Saturday, September 30, 2006


No muse this week, or maybe the truth is too much work. Whatever the case, I'm all in favor of that blogging rule that says if you have nothing to say, don't post. Actually, I have quite a few thoughts on the upcoming election, but nothing brilliant or original. So I'm contemplating.

And speaking of contemplation, the picture above reminds me that Mark Brown over at the Sun-Times has been running a great series of articles this week about why he's voting for Tony Peraica for Cook County Board President. The first article appeared Sunday, followed shortly by one on Tuesday and some follow-up letters on Thursday. Since the Cook County Forest Preserves and the Botanical Garden are wholly under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, this is a really important election.

Of course, the picture above isn't Wilmette, or the Botanical Garden, or the Forest Preserves, but it does show what could be accomplished with a little creative landscaping and putting a guy in a boat who isn't wearing an orange vest.

Photo Credit: Publia

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wilmette Trustees Meeting: Watch your Wallet Tomorrow Night

UPDATE: The Backyard Conservative has a wicked post which is "must" reading on the results of the Trustees Meeting, which you can read by clicking here.

I wrote the other day how undertaxed readers can relax, as the village board is planning to correct your situation. Tomorrow night, Tuesday September 26, 2006, the Wilmette Trustees will be discussing new ways to remove cash from your wallet, and you might want to be there. The Backyard Conservative has a wonderful post about those taxes, along with the agenda for tomorrow's meeting, and you should click here to read it.

Having recently paid my water bill, I noticed that it was not the water that cost so much--that was about 25% of the bill. About half the bill was sewer charges and 25% refuse charges. Well, I'm not 100% sure that's precise, but it's close enough. The point, of course, is that sewer charge and that refuse charge represent huge hidden taxes.

The Village used to include refuse and infrastructure charges in the property tax, and that amount could be deducted on schedule A for itemized income-tax filers. Now with those taxes recharacterized as fees, it's all very simple. You simply have to earn more to pay your bills! It some quarters they call that creative financing; in others in others, they call it dishonest. While I'll let you decide how to look at the situation; at best you might call it unpleasant. Besides, if you are watering your lawn and all the water goes into the lawn, how is the sewer involved in the first place?

I won't even mention that trash pickup used to be twice-a-week when the cost was included on the property tax bill. But, please Trustees, skip that verbiage about how you're keeping property taxes under control, would you?

Like that graphic up-top? Or maybe you noticed those are euros not dollar bills. Sharp eyes, you! Nevertheless, over here we call that making do with what we have on hand, something with which thrifty readers can indentify. We recommend that strategy to the Village Board.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pakistan Official Visit: Website Unveiled, Blog Blocking Ignored

With the President and First Lady of Pakistan on an official visit to the US, I would again like to remind Wilmette's readers that the the citizens of Pakistan are blocked from all blogspot and typepad blogs. Nevertheless, the bloggers of Pakistan remain active. At Wikipedia, you can read about their blogs, and about the censorship. Earlier stories on the blog blocking in Pakistan are here: 1, 2, 3.

President Musharraf is giving an interview on 60 minutes on Sunday. In preparation for that, you might be interested in viewing the new Kennedy Center arts website with information on Pakistan, which was unveiled by Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Musharraf yesterday. While the news story about that is here, you might like to go straight to the website , which has a number of short movies about Pakistan, its people, arts, and culture. The website which not only has a great deal of information, is also very well designed. It is well worth a visit, and a bit of your time.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Good News for America!

Amazing! After months of nothing positive about our President from the Democrat side of the aisle, Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel have had the courage to speak out about Hugo Chavez' unspeakable UN remarks, scoring one for the home team. Their support of our President is in the finest American tradition.

It's about time that we again showed the World that Americans are one people, indivisible. I was beginning to wonder if we still had the "right stuff." Clearly, we do. Watch the video by clicking here, and read the news here. Read Rep. Rangel's statement here.

The quote from Rep. Rangel that will live on in history: "George Bush is the President of the United States and represents the entire country. Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us."

It's a great day for America and time to celebrate. I'm putting out the flag up top!

Wilmette: Not Paying Enough Taxes? Relief in Sight

Wilmette residents, feel like you're not paying enough taxes and fees? Worry no more, because relief is in sight! There are articles in the Wilmette Life about both the teardown tax and the increased cost of vehicle stickers.

Wilmette awards gold stars to Wilmette Trustees Alan Swanson and Mari Terman who are now on record as opposing the teardown tax. Two thumbs down and a nomination for the Wilmette Karl Marx Award to Trustee Trustee Lali Watt, who says senior citizens have plenty of money to pay the teardown tax when they sell their homes.

The Backyard Conservative and I are both calling for that unthinkable solution: CUT SPENDING! She has a great post on the entire situation (including the fact that municipalities in northeastern Illinois are spending at a rate almost double that of revenue from 2000-2003) which you can read by clicking here.

Welcome to new resident Carol Saunders Harbaugh, who has lived in five other states. She was courageous enough to speak up at a Village Board meeting last week with the following observation, "Never in my life have I seen a place that has so much taxes. Never have I seen governments that spend so much money." We hope she will get a blog.

Wilmette's View on the World

For some time now I've been looking for some new sources of news and world view. Having found two, I've added them to the Blogroll (it's on the right, but you will have to scroll down).

The first, Linkrama, is a collection of links from a blogger, Kinshasa on the Potomac who obviously does a great deal of research on global politics and affairs of state. Take a look, there is an amazing number of links that you might find incredibly interesting.

The second, Edit Copy, is theoretically a CollaBlog written by a number of people, although only one of the members seems to be posting. Nevertheless, there are a number of original, thoughtful pieces on the situation on the Middle East as well as other current issues. Based on its writing (not the snappy quick-read style of Wilmette), I suspect that the blog may be written by someone with some history as a government bureaucrat or former military member (or based on the political viewpoints there, someone who served under a Democrat administration). While it lacks the conservative focus which I always appreciate, the posts are insightful and worthy of your time.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wilmette Skate Park Meeting
September 26, 2006

There's a new skate board park planned at Hibbard Park, which could negatively impact the peace and quiet of nearby neighbors as well as rattle the nerves of the children who play organized baseball there.

While the skate park itself has been discussed, I haven't seen any information about the decibel level it will inflict on a residential area of Wilmette; any study of potential drug dealing which I have heard is a problem with this sport; the demand for a skate park; insurance liability issues; the environmental impact on paving over green space; or the potential to attract out-of-district participants rather than the children of Wilmette.

A meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Sept. 26, 2006 at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette; which is the site of Hibbard Park. Let's hope that the homeowners in that area of town turn out in numbers and ask the hard questions.

A friend of mine who lives near Bibbard Park says that there are very few Wilmette children of skateboarding age who live nearby, so the skate park placement is a bit of a puzzle, although I suppose it's a NIMBY issue.

With the noise of the expressway clearly audible at the park, this plan could create some real sound pollution for what may prove to be the unfortunate residents of the area.

There has been a Wilmette skate park blog for quite a while, which can be accesssed here. the blog is being updated again.I wouldn't have any idea who writes the blog--for all I know, its a skate park developer, but thought you might like to check it out. There is a good series of pictures of Hibbard Park, there, which you can access here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dan Seals: Wrong for the North Shore, Wrong for Congress

I have been seeing those Dan Seals for Congress signs that have popped up in Wilmette and Winnetka, so today I decided to check out his website. I cannot believe what I saw there. This guy is wrong for the North Shore, wrong for Congress, and just plain wrong. It states "There was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq," and "At the end of the day, if Iraqis want democracy, they will have to fight for it themselves."

What a guy. Suppose we had told France, "If you want to be free of the Germans, you will have to defeat them yourselves." What if we had telegraphed to the Warsaw Ghetto, "Keep it up! We know you will be able to free yourselves from being sent to a death camp if you continue your good work."

Seals website must be inspired by a thousand websites and blogs in the Mid East, which you can easily access by a little Googling. His website--and his campaign---should inspire great hope for America's enemies abroad (and here), most of whom seem to be of the mind that the horrific events of 9/11 were a plot of the Bush administration.

Here's a list of his contributors. While Dan Seals campaign committee has a Wilmette address, Dan Seals doesn't even live in the district that he wants to represent as a Congressman. While that's not illegal, I think the Democrats could have found someone from the district to represent its constituents.


Boycott Macy's Chicago

Chicago has been conquered by New York City.

Hello Macy's, goodbye Marshall Field's.

Chicagoans shop at Marshall Field's, not Macy's.

Do your part: boycott Macy's.

Futher info is here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tribute to Michael Grady Jacobs - died September 11, 2001 at Tower Two

The world is a poorer place for the loss of Michael Grady Jacobs. This 54 year old resident of Danbury, Connecticut was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As a vice-president of Fiduciary Trust, his office was on the 90th floor of Tower Two. Jacobs was a graduate of Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University, and had worked for his firm for more than twenty years.

Mr. Jacobs was a veteran, a Roman Catholic, and is deeply mourned by his family and many friends. His story figures in over 1,000 online tributes and articles written in the wake of 9/11, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Mr. Grady's documented efforts to help his co-workers to safety in the face of impending doom following the attack on the World Trade Center is a profile in courage and a tribute to his heroism.

Please take a moment of your day to remember Michael Grady Jacobs. Remember, too, the grief still suffered by his friends and his family, and remember them in your prayers.

Mr. Jacobs was learning the bagpipes when his life was cruelly taken from him. You might want to listen to "Amazing Grace" beautifully performed by the Police Pipes and Drums of Waterbury, Connecticut (scroll down) in his honor.

While the pictures may be too graphic for comfort for those in Manhattan that day, a moving video tribute to the events of September 11, 2001, which is very short, can be accessed by clicking here. I hope you will view it if it will not upset you, and think of the loss of so many fine citizens, including Mr. Grady, on that September morning five years ago.

This tribute is part of 2,996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9/11 an online initiative by bloggers to remember the victims of September 11, 2001.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Finished - RIP Marshall Field & Co.

Marshall Field & Company 1852-2006.

Resquiat in Pace

Marshall Field, the founder of the venerable department store which arose from the ashes of the Chicago fire along with the city's resilient residents, was famous for his saying: "Give the lady what she wants." He was a retailing genius, a proud Chicagoan, and a gentleman. His progeny maintained his legacy for many, many years.

Macy's won't be adopting his motto.

Many Chicagoans are very unhappy.

Read the other stories here.

I am happy to read that Macy's employees will be wearing black.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Marshall Field's: Protest Saturday Morning

Meet me under the Macy's clock? Never!

For those of us who really suffered when the Chicago's venerable Marshall Field & Co. department store morphed into the cheeky Marshall Field's, the latest assault on Chicago by New York's Macy's is a flags-at-half-staff event.

Thankfully, there is one last chance to meet under the Marshall Field's clock, and it's for a cause well worth your time. This Saturday, on September 9, 2006, meet under the Marshall Field's clock at 9:00 am to let people know you want to shop at Field's, not Macy's.

You can view video about the planned protest here. The protest is led by Jim McKay, who is not happy with the name change. His website, is a gem. Further information about the protest is available by clicking here, but you don't really need to do that.

Just show up by 9:30 under the clock, wear MF&Co green if possible, look serious and well dressed as would be expected of a fan of Marshall Field's. Take a City of Chicago Flag is you have one, a Marshall Field's shopping bag, and a sign if you wish. You might want to take the kids for a memory that will last for the rest of the century.

Oh, I suppose if by chance you have any memorabilia from Field and Lieter it might be a good time to take it with you.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

2,996: Remembering the Victims of 9/11

For the fifth anniversary of 9/11 this blog will honor Michael Grady Jacobs, who was killed in New York City by terrorists on September 11, 2006.

If you are a blogger, visit where you can arrange to honor one of the victims.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wildflowers in Wilmette

I have been seeing quite a bit of wild chickory in Wilmette of late. These lovely wildflowers, pictured above, often bloom all summer long. If you are interested in the names of wildflowers which you are seeing, you may want to go to the Wildflowers of Ontario website. The website uses an easy, color based identification system at

Ontario isn't very far away, and Wilmette has many of the same wildflowers. You are sure to enjoy the site if you enjoy the lovely wildflowers which are still blooming in great quantity in and around Wilmette.

If you are looking for information specifically about Illinois wildflowers, two sites can be accessed here and here, but finding a flower match may be more difficult there.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Beer and Labor Day

If you are making plans for Labor Day, you might want to stay out of the Loop, as it will be crowded with the latest march for those guests who don't have visas. Miller Beer, spotting opportunity, will be one of the sponsors. If you have strong opinions on the entire matter, you might want to review Miller's brands, here. (scroll down) Likely there will be quite a few brands you didn't associate with Miller. Just so you can plan your shopping accordingly.

further information

calendar, from the Socialist Worker's

Anahuac continues planning for your future

earlier post