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.

Peoria Riverfront Museum (PRM) - Missed Projection

Missed badly and will NEVER come close to projections. Administrator fired but Board should have been fired also. Read my reasons why this boondoggle should never have been built and  Peoria City would still own this land valued around $14 million. Caterpillar offered to build a $51 million Visitors Center and threatened the County Board  (I have the letter) that they would not build this center unless the museum was built. Then they only spent $37 million on thee visitor center and then used the top floor of the Visitor Center for corporate offices.

Brad McMillan stood before the board and claimed the taxpayer would only pay 1/3 of the $97 million  (total cost includes taxpayer formerly owned land)  museum. It turned out that the taxpayer paid 2/3 of the cost and will keep paying off the loan for another 28 years. Brad yearns to serve in Springfield one day. PLEASE.

Please challenge me on my figures or go back and read my old blogs.  I also have a Bankers Box of records on this boondoggle on the riverfront.. Easy to find. Just enter the subject and click. Upper RH corner of all my blogs.

Who cares the elite say. We wanted it and we got it. They are right, but I like many will never visit.it unless someone pays all costs. But I suspect I;ll pay for it in increased taxes as Peoria County owns the building. Meanwhile, taxpayers will continue to pay off the bonds for another 28 years or maybe more.

Next missed projections, plural. The Peoria Park District.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ardis Kin Disagree Publicly - Both are Right and Both are Wrong

When Jim Ardis first ran for City Council and was elected but finished last in the crude and out-dated vote count system, I gave him $3000 which prompted Tony Ardis to call and thank me saying that my money provided the boost in TV ads and his subsequent election. Jim Ardis is a nice a guy as you will ever meet but power guided him off the course of fiscally responsible government. This happens about 90% of the time that an elected official forgets why he was elected or listens too much to the power structure money and advice, the reasons why elections are usually won.

And debt increases but the elite can afford it or move to Florida to escape State Income taxes.

The City of Peoria (so is Peoria County, Democrat dominated Board and Democrat Administrator) is in a far greater morass than has been reported. Both Ardis know this and Tony is correct in attacking Jim. However, it's like the old adage of who is calling the "kettle black".. The problem arrived in this manner. Union officials are elected on what additional benefits they can provide to their most vocal union Democrat members. Most boards in Peoria County are dominated by Democrats or Democrat thinking Republicans (the City Manager is an admitted Democrat) even if the City Council is "supposed" to be non-partisan. Why? Because Peoria is a Democrat dominated City. And incumbents want to be re-elected. Katherine Coyle could have possibly brought a breath of fresh air to the Council but the Demos voters couldn't countenance another Republican on the Council.

So it works like this. Private employees WITHOUT most of the benefits public employees receive but may receive a little more salary have their salaries compared by the union bosses who want the same with mostly an abundance of no firing clauses ignoring that public officials retire with many benefits like generous pensions that most in the private sector don't receive.

Evidently the registered voters understood there votes against excessive spending or felt that one new position wouldn't stop the spending spree the present council regrets but can't stop. Those that did vote  are addicted to supporting any cause that has some power in support of their cause. Only 17% of the registered voters in Peoria City felt interest in casting a vote. How can you blame them when no chance of change was in the air?

I predict that the presidential election of 2016 will not bring out more than 34 out of every registered voter. I also predict that present governor of Ohio would be the best Republican to defeat hillier Hillary but believe the old Republican guard will favor Florida Jeb Bush who will be dead upon arrival to the polls.All other Republican would-bees have some beliefs I support but don't stand any chance of being even nominated.

More predictions to come.

Weed - Pro and Con

While typing my latest blog, I was also watching one of the series on 'Weed' as presented ty CNN. If you are interested and disagreed with my older blog titled, "Why Not Legalize Marijuana", I advise watching more of this series being broadcast on CNN next Sunday at 9 PM Central time.. Most of my friends who take an opposite position, misunderstood, even though I said that I did not recommend the use of recreational weed but it was being widely sold on the black market in every community in the nation.You can prohibit a vice but you can;t stop it. Man will never be able to stop alcoholism, abortion, prostitution, murder, theft and drug use and the abuse of any.. Even the Bible so states I'm told.

Weed will never be as bad as alcohol on causing accidents and shortening lives. The non-prejudiced have already proven this fact.

You may be interested to know I have never used prohibited drugs and was only intoxicated once and that was as a Sophomore in college. I personally do not even have alcohol in my house so I can;t invite anyone over for a social drink.

Peoria County Nursing Home - Badly Missed Projection

Recently the home administrator bailed out with the comment that the county may need to sell Heddington Oaks within the next five years. Read my blogs on Bel-Wood, replaced by a new home called Heddington Oaks, where I argued strongly that the county should get out of the nursing home business. In 2008, there were only 7 counties that supported County nursing homes.. Our County Administrator went along with the Democrats and most of the Republicans on board and insisted on the most expensive nursing home in Peoria. Last guess estimate was that the edifice cost $51 million with almost all the money borrowed and to be paid back over the next 30 years.  At last report, it was costing Peoria County property taxpayers approximately $4.1 million a year with a high possibility that the /State of Illinois will decrease their funding to Medicaid patients who compose a a major majority of this Taj Mahal facility.

To put this $4.1 million cost to Peoria County Property taxayers in perspective, all other private nursing homes in Peoria operate a profit or they go out of business while Peoria County goes further in debt or raises fees for other services or raise taxes which appears now to be on the horizon and which I have long predicted.

The County Board could have accepted a $12 million bid by a highly respected contractor. A new roof, a sprinkler system, (which Obama as an Illinois Senator helped fund most ot the cost of the sprinkler system, only to have Peoria County use the money elsewhere)  a comlete new electical and plumbing system but that proposal did not please our administrator, now Peoria City Manager.

I am a compassionate person but I also understand finances. If Peoria County property taxpayers have no problem with this badly missed projection is ok with me but I as a Peoria County taxpayer do not agree.

If any reporter or county board member or past administrator disputes my facts, they are free to comment. Their silence can only mean that my facts presented over the years on the relocating and cost of the new home, are reasonably reasonably correct..

My advise is to even through late and costly is for the County Board put the facility up for sale as soon as possible.

More missed projections to follow.


Planned Parenthood - From Advice Giving to Big Business?

In Sarasota, Planned Parenthood is big business. Headquarters is the most elaborate and elegant building where most executives make 6 figure salaries with considerable benefits. They all appear to drive expensive vehicles and come and go as they please. For the poor, many of them try to sell drugs,their bodies or steal to afford treatment which is expensive to those who their own fault or not, do not have the funds to stay in the program they enter. They charge $90 a visit for those addicted to smoking. Many wait for hours as employees seem to stroll around, coming and leaving anytime they wish.

Reminded me somewhat of the seemingly poorly operated Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa where I recently took cancer treatment. The Tampa doctor said I do not have Cancer. My Peoria doctor says "how does he know. He didn't take biopsys". Either way, I am prepared to whatever.

At one time in Peoria, we had 70 Social Agencies helping the poor. Results? Some good results, of course. But you be the judge as more people move out of Peoria and Dist. #150 appears to be confused abut what an education is all about. I taught. Education is not about test scores but must be geared to turning out a well rounded human being. If it takes longer hours, a later start date in the morning and more money for good teachers, with less emphasis by the union of preventing the firing of teachers who should never have been granted a degree to teach. Give us more money is not a total answer. Spending the money more wisely is more of an answer. Surely this year 150 is not paying a tennis "coach" who never played (and sit in easy chairs) the game, $4500 to supposedly coach kids who show up when they want to. Think Manual and Central.

Want them doing something athletically? Go back to Inter-murals conducted on school premises without costly travel for those sho seldom show up to practice.

Every kid  has a value even though coming from 2,3, or 4 failed generations. Years ago, I blogged that we had lost what are the greatest of priorities. Since then, this nation had further deteriorated. Religion helps but is far from an answer when one must depend on handouts to eat and live.

Some citizens should go undercover and investigate which agencies should be closed or combined, administrators dismissed.  More college grads going to school on grants,tc. should be required to work at least a year with the have-nots.

Sorry I wandered around here. Next, back to predictions.

Merle Widmer Haters Still Waiting For His Indictment on his November, 2013 Arrest?? Keep Waiting.

Are you still waiting for a former mayor to be indicted for his drunken driving? The local media mentioned it once. Or a former deceased mayor to be brought up from the grave to be hammered again by the JS and other local media for his affectionate hugs to people he THOUGHT  liked him? Or maybe bring up the deceased jeweler who the allegedly JS helped to commit suicide. Or how about bringing up Gary S. and Morton Square or Dan Irving's allegedly vindictive then soon to be his ex-wife? And then out of a job at Lincoln Office to Wid'mer Interiors benefit. Word is out that Dan is doing well in his own business. He has my best wishes.

Better yet. Have the JS keep hammering Aaron because as they wrote, "he got too close to the sun". Bring up Karen McDonald, former JS reporter who covered the Peoria County Board poorly. She appeared to be a die hard Democrat, writing as if Democrat Allen Mayer was Gods' gift to Peoria County yet winding up being a Republican Aaron's allegedly overpaid mileage staff member

Anyway, I digress. On with my predictions. Next page..

Wiidmer's Predictions to Piss More People Off - Start With Die Hard Chicago Cub Fans

You  can take these predictions to the bank.

Cubs will finish no better than third unless some of the other teams are even more worse than the Cubs

Pitching is mediocre all around. Hitting is mediocre. Fielding is good. Pitching is KEY to all championships.

Both Rizzo and Castro will not match their rookie years. Why not? Complacency IN THEIR HEADS and big bucks already in their pockets.

Soler can hit the ball a mile occasionally against mediocre pitching. Can't hit in the clutch. This one I could be wrong about. But if you saw him strike out today on a bad pitch with him the tying run???

As yet unproven, I don't believe Bryant can hit major league pitching even though much of the pitching in all the leagues is an average of mediocrity.Too many leagues allows . too many 235 hitters to play in the majors.

Most Cub "hitters" don't  have much a clue about the strike zone. Did you waste your time like me watching today's game?They will finish near the bottom of walk statistics .

The coach can't bat or pitch for them.

Few of them can bunt and the squeeze bunt or sacrifice bunt is not really taught by managers in the Cub minor leagues. By the time they hit the big leagues they are believers in swinging for the fences on every pitch.

In college players realized that RBI's and batting averages were what will get them into professional ball.

My qualifications? Played on four chanpionship baseball teams. Tri-Valley, Sangamon, and Bloomington-Normal Municipal leagues. I managed in the B-N Municpal league - Bloomington Merchants. Coached baseball and fast pitch softball., Played on and managed fast pitch softball. Last game played, I caught and we won with the Stanford, Il. Independent team. Then I had to go to work and earn a real living wage The year; 1956. Last baseball game I played was in Mesa, Az. the year before the Cubs tore down Hokokum Field and replaced it with a new spring training stadium. I was 67 years old, 2nd or 3rd oldest of 50 Fantasy actual players, ages 24 -71, and hit a game winning drive over the left fielders head.  Hit 308 with 10 hits in 32 trips. Struck out twice. Authenticity? Judge Dick Eagleton was there, Royce Elliott was the Mcee and the records were all on film but probably destroyed long ago. A book was written about this 7-day Randy Hundley fantasy thrill of p;laying against Billy Williams, "Fergy" Jenkins, Billy Nicholson, Glenn Beckert, Jimmy Piersall, etc.Got most of their autographs. I was at that time a Die-Hard Cub fan.

No more. More easy predictions to follow on this site now that I sometimes feel like blogging.