May 29, 2017

Memorial Day







The parade kicked off from 110th and Longwood Drive and proceeded north. The Color Guard was from 2/24, the Marine Infantry Battalion on the west side of Chicago.  

I marched in a similar parade on Longwood Drive leading a large platoon of Marines in 1973. I spotted my MPHS Russian teacher Miss Petrus. I was in her Russian class in 1964-65. 

We were trained to greet her, so I belted out "Zdravstvuy te, Soyia Sergeavna, a kok vi pushaviatee!!", Which means, "Greetings, Mrs. Petrus, How are you?!"

Soyia Sergeavna frantically looked around trying to find who was calling her, clearly one of her former students. But she did not see me and I had to keep marching in front of the platoon. I am sure she never figured out who I was, considering I was one of her worst pupils. 



Dos Vedanya, Soyia Sergeevna






Click to see the Video of The Jesse White Tumblers





The Model A Roadster above looks like the Model A Roadster I drove on Longwood Drive to MPHS in 1965, although the one in the photo is in much better condition.
My Model A at modelahullinger.blogspot.com

Great fun to drive past the school in the morning, throwing the hand throttle with the spark advance to make very loud backfires, announcing that the Model A and I were on the premises.



Click for a Bagpipe Video






My personal favorite - this bus from Smith Village carried a number of World War II and Korean Veterans, including my father Clif Hullinger. 



More about Clif's service in North Africa and Italy at: 



109thengineers34thdivision.blogspot.com






The group above are the Southsiders for Peace.  


southsidersforpeace.org



The dance group below showing some energetic moves.






I'm getting in just under the wire here for this holiday-related blog, which deals in part with the Memorial Day Parade down Longwood Drive.  I'd love to hear what memories of that event others have, to see how they do or don't jibe with my own.

Thanks to all who have served, and absolute gratitude to those who paid for our freedoms with their lives.

Taffy Cannon, June '66
Carlsbad, California


Click below to read a blog post written by Taffy about Decoration Day:


thaliapressauthors.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/decoration-day


May 28, 2017

Illinois Business District Law


Illinois Business District Law (BD) Amended:



New Sales and Hotel/ Motel $$’s are available for Redevelopment


By


Beth Ruyle, Partner Ruyle Hullinger and Associates


The Business District is not a new economic development tool in Illinois, but with legislative amendment in 2004, it is a tool worth exploring. Like Tax Increment Financing (TIF), the BD allows communities to pledge tax revenues toward redevelopment in a blighted area. However, unlike TIF, this tool allows communities to increase sales and/or hotel motel tax within the boundaries of the Business District as that revenue. 

Previously the Business District was used for the powers it provided a community as opposed to a real revenue source to help with development or redevelopment. Now, the BD can generate its own revenues or be used in conjunction with TIF to generate additional revenues for projects.



The Business District also deals only with municipal revenues so there is no concern on the part of the other taxing bodies. If additional property tax dollars are generated, all districts receive the new share of those property taxes.


The Illinois Business District law now authorizes municipalities to levy an additional sales tax of up to 1.00% in .25 increments on retail goods and hotels in a designated commercial area. (Certain sales are exempt as drugs, medicines, handicap/disability equipment, etc.) If you are an Illinois community of any size or population, and you are seeking additional revenue to help finance economic development and redevelopment in your community, you should consider implementing the Illinois Business District law (P.A. 093-1053)


The law requires that a municipality make a formal finding that the area is blighted. The “blight” definition is similar to that of TIF, but not exact. In cases of a BD that overlays a TIF, eligibility of both could be concurrently established.


Other requirements similar to TIF are the “but for” provisions, the requirement of a Redevelopment Plan, a required budget, required contiguity of parcels in the District, and required agreement between the BD plan and the comprehensive plan. The time period of 23 years is also the same as TIF.



The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) collects the retail tax. The State Treasurer disburses checks for sales taxes to municipalities on or before the 25th day of each calendar month. IDOR retains 2% of the amount for their administrative costs associated with the collection and disbursement of the business district sales tax revenues. You must file your ordinances with IDOR by April and October 1st for July and January 1 collection startups.


The municipality must collect the hotel portion of the tax.


Adoption of the BD is much easier than that of a TIF. The law only requires that the municipality hold a minimum of two public hearings at least one week before designation. However, communities should undertake an information plan for its residents and businesses and seek support of the affected business community prior to the designation of the BD.



Some questions to consider before using this financing tool:


Question 1.


When would a community consider using a Business District?


Answer.


Two possibilities have already been mentioned—when there is opposition by the taxing districts to a TIF that cannot be surmounted or when additional revenues beyond TIF are needed to make the project work. Other times when a BD might apply are when property tax revenues are already committed and cannot be used, when there is agreement from the retail community that they are willing to participate in the renovations of the area or when a hotel project may be the center piece to the development. These and other reasons are rationale to look at this tool.


Question 2.


Will the imposition of an added sales tax for a retail development located in one part of your community and impact existing retail in other parts of the community? Will this tax drive customers away?


Answer:


In other states that use this financing tool, like Missouri, the experience shows that the payment of the added sales tax is not an issue with consumers, particularly if the retailers in the Business District are new to the community, and provide a greater variety of goods and services to customers that they cannot get elsewhere.


Question 3.


Should we create the district so that we include retailers of high cost items?


Answer:


We would advise that you carefully analyze the impacts of imposing the tax on retailers of expensive items and major retail purchases. You may want to begin with a smaller increment of additional sales tax on those types of high - end retail purchases in order to gauge consumer response to the additional tax.


Question 4.


Is there opposition or resistance to these added taxes by existing retailers?



Answer:


Some retailers (most notably Wal-Mart) have opposed the business district taxes. There is no evidence though to prove that these retailers have lost sales revenue as a result of the additional tax.


Question 5.


If we have an existing TIF, can we still get the Business District and will it require any additional documentation?


Answer:


You can set up a Business District with an existing TIF. At this point, you must complete additional documentation because the qualifying criteria for blight differ in the separate Acts. However, this documentation will be much less extensive than the TIF and can use portions of TIF documents as part of the designation. Such items as the plan and the “but for” evidence will be there from the TIF. Documentation of the criteria will be different or modified.


Question 6.


If we have a Business District can we just impose this tax?


Answer:


Only if you have made a formal finding that the area is a blighted area based on the criteria in the Act. You should also assure your plan conforms to the specifications in the Act. Then, you can pass the ordinances imposing the tax (es).


Question 7.


How complicated is it to create a Business District Redevelopment Plan.?


Answer:
Establishing eligibility still carries with it the need to justify the basis for blight in the BD. Likewise, you must establish that “but for” the Business District development or redevelopment will not occur. The plan must document these items and also provide goals and objectives for the BD, a review of the existing Comprehensive Plan to assure conformity, a budget for the project, and a set of powers and, most importantly, the rate of sales tax or hotel/motel tax that will be imposed.



Beth Ruyle has extensive experience in local government coordination, management, planning and economic development. Prior to founding Ruyle Hullinger and Associates, Beth was an Executive Vice President of Ehlers and Associates, the Executive Director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (Chicago) for 22 years, and a planner with the Atlanta Regional Planning Commission.


Beth Ruyle and Associates







309 966 1616


May 26, 2017

Quotes by the Late Great Yogi Berra

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
You can observe a lot by just watching.
It ain’t over till it’s over.
It’s like déjà vu all over again.
No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
We made too many wrong mistakes.
Never answer an anonymous letter.
The future ain’t what it used to be.
Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.
You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

Click for more Yogi Quotes:

More about Yogi

Yogi Berra - A Site Dedicated To a Baseball Legend

www.yogi-berra.com/
Get all the facts about the baseball hero and man that many look up to, Yogi Berra.

Yogi Berra - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogi_Berra
Lawrence Peter "YogiBerra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, manager, and coach who played 19 ...

Yogi Berra Stats | Baseball-Reference.com

www.baseball-reference.com › MLB Players › B Listing
Career: 358 HR (85th), .285 BA, 1430 RBI (68th), C/OF, HOF in 1972, 3xMVP, 18xAllStar, Yankees/Mets 1946-1965, b:L/t:R, born in MO 1925, died 2015.



May 21, 2017

Makeover


Time Magazine's new cover shows the White House getting a Russian makeover.
Underneath the red renovation, Time seems to be saying the cover is really a metaphor for a United States democracy that has been hacked and manipulated by another country.
With Russia's 2016 hacking of DNC emails and the overall shadowy nature of their social media use, Time cites a former Pentagon worker saying: "Using these technologies, it is possible to undermine democratic government and it's becoming easier every day."
With the apparent ease of obtaining classified information and promoting cyber propaganda, social media is adapting to the new age of hacking.
Click to read the full article:


May 20, 2017

Diverging Diamond Interchange













Our diverging Diamond Interchange will open in one week.  It should be interesting to see how drivers adjust.

Click on the link below to view of simulation.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24jMVZszPTY




I-75 diverging diamond to open this weekend, state says - News ...

www.heraldtribune.com/.../i-75-diverging-diamond-to-open-this-weekend-state-says
4 days ago - The project at the Sarasota-Manatee border is three weeks ahead of schedule. ... I-75 diverging diamond to open this weekend, state says ...

I-75 diverging diamond to open to drivers in early spring - News ...

www.heraldtribune.com/.../i-75-diverging-diamond-to-open-to-drivers-in-early-sprin...
Nov 10, 2016 - Officials hope the state's first diverging-diamond interchange will be open to ... interchange at Interstate 75 and University Parkway inSarasota.

Diverging diamond at University & I-75 to open on Sunday | Local ...

www.mysuncoast.com/.../diverging-diamond.../article_0f75b0a4-3a58-11e7-8ce8-33...
1 day ago - Coming Sunday morning, the diverging diamond will be ready for drivers to test out. The diverging ... Posted by ABC7 Sarasota - WWSB.














May 17, 2017

EB-5 Visa Investments

The link below explains how big New York developers like Kushner and Trump use EB-5. The program was designed to enable a foreign investor to get a long term visa if they invest $500,000 in a rural or poor area and create 10 permanent jobs.  They can locate anywhere if they invest $1,000,000. The investor does not care much about return on investment - he just wants the Visa. The program was initially targeted for entrepreneurs - now developers are using it for major real estate projects.

The investor only gets about a 1 percent return on their $500,000 investment. The developer uses the 500K investment to borrow more money to build apartments hotel with bars, restaurants, etc, in theory generating 10 new jobs for each 500K investment.

So the rich billionaire developer gets 1 percent money to get richer. And President Trump just extended the program which benefits Kushner and Trump. Kushner's sister was hyping the program to Chinese when Trump signed the extension, telling them to hurry up and sign with them since they were connected.

Is this a great country, or what? Draining the swamp. You gotta love it. And we are played for chumps. And some of us think it is just dandy.


From the New York Times


WASHINGTON — It was the first major piece of legislation that President Trump signed into law, and buried on Page 734 was one sentence that brought a potential benefit to the president’s extended family: renewal of a program offering permanent residence in the United States to affluent foreigners investing money in real estate projects here.

Just hours after the appropriations measure was signed on Friday, the company run until January by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, was urging wealthy Chinese in Beijing to consider investing $500,000 each in a pair of Jersey City luxury apartment towers the family-owned Kushner Companies plans to build. Mr. Kushner was even cited at a marketing presentation by his sister Nicole Meyer, who was on her way to China even before the bill was signed. The project “means a lot to me and my entire family,” she told the prospective investors.
Click to read the full article:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/us/politics/kushner-china-visa-eb-5.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-a-beijing-ballroom-kushner-family-flogs-500000-investor-visa-to-wealthy-chinese/2017/05/06/cf711e53-eb49-4f9a-8dea-3cd836fcf287_story.html?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na&utm_term=.d9d828833f17

https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/troymcmullen/2017/05/08/amid-criticism-the-kushner-family-pushes-a-new-jersey-luxury-development/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/