Friday, April 17, 2009

Why Republicans Should Back Universal Health Care - The Atlantic Business Channel

 

There's a massive constituency behind the policy. Buffeted by the recession and the threat of losing their employer-provided health insurance, the American people want universal coverage. Much of the US business community wants it too.

Why Republicans Should Back Universal Health Care - The Atlantic Business Channel

School District 100’s Investment Report

The Illinois Compiled Statues required that the Board of Education of all school districts review at least every three months district investments.  I have raised a complaint regarding the board’s failure to comply with this requirement a number of times.  In order to insure better compliance, I plan on posting this report every three months.

For purpose of comparison, I am posting Boone County’s investment report for the similar period.  The County Treasurer provides monthly reports of the county’s investments.

District 100 requests bids only from banks which have a branch office within District 100 and from Illinois School District Liquid Asset Fund(ISDLF). Boone County request bids from banks and insured credit unions within the county and just outside its borders.  Deposits from all institutions must either be federally insured or secured by high quality federal or state securities.  With the exception of community colleges, the laws regulating the investments of schools and other local governments are nearly identical.   District 100 has chosen not to request bids from credit unions and other than ISDLF, financial institutions outside of District 100.  Click on the photocopies to enlarge.

District 100 Investment Report for 3-31-2009

3-31-2009 Investment Report

Boone County Investment Report for 3-21-2009

3-25-2009 Investmnet Report  3-21-2009  page21

Lawsuit filed against DeKalb County, Sheriff's Department | Daily Chronicle

According to the updated Boone County budget -- DeKalb County is now  sending inmates to Boone County Jail. 

The lawsuit alleges that officers [of DeKalb County] left Brantley alone with equipment they knew could be used to inflict harm, that deputies failed to take adequate measures to protect Brantley from herself and that they failed to reasonably monitor her even though they knew she was under the influence of drugs or other illegal substances.

Read more by clicking on the following:  Lawsuit filed against county, sheriff's department | Daily Chronicle

Boone County gave a $580,000 gift to the “The Glen of Belvidere”, Assisted Living Facility

Since December 2008 I have been asking questions to city and county officials concerning the proposed assisted living facility.  The county has granted a sizeable gift to the developers of this project, the Kensington Group which operate North Woods and Maple Crests Nursing Homes in Belvidere.  The actual transaction for much of this gift was finalized in 2006.  I am very surprise that it has been so difficult to obtain the nature and value of the transaction. 

Value of land, (see the recent email from Mr. Terrinoni):  $470,340

Donations from Maple Crest Charitable Trusts for landscaping:                                                                                         $110,000

Plus there are a few more costs to the county. There also was $7,500 paid in 2007 to a grant writer for an unsuccessful state grant application and the in house costs of the 2008 application.

Previous I have questioned whether a tax  assessment agreement similar to that proposed in the Peaker Plant be attached to the lease.  It is not possible to require Kensington Group (nor the peaker plant) to arbitrate any future tax assessment on the assisted living facility, (see email below.)

 

In response to Mr.. Mattison's letter to me dated March 23, 2009, below are answers to your questions as I understand them:

1.  Regarding questions on tax assessment:

     A.    Per recent legal advice given to the County Board in reference to the "peaker plant" tax assessment, we cannot as county officials involve ourselves in the process of determining taxable value for properties.  In similar fashion we cannot pre-negotiate the property taxes for the new supportive living facility.  I did provide my best guess of those tax revenues and a spreadsheet is attached.

2.  Regarding questions on the lease:

      A.    The final lease is not yet negotiated with the company or HUD and what value is placed  What we have in place now is a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the obligations of the parties. I sent that to you some time ago.  Adding the land to the proposal gave the County the edge in receiving the state tax credit award of 9%.  In addition to that cash has been pledged for landscaping and other improvements that were necessary to receive the tax credits.  Thus, the land would be considered a financial concession to make the project qualify for tax credits.

3.   Regarding additional costs to the taxpayers:

      A.  I can only think of gain to the taxpayer through additional property taxes and up to 40 jobs being created. The company has promised to cover all costs related to extending sewer and water to the site.

4.   What is the value of the land?

      A. The appraisal at the time placed the value of the land at $470,340.

Mr. Terrinoni

Citigroup: Will Bank Comeback Mean Taxpayer Payback? - ABC News

 

But the bad news is that lending to consumers and businesses is still lower than it was before the start of the recession

The bailout is giving the government leverage, and they don't want to give that up."

Citigroup: Will Bank Comeback Mean Taxpayer Payback? - ABC News

Barney Frank's Double Indemnity - WSJ.comOne

Barnet Franks 

One thing to remember ,  when Boone County borrowed  $5 million for its administrative buildings a cool $200,000 had to be paid for insurance on those bonds.  Perhaps this legislation would curtail those costs.

FDIC-like federal insurance program for municipal bonds.

 

Read more by clicking on the following:  Barney Frank's Double Indemnity - WSJ.com

Closing On F-22 Stealth Fighter Production

 

The leaders pointed out they remain dedicated to air superiority and have confidence that a combination of the 187 F-22 fleet Congress has approved and the 2,443 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters the Defense Department plans to buy will provide that.

Read more by clicking on the following:  An Era Begins Closing On F-22 - Government Inc.

The White House - Blog Post - A Vision for High Speed Rail

rail_map_d3 

What we're talking about is a vision for high-speed rail in America.  Imagine boarding a train in the center of a city.  No racing to an airport and across a terminal, no delays, no sitting on the tarmac, no lost luggage, no taking off your shoes.  (Laughter.)  Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination.  Imagine what a great project that would be to rebuild America.

Click on the following to view the entire news release from the White HouseThe White House - Blog Post - A Vision for High Speed Rail

Northwest Herald | More enroll in trucking courses to find jobs in tough economy

Aside from providing drivers with extra practice, the course length also qualifies it as accredited so students can apply for financial aid to cover the nearly $4,000 class costs.

The return on investment can be major, though. Students potentially make a $45,000 salary immediately after the class

As many as 100 potential students have been showing up on registration days, despite the fact that the class fills up at 30.

Read the rest of the story by clicking on the following:  Northwest Herald | More enroll in trucking courses to find jobs in tough economy

Cobbled Effort Seeks to Fill Food Safety Vacuum - NYTimes.com

Though she is a California state employee, Ms. Anderson was working on behalf of the food industry, part of the latest experiment in improving safety.

Under the agreement, the produce industry pays the California Department of Agriculture about $1 million a year to perform about 500 inspections, a fifth of them unannounced. Participation in marketing agreements is voluntary, but in California, more than 95 percent of the leafy greens industry signed up, in part because major processors like Dole and Fresh Express agreed to participate

To read more about self-regulation in the lettuce industry, click on the following:  Cobbled Effort Seeks to Fill Food Safety Vacuum - NYTimes.com

Obama Adviser Said to Be Tied to Pension Deal - NYTimes.com

The man leading the Obama administration’s efforts to restructure the auto industry has been described in Securities and Exchange Commission documents as having arranged for his investment firm to pay more than $1 million to obtain New York State pension business.

“Our expectation is that no action will be taken,”

Obama Adviser Said to Be Tied to Pension Deal - NYTimes.com

Rosarito police officer's beheaded body found

Here is what it is like on the other side of the U.S. / Mexican border. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Rosarito police officer's beheaded body found

2:00 a.m. April 17, 2009

A Rosarito Beach police officer was found dead yesterday, a day after he was kidnapped, authorities said.

The Baja California Attorney General's Office identified the victim as Juan Eduardo Huerta Carrera, 49. His decapitated body was discovered inside a 2009 Dodge Durango with California plates found parked on the side of a highway.

Huerta had been reported kidnapped Wednesday from the entrance of an exclusive neighborhood. A police department spokesman said Huerta had been on the force less than a year and was an auxiliary officer.

Authorities reported the shooting death of Rosarito Beach's deputy police commander, Tomás Cárdenas, on April 4. Three days later, a group of federal police agents survived an ambush in Tecate.

A Tijuana police officer was shot to death and another gravely wounded in an attack April 11. So far this year, 10 officers from Tijuana and Rosarito have been killed. –O.M.G.

Rosarito police officer's beheaded body found