local Contractor
"Local contractor Tom Cherrington of Cherrington Design and Building, Inc. wanted to keep his crews busy during a slow period when the economy tanked earlier in 2009. He has since discovered the rewards and personal satisfaction that comes from breathing new life into older structures and received a Rejuvenation Award from the West Chicago Historical Preservation Commission at the City Council meeting of August 16, 2010."
Meet West Chicago Wildcats at inaugural sports festival
""This is a very special place, but we need community involvement," he [Doug Mullaney - athletic director] says. "We're obligated to bring people in (to our school and sporting events). It's a great place to hang out and bring your kids. It's warm and friendly. We want to welcome everybody.""
Dist. 94 seeks applicants for board vacancy
"West Chicago Community High School District 94 is accepting applications to fill a school board vacancy.  John Jensen, a board member since 2003, resigned this week due to scheduling conflicts.  The new member will serve until the April 2011 election."
DuPage, Cook among counties declared disaster areas
""Although the floodwaters have receded and the storms are long gone, residents and business owners are still facing a mountain of challenges," Durbin said. "I am hopeful that the federal restoration efforts will begin dealing with the most seriously affected residents first."  The state had declared the areas disaster areas shortly after the flooding occurred, but that only expedited cleanup and offered no financial assistance to property owners."
Disaster relief OK'd for DuPage storm victims
"President Obama Thursday approved disaster funding for several Illinois counties, including DuPage... Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster."
Democrats offer a Fair amount of explaining
"Gov. Pat Quinn had to discuss why he once vouched for the former governor’s honesty. Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan was grilled over chairing Blagojevich’s 2006 re-election campaign. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias found himself announcing that he never really liked Blagojevich anyway."
Quinn Challenges Brady To Seven Debates
"In recent weeks, Brady’s campaign has endured mounting criticism from across the political spectrum and media for not providing any details on how he would close the budget gap. The series of debates proposed by Governor Quinn will ensure that voters are fully aware of Senator Brady’s plans for Illinois."
AFL-CIO Protests Saddam-like Iraqi Labor Order - AFL-CIO
" In a letter to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka strongly protests a recent government order that bans all trade union activities in the government-owned electrical industry.  The order by Iraq’s minister of electricity prohibits ministry officials from dealing with unions and instructs them to take back all the benefits electrical unions have negotiated in recent years. More ominously, it orders the ministry, along with the police, to close all electrical union offices and take control of their assets."
A Thousand Miles in the Footsteps of Martin Luther - Wall Street Journal
"Lutherans world-wide are already buzzing about 2017, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses, commonly regarded as the starting point of the Reformation. But no one's quite sure about the right way to observe the occasion.  Should Lutherans celebrate the profound insights of a brilliant theologian into the gospel? Or should they lament the splintering of the Western church and the physical and spiritual intra-Christian wars that followed?"
Target Shareholders Mad Over Pro-Emmer Donation Fiasco - TPM
"Target is running into yet another backlash as a result of its $150,000 donation to a business group supporting Republican Tom Emmer in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. And as the Los Angeles Times reports, this time it's not from liberal activists and pro-gay rights consumers in Target's deep-blue home state -- it's from shareholders, who are worried about the damage the flap has done to the company itself."
 

19 Aug

 
West Chicago Sister City West Chicago Sister Cities presents another FREE movie....Bonhoeffer
"Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who was imprisoned and killed by the Nazis for plotting to assassinate Hitler.  This true story charts the life of Bonhoeffer who professes a strong resistance to Adolf Hitler. He openly challenged his Church to stand with the Jews in their time of need, eventually joining his family in the plots to kill Hitler."
ACT scores increase in St. Charles District 303
"New numbers show St. Charles North students posted an overall average score of 23.7, just nudging out their crosstown peers at St. Charles East, who posted an overall average of 23.5.  St. Charles North High School's average score is the highest in school history. The 23.7 mark was bolstered by an average score of 24.6 on the math portion of the ACT. That's the highest math score in the history of the district."
Quinn veto postpones change in foreclosure sales law
"Sullivan said this bill comes at a particularly poor time for sheriffs' departments because it will take a source of revenue away from counties. And any revenue cuts likely will come out of the sheriffs' budgets, Sullivan said.  "It's really a threat to public safety if this thing goes through," Sullivan said.  Sullivan also raised concerns that private companies will not handle foreclosures or evictions with the same care as public servants such as sheriff's deputies, who have little motive to raise fees."
ACLU challenges law barring recording of police
"The ACLU wants to end prosecution for recording public conversations with police because the organization believes it is a violation of the First Amendment, according to the complaint.  According to the ACLU, the law has been used to thwart people who want to monitor police activity for misconduct. That includes the ACLU itself, which states in the complaint that it wants to monitor police using recording devices, but it fears Alvarez's office will prosecute the civil rights organization for violating the eavesdropping act."
Rupert Murdoch Dough Heading To IL-GOV Race?
"Looking forward, some of that $1 million will most likely make its way to the Illinois' governors race, where the RGA has already run ads slamming incumbent Pat Quinn.  Which raises a question for Fox Chicago (and other affiliates across the country): When covering the local gubernatorial races, will they disclose that their parent company is backing the Republican ticket? "
Public Education 2.0
"“Technology has the power to customize education for every student in America,” said Jeb Bush, co-chair of the Digital Learning Council. “Providing a customized, personalized education for students was a dream just a decade ago. Technology can turn that dream into reality today. The Digital Learning Council will develop the roadmap to achieve that ultimate goal.”"
Rich Whitney Gains in New Public Policy Poll
"Mr. Whitney stated that “I am encouraged by the latest polling numbers, which demonstrate that we continue to make steady progress as Illinois voters begin paying more attention to the race and the issues that affect them. This also demonstrates that other polling organizations, which continue to omit my name and party as a choice for respondents, are not conducting a legitimate poll. Such polls would have the effect of biasing the outcome of the election, not predicting it.”"
New Poll: Brady Favored in Illinois' Race for Governor
"Pat Quinn's approval rating is 23% and when it comes to the Illinois Governor's race that's about all you need to know. Despite being largely unknown and not particularly well liked Bill Brady leads with 39% to 30% for Quinn and 11% for Green Party candidate Rich Whitney, continuing his path toward becoming one of the most unlikely big state Governors in recent history.  Brady is winning 80% of Republicans while only 60% of Democrats are committed to Quinn. Perhaps most remarkable is the numbers among independents- Brady leads with 40% with Whitney second at 19% and Quinn finishing all the way back in third at 15%."
Muslim prayers welcome at Pentagon chapel - CNN
"Less than 100 feet from where a hijacked airplane slammed into the Pentagon, Muslim military personnel bring prayer rugs on weekday afternoons for group worship.  On Fridays, a local imam conducts a service in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel built after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks by al Qaeda that killed 184 people at the U.S. military headquarters."
Federal appeals court says highways' crosses are unconstitutional - CNN
"A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the 14 large crosses would be viewed by most passing motorists as "government's endorsement of Christianity."  "We hold that these memorials have the impermissible effect of conveying to the reasonable observer the message that the state prefers or otherwise endorses a certain religion," concluded the Denver, Colorado-based court. The state of Utah and a private trooper association have the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Americans' Views on the Campaign, Religion and the Mosque Controversy - Time
"15. Do you think that a Muslim should be allowed to ...
Run for President of the United States?
    Yes: 61%    No: 32%    No answer/Don't know: 7%
Serve on the U.S. Supreme Court?
    Yes: 65%    No: 28%    No answer/Don't know: 7%"
9/11 Widower Ted Olson: Obama Was Right On Cordoba House - TPM
""I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices, or structures, or places of religious worship or study, where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing, and that we don't want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don't think it should be a political issue. It shouldn't be a Republican or Democratic issue, either."

 

 

18 Aug

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 18 Aug 2010
  • New Pierce Arrow XT 100-foot ladder truck
  • St. Michael’s United Church of Christ Ice Cream Social
  • United Methodist and Congregational Women Annual Salad Luncheon
  • Mike Demeritt Completes the Kettle Moraine 100
Carol Stream teen sues to play basketball with dog, oxygen tank
"But her family was told it was "not appropriate" for Jenny to be on the basketball court with her service dog and oxygen tank, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday on Jenny's behalf by Equip for Equality, a legal advocacy organization.  Special Olympics Illinois and West Chicago High School District 94 are named as defendants.  "All I know is Jenny wants to play, and she's devastated they won't allow her to," said Janice Youngwith, Jenny's mother.  Other parents, meanwhile, are concerned the lawsuit could prompt District 94 to end its participation in Special Olympics after just one year."
Foreclosure numbers stun Kane committee
"The 3,880 foreclosures becomes even more startling when compared to the number of foreclosures in 1990, when Kane County registered just 262 for the entire year.  According to RealtyTrac, a company that keeps track of foreclosures, there were 37,880 filed in Kane, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties in the last 12 months, and average of 103 each day."
Teen sues to play basketball with service dog
"A teenage girl with cerebral palsy wants to play basketball with her service dog and oxygen tank, but Special Olympics won't let her on the court with other disabled students, according to a federal lawsuit.  The Chicago-based advocacy group Equip for Equality sued Monday on behalf of Jennifer Youngwith, saying her civil rights have been violated. The 17-year-old from Carol Stream attends Community High School in West Chicago where she'll be a senior when school starts on Friday."
Experts: Mosquito numbers 5 times more than in 2009
"The Chicago area in particular has become ground zero for a record outbreak of mosquitoes, with local experts estimating the numbers seen this season are some of the largest recorded in the area over the last 20 years."
Cherry Valley to cut lights to save cash
"“We are thinking green and will reduce energy costs,” Caveny said in an e-mail. “Reducing recurring expenses is always good, even if it is not as much as you may hope.” ... “There should still be enough light where it’s not dark,” he said. “If it’s going to save some money, absolutely, because nobody is out that late anyway. So why light it up for nothing?”"
State’s budget problems haven’t cut troopers at state fair
"Illinois State Police are using surveillance cameras again this year — particularly in high-traffic areas such as the carnival — to more easily monitor large crowds, according to Capt. James Wolf.  But camera use has nothing to do with manpower. Despite state budget woes, Wolf said state police have not reduced the number of troopers patrolling the fairgrounds, although he would not disclose the specific number of troopers working the fairgrounds."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Radogno pledges to redouble efforts to reform Illinois government
""One of my biggest concerns is that the Blagojevich defense team may have convinced people that he was just practicing politics as usual in Illinois. If that is the case, it is a real indictment of the political leadership in this state. If there is one thing that elected officials need to do in Illinois, it is to send a strong signal that the politics of the past are over, regardless of what the final verdict may be in the Blagojevich trial."
Hotel Workers Tell Bank: “We Saved Your Jobs, Now You Save Ours” - AFL-CIO
"Late this afternoon, hundreds of Columbia-Sussex employees and supporters braved the rain to rally outside a Bank of America branch in Washington, D.C., to back Taylor and his co-workers. Standing by the BOA building, which is in the shadows of  the U.S. Treasury Department, they told the bankers whose jobs they rescued with their taxes to “Save Our Jobs.” They want Bank of America to protect their jobs regardless of how their employers’ debt is ultimately worked out."
Court: Religious NC college can't have police - AP
"A three-judge panel agreed that the state Attorney General's Office shouldn't have commissioned Davidson College officers as law enforcement with powers similar to city police or county sheriffs. An attorney familiar with the case said it may apply to other private colleges with religious affiliations.  Allowing the school's security officers to carry out laws on behalf of the state violates the U.S. Constitution's prohibition against laws establishing religion by creating "an excessive government entanglement with religion," Judge Jim Wynn wrote in the unanimous opinion."
'No Precedent' For Proposed Cuts To Food Stamp Benefits
"In April 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted monthly benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) by 13.6 percent. As economic misery has worsened, participation in SNAP has risen since then from 34.4 million to 40.8 million as of May 2010. That's one of every seven Americans.  With the stimulus bill provisions, the average benefit is $133.77 per month. If the cuts take effect, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) estimates that a family of four will receive $59 less per month starting in November 2013."
 

17 Aug

 
Quinn requests federal disaster money after floods
"The declaration would make federal grant and loan money available for losses related to the storms. Quinn's office says nine homes in the counties were destroyed and nearly 450 homes had major damage.  Quinn declared 12 counties state disaster areas on July 26, making the areas eligible for state assistance."
Bump in the road: Firm running tollway oases goes bust
"But eight years after the tollway entered into what was touted as an innovative public-private partnership that would generate billions of dollars, Wilton is now in foreclosure, and the lease to run the oases could be auctioned off in court as early as next week."
Rep. Foster Announces a $316,000 Grant to Fund Genome Research at NIU
"“NIU is a world-class research facility, and this grant will go far towards extending our understanding of the genome sequence,” said Foster.  “As a particle physicist who worked to understand the basic building blocks of the world around us, I am excited to hear about the developments that this research will uncover about genome sequences, and how they are linked to our individual health.”"
Republican Veterans Announce the Formation of “Veterans for Brady/Plummer”
"“We have nearly one million veterans who call Illinois home. More and more young men and women are returning from overseas each day,” said State Representative Jim Watson, who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  “It is essential that state government has in place a support system for these service members to provide quality employment opportunities and easy access to health benefits."
Will Illinois Block Insurance Premium Hikes?
"The Illinois Department of Insurance was awarded a $1 million federal grant yesterday to help the state increase its oversight of health insurance premium increases. This is a welcome infusion of resources made available through the federal health reform bill. Over the past two years, state regulators say that some of Illinois' largest health insurance companies have pushed through dozens of steep rate hikes on individual policies. But since the insurance industry is so strong in Springfield, the government still has no explicit authority to review these cases."
Blue Green Alliance Bus Tour to Demand Action on Clean Energy Jobs  - AFL-CIO
"By failing to take action on these important clean energy policies, we are missing a huge opportunity to create good jobs now. Currently we are 16th in the world in the percentage of citizens with access to broadband. Expansion will not only create jobs, save Americans money and make our country more efficient, it will lead to the sustainable communities that are such an important part of our future."
Evangelical activist asks fellow Christians for sympathy toward illegal immigrants - Associated Press
" NAPERVILLE, Ill. - A handwritten sign on the church door announces the event where Matthew Soerens, fluent in Spanish, the Bible and the nation's immigration laws, will try to win converts.  For months, he has been seeking out evangelical pastors locally and around the country, hoping to persuade them that immigration reform is a Christian imperative, even though the issue is so explosive that many ministers won't go near it."
Fox News Ignores Laura Schlessinger’s Racist ‘N-Word’ Tirade  - Think Progress
"Yesterday, Media Matters posted audio and transcript of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s racially-charged rant in which she, in her own words, “articulated the ‘n’ word all the way out — more than one time.” (11 times in five minutes, according to the Huffington Post.) ... But how many segments has Fox News run? According to a ThinkProgress review of the network’s coverage, zero."
 

16 Aug

 
This Week in West Chicago

West Chicago
High School
BOE Meeting Agenda August 17, 2010 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Summer School Report
  • AYP Progress Report
  • Update on Hosting West Chicago Special Olympics Programs
1st Annual Wildcat Sports Festival
"Help us kick-off another great year of Wildcat athletics!
Athletic Scrimmages•Team Recognition•Raffles•Concessions•Corn Boil
And an appearance by the Wildcat Marching Band!"
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 West Chicago, Illinois
"The new schedule is out. Watch new editions of Paper Crafting Trends and IRM-TV starting at 7pm on Wednesday and Friday. Catch some Lost Tapes on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm as we present National Night Out '08 & '07. It may have rained out this year but get your National Night Out fix on Channel 17, West Chicago."
Seatbelt Safety and Awareness Campaign Continues
"The West Chicago Police Department announced that Campaign #4 of the Illinois Department of Transportation funded grant was successful in educating the motoring public on Seatbelt Safety and Awareness. The Campaign ran from June 18-July 4, 2010 and resulted in 72 citations being issued for Seatbelt and Child Restraint violations."
A pervasive politics of small deceits
"It may be a small lie, but it is a lie all the same. It tries to pretend that a testimonial is spontaneous when in fact it is orchestrated by the campaign. And that's a falsehood.  It is fundamentally dishonest and inherently unethical.  You cannot gain the public's trust by engaging in untrustworthy political practices."
'Metracide' cases are on the upswing
"At least two other deaths have been reported since then, meaning this year's Metra-related fatality toll already exceeds the 15 recorded in 2009. The highest number on record was 34 in 2004, Reile said.  "It goes in cycles, so there's not a predictable pattern," Reile said of the deaths. "These are tragic incidents for the families and our workers.""
Refinery backs call to keep the canal open
"If the locks were closed, including one in Lockport, many large businesses along the canal would suffer and that would have ripple effects on smaller businesses that rely on area employees to shop and eat at their establishments, he said.  But other Great Lakes states worry that the Asian carp will travel north on the canal, sneak through the barriers and overpopulate the Great Lakes and destroy the commercial fishing industry."
Group to honor Burris at Champaign event
"U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., will be honored with the African American Man of the Year award later this month by the Illinois chapter of the National Council of African American Men Inc."
Quinn appoints new executive inspector general
"Meza is currently a legal counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Before that, he spent more than a decade in the U.S. attorney’s office... The Office of Executive Inspector General is an independent agency that investigates Ethics Act violations and misconduct in state government, among other wrongdoing.
Brady says Quinn should fire corrections director
"Brady repeated his call today for the dismissal of Corrections Director Michael Randle.  His comments come after the release of a report Friday that said the Department of Corrections didn’t consider possible public safety dangers when it granted early release to try to save money."
Atheist challenges state grant to Bald Knob cross
" Steve McKeown, a pastor and administrator of the cross, said he is confident Sherman will not win. He said Bald Knob drew roughly 1,000 visitors last weekend, underscoring its sway as a tourist draw.  “What Mr. Sherman fails to recognize is there’s a long-standing precedent for the fact that just because an organization may have a sectarian purpose, it does not exempt them automatically from receiving tax dollars,” McKeown said."
[This suit should be supported by all those who would object to public money spent on an 11 story Crescent or Star of David. - Bob]
No reports of West Nile disease in Illinois so far this year
" Last year, when Illinois recorded five cases and no deaths — the lowest numbers since West Nile was identified in Illinois in 2001 — the first case was reported Aug. 31.  The first case was reported Aug. 6 in 2002, when Illinois recorded the most human cases (884) and the most West Nile-related deaths (67) in the country."
Brady Statement on Quinn's MGT Push Program Report‏
"Almost one full year after this secret program began, this report is months late.  The report fails to provide citizens with basic answers to questions about the approval and responsibly for this program.  Even worse, while the Governor has long claimed he didn’t know about the existence of this program, this report clearly shows knowledge of this program was widespread at the agency level."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Report on Prisoner Early Release Calls Program a Failure
"In discussing the use of the term "secret" to describe the early release program, Erickson said, "Well that's just about the worst secret I ever heard... hundreds of people worked in the system and knew about it... 1,700 people were released. Their lawyers knew about it. They knew about it. Their families knew about it. The people at work in the administration knew about it.."
Laborers Returning to AFL-CIO - AFL-CIO
"More than ever, now is the moment for a unified labor movement. And as we rebuild and strengthen the labor movement, we will work together to create good jobs, restore a middle-class economy and elect leaders who stand with working people. Together, brick by brick, we will build an economy that works for everyone."
Dutch euthanasia cases up 13 per cent last year - The Globe and Mail
"The number of reported Dutch cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide rose 13 percent last year, the government said on Wednesday, spurring talk of a possible “euthanasia hospital” to help people end their lives. The annual report of the regional commissions that oversee the Netherlands’ euthanasia law said there were 2,636 cases in 2009, the vast majority of them euthanasia, or “mercy killing“, as opposed to assisted suicide, or helping someone to die.  That represented about 2 per cent of all Dutch deaths last year, based on figures from Statistics Netherlands. Of the cases, slightly over 80 percent were cancer patients and more than 80 per cent of the deaths occurred in the patient’s home."
Welcome To The Neighborhood? A Look At The Area Around The 'Ground Zero Mosque' - TPM
"A lot has been made of the proximity of the planned Cordoba House Muslim community center to Ground Zero in New York City. But what does the neighborhood actually look like? Here are some photos from the three-block area surrounding the proposed site."
DeLay Will Not Face Federal Charges - TPM
"A separate state probe in Texas into an alleged scheme to funnel corporate money in the 2002 campaign remains open, Cullen said. DeLay and two other men are allegedly raised $190,000 in corporate money in Texas through a fundraising committee and sent it the Republican National Committee, which then gave the money to candidates in Texas, a state which bans corporate donations."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of:  Police Officer Jeremy Hubbard Of the Cowden Police Department "
 

13 Aug

 
DuPage water commission loan's cost may rise
"The commission moved forward Thursday with plans to begin negotiations to extend the loan, so it'd have more time to pay it off. West Suburban Bank holds the note on the loan and gave the agency an interest rate of 1.25 percent for what was initially a one-year loan. That amounted to $375,000 extra in interest costs.  Bank officials have told the commission that if the loan is extended an extra year it will be at a rate of 2.5 percent. If all $30 million is extended, that would amount to three-quarters of a million dollars in additional interest costs."
More reform sought for DuPage water commission
"For one, while Illinois Senate Bill 580, which was signed into law last month, requires all commissioners to resign by Jan. 1, there is nothing in the law prohibiting the reappointment of all the commissioners.  The law also requires an independent audit of the commission annually and for that law to be sent to the county auditor's office, but the county auditor is not required to take any action with it.  And, though the law ends the quarter-percent countywide sales tax by 2016, it also allows the tax to return if voted on through a referendum."
FEMA to review DuPage County flood damage assessment
" “They will not be going door to door or visiting all the communities in most cases,” Sturm said. “We will be providing them an overall snapshot of the damages to their assessment teams.”  While FEMA will look at overall damages to infrastructure, the amount of damages that is required for the county to be eligible for disaster relief is not known."
West Chicago strip club settles DUI suit for $1 million
"Diamonds Gentlemen's Club in West Chicago paid $800,000 to the husband of April Simmons, a 27-year-old Yorkville woman who was eight months pregnant when a vehicle driven by John Homatas ran head-on into her SUV near South Elgin in January 2006.  The rest of the settlement went to the family of John Chiariello, 25, of St. Charles, who was riding in Homatas' car, according to court records."
Brady: Congress wrong to send Illinois money
" Brady said the $26 billion legislation will increase the federal deficit and leave Illinois with a bigger budget hole to fill next year.  “These are just typical Washington games, digging a deeper hole,” Brady told reporters as he prepared to march in the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade. “I don’t know where they’re going to get the money.”  The federal legislation pays for the aid by ending a tax loophole used by multinational corporations and cutting future food stamp benefits. Democrats say it will actually reduce the deficit by about $1.4 billion."
  • Springfield might enter FutureGen derby
    " “We plan to take a serious look at it to determine if we might have a site that would even qualify,” Davlin said. “Obviously, we are always interested in projects that can provide an economic opportunity for Springfield.”  Depending on what community is selected, one Springfield alderman has suggested the revised plans to pipe CO2 from the Meredosia plant could help provide Springfield with a backup water source."
  • Role of Energy official questioned in FutureGen changes
    "Wood, who is deputy assistant secretary for clean coal in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, was president of Babcock & Wilcox Company from 1996-2001. North Carolina-based Babcock & Wilcox is one of two companies named last week by the department to retrofit a coal-fired power plant at Meredosia under the retooled $1.2 billion FutureGen project."
SIU researchers receive almost $1.2M in grants
"“This new funding for scientific equipment will increase the ability of our faculty to conduct high-quality, cutting-edge medical research in Springfield,” said Linda Toth, SIU’s associate dean for research and faculty affairs."
Brady Opposes State Aid Bill, Wants Money Anyway
"Calling the legislation a bailout, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady said Thursday that Congress was wrong to pass a deficit-reducing state aid package that will provide Illinois with $960 million in Medicaid and education funding. “I don’t know where they’re going to get the money," he told the AP from the Illinois State Fair. So long as Congress decided to pass the bill, however, Brady says Illinois should spend any assistance that is sent to Springfield."
Immigrant Group Asks Brady, Hultgren Not To Campaign With Pulido
"The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is calling on GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady to cancel his plans to appear onstage with Illinois Minuteman leader Rosanna Pulido at a Tea Party event this Saturday in Bartlett. Pulido, a one-time congressional candidate, is known for her inflammatory language and hard-right views on immigration policy, a subject Brady broached on the trail last week. The group asked the same of 14th District Congressional GOP nominee candidate Randy Hultgren, who is also a confirmed speaker for the event."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Corrections panel reflects bipartisan participation, receives public support
"Among those testifying were local police and sheriffs, along with several crime victims and crime victim advocacy groups. All participants expressed concern over the implementation of the early release program, and urged officials to be more discriminatory when deciding which prisoners will receive early release."
Health Care CEOs Pocket Big Bucks, Still Fight Real Reform - AFL-CIO
"”The insurance companies and their army of lobbyists are doing everything they can to undermine this law,” says HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome.  "To feed their greed, they are pressuring regulators to change the very definition of what is ‘medical care’ so they can ignore these important new requirements and trump Congress."  So, health care execs get big salaries and huge tax breaks. But instead of creating new jobs with their money, they are trying to find ways to sock it to the rest of us."
The Perils of Wanna-Be Cool Christianity - Wall Street Journal
"As a 27-year-old evangelical myself, I understand the concern. My peers, many of whom grew up in the church, are losing interest in the Christian establishment.  Recent statistics have shown an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly."
Police Dismiss Right-Winger's New 'Proof' Of Phony Mexican Drug Cartel Raid - TPM
"As you may remember, two weeks ago, Dvorak and another blogger, Dan Amato, published reports, citing anonymous law enforcement agents, that members of the Mexican drug gang Los Zetas had taken over ranches near Laredo, Texas. Dvorak said the raids "could be deemed an act of war." The reports were widely picked up online. But law enforcement officers subsequently told TPM (and others) that no such incident had occurred. Police had received a tip about an incident, but when they sent officers to the scene, they found nothing out of the ordinary."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of: Police Officer Jeremy Hubbard Of the Cowden Police Department "
 

12 Aug

 
City Museum

 

Celebrate Back to School with a Visit to the City Museum
"The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum's August drawing winner will receive the Community High School Commemorative Ornament AND the Tastee Freez Commemorative Ornament in honor of a new school year and the final days of summer."
Back to School Safety Tips
"Back to school is just around the corner and the West Chicago Police Department would like to share some practical advice to help keep children safe from some dangerous situations:"
Foster, local teachers, hail federal money for education jobs
"The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act has a $26 billion price tag. About $10 billion of that is dedicated to preserving an estimated 161,000 teachers facing layoffs across the country. The National Education Association believes about 5,700 of those jobs are in Illinois, with 212 specifically in the 14th Congressional District.  Foster said saving teaching jobs drove his vote along with the $26 billion cost being funded by the closing of a tax loophole that encourages corporations to ship American jobs overseas and a deep cut to food stamp funding."
Schillerstrom proposes $70 million renovation bond
""If we are going to address the flooding issues that continue to affect the western portion of DuPage County, then we need this capital plan," Zay, chairman of the county's Stormwater Committee, said in the release.  By tapping recovery zone funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the county could pay interest below 3.2 percent, which is more than a full percentage point below current rates."
Valley schools to get $15M from feds
"About $15.1 million in federal stimulus money is expected to help Fox Valley school districts recall and rehire more teachers, according to U.S. Rep. Bill Foster.  A day after President Barack Obama signed a $26 billion emergency jobs bill for education, Foster, a Batavia Democrat, met with teachers from the 14th Congressional District who praised Congress for the small, but much needed, boost of funding."
West Chicago strip club lawsuit settled for $1 million
"Homatas and Chiariello had gotten drunk at the club and were ejected by bouncers when Homatas was found vomiting in a bathroom, the suit alleged. Diamond's employees then put Homatas in his car, and he and Chiariello drove off, running into the Yorkville woman's car about 15 minutes later.  The club does not serve alcohol, but patrons are allowed to bring in liquor. Because of those circumstances, Diamond's argued that it was not responsible for Homatas' actions. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in March that the club bore some accountability for the accident.
West Chicago runner goes the distance for PADS
"Earlier this summer, DeMeritt was one of 49 people who successfully completed a 100-mile course that stretched throughout the hilly terrain of southern Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail. He ran for 22 hours, pushing through the dark of night and only stopping for water and food breaks.  And for every one-mile completed, 100 people lined up to donate $1.  By the end of his race, DeMeritt has collected $13,000, all of which he donated to Wheaton-based homeless organization DuPage Pads."
PR.com Synergy Builders, Inc Named to 2010 Qualified Remodeler Top 500 for the Fourth Consecutive Year
"Recently, Synergy Builders named to 2010 Qualified Remodeler Top 500 for the 4th consecutive year. This is the 4th consecutive year Synergy Builders has received this prestigious award. The annual listing is published to recognize the outstanding success of remodeling firms. Qualified Remodeler is the official magazine of the National Association for the Remodeling Industry and is a leader in promoting the adherence to ethical and professional standards."
Durbin to seek other Illinois towns after Coles County rejects FutureGen
""We take this position with deep regret, but after thoughtful consideration. Unfortunately, the revised $1.2 billion project does not provide for the highest and best use of a Mattoon site that top scientists, researchers and engineers have determined to be the best location in the nation for a clean-coal facility and on-site carbon capture and sequestration research," she [Angela Griffin, the president of the Coles Together economic development group] continued."
State GOP leader says party will take back House, governor's seat in November
" "Downstate voters are very conscious and very in tune to state government, more so than maybe suburban voters. There's more media attention and more focus on state government than you have up north."  But he said issues – unemployment, state spending, raises for Quinn administration officials and the governor's support for a tax increase – will help Republican candidates too."
The Unemployed, Organized Online, Look to the Midterms - Washington Independent
"Working America is “the biggest organization for the unemployed,” according to spokesman Robert Fox. By the union’s own count, 500,000 of its 3.2 million members are currently jobless, and the group is going door-to-door, recruiting more members from the ranks of the unemployed.  “We spend most of our time demanding the reform of banks, demanding good jobs, and trying to make sure that there’s investment being made in our communities,” says Fox. But come this fall, “We’re going to be engaging our members fully, making sure they’re aware of which candidates to support.”"
Paychecks Higher For Asian Pacific Women in Unions - AFL-CIO
"According to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), being a member of a union adds about $2 an hour to an Asian Pacific American woman’s paycheck compared with her non-union counterpart.  That jibes with a previous CEPR study, which shows immigrant workers who belong to unions have a large wage and benefit advantage over their nonunion counterparts."
Catholic Church, contraception coverage collide Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Thousands of Catholic Church employees in Wisconsin are now eligible for birth control coverage through their health insurance plans, under the budget bill passed by the Legislature last year.  But because the church considers artificial contraception "gravely immoral," at least some of those workers - including non-Catholics - could face sanctions, even termination, if they use it, one church official said Wednesday.  "Our employees know what church teaching is. And we trust them to use their conscience and do the right thing," said Brent King, spokesman for the Madison Diocese, which began covering prescription contraception Aug. 1."
Oil cleanup comes with tensions in this Louisiana town - LA Times
"A few doors down, Theresa Brunies, 48, who has hung a large Confederate flag over the outside balcony of her home, said, "I'd hate for Grand Isle to become known as a racist community. But these flags are just our way of telling strangers to keep out."  Brunies said she runs a catering business that prepares more than 1,200 boxed lunches a month for contract workers on Grand Isle. "They pay very well," she said. "It's definitely been a boost to my revenue.""
 

11 Aug

 
Around and About in West Chicago - 11 Aug 2010
  • United Methodist and Congregational Church Women Annual Rummage Sale
  • Annual Mary Fest
  • Breakfast in the Park
  • Read Under the Trees
Record Mosquito Infestation
"The West Chicago Mosquito Abatement District (WCMAD) has announced that the fourth adult mosquito control applications will take place Thursday, August 12, between dusk and dawn, weather permitting."
Vote Online for your Favorite Art Banner!
"We've all enjoyed the fabulous art banners jazzing our downtown, and one way to say "thank you" to the artists responsible for them is by participating in the People's Choice Awards and voting for your favorite! We've made it easy by creating an online ballot."
Schillerstrom unveils $70 million borrowing plan for DuPage
"The projects cover a wide range on the county's wish list, including five road improvements, a new backup power source at the county complex, upgrades for the convalescent center's kitchen and $2 million for flood issues... "Bonding is the most equitable way to apportion some cost of these projects to future taxpayers who will also be benefiting from them," he said.
DuPage County Board approves lobbying contracts
"The DuPage County Board approved four contracts for lobbying services Tuesday.  The contracts had been held up for two weeks after some members questioned the need to spend nearly $400,000 on lobbyists."
DuPage County OKs contracts with lobbyists
"Citing budgetary concerns, J.R. McBride, R-Glen Ellyn, voted against awarding two of the contracts. "With the budget the way we think it might be coming in, it's going to be tight," he said, noting that area legislators should function as the county lobbyists.  Dirk Enger, D-Winfield, and Tony Michelassi, D-Aurora, voted against all four contracts."
Illinois town mulls 10 Commandments monument
"The southern Illinois city of Marion is considering a resident's request to put a Ten Commandments monument in the city square -- and opposition is already beginning to line up.  Ken Kessler's idea went before the Marion City Council on Monday night, although no action was taken.  But Mayor Bob Butler endorses the plan and may push for the sale of some city land to make the monument spot private property."
FutureGen shift brings rift between Johnson, Durbin
"A Durbin spokesman responded with even more explosive accusations, claiming that Johnson last week signed off on major revisions to FutureGen, then changed his mind, and that the congressman threw Energy Department officials out of his Washington, D.C., office on Tuesday, using expletives in doing so."
Most state tourism centers closed
"“The governor’s (budget office) worked with agencies to only renew contracts that were essential to the health and safety of Illinois residents,” said Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Alka Nayyar. “We are currently working with (the budget office) to establish our agency management plan, and once it has been approved, we anticipate being able to move forward with our contracts.”"
Quinn to review federal funding before acting on furloughs
" The bill, which includes $550 million in additional federal Medicaid funding for Illinois, reverses most of the $750 million federal funding cut cited by Quinn as the reason he ordered 24 unpaid days off for the non-union employees in the current fiscal year.  But Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for Quinn’s budget office, said the governor’s furlough order still stands."
Endorsement from Cherokee Tribal Council of Illinois
"Chief buddy-anam-tay-say and Chief Deputy Jimmy.ya-ik-te Robinson and all of the elders of the Cherokee tribal council of Illinois have endorsed the following for the for the November 2 election:
-    Rodger Jennings for US Congress, Illinois District 12 of the Green Party
-    Rich Whitney for Illinois Governor of the Green Party..."
Local Teachers Discuss Legislation to Keep Teachers in the Classroom
"Today, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) met with local teachers about how H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, will help protect critical education jobs just weeks before schools are set to open.  Foster voted for the legislation yesterday and it is estimated that the bill will save 5,700 K-12 education jobs in Illinois."
Union busting: Right-wing media relentlessly attack worker representation - Media Matters
"Media conservatives have waged a relentless war against labor unions, blaming them for a wide variety of problems and smearing them as "communists" and "thugs," among other attacks. However, experts have credited unions for establishing many of the "most fundamental and valued features of today's society" and "paving the road to the middle class for many millions of working families.""
More young adults going into ministry - USA Today
""A pastor usually attracts persons 10 years above and below their own age range," says Gail Ford Smith, director of the Center for Clergy Excellence at the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. "If you have a 27-year-old starting a new worship service, they're going to attract people ages (17) to 37. That really does appeal to us if we're trying to reach mission fields of those who've not yet been connected to God through Jesus Christ.""
Roads to Ruin: Towns Rip Up the Pavement - Wall Street Journal
"In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as "poor man's pavement." Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel."
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
"... entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff on behalf of:  Firefighter Christopher Wheatley Of the Chicago Fire Department"
 

10 Aug

 
Conservatives conference: Removing names just 'streamlining'
"Having the names of moderates Cross and Radogno - who have supported stem cell research and abortion rights, respectively - alongside more conservative sectors piqued the interest of local and national political blogs, including Capitol Fax and Huffington Post."
Schillerstrom reportedly looking at RTA post
""Bob is interested," said Patrick J. Durante, an RTA board member who has worked on Schillerstrom's campaigns. "He's a hands-on kind of guy. He's a visionary. He looks to the future and that's a big part of the RTA outlook — what are we doing five years down the road.""
New state law bans employer credit checks in hiring - Clout Street
"Supporters say the move is aimed at preventing employers from turning away job seekers due to poor credit amid an economic crisis that has left many unemployed and struggling to pay the bills.  "If you lose your job and your credit is damaged as a result, and employers use your credit to prevent you from getting a job, this is a vicious cycle folks will never get out," said Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat who sponsored the legislation."
Coles County group must decide soon on FutureGen role, Durbin says
"Coles County officials have until the end of this week to decide whether they still want to participate in the FutureGen high technology energy project, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Monday.  Late last week the federal Department of Energy unveiled a significantly revised plan, dubbed FutureGen 2.0, that eliminates a planned power plant from Coles County, leaving the region only with an underground carbon dioxide storage facility, a pipeline terminus and a regional job training facility and visitors center."
SIU to study Asian carp
"Southern Illinois University is getting $1.1 million from the state to try to find benefits that can be derived from the Asian carp infesting some rivers.  As part of the contract with the state Department of Natural Resources, the Carbondale school's researchers will seek to pinpoint ways to establish a new fishery that could harvest and market the fish."
Kirk blasts Giannoulias after ad
"Kirk, a congressman from Chicago’s northern suburbs, also weighed in against a judge’s decision that California’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional and said he was inclined to support a $26 billion jobs bills the Democrats are pushing."
Bill Brady, GOP gubernatorial nominee, pledges to balance Illinois budget in first year
"Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for Illinois governor, prefers to see challenges as opportunities.  By that measure, he said Illinois has "the greatest opportunity of any state in the nation."  With more than $70 billion in unfunded pension obligations, another $20 billion in bonded debt and about $5 billion in unpaid bills, Brady said it is no wonder Illinois has the worst bond rating in the nation."
US Student Association Hearts AFL-CIO DREAM Act Support - AFL-CIO
"USSA stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the labor movement as we urge Congress to open the college doors to thousands of the nation’s best and brightest undocumented students. Access to higher education is a fundamental right and is being violated by our current education and immigration laws.  Passage of the DREAM Act will lead to and strengthen comprehensive immigration reform that will move our country closer to a truly just society."
Thousands rally in Warsaw to demand cross be moved - Clarion Ledger
"Authorities tried to move it last week but were prevented from doing so by praying demonstrators, raising the stakes on a cultural battle that pits a deeply conservative, often older constituency against an increasingly secular and younger population.  The protesters on Monday, many of them young people who were mobilized on Facebook, said they object to what they see as a small, ultra-religious minority defying the country's authorities and laws."
Impact of Climate Change Already Is Obvious to UAB Expert on Antarctica - Legal Schnauzer
"Of course, none of this means much if one remains skeptical about whether rapid, unprecedented climate change is real, or if so, whether it is largely being driven by a surplus of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, a byproduct of fossil fuels used to power industry and automobiles.  Almost all scientists, including myself, need little convincing. The data supporting recent, rapid, climate change with a human fingerprint is multifaceted and overwhelming."
Unpaved: Out-Of-Cash America Undoing Its Infrastructure -America's Future
"Somewhere in China it is entirely possible that a businessperson sat down for a ride on a 200mph state-of-the-art levitating bullet train, and cracked open the Wall Street Journal, and read about how in American we've decided we can't afford paved roads anymore."

 

 

09 Aug

 
This Week in West Chicago
  • Aug. 5th Board Briefs
    "The Special meeting of the Board of Education was held on Thursday, August 5, 2010, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Board Members in attendance: Mrs. Julie Pearson, Mrs. Brenda Vishanoff, Mrs. Karla Bruce, Mr. Dave Barclay, Mrs. Sue Stibal, Mrs. Deborah Ramsey, Dr. Chris Scheck."
    [Dr. Leman has provided a copy of the
  • May Resolution - Dr. Ed Leman
    "The Board approved the ballot question last night for going to referendum in November.  Due to a drop in our B&I tax rate we can access $39M total within that rate, bringing the ballot question down from $49M at the April, '09 referendum.  I've reattached their resolution from last May when they decided to go to referendum, too."
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 West Chicago, Illinois
"CableCom West Chicago Channel 17 cable communications foundation providing non-profit all volunteer community and government access programming to residents of west chicago"
Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Candidates coming to special needs forum
"The Special Needs Forum is sponsored by the NW Chapter of the Autism Society America and will be at 7:30 p.m. at Schaumburg Township headquarters in Hoffman Estates.  Politicians who have expressed interest in talking with voters are the following: 28th state Senate candidates Corrine Pierog, Democrat, and Republican John Millner..."
Farm talk with Foster: Business economics, tech
""I'm always amazed at the level of economic sophistication of farmers. I think the ones who have survived in this business are really good businessmen."  The congressman spent about 1-1/2 hours in warm temperatures answering questions about how things are done in Washington, discussion of the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, environmental legislation and what farmers and agri-businessmen can do to deal better with the federal bureaucracy."
Trolley Car No. 304 returns to familiar route
"Or at least on the mile or so of the track that now is operated by volunteers at the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin. When the self-propelled, electric-powered passenger car was built in 1923, it ran commuters, shoppers and Sunday-dinner visitors up and down the Fox Valley from Carpentersville through Elgin and South Elgin, and the Tri-Cities and Aurora all the way to Yorkville, on a trolley line called the Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric Co."
Poll: Most Chicagoans don't want police to hunt illegal immigrants
"In West Chicago, Republican lawmaker Randy Ramey says Illinois should have its own Arizona-type law that lets police check immigration status for deportation. At a time of high unemployment and a staggering state debt, he calls it a jobs bill.  "When you look at the overall picture, if we can say illegal aliens are not going to be having jobs in this state, citizens of Illinois are, that's going to bring back our state to a balanced budget," he says."
Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: Aug. 16 - 22
  • "Children’s Farm Chores — Kids, learn firsthand how 1890s children helped around the house and farm. On Mondays, help with mom’s chores; on Thursdays, dad’s. 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
  • "Children’s Story Hour — Spread a blanket on the ground, and enjoy an hour of popular children’s stories from the 1890s. 10 a.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
  • "Getting Ready for the Fair — Learn how an 1890s farm family prepared for the fair, an important social and economic event of the time. Tours begin on the hour 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
  • "Blacksmithing Demonstrations — Stop by the wagon shed to see the blacksmith repair equipment and demonstrate the tools and techniques of the trade. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
West Nile virus levels increasing in Western suburbs
"Five mosquito traps monitored by the DuPage County Health Department recently tested positive for high levels of West Nile virus.  Traps in Clarendon Hills, Lombard, Warrenville, West Chicago and Bensenville all reported two or more positive tests in the past week."
Quinn establishes Lupus awareness program
"Lupus, which can be fatal, strikes mostly young women and is more common among minorities but anyone can develop the disease at any age.  The Act works to educate the public and health care professionals about lupus. Currently, the average lupus diagnosis takes four or more years and three or more doctors."
New Ill. Senate campaign ad accuses Kirk of lying
"In his most direct attack so far, U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is launching a television ad that accuses Republican rival Mark Kirk of lying repeatedly while backing policies that have hurt the nation's economy.  The ad, entitled "Unfit," includes snippets of news and talk show hosts talking about incorrect statements Kirk has made.  "One lie after another after another," one says. A headline labels Kirk "not fit for public office.""
Illinois insurance regulators want to see more oversight
"“We’ve heard of companies increasing rates at just explosive levels, at abusive levels, and telling (policyholders) they’re increasing rates because of health reform,” Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith told The Associated Press. “We don’t have any authority to do anything about it.”  Illinois received 186 complaints about rate increases from 2008 through 2010..."
  Whitney Blasts Latest Round of Cuts
"“Instead of fixing the broken tax system, this government’s solution is to make cuts that will hurt the most vulnerable people in the state of Illinois. These are the populations that need our support the most” Whitney explained. “It is time for real change in Illinois. Quinn is doing now exactly what Brady proposes to do; only Quinn is giving us slow torture while Brady would just destroy everything quickly."
Rep. Foster Honors WWII Veteran from Aurora
"“In about a week, the country will be commemorating the 65th anniversary of VJ Day. It is therefore a great privilege to be able to honor a veteran who served his country in the Merchant Marine during World War II,” said Foster.  “I am privileged to honor Mr. Bowman today by presenting him with the various decorations earned by his brave service to our country.”"
Rep. Foster Visits OSI Industries, LLC in West Chicago | U.S. Congressman Bill Foster
"“As someone who began a manufacturing company from scratch, I greatly enjoyed visiting the production line and listening to the concerns of the management and employees of OSI Industries, LLC and seeing the company’s equipment up close,” said Foster.  “The West Chicago facility, which employs hundreds of people in our area, also has an impressive track record and has won numerous quality and food safety awards, including the prestigious McDonald’s Sweeney Enterprise Excellence Award.”"
The Hill GOP’s Roskam: House to ‘double down’ on job losses in next week's session
"The aid package was approved Wednesday by the Senate. A House vote is necessary before Congress returns from recess in September to prevent schoolteachers from being laid off. The package is paid for with spending cuts and the closure of a tax loophole for businesses.  Roskam said instead of doling out money, taxes should be cut and regulations loosened on the private sector."
Sugar Daddy Uncle Sammy
"Remember that the stimulus's "aid" for states came with some troublesome strings that tied the hands of would-be budget balancers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the final version of this bill contain so-called “maintenance of effort” clauses that prohibit expenditure reductions in these areas now or in future years. This effectively removes pressure from state legislators to enact spending reforms while heightening the calls for tax hikes.  A federal bailout of state profligacy is becoming an annual occurrence."
USW Signs Wind Farm Deals with China Power Companies - AFL-CIO
"A-Power and SPG anticipate purchasing some 50,000 tons of steel over time that will be manufactured in unionized American steel mills to supply the towers for a wind farm in Texas.  There was a major public outcry late last year over China’s plan to seek $450 million in economic recovery funds to build a wind farm in Texas that would create only 30 U.S. jobs and 2,000 in China."
Churchgoers, strippers protest one another in Coshocton County - Columbus Dispatch
"Strip-club owner Tommy George rolled up to the church in his grabber-orange Dodge Challenger, drinking a Mountain Dew at 9 in the morning and smoking a cigarette he had just rolled himself.  Pastor Bill Dunfee stepped out of a tan Nissan Murano, clutching a Bible in one hand and his sermon in the other, a touch of spray holding his perfectly coiffed 'do in place.  Inside the New Beginnings Ministries church, Dunfee's worshippers wore polyester and pearls.  Outside, George's strippers wore bikinis and belly rings"
The Can't-Do Agenda: Six Initiatives The Senate Scrapped Ahead Of Their Recess - TPM
"In the rush to close up shop for August recess, the Senate had one of its most productive days in recent memory Thursday. In a matter of hours, they passed a state aid bill, confirmed Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, confirmed dozens of other Obama nominees, including James Clapper as Director of National Intelligence, passed a border security bill, child nutrition legislation, and more.  Underneath all that, though, is a growing pile of initiatives that the Senate failed to take up. Here are the top items on the agenda the Senate didn't check off before adjourning."
America Goes Dark - NY Times
"Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.  And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead."
 

06 Aug

 
EVENT REMINDER- The Sixth Annual Family Golf Outing
  • Saturday, August 7, 2010 from 11:00 to 2:00
  • At Coyote Crossing Miniature Golf
  • $25 per Family (up to 6 people )Includes food by Scooby's -  Hot Dogs, Drinks, Ice Cream, Family fun and Cody Coyote!
Complaint of Man Exposing Himself
"On Friday July 16, 2010 the West Chicago Police Department received a complaint of a man exposing himself while driving on westbound Route 64 and Prince Crossing Road. The incident occurred at approx. 12:55 p.m."
St. Charles alderman denies exposure allegation
"The truck driver told police he then saw the car pull alongside a school bus and remain there without passing for about three miles. After the bus turned at Prince Crossing Road, the witness said he pulled next to the moving Stratus and saw a man with his shorts open, touching himself.  Police said the witness called 911 immediately and reported the vehicle's license plate number, which was registered to Richards."
Dungy urges teens at Wheaton Academy to become leaders
"But Thursday morning, when speaking to a crowd of more than 200 teenagers inside Wheaton Academy's Warrior Dome in West Chicago, he put some of the onus on the youngsters themselves to become leaders of tomorrow.  "Our nation has a leadership crisis and it's up to you to step into those positions," Dungy said. "Especially with young people, there's a thing about fitting in. It's all right to stand out, make your own decisions and step above the crowd.""
Birkett files fourth lawsuit in 10 years targeting reputed gang members
"The first lawsuit in October 1999 targeted a West Chicago gang. The second, filed in October 2006, named members of another gang that operated in Addison and Glendale Heights. The third went after yet another gang with members in Addison and West Chicago.  Police have cited the civil action as one reason for a drop in violent gang crime in their towns."
DuPage Co. proposal: Keep churches out of neighborhoods
"The proposed changes cover all places of assembly, including those housing service clubs and military veterans organizations. But the main target is religious institutions because of issues that have arisen in recent years with groups attempting to open worship sites in residential areas against the wishes of neighbors."
Plane with gear problems lands safely
"Deputy Fire Chief Steve Lakics said the West Chicago Fire Department responded to a call at about 1 p.m.  "It landed fine without any problems," he said.  Five people were on board the plane."
St. Charles alderman charged with exposing himself
"Richards was driving a red Dodge Stratus west on North Avenue near Prince Crossing Road at 12:55 p.m. on July 16 when he "exposed his penis while adjusting himself to passing motorist," according to the documents."
Former NFL coach Tony Dungy speaks about leadership, values at Wheaton Academy
"Former NFL coach Tony Dungy on Thursday urged students at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago to assume the role of leaders for the good of the country.  “There is a leadership crisis in our nation and we need the young people to step in,” Dungy told the crowd of about 400 at the breakfast gathering in the school’s athletic building."
Asian carp found near Lake Michigan may have been planted
"It was the first actual Asian carp found above the barrier, although scientists have reported detecting their DNA there.  The discovery has intensified calls to separate the man-made link at Chicago between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins."
Change in Mattoon's FutureGen role has area politicians steamed
" The new proposal, called FutureGen 2.0, no longer includes construction of a state-of-the-art coal-gasification plant on a rural site west of Mattoon.  Instead, said Durbin, it calls for construction of a training center along with the use of deep underground geological formations under about 400 acres of Coles County farmland.  While the original FutureGen plan called for an investment of $2 billion or more in Coles County, most of the money for the new project will be spent 150 miles west – at an idled, 64-year-old Ameren power plant along the Illinois River at Meredosia, in Morgan County. That plant will be retrofitted, at a cost Durbin estimated at $737 million, and the carbon dioxide emissions from the plant will be shipped by pipeline to Mattoon."
Illinois leaders applaud Senate vote on state funds
"Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday that Illinois stands to get $400 million that can be used to hire teachers. An additional $500 million would go to the Medicaid health program.  Quinn calls the money "vital.""
FutureGen power plant canceled; site to store carbon dioxide
" The so-called FutureGen project originally was to include an experimental coal-fired power plant near Mattoon. Carbon dioxide from burning the coal would have been stored underground.  The department said Thursday that it will retrofit an existing plant that belongs to Ameren Corporation in Meredosia. Carbon from the plant will be piped to Mattoon for storage along a 175-mile pipeline.  The entire project is expected to cost $1.1 billion."
Rep. Foster Discusses Job Creation in Whiteside and Lee Counties
"Betty Steinert, Whiteside County Enterprise Zone and Economic Development Advisor, said, “In meeting with Congressman Foster I always find him to be very intent and concerned about our local/regional needs and concerns. In these economic times, especially with Stanley National closing, we need to make sure we have the ear of our federally elected officials and I know we do with Congressman Foster.”"

Democratic Women of DuPage County - Donna M. May - FB
"Check out the events for Candidates endorsed by the DWDC all in one place. When women vote, Democrats win."

Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Radogno, Cross name committee on prisoner early release
"The mission of the committee is to resolve questions about the details and community impact of Governor Quinn’s “MGT Push” and early release programs. The first hearing has been scheduled for Peoria on August 11.  Senator Radogno explained that lawmakers and the public have been seeking answers since December but have been unsuccessful in getting the Quinn administration to respond."
Report Shows Social Security Is Strong for the Long Term - AFL-CIO
"Despite the nation’s overall economic problems, Social Security is still in long-term strong shape, according to the most recent report by the Social Security Board of Trustees. The trustees project that after 2037, tax revenue will be sufficient to pay 78 percent of full benefits. The projected funding shortfall over 75 years is actually lower than in last year’s report."
Milwaukee teachers fight for Viagra drug coverage - Chicago Breaking News
"With the district in a financial crisis and hundreds of its members facing layoffs, the Milwaukee teachers union is taking a peculiar stand: fighting to get its taxpayer-funded Viagra back.  The union has asked a judge to order the school board to again include Pfizer Inc.'s erectile dysfunction drug and similar pills in its health insurance plans."
When the church steals your wife - The Citizen, Tanzania
"The mushrooming of unorthodox churches that preach full commitment to spiritual life among followers may have filled a gap in many lives over the years. But experts now warn that families and marriages are on the verge of being swept away by the strong wave of spirituality spreading across the country lately."
How To Read A CBO Report - NY Times, Krugman
"Keeping nominal spending constant means deep cuts in real per capita terms — about 25 percent over a decade. That’s not going to happen: nondefense discretionary spending is already at a low point as a share of GDP, and unless someone can detail how such massive further cuts are possible, they’re just blowing smoke."
Gas Companies Drilling in Pennsylvania Have Committed Nearly 1,500 Environmental Violations in Just Two Years - TruthOut
"Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. came in fourth, logging 94 violations at only 60 wells. Cabot, which was sued by more than a dozen families in Dimock, PA last November for allegedly contaminating their drinking water, has become a sort of unwilling case study in the dangers of fracking -- and the limits of state oversight. Since Cabot began its Marcellus operations, Pennsylvania regulators have at times banned the company from fracking and issued approximately $360,000 in fines. As recently as last Tuesday, the company was charged with spilling between 120 and 130 gallons of diesel fuel."
 

05 Aug

 
Board member wants $30 million to fight DuPage flooding
"Much of the county is still drying out from the recent string of downpours and the county board is still debating a borrowing plan for a variety of projects. Zay said stormwater improvements have not been on the top of the county's to-do list.  "The stormwater levy used to be $11.5 million a year and now it's $8.5 million," Zay said. "It's been that way for eight years and that's $24 million we used to spend on stormwater improvements that has gone elsewhere.""
Cops: St. Charles alderman exposed self
"West Chicago Police Cmdr. Chris Shackelford said officers responded July 16 to a complaint of a "man seen exposing himself while driving on Route 64 in our jurisdiction."  Five days later, he said, Richards was arrested and charged in connection with the incident... The case is being handled as a local ordinance violation, which will be prosecuted by attorneys for the city of West Chicago. Shackelford said the state's attorney's office also has been asked to review the matter for "possible additional charges."  He said disorderly conduct, as an ordinance violation, is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000."
Chlorine leak causes evacuation of St. Charles resort
"The indoor-outdoor pool will be closed until Thursday when the company that maintains it can determine what went wrong, but the resort has two other pools, said Pinto.  One of the boy's parents notified resort staff of a strong odor of chlorine, and staff agreed and called 911, said Pinto.  St. Charles Fire Chief Patrick Mullen said besides the three people who were taken to Delnor in Geneva, several others were treated at the scene and released."
I-Newswire.com Local Company Synergy Builders Earns Prestigious A-Rating with the Better Business Bureau
"This A rating is proof that Synergy Builders abides by the 8 BBB tenets a business needs to earn this rating. They work hard to gain the trust of customers and continue to make positive, healthy contributions to homes through their basement finishing and remodeling services."
Quinn budget cuts hit schools, social services harder
"The new reductions, which bring the total cut in school spending to $311 million, also include shaving money from arts and foreign language funding, though Quinn's cuts were not as deep as what the State Board of Education had recommended.  The governor also slashed social services another $273 million to bring the total cut to $576 million in the Department of Human Services. The new details caused profound anxiety for families whose loved ones with disabilities may lose critical assistance, said Don Moss, a longtime social services advocate and lobbyist with dozens of clients."
Parents: State sales tax holiday can help with back-to-school purchases
"Virtually all of the supplies that schools require children to have on the first day of school, such as paper, binders, pens, pencils, crayons, glue and more, will be eligible for the reduced sales tax rate, according to the state. Clothes, including shoes, hats and gloves, that cost less than $100 per item are also eligible."
Dust still settling on additional state budget cuts
" State aid to some college students, money for community human service providers and staffing at the Department of Children and Family Services all came under Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget knife this week as he completed making $1.4 billion in cuts to the state budget.  But the dust has yet to settle on the entire $861 million in additional cuts outlined by the Quinn administration.  A case in point is the $515 million reduction Quinn made in funding for non-Medicaid programs for mental health, developmental disabilities and rehabilitative services."
Kirk's New Bank Money
"If the banks "own" Washington D.C., as Illinois' own U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin famously suggested last spring, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is certainly one of their favorite tenants. The GOP Senate nominee has collected $826,149 in campaign contributions this election cycle from the financial services industry, according to data collected by the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch. Kirk ranks behind only U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who literally represents New York's Wall Street, in the quantity of donations."
Locksmiths Take Home $54K Salaries
"The highest paid locksmith took home a $78,409 salary while the the average salary was $54,125. This contrasts with the $35,980 mean salary the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports for all locksmiths in Illinois for 2008, 50% less than government-hired locksmiths."
[Both the comparing a median to a mean and the calculation of the 50% are classic ways of making stats lie. - Bob]
Law Student Union Summer Inspires Next Generation of Labor Lawyers - AFL-CIO
"Nine law students spent 10 weeks as AFL-CIO Law Student Union Summer (LSUS) interns working with labor lawyers across the country. During the program, which ends Aug. 6, students were involved in community outreach, member mobilization, corporate research, legislative campaigns and general litigation, canvassing, planning and implementing solidarity-building activities and participating in meetings and home visits."
Few Canadians know rules on abortion, poll finds - The National Post
"“There’s really only a very small number of Canadians that correctly identify the current situation in Canada,” says pollster Jaideep Mukerji, who worked on the Angus-Reid poll, which was released on Tuesday. “That could be problematic.”  “Once you explain to them what the actual law is, there’s only 27% of Canadians that say that the status quo [of no law] should be maintained. There’s a majority of Canadians that would like to make some change to that status quo,” Mr. Mukerji said."
Right-wingers falsely portray judge in Prop 8 trial as out of mainstream - Media Matters
"The right wing has falsely portrayed U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker -- who is presiding over the Proposition 8 trial in California -- as extreme or out of the mainstream. But Walker was nominated by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and has been praised by Republican lawmakers."
   
04 Aug  
Around and About in West Chicago - 04 Aug 2010
  • Last Weekend Activities
  • Sixth Annual Family Golf Outing
  • First United Methodist Church and First Congregational Church Rummage Sale
  • Elementary School District 33 Budget
  • Standard & Poor’s Rating Services raised rating on Community High School District 94 bonds
Community Pep Rally
"West Chicago Park District kicks off the 2010 football season with a Community Pep Rally from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug, 13, on Diamond 7 in Reed-Keppler Park. Fans can root for football players and cheerleaders from both the park district programs and Community High School District 94."
CDH to Offer Free Parkinson’s Disease Screening
"If you answered YES to one or more of the risk factors listed, you are eligible to receive a FREE Movement Disorder screening at Central DuPage Hospital. During the appointment you will meet with nurses and neurologists specializing in movement disorders as well as speech and physical therapists."
Mexican Independence Day Parade & Celebration
"Downtown West Chicago will once again be the venue for the City's annual Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration on Sunday, September 12, 2010 from 12:00 - 9:00 p.m."
West Chicago approves Educare site
"City Administrator Michael Guttman said the council agreed the school district also must pay $143,000 upfront for improvements around the site, including streets, sidewalks and parkway trees.  The council's vote overturns a July recommendation by the city's plan commission to reject requests for a special-use permit and to rezone the site."
DuPage judge fined $500 in Glen Ellyn hit and run
""After the traffic accident, in a moment of panic, I drove in an irresponsible manner to my home," he said in a written statement, which marked his first public comment. "The decision to drive home was an error in judgment that was inconsistent with my values and how I have lived my life."  Popejoy pleaded guilty to reckless driving, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. He was ordered to pay $500 in fines and serve a six-month period of conditional discharge, which is a nonreporting form of probation."
Judge pleads guilty to reckless driving in hit-and-run
"Defense attorney John Donahue said police officers who arrived at the judge’s home within minutes of the crash determined he was not “impaired or intoxicated by anything.’’  The swift guilty plea is an acknowledgement by Popejoy that he “erred in judgement’’ by not reporting the crash himself, Donahue said."
Nursing home supervisor guilty of sexually assaulting co-worker
"A former housekeeping supervisor at a Willowbrook nursing home, originally charged with sexually assaulting, fondling or battering four female employees, pleaded guilty Tuesday to forcing himself sexually onto one of those workers in 1998.  Marco Campos, 47, of West Chicago, faces up to eight years in prison when sentenced Oct. 4 by DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell, after a plea agreement with Assistant State's Attorneys Anne Therieau and Steven Knight."
Quinn trims state budget again
"Gov. Pat Quinn detailed additional cuts to Illinois’ cash-strapped state budget Tuesday, taking more money out of school transportation grants, cutting operations funds for psychiatric hospitals and developmental centers, and eliminating a subsidy to Peoria’s Wildlife Prairie Park."
Senate Breaks Republican Filibuster on State Aid, Teachers’ Jobs - AFL-CIO
"The Senate today voted 61-38, to end a Republican filibuster of aid to state and local governments that would save or create nearly a million jobs for teachers, public employees, police officers, firefighters and others.  The bill provides $16 billion for a Medicaid funding assistance program known as FMAP and $10 billion for teachers’ jobs. Without such funding, the states facing huge budget shortfalls will be forced to begin massive layoffs that could cost nearly a million workers their jobs."
What the church can learn from Teach For America - Faith & Leadership
"At time when churches’ leaders are wringing their hands about their failure to attract young people, college graduates are willing to apply to a program that takes one in nine of them, pays them next to nothing, and sends them nowhere to do discouraging and exhausting work, all because poor kids need good teachers. The appeal is so much like the gospel that TFA now has significant partnerships with Christian groups like Young Life and Campus Crusade, and recruits heavily at Christian colleges.  Could it be that we are asking of our young people, not too much, but too little?"
States slash pre-K programs as budgets bleed - Seattle PI
"States are slashing nearly $350 million from their pre-K programs by next year and more cuts are likely on the horizon once federal stimulus money dries up, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. The reductions mean fewer slots for children, teacher layoffs and even fewer services for needy families who can't afford high-quality private preschool programs.  One state - Arizona - has proposed eliminating its 5,500-child program entirely. Illinois cut $32 million from last fiscal year's pre-k budget and plans to slash another $48 million this year."
 

03 Aug

 
West Chicago's National Night Out Cancelled Due to Inclement Weather
"West Chicago, Illinois: August 3, 2010 - National Night Out, scheduled for Tuesday, August 3, 2010, has been cancelled due to inclement weather. No rain date will be scheduled. National Night Out will return next summer."
Educate Passes
  • Susan Dieterle Stibal  - FB
    "WOO HOO - it passed! With a unanimous YES vote of 13-0 city council passed all six issues regarding EDUCARE tonight! Thank you everyone for getting informed about this wonderful project, coming to the meetings, voicing your support, spreading the facts and squelching the misinformation! Stay tuned for more details about EDUCARE building their new facility in WEST CHICAGO!"

  • Gary Saake - FB
    "Well done Sue. Who would have thought that someone wanting to give a community a $10M gift would be so controversial? In the end, the right thing happened. Now, for the hard part...."
Water commission seats not-so-vacant after all
"With two DuPage Water Commission seats open and a third looking to be that way with a member moving out of state, it appeared making a quorum was going to be tough for the embattled 13-member board.  But that may not be the case after all."
Storms touch off flooding in western suburbs
"Deciding it's better to be safe than sorry, the West Chicago Police Department canceled its National Night Out event set for tonight at Reed-Keppler Park.  While notice of the cancellation came at 11:15 a.m. after morning rains had cleared up police said weather forecasts for the 6 p.m. event time are poor.  "The predictions are that it's going to clear up this afternoon, then it's going to come in quite a bit stronger this evening," Sgt. Eric Shipman said. "With the amount of time it takes to set up and take down some of the activities, we decided it was better to err on the side of caution.""
Tri-Cities briefs - Local deaths
"Joseph E. Ivanecky Jr., 80, of North Aurora, formerly of West Chicago"
Record number of Illinois families on food stamps
"More than 780,000 Illinois families got food stamps in June. The Illinois Department of Human Services says that is up 11.9 percent from a year earlier.  Applications for the program jumped even more -- 27 percent... A family of three can be get up to $526 in monthly benefits, depending on their income and expenses. The average in Illinois is $296 a month."
No holiday furloughs required for state workers
"However, the department says workers can voluntarily use that option to meet the requirement that they take 24 unpaid days off by June 30, 2011.  The state would get the benefit of furlough days when the majority of employees would be off work anyway if nonunion workers forego pay on holidays. State employees get 12 paid holidays between now and the end of the fiscal year."
Quinn picks up endorsement of gun-control group
" The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave its support to Quinn Tuesday. It says he favors tougher gun restrictions that Republican Sen. Bill Brady opposes.  Quinn and Brady have strong differences on guns, including on whether to approve concealed carry of firearms. Brady is for it and Quinn is against."
State workers not required to take holiday furloughs
"Rules fleshing out how the furlough program, ordered by Gov. Pat Quinn, will work were issued to state agency directors, budget directors and other managers who work under Quinn's control. The rules still leave a lot of discretion to agencies to see that the furlough day commitment is followed while still ensuring that the agency can function.  "Furlough time must be scheduled in a manner consistent with the operating needs of the agency...," said the memo issued by CMS Director James Sledge."
Rep. Foster Holds Realtors Roundtable
"We discussed a number of issues including the homebuyer tax credit, the stabilization of housing prices, the importance of preventing another housing bubble and making sure that consumers are informed about how the new laws we passed provide further protection."
In Illinois, Wage Thieves Will Pay - AFL-CIO
"Illinois employers who shortchange or don’t pay their employees will face felony charges for repeat offenses and, in all cases, will be forced to pay back wages plus interest and fines under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn (D) last week.  The new law, which experts say is the toughest anti-wage theft law in the country, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011. It also gives workers more rights to ensure they are paid what they earn."
For Indonesian Christians, Gatherings Bring Tension - NY Times
"Sitting in the shade of a tree in an empty lot, the congregants raised their hymn books and, in response, the police, lined up in a ragged cordon, raised their riot shields. Sunday service was starting for the local Batak Christian Protestant Church and, for the third time in three weeks, the local authorities prepared for a clash.  Across the barricade, enraged young Muslim men in white skullcaps surged forward as the first song in praise of Jesus Christ chimed out. Using their own speakers, they tried to drown out the hymn with their own Arabic chant, “la ilaha ilallah” — there is no god but Allah."
Burn Confederate Flags At Tea Party Rallies - TPM
"General JC Christian says he hopes Burn The Confederate Flag Day will expose what he says are the racial motivations of the tea party movement. The logistics are simple: protesters are urged to show up to the rallies and, if local laws allow a fire to be set, light a Confederate flag (or whatever approximation of one they can get their hands on -- the blogger told me he's not picky.) If laws don't allow the flag to be burned in a public place, the protesters are urged to show up with a singed flag they burned at home and display it prominently."
 

02 Aug

 
This Week in West Chicago
August E-Newsletter
  • Financial Restraint
  • Crime Victims Legislation Becomes Law
  • School Supply Tax Holiday
    • School supplies qualifying for tax holiday:
    • Clothing and foot wear under $100 qualifying for tax holiday:

West Chicago
High School
DuPage County Community High School District No. 94, IL's Bond Rating Raised To 'AA' On Strong Reserves - Standard and Poors
"The outlook is stable. "The raised rating reflects the district's maintenance of extremely strong reserves and improved financial management practices," said Standard&Poor's credit analyst Jessica Lukas. After several years of general fund deficits, the district closed fiscal year-end June 30, 2009, with basically break-even operations on a cash basis and a total unreserved general fund cash balance (combined educational fund and operations and maintenance fund) of $11.8 million, or what we consider a very strong 46% of expenditures."
[Thanks to Business Manager, Gordon Cole for a heads-up on this item. - Bob]
West Chicago HS Board Meeting Agenda August 3, 2010 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Public Hearing on the Prolposed Increase in Drivers' Education Fee
  • Update on Potential Changes Being Proposed by the DVC
  • Security Contract Renewal
  • Proposed 2010-11 School Budget
WILDCAT SPORTS FESTIVAL
"The Festival will be held on August 20th at Community High School, located at 326 Joliet Street, in West Chicago, and showcase our fall athletic programs. The night’s festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. and end at the conclusion of the varsity football scrimmage at 8:30 p.m. See below for a complete schedule of events and times.  We encourage everyone to come out and support our athletic program and kickoff another great year of Wildcat athletics!"
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 West Chicago, Illinois
"Here's the new schedule. Tune in on Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm to see a new edition of Park District Profile. We then have a new program, Let's Dance at 7:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday. It's produced by our own award-winning Contributing Producer Rebecca Tulloch.  At 7:00pm on Wednesday and Friday see Paper Crafting Trends, a new pro...gram. Following that at 7:30 on Wednesday and Friday, another new program titled IRM-TV (Illinois Railway Museum). Plus we have all the regular fun and excitement."
National Night Out
"On Tuesday, August 3, 2010 from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. at Reed-Keppler Park don't miss the main event, National Night Out. Meet law enforcement officers from the area, see displays and vehicles and enjoy free hot dogs served by the West Chicago Lions Club. Also, meet the students from West Chicago School District #33 who won the 2010 International Future Problem Solving Competition for their railroad safety project. The project will be at a special display table."
Flood assessments to begin next week
""In the aftermath of last weekend's heavy rain and flooding, communities across the state are in dire need of assistance," Quinn said. "Next week, teams of state and federal emergency management officials and representatives from the SBA will assess the damage to help determine the need for federal aid to help our state recover and rebuild.""
Area drivers helping each other out with Trapster application
"The app works with Google Maps software that will look familiar to anyone who's used their phone for directions, only this more interactive version speaks to drivers when they approach a hazard. Drivers also have the option of pushing a button to report a roadway hazard, and confirming the reports of other drivers. Trapster also works with Google Maps' traffic monitor to highlight congested areas during rush hours."
  • 'Metracide' cases on the upswing
    "At least two other deaths have been reported since then, meaning this year's Metra-related fatality toll already exceeds the 15 recorded in 2009. The highest number on record was 34 in 2004, Reile said.  "It goes in cycles, so there's not a predictable pattern," Reile said of the deaths. "These are tragic incidents for the families and our workers.""
  • Suicide rail deaths traumatic for engineers, witnesses
    ""The most devastating part for me, having known several people who are railroad engineers, is the devastating effect on train personnel," said Caroline Bailey, a clinical social worker with Ecker Center for Mental Health in Elgin. "That is the whole post-traumatic stress. It's very traumatic for the engineers and everyone on the train.""
Library strives to have both sides of Civil War
"The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War on Saturday unveiled a new library and research center that will help those with Civil War ancestors research family histories... The new research center will have computers and reference books and soon will include a 25-volume set of materials related to Confederate forces that will be donated to the organization, said Orabell Thompson, chairwoman of the board of trustees."
Massey, Sago Owners Set to Spend Big $$ to Defeat Pro-Mine Safety Candidates - AFL-CIO
"The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader reports that Massey Energy Co., headed up by CEO Donald Blankenship, owner of the Upper Big Branch mine where 29 miners were killed in April, and International Coal Group (ICG), owners of the Sago mine where 12 miners died on the job in 2006 and several other major coal companies, are hoping: "to pool their money and defeat Democratic congressional candidates they consider “anti-coal.”""
Megachurches - Houston Chronicle
  • "Nearly two-thirds of megachurch attenders are under 45 years old, as compared to only one-third for all Protestant churches (62% vs. 35%).
  • Nearly a third of megachurch attenders are single, unmarried persons. In a typical church, singles account for just 10% of the congregation.
  • Megachurch attenders are both more educated and more affluent than attenders at other churches...
  • 45% of megachurch attenders never volunteer at the church, and 40 percent are not engaged in a small group, the mainstay of megachurch programming."
Four Deformations of the Apocalypse - NY Times
"The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."
The Strange Case Of The Mysterious Uber-Racist 'Tea Party Comix' -  TPM Muckraker
"Today, some top tea partiers are disavowing the truly impressively bigoted comic books, claiming that they're an obvious plant by tea party opponents. But at the same time, no one seems to know much about them. The mystery is still unsolved and the comics remain."

 

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