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Proviso Probe

Monday, July 31, 2006

MEDIA, analysis of Israel-Lebanon conflict

Vast numbers of blogs exist. If you want to read knowledgeable commentary try Informed Comment by Professor Juan Cole or Whiskey Bar by Billmon.

Both Dr. Cole and Billmon have considerable expertise.

WEATHER, how's the heat affect you?

I turned on my second air conditioner today.

Do any Proviso Probe readers not have A/C in their sleeping quarters?

How has the heat affected your life? Your family's lives?

M06, campaign disclosure reports

The semi-annual campaign disclosure statements covering the March, 2006 primary are online.

County board president:
John Stroger's campaign committees
Forrest Claypool's campagin committees

Proviso Democratic Committeeman
Karen Yarbrough
Eugene Moore's campaign committees

Fourth Senate
Kimberly Lightford
James Smith

Seventh State Rep
Karen Yarbrough
Emanuel "Chris" Welch

Eighth State Rep
La Shawn Ford
Calvin Giles

I haven't looked at the reports. What jumps out at you?

ED, District 209 comments [D209]

Today District 209 held a press conference for the new sign at PMSA. Did anybody go?

Also, tonight's board meeting will interview superintendent candidates.

Friday, July 28, 2006

KLEPT, allegations of sexual extortion

In the July 20, 2006 West Suburban Journal Nicole Trottie made the allegation that Frank Pasquale or someone connected with him tried to extort sex of some sort from Trottie in exchange for advertising revenue.

Trottie further complained that Bellwood publishes its mandatory public notices in Pioneer Press, but not West Suburban Journal. Trottie argued that Pioneer Press does not have enough local news to fulfill the requirements of the law.

Thoughts? Comments?

PO-PO, to taser or not to taser [FP]

The Forest Park Police Department has begun to use tasers liberally. Tasers are electric stun guns that claim to have exceedingly low risk of serious injury.

The pro-taser argument is that they do less damage than other means of restraining suspects.

However, the Forest Park PD has used the taser on at least one person who wasn't the suspect they were looking for. My concern is that the Forest Park PD is so gung ho on tasers that they are contributing to situations escalating to the point of needing a taser when a calmer, more professional approach would make it so no physical force was needed at all.

The cops can be rude and antagonistic with the homeless and others on the margins of society because the cops know they can use the taser. Some of these encounters could be dealt with by verbal persuasion, but the cops now create a tone for the encounter that's going to lead to the citizen being tasered because it's safe.

GOV, how does your village president stack up?

In Forest Park there are people who criticize Mayor Anthony Calderone. My major disagreement with Calderone is over the police department. Otherwise, Calderone's a pretty decent mayor.

But, I recently thought of a system for analyzing mayors (village presidents in most Proviso communities) that perhaps makes them look better. How do they compare to their peers.

The village presidents could be considered analogous to the president of the school board, president of the county board, president of the board of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, governor and president.

How would you rank your village president (mayor) in the following field?
* Emanuel "Chris" Welch, president D209
* Kathy Ryan, supervisor, Proviso Township
* John Stroger
* Terry O'Brien, president board MWRD
* Rod Blagojevich
* George W. Bush

My thinking is that Tony Calderone is easily a better mayor than Bush is president, than Blagojevich is governor, than Stroger was county board president and than Welch is school board president. And I suspect even most of Calderone's local critics would agree that he's done better for Forest Park than most of these others have done for their unit of government.

How do the village presidents stack up?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

DEFAM, sanctions motion arguments to be heard today

Last September Chris Welch and his brother, Billy Welch, filed defamation lawsuits against me (Carl Nyberg). See Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) for a neutral observers account.

I sought pro bono legal representation which I eventually received. Once I wasn't merely representing myself, Chris Welch withdrew the lawsuit without prejudice. This allows him to refile the lawsuits within a year. See Forest Park Review (Seth Stern).

My attorneys filed a sanctions motion contending the lawsuits were frivolous and brought for an illegitimate purpose. See this entry for expanded text of the sanctions motion.

Welch and his boss, James J. Roche, have succeeded in delaying hearings on the sanctions motion. But today is the day Judge Diane Joan Larsen hears arguments. My side filed an amended sanctions motion, Welch responded and my side filed a "reply memorandum in support of defendant's motion for sanctions".

Under Illinois law the only remedy available is to seek sanctions. And even then the only thing I can get is to have the lawsuit dismissed with prejudice (the Welches can't refile) and have them pay my attorney fees. While Latham & Watkins is representing me pro bono, if the judge were to award "reasonable attorney fees" the Welches would have to pay Latham & Watkins at the firms normal rate.

The case is scheduled for 11:00 AM so I better get to court.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

OPEN, what's up?

Have you got something you want to share or discuss?

Monday, July 24, 2006

ED, Libka gives his side of summer school issue [D209]

Last week's Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) has D209's side of story on putting summer school at PMSA in Forest Park even though the zoning agreement forbid it.
Proviso High School District 209 Chief Education Officer Robert Libka said that there was "nothing slippery or underhanded" involved in the district’s decision to hold summer school at the new Proviso Math and Science Academy in Forest Park without informing the village....

"We could have done better in terms of communication in this case...if we messed up, we want to apologize," said Libka....

Previous attempts to contact Libka and other Dist. 209 representatives regarding the issue over the last few weeks have been unsuccessful.

He acknowledged that Kyle Hastings, the district’s director of auxiliary programming who oversees the summer school, had met with police officials to request a police presence only after summer school began....

Remember, Libka and Hastings make well in excess of $100,000/year.

Friday, July 14, 2006

ADMIN, going on a trip

I'm going on a canoe trip for a week starting tomorrow.

I picked the picture because the unrest in the Middle East is going to be felt in higher gas prices locally. I'm curious how much the cost will increase while I'm gone.

I'm going to turn off comments while I'm gone, so if you have something to say say it today.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

PO-PO, bad blood on the force [FP]

Forest Park police lieutenant Steve Johnsen called Mayor Anthony Calderone "crooked". Calderone called Johnsen a liar. Calderone ally Tim Gillian also called Johnsen a liar. See Forest Park Review (Bob Skolnik).

I've written that the FPPD lacks good order and discipline under the leadership of Chief Jim Ryan and Mayor Calderone. I think dysfunctional would be a fair adjective too.

I can see Calderone being concerned about Johnsen's business partnership with Commissioner Patrick Doolin. But the proper concern is that village employees have personal loyalties that may conflict with professional duties. However, Johnsen's conflict-of-interest is weaker than some other Forest Park employees who are Calderone loyalists.

Sgt. Mike Murphy has been alleged to be a serial perpetrator of police brutality. Who keeps his personnel file? His wife Dora, the assistant to the Chief of Police.

Sally Cody, Calderone's assistant, is divorced from Lt. Mike Cody and presumably has shared expenses for their children. Mike Cody was convicted of assaulting another FPPD officer and was subsequently promoted and put in charge of internal investigations.

So, Calderone complaining about Johnsen seems a tad... partisan. The fix is to create policies that keep conflict of interest to a minimum. Calderone's management seems to be to tolerate conflicts-of-interest of political allies and to use his power to use other conflicts-of-interest against his political rivals.

I'm also getting tired of Calderone claiming he's got nothing to do with running the police department.
Calderone said that Ryan, not himself, runs the police department.

Under the commissioner form of government the mayor is the commissioner of the police department. Not only is Calderone getting involved in police matters, it's part of his job description. He's a former auxiliary cop who is interested in police issues.

Calderone's denials of being involved in personnel decisions would be more credible if he explained how he is and isn't involved in police department decisions. Merely claiming all is delegated to Ryan seems implausible.

Monday, July 10, 2006

OPEN, What's on your mind?

Any recommendations for cool stuff to do during the summer?

Friday, July 07, 2006

MEDIA, FP Post arrives today [FP]

Anybody have any comments on the new Forest Park Post?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

BLOG, new blog in town

I received an email from KT who has started the blog Deductive or Inductive? to discuss education issues.

What are the questions you think KT should address on Deductive or Inductive?

KLEPT, using government money to promote name recognition [FP]

In the past some Proviso pols have used government money to promote name recognition. Westchester Village President Paul Gattuso did it in a misleading, perhaps deceitful, way. And of course, Emanuel "Chris" Welch, president of the District 209 board of education, had his face or name in newsletters more than anyone else when he was running for state representative.

For those of you that aren't political junkies, most elections are determined by name recognition. There are some races where important issues are decided but mostly people think to themselves, "Yeah, I've hear of her/him." So local politicians like to get their names plastered on stuff to help in future campaigns.

Forest Park Mayor Tony Calderone decided to use the Forest Park newsletter for this game.

In a newspaper or newsletter, where is the most important information? On the cover, right? The only time sensitive information on the front of the Forest Park newsletter is a letter from Calderone. Inside there is other information which may or may not be useful.

The newsletter is printed on thick glossy paper.

So Forest Park decides it needs to do a newsletter starting about eight months before the village election. A quarter of the newsletter is devoted to letting Calderone have his say. BTW, how much did this newsletter cost? And who made money from it?

If Forest Park needed a newsletter, here's how it should have been done.
1. It should have been printed on simple paper.
2. Any statement by the village should have been generally from the village or signed by the village administrator.