Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wisconsin universities form unions despite Scott Walker's union-busting

UW System

Wisconsin's workers haven't only fought back with protests and recall efforts. Since Scott Walker began his attack on Wisconsin's public employees, faculty at three University of Wisconsin campuses have voted to join the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

In February, faculty at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse voted in favor of the union by a 249-37 margin. March 9, University of Wisconsin-Stout joined the union 196-31. March 24, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, 148-16.

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Kos: Wisconsin universities form unions despite Scott Walker's union-busting

Pastors ask Cardinal to keep Father Pfleger at St. Sabina | WBEZ

About two dozen pastors gathered today asking Cardinal Francis George to allow a fiery priest to remain at his church.

Father Michael Pfleger has served at St. Sabina Catholic Church for three decades.

Father Pfleger said he was touched by their support, and that he hasn't heard anything new from the Cardinal. He declined to say anything more.
The Archdiocese of Chicago declined comment.

Pastors ask Cardinal to keep Father Pfleger at St. Sabina | WBEZ

Study warns Asian carp could pass through electrical barriers | WBEZ


new study by the Army Corp of Engineers shows electrical barriers in Illinois' rivers may need to be stronger to stop the migration of the invasive Asian carp. The report found possible scenarios where Asian carp could get past the electrical barriers.

Click on the party for more details:  Study warns Asian carp could pass through electrical barriers | WBEZ

Quinn Confident Caterpillar Will Stay In Illinois « CBS Chicago

The chief executive of Caterpillar has written Gov. Pat Quinn, saying that other states are trying to lure its operations out of Illinois. But Quinn said Saturday that he remains confident about keeping the Peoria-based heavy equipment manufacturer, despite tax increases.

“Caterpillar’s not leaving Illinois,” Quinn said at an unrelated event in Chicago.

Click on the following for more details:  Quinn Confident Caterpillar Will Stay In Illinois « CBS Chicago

Fiat's Petite Italian Model Seeks Love in America -

American-spec 500s benefit from an advanced 101-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir 4-cylinder….American-spec 500s benefit from an advanced 101-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir 4-cylinder….32 to 33 [mpg] in the 2012 American …The 5-speed manual — a 6-speed automatic was not available at release

Federal mileage ratings are 30 miles per gallon in town, 38 on the highway, with the manual, and 27/34 with the fully automatic transmission added for clutch-phobic Americans. Fiat recommends premium fuel for best performance, but says it is not necessary.

The Pop trim level ($16,000) comes with a manual transmission, 15-inch wheels and tires and the basic amenities. The Sport version ($17,500) gets 16-inch wheels and tires, a tauter driver-selectable suspension, a small spoiler and bits of sportier trim. The high-character Lounge model ($19,500) loses the bigger wheels and tires, but gets the glass roof, automatic transmission, Bose sound system, color-keyed instrument panel and upholstery, Bluetooth wireless connection and media jacks.

Fiat's Petite Italian Model Seeks Love in America -

Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition of Rockford (LEAC): a 501c3 Charity

The most recent financials available from Illinois Attorney General:   Remember to use proper identification information.


Audited financials are available to the year ending 12-31-2008.  The following footnote is taken from that source:


Below is LEAS’s website:

Click on the photocopy to enlarge.



The following description of LEAC is from the the Winthrop Harbor Police Department, a founding member of the LEAC system:

AIR-ONE helicopters are obtained through the U.S. Department of Defense surplus equipment program, which provides much needed equipment to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Each aircraft is assigned to and operated by a law enforcement agency, however they are not assets of the agency or municipality. The law enforcement agencies do not "own" the aircraft, and costs of operations (i.e. fuel, maintenance, parts, hangar, insurance, etc.) are underwritten by LEAC as defined above. The air crews, including pilots, flight/observation officers and ground officers, are professional police officers, sheriff deputies and fire/rescue personnel who volunteer their time and expertise to the AIR-ONE Search & Rescue program

LEAC became controversial in 2010 as they attempted to provide salary and benefits to a full time . See:

LEAC) chief pilot position, which is held by former board member Randy Olson (R), who stepped down in November to accept the $102,500 job for which he’d served five years in a voluntary capacity

Last October, the board agreed, at LEAC’s request, that half of its $90,000 support for the program, which comes from federal grant dollars, could be used toward the chief pilot position. LEAC explained the demand for the service created a need for a full-time pilot, rather than depending on a volunteer.

Because Olson’s paychecks and benefits now come from the county, he could no longer retain his board seat. Lynne Strathman (R-1) was appointed as his successor.

In 2006, the board was asked for a “one-time” gift of $100,000 to support LEAC, which has returned each subsequent year asking for more gifts.

“It was sold to us as a one-time thing,” Gambino noted. “It was also sold to us that this was a voluntary position.”

Referring to cuts made across all departments, Gambino moved to send the matter back to committee, adding, “The operation is not, at this point in time, a necessity within our county budget, as much as we need more funds to support what we have to—and are mandated by our statutes—to provide for the citizens of Winnebago County.”

Finance Committee Chairman Tom Owens (R-1), however, noted the $25,000 in question had already been set aside in the budget, and that the amendment would simply shift the dollars from one fund to another. The transfer would shift $25,000 from “regular salaries” to “other professional services.” Owens also noted the county would see a return on its investment through proceeds from property confiscated by the LEAC operation.

Gambino was unrelenting, however.

“We can play the shell game all we want,” he said. “The bottom line is…we’ve created a position I don’t think we intended to. At this time, we can’t grow our government. We have to continue to shrink our government and provide the necessities, not luxuries.”

Gambino’s motion to send the amendment back to committee prevailed. Doug Aurand (D-3), Isidro Barrios (D-11), George Anne Duckett (D-12), Carolyn Gardner (D-9), Bob Hastings (D-13), Kay Mullins (R-8), Owens, Mel Paris (D-8), Dianne

Parvin (R-4), Strathman and David Tassoni (D-7) voted “no.”

Who is on the board?

Who’s who on the LEAC board

The Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition board of directors is made up of 18 people, and most of them are public safety professionals. Board members include several members of Rock River Valley law enforcement and often represent agencies that use and fund LEAC.
President: Joel Brumlik, chief of police, Winthrop Harbor
1st VP: Jan Noble, chief of police, Belvidere
2nd VP: John Nordigian, CEO, Norstan Inc., Kenosha, Wis.
Secretary: Michael Bitton, director of police administration, Winthrop Harbor
Treasurer: Donald L. Shriver, Law Offices of Shriver, O’Neill & Thompson, Rockford
Director: Greg Beitel, sheriff, Ogle County
Director: David Beth, sheriff, Kenosha County, Wis.
Director: Ed Burke, alderman, city of Chicago
Director: Cassie Carver, director of marketing, Lake Forest Sportscars
Director: Robert Clifford, senior partner, Clifford Law Offices, Chicago
Director: Mark Curran Jr., sheriff, Lake County
Director: Dr. Paul Galluzzo, DPM, Rockford
Director: Mark Kirschhoffer, fire chief, Newport Fire District, Wadsworth
Director: Richard Klarchek, CEO, Clear Sky Aviation, Kenosha, Wis.
Director: Randal Olson, chief pilot, Winnebago County sheriff’s office
Director: Rick Mancuso, president, Lake Forest Sportscars
Director: Todd Murray, chief of police, Byron
Director: David Snyders, sheriff, Stephenson County

Recent Press Reports:


Officer Rawaillot with LEAC helicopter The Roscoe Police Department is now involved with the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition.  Officer Theresa Rawaillot, a veteran with the Roscoe Police Department is currently in training to be a Tactical Flight Officer or TFO.    A TFO is a sworn law enforcement officer and is responsible for the operation of FLIR systems, ground communications and landing zone safety, etc.  TFO’s must pass a LEAC approved course of training to be placed on flight status.  Please check back for updates on Officer Rawaillot’s progress.

  • photo



    Unveiling of the new Ferrari California benefiting the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition

    "Freedom isn't Free"


    Event Date 05/30/2009

    Over 400 people from Chicago to the North Shore attended the first annual Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition's fundraiser "Freedom isn't Free" at Signature's Hangar at Palwaukee. In celebration of the unveiling of the new Ferrari California and in support of LEAC guests had the opportunity to bid on live auction items held by Keith Jones of Sayre and Jones Auctioneers .. items included a CitationShares Jet Card valued at $25,000, a weekend in the California Ferrari, a trip to Tom Beach in St. Barth's, an instant wine cellar ranked by Kevin Mohalley of Knightbridge Wines, ride in a L-39 Fighter jet and T-6 by Gauntlet Warbirds, VIP Casino experience for 20 provided by Horseshoe casino and many others!!   Proceeds from the event and partners raised $100K for LEAC.

    While guests climed in and out of a L-39 fighter jet for a photo opportunity, Commander Dan Bitton provided a mini arial show when landing the rescue choppers right on the field where guests were able to view up close and personal. The crowd mingled end enjoyed food by Belvedere Events & Banquets while listening to DJ Joe Garrido who provided the perfect mix for the energy the room contained. 
    For more information on the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition please visit

    Helicopter agency ‘valuable’ for police, expensive for county

    By Mike Wiser

    (partial text; for complete article see:

    Few records available
    LEAC receives surplus helicopters from the Defense Department on the condition that the agency pay to maintain the helicopters and make them available to local law enforcement agencies upon request.
    Tax returns show that LEAC’s expenses outweighed its revenues in 2007 and 2009. It ended last year in the red by more than $46,000. In 2009 alone, the nonprofit spent $17,752.43 for fuel, $28,473 for insurance and $113,082.34 for repairs. LEAC officials declined to give the Register Star a complete list of its public and private donors and an accounting of all the law enforcement agencies it serves

    Helicopter N854WS above an anti-war protest

    St. Paul, Minnesota

    At the March 19 anti-war protest at the Minnesota capitol building, we posted a photograph that was a little joke about a black helicopter flying over the protesters. Since then, with the power of zoom and google, the following information has been found about our curious friend called helicopter N854WS.

    "...Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition (LEAC), which provides no-cost air support services to law enforcement and fire service agencies throughout the region. Known by their familiar air-to-ground call sign, "Air-One", LEAC helicopters are frequently called out by local agencies who would otherwise not have airborne capabilities available."

    "N854WS is a privately owned Robinson R-44 Raven II helicopter. N854WS has also been equipped with a variety of law enforcement equipment to support its role within the LEAC fleet... All aircraft, when operated for LEAC missions, regardless of ownership status, are crewed by members of the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition, whom are all sworn law enforcement personal or employed by a public safety agency that is a member of the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition."

    It could be that a helicopter that just happened at one time to be used by law enforcement just happened to be circling the Minnesota state capitol building that day. Or it could be that a law enforcement agency was observing the anti-war protest from a helicopter - which really was black. You be the judge.

    2011-03-19 This is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.


    FACEBOOK/Wikipedia entries

    Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition, Inc.

  • Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition, Inc.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Winthrop Harbor Police Department(WHPD) is the founding agency and coordinator of the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition (LEAC), which provides no-cost air support services to law enforcement and fire service agencies throughout the region. Known by their familiar air-to-ground call sign, "Air-One", LEAC helicopters are frequently called out by local agencies who would otherwise not have airborne capabilities available. LEAC is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, staffed by volunteers who are professionals from the aviation, law enforcement and fire service sectors.


    LEAC began operations in 2003 with a privately owned Eurocopter EC 135 twin-engine jet helicopter, which was made available at no cost for law enforcement operations on a limited basis. Unit missions include airborne assistance with felonies in progress, searches for fleeing or lost persons, searches for downed or missing aircraft, threats to Homeland Security, and many other types of support within the capabilities of the aircraft, equipment and crew. All mission services are provided at no-cost to the requesting agency, and it is LEAC's vision to position helicopters throughout the region so that all agencies, large and small, will have this service available 24 hours a day.

    In August, 2006, LEAC received its first Department of Defense surplus helicopter, a single-engine Bell OH-58C. Assignment of this helicopter, tail number N79PD, was made possible through the Illinois Law Enforcement Support Organization (LESO). Since taking delivery of N79PD in August 2006, LEAC has invested significant funds in its refurbishment, including engine overhaul, new high-skids, new paint, new avionics, police radios, a NightSun SX16 search light, and the latest technologies in thermal imaging equipment, a FLIR-Ultra-8000. together with. N79PD is primarily based at LEAC's Police Hangar in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and serves all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

    LEAC adds fifth helicopter to its fleet


    March 21st, 2011 at 03:32pm Kevin Haas

    The Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition announced today the addition of a fifth helicopter to its fleet of search and rescue aircraft.

    The agency has added a twin-engine Bell HH-1N Huey. The helicopter was obtained through the federal government’s surplus program, which transfers suitable equipment to law enforcement agencies at no charge.

    Photo provided by LEAC

    The coalitions other four aircraft include one single-engine UH-1V Huey and three single-engine OH-58 Kiowa helicopters, which were all received through the military surplus programs without spending local tax dollars.

    The newest helicopter is being stored in Rockford awaiting upgrades and the installation specialized equipment. Once completed, the aircraft will be based in Kenosha, Wis. to serve the southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois region.

    Randal Olson, LEAC’s chief pilot, said this is only the second twin-engine Huey in the nation to be transferred to a local law-enforcement agency. The aircraft was originally built for the Marines and are rarely transferred, Olson said in a news release.

    “The addition of the twin-engine Huey takes our capabilities to the next level,” Olson said in a news release. “This helicopter gives us the ability to perform over water search-and-rescue operations. LEAC has the only two heavy-lift helicopters available in this
    region, outside of the military, and can offer quicker availability in the event of natural disasters or other emergencies.”

  • Electronic Component Makers Going All Out To Fill Orders -Nikkei

    Parent company of Belvidere’s NDK.

    Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co. (6779.TO), the second-largest maker of quartz components, with a roughly 20% share of the global market, is turning to operations in Malaysia and elsewhere to compensate for the damage at Furukawa NDK Co., which assembles quartz components for automotive applications.

    Click on he following for more details:  Electronic Component Makers Going All Out To Fill Orders -Nikkei