Chicago suburbs

Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government No Comments

Mexican Paper Reports ‘Migrants Flee To Chicago Before Trump Becomes President’

In a post yesterday about Chicago, I offered up the following to residents who look to remain in the city through what I suspect will be increasingly tough times:

Do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead…

Here’s one more thing these Chicagoans might want to consider:

Learn to speak Spanish, if you don’t already.

Back in high school, I informed one of my Spanish teachers that I wanted to learn the language because I envisioned a future where being able to speak it might come in handy around Chicagoland and in other parts of the country.

It has. Immensely.

Almost a decade ago, I mentioned to my girlfriend that Chicagoans had better get used to a growing Hispanic influence in the city, based on the demographic trends I was observing.

Perhaps even more so now, after reading an article on the website of Mexican financial newspaper EL FINANCIERO. In the piece entitled “Migrants flee to Chicago before Trump becomes president,” Anabel Clemente reported Tuesday:

Before Donald Trump is acting president, on January 20, Mexico’s consul in Chicago, Carlos Martín Jiménez, reported that there is already a displacement of migrants to that city, as a point considered a sanctuary .

During the 28th Meeting of Ambassadors and Consuls, he said that undocumented people, living in localities near Chicago, began moving to that city, where their mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has implemented support measures , such as establishing a Special office called New Citizens , and has put a free phone for those who do not have documentation.

“We have Indiana, which is quite anti-immigrant, almost half the state, and we have a lot of people in Wisconsin . Although there is a new consulate, people are already very accustomed to the Chicago consulate and then they are migrating to Chicago, precisely because of the sanctuary issue, “he said…

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis; Translation exactly as provided by the Google Translate website.)

You can read the entire article here in English via Google Translate or here in Spanish on the EL FINANCIERO website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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2017 Tax Hits To Chicagoans

“Broken record” time.

“New/higher fees, fines, and taxes, and less government services.”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity (and older ones from my Boom2Bust days) know I’ve been warning about this for years now (since 2008?) concerning Chicago- as well as Cook County, Illinois, and lots of other places aroud the country.

And it’s pretty much what has transpired from what I’ve seen.

Particularly in the “Windy City”- where the hits keep on coming. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

Chicago property owners hoping for a respite from rapidly rising taxes will be disappointed in 2017, when city government and Chicago Public Schools will continue digging deeper into their pocketbooks.

Two more major property tax increases are coming. So is a new tax on water and sewer service. And some city dwellers will face other rising costs: a fee for each store-provided disposable bag and slightly higher Park District fees.

Come mid-year, city and suburban residents will be paying a new sweetened beverage tax effective in all of Cook County, and another round of Metra fare hikes is coming soon. Here’s a look at what to expect…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dardick did a good job summarizing the dents Chicagoans (and Chicagoland residents) could expect to their finances in the new year. Head on over to the Tribune website here to get the entire story.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago’s Christmas Weekend: 61 Shot, 11 Killed

The trend sure hasn’t been Chicago’s friend lately as shootings are concerned.

On November 30, I pointed out that shootings increased in the “Windy City” on the long holiday weekends (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving) when compared to last year.

On December 5, I noted Chicago-area expressway shootings have also grown year-over-year since 2013.

And now there’s this from the Chicago Tribune website yesterday. Megan Crepeau, Peter Nickeas, and Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas reported:

A total of 61 people were shot in the city during the holiday weekend and 11 of them died of their wounds, according to data kept by the Tribune. Seven people were killed on Christmas Day alone, more than on the holiday the past three years combined. Three people were killed in 2015, one in 2014, and two in 2013.

The number of people shot over the holiday weekend also sharply outpaced recent years. During the Christmas weekend in 2015, 29 people were shot and seven of them died. In 2014, when Christmas fell on a Thursday, the four-day weekend included 35 people shot and seven people killed, according to Tribune data…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Looks like Christmas is now part of this deadly trend.

The HeyJackass! website (“Illustrating Chicago Values”) shows 4,345 shot with 787 killed in the city year-to-date.

Wonder what kind of carnage New Year’s Eve might bring?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Crepeau, Megan, Nickeas, Peter and Rosenberg-Douglas, Katherine. “A violent Christmas in a violent year for Chicago: 11 killed, 50 wounded.” Chicago Tribune. 27 Dec. 2016. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-christmas-shootings-violence-47-shot-holiday-weekend-20161226-story.html). 28 Dec. 2016.

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Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 Crime, Public Safety No Comments

Maxon’s Gun Shop, Range Coming To DuPage County?

The last time I blogged about Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range in the near-northwest suburb of Des Plaines, I was congratulating them back in February 2015 on receiving a prestigious Five Star rating from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

These days, Maxon’s is in the local news for their proposed expansion into DuPage County, Illinois. Erin Hegarty reported on the Chicago Tribune website on November 23:

Preliminary plans have been proposed for an indoor shooting range and gun shop in Warrenville, just across the street from Naperville on Ferry Road.

Naperville resident Dan Eldridge already owns the Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range in Des Plaines. Building a second location in Warrenville was a necessity because he needs more classroom space, he said, but it will also fill a void for this type of business in the western suburbs.

“This would allow us to grow in an underserved area in Chicagoland,” Eldridge said.

The new location on 7-plus acres at 30W255 Ferry Road will serve residents in Warrenville, Naperville and Aurora – a market that lacks facilities for shooting classes and practice ranges, he said. Its proximity to Route 59 and Interstate 88 will allow them to attract shooting enthusiasts from as far as 20 to 30 miles away, he said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to Hegarty, Maxon’s owner figures the new facility would employ about 25 full- and part-time workers.

You can read the entire article on the Chicago Tribune website here. And for more information about Maxon’s, head on over to their site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago Water Treatment Plant Breach Worrisome?

Back on August 16, 2014, I wrote on Survival And Prosperity:

Chicago residents and those from surrounding suburbs who get their tap water from the city really should consider setting aside an emergency supply of water if they haven’t done so already…

This was mentioned in light of a Chicago Sun-Times piece about security concerns at Chicago’s James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant- the largest water treatment plant in the world.

Water plant security in the “Windy City” was in the news again right before the weekend. Brad Edwards reported on the CBS 2 Chicago website on November 10:

Clean drinking water is essential for our health, so when a man with a foreign passport is discovered trespassing in a protected Chicago water plant, the FBI and Homeland security are alerted.

Authorities say Shahroon Augustine entered the Eugene Sawyer Water Purification Plant with a duffle bag, containing a passport from Pakistan.

He was charged with trespassing, then vanished…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Was this simply a case of criminal trespassing, or something more sinister? Regardless, unauthorized parties having access to a portion of Chicagoland’s supply of drinking water isn’t a good thing.

Once again, those potentially-affected really should consider socking away an emergency supply of H20 if they haven’t done so already. And it’s something that can be done relatively inexpensively.

You can read the entire article on the CBS 2 Chicago site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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My Early Voting Experience In Cook County, Illinois

For those planning to cast a ballot in the November 8, 2016, elections, you might want to consider taking advantage of the last day of “early voting” if the opportunity presents itself.

Figuring that voter turnout on Election Day might be heavy around these parts, Friday morning after rush hour my girlfriend and I headed down to our designated early voting location- a public library in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The room in which the voting was taking place wasn’t packed to the gills, but it was busy enough that I had to wait in line to be checked-in. Here are a few highlights from that experience:

-A number of my fellow voters brought English-speaking translators with them. Since there looked to be only one seat per voting machine, it appeared these parties had to wait a bit until two adjacent machines/seats were simultaneously vacated so the voter could conduct their business.

-On that note, I don’t believe the voting place staffer who processed me- a very nice older Asian gentleman- spoke English too well. Still, he was able to communicate with me in the noisy room via head nods and hand gestures, so it all worked out fine in the end.

-Some party (again, seemingly English-challenged) was trying to make the case to staffers that one of their members should be permitted to vote due to the fact that the Cook County voter information card that was mailed to them was addressed to the “household” (for example, mine read “Hill Household”). Since this person was part of that household, it was argued they should be able to vote. I didn’t stick around long enough to see how that discussion panned out, but something tells me it will come up again somewhere in the next two days.

-The touch-screen voting machine I used functioned pretty good. The “Next” button was kind of “sticky” though.

-After reading stories in the news of voting machine “malfunctions” in other states, you bet I double-checked my ballot via the optional print out before it was cast.

-While the environment was somewhat hectic, those staffing the early voting location seemed like they had the situation under control. Hat-tip to them.

-Still, the worker collecting the “cards” used in the voting machines did not give me an “I Voted” sticker as I departed. He was sure to bestow one on my girlfriend, but not me. For a brief instant I actually thought about going back inside to get a sticker. Am I lame or what?

Anyway, that was my experience at a Cook County early voting location before the weekend. Not too horrible. But considering the potential crowds/hiccups at the polling places Tuesday, like I said, you might want to consider taking advantage of the last day of “early voting” if the opportunity presents itself.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, November 7th, 2016 Government No Comments
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