Sunday, March 31, 2013

Calif. watch dealer defends himself 5 times

Watch this video about Lance Thomas, a California watch dealer who was involved in five armed robbery attempts in his store.

He has the mindset that Matt McNamara talked about last Thursday night at the program he presented for the McHenry County Right To Carry Association.

This interview appears to have been made in the 1990s, but it is timeless. Notice that he is competent, confident, practiced. He thought through what he would do. And, when the time came to act, he was ready to act.

Hats off to Mr. Lance Thomas.

And thanks to my friend and reader who pointed me at this video.

New yard signs to become popular?

The Illinois State Police (ISP) have fallen far off their required
timetable for issuing FOID cards. Recently, ISP received 70,000 applications in one month. Issuance is taking about 64 days, although by statute they are to issue within 30 days.

Will this sign start springing up in yards across McHenry County and the State of Illinois?

If a burglar has mischief on his mind, will he pass up this house and choose the house next door?

Do you read the Chicago Tribune? Are you paying attention to the lawlessness in Chicago? Just hoping it doesn't come this way? If you have been paying attention to the ineffectiveness of the Chicago Police Department under its Superintendent, Garry McCarthy, you'll understand today's press release from the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Strong cooperation is needed between law-abiding citizenry and its local law enforcement agencies, whether the municipal police departments or the sheriff's department.

It won't be long before Illinois will be joining the ranks of states that permit properly-licensed mean and women to carry loaded and concealed firearms. It could be that open-carry will be become law in the Land of Lincoln. This will not mean the Wild, Wild West (west of Lake Michigan).

It will mean that law-abiding citizens will no longer be "easy pickin's" for unruly mobs and criminals.

Beth Bentley - gone 149 weeks

People from near and far are still contacting me about Beth Bentley. Most of them never knew Beth, just as I didn't.

But the missing mother, from Woodstock when we went missing at age 41 on May 23, 2010, has not been forgotten.

And those who have knowledge of what happened to her have not been forgotten. There are at least three with knowledge of the events of that fateful week-end. There may be others, because of Beth's wide range of acquaintances in McHenry County.

How many times did the police interview the three with whom Beth is thought to have spent the week-end in Mount Vernon, Illinois? According to one story, Beth and friend Jennifer Wyatt-Paplham drove from Woodstock to Mount Vernon on Thursday night, May 20, 2010. leaving Beth's car in Jennifer's garage and using a rental car. The car had to be rented by Beth, because Jennifer's California driver's license was expired.

It's 335 miles from the house that Jennifer was renting in Woodstock to the house in Mount Vernon that Ryan Ridge was rehabbing. Who drove? How far? Did both drive? Assuming that Beth and Jennifer left Woodstock between 9-10PM, they would have gotten to Mt. Vernon about 3-4AM.

When (if?) Jennifer dropped Beth off in Centralia, Ill. near the Amtrak Station on Sunday about 6:00PM, is there anyone on the planet who believes that Jennifer doesn't know what Beth's plans were? They were supposed to meet up in northern Illinois on Monday afternoon, so that Beth could retrieve her car from Jennifer's garage and get home by the time her husband, Scott, got home from work that Monday afternoon. At least, that was Jennifer's story on June 10.

But what is some riff had happened over the week-end? What if Beth left in a huff? But if she did, why didn't she take the rental car and leave Jennifer there?

The train story falls apart fast. According to Jennifer on June 10, Beth never intended to take the train to Chicago that Sunday. So, what did Beth intend to do? Hitchhike out of Centralia? Ride the rails? Walk off the edge of the Earth?

Did Beth die in the Mt. Vernon area that week-end? If she did die there, who was she with? Did those with her panic? Did they make her disappear?

ISRA hammers CPD Supt.

The following press release is from the Illinois State Rifle Association. No punks anywhere - black, white, yellow, brown, red - should be allowed to take over the streets and disrupt the safety, security and enjoyment of the public way by anyone.

CHICAGO, March 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

The ISRA is once again calling upon Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy . This latest call for McCarthy's ouster comes after a mob of young thugs - estimated to be in the hundreds - swarmed the Magnificent Mile shopping district Saturday night and began beating dozens of innocent shoppers. This latest mob action appears to be the most serious in a string of events over the past two years involving gangs of youths randomly attacking shoppers on North Michigan Avenue.

"Just like dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patty's Day, cracking tourists' heads on North Michigan Avenue is becoming a Windy City tradition," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson . "The first warm night of the year, and all hell breaks loose in the city's most tony shopping district. It should be clear to everybody by now that Supt. McCarthy has lost control of the city. What are things going to be like when the weather really heats up? What has to happen before Emanuel wakes up and gives the nod to a more effective top cop?"

"The ISRA has been cautioning folks against making Chicago a leisure time destination for a few years now," continued Pearson. "Unless you're the kind of person who wants to be terrorized, beaten, raped or robbed, then you should definitely find another place to vacation. For the law-abiding citizen, Chicago has become just too dangerous to visit."

"While vicious mobs have been busily destroying Chicago's tourism industry, Mayor Emanuel and Supt. McCarthy have been busy as well – vilifying law abiding firearm owners," said Pearson. "If they spent more time thwarting crime and less time trying to take guns away from hunters and sportsmen, then Chicago might be a better place in which to live and work."

"The sad events of Saturday night will certainly bolster efforts to pass concealed carry legislation down in Springfield," said Pearson. "Good people have a right to defend themselves against lawless thugs. I'm positive that the prospect of encountering armed citizens would make such flash mobs vaporize in a hurry."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Do/Will GFZs work?

As Illinois drags its feet slowly toward a concealed carry law that must be voted on, approved and signed in law by June 8 (180 days after December 11, 2012), wise people need to be "educating" their legislators about the amendments that have been tossed into the mix in Illinois House Bills 1155, 1156 and 1157.

To learn whether legislators are seriously considering the wording in the amendments, you'll have to read, study and understand the amendments.

And then you'll have to ask yourself if the legislator has done the same. If you ask him (or her), he will say, "Yes, of course".

Then ask them why they voted for the amendments as proposed. To give you an example, one amendment would prohibit a concealed carry licensee from patronizing a restaurant that has a license to serve alcholic for consumption on the premises.

Sure, nobody wants a drunk carrying a loaded gun in a tavern or restaurant.

But, how about if the armed, concealed-licensed customer is not consuming alcohol? Why shouldn't he be able to dine in this establishment?

If Suzanna Gratia Hupp lived in Illinois, instead of in Texas, what do you think she'd say? She's the author of From Luby's to the Legislature. If you haven't read her book, buy it and read it. Then pass it along to your gun-grabber friends. If they won't read it, ask them to read at least the last 2-3 pages.

Let's say that your family and you are dining at Olive Garden, Chili's, TGIF or at Coleman's or the Red Mill or the Public House or 3 Brothers. Maybe you're even having breakfast, lunch or dinner with your favorite local elected State Rep and his family. Somebody with a grudge against the legislator comes in and starts shooting.

Think that State Rep might be a little happier if you can draw and take out the gunman?

Where are you going to park, if you want to eat at 3 Brothers? The proposed amendment reads that you can't even park your car in the parking lot, if you are carrying.

Then think of all the cars that will be broken in and guns that will be stolen, because the criminals will know that the law-abiding citizen is not going to wear his firearm into the restaurant and risk arrest.

Then think about the mass-transit ban on concealed carry that the legislators are pitching. Where are you going to leave your gun? In the trunk of your car at the Metra lot? The police will have to set up a sub-station there to take all the reports of vehicle break-ins and gun thefts!

And the same around government buildings, hospitals, schools, stadiums, churches...

Get some face-time with your legislator. He'll be in town next week. Ask him to read more than the fist few words in each of the amendments.

MCSD Merit Commission - canceled Again!

What's going on with the McHenry County Sheriff's Department Merit Commission?


The April Regular Meeting has been canceled. It was set for April 11 at 9:30AM, and it has already been canceled.

The March meeting was canceled.
The February meeting was held.
The January meeting was canceled.
The December 2012 meeting was canceled
The November meeting was canceled.
The October meeting was canceled.
A September meeting was held.

One of the functions of the Merit Commission is to approve payment of bills. If they don't meet month after month, does this mean that some bills are not being paid?

More importantly, it appears that Sheriff Nygren has abandoned the Merit Commission on the Greg Pyle termination. Does he have that choice?

Aren't the rules, the Rules? If firings and resignations are to go to the Merit Commission, then why isn't Nygren taking a very important, high-profile termination to the public body that is supposed to represent the taxpayers and voters of McHenry County?

The Merit Commission is not Nygren's private, little, five-man (well, five-person) ball team. Somebody changed its mission a while back, apparently without even informing the members. The wording about "the public" came out of the Purpose of the Merit Commission.

And no one asking who took the words out. It's time for the County Board and the Law & Justice Committee to start paying more attention to the Merit Commission.

Message from ISRA Executive Director - Part 2

Printed below is the balance of the message yesterday from Illinois State Rifle Association executive director, Richard Pearson

[continued from March 28]

Our refusal to submit to their ideal of a gun-free America is why they hate us.  And this hatred is nothing new.  The following is a quote from an editorial appearing in the February 2, 1997 edition of the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”  In the editorial, author Jack Cobbs depicts the hatred gun controllers feel towards gun owners:

“I may have to live in a world with NRA members, but I don’t want them on the school board, or the vestry of my church, or as leaders of my children’s Scout troops, any more than I want KKK members or people who think it’s OK for terrorists to bomb airplanes.”

Cobbs goes on to say:

“Like most of us, they (NRA members) cherish their positions as responsible citizens, and if it becomes clear that the price they must pay to belong to the NRA is to become social pariahs, most will opt for responsibility.”

Cobbs’ editorial plainly shows what we are up against.  Don’t fool yourself, Cobbs is not an extremist – he is a moderate among those who support gun control.  These people are not interested in any sort of “national dialog” or “balancing the rights of gun owners with public safety,” or any of the other post-Newtown claptrap we’ve seen in the press.  The only thing the gun controllers want is to see you hand over your guns – all your guns – to the local police and then just go away.

This is why we must continue to fight in Springfield.  This is why you need to keep calling your representatives and senators.  They need to be reminded day in and day out that the right to keep and bear arms is not negotiable.  They need to be reminded that incremental diminishment of our rights is not acceptable.

The gun controllers are patient.  Their plan is to rely on gun owner complacency – to wait us out.  The gun controllers expect you to stop making calls to your representatives and senators.  They expect you to get distracted by other pursuits while they remain focused on taking your guns away from you.

Gun owner complacency is responsible for people like Obama and Quinn being elected.  The more complacent gun owners become, the worse the political landscape becomes.  The more gun owners let others make decisions for them, the more oppressive the outcomes of those decisions become.

Remember – preservation and protection of the right to keep and bear arms is a moral imperative.  With a diminished Second Amendment, this country will become unrecognizable to those who cherish freedom and self determination.
Richard Pearson
ISRA Executive Director

Indiana figures out how to rip off drivers

Just heard on WLS (online) that the Indiana Toll Road will now start charging for Customer Service!

If you get stuck at a toll booth because of transponder problems and the gate won't raise, now drivers will get socked for a fee, if they call for help.

Maybe drivers will just sit there until help comes. Just imagine all lanes blocked, and drivers sitting there patiently (or not so ...), because they refuse to kowtow to Indiana's extortion. If you plan to drive on a tollroad in Indiana, be sure to take a book along for the ride.

A hard-to-read announcement (effective May 1, 2012) on the Indiana Toll Road homepage informs customers that, if your transponder is improperly mounted, then you'll get nicked "$1.00 surcharge per occurrence". I wonder how a customer service rep determines over the phone whether your transponder is "improperly" mounted.

Of course, as soon as she answers the phone and has your transponder account information handy, she can hit the "Sock it to this customer for $1" button on her keyboard. Nothing you can do about it, except call back and complain. Ka-ching. Another $1, I'll bet. And if you get mad, hang up and call back. Ka-ching! Another $1.

Warning: the Call Center is closed today (Good Friday). I guess you are out of luck if your transponder fails today at a tollgate. You'll just have to sit there until they re-open tomorrow or Monday.

Is this happening now?

A reader sent this to me. While it is interesting reading, according to it is "mostly false". Prof. Olson told Snopes that he had no authorship or involvement. The email has been circulating, in one form or another, since the 2000 U.S. Presidential elections. However, it makes interesting reading and provides food for thought.

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the
beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

The Obituary follows:

Born 1776, Died 2012
It doesn't hurt to read this several times.
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in
St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election:

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29
Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory
Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low
income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of
democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million
criminal invaders called illegals - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Right To Carry Assn. program well received

Tonight's program sponsored by the McHenry County Right To Carry Association (MCR2CA) was a great success. Mental Preparation for Unarmed and Armed Conflict was presented by Matt McNamara, a McHenry County resident with extensive experience as a police officer and as a high-threat, personal security expert.

Matt let the audience into his personal life and work history in an informative and interesting manner. He referred to Bruce Lee as the "real deal", and I'll add that Matt McNamara is the "real deal". He knows his business. He's what I'd call a "conscious competent", if you are familiar with the four quadrants popularly used to describe levels of awareness and competence.

He urged members of the audience to pay attention to their surroundings, especially at any time they are aware from their residence. Matt described threat levels as White (lowest), Yellow, Orange, Red and Black (highest).

MCR2CA is an Illinois not-for-profit association that was founded in January 2010. Information is available at Annual dues are $20, and interested persons can join online and utilize PayPal for an easy and  completely-electronic process. Membership cards are mailed upon receipt of dues.

Anyone interested in receiving emailed announcements of future meetings can sign up for free newsletters on MCR2CA's website.

What to expect on your ballot

Are you planning to vote on April 9? Will you vote early? Will you just blow off voting, because you think your vote doesn't count?

Yes, Virginia, there are some contested races in McHenry County this time around.

Just because Woodstock city government is not one of them is not a reason to skip voting this time around.

I voted early this morning, and I wasn't prepared well enough. I knew my vote didn't count as far as the City of Woodstock elections, where no one is opposing the elections for mayor or city council.

But there is a Dorr Township contest, although not much of one. Five candidates running for four positions, and a Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Bob Pierce. No challengers for Township Clerk or Assessor. 

A big race is the McHenry County College trustees' race. Lots of candidates. You'll want to select those for whom you will vote before you arrive at the polling booth. Are you for or against the expansion? Ready to see MCC grow with the plan in the wind to blow $42,000,000 without your approval?

And the 377 Board? This is critical for serving persons with developmental disabilities. It's pennies, folks. Well, okay, maybe a few dollars on your tax bill, but not much.

Some people hear "tax" and stick their heads in the sand. Now is not the time to do that on this very minor tax increase. I urge you to actually read both sides of the issue and make an informed decision. Don't fall for the sound "bites" and one-liners in the news.

ISRA Exec. Dir. Message - Part 1

Following is a message from the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, Richard Pearson. Because of its length, I have divided it into two parts. Part 2 will be published on March 29.


Just today I had a member call me and ask how much longer the ISRA was going to pester him to call his legislators about gun control bills.

My answer was, “Until we win.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I need to speak to you very plainly about what we are facing in Springfield.  What’s going in the Capitol is not some sort of new-age encounter group where gun owners and gun grabbers are searching weepy-eyed for an elusive piece of common ground.

No, what we are engaged in is a nothing less than a good old fashioned street fight.  This is the kind of fight where - in the end - one guy goes home while the other guy gets carted away in a box.  If you and your fellow gun owners do not stand up for what you believe in, your gun rights will be carted away and dumped on the scrap heap of liberties sacrificed in the name of political and social “progress.”

Many of you may believe that we will win this battle because the facts are on our side.  Indeed, if this was a battle over the facts about private firearm ownership, our freedom would be assured. 

Unfortunately, the battle for gun rights is not about facts – it is about out and out hatred.  The followers of the gun control movement hate people who own guns, plain and simple.  There is no way around it – if you own guns, you are the object of the gun controllers’ hatred.  As we have witnessed the past few months, the hatred is so deep that these people will stop at nothing to eradicate your freedoms.

Why do gun controllers hate us so much?  The answer is actually very simple.  The armed citizen is symbolic of freedom and self determination.  As our nation’s history has shown, that freedom bestows prosperity and well being.  As long as a person is armed, they are free – unrestrained by social convention, unburdened by the priorities of others, unshackled by the intrusion of government.

On the other hand, gun controllers see self-reliance as being an obstacle to social progress.  They view freedom as a selfish pursuit that reaps only inequality and despair.  The gun controllers and their ilk yearn for a society where the government enforces equity among all citizens at the expense of liberty.

So, ladies and gentlemen, you see that the armed citizen just doesn’t fit into the gun-controllers’ recipe for social and political progress.  The gun controllers demand that the underlying philosophy of personal liberty and self reliance be eradicated.  Thus, guns and those who own them must be purged from society if society is to “progress.”

[Continued on March 29]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is a Secretary important?

How important is the Secretary of a corporation?

I don't mean the really important one, the secretary. You know, the one who really keeps the office running.

I mean the Secretary - the corporate officer appointed by the Board of Directors to perform the duties outlined in the By-Laws of the corporation. It is an essential position. It is one without which a corporation cannot do. It is a position that should not be left unfilled.

The Secretary is the keeper of official corporate paperwork - the Articles of Incorporation, the By-Laws, the Minutes, the Seal. The Secretary attests to the President's signature on official documents.

For most of last year the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce conducted business without a Secretary. And currently there is no Secretary listed among the Chamber officers as shown on the Chamber's website.

Why didn't the Board fill that position last year? Did the Executive Director remind the Board that it needed to fill the position? Why wasn't that position filled when officers were appointed or elected earlier this year?

If I remember correctly from reading the By-Laws several years ago, the Secretary and the Treasurer positions cannot be filled by ex-officio members of the Chamber. Those positions have to be filled by regular members.

Currently, an ex-officio member of the Board serves as Treasurer. I'm sure he is well qualified and is doing the job correctly. The problem is that the By-Laws don't allow for him to serve in that capacity, unless they have been changed in the past 4-5 years.

Have all the Board members read the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws? If not, they should.

MCR2CA newsletter; president's message

The following newsletter was published on March 27 by the McHenry County Right To Carry Association and was emailed to approximately 400 persons. If you did not receive a copy directly, go to and then click on "BecomeAMember" and sign up for the free newsletters.

If you'd like to become a member, you can sign up on the website and also pay your $20 dues via the link to PayPal.

Get in the game!

What does being a member of McHenry County Right to Carry Association mean to you? Did you join just to have yet another card take up real estate in your wallet? How about the big picture. Are you deeply concerned about the future of our communities, state and nation? We sure are, but here is the deal. Talking about a problem over and over does not repair it. Sometimes and more often than not it makes the problem worse.  We need a concerted, motivated effort from concerned, law abiding citizens to sway this fight. I know you are tired, and so am I. We mustn't let up.

If for a second you think the anti gun movement will let up, you are dead wrong. These are highly intelligent and deeply motivated people, who's life mission is to snuff out our precious freedoms, defined by our Bill of Rights.

LISTEN UP! There is no A-Team that is going to sweep in and save the rights you hold dear.
WE THE PEOPLE  are the last bastion of defense for the protection of our liberties. A restoration of our American ideals is not so far out of reach. We must strive to do more, to be better. This is done through educating ourselves and stepping outside of our comfort zone.

It is not hard to expect success instead of settling for yet another defeat by the Illinois machine. Just because it has been bad for a long time here in Illinois does not give us the right to shrink from this fight
. On the contrary, the mere thought of all the years our rights have been trodden upon by Springfield ought to fan the flames inside us.

When corruption and deceit are the traits of our leaders, we must display honor. When fear and lies permeate the newspapers, airways and halls of our capital, we must have courage and hope.
Knowledge is paramount to success. We are here to help bring knowledge and truth to the citizens of our communities.
Get involved. Show up tomorrow for our training night. Bring a friend.

The immortal Winston Churchill said,
“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”

See you tomorrow night,
Mickey Schuch
McHenry County Right To Carry Association

MCR2CA program - Thurs., 7PM

Whether you like guns or not, you should find Thursday night's program of the McHenry County Right To Carry Association very interesting and informative.

"Mental Preparation for Unarmed and Armed Confrontations" will be presented by Matt McNamara at 7:00PM, Thursday, March 28, at the Woodstock VFW, 240 N. Throop St.

Full details can be viewed at

Program cost is $10.00 at the door.

Mickey Schuch, president of MCR2CA, wrote an excellent newsletter today. It follows in a separate article.

The MCR2CA was established in January 2010. It is an Illinois not-for-profit association, but it is not a tax-exempt organization under Federal laws. The annual dues of $20 are not tax-deductible.

You can join the MCR2CA on its website and also sign up for the periodic newsletters. Click on the Become A Member tab for those options.

This woman is a U.S. Senator?

What do you think about a $45,000/year minimum wage? That's $21.63/hour. Do you know a minimum-wage worker who is worth that?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) seems to think minimum-wage employees are already productive at this rat. Well, not in Illinois. And I'd be willing to bet, not in Massachusetts, either.

A free market think tank specializing in wage issues had this to say about Sen. Warren’s rhetoric: It “makes zero economic sense, and demonstrates how out of touch Sen. Warren is with business realities faced by employers who hire people and pay them the minimum wage.”


I recall a sign in a colleague's office in 1966, which read, "Your raise becomes effective when you do."

As far as paying workers what they are worth, I wrote recently about the employee who complained to his boss and asked why the boss didn't pay him what he was worth. The boss said, "I would, but we have minimum-wage laws in this state."


Look what our Gun-grabber-in-Chief has done to America:

Looks like medical claims costs will shoot through the roof. Obama, a man who has never run a business in America or served in the military, our leader ...    yeah, sure ...

Congress had better get busy and unwind that fiasco - quickly!

Tollway stupidity

[NOTE: On April 1 (no fooling) a Tollway customer service manager called to inform me of the correct policy at the Illinois Tollway. Accounts are not deactivated after 90 days, if a transponder is not used.]

After writing the article about the outrageous cash tolls on the Illinois Tollway, I decided to check my dormant balance in my own I-Pass account. I've had an I-Pass for more than ten years and even got a second one, so I could avoid the cash toll-rate when on my motorcycle.

When I attempted to access my online I-Pass account today, the system did not recognize my UserName. I saw the steps to re-set it, but I wanted to know why it wouldn't, so I called Customer Service.

The first rep couldn't help me; all she could do was repeat her script that I had to re-set my username name and password. Not good enough! I wanted to know why!

A supervisor was a little more helpful. She knew that, if a user didn't use his I-Pass for 90 days, then he would have to re-set the username and password, but she couldn't explain the reason for the short leash.

So I called the office of Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi LaFleur (630.241.6800) and left a message for her that this requirement makes no sense whatsoever. And then I wrote to Jon Hilkevitch at the Chicago Tribune, who writes an excellent traffic column every Monday.

Maybe if a couple of thousand I-Pass customers call Ms. LaFleur next week, they'll wake up and eliminate that stupid restriction.

Tollway rip-off

This morning I was preparing directions for a friend who will be traveling from east to west and stopping by for a visit. Can you guess how much the cash tolls are now on the Illinois Tollway if you "go around" the Loop?

Try $7.50!

Right! $7.50 in cash tolls for one trip from the south end of Chicago on I-294, I-290 and I-90 to Huntley. Seven dollars and fifth cents!

Why does the Tollway charge that? Because they can. Because people don't turn out in droves to protest. Because people don't find alternate routes. Because people don't boycott the Tollway. And because Tollway folks made it "painless" for people to pay tolls electronically. And then they jacked up the fees with a simple programming step.

Of course, I am recommending that he avoid the Chicago Skyway and then come through the Chicago Loop on I-90/94. That way he'll get nicked for only $3.00 in cash tolls. Fortunately, his schedule is such that he'll be going through Chicago on a week-end and well out of daytime rush hour.

Who was around here, when the Illinois Tollway was first pitched? Wasn't it supposed to be free after initial bonds were paid off?

Has such a pitch (tolls, then free) ever been made and carried out? Yes. The Boulder (Colorado) Turnpike was established as a toll road in 1952. In 1967 toll booths were removed. Imagine that!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Expired FOID card?

Are you a criminal in the eyes of the great State of Illinois? Think not? Read on...

Suppose you own a firearm (pistol, rifle, shotgun) but you gave up shooting years ago. Where's the firearm? In the closet? In the attic? In the basement?

Did you have a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card in the past but, when you gave up shooting, you didn't renew it?

Bingo! You are a criminal in Illinois!

Did you get rid of your guns, but you still have ammunition around, somewhere in the house?

Bingo! You are a criminal in Illinois!

Did your father or grandfather leave the old .22 rifle to you, and you just put it on the top shelf in the basement? You didn't even know about FOID cards and so didn't apply for one?

Bingo! You are a criminal in Illinois!

Do you own firearms, but your wife and/or adult children do not have FOID cards (or have expired FOID cards)?

Ask your lawyer, read the statute or call the Illinois State Police to ask if they are criminals.

Your FOID card is just that. It's an ID card. It's not proof that you own a firearm. Could the FOID card registry be used to confiscate firearms? What would you do, if the State Police, sheriff's deputy or police came to your door and asked, "Do you have any guns in the house?"

You'd better know in advance what your answer is, and you'd better "educate" everyone in your house to the right answer.

They probably won't have a search warrant, because they don't know if you have firearms or exactly what brand and model firearm you might have.

So what's the answer?

Without being a smart aleck, ask questions. For example, "Why do you want to know?" "Do you suspect me of a crime?" "Do you have a search warrant?"

Ask questions; don't answer questions. Don't get bullied into answering. If the cop tells you that you must answer, ask him what law requires you to answer. If he tells you that you are obstructing justice by not answering, ask him what justice you are obstructing (in his opinion).

Just because the cop is standing at your door and asking you if he can come in, you may not have to let him into your home. Let him stand there - on his side of the door jamb, out of the way of your closing the door. Be polite. Tell him that you will be closing the door and calling your lawyer, and that you'll be right back. If he attempts to block your closing the door, ask him why he is doing so and ask him to please step back. If he continues to block your closing the door, ask him to call his supervisor to your home. If he says he is the supervisor, ask him to call his boss or, at least, another officer (to witness).

Stay cool. Be polite. And don't give in. If you are arrested, keep your mouth shut. Do not say anything. Remember - "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." You can take that one to the bank!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Woodstock voters: Ready, Set ... Yawn

Get ready, Woodstock voters.

Election Day is coming...  Tuesday, April 9, is almost here. And, if you just can't wait to vote, you can rush to your early-voting polling place and cast your ballot. Here's the rundown...

Mayor (Vote for ONE)
Brian Sager

For Councilmembers (Vote for THREE)
Michael A. Turner
Joseph Starzynski
RB Thompson

Pretty sick, eh? No contenders. No challengers. No contest. No one gives a _______.

Dick Ahrens chose not to run again. Can't say that I blame him. What a thankless job being a Woodstock City Councilmember is. Joe Starzunski was the only person to file a petition for Dick's chair. Good luck, Joe. Will you stand up and speak out? I hope so.

Should the question come up about dividing Woodstock in Wards? Would the residents be better served if they could elect a person who would represent specific divisions of the city? I think it's a sure bet that the current councilmembers and mayor like it just the way it is. So that means The People are going to have to force the issue and get the question to a vote of The People.

Ward representation would put more control in the hands of The People. If they didn't like their rep., they could kick him (or her) out and get a fresh face on board at the next election. Would it make a difference? Over several elections terms, it would - as the power shifted.

Next Jack Franks' meet-and-greet

State Rep. Jack Franks and State Sen. Pamela Althoff will be at Sullivan's Foods in Harvard on Saturday, April 6, 10:00-11:00AM for a meet-and-greet.

Got something to say? Want to ask questions? That's the place to be.

The General Assembly will not meet again until April 8, according to the calendar on

Reminder: 7PM class, Thursday

Just a quick reminder about Thursday night's class (March 28), sponsored by the McHenry County Right To Carry Association (MCR2CA).

What would you do, if you were in involved in an armed or unarmed confrontation? If you have your mindset right, your chances of surviving it will be greater than if you aren't prepared.

$10.00 at the door, at the Woodstock VFW, 240 N. Throop St.

You can view the original announcement of this class by clicking right here.

If you would like to be on the e-mail list for free announcements and newsletters, visit  Then click on "Become A Member", and use the Newsletter SignUp fields. Of course, your membership ($20.00) is welcome, too. And we sure could use some volunteer help. Right now three of us are carrying the load.

We're all volunteers, so what do we need the money for? For communicating with the Illinois State Reps about concealed carry and the insane firearms laws that some of them are pushing.

Free speech is free, but communication is not. We think they don't read email, especially if it's not coming from identified voters in their districts. Why do we think that? They don't answer. Sometimes, they don't even respond to identified voters in their own districts.

The chance that a letter will be read is greater, since so many people are now using just email. So we intend to use snailmail. Cost of mail to 118 Representatives? $54.28 per mailing, and that's plus the cost of the mailing piece.

Our new website wasn't free, either. We got great cooperation from TurnKey Digital, and they have been great to work with, when adjustments have been needed. We at MCR2CA are happy to give TurnKey Digital our highest recommendation. (Why do I say "we"? I'm the Secretary/Treasurer of the MCR2CA.)

Training offered by SAO


March 25, 2013



Louis A. Bianchi is pleased to announce that the State’s Attorney’s Office is sponsoring a free seminar on local government transparency and ethics for all public officials on May 2, 2013 at McHenry County College from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  This seminar is open to all newly elected officials, incumbents, and the general public and will include presentations by attorneys from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office as well as the Illinois Attorney General’s Office on compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act and the Illinois Public Officials Prohibited Activities Act.

While each public body faces different challenges and issues, transparency and a strong ethical foundation are essential to all governmental bodies.  The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office strives to ensure that the citizens of McHenry County find their local officials to be trustworthy and receptive to the needs of the community.

City of Chicago - #90 out of 90

A Syracuse University report for 2012 names the City of Chicago #90 out of 90 jurisdictions in enforcement of Federal gun laws. Who says? Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA on Meet the Press today. Chicago is "dead last" out of those 90 on enforcement on Federal gun laws.

Why is that?

Because they waste their time making criminals out of law-abiding citizens. A new gun law in Chicago puts a gun owner at risk of a $5,000 (FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS) if he doesn't report a gun theft within 72 hours.

Picture this: you live in Chicago and go away on a week's vacation. Some punks break into your house on the first day of your vacation and steal your guns, and get caught. You don't know the guns are gone. Guess whose doorsteps the cops will be on, when you get home?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beth Bentley -- now gone 148 weeks

Beth Bentley, Woodstock mother, wife, legal-office manager, friend to many, ATM to some, vanished May 23, 2010.

What did she use for money in her final days, weeks and months? CHASE Bank would say that she used their credit card.

The last payment posted to her account on May 23, 2010. Whoa! Wait a minute! Beth made a payment to CHASE Bank on the day she vanished?

But she left CHASE Bank with a balance, and apparently not a small one. CHASE wrote off the account on December 31, 2010, and a debt collection firm acquired it. That firm is now the Plaintiff in Case No. 12AR000749 in McHenry County Circuit Court, right here in Woodstock. The balance now is $14,257.21.And, of course, they'll add on attorney's fees and costs.

Court records indicate they are trying to serve Beth to appear in court. Good luck. Will they have better luck in finding her than five police agencies have had?

Why would Beth make a payment while on a girls' week-end away? Or was it some type of automatic payment? If it was, why didn't it continue in June 2010?

What charges were made with that credit card in May 2010? April? March? Were there any large cash advances, say in an amount that might fund a getaway?

Did Beth have a reason to disappear? Were "things" starting to catch up with her? Was anyone unhappy with her? Could there have been someone who thought it might be "convenient" for her not to come back from that trip to Mount Vernon? Did she ever go on that trip?

Certainly, a $14,000 credit card bill is not enough to disappear over. Well, at least not voluntarily. Would CHASE Bank records indicate a history of on-time payments? If not, had an interest rate taken a huge hike, say to the 28-30% range?

Any chance that she might walk into court on July 18 with a big "Hi, Everybody. Miss Me?" and a cashier's check for $14, 257.21?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mental Health Court - not much fun today

Judge Charles P. Weech got a work-out today in this afternoon's Mental Health Court, and it didn't look like he was having much fun. In two years of observing cases in that public court room, today I saw the heaviest load of defendants who were not doing well in the program.

This speciality court operates differently than the criminal courts. Judge Weech really cares about the defendants whose cases are there. They have a lot at risk, and he wants them to succeed in the program. Success and graduation from the program means that charges are nolle prossed.

He stressed several times that defendants are in this court voluntarily. They applied to have their cases transferred to the Mental Health Court. The strict program was explained to them. The program includes a rigorous combination of mental health treatment, medication, alcohol and drug screens, AA, group and individual therapy, credit counseling, employment counseling and more.

The Mental Health Court Team is, generally, supportive of defendants and their efforts to comply.

But I'm only willing to say "generally", because I have observed times when they are not.

While the staff cannot work the program for their clients (the defendants), there have been times when I think they forget that they are dealing with people with mental illness. And/or drug addictions or alcohol dependency.

Today I heard "Trust that an evaluation will be right." Well, I know for a fact that a recent psychological evaluation was wrong. And not just a little wrong. A LOT WRONG. Yet I have no standing in the courtroom to point out the many critical areas in which it was wrong.

Do you tell a person who is addicted to drugs not to use drugs and expect them not to? They need tremendous support in kicking the habit. Same with alcohol. Just telling a person not to drink and then believing that he won't, and jailing him if he does, is not the answer.

Would you tell a person in a wheelchair, "Walk up those stairs or I'll put in jail for a week-end?" I don't think so. So why set up a person for failure, when on another day you say you are trying to help that person succeed?

Don't misunderstand. Judge Weech did not order any wheelchair-bound person to walk up any stairs, under threat of jail.

But I heard, "Get motivated and stay focused." Well, a person with mental illness is very likely to be unable to do that. Some can; some can't. If they are failing in compliance with other steps in the program, I question whether the "team" is uncovering the cause(s) of the failure. The question is, "What happened before you drank (or shot up) or missed an appointment?" And "What happened before that?"

The Mental Health Court "team" has a lot of power. They can work a person right out of the program, sending his case(s) back to criminal court. If they are (or feel) disrespected by the defendants with whom they are working, they need to take a step back and determine whether their own actions might be provoking the defendant. They have to be tough, and they have to be tough-skinned. But they also need to demonstrate compassion and understanding.

"My way or the highway" is out of place there.

Sometimes I think that defendants in the Mental Health Court need their own advocates to help them deal with the "team".

Many are there with the Public Defender to represent them. That's a story for another day.

Fingerprint leads to arrest

Remember back in October when Bull Valley Ford (in Woodstock) reported the theft of 26 diesel particulate filters (DPF) from trucks on its lot on Route 47?

Repeated in today's article about the arrest was an assertion at the time by police that "Disconnecting the items requires significant time and the use of power tools." At the time of the theft the dealer said each filter weighs about 100 pounds and that the value of stolen filters was approximately $100,000.

At the time I wondered just how long it takes to remove one and how much noise is generated by "power tools" used to loosen bolts or cut them out. Let's assume it took hours.

William Czarnecki, of Milwaukee, was arrested in Wisconsin this week, and extradition procedures are underway.

Should be interesting to learn where Czarnecki's fingerprint was found if, indeed, it was his fingerprint. Could it have been someone else's, but it led to him? Was it found on recovered parts or on one of the trucks on the Bull Valley Ford lot?

Think patrol procedures in Woodstock have changed since October? Do officers now drive through the dealers' lots late at night and on week-end evenings? Or do they get out and walk the lots at night?

Cities generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales tax from auto dealerships. Dealers could receive a little "special" attention late at night when the cop business is on the slow side.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Going with the flow

What does it mean to "go with the flow"? A friend used that phrase with me today.

I know right where I was, when I learned to "go with the flow." I was on a private raft trip through the Grand Canyon in 1981. There were 15 of us in three little rafts for 23 days!

I had met an outfitter from Cortez, Colo. that summer, and he had let me row a raft on the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs, Colo. He complimented me on my rowing and asked how long I'd been rowing. I looked at my watch and said, "About 15 minutes." heh-heh

He told me about a private trip through the Grand Canyon that was leaving the next week-end, and there was one open spot on it. He offered it to me and by the time I got back to the office on Monday, I knew that I was going. I rode my motorcycle (at that time, my personal, police-equipped Harley-Davidson FLH) to Cortez and met Tom, his girlfriend and her 7-year-old son. We then went in his old schoolbus to Flagstaff, picked up the rest of the crew (12), bought groceries and beer and got to the put-in on time.

What a trip! In more ways than one, too. On a trip of that type, you carry everything in and you carry everything out. The only thing you leave in the Canyon is your urine. Everything else you burn or take out with you.

When we got to Hermit Rapid (Milepoint 95), another man and I "swam" through rapid. Two of the rafts went on through and waited on the sides. Then we came right down the center and, when Tom said "Jump", the other man and I jumped. Even tho' I had a life jacket on, I was underwater for what seemed like a long time. I knew there was no sense in fighting the river, so I just held my breath and was relaxed 'til I popped up.

There are some neat videos of Hermit Rapid on, if you are interested (or just curious).

I've still got my waterproof River Guide, and it shows the River for the whole 288-mile trip.

Student suspended for refusing to stomp on "Jesus"

Deandre Poole, Ph.D.
I'm not much of a religious person, but the suspension of a Florida Atlantic University student who refused an instructor's direction struck me as wrong.

Students, including Ryan Rotela, a Mormon, were directed to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and throw it on the floor and stomp on it. Rotela, a junior, refused. When he complained to University authorities, he was suspended for two days.

The instructor was Deandre J. Poole, Ph.D. (Howard University).

His bio on the FAU website reads, in part, "Deandre Poole teaches courses in intercultural communication, ethnicity and communication, leadership and communication, and organizational communication. His research focuses on the role mediated messages play in shaping individual attitudes and beliefs concerning issues of justice and inequality, and examines how leaders, organizations, and other influential authorities dominate and oppress marginalized groups of people. Currently, he is authoring the book, Obamamania: The Rise of a Mythical Hero, to be published by the Edwin Mellen Press. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Poole is actively engaged in various community service projects throughout Palm Beach County."

Care to write to Dr. Poole and let him know your feelings: Write to him at

I did. I asked him to write "Martin Luther King, Jr." (whom I heard speak in 1962) or "Rosa Parks" or "Nelson Mandela" on a piece of paper and throw it on the floor and stomp on it. I wonder how he feels. 

Should I suspend him for two days?

Harrison for Sheriff "FUN-raiser" announced

Republican candidate for McHenry County Sheriff Jim Harrison has announced a "fun-raiser" for Friday, April 12, at the Edgetown Bowl, on Route 47 in Woodstock.

Details of the evening of bowling and fun can be viewed at, and contact information will also be found on his website.

Jim is a former deputy of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department and a Woodstock attorney with expertise in employment law, and he has previously announced that he will be running for Sheriff in the Republican Primary.

Sen. Feinstein - a danger in the U.S.

The following press release was issued today by the Illinois State Rifle Association:

"If you watched the news you may have seen the exchange between California Senator Diane [sic]  Feinstein and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The most telling substance that came out of that discussion was Feinstein's attitude toward the Second Amendment and anyone who supported The Right to Keep and Bear Arms. There is no question the Feinstein is an arrogant elitist. She indicated she and her left wing posse would pass as many anti-gun bills as possible and if the Second Amendment advocates wanted their rights back they could take their case to the Supreme Court of the United States.
"One of the Founding Fathers described the United States Constitution as the chains that bind the government to protect the people from the government. People like Diane [sic] Feinstein is why the Constitution is there. Don't be fooled. People like her exist at all levels of government. The State Capitol is no exception. I know that some of you get tired of all the alerts but please remember the price of liberty is vigilance combined with action.

"The next two weeks the General Assembly will be in recess for Spring break. The ISRA will still be working for you."

Notice the statement of Sen. Dick Durbin!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good reasons to avoid CTA Ventra debit card

If you are giving any thought whatsoever to venturing into the debit card land of Ventra and the CTA, you would be well-advised to read today article in the Chicago Tribune by Jon Hilkevitch.

First of all, if you should happen to hear the phrase "This will be good for you" from the CTA, your guard ought to go up and you'd better get a hand over your wallet.

Debit card users have become accustomed to "some" fees, but the list in the Chicago Tribune article is ridiculous!

$2.00 for paper copy of transactions
$2.00 to call customer service, deemed a "Operator Assisted Telephone Inquiry"
$10.00 PER HOUR for an Account Research Fee. ("Sir, I'll have to put you on a brief (heh-heh) hold while I access your account. Enjoy the music...")
$5.00 PER MONTH dormancy fee, after 18 months
$2.00 per month is card if no retail purchases or money transfers after 18 months
$2.95 to reload your card via the internet (unless you use a credit card)
$1.50 service fee for ATM transactions

The CTA says to read the fine print. Yeah? Do you suppose they read the 1,000-page contract with Ventra before they signed it?

See the fee chart here.

Ill. House votes on gun control yesterday

Yesterday there were Illinois House votes on seven amendments to Speaker Mike Madigan's shell bill, HB1155.

Votes were taken on Amendments 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 and 53 on Tuesday, March 19. These amendments all have to do with gun-control issues:

Amendment 47 (50-59-1, Lost): background checks by the Illinois State Police, even on private transfers (ex., father to son) and keep records for ten years. Jack Franks voted For.

Amendment 48 (50-62-00, Lost): firearm-specific training for concealed-carry license (Don't get caught carrying a different weapon, even if licensed!). Jack Franks did not vote (NV).

Amendment 49 (52-61-0, Lost): carry only one firearm at a time. Jack Franks voted For.

Amendment 50 (67-44-0, Adopted): forbids carrying into on-premise liquor consumption liquor establishment; (can't go in to pick up relative who needs ride or works there; can't go in for a meal, even if you don't consume alcohol). Jack Franks voted For.

Amendment 51 (34-74-3, Lost): requires $1,000,000 liability insurance policy (think the poor folks in Rep. Ken Dunkin's (sponsor) own District can afford that? or anyone else? What if no insurance company issues such policies?). Jack Franks voted Against.

Amendment 52 (84-29-1, Adopted): presumption that local sheriff or chief will object to application of multiple offender. Jack Franks voted For.

Amendment 53 (48-62-1, Lost) : delays implementation of concealed-carry licenses, if Counties don't comply with existing mental-health records requirement. Only 3 of 102 counties have complied. Guess what will happen if this amendment and its bill pass! Jack Franks voted Against.

With so much mud being thrown on the wall in Springfield, some of it is probably going to stick; right? In the meantime, are legislators ducking their work on the very serious and precarious financial crisis in Illinois?

Instead of grandstanding and showboating, they could just pay a decent concealed carry bill and get on with important work!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mudslinger-in-Chief - HB 1155

If you can't sleep some night and want to view an exercise in insanity, go to the Illinois General Assembly website and look at the history of House Bill 1155. This is a "shell" bill ("shell shock" is more like it).

It was sponsored by Ill. House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-22), da boss man of the House, on January 31. Look at all the activity on that Bill. At a time when Illinois is almost bankrupt, how many people did Madigan have to add on the payroll just to manage that bill (and maybe similar shell bills, HB1156 and HB1157).

HB1155 has, as of this writing, 53 Amendments! Who has the time to track that quantity of mud being slung at the legislators.

Somebody ought to sue Madigan to shut down his bills. He is abusing the legislative system and wreaking havoc on the legislative process.

Do legislators even have any idea on what they are voting? Or, if Madigan nods when the vote starts, do they just punch their buttons to vote YEA or NAY?

To see the madness, go to

Then enter HB1155 on the left in the Search By Number field.

Take 2-3 Excedrin and the click on "Full Text".

What's cooking behind the scenes?

Woodstock used to have a Cultural Diversity Commission. Toward the end of its life (yes, it's gone) meetings grew farther apart, were often canceled, and were not well attended.

After the April 27, 2009 meeting, there were no further meetings in 2009. There were no meetings in 2010. So much for cultural diversity; right?

In 2011 there is an Agenda on the City schedule for April 18. There are minutes for an April 27 Regular Meeting. Was the April 18th agenda a mistake? There were no other meetings in 2011; at least, no Agenda for any meetings in 2011 were published on the City's website.

Then there were no meetings in 2012.

However, a new commission was established, called the Cultural and Social Awareness Commission. From the City of Woodstock website, "This advisory commission promotes mutual understanding and respect and furthers the goals of eliminating prejudice and discrimination, enhancing awareness of the benefits of a culturally diverse community, and awareness of current social issues within a vital, growing community. This Commission meets quarterly in the Council Chambers of Woodstock City Hall"

It met (maybe) on October 12, 2012; an Agenda was published but no Minutes are pubished.

On November 20, 2012 an Agenda for a meeting was published. For a commission that meetings quarterly, why would a Regular Meeting be scheduled only one month after the previous meeting. No Minutes are posted online.

The November 20, 2012 Agenda lists Minutes of a September 26, 2011, meeting to be approved. But there was no September 26, 2011 (Cultural Diversity Commission) meeting announced! Was it some type of secret meeting of a public body?

And why are meetings at 10:30AM on a weekday, when residents are at work and cannot attend?

An interesting item on the October 12, 2012 Agenda, at Item VI, is "Zacatecas". The Minutes, if they can be found, ought to reveal what the discussion of Zacatecas was. Remember when City officials took a road trip to Zacatecas. (Our sheriff's department has ties to Zacatecas, too.)

I seem to remember a statement that no City funds were expended for that road trip. Is my memory correct?

One of the reasons that no Minutes are posted for the new Commission is that that Commission isn't even listed in the index for Commission Minutes on the City's website. The Cultural Diversity Commission is still there, bu the new commission is not.

Is this just an oversight, or is it part of Woodstock's "transparency" in government?

Why you MUST know your rights

Read this story, and then think about your home, your family, your guns and your rights.

A proud father took a picture of his proud 11-year-old son and posted it on Facebook. What happened next?

New Jersey's Gestapo-style Department of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) showed up at his doorstep with four officers from the  Carneys Point, New Jersey PD.

The DYFS employee was so unsure of herself that she refused to identify herself to the father, who refused entry and refused her DYFS order to open his gun safe.

The father is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor and was smart enough to get his attorney on the speakerphone without delay.


What would you do if the cops showed up, without a warrant, and demanded entry to your home?

Refuse! Tell them politely that you'll be happy to admit them, should they return with a warrant. If they do, get your lawyer on the phone before you admit them. Let them slide the warrant under the door for you to read first.

Think you can't reach your lawyer in the middle of the night? Do you have your lawyer's home and cell phone numbers?

That's why I belong to LegalShield (no, I don't sell it) and why I recommend it (maybe I should sell it). I've got an 800-number and I can reach "my" lawyer 24/7. Can you?

Pyle's pay piles up - another $10K

Last week I reported on the vacation and sick pay awarded to former Sgt. Greg Pyle of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department.

Now more pay shows up, and the story isn't over yet.

Based on last week's report, Pyle collected on 891.5 hours of Sick Benefit plus 160 vacation hours and 24 hours of personal days' pay.

I recollect one report or article that indicated that Pyle had never taken one vacation day in ten years. At the time I thought, "Impossible. Who works for ten years and never takes one vacation day?" Last week's report indicated that Pyle certainly did take vacation time, because he had only 160 hours (4 weeks) vacation pay accrued. Oh, the deception and rumors...

Today I received further information. And it opens yet another door for questions.

An Agreement dated October 10, 2012, between MCSD and Pyle discloses a payment to Pyle of $10,962.35 for wages owed to Pyle through August 14, 2012. Huh? What's that all about? Pyle was put on paid administrative leave in January 2012, and then there was smoke-and-mirrors about payment of sick pay and vacation pay until those ran out in August, coincidentally on the day the Feds scooped him up and gave him free lodging in the Boone County Jail, where he still sits on a no-bond hold by the Federal Court in Rockford.

Sheriff Nygren's OK on this Agreement was signed for by Attorney John H. Kelly (on 10/3/12, a full week before the date of the Agreement). Pyle's approval was signed for by Joe Mazzone. Teresa Pyle signed as POA (Power of Attorney) for Pyle. Then Ka-ching. Out rolls ten grand, net.

It's interesting that Nygren's or Zinke's signature is not on the Agreement. Instead, a paragraph of legalese is tagged on, reading "The parties (the County, the Sheriff and Pyle) warrant that the undersigned representatives (Kelly and Mazzone) are fully empowered and authorized to execute this Agreement and bind their respective parties." But missing are the signatures of "the parties" who so empower and authorize the signatories.

And the kicker that opens the door for more questions? The Agreement, dated October 10, 2012 reads, in part, "WHEREAS, Pyle was employed by the Employer with the McHenry County Sheriff's Department as a Deputy Sheriff and was terminated from his employment by the McHenry County Sheriff; and ..."

OK, so when was Pyle terminated? And by what method or process? There must be some other written record of that termination of Pyle by Sheriff Nygren. But where is it? Did it get lost, like the letter from Zinke to the FBI on December 3, 2010?

Plus the Sheriff's Department has no record of communication with the Merit Commission, supposedly a valuable and integral part of the termination process at MCSD. If Sheriff Nygren wants to can somebody, he is supposed to go to the Merit Commission for the okay. Those are the rules.

Unless he decides to ignore the rules...