Quick Hits – August 7, 2017

Since the most fascinating political story right now is Kane County Auditor Terry Hunt’s discovery of a swarm of bees in his backyard, let’s catch up on a few things! And I think we’re going to be all positive today too!


A shout out to my two Geneva Aldermen

First, I want to thank veteran Fourth Ward Alderman, Jim Radecki, for effectively tackling our recurring west-side power outage problem. Jim worked with the fine folks at the Geneva power utility who applied an ounce of prevention methodology that’s turned the electrical tide.

To wit, while folks in Elgin and Aurora recently faced 20 plus hour outages, we west-siders never lost power during that particularly severe storm.

Second, I want to thank new Fourth Ward Alderman Jeanne McGowan for taking care of a situation that could’ve caused serious injury to our elderly friends at The Crossings assisted living facility.



You see, there’s a driveway to nowhere between Delnor Hospital and that facility that’s never been “finished,” meaning the curb wasn’t flush with the walking path or the street. And I know exactly what can happen because I took a header after incorrectly hitting one of those curbs while flying down that Keslinger Road hill in front of the former First Baptist Church West Campus driveway.

It wasn’t pretty. Six foot tall 50+ year-olds should never fall going downhill at full speed.

So, Ms. McGowan teamed up with Public Works, who applied the kind of temporary fix that’ll hold until that up-for-sale property is purchased. We all like to regularly curse those scurrilous politicians, but the truth is, the vast majority of ‘em are more than willing to help – all you have to do is ask.

Thanks Jim and Jeanne!


The power of action vs. bitching

The late great Geneva code enforcer Chuck Lencioni and I had this discussion all the time. Some downtown Geneva store owner would start kvetching about the city council’s failure to grovel at their feet when the truth was these entrepreneurs could easily effect the change they sought themselves.

Those philosophical conversations typically revolved around unfriendly business hours, bad service, lack of an online presence and the kind of “hang separately” mentality that made it impossible for those merchants to effectively compete with Randall Road.

I miss Chuck!

Shop Local Fair

Ah! But the fine folks at Patriot Heating and Cooling in Elburn just co-sponsored an event that was the very antithesis of this kind of pointless bitching. It was called the “Shop Local Fair” with 64 participating local vendors, food trucks, live music and stuff for kids to do. And it drew a whopping 635 visitors, too!

In the words of Patriot co-owner Joey Joann, “It was just an amazing day! It all started from an idea to support as many local vendors at one time as possible and that idea became a reality!  I can’t wait for next year’s event!”

Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln who said “The best way to predict the future is to create it?”


Start ‘em off young!

Back when I was writing for the newspapers, I consistently put forth two political theories:

1. If you want your fledgling political movement to have more influence, get precinct committeemen elected. It’s not that hard to do and they elect the local party leaders.

2. If you want your political movement to have staying power, get ‘em while they’re young.

Kane County Young Democrats

Tim Stoll did a great job with the Kane County Young Republicans until that group fell prey to just how fractured the GOP really is. In fact, Tim and his team put on the best candidate debate this journalist has ever seen.

(Ask me about the Stoll and Laura Wallet confrontation the next time we get together.)

Though the Young Republicans are gone, I’m pleased to say that the Kane County Democrats are making a new effort in this regard. You can find the Young Democrats’ Facebook page right here!

The group is headed up by Hector Velazquez, a politically active and capable young Aurora man whom I met while managing the Martinez for Coroner campaign. Kane County Democrats certainly have their moments, but I have high hopes that Hector will be able to bring some balance to the political party force.

The truth is, as people flee Cook County, Kane is getting two-percent more Democratic with every even-year election. And a successful Young Democrats group could be just the thing to put yet more pressure on that longstanding Republican majority.


Don’t wanna be an American idiot

Yesterday (8/6), my lovely wife and I attended an ECC SecondSpace Theater matinee performance of Billie Joe Armstrong’s “American Idiot.” From the actors to the musicians to the direction to the production and the choreography, it was superb! And for only twenty bucks a pop, too!

American Idiot 2

The cast of ECC’s American Idiot production

SecondSpace is an intimate 160 seat venue where you’re so close to the actors you feel like you’re part of the action. And let me tell you, though I’m in reasonably good shape, I got tired just watching those youngsters dance for the better part of 1.5 hours.

During the intermission I turned to my lovely wife and said, “Had I known you got to kiss and dance with attractive young women, I would’ve pursued an acting career a long time ago.” Her immediate response was, “But you can’t sing.”

Wives ruin everything, don’t they?

Meanwhile, in February, The SecondSpace Theater will put on a musical adaptation of Studs Terkel’s book “Working” and my wife and I will be there!

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