Friday, June 30, 2006

Lawyer in Pain over Delay in Development at the Old Ford Dealership

Remaining issues have not yet been settled by the Wilmette Plan Commission for the hulking 5-story commercial building being planned directly across from City Hall, and the Wilmette Life is reporting that the developers aren’t happy. “We are hurting . . .” said the developer’s attorney about the delay, although it should be noted that they developer failed to file his documents in a timely manner for the meeting. Previous plans by the developer have included subsidy by the village of Wilmette, a parking garage, and now the latest—happily not loved by the Commission: a driveway through the development which would dump cars onto Green Bay Road from the property.

From the story in today’s Wilmette Life, it appears that the Wilmette Plan Commission may have a sincere interest in doing the right thing at the old Ford dealership on Green Bay Road. They are asking the developers, led by principal Kevin Pochter, to make certain changes (which the developer did not care for) to the supersized structure to attempt to make the building acceptable to the Comission.

Residents of the village living west of Green Bay should be particularly concerned about the new driveway plan if they want to have any chance of reaching the train to downtown in a reasonable amount of time. On the other hand, residents of the village east of Green Bay Road might be concerned about the effect of increased traffic on children or elders walking from their homes to the library.

Link to list of previous posts on this property is here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Web Tourism: Great Finds from France

For some time now I've been wondering why France seems to be a johnny-come-lately country on the Internet. From what I've found in the last couple of days, it may have been worth the wait.

The first French site, ABC Paris Live, has 58 pretty-as-a-picture webcams, radio, TV and blogs. There is so much there, I barely have had time to explore it--go take a look.

The second French site,, features a webpage similar to Yahoo or Google home pages, but different. You can access your e-mail, do Internet searches including Google and wikipedia, store up to a gig of information, read headlines, and plenty more. You might want to go and see whether it could work for you. It is very elegant.

Speaking of France, with 4th of July celebrations about to begin, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of the Marquis de Lafayette. His help in the American Revolution was so valuable, Ben Franklin noted that he was "infinitely esteemed and beloved here."

While we're celbrating the American Revolution, remember that there are still plenty of countries who have citizens seeking freedoms that every American enjoys. You don't need be of noble birth or take a long journey by sea to help let freedom ring. In honor of our Independence, and in memory of the good Marquis, you might want to take a look around the Internet for a worthy cause that will help others and see if you can lend a hand.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Corn Fed Cars
Turning Dreams into Reality

Readers know I've been dreaming of corn fed cars for quite some time now, and with hopes that Illinois' most beautiful crop will be knee high next week, there there are two news items today with great promise.

First, President Bush reaffirmed his support of ethanol. Second, two former executives from Archer Daniels Midland have founded a new company in Kansas City which will which will be capable of producing 220 million gallons of ethanol a year by 2008. While the plants probably will be built in Iowa, I also dream of the great midwest revitalized by fuel.

With gas at $3.109 at the Shell on Ridge, its time to get going on alternative car fuel made of corn. If you haven't visited the Cornulator yet, it's a fun way to pass a few minutes. Or just click here to find out about the Illinois Corn Grower's Association.

Note: this blog will not financially benefit from corn, except in savings at the local gas pump.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


If you have been on the Internet in the USA since the Old Days before it was the world wide web, chances are that at one time or another you were a "member" of AOL. I'm willing to bet that chances are, before you got out, you too were calling it AOHell, and possibly because it seemed almost impossible to cancel.

Today there is word of someone finally getting even, and if you click on this link you can hear the nighmare phone call cleverly recorded by a member just trying to get out . . .

Sorry to drudge up the unpleasant memories, but this deserves to be shared.

Aw, Schucks!

I guess that says it all.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Longest Day of the Year

June 21 is the longest day of the year in Wilmette. In fact, it's the longest day of the year everywhere. From now on each day will get shorter, until December 21, when the winter solstice occurs.

You can see a beautiful picture of Stonehenge at dawn by clicking here. If it's cloudy where you are, just click here to see some pretty exciting scientific pictures of the sun.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

Panicked for a Father's Day present? Why not a six of good beer and the promise to be the designated driver for a trip to a local brewery? There are over 2,000 in the US, and plenty in Canada, too. You can find one nearby at Beer Expedition. At, you can figure out a menu for father's day that will show off beer to its best advantage.

For the non-alcohol group, you can find reviews of 321 types of root beer at The Root Beer Barrel. With the hot weather upon us, what could be better than a father's day present of a couple of packs of fancy root beer accompanied by a cool root beer float? While you're making that, better make one for everyone in the family!

If you're lucky enough to be a Dad, Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Update on Lawless Wilmette Officials

The Pioneer Press is reporting that Wilmette District 39 school board member, Greg C. Polan, was removed from his home in handcuffs on Friday, June 9, 2006, following an incident where Polan allegedly struck an off-duty police officer following a police order to stop his 2006 Bentley automobile. According to the article Polan was charged with disobeying a police officer, failing to give aid and information at the scene of an accident, and reckless driving.

Polan's company, Alltown Bus Service, provides transportation to thousands of school children daily.

According to the Wilmette Life, Polan's lawyer said "Mr. Polan has been a valued public servant on the (Wilmette) School Board and parents in the community trust him and his company to transport thousands of children to school every day, and nothing about this incident in any way should even raise a question . . ."

Less trusting parents might want to head over to the Skokie Courthouse by 10:30 am on July 13, when Polan is scheduled to appear, to monitor this case. Further investigation has revealed that since cases to be heard are posted outside the courtrooms near the doors, all parents need to do is check cases which are listed.

No one has yet called for Polan's resignation.

Interested in this story? Wilmette's own Backyard Conservative weighs in here, and here. The Wilmette Life article was found here at the time of the incident, but now (July 5) appears to be a dead link. The June 12, 2006 Evanston Police Department Daily Crime Bulletin can be found at Evanston Police Reports. (scroll down--its on page 6.)

An earlier Sun-Times story (but not about this incident) is here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Good News about the Brandeis Book Sale

I admit I have been feeling a bit low lately, with the news that this is the last year for the Brandeis book sale. Not only is it a great sale, it has an important Wilmette connection--the sale tents were located in the Edens Plaza parking lot in Wilmette for many years.

When news came today that the book sale will continue, this time run by Little City, I was delighted.

The Brandeis book sale, which runs through this weekend at Old Orchard raises funds for charity, it also keeps books out of landfills.

Thanks, Little City!

If you are looking for information on the KANSAS CITY Brandeis Book Sale Click Here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Happy Flag Day, Wilmette

Happy Flag Day! Did you know Flag Day is really the Flag's birthday? On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the following resolution:

Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

If you want to learn more, visit the Betsy Ross Homepage.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Open Your Wallets, Wilmette!
New Development at the Old Ford Dealership Needs Your Cash

Open your Wallet, Wilmette—the new development at the Old Ford Dealership needs your cash, and a fair amount of it at that. Not only do the devlopers insist on a huge 65-foot high building, the tallest in town, to protect their profit margins, but no, that is not enough for these NIMBY neighbors. You also will also have to pay them to put in subsidized housing. That will cost the residents of our fair village about half-a-million bucks, easy.

Kudos to Plan Commissioner Robert Spriggs who wisely suggested, “If you’re not really making money on this project, maybe you ought to scotch it.” Developer Mitch Miller said one way we can help him is to tax teardowns to protect the cash in his wallet. Smart guy, if he can get us to buy that one. A gold star to Commissioner Ron Feldman, quoted in the Wilmette Life as saying, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

As the kids would put it, “It sucks.” Indeed it does. Let’s hope Wilmette has the good sense to send these developer-pirates packing. And quickly.

In the meantime, if Wilmette's history is any portent of the future, sign me up for one of those units. The kids aren’t getting any younger, and a cheap place subsidized by my neighbors and close to the train for a budding jr. executive-in-training looks mighty good to me.

Note: Need some background on these neighbors from hell? See the previous posts here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

D-Day Memorial at the Normandy Beaches

While the Normandy beaches have been cleaned and World War II Bunkers removed, this memorial stands in testament to the heroic acts and lives lost at the Invasion of Normandy, which began on June 6, 1944.

France had an extremely difficult time convicing people to return to this region following the War. Bombs still occasionally show up in the many fields which are near the beaches.

Scuptor Anilore Banon created this sculpture to honor the courage of the men who endangered and often sacrificed their lives in the hope of freeing the French people. "On June 6, 1945 these men were more than soldiers, they were our brothers."

D-Day Plan

Omaha, Juno, and Gold Beaches are silent now. 62 years ago today they were awash with activity, hope, and death.

The above plan showing the invasion of Normandy, France by the Allies is at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.

You can learn more about D-Day by clicking here.

Ike's message to the soldiers is here.

62 Years After D-Day

Today is 62 years after D-Day in Europe. The above picture is from the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, in Normandy, France.

"Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms known but to God."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Illinois "Safe Haven" Law

Please scroll down to access all information

UPDATE: Victory! Drop off age for a surrendered infant increased from seven to thirty days as of January 1, 2010!

Let's hope Governor Blagojevich signs the amendment to the "Safe Haven" law. This law allows birth mothers to drop a child under the age of seven days at a fire station, hospital emergency room, or police station for the purpose of severing parental rights and allowing the adoption of the infant--no questions asked. Current law states babies must be under 3 days old to drop them off.

There have been too many stories of babies found in dumpsters, trash cans, and other similar locations over the years. The "Safe Haven" law seems to have diminished the number of these stories, and it only seems prudent to increase the drop-off time for a few days.

It is amazing to me that there actually can be opposition to such a bill. Not all babies are wanted, born to moms who can care for a child, or arrive via hospital delivery. Sometimes births are hidden. Let's make it easier for moms in a bad situation to do the right thing, and get that law on the books right away! UPDATE: This law has been passed!

Seeking comprehensive information about Illinois Safe Haven Law or looking for the exact provisions of the law? Click here for a serious-about-saving- babies webpage with links to full text of the law, a summary, and phone numbers to call for further information. The text of the law is easy to read and easy to understand. There are also sample protocols for receiving stations. You will also find links to safe haven laws in other states.