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Archive → May 31st, 2017

Illinois Democrats made clear that their partisan agenda is more important than the future of our state

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Today, Illinois Democrats made clear that their partisan agenda is more important than the future of our state.

 

Despite being given the opportunity to set our state on the right path, Democrats in the Illinois House and Senate refused to pass a balanced budget with real lasting property tax relief.

 

A 32% tax increase without real reform is not the answer. Illinois already has the highest property taxes in America. We have the 5th highest tax burden in the country.

 

I am writing to you tonight to make something explicitly clear to our supporters and our opponents: Team Rauner will never give up on this fight for reform.

 

Challenge the Democrats directly by committing to reform instead: sign our reform petition here.

 

Democrats sent a strong message to Illinois families this evening: they are willing to push our state further into debt and destruction just to continue the corrupt, self-serving agendas of Speaker Madigan and the Chicago Machine.

 

Illinois deserves so much better. If you agree, pledge your commitment here.

Choosing reform over the status quo is not easy, but with your help – we will bring back Illinois.

 

Your support is more important now than ever before.

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Bruce Rauner

Source: Will County News

The North Korean EMP Threat

The North Korean EMP Threat

Originally published at Fox News.

The North Korean EMP Threat

North Korea is already one of the most dangerous places in the world, and it’s becoming more perilous by the day.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang completed its ninth ballistic missile test this year. The North Korean state run media said its maniacal leader, Kim Jong-un, threatened to send a bigger “gift package” to the United States.

The same day, the United States tested its ability to intercept long-range ballistic missiles potentially fired from North Korea. Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring announced the test was successful today.

I’m glad we are honing our ability to stop intercontinental ballistic missiles over the Pacific, but I hope our military leaders recognize that traditional nuclear war is only half of the threat the Kim Jong-un regime poses.

As I testified at the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources earlier this month, the North Koreans have another offensive option, which they may already be able to execute and would be devastating to the United States – a weaponized electromagnetic pulse.

An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, occurs when a relatively small but carefully designed nuclear warhead is detonated in the atmosphere. The explosion causes what can best be described as a massive power surge, which can damage or disable electrical devices for hundreds of miles on the ground below. As I told the Senate Committee, such an attack would be catastrophic to the United States because we are an electricity-dependent nation and our grid is ill-prepared to handle it.

I am not talking about simple, isolated, short-term blackouts like those which have occurred in New York, Los Angeles, or Detroit. These blackouts could encompass entire regions. Without proper preparation, the grid disruption (and destruction) caused by an EMP could take months to years to repair. Non-perishable foods would spoil from lack of refrigeration. Hospitals would run out of life-saving, temperature-controlled medications within days. Dialysis and other medical devices would stop working. Water systems that rely on electricity would stop pumping water and pipes would burst from the weight and pressure. The cascade of consequences of a protracted regional power outage would be devastating.

Bill Forstchen, who has been my co-author on several novels, lays out the effects of an EMP on a small town in North Carolina after the electrical grid was disabled in his New York Times bestselling novel, One Second After. Although it is a work of fiction, it is extremely well-researched – and terrifying.

But it is not impossible for this fiction to become a reality. Tom Clancy, after all, wrote about an enemy of the United States weaponizing a commercial air plane seven years before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Peter Vincent Pry, who leads the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, warns that North Korea may be closer to EMP-capability than many experts think.

On May 4, coincidentally the same day I spoke to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Pry wrote that many in the national security world and media have erroneously downplayed the threat from Pyongyang. A successful nuclear strike on U.S. soil would require a great deal of precision and advanced missile technology – two things the North Koreans have apparently not yet attained – but Pry points out a successfully launched EMP requires much less.

“An EMP attack entails detonating a nuclear weapon at high-altitude, above the atmosphere, so no reentry vehicle is necessary to penetrate the atmosphere and blast a city. The area of effect of an EMP is so enormous — a warhead detonated at an altitude of 30 kilometers will generate an EMP field on the ground having a radius of 600 kilometers — that an accurate guidance system is unnecessary,” Pry wrote.

It is good that our military leaders have all eyes trained on North Korea, but we must do more to mitigate the threat.

As I told senators this month, Congress needs to work to cut red tape and enable innovation so that we can work to harden our power infrastructure against an EMP attack in communities across the United States. This means, in part, designing systems that favor resistance, resilience, and redundancy over simple efficiency. It also means moving to a more diversified grid, which can be more easily restored.

This preparation will require active collaboration between federal, state, and local governments as well as the private sector to foster an environment for innovation and to remove the hurdles preventing the quick responses that will be necessary to defend our power grid.

This will not be easy or cheap, but the threat is real – and we don’t want to be caught in the dark.

Your Friend,

Source: Will County News

City Council approves new licensing rules for pharmaceutical reps

Passed last November 9 days after the election.  Takes effect July 1st.

City Council approves new licensing rules for pharmaceutical reps

Nov 17, 2016, 1:12pm CST
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The Chicago City Council has passed an ordinance that requires pharmaceutical representatives to carry a special license and report sales data to city officials, measures that Mayor Rahm Emanuel says will prevent deceptive marketing by drug salespersons and reduce opioid painkiller abuse.

The ordinance passed on Wednesday by a unanimous vote and will take effect in July 2017, the Chicago Tribune reported.

It requires pharmaceutical reps to record and report to the city the number of health care professionals they’ve contacted, the types of drugs promoted, any samples provided, and if doctors were paid for their time.

In addition to the reporting requirements, sales reps will have to acquire a special license to operate within the city limits. The permits have to be renewed annually and will cost $750 each. Drug reps who break the rules or operate without the required license will also be fined between $1,000 and $3,000 for each violation or day of violations, the Tribune reported.

Advocates for the new ordinance, including city Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita, have said the regulations are necessary to curb deceptive sales practices and reduce opioid addiction, which has become a major public health problem across the country.

In Chicago, 403 people accidentally died from opioid overdoses last year, according to a report released last month by the Chicago-Cook County Task Force on Heroin. (Commentary: fewer deaths than a holiday weekend in Chicago)

Pharmaceutical companies and industry groups have questioned the need for the new licensing rules, calling them a “harmful tax increase” that do little to address the underlying problem of opioid abuse. A group of 16 pharmaceutical organizations, including Lake Forest-based Horizon Pharma, wrote a letter to the City Council calling the regulations “unnecessary” and “duplicative,” the Tribune reported.

Source: Will County News

Summary of the Homer School District 33C Board of Education Meeting May 30, 2017

Summary of the Homer School District 33C

Board of Education Meeting

May 30, 2017

___________________________________________________________________________

Deb Martin, President      Elizabeth Hitzeman, Vice President      Karen DeFilippis, Secretary

Adam Briner, Member  Kevin DeSchaaf, Member  Christine Marcinkewicz, Member        Russ

Petrizzo, Member

At the May 30    th  Board of Education meeting:

  • Goodings Grove PTO Treasurer Jenny Reichardt thanked the Board and District for partnering

with the PTO to install a new playground at the school. The PTO has raised $60,000 for the

project

  • Superintendent Dr. Kara Coglianese introduced Countryside Bank Branch Manager Barbara

Iovinelli and recognized the bank for supporting the Future Ready Student Foundation’s efforts

to raise money to send 18 Homer Junior High School choir students to New York this summer

to perform at Carnegie Hall. The bank donated $500, which was split between two students

who won a blind drawing

  • Dr. Coglianese recognized Will County Deputy Bob Parker who is retiring from the force this

year.  Deputy Bob Parker has been looking after Homer 33C students and staff for years,

providing law enforcement services when necessary and assisting administrators with matters

of safety, security and emergency planning. Dr. Coglianese thanked Parker for his years of

service and presented him with a clock

  • Teachers Union representative Cathy Clayton reported the 2016-2017 school year is in its final

week and wished everyone a happy summer

  • Support Staff Union representative Susan Koziarski thanked the Board and Administration for

successfully completing contract negotiations with the Union. The agreement was unanimously

approved by the Union on May 20           th

  • The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:

Resignations

  1. Jennifer VanHeest – kindergarten teacher, Schilling School, effective at the end of the

2016-2017 school year

  1. Jeanine Arundel – Hadley Middle School Dean and Discovery Program Coordinator,

effective June 30, 2017

  1. Virginia Wessling – lunchroom monitor, Butler School, effective May 15, 2017
  2. Craig Schoppe – Director of Support Personnel Services, effective June 30, 2017
  3. Melody Johnson – 8 th grade girls basketball coach, effective at the end of the 2016-2017

school year​

  1. Nichole Boyce – 8 th grade class sponsor, Homer Junior High School, effective at the end

of the 2016-2017 school year

Letters of Intent to Retire

  1. Jane Petschow – school psychologist, Goodings Grove and Young Schools, subject to

compliance with the applicable requirements of TRS and the District’s collective

bargaining agreement; effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year

  1. Carol Ziegler – special education teacher, Schilling School, subject to compliance with

the applicable requirements of TRS and the District’s collective bargaining agreement;

effective at the end of the 2017-2018 school year

  1. Marytherese Sajdak – school nurse, Homer Junior High School, effective at the end of

the 2016-2017 school year

Leaves of Absence          (Beginning and end dates open to modification)

  1. Gina McInerney – 4 th grade teacher, Goodings Grove School, effective from September

18, 2017 through December 8, 2017 and through the end of the 2017-2018 school year

  1. Shannon Moore – 4 th grade teacher, Butler School, effective September 27, 2017

through November 24, 2017

  1. Laura Walsh – speech-language pathologist, Butler School, effective October 5, 2017

through January 5, 2018

  1. Sharon Pearson – bus driver, Transportation, effective April 20, 2017 through June 30,

2017

  1. Antoinette Eaton – bus driver, Transportation, effective August 23, 2017 through October

24, 2017

  1. Donna Grasser – custodian, Administration and Goodings Grove School, effective June

7, 2017 through July 19, 2017

  1. Janina Kornas – custodian, Homer Junior High School, effective April 18, 2017 through

June 30, 2017

Position Recommendations

  1. Provisional approval for additional Kindergarten FTE teachers at Schilling School as

enrollment increases

  1. Reading Specialist at Schilling School
  2. 1.0 FTE and 0.5 FTE TPI (Transitional Program of Instruction) teachers
  3. Nurse aide

Employment Recommendations

  1. David Mekhiel – Assistant Director of Special Education, Administration, effective July 1,

2017

  1. Sandra O’Callaghan – social worker, Schilling School, effective August 21, 2017
  2. Karissa Pecci – early childhood teacher, Young School, effective August 21, 2017
  3. Michelle McDougall – social worker, Butler School, effective August 21, 2017
  4. Megan Kibbons – psychologist, Goodings Grove School, effective August 21, 2017
  5. Amy Miller – general music teacher, Goodings Grove and Schilling schools, effective

August 21, 2017

  1. Gail Malvestuto – psychologist, Homer Junior High School, effective August 21, 2017
  2. Sarah Beglen – general music teacher, Schilling School, effective August 21, 2017​

○ Carol Dicksen, boys 6  th /7 th  grade volleyball

○ Kelly Klosak, cheerleading

○ John Fencl, boys cross country

○ Kristen Bard, 5               th /6 th  grade cross country

○ Jeff Weathers, girls 8  th  grade volleyball

○ Ken Zeimetz, girls 7     th  grade volleyball

○ Annmarie Corcoran, girls 6       th  grade volleyball

○ Amy Marzano, A Team softball

○ Brittany Konsoer, 7      th  grade softball

○ Kristen Guska, 7            th  grade softball

○ William Keasler, boys and girls 7             th /8 th  grade track

○ Mike Poremba, boys 7               th /8 th  grade track

○ Kristen Bard, girls 7      th /8 th  grade track

○ David Rush, 5 th -8 th  wrestling

○ Kenton Brace, 5            th -8 th  wrestling

○ Jake Gage, 5   th  grade basketball clinic

○ John Fencl, 5  th  grade cross country clinic

○ Jeff Weathers, 5           th  grade volleyball clinic

○ Linda Curry, 5 th /6 th  grade speech

○ Nichole Boyce, 7           th /8 th  grade speech

○ Leighann Cannon, 5     th /6 th  grade Scholastic Bowl

○ Nichole Boyce, 7           th /8 th  grade Scholastic Bowl

  • External coaches for sports, effective for the 2017-2018 school year

○ Paul Oster, wrestling

○ Christopher Myers, wrestling

○ William Pavlich, boys track

○ Della LoPresti, cross country

  • The Board tabled a recommendation to hire a full-time clerical aide to enter student

assessment data into the OnHand Instructional Management System. The data is needed to

identify at-risk students, review assessment scores and manage interventions. The Board has

asked to investigate other options

  • Homer Junior High School Assistant Principal Greg Zurales presented an overview of the

Homer Junior High School graduation ceremony, which will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, June

2 nd  at Lockport Township High School East Campus

  • District Leadership Team (DLT) co-chairs Tammie Ebel, Cathy Clayton, Kathleen Robinson and

Kara Coglianese presented an update on the group’s work this year. The team of 20-plus

teachers, administrators and staff members meet once a month from 4 to 6 p.m. to review

student assessment data, track progress, set goals and complete strategic plan priorities.

Students are tested in the fall, winter (if they fall below the 25 percent quartile) and spring. The

District Leadership Team and School Leadership Teams (SLT) then pour over the data, looking

for patterns and trends to see if adjustments are needed in the curriculum, rigor or pacing.

Looking ahead, the District Leadership Team will focus on curriculum mapping and pacing

(concentrating on grades K, 1 and 2) this summer. In the fall, School Leadership Teams will

review the DLT’s recommendations, new student assessment data and adjust their percentile

growth targets. Building principals and grade level teams will meet throughout the year to ​

review progress toward targets and develop instructional strategies to meet their goals. In

addition, the School Leadership Teams will plan and implement site-based professional

development in goal areas and report monthly to DLT on student achievement progress and

strategy development

  • The Board approved the City of Lockport School Facility and Land/Cash Fees for property

located within the Homer 33C District boundaries

  • The Board approved the Butler baseball field improvement project. Work will begin this

summer

  • The Board approved the Municipal Lease Agreement with Santander Leasing, LLC and the

Leased Vehicle Assignment Agreement with Midwest Transit Equipment, Inc.

  • The Board approved the release of a Multipurpose Xerographic Paper Bid
  • The Board reviewed and confirmed the Budget Hearing date and time for September 26, 2017

at 6:45 p.m. and set the Regular Board meeting date for the month of December 2017 as

December 19, 2017

  • The Board approved the Honorable Dismissal of the following full-time Educational Support

Personnel: Jeanette Bobak, paraprofessional; Mary Ann Pratt, paraprofessional; Lisa Oneil,

paraprofessional; Susan Shea, paraprofessional; Mary Kay Oldendorf, paraprofessional;

Annette Pahl, paraprofessional and Jessica Suerth, paraprofessional

  • The Board approved a resolution authorizing the reduction of the District’s Media Center

Classroom Volunteer Coordinator position for Scott Masen from full-time to part-time, effective

at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year

  • The Board approved a three-year contract with the Support Staff Union and a Memorandum of

Understanding regarding a one-time retirement incentive for eligible employees. Union

members will receive a 4.2 percent increase in pay the first year, a 3.7 percent increase the

second year and 3.7 percent increase the third year

  • The Board agreed to partner with the Goodings Grove PTO and commit funding to the

Goodings Grove Playground Project, including any needed site work and contribution for

playground equipment

  • The Board approved merit pay for Administrators as presented
  • The Board approved raises for non-certified support staff not included in the Support Staff

Union. The non-union employees will receive a 4.2 percent raise in 2017-2018; a 3.7 percent

raise in 2018-2019 and a 3.7 percent raise in 2019-2020 — just like members of the Support

Staff Union​

Source: Will County News

CNBC’s Santelli On CPS Pension Fund: It’s A Ponzi Scheme Upstream Ideas

CNBC’s Santelli on CPS Pension Fund: It’s A Ponzi Scheme

CNBC’s Santelli On CPS Pension Fund: It’s A Ponzi Scheme
Dan & Amy are joined by CNBC On-Air Editor Rick Santelli who had this to say about the Chicago City Wire: “It is a great publication. I wish more print and blogs and commentators and analysts would zero in on some of these huge issues.”

Watch the interview now and share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter using #UpstreamIdeas.

Also in the News
Ives: It’s immoral to put that much debt on other people’s backs. Watch now.
Since collusion is the DC watchword of the day, let’s discuss the collusion between big government and its press agents. Listen now.

Source: Will County News