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30 Nov  
Bond Sales 101 for WCMS Expansion
"West Chicago School District 33 cordially invites you to a "Bonds 101" seminar in connection with the upcoming fixed rate issuance of: $31,500,000* Taxable General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2010 (Build America Bonds Direct Payment to Issuer)"
District 33 Spelling Bee
"Study group for District 33 Spelling Bee is being held on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the month of December. This is a great way to prepare for the district competition in January."
November/December 2010
"Mr. Bang Nguyen, the PE teacher from Turner Elementary School, has organized a Dodgeball Tournament that takes place after school in the Turner School Gym.  There are student teams as well as adult teams that compete.  Championship round will be held on Monday, December 13, 2010."
November Student-of-the-Month
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Maria Barajas for being chosen Student of the Month for November."
ACT PREP courses - deadline approaching
"Attention Junior Parents!!!! If you are still interested in registering your son or daughter for either the ExcelEdge (site-based) or PrepMe (Internet-based) ACT review courses, we are excited to announce that there is still time!!!"
Public Comment Invited on West Chicago Police Department
"West Chicago's Acting Police Chief Laz Perez announced today that a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., (CALEA), will arrive on Saturday December 18, 2010 to examine all aspects of the West Chicago Police Department’s policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services."
Exempt casinos from smoking ban?
"The Elgin boat, like most in the state, saw a big revenue drop in the first year of the smoking ban.  In 2007, the casino brought in about $437 million, according to Illinois Gaming Board reports. In 2008, it took in about $338 million, a drop of more than 22 percent. In 2010, the casino is just a little off its 2009 revenue pace of $292 million so far.  The American Lung Association is fighting the exemption hard."
Family wants belongings of Marine killed in '02
"Marine Sgt. Jeannette Winters' family wants back her funeral flag, the dog tags that were on her closed casket, and her medals, military records and other memorabilia that Mark Perko says he bought after payments on the storage locker were missed."
Illinois scientists examine cancer-fighting in tomatoes
"University of Illinois scientists have developed a new tool to help learn more about potential cancer-fighting substances in tomatoes.  They're the same group of scientists whose research suggested that lycopene pigment that makes tomatoes red can help reduce risks for prostate cancer."
Bill would allow casinos to set up smoking rooms
"Proponents say the 2008 statewide smoking ban has hurt gambling because money has gone to other states that still allow smoking on riverboats. Opponents say the legislation is a step backward for public health and that revenue is governed by how nice the facility is -- not whether you can smoke in it."
Battle intensifies over civil-union bill in General Assembly
"Supporters of civil unions scrambled Monday to line up the final votes they need in the Illinois House, while opponents worked just as hard to block the measure in a lobbying duel that features competing religious leaders, constituent calls and e-mail blitzes."
'Open primary' amendatory veto killed by Illinois House
"The bill originally instructed the State Board of Elections to publish a voters guide on the Internet during primary elections.  However, House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said the amendatory veto was unconstitutional.  “He created a wholly different bill,” Currie said."
Workers Seek ‘Just Transition’ to Green Economy in Cancun Climate Talks - AFL-CIO
"In particular, the global union members here in Cancun are focusing on making sure our “just transition” ideals are included in a final global climate change treaty. A “just transition” to a green economy means workers would have the right to a voice in their workplace, the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively and access to training on the latest technology. Since December 2009, affiliates of the AFL-CIO and the unions of the ITUC have been lobbying our respective governments to build off those areas of agreement they reached in Copenhagen."
All-American Grace - Dallas Morning News
"The bad news is that achieving religious comity has come at the price of religious particularity and theological competence. That is, we may still consider ourselves devoted to our faith, but increasingly, we don't know what our professed faith teaches, and we don't appreciate why that sort of thing is important in the first place."
29 Nov  
This week in West Chicago

CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17

Learning About Leisure from the Past at Kline Creek Farm
"So last month, I wrote Garrett and asked her to tell me a bit more about this subject. She was glad to, and she said the lessons she learns working on the farm inspire her to strive for a more balanced life at home, too, even if she struggles like all of us to actually accomplish that."
Kirk sworn in as Illinois' newest U.S. senator
"Republican Mark Kirk, newly sworn in today as the junior U.S. senator from Illinois, told supporters that "sad chapters" in Illinois history were over.  Kirk was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on the Senate floor at 4:45 p.m. Chicago time."
House votes to reduce interest on pension credits
"State workers who take unpaid furlough days do not receive credit for those days when it comes to calculating their pension. A bill passed last year allows them to purchase credits toward their pensions for those days, but workers would have to pay interest on the credits from the day they were first employed by the state until they purchased the credit."
Both sides lobbying hard on Illinois civil unions bill
"Civil unions would provide legal recognition of gay couples and give them some of the same benefits automatically available to married couples — the right to visit a sick partner in the hospital and make decisions about their medical care, for instance. Backers consider it a matter of fundamental fairness, but critics argue it would amount to gay marriage under another name."
MSHA Cracks Down on Repeat Safety Offenders - AFL-CIO
"In a continued crackdownnn on coal mines with histories of serious safety and health violations, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)  has issued notices that 13 mines will be placed in a special stepped-safety enforcement program unless mine owners begin immediate corrective actions."
Two Mass. school districts consider dropping religious holidays - Boston Globe
"School officials in Acton, Boxborough, and Harvard are looking at removing all religious holidays from next year’s school calendars.  Currently, classes in the districts are not held on a Christian holiday, Good Friday, and the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana.  The Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue and vote on next year’s calendar during its meeting Thursday night, while the Harvard School Committee has scheduled a vote for Dec. 13."

26 Nov
 
  • Books for Lunch - America’s Most Dangerous Woman
    "Bring a bag lunch and join us for an entertaining afternoon. Actress Jeanmarie Dwyer-Wrigley will portray Mary Harris Jones, a.k.a. Mother Jones. Mother Jones was considered America’s most dangerous woman. Registration is not required."
  • Canterbury Carollers
    "Once again, we welcome the Canterbury Carollers to present their holiday concert! Dressed in authentic costumes, the ensemble will perform a glorious arrangement of traditional carols – all written before 1870."
West Chicago Community Chorus Forming
"A new group is forming in West Chicago and anyone who loves to sing is invited to join. The West Chicago Community Chorus, under the direction of Jo Noonan, an experienced conductor both locally and internationally, has secured space at Gallery 200/STUDIO, located at 203 Turner Court in downtown West Chicago, for rehearsals on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m."
The 2011 Friend of the West Chicago City Museum CALENDAR (full color) is out for purchase! The calendar's theme is: The History of West Chicago's Schools, and was designed by me. Available from the City Museum, West Chicago Printing, City Hall and from me. For only $10!
State Board of Elections says COD group violated campaign rules
"“One of the reasons we have our current corruption problem in Illinois is lack of disclosure and people not paying attention,” he said. “This committee got their money from contractors of the college, and I think that’s very important for people to think about. One reason the referendum succeeded was because more than half a million dollars was spent.”"
Unemployment rate falls in suburbs
"Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Maureen O'Donnell says the state has recorded two consecutive months of declining unemployment, a trend showing Illinois is on the right path to recovery... Overall Illinois unemployment was 9.2 percent last month, compared to 9 percent nationally."
Ramey’s winter coat drive set to begin Wednesday
"Rep. Randy Ramey, R-55th District, of Carol Stream, will host his annual winter coat drive from Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 31... Last year, more than 2,500 coats were donated and given to less fortunate families living in the 55th District.  For information, visit randyramey.org, e-mail staterepramey55@aol.com or call (630) 876-0703."
Gov. Quinn approves 20, denies 48 clemency petitions
"Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police's Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).  Since taking office, Gov. Quinn has acted on 810 clemency petitions. He has granted 317 pardons, authorized eight people who had already received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions, granted one commutation and denied 425 petitions, the release said."
West Chicago Community Chorus Forming
"The currently forming West Chicago Community Chorus plans to perform at community events such as Frosty Fest, Blooming Fest, Railroad Days and others, as well as provide music on a monthly basis at Delnor Community Hospital. Plus, it hopes to represent West Chicago in Taufkirchen, Germany, West Chicago’s Sister City sometime in the future."
Madigan publishes guide on recalled children's products
""As consumers' mailboxes fill with holiday catalogs, my Play It Safe Guide is one catalog parents can't afford to miss for their children's sake," Madigan said in a written release. "Parents have enough to monitor without trying to keep track of the more than 600 products recalled this year. This guide provides an easy way for parents to be sure gifts and other products in your home are safe for your children.""
Unemployment falls in all Illinois metro areas
"“For two months in a row, Illinois can record falling unemployment rates in every corner of our state. We have not been able to say that since 2007,” department director Maureen O’Donnell said in a statement.  Construction employment in the Springfield area fell by 500 jobs from a year ago, and service jobs dropped 300. Employment was down by 100 in government, retail trade and manufacturing."
Beat the Black Friday Crowds with the New Union Made Store - AFL-CIO
"While all the bargain hunters camp out and stampede for Black Friday specials in malls today, you can shop union online. From the comfort of your own home with a cup of coffee and maybe a piece of leftover pumpkin pie, you can find some bargains for the activists on your list at the new AFL-CIO Online Store—Union Made."
Cairo police clash with Christian rioters, 1 dead
"Hundreds of Christians smashed cars and windows and tried to assault a municipal building in Cairo Wednesday after police violently stopped the construction of a church, leaving one person dead and underscoring serious Egypt's sectarian tensions.  Police clashed with Christians first at the church construction site in the early hours of the morning and then several hours later when a mob of hundreds assaulted the local governor's office in retaliation."
Money and happiness - The Economist
"... so what is the point in people who live in rich countries working harder to get ever richer? Politicians should concentrate on maximising the mental health of their voters, rather than the size of their pay checks. But plot the data another way, on a logarithmic scale where each increment represents a 100% increase in income per head, and the relationship between wealth and happiness looks more robust."

24 Nov
 
Wheaton Academy wins in overtime
"An emphatic dunk in overtime by Wheaton Academy senior Wes Koral powered the Warriors to a 50-46 come-from-behind win over Downers Grove North on Tuesday.  The Warriors (2-0) are the only undefeated team left in their season-opening Thanksgiving tournament."
DuPage approves budget; keeps promise to museum
"In addition to approving funding for the children's museum, officials defended plans to lay off nine employees as part of a downsizing of the DuPage County Juvenile Detention Center.  Jodi Bozzelli, a probation officer, said she's concerned because eliminating positions at the youth home in Wheaton could result in some probation officers and counselors losing their jobs."
DuPage County will donate $250,000 to children's museum
"“Just a few years ago, we were unable to fully fund our own DuPage County Historical Museum,” said board member Grant Eckhoff. “I don’t think we should start opening up the flood gates ... Frankly, I don’t think this county can afford to do this.”  He suggested that more partnerships might help the museum fill its fiscal gaps, similarly to the way the Wheaton Park District helped keep the historical facility open."
West Chicago VFW 6791 Blood Drive
"The West Chicago VFW Post 6791 Blood Drive will be held on Saturday, December 4th, from 0800 – 1400 with LifeSource, Chicagoland’s Blood Center ... You can call the Post at 630.456.6467 to schedule your donation appointment, or just walk in."
Highway crackdown for holiday weekend
"Hitting the road for the long holiday weekend? Illinois transportation officials say be prepared for more than 2,000 seat belt enforcement zones, 68 roadside safety checks and almost 1,000 additional nighttime patrols."
Norovirus sickens 129 in Illinois nursing homes
"Norovirus causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Officials in McHenry County say the viral infection has landed at least six nursing home residents in the hospital.  Health department spokeswoman Debra Quackenbush isn't releasing the names of the facilities where the virus has been found. But she says the administrators at those homes are cooperating and working to stop the virus from spreading."
Illinois hunters bring down more than 68,000 deer
"That preliminary total tops last year when 66,126 deer were killed. But it lags behind the 2008 season when hunters got almost 72,000 deer during the opening weekend.  Pike County topped the list this year with 1,957 deer.  The seven-day firearm deer season wraps up Dec. 2-5."
Surplus equipment from Iraq being donated to local governments, non-profits
"Col. Scott Fletcher, a logistics officer, said most of the equipment is non-standard, which means it was bought commercially to support operations in Iraq.  “It’s wartime equipment used in a wartime environment,” Fletcher said. “Some of it is in really good condition, and some of it may be a little bit less.”"
One-Stop Resource for Paid Sick Days - AFL-CIO
"More than two of every five private-sector workers do not receive any paid sick days. But having time off if you’re sick makes so much common sense that 95 percent of the public thinks it is unacceptable for employers to not provide paid sick leave. A full 60 percent think it is illegal not to provide sick leave. Lower-paid workers are especially vulnerable: Three of every four low-wage workers have no paid sick leave."
A Historic Agreement for Tomato Pickers in Florida | Serious Eats - SeriousEats
"The Fair Food Code of Conduct includes a penny-per-pound increase in wages for tomato pickers, a strict code of employer conduct, a system for dealing with picker complaints, and a health and safety program to protect pickers. While a penny more per pound seems like a meager victory, for Immokalee pickers it means a wage increase from $50 per day to $70 per day. While certainly not enviable, this is at least a livable salary."
Christian protester killed in clashes in Egypt - CNN
""We've seen a clear uptick in recent weeks of incitement coming from media outlets and clerics espousing sectarian hatred and violence," said Leonard Leo, chairman of the independent, bi-partisan commission. "This kind of rhetoric goes too far and stokes the fire of extremists looking for ammunition to justify violent acts against religious minorities."  The commission said that earlier this month, ten Coptic Christian homes and several businesses were burned and looted in Qena province in southern Egypt following rumors of a romantic relationship between a Christian man and Muslim woman."
Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter - NY Times
"Corporate profits have been doing extremely well for a while. Since their cyclical low in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history. As a share of gross domestic product, corporate profits also have been increasing, and they now represent 11.2 percent of total output."

23 Nov
 
Around and About in West Chicago - 23 Nov 2010
  • “From Our Kitchen to Yours”
  • “Wonderful and Wearable”
  • Third Annual Kooper’s Kandy Kane Mishap
  • Frosty Fest
  • Holiday Tree at the Fox Community Center
Market Day
"The December holidays are quickly approaching. This is the last Market Day delivery before the holidays. Take advantage of the great offers Market Day has to offer this month!!!"
Gallery Theater Launches in West Chicago with A Gift Worthy of Giving
"The newly formed Gallery Theater in West Chicago, which is in addition to the existing performing arts program at the West Chicago Park District, is in rehearsals for its December production, A Gift Worthy of Giving. Jake Dewar, Mark Fortman, Maureen Navadomskis, and Laura Matthews have been cast in the four-person holiday drama.
Dog killed in possible coyote attack in Wheaton
"It is possible a coyote was responsible for the attack, they said.  The fatal attack came days after Wheaton adopted a policy focused on raising public awareness and strictly enforcing a feeding ban to deal with continuing concerns over coyotes in the community."
Weighty decisions; DuPage targets childhood obesity
"Change will not come overnight, but the consortium members are in it for the long haul. When she pitches the cause in public speaking engagements, Marchetti often notes that the nation’s weight problem began with cultural changes that came about more than 40 years ago.“It’s going to take us a generation to turn this thing around,” said Marchett..."
Illinois prison population surges to record high
"Three years ago, thinking that the number of inmates statewide would stabilize or even fall, prison officials in Illinois considered closing Vandalia Correctional Center to cut costs. But in just the last year, the population at the downstate minimum-security prison nearly doubled, rising to 1,700 this fall from 950 last November. Now, nearly 100 inmates sleep dormitory-style in a basement area previously closed off by prison officials..."
State police target seat belts, DUIs Thanksgiving weekend
"Police will be scouring roadways in a five-state mobilization effort covering Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio... During the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday season, the most recent data available, 1,120 people died in vehicle crashes nationwide. In cases with seat-belt information available, more than half of those killed weren't buckled up."
Incumbent Worker Training Program funds harder to get
"The Incumbent Worker Training Program offers federal funding to help cover part of the cost for training workers in key industries, such as health care. The program is administered by The Workforce Connection and spends several hundred thousand dollars each year on training.  But companies receiving training now have to prove that, without the assistance, their employees would be in direct threat of being laid off, and local officials fear that’s going to narrow the possibilities for companies."
Judge to rule soon on whether to release ex-governor Ryan from prison
"After two hours of arguments, U.S. Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer said she would rule soon, possibly within a matter of days, on whether to throw out some of Ryan’s 2006 convictions based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision curtailing anti-fraud laws — known as “honest services” laws."
Central Florida Nurses Are Latest to Join NNU - AFL-CIO
"Both Central Florida and Osceola are part of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the nation’s largest hospital system. RNs at several other HCA hospitals in Florida will also vote in the coming weeks on whether to join NNOC-Florida."
Finland loses its religion - Monacle
"For the church, the Gay Evening has been a huge PR disaster. The discussion was aired on a Tuesday, but it wasn’t until the following Sunday that the archbishop distanced the official church from the conservative views, in a television interview. When the scale of the problem became apparent, the church sprang into action. Five out of Finland’s nine bishops announced that they support blessing gay couples’ registered partnerships in the church (Finland allows gay couples to register their partnership but not to get married)."
CBMW Says It Can't Endorse New NIV - Baptist Press
"The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is an organization that believes men and women are equal but have different and complementary roles in the home and in the church. The CBMW withheld an endorsement of the TNIV in 2002 due to gender-neutral language, some of which the group said changed the theological direction and meaning of the text. The NIV 2011, as it is being called, maintains some of the TNIV language and some of the NIV 1984 language, and in some passages splits the difference."
88 Years In One Minute - TPM
"It's perfect example of how visual representations of data can be so powerful. As Sparks noted in his blog post about the video: "This animated interpretation accentuates certain phenomena: the breadth and duration of support for Roosevelt, the shift from a Democratic to a Republican South, the move from an ostensibly east-west division to the contemporary coasts-versus-heartland division, and the stability of the latter.""

22 Nov
 
  • Bob Owens chosen  State Assistant Soccer Coach of the Year - FB, Maria Owens
    "On Thursday evening Bob was chosen as Assistant Coach of the Year by the soccer coaches across the state (Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association). It was a great honor and a well-deserved one if I do say so myself."
  • Thankyou - Bob Bruno Owens
    "I am honored to have been chosen by the soccer coaches throughout the state as t...he Assistant Coach of the Year by the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association. Thank you to Steve Brugman, a great coach himself, for nominating me."
  • CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
    "Another new schedule! Thanksgiving programs start at 5pm on Thursday... Tune in when you can, folks. We're Channel 17 on the Comcast system in West Chicago. If you have AT&T U-verse, find us on channel 99 under the name of West Chicago Public Access TV Channel 17."
  • Mike Fortner endorsed
    Mike Fortner has received the unanimous endorsement of the Winfield Township Republican Central Committee to be appointed to the 48th Senate District that will be left vacant when Congressman-elect Randy Hultgren takes office in January.
Free Holiday Light Recycling
"Strands of incandescent and LED holiday lights, and household extension cords in any condition, may be dropped off at the locations listed below during normal business hours. Signs will be posted directing people to the blue holiday light recycling containers. All locations will accept lights and cords for recycling through February 19, 2011; however, City Hall, the Police Department and Water treatment plant will accept lights and cords until March 25, 2011."
DuPage activists target obesity with new local data
"FORWARD will be disseminating and assessing the data in preparation to formulate policy recommendations aimed at systemic change. Marchetti said the likely areas of focus will include such things as school lunch programs, playgrounds, safe transportation between home and school, and the selections available in school and workplace vending machines."
CDH promotion to encourage healthy kids
"Parents who visit www.cdhplay60.com may nominate their children — who must be enrolled in public or private school kindergarten through grade 8 — into the contest by 11:59 p.m., Sunday November 28, 2010. No purchase is necessary. One student will be selected at random to receive a personal visit at school from the Chicago football player. Garza, #63, will talk to the winner’s classmates about how he stays healthy to be strong and tough enough to compete in the NFL."
Illinois driver offices to be closed Thursday, Friday
"All driver service facilities will be closed Thursday and Friday this week in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced."
ABATE members provide Thanksgiving dinner for elderly, needy
"The local ABATE chapter is involved in several local charity events, mostly because of their blue-collar roots, Furlow said.  “We love helping people, we love helping kids,” she said. “Most bikers are just normal, blue-collar people that are struggling like everyone else. They just want to give back, I think.”  The event fed more than 200 people from noon to 2 p.m. at Kumler Methodist Church, 600 N. Fifth St."
GOPers Hint At Tax Hike Cooperation
"If the General Assembly is going to revamp Illinois' tax structure, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) is asking that Republicans in his chamber agree to help. The most likely candidates to cross the aisle are certainly the five lame-duck representatives who either lost their primary or general-election campaigns or who are retiring."
Warren Buffet: Don’t Extend Bush Tax Cuts to the Wealthy - AFL-CIO
Amanpour
    "They say you have to keep those tax cuts, even on the very wealthy, because that is what energizes business and capitalism. 
Buffet
    "The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on."
Bible app hits 10 million downloads - CNN
"The app, which is based on the church-funded website, YouVersion.com, launched in July of 2008. Since then, users have spent 3.5 billion minutes trolling through Bible passages. Yes- that was billion.  During a webcast on YouVersion.com, pastor Bobby Gruenewald announced what he called a “revolution” taking place.  “Could this be the generation that’s more engaged with God than any other generation in history?” he asked."
AP IMPACT: Cadmium, lead found in drinking glasses - AP
"The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets — made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank — contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children's products is 0.03 percent.  The same glasses also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no federal limits on that toxic metal in design surfaces."
Nations That Debate Coal Use Export It to Feed China’s Need - NY Times
"The United States now ships coal to China via Canada, but coal companies are scouting for new loading ports in Washington State... Indeed, some of the world’s more environmentally progressive regions are nascent epicenters of the new coal export trade, creating political tensions between business and environmental goals.  Traditionally, coal is burned near where it is mined — particularly so-called thermal or steaming coal, used for heat and electricity. But in the last few years, long-distance international coal exports have been surging because of China’s galloping economy, which now burns half of the six billion tons of coal used globally each year."

19 Nov
 
Thankyou to Voters - FB, Dennis Clark
"I want to thank everyone who worked so hard for my campaign, donated time, and money. I am truly inspired by all the good people I've met who weren't afraid to roll up their sleeves, put on their shoes, and get out the vote. I am so appreciative and will continue to work on the behalf of the Citizens of DuPage to bring honest, ethical, competent governance to our County. Thank you for all of your hard work."
DuPage task force tackles fetal alcohol disorders
"The state’s attorney’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Task Force aims to educate parents and children about the preventable disorders, which can result from consuming alcohol in pregnancy. The group also plans to collaborate with various disciplines and professions on strategies to reduce the lifelong physical, psychological and economic symptoms, officials announced."
Forest preserve still bears watching
"And I am humbled by citizens who came out to support me with 40 percent of the vote. Thank you all for your hard work... Genuine reform is still needed: Property tax increases, ethics violations, taking campaign contributions from vendors, and ignoring responsibility for flood control are just some of the issues that must still be addressed."
Cantigny Park gives $5K to veterans shelter
"Cantigny Park awarded $7,300 last week to the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton. Given during the park’s Veterans Day observance, the donation represents the net proceeds from the 7th Annual Cantigny 5K Run/Walk."
DuPage County fetal alcohol task force meets
"The umbrella term refers to the range of effects that can result from a woman’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.  Coordinated through the office of State’s Attorney Joe Birkett, the group had its first meeting Thursday, taking aim at education, advocacy and research with support from an array of disciplines and professions."
Coalition pushes for tuition freeze
"In a letter sent to UI trustees Thursday, the groups said UI students are paying some of the highest public university tuition rates in the country, once tuition "differentials" are included – surcharges imposed by individual colleges or departments.  The UI's own numbers show that undergraduates pay the third-highest tuition and mandatory fees among all major public institutions."
More than 500 state officials may face removal
"This legislation is different from a bill introduced by House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, in 2009 that would have eliminated roughly 750 political appointees, with most of them leftover from the administrations of Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Gov. George Ryan.  Cullerton’s bill only deals with people in positions that must be confirmed by the Senate whose terms have expired. The positions in Madigan’s bill were exempt from anti-patronage court rulings and the state personnel code, but many did not require Senate confirmation."
First in Print: I-72 site submitted for FutureGen project
"A 1,000-acre site on Interstate 72 between Springfield and Jacksonville is among six that have been submitted as a location for underground storage of carbon from the FutureGen clean-coal project.  The site just across the Morgan County line, near the village of Alexander, also has the strong backing of a coalition of city, county and business representatives led by the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corp."
Illionois
Senate
Republicans
Senators Hope to Tackle Workers' Compensation, Medicaid 
"The Workers’ Compensation Reform Committee will review the state’s current workers’ compensation practices with the goal of creating a more competitive business environment in Illinois, while protecting the rights of Illinois’ workforce. The Medicaid Reform Committee will work to recommend specific measures to reduce Medicaid costs by creating efficiencies, reducing fraud and preserving a safety net essential to the well-being of Illinois citizens."
House Republicans Block Unemployment Benefits Extension - AFL-CIO
"House Democrats tried to speed the extension through by calling for a suspension of the rules, a procedure which requires a two-thirds majority. Although 258 members—a significant majority—supported the bill, the final vote fell short of the needed margin. The bill, H.R.6419, would have extended UI through February 2011 for those who have exhausted 26 weeks of insurance provided by states. It also would provide 100 percent federal funding to state unemployment programs to cover additional costs."
Opinion: A grand unified theory of man - Times Higher Education
""Ignorance of nature's ways led people in ancient times to invent gods to lord it over every aspect of human life...since the connection of cause and effect in nature was invisible to their eyes, these gods seemed inscrutable, and people at their mercy."  As time progressed, humans became more knowledgeable about the world, dispensing with the need for anything other than science to answer the big questions of Life, the Universe and Everything. Theologians and philosophers have had their day, and "scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge"."
Kentucky Stomper's Attorney: Tape Shows 'My Client Is Justified' (VIDEO) - TPM
"The court was packed with folks trying to catch a glimpse of the Kentucky Stomper, according to reports from the ground. And though Profitt's been willing to discuss the incident before (like that time when he blamed a bad back for stepping on a woman that was being held down on the ground,) in court and afterward he kept his mouth shut."

18 Nov
 
133-pound Gold West Chicago Wildcats Wins Super Bowl
"The 133-pound Gold West Chicago Wildcats Football team in the Bill George Football League won the Super Bowl with a 6-0 score against the Downers Grove Panthers. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Benedictine University in Lisle. West Chicago Park District Athletics Supervisor Joe Urban said,” The Panthers were a very good team. We scored with 2:02 left to play in the game. ”"
Veterans Day presentation at Gary Elementary School
"Ms. Grupe and Mrs. Stogis' 5th grade students at Gary school have been working on some special projects in honor of Veterans Day.  The students were asked to pick a topic that they would research from a list of US military branches, wars, national memorials, or veteran organizations."
West Chicago students perform speedy Shakespeare
"Of course, the playwrights had to take a few liberties with the Bard’s work to fit everything in. In the fast-paced parody, “Titus Andronicus” becomes a cooking show and “Othello” is a rap.  “It perfectly combines mockery and respect for the world’s most famous playwright,” cast member Dan Stompor said."
RTA could get more state oversight
"The Illinois Senate Wednesday voted to give the state's executive inspector general power and authority to monitor goings on at the Regional Transit Authority, Metra, Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority.  State Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat, was pushing for the state ethics oversight. And she said giving the responsibility to the state made more sense than creating new jobs for inspectors general at each individual transit agency."
State legislature succeeds in overriding veto of funding bill
"After a year of financial strife and setbacks, school district U-46 now has a victory under its belt.  The Illinois House of Representatives agreed today to override Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of a senate bill that would ensure the district would receive the correct ammount of per-pupil funding from the state."
Illinois unemployment rate falls again in October
"The state’s unemployment rate fell again in October, hitting 9.8 percent and registering a decrease for the seventh month in a row, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  The drop was slight — just 0.1 percentage points — but it maintains the streak even as the nation’s rate stubbornly holds at 9.6 percent."
Illinois Senate OKs inspector for transportation agencies
"Illinois lawmakers want to keep a closer eye on Metra and other transportation agencies in the Chicago area.  The state Senate has approved a bill that would put the state's inspector general in charge of monitoring the Metra rail service, as well as the Regional Transportation Agency, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Pace bus system.  The measure passed 38-12 Wednesday and now goes to the Illinois House."
Lawmakers plan to force through police, fire pension changes
"McCarthy said he plans to continue meeting with affected groups about possible changes to the bill, but there will probably be no more full-scale negotiations, as there were during this past spring’s legislative session.  “We don’t get a lot done that way,” said McCarthy.  He hopes to have a final draft of his legislation ready for a vote during the second week of the veto session, which starts Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 1."
Congressional Report: China’s WTO Membership Doesn’t Help U.S. Workers - AFL-CIO
"In its 2010 annual report, released yesterday, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) details the multiple ways the Chinese government has flooded the United States with exports while shutting its doors to imports and costing millions of U.S. jobs.   In an understatement, Carolyn Bartholomew, the commission’s vice-chairman, told a Washington, D.C. press conference yesterday: "The grounds on which it [China’s entry into the WTO] was sold did not turn out as promised for American workers."
Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete - Associated Press
"As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family.  A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together."
The Tea Party Targets... Sustainable Development? - Mother Jones
"At the root of this plot is the admittedly sinister-sounding Agenda 21, an 18-year-old UN plan to encourage countries to consider the environmental impacts of human development. Tea partiers see Agenda 21 behind everything from a septic tank inspection law in Florida to a plan in Maine to reduce traffic on Route 1. The issue even flared up briefly during the midterms, when Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes accused his Democratic opponent of using a bike-sharing program to convert Denver into a "United Nations Community.""
Republican Rep. Bob Inglis Blasts GOP For Denying Global Warming - Think Progress
"And I would also suggest to my Free Enterprise colleagues — especially conservatives here — whether you think it’s all a bunch of hooey, what we’ve talked about in this committee, the Chinese don’t. And they plan on eating our lunch in this next century. They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that’ll lead the 21st century. So we may just press the pause button here for several years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button."

17 Nov
 
Around and About in West Chicago - 17 Nov 2010
  • Thanksgiving
  • American Education Week
  • Local Music Night
  • Wildcat Preschool
  • Consolidated Election
JACOB ANDREW CARNEY
"Born March 18, 1993 in Winfield, to Daniel Scott and Ellen Kay Carney, Jacob passed away suddenly on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, after injuries sustained in a car accident. Jacob was a senior at West Chicago High School. He enjoyed music, riding his scooter, snowboarding and hanging out with his brother and friends."
NFT Youth Ensemble presents Alice in Wonderland at Pheasant Run Resort - Broadway World
"The Alice in Wonderland cast includes residents from ... West Chicago: Ashley Tijerina."
Free Workplace Recycling Seminar
"What a great opportunity to learn the latest about commercial recycling! This free training session offers the newest statewide toolkit for workplace recycling."
West Chicago Welcomes the Following New Businesses to the Community
  • Americas Recycling Centers
    1645 Downs Drive(630) 715-5779
    Plastics Recycling
  • Apollo Messenger Service, Inc.
    1700 Metoyer Court, Unit J(630) 351-1423
    Courier/Delivery Service
  • BRC Industries
    911 W. Hawthorne Lane(630) 709-6091
    Kirby Vacuum Sales/Service
  • Jason Dederich
    State Farm200 W. North Avenue, Suite 600(630) 231-7100
    Insurance and Investment Services
Dogs paddle to health at West Chicago wellness facility
"Deaton started Natural Healing Whole Dog Wellness with an in-ground pool in her backyard nearly nine years ago. She anticipated receiving three or four clients a week. After the numbers grew to 50 or 60 a week, Deaton knew she had to expand.  She opened her new center in a mall on Neltnor Boulevard a year ago, and recently received West Chicago's Small Business of the Year Award. Deaton claims it is the first facility in the Midwest to have pools built specifically for dogs."
Mayors want help with police, fire pensions
"The mayors want the retirement age to get a full pension to be 60 years old for firefighters and police. Now, it’s age 50.  And, an officer would need 35 years of service to get a full pension.  Critics of the plan have suggested, though, that it might not be appropriate for a 60-year-old to be working as a firefighter or beat cop."
Community High School Presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
"Cast member Elena Tubridy states, “It’s a fun, not intimidating, play. Even if you don’t normally like Shakespeare you’ll love this!” Production Manager Farrell Lewis includes, “It’s wet and vomitful!” Cast member Emma Roberts adds, “It’s a hilarious spin on the Shakespeare you learned at school!” Dan Stompor chimes in, “It perfectly combines mockery and respect for the world’s most famous playwright!”"
DuPage pilot program will support at-risk homeowners
"An addendum to the 2010-2014 DuPage County Consortium Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development, the trial Counselor in Court initiative will connect low-income families with people who can ensure they have looked at all of their options before their situation becomes dire.  “The idea is to make sure that homeowners who are in foreclosure court actually have had the opportunity to speak with counselors who can help them keep out of foreclosure,” said Mary Keating, director of community services for the county."
Chicago's public pensions near insolvency
"Time and again, the funds have been used as a bargaining chip or a piggy bank. Politicians trimmed budgets by offering early retirement incentives and greased union contract deals with increases in benefits. "Pension holidays" allowed the city to avoid paying into workers' retirement funds.  As a result, the funds soon may not be able to keep promises that are codified in the state constitution, threatening the retirements of tens of thousands of rank-and-file union members and leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars owed to teachers, police officers, firefighters and others."
UI ready to hire engineer for Big Broadband project
"The UI is the lead agency for the federal grant, and in September trustees approved the $29.4 million project. It will provide 188 route miles of fiber-optic infrastructure, make high-speed Internet available to 4,650 households and 200 businesses, and address "lingering issues" with the university's fiber-optic system, officials said."
Death penalty foes press Illinois lawmakers to act
"The Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty says the state's system of capital punishment doesn't work and can't be fixed. The group wants lawmakers to get rid of the death penalty during their fall session.  Illinois hasn't executed anyone in more than a decade. Former Gov. George Ryan halted executions after it became clear that 13 people had wrongly been sentenced to die. Later governors continued the moratorium, even after new safeguards were put in place."
First in Print: UIS emerging as a leader in online learning
"With more than six out of every 10 students at the University of Illinois Springfield taking a class online instead of on campus, UIS has emerged as a leader in a field that’s changing the face of higher education. For UIS, it’s the future.  “I don’t think there’s a going back,” said UIS public administration professor Will Miller, who teaches half of his classes online and half on campus. “There’s going to be a mixture of both.”"
House votes to keep state worker personnel evaluations private
"The Illinois Press Association, media outlets across the state and Attorney General Lisa Madigan have said the proposal represents a step backward from the FOIA reforms that passed in 2009.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees argues public employees have a right to privacy when it comes to performance evaluations."
Global Unions Demand Rights for Migrant Workers - AFL-CIO
"In a statement, the global unions said governments must be vigilant in fighting against racism and xenophobia, which are on the rise in several countries. They also urged countries to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions on migrant workers, eliminate abusive guest worker programs and assure the rights of domestic workers."

Abortion Common Ground: A Pro-Life Agenda - Slate

  1. "Reduce the abortion rate through voluntary means.
  2. Subsidize maternity.
  3. Embrace contraception
  4. Early abortions are better than late ones.
  5. Choose your friends by your mission, not your mission by your friends.
Arizona Budget Cuts Put Organ Transplants At Risk - NPR
"In Arizona, 98 low-income patients approved for organ transplants have been told they are no longer getting them because of state budget cuts.The patients receive medical coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), the state's version of Medicaid. While it may be common for private insurance companies or government agencies to change eligibility requirements for medical procedures ahead of time, medical ethicists say authorizing a procedure and then reversing that decision is unheard of."

16 Nov
 
Spruce Tree Donated for West Chicago's Frosty Fest
"Kramer Tree Specialists, in West Chicago since 1985, will remove a spruce tree measuring nearly 35’ from the front yard of lifelong resident Jean Day on Wednesday. Kramer will then transport, erect and fully decorate the tree (approximately 20’ due to space constraints) at the Fox Community Center on Main Street as a gift to the residents of West Chicago."
Don’t lose this self-government tool
"Police. Firefighters. City managers. County tax assessors. The job evaluation of every public official in the state will be off limits to public scrutiny. And that is a bad thing for local communities. In any government, especially in a state like Illinois, people need to know which of the employees on their payroll are performing and which are not.  Opponents of disclosure fear two nearly opposite outcomes that supervisors will withhold criticism they think will become public or they will use public scrutiny to punish employees."
Cronin picks Nov. 30 for resignation; still no word on successor
"State Sen. Dan Cronin, R-21st, will stay on in the General Assembly long enough to participate in this month's veto session before he steps down to become DuPage County Board chairman... There is still no definite word on who will succeed him. That decision will come later this month from Republican Party leaders in the areas that make up the 21st district, with each official's input weighted by vote totals during the 2008 election."
Yorkville man sentenced for growing pot in DuPage Forest Preserve
"On Sept. 18, 2009, Kangles was arrested in the Greene Valley Forest Preserve near Naperville, and charged with felony production of marijuana; as well as misdemeanors possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and criminal damage to forest preserve property, police said. The other charges were dropped when Kangles pleaded guilty."
St. Charles alderman who exposed himself resigns
"Fifth Ward alderman David Richards resigned Sunday by email, according to a press release from the city.  “After considerable evaluation, I resign my position as alderman of the 5th Ward, effective immediately,” the email said, according to the city. “I will not attend the Nov. 15 council meeting.”"
Flood aid deadline near for northern Illinois residents
"The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency are warning homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered flood damage to apply for the federal and state aid as soon as possible. Wednesday will be the last day individuals may apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call toll-free at 1-800-621-3362. Operators are available to assist with the process from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday."
UIS Downstate Innocence Project gets $687K grant
"“This gives us the opportunity to examine cases that haven’t received resources before,” said Bill Clutter, director of investigations for the project. “It gives us resources to investigate requests we previously had to just file away.”  U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., helped facilitate the grant, which was obtained with the support of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership."
Three new mines to open in Illinois next year
"After the strongest year in nearly a decade in 2009, when 33.7 million tons were produced, state coal production is down about 5.5 percent this year, said Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association.  But he said production has picked up in the second half of this year and probably will continue to increase in 2011 as a result of the new mines."
Union, Community Activists Rally to Save Wisconsin High-Speed Rail - AFL-CIO
"This afternoon, some 350 concerned citizens representing a broad coalition of labor and community organizations rallied in Milwaukee to protest Gov.-elect Scott Walker’s decision to stop construction on an $810 million high-speed rail project.  Canceling the project—which would provide a vital commuter connection between Milwaukee and Madison and spur future economic development—will cost Wisconsin both family-supporting jobs and money."
Abortion was winning issue for Democrats in 2010 - Politico
"This year, however, Democrats adopted almost the opposite approach late in the 2010 campaign. As many of the anti-abortion Democrats elected over the last four years were going down in defeat, the party made abortion a central concern in a handful of battleground Senate races — and they ended up in the Democratic column as a result."
Government to compensate ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees - BBC
"Since then, more than 60 government lawyers and officials have been sifting through some 500,000 documents at a secret location. The case was estimated to cost millions and could have lasted for at least another three years.  The BBC understands that both the Intelligence and Security Committee and the National Audit Office will be briefed in detail about the nature of the payments. But the settlement also paves the way for the government to launch an inquiry headed by former judge Sir Peter Gibson into the claims made against the intelligence and security agencies."
15 Nov  

This Week in West Chicago:

Programming Schedule  - Channel 17 West Chicago

 

  • Don't Forget to Visit the Museum During Frosty Fest to Make a Beaded Wreath!
    "The City Museum will offer a family craft activity on Saturday, December 4, 2010 during regular Saturday Museum hours of 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. and during Frosty Fest which will be held on this date from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Visitors will be able to make a beaded 3" holiday wreath decoration to take home."

  • "Consider purchasing one or more of a number of neat gift items offered at the Museum gift shop. The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum will feature two historic West Chicago icons as commemorative ornaments this year: the West Chicago Fire Protection District's Fire Engine, "The General", and St. Michael's United Church of Christ."

  •  "Also, make sure to pre-order your 2011 Community Calendar presenting 12 months of historic images of West Chicago schools! It's a showstopper!"

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
"WeGo Drama at Community High School proudly presents the hysterical comedy (of errors) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). This side-splitting production takes everything you learned about the Bard in High School and turns it upside-down by performing all of Shakespeare’s works in 90 minutes!"

District 94 Board Meeting Agenda November 16, 2010

  • RECOGNITION OF SB MEMBER – JOHN P. JENSEN
  • Balanced 2010-11 Budget Update
  • Policy 9006 - Parental Involvement
  • Outstanding State Revenue Payments
Youth Rakes in the Joy of Service This Weekend
"As the last leaves fall in West Chicago, youth volunteers will be out in force assisting senior residents in the clean-up detail. More than 50 students from various schools, clubs and organizations have stepped up to help on Saturday, November 13, 2010."
Winfield 17-year-old dies after W. Chicago crashh
"Carney apparently lost control of the vehicle while driving east on Garys Mill Road, past Indian Knoll Road, and struck the rear end of the Ford as it was pulling out of a residential driveway, according to authorities.  Both directions of Garys Mill Road were closed from Roosevelt Road to Wynwood Road for about four hours while sheriff's investigators reconstructed the crash."
State gambling revenue lowest in 10 years
"The drop is “almost entirely” because of decreasing sales at the state’s nine riverboat casinos, the report said. Revenue at Aurora’s Hollywood Casino, for example, is down more than 14 percent from this point a year ago.  “The numbers continue to suggest that the biggest contributor to the drop in Illinois casino revenues is the indoor smoking ban,” the state report concludes."
DuPage proposal would ban new neighborhood churches
"Neighbors of a house on Army Trail Road where people come to pray together several times daily want to know why that’s being allowed.  The practice violates DuPage County zoning regulations, but enforcement of the code is on hold while the Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs completes a lengthy permitting process to use the site near West Chicago, now zoned for residential use, as a worship center."
Winfield teen on life-support after accident.
"The 17-year-old was driving a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta east on Garys Mill Road just past Indian Knoll road when he struck the rear portion of a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was exiting a residential drive way, officials said."  Winfield fire department paramedics took the teen to Central DuPage Hospital where he was placed on life support, officials said.
West Chicago Middle School "Outstanding Students of the First Quarter" Awards
"It was 8:30 a.m., the students at West Chicago Middle School were in their classrooms as usual. In the school library something different was happening. A select group of students, with their family members, and staff gathered together for an award ceremony. Every grading period, teachers at West Chicago Middle School nominate students to receive the “Outstanding Student of the Quarter” award."
Report: More Chinese students studying in U.S.
"Nearly 128,000 Chinese students studied in America in 2009-10, a 30 percent increase over the previous academic year, the annual study by the Institute of International Education found.  Chinese citizens comprise about 19 percent of the international students in the U.S., the highest percentage of any country. India and South Korea are next, accounting for 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively."
Bill to be introduced to help watch Chicago mass transiT
"The Chicago Tribune reports that under the bill the state office would investigate corruption, fraud and waste at Metra, Pace, the Regional Transportation Authority and oversee the Chicago Transit Authority's current inspector general."
Illinois lawmakers to return for six-day session
"It’s only a six-day session, but Illinois lawmakers have a lengthy list of issues they want to tackle starting Tuesday.  A major expansion of gambling, civil unions for gay couples, and Gov. Pat Quinn’s call for an income tax hike are on the table. There’s also the official reason for the abbreviated session – considering bills that Quinn outright vetoed or used his amendatory veto powers to change."
Media, AG face off against AFSCME over information law
"In one corner stands the media and attorney general Lisa Madigan. In the other stands one of the most powerful unions in the state.  The Illinois Press Association says its top priority for the Illinois General Assembly’s upcoming veto session is preventing an override of Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of House Bill 5154, which would bar disclosure of government employee performance evaluations in response to Freedom of Information Act requests."
Get Ready for Buy Union Week, Nov. 26–Dec. 5
"The AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department (UL&STD) has designated the 10 days following Thanksgiving, Nov. 26 –Dec. 5, as “Buy Union” week to encourage union members to look for union-made goods and services when they buy for the holiday season... But UL&STD President Richard Kline says union family shoppers should look beyond the foreign-made electronics, trendy toys and gadgets to find enduring goods that are union made."
Clout: Church/state separation? Not in this polling place - Philadelphia Daily News
"Voters can be required to sign an "affirmation" document if they are listed as inactive or there are questions about their address.  But they are not required to swear on a Bible or anything else.  "If anything, I should swear on a Constitution or something," Granger wrote on her blog. "Voting is a civic responsibility, not a religious one . . . and isn't there supposed to be separation of church and state?  "Granger did not respond to our e-mail about the incident at the 15th Ward's first division polls at Trinity Baptist Church, in Fairmount.
Delegitimizing Public Education - TruthOut.org
""I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system.""
Downsizing the American Dream: The shrinking house - USA Today
"Builders are responding by chopping out rooms that people just don't use anymore, particularly formal living rooms and sitting rooms.  "You're not having the king and queen of England to dinner but Joe and Kathy from next door — and they'd prefer to be in your informal space!" Susanka said."

12 Nov
 
Outstanding Students of the First Quarter 2010/2011
"The students who were nominated were honored at a ceremony during which they each received a certificate of recognition. Parents/Guardians were invited to attend the ceremony, which was followed by a reception."
Fermilab offers buyouts, hopes to cut 50 workers
"Budget woes are once again affecting the nation’s premier particle physics lab, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.  On Thursday, Fermilab Director Pier Oddone, speaking to a packed house at Wilson Hall, announced to his staff that the lab would be offering incentives to some employees in hopes of reducing its work force by at least 50. The reason, Oddone said, is the ongoing question of the 2011 federal budget, and how Fermilab — and science in general — will fit in."
Delnor aims to curb frequent use of antibiotics
"During illness, people tend to have the mindset that taking antibiotics will lead to feeling better.  But that idea needs to change because antibiotics can be misused or overused, weakening their effectiveness, according to health care professionals at Delnor Hospital’s Antibiotic Stewardship and Get Smart Program press conference Thursday.  The hospital has decreased the usage of four targeted antibiotics, to prevent illnesses triggered by them and to decrease bacteria resistance to them, officials said."
DuPage sows the seeds for a green roof
"Education is among the aims of the project, expected to cost $325,000 to $350,000 in all. Visitors, surveying the sedums and other native groundcover species, will learn about energy efficiency and alternative ways to use plants. MacLennan said the new configuration — a membrane layer over insulation, topped with a filter of bituminous materials and low-profile plants — will keep the indoor spaces warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer."
Naperville firm charged in spam texting suit
"The suit, filed this week in Chicago, claims the unsolicited text messages represent "an especially pernicious form of marketing" and violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which bars companies from making unsolicited calls to cell phones.  The suit asks that consumers who received the texts -- sent from Consumer Benefit Services on behalf of Wenner Media -- receive $500 per message."
Reports say UI has room for improvement in diversity
""The document suggests broad racial ethnic minority participation at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as among faculty. Yet, our review of campus data does not support this public image. What we see is that diversity is increasingly defined by the growing presence of international students," Hamer and Perez write."
Report: Many Illinois juniors not ready for college
"The ACT sets its readiness scores at 18 in English, 21 in reading, 22 in math and 24 in science. The highest possible score is 36.  The Tribune looked at the scores of more than 133,000 Illinois juniors required to take the ACT during state testing in April. Overall, just 19.3 percent met readiness scores in all subjects. And more than 35 percent didn't meet any benchmarks."
Downstate bucks trend on home prices in Illinois
"Overall in Illinois, however, downstate could not offset continued problems in the Chicago region, a new report from the Illinois Association of Realtors found.  More than half of 99 counties reporting showed median prices up from August through September."
Some area Lutheran congregations vote to leave denomination - The News Gazette
"Most Lutherans eager to leave the ELCA have questioned some of its new policies. In August 2009, delegates to a national meeting narrowly voted to open the clergy roster to gay and lesbian ministers who are in committed, same-gender relationships. Previously, the ELCA required homosexual clergy to remain celibate.  The ELCA, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States with 4.6 million members on its rolls. It formed in 1988 from the merger of three smaller Lutheran denominations. Since the controversy started, about 229,000 people, or 5 percent, have left."
Caught red-handed: Beck doctors video and lies about Soros quote - Media Matters
"SOROS: Look, I think -- I think you put your finger on a very important flaw in the current world order, and that is that only Americans have a vote in Congress. And yet, it is the United States that basically determines policy for the world. That is a flaw in the current setup. I don't think you can correct it by giving the Chinese government a vote in Congress. But it is a flaw, and I think this is where American leadership is needed, to take into account and respect the interests of others as well, in order to retain the dominant position we currently enjoy."

11 Nov

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month... honor the peace and honor the warrier.
PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for October 2010
"Parth Shah of West Chicago, a junior at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the October PeaceBuilder-of-the-month. Parth received the PeaceBuilder Award due to his passion to help others in need at We-Go."
Support Our Troops This Holiday Season!
"After attending an USO event in Chicago, it was brought to my attention that a program called Sweet Home Chicago Care Package for the Holiday Season was in place. I thought it would be a great idea to help and we will be collecting items at my District Office - 1883 N.Neltnor Blvd, West Chicago, to be sent overseas through the USO."
Local Music Night
"Lyn likes 1990's/post-millennial folk and adult alternative songs; Roger's taste ranges "from the 60's to the 60's" (1860's - 1960's)."
Don't Miss Out: Two More Weeks to Catch the Artwork of Kathy Santelli
""Floral Expressions" will be on display throughout the month of November, featuring pastel paintings of flowers, landscapes and abstracts. The artist will also have hand painted Christmas ornaments available for sale. Contact Gallery 200 at (630) 293-9550 for more information."
Last American WWI vet calls for memorial
"“While the German people have done much to address the long-ago damages ... our own nation cannot declare closure,” Buckles said through his daughter. “The reason is simple: we still do not have a national memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the Americans who sacrificed with their lives during World War I.”"
UI putting more resources into campus security
"The University of Illinois is paying overtime to its police officers, while working to hire three more of them. In the meantime, it may also hire a security firm in the wake of a residence hall attack on a young woman and several beatings of lone males in Champaign-Urbana.  The attack on a woman in her Forbes Hall shower room is "the highest priority" case for the UI police right now, UI Chief of Police Barbara O'Connor said Wednesday."
Quinn hoping for vote on civil unions
"Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday it would be good for Illinois’ economy if lawmakers, when they return to work next week in Springfield, pass legislation allowing gay couples to form civil union.  In an Associated Press interview, the Chicago Democrat also said he hopes his recent election changes the dynamic at the Illinois Capitol so that lawmakers sign on to his proposal to raise the state income tax, something he campaigned on to help fund education."
Estimate of corn crop lowered again
"The latest estimate of 159 bushels an acre from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday was the third monthly reduction in a row, dropping the estimate more than 11 percent since early August.  At the same time, corn, soybean and wheat prices all have been trading near two-year highs in anticipation of smaller-than-expected crops, rising demand for corn-based ethanol and a weaker dollar, said University of Illinois farm economist Darrel Good."
Honor Veterans by Fighting for Them Like They Fought for Us - AFL-CIO
"Like all workers, veterans are suffering in this tough economy. But for many vets, the situation is dire. Nearly one in five veterans (18 percent) recently back from tours of duty is unemployed. Of those employed since leaving the military, 25 percent earn less than $21,840 a year. On any given day, as many as 250,000 veterans (male and female) are living on the streets or in shelters, and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year."
Dobson’s Family Talk rebounds after donation plea - Colorado Springs Gazette
"Family Talk, based in Colorado Springs,  features  the radio broadcast “Family Talk with James Dobson,” hosted by Dobson, his son Ryan and LuAnne Crane. The show is heard on about 800 Christian stations. In recent months the broadcast was dropped by 82 stations because the ministry couldn’t pay the rate for air time, Dobson wrote in his October letter.  The ministry plans to start a 501(c) 4 political action group and a Springs council center for distressed families."
Google being investigated by the FCC for wireless data collection - LA Times
""What people don't understand: Google Street View is not just about snapping photos, it is also about Google snarfing up an enormous amount of Wi-Fi data. Some of that may have been accidental but a lot of it was purposeful. They were trying to locate, identify and map private Wi-Fi routers," EPIC's president Marc Rotenberg said."

10 Nov
 
Around and About in West Chicago - 10 Nov 2010
  • Veterans Day
  • West Chicago Youth Open Gym Nights
  • Trinity Lutheran Church Christmas Sale and Luncheon
  • 133-pound Gold West Chicago Football Team
Illinois will take fed funds rejected by Wisconsin
"“We’d love to have it,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. He said Illinois, which has already received $1.2 billion in high-speed rail funding, could spend Wisconsin’s money making further improvements to the Chicago-St. Louis corridor to add more passenger runs.  The money also could be used to build stations in Joliet and Rockford, Hannig said."
County offers discount dental program
"All persons will be accepted. Participants will save from 5 percent to 50 percent on dental procedures, such as routine oral exams, cleanings, dentures, root canals and crowns. There will also be savings of 20 percent on orthodontics for both children and adults, as well as 20 percent savings on normal fees for all specialties — where available.  The enrollment fee for an individual is $6.95 per month or $59 annually. Enrollment for a family is $8.95 a month or $69 annually. All plans include a 30-day trial period."
DuPage County radio system plan advances
"Public safety crews in DuPage County are coming closer to a more streamlined communication network. The proposed 2011 budget for the county's Emergency Telephone System Board was presented to the County Board on Tuesday evening."
St. Charles alderman fined for indecent exposure
"Richards, 58, was also sentenced to three months probation. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct-breach of peace.  He was charged in July with exposing himself to a passing truck driver in West Chicago. The driver of the truck called police."
Third of Chicago area homes under water
"Some 32.9 percent of all local single-family detached homes with mortgages were underwater in September, meaning the homeowners owed more on the loans than the properties are worth, according to new data from realty Web site Zillow.com. That compares with 30.9 percent in June and 27.2 percent in September 2009. The report does not include data on condominiums."
UI law students petition against Don't Ask Don't Tell
"Three law school student organizations are holding a petition drive this week – as the country prepares to honor its veterans – to end the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, which bans openly gay service members."
Furlough days announced at Southern Illinois University
"The furloughs are part of an effort to close a $2.5 million budget shortfall. It is being imposed on non-unionized staff and members of unions that agreed to the unpaid leave.  WSIU radio reports under the policy, university employees will not be permitted to work on Nov. 24, Dec. 23, Jan. 3 and March 15.  Cheng says the closure days will not affect employees health insurance or vacation and sick leave benefits. She said the furlough days are subject to negotiation with the collective bargaining units."
Jim Edgar: Bill Brady too conservative for Illinois
"Speaking at a post-election forum in Springfield, Edgar said Republicans missed an opportunity to seize the state's top office on Nov. 2.  Edgar, who was governor from 1991 to 1999, says while it was a good night for the GOP in that the party gained seats in the Legislature and two statewide office. However, he doesn't think the party is back in Illinois."
Edgar: We should have won the governorship
"“A good Republican year in Illinois is not going to be like it used to be,” Edgar said. “Illinois is a Democratic state. It’s been demographics, and it’s often been a little bit about the Republican Party moving to the right when the majority of the voters in Illinois have moved to the left.”"
Google Gives All Employees Surprise $1,000 Cash Bonus And 10% Raise - Business Insider
"Google has given all of its employees $1,000 cash "holiday bonuses" and 2011 salary increases of at least 10%, a loyal reader tells us.  The 10% company-wide raise will take effect on January 1, 2011.  In addition, Google will also give each employee an additional raise equivalent to 1X the employee's target bonus for the year.  And employees will be eligible for additional "merit increases" based on their individual performance."
The big lie about abortion and mental health - Washington Post
"Such warnings might sound like a good idea. The decision to terminate a pregnancy can be difficult, and some women end up regretting it. It's commendable to help women make an informed choice. But an informed choice requires accurate information. And these laws mandate that women be misled.  Rigorous U.S. scientific studies have not substantiated the claim that abortion, compared with its alternatives, causes an increased incidence of mental health problems."
Scary New Wage Data - Tax.clm
"Only 150.9 million Americans reported any wage income in 2009. That put us below 2005, when 151.6 million Americans reported wages, and only slightly ahead of 2004, when 149.4 million Americans held at least one paying job.  For those who did find work in 2009, the average wage slipped to $39,269, down $243 or 0.6 percent, compared with the previous year in 2009 dollars."

09 Nov
 
St. Charles alderman admits exposing himself
"Richards was sentenced to three months of probation and a $150 fine in an agreement with prosecutors.  Richards was arrested in July after a semitrailer driver told police he saw the alderman expose himself on westbound North Avenue in West Chicago."

Suburban Veterans Day events

  • "West Chicago: Veterans and their spouses are invited to a Veterans Day event at Wheaton Academy, 900 Prince Crossing, West Chicago. A reception begins at 9:30 a.m. in the atrium, with a Veterans Day chapel service at 10:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center. Guest speaker Mark Hamstra's military career has included serving as an adviser to the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan. RSVP: (630) 562-7503."
  • "West Chicago: West Chicago Mayor Michael Kwasman is the keynote speaker at a Veterans Day ceremony that begins at 10:45 a.m. and ends with a 21-gun salute at 11:11 a.m. at the West Chicago VFW Hall, 431 N. Neltnor. Info: (630) 231-9823."
Quinn says income tax hike top priority
"A gambling package that could raise $1 billion annually for the state appears “top-heavy” and should take a back seat in the upcoming fall veto session to raising the income tax, Gov. Quinn told the Chicago Sun-Times.  In the coming weeks, Senate Democrats intend to push legislation authorizing casinos in Chicago, an undetermined south suburban location, north suburban Park City and Downstate Danville. The expansion plan also would allow slot machines at six Illinois racetracks and expand the number of gambling machines now in use at existing casinos.""
Study: Proposed Islamic center wouldn't add too much traffic near West Chicago
"A proposed Islamic center near West Chicago would not cause excessive traffic and congestion, according to a study released by proponents of the center Monday.  But half a dozen local residents questioned the findings and methodology on Monday as the DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals took up the matter for the third time since July."
St. Charles alderman fined $150 for indecent exposure
"St. Charles Ald. David Richards today was fined $150 and sentenced to three months probation after pleading guilty to exposing himself while driving his car in West Chicago this summer.  Richards, 58, of the 100 block of Millburn Court, who represents the town's 5th Ward, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct-breach of peace."
Senator Dick Durbin to film cameo in Hollywood movie
"In the scene, Durbin will chair a Senate hearing and have a single line of dialogue. Durbin says he's "a little nervous" but all the hours on C-SPAN have prepared him for the moment.  "Contagion" is about the spread of an airborne virus that kills within days.  Durbin's office says the cast also includes Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet."
Illinois to start paying interest on jobless benefits
"The $2.2 billion Illinois has borrowed from the federal government to pay for unemployment benefits is about to get hit with a hefty fee.  As of Jan. 1, the federal government will start charging interest to the 32 states or territories that have borrowed money to bolster their unemployment insurance funds and still owe on their debt. Collectively, nearly $41 billion is owed, according to Department of Labor data."
Kirk May Support Campaign Finance Reform
"U.S. Senator-elect Mark Kirk says he may buck his party during Congress's lame duck session and support a slimmed-down campaign finance reform bill. Progress Illinois has noted that in the recent campaign, Kirk received over $8.7 million from groups that accepted unlimited contributions or did not disclose the source of their money, far more than any of the other candidates in the 74 seats that switched parties on Election Day. And as a member of the U.S. House, Kirk opposed the DISCLOSE Act."
SAUDI ARABIA: First pharaonic inscription sheds new light on pre-Islamic past | Babylon & Beyond - Los Angeles Times
"The attention on the country's pre-Muslim past has proved controversial in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Some Saudis believe that displaying non-Muslim artifacts, whether Pagan, Jewish or Christian, should be forbidden, even if these artifacts pre-date Islam. In 2009,  the well-known Saudi cleric Mohammad al Nujaimi said such artifacts should be "left in the ground."  But the archeologists are continuing anyway."
On The JOBS Front -- Next In The News: Korea Free Trade Agreement - Campaign for America's Future
"President Obama hopes that increasing exports will help restore American jobs. But the Korean agreement was negotiated under President Bush, and came out typically one-sided against American manufacturers and workers. According to those who will be most affected, including auto companies like Ford (see Ford's statement on this), unions like the UAW and agricultural interests like American beef producers the negotiated agreement does little to address non-tariff barriers Korea uses to protect its industries from competing at home with American goods"
Deformed Beaks May Signal a Greater Environmental Problem - US Geoplogical Survey
“The prevalence of these strange deformities is more than ten times what is normally expected in a wild bird population,” said research biologist Colleen Handel with the USGS, “We have seen effects not only on the birds’ survival rates, but also on their ability to reproduce and raise young. We are particularly concerned because we have not yet been able to determine the cause, despite testing for the most likely culprits.”

08 Nov
 

This Week in West Chicago

CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 West Chicago
"CableCom West Chicago Channel 17 cable communications foundation providing non-profit all volunteer community and government access programming to residents of west chicago"
Toys for Tots - FB, Mike Kwasman
"The West Chicago Police Department, on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, will be collecting new, unwrapped toys starting on November 15, 2010 through December 22, 2010. These toys can be placed in the box in the front lobby of the Police Department, located at 325 Spencer Street."

November E-Newsletter

  • Meritorious Good Time Push Program
  • Senior Fair
  • Coat Drive 
Continued Traffic Safety Enforcement Campaigns
"The West Chicago Police Department, along with hundreds of other law enforcement and highway safety agencies across Illinois, has received a STEP Grant which will provide sworn police officers funding for additional hours dedicated to traffic enforcement for child restraint, seatbelt, speeding, and alcohol related violations. "
Toys for Tots
"The West Chicago Police Department, on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, will be collecting new, unwrapped toys starting on November 15, 2010 through December 22, 2010. These toys can be placed in the box in the front lobby of the Police Department, located at 325 Spencer Street. Any questions about the program can be directed to Sgt. Mike Zepeda at (630) 293-2222."
Santa kicks off holiday shopping at local malls
"“I didn’t know he was going to be here already, so yeah, it surprised me a bit,” the Aurora resident said with a laugh.  Did it bother him?  “Nah,” Bauer said. “I guess Nov. 6 is pretty early for this stuff, but I think it’s been going this way for awhile now. As soon as Halloween is over, we’re right into Christmas.”
[Why hasn't some cable TV network stood up to fight against "The War on Thanksgiving"? - Bob]
Wildcat BGYFL Cheerleaders Win Bid to State Competition
"A fundraiser is being held on Monday, November 15th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm to help the squad cover the costs of attending the IRCA State Competition. Hawthorne's Backyard Bar & Grill has generously offered to contribute a portion of the proceeds of the night to the squad."
Study: 41% of drivers sleep at the wheel
"A new traffic study issued Monday reports that 41 percent of drivers surveyed said they have fallen asleep or nodded off at the wheel at some point in their lives. Eleven percent, representing thousands of drivers across the nation, said it happened to them in the last year, including cases where individuals were asleep for more than a minute on a multilane highway."
Route 66 Wayside Exhibit also commemorates 1898 Battle of Virden - State Journal Register
"Mine owners from Pennsylvania to Illinois agreed on a contract with the United Mine Workers Union, but the Chicago-Virden Coal Co. — the largest in Illinois — refused to honor it, the memorial says. Local miners were locked out, and the company recruited black miners from Alabama who were hoping to escape poverty.  The coal company hired 75 guards and armed them with Winchesters."
Opinion: A Globalized God - Foreign Affairs
"Religion will also increasingly be an urban phenomenon. The growing population in the developing nations will mostly settle in vast, burgeoning, and largely impoverished metropolises -- areas where religion is spreading. According to conventional wisdom, secularization became an inevitable part of modernization with the spread of education, science, technology, and prosperity. But these new megacities are havens for religious revivals"

18 Iconic Products That America Doesn't Make Anymore - Yahoo Finance

  • Rawlings baseballs
  • Etch a Sketch
  • Minivans
  • Levi jeans
  • Radio Flyer's Red Wagon
In jail for being in debt - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Ill., man "to indefinite incarceration" until he came up with $300 toward a lumber yard debt."
   
05 Nov  
Free Community Services Fair

Check Out the New City Hall Display 
"Currently on display, now through December 10, 2010 at the West Chicago City Hall, is some of the artwork created by this year's People's Choice winners that were selected by visitors to the Fine Arts Fiesta, held during Railroad Days.  Artwork included in the installation in the public hallway at City Hall is by local artists Uwe Gesdl, Philip Weibler, Jessie Hansen, Michael Cantón and Paul Nemejc. 

All Aboard, New Museum Exhibit....
"West Chicago. Next stop is West Chicago." A new exhibit centered around train depots arrives at the City Museum on Friday, November 12, 2010 with an opening reception from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Explore the history of our train stations and learn about the important role they played as a communication center for the community. Historic photos, artifacts and a kid's play area are all part of this exhibit which runs through April 2011. For more information, contact the Museum."

DuPage voters approve local judicial slateee
"DuPage County voters overwhelmingly supported the circuit court judicial candidates, including one judge who had some legal troubles of his own this year.  Judge Kenneth Popejoy, who pleaded guilty to reckless driving in August for leaving the scene of crash earlier in the year, received 172,579 votes favoring his retention and 57,317 votes against him. Popejoy actually had more favorable retention votes than fellow Judge Rodney Equi..."
Cronin to make three major DuPage appointments
"Cronin’s move to the chairman’s post opens up his state senate seat and state Sen. Randy Hultgren’s ascension to Congress opens up his post as well... The state representative districts of Mike Fortner and Darlene Senger make up Hultgren’s senate district. Fortner said he was interested in the promotion. Senger did not return calls."
Join Ribbon Cutting at Kline Creek Farm's New Honey House
"The farm houses over 100,000 honeybees at its apiary. The new building will provide on-site processing for the honey produced at the farm as well as a location for educational programming.  At the event, visitors will tour the new building and learn how volunteer beekeepers care for the farm’s hives."
Brady expected to concede gov race today
"Brady has been calling leading Illinois Republicans to inform them of his decision as he trails Quinn by more than 19,000 votes. The candidate has scheduled a 1:30 p.m. news conference at a Bloomington hotel."
Job fairs for veterans set across Illinois
"Illinois officials will host job fairs across the state to help military veterans find work and tell employers about tax credits available for hiring new workers.The Illinois Department of Employment Security is host. The job fairs will emphasize services and opportunities particularly important to veterans."
Lawmakers go home without passing pension borrowing bill
"Borrowing the money for eight years will cost $1 billion in interest, they said, while the pension systems will lose $25.6 billion if the payments are not made. With the state’s ongoing financial problems, borrowing is the best option, they said."
Quinn wins election, AP says; Brady not ready to quit
"Even as election results made it clear Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn had avoided the fate of Democratic governors nationwide by winning his extremely close election bid, Republican Bill Brady's campaign insisted he still was looking for votes. Brady, however, scheduled a Friday afternoon news conference to say more."
Jobs Rise by 151,000, Unemployment Stays at 9.6 Percent - AFL-CIO
"The increase is a significant jump from September, when 95,000 jobs were lost, and represents the minimum number of jobs needed to be created each month to keep up with the growth in the labor force. But to lower the nation’s unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2013, the economy needs to add 350,000 jobs a month."
CIA punished 16 officers in Peru plane shootdown - Associated Press
"In a footnote to a tragic mistake, the CIA revealed Monday that 16 retired and current officers were given administrative punishments for their role in Peru's 2001 shootdown of a plane carrying two innocent Americans.  American missionary Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter were killed when their plane was shot down after it was wrongly identified by the Peruvian Air Force as carrying drugs."
Special Election: Ambulance Takes Voter To Polls - CBS News
"Gorby voted from a stretcher with his legs protruding from under the voting booth's curtain.  Gorby tells the Delaware County Daily Times he felt it was his responsibility to make it to the polls if he was able.  He tells the paper that "voting is the least you can do" as a citizen."

04 Nov
 
Thank you - Maria Owens
"Thank you to all of my supporters. You were tireless and generous and Bob and I could not have survived without each and every one of you. I also want to thank all of the voters of the 95th, whether you voted for me or not. You exercised your right and responsibility as a citizen and you are to be commended for that. Thanks also to Mike Fortner who was a very gracious opponent. Although I didn't have the most votes, I was a winner in so many ways because of new friendships formed and old friendships rekindled. This experience was a very positive one for Bob and me because of all of you. West Chicago is the best!"
DuPage’s Birkett appointed to appellate court
"Birkett will take over for retiring Appellate Court Judge Jack O’Malley on Dec. 13. Birkett had said he wasn’t going to seek re-election to his current post in 2012 and was openly lobbying for a judicial post in recent months. Birkett has been the county’s state’s attorney since 1996."
St. Charles East denies West Chicago
"All season West Chicago coach Kris Hasty has been imploring her team to start fast, not to make things so hard on themselves.  The Wildcats enjoyed their best year in decades despite those slow starts but paid the price for them Tuesday.  St. Charles East built big leads in both games before holding off those Wildcat comebacks for a 30-28, 25-18 victory in the Class 4A Bartlett sectional semifinals."
West Chicago school proposal passes
"The proposition asked voters to approve $39 million in bonds to pay for a 140,000-square-foot addition, renovations and other upgrades to the school. It comes at a time when a previous District 33 bond is reaching its 20-year pay-off... “We are absolutely ecstatic and elated,” said Superintendent Ed Leman Tuesday night. “We are thrilled. We are overwhelmed, and we are ready to go.”"
Illinois businesses receive federal biotech grants
"The money will fund 70 projects in Illinois to foster groundbreaking research into new medical treatments... Nearly 3,000 companies nationwide are receiving $1 billion.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the funds will allow companies to pursue research projects that might otherwise have been put on hold."
Nine communities express interest in FutureGen CO2 disposal site
"The FutureGen Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of private interests that is partnering with the federal government to build the plant, declined to name communities that have expressed interest. The alliance will release the names after formal applications are submitted, said Lawrence Pacheco, FutureGen spokesman."
State Senate in town Thursday to debate pension funding bill
"Whether they will vote to borrow up to $4 billion to make this year’s pension payments for retired state workers is debatable.  Senate Democrats say they still need Republican support to achieve the three-fifths supermajority needed to pass the borrowing plan. Senate Republicans say they see no reason to vote for it."
Union Leaders Say New Congress Must Follow Through on Jobs, Economy Promises - UFL-CIO
"In a Huffington Post column, McEntee writes that with a majority in the House, Republicans must demonstrate that their priority is working families, rather than corporate interests and the very rich. Voters have not embraced the radical plans of Republican leaders in the Congress to cut taxes for millionaires, privatize Social Security and slash Medicare funding."
Supreme Court Revisits Issue of Government Aid for Religious Schoolss - NY Times
"The program at issue on Wednesday gives Arizona taxpayers a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit of up to $500 for donations to private “student tuition organizations.” The contributors may not designate their dependents as beneficiaries. The organizations are permitted to limit the scholarships they offer to schools of a given religion, and many do. The program was challenged by Arizona taxpayers who said it effectively used state money to finance religious education and so violated the First Amendment’s prohibition on the official establishment of religion."
Genentech Offers Secret Rebates for Eye Drugg - NY Times
"Under the program, which started on Oct. 1, medical practices can earn up to tens of thousands of dollars in rebates each quarter if they use a lot of Lucentis and if their usage increases from the previous quarter, according to a confidential document outlining the program that was obtained by The New York Times... Using Avastin instead of Lucentis saves Medicare — and costs Genentech — hundreds of millions of dollars a year."

03 Nov
 
Around and About in West Chicago - 03 Nov 2010
  • FBLA/Chamber Partnership Breakfast
  • Sixth Annual Prayer Breakfast
  • Holiday Bazaar and Luncheon
  • Community Services Fair
  • West Chicago Lions Club Annual Fall Pancake Breakfast
  • Police Records Transactions and Payments

Reminder: Upcoming Library Events:

Voters say "YES"
"The Board of Education of West Chicago Elementary School District 33 extends its sincere thanks to the many volunteers, supporters and "yes" voters who contributed to the successful referendum on November 2."
Gary School Dual-Language Teacher to be Panelist
"On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, Gianna Gatto, dual–language kindergarten teacher at Gary School, will participate as a panelist in a conference held at DePaul University in Chicago. The conference entitled “Illinois as a Trailblazer: Bilingual and Dual-Language Learning Media and Research Convening Overview” will focus on Dual-Language as a model for bilingual education in Illinois.

Free Community Services Fair
"Attend FREE Workshops or Just Stop by and Pick Up FREE Information

  • Preserving Homeownership Foreclosure Prevention Workshop
  • Making Home Affordable
  • Information on Local Programs"
  • Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)Thank you - John Millner
    "Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication in this past election. I couldn't have done it without all of you."
  • Thank you - Roger G. Kotecki
    "Thank you friends who have or will post congratulations. Thank you friends who helped me win this election. But even more importantly, thank you voters who have given me the opportunity to serve you again to (in the words of our authorizing statutue) preserve, protect, restore, and restock your land for the recreation and education of the public."
  • Thank you - Randy Ramey
    "Thank you all for your well wishes!!!! I greatly appreciate your support and will work hard in Springfield to get this State back on it's feet!"
  • Thank you - Maria Owens
    "Maria Owens would like to thank all of her supporters and volunteers. It was wonderful to meet so many people over the course of this campaign."

Election Results:

Election Results:

While GOP gains nationally, Illinois remains split
"Even in the face of a massive Republican national wave, the state of Illinois remains split between the major parties. Mark Kirk’s capture of Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat is a feather in the GOP’s cap nationally, but on the state level, both legislative chambers at the Statehouse remain in Democratic hands."
Illinois voters approve recall amendment
"With one ex-governor in prison and another convicted of a felony, Illinois voters have decided they want the power to rein in future governors."
Sky Chefs Workers Rally for Better Contract - AFL-CIO
"Four years ago, employees at LSG Sky Chefs, the world’s largest airline catering company, took wage cuts and agreed to pay more for health care coverage to help the company survive. Now the company is profitable again, but management is refusing to restore the workers’ previous wages and benefits. Instead, the company is trying to wring more out of workers demanding, among other things, that they accept a health care plan with greatly increased premiums."
'Jesus had HIV' sermon sparks South African fury - BBC
""Wherever you open the scriptures Jesus puts himself in the shoes of people who experience brokenness. Isaiah 53, for example, clearly paints a picture of Jesus who takes upon himself the infirmities and the brokenness of humanity," he told the BBC.  He is also quick to emphasise that he is using the metaphor to highlight the danger of the HIV/Aids pandemic, which still carries a stigma in South Africa's townships."
The Myth of the Self-Made American: Why Progressives Get No Respect - Campaign for America's Future
"The magnitude of the self-delusion is gobstopping. Did Mr. Self-Made Man grow up in a VA or FHA-funded house? Attend a public school or college? Go to school on the GI Bill, Pell Grants, or student loans? Does he claim a mortgage interest tax deduction every year? Does he support his retired parents out of pocket, or does Social Security do it for him? Does his employer get government contracts or subsidies that make his paycheck possible? Does his business depend on a sound currency, enforceable contracts, or reliable transportation systems?"

02 Nov
  It is Election Day ...
        Please Vote.
  • Dennis Clark "I voted this morning and I'm also a Pollwatcher. Encourage everyone to vote for honest, ethical government, and we will use our combined knowledge to better the DuPage Forest Preserve. Vote for Dennis Clark (President), Shannon Burns (District 6), Eric Bergman (District 4), and Hilary Denk (District 2)."
  • John Millner "My short minute election day video http://bit.ly/8Y31UJ"
  • Mike Fortner "Don't forget to go out and vote today"
Police Records Business Transactions
"The City has recently changed the location where all police records transactions and payments are administered. All payments, including amounts owed for parking citations, code violation citations and fees owed for the release of a towed vehicle should be paid at City Hall at 475 Main Street. Payments previously paid at the City's Police Department can no longer be accepted at that location."
Will DuPage voters buck trends?
"Cronin has campaigned as the outsider, while Cheney has often sided with decisions made by the current board, specifically on a plan to borrow $70 million for capital improvements. Cheney believes the spending is necessary, while Cronin openly opposed it and lobbied against it.  Cheney has made job creation the centerpiece of her campaign. Jobs created by the capital improvement borrowing plan was a key reason behind her support of the plan. The 49-year-old lawyer from Aurora believes one of her assets is the fact that she’s never held office before."
It could come down to dollars and cents in 14th District
"Foster said he supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program to address the subprime mortgage crisis because all of President Obama's advisers believed there was at least a 50 percent chance of the country slipping into another Great Depression without it."
$20K in fines in S. Elgin fish kill case
"In May, the men dumped an industrial detergent into a sewer drain that flowed into a stream near Mavis Avenue in South Elgin, according to an indictment filed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. The detergent flowed from the stream into an area pond and part of the Fox River, and caused a fish kill, authorities said."
Engineering firm hired for St. Charles bridge project
"Officials say a Red Gate Road bridge will significantly alleviate traffic congestion in downtown St. Charles, while some opponents in nearby Wayne say the new bridge will unnecessarily increase traffic in the village of 16,500 residents.  The proposed bridge will consist of two highway lanes running from Illinois Route 25 to Illinois Route 31. A bicycle path will suspend below the roadway.
This Tuesday – Vote Green, Not the Machine!
"How often have you heard this: “I don’t care about the party. I just want to vote for the best candidate.”  Or this: “I’m tired of the Democrats and the Republicans. We just go back and forth and as soon as they get in office, they forget their promises and betray the people. Most of them are a bunch of crooks. I sure wish we had a good third party in this country.”  Illinois, this is your chance to vote for the best candidate and break up the Democratic-Republican stranglehold on our government!"
Vote! - AFL-CIO
"It’s crunch time. The polls are open around the country and today’s the day to cast your vote for candidates who will fight for working families—not candidates funded by the corporations that flooded this election year with record amounts of secret contributions."
Iraq church: Survivors tell of hiding in priests' dressing room amid gunfire, blasts - Los Angeles Times
"Suddenly a large explosion rocked Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad. Bullets whistled by. Some worshipers ran to the church basement. Mikhal darted into the priests' changing room. A barrage of bullets thundered in the main hall.  Many parishioners dived beneath the pews seeking cover. But the dozen or so gunmen, some wearing vests covered with explosives and carrying grenades and other weapons, took aim at the scrambling congregation."
Fast Track to Inequality - NY Times
"“We’re not arguing that globalization and technological change don’t matter,” said Professor Hacker. “But they aren’t by any means a sufficient explanation for this massive change in the distribution of wealth and income in the U.S. Much more important are the ways in which government has shaped the economy over this period through deregulation, through changes in industrial relations policies affecting labor unions, through corporate governance policies that have allowed C.E.O.’s to basically set their own pay, and so on.”"
  • State Celebrates Dedication of Two Affordable Apartment Developments in Chicago

01 Nov
Well, this weekend, I migrated from FrontPage 98 (2002 upgrade) to WebDeveloper 2010.  Hopefully, you see no diference.  If you do, please inform me by emailing your observation to lemon@wegonews.com.  I will take advantage of a two week after the election moratorium to make some changes that you can see. - Bob

This Week in West Chicago

West Chicago High School District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda November 2, 2010

  • AP Music Theory
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Mariachi Ensemble
  • Weighted Grades
  • AP US History
Only 48 Hours To Go! - Marie Owens
"Thanks for all of your help this weekend! Our campaign made another 1,900 calls this weekend and knocked on just under 500 doors.  Responses have been incredibly positive and we are right on target. Voters are sick and tired of business as usual and they want substantive change!"
One Robo Call Too Many
"I don't mind human phone banks, getting a call from a friend of a friend reminding me to vote or asking for support.  When they started having computers make the calls that was gross.  Now, the US Chamber of Commerce (possibaly using Saudi or Chinese money) is making calls where the same text is used for everybody in the country with the name of my rep inserted by the computer.  They don't care about me and I couldn't care less what they have to say.  I hope Hultgren loses, because THEY like him and I detest THEM and what they are doing. - Bob
CableCom, West Chicago's Channel 17
"CableCom West Chicago Channel 17 cable communications foundation providing non-profit all volunteer community and government access programming to residents of west chicago"
  David Hoffman and Maria Owens Hold Reform Rally in Batavia
"“Typically, campaign contributors expect government contracts and access in exchange for those contributions. Maria Owens is not taking money from political insiders or people who want government contracts, scholarships or political favors. Maria has imposed some pretty serious limits on who she is taking money from. She won’t be beholden to powerful special interest groups in Springfield, she will work for you.”
Parent and Teacher Conferences
"We strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to meet with your child's teacher and continue to be an active participant in your student's education."
  School Board Members’ Day
"November 15, 2010 is Illinois School Board Members’ Day. The staff and
students of West Chicago Elementary School District 33 wish to
express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the outstanding
members of the Board of Education for their dedication and
contribution to our schools."

West Chicago
High School
HIGH SCHOOL REPORT CARD AVAILABLE ON SCHOOL WEBSITE
"In addition to the State Report Card, this report includes the following information: actual and projected enrollment, average class size, racial and ethnic backgrounds, ACT scores, District goals and a message from the Principal. "
Ongoing Thorium Clean Ups
"After hearing the concerns of the area from their elected representatives,. Governor Quinn gave his approval for the use of the funds allowing the River clean up to proceed without delay. The interest and support of each of these elected officials in protecting the public health and environment of their communities was essential to obtaining this agreement."

Shop New Gift Items at the City Museum!
The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum are featuring two historic West Chicago icons as commemorative ornaments this year: The West Chicago Fire Protection District's "The General" Fire Engine and the St. Michael's United Church of Christ.

14 state races pass $1 million fundraising mark
"Under the legislation sponsored by Oak Park state Sen. Don Harmon, beginning Jan. 1 candidates must report contributions and expenditures four times a year, up from two times a year. Donations of $1,000 or more must be reported to the state board of elections within two business days.  Among the contribution caps, businesses, unions and associations are limited to giving $10,000 to any candidate and $20,000 to any political party, legislative caucus committee or political action committee per election.
The responsibilities of American freedom
"The campaigns, issues and developments leading up to the election also serve as reminders of the responsibilities freedom demands, one of those being tolerance of perspectives that may be different from our own."
More than 32,000 cast early ballots in DuPage
"Saar said the typical indicators hinting at a large turnout – phones ringing off the hook, large volumes of mailers sent out by political parties – have failed to materialize.  “I don’t see anything that telling me we’re going to get more turnout than the 54 percent,” said Saar, noting that 50 to 54 percent turnout is typical for a gubernatorial election.
Music Mom: Songs You Can Sleep To
"To my surprise, my high quality online research revealed that listening to music while sleeping can help relax you and increase your chances of remaining asleep. The only negatives I was able to find were concerns about sleeping with headphones in and wasting electricity."
[I used Google to listen to these but fell asleep before finishing. - Bob]
Mixed reviews for Amtrak's Illinois to Iowa expansion
"The Illinois and Iowa departments of transportation have been awarded a $230 million federal grant, with service beginning in 2015.  The Des Moines Register reports today that critics says it's a waste of taxpayers' money and an investment in second-rate transportation.
Geothermal heating, cooling system in works at Lincoln Tomb
"The installation, which will cost $376,000, is about $75,000 more than installing a traditional heating and cooling system. But the tomb is receiving a $25,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to partially offset the higher cost.  The current heating and cooling equipment, which uses a water-source heat pump system, was last upgraded about 20 years ago.  “The existing equipment was at the end of its useful life -- there was going to be a replacement project anyway,” Leonatti said.
Illinois to benefit from federal health-care aid for some retired workers
"The program’s $5 billion in financial assistance to employers and unions nationwide is designed to help those groups maintain coverage for early retirees 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.  The state was among 34 additional employers and unions that have been added to the list of about 200 Illinois organizations already in the program."
Details lacking in Brady's pledges to change the ISBE
"Brady’s campaign has not yet offered a specific plan for the $11.3 billion system. It also may be difficult to decide exactly where to cut, and it is not clear a governor can simply take control of the agency.  Schuh said Brady bases his proposals on his legislative experience and conversations with educators during his campaign. But Schuh would not cite specific examples of waste at ISBE or outline what a streamlined agency would look like."
Brady pledges to fire Blagojevich hires if elected governor
"Gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady says he plans to get rid of at least 300 people appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich if he is elected on Tuesday."
Libertarian candidate hopes for write-in votes in 14th District race
"Marks, 49, is running as a write-in candidate for the Libertarian Party. He says he would have been on the ballot, if not for a Republican challenge to his petitions. A lawyer friend of his advised him that it would cost thousands to defend against such a challenge, so he backed down.  But since then, he’s been campaigning, knocking on doors and meeting as many people as he can "
Take the Pledge to Vote! - AFL-CIO
"The election comes down to the untold tens of millions of dollars in secret corporate campaign contributions versus our boots on the ground and our butts at the ballot box.  We all have good intentions to vote, but we all know what good intentions pave. "
Gallup: Very religious Americans have higher levels of well-being
"Americans for whom religion is an important part of everyday life and who attend religious services roughly once a week or more score an average 68.7 on a well-being index developed by Gallup and Healthways, a health consulting company. Americans who are moderately religious or who are nonreligious, meanwhile, average 64.2 on the Gallup-Healthways well-being index."
The Party of Nonvoters - PewResearch Center
"Based on an analysis of a September national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, nonvoters are younger, less educated and more financially stressed than likely voters"
Should You Shut Down Your Computer or Put It to Sleep? - Mother Jones
"Nevertheless, Energy Star still recommends unplugging computers—and most other electronics—at night. "If it were just computers, leaving them in sleep mode wouldn't be a problem," says Kaplan. "But people have so many devices these days that it really starts to add up." When you do shut down devices, cautions Kaplan, be sure to unplug them completely, lest they become energy vampires."

 

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