A forum for comments about Naperville news and issues.

March 2009 Archives

William Ayers, who was part of a group named the Weather Underground which participated in domestic terrorism in the 1960s, is scheduled to speak at Naperville North High School on April 8.

During the election, Barack Obama was criticized for his friendship with Ayers, and now North is being criticized by many members of the community for hosting this controversial figure. The district is now re-evaluating the speech, considering moving it to an off-campus location.

Ayers is also scheduled to speak and sign books at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville.

What do you think about Ayers' appearance in Naperville?

The Sun recently published profiles of candidates for District 204 school board. What do you think?

Here is a link to the story:

The Sun recently published profiles of the candidates for Naperville City Council. What do you think of them? Talk about it here.

Here is a link to the story:

The Sun recently published profiles of the candidates for school board. What do you think? Here is the place to discuss them.

Here is a link to the story:

The Sun recently posted its profiles of the candidates for park board. What do you think of them? This is your place to discuss.

Here is a link to the story:

Naperville City Councilman Richard Furstenau on Thursday was ordered by a judge to undergo a mental exam as part of his suit against several city officials.

Furstenau was arrested following an incident Jan. 1, 2006, where he was accused of shoving a police officer in a dispute over downtown parking. He was acquitted in the case in May 2007, and five months later Furstenau filed a suit contending police and city officials "mounted an orchestrated campaign to jail, silence and politically destroy" him because of positions he has taken while serving on the council, including his questions about police department spending.

Furstenau also claims in the lawsuit he has suffered persistent disturbed sleep and feelings of violation and powerlessness and is asking that he be awarded monetary damages for his alleged emotional distress.

It is this part of the suit that led to Thursday's ruling. City attorneys want to examine Furstenau to evaluate the mental distress portion of the claims.

What do you think of the recent developments in the suit, and the case in general?

Update: The city announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with Furstenau. He will drop his suit and each party will pay their own costs. The agreement will be voted on April 8.

The Sun has a story in our Friday edition about safety crossing 75th Street and the nearby roads that are experiencing more traffic due to the construction on 75th. Residents expressed outrage at Tuesday's City Council meeting because of what they say is an accident waiting to happen.

Indeed, a child was struck and injured by a construction vehicle in the area earlier this year. Speed bumps, crossing guards, rerouting traffic and more police patrols were among the suggestions. Another suggestion is a pedestrian bridge over 75th Street. Such a bridge has been in the planning stages for years but is being held up by bureaucracy.

Do you think there is a problem in the 75th Street area? What would you suggest to fix the problem?

On Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn announced his proposed budget, and as expected it calls for tax increases for most people. Quinn's 50 percent tax increase is meant to help eliminate a $11.6 billion budget gap.

Quinn also pitched raising driver's license and license plate fees and lowering the portion of sales tax retailers are allowed to keep in exchange for collecting the tax for the state.

There are a few categories of people who will see their taxes decrease under this plan, but the majority of those in Naperville will pay more. State Rep. Darlene Senger said Naperville residents are getting "gypped."

No one likes paying more taxes, but something has to be done about budget problems. Are you mad about the proposed tax increase, or is it just something we have to do? Are there better options?

While Neuqua Valley's boys basketball team didn't make it to the state finals, this season was historic for many reasons, including 31 wins to only two losses and 23 straight wins.

Tuesday night's defeat to Dundee-Crown in the Class 4A NIU Super-Sectional also means an end for fans to glorious nights of cheering, celebrations of wins and analysis of losses.

What does this incredible season that ended on a whimper rather than the growl most expected mean to you? What was it like to sit on the sidelines watching history being made? What were your favorite moments? Parents, tell us what it was like watching your son play the best possible game. Alumni, tell us what it meant to see this team in only its 11th season go almost all the way -- for the second year in a row, too. Students tell us what you expect next year. Will they be able to pull off another great season?

During its Monday meeting, District 203's board approved the dismissal of 218 education support personnel and 77 certified staff, 62 of whom are classroom teachers.

Each year, by March 15, school districts must notify all employees whose contracts will not be renewed for the coming school year. This year, "because of enrollment declines and economic concerns," that list is longer than it has been in the past, said Superintendent Alan Leis.

Districts do this every year with certain employees and many of them are hired back, but Leis said he doesn't think many of the dismissed teachers will be hired back unless something happens demographically.

What are your thoughts on these cuts?

District 204's board and the Indian Prairie Educational Association have reached a tentative one-year agreement that will increase the average teacher's salary by 3.87 percent for the 2009-2010 school year.

Two percent of the increase is on base salaries. The rest is provided by the yearly step increases teachers normally receive, and for additional training or education.

Superintendent Stephen Daeschner said the contract helps the district stay competitive with its benchmark districts - the local school districts that 204 compares itself to. However, some critics on this blog have already criticized giving a nearly 4 percent raise when many other people are taking pay cuts or losing their jobs.

What do you think? Is this a fair contract?

The Sun is running a cover story on Wednesday about students struggling to fund their education in the economic downturn. Some have either lost jobs or have parents who have lost or fear they may lose their jobs. To help students cope, many local colleges are offering more grants, freezing tuition increases or halting building programs. Other students are planning to stay in school to wait out the economic problems by attending graduate school or law school.

Are you a college student struggling to stay in class in this economy, or a parent struggling to send your kids to college? Do you think schools/government should do more to help college students? Are you about to graduate or have children about to graduate and head into the worst job market in decades? What are your goals? Your fears?

On Nov. 11, two students at Gregory Middle School in District 204 allegedly sexually assaulted a classmate at a private residence. The two have been charged in the case, but a trial is still pending.

In recent weeks, the school district has said it lacks the power to remove the accused students from the school, but one of them has transferred voluntarily to a middle school in District 203. The other accused boy has a legal order to stay at least 100 feet away from the alleged victim. The alleged victim's father and many other district residents say this isn't enough. Parents and residents spoke out recently at a contentious school board meeting. Later, District 204 board President Mark Metzger has taken heat for an e-mail he mistakenly sent to the boy's father and several school officials in which he called the father an unprintable name. On Monday, a group of residents met in a private home to discuss their options, including boycotting district testing and signing a petition for Metzger to step down. On Wednesday, a state House committee will meet to discuss Darlene Senger's proposed bill to give a clear legal option to school districts in situations like this.

What do you think about the recent developments? Do you think there are any options for parents in the district who are unhappy with the district's handling of the situation?

Naperville Potluck

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2009 is the previous archive.

April 2009 is the next archive.

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