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Proviso Probe

Friday, December 29, 2006

OPEN, year in reviw for Proviso Township

Forest Park Review (Josh Adams) listed Forest Park's top ten stories for 2006.

Only one seems significant across Proviso Township.

Proviso Township hires new superintendent; District 209 sees immediate changes

What would you consider the big stories of Proviso Township for the year?

Some candidates:

1. Karen Yarbrough defeating Eugene Moore for Democratic Committeeman.
2. New superintendent at District 88, Nichelle Rivers.
3. Chris Welch losing badly his campaign for state rep.
4. Continued financial problems in the Village of Broadview.

What else?

GOV, public defender can make cuts

Chicago Tribune (Mickey Ciokajlo; Carlos Sadovi contributing):
Cook County Public Defender Edwin Burnette said Wednesday that his office has complied with County Board President Todd Stroger's directive to cut its budget by 17 percent, a move that could result in the layoffs of up to 50 assistant public defenders.

Burnette said he was able to reach the budget target with fewer possible layoffs by incorporating other ideas, such as furloughs, four-day work weeks, and by harnessing private lawyers to do more pro bono work representing the office's clients. (emphasis added)

When the State's Attorney was told to cut by 17% he said it would be impossible without sacrificing justice.

Also, isn't getting private attorneys to take the cases pro bono effectively a tax on defense attorneys?

Can we outsource 17% of Stroger's security detail to the private sector on a pro bono basis?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

SPORT, Mickey Perry leaves Wisconsin hoops program [M]

MADISON, Wis. - Mickey Perry, a redshirt freshman guard on the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team, has requested and been granted his official release from the University of Wisconsin, head coach Bo Ryan announced Friday.

“Mickey has decided to move on to another university and seek out other opportunities to further his basketball and educational experience,” Ryan said. “He is a fine young man who I wish nothing but the best for in the future.”

Perry, a native of Maywood, Ill., redshirted last season and appeared in seven games this year for the Badgers. He played a total of 23 minutes and scored seven points. His best performance was against Southern on Nov. 19 when he scored five points and had two rebounds in nine minutes.

“I want to thank the University of Wisconsin, along with my teammates and coaches for all their support during my time here,” Perry said. “Wisconsin gave me a chance to play at an extremely high level and be a part of something special and I’m grateful for that. The Badger basketball program has developed into a great program with a lot of great players. I’ve decided to look for an opportunity where I can help a team by contributing more on the floor during games. I also want to thank the fans at the University of Wisconsin for all the support they have provided myself and my teammates. I wish Wisconsin all the best in the future and hopefully they can continue the special season that has started here.”

Anybody have details?

POL, Stroger isolates himself from citizens & media

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has increased the size of his security detail while demanding other elected officials cut their budgets by 17%.

Daily Southtown editorial rips on Stroger for isolating himself from the media and the voters.
The issue: Recently elected Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has instituted measures that isolate him from the masses -- including reserving a private elevator in the County Building.

We say: These measures are pompous and prevent Stroger from keeping in touch with the people he's elected to serve.

SPORT, Proviso West tournament begins tomorrow

See the Proviso West Holiday Tournament website.

For news coverage, try Google News.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

ADMIN, comment moderation on

Over the holidays I don't want to sort out acceptable from unacceptable comments.

I have switch the settings to "moderation enabled". I will have to approve comments before they appear.

[UPDATE: I'm leaving the comments set to "moderate". It takes me less time to deal with comments this way.]

Friday, December 22, 2006

CRIME, child porn allegations against Bellwood teacher [D88]

Proviso Insider:
The Insider has learned that Bellwood School District 88 was raided a short time ago by state and federal authorities. According to Insider sources, authorities are searching Wilson Elementary School for a music teacher who is involved in some type of child pornography.

I have not been able to confirm Proviso Insider's reporting, but s/he goes on to make allegations that have been denied.

Proviso Insider alleges this teacher is related to District 88 board member John Wicks and Rep. Karen Yarbrough. Yarbrough denies being related to any District 88 teachers. And Wicks denies being related to the teacher involved in this story.

Once again Proviso Insider is taking a little real information and mixing with falsehoods to turn unfortunate news into a political hit.

These defamatory lies are routine for Proviso Insider, so you know why s/he hides her/his true identity.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

HEALTH, drug use at RB [D208]

Riverside/Brookfield Landmark (Bob Skolnik)
One in five Riverside-Brookfield High School seniors say that they have tried cocaine, 64 percent of RB seniors report having used marijuana by the time they were 18 and 88 percent of RB seniors say they have drunk alcohol by the time they were 18. In addition, 60 percent of seniors say that they have used tobacco by the time they reached 18.

Those are some of the findings of a recent survey conducted at RBHS this fall. The school anonymously surveyed students concerning their use of drugs and alcohol.

Should Proviso Township High Schools survey its students?

GOV, Stroger demands 17% across-the-board cuts

See Sun-Times (Abdon M. Pallasch).

Isn't this the brain-dead way to do what Stroger told us to fear from Tony Peraica?

GOV, Stroger demands 17% across-the-board cuts

See Sun-Times (Abdon M. Pallasch).

Isn't this the brain-dead way to do what Stroger told us to fear from Tony Peraica?

Monday, December 18, 2006

GOV, Proviso Township High Schools board meeting [D209]

Tonight there was a board meeting. I’ll write more about it later, but feel free to discuss District 209 or the specifics of the board meeting.

F07, filings for Forest Park commissioner [FP]

As of 4 PM--an hour before the deadline--the following individuals had filed to run for commissioner in Forest Park. On February 27, 2007, there will be a primary. The top eight candidates will appear on the ballot for the general election in April. The top four vote getters will be seated as Forest Park’s commissioners in May.

* Hosty (incumbent)
* Curry
* Plepel
* Tellalian
* Hoskins
* Webster
* Scafidi
* Lazzara
* Nyberg

[UPDATE: I have checked and I was the last candidate to file.

[Also, I neglected to mention the candidates for mayor. The following candidates who had all announced their candidacies in the Forest Park Review filed to run.

* Calderone (incumbent)
* Doolin
* Jackson
* Steinbach

[End update]

[UPDATE2: Looks like Scafidi and maybe Jackson are off the ballot. See Forest Park Review (Josh Adams).]

ECON, Blagojevich signs Lightford bill to raise minimum wage

Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the bill to increase the minimum wage. See Illinois Government News Network (aka the Blago wire). Senator Kimberly Lightford was the lead sponsor.

PHOTO, Maywood photos galore

See the Maywood page on Smugmug.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

ADMIN, my phone died

On Saturday my mobile phone died which was a tad inconvenient for my birthday party.

I hope that the mobile phone store can fix it on Monday.

If you want to contact me, send me an email, RadioNyberg circled "a" Yahoo spot c0m.

[UPDATE: I couldn't recover the phone numbers from the memory, so I don't have your phone number. Please send me a text message with your name in it or send me an email with your phone number. Thanks]

Saturday, December 16, 2006

POL, Democrat of the Year nominations

Ellen Beth Gill is taking nominations for Democrat of the Year (Ellen's Illinois Tenth Congressional District Blog). It's technically not limited to Illinois, but it sorta seems that's the de facto audience.

(The post mentions me, but there are obviously better candidates than me. I nominated Lauren Beth Gash, the Committeeman for IL-10, and Rep. Karen Yarbrough, who introduced the resolution to impeach President Bush.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

MEDIA, Viewpoints From the Other Side

I'm not 100% sure, but there may be a revelation about a certain public figure appearing before the grand jury tomorrow on "Viewpoints From the Other Side" hosted by Arnie Bryant.

You can listen 2-3 PM on WJJG, 1530 AM, on Saturday.

Remember just because someone testifies before the grand jury doesn't mean s/he is the target of the investigation. But it's not exactly good news for someone who has allegations swirling around her/him.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

HEALTH, Loyola Hospital gets new top exec [M]

Chicago Tribune (Bruce Japsen):
A hospital executive hailed for his research expertise and key role in reopening New Orleans' primary academic medical center following the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina was named Wednesday the top executive of Loyola University Health System.

Dr. Paul Whelton, senior vice president for health sciences at the Tulane University Health Sciences Center and dean of the university's medical school, will be the new president and chief executive of the parent of Loyola University Medical Center.

CRIME, locals charged with selling stolen goods on Ebay [MP]

Five charged of fencing stolen property on Ebay. See Belleville News Democrat (AP).
Mike Pirozzoli of Melrose Park, Javier Rodriguez of Glen Ellyn, Ralph Cataudella of Chicago and John and Joanne Cataudella of Addison were charged with receiving stolen property.

John and Joanne Cataudella are married, and Ralph is John's cousin, officials said. All are in custody and appeared in bond court Thursday afternoon. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Maura Slattery set bond of $100,000 apiece for Pirozzoli, Ralph Cataudella and John Cataudella, and $75,000 apiece for Rodriguez and Joanne Cataudella.

Anybody know the accused?

POL, Stroger-Odelson relationship [D209]

Ray Hanania (Daily Southtown) has a column on Todd Stroger and Burt Odelson. Odelson is attorney for District 209, Proviso Township High Schools, in addition to his new role as Stroger's parliamentarian.
As Todd’s chief legal adviser, Odelson could become a powerful force who can definitely do more for the Southwest side and suburbs than any of our lacking elected officials in the county or elsewhere.

While Beavers and others might have viewed Todd Stroger as a push-over, they may be surprised at Stroger’s resilience with Odelson at his side.

KLEPT, Stone Park PD accused of prostitution shakedown [SP]

Blake Horowitz press release:
In a money making scheme designed to trap innocent men into paying up to $600.00 in cash, the City of Stone Park has trapped innocent men for solicitation of a prostitute in a scheme that and has generated more than half a million dollars in this endeavor.

An undercover officer has been captured, on video, attempting to solicit and ensnare customers who come to use the Blue Dolphin Car Wash (the site of the fraudulent sting operation). The plaintiffs of a lawsuit already pending against Stone Park police have amended their complaint to lodge a class action. "There were just so many innocent men being caught, it was time for a class action" says attorney, Blake Horwitz. "It has become so bad that even the owner of the car wash has filed a lawsuit."

Solicitation of a prostitute is not engaging in a sexual act, but the request for sexual contact. This is where the story unfolds. "It's the same story, over and over again, from every single person," said Blake Horwitz, police misconduct attorney and representative of the twelve current plaintiffs. "Typically, a man would pull into the car wash and an undercover female officer would approach, saying "I'll do anything" and "how much would you give me for ...." After an exchange lasting no more than 30 seconds the innocent car wash customers rebuff the Stone Park officer and then drive off. Afterwards, the car wash customer is then pulled over by Stone Park Officers who impound the cars to the tune of $500 plus storage fees. Later the car wash customer gets a ticket for solicitation and is summoned to a quasi-criminal hearing.

The sting operation is also hurting the owner of the Blue Dolphin Car Wash (the chosen location of the operation). Today, John and Zyta Pawlik, owners of the Blue Dolphin Car Wash, are filing a lawsuit for civil rights violations due to the damage Stone Park's "sting operation" has had on their business. They have suffered a loss of customers and have been told that people avoid the car wash now out of the fear of being falsely apprehended.

In his own separate lawsuit, Mr. Pawlik, the new Plaintiff, has video evidence of the unlawful actions of the undercover Stone Park officer attempting to solicit and entrap men as recently as September 2006.

Hopefully the class action claims will get the Stone Park police to stop their corrupt tactics and persuade more victims to come forward. Horwitz was quoted as saying, "The village is relying on (the victims') embarrassment to keep this money-making scheme quiet, but I think they'll find that the falsely accused men don't want to be intimated."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

OPEN, what articles got your attention?

It's newspaper day!

What article grabbed your attention?

Forest Park Review
Proviso Herald
Riverside/Brookfield Landmark
Suburban Life

Also, the forum formerly known as "ForestPark.com" has a new home, although I'm having trouble finding it.

CRIME, Melrose Park celebrity rape allegations [MP]

Joe Francis, the creator of Girls Gone Wild, has been sentenced to community service in Florida. See Yahoo (Melissa Nelson, AP).

There were allegations Francis raped a performer (is that the right term?) in Melrose Park.

Any news about that case?

MEDIA, Forest Park Review editorial page

What do you think of the Forest Park Review editorial page?

One person complained the editorial on the conclusion of the hearings to fire Sgt. Dan Harder is difficult to decipher. I think the editorial is making the case the charges against Harder are bullshit and the people involved have behaved poorly. But the problem has become that Harder is not likely to be welcome back in the Forest Park PD at this point.

I think the point of the editorial is that the Village of Forest Park is in a "no win" situation, but the Forest Park Review doesn't want to assign blame for who created the "no win" situation.

Also, there's now an editorial cartoonist. I'm a little disappointed that there wasn't a caricature of any of the commissioners or other village officials.

BLOG, make a list of Proviso Insider's falsehoods and lies

I've received a number of complaints about Proviso Insider writing false information about people in the community.

I'd like to collect the examples of stuff that Proviso Insider has written that is factually incorrect and written to harm individuals.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

N06, citizens report machines switched Peraica votes to Stroger

Sun-Times (Scott Fornek and Steve Patterson):
Many voters said they thought machines were rigged to pick Democrat Todd Stroger for Cook County Board president, asserting their votes for Republican Tony Peraica showed up as Stroger votes until they, or an election judge, were able to fix them.

"Voted for Peraica but 'x' kept appearing on Stroger box," a Niles Township complaint read. "Voter claims [touch screens] are fixed to pick Stroger."

The touch screen machines have been completely discredited.

In Florida there is a situation where the Republican got more votes recorded, but it was because the voting machines weren't recording all the votes in the Democratic part of the Congressional district.

PO-PO, have you bought your Carbon Monoxide detectors yet?

WQAD (Moline, IL):
Fire Chiefs in Illinois are spreading the word about a new law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in homes and apartments across the state.

It starts January first. ''You need one carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of every sleeping area'', said State Fire Marshall Dave Foreman at a news conference at the East Moline Fire Department on Monday. ''If you've got sleeping areas on two floors, you're probably going to need two''.

Have you gotten your Carbon Monoxide detector yet? Will you?

Or would you rather save the money ($25-$105 each)?

And what role did the manufacturers of Carbon Monoxide detectors play in passing this new law?

ENVIR, what should village's do about snow on sidewalks?

Chicago Tribune (Jon Hilkevitch):
Chicago and many suburbs still treat the needs of pedestrians as an afterthought when the flakes fly.

It amounts to a double standard that extends to virtually all automobile-versus-pedestrian issues, according to advocates for creating more walker-friendly communities in northeastern Illinois.

"Sidewalks serve more people than roads do. Why would plowing the roads be considered a basic necessity, while sidewalks are treated as some sort of garnish?" said Ben Helphand, the pedestrian program manager at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago.

Yesterday I was in Oak Park where a local advocate for the disabled bent-the-ear of a former village trustee about people not clearing their sidewalks.

My contribution to the discussion was that the Village of Oak Park would be hypocrites to write citations for businesses not clearing their sidewalks when the sidewalks adjacent to village parking lots are completely neglected.

Forest Park plows all the public sidewalks in the village.

What should communities do about snow on sidewalks?

ENVIR, does it seem warm for mid December?

Today's my birthday. Does it seem a tad warm for this time of year?

According to weather.com the average high temp for Dec. 12 in Chicago is 31 F with an average low of 25 F. The record high is 57 F (1990). We're at 50 F as I write this.

In honor of the weather, I'm going to move Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, up my Netflix list.

What's the deal with posting The Scream? Today is Edvard Munch's birthday. He was an expressionist painter. Here's the beginning of what Wikipedia says about expressionism.
Expressionism is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect; it is a subjective art form. Expressionism is exhibited in many art forms, including painting, literature, film, architecture and music. Additionally, the term often implies emotional angst – the number of cheerful expressionist works is relatively small.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

POL, Lightford to be appointed to higher office? [4th SEN]

I heard a rumor that Governor Rod Blagojevich is considering appointing Senator Kimberly Lightford to a statewide education position.

Has anyone heard the details of this?

If there was a vacancy the Democratic Committeemen that hold the most power (weighted vote) in determining the replacement senator are:

1. Proviso (Karen Yarbrough)
2. 28th Ward (Ed Smith)
3. 29th Ward ("Ike" Carothers)
4. Oak Park (Don Harmon)

Other committeemen who have a vote include Berwyn, River Forest, Riverside and the 36th Ward.

[UPDATE: This was covered in yesterday's Chicago Tribune (Diane Rado)
As chair of the Senate Education Committee, Lightford (D-Maywood) plays a powerful role in determining school policy in Illinois. But she does not have a background as a teacher and school administrator--one of the chief criteria set by the Illinois State Board of Education.

The board's chairman, Jesse Ruiz, said Thursday that he has heard concerns from at least one board member about candidates who do not have education backgrounds and about the "politicization" of the process of selecting a new schools superintendent.

[Comments on the possibility of Lightford being appointed? Who should the committeemen appoint to the vacancy?]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ENVIR, cut brush, use poison and it's legal

Thatcher Woods Savanna Restoration Project Workday

Saturday, December 9, 2006, 9:00 AM to noon

Meet at the monument at Washington & Thatcher, River Forest

Activity: cut and herbicide Buckthorn

Note: Brush fire burns are scheduled for January 6 and February 10

For more info, contact Victor Guarino, victor.guarino circled "a" sbcglobal.net.

Rep. Karen Yarbrough chided the new county board president, Todd Stroger, on the campaign trail because the Forest Preserve had less litter on the River Forest side of the river than on the Maywood side.

This is true because volunteeers, not county employees, make an organized effort to keep the Forest Preserve cleaned-up. The county neglects both sides of the river equally.

ECON, how much does Jackson charge for product endorsements?

Cynthia has ripped Jesse Jackson, Sr. for recording radio advertisements for the utility companies, like ComEd, to make it sound like Illinois was getting a good deal by allowing electric companies to gouge consumers.

How much did ComEd have to give Rainbow/PUSH to get Jackson to pitch rate increases to WVON listeners?

Or does Jesse Jackson think that the most pressing social justice issue is helping ComEd squeeze customers for an extra $5-40 per month?

Can we now dismiss Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH as "has beens"?

Monday, December 04, 2006

OPEN, what's on your mind?

Schools? Weather? The Bears?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

MEDIA, Nyberg to host "Viewpoints"

Today at 2:00 PM I will host "Viewpoints From the Other Side" on 1530 AM.

I’ll talk about some local school issues.

I’ll probably talk about the Illinois Senate Democrats selling-out homeowners and renters so Emil Jones can raise a bunch of money from Commonwealth Edison and other electric companies.

And I’ll try to set aside some time for open mic. What’s on your mind?

ECON, thank Emil Jones when your electric bill skyrockets

Citizen Utility Board is putting the best spin on it, but Illinois Senate President Emil Jones is trying to screw consumers so Commonwealth Edison can jack electricity rates 50% or more.

The Illinois House, led by Speaker Michael Madigan, did pass a bill to extend the rate freeze. Reps. Deborah Graham, Bob Molaro and Karen Yarbrough voted for the rate freeze. Reps. Bob Biggins (Republican) and Calvin Giles did not for the freeze.

(What's up with Giles? He based his primary campaign on decrying the influence peddling in Springfield and now he's voting with the utilities and against the consumers.)

See State Journal Register (Andriana Colindres) for details.
Illinois lawmakers left Springfield without an agreement on how best to help consumers who are about to be hit with double-digit increases in their residential electricity rates.

But the chances of [passing either the House or Senate bill] look slim because the top leaders in the Senate and House disagree about what lawmakers should do. Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago, has said he opposes a continued rate freeze, and Madigan has said he prefers a rate freeze to a phase-in plan.

I'm a little disappointed in Senator Don Harmon over this impass.

I discussed the issue with him on October 2, 2006.

Harmon explained to me that the rate freeze would get passed, but Emil Jones and Michael Madigan differed over the timing.

According to Harmon Madigan wanted it voted before the November election because it would help vulnerable House Dems. Jones, however, wanted to postpone the vote because it would be a populist issue that would help vulnerable Senate Republicans. And the Democratic candidates supported by Jones did take a number of seats from Republicans across the state.

I'd like to think Jones misled Harmon about his intentions, but it's possible Harmon succeeded in spinning me.

KLEPT, Calderone wants the lawyers paid or no one gets paid [FP]

At 10:00 AM on Monday, December 4, the Village of Forest Park will hold a special meeting of the board of commissioners. The meeting will vote on the bills that were left unpaid after the last meeting.

At the regular meeting Commissioners Patrick Doolin and Terri Steinbach voted to pass all but a few line items of the package, which included over 200 bills. Commissioner Tim Gilliam was absent and Mayor Tony Calderone and Commissioner Mark Hosty refused to approve any of the bills unless the bills connected to the law firms Giglio & Del Galdo and Hervas, Condon & Bersani were approved. See Forest Park Review (Josh Adams).

The Giglio & Del Galdo bills were part of the village’s plan to acquire eight properties for parking and a police substation. (Does Forest Park need a police substation?) According to Doolin the scope of this land acquisition was more aggressive than he had been led to believe. So he and Steinbach were caught off guard by the large number of properties.

Further Doolin questioned why the legal work was done by Giglio & Del Galdo instead of the law firm Forest Park has on retainer, Storino, Romello & Durkin. Giglio & Delgaldo is closely associated with Ron Serpico, political boss and Melrose Park Village President. The firm tried to get District 209’s legal business recently.

Hervas, Condon and Bersani represents disbarred attorney Anthony Bruno, who is under investigation by the feds for corruption and was the contractor for the Forest Park water project.

Doolin also thought the $1,500 bills for each appraisal were too high. Doolin, a realtor, said a thorough appraisal should cost $250-500 and a drive-by appraisal—presumably the homeowners did not grant access—should cost $50-150.

I will re-iterate my theory that municipal law firms are money laundering operations protected by attorney-client privilege. Law firms get paid now so they can fill their coffers to make contributions for the spring elections.

Friday, December 01, 2006

PHOTO, how did the snow affect your life?

Some scenes from around Forest Park.