Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Art Exhibit at Woodstock Library

Check out the art exhibit at the Woodstock Public Library. When I was there today, several folks were hanging art for the public to enjoy as part of the traveling art exhibit sponsored by the Community Partners for Mental Health Awareness for All.

Half of the exhibit is at the library; the other half is on display at the McHenry County Mental Health board, located in Crystal Lake at 620 Dakota Street.

In a month or so, the exhibit will move to the McHenry County Government Center in Woodstock.

Skype or Google?

Remember when your choices were simple and easy, if not cheap? It's was AT&T. That was it. Then it was AT&T or MCI. Who??? (Where was Walleye Phone Company in the fray? It was the best. Just ask Wally Humdink, Pres. Garrison Keillor did! Their cell phone coverage was best in a Ford (or was it in a Chevy?) and on east-west streets (or was it on north-south streets?).

From the latest e-bulletin from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB):

"Google vs. Skype….Callers Win!

"In a blitz on Skype's low-cost phone service, Google is offering free domestic and cheap international calls over the Internet. Users of Google Gmail will be able to click a "call phone" button to connect. Can Google beat Skype? Don't wait to find out. Just enjoy a good deal while you can! Read about Google and Skype phone service, visit our Phone Savings Center for more good deals, and tell your friends to do the same."

Go to www.citizensutilityboard.org and visit the Phone Savings Center.

And support CUB. They are worthy of some of your hard-earned dollars. Even if you just kick in $15-25/year, that will be only a portion of the money that their efforts are already saving you. You can donate right online.

Partnership meeting Thursday at WNHS

On Thursday of this week (two days from now) the Community Partnership Coalition will meet in the Career Center of Woodstock North High School. The scheduled start time for the September 2, 2010 is 9:30AM.

The mission of the CPC is “Working together to influence and strengthen the positive development of the young people in our community”.

The Minutes of the June 5th meeting identified two major concerns of the CPC: binge drinking and marijuana use. Abuse of prescription drugs was referred to, too.

The agenda for the meeting is

I. Introductions

II. Minutes approval 6/3/10 and 8/5/10

III. Events/Activities
a. Red Ribbon Week
b. Ty Sells
c. CPC Website
d. Others

IV. Training/programs
a. Nigel Wrangham October 2 and 3
b. Don’t Kick the Penguins October 23
c. Parent University February 23
d. What can each partner do for next year

V. Other Activities

a. Create work groups
b. Prescription Drop-off
c. New Members

VI. Partner Updates
a. Existing projects
b. New plans, ideas, events

If you have questions, please contact Laura Crain at Woodstock District 200, 815-337-6570

Publisher's comment: On the email distribution list are 73 names, including 19 from Woodstock District 200. At the June 5th meeting only 12 attended. Heroin use should probably be added to their target list.

Did Nygren order a hit?

This morning's edition of the www.dirtykeithvsdirtyharry.blogspot.com/ carries an article titled "McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren Ordered the "Assassination" of Political Foe?"

The article asserts that incumbent Republican Sheriff Keith Nygren ordered a man, turned informant, to carry out a hit on David Bachmann, a former funeral director and candidate for McHenry County Coroner in the 2008 elections. The article states that the informant has met with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and that the informant had gotten his "orders" in October 2009.

I have said from the beginning of my campaign for sheriff of McHenry County that, if Nygren self-destructed far enough in advance of the November 2 General Election, I'd have a good chance of being elected.

Readers will remember that on September 17, 2009, I filed a report against Sheriff Nygren with the Woodstock Police Department, after Nygren, driving a white unmarked Tahoe with standard Illinois passenger-car license plates, pulled in alongside me in the far end of the Jewel-Osco parking lot, refused to acknowledge a friendly wave or greeting, and sat for 30 seconds and glared at me. After that he backed out and drove away.

When a man, who would be expected to be armed, pulls in alongside me and acts in an irrational manner, I am not letting that pass without a police report. No one should. Was he coming unraveled, even then?

About that time he closed on a high-priced home in Cape Coral and agreed to a clause in his mortgage contract that he would use it as a "second" home. Within three months his wife had become a Florida resident by registering to vote and then she filed for a Florida homestead exemption, which can only be claimed on a primary (not a second) residence. That got him in hot water in McHenry County, because they were claiming the homestead exemption on their Hebron residence.

If I recall correctly, Home State Bank loaned him about $698,000 on a house priced at $620,000 (and now possibly worth only about $380,000). When HSB found out that the Nygren had violated the mortgage terms, if he did, did it amend or cancel the contract and call the loan? I wonder what the Feds would have to say about that bank loan now.

Early in 2007 a $100 Bounty on me was offered within the sheriff's department. In January 2007 I received a phone call that a rollcall announcement had been made that any deputy could pick up an easy $100 by writing me a ticket for anything. I was given the name of the commanding officer who ordered it. I can't say that I blame the caller for not risking his job to be a witness at the time.

Go to www.dirtykeithvsdirtyharry.blogspot.com/ right away and read today's article.

Monday, August 30, 2010

SAO announces new First Offender Program

The following press release was received from the Office of the McHenry County State's Attorney.


August 30, 2010



Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, is pleased to announce the start of a new alternative sentencing program for first-time, non-violent felony offenders. The program, which is modeled after a widely successful and longstanding Kane County program, is designed to hold defendants accountable for their criminal conduct with the assistance of citizen volunteers. Only first-time felony defendants accused of non-violent offenses will qualify for this program---persons accused of drug offenses, DUI related offenses or sex crimes will not be eligible to participate.

Defendants may submit a program application to the State’s Attorney’s Office if they choose to do so. Once a defendant is found eligible by the State’s Attorney’s Office, the defendant will appear before a panel of citizens who will screen the defendant through an interview process. The citizens will determine if they should propose the defendant’s acceptance into the program and, if so, recommend various conditions be required for successful completion. These conditions may include public service, drug and alcohol counseling, anger management counseling, completion of a GED or other educational program, restitution to the victim(s) for damages, a fine and any other terms deemed appropriate by the panel and the State’s Attorney’s Office. If a defendant agrees to the program terms and completes all conditions by a pre-established date, the defendant’s felony charges would be dismissed. A defendant who fails to complete the program requirements or otherwise violates terms of the program will return to a felony courtroom to face the original charge(s).

The First Offender Program was initiated by the McHenry County State’s Attorney to conserve judicial resources by reducing the number of felony cases before the criminal courts, while giving first time offenders an opportunity for rehabilitation and avoiding the negative consequences of having a felony conviction on their record.

Reminder - Drones on Trial - Wed. at MCC

One of the promoters of Wednesday's program at MCC has sent a message that the Northwest Herald has not printed her press release, even after many phone calls and promises to do so. She would like to get information out about the rapidly-escalating use of drones in Afghanistan and countries outside war zones including Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The number of civilians killed, 30% according to the New America Foundation which tries to track drone attacks, is inciting more fear, hatred and violence. There will be petitions to legislators and postcards to the White House to sign at the event.

Current American Issues
Information Seminar Series


A first-hand account from Afghanistan and Pakistan with Kathy Kelly

Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 7:00PM
McHenry County College Conference Center
8900 Route 14 Crystal Lake, IL

Kathy Kelly, co-founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence in Chicago and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will give an account of her recent visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan where she met with victims of U.S. drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) attacks. On September 14, she will stand trial in Las Vegas with 13 other peace activists for trespassing at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada . Their nonviolent act of civil disobedience followed a 10-day peace vigil outside the gates. Creech AFB is headquarters for the US Air Force drone warfare program and includes training and the actual control center for drones used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq that do surveillance and shoot “Hellfire” missiles that challenge the international rule of law.

The event is part of the Current American Issues Series and is also a fundraiser for the “Creech 14” trial, which will emphasize the injustice of the military’s use of drones that attack civilian homes and have killed so many innocent families while increasing the hatred and violence of war.

“Human interaction, negotiations, diplomacy and dialogue, not surveillance and bombing by robots, will ensure a more peaceful future at home and abroad.” Kathy Kelly

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. Refreshments will be served. There is no fee but donations are accepted. The event is sponsored by SPAN and Voices for Creative Nonviolence. For more information, e-mail lib4paz@comcast.net

Bentley case - action time!

Everybody is yakking; ain't nobody marching... It's time to find Beth Bentley! The following was posted on the Beth Bentley Missing (newer) Facebook page. If any readers of this blog wish to pitch in and help, let me know.

OK, folks, are we just going to flap our lips here (with fingers on the keyboards) or are we going to find Beth and know what happened to her since May 23???

I propose the following: let's form teams of, say, 5 people. One team will explore the runaway theory. Another team will pursue the drug theory. Another team will pursue the Mt. Vernon renov house and immediate surrounding area theory. Another, the boat rental theory. Another, the Frosty Mug. Another, the blackmail theory. Another, the extra-marital affairs theory. Another, organized searches.

This will be risky business. If there are perps out there, they are going to get very nervous as the heat increases. It will take stamina, bravery, fearlessness.

Anyone in?

Bentley missing 14 weeks now

When Beth Bentley went a local youth baseball game in Woodstock on Thursday evening, May 20, if anyone said "Good bye" to her, they didn't realize they were seeing her for the last time. That was 14 weeks ago. Fourteen weeks. Ninety-eight days. Today is the 99th day.

Did she ever leave Woodstock? Her car was left in a friend's garage, out of sight. They supposedly rented a car for a 330-mile drive. But was Mt. Vernon their original destination, since they may have indicated they would go to Wisconsin? Do some people in Woodstock know what happened to Beth, but they have been able to "hold it together" so far? What's happening now is that "some people" are starting to unravel.

When people are under great stress, they begin to act in ways not considered "natural" to them or to their basic habit patterns.

Sometimes they lash out in emotional or impulsive statements or decisions.

Sometimes they lie.

Sometimes they attempt to use deceit and deception to cloud the minds of others.

Sometimes they belittle and argue, attempting to mislead, misdirect, deflect.

What's happening now is that they are unraveling. Soon one of them will crack, and then the dominoes will fall.

Motives have been uncovered. Opportunities have been revealed.

Will a break in the case be announced soon?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cook County sheriff candidate vs. sanctuary policy

Look what candidate for Cook County Sheriff Frederick Collins has to say about illegal immigration and Chicago's Sanctuary City policies.

"Illegal Immigration - We need to enforce the existing laws

"The concern regarding the impact of illegal immigration on America is rising. There is a theme emerging that reflects our traditional values in wanting to protect our way of life. Jobs are becoming scarcer by the moment and our economy struggles to recover while carrying over 7,000,000 illegal immigrants on its welfare system. There are Federal Laws that exist to protect us from those who wish to benefit from our great nation with out respecting our laws and going through the proper steps to gain citizenship. At the state and local level, such laws must be enforced. The Cook County Sheriff's responsibility is not to interpret the law but to enforce it. Cook County cannot continue to be a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Enforcing the existing laws will deter others from taking up illegal residency and also the illegal employment of illegal immigrants. Those who hire undocumented workers should be fined and or prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This has to stop. Illegal immigrants represent 3.1% of the adult population but account for 4.5% of the overall prison population. It is imperative that the sheriff department enforce the law concerning illegal immigration and as sheriff I will do just that.

"Imagine!...a candidate for Cook County Sheriff who wants to enforce the existing laws...can it really be true!"

Ouch! those barbs are sharp!

Angela Ginger Montgomery has posted the following message on the original Facebook page for the missing Beth Bentley.

What am I putting it here?

Those who have been following this case closely are chasing many leads. Yes, the police are doing what police do. There are others who feel that there are additional things to be done.

Statements about certain persons being "cleared by LE" (Law Enforcement) have persisted on that first Facebook page for almost three months now. Nothing could be further from the truth. The police are not going to "clear" anyone and say so, because they might turn up evidence pointing right at that person and, if there is one thing that cops don't want on their faces, it is mud.

Angela has not liked it when anyone made negative comments about goings-on in the Bentley family. Those goings-on are just facts, and they are part of the investigation by police and inquiries by others. Yes, they are awkward and uncomfortable. Talking about them does not make them less so, and it makes them neither better nor worse.

Here is Angela's message to 7,500 Facebook followers:

"I would like for it to be known that I have personally removed GP (that's Gus Philpott) from this group. I have found the writings and posts of GP to be reckless and harmful to the ongoing efforts to find Beth. Those comments have caused unnecessary pain and anguish to Beth's Family, her friends and all those that care about finding her.

"GP feels entitled to make these comments in the name of free speech and has no consequences of printing anything he wants. I, personally, would hate to be a target of this type of person and his writing.

"Since GP has been removed it has also removed all his previous posts. Although this is unintentional, it is the way the FB works.

"I have also blocked any further communication personally with this man. I respectfully ask that there are NO FURTHER POSTS or REPOSTS of anything in his blog. Mr. GP will have to find other outlets for his gossip as it will not be tolerated here and I will personally delete any reference to anything he has written.

"Please know that this decision has not been made lightly. I have endured three months of his comments, contacts and twisting of my words. I do appreciate his interest in Beth's case, however, when anyone's involvement becomes more harmful than helpful it is no longer about finding Beth, it is about a personal agenda.

"If you would like to discuss this with me OFFLINE please feel free. I will not take to the public pages to discuss this again."

Let me add here about my last communication with Angela Montgomery and Ray Flavin, which was earlier today. It was a short, polite message to inform them of an error in the phone number for the Woodstock Police Department on the Project Jason missing-persons website. In spite of their bashing and lies, I was still willing to communicate with them about an error that needs to be fixed. They weren't even gracious enough to say Thank You.

High-end laptops in the jail

Where, oh where, are the three military-grade laptops that were purchased for $15,000 back in the early part of 2010 for the inmates at the McHenry County Jail?

The jail couldn't do with $700 laptops from BestBuy. It bought three Panasonic Toughbook 30 laptops in 2010 for the inmates to use - $15,000 worth of computers, and paid for them out of the Inmate Profit Account.

So, where are they? Why aren't they set up and in use? Hopefully, they won't be phased out too quickly and sold for junk to 2-3 employees for $25 each...

These are the laptops that GIs would give their eye-teeth for in Afghanistan or Iraq. You can beat on them and drop them, and they are supposed to keep working. They might even keep working on a computer table or a desk in the jail.

What cops have to say about missing Bentley

(according to this woman >>>>>)

On the original Facebook page for the missing Beth Bentley, a woman posting as "Kool Breeze" (photo right) yesterday put out these "words of wisdom". She was attempting to explain that law enforcement agencies in southern Illinois and the Illinois State Police have discounted possibilities of foul play in the disappearance of Beth Bentley, missing since May 23 (or so).

"Well I know we have had ISPD tell a member here Beth was just a run away, also Centrailia (sic) PD have told a number of people (some on this site) that Beth ran away, one was told with some young guy. Even a couple of off duty WPD told a member Beth was hiding out in Woodstock and NOT MISSING!

"As far as Sheriff Mulch statement all we were asking for was a "blessing" which the other LE Agencies have given us so we could get help from other search groups that were willing to help. We didn't ask for Jefferson County help only a blessing. We can't even bring in dogs without a "Blessing" from Jefferson County. Woodstock PD have already personally given me a "Blessing" to do this. It is Sheriff Mulch who has said NO!"

"Kool Breeze" is thought to be an internet radio DJ for a jazz program in Kansas City. She is a friend of Sheryll Ginger, who lives in Springfield, Mo. Kool Breeze obviously doesn't live in southern Illinois, because she can't spell Centralia correctly here or in other places where she has written the town's name.

Just look at her presumptive style of writing: "Well I know we have had ISPD tell a member here Beth was just a run away..." What she is trying to say is that a trooper of the Illinois State Police supposedly told one of the 7,600 followers of the original Facebook page for Beth Bentley told someone who told Kool Breeze that Beth is a runaway. Oh, really? I seriously doubt that the trooper was voicing the official position of the Illinois State Police about Beth's disappearance! A personal opinion, perhaps; but not an official position!

And then Kool Breeze wrote: "Centrailia (sic) PD have told a number of people (some on this site) that Beth ran away, one was told with some young guy."

How many people would a "number of people" be? At least, three. Again, oh really? Come on, KB. Cough up some names. For CPD to tell 3-4-or more people that Beth ran away and to tell "one" that she ran away with "some young guy" means that Woodstock PD knows about this. Aren't all the LE agencies working together?

And here is where heads will be rolling right here in Woodstock...

KB wrote: "Even a couple of off duty WPD told a member Beth was hiding out in Woodstock and NOT MISSING!"

When Woodstock PD Chief Bob Lowen and Det. Sgt. Kurt Rosenquist read her allegation, I rather suspect they will tell her to get her butt up here to Woodstock and plan to sit down under the bright lights. Oh, yes; bring a lawyer, too. But maybe she won't have to actually bring a lawyer. She could just call Ray Flavin and lawyer up with him.

For KB to write on the original Facebook page that two off-duty Woodstock cops told one person (of the 7,600 "members") that Beth was hiding out right here in Woodstock will result in an inquisition right here within our city limits.

And the "blessings" of law enforcement agencies regarding any searches? Law enforcement will not search because they don't have any leads to follow. Enough said about that. If individuals want to search, all they have to do is find their snake-bite kits and put on their hiking boots.

You might find Kool Breeze's picture elsewhere on the internet. It doesn't look like the photo she had on her Facebook profile initially (above, but removed from Facebook). When you see her around Woodstock for her meeting with WPD, please let her know that an interview with The Woodstock Advocate is expected, while she is in town.

Deleted posts "not her fault"

Yesterday I wrote about how Angela Ginger Montgomery, neighbor of Scott Bentley and apparent spokesperson for the Bentley family in Woodstock, had banished me from the original Facebook page for the missing Beth Bentley.

When readers of that page and its many topics and comments remarked that all my comments had been deleted, Sheryll Ginger, Angela's sister who may live in Springfield, Mo., commented: "that wasn't suppose to happen no way to prevent it...... "

Well, Sheryll, I've got news for you. If there is no way to prevent it, then it was supposed to happen!

The moderators have deleted enough posts and blocked enough other "members" of that page to know that all the comments were going to be deleted. So, Sheryll, you can't cop a plea of ignorance about knowing that all my comments were going to be deleted!

Another member, posting as "Deliliah Brannigan", has posted several very thoughtful comments, including this one: "I have to disagree with deleting posts made by a poster even if they have been banned at this time. It takes the creditability away from the cause here."

To which Sheryll Ginger responded, "Delilah......whenever that happens it deletes all the posts.....we didn't want the post deleted but there is either no way to prevent it because we went back and tried to find the post..........Sorry Guys wasn't done on purpose."

Aside from the fact that Sheryll's sentence doesn't make any sense, Sheryll just keeps digging the hole deeper. If she didn't want my posts deleted, then she could have just left them there. Yes, it was done "on purpose." She knows that. The other moderators know that.

So, what's up with the mea culpa. It's not flying, Sheryll.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Interfering with an investigation?

A reader of this blog and the original Facebook page for Beth Bentley has informed me that all the comments I had posted on that site have been removed.

Some of them, if I do say so myself, were pretty good. Some of them were written after contacts with various law enforcement agencies. Some of them were written and included information from some of those agencies, even though it might have been second-hand.

Other comments disappeared when the woman writing as "Kool Breeze" not only removed many of her own comments on one long Discussion Topic, but she also deleted the entire Topic. She did so in a huff and apparently without a consensus from the other moderators. It was a knee-jerk reaction; an emotional rebound. And a wrong one.

All the explanations of the Find Beth Bentley Reward Fund trust vanished, when Kool Breeze dumped that topic into the cyber-trash.

It might behoove Scott Bentley to flush most of the moderators from the original "Beth Bentley Missing Woodstock, IL Woman" page on Facebook and replace them with 1-2 level-headed people who will put that page and its topics back on track for finding Beth.

Shut out on FB page

Well, it happened.

You know what happens when you ask too many of the wrong questions? Or when you take a nicely-worded poke at someone who is a "controller"?

In the absence of media attention and press releases by either the Woodstock Police Department or Beth Bentley's immediate family, I have been writing extensively about Beth's disappearance. Now I've been banned from the Facebook.com page for "Beth Bentley...Missing Woodstock IL Woman". Oh, for shame.

Recently the moderators said they would no longer delete messages. What they didn't say is that they would ban folks who said things with which they disagreed.

Yesterday Angela Ginger Montgomery wrote me as follows (probably guessing that I might publish her excommunication):

"Dear Mr. Philpott,

"After careful consideration I have decided to remove you from the Beth Bentley FB page. Your comments are more harmful than helpful.

"I appreciate your interest and wish you the best.

"Angela Montgomery"

That's the same Angela Montgomery who announced about a week ago that she was discontinuing her role as moderator on that Beth Bentley Facebook page. How interesting that's she's back, and back with a vengeance.

One of the "more harmful" comments that I recently made was to criticize a moderator's suggestion that 7,600 followers should call Jefferson County Sheriff Mulch and "light a fire under his butt".

I also asked this morning if Scott Bentley is writing his own comments or if someone else is writing them and posting under his name. My understanding now is that comment has been deleted. I personally think that, unless a person is blind or without manual dexterity, only he should post under a name. Since so many have said that Scott doesn't use computers, I thought it appropriate to ask the question.

I am now blocked from viewing Kool Breeze's and Angela's personal pages and their comments are not visible to me. Thanks, girls, but it's no loss for me.

Many of Beth's so-called friends have now hidden their profiles. What's up with that? Do they have something to fear now that they didn't have to fear before May 23?

And all the party pictures were taken down, even the party pictures from the fundraiser at Gus's Roadhouse, where $4,000 was raised for the Bentley family.

And someone has the password to Beth's personal page, because some changes have been made there.

Rocking horses to Union

For whatever reason, the City of Woodstock for two years has supported a fundraiser for an out-of-town organization, Main Stay Therapeutic Riding Program. Last year it was the promotion of carousel horses, and this year the area around the Square has been the playground for quite a few painted rocking horses.

The individual horses will be auctioned on September 25 at Donley's Village Banquet Hall in Union. You know, the Wild West place.

For me this raises the question as to why the fundraiser and party are not being held right here in Woodstock, where restaurants and local businesses could be supported. It probably wouldn't take a rocket scientist (or banquet planner from New York City) to figure out how to do this. But the City Fathers will watch the money flow in Union.

I wonder ... does the City pop for the tickets to the event for members of the City Council and employees of City government? If Main Stay will comp these officials with tickets, is it appropriate for them to accept?

This is the second year that I've wondered, What's in it for Woodstock? Main Stay, located near Richmond, benefits. But what about Woodstock?

Are pennies legal tender?

This morning's paper carried an article about Ron Spears, who tried to pay a $330.00 bill in pennies at the office of the Kittatas County Treasurer in Cle Elum, Washington. Seems he didn't pay a $34 bill that was due in April, and that unpaid bill escalated to $330.00.

To make a statement, Spears wheeled in 33,000 pennies, which would weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 182 pounds. The County Treasurer turned up her nose at Spears and gave him a thumbs down on payment in pennies, claiming she didn't have the staff to count them.

I wonder if Spears pulled a David Miller trick and dumped the pennies, if they were loose in a wheelbarrow. Or did he take them in, rolled in 660 wrappers?

It seems a bigger question as to just how a $34 bill jumped to $330 in four months. Is usury any part of Washington state law?

What would our own Bill LeFew do, if faced with the same problem? Would he graciously accept such payment, issue a receipt and take the pennies to the bank for counting? Maybe after calling a press conference and extolling the good customer service offered by his office? I'll bet he's not too busy to have fun with such a payment.

Or suppose someone wanted to pay a $75 fine and exorbitant court costs at the courthouse for a traffic ticket in pennies? Or even $1 bills? Or silver dollars, if he could round up $250 of those?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just how bad is it in Arizona?

A friend in Colorado sent me this photo, apparently from a rally in Arizona, where the governor is cracking down on illegal immigration.

Read the sign carefully. (To enlarge it, click on the image; then click on the Back button on your browser to come back here.)

Is the U.S. heading toward war right in our country?

Facebook promotion is wrong

Facebook is a popular social media. On it appear not only member profiles and personal information, but also publicity about events, situations, circumstances - even missing persons. For example, Beth Bentley, 41, missing from Woodstock since May 23.

Now certain followers of Beth's missing-person Facebook page have taken to publicizing names and telephone numbers of southern Illinois law enforcement and government officials and are urging 7,600 "friends" to contact those officials.

Fortunately, the response will probably be similar to the number of Facebook "friends" who donated money to the bank account set up for a reward fund. Out of over 7,000 "friends", two contributed.

The southern Illinois police agencies seem to have no bonafide leads. The Woodstock PD is the lead investigatory agency. Urging thousands of readers, who receive an email message every time a comment is posted, to call southern Illinois police agencies is just plain insanity.

Raffel Road is now open

Thanks to the Woodstock Streets Department and good weather, Raffel Road is open again.
Check it out next time you are headed to Woodstock North High School or would just like to take the "scenic" route to McHenry, Greenwood or Wonder Lake.
Watch your speed, and remember that the road is in the City of Woodstock. Fines will apply.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Caution at Queen Anne Road

Quite a few weeks ago I reported to IDOT that the warning sign for Queen Anne Road is missing. It's probably in some kid's bedroom or some guy's garage.

A sign like the one missing might cost $200-400 to replace, by the time you figure in the cost of the sign and the labor of a couple of IDOT employees and a truck. With the State of Illinois (IDOT) as strapped as it is for money, it is taking longer and longer for missing signs to be replaced.

The naked signpost is on eastbound Route 120, just east of Woodstock, approaching Queen Anne Road. If you are headed toward McHenry, be sure to keep an eye on the drivers trying to cross 120. Some of them get impatient.
And if you ever see someone tampering with a sign in the middle of the night, please report it immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Is Beth Bentley "endangered"?

A number of women readers on the Facebook pages have gotten all bent out of shape about action, or lack of action, by the law enforcement agencies in southern Illinois that are involved in one way or another with the Beth Bentley disappearance.

They want southern Illinois searched foot-by-foot, starting with Miller Lake and covering every square foot of Mt. Vernon, Centralia and Jefferson County. Yet there are no solid leads for the cops and the deputies to follow.

It is the Woodstock Police Dept. (WPD) that labeled Beth as "missing-endangered" on June 9. Now, please understand what the WPD means by "endangered;" it means, "a person who is missing under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety may be in danger."

That is a direct quote from the WPD. It is a throw-away definition - it tells the reader nothing. All is does is create unnecessary alarm. The WPD will not say what circumstances, if any, cause it to label Beth as "endangered."

Thus, readers are left to their imaginations, which are all running in Overdrive. Read the definition again: it says "MAY be in danger"; not "is in danger." It's a CYA action by the WPD.

Maybe WPD never should have used "endangered" in its June 9 press release without explaining just what it means by "endangered."

Common usage of the term, when associated with missing persons, is because the person left without taking necessary medications, such as for diabetes or bipolar disorder or asthma or blood pressure. No adverse health condition is reported about Beth.

The term is also used for persons who cannot care for themselves, such as a person suffering from depression or dementia or thought to be suicidal. None of those applies to Beth.

Did Beth just "take off"? If so, what is she using for funds? The photos of Beth indicate to me that she is not low-maintenance. I don't have a picture in my mind that she's living in a tent or under a bridge somewhere. Hair, nails, skin care, clothing, shoes, food, shelter. All those things cost money. A lot of money.

My money is bet that there are persons who know what happened to her. If she just took off, somebody knows about it.

If ill befell her, the person(s) who know about it will begin changing some habits. Those around them will notice. They may become panicky. They may be drinking more or using more drugs. They may be losing sleep and gaining or losing weight. Hair may start to fall out. Even the hair of a woman accomplice might begin to thin.

There is no such thing as the perfect crime...

What to do if you spot Beth Bentley

As more and more Missing Person and Reward posters are updated and posted, more people may begin spotting women who strongly resemble Beth.

One of them might just turn out to be Beth.

What should you do if you spot Beth or a strong look-alike?

If you spot her or someone you believe to be her, call the local police department and request an officer to come right away. Keep the woman in sight until the officer arrives; then point her out. Let the officer make the approach.

Last Saturday a woman who resembled Beth strongly was spotted in southern Illinois. The spotter called Crime Stoppers and reported the sighting. The Crime Stoppers operator said the report would be forwarded to Woodstock P.D.

When did a Woodstock detective get the report? Within minutes? Even on Saturday? Not until Monday? Obviously, the woman would not still be standing in the store.

If the police can't get there in time, discreetly follow the woman to her vehicle and write down the license plate and vehicle description. Notice which way it goes. Tell the cop who responds.

If you feel safe, you might even approach the woman to inquire, but you could expect a denial. After all, if it is Beth and she doesn't want to be found, she'll deny it. She might even tell you that she has been asked before about being Beth. Don't argue. Don't tell her that you have already called the cops. Let the cops handle it. But you might be able to delay her a little until the cops can arrive.

Just what does Emergency OP mean to MCSD?

Suppose you go to a judge for an Emergency Order of Protection? How do you do that?

You go to the courthouse, fill out the paperwork, wait for a judge, see the judge in private, explain why you need it, and the judge, if he approves it, signs the paperwork and puts it into the system.

Then you take the Emergency Order of Protection from the judge's office to the Civil Process office of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department (MCSD) and turn it in to a clerk at the counter there.

It isn't all that far from the judge's office to the sheriff's department. In fact, it is only down one floor in the government center. You don't have to go outside; you don't have to go back through security. You just walk down one flight of stairs.

When you present the Emergency Order of Protection to the MCSD Civil Process Division, just how quickly should you expect it to be served? After all, you need it. The judge ordered it. It's an emergency; right?

Let's say that the judge signs the Order on Friday and you deliver it five minutes later to the Civil Process Division. It's an emergency. You deliver it about 1:30PM to the Civil Process Division.

Should it be served on Friday, the same day?
How about on Saturday?
OK, that was the week-end. Will it be served on Monday?
On Tuesday? (Remember; it's an emergency.)
How about on Wednesday?
Should it have been served by Thursday morning?

By Thursday morning, wouldn't you be wondering just what the _ _ _ _ is going on at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department that a deputy can't make it ten miles to serve an Emergency Order of Protection on a person who is not in hiding?

This is just one Emergency Order of Protection. How many others are there that have not been served?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Woodstock Farmers' Market - this Saturday

Here is information about this Saturday's Farmers' Market on the Woodstock Square. Come one, come all. See you there.

Take a moment to vote for our hometown farmers' market. See below.

"A busy day this Saturday. Music will be the Jazz Fest with the Music Mavericks, Blue Skies, MCC Jazz Combo and Outcast Jazz Band. We will have a few chairs but please bring a lawn chair. We will also have two demo's. Dusty Looney will be demonstrating how to tie-dye, and Larry Krengel will be talking about bees and honey production. Music next Tuesday is Live Bait.

"We are still trailing in our quest to be the number one market in Illinois, so help us out if you can. http://action.farmland.org/site/PageNavigator/Americas-Favorite-Farmers-Markets/best_local_farmers_market_vote

Got questions? Keith has got answers. Go to www.woodstockfarmersmarket.org (You can get to the poll through the Farmers' Market website, too.)

Locher gets 60 days in the lock-up

The following press release was issued by the Office of the McHenry County State's Attorney. I might have to drop by one of these days and explain about the use of paragraphs...

"Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announces that Kirk Locher was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 60 days in the McHenry County Jail for the offense of Aggravated Cruelty. An additional term of the sentence was that Locher obtain a psychological evaluation and that he complies with all recommendations contained in that evaluation. The defendant was also ordered to own no firearms or animals while on probation. As a result of his felony conviction, his Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card will be revoked. Kirk Locher was previously found guilty by a jury on June 30th, 2010. The evidence at trial revealed that the defendant had been drinking alcohol outside during a power outage on May 30, 2008. Later, in the early morning hours of May 31, 2008, the defendant woke up his wife complaining that the family dog had bit him. His wife got out of bed, and sat at the kitchen table. It was at that point that the defendant brought a revolver out of his bedroom, and leaned over the kitchen table to shoot the Labrador retriever in the head. Two investigating officers testified that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol on May 31, 2008. This case was investigated by Ofc. Harmon, Det. Spitzer and Sgt. Amati of the Woodstock Police Department, and prosecuted for the State by Assistant State’s Attorneys Sharyl Eisenstein and Ryan Blackney."

13 1/2 weeks - missing

It has been 13 1/2 weeks since Beth Bentley vanished, presumably from the Mt. Vernon, Ill. area.

Why do I say "presumably"? Because the Southern Illinois story continues to fall apart.

Beth's photo is shown on an ABC-TV/7 webpage with an undated caption, reading "Missing Bennedetta Bentley, 41, of Woodstock, missing since Sunday May 23 from Centralia, Ill." Sort of makes me wonder where TV-7 is getting its information.

I recall reading how someone, supposedly in the know because of a family relationship with a Woodstock friend of the Bentley family, wrote on Facebook with great certainty that "LE" (law enforcement; meaning the Mt. Vernon P.D.) had videotapes (or more likely, digital recordings) of the Friday night, May 21, when Beth, Jenn Wyatt, Ryan Ridge and a young man under age 21 who has not yet been identified publicly) had dinner and drinks in the Frosty Mug in Mt. Vernon.

As of about a week ago, a local person was told that the Mt. Vernon P.D. does not have any such videotapes. Actually, only three organizations would know - the owner or manager of the Frosty Mug; the Mt. Vernon P.D.; the Woodstock P.D.

About a week ago a man told a Woodstock resident, who had one of the missing-person fliers out in the open in her home, that he had had a "date" with Beth since May 23. That's man's comment was spontaneous and unsolicited, after he saw Beth's photo on the flier.

And then I was told that Beth had called a family member on August 14.

The Woodstock Police have all this information. Any tips, even rumors, need to be reported to the police, so that they will have as many pieces to the puzzle as possible. If a piece doesn't fit or is to a different puzzle, the police can discard it. But the police need all information.

In the meantime the Woodstock Police have nothing to say. Is there something that they could say about their progress in the investigation of her disappearance? Are they really still investigating it?

Why is life so hard?

This morning I called the McHenry County Sheriff's Department to speak with Dep. Aimee Knop. As I understand it, she is one of the public information officers. Contacting her shouldn't be any secret.

On Monday I had called her and asked who the contact was for the McHenry County Crime Stoppers organization; i.e., the person who is responsible for the way that the Tip Line operates. She didn't know. Or she couldn't tell me. Or she wouldn't tell me. But she said she's find out and call me.

I don't think it's too much to expect a return call or the information by email within 48 hours.

When I called this morning, I got her voicemail. I didn't want her voicemail; I wanted to know whom to contact, so I zero'ed out to one of her co-workers. And got her voicemail. So I zero'ed out again and was back with the operator.

When I asked Aimee's middle initial, so that I could email my request to Aimee, the dispatcher couldn't give it to me. I'm sure she was following orders. "Don't give out an employee's middle initial. They might start sending e-mail (and create a paper trail (subject to FOIA))."

When I said I'd just email the sheriff and let it filter down from there, the operator, who had been polite, if not helpful, throughout the conversation offered me the sheriff's general email address, so that she could forward my email to Aimee. If you need (or want) it, too, it's sheriff@co.mchenry.il.us

Scary Reading... border security

This week a reader sent me an electronic copy of a report entitled "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border." This is a report of the major staff of the House committee on homeland security subcommittee on investigations, chaired by Rep. Michael T. McCaul (Texas-10th Congressional District).

Although the report cover is not dated, this report was issued in 2006, according to Congressman McCaul's office.

It's going to take a while to get through the 39 pages. but it did cause me to retrieve this morning's paper from the recycle bag and clip the only news article on Page 4A: "Bullets fly into El Paso."

Remember the recent article about the orders of President Obama to send 1200-1500 National Guardsmen to Texas - to guard computers? Well, here's what I say: Let the cops protect computers, and put either National Guardsmen or the military on our national border to stop the flow of illegal entries into the U.S.A.

And put bullets in their rifles, and take off the safeties.

The people in Texas, New Mexico (how little is said about the New Mexico/Mexico border!), Arizona and California know first-hand what is happening on our southwest border. The rest of us just hear about it.

To read the report, go to www.house.gov/sites/members/tx10_mccaul/pdf/Investigaions-Border-Report.pdf

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SPAN schedules MCC talk on drones

No, not those professors (you know the ones) who just go on and on and on...

On September 1 at 7:00PM the MCC Student Peace Action Network (SPAN) will present Kathy Kelly, a three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and her presentation, titled "Drones on Trial" on the military use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). Pictured is an MQ-9 Reaper. These are the aircraft that are controlled from the ground, without risking a pilot and navigator.

Concerns are the missile strikes that miss targets and kill civilians, resulting in increased animosity against the U.S.A. and, according to a Letter to the Editor from Elizabeth Pappalardo in the Northwest Herald, "...are an invaluable recruiting tool for extremist groups."

Come and learn about drones. Be ready with your questions. You might even ask about use of drones on the U.S./Mexico border.

Ethical Hacking - what is it?

Yesterday I heard about a course at McHenry County College (MCC) called Ethical Hacking. The comment was, "Oh, really? Could there be ethical hacking?"

Trying to find the course on MCC's website could drive just about anyone nuts. There may be a search engine there that works for finding courses, but I've never found it. Now, there's a course I'd take: "MCC Search Engines".

The following information was found by (what else?) a Google search and is quoted, in part.

"Ethical hackers and hacking

"Ethical hackers are information security professionals who are engaged in evaluating the threats to an organisation from attackers. ...

"Ethical hackers typically have very strong programming and computer networking skills and have been in the computer and networking business for several years. ...

"Ethical hacking is the methodology adopted by ethical hackers to discover the vulnerabilities existing in information systems‚ operating environments.

"These hackers typically employ the same tools and techniques as criminal attackers, but they neither damage the target systems nor steal information.

"Instead, they evaluate the security of target systems and report back to a client with the vulnerabilities discovered and appropriate recommendations to mitigate the same."

Source: www.grcoatley.mcc.education.nsw.gov.au/ipt_website/11_ethical_considerations/ethical_hacking.htm

Did you know this about August 2010?

A friend in Colorado sent this to me.

This August has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, all in one month. It happens once in 823 years.

I probably will miss it next time!

Thanks, Vic!

Crime Stoppers - let's do better

A few weeks ago a friend told me about having called Crime Stoppers of McHenry County at its advertised phone number: 800.762.STOP The call didn't seem to work smoothly, and I jotted down the details.

On Sunday I telephoned my own tip to this Crime Stoppers group. While the line was answered promptly as "Crime Stoppers of McHenry County," I was put on hold and thought I was being transferred. After a delay that was longer than seemed appropriate, an operator (or dispatcher, probably) answered.

It was almost like I was supposed to know what to do. Rather than a helpful, customer-friendly operator, I got sort of a "why are you calling?" reception. I informed her that I was calling with a tip on a certain case.

I was willing to provide a limited amount of information but not complete information, knowing that I had reached an agency that was not the investigating agency. I did not want the content of my message spread around the sheriff's department.

Because I understand the system, I informed the operator that I would be contacting the investigating agency with more details about my tip. After completing the call, I emailed the detective, his superior and the chief of that department.

Then came two questions out of the blue:

1. Are you willing to testify? and
2. Do you want a reward?

I realized the operator/dispatcher was just following a script, but it is a dumb script.

The first of those questions, asked in a point-blank manner, might tend to drive away a cautious caller.

The second question, which had aroused the ire of the person who had told me about the previous call to Crime Stoppers, seemed absurd to me.

Crime Stoppers offers a reward to people who call. That's how you get some of them to call. Why shouldn't a person expect or want a reward, if his tip leads to the solution of the crime?

Then the operator/dispatcher gave me a Tip Number and that was that.

What's next? Who knows?

The operator/dispatcher offered me no further information about follow-up. There should be a scripted explanation of what happens next. Some Crime Stopper websites have automated follow-up. You log in with your tip number and learn if the information has been helpful. If it has, you would be instructed to call in again regarding steps to receive the reward.

What response did I receive from the investigating agency to which I sent the follow-up email? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not even a Thank You. Just how long would it take for a detective to hit Reply and write T-h-a-n-k-s? They could even have a formatted reply, in case he has a writer's block that day.

Except for my email, they wouldn't know how to contact me. And they certainly wouldn't know how to contact the other tipper, who was given only a Tip Number and no further instructions.

What happens if a person provides a tip directly to the police department, rather than through Crime Stoppers? Will s/he qualify for a reward, if one is offered by Crime Stoppers? I'll be finding out and letting you know.

Why doesn't McHenry County have an excellent Crime Stoppers website and tip-generating system? Why isn't it a Certified program through the Illinois State Crime Stoppers Association? Of all the Crime Stoppers organizations in McHenry County only Marengo has a Certified program.

If I get elected Sheriff, I will take the lead in re-organizing the McHenry County Coalition into a First Class operation.

Peace Corps gathering - Woodstock

Were you in the Peace Corps?

Attend tonight's gathering of local Peace Corps volunteers here in Woodstock. All returned volunteers in northern Illinois are invited.

Rich and Susan Eyre, owners of Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery here in Woodstock (www.richsfoxwillowpines.com/) will host the gathering from 6:00-9:00PM at their home at 3004 Stieg Road, Woodstock.

The closest I got to the Peace Corps was in July 1992, when I was returning from 5 1/2 weeks in Belize. I had made a low-budget trip from Denver, having spent $400 door-to-door.

I had taken a 28-hour bus ride across Mexico from Corozal Town, Belize, and Chetumal, Mexico, and I had arrived at the airport in Mexico City about 30 minutes before the next Delta flight to the U.S. The gate agent got me on the plane, but my backpack didn't make it.

Upon arriving in Dallas, the border security guard at the international terminal questioned my arrival with only an orange daypack dangling from one hand. I began to explain about my visit with a former Peace Corps volunteer in Belize and my rush to the airport. When he heard the part about the Peace Corps, he said, "Oh, Peace Corps? You can go on."

And that was how I got back into the U.S. He didn't look at my passport or in my daypack. When I picked up my backpack the next day, it showed no evidence of having been opened or inspected.

Those were the good old days.

Tonight - anti-bullying vigil

Tonight at 7:00PM there will be a vigil in memory of a Johnsburg boy and other children who have committed suicide after being bullied, sometimes for years.

The candlelight vigil will begin at 7:00PM at the Midwest Bank, 3805 N. Johnsburg Road, in Johnsburg.

Bullying is occurring in many McHenry County schools. My own experience with the Woodstock School District is that heads nodded when bullying was reported, and District officials re-affirmed the Safe Schools policy.

And bullying continued.

It starts in the grade schools, and there is where it should be nipped in the bud. When it occurs in middle and high schools, discipline should be swift and firm.

It's not. And so it continues.

In one case of which I have personal knowledge, a consultant from the Illinois State Board of Election had been called in and she herself observed bullying in the classroom - by staff!!!

It's a good thing she was called in. What teacher would have ratted out another teacher for bullying a student?

Monday, August 23, 2010


This morning I had my first Skype conversation. Hey, I know it's not new, but it was new for me.

On Saturday I helped set up Skype for a friend and told her to buy a webcam. Then I decided that I had to come further into the 21st Century myself, and I headed over to Crystal Lake for my own new webcam.

After the set-up I played "telephone tag" with my grand-daughter in South Carolina and sent a few messages to friends in New Zealand, the U.K., and Switzerland.

This morning my Skype "rang", and a college classmate was calling from Switzerland! The last time we met in person was in Chicago in 1964 after graduation! It was like chatting in person!

If you haven't tried Skype, give it a shot!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jailers becoming maintenance custodians?

Budget cuts are slashing deeply at the McHenry County Jail, where now Block corrections officers (COs) will "assist" inmates in the daily cleaning procedure after meals.

The COs will be in charge of dispensing the Germisept and other cleaning solutions onto the tables and in the toilets and cell sinks for the inmates to clean. They will also be in charge of spraying the Kleen-and-Klear for the inmates to wash the windows.

I wish I could keep my old TV shows straight. Is this from Gilligan's Island?

Now an $75,000/year corrections officer is going to walk around with a spray bottle and spray cleaners on tables, toilets, sinks and windows? I've got some choice words for whoever came up with that brilliant idea.

Oh, one more... soap for the mop buckets for floor cleaning has been cut in half.

And how about the re-assignment of a senior lieutenant who is approaching retirement? She was transferred to day duty, although there was already an adequate number of lieutenants assigned to day duty. This was apparently some privilege being granted to her because of seniority and approaching retirement. Why not just leave her where she was for the last few months?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Ray Stevens' Song

Listen to the new Ray Stevens' song, "God Save Arizona".


Think really hard about what is happening in Arizona. Think about unsafe highways in our United States, where the government must put up warning signs. Think about the caches of guns and drugs and the thousands of people crossing the border into our country illegally.

Our own government in Washington - even suing the State of Arizona, which is trying to stop illegal immigration.


2010 Rules of the Road at the DMV

Yesterday I picked up a copy of the 2010 Illinois Rules of the Road. The Secretary of State continues to "simplify" the explanations of many provisions - I call it "dumbing down" the content. Hence, the following letter I have sent to Secretary of State Jesse White...

"Thank you for again including the year-of-issue on the cover of the Rules of the Road.

"May I suggest returning the telephone number for your office to the rear cover? In the past, it was very helpful to find 800/252-8980 prominently displayed on the outside back cover. I know the number, but many don't.

"I urge you not to make the explanations too general or so general that the purpose of the law is unclear. Please don't dumb them down too far. For example, regarding approaching emergency vehicles: Page 27: There is an important error in Paragraph 2 of Emergency Vehicles, where it reads "...vehicle using audible and visual signals." This should read "and/or", because police cars are not required to use audible signals at all times when visual signals are in use.

"The paragraph is further unclear by stating "...Illinois law requires motorists to immediately pull to the right side of the road..." Many will understand this as "...pull (over) to the right side of the road (and stop)". The statute itself is perfectly clear; it's the explanation in the Rules of the Road that is not clear. Nothing is gained by dragging it out in the Rules of the Road. A driver is required to stop, only if necessary to permit the emergency vehicle to pass safely.

"The left diagram at the bottom of Page 82 shows a dangerous, but legal, maneuver; i.e, completing a pass after the beginning of a no-passing zone. The law needs to be changed to require that a pass be completed before the beginning of a no-passing zone. In your left bottom diagram, the passing car is legally re-entering the right lane but at the crest of a hill, where a head-on collision could easily have occurred.

"The right diagram at the bottom of Page 82 incorrectly shows the end of a no-passing zone, where the sight distance would have required the continuation of the no-passing zone.

"Because the Rules of the Road manual is designed for drivers, I would move the Investment Fraud warning to an inside one-half page and return use of the outside back cover to important driving tips, such as

- obey posted speed limits;
- don't tailgate;
- don't drink and drive;
- display front license plates, as required.

"I hope these errors will be corrected before the next edition is published."

When you spot errors in the Rules of the Road, email them to jessewhite@illinois.gov

$75 Fine to go up 60%

You may have missed the important part of an article in last week's Northwest Herald article about a $7 increase in fees assessed by the McHenry County Board. Did you miss it?

The County Board voted on August 17 by a vote of 22-0 to stick it to you for an extra $3 court automation fee (from $5 to $8) and for an extra $4 in the document storage fee (from $5 to $9). Be sure to thank your County Board member, next time you see him or her.

Big deal!

After you read that, did you keep reading for the really important part of the article?

State ticket costs will go up on September 15. If you thought you'd get out of the courthouse for $75, on September 15 (and after) it will cost you $120. That's an extra $45. That's an increase of 60%.

That's an increase of 60%.

A whopping 60% increase in the basic $75 fine. Who can you thank for that? Try Jack Franks. And Pam Althoff. And Mike Tryon.

You might call their offices on Monday and ask how they voted on that bill.
Rep. Jack Franks 815.334.0063
Rep. Mike Tryon 815. 459.6453
Sen. Pam Althoff 815.455.6330

Did you read anything in the news about the increases when these bills were pending in the legislature? Does the legislature even set these fines?

And how about the $95 tickets? On September 15 those fines will go up to $140. That's also a $45 increase. For a $95 ticket the increase is 47%.

Will chiefs of police and the sheriff decide to tell their officers and deputies to use more discretion, in view of exorbitant fines and court costs? Or will their employees continue to be required to meet "non-quota quotas" (performance standards) on tickets? Or to ticket certain people if you stop them, no matter how minor the violation is?

Last Friday night another headlight was out on the Beetle. That's the 14th headlight in the last six years. Do you think I dared drive my car to the store?

Do you think I'd encounter a cop who would start to give me a warning and then, after a second cop pulled up, inform me that he was going to give a ticket, instead?

I say, either you give warnings to everyone for minor equipment violations, or you ticket everybody. Around here "discretion" means if you like the driver, give him a break. Or if the driver is a deputy, you don't ticket him even if he runs a stop sign (and admits inattention) and causes a wreck.

But you write a ticket to somebody whose headlight was out for 10 miles and 15 minutes on a bitter cold January night because of the second officer. Who, me? Still mad? Why not?

If the driver is blowing the whistle on too many problems, try to shut him up with a ticket.

Only it doesn't work, does it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Parade Gasoline - how much???

In an article on www.mcsdexposed.blogspot.com/ entitled "Bravo to The Book Maker", Zane Seipler reported two expenses for gasoline by the Citizens to Elect Sheriff Nygren campaign committee in 2006. They were to reimburse Keith Nygren, presumably for the purchase of gasoline for vehicles driven in a parade that summer. Other expenses were listed, including other gasoline expenses, but look at these two:

Nygren, Keith 10213 Meadow Lane
Hebron, IL 60034 $40.00
6/30/2006 Expenditure
Citizens to Elect Sheriff Nygren reimbursement for gasoline for parade car
Citizens To Elect Sheriff Nygren

Nygren, Keith 10213 Meadow Lane
Hebron, IL 60034 $45.00
7/21/2006 Expenditure
Citizens to Elect Sheriff Nygren Reimbursement for gasoline for parade car
Citizens To Elect Sheriff Nygren

The first thing that is curious about these two expenses is that they were conveniently in whole dollars ($40.00 and $45.00). How often have you pumped an exact-dollar amount of gas into your chariot?

The second thing that is curious is the amount of each reimbursement. $40.00 (or $45.00) for gasoline to drive in a parade? How far away was the parade? How long was the parade?

A gallon of gasoline that month cost about $3.00-3.15. $40.00 would have bought about 13 gallons of gas. Assuming 20MPG, Keith was generous enough to reimburse someone for 260 miles of driving.

That whole thing is starting to look pretty ridiculous, isn't it?

Obviously, he generously reimbursed someone for parade use of that person's car. But was it a person's car, or was the car donated by Gary Lang Auto Group, as a parade car reportedly recently was?

The issue here is the mislabeling of the expense reimbursement. If it was for "parade use" of a car, then say so. By the way, whose car was it? It certainly wasn't for 13 gallons of gas consumed during parade use!

Signs in more places...

A friend sent me a photo of this sign, designed, arranged, printed and placed by one of my supporters. OK, OK, so I know that Sherriff is spelling in a unique way.

What I appreciate so much is that one particular family took the initiative and went to get signs made before I was even ready to have them made. And I thank them for their generosity and action.

There will be more signs out. It's still more than two months to election day. And the newer signs will be one -r- shorter than these! (The printer is repeating third grade now.)

I wish I had ...

How many times have you said, "I wish I had a camera"?

For me, I notice "milestones" on the odometer. You know; like 1,000, 10,000, 100,000. Just waiting for the one that reads 1,000,000.

Yesterday it was 66,666.6. Not on the car; on the motorcycle. As I left the garage in the morning, I thought, "I hope I can stop when it's all sixes." Then off to Cary to pick up a small part for a friend. As I approached Woodstock on the return trip, I glanced at the odometer and began thinking about where it might read all sixes.

Fortunately, I was not in the middle of 14 & 47. Just a little farther west, I was able to pull over (safely) onto the shoulder and record this "moment in history."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ISRA targets Chicago (again)

From a press release from the Illinois State Rifle Association.

"On Monday, August 16, 2010, the Illinois State Rifle Association, in partnership with the Second Amendment Foundation, Action Target Inc. and three individual plaintiffs, Rhonda Ezell, Joseph Brown and William Hespen, have once again joined with lawyers Alan Gura and David Sigale to demand that Mayor Daley and his gun banning cohorts recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right not subject to their whims.

"After losing in McDonald v Chicago, Mayor Daley responded by allowing city residents to obtain permits but put as many roadblocks in the way as he felt he could get away with including mandatory training but not allowing the training to take place within City limits, all the while walking around with an armed contingent of body guards supplied with taxpayer dollars and trained on their publicly funded private for police only ranges.

"Clearly Mayor Daley believes that firearm ownership is a privilege reserved for the wealthy and connected. The ISRA et al believe that this is not only a violation of the Second Amendment but also of the First Amendment as 'Hizzoner' restricts the education and free speech of the citizens.

"To continue this fight, ISRA needs your help. It does not have the taxes of over two million people to spend without regard.

"Please make a donation on-line at www.isra.org (click on Donate) or over the phone at 815-635-3198."

Is Dorr Township hiding something?

What is it that Dorr Township is trying to hide from its electors (voters) and residents?

The Township Trustees, Supervisor and Attorney are not open with the public.

Example: the response to a FOIA Request for the Town Clerk's application was heavily redacted to remove the name of his former employer, which was the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce. And the Township FOIA response withheld the name of the organization that awarded Quinn Keefe its 2009 Citizen of the Year Award. That was the Woodstock Moose Lodge, according to a FOIA response to a second resident.

The Township officials did not inform residents (voters and electors) of a bill ((S.B. 3010) in the State legislature that would allow them pretty much to do whatever they wanted with money on hand, which they have been soaking up over the past few years. Both houses passed it and Gov. Quinn signed it. Why didn't our legislators send out one of the newsy mailing pieces and give us that information? Guess they thought we wouldn't find out about it.

The Township is getting ready to expand the Town Garage and the Town Hall with the $2.7 million that managed to squirrel away over the past few years.

Where did they get that? Out of your pockets! You didn't miss it, did you?

Now they continue to withhold information about expansion plans, in spite of a decision by the Public Access Counselor at the Illinois Attorney General's office.

Are you starting to feel like a mushroom? You know, kept in the dark and covered up with ...?

After Dorr Township denied three requests for soil borings, solicitations for bids for environmental studies and the results of those studies, the Illinois Attorney General's Public Access Counselor (PAC) granted one resident's appeal of the first denial.

The PAC said that keeping documents out of the hands of those who might be opposed to expansion is not a legitimate use of FOIA exemptions.

Since the same exemption was used as the excuse for all three denials, the resident suggested to the Board and to Township Attorney Mark Saladin that Township money and time could be saved if they would release the denied documents. She also put that into a written request.

They refused. "We will follow the decision of the AG/PAC when it is issued" was their written response.

They did have to hand over the March 2010 soil borings report for the "office building and parking lot" at the town garage. The consulting firm of Construction & Geotechnical Material Testing (CGMT) describes the project: a new single story office building will be constructed at the site, existing warehouse building will be removed, new parking area and salt dome are also planned. CGMT gives soil profiles, recommends against building a salt dome in the wet, low corner of the 2 acres, and would like to oversee the foundation wall construction.

The "light duty requirements" of the parking lot seem puzzling, because there is no mention of heavy trucks using the site. To me, "light duty" would mean passenger cars, motorcycles and light pick-up trucks. What about the heavy trucks used by the Township?

At the same time Legat is planning a 50,000 sq. ft. [new] garage. Trustee Evanoff left the Township meeting during the discussion of the Public Access Counselor's opinion. I wonder if the Minutes will reflect the time he left the meeting and the time he returned. My first thought was whether a quorum still existed in the meeting, but no decisions were required before he returned. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go...

Trustee Evanoff warned those assembled that there might be things at the garage site that will be very "costly" to the township and that "they" -- whoever they are -- may condemn the site. Trustee Lamb mentioned that there had been no objection when the Trustees approved paying for soil borings & environmental studies. But the residents had been prevented from seeing what those soil borings and studies were intended to do or what they showed -- how could residents object?

In the opinion of one resident, "Keeping all these consultants' work product & communications about them secret is just plain wrong."

What do you think? Should the elected officials be open and deal on top of the table?

Attempted Child Abduction - Woodstock

A Woodstock resident has sent me the following inquiry:

"Is it normal police procedure to NOT inform the general public of a child predator loose in our neighborhood?

"This week a 7 year old boy was almost snatched off his bike and a quick thinking neighbor intervened. This is the 2nd time in a month that I know for a fact that the police were informed of a possible threat to our children. The latest incident happened on the north end of Tappan. The perp is described as possibly hispanic, small stature, late 20's to 30's in age, wearing a black shirt. Vehicle description also was given to the officer.

"I am surprised and disappointed that not word of this has been made public. One would think that flyers would have been posted all over town with a warning and that the press would have been informed so they could help spread the word to keep an extra close eye on our children. Are they waiting until a child actually is abducted by a pedophile at large? I don't get that."

As of this date and time, no notice appears on the Woodstock PD Crime Alerts webpage. So far as I know, the City-wide alert system was not used. If there was an article in the Northwest Herald, I missed it.

Are Woodstock residents supposed to think that we have no crime in our town, because the paper publishes so little information and not on a timely basis?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WS shuts down Beth Bentley threads

The popular crime-fighting website, www.websleuths.com/, has shut down the last page devoted to finding Beth Bentley.

The first of six "threads" was opened on June 4, and it attracted many followers. Sleuthers generally posted under assumed names, and the website moderator and founder kept sharp eyes on messages that were posted. The Terms of Service (TOS) were to be followed, and violators got time-outs or were banished from the site.

Thread 6 was shut down on Saturday, August 7, after a catfight ensued between participants. The site owner debated over a week whether to re-open the thread and announced this morning that it will remain closed.

The founder's message can be viewed here: www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111981

If you wish to read the previous threads (1-5), they are still visible. Whether they will remain visible is not known. Go to any thread, and you can work your way back or forward from the beginning or end, respectively, where you will find a connecting link.

Thread 1 starts at www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106049

Sheriff Keith Nygren - Vintner???

You've got to check out the photographs of private-label bottles of red and white wine of McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren!!!

Go to www.mcsdexposed.blogspot.com/ and to www.mchenrycountyblog.com/

If Keith wanted to have a little side business, I suppose that would be okay, as long as he informed the Sheriff's Department (his own department) that he would be working a side job. Would he approve his own part-time endeavor? The Department must have rules for deputies who can't scrape by on $145,000/year, plus a $50,000/year pension.

But wait... check out the labels on the bottles...

"Compliments of... Sheriff Keith Nygren / McHenry County"

I wonder how he uses these. When a detainee is removed from the I.C.E. detention facility after 30-60-90 days (at $90.00/day), does Keith thank him for being a guest at the Nygren Palace and send him off with a bottle of wine?

Or is wine served to a high-profile prisoner with dinner at the Palace?

Or can an inmate or detainee purchase a bottle of the Sheriff's wine with his commissary privileges and thereby make a large donation to the Inmate Profit Account?

You can easily see the seven-star badge of office that Nygren uses on Department vehicles, such as MARV. Why is a symbol of office used on the label of a bottle of wine? The wording on the badge is hard to read but, if it is the same badge that is used in campaign literature, it includes the words "Sheriff" and "McHenry County Sheriff's Police".

More importantly, why is the Seal of the Great State of Illinois used on a label of a bottle of wine? The State of Illinois must have rules about the use of the Seal.

Are the bottles of wine purchased and paid for by the taxpayers of McHenry County? Cal Skinner wrote on his blog that "On April 25, 2005, Citizens to Elect Sheriff Nygren bought $992.58 worth. It for 'campaign gifts.'”

But nowhere visible on the label is any wording to the effect that the wine was purchased by any campaign committee.

Does Keith think he won't get caught at such shenanigans?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Deadbeat dads - small target

The incumbent-friendly Northwest Herald gave Keith Nygren some free publicity today with its article titled, "New website targets deadbeats".

It's a small target, I'll tell you. From the website for the county sheriff comes the purpose of the website: "Deadbeat Parents website is to identify and eventually lead to the apprehension of Deadbeat Parents who choose not to fulfill their obligations to support their children. Parents who fail to take financial responsibility for their children place a heavy burden on the custodial parent or guardian, government agencies and taxpayers."

Go to www.mchenrysheriff.org/ and then scroll down the left side to "Dead Beat Parents" (sic). The first question I had upon arriving at the site was, does this mean "dead, beat parents" or dead beat(en) down parents". But the copy writer got it right in the narrative; it's "deadbeat".

Look carefully at the list of names; it won't take much time. There are only seven (7) deadbeat dads in McHenry County. Now that ought to thrill everyone, except the hundreds of moms out there whose kids are not receiving their child support payments.

How many deadbeat parents are there in McHenry County - really?

I'll be digging around, because I've heard that many files were shipped off from McHenry County to the State of Illinois for collection. That ought to re-assure a lot of moms; right? We all know how financially stable the State of Illinois is and how easy it will be for the State to track down these deadbeats.

If you know a deadbeat who is not paying child support for his/her kids in McHenry County, sound off in a comment below. I'll bet there are many. In fact, I already know of two; wait, make that three. Their stories will follow.

"...eventually lead to the apprehension of ..."? That's a powerful mission. No deadline = no result. Care to bet? How about not eventually? How about now, while the kids are still young and need food, clothing, dental care, haircuts?

On the sheriff's website, it says,
If you know the whereabouts of any of these individuals,

How about offering a reward, instead? Or, when he drops over to visit the kids (assuming any one of those deadbeats does that), why not offer him a meal, and send one of the kids to the neighbor's house to call for a cop or deputy? How many years will it take to round up those seven? Is any one of them still in the State of Illinois?

And where are the names and photos of the hundreds of other deadbeats?

Rep. Ted Poe has got it right

Check out Congressman Ted Poe (Texas, 2nd Congressional District).

Don't Travel in America - It's Too Dangerous!

The unarmed National Guard will guard computers in Arizona:

Congressman Poe winds up with, "And that's just the way it is."
These are short and worth watching.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

5-point star (or 7-)?

I couldn't resist ...

While visiting in Freeport today, I stopped at the Stephenson County Sheriff's Office. It's a rather modest and small building. When you walk in the front door, you are right at the glass security window. There is no long walk up to the reception window.

There was a sign on the window that read something like, "We will be glad to help you when you are off your cell phone." What a nice way to put it. That's small-town courtesy.

Walking up the block, I passed an open garage door. Inside, a uniformed deputy was hosing off his squad car. No such thing as running it over to a mechanic for a wash job or down to the local carwash. It's your car; wash it. (And I didn't ask if it was a take-home car.)

Around back two squad cars were parked. Maybe I saw all three squad cars of the sheriff's department; I don't know.

What I did notice was that the Stephenson County Sheriff has a 5-point star on the patrol car. Not his own version of the department badge, like in McHenry County. The 5-point star is the official badge, and that's the one that belongs on the vehicles and the stationery. For a good, clear look at the 5-point star, click on the image. (Then click on the Back button on your browser to come back here.)

And there shouldn't be a look-alike badge on campaign literature.

If you aren't sure whether Keith Nygren is using emblem of office on campaign literature, go to
www.mcgop.org/mcgop/2009%20Nygren%20fundraiser%20trifold.pdf and check out the patch for the posse. See the 7-point star with the wording "Sheriff" and "McHenry County Sheriff's Police" on the patch. Think a couple of those patches on a black jacket might be enough to persuade someone after dark that the wearer was really a deputy (except he would be an impostor).

Or how about the 7-point star with the State seal on it and wording "Sheriff" and "McHenry County Sheriff's Police"? If you saw that on a letterhead, would you think you were looking at an official document?

There is a big controversy in McHenry County right now, and it's in court. And that's where it belongs. Four years ago, when I raised the issue of use of official emblem of office with (as I recall) the McHenry County Election Board, my complaint went nowhere. The issue is going somewhere now, just as it should.
That use is wrong, and it needs to be corrected.

A certain blog short-lived

A short time back a new blog in McHenry County was established Its author seemed to have one target in his sights; namely, one Gus Philpott.

I checked the phone book to see if there was another Gus Philpott in this area; there isn't. Actually, I had known a Gus Philpott when I lived in Denver, but he died in 2005. Then I checked the back of my t-shirt for a target with a bulls-eye on it.

The author of that blog wasn't proud enough of his name to publish it. Seems he was worried about losing his job. It wasn't hard to figure out where he works. He identified himself as a "retired peace officer" and then said how he was worried that he would get fired if found out as the author of that blog.

Well, you can't have it both ways. If he was truthful about being a retired peace officer and employed now (and angry that I'm running for sheriff), there is only one place where he'd be working. Starts with J-; ends with -L.

Now he is even more secretive because, unless you are "invited", you can't read anything he writes; i.e., if he is writing anything.

He ranted one day that no one reads the Woodstock Advocate. The first article was on April 15, 2007, and I added a counter here in January 2009. As of today, there have been 300,837 clicks on this site since January 3, 2009.

My thanks to all of you readers. If you would like to share this blog with 1-2 other people, just use the little white "envelope" at the bottom of this article to forward this to a couple of friends.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

A police dept. for MCC?

Should MCC have its own police department?

This morning's paper revealed plans to spring its own P.D. on students and faculty (and taxpayers), including budgeted amounts for TWO police interceptor vehicles.

Now that's got to be exactly what MCC needs. If a student speeds in the 15MPH zone, the MCC cops would have a high-powered 140MPH police car to chase him all the way to Crystal Lake.

Just how big is MCC? Not big at all. How many students are there? Not that many. And the College is land-locked. It's not going to grow.

The Crystal Lake Police Department can handle anything that arises at the college.

What MCC did was hire a big-city cop from L.A., who came to little ol' McHenry County and brought big-city ideas. McHenry County does not need an additional police empire.

For several years I have attempted to persuade MCC to raise its speed limit on the perimeter roads from 15MPH to, say, 30MPH. Everybody (except me) already drives 30-40MPH. The 15MPH speed limit is legally unenforceable, because it is an alley speed limit, according to the Crystal Lake P.D.

The first excuse for not raising it that I heard was that it had been set low (at 15MPH), because the folks at MCC knew everyone drove 10MPH over the speed limit. By setting it at 15MPH, then they hoped drivers would go only 25MPH. Man! What a philosophy. Forrest Gump had an answer for that one.

Different people came and went, and I actually thought I might get somewhere with President Plinske. She was (is) bright, smart, young, and I was pretty sure all her brain cells were still working. I guess they were, because she left when they didn't give her the top spot.

At her direction, MCC Director of Security Mike Clesceri responded to my email to President Plinske about increasing the speed limit. Said he, "I believe it is prudent to keep continuity in the speed limit of our parking lots and the Ring Road to avoid confusion."

What? MCC students can't be relied upon to discern the bold black numbers on speed limit signs and spot the difference between "15" and, say, "30" on a sign on a roadway?

MCC does not need a police department. Geesh!!! But you'd better watch it, folks. If you blink, someone will talk the new prez into it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Facebook site for Beth Bentley

A new Facebook page has been created regarding a missing Woodstock woman, Beth Bentley, 41.

This new site is named "Beth Bentley Missing". The easiest way to find it is to go to www.facebook.com and then type in "Beth Bentley". Look for "Beth Bentley Missing". (The first Facebook.com site for Beth is "BETH BENTLEY...Missing Woodstock, IL Woman!), and it continues.

Once you get there, if you like it, click on "Like" or join the group.

Several discussion topics have already been opened, and your polite comments are invited.

From Harold Estes to Pres. Obama

The following letter was written by 95-year-old Harold Estes of Hawaii in 2009 and sent to President Obama. Check is out on www.snopes.com, if you wish. It is quoted in its entirety.

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor , allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can't figure out what country you are the president of.
You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:
"We're no longer a Christian nation"
"America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world, "America is mean-spirited." Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I'd say shame on the both of you, but I don't think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said, "America hasn't lived up to her ideals."

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue . You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.

You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle...

Harold B. Estes