Source Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
30 May
Monday
Memorial Day
none Memorial Day Ceremony - FB, Mike Kwasman
none"Another Memorial Day speech today, its such an honor to do this today. Thank you West Chicago and the heros of our community."
none Foster eyes new district for Aurora
nonenone"Former Congressman Bill Foster is expected to announce Tuesday that he is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 11th District, the open district that would cover Aurora, Naperville and Joliet. There is no incumbent currently living in that district... Current U.S. Reps. Judy Biggert, a Hinsdale Republican, and Hultgren were both drawn into the edge of other districts, where they will have to face incumbents if they seek re-election. Both could run in the 11th District, where they would enjoy strong name recognition."
none DuPage forest district joins fight against invasive species
none"The district’s board of commissioners recently formalized its participation in the Northeastern Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership (NIIPP). It joins with the other participants — including forest preserve districts in Kane and Cook counties — to support the partnership’s goal of minimizing the adverse impacts of invasive plants on open lands and waters, especially on native habitats and their plants and wildlife."
none DuPage Housing Authority gave ex-board member two preferential deals
none"When DuPage County officials wanted to build 91 new units of affordable housing eight years ago, they didn’t bother to follow federal rules that required them to request proposals from developers.  They didn’t bother to even look outside their own boardroom."
none Senate Republicans block $6B in Illinois borrowing
none"Using one of the few opportunities to make their votes relevant, Senate Republicans tonight led the rejection of a plan to borrow more than $6 billion to try to pay off the state’s mountainous backlog of overdue bills."
House fails to pass workers' comp changes
none"“Illinois employers will not get an opportunity to realize $700 million in savings. No bill is perfect in Springfield, but this one was certainly better than the system we live under today.”  Baise said “everybody who feeds off this system won today. The only people who lost is who pays for it.”   The changes are aimed at saving Illinois employers $500 million to $700 million a year and stopping abuses uncovered at a downstate prison."
New congressional map plan sent to full Ill. House
none"The map stretches Chicago Democratic districts out from the city into the traditionally GOP suburbs, while crowding new Republicans into matchups with their GOP colleagues or into battles with Democratic incumbents. It also creates three open-seat suburban districts for Democrats to try to win."
none House committee OKs congressional map
none"“There have been a number of individuals who have expressed concern about the lack of public input into this, which may cause forth litigation,” Durkin said. “I see some lawyers here (in committee) who are actually smiling. Has there been any money set aside by the state to defend the map?”  “I don’t know of any,” Currie responded.  “I do know that each caucus was allocated a certain amount of money for purposes of redistricting expenses, and my understanding is that you (Republicans) didn’t spend any of yours yet because you plan to spend it all on lawyers.”"
none Act Now: Tell Congress to Stand Up for Consumers, Not Wall Street Bankers - AFL-CIO
"Unable to kill the law, the financial industry special interests are spending millions to stop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which the reform law created, from having any real power. They are trying to take away its funding and delay its start. Most of all they want to prevent Obama from appointing a strong director like Elizabeth Warren."
none Abortion saved my life - Salon
none"My two kids at home almost lost their mother because someone decided that my life was worth less than that of a fetus that was going to die anyway. My husband had told them exactly what my regular doctor said, and the ER doctor had already warned us what would have to happen. Yet none of this mattered when confronted by the idea that no one needs an abortion."
none Mysterious fund allows Congress to spend freely, despite earmark ban - CNN
"And the $19 million for "Navy ship preliminary design and feasibility studies"? Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Mississippi, asked for that. His district's largest employer is Ingalls Shipbuilding -- a major producer of surface combat ships for the Navy... "These amendments may very likely duck the House's specific definition of what constitutes an earmark, but that doesn't mean they aren't pork," says Leslie Paige of Citizens Against Government Waste..."
GOP Tax Lies about Maryland and Oregon
none"Measure 66 would yield an estimated $300 million, rather than the projected $472 million. Those seeking evidence of tax flight, however, faced a problem: Measure 66 was retroactive to 2009, and much of the shortfall was based on revenues from that year. To leave the state and avoid higher tax rates, a high-income taxpayer would have had to see Measure 66 coming more than a year ahead of time."
28&29 May
WeekEnd
 
none

This Week in West Chicgao

none 5 things to know: Civil unions in Illinois
none"Getting a civil union license is a lot like the process for a marriage license. The couple must fill out an application — show they are at least 18 and not blood-related — and appear together at the county clerk’s office to get the license and certificate. That gives the couple 60 days to have a civil union ceremony, in which the officiator will complete the license and return it."
none Who will speak for Naperville?
none"U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren’s house in Winfield Township is on the edge of the newly shaped 14th District, which would pit him against fellow freshman Republican Joe Walsh. Hultgren and Walsh’s office declined to comment on the new maps Friday."
[This map is like the one that landed Tom Delay convicted... and for the same reason.   How sad. - Bob]
none Workers' compensation overhaul set for vote
"The compromise legislation calls for dumping most of the arbitrators who hear cases for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and sets new standards of conduct for the hearing officers. They will be required to be licensed attorneys and undergo ongoing training on fraud, ethics and medical best practices."
Congressional lines drawn to edge out GOP
nonenone"Up north, McHenry County voters represented by either longtime Republican Rep. Don Manzullo or freshman GOP Rep. Joe Walsh would find themselves in a single district that stretches south into DuPage County and is home to another freshman, Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren of Winfield."
none Quinn opposes slots at fairgrounds
none"“Gambling sounds good if you say it fast,” Quinn said Friday. “This proposal to have slot machines at the state fair, I’m not at all excited about that.”  Quinn said he wants the Illinois State Fair to remain a family-oriented event and he thinks more gambling would undermine that. People already can place bets on harness races during the fair."
none Civil unions law draws protests downtown - Chicago Breaking News
"“There’s a battle between gay rights and religious freedom,” said Peter LaBarbera, president of the group Americans for Truth, as he coached people on how to correctly complete the signature sheets on which opponents hope to collect the required 300,000 signatures. “We want to give Illinois votes the same opportunity other states have had.”"
27 May
Friday
Why are local media outlets not mentioning that Senator Kirk has now joined Representatives Rockam and Hultgren in voting to "end Social Security as we know it." - Bob
none Read Under the Trees...e Trees...
none"Read Under the Trees...this summer with staff from District 33 schools, West Chicago Public Library and community Members; then, go home with a brand new book!"
none West Chicago's "Touch a Truck"
none"Youngsters and curious adults will have an opportunity to look at, sit in or climb on unusual trucks and equipment from the City of West Chicago’s Public Works and Police Departments, as well as the West Chicago Fire Protection District. Free ice cream and other promotional items will be available at the event."
Whatever Strikes My Mood - Opening Reception
none"Multi-talented, Gallery 200 artist Joanne Kalchbrenner admits that when it comes to her art, she pursues whatever strikes her mood."
none Counties could get more financial oversight
none"The Illinois Senate Friday approved a plan to allow county boards to get virtually any financial information they want from the agencies they appoint.  The measure was at least partly in response to misspending at the DuPage Water Commission and DuPage Housing Authority."
none DuPage website set to go live
none"A set of menu tabs will stretch across the top of the page, enabling visitors to reach the data they need more quickly and easily than they can now. Modesitt said an “I want to” pull-down will ease navigation, and those who know what they’re after will find it without having to look far."
none Fees OK'd for civil unions in DuPage
none"Paul Hinds, chief deputy county clerk, said the existing code had no provisions for the newly sanctioned domestic arrangements for heterosexual and same-sex couples. The fees are consistent with requirements recently implemented at the state level, Hinds said.  The $30 license fee will take effect when the unions become legal statewide on June 1. Couples also will pay a $5 surcharge that is passed along to the Illinois attorney general for domestic violence prevention efforts."
none Local business park gets a new name
none"In addition, DuPage Business Center features an unprecedented level of abundant and redundant electrical power and data communications infrastructure. The park was built to accommodate technology enterprises and this thoughtful planning will benefit every business that will utilize next-generation power and fiber infrastructure."
Pool drain recall: faulty pool drains need replacement
"In announcing the recall of 1 million pool and spa drain covers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission declared that public pools with the faulty equipment should remain shut until the problem is fixed. The federal agency said it was deploying recall inspectors who have the authority to shut down pools."
none Major public pension changes moving in Springfield
none"Over strong union protests, the Illinois House’s top two party leaders won preliminary approval today of far-reaching pension changes that would reduce the benefits for many public workers throughout the state, including Cook County and Chicago.  Government workers would get to choose from three different options: Keep the same level of benefits and pay more, pay nothing more and get less benefits, or enroll in a 401k-styled retirement plan."
Congressional map would hurt suburban GOP
nonenone""While Roskam would see his current district move north and west, sources said Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, a 12-year veteran of the southwest suburban 13th District  would find herself merged with freshman Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren into the far west suburban 14th District."
House panel OKs nursing home changes
"An Illinois House committee today approved legislation that would toughen rules for facilities that care for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.  The idea is to set up new regulations for those facilities instead of lumping them under the same guidelines that apply to nursing homes."
none Legislature turns down ban on trans fats
"The Illinois Senate voted 40-13 against a bill that would have banned the artery-clogging food additives from many food products sold in the state.  The bill had been changed to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees and with less than $4 million in sales from the ban.  But it wasn't enough for lawmakers who thought the state was treading where it shouldn't be."
TRS blasts House plan to raise employee pension contributions
"While the House projects the initial contribution rates for teachers and university employees will double and those of state employees will go up by 50 percent, the new rates will not be permanent because the state will adjust them every three years.  “The numbers can only go up. They can’t go down,” said Dick Ingram, executive director of the Teachers’ Retirement System. “How far and how fast will be determined by how many people elect to leave” the first tier of benefits and go to a second, lesser tier or a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k)."
none 50 percent of Americans would be in financial trouble if $2,000 of expenses came up in 30 days. - M Budget 360
none"Now part of this inequality is merely the widespread pillaging of Wall Street on the American public.  The banking bailouts that occurred to an industry that turned housing, the largest net worth item for average Americans, into a commodity to be traded and exploited.  Most Americans derive their net worth from home values, not stock market gains.  So the 100 percent run-up of the stock market has done very little for the majority in the country (this can be seen by the Gallup 19 percent underemployment figure).  Do we think that those that are $2,000 away from financial ruin are loading up on stocks in their retirement accounts?  They are simply getting by."
none Catholic Charities of Rockford ends foster care, adoption services - Chicago Tribune
none"The decision is the first of what could become a domino effect of Catholic Charities leaving the foster care and adoption business to avoid liability if state law requires them to place children with parents in civil unions — either gay or straight.  In Rockford, the decision could displace about 350 foster children served by Catholic Charities and put 58 employees out of work."
none In Which I Swallow Hard and Defend Mitt Romney - Mother Jones
"Still, his op-ed really isn't all that far off from what eventually happened. As for the two gotcha quotes currently being distributed around the intertubes, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" was the headline the Times put on Romney's op-ed, not something he wrote himself. His piece makes it clear that he favors a managed bankruptcy, which is what eventually happened."
High court backs Arizona immigration law that punishes businesses - CNN
none""Arizona has taken the route least likely to cause tension with federal law," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. "It relies solely on the federal government's own determination of who is an unauthorized alien, and it requires Arizona employers to use the federal government's own system for checking employee status.""
25 May
Wednesday
Happy Towel Day
"There's a frood who really knows where his towel is."
none Around and About in West Chicago - 25 May 2011
  • Community Memorial Day Ceremony
  • Western DuPage Women in Business
  • Touch-A-Truck
  • State of the City Address
  • Historical Preservation Awards
none

Events in DuPage Forest Preserves: June 6 – 12

Market Day
none"Stock up for the summer by checking out Market Day’s fantastic summer sale items. Please help support our student organizations by placing orders with Market Day.  June’s Market Day profits will benefit the Math Team. Please note: there is a change in the pickup day and order placement cutoff time. The next Market Day pick up will be Wednesday, June 1st at 5:00 pm. You must place your order by:  Saturday May 28th at 11:00pm CST.  Pick up time is 5:00-5:45 pm in Commons. Click on the following website to access Market Day to place your order:  http://www.marketday.com/.  Our School is listed as Community High School Activities  -  Account #6816."
none Winfield Twp. man gets his Bronze Star
Government prime user of public access law
"Senate Bill 2203 would double the amount of time governments have to fulfill a public-records request from five days to 10 days. It would reinstate fees that government bodies charge for copies of documents. And it would let local governments discriminate against citizens who make multiple requests over set periods of time."
none Salad suspected in salmonella outbreak
none"Local and state health officials say a recent salmonella outbreak may been caused by eating contaminated salad at a St. Charles restaurant [Portillo’s] ... The number of confirmed cases stands at 15, with eight from Kane County, four from DuPage County, and one each from Chicago, DeKalb County, and one in Minnesota."
ComEd rate hike to cost customers about $37.80 more a year
"The Citizens Utility Board said Tuesday it will petition the ICC to rehear the case, claiming that ComEd owes customers a $40 million rate cut.  The ICC also rejected ComEd’s additional request for a surcharge to fund an urban reinvestment program, a low-income energy assistance program and a test of electric vehicles’ impact on the electric grid."
DuPage County fair faces financial shortfall
none"State budget cuts have put the squeeze on the summer festival industry, with the DuPage County Fair on course for substantially less monetary support from Springfield than it had last year... “The current assistance level is $199,000, and the previous year it was $299,000,” said Jeff Squibb, communications director for the state Agriculture Department, which funnels funds to DuPage and dozens of other counties where summer fairs take place."
none Legislation could give boost to farmers markets
none"The Illinois House on Monday approved a measure that would allow vendors to prepare foods in their home kitchens on a 97-18 vote and it heads to Gov. Pat Quinn for his consideration. It cleared the Senate earlier this month on a 42-6 vote.  Supporters say the proposal will reduce food prices at farmers markets, encourage entrepreneurship and increase the markets’ popularity."
COD moves forward with de-annexation from Glen Ellyn
none"Florey went on to make the legal argument that the college was essentially independent of village code and said legal precedent “recognized the uniqueness of multi-jurisdictional entities,” and had consistently came down on the side of multi-jurisdictional entities in previous cases.  Florey listed various Illinois codes and standards met, saying the college had “consistently gone above and beyond what is mandated in these requirements.”"
none Suburban leaders explain unemployment rates
none"Data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows the unemployment rate in March, the most recent month available, was just below 6 percent for both towns [Wheaton and Glen Ellyn]. This is significantly lower when compared to West Chicago, which had an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent during that same month.  The greater Chicago region was also close to 9 percent.  West Chicago spokeswoman Rosemary Mackey said it is hard to say how many residents are truly impacted."
Fox
Valley
West Chicago's New Police Chief Brings Forward-Thinking Leadership to Department
none"Perez, who graduated from Cook County Police Academy in 1989, was the first D.A.R.E instructor for the community, teaching children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. Working with youth through the afterschool programs, open gym and community service projects will remain a priority of the department under his leadership, as well as conducting classes on gang awareness for parents."
none With no labeling, few realize they are eating genetically modified foods
""No one would guess that there are genetically engineered foods right here in Whole Foods," said Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, which organized the protest. The activists dramatically trashed a battery of well-known health food brands outside the store, including Tofutti, Kashi and Boca Burgers."
none Energy bill revives push for Tenaska plant in Illinois House
none"“In the next several years, some of the coal-fired power plants will be coming off line because of some new federal regulations,” Nekritz said.  “In Illinois, we are going to need some new baseload power.  One of the ways we can do that is through clean coal.”  A bill authorizing the Tayorville Energy Center, a coal-gasification plant, was approved in the House during the lame-duck legislative session that ended earlier this year, but fell short in the Senate."
Democrats seek GOP vote for scaled-down borrowing plan
none"Illinois Senate Democrats are working on a scaled-down borrowing plan intended to quickly pay off more than $6 billion in backlogged bills owed to state vendors, schools and municipalities.  Republicans, though, remain opposed to any additional state borrowing, and at least one Republican vote will be needed for the loan plan to win Senate approval."
none New Jersey High Court Rejects Christie Education Cuts - AFL-CIO
none"Education cuts made last year by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) were so large that the state Supreme Court today ruled they violated the state’s constitutional requirement to provide a “thorough and efficient system of free public schools.”  The court’s ruling on Abbott v. Burke requires the state to allocate an additional $500 million to 31 lower-income districts in New Jersey in the coming fiscal year."
none Oregon Senate votes to end faith healing defense for medical care - OregonLive.com
"Oregon is on the brink of ending the legal protection for parents who rely on faith healing instead of seeking medical care for their children.  On a 25-5 vote, the state Senate on Monday joined the House in passing a measure that was sparked by the heavily publicized deaths of children whose families belong to an Oregon City church, the Followers of Christ."
none Republican presidential candidate Pawlenty bends his truth-telling - Washington Post
none"“The era of small government is over,” Pawlenty told the newspaper. “I’m a market person, but there are certain circumstances where you’ve got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful. . . . Government has to be more proactive, more aggressive.”"
23 May
Monday
 
none West Chicago Community Memorial Day ceremony
none"The ceremony includes the 21-gun salute and the laying of the red poppy wreath at the base of the monument. Community High School District 94 band, under the direction of Steve Govertsen, provides the music with patriotic songs. The echoing sounds of “Taps” reverberate throughout the cemetery..."
none New Police Chief
none"Since 1987, when Lazaro (Laz) Perez began his law enforcement career as a police cadet in West Chicago, now the equivalent of a Community Service Officer, he has been committed to the safety of residents; and his desire to improve the quality of life through the enforcement of laws and partnerships has remained at the core of his strong service orientation. At the May 2, 2011 City Council meeting, Perez was sworn-in as West Chicago’s new Chief of Police."
none West Chicago’s Blooming Fest growing new fans
none"“It gives us as gardeners an opportunity to share our plants,” she said.  For a small fee, of course, with plants such as ornamental grasses, shrubs and annuals selling for between 50 cents and $6.  Three other vendors sold plants, including We Grow Dreams, a nonprofit greenhouse in West Chicago that offers vocational training for people with disabilities."
none At redistricting hearing, Democrats defend new map as fair, and Republicans seek ways to challenge it
none"Rep. Mike Fortner of West Chicago, the ranking Republican on the panel, repeatedly asked Currie how she could claim the map was fair or competitive, seeking to elicit an answer that could be grist for a court challenge. Fortner would be mapped into a district with Rep. Tim Schmitz, R-Batavia."
West Chicago Family Business Celebrates Century Of Service
"Celebrations will include a special Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce open house and reception from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 22 at West Chicago Printing, 131 Fremont St., West Chicago. Photos and memorabilia of the company’s 100 years will be on display throughout the evening. Refreshments will be served."
West Chicago Blooming Fest
none"West Chicago was blooming on Saturday as crowds came out to the historic downtown to enjoy Blooming Fest – a day filled with plant sales, wonderful crafts, fabulous local entertainment, garden education and so much more."
none $7 million initiative aimed at Asian carp
none"The $7 million initiative calls for continued use of electrofishing, netting and water sampling to detect bighead and silver carp — or their genetic fingerprints — on either side of an electric barrier about 25 miles from the lake. "
none
  • Pension bill awaiting Republican suggestions in Illinois House
    none"Sara Wojcicki, a spokeswoman for Cross, the House Republican leader, declined Friday to answer questions about what kind of trouble the bill faced in Cross’ caucus, what changes members are suggesting and how much more current employees will be expected to pay for their benefits."
  • House, Senate work to reconcile differing state budgets
    "By making that revenue estimate, however, the House also put limits on what it believes the state can spend next year. The result would be cuts to a wide range of programs, from education and public safety to human services.The Senate adopted its own estimate of what it expects to be available next year."
none

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 20 May 2011

  • SORRY: I WAS A VICTIM OF CONVERGING DEADLINES.
  • CELL PHONES: SANJAY GUPTA USES A WIRED EARPIECE.
  • MORE CELL PHONES: WHAT THE MEDIA DIDN'T TELL YOU.
none
none The Christian case for family planning aid - Salon
none"So why is the U.S. actually cutting back on family planning aid? Religious conservatives are an obvious influence. This breaks my heart. Evangelicals and Catholics in Africa really care; I have seen them walk the steep, lonely, stony walk."
none Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden - TruthOut
none"
According to the narrative in the IG report, a previous JFIC deputy director of intelligence said that the JFIC commander, identified elsewhere in the report as Capt. Janice Dundas, US Navy, "directed him to stop tracking Usama Bin Ladin. The Commanding Officer stated that the tracking of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall within JFIC's mission." At the same time, JFIC analysis of purported Afghanistan "terrorist training camps" was also curtailed, with an explanation that such activities were outside the agency's Area of Operations and "that the issues where [sic] not in JFIC's swim lane."
According to the narrative in the IG report, a previous JFIC deputy director of intelligence said that the JFIC commander, identified elsewhere in the report as Capt. Janice Dundas, US Navy, "directed him to stop tracking Usama Bin Ladin. The Commanding Officer stated that the tracking of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall within JFIC's mission." At the same time, JFIC analysis of purported Afghanistan "terrorist training camps" was also curtailed, with an explanation that such activities were outside the agency's Area of Operations and "that the issues where [sic] not in JFIC's swim lane."
Ac­cord­ing to the nar­rative in the IG re­port, a pre­vi­ous JFIC de­puty di­rec­tor of in­tel­lig­ence said that the JFIC com­mand­er, iden­tified el­sewhere in the re­port as Capt. Janice Dun­das, US Navy, "di­rec­ted him to stop track­ing Usama Bin Ladin. The Com­mand­ing Of­fic­er stated that the track­ing of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall with­in JFIC's mis­s­ion." At the same time, JFIC an­alysis of pur­ported Afghanis­tan "ter­ror­ist train­ing camps" was also cur­tailed, with an ex­plana­tion that such ac­tivit­ies were out­side the agen­cy's Area of Op­era­tions and "that the is­sues where [sic] not in JFIC's swim lane.""
AP-GfK Poll: Medicare doesn't have to be cut - AP
none"The recession cost millions their jobs and sent retirement savings accounts into a nosedive. It may also have underscored the value of government programs. Social Security kept sending monthly benefits to 55 million recipients, like clockwork; Medicare went on paying for everything from wheelchairs to heart operations.  Overall, 70 percent in the poll said Social Security is "extremely" or "very" important to their financial security in retirement, and 72 percent said so for Medicare"
21&22 May
WeekEnd
 
none

Next Week in West Chicago

Representative Mike Fortner's 5th Annual Golf Outing - FB, Mike Fortner

  • noneMonday, June 27th, 2011
  • Noon - Registration
  • 1:00 pm - Shotgun Start
  • 6:00 pm - Buffet Dinner
  • Words From Our Host, Awards, Raffle Prizes
Sister Cities' 2nd Annual Mayfest Fundraising Dinner
none"Join West Chicago Sister Cities for a Mayfest dinner to be held at the VFW Post 6791, 431 N. Neltnor Blvd (Rte 59). Doors open at 6:00 pm with a cash bar and dinner will be served at 7:00 pm."
none News Bites
  • WE ARE THE WORLD - International Night
  • West Chicago Middle School Chorus Concert
  • 8th Grade Student Finalist in Writing Competition
  • College Scholarship Raffle Winner
  • West Chicago Middle School 3rd Quarter Honor Roll
  • Last Day of School
  • 8th Grade Graduation
none New boundaries for IL House District 55
Representative Ramey has posted a very good map of the 55th District under the new proposed redistricting.  West Chicago, north of Hawthorne Lane remains in a district dominated by Carol Streame, Bartlett, St.Charles, and South Elgin.
none Remap makes for tough road ahead for some suburban lawmakers
nonenone"In the House Democrats’ map, Republican Reps. Tim Schmitz of Batavia and Mike Fortner of West Chicago would live in the same district. GOP Reps. Randy Ramey of Carol Stream and Franco Coladipietro of Bloomingdale would, too."
none Tri-Cities would get new representation in Dem map
none"But at this time, Fortner would not say if he would run for re-election in 2012.  “When you’re running for office every two years, you have to decide what is best for your family and for your constituents,” Fortner said. “When a situation like this arises, you have to ask yourself the same question.”"
Illinois
Radio
Network
Dems Reveal House Redistricting Map -- Sort Of
none"State Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), the committee's minority spokesman, agrees. He says there's little that can be done to avoid such changes when considering population changes and demographic shifts. He says this even though he's one of the Republicans drawn out of his district."
none Quinn remarks show difficulty of Chicago casino deal
none""We're not going to be the Las Vegas of the Midwest. I don't want that to happen, I don't think the people want that to happen," Quinn said at an unrelated news conference today in the Merchandise Mart. "Now we're here in the city of Chicago right now. It's a big city and a number of big cities in our country and as well as our world have a world-class casino. And if it's done the right way, it's worth looking at.""
none Senate approves keeping FOID card names secret
"Holders of Firearm Owner’s Identification cards need only Gov. Pat Quinn's signature before their names are safe from public-records requests.  The Illinois Senate Friday approved a measure to exempt those records from the state’s Freedom of Information Act.  The bill,  House Bill 3500, passed 42-1 with two senators voting “present.” The same measure passed the House April 8, so it now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk."
Illinois business tax breaks climb
"According to state records, Illinois’ government agreed last year to give $272.7 million in tax breaks and other incentives to 67 companies that had invitations from other states to move jobs elsewhere. That’s more than quadruple what Illinois promised the 44 companies that received incentives packages in 2006 ... With promises of $230 million already made this year — including an unprecedented $100 million package for Motorola Mobility and another being negotiated with Sears Holding Corp. — 2011’s tally will almost certainly surpass 2010’s."
Illinois
House Dems
Illinois Redistricting
none"We have developed this site in order to provide to the public basic information about the redistricting process. Here you will find information on public hearings, the redistricting timeline, links to relevant material, and much more. "
none AFL-CIO Prez Warns Dems: Don’t Take Labor’s Love For Granted  - TPM
"Trumka's main message to politicians, after a year in which labor has battled broad-based attacks in state legislatures across the country, was a simple one: you're either with us or you're against us.  "It doesn't matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside--the outcome is the same either way," he said..."
none Kentucky Grants Creationist Theme Park $43M In Tax Incentives - TPM
"Americans United for Citizens of Separation of Church and State condemns the project, saying job creation is "not a good enough reason for the state to promote a religious enterprise." ... "We treated this application like any other," he told TPM Friday. "We can not discriminate against this project based on any religious criteria.""
none  Company Tax-Paying Rankings- PauUpNow.com
none"Pay Up Now is an online effort by US Uncut Chicago members to boycott corporations that pay little or no federal income tax.  Choose a company, note the products or services you need to avoid, and click 'Send Message' to tell them to PAY UP NOW."
[Be sure to check out the entire list ... Corporate Tax Avoidance Rankings. - Bob]
20 May
Friday
 
none Celebrating Success - Letters About Literature Competition
"Alyssa Lenning, a student from Mr. Johnson’s Language Arts class at West Chicago Middle School, was recently selected as the Illinois Level 1 Finalist for Letters About Literature contest - a statewide reading and writing competition."
none Sports Physicals At West Chicago HS
"All  Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors for next school year, please take advantage of this ONE time opportunity to receive a Sports’ Physical from WEGO and Dr. Matthew Gimre from OAD associates and Dr. Joshua Blomgren from Midwest Orthopedics at Rush."
Spring Plant Sale!
"The selection includes Marigolds, Petunias and Zinnias which are available in 4-packs ($1.00 each); hanging baskets ($10.00 each); or in 16-14 plant flats ($8.00 each)."
none Bronze Star winner from Winfield Twp. will get hero's welcome
none"On a battlefield near the east-central Vietnamese city of Hue on May 6, 1968, Jedlovec braved “continuous enemy fire” to organize a team to rescue an injured squad leader during an 11-hour battle and get him airlifted out of the scene, according to the certificate that accompanied the Bronze Star Medal he will be honored for Saturday."
DuPage Water Commission has its treasurer, again
none"Narducci estimates he has worked in more than 20 municipalities as a hired gun to help them fix their financial woes.  “I do all phases of financials,” he said. “That’s just the kind of work I do. You know I go into a lot of cities and businesses where they need some help getting their financials in order. Thankfully here, they’ve done that already so I get to skate along.”"
West Chicago Blooming Fest’s more than a plant sale
"Perennial favorites include hostas, ostrich ferns and rose bushes. More unusual are the Pagoda dogwood trees from a garden club member’s 10-acre property along the Prairie Path. And there will be a greater selection of peonies this year.  “We went with what people asked for last year,” Fessler said."
none COD Receives 'Click It or Ticket' Grant
none"College of DuPage has been awarded $1,600 from the Illinois Department of Transportation as part of the “Click It or Ticket” Highway Safety Memorial Day grant program.  Funding will be used by the COD Police Department to support increased safety belt enforcement patrols during the Memorial Day 2011 holiday."
none Gary Elementary School - "Flowers for our Neighbors" - Photo Gallery
none"Students, parents and staff gathered in the Gary School gym to create paper flowers that would be given to their neighbors at West Chicago Terrace nursing home. The staff and residence were surprised and delighted by the gesture."
West Chicago Middle School Student Finalist in Writing Competition
none"“Letters About Literature invites children to write to an author whose work has somehow changed the child’s view of the world or self.” Students are encouraged to write how the book, short story or poem affected them on a personal level or “write from the heart”."
none Kane getting charged up about electric cars
"Owners of electric and hybrid cars can charge them in their homes. The public charging stations would offer convenience for those farther from home, at a higher level of power so that a charge would take about two to three hours. A home charge could take up to six to eight hours.  Car Charging, based in Florida, has installed charging sites across the United States. The company installs, maintains and services charging locations, and reimburses governments based on the charges to the customer from operating the charging equipment."
Gapers
Block
Detention in West Chicago
none"After all the talking was over everyone agreed to create a one-hour silent protest within the West Chicago Community High School District 94 library. This protest was recorded and edited by Stine, and titled "Detention Club". This 10 minute video will be played as a loop in the Gallery 200 Studio as a feature in this weekends artXposium. "
none Quinn dumps longtime friend from college aid post
"Out as chairman of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is Don McNeil, a longtime friend and campaign contributor who roomed with Quinn back when they went to Georgetown University.  The move came the same day a state lawmaker announced he is introducing a measure to put control of College Illinois, the prepaid tuition program, in the hands of the state comptroller's office."
none Illinois may have sex offenders; others supply DNA
"The bill requires registered sex offenders living in Illinois to submit a DNA sample, regardless of where they were convicted. Those indicted for, or if probable cause was found for first degree murder, home invasion and various forms of sexual assault charges, must also give DNA samples."
none Illinois Supreme Court blocks lawsuit on underage drinking
none"The court said the Hutsells told their son no drinking would be allowed, a message that got passed along to others, including Bell’s parents. The court held that it would be “unsound policy” to take that message to the son and treat it as a binding promise to others."
Bill requiring more effort to locate pet owners goes to Quinn
nonenone"Under the legislation, animal control shelters would be required to scan for embedded microchips that identify pets and their owners; use other forms of identification such as collar tags to reach owners; attempt to reach secondary contacts, such as veterinarians; and scan for implanted chips a second time if the first was unsuccessful."
none 'Job killers' that aren't - LA Times
"The chamber's argument is always the same: If "job-killer proposal X" passes, companies will go bankrupt, shrink or move out of California. Excessive taxes, regulations and paperwork, especially on small businesses, will crush private sector investment.  If all this sounds familiar, it's because business lobbies have made these claims every time California has increased the minimum wage; every time businesses have had to disclose or limit toxic material in workplaces, consumer products and communities; every time California's wealthiest or most profitable corporations have been asked to pay their fair share of taxes; and every time legislators and voters have taken action to limit greenhouse gas emissions."
none
  • Libya war pushes Christian presence to the brink - Reuters
    "At the Coptic church in Libya's second city of Benghazi, the main rebel stronghold, bearded and robed Father Polla Eshak swings an incense burner among mostly empty pews for the worshippers who have not fled the fighting."
  • Syria Christians fear for religious freedom - Reuters
    "But for many Syrian Christians, the flight of their brethren from sectarian conflict in neighbouring Iraq and recent attacks on Christians in Egypt have highlighted the dangers they fear they will face if Assad succumbs to the wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab world.  "Definitely the Christians in Syria support Bashar al-Assad. They hope that this storm will not spread," Yohana Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, told Reuters."
18 May
Wednesday
 
none Around and About in West Chicago - 18 May 2011
  • Blooming Fest
  • District 33 Art Show “Gallery 33”
  • Dual-Language Program, “Celebrating Our Heritage”
  • Wayne Township Annual Recycling Event
Tom Johnson Senator Tom Johnson 5/13 Newsletter
  • Senate Democrats Push Through Budget
  • Legislation Advanced by Senate Committees
none DASTYCH, GOSBETH LIFT 1ST PLACE WEST CHICAGO - Tim Kenney
"Morgan Dastych and Amanda Gosbeth hit back-to-back homers into the wind, and DuPage Valley Conference leader West Chicago beat West Aurora 2-0 on Tuesday in the completion of a game suspended in the fifth inning a week ago.  Mary Connolly (15-6) struck out 11 and allowed just 1 hit a day after no-hitting Naperville Central for the No. 13 Wildcats (17-9, 10-2), who can clinch a share of their second straight DVC title today at Naperville North."
Down to One Game - FB, Tim Kenney
"Naperville North beat West Chicago, 9-0. That means WeGo is now 10-3 in the DVC with 1 more conf. game left to play against W. Warrenville South. Both Glenbard North and Naperville Central ended league play at 10-4. If WeGo - last year’s DVC champs — beat the Tigers, they win the conference outright. If they lose, there will be a three-way tie for the title."
West Chicago Fusion Food Book Launch - FB, Donna M. May
"In May 2010, Gitte Bog spent 3 weeks in West Chicago working on her project: "West Chicago Cookbook of Fusion Food". During this period, Bog found her way to our hearts via our stomachs, by developing a series of truly West Chicago inspired recipes."
City of West Chicago - 2011 Art Banner Competition - FB, Maureen Navadomskis
"Have you seen the new banners downtown, yet? There are some really cool ones!"
none West Chicago Middle School Announces 3rd Quarter Honor Roll
"The following students made Honor Roll at West Chicago Middle School for the third quarter of the 2010-2011 school year.  Students are credited in two areas. The area of Achievement means the student's grades are average "B" or above. Students are also graded in the area of effort, with "1" being the highest grade. Students making High Honor Roll received all A's in achievement and all 1's in effort."
District 33 Foundation Announces Scholarship Raffle Winner
"The Foundation for Educational Excellence for West Chicago Elementary School District 33 is pleased to announce the winner of the scholarship raffle drawn on Thursday, May 5, 2011 Julie Gomez of West Chicago won the scholarship. Only 178 tickets were sold this year - the $1780.00 scholarship reflects the gross receipts of $3560.00 being split between the winner and the Foundation according to the prize rules. Deb Ramsey, also of West Chicago, won the second prize of a $500.00 savings bond donated by DuPage National Bank."
none PeaceBuilder-of-the-Month for April 2011
"Lorena Orizaba, of West Chicago, a Junior at Community High School District 94, has been recognized as the April 2011 PeaceBuilder-of-the-month.  Lorena received the PeaceBuilder Award in recognition of her efforts to assist others and also due to her excellent academics. Lorena’s great actions have been observed by both students and staff alike here at Community High School."
Student Art Show at Community High School
"A community evening open house will be held on two nights: Thursday, May 19th and Friday, May 20th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The Administrative Conference Room is located off of Commons. Please enter the building through Entrance H on the South side of the school. Selected pieces will be offered for sale with half of the proceeds donated to charity."
none 2011 State of the City Address
none"The 2011 Annual Budget totals approximately $54.4 million, which is a decrease of 6.85% from the previous year. Your City Council has decreased the General Fund Budget for five years straight. Considering the budget included no utility rate increases, no layoffs and no service reductions; and sales tax revenues are starting to increase for the first time in three years, we can afford a cautious measure of confidence for the future."
Blooming Fest
none"Spring is here and West Chicago is blooming. The forces of Mother Nature have rewarded the western suburb yet again by transforming the canvas of a dormant landscape into its miraculous work of art."
West Chicago-Inspired Cookbook
none"Mexico City-based Danish artist Gitte Bog, who arrived in West Chicago in spring 2010 as an Artist in Residence, returns to West Chicago to launch the cookbook made in collaboration with the citizens of West Chicago."
none State of West Chicago is healthy, mayor says
none"West Chicago gave its taxpayers a break this month by paying off early a loan for its water treatment plant, saving $4.3 million in interest.  “Paying off debt 10½ years early is monumental,” Mayor Mike Kwasman said."
Why are DuPage assessors so well paid?
"All nine township assessors in DuPage make the top 10 list in a comparison of assessor salaries in 50 suburban townships.  Five of those DuPage assessors make six-figure salaries."
[Mark Malay Winfield $102,347 and Michael Musson Wayne $97,856 - Bob]
DuPage puts brakes on red-light cameras
nonenone"Meanwhile, Jim Zay was the only committee member to support another option for a fee-based system where municipalities would have paid for a permit that covers the county’s administrative costs.  Zay said he’s disappointed municipalities won’t be given the chance to install cameras in order to make intersections safer.  “Everybody talks about revenue,” Zay said. “If one of these saves somebody’s life, do we put a price tag on that?”"
DuPage incumbents pushing competition off the map?
none"“I think the map obviously is an attempt to redistrict Laura Fitzpatrick — who is competition for Jeff Redick, myself and Brien Sheahan — out of the district so that she could not be competition,” O'Shea said. “I think that's bad government. It's not the way that the map is supposed to be drawn.”"
none Chickens can scratch in Batavia backyards
"Jungels further suggested the provision revoking hen-raising rights of those owners who have had three ordinance violations within a 12-month period. On Monday, a clause was included that no chicken coop or enclosure be within 30 feet of any occupied residence other than the owner’s.  The ordinance requires owners to provide a covered coop with standard setbacks and protective outside fenced area within the backyard that is no less than 32 square feet."
none
Nicor to Celebrate 15 Years of Annual Volunteer Day at 23 Local Non-Profit Organizations
"Nicor’s 15th Annual Volunteer Day involves 23 activity sites in 20 communities. West Chicago volunteers will be framing and siding five Habitat for Humanity homes near Pioneer Prairie Park, at the corner of Sherman Street and Pomeroy Street."
none Automatic rate hikes tossed from Illinois energy bill
none"Commonwealth Edison Co. and Ameren Services say they need money for technology upgrades such as "Smart Grid," which could lower energy use by making consumption more responsive to demand. They say the Illinois Commerce Commission's 11-month review process delays rate increases and handcuffs the companies."
Illinois spending heavily to retain companies
none"Illinois in 2011 is on pace to provide much more money in financial incentive programs to businesses to retain and add jobs, with the total through early May exceeding $230 million pledged to 27 companies.  That is nearly the amount pledged all of last year by Illinois to keep corporations from leaving the state or to attract businesses to relocate or expand here, the Tribune has learned."
none Illinois bill restricts guns to violent offenders
none"Illinois residents under a restraining order or convicted of domestic battery will no longer be allowed to own firearms in legislation heading to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk.  The bill passed the Senate 55-1 on Tuesday. Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has 60 days to sign or veto the legislation.  Currently, people convicted of domestic violence charges within five years of applying for a state gun permit are prohibited from owning firearms. The new bill would extend that "look back" period indefinitely."
Expect to hear, see 13-year cicadas in Illinois soon
"Dixon says exactly when the bugs show up in Illinois depends on soil temperature.  The cicadas are known for their high-volume mating calls and the crunchy shells they leave behind."
none Consultant: State retirees should pay more for health insurance
"One of the scenarios laid out to lawmakers could result in retirees with pensions of $125,000 or more paying nearly $8,300 a year in health insurance premiums.  Depending on the option selected, retirees with pensions in the $35,000 to $50,000 range could pay from $1,476 a year to more than $5,800 annually. If dependents also are covered, the price would be higher."
State could turn to public-private partnership to build roads
none"Under the bill, private companies would bid or submit proposals for new transportation projects. They would partially or entirely fund projects in exchange for revenues.   Those projects could be building new roads or adding new modes of transportation to existing ones, such as creating a railway next to a highway. They could not simply add lanes or exit ramps to existing highways."
none U.S. Infrastructure Crumbling, Nation Falling Behind Developing Countries - AFL-CIO
"Successful job creation is the key to deficit reduction over the medium term. We must commit to the sizeable and sustained level of public investment needed to rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and schools and prepare our country for the next generation. From technology to education, investments today will make responsible fiscal balance achievable and—most important—create good jobs for America’s workers and help us win the future."
none Taiwan to punish doctors for sex-selective abortions - Agence France Presse
none"An initial investigation by the bureau last month found 10 out of every 11 babies delivered in a clinic in New Taipei City last year were boys. Nine out of 10 babies born in another hospital during the same period were male.  Government officials suspected that doctors at the two medical institutions had carried out the abortions on the request of parents who had viewed ultrasound scans which allowed them to predict the sex of their baby."
none Santorum: McCain doesn't understand interrogation - MSNBC.com
none"Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday that Sen. John McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years enduring brutal treatment at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors, does not know how effective waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques can be."
16 May
Monday
 
none

Art Show - Correction of tim
none"Please note the change in time.  Last week's "News Bites" listed the incorrect time.

  • Date:  Thursday, May 19, 2011
  • Time:  4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Place: Educational Service Center(ESC)
    312 E. Forest Ave, West Chicago

Each year the ESC receives a makeover - that is, an art makeover.  The artwork of students across the district is framed and displayed on the walls for everyone to enjoy.  You are invited to the official viewing of the artwork that will being on display for an entire year.  Visitors will also be able to vote for their favorite clay cupcake made by 8th grade art students from West Chicago Middle School."

none Roadside Safety Check in West Chicago
"A Roadside Safety Check will be conducted by the West Chicago Police Department and the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department during the month of May 2011.
none Student Art Show at Community High School-May 19th and 20th
"A community evening open house will be held on two nights: Thursday, May 19th and Friday, May 20th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Student work from all Art and Photography classes will be represented in the show. Photographs, paintings, drawings, computer graphics, ceramics, sculptures and 3-D projects will all be on display from beginning to advanced levels."
none Push for automatic senior tax break stalls in House
"This year, some lawmakers tried to go back to the old way, allowing nearly 300,000 homeowners 65 and older to get the benefit without filling out a form every year. The idea passed the Senate 54-0.  But when the bill made it to the House, it got shunted into a three-member subcommittee. There, two of Madigan's top lieutenants — downstate Democratic Reps. Frank Mautino, of Spring Valley, and John Bradley, of Marion — voted against it."
none Illinois House may consider pension changes this week
"However, the price of staying in the current system will not be as steep as originally thought. For teachers, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has estimated their contribution to their own pensions would be 13.77 percent of their salary instead of the current 9.4 percent in order to keep their current benefits, McCarthy said.  "I think if we can keep it at 13, 14 percent, a good majority will stay in Tier 1," he said. "Most of the people that talked to me in my office — they thought a more reasonable thing like that, they could understand that. I think they're cognizant of what a wonderful benefit they have.""
Concealed carry still under discussion in Legislature
"The Illinois House rejected statewide concealed-carry earlier this month, partly because of the ardent opposition of Chicago legislators. Some Chicago lawmakers said a one-size-fits-all bill wasn't right for their city, which has been haunted by gun violence, including the high-profile shooting deaths of police officers.  The measure got 65 votes, but needed 71. Only two Chicago legislators voted for the bill, and only two downstate legislators voted "yes."  The regional divide raised the question of why the Legislature doesn't allow communities to decide for themselves."
none House expected to consider pension changes
"The bill would cap state contributions to employee pensions at a percentage of the employees’ salaries. The current estimate is that the state will contribute 6 percent, said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, D-Orland Park, the House Democrats’ expert on pensions.  “Everyone will get the same contribution from the state. This will help us with our long-term unfunded liability,” McCarthy said."
none Fewer state workers possible - Illinois Statehouse News
"State agencies faced with tight budgets could decrease their number of positions, instead of laying off workers, which would create an unfilled, yet retained position, said state Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley.  “This is how much money the committee says you, (the) director, have. You are under a decree that you can’t lay off people; you can, however, reduce the size of your force completely,” Mautino said. “They always have the ability to say, instead of having 10 people in this agency, in this division, ‘We’re going to lay off two people, and we will recall them back,’ (or) they will say, ‘Forever more we will have eight.’”"
none Donation will allow Claremont School of Theology to train rabbis, imams - LA Times
""It's important for us that the participating partners maintain their own brands. We are not blending or merging. We are only looking for understanding, respect and the possibility of collaboration," he said, adding that Buddhist, Hindu and other religions may join later. Campbell said he and the Lincolns want the schools to generate interfaith solutions for such social issues as homelessness."
none Actually, "The Rich" Don't "Create Jobs," We Do. - Campaign for America's Future
"In a democracy the rich are supposed to pay more to cover things like building and maintaining the roads and schools because these are the things that enable their wealth. They actually do use the roads and schools more because the roads enable their businesses to prosper and the schools provide educated employees. But it isn't just that the rich use roads more, it is that everyone has a right to use roads and a right to transportation because we are a democracy and everyone has the same rights. And as a citizen in a democracy you have an obligation to pay your share for that."
14 & 15 May
WeekEnd
 
none Next Week in West Chicago
16  9:30am» Day at the Farm Field Trip
       6pm» Underground Art Club
       7pm» City Council Meeting
17  3:10pm» After-school Art Class
       7pm» District 94 School Board
19  7pm» District 33 School Board
       7pm» Knit Night
20  6:30pm» “Swingin’ on the Moon
       9pm» Local Music Night
21  8am» Community Volunteers Invited to Participate in Downtown Planting
       8am» Volunteer Native-Plant-Nursery Workday
       9am» Local Music Night at Blooming Fest
       9am» West Chicago’s 11th Annual Blooming Fest
       1:30pm» Blacksmithing Demonstrations
none Ramey Say House Budget a Step in the Right Direction
"With Republicans finally at the negotiating table, State Representative Randy Ramey (R-West Chicago) voted in favor on a series of bills to pass the first balanced budget in Illinois in over a decade. Ramey says that Democrat leaders finally used Republican ideals to propose a balanced budget."
Be on the lookout for Identity Theft
"Be sure to check your next credit card statements for any suspicious charges. ABC 7 recently did a report that many people in our area including one of our trustees from Wayne Township, Brandi Ramundo, have experienced identity theft while shopping at the Michaels Arts and Crafts store."
none District 33 - "News Bites"
  • 13th Annual District 33 Track Meet
  • Spring Orchestra Concert
  • District 33 Art ShowBeginning
  • Band & Orchestra Sign Up Night
  • Math Contest + District 33 Students = Great Results
none

District 94 Board of Education Meeting Agenda - May 17, 2011

  • Policy Series 9000 – Relations with Parents and Other Citizens/Committees
  • Strategic Plan
  • Weighted Grades
none 13 local salmonella cases confirmed
none"Health officials say 13 people now have been confirmed as having contracted salmonella, suspected to have come from a St. Charles restaurant.  The Kane County Health Department issued a press release Friday saying it and the Illinois Department of Public Health, along with other local health departments, continue to investigate the outbreak of salmonella typhimurium in northeast Illinois."
none Consultants back firing of St. Charles East coach
none"Consultants found, despite the backlash from parents and students, “there is significant evidence to support the dismissal” of Clodi, who coached the varsity team for eight years.  “That decision’s been made, it’s done and we need to continue to move on,” Supt. Don Schlomann said. “And I think while there’s different sentiments about it everybody wants to move on and provide quality programming for our kids.”"
State Farm to offer same-sex benefits
none"The eligibility changes for the Bloomington-based insurer's group health and welfare plans affect all employees, retirees, agents and agent staff. They would be able to enroll a "legally recognized" same-sex spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner in benefits for the first time, said State Farm spokesman Phil Supple."
House and Senate trade competing spending plans
none"The Illinois House and Senate traded competing versions of state spending plans today as lawmakers debated whether they were cutting too much from education and social services in the face of a massive budget deficit.  In a departure from years past, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, worked closely with House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, to pass a $33.2 billion budget, more than $1 billion lower than the Senate and more than $2 billion below Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposal for day-to-day state operations."
none Health of Illinois rivers a concern, Sheila Simon says
none"“The Mississippi River and its tributaries are of vital importance to the ecosystem and economy of Illinois,” Simon said in a news release. “I look forward to working with the council to outline goals and initiatives to protect our rivers and waterways.”"
Union to urge GM to reopen plant in Janesville, Wis.
"The only plant identified so far is the Bowling Green, Ky., facility where the Chevrolet Corvette is built. GM said the plants will be announced after negotiations with federal, state and local officials have been completed.  It has raised hopes that perhaps GM will reopen its massive plant in Janesville, Wis., that closed in 2008."
none Madigan puts pressure on interest groups for workers' comp deal
"“In the case of workers compensation, you’re dealing with the five most powerful lobbies in the legislature,” Madigan said, referring to doctors, hospitals, labor, business and trial lawyers. “There’s a club among doctors and lawyers and sometimes labor unions, which is not working in the best interests of the injured worker.”"
none

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 13 May 2011

  • VERHULST EQUATION: BEWARE OF A STABLE POPULATION.
  • RADIATION: DO CELL PHONES OPERATE IN THE CLASSICAL WAVE LIMIT?
  • ALTERNATIVES: THE NEW MEDICINE IS JUST THE OLD MEDICINE.
none Presbyterians clear way for ordaining gays, lesbians - USA Today
none"The long-debated change came late Tuesday when a Minnesota presbytery, or regional governing body, voted 205-56 to ratify an amendment lifting an effective ban on gay ordination in the church constitution.  That vote by the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area brought to 87 the number of presbyteries approving the change for the Protestant denomination based in Louisville, Ky. -- the majority needed to amend the constitution."
none Corporate Martial Law: Public Schools Auctioned Off to Highest Bidder - AlterNet
nonenone"Detroit, which is caught up in a state that has turned on its public workers, is auctioning off its public schools.  The city is taking applications as part of its Renaissance 2012 plan to put 45 public schools up for charter school takeover, and yesterday, the Detroit Free Press reported its gotten 18 charter school companies eyeing some 50 schools."
Bad News on Housing - Mother Jones
none""We expected December and January to be bad" as the market reeled from the after-effects of the tax credit, said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist. But monthly declines for February and March were "really staggering," he said. They indicate "a reflection of the true underlying demand, which is now apparent because most of the tax credit is out of the system, and it's being completely overwhelmed by supply.""
13 May
Friday
 
none BReminder: Boy Scout Troop #21 Needs your Help at Blooming Fest
BSA"Breakfast will be served from 8am-12noon and the prices are: $6 adults, $5 seniors and children under 12 and children under 3 yrs old are free. We will be serving Pancakes, eggs, sausages and bacon, as well as coffee, milk and orange juice."
none Angry mayors denounce 'stealth' tax, demand share of income tax revenue
none"“We want to pay all bills owed by the state of Illinois — including payments to local governments — but we are out of resources and out of time,” Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan said in an emailed statement.  “Senate Republicans have proposed cutting $300 million a year from local government payments, which the governor opposes. Our proposal delays payments while we address immediate financial deadlines,” she wrote."
none West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Annual Wellness Walkk
none"The miles are still being counted for the 3rd Annual Wellness Walk sponsored by WeGo Together for Kids in West Chicago Elementary School District 33. The current total is approximately 22, 000 miles. The students, staff and administration of District 33, along with community leaders, walked throughout the day on April 29, 2011 to promote wellness through physical activity."
Local Church Participated in the National Day of Prayer
none"The theme this year was “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”. Participants from the congregation pledged to spend one hour in the Prayer Room reading, praying and meditating. The consecutive hours of prayer started at 7 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m."
West Chicago’s 11th Annual Blooming Fest
none"Due to local road construction, persons are advised to enter the downtown via Route 59 and Main Street. Free public parking is available at the Metra lot or City Hall, 475 Main Street. For additional information, call (630) 293-2200 ext. 135 or visit www.westchicago.org under Community Events."
“Meet the Beekeepers" at Kline Creek Farm
none"Talk with the farm’s volunteer beekeepers, and learn how they care for the farm’s bees. Visitors will discover how honey is processed from the hive to the jar and learn about other products like beeswax. Registration is not needed to attend these free demonstrations."
none
"We're talking about workers who are denied their most fundamental rights, denied the freedom to join and form unions and the right to bargain collectively for better wages and health care - even told that it's unreasonable to want a better way of life for their families," said Trumka.
Legal long shot by state GOP to slow remap
none"With Democrats poised to advance a new political map that could leave Republicans in legislative obscurity for another decade, the state GOP has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to overturn the Constitution's rules on redrawing legislative boundaries.  It's a long-shot bid to stop Democrats from creating a new map without any input from Republicans, a process expected to play out in the final weeks of the spring legislative session set to end this month."
Bill allowing people to keep roadkill OK'd
none"They are not quite groceries, but Illinois roads could soon be serving up dinner ingredients as a result of a bill approved by lawmakers Thursday that would allow some citizens to pick up roadkill.  Under the bill, people with proper permits could retrieve certain in-season, furry mammals killed by motorists. People could do whatever they please with the carcasses, whether it's skin them for their hides or add them to a rustic stew."
none Illinois House sends school reform bill to governor
none"Under the legislation, if a school board has to lay off teachers, it would no longer do so solely on the basis of teacher seniority. The legislation would require performance and qualifications to be factors in such decisions, with seniority being a tie-breaker."
State employees will have to choose raises or jobs, lawmakers say
none"“We’re not asking them to take a cut in pay, but we’re suggesting to them they should not implement the raises,” said Rep. David Reis, R-Willow Hill, the ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Appropriations Committee.  “I think that’s reasonable when we’re asking so many other forms of state government to do with less.”"
House panel adopts 'hideous' $1.2 billion cut in human services
none"Feigenholtz said the committee had to cut 6.5 percent from the budget for each agency for which it has authority.  That includes the departments of Human Services, Children and Family Services, Healthcare and Family Services, Public Health and Veteran’s Affairs.  As much as possible, the committee targeted administrative costs.  After that, the committee tried to preserve what members believe are “core” programs that keep people from falling “deeper into poverty, illness, hospitalization or any kind of more expensive, inappropriate care.”"
none Michigan Governor Takes a Walk of Shame in Benton Harbor - Labor Notes
none"For 39 long minutes, Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder had to endure a barrage of thundering chants. “Recall Rick!” they demanded. “Shame, Shame!”  That’s how long it took Snyder, on foot, with his entourage of motorcycle cops, bodyguards, and mounted police, to walk two miles through Benton Harbor as the honorary Grand Marshal of the town’s Blossomtime Parade on Saturday."
none
AFL-CIO Turns Corner, Embraces Immigrant Workers
AFL-CIO Turns Corner, Embraces Immigrant Workers
AFL-CIO Turns Corner, Embraces Immigrant Workers
AFL-CIO Turns Corner, Embraces Immigrant Workers
AFL-CIO Turns Corner, Embraces Immigrant Workers - TruthOut
none"
"We're talking about workers who are denied their most fundamental rights, denied the freedom to join and form unions and the right to bargain collectively for better wages and health care - even told that it's unreasonable to want a better way of life for their families," said Trumka.
"We're talking about workers who are denied their most fundamental rights, denied the freedom to join and form unions and the right to bargain collectively for better wages and health care - even told that it's unreasonable to want a better way of life for their families," said Trumka."
Fun With Charts: Making the Rich Look Poor - Mother Jones
"As a public service, I've redrawn the chart for the Journal. On the left is the original. On the right is the chart that shows the actual amount of money earned by the tiny handful of people making over $200,000. It's a lot."
11 May
Wednesday
 
none Around and About in West Chicago - 11 May 2011
  • Youth Services Director Retires
  • Voice of Care, In Christ with Persons Developmentally Challenged
  • 11th annual Blooming Fest
  • Jacobsen’s Flowers & Gifts is closing
  • Aldermen Retain Committee Positions
none Boy Scout Troop #21 Pancake Breakfast fundraiser
BSA"The reason we are doing this is because all of the boy's troop tents were recently ruined in a flood when our sump pumps failed. Since we don't camp in them during the cold weather months, we didn't realize this until recently. You can imagine the awful condition they are in."
none Tune In To West Chicago for Big Band Swing
none"There will be some jumpin,’ jivin’ and possibly wailin’ next week in West Chicago. On Friday, May 20th, The Music Boosters of Community High School in West Chicago invite you to Spring Fling: A Tribute to the Big Bands, “Swingin’ on the Moon,” from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m."
none Exhibit Inspires Tomorrow's Architects
none"The West Chicago City Museum will exhibit the work of Bartlett High School architectural/Computer-Aided Design honor students who have researched the history of nine past and present West Chicago train stations, as part of the All Aboard! exhibit. All Aboard! is a look at West Chicago’s many railroad stations over the last 150 years."
Danish Artist Stine Marie Jacobsen
none"Stine Marie Jacobsen, a Danish artist and film-maker, is West Chicago’s latest “artist-in-residence”. She is also accomplished in performance, curating, writing, and drawing."
Roadway Safety Campaign
none"The Campaign ran from April 29, 2011 - May 8, 2011 and resulted in 135 citations being issued; 18 for seatbelt and child restraint violations, and 1 violation for driving under the influence."
none Islamic Center submits new application for West Chicago prayer center
"DuPage County officials said the group is in the process of resubmitting its request for a conditional-use permit to have the house at 28W774 Army Trail Road declared a religious institution. A new application was dropped off Monday — days after the group withdrew a request that was rejected by the county board's development committee."
Schaumburg Twp. Elementary District 54 assistant superintendent earns $340,000
none"For Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 Assistant Superintendent Mohsin Dada, it's a reality — thanks to a 22 percent pay raise he received not once, not twice, but three times during the course of his current seven-year contract."
Apologetic rapist gets 28 years in West Chicago case
"By the time Salvador Alvarado returned to apologize, his rape victim had already abandoned her home in West Chicago — too terrified to return to the place where she was snatched off a toilet and repeatedly violated.  But her quick actions in those traumatic moments — including inviting her intruder back again — eventually helped bring the mentally ill man to justice, authorities said Tuesday as he was sent to prison."
West Chicago high school presents ‘Aida'
none"“The excitement really comes from the music as well,” Begovich said. “The cool thing is, you'll get that ‘Crocodile Rock' feeling at times, but also these great, almost gospel, spiritual numbers and these amazing ballads the lovers will sing to one another. It really has everything.”"
Wheaton Academy’s Moestopo free to run again
"Moestopo arrived from the city of Bandung, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, before his freshman year. His athletic background included swimming, soccer and basketball, but his host at Wheaton Academy, Kent McDonell — son of assistant principal Kevin McDonell — steered him elsewhere."
none West Chicago man gets 28 years for sex assault
"A West Chicago man who sexually assaulted a 54-year-old woman in 2008, then returned several weeks later to apologize and attempt a sexual liaison with her was sentenced today to 28 years in prison."
An Old-Fashioned Memorial Day at Kline Creek Farm
"The program, which is co-hosted by the Center for History in Wheaton, will include a ceremony reminiscent of those of the 1890s featuring costumed interpreters presenting songs and speeches. “Memorial Day Remembered” is a free event, and registration is not required."
none DuPage foresees no air conditioning aid
none"DuPage has distributed more than $1 million in federal utility assistance in the past four years. Last year, 2,469 DuPage households received $370,350 in heating and cooling relief through the program.  No one is guessing yet whether home heating assistance will be available through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program when winter returns."
Kane officials investigating link between SC restaurant, illness
none"The Kane Health Department said a common potential link is that seven of the people affected reported having eaten at Portillo’s at 3895 E. Main St. in St. Charles during April. No specific food item has been identified to be source of the illness.  The management of Portillo’s is actively cooperating with state and local health officials in the investigation, the Kane department said."
none No plan yet for DuPage County Board districts
none"DuPage County is taking its redistricting task down to the wire.  Although each of the six Republican County Board members working on the remap committee has been meeting with constituents and colleagues to discuss the redrawn electoral boundaries, no proposals have yet been compiled to reflect a complete picture."
none St. Charles Portillo's suspected in salmonella cases
none"Ten people have been diagnosed with cases of salmonella typhimurium, and seven of them reported having eaten recently at the Portillo's, the department said. "No specific food item has been identified to be source of the illness," it said in a statement."
House proposes deep cuts in human services budget
"Major cuts in the proposal include about $181 million from state operations and about $186 million in cuts to grants, such as social services that go to private organizations in communities throughout the state, she said.  One additional cost-savings move would cut even deeper than Quinn proposed for programs that pay for Medicaid services provided by doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies, she said."
Illinois House panel looks to cut school funding
none"“This reflects the amount of money that we feel we have available to spend,” said Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood. “And while it’s less than the previous year, at least we don’t have to worry about making promises that we aren’t going to be able to keep.”"
none Casino smoking ban threatens state tax revenues
none"Some lawmakers would like to lure Hutchison and his cigarettes back to Illinois. As cash-strapped governments grasp for every quarter, the state is among several contemplating loopholes in smoking bans to keep more gamblers — and their money — from slipping across the border.  An Illinois Senate committee could deliberate today on a bill to allow smoking in casinos."
State forecasting arm projects bleak outlook for state finances
"But even then, the Illinois’ precarious fiscal state would continue because part of the state income tax increase passed in January is set to expire in fiscal year 2015, decreasing revenue by at least $4 billion, according to commission staffers.  A law passed last year requires the commission’s staff to come up with a three-year budget forecast that considers the threats and opportunities to state revenue and expenses. The commission did not study in detail what would happen after the tax increase sunset, but one result would be a steep drop in revenue..."
none Reid Blasts Republican Intimidation Tactics Against NLRB in Boeing Case - AFL-CIO
"In April, the nonpartisan, independent NLRB issued a complaint against Boeing for moving a planned production line for its 787 Dreamliner from its unionized Puget Sound, Wash., plant to a nonunion facility in South Carolina.  The complaint says the move was in retaliation against the Puget Sound workers for having previously exercised their federally guaranteed right to strike against Boeing and to prevent these workers from striking in the future."
none Abortion restriction effort not gaining much traction in Illinois - Breaking News
none"The highest-profile measure this spring would require doctors to ask a woman if she would like to view an ultrasound of her unborn child before performing an abortion. The Catholic Conference of Illinois is lobbying hard for the legislation, thinking that the change will discourage women from going through with abortions."
none Library of Congress Debuts 'National Jukebox' Crammed With Rare Sounds - TPM
none"The "National Jukebox," available on a streaming-only basis, unfortunately, is a massive trove of audio recordings. Music, speeches, humor readings--spanning decades of American history. The original words of Teddy Roosevelt. "Rhapsody in Blue" with George Gershwin on piano. Serious national gems. And, due to some cuddling with Sony, the label's entire pre-1925 catalog will be accessible, encompassing a significant (and widely forgotten) musical past."
Report: Up to 44M more uninsured under GOP budget - Assoc Press
"The House Republican budget would leave up to 44 million more low-income people uninsured as the federal government cuts states' Medicaid funding by about one-third over the next 10 years, nonpartisan groups said in a report issued Tuesday.  The analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute concluded that Medicaid's role as the nation's safety net health care program would be "significantly compromised ... with no obvious alternative to take its place," if the GOP budget is adopted."
09 May
Monday
 
none DuPage residents livid over property tax increases
none"DuPage County Treasurer Gwen Henry said her office last week was inundated with calls from hundreds of taxpayers stunned by the fact that tax bills increased an average of 4.55 percent at a time when property values plunged.“It was pretty bad on Monday and Tuesday,” she said. “The phone just never stopped ringing.”"
none Composer of Sacred Music to Visit the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago May 15, 2011
none"The Chancel Choir, directed by Ron Benner, will perform music written by Lee Dengler with words by Susan Naus Dengler, his wife on Good Shepherd Sunday, May 15, 2011 during the 10 a.m. worship service. The title is "Shepherd Of My Soul"."
Tune In to West Chicago for Big Band Swing
none"The Music Boosters of West Chicago Community High School invite you to Spring Fling: A Tribute to the Big Bands, “Swingin’ on the Moon,” from 6:00 – 9:30 pm. Proceeds will support music scholarships and the purchase of new stereo equipment."
none Study: Quinn budget plan shows deficit topping $9B
none"The Civic Federation said Quinn's proposed budget did not account for $971 million that the state should set aside to pay for anticipated income tax refunds and to clear a backlog of refunds to businesses that dates to 2008. That accounts for about $2.4 billion of the anticipated budget deficit in fiscal year 2012 when combined with a $1.45 billion budget gap caused by proposed new spending, the report said."
none Proposal would allow jurors to ask questions in some trials
none"Stephen Kaufmann, a partner in the Springfield office of HeplerBroom, was one of the attorneys representing Central Illinois Public Service Co. in a 1990 Cook County trial before Judge Warren Wolfson, who later became a state appellate court justice.  “He asked both sides if we’d be interested in allowing jurors to ask questions,” Kaufmann said. “Of course we agreed. I was intrigued by the process at the time.”"
none David Braben Creates $25 Computer for Developing World - PC Magazine
none"But it's certainly a computer. In fact, the 700-MHz ARM11 processor slapped on to the tiny piece of silicon, roughly the size of a USB stick, is a faster chip than what was originally found in Apple's iPhone 3G—just to put it into perspective.A total of 128 megabytes of SDRAM joins the processor, allowing the super-tiny system to run a variety of Linux versions.
07&08 May
Weekend
 
none
Jazz Band - FB, Susan Dieterle Stibal
none"Spring Fling only 2 weeks away - Friday May 20th - Community HS Auditorium - come out for a "swinging" good time" with the Jazz Band and Chamber Choir! Dance Lessons from 6:30-7:30 pm and fun continues until 9:30. 1940's outfits welcome! Tickets available from me or at the door $5.00 adults, $3.00 seniors."
none District 33 - "News Bites"
  • New Board Members Take Oath of Office 
  • West Chicago Middle School Presents..........
         Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr!
  • Spring Band Concert
  • Town Hall Meeting
  • Attention: All Parents of 6th Grade Students!
  • Ball Seed Earth Day Poster Contest
  • WeGo Run 2011 - Results
none “An evening with Beethoven” presented by the Avalon Quartet
"Described by the Chicago Tribune as "an ensemble that invites you-ears, mind, and spirit- into its music", the Avalon String Quartet has established itself as one of the country's leading ensembles."
none Community Volunteers Invited to Participate in Downtown Planting
none"Community volunteers are invited to plant colorful annuals in downtown West Chicago public green spaces. The beautification effort is in conjunction with the City of West Chicago’s annual garden festival, Blooming Fest, and is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2011, at 8:00 a.m., one hour prior to the start of the event. "
none Police watching Rt. 59 Monday
none"On Monday, May 9, Illinois State Police and numerous local agencies will conduct a directed traffic safety initiative along the Route 59 corridor from Will County to Lake County. The initiative, intended to create public awareness and reduce crashes and fatalities, will concentrate on speed and occupant restraint violations."
Future of Metra board on collision course?
none"“Everyone knows that this board has failed,” said state Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat. “They weren't providing the type of accountability and oversight they should have during the Pagano years.”  But leaders responsible for appointing the board counter that no one could have anticipated Pagano's duplicity and note the commuter rail agency is still one of the best in the country."
none Ill. House rejects legalizing concealed carry
none"Conservative Democrats have watched as the Legislature approved several liberal measures, including legalizing civil unions and abolishing the death penalty. They had hoped legislative leaders would help legalize concealed carry as a way of shoring up Democrats outside the Chicago area.  “Downstate needs something to hang their hat on,” Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said earlier this week. “We haven’t got anything. This is one thing we ask.”"
none West Chicago Middle School - Let the Cupcake Wars Begin!
none"Staff and students of West Chicago Middle School filed into the art room throughout the day Friday, April 29, 2011 to vote for their favorite clay cupcake. The cupcakes, creations of the 8th grade students in Mrs. Garcia’s art class, were displayed on a long table each assigned a number and a written description by the artists"
none Quinn to attend civil unions in Millennium Park
none"According to the city’s statement, the 30 couples will get their civil union licenses from the Cook County Clerk’s office on June 1. The law requires that couples wait until the day after they get their licenses before holding a civil union ceremony.  With Quinn in attendance, the ceremonies will be conducted by public officials including County Clerk David Orr and Timothy Evans, chief judge of Cook County Circuit Court, the city’s statement said."
none House committee backs plan for funding higher ed, but changes may be ahead
none"The Appropriations-Higher Education Committee voted 17-1 for a $2.089 billion appropriation for Illinois higher education, down from $2.157 billion spent last year.  But the chairman of the committee, Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, warned that "this is only the first round. Someone's going to win, someone's going to lose.""
none Bill bans elected officials' faces from state billboards
"“For my personal opinion, I don’t see why we need to attach our names or images to programs that are very worthy,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Nybo, R-Elmhurst. “Let’s promote the programs, but let’s not promote the politicians.”  The state already prohibits politicians from appearing in public service announcements promoting state-administered programs on radio or television and in newspapers or magazines."
Speed limit increase for trucks on certain roads sent to Quinn
none"Senate Bill 1913, which passed the Senate April 8, would raise the speed limit for trucks from 55 mph to 65 mph on certain stretches of highway.  The measure applies to four-lane divided state highways except in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties."
House approves immigration measure
none"Acting on a measure supporters said would keep families together, the Illinois House voted Friday to allow counties to opt out of a program under which illegal immigrants can be deported for petty crimes.  The Secure Communities program, created at the federal level in 2007 and brought to Illinois in 2009, allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in conjunction with the Illinois State Police, to deport illegal immigrants picked up for criminal activity."
none

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park   Friday, 6 May 2011

  • GRAVITY PROBE B: EXPERIMENT CONFIRMS THAT SCIENCE IS OPEN.
  • CHARLES: SO WHO ELECTED HIM PRINCE?
  • RADIATION: PHOTON ENERGY AND CELL PHONE SAFETY.
none Doomsday approaches Washington Post
"“Have you heard the awesome news?” the side of the RVs asked, in big bold letters. “The End of the World is Almost Here!”  As if the message weren’t scary enough, the dozen or so occupants of the RVs — vanguard of a national campaign funded by a fundamentalist Christian radio network and fueled by bus ads and Internet buzz — wore highlighter-bright yellow shirts that said “Earthquake So Mighty, So Great.” They offered pedestrians handouts saying there was “ marvelous proof” that “Holy God will bring judgment day on May 21, 2011.”"
none Without Medicare Privatization, GOP Budget Won't Eliminate The Deficit - TPM
none"If you take Ryan at his word, and assume that the tax-side of his plan is revenue neutral -- a big "if" -- his plan balances the budget over decades entirely on the spending side of the government's ledger. Van de Water explains that if you take the Medicare privatization plan out of the equation, the budget sinks -- dragged down by higher spending, and then higher interest payments as a result of larger-than-projected deficits."
06 May
Friday
 
none

Events in DuPage Forest Preserve: May 16 – 22

OSHA 10-Hour Safety and Health Program for General Industry - FB, Lolly Frederick
"Tuesday, May 17 at 8:00am - May 24 at 11:00amFeel free to share with those responsible for Workplace Safety"
none W. Chicago residents charged with growing pott
none"Authorities say a West Chicago man and his daughter had a crime in common: growing marijuana.  Andrew Aita, 49, and Kimber Aita, 23, were arrested Thursday after police searched their home on the 1000 block of Hahn Place and recovered 34 plants, prosecutors said in court Friday morning."
Aurora man charged in West Chicago shooting
none"Authorities said Toscano opened fire with a “small caliber” handgun about 9 p.m. April 6 on the 1200 block of Kings Circle, striking one man and missing another.  Court records list Toscano as a member of a street gang. On Wednesday, he was in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections, which paroled him in December after he served about nine months on a prior case."
none
none Fermilab expects to avoid furloughs this year
none"While specific final budget numbers have not been released, Director Pier Oddone said an initial look at rough numbers will allow the high-profile physics lab to avoid the 17 percent reduction in salaries through furloughs that had been projected earlier this year."
none Concealed weapons, medical pot voted down
none"The medical marijuana legislation, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, drew support from House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego, a new convert who said conversations with nurses, doctors and people with serious illnesses helped sway him to "find relief for people in their darkest days."  But Republican Rep. Jim Sacia, a former FBI agent from downstate Pecatonica, said he was "adamantly opposed" based on how he saw marijuana abused."
Source: Motorola to get incentives to stay in Ill.
nonenone"Gov. Pat Quinn and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha have a scheduled a formal announcement at the company's Libertyville headquarters Friday morning, but are being tight-lipped about the details. A Motorola Mobility spokeswoman would not confirm the announcement."
none Medical marijuana fails again in Illinois House
none"“It turns out, even though there were 53 (“yes” votes) on the board, I had 58 votes,” said sponsor Rep. Lou Lang, D-Chicago. “Two people voted ‘no’ because they saw it was going to fail, three people voted ‘present’ because they saw it was going to fail.”  Lang said he will seek another roll call if he can find two more votes to pass the plan, and he vowed to make any reasonable changes to get those votes."
Schools looking forward to future with electronic textbooks
none"“It just expedites my thinking that we need to get to a digital age,” Ball-Chatham School Superintendent Bob Gillum said. “When you compare $136,000 for one subject-area textbook in the high school only and compare that to what we could be doing with digital media … we need to get out of the buying of paper.”"
Split among suburban lawmakers dooms concealed-carry bill
none"The bill received “yes” votes from a majority of House members, but needed a “supermajority,” 71 votes, to pass. The vote was 65-52, with one lawmaker, Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, voting “present.”  The House Democratic leadership ruled that the bill needed 71 votes because it would have pre-empted cities’ home-rule powers to regulate guns."
none Quinn seems to back key workers' comp provision - State Jounal Register
"Quinn’s plan, outlined Wednesday for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Manufacturers Association, would require that a worker would not receive benefits for an injury if it was not incurred on the job.  Businesses have called for a “causation" requirement in workers’ comp claims, meaning the workplace must be the primary contributing cause of a compensable claim."
none Brazil’s high court orders same-sex civil unions recognized, cheering gay rights supporters - Washington Post
none"Brazil’s high court ruled that same-sex civil unions must be recognized, a decision welcomed as a watershed by gay activists who also hope it will cool rising violence against homosexuals in Latin America’s most populous nation.  The ruling, however, stopped short of legalizing gay marriage in Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other country. The Catholic Church fought the measure."
none Exxon Makes $30.5 Billion, So GOP Votes Unanimously To Give Them Tax Breaks - Think Progress
nonenone"Today, the Republicans in the House of Representatives celebrated this massive redistribution of wealth from American families to oil executives. With the support of 7 oil-patch Democrats, 234 Republicans voted to block a bill to eliminate a $1.8 billion annual subsidy that treats oil drilling as “domestic manufacturing”:"
U.S. tax burden at lowest level since '58 - USA Today
"The total tax burden — for all federal, state and local taxes — dropped to 23.6% of income in the first quarter, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data.  By contrast, individuals spent roughly 27% of income on taxes in the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s — a rate that would mean $500 billion of extra taxes annually today..."
04 May
Wednesday
 
none Around and About in West Chicago - 04 May 2011
  • Chief of Police Lazaro M. Perez
  • National Children’s Book Week
  • Run For Hungry Children
  • Elementary School District 33 Town Hall
  • Swing Back in Time to the 60s
none D33 Foundation Raffle for $10K College Scholarship - FB, Susan Dieterle Stibal
none"Less than 48 hours (until 4:00pm May 5th) to buy a D33 Foundation Raffle Ticket! It's for a $10,000 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP people! Don't wait - see the link below to buy a ticket online NOW!"
ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM - FREE GED CLASSES
none"The evening Adult Education program of West Chicago Community High School District 94 will conduct free classes which will prepare students for the General Equivalency Development Exam (GED). District 94 receives state and federal grants which allow all instruction and materials to be made available at no cost to the students."
none City Retires Debt 10.5 Years Ahead of Schedule
none"On April 8, 2011, documents were filed to place a 30 day notice to fully call the bonds that were issued by the City in 2002 to fund the construction of the water treatment plant. By calling the bonds and then disbursing full payment on May 10, 2011, the City will realize a savings of over $4.3 million as a result of the debt being retired 10.5 years prior to its scheduled maturity."
West Chicago Police Issue Warning on Identity Theft
none"The West Chicago Police Department is currently investigating three cases in which the victims' debit card information was compromised and subsequently utilized in California to make unauthorized withdrawals.  The investigation has revealed that each of the victims recently used their debit cards at Michael’s Arts and Crafts.   If you are a resident of the City of West Chicago and believe that your debit or credit cards have been used without your permission, you are urged to make a report with the West Chicago Police Department by dialing 911."
none DuPage committee says no to Islamic Center
"Still, Enger said he's concerned about plans to remove a driveway on the west side of the house. He said limiting the property to one entrance could cause traffic safety issues... Officials representing Islamic Center of Western Suburbs said the revised plan shouldn't change the capacity of the septic system. A traffic expert said the center won't increase congestion on surrounding roads, including Army Trail."
none Mysterious powder closes Elgin courthouse
"The FBI will test a mysterious white powder that resulted in 28 people being held first inside a downtown Elgin building for hours Monday afternoon, then stripped of their clothing, washed down and sent to local hospitals to be examined.  No one was known to have been injured or sickened by the powder, authorities said."
none 17,900 burials in new statewide data base
none"The database provides a place for families to go if they cannot find a loved one's grave. It became law after the scandal at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, where authorities discovered in 2009 that graves were reused, some bodies dumped and records were ill-kept.  Cemeteries entering data into the computerized program pay an average of $1.80 per burial."
Quinn voices opposition to concealed-carry push
none""I don't think we're in the business of trying to increase danger to the people of Illinois. We want to work with our law enforcement and prevent bad things from happening," the governor said at a morning news conference.  The threat of a veto from Quinn did little to deter supporters who have been emboldened by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that tossed out Chicago's long-standing gun ban."
none Lisa Madigan warning about Sony hacker attack
none"She says PlayStation users who use online service to play games and download music or movies should look for suspicious financial activity on their accounts.  People who think their financial information may have been compromised can call Madigan's Identity Theft Hotline at 866-999-5630."
none Senate Democrats' budget plan runs into static from other Democrats
"Most of the complaints involved cuts in human service programs, from drug treatment to homeless prevention to mental health and programs partially paid with federal Medicaid reimbursements.  Some cuts were the same to all agencies, said Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, who helped negotiate some of the budget bills.  All were reduced 5 percent in their personal services expenses, 5 percent in operating expenses and 7 percent in contractual services."
none Wis. AFL Wimps Out on Boycotts - The Progressive
"“Let's be crystal clear, there are not, nor have there ever been, any boycotts encouraged by our organizations,” said Neuenfeldt. “We have made clear all along that we see small business as a partner and ally in getting Wisconsin back to work. Right now, Wisconsin teachers, students, students, firefighters, small business owners and citizens everywhere are working side-by-side to demand our governor and legislature stop playing politics and start putting Wisconsin first.""
none 'Age appropriate' sex ed plan fails in Illinois Senate - State Journal Register
none"“It stresses that abstinence is the only guaranteed method of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, said. “How well is that working?  “I want to submit to everybody in this room, if you are going to press that button, and it says no, you want to put that red light on, I just have one question: did you abstain until you were married? Because if you did not, and you press that button, that is the epitome of hypocrisy.”"
none Obama seeks end to oil industry tax breaks - Yahoo News
none"With public anger over costs at the pump hitting Obama's popularity as he revs up his 2012 re-election bid, he pressed his call for rolling back $4 billion in "unwarranted tax subsidies" at a time of budget belt-tightening in Washington... Oil companies posted sharply higher first-quarter earnings this week with oil prices above $100 a barrel on unrest in the Middle East and growing global demand for energy.  Leading the way, Exxon Mobil, the world's most valuable publicly listed company, beat analysts' forecasts by posting a 69 percent rise in earnings to $10.65 billion, its biggest profit since the third quarter of 2008."
Newsflash: Fewer Americans Own TVs - PC World
"Neilsen speculates that the transition from analog to digital television signals may have contributed to the decline, because poor families may not be able to afford the additional equipment required to receive the broadcasts... A more likely explanation is the rise in high-tech alternatives. Arguably, there is not much of a reason to own a TV anymore when most of the content is available online. Nielsen notes a "small subset of younger, urban consumers" is passing on paid TV subscriptions, which seems to confirm this."
02 May
Monday
 
none
School Board Seats New Members - Susan Dieterle Stibal
noneD33 Board seats new members tonight - it's great to have some new members devoted to our community's youngest learners. Welcome Gil and John, and to Dave for continuing with another term on the board!
Wildcats Win Again - FB, Tim Kenney
none"West Chicago 6, Naperville North 5: West Chicago (11-6 overall and 4-0 conference) was led by pitcher Mary Connolly (9-4, 2-for-4, two RBI), Jenny Goldsmith (2-for-3, two RBI), and Rachel Johnson (2-for-4, two walks). West Chicago now stands all alone in 1st place in the DuPage Valley Conference."
none Citywide Trash Collection Event This Week
"The annual Citywide Trash Collection event began this week in West Chicago. The event is offered to residents of single-family or two-family homes during the period of May 2 – 6, 2011."
none Illinois Lawmakers react to bin Laden's death
none"Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for the many men and women in uniform for (paying) the ultimate price avenging the terrorist attacks on our great nation. Let us take a moment and remember their sacrifice.”" - Sen. Durbin
Tornadoes the topic Saturday at Fermi
none"Statistically, northern Illinois should see a large, violent tornado at least once every five years. But here's the thing: We haven't had one in 21...  Experts at the national laboratory's 31st Annual Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar with WGN agreed the region is likely in store for severe tornadoes in the near future — based on historical data — though none has been predicted or forecast."
none Cantigny Park Greenhouse Opens to Public
none"Families, kids and serious gardeners alike enjoyed a rare peek inside Cantigny’s greenhouse today as the park’s horticulture staff and assorted eco-friendly vendors staged a free open house. Photos by Jeff Reiter."
none Cops: SUV used to try to kill rival gang member
none"A West Chicago man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in the hit-and-run injury of a rival gang member last weekend in Elgin, authorities said.  Francisco Suarez, 22, was arrested Friday because police say he used his 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe to run down a 21-year-old Rosemont man and break his leg on April 23, said Elgin police spokeswoman Susan Olafson in a news release."
none Hastert re-gifts historic desk to Roskam
nonenone"Roskam will be the fourth Republican owner of the desk. And when he opened the top left-hand drawer, he found the signatures of three former Republican Whips, all from Illinois.  In sort of a wooden yearbook, Hastert wrote “my old desk,” signed it and included the dates he served as Chief Deputy Majority Whip and Speaker."
none Stink bug spotted in Illinois, could invade homes
"An insect native to Asia that endangers crops and can invade homes has been spotted in central Illinois.  University of Illinois crop sciences professor Michael Gray says the brown marmorated stink bug feasts on soybeans — particularly young soybean pods. In home gardens, tomatoes and soft fruits like peaches and cherries are at risk."
Tier 2 teachers helping to pay off pension debt
none"“The tier-two members are really paying more than the benefits are worth,” said Kathleen Farney, TRS’s director of research. “So not only are they paying for their own benefits, but they’re actually helping reduce the unfunded liability that was accrued before they were even hired.”"
none Medical marijuana legalization getting new life at Statehouse
none"“With Mr. Cross’ support, and a lot of changes in the bill that make it a much stronger and tougher bill, I think we have a chance to get some more votes,” Lang said. “If we can get a handful more Republican votes, I can pass the bill.”  Lang introduced a measure in the previous General Assembly that fell four votes of House passage."
FutureGen skeptics think they face uphill battle
none"A coal-fired power plant at Meredosia, 30 miles west of the proposed site, is to be retooled to create near-zero emissions, according to FutureGen. An underground pipeline would carry carbon dioxide produced by the power plant to the storage facility.  However, opponents believe that technology is likely to prove more expensive than projected and that it will threaten the local environment and hurt farmland values."
Quinn administration looks at options to pay Medicaid bills
none"The finance authority’s Medicaid Vendor Payment Program — apparently the first of its kind in the nation — would have an incentive for investors to become involved. Investors would receive the 1 percent to 2 percent monthly interest payments the state would otherwise owe vendors whose Medicaid payments are more than 60 days late.  Vendors that volunteer for the program would be paid 90 percent of what they are owed within a few weeks of signing up for the program. They eventually would receive 100 percent, after the state pays off the debt to the investor, state officials said."
none Hundreds march for worker, immigrant rights - Chicago Breaking News
none"The group marched from Union Park to Pilsen behind a giant English-Spanish banner reading: "If one is deportable, we all are exploitable." Parents pulled children in wagons, while clusters of people banged buckets, played trumpets and chanted, "Sí, se puede!" (Yes, it can be done), the slogan of United Farm Workers."
none White House rebukes Graham over Obama comments - AFP
none""I think it's unfortunate that a religious leader would choose Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges," Carney said.  Graham was asked in the interview broadcast on Sunday to weigh in on the issue of Obama's birthplace, which has been whipped up by radical conservative groups and spawned the so-called "birther" movement.  "The president, I know, has some issues to deal with here. He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly," Graham said."
none 36 Statistics Which Prove That The American Dream Is Turning Into An Absolute Nightmare For The Middle Class - EndoftheAmericanDream.com
"Once upon a time, anyone could get hired at McDonald's.  But today McDonald's turns away a higher percentage of applicants than Harvard does.  Approximately 7 percent of all those that apply to get into Harvard are accepted.  At a recent "National Hiring Day" held by McDonald's only about 6.2 percent of the one million Americans that applied for a job were hired."

 

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