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June open thread

1 June 2014 Elgin Illinois 78 Comments

Open thread for June!

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78 Responses to “June open thread”

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  1. Margaret Miller says:

    Happy Day!

  2. James Madison says:


    The fifth largest state in the nation passed one of the most impactful progressive voting reforms last week, a move that will likely result in hundreds of thousands of new voters.
    On Friday, both Illinois legislative chambers approved HB 105, a bill that allows state residents to register to vote on Election Day. The Land of Lincoln had previously cut off voter registration three days before Election Day.

    The bill passed by wide margins; 39-17 in the Senate and 64-41 in the House. It now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) desk, who is expected to sign the legislation.

    Election Day registration is, in many ways, the anti-voter ID. Voter ID laws, which have been en vogue among conservatives recently, could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters (though different studies have reached different conclusions regarding how many voters will be disenfranchised by voter ID, even conservative estimates suggest that 2 to 3 percent of registered voters will be impacted). Election Day registration, on the other hand, tends to boost turnout between 7 to 14 percentage points, according to scientific studies. These gains come predominantly from the very groups that voter ID tends to discriminate against: minorities, young voters, and low-income Americans.

    There are a few reasons why Election Day registration has such a significant impact on turnout. Requiring people to register before they actually cast a ballot presents an extra hurdle to voting that necessarily depresses turnout. In addition, many Americans don’t begin paying attention to an election until just before Election Day, at which point it is too late to register in many states. Finally, nearly one in eight Americans move in an average year. Unless they remember to update their voter registration before Election Day or live in a state with Election Day registration, they can’t vote.

    Election Day registration has grown increasingly popular in blue states recently, likely in response to the rash of voter suppression laws since 2010. In the past two years, four other states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Hawaii — have enacted Election Day registration, bringing the total number of states to 13, plus the District of Columbia.


    • Chuck Keysor says:

      James, why even bother to have voter registration at all? Just let anybody walk in to the polling station and vote. After all, it can be pretty inconvenient to rush off and register right before you go to vote.

      And for that matter, it is kind of a hassle to get off to the polling station to go and vote. I mean really, look at those lines people had to endure in November 2008 and 2012. It may have taken me 30 minutes to vote. In some cities people had to wait for hours standing in the hot sun just to get into the polling station. We could eliminate that hurdle to voting by letting people come to your door and asking you if you want to be signed up to permanently vote straight Democrat. Just think of the barriers to voting we could eliminate with that progressive move.

      And if you want to gain some sense of immortality, you could ask to be signed up as a straight Democratic ticket voter into eternity. After all, if you could live forever, wouldn’t you want to vote Democrat anyway? Think of all the work that will save in Chicago where they wouldn’t need to bother to go register the dead to vote? And isn’t it stirring to imagine how dramatically we can increase our voter participation?


      • Zreebs says:

        Several thoughts…

        1) From what I have seen Republicans are much more likely to vote straight Republican than Democrats are willing to vote straight Democratic.

        2) There is no justification for having to wait in long lines to vote. There are a lot of people who have to work two jobs in order to get by. Having a line of even 1/2 hour discourages people from voting - especially those people who work long hours. Whether these people are more likely to vote Democratic is irrelevant.

        3) No one I know believes we should be able to sign up to permanently and automatically vote for a straight line ticket. And I suspect you don’t know anyone who believes that either. But you suspect Democrats believe that because it conveniently fits into your incorrect assumptions of how Democrats think.

        • RS says:

          3) No one I know believes we should be able to sign up to permanently and automatically vote for a straight line ticket.

          I would like that very much actually.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Zreebs, maybe you should change your name to Duh. Sometimes my writing is foggy. Sometimes it is totally direct. In this case, it was doused with sarcasm. I have taken a logical yet sarcastic extension of the totally lame notion that it is hard for people to vote.

        For goodness sakes, look in Afghanistan, thousands of people hiked for miles on foot, and then stood in line for hours to vote, while under constant threat of being shot or even bombed. And here, we say getting some form of ID is difficult and imposes an excessive barrier to voting.

        And your knee jerk reaction that Republicans are much more likely to vote straight Republican then Democrats are shows your totally unreasoned simple level of Democratic loyalty. Both parties are comprised of mostly lazy voters, who if they do go out and vote tend to vote for their party, its like mindlessly backing your team no matter how terrible they may be (Cubs anyone?).

        And polling has shown the voters who are being kept away by these simple “barriers” to voting are Democrats. Do you think the Democratic party is pushing all these lame attempts to make voting easier than falling out of bed, are doing so out of compassion? If so, you are naïve. If you want confirmation, realize that the Republicans read the same poles, and that is why they respond by wanting to keep out these lazy voters.

        And I will be the first to admit that if the poles showed that Republican voters were likely to turn out if all the rules were tossed out (as the Democrats are doing), the Republicans would be doing just what the Democrats are doing today.

        Both party/machines are human organizations that are driven by selfish interests of self preservation, and not kindness or compassion. Again, if you think otherwise, you are wearing rose colored glasses with blinders for good measure. Don’t you mind just being a little cog in a heartless machine?


        • Zreebs says:

          First of all, while you may vote straight Republican, I don’t ever recall voting either straight Republican or straight Democratic in my life. Voting is too important for me to vote for someone just because they are in my party.

          I do not believe for a nanosecond that most Democrats would support voting suppression if the shoe were on the other foot. Your logic on this is that you would suppress the vote, so Democrats would do it too - because you don’t think Democrats have stronger values than Republicans.

          I see no reason whatsoever that we need to make voting more difficult other than for partisan reasons. In my opinion doing so is pure evil.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Well your expressions in goodness of most Democrats belies your likely blind loyalty to the Democrats.

            A couple of months ago, I read an article in The Week, that showed the percentages of people in polls who claimed they vote independent, picking from both parties, and then compared those figures to actual ballots/voting tallies. The reality proved to be that far more people like to say they are independent than who really are, again based upon actual voting. People know that it sounds better to say that they vote independent, even when that is not what they do.

            When I was a poll watcher at St. Mary’s voting station in November 2012, I was shocked to see that almost everyone voted Democrat for every position. It was a tidal wave for the Democrats. No breaking from the party line there, as most people had to have just voted straight Democrat for such a lopsided landslide.

          • Zreebs says:

            Chuck, I assume the point of your last post is that you feel I was lying when I said I don’t ever recall voting for a straight party ticket. You an argue all you want that I have blind loyalty to the Democrats. I know otherwise. While I consider myself more of a Democrat than an independent, I am closer to the GOP on several issues: free trade, immigration and unions come immediately to mind.

            it is very possible that many people vote differently in the privacy of a booth than what they tell other people. But it seems foolish to suggest that most are not telling the truth; otherwise polling would have been discredited a long time ago. There have been times when the polls have been wrong (the last set of polls suggested that Kerry would defeat Bush), but usually they are close to being right on. So if some Democrats are lying when they say they are voting for both parties, then an equal number of Republicans are also lying. But that doesn’t change what appears obvious to me: most people are telling the truth.

  3. James Madison says:

    Chuck, you either believe in a democracy or you don’t. There really is not middle ground. The Republicons have put so many barriers in front of potential voters for one single reason–to keep participation low. This obviously favors money (and money is speech according to the current Supreme Court ruling) and the monied class. Under Reagan, there was a choice to be made: capitalism or democracy. He and the Republicons since have chosen capitalism over democracy at every possible turn. If we can have more people participating in a democratic process, the more likely we are to have better outcomes over time. Obviously, there is an entire generation of Gen Xers who have no idea about the political process or interest in learning about competing ideas. But that is our form of government and the organization design we have chosen to manage this country. We deserve the politicians we get. More people with the franchise will encourage more talented individuals to enter the process. Not under the gridlocked conditions of the Elgin, Springfield and Washington, but under a system that values diverse opinions for the sole purpose of doing better things for more of our citizens. I think we believe in the same things, Chuck. I think we see the means to achieve those ends as quite different.

    Remember those people who stood in line for hours did so in mostly Republicon and poorer neighborhoods where voting was intentionally slowed due to insufficient machines or ballots or judges. Any obstacle that could be put in the face of those voters was created. (You have to only look at the fiasco of the 2000 Florida presidential outcome to see how vested interest have no intention of creating a voter-driven outcome for any election.)

    • paul says:

      “you either believe in a democracy or you don’t.”

      Hilarious given your recent hate filled baseless unsubstantiated rant against Prigge for saying essentially the same thing. That you prefer your council members selected on the illegal basis of sex and race by the 5 liberal city council members rather than an election by the citizens at large speaks volumes about you.

      “The Republicons have put so many barriers in front of potential voters”

      Just like the Obama administration has so completely proven with their Bergdahl explanations, if your lips are moving you are lying.
      “Barriers” Yet hilarious you can’t/don’t/won’t name a single barrier. Just like Obama, apparently your belief is if you say it, it must be true despite lack of any evidence.
      “Barriers”! Can hardly wait for you to babble about having to prove who you say you are is some sort of “barrier” in an age when you have to prove who you say you are when you buy alcohol, cash a check, use a credit card, get on an airplane, or cash your welfare check (probably not for welfare checks in this new age of Democratic fraud).

      “Under Reagan, there was a choice to be made: capitalism or democracy.”

      Your lips are moving again. No basis, no evidence, no substantiation.

      Clearly, you have no shame. None, zero, zip.

  4. Chuck Keysor says:

    James, I have gotten caught up in a bunch of things,,, just quickly as I eat my oatmeal……… As the father of our constitution, your views have changed an awful lot in the last 200+ years, which I suppose is fair. Back in 1790’s you supported having only adult male property owners vote. It wasn’t until 1850 that the requirement to own property was dropped. Women didn’t get the right to vote until 1920. 18 year olds got the right to vote in 1971, and motor voter rules came into effect in 1995.

    But as to flooding the polling places by removing barriers to entry, I would say that while that works in presidential races where uniformed people are conned into voting for a hyped up ersatz rock star, the election results at the local level, continue to decline. I had wanted to research that point, but because of other constraints, have not done so. So I will leave that to the curious to investigate.

    My other point which is my opinion, is that if I were king, I would say people’s party affiliation could not be placed on the ballot on the national or state level. Let people decide to vote for who they want to vote for, but to just walk into a polling station, and mindlessly just mark all the “D” or the “R” candidates, and to virtually ignore anyone without such a letter, is really terrible.

    I have a good friend who is on the Kane County board, and maybe 10 years ago, she switched parties. Before doing so, she asked our neighborhood group how they would view that. Everyone said, gee, we know and like you, we will vote for you no matter what letter is by your name. She said that with the shifting demographics in Elgin, that she saw that she would soon become unviable as a Republican.

    In 2012, she ran and totally clobbered her GOP opponent. It was not out of virtue. Both candidates were qualified, but I was a poll watcher in that election, and I got to look at the polling station “tapes”, and clearly all the people who crammed the polling station, mostly for the second times in their lives, all just went down the line, from the top of the ballot to the bottom, and marked the D candidates. If the ersatz rock star would have been a Republican, they would have stupidly just gone down and marked all the R candidates. As noted, in this tidal wave, my converted Democratic friend won in landslide proportions.

    If we had no D’s or R’s on the ballot, (which will never happen, since I am not king, and the party machines have a strangle hold on these things) it is my belief that we would in fact get more balanced election results. Your plan to simply cram the booths with people who will mindlessly vote straight party tickets does nothing to foster individual examination of each candidates and their credentials or qualifications.

    My favorite example of the blessings confirred by having selection made by letter/party only, is the case of Illinois Rep. Derrick Smith. He was caught red handed accepting a $7000 in an FBI sting. He won his next election. Tons of publicity saying what had happened, shortly before the election. And Jessie White, his previous sponsor, took out ads saying don’t vote for Derrick Smith. Yet the fact that he had the letter “D” by his name was all that he had, and all that he needed to win the election. Straight party line voting and its problems are not something you should be proud to endorse, and that is what you will be getting. That is the same power that allows one party to effectively rule the State of Illinois, and has the “machine” running in hyper-drive. Deny that if you will, but this is what you grand vision of fairness and inclusivity has brought us to.

    Again, since we are saying what we think would improve the quality of elections, you say maximizing the number of voters is what is needed, I say that only benefits the corrupt political machine that is Illinois. I say the best thing that should, but never will happen, is to eliminate all D’s and all R’s from the ballots. Then any candidate would have a chance to stand on their own.

    Chuck (Rats, now my oatmeal is cold, and tastes like glue…..)

    • James Madison says:

      Dear Chuck,

      Am in agreement with 90% of above and am extremely sorry to be the cause of your cold oatmeal (I owe you a hot one (oatmeal, that is).)

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        James, don’t feel bad about my cold oatmeal. That seems to happen a lot when I am reading my emails in the morning.

        Maybe I sound jaded, but I am thinking this is realistic, I had previously posted a link to a speech by Pat Cadel, which I found very interesting. He suggested that the bulk of politics is all about self preservation of the machinery of the existing political parties. The Democrats have their standard line that they feed to attract their masses strictly to sustain the system. The GOP has their standard line that they feed out to sustain their bases.

        Their standard lines will shift over time, not to reflect the will of the people, but to sustain their machines by pandering to their bases. The people who believe that there is ideology at the heart of their preferred parties are just being duped to sustain the machinery of those in power.

        Not to pick on the Democrats, but in this case it is still fresh in my mind. I saw Culerton and Madigan on a WTTW Springfield wrap-up late last week. They were talking about how “We” need to spend $100,000,000 to bring the Obama Library to the State of Illinois. They said it will spur tourism and reap a positive return on investment for the taxpayers. With my jaundiced eye, they are really jumping at the chance to engage in massive crony capitalism, and award huge contracts to their buddies, and to buy land from their friends. All of which buys them further influence with their buddies, the union guys getting the jobs, all the way up to the President, who will not need to bother to do fund-raising for his own library (as Clinton, Bush, Truman, and probably the rest did for their own libraries). All of this influence and cronyism strengthens the machine. Not a bit of it is for the good of the taxpayers.

        That is one of the things I like about City Council politics, at least no one is getting their votes due to a “D” or “R” label next to their name on the ballot and big party machines are not battling for control of the council.


        • James Madison says:

          100% agreement with the Obama Library thought: he and his friends can raise that money in a weekend. Hell, he could raise this in one dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg or Steve Ballmer.

    • RS says:

      Well I think those decisions about people need to be made at the primary election. Once the primary is over, the general election is an automatic thing. If you have a political philosophy, you probably have a party and it only makes sense to vote for your party’s candidate.

      So to me it’s perfectly logical for people to check all the Rs or all the Ds. Anything else, in fact would imply that they have no political philosophy and are voting for non-political reasons (voting for a friend, voting based on looks, etc).

      The few exceptions are seats that are not political and are not stepping stones to higher political office. Also, at times a party’s candidate is so bad that they can actually harm the party’s reputation by winning the election. In that case it’s better for them to lose the election and exit politics.

      In all other cases you just vote for your party’s candidate. I pay no attention to the presidential election for example once the primary is over. Whoever is my party’s candidate will get my vote (if I bother to vote). In a presidential election it’s important to vote for your party’s candidate, regardless of how much you hate him, for both obvious and non-obvious reasons. One less-obvious reason is that the president is responsible for thousands of appointments (more than 6,000). Many of those ex-officials will eventually become future candidates with a strong resume. If you want your party to have a deep bench, you better make sure it controls the White House.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        I’m sorry RS, voting D or R is just feeding the machines of power. If I don’t know anything about a candidate, or have gotten recommendations from people I trust, I won’t vote for them. Well, that is true for the last 10 years. Chuck

      • RS says:

        I will add another exception:

        When your party is at an insurmountable numerical disadvantage in the legislature, it can be better to vote for the other party’s candidate if they are moderate politically and capable of effecting change on specific issues of importance.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Paul, the long term Republican who changed to Democrat is Deborah Allan. I didn’t use her name, because I was simply making a point about the consequences of the changing shift to democratic voting in our area and how some politicians react to the reality that so many people engage in mindless straight partly line voting.

        RS: I was incredulous that you would say that “the Republican party more so than the other one is sick with hero worship”!!! If Barak Obama isn’t the biggest fraud, over-hyped under-achieving phony rock star, who won two elections and a Nobel Peace Prize on totally undeserved hero worship, I don’t know who is.

        Tell me who in the Republican party could even hold a candle to this total fraud. Finally his façade has finally crumbled to the point that even his most ardent supporters are realizing that he will go down in history as one of our worst presidents ever. Did the GOP engage in any hero worship of George W. Bush? None that I know of. No hero worship of George H. W. Read My Lips Bush either. Even Ronald Reagan, who I liked a lot, proved to be a big disappointment in his second term with secret arms deals, and Nancy’s para-psychic craziness going on in the white house.

        Of course we won’t even start to mention what Bill I Didn’t Have Sex With That Woman Clinton did in the White House. That makes Nancy Reagan’s astrologers look pretty innocent. Nixon, no hero worship there, unless someone worships him as one of the greatest dirt-bag presidents ever! And LBJ has not been redeemed in the eyes of history for his explosion of America’s role in Vietnam. I think that the only president that is idolized is JFK. And had the press been not looking the other way, (out of personal idol worship), the hanky panky by JFK would have put Bill Clinton to shame and left JFK’s legacy in the ash pit.

        It is amazing that despite so many highly flawed presidents, that our country has been as successful as it has been! Hero worship?????????? I don’t think so…….. Chuck

    • paul says:

      “she would soon become unviable as a Republican.”

      Did you know, CHuck, that the Republican Party actually has a philosophy based on principles of freedom and liberty? The Democratic party - not so much. Near as I can tell the Democratic Party’s philosophy is based on the principle of thievery: Steal other people’s money to enrich themselves and give some to other people for the purpose of them helping to steal more of other people’s money.

      Why is “she” anonymous? Put a name to she who abandons her principles for the extreme greed of extending her political career to do what?

      Don’t know about you, Chuck. But I’d rather lose an election than my principles. Which explains my military service, too. I’ll give my life before I give up my liberty and freedom. Which also explains why most military lean Republican. Which also explains why Demorats hate and fear the 2nd amendment(and the 1st).

      • RS says:

        Well the Republican party more so than the other one is sick with hero worship.

        • RS says:

          And it’s hero worship that’s responsible for this kind of BS


          Walker’s bold pension reforms did not extend to public safety employees in the state — local police, firefighters and state troopers in particular. Those first responders effectively got a pass on Act 10, exempted from the pension clause, among other provisions.

          And that omission has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

          The Fiscal Bureau’s projections on Act 10 also looked at the amount local “protective occupation employees” would have paid over the past two years, had they been required to contribute to their pensions. The analysis also attempted to capture the costs associated with future public safety employee contracts, subject to change because of the status quo collective bargaining powers of those unions.

          Including firefighters in special districts, the analysis projected the state would miss out on at least $62.7 million in savings. That’s money that could have gone to put more first responders on the street, perhaps making furloughs and job cuts unnecessary. Or the money could go back to the taxpayer.

        • paul says:

          “Well the Republican party more so than the other one is sick with hero worship.”

          yeah, we need to stop idolizing champions of freedom like Lincoln and Reagan. Start idolizing liberals idolize like Karl Marx.

          And nice strawman, RS. Completely ignore the issues at hand and desperately attempt to steer the issues to being about Scott Walker. Really?????

          If Lincoln had lost the 1860 election to the Demorats would slavery still exist in the CSA?

      • James Madison says:


        you have the ramblings of a madman. You need to be carefully watched.

  5. RS says:


    It then became time for members of the crowd to address the board. Some, including student Clay Ball, voiced sentiments such as “I rejoice with your decision to retain the current staff.” But others, such as Mary Shesgreen of the Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice, and psychologist Pam Verner, spoke about the rising gap between rich and poor and said that the custodians, most of whom make less than $10 an hour, should get raises rather than being targeted for cost savings while President Sam recently got a raise of his base salary from $230,000 to $260,000 and a boost in his total salary and benefits from about $340,000 to about $426,000 during the coming year.

    I can’t believe they’re paying him $426,000.

    Average salary information for community college presidents:


    - The reported median salary for all respondents in 2012 was $167,000 and mean base salary was $173,848.

    - Median total cash compensation reported was $177,642 and mean total cash compensation was $182,982.

    ECC Trustees are to blame of course, especially Duffy. He’s totally out of touch. What is he, two hundred years old now? Time to take a hike.

    Sam’s benefits include a bonus equal to 10 percent of his salary — $26,000 this year — for not leaving ECC, to be paid every Feb. 1; $67,675 in retirement fund contributions; a housing allowance equal to 10 percent of his base salary; a $6,000 car allowance; up to $12,000 in business expenses; and insurance premiums.

    That’s right, a cash bonus of $26,000 every year “for not leaving ECC.” In other words, for working. Normally we would say that’s a part of the salary, but then they don’t want to make that base salary look so high, do they? $286,000 base salary might outrage some voters after all, so let’s take $26,000 out of that and put his base salary at $260,000. That way he won’t be the highest paid community college president in Illinois, going by base salary. WIth all the extras, adding up to $426,000, there’s no doubt he’s the highest paid community college president in Illinois. He earns more than the average president of a public research university, according to the Chronicle of HIgher Education.

    Are you guys going to vote these trustees out or what?

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      RS: Again, this pay scale for Dr. Sam should be an outrage to everyone. How can he be worth so much money? Has he no shame? Shouldn’t he be embarrassed to accept such an excessive pay package? Wouldn’t it be nice if he declined what by your figures is an exceptionally outrageous compensation package?

      Thank you for posting this information, Chuck

      • RS says:

        My pleasure. I hope OCTAVE in the future will take notice of the other taxing bodies. All of them need to be scrutinized and kept in check: the city, U-46, ECC, etc.

        Maybe you guys can delegate a member for each body who will stay on top of things, attend meetings, etc., and report to your entire group. Just a thought.

  6. RS says:

    Senseless violence kind of like A Clockwork Orange right here in Elgin. How lovely.


    An 87-year-old man was practicing golf near the baseball fields in Wing Park when he was attacked by three teenage male teens, according to Elgin police.

    According to a release, the teens struck the victim in the head and face with the golf clubs. The victim was able to get in his car and drive a short distance from the offenders. The teens fled with the golf clubs. The victim was treated for his injuries at the scene.

  7. RS says:

    Any theories here? Is this the beginning of the zombie apocalypse?


    An Elgin man ran across the street to attack another man walking in the area of Raymond and National Street Thursday morning, biting and striking the victim for no apparent reason, police said.

    Bail was set at $75,000 Friday for Tyler E. Conley, 31, of the 300 block of Watch Court. He has been charged with a Class 3 felony count of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and resisting a police officer for the attack. According to police, the victim was left with a severe laceration to a thumb — bit by Conley during the attack — a broken nose and eyes that were swollen shut from the beating.

    According to police, officers were called at 7:06 a.m. to Raymond and National streets following a 911 call. Several witnesses reported observing a male subject, later identified as Conley, striking another man in the face and head with his hands. Officers arrived on scene and saw Conley on top of the 49-year-old victim who was on the ground.

    According to police, officers dragged Conley off of his victim, but he was able to pull away and renew his attack.

    Or is it just bath salts?

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      RS: There was an interesting story on 60 Minutes tonight about the criminal repercussions of our having closed the mental institutions and turned all of the mentally ill out on the streets. Multiple mass murderers were cited that were the lone paranoid schizophrenics that in olden days would have been locked away.

      Tom Dart was interviewed, and he says that the Cook County Jail has become a replacement warehouse facility for the dangerously mentally ill. He indicated that such a facility was totally inadequate and inappropriate for dealing with such people.

      Now, what the issue is with Tyler Conley, I can’t even begin to guess. But the 60 Minutes case is more likely than zombies.


      • RS says:

        Yeah it’s possibly mental illness, but there’s also a nationwide epidemic of people using “bath salts.” So I don’t know which is more likely.

        There have been frequent reports of bath salt usage leading to zombie-type attacks.

  8. Harmony says:

    I am disappointed that recently my identity has been revealed from this site. Let this be warning to all who use tag names. Needless to say this will be my last post. I guess you just can’t trust anyone anymore. Any comments on how this happened RS? Chuck?

    • RS says:

      The only way somebody could have figured out your real world identity is by textual analysis of your comments.

      People make guesses all the time (based on writing style, unique information divulged, opinions, etc.) about the identity of posters. But unless you confirm it, it’s just a guess.

      I don’t even know who anybody is unless they post under their real name.

    • One Vote says:

      Ellie Light revealed!
      Did I miss something?

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Harmony, I don’t worry about anybody discovering my true identity. Do you think Paul, One Vote, James Madison and bw would ever risk revealing their identities if this can be cracked?

        I think that everyone who posts under false names opens false email accounts for such purposes so that there is no way to be traced. If you haven’t done that, then you should. But it is simpler to just use your own name and not worry about getting exposed. Chuck

  9. Tim says:

    Who cares

  10. RS says:

    Does anybody know if there’s any Mexican takeout or store in town that sells freshly-made refried beans? Not as part of a meal. I just want the beans. And not from a can.

  11. James Madison says:

    Happy Father’s Day to all of you great commentators on all things Elgin.

  12. Chuck Keysor says:

    Thank you James, and the same to you! What a glorious day to be a father, and to remember our fathers. Chuck

  13. Margaret Miller says:

    This explains many things…It might be a good idea to stop drinking fluorinated water.

    What’s Your State’s Average IQ? New Map Purports to Have the Answer



    • Clarence Hayward says:


      How about contacting Elgin’s water chemist to find out how much fluoride we have in our water and report back? Give her or him this article as well to comment on.

  14. Margaret Miller says:

    Hello Clarence:

    Thank you for your response. This issue has already come before the City Council via Councilman Gavin. Please remember that fluoride is an industrial waste toxin.
    The state of Illinois mandates fluoride in drinking water.

    Here is the work around that bureaucracy.
    They offer a whole house system and I would also suggest changing out your shower head for one that removed fluoride and chlorine.

    Information on the Elgin water quality of drinking water can be found at the link below. Please note that a new report came out about two weeks ago via USPS but is not on the city website…yet. http://www.cityofelgin.org/DocumentCenter/View/45887

    Additional information can be found here.

    In 2010, the CDC and ADA Now Advise to Avoid Using Fluoride

    In 2011, the EPA reverses itself on fluoride

    So, ask yourself, with everyone reversing their position on this issue, why are we still being forced to drink this water?

  15. RS says:


    “HOPE’s overall community development plans for Elgin include, potentially, down payment and closing cost assistance for home buyers, funding for Habitat (for Humanity) to support some of their rehab work on properties donated to Habitat — foreclosures usually — and employer assisted housing grants to work with Elgin employers to offer home ownership assistance in Elgin as a perk for employees, and other targeted programs,” Houghtaling stated.

    As for the money’s source, according to HOPE’s newsletter from last fall, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 13 of its member organizations — including HOPE — are collaborating with Wells Fargo Bank to fund efforts in 19 cities “to foster home ownership, assist with rebuilding neighborhoods of color impacted by the foreclosure crisis, and promote diverse, inclusive communities.” In total, the big bank is providing $27 million to the NFHA for projects in communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, with HOPE getting $1.4 million from a settlement reached last summer.

    That settlement came after the NFHA groups “conducted assessments of REO (real estate owned) foreclosed properties owned or serviced by Wells Fargo and alleged that Wells Fargo maintained REO properties in African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods to a lower standard than in white neighborhoods, lowering property values and further decimating neighborhoods already hard hit by the foreclosure crisis,” the newsletter stated.


  16. RS says:


    He claimed a conversation with Cogley and Elgin police included Muscarello being told to stop having rap music played, not to host birthday parties but for regulars, and to fire his disc jockey — all of which he said he did. However, after the meeting, Police Chief Jeff Swoboda denied Muscarello had been given such advice.

    We need to embrace rap music. Our demographics are changing and we need to roll with it. Elgin should become the center of hip hop in Chicagoland. We need more bars, etc. for DJs, rap artists etc. to develop their talent and build a following. Music could be a significant industry for the downtown.

    • Margaret Miller says:


      Are you pulling my leg?

      I don’t know about anyone else but I have been rolling with a lot of issues in Elgin for a long time. I’ve come to the conclusion that the many things, I refer to as out of control have become the norm to the majority.

      I’m not sure Elgin should be the experiment for every idea. That’s a change I vote no

      • RS says:



        AEG found about 6,000 people employed in the local industry, earning a total $162.5 million in 2012, with the average worker bringing in roughly $27,000 a year. The number of establishments in the industry came out to be 486, with an average of 12 workers per establishment and total sales volume of $1.15 billion.



        But those core workers, including 378 musicians, helped generate an additional 3,492 jobs in everything from retail and wholesale to education, with a total economic impact of $840 million, defined as the total value of goods and services generated by musical and music-related activities.

        Overall, the study says, the music sector generates $91.6 million in federal and state tax revenues within the county.

        “In terms of its work force, the music industry is not large,” said Tom Schorgl, president and chief executive officer of CPAC. “What is large is the economic return on that small work force. If we were to encourage growth in that industry, we would generate more jobs, resulting in more employed people in Cleveland.”

        • Margaret Miller says:

          Gosh RS, it sure would have been nice to have included this information in your original post.

    • SM says:

      A supposedly ethnic “German” restaurant, owned by an Italian, that plays ghetto-rap music regularly, and frequented by gun toting gang bangers.

      Thats trendy, downtown Elgin for ya!

      • paul says:

        “A supposedly ethnic “German” restaurant, owned by an Italian, that plays ghetto-rap music regularly, and frequented by gun toting gang bangers.
        Thats trendy, downtown Elgin for ya!”

        LMAO. Thanks, SM. Well said.

        “Embrace it”, SM. Embrace it.

      • RS says:

        Well the main thing the city was complaining about was the birthday party. So if they didn’t have the birthday party at this downtown establishment, I wonder where it would have been held. Hmmm…maybe a house party next door to you?

        These are designated venues for drinking and partying. Let them be.

        You can’t be discriminating against people based on the music they listen to. “Ghetto rap” has been mainstream for decades now. Eazy-E has been dead since 1995 and Dr. Dre is now a billionaire.

        • paul says:

          “Well the main thing the city was complaining about was the birthday party. ”

          That is a flat out bald face LIE. What the city was complaining about was the underage drinker who proceeded to commit a felonious assault of stabbing someone. That and gunfire inside the establishment. That and Gausthaus not adhering to the terms of its business license, i.e. that the business is a restaurant with a liquor license, not a nightclub.
          Incredibly, no doubt to you, the Elgin police aren’t idiots. The EPD knows exactly where the problem establishments are - they are the ones who have to go there repeatedly to prevent the problems from spilling out into the streets.
          No, RS, the city is NOT trying to ban birthday parties.

          “Hmmm…maybe a house party next door to you?”

          Unwittingly, the perfect example. There are birthday celebrations every single day throughout Elgin, even in the house next door to me. Incredibly all these birthday parties DO NOT result in uncivil unlawful gunfire and stabbings.

          That you want to embrace the absolute worst elements of our society “Ghetto Rap” (gangsta rap) and emulate Detroit, Cleveland, Compton as something Elgin should aspire to is laughable.

  17. RS says:


    The lease would run $130,900 over its term, with $42,350.04 paid in monthly installments this year, $43,620.60 paid in 2015, and $44,929.90 paid over the course of 2016. The building owner pays for utility costs including water, electricity and heat. There is a three-year renewal clause with annual 3 percent increases built into it.

    I think it’s time to put money into a space that’s visible from the street level. That’s going to help the downtown more. We shouldn’t be spending it on a hidden space in a highrise.

    The Chicago Street area is where everything is happening now. How about the space next to Side Street Studios for example?

  18. RS says:


    We need to find a way to bring Electric Daisy to Elgin. It would require a huge venue but maybe we can just seal off the entire downtown. That would be so cool.

    • SM says:

      Surely you jest. I’m assuming you post articles like that just to yank everyone’s chain and to keep this blog rolling?

      You had to have read the article. But, just in case you missed the main points, let me interpret for you. The “festival” is leaving Joliet because of the rampant drug use, injuries, hospitalizations, critical injuries, noise complaints and huge police presence needed to oversee it. The mayor of the town also stated he doesn’t want it there anymore due to safety concerns.

      Now, it may just be me, but that’s not considered a very flattering portrayal of the event is it? And you actually want that imported here, with the entire downtown Elgin area sealed off to promote it?

      Tell me your kidding.

      • RS says:

        Well, it’s 65,000 people so there are bound to be issues. Even a small festival will have drug use, etc. I mean seriously, by gosh, I’m 100% sure there is drug use at your local bars and dance clubs. But most people who cause trouble don’t get into this kind of music so they’re not going to show up. As far as crowds go, this is one of the tamest crowds you’re going to get for any event.

        I’m sure most of the medical issues (and 30 people out of 65,000 is really nothing at all) here would have been just from exhaustion, dehydration etc. It’s dance music. That’s going to happen. As for noise, of course, it’s a music festival so what do you expect?

        I guess the people living in downtown need to agree to it since it’s going to keep them up all night, but if everybody can get on board (maybe they can be compensated somehow) it would be the coolest Electric Daisy ever.

        We could have like two levels of dance space by using the Fountain Square parking lot. Seal off Chicago, Grove, Spring St., etc. I think we can fit 65,000 in there somehow.

        It would be the best event in Elgin ever. I’m not kidding either!

        And there’s an opportunity now to make a move before Chicago grabs it. So I hope the city will reach out and say, “What can we do to make this happen in Elgin, the BEST city in the suburbs?”

        Hey, I can kind of like that. Maybe that should be added to the city slogan, IF we can get Electric Daisy. We will thenceforth be known not just as the City in the Suburbs, but The BEST City in the Suburbs. Booya!

  19. Cruex says:

    I didn’t see Anna Moeller anywhere near the charter school presentation Monday. I’m guessing Madigan told her to distance herself from any and all losses.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      She made an appearance at City Councile this evening. Campaigning for votes.

  20. James Madison says:

    ELGIN — Statewide and even with expanded gaming options statewide, Illinois has seen a 35 percent drop in gambling revenue since 2007, said Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal.

    That trend has also hurt the Grand Victoria Casino and the city’s riverboat fund. That fund is down $834,659 so far this year — a full 16.3 percent less than budgeted.

    During a special session Wednesday at the Centre of Elgin, Kozal and city staff asked the city council to begin thinking about how they want to address that budget shortfall, including finding new revenues, moving some expenditures to the general fund, or discontinuing some programs funded by the riverboat.

    The city of Elgin receives money from the riverboat in three separate ways — 5 percent of total gambling proceeds, $1 for every person who goes through a turnstile, and $1.7 million in land rental. The Grand Victoria Casino does not own the land on which the pavilion sits, Kozal noted.

    While the casino is working to bring gamblers back “and continue to find ways to bring that number back up,” Kozal said, changes likely are needed.

    Officials at the casino have approached the city about changing terms of the land lease, allowing more funds for promotion and improvements to attract gamblers, Kozal said.

    Elgin has not, traditionally, used riverboat funds for general expenses but for capital projects only, said City Manager Sean Stegall. That is one reason the city has a AAA bond rating — because it does not rely on those monies to pay bills, he said.

    In the 20 years the casino has projected its revenues, staff there has been “eerily accurate” in those projections, Stegall said. “We are way off” this year, he said.

    “We need to either take more money from reserves … or make cuts, or a combination of the two,” Stegall said.

    He plans to speak to council members individually or in small groups on what those cuts should look like, he said.

    “We don’t have the riverboat fund that we used to have,” he said. The days of using those funds for “non-core activities … are long behind us.”

    The council’s homework assignment, Kozal said, is to think about what it wants to do about the shortfall.

    That might include bringing back vehicle stickers, reconsidering city contributions to nonprofit agencies, and other capital purchase decisions, city staff said.

    During the 2015-16 budget sessions, Kozal said, “we will need to consider whether these subsidies can continue.”


  21. Chuck Keysor says:

    James, thanks for the article. Reading this, one would guess we are on the verge of a budget crisis. Now, these figures are from recollection, but aren’t too far off. The City budgeted a surplus of $7million in 2012, $10million in 2013, $13million in 2014. That is a HUGE pile of money of over-taxation, being held in reserve. How can I say this is a huge pile of $$$$????

    In 2006, our surplus was $554,099
    In 2007, our surplus was $2,219,572
    In 2008, we had a year end deficit of $1,657,285
    In 2009, we had a year end deficit of $1,223,014
    In 2010, we had a surplus of $918,448
    In 2011, we had as surplus of $652,000

    Well, we had a great bond rating those years. So why do we need to keep a $13,000,000 (or around there) surplus? Isn’t it easy to close a simple $834,659 due to the decline in the Riverboat income?

    That still leaves several million more in taxes we can easily cut to bring the historically excessive surplus down to a reasonable amount. Goodbye “Trash Tax” anyone?

    Thanks, Chuck

  22. Chuck Keysor says:

    PS: The figures for 2006 - 2011 are exact figures from my records. Chuck

  23. Gibster says:

    Hope for Fair Housing - ElgInstead campaign (www.elginstead.org)

    Recently my clients in the loop have been complimenting these ad spots heard on WBBM radio about how diverse and cultural Elgin is. What are your thoughts on this partnership with an outside non-profit promoting ‘their’ image of our city?


    • RS says:

      I haven’t seen any of their signage first hand but the flyer or whatever shown in the Tribune article doesn’t seem to say Elgin anywhere. All you see is “Elginstead,” which somebody in marketing might think is clever but which will mystify everybody else.

      I guess this is just the first installment of another $600K in ad spending, so I hope they will go back to the drawing board and come up with something better. Though I’m skeptical that they really want to come up with something better. They came into some money they need to spend and that’s that. What is their motivation?

      I don’t think they have any, that’s why they didn’t go to a professional marketing agency. The work is clearly very amateur. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody just handed the contract out to his brother or sister. Not saying it happened. Just saying I wouldn’t be surprised!

  24. Margaret Miller says:

    Here’s an interesting little study!

    Fastest-Growing Cities in Illinois

    It has taken Illinois longer to come out of the recession than other states and unemployment here (8.7% in January 2014) is still higher than the national average (6.6% in January 2014). However, there are many areas throughout the state showing signs of growth. The state was the eighth-largest source of tech jobs in the country in 2012, boosted by tech companies in Chicago and startups in Champaign, our #3 city. Vibrant and diverse Chicago suburbs continue to attract new residents and support local businesses, and in central Illinois, innovative redevelopment projects like Uptown Normal are attracting new investment to the region.

    • RS says:

      The state was the eighth-largest source of tech jobs in the country in 2012, boosted by tech companies in Chicago and startups in Champaign, our #3 city.

      We’re the 5th largest state (by population) and yet we’re only the 8th largest source of tech jobs.

  25. James Madison says:


    These ads are great. Too bad an outside (housing) agency put this campaign together rather than the Chamber, DNA or even the City of Elgin. But don’t look a gift horse…they are superbly created. “Their” image is what should be celebrated, not the negatives that we know exist (that each community also has).

    • Margaret Miller says:

      When was Anna Moeller ever concerned with anyone’s utility bill?

      It’s her M.O. To vote for anything that would bring in revenue.

      Just one of many examples to follow reflecting the left is sliding to the middle in an election cycle!

      Don’t get fooled again Elgin and citizens of the 43rd.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Anna High Tax Moeller is concerned about our utility bills pinching those who are struggling???? That is as big of a whopper as anyone could concoct!

      I hope that everyone recalls that in December 2011, Anna Moeller voted for Elgin’s massive tax increase that went into effect on 1/1/2012. She voted for it, along with the budget that created a gigantic budget surplus of $7million in 2012, $10million in 2013, and as I recall, $13 million in 2014! That proves that Anna Moeller is a supporter of MASSIVE over-taxation.

      And she was at the head of the pack when it came to ridiculing Toby Shaw’s proposal last fall that the City cut back some of Anna’s massive 2011 tax increase.

      The scary thing about Jeff Meyer beating Anna this fall, is that Anna may run to come back to the Elgin City Council! YIKES again!


      • Margaret Miller says:

        Hi Chuck,

        I’m happy that you pointed out that if Anna looses she may come back and run for Council. When I brought that fact up to several friends, they seemed to dismiss my thought on this and give it no credibility.

        Thank you

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          Hello Margaret. My having this thought doesn’t give it any credibility! It is simply a logical possibility. I would guess that everyone who has contemplated this election has generated similar scenarios.

          Perhaps the most likely result of her loosing to Jeff Meyer next November, would be for her to retreat into a mode of dejected defeat instead of turning around on a dime and starting a council race. We’ll have to wait and see!


          • Margaret Miller says:

            Exactly, it’s logical.

            I don’t underestimate Anna to jump start a Council race. After all, she started holding fund raisers last October. Her current gig was unforseen.

            If she was going to go away in shame, TLC should have taken care of that.

          • Chuck Keysor says:

            Let’s hope the TLC supporters carry their experience with Anna to the polls in the fall! Chuck

  26. RS says:

    Ok folks, time to move the discussion to the July open thread: