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Proviso Probe

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Alec Baldwin commits to scholarship for Army soldier

Associated Press (Amanda Lee Myers):
Actor Alec Baldwin was so moved by the story of an 18-year-old Army soldier who is scheduled to serve in Iraq, he's going to help pay for her college education after she leaves the military.

Baldwin was so moved by a March 4 New York Times story about Pvt. Resha Kane's last day with family and friends before going for training to prepare for serving in Iraq that he — not his people — tracked down Kane's mother at a discount store where she works to offer his assistance, his spokesman said.

I was recently discussing Baldwin's scene in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Baldwin's character visits the sales team to make a motivational speech. It includes a couple memorable lines.

"A, 'Always', B, 'be', 'C', 'closing'."

"There is no third prize. Third prize is you're fired."

WARNING: The scene includes the f-word and a slur against homosexuals.

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CRIME, Hubert "Boo Boo" Thompson charged with murder [D209]

I saw Hubert Thompson wrestle in high school. He was one of the most dominant high school wrestlers I'd ever seen. He was so strong he could pick-up the other heavyweights like they were little kids.

Chicago Tribune (Matthew Walberg):
For reasons that remained unclear Saturday, Thompson hurled [James] Malone [66 year old, a neighbor] over a balcony Friday afternoon, killing him, police said. Thompson was charged with first-degree murder and was being held in lieu of $3 million bail.

After attending Proviso West Thompson played football at Michigan State University. The article says Thompson was cut by the New Orleans Saints after two days for fighting with another player.

If I recall correctly (IIRC) Thompson had trouble scoring high enough on his college entrance exams to be admitted to a Division I school. There was talk of him being drafted directly to the NFL. He was that developed and talented.

I didn't interact with Thompson, but from what I heard through wrestlers he was a nice guy if a completely intimidating opponent.

[UPDATE: Sun-Times (Ben Goldberger and Dave Newbart) has the story on the front page of the Sunday paper.

[A couple things got my attention.
Authorities said Thompson allegedly made incriminating statements in an interview. He also allegedly told authorities that he believed Malone had tried to poison him.

DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said Saturday that officials are awaiting the results of mental evaluations, expected this week. "There's some substantial psychological issues that have to be addressed," he said.

[Apparently Thompson and the victim were friendly. Thompson has a history of mental health issues.]

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Friday, March 30, 2007

A07, candidate forum Village of Forest Park [FP]

Last night candidates for Village of Forest Park participated in a candidate forum. Forest Park Forums has a discussion.

Since, I'm a candidate it's hard for me to give an evaluation separate from my personal perspective. I was happy with the questions asked. I wasn't as smooth as I'd like, but I think I made my points.

The candidates for mayor are:

And the commissioner candidates, in order of seating:

Before the event Calderone said he was talking to the attorney who represented Illinois Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas in his defamation suit against a local newspaper about suing Forest Park Review for Bill Dwyer's column.

Afterward, former village clerk Joan White was talking to school board member Steve Johnsen about White running as a write-in for the two-year position without a candidate filed for election. Apparently a number of people are interested in running as write-in candidates.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

GOV, Dems vote to fund Iraq War with conditions

Today the House Democrats passed a supplemental appropriation bill requested by President Bush to fund continuing the Iraq occupation. However, the Democrats attached some condition. The bill calls for withdrawing troops from Iraq by September, 2008. And President Bush must certify that progress is being made on the ground in Iraq. President Bush has promised to veto the legislation.

Associated Press (Anne Flaherty)
"The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of this war," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "The American people see the reality of the war, the president does not."

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) was elected to Congress in November. He is an Iraq War veteran.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

POL, JFK, RFK & Barack Obama

I'm highly skeptical of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

I sometimes get frustrated at Sen. Barack Obama pandering to the Israel lobby. I get angry when he parrots the nonsense about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons being a threat. Iran isn't close to acquiring nuclear weapons. And even if Iran did acquire nuclear weapons it wouldn't use them against the United States. And Iran is less likely to transfer nuclear weapons to non-state actors than other sources, like Pakistan, North Korea and the former Soviet Union.

However, when I'm feeling optimistic about Obama I see him as a modern John Kennedy. Kennedy had the political savvy to improve his vote totals (over the previous Democratic ticket) with both "White" Southerners and Blacks. He cast votes on key issues in the Senate that appealed to the segregationists. And in 1960 JFK also called Coretta Scott King and pledge to help get Martin Luther King, Jr. freed from jail.

Maybe, I'm too optimistic, but in Barack Obama I see the kind of person who has the personal courage to listen to his own wisdom and common sense and reject the unimaginative conventional wisdom he will get on foreign policy issues. Kennedy had the sense to walk away from the Bay of Pigs. I think Obama will have the sense to decline some of the more hair-brained schemes the Israel lobby will be pushing for, like bombing Iran.

h/t lovingj at Daily Kos for the You Tube.

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ED, Lightford passes moment of silence legislation

Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) sponsored legislation that passed the Senate requiring schools observe a moment of silence. Existing law gives schools the option of observing a moment of silence.

The Capitol Fax Blog had a discussion where everyone panned the legislation.

Who do you think wants the bill passed?

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CRIME, U.S. Attorney to announce charges

Capitol Fax Blog (Rich Miller):
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has scheduled a 2 o’clock press conference for today “to announce new criminal charges in an ongoing public corruption investigation.”

Participants will include: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Kenneth T. Lag, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago; and James Vandenberg, Special Agent-in-Charge of Investigations for the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General in Chicago.


Wasn't the Department of Labor a participant in the raid of the Melrose Park police department?

[UPDATE: It was Al Sanchez of the Hispanic Democratic Organization. See Capitol Fax Blog.]

[UPDATE2: The Hispanic Democratic Organization is associated with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and is not active in Proviso Township as far as I know.]

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

CRIME, hired security perpetrates crime [D209]

Chicago Tribune reports Gabriel Mingo, a Westchester cop, working security at Proviso West has been arrested for inappropriate contact with a female student, but there are other allegations.

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IRAQ, happy fourth anniversay!

Today is the fourth anniversary of the United States invading Iraq. See Wikipedia's entry Iraq War, although the situation is now an U.S. military occupation resisted by guerrilla warfare with at least one civil war happening in the same place at the same time.

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE and presidential candidate) recently highlighted that all the objectives in the Iraq War Resolution have largely been achieved. Saddam Hussein is no longer leading Iraq. There have been elections. There were no "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (a misleading term that lumps relatively innocuous biological and chemical weapons with nuclear weapons).

IMO, historians will decide that invading Iraq was the worst foreign policy mistake in U.S. history.

At Daily Kos, BarbinMD made a list of President George W. Bush's evolving statements about Iraq. The statements are labeled with dates and the number of U.S. casualties in Iraq at the time.

Brave New Foundation
created Iraq Veterans Memorial. It's a cross between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and YouTube.

Unfortunately, President George W. Bush seems unwilling to admit that his policies have failed. He seems to be avoiding admission of failure by keeping U.S. military troops occupying Iraq. If he doesn't admit failure this somehow means the situation in Iraq isn't a failure.

In addition to Bush refusing to work with Democrats on Iraq, Bush has refused to allow Congress to limit his power in other areas, like wiretapping U.S. citizens without warrants, and attacking Iran. Bush has resisted Congress requiring Bush to seek a vote in Congress before attacking Iran as described in the Constitution.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) had this to say.

Jane Hamsher created the blog Fire Dog Lake. Fire Dog Lake's live blogging of the "Scooter" Libby trial was praised for being in depth and timely with superb analysis.

On Fire Dog Lake looseheadprop wrote an open letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
I have seen it reported in the press that you have publicly stated that “impeachment is off the table.” As a former prosecutor of public corruption and fraud against the government cases, this statement is deeply, deeply disturbing to me. Predetermining the outcome of a criminal investigation prior to the completion of that investigation and the uncovering of all the facts, is one of the very worst abuses of prosecutorial discretion and a grievous breach of the canons of ethics for prosecutors.

When he was NY State Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer was oft heard to remark that “as a prosecutor, you must follow the facts and the law where ever they may lead you, even if it somewhere you wish you did not have to go.” His was a correct statement of the standard that all prosecutors, even intermittent prosecutorial entities like the U.S. House of Representatives, must follow.

Today, in Chicago there will be a demonstration calling for bringing the troops home from Iraq. If you want to march with the Chicago chapter of Veterans for Peace, meet at the McDonald's at Chicago & State at 7 PM.

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ED, Proviso Township High Schools March meeting [D209]

REMEMBER: This is the fund raising drive for your community blog.

Monday (yesterday) the Proviso Township High Schools board of education held its regular meeting. See pths209.org for agenda. The meeting featured conflict, including a threat to have security remove me from the meeting. This was the last board meeting before the April elections.

However, the most significant policy adopted was a recommendation by superintendent Stan Fields to reduce the number of credits required to graduate while increasing the rigor of core courses.

One aspect of the proposal is to require students pass grade level classes to be promoted to the next grade level. Students would no longer get credit for remedial courses. To be promoted with their peers students would be responsible for doing remedial work before the beginning of the school year (summer) and then they would have to pass their grade level courses in the required subjects.

Another aspect of the proposal is to all but eliminate electives. Students would be required to take only one elective to graduate. Electives would be replaced by extracurricular activities and community service. As part of the push to encourage extracurricular participation Proviso Township High Schools would reduce academic eligibility requirements to the minimum allowed by state law. IIRC (If I recall correctly) Proviso’s current standards are a 2.0 GPA; Illinois allows extracurricular participation with a 1.0 GPA.

(Fields was a collegiate football player and was teammates with Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.)

One criticism of Fields change to the graduation requirements is that it reduces the number of classes taught by reducing the credits required to graduate and lengthening class periods. This would allow Proviso High Schools to service the same number of students with fewer teachers. One criticism I have aired of Fields’ changes is that it is a cost-cutting measure disguised as an education policy.

Fields responded to this criticism by saying with the additional remedial classes--classes that wouldn’t count toward graduation--the plan would increase the total number of teachers required.

If people buy into the plan it should work to produce graduates who score better on standardized tests. I wouldn’t want to go to school in a district that eliminated electives. I wouldn’t want members of my family to go to a high school that eliminated electives. And I doubt Fields will send his children to an elective-less high school. But if students and teachers buy into Fields’ plan test scores should come up.

Here are some concerns:

1. Fields made significant changes to the educational program without engaging the community about what he was doing and why. He made the proposal at last month’s board meeting and he implemented it this month. It was passed in a 4-3 vote. I am not aware of any attempt by Fields to engage any stakeholders who weren’t guaranteed to agree with his proposals.
2. I doubt Fields has studied the ability of community organizations to supervise large numbers of students doing community service. I also doubt he analyzed how the schools will offer extracurricular programs to significantly more students. If he did examine these issues he didn’t brief the board of education.

More later....

Discuss and add your perspective in comments.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

ADMIN, please give generously

This week is fund raising week at Proviso Probe.

The goal for this week of fund raising is twenty five new contributors.

Please email (RadioNyberg circled “a” Yahoo spot c0m) or call me, (773) 430-3538, to make a pledge.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

ED, Stan Fields scheduled to be on "Viewpoints" [D209]

Proviso Township High Schools superintendent Stan Fields, PhD, is scheduled to appear on "Viewpoints From the Other Side" on WJJG, 1530 AM, Saturday, March 17, 2-3 PM.

My understanding is that Fields will take questions from guests that call the show.

I drafted some questions that I hope get asked. I'm not satisfied with the list, so if you can improve the wording, please make suggestions. Also, feel free to suggest new questions and comment which questions you think are more important.
What's the best policy you've implemented at Proviso Township High Schools?

You advocate reducing the number of classes--all but eliminating electives--and concentrating on subjects covered by standardized tests. Would you choose to
attend school or send your children to high school in a district that implemented this policy?

Critics have said that eliminating electives is a cost-cutting policy disguised as an education policy. How many teachers could be cut if you succeed in reducing the number of classes?

When you were superintendent of Mundelein High School you implemented various cost-cutting policies and revenue enhancement policies. What services or
functions did you outsource or privatize? Did you recommend other services or functions be privatized only to have members of the board of education stop

Is it true that board member Theresa Kelly sent you email requesting an issue be put on the agenda five times before you responded? And did you wait to respond until after the deadline for putting new action items on the agenda? And did you tell Kelly
that it was impossible to fulfill her request because the deadline had passed? Did you realize that Kelly's requested agenda item was not an action item? Were you deliberately working against the desires of board member Kelly? Or did you erroneously apply Illinois law by neglecting the difference between an action item and discussion?

During the superintendent's report of you first Proviso school board meeting (September, 2006) you opened the door to attacks on board members Charles
Flowers and Theresa Kelly. You gave board president Chris Welch a list of computer hardware that was "missing". Welch read one name from the list: Charles Flowers. Your list claimed Flowers had custody of a District 209 computer. Where was that computer? Did you ever apologize to Flowers?

During that meeting you accused board member Theresa Kelly of maintaining the funds for the Proviso East Wall of Fame in an illegal manner. Where does the bank
send the statements for that account? Have you changed how that fund is managed? Do you still think it is managed in an illegal manner?

You have alleged that board members have received cash advances for board travel but not reconciled the travel claims upon returning. What are the dates of these unrecognized travel claims? Which board members have unrecognized travel claims? What have you done to reconcile these travel claims? Have these board members traveled at District 209 expense since you became superintendent? Why didn't you require them to reconcile the past travel claims before allowing them to travel again? How much money do you expect to recover when these travel claims are reconciled?

You have referred to the "nonsense of the past" as if you are a break with past practices, even though Chris Welch remains president of the school board.
Specifically, what bad behavior was part of the "nonsense of the past"? What have you done to reduce or eliminate the "nonsense of the past"? Did your predecessor, Robert Libka, engage in the "nonsense of the past"? Why is he still on payroll?

The Daily Southtown has run a number of articles that insinuate that Kyle Hastings is a career ghost-payroll government worker. How many hours per week does Hastings spend at the PMSA building?

The issue of political patronage hiring is now openly acknowledged. In the past board member Theresa Kelly would ask if the political bosses had lobbied the superintendent or HR director on behalf of any applicants. If you assume that the superintendent and
HR director were answering questions truthfully then it seems likely that the politicians were working directly with department heads and staff members below
the superintendent to parcel the patronage. Would you be surprised if Chris Welch, Eugene Moore, Claude Porter, Ron Serpico, Dan Coglianese or their representatives were lobbying members of your staff to get "their people" jobs at District 209? Have you taken any action to stop or discourage this meddlingin hiring?

There are rumors that school board president Chris Welch and your business manager, Nikita Johnson, are dating. If this is true would it violate any laws or school district policies? Does it violate any of your policies? If it was true, would you fire Nikita Johnson?

How do you measure the level of violence at Proviso Township High Schools? What policies have you implemented to reduce violence against students and staff? Have your policies reduced violence?

These are some other subjects for which I haven't drafted specific questions:
  • Open Meetings Act
  • website
  • EMM, unnecessary insurance payments to Eugene Moore
  • why is Eugene Moore "in the loop" on district decision making
  • nominating petitions

"Viewpoints From the Other Side" is a weekly radio program hosted by Arnie Bryant.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

KLEPT, "Casual undertime" nominees

It's Just Teaching (Isis) defines "casual undertime" as "Getting paid for forty hours for the week when one has worked less than forty hours for the week."

There was a short discussion:

Can we post a list of people who are examples of this word? I know of at least five at East.

Isis will freak out.


Let's not put anyone's names on on the WWW for people to discuss whether or not they do their job.

Besides...we already know who they are.

I don't work at Proviso Township High Schools District 209 so I don't know all the people getting paid for full-time work, but doing less than full-time work.

Please mention government employees you suspect of working "casual undertime" in the comments. No need to limit yourself to District 209.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A07, Freedom Party on ballot in Melrose Park [MP]

Chicago Tribune (Steve Brosinski):
Without debate, a Melrose Park election panel Thursday dropped challenges that could have kept an upstart party [Freedom Party] off the ballot next month.

Mayor Ronald Serpico and Village Clerk Mary Ann Paolantonio Salemi voted to dismiss charges filed by residents Roger Bastin and Elizabeth Battaglia.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

GOV, fired county employee bitter

David G. DeVos wrote a guest column published in the Daily Southtown.
I've spent the last 17 years of my life aiding the care of the patients at Oak Forest Hospital. I arrive to work at 4:30 a.m., five or. sometimes. six days a week. I work in the kitchen. I'm inconsequential in the grand scheme of things for the county, a middle manager whose purpose it has been, until now, to provide meals for patients and to do my part to improve the quality of these patient's lives in my own small way.

DeVos rips Todd Stroger in his letter.
It's the janitors and the cooks and the laundry workers and all of the support staff that serve the county selflessly and make a real difference in the lives of those people who need county services. The pleas of the people fell on deaf ears, but we won't be discouraged because Stroger and the commissioners are elected by those who were tossed to the streets.

We won't forget this, and it will be reflected by our votes. Let's see then if Todd still has that perpetual smirk on his face while he gives his concession speech.

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POL, how should voters evaluate fiscal policies of taxing bodies?

In an earlier discussion Chris Miller asked for information about the Village of Forest Park's budget and spending history.
And do you also have any information on the village budgets over the past 10 years -- like what was the total v income/expenses in 1996 compared to 2001 compared to 2006 ?

(and where the changes mostly came from ?)

These just seem to be things we ought to know going into this election.

Chris Miller's question raises a larger issue.

How should voters evaluate taxing bodies on fiscal issues? The easiest way is to say, "I agree/disagree with the last tax increase" or "I'm impressed [taxing body] hasn't raised taxes."

But these statements are pretty simplistic. It seems like there should be an online resource for looking at the taxing bodies history of revenue and expenses and there should be comparison with comparable taxing bodies. Then academics and other experts could question areas where individual taxing bodies appear to be spending too much.

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GOV, village board rejects strip bar in Broadview [BV]

Last week the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals voted down Joe Inovskis' application for a strip club bar in Broadview; last night the board of trustees voted unanimously to reject the application. See Chicago Tribune (Joseph Ruzich).

The application was rejected because it clearly violated existing code that prohibits adult entertainment establishments from serving alcohol.

But what if Chicago Joe's Tea Room applies for permission to provide adult entertainment without serving alcohol?

The Westchester residents seem to be opposed to the strip club whether it serves alcohol or not. The property is isolated from Broadview's residential areas, but across the street from a whole neighborhood of Westchester single-family homes.

From Tribune:
[Broadview Village President Henry] Vicenik said he thinks Inovskis will give up trying to build the club in Broadview for two reasons:

- State laws prevent strip clubs from opening in areas that have day-care facilities, Vicenik said.

- There would be problems getting parking for the club, Vicenik said.

But the value of Vicenik's insights would be diminished in credibility if Vicenik was in on the original plan to sneak the strip club into Broadview until the residents rose against it.

I don't know what Vicenik knew and when. Westchester Village President Paul Gattuso and Westchester Village Manager Carl Goldsmith knew about the proposal about a week before residents did. And Gattuso and Goldsmith weren't the primary sources for notifying Westchester residents about the application.

Presumably Vicenik would have known about the application as early as Gattuso and Goldsmith. Again, Vicenik wasn't leading the opposition to the application. He waited until the residents had already expressed their ire to jump on the bandwagon.

Based on the law firms involved its reasonable to suspect that Chicago Joe's Tea Room is a project of some of the politically connected. So, if Vicenik is privately working with Inovskis, his lawyers or his investors it diminishes the credibility of his claims that residents don't need to worry about Inovskis re-applying for permission to conduct adult entertainment.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

SPORT, post season hoops [D209]

ChicagoSports.com (Alan Sutton):
NORMAL, Ill. -- In the final year of two-class basketball in Illinois, Fenwick showed Saturday night why the Friars are in a class by themselves.

They outdefended Bolingbrook, a team known for its pressure defense, and pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 35-27 victory to win their second Class AA state championship at Redbird Arena.

Congrats to Fenwick.

Sun-Times (Craig Lynch):
After losing twice to Oak Park during the regular season, No. 20 Proviso West (21-6) broke through when it really counted Friday night. The Panthers topped the No. 13 Huskies 64-58 in Hillside.

With the win, Proviso West moves on to face top-seeded St. Joseph in the sectional semifinals Tuesday at Lyons.

The game was interrupted for pushing and shoving for seven minutes.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

GOV, elected Democrats dislike impeachment more than they dislike Bush

Green Mountin Daily (Dave the Rave) has a good cartoon about voters, President George W. Bush, Republicans, Democrats and impeachment. h/t poputonian at Hullabaloo

The punchline is that Democrats love people who criticize President Bush until they actually expect Democrats risk doing something that takes them outside their comfort zone.

poputonian makes the point that the elected officials have become part of an establishment disconnected from the norms of regular citizens.

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BLOG, new Proviso Highlighter

The old Proviso Highlighter went away without explanation, but there's a new Proviso Highlighter.

[UPDATE: Take 2.5, this is the new and improved Proviso Highlighter 2.]


Friday, March 02, 2007

GOV, proposed statement for Broadview hearing on strip club & bar [BV, W]

Monday, March 5, the Village of Broadview board of trustees will consider the application of Chicago Joe's Tea Room, LLC, to for a special use permit to operate a 24/7 strip club & bar.

I can't be there, but I hope someone makes a statement like this...
“I am concerned that Odelson & Sterk have a conflict of interest because of the financial interconnectedness of Odelson & Sterk with James J. Roche & Associates and the individual lawyers who work there.

“While Roche is not the lawyer for Chicago Joe’s Team Room in this matter, he remains listed as the agent for Chicago Joe’s Team Room.

“When Joe Inovskis testified before the plan commission and the zoning board he said that he owned the entire corporation, Chicago Joe’s Team Room, and he described Roche as one of the lawyers who works for him.

“Odelson & Sterk makes considerable money working for James J. Roche & Associates’ Emanuel “Chris” Welch (in his capacity as president of the Proviso Township High Schools board of education). Further, the firms refer work to each other, for example in Orland Hills.

“Recently Burt Odelson and Mark Sterk supervised the lotteries for school board candidates in both District 89 (Maywood and Melrose Park). In both lotteries all the top ballot positions went to allies of Chris Welch. In both cases there were allegations the lotteries were conducted improperly and some people feel Odelson and Sterk implemented rigged lotteries.

“Given these existing relationships between the firm representing the Village of Broadview and one of the firms representing Chicago Joe’s Tea Room I recommend the Village of Broadview table this issue until another firm is hired to replace Odelson & Sterk in this matter.”

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F07, have the mayor signs been removed? [FP]

Forest Park Code:
8-6-5, B 3:

3. Election Signs: Such signs shall be located entirely on private property pursuant to the owner's consent, shall be permitted no more than thirty (30) days prior to an election, and shall be removed within two (2) days after that election. Unless such sign includes on its face the name of the person or organization responsible for such sign, the owner of the private property on which such sign is located shall be deemed
responsible for such sign.

Are the mayoral campaigns and their supporters complying with the law?

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

GOV, Broadview zoning board of appeals and planning commission consider strip bar [BV, W]

Over 130 people formed an overflow crowd at the Broadview village meeting room.

This is Joe Inovskis talking to David Pollard of the Pioneer Press.

I've been to some heated local government meetings, including Oak Park's testimony over whether to have a domestic partnership registry. The level of emotion at last night's meeting in Broadview exceeded anything I'd witnessed. People were angry in the way they get when they are serious about. It wasn't the posturing for effect; these people were deeply opposed to Joe Inovskis' proposed strip bar.

Some people raised the issue of morality, but some the residents opposing the strip bar included nurse who worked through school as a dancer, a strip club patron, a guy who grew-up near strip clubs in Melrose Park and Stone Park and a guy who used to work security in a strip club. The Westchester residents were convinced the strip bar would reduce property values. A Westchester man who worked in the mortgage industry said his lenders do not write mortgages on properties too close to strip clubs.

James J. Roche & Associates did not serve as Inovskis' lawyer.

I was also impressed with how vague Inovskis' plan was. The formal request was basically a blank check for a 24/7 17,000+ square foot club with no restrictions.

In his supplemental testimony he tried to portray it as Gibson's Steakhouse with tits.

Inovskis brought an engineer and his head of security, Kenny Tsai. Tsai was cocky and probably hurt his "bosses" case. When asked about his credentials to do security work he started talking about his father being a grandmaster in China--I suspect he meant Taiwan--and his father serving in the Chinese military.

[UPDATE: Chicago Tribune (Matt Baron) covers the story.
Other than Inovskis and his consultants, nobody voiced support for the plan. In an interview during a break, Inovskis acknowledged that he expected opposition. But he expressed surprise at its ferocity.

[Baron quotes Brian Cross, but missed Cross' strongest words, "You want to ruin my dream [of owning a home]." Cross was one of the many who seemed genuinely pissed, like he was taking the proposal personally.]

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OBIT, Ralph Sampson, former Maywood cop [M]

Mr. Ralph Sampson, was a life long Mawoodian and honored Law Enforcement Officer of our Community. He excelled at Washington School and Proviso East High School. He was a decorated and honorably discharged Army veteran. He was the first African American Police Officer in the Village of Maywood, the first African American Sergeant, the first African American Lieutenant, and first African American Deputy Police Chief of the Maywood Police Department.

The Funeral Service for Maywood Police Department Deputy Chief Ralph Sampson (Retired), will be held:

Wake: TBA

Funeral: Saturday, March 3, 2007
12:00 Noon
Canaan AME
801 S. 14th Street, Maywood, IL 60153

Burial: TBA

Repast: TBA

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