Thursday, October 31, 2013

Did police murder Virginia man?

Read this article and ask yourself, "Did Springfield (Va.) Police murder this man?"

All the details are in the story. Well, the story details are in the story.

Must a man leave his home, if the cops show up and demand that he come out? Apparently, he was alone in the home. No weapons had been displayed.

The cops said, "Come out." He didn't. So one cop shot him. Should that cop be arrested for Murder?

Leist back in the law game

Looks like Don Leist is practicing law again. He wants in on the case of (FEN) v. McHenry County Sheriff's Department (MCSD).

Not just giving legal advice to Nygren and Zinke as a small part of his job as Equal Employment Opportunity "officer" at the Sheriff's Department. (We don't really have to call him "Officer Leist", do we?) He wants back in the courtroom.

Leist told Judge Meyer that he'll help out and that he has "that authorization", which must be from Nygren. Or maybe from Zinke, since Nygren doesn't seem to be around much for his $12,500/month pay. FEN reported yesterday that Leist doesn't want Judge Meyer to let the State's Attorney have a copy of his 100-page investigative report "in case they'd leak it."

That ought to result in a complaint to the ARDC. Will Lou Bianchi take it as an insult great enough to file a complaint against Leist?

It was just two years ago (exactly, as it turns out (October 31, 2011)), that the EEO position at MCSD was open and I wrote this article, in which I covered the added job qualification of "Juris Doctorate preferred." After Leist was hired (was anyone else interviewed?), Nygren apparently added the label of Legal Affairs Officer to the job.

More duties ...  Did Leist's pay go up?

What are the ethics of Leist's defending MCSD in this case? Leist is the one who investigated Zinke for outing a confidential DEA investigation to Brian Goode, president of RITA Corporation.

Leist is the one who apparently wrote a 100-page "investigative" report that exonerated Zinke.

Now Leist wants to defend MCSD against FEN's FOIA request for that report.

Is this all just too cozy?

Could FEN's attorney make an argument that MCSD is just stalling and ask Judge Meyer for a court date and decision by November 15? Force the appeal, and then ask the Appellate Court for a January decision, well before the March primary?

Will the State's Attorney Office refuse to delay and stall and tell Judge Meyer that it's ready to proceed, in spite of their client's wishes (or instructions?) to stall?

Former jail employee passes away

On July 7, 2012, I wrote about a jail employee, Jessica Fruehe, who was battling serious health issues. Friends were organizing fundraisers for her.

This morning the Northwest Herald carried her obituary. Fruehe, 43, passed away on October 19 at JourneyCare Inpatient Hospice, in Woodstock. Visitation was held last week, and an announcement will be made at a later date about memorials.

I know a number of jail employees. They have a tough job, and most perform their duties in an exemplary manner.

In my 2012 article I wrote that I had inquired of the Sheriff's Dept. administration whether donations could be sent to Fruehe, in care of the Department. The Department had not responded at the time of my article. Fifteen months later, they still haven't.

If I am notified where memorials can be sent, I'll publish the information here.

D-200 schools - value received?

A reader made a comment today to my May article about school taxes.

His comment was,
"2010 to 2011 the District 200 increase was 14.26%
2009 to 2010 the increase was 6.89%
All this time inflation was below 2% and property values were decreasing 40%
How does this happen?"

And then this morning readers of the Northwest Herald were treated (trick-or-treat) to the results of McHenry County Schools on their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). You know, under No Child Left Behind.

Which forces the question - which child are we talking about, who hasn't been left behind?

Check out your own school district and your child's school.

Me? I'm interested in Woodstock District 200.

Two schools in D-200 (only two (2)) met the AYP. For those who have already forgotten what AYP means, that's Adequate Yearly Progress.

It's Halloween today. Now there's a scary word ... "Adequate".

Is "No Child Left Behind" a bust? Just look at this number ... 92%. This is the percent of students, as a whole or within each of nine subgroupings, who must meet or exceed the reading and math standards set by the state - and this is up from 85% last year.

This is an impossible standard. Who were the idiots who created this, in the first place?

Why is it impossible? I can tell you one of the answers. When a high school teacher can't explain a simple, basic mathematics problem, is it any wonder that all schools in the District 200 system, except Greenwood Elementary and Woodstock High School, failed to meet the AYP?

Here was the problem: A customer buys a $2 cup of coffee at Starbuck's every business day for a year.
Assume 5 days in a week.
Assume 21 business days in a month.
Assume 12 months in a year.
Easy-peasy; right?

OK, here we go (I was visiting the class that day, along with a teacher who was visiting). This is how the problem was worked out in front of the students:
Assume 5 days in a week. $2 x 5 = $10/week
Assume 21 business days in a month. $10 x 21 = $210/month (See anything wrong yet?)
Assume 12 months in a year. $210 x 12 = $2,520/year

What's the correct answer? $2,520 or $______? (By the way, the correct answer was on the hand-out that was distributed to students, before the problem was worked out on the board.)

The teacher had been with District 200 for more than 20 years. How much of a merit raise should that teacher get?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FEN gets its day in court again, and again, and again

Did Sheriff's Department Legal Affairs Advisor Don Leist argue until he was (fill in the blank) in the face?

Judge Meyer got tired of the arguing after 50 minutes yesterday and hollered, "Uncle", putting off more shenanigans until Thursday, according to FirstElectricNewspaper (FEN) today.

The McHenry County State's Attorney is going to represent the McHenry County Sheriff's Department (MCSD). Then Leist said he'd represent MCSD, too, and that he had "that authorization." The MCSD is attempting to prevent FEN from getting a copy of Leist's 100-page investigation into Andy Zinke's faux pas in revealing information about a confidential DEA investigation to RITA Corporation president Brian Goode.

The DEA believed illegal drugs were on a truck in Texas that was bound for RITA Corporation. MCSD Sgt. John Koziol, a member of the DEA Task Force, informed Zinke, as required by General Orders of the MCSD. Then Zinke spoiled the investigation by telling Goode, who is a member of the MCSD Merit Commission, a good friend of Nygren and a high-dollar past financial supporter of Nygren's political campaigns. Goode donated $5,000 to Zinke's campaign about two months after hearing about the DEA investigation.

FEN filed a FOIA request for Leist's investigation report. MCSD denied it. The Illinois Attorney General's Public Affairs Bureau told MCSD to release it. MCSD refused. So FEN has hauled MCSD into court, which is the only remedy after MCSD thumbed its nose at the Attorney General's office.

At the pace at which FEN's request is moving, the election of November 2014 will be ancient history before FEN gets the report.

If Zinke is clean, MCSD ought to release the report.

Pete Gonigam, publisher of FEN, has said that his FOIA request is not political. I believe him. Commenters who seem to be from the Zinke camp are trying to make a political football out of this, claiming that Lou Bianchi and his office won't represent MCSD fairly. They will.

And it will take them about five minutes to tell Nygren and Zinke and Leist to allow FOIA Officer Jan Weech to release the 100-page report. And then it will take the Circuit Court, the Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court to tell Nygren, Zinke and Leist to listen to the SAO's advice.

Risk - 3 years in the pen

A new proposed law in Illinois could further jam prisons and raise the State's costs substantially. Rahm Emanuel and his buddies want to make you a felon and put you away for three years - minimum! And not just in Chicago, but anywhere in Illinois.

Be sure to read Crystal Lake Attorney Henry Sugden's Letter to the Editor in this morning's Northwest Herald.

There are still some people in Illinois who think that more anti-gun laws are the answer. They are impotent (that's you, Rahm) in enforcing existing laws, so "Let's make some new laws."

Sure, "technicalities" are violations of laws. One is either obeying the law or violating it. But let's say you are carrying your loaded, concealed firearm and have been issued the required Illinois license to do so. As you leave your residence, you grab the wrong wallet and leave your License at home.

You get stopped for a burned-out taillight, tell the cop you are carrying, reach for your wallet, and say, "Oh, (expletive deleted)."

Or when you are parking and planning to leave your firearm in the trunk, you step around to the trunk to unload it. There is a "safe haven" provision in the law that requires you to unload your firearm before you step out of the vehicle. Have you just committed a felony, if you don't have a concealed carry license?

See you in three years, if Rahm's idea of a good law (minimum sentencing) passes.

Have you ever left home without your driver's license? Ever? I have. If I was close, I went back for it. If not, I just crossed my fingers. A cop would, of course, be able to tell that I had a valid driver's license, but he might ticket me, anyway. Then I'd have to show up at the courthouse with my driver's license, whereupon the charge would be dismissed. An inconvenience? Yes. But not three years in the pen.

D/Ls for illegals in January

The Associated Press (AP)reports (again) that Illinois will begin issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens in January. The AP, though, continues to classify them improperly by calling the "immigrants". They aren't.

People who enter the United States illegally are not immigrants, and we should not tolerate the press and officials referring to them this way.

The Northwest Herald compounds this wrongful categorization with its headline wording of "... illegal immigrants."

Illinois  Secretary of State Jesse White's office expects 250,000 drivers to apply in 2014-2015.

That's TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND illegal aliens of driving age in Illinois who will apply for the special three-year license.

Does this sentence make you feel better? "They also will be required to obtain auto insurance." (Northwest Herald's  publication on October 30 of the Associated Press article by Sara Burnett.)

Remember when you used to go to the DMV, where a sign informed you that you must show proof of insurance? And you walked right up, renewed your license plates, and walked out - without ever proving you had insurance!

What does "obtaining" auto liability insurance mean? A driver goes to an agency, applies, pays a monthly premium and walks out with an Insurance Card. And promptly drops the policy. Or gets rejected. But he still has the the Insurance Card.

"Proof of Insurance" will continue to be a joke in Illinois until there is a computerized tie between insurance companies and the DMV. When an insurance premium is not paid by the due date, the policy goes into a 30-day warning period. If the premium is not paid within 30 days, the policy is canceled and the DMV issues a notice to the Illinois State Police and the local police department to pick up the license plates. Fees chargeable for policy reinstatement and unwinding the license plate suspension could be charged to the vehicle owner.

But here's the good part. What if all the patriots concerned about the invasion of the U.S. by illegal aliens started showing up at the DMVs in January with video cameras and taped all the people applying for the special 3-year licenses? After all, they are in the U.S. illegally. Why aren't the police (local, state, Feds) grabbing them and deporting them?

Won't happen in Chicago, where the libs have got a Sanctuary City. Are there other sanctuary cities in Illinois?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Was arrested man injured by deputies?

Last week a story was published about Thomas A. Novak, a 17-year-old McHenry area resident, who claims, through his father and his attorney, that he was beaten by three deputies of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department.

Novak and his girlfriend were apparently walking along River Road near West Burnett Road, in the County but outside the City of McHenry, about 12:30AM on Saturday, October 19. The girlfriend told TV viewers that, after Novak was handcuffed, then one of the deputies "grabbed him (Novak) by his hair and banged his head into the cement."

Did Novak not receive medical treatment at the scene or the jail? Was he not treated until his father took him to the hospital? Novak's father said he was told at the hospital that his son had a skull fracture, a possible detached retina and a fractured nasal bone.

Novak was charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor and cited into court for a November 4 appearance. The charge is classified as a petty offense, not a misdemeanor.

On October 25 Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV aired this broadcast with Novak's father, their lawyer and his son's girlfriend:

The names of the three deputies involved have not been released, but Undersheriff Andy Zinke has already approved their conduct, after watching the in-car video/audio recording.

The identity of the deputies who were involved is not common knowledge at the Sheriff's Department. One source, who spoke confidentially for lack of authorization to speak on behalf of the department, told me that they are keeping it "under wraps".

With the current demands for increased transparency at the Sheriff's Department, wouldn't you think that they would be "out front" with the arrest and get treatment for an injured person in custody? Does the booking photo show the bruising on Novak's head and the injury to his left eye?

D-200 email changes

If you have sent an email message to a Woodstock District 200 employee recently and haven't received a reply, be aware of the new email address domain now in use.

In the past, you would have addressed email to, for example, Supt. Ellyn Wrzeski at "" Now it is to be addressed to "".

This is for all D200 employees.

You did see the memo, didn't you?

Need a shoe or leather repair?

It's hard these days to find a shoe repair shop. I did find one several years ago in East Dundee, but that's a little far to go for heels or soles.

In this morning's print edition of the Northwest Herald was a photo of Arkady Reznik, who began making shoes when he was 13. As I looked at the photo, I was reminded of Gus's Shoe Repair in Richmond, Va. I think the same company made the old green shoe repair equipment in Reznik's shop that I saw in Richmond!

Unfortunately, the Northwest Herald did not identify the name or location of Reznik's shop. An online search indicates that it si Angelo's Shoe Repair, 52 North Williams Street, Crystal Lake. Phone: 815. 459.9506

The caption said Reznik is from "the Ukraine"; I think that's like saying someone is from "the Illinois". A Ukrainian told me several years ago that it is more correct to say that a person is "from Ukraine."

For an interesting discussion of "the" Ukraine usage, visit Grammar Girl.

Monday, October 28, 2013

C.F.I.? Vote today!

 Salt Lake City C.F.I.

What's a C.F.I.? Continuous Flow Intersection. Quick, before you consider the issue further, go to and vote in today's Reader's Poll. Look on the right side of the homepage and scroll down to the Poll.

Read this morning's Northwest Herald. Unfortunately, the online edition does not include the image published in the print edition, which should clearly just what a foolish, expensive and confusing result the C.F.I. would be.

This roadway project, planned for the intersection Randall Road and Algonquin Road, seems to be moving ahead in McHenry County, regardless of objections from the Villages of Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.

The McHenry County Department of Transportation (McDOT) seems to be steamrolling it, in spite of these objections. Has the County Board relinquished its authority over the McDOT? Or has the County Board already given a green light to the project?

County Engineer Joseph Korpalski says, "The contract (for engineering and road acquisition) could be finalized this winter."

Oh, really? For road acquisition? For a project that hasn't been approved yet? Or has it been?

Sure, drivers might save a few seconds at that intersection after $80,000,000 goes down the gutter. (This County hopes to suck 80% of the cost out of the Feds.) The drivers might save seconds at this intersection, only to be stuck in long lines at the lights north and south of Algonquin Road.

County Board member and Transportation Committee Chairman Anna May Miller says the County has completed engineering studies that disclose the impacts on "the surrounding environment ... and on homes and businesses..." OK, how bad are the impacts?

And she gives the Northwest Herald the magic word that must be taught now in all classes about "How to Govern the Masses." That word is "collaboration".  In "Government-speak", whether small city, County, State or Federal, it means "We are going to tell you what is best for you, and your job is to listen and nod your head."

Here's what will happen with a C.F.I. at Algonquin and Randall Roads:

Drivers will be confused.
Drivers will run the new lights on Randall Road before and after the intersection.
There will be an increased number of frontal crashes.
There will be an increased number of rear-end and chain-reaction crashes.
Pedestrians will be at greater risk.
Access by emergency response will be impaired.
Wait times at intersections north and south of Algonquin Road will be increased.

Watch the video above and decide for yourself. Then vote in the NWH Reader Poll today. Plus comment here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Beth Bentley - gone 179 weeks

What kind of day was May 23, 2010?

That's the day that Jenn Wyatt says she last saw Beth Bentley, when Jenn says she dropped Beth off near the Centralia (Ill.) Amtrak Station at about 6:00PM.

Was it still sunny (like today) on that early summer afternoon? Was it dry? Apparently, the weather was warm, because Beth was reported to have been "traveling light".

Her attire, as reported at the time, certainly didn't make sense for what some (many?) thought was a northbound train ride to Chicago. Would she really have walked, dressed like that, to the Ogilvie Transportation Center late on a Sunday evening? Or would she have taken a cab the 2-3 short blocks?

That story was definitely a "red herring", but people bought it - initially. Then I received a phone call on June 10th from Jenn, telling me that Beth never intended to take a train and also that she never even intended to spend the entire week-end in Mount Vernon.

Why would Jenn have said that? Another misdirection? Why didn't she reveal that immediately to the Woodstock Police, when Beth disappearance was reported late Monday evening, May 24, 2010? Or did she?

But, if she had, why did friends go into Chicago to distribute Missing Person posters? Or did they?

What will it take to get this case out of the freezer and back on the front burner? What new leads can investigators follow? What old leads can be dusted off and worked further?

Who from Beth's circle of acquaintances and friends has left Woodstock? Who has experienced life changes? Divorce? Marriage? Job relocations?

I always felt that Beth's father, the late Ron Rogers, knew information that might have contributed to finding Beth, but he may not have realized that what he knew was important. On the day Beth vanished, she was to have a delayed birthday dinner with her father. He was in Harvard. But she was thought to be in Mount Vernon, more than 300 miles away.

Unanswered questions are: When was he informed that there wasn't going to be any dinner to celebrate his birthday? What was the reason? When and how was he informed? Had that dinner been re-scheduled from the week before, and by whom? Did police interview him and ask these questions?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Scharff blog temporarily down

If you are having trouble getting onto Paul Scharff's blog at, you are not alone.

Paul is aware of the problem and is working on the solution.

Paul is author of Murder in McHenry and will be in McHenry County on Thursday, November 21, to speak at Bill Prim's next fundraiser, which will be at Marzano's in McHenry.

Pick up (as in "buy") your own copy on November 21 and Paul will sign it for you. If you can't wait, grab it at your favorite local bookseller. If they don't have it, click on the title and buy it from Amazon (including the Kindle version).

Paul hasn't announced any author's book-signing dates (yet) while he's here, but watch for them in case he schedules them.

Grow your business - Friday...

Are you growing your business or "trying" to grow your business? Do you like networking?

On Friday morning, November 1, come to Sugar Buzz Cupcakes & Coffee for the McHenry Area Networking Group, one of the popular MeetUp groups.

Sugar Buzz is located at 2210 W. Ill. Rte. 120, McHenry. This is in the little strip shopping center on the north side of Route 120 and just west of the Chocolate Factory at Chapel Hill Road.

Bring your business cards and flyers. Each person gets to introduce himself or herself, do a show-and-tell if you bring your products, or tell about your service. Bring a friend or three; it's often a small group of 4-6, and it would really be cool if 15-20 men and women showed up.

No reservations necessary; no cost, except for your coffee and donut or (?). To learn about other networking meetings, go to  Register for a free account. 

Plan to buy something and keep Sugar Buzz in business.

See you there.

No more EEO officer

At his fundraiser on Thursday Bill Prim referred to the growth at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department (MCSD) since 2008. If I recall the figure correctly, the MCSD budget has grown 30%.

Prim, a candidate for sheriff in the March 2014 Republican Primary, said, perhaps not for the first time, that he will get rid of the Equal Employment Opportunity officer position at MCSD. Prim says the sheriff's department has an attorney, and the State's Attorney Office is to handle the legal matters of the sheriff's department.

And that's how it should be.

How much money would the taxpayers of McHenry County have saved over the years, if Sheriff Nygren had used the State's Attorney Office, instead of shipping tens of thousands of dollars south to Itasca to the coffers of the James Sotos Law Firm.

What did it cost for Sotos to come after me for 27 months' worth of documents and records related to my blog? When I got the subpoena in Zane Seipler's case against MCSD and Nygren, I knew immediately that I would not roll over. I prepared my own Motion to Quash that subpoena and filed it in Federal Court in Rockford.

When the date for hearing my Motion arrived, I was there. I'd like to say that my smarts and expertise in the courtroom won my case. You know, my legal knowledge, preparation and skilled courtroom demeanor...

The truth is that the judge did all the heavy lifting. He asked me one or two questions, and then he all but leaped over the bench to go down the throat of the attorney from Sotos' office. Man, I almost felt sorry for her, and I figured that she was just the mouthpiece there for Sotos, so that she could take the licking, not Sotos. They had to know they were on the losing end before that court date ever arrived.

The judge told Nygren's lawyer that he was not going to allow her to go on a fishing expedition and that everything they were asking for in their subpoena had nothing to do with Seipler's case.

And then Nygren's lawyer handed victory to Seipler, only his attorney wasn't in court to claim it. She told the judge that the reason Seipler was fired was because he was complaining about racial profiling at MCSD. And that's exactly what Seipler was claiming. Yet Nygren was telling the press it was a different reason.

So, while my own courtroom cleverness did not win my case, I had to fight the subpoena and get the matter in front of the judge. If I hadn't, they could have run all over me.

Back to Prim and the EEO position. That position didn't require a law degree - until Nygren put it in the job description when he wanted to hire Don Leist. Leist replaced a woman employee at MCSD whose job had run its course. The position should have been eliminated. The County's HR Department could provide what was needed. But Nygren must have figured he could get the taxpayers to bear the cost of inside legal advice and, sure enough, MCSD later added the office category of Legal Affairs Officer to Leist's door.

Savings with that one of Prim's expected cuts? $100,000/year. Doesn't sound like much? It's a million dollars in ten years. For just one unnecessary position. I wonder if Don Leist has dusted off his resume yet.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Woodstock EconDev Survey

Take a few minutes and kick in your 2¢ worth on this survey put together by the Aurora University-Woodstock Center and the Woodstock Economic Development Commission.

Go to


access the survey through the link of the City's website at


haul yourself down to Woodstock City Hall (121 W. Calhoun St.) and pick up a paper copy of the survey.

You do know my favorite bumper sticker, don't you? "Everybody is entitled to my opinion."

Meet Bill Prim - McHenry County's next Sheriff

If you aren't involved yet in the campaign for Bill Prim for Sheriff, now is the time.

Bill's campaign workers are collecting signatures for his place on the ballot in the March 2014 Primary Election. This is a good time to learn about Bill and his campaign, and it's a good time to meet him.

Bill's next fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, November 21, and the invited presenter is Paul Scharff, author of Murder in McHenry. Paul will be coming in from his home in the southwestern part of the U.S. to speak at Bill's fundraiser.

The event will be from 6:00-8:00PM at Marzano's, 1501 Route 31, McHenry. The donation for the event is $35.00, and you can purchase a copy of Paul's book and get him to sign it for you there.

Imagine going to meet the other Republican candidate. Then imagine meeting Bill. The two experiences will be wildly different.

Bill doesn't bring with him the baggage that is currently burying McHenry County Sheriff's Department. What is needed are a fresh face and a new attitude at 2200 N. Seminary Ave.. in Woodstock. The "good old boy" network needs to be kicked down the road.

What else needs to go down the road? Far down the road?

The clique.
The In-crowd.
The favoritism.
The fear of expressing an opinion contrary to the big guy in the corner office.

If you meet Bill and spend a few minutes with you, you'll know right away that you'll want to vote for him on March 18, 2014. For more information, visit

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mixin' Mingle - no drive-through

Yesterday a visitor from Huntley tried to use the drive-through at Mixin' Mingle, 124 Cass Street, on the Woodstock Square.

The only problem was that there is no drive-through there.

According to the Northwest Herald, the 81-year-old woman driver accelerated (when she should have braked).

The paper said she was cited for "failure to use due care to avoid a collision". I wonder if she was also cited for re-examination. One of the privileges a police officer has is to require drivers to be re-examined.

Did the driver have mobility problems? Maybe back or leg problems that didn't allow her to quickly remove her foot from the gas pedal and hit the brake? Or, when the car lurched forward and up over the curb, did her mind just not register quickly enough what was happening?

To be pulling into a parking place, one would be moving slowly; right? Why would you punch the gas?

Local mayors in MAIG

Most of the local (McHenry County and northern Illinois) mayors and village presidents have been smart enough not to fall for Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)..

But there are a few who didn't join the ranks of the "smart enough".For example,

Chicago's Mayor, Rahm Emanuel (of course)
Deerfield's Mayor, Harriet Rosenthal
Elburn's Village President, David Anderson
Elgin's Mayor, David J. Kaptain
Evanston's Mayor, Elizabeth Tisdahl
Hampshire's Village President, Doug Maxnincik
Highland Park's Mayor, Nancy Rotering
Lake Zurich's Village President, Suzanne Brandint
Lake in the Hills' (former) Village President, Edwin Plaza *
Pingree Grove's Mayor, Greg Marston

* Did Plaza join MAIG individually? Or did LITH join? (Marston's name is currently on the MAIG list of members.)

Do you know any of those people? There's not much chance of inserting a little sense in the skull of Rahm Emanuel, but is there hope with any of the others?

MAIG is not just against illegal guns. It is against all guns (and gun owners).

For some interesting reading, learn more about MAIG's "playbook", Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging. The NRA renames is Anti-Gun Hate Speech for Beginners. An examination of the "playbook" appears in the November 2013 issue of the NRA's America's 1st Freedom magazine.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What kind of cop is this??? !!!

Be sure to take a look at this video. Think about the last ticket you got and what your impression was of the cop.

If you are going to get stopped, you want to hope it will be by L.A. Sheriff's Deputy Elton Simmons. He has a record number of complaints: ZERO

Do we have any "Elton Simmonses" around here?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CCL Change-of-address cost? - $75!

Gun owners are complaining about the $150 price tag on a concealed-carry license in Illinois, and that's if you are a resident. Plus the cost of training. Plus the cost of fingerprints. Plus the cost of a background check. Plus the cost of the shooting qualification.

Now it looks like the Illinois State Police will nail the person who moves for a $75 fee to give him a new license with his new address on it.

In 430 ILCS 66, Section 55, it reads:

"(a) A licensee shall notify the Department within 30 days of moving or changing residence or any change of name. The licensee shall submit:
(1) a notarized statement that the licensee has changed his or her residence or his or her name, including the prior and current address or name and the date the applicant moved or changed his or her name; and
(2) the requisite fee."

The next Section (60(d)) states the fee will be $75.00

He has 30 days to change his address, or he risks a $150 fine!

Outrageous! This is just one more way that Illinois legislators are sticking it to those who think Illinois is a pretty dangerous place to leave your home. Don't think so? Check out the headlines every day at

Anti-gunners ready to take aim on Oct. 21

What have the anti-gunners been doing since summer?

Sit down, take your Prozac, and read on.From the Illinois State Rifle Association comes the following:

HB3646 – DANGEROUS BILL – Bans Concealed Carry in any restaurant that has alcoholic beverages on the menu. Drastically reduces your choices on when and how to protect yourself. This bill is a foot in the door to create a growing list of places where you will be prohibited from protecting yourself and your family from dangerous criminals.

HB3669 – DANGEROUS BILL - This bill eliminates “safe haven” provisions for areas near schools – meaning that you could not even have a firearm locked in your trunk if you drive on to ANY property controlled by a school district. Once again, this bill would severely limit your self defense options and would make you a felon for doing nothing more than possessing a firearm. Under this bill, you would have to leave your defensive firearms at home if your plans called for you to enter any lands controlled by a school district. The real purpose of this bill is to pave the way for sweeping prohibitions on concealed carry that would make self defense impractical and a serious legal risk for most Illinois citizens.

HB3675 – DANGEROUS BILL – This bill would severely increase penalties for persons found to be carrying firearms in restricted areas. This bill is designed solely to scare law-abiding citizens out of carrying defensive firearms. This bill in no way targets gang-bangers or other violent criminals.

SB2594 – DANGEROUS BILL – This is another bill that would prohibit carry in restaurants that have alcoholic beverages on the menu. 

(The anti-gunners will be infuriated by the following "good" bills that have been introduced:)

HB3651 – GOOD BILL – This bill lowers the burdensome 16-hour training rule to a more reasonable 8-hour requirement. This bill also eliminates the re-training requirements for carry permit renewals. In short, this bill undoes that anti-gunners’ attempts to discourage people from applying for carry permits by easing burdensome training requirements.

HB3650 – GOOD BILL – This bill provides for concealed carry reciprocity between Illinois and dozens of other states.

HB3649 – GOOD BILL – This bill reduces the exorbitant fees the State Police plan on charging people for permit applications. The state should not be allowed to price-gouge citizens who want to defend themselves. This bill would make fees more reasonable and thus allow greater access to self defense for Illinois citizens.

Did Marengo PD miss a good arrest?

Fiction or fact?

According to information reaching me last Sunday, on the previous Saturday night a young man (age 22?) got liquored up at the Marengo Settlers' Days and was ejected from the Festival. Marengo PD, apparently trying to be the "good cops", took him to the P.D. and may have let him sleep it off in the lobby.

On Sunday morning they called a cab for the guy, even though he had no money, and the cab headed for Wonder Lake. Keywords: "no money". Maybe he should have set off on foot.

So what do you think happens, when a kid with a hangover gets near his destination and has no money with which to pay the cabbie? What's a cab ride from Marengo to Wonder Lake cost? $30? $40? $50?

Yep. He runs.

And the cabbie? He called the cops. When they contacted Marengo PD, they (at the Marengo PD) didn't know the guy's name. The cops find the guy and lock him up. And what do they find out while they are locking him up? There is an active warrant for him.

How come the Marengo PD didn't ID him and learn of the warrant? Or did they ID him, but the warrant was so new (issued Thursday, October 10) that it wasn't in the computer system yet? If the warrant information wasn't available to Marengo PD on October 12, why not? Who enters warrant information into LEADS and/or other computer databases that police use?

What was the warrant for? It's complicated, but it looks like it could be related to a 2011 DUI arrest.

I called the Marengo P.D. on Monday. Maybe they were all out celebrating Columbus Day. No one has returned the call. Oh, well; it has only been six days...

Fred, the lost husky, has been found

Last week I wrote about Fred, a husky who was lost near U.S. 14 and Deer Cut Road.

I am saddened to inform readers that Fred was found and that he had been shot.

Apparently, on the day that Fred got loose, he was found on a property and had invaded a closed area of small animals. The property owner mistook him for a coyote and was protecting his property. He attempted to locate Fred's owner and, after he did, he returned the dog's collar.

Huskies are known to run, and I was once told that they were "escape artists"; they love to run. A family member had one, and it didn't take the dog long to dig under the fence and escape any time he wanted to. 

The above is a good story; right? While you might not like the ending, well ...

Well, it turns out that that isn't the story! The shooter was not so forthcoming.

Stay tuned ... more to follow...

Beth Bentley - gone 178 weeks now

Three years ago, in the Fall, some people were ready were ready to go to Mt. Vernon and walk the fields to try to find Beth Bentley. Bentley, 41 in 2010, vanished sometime between May 20-23, 2010; Maybe from the Mt. Vernon area; maybe not.

Some people did take intentional strolls in certain parts of McHenry and Woodstock, attempting to find some trace of Beth. No trace was found,.

There are people who think foul play was involved in Beth's disappearance. If so, are there those in Beth's circle of friends and acquaintances who know what happened to her? If there are, how long will be it be until one of them can't stand the pressure and comes forward?

Have threats been made against those with knowledge of this type? Will one of them finally say, "This is enough. I'm talking!"

Be careful to whom you talk. Document your knowledge first. Do that with an independent person or authority. Record it. Videotape it. Put it in a safe place, along with instructions for what to do with it, if you are the next one to vanish.

And then stand up. Stand up for yourself and for Beth. Go ahead and thumb your nose at anyone who threatens you.

Report every threat. If there are people in the line-of-reporting whom you don't trust, tell someone else, too.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Will furloughed employees be paid?

Are Federal Government employees who got furloughed during the government shutdown going to get paid?

Didn't the House vote 407-0 to pay them? What did the Senate do?

Is this a way to prevent rebellion by thousands of Federal Government workers? You furlough them, and then you pay them? Isn't that a government-paid vacation?

And just "who" is the government? You know - who coughs up the money to run the government? YOU do...

Who knows whether the Federal employees suffered only a little anxiety, and no income loss, during the "shutdown"?

Special Education in Woodstock

Just when I was thinking about dropping one of my other blogs (that one, about Special Education), I received a phone call from a woman with questions about special education in the Woodstock school district. it seems her son was graduated from Woodstock High School with a second-grade reading level and was not offered any services beyond 12th Grade.


This brought back clear memories of my own experience with special education and Woodstock District 200. Parents of Special Ed students desperately need full and complete information about the services to be provided to their children, and they shouldn't have to fight to get it.

There ought to be a partnership between parents and Education. In fact, much is made of the "IEP Team" concept, except parents are too often not considered equal team members. Too often, and too quickly, it becomes "us vs. them".

Special Ed parents are often kept segregated from one another, which prevents sharing of information about process, schools, teachers  and who is helpful - and who is not.

The other blog is and it will continue, after all. Your comments and stories are welcome.

If you have a child or grandchild in Special Education, or if you know someone who does, please direct them to that blog.

You can forward this article with the little white envelope symbol at the bottom of this article.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quickie divorce capital of Illinois

Will McHenry County become the quickie-divorce capital of the State of Illinois?

A "quickie divorce" is, by my definition, one that happens in one week.

Even better if you can D-I-Y (Do It Yourself); i.e., without an attorney (pro se).

And even better than that, if you can get the $241 filing fee waived.

A week of so ago, my attention was called to a divorce case that was resolved in one week in McHenry County Circuit Court. It was filed on September 18, when the Plaintiff filed a Petition to sue as a poor person (meaning, I think, that the Court fees for filing will be waived). That Plaintiff even filed pro se. Only one week later, on the prove-up date, the dissolution was granted.

What has changed in McHenry County that a person can get divorced in one week? Without a lawyer? What if children are involved?

Doesn't the Court require parents to attend classes to insure that their children will be treated "properly" by both parents (or whatever purpose such classes have)?

If you are getting divorced in McHenry County and if your lawyer is dragging it out for weeks or months (or years) and you are wondering whether there will be anything left for your own kids, ask him or her about these recent cases. Tell your lawyer he has a week to finish it.

Here, Fred

Fred is on the loose.
If you know anything about Huskies, you know they love to run. Give 'em an inch, and they'll take a mile. Right out of sight.
Fred is a red and white, male Husky. Last seen on Saturday near Route 14 and Deep Cut Road. That's out there on Route 14 toward Harvard from Woodstock (for you folks who don't venture out of town).
Neutered. Eight years old. Sixty (60) lbs. Wearing collar and tags. Friendly. (Don't let those big white teeth scare you ...)

If you see Fred or are lucky enough to catch him, call 815-790-6107 or e-mail

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beth Bentley - Week 177

Where should the case of Beth Bentley focus?

Bentley, a Woodstock resident in May 2010, reportedly vanished on Sunday, May 23, 2010, from Centralia, Ill. Did she?

Did she really ever leave Woodstock on May 20?
Did her friend, Jenn Wyatt, and she drive overnight to rural Mt. Vernon, Ill.?
Did they eat in the Frosty Mug on Friday night?
Did they rent a boat on Saturday?
Did Jenn drive Beth to Centralia on Sunday afternoon, May 23?
Did Jenn drop Beth off near the Centralia Amtrak Station about 6:00PM and really not know Beth's plans after that?
Why did Beth leave the rental car with Jenn, if she did? (Jenn's California driver's license was expired.)
What were Jenn's plans to meet Beth on Monday, so that Beth could retrieve her car from Jenn's garage at 749 Tara Drive, Woodstock?
Why wasn't Beth's disappearance reported to Woodstock Police before late Monday, May 24, 2010?

From where did Beth really disappear? And that raises the question -

What police agency should be leading the investigation?

Woodstock PD?
Jefferson County (Ill.) Sheriff's Dept. (the Ridge house, reported to be the destination of Beth and Jenn on Thursday night, was in rural Mt. Vernon)?
Centralia (Ill.) PD?
Mt. Vernon (Ill.) PD?
Illinois State Police?

Chicago Marathon

Darn it. Time got away from me. It's 7:01AM, and the Marathon starts
at 7:30AM. Guess I'll miss the start!

And, for sure, I'll miss the finish.

 I did buy a book in Denver in 1980 - How to Run the Perfect Marathon. That was after I ran my one and only 10K. It started out in southeast Denver somewhere and ended at the State Capitol.

If you haven't done at least one, I highly recommend it. It's definitely not on my Bucket List.

As I looked at the map of today's race, I had fleeting thoughts of the safety of the runners, especially on the western and southern legs of the race. Let's hope that all are safe.

Watch it live at

Saturday, October 12, 2013

ISP reveals "No Guns" door sign

The Illinois State Police has released this sign as the "official" sign to keep legally-armed citizens out of businesses and other places.

A Chicago Tribune article so informs readers. 

The minimum size for the size is 4" x 6". A red circle with a diagonal slash on a white background is supposed to alert arriving customers, patrons and visitors not to carry in their firearms. Signs can be larger than the minimum.

The language on the sign reads, "Pursuant to 430 ILCS 66/65". In English. But wouldn't you think that, with all the brainpower behind the concealed carry law and its administration, somebody would figure out that "66/65" might not mean much to the common guy who is walking up to his favorite store?

The "65" means Section 65 of 430 ILCS 66. Want to read the "fine print"? Put on a large pot of black coffee, grab your NoDoz, and click here.

For me, this sign will be a "No Shopping" sign.

Illinois to license illegal aliens

You may have read in last week's paper that Illinois will begin issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens in January.

You can thank the Associated Press for its misleading description of what will happen in January: "Illinois’ secretary of state’s office is preparing to launch a massive effort that gives as many as 250,000 immigrants who are in the country illegally permission to drive." And thank the Northwest Herald for repeating the lie.

Nice, huh?

What Illinois will begin doing is granting driving privileges to men and women who are in the United States illegally. What part of illegal do Jesse White and Pat Quinn and our legislature not understand???

A person in the U.S.A. illegally is not an immigrant. He (or she) is an illegal alien. Illegal.

Many of them don't speak English, so how will they understand the Rules of the Road?

How long will the lines be at the DMV?

Maybe not very long. Maybe the illegals will worry about being identified and arrested, and deported. Maybe there will be a run on t-shirts and sweatshirts with "INS" printed on them. You know, I'm Not Satisfied.

Maybe an old white school bus with a sign, "Free rides to the Sheriff's Dept." Will there be a run on "badges"?

Anybody else upset with Obama and Quinn and the Chicago Dumocrats? Did we miss the "national conversation" or a "collaborative" effort?

About four years ago an acquaintance "in the know" told me that he believed about 40% of the Mexicans in McHenry County were here illegally. Of the 40,000, that would have meant that there were 16,000 illegal aliens in McHenry County. Is every one of them paying his way?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Where will you bank in 2014?

Illinois has a new concealed-carry law. It's Public Act 098-0063, and it went into effect this year, when Gov. Quinn's veto was over-ridden. The Illinois State Police is writing the regulations now and preparing the application form and standards. Sometime in January 2014, the ISP will begin accepting your hard-earned money and the applications, and sometime after that it will begin issuing the concealed carry licenses.

In banking stops today at Baxter Credit Union (BCU) and the McHenry County Federal Credit Union, I learned that both institutions intend to prohibit customers (and robbers, too, I hope) from entering the banks with loaded firearms.

BCU is part of Baxter International and will do what Baxter International tells it to do. The McHenry County Federal Credit Union will follow the directions issued by its Board of Directors.

We probably can't twist enough arms at Baxter, but there might be hope (and time) to persuade the MCFCU to a different point-of-view and decision.

Why does it matter? Let's say you are a robber and you are picking out a bank to rob. You drive up and see this sign.

If you think like Willie Sutton, you'll go right in. When asked he robbed banks, a popular story is that Willie said, "That's where the money is."

And the robber will think, "And nobody is going to be armed in there." So in he goes. Or she, as the case may be.

As a customer, do you think your chances of being in a bank when it is robbed are better or worse, if this sign is on the door? (I was in United Bank of Denver in 1979, when it was robbed. I was second-in-line behind the robber. He was so good (and quiet) that no customers realized the bank had been robbed until the cops showed up. I had an early clue because the teller was in shock. The note was still on the counter.)

A concealed-carry licensee isn't going to start blasting away during a robbery unless someone is getting hurt. If the robber has started pulling the trigger, then it's time to shoot back. If he already has the money and is halfway out the door, we won't start shooting. Let the cops catch him.

If you agree that the MCFCU should not post against concealed carry of loaded firearms by licensed, law-abiding citizens, then write today to the Supervisory Committee, McHenry County Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 936, Crystal Lake, IL 60039. State your request, and ask to be informed of the date and time of the Board meetings where this policy will be discussed.


Something must have happened yesterday in the Circuit Court case of (FEN) vs. Sheriff Nygren and Legal Affairs Officer Don Leist. No doubt that FEN and McHenry County Blog will be reporting details soon.

There was a hearing yesterday in Judge Meyer's courtroom. Online court records seem to indicate that Nygren and Leist are now Discharged Parties. Does this mean that Judge Meyer let them off the hook, individually, and now the only Defendant is the McHenry County Sheriff's Department? Of course, keep in mind who gives the orders at MCSD.

The online record still shows that the McHenry County State's Attorney is the lawyer for MCSD. Nygren and Leist had been arguing that Lou Bianchi wouldn't represent them (fairly?), because Bianchi is backing Bill Prim for Sheriff, not Nygren's hand-picked choice.

Judge Meyer had been forcing this case back into court with weekly hearings, putting a screeching halt to the normal 30-day continuances too often seen in Circuit Court cases.

But now the next court date is almost three weeks away - Tuesday, October 29.

When FEN's FOIA request was denied by the MCSD FOIA Officer, was it for solid legal reasons? The Attorney General's office didn't think so, when the Public Access Counselor told MCSD to release the 100-page "investigation" report that Leist wrote about Zinke's disclosure to Brian Goode about a confidential DEA investigation.

A couple of Zinke's loyal, lock-step followers still claim that Zinke was only "bringing in a witness", when he informed Goode that the DEA had identified a truck loaded with illegal drugs that was headed toward RITA Corporation. (Can you hear the boots stomping across the parade ground now?)

Many others believe that Zinke very improperly disclosed a confidential investigation and, by doing so, destroyed the investigation.

The public awaits the release of the 100-page report. Let's see what quality of "investigation" there really was. And how did Leist come up with the conclusion that Zinke didn't do anything wrong? If it's all clean and above-board, then Zinke ought to tell MCSD to release it.

On the other hand, ...

Note at 12:30PM - See this morning's article in FEN about this case.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Revolt - anybody ready?

Is anybody else about ready to revolt against Obama and his stupid decisions contributing to the shutdown of the Federal Government?

Today I was thinking about a friend's planned trip to the Grand Canyon, and I searched for the website for the Grand Canyon. Here's the message that greeted me:

"Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to"

 I think it's time to shut down the White House.

No more fine-dining for the First Family.
Let them scoop the poop of their own pets.
Let them cook their own meals, do their own laundry, make their own beds.
No more limo service. They can just stay home and watch TV for the duration.

And if there is no work to be done by Federal employees, then don't pay them. Sure it'll hurt. Nothing will push them to our side faster!

And, if the guards are going to keep veterans away from memorials in D.C., make sure they arrest Nancy Pelosi and her gang when they are trespassing. Bust her first and wipe that smirk off her face. She is absolutely no better than anyone else. And arrest all those illegal aliens on the Mall.

An acquaintance told me today that he believes Obama is trying to destroy the U.S.A. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What have you read recently?

What are you reading this week?

Have you read this book? It's Louie Sharp's Car Cents: The Essential Owner's Guide To Saving Thousands On The Cost Of Owning Wheels, by (who else?) Louie Sharp.

Louie owns Sharp Auto Body and Sharp Towing, in Island Lake. He's also a public speaker, trainer and coach. A former Marine. A real gentleman. And a nice guy.

How many times have you read something and thought, "I already knew what"? And then, later, you thought, "I already knew that. Why didn't I do it?"
Remembering after you act is good. Remembering before you act is even better!

Recently, my daughter's sole family car was totaled in South Carolina, while my grandson was driving. It's wasn't his fault. (That's what all good grandfather's say; right?

The police didn't think he was at fault. The other driver was honest and admitted that his foot had slipped off the brake and onto the gas pedal, while he waited to pull out of a driveway.

But I prepared my daughter for the wrangling that I believed laid ahead of her, because she would have to deal with the honest driver's insurance company, not with the driver. I guessed early that her car would be totaled.

"Hope for the best; plan for the worse." Is that how it works?

The other driver's insurance company, generally considered a reputable company, started off with delays before they ever went out to the tow yard to inspect the vehicle. I told my daughter that they'd total her car, which was worth about $10,000. Any moderate accident these days will generate more than $10K in repairs. They fooled around for a while and, after many phone calls from my daughter, finally an adjuster went to look at her vehicle. And, sure enough, totaled. No surprise there.

I had told her to start shopping right away and to plan to demand no less than the value of her car the instant before the other driver hit it. There were, like, three vehicles like hers in Columbia, S.C. and she quickly learned that they really weren't like hers. I told her that the insurance company would "low-ball" her.

The insurance company's first offer was between $8,-9,000, and I warned her against accepting any money from the other insurance company that was less than a full and sufficient amount. I also told her that the insurance company wasn't really going to lose anything on the claim, because they sell her car for scrap for $10,000.

They finally came up to $10,400 and paid for a rental car. She ended up eating her shopping time, including a 200-mile drive to check out one piece of junk on the insurance company's "comparable cars" list.

Remember - insurance adjusters get practice every days setting claims for as little as possible. You, the claimant, get practice once every 10-15-20 years, if that often. Who has the advantage?

Be sure to buy Louie's book; then read it carefully. Get a copy for every driver in your household.

No window-shopping for ObamaCare

An Associated Press article in this morning's Northwest Herald reveals (probably not for the first time) that there won't be any lookie-lous hanging around the ObamaCare websites.

If you want to find out how bad (high) your premiums will be, you're going to have to sign up and log in. I wonder how many times "Mickey Mouse" will register and if there is some "small print" there that makes a criminal out of you, if you use any name other than your real name.

I don't know about you, but I detest websites that force you to register before letting you look around. I wonder if they track the number of visitors who abandon their visits, once they run into the registration requirement. Will NSA be tracking those who visit but don't sign up?

Sam Karp calls it a "major design flaw." To find out who Sam karp is, read the article.

Monday, October 7, 2013

FERPFA - I could make a title out of that

"Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act"

Know what that is?

A couple of weeks ago I promised myself that I was going to stop paying attention to all the stupid things going on in Washington, like ObamaCare and the shutdown and (you name it).

And then this stupid idea showed up.

Looks like furloughed workers, who were sent away from their jobs, are going to get paid for their vacations. Is this right?

Well, if they are going to get paid, then tell them to get back to work.

Oh, wait; they would be breaking a law. Did I read that there is actually a law that prohibits furloughed workers from going into their offices and working without pay?

The House voted 407-0 on Saturday. Shame on them!

Costa Rica is looking better and better. Is the Passport Office still working?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vandalism surge in Woodstock

What's up with the vandalism surge in Woodstock?

In the monthly reports of the Woodstock Police Department to the City Manager (and Mayor and City Council), Vandalized Property of $22,800 was reported for July 2013 and of $42,105 was reported for August 2013. That's $64,905 in two months.

How does this compare with previous months?

$80,438 was reported as the total for the 22-month period prior to July of this year, for an average of $3.656/month. The low reported vandalism in the 22-month prior period was $1,610 (August 2012) and the high was $5,525 (May 2012).

What was "special" about July and August of this year? Do you remember any significant reports of vandalism in the news?

What should the Woodstock Police be making public about vandalism? Were there isolated incidents involving major vandalism? Or were there "sprees"? What parts of Woodstock were hit?

According to the report for July, twenty (20) vehicles were damaged and burglarized on July 8-9 on Woodstock's south side. Have there been arrests? Were there any tips to Crime Stoppers of McHenry County?

Right-to-Carry Assn. to meet Thursday

The McHenry County Right to Carry Association will meet on Thursday for a gathering with Illinois State Representative Jack Franks and a discussion of Public Act 098-0063, the Illinois concealed carry law.

The meeting will be on Thursday, October 10, at 7:00PM at the Woodstock VFW, located at 240 N. Throop St., Woodstock. There is no charge for this meeting.

Members of MCR2CA are invited, as are guests and members of the public. Women interested in concealed carry and this law are especially invited.

If you wish to submit questions in advance, send them to

Information about the Association can be viewed on, and you are invited to monitor that website for future meetings. Memberships can be started online; just fill out the form and pay your $20 via PayPal. Or you can print and mail your application and check to MCR2CA, P.O. Box 663, Woodstock, IL 60098.

It is expected that applications can be filed in January. Who knows how long it will take the Illinois State Police to approve them? The ISP anticipates 400,000 applications in 2014.

The battle for a fair concealed-carry law is not over. Some legislators and municipalities are already hammering away at it.

Want to start struggling through the law? Go to

Then click on Public Acts, and then on the first link. Scroll down to 098-0063. When you see "Electronic Transfer-Terminals", that's it. This is our Illinois Legislature operating at its finest. A shell bill was created with that title. Then it was gutted and replaced with the concealed carry bill that finally became law on July 9.

Beth Bentley - now gone 176 weeks

Last Sunday there was an article in the Chicago Tribune about a 225 sq. mi. search for Nicholas Steward, 33, a Lake Villa man who vanished on September 20. Supposedly he was on the way home from his engineering job in Wood Dale.

The article included this: "About 5 p.m., Steward left his engineering job and texted his wife, Megan, to let her know. Twenty-eight minutes later, his I-Pass transponder shows that his car passed through the northbound Touhy Avenue Toll Plaza, friends said"

When Beth Bentley vanished sometime between May 20-24, 2010, did Woodstock Police or any other agency ask for the I-Pass records of any transponder in the rental car that Beth and Jenn Wyatt reportedly drove to Mt. Vernon? Did they take the Tollway at any point? Did Jenn take the Tollway at any point on the return trip on Monday, May 24?

In the search for Steward, somebody got information out of the Tollway about his September 20 toll deduction for his I-Pass. Presumably, the Tollway Authority would only release information to the accountholder or the police. How would the police get the information? Is there a working relationship between the Tollway Authority and police departments? Did they need a subpoena?

Did Woodstock PD contact the Tollway?

Maybe they did. Beth Bentley's case has always been classified as a Missing Person case, not as a crime. It would certainly seem that the Woodstock PD could release much more information than it has, since they have never called her disappearance a crime.

Just about everybody else thinks a crime is involved. A mother of three, wife, office manager, friend doesn't usually just walk away with the clothes on her back and no known traveling money.

Friday, October 4, 2013

FEN v. Nygren, Leist

Read Cal Skinner's excellent summary of today's court hearing in the case of against Sheriff Nygren and Legal Affairs officer Don Leist.

It was no surprise to me that the Office of (Illinois) State Appellate Defender wouldn't snap up the case for the defense. It's clearly not in their mandate to do so. So, when Leist told Judge Meyer recently that Nygren and Leist would accept representation by OSAD, what was he really saying?

Cough, cough.... somebody, please turn on the ventilation system....

You can read the McHenry County Blog (click on it) for Cal's story. It sounds to me like Judge Meyer is going to jam an attorney down their collective throats. Nygren and Leist can't seem to find anybody to represent them. Did they try James Sotos? Didn't he want the case? Not even for (how many? $400?) dollars an hour?

Maybe nobody wants it because they don't want to be on the losing end of the stick (again).

David is about to slay Goliath. That's how it is shaping up.

Cal's story ends with: "(McHenry County First Assistant State's Attorney Norm) Vinton pointed out that Nygren is expected to appeal, if he loses.  (After the session, one attorney observed that the Appellate Court would take a year to render a decision, placing it after next year’s General Election.)"

So the Public gets all the dirt either before Zinke loses the race for Sheriff or after. But the Public will get the dirt. By that time, there will be all new faces at the top of the pile at the Sheriff's Department.

Next date for court: October 10, 9:30AM

Best-ever political cartoon

I don't know the source of this, but I received it today from Colorado. Man, is it ever right on??? !!!

Do you believe this?

I just received a Flag alert that October 6, 2013, is to be a Flag half-staff day. And why, you ask?

Because our Fearless Leader, Mr. "Nose-in-the-Air" President, has proclaimed October 6th to be the day to honor National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

So on Sunday, when the U.S. Government is shut down, Federal employees will turn out, at overtime pay, I presume, to lower all U.S. Flags. And the States will follow. Will this mean State employees, at overtime pay, will show up at dawn to lower flags, and then return at dusk to raise them?

Will this be a full day (or perhaps a 12-hour day) at over-time pay?

We can best honor fallen firefighters by remembering them as we drive past our Flag, while it is flying proudly at the top of its pole.

I'm about ready to purchase a flagpole, so that I can fly my Flag at full-staff every day and, with lights, every night. And refuse to lower it. The U.S. Flag should be flown at the top of the staff every day and NEVER lowered!

By the way, thanks to WFRD Station 1 for installing lights for its 24/7 flag out front.

Crime Preservation = job security?

The following comment appeared on The McHenry County Blog on September 29, 2013, at 8:16 am, when "Fukoku Kyohei" wrote: "Absolutely Cary Crime Stoppers donated to Andrew Zinke's campaign, its [sic] called Crime Preservation."

The comment was one of 52 comments to Cal Skinner's article titled Operating Engineers Pop for $12,300 in Signs for Andy Zinke.

There have been some guesses to the identity of "Fukoku Kyohei".

But "Crime Preservation"?

Does preserving crime require a fully-funded sheriff's department? 

(Temporarily-detached) Deputy Zane Seipler questions whether a 501(c)(3) can donate to a political campaign or support a candidate. Recently, The Advantage Group (TAG) [not to be confused with Woodstock's AdvantagePlus real estate operation] found its neck in a noose over political support and lost out on $49,000 from the McHenry County Mental Health Board.

Why would a Crime Stoppers organization toss $1,000 at Zinke? That has to be among its largest outlays. Crime Stoppers is supposed to be fighting crime, not preserving it. And, while Crime Stoppers' groups advertise that they pay "up to $1,000" for tips, some of them actually pay out only about $300 (on the average over a year). But Zinke gets the full $1,000?

Woodstock Area Crime Stoppers must not have done a very good job at "preserving" crime, because it was involuntarily dissolved on August 14, 2013. Not a very honorable ending to a worthy (or should have been) organization. Its Board did not respond to expressions of interest to keep it going with fresh faces.

Gov't. Shutdown Stupidity

Photo credit: Bryan Preston
Thanks to Cal Skinner's McHenry County Blog, I learned of one more example of the stupid decisions during the Government Shutdown. This one involves the closing of an unmanned scenic overlook in the Washington, D.C. area.

Can there be anything more stupid than dispatching a paid Parks Service employee and truck to shut down an unmanned scenic overlook? Does that save money? Doesn't that cause an unnecessary expense?

How many millions of tourist dollars are being wasted when foreign visitors and our own U.S. residents travel on planned vacations to National Parks, only to find their way blocked? For what? Because the trash cans won't get emptied?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Postage increase - 2014

The U.S. Postal Service is angling to stick it to us for a huge postage rate increase on January 26, 2014.

Try this on for size:

  • Letters (1 oz.) — 3-cent increase to 49 cents
  • Letters additional ounces —  1-cent increase to 21 cents
  • Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) — $1.15
  • Postcards — 1-cent increase to 34 cents 
 My guess is that the Congressional requirement to pre-fund retirement benefits has a lot to do with it.

Will this put me out of business? I am a distributor of "real" greeting cards - not e-cards. I love sending cards (and gifts), and the company I'm associated with claims to be the largest user of First Class postage in the U.S.

Will my business shrink because of the rate increase?

To send a letter (or pay a bill) will cost 49¢. Will I now have to decide whether someone is worth half-a-buck for the stamp, in addition to the cost of the card?

Guess it won't do any good right now to pester my Congressman. Is he even in his office? Is there anyone there to answer the phone? Open his mail? Read his e-mail?

Postage goes up. Fewer users; more use e-mail. Fewer customers? Rates have to go up. Rates go up? Fewer customers. Rates have to go up.

If people really knew what postal employees earn, more customers would go postal.

Grammar and the Law is reporting today that Judge Meyer was told last Tuesday by Don Leist that the Office of (Illinois) State Public Defender is now acceptable to Sheriff Nygren and him in FEN's legal action to get Nygren to release Leist's 100-page "investigation" into Undersheriff Zinke's outrageous release of confidential DEA information to Brian Goode.

Confused yet?

What hitch could there possibly be?

How about this, for starters: "The principal function of the Office of the State Appellate Defender is to represent indigent persons on appeal in criminal cases when appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Appellate Court or the Circuit Court."

Is Nygren indigent? What's he doing with his $12,500/month salary?
is Leist indigent? Doesn't he earn about $100,000/year for being the Right Hand of Nygren?
Is this a "criminal" case? While perhaps it ought to be, it's not.
And there is no "appeal" to any court decision.

According to FEN, after a meeting in Judge Meyer's chambers, Leist told Judge Meyer that " ... Appellate Defender's representation would be acceptable 'by the Sheriff and I.'"

Huh? by the Sheriff and (by) whom???  Did he really say, " I"?

Leist must have been in Mrs. What's-her-name's third-grade class at Dean Street School a few years ago, when the teacher couldn't even get grammar.

I don't think anyone will be surprised tomorrow, when it turns out that the Illinois Appellate Defender's office won't represent Nygren and Leist.

And, when you read the Words of Leist, as reported by FEN, Leist didn't really say that the Appellate Defender's Office would represent them. What he said was that their representation would be acceptable to Nygren and him. That's not the same.

Maybe Judge Meyer should have been the one to call. Has the Appellate Defender's Office filed its Notice of Representation yet?

Round (Whatever? I've lost count) continues Friday morning, October 4, 9:30AM in Courtroom 201 at the McHenry County Government Center for Status, with a following court date on the calendar for Status-Attorney set for October 10, 9:30AM.

Judge Meyer ought to be getting really tired of the legal gymnastics being played out in front of him! He deserves kudos for keeping this on the front burner and for holding a tight leash on the obstructionists who are attempting to keep this case from reaching resolution. Thanks, Judge Meyer!

What does "balanced budget" mean?

The Northwest Herald carries an article this morning about Woodstock School District 200's "balanced budget".

Did the headline make you smile? Did you breathe a sigh of relief?

Did you even read the article?

Am I the only one who wonders what is "balanced" about an $840,000 deficit? Or the smoke-and-mirrors deception of calling a budget "balanced", when the District is actually sucking $840,000 out of reserves to meet its planned expenditures? Or the "added expenses" (according to the article) of $3,200,000 for the 7.3% increase in staff salaries?

Is there any reason that we aren't having a revolution right here in McHenry County?

Last week one retired and disabled senior citizen told me that his property taxes have gone up $1,000 in each of the past two years. And different retired senior citizen may lose his home because of increasing property taxes.

The next school board meeting is Tuesday, October 8, at 7:00PM. Meetings are held at the "Clay Professional Development Center", formerly known as Clay Street School, at 112 Grove Street (corner of Clay and Grove Streets).

What if every property taxpayer in District 200 boundaries showed up and shouted "No more!"

Well, the School Board knows that won't happen. They know hardly anyone will show up. Think they aren't counting on that? That's how they get away with calling deficit spending a "balanced budget." No one questions them.

Demand honesty and accountability in school district financing. Show up! Before you, too, can no longer afford to live in McHenry County!

Want to email the District 200 school board members? Good luck trying to find individual email addresses for them. Those email addresses are not on the D200 website. The best that D200 can figure out for an email address for the "important" board members is

Wouldn't you think D200 would create a unique email address for the Board, even as a group? It would take an I.T. person about 60 seconds to do so. Of course, he would have to be so directed to create it. So it appears that a lower-level school district employee (whoever reads the webmaster's email, if anyone) gets to screen and re-direct email to Board members.

Do you even know (or care) who is on the District 200 School Board? For the webpage listing the elected members, click here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gov't. shutdown

I wonder if the shutdown started at the top or bottom. Probably, I don't have to spend a lot of time wondering...  I'm sure it started at the bottom.

The American Public should demand that pay for the President and Vice-President, all Cabinet officers, and for all members of Congress (the Senate and the House) stop. As in, S-t-o-p. All perks, too. No more free haircuts, cut-rate meals, parking, etc. Cancel their government credit cards. Ground Pelosi's airplane, unless she wants to pay the full operating costs out of her own pocket, without any prospects of reimbursement - ever.

And the Public should demand that all government employees and appointees be covered under ObamaCare. Then we'll hear some screams. And that they sign up on their own time, not on compensatory time.

From one news article: "The effect on tourism already was being felt. Barricades were erected around some of the nation's most cherished monuments, from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial."

Veterans yesterday had the right idea. Just push the barricades out of the way and walk on up to the Vietnam Memorial. And we should do the same at federal parks, etc. Just pack out your own trash, folks. Who needs a Parks employee at $60,000/year to empty trash barrels?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

8th Grader's "gun" at school - duh, insane!

Have you ever been disciplined for pointing a gun at school? Ever play cops-and-robbers? Or cowboys-and-Indians?

How is an 8-year-old going to answer this question on future employment applications, say, after college or for the military? A student was arrested for pointing his finger at school. Oh, me. Oh, my!

Is anyone else outraged by the action at Harmony Community School in St. Cloud, Florida?

Cary to sound off to Principal Jonathan Davis? Write to

The student's mother, Bonnie Bennett, intends to go to the mat with the school on her son's behalf. I say, "Good for her."

School administrators have gone over the falls with their attitudes and actions. They can suspend a child without due process. The parent can then challenge the discipline, but it has already been invoked.

Those school folks in St. Cloud are nuts and should be thrown in jail for bullying a student.

But what happens right here in McHenry County? In Woodstock? If I go to a school district meeting and aim my .38-cal. finger at the School Board members, am I going to get arrested?

Remember the story of Greg Kachka in Island Lake, who was arrested for disorderly conduct for pointing his finger as he gestured in conversation with another man at a Village Board meeting?

Greg should have sued the Trustee and the Village Clerk at the time (and the Village) for false arrest, defamation of character, frivolous legal action, etc., but I doubt he did. I still have the t-shirt I bought from his legal defense fund, and I hope he is well.