A forum for comments about Naperville news and issues.

July 2007 Archives

During a 12-month period, Naperville issued 21,826 parking tickets and collected $391,175 in revenue from fines. The most tickets were issued at the Route 59 train station, where commuters face a 26-month wait to get a parking permit.

At long last, Naperville's Millennium Carillon is open to the public, offering people a chance to take in a spectacular view of the city. Are taxpayers who criticized the city-funded bailout finally ready to accept it?

Citizen Web

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By Ted Slowik

One Naperville resident got the attention of city officials when he made a video of his situation and posted it on YouTube. Could it work for you?

So in the four and a half years that Rod Blagojevich has been governor it's cost Illinois taxpayers a grand total of $3.25 million for the upkeep of the Springfield mansion. Only problem - he's hardly ever there, preferring to spend most of his time in Chicago, ostensibly for the education of his kids. With the state government in gridlock as they go on endlessly - well, it will (has to) come to an end sooner or later, at least the governor seems to be spending a little more time Downstate these days. But the fundamental question is this: Is it fair for the already overtaxed citizens of Illinois to pay for the upkeep of a mansion that rarely has its lights turned on - at least in the governor's private quarters. And, while not discounting the historical value and heritage of the mansion, would it be too much to ask that the governor spend a little time there instead of winging his way back and forth between Chicago and the capital. Then, there's the other alternative. Move the mansion to Chicago - but I think lawmakers would put their feet down on that one.

Just when you thought traffic along Route 59 through Naperville couldn't get any worse, now comes word that the major highway will be reduced to one lane northbound during daytime hours through November.

As the crowd outside Anderson's Bookshop counted down the seconds to midnight, the employees inside readied themselves behind a line of empty "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" boxes. Some stretched. Others fidgeted nervously.

And when the bewitching hour struck, several pulled away a midnight blue sheet to reveal an enormous stack of the orange-covered books stretching down an entire aisle and standing chest-high.

Earlier in the evening we had the chance to turn the tables on the hosts of The Leaky Cauldron’s PotterCast, in Naperville for the countdown to the release of the final Harry Potter book. They shared their thoughts on the legacy of Harry Potter, their plans to read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and why it’s not so bad to be a Hufflepuff.

Hogwarts’ Divination professor, Sibyll Trelawney, isn’t known for her accurate predictions. But when several palm readers sat down at their crystal balls in Anderson’s Bookshop from 7 to 10 p.m., we thought we’d see what they saw in our futures.

On the window outside Anderson’s, three sheets of parchment bear predictions for the seventh Harry Potter book -- questions that in mere hours we will have answered.

Some anonymous readers share their clairvoyance.

After a long day strolling through Diagon Alley, these two reporters were looking forward to sitting down with a frothy pint of butterbeer, a favorite refreshment of young wizards and witches served at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.

In the Harry Potter books, the magical brew is a warm drink that heats you up from the inside, and the taste has been described by J.K. Rowling in interviews as “a less-sickly butterscotch.”

At least three different vendors served up the sugary stuff at The Party That Shall Not Be Named, offering three different interpretations. And we had the difficult job of deciding which was best.

Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Three downtown businesses claimed the ability to separate the "brave of heart" of Hogwarts' Gryffindor house from the "cunning folk" who live in Slytherin with the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.

Are three hats better than one? We decided to sort things out for ourselves.

Spotted

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Luna Lovegood and Ginny Weasley with Ginny's pet Pygmy Puff, Arnold.

Sisters Becky, 15, and Katie, 13, Gehrmann heard about The Party That Must Not Be Named on The Leaky Cauldron's PotterCast. They drove in from Madison, Wis., with their parents Thursday night.

Long before we learned of Hogwarts, Muggles tried to capture the magic of the wizarding world. At the Naperville Public Library, we got to see how Muggle magic measures up to the real thing.

Spotted

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Mad-Eye Moody and Bellatrix LeStrange crossing Washington Street at Chicago Avenue.

Oak Park siblings Josh, 17, and Liz Dampf, 21, found The Party That Shall Not Be Named by Googling Harry Potter events in the area.

At Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley, Fortescue served up free ice cream sundaes and homework help to Harry Potter.

At Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor in Naperville, formerly known as Cookie Dough Creations, ice cream was served by 19-year-old Erin Vogel Friday.

The wizarding world is a small one, it seems, as Emily had met Vogel, a student at College of DuPage from Naperville, Tuesday night while standing in line for a Harry and the Potters concert at the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center.

That we are up to no good.

And finally downtown for the Party That Shall Not Be Named, after finding ourselves in broomstick-to-broomstick traffic, circling parking decks for nearly a half-hour.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to paying school administrators: those who believe the people responsible for educating our youth are worth every penny, and those who believe educators are highly overpaid.

By Ted Slowik

A Naperville woman and a Downers Grove man are charged with reckless conduct and other misdemeanors for standing on a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 355 and displaying a banner that read, "Impeach Bush and Cheney - LIARS." Is this a case of a peaceful protest or did they put lives in danger by distracting drivers?

After perching near the top of Money magazine's Best Places To Live list for two years straight, Naperville was holding its collective breath this time, wondering if this was the year we'd make it to No. 1. Then something strange happened.

A Naperville family came back from a July 4th party to find that vandals had burned the American flag adorning their house. Worse, the ugly incident happened on the birthday of our nation's founding. Then the Naperville VFW came to the rescue and presented the family with a brand new Old Glory.
Hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women have died in countless wars - both at home and abroad - to protect what the flag represents. Granted, this was a case of pure vandalism and is abhorrent, but it raises a bigger question. In a democracy like ours the ultimate symbol of freedom is the right to burn the American flag.
Indeed, it's hard to think of another country that would let its citizens get away with it, that's how democratic America is. So, the question is this: While in no way excusing the vandalism mentioned above, is it wrong in all cases to burn the flag, or are there instances where it's okay to do so as a form of political expression?

Plainfield police on Thursday made two significant statements about the investigation into the disappearance of Lisa Stebic: 1.) They believe she was a victim of foul play, and 2.) Her husband Craig is now a person of interest in the investigation.

If you had the misfortune of driving through the busy intersection of Ogden Avenue and Washington Street in the heart of Naperville at midday Friday, you witnessed some shocking and graphic photos of aborted fetuses.

By Ted Slowik

In little more than a week, Naperville will throw the Midwest's biggest Harry Potter party to coincide with the release of the series' final book. "The Party That Shall Not Be Named" is expected to draw 60,000 to 80,000 people downtown, as dozens of merchants dress up in costumes and temporarily change the names of their stores to cash in on the wizard wonderland craze.

By Ted Slowik

OK, maybe the Pure Prairie League reference is too obscure, but it's appropriate. In a stunner, Amy Jacobson lost her job Tuesday as a TV reporter in Chicago because she was caught on tape, wearing a bathing suit, at the home of Craig Stebic.

By Ted Slowik

Naperville police on Monday said they are looking for vandals who spray-painted graffiti on at least 15 homes and cars and two churches on Naperville's south side Sunday night. Who would do such a thing?

By Wendy Fox Weber

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I don't get standing around a concert talking like you are in someone's backyard.

By Ted Slowik

Lawmakers want to require screenings for ice cream truck drivers, including background checks that would identify sex offenders and prohibit them from working with children. They'd get ID badges and have to register with the state. Does anybody else see a problem with this?

Ribfest may be Naperville's premier summer festival, attracting scores of residents and out-of-town visitors to hear big-name entertainment and indulge on some tasty food. And the event raises thousands of dollars for charitable causes. But not everyone is enamored with the festival.

Naperville Potluck

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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