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30 Aug

Around and About in West Chicago - 30 Aug 2012

  • Leaving the DuPage Valley Conference
  • Adult Learn to Draw Class
  • Teen Advisory Meeting
  • Community-wide Garage Sale
none Annual Ice Cream Social and Silent Auction
"West Chicago Historical Society hosts its annual Ice Cream Social and Silent Auction from noon to 3p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, on the lawn at Kruse House Museum, 527 Main St. The $4 ticket price includes beverage, ice cream, pie or cake. Also persons have a chance to win a door prize, purchase raffle tickets or take part in the Cake Walk."
Voice of Democracy Contest
none"All CHS students are invited to participate in the 2012 Voice of Democracy contest sponsored the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 6791 and the Ladies Auxiliary. In 2012, over $3900 in scholarship monies were awarded to over 100 students from all grade levels."
  • Notice regarding senior parent night – Thursday, September 27th
    The date of the Senior Parent Night was incorrect in the senior mailing!  Senior parent night will be held on Thursday, September 27th at 7 p.m. in Weyrach Auditorium.  Parents will hear more about planning for after high school – specifically college application, financial aid and scholarships.  Please mark your calendar (or correct them!).  Hope to see you then!"
  • Reminder to junior and senior parents
    sign up for COD Speech at CHS
         deadline September 4th!
    The deadline to sign up is approaching and we don’t want you to miss this chance.  Community High School and College of DuPage have officially partnered to enhance the opportunities available to the students of West Chicago.  We are excited to share this new opportunity available to students this fall.  We will be offering Speech 1100 for Juniors & Seniors in fall term 2012 at West Chicago Community High School.  This is a course that is commonly required by colleges and universities and will give students another opportunity to earn college credit now!  This will be the first in a series of classes that will be offered at West Chicago Community High School.  Students who take advantage of these options may earn up to a year’s worth of college credit while still in high school!You will find a copy of the letter and all the forms attached – deadline is Tuesday, September 4th!
none DuPage defends use of lobbying firms
none"“It is critical, critical that the county maintain a very strong presence in both Washington D.C. and Springfield,” Cronin said.  The county board then voted 15-1 to spend $300,000 to keep three lobbying firms."
[If we have state/federral elected officials who won't take a phone call from our local officials, we don't need a lobbyist... we need new state/federal officials. - Bob]
DuPage Housing Authority ousts another director
none"“It’s disappointing that a change in direction was necessary,” said Good, adding that the board chose to exercise the “no-cause” termination provision in Hoicka’s contract... Hoicka’s termination came about two weeks after board members received an unsigned letter that was highly critical of Hoicka’s management style."
none Beleaguered DuPage Housing Authority dismisses executive director
none"The troubled DuPage Housing Authority has dismissed its executive director after just eight months on the job, raising questions about the agency's leadership in the midst of an ongoing federal investigation.  David Hoicka, who was hired in January and paid $125,000 a year, was released, the agency said Wednesday."
none Report: Illinois in full-fledged drought, improving slightly
none"While the amount of Illinois in an “extreme drought” — the second-worst of the Monitor’s four levels of drought — dropped more than 7 percentage points, from 76.72 to 69.56, relief is too late for many farmers and all but the most ardent lawn waterers.   Chicago hasn’t been immune from the dry conditions, but the southern half of Illinois has been especially hard hit and has seen the least relief."
Illinois warns gas stations against price gouging
none"Under state law, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office can investigate gas prices in cases where a natural disaster disrupts supply.  She said Wednesday her office will be watching to see if price increases are justified by a spike in wholesale prices or if they're the result of illegal gouging."
S&P lowers Illinois credit rating over pensions
none""The downgrade reflects the state's weak pension funding levels and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Robin Prunty in a statement. "The downgrade also reflects continued financial weakness despite significant measures in the past two years to improve structural budget performance.""
  Attorney general looking into jump in gas prices
none"Prices in the Springfield market spiked as high as $4.10 a gallon for regular self-serve unleaded early Tuesday. By Wednesday, prices had dropped 10-15 cents a gallon, depending on the station brand and fuel type."
The Long Haul: Viper Mine conveyor carries coal 5.5 miles
none"A 5.5-mile overland conveyor belt that was two years and $20 million in the making has begun carrying coal from a portal near Williamsville, in northern Sangamon County, to the Viper Mine preparation plant near Elkhart, in southern Logan County.  Coal began moving last month, though Williamsville Village President Tom Yokley said it’s hard to tell for the casual onlooker."
none Health Fair helps COD students live with smoking ban
none"Nnoneearly a month ago, the school launched a campus-wide smoke out, the same kind of initiative found in restaurants, bars, and so many other public buildings where smokers can no longer light up. The policy prohibits the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products on all COD premises and in all college-owned vehicles.  Tuesday morning, the college followed up on the ban that began Aug. 6 with a Tobacco Free Health Resource Fair that was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and later from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Student Services Center atrium."
DuPage Housing Authority director out
none"Hoicka’s hiring, which capped off a 10-month search, came in the aftermath of a $10.1 million mismanagement scandal at the DHA that triggered the departure of its top staff and the resignation of its entire board, at the request of DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin. The misspending of federal housing funds, reporting errors and other problems at the DHA were revealed in a series of audits done by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which runs the Section 8 program."
none Hastert: 'It's time to turn the tide in Illinois'
none"“If you want to change the Republican Party, you start right here in Illinois and change the House of Representatives in the state of Illinois,” said Hastert, whose political protege, House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego would be in line to succeed Madigan if Republicans regain the House." St. Charles-Area BP Stations Sold Tainted Gas
none"In a press release Wednesday, BP said it has posted an interactive retail site list at for consumers who suspect they purchased off-specification gasoline in Indiana, the Chicago area and the Milwaukee area during the past two weeks.  All gasoline now shipped from the BP Whiting Refinery and its network of storage terminals has been tested, meets BP’s rigorous quality standards and is authorized for sale. Calls into BP’s dedicated claims center are trending lower than last week."
none Ryan’s Fact-Challenged Speech - AFl-CIO
"Last night, Paul Ryan lived up to the Mitt Romney campaign pledge that it would not be “dictated by fact-checkers” when he blamed President Obama for the closure of a General Motors (GM) plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. As any fact-checker or Janesville worker who lost a job knows, the plant closed during the Bush administration.  Even Ryan’s congressional office knows the truth that Ryan ignored last night. Take a look at this June 3, 2008, letter from Ryan and Wisconsin Sens. Russ Feingold (D) and Herb Kohl (D) criticizing GM’s plan to shutter the plant."
none RNC 2012: Evangelicals talk about the things Mitt Romney won’t - Politico
none"The Faith and Freedom Coalition rally drew the expected rock stars of the evangelical movement — Mike Huckabee, Ralph Reed and even Newt Gingrich. Yet few of the speakers talked about Romney himself — the rally was designed to fire up the most red meat, anti-Obama crowd here in Tampa just a few days before Romney accepts the nomination."
none Paul Ryan's speech: a round-up of his most audacious untruths - The Guardian
none"To sustained applause from the floor, the vice-presidential candidate accused Obama of raiding Medicare, lying to auto workers and turning his back on the poor. But the speech (transcript here) was not always at pains to adhere to the historical record. At times, we are disappointed to report, Ryan baldly lied. Here's a round-up of Ryan's most audacious untruths:..."
Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words - Fox News
none"The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated."
[How do you face your momma when even Faux News calls you a liar? - Bob]
Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital | Politics News - Rolling Stone
"Bain bought Ampad in 1992 for just $5 million, financing the rest of the deal with borrowed cash. Within three years, Ampad was paying $60 million in annual debt payments, plus an additional $7 million in management fees. A year later, Bain led Ampad to go public, cashed out about $50 million in stock for itself and its investors, charged the firm $2 million for arranging the IPO and pocketed another $5 million in "management" fees. Ampad wound up going bankrupt, and hundreds of workers lost their jobs, but Bain and Romney weren't crying: They'd made more than $100 million on a $5 million investment."
28 Aug
none Free Library App
"Patrons of the West Chicago Public Library District can now get connected to the Library’s resources anywhere and anytime on their mobile devices using our free Library Anywhere app.


West Chicago Provides Training Ground For ABD Cycling Club
none"City officials approved the Club’s use of public streets within the Center to train its cyclists for the upcoming Fall Fling that is scheduled next month, also proposed for this location. Little did they know then, that the course would be a training ground for a 2012 Paralympian. Joe Berenyi, of Oswego, IL heads to London next week to join the U.S. Paralympics cycling team. He makes his Paralympics debut in only his second year of paracycling."
none College of DuPage unearths financial aid scam
none"He said an analysis of the students involved found several similarities: They reported their income to be less than $7,000; all had GED degrees; and many previously attended the University of Phoenix, Arapahoe Community College in Colorado and Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa.  In total, Glaser said $354,000 has been lost to fraud the past four semesters — which represents 39.3 percent of total delinquent accounts receivable at COD."
none Quinn signs law inspired by attack on Elgin teacher
none"The new law provides that information from law enforcement records may only be shared orally and may not become part of the student’s official school record or public record. The bill also requires law enforcement and the school district to provide support services to an at-risk student when appropriate."
none Quinn vetoes gambling expansion
none"Fononer months, Quinn has warned about what he views as shortcomings in the bill, saying the measure would not provide enough oversight of casino operators and other gambling interests. The Democratic governor also has said that any gambling expansion should set aside a proper amount of money for education.  In his veto message, Quinn said the state must not allow ethical shortcomings that allow "loopholes for mobsters.""
none DuPage event aims to help homeowners in trouble
"The key element of the counseling service is that it brings to the consumer representatives of the top five mortgage lending firms in the state: Bank of America, Chase, Citybank, Wells Fargo, and Allied (formerly GMAC)... Depending on their situation, mortgage holders may qualify for several different types of programs, among them refinancing their loans, negotiating less costly terms to pay back their delinquency and stay in their houses, or accessing federal stimulus money to help catch up on their mortgage payments."
Prairie Parkway opponents celebrate highway's demise
none"The citizens said they believe there was a gradual erosion of support and willingness of the state and other agencies to build a project that would have taken prime farmland and environmentally impacted Big Rock Creek.  Representatives of local environmental groups said although battling the Prairie Parkway became a way of life over those years, they really didn’t think they would succeed considering what they were up against."
Quinn signs bills, cuts ribbon for tollway project during visit
"The Illinois Community College Purchasing Act required community college boards to take the lowest bid when making a purchase. It didn’t allow them to take into consideration where that product was made, he said, even if the American-made product only was a penny more expensive.  “I’ve got nothing against Indonesian workers; but I believe when the taxpayers and voters of District 509 gave us $178 million to improve the ECC campus in the referendum, they expected us to spend that money at home putting Americans to work,” Dalton said."
none Stay away from bats, state warns
"“The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments throughout the state have already received numerous phone calls this summer about people being exposed to bats,” Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, state public health director, said. “It is best never to approach a bat and, if found in a home or building, people should leave the bat alone and call their local public health department or their animal control office for assistance or instructions about removing it.”"
Financial aid fraud costs COD big money
none"Last fall, the Department of Education issued a report about dozens of fraud rings operating through distance education programs with students who get federal aid.  On May 2, 2012, the COD Finance Office was notified by Chase Bank about suspicious activity related to a number of students who were receiving financial aid, were enrolled only in Internet courses, and were not completing class work. On May 4, the Department of Education confirmed that the students may be part of a fraud ring."
Suburban Life Publications Police arrest West Chicago bank robbery suspect Wednesday night
none"Mack was charged with one count of bank robbery, after allegedly robbing the Fifth Third Bank at 1800 N. Neltor Blvd. in West Chicago Aug. 14.  According to the FBI, about $1,712 was taken during this incident."
none Riding for wounded warriors
none"“This is such a great event. The people here are true patriots. It’s raining, and they’re still here,” said Tina Hauptman, of West Chicago, a volunteer with the Illinois Veterans Foundation. “This is my passion. I volunteer to give back to the Americans who fought so hard for us.”"
none Court Orders Ballot Spot for Michigan Collective Bargaining Initiative - AFL-CIO
none"The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a proposal to preserve collective bargaining rights for Michigan workers be placed on the November ballot. The four-member Board of State Canvassers—two Republicans and two Democrats—had deadlocked on allowing the issue on the ballot.  Nearly 700,000 Michigan voters signed petitions for the collective bargaining measure as part of the Protect Our Jobs campaign that began in March after a continuous Republican assault on the rights of working families by Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers. Snyder last week filed a brief with the Michigan Court of Appeals opposing a vote on the proposal."
none Syria’s Crumbling Pluralism - NY Times
"The day begins here with the call to prayer and ends with the roar of gunfire. Syria’s pluralistic society, which once rose above sectarian identity in a region often characterized by a homicidal assertion of religious belief, is now faced with civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing... “If their revolution is for everyone, as they keep insisting it is, why are Christians being targeted? It is because what they are waging is not a struggle for freedom, and it’s certainly not for everyone.”"
none Ohio GOP Admits Early Voting Cutbacks Are Racially Motivated - TruthOut
none"Why do Ohio Republicans suddenly feel so strongly about limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties? Franklin County (Columbus) GOP Chair Doug Preisse gave a surprisingly blunt answer to the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban—read African-American—voter-turnout machine.” Preisse is not some rogue operative but the chairman of the Republican Party in Ohio’s second-largest county and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich."
Court: GOP’s Texas Redistricting Plan Intentionally Discriminated Against Hispanics - TPM
none"The three judges said they were overwhelmed with the amount of evidence showing the congressional redistricting plan was intentionally discriminatory, writing in a footnote that parties “have provided more evidence of discriminatory intent than we have space, or need, to address here.”  All three redistricting plans — for Texas’ congressional delegation, its state House of Representatives and the state Senate — were blocked by the federal court. The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that interim maps drawn by a federal court were invalid."
25&26 Aug
The WeekEnd
none This Week In West Chicago
27  7pm» City Public Affairs Com
28  4pm» Tween Scene
29  9pm» Community Forum
30  7pm» Knit Night
Knights Scholarship Fundraiser BBQ Beef Dinner at Good Old Days - FB, Winfield Good Old Days
Live Entertainment 7 p.m. - Ryan Mumby and the 100 year rain"
none Family member turns in suspected DuPage bank robber
none"According to the filing, on Aug. 14 Mack wrote a demand note on a deposit slip and handed it to the West Chicago bank teller, who emptied her cash drawer.  Mack then told another teller, “Don’t joke with me,” according to the FBI. “This is no joke; if you don’t want anything to happen, give me all your money.”"
DuPage likely to keep lobbying firms
none"County board member Don Puchalski acknowledged that he has been critical in the past of using lobbyists. Still, he said the county’s lobbyists “have done a great job.” ... Vendor ethics disclosure statements show that two of the firms contributed to the campaigns of county board members within the last 12 months."
none No customer exodus from tollway, numbers show
none""Early on, we thought people were exploring other routes, but ultimately drivers select the fastest, safest, easiest way for them to get where they're going," she said.  Many drivers vowed to stop using the tollway and avoid paying an extra 35 or 45 cents for each I-PASS transaction — and double the tolls for cash-payers."
It's the end of the road for proposed Prairie Parkway
none"The parkway was estimated to cost more than $1 billion. It has languished for years because of the lack of funding... Hastert was criticized for partnering with speculators who earned more than $3 million by buying and selling land near the Prairie Parkway route."
none Budget crisis taking toll on state park leadership
none"But since late last year, almost a quarter of the park superintendents have retired, taking with them in many cases 30 or more years of experience that will be hard to replace in an agency hit hard by years of budget cuts and unsure whether it can replace them... The exits appear to be driven in most cases by concerns about potential changes in the state’s underfunded pension system."
none Why do many Republicans distrust scientists?  - AlJazeera
"Barack Obama, the US president, could not resist quipping that Akin, who is a member of the House of Representatives Science committee, must have missed science class.  Akin has since apologised and Republicans from all sides of the party have condemned him.  But it does seem that many in the party have a problem accepting scientific orthodoxy. All the main contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, excluding Jon Huntsman, rejected the notion that climate change is a result of human activity."
none Corporate America’s newest union insult  - Salon
none"In one sense, this is good news for organized labor — at a moment when unions are under assault, the ads reflect polls showing persistent mass support for both the concept of worker solidarity and the economic outrage voiced by worker protests. Indeed, companies wouldn’t be echoing such themes if they didn’t know they were wildly popular."
none Cardinal Dolan’s Convention Role Shows G.O.P.’s Push for Catholic Vote - NY Times
none"But this time the Republicans sense an opportunitnoney to cut into that advantage, at least with moderate and independent Catholics, because of two recent developments: President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage and the standoff between the Obama administration and Catholic bishops over the requirement that Catholic hospitals and schools must provide coverage for birth control in their employee health insurance plans. The issue has become the centerpiece of a campaign by the bishops to defend what they consider a matter of religious liberty."
none Birthers Plan Their Own Convention Next Month In Arizona - TPM
none"There will be singing. There will be speeches. Drinks will be available for purchase. The only question is whether the venue, which features seating in the round, will activate its spinning stage. Promoters are calling it “A Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots Event” but you can call it Birtherpalooza."
23 Aug

Around and About in West Chicago - 23 Aug 2012

  • Electronic Recycling Event
  • Resignation of Bill Spelman
  • Recreation Center on the Ballot
  • Small Business Open House
  • Camp Hope
none Community Forum - Weds. August 29th
none"The Administration of Community High School has made a recommendation to the District 94 School Board to leave the DuPage Valley Conference (DVC) and join the Metro Suburban Conference (MSC). The question of leaving the DuPage Valley Conference has been discussed for several years."
Shredding event
none"Shredding event at Ball Horticultural located on Town Road in West Chicago. FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012 FROM 8:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Bring up to 10 boxes to shred for free.   For planning purposes, email the County, or call (630) 407-6771, to register your business for document shredding services."
none Child Day Care Now More Expensive Than College In Most States - The Consumerist
"While much has been made in the last year about the soaring cost of a college education, it's also worth noting that the price of full-time child care has continued to increase, even while many parents have struggled to make ends meet. And a new study finds that the average cost of day care in 35 states and the District of Columbia is now higher than the price of in-state tuition at a four-year college."
none Jack Willke, Rape Theory Doctor, is Major Anti-Abortion Leader, Embraced in 2007 by Romney - Talk to Action
none"Jack Willke may not be a household name, but he is a major figure behind the scenes in the anti-abortion movement and featured in media promoted by activist organizations in states across the nation. He was founder of Ohio Right to Life and president from 1981 to 1983 and 1984 to 1991 of the National Right to Life Committee, which has affiliates in 50 states and over 3000 chapters... Dr. Willke expounded on his theory that rape seldom results in pregnancy in his writings, including a 1999 article in his Life Issues Connector titled "Rape Pregnancies Are Rare."  Willke's claims have been refuted by studies, including those used by the CDC, which show that about 5% of rapes result in pregnancy."
none The Five Most Under-Reported Stories of the Summer - The Nation
"I find back-to-school signs in mid-August jarring and unwanted, but it’s undeniable that summer is quickly fading into another electoral autumn. Before yielding to the insatiable demands of fall though, I solicited thoughts on the summer’s most neglected stories."
21 Aug
  • New Website
    Al MurphyAl Murphy has a new website where people can research his candidacy for commisioner for Forest Preseve District 6.
  • Sonny Acres Fundraiser
    "Please join me on Saturday September 8th, 2012 at Sonny Acres Farm from 12-3pm. Please see attached flyer for information."
none DuPage Airport readies for Ryder Cup onslaught
nonenone"While the West Chicago airport averages a few dozen corporate flights per day, it’s anticipated that the numbers could triple or quadruple in the days leading up to and immediately following the international golf competition, which will be held on Sept. 25-30.  “We’re forecasting a considerable increase in traffic for that week,” said Bird, executive director at DuPage Airport."
none Quinn signs religious tolerance bill at end-of-Ramadan celebration
"Gov. noneQuinn also decried recent attacks against local Muslims, citing a shooting at a Morton Grove mosque, an attack on an Islamic school in Lombard and the desecration of a grave in an Evergreen Park cemetery.  “These are un-American acts,” he said. “The people of Illinois, all 13 million, abhor anyone who would commit these serious acts of violence as a violation of our constitution.”"
BP starting recall of gas sold locally
none"According to a statement from BP, the company believes that fuel stored in a tank at the storage depot could cause hard starting, stalling and other drivability issues. The fuel may have been purchased by motorists patronizing BP and other retail outlets in Northwest Indiana during the past seven days.  The issue surfaced Monday as dealerships and service shops throughout the region were inundated with motorists having difficulty starting their vehicles."
none Time for this pol to lighten up  on the radical Muslim rhetoric
none"This time he’s trying to tell us that you can’t swing a dead cat on Chicago Street without hitting a radical Muslim.  “It is a real threat and it is a threat that is much more at home now that it was right after 9/11,” Walsh spouted. “It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin.”  Shades of another nitwit with the same first name, this one called Tail Gunn ..."
none Komen controversy boosts donations to Planned Parenthood
none"But while the decision early this year by Susan G. Komen for the Cureto suspend grant money to Planned Parenthood could have resulted in fewer breast cancer screenings at clinics that relied on the money, it didn't.  Instead, Planned Parenthood announced Monday that donors angry about the decision have supplied the nonprofit with enough revenue to expand its breast cancer services."
Quinn addresses Muslims, signs law to aid students
none"Quinn spoke at a Muslim prayer service in Bridgeview today, saying he honors Muslims' commitment to their faith and will "vigorously protect" the right of Illinois' more than 400,000 Muslims to practice it.  He renounced recent incidents of violence and intimidation based on religion.  The governor also signed a new law to protect college students who miss a class or exam because they're observing a religious holiday. It takes effect Jan. 1."
Suburban Life Publications  Juvenile bicyclist injured after striking car in West Chicago
none"The van was traveling northbound on Prince Crossing  when two bicycles traveling eastbound on Donald Street turned southbound into oncoming traffic on Prince Crossing and hit the van head on."
Republicans weigh in on pension reform
none"Increasing employee contributions, offering an optional defined contribution plan and capping the amount of an employee’s salary that counts toward their pension would accomplish the system’s structural reform, Fortner said.  Included in the bill is language to make the state’s obligation to keep up with pension payments binding as a point of law."
[See also discussion at Capitol Fax. - Bob]
none Immigration Action and Its Troubling Effects on Children - AFL-CIO
"Some employers use immigration as a bludgeon to prevent workers from exercising their freedom to form a union, including the Milwaukee-based Palermo's Pizza, where 150 workers are on strike over serious safety issues and minimal wages. (The AFL-CIO has endorsed a nationwide boycott of Palermo Villa Inc., in response to the company’s blatant disregard of its workers’ choice to form a union.)"
none How bad is the Ryan-Akin anti-abortion bill? - Washington Post
"“One of the questions around this legislation is, Could a rapist who impregnated a victim sue that victim if she decided not to carry that baby and to have an abortion?” Slaughter said. “Another question: Could in vitro fertilization be outlawed?”  It’s unclear how this legislation would work. The bill affirms that from the moment of fertilization onward, “every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”"
none Surrogates Admit Romney Will Cut Medicare Benefits For Current Seniors - TPM
none"As outlined in a memo the campaign released Saturday, Romney plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, and thus to spend over $700 billion more on the program in the coming decade than the government would spend if the health care law stands.  That commitment would leave Medicare poised for insolvency in 2016, years before he proposes to phase in the voucher system. Which means Romney would have two options: find new Medicare cuts or taxes to extend the life of the program, or preside over its demise."
18&19 Aug
The Weekend
none This Week in West Chicago
20  7pm» City Council Meeting
21  7pm» District 94 School Board
22  6:30pm» The Science of Food Science Fair
23  10:30am» Welcome to Kindergarten
       7pm» City Finance Com
       7pm» Knit Night
Henry Watson
noneIt is with true sadness that I report the death of Henry Watcson, beloved father of Sharon K. Lemon.  He died in Saxonburg, PAearly Sunday morning attended by his daughter Sharon and his son Dennis.  He is preceded by his daughter Nancy and his beloved wife Arbutus.  He had 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.  He was truly blessed.
West Chicago Lacrosse Club “Bags & Buffet.” FB, Susan Dieterle Stibal
none"A night out for parents, players, family and friends at Hawthorne’s Bar and Grill. There will be an all-you-can-eat buffet, bags tournament and more. Fundraiser proceeds will help the club purchase new uniforms for the 2012/2012 season. Stay tuned for further details."
Park District Referendum on Fall Ballot
none"In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, Aug. 14 the West Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners approved placing a referendum for a new Recreation Center on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot. "
Audition Dates for Fall Production
none"Gallery Theater of West Chicago will hold auditions for Murder by the Book on Tuesday, August 28, and Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. Callbacks, if necessary, will be on Sunday, September 2, 2012. The performance dates are October 12, 13, and 14, 2012."
none DuPage reports new case of West Nile virus
none"Officials say the number of confirmed cases is expected to increase in the coming days “since additional reports have been received,” according to a health department news release... DuPage health department officials say the presence of West Nile virus, spread through infected mosquitoes, is widespread in the area and may remain so until the arrival of cooler temperatures."
none Quinn signs strip club tax
none"The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will place an annual surcharge on strip clubs that have live nude dancing and permit alcohol. Businesses could pay $3 per customer or pay a graduated amount based on their sales. The money will go to a special fund devoted to preventing sexual violence and counseling its victims."
Lawmakers leave Springfield without approving pension reform
none"But even a measure to address one of the five retirement systems --- the one for elected officials --- failed to get traction.  House Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned the House without a final vote on the measure. The Senate had left town an hour earlier, rendering House action moot."
none Emotional, bitter day for Cat workers
none"All along, the 780 union workers had billed their fight against the corporate Goliath as a battle to save the middle class by preserving decent wages, traditional pensions and low-cost health care benefits.  But their quest was not to be. While veteran workers cautioned younger machinists to look at the big picture and fight for a better future, many were enduring financial hardships and more were crossing the picket line every day.  In the end, those who voted in favor of the contract believed they would not gain more by holding out longer."
State takes shot at new student vaccinations
"Already in 2012, more than 1,200 cases of pertussis, known more commonly as whooping cough because of the whooping noise sick children make as they inhale during the cough, have been reported in Illinois. Nationwide, the disease is making a comeback, with 27,550 reported cases in 2010, the most cases of whooping cough seen in the U.S. since 1959, according to the CDC."
Patch 50 West Chicago Kids Participate in Camp Hope
none"According to a press release, Camp Hope 2012 served 50 youth from the Main Park and Riverwoods Apartments, offering sports and outdoor activities at Pioneer Park. There also were daily outings to such destinations as Xtreme Trampoline, Wheaton Bowl and Studio Movie Grill. The final day featured a cookout at the Town and Country Apartments complex."
District 303 Banks $7.67 Million Windfall for Later
none"Schlomann explained that he district does not have plans for using the money, and while there are existing needs, he told the board he would like to see its use set out in a plan. Specifically, he said, the district’s belt-tightening in recent years has curbed some needed facility maintenance, for example, and those needs should be considered carefully."

What's New Robert L. Park August 2012

none Striking Caterpillar Workers Ratify 6-Year Contract - AFL-CIO
none"Striking workers at a Caterpillar hydraulic parts factory in Joliet, Ill., voted today to ratify a proposed six-year contract, ending a nearly 16-week strike.  The 800 workers, members of Machinists (IAM) Local 851, will receive a $3,100 ratification bonus, well above the $1,000 Caterpillar initially offered. Workers hired after 2005 will receive an automatic 3 percent raise annually for the life of the contract."
none Unintended Consequences – Louisiana State Sponsored Christian Schools Open Door For ALL Religions - Addicting Info
"Take for example the case of Bobby Jindal. Earlier this year, he signed into law a bill which would open up religious institutions into the charter school system of his state. He felt that this would allow for the teaching of his form of religion, as did most of those who supported the measure, secure in their fantasies that only their faith qualified.  Sadly, their dreams were shattered when reality struck, and Islāmic schools began applying for the charter."
none This Is How We Know The Shocking Facts About Spy Campaign 'TrapWire' Are True - Business Insider
none"Last week WikiLeaks published internal emails from the U.S. private security firm Stratfor that describe a widespread surveillance network called TrapWire that was created and is run by former members of the CIA.  RT first broke the story about the system's staggering reach into the privacy of passersby and informative stories followed."
16 Aug
none Around and About in West Chicago - 16 Aug 2012
  • Neighborhood Food Pantries
  • Leaving the DuPage Valley Conference
  • City Crack Sealing Program
  • Mortgage Relief Project
  • Smith Road Quiet Zone Improvement Project
none Finding New Roots...
"The West Chicago Park District has been serving the recreational, physical, mental and societal needs of West Chicago residents with quality programming, classes, athletic leagues, community events, and open space for 40 years. During this past year the District has been planning for expansion and has made a decision for the future as it celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2012. "
[This Park District web page has the facts about their proposed Rec Center. - Bob]
none Community Forum on Athletic Conference Opportunity
none"The Administration of Community High School District 94 is in strong consideration of taking the opportunity to leave the DuPage Valley Conference (DVC) and move to the Metro Suburban Conference (MSC) in the immediate future. A Community Forum regarding this has been scheduled for August 17, 2012 in Commons (student cafeteria)."
West Chicago Park District announces Park Board vacancy
none"The West Chicago Park District is seeking applicants for a vacant position on the District’s Board of Commissioners. The position is a nine month term ending May 2013. The seat will be up for election in April 2013 for an unexpired four-year term.  Interested candidates can pick up an application form at the West Chicago Park District office at 157 W. Washington St. or download a version from the website at The application deadline is August 28, 2012. For additional information or questions, call the Park District office at 630.231.9474."
Record Setting Summer Reading Program @ The West Chicago Public Library District
none"A record-setting 1200 children and 565 adults and teens registered for the summer reading program at the West Chicago Public Library District this summer representing thousands of books read and hours upon hours of enjoyment! "
FREE GED, English and Citizenship Classes
  • noneFREE English Classes
  • FREE Citizenship Classes
High School Premiere of the Tony-Award Winning Play Red and a New Directors Showcase
none"WeGo Drama at Community High School begins their 2012-13 Season with a premiere of the TONY and Oliver Award winning play RED by John Logan. This powerful one-act play takes us into the 1950’s New York studio of the artist Mark Rothko as he works on a series of paintings with his young assistant."
CHS Students and Veterans Build a Bridge to the Past
none"Students in the Community High School Bridge 8.5 Program recently interviewed 13 members of VFW Post #6791 and the Ladies Auxiliary in West Chicago for the Veteran’s History Project sponsored by the Library of Congress. Veterans from World War II, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts participated in the project."
Camp Hope 2012 Brings Weeklong Adventure
none"A successful partnership between the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County and the City of West Chicago Police Department's Neighborhood Resource Centers resulted in many West Chicago children enjoying a weeklong adventure of fun with friends."
Free Document Shredding Events
none"DuPage County is proud to host six FREE Document Shredding Events for DuPage businesses, organizations and institutions. Your business is invited to participate in these events at a location near you."
none Cronin, Pierotti quietly huddle, then scuttle county-forest merger
nonenone"Pierotti and Cronin both acknowledge the meeting occurred and that a variety of issues were discussed, including consolidation. While they disagree on who brought up the subject of consolidation, the fact that it was mentioned at all is a possible sign the forest preserve’s ongoing troubles could result in a change to the way it has operated for a decade."
Entire state eligible for drought relief
"The entire state of Illinois is now eligible for drought relief following the announcement of federal disaster designation for 14 more counties.  The announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture drew praise from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who says the designation will help farmers and communities hurt by the drought."
none Man robs West Chicago bank
none"Officers responded to Fifth Third Bank at 1800 North Neltnor Boulevard in West Chicago around 10:35 a.m. Tuesday after the man, described as white, 25 to 35 years old, muscular and between 6 feet and 6 feet 3 inches tall left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, according to a West Chicago police report."
First human West Nile virus case in DuPage County reported
none"A Downers Grove woman in her 50s has contracted the first reported human case of West Nile virus in DuPage County this year, the DuPage County Health Department announced today.  Department spokesman David Hass said the county was notified Tuesday about the case and he did not have details about the woman's condition."
none New Illinois, Wisconsin wildlife refuge approved
none"U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday announced the establishment of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will create the refuge by purchasing land easements from willing sellers. The goal is to create up to 11,200 acres of wildlife habitat and recreational space close to Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago."
[At one point this morning, I had 6 species of birds simultaneously at my feeder, 8' from my computer. - Bob]
Broader unemployment rate shows depth of Illinois' downturn
"Although the state’s unemployment rate has been below 10 percent since October, its so-called underemployment rate has been in the double digits for nearly four years. That rate was 16.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is an average of the four most recent quarters of data. It was as high as 18 percent in mid-2010."
none Quinn stumps for pension restructuring
none"“This is not the time to dilly-dally,” Quinn told reporters before an annual meeting of the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association. “We have the bond houses … they’re poised to act, and we better pay attention to them,”  Quinn was alluding to a threat by credit agencies to downgrade Illinois’ bond rating if the state does not deal with its $83 billion in pension debt."
[See also: Protesters boo top Democrats at Illinois State Fair - Bob]
none DuPage eyes setting board member terms
none"Wolfe’s memo outlined an approach that would have the county clerk draw lots putting two districts in each of three groups, with staggered terms for each of the three representatives in each: two, four and four; four, two and four; or four, four and two years. The successful candidate who receives the most votes could be permitted to choose the configuration for that position over the ensuing decade, Wolfe said."
none It's official: College of DuPage's campus tobacco free
nonenone"“Tobacco-free policies are gaining momentum at educational institutions across the country, and we are very pleased to be on-trend with this issue,” College of DuPage President Dr. Robert L. Breuder said. “An overall ban on tobacco means a healthier, cleaner and more attractive environment for everyone who visits our campus.”  The Tobacco Free Policy College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn prohibits the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products on all COD premises and in all College-owned vehicles."
none Unions spoil Quinn's day at state fair over pension - Chicago Tribune
DinoCrat"Organized labor is a vital political constituency in the Democrat-controlled state. But the unionized show of force, which included workers wearing green shirts that featured messages like "Pensions are a promise" and "Governor Quinn's Illinois, the new Wisconsin" resulted in Democrats cutting short their afternoon program at the fairgrounds. The governor left via a back exit."
none Opinion: Ayn Rand Wouldn’t Approve of Paul Ryan - NY Times
hypo-crat"EARLY in his Congressional career, Paul D. Ryan, the Wisconsin representative and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee, would give out copies of Ayn Rand’s book “Atlas Shrugged” as Christmas presents. He described the novelist of heroic capitalism as “the reason I got into public service.” But what would Rand think of Mr. Ryan?"
none Undoing Obama Medicare cuts may backfire on Romney - Assoc Press
none"The reason: Obama's cuts also extended the life of Medicare's giant trust fund. By repealing them, Romney would move the program's insolvency eight years closer, toward the end of what would be his first term in office.  Instead of running out of money in 2024, Medicare's trust fund for inpatient care would go broke in 2016 without the cuts, according to estimates by the program's own experts... But Obama's cuts were not directly aimed at Medicare's 48 million beneficiaries; instead they affect hospitals, insurers, nursing homes, drug companies and other service providers. Simply undoing the cuts would restore higher payments to those service providers. And that would cause Medicare to spend money faster."
The Morning Plum: Yes, one side is more to blame than the other for scuttling real debate - Washington Post
"Romney, meanwhile, is making claims that are designed to obfuscate, rather than clarify, the differences between the candidates. The Romney camp continues to claim Obama “raided” Medicare for $716 billion to pay for Obamacare, casting Obama as the real threat to Medicare and to seniors. But those savings are wrung from providers, not benefits, and Obamacare lowers costs for the very same seniors Romney and Ryan are pretending to defend from the alleged “cuts” to Medicare."
14 Aug
  • Gas Main Break Forces Road Closure
    none"Due to a contractor hitting a gas main at Powis Road and North Avenue, North Avenue will be shut down between Kautz Road and Route 59 until approximately 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, 2012."
  • West Chicago Police Respond to Bank Robery
    "On Tuesday August 14, 2012 at approximately 10:35 a.m., West Chicago Police Officers responded to the Fifth Third Bank located at 1800 North Neltnor Boulevard for a bank robbery that had just occurred. Responding officers learned the male suspect had entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding money. The suspect left the bank last seen walking eastbound towards Illinois Route 59 with an undisclosed amount of money."
none Illinois unions offer to pay more toward pensions, but there's a catch
none"But the unions' plan also would require the state to guarantee it will make its full yearly pension contribution instead of skipping or shorting it. And the labor leaders suggested that raising business taxes and avoiding benefit cuts for current retirees should be part of any reform law."
Illinois schools get green light to stock EpiPens
none"But when school nurses asked doctors to prescribe the epinephrine shots, better known as EpiPens, many encountered a problem: Doctors, accustomed to writing prescriptions for individual patients, weren't sure how to prescribe an EpiPen to a school.  That barrier should now be gone. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, in a letter and information packet published Monday, told doctors and pharmacists how to prescribe and dispense EpiPens to schools without exposing themselves to liability."
none Unions call for pension negotiations
"A cononealition of Illinois public employee unions said they’re willing to negotiate higher contributions to their pensions — if they’re part of a package that includes exempting those already retired from pension changes, guaranteed pension contributions from the state and ending some corporate tax breaks."
All or nothing approach divides pension-reform camps
none"The key may lie with House Republicans. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has made it clear pension changes won’t pass with just Democratic votes, that significant support must also come from the minority party.  But House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, called a Senate-passed bill that changes pensions only for state employees and lawmakers “woefully inadequate,” and said a proposal to shift the cost of downstate teacher pensions away from the state and on to local school districts doesn’t work."
Bank Robbed in West Chicago
none"A man robbed Fifth Third Bank, 1800 N. Neltnor Blvd. in West Chicago, around 10:35 a.m. Tuesday, according to a press release from the City of West Chicago.  Police responded to a call reporting the robbery around 10:35 a.m. According to the release, a man entered the bank and gave a note demanding money to a teller and left with an undisclosed amount of money."
none SC's Norris rec center to reopen after mold cleanup
none"Scholmann said the district’s environmental consultants and architects confirmed the mold was confined to the northeast and northwest exterior walls of three racquetball courts, as well as a ceiling in a court on the northeast corner of the building.  “The architects point to the cause of the water seepage as combination of poor design and deferred maintenance,” Scholmann said."
none Religious figures denounce Rep. Walsh's comments on Muslims, demand apology
none"“A man elected to represent the people of Illinois has profoundly betrayed our trust,” Scott Alexander, an associate professor at the Catholic Theological Union, said at a news conference at the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  “I’m flabbergasted that a man of his level of public trust can not see the connection between his rhetoric — steeped as it is in negative stereotypes, false assumptions, gross ignorance and ill will towards the Muslim community — and the thinking and acts of white supremacy hate groups,” Alexander said."
none Five Ways Privatization Degrades America
"A grand delusion has been planted in the minds of Americans, that privately run systems are more efficient and less costly than those in the public sector. Most of the evidence points the other way. Private initiatives generally produce mediocre or substandard results while experiencing the usual travails of unregulated capitalism -- higher prices, limited services, and lower wages for all but a few 'entrepreneurs.'"
none Islamic groups alarmed by suburban incidents - Chicago Tribune
Dang Wabbit"On Monday, David Conrad, 51, of Morton Grove, was ordered in court to undergo an anger management evaluation and to stay away from members of the local Muslim Education Center, at which he is alleged to have fired a high-velocity air rifle Friday evening. No one was hurt during the shooting in the north suburb, but about 500 people were in the building observing evening prayers for the holy month of Ramadan."
[See also: Evaluation ordered for suspect in mosque shooting. - Bob]
'MacGyver bomb' thrown at Islamic school in Lombard - Chicago Tribune
"A 7-Up bottle filled with household chemicals was thrown at an Islamic school in Lombard on Sunday night during Ramadan prayers, causing a loud sound but no injuries, according to police... They later found the bottle, which had been thrown at a window of the school but didn't break it, according to Lombard Deputy Chief Pat Rollins.  Rollins called it a homemade "MacGyver bomb" -- named after a television character -- which makes a loud sound but usually doesn't cause a fire."
none Blaming Obama for George W. Bush’s Policies - NY Times|
none"Much of the Romney paper is taken up with reviewing the poor economic recovery, which is undeniable. Reading it, however, one is left with the impression that the recession occurred on President Obama’s watch because of policies he is responsible for.  Just to be clear, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the private research group that determines the starting and ending points of recessions, says the latest economic downturn began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009."
Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes Under Paul Ryan's Plan - the Atlantic
none"Under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt Romney wouldn't pay any taxes for the next ten years -- or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that's true. Yes, I'm certain.  Well, maybe not quite nothing. In 2010 -- the only year we have seen a full return from him -- Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, ... Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create.""
11&12 Aug
none This Week in West Chicago
13  10am» Camp Fun-to-Read
       7pm» City Development Com
16  7pm» District 33 School Board
       7pm» Knit Night
none Bush tax cuts ignite 11th Congressional District debate
none"“This is an example of how Washington is broken,” Foster said. “Where there is an area of agreement like middle class tax cuts, we should have that agreement and pass it into law. It’s being blockaded by people who want to use that area of agreement to protect the tax cuts for the wealthy and the many special interests who have tax breaks they want to protect.”"
none Biggert, Foster clash on blame for state of the country
none""I think historical facts point out that economic growth in a country is strongest when the middle class is healthiest," said Foster, 56, a scientist and businessman who succeeded Hastert in Congress after a 2008 special election. "And Judy's policies, everything that she voted for during the Bush years, systematically eviscerated U.S. manufacturing and the middle class.""
Mold contained to rec center next to St. Charles high school
none"The recreation center will be able to re-open soon, Schlomann said, but the courts where repairs are ongoing will be closed.  Mold is not a new issue to District 303. St. Charles East was closed in April 2001 after potentially dangerous mold was found growing on its walls. It reopened for the start of the 2002-03 school year following a $30 million repair project. The district settled claims with employees and former students who got sick from the mold."
none Drought takes heavy toll on Illinois corn, soybean production
none"The smallest corn crop in 17 years and the smallest soybean crop in 24 is awaiting harvest in Illinois, according to a much-anticipated forecast released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture... “We may have 175 bushels on low ground, and up the hill we may struggle to get 100,” said Ritter, who planted 1,200 acres of corn and 800 acres of soybeans this year."

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L. Park    Thursday, 9 Aug 2012

none 'I'm sick to my stomach': anger grows in Illinois at Bain's latest outsourcing plan - Guardian
none"The Sensata plant in Freeport is profitable and competitive, but its majority owner, Bain Capital, has decided to ship jobs to China – and forced workers to train their overseas replacements... For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to."
Wells Fargo Fires Employee To Avoid Paying For His Daughter's Surgery - UpWorthy
"Corporations are not people. They're amorphous entities that are concerned with profit at all costs, and sooner or later that is going to end in more tragedy. Not for the corporations (because tragedy is something people feel) but for the people that have to go home when the day is over. This case hasn't been decided yet, but all signs point to the corporation being guilty."
none Missouri prayer amendment passes by wide margin - Washington Post
"“I really just think it’s designed to stir up angry sentiment.” She added, “There’s no infringement on people’s right to pray as it is.”  Kathy Rowland, 55, of Columbia, Mo., said the amendment seemed “well-intentioned,” but unnecessary.  Still, the amendment garnered enough support to pass by a 7-1 margin."
none Here’s the house of the farmer Mitt Romney visited to get in touch with rural plight - DeathAndTaxesMag
none"Think Progress reports that farmer Lemar Koethe, who dramatically told Romney when he stepped out of his motorcade onto Koethe’s ailing cornfield, “we need you like we need oxygen,” actually owns 54 soy and corn farms. He’s also a real estate mogul, former concert promoter, and owner of a 24,000 seat arena.  This is his house. It contains a private car wash, art gallery, and elevator up to the panoramic living room suspended 35 feet in the air."
NPR’s Adam Davidson Explains How Ridiculously Easy It Is To Set Up An Offshore Bank Account - TPMC
none"So if you go to the websites, like, which is the company that I mostly worked with, you’ll see when they decide each of these potential jurisdictions, there’s a lot of information about how hard it is for authorities to get your information and how safe and secure your information is from prying eyes."
Studies Show Bush Responsible For Deficit - Addicting Info
none"A week ago Thursday, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan not-for-profit think tank, found that the wars, spending cuts, and Great Recession of the Bush administration account for nearly all of the budget deficit."
09 Aug

Around and About in West Chicago - 09 Aug 2012

  • Building a Community Center
  • DuPage Airport Community Days
  • Educare of West DuPage Community Open House
  • Union Pacific’s Train Town USA Registry
none Part-time cops don't mean big-time savings
"Among 80 suburban police departments throughout six collar counties, nearly a third employ part-time officers in some capacity. That amounts to almost 150 officers used to fill service and funding gaps. Yet, while the practice enables some towns to realize savings by reducing the number of full-time officers, collective bargaining agreements and the cost of staffing part-time posts prevent many from seeing significant savings overall."
none DCFS to add investigators, cut caseloads
"The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services plans to add more than 100 investigator positions under an agreement reached Tuesday with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.  At the same time, DCFS will temporarily rehire some recent retirees and reassign about 100 current employees from other jobs to focus on abuse and neglect cases."
Attorney: George Ryan qualifies for work release
none"But Ryan's attorney, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, says Ryan ove in early February from the prison to a halfway house in Chicago's West Loop as part of a work release program... On Monday, a federal court in Chicago denied Ryan's latest appeal seeking an early release from federal custody."
none New strain of swine flu detected in Illinois
"The new strain is known as H3N2v and is a variation first discovered last year.  The virus is typically transmitted from swine to humans. The child in Illinois attended the Coles County Fair. Further testing may identify how the child caught the bug.  The new flu's severity has been compared to regular seasonal flu. The child who got sick in Illinois has not been hospitalized."
none Sen. Graham: Contractors should issue layoff notices before election - NBC News
none"“I’m urging every defense industry that could be affected by sequestration to put your employees on notice before November,” he continued. “The more it becomes real to us as to what comes the nation’s way, the more likely we are to solve the problem.”"
The Caterpillar Strike And The Middle Class - Progress Illinois
"Caterpillar is a very profitable company. It reported second-quarter profits of $1.7 billion, up 67 percent from a year earlier; a year in which Caterpillar earned $4.7 billion in profits... Caterpillar instituted a two-tier wage system in the previous six-year contract with some employees starting as low as $12 per hour. With wages frozen and with new workers replacing senior workers as they retire the Channahon plant will eventually be manned by workers whose average wage is slightly over the poverty line for a family of four."
none Glenn Beck’s Favorite "Historian" Is Called Out by Christian Scholars - BuzzFlash
none"Another professor, Glenn Sunshine of Central Connecticut State University, "said that Barton's characterization of Jefferson's religious views is 'unsupportable.' Yet another, Gregg Frazer of The Master's College, evaluated Barton's video America's Godly Heritage and found many of its factual claims dubious, such as a statement that '52 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were 'orthodox, evangelical Christians.'"
none How Secret Foreign Money Could Infiltrate US Elections - Mother Jones
none"But fornone the secretive nonprofit groups pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2012 elections, the rules are different. These outfits, organized under the 501(c) section of the US tax code, can take money from foreign citizens, foreign labor unions, and foreign corporations, and they don't have to tell voters about it because they don't publicly disclose their donors. What's more, with a savvy attorney and a clean paper trail, a foreign donor could pump millions into a nonprofit without even the nonprofit knowing the money's true origin."
07 Aug
none Brilliance in Business Awards - Nomination Period Extended through September 3, 2012
nonenone"Now in its fourth year, the City of West Chicago Brilliance in Business Awards program has identified and honored 17 West Chicago businesses considered shining examples of industry best practices, innovation, creativity, sustainability and outstanding corporate citizenship."
none"USAgain, the company that diverts millions of pound of clothing and textiles from landfills each year, announces the first-ever Homecoming Goes Green dress give-away event in West Chicago on August 19, 2012."
Traffic Safety Campaign Continues
none"The noneCampaign ran from May 11 - 28, 2012 and resulted in 182 citations being issued; 24 for seatbelt and child restraint violations, and 3 violations for driving under the influence."
none DuPage Airport to showcase a piece of history at Community Days Weekend
none"Oliver and the Commemorative Air Force will tell the story at the DnoneuPage Airport Authority’s Community Days Weekend, set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11 and 12, at the DuPage Airport in West Chicago.  FIFI will be the main attraction, offering flights to attendees at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Guided tours also will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day; cockpit tours are $5 with a separate fee for flights."
Local group not seeing eye-to-eye with Wayne Township officials
none"Deyne and fellow Wayne Township resident Frank Esposito filed a request for a special meeting with the township clerk July 6. The goal was to get the question on the ballot through a vote at the special meeting, when registered township voters are given the same decision-making power as trustees.  Even though Illinois law says the meeting must be scheduled within 45 days of the request, township officials still have not done so."
[I will believe that corps are people when Texas executes one. - Bob]
Islamic group sues DuPage over mosque denial
"One of the lawsuit’s nine counts says the county violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by applying “different standards and procedures in considering ICWS’s application for conditional use as an Islamic religious institution than it applied in considering applications for similar non-Islamic uses.”  Daniel said DuPage also violated the Fourteenth Amendment clause of equal protection because it “specifically harassed and punished ICWS through its handling of this (zoning) process.”"
D303 school board member starts push for more homework
none"St. Charles Unit District 303 will start the school year with a close look at how much homework students have on an average school night. At least one school board member believes students aren’t spending enough time hitting the books.  “There’s a whole lot more to it than we need less homework so our kids can play baseball or football,” school board member Judith McConnell said at a recent committee meeting. “It should be more a part of our curriculum, but I keep hearing from parents that their kids don’t have any homework.”"
none DuPage County sued after denying use permit for proposed Bartlett-area mosque
"The suit alleges that the county violated provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 in May when it refused to grant a conditional use permit.  The organization sought clearance to open a worship center in a vacant house it bought four years ago in an unincorporated site along Army Trail Road, near the south edge of the village of Bartlett."
none Rains provide some relief to drought-stressed U.S. crops
"The worst drought in more than half a century caused serious harm to the domestic corn crop, reducing yield prospects, and was now beginning to cut into soybean production prospects. Cooler temperatures and showers came too late to help much of the corn crop, but soybeans will benefit from the turn away from the extreme heat and dryness."
none Federal court denies George Ryan's appeal
none"A federal court in Chicago on Monday denied George Ryan's latest appeal seeking his release from prison, dashing what was widely regarded as the former Illinois governor's last credible hope to cut short his 6 1/2-year sentence for corruption.  Even though the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals complex, 16-page ruling didn't go in the 78-year-old Republican's favor, he doesn't have too much longer to wait behind bars. He is scheduled to finish serving his sentence at a Terre Haute, Ind., prison in mid-2013."
Raises restored for more than 1,700 state employees
none"“The determination was made after further analysis indicated that due to a large number of retirements and attrition that was greater than anticipated, these agencies have sufficient appropriation to pay the contractual raises,” Kraft said.  Almost all of the employees are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Their contract called for them to receive raises of 2 percent July 1, 2011, 1.25 percent Jan. 1 and another 2 percent Feb. 1."
none Wall Street lenders want bankrupt city to pay them before own retirees - Raw Stoty
none"Assured Guaranty finds it unacceptable that Stockton is giving top priority to paying its own employees’ pensions. It calls this “a contortion of the bankruptcy process” and insists that it is unacceptable for the city to “prefer one class of similarly situated creditor over another.”  The “similarly situation” part is what’s in question, though. According to the general counsel of CalPERS, under California law “the obligations owed to the public workers of the city have priority over those of general unsecured creditors.”"
none Louisiana School Forces Students to Take Pregnancy Tests, Kicks Out Girls Who Refuse Or Test Positive - Think Progress
none"If a student is determined to be pregnant and wishes to continue to attend Delhi Charter School, the student will be required to pursue a course of home study that will be provided by the school…Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counseled to seek other educational opportunities."
none Barack Obama Should Hire This Guy To Attack Mitt Romney - UpWorthy
"We have everything Mitt Romney has ever said that was contradictory in one video. EVERYTHING. (As of today, but there will be more soon)."
[This video is a quick and dirty review of Romney statements. Bob]
04&05 Aug
The WeekEnd
none This Week in West Chicago
06  7pm» City Council Meeting
07  7pm» District 94 School Board
09  7pm» Knit Night


  • noneAugust 7, 2012
  • 7:00 P.M.
Fortner interview - CLTV
noneRep Mike Fortner discusses his plan to reform Illinois pensions.  The interview starts at about the 3 minute mark. - Bob
none DuPage towns observing National Night Out
"Residents across the country will lock their doors and flip on their porch lights Tuesday, Aug, 7, to show their dedication to crime prevention in the annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.
[West Chicago is NOT listed.  It was mentioned in a July 31st press release about a storm damage video to be made. - Bob]
Transparency audit finds 9 DuPage government bodies lacking
none"Logging in to find information about your taxing body could be more difficult than it needs to be for some DuPage County residents, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.  Only 13 of 22 local governments received passing grades during the latest round of online transparency audits conducted by the watchdog agency, called the “Local Transparency Project.”"
DuPage election panel considers ethics change
none"If the election board approves a memorandum of understanding with the county, the commission will become the first local agency to agree to use the DuPage County Ethics Commission and the county’s investigator general to review complaints."
none Mold prompts inspections, tests at rec center next to St. Charles high school
none"A painter working at the Norris Recreation Center, 1050 Dunham Road, found the mold Wednesday evening on the wall of a racquetball court, District 303 Superintendent Donald Schlomann said Thursday. The district doesn't operate the nonprofit recreation center but owns the building ... Environmental consultants are taking air samples for testing and further inspecting the building, he said."
Wal-Mart OK with selling genetically modified sweet corn
none"Environmental and health activists expressed surprise and disappointment at Wal-Mart’s decision. Earlier this year, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills said they would not carry or use the genetically modified sweet corn."
none Tamms prison inmates moved on same day union files lawsuit
"Tamms is at the center of Quinn's cost-saving shutdown, which he wants completed by Aug. 31 over lawmakers' objections. It was built jus t 14 years ago as a "supermaximum-security" lockup, isolating troublemakers who were violent in other prisons and gang leaders whose communication with subordinates was cut off. Moving them to general prisons endangers guards and others not used to handling them, the union said."
none Hultgren slates town hall, chamber sessions
none"On Wednesday, the Batavia, Geneva, Elgin Area, St. Charles, and Western DuPage Chambers of Commerce will receive an update on Congress from Hultgren."
Mosque denial spurs new lawsuit against DuPage
"The organization sought clearance to open a worship center in a vacant house it bought four years ago on Army Trail Road near West Chicago. The request faced vocal objections from some of the site’s neighbors.  The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, takes issue with the county’s T-2-11 Text Amendment, which was adopted last fall, partly to streamline the process of securing permits through the zoning code. The complaint asserts that the county’s zoning regulations violate the rules by placing “unprecedented and overly burdensome” limits and stipulations on lot sizes, connections to utilities and the conversion of residential structures to worship buildings. The county is named as the defendant."
none Fermilab director Oddone announces plan to retire next year
none"Oddone led Fermilab during a period of remarkable scientific achievement, with major discoveries announced during his tenure from every aspect of Fermilab’s scientific program, including the experiments at the Tevatron collider, the laboratory’s neutrino experiments and its programs to study dark matter and high-energy cosmic particles."
none Apple co-founder Wozniak predicts ‘horrible problems’ with cloud computing - Raw Story
"“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,” he said. “I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”  “I want to feel that I own things,” Wozniak said. “A lot of people feel, ‘Oh, everything is really on my computer,’ but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”"
none Video: Once Upon a Trickle Down - Center for American Progress
none"Move over "Trickle Down," there's a new game in town. After 30 years of an economy geared toward the wealthy, the rest of us are waking up to the fact that a strong middle class is critical for robust economic growth.  Produced by the Center for American Progress and Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mark Fiore ("
none ‘God Loving’ Conservative Sticks A Gun In The Face Of Liberals - Addicting Infro
Dang Wabbit"His facebook profile is even scarier, and he actually calls for the assassination of President Obama in a quote which he accredits to himself. Here’s his favorite quotes, the last one being the most offensive:"
none Mitt Romney Replaces Sarah Palin as America’s Most Hated Politician - politicususa
none"The Pew Research Center for People and the Press survey revealed that more than half of respondents (52%) hold an unfavorable view of Mitt Romney, and only 37% have a favorable opinion of the Republican nominee. This is the sixth consecutive month that overall opinion of Mitt Romney has been negative. Romney’s unfavorable rating has increased five points in the past month, and has not been lower than 45% since November of 2011."
Five Scientific Conclusions About Cannabis That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To Know - AlterNet
"While studies touting the purported dangers of cannabis are frequently pushed by the federal government and, therefore, all but assured mainstream media coverage, scientific conclusions rebutting pot propaganda or demonstrating potential positive aspects of the herb often tend to go unnoticed. Here are five recent examples of scientific findings about pot that the mainstream media (and the Feds) don’t want you to know about."
02 Aug
none Around and About in West Chicago - 02 Aug 2012
  • Ride for Liberty 2012
  • West Chicago National Night Out Against Crime
  • DuPage Airport Community Days
  • First United Methodist Church Vacation Bible Schoo
none"Admission into the event will be free! The event will include athletic scrimmages, CORN BOIL, team recognition, raffles, concessions and an appearance from the Wildcat Marching Band. The evening is sure to provide a fun family atmosphere and community involvement."
none Why you could wait 2 years for tax appeal board answer
"The state agency that many refer to as the Supreme Court of property tax appeals is so overwhelmed, officials there acknowledge it takes about two years — even longer in some cases — for a decision from the board.  “They basically told me they're swamped with paperwork,” said Round Lake Beach homeowner Derek Monroe. “I'm surprised they don't explain the workloads to people who are applying. This is really unacceptable.”"
none Pick of the Week
none"The "Rites of Passage" exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum uses artifacts, photographs, hands-on activities for children and more as markers to explore how we recognize these times of our lives."
none Drought leaves Illinois a state of disaster
"But the aid is being overshadowed by a newly released weather outlook that predicts this year's drought will continue through October.  On Wednesday, theU.S. Department of Agricultureadded 66 Illinois counties to the list of primary natural disaster areas because of damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat. Now 98 of Illinois' 102 counties are part of this disaster area, with Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties not part of the designation."
Quinn signs so-called Facebook bill into law
none"Dubbed “the Facebook bill,” the legislation is designed to protect the privacy of workers and those applying for jobs. Employers can still request user names to review public posts, but would not be able to request access restricted portions of an employee or job applicant’s online profile... Employers who violate the new law could be taken to court, where fines start at $200."
Illinois DNR rejects permit for planned coal mine
none"Chicago-based Capital Resources Development Co. proposed building the 600-acre surface mine in an Illinois River floodplain near the 150-resident village of Banner and the Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.  The Sierra Club and other opponents said that would jeopardize drinking water supplies in the area, along with nesting osprey, a bald eagle roost and habitat for the short-eared owl, which is on the state's endangered list. Critics also warned the mine could compromise the structural integrity of the village's wastewater-treatment plant."
none Topinka: Legislators went too far with social service cuts
none"Topinka, a Republican from the Chicago area, said during a stop at Springfield’s Family Service Center that she isn’t pointing out the financial suffering of not-for-profit organizations this week to embarrass Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn... “Just because we had a bipartisan budget agreement does not mean that it was good, does not mean that cuts could not be made but could not have been made better,” said Topinka, 68, a former state lawmaker, state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate."
Ameren, objectors duel over delay of pollution rules
none"Robert Kelter, senior attorney for the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago, said Ameren knew the financial risks when it took advantage of 1997 state reforms that allowed utilities to put their power plants in separate, unregulated affiliates such as American Energy Services.  The company now is asking regulators to protect the company from its decision to enter riskier, unregulated markets, Kelter said.  “For many years, Ameren’s decision paid off for the company,” he said."
none One In Four American Workers Will Be In Low-Wage Jobs For The Next Decade - TPM
"Some 28% of workers are expected to hold low-wage jobs in 2020, roughly the same percentage as in 2010, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.  The study defines low-paying jobs as those with wages at or below what full-time workers must earn to live above the poverty level for a family of four. In 2011, this was $23,005, or $11.06 an hour."
none Why So Little Religious Politicking in This Presidential Election? - Chronicle of Higher Education blog
"Because the GOP presumptive nomin ee is not of the same faith as his party’s base: Mormon Mitt Romney–unlike the endless slate of Protestant GOP presidential candidates who have preceded him since World War II–has to be cautious. Real cautious.  He is not a Protestant. More precisely, he is not an Evangelical Christian."
none Joe Walsh swipes legislation. From a Democrat. - Daily Kos
none"There is, however, a problem. Aside from being rather obviously an act of big-spending government socialism (government is no longer allowed to build things, repair things, renovate things, or God help us all enhance things), it turns out that Walsh lifted the bill nearly verbatim from a 2010 bill written by Rep. Tim Bishop, a Democrat, without asking him or even mentioning it to him."
Romney’s Revolutionary War Bunglee - Consortium News
none"Yet, Romney committed to writing – in a book that he claims to have personally authored – an account of the start of the Revolutionary War that is upside down. He has British warships attacking and capturing Boston, a British victory, rather than the Redcoats being bloodied by the Minutemen at Concord and driven back into Boston, an American victory."
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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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