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Source Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
31 Jan
Monday
 
none CHUCK (CHARLES) BAEHR 4-5-59 TO 1-28-11
"You all know by know that MASTER CHUCK BAEHR died early friday morning January 28, 2011.  Chuck is and will be will missed.  Thats a good thing. It would be a problem if he isn't.  Remember him for the great time, energy, and teachings, (of many wonderful things) he shared with us all. All of your stories and comments said it all. I am very proud to be his wife and his best friend. I am overwhelmed with pride to have shared him with all of you, and to have you as his and my friend. I am planning a memorial service in the next few weeks one in Arizona and one in Illinois. We need to share this all together and remember. We can keep the chain of great good growing by passing his influences on for the good of all. Here is a great big BAEHR hug to you all!"
NOTICE OF MEETING CANCELLATION
none"
Due to the forecasted weather for Tuesday evening, the regular semi-monthly meeting of the District 94 Board of Education scheduled for Tuesday, February 1, 2011 has been cancelled.  It has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  Those items published on the February 1st Agenda will appear on the Agenda for February 8th."
District 33 "News Bites"
  • noneEmergency Closing Information
  • 7th Grade Orientation
  • Math Competition
  • Bus Driver Appreciation Day
  • "Get Busy with Books"
Student-of-the Month for December 2010
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Kelly Dunn, of Winfield, for being selected Student of the Month for December."
Event Invite for Rep Mike Fortner
none"Hope you all are able to make it on Thursday! With so much work and effort put into this event it can only be a good time! Hope to see you all next week!
Any questions or RSVP's can be directed to:
  Amy Koltz, Event Coordinator Friends For Fortner, 630-768-0951
Thanks for your support, Mike"
Storm could be one for the record books
"Current forecasts predict about 20 inches of snow for portions of southern Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will Counties and 18 inches for most of northeastern Illinois.  “I wouldn't want to be trying to get anywhere,” said Bill Nelson, Observation Program Leader for the National Weather Service. “We are planning on bringing in a couple of cots in case we get stuck.”"
Law firm donates to DuPage board members, wins contract
"Other observers note that it’s common for companies doing business with the county to contribute to elected officials’ campaigns. Schirott, Luetkehans & Garner and its attorneys have made more than $250,000 in political donations since 2000.  But county board Democrats are characterizing the donations as “pay to play” hypocrisy from Republicans who criticize the same practice going on by Democrats in Chicago and Springfield."
Rules let educators cross state lines to get pensions along with salaries
none"After a 42-year education career, LeRoy Rieck, 68, gets three pensions: $43,106 from Illinois, where he recently retired as superintendent of West Chicago's District 94; $24,147 from Pennsylvania; and about $30,000 from Wisconsin."
Coming storm evokes memories of '67 blizzard
"Over the course of 35 hours on Jan. 26 and 27, 1967, 23 inches of snow fell on Chicago, clogging streets, shuttering businesses and paralyzing the city for days.  Roofs collapsed. Hundreds of stalled vehicles sat helpless in the streets. Dozens died.  “This storm will take the wind of the sails of grandfathers who liked to say how bad the winters were when they were children,” a meteorologist told the Tribune a few days after that storm."
Quinn to sign civil unions bill today
none"The measure, approved last month during the General Assembly's lame-duck session, would let gays and lesbians use civil unions as a way to enjoy several of the same rights as people who are married, ranging from sharing a nursing home room to being involved in dramatic end-of-life decisions."
Illinois lawmakers cancel session as storm nears
"Both the House speaker and the Senate president said today they are canceling legislative business this week. The General Assembly will postpone its session until Feb. 8.  Forecasters say a major storm is headed for the Midwest. It is expected to produce freezing rain, heavy snow and high winds.  That would create dangerous travel conditions for lawmakers trying to reach the state Capitol from across Illinois."
Firm to catalog billboards throughout Illinois
"Illinois Department of Transportation officials say a $4.9-million, three-year contract won by Hanson Professional Services of Springfield will create a digital database of approximately 13,700 billboards. An initial database is to be provided by this summer.  The state will continue to review permit applications and fees for billboards. But department spokesman Josh Kauffman said budget and staff cuts have left the agency without the staff to manually track thousands of billboards statewide."
Lawmakers seeking more money from state retirees for health care
"Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration plan to make another attempt to get state retirees to pay more for their health care during this legislative session."
SJ-R.com subscription plan begins
"Most articles on the website, including columns, editorials, letters to the editor, in-depth sports stories and political coverage, will fall into a premium category. After reading 20 premium articles, readers will be asked to pay a monthly subscription to gain unlimited access for the site."
Caterpillar workers in Illinois, other states may strike - Rockford Register Star
"Union members at Caterpillar Inc. facilities in Illinois and three other states have authorized the United Auto Workers to strike if necessary.  The UAW says the vote is not a reflection of how negotiations are going, and it expects to reach a deal by the time the current contract expires in March."
Egyptian workers form new union - Solidarity Magazine
"… agreed to hold a press conference at 3:30pm this afternoon in Tahrir Square next to Omar Effendi Company store in downtown Cairo to announce the organization of the new Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions and to announce the formation of committees in all factories and enterprises to protect, defend them and to set a date for a general strike."
In China, a Move to Mandate Closer Families - NYTimes.com
"Under a proposal submitted last Monday by the Civil Affairs Ministry to China’s State Council, adult children would be required by law to regularly visit their elderly parents. If they do not, parents can sue them."
Republicans accused of ignoring economy - Grand Forks Herald
"At best, House Republicans seem to be sending mixed or diluted messages about job creation while they promote social issues that appeal to conservative activists. Examples include limiting jury awards in medical malpractice cases and expanding the District of Columbia's school voucher program.  Democrats are pouncing. Each day, they echo the taunt that Republicans used in the November elections: You're not doing enough to create jobs."
29 &30 Jan
Weekend
 
none
Next Week in West Chicago
  31 Mon 7pm Cast Call for West Chicago's Gallery Theater
  01 Tues 7pm Cast Call for West Chicago's Gallery Theater
  7pm District 94 School Board
  03 Thur 7pm City Infrastructure Com
    7pm District 33 School Board
 
District 94 Board of Education Meeting
Agenda - February 1, 2011
none Reminder for Market Day Orders
"Each Division is asked to nominate students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Learning, Living, or Leadership. The recipients of the PAWS awards this month are a testament to the importance of hard work, perseverance, and community."
P.A.W.S. FOR RECOGNITION - January 2011
"The next Market Day pick up will be Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm. You must place your order by: Monday, February 7th at 11:00pm CST. Pick up time is 5:00-5:45 pm in Commons."
Wheaton Academy defeats Immaculate Conception
"After the Warriors opened the first quarter of their game against Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst by jumping out to a 17-2 advantage, the Knights stayed within striking range... But then a 31-point explosion in the third quarter ended that as Wheaton Academy prevailed 85-57. The win pushed the Warriors to 18-1 overall and 5-0 in Suburban Christian Gold play."
Kirk pushes banning federal funds to move Gitmo detainees to U.S.
none"After hearing reports that White House officials were considering overturning the ban through use of a special executive order, Kirk and Schock filed the new legislation this week.  Both believe the administration’s long-term goals are to use Thomson Correctional Center in northwestern Illinois as a potential site to house the terrorist detainees."
Business plan seeks to process Asian carp
"After all, says the group behind that approach, why eat “wild carp,” imported as catfish from Vietnam, when stores sell Illinois-bred boneless silverfin fillets at $6 per pound and restaurants offer silverfin cakes and New Orleans-style silverfin armendine?  To quote the plan’s promotion slogan: “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.”  What’s left over from the Asian carp — rather, silverfin — processed into food at plants along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers could find its way to another plant in Havana that would convert the byproduct to fish oil and pet food."
Hultgren's solution to redistricting: work hard, be available, accessible
none"State officials are charged with drawing the maps, so Democrats are likely to fashion districts unfavorable to incumbent Republicans. It is possible two GOP colleagues will be forced to run against one another."
How your lawmakers voted
nonenone"The Senate on Jan. 27 voted 92-4 to curb the practice of individual senators placing indefinite secret holds on pending bills or nominations. Under the change in Senate rules (S Res 28), holds can remain anonymous for two days."
Durbin: Yes ... Kirk: Yes
State tax hike to make impact on paychecks
"The increase in the individual rate from 3 to 5 percent took effect the day Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill on Jan. 13. Technically, the increase is retroactive to Jan. 1, but Hofer said employers are not required to withhold lump sums to cover taxes for the first two weeks of the year... Whether or not take-home wages go down, depends on income and deductions, Hofer said. The higher state rates also took effect at about the same time federal Social Security rates were cut."
Flash! Social Security’s Not Doomed - AFL-CIO
"Here’s some news that gets buried in the normal the-sky-is-falling Social Securityy coverage. Although the weak economy is having a short-term impact on Social Security’s finances, Social Security is still projected to run an $868 billion surplus over the next decade, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 28 Jan 2011

  • INFINITESIMALS: EXCUSE ME DOCTOR, DNA IS CALLING ON LINE ONE.
  • BENVENISTE: THE ONLY SCIENTIST TO WIN TWO IG NOBEL PRIZES
  • WI-FI: MORE ON THE AWESOME POWER OF NOTHING.
Nepal's Christians threaten corpse protest - AFP
"Nepal's Christian community on Friday threatened to parade its dead outside the parliament building in a row over burial grounds in the capital, Kathmandu.  Christians in Kathmandu used to bury their dead in a forest next to the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, where hundreds of Nepalese are cremated every week on the banks of the holy Baghmati river.  But temple authorities ruled last month that Christian burials should no longer be permitted in the forest, saying it was sacred Hindu land."
VFW Slams Bachmann's Proposed Benefit Cuts
""No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress," said Richard L. Eubank, the national commander of the 2.1 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries... "The day this nation can't afford to take care of her veterans is the day this nation should quit creating them," said Eubank."
28 Jan - Friday  
none

Annual Chili Contest - Benefiting Camp I Am Me (formerly Burn Camp) - FB Jenny Saylor

  • Time: Saturday, February 19 · 5:00am - 7:00am
  • Location:  American Legion, 123 Main St., West Chicago
Hello everyone! - FB, Rep Mike Fortner
none"We are a week away from my Fundraising Event and I am hoping to see all of you in attendance! Please contact Amy Koltz, my Event Coordinator, with any questions you may have for the event!  As always thank you all so much for your continued support!"

Images: West Chicago vs. Glenbard North girls basketball

  • none"West Chicago Center, Mary Connolly is fouled while trying as she moves to the basket by Glenbard North’s Carson Jones.
  • West Chicago’s Jordan Nickelson tries to block Glenbard North’s Jackie Jacobs."
DuPage panel reviews ‘small neighborhood mosque’
"“Unlike other mosques and synagogues and churches that you folks have heard in the past, this is a different scale and different scope,” Siddiqui told the board. “It’s a small neighborhood mosque.”  The group bought the roughly 1-acre property at 1620 S. Highland Ave. in 2008 with the goal of building the mosque. If constructed, the one-story structure would have a 1,360-square-foot prayer area, an office, classroom, men’s and women’s lounges and a 57-space parking lot."
DuPage's no-bid emergency radio contract with Motorola is in shambles
"DuPage’s Emergency Telephone System Board awarded a no-bid, $7 million contract — funded through fees on landline and cell phone users’ bills — to industry giant Motorola. In return, the Schaumburg-based company would build the county a nine-tower, five-channel radio network in 10 months."
West Chicago Nurse Achieves Advanced Certification
"Certified informatics nurses routinely support staff in using automated applications in their daily assignments and play an important interdisciplinary role that combines their passion for nursing with their love of technology, bringing a nursing perspective into the evaluation of innovative systems to achieve positive patient outcomes."
West Chicago Lions Club Celebrates 50 Years of Service
"We are hosting a "Birthday Party/Coctail Reception" Friday January 28, at Prairie Landing Golf Club, 2325 Longest Drive, West Chicago. Festivities begin at 6:30 and will continue through 11:00 pm a donation to the club is required to attend, amount of your chosing."
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting Classes Offered at WAYS
"Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services (WAYS) is offering the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) class on Monday mornings from 9-10 and another class on Tuesday evenings from 8-9. These classes provide information and support to help parents through the many complications and challenges that parenting brings."
Illinois collects $5M in unpaid tolls from Hoosiers
"The tollway caused a commotion in Indiana in August when it sent out about 85,000 past-due bills to Hoosiers who the tollway said had failed to pay tolls and fines dating to May 2008. Originally, officials estimated 116,000 motorists had racked up violations.  Some Indiana residents received notices saying they owed as much as $25,000 in unpaid tolls and penalties, according to the tollway.  Notices weren't sent out sooner, officials said, because its violation-notice system had been shut down to fix a glitch but was never turned back on until two years later."
Illinois court throws out liquor taxes, video gambling
"An Illinois appeals court Wednesday ruled that the state’s funding plan for its 2009 capital construction program is unconstitutional. If upheld by the state Supreme Court, the decision would wipe out video gaming, higher liquor and vehicle fees and increased sales taxes on some products."
USW Files Complaint Over Union Official’s Arrest in Mexico - AFL-CIO
none"On Jan. 24, a customs officer stopped Armenta’s car, which is leased by the union, accusing him of driving a stolen vehicle. He presented documentation, but to no avail.  Armenta was arrested, detained overnight, and released early  Jan. 25 after posting a bond of 80,000 pesos (about $7,750)."
Churches The Next Battleground In Post-Tucson Gun Rights Debate - Huffington Post
"The organization Georgia Gun Owners, meanwhile, has directly referenced the Giffords shooting to try and push H.B. 54 through the state legislature. Patrick Parsons, the group's executive director, proclaimed that Georgians were "literally one Jared Loughner away from a major massacre ... in one of our places of worship." More obliquely, Pastor James Brown, Jr., of Barnesville, Ga. recently recorded a video for the group in which he proclaimed that worshipers would be "sitting ducks" should "violent gun-wielding thugs" burst into their church."
Planned Parenthood seeks FBI probe - AP
"Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man's assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists."
Bachmann's Budget Takes On ... Veterans' Benefits? - TPM
"Tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has unveiled a plan for cutting $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cutting veterans' disability benefits.  Her proposed VA budget cuts would account for $4.5 billion of the savings included in the plan, posted on her official House of Representatives website."
26 Jan - Wednesday  
none Around and About in West Chicago - 26 Jan 2011
  • Representative Mike Fortner (R-95) Speaks to Rotary
  • Registration for the American Youth Soccer Organization
  • New Pastor, Reverend Timothy J. Mitchell
  • Books for Lunch program is “Abigail Adams”
  • “Wildlife and Pet Portraits”
none Exhibit Preview for my fb-friends - Bodo Gsedl
"All the portraits in this exhibit where created from photos I took in the last two years on different occas401Ks ions. No portrait was created by commission and the models do not know that i painted or drew them."
Call for Sponors - FB, Mike Fortner
none"We are still looking for a few sponsors to help tie up some loose ends! Interested? Please contact my event coordinator Amy Koltz at amykoltz@sbcglobal.net for more information! Looking forward to seeing you all at FoxFire Restaurant on February 3rd!"
[Apparently Mike has Amy running his office... the improved communications is a definite improvement. - Bob]
none School Calendar -- 2011-2012
PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for December, 2010
"Colette Salinas, of West Chicago, a Sophomore at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the December PeaceBuilder-of-the-month."
Ordinary People
"We-Go Drama at Community High School proudly presents Ordinary People, a glimpse at a dysfunctional family in the wake of tragedy. This play introduces you to Conrad Jarrett, a teenager struggling with his inner demons in the aftermath of his suicide attempt, trying to recreate an ordinary life. This play contains mature subject matter."
Wildlife and Pet Portraits at Gallery 200
""Wildlife and Pet Portraits" Opening Reception
Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, West Chicago
Friday, February 4, 2011
6:00 - 9:00 p.m."
Blooming Fest Organizers Seek Fine-Crafters, Artists, Vendors
"Organizers of West Chicago Blooming Fest are gearing up for another blockbuster downtown event which will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m."
Free Training Opportunity for Area Realtors
"The program will include information on first-time homebuyer programs, including the Smart Move Signature Mortgage which allows up to $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance, as well as information on navigating the title issues related to short sales and foreclosures."
DuPage hires remap consultant, spikes confidentiality clause
none"On Tuesday, the county board’s finance committee responded by removing the confidentiality clause before the contract was approved by the full board.  “That’s progress,” Cronin said of the vote. “The whole process should be out in the open. If you are going to spend taxpayers’ dollars on the services of a professional, that information should be open and accessible to the public.”"
Roskam’s office open after mail scare
none"Congressman Peter Roskam’s Bloomingdale office was back open for business Tuesday, following a scare Monday when an envelope arrived containing a gritty substance."
DuPage judge: Quinn ‘grossly irresponsible' for stalling on death penalty
none"Kinsella said jury selection will be more complicated and the trial will take twice as long if it remains a death penalty case. Still, he said, it has been prepared for years as a death penalty case and will proceed that way."
Board OKs connected remap consultant after lifting talk ban
none"Luetkehans was the only consultant whose proposal was considered by the committee. O’Shea asked the members to suggest redistricting specialists to be hired for the work, but no others were named. Although the county can solicit competitive bids for consultants and other professional services, it is not legally required to do so."
West Chicago Actor To Appear In Comedy
"Gary Patterson of West Chicago is donning a dapper 30s uniform to appear in “Twentieth Century” at Wheaton Drama, Inc."
DuPage legal advice on redistricting not confidential
"Until recently, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin had been frustrated that the proposed contract with the firm Schirott, Luetkehans and Garner initially had contained a confidentiality clause, which would have limited information that the firm produced only to the board's seven-member redistricting committee.  However, after some very public protests from Cronin, the redistricting committee and the law firm both agreed recently to drop the confidentiality clause."
Quinn signs 'landmark' Medicaid reforms into law
none"Medicaid, the state's health care system for the poor, is the most expensive program in state government. The program comprises about 1/3 of the state's annual operating budget, costing roughly $15 billion a year to provide care for an estimated 2.8 million people.  The most sweeping changes limit eligibility and put more focus on preventative care, and it is estimated the state will save about $624 million to $774 million over five years. However, it is  unknown how many people may no longer qualify for care, as some patients may not meet new restrictions but demand for subsidized care remains high due to the poor economy."
State behind on paying tax-return donations to charities
"Because of Illinois' budget crisis, the state is several billion dollars behind on reimbursements to schools, universities and other vendors with state contracts, as well as the charities designated on Schedule G of the state's individual income tax returns.  Legislators approved an income tax increase that took effect Jan. 1, but that money won't be available for several months."
Quinn signs Medicaid reform into Illinois law
none"The law emphasizes HMO-style "managed care" and reduces the use of costly institutions for people with physical and mental disabilities. It would require the state to pay Medicaid bills sooner, reducing late-payment penalties. It also would take steps to ensure ineligible people don't sign up for medical care."
Kirk on State of the Union: Chief threat is runaway spending
nonenone"“The American people elected a new Congress with a mandate to cut spending, reduce debt and keep taxes low,” Kirk, a Republican, said in a statement following Tuesday night’s speech... U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said during a telephone news conference he believes the speech spelled out improvements that need to be made through bi-partisan action in the coming years.  “We can’t pass anything without bi-partisan cooperation,” Durbin said."
Simon urges Quinn to sign death-penalty repeal
none"“Today, our state is at a crossroads in terms of the use of capital punishment as a deterrent to and punishment for serious crimes,” Simon wrote. “Even in the best of circumstances, our system allows for error. …“As a matter of public respect for our justice system, we cannot tolerate errors in execution. As a former prosecutor and your Lt. Governor, I urge you to end the death penalty in Illinois.”"
OSHA Backtracks on Proposed Workplace Injury Rule - AFL-CIO
"It seems simple enough. Employers already keep a record for workplace injuries and illnesses—why not add a column to the report for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)—ergonomic injuries? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would provide the form and employers would simply put a check mark in the right place to identify which injuries are MSDs. But now OSHA is backtracking on this rule-keeping measure, withdrawing the rule from final review to get further input from small businesses."
[Is the problem that the bosses might get carpel tunnel from repetitive checking off the boxes? - Bob]
Judge upholds ban on guns in places of worship - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal late Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the gun rights organization GeorgiaCarry.org and the minister at the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston. Royal wrote that Georgia law did not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion or the Second Amendment guarantee of a right to bear arms."
Filibuster Reform Effort Falls Short In Senate - TPM
"Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and several allies had hoped to invoke the "Constitutional Option" -- a process that would have allowed them to change the rules (to whatever degree) at the beginning of this session of Congress. Udall in particular wanted to re-establish the precedent for its own sake -- to put the Senate on notice that there are consequences to abusing the rules."
Proliferation of Wireless Devices Requires Robust Broadband Connections - Speed Matters
"Former Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology at the Federal Communications Commission, Dale Hatfield, argues that no matter what technology is used, we need to expand high-capacity fiber closer to the end user and drastically increase the total number of access nodes. Simply put, the closer that a data user is to a high-speed fiber connection, and the sooner that data can get in the fiber, the better that user's service will be and the more efficiently the network ecosystem operates"
   
24 Jan - Monday  
none

West Chicago Elementary School District 33 News Bites

  • Winter Dance
  • Math Contest
  • "Dare to Dream: Get Educated"
  • Spelling Bee Finalists!
  • Foundation's Candlelight Bowl

District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda January 25, 2011

  • noneTextbook Display for the 2011-2012 School Year
  • Approval of Financials

Wine Tasting - Mike Fortner
none"Having just been sworn in, it seems like the perfect time to celebrate! Please come show your support for newly re-elected Mike Fortner as he begins his new term as 95th District Illinois Representative."

Cast Call for West Chicago's Gallery Theater
"West Chicago's Gallery Theater will hold auditions on January 31, 2011 and February 1, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. for their next production, "Votes for Women and Nothing Less". Actual performance dates for the show are March 11, 2011 and March 12, 2011 in West Chicago."
Roadway Safety Campaign Continues
"The West Chicago Police Department announced that Campaign #2 of the Illinois Department of Transportation funded grant was successful in educating the motoring public on child restraint, seatbelt, speeding, and alcohol related violations."
Explore the Role of Train Stations
Ice cycle begins at Kline Creek Farm
"“We use stuff that is typical of the era. We try to be authentic,” said farm volunteer Ruth Pingolt of Lombard.  Anne Gulbransen of West Chicago jumped at the chance to saw an ice block.  “Come on, let’s cut the ice,” she yelled to her cousin as she jogged out onto the ice."
ComEd's request to raise electric bills moves on
"At a time when suburban residents are digesting smaller paychecks because of the recent Illinois income tax increase, ComEd's push to raise what it charges to deliver electricity keeps moving on.  ComEd is asking the state utility regulators to allow the company to collect $396 million in delivery charges from customers. In the end, that would mean about $6 more on an $80 electric bill, a company spokeswoman said."
State's jobless rate dips in December
"The rate is down from 11 percent in December 2009. Over the year, the state added 46,300 jobs.  The total number of unemployed individuals was down for the ninth straight month, falling by 20,000 to 620,600, the lowest level since March 2009. The number of unemployed has dropped by 144,200 since March 2010, when the state rate peaked at 11.5 percent."
Ruggiero named new head of Criminal Bureau in DuPage
"“Joe Ruggiero is a career prosecutor who has devoted his entire professional career to the safety of DuPage County,” Berlin said. “In his 20-plus years with the office, Joe has seen and done it all. His work in the courtroom has earned him the reputation as a tough but fair prosecutor while his work outside of the courtroom has earned him the reputation as a compassionate, caring advocate for crime victims and their families.”"
Plan would charge retirees more for health care
"The retirees are responsible for co-payments, even if nine out of 10 of them don't pay premiums. The state's costs rose more than 10 percent to hit $488.2 million in the last budget year, and that doesn't even include dental and vision expenses. Some of the increase is attributed to workers who have left Illinois for warmer climates. The cost for their care can be higher because they can't always get the group rate discounts of a managed-care plan when they move to another state."
Chrysler production in Belvidere doubled
"Workers at Chrysler Group LLC’s Belvidere assembly plant turned out almost twice as many Dodge Calibers, Jeep Compasses and Jeep Patriots than in 2009.  The plant was closed much of the summer of 2009 as Chrysler reorganized in bankruptcy court and was taken over by Italian carmaker Fiat SpA. In 2010, 168,473 vehicles rolled out of the plant. In 2009, workers assembled just 84,609."
Lawmakers question state inaction on construction proposals
"Illinois lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last week to issue another $5.25 billion in bonds to pay for capital projects under the 2009 construction program.   But smaller projects lawmakers were allowed to include in that 2009 bill -- under the theory that legislators know best where money should be directed in their districts -- are still waiting to be funded."
Businesses won't leave Illinois because of tax hike, experts say
"“Businesses like to say that they leave states because of tax issues, but businesses are not actually all that mobile, and I think it’s a lot less common for businesses to leave from tax issues as is commonly believed.”  The types of businesses that are likely to leave because of the tax hike are those that were close to leaving anyway, such as manufacturers that were already considering moving operations overseas or highly mobile Internet or technology companies, McMillen said."
Illinois Democrats scoff at rival states' tax claims
"He also cited Indiana’s “low tax structure” and called it “the best business tax climate among Great Lakes states.”  That’s nonsense, Cullerton said.  “I’m glad that they highlighted the fact that our taxes are still — after the increase — in the case of Indiana, comparable, and in the case of Wisconsin, lower. In the case of Missouri, they’re lower. In the case of Iowa, they’re lower,” Cullerton said in an interview."
Report: Protecting the Public from Privatization Schemes
"The report points out that while many of these schemes provide short-term gain, they also can create bigger problems in the long term. In Chicago, for example, the city sold its parking meters to a private consortium of Wall Street investors for an upfront payment of $1.15 billion. Since then, parking rates in the Windy City have significantly risen, while meter maintenance quality has declined. "
Radio host says May 21 is the end of the world
"A fixture on Christian airwaves here and around the world, Camping, 89, is exhorting all who are listening to "make ready" for Jesus' triumphal return, whose precise date he says God has revealed to him with "fantastic proof" in the Bible.  End-of-timers generally have been fixated on the doomsday date of Dec. 21, 2012 - when the "Long Count" calendar of the ancient Maya ends and, presumably, the world with it."

Weekend
 
none After studying website stats and tendencies of news sources, I have decided to try a different updating schedule.  As an experiment, instead of five weekdays, I will try three days per week and a weekend edition. 

Next Week in West Chicago

Education Foundation - Win - District 94 Education Foundation - Gary Saake
none"The NFC Championship game takes place at 2pm on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, and you will find yourself in sec. 237,  row 4, seats 16 and 17 in the Media Deck! For a map of the stadium, view NFL.com's Soldier Field stadium map. Enter a bid for your chance to win these incredible seats at a game that is sure to make Chicago history! "
MARTHA LONG "ANNE" BERGSTROM  
"For over 20 years, she enjoyed her second career at the West Chicago Public Library, mainly as manager of the technical services department. Upon her retirement, she devoted her time to enriching the lives of her two grandchildren."

DWDC Annual Brunch Looks at Next Move for Women in Politics - Donna M. May

  • "Democratic Women of DuPage County Invite you to attend the Annual Meeting Brunch
  • Special Guest Barbara Burrell, Professor, Political Science - Northern Illinois University
Durbin pledges to help collect web-based sales tax
none"“I cannot believe, cannot understand, how people can buy so many things over the Internet and have them shipped to a residence in Naperville, Illinois, using your streets, your police, your traffic lights, your fire protection, your curbs and gutters without paying a penny in sales tax to the city of Naperville,” Durbin said. “I cannot understand, for the life of me, why a coalition that should be standing up for a reasonable sales tax on sales to people in the state of Illinois hasn't been successful. You are losing so much revenue that should be coming back to the community.”"
Simon pushes for transparency
"David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said he applauds Simon’s disclosure, but not many people would be comfortable opening their entire checkbook for all to see.“What she is putting out here is a remarkable display of disclosure,” Morrison said. “This is beyond gold standard. I wouldn’t say that everyone else has to do exactly what she did to also earn applause.”"
County board hires former Rep. Hassert as lobbyist
none"Hassert will lobby the Legislature for a bill that would allow the county to take land needed for improvements at the intersection of Renwick and Weber roads. He will be paid $2,000 a month for up to nine months... The county doesn’t have quick take powers and has never used them in the past. But the state Legislature can approve individual bills allowing local governmental entities to take land quickly for a project rather than going through a lengthy eminent domain process..."
Illinois gets mixed grades on tobacco control
"Illinois is one of 24 states to get an "A'' from the American Lung Association for its statewide restrictions on smoking in public places.  The group's annual report card on tobacco control, however, gave Illinois some failing grades too. Illinois got an "F'' for tobacco prevention and control spending. Illinois also got a failing grade for insurance coverage of tobacco cessation treatments and a "D'' for cigarette tax rates."
Simon limits campaign contributors, says no to lunches from lobbyists
"“I hope by what I’m doing here today I am establishing that I aspire at least to be on that track of open, honest, ethical government.”  Simon’s ban on contributions extends to all state employees in the executive branch, as well as the heads of state agencies who are appointed by the governor. It applies to herself and the seven employees in her office."
Impact of higher taxes unclear on real estate market
"A University of Illinois economist who provides analysis for the industry said Thursday raising individual and corporate income taxes could help by stabilizing state finances -- or it could hurt if long-term budget problems still go unresolved."
Ryan’s Budget Plan: Millionaire Gain, Middle-Class Pain - AfL-CIO
"If new House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gets everything on his budget-cutting wish list, it would be, says a new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI): "a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to wealthy Americans and corporations and a wholesale dismantling of the social programs that all Americans rely on, including Medicare and Social Security.""
Christians Flock To South Sudan, Fear Future In North - NPR
"Many Christians living in the north are originally from the southern part of Sudan. Thousands have been packing their belongings and returning to their homeland. In Jabarona, a slum on the outskirts of Khartoum where many displaced southerners live, arguments erupted recently over whose belongings were loaded onto the moving trucks first.  Everyone there seemed to fear being left behind."
Conservative Republican Study Committee Outlines $2.5 Trillion In Spending Cuts - TPM
"That accounts for nearly $2.3 trillion of the projected cuts. But the plan also calls for a host of specific cuts to make up the remaining few hundred billion dollars... But it also calls for repealing the Davis-Bacon act, which requires the federal government to pay prevailing wages on public works projects, and ending federal aid to states, which would require state goverments to slash more jobs."

20 Jan
 
none Park District Receives Awards
"Midwest Institute of Park Executives honored several West Chicago Park District employees for outstanding service at its annual meeting January 13, 2011 at the Wellington in Arlington Heights. “It was a great day for the West Chicago Park District,” said Superintendent of Parks Jesse Felix."
Wheaton Academy wins again
"Wheaton Academy had five double-figure scorers in Tuesday’s 72-58 home victory in West Chicago over Suburban Christian Conference crossover foe Walther Lutheran.  Wes Koral led the Warriors with 16 points, and next highest was Lars Olson with 12 points. Luke Johnson, Tate Fritz and Drew Sandberg each scored 10 points for Wheaton Academy (15-1)."
COD candidate booted off ballot by technicality
none"When Impellizzeri submitted his papers, he said Neely stamped them, and he then put them together with a paper clip, thinking his papers were certified properly. But once a candidate hands in nominating petitions, that’s a “moment in time” when the papers must be bound together, Florey said. Impellizzeri’s unbound papers effectively voided the 71 signatures he collected."
Hultgren votes to repeal health care law
none"Casting one of his first votes in Congress, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-14th District, voted Wednesday to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care law passed by the last Congress."
[Since I have a 21 year old daughter, a son with pre-existing conditions, and am a couple years short of Medicare, I take this lock-step sham vote merely as proof of partisanship, not good governance. Has he rejected his own government provided health care?  Why can't we have what HE'S GOT? - Bob]
Fermilab leader promises important work will go on
"Oddone said the laboratory is involved in projects already under way and in the research phase that will position Fermilab in importance for the next two decades.  As Fermilab was a leader in the “energy” frontier, it will shift and be leader in the “intensity” frontier, where instead of creating particles of the highest energy, it will create the largest amount of particles, Oddone said."
West Chicago Park District's Parks Department Honored
none"Midwest Institute of Park Executives honored several West Chicago Park District employees for outstanding service at its annual meeting January 13, 2011 at the Wellington in Arlington Heights. “It was a great day for the West Chicago Park District,” said Superintendent of Parks Jesse Felix."
Fatal Vehicular Accident in West Chicago
"Members of the DuPage County Accident Reconstruction Task Force (DuCART) and the Illinois State Police are assisting with the ongoing investigation into this accident. Members of the West Chicago Emergency Services Department (ESDA) assisted at the scene with road closure and traffic direction duties."
UI will use grant from ADM to help in fight against hunger
"Sonka said the institute will work with small farms in the developing world, Brazil and India at first, to help preserve millions of tons of grains and seeds that are lost each year because of mishandling or spoilage... Sonka said technologies already used in developed nations could increase the usable food for a world of 9 billion."
Irish firm touts wind farm plans in Boone County
"“They’re waiting on the completion of a multitude of studies to determine the spacing of turbines, the size of turbines, the megawatts, and don’t anticipate moving forward in 2011 — more (like) 2012.”  Newhouse said Mainstream officials told the county that they are in talks with 30 to 40 landowners who collectively own the 6,200 acres on which the company would like to erect turbine."
Illinois service providers say state bond sale needed
"Illinois needs to “keep the faith with our creditors ... who in good faith performed services for vulnerable populations in Illinois and school children and seniors and we simply haven’t paid them,” John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, said at a news conference.  The state will save money in the long run by issuing bonds because it owes 12 percent interest when bills are paid late. The bonds could be paid back at a much lower interest rate."
$93 Million Upgrade Will Save GE Plant and 700 Jobs - AFL-CIO
"Workers at a General Electric’s (GE’s) refrigerator plant in Bloomington, Ind., have been fighting to keep the facility viable in the cutthroat global economy. Now, two years after the company said it was going to shutter the plant, workers are celebrating a new day. Instead of closing the plant, GE has announced it will invest $93 million in upgrades and begin to produce energy-efficient refrigerators at the plant."
Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq - NY Times
"The last Christian man in town goes to church each morning to clean the building and to remember the past. Romel Hawal, 48, was born in this town in Anbar Province back when most of the population was Christian. Now, he said, his 11-year-old son knows no other Christians and has no memory of attending a church service. "
Has right-wing carping killed media coverage of major "domestic terrorism" case in Spokane
"An explosion and the potential for multiple murders that a shrapnel bomb could have caused to those celebrating Dr. King's legacy would have been a staggering blow to a nation that is still reeling and feeling the aftershocks of the first assassination attempt against a member of Congress in nearly 33 years...  with this new episode in Spokane, not only have the pillars of the mainstream media not raced to any conclusions, but they seem to be in a competition as to who can most ignore the story altogether"

19 Jan
 
none

Around and About in West Chicago - 19 Jan 2011

  • Gallery Theater
  • High School Dance Concert
  • Faith Community School of Arts Benefit Concert
  • WE-GOtALENT 2011
Fatal Vehicular Accident in West Chicago
"Members of the West Chicago Police Department, along with the West Chicago Fire Protection District, were dispatched to the area of Powis Road approximately 200’ north of Harvester Road on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at approximately 3:41 a.m. for a call of a traffic accident involving a semi-truck and a second vehicle.  Upon arrival, first responders discovered the sole occupant of the second vehicle was deceased.  The driver of the semi-truck was not injured.  The investigation revealed the second vehicle was southbound at the time of the collision, striking the rear of a trailer being pulled by the southbound semi-truck.  Identification of the deceased is being withheld at this time pending notification of the next of kin."
Fatal crash closes Powis Drive in W. Chicago
"West Chicago fire and police officials remain at the scene of a fatal crash at the corner of Powis Drive and W. Hawthorn Lane, officials said.  Officials said a semi-truck and a pickup were involved in the crash at 3:41 a.m. They said the pickup drove under the semi that was stopped at the intersection."
Prayer center near W. Chicago gets another look
"Kevin Gallaher, the center’s attorney, said the letter contains new information that the home’s existing septic system is capable of meeting the center’s needs. Some zoning board members were worried about the possibility of having roughly 30 people regularly using the septic system."
Group tries - again - to scuttle Blackwell maintenance facility
none"On Tuesday, they asked DuPage County Board members to rescind an intergovernmental agreement they believe exempts the DuPage County Forest Preserve District from the county’s zoning laws... “No business would be allowed to construct such a facility at the proposed location,” said Burns, who is part of the community group opposing the project. “We ask that you recognize this fact by rescinding the forest preserve district’s zoning exemption.”"
DuPage chairman frustrated with redistricting efforts
nonenone"Before the consulting contract is approved, Cronin wants a confidentiality clause revised. He said he believes the existing wording could prevent him and county board members who aren’t on the redistricting committee from getting access to information.  “Open it up,” Cronin said. “The confidential information that this consultant has — and the taxpayers are paying for to the tune of $125,000 — ought to be information that’s open and accessible to every member of the county board, including the chairman.”"
Derailed: Glen Ellyn, West Chicago will not see historic train
"Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Mark Davis announced Tuesday that the Little Rock Express – a route that passes through parts of Missouri and Arkansas – took home the most votes during the You Route the Steam Contest.  The Tuscola Turn, which includes the communities of Dekalb, Glen Ellyn, West Chicago, Proviso and several others – lost by a mere 3,000 votes."
West Chicago water well repairs
none"In coming months, workers will install a new casing and liner in a 1,368-foot-deep well on Fremont Street, one of eight that provide the city’s water supply... The casing replacement project was designated urgent because cameras recently confirmed perforations were permitting iron to foul the water. Officials also said the well was required to be back in service faster than the time a bidding process would have taken."
Durbin, Kirk to sit together at State of Union address
nonenone"Durbin is a Democrat and Kirk, a Republican. Normally members of Congress sit on opposite sides of the aisle, in the House of Representatives, for the speech.  But calls for civility and bipartisanship in the wake of the Tucson tragedy have spurred proposals for alternative seating arrangements."
Private managers to take over Illinois Lottery in July, state says
"The state has rejected two protests over the awarding of a private management contract for the Illinois Lottery, opening the way for the new manager to take control of the lottery this summer.  But the issue may not be resolved yet. Intralot USA, one of the losing bidders, said Tuesday it is still evaluating its options."
[I don't get it.  When it was called the numbers racket it was run by organized crime.  Now they call it the state lottery and it will be run by "managers."  The only difference is that now it is legal and pays 40% instead of 60% like the bad guys paid. - Bob]
New law targets wage theft in Illinois
"The law, which took effect Jan. 1, streamlines the process for workers to take their claims to the Illinois Department of Labor and allows employees to take larger claims directly to local circuit courts. The measure also increases civil and criminal penalties in such cases and protects workers who speak out from retaliation."
$400 Million Investment Will Save 3,750 Jobs at Ford Plant
"The UAW applauded Ford Motor Co.’s announcement yesterday that it will invest $400 million in its Kansas City (Mo.) assembly plant over the next two years, which will save at least 3,750 jobs at the plant plus thousands of other supporting jobs.  Ford plans to produce a new line of next-generation vehicles at the plant. "
Christian health co-ops cater to 'Obamacare' opponents - Stateline
"The health care law does in fact contain language exempting faith-based groups from the requirement that all Americans be enrolled in a conventional health insurance plan by 2014 or face penalties. The number of Americans who rely on these organizations, called “health care sharing ministries,” is currently small — only 100,000 households are members nationwide — but Christian Care Ministry hopes to find an eager market in the 11 million Americans that it estimates profess Christian faith and are not covered by an employer’s insurance plan."
'Domestic Terror': Bomb Found in Backpack Ahead of Spokane MLK Parade - Time NewsFeed
"The suspicious backpack, which contained an improvised explosive device (IED) and two t-shirts, was found less than an hour before the festivities began.  The march was re-routed and the bomb diffused.  Given the timing and the placement of the bomb, the F.B.I. believes the motive was political."
How Hackers Can Use Smart Keys To Steal Cars - Jalopnik
"Using ten different borrowed models from eight manufacturers (without the automakers' input), the Swiss team was able to unlock and start all of their test vehicles, showing that hacking the smart fobs is "feasible and practical." Their system simply used two antennas; one carried by the hacker trying to get in and start the vehicle, the other in the vicinity of the fob, to amplify the signals between the transmitters and break in."

18 Jan
 
none Mayor's Comments - Mike Kwasman
"We as Americans have come so far and yes we have far to go.  We are a young county and I’m sure there will be many more like Martin Luther King if we give them a chance.     Dr King thank you for the foundation and we will see others finish the building that you started."
ACT prep courses options
none"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!!! Classes start on January 25th - so this is your last chance!!! Enroll now!!!! "
JANIS LYNN PROBECK
"Born Jan. 24, 1947, in Oak Park, she passed away Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in West Chicago. She was the beloved wife of John; loving mother of Anthony (Andrea), Cindy, John Jr. (Tara) and James (Gina)..."
Feb 25th: Bowling for Diabetes 2011 - Becky Hall
  • Friday, February 25th 9 p.m. to Closing
  • Bowling Green
  • $20 per person includes bowling, appetizers and raffles
Planning ahead? You can reserve a lane with at least six bowlers (the more the merrier) at 630 231 3181.
Outdoors fans flock to show
"“Americans starting coming up to Canada to fish, and (for) shore lunch — which is fried beans, fried potato, fried fish and a can of spaghetti,” he said, “ ‘Shore lunch’ fish are under 19 inches for walleye and under 27 inches for northern.”  Calling Winnipeg his home, McCreight said the ultimate size of a fish is determined by genetics, so catch-and-release fishing is important for management of the species."
Hastert: Balanced response needed for shooting
none"Another time, a group of protesters disrupted a town hall meeting he was holding. After that, although there was never a serious safety concern, his staff started to modify their meetings to focus on more individuals and small groups.  Those kinds of small changes are the best response to a tragedy like Arizona, Hastert said. It’s not financially realistic to assign security to hundreds of congressmen 24 hours a day, he said."
Elgin unleashes new weapon on gangs: lawsuits
"The lawsuits stem from the 1993 Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, which allowed prosecutors to pursue civil cases, including monetary damages, against gang members. In 1999, then- DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett was the first in Illinois to file suit against individual members of street gangs. DuPage filed the complaints against 22 reputed members of the Satan Disciples street gang in West Chicago."
West Chicago Homebuyer Fair
"The fair will offer workshops on topics such as current homebuyer programs available (FHA 203k, IHDA’s down payment assistance programs, etc.); the importance of credit in obtaining a mortgage; and how to become a successful homeowner in today’s market."
Cops, prosecutors: Suing gang members works
"In 1999, then- DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett was the first in Illinois to file suit against individual members of street gangs. DuPage filed the complaints against 22 reputed members of the Satan Disciples street gang in West Chicago."
Consumer group raps AT&T's land line rate hikes
"The company says the hikes are necessary to spread costs among fewer land line customers. AT&T spokeswoman Brooke Vane says more than a quarter of households are wireless only.  The increases range from 27 percent in some suburbs to 63 percent in Chicago's Loop. Optional services such as call waiting and a service to cover repairs on inside wires also went up."
Illinois farmers encouraged to learn about social media
"Farmers and other agriculture professionals in Illinois are being urged to learn how to use social media like Facebook and Twitter.  To help, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board is planning a series of free online seminar for farmers, starting Thursday morning."
Flood to keep Senate GOP out of their office for two weeks
"Schuh said Republican staffers opened the paper trays on some printers and found them filled with water. Besides printers, the flood damaged or destroyed computer equipment, documents and personal items. A dollar assessment is still being totaled ...The cause of the break is under investigation. Asbestos-abatement work was going on in the area the night the pipe broke."
Republican Health Care Repeal Threatens Coverage for 129 Million - AFL-CIO
"If  the new health care reform law is repealed—and today, Republican lawmakers are taking their first step toward repeal—more than 129 million Americans would be put at risk of  losing their health insurance.  A new study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that as many as  half of Americans younger than 65 have pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, cancer or other chronic health conditions. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers routinely denied or restricted health coverage for people with conditions like these."
Post-Abortion Counseling Group Finds Itself on the Firing Line - NY Times
none"Calls to Exhale’s hot line surged after the program. But some opponents of abortion, including Bill O’Reilly, the conservative commentator, sharply criticized the program as “glorifying” abortion. Jill Stanek, a popular anti-abortion blogger, inaccurately accused Exhale and other “pro-abortion ideologues” of underwriting the program.  Advocates of abortion rights, on the other hand, mostly viewed the program more neutrally and even suggested that it might help curb abortion by showing the difficult decisions involved."
Student tracking finds limited learning in college - Assoc Press
"A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.  Not much is asked of students, either. Half did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week."
Mobile Apps Come With Huge Privacy Loopholes, Little Transparency - TPM
"A recently released 88-page report from the department calls for the creation of a national Privacy Police Office and demands that companies, either through legislation or self-regulation, ask for customers' permission to collect data from them for marketing purposes. The largest current set of laws relating to online privacy, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, was originally written in 1986 and has large gaps in coverage of web-era and post-web technologies."

17 Jan
 
none
CableCom Programming Schedule
"Give us a look in West Chicago on Channel 17 on the Comcast System or on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse (look for West Chicago Public Access TV Channel 17)
none"Excited for my first fundraiser since my re-election! Thursday February 3rd at The Mill Race Inn in Geneva begining at 5pm. If you would like to attend feel free to email my event coordinator Amy Koltz amykoltz@sbcglobal.net for more information and to join my mailing list! Thanks for your support!"
  • Norman R. Terrel, 87 - Baxter Bulletin
    "Norman is survived by his wife, Geri of Mountain Home; 2 sons, Alan (Elizabeth) Terrel of West Chicago, IL and Brian Terrel of Coal City, IL; 2 sisters, Viola B. David of Colorado Springs, CO and Eleanor Terrell of Huntley, IL and 5 grandchildren..."
  • Lori Snell - Livingston Daily
    "Lori Snell, age 50, of Brighton, MI passed away Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at her home. She was born April 17, 1960 in Chicago, IL a daughter of Walter and Marion Johansen. On January 5, 1980 she was married to Kenneth Snell in Villa Park, IL moving to Brighton, MI from West Chicago, IL in 1999."
none Ramey Critical of Democratic Tax Increases
"“There is no doubt that drastic changes need to be made to the State’s finances,” said Ramey. “Breaking the backs of workers and employers is not the answer. Let’s not forget how we got here in the first place."
none District 33’s Spelling Bee Has a Winner!
"After 17 rounds of competition, two students emerged as the finalists who will continue on to represent District 33 at the DuPage Regional Spelling Bee in February! The winner is Alex Turzinski, a 4th grade student at Indian Knoll School.Our second place finalist is Marianne Kiel, an 8th grade student at West Chicago Middle School."
West Chicago Homebuyer Fair
"The fair will offer workshops on topics such as current homebuyer programs available (FHA 203k, IHDA’s down payment assistance programs, etc.); the importance of credit in obtaining a mortgage; and how to become a successful homeowner in today’s market."
DuPage celebration to honor Rev. King
"The celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. at Wheaton College's Edman Memorial Chapel, 401 E. Franklin St., Wheaton. The service will include a keynote speech by Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church."
Suspicious device found on westbound Metra train Friday
"The DuPage County Bomb Squad determined the device was not an explosive or biological threat Friday.  The device was removed from the train at about 6 p.m.  Several buses were sent to the depot for passengers to board and keep warm while the officials investigated the incident."
Historic locomotive contest to roll through West Chicago
"The first round of voting opened in November, and based on those totals, train officials charted four potential routes to compete for the final win. One of those routes – the Tuscola Turn – would put the locomotive through Glen Ellyn, West Chicago and several other suburban towns... For more information on the Union’s Pacific’s Great Excursion Adventure, or to vote, go to upexcursion.com."
2011 Eskimo Open at St. Andrews G. & C.C.
"On Sunday, January 2nd, St. Andrews G. & C.C. held its annual Eskimo Open. This year 40 participants played on a snow free course with sunny skies and a 24 degree thermometer reading. All but one golfer played 18 holes"
Gun pointed at Chicago state rep; no shots fired
"Police said someone inside a van pointed a pistol at Acevedo, but the vehicle sped away when the representative announced his office.  A police spokesman wasn't aware whether Acevedo -- a state representative since 1997 and a Chicago police officer since 1995 -- identified himself as an elected official or as a police officer."
U of I gets more than $90M for supercomputer
"Of that amount $90.5 million is for the Blue Waters supercomputer. The newspaper reports that when the computer is fully operating at the end of the year it will have massive storage and processing power.  The computer will be able to process 10 quadrillion calculations a second. Blue Waters will be able to connect to Chicago and other sites at a rate of 100 gigabits a second and eventually at 300 to 400 gigabits a second."
The theoretical half-life of Bill Foster's political career
"This was particularly unfair to Foster because — although he was generally the smartest guy in the room — he was a sincere listener who never used his intelligence to make others feel small. He cared about problems beyond quarks.  But he tended to answer questions with complicated, detailed answers because he saw the details of the world’s problems as complicated."
Thousands hired in Illinois ahead of new pension system
"Thanks to the eight-month span between Gov. Pat Quinn’s approval of a pension reform bill last spring and its implementation Jan. 1, any public worker hired in Illinois as late as Dec. 31 was enrolled in a far more lucrative pension plan than those hired after that date.  A GateHouse News Service analysis of pension data has identified nearly 19,000 public workers at all levels of Illinois government hired in that span, from bus drivers to university presidents."
UMWA miners dwindling in Illinois
"Five years ago, three coal mines employing more than 700 members of the United Mine Workers of America operated in Macoupin County. Today, Crown III near Farmersville is the only union mine left in Illinois, and last month, the Springfield Coal Co.-owned operation laid off 37 miners. It still employs approximately 200."
King’s Legacy: Fighting for Economic Justice
"His “Poor People’s Campaign” was really about economic restructuring. His plan was to put pressure on Congress to shift its priorities from war and military spending to housing, health care, jobs and education, focusing especially on the people who were losing jobs because of automation of industry and outsourcing."
The War Against the Christians - TownHall.com
"Now here’s what you don’t need to imagine because it is all too real: In recent days, Christian churches have been bombed in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria and the Philippines. In Indonesia a mob of 1,000 Muslims burned down two Christian churches because, according to one commentator, local Islamic authorities determined there were "too many faithful and too many prayers." In Iran, scores of Christians have been arrested. In Pakistan, a Christian woman received the death penalty for the “crime” of insulting Islam; the governor of Punjab promised to pardon her – and was then assassinated for the “crime” of blasphemy."
Supreme Court again is asked to drop ‘In God We Trust’ - McClatchy
"In an uphill battle, Newdow is asking the nine justices to review an appellate court’s rejection of his claim that the invocation of God on official currency violates the separation of church and state.  “Devout atheists are forced to choose between not using what is often the only available legal tender and committing what they consider blasphemy,” Newdow argued in his petition placed on the court’s docket Tuesday."
The War on Logic - Krugman, NY Times
"Congress has consistently enacted one-year fixes. And Republicans claim that the estimated cost of future fixes, $208 billion over the next 10 years, should be considered a cost of health care reform.  But the same spending would still be necessary if we were to undo reform."

14 Jan
 
West Chicago treasurer wants to eliminate his own job
nonenone"West Chicago residents will vote April 5 on whether to eliminate the treasurer’s office and consolidate the duties with those of existing staff. If voters support the measure, the office will disappear in 2013.  The treasurer’s role is to oversee the finances of the city, but over time “it’s become more of a status position than an actual hands-on position,” Kwasman said."
New DuPage Water Commission to review finalists for manager
none“We can start that by making agendas available that the public nonecan actually understand,” he said, before also proposing a one-year limit for contracts to remain open with the same contractors, and a rate study to help the commission decide how to recoup the $37.6 million undercharge in rates while still charging customers a fair rate."
Fortner votes ‘no’ to state income tax hike
none"Fortner said he was disappointed by the massive tax increase and cited the need for sound fiscal policy and a competitive business climate. He added Illinois’s recovery has been lagging behind other Midwest states.  “We know the state is in a deep fiscal crisis, but a sound plan needs to make cuts before going to the taxpayer for more money,” Fortner said in the release."
16th Year Rotary Club of West Chicago Donation to a Needy Senior
"The Humanitarian Service Project (HSP) is excited to announce that the Rotary Club of West Chicago has recently donated $800 to sponsor a needy senior through HSP’s Senior Citizen Project (SCP). This donation will cover a full year’s support of food and gifts. Sponsorship provides a monthly delivery of groceries, which includes: 15 selections of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, seven frozen meats, 6 bags of non-perishable goods, paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, etc.); personal care items and secret pal gifts that average between $5 and $25 each month. "
Moment of silence may be back in Ill. schools
"Several superintendents said they are awaiting direction from their attorneys and reviewing policies with their school boards while many others were taken aback to learn the law that has been suspended for more than two years — deemed unconstitutional and then upheld by a federal appeals court — could soon take effect once more.  "We have to find a way to explain to our kids why it's not a joke at this point," said Superintendent John Hutton of Gurnee School District 56. "The way it's been handled has just been horrible.""
DuPage zoning board rejects mosque request
"The board voted 5-2 to reject the petition by the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America (MECCA) for a conditional-use permit and several building-height variations for a proposed mosque, school and recreation center on 91st Street in unincorporated Willowbrook.  Board members who voted against the project said they have concerns over an oversaturation of religious institutions in the area, traffic congestion and flooding issues."
Kirk: Excessive spending must end
none"He said the federal government "must stop spending money that we don't have" and pass a balanced budget amendment. He said the best version of the amendment was one authored by the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, an Illinois Democrat, nearly 20 years ago. It would require a three-fifths majority of each house of Congress to approve spending in excess of income, except in a national emergency."
Senator says he'll be an advocate for VA
"Kirk said he has asked Hamilton to lay out for him the budget schedule for new construction projects at the Danville campus, and he also plans to encourage VA senior leadership to visit the Danville campus.  In many ways, he said, the Danville VA's physical infrastructure has been left behind, and he will be working with U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to pursue modernization."
Broken water pipe damages Illinois Capitol
"Offices on at least four different floors of the Illinois Capitol building have suffered damage from a broken water pipe.  The four-inch pipe broke Thursday night and gushed water for about 40 minutes. A spokesman for the state's Capital Development Board says it's not clear what caused the problem, although construction work is taking place in that section of the historic building."
Illinois Democrat responds to Wisconsin governor
"Cullerton responded that even with the tax increase Illinois is still lower than the top tax rate in Wisconsin. Cullerton in a statement thanked Walker, a Republican, for "helping spread the word" about Illinois' efforts to fix its ailing finances."
Quinn signs tax increase, Dems point to spending caps
none""Please believe these spending caps are real," the Chicago Democrat said during debate in the chamber over the legislation. "It's the first time it's ever been done here, and it's literally turning over power to the minority."  The Republican minority will have the ability to block spending bills that would violate the caps. An independent official will rule on any violations. And if spending exceeds the caps, the new income tax will be reversed automatically."
Wage Theft: The Crime Wave Nobody Talks About - AFL-CIO
"Every day across the country, millions of workers in low-wage jobs are being robbed of billions of dollars they are owed by their employers. A new video by Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) shows how the practice of wage theft is a national epidemic no one is paying attention to.  IWJ says 60 percent of nursing home workers, 100 percent of poultry plant workers and 90 percent of restaurant workers are denied their fair pay at some times."
The War Against Public Sector Unions - Mother Jones
"Conservatives succeeded spectacularly over the past few decades in destroying private sector unions (and doing considerable damage to the Democratic Party in the process), and this means that most people no longer belong to a union or even know anyone who does. Unionism in general, then, simply has very little public support these days. With that as background, it's pretty easy to understand how a recession would fuel growing taxpayer resentment toward public sector union benefits they're paying for."
Health care budgets in critical condition - Stateline
"In a recent interview with Stateline, he cited the hypothetical example of an elderly woman with congestive heart failure living in an apartment without air conditioning. A heat wave could send that woman to the hospital, Kitzhaber says.   “The system today will pay for an ambulance to take her to the hospital and $50,000 to cure her,” Kitzhaber says. “It won’t pay $500 for a window air conditioner, which is really all she needs to stay in her home and out of the acute medical system.”"

13 Jan
 
none New District Website!!
"The District site, as well as the eight school sites, have all been rebuilt from the ground up and are now ready for your viewing.. District 33 is confident that you will like the new look and feel of these sites."
Holiday Giving
"District 33 staff, students and parents participated in so many holiday giving activities that it is hard to document all of them. Most of them were highlighted in the City of West Chicago's online column, At Home in West Chicago, in the month of December. Here are two more gift giving activities that took place."
City Launches Twitter Account 
"The City of West Chicago has announced the addition of social media to supplement their communication efforts. A new City Twitter account debuted this month... the new Twitter account, which may be accessed at www.twitter.com/westchicagoil, will serve as something of an online marquee for news headlines relating to City services, projects or events."

Raising the Bar in West Chicago: Judith Horsley and the UMCW
"Honoring a mission of service that began with the group's charter in 1880, the United Methodist and Congregational Women (UMCW) of West Chicago, led by current President Judith Horsley, has been a quiet yet powerful force for good in the community at home and around the world."
Drop in foreclosures here just temporary, firm says
"The pullback of lenders due to government investigations into their documentation and procedures on foreclosures temporarily lowered the foreclosure rates in Illinois and other states. But don't expect that decline to continue."
Charlestowne Mall owners banking on ice skating rink
"“It’s going to draw more traffic,” Kekatos said, in talking about the plans Wednesday. “Give us time. You will see within the next several months that good things will be happening.”  Plans are to open the ice rink later this year in vacant stores on the mall’s first floor.  “It will take four to six months to build it,” Kekatos said."
Marketwire RiverGlass Off to a Strong Start in eDiscovery Market
"RiverGlass, Inc. (www.riverglassinc.com) is a leading provider of advanced information collection and analysis solutions. The company was formed in 2003 and leverages 8 years and $20mm of R&D efforts from the former Mosaic development teams at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (UIUC). RiverGlass provides solutions to government agencies and commands in defense, intelligence and law enforcement as well as eDiscovery and risk management applications to major corporations. RiverGlass is a private company with principal offices in West Chicago and Champaign, IL."
Other states like Illinois' corporate tax hike
"And newly elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is dusting off a tagline from a previous tourism campaign, "Escape to Wisconsin," and aiming it at Illinois businesses. "Little did we know a vote in Springfield would create an opening for me to speed up being aggressive," he said in an interview.  Under the Democrat-backed tax package, the current 4.8 percent corporate rate would go to 7 percent until 2015, when it would drop to 5.25 percent. And in 2025, it would return to the current 4.8 percent."
Ill. taxpayers wake up to 67 percent hike
"For many middle-income Illinois taxpayers, the reductions from the federal payroll tax cut may balance out the costs of the state tax increase, resulting in little immediate impact on withholding from paychecks. But the goal of the payroll tax reduction was to increase take-home pay and stimulate consumer spending, a benefit that Illinois taxpayers may not share in."
State audit flags computer-access issues at UI
"But the audit did find a repeat problem with access to the Banner system, a universitywide computer platform that performs many critical functions, such as recording students' grades, purchasing supplies and issuing payroll. According to the audit, "periodic reviews of terminated employees with access to the information systems are not performed consistently and documentation is not retained."  The audit also found that 132 users had excessive access rights, including the ability to update or change employee pay rates, release financial holds and apply various payments."
Quinn defends tax increase, local businesses worry
none"“The state was careening to bankruptcy, to fiscal insolvency,” Quinn said. “Even in the last couple of months, we got seriously much more dire. The idea here is a temporary income tax to deal with the immediate fiscal emergency the state faces.”  As passed by the General Assembly, the tax rate will be pared back to 3.75 percent after four years. Democrats who supported the plan said the state’s economy should improve by that time. They also said spending limits built into the bill should make the state’s finances more manageable by then."
Banks Foreclosed on a Million Homes Last Year - AFL-CIO
"Rather than helping working people to save their homes, banks foreclosed on more than a million properties last year, which will slow the economic recovery and obstruct job growth, especially in construction."
Hawaii's senators recommend halt to floor session invocations - Honolulu Star Advertiser
""We respect everybody's different levels of faith and the different religions that they support," said state Senate President Shan Tsutsui (D, Kahului). "We don't think by us not having an invocation at the beginning of session — we're not making any type of statement, but rather we're respecting each individual's religious beliefs.""
Arizona Has Turned into a Gun Lover's Paradise -- and That's Why It Ranks Among the Highest in Gun Deaths - AlterNet
"Has this made the citizens of Arizona, a gun-lover's paradise, safe? Well, the state ranked 7th in the country in per capita gun deaths, according to statistics compiled by The Daily Beast, and eighth in terms of the overall rate of violent crime, according to Census data. And its lax gun laws spill over its borders; according to LCAV, “Arizona ranked 11th among the states in terms of number of crime guns supplied to other states per capita. Perhaps more shockingly, in 2009, Arizona provided more crime guns per capita to Mexico than any other state.”"

12 Jan
 
none Around and About in West Chicago - 12 Jan 2011
  • Tom Johnson - State Senator in the 48th District
  • West Chicago High School Dance Concert
  • West Chicago Lions Club 50th anniversary
  • $10,000 Scholarship Raffle
  • Illinois High School Association Theater Festival
none

Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: Jan. 17 - 233

  • noneThursday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 23 Ice Harvesting 
    "See the tools and techniques farm families used to cut and store ice before mechanical refrigeration. Weather permitting, help cut and move ice from the lake to the icehouse. Activities ongoing. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
  • Saturday, Jan. 22 - Backsmithing Demonstrations
    "Stop by the wagon shed to see the blacksmith repair equipment and demonstrate the tools and techniques of the trade. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900.
GARY R. SPIELMAN
"He was the owner of Gary Spielman Plumbing of West Chicago for 30 years. He was a longtime supporter of the West Chicago Fire Department, Police Department and Park District. He also supported the St. Jude Children's Home in Peoria, Ill. and the Naperville Humane Society."

How lawmakers voted on income tax increase

  • Mike Fortner, R, West Chicago N
  • Randy Ramey, R, Carol Stream N
Quinn won't say if he will sign death penalty ban
none"Gov. Pat Quinn declined to say today whether he will sign a bill abolishing the death penalty, saying only he would reflect and "follow my conscience.""
Income tax hike passes with no GOP support
"The plan nearly faltered in the Senate when black lawmakers balked at the House's decision to remove a property-tax relief component from the plan and failure to approve a cigarette tax hike for schools. But Quinn met privately with members of the Senate black caucus, who said he pledged to pump $250 million from the income tax increase into schools for each of the next four years."
Wisconsin governor goes after Illinois jobs
"When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker killed an $810 million high speed rail plan,  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn openly courted Milwaukee’s Talgo, the Spanish train maker that said it would look for a new home if the project ended.  Now, in wake of Illinois’ decision to increase the state income tax from 3 to 5 percent, it’s Walker who is on the offensive, wooing Illinois businesses."
New Illinois treasurer closing offices around state
"The six offices, in Mount Vernon, Effingham, Rockford, Rock Island, Riverdale and Collinsville, each employ one staff member. Rutherford said that one position is being eliminated, and he will make a decision on the other five in the next 30 days.  Rutherford said if there were other areas in his office where those employees could be used, he would transfer them there."
Tunisia anger grows as 50 reported killed in riots - AlArabiya.net
"Anger over a crackdown on protesters in Tunisia grew Tuesday as a union official said 50 were killed in three days of unrest while artists and hospital staff joined demonstrations.  Locals reported looting in the town of Kasserine overnight and said demonstrators were fired upon from rooftops."
Only five out of 54 Muslim states have tough blasphemy laws - The News International, Pakistan
"All of those interviewed affirmed such laws exist at least in two Islamic countries: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but were not certain of the exact number of countries governed by such stringent legislation as one of them said it is also being practised in Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan.  One religious scholar, explaining the absence of such laws in other Islamic countries, said it was due to the fact that these countries were set up on the basis of nationalism, not on ideological grounds like Pakistan."
REPORT: Media Ignore Rep. Issa's Alleged Criminal Past - Media Matters
"Rep. Darrell Issa's past includes arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicions of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun, but you'd hardly know it from the media's recent coverage of the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. While Issa was substantially mentioned in 15 articles in the nation's largest newspapers since the last election -- including several major profiles -- only one of those articles mentioned any of these allegations. Likewise, interviewers did not ask Issa about his alleged criminal past in any of the cable or network interviews he sat for during that period."

11 Jan
 
none WCMS Outstanding students of the 1st Qrt.
"Each grading period teachers at West Chicago Middle School nominate students to receive the “Outstanding Student of the Quarter” award. Each team of teachers is encouraged to nominate up to four students per quarter ... The following West Chicago Middle School students were nominated by their teachers as Outstanding Students of the First Quarter 2010/2011:"
Board Briefs 01-06-11 - Ed Leman
"The above review of action taken by the Board of Education at their regular meeting is provided in an attempt to keep you informed. If you have any questions regarding any of the information provided or wish to discuss any of the items, please do not hesitate to contact my office."
Residents view tax hike as necessary evill
"Some of the funds generated by the proposed increase would be allocated to property tax relief a state borrowing plan and education.  An estimated $377 million raised by the cigarette tax would fund educational programs.  The plan also calls for borrowing $8.75 billion to pay off  bills left unpaid for months, and years."
Hastert only voice in DeLay's defense
none"Lead prosecutor Gary Cobb asked Hastert if one of DeLay’s religious and conservative values was taking acceptance for doing wrong. Hastert said he hasn’t personally heard DeLay take responsibility for the actions that resulted in his conviction.DeLay repeated his claims that the prosecution was politically motivated."
West Chicago Elementary District 33 - New Website is Live!
none"The District site, as well as the eight school sites, have all been rebuilt from the ground up and are now ready for your viewing. Bryan Rehfeldt, Director of Technology for District 33, states “I am confident that you will like the new look and feel of these sites and hope you agree that they convey the sense of pride and professionalism we all share.”"
After School Programs Offered at WAYS
none"Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services (WAYS), located at 27W031 North Avenue in West Chicago, offers a variety of after school programs to help children and teens grow academically, emotionally and socially. Students are invited to attend one or all of the groups that interest them. Scholarships and volunteer opportunities are available to help defray the cost. For questions or to enroll in any of the programs, call 630-231-7166."
Gov. Pat Quinn sworn in; offers little insight about budget
none"“I’m here today to say that we will pay our bills, that we will stabilize our budget, we will strengthen our economy. We will do that and we will do that very, very soon,” Quinn told about 5,000 people who filled a Springfield convention center to see him sworn in to a full term."
House OKs bill to limit unionization of some state workers
"The legislation, Senate Bill 3644, is aimed at 196 supervisory, independent and at-will employees, said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago. It would not automatically exclude employees from collective bargaining units, Currie said, but would make it easier for executive branch officials to seek to have the workers reclassified as non-union employees."
Union supporters rally for Taylorville clean-coal project
none"Union members waved signs and chanted “jobs now” slogans outside the Prairie Capital Convention Center as inauguration ceremonies began inside for Gov. Pat Quinn and other statewide officeholders.  The project fell five votes short of the 30 needed for Illinois Senate approval last week. It must be approved before a new General Assembly is sworn in at noon Wednesday."
New House ‘Workforce’ Committee Highlights Anti-Union Goals - AFL-CIO
"While the re-naming game comes off as childish and petty, a look at what the newly named House Education and Workforce Committee has at the top of its agenda is a serious assault on workers and their unions.  The committee’s revamped website includes a screed against workers, unions and labor laws decked out in rhetoric about defending workplace democracy."
Governor's murder deepens fears of Pakistani Christians - Reuters
"Aasia Bibi, a mother of four, was sentenced to hang in November for insulting the Prophet Mohammad, under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Last week, an outspoken liberal politician was killed by his own bodyguard for campaigning for her release.  The assassin has since been hailed as a hero by many in this Muslim majority country where a harsh, often unforgiving, brand of Islam is growing in strength."
Troops deploy after 13 reported dead in Nigeria - AFP
""I am told that 13 people died in the dawn attack," said Plateau state police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano, adding that officers had been sent to the mainly Christian village of Wareng to verify.  Details of the attack were not immediately clear. The commander of a military task force in the region said unrest had occurred in other areas of the region as well and soldiers had been deployed to restore calm."
Wall Street Desperately Trying to Kill Law That Could Curb Obscene CEO Pay - AlterNet
"Current law requires corporations to report how much their top five executives are making. Under the Menendez mandate, corporations must now also report their overall wage “median” and the ratio between this median and their top pay.That information — from a public relations standpoint — could be explosive."

10 Jan
 
none

This Week in West Chicago

CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"Here's the new Program Schedule for this week. Check us out in West Chicago on Channel 17 on the Comcast System or on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse (look for West Chicago Public Access TV Channel 17).  Let us know what you think. I hope folks get a chance to watch a couple programs."

District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda January 11, 2011

  • noneSTUDENT RECOGNITION - Girls Volleyball Championship Team
  • Auditors’ Report
  • Air Handler Grant Application
Tea parties offer sympathy
"The Rockford Tea Party does, and indeed must, condemn any act of violence directed towards our elected officials. Our sympathies and prayers go out to all those, and their families, affected by this despicable act. Violence of this nature is never appropriate under any circumstance, period."
Our congressmen react
none“Attacks of this kind, in our democratic society, simply cannot stand. My thoughts and prayers are with all those injured and their families in this senseless attack.” — Congressman Peter Roskam, R-6th District."
BBB: Longtime scam among top frauds of 2010
"The top three scams of 2010, in this order, were: work-at-home and fraudulent employment opportunities; credit repair and debt negotiations/settlement services; and advance-fee lenders.  “Scammers continue to follow the money trail and target the desperate emotions of people,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the local Better Business Bureau. “This year, the top three scams were again related to personal finances.”"
Clock ticking on Democrat push to raise Illinois taxes
"Democratic leaders want to pass an increase before noon Wednesday, when a new General Assembly will be sworn in. After that, the Democratic majority will be smaller and some lame duck legislators will be gone."
Quinn to face 'challenges no other governor has ever had'
none"Quinn has said his narrow election victory in November gave him a mandate to raise taxes to deal with the state’s budget crisis and a deficit that could hit $15 billion this year. But it won’t solve the whole problem and will be unpopular with some voters despite Quinn’s campaign pledge to raise taxes.  “He’s going to have challenges that no other governor has ever had,” said former Republican Gov. Jim Thompson."
Crucial numbers in state tax proposal: 60 and 71
"Together, those taxes are estimated to bring in an additional $7.2 billion for the state. Much of that money would be used to pay overdue bills.  The plan also calls for a $1-per-pack increase in the state cigarette tax to generate $377 million for education. Mautino said he thinks that component will have the greatest trouble passing the House."
Arizona Union Leader Says Today’s Shooting ‘Has No Place in a Democracy’
"Today, I and other leaders in the labor movement are asking union members and all Arizonans to keep Congresswoman Giffords, the other victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers."
Sermons motivated killer of Pakistani politician - Assoc Press
"The confessed killer of a liberal Pakistani politician provided a judge Monday with the names of two men whose sermons allegedly sparked him to act, as YouTube footage emerged of the assassin chanting Islamic verses in police custody.  The slaying of Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer nearly a week ago shocked many around the world, but tens of thousands of Pakistanis have expressed support for 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri, who said he killed the governor for criticizing laws that carry the death penalty for insulting Islam."
Dangerous Right-Wing 'Victimhood' - CosortiumNews
"Though it was clear from initial reports that Loughner was a troubled young man, it was less clear what exactly set him off. FBI Director Robert Mueller noted how threats and hate speech have proliferated in recent years especially over the Internet, and how that anger can lead to “lone wolves or lone offenders undertaking attacks.”  Another common thread in the recent history of political violence in America is how often the attackers are motivated by what they view as their “victimhood.”"

07 Jan
Nomination for Person of the Week:
I respectfully nominate Steven Daglas, Republican State Central Committee member who has proposed 26 ways to fund transplant operations in Arizona, a refreshing example of searching for solutions rather than partisan advantage.  See Outsider finds ways to fund transplants in the Arizona Republic. - Bob

BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS 01-06-10

  • Lumber Liquidation
  • Delnor and Central DuPage Hospital
  • USAgain Clothes Collection System
  • New Businesses in Oliver Square
none
TONIGHT: Open Gym 
none"Open Gym means an open door during the school year for kids in 5th - 8th grade to play sports, dance and socialize. The program, which has grown in popularity each year, maintains a staff of volunteers of high school age or older, and at least one police officer at each gym. This is an opportunity for kids to get to meet new people in the community.  The event is held at the West Chicago Middle School, 238 E. Hazel Street, and in the past has included activities such as indoor soccer, basketball, break dancing and socializing."
Quinn to decide if ethics officer should oversee mass transit
none"Should Quinn sign the legislation, Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza would have the authority to report findings of unethical conduct from board members or employees of the Regional Transit Authority, Metra, Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority. Quinn could then remove board members based on those reports.  Some lawmakers raised concerns over the added costs of the additional responsibilities, estimated by the inspector general to be as much as $1.9 million. However, Garrett said money could be reallocated from transit agencies already employing outside inspection services — such as Metra’s deal with consulting firm Hillard Heintze."
Casinos might take a pass on expanding
"The Grand Victoria in particular, Swoik said, didn't see the crowds and lines at slot machines it usually does on New Year's Eve.  Existing casinos have fought expansion plans, arguing that as they take in less and less money in recent years, new nearby casinos and slots at horse tracks such as Arlington Park could further damage their businesses."
Rumblings galore in DuPage remap
"As a Democrat, Winfield board member Enger does have a politically related stance on the redistricting group. He said he and fellow first-term Democrats Tony Michelassi and Rita Gonzalez were told the group’s makeup would be determined on the basis of board seniority, but they question whether it’s legal to exclude an entire party from the redrawing process, and filed an objection with the State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s office."
No tax vote; House members leave Springfield
"House lawmakers left Springfield today without voting on a major income-tax increase as doubts emerged about whether there's enough support to pass it.  "The votes aren't here in the House yet," said Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, a House budget expert. "There's not 60 votes.""
Public using stronger open government laws in Illinois
"Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Thursday that the state's 2009 overhaul of its Freedom of Information and Open Meetings laws brought long-overdue transparency to Illinois government.  Madigan's office got more power to review public agencies' decisions and to compel those agencies to release information."

Legislature Busy

  • Dems push income, cig tax increases, property tax break
    "The plan also calls for a $1 per pack increase in the state cigarette tax that would be dedicated to education funding.  Property owners would get a $325 annual check from the state – instead of the current property tax deduction -- to offset the cost of property taxes.  The plan calls for borrowing $8.75 billion to pay off old bills. And to prevent the state from sinking into a financial abyss again, lawmakers will be asked to approve bills limiting spending increases and imposing a prohibition on new programs for the next three years."
  • House votes to repeal Illinois death penalty
    "The bill passed on a 60-54 vote; it needed 60 to pass. The legislation now goes to the Illinois Senate, where it must pass before heading to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. Quinn has said he favors the death penalty for the worst crimes.  It took two separate votes for the measure to clear the House Thursday. The legislation failed by a single vote in the afternoon, but its sponsor, Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Maywood, used a parliamentary maneuver to allow another vote."
  • House rejects medical marijuana bill
    "Hopes for legalizing medicinal marijuana in Illinois were snuffed out Thursday.  Senate Bill 1381 failed in the Illinois House by a vote of 56 yes, 60 no. The legislation would have given patients with chronic conditions, such as cancer, glaucoma or multiple sclerosis, the right to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for their own use."
  • Medicaid reforms sent to Quinn
    "The state's All Kids programs would more aptly be called Most Kids under a sweeping Medicaid reform bill overwhelmingly passed by the House this afternoon ... Enrollment in All Kids, an initiative of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich designed to offer health care to every child in the state, would be limited to families whose incomes were 300 percent of poverty or less."
Locked-Out Iowa BCTGM Workers Fight Locally and Globally - AFL-CIO
"The workers are waging their battle for justice both locally and globally.  They are mounting a petition drive urging the city, county and state to refrain from awarding the company any additional grants, tax breaks and other economic assistance until Roquette ends the lockout and negotiates in good faith.  At the global level, they filed an international complaint against Roquette."
God was behind Big Bang, universe no accident: Pope - Reuters
"He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered.  "In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality ... we can only let ourselves be guided toward God, creator of heaven and earth," he said.  Benedict and his predecessor John Paul have been trying to shed the Church's image of being anti-science, a label that stuck when it condemned Galileo for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun, challenging the words of the Bible."
House GOP breaking promises after only one day? - CNN
"That didn't take very long, did it? Republicans have officially been in control of the House of Representatives for a day now, and they're already backpedaling on some of the promises of transparency they made during the campaign.  For starters, Republicans promised all bills would go through a regular committee process. Not exactly.  Wouldn't you know that the bill to repeal the health care law won't go through a single committee?"
The Texas Omen - NY Times
"And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere."

06 Jan
 
none We Love the Drama at Community High School
none"The 2010-11 All-State Musical is Into the Woods, music and lyrics by Stephen Soundheim. This year’s cast includes three Community High School students. Danielle Pacelli, Nadia Pelletier, and Jeffery Pierpoint were selected from a pool of the best performers in the State of Illinois."
FAFSA Night - reminder
"...this is a reminder of Wednesday, January 12th’s FAFSA Night. Mr. Ward Rau, CHS counselor, and Mr. Paul Daly, financial planner, will present information for SENIOR parents and their students regarding the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is required to seek financial aid.
none West Chicago Lions Club 50th Birthday Party - FB,Ruben Pineda
  • Friday, January 28 at 6:30pm at Prairie Landing Golf Club, West Chicago,IL
  • Join us for an old fashioned Birthdy Party and Cocktail Reception
  • Cost is a donation of your chosing so the Club may continue its good works!
Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety
none"As of July 22, 2010 state law changed regarding pedestrians in crosswalks, making it mandatory for all drivers to come to a complete stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks regardless of whether or not there are traffic signals/stop signs present at the crosswalk."
Downtown West Chicago Hosts Blooming Fest on Saturday, May 21, 2011 
none"Fine hand-crafters, food vendors, local businesses and not-for-profit organizations are invited to submit an application for consideration. Local musicians and entertainers may also apply. Applications available online:West Chicago businesses within the downtown click here.West Chicago businesses outside of the downtown, click hereCall Krista Coltrin with any questions, (630) 293-2200 x135."
As income tax talks heat up, some suburban lawmakers remain cool to it
"The idea of raising taxes has been around the Illinois General Assembly for almost two years. But with lawmakers facing the ends of their terms by the middle of next week and several outgoing members not needing to worry about their next re-election campaigns, now might be the only time the plan is politically feasible."
Gambling legislation changes to try to help existing casinos
"The changed legislation gives existing casinos a small tax break on some revenues if they continue to drop and a lower tax rate on table games, for example.  Other changes include putting 75 percent of the money the casinos generate upfront toward the state’s billions of dollars in unpaid bills."
Final appointees picked for DuPage Water Commission
none"DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin has announced a banker and a land developer as his two remaining picks for vacancies on the reconstituted board of the DuPage Water Commission.  And the mayors of five DuPage communities have chosen Villa Park Village President Tom Cullerton as the final municipal appointee to the Lake Michigan water agency’s board."
State's income growth modest for first half of budget year
"It appears, according to the Legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, that real growth in the state's "big three" revenue sources – the sales tax, individual income tax and corporate income tax – is about $240 million. But if the revenue from the tax amnesty program is included, that growth is about $679 million, an increase of about 7 percent over last year's figures."
Blue Cross of Illinois reverses mental health preapprovals
"Mental health professionals said the plan would violate a federal law that requires equity in how health plans treat medical and mental health services.  Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith says the department is committed to the principle of mental health equity. He says the department will resolve any ambiguity in the law in favor of patients."
Illinois muzzleloader hunt nets nearly 3,300 deer
"The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that the figure from the December hunt is less than the just more than 4,700 deer that Illinois hunters took in 2009. The muzzleloader season's record year was 2006 when hunters killed nearly 6,000 deer."
2 percentage point income tax hike on table today for state leaders
"Legislative leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn will meet today to discuss boosting Illinois’ income tax rate from the current 3 percent to 5 percent as part of a package that also could include pension borrowing, a moratorium on new state programs, no new spending and property tax relief.  Perhaps as a first step toward attracting Republican votes for such a plan, the Senate Wednesday adopted a lengthy list of Medicaid reforms, a top GOP priority."
Pension credit bill heads to governor's desk
none"State workers who take unpaid furlough days do not receive credit for those days when it comes to calculating their pensions. 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."
House committee approves massive gambling expansion
"The measure cleared the committee on a bipartisan 8-3 vote, an exception to House Republicans’ steadfast opposition to nearly all major legislation being advanced by the Democratic majority in the closing days of this General Assembly."
Will New Lawmakers Keep Campaign Trail Job Promises? - AFL-CIO
"Last fall, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) conducted a 12-city “Keep it Made in America” town hall tour that brought candidates and voters together to talk about the tough issues revolving around reviving American manufacturing, lowering unemployment and getting the U.S. economy back on track.  Today many of those candidates, Republicans and Democrats, were sworn into the new Congress and now have the opportunity to put their pro-job, fair trade promises into action. Check out this video of their pledges at various town hall meetings."
Egypt Muslims to act as "human shields" at Coptic Christmas Eve mass - AhramOnLine
"“Although 2011 started tragically, I feel it will be a year of eagerly anticipated change, where Egyptians will stand against sectarianism and unite as one,” Father Rafaeil Sarwat of the Mar-Mina church told Ahram Online. The Coptic priest was commenting on the now widespread call by Muslim intellectuals and activists upon Egyptian Muslims at large to flock to Coptic churches across the country to attend Coptic Christmas Eve mass, to show solidarity with the nation's Coptic minority, but also to serve as "human shields" against possible attacks by Islamist militants."
Christians may need to start fighting back - National Post
"Many Nigerian Christians, as well as some Muslims, believe a fragile peace has been achieved in part because Christians answered violence from the Muslim side with violence of their own. Without this capacity of Christians to push back, these observers say, Muslim leaders might never have agreed to negotiate a truce."
House Dems Press GOP To Announce Whether They'll Accept Government Health Care - TPM
"To wit: "Not later than 15 days after taking the oath of office, a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall notify the Clerk of whether that Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner elects to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program."  Republicans voted it down -- historically, they've been better than Democrats at voting party line against all minority procedural gambits."
GOP bends its own new House rules - Politico
"After calling for bills to go through a regular committee process, the bill that would repeal the health care law will not go through a single committee. Despite promising a more open amendment process for bills, amendments for the health care repeal will be all but shut down. After calling for a strict committee attendance list to be posted online, Republicans backpedaled and ditched that from the rules. They promised constitutional citations for every bill but have yet to add that language to early bills."

05 Jan
 
none Around and About in West Chicago - 05 Jan 2011
  • Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
  • Get In and Get Fit
  • Cooking for Health: Healing Foods & Cooking Techniques
  • Donna May is not on the ballot for the Ward 1 alderman seat.
  • Recycling Strands of Used Incandescent and LED Lights
none none"Most exciting basketball game I've ever seen in my life tonight - WDSRA Wildcats (from West Chicago) vs. District 200 (Wheaton) - double overtime, and Wildcats won 63-61 - oh, did I mention this was SPECIAL OLYMPICS? Our kids are unbelievable - and all the fans cheered ALL the kids - most awesome! THIS is what high school sports should be about "
Roskam to escort Boehner to swearing in
none"Sixth District Congressman Peter Roskam's part in the ceremony, which comes weeks after the Wheaton resident's appointment as chief deputy Whip, is the first public display of his rise in the ranks of his party."
Sears closing Charlestowne Mall location in St. Charles
"The city said that Sears and the owners of the mall were unable to negotiate a new lease agreement for the two-story, 100,000-square-foot retail space.  Sears will vacate the building in early April, city officials said."
Gates opened on flood plan
none"If speakers at County Board meetings in recent months are any gauge, there will be plenty of suggestions received. Commenters address the board about flooding issues at nearly every meeting. Last summer, in the aftermath of a particularly stormy period, more than two dozen residents of Warrenville and Carol Stream attended a meeting to let it be known their homes had taken in water."
Forest Preserve District Board Votes to Build New Fleet Building at Blackwell
none"“After a thorough study of numerous options, the proposed Blackwell location remains the most cost-effective site for this much-needed facility,” said Forest Preserve District President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. “This expanded facility will provide a single centralized location for all of the District’s fleet-maintenance operations and improve efficiencies across several departments.”"

Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: Jan. 10 -16

  • noneBeekeeping for Beginners
  • Blacksmithing Demonstrations
  • “Grow With Us: Volunteer!” Open House

    "For more information on the many programs and places of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, call 630-933-7200, or visit dupageforest.org."

Redistricting changes sent to governor
none"Democrats insist that the redistricting process, which they will control since they hold both houses of the Legislature and the governorship, will be open and transparent. Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, the sponsor of the proposal, said there will be at least four public hearings on the new boundaries for state House and Senate districts. The boundaries are supposed to be drawn based on 2010 Census Bureau data. The Democratic-written proposal also ensures minority voting rights."
New benefits for Medicare recipients this year
"Starting Jan. 1, several preventive health services, among them colorectal cancer screenings and mammograms, became available to Medicare beneficiaries without a shared copayment.  Also starting this year, people on Medicare get half-off their covered name-brand prescription drugs once they fall into the no-coverage zone called the "doughnut hole" and they started paying less for generic drugs."
In 2010, scammers preyed on struggling Illinoisans
"Consumers complained about mortgage foreclosure rescue scams and timeshare resellers. The Better Business Bureau says it heard about bogus secret shopper programs too.  Also on the list are "free" trials that weren't free and spam e-mails, text messages and automated recordings that try to get people to disclose their financial information."
Plan to limit pension sweeteners advances in Illinois House
"Unions, including the AFL-CIO, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Education Association, oppose the legislation. Local governments, including the city of Chicago, Cook County and the Illinois Municipal League, are for it.  Will Lovett of the IEA said legislators should be wary of unintended consequences.  He pointed to a Dec. 26 State Journal-Register story reporting that some teachers probably will be pushed into the Social Security system because the General Assembly has shaved their benefits to the point that they can no longer opt out. If every member of the Teachers Retirement System also had to participate in Social Security, it would increase costs to school districts and taxpayers by $620 million, he said."
Small Biz Owners Say Health Care Reform Helps Cover Workers - AFL-CIO
"A poll of small business owners with 50 or fewer workers by the Small Business Majority finds that two key provisions of the health care reform law—small business tax credits and insurance exchanges—make them more likely to provide health insurance to their employees. The Small Business Majority is a national nonprofit small business advocacy organization."
School attorneys poised for Bible fight - Press Tribune
"This movement to create new, more autonomous public schools allowed the Nampa academy to establish a charter school with classical arts curriculum grounded in grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. The academy wanted to use the Bible and other religious texts for its literary and historic qualities, as part of a secular education program.  At a school where students were taught to defend their liberties, to surrender the legal fight over use of religious texts was not an option, said founder Isaac Moffett, an educator who is now unemployed.
Court: No warrant needed to search cell phone - MSNBC
"By applying the "personal property on the defendant's person" standard, Rasch said, the ruling could logically extend to tablets or even laptop computers, he said.  It also flies in the face of established law, which prohibits the warrantless search of briefcases by police, other than a quick search for weapons, Rasch said."
Prop 8 Case: Appeals Court Asks CA Supreme Court For Help - TPM Muckraker
"If the California Supreme Court rules that the proponents have no standing, the case is all but over in the appeals court. Why? Because the same sex couples who brought the original suit are fighting a state law, the appellants would, normally, be the governor and attorney general of the state.  But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who left office today, refused to appeal the decision. So did Jerry Brown, the then-attorney general who succeeded Schwarzenegger as governor."

04 Jan
 
none noneMovie Canelled - West Chicago Sister Cities.
"The movie we had scheduled "In Search of Beethoven", has been canceled." - John Hugunin
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regular meeting of the Board of Education

  • Public Hearing and Adoption of 2010 Tax Levy
  • "Dr. Wolfe notified the Board of District 33’s bond rating of Aa2 from Moody’s, which is good despite tough economic challenges at this time. Proceeds from the bonds will finance the building and equipment of an expansion to District 33’s existing middle school and improvements to other school buildings in the district."
  • "The Board of Education reviewed the current child care and open enrollment transfer request process. This service has expanded to the point that some procedure changes are necessary."
Images of West Chicago vs. Downers Grove South girls basketball
none"Claire Monroe of West Chicago fights for control of the ball with a Downers Grove South defender. This took place during the West Chicago vs. Downers Grove South at Oswego East game Wednesday."
Suburban transportation, education, population to change by 2020
"From the introduction of lifestyle centers that changed the way we shop, to a plethora of downtown makeovers that altered how we live and an election that brought the power of the White House closer to home than ever before, the past decade has brought plenty of change to the suburbs. But change is constant, and urban planners, academics and community leaders see plenty of it ahead as we leave the first decade of the 21st century behind and sail toward 2020."
Train-vehicle crash fatalities at 5-year high
"The ICC projects collisions will total 125 to 130 in 2010 when all accidents are tallied, said Chip Pew, a railroad safety specialist with the commission.   "Unfortunately we are really back to where we were in 2008 and 2007," Pew said.  The commission debuted two television public service announcements Tuesday aimed at increasing rail safety awareness among drivers."
Prof finds new way to produce ethanol 'fast and efficiently'
"A yeast that has long been used to brew and bake now can help create ethanol fuel from sugars that used to be useless in the process... Now, leading a team of researchers from Illinois, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California at Berkeley and Seoul National University, with funding from BP, Jin has managed to use xylose sugar, found abundantly in stems and leaves, to make ethanol."
Changes expected in gambling expansion proposal
"“I do not expect any of the current casino operators to be for the bill (even with the changes),” Lang said. “Our responsibility is to put people to work. This bill and the amendments will put as many as 50,000 people to work and create $1 billion in revenue for Illinois.”  The changes drafted by Lang do not include lifting the smoking ban for casinos, he said. Adding that provision to the bill would kill its chances in the Senate, Lang said."
Proposal would tie state spending to Illinois personal income
"The amendment would limit general revenue spending except for repayment of debt, payments to the pension systems and payments for programs from previous fiscal years. The governor could bypass the limits by declaring a fiscal emergency, which would take concurrence by the state treasurer and comptroller and approval of the General Assembly.Just as spending increases would be tied to personal income, if statewide personal income fell, the state would have to cut back on its spending."
New push starts for cigarette tax increase
"Illinois spends $5 billion to treat diseases caused by tobacco use, according to a study by Frank Chaloupka, an economist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The state received roughly $560 million in cigarette tax revenue in fiscal year 2010.  Since 2002, the last time Illinois raised its cigarette tax, most states have raised their cigarette taxes at least once, Chaloupka said. Illinois is now 32nd in the nation in taxing cigarettes. If the state increased its tax to $1.98, it would rank 15th.  Raising the tax would increase revenue to the state, cause adults to quit smoking and children to never start, Chaloupka said."
Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions - NY Times
"For example, Republican lawmakers in Indiana, Maine, Missouri and seven other states plan to introduce legislation that would bar private sector unions from forcing workers they represent to pay dues or fees, reducing the flow of funds into union treasuries. In Ohio, the new Republican governor, following the precedent of many other states, wants to ban strikes by public school teachers.  Some new governors, most notably Scott Walker of Wisconsin, are even threatening to take away government workers’ right to form unions and bargain contracts."
Marriage of 2 lesbian Episcopal priests adds new twist to gay issues - The Patriot Ledger
"Episcopalians here and across the country are already divided over whether to elect gay bishops and allow their priests to perform same-sex weddings. Now they have another issue to discuss: The marriage of two lesbians who are high-level Episcopal priests in Massachusetts.  In a wedding that appears to be the first of its kind in the U.S. – at least in the Episcopal Church – former Plymouth priest the Rev. Mally Lloyd married the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, dean and president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, on New Year’s Day. The Rev. Lloyd, a former pastor at Christ Church in Plymouth, is now a ranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts."
Most Americans say tax rich to balance budget: poll - Reuters
"Republicans, who this week take control of the House of Representatives, want to extend all Bush-era tax cuts "permanently" for the middle class and wealthier Americans. They are also demanding spending cuts to curb the $1.3 trillion deficit.  Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed.  The next most popular way -- chosen by 20 percent -- was to cut defense spending."
Stimulating Hypocrisy: 114 Lawmakers Block Recovery While Taking Credit For Its Success - Think Progress
nonenone"Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) Signed A Letter Requesting Stimulus Funds For Illinois Community Colleges. According to a release from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, every member of the Illinois congressional delegation signed a letter urging Gov. Pat Quinn to provide “Recovery Act (ARRA) funding to expand the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network.” [ICCSN, 4/14/09]
-Congressman Roskam Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Roll Call Vote #46; Roll Call Vote #70] ...
-Congressman Kirk Voted Against The Recovery Package Twice [Roll Call Vote #46; Roll Call Vote #70] "

03 Jan
 
none

This Week in West Chicago

West Chicago Sister Cities’ presents a free movie“In Search of Mozart”
noneFriday, January 14, 2010
At. St. Michael’s United Church – 400 W. Washington
"In Search of Mozart is a detective story that travels to the heart of old Europe and to the heart of the genius himself.Produced in association with the world’s leading orchestras, opera houses and musicians – told through a 25,000 mile journey along every route he followed.This movie was released in 2006 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth.You are encouraged to bring Popcorn or other snacks to share."

WILDCAT SCRAMBLE

  • noneWest Chicago Community High School
  • Friday, August 5th, 2011
  • 3 pm Shotgun Start
  • Pheasant Run Resort

Click here for more information

CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"The new schedule is out! Check us out in West Chicago on Channel 17 on the Comcast System or on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse (look for West Chicago Public Access TV Channel 17)."
none Spelling Bee
"The Spelling Bee semi-finals for West Chicago Elementary School District 33 will be starting Tuesday, January 4, 2011. (see the schedule below) The two top spellers in the district will continue to the Regional Spelling Bee in Lisle, IL, with an opportunity to continue on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington D.C."
Illinois rings in new year with new laws
"A ban on new monkey ownership is one of hundreds of state laws that take effect Jan. 1. Some might affect your daily life, such as a law intended to make red-light cameras at intersections more fair about who gets ticketed. Others have big implications for the state’s budget, such as new rules making public employee retirement plans a little less lucrative."
Independent schools see opportunity in downturn
"Fox River Country Day, which draws students from as far as Crystal Lake and Geneva, occupies a unique place among Northwest and West suburban schools. It's one of seven accredited independent schools that offer private education without the religious instruction that defines parochial schools.  Independent schools offer many advantages over public schools. They typically have much smaller class sizes and robust gifted programs. They consider fine arts and world languages part of their core curriculum."
Job market recovery stalled in Illinois
"Employers “are holding on to lots of cash,” he added. “Payrolls are expanding; however, they are being very hesitant at the rate that they’re hiring people.”  The state lost 371,300 jobs since the recession began in December 2007. It added 54,700 jobs through November in 2010, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. IHS Global Insight forecasts the state will add 58,600 jobs this year, 98,700 in 2012 and 131,200 in 2013. Some 133,300 jobs are forecast to be added in 2014, which would put the state past the number of jobs lost during the recession."
Braun says Chicago 'snookered' in meter deal
"At a news conference today, the former U.S. senator said the city got “snookered” when it entered the 2008 deal in which a private company paid the city more than $1.1 billion in exchange for a 75-year lease of the meters.  The deal led by outgoing Mayor Richard Daley has been widely criticized — in large part because the city has already spent all but a fraction of the money.  Braun says she’d sue to cancel the deal."
Ethanol ruling aside, higher corn prices bad for everyone
"And corn prices are likely to continue their spike if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is successful in mandating a 5 percent increase of corn-based ethanol, to 15 percent, in gasoline. The EPA issued the ruling in October ... Equity analysts for TheStreet.com reported last week that increasing prices of many agricultural products, like beef and dairy, will escalate costs at stores and restaurants."
Tax hike debate among issues looming for General Assembly
"A tax increase, Medicaid reforms, education reforms and workers’ compensation reforms.  Those issues plus a raft of leftovers from the veto session await Illinois lawmakers when they return to Springfield in January.  Just four weeks after wrapping up the official veto session, lawmakers will be back at it again just after the new year, trying to wrap up issues before a new General Assembly is sworn in Jan. 12."
New terms offered for high-risk health pool
"To attract more uninsured people into a new federally subsidized high-risk insurance pool, Illinois officials today will begin to offer a health-insurance option with a lower deductible and high­er monthly premi­ums.  “We want to en­roll as many peo­ple as possible,” Michael McRaith, director of the Illi­nois Department of Insurance, told The State Journal-Register. “We want to make the pro­gram affordable. Cost is always a consideration.”"
Officials call for probe of Menard prison workers' comp claims
"More than 230 prison workers contend that their injuries were caused by repetitive actions, such as manually locking and unlocking cells. The prison, which opened in 1878, doesn’t have electric locks, meaning workers must use keys and crank a heavy wheel to open a row of cells. The Department of Corrections said installing electronic locks would be too expensive.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is reevaluating all such repetitive-trauma cases to assess their validity and appropriateness for compensation, especially those from Menard and other prison sites, said Madigan spokeswoman Cara Smith, a deputy attorney general."
As Republicans Vow Repeal, More Health Care Reform Benefits Kick In
"Republicans want to repeal the new law’s  guarantee that children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage. Republicans want to repeal new rules limiting insurance company premium hikes and requirements that they spend money on health care not CEO perks.  According Kaiser Health News, several new provisions of the Affordable Care Act kicked in Jan. 1 that could benefit tens of millions of us.  If your insurance company doesn’t spend at least 80 percent of its premium dollars on health care, it may be forced to give rebates to you and other consumers. Republicans want to repeal that."
Why is the Tea Party Targeting the Methodist Church? - Buzz Flash
""Reading the Methodist social justice manifesto is like reading a socialist wish list.  They want amnesty, they want 'economic justice', they opposed 'global climate change' (earth to the Methodists, man isn't doing it), fighting global poverty (here is another hint, most poverty is caused by a lack of freedom and lack of a free enterprise system).  Not shockingly, the Methodists side with the Islamists against Israel, and of course oppose America in Iraq.""
There's One Huge State Budget Crisis That Everyone Is Refusing To Talk About - TPM
"This month the state's part-time legislature goes back into session, and the state is starting at potentially a $25 billion deficit on a two-year budget of around $95 billion. That's enormous. And there's not much fat to cut. The whole budget is basically education and healthcare spending... So why haven't we heard more about Texas, one of the most important economy's in America? Well, it's because it doesn't fit the script. It's a pro-business, lean-spending, no-union state. You can't fit it into a nice storyline, so it's ignored."

 

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