January 24, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Christmas plus work plus a trip to Vegas plus plus….
Nearly caught-up. Let’s get going again!
October 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Sharon Arnowitz recalled countless people asking what they could do to help, but there was nothing.
Because, as the Buffalo Grove resident explained, she was not going to be a victim of breast cancer. “I’m going to live,” said Arnowitz, noting that it was diagnosed in its earliest stage. …
On Sunday, Arnowitz served as hostess at her Buffalo Grove home for an all-pink party to promote breast cancer awareness. …
The “Get Your Pink On — Early Detection Celebration and Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser” brought in $2,346, which Arnowitz said she will donate to the Caldwell Breast Center. She said she earmarked the donation to pay for mammograms for women who otherwise could not afford them, because this was the exam that may have saved her life.
October 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Forgive me the indulgence:
Dr. El-Tag referred questions to her attorney, James Bosco of Chicago.The case is about “restricting patients’ access to a doctor of their choice,” Mr. Bosco said in a statement.
“That the plaintiff Dr. Koziol believes patients would choose Dr. El-Tag over him is evidence enough of Dr. El-Tag’s reputation for excellence,” he wrote.
October 6, 2012 § 1 Comment
Please hang in there with me. I’m without Internet access until Wednesday.
June 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The Daily Beast has some interesting data on which states have the highest rate of gun sales per 100k folks.
It’s safe to say that Illinois is not on the list.
May 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
An analysis of pension fund documents for 21 aldermen who retired under the plan shows they are in line to receive nearly $58 million during their expected lifetimes, though contributions and assumed investment returns are predicted to cover just $19 million, or a third of that sum.
The pension deal was inked more than two decades ago, but the costs began to kick in recently. Most of the 21 aldermen in the Tribune/WGN-TV analysis have retired within the past five years, and there are 53 more in the pipeline.
Former Ald. Thomas Allen is a prime example. After retiring from the City Council in 2010 at age 58, Allen went on to become a Circuit Court judge while also collecting roughly $90,000 a year from his city pension. During his lifetime, he stands to receive more than $4.2 million in benefits, though contributions and assumed investment returns are expected to cover only $1 million.
via Chicago Tribune.
We’re doomed. Chicago will not be able to sustain itself under this kind of dead weight. The taxpayers are going to be asked to provide more and more payments for services they will not receive.
Glad the Tribune is on the story now… but where has it been for the last 20 years? Where’s the Sun-Times (the “Bright One”) on this?
We’re going bankrupt and no one cares.
March 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you don’t know Jim Rogers you should. I first heard about him maybe 15 or so years ago. I was riding my Harley around and someone gave me Jim’s book, Investment Biker. It’s a great read and for several months I wanted to grow-up to be Jim Rogers.
Also interesting, from Wikipedia:
In December 2007, Rogers sold his mansion in New York City for about 16 million USD and moved to Singapore. Rogers claimed that he moved because now is a ground-breaking time for investment potential in Asian markets. Rogers’s first daughter is now being tutored in Mandarin to prepare her for the future.
He is quoted as saying: “If you were smart in 1807 you moved to London, if you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York City, and if you are smart in 2007 you move to Asia.”
The man is prescient. So if he’s got something to say, we should be listening. There’s a few new articles sharing with us what he has to say:
Experts have been saying that 2013 is the year to worry about, not 2012. Jim Rogers agrees. The commodities guru was on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report last night saying again that 2012 will see money pumped into global markets because it is a year choc-a-bloc with elections.
Rogers said “This year’s fine. Worry about 2013. Be panicked about 2014. This year, a lot of good news is coming out.” Speaking of the U.S. economy specifically, he said the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is bloated referencing M2, a measure of money supply. He also added that President Obama is spending a huge amount of money ahead of the elections:
via Business Insider.
Same series, different story:
At what level do you think oil prices will break the back of the American recovery?
We are going to have a slowdown. Such is the staggering debt that America has, it has caused more and more of a drag on our economy. I would also point out to you that every four to six years we’ve had an economic slowdown in the U.S., since the beginning of time, so by 2012, 2013, 2014, we are well overdue for an economic slowdown for whatever reason. Whether it’s caused by high oil or what, we’re going to have a slowdown in the foreseeable future.
How do you see oil prices impacting consumers in emerging markets, especially in Asia, when many of them are struggling to rein in inflation and drive growth?
Everybody is paying higher prices for oil and that obviously impacts consumption everywhere and its not just oil, its food and everything else that’s going up. There’s inflation everywhere, the U.S. lies about it, I mean the U.S. government lies about inflation but there’s inflation everywhere. I mean I don’t know if you go shopping, but if you do, you know prices are up. The government says they’re not, I don’t know where they shop. Everybody else’s prices are up.
via Business Insider.
Indeed. Boxes of food are getting smaller but the pricing has gone up. Everything at the store is more expensive with the possible exception of electronics. The U.S. Government’s removal of energy costs from the inflation index was a telling sign that they simply don’t want to give the folks the real bad news. They’d rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend everything is ok.
February 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday referred to people and businesses with unpaid city debts as “the deadbeats and the delinquents” after winning City Council approval to intercept their state income tax refunds to collect millions of dollars. …
At every level we have protected the taxpayers of the city of Chicago by not raising property taxes, not raising or creating an income tax, not raising a sales taxes, not raising a gas tax,” Emanuel said. …
Under the diversion measure approved Wednesday, Illinois income tax refunds of those who owe will be redirected to the city, possibly as soon as this spring. …
The citys measure, made possible by a state law that took effect in December, will affect individuals and businesses that received final notices for debt owed on parking tickets, red-light citations and administrative hearing judgments. More than 100,000 people and businesses owe the city about $80 million, but refunds wont cover all of that, officials said. About 51 percent of the debt can be traced to addresses outside the city, the administration said.
Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, one of the aldermen to vote against, described the citys administrative hearing system as “a kangaroo court” that needs to be fixed before income tax refunds are diverted to the city.
via Chicago Tribune.
As someone who does a little bit of legal practice over at 400 E. Superior I can attest to what a kangaroo court it is. The process dealing with building violations is so bad that I truly believe they simply make it up as they go along. It’s not quite as bad with parking tickets but it’s still a case of any given Sunday as to whether the judge will follow the law or not.
February 4, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The wife and daughter head over to the Walgreens about 3 blocks away. The daughter wants to walk; the wife insists on driving — smart move.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a man’s iPhone outside a dry cleaning business in the Wicker Park neighborhood, authorities say. …
The Thursday robbery happened about 5:15 p.m. when a 26-year-old man was texting on his iPhone outside a dry cleaning business at Wabasnia and Western avenues, according to police. Two men approached him, at least one of them armed with a gun, and asked for the iPhone, police said. …
Police were able to track the phone by its locator app to the area of Madison Street and Ashland Avenue, a few blocks from the United Center, police said. The officers spotted the suspects in a car that was reported stolen, but one of them jumped out around the time police began pursuing it. That man was taken into custody near Ashland and Washington Boulevard.
The other suspect headed west in the car on Madison, police said. The suspect stopped near Madison and Leavitt streets and abandoned the car, police said. He was arrested about a block away.
The perp was taken into custody at Madison & Oakley. How do I know? Because the wife saw the police running down the alley with their guns drawn catching the dude. A txt message from someone on the job later confirmed two in custody.
Hardly the end of the story:
Detectives have been looking into a string of robberies that occurred recently in an area bounded by Ashland, Central Park Avenue, Division Street and Diversey Avenue.
A police alert about the pattern gave the following locations for the 12 attacks:
–3100 block of W. Fullerton, Dec. 4, 2011, 5:20 a.m.
–1800 block of N. California, Dec. 17, 2011, 6 a.m.
–1700 block of N. Central Park, Dec. 21, 2011, 6:15 a.m.
–1900 block of N. Western, Dec. 22, 2011, 11 p.m.
–2100 block of N. California, Dec. 24, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
–2000 block of N. Kimball, Dec. 31, 2011, 11:20 p.m.
–1500 block of N. Hoyne, Jan. 3, 2012, 3 a.m.
–1700 block of W. Wabansia, Jan. 4, 2012, 4:32 p.m.
–2600 block of W. Wellington, Jan. 6, 2012, 8 p.m.
–2100 block of N. Milwaukee, Jan. 8, 2012, 12 p.m.
–1500 block of N. Maplewood, Jan. 20, 2012, 8 p.m.
–1500 block of N. Milwaukee, Jan. 21, 2012, 2 a.m.
via Chicago Tribune.
In the 1980′s Wicker Park was a terrible place to live. The park itself was one of many Heroin Squares that existed in the city (the “Midnight Express” still passes out clean needles on Saturday nights there.) Over the years the place has gotten better. But from the looks of things it’s beginning to slide back into the hell hole it once was.
This is disappointing for everyone. The increase in the value of those homes provided a massive influx of tax revenue for the city (and county) which is used to support programs that help everyone; not just the rich. Many of those who live there are single or married couples without children. These are the “net givers” in the system who pay tons of taxes into CPS (it’s 2/3 of your property tax bill) and yet don’t have any kids in school.
We (the royal we, i.e. we all, myself included) need these people to stay in the city. We need them to like where they live and feel safe. If they move everyone suffers. CPD really has to step-up it’s game and begin making more arrests for these sorts of crimes. The State’s Attorney must begin to demand longer prison sentences for the perpetrators. Probation is not enough for these types of crimes. These guys have to do time.
There’s too much riding on it. Crime must be brought under control.
February 8, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The following email is scheduled to go out at 5:00AM CT 02/09/2011
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I don’t like being over-dramatic but this may be one of the most important emails you’ll read this month. Please give me 1 min of your time on two topics concerning the upcoming aldermanic race.
First Topic: Genita Robinson, the “Machine’s Candidate”
It has come to my attention that Ms. Robinson is the machine’s candidate for alderman of the second ward. And trust me, I do not make the accusation lightly. Yesterday it was disclosed that a secretly funded organization connected to Mayor Daley just gave Ms. Robinson $10,000. But that only tells part of the story.
After a quick review of Ms. Robinson’s campaign committee filing it turns out that of nearly $40,000 raised, $7,020 (17.8%) of it is in “not-itemized” or anonymously donated funds. So much for transparency.
Further, of the $32,400 which was disclosed, only $1,800 (5.5%) comes from within the 2nd Ward. In fact, nearly 5 times as much money, $9,050 (27.9%) comes from OUT OF STATE! That’s right, Ms. Robinson raised $1,800 in the ward but $3,000 from New York state.
Additionally, the Sun-Times has reported that while Ms. Robinson was working at Chicago Public Schools she admitted knowing about “a secret list of politicians, businessmen and others with connections who were seeking to help kids win admission to the most coveted Chicago Public Schools” and did nothing about it. This is not transparency. This is not accountability. This is nothing but old school Chicago politics.
Something is wrong with this picture folks. Please educate yourselves. Every man, woman, and child is carrying city debt equal to $10,000 per person. We cannot afford any more machine politicians.
Second Topic: Please Vote Sciammarella
You read that right. I realize that I cannot win and this election is too important to be left to chance. I’m asking that you please vote for Federico Sciammarella. You may not know this but Federico has been working hard on educational issues and trying to bring new businesses and jobs to our ward. Further, Federico has pledged to work with myself and several other people in the area (like David Askew) to make sure that our neighborhood gets treated fairly in the ward.
Say NO to machine politicians, please vote Sciammarella.
The machine has nearly bankrupt our city and burdened all of us, and our children, with crushing debt that will have to be repaid. The city is stuck with onerous long-term labor contracts that call for annual raises for city workers above and beyond the rate of inflation. We’re getting taxed to death, our housing market collapse continues, and our middle class is getting ready to flee to the suburbs.
We get the elected representatives we deserve. We deserve the best. Only you can make that happen. It’s up to you. Vote for Sciammarella.
Lastly my friends, we are all in this together. I humbly ask that you share this information with someone else you know. Knowledge is power; and if we work together we can take back our city from the machine that has spent our future and our children’s future. Please pass this on to a friend.
As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.