Tuesday, November 3, 2009

China’s rise to superpower status

The graphs below says so much about the rise of an economic giant—China. 

Go to the Reuters Blog to see comments and comment:  http://blogs.reuters.com/from-reuterscom/2009/11/03/chinas-rise-to-superpower-status/


Illinois data on stimulus-related jobs saved, created don't add up

 Chicago Tribune

More than $4.7 million in federal stimulus aid so far has been funneled to schools in North Chicago, and state and federal officials say that money has saved the jobs of 473 teachers. Problem is, the district employs only 290 teachers.

compiled initially by the Illinois State Board of Education, appear riddled with anomalies that raise questions about their validity, according to a Tribune analysis

state treasury -- not students or school districts -- was the prime beneficiary of the education stimulus jackpot in Illinois. In great measure, funds simply were used to replace general aid payments already owed to local districts by the state.

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Illinois data on stimulus-related jobs saved, created don't add up -- chicagotribune.com

BLOG Count since September 28, 2009: 751 visits 327 distinct visitors



European court: No crucifixes in Italian schools


STRASBOURG, France -- Europe's court of human rights ruled Tuesday the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms under the continent's rights convention.

European court: No crucifixes in Italian schools :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: World

State’s attorney issues scam alert

Michelle Courier, State's ...

Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000. This contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor.

The law also requires that contractors carry at least minimum amounts of insurance

Click on the following for more detailsThe Belvidere Daily Republican. - State’s attorney issues scam alert

Farmers: China's lifting of pork ban 'positive'

2008 Illinois was the fourth-largest hog and pig producer in the country, and DeKalb County ranked number two in hog and pig production within the state

announcement last Thursday that it intends to lift a ban on U.S. pork imports in effect since May.

concerns about the H1N1 virus last spring, commonly dubbed "swine flu," caused several countries, including China, to shut down U.S. pork imports

Russia, another top importer of U.S. pork that banned the meat due to the flu outbreak, also loosened some of its restrictions in October,


Click on the following for more details: Farmers: China's lifting of pork ban 'positive' | Daily Chronicle

McHenry County won't leave video gambling decision to voters


Board voted 13-10 against a Feb. 2 advisory referendum on the issue, killing what proponents said was the best way to inform leaders where the public stood in expanding gambling into local businesses.

questioned whether the vote would be worth spending $17,000 to put a question on the ballot only to learn that voters are as narrowly split as the board.

board members now will turn their attention to a likely Dec. 1 vote on an ordinance banning video gambling from the about 45 restaurants, bars and other eligible businesses

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | McHenry County won't leave video gambling decision to voters

Developer: Block 37 site has 13 new retailers and is in foreclosure

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The embattled developer of downtown’s Block 37 site said today it has signed 13 new retailers for the project, which is scheduled to open later this month.

Bank of America has filed a foreclosure suit and asked that a judge appoint a receiver to take the project from Freed’s control. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Nov. 20.

Click on the following for more details on this famous Chicago site and its history  :http://www.studio1304.com/webcam/

For more details on the foreclosure/current events go to:    Developer: Block 37 site has 13 new retailers :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Business

Power windows can kill and injure kids, says report

consumer group is calling for US authorities to mandate “auto-reverse functions” on power windows, which can sense when the window hits an obstacle and immediately stop the window from closing.

research, conducted via phone and online surveys, was commissioned by KidsAndCars.org and administered by the research firm Harris Interactive.  It found that more than 13 million US adults have injured someone they know by closing a power window on them. It also found that 10 million people had been injured by a closing power window but did not seek medical assistance and were therefore not included in administration statistics.

Click on the following for more of the story:  Power windows can kill and injure kids, says report

Ill. gov. candidate Jim Ryan’s kickoff shadowed by Rezko figure

 Jim Ryan is currently the ...

the issue of Ryan’s long friendship with, and financial connections to, GOP insider Stuart Levine, who was convicted of federal money laundering charges for his ties to Blagojevich fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Levine has testified that he and Rezko worked together to fleece investment firms that wanted to do business with the state, using their Blago connections as leverage. Levine also admitted to leading a double life steeped in drugs.

Levine was close friends with Ryan since law school, had Ryan stand up at his wedding, and would go on to become Ryan’s biggest political contributor, giving him more than $700,000 over the years.

Ill. gov. candidate Jim Ryan’s kickoff shadowed by Rezko figure | Political Fix | STLtoday

Local Delinquent Taxpayers of 2009/2010

The following names are taken from the Illinois Dilinquent Taxpayers List 2009/2010, available at:   https://www.revenue.state.il.us/app/idti/servlet/IDTServlet?_CWSKEY=9491731281257304664017&_CWSREQ=2167342#

BELVIDERE, IL 61008-7176

President of Record
MARC J MCKINNEY 11/02/2009 (date of publication) Withholding(Type)
Mar 2008 (Liability date)
$10,070.16 (amount)

1012 E 6TH ST
BELVIDERE, IL 61008-4591
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2006

1716 13TH AVE
BELVIDERE, IL 61008-5836
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2002

1716 13TH AVE
BELVIDERE, IL 61008-5836
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2002

ROCKFORD, IL 61108-1503
11/02/2009 Sales
Feb 2008

ROCKTON, IL 61072-9466
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2001

ROCKFORD, IL 61103-3023
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 1999

ROCKFORD, IL 61108-7550
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2000

CALEDONIA, IL 61011-9233
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2004

10469 US HIGHWAY 20
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2004

ROCKFORD, IL 61114-5493
11/02/2009 Withholding Sales
Dec 2007
Dec 2007
Total: $10,072.92

11305 US HIGHWAY 20
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2005

PO BOX 105
PECATONICA, IL 61063-0105
11/02/2009 Individual
Dec 2007

Suspect in burglary gives judge middle finger, gets 6 months


... County Courthouse and IRAD

24-year-old Crystal Lake man, charged with home invasion, extended his middle finger as he was being sworn in before Judge G. Martin Zopp on Saturday.

At that point, a bailiff hustled him out of the courtroom, but Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally stepped forward and asked on behalf of the state that Kellett be held in direct criminal contempt.

The judge agreed, and gave Kellett six months, according to McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi.

Click on the following for more details:  Suspect in burglary gives judge middle finger, gets 6 months :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime

License revoked

The following are some local entries from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Disciplinary Orders in the month of September 2009.  See:  http://www.idfpr.com/Forms/DISCPLN/0909_dis.pdf  for the complete list.

Billy Jo Holcomb, Rockford – cosmetologist license (011-286522) issued and placed on indefinite probation for a minimum of three years due to felony conviction and unprofessional

Willis Alarms, South Beloit and John Willis, South Beloit – private alarm contractor agency license (127-000976) and permanent employee registration card (129-202752) indefinitely suspended for a minimum of three years after operating without the involvement of
the person listed as the licensee-in-charge.  See Page 8

Atreyo Kelly, Rockford – permanent employee registration card (129-326919) issued and placed on probation for one year due to criminal conviction. See Page 9

Charles Riforgiate, Hinkley – home inspector license (450-000433) fined $150 for not satisfying the required 12 hours of continuing education.  See page 9


Bradford Roberg, Crystal Lake – physician and surgeon license (036-063760) and controlled substance license (336-028221) restored to indefinite probation for a minimum of five years.  See page 11

Eric Miller, Rockford – registered nurse license (041-369885) placed on indefinite probation for a minimum of three years as a result of two Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol's prior to licensure.  See page 12

Dann Werve, Rockford – registered nurse license (041app2224323) to be issued and fined $500 due to unlicensed practice in Illinois. See page 13

The following individual’s real estate broker licenses were suspended after failing to file and/or pay Illinois state income taxes:
Clancy P. Green, Fontana, WI ....................................................................475-110820  Page 15

McHenry County Non-Union Pay Increases OK'd Despite Opposition

a request for a two percent increase in total pay for non-union county employees to go into a fund to be doled out at rates of anywhere from zero to four percent of a worker's pay, depending on performance.  "It's less than our union employees will get and even our own elected officials," he said

About half of the county's 1351 employees are non-union.  Six existing union contracts and two about to go into effect cover the rest

Click on the following for more details:  FirstElectricNewspaper: County Non-Union Pay Increases OK'd Despite Opposition

McHenry County Business Micro Loans Go Begging

Microlending: An idea for Boone County or Growth Dimensions? 

In July the County Board Finance and Audit Committee agreed to set aside $200,000 of the county's Revolving Loan fund for small loans of from $5,000 to $25,000 to local businesses. It's the only program of its kind left in the region.

the program requires not only collateral for each loan but also a personal loan guarantee.

a business plan with plausible estimates of income, expenses and cash flow.  "We do the same thing that we'd do for a bank loan," Final judgment rests with the Finance and Audit Committee.  So far only two applications have made it there for review. Both were rejected.

Read more about this program and others around the area by clicking on the following:  FirstElectricNewspaper: County Business Micro Loans Go Begging

ACCION Chicago is an alternative lending organization dedicated to providing credit and other business services to small business owners who do not have access to traditional sources of financing.  This has been apparently quite successful.  See its website at:  http://www.accionchicago.org/

GM opts to keep Opel, scraps sale to Magna


Opel OnderdelenbeursGM said it expected that restructuring Opel on its own would cost about 3 billion euros ($4.41 billion).

"GM will soon present its restructuring plan to Germany and other governments and hopes for its favorable consideration,

Germany had promised 4.5 billion euros ($6.58 billion) in aid to help close the Magna deal, which was widely seen as the option for Opel most likely to preserve jobs

German state of Hesse's premier, Roland Koch, said he was angered by GM's decision not to sell Opel to Magna, and that he wanted GM to pay back its bridge loan by November 30.

Click on the following for more detailsGM opts to keep Opel, scraps sale to Magna - Yahoo! News

Editorial - The Halliburton [Cheney] Loophole - NYTimes.com

New York Times Building ... 

It stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing. Invented by Halliburton in the 1940s, it involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals, some of them toxic, into underground rock formations to blast them open and release natural gas.

Congress last week approved a bill that asks the E.P.A. to conduct a new study on the risks of hydraulic fracturing.

even more important bill is waiting in the wings. Cumbersomely named the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, it would close the loophole and restore the E.P.A.’s rightful authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. It would also require the oil and gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.

Click on the following to read the opinion in its entirety:  Editorial - The Halliburton Loophole - NYTimes.com

Kane County halts H1N1 shot appointments


"We have no additional vaccine in the pipeline at this point, so we're not going to make additional appointments."

Like many surrounding counties, Kane County offered general clinics in October. Kane County officials ran low on vaccines, so they opted for individual appointments.

Read more by clicking on the following:  Daily Herald | Kane halts H1N1 shot appointments

Warrants are public record

Crystal Lake newspaper critical of practice of the McHenry County Court.

Search warrants obtained by law enforcement agencies in Illinois are a matter of public record after they’ve been executed and returned to the courts, with few exceptions.

By sealing so many search warrants for no valid reason, there’s no way the public can know whether its judicial system is acting properly in obtaining them.

And the few returned search warrants that have been unsealed locally also are hard to find. McHenry County Circuit Clerk Kathy Keefe said her office is in the process of fixing that. We’ll be checking back with the clerk as well.

Click the following for the complete opinion statement and comments from readers:  Northwest Herald | Warrants are public record

Foreclosures Climb in Suburban Communities


thinktank Woodstock Institute, Kane County foreclosure filings almost doubled in the third quarter from the same period last year. \

the foreclosure crisis has expanded to include middle-class people who have lost their jobs.  In the third quarter, DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties also saw big jumps.

when the economy bounces back, higher-income suburbs should recover quickly. He says he’s worried the same won’t be true for some lower-income communities.

Click on the following fo0r more of this story:  City Room™ - Business - Foreclosures Climb in Suburban Communities

State finances floundering amid signs of economic improvement


The University of Illinois Flash Index rose to 90.7 in October, an increase of seven-tenths of a point from the previous month and the first substantial increase since the current recession began two years ago.

University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who has compiled the Flash Index since 1995, said "considerable concern remains about the strength of the recovery, as evidenced by weak consumer spending."

Trotter says the state's situation remains dire. Vendors are months behind in getting paid for their services and Chicago transit systems say they need millions in state funds to avert service cuts or fare hikes.

Click on the following for more details:  State finances floundering amid signs of economic improvement

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