Archive → February 15th, 2017
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove Luther J. Schilling William E. Young William J. Butler
Hadley Middle Homer Jr. High
Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager
email@example.com | 708-226-7628
For Immediate Release:
Feb. 15, 2017
Kindergartners show they have heart on Valentine’s Day
Present Will County Sheriff’s Police with thank you notes
Schilling School kindergartners showed Will County Sheriff’s Police a little kindness this week, creating thank you cards for the local heroes.
The students proudly presented their cards to three officers who stopped by the school on Valentine’s Day.
It was all part of the school’s Random Acts of Kindness Week — a reminder to put a little love in our hearts.
Each day, students were encouraged to do something special, such as smiling and saying hello to someone in passing; letting someone go ahead of them on the playground; and writing a thank you note to an adult who has helped them.
Kindergartners in Michele Lane’s decided to direct their thank you notes to the Will County Sheriff’s Department.
They were warmly accepted by the officers (Lt. Holuj, Sgt. Roberts and Deputy Lane), who stayed long enough to read a story to the kindergartners and pose for a group photo.
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Source: Will County News
The Sunni-Shiite Cold War
The Middle East and North Africa continues to be destabilized by no less than five ongoing civil wars (Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia), while a host of other countries have experienced much higher levels of volatility in recent years, including regional powers such as Egypt and Turkey. While many of the causes of these conflicts are local and country-specific, one underlying division has dramatically raised tensions across much of the region, that between the region’s Sunni Muslim majority and its Shiite Muslim minority.
While less than 20% of the population of the Middle East is Shiite Muslim, Shiite movements, often backed by the world’s leading Shiite power, Iran, have made major gains in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, giving the appearance that the Shiite version of Islam is gaining political power across the Middle East. In response, Saudi Arabia has led efforts to enhance the political and defense ties among the region’s Sunni-dominated countries in recent years, including becoming directly involved in Yemen’s civil war. Now, with the United States potentially reducing its presence in this volatile region, the stage is set for a potential Cold War between a Saudi-led Sunni coalition and an Iranian-led Shiite coalition, one that could result in a full scale war between some of the region’s most powerful countries.
As during the original Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two leading powers in the region are finding themselves engaged in a series of proxy wars aimed at shifting the balance of power in their favor. Lebanon was the first sort of proxy war to involve Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the latter’s backing of Hezbollah igniting support for Shiite movements in other countries in the region. The first full-scale proxy war was later in Iraq, where the United States’ defeat of Saddam Hussein resulted in a Shiite-dominated government with close ties to Iran gaining eventual power in that country. Afterwards, Syria’s civil war was initially seen by Iran as a threat to its position in the eastern Mediterranean, as it viewed the uprising against the Assad regime as a Sunni-led effort to take political power from the Alawite-dominated government in Syria and to cut off Iran from its allies in neighboring Lebanon.
In contrast, it was Saudi Arabia that viewed the uprising by the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen as a threat to its position, as it viewed their shocking success in capturing much of Yemen as an Iranian-backed effort to implant a Shiite state at Saudi Arabia’s southwestern borders. In addition, the massive protests by Bahrain’s Shiite majority against that country’s Sunni monarchy was viewed with major concern by Saudi Arabia, leading to an eventual intervention by Saudi Arabia that has left Bahrain little more than a Saudi satellite. Altogether, Saudi Arabia and Iran now find themselves on opposite sides in nearly all of the conflicts and volatile situations across the region, a situation similar to that of the Cold War between the US and the USSR.
Like the Cold War, two alliances are emerging, this time with one led by Saudi Arabia and made up of largely Sunni-populated countries, and the other, led by Iran, that includes countries and movements comprised largely of Shiite Muslims. The larger and wealthier alliance is the Saudi-led Sunni coalition that, by some claims, has 34 members. In the war in Yemen, the Saudis are leading a military coalition that includes Egypt, Morocco, the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and Sudan (as well as the Yemeni government), the countries that have most closely aligned themselves with Saudi Arabia in its standoff with Iran. So far, Saudi Arabia has managed to increase the level of unity among these largely Sunni countries, and has tried to expand the alliance to include other Sunni powers such as Turkey and Pakistan.
In contrast, the Iranian-led Shiite coalition is much smaller and possesses a far lesser degree of economic and military power. This coalition includes Iran, the Iraqi government (and its Shiite militia backers), the government of Syria, Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. While this coalition possesses far lower levels of potential economic and military power than its Sunni rival, it has managed to go on the offensive in places such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen, handing a series of defeats to its Sunni rivals. This is due, in part, to the relatively high degree of unity among these Shiite powers, in stark contrast to the struggle to unify the region’s leading Sunni powers.
While these two rival alliances have coalesced in recent years as their proxies do battle in countries such as Yemen and Syria, so far Saudi Arabia and Iran have avoided a direct conflict with one another. However, a number of factors are raising the potential for a direct conflict between the Middle East’s leading Sunni and Shiite powers. First, the United States’ move towards isolationism could result in the US playing a lesser role in the region, a dangerous factor as its presence has helped to prevent state-on-state conflict since the First Gulf War. Second, other outside powers, such as Russia, are playing a larger role in some of the civil wars underway in the region, threatening to force Saudi Arabia or Iran to intervene to protect their interests in these war-torn countries.
Likewise, ever-more radical militant groups, most notably the Sunni Islamic State (IS), are stoking sectarian tensions across the region and inflaming anger among the citizens of Saudi Arabia, Iran and other powers. Add to this mixture the fact that the economies of Saudi Arabia, Iran and other countries in the region have been hit hard by nearly three years of lower oil prices, adding to the tensions across the region.
Should a full-scale war break out between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as both sides’ allies, the results would be devastating for the Middle East and would have a global impact. Such a war would likely be long and drawn out, as neither side has the capability of winning a quick victory against the other, while the conflict could spread across the region, from North Africa to Central Asia. Economically, such a war would severely disrupt oil and gas output in the Middle East, devastating the region’s economy and causing major problems for economies all around the world. Hopefully, like the Cold War, the leaders of the Middle East’s rival alliances will avoid a direct conflict, realizing the devastating that it would cause. However, the chances of such a conflict in the Middle East are clearly on the rise, as stability is proving elusive for that volatile region.
Michael Weidokal is the Executive Director of ISA (International Strategic Analysis), one of the world’s leading providers of economic forecasting, country intelligence and political risk analysis. ISA’s clients include many of the world’s largest businesses, government bodies and research institutions.
Source: Will County News
CTU members—some of the country’s best paid teachers— went on strike until their pay was increased 16 percent.
Teachers Unions serve the interests of adults. In Chicago and elsewhere, they are in the business of winning better salaries and benefits, protecting job security, and otherwise advancing the interests of their members.
That’s why in 2012 CTU members—some of the country’s best paid teachers— went on strike until their pay was increased 16 percent.
Here’s the deal. The kids in the system are cannon fodder.
Watch now and share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter using #UpstreamIdeas.
Source: Will County News
#1 in Illinois – Rocket Ice Skating Rink
Rocket Ice Skating Rink in Bolingbrook was named the number one ice skating rink in Illinois by “Best Things Illinois.” They offer a wide variety of programs, top notch facilities and a helpful staff which all contribute to being the best in Illinois. Rocket Ice is the premier ice skating rink serving Bolingbrook, Naperville and surrounding communities. Their dependable weekly ice schedule for rockin’ open skating, figure skating and hockey makes Rocket Ice home to a loyal following of customers of all ages. Unique to Rocket Ice is its lodge décor, stone fireplaces and comfortable rink-side coffee table seating for parents, grandparents and friends to watch their skaters.
Opened in 1999, Rocket Ice is a family owned business, known for their warm, welcoming atmosphere, strong customer service and mission of providing young families with friendship, fitness and fun. Rocket Ice Skating Rink features two full sized ice skating rinks and is home to the Sabre Youth Hockey Association and Starfire Synchronized Ice Skating Teams.
Tommy Hawk Coming to Celebrate #1 Rating
On Sunday, February 19th, Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk will make a special visit to Rocket Ice Skating Rink to celebrate the number one ranking and ice skate with fans. The Rockin’ Public Ice Skating session is from 1:00-3:20 P.M. and Tommy Hawk will be on the ice from 1:30-2:45 P.M. For details visit rocketice.com or call 630-679-1700.
Blackhawks Hall of Famers Eddie Olczyk, Bobby Hull and Denis Savard have all visited Rocket Ice. Retired Blackhawks player and TV announcer Steve Konroyd has shared several visits on the ice with Rocket’s Learn to Play Hockey students. The “Little Blackhawks” program is at Rocket Ice this April and May for four to eight year olds and will feature visits by Blackhawks’ alumni. The Chicago Blackhawks will host their 3 on 3 youth hockey tournament this summer at Rocket attracting hundreds of youth hockey players and their families to the area.
Ice Skate to the Music
Music themed and character ice skating sessions on Saturdays, Sundays and days off school set Rocket Ice apart and provide families with unplugged time together moving and skating to the greatest hits. Favorite character skates include: Skate with Santa, Spongebob, Frozen characters, and Tommy Hawk. The Rocket Ice Rockin’ Public Skate Calendar which includes fun ice skating activities year-round, contributed to Rocket Ice achieving the number one ranking.
Rocket Ice Skating Rink offers lessons for children ages three and up and all ability levels. Its Learn to Skate Lessons are based on the United States Figure Skating Association model and are taught by their experienced coaching staff. Its Learn to Play Hockey Lessons use the Advanced Development Model created by USA Hockey and works in tandem with the Chicago Blackhawks Minor Hawks program.
Birthday parties and group outings are popular at Rocket Ice. For adult hockey players, Rocket features adult hockey classes, open hockey times and even an over fifty hockey league named Hockey Five-O. Stick & Puck youth open hockey times are available daily. Figure skaters enjoy Rocket’s organized and consistent Freestyle ice times.
Source: Will County News