Al & Joes 57th Anniversary in Franklin Park

Happy Anniversary Al & Joes ❤️🇮🇹57 years

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East Leyden Awards Ceremony 

Attending Awards Ceremony with RJ and MJ at East Leyden #mccampbell #rjmccampbell #royfmccampbell

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St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

In 1929 the St. Valentine’s Day massacre shocked the nation and the world when Seven people were killed in Chicago.

In 2016 Seven people killed shocked the city because it was a slow weekend.

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Life is a Journey and Love is What Makes it Worthwhile

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Abraham Lincoln Would Be 208 Years Old Today

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Should Leyden and Norwood Park Township Villages Opt Out of Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance ?

Following the lead of the City of Chicago and other municipalities nationwide, on October 26, 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to gradually increase the minimum wage in Cook County to $13 per hour by July of 2020. The ordinance applies to any business or individual that employs at least one “employee” who performs at least two hours of work in any two-week period while physically present within the geographical boundaries of Cook County, with very few exceptions. The new law applies to the all of Cook County, including unincorporated areas. However, home-rule towns can vote to opt out of the increase.
Effective July 1, 2017, employers in Cook County will be required to pay a higher minimum wage that will continue to increase every year thereafter. Cook County’s ordinance is similar to the City of Chicago’s minimum wage increase, which also gradually raises the minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019. The following provides the graduated scale of the increases under the ordinance:
• July 1, 2017 – the minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $10.00 per hour.
• July 1, 2018 – the minimum wage will increase from $10.00 to $11.00 per hour.
• July 1, 2019 – the minimum wage will increase from $11.00 to $12.00 per hour.
• July 1, 2020 – the minimum wage will increase from $12.00 to $13.00 per hour.
• July 1, 2021 and every July 1 thereafter – the minimum wage will increase in proportion to the increase in the CPI, not to exceed 2.5% in any year.
It should be noted that on July 1, 2021 and thereafter, the ordinance provides that the minimum wage will not increase when the unemployment rate in Chicago for the preceding year, as calculated by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, was equal to or greater than 8.5 percent. What is more, Tipped workers who make $4.95 under Illinois law will not see a wage increase until July 1, 2018, and these wage increases will increase in proportion to the increase in the CPI, not to exceed 2.5% in any year. 
Section 42-12 of the ordinance provides several categories of exceptions in which employers are not required to pay the minimum wage, which are as follows:
1. Employees taking part in government-subsidized temporary youth employment programs.
2. Employees taking part in government-subsidized transitional employment programs.
3. Employees of any governmental entity other than the County.
4. Certain employees exempted under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, including: (a) Employees under 18 years of age. Employers are authorized to pay these employees a wage 50 cents below the state minimum hourly wage; and (b) Adult employees over 18 years of age in the first 90 days of employment. Employers are authorized to pay these employees a wage no more than $0.50 below the state minimum wage.
In addition to raising the minimum wage, the ordinance establishes additional obligations for Cook County employers. More specifically, Cook County employers will be required to comply with certain notice provisions. Employers will be required to (1) conspicuously post at each facility within Cook County a notice advising employees of their rights under the ordinance; and (2) providing employees written notice advising employees of their rights under the ordinance with their first paycheck issued after July 1, 2017. 

The ordinance also provides that employers may not discriminate or take any adverse action against any covered employee in retaliation for exercising any right covered under the ordinance. 
The ordinance charges the Cook County Human Rights Commission with the responsibility of enforcement. The ordinance also provides significant penalties for non-compliance and expressly creates a cause of action against an employer who underpays its employees. 

In particular, any affected employee may recover damages in the amount equal to three times the full amount of any such underpayment, along with costs and attorneys’ fees. Moreover, the penalties for noncompliance are steep, as each day of noncompliance is a separate offense with civil penalties of $500 to $1,000. Additionally, failing to properly pay could subject an employer to various other laws such as the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, and the Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act, all of which provide for damages, interest and attorney’s fees. 

Cook County commissioners adopted the law by a 13-3 vote Wednesday, despite an opinion from the state’s attorney’s office saying it was beyond the county’s legal authority.

Suburban Republican commissioners Gregg Goslin, Tim Schneider and Sean Morrison voted against it. Fellow suburban Republican Peter Silvestri voted present.

Municipalities have until July, 2017 to decide whether to opt out.

Business owners in Cook County may see an increase in their expenditures due to the newly passed ordinance. The law would require businesses to give full-time and part-time employees 40 hours of sick leave as long as they work at least 80 hours in a 120-day period.

The plan makes it harder for many business owners to make ends meet.  Many business owners have voiced their concerns over the proposed law. Many say the ordinance shouldn’t have been passed in the first place.

Home-rule communities like Schiller Park, Norridge, Rosemont, and others in Norwood Park and Leyden Townships have the authority to automatically opt out if they choose. But even non-home-rule villages like Franklin Park may have the right to opt out.  The Illinois Constitution allows non-home-rule municipalities to enact laws that supersede those of home-rule counties.  

Rosemont’s village board formally opted out of new Cook County rules mandating businesses pay employees for sick days and higher minimum wages in December, 2016.

Barrington also opted out of the rules, and other Northwest suburbs have said they are drafting similar ordinances.

It is best for local governments not to get involved, leaving those decisions up to the state and federal governments.

If businesses want to pay employees more, they can. If they want to pay paid sick days, they can, but local government should not be adopting legislation that will chase businesses from one town to another.   

I believe that the Cook County ordinance is well-intended, but it could very well have unintended consequences with our business community in Leyden and Norwood Park Townships, like moving businesses  to DuPage County. Doing such piecemeal legislation always has unintended consequences, and this should really be a statewide issue.

I urge the villages and cities of Norwood Park and Leyden Townships to opt out of the Cook County ordinance.   I would encourage the township boards to pass resolutions urging such an opt out of local municipalities.   The regulation of wages and sick time for uniformity purposes should be considered at the federal and state government levels.    

The communities of Leyden and Norwood Park Townships need to opt out of the Cook County ordinance before July 1, 2017, to keep their communities competitive in the business environment.

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Are Grade Centers the Answer for Norridge SD 80 ?

Current discussion to create grade centers in Norridge School District 80 raises a specter that has been debated numerous times throughout our country.   

The relative benefit of one particular grade configuration over another has been the subject of this debate for years. 

Which configuration for a school district is most cost effective? 

Which yields higher student achievement? 

How does grade configuration affect the community?

These discussions and their ultimate outcomes are not without controversy. This can have far-reaching effects on not only the staff and students but on the community itself.

In 1997, of approximately 82,000 public schools in the United States, only about 1,100 were K-12 schools, and for the most part, those schools served rural areas. Today, the most common grade-span configurations are K-5, K-6, 6-8 or 7-9 and 9-12,  with the popularity of each configuration varying according to locale.

The literature reveals that virtually every imaginable combination of grade configuration is found throughout the country. There are neighborhood schools, K-12 schools, K-8 schools, and multiple variations of grade level centers

The reasons for the many different configurations are as varied as the configurations themselves. Typically, eleven factors, alone or in various combinations, drive the decision: cost, equity, socio-economic balance, demographics, curriculum/instruction, space, geography, size, district philosophy, transportation, and facilities. Districts usually make their decisions after public discourse on the weight of the factors pushing the decision. It is noted that every district weighted the factors differently based on conditions within their communities.

Districts usually like their existing structures and prefer not to change unless there is a substantial intervening necessity (cost savings, demographics, space issues, as examples)

Advantages of Grade Level Attendance Centers

  • Each school more clearly focuses on educational/social needs of children.
  • Curriculum/instruction focuses specifically on the grade level age group.
  • Building facility design/usage accommodates a specific age group.
  • Class size is better balanced.
  • Demographics are better balanced.
  • Curriculum, instruction and program are more consistent.
  • May have fewer class sections within a grade, thus operational economies.
  • Or, may have more class sections within a grade.
  • Better mainstreaming of special education/ESL children
  • Reorganization cost savings allow real savings
  • Articulation across grade levels improves.
  • Articulation across attendance centers may or may not improve.
  • Eliminates competition and comparison between schools.

  • Disadvantages of Grade Level Attendance Centers 
  • Children no longer attend their “neighborhood” schools.
  • Parents/children don’t have as much time to build loyalty for a school.
  • May require busing
  • Brothers and sisters may be in different schools.
  • Parents may experience child-care difficulties with children arriving and
    departing at different times.
  • Young children lose older role models.
  • Primary and intermediate grade teachers’ articulation may or may not be more
  • Parents may have to choose between PTA/PTO meetings and participation at
    other events.
  • Changing centers may be disruptive to children and parents.
  •  Communities like to identify with their elementary school. 

Grade configurations may be forced by finances rather than by a choice of philosophy or belief in the superiority of one model over another for Norridge SD 80.

Any transition or change from the current system in SD 80 should be completed with as much community involvement as possible. This should  include parents, teachers, and community members.

Research is inconclusive on whether the grade center model is good or bad for student achievement — but it’s obvious the change will save money.

It’s also obvious that grade centers have become more popular through the years as school districts throughout the U.S. balance their finances.

 Research  always has shown what teachers do in the classroom is the most significant factor, not the classroom itself.

Nearly all educational research points to good teachers being at the core of student achievement. 

In the ongoing discussions  at SD80 you can make a case either way, but it really depends on what is going on inside the classrooms — the curriculum, a teacher’s effectiveness and what student supports are in place.   A lot of it has to do with the community itself. The community has to buy into what is happening.

Grade centers are going to be more common because of Illinois’ financial situation.  They are a lot more cost-effective.

In the late 1980’s, when I was President of Schiller Park SD81, we adopted grade centers with our 3 school buildings and the District has never looked back.   This ultimately enabled District 81 to implement full day kindergarten, a premier pre-k program and withdraw from Leyden Area Special Education Co-Op (LASEC);  bringing their special education program in-house at the District classrooms.   

The current Illinois and District 80 financial distress as well as the success of neighboring multi building school districts’ success with grade centers illuminates the need for Norridge SD 80 to adopt a grade center strategy.    

The adoption of grade centers by the SD80 Board of Education will save $300,000 and preserve the extracurricular programs such as music and art.   

It is imperative that the District 80 Board of Education recognize their limited options, and make a clear and timely decision to adopt the grade center strategy.   

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“It’s Been One Lie After Another”According To Parishoners 

Claudette Pernice said the parishioners want to meet with the Archdiocese about the preservation society’s offer to keep the church open.

“It’s been one lie after another. Never got a meeting with the diocese to defend ourself and tell them why this church is so important to us,” she said.
Since the church closed last year, attendance has gone up, according to Pernice.

Protesters marched around Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, demanding the Chicago Archdiocese stop the sale of a church that has served the Pilsen community for over 100 years.
St. Adalbert Church was closed last year, when the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago dissolved the parish as part of a plan to consolidate six parishes in Pilsen into three.
The Archdiocese has hired a lawyer to work out a sale of the 102-year-old building to the Chicago Academy of Music.

St. Adalbert Preservation Society President Anabel Arguello said the group now can match the Academy’s offer through a partnership with the Resurrection Project, which she said is willing to provide money as needed both for the match and to underwrite repairs. The society has made its counter-offer to the Archdiocese, but has yet to hear back.
On Sunday, parishioners who want to see St. Adalbert stay a church marched at Holy Name Cathedral, singing and reciting prayers in Polish.
Cecilia Cudzcih said she’s crushed about the potential sale of the church to the music academy, which plans to turn the cathedral building designed by Henry Schlacks into a concert hall, its convent into dormitories, and its rectory into housing for master musicians.
The church was started by Polish immigrants, and is one of the oldest Polish Catholic churches in the area.
The deal with the Chicago Academy of Music could put an end to that.

The towers of St. Adalbert’s Church need about $3 million in repairs, and the condition of the building was cited by the Archdiocese as a factor contributing to its decision to close the church.

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Super CY’s Super Battle

Tomorrow is the last day!

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So What Does An Enhanced ATF Presence in Chicago Mean for Schiller Park and the West Cook Suburbs ?



About 20 additional agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are headed to Chicago………David Coulson, a spokesman for the Chicago field office of the ATF, said “We are always seeking to enhance the enforcement efforts of ATF… conjunction with CPD.”

Couple this with the fact that the gang structure in Chicago is so fractured, no one know who runs one block to the next.    For example, the Autobarn, a luxury car dealership in Evanston was broken into in Evanston and they made off with 4 BMW’s and a rare Porsch 9-11 turbo, but the gang members converting these cars to cash these cars were used for joyriding and shootings.   One of the cars was used to “livestream” a rap video when police pursued it all over the west side.

Chicago, with some 100,000 documented gang members, has more gang members than any other city with the possible exception of LosAngeles (Researchers estimate that gangs account for at least half the homicides in those tow cities, a number so large that together they make up about 20 percent of all gang-related homicides nationwide.

Will this new effort of problem oriented policing by ATF simply relocate the crime to suburban areas already controlled by the gangs ?

What will be the repercussions on the suburban communities with the enforcement focus being seen in Chicago ?

Schiller Park has neighboring towns acknowledging for years the presence of gang members and territory control by these gangs.

Gangs identified in Elmwood Park include Milwaukee Kings, Maniac Latin Disciples, Four Corner Hustlers, Spanish Cobras, Gangster Disciples, Gaylords, Imperial Gangsters and the Latin Kings.

In Franklin Park, the gang, the Imperial Gangsters have been identified controlling the “The Jungle” an area bounded by Mannheim Road to Ruth and Crown to James Avenue.

Harwood Heights has been associated with the Latin Kings, Latin Pachucos, Insane Deuces,  and Satan Disciples.

Gangs identified in unincorporated Leyden Township include Imperial Gangsters, Gangster Disciples , the Latin Kings and LaRaza, with “Lil Darkside” having territories around Armitage and Ruby, Dickens and Ruby and Palmer and Ruby.

The City of Northlake has seen gang activity involving the Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Two-Two Boys with the Imperial Gangsters controlling an area of condos and apartments known as King Arthurs Court and the Maniac Latin Disciples controlling the area around Fullerton and Wolf known as the “Lost City”.

The gang known as Almighty Simon City Royals has been identified as being associated with Norridge.

In Park Ridge, the Latin Kings and Surenos 13, have had a presence;  and River Grove    has seen activity from the gangs of Insane Dragons and M.O.B.

But Schiller Park has refused to acknowledge to residents that inquire whether there is gang activity in Schiller Park.   It creates an interesting question, “Is Schiller Park an island in a sea of gang activity or has a “blind eye” been turned to this activity ?

Some  have noted that the Simon City Royals, La Raza control the area around 25th and Ruby Street, residing in the apartments that border Ruby Street in Schiller Park.

Gangs have evolved over decades from social to corporate, so now with the aggressive stance of he Chicago PD, the gang leadership is constantly querying, “where can I go and get out of the spotlight ?”   This gang leadership is constantly looking for the “smaller town” with less resources to combat their activities.

The next year very likely will see an additional gang migration to the west Chicagoland suburbs and eastern DuPage County.    Recently a senior CPD officer said “We can see them going but they are not going away, like disappearing, just moving.”

Schiller Park has failed to create an ongoing community collaboration of major stakeholders (which should include the residents) to implement strong neighborhood policing.

Someone needs to take a leadership role to formulate a regional gang strategy.   This could become an epidemic in Schiller Park and the West Cook suburbs because their are no borders for gangs.    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to reduce his crime in Chicago, but does care if he achieves this by the relocation of the criminals.   Big city police departments are experienced, the smaller ones aren’t.   Things will change in Chicago, and what happens there, in the city with the greatest gang violence problem in America, could have repercussions throughout the region.

The answer to deal with this problem is as complex as the problem itself.

But we all need to start as residents of each of our towns questioning the strategies and planning of our communities to deal with this pervasive gang violence problem for which we may see the repercussions of the enforcement in Chicago.  


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