Memorial Day Weekend Marks the 43rd Anniversary of Totem Lumber Fire in Schiller Park

This Memorial Day weekend marks the 43rd Anniversary of the Totem Lumber Fire on 25th Avenue. The fire started on the Saturday shortly after lunch on Memorial Day weekend 1976. George Kubalewski was the shift commander. Walter Siwek was the Fire Chief.

Totem Lumber opened in Schiller Park in 1958.

The fire burned for 36 hours. Under the fire department mutual aid agreements 14 fire departments responded with almost all 100 firefighters. Fire engines pumped water to the scene from as far away as 25th and Irving and Leland and 25th. No neighboring properties were damaged. That was an era when Charles V Leiser, Bill Schultz, Reno Biasi, Chester Kwiat, Herb Milnes, Carl Schuyler, Robert Ritt, Gerry Phipps were on the Schiller Park Fire Department.

Posted in Chicago, fire protection, firefighter, Illinois, illinois politics, Leyden, Leyden Fire Protection District, News, Norridge, Northlake, paramedic services of illinois, politics, Roy F. McCampbell, Schiller Park, schiller park police, Social Media, Totem Lumber Fire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bullets Struck School Bus on Field Trip


Suburban school bus hit by stray bullets after dropping kids off at Museum of Science and Industry, authorities say

A suburban school bus was pelted by stray gunfire Tuesday morning at a South Side intersection after it dropped off suburban grade-school students at the Museum of Science and Industry, authorities said.

Only the bus driver was on board when two shots struck the bus near the intersection of 67th Street and Stony Island Avenue around 11:30 a.m., according to Chicago police and Northbrook District 28 officials.

The female driver was “shaken up” but uninjured, treated by Chicago paramedics for a minor “scrape,” school officials said.

In an email to parents, District 28 Superintendent Larry Hewitt said third graders from Westmoor School, staff and chaperones had just been dropped off at the popular Hyde Park museum, “and the bus was traveling about 10 miles south when two bullets struck the bus.”

Police officials Tuesday evening confirmed that an unrelated altercation between two people standing nearby devolved into a shootout and the bus was struck by stray gunfire.

Following the shooting, the bus driver, who works for the First Student bus company, returned the damaged bus to her company depot, and a new bus was sent to transport the Westmoor group back to the suburbs.

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Remembering A Terrible Tragedy: 40 Years Later

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those whose lives were lost 40 years ago and their families who still are grieving the loss of their loved ones.

This week marks 40 years since American Airlines Flight 191 crashed outside of O’Hare Airport, killing 273 people.

On May 25th, 1979, Flight 191 had taken off of runway 32R at O’Hare Airport bound for Los Angeles. Seconds after take off, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 lost its left engine, causing it to roll to its left side and crashing into an open field near Touhy Ave in Des Plaines, killing everyone on board.

Numerous area fire departments were called to assist. Some team members spending multiple days on the crash site. 40 years later American Airlines Flight 191 remains the deadliest passenger aircraft accident on U.S. Soil.

Since that fateful day area public safety units have developed an integrated response plan with Chicago to serve and protect during any future tragedies.

Remembering a terrible tragedy…

My thoughts will be with everyone who lost a loved one this week…40 years ago, especially this week. I will visit the Memorial in Lake Park this week to honor those lost and the first responders who served.

God Bless the Flight Crew and Passengers of Flight 191 and the two people on the ground.

God Bless all the emergency personnel who were there to help on that day and the weeks that followed.

Hard to believe 40 years ago I and many of my Fire Department Brothers were walking the crash site picking up remains and bringing them to the American Airlines hanger set up as a temporary morgue.

The years may pass, but the memories are locked in our brains and our hearts.

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When God Was Creating Firefighters………..

When God was creating firefighters, he was into the sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of extra work on this one.”

And the Lord said, “Have you read the specs on this order? A firefighter has to wake up to a fire alarm, go into burning buildings to rescue people and enter areas the normal person wouldn’t go.

“He has to be willing to leave his family and put his life on the line, work to exhaustion and beyond and be ready for the next call.

“He has to have a strong commitment to a personal calling that places their lives in jeopardy every day.

He has to be in top mental condition at all times, function on black coffee and half-eaten meals, and have a heart big enough to love members of the ‘brotherhood’ world-wide, and a unity of purpose.”

The angel shook it’s head slowly and said, “A heart that big… no way.”

“It’s not the heart that is causing me problems,” said the Lord, “it’s the extra hands and eyes a firefighter has to have.”

“That has to be on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. “One pair of eyes that sees the whole situation, another pair that sees what is ahead to be dealt with, a third pair to watch out for his brothers, and another pair here in front that can look reassuringly at an injured victim and say, “You’ll be alright,” even when he knows it isn’t so.”

“Lord,” said the angel, touching his sleeve, “rest and work on this tomorrow.”

“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I already have a model that can carry a 190 pound victim out of a burning building, has dedicated his life to helping people, and is willing to come to the aid of those threatened by the deadly force of fire.”

The angel circled the model of the firefighter very slowly, “Can it think?” the angel asked.

“You bet,” said the Lord. “It can tell you the elements of a hundred fires, the victims and rescues, and the importance of fire safety…. and still keep its sense of humor.

“This firefighter also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with fire scenes painted in hell, coax a trapped person or animal out of a burning building, and still go home and love his family.

“Being a firefighter is one of bravery, loyalty and devotion to public service. He is willing to put his life on the line every day to protect our homes and our loved ones from the devastating effects of fire, and sometimes, the honorable job of saving lives requires many firefighters to pay the ultimate price for their valor in the line of duty.”

Finally, the angel ran a finger across the cheek of the firefighter. “There’s a leak,” the angel pronounced. “I told you that you were trying to put too much in this model.”

“That’s not a leak,” the Lord said, “it’s a tear.”

“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.

“It’s for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for the victims, and for commitment to that piece of cloth called the American flag.”

“You’re a genius,” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it there,” he said.

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Legal Marijuana For Sale in Illinois by 1/1/2020, Is The Prediction

With details of a recreational marijuana bill ironed out in Springfield, Governor JB Pritzker not only expects to see it on his desk by the end of the month, but has gleefully predicted that Illinoisans could be lighting up by January. 

The bill would make it legal for those over 21 to possess 30 grams, approximately an ounce, of marijuana. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who joined Pritzker for an unrelated news conference, said he has some concerns. 

“Thematically, philosophically I think I support the governor but I say it also as a father of three, that you have to do it in a way that’s not encouraging a type of behavior,” Mayor Emanuel said. 

That is one of the reasons opponents are still fighting the bill, even though it seems likely to pass. 

“It’s important that we send a message to the state and the governor. Governor, we need more work on this. This is not a bill that we want,” said State Rep. Marty Moylan, (D) Des Plaines. 

“Any change in drug policy should reduce drug use, not increase it. This bill will increase it,” said Dr. Aaron, Weiner, Director of Addiction Services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health. 

Part of the governor’s bill would provide automatic expungements for about 800,000 people convicted of low-level marijuana possession offenses. 

That social equity aspect drew praise from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “We’re excited about that,” Foxx said. “It’s the logistics, how to get it done, that I think will be the real test.” Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, is also on board. 

“I think that the bill that was announced on Saturday is an important step forward, so I do support it,” Lightfoot said. 

The Governor had originally projected legalized marijuana would bring in about $170 million this year, mainly from licensing fees. But with the time frame they are now looking at, his office said they are going to be scaling back those numbers. 

Posted in #420day, #madigoon, #mentalhealthmonth, #taxation, Crime, e cigarettes, Education, Elections, Finance, health risk, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, legal services, marijuana, Medical, mental health, political satire, politics, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Taxation, Union, vaping, weed | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Has Our Educational System Failed Those Students With Mental Health Issues ?

Nineteen weeks into 2019, there have already been 15 school shootings in the US in which someone was hurt or killed.

Is this a reflection of the educational systems’ failure to identify mental health issues ?

Posted in #mentalhealthmonth, Chicago, Crime, domestic violence, Education, Finance, IEP, Illinois, illinois politics, marijuana, mental health, politics, referendum, Roy F. McCampbell, sexual harrassment, Social Media, Special Education, Taxation, Union, vaping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exodus from Illinois Assures the Loss Of Two Seats in Congress

An Illinois congressman said the latest census estimates pretty much solidified Illinois will be losing two congressional seats when the 2020 census is completed.

“I’m not surprised that Illinois is now looking to move from possibly losing two seats to almost assuredly losing two seats,” Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said.

The census estimates released Thursday showed population losses in 86 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Overall, the report shows the state has lost more than 45,000 people in a year, resulting in the fifth straight year of a declining population.

Davis said he’s not surprised by the estimates and added it’s likely the state’s high taxes that have driven people out.

“We’ve got to make sure we do everything we can to put more money in the pockets of families instead of taking it out of their pocketbooks and otherwise, we’re going to continue to see the population leave,” Davis said.

Davis is concerned about Democrats having super-majorities in both chambers of the legislature and a Democratic governor because the state is in charge of redrawing congressional maps.

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, Chicago, Crime, Economy, election fraud, Elections, gambling, gun control, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, Kim Foxx, political satire, politics, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Taxation, Uncategorized, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Westlake Hospital Closure Unopposed By State Board

The owners of Westlake Hospital received approval from a state review board that allows them to move forward with plans to close the Melrose Park facility.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 7-to-0 in favor of the closure Tuesday afternoon.

“We are grateful that the board followed its statutory duty so we can fulfill our mission to take care of patients and not buildings.” Dennis Culloton, Pipeline Health’s spokesman, said.

However, Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico questioned the review board’s decision.

“It’s also puzzling that the board would so flagrantly disregard their own rules,” Serpico said in a statement. “As a result of their action we are calling today on Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the [Health Facilities and Services Review Board]  decision to approve Pipeline Health’s fraudulent purchase and closing of Westlake Hospital.”

Those opposed to the hospital’s closure had hoped the board would defer Pipeline Health’s application to close until pending lawsuits by the village and the Cook County state’s attorney are resolved.

was nearly granted with a 4-to-3 vote in favor of deferring earlier Tuesday.

But without a five-vote majority, the board couldn’t pass anything.

The board should have nine voting members, but one was absent Tuesday and one seat is unfilled.

Two recent appointees by Gov. J.B. Pritzker were among the three board members who voted against deferring the application.

“Today’s decision was disappointing, and the governor let us down,” Westlake Board Chairman and state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch said. “Low-income families in a black and brown community lost access to health care.”

Serpico was also disappointed with Pritzker and his new appointees because “neither of them stood up for health care access” in Melrose Park.

When Pipeline filed paperwork to close Westlake, its application stated the 230-bed facility would shut down approximately 45 days after receiving board approval.

Pipeline, a California-based health care network, bought Westlake in January for $70 million. It was one of three Chicago-area hospitals Tenet Healthcare sold to Pipeline Health and TWG Partners, a health care investment firm founded by Eric Whitaker.

Whitaker, a close friend of former President Barack Obama, served as director of Illinois Department of Public Health and executive vice president and associate dean at the University of Chicago Medicine.

“To maintain Westlake Hospital in its current form is to maintain the past,” Whitaker said during his testimony to the board Tuesday. “Westlake Hospital can’t safely provide the latest technology and services needed for quality care because it needs $30 million in upgrades to facilities, equipment and information technology.”

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, Chicago, Economy, Elections, Health, health risk, Illinois, illinois politics, Leyden, News, political satire, politics, referendum, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Taxation, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember Those Who Served in Vietnam Today as We Commemorate the 44th Anniversary of the Ending of the Vietnam War

Today is the 44th anniversary of the Vietnam war ending. Thank you to all who served🇺🇸

David Joseph Latoria

This photo of David and The Wall with his name behind him was presented at an annual dinner-dance in honor of David. The money raised at this affair is used to present two scholarships at David’s high school – East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois. #leydenpride

Member of Leyden Wall of Fame

Ronald F. Gibbs

Class of 1964 ~ West

Ronald Gibbs graduated from West Leyden High School in 1964. He served his country in Vietnam and Germany as a Captain in the U.S. Army. He went on to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He then earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In addition, Mr. Gibbs has studied at The Hague Academy of International Law, where he earned a Certificate in International Human Rights. He also studied at the London School of Economics.

Mr. Gibbs is the President of National and International Public Affairs Consulting, located in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy.

He spearheaded the passage of legislation establishing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and served on the Board. As Jan Scruggs, President of the Vietnam Memorial Fund stated in his book, To Heal a Nation, “Ron spent many hours walking the halls of Congress. He never asked for public recognition or acclaim. His only desire was to see the names of the 58,000 killed in Vietnam inscribed in a place of honor.” He founded The Kim Foundation with Kim Phuc, whose Pulitzer Prize winning photo was captured by Nick Ut as her village was napalmed during the Vietnam War.

His message to Leyden students: “A good education can be your key to success. Seek to empower yourself. Continually seek to make a difference—with family and friends. Look to help others in the community, nationally and globally. Believe in the ‘power of an idea’ to bring about social change whether in your community, nationally, or internationally.”


Posted in #leydenpride, Chicago, East Leyden, Education, Elections, Illinois, illinois politics, Leyden, Leyden High School Dostrict 212, politics, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media, vietnam, vietnam virtual wall, vietnam wall, War on Terror, West Leyden | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GOP lawmakers in McHenry County believe graduated tax plan won’t solve state problems | Northwest Herald

I could have told you this: We need massive spending cuts. We also need to cut borrowing, cut regulation, pursue government consolidation including local government and school districts, and reform the public sector pension laws

Local GOP lawmakers critical of Pritzker’s graduated income tax plan

— Read on

Posted in #taxation, Chicago, Crime, Economy, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, political satire, politics, Rauner, referendum, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment