Sunday, March 29, 2009

GM’s Wagner gone; FIAT new Chrysler Partner; US may back warrantees of any bankrupt auto company

This is a developing story, the details of which may only be released by early PM on Monday, March 30.

The Big (Troubled) ThreeGraphc Nardeli

The Big (Troubled) Three

Click on the following for current details:

SOX-CUBS Fans may be able to have free Chevrolets—remember to read the small print

Last year both the Cubs and White Sox went to the playoffs.  If you are real believers here is an opportunity to obtain a free car.cub-sox fans

Boone County Government for March

The following is as reported in the Boone County Journal.  Read the  story by clicking on:            

County Government March in Review
By Rebecca Osterberg
Providing day care services for seniors helps people
remain in their homes as long as possible. The Brightside
Adult Day Services sponsored by Lifescape Community
Services gave a presentation to the Boone County Board
Health and Human Services Committee in their March
The center, a block from downtown Belvidere, offers a
chance for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s,
and other health conditions to participate in activities and
meals with care givers as well as their peers.
The center allows respite care for primary care givers
who work during the day or cannot otherwise leave their
charges alone.
“We provide breakfast, lunch and snack,” said Donna
Addison, the director of the center. Addison made a
presentation introducing the business to members of the
Boone County Health and Human Services Committee on
Thursday evening.
“We are just down the street at the Salvation Army in
the back. We have a nice little space,” Addison said. “Our
biggest problem is that people don’t know we are there.”
Committee members asked about capacity and funding.
“If a person can’t pay, you don’t deny them” asked County
Representative Cathy Ward (District 2).
“No,” replied Addison. “We find a way to help them.”
Many financial assistance programs are available and some
care qualifies for payment by Medicare, and staff assists
patrons in finding the best way to get assistance.
“We have a capacity for 35, but our census has been
eight,” Addison said. “So we have lots of room for more
people.” Addison explained that the center has one staff
member per six participants.
Family members and other care givers drop off participants
and Keen Age Center also provides transportation. The
center has been at the Salvation Army location for almost
two years. There are two Brightside centers located in
Power Ventures Group was given the go ahead to start
construction of their Garden Prairie Power Plant with the
approval of their special use request by the Boone County
Board at the March regular meeting.
County Board Representative Marshall Newhouse
(District 1) who also chairs the County Board Planning,
Zoning and Building Committee spoke of a trip he and two
other board members made to the company’s Hayes, Kansas
facility. Newhouse commented on several conversations
he had with municipal officers in Hayes, Kansas, where the
peaker plant they toured was located.
Roads, property values and noise production were of
primary concern and were addressed by the board with
numerous questions to the developer. Jeff Craig from
Burns and McDonald, the firm that designs and builds
the plants noted that the location, near the Interstate 90
Tollway would not add decibels that were discernable to
the human ear, louder than conversation. In addition the
company promised to add extra soundproofing to further
ameliorate the noise from the 100-megawatt plant’s natural
gas-powered engines.
“We are very concerned with the area and there have
been some particular upgrades,” said Craig. “As part of
the possible impact on county and Spring Township roads
we have made agreements [that address that]. As far as
environmental impact we are very cognizant of the issues.
I admit, west Kansas does not compare to this area. We
recently interviewed with the farm preservation group and
entered into an agreement to provide funds to purchase land
in the future that would be preserved for ag uses.” Craig
also noted that sound has been addressed with additional
sound proofing.
Observing the growth in many communities, Craig
said he had attended more than a hundred meetings at
municipalities considering similar projects. “On one hand
people understand the need for infrastructure, airports,
roads, communication systems,” said Craig. “But while
that’s true, they also don’t want those facilities located [near]
them. Our company tries to address those issues. We listen.
This is our seventh public hearing on this plan. Finally and,
more importantly, we respond. Whether it’s agreeing to put
more soundproofing in. agreeing to farmland mitigation
issues. I think it’s a very good project for Boone County
and it is in a good location.”
The Boone County Liquor Code was also reviewed with
several changes added and approved at the March meeting.

“Consideration was given to several changes according
to the county’s liquor code,” said Boone County Board
Representative Terri Glass (District 3). Glass, also the
vice-chairman of the board, was principal in the liquor code
review which began with during the tenure of former board
chairman and County Board Representative Cathy Ward.
The review continued with the new Board Chairman Bob
Walberg (District 1), with the assistance of Boone County
State’s Attorney Michelle Courier.
Some of the changes came as a result of the State of
Illinois ban on smoking that went into effect January 1 of
2008. With that legislation, smoking became illegal in
restaurants, bars, nightclubs, workplaces, and all public
buildings. The law also prohibits smoking within 15 feet of
building entrances, exits, and windows.
Boone County Liquor Control Ordinance 09-07 amends
the current code to allow area clubs and taverns to establish
outdoor beer gardens in addition to other changes, both
major and minor. The definition of a beer garden is just
one of the many that are hoped to clarify the county’s
code, providing a better understanding by vendors and less
confusion in enforcement of the laws. Another section to see
revision was the type of liquor licenses the county issues
and includes two “riders” as defined by the code. “Attention
was paid to the definition of a ‘roaming’ license and how
the code should apply to such a situation,” said Glass. That
rider would allow for businesses that hold a Class A, B, C or
D license to purchase a Class E or F license.
The Class E license authorizes the retail sale of alcohol
beyond the confines of the premises and at this time does
not require an additional fee. The Class F license authorizes
a caterer to serve liquor as part of a prepared meal to
customers, but excludes the serving of snack foods as a
primary meal. The cost for this rider is $1,000, in addition
to the primary liquor license held by the vendor.
Glass explained to committee members that the language
was made very clear so as not to allow for any sort of liberal
interpretation by vendors.
To address special events, there is also a section that
provides for short-term liquor licenses. This was of concern
to many board members when it came to those wishing to
hold fund raisers and other events.
“For $25 they can apply for a one-day license,” said Glass.
“They can also apply for a two- or three-day license for the
same amount. I think it should be $25 a day so it would be
$50 for two and $75 for three.” Committee members voted
to amend the fee amount to reflect that language and in a
final unanimous vote, to recommend approval of all the
changes to the liquor code.
Coyotes are becoming a major nuisance to residents in the
Distillery Road area. Although it is within the jurisdiction
of the City of Belvidere, the area is also the responsibility of
Boone County Animal Control (BCAC).
BCAC Director Roger Tressemer told members of the
Health and Human Services Committee on last month that
he was aware of coyotes interbreeding with feral dogs but
had not been made aware of recent aggression. “This
[crossbreeding] makes them much less timid in addition to
increasing their size,” said Tressemer.
“My understanding is that there is open season on
coyotes in Illinois all year,” Tressemer responded. “You are
getting the aggression when they crossbreed with domestic
dogs. They become more aggressive and aren’t as afraid of
people. We are trying to work with the DNR [Department
of Natural Resources] to address the problem.”
While trapping is an option, the problem with most
Distillery Road residents is that their homes are within the
city limits of Belvidere, where the discharge of firearms
is against city laws. Belvidere and Boone County are
both tackling financial issues that are currently hitting the
shared Public Safety Building hard. Both the City County
Coordinating and Public Safety Committees worked for
hours in March to find a solution to infrastructure problems
that exist in the Public Safety Building.
Boone County Sheriff Duane Wirth and Public Safety
Building facility manager Sgt. Perry Gay made it clear they
welcomed any help but weren’t willing to plan for something
that there was no money to pay for. “I don’t want to turn
down the offer,” Wirth said, “but I don’t want to make plans,
as we have in the past, for something we don’t have the
money to complete.”
Wirth offered that if there were solutions that were
affordable as well as feasible, then he was all for the effort.
After a tour of the facility in recent weeks, board
members discovered more than a few looming problems,
particularly with the facility’s sewer pipes that are directly
above the entire communication system. Wirth’s concern
was that to go to vendors again and again only to renege on
any promise of work could make them lose respectability
with the businesses. Boone County Representative
Danny Anderson (District 2), who is a building contractor
experienced with plumbing, toured the building after the
public safety meeting. “You can’t move that pipe,” said
Anderson. “That’s part of the problem. It seems like a
great idea, but it may not be practical. You’ve got to get
the electronics away from the pipes. It’s not how, it’s when.
We’ve got to get a new building. Maybe we can have the
foresight to make the move part of the cost and make it
eventually be the first part of the new PSB.”
Committee members voted to recommend support of
directing County Administrator Ken Terrinoni to meet with
law enforcement and representatives of Cordogan Clark &
Associates, architects.

Beaver Creek Watershed Plan - Dear Editor:


Beaver Creek Watershed Plan—is it working or not?

Click on the following to read this “letter to the editor::

The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Dear Editor:

Companies Pretty Up Prices to Win Stimulus Projects -

Beware of some low ball bids--

it is common for a company to try to undercut its competition with a low bid and then, once it has won the job, try to eke out a profit by putting in numerous change orders that drive up the price and delay the project

To read more, click on the following:

Companies Pretty Up Prices to Win Stimulus Projects -

Brookfield Zoo gorilla dies :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State

Interesting story.  All the great zoos of the past( 1930-1960’s) usually had a large gorilla as their biggest attraction. This is a sad story about a very old female gorilla.

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Brookfield Zoo gorilla dies :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State