Friday, August 31, 2012

Mt. Hope Cemetery

We had a meeting. What's the plan?

Brother Rice vs Marist


Mitt Romney

He called it the way it is. The economy is screwed by the incompetence of our leader.

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney urged voters on Thursday to help him rebuild the U.S. economy and create millions of new jobs, asking them to overcome their disappointment in President Barack Obama and join him in restoring the promise of America.

In a high-stakes speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Romney said he would work to unify a divided country that believed Obama's lofty campaign promises but had lost hope they would be fulfilled.

Teachers union sets strike date

It's all about the money. 
Teachers union sets strike date

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anybody know who this guy is? Likes to remove sewercovers in the middle of the night.

The building owner would really like to know who this guy is. This happened 4 weeks ago and the guy is still on the loose. Take a look at the photo's. This is a true 3 am creep. Detective Shaved Longcock: Anybody know who this asshole is? Likes to remove ...: Shaved I know your blog is widely read in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood. I have attached photos of a sewer cover thief caught in the act. T...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Caught Again?

These people need to be locked up.
 — Police followed two would-be tree grate thieves to a recycling center on the West Side, where they found hundreds of city-owned tree and sewer grates, worth thousands of dollars.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), who went to the center with police, said the men were loitering near a tree in the 5000 block of West Pensacola Avenue on Thursday afternoon, which aroused police suspicion.
According to a complaint filed by the city’s Legal Department on Friday, police followed the men with the grate to Industrial Metal Enterprise at 901 N. Kilpatrick Ave. and watched them unload it.
Industrial Metal Enterprise buys, processes and sells industrial scrap metal nationwide, according to its website.
The complaint lists Ireneuez Kowalczyk and Janine Pawlus as the owners of Industrial Metal Eand Michelle Pawlus as manager. The complaint says the plant sells all metal received within 60 days.
But police found hundreds of pieces of metal city property at the facility, from rings that go inside sewers before they are built out to entire sets of tree grates, according to the complaint.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another tribute to the Daleys? I say NO.

The City of Chicago has never been in such poor condition. So much money has been stolen, wasted and plain ordinary mismanaged that bankruptcy is  almost certain. Now they want to start honoring these assholes? I say lets honor them with a grand jury. 
A nearly 20-acre park at the north end of Grant Park that is being redesigned and rebuilt will be named after Maggie Daley, Chicago's late first lady, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today.
The redesign was approved earlier this month after several public meetings over more than two years.

Maggie Daley Park will include a meandering ice skating ribbon, curving paths, a children's play area and climbing walls.
The site, currently known as Daley Bicentennial Plaza, is just east of Millennium Park.

The redesigned site "will be a world-class park named after a world-class lady," Emanuel said this morning during a news conference at the Chicago Cultural Center, as former Mayor Richard Daley and both their families stood behind them.
Maggie Daley, 68, died of breast cancer in November, about six months after her husband left office. 

Both Emanuel and Daley appeared to be holding back tears at times as they talked about Maggie Daley's legacy and the new park.

"Maggie loved the city," Daley said. "She loved the children especially. ... This great park will be a reflection of Maggie's love and affection for all of our children."

When Daley was mayor, he and the Chicago Park District supported building an underground children's museum on the site.

Those plans were scuttled after the recession hampered fundraising. Emanuel said after he took office that it was time to hit the "reset button" on the divisive proposal.
The redesign of the park is expected to cost about $55 million and should be mostly complete by winter 2014, according to the mayor's office. The cost will be covered by a combination of public and private funds. 

Was Obama born in the USA?

Kenya or Hawai?
Why did Obama and his people stall before they came up with an answer?
COMMERCE, Mich. -- During a homecoming rally in his boyhood state of Michigan on Friday, Mitt Romney thrust himself into a controversy over President Obama’s birthplace that has roiled at the fringe of his party, joking that “No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised.”

Though Obama’s aides have produced have both the short and long form of his birth certificate — showing that he was born in Honolulu -- critics of Obama have raised questions about his citizenship since the early days of the 2008 election. Romney has insisted that he believes the president was born in the United States, and his advisors have said that efforts by Donald Trump and others fan the flames of that controversy have been a distraction.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Brother Rice Football tonight

Rice vs. Shepard 7:30 PM tonight.

A teachers Strike?

They've been dissed.
Why do I get the feeling that this is not going to end the way the teachers envision? Have they ever heard of the word Caterpillar?
CHICAGO — Teachers in the nation's third-largest school district voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if their union and the city cannot reach a deal on a contract this summer – signaling just how badly the relationship between teachers and Chicago school officials has deteriorated, union officials said Monday.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced the result of last week's balloting – nearly 90 percent of its 26,502 members voted to authorize a strike _and called it "an indictment of the state of the relationship between the management of CPS and its largest labor force members." State law requires 75 percent approval.
Teachers are upset that Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled last year's raise and that they're being asked to work longer days without what they consider to be an adequate pay increase. Lewis said other key issues include class size and resources.
A strike wouldn't be called until the beginning of the next school year, but union leaders could do so without another vote. They say holding the vote now instead of later gives the union added leverage at the bargaining table. It also allowed 1,500 retiring teachers to vote.
"Our members ... were loud, serious and clear," Lewis said. "We want a contract that gives Chicago students the school they deserve. So we call on CPSs to take this process seriously and negotiate with us in good faith with an eye on the real prize, our children."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The leader of the free world.
Newsweek said it. They said Obama was gay. Do you think there's something to it? If so, why would you ever consider voting for him? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Safety Hazard

Where are the tree people? 
I am wondering what does it take to get city of Chicago officials to do their job. On the NE corner of 103 and Fairfield stands an old tree. Its been dead for some time now and is ready to start dropping it's branches onto the children (hundreds of them) that pass under it everyday on their way to the nearby St. John Fisher School. 

What is most troubling is how could officials ignore such an obvious danger? 

BP has failed us again

BP, the company we like to trust, has sent "BAD GAS" to stations in northern Indiana, Michigan and possibly Illinois. The problem is not confined to BP stations but involves any retailer selling regular gas. As is their now familiar style, BP has been lax in the testing of their product for quality and has been slow to a publicly admit that there was a problem. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pension Grab

The Old Bum

We are throwing the bums out. I wonder if they will be replaced by other bums. 
Chancery Court Judge John Noble ruled last week in Delaware that the pension funds had sufficient cause to fire DV Urban Realty Advisors, which was formed by Obama’s friend and onetime employer Allison S. Davis and Daley nephew Robert G. Vanecko.
For the past six years, DV Urban has managed $68 million for pension funds representing Chicago teachers, police officers, other city employees and transit workers, investing government workers’ and retirees’ pension money in risky real estate deals that haven’t done well.
That was one of the reasons the pension funds cited in voting to fire DV Urban last February, when they also filed suit against DV Urban in Delaware, where the company was created.
DV Urban argued that the pension funds had no good reason to dump the firm and were bowing to pressure from members upset over “unwanted media attention” after a series of stories in the Chicago Sun-Times between 2007 and 2009 that exposed the deals involving the mayor’s nephew and reported how the investments were doing.

Dave Matthews Band :Time Of The Season

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Voters should read this.

Bishop Jackson
Today is Sunday. A good time to read what this man of God says and re-evaluate your own conscience. Do you want to vote for what you know is right or do you want to gamble your future and your children's future for the promise of "change" and a maybe job? You are only going to have one more chance and then............................
CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- "Let God's people go!" says Bishop E.W. Jackson echoing the cry of Moses in the book of Exodus. The Bishop has begun a campaign to persuade Christians, Catholic and Protestant, of all races that the time has come for a wholesale Exodus of Christians from the Democrat Party.
He points to the Democrat Party's "cult-like devotion" to abortion; the rejection of the traditional biblical model of the family; the hostility hurled at those who express a Christian viewpoint such as Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A; the actions of Democrat organizations such as the ACLU and the Foundation For Freedom From Religion in suing cities and towns for displaying crosses at memorials or mentioning the name Jesus in prayer at official events.

According to Bishop Jackson, Democrat operatives are attacking Gabrielle Douglas, the 16 year old black American who won the 2012 Gold Medal in gymnastics. "The accomplished young lady had the nerve to give glory to God for her win," Jackson says. "This apparently offended liberals." Mary Elizabeth Williams, journalist for the progressive online magazine wrote, "I've often wondered what it is about Christians like Douglas that unnerves me so... Douglas and her ilk seem to espouse a faith based on what is commonly referred to as 'The God of Parking Spaces'."
"Progressives," E.W. Jackson says, "are indeed 'unnerved' by devout Christians. That's why they resort to ridicule, even of a 16 year old Olympic medal winner. Williams says we worship 'The God of Parking Spaces', but I would prefer Gabby's God of grace and kindness to the leftist's god of ridicule and persecution. Our Heavenly Father loves us and helps those who are humble enough to ask Him."
Later this month when Democrats make same-sex marriage part of their official Party Platform, he says, "they will be spitting in the face of every Bible believing Christian in America. They will be saying, 'we don't care what you think, what you believe, or what the Bible or the God of the Bible says. We know better than God'." Jackson's message to Christians is, "The Democrat Party has turned its back on Christians. It is time to turn our backs on the Democrat Party."
E.W Jackson is a Bishop, Marine Corps Veteran, graduate of Harvard Law School, former practicing Attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law, former candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia and Founder and President of

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chicago Air Show

I have to work it. Not the worst job. Everyone should be here today and tomorow.

Friday, August 17, 2012



Look at these 2 assholes. A Kennedy and a Jackson. Neither of them know what it is to do a days work but they never had a problem telling us how to run our lives.  Posterboys for what is wrong with America. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 Catholics.

paul, ryan, vs, joe, biden, two, catholics, battle, for, the, soul, of, america,
The presence of Joe Biden on this ticket is symbolic of what is wrong with the Catholic Church in America.

Paul Ryan vs Joe Biden Two Catholics Battle For the Soul of America
A Protestant, a Mormon, and two Catholics ... This is not the beginning of a bad joke; these are the players in our 2012 presidential election. All eyes are on Paul Ryan after presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, announced him as his running mate. Media coverage has specifically focused on Ryan’s Catholic faith. Barack Obama, a Protestant, and Mitt Romney, a Mormon, have a common denominator: a Catholic running mate. However, both vice-presidential candidates come from very different poles of the Catholic pool. How much will this difference matter?
The United States is clear in its separation between State and Church and yet politicians’ faiths still matter to voters. In the 2008 election there was a great amount of controversy over then Senator Obama’s possible Muslim faith. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, has also faced media frenzy over his Mormon religion. Now with both VP candidates sharing the same faith there is going to be an inevitable spotlight on the divided American Catholicism.

This presidential election happens to fall on a year that has already proven to be significant for American Catholics. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) rejection of a Vatican takeover, and the Fortnight for Freedom campaign led by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are examples of the unsettling time for the Church in the United States. The Catholic spectrum has become oversimplified into black and white. Either you are for the nuns and are liberal, or you are in support of USCCB and are conservative. Voters want to know what side the vice-presidential candidates stand for—although it is not much of a mystery.
Candidate Romney highlighted the fact that his running mate was Catholic in his introductory remarks saying, “A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life.” The focus on Ryan’s faith is significant since he is better known for his fiscal conservatism rather than for his stand on Catholic issues.

Vice President, Joe Biden’s Catholic faith was also a hot topic shortly after his selection as Obama’s VP. In both cases, being Catholic seems to be an asset, as a way to promote high morals and ethical decision-making. Has the United States come to see the vice-presidency as a ‘moral compass’ position for the president?

Representative Ryan’s background from a heavily Catholic state has not automatically won him popularity among Catholics nationwide. Members of the LCWR, including Sister Simone Campbell, led the ‘Nuns on the Bus’ nine-state tour in protest of Rep. Ryan’s budget proposal. Ryan’s proposed budget would have major cuts on food stamps and other government sponsored assistance programs. The poor and the elderly would face the biggest repercussion.

In April of this year, Ryan’s visit to Georgetown University, a Catholic and Jesuit institution, prompted a faculty and staff supported letter in opposition to Ryan’s proposed budget. During his visit Ryan defended his proposal morally saying, “The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it …What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.” The letter to Rep. Ryan signed by a number of Jesuit priest at Georgetown read, “While you often appeal to Catholic teaching on ‘subsidiarity’ as a rational for gutting government programs, you are profoundly misreading Church teaching. Subsidiarity is not a free pass to dismantle government programs and abandon the poor to their own devices. This often misused Catholic principle cuts both ways.”

The same institution every so often welcomes the same-sex supporting, Obamacare advocating, Catholic Vice-President Joe Biden for Sunday mass. That said, other Catholic institutions have received backlash for their engagement with the Obama administration, as was the case when President Obama delivered a commencement speech in 2009 at the University of Notre Dame.
As to whether Ryan or Biden would make a more appealing Catholic Vice-President will depend on the type of Catholics they cater to. There may be as many Catholics in support of the nuns, same-sex marriage, and Obamacare as there are Catholics in support of the American Bishop’s religious freedom camping, and anti-abortion. Both sides have left no middle ground—you are either with them or against them. The true determining factor will then be which side can collect the most non-Catholic supporters. In which case, Joe Biden might be the easier Catholic to handle for most Americans.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Official, Jesse Jackson Jr. is Crazy!

According to the Mayo Clinic, Congressman Jackson is suffering from bi-polar disorder and they are looking for a cure. To make matters worse, Patrick Kennedy from Rhode Island, who is also crazy, is going to visit Jackson today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan, just a normal guy, at last.

An everyday guy.
A family man.
By Steve Holland and Sam Youngman
WAUKESHA, Wisc., Aug 12 (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan home to a tearful welcome in Wisconsin on Sunday in a celebratory event that produced a flash of anger from Romney over what he considers dishonest campaigning by President Barack Obama.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman elevated to Romney's No. 2 on Saturday, wiped away tears and choked up as he and Romney made a dramatic entrance on stage in front of a crowd of around 8,000 to the theme song of the movie, "Air Force One."
Clearly reveling in the moment as the native son come home, Ryan told them: "I'm a Wisconsinite through and through."
"My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, a little Spotted Cow ... and some Millers," he said to laughter. "I like to hunt here, I like to fish here, to snowmobile here. I even think ice fishing is interesting."
The Nov. 6 election is more than two months away, but Sunday's rally had the intensity of a typical late-October campaign event. It showed how Romney's selection of the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate has injected new energy into a campaign that had struggled to move beyond Democrats' efforts to cast Romney as a wealthy former private equity executive who cannot relate to middle-class Americans.
Romney hopes the enthusiasm produced by the No. 2 pick will generate a spark that will help him erase a lead Obama has produced in recent polls of voters.
"What a homecoming for a terrific guy," Romney told the Waukesha crowd. "I guess you think I made the right decision, the right choice? I know I did."
When a heckler tried to disrupt the event, Romney unleashed frustrations at the Obama campaign over a television ad produced by a pro-Obama group that all but suggested Romney shared some of the blame for the death of the wife of a steelworker, who lost his job and health insurance when Romney's Bain Capital bought the company.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Coyote Warning

There are reports from Fisher's of at 3 family pets missing during the past 3 days. Coyotes have be sighted. Do not leave your pets unattended.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another government agency that doesn't know how to budget..

Take a ride by the post office at 111th and Homan. They tore down a nice family restaurant to build a parking lot for post office vehicles. Now there are weeds everywhere. Does the government know how to take care of anything?

Do you remember when the mailman used to drive his personal car to the route? Not anymore, now the postal service supplies vehicles at what cost? Then they need a place to park these vehicles so they have to acquire neighboring real estate at what cost? No wonder they're broke. Can you imagine a business running like this?

Maybe we can get them to cut the weeds.  

The U.S. Postal Service's net loss widened to $5.2 billion during the three months that ended in June, and the cash-strapped agency warned on Thursday that without help from the U.S. Congress it will face low cash and be unable to borrow money this fall.
The Postal Service, which relies on the sale of stamps and other products rather than taxpayer funding, has been struggling for years as Americans increasingly communicate online and as payments to its retiree health benefits program and other obligations drain its cash.
The mail agency suffered its first-ever default last week on a legally required $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits. The agency's inspector general said the Postal Service could face a $100 million cash shortfall in mid-October.

Read more:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Local business losses.

From a reader.
Several storms this summer left many in our community temporarily without power. This past Saturday, one of those summer storms again required Com Ed to rescue homeowners without electricity. Unfortunately two of our GIVE BACK BUSINESSES, Fox's Pub and Town Liquor, were without any power for 40 hours. The losses added up quickly. 40 hours without power equals lost sales on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and many hours in lost wages for the employees of these businesses, as well as the cost of ruined merchandise. I was floored yesterday watching Fox's staff carry out load after load of spoiled goods, overflowing the dumpster with unused product. Fox's Pub and Town Liquor endured significant financial loss during this power outage.

For decades Fox's Pub and Town Liquor have both been neighborhood assets. They provide wonderful dining and shopping, but equally important, employment opportunities to our friends and and families. We are asking every family in the community to make a purchase at each location this week. For over 75 years of combined operation these two businesses have Given Back to our community for many special events,fundraisers, benefits, church functions, community organizations, and sponsorships of teams, from Special Olympics to our many sports leagues.

We ask and they always deliver to our community, so let us find time this week to stop in Fox's Pub and Town Liquor and make a purchase. Be sure to mention your presence as part of a Give Back/Thank You to the Fox, Gibbons and Joyce families.

Please live in the spirit of giving back to these two small family-owned neighborhood institutions. Again, we are all called to rally and stand with these business families that have always supported us.

Kathleen Walsh

God bless you with the same Peace, Hope and Love
that you bring to others.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

$25,000 Cash to Obama?

Coming from the Tribune people, I would expect this to be credible. 
Chicago Tribune. An upcoming book about Rod Blagojevich says undercover recordings caught the former governor saying he had heard that convicted influence peddler Antoin "Tony" Rezko secretly channeled $25,000 in cash to Barack Obama, but federal authorities did not deem the claim credible.
The book, "Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself Out of the Governor's Office and Into Prison," suggests Blagojevich was talking about an undisclosed payment to help Obama with his 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate.
The book says that federal investigators pursued the claim but ultimately gave it little credence. "Never was Blagojevich seen as a credible threat to the incoming president," says the book, an outside project by two Chicago Tribune reporters.
The White House referred questions about the matter to the Obama campaign. Ben LaBolt, a campaign spokesman, said the claim "is preposterous and it is false. No such payment was ever offered or made, and there never has been any suggestion or question of it from anyone, except apparently by Rod Blagojevich."
Federal authorities declined to comment to the Tribune about the investigation.
An attorney for the now-imprisoned Rezko dismissed the allegation, saying Blagojevich's claim is "simply a fabrication and not true."
"You must keep in mind that the source of this allegation is inherently unreliable and not credible," said the attorney, Joseph J. Duffy.
Blagojevich's lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky, did not return calls. Another of his attorneys, Lauren Kaeseberg, declined comment.
The disclosure of Blagojevich's comments comes as the president is locked in a tight re-election campaign with Republican Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, who has sought to link Obama's Chicago connections to the city's culture of political corruption.
Obama's ties to Rezko were a nagging issue in the 2008 campaign. Rezko and Obama were friends, and Rezko raised as much as $250,000 for Obama for the first three political offices he sought. Obama also acknowledged a lapse in judgment over his involvement with Rezko in private real estate transactions related to the purchase of Obama's home in the Kenwood neighborhood in 2005.
Blagojevich's claim about the money was caught on a government recording that was not made public during either of Blagojevich's trials, according to the book. The book, by Jeff Coen and John Chase, does not say who gave the recordings to the authors.
The accusation of money paid indirectly to Obama is among many musings by Blagojevich that the FBI secretly recorded. Among the others: that Blagojevich mentioned naming Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry to Obama's vacant Senate seat so he could "have a shot" at having sex with her. Blagojevich, a Democrat, also told a staffer he voted for Republican George H.W. Bush for president and then gave the staffer a warning: "If you ever repeat this, first I'll deny it, secondly I'll wait a little bit, then I'll fire you."
The book portrays Blagojevich as being envious that Obama's political fortunes had risen so high when the governor thought the incoming president had bigger Rezko problems than he did.
According to the book, Blagojevich was repeating "a story that (he) had heard that he believed" when he spoke of the $25,000 in cash from Rezko. Talking to his then-chief of staff John Harris shortly after Obama's election, Blagojevich said he had heard that Rezko had given the cash to Bruce Washington, who has held jobs with the state, Cook County and the city school district.
"The cash was for Obama. Not for me," Blagojevich told Harris, according to the book.
"Right," Harris replied.
"You understand?" the governor asked.
At one point, in a conversation with his wife, Patti, Blagojevich even tossed out the idea of naming Washington to Obama's Senate seat.
"How about I make him the [expletive] senator?" Blagojevich asked his wife, according to the book.
The Tribune began seeking comment from Washington, 60, late last week after learning of Blagojevich's claims. He did not respond to letters the Tribune left at his home or to phone messages.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teachers in Oak Lawn among the highest paid in Illinois

Doesn't say much for that school board does it? And yes it does affect Chicago taxes. They claim they don't have the money for pension contributions so the state picks up the tab. No wonder they don't have the money, they blew it.
A starting Chicago Public School teacher with a bachelor’s degree pulled down a salary that ranked No. 16 statewide this past school year, at $50,577. Not bad. A rookie with a master’s: No. 30. But top salary for a veteran with a master’s: a drop to No. 140. And the top amount a Chicago teacher can earn: $95,887, a further tumble to No. 167 statewide.
No other district among the top 30 in starting pay had such a sharp decline in salary rank by the time a teacher reached top scale.
Those are some of the results of a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of teacher pay schedules in close to 900 Illinois school districts for this past school year, based on data provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. Districts are required to include all pension contributions in the salary schedules they give the state .
The analysis comes as Chicago is locked in teacher contract talks that a fact-finder’s long-awaited recommendation was unable to resolve. And it emerges amid growing questions nationwide about the kind of traditional salary schedules — common in Illinois and elsewhere — that reward teachers based on “steps’’ or years of experience and “lanes” or degrees and credit hours, but not necessarily for effectiveness.
“Of course there’s lots of criticism that performance and quality and caliber don’t come into the equation,’’ said Richard Ingersoll, a University of Pennsylvania education professor whose research has explored issues involving the teacher workplace and teacher turnover.
“And of course, those are valid criticisms. ... The catch is, it’s easier to criticize the old, traditional salary schedule than to come up with a fair and objective alternative.’’
Blue-collar but blue-chip
Overall, high-school-only districts tend to outpace elementary-only or “unit” districts, such as Chicago, that include both elementary and high school teachers, State Board data indicate.
The standout district was Reavis Township High School District 220, home to only one school — Reavis High in blue-collar Burbank. There, starting teacher salary with a bachelor’s degree was No. 1 in the state, at $55,091. Add a master’s for a rookie: No. 4. Top possible master’s pay: No. 3. Top overall: No. 4, at $132,942.
“We offer the best in order to get the best person that we can to educate our students,’’ said Raymond Negretti, the district’s assistant superintendent for business and finance. “They basically come here, and they are here for at least 30 years.’’
A competitive salary schedule can bring the district talented rookies that Reavis can then groom and keep over the long haul, Negretti said.
In 10 years, , only three teachers have left voluntarily for other districts, said Reavis Supt. Daniel Riordan.
“High pay brings stability,’’ Riordan said. “Without stability, you’re fighting an uphill battle.’’
Stability reduces recruitment and re-training costs, Riordan said. It helps ensure that counselors who are supposed to follow students for four years actually stay with them for four years, officials say. And it helps teachers more deeply understand their students because they also often know their siblings and parents over the long haul.
Reavis looks for the “best candidate’’ for a teaching position based on far more than a resume, Riordan said. Candidates must problem solve more than a half-dozen teaching situations during job interviews and are observed while teaching. The ability to add extra hats — as a coach or club advisor — is a plus.
Some 100 to 500 candidates apply for the rare Reavis opening, Riordan said.
The “best candidate” for Reavis’ only 2012 full-time teacher opening — in social studies — was a Chicago Public School teacher with a master’s degree and both middle-school and high school experience, Riordan said.
Because he was credited only for his two years of high-school experience on Reavis’ pay scale, the CPS defector took a pay cut to switch to Reavis, Riordan said. But the fact that CPS does not “top out as much as suburban schools … was something he factored in before he accepted the position,’’ Riordan said. “He took a bit of a pay cut this school year, but if he stays and gets tenure, he will make more money.’’
If he stays 32 years and hits top scale, he will earn $132,942, compared to $95,887 at CPS, which hits top scale at year 25 and then flattens out.
Riordan said Reavis’ pay schedule is “a factor of where the school is located” because “we have competitive salaries around us, and we use [ours] to our advantage to attract good candidates.’’
Southwest power block
Next door, Oak Lawn High School District 229 has the second highest top-salary and the No. 2 top master’s salary in the state. Argo High School District 217 in Summit has the third highest beginning salary and the 13th highest top salary.
Nearby, but a bit more affluent, Riverside-Brookfield District 208 starts off at No. 5 and ends at No. 14, and Lyons Township High School District 204 in LaGrange opens at No. 8 and closes at No. 15.
The industry and commercial businesses around Burbank allow Reavis to generate the taxes to support more lucrative salaries, Riordan said. The district includes a Fed Ex regional office and a railroad company.
Supt. Kevin O’Mara in nearby Argo High School District 217 — which includes 3M and is the home of Argo corn products — said his district’s industry also has helped fuel its competitive salaries.
“We know, based on the type and number of applicants we get when we post openings, that our compensation is a huge draw to the district,’’ O’Mara said.
Argo gets some 500 applicants per position, O’Mara said, and “I’m sure they know the salary. People who come here are very savvy. Many are straight out of college, and they know their way around a database.’’ Nowadays, teacher candidates nationwide can often find teacher contracts or salary schedules posted online.
And, like Riordan, O’Mara believes top compensation is a top reason Argo loses few teachers. “In the four years I have been there, we have lost not even one teacher to a neighboring district for compensation reasons,’’ O’Mara said.
Longevity bonuses for veteran teachers
Like 44 percent of the districts in Illinois, Reavis and Argo have so-called “longevity’’ bonuses. Those kick in after “steps,’’ which bring increased pay with each year of experience, top out. The bonuses allow veteran teachers to get flat pay raises every few years. It’s a concept Chicago Public Schools, with 25-year top scale, have yet to fully embrace.
At Argo, longevity pay tops out at year 34 of teaching. At Reavis it tops out at year 32.
Some districts continue it to the 40th year of teaching and beyond. Far to the north, in Highland Park, longevity bonuses continue to year 44 of teaching, helping boost Township High School District 113 to the 5th highest top salary in the state.
Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Becky Carroll said it’s not fair to compare Chicago’s salary to that of suburban and other districts that get “substantially more funding on the local level to support their schools.’’
“You can’t compare a large urban district in any way with a rural district or a suburban district at any level,’’ Carroll said. “There are too many differing factors to reach any kind of apples-to-apples comparison.’’
CPS averages about 10 applications for every open teaching position, Carroll said, and “we believe our salaries, along with other benefits, offer teachers a competitive package, which is why so many teachers apply year after year to work in our district.’’
Carroll said CPS’s salary looks strong compared to that offered in the nation’s 10 largest cities. Since 2003, some CPS teachers have enjoyed as much as a 68 percent pay increase, with steps and lanes, proving that “the district is committed to providing its teachers with competitive salaries for the great work they do for our kids.’’
However, researcher Ingersoll described CPS’ pay scale as “front loaded’’ compared to the rest of the state and “in real terms, CPS is not competing with New York, it’s competing with Springfield or Summit. ... If veteran salaries aren’t higher, you’re going to have a retention problem.’’
In fact, one 2009 University of Chicago study found the typical CPS school lost half its teachers within five years, although a third to a half of them transferred to other CPS schools.
Nationally, Ingersoll said, the ratio of urban teachers transferring to the suburbs is three times higher than that of suburban teachers transferring to urban districts.
Front loading: Short-sighted or smart?
Officials at some districts intentionally used a “front loaded’’ strategy for years, figuring they would “attract people at the lower end of the salary scale, and then when they got more expensive, a bunch would leave and they could replace them with cheaper ones,’’ Ingersoll said.
“What was not recognized by those districts is that having a revolving door of teachers is not cost free. Constantly having to rehire, to replace leaving teachers, is expensive.
“Look at the resources put into job fairs, recruiting, processing every year hundreds and hundreds of new hires. If you give them induction and mentoring and then it goes out the door to Summit, in essence, Chicago has paid to develop a good teacher for the suburban district. It’s like a farm system.’’
However, economist and education finance expert Eric Hanushek of Stanford University said front loading may not be a bad idea.
Texas data he examined indicated teachers who stayed in a district were about as effective as those who left.
“Texas districts were losing some good teachers, but were also losing some bad teachers,” he said. “It would not make sense to raise the salaries of all teachers in the district in order to stop the few good teachers who were leaving.”
On average, teachers with five years experience are just as effective, in terms of student test score gains, as teachers with 25 years experience, Hanushek said.
As a result, Hanushek said, “there’s no reason to pay to keep or attract experienced teachers. It would be very different if you had a salary schedule that paid for teacher effectiveness. Then you would want to pay a lot more for effective teachers than for average teachers.”
“None of these places are paying for performance, so you can compete with them if you want, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your student achievement will be better.’’
However, Ingersoll said some studies indicate teacher effectiveness over time merely flattens out — it doesn’t plummet. And that measure only reflects how a teacher impacts test gains. Experience, Ingersoll, can bring teachers skills that don’t necessarily show up on student tests, such as how to deal with behavior problems, handle difficult parents, nurture student self-esteem, and mentor other teachers.
“It is absurd and silly to think that a teacher, after two or three years, is as good as a veteran in all these many complicated skills that are required to do this job well,’’ Ingersoll said. “Dealing with the discipline problems of teenagers — does anyone think this is easy? I’ve done it. It’s hard.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dart blames Sheahan?

Is it possible that the job is getting too big for Dart? I'm just asking the question. You messed up. Take your punishment like a man.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office released this statement regarding the trial:

"This specific case started over six years ago during a previous administration. Not one of the individuals suing the county was fired and some were promoted. It is beyond perplexing that these individuals are suing for more money when they already have had every opportunity for promotion. Sheriff Dart and his office proudly stand on their record."

"The Cook County Sheriff's Office is very proud of the fact that it is the only local government office that has been declared in compliance by the federal courts and therefore is no longer monitored by the courts or their appointed monitors. The office worked hard during the monitoring process and is proud of its ethical integrity. It cannot be stressed enough that this was a federal court decision to free the sheriff's office of the monitor, based on the hard work and policies implemented by the dart administration.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Honorable Mention for Steve O'Malley

Off-duty firefighter Steve O’Malley was spending his Saturday afternoon sprucing up his boat when he heard the terrified screams of a young mother after a gust of wind blew her stroller-bound toddler face-down into the waters of Lake Michigan at a South Side harbor.

The 33-year veteran Chicago firefighter said the timing was perfect and he was able to help save the life of a child.

O’Malley said he had been behind the couple and their boy in the stroller and had held a door open for them before they all began walking onto the pier at the 31st Street Harbor.

As he was fixing up his boat for his wife’s upcoming birthday celebration, he noticed the wind picked up big-time about 2 p.m.

“I was talking on my phone and I’d stopped to tie my shoes, and then all of a sudden I heard: 'Oh my God, my baby, my baby,’ ’’ O’Malley said. “I looked and the stroller was upside down in the water.’’

The child’s father jumped in the water and O’Malley followed – almost without thinking.

O’Malley, 52 and of the Southwest Side, said it was ironic because he remembers seeing another story recently about a stroller which had gotten blown into the water on a windy day.

“I saw the stroller was sideways in the water and I didn’t see the baby. I thought oh no … you’re not going down -- not on my watch,’’ said O’Malley.

The boy, about 18 months old, was still strapped in the stroller, wearing a yellow T-shirt.

He saw him lying sideways, face-down in the stroller with his bottles, clothes and toys floating next to him.

With one hand holding the stroller-bound toddler above the surface, he used the other to swim and do what his years on the force had trained him to.

“My strength just kicked in,’’ O’Malley said. “I grabbed the T-shirt and held the baby and the stroller above the water and I started swimming to the pier."

The child’s father helped maneuver the two to the pier, and with the help of several bystanders who were watching the harrowing scene unfold, they were pulled up to shore safely.

“We just grabbed him,’’ O’Malley said. “Luckily, the ladder on the pier wasn’t that far away.’’

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A letter from O.L.Trustee Tom Phelan

Likes to bowl.
I'm glad someone has the balls to stand up for his neighborhood.
Hoping you can get some kind of message out like the one I have been sending to the 5,000+ subscribers to my Neighborhood Newsletter, about 1,600 of which live in Mt. Greenwood, Merrionette Park, Beverly and Evergreen Park.

I am a Trustee in Oak Lawn and have been waging a 6-year battle against Brunswick Corporation over the gangster hang-out they used to call the Brunswick Zone.

Two weeks ago Bill Bard (son of the original owner from the 1960s) took back the ownership and management of the bowling alley from Brunswick Corporation. The Bards are the family who built and lived in the home at 104th & Central Park with the bowling alley in the basement.

For those who have lived in this area for a long time, especially those living near the bowling alley, this without question has to be one of the GREATEST DEVELOPMENTS in the history of this neighborhood. It certainly is for me, even though I have only lived here for the past 12 years.

Because in my capacity as Oak Lawn’s 6th District Trustee I get all the police reports for incidents in this area, and the bowling alley is in the 6th District. TRUST ME when I say that the former “Brunswick Zone” was without questions the #1 criminal problem in our area for the past decade. Ask any Oak Lawn cop, any Evergreen Park cop, or any CPD form the 22nd District and they will tell you the same.

At first it was just a problem with punks, drunks and miscreants, then with gangster-wannabe's, and eventually it became a haven and hang-out for real gang-bangers, culminating in the violent shoot-out on 103rd Street in the summer of 2010 between 2 of Chicago’s hardest-core street gangs.

Since 2006 I have railed against Brunswick Corporation because I believed – and stated publicly – that Brunswick was purposefully marketing to these people with their urban night club atmosphere. Almost every offender arrested at Brunswick lived several miles away and often drove past several bowling alleys - through Evergreen Park, Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, etc. - to get to the “bowling alley” in Oak Lawn.

Things got pretty heated between Brunswick executives and me, and I even had to deal with other Village board members who were apologists for Brunswick’s bullshit.

Into this battle marched Bill Bard, the son of the guy who started Arena Lanes back in the 60s. I had never met nor talked to Bill Bard, but he later informed me that he frequently sat in on the Village board meetings when the debates with and about Brunswick took place. Bill still owned the bowling alley property and the offices that sit alongside it, and he told me he had enough of the problems as well.

When Brunswick tried to play hard-ball with Bill over their recent lease renewal, Bill decided not to renew their lease. And the problems there have almost completely disappeared. It wasn't unusual to have 4 and 5 police calls there in a WEEK a few years ago.


This isn't just about bowling - this is about NEIGHBORHOODS. And doing what we can to keep them safe, and to make them unattractive to criminals and gang-bangers by filling the place with families and children and actual bowling.

If the people of our community can make an effort to go there – to bowl, have parties, host fundraisers, etc - we could go a long way in helping Bill Bard and Arena Lanes re-establish themselves as the family-oriented entertainment destination they were always supposed to be, and that Bill Bard wants them to be.

Finally, for all the Facebook people out there, would you please do the following:

1. Click on the Arena Lanes Facebook page and “Like” it:

2. Click on the Arena Lanes web site, look for the Facebook icon, and then “Share” the web site with your FB Friends:

As the legendary Fred Rogers was fond of saying………..

“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!!!!!”


Tom Phelan

Alderman Moreno attacks Cardinal George!

Ald. Moreno the Moron
Hey Ald. Moreno, you're a big idiot. Do you think you're going to win this one?
From CBS CHICAGO. “I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval,” George said in the Sunday posting. “Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a ‘Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities’ and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it?”
The cardinal spent the rest of the post arguing against gay marriage using philosophical arguments.
“Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus,” he wrote.
George wrote that marriage by definition has to involve “complementary” genders, and that same-sex marriage is “a contradiction in terms, like a square circle. He also said people who are not Christian or religious at all “take it for granted” that marriage is between a man and a woman “for the sake of family, and, of its nature, for life.”
“Jesus affirmed this understanding of marriage when he spoke of ‘two becoming one flesh’ (Mt. 19: 4-6). Was Jesus a bigot? Could Jesus be accepted as a Chicagoan? Would Jesus be more “enlightened” if he had the privilege of living in our society?” he wrote.
He argued that same-sex marriage clashes with freedom of religion, and, “Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage.”
Chicago Archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan told the Chicago Tribune that the blog post had gotten the largest response the Archdiocese has ever seen, and most of it was “overwhelmingly positive.”
But Moreno fired back at the cardinal. Speaking to the Tribune, he accused the cardinal of saying “Jesus believes in this, and therefore we all must believe this,” a position he called “disingenuous and irresponsible.”
Moreno told the Tribune he was raised Catholic himself, served as an altar boy, and now occasionally attends church. He told the paper that the God he believes in is “about equal rights,” including the right to marriage.
Moreno also told the Tribune that he questions George’s right to the “moral high ground on equal rights,” noting the scandal in the Catholic Church surrounding pedophile priests.
Maybe Rahm can gag Moreno.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Support Chick fil A, today.

Buy a Chick fil A sandwich today and show your support for traditional family values.