Friday, September 26, 2008
And, being the joker that I am, I told the clerk in the office, "Hi. I'm here a few days early with the check just in case you might need the help. I'd hate to come here next week and find the doors closed and you wouldn't be able to take my money."
That's when the clerk very nicely and genuinely assured me, "Don't worry. We're doing great. Don't believe everything you read in the media."
Of course, she didn't know I was a columnist and radio talk show host. I just shrugged and handed her the check wondering what would happen if a mortgage company collapses? Do they call in the mortgage?
So I went home and told my wife, Alison, and she said, "Right. Of course they are going to tell you that. That's exactly what Lehmann Brothers was telling Wall Street the week before they collapsed."
And sure enough, my hockey mom wife hit the nail on the head when WAMU collapsed last night and it was bought up by J.P. Morgan.
Don't worry Mayor McLaughlin. I ain't leaving Orland Park that easily.
-- Ray Hanania
-- Ray Hanania
KOHL’S TO CUT RIBBON ON CHICAGO-AREA STORES OCTOBER 1
Kohl’s celebrates 1,000 stores, unveils green building
WHAT: Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) will officially open its Crete and Romeoville, Illinois stores with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, October 1. This fall Kohl’s celebrates the opening of its 1,000th store as well as 47 environmentally friendly stores, 45 are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) pre-certified at the Silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council.
In addition to its environmental impact, the new Kohl’s is making an economic impact through the creation of approximately 300 jobs in the Chicago area. Crete and Romeoville are two of three opening in Illinois this fall, bringing the state total to 61.
In celebration of its 1,000th store and grand openings nationwide, Kohl’s invites customers to enjoy special prices throughout the store on exclusive brands such as Simply Vera Vera Wang, Abbey Dawn, ELLE™, FILA SPORT® and Food Network™ and national brands such as Levi’s®, Carter’s® and Cuisinart®. Kohl’s offers a comfortable and convenient shopping environment where customers can outfit themselves, their families and their homes for a great value. In addition, every store offers Kohl’s charge cards, gift cards, gift registries, a generous return policy, shopping carts that double as strollers, centralized checkouts and extended store hours.
Kohl’s commitment to customer service has been endorsed by the National Retail Federation* which has ranked Kohl’s as one of the top retailers for customer service for the past three years. In addition, Kohl’s has ranked among the top retailers in the University of Michigan’s** customer satisfaction survey for six consecutive years.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 1
7:30 a.m. – Media Check-in with Store Manager
7:45 a.m. – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
8:00 a.m. – Official Store Opening
WHERE: 23755 Volbrecht Road, Crete
261 Weber Road, Romeoville
VISUALS: • Comments from Kohl’s executives and local officials
• Ribbon cutting ceremony
• Residents shopping Kohl’s world class brands
EDITOR’S NOTES: To arrange a sneak peek, store tour, or interview with a local Kohl’s representative, contact:
Diana Wakefield at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kohl’s grand opening B-roll footage is available at http://mnr.onthescene.com/Kohls/Kohls_Video_Fall2008.html
-- Ray Hanania
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I am a faithful reader of you blog. In regards to your recent article regarding the Orland Park Fire District charging for ambulance fees, I would like to respond, anonymously, of course.
The "whisper" behind these fees is that the President of the Board of Trustees [of the Orland Park Fire Protection District], Pat Maher, will be seeking a seat on the Cook COunty Board of Commissioners in the 2010 election.
As was stated in the Southtown/Star, "the fire district is not running short of funds but the new policy, which will bring in about $1 million a year, will help prevent future tax increases."
Mr. Maher will collect these ambulance fees, sit on them until he has a nice accumulation, then he will rebate them back to the taxpayers just in time so this "good deed" is fresh in the voters' minds when we go to the polls in 2010. A move right out of the playbook of Mayor Dan McLaughlin.
This should also answer the question you asked in your July 29, 2008 article titled "Campaign Disclosure Notes for Orland Park." Under article V -- Friends of Patrick M. Maher, you asked, "So why did he [Maher] create this campaign [fund] in March?
Now you know.
Thank you for sharing your views and what you have heard. I think you hit the political nail on the head and I believe Maher is planning to run for higher office and Cook COunty Board -- which does nothing in Orland Park ala Elizabeth Gorman Doody -- is the perfect spot to grab. Gorman will probably retire, as she is worthless. Maher and McLaughlin are politically very close. They share friendship in a certain computer company involved in another legal mess.
And I hope voters are smart enough to see past Maher's scheme. I mean, McLaughlin raised taxes in Orland Park and built up a huge surplus that he "rebates" back to voters. Of course, this year he imposed a back-door property tax hike by only rebating a part of that promised rebate. He's keeping about 40 percent for the village and that is a 40 percent hike in property taxes.
Not that I can get McLaughlin or Maher to ever respond as they don't care. They share that imported 19th Ward Chicago arrogance that they can do whatever they want because the people they "govern" are too apathetic to bother protesting or asking questions, and most newspapers in this area don't write about controversy, especially when kissing ass is so much more lucrative.
Thanks for writing
You wrote a while back that Orland Park Police Chief Timothy McCarthy would make a great candidate for mayor. Is there any truth to the rumors McLaughlin is retiring?
a "Blue Heron"
Dear "Blue Heron"
Thanks for your letter. I am not sure. My sources in the village hall and in the police department tell me McCarthy wants to run for office and may run for mayor only if McLaughlin steps down. McCarthy would make a great elected official so I hope the rumors are true.
Thank you for writing.
You do more than the Village Clerk, his son and the mayor combined.
You can email your comments to:
and I will keep your identities private and will not publish them if you request. Or, you can also send your letters to my PO Box at
PO Box 2127
Orland Park, IL., 60462
OR ... you can call me on my radio show every morning on WJJG 1530 AM Radio Monday thru Friday from 8 am until 9:30 am and share your thoughts anonymously also.
Let's put Orland Park back on the map of accountability.
# # #
Now, they are also increasing fees for some recreation programs. The Recreation Department has one of the best programs in the Southwest Suburbs. But the village officials should at least be HONEST and amdit they are not holding down fees and taxes and costs in this horrible economy. They are doing what everyone else is doing except they don't wan tto be honest about it.
Monday, September 22, 2008
You can listen to the recorded portions of the interviews by visiting www.RadioChicagoland.com.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Manzullo of the 16th District and his challenger Robert Abboud.
Tuesday: attorney Mike Deutsch discusses the case of political
dissident Mohammed Salah. (also possibly Clarice Berry of the Chicago
Principals and Administrators Association)
Wednesday: Political commentator Dan Proft discusses the presidential
Thursday: Congressman Dan Lipinski discusses issues in the Southwest
Side/suburban congressional district.
Friday: Confirming US Senator Dick Durbin.
The show airs Mon-Friday 8 -9:30 AM on WJJG AM 1530 radio live. You
can call in at 708-493-1530 ... and you can listen to the program via
the internet by visiting www.RadioChicagoland.com.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
By Ray Hanania
Charles Mowder must wish he had run for congress and won.
The 40 year old man from Midlothian, a southwest suburb of Chicago, was arrested this week by the Cook County State’s Attorney and charged with indecent solicitation of a child and child pornography after soliciting sex from a 16 year old girl using text messaging.
Mowder’s bail, according to news media reports, was set at $300,000 after the mother of the Orland Park 16 year old discovered Mowder’s text messages to her daughter.
Chances are Mowder won’t get the break that Mark Foley got.
Foley was a Republican congressman from Florida who was in charge of managing the Page System which helped young boys and girls learn the ins and outs of the nation’s highest legislative office.
Turns out Foley was trying to teach them more. At least the male pages, soliciting them for sex using emails.
Foley was forced to resign 2006. But the rumors and evidence of his solicitations go back to february 2003, more than 5 years ago. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which received a lot of support from Foley when he was in Congress and not trying to sexual assault young boys, decided they couldn’t prove enough to prosecute him.
Imagine, nearly 5 years passed in the Foley investigation.
One of the pages said that Foley solicited him for oral sex repeatedly. Foley admitted he sent the sexually explicit emails to the young boys who were working under his supervision. Others were clearly involved, but the powerful Florida Department of Law Enforcement couldn’t confirm any of the other allegations of misconduct by Foley.
Foley was the pal of former House Speaker Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, the Republican big shot from Chicago’s Western suburbs. Turns out several former aides and Foley staffers claimed Hastert and his staff were warned about Foley's misbehavior long before it became public. Knowing he was screwed, Hastert resigned rather than face any public oral scrutiny for his lapse in judgment about his close friend.
But Mowder doesn’t have any big shot friends in the legislature, or congress. He isn’t the best friend of a former Speaker of the House. He never did anything to bring funding to the Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine, who is one of the most incompetent and failed public leaders of our time. (He never went after one major City Hall corruption case while his mentor, Richard M. Daley, held office.)
So the law enforcement moved fast on Mowder. They didn’t wait five years to pursue charges.
Mowder was immediately arrested while Foley was able to simply wiggle and dodge the bullet for years.
Mowder was ordered to pay bail, but Foley didn’t have to do anything except hope that his buddies and pals and political cronies would keep him out of jail.
In most places, sexually harassing under-aged children is an immediately prosecutable crime.
Sexually harassing young children and students under your tutelage and supervision is also a crime, even if they are slightly over the age of consent.
Mowder is in trouble and the system acted quickly to prosecute him.
Foley was able to skate, though, and the system did all it could to drag its feet and protect him.
Anyone surprised that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded that "too much time has passed" since the February 2003 case was first exposed?
"There did not appear to be probable cause that a crime was committed," a reported issued by the FDLE concluded.
No probable cause?
How about this is just another example of where the morally corrupt leadership in our country is merely taking care of one of their own?
It’s one reason why criticism of Hastert wasn’t harsh enough.
(Listen to Mornings with Ray Hanania on WJJG 1530 AM Radio every Monday thru Friday at 8 AM. This and other topics are discussed and your comments and calls are encouraged. www.RadioChicagoland.com.)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
And the group description includes this very funny monologue ... "You know you're from Orland Park if ..."
You know you are from Orland Park if....
1. It takes 30 minutes to get from one stop light to the next.
2. Graduated from a high school that was remodeled and looks like something out of a SciFi movie.
3. The only thing you can do is shop or eat food.
4. There is a Starbucks, a bank, or Walgreens on literally every corner.
5. You know Walmart is in Orland Hills, not Orland Park.
6. You know how to use Ravinia Ave.
7. Farms turn into neighborhoods over night.
8. When not in Orland, you refer to it as "the O.P."
9. You can see a water tower from anywhere.
10. You ALWAYS see the homeless guy with a basketball in the Mall
12. You know which Intersections at the mall have a stop sign, and which ones don't
13. You have been exposed to asbestos- that is if you are class of 2005 or before.
14. You have NO idea who 3/4 of your graduating class is 15. You remember when Century was a new school and just built.
16. You know that going out of your way to go around Lagrange is worth it
17. You know that if your looking for a new car 159th is the place to be
18. You know the little german kid.
19. you know what people mean when they say to go to the "dead mall"
20. you bought cigarettes from papu at shop mart when you were 16
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Empty Sand Bags Needed ImmediatelyCity of Chicago is looking for empty sand bags - if you have any available - please call Irene Caminerat 312-446-0235.
If you can, please help
-- Ray Hanania
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Not that anyone in Orland Park cares, though, right? I mean Mayor Dan McLaughlin only cares about his union clout and his prestige, and the Orland Park Village trustees -- most of them -- only care about their re-elections and are pals with the Orland Park Fire Protection District.
No one cares about the taxpayers. That's obvious from the total disregard we get from our elected officials, from the Village Clerk David P. Maher who continues to violate the Open Meetings Act by placing wording at the top of his public meeting notices declaring the notices are not for newspaper publication. (Hey, even Mayor Daley has a lifelong difficulty with the English language and you can't nottin' to no one.)
Now, the board that Maher's kid controls, the Orland Park Fire Protection District, thinks that the best way to protect their salaries and pensions and political clout (since so many relatives of village employees, political activists and government officials work on either side of the Village-OFPD fence) is to not protect the residents of Orland Park.
The Orland Park Fire Protection District has a history of poor decisionmaking and poor leadership under its current boss, Patrick Maher, the son of David Maher. Read this from the Better Government Association Web Site.
The Fire Protection district and several village officials are the target of a lawsuit that coulds cause major financial problems for the District and Maher's leadership there. Here's the link to that story that no one wrote about.
The Fire Protection DIstrict said they made the stupid decision in public and didn't try to hide anything. Sure. They know that if they don't tell you they are going to do something important at a board meeting, the public -- which works at REAL JOBS -- won't have the time to show up at the the meetings to hold Maher and his crony's feet to the political fire. Of course, instead of important issues, the OPFPD did promote their "rodeo" ... read that story? The OPFPD loves to promote the fluff, but not something serious, of course.
The DailySouthtown reported one ambulance bill topped $760 and the Fire Protection District is squirrling away cash with more than $7 million in a surplus, which in local tax terms means that they have been gouging taxpayers. (They are not the US Budget and don't need a surplus ever). The people hurt the most are senior citizens and those in need.
Imagine, someone in your family needs an ambulance and the OPFPD shows up and hammers you with a $760 bill. Outrageous, but, what we are used to in "Orland Peyton Place Park."
But then, what do you care? It's just your money and Mayor Happy McLaughlin and OFPD Chief Maher just do whatever they want anyway.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here are some photos of New York City and also the Washington monument:
This first photo is of the shadow of the airplane I was traveling in on the clouds below, encircled by a rainbow. And amazing image and picture:
Here is a shot of the Washington monument from Reagan National Airport:
Here is a shot of Manhattan and New York City on Sept. 11, 2008, seven years after the al-Qaeda (had nothing to do with Iraq) terrorist attacks:
And here is a shot of the Statue of Liberty, which for many generations, had a powerful meaning that has since been cast aside because of anti-minority sentiments in America. It was the first image my mom and dad saw whem my mom came to this country from Bethlehem, Palestine in 1952:
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Lots of unusual sounds these days out in Orland Park. Last week, it sounded like a train driving through the community in the middle of the night, around 4 AM, from the direction of 159th and LaGrange Road. And this morning, a huge sound like two shot gun blasts in the early morning from the direction of the Orland Park Mall.
Okay. I figure the "train wreck" sound was the construction crews on 159th and LaGrange not giving a "S" about the people sleeping at that time in the morning. And the gun fire from the Orland Mall was probably gun fire. That place has not been very secure these days. Thefts fromt he kids areas. Lots of strangers driving around the neighborhood trying to pick up kids at Jerling High school off 151st Street and, well, you don't see the police out there as much as you used to.
I am sure the police are out there. But it seems they are not.
... So I am sitting at O'Hare Airport and waiting for a flight to Washington DC to perform standup comedy there at the www.FunniestCelebrity.org contest where some of the presidential candidates, staff and congress people hang out when they are not chasing pork. This place is a real dump. Dirty. The rail from the remote lot doesn't work properly, plagued by all kinds of delays, starts and stops.
The airport can't get it's act together either. Here we are on the day before the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 and no one stops me? That scares the heck out of me!
Now they are charging people to check their bags. You can hear the low murmur of grumbling from everyone as you walk through the airport. Lousy airline service -- United sucks -- and now they want more money for your bags. ADD IT TO THE TICKET MORONS and pretend you're giving me a deal. Don't pretend you're giving me a deal and then take it back in cash at the check-in counter.
Last night I was at the WJJG studios setting up the streaming for the radio show so people in Jerusalem and Ramallah will be able to hear my show, and call in using GoogleTalk. It should be fun.
And then there was Mayor Daley blaming Gov. Blagojevich for the CTA's problems -- AGAIN! More tax increases not just for the Chicago fools -- er, I mean people. But tax increases for the already over-plagued Stroger-taxed-to-the-hilt suburbanites. We're the ones that have to bail out the lousy CTA.
It's the CHICAGO Transit Authority -- Mayor Daley! It's not the Orland Park transit authority, although that was one of the top suggestions people responding to a survey on this web site suggested. Every time the CTA has a problem, Daley comes whining to the state. Stop your whining, Mayor. It's annoying. Really. You're starting to sound worse than President George W. Bush. Bush doesn't whine. He's not smart enough to whine. He just sounds plane old stupid when he is lying. Do you ever watch how his eyes get closer together the more he lies about Iraq?
Hey, but I did see the Space Station moving across the sky in a Southwesterly direction at 4:30 in the morning ...
-- Ray Hanania
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The Orland Park Police Department has issued an alert to Orland area families. On Friday, September 5, at approximately 3:15 p.m., a male subject, described as balding or with a shaved head wearing eyeglasses, asked a young female who was walking home from school if she would like some candy. The subject was seated in a white van, unknown make, with tinted windows throughout. He was parked on 88th Ave, just north of 151st Street in Orland Park. When the female stated that she did not want any candy, the subject then left the area northbound on 88th Ave. Anyone who has further information or who has experienced a similar incident contact the Orland Park Police Investigations Division.
Regardless, if you see a suspicious van CALL THE POLICE. Don't take a chance. And if you see a White Van, with tinted windows -- they shouldn't be tinted, that's illegal in Illinois to have the driver and front passenger windows tinted as it is a danger to police -- and the driver is bald, CALL THE POLICE. Take down the license plates. Maybe we can catch this guy and find out what he has been up to. The number is 708-349-4111. r, if it is very suspicious, just call 911.
-- Ray Hanania
Monday, September 8, 2008
A Gold Medal Olympic Vacation Competition
By RAY HANANIA
The competition for the Gold Medal was Olympic. Not in Beijing, but on the beaches of Punta Cana, where I spent a week researching Cuban cigars and teaching my son the basics of how to survive in the real world.
Every morning, I would get to the beach at 6:30 in a fierce race with teams representing Russia, China, Italy, France and Spain and a field of 130 others. There were only 10 perfect palm tree covered “cabanas” on the beach, and you had to get there early to claim one.
What’s the point of going to a beautiful paradise beach if you are going to schelp in at 11 and plop down on a towel in the sand?
I can report that I’ve won the competition every morning. Boo-rah for the American team! Well, I guess I’m considered about as American as Yao Ming. (OK. He’s an exception, a Chinese-born athlete who plays for the Houston Rockets basketball team. In the Olympics, he plays for China.) Did you ever notice that when mentioning American athletes of certain ethnic and racial backgrounds, they always mention their race but never the ethnicity of “Americans” like Michael Phelps?
Anyway, back to my own Olympic Gold Medal competition in Punta Cana at the Bavara Princess Beach.
There’s an art to securing lounge chairs and a cabana. It’s the same no matter where you go in the Caribbean, except that the world has changed. Dramatically. It used to be that places like this were filled with arrogant and obnoxious American tourists.
Well, that’s changed. Today, the resorts in the Caribbean are filled with Europeans, Russians and Asians enjoying the fact that President Bush screwed up our economy with the stupid Iraq war. (OK, that’s my last political reference. Just kidding.) Our dollar is worth less than a “peso” and I don’t care what Central American country you visit. It buys nothing.
But I wouldn’t let that deter me. I rushed out, research in hand, and made my way in a 3,600-foot dash for the beach. And every morning, beat the Russian by a nose (that’s where being Arab comes in handy, I guess). And the French, the Chinese and the guy with the full body tatoo.
They were right behind me and there was no courtesy “good mornings” or “hellos.” In any language. We were all there for one purpose. Keep our wives from screaming at us when we didn’t get the best spots.
There is an art to saving seats. You reserve them at 6:30 a.m. and don’t get back until around 11 after breakfast so you have a lot of faith that despite the tourists (any ethnicity), they will be there when you return.
You keep the towels from the day before and lay them on the lounge chair, stretched out and tucked in the niche in the back of the head rest and push that down to “lock it in.” 50 Points!
Then, you put a book you’ve either already read and don’t care if it’s stolen, or one no one will touch. I had Chelsea Handler’s book (Chelsea Lately) and made sure the cover faced out every morning. (Actually, Chelsea’s book is hilarious but none of the foreigners could figure out who she was, so it was a safe bet not to get stolen.) 25.35 points.
Then, to play to the sympathy of the crowd, I put my son’s little sand buckets and shovels on the chair. 19.15 points.
This happened every morning like clockwork, and as I said, representing the American team, WE WON. 94.5 points. (If I can add right.)
No one said hi. Mainly because we couldn’t speak anyone else’s language, I think. But still. The first morning I tried and said, “Isn’t it like a vacation? Your wife makes you run out at 6:30 to grab a lounge chair, too?” And the guy walking fast next to me — 25 mph — just grunted with a Spanish accent. That’s when I knew the competition was real.
And all of the men sat out there looking at each other. Until exactly 7:22 a.m. when the tall, blond haired Swedish woman jogged past.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Remember, here's the link to the analysis of the "Water Bills" over the past four years that I did. Why doesn't the village just be HONEST? The costs are going up dramatically. And they addressed the issue (according to my source in the Village Finance Department) because of complaints and questions raised by my analysis of the "Water Bills."
Here's the link to the original analysis I did on the Orland Park "Water Bills."
Finance Director AnnMarie Mampe says "there is no increase in rates" in the past three to four years from Waste Management. Baloney. Go back and read my analysis and you explain it.
Yet, waste removal rates went up 20 percent.
At least Trustee Jim Dodge is on the ball and showing concern.
That's worth doing. Finally some sense and not surprisingly from a sensible member of the Village Board, Ed Schussler.
The developer will cover the majority of the cost, $500,000 and the village will pay $50,000 from TIF monies. But, what will the developer get elsewhere? Scratch my back I scratch yours is Orland Park's motto.
Some other great ideas we've received so far: How about our own Orland Park transit system that is a little more formal than the trolleys that operate round-the-clock, for a small fee and cover many routes connecting the various retail stores.
You want to stimulate the local economy, make it easy for people to shop without having to get into their car in the weekend when this town is literally a weekend parking lot.
But don't get carried away. No walkway bridges. That is a real waste of moolah.
Okay, one kudo for good behavior.
The web page for the radio show is www.RadioChicagoland.com
In the past with a show only once or twice a week, I was able to podcast all of the major interviews. But doing the show everyday, I'll only podcast the most important shows, which you can download to your iPod off of iTunes.
Anyway, I hope you will join me again. The broadcast is strongest north of 131st Street all the way to the Wisconsin Border. But you can pick it up in Orland Park ...