Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lenders to auction Whistler [Alpine ski events] during Olympics

Canada's Whistler Blackcomb resort, site of several alpine-ski events during next month's Winter Olympics, will be on the auction block during the Games.

Intrawest's corporate owner, New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group, last fall missed a $524 million payment on a $1.4 billion debt. Since then, the fund has been negotiating with its lenders — reportedly the defunct Lehman Bros. and hedge fund Davidson Kempner.

Olympics | Lenders to auction Whistler during Olympics | Seattle Times Newspaper

Obama to Propose Limits on Big Banks

Barack Obama (Image provided by Pete Souza)restrictions similar to those passed in the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933

prohibit proprietary trading of financial securities, including mortgage-backed securities, by commercial banks using deposits in their commercial banking sectors. Big losses in the trading of those securities precipitated the credit crisis in 2008 and the federal bailout.

Only a handful of large banks would be the targets of the proposal, among them Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street trading house,

Click on the following for more details:  Obama to Propose Limits on Big Banks -

Kane updates getting officers into court

 Email comes to Kane County police.

Kane County Courthouse ...Each week more than 300 officers from more than 30 different police agencies are notified by the Kane County state's attorney's office that their presence is required in court….The amount of time, paper and pay spent notifying officers now will be significantly reduced, as the process shifts from snail mail to e-mail….The new system, piloted in Aurora 18 months ago, requires the county's more than 1,500 officers to be linked to e-mail addresses which they check daily.

Click on the following for more details:  Kane updates getting officers into court :: Beacon News :: Local News

Carpentersville officials fear apocalyptic budget cuts

Village Hall

Sales tax revenue is down 6 percent; income tax revenue, down 16 percent; and the village's current equalized assessed valuation -- on which its property tax is based -- is an estimated $710.82 million, a 1.34 percent decrease from last year.

Click on the following for more details:  C'ville officials fear apocalyptic budget cuts :: The Courier News :: Local News

Sycamore approves sales tax increase

The increase takes the home rule sales tax from 1.25 percent to 1.75 percent. The minimum sales tax in Illinois is 6.25 percent, which includes state, county and city taxes. With the current home rule tax, Sycamore's sales tax rate is 7.5 percent. The increase will result in an overall sales tax rate of 8 percent starting July 1.

The council also approved 7-0 a resolution to review the sales tax increase in September 2012 to determine if it should be rolled back or diminished.

Click on the following for more details:  Sycamore approves sales tax increase | Daily Chronicle

Palin will campaign for McCain's Senate bid

VP Palin, Tina Fey Separated ... John McCain goes VoIP

Arizona Republican senator announced Wednesday that the former Alaska governor, who was his pick for vice president, will join him in Phoenix in late March to boost his U.S. Senate campaign.

Click on the following for more detailsDaily Herald | Palin will campaign for McCain's Senate bid

Local birther's court request tossed

McHenry County judge denied a Fox River Grove woman’s request to present to a grand jury her claims that President Barack Obama’s citizenship amounts to widespread voter fraud….

Meroni said she plans to appeal Prather’s decision.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Bora said the law does not allow private individuals to act as a prosecutor before a grand jury.  “There is no legal recourse for a private individual who wants to go before a grand jury with their own private agenda,” Bora said.

Click on the following for more details:  Northwest Herald | Local birther's court request tossed

Robert Reich: What Scott Brown's Victory Really Mean

Robert Reich

voters are petrified of losing their jobs, their homes, and what’s left of their savings. Nothing counts more than the economy.

What happens next November depends both on the extent of joblessness and the direction the economy is moving in.

Obama and the Dems are in a box. The only sure-fire way to get jobs back is for them to do more deficit spending. After all, consumers are still in no mood to spend, businesses won’t invest without consumers to buy the fruits of such investments, and exports are still in the tank. Government remains the purchaser of last resort.

Deep and continuing economic stresses bring out demagogues, xenophobes, racists, and opportunists who channel people’s fears and anxieties into resentments against other people

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Robert Reich

Candlewick Lake restaurant closes, may re-open

 ... IL - Rockford Register Star

If a lease deal can be finalized with the interested party, the restaurant may open as soon as they are ready to do so. Otherwise, Carter said the association will re-open the restaurant in May, as it is an integral part to so many summer activities within the community.

Click on the following for more details:  The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Candlewick Lake restaurant closes, may re-open

Quinn dangles remap as tax-hike battle nears

Governor Pat QuinnMr. Quinn never explicitly linked reapportionment to votes on his plan to boost the state income tax, which he wants to push through in the month or so following the Feb. 2 primaries. Nor was the possibility of exerting some leverage exactly lost on him in his edit board appearance.
   "If I win the primary, like I expect to do, I think some politicians suddenly will like me," he said. Then he smiled.
    The Senate already has passed the governor's tax bill, but the matter has been caught in the House, where Speaker Mike Madigan rules.

Click on the following for the complete story:  Quinn dangles remap as tax-hike battle nears | Greg Hinz | Crain's Chicago Business

‘Cash for appliances’ starts Jan. 31


starting Jan. 31 heating and cooling equipment will receive an instant rebate from contractors that are listed on the ComEd, AmerenIU or Participating Energy Efficiency Contractor (PEEC)

April 16-25 — when shoppers will get a 15 percent discount at the cash register for buying a new washer, dryer, refrigerator, oven, microwave or other appliance with the Energy Star seal of approval.

Shoppers who arrange to have an old appliance hauled away when their new one is delivered will get a mail-in rebate of $50 to $100 per old appliance.

Click on the following for more details:  ‘Cash for appliances’ starts Jan. 31 :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Personal Finance

Why German public schools now teach Islam

Germany’s Constitution stipulates that religion be part of school curriculum. The initiative was born out of the atrocities of the Nazi era, and aimed at giving young people an ethical foundation and a sense of identity. Roman Catholics and Protestants have conducted such classes (publicly funded) for decades, and Jews were given similar rights in 2003.

Taught by church- or synagogue-appointed teachers with curricula certified by the state’s education ministries, religion classes are graded, but not mandatory….Germans are now more willing to view immigration as part of the country’s identity, and not long ago, then-Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that it was urgent for Germany’s 900,000 Muslim pupils to be granted state-funded religious teaching

Read the rest of the story by clicking on the following:  Why German public schools now teach Islam / The Christian Science Monitor -

New York Times to Charge Frequent Readers of Web Site

New York Times    Starting in early 2011, visitors to will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. is by far the most popular newspaper site in the country

better positioned than other general-interest papers to charge — and also gives The Times more to lose if the move backfires.

Click on the following for more details:  New York Times to Charge Frequent Readers of Web Site -

Wait promises to limit any double-dip if elected

The following is a press release I received from Mr. Wait’s campaign.  I am a bit confused by the amount of pension and other benefits which  Mr. Wait is volunteering to forfeit but perhaps you can understand it.  Representative Ron Wait ...

Belvidere , IL - With the February 2nd Primary election two weeks away, Ron Wait (R-Belvidere), candidate for Boone County Resident Circuit Judge, is proving to voters why he is the best candidate for the judgeship by forfeiting a 50 percent pay increase and his tax-payer funded pension he is set to receive upon retirement from the General Assembly. Ron believes that positions in government including the judiciary are positions of public service. That is why he has never accepted a paycheck from multiple government sources. In these economic times, this policy of Ron’s rings even more true. That’s why Ron is now re-affirming this pledge as your candidate for judge.

After representing Boone County as your state representative for nearly 30 years, Wait would qualify for a pay increase due to his length of service; however, citing his personal policy of being a public servant, Wait pledges to surrender his entire pension and return the increase to the taxpayers while serving as judge.

“We are faced with one of the worst economic crises in recent history, and Boone County is burdened with the worst of it,” said Wait. “It is unfair and wrong for any elected official to accept multiple taxpayer-funded pensions, whether we are facing tough times or not. Once I am elected Boone County Judge, I will return my pension to the hard-working taxpayers.”

The Boone County Resident Circuit Judge position is newly-created, it is uncertain as to whether or not the state will be able to provide for the salary as a result of the budget crisis. Citing the ever growing judicial case load in Boone County , Ron will serve regardless of pay to help relax the load. Ron is not new to volunteering, he has accepted many positions without compensation with the goal of helping people and bring common sense to the community.

“I am running to serve the people, not to draw a paycheck,” said Wait. “If that means I have to work for free to serve as Boone County Judge in order to move the county’s increasing case load, then so be it. If the state can’t find the funds, I will still serve with the same dedication I have always had for Boone County . I have volunteered for many different Boone County organizations over the years and have never received compensation for all of that rewarding work. No one else in this race has more loyalty or more devotion for this county than I do as I am the only one who has made this pledge.”

Ron Wait has represented Boone County for nearly 30 years as a legislator in the Illinois General Assembly, serving on the Criminal, Civil, and Family Law Committees. After 30 years of lawmaking, Wait is ready to start his career interpreting these same laws whether the position is funded or not.

Cherry Valley residents push to stop special tax levy


They have until Feb. 9 to block the tax and force officials to bring the matter as a voter referendum by collecting signatures from 51 percent of property owners and 51 percent of voters within the special service boundaries. The group has been working since the Dec. 9 public hearing to collect the signatures

Click on the following for more details:  Cherry Valley residents push to stop special tax levy - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star