Quick Hits – November 8, 2017

Quick Hits – November 8, 2017

Give it a rest guys!

Despite massive referendum failures in 2015 and 2017, utterly undaunted, the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District, covering unincorporated St. Charles, Campton Township, Wayne and Campton Hills, is gonna give that tax hike another shot.


This time, they’re asking for a mere 50 percent increase and FRCFR attorney and partial architect of this complete disaster, Ken Shepro, is threatening to close stations on a rotating basis if voters don’t cough up the cash.

Silly me! I thought he was a Republican!

“The problem is, you’re basically telling people to schedule their heart attacks on the days the station closest to them is open,” said Shepro, blaming residents for the district’s sad plight. But it ain’t the residents Ken!

Both you and former FRCFR President Jim Gaffney flipped then Mayor Don DeWitte and St. Charles the figurative bird by saying your breakaway district could name that tune in one note. You said you could provide the same services for just a third of the cost, and the voters bought it.

But it turned out you couldn’t and the voters aren’t about to let you off the hook!

So, it wouldn’t matter if FRCFR was asking for a scant one percent increase. It will be voted down just like the last two attempts. This ain’t like a Hall of Fame ballot where that semi-legendary third baseman missed it on his eighth try by two percent.

Those 2015 and 2017 FRCFR referendums went down in two-to-one flames, which makes it statistically impossible to close that gap in one scant year. I know Shepro thinks it’s funny to threaten residents’ safety, but I’m bettin’ they don’t find him amusing at all.

You’d think Ken would’ve figured out that voters don’t respond very well to threats by now.

To put this fiasco in perspective, for all its fiscal foibles, the State of Illinois has never had to step in and dissolve a fire protection district. But when this one won’t be able to keep their stations open on a daily basis, it will be time for the adults to take over and put us out of their misery.


Blinded by the white

You’d think after their last thrashing, the Daily Herald wouldn’t go there again. Bu no! Their completely Caucasian editorial board just ran another editorial chiding the U-46 School District (Elgin, Bartlett, Streamwood, Hanover Park, South Elgin) for not hiring enough black teachers.

Daily Herald Building

And while seeking diversity among educators is always a worthwlhile endeavor, it kind of falls flat when that clarion call comes from an entity whose management team consists entirely of old white men.

Wouldn’t you think a company like Paddock Publications would seek the same sort of racial and ethnic balance they thrust upon everyone else? Sheesh! At this point I’d be willing to accept a short, near-sighted woman with a mild sunburn.

What do you say Paddock?


A bad day for Republicans

Both New Jersey and Virginia elected Democratic Governors yesterday, and in the most delicious political irony ever, Virginia sent transgender former journalist Danica Roem to their legislature replacing Bob Marshall, the author of that state’s divisive bathroom bill.

Almost as ironic, black, Democratic candidate Ashley Bennett beat white, Republican incumbent John Carman in their Atlantic County, New Jersey, Freeholder race. If you recall, Carman gained national notoriety when he wrote, ““Will the women’s protest end in time for them to cook dinner?”

Danica Roem (center) celebrates an election day victory

He said he was just joking, but the women who voted him out clearly weren’t. Apparently he’ll have plenty of time to cook dinner now.

Democratic candidates generally did well across the country as voters finally mounted a concerted effort to repudiate Donald Trump and his divisive policies.

So, like I said on Monday! You may as well start calling him Governor Pritzker now because he’s gonna win.  And those 2018 Republican candidates, firmly wedged between Scylla and Charybdis, are going to have to cut Trump loose or risk the same kind of backlash.

The truly terrifying thought in all of this is, could Democrats finally be getting their fippin’ messaging act together? I’m not sure I can handle that.


They’re catching on!

Texas authorities made it clear they will no longer mention the Sutherland Spring church shooter’s name. Though it’s not nearly as effective as reasonable gun control, it’s a step.


High times

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey says he has enough board support to get sponsor March 20 advisory referendum asking residents if they think legalized marijuana would be a good idea.

If all those Cook Countians put down their joints and Doritos long enough to make it to the polls – and if they can find them – unlike the FRCFR question, this one should pass faster than an impatient I-90 rush hour driver.

When Cook County legalizes pot – and they will – despite whatever law enforcement or prosecutorial objections remain, the state will too.

It’s about time!


They don’t make ‘em like that anymore

Though I’m gonna go a little far afield here, y’all know I harbor a vast love for music of all denominations. As my beloved radio show co-host Larry Jones used to say, I have the most eclectic musical taste he’s ever seen.

I even like my 18 year-old son’s EDM stuff, so you can’t accuse of muttering that old man’s screed, “That’s not music!”

Ahmet Ertegun

But as I was listening to ‘We Just Disagree’ (Dave Mason), ‘Dirty Work’ (Steely Dan) and ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ (Blind Faith) on my morning dog walk, I caught myself thinking, “We’ll never see this kind of really great music like this again.”

Generally, I like the playing field leveling propensity of the Internet, but it hasn’t served the music industry well on a number of levels.

To wit, I find myself longing for the days of legendary Atlantic Records founder and President Ahmet Ertegun, who brought us talent like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, Yes, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Cream, AC/DC and many more.

Don’t get me wrong, I just bought vinyl albums by Jason Isbell, The War on Drugs, Manchester Orchestra and Brand New. And while I certainly enjoy their music, it doesn’t send my soul soaring like ‘Fastbuck Freddie’ (Jefferson Starship), ‘Wondrous Stories’ (Yes), ‘Living in the Past’ (Jethro Tull) and ‘Higher Love’ (Steve Winwood).

I don’t care what you say, it’s more than just a youthful longing. Without that big money music machine behind them, fewer and fewer groups will hit the stratospheric level of some of their ‘70s counterparts.

And that my friends, saddens me.

Though my mother was dead wrong when she said, “I’m worried you’ll never have any rock ‘n roll standards,” now I’m saying the same thing to my son because I don’t think there will be any more great musical standards.

6 thoughts on “Quick Hits – November 8, 2017

  1. The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District will eventually suffer financial collapse, be dissolved, it’s territory to be divided between Elburn, St. Charles, South Elgin and perhaps one or two other fire districts.

    I think the Illinois State Fire Marshal will make the allotment among those departments, because the state does not want anyone to be without fire and medical protection.

    Also, like insurance, the larger the pool of people being covered, the lower the rate (taxes, in this case) will be due from every residence.

    “A bad day for Republicans?” Hardly, Virginia and New Jersey, two “Blue
    “Blue states” that went for Hillary in the last election, voted as predicted.
    As for Virginia, heavily populated northern Virginia is where Washington DC is located, and the Federal bureaucrats who live there will not allow their cozy liberal enclave to be disrupted by election of (GASP!) a REPUBLICAN governor. Even the thought of it causes indigestion at their wine, cheese, shrimp and wife-swapping parties!

    1. Steve, I do like the Decemberists and have most of their stuff on vinyl. My wife and I saw the Lumineers open for U2 and we were very impressed. I also have a couple of Avett Brothers LPs.

      But they just don’t fire me up like ‘More Than a Feeling’ coming on satellite radio. Maybe I am just old!

  2. Jeff, I agree that Ertegun really was a genius (or just unbelievably lucky) at finding great talent. My problem is with your embracing of the newer stuff, as I think it shows poor parenting skills. You’ve talked before of the problem of parents trying to be friends with their kids, rather than parenting. So here you go doing the same thing! You’re ruining the music for your son! The whole point is to not like the same thing as your parents. Even if you love EDM, you’ve got to pretend to hate it. That will make him love it even more.

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