Freedom isn’t free.
Texas Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.
Over this Memorial Day weekend GOP presidential canididate Dr. Ben Carson spoke at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City were he was the winner of its straw poll.
On Friday Nora Dukowitz, the Communications Director for the city of Bloomington, IL had a local talk radio reporter Josh “Fistbump” Schmidgall served with a Restraining Order and is attempting to keep him and his employer The Cities 92.9 FM from asking questions of Ms. Dukowitz and the city.
Schimdgall and The Cities 92.9 have been attempting to get Ms. Dukowitz and the city of Bloomington to explain why a city employee was given a raise.
Those repeated request have been met with silence from City Hall and Ms. Dukowitz.
On Monday May 18th Schmidgall sent and email to Dukowitz again asking for information on or an explanation for the raise. When Dukowitz didn’t respond to that email Schmidgall went to Dukowitz’s home and left his business card on the door when no one answered.
Ms. Dukowitz found that to be so harassing and intimidating that she filed for the restraining order and is seeking to have Mr. Schmidgall barred from both City Hall and her residents.
And to top it all off Ms. Dukowitz is also asking for a court to revoke Schmidgall’s Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card, which is required in Illinois to even legally touch a firearm, and to have his skeet shooting shotgun confiscated.
Host and staff at The Cities 92.9 and Mr. Schmidgall find this whole episode to be a blatant assault on the Freedom of the Press and on the First Amendment rights of the station and Mr. Schmidgall.
The Cities 92.9 along with Tea Party blogger Diane Benjamin, who alerted me to this extremely troubling situation, are the only press in Bloomington that ask tough and/or probing questions of Mayor Tari Renner, City Hall staff, and the City Council, the rest of the media in Bloomington have a nasty habit of just going along with what they are told from city officials, no questions asked.
Dukowitz on Friday told the Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph that:
“Given my knowledge of his sometimes erratic behavior, I felt very uncomfortable and didn’t open the door. I called police and filed a report,” said Dukowitz. She said Schmidgall has come to her office without an appointment and recorded her without permission.
“This is not about me avoiding the press. A line has been crossed here,” she said.
Actually if the radio station and its reporter have been trying repeatedly for more than two weeks to get answers about the pay raise from Ms. Dukowitz and city hall and they haven’t been forth coming then Ms. Dukowitz most assuredly is avoiding the press.
On Friday Schmidgall said that he would fight this vigorously.
A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for June 4th.
Rafael Cruz, the father of GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking at this weekends Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.
Former Ambassador John Bolton speaking this weekend at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.
Not only are members of the Rockford city council against a plan by the Rockford Housing Authority to build a 70 unit housing project on New Towne Dr. just off of East State St. so to are members of the Winnebago County Board.
WREX has more:
county board members whose district surrounds that property say they do not support the plan.
“I believe that this project will have an ill effect on property values and has the potential to increase crime,” said John Sweeney, District 16 board member.
Sweeney, along with board members Eli Nicolosi and Burt Gerl, introduced a resolution opposing the RHA’s plan. If it goes through committee, the full board could vote on it as early as next month.
The members say they don’t feel the proposed development takes advantage of the redevelopment of East State Street.
There will be at least one presidential candidate in the 2016 race from the state of Illinois as Rockford Baptist minister K. Ross Newland announced at an event at Rockford Memorial Hall that he is running for President.
And with that this will be the last you hear of Mr. Newland’s candidacy as he has less than a zero percent chance on appearing on any ballot.
Fringe candidates just don’t gain the traction necessary to meet the thresholds needed to appear on primary, let alone general election, ballots. And that says nothing of getting campaign volunteers/supporters and money.
Running as what is in effect a write-in candidacy at the presidential level is a guaranteed loser.
There are some 350 candidates from both major parties who have filed their intention to be President with the Federal Election Commission. Unless those people’s names are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, or Rick Perry they have no chance, and no prayer of being elected President of the United States.
Between 15 and 20 new jobs will be coming to Milledgeville by this fall as Midwestern BioAg has agreed to purchase all 30 acres of the villages unused industrial park off IL Rt. 40 and build a new fertilizer plant.
The Dixon Telegraph has more:
The village last week finalized the deal for Midwestern BioAg, based in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, to acquire all 30.3 acres of land in the Milledgeville Business Park.
The industrial park, at state Route 40 and Shannon Road, has been vacant since it was set up in 2008. The acreage has been rented out as farmland for several years.
The company will build a 17,000-square-foot fertilizer blending and distribution center in Milledgeville. The new facility will blend dry and liquid fertilizers for area farms and provide application services with the use of floater trucks and other equipment.
The company said 15 to 20 workers would be hired at Milledgeville in the next 2 years.
“Midwestern BioAg will be a definite asset to our community, and we look forward to a long relationship with them,” Village President Galen Wirth said. “We’re bringing in more jobs, and there is real potential for developing the rest of this industrial park.”
CEO Tony Michaels said his company planned to have the facility open the first week in October.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Boone County Board a resolution was passed supporting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda.
A revised version of the Governor’s agenda was introduced in the Illinois legislature Friday.
Despite the objections of a standing room only crowd of union members the board voted 7-4 to pass the resolution with one abstention.
The Boone County board members who voted against the Governor’s Turn Around Agenda were Cathy Ward, Kenny Freeman, Sherry Branson, and Craig Schultz.
Thursday former Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.
One of the two leading warhawks in the House of Representatives, Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger(with Peter King of New York the other) took to the House floor on Wednesday to give a short speech on the problem of ISIS, who captured Ramadi, Iraq over the weekend and the Syrian civil war that partially spawned the Islamo-Nazi barbarian horde.
During Kinzinger’s remarks he again called for American ground troops to be sent back into Iraq to destroy the terrorist forces of ISIS.
A combination of airstrikes and US ground forces wouldn’t be enough to fully defeat the group that has beheaded Americans, burned a Jordanian pilot alive, throws homosexuals off roof tops, makes breastfeeding women wear a Medieval torture device on their breast as punishment, and rapes and enslaves young girls Kinzinger added because ISIS would still be left to operate rather freely in Syria. As of this week ISIS controls roughly half of Syria.
No, to defeat ISIS once and for all, congressman Kinzinger said that the United States Military, of which he is a member(Air Guard), have to go to war against Bashar Assad, the Iranian and Russian backed dictator who controls the parts of Syria ISIS doesn’t.
Kinzinger said that because Assad has targeted civilians in the years long terrorist on terrorist civil war, used chemical weapons(which ISIS has done as well, they like to use Chlorine), has the only real Air Force operating within Syria(thankfully ISIS hasn’t gotten any of the Syrian aircraft they’ve captured airborne yet), and is as Kinzinger puts it is”the incubator of ISIS,” the United States must therefore enforce a no-fly zone over the whole of Syria, and use other means to topple the Assad regime. Heaven forbid we allow ISIS to be fought by others on multiple fronts.
Full text of Kinzinger’s remarks can be found here.
There are just so many things wrong with Kinzinger and his warhawk thinking it hurts.
While a ground war against ISIS is inevitable at this point, they are 70 miles from Baghdad after all, a large contingent of American GI’s going back to Iraq isn’t in the cards; Obama is still President after all.
No, a ground war against ISIS is going to have to be fought and ultimately won by Iraqis, Kurds, and the minority Christian population taking up arms and defending their homelands from these civilization destroying cockroaches. Naturally it would help if the Saudis, Jordanians, Turks, Egyptians and others joined in on the total annihilation of ISIS.
To that end the Kurds and the other minority groups that would be exterminated by ISIS need to be given all the weapons Kinzinger and his pals Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham want to give to the so called Syrian rebels, who are really nothing more than ISIS or Al Qaeda fighters in waiting.
As an aside It is clear after the fall of Ramadi that the Iraqi Army is the most useless fighting force since the French, giving them more heavy weapons, tanks, etc, has got to be off the table.
When it comes to Assad, why in the world would we want to open up a new front, start another Middle East conflict, and invade yet another county, when Assad is someone who isn’t a direct threat to the United States or our allies?
Enforcing a no-fly zone or outright eliminating Assad’s Russian built Air Force will only achieve one goal, ISIS’ complete domination of all of Syria, and when that happens a blood bath not seen since the French Revolution will occur, just as it is beginning to in Ramadi, and has been for the last year in Mosul.
Congressman Kinzinger clearly hasn’t thought about the consequences the actions he wants to have taken will have.
But, then again how can he when his head is full of visions of him, John McCain, and Grahamnesty going on bombing runs directed at Damascus.
The steady trickle of city, village, and county boards passing variations of the “protecting the middle class” resolution aimed at rebuking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, whose only been on the job 5 months, and his Turn Around Agenda which is focused on ending prevailing wage requirements for government projects, and allowing localities to vote on Right-To-Work zones that would end forced unionization at many businesses as a prerequisite for work.
The latest to join in is Marseilles which passed their anti-Rauner resolution Tuesday.
Like the Ottawa city council or the Rock Island County Board before them the Marseilles resolution, which passed unanimously, is a direct repudiation of the Governor and his efforts to get the Illinois economy growing.
Specifically the Marseilles council along with Mayor Jim Trager objected to the ending of prevailing wage requirements which would lower the cost to taxpayers from government projects like roads or building construction. By saying they are fine with prevailing wages the Marseilles council is in effect saying we will intentionally drive up the cost of a project just to make sure that whoever ends up doing to work gets paid Chicago Union wages.
They also openly scuffed at the idea of local right-to-work zones.
Only they can’t because a school district policy only allows full-time Hononegah students to join the communities High School athletic teams.
Briana and Somer are homeschooled and are thus being denied the opportunity to compete alongside other students from Roscoe and Rockton in the districts athletics.
The girls father Troy is hoping the Hononegah school board will change the districts policy towards homeschoolers play on sports teams at its June meeting. If that doesn’t work Troy may seek some help from the areas lawmakers(Rep. John Cabello, Sen. Steve Stadelman) about getting state law on the matter changed. And then there is always the option of the Stoffregen’s backing up and leaving this broke state from greener pastures, and lower property tax bills(Winnebago county has some of the worst property taxes in all of Illinois).
The Hononegah school board should do the right thing and let the Stoffregen girls and every other homeschooled child have a chance to partake in the sports teams.
Time will tell.
WTVO has more:
The twin girls’ father, Troy Stoffregen says, “After I met with the superintendent and was informed that the girls couldn’t swim (at the school) because of the policies that are in place, it wasn’t shortly that I received my property tax bill, so that added to my displeasure.”
Stoffregen says the family has debated moving to another school district, or reaching out to local lawmakers hoping to a push a law that would mandate school districts to let home schooled kids play sports, but he hopes it doesn’t get to that point.
He adds, “By changing the policies at Hononegah, to allow homeschooled students, it will benefit everybody. It will allow all the homeschooled kids who want to represent their community but can’t because of the policies that are put in place.”
The twins feel playing sports for Hononegah will give them the chance to be apart of the community they love.
Briana Stoffregen says, “I think everybody should have the opportunity to be able to participate in athletics whether it is through the high school or other clubs in general.”
Rockford is known as the Forest City, that nickname may have to be changed to the Shrinking City as Illinois’ 3rd largest city was one of the top ten cities in the country for lost population according to new data released by the Census Bureau.
From July 2013 to July 2014 Rockford is estimated to have lost 1,240 residents, dropping it below 150,000 in population.
Chicago on the other hand actually managed a net population gain during that 2013-2014 period as 86 more people came to the Windy City than left it, keeping it the third largest city in the nation.
Joining Rockford in the fasting shrinking cities list are; Montgomery, AL, Pine Bluff, AK, Flint, MI, Dearborn, MI, Buffalo, NY, Hammond, IN, Detroit, MI, Cleveland, OH, and Toledo, OH.
At the other end of the spectrum San Jose, California became the nations 10th largest city as its population cracked the one million mark in 2014.
Last Friday Martinsville high school English teacher Jordan Parmenter decided that it was a good idea to use the American flag as a pointer during class.
When students objected to their teachers disrespect towards this countries flag Mr. Parmenter throw the flag on the ground and intentionally stomped on it.
For those actions the Martinsville School District has suspended Mr. Parmenter.
After the class period in which Parmenter stomped on the US Flag, Parmenter threatened a student in his next class with disciplinary actions because by this time the student body had heard of the flag desecration and were symbolically protesting their teachers actions by placing their feet on the desk and refusing to look at Parmenter.
Illinois Review has more.
Parmenter is on paid leave pending an investigation by the school district.
My money is on this clown being fired in the near future.
At a committee meeting Wednesday in Deklab, alderman were cool towards two tax increases and one new tax proposed by city staffers.
The proposed taxes would increase the cost of natural gas, raise the city’s sales tax rate(.5 to 1 percent), and create a new amusement tax that could cover everything from movie and sporting tickets, to gym memberships, and cable TV subscribers.
Based upon the reactions from the alderman I highly doubt these tax hikes will come to pass, certainly not in their current iteration.
The Dekalb Daily Chronicle has more:
Fitness should be encouraged, not discouraged. An amusement tax would be a disincentive for community members trying to be well, according to Ray Binkowski, owner of FitWorkz in DeKalb.
The three taxes proposed would, in turn, raise the city’s home rule tax rate, increase the tax on natural gas and levy a local tax on gross receipts of amusement facilities.
It’s that 4 percent amusement tax that Binkowski said would negatively affect his business and people in the community.
“We change lives,” he said at the meeting Wednesday. “We provide the means for people to be happy, healthy and well. …What I know from the people that come into my club and ask for help is that they don’t need another barrier.”
Binkowski added that while the fitness industry could be social, it wasn’t entertainment. Plus, it’s already price sensitive, he said.
“I could pass the cost onto people, but they will drive an extra 4 or 5 miles to neighboring communities to save a few bucks,” he said.
Sixth Ward Alderman Dave Baker said there was “no way” he wanted to put a tax on activities like bowling or gym memberships.
Similar efforts have failed before in Bureau County, to the tune of not even getting on the ballot, and have failed elsewhere such as in Rock Island, Lee, and Ogle Counties.
In order for the 1% sales tax increase to appear on the ballot the school boards representing 50% plus one of Bureau County students have to approve said tax hike. Any money used from the sales tax by state law has to be used for construction, building/facility improvements, and maintenance.
It should be noted the DePue school district is looking at a budget deficit of $270,000.
The LaSalle News-Tribune has more:
Superintendent Randy Otto appealed to the board to approve a resolution to approach voters for the tax increase in hopes of increasing the school’s coffers. A similar request for the tax increase made the rounds last year but did not receive the majority vote needed to get it on the ballot. Otto said data shows that the tax money, which is divided according to the number of students, could have added as much as $100,000 to the district last year.
Otto also presented an amended budget to the board, showing the district has a deficit for 2015 school year of about $270,000, which is $70,000 more than originally predicted. Otto said the additional deficit was not a surprise considering the loss of revenue due to cuts in special education, transportation and state aid under the new governor. Otto said there are already some measures in place to address the deficit for next year, with two positions being eliminated and several being combined. The board will discuss further cost saving measures at June’s meeting.