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May open thread

1 May 2015 Elgin Illinois 83 Comments

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83 Responses to “May open thread”

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  1. RS says:


    Is there a gang war going on or something in E town?

    Elgin police are investigating the third shooting in Elgin this month. It is the first shooting on the west side of the city.

    Police and emergency personnel were called to the parking lot of Wendy’s, 465 S. McLean Blvd, at about 9:20 p.m. Thursday, for a shooting. Police found a 20-year-old man who had been shot in the 1200 Block of Fleetwood Drive, according to Elgin police. The man was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    If there is, don’t expect EPD to solve it anytime soon. They have bungled more cases than they have solved.

  2. RS says:


    Thomason’s husband, Jim Thomason, is the general manager of the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin.

    The couple initially planned to have video gambling machines — which the casino industry has decried as eating away at revenues — in the Chinese restaurant, but scrapped that after a Daily Herald story detailed those plans.

    Well here you go. Simple solution to the problems of bars and restaurants not surviving in Downtown Elgin. Give them all liquor licenses and video gambling licenses. That will keep them in business. That simple policy can probably eliminate vacancies in Downtown Elgin.

  3. RS says:


    Then Bernstein, Napolitano and Mazzochi won the three available board seats in the April 7 election after getting Hamilton’s endorsement and echoing her criticism of Breuder and COD’s financial practices.
    They also promised to bring change to the board, which came under fire after awarding a $762,868 retirement package to Breuder.

    As part of that deal, Breuder will be paid about three times his base salary when he retires in March 2016. The agreement also requires the school to name its Homeland Security Education Center in his honor.

    The retirement package also sparked outrage from residents, students and faculty members. State lawmakers reacted by proposing measures to prevent other public institutions from approving similar agreements.

    Hamilton and her allies, meanwhile, have made it clear that they eventually would like to “claw back” Breuder’s retirement agreement.

    Too bad this kind of change did not come to the ECC board in the last election.

  4. RS says:


    Kozal also mentioned that the rest of Elgin’s downtown was added to the National Register of Historic Places in December 2014, meaning an additional 100 buildings might be able to take advantage of the program if it is extended.

    The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit program was put together to help five of the state’s river towns revitalize, particularly their old downtowns. Those cities include Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria, and Rockford.

    The program is set to expire Jan. 1, 2017. The River Edge extension bill would extend the program until January 2022…

    In Elgin, Capstone Development LLC of Missouri intends renovate the Tower Building, 100 N. Grove Ave., at a cost of $13 million. When completed, the building would hold a mix of 45 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $863 to $1200 per month.

    Capstone would pay the building’s owner, the Stickling Foundation, $1 million for the property. The developer is budgeting $8 million for hard constructions costs, including contingencies.

    Capstone plans to utilize approximately $2.09 million in federal historic tax credits and $2.6 million in the state’s historic tax credit program. Elgin has committed to provide $4.7 million of development assistance through tax increment funds for the project.

    Chicago developer Richard Souyoul, who is partnering with Capstone said that the tax credits could contribute 18 percent to the funding the Tower project. With the program set to expire, Souyoul said, “Time is tight, and we’re teetering on the fence (in getting the project financed).”

  5. Chuck Keysor says:

    Who is happy their new property tax bill? Elgin’s part of my tax bill last year was $537, and this year it is $644. Too bad these bills don’t come out the week before the elections….. Chuck

    • Jimmy McGill says:

      Why don’t you ask FRWRD? They’ve more tax money than they know what to do with.

    • RS says:

      Well if city officials need an excuse they can always blame the ever-bumbling Jack Cunningham, Kane County Clerk.


      The Kane County Clerk’s Office prepared taxpayers for the shock of the correction by sending out a letter in February admitting their mistake and warning that Kane tax bills would be going up this summer as a result. But when an FAQ section on the Kane County website apparently pointed the finger of blame for rising bills at District U46 leaders, last week the school district sent an email to all parents and employees saying that only 0.24 percent of the increase in Kane County U46 taxes was due to the district asking for more money. The rest of the Kane increase was all being imposed by state officials to make up for the county’s own valuation mistake, the message said…

      Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham could not be reached for comment.

  6. RS says:

    An interesting article in Bloomberg about how Italians are managing to survive and even thrive in an environment of globalization and low cost overseas competition.


    Techniques such as the 3D printing used by Pomini and Armani have helped turn northeastern Italy into an unlikely hothouse of innovation. Last year growth in the region was positive for the first time since 2007, at 0.5 percent. Exports rose by 3.5 percent in 2014 and are expected to keep climbing. In the province of Trento, for instance, the public and private sectors together invest some 2?percent of gross domestic product in research and development. At the Centro Moda Canossa—a trade school in Trento for children age 14 to 18 specializing in fashion design and tailoring—the faculty recently added a class in which students incorporate 3D printing, laser cutting, and microcontroller chips into their designs. “You can’t offer a job from the past. Nobody will come,” says Michele Bommassar, 36, the school’s vice director. “You have to offer the jobs of the future.” He points to a student project, a purse with a laser-cut pattern on its flap and an interior that lights up when it’s opened: “It’s beautiful, but we believe it is also necessary. The alternative?is to be eaten by others.”

    What lessons can Elgin learn from this?

    They actually invest in R&D and have trade schools for teenagers. What do we have? Disastrous decision-making. ECC decides to spend $20M just for the first phase of a new facility in Burlington to train…firefighters! Yes, the job of the future that will employ thousands of people around here! A growing industry! Or perhaps just a colossal waste of money to train people for a handful of available jobs each year. Unfortunately from the extravagant ECC President David Sam and his minions on the board we can’t expect better.

    • RS says:


      Feng is among thousands of students, about 70 percent of whom already have college degrees, flocking to coding boot camps. Hers is run by a company called General Assembly that promises to transform “thinkers into creators,” not to mention holders of well-paying jobs. It’s an especially attractive pitch for humanities and social sciences majors who didn’t learn the skills they need to compete for the plentiful jobs in the technology industry.

      Four years ago, General Assembly was among the first of these training schools; now there are more than 80. About 6,000 students graduated from a coding boot camp in 2014, triple the previous year, says Course Report, a website that lets students rate the various courses. The schools took in a combined $59 million in revenue, or about $9,833 per student, estimates Course Report co-founder Liz Eggleston.

      This is the kind of thing ECC should be doing…

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        ECC used to have a full-fledged electronics program. But they phased it out, gee, maybe 20 years ago. When I asked why, I was told there wasn’t demand from either students or local industry. While that isn’t quite what you are pointing to, it is in the same area, and an electronics program could have morphed into what you suggest. ECC would have to sense a demand from students and industry before they would move on this. I don’t think they use crystal balls at ECC.

        Per your other related post, the best ECC could come up with was the fire-fighter training center……………….. Chuck

  7. One Vote says:

    Cilantro Taco Grill blew the deadline. They said they’d be open Cinco de Mayo. We went there to support the local business but the place was dark. Some sign on the door said deliveries were accepted at the hair salon next door.
    Some other signs were Help Wanted.
    Must be some sort of force-field in that area. The billboard for Butera says, “Coming in Spring of 2014″…except the haven’t even broken ground yet.

    • RS says:

      Another place for you to try, Romance Premium on Chicago Street.


      It’s a strange name for sure but the menu has Argentine empanadas! Go check it out.

    • RS says:


      A new Elgin eatery specializing in Argentine empanadas hopes to soon get approval from the city to become BYOB.

      Romance Premium Cafe opened recently in the lower level of 154 E. Chicago St. below Pastigel Bakery in downtown Elgin.

      Owner Laura Martini, who also owns the bakery, said the menu that combines Mexican, Argentine and Americans items — think chapatas, salads and paninis — stems from her Mexican background combined with her husband Aldo’s Argentine heritage. The couple live in Algonquin.

      They will be a lot more successful if they indeed specialize in something rather than a mix of “Mexican, Argentine and American”–I mean how do you market something like that? Just make it an Argentine restaurant and it’s going to be a lot more marketable and successful. It’s something people can get excited about.

      I mean would you rather go to Aldo’s Argentina Restaurant or the Romance Premium Cafe? How do you even say that with a straight face?

      So please, less “romance premium” and more empanadas and choripan…

      • One Vote says:

        Cilantro opened on Saturday and we had dinner there.
        It’s a cut above Chipotle. I guess it’s pretty authentic.
        I had the beef platter. The meat was thin-sliced and still a bit chewy, which I think makes it authentic. Lot’s of rice and refried, shredded lettuce, a couple of tomato slices and a slice of avocado. Good flavor. six small tortillas. The pico de gallo was fresh and tasty.
        The Mrs had the burrito.
        No servers. No busboy. $23.
        I give it a solid B.
        But I hope to try the empanadas downtown soon!

  8. RS says:


    Dog’s Paw Brewing at 74 S. Grove Ave. also was granted a liquor license. “We want to be part of this community,” owner Iran Garcia said, later adding, “The love and respect I received from this city is unbelievable.”

    Garcia said he’s shooting for a June opening. “We’re interviewing now and hope to find all our kitchen staff,” he said. “That’s going to determine our opening date.”

    The Dog’s Paw Brewing location initially was going to be home to a different bar called Abe Froeman’s, a joint enterprise between Garcia and former partner Tyrrell Tomlin, who parted ways.

    Solo restaurant and wine bar at 13 Douglas Ave. also got a permit to sell alcohol outdoors. The restaurant’s plan is to have five tables with seating for 16, Cogley said.

    Somebody should open an actual brewery in Elgin. Not a microbrewery restaurant thing but a real brewery, with the aim of supplying local bars and restaurants with really good local beer.

    It would be best if it aims for the Mexican market. The craft brew industry in general is very competitive but there’s probably an opportunity in marketing a craft beer that is ostensibly designed to pair with Mexican cuisine. And of course Elgin has a large natural market for such a product…

    ¡Hágale pues!

  9. One Vote says:

    Cogley doubles down on Gasthaus:

    “Elgin Corporation Counsel Bill Cogley recommended the city turn down the Gasthaus outdoor sales permit as the licensee is not currently meeting food sales targets as required in its liquor license, as well as due to calls for police outside the bar between 2 a.m. and its 3 a.m. closing time.”

    This tit-for-tat move shows Gasthaus that Kaptain’s Kops can play tough with those who stand in the way of progress. It also shows that the city can double down on stupid. Gasthaus is blocking the progress of a $13 million project and has already cost Kaptain $130K in delays…and Cogley is acting like Rahm Emmanuel.

    I suppose the city fathers think this will make Gasthaus more cooperative.

    This hamfisted negotiating by Elgin explains a lot about the trouble we are in. These same geniuses brought us the Chicago Bandits, The Centre, God’s Gym/gang recruitment center, a private school auditorium, The Tower, Day School…You get all choked up about the value of our property tax bill.

  10. RS says:


    A group working to start a food cooperative grocery store in Elgin hopes the city will contribute or loan money to the project, or even do both.

    Shared Harvest has found the ideal location in a 6,500-square-foot space in the Ziegler’s Ace hardware store building at 215 Spring St. in downtown Elgin, co-op board member and project manager Kari Christensen said. The space is used mostly for storage by the hardware store.

    Why don’t they just ask Butera to stock some of the organic and locally-sourced products they want? If there’s really demand for it, the grocers would be more than happy to supply the goods. That’s why Dino had an extensive selection of Asian groceries.

    I don’t oppose a grocery coop but asking the city to put in money now is just going to lead to year after year of city contributions. It’s going to be another big money-loser.


    Christensen said the group has found about 500 backers who have bought a combined 616 shares. Shared Harvest’s start-up costs will be about $995,000, according to Christensen.

    Lol. They are about $930,000 short.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      RS: I am with you on this one, hitting up the City for any money is bad. If there is sufficient demand for such a food store, then let those who want this come up with the money.

      Look at Dave Ziegler, his contribution to this project is phenomenal!!!! But you know what, they will need to find 10 or 20 more people as generous as Dave Ziegler to make this project fly. If they can’t find that money in the private sector, that proves up front there isn’t sufficient local desire under-taking, plain and simple.

      Did they think they could sell 10,000 shares at $100 each when they came up with this idea? Or did they have their eyes on the taxpayer’s backing from day one? I suspect that they have always had the City financing option in mind…………

      Well, if we would have elected a conservative council last month, this proposal would be DOA. But with the liberal majority we have, look forward to a bale-out by the City to float this project that Elgin’s gold coast elites want, but aren’t willing to pay for themselves.


    • RS says:

      Yeah the other thing is that for locally-grown produce we do have Klein’s. And I trust Klein’s a lot more to run a grocery business because they have had decades of experience doing it. So if they desperately need to have this type of grocery store in the downtown it would make a lot more sense to ask Klein’s to do it, not a group of hobbyists.

    • Zreebs says:

      Agree - this should be entirely funded by the private sector. I will be surprised if they get any city money.

    • Todd Martin says:

      As a Shared Harvest shareholder, I’m going to step in and provide my opinion.

      The city has several programs using TIFF money to improve the building stock:
      •eElgin Incentive Program - Up to 50% for technology infrastructure improvements for downtown-based businesses
      •Façade Improvement Program - A 35% rebate on exterior renovation projects to restore the original architectural integrity of the façade
      •Newly-Revised Business Improvement Program - Up to 50% matching funds for improvements to store fronts and building façades or grounds, including landscaping, signs, lighting, and parking lot improvements to properties located in target areas
      •Special Loan Program for Building Improvements - Interest on loans made for improvements to commercial buildings may be subsidized by the City of Elgin.

      In this case, we have an old, worn down, but historic building downtown that holds Ace Hardware. Any money which Shared Harvest would receive through one of the programs listed above would go toward fixing up that building, to allow multiple uses, to make it more efficient, useful, attractive, practical, and address long-standing maintenance issues.

      The City has strong motivation to encourage businesses to invest in these old buildings. Re-investment in them increases property values (and therefore tax revenue), increases the occupancy rate (and therefore tax revenue). In my opinion, fixing up these old buildings is a far wiser investment with a more guaranteed return on investment than helping pay for a new business signage.

      Are all applicants equal? No. Shared Harvest paid for a professional market study which estimates $2.7 million dollars in sales the 1st year. For the City of Elgin, which gets 1% back in sales taxes, that is $27,000 a year income. Then, you should count the local jobs, the increased traffic at Ace Hardware, and all the ripple effects.

      Will it succeed?

      I think enough of the idea to be a shareholder. And I’ll chip in a bit more as a loan start-up. Ace Hardware does pretty well. I shop there regularly and pay more than going to Home Depot. Why? I trust the help I get from the staff and feel the money stays in the community. Shared Harvest will be a lot like Ace Hardware, and I think will attract similar shoppers.

      If I’m wrong, the city will have one less run-down building and one more up-to-date building that some other business can move into and provide jobs and tax revenue.

      • Margaret Miller says:

        This shareholder plea, coming from the man who hid his affiliation to the Fox Valley Electric Car organization.

        Why don’t they go to a BANK like every other business does?

        Why should Elgin taxpayers foot this speculative

        start up venture?

        Let them work within the free market and get bigger investors rather small time shareholders?

        If they are willing to settle for a FREE smaller location, one in which sells the chemicals (Round Up)that are against the organic philosophy, they are already in trouble and speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

        • Todd Martin says:


          This is exactly why I do no longer regularly post on Elginite. Your rebuttal starts immediately with an attack on my character.

          I never “hid” my affiliation with FVEAA. My volunteer work with the non-profit was well known to the City in all my dealing. The FVEAA donated equipment to the City of Elgin and NEVER received a penny from taxpayers. It is a shame that people such as yourself made the FVEAA offer to donate more to the City to enhance city services was rejected. I feel no need to post my Bio on Elginite.

          I find it odd that you oppose private individuals providing a loan for a start-up. Bank money is not morally superior to private individual money.

          Further, no one said Shared Harvest wouldn’t seek a bank loan. As a matter of fact, one of the Grant opportunities from the City is to partner with a Bank loan (see above).

          Why should Shared Harvest be denied the opportunity to apply for a grant when Restaurants, etc do so routinely? If you want to discontinue TIFF grant opportunities, the Tower project, etc, then you miss the point of community redevelopment.

          I also find it odd that you believe Shared Harvest should oppose Ace Hardware. These organizations share a lot of the same philosophies, more so than their differences.

          • Margaret Miller says:


            As you know, on this very blog, you posted many times that you were in favor of electric car charging stations. NOT once, did I see you disclose your association with the FVEAA organization pushing the issue. I remember that you stormed out of the Council chamber when the first vote was tabled and you didn’t get a chance to speak. That was because Carol Rauschenberger was confused on how to vote. I will draw your attention to October 24, 2013. I beleive you stopped posted because you were outed. That is my opinion.

            I have no problem with individuals investing their own money or getting private investors/sponsors in a project or business venture. I have a big problem when said project always seems to have their hand in the taxpayer’s pocket. Why would they have asked the city before going to the bank first?

            Well, let’s see what the bank tells them. Let’s see if the bank approves of their business plan and if they feel their investment is worth the risk. If they get the money, and taxpayer’s pay nothing…no problem. If Shared Harvest fails, due to lack of interest or patrons inability to pay higher prices for organic foods, they answer to the bank. If they get the money from the taxpayer’s and fail, the city will cover up the loss as a bad investment. Here’s the thing, the government should not be the speculative investor, the private sector should.

            Why would you find my position with ACE Hardware selling chemicals, specifically Monsanto Round-Up, hard to beleive? If you do not know the reason, I have to wonder how much you actually know about the organic non-GMS movement and clean food.

            There seems to be an elitist click in Elgin that always seem to come to the taxpayer, grants with legacy costs, bailouts or attorney fees that the taxpayers suffer for.
            1) ESO bailout - Anna Moeller
            2) Country Day School - John Steffen and Keith Rauschenberger
            3) Bike Paths - John Steffen
            4) Electric Charging Stations - Dave Kaptain
            5) Shared harvest - Carol Rauschenberger
            5) 120 State Street - $25M for 16 units - Powell, Steffen, Kaptain,
            6) Cultural Arts - Kaptain, Steffen - Powell
            7) TLC Lawsuit - Anna Moeller
            8) Chilian visit - Kaptain - how’s that free trade agreement going?

            Notice any familiar names?

      • RS says:

        Sure, those are good points, Todd. But the problem for you guys is that those programs are for matching funds or rebates, which means based on the $60K or whatever you guys have raised it’s not going to put you anywhere near the supposed million dollar investment required.

        But yeah if you guys raise a million dollars, I think there would not be a whole lot of opposition to the city disbursing funds through the programs you mentioned. However I don’t enthusiastically support it because I don’t think the exterior of the historic Ace building is in need of any serious improvement. I like it the way it is. I’m guessing that most of the funds required by this co-op are for interior improvements which would for the most part not qualify anyway.

        I like the idea of a co-op but it’s just not going to work around here. The lack of funding proves it. I would not give much credit to a commissioned market study. Common sense says there is no market here and you have ever-increasing competition from the large supermarkets (even Walmart) which are all going organic.

        Your money would be better spent on projects that will increase food production in Kane County. Don’t ignore the experts who pointed out that there is very little local food being grown/raised here (how are you going to supply your store?). All that farmland out there is being used for commodity crops not food.

        But yeah it would be great if some farmers in Kane decided to raise heritage breeds on pasture, farm organically, etc. Efforts that lead to the creation of such farms should be the focus of any local food movement around here.

        • Chuck Keysor says:

          As to Shared Harvest going to a bank to get money,,,,, it is hard to imagine that they could get any money, as any loan they get is going to have to be secured by collateral.

          Shared Harvest doesn’t have any assets, so they have nothing to offer as collateral commensurate to the loan that they need to secure. So that is why they are already planning to hit the City up for the $$$$$$$$$ they need. Chuck

          PS: Margaret, you need to add the Bandits and the related improvements to the Judson baseball field to your list of taxpayer funded boondoggles.

          • Todd Martin says:

            Margaret, you are mistaken. I am not posting here to endlessly debate with you on your version of reality.

            Again, I never hid my role in the FVEAA to the city. I have no obligation to tell you on public forums what I do for volunteer work. Please note I have never asked YOU or tried to dig up what volunteer work you do on your spare time or try to associate that work with your public opinions. Again, the FVEAA never asked for a dime, instead the group was trying to GIVE the city stuff.

            No, I did not “storm” out of any city council meetings. Feel free to look at any archives. I behave better than that. It is true that I don’t always stay till the end. You may notice the meetings get very long sometimes.

            None of this has anything to do with Shared Harvest. You are simply attacking me as a person.

            Again, you completely ignore the fact that the City has grant programs available for Shared Harvest to apply for. The co-op has a right to apply for TIFF funding just like anyone else. No one knows the exact grant request terms yet, because they are still being hammered out. It is my view that it is a good idea to partner TIFF grant money toward the renovation of the Ace Hardware building so that a new tenant can share space. It is entirely appropriate for a start-up to explore all financing opportunities and combinations. As a matter of fact, it is incredibly helpful to build coalitions of various funding mechanisms.

            No Margaret, I am not ignorant regarding Glyphosate (Roundup) or Certified Organic farming. I consider this argument completely frivolous.

            I posted my opinion on Shared Harvest here because some people might get the impression from reading this blog that everyone shares your views. Not to change your mind.

            I’m done.

        • Margaret Miller says:


          Thanks for the add on item and the point about the bank solidified what I said. They don’t plan on going to the bank for a loan or investment capitol. NO assets is correct. Just like Country Day School. I wonder if this group is an LLC?

          Since Todd is done, I should end with this.

          The $40 single and $70 couple investment is throw away money for some of these folks. If they asked their shareholder supporters for $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000 for a tiered shareholder stake, I would think they, and the investors, were relatively serious about the project. That’s not what they did.

          It’s like the girl scout troop that didn’t raise enough money from cookie sales and now need a sponsor to get them to camp.

          I sure hope the city doesn’t impose my tax dollars as their investment capitol for any groups non serious hobby.

  11. Jimmy McGill says:

    RS & Chuck, Have you bought your share in Shared Harvest yet?

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Jimmy, wait,,,,, now where did I put that extra $100 that I didn’t know what to do with??????

      Or I could ask: “Gee, why should I invest anything when we can expect the City will bail out this financially flawed venture???”

      Actually, I have a 32 foot by 48 foot vegetable garden where I grow all the organic produce I can use, plus tons to spare. Last year I had peas, beans, cabbage, beats, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, turnips, broccoli, watermelon, acorn squash, butternut squash, peppers, and other misc. So I don’t even need the new proposed store. And it is closer for me to walk to Butera to get all the things I can’t grow, and where the prices will certainly be lower than at Shared Harvest.


    • One Vote says:


  12. SIE says:

    So where did Margaret Miller go? More than a month since her last post. Right around the time she filed a complaint against a City Council member.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      I think most people simply decided to take a break, which is why there have been comparatively few posts here on the Elginite since the election. Chuck

  13. Jimmy McGill says:

    Maybe r a can explain how Kane County Sheriff Don Kramer can afford to hire a finance director when he is $800,000 over budget

    • One Vote says:

      Unlike Perez, Don is not a lapdog of the county board.
      Don’t get me wrong; I’m worried about him and his budget, but his lack of attendance at the board doesn’t bother me.

  14. Tim Palmer says:

    Hey Todd: You will get your public paid food store so stop crying. Dunne Kaptain Martinez Steffen Rauschenberger will vote for it. Shaw Prigge Gavin and Powell won’t. Powell will say no because there’s no diversity. The liberals will win again.

  15. RS says:


    This sets up a Democratic primary in the northwest suburban district, with Cullerton facing Raja Krishnamoorthi, who has been running for several months and possibly State Sen. Mike Noland, D-Elgin, who has also been exploring a House bid.

    Noland has been exploring for a while:


    It’s time to make it official!

    • Jimmy McGill says:

      I am sure you are waiting to be on his host committee.

    • One Vote says:

      Our buddy Mike was talking about Obama’s dope smoking days. He’s a real gem.

      • Jimmy McGill says:

        As Hank Williams Jr. said:
        “That don’t deserve an answer Hoss, let’s light up and just move along.”

  16. RS says:

    This is what I was saying they should do with the Tower Building instead of that corrupt project they’ve got going.


    To see the logical culmination of this line of thinking, take the Washington Metro one stop from Reagan National Airport to the suburb of Crystal City, Va., a brutalist enclave of office blocs and subterranean shopping centers that has been hit hard by defense-industry downsizing. Improbably enough, this is where Vornado Realty Trust is gut-renovating a 12-story office building to serve as a testing ground for a new product, WeLive. Neumann maintains a coy degree of secrecy about the residential project, but public documents indicate nine lower floors will be carved into apartments, mostly 300-square-foot studios, with the top of the building occupied by office space. Competitors find the dormitory-style concept laughable. “I graduated college a long time ago,” says Regus’s Farley. “I’m not going back.”

    When I describe WeLive to Kruger, the young funeral industry entrepreneur, his response is immediate. “I love it,” he says. “When’s it opening?” (In New York, WeWork is doing a residential conversion at the Rudin building on Wall Street, scheduled to open in the fall.)

    In other words, mix co-working (or tech incubator) with microhousing. The city should contact WeWork and tell them there’s a building here they can have for free.

  17. Cody Holt says:

    Fellow U-46 School Board Member Jeanette Ward and myself will be hosting a joint town hall meeting May 27th at Elgin Community College. The event will start at 7PM and run until about 9PM and will be held in the Siegle Auditorium.

    We have a guest speaker from Morton Grove School District that will present data about how Standards Based Grading is impacting students in their school district. This is very important as U-46 has just recently adopted the same type of grading. This presentation should only be half an hour.

    After the presentation,Jeanette and I will take questions or comments from audience members. No topic will be off limits. This is a perfect oppurtunity for anyone who has ideas, thoughts, or concerns to interact with two school board members. Hope you all have a great memorial day weekend!

  18. SIE says:

    2015 safest US cities, as in >100,000 residents.

    Naperville was #1. Elgin #31. Not sure what to make of it.



    Speaking of Naperville, just heard the new Mayor of Naperville which is now the 4th largest city in Illinois,talking about how he wants to diversify their tax base with more business and retail as they rely heavily on property taxes. In the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time travelling up and down Randall Rd. and it is just amazing the retail in Algonquin to the north of Elgin and in South Elgin and St. Charles etc. to the south of Elgin. Just think of the the tax revenue Elgin could be getting if it even approached those towns’ level of retail. But alas, the retailers know where to build, and Elgin is not the place.

    • RS says:

      Thanks for sharing that. It’s nice to be on the list, but all of these lists are put out by random websites as linkbait and are more or less meaningless.

      When you clump all cities from population of 100,000 to the millions, the smallest cities (closest to 100,000) are going to have an advantage in the rankings. 100,000 was an arbitrary number. They could have picked 50,000 and the list would be completely different. But it would make more sense to compare a city of 100,000 to a city of 50,000 then it would be to compare a city of 100,000 to a city of a million or more.

      Every day some list comes out to drum up publicity for a website. I don’t pay much attention to them…

  19. Margaret Miller says:


    WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015

    SPRINGFIELD - Tuesday, House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan moved forward nine FY 16 budget bills that feature a close to $4 billion budget deficit. 

    Much of the cuts Rauner proposed in his budget were ignored as funds for programs were re-added. 

    “Governor Rauner has made it clear that we cannot ask taxpayers to put more money into a broken system. The legislation being considered today represents some compromise reforms that are critical to turning Illinois around,” Rauner spokesman Lance Trover said. “Speaker Madigan and the politicians he controls in the House have made it clear all they want to do is raise taxes. Today, the Senate will begin to make clear whether they support reform or will side with Mike Madigan to block it.”

    State lawmakers joined the Rauner Administration’s outrage.

    “I find it incredibly irresponsible that the House Democrats have brought forward a FY16 budget they know is unbalanced. They are promoting their spending plan and they have offered absolutely no information as to how they will fund it,” State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said. “The majority party has a history of reckless spending with no regard for how it impacts the citizens whose taxes fund our government. They have not earned the right to even one more cent of the public’s money.”

    She continued, “At a time when we should be discussing fundamental reforms that will cut waste, fraud and abuse from our government and maximize efficiencies in how we do business, the House Democrats have instead presented a FY16 budget that shows once again that they have no interest in reining in their spending or seeking any reforms.”

    State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) agreed. “Instead of working in a bipartisan manner to compose a negotiated budget, Springfield legislative leadership crafted a spending proposal without an ounce of input from anyone but themselves. Their budget is not balanced and spends $4 billion more than we’ll bring in,” he said. “This is not right, and the people of Illinois know it.”

    “The partisan budget offered today is filled with empty promises,” said State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-McHenry). “It promises spending $4 billion over what we expect in revenue. How can we tell our most vulnerable we will provide for them, but at the same time pass a budget that will run out of money and leave them at risk? It’s wrong, and I will not support an unbalanced budget.”

    Illinois House Democrats have been producing a number of phony budget bills in recent weeks, knowing they would not pass, Wheeler said. This week, after pulling away from bipartisan budget discussions, House Democrats introduced their own budget without input from the other side of the aisle or the Governor.

    “If we’ve learned only one thing from the recession, it’s that we cannot spend more than we have,” said Wheeler. “The Illinois Constitution even says that we cannot spend more than we have. I would hope that the day after we honor the memory of our fallen soldiers, we would possess their same integrity and follow the laws of the country for which they have fought and died.”

    The nine budget votes - HB 4146, HB 4147, HB 4148, HB 4153, HB 4154, HB 4158, HB 4159, HB 4160 and 4165 - passed for the most part along party lines.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    • SIE says:

      This is an Elgin forum. What the state does effects this city but this story doesn’t belong here. IF state politics is your concern you need to find a State of Illinois forum you can join and post there.

      And I see you still haven’t figured out that you don’t have to quote the whole article when the link will do just fine. Such a waste of space.

      • Anonymous says:

        You seem to be in a pretty bad mood with the information offered and apparently appointed yourself commissar.
        By your own admission, what the state does effects Elgin and this…WAS BIG NEWS, just not to you.

        • SIE says:

          At one time this forum was about Elgin. Now its about one or two posters’ agenda. A story about Illinois’ budget deficit is such earthshaking news that belongs in an Elgin forum? Like I said, a waste of space.

    • RS says:

      Here are the rules:

      1. Do not paste entire articles

      2. Do not post state or national news

  20. Jimmy McGill says:

    Yes, the IL GOP is a real profile in courage.

  21. RS says:


    Kaptain noted that most of that housing is on the city’s far west side including the subdivisions at Bowes Creek. Edgewater by Del Webb is built out, and Providence is close to being so, Kaptain said.

    Elgin Community Development Director Marc Mylott noted that the growth is ongoing with homes being built or set to be built in other subdivisions that include Cedar Grove, Copper Springs, Highland Woods, Shadow Hill, Stonebrook, Remington, Remington Meadows, Waterford and West Point Gardens.

    “There are eight subdivisions in Elgin that had at least 10 or more building permits issued in 2014,” Mylott said.

    “There’s also been interest lately in bringing infill to Elgin, including some developers who are considering bringing more apartment buildings to the city,” Kaptain said.

    • Margaret Miller says:

      Does Elgin need anymore apartment? I thinks we’re at our fill in the center of town.

      How about some apartments out on the west side? You know, for diversity sake.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Or better yet, how about some low income apartments in Eagle Heights…….. Oh wait, I guess we can’t have low income housing out there, because poor people have to be able to walk to the downtown…………. or so we were told not too long ago by the majority of the council. Chuck

  22. RS says:


    Elgin police are investigating the second shooting within the last seven days in the city and the fifth with victims since mid April.

    “This is unfortunate and unusual for us to have this level of violence,” Elgin Deputy Police Chief Bill Wolf said.

  23. Jimmy McGill says:

    Rs, Nothing to say about Dennys Hastert?

    • One Vote says:

      The rumor is that Denny was making installments on a blue dress and an unwrapped cigar.
      YOu can relate to that, eh Jimmy old boy?

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        There was a reception for Denny at the Heritage Ballroom, not long before he retired. I went, and was part of the big crowd. I stood in a long line to shake Denny’s hand.

        I never would have guessed he was crooked…… It makes it easier to see why some people just don’t trust any politicians. Sigh………. Chuck

      • Jimmy McGill says:

        Where’s the yellow card Rs?

  24. Fred F Stone says:

    Chuck, like you I was also touched by the former speaker

  25. Jimmy McGill says:

    Question: How is Elginite like the Daily Herald?

    Answer: If it wasn’t published here, it didn’t happen.

  26. Harmony says:

    Is this site workin?

  27. Chuck Keysor says:

    Maybe anonymous posters shouldn’t be posting because of this article that I just read in the Illinois Review, saying the Illinois Supreme Court can go to on-line blogs, and obtain the real identities of anonymous bloggers. Chuck

    “SPRINGFIELD - In a decision this week concerning an anonymous commenter on an Illinois-based news site, the state’s Supreme Court ordered Comcast to reveal who was lurking behind a fake name. The state Supremes want to hold that party responsible for defamatory remarks.

    The case involves an unidentfied “Fuboy,” who suggested on a Gatehouse News site’s comment section that Stephenson County Board chairman Bill Hadley had committed criminal acts.

    “Fuboy’s” attorney Robert Fagan says he will decide within the next 90 days whether he will appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “The court has to balance interests, and there are rather strong interests on both sides,” the Freeport attorney said. “Anonymous (political) commentary has gone back to the time of Thomas Paine prior to the Revolutionary War. It’s a very protected right, but you’re also responsible for what you say. The alleged defamed person has a right that has to be balanced.”

    News outlets aren’t subject to libel claims based on commenters who write on their websites, and an attorney for the Illinois Press Association advises newspapers that allow anonymous comments to make clear to readers that a court may decide that their identities must be disclosed.”

    • Batman says:

      Scare tactic much?

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Batman, I should have changed my opening sentence to say “Mean/slanderous anonymous posters should beware.” It has long bothered me how mean some people can be when they post anonymously.

        However, I have discovered that at least one person who used to post here can be just as vicious when he posts under his real name on Facebook.

        I like this site, and am sorry it has hit this current low spot. But I also want to provide information that I consider quite relevant to this site.


  28. Fred F Stone says:

    Maybe a topic will spur some interest fireworks are coming why did the city feel it had to rececitate the event and waste the money. Elgin has the best parade in the area, if they felt the need to spend spend it on this event If the goal is to bring people downtown bring them down when its light and businesses may want to be open You stretch the police fire and public works by having both events. Isnt the crowd control easier for a daytime event?? I’m sure no one will be drinking all day and out of control at the fireworks they are in St Charles If people want to go to a fire work display there are plenty in the area Don’t even go down the “patriotic” road. Are Hanover Park residents less patriotic than us?? Once again our leaders lose sight of doing what we do well and doing it better and bot paying attention to what happens just outside our borders

  29. RS says:

    Please move all discussions to the June open thread.