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30 Mar
none"This monthly column covers news on new businesses, change of business locations, awards received by businesses, new offerings of products and/or services and recognition of employees receiving awards and promotions. The publishing date usually is the last Wednesday of each month. Businesses with “highlights” to share or interested in becoming a sponsor of the column can e-mail me at"
none Meet and Greet with Representative Mike Fortner - FB, Mike Fortner
none"Hopefully you will squeeze a little time out of your busy schedule to come out to Pal Joey's Restaraunt for my meet and greet! Not only is it a good chence to "corner " me about an issue close to your heart :) but a great chance to meet with so many great local people all in one place! Hope to see you all there!"
none DuPage among healthiest counties in state
"For the second straight year, DuPage ranks second in the state for “health outcomes” — how healthy a county is — and No. 1 in the “health factors” that influence the health of a county... The “health factors” ranking is based on four categories — health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment."

House approves smoking in casinos
"“Whatever happened to the old story of letting the market do its job?” Burke said. “If we’re serious about our budget crisis in Illinois, let’s get real.”  The state receives 50 cents on the dollar from casino revenues.  Opponents of the exemption say the financial gain does not outweigh the health risks casino employees would face.nonenone"

How suburban lawmakers voted on smoking in casinos

  • Ramey - Yes
  • Fortner - No
none All members of DHA board resign
"The entire membership of the DuPage Housing Authority board soon will be replaced, its six commissioners having stepped down this week at the request of County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.  They knew several days before Cronin’s Monday afternoon email that if asked, they would resign. Interim board attorney Mary Dickson said the half-dozen members agreed they would bow out “reluctantly” at the chairman’s urging, during a meeting last "
none A Sheep-Shearing Weekend at Kline Creek Farm
"Watch as the farm’s sheep lose their winter coats by modern and old-fashioned methods, including 100-year-old hand-cranked shears. See what happens as the wool is scoured, carded and spun into yarn. Also, watch visiting demonstrator John Seraphine’s border collies herd and move sheep from pasture to pasture."
none Anti-smoking groups rally against Illinois House bills
"Anti-smoking groups are ramping up efforts to kill three Illinois House bills that would diminish the state's smoking ban.  Members of Smoke Free Illinois and other groups will speak at a Statehouse news conference today. The groups take issue with bills that would allow smoking in Illinois casinos, private clubs and bars and provide separate, ventilated smoking areas in casinos."
none House approves smoking ban exception for casinos
"House Bill 1965 allows smoking areas in casinos if the nearest state allows smoking in its casinos.  Of the bordering states, Missouri and Kentucky have no smoking ban. Wisconsin allows smoking in American Indian-owned casinos, Iowa allows smoking on casino floors, and the Indiana legislature is considering a smoking ban that would exempt casinos."
none King’s Call for Worker Justice Runs Through April 4 Solidarity Actions - AFL-CIO
"I was particularly surprised to read that you were influenced by an anonymous fax comparing the 11-panel mural to North Korean political propaganda, because the act of removing images commemorating Maine’s history itself conjures thoughts of rewriting history prevalent in totalitarian regimes."
none New abortion restrictions in Arizona - UPI
none"The new law calls for as much as seven years in prison and loss of medical license for doctors convicted of performing the outlawed procedures... Opponents of the measure questioned whether abortions based on sex or race are really occurring."
none Gmail To Roll Out Ads That Learn From Your Inboxx - TechCrunch
"Gmail’s ads have used an automated system similar to AdSense for years — it looks for keywords in your message content and then attempts to place a relevant ad in the sidebar. But now, as Gmail learns your habits, you’ll start seeing ads that aren’t directly related to the email you’re reading (but are hopefully related to your interests)."
28 Mar
none Volunteers work to restore West Chicago prairie
none"Melvern Hoff was one of the first to remove nonnative vegetation and plant native seeds on the what is now known as the Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve, located off Industrial Drive, south of Hawthorne Lane in West Chicago. Former Mayor Richard Truitt worked with ecologists to inventory species on the site as early as 1975, and the city and forest preserve district jointly purchased the land four years later."
none DuPage Community Clinic: Free dental clinic to end services
""I came here two years ago for a filling," said Borja, 31, a salesman from West Chicago. "I have two more fillings. I'm happy with the work they do here."  The next time Borja needs to see a dentist, he could be on his own. Facing dwindling donations at a time of economic uncertainty, the nonprofit DuPage Community Clinic plans to cancel its dental care program by the end of June, officials said."
Celebrate With The First United Methodist Church of West Chicago
none"During Lent, the focus follows the last days of Jesus’ life. Each event is represented by a symbol of the event that is placed on a banner. The children are also given a plastic egg with the same symbol inside. Music is used to enhance worship through the Chancel Choir, instrumentals played on the piano, solos and other instruments used to accompany singing."
High school soccer player triumphs over tragedy
none"Wheaton Academy beat Chicago Christian easily. But many people — including a crew from ESPN — kept watch on Youngberg.  That's because Youngberg was playing on a prosthetic leg.  She lost her left leg below the knee in a boating accident near her family's summer cottage in Michigan three months after the state championship. She almost died. A 15-year-old friend piloting her jet ski did."
Things to do: Kristin Hannah and Kristi Yamaguchi book signings
"April Fools’ Adventure: Enjoy some April Fools’ jokes, and go on a search to see what doesn’t belong on an 1890s farm from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. All ages. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-876-5900."
none St. Charles man 'I'm no terrorist'
"Local dog trainer Ibraheim “Abe” Mashal says he might have considered the FBI’s request for him to work as an undercover informant if they’d recruited him openly.  Instead, the American-born Muslim and U.S. Marine Corps veteran charges that agents secretly put him on the federal government’s “no-fly” list and launched an investigation that included his family, friends and clients, then offered to restore his flying privileges in exchange for him spying on area mosques."
none List: bighead carp a danger
"“If bighead carp enter the Great Lakes and become established, they potentially threaten the 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages connected to the Great Lakes,” the office said.  With the new listing, it is illegal to import or to transport live bighead carp, including viable eggs or hybrids of the species, across state lines, except by permit for zoological, educational, medical or scientific purposes, the office said."
HUD report casts more doubt on county housing agency
none"The third audit similarly concluded that the agency neglected to keep up records demonstrating that its projects were eligible to participate in the housing-subsidy program, charged the program’s patrons improper sums and “disregarded HUD’s requirement and directives, lacked an understanding of program regulations, and failed to implement adequate procedures and controls.”  The new audit also found the agency misspent some $2.3 million in program money on purchases that are not permitted, including cocktails and holiday gifts and laptop computers for DHA board members."
none $3 billion in child support owed to Illinois children
"Experts say unemployment and underemployment are a significant part of the problem.  The Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Department's Child Support Services Division says 57 percent of the non-custodial parents that are among their clients have no income. And officials with the division say 28 percent have reported income of less than $30,000 annually."
Carol Stream post office to stay open, lose 134 jobs
"The move is part of an effort to save about $750 million annually. Several closures nationwide are expected.  Spokesman Sean Hargadon says suburban mail will still be processed out of the Carol Stream center and the closing won’t affect mail service or delivery times. Also, the Carol Stream post office will stay open."
none Quinn rating takes an early hit
none"Now, as the third month of his term draws to a close, a public opinion poll puts Gov. Quinn’s approval rating at 30.6 percent.  With a massive budget hole, looming program cuts and disagreement within state government as to how the crisis should be handled, some Springfield residents expressed frustration with the job the governor has done in the beginning of this term."
Federal approach could be model to cut number of government units
"Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, wants to create a commission that will recommend governments to be consolidated or eliminated.  State lawmakers then would take a single up or down vote on the entire list. THe process is similar to the approach used by the federal government to close military bases.  “I think it is a fairer way of doing it,” Link said. “It will allow us to consolidate. It will lessen the number (of governments) we have now.”"
none Maine Gov. Removes Labor Mural in Stealth Move
"LePage resembles Wisconsin Republicans in another way—giving jobs to personal connections, in this case, his daughter. LePage made sure his 22-year-old daughter got an entry-level job in the governor’s office paying $41,000—$10,000 more than those who pass teacher and police tests. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s top aides found a comfy job—with a $12,000 raise—for the girlfriend of one of his staunchest allies."
none 9 Bills That Would Put Creationism in the Classroom - Mother Jones
none"State governments are grappling with massive budget deficits, overburdened social programs, and mountains of deferred spending. But never mind all that. For some conservative lawmakers, it's the perfect time to legislate the promotion of creationism in the classroom."
none 2/3rds of US Corporations Pay Zero Federal Taxes: US Uncut Movement Builds to Make Them Pay Up - AlterNet
"“I’m tired of people calling for shared sacrifice and it’s all coming from the workers and nothing’s coming from the top,” says protester Dave Sonenberg. “I’m sick of companies like Bank of America not paying their taxes.”  Bank of America hasn’t paid a nickel in federal income taxes for the past two years, and in fact raked in an additional $1 billion in tax “benefits.” The bank is enjoying these profits after accepting $45 billion from taxpayers, which the company then got to count as a deduction when they paid back the money."
26&27 Mar

Next Week in West Chicago

none Ex-DuPage housing leader cites ‘vague’ rules in buying meals, gifts
"His deputy, Robert Hess, added that the items “improved employee morale and, therefore, benefited the program,” the auditors later wrote.  Federal officials disagreed with Day’s judgment call.  The expenses were among a list of “unallowable” transactions mentioned in the audit released this week by the federal Office of Inspector General. That report found the housing authority improperly spent more than $5.8 million in federal money and failed to adequately document another $4.7 million."
none Officials: State has anti-radiation drug stockpile
"An IEMA spokeswoman clarified Friday, saying that the agency has 90,000 tablets on hand for first responders and 175,000 tablets on-hand to distribute to the public. She said about 180,000 people total live within 10 miles of a nuclear reactor in Illinois. Joseph Klinger, the assistant director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency misspoke when he said 180,000 people on average live within 10 miles of each nuclear plant in Illinois."
none Union membership surges among state employees
"In the past eight years, more than 10,000 state employees have joined unions, a four-fold increase over the previous eight years, according to records analyzed by The Associated Press.  If pending requests are approved by the Illinois Labor Relations Board, nearly 97 percent of state workers would be represented by unions — including many employees once considered management. Only 1,700 “bosses” would be left out of nearly 50,000 state employees."
none Caterpillar raises specter of moving from Illinois
"While Oberhelman didn't single out a specific problem with Illinois' policies, Dugan said the recent income tax increase was major factor triggering the note.Republican leaders, who unsuccessfully fought Quinn on the tax hike, say the letter confirms why they opposed the increase."
No school has ever lost aid due to Title IX violation
none"Title IX sex discrimination complaints like the one filed against the University of Illinois Springfield aren’t uncommon, but the toughest penalty for violating the act — revocation of federal aid to a school — has never been imposed."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park

none Thousands of union supporters march through downtown LA - KABC
"Some 10,000 people marched through downtown Los Angeles supporting union workers in Wisconsin in what protesters have dubbed, "Solidarity Saturday."... Union members and their allies gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center and marched onward to Pershing Square in hopes of sending out a message that collective bargaining rights cannot be taken away from unions."
none The threat of America's nativist far rightt
"Even groups on the racist, radical far right that so clearly inspired him are rushing to disown and denounce the indicted man. Regardless of whether he was a "member" of an organised group, there can yet be no doubt that Harpham saw himself as part of a movement – one that has an especially broad reach in the age of Obama, and roots as deep as American culture itself."
How Offshore Tax Havens Save Companies Billions - NPR
""You have an Irish operating company out there selling ads — they actually have real employees in Dublin," he explains. "They make payments to a Dutch subsidiary with no employees, which in turn makes payments to a Bermuda-headquartered Irish company with no employees. And the result of all of this is that it all helps to cut about $3 billion in Google's income taxes in the last three years.""
25 Mar

Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: March 28 – April 3

  1. 28  10am» Spring Break
  2. 31  10am» Spring Break
  3. 01  1:30pm» April Fools’ Adventure
none District 33 News Bites
  • District 33 Website Tips
  • Pioneer Student Coucil Wants Your Help!
  • Pi Day Observed
  • Wegner School Chorus
  • Spring Break and Days Off
none"The Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) course will meet every Tuesday evening, starting April 5, 2011 from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. There is no fee for the course. Participants must be at least 18 years old or older, and either live or work in the City of West Chicago or the West Chicago Fire Protection District."
You Could Be Digging Up More Than Dirt
"Before you or a contractor do any digging on your property, simply call JULIE at 8-1-1 or (800) 892-0123. You can also enter your locate request via .. For a JULIE Fact Sheet, click here."
[I have spared you the 7 paragraph news release... which you should be able to find at the city's website but is basically the same as the Daily Herald article at and shares a paragraph with an article at Julie's site - Bob]
none DuPage housing agency misspent millions
none"The DuPage Housing Authority improperly spent more than $5.8 million in federal money and failed to adequately document another $4.7 million, according to the latest federal audit of the embattled county agency.  The audit, obtained by the Daily Herald, was prepared by the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Unlike two prior reports, which have housing authority officials scrambling to find the paperwork that would justify years’ worth of expenditures, the new audit specifically calls for the repayment of nearly $5.1 million."
Tollway jumps into advertising business
"The agency this month will ask interested companies to submit proposals to advertise on its emergency assistance trucks and expects to award a contract in April.  If the strategy is successful, the authority could expand sponsorships to other property, ranging from salt domes to naming rights for plazas."
none Durbin warns of cuts to preschool funding
"An estimated 9,000 students and 2,000 educators in Illinois would be affected by the proposed cuts to early-childhood education services, which includes the Head Start program and public school district preschool programs. The House Bill was approved in late February.  Nationally, the cuts would eliminate early-childhood services for 218,000 children and force 16,000 Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms to close their doors."
none D300 votes 4-3 to lay off 363 teachers
"Students led chants of “Save our schools!” They waved signs with sayings like, “I weep for our future.” They recounted walkouts in protest of teacher cuts at both Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville and Jacobs High School in Algonquin. They even broke into song to illustrate the importance of the district’s fine arts programs."
Ill. school administrators make case to keep jobs
"Regional superintendents say they are a target for cuts because not many people know what they do.  They have come under fire in state audits for faulty financial reporting. The superintendents claim the 2,500-person department is understaffed and reporting errors would decrease if properly funded."
none Students walk out after District 300 cuts 363 teachers
"Hundreds of students walked out of classes at Harry D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin to protest the decision by Community Unit School District 300, which has about 30 schools in Algonquin, Carpentersville, Hampshire, Lake in the Hills, East Dundee, West Dundee and Gilberts.  Board members voted 4-3 for the layoffs Wednesday night to bridge a $5 million budget deficit."
Community Supported Agriculture – A Dream Achieved
"Meg Runyan was born and raised in West Chicago. After graduating college, she was drawn to Community Supported Agriculture. After apprenticing at other CSA's, she started an organic farm at Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, IL. Her farm is named Wild Goose Farm, symbolic of chasing her dream."
West Chicago Middle School Math Students Celebrate Pi Day
none"On this day of celebrating the desks were arranged in a circle around the room. Students and visitors indulged in circular foods and juice in circular containers, while they listened to the story Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi."
none Army report: Barrier keeps Asian carp from lake
"The five laboratory studies in the report looked at conditions in the canal that could affect whether very small Asian carp could get to Lake Michigan. Although one study found carp smaller than 3.2 inches might be able to get past the electric barriers, which are near Marseilles, the report released today notes no carp that small are likely to be able to get to the part of the canal near the barrier from carp spawning grounds 25 miles downstream."
none Ethanol plant owner fined, must restore Illinois lakes
"The owner of an ethanol plant in central Illinois must pay a $15,000 state penalty and work to restore the lakes damaged by toxic wastewater pollution.  The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that Aventine Renewable Energy also must pay the state of Illinois $3,000 for the deaths of wildlife, including dozens of turtles. A Fulton County court order requires Aventine to restore the lakes to health and properly dispose of wastewater currently in tanks on the plant site."
none Kirk, congressmen tour Thomson prison
none"U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo and Bobby Schilling toured the prison with Kirk. They were among the 10 Illinois Republicans who wrote to President Barack Obama earlier this month seeking guarantees no suspected terrorist held in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba be transferred to Thomson if it is purchased by the federal government."
GOP skeptical of latest Quinn borrowing proposal
none"Republican votes are needed for the state to borrow money for longer periods, and the latest Quinn plan on Wednesday didn’t appear to stir any more support than his previous proposal.  Senate Republican spokeswoman Patty Schuh said the state still hasn’t adopted an overall financial plan that includes significant budget cuts. Senate Republicans last week outlined $6.7 billion in possible cuts and savings, proposals Quinn dismissed as “goofy.”"
Bills would make it easier to increase driver's ed fees
"According to the State Board of Education, 155 of the 490 unit or high school-only districts in Illinois already have obtained waivers that allow them to charge more than $50. The amounts range from $75 to $500. Pihos said the $250 figure used in her bill is an average of the waivers granted so far."
U of I trustees OK 6.9 percent tuition increase
none"Walter Knorr, university vice president and chief financial officer, said the state owes the university $447 million for this academic school year, but income from the tuition increase won’t come close to that.  “Freshmen coming in will produce $22 million in additional tuition,” Knorr said. “The state owes us half-a-billion. The state owes us 25 times that right now.”"
none The Triangle Fire: Still Burning Before Our Nation - AFL-CIO
"Three weeks before the Triangle conflagration, the Protective League of Property Owners had held a meeting, indignant over orders by Fire Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo to install sprinklers in warehouses. Owners claimed the order amounted to a “confiscation of property.”"
STUDY: Worker Safety Greatly Reduced in States with Right-to-Work Laws - We Party Patriots
"A new study, conducted by Roland Zullo at the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), has determined that unionization has a positive effect on workplace safety while Right-to-Work laws have a negative effect on workplace safety. The study, Right-to-Work Laws and Fatalities in Construction, analyzes extensive data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)..."
none Opinion: Thomas Jefferson's Cut-and-Paste Bible - NY Times
"During the election of 1800, Jefferson was denounced as a "howling atheist" and "a confirmed infidel" known for "vilifying the divine word, and preaching insurrection against God." But the Virginian also revered Jesus as "the first of human Sages" and was, according to one biographer, "the most self-consciously theological of all American presidents.""
none G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether - NY Times
"The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.  Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion ... Over the last decade, G.E. has spent tens of millions of dollars to push for changes in tax law, from more generous depreciation schedules on jet engines to “green energy” credits for its wind turbines. But the most lucrative of these measures allows G.E. to operate a vast leasing and lending business abroad with profits that face little foreign taxes and no American taxes as long as the money remains overseas."
23 Mar
none Around and About in West Chicago - 23 Mar 2011
  • St. Mary’s Parish hosts Spaghetti Luncheon
  • Washington Street Rehabilitation Project
  • District 94 LifeSmarts Team Wins First Place
  • Read Across America, sponsored by the National Education Association
  • Highest Honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge
  • Illinois State Age Group Championship
none Fundraiser at McDonalds for "All Night Long" After Prom
none"Print this email and bring your family and friends to the West Chicago McDonald's on Main St. & Rt. 59 on Thursday and Friday, March 24th and 25th, from noon until 2:00 p.m.  20% of the total sales will be donated back to the Community High School District 94 "All Night Long" After Prom activity!
We support D94 activities!  Our order total was $___________."
none Blooming Fest Goodie Bags!
"The current economy has business owners looking for alternatives to stretch their advertising dollars. The City of West Chicago is proud to promote its business community through the free Blooming Fest goodie bag!"
Artist Margaret Bucholz Finds Healing in Her Art
""Pets, Portraits and Petals"
Opening Reception
Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, West Chicago
Friday, April 1, 2011 6:00 - 9:00 p.m."
none Suburban bridges with defects need cash, report says
"Other suburban counties with highway bridge dysfunction are Kane County with 30 out of 276 structures considered structurally deficient, Lake County with 27 out of 235 and DuPage County with 22 out of 285.  DuPage County has only two bridges it is responsible for considered deficient, Director of Transportation and Operations John Kos noted. “We are keeping up with deficient structures,” he said."
DuPage property values drop 6 percent
"For the first time in 40 years, the overall value of property in DuPage County has dropped — and by almost 6 percent, a reflection of a housing market that has plummeted in the past few years... Despite a historic drop in the value of land last year, King said, homeowners can expect to pay more on their property tax bills.  While average assessed property value dropped 5.9 percent, the average tax rate for DuPage’s 372 taxing bodies — the other half of the tax equation — jumped 11.6 percent."
DuPage OK’s mosque, ending months of debate
"Tuesday’s decision came a month after MECCA representatives announced that they were reducing the structure’s size by 10,000 square feet and eliminating a multipurpose room from the proposal amid concerns about traffic and the size of the building.  Despite MECCA downsizing the project, nearby homeowners remained strongly opposed because they’re worried about the possible negative impacts on their neighborhood, including traffic."
none Climate Change Program Urges Change Now!
none"Naperville, IL resident Rajesh Rajan, a Presenter for The Climate Project (TCP) delivered a passionate and inspirational climate science slideshow at the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago on Monday, March 7, 2011. The slideshow covers the latest scientific findings as well as potential solutions to mitigate climate change."
Some libraries move toward self-service
none"The library director views implementing self-checkout as a labor-saving measure, and sees the equipment’s foreign language settings as especially advantageous.  “West Chicago has a very large Hispanic population and one of the benefits of the machines is that they do support foreign languages so we can further serve that demographic,” she said."
You Could Be Digging Up More Than Dirt
none Study: Illinois bridges are in bad shape
"The group says that without more federal funding, Illinois will need hundreds of dollars from each driver in the state to fix all the structurally deficient bridges.  Four years ago, after a bridge collapse in Minneapolis killed 13 people, The Associated Press reviewed state records in Illinois. That review determined more than 1,500 bridges in the state had worse structural ratings than the bridge that collapsed."
Zoning Board of Appeals members net pay increase
none"The County Board on Tuesday morning unanimously approved an increase in the group’s per diem compensation from $125 to $175 for each meeting.  The pay hike was justified in the resolution by the ZBA having streamlined its public hearings, often consolidating several requests into a single session. The group has met 65 times in the past year."
Marine Veteran: I Was Put On 'No-Fly List' for Asking Questions about My Religion
"“The weird thing about the whole thing was, I don’t really have a mosque that I go to. Sometimes, I go; most of the time I don’t. I go to church with my wife. You know, my wife’s Christian—we celebrate Christmas,” said Mashal.  The reason he was under investigation, Mashal said, was because of an email he sent to a Muslim cleric asking about his faith and raising a family in an interfaith household."
none U. of I. to vote today on 6.9 percent tuition hike
none"New students at the Urbana-Champaign campus would pay $11,104 a year in tuition under the proposal, while UIC students would pay $9,764 and students at the Springfield campus would pay $8,670. The cost doubles when fees and room and board are added."
DuPage County OKs mosque near Willowbrook
"Despite Tuesday's resolution, other conflicts over mosque proposals remain in DuPage County.  Board members in January 2010 rejected a proposed mosque near Naperville, which prompted supporters to file a federal lawsuit that is pending. Proposals for facilities near West Chicago and Lombard also are under consideration and being debated."
none Dick Durbin to look at civil rights of American Muslims
none"In announcing the hearing, the Illinois Democrat said the Constitution protects the free exercise of religion for all Americans. In noting a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry, Durbin added it is important for the current generation to renew the founding fathers' commitment to religious diversity.  Durbin's proposed hearing follows that earlier this month of New York Rep. Peter King of the House Homeland Security Committee, who said he was looking Muslim extremism in the U.S."
Mark Kirk, Don Manzullo plan tour of Thomson prison
none"Kirk, along with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, recently sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for assurances no detainees from Guantanamo Bay will be transferred to the center.  They say the government's focus should be on buying and operating Thomson as a maximum-security federal prison."
none Quinn, Durbin announce next phase of high-speed rail construction
nonenone"Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced in Chicago on Tuesday a $685 million agreement to build track upgrades between Lincoln and Dwight and between Alton and the Mississippi River.  A $1.2 billion federal grant is paying for upgrades intended eventually to accommodate train speeds up to 110 mph. The state also has pledged $42 million."
none US auto union boss warns of weakened power - Yahoo News
""We're not just fighting for our members, we're fighting for all workers," said King, adding that the UAW will continue to fight against Republican efforts to curtail collective bargaining rights of public and private sector workers in 37 states.  "Unions are under assault like they've never been before," he said, adding that members have to get ready for a major political battle."
Unionize Everybody! - TruthOut
"But the fight isn’t just about saving the middle class. When Congress enacted the Wagner Act in 1935, it acknowledged how the drop in wages during a similar corporate push against workers in the 1920s led to a drop in consumer power, which ultimately led to the great depression. The Wagner Act was designed to protect workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. The Wagner Act wasn’t just about protecting of workers’ rights. It was about protecting the economy against another depression by leveling the bargaining power of labor and corporations, and in turn, keeping the wage floor at a sustainable level."
none US church to give away $1,000 at Easter service - Assoc Press
"Pastor Randy Moore tells The Journal-News of Hamilton that the southwest Ohio church had hoped for 1,000 worshippers last year, when it made the offer for the first time. It packed in 1,140 - more than double the usual Sunday attendance of around 500. Moore says a crew had to direct traffic in the parking lot."
[Who would Jesus BRIBE? - Bob]
none Death By a Single GOP Cut? - Mother Jones
none"In the past year, California has experienced the worst whooping cough outbreak in more than 50 years, an epidemic that has killed 10 infants and resulted in 6,400 reported cases. But even as the state's public health officials have struggled to curb the disease, Republicans in Congress have proposed slashing millions in federal funding for immunization programs."
21 Mar
none Palatine attorney wants to do away with offensive words in Illinois law
"“We need to update our statutes periodically, including moving terminology into 21st-century terms,” Dillard said.  Several states have already made similar changes, and the federal government switched terminology in its laws last year when President Barack Obama signed legislation called “Rosa’s Law.” Lavelle wasn’t involved with those efforts, but took the plan to do the same in Illinois to Murphy."
none State jobs cut due to end of death penaltyyyy
"... State Appellate Defender Michael Pelletier began notifying about 37 employees in his office on Friday that their jobs are being eliminated.  That's because Gov. Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty earlier this month and commuted the sentences of the 15 men on death row.  Most of the employees being cut are lawyers who handled death penalty cases. The reduction will save about $4.7 million."
Bikers call for state to count 'dooring' accidents
"Informal surveys the alliance has conducted among its members indicate that more than half the people who bike on streets have been doored at least once, said Ethan Spotts, spokesman for the organization. But lacking solid statistics, bicycling advocates say they can neither prove a problem exists nor apply for federal and state traffic-safety funds to address it, he said.
none St. Charles man on government's no-fly list
"Since then, his family members and friends have been questioned, and he said he has lost business because he is not allowed to fly.  Mashal, who says he has never had any links to terror or terrorists and is a "patriotic," honorably discharged Marine Corps veteran, is one of 17 plaintiffs in lawsuit filed in June by American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit over the list."
none Utilities, consumer advocates at odds over regulatory changes
"The objections from Madigan and the Citizens Utility Board are that the bill lacks protections for consumers and could lead to automatic annual rate hikes. On its website, CUB says the legislation “would essentially gut the regulatory system that’s been in place for nearly 100 years and replace it with one with much less oversight and automatic, yearly rate increases.”"
none Fuzzy Privatization Math - TruthOUt
"For example, we need know: Will the work cost less because it is done more efficiently, or because wages are lowered and benefits are eliminated? Paying workers less does not provide better quality. It just impoverishes workers. And having workers unable to get health care for themselves and their families means coming to work too sick to do a good job and being worried sick about medical care for their families. It also means pushing costs off on hospitals, doctors, charities, and, ultimately, on the government and taxpayers."
Business owners unsure of impact of 'E-Fairness' law - State Journal Register
"Reaction from Amazon and Overstock was swift after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the “E-Fairness Law” this month requiring sales tax collections on purchases made by Illinois consumers."
none Mapping Religious Life in New York, Block by Blockock - NY Times
"They started last July. Since then, “We’ve taken 60,000 photographs, interviewed 45 imams and thousands of other religious leaders,” Mr. Carnes said.  Nobody else is looking so methodically for religion in New York. He probably has more thorough and reliable numbers about religious life in New York than any sociologist working."
none US Army 'kill team' in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians - Guardian
"Senior officials at Nato's International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.  They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year."
19&20 Mar

Next Week in West Chicago


District 33 News Bites

  • Chorus Extravaganza!
  • WordMasters Challenge Champions
  • Math Contest - 2nd Round Results
  • District 33 Website Tips
  • Design Presentation
  • Candidate Forum
  • D33 Alumni in the News
none District 33 lays off 20 teacherss
none"“Our fund balances have gotten eaten up very quickly due to the state’s decision about not funding transportation and defaulting on some other payments this year,” Leman said.  Of the 20 teachers whose jobs were cut, seven were specialists in art, music and school psychology who worked part time."
none How your lawmakers voted
"Congress is in recess the week of March 21. In the following week, the House will take up a repeal of a program that uses federal subsidies to ease terms of at-risk mortgages, and the Senate will resume work on a bill awarding federal contracts to spur small-business innovation."
none Senators seek clarity on Thomson prison
nonenone"Support in Washington for housing Gitmo detainees at Thomson has waned. But Illinois leaders have said that shouldn't throw a wrench into a deal to sell Thomson.  Durbin and Kirk say the activation of Thomson could create more than 1,000 jobs and inject at least $1 billion into the area's economy."
Dems schedule first hearings on redistricting
none"State Sen. Kwame Raoul, the Chicago Democrat who chairs the Senate’s remap panel, said the hearings would begin March 28 in Chicago, followed by hearings April 6 in Springfield, April 16 in Kankakee and Peoria and April 19 in Cicero."
none Quake fallout not affecting Chrysler’s Belvidere plant
"Jodi Tinson, a Chrysler Group LLC spokesman, said in an email that the massive earthquake and tsunami that shut down large chunks of Japan’s manufacturing community has “had no impact at this time” on Chrysler production.  Tinson wouldn’t say what parts or components the company gets from Japanese suppliers."
none State managers targeted in collective bargaining bill
"Currently, 96 percent of the state’s more than 45,000 employees are unionized, but that number could climb to 99 percent because of requests to join unions pending before the State Board of Labor Relations, according to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, who sponsored the bill in the House during the lame-duck session."
Home-schoolers object to state oversight
"Last month’s legislative proposal that parents who home-school be required to register with the state threatened such freedom for her family and thousands of other Illinois families who choose to home-school, Frailey said.  She and other home-school advocates believe state involvement creates red tape and erodes a family’s control over their children’s education."

WHAT’S NEW -  Robert L. Park 

none ‘They Woke a Sleeping Giant’ - AFL-CIO
"Hundreds of enthusiastic working people continue to march at the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison. In addition to carrying signs and chanting, many people are signing recall petitions for Republican state senators who rigged  a vote to take away public employees’ right to collectively bargain."
none Future US envoy may worship at Chinese 'house church' - AFP
"His evasive reply drew an angry response from Republican Representative Frank Wolf, a frequent and fierce critic of Beijing who had asked the commerce secretary whether he would worship at one of the underground churches.  When Locke attempted to elaborate, saying "how I practice my religion is not something for the American people..." Wolf cut him off, raising his voice and pounding the table as he demanding a stronger stand against Beijing."
none Tax & Spend Conservatives - Campaign for America's Future
none"In fact, Texas' budget woes are among the worse in the nation. Just a year after Perry crowed about balancing the budget, Texas's deficit estimate came in worse than the worst expectations. Even stimulus money from Washington couldn't save Texas' budget.   All those tax cuts and spending cuts haven't balanced Texas' budget  or spurred economic growth.""
Today's Social Security Propaganda Rebuttal Post - Campaign for America's Future
"Conservatives hate Social Security because it is a demonstration of government working and serving the public. This contradicts their anti-government, anti-democracy ideology so something has to be done about it. Also, it involves a lot of money in that trust fund that working people have been setting aside for their retirement, and the people who fund the conservatives want to get their hands on it. Hence the propaganda campaign to convince people that it is a bad program."
18 Marr

Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: March 28 – April 3

none Celebrating Successes in District 33
"Three students representing West Chicago Middle School recently won highest honors in this year's WordMasters Challenge - a national language arts competition entered by approximately 220,000 students annually, which consists of three separate competitions held at intervals during the school year."
Evening for Junior Parents
"During this presentation we will discuss:
  • GPA, class rank and ACT test used for acceptance to colleges/universities.
  • Specific PSAE testing information that our juniors will be taking April 27-28, 2011.
  • Your student’s score on the retired ACT that they took in the spring of 2010 and their goal for the upcoming testing.
  • Share ideas on strategies"
PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for February 2011
none"Kevin Hauber, of West Chicago, a Junior at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the February PeaceBuilder-of-the-month. He was nominated for the award by various teachers who observed him picking up trash in the hallways in an attempt to beautify the high school."
Student-of-the Month for February 2011
none"The faculty and administration of Community High School would like to congratulate Emily Paschke, of Winfield, for being selected Student of the Month for February."
"Just print this email to show the Chipotle at Roosevelt and County Farm Road with your purchase this Friday, 3/18, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm, and 50% of the proceeds will benefit CHS D94 All Night Long After-Prom. 
     Plus get a BUY-ONE/GET-ONE burrito, bowl, tacos, or salads coupon for your next visit when you purchase a meal.  (Flyers will also be given to students during lunch periods on Friday.)"
none Many parking lots, roads in bad shape
none"Many of the roads in the worst shape are scheduled to be repaved or reconstructed later this year, including trouble spots in Rolling Meadows, Lake Zurich and West Chicago... Among IDOT’s many planned road improvement projects this spring is a crumbly 6-mile stretch of Route 59, between Batavia Road and North Aurora Avenue, which will be resurfaced next month."
[I suspect a Hearald reporter should be assigned to drive this stretch of road that was resurfaced LAST SUMMER.  They really have to get out here more often. - Bob]
Blizzard declared disaster; funds made available
none"Payment of at least 75 percent of the costs will be provided for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to saves lives and protect property and public health.  FEMA will hold a series of briefings to explain application procedures for state and eligible local governments."
Wayne Twp. residents question garbage referendum
"Both Luchtenburg and Hebda agree the current seven garbage haulers operating in Wayne Township are overkill. And they see how benefits outlined by both Bloomingdale and Wayne Township leaders — such as fewer trucks rumbling down roads and garbage bins at the curb on the same day — are true."
[I resisted changing the title to "Questions About Socialist Garbage Collection." - Bob]
Senate GOP proposes cuts to schools, health care
none"Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican, said the Senate GOP realizes that there won’t be enough waste and misspending in government to make more than $4 billion in cuts. Instead, government will have to cut spending on programs many Illinoisans care deeply about... Details of the plan are available at"
none WeGo Sharks Cause a Frenzy at State Championship
"The West Chicago Sharks Swim Team represented themselves well at the Illinois State Age Group Championship held at the UIC Flame’s Natatorium this past weekend. Among other accomplishments for the eight swimmers under the age of 14, the Sharks earned five first place titles in two relays and three individual events."
St. Patrick's Day in West Chicago District 33
Photo with caption:
"Mr. Kevin O'Connor, PE teacher at Gary Elementary School in West Chicago, celebrates St. Patrick's Day with students in gym class."
none Ill. Republicans want $5 billion in cuts to education, health care, pensions
none"The GOP also proposed cutting school spending by 10 percent — or $725 million. The group expressed openness to freezing state-aid payments to school districts, scaling back poverty grants and trimming increases Quinn favors on early-childhood programs.  Radogno expressed support for state pension givebacks from existing workers that she said could yield $1.35 billion in savings for the state."
none Ill. Senate president moves to repeal video gambling law
none"Cullerton’s move, widely interpreted as a shot at Republicans who brought video poker to the table in 2009, has an uncertain shelf life because his efforts to reassemble a revenue stream for the stricken capital program stalled at the Capitol Wednesday."
The Street RiverGlass Announces Next Generation Semantic Technology
"RiverGlass Inc. (, a leading provider of advanced text-based search solutions providing collection, monitoring and discovery capabilities, today announced the general availability of Release 3.0 of its Semantic Text Analyzer (STAn) -- what we know as the first true meaning-based, intelligent approach to search and text analytics."
  • Ill. lawmakers consider registry for murderers
    "Inspired by the grieving mother of a Batavia woman, House lawmakers today advanced legislation to require people convicted of first-degree murder to register when they are released from prison.  The measure would set up a system much like the way it’s done now with sex offenders."
  • House panel OKs effort to reinstate death penalty"The legislation would narrow the list of capital crimes to people who kill police officers, firefighters, prison guards and trial witnesses. It also would apply to people who kill multiple times and use torture."
none House committee votes to exempt casinos from smoking ban
"“This bill balances health considerations with huge revenue losses as a result of the smoking ban at casinos,” Thapedi said. “This bill does not encourage or promote smoking. Those that choose to smoke will smoke.”  The proposal would create designated smoking rooms in Illinois’ riverboat casinos."
State Senate Republicans spell out budget cut options
none"The GOP proposal calls for cutting $725 million from education, about 10 percent of what the state provides. The plan doesn't specify exactly how that money could be saved, but said options include freezing state aid, adjusting grants for schools with large numbers of low-income students, and eliminating an increase in early-childhood grants.  The plan calls for a savings of $1.3 billion in Medicaid. Among the ways of achieving this, Republicans said, are increasing co-pays, rolling back eligibility and eliminating optional services not required by the federal government."
none State worker strikes: rare but momentous - Stateline
"State employee labor strikes are rare. The 2001 Minnesota walkout was the biggest in recent memory. But labor tensions are running so high right now in Wisconsin that the idea is not far from anyone's mind.  The state has seen calls for a general strike, although they have died down in recent days "
none Pastor jailed for trafficking African child 'slaves' - BBC
"In a case that has been likened to modern-day slavery, Adeniji smuggled the three victims into Britain on false passports, and used them as servants at her home in Ray Gardens, Barking.  An illegal immigrant herself, Adeniji, 44 - originally from Nigeria - had told the victims' parents they would have a better life in the UK, but instead viciously beat them if they failed to please her."
none Rewarding Corporations While Punishing Workers - Think Progress
"Some governors are pushing for progressive revenue raisers, in addition to steep spending cuts, to reduce these budget gaps. For instance, Govs. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), Mark Dayton (D-MN), and Dan Malloy (D-CT) have all proposed closing corporate tax loopholes and cutting special interest tax breaks to bring more revenue into their states. However, several Republican governors have chosen a different path..."
[I'm not sure how to describe this.  It's a public service broadcast from Japan explaining the reactor problems to children.  Don't open it if you object to the word, "poop". - Bob]
16 Mar
none Around and About in West Chicago - 16 Mar 2011
  • Local Music Night
  • Candidate Forum
  • WEGO Thespian Special Showcase
  • Legislative Forum on Autism
  • Washington Street Rehabilitation Project
none Support our Music Students
  • Today, March 16 - ALL DAY
  • Augustino's Rock & Roll Deli
  • Bring the attached flyer and the D94 Music Department gets a part of the proceeds.
Joint Choir Concert
"School District 25 School District 33 & School District 94
Admission is FREE
Over 170 students participating
Featuring several Irish-themed songs, including: Phil the Fluter's Ball, The Blessing, Danny Boy & Tell My Ma and the finale, Jubilate, Alleluia!""
none West Chicago Sister Cities Needs Host Families for German Visitors
none"West Chicago Sister Cities (WCSC) is in need of host families for guests from its sister city of Taufkirchen (Vils), Germany. Dates of the visit are September 2 - September 11, 2011. According to Melissa Birch, current President of WCSC, “We have 28 German friends who are very excited to be coming to West Chicago!”"
none DuPage mosque edges toward county approval
"Supporters of a proposed a mosque in southeast DuPage County are one vote away from seeing the project begin construction.  The DuPage County Board’s development committee on Tuesday voted 4-1 to recommend approval of Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America’s plans for a mosque along 91st Street near Willowbrook."
none "Season of Roses" Coming to Cantigny Park
none"For $75, patrons receive a dedication package that includes a gift announcement and a plaque engraved with the rose’s name and name of the honoree. The marker will be displayed from May through October. When Season of Roses concludes, the tribute purchaser will receive a photo of the rose bush in full bloom."
Park District Conducts Toy Drive
"West Chicago Park District donated a full pallet of new toys to the Humanitarian Service Project (HSP) for distribution to area needy children through the HSP’s Children’s Birthday Project. According to the West Chicago Park District’s board of directors, the toy drive is part of its ongoing effort to serve the underprivileged children in the community."
Dist. 303 hikes driver’s ed fee by $50
none"The school district has received permission to raise the fee to as much as $400 and Vice President Jim Chimienti said it should go up more than $50 because as of the 2008-09 school year, the driver education program cost the district $527 per student."
none Cigarette tax hike runs into opposition
"In pushing the cigarette tax, Cullerton could be trying to avoid forcing his Senate Democrats to take another straight-up vote on video gambling. The 2009 law that's in limbo legalized video poker in addition to raising liquor taxes.  But Cullerton's proposal would not call for reinstating the video poker law. Instead, he's leaving that up to Republicans to push, an aide said. Video gambling has been controversial, and several towns have voted against allowing it."
none Pro-union rally held at Capitol
none"Union supporters gathered on the steps of the Illinois Capitol on Tuesday to stand in solidarity with workers in Ohio and Wisconsin who are facing alleged government-sponsored union busting.  Around 60 workers gathered by Lincoln’s statue in front of the Capitol, carrying signs reading “Solidarity with Wisconsin labor,” “Don’t cut us out,” and “Freedom, Justice and Prosperity … for all!”"
Illinois' nuclear ban not going anywhere
"Federal regulatory reports often single out Illinois as having more nuclear reactors than any state and more nuclear generating capacity than all but seven nations. It also has one of the oldest moratoriums, nearly a quarter-of-a-century, on building additional nuclear power plants."
Abortion bills pass out of committee, one tabled
none"The regulations would apply to centers performing 50 or more abortions a year, and they must pass quarterly compliance checks in order to be licensed.  However, an opponent said the real goal is to eliminate access to abortion under the guise of regulation.  “The people of Illinois rejected a gubernatorial candidate who promised to …basically outlaw abortion,” said Colleen Connell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois."
none Poll: Ohio Voters Reject Gov. Kasich - AFL-CIO
none"A Public Policy Polling poll released Tuesday found that if Ohio voters had it to do over, they’d pick Democrat Ted Strickland over Republican John Kasich for governor.  According to the poll, Strickland would win a re-do election, 55-40 percent. Kasich knocked incumbent Strickland out of office in November, 49-47 percent.  The poll also found that if Senate Bill 5—legislation to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers—becomes law, that voters would back repealing it at the ballot box."
none Abortion measure draws gripes, T-shirt slogans - Chicago Tribune
none"The House Agriculture and Conservation Committee, which is dominated by conservative downstate Democrats and Republicans, today unanimously approved a measure that would require Illinois abortion clinics to meet tougher regulations to continue providing services.  Under the proposal, clinics that perform more than 50 abortions a year would be required to meet the same regulatory requirements as other medical outpatient surgery clinics."
none Price Of Premature Birth-Preventing Drug Goes From $10 To $1,500 Per Dose - The Consumerist
"After the Food and Drug Administration granted KV Pharmaceuticals sole rights to produce progesterone, a drug that prevents premature births in mothers, the company has begun charging $1,500 per dose of a drug that formerly cost $10.  ABC News reports the drug was previously available in an unregulated form from pharmacies that specialized in compounding."
14 Mar
Happy Pi Day
none 1st Place In State LifeSmarts Competition
none"Community High School in West Chicago finished in 1st Place in the 15th annual Illinois LifeSmarts Competition. Members of the team included: Jeff Foreman (Captain), of Winfield; Jimmy Gehlhaar, of West Chicago; Luis Guzman, of West Chicago; Matt Provenzale, of Carol Stream; and Colton Reif, of Winfield."
Dancing with the West Chicago Stars
"Don’t miss the chance to take home Blackhawks, Bulls, White Sox, and Cubs tickets; or maybe a beach condo for spring break; or maybe even Disney World Park Hopper passes!"
18-year-old dies in W. Chicago crash
"Dan Fulmer of West Chicago died at the hospital about an hour after crashing a vehicle into the side of an SUV Saturday night in a residential area of West Chicago, officials said Sunday.  Police said the accident recreation team has not completed their study of the crash, but it was clear the car was driving at a high rate of speed and had driven through a stop sign when it struck the side of the SUV, causing it to tip onto its side."
Do suburbs have too many local governments for our own good?
none"It’s a pickle that, every other April, manifests itself at the suburban voting booth.  Race after race — school board, park board, library trustee — has just one candidate per seat, if that, resulting in an automatic victory or special appointment to the slot... Out of 528 local races in the upcoming April 5 election in northwest suburban Cook, and Lake, DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties, 238 are contested."
State could limit FOIA requests
none"Under the plan, if officials believe someone is requesting so much information that they’re tying up workers’ time and inhibiting government functions, they can label the request as “vexatious” or “unduly burdensome” and ignore the requirement that they must respond within five days."
4th Grade Olympics at Gary Elementary School in West Chicago
none"The week of ISAT testing is also the week of the “4th Grade Olympics” at Gary Elementary School in West Chicago. The opening ceremony took place on Monday, March 7 with the “athletes” walking in procession on the playground with their teammates while carrying their chosen country’s flag. The “athletes” competed in Hula Hoop Races, Capture the Flag, Tug of War, Knockout, and Water Relay Races."
U.of I. saves $19M through staff reductions
"483 employees have left through incentives, and the last group, 70 professors, will leave by Aug. 15.  A spokeswoman for the Urbana campus says 81 of the 483 who took buyouts have come back on a part-time basis. When they return, they often are paid less and don't earn vacation or sick leave."
Happy Pi Day
"The first Pi Day was celebrated in 1989 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, whose staff celebrates most years by walking in a circle around a "Pi shrine" a little more than 3 times."
Illinois judges to get mandatory reviews
""This is an extremely important step in making a good judiciary even better," said Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride. "This evaluation is for the purpose of enhancing the performance of Illinois judges and improving public confidence in the state's courts."  Supreme Court spokesman Joseph Tybor said the evaluations won't be made public to help ensure that evaluators will be candid."
Illinois treasurer hopes audit improves efficiency
""This objective analysis will improve each program's performance and operation, suggest some efficiencies, and reduce overall costs," Rutherford said in a statement.
  The audit will exclude the "Bright Start" college savings program and "Cash Dash" unclaimed property programs."
Stock market gains not enough to fully fund Illinois pensions
"Pension funds receive funding from three sources: the employers, employees and returns from investments. Generally, contributions from employers and workers are invested in the market, and the returns on those investments provide the bulk of a pension plan’s income.  Illinois funds pension plans for state employees, university employees, legislators, judges and teachers. For decades, the funds have been plagued by underfunding from the state Legislature, although a growing chorus of civic reform groups have criticized the plans for providing overly generous retirement plans to their members."
Actions Nationwide Back America’s Workers and the American Dream - AFL-CIO
"Over the weekend, more than 100,000 people jammed into the square surrounding the Wisconsin state capitol Saturday for an all-day series of rallies that sent a message to Republican legislators and Gov. Scott Walker that the assault on working people will not stand and their struggle is far from over. Meanwhile, Jobs with Justice is joining with other organizations to hold rallies nationwide tomorrow as part of the Defend the American Dream event to defend public services and the workers that deliver them."
State Supreme Court halts surgery to allow appeal in hysterectomy ruling - Helena Independent Record
"The Supreme Court issued an order the same day providing for an expedited appeal within 30 days.  The emergency petition decision described L.K. as a deeply religious woman who wants children, and balked at the hysterectomy on both those grounds.  Her religion wasn’t specified, but a psychiatrist and a physician from the Montana State Hospital termed her religious beliefs — including one that God had cured her — delusional."
Does Raw Video of NPR Expose Reveal Questionable Editing & Tactics? - The Blaze
"The implication is that the NPR exec is aware and perhaps amused or approving of the MEAC mission statement. But when you look at the raw video you realize he was actually recounting an unrelated and innocuous issue about confusion over names in the restaurant reservation."
12&13 Mar

Monday's Pi Day -- the celebration of a number


Next Week in West Chicago

  • District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda March 15, 2011
    none[The high school's site is apparently down.  When/if it is operating correctly, I will get the list of topics posted. - Bob]
    "This presentation is specifically for sophomore parents (students are welcome, too!), but other parents can attend if interested. Beginning at 7 p.m. CareerVision, a local agency that specializes in career exploration, will present “Backward planning - How to Choose a Motivating College Major”."
none Manville Oaks to Kress Creek Farms
"There is more than a name change taking place at Manville Oaks Park. According to West Chicago Park District Director Gary Major, the board of commissioners agreed with a staff recommendation to change the name to Kress Creek Farms."

"News Bites"

  • Joint Orchestra Concert
  • District 33 Website Tips
  • ISAT Olympics
  • Author Video Awards
  • D33 Alumni Recognized
  • The Biggest Loser" Comes to D33
Search for City Flower
none""Many cities and states have a designated flower that captures the spirit of that community," said Mayor Mike Kwasman. "We would like our citizens to weigh-in on the flower that best represents West Chicago.""
West Chicago crash injures several
"About 6:45 p.m. six ambulances were called to the scene of the accident at the intersection of Augusta Avenue and Gates Street, West Chicago Fire Lt. Jason Day said. One of the cars involved in the accident turned over on its side, and firefighters had to cut a few people from the wreck, Day said."
Some school districts generating surpluses
"But District 62 and the other area school systems that top the list of surpluses share a number of common factors. They cite good relationships with their unions based on mutual respect and realistic expectations, and they all passed tax-hike referendums during the past decade.  And while many of their peers are forced to cut programs and lay off teachers, some of these districts are using their financial strength — along with additional revenue sources like grants — to improve and expand educational programs."
Joint Orchestra Concert – D33 and D94
"The concert began with the beginning orchestra, followed by the elementary, middle school and high school groups. For the grand finale all members gathered together on stage, approximately 150 string players, to perform the Finale from the William Tell Overture."
Man had illegals working in Will County
none"Perkins pleaded guilty to hiring illegal immigrants in September and was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of probation last month.  Reindl was sentenced Wednesday.  “They hired labor to warehouses throughout the Chicago suburbs, including three in Will County — one in Joliet, one in Bolingbrook and one in Elwood,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher McFadden said."
US: Alleged bomber wanted to hit responders, too
"It says Finton rejected placing a backpack bomb in a police station and concluded he could not smuggle one past security officers at the Paul Findley Federal Building.  It says he suggested the car bomb, targeted U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's nearby downtown office, recommended a second bomb to hit police and fire officers, and delivered electronic parts for the bomb."
Warrenville man held after barricade situation
"Police called the Felony Investigative Assistance Team SWAT Unit for backup while maintaining a perimeter. For four hours, SWAT officers attempted to negotiate with the man. But at 8 p.m., with the man still barricaded in the home, police turned to tear gas and finally deployed a Taser to subdue Patrick, police said."
FutureGen publicity brings inquiries to Jacksonville
"The phone has hardly stopped ringing at the local economic development office since Morgan County was named last month as the preferred site for the FutureGen Alliance’s $1.3 billion carbon-storage project."
Quinn's school merger idea could boost teacher pay
none"As an example, Palatine could be a target for consolidation with its seven elementary school districts feeding into one high school district. The Illinois Association of School Boards estimates that merging those districts would save $1.6 million in administrative salaries, but cost at least $10 million in higher pay for elementary teachers.  In Carbondale, another spot with several districts that could be merged, administrative salaries could be cut by $461,000, but teacher salaries would increase between $1.2 million and $1.6 million, according to the association."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park

The Next Step - AFL-CIO
"With crowd estimates as high as 150,00 for the rally in Madison, Wisconsin working people prepared for the next step in their struggle for democracy and the middle class. They are mobiliziing to recall at least eight Republican senators who participated in a rigged vote to take away public employee bargaining rights."
Change could force Amish gun owners to take photos - Chichago Breaking News
"Illinois Amish have been allowed to forego placing their photographs on FOID cards and other mandatory IDs. On Feb. 14, Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken, now the head of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, decided that policy should be changed, meaning Amish gun owners face photographic identification requirements like other FOID holders in the state."
Up to 100,000 protest Wisconsin law curbing unions - Reuters
"Up to 100,000 people protested at the Wisconsin state Capitol on Saturday against a new law curbing the union rights of public workers that is seen as one of the biggest challenges in decades facing U.S. organized labor."
Nearly Identical Anti-Labor Bills Appear In Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Other States - Think Progress
"The conservative strategy for decimating the labor movement is being replicated with great speed — and little creativity. Each state, from Wisconsin, to Ohio, to Maine, and others across the country face a similar threat of phony Tea Party groups, business front organizations, and even nearly identical legislative proposals."
11 Mar
I am never more proud of the US military than when they are amassing troops, equipment, and emergency relief for a natural disaster.
none Winfield Township Open House. - FB
none"Come share a snack with your neighbors, elected officials and office staff Saturday. Snacks and hot dogs will be served while supplies last. For additional information, please contact the Township Office at 630-231-3591 or 630-231-8850."
  • tours of the office and garage
  • collecting cell phones, eyeglasses, and hearing aids for recycling
  • Non-perishable food items
  • worn American flags
Community HS Music Booster Pancake Breakfast - FB
"Tomorrow 8:00am at High School Commons - Use Entrance H (South Side), West Chicago, IL  $5.00 per person $3.00 for Seniors & Children under 10 Proceeds will benefit the CHS music students in the form of scholarships and needed equipment. This event also coincides with the CHS Education Foundation's 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament."
[Young moms should poke around this site.  It is rich with
Doing Business in China
"Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce hosts “Doing Business in China,” at 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 25 in the meeting room at the chamber office, 306 Main St. in West Chicago Kevin McNulty, Sr. gives an informative and enlightening presentation on how private business in China works and how small and medium-size businesses can sell to the Chinese"
St. Charles St.Patrick's Day Parade - FB, Randy Ramey
none"The St. Patrick Parade in St. Charles is Saturday March 12th at 3:00PM.  I am walking with the St.Charles Township Republicans and they are lining up on Cedar St. between 6th and 7th streets (block west of St. Pat..."
We-go Friends of the Library Book Sale - FB, Marguerite Czajka
"Today 9:00am at West Chicago Public Library
Friday and Saturday 9-4:00. Hard covers $1, paperbacks and kids books .50."
West Chicago Garden Club Meeting
"The West Chicago Garden Club meets Thursday, March 24, 2011 at Faith Community Church, 910 Main Street, West Chicago. Conversation/sharing time/refreshments at 6:45 p.m., a short business meeting starts at 7:15 pm, followed by the featured speaker, Mary Saba from The Growing Place at 7:30 pm. The topic is "Right Plant – Right Place". Please confirm start time at or by phone at 630-585-4005. "
Go West
 Young Mom
Great Libraries! West Chicago Public Library
"Between visits to other parts of the library, she spent a total of about 30 minutes climbing through it and yelling “Choo Choo!” and trying to enlist other kids at the library to be the conductor or engineer. She’s honestly not even that into trains, but I realized what an effect “Thomas the Tank Engine” has had on her when she pointed to the front and said, “Mommy, where’s his face?”"
Court upholds West Chicago cop’s dismissal
none"Former Sgt. Leonardo Aviles plans to appeal the ruling to the Second District Appellate Court, attorney Joseph Mazzone said... The West Chicago Civil Service Commission fired Aviles in June for showing on-duty officers the police thriller “Street Kings” as a reward. The next night, he permitted the showing of another police movie, “Price and Glory,” the commission found.
Casinos, bars could allow smoking again
"Tom Swoik, executive director for the Illinois Gaming Casino Association, said state casino revenue has dropped sharply since the smoke free law was enacted. Swoik, who represents the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, among others, said lifting the ban would help the state compete with surrounding states including Indiana, Iowa and Missouri, which have attracted Illinois gamblers who want to smoke."
Girls basketball: DuPage County All-Area team
"Mary Connolly, West Chicago
The senior forward was valuable to the 17-11 Wildcats in many facets, most notably as the team's post presence. Connolly averaged 12 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game. She is committed to DePaul for softball. Aggressive and versatile with improved conditioning, Connolly anchored West Chicago's zone defense. “She's just a very good athlete,” Wildcats coach Kim Wallner said."
How to verify an attorney’s credentials
"Grogan encouraged the public to verify attorney credentials by visiting, or calling (800) 826-8625. Clients also can consult their local bar associations, he said."
Battle brewing over taxing bodies' legal notices
"“When local governments want to get their message out, they go to their local newspapers,” said the IPA’s DeRossett. “Their own websites tend to be unreliable and seriously underutilized. In fact, in a Pew Research poll last year, only 11 percent of Internet users reported that they had ever visited a government website.”"
St. Charles: New fire district owes $450K
"The city has sent a letter to officials of the former St. Charles Countryside Fire Protection District, saying it owes St. Charles $450,000 under a service contract agreement the two entered into last October.  The district, which changed its name on Jan. 1 to the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District, was given the notice of default letter Thursday. The notice says payment was due Feb. 1."
St. Charles
State Smoking Permits Get No Love in Tri-Cities
none"House Bill 1310 would give municipal liquor commissions the power to issue indoor smoking permits to adult-oriented businesses, such as bars, that make less than 10 percent of their revenue from food sales. Business owners seeking the permit would have to prove that they have told all their employees that smoking might be allowed on the premises. If they receive the permit, they also must prominently post a public notice that smoking is allowed inside, according to the bill, which is co-sponsored by state Rep. Randy Ramey Jr. (R-55th) of nearby West Chicago."
Judge OKs firing police commander for 'movie night'
none"A judge Thursday upheld the firing of Aviles, who, as overnight shift commander, invited on-duty members of the force into the police station to watch full-length feature movies about cops and munch on snacks two nights in 2009.  While the movies were running, the city's streets were left virtually unpatrolled, authorities said."
Senate GOP says it has state budget solution, mum on what it is
"Republican state senators said Thursday they’ve identified up to $6 billion in spending cuts to help Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn balance his budget — only they’re not ready to share them with the public... Instead, the Senate GOP message of the day was that reporters should focus on the state’s budget woes, a topic that’s garnered a veritable ocean of ink for years.  The unorthodox news conference left Democrats at the Capitol scratching their heads."
Illinois organ donors can register by smart phone
"The site is Registration requires an Illinois driver's license or Illinois ID card number.  Donate Life Illinois is a coalition of agencies responsible for organ, tissue, eye and blood and marrow donation in Illinois."
Quinn signs law to collect online sales tax
"Many online retailers, such as and, do not charge a state sales tax. Illinois residents who buy from those retailers are supposed to estimate their tax debt each year and pay it to the state voluntarily. Few people do"
Springfield, rest of Illinois sees drop in unemployment again
"“While we’re seeing some job gains, folks are still playing it close to the vest in terms of hiring in significant numbers,” he added. “Businesses got very lean and very efficient. Now that business is picking up, it’s hard to get leaner.”  Unemployment was down in all 12 metropolitan markets in Illinois for the second month in a row in January. Bloomington-Normal retained the lowest rate at 7.5 percent in January."
GOP senators say more cuts necessary to balance budget
"However, the statement said, “The time for Senate Republicans to begin looking for cuts has long since passed.  “When cuts have been made in Republican districts, we have heard loud complaints about even the most commonsense cutbacks,” the statement said. “While Senate Republicans spend their time creating graphics for bombastic press releases, the governor is continuing to work on a comprehensive strategy to fix our budget. An essential part of that is spending reductions.”"
Holt Baker: We’re Fighting for Basic American Freedoms - AFL-CIO
" …the American people are watching and they know what is going on. The  covers have  been pulled off — and they get it.  They see governors and legislators who, on the one hand, want to take away the worker’s chair at the table, but, on the other hand, has plenty of seats at the table for their billionaire corporate backers."
Christian-Muslim clashes in Egypt kill 13 - Associated Press
"Clashes between Muslims and Christians in Egypt left 13 dead and 140 wounded, deepening a sense of chaos as the police and ruling military struggled to maintain order barely a month after a popular uprising ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.  In a sign of how much security has broken down, the pitched battles — the deadliest in years — went on for nearly four hours Tuesday night as both sides fought with guns, knives and clubs. Army troops fired in the air to disperse the crowds to no avail."
Earthquake in Japan has displaced an axis of rotation of the Earth  - VIKN
"The Axis of rotation of the Earth was displaced almost on 10 centimetres because of destructive earthquake in Japan, has informed National institute of geophysics and volcanology of Italy.  According to experts, influence of tremors on a rotation axis has appeared much more essential, than even in 2004 during earthquake on Sumatra."
[This means that the North Pole has changed by over four inches... does that mean Santa is homeless? - Bob]
09 Mar
none Around and About in West Chicago - 09 Mar 2011
  • Fran Kammes Resigns
  • Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale
  • Local Government Week
  • Knights of Columbus 100th Anniversary
none Design Presentation of West Chicago Middle School
"The District 33 Board of Education is dedicated to keeping the community informed and involved with the expansion of West Chicago Middle School. The Board encourages community members to attend this meeting to review the current plans."
D33 Candidate Forum
"The West Chicago Middle School Student Council would like to invite you to a Candidate Forum for candidates running for the District 33 Board of Education ...
The candidates will answer questions asked by the members of the student council as well as by members of the audience."
none Dancing with the West Chicago Stars
"Don’t miss the “Dancing with the West Chicago Stars” hosted by Community High School’s Post Prom Committee at St. Andrews Country Club in West Chicago on Saturday, March 19, 2011, from 7-11pm."
"Teaching quality in District 94 was recently celebrated with an announcement by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS®) that Eric Bodwell, Patricia Carrow, Eric Lasky, Lynn Peto and Amanda Slobodecki achieved National Board Certification® in 2010."
3rd Annual St. Baldrick’s event
none"Hosted by the West Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 85, over two dozen people have signed up to raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charitable organization dedicated to childhood cancer research, by shaving their heads."
Players united at Wheaton Academy
"Following last year’s 24-3 mark led by Tim Rusthoven, in the stands Wednesday after his freshman season ended at William & Mary, Wheaton Academy is 51-5 the last two seasons.  “It’s been a good run for us,” Warriors coach Paul Ferguson said. “We were excited to get to this sectional game. I felt like we could have played a little better.”"
Tall task for new DuPage housing boss
none"Last year’s report, for example, found that the DHA paid more than $3.4 million in housing assistance through its voucher program without documentation of the recipients’ eligibility. As a result, the auditors recommended that HUD’s Chicago Office of Public Housing require the DHA to either provide documentation or repay nearly $4 million in program funds."
Legal notices posted online only?
"However, a coalition that has formed to oppose the bills says they would hurt government transparency, especially for groups that have not yet made the transition to digital technology. The coalition consists of the Illinois Press Association, AARP, NAACP and the Illinois Association of Realtors."
Hultgren opens office in Geneva
none"Hultgren’s new Geneva office is in a group of office buildings near the intersection of State Street (Route 38) and Bradbury Lane.  The Geneva office has been staffed since January, but the open house was delayed until the office could get a few repairs and new paint."
Benjamin-Evergreen PTA Sponsored Fun Fair
none"Benjamin-Evergreen PTA sponsored Fun Fair. The Fun Fair is scheduled from 5:30 -8:30 pm Friday, March, 11 in the large gym at Benjamin Middle School, 28W300 St. Charles Road, West Chicago."
Illinois corn farmers back coupons for E85 fuel
"Illinois corn farmers and the American Lung Association are teaming up to encourage drivers to use an ethanol blend to fuel up their rental cars.  Enterprise Rent-A-Car customers renting "flex fuel vehicles" will get $10 coupons for the purchase of E85, a fuel comprised of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent conventional gasoline."
House committee advances concealed-carry bill
"The measure, House Bill 148, was approved, 12-2, by the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee Tuesday. It would allow county sheriffs to issue concealed carry permits to people 21 and older who have undergone eight hours of training and passed criminal background and mental health checks.  The proposal failed in the past because it couldn't muster the votes to get around a section of the Illinois Constitution requiring a 71-vote House supermajority for bills that overrule the rights of home rule municipalities, such as Chicago and Springfield."
Conservative group offers alternative state budget
"Some of the cuts could be restored through a competitive process in which $350 million in grants that each account for $5 million or less in spending would be pared down to $150 million. Funding for items such as premiums at the Illinois and DuQuoin state fairs, home-delivered meals for seniors, prostate cancer screening, child death review teams and a statewide sexual assault evidence collection program would fall in this category."
[These programs, meals for seniors and sexual assault, would average 57% cut. - Bob]
Author Steven King: Why Aren’t the Rich Like Me Paying More Taxes? - AFL-CIO
"As 15,000 people rallied in 30 cities across Floriday yesterday to protest Gov. Rick Scott’s budget, author Steven King made a surprise appearance at the rally in Sarasota. A resident of Sarasota, King said maybe he should write his next horror novel about Rick Scott. He told the crowd the rich ought to pay more taxes..."
Soldiers wrongly punished for skipping concert - Assoc Press
"Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which first reported complaints by the soldiers, described the investigation's conclusion as typical for the military.  "Blame some lower-ranking enlisted guy who didn't know any better," he said in an interview. "That is just a completely inappropriate and disgraceful statement."  Weinstein called the Christian concerts "an absolute attempt to establish fundamental Christianity in the military.""
Suspect in MLK bomb tied to racist movement - The Spokesman-Review
"“What to me this arrest suggests is that the Martin Luther King Day attack is what it always looked like: A terror-mass murder attempt directed at black people and their sympathizers,” said Mark Potok, who is the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project that tracks and investigates hate groups."
07 Mar

This Week in West Chicago

CableCom Programming Schedule Channel 17
"CableCom West Chicago Channel 17 cable communications foundation providing non-profit all volunteer community and government access programming to residents of west chicago."
none Music Boosters’ Pancake Breakfast
  • Saturday March 12th
  • 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • in the High School Commons Use Entrance H (South Side)
Traffic Safety Campaign Continues
"The West Chicago Police Department announced that Campaign #3 of the Illinois Department of Transportation funded grant was successful in educating the motoring public on child restraint, seatbelt, speeding, and alcohol related violations."
3/50 Project
"The City of West Chicago has announced its support of a national “shop local” program which poses a simple question to its community members: Which three local businesses would you miss if they closed their doors?"
West Chicago: Privatization price was right
"Yet the city did not seek competitive bids — nor did it really shop around to see if it could get a better deal — before signing a five-year, $2.3 million contract to become Municipal Management LLC’s first client.  The contract was unanimously approved with virtually no discussion at a city council meeting lasting 49 minutes. City administrators didn’t even wait for that formality before giving the two employees notice; they were told on the Friday before the Monday city council meeting not to come back to work."
FOI requests: Exercising rights or clogging government?
none"The district drags its feet in posting public information online, she said, such as meeting minutes that don't appear until nearly a year later. And that forces requests for routine public information.  She also contends general information, such as ordinances, should be routinely posted.  “It's absurd those aren't online,” Burns said. “They might say it takes staff time to scan them all in and post them. And that makes sense because it's a huge job. But get a volunteer to help.”"
Asian population booming in suburbs
"In Bartlett, though, where the Asian population more than doubled to 5,918, growth could be traced to construction of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a Hindu temple off Route 59."
Redistricting means mixing of political puzzle pieces
"A quick glance at a map also reveals some concerns about the 6th, 13th and 14th congressional districts, which cover all of the Fox Valley. Those three districts — which stretch from Coal City to Mount Prospect — have about 2 million residents and cover more than 3,400 square miles.  And yet, U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam live a 5-mile walk apart. As the crow flies, Biggert lives 16 miles from Hultgren and 13 miles from Roskam. The worst case scenario for Republicans? All three in one district."
Zoning panel steps back on church ban
"That group this week agreed they wanted the ZBA to set aside a recommendation on the long-debated proposal, reintroduced last summer, that would forbid places of assembly from locating in residential districts. They plan instead to look at guidelines limiting the size of and regulating the proximity to major roads for churches, temples, mosques, social clubs and lodges. Groups meeting the updated requirements would avoid the tedious and sometimes-costly permitting process."
Gimme Some Hotcakes!
"The Music Boosters at Community High School will host a Pancake Breakfast, on Saturday, March 12, from 8:00-11:00 am. The high school is located at 326 Joliet St in West Chicago. "At only $5.00 per person and $3.00 for seniors & children under 10..."
Events in DuPage Forest Preserve: March 14 – 20
none"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."
Delnor Announces Distinguished Physician Award Winners
none"Stewart Odell, M.D.
Dr. Odell was honored for his unyielding commitment to missionary work, beginning in 1980 with trips to the SaKao refugee camp on the Thailand-Cambodian border. After that, he made yearly trips to Central America. Currently, he is president of the Luke Society and travels twice yearly to Honduras, along with Peru and Kenya to provide medical care. He has also run a clinic in West Chicago."
Report: Illinois' prepaid tuition plan struggles
"Illinois' prepaid tuition program, a 12-year-old financial plan enabling children to attend state colleges at today's prices when they have grown up, has the deepest shortfall of any such fund in the United States and is plowing money into unconventional — and some financial experts say high-risk — investments to close the gap."
Illinois could remove public notices from newspapers
none"A bill pending in the General Assembly would let cash-strapped governments post public notices online instead of paying to run them in print. While the shift has been considered in other states, Illinois would be the first in the nation to drop the requirement that notices run in local newspapers, according to newspaper associations.  "That's my tax dollar," said Rep. Randy Ramey, R-Carol Stream. "I'm asking them to save that tax dollar.""
Quinn set to ink redistricting measure in Chinatown
none"The measure also requires lawmakers to draw state legislative districts aimed at keeping special communities of interest --- linked either by race or by language --- from being split up into multiple districts. The measure was prompted by Chinatown leaders who note the area was divided into three state Senate and four state House districts in redistricting a decade ago."
Funding for prison computer improvements depends on legislature
"A report in August by retired Judge David Erickson said the department’s archaic information technology systems “have a major impact on all DOC functions, particularly those relating to a meaningful assessment of inmates prior to release.”"
Mandatory evaluation system created for Illinois judges
" The evaluations are designed to help judges become aware of potential performance problems and remedy them. The results won’t be made public... The program is the final part of a series of initiatives announced in late 2008 aimed at improving public confidence in Illinois courts. It applies to judges who have been on the bench more than two years but less than 25."
Superintendents oppose Quinn's school merger plan
"A proposal Quinn is considering calls for paring Illinois’ 868 school districts down to about 300. New school boundaries could be redrawn similar to how the General Assembly draws lawmakers’ district boundaries after a census.  Quinn says he’s forming a commission to study the idea, which is projected to save $100 million based on getting rid of school administrators’ salaries."
‘America Is Not Broke,’ Michael Moore Tells Cheering Thousands - AFL-CIO
"Film producer Michael Moore captivated the thousands of protesters at the state Capitol Saturday, March 5, with his speech, “America Is Not Broke.” He said, the “country is awash in cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands” but with 400 of the uber-rich, whom he called “little Mubaraks,” who now have more cash, stock and assets than more than 155 million Americans combined."
One killed as Hindu, Christian families clash over kite flying - The News International, Pakistan
"It was leant that a Hindu community member Asif Siraj alias Phool son of Aslam Siraj exchanged harsh words with a Christian, Salim Masih, over a kite-flying dispute in Kalibari area of Peshawar Cantonment.  The two later fought with each other and Salim allegedly opened fire on Phool and his other family members."
House GOP Aims To Undermine Health Care Law With Hidden Tax - TPM
""This bill would saddle hundreds of thousands of middle-income taxpayers with a hefty tax increase," said Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "We all favor repealing 1099, but to do so on the backs of the middle class is irresponsible."
05&06 Mar
Wheaton Academy stands tall in victory
"Wheaton Academy senior Luke Johnson, all 6 feet, 9 inches and 235 pounds of him, scored 22 points with 15 rebounds to pace a 66-52 win over North Lawndale in Friday's Class 3A Wheaton Academy regional final in West Chicago."
March in DuPage Forest Preserves: How Sweet It Is
none"Want to try tapping your own trees or just enjoy a sweet maple treat? At Kline Creek Farm’s visitor center, natural maple syrup, maple candies and supplies for tapping trees and making maple syrup at home are available for purchase."
U of I did not withhold taxes for grad assistants
"About 280 graduate assistants learned by letter Feb. 22 from the university's payroll office they will be taxed for part of this year's tuition waivers starting this month, with 17 who owe more than their next few paychecks expecting not to get any pay possibly for three months, the (Champaign) News-Gazette reported Friday. An additional 56 students will see their pay cut in half."
State to take over collection of meth lab debris
"ISP spokesman Scott Compton said the state will have to make up for cuts made to the Drug Enforcement Administration.  “Federal funding was eliminated for cleanup across the country on Feb. 23,” Compton said."
Lincoln more committed to black colonization than believed, author says
"Lincoln went on to say that free blacks who envisioned a permanent life in the United States were being "selfish" and he promoted Central America as an ideal location "especially because of the similarity of climate with your native land — thus being suited to your physical condition.""
Michael Moore Headed to Madison, Watch Today’s Rally Online - AFL-CIO
"With the right of public employees to bargain for good middle-class jobs on the line, residents from across the state have remained energized in their struggle against Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to kill collective bargaining and fire employees.  Today’s rally in Madison begins at 2 CT. Watch the rally live-streamed here."

WHAT’S NEW - Robert L. Park   Friday, 4 Mar 2011

Ethiopian Evangelical Christian Churches Are Burnt by Muslims, Group Sayss - Bloomberg
"Federal police in the Horn of Africa nation intervened after three churches and two houses were torched following an alleged burning of the Koran in Asendabo, the Washington DC- based rights group said in a statement on its website. Two more churches were then burned, it said, citing local church leaders. Asendabo is about 280 kilometers (174 miles) southwest of Addis Ababa."
BP oil spill executives are denied bonuses - Financial Times
"“The 2010 annual bonus results were dramatically affected by the Gulf of Mexico accident. In the judgment of the committee and the group chief executive this overrode the normal metrics for bonus outcomes,” the company said in its report, published on Thursday."
04 Mar
none March E-Newsletter
  • The Budget Address
  • Two Bills Pass Committee
  • Introduction of the Taxpayers Protection Act
  • Clovers for Soldiers
none News Bites
  • Navigating the District Website District Calendars
  • Make an Educated Decision
  • 8th Grade Graduation - Important Changes
  • West Chicago Middle School Athletics
  • Math Team
  • We Go Together for Feeling Good Family Night
none P.A.W.S. FOR RECOGNITION - February/March 2011
none"Each Division is asked to nominate students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Learning, Living, or Leadership. The recipients of the PAWS awards this month are a testament to the importance of hard work, perseverance, and community."
Spring Art Classes
"West Chicago’s Gallery 200, a grassroots artist co-op located at 200 Main Street in the community’s historic downtown district, will be offering a unique opportunity to explore individual creativity through several beginner classes geared for aspiring artists, or those just wanting to try something new."
West Chicago and Warrenville Chamber of Commerce Merger
"The strategic partnership that resulted in the formation of the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce will provide members with more contacts, a greater depth of service, additional programs and access to a dedicated staff with over 25 years of combined experience in the business of helping business."
New boss on tap for DuPage Water Commission
nonenone"But Spatz can’t be hired unless the DuPage County Board approves his selection. That vote is expected Tuesday, March 8... “John is well known in the water community — not only in the city of Chicago but the state of Illinois and nationally,” said Zay, who also is a county board member. “He brings a wealth of experience. We’re so excited to have someone with his professionalism.”"
DuPage Housing Authority boss resigns under pressure
"Day's departure came one day after DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin sent an e-mail to DHA board members insisting that Day be terminated due to the results of two recent audits by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The audit reports, issued in September 2009 and June 2010, found that the DHA inappropriately administered its Section 8 project-based voucher program and mismanaged funds."
Roskam comments on 1099 tax form provision repeal
none""The 1099 provision would affect literally every small business in America, forcing businesses to spend more on compliance costs instead of investing in growth and hiring new workers. That is a sentiment I’ve heard time and again from business owners in my district..."
Five Community High School Teachers are National Board Certified
none"Teaching quality in District 94 was recently celebrated with an announcement by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS®) that Eric Bodwell, Patricia Carrow, Eric Lasky, Lynn Peto and Amanda Slobodecki achieved National Board Certification® in 2010."
March in DuPage Forest Preserves: How Sweet It Is
"Visitors to Kline Creek Farm are also in for a stinonecky proposition. During “Maple Sugaring” on March 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they’ll see how 1890s farm families collected and cooked sap to make maple syrup and sugar. They’ll try old-fashioned methods for tapping trees and even taste the final product. “Maple Sugaring” is free and open to all ages, and registration is not required."
Tuition for Southern Illinois freshmen may rise 9%
"Poshard cited another year of flat or reduced funding from the state and the prospect that universities could be cut even more if Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers can't agree about how to pay down a mounting backlog of bills.  A 9 percent hike would add about $656 to the cost of a year's tuition at the Carbondale campus. The annual cost for incoming freshmen now is $7,290."
House to start budget work with conservative spending goal
"Illinois House members set spending limits for next year’s budget Thursday that are lower than revenue estimates made by both Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly’s own financial forecasters.The House Revenue Committee determined that revenues to support most state services will be $33.2 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1."
Illinois gun-info debate grows, legislation stalls
"A plan to prevent releasing the names of those authorized to have guns in Illinois stalled Wednesday, despite gun owners' burgeoning concern over privacy and safety prompted by the attorney general's opinion that the information is public record."
House kills bill to ease sex offender registry for teens
"The “Romeo and Juliet bill,” would have allowed requests for a waiver of the registration requirement if no force was involved, if the victim was 14 or older and if the convicted person was no more than four years older than the victim. The conviction still would have remained on the books."
Spurred by Private Hiring, Job Growth Gathers Steam - NY Times
"The job growth in February was biggest in manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services. The construction numbers were unusually low in January, when the industry shed jobs, probably because of severe snowstorms.  Not every sector added jobs. State and local governments, squeezed by revenue shortfalls and a reluctance to raise taxes, again laid off workers. Local governments have shed 377,000 jobs since September 2008, when their number of employees last peaked."
Prayers for patience as Pakistani Christian buried - Associated Press
"Shahbaz Bhatti, the sole Christian government minister in this Muslim-majority country, was shot dead Wednesday after receiving threats for campaigning to change laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam. He was the second Pakistani politician killed in two months over the matter, and his death underscored the perils facing a government that is increasingly too weak to govern well in the face of rising Islamist extremism."
The Hollow Cry of ‘Broke’ - NY Times
"It’s all obfuscating nonsense, of course, a scare tactic employed for political ends. A country with a deficit is not necessarily any more “broke” than a family with a mortgage or a college loan. And states have to balance their budgets. Though it may disappoint many conservatives, there will be no federal or state bankruptcies."
02 Mar
none Around and About in West Chicago - 02 Mar 2011
  • Lenten season
  • “Clovers for Soldiers,”
  • Spring musical, “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Lions Club 36th Annual Spring Pancake Breakfast
  • “Green Disciples”
Tampico Fresh Market, Mr. Thrifty, Santo Maria’s Italiano Ristorante, Arbor Avenue Antiques, Dr. Joannie Conner-Charles, North Avenue Dental Associates,, Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce, Michael Ventrella, Ball FloraPlant bred Black Velvet
none Veterans Award “Student Voice” at CHS
"The West Chicago VFW Post 6791 and the Ladies’ Auxiliary awarded over $4,400 in prize money to Community High School students who entered the annual Voice of Democracy Competition at the February 15th Board of Education meeting."

Community HS Music Booster Pancake Breakfast - FB, Susan Stibal

  • Time:  Saturday, March 12 · 8:00am - 11:00am
  • Location:  High School Commons - Use Entrance H (South Side)
  • Cost:  $5.00 per person ... $3.00 for Seniors & Children under 10

Proceeds will benefit the CHS music students in the form of scholarships and needed equipment. This event also coincides with the CHS Education Foundation's 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

Reminder for Market Day Orders 
"Please help support our student organizations by placing orders with Market Day. March’s Market Day profits will benefit the Foreign Exchange Club. The next Market Day pick up will be Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm. You must place your order by: Monday, March 7th at 11:00pm CST. Pick up time is 5:00-5:45 pm in Commons. "
Roskam defends scientific research cuts
nonenone"Companies from across the country send personnel or research to the labs, which are equipped with the advanced technology needed to push that research forward.  Durbin said the cuts in scientific research would devastate U.S. efforts in the technology race.  In the short term, however, the cuts would mean about 1,450 layoffs at the two research facilities, including about 1,000 at Argonne.  Additionally, a forced temporary shutdown would push companies to move their research operations overseas, Isaacs said."
No DuPage ban on religious buildings
"“Right now, our zoning code doesn’t do an adequate job of protecting noneneighbors,” Eckhoff said. “So what we’re trying to do ... is preserve the residential character of our neighborhoods but recognize the fact that religious institutions are part of that residential character.”  Eckhoff said he wants a set of zoning changes that would prevent the construction of “huge” structures that overshadow a neighborhood. None of the text amendments would apply to projects already being considered by the county, including several proposed mosques."
Alcohol arrests, fugitive from justice, and more
"A 37-year-old man from the 4N100 block of Kenwood Avenue, West Chicago, was arrested at 2:25 a.m. Feb. 21 and charged with driving under the influence and speeding at St. Charles and Bloomingdale roads."
Reverend Tim Mitchell at the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago
"Reverend Tim Mitchell is closing in on reaching two full months of serving the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago. With vigor and enthusiasm, he has connected with the congregation through his good humor and joyful expression of God’s love."
Book Fair and Family Reading Night at Gary School in West Chicago
none"Children were able to visit with Dr. Seuss' signature character "The Cat in the Hat" during the Family Reading Night and Book Fair at Gary Elementary School in West Chicago. Children listened to stories read by teachers and colored and created their own hats."
Kane, DuPage in Quinn's request for blizzard relief
"Gov. Pat Quinn is asking that 60 Illinois counties — including Kane and DuPage — be declared federal disaster areas because of February’s blizzard.  The governor sent a formal request to President Barack Obama on Monday."
Magazine scores Illinois high as location for business
"The death of Illinois as a place to do business may have been greatly exaggerated.  Illinois ranked eighth among states with new and expanded corporate facilities, while, lo and behold, the Chicago regional market, which includes Will County, topped the national chart of leading metropolitan areas in a survey by Site Selection magazine."
Durbin slams GOP's plan for cuts to Fermi, Argonne
none"Durbin said the bill would be damaging to research and development and to the United States’ overall global standing in science. According to Durbin’s office, H.R. 1, if enacted, would cut $1.1 billion in federal science spending.  “To think that up to one-third of the scientists and support staff would be laid off here in the next seven months, that the research work that’s under way would be suspended, in my mind is just the wrong way for us to go,” Durbin said."
Court: Chicago student has right to wear anti-gay shirt
"The court says a school that "permits advocacy of the rights of homosexual students cannot be allowed to stifle criticism of homosexuality."  The decision says the school was wrong unless it could prove the shirt would cause a "substantial disruption.""
Attorney general: State should release FOID card list
"Responding to a public records request from The Associated Press, Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan’s office ruled Monday that the names of gun permit holders are public information that must be disclosed. But the Illinois State Police, which oversee such permits, is preparing a possible court challenge once her ruling becomes binding."
State revenue estimate delayed
"Tax collections will improve next year, both because of the recent state income tax hike and also because the Illinois economy continues to show improvement. The General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability is estimating a $6.2 billion increase in state taxes that comprise the state’s basic checkbook, driving mainly by a $5 billion increase in personal income tax receipts."
Fox Buses In Footage From Sacramento To Make Union Protesters Look Violent - TPM
"Notice the B-roll footage in the background at the end of the clip, complete with the calming backdrop of palm trees and....wait there are palm trees in Madison, Wisconsin?No there are not. But that's because the footage comes from a solidarity protest in Sacramento, CA. It's an altercation that sparked a brief cri de coeur online this Saturday, when conservatives thought they'd found the clip that could undermine the entire pro-union movement. It didn't. And in fact, as the O'Reilly segment suggests, it was just about the only thing they could find."
Creationism taught in science class, activist says - Breaking News
"“A teacher is teaching that creationism and intelligent design is more relevant than evolution,” Sherman said. “You cannot compare and contrast creationism and evolution in a public classroom. If the facts bear out that he is teaching this, I’m asking you to determine the appropriate response. Maybe you need to get someone else in there to unteach everything (the teacher) has taught them.
State probes foster care agencies for discrimination- Breaking News
Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions - NY Times
"Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees."



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