Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breaking News: Congressman Adam Kinzinger Speaks On House Floor Re: Health Care Act

Health care was a key issue for Congressman Kinzinger during his successful campaign against Democrat Debbie Halvorson. In the months leading up to the November 2010 election, Kinzinger held a series of town halls throughout the Illinois 11th Congressional District where he discussed the health care legislation with the citizens that came to the town halls.

Kinzinger posted the following position on health care to his congressional campaign

Our country does have a health care crisis of affordability and accessibility. I opposed the bill signed by President Obama as I found it did not address the issue of cost nor address the crisis in a fiscally responsible manner. We should take steps to increase the number of people with health insurance but the answer is not expanding the role of the federal government, cutting Medicare or raising taxes on Americans and businesses.

We need to make health care coverage more affordable by allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines, increasing the purchasing power of individuals and small businesses to pool together to obtain cheaper health insurance premiums, enacting tort reform and offering full federal tax deductibility for qualified medical expenses such as premiums, out of pocket spending, deductibles and co-payments.

To increase access to health insurance, I support measures that make it illegal to deny or prevent coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions or to institute annual or lifetime limits on individuals/families.

We need to support measures that reduce costs, which will ultimately affect the price of premiums and the number of people who can afford insurance. A government takeover is neither the answer nor the reforms the American people are looking for. "

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Joliet, Illinois

UPDATE: 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Joliet.

The Rainbow/Push Coalition-Joliet Chapter is hosting its Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this Sunday, January 16, at 7 p.m.

The event will take place at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 402 Singleton Place, Joliet, Illinois.

The speaker for the event will be Joliet City Councilman, Elder Warren Dorris, Jr.  Elder Dorris is also the Pastor of Prayer Tower COGIC and a candidate for Mayor of Joliet.

The Joliet Central Gossip Choir and other local churches will participate in the celebration.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yahoo Finance includes Joliet, Illinois in list of cities that could go bankrupt

Yahoo Finance has placed Joliet on a list of 16 cities that could face bankruptcy in 2011.

According to the article:

"Joliet, Il

Deficit through December 2011: $21 million
Budget in FY2010: $274 million
Annualized gap: 7.7%
Last year, the city increased property tax by over 12 percent and hiked water and sewer rates by 45 percent over three years to help with the deficit. The city council also cut police and public sector jobs."
The City of Joliet budget will obviously be a big issue in the 2011 April Mayoral race in Joliet.  
The following people are running for Mayor of Joliet:
Kevin Hegarty
Andy Mihelich
Jan Quillman
Tom Giarrante
Diane Harris
Lester Brown
Michael J. Marconi
Warren Dorris
Dale Vollmer
The election will be held April 5, 2011.

Did your State Representative and/or State Senator vote for the Tax Increase?

Did your State Senator and State Representative vote for the State's Tax Increase?

Here is a portion of the new tax bill, from the Illinois General Assembly's website:

"Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Increases the rate of tax for individuals, trusts, and estates to (i) 5% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011 and prior to January 1, 2015, (ii) 3.75% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015 and prior to January 1, 2025, (iii) 3.25% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2025 (now, the rate is 3%). Increases the rate of tax for corporations to (i) 7% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011 and prior to January 1, 2015, (ii) 5.25% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015 and prior to January 1, 2025, (iii) 4.8% for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2025 (now, the rate is 4.8%). Contains provisions concerning estimated taxes. Provides for deposits from the additional income tax proceeds into certain special funds related to education and human services. Provides that, if State spending for any fiscal year beginning in fiscal year 2012 and through fiscal year 2015 exceeds certain State spending limitations, then the tax rates shall be reduced to 3% of the taxpayer's net income for individuals, trusts, and estates and to 4.8% of the taxpayer's net income for corporations. Provides that the Auditor General shall examine any Public Act making an appropriation or statutory transfer from general funds and prepare a report on whether or not the State has exceeded the State spending limitation, which shall be filed with the Secretary of State and copies shall be filed with the Governor, the State Treasurer, the State Comptroller, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Contains provisions concerning emergency spending. Makes related changes in the Illinois State Auditing Act. Amends the Secretary of State Act to require the Secretary of State notify the Auditor General of any Public Act filed with the Office of the Secretary of State making an appropriation or transfer of funds from the State treasury. Amends the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act. Provides that, for persons dying after December 31, 2010, "State tax credit" is defined as the amount calculable under the Internal Revenue Code as that credit would have been computed and allowed on December 31, 2001, with an exclusion amount of $2,000,000, and with a reduction to the adjusted taxable estate for any qualified terminable interest property election. Amends the State Finance Act to allow the Governor to reduce certain funds appropriated for statutory mandates to accommodate budgetary limitations. Effective immediately."

To read the entire act, and find out how your Senator and Representative voted, go here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kinzinger at Will County Veterans Assistance Commission Dinner

Congressman Adam Kinzinger greeted veterans at the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission Annual Banquet held January 10, 2011 at Al's Steak House in Joliet, Illinois.

The Veterans Assistance Commission is a local response team for area veterans that helps veterans with a variety of issues.

Congressman Kinzinger greeted area veterans and in a short address said he is aware of the effort to make the old Silver Cross Hospital building an outpatient facility for veterans and he said he would work towards that goal.

The Forest Preserve of Will County's Spring Creek Greenway wins National Award

The American Planning Association (APA) has selected the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Spring Creek Greenway Master Plan to receive the 2011 National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation.

"This is a great honor to be selected by the American Planning Association," said Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners President Cory Singer. "The scope of the Spring Creek Greenway restoration project was possible only because of the contributions by our many partners.  Such a large coalition of agencies coming together to preserve and restore hundreds of acres was a rare and wonderful accomplishment."

"The Spring Creek Greenway, created by years of property acquisitions, stands as an oasis of preserved open space in the urbanized New Lenox, Homer Glen and Mokena areas," said Marcella DeMauro, executive director of the Forest Preserve District of Will County. "We were pleased to bring our expertise to restore the different habitat types that this land originally held. The Master Plan brought together recreational opportunities with the primary focus of restoration to provide a beautiful, ecologically diverse landscape that can be enjoyed by Will County residents." 

The Spring Creek Greenway Trail provides 4.85 miles of crushed limestone trail available for walking, horse-riding, and other non-motorized uses.  The Spring Creek Greenway Trail is accessible from Gougar Rd, Bruce Road, and Route 6.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Offers Free Public Lectures in Winter 2011

Are you looking for free, educational activities to fill some of your winter evenings?  Do you enjoy learning about nature and the ecology of Will County's Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie?  

If so, you may want to check out the Midewin 2011 Lecture Series:

From the Midewin website:
"The 2011 Midewin Lecture Series will offer many interesting public lectures throughout the the winter months. Each program will introduce participants to some aspect of the natural and cultural history of Midewin and northeastern Illinois.  The presenters include Midewin staff, faculty from area universities, and individual experts.
  1. Thursday, January 20: Bats, by Sharon Peterson, of Incredible Bats
  2. Thursday, February 3: Barn Owl Reintroduction, by Dan Thompson,Ecologist, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
  3. Thursday, February 17: Bison in the Tallgrass Prairie, by Chris Widga, Assistant Curator of Geology at the Illinois State Museum
(Remainder of lectures to be announced.)
All lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Midewin Supervisor’s Office, located 2 miles north of Wilmington on Illinois Highway 53.  Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.  Advance registration is not necessary.  There is no cost for attending the lecture.  Complimentary drinks will be provided courtesy of the Midewin Alliance.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Midewin at (815) 423-6370, or email Tyler Hinspeter at"

The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was created by an act of Congress when the Joliet Arsenal was decommissioned.

Will County News has conducted two oral history interviews regarding the Joliet Arsenal:
--One interview with a man whose family's farm was bought by the government for the Joliet Arsenal
--One interview with a women who worked making TNT in the Joliet Arsenal

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Congressman Adam Kinzinger sworn into office January 5, 2011

Congressman Adam Kinzinger was sworn into office January 5, 2011.

Kinzinger defeated Democrat Debbie Halvorson to become the Illinois 11th Congressional district congressman in the November 2, 2010 General Election.  In the Will County portion of the 11th Congressional district, Kinzinger received  60,087 votes while Halvorson received 49, 208.

Kinzinger now has a new House of Representatives website, which you can find here.

Kinzinger's Joliet office is located at 2801 Black Road, Suite 201, Joliet IL 60435.

Kinzinger has said he would vote to repeal the health care act.

Here is a recent interview Kinzinger did with WGN News in Chicago:


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Photos of "No Airport" and other signs in and near the proposed "Peotone Airport" footrprint

all photos by ann baskerville

No Airport Sign, between Peotone and Beecher, Illinois

"State Property" sign on some of the land the State of Illinois owns in the Peotone Airport Footprint

"State Property" sign on some of the land the State of Illinois owns in the Peotone Airport Footprint

No Airport Sign, between Peotone and Beecher, Illinois

More info and updates on the Peotone Airport available at Will County News Peotone Airport News

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rockdale, Illinois

CenterPoint Joliet Intermodal visible from Rockdale, Illinois

The Joliet CenterPoint Intermodal opened for business in August of 2010.

The CenterPoint Joliet lights are visible from Midland Avenue in Rockdale.  This video was taken just before going down the big Rockdale hill near St. Joe's Catholic Church in Rockdale, Illinois: