↓ Archives ↓

Archive → June 15th, 2017

Trump News June 15, 2017

President Donald J. Trump is dedicating this week to workforce development. Today, the President will attend the Governors and Workforce of Tomorrow roundtable to discuss the critical importance of vocational training for young Americans. President Trump will later give remarks on the Apprenticeship and Workforce of Tomorrow initiatives and sign an Executive Order.

TODAY’S EVENTS

9:40 AM: Vice President Pence departs Washington, DC on Air Force Two en route to Miami, FL

10:00 AM: President Trump receives his daily intelligence briefing

10:45 AM: President Trump drops by the Governors and Workforce of Tomorrow roundtable

11:00 AM: President Trump gives remarks on the Apprenticeship and Workforce of Tomorrow initiatives and signs an Executive Order – Watch

1:00 PM: Vice President Pence Speaks at the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America – Watch

1:30 PM: Press Briefing with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

2:00 PM: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in the Investiture Ceremony for Justice Neil Gorsuch

2:00 PM: Vice President Pence participates in a bilateral meeting with President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras

3:00 PM: Vice President Pence participates in a bilateral meeting with President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala

4:00 PM: Vice President Pence participates in a bilateral meeting with Vice President Óscar Ortiz of El Salvador

4:45 PM: Vice President Pence participates in a meeting with President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti

PHOTO OF THE DAY

President Donald J. Trump and Ivanka Trump | June 13, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES

On Tuesday, President Trump delivered remarks to members of Congress detailing the disastrous effects of Obamacare. He urged the Congressmen to repeal and replace the failing healthcare law. The President also touched on the economy, where he highlighted the 16-year low unemployment rate.

On Tuesday, President Trump traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to meet with victims of Obamacare and deliver remarks on healthcare. Many Americans couldn’t keep their plans as promised, had their premiums double, and have fewer options than ever before.

On Tuesday, Vice President Pence gave remarks at the US Department of Health and Human Services expressing his appreciation for all the hardworking individuals of the Department and addressing the continuing collapse of Obamacare.

On Tuesday, President Trump made remarks at a Workforce Development Roundtable to emphasize the importance of vocational training and apprenticeships.

On Wednesday, we celebrated President Trump’s birthday, the Army’s 242nd birthday, and Flag Day.

WHAT WE ARE READING

“Government should be a means of empowerment, not dependency, as well as a safety net. As President Trump discusses building America’s workforce, public housing has a role in that discussion. Those who receive housing assistance must have a path toward jobs, wealth creation and economic improvement.” The Washington Times

“Throughout his career, President Trump has seen firsthand the success of apprenticeship programs in the building trades. Throughout his campaign, as he met with a countless number of Americans, President Trump repeated his commitment to expand job opportunities here in America. Apprenticeships will be one of the ways that President Trump will deliver on his commitment.”The Des Moines Register

“Federal officials have rounded up close to 40 accused members of MS-13 in New York City and Long Island in the 30 days following vows by Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crack down on the gang, known for terrorizing immigrant communities.” New York Post

Source: Will County News

Trump News June 14, 2017

STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP


As you all know, shortly after 7:00 a.m. this morning, a gunman opened fire on members of Congress and their staffs as they were practicing for tomorrow’s annual charity baseball game.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime, and the assailant has now died from his injuries. The FBI is leading the investigation and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.

Congressman Steve Scalise, a member of House leadership, was shot and badly wounded, and is now in stable condition at the hospital, along with two very courageous Capitol Police officers. At least two others were also wounded.

Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault.

Melania and I are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims.

Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend. He’s a patriot and he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault. And, Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation and, frankly, the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting.

I spoke with Steve’s wife, Jennifer, and I pledged to her our full and absolute support — anything she needs. We are with her and with the entire Scalise family.

I have also spoken with Chief Matthew Verderosa — he’s doing a fantastic job — of the Capitol Police to express our sympathies for his wounded officers and to express my admiration for their courage. Our brave Capitol Police perform a challenging job with incredible skill, and their sacrifice makes democracy possible.

We also commend the brave first responders from Alexandria Police, Fire and Rescue who rushed to the scene. Everyone on that field is a public servant — our courageous police, our congressional aides who work so tirelessly behind the scenes with enormous devotion, and our dedicated members of Congress who represent our people.

We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.

We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.

Please take a moment today to cherish those you love, and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. God bless them all, God bless you, and God Bless America. Thank you.

Source: Will County News

Dem Senator Wants Investigation Into Lynch Interference On Clinton Email Investigation

Dem Senator Wants Investigation Into Lynch Interference On Clinton Email Investigation

Photo of Peter Hasson

PETER HASSON
Associate Editor

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate former attorney general Loretta Lynch instructing James Comey to mislead the public about the Clinton email investigation.

Loretta Lynch (REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec/File Photo)

Comey testified on Thursday that Lynch instructed him, without explanation, to call the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use a private email server as secretary of a state a “matter” instead of an investigation. Lynch’s request, Comey said, made him feel “queasy” as it appeared she was “looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate.” (RELATED: Bush AG: Lynch ‘Betrayal’ Made DOJ ‘An Arm Of The Clinton Campaign’)

“I would have a queasy feeling, too,” Feinstein admitted in a Sunday morning interview on CNN. “I think we need to know more about that and there’s only way to know about it, and that’s to have the judiciary committee take a look at that.”

Source: Will County News

Seldom talked about cost to people of High Property Tax

Lake County lies about 40 miles north of Chicago’s congested urban landscape. With more than 100 lakes within county lines, the place is aptly named and offers a stark contrast to the nearby city.

The Rev. Lisle Kauffman, looking over one of those lakes – Round Lake – still admires it more than four decades after moving to the area. In many ways, Round Lake is a good depiction of the entire county: It feels rural, but is complemented by retail and commuters to and from Chicago. And it is more diverse than might be assumed.

“It really is an amazing little place,” Kauffman says about the Round Lake area, to which he moved in 1969.

Small beaches, parks and trails hug the shoreline of the lake. Residents’ backyards touch the lake’s northwest channel. The beauty and quaint feeling of Round Lake communities – of which, in name, there are four, all between 2,000 and 30,000 in population – are still attracting people to the area. Vicki McCarthy, who operates a small business out of her home in Round Lake Beach, moved to the area in 2000 from Mississippi. She moved to Illinois for work, and as she began looking for a neighborhood to call home she fell in love with Round Lake.

She still feels that way, partially.

“I really like the area, I do. It’s nice,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want to have to move, but I will if I have to. If Illinois doesn’t change as a state, I will. I’ll bail.”

Beyond the foliage, the miles of lakes and a small-town community feel, McCarthy and her neighbors pay a lot each year for their homes. Not in mortgage costs, but in property taxes. They have for decades. According to data from the Tax Foundation, the median Lake County property tax bill is almost $7,000 each year, the highest in the state and one of the highest in the country.

This is a problem for the Round Lake area – nearly 25 percent of homes in the greater Round Lake area are “seriously underwater,” according to a 2017 RealtyTrac report. While the greater Round Lake area – encompassing Round Lake proper, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights and Round Lake Park – exemplifies Lake County’s character, these areas also highlight a noxious problem many Illinois communities face: waste. The Round Lake community is carved up along jurisdictional lines, with four relatively small villages of similar makeup, and four different mayors and village boards. Residents of each village, however, don’t see much difference among themselves.

“Where one village ends and another one begins is very blurred, quite honestly,” said Ken Slove, owner of Lovin Oven Cakery in Round Lake Beach. “You don’t know. It’s all the same.”

Slove sees customers from every Round Lake community. His bakery is a popular local spot for cakes and donuts among residents of each village, as they are all within less than 3 miles of each other. Slove, who feels a connection to the community through his small business, sees them all as one.

Local politicians don’t.

“We have one fire department, but that’s the only thing that is one. Everything else is four,” Slove said. “Four mayors, four village boards, four chief of polices, four whatever. … Instead of doing that under one, they found a way to spend some money.”

Residents of those communities over the years have come together in several ways. They’ve adapted to demographic changes, embraced more business and retail, and faced challenges from crime and violence to improving local schools. But within just a few miles of each other, surrounding one of Lake County’s many bodies of water, they remain divided administratively.

Where those dividing lines fall can appear arbitrary. McCarthy has a fire department in her subdivision. But if her house would catch on fire, she said that’s not the fire department that would respond – Lake Villa would, due to where her house falls along the boundary lines that separate each unit of government.

It’s been easier for citizens to come together than it has for those in power locally. And those jurisdictional and administrative divisions that still remain have a cost.

History 

The Round Lake area began to really develop in the 1940s. Round Lake proper was incorporated in the early part of the 20th century, but in the late ‘40s, as servicemen began coming back from the second world war, affordable homes were developed in the unincorporated areas around the lake. Residents in those areas began needing municipal services, and new neighborhoods called Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park and Indian Hill – now called Round Lake Heights – began to develop.

In 1955, a 15-man committee called the Round Lake Civic Betterment League was tasked with trying to bring these communities together by consolidating the villages. An April 1955 headline in the Daily Herald read: “Consider Round Lake Merger For One City.” Sixty-one years later, in August 2016, a Daily Herald headline read: “Coalition aims to merge three Round Lake-area towns into one.”

Nothing has changed. Different coalitions have formed, but the issue stays the same.

Kauffman moved to Round Lake Park in August 1969, after growing up in Arlington Heights and Wheaton, and serving in the Korean War. He worked on two consolidation boards in the 1970s, neither of which was successful.

But though he hasn’t seen movement on that front, Kauffman, who serves as both police and fire chaplain for the area, has seen quite a bit of change in nearly 50 years as a Round Laker.

“I’ve seen some incredible change,” Kauffman said. “I’ve watched these citizens really, really work to change this town.”

“I’m just as proud as I can be of our communities.”

Over the four-plus decades Kauffman has called the greater Round Lake area home, he’s seen demographic changes as the area has become more diverse, and he’s observed residents overcome a host of challenges.

A nine-week teachers strike in 1994 left students and parents in a bind and set the district back. By 2002, the district had become severely financially distressed and had declined educationally. This prompted the state of Illinois to take over the district, which was then only the second time the state had taken control of a school district.

The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that the district had been “spending beyond its means” for years and was facing $14 million in short-term debt at the time of the state takeover.

“It was a terrible impact,” Kauffman said, speaking of the teachers strike in the ‘90s and the ensuing events. “Kids were out of school for a long time. A lot of animosity, a lot of bitterness. But in life sometimes you have to pass through some really, really complicated times in order to go forward.

“I still believe adversity breeds a fiber that can make a community stronger, and I think that’s what happened here. And that’s what happened in our school.”

In his time as what he calls a “greater Round Lake person,” Kauffman has also seen considerable changes in the makeup of the Round Lake community. As of the 2010 census, more than 25 percent of Round Lake is Hispanic, 48 percent of Round Lake Beach is Hispanic, and 38 percent of Round Lake Park is Hispanic.

With this, attitudes have changed, too.

Terri Kelly has been living in the Round Lake area for 34 years. Twenty-nine years ago, she adopted her first child. All four of her sons are black; Kelly is white. When she was first raising her children more than two decades ago, a social worker advised Kelly to move – Round Lake wasn’t very diverse. But that’s changed.

“[Back then] it was mostly white, with a very small black population,” Kelly said. “The town has grown and changed dramatically.”

Hispanic-owned businesses are common on many of the streets in the communities, and the area is culturally integrated, though that was an effort that took time.

Gilbert Rivera, the Round Lake Beach chief of police, has seen those demographic changes from multiple perspectives in his 18 years in the area – both as a Hispanic resident and a public employee working to keep the community safe.

For a while, he was the only Hispanic member of the force. But now Rivera wants the police force to reflect the diversity of the community, which he’s seen evolve over time.

“I felt it early on here, kind of clashes of culture,” Rivera said. “There are always people that are less accepting and not understanding. I think that’s gotten way better. Everyone evolves. I think we’re in a good place there. The village is very unified in that regard.”

Round Lake residents worked toward that unification – which transcends the political borders.

Coming together – almost

Despite all the growth and unity, the Round Lake communities – none of which are that large – are still divided by governmental borders. Why?

“Round Lake, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Beach – they’re all one big conglomerate of Round Lake, but they don’t want to form into one Round Lake because three of the mayors and three of the village boards and three of the chief of police would lose their job,” Slove said. “So, they would rather take taxpayer dollars and pay themselves.”

The highest-paid municipal employee in Round Lake Beach is the village administrator, who is making nearly $180,000 a year. The chief of police makes more than $130,000, and the deputy chiefs both make more than $120,000. Salaries aren’t much lower in less populous Round Lake, where the village administrator makes more than $130,000, and the police chief and three police sergeants all make between $114,000 and $120,000.

Meanwhile, private sector median earnings in Round Lake Beach have fallen 8 percent between 2009 and 2015, reaching $26,000 at the end of that time period. Just by consolidating duplicative jobs between Round Lake and Round Lake Beach, taxpayers could save up to $3 million each year.

But there are hurdles both at the local level and at the state level. A bill in Springfield would have expanded local governments’ ability to consolidate. But state Rep. Sam Yingling, who represents the Round Lake area, proposed an amendment to the bill that would prevent any reduction in personnel or in salaries or benefits for union-represented employees if a unit of local government were to dissolve. That bill stalled and did not pass the General Assembly before the spring session ended May 31.

Given the evident struggles of several different past consolidation committees at the local level, that structure is difficult enough to break without state government roadblocks.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take [to consolidate],” McCarthy said. “I know all of the mayors in all of the little villages in our little area have enough of an ego that none of them are going to say, ‘For the betterment of our community, let’s consolidate,’ because who is going to end up being the mayor, who is going to give up their position? Their little fiefdom?”

The Daily Herald story in 1955 said the consolidation of the four villages would result in one town of about 15,000. If that happened now, it would be more than three times the size. The community has changed demographically and increased in size while confronting challenges and adapting to changing times. But local politicians are slow to catch up.

“Ultimately, when the people speak, politicians generally have to listen or are forced to listen,” Slove said. “But obviously there doesn’t appear to be enough outcry, and maybe enough people don’t think like that or don’t realize [that consolidation would help].

“I don’t even know if people consider [consolidation]. They’re too busy making their own ends meet that I don’t think they even think about that. But they should, ‘cause it would help their ends meet.”

Even after years of profound change and growth in the Round Lake community, Kauffman still worries about making sure Round Lake residents are able to survive financially. That tops a list – along with consolidating the communities – of what he and many other residents hope for moving forward.

“I’d like to see us as one,” Kauffman said, still looking over the lakeshore that touches multiple villages with a shared name. “I think that would be good.”

Joe Kaiser
Writer

Source: Will County News