Friday, May 31, 2013

G.A. passed concealed carry bill

In fast and furious, last-minute, wheeling and dealing, the Illinois Senate and House today passed a concealed carry bill, HB0183.

I did find a section that will reduce the number of training hours required for some applicants, including me.

HB0183, Amendment 5, Section 75 (i) [Page 33, Line 12] grants an active, retired or honorably discharged member of the Armed Forces credit for eight (8) hours toward the required 16 hours' training.

It will be interesting to learn how training courses are designed to accommodate this credit.

The Senate passed HB0183, 45-12-1 (someone was AWOL).

The House passed HB0183, 89-28 (someone was AWOL). A 3/5 vote (71) was required.

Now it's up to Gov. Quinn.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Like these voting changes?

You've heard "Vote Early & Vote Often". This takes that to a whole new level!

From Claire VanHorn, State Coordinator, True the Vote. Call your State legislator today. The G.A. may vote today (May 30).

HB2418 - This bill was snuck in under the radar and will be voted on in the IL House today.  Please contact your State Rep. and Committee Members and tell them to vote NO!

The Illinois General Assembly is poised for final vote on HB 2418 Thursday, May 30, 2013.This bill has some (very few) good points such as the coordination of voter information from all county boards to the Illinois State Board Election Commission. Right now, the state and county voter rolls are not consolidated.
However, the bad outweighs the good.
In this bill, sponsored by Linda Chapa-LaVia, voter fraud and corruption will have a new and more vibrant life than ever in Illinois. In the past, “vote early, vote often” was the mantra for Chicago. With the passage of this bill it will be the “new normal” for all of Illinois.
· Printable voter registration forms will be available on the internet to fill out and send in, with stated forms of identification mandatory for acceptance. What that means is that anyone can fill out a form online, submit with a utility bill or two, scan the address with multiple names, and it will be a very easy way to commit voter fraud and impossible to catch and stop the fraud. No registrars, no oversight, no real proof of identity.
· Ballots will be available on line. No reason required any more.
· In addition to registering on line, you can also update your registration on line as well. So…if you have enough information about a voter, will you be able to tamper with the system, and make sure they are ineligible to vote?
· P. 158 Validating and counting provisional ballots: People will be allowed to vote in the wrong precinct with a provisional ballot, expecting that those ballots will be transferred to the correct precinct and counted. The State Board will get the list of provisional ballots within 7 days instead of 2 as in previous elections. Why? Does the state legislature expect that people are not capable of finding the precinct that has the voter information required? Why should it take 7 days to receive provisional ballots? Who would have them in possession for that length of time after the ballots are delivered, and why???
· p. 89. Local control of boards of election can be superseded by a County Board by vote, thereby taking local control away from the citizens to a bigger and more powerful entity which may or may not be representative of its local citizens. County Boards can also make it more difficult for people to run for office.
· p. 87 - 89  Would duplicate costs of the County Clerk and Election commission by requiring many costly changes including a conservative estimate of at least $250-$400K in additional unfunded mandates to taxpayers. It is unnerving that this bill appears to be targeting one specific county: Lake County. There will be separate administrations for both, election commissioners compensation, education and travel expenses, separate office space, separate staff, IT conversion costs , election results reporting confusion, layers upon layers of more, bloated inefficient, bigger,unnecessary, out of control government bureaucracy.
· My personal favorite: You cannot be arrested while registering to vote….Are you speechless yet?
This is just a sample of the proposed changes to the Illinois election law. I am not a lawyer, but it is obvious for anyone to see that this bill will erode and out right eliminate our right to fair and honest elections. We don’t need political control and manipulation of elections, it’s time to stand up for our rights as citizens and refuse to give up our liberty.
Please contact your state representative. This bill was just brought to my attention tonight.If they pass this bill tomorrow, we must fight to have it struck down, or vetoed by the Governor. Vote fraud undermines the essence of who we are as Americans. We have allowed election fraud to metastasize in Chicago over generations, but cannot allow the entire state to be engulfed now, too.
Contact your State Rep:
Committee Members:
Representative Luis Arroyo (D)  (217) 782-0480 Email:
Representative Daniel J. Burke (D)  217) 782-1117 Email:
Representative Robert Rita (D)  (217) 558-1000
Representative Edward J. Acevedo (D)  (217) 782-2855
Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr. (R)  (217) 782-3696  Email:
Representative Maria Antonia Berrios (D)  (217) 558-1032
Representative Keith Farnham (D)  (217) 782-8020  Email:
Representative Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr. (D)  (217) 782-5951
Representative RenĂ©e Kosel (R)  (217) 782-0424  Email:
Representative Joe Sosnowski (R)  (217) 782-0548
Representative Michael W. Tryon (R)  (217) 782-0432

General Assembly voting - right or wrong

Should voting on bills in the Illinois General Assembly (Senate and House) only be by elected members?

In watching sessions on Livestream this week, I was appalled at all the empty chairs in both houses. And then even more so, when a vote took place and the results were announced. It was obvious that there weren't 115 (out of 118) in the House, when half the chairs were empty.

If there are only 60-70 Representatives in the House, yet a bill passes "constitutionally" with 90-100 votes in favor, just how does this happen?

Well, this morning I found out.

There are different rules in the House and in the Senate, and then there are still further different rules for Republicans and Democrats.
In the House, whether an elected Member is on the floor or not, someone can vote the Member's switch, if he does not lock the voting box on his desk.
In the Senate the Democrats allow staffers to vote for them when they are not on the floor.
Senate Repubicans allow staffers to vote their switches only if the Senator is on the floor and temporarily away from his desk, such as in the bathroom, talking to other legislators on bills, etc.
I am told that legislators are aften off the floor during voting to discuss with other legislation with stakeholders. 
Each caucus has its own rules as how to handle voting.
Thoughts? Comments?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Author Paul Scharff nails Zinke

The latest blog of Paul Scharff on is this one. The title of the latest article is "Andrew Zinke for McHenry County Sheriff, Really???"

Paul is the son of the late Ron Scharff, who owned P.M. Pub in Lakemoor, when he was gunned down. Also killed on June 2, 1981, was Patricia Freeman.

The double homicide went unsolved for years, even though it now appears that credible evidence was available as early as 1982 identifying the killer.

Scharff's book, Murder in McHenry, is a must-read. Buy it at your local bookseller, or on as a print edition or for your Kindle or e-reader.

Statewide ban on hand-held cell phone?

Get ready to use those Bluetooth devices, folks. Every day! In your car...

Yesterday the Illinois passed HB1247, with Senate Amendment 1, by a vote of 69-48. (I wonder how many of those 69 really were not in the House.)

This bill, when signed by Gov. Quinn, will make a $75 criminal out of you, if you make a handheld cell phone call in your moving vehicle. It will be a violation, if you are stopped at a red light or stopped at the curb with the engine running and your car in gear. Or stopped for 15 minutes on U.S. 30 at a railroad crossing.

What you will need to do, if you are stopped in normal traffic, is put your car in Park or Neutral.

The bill is only three pages long, so it may be pretty easy to read. Digesting it may be another topic.

Careless drafting of the bill, and not caught in either the House or the Senate, resulted in no language regarding an effective date. So, if you get a ticket for holding your phone, could you try the defense of "The bill is not effective, Your Honor"? Who knows? It could work...

Don't do what a friend did in Chicago. When her phone rang, she answered it and immediately put it on speakerphone. A Chicago cop was stopped next to her and watching her, and he wrote her $100 ticket! Figure out how to answer it on the speakerphone.

All the McHenry County State Representatives and Sen. Althoff voted NO on HB 1247. Thanks, y'all.

6-year-old takes "gun" to school

Toy Lego "gun"
Read this article and see if it makes your blood boil!

A six-year-old student at Old Mill Pond (Elementary) School in Palmer, Mass. "traumatized" other students and caused a "disturbance" when he took this "gun" to school. Oh, really!

Let's see ... calm down... stay cool ... don't over-react ... don't say (or write) anything you'll regret.  OK, breathe...

And watch the video embedded in the article.

The kid had to write a letter of apology and may be disciplined, including losing his bus-riding privileges.

Have you ever heard of anything so insane? But this is what is happening to our kids in our schools.

What must parents do? They must impress upon School Board members everywhere that such a reaction by a school is wrong. The kid didn't have a gun. He had a toy! A Lego toy.

I think the school administrators ought to be fired!

Want to send a card or letter of support to the boy and his mother? shows her contact information as Mieke Crane, 12 Emelda St., Palmer, MA 01069. Tel. (413) 283-7870

And, if you want to send your 2¢ worth to the School (be polite, now), here is the contact information: Mrs. Jacqueline Haley, Principal, Old Mill Pond School, 4107 Main St., Palmer, MA 01069 Tel. (413) 283-4300 Website: 
Her email address may be

The Superintendent of Palmer Public Schools is Thomas Charko, who doesn't provide an email address on his webpage. His office address is 24 Converse Street, Palmer, MA 01069. Phone: (413) -283-2650. Fax: (413) 283-2655
His email address may be

Maybe they should all watch the 2011 Palmer Schools Anti-Bullying Video on the District's website, because that's what they did to this six-year-old.

Tribune squelches comments on rapper

Why would the Chicago Tribune prohibit comments on the speeding arrest of a rapper by a Northfield (Ill.) PD officer?

Check out the video cam from the patrol car. Too bad the Tribune didn't include the chase. Cozart, 17 (repeat, 17) had $8,000 cash on it when he was stopped.

"Chief Keef" (what a name!) was clocked at 110 MPH (in a 55MPH zone) by a Northfield officer on Monday at 3:45AM. Keith Cozart, 17, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Let the bargaining begin...

Suppose they also charged him with numerous traffic violations? Enough to revoke his driving privileges? Completely? For a year or more? (Like that will stop him from driving...)

And why didn't they impound his car? He was supposedly violating restrictions on his driver's license, which the Tribune reported limited him to one passenger. There were three passengers with him. Why not tell them to call a cab?

Maybe it's because Cozart is a stellar figure? A "celebrity"? What a role model! Just what youth need... Also, arrested last week in Georgia on marijuana charges.

Cozart has a court date on June 17.

What traffic convictions does Cozart have that resulted in a driver's license restriction to one passenger? Oh, that's because he is 17.

Who owned the 2011 BMW X6 M? Can a minor own a motor vehicle? Was the owner in the car? Did the police call the owner and ask if he knew where his car was? Did the cops suspect impairment (you have to be, to drive 110MPH in a 55MPH zone; don't you?)? Did they do their homework and test him for drugs?

Kudos to the Northfield PD for the quick release of the dash cam.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where is the Sign Police?

As I drove past the corner of Route 47 and Lake Ave. in Woodstock this afternoon, what did I see but three illegal signs advertising concealed carry courses.

Of course, Illinois doesn't have a concealed carry law - yet. Maybe by the time the City of Woodstock or IDOT takes down these signs, we'll have such the law.

I think Woodstock ought to remove the signs and send the owner three separate notices of violation, with a fine for each. And for all the other illegal signs for this and any other business advertising in the right-of-way.

But wait! And I missing an advertising opportunity? If those other businesses can advertise, like Mayfair Carpet has been doing for the past month along US 14, why shouldn't I advertise? After all, the advertising space is free. All I'd have to pay for is the sign and for someone to plant it.

I wonder if the City of Woodstock would get all hung up on Due Process. Would it have to give notice first to the business or, worse, to the unknown person who stuck the sign in the ground, that it intended to remove the sign? Would the City be worried about liability for removing the sign?

Surely, the City Fathers thought through this problem; right? When they wrote the sign ordinance, did they think about enforcement?

Or will the City say, "Not me. That's a State highway" and point fingers at IDOT?

Will IDOT tell its road and traffic light maintenance workers and engineers just to grab any illegal signs they see? Will it authorize its contract workers to remove illegal signs? Or will it worry about Due Process?

In Florida the Department of Transportation trained and authorized volunteers to remove illegal signs. Yikes! The Sign Police! What a great idea. Well, IDOT? How about a little of that here?

Illegal voting in Ill. Senate?

If you watch the Illinois Senate in session right now, you can see individuals scurrying around to vote at empty desks in the Chamber. How is this allowed?

If the Senator is away from his desk (it is happy hour there), how can a vote be cast from his chair?

5/29/13 Just watched the same thing happening in the Illinois House.  A woman was scurrying from desk to desk, punching the voting buttons. Then the person presiding over the House announced the vote and that the bill had "constitutionally" passed.

When the chamber (Senate or House) is 1/3-1/2 empty, yet the vote is nearly 100% for a bill, how can that be a legal vote?

I believe it should be a crime for anyone except the elected Member of the General Assembly to cast a vote.

What do you think?

Thanks to Woodstock Public Works

Yesterday I sent an email to Woodstock Public Works, asking them to fill a pothole on the northeast corner of South Madison and East South Streets.

This afternoon a crew was there and filled the pothole. Many thanks to the Public Works Department for your speedy response. I'm sure many drivers appreciate your fast action.

Thank you!

Senate Executive Committee - today's joke

What an absolute joke the Executive Committee of the Illinois Senate is!

I watched (wasted) three hours today watching the Live-stream (the dribble) from the Senate, only to see them shoot down SB2193, which I didn't like, for an even worse bill, HB1083, sponsored in the Senate by Kwame Raoul.

The man doesn't even understand his own bill. But maybe that's no surprise, since Amendment 4 is 164 pages long. I watched and listened to him stammer and stutter when asked questions by members of the Senate Executive Committee. It was embarrassing!

Before the Senate Executive Committee took up HB0183, they heard from Sen. Gary Forby and Rep. Brandon Phelps about SB2193. The Committee voted 6-8, thereby defeating that bill.

Then Raoul stepped up to the plate with HB1083. The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Don Harmon (D-39 (Oak Park)) stated that a record 1,171 digital witness slips opposing HB0183 had been received. Did the Committee care? Ha!

Todd Vandermyde, the NRA's lobbyist, gave his reasons that the NRA is against the bill.Among the reasons he gave for opposing HB1083 were:

- It adds another $50 or so to the cost of applying, for the expense of digital fingerprints;
- Issues with magazine capacity (he carries 18 rounds of 9mm), other ammo. (such as hollow points) and transportation;
- Chicago $500 impound fee, if you are arrested for a weapons violation;
- some municipalities prohibit lasers;
- ISP has 90 days to create a training curriculum;
- ISP has 180 days to create a system to process concealed-carry applications;
- Gun-free zones - no pass-through of large gatherings

The Committee then adopted Raoul's bill by a vote of 10-4-1.

What will happen now? HB0183 will go to the full Senate for a vote. You can bet it will pass. Then it will go to the House this week, where either Sen. Forby or Rep. Phelps HB0183 said it is not likely to pass.

Or is it just the back door that Speaker Madigan was counting on?

The clowns in the General Assembly keep making a big deal about guns in liquor-serving establishments. What's the big deal, if the armed person isn't drinking? Why shouldn't he be able to dine in Olive Garden or Outback Steakhouse or some of the upscale restaurants where the pols probably spend their per-diems?

The purpose of concealed carry is to give the law-abiding citizen an opportunity to defend himself! If some drunk in a bar or restaurant starts shooting up the place, why shouldn't a sober, armed citizen have the right to defend himself?

Tired of concealed-carry debate yet?

Are you tired of the concealed-carry debate in Illinois yet? I know I am.

I remember the comment and laughter of a McHenry County Sheriff's deputy in 1996, when I called to ask how to get a concealed-carry permit application. He said, "You will never get a concealed-carry permit in Illinois."

We're close. If the Illinois House and Senate had respected the decision on December 11 of the U.S. 7th Circuit  Court of Appeals and acted promptly then to pass a good bill, they could have spent that last six months addressing the financial crisis that the State of Illinois faces.

Instead, they have fooled around and now, at the 11th hour, are posturing and grandstanding and wasting considerable and unnecessary time and energy (and money) to fight a last-ditch effort to craft a concealed-carry law.

Last Friday the House passed SB2193 and sent it to the Senate.

The Illinois State Rifle Association warns today that Senate President Cullerton and Illinois Senators "Teddy Bear" Kotowski and Kwame Raoul intend to detail SB2193 that "...would have so many exemptions that concealed carry permits would be impossible to get." (Source: ISRA)

If Pres. Cullerton refuses to allow Sen. Forby to call SB2193 for a vote, that will kill off that bill. Would the Senate then fall for the Kotowski/Raoul bill and send it to the House for a vote? Will the House vote against that Bill, or will it roll over and send a "bad" bill to Gov. Quinn?

Is the real solution to start packing (and I don't mean strap on the ol' six-shooter) and just get out of this state? What are the words in that song? "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em"?

So close, yet so far ...

Monday, May 27, 2013

"Zinke should be in public relations..."

"Zinke should be in public relations, not police work."

If you haven't read Murder in McHenry yet, go to and buy your copy. You'll have to wait a day or two while revisions are being made, but you'll find your money well-spent.

A very interesting part is the "non-investigation" by the McHenry County Sheriff's Department of a double homicide in Lakemoor on June 2, 1981.

Chapter 26 begins with an email that author Paul Scharff received from Simon Barrett in 2009. Barrett writes a blog at  Barrett emailed Scharff about a conversation that he had had with Zinke and "...the kindest thing Simon could say about their conversation was, 'Zinke should be in public relations, not police work.'"

Supposedly, McHenry County Sheriff's Department had re-opened the double homicide case and had assigned 20 deputies to it. After a period of time, only two deputies remained assigned.

Does anybody believe that "20" deputies number? On a case that was cold for more than 25 years?

Scharff wrote earlier in the book that, when the MCSD was contacted after Frank Cullotta's information re-surfaced, MCSD claimed it didn't have any unsolved double homicides. That's how cold the case was!

Really! You do need to read this book. If you read it and don't think that a huge management shake-up is needed at MCSD, you'd better check for a pulse.

Will anyone supply the names of the 20 deputies at MCSD who participated in the re-opened investigation after December 2008? And is there anyone left at MCSD who remembers what George Hendle and Beverly Hendle did on this case in 1981-82?

Wondering about self-defense?

The McHenry County Right To Carry Association will offer a program on Thursday night by Grayslake attorney Jerry Novak titled "Legal Ramifications of Self Defense". The program is open to the public (and to members of MCR2CA, of course) and will be presented at the Woodstock VFW, 240 N. Throop St., Woodstock. The cost of this evening program is $10.00, payable at the door. (Correction change will be appreciated.)

What's going to happen if you have to defend yourself and if you are armed, when you do so? As Illinois approaches becoming a concealed-carry state, this question will be on the minds of many.

The question is not just important for the person armed with a firearm. It is important to anyone. Suppose someone invades or gets out of your control in your home, and you grab a baseball bat to defend yourself.

This class might save you tens of thousands of dollars. Novak will be presenting general information.

The following description is from the Events section of the Association's website.

"Armed Self defense is a two edged sword. If you prevail in a violent encounter, you will almost certainly face criminal and civil litigation. Sadly in this day and age you can be the victim of a violent criminal and then become the defendant for merely protecting yourself. So what is a law abiding citizen to do?

"We have some answers. Attorney Jerry Novak, a leading specialist on this topic will be sharing with us the following must-have information:
*Conflict deescalation techniques. The best way to win a fight is to not be in one.
*How to verbally address an attacker.
*Less than lethal alternatives for defense.
*Contacting the police.
*How to speak to the police/first responders and what to say.

"Saving your life or that of another is of no gain if you spend the rest of your days in prison or the poor house.

"This is a must-attend event. This information could quite literally keep you out of jail. Bring a friend. Sign up is at the door."

Join MCR2CA today at

Memorial Day - 2013

On this Memorial Day (celebrated May 27, 2013), pause and reflect on just what the meaning of Memorial Day is.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and began after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the American Civil War (1861-1865). In 1967 the name of the holiday was officially changed by Federal law.

The U.S. Flag is to be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day and then raised to full staff.

"The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all." (Source: Wikipedia)

[Editor's note 10:30PM] See First Electric Newspaper for its recap of the number of American war deaths from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War through WWI and WWII, and on through to today in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beth Bentley - gone now 157 weeks

The anniversary of Beth Bentley's missing-person status passed last week on Thursday, May 23. That was the three-year mark.

The bank that was after her for $15,000 gave up in court. Guess they realized it's pretty hard to succeed against a debtor, if you can't find the person to serve her with court papers. But they still have a chance, because the case was closed "without prejudice".

I was hoping that the purchaser of the credit card debt might be willing to make public the last 2-3 credit card statements and record of charges, so that valuation information about final transactions might provide some clues to her disappearance. But those final statements are not filed with the court - yet.

It seemed strange to me that Beth would make a payment on her charge-card account on the day she disappeared, May 23, 2010. That is too much of a coincidence to pass up.

On May 23, 2013, the Northwest Herald article carried this paragraph. (Former? neighbor Angela) "Montgomery said she believes her friend died of an accidental drug overdose and that her body was hidden."

Did the police identify this drug lead possibility early in their investigation of the missing-person report? Was every friend or acquaintance or co-worker of Beth considered in the light of suspicion of drug involvement? If Beth used drugs, do police know who her dealers were? Do police know who Beth used with, if she did?

If there was an accidental OD, who might have Beth been with at the time? Did it happen in Mt. Vernon?

Since Woodstock Police indicated that there was a boat rental on May 22 and that all who went out came back, it can be presumed that if Beth was in the Mt. Vernon area that Saturday. If she went out on the rental boat and came back, then she was alive late Saturday afternoon. Were drugs used Saturday night? Was Beth alive on Sunday morning?

Could the pattern of telephone calls on Sunday morning explain anything about her disappearance? People who should have been together were making phone calls to people they would have been with. That is, unless they weren't with them.

Did Jenn Wyatt really drive Beth to Centralia late Sunday afternoon and drop her off near the Amtrak Station? If so, why was Beth's phone used to order a pizza from Pogue's Pizza, and why did an employee of Pogue's say that pizza was never picked up?

Someone knows the answers to all these questions.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day message from ISRA


As we all gather with friends and family this Memorial Day Weekend, we need to take time to pause and ponder what the day is all about.

Memorial Day is more than just the beginning of the summer season - it's a time to reflect on the sacrifices many have made to establish, and preserve the freedoms that have provided this nation with bounty seen by no other.

If you visit a national cemetery this weekend, you can almost hear the whispers of those that came before us. Listen carefully and you'll hear their pleas to us to protect the special gift of liberty paid for with their blood.

When observing Memorial Day, it's important to keep in mind that soldiers, past and present, fought to defend our entire Constitution - not just the bits and pieces found fashionable on any particular day. Sadly, the sacrifices of millions of good Americans have been sullied by those who attack our Second Amendment, claiming it is irrelevant, outdated, and dangerous.

The sacrifices of so many brave men and women should serve as inspiration to us to fight on to protect the Second Amendment. The knowledge that so many gave so much should steel our resolve to defeat those whose politics demand that our right to keep and bear arms be diminished.

To attack the Second Amendment is to attack our entire Constitution and the liberties it has engendered. Whether an attack on our Constitution originates from abroad, or whether it is uttered on the floor of the Congress is inconsequential. One attack is no different than any other. As Americans, we must stand up and vigorously defend our rights and push back those who would infringe upon our freedoms.

In closing, I ask you to do two things this weekend. First, celebrate the freedoms for which others fought so valiantly. Second, honor the sacrifices of our troops by recommitting yourself to the tireless defense of our nation's Constitution and the guiding principles upon which this nation was founded.

Richard Pearson
ISRA Executive Director

Down Syndrome student graduates with his class

I don't often get tears in my eyes, when I read the Chicago Tribune, but it happened this morning.

Ryan Burke, 19, graduates from Notre Dame College Prep School in Niles (Ill.) today. What prompts the tears?

Ryan is a young man with Down Syndrome, and his parents fought the school system for inclusion of Ryan and won. Their early efforts included a successful lawsuit against La Grange Public School District 5.

Read this article in today's Chicago Tribune.

What causes my tears today?

First, I'm happy for Ryan and his family, whom I don't know.

Second, I'm aware of how Woodstock District 200 has dealt with many Special Education students and their parents.

"Inclusion" is a word in foreign language to Woodstock D-200, or at least it was in many recent years. "Inclusion" means that a special-ed student is included in classroom work, in sports, in extra activities. In other words, he has a full school experience. He is not kept separate from regular-education students or placed in different schools.

Special Education students are often bullied, and not just by other students. I have personally witnessed bullying by a principal and special ed director of a small, therapeutic day school near Elgin. And I still have a copy of an email that a teacher thought she was sending internally but which, thanks to a glitch in the D-200 school email system, came to me. It was an accusatory, emotional reaction by a teacher who was in over her head and not receiving sufficient support from the school system.

Worse, D-200 isolates parents of special ed students, making it hard for them to band together for mutual support and influence. This meant that every set of parents fought their battles alone, and parents of younger students could not benefit from any successes of parents of older students.

It takes years to force school districts to change. As soon as the pressure is off, they revert to old ways. Teachers who try to help special-ed students and their parents to know their rights quickly find themselves in hot water and often either get the boot or bail out on their own.

Today I congratulate Ryan and his parents. You won. Ryan got his good education . Bravo!

Friday, May 24, 2013

SB2193, concealed carry, passes in Ill. House

Senate Bill 2193 passed in the Illinois House 85-30-1.

If you watched the live streaming, the House was half empty. No way were there 116 in the House at 12:50pm.

Talk about ghosts voting in Illinois.

It was mind-blowing to observe the inattention and distraction of House members and the disrespect shown to speakers. There were many children on the House floor, playing with their SmartPhones, chewing gum and talking among themselves.

Clearly, the legislators were afraid not to act. Speaker Madigan explained why he changed his position of 20 years. In April he watched a bill of the anti-gunners fail 31-60. The next day a bill from the pro-gun crowd failed 64-71, after he strong-armed (my words) enough votes away from the 75 that the pro-gunners had in the bag when they called the vote.

Some of the Representatives, like Acevedo and Dunkin, just didn't make any sense at all. They could not have even been listening to their own words. They are clearly out of touch with the 21st Century and what is happening in their own communities and the City of Chicago. Scary, for sure.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Escaping from a car underwater

What would you do, if you ran off the road and your car ended up in water - in a river or a pond or any body of water?

This clip is worth watching. It could save your life.

Know this car? License S12 7618

As I was driving out of Woodstock this afternoon, I was passed by a speeding car. I was on Route 47 (Eastwood Ave.), heading south past Benoy Motors and crossing U.S. 14 on a green light. The speed limit is 35MPH, and you can see the 40MPH sign near Davis Road.

A black four-door Ford sedan, looking somewhat like an unmarked police car or perhaps a used unmarked police car, passed me at about 45MPH. The Illinois license plate was S12 7618. As I watched the car approach me from behind, it looked like an unmarked car. It might even have still had a pushbar on the front bumper.

Immediately after it passed me, the driver changed lanes abruptly to pass the car ahead in the inside lane on its right. And the driver accelerated to about 50MPH in the 40MPH zone.

For all his speed and hurrying, he was stopped at the red light at Route 176, when I pulled up as the second car behind him. I thought about reporting him to County or calling Huntley to see if they could nail him as he entered their town.

So I was left to wonder. Was the driver a cop in an unmarked car, driving as if he is above the law? Or was it a driver in a used police car who thought he might catch immunity, if an officer saw him pass. Or just a driver with a lead foot.

Anyone recognize the license plate number?

Route 47 in front of Harley-Davidson would be a great place for Woodstock Police to run radar. Hint, hint. It's time to break out the police motorcycles. An unmarked radar car could sit in front of the old Farm & Fleet, and a motor officer could grab speeders just south of the H-D dealership.

How about some zero-tolerance speed limit enforcement there?

Obama drones on and on about .... drones

I happened to be in my car early this afternoon and caught part of Pres. Obama's speech (if you can call it that) about the use of drones.

He has to be the worst public speaker ever to approach a microphone. I could not believe his halting speech. Somebody ought to hire a speech coach for him!

As I listened to him, I could not think of any reason to believe what he was saying. He was obviously reading it, and not very well. He is apparently the type of person who must rehearse a spontaneous speech for three weeks.

But I'll tell you what got my attention. It was when he referred at 1:23PM to "drone strikes both here and at home." I think that's what he said. As I type this, I now wonder where he was, when he was speaking.

Now, what is the "at home" reference to drone strikes. That's what I wonder. How many drone attacks have been launched on U.S. soil, right here in the U.S.A.?

Teacher resigns on YouTube

Listen and watch North Shore School District 112, Lincoln School fourth grade teacher Ellie Rubenstein, as she sticks it to school administration in her resignation that she posted on YouTube.

Go to this article on and click on the YouTube video embedded in the article.

Trust me. It's not only at North Shore School District 112.

New movie screen in Woodstock

Just how big will the new screens be at the renovated Classic Cinemas theater in Woodstock?

Check out the size against the height of the man on the scaffolding.

The new theaters are set to open later this year (August 14?) and promise a luxurious viewing experience.

See additional construction photos and updates on the theater's website; choose the Woodstock theater site. Click here to get there fast!

Do you know that there are seven movies showing now in the Woodstock theaters that are open during the construction? Matinee prices are $4.50, and seniors are $4.50 at all times. Be sure to use your Classic Rewards card.

Beth Bentley - gone 3 years today

May 23, 2010 - the last day that Beth Bentley may have been seen alive.

That's the day, three years ago today, that Jennifer Wyatt-Paplham says she dropped Beth off at the Amtrak Station in Centralia, Ill. At the time people were led to believe that Beth had taken the northbound train toward Chicago just after 6:00PM.

On June 10, 2010, Jenn called me out of the blue and told me that Beth never intended to take the train. She also said that Beth never intended to spend the week-end with brothers Ryan and Nathan Ridge and her.

It's impossible to know whether there is any remaining interest in an investigation by any police department into her disappearance. The Woodstock (Ill.) Police Department claimed the lead, because Beth was reported missing to that department on May 24, 2010. On that day Beth and Jenn were, according to Jenn on June 10, to meet up in northern Illinois, so that they could return to Woodstock together in time for Beth to pick up her car at Jenn's house at 749 Tara Drive and get home before her husband, Scott Bentley, got home from work.

That plan doesn't "compute" with the timeline of phone calls that day and the flurry of activity in the evening when Beth was nowhere to be found. Police were finally notified late in the evening.

Many questions are open:

Why did Beth park her car in Jenn's garage and rent a car for the 300-mile trip to Mt. Vernon, Ill.?
Why did Beth tell Scott she was going to Wisconsin?
Did Beth intend to have dinner with her father on May 23 and celebrate his birthday?
What were Beth's activities on Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
What do Jenn, Ryan and Nathan really know about that week-end?
Did Beth really vanish from Centralia, Ill.?
What were the plans for Beth and Jenn to meet up on Monday?

There are many more open questions.

See today's article in the Northwest Herald about this case.

Three years... without a trace. Where is Beth Bentley?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Murder in McHenry - see the blog

After I wrote my article about the new book, Murder in McHenry, today, a reader called my attention to Paul Scharff's blog for May 22 (also today). You can read his article here.

Paul is in contact with a number of deputies at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department (Woodstock, Ill.). I'm glad they are willing to talk with him.

Read Paul's blog. He hits the nail right on the head, praising the "good" cops and reminding all that there are bad apples in some barrels. Corruption cannot be tolerated.

Toward the end of his article he writes: "Corruption won’t be easy to root out. When we find it, we need to jump on it and not let it sit. That is why my father’s story is so important to tell. We have examples of obvious mob connection from the past, and the current administration that does not want to talk about it.  Even trying to control what you and I get to know." [Emphasis added.]

Paul mentions McHenry County Blog and this blog. Thanks, Paul!

Ill. CWP expected to cost $400-500

Sen. Dan Duffy
There is some serious arm-wrestling going on in Springfield over the court-mandated concealed carry legislation, and gun owners are about to take it on the chin.

Illinois State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-26) posted this on Facebook at about 4:30PM: "Concealed Carry Saga update: A strange collaboration is currently going on in the Capitol. Speaker Madigan’s people, downstate / pro-gun Democrats; Rep. Phelps and Senator Forby, and the NRA are working together to draft a concealed carry bill that, in theory, will be acceptable to all. They are going to use SB2193 as their vehicle bill to insert new language. We’ll see if they can come to terms."

So I took a peek at SB2193. If you have a strong stomach, go to  On the left side, enter SB2193. Grab a beer and start reading.

This Bill is designed to prevent many Illinois residents from getting a license. There will be many who cannot afford the license fee and the cost of training. The legislators should be ashamed of themselves.

I'm not sure if we should be thankful that it takes pages and pages to put together a Bill or if we should be kicking and screaming about it. On the one hand, it takes forever to read and understand the entire Bill, and it's easy to miss a key word in a long Bill. On the other hand, perhaps it keeps the legislature from coming up with even more trash.

Here are some general points that I can get out of it on first reading.

If passed, becomes effective immediately.
It applies to concealed carry; not "open" carry.
License period is five years.
ISP must issue or deny within 90 days.
If stopped, licensee must, upon an officer's request, disclose that he is carrying a concealed weapon, present his concealed-carry license, and tell the officer where his weapon is.
Any law enforcement agency can object to the application, but only if it has a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or others, or a threat to public safety.
A Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board is established. I wonder what they'll earn. You'll be paying for it. Hold on to your seats.
For a non-resident license, pay $300 fee. THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS? My Pennsylvania non-resident permit was $27.00.
A resident's license? $150. What a rip-off! And it's a non-refundable fee.
There are liberal gun-free zones, such as public transportation (including parking areas, which means that commuters can't carry to and from the train station).
The Cook County Forest Preserve District! Guess where the crime rate will go through the roof, as soon the robbers figure out that all the joggers are defenseless?
Any building, real property or parking under control of an airport. Going to Galt Airport? Better leave your gun at home!
There is an exception for parking areas of "prohibited places" that many cops may not be aware of or may overlook.
Training: 16 hours, including range time. Fire on B-27 silhouette target: 5 yds. (10 rounds); 7 yds. (10 rounds); 10 yds. (10 rounds). Hitting the target 70% of the rounds fired. (I didn't see a definition of "target".)

At this point, I was only through the first 36 pages of the Bill. There are 149 pages. What a pile of baloney. Anyone will become a criminal, just because there is so much in this Bill. Is this what intelligent, honest, law-abiding, gun-owning citizens are supposed to swallow?

Work Zone message from Illinois Tollway

I received this message from the Tollway today. Perhaps they emailed it to all IPass users. The Work Zone is 37 miles long. The 45MPH speed limit is in effect 24/7. Period. Whether or not there is adequate signing. Whether or not there is a stray (higher) speed limit sign. 45. All the way.

N.B. Read and understand the part about cell phones in the Work Zone.

A 45 mph work zone speed limit is in place throughout 37 miles of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) between Elgin and Rockford, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of whether workers are present.
On I-90, all traffic between I-39 in Rockford and the Elgin Toll Plaza is now traveling on the westbound side of the road, with two lanes available in both directions. Truck traffic is encouraged to travel in the left lanes rather than on the right. Drivers have access to all entrance and exit ramps, with crossovers in place to allow eastbound traffic to access the interchanges through the work zone. Between Irene Road near Belvidere and I-39, westbound traffic is reduced to one lane for rebuilding and widening the Kishwaukee River Bridge. An alternate route via Irene Road and U.S. Route 20 is posted.
Drive 45 mph at all times in the I-90 work zone because:
  • It's the law
  • Work zone traffic lanes are narrower than other lanes
  • There are no shoulders
  • Traffic patterns shift often throughout the work zone
  • Pavement is uneven in sections
  • Barrier walls create a feeling of confinement
  • Trucks are traveling on the left
Tips for driving in the I-90 work zone
Obey the speed limit and slow down.
Speeding is a factor in nearly half of all fatal crashes in Illinois. The speed limit is 45 mph at all times, 24/7, even when workers are not present.

Pay attention.
Watch for signs posted throughout the I-90 construction zone advising of traffic shifts, roadway incidents and other warnings.

No cell phones in work zones.
Distracted driving laws prohibit the use of all hand-held electronic devices in construction work zones.

Don't tailgate.
One of the most common crashes in a work zone is a rear-end collision. Traffic in work zones makes sudden stops. Give trucks the space they need to change lanes.

If passing a truck, do so quickly and keep out of a truck's blind spot.
Don't continuously drive alongside a truck - you're in the driver's blind spot. Change lanes only when you can see the truck's headlights or front grill in your rearview mirror.

Trucks create wind gusts.
Keep both hands on the wheel when passing or being passed by a truck.

Expect the unexpected.
Traffic patterns change often in the I-90 construction work zone and pavement may be uneven in sections.

Speeding will cost you.
The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $375 for the first offense and a minimum of $1,000 for the second offense, which also may result in your driver's license being suspended. Hitting a worker in a work zone could result in a fine of $10,000 and up to 14 years in jail.

For more information visit the work zone safety section of the Tollway's website.

Comparing murders in McHenry County

Paul Scharff's book, Murder in McHenry, got me thinking (more) about how murders are investigated in McHenry County. Particularly about the murders that occurred in McHenry County two years ago near Marengo, when Jack Feldkamp, Audrey Feldkamp and Doran Bloom died on Somerset Drive.

Author Paul Scharff and I had a long conversation recently, and I had delayed reading his book until he and I spoke. Now it's time to read it.

Paul was almost 11 years old, when his father was murdered in the apartment of a tavern in Lakemoor, Ill. on June 2, 1981. That's just east of the City of McHenry. I've not read the reports for that case, but the murderer of Ron Scharff, 37, and Patrician Freeman, an employee at the tavern, was never identified at the time.

At least, not for 28 years.

I got the impression that Paul is not happy with the way the 1981 murders were investigated by the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. According to the website of the Illinois Sheriffs' Association, the Sheriff of McHenry County at that time was Henry A. Nulle, Jr., who was succeeded in 1986 by George Hendle. According to Scharff, Hendle was the lead investigator in the 1981 case and had gone to San Diego in 1982 to interview Frank Cullotta and may have spoken with him for only 30 minutes.

Now, fast-forward to June 2011. Jack and Audrey Feldkamp died on June 7, 2011, of stab wounds and Doran Bloom died by gunshot on June 7. The one other person in the house was hospitalized, and a McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy interviewed that person on June 8 for less than 30 minutes.

Minutes after that hospital-room conversation (it could hardly be called an "interview"), Sheriff Keith Nygren told the media that Bloom had done it  That was before any crime scene analysis. Report-writing kept a bunch of deputies busy for weeks, but there doesn't appear that evidence was ever sent to any crime laboratory for analysis.

Blood transfers on clothing, floors and walls were never matched up, and no murder weapon was matched to the deaths. Assumptions were made, but proof was lacking. MCSD deputies just didn't bother to do a thorough job, even though three people died that night.

Certain elements of a crime (especially of a murder) should be pursued to the end; ex., motive, opportunity and means.

The triple homicide near Marengo is now almost two years old. This case belongs under the microscope of an independent law enforcement agency that knows how to conduct murder investigations. Carelessness was immediately present, when senior MCSD personnel (both the Sheriff and the Undersheriff were recorded as being at the crime scene for only 15 minutes) failed to activate the Major Investigations Assistance Team (MIAT).

The "elephant in the room" in this case is that failure. Skilled investigators could have been called in from various police departments in the County. Those independent officers would have looked at everything and would have asked questions that never got asked. And there wouldn't have been any conclusion announced less that 24 hours after the murders. After the conclusion was announced by Sheriff Nygren, not one deputy would dare to question anything about the case.

Committee qualification - "lovely"

The McHenry County Board has set a new standard for appointment to a County committee.

"Lovely." That's lovely. Isn't it? No, I don't mean it's "lovely" that they did so. "Lovely" seems to be the new standard.

Not academic qualification.
Not professional experience.
Not specific legal or accounting background.
Not experience in analysis of complicated spreadsheets and interpretation of contracts.

Just "lovely". Oh, and the preference of the Chair helped. A lot.

As Donna Kurtz was quoted in the Northwest Herald upon Cathy Ferguson's appointment to the Mental Health Board, "She's a really lovely lady."

Like Donna, I don't have any problem with Cathy Ferguson. I don't even know her. I had never heard her name before it surfaced as Tina Hill's pocket choice for the appointment. Then I learned that she is on the Crystal Lake City Council.

Should that be a dis-qualifier? Doesn't that represent a potential conflict-of-interest? What if the Mental Health Board, which is located in Crystal Lake, gets into a snit with the City of Crystal Lake?

It's just that, for me, 30 years of experience as a therapist doesn't mean that Cathy Ferguson is qualified to sit on the Mental Health Board and make important financial decisions on a multi-million dollar budget.

I suspect that she is a "lovely" person, as many women might describe many women therapists.

The Mental Health Board didn't need a "lovely" member. It needed the appointment of a person with critical management thinking skills, someone with hard experience in that area who will quickly recognize the business-operations end of the Mental Health Board, not the therapeutic side of mental health.

Cathy Ferguson already holds one public service position. She is a member of the Crystal Lake City Council. Since she works out of the County, isn't one public service position enough?

The County Board vote was 16-8 to appoint her. The Northwest Herald reported "Most of those who voted against her made it clear that they did not oppose her, but the process by which she was brought forward." So that would mean that Ferguson squeaked through with five of the eight No's not really being No, just being "no".

And 16 County Board members didn't give a hoot about the "process" of respecting the Public Health and Human Services Committee.

What if everybody advertised this way?

For the past several weeks, a Crystal Lake business has been advertising illegally along State highways and apparently getting away with it.

There are about 20 such signs along US 14 between Woodstock and Crystal Lake.

Advertising in the right-of-way is illegal but commonly not enforced. IDOT just doesn't have the manpower. And why should the public have to pay for two men and a truck to stop at every sign and remove it?

What if IDOT cited an advertiser for each sign? Perhaps a $50-100 fine per sign? Can you imagine all the IDOT funds that would have to be expended?

First, someone has to complain or an IDOT employee has to notice the illegal signs.
Then a truck has to stop (hopefully, not be dispatched). It would be wise to document and photograph the illegal sign.
Then, somehow, a citation has to be issued.
Then it has to be prosecuted, unless the violator rolls over and just pays the fine.
Then there has to be a collection plan.
And an appeal process.

How much simpler it would be, if IDOT employees just stopped and yanked the signs out of the ground and discarded them back at the IDOT office. This is probably the cheapest route. The law is already in place.

What's the cost of no action? More and more businesses will take advantage of the free advertising locations.

Why do I think that Mayfair must be aware of the law against right-of-way advertising and the non-existent cost of violating that law?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Casey, the wonder dog

A beautiful story from Guidepost Magazine was re-printed online today.

It's about a dog named Casey in Dalton, Ga.

I knew that Siberian huskies like to roam; so do Alaskan malamutes. But this dog "roamed" in a special way.

I think you'll enjoy this story.

Does Sen. Kotowski retaliate against those who disagree with him?

Sen. Dan Kotowski
This is not the "usual" request for immediate action from the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA). Be sure to read the final paragraph!

I myself have very high concern over this warning that Illinois State Senator Dan ("Teddy Bear") Kotowski (D-28) might retaliate against anyone who utilizes his First Amendment rights to communicate respectfully with his office or him.

If you wish to contact him, call his Park Ridge (Ill.) District office at (847) 656-5416 or his Springfield office at (217) 782-3875. (Read the final paragraph first.)

On his State website, he lists his commitment to his constituents: "... to improving the quality of life for his constituents." He is going about it in a strange way.

I just called his Springfield office and reached a polite aide, who listened respectfully to my views and said she would record them for him. She also asked the spelling of my name and recorded my address and telephone number, which I did not hesitate to provide.

My view, as I told her, is that I do not need a high-capacity magazine to defend my life or property in my home. I can get the job done with ten rounds. I shall need a high-capacity magazine, if the Government assembles forces outside my residence to illegally confiscate my weapons.

Should I find myself investigated or harassed by the Illinois State Police as a result of my phone call to his Springfield office at 11:25AM CDT, I shall do everything I can to see that Sen. Kotowski lands in Federal prison, if he does sic the State Police on me. I would certainly expect ISP Director Hiram Grau to refuse any such complaint from Sen. Grau and, instead, to investigate him for such unlawful use of legislative power or influence.

Following is the press release as received from the ISRA:

"Anti-gun extremist State Senator Dan Kotowski has introduced a ban on all magazines having a capacity exceeding 10 rounds. The bill (SB1002) banning magazines also requires large fines and prison sentences if you are caught with magazines for AR-15 and other modern sporting rifles.


1. SB1002 will have no effect on the criminal use of firearms yet will infringe on the right of law-abiding citizen’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

2. SB1002 is a backdoor way to limit your ability to defend yourself and family under the upcoming Illinois concealed carry law.

3. SB1002 is the first step towards the banning of semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns.


Magazine bans are on the top of gun controllers’ wish list this year. They want to see Illinois join with the likes of New York, Maryland, California, and now Colorado in the destruction of the 2nd Amendment.


Here is what you need to do to stop SB1002:

1. Call your State Senator and politely tell the person who answers the phone that you are a law-abiding Illinois firearm owner and that you oppose SB1002 and you expect the Senator to vote against the bill when it comes to the floor. If you do not know who your State Senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:

If you already know who your State Senator is and just need the contact info, you can find that here:

2. When you call your Senator’s office, you may hear all kinds of nonsense about how SB1002 will not affect law-abiding gun owners. Politely tell the person that you are not interested in hearing that, you are only interested in seeing SB1002 defeated.

3. Pass this alert on to your friends and family and tell them to make calls as well.

4. Post this alert to any and all Internet blogs or bulletin boards to which you may belong.

5.  Help keep ISRA on the frontlines of this fight for your rights, go the extra mile and recruit a new ISRA member.   Sign them up over the phone at 815-635-3198, or browse to .

SPECIAL NOTICE: DO NOT call Senator Kotowski unless he is your Senator, and even then be very careful. Kotowski has a track record of having the State Police investigate and harass people that disagree with him." [emphasis added]

Out-of-state father alleges inaction by local law enforcement

An out-of-state father is trying to gain traction on complaints involving sex crimes here in McHenry County. He has apparently complained to the Woodstock Police Department, the McHenry County Sheriff's Department, the McHenry County State's Attorney Office and many other government agencies and offices about sexual abuse perpetrated on his three children while they were in McHenry County.

He has identified the perps to law enforcement. At least one of his children was a juvenile when the crimes occurred. Some of the crimes extended over a lengthy period of time and involved a relative.

His email distribution list requesting action and following up on inaction now contains 25 addressees, including the above offices, plus the FBI, Illinois State Police, media and the Woodstock City Council.

The victims are all now adults, and I have urged him to have them be the direct complainants.

Recently, he emailed a link to an article about a Texas school that covered up a rape of a four-year-old male student by a 13-year-old male student for 21 months. Only after the student's grandmother "advertised" the rape on her car did the school notify parents - 21 months later!

You can read about the Texas grandmother here. Her battle reminded me of road signs in Texas that read "Don't Mess with Texas".

Monday, May 20, 2013

What happens on June 10?

Should Illinois fail to enact a concealed-carry bill by June 9, what happens next?

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on December 11 that Illinois' prohibition against concealed carry is unconstitutional. Then it wimped out and gave the State 180 days to pass a law.

The legislature, with the notable exception of less than a handful of responsible Representatives and Senators, has twiddled its thumbs and remained stuck somewhere between no action and senseless attempts to jam a "bad" bill through the House.

What could happen?

The General Assembly could come to its senses and pass a bill that is much like the laws in the other 49 states.

The Democrat-heavy General Assembly could pass a "bad" bill (excessive classroom training, excessive range requirements, high fees, restrictive licenses, carve-out for Chicago and Cook County (and other jurisdictions that might follow), "may issue" (giving the county sheriff or local police chief the power to withhold or stall approval of an application). It needs only 60 votes (out of 118) to do so.

The Illinois Senate (40 Democrats (67%), 19 Republicans) can pass about any piece of trash it wants, and the Illinois House (71 Democrats (60%), 47 Republicans) also can. The Illinois State Rifle Association thought in March that it could block a "bad" bill, but can it? Is Madigan so powerful that he can twist enough arms to muster a YEA vote on about any bill he wants to pass? Only 60 votes in the House would pass a bill that could carve out Cook County and Chicago.

This would mean, effectively, that there would not be one law for the entire State. You could carry legally with a permit in much of the State but, if you enter Cook County, you risk becoming a felon. Is that right?

There is a good bill (HB 0997) that went back to the House Rules Committee on April 19, where it has languished under the thumb of anti-gunner Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, Chair. Are the current sponsors of this Bill trying hard to get it out of Committee and persuading their fellow Representatives to vote for it?

Or, are they just sitting there behind their little sign that reads, "I sponsored it" and think that's enough? It's not!

Another choice is fail to do anything. And then? Many think that Constitutional Carry will become the law in Illinois. Ha! Madigan and Cullerton won't let that happen!

But then Counties and Cities would probably leap into the fray and write their own laws, creating a patchwork quilt of laws that no one will understand and that are guaranteed to lead to conflict and arrests.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Should Board replace Salgado on PHHS?

County Board Chair Tina Hill has said she intends to dump Sandra Salgado from the Public Health & Human Services (PHHS) Committee. Hill re-appointed Salgado after the November 2012 elections and now is apparently upset.

Salgado reportedly had asked not to be re-appointed to the PHHS Committee, but she was. Now Hill wants to dump her and appoint first-term County Board Member Bob Martens.

I was going to write about this last week but held off. I know Bob and like him and wasn't sure just how to express my opinion that he might bring too much baggage to the appointment. The Northwest Herald put this on the table in today's Our View.

While the business of the Mental Health Board is just one area of interest of the PHHS Committee, Bob Martens' ties are too close, based on Hill's concerns about a possible conflict-of-interest on the part of Salgado.

Maybe there is really no conflict-of-interest by either Salgado or Martens.

Martens' conflict, if it exists at all, could be based on his former position as CEO of the now-defunct Family Service and Community Mental Health Center. Family Service was funded, in part, by the Mental Health Board. The Mental Health Board distributed over $1,000,000 in a last-ditch effort to keep Family Service afloat. Public awareness of the financial peril of Family Service arose so quickly that many wondered how long it had been brewing. That million dollars may have been akin to latching the watertight doors on the Titanic, not understanding that water was going to flow into the hatches from the open areas at the top of the walls.

If Hill is going to toss a yellow "flag"on the field over Salgado, then she must explore similar conflicts for every Committee appointment.

Tues. County Board meeting - better than TV?

Come to think of it - you might be able to watch the County Board meeting on your TV. It seems like I got a message a while back that County Board meetings are broadcast. Are they? Maybe on a Comcast public service channel? (I don't know, since I don't watch TV.)

For your Tuesday night entertainment, you might just want to show up at the 7:00PM County Board meeting at 667 Ware Rd., Woodstock. This will be this Tuesday, May 21.

Everybody is mad at everybody. Will the County Mounties be called in to keep order? Frankly, if they are there, they belong outside in the hallway or downstairs, unless or until they are needed to restore or maintain order.

Board members are mad at Chair Tina Hill for her "Queen of the Hive" approach and plan to nominate her own hand-picked candidate for appointment to the Mental Health Board.

The Board ought to make short work of that Agenda item. No discussion. Take a vote. Vote No. Why? Cathy Ferguson may be a good person, but she may not be the best person available. Scott Summers was an excellent candidate. Jeff Thorsen is an excellent candidate. Therapists belong in staff positions, not leadership.

Next, the public is made at Tina Hill for usurping the authority of the Public Health & Human Services Committee. Hill has refused to put the nominee of the PHHS on Tuesday night's agenda.

The Northwest Herald is mad at Tina Hill. See today's article "Board members in conflict" and today's editorial "Rocky start for Tina Hill".

It's shaping up to be a long four years, if that's how long Hill's rule is. Or is it only two years? Ersel Schuster got it right, when she told Kevin Craver, "Either we put our foot down now, or we're in deep trouble, because this is just the tip of the iceberg."