Town Caught Breaking Speed Camera Law

By Dan Morse

Maryland

One of the nation’s most well-known sporting venue hecklers – Bethesda attorney Robin Ficker – went to court Monday and turned his sights on a new opponent: a Montgomery County speed camera. And he won.

Ficker contested the $40 citation leveled against him after a camera zapped him on Sept. 5 driving down Jones Bridge Road, between Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area.

Ficker argued that the location of the camera was on a stretch of road that wasn’t residential in nature and didn’t comport with what Ficker called the stated purpose of Montgomery’s speed cameras: slowing down drivers in residential areas or near schools. Ficker said that the nearest house in one direction of the camera was 270 yards; in the other direction, 370 yards. Further, Ficker said, the street where the camera is placed is bordered on one side by a golf course and the other by a medical facility.

For years, Ficker was a staple behind the players’ bench at National Basketball Association games, cheering for the Washington Wizards when they were known as the Bullets. He has also appeared at Washington Nationals baseball games and University of Maryland wrestling matches. He has had ups and downs in his law career.

Ficker said there is a place in the county for speed cameras: in residential areas or near schools, so long as the school cameras are not activated on weekends when there is no school activity. But he said the county should refund $40 to everyone who has gotten a ticket from this particular speed camera. The county should turn off the speed camera or remove it. Then, officials “should put up a sign that says. ‘We’re sorry and we’re going to be sending out refunds.’”

Rahm Trades Fiduciary Responsibility For Rhetoric

This morning Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was ordering all city pension funds to divest any investments they have in gun manufacturers

“We’re going to divest of any investment in any gun manufacturer,” he said.
He said he would lead a charge of mayors across the country urging them to do the same.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today ordered Comptroller Amer Ahmad to request a portfolio analysis from the five pension and retirement funds for city employees to determine if fund managers hold underlying debt or equity positions in companies that manufacture or sell assault weapons as the first step towards removing these companies from the investment plans.

Will Burns, Alderman of the 4th Ward, agrees. “The damage caused by these weapons is far greater than any return on investment.”

Please remind Mayor Rahm and Alderman Burns that according to the 2011 murder analysis report (latest report available), only 1 murder of the 433 committed in 2011 involved a rifle. Clearly Chicago’s problem is gang members using handguns, NOT assault rifles.

RED STATES MOVE TO SLASH TAXES

(Reuters)

Hopes for overhauling the federal tax system are fading in Washington, but in some

state capitals, tax reform experiments – some far-reaching – are fast taking shape.

Across the South and Midwest, Republicans have consolidated control of state legislatures and governorships, giving them the power to test long-debated tax ideas.

Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, for instance, called on Thursday for ending the state’s income tax and corporate taxes, with sales taxes compensating for lost revenue.

A similar plan is being pushed by Republicans in North Carolina. Kansas, which cut its income tax significantly last year, may trim further. Oklahoma, which tried to cut income taxes last year, is expected to try again.

“When it comes to getting pro-growth tax reform done this year, the only real opportunities are at the state level,” said Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs for Americans for Tax Reform, the Washington-based anti-tax lobbying group headed by small-government conservative activist Grover Norquist.

Eaton: Hold on, as we ply uncharted waters with Obamacare

From Southtown Star

“If you expect the government to take care of your health from birth to death, expect the distance between the two of them to get shorter.”

Though intended to lighten the heavy topic of government-run health care, the truth of that sarcasm outweighs its humor.

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week that the Obama administration’s crown jewel, the Affordable Care Act, is constitutional, a universal health care system guided and regulated by the federal government appears to be in America’s future, unless something drastic happens in the next few months.

And while the debate over whether that irritating and costly individual health care mandate is a penalty or a tax continues, for many that’s not the real problem.

Illinois already has plunged deeply into the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as critics refer to it. During the closing days of the General Assembly’s spring session, Republicans and Democrats voted to ask the federal government for permission to implement a key provision of the law two years early. If the feds say OK, more than 250,000 unmarried, uninsured young adults will go on the state’s Medicaid rolls.

“It’s not really going to cost us anything more,” one Springfield lawmaker said. “We’re already paying for their health care. Now we’ll get federal funds.”

So easy. Just get on the federal government’s dole and you’re set. Just like the indigent and prisoners. All your physical needs are met, but at what cost?

Sunday, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-8th) convened a town hall meeting to discuss the high court’s ruling.

“Obamacare was the issue of 2010, and with the Supreme Court’s decision last week, it’s now become the issue of 2012,” Walsh told the crowd of nearly 350 in Elk Grove Village.

East Dundee Update

From the desk of
Allen Skillicorn
East Dundee Trustee
allen@allenskillicorn.com

Spring and summer are here and I wanted to give you an update about what is happening in East Dundee. The East Dundee portion of property tax bills actually went down slightly this year for residents. Even though my fellow trustees rejected my “Freeze The Levy” plan to provided more tax relief, they did compromise by hiking the levy a smaller amount than originally planned. I will continue pushing my “Freeze The Levy” plan to help all property owners during these tough economic times.

River Haven Subdivision

Construction of the Senior and Veteran Housing will begin this summer in the field just north of River Haven, where Dominick’s once was. The additional residents in that location should help us attract the full-service grocery store we desperately need.

Saturn Building

A large used car franchise, J.D. Byrider, has bought the vacant Saturn dealership. Renovation will begin this summer and they plan on hiring 25 employees.

Downtown along Rt. 72

Two new businesses are moving into the downtown area. Made to Measure, a quality control engineering firm has purchased and is renovating the vacant brick building at 302 E. Main. The building originally was built as a Buick dealership almost 80 years ago. Directly across River Street, Van’s Frozen Custard is moving in. Both buildings are trying to preserve historically accurate, yet current architecture.

Lawmakers Call for Hearing on Red Light Camera Bill

by Illinois Review

Adding one second of time to yellow lights equipped with red light cameras could save lives said State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) and State Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein), who on May 16 called on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to allow House lawmakers to vote on legislation that will make intersections safer for Illinois drivers.

Duffy-sulli

Senate Bill 3504, sponsored in the Senate by Duffy, passed with overwhelming support and was sent to the Illinois House where Rep. Sullivan picked up sponsorship of the legislation. Unfortunately, upon the bill’s arrival in the House, Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan vowed not to release the bill to committee, in effect killing the legislation.

“In addition to making intersections safer and reducing accidents, our ‘One Second for Safety’ bill will also drastically reduce red light camera tickets,” says Duffy. “In the Senate my bill had overwhelming bi-partisan support. The bill’s co-sponsors include both Republicans and Democrats. The Black Caucus worked very closely with me on this bill. Why would Speaker Madigan personally block this legislation from being released to a committee?”

Continue reading “Lawmakers Call for Hearing on Red Light Camera Bill” »

IL may bring speed surveillance cameras to your town.

Amendment Could Bring Enforcement To Suburbs
By Parking Ticket Geek

That didn’t take long.

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel fast tracked legislation in Springfield to allow Chicago to employ speed camera enforcement within 1/8 of a mile of schools and parks back in November, drivers wondered if and when speed cameras would come to their town.

Now, less than three months later, speed cameras may be expanding into towns outside Chicago.

In a recently introduced amendment to SB0952 sponsored by Senator Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), other Illinois municipalities may be able to utilize the same enforcement technology Mayor Emanuel pushed so hard for if the bill can make it through the Illinois General Assembly.

Munoz cites Mayor Emanuel’s work to bring speed camera enforcement to Chicago as the inspiration for the bill.

Thank you David McSweeney for defending civil liberties

The letter to the editor I just submitted:

Since the campaign for the 52nd State Representative seat began, David McSweeney has been an outspoken opponent of for-profit surveillance systems like speed cameras and red light cameras. More elected leaders need to take civil liberties seriously and emphasizing real safety measures over money making surveillance schemes is a step in the right direction. I am confident that David McSweeney is the right man for the job and he has my 100% support!

Allen Skillicorn
East Dundee Village Trustee
Illinois Representative for the National Motorists Association