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Proviso Probe

Monday, October 31, 2005

CULTURE, Halloween trick-or-treaters [FP]

I didn't provide candy for the whole trick-or-treat window, but here are two observations.

1. All the kids trick-or-treating my house were Black. Are there really few non-Black kids in north Forest Park? Or are "White" kids non trick-or-treating in north Forest Park for a reason?
2. Few of the trick-or-treaters wore costumes.

How about other parts of Proviso? Do trick-or-treaters wear costumes in your 'hood?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

ED, why would Welch want a budget-buster contract [D209]

Here's a possibility for why Emanuel Christopher Welch would want to sign a budget-busting contract with the teachers union.

When it comes time to raise taxes, he'd prefer to have the teacher contract be a larger part of the problem than the PMSA. The teacher contract will absorb some of the political heat.

I've heard the Fourth Law of Thermodynamics as, "If the heat is on someone else, it's not on you."

And of course, Welch doesn't want any labor troubles while he's campaigning for state rep.

MEDIA, Karen Yarbrough on Bryant's show? [7th Rep]

I've been told State Representative Karen Yarbrough was tenatively scheduled to be today's guest on Arnie Bryant's show, on WJJG 1530 AM from 2-3 PM. You can call in at (708) 493-1530.

What would you ask Yarbrough?

Friday, October 28, 2005

ED, Welch's godmother & Nyberg [D209]

At 2:30 PM District 209 held a press conference to announce the signing of a new contract with the teachers represented by local 571.

The contract was quite generous with four and five percent salary increases and no concessions on health care. I, along with others, asked about how the increases would be funded. Would they cause taxes to increase?

Emanuel Christopher Welch--who spent the most time at the microphone even though he claimed not to be involved in the negotiations--kept avoiding the question by saying the effect of the contract hadn't been fully analyzed and that District 209 was looking for new sources of revenue.

After the questions, Welch's godmother, the Principal of Proviso West sought me out. She asked me in an accusatory manner if I had written about the ACT scores of the students at her school.

I paused for a moment and thought about the ACT scores. As I remembered the results she presented less than half the students beat the national average. I told her this.

She responded by calling me a "racist".

I asked her if she'd be willing to repeat that in front of a witness from the media. She indicated she would.

I grabbed Frank Life, but Welch's godmother was engaged with somebody else. By the time she disengaged she refused to repeat the allegation although she wouldn't deny it either. I was annoyed. I either wanted her to take responsibility for what she said or apologize. She did neither.

So I started to raised my voice explaining that she couldn't call me a "racist". She backed away.

I looked for Seth Stern who was busy talking to Libka, so I left. I saw Welch's godmother in the hall on the bench crying. She was saying, "he was a man... yelling at me." So I decided to give her some more grief.

Some woman told me I had to leave. I asked for her name. She wasn't wearing an ID badge or anything. She refused. I didn't feel she had much right to order me out, but I was leaving anyway.

Then Angela, the D209 PR flack called me over and told me I couldn't be so rough. I told Angela that D209 staff can't call me names with impunity. We went back and forth a couple times. And then she told me I had to leave. I had been walking out when she called me over, so it seemed a little annoying to be interrupted from leaving so she could act like she was throwing me out.

Here's a hint to District 209 personnel: if you want to be treated like professionals you need to act like professionals.

SPORT, Nardella signs with Rockford IceHogs [MP]

Sportzdomain.com wrote the following about Bob Nardella:

The Melrose Park, Ill. native ranks in the top three all-time for the Wolves with 533 games played, 291 points and 223 assists. After playing in 44 games with Rockford, Nardella appeared in 10 contests for the Wolves in '03-04 and registered 10 assists in 13 games. In 10 postseason games, the blue-liner chipped in 1g-3a-4pts.

He recently signed with the Rockford IceHogs.

CRIME, where Nowakowski disappeared from [M]

I suspect there's a significant story behind the disappearance of Christina Nowakowski, aka Christina Esparza, the wife of Paul Esparza.

I talked to one Maywood official that has dealt with Nowakowski over the years. This official spoke highly of Nowakowski's intellect and industry. The source considered it improbable Nowakowski wandered off because of a mental health condition.

The source also dismissed the idea Paul Esparza had Nowakowski killed. The source further said it was 99.99% likely Nowakowski engineered her disappearance.

I've done some research on Knox, Indiana. The KKK is active there. But the history of Bass Lake may be more relevant. Bass Lake is a community 7-8 miles to the south of Knox.

In the past Bass Lake was mostly a summer community for Chicagoans. In addition to recreation focused on the lake, there was gambling run by the mafia. Surrounding communities turned a blind eye to the mafia activities because Bass Lake had the best fireworks show in the region.

One source said it would be easy to "lay low" in a lake cabin, especially if the neighbors were only there in the summer. If organized crime were helping Nowakowksi hide, it probably retains the infrastructure in Bass Lake.

Also, if the motive for the crime is connected to Nowakowski's life in Maywood and the Chicago area, it would be hard for the relatively small Knox Police Department to dispatch the manpower to do a bunch of investigating in the Chicago area.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

CRIME, Mississippi body ID'd as Olamide Adeyooye [B]

See Daily Vidette (ISU(Mick Swasko)).

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

PP, Nyberg, Trottie, Moore & Welch have lunch

Nicole Trottie, the publisher of the West Suburban Journal, and I had lunch together at Marquee on Roosevelt and 25th in Broadview. It was hectic and we were seated in the far corner of the non-smoking section.

About ten minutes later Gene Moore, the Dem Committeeman, arrived. The waitress was about to seat him in the next booth when he begged off and took the booth furthest from Trottie and me and closest to the door.

Trottie commented that Moore always greeted her in that way pols suck-up to pretty women in the media. She thought the difference must of been my presence.

Moore sat for five to ten minutes and then Emanuel Christopher Welch arrived. They sat and talked and then Welch came over to greet us. He expressed condolences for the death of my grandmother and gave me the three-step handshake.

Welch did have a clipboard with a nominating petition. I offered to sign it. He begged off by saying, "I wouldn't want you to get in trouble." I offered again, but he seemed to really not want me to know whom he was passing a petition for.

MEDIA, book talk at library [FP]

Jay Bonansinga, the author of The Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy, will give a talk on his book at the Forest Park Library on Thursday, October 27, 2005, at 7 PM.

I saw him on WTTW or heard him on WBEZ. It's an interesting story.

CRIME, Christina Nowakowski aka Christina Esparza missing [M]

ABC7 reports that police are looking for Christina Nowakowski, aka Christina Esparza, who has been missing "for several weeks". She was last seen at her vacation home in Knox, Indiana.

Nowakowski was at one point married to local political operative Paul Esparza who ran for Proviso Democratic Committeeman four years ago. (They may still be married. I don't know.)

Nowakowski had been the official citizen challenging nominating petitions on the behalf of political organizations in the past. By reputation she ran with a crowd that played political hardball and took the pro-wrestling attitude toward the rules: it's only against the rules if you get caught.

While the ABC piece mentions Nowakowski being medicated and implies this may have something to do with her disappearance, I suspect foul play. I would not rule out an intentional disappearance.

SPORT, Proviso W. soccer tourney [D209]

Sun-Times (Joe Trost):
De La Salle and Peoria Central were recently announced as the new additions to the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.

Returning teams include Evanston, Fenwick, Glenbrook North, Hillcrest, Homewood-Flossmoor, Hubbard, Julian, Leyden, New Trier, Proviso East, Proviso West, St. Joseph, Von Steuben and Young.

SPORT, almost sold horse doing well [Maywood Park]

Thin Blue Line beat the odds and wasn't sold. Now he's winning money. See HarnessLink.com (Jeremy Rangiawha).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

CRIME, body found in Mississippi

Sun-Times (Lisa Donovan) says it may be the body of Olamide Adeyooye of Berkeley. See this post.

While I hope for the safe return of Adeyooye, there's at least one woman who died under suspicious circumstances. So, even if the body is not Adeyooye, let's remember it was someone.

ED, supt to retire [D95]

Doug Rudig will retire in June. See Suburban Life (Megan Brody).

SPORT, St. Joe's grad gets UW hoops scholarship [W]

University of Wisconsin (Madison) has offered junior Evan Turner, a St. Joe's grad, a basketball scholarship. See the Wisconsin State Journal.

N06, Lightford & Yarbrough shill for G-Rod [4th Sen]

Did you know Sen. Lightford is from Westchester? Rep. Yarbrough from Broadview? See G-Rod's press release.
“I am pleased that Governor Blagojevich is reaching out to middle income families who have no health insurance for their children. The All Kids program is an initiative that will help our working families cope with high health care costs, which can financially strangle a working class family. This is a good initiative that has my complete support,” said state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (Westchester).

Lightford's district office is in Westchester and Yarbrough's is in Broadview, but it's not like the media claimed Carol Moseley-Braun was from Mt. Vernon because she had a district office there.

Is G-Rod's PR team incompetent or dishonest?

SPORT, $275K purse for Gold Dust Beach [Maywood Park]

See HarnessLink.com.

BLOG, what is news?

Not all information that reflects negatively upon public officials is news.

Allegations of domestic violence, infidelity and the like aren't automatically news.

This is related to the debate about the GOP impeaching Bill Clinton for lying about getting head from an intern. Should Clinton have lied under oath? No. Should the courts have granted Scaife's attorneys permission to depose Clinton about his sex life? No.

For personal info to be relevant it has to touch on behavior clearly connected to the public officials duties.

A public official doing drugs like marijuana and cocaine may or may not be news. If it's a teacher doing weed on the weekend, it's probably not news. If it's a teacher dealing weed on the weekend, it probably is news. An elected official doing coke may not be news. But if the same public official is reputed to get support from drug dealers, it is news.

If you want to engage in this kind of personal attack, contact me, RadioNyberg circled "a" Yahoo spot com. I want to see the documents, but documents alone don't make allegations news. It's got to be relevant in some way.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

MEDIA, Arnie Bryant's show

Use this thread to discuss Arnie Bryant's show on WJJG, 1530 AM, 2-3 PM on Saturday. To call the show dial (708) 493-1530.

Friday, October 21, 2005

PERS, out of town until Tuesday

I will be traveling to New Hampshire for my maternal grandmother's memorial service this weekend.

The church we intended to use has been rendered unavailable by severe flooding. Instead we will use a church where my grandmother's father preached.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ACTIVISM, Resources Unlimited [OP]

Resources Unlimited hosted Dialogues in Democracy tonight. It included Spoken Word Performances.

I chose this passage from The Art of War by Sun-tzu, translated by Ralph D. Sawyer.
If you expose the army to a prolonged campaign, the state's resources will be inadequate.

When the weapons have grown dull and spirits depressed, when our strength has been expended and resouces consumed, then the feudal lords will take advantage of our exhaustion to arise. Even though you have wise generals, they will not be able to achieve a good result.

Thus in military campaigns I have head of awkward speed but have never seen any skill in lengthy campaigns. No country has ever profited from protracted warfare.

KLEPT, Sterk contradicts Welch [D209]

Today I received a letter from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission containing Mark Sterk's response to my complaint about him.

On August 28, 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported, “Welch said board members conferred with attorney Mark Sterk of the Evergreen Park law firm of Odelson & Sterk prior to voting.”

Sterk makes a point of contradicting this account twice.
"The sole charge against me is a purported newspaper quote from Mr. Welch that the Board conferred with me prior to the vote. The only Board member that I talked to was Mr. Welch.... I did not speak to any other Board member about the issue."

Did Sterk just call Welch a liar?

ED, new teacher contract [D91]

The Forest Park Review (Cam Wigton) covers the new District 91 teacher contract.

Gov. Blagojevich deserves some credit for reducing the state's pension liabilities. The end of careeer raises are limited to 6%.

The system bases the pension package on the teacher's last three years salary. Before the Blagojevich reforms local districts could give absurdly large raises in the final years of the contract and the state pension system would have to pay inflated pensions.

Blagojevich made it so the state wouldn't be responsible for pension costs above 6% pay increases. The new D91 contract limits end of career raises to 6%.

Good job, G-Rod.

SPORT, East vs. West in girls volleyball TONIGHT [D209]

It's at Proviso West starting at 6 PM. See Pioneer Press for 411.

MEDIA, if she were "White" they'd care [B]

Here are a couple more stories on Olamide "Ola" Adeyooye, the Berkeley native who has been reported missing: Western Courier of WIU (James Kimberly, Chicago Tribune) and Pioneer Press (John Huston).

Click on the link for the Western Illinois University paper. Look at Adeyooye's picture. You know, if she was "White" the story would already be national news.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

MEDIA, Forest Park Review is the BEST [FP]

The Illinois Press Association named the Forest Park Review the state's top small weekly. See Forest Park Review.

Congratulations to Lorien Menhennett who was the editor in 2004. (She's the editor that recruited me to the paper.)

N06, Peraica fundraiser [Cook]

The Forest Park Review has an ad for a Peraica fundraiser on November 11, 2005.

The event is sponsored by six, including Donald E. Stephens. It's co-sponsored by 26, including

* Steve Rauschenberger
* Kathy M. Ryan, Proviso Township Supervisor
* Bob Biggins
* Jeff Sherwin
* Michael Garvey
* Henry Vicenik
* Larry Dominick, President, Village of Cicero
* Patrick Doolin, Commissioner, Forest Park
* Paul Gattuso, President, Village of Westchester
* Richard Klaczynski, Proviso GOP Committeeman

MEDIA, Review and West Sub Journal partnering [FP, M, H, BV]

The Forest Park Review reports that it will be cooperating with the West Suburban Journal.

FPR will cover D209. West Suburban Journal will cover Proviso Township.

GOV, senior home expansion approved [LP]

Suburban Life (Tara Alexander):
The once-heated debates surrounding expansion of Plymouth Place Senior Living in La Grange Park seemed to be in the distant past as the Village Board approved the planned unit development's final plat, which includes approval of final design and landscaping plans.

It passed 4-1 with a recusal and an absence.

GOV, liquor licenses in the news [BF]

Two of the top three stories in Suburban Life deal with Brookfield liquor licenses.

Megan Brody reports the new board is granting licenses liberally, but "carefully".

However, "two Brookfield establishments, Brookfield Food and Liquor and Phoenix Convenience Store were unsuccessful in their bid to have the village expand their liquor sales."

PO-PO, new drug tactical team [BV]

Why does it seem like Broadview police want to stop bad guys more than some other Proviso police departments? See Suburban Life.

GOV, Brookfield & La Grange Park meetings [BF, LP]

The Brookfield Police Pension Board and Brookfield-La Grange Park District 95 Board of Education Committee of the Whole are having meetings. See Suburban Life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

CRIME, Berkeley ISU student goes missing [Normal, IL]

The Peoria Journal Star:
The Normal Police Department and Illinois State University are asking for help finding a 21-year-old ISU senior not seen since Thursday night.

Olamide Elizabeth Adeyooye, a clinical laboratory science major from the Chicago suburb of Berkeley, was last seen at Family Video in Normal about 9 p.m. She was reported missing by her family Saturday.

CRIME, Department of Juvenile Justice [Springfield]

Kankakee Voice at Soap Blox Chicago is pushing the creation of a Department of Juvenile Justice. The ACLU appears to be the lead advocate (factsheet).

Is this a good idea? Are area legislators supporting the bill?

SPORT, world record set in Proviso [Maywood Park]

From Standardbred Canada:
My Boy David scooted to a world record of 1:52.4 in Friday night’s $65,000 Cardinal Stake Final for 2-year-old Illinois-bred colts and geldings at Maywood Park.

My Boy David wasn't even predicted to win the race.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

SPORT, Suburban Life sports round-up [W, BF]

Suburban Life (Alex Janco) has the St. Joe's boys soccer story.

Suburban Life (Ryan Lowry) covers R-B girls volleyball.

And Suburban Life (Ryan Lowry) has a piece on R-B boys soccer.

REC, Brookfest takes hiatus [BF]

Suburban Life (Megan Brody) has the story about how Brookfest is going to be suspended or scaled back for at least one summer.

Have you attended Brookfest? How was it?

Are the complaints about "gangs" and "riff raff" code for "too many young Black men"?

ENVIR, to develop or not to develop [W]

Suburban Life (Erick Bieritz):

Two legal battles to decide the future of development in southwest Westchester could roll into next year or even be joined by a third lawsuit.

For three years Palos Heights-based Greene Development Group has been locked in a court battle with the Save the Prairie Society, which opposes housing developments near the Wolf Road Prairie and has said they could damage the area's rare ecosystem. Local leaders including former Village President John Sinde have endorsed the development for the new tax dollars and senior housing stock it could provide, but the prairie society has thus far successfully stopped the development on court appeals.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

M&N06, candidate questionnaire for county office [Cook]

I invite other Bloggers to join with me to create a candidate questionnaire for candidates for county office.

1. How can county government cut expenses?
2. What is the mission of county government?
3. How will you reduce corruption?
4. How will you improve service?
5. How should the Forest Preserves be managed? How would you change the status quo?
6. Should the informal patronage system be curtailed? How?

ED late students [D209]

Proviso West has improved the discipline of the school by sending students who don’t “get with the program” to night school. I’ve heard credible arguments for and against these policies.

Pro: Discipline has improved.

Con: Students who commit minor infractions, like being tardy, are being sent to school with hard-core discipline problems, like gang-bangers.

What says the Proviso Probe audience?

KLEPT patronage hiring [D209]

A number of people have observed that much of the opposition to the Welch-led majority doesn’t seem opposed to hiring and promoting candidates based factors other than merit (residence, political loyalty, seniority, etc.). The opposition’s beef with Welch’s faction is that the “wrong” people are being hired and promoted.

* To what extent is the current D209 conflict merely an argument over which faction will be able to award the patronage?

* To what extent is the fight an ethnic conflict between one faction that is doing better by the Italians and another faction that would like more to go to the Blacks?

And here’s the Nyberg compromise:

Hire educators and senior administrators based on merit. The rest of the support hires and promotions could be divided between the majority and opposition in the ratio of four to three.

POL Blagojevich at Proviso West [D209]

A reliable source told me that Governor Rod Blagojevich visited Proviso West informally to meet with Kyle Hastings. Presumably Blagojevich and Hastings were talking Dem Party business. Hastings is the committeeman for the Thirteenth Congressional District and has one of 19 votes that sets policy for the Illinois Democratic Party.

BUSINESS local businesses on the web

Recently I’ve posted links to Centuries & Sleuths and Dream Reapers.

Any Proviso business with a web site is welcome to request similar coverage.

KLEPT Danielle Ashley: expensive & incompetent [D209]

DA bills D209 $125-175 per hour for its PR services. DA has been sending out press releases announcing 6 PM tours of the PMSA at 4 PM the day of the tour.

POL electing judges [WJJG]

I called “Viewpoints From the Other Side” to speak against electing judges.

1. It doesn’t select the best candidates to be judges.
2. It allows organized crime to get their people on the bench.

Friday, October 14, 2005

REC, Dream Reapers haunted house [MP]

The Sun-Times (Celeste Busk) has the tip on Dream Reapers.
Dream Reapers, 1945 Cornell, Melrose Park: Nightmares Inc.'s rambling 14,000-square-foot haunted house has more than 22 rooms/scenes, more than 40 animatronics and more than 40 ghoulishly costumed actors. It's open through through Oct. 31. Hours are 7-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 7-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission is $15 (appropriate for those 12 and older). Call (708) 344-2084; www.dreamreapers.com.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

GAMBLING, does anybody decode Don Stephens? [Rosemont]

Belleville News Democrat (AP):
Rosemont Mayor Donald Stephens, a longtime advocate of a new casino in his village, now says he doesn't think it's such a hot idea - hastening to add, however, that it is too late to put the brakes on the project.

Stephens told the Chicago Tribune editorial board Wednesday there is no way to back out of building a Rosemont casino because $50 million in village funds have already been spent to build a casino parking garage.

CRIME, Heredia murder [MP]

Proviso Probe already covered the killing of Luz Heredia. The Melrose Park Herald (John Huston) is giving the same explanation that it was a random killing by a guy posing as a cop.

The Melrose Park Herald is also clearly annoyed at the police department.
The Herald visits the Melrose Park Police Department every week to pick up arrest reports, which are public information. In the past, Police Chief Vito Scavo, Deputy Chief Gary Montino and Lt. Michael Castellan have all asserted that all the village's arrests are given to the Herald in compliance with state laws pertaining to public information.

But after Dominguez was arrested and charged, no report was provided to the Herald and members of the Melrose Park Police Department were either not reachable or did not respond to telephone calls.

SPORT, Proviso West sports round-up [D209]

See Pioneer Press (Tim Stablein).

ED, PMSA entrance exam [D209]

The Forest Park Review has the 411.
Students wishing to apply for admission to the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA) are required to take the Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test.

The test will be administered on the following days: October 22, November 5, November 19, December 3, December 17 and January 7.

ED, local school districts recognized [D96, 204 & 208]

Riverside/Brookfield Landmark (Cam Wigton):
Riverside Elementary School District 96, Lyons Township High School District 204 and Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 were recognized as top school districts in the nation last month when all three received the 2005 Bright Red Apple Award of Excellence.

ETHNICITY, Oak Park cops hassles Black candidates[4thSen]

The following incident was recounted to me by James T. Smith, Democratic candidate for state senator, and Grady Norwood, a West Side political activist.

An Oak Park police officer stopped Smith, Norwood, State Representative Calvin Giles and another Black man and told them they were not allowed to circulate nominating petitions. The incident occurred Saturday, October 8, 2005, at approximately 5:00 PM on the 500 block of South Lombard, across from the Oak Park police station. (Coincidentally, Oak Park Village President David Pope lives on this block.)

Norwood and Smith requested the officer check with his supervisor to see if any laws were being violated. Rather than check with his supervisor the police officer left the scene without pressing the issue.

If the officer checked with his supervisor and discovered he had misapplied the law governing door-to-door solicitation, it would seem more like a genuine misunderstanding. Since the officer was reluctant to check with his supervisor, it makes his demand to desist from routine political work look more arbitrary and sinister.

Hopefully, the Village of Oak Park will make the effort necessary to impress upon its officers that the community supports the Bill of Rights and opposes discrimination based on ethnicity and skin tone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

M06, Yarbrough announces for State Rep [7thRep]

For coverage see Pioneer Press (John Huston) or Forest Park Review (Seth Stern). Suburban Life (Megan Brody) has coverage of Welch's campaign, but Karen Yarbrough didn't return Brody's phone calls.

OPEN, yay or nay on the new way of handling comments?

1. Tomorrow I'm scheduled to interview James Smith, who is challenging State Senator Kimberly Lightford in the March primary.
2. I heard I was mentioned in the fax version of Capitol Fax yesterday.
3. I'm happy with how the comments are going now that people are labeling them. How do you like it?

Use the comments to discuss whatever is on your mind.

ED, government provided education

Extreme Wisdom claims that corruption of the educational system is an inevitable by-product of having it be part of the government.

How true is this? Is Proviso Township just a more corrupt example of an inherently corrupt system?

Does society have an interest in providing universal education?

What is this interest? (Are we fulfilling it?)

What alternatives exist to the current system?

ETHICS, Sturino bills vendors for par-tay [FP]

I like Mike Sturino, Forest Park's administrator, but he's wrong to be demanding--or asking--kickbacks from village vendors.

From the Forest Park Review (Seth Stern):
"It may not be illegal but in my opinion it’s not ethical to ask our vendors to donate money for an employee appreciation outing," [Commissioner Terry Steinbach] said....

Sturino disagreed, stating that the reason laws exist is to avoid arguments over gray areas between different peoples’ individual interpretations of propriety. "Ethics are defined by law, not one person’s opinion" he said, referring to the village’s ethics ordinance, which was adopted from the Illinois Attorney General’s office....

He said that his calls to vendors soliciting donations were "very laid back" and that no pressure was placed upon the vendors to comply.

The weakness in Sturino's position is that there is no clear-and-bright line.

Sturino seems to being saying a quid pro quo is OK as long as either
1. it's not explicit, or
2. it's kept secret

Sturino's interpretation of the rules relies on outsiders trusting the parties engaged in the kickback that there was no explicit quid pro quo. As long as the parties involved in the quid pro quo don't rat themselves out, it's OK.

Sturino is also insulting my intelligence to say the ethics rules coming from Springfield represent some gold standard of ethical wisdom. The ethics rules coming from Springfield are compromises by a number of people, many of whom would like the weakest ethics rules possible.

PEOPLE, Ron Reda [MP]

The Times Union (Albany, NY (Alan Wechsler)) wrote about about rehabilitating an old hotel. Ron Reda, formerly of Melrose Park and the Clinton White House, is one of the players.

Do any Proviso Probe readers know him?

MEDIA, Boondocks

Have you seen the ads for a TV version of The Boondocks?

It will appear on the Cartoon Network starting on Sunday, November 6. See Zap2it.com.

M06, Welch nominating petitions [D209]

Who are the people circulating the nominating petitions for Emanuel Christopher Welch?

I'm particularly interested in what District 209 employees are working on the campaign.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

ARDC, letter to Nyberg [D209]

I received this letter today.
Initially, please understand that the duties of this Commission relate solely to investigating and prosecuting allegations of professional misconduct against Illinois attorneys. When we have sufficient evidence of misconduct, we may initiate proceedings seeking disciplinary action against the attorney, such as disbarment or suspension from the practice of law. We have no authority to intervene in or impact any factual disputes arising between parties. The merit and the veracity of Mr. Welch’s lawsuit are issues for a court of law to determine, rather than this agency. Thus, we can make no determination as to the merits of civil claims, including any claim made against you for defamation.

For the above reasons, we have determined that you have provided no new information that would change our previous decision with respect to your allegations of misconduct against Mr. Welch. Accordingly, our file will remain closed.

Finally, please be advised that Supreme Court Rules do not provide for an appeal from the Administrator’s decision not to initiate disciplinary proceedings. However, we will always review whatever communications you send to us. If you wish to provide additional information that you believe shows misconduct by Mr. Welsh [sic], please direct all such correspondence to the undersigned. Also, If [sic] you do not hear from us in response to one of your communications, it is because we have determined that a response is unwarranted, and you should assume we are taking no action.

Very truly yours,

Myrrha B. Guzman

It would be easier to believe Ms. Guzman was carefully considering the allegations if she was able to produce a letter without multiple typos. (See Guzman's earlier typos here.) But since the ARDC isn't really accountable to anyone, it doesn't really matter to them if they get an individual case right.

Michael Manzo has told me of his disatisfaction with the ARDC. Anybody else have feedback on the ARDC?

Monday, October 10, 2005

ADMIN, Anonymous posting

I’m going to enable people without Blogger accounts to post to Proviso Probe. But there’s gonna be a caveat.

You can’t post as “anonymous”. Create a name for your posts. Here are some examples:

* The Creature from Salt Creek
* Capone’s Bones
* Paisano for Reform
* Gene Moore’s Wire
* 25th & Roosevelt
* I stole Welch’s lunch money

What am I gonna do with “anonymous” posts? I will delete them.

Why have this policy? “Anonymous” posts bug me. And your posts will be more meaningful to readers with identifiable labels.

Your mission—should you choose to accept it—is to inform the newbies that anonymous posts are not allowed.

ETHICS, Harmon responds to Nyberg request [FP]

I received the following letter from State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).
October 4, 2005

Thank you for sending me a copy of your recent letter to Representative Yarbrough regarding municipal ethics ordinances. After our earlier conversation, I asked our staff to research the issue.

First, the source of the draft ordinance used by many municipalities is not the Illinois General Assembly but rather the Illinois Attorney General. In the process of reviewing your concerns, our staff did not encounter evidence of any “bad faith” use of the punitive clauses of such ordinances. Moreover, it does not appear that any penalties have ever been imposed for Illinois, nor is there evidence that any penalties have been threatened. Absent any demonstrable problem or misapplication of the law, I do not see a legislative groundswell to change existing law or create new law.

I appreciate your input on this issue. If you have any further questions, please contact me at (708) 848-2002.


Don Harmon

Cc: The Honorable Karen Yarbrough

I first left a message at Sen. Don Harmon’s office on this issue. He returned my call within 24 hours. He understood my point which was mildly complicated. He initiated the process of researching my concerns based on the phone call without me having to write a letter.

Harmon provided the highest level of constituent service I’ve seen from an elected official. The others that had impressed me were Congressman John Porter and the late Senator Paul Simon.

The second paragraph of the letter I mostly disagree with. However, I’d rather have Harmon disagree with me than have certain less-than-bright legislators agree with me.

First, Harmon has pointed me to another avenue of addressing the problem. The Attorney General can fix her mistake. Harmon is right that the problem was caused by the AG, not the legislature.

Second, many of the local legislators lack the skills to take an issue from an idea to a law without party leadership or interest groups holding their hands through the process. What use is an ally without the skills to help?

Since Harmon is a bright and seemingly fair-minded guy, if I care enough about this issue, I can appeal his initial decision. He’ll probably expect me to contact the AG first and show significant support within the community. But those aren’t unreasonable expectations.

MEDIA, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore [FP]

Patronize locally owned businesses, like Centuries and Sleuths. See the Sun-Times (Harry Kisor).

SPORT Chicago Christian 41, Walther Lutheran 0 [MP]

See Daily Southtown (Tim O'Reilly).

HEALTH, don't overeat

This was originally in the Chicago Tribune, but I caught it in the other (St. Paul, MN) Pioneer Press (Julie Deardorff).
Babies are impressively disciplined eaters. When their stomachs growl, they demand food. When they're satisfied, they stop. Force the issue, and they swat away the offering with annoyance.

But before long, most of us lose touch with what "full" should feel like. We eat for reasons other than hunger. We're so busy multitasking we miss our body's cues to stop. And the weight piles on.

The dietician quoted, Hannah El-Amin, is from Loyola.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

SPORT, Hinsdale South over Pirates 62-26 [D209]

At one point the Pirates led 14-0. See the Sun-Times (Matt La Cren).

Saturday, October 08, 2005

KLEPT, PMSA used for political function, [D209]

According to a reliable source the Zen Master of Kleptocracy and Emanuel Christopher Welch used the PMSA to host a meeting of Westside ministers this morning (Saturday) at 9 AM. Presumably this was an attempt to bolster support for Welch's state rep campaign on the Westside.

Mr. Libka, was it necessary to have any staff work to support this meeting? Who opened and locked the building for this meeting?

ENVIR bio-diesel and air quality

Many on the Left are pushing bio-diesel as an alternative to petroleum.

I was walking down Des Plaines this morning and caught a wiff of something foul. Based on the "tic-tic-tic-tic-tic" I was pretty sure it was a diesel engine. Sure enough, on the other side of the street about 30 feet away was a Mercedes diesel car.

If 30% of the cars used bio-diesel would our streets smell horribly foul?

ENVIR Dominican U. seizing land for driveway[FPres]

The Wednesday Journal (Bill Dwyer) has a story covering River Forest's vote to approve Dominican University building the driveway. The backstory is that until recently most everybody assumed the Forest Preserve owned the land in question. Now Dominican is claiming it owns the property.

But it seems more accurate to say the county isn't contesting Dominican's claim.
[The River Forest] Village Attorney Jon Gilbert said [he] saw the land controversy as basically a non-issue.

“The applicant has made a showing that they--on the face of it--they own the property,” said Gilbert. “The argument is between the university and a party that doesn’t have a (legal) interest in (the property) who says that a third party owns it. “(But) that third party has not claimed title to the property.”

“There’s no dispute,” he concluded. “It’s not an issue.”

Friday, October 07, 2005

ADMIN, sponsorship

Would you consider sponsoring Proviso Probe? How much would you be willing to contribute?

TRANS, proposed CTA fair increase

To cover increasing fuel costs the CTA is considering raising fares for riders that pay with cash. See the Sun-Times (Rummana Hussain).

There is already a 10% differential between cash riders and credit card riders since the credit card riders get a 10% bonus. Now the differential will get even bigger.

For $100 a credit card rider will be able to take 62 one-way trips. A cash rider will be able to take only 50. The new differential will be about 25%. Should poor people have to pay 25% more to go to and from work?

ADMIN, subject line codes

In the future subject lines will be coded. The first portion will be the general area of the post. The end of the subject line will be the specific community affected.

Here’s the initial codes:

ADMIN-administration of Proviso Probe
BLOG-general blogging info
CRIME-criminal activity
DEFAM-defamation lawsuit
EVENT-event announcements
KLEPT-malfeasance by elected officials
OPEN-no specific subject
POL-politics. If the info pertains to an election it will be coded by the election date, e.g. “M06” will be the code for stuff pertaining the March, ’06 primary.
PO-PO-law enforcement and fire departments

I’m sure I’ll add more.

I’m also going to include the area of Proviso Township affected in the subject line.

[PT]-Proviso Township gov’t
[Cook]-Cook County gov’t (non-Forest Preserve)
[FPres]-Forest Preserve
[FP]-Forest Park
[LP]-La Grange Park
[MP]-Melrose Park
[NR]-North Riverside
[D209]-school districts will appear in brackets as shown

By using the control “F” feature, people will be able to quickly look for news on a specific community or on a specific subject.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

open mike

Use the comments section for suggestions, insults and other feedback.

C. August Taddeo in the news

Had to go to Quad Cities, WQAD, for the 411 on Taddeo's case before the Illinois Supreme Court.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Illinois Supreme Court had some good news today for corrupt public officials who work two jobs.

The court ruled that misconduct in one job doesn't mean the official loses retirement benefits for both jobs.

Why do I think the Zen Master of Kleptocracy is gonna benefit from this ruling?

activism saves Roos building

Forest Park Review (Cam Wigton):
For over two years, developer Patrick Wangler from the Armitage Company had planned to demolish the current Roos building located at 7329 W. Harrison to build four condo towers that would have housed 132 units. Wangler recently applied for an extension to his Planned Unit Development (PUD) to keep the process moving, but his extension was denied in a unanimous vote at the September 26 Forest Park Village Council meeting.

shake-up in Maywood gov't

Maywood Herald (David Pollard):
James E. Collier Jr. was relieved of his post as Maywood's chief of police last week. Deputy Chief Donald Mobley is now the acting chief of the department.

Along with Collier, Ray Easley, the village's human resources director, and Chris Donovan, who worked in the village's Community Development Department, are no longer on staff. A village code-enforcement employee was also let go.

first-time home buyers seminar

Maywood Herald:
A free First Time Home Buyers Seminar is scheduled for Saturday... 9:30 a.m. until noon in the second-floor Village Council Chambers, located at 125 S. Fifth Ave., Maywood.

To register for the free First Time Home Buyer Seminar or for information, call (708) 450-6383.

Jason Ervin hired by Maywood

The Maywood Herald (David Pollard) has coverage of Maywood hiring Jason Ervin as interim finance director.
A political ally of Maywood's mayor now fills the finance director's seat.

Jason Ervin, a certified public account as well as supporter of Henderson Yarbrough Sr. during his campaign for mayor, is the interim finance director....

Ervin is no stranger to politics and was one of three candidates who ran for the Fourth District state Senate seat against Kimberly Lightford in the 2002 Democratic Primary.

District 95 planning infrastructure improvement

According to the Riverside/Brookfield Landmark (Bob Uphues) there was a big turnout for discussion of plans to improve District 95 infrastructure.
The next community forum is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24 in the gymnasium at Brook Park School from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Village of Brookfield is hiring

Riverside/Brookfield Landmark (Bob Uphues):
Citing a need for more leadership for employees inside village hall, Brookfield Village Manager Riccardo Ginex has put out a call for an assistant. Last week, Ginex posted two job openings, including one for an assistant village manager and one for a director of code enforcement.

Six Flags partnering with Brookfield Zoo

Six Flags Great America press release:
Premium Season Pass holders will not only receive unlimited admission to Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, but also to Brookfield Zoo and Shedd Aquarium. Premium Season Passes will be available exclusively at Six Flags Great America during its 15th annual Fright Fest, weekends October 8-30.

Welch declares candidacy to newspapers

The Pioneer Press (David Pollard) covers the essentials of Emanuel Christopher Welch declaring his candidacy to run against Rep. Karen Yarbrough in the Democratic Primary.

The Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) gets into the personal animosity behind the contest.

According to Yarbrough, Welch told her that he was upset that people she associated with, including District 209 board member Charles Flowers, blogger Carl Nyberg, Maywood youth mentor Barbara Coles and Yarbrough supporter Gary Woll, had been critical of his policies at District 209.

She said that Welch called his critics Yarbrough’s "attack dogs," and implied that he might drop out of the race if she got them to quiet down....

Nyberg said that his friendship with Yarbrough had nothing to do with his criticism of Welch. "Chris Welch doesn’t believe that any political organization can exist without someone pulling the strings, because that’s how he operates. He doesn’t believe there are people who actually believe in good government," he said....

"I look at him as a person who is consumed and crazed with power…his actions as school board president would tell me what not to vote for," said Flowers.

And the Forest Park Review editorial staff wrote this:
We hope he does not also bring with him the controversy, paranoia and disdain for differing opinions that he has shown at D209.

It is highly doubtful that all of Welch’s critics are all part of some shady, well-planned plot against him.

For a "real Democrat" Emanuel Christopher Welch sounds quite Nixonian. "Flowers, Barbara Cole, Gary Wohl and Nyberg, they're enemies! Keep a list of them."

Friday anonymous posting

If I'm completely truthful, I like some of the snarky anonymous posting, but it gets on my nerves after a period of time.

I still think it's relatively easy to make an anonymous account. However, some people who were posting seem to have stopped completely.

As a compromise, I'm going to open Proviso Probe for anonymous commments from Thursday evenings to Friday evenings.

how do you count abstentions?

I thought it was like voting "present" in the legislature.

But not in Proviso Township.

See Pioneer Press (David Pollard).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

paging Brian Buchanan & Jeremiah Busby

The Maywood PD want to talk to you. See Pioneer Press (John Huston).

curious about serial killers?

The Melrose Park Library is hosting Doug Cummings of WGN-Radio's crime reporter to speak on serial killers on October 20th at 7 PM. See the Pioneer Press for details.

District 89 schools improving

Only seven of ten fail to meet standards, an improvement from nine of ten failing last year. See the Pioneer Press.

Can any of Proviso Probe's erudite readers explain how the standards work?
AYP is the minimum level of improvement that school districts and schools must achieve each year as determined under the NCLB Act.

This sentence suggests that schools meet standards based on improvement from year to year. Does this mean that individual students are improving? Or does it mean this year's second graders are scoring better than last year's?

Luz Heredia of Melrose Park murdered

She was killed on Saturday, October 1, 2005 by a man posing as a police officer. The man had no criminal history and no motive has been identified.

See NBC5.

RIP Earl Robinson

Earl Robinson, 66, of Broadview, president of Proviso Habitat for Humanity, died Sept. 22.

See the Pioneer Press for the rest of the obit.

Pirates upset OPRF in volleyball

Pioneer Press (Tim Stablein) has the story, but you have to scroll down.

Pirates over Morton 48-0

Sergio Brown verbally committed to Notre Dame last week, so ND assistant coach Bill Lewis was at the game. Pioneer Press (Tim Stablein):
Lewis made the trip to Berwyn to watch Proviso East senior Sergio Brown, who orally committed to Notre Dame four days earlier. Brown gave one of his future coaches plenty to smile about with a pair of touchdowns on an interception and a punt return, as Proviso East (3-3, 2-2) rolled 48-0 over Morton (0-6) in a WSC Gold Division game.

D209 pay: teachers vs. custodians

The Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) has an article titled, "District 209 maintenance hires are political, say critics".

Mostly it's rehashing the usual. The minority says that campaign workers that helped Emanuel Christoper Welch and his slate are getting preference in hirings and promotions. Welch and the administrators deny it.

Here's the comparison between custodians and teachers.

According to the current union contract, which runs from 2005 to 2009, the district’s regular day custodians will make $45,806 this school year, while night custodians will make $46,251. By 2008-09, the last year of the current contract between the school board and the custodians, represented by Service Employees International Union Local No. 73 (SEIU 73), night custodians will be making over $52,000, with their daytime counterparts just behind at $51,525.68....

District 209 would not release a copy of the new [teacher] contract to the Review as all of its terms had not yet been finalized.

The old contract, which expired in 2004, granted teachers with bachelor’s degrees a starting salary of $34,950. Those with master’s degrees started at $38,713, while those with Ph.D.s started at $43,230.

YMCA to Forest Park

I like the idea of moving the YMCA to Forest Park, although it's probably closer to where I live at the Oak Park location. See Forest Park Review (Seth Stern).

murder in Broadview

The Sun-Times has the story of a person who was beaten to death. The body was found burning at 4 AM on Monday morning on the 2000 block of S. 25th.

justice for Jermiah Mearday

Belleville News Democrat (AP):

CHICAGO - The city of Chicago on Monday agreed to pay a suburban man $1.75 million to settle litigation stemming from an alleged incident of police brutality eight years ago.

Jeremiah Mearday, of Maywood, will receive the money in exchange for dropping any lawsuits arising from claims Chicago police beat him in 1997 and then wrongly arrested him a year later.

Mearday's attorney said he was pleased by the settlement.

Added local blog to sidebar

I've added beat-him-at-da-pole. The first post says:
This site is for individuals who are not afraid to use their first amendment rights. It will be used to uncover the disruptive behavior of the undercover brotha from the Proviso Township that masquerades as a lawyer and politician. Please post all relevant information for community action. We must band together to stop all EMM monkey business and save our community from Armageddon. This a support site for those ready to stop the madness from two individuals who bring moral decay to our community...By posing as a helping hand.

I intend to have links to all Proviso bloggers whom I know about.

Remember, you are allowed to blog on stuff besides politics.

Any local White Sox bloggers?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Posting to Proviso Probe

I’ve received a couple complaints by telephone about eliminating the anonymous comments.

I created a new Blogger account to see how much info one needs to provide. I did provide a valid email address, but did not receive any email. So, I suspect one could create a Blogger account with a false email address. Obviously, the syntax needs to be correct.

But even if you create an account with your email address, Blogger doesn’t give it out unless you authorize it. I suppose the email address could be obtained with a court order. But a court order can obtain your IP address for anonymous posts. The IP address tells how you accessed the Internet, so it will point back to your home or office.

Or you can create a free email account with Yahoo or Hotmail that isn’t connected to your name. This is probably a good idea anyway. It will allow you to pursue anonymous sexual encounters on craigslist or you can give the dummy email address to websites, companies and organizations you suspect will give the address to spammers.

Monday, October 03, 2005

racial profiling in La Grange Park

According to the Sun-Times (Art Golab & Mark J. Konkol) La Grange Park is by far the most aggressive community at searching cars of minority drivers during traffic stops.

Welch's offer to Yarbrough

Emanuel Christopher Welch told Rep. Karen Yarbrough that he would withdraw from the Democratic primary if she called off her attack dogs. Who are the critics that bother Welch?

* Barbara Cole
* Charles Flowers
* Carl Nyberg
* Gary Woll

Yarbrough responded by saying that she doesn’t control any of us and we’re our own people.

Rowe to challenge Harmon

This Northlake Herald Journal (Chuck Fieldman) article reads funny. The first sentence is:
Jim Rowe, a 27-year-old Franklin Park resident currently serving a four-year term on the board of Franklin Park School District 84, has announced his candidacy for the Illinois State Senate.

then it shifts to talking about a garage sale.

District 95

James Landahl, the president of the D95 (Brookfield & La Grange Park) board, has a piece in the Riverside/Brookfield Landmark.

He says the district is doing well by the students and keeping costs down.

Anybody see things differently?

which municipalities within Proviso

I now have a precinct map of Proviso Township. The following villages are in Proviso Township.

Brookfield has 11 of 22 precincts in Proviso.
Forest Park
La Grange Park is entirely in Proviso.
Oak Brook has a partial precinct in Proviso, the 93rd.
Melrose Park has all but two precincts in Proviso.
Northlake has 3 of 13 precincts in Proviso.
Stone Park
Western Springs has one precinct in Proviso.

Ceasefire rally Wednesday

Please join Maywood Ceasefire on Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 7:00 pm for a response rally at 204 S. 8th Ave. Ceasefire is responding to the shooting of a young African-American female at the site last week. The victim survived and will join in the response.

Please join your community in showing outrage this act of violence. Your presence adds to the numbers which empowers victims and witnesses to speak up to rid the community of violence and predators.

For information contact Jan Bolling (708) 256-2766 or Keenan Ellis (630) 670-8485.

Huskies over West 27-14

The OPRF Huskies (4-2, 2-1 West Suburban Silver) defeated Proviso West (2-4, 0-4)27-14.

Sun-Times (Rosemary Sobol):

Quarterback Thurston Tolliver (14-for-24, 244 yards) threw two scores to Darious Watson (118 yards receiving) for Proviso West.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Help Dems take Congress

Support Christine Cegelis with some of your hard earned money. She's running for the House seat being vacated by Representative Henry Hyde. If you give through Act Blue you also help support me.

Mayor Calderone's picnic

Yesterday, while riding back from Berkeley I passed a sizable party at Altenheim Retirement Home. Not being shy, I stop and went in. It was Mayor Anthony Calderone’s annual picnic. The food was good and beverages plentiful.

I met three musicians from Forest Park, Steve, Rich and Ikuko. Rich was a musician at Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo, Japan, where I was stationed in the Navy. We had the same Japanese instructor, Mr. Tominaga. Small world, eh?

I also spoke briefly with a prominent real estate guy. I don’t know if he was speaking on the record, so I will avoid using his name. This guy used the full cycle of profanities in describing Emanuel Christopher Welch. IIRC, he also used “idiot” and said, “I don’t know who he thinks is going to support him.” The real estate guy also pledged $5,000 to defeat the next referendum for District 209.

ARDC complaint against ECW ICO Billy Welch

Below is the text of the letter from the ARDC.
We concluded our inquiry in the above matter [case No. 05 CI 4044] and have determined that there is not a sufficient basis for further action by this office.

Mr. Emmanuel [sic] C. Welch is President of the Proviso Township High Schools District 209. You allege that Mr. Emmanuel [sic] C. Welch violated our Rules of Professional Conduct when he, as a member of the school board, voted to hire his brother, Bill Welch, as a custodian at Proviso West High School (“PWHS”).

Mr. Welch pointed out that although he previously represented Bill in a criminal case, at the time he voted to hire him, Mr. Welch was not providing him with counsel on any legal matter. According to Mr. Welch, he did not participate in the application, interviewing or recommendation of Bill to the position at PWHS. However, he did vote in favor of hiring Bill, but only after receiving assurance from the Board’s attorney that there would be no conflict in doing so. We note that we do not have any evidence that Mr. Welch’s position on the board of the school district unduly influenced the vote of the other members, or that he used his position to give Bill an unfair advantage over any other candidates for the PWHS job.

For the foregoing reasons, we have determined that we would not be able to prove that Mr. Welch’s actions were contrary to our Rules of Professional Conduct. Accordingly, we are closing our file in this matter.

Very truly yours,

/s/Myrrha B. Guzman

anny_mus is correct, this is a short term victory for Emanuel Christopher Welch.

However, there's much to criticize in the ARDC response.

Guzman's response responds to a straw man argument. She tries to make the complaint about nepotism. It wasn't. I was about Emanuel Christopher Welch having an attorney-client relationship with Billy Welch.

Welch claimed the attorney-client relationship had been terminated. I explained the attorney-client privilege exists in perpetuity and that Welch would have derived information relevant to whether to hire Billy Welch as a custodian.

The only grounds for dismissing the complaint is that the information Welch derived from representing the accused drug dealer wasn't relevant to the decision to hire him. If the ARDC wants to take that position, fine. But it doesn't get to change the substance of the complaint to an easier complaint to dismiss.