Monday, August 23, 2010

Thousands of dead fish reported at mouth of Mississippi


fish were found Sunday floating on the surface of the water and collected in booms that had been deployed to contain oil that leaked from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico…, "We don't want to jump to any conclusions because we've had some oxygen issues by the Bayou La Loutre Dam from time to time."

Click on the following for more details:  Thousands of dead fish reported at mouth of Mississippi - Yahoo! News

Belvidere City Hall may close Fridays

Mayor Fred Brereton called for 26 furlough days — one a week for nonunion city employees — to be taken Fridays beginning Nov. 5…

eliminating two community policing officer positions, cutting the mayor’s assistant for neighborhood development, and consolidating the positions of superintendents of streets and the water department.

city has 119 employees, not including elected officials. Twenty-four of them are nonunion and would be subject to the furlough days, which amount to a 20 percent pay cut.

Belvidere City Hall may close Fridays - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

In New Orleans, Ring of Protection Is Close to Completion -


Nearly five years after Katrina and the devastating failures of the levee system, New Orleans is well on its way to getting the protection system Congress ordered: a ring of 350 miles of linked levees, flood walls, gates and pumps that surrounds the city and should defend it against the kind of flooding that in any given year has a 1 percent chance of occurring.

The scale of the nearly $15 billion project,

Still, many experts say that the level of risk reduction will be inadequate for a city that has been devastated by storms twice in living memory, Betsy in 1965 and Katrina.

Click on the following for more details:  In New Orleans, Ring of Protection Is Close to Completion -

Is H1N1 still one to watch?


This year, however, H1N1 likely will be just part of the normal flu season. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved vaccines for the 2010-11 period that include the H1N1 virus.

H1N1 hasn't gone away, but this year it will be thought of as a seasonal flu. The availability of vaccines early will help that.

Click on the following for more details:  Is H1N1 still one to watch? :: The Courier News :: Local News

Egg Industry Faces New Scrutiny After Outbreak


By any historical measure, American egg production is efficient and comparatively safe. The current recall is the largest in memory, but involves only a small fraction of the 70 billion eggs produced annually, mostly by hens who spend their lives with six or seven others in cages the size of an open newspaper, their droppings carried away by one conveyer belt while the eggs are whisked off by another.

Click on the following for more details from the NYTimes:  Egg Industry Faces New Scrutiny After Outbreak -

McHenry County begins monitoring water


The solar-powered data reporter was one of 40 installed on monitor wells around the county to see how fast groundwater's being used up by development.  They all shoot the data to a communications satellite which beams it back to earth where it's routed through the Internet, eventually to be posted on a County water website.

Click on the following for more details:  FirstElectricNewspaper

'Our state is $120.6 billion short!' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES


state now owes $85 billion in bond IOUs -- promises we've made to "pay later with interest." Our credit -- the ability to borrow -- has about maxed out. So we're not paying our bills. Not someday in the future but right now

Click on the following for more details:  'Our state is $120.6 billion short!' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Terry Savage

Others in Blagojevich probe await fate ::

The Others:  Antoin "Tony" Rezko, Stuart Levine, William Cellini, Alonzo "Lon" Monk, John Harris, Ali Ata, Joseph Cari

Click on the following for an update on their fate:                     Star :: News

Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq, Debates Why


Reasons for the surge are complex and varied, experts say. While many Latin American economies are growing fast, Venezuela’s has continued to shrink. The gap between rich and poor remains wide, despite spending on anti-poverty programs, fueling resentment. Adding to that, the nation is awash in millions of illegal firearms.

Click on the following for the details:  Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq, Debates Why -

Superintendent Houselog’s new five year District 100 contract

In the midst of negotiations with the district teachers’ union (BEA) it is very interesting to see the increase which the Board of Education approved for the Superintendent.  His base salary increased from $171,007 to $181,707 (6.25% increase) for the first year of his new five year contract.  Plus there is “merit pay” to be set by the Board.  Merit pay in the prior contract (2009-2010) was $10,700. The $181,707 (base salary 2010-2011) was obtained by adding the $171,007 and $10,700.  Using the 6% annual limit as spelled out on Page 3 [See photocopy below] the following is an estimate of the annual salary and merit pay for the next five school years.

Year              Annual Salary      Merit Pay Projection

2010-2011      181,707              10.902

2011-2012      192,609               11,557

2012-2013      204,165               12,250

2013-2014      216,416               12,985

2014-2015      229,401               13,764

In summary, salary and merit pay increased by 6.25 first year and 6% each year after that.  To see the cost of the other benefits see:   For 2009-2010 the total cost of salary and benefits was $234,704. Thus approximately $50,000  of additional benefit cost should probably occur each year, in 2014-2015 total wages and benefits cost would equal $300,000.

Another interesting fact which came to light by the new contract is on page 9, Section 16.  The Board agrees to pay tuition associated with the Superintendent’s requirements for completion of his doctoral degree from Aurora University. Such continuing education costs amounted to $9,200 in 2009-2010.

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

Houselog 2010--1 housaelog 2010--2 houselog 2010--3 houselog 2010--4

Page 1            Page 2         Page 3          Page 4

 houselog 2010--6 houselog 2010--5houselog 2010--7 houselog 2010--8

Page 5             Page 6       Page 7         Page 8


houselog 2010--9 houselog 2010--10houselog 2010--11 Houselog 2010--12

Page 9             Page 10       Page 11     Page 12

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