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February open thread [2013]

3 February 2013 Elgin Illinois 62 Comments

Yard decorations Yard decorations (Photo by Elgin Town).

Open thread. Post what you want!

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62 Responses to “February open thread [2013]”

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  1. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    The Daily Herald is going to a social media sign in for comments. The Courier already has that.

    For the most part I think that will get rid of anonymous posters.

    What do all the elginite readers and posters think of this?

    • JP says:

      I don’t like it. I won’t comment on sites that require a login because I don’t have a Facebook account and I don’t need hundreds of logins for every other site that’s out there.

      • Margaret Miller says:

        I won’t do it either. If they want me to read their paper on line, no sign in and no on 10 articles per month. The Herald lost me a long time ago with their slanted reporting.

  2. Gibster says:

    I think it’s a positive and works well on the Suntimes Media sites.

    Sadly, anyone can great a ‘fake’ social media profile, we saw that in 2011 for the local elections via “Elgin Pride” that friend-ed many personal profiles of local community activists and then took copies of pictures, status updates, etc. Once a ‘troll’ always a troll, be it in Daily Herald comments or on twitter, etc.

    • paul says:

      “a positive and works well on the Suntimes Media sites”

      Very little to no commentary on the Courier news site. To those who don’t like the authority of government or the irrefutable evidenced leftist slant of the main stream media challenged no commentary is a positive and works very well. Like Bocajump.

  3. Tim Palmer says:

    These candidates with their Facebook pages are great. Some spell like high school dropouts. Two or three have no clue and look scared to run. It makes me think they were pushed into running. What a city.

    • Gibster says:

      “Here is a list of people running for the Elgin City Council who are on Facebook/have candidate pages. It’s an easy way to see what the candidates are posting on Facebook as far as their concerns and issues. So, if you “subscribe” to the list (not just like this post), you can get a feed that shows you their updates.” via Janelle Walker - The Courier News


  4. Terry Gavin says:

    Over the last 2 years the Elgin City Council has raised & created new taxes totaling $22million. These new taxes and increased taxes include the refuse tax, leaf rake out fee, electric tax, natural gas tax, an increase in the City’s sales tax, and a liquor tax. While the majority of the council voted for these taxes they also only dropped the property tax levy $6.7million over the same 2 year period. This means that over $15million of increased taxes were taken out of our local economy during a down economy.

    In addition to the largest tax increases in Elgin’s history, the City has also increased spending in their budget by 36.7% just since 2011, according to the city’s own numbers. This is a perfect example of a true tax & spend “bigger” government philosophy that will not be sustainable if the economy continues to slide backwards.

  5. Sally Foster says:

    Hello Sustainable Green People,
    This should take your hypocritical breathe away. It speaks for itself. I remember Ted Kennedy didn’t want these on Martha’s Vineyard. I don’t want them in my back yard either! Also, remember these things do not work in winter. They freeze. http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/30/minnesota-wind-turbines-wont-work-in-cold-weather/

    One of the world’s premiere environmentalists, credited as a founder of the green movement, is fighting plans to erect wind turbines in his own village.
    Professor James Lovelock, 93, is renowned for having created the “Gaia Theory” and becoming one of the world’s earliest and most active modern environmentalists. He is also known for claiming global warming would kill off four-fifths of the world’s population by the year 2100.

    Lovelock, however, has lately come at odds to the movement he helped foster, angering the environmental movement by becoming an advocate of nuclear power and opposing wind energy.

    It’s a case of NIMBY (not in my back yard) for the professor as he has joined local activists in Broadwoodwidger, Devon, who are trying to stop the erection of wind turbines. Lovelock says wind turbines are “monuments of a failed civilization.”

    “I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood,” Lovelock recently wrote.

    “We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs.”

    Lovelock especially stands against greenism via certain acts of government fiat legislation, calling it something akin to “fascism.”

    “Although well-intentioned it is an erosion of our freedom and draws near to what I see as fascism,” he said.


    • paul says:

      How about a single wind farm getting a US government license to kill 420 bald eagles!

      Wall Street Journal Feb 01, 2013:
      >>On Jan. 15, the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the New Era Wind Farm—a proposed project near Red Wing, Minn.—might kill as many as 14 bald eagles per year. Despite that toll, the agency said the developer of the 48-turbine wind farm could go ahead and apply for an eagle-kill permit.
      >>This year, in the name of clean energy, the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering changing federal rules so that a wind-energy developer can be granted an “incidental-take” permit allowing wind projects to kill bald eagles and golden eagles for up to 30 years.<<


      • Sarah says:

        Paul, there you go again contradicting yourself, from your past rants, since when do you care about animal welfare!

        • paul says:

          Sarah, you claim I’m contradicting myself yet refuse to evidence any contradiction. What does that say about you!

          “since when do you care about animal welfare!”

          When did I not! You refuse to evidence that as well.

          That actually says a lot about you; and none of it positive.

          • Sarah says:

            Hi Paul, your funny, and probably the most non-positive poster in here, have you ever noticed your rants don’t carry much weight as evidenced by others comments!

    • Sally Foster says:

      Cape Cod Community Considering Removing $10 Million Wind Turbines -

      Two wind turbines that were built on Cape Cod are now being considered for removal because local residents are getting sick from their impact on the environment.

      In the community of Falmouth, residents are complaining of headaches, dizziness, and sleep deprivation. Falmouth resident Neil Andersen said, “It gets to be jet-engine loud. Every time the blade has a downward motion it gives off a tremendous energy, gives off a pulse. And that pulse, it gets into your tubular organs, chest cavity, mimics a heartbeat, gives you headaches. It’s extremely disturbing and it gets to the point where you have to leave.”

      The price for the turbines was $10 million; removing them will cost an estimated $5 - $15 million, but Falmouth’s five selectmen have decided to go ahead with the project. As Selectman David Braga said, “The selectmen unanimously voted to remove them. We think it’s the right thing to do, absolutely. You can’t put a monetary value on people’s health and that’s what’s happened here. A lot of people are sick because of these.”

      Ultimately, the local citizens will decide; a town meeting vote is scheduled for April and municipal elections will be held in May. Falmouth Town Manager Julian Suso said, “It’s highly likely that what the voters will be determining is are they willing to tax themselves at an appropriate amount to cover the cost and dismantle and shut down the turbines?”

      For now, the turbines are only running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and they are losing money.

      The opposition to removing the turbines was expressed by Megan Amsler of the Falmouth Energy Committee, who said:

      To say “let’s let the voters decide” — it sort of flies in the face of what we went through all these years. We never tell somebody “hey, you’re going to have to take that coal plant down or you’re going to have to stop mining the mountain tops.” These are very visible and a lot of other ways that we get our energy are invisible to the average American. People don’t even know how much energy they consume on a yearly basis so I think it’s good for people to be able to see where their energy comes from and know that it’s coming from a clean source.

      - See more at: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/02/27/Cape-Cod-Community-Thinking-Of-Spending-Millions-To-Remove-Wind-Turbines?

  6. Chuck Keysor says:

    Sally, thanks for sharing this excellent information. I wasn’t aware of Mr. Lovelock, but his comments are quite moving considering his background in the “green” movement. Chuck

  7. Laotian-American says:

    I am humbled and honored to be part of this year city council election. I am not on Facebook. However, I’d like to invite you to visit my campaign website: http://www.chinforcitycouncil.com to find out more about me, my qualification, experience and values that I can use to represent the good people of Elgin.
    I missed the OCTAVE Forum due to my unexpected hospitalization. I look forward to meeting and having more conversation with you.

  8. Frustrated says:

    As mentioned in my post on the January thread. Upset that $60k was given to the house on my block for deconversion yet I saw a truck pull up and move in 3 matresses to the house on top of the three families that are in there…and now I can barely get into my driveway because there are 3 or 4 new vehicles parked in front of my house on top of the 4 or 5 that were already there, two of which are metal scrap trucks. They have their kids wheeling shopping carts in to throw on to those trucks. Am I the only one upset at our money (yours and mine) given to this landlord? I have spent the last 9 years getting involved in the neighborhood with the hope we would see a difference. Doesn’t seem like the code officers or the city care about the root of the problem. Seems as if they are more concerned about writing violations for mildly peeling paint to my neighbors who carry mortgages and are invested in the town rather than going after the overcrowding issue. I think it is time for me to pull up stakes and re-invest my time, money and energy in an community that will partner with me. Taxes are high for the return on investment. FOR SALE sign will be out this Spring.

    • Cody Holt says:

      Frustrated, I feel your pain. I have heard this story from many different Elginites. I would like to meet with you and listen to some of your grievances. Its a shame that you have put in a lot of effort and invested in our community, to only find that your merits go unnoticed. Before you put out the FOR SALE sign this spring. I urge you to look into electing the right people in this upcoming election. I have hope that this class of councilman will help return the power of our municipal government back to its citizens. I will listen and happen to know that there are a few other candidates who would listen to one of their fellow Elginites. You can reach me through my website http://www.codyholt.com or elginitesforholt2013@gmail.com! I encourage anyone and everyone to contact me. Talk to you soon.

      • One Vote says:

        I just checked out your website and I’m afraid you aren’t able to connect the dots on immigration. Illegal aliens are taking our jobs, mostly low-skilled jobs from our own minority citizens and our teens.
        And who do you think lives in those basements, three families at a time?
        Illegals cheat us on property taxes, formulated based on one family per home. Of course, the schools and the streets and the sewers feel the strain of extra families.
        And they cheat the IRS by being paid under the table. Or the loophole of child credits for children who don’t even live in the USA: http://www.factcheck.org/2012/05/tax-credits-for-illegal-immigrants/
        Visit with the intake clerks at the hospitals. You will learn the truth.
        If you believe the COE is doing something about illegal aliens, you are naive indeed. Lip service at best. They will not publicly speak out against the illegals, though they know all about them. They fall mute in the interest of political correctness.

        • Frustrated says:


          I appreciate and applaude your efforts. I was quite happy with the direction of the city for the most part until a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I don’t think I am willing to hang in and work for a change here. There are too many variables working against us. The income level is and will be way too low to sustain or attract any kind of businesses downtown that I would like to see for the long term. Until we see a change in the demographics coupled with a change at city hall we will remain in a stagnant position. I certainly hope you and/or others will be that catylist. I just am not willing to gamble any longer. It will take a very long time. I love the town and wish it well. I hope I can come visit here in 9 or 10 years and delight in the fact that I was wrong. Time will tell.

          • Ernie says:

            Frustrated- don’t let the door hit you on the way out. The way I see it, people like you- with your negative, “poor me” attitude are the problem with this city. Not your neighbors and certainly not city hall. Bye.

          • paul says:

            Yeah, Frustrated. You are the problem. Your intolerance of overcrowding in your neighborhood is the problem. Your intolerance of your next door neighbors overcrowding ruining your quality of life is the problem. Why should your quality of life trump the 20 illegals living next door to you? You are the problem. Your intolerance of the City of Elgin’s refusal to uphold it’s own laws with regards to code enforcement of residential overcrowding is the problem. Your intolerance of FRAUD that landlord perpetrated on the city of elgin is the problem.
            Yes, please run away to a better community and better quality of life, Frustrated, and leave us remaining Elginites to wallow in our excrement.

          • Frustrated says:


            Really…”poor me” attitude? Is it wrong to get involved, have a vested interest in the neighborhood and not expect simple laws be upheld in return? I pay a mortgage here, I pay taxes and I care about my neighborhood. does the guy driving that truck that pulled up the other night to move a few mattresses in to the house you paid to deconvert on top of the others already living in there have the same interest in the neighborhood? Who has more at stake? Am I in the wrong here? Please explain.

  9. ElginSpirit says:

    For those that missed the announcement in January, I encourage you to bookmark the updated Elgin Community Events Calendar at the http://www.ElginSpirit.com website.

    It pulls in calendar feeds from the city and other local entities to ONE spot, plus takes feeds from Facebook civic and community events, including the upcoming 2013 Municipal Elections.


    New Events to be posted can be sent to info@elginspirit.com

    • Terry Gavin says:

      Frustrated, my advice to you is to not give in to the problems in your neighborhood or our city. The solution is simple, let’s elect new leaders on April 9 & then hold the entire city council accountable
      for making things right.

      We the Citizens of Elgin must not give in or toss in the towel we must redouble our efforts to make our city a better place to live & work in. It can be done & it has been done before, so let’s work together to make this happen.

      Please contact me at either citizens4gavin@yahoo.com or call me at (847)697-8620 for details or to make suggestions.

      As P.M. Winston Churchill so famously said it “We must never, never, ever give up” while his nation stood alone against the most powerful military in WW II!

      • paul says:

        Frustrated??? Every home owner in Elgin ought to be Outraged.

        Ya know what’s really happening here, Frustrated? The 99 percenters really don’t care about the utter destruction of your quality of life! Clearly, city hall doesn’t care.
        “The solution is simple, let’s elect new leaders”

        Yeah!!! And who do you think Ernie is going to vote for? And Todd? And Sarah, and Occupy Elgin? And the rest of the 99%ers don’t really care because it is very very very unlikely that your problem is going to happen to us.

        So much for the fantasy simple solution. Now what, Terry?

        I’m not running for election. Here’s a option. Ask (demand) a face to face with each current council member and then get in their face. Go to city hall and demand action - take names. Put the word out here and anywhere else that you need physical presence support and some of us NOT running for election will be with you shoulder to shoulder. Yeah, the Occupy Elgin people will call us all kinds of nasty names. But they are already calling us that now behind closed doors. Our offense will be we stood up.

        P.S. Cody Holt is in support of the people next door to you. That he uses your frustration as an opportunity to pander for votes is an outrage.

  10. ElginSpirit says:

    Join us (@ElginSpirit) tonight at 6pm for #ElginGov Live Tweeting of the City Council Meetings - get into the discussion! the Grand Victoria Presentation at 6pm is getting special interest from followers already!


  11. Chuck Keysor says:

    A quick note, in January of 2012, I talked to a company called InfoUSA, they sell lists of businesses naming all the businesses within a City. They told me that since 2010, Elgin had lost over 200 companies. That included everything from small eateries, up to businesses like Elgin Corragated Carton.

    I learned yesterday that the “Can” company on W. Bartlet Road, Ball Inc, is closing later this year. Another big empty factory in Elgin. Now, where is that pick-up in the economy we are all waiting for? Chuck

  12. harmony says:

    Am I the only one to notice? When the information concern is heated against the established City mismanagement we get an advertisement from “Elgin Spirit” Paul I am with you let’s get in their faces. Frustrated get an appointment with who ever is running for re-election, you’ll be surprised how your problem will be solved so quickly. When a council person contacts the “mismanagement” of code enforcement the manager all of a sudden believe “his or her” world is being attacked AND WANT TO PROTECT THEIR OVERPAID SALARIES. Give them a call, in fact if you really want results call all that are running for office.

  13. harmony says:

    Sorry folks but the problem that “frustrated” has really got me going.
    on some unfinished business, Chuck, you really worked hard on requiring foreclosed buildings be inspected. The City hired a private firm instead of hiring new staff to inspect.What are the results? How many multi-family units have been reconverted by ordinance back to single family use? How many illegal units have been discovered? Are they also corrected? How much money have we paid this private firm? And Terry, I commend you for your actions on taxation last year. But I remember hearing the mayor state that they ‘the City’ would do a comparison on staff pay, what happened there? They got my money in non-deductable property taxes. I am sure we will have an Elgin Spirit advertisement to follow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Harmony, the battle over the city’s BIGGEST tax increase is only beginning in this election and frankly this IS our last chance to reverse the trend. For if we the candidates running against the new taxes lose there will even be more taxes forced on us like the “rain water” tax and more.

      As for the city’s study on staff pay no such study has ever been produced even though a proposal for such a study was approved by the council some time ago. I really don’t know if such a study will do much good unless they find a way to compare public sector salaries against private sector salaries evenly
      . My experience with city staff tells me that no meaningful data will emerge, especially if it makes our city staff look bad or over payed. So I for one am not holding my breathe waiting. Even if the study shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’re over paying our staff, will they correct the problem?

      • Terry Gavin says:

        Oops, the post above was mine but I forgot to put my name on it.

        Harmony, the battle over the city’s BIGGEST tax increase is only beginning in this election and frankly this IS our last chance to reverse the trend. For if we the candidates running against the new taxes lose there will even be more taxes forced on us like the “rain water” tax and more.

        As for the city’s study on staff pay no such study has ever been produced even though a proposal for such a study was approved by the council some time ago. I really don’t know if such a study will do much good unless they find a way to compare public sector salaries against private sector salaries evenly.
        My experience with city staff tells me that no meaningful data will emerge, especially if it makes our city staff look bad or over payed. So I for one am not holding my breathe waiting. Even if the study shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’re over paying our staff, will they correct the problem?

  14. Margaret Miller says:


    Thank you for you update on this appalling news! What do you attribute this too? Regulation, taxes, neighborhoods, economy, locations, bad management?

    I would like to hear your insight on this issue.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Margaret, I don’t have any insight on why the Can Factory has closed. A brother of a friend of mine works there, and he had no clue this was coming, and management hasn’t told them, other than to say it was a consolidation move to economize. Chuck

  15. Gibster says:

    Do we start a “Save the Tower” campaign or is it too late? @ElginTowerBuilding — http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/18251817-418/tower-building-could-be-left-largely-empty.html

    • SK says:

      The answer to your question is YES! It is an Elgin landmark the same as the watch factory. The watch factory wasn’t saved and people are still talking about what a disaster it was to have torn it down and not saved even a small portion of it. Should we, the citizens of Elgin, repeat history and make the SAME mistakes? I say NO! Just my 2 cents worth.

  16. Dottie says:

    Gibster, the answer to your question is no.

    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      I would not bother saving it. If I were the DNA I would try and get out of becoming the owner of the Tower. One of the lines in the article below.

      Pitcher has said that should the foundation ever fold, the DNA would become the building’s owner.

      • paul says:

        “If I were the DNA I would try and get out of becoming the owner of the Tower. ”

        Apparently DNA agrees with you. DNA is writing a check for $8500 to ensure the Tower foundation keeps the Tower.

        That the Tower foundation refuses to open its financial books in return for taxpayer money, says something!

  17. Crysta says:

    I’m glad to see the candidate questionnaires again this year! They’re always very interesting, both for what is said and to see what candidates avoid.

    I’m aggregating all the details about candidates, forums, etc on my site, http://www.elginelections.com, and including links to your questionnaires as they go live. Thanks!

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Hello Crysta. Thanks for setting up your campaign tracking/information site. In looking at your site, I was a bit surprised as I didn’t see any references or links to the Elgin OCTAVE’s campaign information.

      Specifically, we held this year’s first candidate forum, and it has been posted on You Tube. So far 129 people had watched the first part. We also conducted a survey of the candidates to find out where they stand on matters of taxing and spending. The survey and all the answers are also on line.

      I think you would be making a valuable addition to your site by adding links to our information. Thanks, Chuck

      See the complete candidate forum here: http://elginoctave.weebly.com/video.html
      See the survey here: http://elginoctave.weebly.com/

      • Crysta says:

        Hi Chuck,

        I originally posted links to the OCTAVE forum videos/surveys from the Forum page (http://elginelections.com/forums/), since it was related to the January forum. But good point - I’ll add it to the general list of resources, too. Thanks!


  18. SIE says:

    I posted this elsewhere on the site but thought more might see it here. I encourage everyone to consider Mr. Dresang’s obviously erroneous statement related to Property Taxes before they vote.

    Mr. Dresang’s comment in the DH “It’s a misnomer that property taxes are high,” shows he doesn’t have a clue. In Cook County Elgin’s property tax rate is higher than any neighboring municipality, and other than some south Suburban communities is one of the highest in the county. Perhaps he should look at the rates before making such an idiotic statement. He won’t be getting my vote.


  19. ElginSpirit says:

    Tuesday February 26th is the Consolidated Primary for the 2-year Elgin City Council Seat. There are 9 candidates in this primary election, you vote for one and the top two move on to the April 9th Consolidated Election for all Council Seats. You can vote at your regular poling place between 6am - 7pm.

    You can learn more about the individual 2-year candidates at http://www.ElginElections.com

    There will be a candidate forum at 1:00pm Sunday 2/24 at the Gail Borden Public Library for 2-year candidates - Sponsored by the League of Woman Voters. http://elginspirit.com/ai1ec_event/candidate-forum-2-year-seat-lwv/?instance_id=

    Information on Consolidated Elgin Elections is also found at http://www.ElginSpirit.com

    2/26 Primary Voting Info: http://elginspirit.com/ai1ec_event/city-council-primary-election-for-2-year-seat/?instance_id=

  20. harmony says:

    What a deal! ECC buys City property along McLean Blvd for $8 Mil. And the City wants to buy property at the old state hospital, that they once owned and gave away to the nut place that went to Randal and I90. The minute this City staff sees money they spend it. They should of never gave this land away in the first place.

  21. Left Right and You

    Tuesday’s guest is Rich Dunne from the Elgin City Council. Rich will join us and talk about the Elgin election and the policies of the current board.

    As usual liberal Jeff Ward and conservative Allen Skillicorn will be discussing about the weeks hottest issues and breaking out the common sense.

    Please tune in to Left Right and You every Tuesday 3-4pm CST on am1410 or http://tunein.com/radio/WRMN-1410-s22500/

    Click here to LIKE Left Right and You on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LeftRightandYou/

  22. Chuck Keysor says:

    Thanks Allen. Now you don’t need to send me an email reminder to tune in! Chuck

  23. Clarence Hayward says:

    If you are undecided on who to vote for today for the two year city council position for what it is worth my wife, Brenda Hayward, and myself are voting for Toby Shaw. See his elginite.org questionairre below and also his Daily Herald profile.

    The Daily Herald endorsed Toby for the position.


    Toby’s candidate profile on the Daily Herald:


  24. Chuck Keysor says:

    Here are the vote totals for the primary, (Cook plus Kane)
    Shaw: 614
    Dresang: 224
    Chin: 212
    DeBrocke: 166
    Dusenberry: 129
    Wegman: 111
    McCarthy: 71
    Chapman: 54
    Schultz: 37

    Congratulations to all the candidates for stepping out and taking a risk! Chuck

  25. Gibster says:

    Sooooooo close for Chin in late-night-website-counting, alas the Cook County results have come in and it will be Toby Shaw and Craig Dresang for the 2-year seat 4/9.


  26. Notice that the smaller gov’t, lower tax candidates received 1283 votes vs. status quo tax/spend Dresang/Wegman received only 335 votes?

  27. Well the 4 year race only has 3 fiscal conservatives: Terry Gavin, John Prigge, and Cody Holt. Hopefully all the liberals and former employees split the tax and spend vote.

    • RS says:

      I would not consider Cody Holt a fiscal conservative, but Rosemarie Kahn sounds like one:


      • Cody Holt says:

        I would take offense to that Rick! Everyone has their own opinion. I am fiscal conservative. But if you are interested I would love to clear up any misconceptions that you may have about my fiscal views and political views in general.

        • paul says:

          I’m in agreement with you there, Cody.

          Anyone with the understanding of ICLEI and the very real dangers of their socialist communist fascist totalitarian agenda is most likely inherently a conservative.

        • RS says:

          hi cody,
          when scott walker pushed through his budget repair bill in wisconsin in 2011 he exempted the police and fire unions. did you support that decision?

          • Cody Holt says:

            As much of a fan as I am of Scott Walker; I disagree with his judgement on allow those exemptions. I will tell you why. If I was in his spot, I would show the people that I don’t favor public or private unions. Especially since the tax payers foot the salary of fire and police officials. Collective bargaining for all public unions must be limited, as not to run up the bill on the taxpayers.

          • Cody Holt says:

            Just one correction. *If I was in his spot I would show the people that I don’t favor private or public unions above one or the other.

  28. elginkevin says:

    South West Area Neighbors and Gifford Park Association are hosting a Neighborhood Candidate Forum on March 9th 2pm.

    The forum will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, 330 Griswold Street.

    More information here:


    and here: