Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Citizens wish to reduce townships from 17 to 8 in McHenry County

The organization currently only has a one page website on which donations are taken.  SEE:  http://www.mcc4tc.org/

 

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Cal Skinner’s McHenry County Blog has a good summary of the proposal.

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“….A press release from Nunda Township Trustee and Nunda Township Republican Central Committee Chairman Mike Shorten:

Township Consolidation Initiative Launched Citizen Lead Effort to Reduce Government Units in McHenry County

Crystal Lake, IL March 31, 2015 — The McHenry County Citizens for Township Consolidation (MCCTC) announced plans today to pursue an initiative to reduce the number of Townships in McHenry County through consolidation via a binding referendum in the March 15, 2016 primary.”

….”This could be accomplished through petition, which would mean gathering 10,000 signatures, or by having the McHenry County Board place a referendum on the ballot.

Organizers are looking at the March, 2016, primary election date so township governments would have about a year to figure out details. The next township elections would occur in the spring of 2017.

Voters in any township could vote down the referendum.  If a township’s residents did so, there would be no change in their township government.

Township populations in 2010 were as follows:

  • Algonquin – 88,389
  • Grafton – 53,137
  • McHenry – 47,653
  • Nunda – 38,245
  • Dorr – 20,911
  • Greenwood – 13,990
  • Chemung – 9,134
  • Marengo – 7,564
  • Richmond – 6,683
  • Burton – 5,003
  • Coral – 3,552
  • Seneca – 2,994
  • Riley – 2,922
  • Dunham – 2,844
  • Hebron – 2,356
  • Hartland – 2,031
  • Alden – 1,402

To read all this article go to:  http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2015/03/31/effort-to-combine-townships-announced/

Obama vetoes Republican bid to block union election rules - Yahoo News

 

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday vetoed a measure by Republicans in Congress that would have blocked a government labor agency's rules designed to speed up the time it takes to unionize workers.

The rules would shorten the period between a union filing a petition to represent workers and an election, from the current median of 38 days to as little as 14 days. Employers would be required to share workers' names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses with unions.

The National Labor Relations Board adopted the rules last year and they are set to take effect April 14.

The Senate and House of Representatives, voting along party lines, approved a resolution this month that would have stopped enactment of the rules.

On Tuesday Obama, following through on a threat to reject the resolution, said the rules represented modest changes that would make it easier for workers to unionize.

"Unions historically have been at the forefront of establishing things like the 40-hour work week, the weekend, child labor laws, fair benefits and decent wages," Obama said at a press conference.

The labor board still faces court challenges in Washington, D.C. and Texas over the new process from business groups who say it violates the National Labor Relations Act by not giving employers enough time to prepare for elections.

Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican and chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said in a statement that the new process would only help unions.

"With his veto, the president has endorsed an ambush election rule that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of working families," Kline said.

The NLRB and Democrats who support the rules say they were designed to rein in misconduct by a minority of employers who draw out the union election process in order to threaten and intimidate workers.

An NLRB spokeswoman declined to comment on Obama's rejection of the resolution.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, N.Y. and Julia Edwards in Washington; Editing by Grant McCool)

Obama vetoes Republican bid to block union election rules - Yahoo News

Monday, March 30, 2015

JUF News : Governor Rauner hosts model Seder

 

Governor Bruce Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner hosted a model Seder at the Governor’s Mansion Tuesday night.  About 75 legislators and executive branch officials as well as Jewish Federation leaders from across the state participated.

The evening’s co-host committee included JUF board members Keith (Marci) Shapiro and Morrie Silverman (Lori Komisar) and former JUF Annual Campaign Chairman Andy (Diane) Lappin as well as Kelly and Jeff Brincat. The service was led by Rabbi Avraham Kagan of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois.

Each of the 10 tables took turns leading the Seder, the first ever for several of the legislators present.

Governor Rauner welcomed the attendees – not to his and his wife’s governor’s mansion, but to “the house of the people of Illinois … your house,” indicating a desire to have many more such events in the future.  He also stressed the eternal lessons that are central to the Passover story, and their enduring relevance to the challenges our world and community still face.

Talking about nefarious efforts to impose boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) on Israel, the governor stressed how disingenuous and dangerous such efforts are in general and especially on college campuses, pledging not only his opposition to such campaigns but that Illinois will be a national leader in the battle against BDS.

The first lady added, “It was very meaningful for us to celebrate this very important holiday in our new home with representatives of the Jewish community throughout the state.”

JUF Executive Vice President Jay Tcath, who attended Tuesday night’s Seder as well as ones hosted by previous governors, welcomed the re-launching of the tradition, saying, “it’s a treat to take time off from the usual business of pressing state governmental affairs and to share, with the Governor, Diana, state senators and reps and Jewish Federation colleagues from across Illinois, something as enjoyable and meaningful as a model Seder.

"The chance to schmooze in such an informal, beautiful, historic setting is always special, and many thanks are due to the Rauners and the four co-host families, all great supporters of JUF and our Jewish community. And thanks also to Richard Goldberg, Rauner's deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs for his partnership on this and on the many issues of concern to our community."

JUF News : Governor Rauner hosts model Seder

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Obamacare 'death panel' challenge - Yahoo News

 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law that took aim at a bureaucratic board labeled by some Republicans as a "death panel" because it was designed to cut Medicare costs.

The high court left intact a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that threw out the lawsuit.

The court’s action in an unsigned order was a victory for Obama administration, which has faced a barrage of legal challenges to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. The court is currently weighing a separate case challenging health insurance subsidies that are key to Obamacare’s implementation. A ruling is due by the end of June.

In the case that the justices rejected on Monday, Arizona-based business owner Nick Coons and Dr. Eric Novack, an orthopedic surgeon, sued in 2011 in litigation backed by a conservative legal group.

Among other things, they challenged the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member government panel dubbed by some Republicans as a "death panel" because of its intended role in trimming costs within Medicare, the government healthcare program for the elderly and disabled.

Lower courts threw out the lawsuit. In its August 2014 ruling, the appeals court said that the plaintiffs had not shown they had suffered any harm that they could sue over.

On the IPAB claim, the court noted that under the terms of the healthcare law, the board acts only if Medicare spending increases at a certain level. The earliest it could ever take any action that could potentially reduce Novack’s Medicare reimbursements would be in 2019.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Phoenix, Arizona-based conservative Goldwater Institute, also challenged a provision of the law, known as the individual mandate, that requires Americans to obtain health insurance. Those claims were also rejected.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate in 2012.

The case on which the court acted on is Coons v. Lew, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-525

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Obamacare 'death panel' challenge - Yahoo News

No action on wind farm by Brown County health board | Wind Energy News

 

Credit: Doug Schneider | Press-Gazette Media | March 3, 2015 | www.greenbaypressgazette.com ~~

They met for 90 minutes behind closed doors with their attorney Tuesday, but members of the Brown County Board of Health were unable to agree on their next step regarding a wind farm they say poses a health threat to its neighbors.

Board members had hoped they might act on their October declaration that the turbines at the Shirley Wind Farm in southern Brown County emit low-frequency noise that poses health risks. They met with county Corporation Counsel Juliana Ruenzel, but the only concrete action they took was to draft a brief statement.

The board “is working on strategies to help the citizens of Glenmore,” said Dr. Jay Tibbetts, the panel’s medical adviser. “Period.”

Members then adjourned.

County officials in October said the board needed to take action to protect people living near the turbines from adverse health effects. But it remains unclear what action the board can take, and Tibbetts couldn’t say when they will act.

Duke Energy Renewables operates the farm. Company representatives weren’t at the meeting, but have said repeatedly that sounds produced by the turbines cannot be linked to health problems.

About 20 families have experienced health issues they blame on the turbines, which began operating in 2010. Three families abandoned their homes, citing health problems they link to the wind farm.

“There people weren’t interested in moving out of their communities,” said Barbara Vanden Boogart, vice president of the grassroots group Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy. She said the families who left believed they had no other way to stay healthy.

Tibbetts said the health board is paying attention to two recent studies from Australia that found people living in three homes near a wind farm were suffering health issues linked to the sounds from the turbines. The board also has taken notice of a municipally owned wind farm in Massachusetts that has cut its hours of operation by more than half because of concerns that turbines are making neighbors ill.

“We continue to take (citizens’ concerns) seriously, and we are working on the problem,” Tibbetts said after Tuesday’s meeting. “We’re tackling a problem that a lot of communities have not.”

Learn more

Wind turbine page from the Brown County Board of Health: http://bit.ly/1CtatJH

Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy: http://www.bccrwe.com/

Duke Energy Renewables: http://www.duke-energy.com/commercial-renewables/

No action on wind farm by county health board | Wind Energy News

BC Health Department report finds “no evidence” of health threat from noise from wind turbines

Following report was submitted by Boone County Health Department staff regarding noise concerns voiced by several board members of Boone County Health Board. At Monday’s board meeting the directors discussed the report and took no action.

As stated on Page C:  Report:  “This review has not found enough consistent or empirical evidence to suggest that sub-threshold noise generated by wind turbines is a direct health threat to the general public”

BC Health Staff Report on WInd Turbine sound 1of 4

BC Health Staff Report on WInd Turbine sound 2of 4

BC Health Staff Report on WInd Turbine sound 3of 4

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You can also make and see comments regarding this posting on Boone County Community Forum. 

Go to: https://www.facebook.com/bccforum Shown below is the entry regarding this issue.

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22 States Where You Could Lose Your License for Not Paying Your Student Loans - Yahoo Finance

 

Failing to repay student loans has all sorts of terrible consequences, but in some states, more than just your financial well-being is at risk — student loan default could cost you your professional certification or even your driver's license.

Two state legislatures (Iowa and Montana) are considering bills that would repeal laws that allow states to suspend the driver's licenses of student loan defaulters, Bloomberg reported in a March 25 piece on the topic. Even if those repeals succeed, several other states have such laws in place. Some states suspend licenses needed to practice in certain fields, from health care to cosmetology, though license suspension can extend to driving, too.

Repeal advocates argue that license suspension is a counterintuitive punishment for student loan defaulters, because it may keep them from working, which theoretically enables them to repay their debts. That's the case Montana state Rep. Moffie Funk is making for the bill she introduced to repeal the state's law that allows driver's license suspension, Bloomberg reports.

According to a list from the National Consumer Law Center, 22 states have laws that enable suspension of state licenses issued to student loan defaulters. The professions and licenses affected by suspensions vary by state and cover a wide range of earning potential, but some of them include doctors, social workers, barbers, transportation professionals and lawyers — the lists can be quite extensive. If your state is on the list and you're at risk of defaulting, you might want to research the details:

Alabama
Alaska
California
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Mississippi
Montana
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington

Student loan default trashes your credit, and the loans continue to incur interest and fees as long as they remain unpaid, so getting out of default can be very challenging. If you have federal student loans, as most people who borrow do, there are many options available to you before you're 270 days past due on your student loan payments (that's the definition of default): You can apply for income-based repayment or pay-as-you-earn programs, in addition to applying for an extended repayment period, which will raise the cost of your loans in the long run but make them more affordable now.

If you want to see how your student loans are affecting your credit, you can get your free credit scores, updated monthly, on Credit.com. You can check your credit reports for free once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com. Because student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy and default can be catastrophic for your credit, it's crucial to prioritize making your loan payments on time.

22 States Where You Could Lose Your License for Not Paying Your Student Loans - Yahoo Finance