Sunday, November 4, 2012
My tiny basket with its small selection of food items that took me one hour to collect
This used to be a Border's book store. Now, it's a sardine can for consumers
Saturday, October 6, 2012
A cynical look at the Orland Tax Rebate Program
Well, I will always be a cynic, I guess, especially when it comes to money and politics.
For example, the Village of Orland Park announced they will re-implement the tax rebate program this month (beginning October 29, 2012).
I think it is a great idea. But the timing is oh so suspicious. And I can't but help look at the motives of the village trustees.
It's a funny thing about the word trustees. It includes the word "trust." And right now I have come to not "trust" all of the village trustees at all. Not all of the TRUSTees are TRUSTworthy in the village of Orland Park.
The Rebates will be processed beginning Oct. 29, and you can expect checks to arrive in your mail boxes in March sometime. March? You mean just before the next Orland Park consolidated election in which voters will be asked to rubber stamp the list of trustees and this time the Village clerk and village president.
The clerk, Dave Maher. is on my naughty list because of the shenanigans from the last election with his pampered son, Pat Maher. (What a mess Maher left at the Orland Fire Protection District, where I was asked to help with communications -- at a lesser cost than the one Maher had, by the way. But Maher's relatives and the relatives of the controversy-plagued former fire chief continue to twist the district's politics for their own selfish benefits.)
With the exception of Trustee Brad O'Halloran, I have never had much confidence in the trustees at all -- one in particular who is simply so hypocritical, but isn't up for election this time around.
I know Mayor Dan McLaughlin wants to do the right thing, but he is handicapped by a collection of trustees elected by little fiefdoms in the village. Each one has their political bases and alliances.
But playing politics with the tax rebate program? Come on folks. Don't you think it is transparent to people?
The rebate program was a genius idea first suggested by Mayor McLaughlin back in 2002, after the village voted to impose a .75 cent increase in the local sales tax, and after the village had their elections. McLaughlin's proposal was a good one. The sales tax would impact everyone including the large number of non-Orland Park residents who came to Orland Park to shop. To lift the burden off the backs of the taxpayers, the village offered an automatic tax rebate program so that residents would get a significant share of their taxes returned to off-set the impact of the sales tax hike.
In 2003, the average tax return was around $240 per household.
In 2008, the village decided they needed the money. The trustees thought enough time had passed and the taxpayers wouldn't remember the reasons for the rebate and the burdensome sales tax rebate. So they partially rolled the rebate back. In 2009, they eliminated the rebate.
And in 2010 two incumbent trustees, Pat Gira and Ed Schussler barely won re-election. In fact, though they were elected, they got less than 50 percent of the vote. In fact, more Orland Park voters voted for someone else rather than them. Shameful and embarrassing performance if you ask me. (And I'll say it if you don't ask me, too!)
The idea to re-implement the tax rebate plan came up right after that brutal election. They were concerned.
That was a shock to the Orland Machine. The bigger shock was the beating Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Liz Doody-Gorman handed to the Orland Machine first in her re-election bid to beat down Pat Maher's feeble, crippled challenge. And then her backing that upset the cozy apple cart Maher had at the Orland Fire Protection District.
Orland's Machine doesn't like shocks and the trustees started to whimper. So, they decided let's give the voters money. Maybe that will make them happy. The economy sucks. Voters are stupid with short-memories. They'll take the money and be happy.
Well, the money being returned doesn't even come close to the money that was returned before. The trustees set a limit on how much can be returned to voters -- err, sorry, taxpayers, just in time for the next local consolidated election. They decided to return ONLY $2.5 million. If all 18,500 qualified taxpayers apply (it's not automatic this time, the village wants us to trust the trustees to make sure recipients qualify), then the average rebate will be a paltry $135.
That's about half what was returned in the past. Just estimating how inflation has devalued the dollar over the past 10 years, I would say the $135 would represent only 30 percent of the amount rebated to taxpayers in 2002 to off-set the oppressive local sales tax hike we continue to pay. That's 1/3rd of what we should be getting back compared to what we used to get back. (Don't promise something and not keep your word. The tax rebate plan was given for political reasons, and returned for political reasons.)
Yes, the economy is bad. But it's not as bad as the performance of some of our trustees on the village board.
And there is an election coming up and the village officials don't want to get b-slapped again. That election was a whooping!
The economy was the excuse, but the real issue is leadership. And when it comes to most of the village's trustees, leadership is about as watered-down as the election campaign tax rebate will be this Spring.
-- Ray Hanania
Friday, September 21, 2012
Orland Fire Protection District hosts "Media Day" Friday Sept. 28 -- meet new recruits, officials, and view training strategies
Orland Fire Protection District hosts "Media Day" Friday Sept. 28 -- meet new recruits, officials, and view training strategies
The Orland Fire Protection District is hosting a special “Media Day” at the district’s Training Center, 10728 west 163rd Place to chronicle the Academy training and processing of our new Firefighter hires. The event will be held on Friday September 28, 2012 from 9:30 to 11:30 AM
The media will be allowed to view firsthand a series of fire training exercises including:
· Live fire training
· Engine operations
· Hose line advancement
· Forcible entry
· Search and Rescue Techniques
· Fire Extinguishment
Lunch will be provided afterwards at 11:30 am.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Palos Heights Restaurant showcases local comedians
Sam Buca’s in Palos Heights will showcase a lineup of local comedians at a special performance Wednesday Sept. 26.
Performers will include longtime club owner and comedian Bill Brady, comedians Brian Hicks, Paul Kelly and a special appearance by Southwest News-Herald Columnist Ray Hanania.
The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 each with a two drink purchase minimum. Dinner is also available for guests during the show.
For information, call Sam Buca’s, 12231 S. Harlem Avenue, at 708-361-1226.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Village of Orland Park Presents Ninth Annual Taste of Orland Park Food, Music and Entertainment Highlight Weekend
Food, Music and Entertainment Highlight Weekend
great weekend in store for everyone,” said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin.
“We have 18 great restaurants, exceptional entertainment on two stages,
community wide participation and something for every age group,” the mayor
of Orland Park
The Taste of Orland Park features a rich tapestry of culinary delights ranging from American classics to a variety of ethnic fare. Participating Orland Park restaurants include Baby’s Steak and Lemonade; Beggar’s Pizza; Blissful Banana Café; Burrito Jalisco; Café Gaston; Cooper’s Hawk Winery; Culver’s; El Pueblito; Hienie’s McCarthy’s; Mo’s Chinese Kitchen; Oberweis Dairy; Old Town Pizza; Orland Park Bakery; Palermo’s; Papa Joe’s; Riviera Country Club; RoccoVino’s and Rock Bottom Brewery.
Participating restaurants must be located within the
and each “taste” is no more
than $4 a dish. Select restaurants will serve alcohol, including beer, wine and
a number of specialty drinks. All food vendors will sell pop and water. Village of Orland Park
“The village started the Taste of Orland Park in 2004 as a way to showcase the great restaurants we have in town,” said Trustee Pat Gira, chair of the village’s Recreation and Parks Committee. “The village staff works on this event for months, lining up the restaurants, community groups, the entertainment and making sure that we put on a great event for the community. They do a great job every year,” Gira said, “It’s a nice weekend to try some of
Orland Park’s great restaurants,
enjoy live music and see old friends,” she said.
Along with indulging in a variety of cuisine, the three day fest includes live entertainment on two stages, community groups offering children’s activities, Kids’ Day on Saturday, a classic car show on Sunday, Bingo inside of the Civic Center both days and more.
The festival begins at 5 p.m. on August 3 with the 70s rock band, The Juke Box Band. That will be followed by the Orland Park Improv Team performing on the community stage with country line dancing instruction inside of the
. At 8 p.m., the
village will host Live Band Karaoke on the community stage, inviting brave
attendees to sing with a live band. The first day of entertainment will
conclude with the country and western band, Jin and Tonic, on the main stage
from 8:30 p.m until 11 p.m. Civic
Activities on Saturday, August 4 include Kiwanis Club Bingo inside of the
from 1 p.m. to 8
Saturday is Kids’ Day at the adjacent John Humphrey Sports Complex, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Activities include face painting, spin art craft, Thanks for the Memory Photo Booth, Pop A Shot Speed Pitch and Basketball, and “Touch a Truck.” There will also be a moon jump, obstacle course and slide for kids to enjoy, provided by Moon Jump Inc.
The annual Family Water Balloon Toss contest will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Humphrey Complex and teams may include siblings or a parent and child. The Family Egg Drop Competition will follow at 3:30 p.m. Each team, which must include an adult and a child, must create and bring a device to catch the falling eggs. Eggs will be dropped from a cherry picker at increasing heights. The egg-catching devices must be no larger than two feet in diameter and pillows and hands may not be used. Pre-registration is not required for either of the free contests. Winners of each contest will receive a free
with twelve passes to the village’s pool. Centennial
A number of Orland Park organizations will be present during Kids’ Day, including the Orland Fire Protection District, Orland Park Police Department, Orland Park Pioneers Football and Cheerleading,
Orland Park Soccer Club Soccer Combine, Orland Youth
Association Girls’ Program, Joon Lee’s Taekwondo, the Village
of Orland Park Karpov International Chess
Institute and the .
of Orland Park Fencing Program
Kids’ Day participants will also include the Bulls/Sox Academy, Independence Winter Guard, ISU FireBirds Ground Quidditch Team, Micro-Reality Stock Car Racing, Team USA Martial Arts, and Victory Martial Arts.
Saturday’s main stage entertainment includes Bopology performing at 1:30 p.m., the Chicago Tribute Anthology performing at 4:30 p.m. and the Journey tribute band, Infiniti, performing at 8:30 p.m.
The third and final day of the Taste of Orland Park begins with the Classic Double K Car Show at the adjacent John Humphrey Sports Complex from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Food vendors open at 1 p.m. with Confetti performing on the main stage, playing everything from 40s swing to pop.
The Orland Park Lions Club will host Bingo inside of the
from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Sunday. The final round of “ Orland Park
Civic Center Orland Park’s Got Talent” will be held on the community
stage at 2 p.m., with Five Guys Named Moe performing on the main stage at 4
p.m. American English, the Beatles tribute band, will close the fest Sunday night,
performing on the main stage at 7 p.m.
“The Taste of Orland Park is a great showcase of the
Orland Park community,” McLaughlin said.
“The restaurants, the community booths, the sponsors, the local performing
groups, the school groups --- everyone makes it a great weekend showcasing what
makes Orland Park the great town that it is,”
A full schedule of events, complete with restaurant menus, appears on the
at www.orland-park.il.us with
printed schedules available at all village buildings. For more information,
call the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department at 708/403-7275. Village
of Orland Park
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Township residents saved more than one million on prescription medications in 2012
July 3, 2012 - ,IL – The Coast2Coast Rx free discount card program has saved township residents more than $1,029,153.67 on their prescription medications this year. The 47 townships with the Coast2Coast Rx program, in counties across Illinois, have saved an average of 50% off of their prescription medications. To combat rising healthcare costs, townships have offered this valuable resource to its residents.
The Coast2Coast Rx Program was first implemented in Niles Township in October 2010. Niles Township Supervisor, Lee Tamraz said, “The Coast2Coast Rx Program is a great program. I have received unbelievable feedback that leads me to only speak highly of the program.” He added, “There is a need for a program like this because people don’t have the income they had ten years ago. It makes me feel much better knowing I have done something like this to help the residents of the [Niles] Township. Endorsing this program was one of the happiest moments I have had as Supervisor.” The Coast2Coast Rx Program has saved Niles Township residents over $600,000 on their medications thus far.
Orland Township, Supervisor O’Grady said, “When we decided to make the Coast2Coast Rx Discount Program available to our residents, we weren’t sure what to expect, but after 7 months of making the program available, our residents have filled over 5600 prescriptions, using the Coast2Coast program, and have saved over $230,000. In these tough economic times, I’m proud that Orland Township took the initiative to offer this program, which has provided a significant benefit to many of our residents, at no cost to the tax payers.”
“At a time when the State has had to discontinue the Illinois Cares Rx program, it’s reassuring to see that the Townships are providing leadership to assist those most in need” said Debby Karton, Illinois distributor of the Coast2Coast Rx Discount program.
Providing savings for residents through this Rx program came at no expense to the townships. Besides the discount on prescriptions, the card also provides 50% to 80% discounts for lab and imaging tests, and discounts on dental, veterinary, vision, diabetes supplies and equipment and hearing services, further helping residents save even more money on their healthcare costs for these services. The Coast2Coast Rx card allows all township residents, regardless of income, age, or health status to participate in the program and save on the cost of their medications. Even pets and other people living outside the townships are able to take part in the program. The Rx card is distributed free of charge and may be used at all pharmacy chains and most independent pharmacies and includes over 60,000 drugs in its formulary.
The Coast2Coast Rx Program is in Algonquin, Avon, Barrington, Benton, Berwyn, Bloomingdale, Bremen, Calumet, Cuba, Dorr, Downers Grove, Ela, Elgin, Elk Grove, Evanston, Hanover, Lemont, Leyden, Libertyville, Lisle, Lyons, Maine, Milton, Moraine, Naperville, Niles, Northfield, Nunda, Oak Park, Orland, Palatine, Palos, Rich, Riverside, Stickney, Schaumberg, Thornton, Vernon, Warren, Wauconda, Waukegan, Wayne, West Deerfield, Winfield, Worth, York, and Zion Townships.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Patricia A. Gira (Orland Park United) 13.65 2,504
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Jerusalem, Tahini Salad
Royal Plate Chicken kabob, lamb kabob and kifta kabob
Shami is one of several restaurants in Orland Park worth checking out. And sitting out on the patio to enjoy the food makes the whole experience in Orland Park even more enjoyable.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) is a decentralized network of anti-fascist and anti-racists in North America. ARA activists organize actions to disrupt neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, and help organize activities against fascist and racist ideologies. ARA groups also oppose sexism,homophobia, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, and the pro-life movement. ARA originated from the skinhead and punk subcultures.HistoryAnti-Racist Action was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the late 1980s by members of the anti-fascist skinhead group Minneapolis Baldies and other activists. ARA then expanded to several communities in the United States and Canada. Members of Love and Rage, a revolutionary anarchist organization, played a major role in building ARA groups and the ARA Network in the 1990s, and the group's structure was formalized in 1994 at the first Midwest Anti-Fascist Network conference, in Columbus, Ohio.
"About 15 to 1 yesterday, there was a group of 10 to 12 people eating int he restaurant. Most were men maybe one or two men. Someone made a reservation for them and they were going to have a meeting," Zabrocki said.
"About 15 individuals came in with masks on hoods, black hoods if I recall, and they proceeded to beat up the 10 or 12 people who were meeting there. There was some confusion because there was a bridal shower going on in an adjacent room but it had nothing to do with this It was not gang related."
Zabrocki said the information was "kind of speculative" at this point.
"A lot of those folks from looking at their addresses were not even from Illinois," Zabrocki said.
"The group that came into it, I'm not sure because there were a number of names kicked around. It was an anti-racist group, anti-Homophobic group. The first group had a web site and the other group infiltrated it. It was not racial in the usual sense. No Middle Eastern connection," Zabrocki said during the radio show.
Zabrocki called it an isolated incident.
"A very sharp female sergeant got a call that they were looking for a particular car and she was very observant and she spotted the car at 159th and Harlem," he said. "She pulled the car over and got five of them. This could lead to the rest of them. They are in our lock-up and I am not sure of their status at this point."
Zabrocki said the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force came out in force, in part because they were on the ready because of the NATO protests.
"I believe there were nine people hurt, six refused treatment and three were treated<' Zabrocki said.
Click here to listen to the radio interview (about 25 minutes into the Radio Podcast.)
The irony here is that the victims, who reportedly are involved in White Supremicy issues, could file racism charges against the alleged attackers who were allegedly reported to be members of an anti-racist group.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Village Residents Could See More Than 40% Savings by Summer’s End
During the Tuesday, March 20th Presidential Primary Election, Village of Orland Park voters approved the electrical aggregation referendum by more than 65%, giving the village permission to seek lower electricity supply rates for its residents and small businesses through an opt-out electricity aggregation program.
Orland Park continues to
play a leadership role in helping its residents and businesses conserve energy
and save money,” said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. “We took the savings
message to the public and our residents resoundingly approved electrical
aggregation for the village,” the mayor added.
The village’s electrical aggregation consultant, David Hoover, founder and executive director of the Northern Illinois Municipal Electrical Collaborative (NIMEC), addressed the board on May 7th, explaining what each of the six bidders had offered for
“Just this afternoon, we learned the new ComEd rate will increase as of June 1 from 7.73 to 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour,”
Hoover said. The new rates
will result in a savings of 43% on the supply portion of the bill,” Hoover noted.
Addressing McLaughlin and the village trustees,
Hoover said, “This makes
your decision to start this process six months ago even more advantageous for
Six companies submitted bids for the
electrical service with three being designated finalists, Direct Energy,
FirstEnergy and Nordic Energy Services. Village of Orland Park
FirstEnergy’s rate was 4.79 cents per kilowatt hour versus Nordic Energy’s being 4.82 cents per kilowatt hour. A majority of the Village Board voted that the advantage of using an Illinois-based company offset the three-hundredths of a cent per kwh difference, or about $5.00 per year per household. The typical household savings will be over $300 per year.
“I’m happy that we’ll be partnering with an
Illinois based company,”
McLaughlin said. “We’re going to be able to save village residents more than
40% on the energy portion of their electric bills. The $300 per year will be
put to good use by our residents,” the mayor said.
“Village residents, as a whole, should save about $9 million dollars through this program. That’s money that will remain in Orland Park,”
Nordic’s two-year contract rate is 4.82 cents per kilowatt hour. The cost to procure 25% of the energy from renewable sources is nominal, adding 0.03 cents per kilowatt hour to the cost of energy.
A January 1, 2010 state law allowed municipalities to aggregate and transfer their residents’ and small commercial retail customers’ electric accounts to alternative electric suppliers. Electrical power would be produced by a company other than ComEd with ComEd continuing to supply electricity to residents over ComEd’s electricity grid. ComEd customers who are part of the group purchasing will continue to be billed by ComEd and will continue to contact ComEd with service needs.
Village residents will receive a letter from the village in late May that will include information about the village’s chosen supplier. Details on how to opt out of the program will also be included for those who choose not to participate. Residents will have two opportunities to opt out of the money saving program. And, those who have already signed on with other electric service companies will be able to opt into the village’s program with Nordic.
“We’re looking forward to residents starting to see the savings on the supply portion of their electric bills later this summer,” McLaughlin said. “Their bills will continue to come from ComEd and Nordic Energy Services will be listed as the supplier on the bill,” he said.
Nordic Energy Services, LLC is an independently owned, Oakbrook Terrace-based, Alternative Retail Electric Supplier (ARES) and Alternative Gas Supplier (AGS) licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and is also licensed in
Indiana as an AGS. In addition to supplying
energy and providing related services to commercial and residential customers
behind six utilities in Illinois and Indiana, Nordic has also
developed and is producing oil and natural gas reserves.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Patricia A. Gira (Orland Park United) 13.65 2,504