Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rescheduled Village Board Meeting!

This little bit of information was snuck in as the last item on the August 1st meeting of the Tinley Park Village board agenda. SUBJECT: CONSIDER RESCHEDULING THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 15, 2006, TO AUGUST 8, 2006, IN THE VILLAGE HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS BEGINNING AT 8:00 P.M. - President Zabrocki ACTION: Discussion - Consider rescheduling the regular Board meeting scheduled for August 15, 2006, to August 8, 2006 beginning at 8:00 p.m. Personally, while I think it's a little shady to move this meeting up (normally there are no village board meetings on the second Tuedsay of a month), it actually works out that I will be able to see the fate of the North Street project for myself, as I will be out of town for the August 1st meeting. Be sure to pass the word that August 8th, 2006 at 8:00 P.M. is the date and time for the North Street vote.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More on North Street in Star

There's another article in the Star on the North Street proceedings. It's not nearly as dramatic as the Southtown's article, but at least the Jennifer Golz mentions the 22 million dollars that Tinley Park would have to put up for the project. Really, one has to ask how much more does the developer need if they are already getting 22 million dollars in incentives from the village? I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that came out Tuesday night, including Anthony, a fellow libertarian who came all the way out from Chicago to witness the proceedings. He's been following the story here on the Tinley Harrier and I appreciate his support.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Last chance for North Street?

Whoa. I was so busy this morning I didn't even get a chance to read the Southtown article detailing the desperate straits the North Street development has run into. I knew it was bad when out of nowhere, Pat Rea decided to table the finance item that was on the agenda. I went to meeting intent on getting all the details on to who was paying for what (mostly about what we, the Tinley Park taxpayer, was going to pay). I have to say that at first, I was convinced that board was just jerking us all around. Adding insult to injury, we had to listen to Jim Fuentes lecture us for five minutes on how great the North Street project was going to be for Tinley Park. I didn't really think that there was such a serious gap between the village and L&H. I thought the holdup was more over the parcel that the Dennis family needed to sell, not L&H's unwillingness to split the debt. Today's article seems almost too good to be true, so I'm remaining cautious. Still, Pat Rea, to his credit, seems to be holding firm, the Dennis family still hasn't sold any land, and as an unexpected bonus, I heard that the Mendez property that would become 'Center Street' has still not been acquired. Good omens indeed. However, this isn't over by any stretch. The village, in a desperate move, has made a deadline for a decision at the August 8th at the Committee of the Whole meeting. It starts at 7:30 PM, and I'll be very curious to see what will be said. Here's to hoping that Pat Rea will stick to his guns and that L&H will continue to be cheap.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pat Rea says North Steet won't cost taxpayers, I disagree

Apparently, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny exist after all. Who else will be paying for the improvements to 171st Street, the parking lot at the old Central Middle School, and the aquiring of the land from the Dennis family to align North Street? Not the taxpayers, claims Pat Rea in an article in today's Tinley Star. So I'm curious: did the Tooth Fairy lend Tinley a loan for all this? Maybe Santa dropped off some cash on Village Hall last Christmas. I know what Pat Rea will say. Everything will be payed for by the TIF district. The problem is, the money has to come from bonds sold off now, which the interest of which gets paid for by us now, while the village waits for the income to come in from this project years into the future. So, Tinley Park taxpayers are still footing the bill, and don't insult our intelligence by claiming otherwise Trustee Rea. I was born at night, but it wasn't last night.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

North Street Development on July 25 Meeting Agenda

The North Street Redevelopment, now to be known as Tinley Park Place (Park Place, isnt' that from Monopoly? Are the thimble and iron going to live there?) is going to be on the agenda at the July 25 meeting of the Tinley Park trustees. I have taken the liberty of posting the agenda item in its entirety below: ITEM #6 SUBJECT: CONSIDER RESOLUTION NUMBER 2006-R-022 AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Rea/Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Resolution would authorize the adoption of a development agreement for the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The approved site plan and permitted uses include 115 residential units, 16,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space and an 11 screen cinema. The agreement outlines responsibilities of the Village to construct parking in adjacent areas in conjunction with the project. In addition, the agreement identifies financial incentives to be provided by the Village in order to support the development in accordance with the policy guidelines set by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on June 6, 2006. This Resolution is eligible for first reading. ITEM #7 SUBJECT: CONSIDER ORDINANCE NUMBER 2006-O-035 GRANTING VARIANCES AND GRANTING A SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Ordinance would approve a Planned Unit Development (PUD) within the H-1 Historic District to allow for the construction of the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The PUD includes variations for height, density, floor area ratio, lot coverage, setbacks for outdoor café use, parking, signage and landscaping. In addition, the PUD identifies that the project will consist of 115 residential units, 16,000 square feet of office space, approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space and an 11 screen cinema. This project was discussed at a Public Hearing held before the Long Range Plan Commission on March 23, 2006, and was recommended for approval by a vote of 6-2-0. This Ordinance is eligible for first reading. I'm really interested in finding out what the "financial incentives to be provided by the Village in order to support the development", i.e. the corporate welfare to handed out to L&H via us, the oppressed Tinley Park taxpayer. I'm really curious to see how good Pat Rea is at negotiating.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Best article I've read on the Middle East

There is an excellent article today from Edward Alexandar today regarding the recent flare up between Israel and Hamas. He addresses the fantasy of co-existing Palestinian and Israeli states, proving without a doubt that it will never occur. Indeed, and I love this to no end, he makes the comparison of removing the Islamofacist threat to denazifying Germany. Yes! To win a war, there must be outright victory. What a concept! While the article doesn't go so far as to advocate carpet bombing, I will. You have to utterly defeat an authoritarian state, accepting nothing less then unconditional surrender. The last time the world saw real victory achieved was in World War II. Unconditional surrender was the only terms that were acceptable, and unconditional surrender from Italy, Germany, and Japan was had. Real peace exists with those nations today, and real peace can be achieved in the Middle East. As Rush Limbaugh put it so eloquently in Pearl Harbor Day column in 2001: "Unleash Isreal and Win Peace". Isreal is willing to do the job. It's up to America to stay out of the way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Village playing hardball?

Tinley Park Village Trustee Pat Rea is talking tough, according to this article by the Southtown. I mean, instead of giving away 48 million dollars for capital improvements to make the North Street project a reality, it might only be 28 million. Apparently that is not nearly enough for L&H development, so the negotiations will continue. Ironically enough, the only thing could topple this project is the fight over who's going to pay for it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's July 18th, but no finance package for North Street

Well, well, well. It's July 17th and there is supposed to be a financial agreement between the Village of Tinley Park and L&H/Teehan. But alas, at the board meeting tomorrow night, the North Street development will be conspicuously absent from the agenda. So what's up? I've got a theory. First, L&H/Teehan is trying to wiggle every last cent they can out of the Village, i.e. you and me the Tinley Park taxpayer. Negotiations must not be going as smooth as Mayor Zabrocki thought when he said there would be a finance plan for us to look at the July 18th meeting. Second, they are waiting for the commotion of the Southtown articles on the project to die down. They have enough opposition as it is without the exposure of four days of articles. I'd be curious to see if the Southtown will conduct a poll of Tinley Park residents to see how they feel about this project now. Anyhoo, I don't expect anything big to happen tomorrow night and probably not at the next meeting either. But I have a feeling people will be watching at Village Hall tomorrow night anyways.

A Series of Laconic Statements

I've got 4 minutes to blog today, so here goes: Yesterday's Southtown had a slew of articles on the North Street Development. Among the highlights, the connection between the Teehan family initiating the project and how it became intertwined with L&H was finally exposed. I ran 3 miles today, all of which I did with my mouth closed, which in turn required me to drink less water. The greatest invention of the last century, by a hair over the transistor, is the air conditioner. Ours went on the fritz on this 95 degree weekend so an emergency trip to Home Depot was in order. While our new unit is a little on the small size, it's getting the job done, lowering the temperature down to 76 degrees F.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Made the Southtown again regarding North Street

I didn't even realize that I had made the Southtown until my Mom told me about this article posted Friday. It bascially rehashes the things I said back in May during my interview with Southtown writer Dan Lavoie. In the article is a mention of this website, which I was pleased to see. The article itselfs deals with the citizens opposed to the North Street project, which besides myself includes the Dennis family, Sheehan family and Heather Finney. Also Charlie Smith, who was one of only two members of the Long Range Planning Commission who had the guts to vote against this project, was interviewed. In a seperate but related issue, the Village of Tinley Park has finally released the agenda for the July 18th meeting. I was disappointed, but not suprised, to learn that the Village has postponed any discussion on the financing of the North Street project. They will probably use some lame excuse like they are still in negotiations with L&H, but they're probably letting things cool off after the 4 articles that have been written on North Street recently in the Southtown. I imagine turnout for this meeting already will be big because of the Walgreens going in on 171st and 84th Avenue, and they didn't need any more enraged citizens.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Teehan's Saloon? Give me a break.

In the second of a four part series, the Southtown has an article on all the places to eat at in the new downtown. One of them will be Teehan's saloon, distant descendant of the soon to be demolished Teehan's Tavern. It is made very clear in the article that Teehan's will no longer be the wonderful blue collar bar that it was in my time drinking there. Apparently they are going to be all about serving food and being more upscale like Durbin's. Two upscale Irish places to drink and eat withing a block of each other, that's what we need. Will I ever see it? Probably not as I assume my ban will be extended to the new place as well. That's OK. I think it's time for everyone that goest to Teehan's to agree on the next bar to go to so when Teehan's is trashed, we can still all hang out. Jim's Inn anyone?

You have new Picture Mail!

3.3 miles today

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Southtown doing whole series on North Street

Well, it finally happened. Harry Teehan has been exposed as the mastermind behind the North Street development. It's all in the article today in the Southtown. Now, finally, those that are at the bar, the ones that said that they would chain themselves to the door so it wouldn't be torn down, will realize the ugly truth: That not only did the Teehan family sell their bar out, they are the ones that instigated this whole travesty that is the North Street Redevelopment. Downtown Elmhurst here we come. Thanks Harry and Ed, we Tinley Parkers owe you one. Speaking of downtown Elmhurst: It's too bad they don't have the pictures of the Southtown print edition up on the web site. They showed one of the Classic Cinema screens and I swear I've seen home theaters with bigger screens then that. This is the anchor that we're getting to bring all this vaunted foot traffic to downtown Tinley? When there are two legitimate cineplexes ten minutes to the east and west? Good luck with that. Ed Zabrocki is quoted in the article as saying "If it's a success I'm a hero; if it bombs, I'm a bum". The problem is, if it's a bomb, he'll retire and won't have to clean up the mess. The next mayor will and Tinley Park taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ozzie at All Star Game

I remember back in November when I realized Ozzie Guillen would be managing the All Star Game. Now it's the game is on I couldn't be more proud of our manager. Ozzie has a lot of haters, but I'm behind him 100 percent. You would think a city that worships Mike Ditka, whose 1985 Bears had to win in spite of him, would have a little more appreciation for someone who brought Chicago a World Series championship for the first time in 88 years. Think about that the next time someone rips him for not being politically correct. If guys like Mike Ditka and Harry Carry can be forgiven for slips of the tongue, Ozzie should get a pass too.

Running in the rain

Today's run at 6AM involved a steady rain. As I didn't want to soak my Treo I went sans tunes for the first time in a while. It was so quiet, the only thing I heard was the rain and the clomping of my feet. The horror! Turns out my form has gotten retty terrible. I immediatley concentrated on heel to toe, heel to toe, and the clomping was diminished. I may have to do a few more runs without my headphones to make sure the problem is eliminated.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Aaron's Streaor Sendoff

On Thursday I went with the family down to Streator, IL, where the 1744th Transportation Companay was having it's sendoff as it deploys to Iraq for one year. The unit has 169 members, one which is my brother Aaron, and this the first time the unit has been deployed overseas. The unit is realitively new, having been created in 2002. Many National Guard units are like the 1744th, created to help support Operation Iraqi Freedom, which needs more Transportation, Infrantry, and Military Police units. The weather was beautiful for the sendoff, a nice 85 degree day with mostly sunny skies. The local VFW provided a lot of excellent food for the troops and families as well. The ceremony itself was held at the corner of a park in downtown Streator, where local politicians and members of the National Guard gave short speeches wishing the troops Godspeed. I have lots of pictures of the sendoff on my Google Picassa page, including one of me jerry-rigging my sister-in-law's camcorder to a tree so we could record the festivities. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the 1744th for their service to the country, I couldn't have been more proud as I was Thursday watching them in formation. Good luck to all of you guys, Aaron you especially, and get home safe.

You have new Picture Mail!

Another 5 mile run.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

North Street Theater for Tinley Park

I've been meaning to comment on this article in the Tinley Star for some time now. It's about the new theater that's part of the North Street redevolopment, by far the most controversial aspect of the project after the aborted parking garage. The theater promises cheap admission (8$ for adults) and digital pictures (about time, DVDs are now 8 years old). While this all sounds wonderful, the sadistic amount of traffic generated by such a venue in the proposed location would be a nightmare. I also don't buy the fact that an "older" crowd would really show up to catch a dinner and a movie like they are teeny boppers all over again. I think the days are numbered for movie theaters, similar to the situation with drive-in theaters thirty years ago. Cell phones, crappy picture quality, endless commercials, yapping patrons that talk through the first five minutes of the movie if you're lucky and through the whole movie if you're unlucky are making the cinema a less and less attractive destination everyday. Against DVD's that come out within two months of a movie's release, on-demand movies, and home theaters with superior video and sound, the local movie theater is facing some serious competition. Do we really want a potential dinosaur sitting in the heart of the downtown? Considering how Tinley Park is always promoting it's progressive side, I'd like to think not.


Hello everyone! I'm outside the Gas City on Center and Larraway finishing up my meatball sandwich from Subway. It's a perfect day out so I'm just sitting in the shade checking my e-mails. I would like to say hi to my Grandma who now has Internet access and hopefully will be checking in on me from time to time. Also I would like to say hi to Mom and let her know that yes, I will be going to Aarons National Guard parade tomorrow as they embark on their mission to Iraq. I will have the Treo and will bring back pictures. Until next time


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Chocolate Runner Blog is back!

Jon the Chocolate Runner is back! Jon is one of my favorite bloggers on the internet. I've been following his blog since I began searching for bloggers entered in the Chicago Marathon in 2004. Jon has been battling injuries but stuck with it and completed the Detroit Marathon in 2005. He has just recently moved from Michigan and is back blogging. Here's to Jon's health and hopefully many posts to come. Welcome back!

Sunday Long sort of long run

Sunday kind of long run Week 1 is complete with a 5 mile run to Structure 32. Despite the name, Structure 32 is not a building but rather an overgrown retention pond that is designed to hold the water of Midlothian Creek if it ever overflowed during one of those "100 year storms". The next time I run by I'll take some pictures so you can get an idea. As Centennial Park is right next to Structure 32, I ran by there as well. I would have run further but I needed to go to Sam's club to get more water and other goodies.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Classless Fans at Wrigley

I'm watching another great comeback by the Chicago White Sox (A.J. Pierzynski hits a two out home run in the top of the ninth) when the game is inexplicably held up. At first I thought Ryan Dempster, who had just blown his fifth save, was waiting for the bullpen to warm up. It turned out the right field fans, without the home run ball to throw back (A.J.'s dinger was somewhere on the street), decided to throw a whole bunch of garbage on the field for five minutes. Thier acts were ignorant beyond description. Attention Right Field bleachers Cubs fans: If you don't like what you're seeing, walk away. Then stay home to protest how bad your team is. Whatever you do, don't expose yourselves as classless bums by throwing your trash on the field while the game is still going on. What you did is completely selfish and made an already bad situation for you team worse. May there be a trash curse on top of your Billy Goat/Bartman curse.