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Monthly Archives: December 2011

CITY OF CHICAGO METERS & ILLINOIS TOLLS INCREASE IN 2012; HOW MUCH?

Who can we thank for the new increases in 2012?  First we will pay more to feed the parking meters then the toll roads with squeeze more out of us.  It seems like the deals made by our brilliant politicians were with the Devil.  Please, once again who can we thank for this?

What’s frustrating is that we are now paying for them trying to make a quick buck.  And where is all that money now?   It appears the billion made on one of the worst deals ever, has dried up.  The State of Illinois and City of Chicago is still broke, so was it worth it?  Not if you ask the residents of Illinois.

As soon as they announced the horrible meter deal, everyone knew this was coming.  It’s just amazing that more protestor’s did not have huge demonstrations like the Occupy movement.

Well, just in time for the new year, beginning January 1st, we will pay about 17% more to park at meters and 50% or more to use the Illinois tolls. Great, just what we need….more money out-of-pocket after taking huge pay cuts or losing jobs.

So let’s start with the parking meters.  Back in 2008 former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s signed a 75-year deal worth $1.16 Billion.  And now we are stuck paying for his huge mistake.  He signed off our rights to the meters in a deal which agreed to a series of annual hikes.  Thanks a lot…the rise in meter rates comes just in time for your retirement.  This bad deal will be in place long after Daley and most of us our gone.

The new parking rates for the central business district, which excludes the Loop, will be $3.50 an hour and neighborhood meters will increase to $1.75 per hour.  This adds up to about a 17% increase which is close to the 15% increase in the loop.  In the winter it may be best to take a bus because Loop meters from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. will cost $5.75 per hour.  Good they did offer us one perk, the rate drops to $2.85 an hour between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.  Big deal…

But don’t get too cozy with this increase because in the beginning of 2013, meter rates will again rise a quarter to fifty cents an hour.

Now on to the Illinois tolls.  They fooled us by offering a deal on I-Pass, saying we paid less.  But if you notice, most tolls don’t even say what amount they are charging your sneaky little white box.  And now we will still pay double anyway.

Come next week tolls will increase about 50% for I-Pass users and 87% for cash!  Who does that?  Have you ever received a 50% raise overnight?  Doubtful!  And they say it is being used to fund a big construction job…but where is all the money from the decades of us dishing it out?  The roads are usually bumpy when riding through the lanes and fixing them was the original plan for the funds from the tolls.

Well, at least someone tried to fight the increase for the tolls…but they lost.  Poor management has created a mess with the tolls and the meters and we are ending up paying for their incompetence. I don’t know about you, but this really pisses me off.

Why can’t they create plans for gradual increases like everything else?  They sure know how to follow that plan when giving annual salary increases (to the lower-end worker’s).

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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2011 FRIDLEY, MN: YOUNG GIRL ASSAULTED AT WALMART, CAUGHT ON TAPE

Today, in broad daylight, a suspect was caught on tape sexually assaulting a young girl at a WalMart.  It happened in Fridley, Minnesota and images of the man immediately hit the airwaves.

Not only is he bold, he must have serious psychological issues.  He reportedly groped the girl as she stood next to her parents while shopping, during the early afternoon hours.  What nerve…to do this in a public place and think he will get away with it. 

Let’s hope someone turns him in quickly, his photo plastered on the news is very clear.  The video also shows him stalking the family for several minutes prior to the assault.

This is an unbelievable story and certainly will have outraged parents, keeping a closer watch on their children in the future.  It gives new meaning to “shopper’s beware”…sick!

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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IOWA LOTTERY WINNER CLAIMS $16.5 MILLION PRIZE; ONLY TWO HOURS BEFORE DEADLINE

This story gives new meaning to the word procrastination.  The winner of a $16.5 million dollar Lottery ticket came forward just two hours before the deadline.  A representative of a law firm claimed the prize on behalf of a trust, so it is still a mystery who actually purchased the ticket.

Lottery officials said they were flooded with false claims before the real winner stepped forward.  It is unbelievable how many people buy tickets and never check them.  Last year a mult-million dollar winner missed out, when they did not come forward in time.

Trust me, when I buy a ticket…it is checked the same day.  And let me win…there is not doubt I would drive to Springfield immediately to get the cash! 

Well, better late than never.  They will certainly have a Happy New Year…until their family members find out they are millionaires.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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(VIDEO) IDAHO TEEN JENNI LAKE ENDS CHEMO TO SAVE BABY; DIES FROM BRAIN TUMOR

 NEWS VIDEO – JENNI LAKE

Jenni Lake was a young vibrant 17-year-old from Idaho.  Unlike most teens, she did something so thoughtful it is making worldwide news.  Jenni ended her chemo treatment for a life threatening brain tumor, to save her unborn baby’s life.  She had been battling cancer for just over a year and was frightened that the chemo would harm her child.

Only twelve days after giving birth, she died of cancer.  The most touching part of the story is that she told her nurse; “I’m done.  I did what I was supposed to.  My baby is going to get here safe.”  

When she received the news, that her cancer had spread and there was not hope for survival, her only request is that her new son, Chad Michael Lake Wittman, lay beside her as she died.

This gives new hope for all teens around the world….it should inspire them to also find ways to think of others, before themselves.  R.I.P. Jenni…your healthy baby will be your legacy left behind to remind us all, what it truly means to be selfless.

BEN BREEDLOVE IS ANOTHER INSPIRATIONAL TEEN-READ HIS STORY HERE

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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CHICAGO: POLICE WARN RESTAURANTS TO BAN CELL PHONE DELIVERY ORDERS, IN HYDE PARK & CHINA TOWN

Police have sent a warning to Hyde Park and China Town restaurant owners.  They advised them to stop taking delivery orders from people using cell phones. 

A recent increase in robberies of delivery drivers has been linked to cell phones.  Many owners may decide to stop deliveries altogether, but others believe this will hurt their business and cannot afford to take the hit.  This is a huge delima…risk the lives of their driver’s, or lose their business.  What a bad situation to be in for the already struggling restauranteurs.

Now criminals have really hit a nerve…stopping food from making it to a home is big mistake.  Hoping they catch these losers fast!

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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12/29/11: OFF-DUTY CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER SHOT ON WEST SIDE; KILLED DURING CONVENIENCE STORE ROBBERY

The crime and shootings in Chicago has touched a nerve.  It reached a new low tonight, when an off-duty Chicago police officer was fatally shot during a robbery in the Austin neighborhood.  This was the first police officer killed this year, which is a huge blow to the department.

According to police, the 8-year veteran, 41-year-old Clifton Lewis, was working private security detail at M & M Quick Food Store located near the 1200 block of North Austin.  He was fatally shot while trying to stop the robbery, and his gun and badge was initially missing but was later found.  Lewis was rushed to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

It is another unnecessary loss of life during this heightened crime wave throughout the city.  Reports of children shot, car jackings, robberies and senseless deaths has become a daily occurrence and does not seem to be slowing down.  The recent Church’s Chicken shooting was another example of the madness.  

We need to take our city back…although the job market appears to be getting better, the shootings seem to be getting worse.  While we are in desperate times, many people need a reminder of the value of life.  Is a couple hundred bucks worth a human life? 

Seriously, get a job and earn money the old-fashioned way.  Stealing from others is certainly not the way to go and when you spend your life in prison, you will realize just how wrong it is.

R.I.P. Officer Lewis…your partners will have your back and get justice in your name.  They are now looking for two men suspected of the crime.  Tragic…he had just got engaged on Christmas Day.

UPDATE 11:59PM: ONE SUSPECT IS IN CUSTODY…STOLEN BADGE & WEAPON RECOVERED.

NEW LAWS COMING TO ILLINOIS IN JANUARY…SEATBELTS & ELECTRONIC’S

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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2011: CHICAGO FORMER BULL MICHAEL JORDAN TO MARRY MODEL; SECOND TIME IS A CHARM

It seems like love was in the air this Holiday Season.  Chicago’s former Bull and NBA superstar joins a list of others popping the question this year.  Michael Jordan proposed to his long-time girlfriend, model Yvette Prieto, on Christmas day.  After dating for 3 years, looks like Jordan now 48-years-old, figured it was time to settle down.

Many remember his previous marriage to Juanita Vanoy back in 1989; but after their divorce in 2006 his love life was more discreet.  It probably is a good time for him to tie the knot, his three children are now young adults and likely need little financial support. 

It would not be surprising if he decides to get a prenup, especially after hearing about the lack of one by Kobe Bryant, who stands to lose $75 million in the settlement.  I know it’s not good to think “divorce” before you’re even married, but better safe than sorry!

MJ joins other celebrities getting engaged over the holidays including; country singer Wynonna Judd, actor Matthew McConaughey, and singer John Legend.  With all these upcoming weddings maybe it will push our low rate of marriage in the U.S. from 50% to 50.1%!

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in ENTERTAINMENT

 

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(VIDEO) “FROM THE HEART” VIDEO GOES VIRAL; TEEN BEN BREEDLOVE DIES ON CHRISTMAS DAY

The Youtube video “From The Heart” received huge viewer support today and made worldwide news.   Austin Texas teen, Ben Breedlove, built a loyal following on Youtube a while back when he created a channel offering advice to teens.  He even shared his story about his own illness; a rare heart condition, called Hypertrophiccardiomyopathy.  It is a thickening of the heart muscle which can eventually lead to heart failure.  And at the tender age of 18, he even had to wear a pacemaker.

Many of his fans were saddened to hear that the young teen died on Christmas day, just after opening his gifts.  But shortly before his passing he shot a farewell video which touched the hearts of many.  His video was secretly taped using cue cards in silence, sharing with the World his fears of his condition and how he had cheated death.  His family was shocked to hear about the video, but happy he shared his feelings before leaving their side.

Ben may have passed away at a very young age, but will leave a legacy behind.  His video message has inspired many, and has touched millions of lives around the world.  Mourning continues as word gets out of his death, but his video’s continue to put a smile on many faces.  Millions have watched his video and have also created their own in his memory.

R.I.P Ben…your video’s will live on forever.

With a name like Breedlove…how can he not breed love.

WATCH BEN’S VIDEO HERE AND WEEP.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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2011: VERIZON WIRELESS TO CHARGE $2 FEE TO PAY YOUR BILL, NO THEY WON’T!

Verizon Wireless announced a new plan which would require customer’s to pay a $2.00 “Convenience Fee” when paying their bill on-line or by phone, with a credit card.  The nations largest phone and internet provider was to begin the new fee on January 15, 2012. 

Who comes up with these decisions?  So now you have to pay to pay your bill?  Their 91 million customer’s don’t seem too pleased with this bright idea.  The backlash on Twitter may cause them to reconsider their plan, just like Bank of America did earlier this year.  The big difference is that many customer’s are stuck in long-term contracts, but when they end maybe they will go elsewhere.

It’s amazing to think that company executives, who are paid top dollars, actually sit in meetings and come up with these crazy ideas.  Maybe all those huge bonuses made them lose sight of reality….can you say Netflix!  Let’s just hope other carriers don’t follow suit, or we may have another thing for Occupy protestor’s to add to their list.

What do you think?  Should you have to pay to pay?  Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.

UPDATE 12/30/11:  ONE DAY AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT VERIZON SCRAPPED THE IDEA DUE TO BACKLASH…GOOD FOR SPEAKING UP!  THE PEOPLE FOUGHT BACK AND THEY LISTENED!

CHICAGO TOPS LIST…CHEAPER TO OWN THAN RENT

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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2011: AFGHAN TEEN TORTURED & LOCKED IN BASEMENT; IN-LAWS PUNISH BRIDE FOR REFUSING PROSTITUTION

This horrible story gives in-law’s an even worse reputation.  While many joke about relationships with a spouses parents, they have likely never come close to the torture this woman received.

A young woman was found in Afghanistan tortured and locked in her in-laws basement.  The 15-year-old teen, Sahar Gul, was apparently beaten, starved and had her finger nails ripped off because she allegedly refused to become a prostitute.  They even found locks of her hair missing and chunks of flesh removed by a tool.

What makes this even more unbelievable is that she was married off to a 30-year-old man, and it was him and his family who allegedly caused this abuse.  After being wed seven months ago, her parents had not heard from their daughter so they called police authorities.  When they searched the home, they found the frightened girl, locked in a dark basement reportedly for six months.

When Sahar was taken to the hospital, police questioned her to find out who could do such a brutal crime. Amazingly enough she named her husband, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, father-in-law, and mother-in-law.  The mother was so evil, she was the one who removed her finger nails one-by-one.  Can you imagine that?  It is extremely painful when you break one nail, but to have them ripped off…ouch!   That makes me cringe just thinking about it.

This is incredibly disturbing, but with the negative reports of how many Afghanistan women are often abused, hopefully they will actually punish these monster-in-law’s.  In just the second part of this year, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission registered 1,026 cases of violence against women and many were injured by their relatives or spouse.  They really need to change the way women are treated…this is sick.

How can anyone be so cruel?  And for it to be caused by the family you marry into, is unthinkable.  This story will probably have many thinking twice when saying, “I hate my in-law’s”…remember it could always be worse.

READ FULL STORY AND WATCH NEWS VIDEO HERE

CHICAGO TOPS LIST…CHEAPER TO OWN THAN RENT

 
 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in HEADLINE NEWS

 

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