Quick Hits – October 27, 2017

The City of Whites

That’s my affectionate sobriquet for my current home town of Geneva, Illinois. Unlike so many other facets of this fascinating existence, the consistent rank bigotry that runs rife throughout its citizenry never disappoints me.

To wit, I was recently talking with a Geneva official who told me the city is being besieged with calls from the Eaglebrook subdivision decrying Batavia’s impending entry of those Campana Building low-income apartments.


For reference purposes, Eaglebrook is likely the wealthiest Geneva subdivision whose borders generally run along the UP tracks, Randall Road, Fabyan Parkway and Western Avenue. The Campana building, at the corner of Fabyan Parkway and Route 31, has generally been vacant for a good 37 years.

So, the first thing I asked my friend was, “Why are those folks up in arms about this? The Campana Building is at least a mile away from the nearest Eaglebrook home?”

His quick response was, “They don’t want ‘those’ children going to Western Avenue Elementary School.” It was at that very moment I realized no one would ever go broke underestimating the discriminatory capacity of the average Genevan.

Considering their parents’ abject lack of any parenting skills whatsoever, most of the white children in my Fisher Farms neighborhood suck. And I firmly believe having more brown children in our school system would be a vast improvement. Diversity is always a good thing!

Meanwhile, every last Eaglebrooker who called the City in this bigoted regard should be f*****g ashamed of themselves.

Have I said white people suck?


What is wrong with school bus drivers?

It happened again! At 8:25 this a.m! I was turning left from westbound Route 64 onto southbound Randall Road – clearly with the green arrow – and Geneva school bus number 3 turned right on red, cutting me off to the point where I had to slam on my brakes.

I’m not quite sure what a Geneva school bus was doing in St. Charles and I thought they weren’t supposed to turn right on red.

School Bus

That’s not nearly the only example of bad school bus driver judgement. I’ve had them:

  • Tailgate me with a long line of cars in front of me
  • Cut me off while pulling out of their garages
  • Illegally pass me on my road bike and stop right in front of me
  • Run a red light and almost ram me from behind

By the way a plurality of them drive, they seem to think they’re some sort of emergency vehicle.

Look! I understand how difficult it is for school districts to hire school bus drivers, much less good school bus drivers, but every time one of these bleeps pulls this kind of shit, it makes life so much harder for the rest of them.

To wit, I’ve see four wheelers do some of the stupidest shit imaginable to those yellow vehicles, including, but not nearly limited to blowing by a stopped bus with the sign displayed and red lights flashing.

But when you consider I only drive about 5,000 miles a year, and I’m rarely on the road when those buses are, I can only imagine what goes on with the rest of y’all during school rush hours.

So, bus drivers! If you want to be treated with respect, please treat us with respect.


Congratulations Mayor Kaptain!

Elgin, Illinois, Mayor David Kaptain was named Mayor of the Year by the United Hellenic Voters of America at their 43rd annual gathering in Addison, Illinois. They cited his community outreach and sustainability push as the primary reasons for giving hizonner the award.

I know a certain ex-city councilman and good friend may not agree with this sentiment, but I’m gonna say it anyway! “Way to go Dave!”


Being the mayor of a small city is difficult, but successfully managing a city the size of Elgin is the very definition of a Sisyphean task. And unlike most medium city mayors, Dave gets a paltry 17 grand for his efforts.

So, congratulations to Mayor Kaptain for earning this award, we won’t hold the fact that group named Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Person of the Year against you!


There’s much more to come on the Coffland/Clancy story

One of the things I love about journalism is, when you break a big news story, it tends to give people the courage to come forward with even more pertinent information. And that’s exactly what’s happened with the Coffland/Clancy story that ran here on Wednesday.

A reader asked me if Kane County Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles should resign by mere fact that Michael Clancy was her brother. Apparently he missed it when I wrote, “The sins of the brother should never fall upon the shoulders of the sister.”

And they shouldn’t.

But when it’s starting to look like the Chief Judge did her damndest to cover the whole thing up, that’s an entirely different story. More to come…

25 thoughts on “Quick Hits – October 27, 2017

  1. Low income people ARE diverse, not brown. They are Me. We ALL need affordable housing, including the the One Percent Wannabees, who will be the biggest losers. (the MOST to lose)

    • Barbara,

      I wholeheartedly agree. But, according to my source, it wasn’t the low-income white kids Eaglebrook was worried about.

      • F you, Jeff. In spending a little more time around that Campana building today it was more than a little clear it is a completely inappropriate place to put low income housing. No windows, isolated, no where near a park or even that easy to get to other kid’s houses to play. You know the real concern? The track record of the developer and the lies they have pushed and paid for to get this approved. Why not out mixed income housing near downtown? Why not integrate low income and middle income housing closer to schools so they can get regular buses instead of special shuttles? Why not make kids stick out like sore thumbs because everyone knows where the live? It’s a crappy proposal in a crappy location and people who need low income housing in the area deserve better than this shitty proposal. Put it ALL in Geneva so our cops can deal with any issues that arise. Straddling two locations is an invitation to get the ball dropped on all fronts.

      • And fuck you Kim! My contention has always been, this project is coming in regardless of any Genevan’s concerns because it been a long 37 years without any prospective tenants.

        And let me tell you, the Geneva Police don’t deal with anything already so this building coming in doesn’t matter. They’re too busy screwing each other on duty (we’ll get to that).

        I’m sure some of your best friends are Mexican, right?

    • I agree and support what you said.also not far from Campana and think it is a decent site for housing

  2. No where near a park? Across the street is a bueatiful park on the river.

  3. I also live in Fisher Farm and know a bunch of kids who live here. They don’t suck. And I’ll bet they’d be very kind and polite to you should you meet them. Don’t paint all kids with the same broad brush stroke.

    • Jocelyn, We’ve had this conversation before! Twenty percent of the kids in Fisher Farms are alright, which means 80 percent suck.

      And I just found another Smirnoff vodka bottle in the median of Hawkins Way which clearly was imbibed by the neighborhood lovelies.

      Fisher Farms is the worst place I’ve ever lived and I’ve lived in some rough Chicago neighborhoods.

      Don’t move here people!

  4. Don’t kid yourself Jeff, building has sat empty Because in 1979 the building was given historic landmark status. The demands of the historic commission have made it financially impossible for any development. Blame for it being empty should be placed on the Historic Commission not the current owner or the city. Because the building has glass blocks, that can’t be replaced, the community has lived with an eyesore. Now a developer comes along using $20 million in tax credits and $10 million of their own money and the Historic Commission loves the project. They don’t care if it is livable, just so the glass block and front lawn stays. The Historic Commission has controlled this building for too long and has had too much say even on this proposal. If you are going to attack the residents of Geneva, you to also call out the Historic Commission and Preservation Partners.

    This proposal is not a good deal for Geneva or Batavia. You and I are going to pay for services for this building through higher property taxes. All the while Evergreen will move onto the next city and repeat the whole scenario again.

    As a Batavia Alderman stated at the last meeting, Batavia schools already have 20%+ low income enrollment. Batavia has plenty of low income housing so that issue is mute. Batavia City Council’s role is not to increase low income students in Geneva Schools.

    • Bob, I agree with you on Historic Preservation Commissions. If they feel so strongly about a building them they should buy it and preserve it and not put an owner in the position of jumping through hoops or spending ridiculous money to use what they own.

      • Thomas, Generally HPC’s are guardians of the past – they don’t have the kind of budgets that would allow them to purchase and restore a building of that magnitude.

    • Bob,

      But I’m talking apples and you’re talking oranges. I really haven’t weighed in on the efficacy of the project, because, though your argument is well thought out and reasonable, it doesn’t matter.

      Like I’ve been saying, this thing is coming in because it affects far more Genevans than Batavians and there’s never been another option.

      I agree the HPC laid the foundation that made the impending project the only option, but that’s not gonna change. They haven’t relented in 37 years, so it’s pointless to talk about it.

      One of the things I’ve learned as an opinion columnist is, if you understand it’s always a marathon and not a sprint, you can change some things. But the Campana building? I could write about it til I’m blue in the face and this project will go through.

      This particular story is solely about the racism that runs rife through Eaglebrook. Though you could hoist me by my own petard by saying that’s not going to change either.


      • Jeff

        The article may be about racism in Eaglebrook but you have directly related it to Campana. In order to understand the Campana issue, you need to know why this has been the only viable option. The HPC is the only reason why this building has never been developed. That is the truth which really hasn’t been discussed in public. You think the HPC are guardians of the past, in my opinion, many times they impede future history. What is the next building or entire area where the HPC will target property owner’s rights. Rest assured it will not be Fischer Farms. I haven’t done the research but there must be some way to rescind the historic landmark status. For God’s sake, the building made hand lotion and tampons. How is that historic.

        Let’s play devil’s advocate. You haven’t weighed in on the efficacy because, in your opinion, it doesn’t matter. That is one of the key problems in this process. No one wants to intelligently discuss the effect of this proposal on the community. Both the pro’s and con’s. All of the effects including: bringing in low income housing, the improvements needed at the intersection, the parking and storm water issues, the safety of the kids walking to school, the livability of the building (heat & air conditioning), what will possibly happen to home values, what is the estimated increase in property taxes directly related to the services that need to be provided, possible increase in crime, the reputation of Evergreen and various other issues. These are all legimate “effects” that this proposal will cause once approved.

        Here’s another interesting question, if this proposal is going to affect Genevans the most, where has Mayor Burns been. I know, I know, he has taken a hands-off approach because Geneva has no vote. But Genevans, who voted for him, are looking for someone to voice their concerns in public. Who better than the Mayor of Geneva. This is not the time for a Mayor of 22,000+ to hide. He has allowed the aldermen to field the phone calls. That’s not leadership.

        Check out the 253 questions (many repeats) at http://il-batavia.civicplus.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/11257?fileID=7920

        Also look at the canned responses from Batavia City Staff. What really sticks out are the answers they don’t know & those that are a matter of policy that need to be discussed by City Council. Shouldn’t Council be discussing these policies before any approval.

        Bottom line, I’m not going to argue that some parents and others are fearful of the low income aspect. But aren’t there people in support only because of the low income aspect. In my opinion, neither side is right.

      • Bob,

        Now we’re just arguing in circles. The biggest difference between you and I – and this is not a judgment – is I understand the serenity prayer:

        God grant me the serenity
        to accept the things I cannot change;
        courage to change the things I can;
        and wisdom to know the difference.

        You tilt at windmills while I focus on the possible.

        Reviewing the underpinnings of how we got to this Campana point is always a worthy endeavor – from an historical perspective. But you more than I understand the citizenry cares nothing about history – or repeating it – they just want this project stopped.

        And if there was a shot at stopping it, it ended when one Genevan yelled “fuck you” at that Batavia Planning Commission meeting, and another shouted the same thing at the committee of the whole meeting.

        Not only that but, given how vocal Genevans have been about “those people,” if the Batavia city council bailed on this now, they’d be accused of capitulating to racists.

        As for Mayor Burns, he’s not opposing it because he’s always been a Democrat and he’s generally full of shit.

        This is a done deal!


  5. Eaglebrook? Hahahahahahaha! The golf course is failing, been sold 5 times in the last 12 years, homes are not maintained and the idiots who bought behind Home Depot can’t even get onto Fargo with all the retail traffic. All of Eaglebrook is low-income housing, so what’s the beef?

    • John, And people say I’m perpetually cranky! But that was fucking funny!

    • You are completely insane. Not maintained? Every house around us has been gutted and remodeled in the last 5 years. How many dry vit houses were built (30%). And how many remain (about 6%). Sounds like jealousy. It’s a beautiful area to live and a beautiful area to raise children. The golf course is maintained and the reasons for selling (3 times to the same owner) all vary. The club is doing fine and the maintenance crew does a great job at maintaining the course.

      • Kimmy, could you be more pretentious? Every house has been gutted and remodeled? Dream on. Drive down Fargo and look at the overgrown lawns, houses in need of painting and the deteriorated dryvit. Why do you think all the original owner’s left? How about “Robin’s Nest.” the for profit BUSINESS operating in a residential community? The owner picked up those homes at a foreclosure sale, and 10 adults live in each home, right on Fargo, and backing to the course. That must be great for resale. And the golf course? In constant need of refinancing, which you can tell by the weeds and flotsam in the ponds. People who have lived here for more than 10 years know what a dump Eaglebrook is-only pretentious wannabees would live there.

  6. Given the fact that you can’t read.. every house around mine, but you are an idiot and that doesn’t surprise me. You outed yourself as a jealous monster. Too bad it clearly sucks to be you.

    • Aw, Kimmy, did I hit a nerve? You must live next to Robin’s Nest, or you are one of the mopes living behind Home Depot. Or does your house have golf ball impressions all over the dryvit exterior, and the constant “thump” of another ball digging in justifies your morning gin and tonic? Hey, since I can play your course for $50 at any time, is it still considered a “country club?”

  7. “I know a certain ex-city councilman and good friend may not agree with this sentiment,”

    Jeff, you’re right. The noise from the dual back-scratching as illustrated from the Daily Herald article is deafening. Even all the way from Addison, IL.:

    “Kaptain said he and Bravos (National president of the United Hellenic Voters of America and adjunct professor at Judson University Angelo) are acquaintances, and for a while worked on a project to make Trikala, Greece a sister city to Elgin with an apprenticeship program in Elgin for Greek youths.”


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