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28 Feb
none Rep. Ramey Kicks off USO Drive
"State Representative Randy Ramey (R-West Chicago) along with several other Representatives from DuPage County will be co-hosting a USO drive, Clovers for Soldiers, beginning Thursday, February 17th through Thursday, March 17th."
none CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 - John Kruser
"Sorry for the late message. I had this done yesterday... honest. Here is this week's schedule."
2011 Mosquito Season Update
"The Update includes information on the West Nile Virus (WNV), with an overview on the efforts of the District to control nuisance mosquitoes, reduce the potential of mosquito-borne disease transmission and provide a comfortable and healthy atmosphere for district residents."
[I'm sure residents scraping ice off their windshields this morning were counting on this timely notification. - Bob]
Four years later, missing St. Charles man's sister still seeks answers
"Spira, a pilot and blues guitarist known as Chicago Johnny, hasn't been heard from since Feb. 23, 2007. The St. Charles man was last seen about 7 p.m. at a business he co-owned, Universal Cable Construction, on County Farm Road in West Chicago."
Fermilab sparks kids’ interest in science
"“The kids who come in see young people not too far from their own age doing these amazing things with science, and it shows them that they can do it, too,” Kunz said. “That’s important. We need more people going into science.”"
FutureGen to store carbon dioxide in Morgan County
"Ultimately, the alliance selected the site that best supported the overall mission of the project cost-effectively," said Kenneth K. Humphreys, chief executive officer of the FutureGen Alliance, the group of coal companies and other firms working with the U.S. Department of Energy on FutureGen. "This project will put Morgan County and Illinois on the global map as a center of clean energy technology."
1 still critical after accident at Bloomington gun show
"Emery earlier said the bullet was accidentally fired and went through a thick wooden post before striking the two men.  Emery says authorities are investigating why a loaded weapon was at the show."
Optimism guarded as FutureGen makes pick
"In August, the energy department abruptly dropped what had been long-running plans to build a modern power plant in Mattoon in eastern Illinois and said it would instead use the site for the storage of carbon dioxide produced by another power plant across the state."
Facts overshadowed in debate over Wis. union bill - Chicago Breaking News
"Walker has refused even to consider some of the other ways to raise the massive amount of money needed. He repeatedly has said his measures are the only way to fix the state's budget problems now and for the long term as he proposes deep cuts to state and local governments in his upcoming two-year budget.  He also is resolved not to raise taxes..."
New budget campaign asks 'What would Jesus cut?' - CNN
"“They’re talking about cutting bed nets for malaria and leaving every piece of military spending untouched,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, who leads the Christian group Sojourners, referring to Republican spending proposals for the rest of this year."
Leaving Children Behind - NY Times
"(By the way, given the current efforts to blame public-sector unions for state fiscal problems, it’s worth noting that the mess in Texas was achieved with an overwhelmingly nonunion work force.) ... Tax increases have been ruled out of consideration; the gap will be closed solely through spending cuts. Medicaid, a program that is crucial to many of the state’s children, will take the biggest hit, with the Legislature proposing a funding cut of no less than 29 percent, including a reduction in the state’s already low payments to providers — raising fears that doctors will start refusing to see Medicaid patients. And education will also face steep cuts, with school administrators talking about as many as 100,000 layoffs."
Report: U.S. Has Wasted Tens of Billions of Dollars On Contractors In Iraq And Afghanistan - TPM
"The report, titled "At What Risk? Correcting Over-reliance on Contractors in Contingency Operations," said its estimate may even understate the problem because it may not take into full account ill-conceived projects, poor planning and oversight by the U.S. government, as well as criminal behavior and blatant corruption by both government and contractor employees. "
26 & 27 Feb

Next Week in West Chicago

District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda March 1, 2011

  • noneAdd Positions
  • Semi-Annual Review of Closed Session Minutes
  • Textbook Adoptions
COD, Lewis announce unique degree program
"During the first three years of the 128 credit-hour program, students complete 92 credit hours of COD courses. The fourth year, students complete 36 credit hours of Lewis University course work taught by Lewis professors at College of DuPage.  Students will pay COD tuition rates for the first three years, with the final year offered at a significantly reduced tuition rate."
Legislation would put more restrictions on protests at funerals
"Illinois law requires protesters to stay 200 feet from the entrance to a funeral home or cemetery, prohibits them from using threatening words or images and forbids protests within 30 minutes of the start or end of the funeral.  The bill, introduced by State Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) would prohibit protests within 1,000 feet of a funeral and within an hour before or after the service."
State audit rips archaic accounting systems
"“It sounds almost Soviet-style, where nothing works,” said Franks, D-Marengo.  A list in the audit shows agencies using everything from huge computer systems to personal finance programs such as Quicken to paper ledgers."
Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: Feb. 28 – March 6
none"Saturday, March 5
Blacksmithing Demonstrations — Stop by the wagon shed to see the blacksmith repair equipment and demonstrate the tools and techniques of the trade. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
Bath salts, pensions, pay cuts on minds of area legislators
""These special funds are passed in legislation to be used for a specific reason,” Rosenthal said. “By doing fund sweeps, to me, it’s essentially lying to the people of Illinois."  House Bill 1914 would ban any transfer of money from a special fund, such as the road fund, into another fund."
Firm moving to take over Illinois Lottery despite court ruling
"“Northstar is moving forward rapidly,” said spokeswoman Carolyn Grisko. “They have goals to meet in the current year and they are hiring. They are rebranding and developing an advertising campaign. They are upgrading technology.”"

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park  

Walker Orders Capitol Cleared - AFL-CIO
"Wisconsinites from all walks of life—nurses, firefighters, snowplow drivers, police officers, students, teachers, and others—have been in the capitol building peacefully for 14 days. During that time, they set up an elaborate community called “Capitol City” to keep the capitol building clean, protesters safe and fed and, most importantly, to keep up pressure on Walker to come to the table and open up a dialogue to get Wisconsin moving forward again.  Wisconsin’s law enforcement community opposes Walker’s order to close the building as well as his effort to eliminate collective bargaining in this state."
Downstate student suspended for rosary beads - Assoc Press
"Collinsville High School sophomore Rodrigo Avila tells St. Louis' KSDK-TV that he wore the beads for religious reasons and that he got them from his godfather as a gift.  But school administrators told him he no longer could wear them at school because they were considered gang-related, and after warning him, suspended the teenager."
Freemarket Failures: Investors Prefer Doing Business With Hugo Chavez Over Billionaire Koch Brothers - Alternet
"In other words, the free markets championed by the Kochs gave a big thumbs-down to Kochs’ negative influence on the value of the business, while at the same time, the free-market Kochs earned huge windfalls doing business with socialists. No wonder this story hasn’t made the rounds."
25 Feb
none Aid to Wisconsin Protestors Honors Local Pol
none"The following items are included in your order (############):
Qty    Price    Item
 1     $20.00    $20 Donation for Pizza for the Protestors - [Food
                       Donations for the Protestors]
               $20 Donation Worth of Pizza for the Protestors -
                       [Special Items]  notes: In Gary Sakes name, a gift
                       of pizza has been made to the teachers and union
                       members protesting at the Wisconsin State Capitol in
[I received an email copy of the receipt from Ian's Pizza which has received orders from all 50 states and 17 countries, including Egypt and China to be delivered to protesters both in and outside the capitol. - Bob]
Reminder: 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. "
Votes for Women and Nothing Less
"The performances will be held at 104 Sherman Street, West Chicago on March 11 and 12, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket price is $5.00. "
W. Chicago homebuyer fair set for Feb. 26
none""I think the Homebuyer Fair is a great way to educate people about the responsibilities and rewards of buying a home. I also think this is a tremendous way to showcase all that West Chicago has to offer to those considering investment in a quality community," commented Mayor Mike Kwasman."
State audit rips archaic accounting systems
"Half of state government’s financial reporting systems are more than 10 years old. Many are more than 20 years old, which Holland called “archaic.”  More than half the systems cannot share information. Dollars and cents have to be entered manually when transferring data, which increases the risk of mistakes."
Registration deadline nears for DuPage County residents
"DuPage County residents interested in casting a ballot during the upcoming consolidated election only have until March 8 to register or transfer a registration to ensure they are eligible to vote.  All potential voters should contact their local city, village, library or township offices for more information. Residents can also call the DuPage County Election Commission’s registration department at 630-407-5600."
Quinn pulls back on planned budget cuts
none"Facing a torrent of protest, Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday cut in half plans to impose more than $200 million in drastic reductions next month on the Department of Human Services, including a cutoff of state funding for drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs that threatened to shutter several providers of addiction services."
Lt. gov. to require financial disclosures by senior staffers
"Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon plans to take the unusual step of requiring her senior staff members to detail their finances and is calling for more disclosure of economic interests from elected officials.  “I’m imposing this obligation on senior staff members as well,” Simon told a breakfast meeting of the Association for Women Journalists at Cafe Moxo Thursday. “I think it’s fair for folks to be able to know what’s going on.”"
The Battle for Unions in Wisconsin—How You Can Help - AFL-CIO
"People of generally modest means, including many college students, are continuing the occupation of the state Capitol and the daily picketing in resistance to Gov. Scott Walker’s plans. Most teachers have had to/have chosen to return to their classrooms, but many other union members remain, people from private-sector unions and public unions, including police and firefighters."
Afghan Officials Say Jailed Christian Convert Is Free - NY Times
"Under international pressure, government officials in Kabul, Afghanistan, say they have freed an Afghan man who had been jailed since May and faced the prospect of the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity."
Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes, Urged Employee to Lie, Records Show - NY Times
"Now, court documents filed in a lawsuit make clear whom Ms. Regan was accusing of urging her to lie: Roger E. Ailes, the powerful chairman of Fox News and a longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani. What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discussed her relationship with Mr. Kerik."
23 Feb

Around and About in West Chicago - 23 Feb 2011

  • Firehouse Chili Fest
  • Homebuyer’s Fair
  • Friends of the Library Seek Donations
  • DuPage Juvenile Officers’ Association Scholarships
  • Jean Day - d. February 20, 2011
    "She is survived by her sons; Donald “Skip” (Linda) Day and John (Bev) Day, grandchildren; Kelly Day of West Chicago, Korey (Megan) Day of Wheaton, Kiel Day and Kristin Day, both of West Chicago, Mike Day and Jason (Missy) Day of West Chicago; four great grand children; Tiernen, Finley, Royal, and Harper; daughter in-law; Lin Gaddis; very good friend and neighbor Sharon Lemon, and many nieces and nephews."
  • Bill Halfpenny - d. February 20, 2011
    "He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed fishing and camping. Bill loved his family and especially his grandchildren. He will be greatly missed. Bill is survived by his wife of 42 years, Cathy, two daughters; Melissa (Matt) Cosme of West Chicago and Shellie (Brian) Anderson of Bartlett; ..."
none CHS Joins the NEA Read Across America
"The LRC will be hosting the event which includes a literary costume contest, silent reading, gently-used book swap and a read-aloud. An hourly raffle will take place to give away gift cards from Borders. Popcorn will be served during the read-aloud."

“Dancing with the West Chicago Stars” Competition

Scoopie says it’s the Cook’s Day off at Culver's
Location:  290 S. Schmale Road Carol Stream, IL
Date:  Wednesday, March 2nd
"Bring in this flyer anytime on the above date and Culver’s will Donate 15% of your purchase back to the football program at Community High School in West Chicago. Come on in and enjoy a great meal and help our Team raise money! Good with Dine in or Drive thru orders, 10:30 am to 10:00pm. Please present this flyer to the cashier
Garden Center Magazine Buzz builds about black petunias
"“The uniqueness of Black Velvet, Phantom and Pinstripe, along with the media interest we’ve had and expect to continue, assures these plants will receive a high amount of consumer demand this spring and through to fall,” said Monique Hakkert, product marketing manager for Ball FloraPlant. “We’re encouraging our customers to ride this wave of interest and impact their sales now.”"
West Chicago approves two more Habitat homes
"The move increased to 11 the number of properties in the Pioneer Prairie subdivision. To date, Habitat for Humanity has built six homes there, officials said.  “We are happy about the approval,” said Sarah Brachle, executive director for DuPage Habitat for Humanity. “We feel the Pioneer Prairie neighborhood is an asset to West Chicago and we’re happy to provide homeownership opportunities.”"
Read Across America
"The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA's Read Across America."
Slideshow on Latest Science of Climate Change
"The presentation will be at the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington St., W.C., on Monday, March 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. The slideshow covers the latest scientific findings as well as potential solutions to mitigate climate change. This event is hosted by the “Green Disciples”, the church Environmental Stewardship Group, which is based in faith and engaged in being good stewards of God’s Earth."
Quinn signs crackdown on organized store thieves
none"The new law takes aim at organized groups of criminals that steal goods, resell them and use the money to buy drugs, guns or support their continuing enterprise. A person convicted of three retail thefts within 18 months could face forfeiture of property purchased with the money made from selling the goods."
Statistics provide good news/bad news views of Illinois' jobs progress
"The Democratic governor sticks to raw numbers when he discusses jobs. He says, correctly, that Illinois added 46,300 jobs in 2010, more than any other state in the region. But Illinois also is the largest state, so it might be expected to see bigger job swings.  Another way to measure is by looking at the number of jobs compared to the population. By that measure, Illinois added 3.6 jobs for every 1,000 residents last year.  That’s roughly one-third the growth rate in the leading Midwestern state, North Dakota, which added 9.5 jobs per 1,000 residents."
Higher car insurance minimums rejected by Illinois House committee
"The House Insurance Committee shot down Leitch’s House Bill 231, which would have significantly increased the amount of liability coverage Illinois motorists are required to carry. Motorists now are required to have at least $20,000 worth of insurance to cover the death or injury of one person, $40,000 to cover death or injury to more than one person, and $15,000 to cover property damage. Leitch’s bill would have changed those requirements to $100,000, $300,000 and $100,000, respectively."
Fox Lies on Workers’ Right Poll - AFL-CIO
"In a segment of “Fox & Friends,” the faux news network apparently didn’t like the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll that showed that 61 percent of Americans oppose measures like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) that eliminate the right of public workers to bargaining for good jobs. The poll found just 31 percent agreed with Walker.  But, as Think Progress’ Zaid Jilani points out today, Fox, “with incredible brazenness” simply reversed the numbers."
Gay marriage wins initial approval in Maryland Senate - Washington Post
"The action, which cleared the way for a final Senate vote Thursday, followed several hours of debate on amendments designed to make exceptions for people whose religious beliefs are at odds with the notion of same-sex couples marrying.  Measures were defeated that sought to allow religiously affiliated adoption agencies to refuse services to same-sex couples, to allow clerks of courts to refuse to conduct marriages based on religious objections and to exempt public school teachers from teaching materials that "promote" gay unions."
It's the Inequality, Stupid - Mother Jones
"A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244."
NTIA Releases National Map of Broadband Data - Speed Matters
"The map is searchable not only by geographic area, but in other ways too, such as the technology and speed available. What's very exciting is that because the raw data is available, outside groups will be able to create new tools with it, and combine it with other data to get a more complete picture of the state of broadband throughout the United States."
21 Feb
  • ALL ABOUT WEST CHICAGO WEEK - FB, Kathe Elliott-Doremus
    "Just because I feel like it, I'm calling this "ALL ABOUT WEST CHICAGO WEEK" - Share if you LOVE West Chicago - an awesome community, full of wonderful people, excellent schools, beautiful homes, lovely neighborhoods, and HEART!"
  • NADS 26th Annual Bowl-A-Thon - FB, Kathe Elliott-Doremus
    "Two more weeks until the National Association for Down Syndrome Bowl-A-Thon. This is a phenomenal organization that reaches out to provide education. support, and service to people with DS and their families. Nineteen years ago, NADS gave me hope that life could and would be wonderful for my daughter. ..."
Feb Local Music Night 2011 - John Kruser
"Check out the promo for the new edition of Local Music Night. This program was recorded on Friday (2/18/11) and will be shown at 8PM this Wednesday & Friday."
Police seek witnesses in W. Chicago accident
"The pedestrian who was struck and injured by a vehicle Sunday morning in unincorporated West Chicago has been identified, but police are not yet releasing his identity.  The man was struck at around 6 a.m. at the intersection of Geneva Road and Morningside Avenue. He was described as a white male about 17 to 21 years old, between 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and around 160 pounds with dark brown hair."
Local politicians, union officials watching Wisconsin protests
"Murphy said in Illinois the battleground is over needed reforms to “a pension system that is largely underfunded” for government employees, from teachers to police officers to firefighters to health care providers to, yes, former politicians.  If the General Assembly were to impose major changes on their pensions, he said, “I would imagine you’d see a similar reaction here.”
Kendall projects catch attention of House Transportation chair
"In Kendall County, the engineering for a bridge over a small creek can be completed in about six months for $60,000 by county employees. However, if the county needs federal dollars to pay for the project, the regulations can make the same engineering cost $250,000 and take up to two years... Illinois U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren, Dan Lipinski and Adam Kinzinger spoke briefly, but spent most of the time listening to about 100 people in the standing-room-only crowd. Nearly everyone there worked on transportation infrastructure, mainly roads."
Flood alerts issued as snow melts and the rivers risee
"The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the East Branch of the DuPage River at Bolingbrook along Route 53 where the river is expected to crest by this evening.  A Flood Advisory has been issued for the Des Plaines River, primarily in Riverside, as well as the Fox River in Kane and La Salle counties."
Officials make their case for transit
"The "listening session" headed by U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was conducted inside a hangar at DuPage Airport in West Chicago. It was part of the run-up to expected congressional passage later this year of a multiyear reauthorization of federal transportation spending."
Police seek help in crash near W. Chicago
none"DuPage County officials are asking for witnesses to come forward who may have seen an early morning accident in which a pedestrian was injured in an unincorporated area near West Chicago, police said.  The incident happened at about 6 a.m. at Geneva Road and Morningside Avenue near West Chicago, DuPage County sheriff’s officials said. The man survived the accident."
Celebrating the 100th Day of School in West Chicago Elementary School District 33
none"Thursday, February 10, 2011 was the 100th day celebration for Mrs. Kearney’s kindergarten class at Currier School in West Chicago Elementary School District 33. As a special treat, District 33’s Superintendent, Dr. Leman, read the book Mrs. Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten to the students."
Federal officials to review costs of blizzard cleanup
"The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has collected storm-related expense data from nearly 1,500 government bodies in 70 counties. The information includes expenses for snow and ice removal for a continuous 48-hour period beginning Feb. 1, debris removal and repairs of damage to government facilities."
Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau report.
"More than half of the lower estimate ($117.2 million) is due to the impact of Special Session Senate Bill 2 (health savings accounts), Assembly Bill 3 (tax deductions/credits for relocated businesses), and Assembly Bill 7 (tax exclusion for new employees)... Our analysis indicates a general fund gross balance of $121.4 million and a net balance of $56.4 million."
Obama administration replaces controversial 'conscience' regulation for health-care workers - Washington Post
none"Friday's move was seen as an important step in countering that trend, which in recent years had led pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for the emergency contraceptive Plan B, doctors in California to reject a lesbian's request for infertility treatment, and an ambulance driver in Chicago to turn away a woman who needed transportation for an abortion."
Abraham Lincoln Wrote Playbook For Wisconsin Dems Who Fled State - Think Progress
"That’s when Lincoln determined to keep the legislature in session in order to buy precious time for the bank to find a way to survive, and that’s how he jumped into the national limelight on December 5, 1840. On that date, the Democrats proposed an early adjournment, knowing this would bring a speedy end to the State Bank. The Whigs tried to counter by leaving the capitol building before the vote, but the doors were locked. That’s when Lincoln made his move. He headed for the second story, opened a window and jumped to the ground!"
Wisconsin Power Play - NY Times, PAUL KRUGMAN
"The bill that has inspired the demonstrations would strip away collective bargaining rights for many of the state’s workers, in effect busting public-employee unions. Tellingly, some workers — namely, those who tend to be Republican-leaning — are exempted from the ban; it’s as if Mr. Walker were flaunting the political nature of his actions. "
19 & 20 Feb

This Week in West Chicago

Jean Day

  • RIP Jean Day. Pineapple Upside Down Cake will be made in memory of you. Miss you already!! - FB, Becca Stiana
none Innovative Early Childhood School in West Chicago Receives $1.5 Million
"The State of Illinois has granted developers of Educare of West DuPage $1.5 million to support construction of its new facility in West Chicago. The funds are part of the state’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, and will be used to prepare the building site, complete improvements to the intersection at Forest Avenue and Pearl Road, and begin construction on the 24,000 square foot building this spring."
Correction:  WeGo Run Committee Needs You! 
  • Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011
  • Time: 9:30 am
  • Location: Mc Donald's, 305 S. Neltnor Blvd, West Chicago, IL
  • Phone: 630.231.1999
"This is not rocket science." Senator Johnson reacts to Governor Quinn's budget address
"State Senator Tom Johnson (R-West Chicago) continues to stress a need for spending reform following Governor Pat Quinn’s budget address. The governor’s plan puts spending at an all time high and relies on borrowing to make it possible."
You can make dent in $14 trillion debt
"But the U.S. Treasury Department offers a solution. We the people can pay it off. “Welcome to the United States Treasury’s site for making donations to help reduce the public debt. If you would like to make a donation, please fill in the required fields and click the Submit Data button when completed,” reads the welcome at"
Asian carp plan killed
"Currently, electric barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal hold the Asian carp back from entering Lake Michigan. The Army Corps of Engineers continues to study methods to keep the voracious species, which can grow to be 100 pounds, out of the Great Lakes.  Camp’s amendment was tacked onto a bill to outline the budget for fiscal year 2011, which will move to the Senate for approval."
VFW Awards "Student Voices" at CHS
none"Sixty-six students from Community High School entered the contest, which is designed to foster patriotism, and allow students the opportunity to voice their opinion in a three to five minute recorded essay based on an annual theme. This year’s theme was "Does My Generation Have a Role in America’s Future?”"
Police warn of illegal skimmers on Chicago ATMs
"Officers say two of the skimming devices, which are used to illegally record personal identity information, were found this week on an ATM on North Lincoln Avenue. They tell the Chicago Tribune the devices were found after the victim attempted to withdraw money from the machine and two of them fell from the ATM."
Illlinois not yet Wisconsin when it comes to state worker unions
"Walker’s proposal stops just short of decertifying unions, but it would bar them from asking for wage increases indexed to inflation and negotiating on other benefits.  The bill also would require unions to collect dues themselves instead of governments doing it for them, requires an annual vote by members to remain unionized and limits contracts to one year. It would apply to all public employee unions with the exception of those who represent police and firefighters."
Some agencies see increases under governor's budget plan
none"Perhaps the most misleading figure in the budget is a $1 billion increase for the Department of Central Management Services. That’s nearly a 27 percent jump.  CMS spokeswoman Alka Nayyar said the increase is “almost entirely attributable” to the state employee group health insurance program being moved back to CMS from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The group health insurance budget is also being increased because state lawmakers deliberately gave the program less money this year than experts said it needed to cover health-care bills."
Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions - Forbes
"This afternoon, Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Workers Union, sent a message to the Governor’s office agreeing to the cuts to pension & welfare benefits sought by Walker in his bill.  The governor’s response was “nothing doing.”  He wants the whole kit and kaboodle – the end of the collective bargaining rights of the public unions."

WHAT’S NEW - Robert L. Park

Pirates hijack Quest Bible Ministry leaders; US mulls responses - Assoc Press
"An American couple that has sailed the world with a yacht full of Bibles was hijacked by Somali pirates, and the U.S. said Saturday it is assessing possible options.  Pirates say the yacht will make landfall in Somalia on Sunday, which would reduce the chances of a fast rescue dramatically. A British sailing couple hijacked by pirates was held hostage in a stiflingly hot Somali region for more than a year."
Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short - Wall Street Journal
"Initially envisioned as a way for management-level people to put aside extra retirement money, the 401(k) was embraced by big companies in the 1980s as a replacement for costly pension funds. Suddenly, they were able to transfer the burden of funding employees' retirement to the employees themselves. Employees had control over their savings, and were able carry them to new jobs.  They were a gold mine for money-management firms."
18 Feb
none Ramey Against Quinn’s Call for Increased Borrowing, Spending
none"Following Democrat Governor Pat Quinn’s first budget address of his new term, State Representative Randy Ramey (R-West Chicago) says he is against the massive $8.75 billion borrowing plan which still leaves Illinois budget unbalanced by nearly $2 billion."
none WeGo Run Committee Needs You!
"We Go Run is now in it's 6th year and it has become a popular race in  District 33, as well as for racers in the surrounding areas.  Please come to this meeting and find out how you can help this great event continue to gain momentum. "
DuPage businesses pass tobacco checks
"Forty-six businesses in unincorporated DuPage County recently passed compliance checks aimed at preventing the sale of tobacco to minors, the sheriff’s office announced this week.It was the second of three rounds of checks funded by an Illinois Liquor Commission grant. Officials said the grant pays for sheriff’s deputies to educate businesses on tobacco laws, then verify their compliance by sending in underage teens who attempt to buy tobacco products."
District 33 Spelling Bee Finalists Progress to Next Competition
none"Alex Turzinski, 4th grader from Indian Knoll School in West Chicago, and Marianne Kiel, 8th grader from West Chicago Middle School, will represent West Chicago Elementary School District 33 in the DuPage County Spelling Bee Final on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at Lisle Jr. High School."
Social services balk at Quinn's spending cuts
"Quinn has enlisted the agencies' support for his 67 percent income tax increase and asked them to apply pressure on the mostly Republican group of lawmakers who have balked at his plan to borrow $8.75 billion to help pay the state's giant backlog of bills.  The agencies, which are owed a major chunk of the money Quinn wants to borrow, now find themselves in a battle to stop Quinn's proposed budget cuts even as they push the borrowing plan."
Quinn wants fewer school districts
none"Details that emerged Thursday indicate Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to slice the number of Illinois school districts from 869 to no more than 300 in two years might compel consolidations where previous efforts dangled financial incentives or required local voter approval."
Illinois notifying disabled of lawsuit settlement
"The agreement would give more housing choices to 6,000 adults who receive state aid and live in privately operated care facilities. Illinois' Medicaid program also would be required to offer services to an additional 3,000 adults living at home with aging parents or other family members."
Quinn plan targets more than 500 school districts for merger
"Quinn went on to say he will form a commission to review the issue. Still, he said lower administrative overhead and improved efficiency from consolidation could save taxpayers $100 million annually.  Although the commission has yet to be formed, the Quinn administration has already set a target for the number of districts the state should have.  “The idea would be no more than 300 school districts,” Kraft said."
Quinn budget would add 950 to state payroll
"The administration said adding some jobs will actually save money because some state agencies, particularly the Corrections Department, are spending huge amounts on overtime. In Corrections, for instances, guards work long hours to make up for a staff shortage, officials say."
Videos Capture Madison Passion
"For more extensive video and audio coverage of the historic actions to protect workers’ rights, Workers Independent News (WIN) is a great resource. The WIN website has multiple stories and interviews."
UC Davis removes Web wording that upset Christians - Assoc Press
"The wording to which the students objected defined religious discrimination in the United States as "institutionalized oppressions toward those who are not Christian.""
16 Feb
none Around and About in West Chicago - 16 Feb 2011
Due to travel related to a memorial service, the normal presentation of Merle's column is delayed until, at least tomorrow... and Friday's update is questionable.  Sorry. - Bob

District 33 News Bites

  • Website Tips
  • DuPage County Spelling Bee Final
  • We Go Run Committee Needs You!
  • West Chicago Middle School Athletics
  • Daily Herald Weather Sketcher
none"This year the CHS Education Foundation welcomes 1st – 8th graders to the Wildcat Classic Volleyball Clinic. This clinic will be held at Noon on Saturday, March 12th, 2011, at the Community High School field house."
Madigan warns against tax-refund loans
"Madigan said Monday that consumers can make the mistake of considering such loans simply as advances on their expected refunds at the time they file their taxes. In reality, she said, they are high-cost, short-term loans that have fees attached for such things as tax filing, document preparation and electronic filing. Those fees, she said, are deducted before the refund is even issued."
St. Charles predicts failure for new fire department
"“We think these are some drastic, definitive decisions the fire protection district is making,” DeWitte said. “We believe them to be ill-conceived. The ultimate result will be a reduction in service to the people we have served in the outlying areas for going on four or five decades."
Mosque downsizes to meet DuPage board members’ concerns
"“Frankly, I have never seen an applicant reach out and try to satisfy every one of the 18 members of the county board,” Daniel said. “They directly hit the issues from certain county board members head on.”"
Suburbs grow as diversity grows; tolerance?
"Shifting attitudes have come along with the increasingly diverse ethnic makeup of the suburbs. New residents who are Hispanic, Asian, African-American, American Indian, other minorities or of mixed race fueled much of the growth of the suburbs between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released Tuesday."
Wheaton Academy ousts Kaneland
"The tears flowing from Wheaton Academy junior guard Allison Witt could have been tears of joy after her team scored only 30 points, but somehow advanced Monday night in the Class 3A St. Francis regional."
Quinn budget to seek drug, health care cuts
none"Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday is expected to call for ending a prescription drug assistance program started by his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, and for cutting how much money hospitals and nursing homes get for providing health care to the poor.  The moves are part of a budget plan Quinn will present in which he's expected to ask to increase spending by more than $1.4 billion and stick with his request to borrow $8.75 billion to pay off old bills, according to several sources familiar with the plan."
West Chicago murder conviction overturned
"The 2005 conviction of a man for the murder of his West Chicago landlord -- who had discovered the man was having an affair with his wife -- has been overturned by the Illinois Appellate Court.  Ashwani Shamlodhiya, 35, a native of India, was convicted by a jury of the Sept. 11, 2001 murder of Sichang “Michael” Li and the arson of the West Chicago townhouse they both shared with Li’s wife, Wen “Susan” Li."
Officials: Illinois fewer than 1,000 road fatalities in 2010
"The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police said it's the first time since 1921 that traffic fatalities were below 1,000 for two years in a row."
GOP seeks to reinstate death penalty if Quinn signs repeal
"Two Republicans have introduced bills that would reinstate and further reform the death penalty if Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill abolishing it.  House Bill 1520, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, would ask voters at the November 2012 election whether or not they want Illinois to have capital punishment."
Illinois home school registration bill draws crowd
"Hundreds of families – their children in tow – packed the second floor of the Statehouse and a meeting of the Senate Education Committee to oppose Senate Bill 136, which requires registration of students in non-public schools, a classification under which home schools fall.  Sponsor Sen. Edward Maloney, D-Chicago, pulled the bill from consideration, saying he agreed to not introduce the legislation pending the outcome of the committee testimony."
Green Bay Packers Criticize WI Gov - Think Progress
"As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans. … They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.  The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards."
Focus on Family asks abortion-rights advocates to help make abortion less common - Denver Post
none"Reproductive-rights supporters say they want abortion to be legal, safe and rare, Daly said, and so his Colorado Springs-based media powerhouse will try to walk that common ground with them — lessening demand for abortion... However, it is in keeping with his makeover of the house that James Dobson built. Daly has said he wants the ministry, which it says reaches 220 million listeners worldwide with its daily broadcasts, to have more conversations and fewer fights."
Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war - Guardian
"Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995."
Common Cause Asks Court About Thomas Speech - NY Times
"When questions were first raised about the retreat last month, a court spokeswoman said Justice Thomas had made a “brief drop-by” at the event in Palm Springs, Calif., in January 2008 and had given a talk.  In his financial disclosure report for that year, however, Justice Thomas reported that the Federalist Society, a prominent conservative legal group, had reimbursed him an undisclosed amount for four days of “transportation, meals and accommodations” over the weekend of the retreat."
14 Feb
none $10,000 Tuition Raffle - EDUCATION FOUNDATION
"$25 Raffle Tickets on sale through the web store
$10 to winner; $15 to charity serving students of Community High School
 Click Here to purchase Raffle Tickets"
Crystal & Mike Kwasman: Movie, caramel corn and a prize
none"The Kwasmans had met at the Apparel Center, where they both worked. Crystal was an independent sales representative for high-end women’s apparel, and Mike a rep for affordable men’s clothes. He had been joking about the merger, but “it ended up she did come into my business and take it over,” he said. “And I’ve been working for her ever since.”"
Churches strive to bridge the perceived gap between faith and reason
""When I became aware of the letter, of course I signed it," said Reklau, the former pastor of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in West Chicago. "The real point of the Clergy Letter Project is to argue that intelligent design or creation design is not real science and should not be forced upon students in public schools. If private or parochial schools wish to teach intelligent design, that’s fine. But it has no place in public schools.""
WGN Academics see DuPage Airport improvement
"The airport authority's current tax levy has been chopped, to $6 million annually, and the airport has abated $500,000 in each of the last two years. The $23 million in debt has been erased, officials said.  "The remarkable story of the (DuPage Airport Authority) is that it systematically developed a well-deserved reputation as a reliable steward of the public trust despite Illinois' continued reputation of government mismanagement and corruption," Green and Creticos wrote."
Academics see DuPage Airport improvement
none"For years, DuPage Airport was among the most poorly run government agencies tagged with well-deserved reputations for corruption, political patronage and insider deals, the history reflects... Not anymore. A new leadership instituted changes starting in 2002. Today, the airport is still not totally free of controversy. There is an ongoing effort to transform the failed DuPage National Technology Park, situated on about 800 acres of airport-owned land, into a business park. Progress has been painfully slow, in part because of the weak economy."
Forest preserve district may seek FOIA law changes
none"The measure, which is slated to go for a vote before the forest preserve board Tuesday, would change existing law in three ways. A governmental body would not be required to copy or make available for public inspection records that are already published on its Web site. It would be able to charge fees to those who make FOIA requests to cover costs if the public body has to go off-site to a storage unit operated by a third party contractor to retrieve a document and it would allow the public body to redact personal information when disclosing what the proposal states would be “a clearly warranted invasion of personal privacy.”"
Metra finds 'alarming' pollution on some trains
"Metra's testing summary, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows the worst pollution generally was on trains leaving the south platform at Union Station. The highest soot levels on a single route were on a train leaving the Ogilvie Transportation Center... Soot levels generally were highest inside the first car behind the locomotive, dropped in the second car and declined substantially in the last car. Moreover, levels were dramatically lower on return trips downtown using the same locomotives."
Broken Budgets: States may find their workers are tough targets
"New Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has all but declared war on government employees and their unions — or as he calls them, the “haves” in an economy of “have nots.”  In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich says state law should be changed to weaken unions in contract negotiations. And Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams wants to cut pension benefits.  But state officials trying to close crippling budget deficits may find it difficult, perhaps impossible, to translate their words into action."
Both sides in gun debate claim support in Illinois legislature
none"However, the Brady Campaign says passing concealed carry is likely to lead to erosion of gun control laws in general.  “States start adopting it and national gun lobbies come in and help craft stipulations, such as background checks, fingerprinting, proficiency training,” campaign director of state mobilization Brian Malte said. “Then what they do is come back year after year, repealing those stipulations until you have a situation like what Arizona came to last year, which is to allow people to carry concealed weapons with no permit required.”"
AFL Goes On The Attack In Wisconsin Over Rollback Of Worker Rights (VIDEO) - TPM
"On Friday, Walker announced a plan to roll back state government employee rights by decades, and has called on the Wisconsin legislature to enact it quickly.  Unions and progressives went into rapid response mode. Some even suggested quietly that Walker might face a recall over this proposal."
The Rise and Fall of the Bible: Rethinking the Good Book - Salon
"... religion professor Timothy Beal describes all the angst and doubt that Bible reading provoked in him during his youth, as well as the frustration many American Christians experience as a result of their own encounters with the book. This doesn't prevent them from buying truckloads of the things -- Beal notes that "the average Christian household owns nine Bibles and purchases at least one new Bible every year" -- but actually reading them is another matter. Beal believes that's because today's Christians are seeking a certainty in their holy book that simply isn't there, and shouldn't be."
Education Department Bureaucracy Keeps Disabled Borrowers in Debt - ProPublica
"An unpublished internal report by the federal student-aid ombudsman in 2009, obtained through a public-records request, urged the Education Department to resolve "fundamental deficiencies [4]" in the disability discharge process. It proposed changes to address the problems of "no written medical standards for determining disability," "no formal appeals process" for denials, and "undue burden and costs" on borrowers, who must obtain required medical forms from their doctors at their own time and expense. The ombudsman has twice [5] recommended [6] that the department consider scrapping its review altogether -- and instead contract the decisions out to the Social Security Administration or other agencies with "mature and proven processes" for evaluating disability."
The New Iron Curtain of Journalism in America: Banning Al Jazeera - Buzz Flash
"Ironically, even as our own government prodded Egyptian officials to be more open, both we Americans and the Egyptian people were prevented from watching al Jazeera's own coverage on TV.  The reason neither country's citizens had access to al Jazeera TV is because, in both countries, those in charge of the transmitters were terrified by a news source they could not manipulate, control, limit or intimidate."
12 Feb

Next Week in West Chicago

District 94 Board of Education Agenda  - February 15, 2011
CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17 - FB, John Kruser
"It's not Monday yet but we're posting next week's schedule already. Don't be expecting this kind of efficiency every week. I better rest now, I'm spent."
DuPage blizzard costs could exceed $4 million
none"Gervino said his office will submit the county’s initial damage assessment cost tabulation to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday. The agency will then make a recommendation to Gov. Pat Quinn who will ultimately decide whether to seek federal assistance."
Unemployment hurts Metra ridership
"Metra ridership declined slightly in 2010, but the rail agency still posted the fourth-highest volume in its history... She [Lynnette Ciavarella, assistant senior division director of capital and strategic planning] blamed downtown employment, which dropped 0.3 percent last year to 1997 levels, for a large part of the decline."
ComEd rate hike plan likely controversial
"In 2007, when electric rates rose after a 10-year freeze, the resulting outrage led to Attorney General Lisa Madigan and lawmakers negotiating a $1 billion settlement — paid mostly by ComEd-parent Exelon — that effectively lowered rates for the next several years."
Dancing with the Stars at Community High School
"Community High School’s “All Night Long” Post Prom Committee will be hosting its annual St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser at St. Andrews Country Club in West Chicago on Saturday, March 19, 2011, from 7-11pm."
Dems, GOP at odds over state's 2% spending limit
none"Like many Republicans, Murphy wants to see spending go down instead of up. But the Quinn administration sees it differently: The more money the state is forced to spend each year on big-ticket items such as pensions for state workers and health care for the poor, the more money it will be forced to cut elsewhere to stay under the 2 percent limit."
High school bans 'sexually explicit' dancing
"A suggestive style of dancing called "grinding" has been banned from dances at a high school in west suburban Geneva.  Grinding involves dance partners rubbing against each other in an explicit way. The Kane County Chronicle reports that some Geneva High School students had complained to their principal about it.  That led school officials to write a letter to parents announcing the ban."
Few signs businesses abandoning Illinois
"Even as Gov. Pat Quinn announces, on nearly a weekly basis, new businesses coming to Illinois or current ones staying put, other states that have made a big show of trying to lure firms from the state have yet to land a big one."
Taxes not the only factor businesses consider in choosing sites
"But there’s a catch to the anti-tax, pro-business rhetoric: Businesses consider a range of factors when deciding where to locate, including the quality of schools, roads and programs that rely on a certain level of public spending and regulation. And evidence suggests there is little correlation between a state’s tax rate and its overall economic health."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 11 Feb 2011

Wisconsin’s Walker Calls for End of Collective Bargaining, Alerts National Guard - AFL-CIO
"Today he took it even further: He announced he has alerted the National Guard to be ready in case state workers strike or rise in protest. He told the Associated Press he’s been working on contingency plans for months.  The last time the National Guard was used against public workers was the Memphis sanitation strike in 1968, just before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s  assassination.  The last time the Guard was called out in Wisconsin to quell a labor dispute was the 1934 Kohler strike by the UAW."

As context for the above item please refer to:

Egypt's Muslims and Christians join hands in protest - BBC News
"During the big "Day of Departure" protest in Tahrir Square last Friday, Coptic Christian protesters made a human chain around their Muslim brothers and sisters as they performed the noon prayers.  Two days later, "Martyrs' Sunday" was celebrated by Egyptians of both religions as an affirmation of national unity in struggle."
'Religious Conscience' bill dies amid bias fears - Des Moines Register
"A legislative proposal to allow Iowans to deny housing, employment or services to people whose marriages they disapprove of based on religious beliefs is dead, the chairman of the House Judicial Committee said Wednesday... In addition, the bill was so broad that it would legalize a wide spectrum of other discriminatory acts, constitutional scholars and civil rights advocates said. They raised questions about whether services could be denied if, say, a Christian were married to a Jew, or if someone objected to a couple who were unable to have children."
Fox News Insider: "Stuff Is Just Made Up" - Truth-Out
"Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”"
11 Feb
Memory Loss:  A Normal Part of Aging or Alzheimer's Disease? - Becky Koltz
"Just a quick note to let you know I posted a new message on my HomeCare Services of DuPage blog, the topic being memory loss. You may find it helpful for parents or grandparents. Click the link below to read the blog and information from the Alzheimer's Association."
Valentine Bowl & Charity Auction - FB, Susan Dieterle Stibal
none"STRIKES predicted this Saturday in West Chicago . . .
Valentine Bowl this Saturday guarantees NO PIN will be left behind!  Non-Bowlers Welcome and bring your CHECKBOOK everyone!
Auction Items STILL arriving: Xtreme Trampoline JUMPFEST Party, Volleyball Fun Times Party, Bowling Extravaganza Party, Up & Away Cessna Flight Package, 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox Tickets, Flight Simulator (just like the real thing) Ride, Chicago Fire Shirt signed by Cuautemoc Blanco, Spellman Studios Amazing Portrait Package, Plus . . . Gleaming Gift BASKETS to bid on!
Sign up at your local Elementary School or at the D33 Offices or come join us Saturday!
none PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for January 2011
"Jacob Schauer, of West Chicago, a freshman at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the January PeaceBuilder-of-the-month."
none"This year the CHS Education Foundation welcomes both youth and adults to the 5th Annual West Chicago 3-on-3 Wildcat Classic Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 12th, 2011."
  • “A Bit of Blarney”
    "Come sing along with Patty Ecker, award winning singer/musician, who will perform St. Patrick’s Day songs, including MacNamara’s Band, Danny Boy, and an Irish lullaby or two.
  • ACT Prep Test
    "A practice test is crucial to ward off those Test Day jitters and to predict how you may score on the “real thing”.  Don’t be surprised!!  Come and experience firsthand what Test Day will be like."
New DuPage Water Commission treasurer resigns
nonenone"“I met with Jim Rasins yesterday and he submitted his resignation as treasurer of the DuPage Water Commission,” Zay said. “Jim has some personal commitments that have come up that he didn’t know about when he accepted the position. I’ve known Jim a long time and he wanted to put 110 percent into this and he is no longer able to do that for an extended period of time.”"
County ruling alters second mosque’s plans
"On Thursday night, the group informed DuPage’s zoning board of appeals that it’s no longer requesting a height variance for an 85-foot minaret. And while a variance for a dome still is being sought, the proposed maximum height of the dome has been reduced from 69 feet to 59 feet."
Wheaton Academylooking good
"Dating to last season, in which Wheaton Academy (20-1) went 12-0 to win the inaugural SCC Gold title, the Warriors have won 19 straight divisional games. Wheaton Academy rounds off its Gold slate with consecutive games against struggling Guerin and the Feb. 18 divisional finale against Aurora Christian, which pushed the hardest in a 55-52 Warriors win on Jan. 14."
Seniors can cut heating costs with DuPage program
"A single person earning about $21,000 or a family of four earning $44,000 can qualify. Households eligible for disability assistance or supplemental Social Security Insurance may also qualify.  Those accepted into the program will have up to $8,000 in home improvements installed by inspectors that will help reduce energy costs."
Quinn warns of 'lean' year after major tax increase
none"The governor said he will provide details during his Wednesday budget address, but cautioned that sacrifices must be made in order to get the state’s budget books in order.  “It’s going to be a lean year, we have to be very, very frugal,” Quinn said. Quinn persuaded lawmakers to raise the income tax rate by 67 percent last month to bring the state budget closer into balance."
Senator proposes minimum wage above $10 an hour
"The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Democratic Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood has introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage by 50 cents plus the rate of inflation every year until it reaches the point where it's equivalent to what $1.60 an hour was in 1968. Today, that would mean an hourly wage of $10.03.  Lightford says she wants to make sure the working poor aren't ignored or forgotten."
Illinois group seeks parole vote for victims’ families
"“When that decision is being made, whether they (prisoners) should receive clemency or have their years cut (off a sentence), the victim issue should be brought in,” said the group’s executive director, Dora Larson.  “For too long, victims have sat outside the system, because after murder, that loved one is a piece of evidence.”"
Senate moves to eliminate loophole in appointment process
"Without a dissenting vote, the Illinois Senate Thursday approved a bill to keep top state agency directors from serving without Senate approval.  “It’s meant to correct what we see as a loophole in the law,” Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said in a statement."
State worker pension reductions unconstitutional, Cullerton says
"State Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, said he, too, believes there are constitutional questions with changing future benefits for current employees. However, he said the legislature perhaps could change benefits for a single group of public employees -- maybe judges or legislators -- as a test case. Presumably, a legislator or judge would sue and the case would wind its way through state courts to determine whether the idea passes constitutional muster.  “If it’s unconstitutional, then it’d be a moot point,” Bomke said. “Since the judges are ruling on their own case … it’d be interesting.”"
Kaiser Nurses Gain Improvements in Patient Care - AFL-CIO
"The contract covers 17,000 RNs and nurse practitioners  in 21 hospitals and 40 medical office buildings, and is the largest single contract for RNs in the country.  It provides for regional committees, selected by CNA, to determine additional staffing based on patient need. The deal also guarantees fixed schedules to protect arbitrary changes in nurse scheduling."
Egypt's Christians After Mubarak - Christianity Today
"As the protests began, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Markos told Christianity Today that he walked out on his neighborhood's streets and was soon surrounded by friendly protestors. Markos said, "We are all one. There are no tensions between Muslims and Christians at all in this uprising."  The bishop's statement highlighted the unity between Muslims and Christians over democratic reform. But the underlying issues of religious conversion, intermarriage, and new religious buildings will continue to fuel deep tensions."
Abraham Lincoln, Inflationist - NY Times
"But sooner or later, Republicans were bound to notice other reasons to disavow Lincoln. He was, after all, the first president to institute an income tax. And he was also the first president to issue a paper currency — the “greenback” — that wasn’t backed by gold or silver."
US Chamber’s Lobbyists Solicited Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber’s Political Opponents - Think Progress
"According to one document prepared by Team Themis, the campaign included an entrapment project. The proposal called for first creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” to give to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then to subsequently expose the document as a fake to undermine the credibility of the Chamber’s opponents. In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to “generate communications” with Change to Win."
09 Feb
none Around and About in West Chicago - 09 Feb 2011
  • Blizzard of 2011
  • First Annual Valentine Bowl and Charity Auction
  • Fire House Chili Fest
  • Bowling for Diabetes
  • Wildcat Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

7th Grade Orientation at West Chicago Middle School

  • "Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011
  • Time: 7pm - 8pm
  • Place: West Chicago Middle School 238 E. Hazel St. West Chicago, Il 60185

Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: Feb. 14 – 2000 - Trinoneb Local

Mayor Addresses Realtors
none"Last week area realtors took advantage of a free training session, presented by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and Law Title Insurance, at the West Chicago Public Library, which focused on some of the latest programs for homebuyers."
Informational Meetings for Neighborhood Watch Program
none"The West Chicago Police Department has been revitalizing the Neighborhood Watch Program throughout the city. Currently there are four active watch areas in West Chicago: Cornerstone Lakes Subdivision, Prairie Meadows Subdivision, Forest Trails Subdivision and the area just south of the West Chicago Community High School District 94."
Islamic center tries for appeal in DuPage Countyty
"A Muslim group seeking to use a house near West Chicago as a religious institution is hoping that new information about the site's septic system and surrounding property values will persuade DuPage County to support the proposal.  But opponents are urging DuPage's zoning board of appeals to stand by its December decision to reject Islamic Center of Western Suburbs' petition for a conditional-use permit."
West Chicago deacon gets 6 years for embezzlement
"“For more than three years, Mr. Valdez stole from those who had placed their trust and confidence in him,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “He betrayed that trust by lining his own pockets with funds donated to the parish.”"
Where can we walk safely in the suburbs?
"You’ve seen them — kids lugging school backpacks and trudging down the middle of the street because the sidewalks are inaccessible. Commuters heading home from the station, briefcases in hand, stepping gingerly around parked cars. Joggers and dogwalkers dodging moving vehicles.  When sidewalks are impassable, it’s not safe for anyone. But how much can you expect from residents and businesses faced with more than 20 inches of snow to remove?"
Quinn budget projections plan on borrowing, cigarette tax hike
none"On Tuesday, the chief of staff of Quinn’s budget office gave senators budget projections that included plans to borrow almost $9 billion to pay for the state’s many overdue bills... The presentation kicked off budget talks a little earlier than usual this year, and the discussions were contentious."
Ex-deacon gets prison for stealing from church
Chicago area sets another winter record
"The 2.6 inches that fell Sunday brought the total snowfall of the season to 50.1 inches, according to the National Weather Service. It is the first time in the recorded weather history for Chicago that there have been four consecutve seasons of at least 50 inches of snow."
County Board denies mosque tower
"Handling a separate piece of the proposal directly, the board denied height variances for the dome and minaret designed as components of the building. Board members said they didn’t think MECCA had shown it would suffer legal hardship if compelled to meet the 36-foot height limit in the code.  But the group’s attorney, Mark Daniel, who has called the height cap illegal, said the move renders baseless the claim that the project’s opposition is not related to Islam."
DuPage board to decide today on mosque
"On one side, the issue is about the right to have a sacred space where believers can pray. On the other, it's about preventing religious institutions from crowding residential neighborhoods.  On Tuesday, the DuPage County Board is expected to announce its decision on whether a proposed new mosque can be built near Willowbrook."
  West Chicago Mayor Addresses Realtors on the Benefits of Homeownership in West Chicago
Durbin urges fix of pool drain hazard
"Accreditation authorities reviewing the lab that certified most of these products last year documented that the facility used inadequate equipment and performed federally mandated tests in ways that do not mirror conditions in real pools or spas, the Tribune found."
Obama's high-speed rail plan would benefit Illinois
none"Congressional approval of the $53 billion plan would help accelerate work to upgrade the 284-mile corridor between Chicago and St. Louis to accommodate trains traveling at up to 110 mph, and to build a second track along the same route, experts said.  A funding boost to Illinois, Michigan and Iowa also would step up the pace on modernizing the Chicago-to-Detroit rail line for faster trains and building a new Amtrak route between Chicago and Iowa City."
State: Tax amnesty enriches general fund by $314M
"The total going into the general revenue fund from the amnesty was $408 million, but the Revenue Department estimated that $94 million of that would have been collected during the current fiscal year anyway, said spokeswoman Sue Hofer.  A total of $717 million in taxes was collected, with the balance going to local governments and the state’s income tax refunds."
Madigan hints at pension reductions for state workers
"“We’re all familiar with the inadequate funding of the state pension systems,” Madigan said. “Again, tough decision-making, telling people you’re not going to get everything you thought you were going to get, telling people you may have to pay in more. Not easy stuff. So we all better get ready for it.”  The position of Gov. Pat Quinn and Democratic lawmakers largely has been that it is unconstitutional to reduce benefits for current state employees. However, Madigan’s statement could signal a shift on the issue."
‘States of Denial’ Tracks State Lawmakers’ Attacks on Workers - AFL-CIO
"Across the country, state politicians are in “States of Denial.” Instead of creating jobs and solving the problems of middle-class working families, newly elected Republican legislators and governors are pushing legislation to cut good jobs and benefits, lower wages, threaten job safety and weaken unions.  These attacks are a payback to the CEOs who financed their campaigns and will help swell already record-size corporate profits and keep those CEO bonuses coming."
Judge tosses atheist's lawsuit over cross - Chicago Breaking News
"Bernthal ruled that the grant was made by the state's executive branch and was not a designated legislative "earmark" as Sherman had alleged. Bernthal also found that the state's economic-development agency has discretion in how it doles out its money.  Bernthal first made his recommendation in December, then reaffirmed the decision late last week after considering additional arguments from Sherman."
Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950 -
"Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century ... Taxes paid have fallen much faster than income in this recession. Personal income fell 2% last year. Taxes paid dropped 23%."
GOP Previews Specific Spending Cuts - TPM
"According to today's sneak peak, the GOP will propose nixing the entire Title X family planning program (already the subject of some controversy among party leaders), and will slash $1.3 billion from Community Health Centers relative to President Obama's request. Compare that to the entire Internal Revenue Service, which would lose $593 million -- less than half that amount."
07 Feb

Master Chuck Baehr's Memorial Celebration - FB

  • Time:  Saturday, February 26 · 4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Location:  1117 North Washington Ave., Batavia, IL 60510
CableCom Programming Schedule - John Kruser
"CableCom West Chicago Channel 17 cable communications foundation providing non-profit all volunteer community and government access programming to residents of West Chicago."
Legislator of the Year - Mike Fortner
none"Saturday I was honored to be the 2010 Legislator of the Year for the Northern Illinois Alliance of Fire Protection Districts. At the luncheon I was pleased to see Ted Phillips from the West Chicago FPD, and Dan Keck from the Winfield FPD among the many attendees."
West Chicago Successfully Battles Blizzard of 2011
"It came but it did not conquer. Thanks to the preparedness of the City of West Chicago, the Blizzard of 2011, which dumped a reported 20.6 inches of snow on the community, was well in hand a day later."
REMINDER - FAFSA Completion Workshop this Wednesday, February 9th
none"On Wednesday, February 9th from7 p.m. to 9 p.m. staff from Community High School Counseling Department and representatives from ISAC Corps (Illinois Student Assistance Commission) will be available to help students and/or parents complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form."
Undocumented worker who became quadriplegic is moved to Mexico against his will
none"For almost four months, doctors and nurses at Advocate Christ Medical Center cared for the young Mexican laborer who had fallen from a roof and lost the ability to speak, breathe or move most parts of his body.  But Quelino Ojeda Jimenez was in the U.S. illegally, and just before Christmas he was taken from the Oak Lawn hospital, loaded on an air ambulance and flown to Oaxaca, capital of the Mexican state where he was born."
Water shortages in Great Lakes region?
"It says the Great Lakes have so much surface and ground water that heavy use and development have not greatly affected the overall supply.  Yet it says shortfalls have popped up in some areas and others could happen. Groundwater levels have plummeted about 1,000 feet in the Chicago-Milwaukee area because of pumping for municipal supplies, and the report says they could drop an additional 100 feet over the next three decades."
Durbin, Kirk ask federal review of Lake Shore Drive
nonenone"U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk wrote a letter Sunday to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Secretary of Transportation. It requests the agencies look at Lake Michigan water levels, impact waves and weak spots.  The letter says a major vehicle route close to a major body of water can have "unintended consequences." The senators say things could have been worse last week if water levels hadn't been at historic lows."
Illinois GOP jump starts 2012 presidential campaign
"Illinois Republicans turned a centennial celebration on the eve of Ronald Reagan's birthday into a cattle call of potential presidential aspirants Saturday night, attempting to jump start the GOP's effort to unseat Barack Obama in the Democratic president's hometown. "
Opposition grows to legislative scholarships
"Two bills already have been introduced this year to end the program that opponents last year said cost the state's public universities, and in particular the University of Illinois, at least $13.5 million. By one estimate the legislative scholarships cost the UI as much as $9 million a year, because although individual lawmakers award them, universities incur the cost."
U of I plans to open D.C. lobbying office
"Kathy Laing, executive director of governmental relations, said the university has long lobbied in Washington but has never had an office there. Michigan, Wisconsin and four other Big Ten schools do."
Snowstorm depletes Illinois cities’ snow budgets
"Illinois cities, like state government, are already struggling. Local tax revenues are down, demand for some services is up and the state is behind in paying cities their share of state taxes. Even something as basic as road salt has doubled in price, officials say.  Many cities had scaled back during the recession, which left them underfunded for an unusually snowy winter and short of both salt and staff when the blizzard hit."
Reform groups hope for more ethics legislation in Illinois
"“(The campaign finance bill) is a really good first step,” said Mary Schaafsma, issues specialist for the League of Women Voters of Illinois.  “But, for those of us who are been around reform issues for decades, we don’t give up, because you never know where the tipping point will be, and the public really understands the relationship in Springfield and the power held by the legislature.”"
New Medicaid law: Needed reform or 'Scrooge-like'?
"Advocates for children and families said they have some concerns about the move into more tightly controlled managed care, though they admit that this part of the law, if handled well, could save money and improve care.  They are most upset about the eventual removal of 3,000 to 4,000 children from All Kids, the end of universal income eligibility for children, and provisions that proponents say will prevent fraud and waste."
Union Rep. Aaron Rodgers Is Super Bowl MVP - AFL-CIO
"Just a week after Natalie Portman and Melissa Leo gave shout outs to their union at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, two more high-profile union members were in the spotlight. On Super Bowl Sunday, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ team rep. for the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), took home the Super Bowl MVP award. The same day New England Patriot alternate rep. Tom Brady was named Offensive Player of the Year for the 2010 season."
Killing of Missionary Rattles Texas Border - NY Times
"The missionary, Nancy Davis, who had worked in Mexico for decades, was shot in the back of the head by gunmen in a pickup truck who had pursued her and her husband for miles in Tamaulipas State.  Her husband, Samuel Davis, piloted his bullet-ridden truck across the two-mile international bridge here, driving pell-mell against traffic on the wrong side of the bridge to evade the pursuers and reach an American hospital. He arrived on the United States side too late to save Ms. Davis, 59."
American Public Shows How it Would Cut the Budget Deficit - World Public Opinion
"This new study shows how the American public would deal with these challenges.  Through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, on average, respondents cut the discretionary budget deficit projected for 2015 by seventy percent. Six in ten solved the problem of the projected Social Security shortfall through adjustments in payroll taxes, premiums, and benefits. The projected Medicare shortfall was also dramatically reduced."
05-06 Feb

Next Week in West Chicago

Dist 94 Board of Education Meeting  - Agenda February 8, 2011
This is the meeting from last week that was postponed by inclement weather. - Bob
Glenbard North rolls past West Chicago
none"The Panthers (8-10, 4-5) ripped to a 36-17 halftime lead and rolled to a DuPage Valley Conference win over West Chicago (4-16, 0-9)."
As state digs out, Gov. Quinn praises response effort
none"“This, to me, was government at its best,” said Gov. Pat Quinn said at a news conference in Chicago, flanked by state snow-fighting trucks. “It took some special, extraordinary people . . . who had to be on the front lines of protecting all of us during this crisis.”"
DuPage to seek federal disaster relief
none"As local municipalities and townships assess the impact of last week’s extraordinary snowstorm, officials are compiling their costs with the intention of securing a hand from the federal government with the unbudgeted expenses."
Cast Call for West Chicago's Gallery Theater
"Due to inclement weather, an additional audition date has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Gallery 200/STUDIO, 203 Turner Court, West Chicago."
[Further information is available at the WegoNews Calendar. - Bob]
Overall Crime Rate on the Decline in West Chicago
Mitsubishi to build new Outlander SUV in Normal
none"Mitsubishi Motors will invest $45 million to build a new Outlander Sport Crossover Utility Vehicle at its Normal plant beginning in 2012.  Mitsubishi and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn issued a joint announcement about the plans. Illinois contributed more than $29 million in tax credits and job training funds to help convince the Japanese automaker to keep its only North American plant open."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 4 Feb 2011   Washington, DC

Bargaining Rights Finally a Reality for TSOs - AFL- CIO
"After a nine-year battle to gain a voice in the workplace, more than 40,000 transportation security officers (TSOs) finally can become union members and bargain for a contract.  In a major victory for working people, John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, today announced that he has decided to grant partial collective bargaining rights to the TSA workforce."
Business Doesn't Need American Workers - Huffington Post
"This record contrasts dramatically with that of the right's favorite whipping boy -- Western Europe. Germany is gaining jobs at a rapid clip. Its industrialists are committed to producing at home, and just in case they get ideas of making outsourcing a way of life, they have strong unions who negotiate agreements on where production is located.  Germany's labor costs are the highest in the world, but Germany nonetheless runs the world's largest export surplus -- 7 percent of GDP -- while America runs chronic trade deficits."
Religious Groups Tackle An X-Rated Secret - NPR
"More than 300 churches are expected to celebrate National Porn Sunday on Feb. 6. The members will watch a video sermon featuring current and former NFL players talking about their struggles with pornography."
Jobless rate among veterans highest in five years - Reuters
"The government said 15.2 percent of veterans were out of work in January, up from 12.6 percent the same month a year ago. This compares with a overall U.S. unemployment rate of 9.0 percent seasonally adjusted and 9.8 percent without adjustment... "You've got folks who are active duty, national guard, and the reserves who have done three, four, five, six deployments and that makes it extremely difficult to come home... and jump back into the workforce for a brief period of time and head out again," he said."
10 Things Conservatives Don’t Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan - Think Progress
"In reality, Reagan was no conservative ideologue or flawless commander-in-chief. Reagan regularly strayed from conservative dogma — he raised taxes eleven times as president while tripling the deficit — and he often ended up on the wrong side of history, like when he vetoed an Anti-Apartheid bill."
04 Feb
Crime Rate Falls - FB , Mike Kwasman
none"West Chicago’s overall crime rate decreased almost 27-percent from 2007 to 2010. The City experienced a 17-percent decrease in violent crime and a 20-percent decrease in the rate of property crime since 2009."
Thank you - FB, Mike Fortner
none"Had a wonderful showing at my event last night! Thank you to all of you who braved the cold weather to help support my campaign! Next event is scheduled for April, I will keep you all posted once we lock in the date."
none January-February Newsletter
  • Lame Duck Session
  • Ideas for Legislation
  • Thanks for Supporting Our Troops
  • Special Thanks to Those Who Gave
none Student-of-the Month for January 2011
"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Megan Hernbroth, of West Chicago, for being selected Student of the Month for January."
Overall Crime Rate on the Decline in West Chicago
"Crediting a citywide culture that prioritizes community relationship-building between residents, businesses and the police department, West Chicago Interim Chief of Police Laz Perez announced recently that crime statistics compiled by the West Chicago Crime Analysis Unit indicate a continuing decline in violent crime and property crime rates over the past four years in West Chicago."
For the suburban homeless, this weather poses special problems
"The temporary housing sites are run out of local churches in towns such as Wheaton, Glen Ellyn Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago and Clarendon Hills, rotating which ones are open on any given night.  Still, despite the efforts, for some homeless people getting to one of those shelters was an arduous task – especially given shaky train and bus service that is just now beginning to return to normal."
Snowfall totals FROM AROUND the Fox Valley
"The National Weather Service in Romeoville provided the following estimates Thursday of snowfall in Fox Valley communities in the Tuesday-Wednesday storm."
Diseased deer discovered in northern Kane County
"The discovery of a deer with chronic wasting disease has prompted the state to obtain Kane County’s permission to kill and test up to 75 deer in county forest preserves to study how widespread the fatal disease is here.  That has upset some residents who say that is too many deer to kill for the study and that it will harm the local deer herd."
PRLog.Org Tornado Industries Addresses Bedbug Bite
"Tornado® Industries, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment, is publishing a special "bedbug" newsletter and White Paper to be distributed in February 2011.   The newsletter and White Paper ( are designed to help clarify why the bedbug problem has resurfaced in the United States after being dormant for so many years."
Metra riders still dealing with delays
"Metra had shut down five lines on Wednesday because of the storm, a day after some trains were stopped in the snow for an hour or more as the blizzard hit.  Today, Metra planned to operate a normal weekday schedule on seven of its lines but only a “modified” weekday schedule on the remaining four lines: BNSF and UP West, North and West lines."
Illinois gay rights groups launch civil union tracker
"Two gay rights organizations have launched a way to track the couples who take advantage of Illinois' newly signed civil unions law.  Lambda Legal and Equality Illinois say their civil union tracker aims to make sure same-sex and different-sex couples are treated fairly under the law."
School districts can’t count on state preschool funds
"State funding for preschool programs may be in jeopardy for the 2011-12 school year as Illinois takes aim at the Early Childhood Block Grant to help solve its budget crisis.  The block grant program is designed to help at-risk children 5 years old and younger learn fundamentals to get ready for their first year of school."
Commission will look into workers’ comp
"The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is taking steps to allow the public to review all claims and settlements... A total of 389 guards and other workers at the Menard Correctional Center in Chester received workers’ compensation for repetitive trauma and carpal tunnel syndrome allegedly contracted from operating cell doors, the newspaper found."
Missouri Republicans Oppose So-Called Right to Work - AFL-CIO
"Other lawmakers in Missouri and around the country who are pushing for “right-to-work” legislation should heed the actions of the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee–if not for for the well-being of workers in their communities, then for their own job security. As former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond said in 1978, the last “right to work” campaign in Missouri was “a disaster.”
"It wiped out every single Republican from top to bottom."
Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? - Wall Street Journal
"Fewer and fewer American Christians, especially Protestants, strongly identify with a particular religious communion—Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc. According to the Baylor Survey on Religion, nondenominational churches now represent the second largest group of Protestant churches in America, and they are also the fastest growing.  More and more Christians choose a church not on the basis of its denomination, but on the basis of more practical matters. Is the nursery easy to find? Do I like the music? Are there support groups for those grappling with addiction?"
New Rule: Americans Must Realize What Makes NFL Football So Great: Socialism - Huffington Post
"New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams... just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers."
Wayne Man Signs Letter to President Obama - Patriotic Millionaires
"For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled.  We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more."
[Signed by DOUG GULLANG of Wayne, IL. - Bob]

School Open  - West Chicago Elementary  School District 33

  • "School will be open tomorrow, Friday, February 4, for the scheduled 1/2 day of student attendance, which is on your school calendar.   
  • Students who walk to school or to bus stops should be cautioned not to walk or wait in the streets - even if sidewalks are not clear. 
  • For those who drive their children to school, please arrange car pooling since access to drop off areas, parking lots, and street parking is reduced due to piled snow.
  •   If you choose to keep your child home, please follow the normal call in procedure."
Feb 2

Weather Related Cancellations

  • "City Hall West Chicago will be open tomorrow."
  • Melissa Hout-Medeiros
    "Park District too!!! Great job out there today to everyone who was clearing streets, etc!"
    "All after school and evening activities and events are also cancelled for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011."
  • noneWest Chicago District 33 Schools Closed Thursday, Feb.3
    "At the recommendation of the DuPage County Emergency Management Authority and due to limited access to the schools, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 schools will remail closed Thursday, February 3, 2011.  This includes all afternoon and evening activities."
  • Call for Snow Shovelers
    Local officials, on condition of anonymity, have called for able bodied patriots to shovel out Bob Lemon's truck, stating, "We don't know if he will leave town if we do, but we know for certain that he can't until the truck is free."
  1. RiverGlass Inc
  2. John & Tony’s
  3. Grobe’s Home Improvement and Kaylor Construction
  4. Hawthorne’s Backyard

Around and About in West Chicago - 02 Feb 2011

  • WeGo Together for Kids Project
  • First Annual Valentine Bowl and Charity Auction
  • Fire House Chili Fest
  • Seventh Annual Bowling for Diabetes
  • Wildcat Preschool
none none"No reported areas of lost power and employees were put up in a hotel so we had coverage all night. had 2 mechanics on duty all night at garage. All police are on duty and clearing major streets first and then to minor streets. If needed cal 9-1-1."

Some Blizzard Pictures posted on Face Book

DuPage County Board approves contract with law firm to help with redistricting
none"Until recently, 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 to the board’s seven-member redistricting committee. However, after some very public protests from Cronin, the redistricting committee and the law firm agreed recently to drop the confidentiality clause."
Roskam: GOP to pressure Obama on debt, budget
none"Roskam said House Republicans would use such items such as support for a continuing resolution to keep government operating and for raising the debt limit to push Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to call a vote on other items on the House GOP agenda. Roskam called the two items “must passes” for Democrats but said Republicans haven’t agreed yet on what tradeoffs the GOP will seek from Senate Democrats and the White House."
Blizzard closes portions of Illinois interstates
"Restrictions are along the following sections of road: I-80 from Illinois Route 47 in Morris to Illinois Route 26 in Princeton, I-88 from Illinois Route 40 in Rock Falls to I-80 in Rock Island County, I-74 from Galesburg to Peoria, I-39 from I-55 to U.S. Route 20, I-155 from I-55 to I-74, I-55 at Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, I-290 from St. Charles to I-90 and I-57 is closed southbound at I-80.  Officials say stranded vehicles have hampered efforts to clear the interstates."
Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring
"Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn on Groundhog Day to make his 125th annual weather forecast in front of a smaller-than-usual crowd who braved muddy, icy conditions to hear his handlers reveal that he had not seen his shadow."
Quinn signs historic civil unions legislation
"The law, which takes effect June 1, gives gay and lesbian couples official recognition from the state and many of the rights that accompany traditional marriage, including the power to decide medical treatment for an ailing partner and the right to inherit a partner’s property."
No recession in farmland prices
"Oppedahl, who tracks farm economics in portions of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, said land prices recovered quickly after dropping in 2009. By last fall, prices were up 10 percent in the five-state area.  Increases ranged from 13 percent in Iowa to 8 percent in Illinois from October 2009 to October 2010."

Blue Shield Delays Rate Hike After Nurses’ Protest - AFL-CIO

"How’s this for a demonstration of cause and effect?

  • Cause—Yesterday, some 200 activists, led by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA\NNU) rallied outside Blue Shield’s San Francisco corporate headquarters to protest the health insurance giant’s premium hikes of as much as 59 percent for California consumers.
  • Effect—Blue Shield announced a 60-day delay in the massive increase."
Group Releases Hidden Tapes of Planned Parenthood - NY Times
"Last week, Planned Parenthood said that people claiming to be sex traffickers had visited at least 11 of its clinics and that it had notified the Justice Department. The group also said that, based on an identification of one of the visitors, it had concluded that the visits were a hoax by the anti-abortion group Live Action. Planned Parenthood said the group had a history of using “surreptitious videotaping and manipulative editing” in a campaign to destroy it. "
GOP Sens Admit: Goal Of Changing Health Care Law Is To Kill It - TPM
""If you took half the states out of the individual mandate requirement, this bill falls, requiring us to draft something new, and quite frankly that is the goal," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "To find a way to get the Congress to redo this bill.... We want this bill to come to an end.""
Kirk Cites Al Gore's Personal Life As Impetus For Climate Flip-Flop - TPM
none"Back when he was a member of the House, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) was one of a few Republicans who voted for a far-reaching climate change bill. That legislation quickly fueled Tea Party rage, and conservatives went on the attack against the plan's backers. So Kirk did an about face on the issue, and now blames... Al Gore's personal life for the whole sorry episode."
Weather Cancellations
  • Cancellation Notice:  Community High School District 94
    none"All after school and evening events are cancelled for Tuesday, February 1, 2011 due to the weather."
    "All after school and evening activities and events are also cancelled for Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011."
  • Cancellation of Afterschool Activities due to inclement weather  - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
    none"This is a message from West Chicago School District 33. Due to the impending snowstorm all afterschool activities are canceled for today, Tuesday, February 1, 2011. This phone messaging system will be utilized for any additional Emergency Information.   Thankyou."
  • West Chicago Elementary School District 33 has issued the following:
    "All schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday,  Feb. 2, 2011 due to hazardous blizzard conditions."


  • noneOn Tuesday, February 1, District 303 schools will dismiss 45 minutes earlier than normal. Even though we are dismissing students early, please be patient while awaiting the arrival of your student as there may be weather related transportation delays.
  • All after school activities for Tuesday, February 1 are cancelled and all our buildings will be closed once all students have departed. This cancellation includes the Baker Station and West Chicago Park District after school programs.

Benjamin School Cancellations

  • noneAll afterschool activities (district-wide) will be cancelled today due to inclement weather. (Feb. 1, 2011)
  • Due to the forecasted blizzard-like conditions, school is canceled for Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  In addition, all after-school activities will be canceled.

Winter Storm 2011

  • "The City of West Chicago's City Hall will be closed Wednesday, February 2, 2011. It will reopen on Thursday, February 3, 2011. If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1."
  • "Per the City of West Chicago's municipal code, there is a parking ban on all streets after a 2" snowfall until such time as the street has been plowed curb-to-curb."
Library Closing
"Weather forecasts call for blizzard conditions with up to 18" of snow and 50mph winds for Tuesday, 2/1 PM through Wednesday,  2/2. We plan to close The West Chicago Public Library District at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday and close all day, 9:00  A.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Wednesday.   We will resume service on Thursday 2/3. We understand that this closure might create some inconvenience but we are only thinking of the safety of our staff and our patrons."

Park District Cancellations

Tuesday, February 1st

  • Senior Transportation: Reservations will be limited to Doctor Appointments
    ONLY in the afternoon.
  • Classes/Programs: ALL classes and programs taking place after 3pm on
    February 1st are cancelled.
  • Fitness Station: The Fitness Station will close at 5pm today.
  • Committee of the Whole: The Committee of the Whole meeting has been

Wednesday, February 2nd

  • Senior Transportation: Service for Wednesday, February 2nd is cancelled.
  • Classes/Programs: ALL classes/programs for Wednesday, February 2nd are
  • Fitness Station: The Fitness Station will be closed on Wednesday, February
  • Park District Office: The Park District Office will be closed on Wednesday,
    February 2nd.



All rights reserved by::y:y:::y::::::::::
Robert Lemonn, WegoNews, Inc.
 527 Claremont, West Chicago, IL 60185-2107
 ph 630-231-3152

Unless specifically attributed to WegoNews, ALL items here express the opinions of their authors.  I disclaim any responsibility for opinions expressed by others.

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