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Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicago Police Officer vs. Bartender | What Would You Do?



The case of the Chicago police officer in a bar fight from February 2007 with a female bartender is back in the news after a judge decided not to give the officer jail time for the incident.

Some say that it's consistent with most bar fights, but that a police officer should be held to a higher standard.

The officer, Anthony Abbate, may also lose his job. He was given two years probation and restricted from leaving his home from 8pm to 6am along with 130 hours of community service.

There are also allegations that some Chicago police officers attempted to prevent charges from being filed against the off-duty officer.

What is appropriate justice and resolution for this type of situation?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Dead | Music Stays Alive



Michael Jackson appearing with Britney Spears in 2001

Talented or odd, whatever your opinion of Michael Jackson, he was an integral part of pop culture.

He died today in California.

City of Aurora Employees Given Choice | Should I Stay or Should I Go?



With a deficit in millions that may go deep, declining revenue, unlimited spending by the Aurora City Council and looming budget problems ahead, Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner is proposing to its employees an "incentive package" to leave by September to attempt to reduce the workforce in a voluntary manner.

Brian Caputo, the City of Aurora's Finance Director, says revenue has declined in all areas and there are looming problems ahead without major changes. He says he's never seen anything like this in 20 years.

The package is being directed to all executives and non-union employees, but the same offer will be available to union members as well. Employees have until July 24th to apply for the package and would continue to work until September 15th.

Here's some of what they get (in addition to what they would already get):

*6 weeks of severance payments

*6 months of health/dental insurance (1 year for 10 year plus employees)

*Waivers of any repayments of tuition assistance

The purpose of the incentive package is to dramatically reduce the workforce in a voluntary manner. The alternate is layoffs and terminations.

With the financial situation getting worse for the City of Aurora, not better, this initial proposal is just one step to address the fiscal reality ahead.

Who should stay and who should go?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Press Conference with President Barack Obama



Press Conference with President Barack Obama
June 23, 2009 | White House

Election 2010 | Dan Proft Announces Candidacy for Governor of Illinois





Dan Proft, who's political commentaries have been featured from WLS-AM 890 (Chicago) to here on OpenlineBlog.com, is running for Governor of Illinois in 2010.

>Proft2010.com

Illinois Temp Gov. Quinn Rallies Social Service Workers for Massive Tax Increase in State Echo Chamber



With all due respect to the 5,000 social service workers who poured into the Illinois Capitol in Springfield to rally and push the Illinois General Assembly to enact massive tax increases to avoid spending cuts, the reality is an echo effect. They are just trying to convince themselves.

Illinois Temp Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to force a massive tax increase at the same time the economy is suffering, but despite having majorities from his political party in power, there aren't enough votes to push a tax increase.

Instead, the State of Illinois must do what it should have been doing all along. Cut spending.

Human services and critical services are being exploited for political purpose. Those who want a tax increase are saying people will suffer, but the reality is there are millions and perhaps billions of waste in Illinois government as well.

Taxpayers want spending cuts first, tax increases only if necessary later.

All the noise won't make reality go away.

Ed McMahon Dies | Flashback to May 22, 1992's Final Show of Tonight Show with Johnny Carson



Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
with Ed McMahon and Doc Severenson
Final Episode | May 22, 1992

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Aurora's Finance Committee Considers Water Fee Increase


Aurora's Finance Committee will have an opportunity to say NO to a tax and/or fee increase on Tuesday as a proposal to raise water fees is considered.

The proposal is for an increase of almost 3% (on top of previous increases), starting October 1st, then another increase in July 2010 of more than 3%.

Rates have been increased in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

>Aurora Finance Committee Meeting | Agenda
Tuesday, June 23, 3pm | City Hall, 5th Floor | Map

>Aurora Government Operations Committee Meeting | Agenda
Tuesday, June 23, 4:30pm | Alderman's Office | Map

>Aurora City Council Meeting | Agenda | Large Bills
Tuesday, June 23, 6:00pm | City Hall | Map


>To Speak at the City Council Meeting,
contact Cheryl Vonhoff at 630-844-3615

Jon and Kate | Eight is Enough



If you care, Jon and Kate (of the reality television show) are getting a divorce despite having 8 kids, which led us to the following TV classic from the past:

Eight is Enough

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama's Latest Comedy Routine



President Barack Obama
2009 Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner

Also, a look behind-the-scenes at Obama's recent appearance with Stephen Colbert:


Election 2010 | State Sen. Matt Murphy Joins Growing Candidate Group for Governor of Illinois

State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) is the lastest to say he will run for Governor of Illinois in 2010.

Fellow State Senators Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) and Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) are also running.

Murphy, an attorney who was elected in 2006, says he's not attached to the baggage of the past and he's focusing on jobs and ethics. He was also considering running for Cook County Board President.

DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett, Political Commentator Dan Proft, DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom and Adam Andrzejewksi, a newcomer, have all also been considering a run for Governor.

Aurora's Benchmark Bank on List of Undercapitalized Banks

According to the Chicago Tribune and TheStreet.com, Aurora's Benchmark Bank have made a list of 89 nationwide banks and thrifts that are below capitalization requirements for bank regulators.

15 of the 89 banks are in Illinois.

As of March 31st, Benchmark had a negative operating loss of $800,000 with assets of $218 million.

Your Review of Blues on the Fox, Aurora's Downtown Alive



Stevie Ray Vaughan
B.B. King
Albert Collins
Texas Flood (1988)


Friday night's opening of Blues on the Fox, part of Aurora's Downtown Alive, was rained out, but the show went on Saturday night as scheduled.

What did you think of the bands and how it was organized? What about the new location on Galena Boulevard?

Enter your own review and feedback inside...

Financial Reforms to Protect Consumers | Commentary By President Barack Obama

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

OpenlineBlog | The Following Takes Place Between 7:00AM and 7:00PM

After a recent staff meeting at OpenlineBlog.com, we realized our some of our interns probably needed a little break and vacation, so we have limited programming this week.

A few our interns are obsessed with watching the hit show "24" (see below).


Friday, June 12, 2009

Fiscal Responsibility | Commentary By Congressman Peter Roskam



Members of Congress, Illinois legislators, city council members and everyone in between perhaps needs to define to taxpayers what fiscal responsibility means.

Congressman Peter Roskam
on Fiscal Responsibility
September 2007

Election 2010 | State Sen. Kirk Dillard Jumps Into Race for Governor of Illinois



Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) is getting into the 2010 race for Governor, which may include a very crowded field.

Dillard, who was once Gov. Jim Edgar's Chief of Staff and worked as the legislative director for Gov. Jim Thompson, made news last year by being in a commercial for then-candidate Barack Obama.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Respect for Taxpayers...Aurora City Council Doesn't Get It | Commentary By Alderman Rick Lawrence

On Monday, June 1st, like many of you, I was writing checks for our property tax bills and wondered “how could these be so high?” My own home’s property tax bill has increased 27% over two years. As an Alderman, I have heard the blame to include school districts, park districts, township, county, Waubonsee College and the City of Aurora. Ultimately, it comes down to the cost of living as a whole within the City of Aurora.

These economic times present challenges most have not faced in our lives so everyone in the private sector must make bold changes to their spending and priorities. Government should be no different when it comes to your taxdollars.

When it comes to negotiations with city employee unions, Mayor Weisner said city employees “don’t get it” when it comes to the difficult economic situation we all face. I would expand that to include our City Council and all of the government entities that affect us which also “don’t get it.”

As we consider the cost of our operations, we need to address the bureaucracy and structure. We have both highly-paid executives and departments that are underperforming and redundant that could be eliminated.

As a business owner, I understand and appreciate the hard work of employees, but guaranteed raises and jobs without guaranteed performance and results are not feasible. With benefits that are unmatched in the private sector including health insurance and pensions, we should consider a salary freeze across the board for all levels while providing a bonus system that rewards performance and results. As noble as it may sound to provide a guaranteed job, it is not based in economic reality.

Over the past 20 years I’ve been involved with the City of Aurora, I have watched tens of millions of dollars committed to projects and concepts that have failed to produce positive results for the taxpayers of Aurora. Since being elected Alderman, I have been disappointed in the reckless spending and lack of respect of our hard-earned taxdollars by the City Council.

Moving forward, regardless of which government entity has impacted our taxes the most, our City Council has a responsibility to consider the best interest of the entire city and be cognizant of how taxpayers are being pushed beyond their limits.

Currently, the City of Aurora has significant debt from the police station, infrastructure, pensions, retiree health insurance and general obligations. At the same time, our projected revenues are lower than expected.

We recognize the City of Aurora was in need of a new police station, although we can debate the cost of $120 million. Capital projects and infrastructure investments are necessary for the future, such as roads, sewer and bridge repairs. However, when it comes to concepts like the RiverEdge Park on a strip of land along Broadway, the City Council is willing to commit over $12 million of taxdollars for just the first phase without any development or donors to offset this cost. One has to question if the City Council “gets it.”

I applaud the mayor for taking a tough stand. If taxpayers are making sacrifices and our employees must adjust, so should the City Council when it comes to ways to curb spending.

The difficult economic challenges of our time present a unique opportunity to change the way we do business. We can reduce the burden on taxpayers and make responsible decisions based upon a clear return on investment of your precious taxdollars.

Let’s put Aurora on the right fiscal track and change the bottom line of our financial future.

>Rick Lawrence is the Alderman of Aurora's 4th Ward

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Aurora City Council Spends Close to $600K on Equipment Shed for Radio Tower | The Finance Committee's Detour (Updated on Council Battle)



***UPDATED - See below for council battle

We see and hear a lot of unusual things around our local viewing area, but once in a while, even we have to wonder "huh?"

On Tuesday, the Aurora City Council approved a "fast-track" contract with Wegman Construction to construct a small equipment facility (aka "shed") that would be home to a radio tower adjacent to Fire Station #8 on McCoy Drive on the far east side.

According to our viewers, there's a few things that make this more unusual than the usually unusual.

* The cost for just the 26x60 building (1,560 square feet) would be $590,000 with about $150,000 for the electrical, HVAC, sprinkler and generator and the rest for design and construction. That's about $378 per square foot.

* That doesn't include another $117,000 for the actual radio tower to go on top of the radio system. So, at the minimum, the radio tower with the equipment shed will cost $707,000.

But wait, there's more...

* Wegman Construction reportedly told the Aurora City Council on Tuesday night they were given a 8x11 sheet describing what the City of Aurora needs and there have yet to be drawings or designs for the equipment shed.

It went through the Finance Committee (Alderman Bob O'Connor, Alderman Leroy Keith and Alderman Abby Schuler) and reached City Council without the full details. Spend first, design later.

* City Council, in the absence of Mayor Tom Weisner and Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns, approved it anyway 10-1. Alderman Rick Lawrence voted against the spending.

>Finance Committee and BGI Committee - Mixed Frequencies

In a series of unsual aspects, we are somewhat puzzled at how the Aurora City Council operates, considering it's technically an independent legislative body.

A small BUILDING on city-owned GROUNDS to be used for the city's INFRASTRUCTURE seems to be a natural issue for the BGI Committee (Building, Grounds and Infrastructure).

Yet, for some odd reason, this and other similar issues get detoured into the Finance Committee.

We urge Mayor Tom Weisner and the B.G.I. Committee (Alderman Whitey Peters, Alderman Rick Lawrence and Alderman Richard Irvin) to put these issues on the right path instead of the detour to the Finance Committee.

The G.O. Committee (Government Operations) often adds stop signs or street lights, so if the idea is everything that involves a cost or expense must go through Finance, then we might as well eliminate all other committees.

It makes no sense the Finance Committee is sorting out issues that should be dealt with by either the B.G.I. Committee or G.O. Committee.

Perhaps putting these issues on the right frequency will help result in the right decisions.

***UPDATED - Sparks Fly at City Council

For the second consecutive Aurora City Council meeting, sparks flew (previous meeting battle was between union represenatives and the mayor). Daily Herald reports on another battle Tuesday evening (and we also have reports on another battle with disabled children blasting the RiverEdge Park concept and the Aurora City Council as a bunch of racist, fat politicians who don't care about people...more on that later).

Here's what happened...

In addition to the approval for "fast-track" construction of the $590,000 equipment shed, the actual radio tower expense was sprung upon the Aurora City Council as "new business" for another $117,000.

Alderman Rick Lawrence questioned equipment shed that went through the Finance Committee without any designs or specs and the radio tower.

Alderman Bob O'Connor and Alderman Leroy Keith, both of whom are on the Finance Committee that approved the $378 per square foot cost for the equipment shed, attacked Alderman Lawrence for his questions.

Leroy Keith, while not concerned about spending taxpayer funds, is apparently bothered by elected officials asking questions or discussing in PUBLIC at an official meeting how taxpayer funds are spent. He would prefer such questions or discussion be behind-the-scenes.

>Listen to an audio clip excerpt or read the transcript below (courtesy of Daily Herald):

Lawrence: "We didn't get this (radio tower) in committee so that's why I'm asking questions now."

Keith: "Sure we did. We had it (the equipment shed) just last week, Alderman Lawrence."

Lawrence: "I'm sorry. This is a building. You'd think it would come through BGI but it didn't so I'm asking the questions now."

O'Connor: "I offer our apologies Mr. Lawrence on behalf of the finance committee that we didn't ask the right question. We'll straighten out the issue of what items need to go in what direction."

Lawrence: "If it just doesn't matter, then let's just approve it."

O'Connor: "Don't even portray it that way Mr. Lawrence. It does matter."

Keith: "This could have been handled over the week with these folks (city staff and the construction manager who appeared at the podium) instead of right here tonight. You do this in PUBLIC, Alderman Lawrence, on purpose. All the time. All the time."

Lawrence: Oh yeah. Under new business (that was sprung on the agenda without previous discussion), all of a sudden a tower shows up. That didn't come before us last week, did it?"

Keith: "Yes. What they talked about last week was the building structure. If you'd have paid attention last week, you would have known that."

Lawrence: "Did you (Keith) know the tower wasn't included?"

Keith: "Yes, I did."

Lawrence: "Oh well, you're a genius."

Keith: "No I just pay attention and ask questions when I need to ask them."

Lawrence: "Oh say 'yes' again. Just keep saying 'yes' (to spending without questions, drawing or details)

O'Connor: Mr. Lawrence. Please. Mr. Lawrence, pleae. Unless you have a question that's legitimate from any member of this council, in regard to this particular issue, let's call the roll."

NOTE:

As we previously stated, matters related to BUILDINGS, GROUNDS and INFRASTRUCTURE should be in the BUILDINGS, GROUNDS and INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE instead of the Finance Committee.

Alderman Leroy Keith's preference for behind-the-scenes questions instead of open, transparent government in regard to how taxpayer funds are spent is unacceptable.

We suggest if Mr. Keith, has any difficulty with his responsibility to the taxpayers of Aurora, or wishes to hinder anyone else doing their responsibility, he should resign immediately.

Meet President Barack Obama's Best Friend and Secret of Success



Our local political rockstar, Barack Obama, who went from community organizer to University of Chicago Law School professor to Illinois State Senator to U.S. Senator to President of the United States (aka "POTUS"), has clearly undergone change in his life, including his reputation for speaking.

So, what has changed once he became Presidential material to allow him to give these dynamic and effortless speeches?

Watch the video for the investigation into the secret of President Barack Obama's success.

Pay-As-You-Go | Should It Apply to Federal, State and Local Governments?



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Election 2010 | Ethan Hastert Will Seek Dad's Former 14th Congressional District Seat from Illinois

Former U.S. Speaker of the House and 14th Congressional District Represenative Denny Hastert's son, 31-year old Ethan Hastert (R), will run in 2010 to seek the seat previously held by his father and currently held by Rep. Bill Foster (D).

The younger Hastert, who is an attorney, has never held elective office, but obviously has a name identification.

Previously, Republicans had a very contentious primary battle between State Sen. Chris Lauzen and businessman Jim Oberweis, which Oberweis won and then proceeded to lose to Bill Foster.

Foster, who narrowly defeated John Laesch during the primary, is likely to seek re-election in 2010.

Stephen Colbert Meets the Troops



Colbert Report
June 8, 2009

Apple Unveils New iPhone, New Prices, New Software, New Laptop

News Summary


New Commercial


iPhone 3GS


Laptop Updates



Just Announced New MacBook Pro & MacBook Air

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bring on the Elections | Commentary By Patrick Collins

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins, who was appointed Chairman of the Illinois Reform Commission, only to run into various obstacles by the political mafia that controls Chicago and Illinois politics, says voters have the ultimate power in changing the mess and addressing the crisis:

Every political candidate should be asked three questions. What have you done in the last five years to restore the public trust? When have you taken a stand against your political or party self-interest? What will you do to repair the integrity crisis?

If voters insist on making subsequent elections a referendum on corruption, we could get meaningful reform in Illinois.


Read more inside from his commentary...

Hillary Clinton Changes Her Tune on 3AM Attack Ad on Then-Candidate Barack Obama



Friday, June 05, 2009

Naperville Councilman Promotes Term Limits and Ward System

James Boyajian, a Naperville City Councilman, is promoting the idea of term limits and a ward system for Naperville.

Aurora, which has a 10 ward system, also has two "alderman-at-large" positions.

Do you support wards based upon a specific geographic area or would you prefer to have multiple city council members representing everyone?

What about term limits? Should they apply to city council members? All municipal elected officials? Judges? Legislators? Mayor of Chicago?

President Barack Obama's Cairo Speech

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez Attempts to Extract $244,000 Taxpayer Funds from City of Aurora



If someone gave you a monetary gift to help you, but in order to get the gift, another party had to cooperatively help process it for you, how much is fair for that processing? 2.5 like a credit card? 5%? As high as 10%???

What if that third party demanded 40%? Some might call that extortion, but in this case, it's Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez demanding to extract almost $244,000 in taxpayer funds intended for the City of Aurora.

A grant for about $609,000 from President Obama's economic stimulus bill was awarded to the City of Aurora for law enforcement and the Aurora Police Department. The grants for cities are to be processed by the county since many counties often have multiple cities receiving the grants.

Aurora has portions of four counties (DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will), but since City Hall is in Kane, the grant technically goes through Kane County.

Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas says he's been able to negotiate Perez's "extraction" demand down to 30%.

That's 30% of your taxdollars being diverted. About $183,000.

The taxpayer funds should go for what they are intended, but they should not be diverted because some guy thinks he can extract them because he happens to have a badge.

We urge the City of Aurora to not only say NO to Pat Perez's extraction attempt, but to send a loud and clear message that if he doesn't understand these are taxpayer funds and not funny money, he deserves ZERO.

We also strongly encourage the Kane County Board Members from Aurora to stand up for the people they represent and tell Pat Perez to stick his hands back in his pocket and keep them off taxpayer funds that do not belong to him.

Drew Peterson Media Blitz Limited By Will County Judge



Should Drew Peterson be able to communicate with the media like any other phone call as he is held on $20 million bail in the death of his 3rd wife?

Should Will County authorities, including the Sheriff, be limited from speaking to the media?

Flashback | One Year Ago, Obama Wins Nomination for President, The First Bump, Hillary, McCain



One year ago, NBC's Brian Williams interviewed then Sen. Barack Obama after he clinched the Democratic nomination for President of the United States

Apple Store Naperville | Coming Soon...



Hello Naperville, you are about to get one of the premier brands of all-time to land in downtown.

Sources say Apple has signed a deal to expand its Chicago metropolitan stores to include Naperville, specifically at Main & Jefferson at Main Place, likely to replace Sharper Image and expand to 6,100 square feet. Other stores at this location include the Gap and Eddie Bauer.

Currently, the closest Apple Store for our local Aurora-Naperville viewers is in Oak Brook. Apple is also planning another 15,000 square feet store in the Clybourn Corridor in Chicago.

Both Naperville and Clybourn would add to six existing stores around Chicago, including the flagship store on Michigan Avenue.


iMac Deals

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Prime Time Patty Blagojevich



Patty Blagojevich, wife of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is appearing on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!"

What other Chicago and/or Illinois politicians would you like to see on a reality show so the rest of the United States can learn what we deal with?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Emerald Ash Borer Beetle Attacks Aurora

Symptoms of the Emerald Ash Borer Bettle


More on Identifying the Beetle


What is an Ash Tree?


Congressman Peter Roskam Attacks the Beetle (2007)


City of Aurora says ash trees in the Foxcroft subdivsion on Aurora's west side must be taken down after having been attacked and infested by the emerald ash borer, which originated from China.

Approximately 1/3rd of the trees in the parkway are infected and will be removed. The bettle is metallic green about a half-inch in length. When larvae locates on the inner bark, water and nutrients are disrupted for the tree, eventually causing decay to the tree.

For our Aurora viewers, call 630-264-4636 if you believe you have infected parkway trees.

North Aurora and Aurora Merge Fireworks Show



The Village of North Aurora will "merge" their Independence Day Fireworks with the City of Aurora's Fireworks Show to be held on July 3rd (not the usual July 4th) on the west side of Aurora near the Illinois Math & Science Academy (IMSA) and Aurora Central High School, not too far from North Aurora's border.

North Aurora will contribute $4,000 toward the cost.

Coldplay | Violin Viva La Vida



Violin Week
Coldplay's Viva La Lida on iTunes

Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends - Viva la Vida

Monday, June 01, 2009

Same Tune, Different Faces By Illinois Democrats, But Republicans Have Yet to Kick the Top Donkey in the...



The above new ad by Illinois Republicans points out the same tune by different faces by Illinois Democrats who are in control of every major area of government.

Are most Democrat leaders guilty as charged? Yes, but have there been Republicans also ethically-challenged, fiscally irresponsible and part of the problem? Yes and wrong is wrong, regardless of political party.

However, there is one particular Democrat who has had the most influential and powerful role over the last 20 years. That Democrat has controlled, overseen and pushed his agenda at the expense of anyone with numerous examples of wild spending, tax increases, incompetence and corruption.

Republicans have failed thus far to connect these problems to the most powerful Democrat who is interconnected with all these issues.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

The sooner Repubicans or Democrats who want to put Illinois on the right track realize they need to go after the "king" and his regime that has presided, participated, manipulated and controlled this mess, the sooner there can be opportunity to solve it.

Democrats or Republicans who claim they are interested in putting an end to corruption, cronyism, who-you-know, who-sent-you, high taxes and the political mafia tactics that keep iron-fisted control over taxpayers, but don't have the courage to step up the king, are just ignoring or looking the other way at one of the most serious sources of the mess.

Some call it the white elephant in the room. In this case, Mayor Richard Daley is the donkey that needs his ### kicked by everyone who wants serious change from Chicago to Springfield...or more accurately, from Springfield to Chicago's City Hall.

Illinois Senate Say Yes, Illinois House Says No to Massive Tax Hike | Aurora Area Legislators Choose What To Do About Your Money

After Illinois State Senate Democrats voted to dramatically increase taxes (both income taxes and to broaden sales taxes to include various services), thankfully for taxpayers, enough of the Illinois House Democrats with Republicans on Sunday ignored the usual political mafia (Daley, Madigan) and said NO.

In 74-42 vote, the Illinois House rejected the tax scheme. After passing a "makeshift" budget to keep things going past the May 31st deadline for the legislative session, the rules now change and require a greater majority to pass legislation.

Pat Quinn, the accidental Governor, said he was disappointed his tax increase wasn't successful, but warned in lieu of massive tax increases, the State of Illinois would have to make dramatic spending cuts.

Good. It's about time. Perhaps that will force elected officials to figure out how to prioritize spending and not keep feeding the mistakes that created a $12 billion deficit.

In one of the most important votes in recent history and as many of our local viewers are scheduled to pay their property tax bills due in Kane County on June 1st, how did Aurora area legislators vote on extracting more money from your pockets to pay for the wild spending, incompetence, corruption and fiscal irresponsibility of the state?

State Rep. Linda Chapa-LaVia and State Sen. Linda Holmes voted to INCREASE TAXES.

State Sen. Chris Lauzen, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, State Rep. Darlene Senger, State Rep. Kay Hatcher, State Rep. Mike Connelly, State Rep. Tim Schmitz, State Sen. Randy Hultgren all said NO to the massive tax increase.

>House Roll Call Vote (pdf) for SB2252

GM (aka "General Motors") Bites the Bankruptcy Dust to Reorganize



In yet another CHANGE for how things don't stay the same, GM (General Motors) is entering bankruptcy with the intent to reorganize as a smaller company.

With such extensive history and a role in the American and world economy, there is no doubt this is not just any company going down the drain, but there have been warning signs, bad habits and mistakes long before the current economic crisis began.

Going forward, what is the future of GM and any automobile manufacturer in the United States?

Can the auto industry CHANGE and cease doing business as usual? Can it become innovative, efficient and profitable?