Monday, February 27, 2012

St. Louis Paving Company Union Tactics Were Used Nationwide Altho Most Were Done Like the Democrats on the Peoria County Board

I have always supported unions and Widmer Office Products and Widmer Interiors was represented by the Teamsters Union for 22 years and as far as I know, Widmer Interiors, the successor firm, still is unionized. I found the being union had some benefits. However, under Obama the union bosses have encouraged union members to become more belligerently aggressive as witnessed a couple a years ago by Democrat members of the Peoria County Board.

This video shows what has become more the norm of the way unions are trying to force owners to employ union member only. Caterpillar just built a 1400 employee plant in a right to work state.

Expect more companies to locate in right to work states and don't expect much growth in Illinois susceptible to being bullied into unionizing all employees.

The expanded Davis-Bacon Law is a further move to Socialize this country which has proven to be not in the best interests of any country including Greece.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 7:28 AM
Subject: FW: St Louis Paving Co

Nothing new about the labor unions - but good to refresh the memory

St. Louis Paving Company Union Tactics Were Used Nationwide Altho Most Were Done Like the Democrats on the Peoria County Board

They tried to make it "Play In Peoria" didn't they Merle?
Thanks to your help and others...Karrie namely, ........ is still in business. However, have you seen the "rat" following them around the County?
My father worked hard, in the union, at Keystone and he doesn't even agree with the bullying tactics to try to force independent business to join or else...
My son-in-law, thankfully, runs a good business and had the resources to hire an attorney to halt the back door politics that would have closed the doors of his asphalt plant and paving company.

There is room in our great country for both union and non-union labor but the strong arm tactics should stop. EVERYONE has the right to work as he or she sees fit.
We'll see what this season brings. Stay tuned. :)

Very best to you and many thanks,

Chevy Volt - Can This Possibly Be True?

Cost to operate a Chevy Volt

Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel's Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors.

For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.

Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery.

So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.

It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.

In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.

According to General Motors, the Volt batteries hold 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.

The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity.

I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh.

16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.

$18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.

Compare this to a similar size car, with a gasoline engine only, that gets 32 mpg.

$3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.........

So Obama wants us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more that 7 times as much to run, and takes 3 times longer to drive across country..... REALLY ???

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Peoria School District #150 Board Members - Listen Up

Shame Is Not the Solution

By Bill Gates

LAST week, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that teachers' individual performance assessments could be made public. I have no opinion on the ruling as a matter of law, but as a harbinger of education policy in the United States, it is a big mistake.

I am a strong proponent of measuring teachers' effectiveness, and my foundation works with many schools to help make sure that such evaluations improve the overall quality of teaching. But publicly ranking teachers by name will not help them get better at their jobs or improve student learning. On the contrary, it will make it a lot harder to implement teacher evaluation systems that work.

In most public schools today, teachers are simply rated "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory," and evaluations consist of having the principal observe a class for a few minutes a couple of times each year. Because we are just beginning to understand what makes a teacher effective, the vast majority of teachers are rated "satisfactory." Few get specific feedback or training to help them improve.

Many districts and states are trying to move toward better personnel systems for evaluation and improvement. Unfortunately, some education advocates in New York, Los Angeles and other cities are claiming that a good personnel system can be based on ranking teachers according to their "value-added rating" - a measurement of their impact on students' test scores - and publicizing the names and rankings online and in the media. But shaming poorly performing teachers doesn't fix the problem because it doesn't give them specific feedback.

Value-added ratings are one important piece of a complete personnel system. But student test scores alone aren't a sensitive enough measure to gauge effective teaching, nor are they diagnostic enough to identify areas of improvement. Teaching is multifaceted, complex work. A reliable evaluation system must incorporate other measures of effectiveness, like students' feedback about their teachers and classroom observations by highly trained peer evaluators and principals.

Putting sophisticated personnel systems in place is going to take a serious commitment. Those who believe we can do it on the cheap - by doing things like making individual teachers' performance reports public - are underestimating the level of resources needed to spur real improvement.

At Microsoft, we created a rigorous personnel system, but we would never have thought about using employee evaluations to embarrass people, much less publish them in a newspaper. A good personnel system encourages employees and managers to work together to set clear, achievable goals. Annual reviews are a diagnostic tool to help employees reflect on their performance, get honest feedback and create a plan for improvement. Many other businesses and public sector employers embrace this approach, and that's where the focus should be in education: school leaders and teachers working together to get better.

Fortunately, there are a few places where teachers and school leaders are collaborating on the hard work of building robust personnel systems. My wife, Melinda, and I recently visited one of those communities, in Tampa, Fla. Teachers in Hillsborough County Public Schools receive in-depth feedback from their principal and from a peer evaluator, both of whom have been trained to analyze classroom teaching.

We were blown away by how much energy people were putting into the new system - and by the results they were already seeing in the classroom. Teachers told us that they appreciated getting feedback from a peer who understood the challenges of their job and from their principal, who had a vision of success for the entire school. Principals said the new system was encouraging them to spend more time in classrooms, which was making the culture in Tampa's schools more collaborative. For their part, the students we spoke to said they'd seen a difference, too, and liked the fact that peer observers asked for their input as part of the evaluation process.

Developing a systematic way to help teachers get better is the most powerful idea in education today. The surest way to weaken it is to twist it into a capricious exercise in public shaming. Let's focus on creating a personnel system that truly helps teachers improve.
Bill Gates is co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on February 23, 2012, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: Shame Is Not the Solution.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Caterpillar" - Some Are Mad Because Cat Had "Georgia on It's Mind"

Get a life, some of you angry commenters and other angry people; 90% Democrats, non-voters, union bosses and disappointed local vendors, local governments and local realtors. I'm sorry for many of local vendors and fearful of more damage to come. You should have seen it coming, many good people did, that Cat would build in a "right to work state" and not in a tax and spend state like Democrat controlled Illinois. You socialist embracers, including quite a few Republicans, have elected consecutive Democrat governors and a crooked Republican governor and majority Democrat legislators. You union bosses thought there would be no end of "cherry picking" and "hugfests" with tax supported private industries that are favorites of Quinn and Obama and their ilk.

Your votes for free taxing and spending politicians are helping drive business out of Illinois. The end is not in sight. Not even good old boys and girls Republican Central Committees can save the day unless they embrace some dissident independent Republican views like those of Ron Paul and others like me.

The country should probably consider ourselves fortunate that at least Cat built in the USA. Be happy for the jobs Cat is supporting in Peoria and that headquarters has not yet relocated.

Peoria Riverfront Museum Promises

Just a reminder to all Peoria residents. At a public and press attending PRM meeting at the UAW building, the date I cannot right now recall, two Bradley Economic Professors, citing economic figures, predicted that the PRM would not only draw 360,000 vistors per year ad infintum (PRM spokespeople have recently backed off the "ad infintum") and the musuem would add $14,000,000.00 to the Peoria economy ad infintum and they happily announced that all PEORIA RESIDENTS WOULD GET A 15% DISCOUNT ON ADMISSION TICKETS. So when the PRM opens this year, don't forget to demand your resident discount.

Wanna bet Peoria County residents get 15% off let alone ad infintum? I suspect it is going to be like the NO IMAX. I'm taking bets!!

Why was this meeting at the Union Hall? Because the union PROMISED a $458,000 donation if the construction, etc. was all union. (I've blogged before that soon after the union's announcement appeared in the JS, the cost of construction jumped several million dollars, $10 million approx., if my memory is correct. Rising cost of steel was SUSPOSEDLY the main reason).

Promises? A dime a dozen. One broken bromise basically overlooked by the liberal media is that the RiverPlex, as Board Member Jim Cummings, the Peoria Chronicle, Karrie Alms and others like myself, predicted the RP would never live up to it's promises, had to exend paying off the building for another 6 years and NEVER IN ONE YEAR WAS ABLE TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST ON THE BORROWED MONEY without taking it from other funds letting erosion wash acres of park land into the Illinois river, raising fees on every thing they offer and reducing maintenance on things like golf courses and tennis courts and grabbing revenue producing events that should have gone to the private sector or other needy public facilities.

Broken promises? You bet. Board President Tim Cassidy promised that these payments would come from revenues generated by the 15,000+ RiverPlex members promised by Superintendent Bonnie Noble.

Expect a lot more broken promises from tax supported public bodies if the economy stays flat for a couple more years.

Remember FireFly that evidently flew too close to the sun and left millions unpaid bills to the City, County, vendors and others as they closed up shop on a "NO MISS" PROJECT PROMISED BY EVERYBODY WHO WAS ANYBODY. (See my blogs on Firefly for names and quotes). Just enter "FireFly" in the right had section of any old blog.

Pay closer attention to those you elect to public office and the why's of why they really want to "serve the public".

And then not least is the "no fail" ballpark bolstered right now by "deep-pocket" investors. My purchase price #50,000.00 shares, on sale since 1999, have no current value. $1.60 is my best offer too date. The offer was $1.80 a few years ago.


Wage Comparisons

Annual Salary of retired US Presidents .............$450,000 FOR LIFE

Annual Salary of House/Senate members ..........$174,000 FOR LIFE

Probably correct and probably does not include dozens of other perks like health benefits. Ray LaHood once asked me "if I thought he was paid to much" and I answered "probably not". That was several years before the Democrats and Republicans, mainly Democrats, put us in the financial mess we are in and all the pain and suffering being endured by those who want to work but can't find a living wage job.



Annual Salary of Speaker of the House .............$223,500 FOR LIFE

Annual Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders .....$193,400 FOR LIFE

Aannual Average salary of a soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN - $38,000

Annual Average income for seniors on SOCIAL SECURITY - $12,000

I think we found where the cuts should be made!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Romney's 'Poor' Quote Twisted By Media

Newsmax.Com reports that sources in the mainstream media were quick to jump on Mitt Romney for saying "he doesn't care about the poor"--without placing the remark in context.

In an interview with CNN left leaning liberal Soledad O'Brien on Wednesday morning, Romney said: "I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor--we have a safety net there. (think about the property taxpayer funded new Peoria County Nursing Home, my comment) If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich--they are doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 to 95 per cent of Americans who right now are struggling.

O'Brien jumped in, saying, "I think there are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say, 'That sounds odd.'

Romney kept his cool, "Well, you had to finish the sentence, Soledad," he replied. "I said, I'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, I'll repair them."

This is the way the dirty left works. Already liberal (aren't they almost all) news media are jumping on the lie that Romney doesn't care for the very poor.

Young people are learning fast from the left-leaning liberal professors at Bradley, ICC and all Obamaites including the wealthy left leaners in both the public and private sectors of which there are a 'bunch".

So sad.

Democrats Masters at Twisting Words and Statements

Romney said he "like to fire people when they didn't get the job done for which they were hired. By getting rid of those who were not moving the organization in the right direction from the top down, we couldn't afford an excess power-seeking union and socialists approach. People working in for-profit companies had to do just that; make a profit in order to keep workers employed, pay fair taxes and as my past President at Widmers, Tom Walsh, used to say, to 'grow the business'.

But Obama, Democrats union bosses with likes of the Journal Star's bleeding heart liberal columnists, Pitts and Robinson, and far right leaning analysts, quote only four words out of Romney's statement, he 'likes to fire people'.

Obama campaigns around the country in his Air Force Jet (the plane alone costs$150,000 an hour figured by some statiticans) using all the half truths his battery of writers can glean from every document or statement ever made and recorded by any ranking opponent.

What a travesty it would be if the Republicans can't put up a candidate to defeat the lyingist president this country ever had in the past two centuries or maybe ever. Perhaps the Republicans best bet is to have a brokered convention, bringing into the race, a fresh person with Romney as V-P, Gingrich and perhaps Paul in his or her cabinet

Trouble With Getting to Class on Time? The Students?

Quoting from "Notable and Quotable" in the WSJ today, these quotes taken from a new story in the New York Post, "They have trouble with spelling, grammar and showing up to class on time--we're not talking about students.

The city tried to expel 26 teachers from the classroom last year for gross incompetence-such as English teachers who couldn't write of speak the language properly.

But officials maintain that stringent union rules prohibited the from succeeding in just half those cases-even when hearing officers actually agreed with the principals' assessments.

That's because the city has to prove not only that the teachers can't do their jobs but also that they have no shot at ever improving.

"What happens in every single thing is litigated or grieved or had a fuss made about it,' said Mayor Bloomberg, who, along with Gov. Cuomo, has demanded statewide adoption of new teacher evaluations.'

Oh yes, New York is NOT a Right-to-Work state.

Do I support unions in the public sector? Not much as unions and weak boards have nearly ruined Peoria Public School District #150 (and large schools all over the country) while Caterpillar, in the private sector, well, that's a different story it seems.

And, yes, Cat, I hope you do not give in to the stokers at one of your plants in Canada. Get your engines from Brazil, they need to bolster their economy.

I remind readers, that my company was represented by the Teamsters. No problem, I worked with them personally and they worked with me. Big difference in the public sector and at places like Government Motors, oops, I meant General Motors. Would I ever buy a GM vehicle, NO.

Cheating Educators

Two principals and two teachers were finally forced to resign in Georgia after a state investigation in classroom cheating.

Fortunately, Georgia is a Right-To-Work state or these resignations might come after years of union lawyers defending the cheating which John Barge, state school superintendent blames on the system, "Relying on a single test to determine a student's and a school's academic success is plagued with problems."

I agree that the poorly thought out NCLB has been mostly a failure.

Obama Accomplishments? Quite a Few!!

Passed on to me by a friend.

If a couple "accomplishments" are wrong these are at least 48% better than what Obama says he has done.



Who said Obama hasn't done anything?

An impressive list of accomplishments!

First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States .

First President to violate the War Powers Act.

First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico .

First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions.

First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

First President to terminate America ’s ability to put a man in space-defunded NASA.

First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke-out on the reasons for their rate increases.

First President to tell a major manufacturing company (Boeing) in which State they are allowed to locate a factory.

First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

First President to fire an inspector general of Americorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date & counting.

First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.

First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

First President to not know how to properly pronounce Navy 'corpsman'.

First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’-including bowing to foreign rulers.

First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

First President to say that America was not a Christian nation.

First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) just for his wife.

First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

Was this the "Hope and Change" you wanted for America? How are you feeling now?