↓ Archives ↓

Archive → December 6th, 2017

Repair and maintenance items should not need a permit

Repair and maintenance should be encouraged on all property. Forcing property owners to get a permit for routine repair and maintenance is detrimental because most people just do the repair or maintenance because they did not dream they need a permit. Some people can’t afford the repair let alone the permit, so they do nothing. Some people know they need a permit but do the repair without it hoping they won’t get caught. Almost everyone thinks of the permit as just another way for the Government to take their money.

I am trying to make Will County Land Use Regulations more people friendly by exempting  routine repair and maintenance items from needing a permit. People, don’t for the most part follow the current law which needs to reflect common sense.

 

This is an example of a situation that could easily occur. A carpenter comes home from work Friday night and gets into the shower. Cold water is all that will come out. After checking the Hot Water Tank, the nightmare begins because it is no longer operational. Does he wait till Monday to get a permit and hire a licensed contractor, taking cold showers  till Tuesday or does he solve the problem with a  call to a friend that can help him install a new one that night. The installation may involve putting in a shut off valve.

Installation of windows and doors are not exempt even if they are put in the same opening and the dimensions or framing of the original opening are not altered.

  1. To ensure life safety
  2. To ensure ensure structural changes are done properly
  3. To ensure manufacturer installation spec’s are met
  4. To ensure compliance with the 2015 Energy code
  5. To ensure safety glazing when required
  6. To insure contractors are licensed, insured, and bonded.

Replacing a door or a window in the same opening with no structural changes should be exempt from a permit. The reasons listed are just a way to justify forcing property owner’s to get a permit. Reasons include structural changes which are not happening with this routine repair and maintenance. The County adopted the 2012 Building Code not the 2015 code, but can opt out of the portion of the Energy code that requires a permit. In fact the County does not have to adopt any code. The idea that government is going to make sure the property owner has the work done by a licensed contractor is saying it is the Job of the County to protect property owners from hiring a bad contractor to do repair and maintenance to their property. The cost of the permit just adds to the cost of the repair and in some cases will stop the owner from doing the repair.

 

If a piece of siding on your house is damaged in a storm, you can just leave it damaged or get a permit to repair or replace it. Again this is just an added cost to the owner. The reasons given in my opinion are really pushing the line of what is sensible and what is just absurd. Will County Land Use under the leadership of Mr. Padock use the following reasons:

  1. To insure manufacturer spec’s are met. I cant see how this can even be said when all that is happening is a repair or replacing of damaged siding.
  2. To make sure the contractor is licensed etc.
  3. To make sure the proper material is used, and the repair meets the 2012 residential code and national standards code.

Property owners doing repair or maintenance on their property have to pay for a permit for these reasons????  Is it any wonder people think getting a permit is just another way for government to make money.

 

Rain Gutters and leaders are not exempt. This is by a rule set by the Will County Chief Building Official. So you can replace the gutter and pay for a permit or leave the old one in place. So either buy a permit and the gutters or let your property alone with old or inferior gutters.

 

Bet you did not know according to State Statute you can’t use battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You need to get a permit and get them hard wired. So I guess people will be breaking the law rather than pay for a permit and the cost to hardwire the detectors. Most people just buy them in the store and replace the battery’s. But I get it, people are not smart enough to replace the battery’s. but they sure won’t take on the expense of a hardwire unless they are caught.

 

Other items needing a permit are:

Repair or replacement of Ductwork, Replacement of air conditioning equipment and systems, you can fix a leak in a pipe if it does not require any type of replacement. This applies to faucets or working parts of faucets.. So I understand a permit is needed to put in a new sink, a shut off valve, or new parts inside your toilet tank. Remember you can’t even replace a valve that is leaking without a permit. Oh my God I almost forgot you need a permit to replace traps under your sink and a permit to replace your toilet.

 

Currently all roofing work requires a permit.This is due to the absence of any formal exemption in adopted codes and due to the Ill. Roofing Industry Licensing act stating a licensed roofing contractor is required. So Land use is telling property owners they must hire a contractor. If you repair a leak yourself you are breaking the current law. This is not talking about an entire roof, it is just talking about 25% or less of the roof. If the structure is not changed it is crazy to think a property owner can’t fix it themselves.

Send the Will County Board your opinion. They need to hear what the people think.  CountyBoard@willcountyillinois.com

815-740-4602

 

Source: Will County News

Sanctuary city politics killed Kate Steinle

Sanctuary city politics killed Kate Steinle

The photograph is of a lovely young woman, with a warm smile on her face, a woman who loved and was loved in turn.

Her name was Kate Steinle.

 Image result for picture of Kate Steinle

The last words she said to her father before she died were “Help me, Dad.”

So look at that photo. See the promise in her face.

Some are calling her a symbol now of what’s wrong with illegal immigration. I’m not so sure. My parents were immigrants.

I grew up in this country desperate to become an American. So immigration isn’t some political exercise for me. It’s been part of my life.

But so has been my understanding of what binds us together, all of us, so many different people, with our different ethnicities and habits and foods and languages.

It is the belief in the rule of law. And without that, we’re nothing.

Making Kate Steinle a symbol doesn’t do her justice. She wasn’t a symbol of anything when that bullet took her. She was just a young American woman, walking with her dad.

When you look at the photo, you might want to fix the light of her eyes in your mind. But do it quickly, because Kate Steinle is in the way of politics, and she’s fading from view.

She’s being muscled out of the news.

The guilty plea of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in the Russia investigation of President Donald Trump’s administration demands attention. The Republican tax cut demands attention.

And more allegations of sexual misconduct by political and media elites will get attention.

But before she fades from the news cycle, please consider this.

Kate Steinle isn’t merely a casualty of a senseless act of some habitual criminal who was cleared of murder charges in San Francisco the other day.

Image result for picture of Kate Steinle

Kate Steinle is a casualty of American politics, of sanctuary city politics.

And that makes her a political problem. That makes her an irritant to Democratic politicians and the open-borders types who use sanctuary city policies to bend immigration law and win Mexican-American votes.

You might not like it, but that’s what it is. They defy federal law to satisfy their local politics.

So yes, she’s a problem, because it was sanctuary city policy that protected Jose Zarate, a career criminal who had already been deported five times and was in this country illegally.

Zarate had been in local custody on a drug charge. And rather than bow to a detainer request of federal immigration authorities and hold him, Sanctuary San Francisco let Jose Zarate go.

There was a stolen gun in his hand as Kate Steinle and her father walked along Pier 14.

He initially told police he’d been shooting at a sea lion.

But if he had killed the sea lion, Zarate would have been convicted of something.

The bullet killed Kate Steinle instead. And a jury acquitted him of all the serious charges, from murder to manslaughter.

A charge of murder requires proof of direct intent and there were no witnesses to intent. I’ve seen it argued that local prosecutors overreached in charging murder in the first degree. I wouldn’t disagree.

Yet he also walked on manslaughter charges. And how a man can fire a gun and kill someone and not be convicted of manslaughter? That is beyond me.

I wasn’t in that courtroom. Her family was, though. And her father, Jim Steinle, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the family was shocked and saddened by the verdict.

“There’s no other way you can join it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served,” he said.

And justice still isn’t being served, as long as sanctuary cities allow local political warlords to buy votes by bending federal law.

The politics of this are smart, and effective, which is why so many big cities with large Mexican populations have adopted sanctuary city policies.

But under the law, immigration is the province of the federal government. And without the law, what are we? A collection of squabbling city-states?

Why do we even have a federal government at all, if only to allow each state, each city and the local warlords to make their own separate immigration policy?

Only the people of a sovereign nation have the right to decide what to do about their own borders. And their will is expressed by Congress.

A nation without borders isn’t a nation. It’s just land that can be grabbed by whoever is tough enough to grab it.

And releasing criminals onto the streets to satisfy your political goals isn’t policy. It’s dangerous.

But all that wasn’t on the mind of Jim Steinle or his daughter Kate when they were walking along that San Francisco pier.

“Kate was beautiful, kind, happy, caring, loving and deep in faith,” Jim Steinle said in testifying before Congress in 2015. “Kate had a special soul, a kind and giving heart, the most contagious laugh, and a smile that would light up a room.

“… The day she was killed, we were walking arm in arm on Pier 14 in San Francisco, enjoying a wonderful day together. Suddenly a shot rang out, Kate fell, and looked at me and said, ‘Help me, Dad.’ Those are the last words I will ever hear from my daughter,” he said.

In America, we say that justice is blind because we know that without justice under the rule of law, we’re finished.

What happened to Kate Steinle wasn’t justice.

A bullet took her life. But it was politics that killed her.

 

Source: Will County News

Throwing cold water on climate alarmism

Throwing cold water on climate alarmism

10 Shares

Judging by a handful of recent reports regarding the climate, it’s been a rough week for for America’s mainstream global warming alarmists.

Apocalypse Never

The Daily Caller over the weekend pointed out that “climate scientists” and the environmental activists often signing their paychecks have been telling us for at least three decades that humanity is on the verge of extinction brought on by man-made global warming.

Today, our coastal residents are supposed to be living under water and other areas should be becoming increasingly uninhabitable because of global warming sparked famine and natural disaster.

“Of course, human civilization has not collapsed, despite decades of predictions that we only have years left to avert disaster,” The DC notes. “Ten years ago, the U.N. predicted we only had “as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.

“This failed prediction, however, has not stopped the U.N. and others from issuing more apocalyptic statements.”

One of the most dire warning of impending doom came 25 years ago when 1,700 scientists signed a letter claiming that the years ahead would be filled with famine and fiery death if the developed world didn’t slow the growth of capitalism in an effort to curb worldwide heating. This year, the same Union of Concerned Scientists, released a second letter with many of the same yet unrealized predictions for the years ahead. And though the global temperature hasn’t increased since the original letter was written, the number of signatories to the apocalyptic prediction has. The 2017 version of We’re all gonna die because hot, dirty captialism has 15,000 signatures.

Read some more unfulfilled global warming warnings via The Daily Caller.  

A Documentary Recasts the Warming Debate

The American Institute for Economic Research last week pointed supporters to a Canadian documentary published earlier this year which debunks much of the official global warming narrative.

AIER explains:

The documentary The Environment: A True Story invites us to rethink global warming and to question what the media and some influential actors say about it. Produced by Canadian history professor John Robson, the film presents historical evidence and comments from climate scientists, such as climatologist Richard Keen from the University of Colorado, Boulder, to demonstrate that “alarmism is not a good science.”

Robson, who describes himself as a passionate environmentalist, demonstrates in two hours and 40 minutes that the Earth’s climate has always fluctuated. It is, therefore, derelict to blame humans for something that already happened when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It is even worse to study global warming with computer models originally designed to predict natural phenomenon that have, at most, only 150 years of recorded data.

Robson claims that a historical overview of the geographical and weather conditions of the planet is enough to shake up the commonly accepted belief in man-made global warming.

The interviewed specialists explain that the Earth passes through cycles of big ice ages and big melts. The Holocene epoch — the period since the last ice age — began 12,000 years back and has permitted human life, but it is actually an interglacial stage. Now the Earth is approaching the next big melt, and that explains some rising temperatures in recent years.

The documentary is extremely interesting and available for free online. Check it out:

So What Drives Continued Alarmism? ‘Garbage in, Garbage out’

Retired NASA physicist Hal Doiron recently told the Heartland Institute’s America First Energy Conference that there’s no way for new climate predictions to be accurate as long as scientists are relying on propaganda data previously compiled by global warming alarmists.

“At NASA, we have a policy: You can’t make a design decision on a spacecraft or rocket that is not validated,” he said. “You don’t make critical decisions based on ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ Yet our government has been doing that with respect to climate alarm, because too many academics in universities are writing papers, drawing conclusions from models that don’t agree with physical data.”

Source: Will County News

What the report card says about Illinois teachers

What the report card says about Illinois teachers

You’ve read about the recent state school report card statistics that parse student achievement in every district. But you may not have seen much about another compelling statistic. It concerns teacher evaluations statewide. That measurement is just as vital as student scores. The quality of the teacher in front of the class is the single most important factor in helping kids learn — or not.

Intrigued? Good. But before we get to new numbers, a brief backgrounder: In 2010, Illinois lawmakers passed a reform that mandated tougher teacher evaluations, not just in Chicago but statewide. CPS was among the first to roll out a new, more stringent evaluation system that tied teacher ratings to student academic growth and an array of other measures. That was a milestone because for many years, almost every Chicago teacher (and, we’re betting, most statewide) was rated as above average. Vanishingly few — 0.3 percent, with a decimal point at the front of that 3 — earned an unsatisfactory rank.

That was fine with the teachers unions because their dues-paying members kept their jobs. But a weak evaluation system had kept poorly performing teachers in front of classrooms, shortchanging students year after year.

That was then. And now? The latest Illinois state school report card for the first time reports district-by-district teacher evaluation results and a statewide average of all teachers who make a passing grade by finishing in the top two ranking categories. Statewide, that number is an eyebrow-raising, credibility-challenging 97 percent.

Of the 771 districts reporting evaluation data, about 6 in 10 schools rated every teacher in the top two categories, according to an analysis by Brad White, interim director of the Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Is this “Lake Wobegon Effect” (everyone’s above average) plausible? Please.

And CPS? Overall, the district reported lower — more realistic, we’d say — figures. About 89 percent of CPS teachers now earn a rating in the top two categories — ”excellent” or “proficient.” About 10 percent land in the third category, “developing,” for teachers who need to improve. And fewer than 1 percent of teachers — about 0.7 percent — are “unsatisfactory,” which means a teacher either improves rapidly or faces possible firing.

Only 11 districts had a lower number of teachers rated in the top categories, White tells us. The lowest: 81.5 percent reported by Century Unit District 100 in Ullin in southern Illinois. His takeaway on the CPS metrics? “CPS deserves credit for taking teacher evaluation seriously and not taking the easy way out, especially in light of data suggesting that most districts in the state rated all of their teachers in one of the top two categories,” White says. We agree.

We don’t know what the ideal distribution of scores should be at CPS or statewide. In 2012, however, CPS leaders told us that about 70 percent of Chicago’s teachers would fit into the top two categories, not the current 89 percent. They projected that about 27 percent — almost triple the current figure — would fall into the “needs improvement” category. Officials estimated about 3 percent would be deemed unsatisfactory — about four times the current share. Is CPS grading as rigorously as it projected?

Bigger question: Why the gap between CPS and the rest of the state? Unclear.

Whatever the reasons, parents across the state should keep a close eye on teacher grades in their child’s school and district. (You can find your district’s teacher evaluation results on the state’s interactive report card site, www.illinoisreportcard.com.) Parents will see in the next few years if the rest of the state’s schools show a CPS-like shift to what’s likely to be a more realistic curve. Or if Lake Wobegon Effect continues. Parents, be skeptical.

Evaluations alone don’t drive superior performance. But honest appraisals give teachers feedback so they can improve. They may encourage the best teachers to stay and the worst to leave. In private companies, performance reports often drive who gets raises or promotions and who gets shown the door. Teaching should be no different.

Keep the pressure on, CPS leaders. You look to be ahead of the curve. Now, will the rest of the state catch up?

Source: Will County News