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August 2009 Archives

Several public safety surveillance cameras are scheduled to be installed at various locations in Naperville's downtown, with the goal of having them operational by the end of October.

The city plans to install five fixed cameras at the Central Parking Facility, 75 E. Chicago Ave; and four movable cameras at four intersections: Washington Street and Jefferson Avenue, Main Street and Jackson Avenue, Main and Jefferson and Main and Chicago Avenue.

In addition, a public safety camera pod will be placed at the intersection of Washington and Chicago. The camera pod consists of five fixed cameras and one movable camera. While the fixed cameras continuously point in one direction, the movable camera provides the ability to focus on a particular location and record video should an incident take place. The camera pod will be placed at Washington Street and Chicago Avenue.

The city already has cameras at the Municipal Center, the Van Buren parking deck, downtown Metra station (Route 59 has cameras, which are under the jurisdiction of Aurora) and the city's auto test track.

The city says these cameras are needed to prevent crimes and to identify suspects when crimes are committed. What do you think of more government observation of public activities?


District 204 began the new school year with several big changes. Kathy Birkett is beginning her first year as superintendent, taking over for Stephen Daeschner. Metea Valley High School opened its doors for the first time. The district also began taking control of bus routing for the first time.

There have been numerous reports of bus problems especially in the first week, with too many students assigned to a bus, or students not knowing what bus to ride or not being picked up by their assigned bus.

What do you think of the problems District 204 has faced so far? Is the administration taking effective measures to deal with the problems? What other issues have come up?

On Tuesday the City Council was set to consider pursuing a new ordinance that could lead to evicting Scott Huber from his home on the sidewalk in front of the Central Parking Facility on Chicago Avenue.

Huber has been living in that spot for the past eight years, and insists he is not in fact homeless but is living there as a form of protest against actions he feels deprived him of his home and employment.

Though he is not known for bothering passersby, some residents have complained of his presence to the city.

Do you think Huber should be forced to move?

We'll try something different today. Below is an article from the Associated Press about protesters who have gathered outside appearances by President Barack Obama while openly carrying guns. What do you think of this trend? Is it a peaceful exercise of a person's rights, or a serious incident waiting to happen?

Man carrying assault weapon attends Obama protest
By AMANDA LEE MYERS and TERRY TANG, Associated Press Writers
PHOENIX (AP) -- About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday -- the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

Gun-rights advocates say they're exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest, while those who argue for more gun control say it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Phoenix police said the gun-toters at Monday's event, including the man carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, didn't need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

The man with the rifle declined to be identified but told The Arizona Republic that he was carrying the assault weapon because he could. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms," he said.

Phoenix police Detective J. Oliver, who monitored the man at the downtown protest, said police also wanted to make sure no one decided to harm him.

"Just by his presence and people seeing the rifle and people knowing the president was in town, it sparked a lot of emotions," Oliver said. "We were keeping peace on both ends."

Last week, during Obama's health care town hall in Portsmouth, N.H., a man carrying a sign reading "It is time to water the tree of liberty" stood outside with a pistol strapped to his leg.

"It's a political statement," he told The Boston Globe. "If you don't use your rights, then you lose your rights."

Police asked the man to move away from school property, but he was not arrested.

Fred Solop, a Northern Arizona University political scientist, said the incidents in New Hampshire and Arizona could signal the beginning of a disturbing trend.

"When you start to bring guns to political rallies, it does layer on another level of concern and significance," Solop said. "It actually becomes quite scary for many people. It creates a chilling effect in the ability of our society to carry on honest communication."

He said he's never heard of someone bringing an assault weapon near a presidential event. "The larger the gun, the more menacing the situation," he said.

Phoenix was Obama's last stop on a four-day tour of western states, including Montana and Colorado.

Authorities in Montana said they received no reports of anyone carrying firearms during Obama's health care town hall near Bozeman on Friday. About 1,000 people both for and against Obama converged at a protest area near the Gallatin Field Airport hangar where the event took place. One person accused of disorderly conduct was detained and released, according to the Gallatin Airport Authority.

Heather Benjamin of Denver's Mesa County sheriff's department, the lead agency during Obama's visit there, said no one was arrested.

Arizona is an "open-carry" state, which means anyone legally allowed to have a firearm can carry it in public as long as it's visible. Only someone carrying a concealed weapon is required to have a permit.

Paul Helmke, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said people should not be allowed to bring guns to events where Obama is.

"To me, this is craziness," he said. "When you bring a loaded gun, particularly a loaded assault rifle, to any political event, but particularly to one where the president is appearing, you're just making the situation dangerous for everyone."

He said people who bring guns to presidential events are distracting the Secret Service and law enforcement from protecting the president. "The more guns we see at more events like this, there's more potential for something tragic happening," he said.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president.

"In both cases, the subject was not entering our site or otherwise attempting to," Donovan said. "They were in a designated public viewing area. The main thing to know is that they would not have been allowed inside with a weapon."

This is an open forum for whatever you'd like to discuss, but please discuss something different than what's on the last open topic.

Gov. Pat Quinn last week signed legislation that should mean hundreds more prep athletes will be tested for steroids each year across Illinois.

The new anti-doping measure calls for more than 1,000 student-athletes to be tested, an increase of about 300. Fewer than a dozen reportedly tested positive during the first year of the IHSA program, and all were granted medical exemptions.

Naperville Central football coach Mike Stine said, "I don't think (it's) a big deterrent. The chances of kids getting caught aren't great right now. You know 256 teams make the playoffs and it's not like, 'OK, we're now gonna go drug test half of them.' The percentage (is) pretty small."

With that in mind, what do you think of the steroid testing program in state high schools? Does the state need to test more student athletes to make a difference, or is this a deterrent? Should the state even be testing for steroids?


As part of the capital bill approved recently by the state, video poker machines were legalized and can now be added to locations such as bars and fraternal organizations. Read the original Naperville Sun story here: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1697207,Naperville-video-poker_NA080309.article

However, many municipalities disapprove of the notion of legalized gambling in their communities and are considering a ban. Rosemont banned the machines, and DuPage County is considering a ban in unincorporated areas. The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce will be discussing whether to support a ban in Naperville at its Aug. 10 meeting.

Do you think the machines should be banned in Naperville? Are they harmful or innocent fun?

For the most part, local parents, church leaders and officials say the 14-year-old parental notification law, which became effective today, is good for teens and their parents. While some teens say they'd feel uncomfortable telling their parents about their decision to get an abortion, the law mandates that they do. There are a few exceptions in the case of incest or abuse.

Others are concerned that the law is too lax, that young girls will just forge signatures. Doctors also have been granted a 90-day reprieve from the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary board. That means the board will not take any action against doctors for performing abortions without parental consent. Planned Parenthood says they don't need the grace period. They're ready to fulfill the law.

What do you think? Should parents have a say in whether their children get abortions? Is parental notification just a Band-Aid for the real issue - parents' inability to talk to their kids about sex? or that abortion is legal at all? Is the legislation too soft? Tell us what you think.

After the alleged antics of one 67-year-old in Naperville last week, riding a bicycle downtown sounds like a life-threatening proposition. Naperville bicyclists say this incidient might be extreme but riding on congested streets has been risky for as long at they can remember. But some say the real problem is that bicyclists don't act like cars. They don't take the right-of-way and sometimes, they don't obey the rules of the road. One even said a driver said he should get his "toy" off the road, according to a story Sunday in The Sun.

What do you think? Bicyclists, what are your biggest fears riding a bicycle? Tell us your sad stories. Drivers, what aggravates you the most about those on two wheels? Anyone wish they'd paid more attention and hit a cyclist?

With the economy in a tail-spin, gas prices never guaranteed, and a changing world that just might make bicycling the cheaper and fitter way to go, could bicycle ever really replace cars as the rulers of the road. Tell us what you think.

Naperville Potluck

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About this Archive

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

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