In the crazy world in which we live, a blog looking to make sense of it all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

District 150 Approves Property Purchases

Oliver Hardy said it best. "This is another fine mess you've gotten me into."

We can probably direct that towards the District 150 School Board as they have approved over $870,000 of taxpayer money already spent in the purchase of property along Prospect Rd. They had already purchased these properties, at over market value, in secrecy. Last night's vote just made the whole process legal.

According to Clare Jellick's article in the today's Peoria Journal Star, two outside attorneys made queries into the legality of this debacle, citing that is was a violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Over at the Peoria Chronicle, CJ Summers claims that the process was legal (and stupid). Due to the fact, if the proposed purchases were made public *before* the purchases is actually made, it would be difficult to get the real market price as the public would be aware what properties are in "play."

Many people might view this as someone made a woeful mistake. I don't think any mistake was made; the people responsible knew exactly what they were doing. Buy buying these houses first, it sets up the situation as having gone to far to turn back. Then last night, they can say "what can we do now? We must go foreword." If they turn back, they will lose money; taxpayer money that is.

I'm sure that all the sellers were required to agree to a confidentiality clause to keep all this secret. I'm no attorney and the way this was handled may have been legal, but it sure is shady and unethical in my opinion.

Common Sense of it All: I hear so many people are opposed to the plan of building this new school at Glen Oak Park and razing these homes, yet at last night's meeting, only 3 people spoke against this plan. Apathy is a real problem. People need to get more involved if we are to stop this madness.

Update: CJ Summers had been contacted by an actual attorney who claims that the 1972 Open Meetings Act had been amended several times. The long and short of it all is that District 150 School Board's actions may have been illegal after all. According to this attorney:

“There is more recent Ill. case law holding that a board of education violated the OMA when it held an executive (closed) session to determine that the planned public sale date of school property should be rescheduled.”

Please visit CJ's blog, The Peoria Chronicle for more.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Clothes Make The Man

Do you remember the Rodney Dangerfield movie Easy Money from the early 80's? There was a scene where Rodney's snooty brother-in-law was out to embarrass him and his out of date fashions. Therefore, he made Rodney the creative designer for a line of clothes which they called "The Regular Guy," based on what Rodney called what he wanted; clothes for regular guys. The fashion show turned out to be a bit humbling for him, but the clothes turned out to be a big success to the chagrin of the snooty brother-in-law.

In Sunday's Journal Star, columnist Jerry Klein reveals a shopping problem for his wife as she cannot find any clothes for what he called "mature" women. While I'm a middle-aged man, I find no problem in finding new clothes, but I can totally understand Mrs. Klein's dilemma and Mr. Klein's reasoning behind the problem is dead on. Today's society is totally fixated on the younger generation and leaves less and less room for us more "seasoned" citizens.

Mr. Klein points to Hollywood, which is a big part of it. However, the music industry plays a big roll as well. Look at how many teenage girls are trying to be Brittany Spears, Jessica Simpson, etc. As for the boys, look how many try to emulate their favorite gangsta rapper. Sports can play a role as well. Mr. Klein points out baggy pants that the boys wear, particularly in basketball. Take note of what players were wearing a generation ago and what they are today.

Older folks tend to keep the same styles and fashions over longer periods. This is a contrast to what the teenagers and younger people do as their sense of fashion and tastes change as often as the wind changes direction.

Common Sense of it All: I'm afraid this is one of those pains that comes from getting older. Unlike beauty, clothes aren't even skin deep.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

First Casulty of a Smoking Ban?

WEEK TV 25 had a report regarding the smoking ban for Bloomington, IL which passed Monday night and it’s first possible casualty. Pub One, which has one of the oldest liquor license in the city, is purported to have a high number of patrons who are die-hard smokers. Bar owner John Rokos claims approximately 85-90% of his clientele are smokers, and from what they have told him, they will probably not be back once the ban comes into effect.

Good going Bloomington! It sounds like you have effectively wiped out Mr. Rokos’ livelihood of the past 30 years. If tobacco is so bad (which it is) why do they not just make it illegal altogether? That will never happen. There’s too much tax revenue and class action settlements off of tobacco. The powers that be want you to purchase tobacco products and then not use them.

Eyebrows McGee had a great idea for these smoking bans; institute a no-smoking ban, but allow special licenses to allow smoking. That way, the business owner can decide what type of establishment they wish to be. Sounds like common sense to me, something of which no politician will ever possess.

Common Sense of it All: Like I’ve posted before, this is a continuation of losing our rights in this country. Consider it to be more legislation of morality.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

There's Something Familiar About This

From the Associated Press:

NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin unveiled a new evacuation strategy for New Orleans on Tuesday that relies more on buses and trains and eliminates the Superdome and Convention Center as shelters.

I only have one question; didn't the *original* evacuation plan call for the use of buses?

Common Sense of it All: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Looks like Nagin is doing all he can to hold on to his job.