Monday, May 25, 2015

First Lieutenant Richard R. Witzig From Goodfield, Il. - A REAL American Hero

No he wasn't an over-sized and over-hyped sports hero. He was a real American hero. When WW11 started he quickly enlisted. Always interested in aviation, he entered training to be a pilot. He took his first training in New Jersey and Bakersfield Ca. He earned his wings as 2nd Lt. at Luke Field in Arizona. Lieutenant Witzig was then sent to Hawaii for combat training, where he was promoted to First Lieutenant.  He was killed on June 27, 1944, while piloting a P-47 Thunderbolt over Tinian. With no real combat experience, 6 months from the day he enlisted he was sent on his first mission where he was shot down by a more experienced Japanese pilot.

Richard was the only son on John and Ethel Witzig. Devastated, they sold their business in Goodfield and moved to California. Richard's dad was my mothers brother. A plaque dedicated to him may be found on the Peoria Courthouse Memorial grounds as he was working for Caterpillar the day he enlisted. He is a true hero. Most sports heroes do not vote and few, except for ones like Officer Tillman, would ever consider enlisting to fight for our great country.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lowell (Bud) Grieves Brags on His Role in the Building of the RiverPlex

Former Peoria Mayor Grieves claims a large responsibility for the building of the RiverPlex on the Illinois riverfront. Here again are the facts: (see my many old blogs on this subject)
The RiverPlex, often called the RiverWreck or WreckPlex, was supposed to accommodate 18,000+ members. It has missed this target for almost 15 years.
The RiverPlex was supposed to have paid of it's loan in 10 years. It is now almost 15 years and the loan has never been paid in full to my knowledge. (Based on an article by a JS reporter)
The non-taxpaying-tax collecting RiverPlex hurt the existing clubs by originally undercutting pricing while the other clubs have paid millions of dollars in property taxes; the deficit passed on to property tax payers.
The RiverPlex takes up valuable land and pays no taxes. The City of Peoria under Grieves leadership (Grieves does not live in Peoria County) basically donated this land worth millions of dollars to the Peoria Park District, a district in such bad financial shape that they were forced to close a popular golf course, could not build the sports complex promised either at Peoria Stadium or land that was to be part of a trade with Bradley university in exchange for what is now called Shea Stadium. The PPD lacks erosion control on much of the 9000 acres it owns.(See a recent blog)
Superintendent Noble said the RiverPlex was a place where families could come to play. When finances became troubling as I predicted, the PPD was able to get a liquor license (Grieves himself made news when he backed his vehicle into a light pole while allegedly under the influence of alcohol) which also hurt existing businesses.
The St. Francis Administrator told me in 2002 that Park Board President Tim Cassidy "pulled a fast one on me" when he convinced Saint Francis to fund part of the building.
Wealthy Glen Barton, whose wife Polly was a leader in raising funds to build build the PPD African Zoo and the new Administration Building, bailed the park out with his wealth on more than one occasion.
The PPD Administration have made many vain attempts to close Taft Homes but negotiations have met strong public opinion.
The permit from the State of Illinois was issued with caveat that 1/3 of it's members were to be from poverty level residents. It took hardly no time after the permit was granted that the PPD Administration had this caveat removed.
Lowell (Bud) Grieves Administration is part of the reason that the City of Peoria is in the poor financial straits is is in but he keeps writing to the JS bragging about his accomplishments and advising the City how to run it's government (admittedly, the City needs advise) but from it's own residents who don't complain much publicly for 2 main reasons: retribution and knowing that the are listened to but not really heard. Perhaps that is not true for some of the residents, both wealthy and poor.

Many of the Letters to the Editors of the JS are sensible especially recent letters from Conley Stutz and Jack Baize Not to be overlooked are the factual letters from local retired doctor, Rida Boulas who has written often about the superior quality of health care in the U.S.A. compared to other countries. He has also been a critic of ObamaCare which as of now still leaves 31,000,000 uninsured.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Peoria County Board Members Collect Large Government Subsidies While Claiming to Control Government Growing Debt

Brian Elsasser, Carol Trumpe and Brad Harding, all Republican Peoria County Board members and all strong Aaron Schock supporters, vote and continue to vote to expand the government subsidies they receive for the farmland they cultivate or leave idle. This great country is being consumed by greed. And the greediest of all are 60%, plus or minus, of all elected officials. Democrat land owners and farmers are no exception.

The reason I point out Republicans elected officials is because Republicans believe that once they are in control of elected positions is that they will right all wrongs committed by the Democrats in recent years. A laughable situation. I was basically the only one on the Peoria County Board who supported the $13 million redo of BelWood and opposed the building of the money losing, property tax supported, the Taj Mahal Heddington Oaks and the same for the 66% taxpayer supported money losing ugly structure called the Peoria Riverfront Museum. (Once the figures I and a large number of others predicted, came out, the administrator was fired instead of the Board members he reported to and who APPROVED this boondoggle.

I suggest Republicans start with the voting out the subsidies they themselves are collecting. My dad was a farmer and the only government help he received was from the CCC, a government service that should have never been stopped. (It was stopped by big Democrat controlled unions) When I owned a business, I received no taxpayer subsidies and still made "a go of it". (If I'm wrong, please correct me in my comment suggestion box)

No matter who gets elected in 2016, don't expect our debt load to decrease. Too many good causes and out-reaching hands who all believe they should get taxpayer support.

Too bad and so sad.

Next blog will be on comments Andrew Rand made in the latest issue of IB.

Peoria, Illinois - All-American Rumble City

Possible the worst streets, curbs, etc., in the nation. And the problem is that they will remain that way. Why? Not enough money ($200 million finally DEMANDED of Peoria by the EPA to remedy the dumping of billions of gallons of untreated waste in the Illinois River). One major example plus many others. Also slower productivity by the workers. (New hires in this highly public unionized city are told not to "show the others workers up by working at full speed, or else")

Each year, some repairs and replacements are made while the same number of other sites are deteriorating. Many State of Illinois highways share the same sorry situation. When you drive the north-south road thru downtown E. Peoria, look, but don't hit. the crumbling curbs and imagine how many tires were and  are damaged when these curbs are covered with snow. And this is just one example.

Plus the State of Illinois is well on the road to going broke. If I were in business today, I would not sell to the state as it would probably take me years, unless I was politically connected, to get my invoices paid. It may not be many years before the same will be true of the City and County. Chicago is near the point of the sorry situation in Detroit.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Freddie Gray- Friend of Yours?

Forwarded to me by a friend. Merle

Here are the facts on the late Freddie Gray of Baltimore: 

Freddie Gray had a pre-existing spinal and neck injury and had severe nerve damage and scar tissue from an accident that Allstate Insurance was paying him for, in a structured settlement.  This monthly payment and drug money were his means of support.  Freddie had had several unsuccessful spinal fusion surgeries over the past 4 1/2 years.  His most recent spinal/cervical operation was a week and a half before he was arrested on April 12.  He was on doctor's orders to remain home and in bed to speed recovery from that major operation.  Instead, Freddie was out manufacturing and distributing drugs on the streets of Baltimore, and strenuously resisting arrest.

Freddie had a long criminal history (rap sheet):   many pages long for manufacturing and distributing drugs and controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.  He had been convicted of numerous other felonies including assault, firearms violations, breaking and entering, armed robbery, receiving stolen property, and the list goes on and on from his 18th birthday.  In Baltimore County, juvenile records are forever sealed except by judicial order.  (www.mdjudiciarycaseresearch)  Freddie, known on the streets as "Pepper", was 25 years old, 5'8" and weighed 145 lbs. when last arrested.  He had been incarcerated at least 12 times, the longest stretch being 2 years in prison in Maryland.

Freddie had recently tried to convert his structured settlement from Allstate into a lump sum payment from Peachtree Funding, of Atlanta.  Friends say he was confused by the paperwork and legal terminology.

Following his arrest, Freddie was placed into the paddy wagon by the police officers who had arrested him ---- black officers, all of them.  He could have easily slipped on the floor or bench, or twisted his neck or shoulders to reopen his recently fused and weakened spine.  Enroute to the County jail, the paddy wagon stopped once so that officers could put leg restraints on Freddie to calm him down and restrict his movement.

Freddie was a dangerous career felon, well-known to the BPD officers, with a damaged and healing spine and neck, and was supposed to be home healing a week and a half after surgery.  He should not have been running around on the streets of Baltimore committing drug felonies and resisting arrest.

So why are so many residents of Baltimore destroying their own city with looting and arson? Likely, they don't have the facts. 
By the way, none of the eight BPD officers who arrested Freddy has ever had a complaint against them for brutality or use of excessive force.
 
Freddie Grays arrest record:

03-20-15 dealing cocaine
08-28-08 possession of narcotics
10-05-12 illegal gambling
01-25-14 possession of narcotics over 10 grams
08-24-07 manufacturing and distribution narcotics
08/29-07 distribution of narcotics
09-16-08 distribution of narcotics
04-16-08 distribution of narcotics
05-09-12 distribution of narcotics
01-04-15 distribution of narcotics
12-31-14 distribution of narcotics
05-13-14 stolen property
07-16-08 distribution of narcotics
03-28-08 possession of narcotics
02-12-08 distribution of narcotics
09-29-13 distribution of narcotics
12-04-14 distribution of narcotics
12-04-14 possession of narcotics
03-20-08 burglary
03-20-08 possession of narcotics
09-21-07 distribution of narcotics
04-30-08 unlawful possession (two counts)

(Source Maryland Dept. of Justice)
 
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Peoria Park District Missed Projections

Most people don't realize that the Peoria Park District (PPD) has a yearly budget between $40 to $50 million, a size-able chunk of that money coming from property tax. Also, that they are guardians of approximately 9000 acres of land.  I predict in the not too distant future that budget will rise to about $60 million, financed partly by raising fees, closing golf courses or raising levies and taxes. An example of raising fees: one PPD shelter my family once used for free but the PPD now collects $100 each use. We hold family reunions where the shelters with restrooms are free.

Promises have been made and broken; example, Peoria Stadium grounds were to be used for major league approved fast pitch softball fields. Never happened despite Noble and Cassidy insisting it would happen. (See my earlier blogs on the subject) The RiverPlex promised by Noble to draw 15,000 families and by Cassidy that "most, if not all. of the bonded indebtedness will be paid through the then called RecPlex, revenues. In 2001, the bonds due on 2011, were extended to 2016 or another 6 years from the original 10 year payoff plan.

Remember when Shea Soccer Stadium was once the home of the Peoria Chiefs? The land was owned by Bradley University. Two stories here. In donating the land to Bradley University, Laura Bradley had the trust written that alcohol was never to be sold on the premises. When Pete Vonachen became the driver behind the revived ball park, Pete got himself elected to thePPD.  (not a difficult accomplishment as few want to serve on a board dominated by Tim Cassidy and indirectly by Super Bonnie Noble) He was soon succeeded by his son nicknamed "Rocky". Soon the trust was broken and the sale of alcohol became permissible. Jack Heintzman, star Bradley U. athlete,who, before his death, gave me all the paperwork on this deal and this document is available for review by anyone interested.

When the Chief Baseball team located to near the riverfront, Bradley U. still owned the land (then Mienen field). A deal was made with Bradley and the PPD for Bradley to deed the land back to PPD. In return for a little cash, long spent, and 40 acres of land off Fox Rd. and Rt. 91 ( I blogged about this in the past), PPD was SUPPOSED to create a sports complex on this 40 acres. Bradley acquired a total of 161 acres for an exorbitant price of $13,000 an acre. Dunlap School district took an option to buy 40 acres to build a school. They never did and Bradley  has a tenant farmer and and a mortgage. And Louisville Slugger, thank goodness, is privately developing the complex the PPD COULD NOT AFFORD TO BUILD.

Did the JS ever write about this deal IN DETAIL? NO

Lets now review the 9000 acres PPD has guardianship over and erosion control. Only in visible areas. A few years back, Bill Rutherford (deceased) called me one day and said he wanted to show me the erosion on some of this land. It was badly eroded with no visible effort of erosion control. For those of you who do not get out on the Illinois River, you do not see the massive delta being created by soil coming off PPD land that they accepted guardianship. No money in the budget for erosion the major part of the public does not see.

Last summer, I went back to visit this eroded area. No change, just worse.

When the African Exhibit was widely touted by the PPD and the JS, it featured a new entry into Glen Oak Park with a very distinctive signage. Nothing happened and everything remains the same old. The exhibit was to include a new visitors center but the park could not afford it so Glen Barton stepped forward and paid for this center. Similar to the Riverfront Museum, attendance has never met published expectations.

I could go on but it's boring and I've blogged on all these "projections" before. Yes, we have the most interesting park in downstate Illinois and the most expensive. Ms. Noble got her 33,000 sq.ft. administration building and the board named the building in her name. I am curious of the size of the Chicago Park District Administration Building?

Now, it looks like we finally have a cost cutting governor and the national government has an $18 trillion dollar growing deficit, it will be up to the user and taxpayer to keep the PPD solvent. Maybe more Glen Bartons and folks of his wealth will continue to accomplish this apparently debit financing effort. Or let the burden of raising revenue come from the users and not retired property taxpayers.

In 2002, I predicted that financing the PPD would increase beyond expectations when I made an impossible effort to make the necessary changes to finance an ever growing PPD.
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Baltimore and Obama

Obama indicates the "stealing" by mostly black terrorists in Baltimore does not promote the black oppression "myth". Stealing? What about burning of public and private properties, intimidation, injuring and destroying Baltimore's reputation.

And stealing my ass. They are looting and looters should be shot in the act. Or at least arrested in mass and tried en-mass as Class 1 criminals. These acts of violence are just the beginning of another Watts some very soon hot summer.

As I have repeatedly warned, we have become a nation of wimps. We are graduating uneducated kids "kids?  Many are adults at 12 years old capable of plotting someone else s death. Many of those  in our teaching colleges are socialists and by our laws enforced by too many liberal judges which allow not a second chance but 5-10-15 chances.

Being overlooked are the near billionaire Clinton's who have a better than 50% chance of being elected as our next president (they may not have sex together but accumulation of assets often becomes more powerful than married sex) will most likely try to stack the Supreme Court with a majority of socialism promoters.  If Justice Roberts hadn't have temporarily lost his mind, "Obamascare" would never have passed. Now that the law is approx. 2 years old, have we witnessed a great change in social behavior? Oh, some say, "ObamaCare wasn't to promote social behavior".. Huh?  Look at Ferguson, Baltimore and all the school shootings and gang killings, murders and suicides by deranged people. We used to call the "nuts" bu words like crazy and nuts are no longer politically correct.

And increased drug use of all kinds. Legalize weed and collect the money the dealers make and use it for prevention and cure of these addictions. Do you realize that many high paid people do not want legalization for fear of losing their high paid jobs working in a failing occupation?

I predicted a revolution in this nation in 25 years. These acts of terrorism we are witnessing are not the revolution I predict Although there is, of course, a connection between the have and have-nots expressed by social unrest. Also, it won't only be be by those in and "unrest" situation, but an uprising against overpaid people. GoPro president is paid around half a billion dollars a year. Yes, their stock went way up today and I was one of the profit recipients who sold at $51.37.(not bragging because I lost a bundle in 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2010).  Still, my belief is that no  living human being is worth half a billion in income where stockholders are involved.

There are perhaps more crazy people than just the terrorists..I realize that my blogs most times seem like a lecture. However, most people who care appear to be greatly concerned about the direction and leadership of this great nation and the rest of the world.

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Caterpillar Appears to be a Buy Around $85 a Share

Based on as many analysts reports  I have time and energy to read,including the mass destruction going on around the world especially in Nepal, I suggest Cat is a buy. Plus it pays a very good dividend with next payout in approximately 2 months. I do not own Cat at the present time but remain fully invested.as I expect the Bull market to continue despite the lag in the economy.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Obama's Drug Czar Talks Sense

A former addict, he says don't handcuff and jail users. Help them break their addiction. Same thing I have been blogging and saying for years. Addiction is a sickness that I am very familial as I live with an addict.. I never used drugs except for a drink or two now and then.. I consider myself fortunate.

Before some of my ex-friends and some readers keep condemning me for my stance on weed, they should read more or the statistics in circulation showing several states whose juvenile and adult populations show that some 22-25 % of the population is addicted; the main addiction being alcohol. These addicts are going to continue being addicts, illegal or not, until they get the affordable help they need. Even then, many will continue to use drugs of all types, legal or not because no cure will help an addict unless the addict wants desperately to give up their addiction.

Legalize weed and use the money collected and saved to set up easy to find and easy access prevention centers. Those who don't agree are living in an ideal world. The world we live in is FAR FROM IDEAL.Alcohol is BY FAR THE WORST DRUG being abused by so many. Prohibition was failed and failed miserably.

Wake up as most people are slowly doing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Peoria County Administrators Jump a Sinking Ship.

First it was Matt Neukirk, Administrator at the new Heddington Oaks, taxpayer owned nursing home replacing the still standing 47 year old BelWood. Matt evidently saw the writing on the wall as he told a JS reporter that Peoria County should or maybe should consider selling the relatively new Heddington Oaks. Now it is Peoria County Administrator Lori Luther resigning to take a job in a town 3 times smaller than Peoria.

Both can see the "writing on the wall" . Increased deficits and rising taxes, all of which I predicted when I wrote that my last 2 years on the County Board were my worst as I saw our then administrator Patrick Urich, now Peoria City Manager, lead a gung ho bunch of Democrat board members (and most of the Republican minority) down a a lane of roses. Now, many of these roses have died or are dying and will not grow back.

I'm financially solid and so is my wife. And none of my family live in Peoria. Many of you listened to the union who demanded jobs and didn't give a damn what was built. They just needed to build something and now union boss Mike Everett wants a 1% sales tax increase. He says the unions built Peoria and with more taxes they can keep on building. He holds a 6 figure job with a huge pension awaiting and many union members make 6 figure salaries or close to it with huge benefits also. A union friend of mine retired with close to a $70,000 pension and the last I heard his wife was making $125,000. Do they care about debt? Your call.

Damn the poor and jobless.. Obama and probably Hillary will take care of them is the prevailing attitude in Peoria.

So sad. But admittedly, Peoria County has an abundance of wealth. And they need losses to write of some of their yearly income.

Return to HighlyTroubled Africa?

I suggest that a small minority of blacks should return to Africa to support their ancestors, assist the oppressed and promote socialism. I suggest starting with a handful of black Valdosta College students probably attending college on grant money and most likely none of them holding an outside job while "studying" for a degree..

Along with a small minority of "leaders" who are making Martin Luther King twist in his grave.