Illinois

Crain’s Chicago Business: Pension Reform Ruling Could Cost Taxpayers Extra $200 Million A Year Through End Of Decade

In my Sunday post about Chicago’s pension reform legislation being ruled unconstitutional, I blogged:

Chicagoans- let that last line from Dardick and Pearson sink in real good:

“Taxpayers could eventually be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars more in annual payments to those city funds — before the even worse-funded police and fire retirement accounts are factored into the taxing equation…”

How many hundreds of millions are we talking about here?

Greg Hinz wrote in his blog on the Crain’s Chicago Business website Monday:

The court decision throwing out a deal to refinance two Chicago pension funds appears to be among the most costly in the city’s history, in some ways ranking right up there with the Great Chicago Fire.

Exact figures are not available and vary some depending on who’s doing the estimating. But based on statements by city officials and documents filed by the pension funds themselves, it’s likely that the decision by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak will cost city taxpayers around $200 million a year through the end of the decade—and will keep rising for decades thereafter.

“You’d have to go back to either the Depression or the Great Fire to find a comparable situation in which the city faced either greater challenges or more painful decisions,” Civic Federation President Laurence Msall said. “It’s clearly going to result in increased taxes and reduced services.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Remember, that additional $200 million hit to Chicago taxpayers would come on top of addressing fire and police pensions. And bailing out the Chicago Public Schools, which had its credit rating reduced to junk status today by Fitch Ratings. In May, I noted Moody’s downgraded the Chicago Board of Education (the primary debt issuers of CPS) three notches to junk.

You can read Hinz’s entire blog post on the Crain’s Chicago Business website here. If I were still a Chicago resident, I’d probably find it disturbing. But at least I’d be clued in as to what could be coming down the line.

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

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Cook County Gun Violence ‘Czar,’ Task Force Proposed

Why do I have the suspicion the following will result in yet another push for more gun “control” in Cook County? Michael Romain reported on the Austin Weekly News (Chicago) website last Thursday:

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (D-1st) has proposed an ordinance establishing the appointment of a Cook County gun violence czar and the establishment of a Cook County Gun Violence Task Force…

According to the proposed ordinance, the gun violence czar and task force “will serve as an investigative and fact-finding body with the objective of recommending a set of policies to the president and County Board designed to reduce gun violence in Cook County over a period of six months.”

The nine-member task force — which the ordinance notes will comprise members appointed by the Cook County board president, the Cook County state’s attorney, the Cook County sheriff and the chief judge of the county’s circuit court — will hold public hearings chaired by the gun violence czar.

The hearings — which will take place “over a period of time not to exceed six months” — will gather testimony and data from a variety of professionals about the “economic, social and cultural causes of gun violence” in the county and will “culminate in a written set of policy recommendations […] designed to reduce gun violence in Cook County effective January 1, 2016.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Czar” or “tsar.” Russian take on the Latin “caesar.”

Yeah, nothing suspicious about something so authoritarian sounding, right?

Still, I hope I’m wrong here, and that any resulting policy recommendations aren’t merely additional gun “control” measures.

Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

You can read the full article on the Austin Weekly News website here.

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

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Judge Rules Chicago’s Pension Reform Legislation Unconstitutional

Here’s the latest on Chicago’s public pension crisis. Hal Dardick and Rick Pearson reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration said it will appeal a Cook County judge’s decision Friday that ruled unconstitutional a state law reducing municipal worker pension benefits in exchange for a city guarantee to fix their underfunded retirement systems.

The 35-page ruling by Judge Rita Novak, slapping down the city’s arguments point by point, could have wide-ranging effects if upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court. Her decision appeared to also discredit efforts at the state and Cook County levels to try to curb pension benefits to rein in growing costs that threaten funding for government services.

The issue of underfunded pensions, and how to restore their financial health, is crucial for the city and its taxpayers. The city workers and laborers funds at issue in Friday’s ruling are more than $8 billion short of what’s needed to meet obligations — and are at risk of going broke within 13 years — after many years of low investment returns fueled by recession and inadequate funding.

Without reducing benefits paid to retired workers, or requiring current workers to pay more, taxpayers could eventually be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars more in annual payments to those city funds — before the even worse-funded police and fire retirement accounts are factored into the taxing equation

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Chicagoans- let that last line from Dardick and Pearson sink in real good:

“Taxpayers could eventually be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars more in annual payments to those city funds — before the even worse-funded police and fire retirement accounts are factored into the taxing equation…”

And the City’s response to the ruling? Mayor Emanuel’s Press Office countered Friday:

Statement of City of Chicago Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton on SB1922

“While we are disappointed by the trial court’s ruling, we have always recognized that this matter will ultimately be resolved by the Illinois Supreme Court. We now look forward to having our arguments heard there. We continue to strongly believe that the City’s pension reform legislation, unlike the State legislation held unconstitutional this past spring, does not diminish or impair pension benefits, but rather preserves and protects them. This law not only rescues the municipal and laborer pension funds from certain insolvency, but ensures that, over time, they will be fully funded and the 61,000 affected City workers and retirees will receive the pensions they were promised.”

As to the City of Chicago’s credit rating possibly getting whacked after the decision? Timothy W. Martin reported on The Wall Street Journal website Friday afternoon:

Moody’s said Friday’s ruling had no effect on Chicago’s bond grade. But rival Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which currently has an investment-grade rating for the city, said that “regardless of the ultimate outcome” of Mr. Emanuel’s pension law, it “will likely lower” its Chicago rating in the next six months, unless city leaders chart out a solution to address its pension problems.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Like I’ve been saying for a couple years now, that proverbial brick wall keeps approaching for Chicago.

Since City Hall can’t get its affairs in order, Chicagoans might want to look at straightening out theirs if they intend to stick around for the long haul.

Sources:

Dardick, Hal and Pearson, Rick. “Judge finds city’s changes to pension funds unconstitutional.” Chicago Tribune. 24 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-pension-ruling-met-20150724-story.html). 25 July 2015.

Martin, Timothy W. “Chicago’s Pension Overhaul Plan Tossed Out by Judge.” The Wall Street Journal. 24 July 2015. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-rules-2014-law-to-reduce-chicago-pension-shortfall-unconstitutional-1437754525). 25 July 2015.

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Guns & Ammo Publishes ‘Best States For Gun Owners 2015’

Yesterday I happened to come across an article entitled “Best States for Gun Owners 2015” on the Guns & Ammo website. Keith Wood wrote Tuesday:

For the third consecutive year and first time in print, Guns & Ammo presents our assessment of each state’s gun laws in a format that ranks them from worst to first for gun owners…

G&A has conducted a thorough review of each state’s laws and considered initiatives pending in state legislatures. Every effort has been made to create a ranking system that is fair, equitable, accurate and objective. States were ranked numerically in each of five categories: right-to-carry, right to own “black rifles” (i.e., firearms possessing a tactical appearance), presence of the Castle Doctrine, subjects relating to the National Firearms Act (NFA) and a catchall miscellaneous column…

Interesting. Considering the amount of activity in the state recently as it concerns gun rights, I was real curious to see where Illinois ranked on this list. From the piece:

43. Illinois

Illinois has gone from one of the worst states for gun owners to “not so bad as long as you don’t live in Chicago” these last few years. The state’s “shall issue” concealed carry permit system is up and running for both residents and nonresidents, and the sky did not fall. Illinois’ Firearm Owner’s Identification, or “FOID,” requirement remains in effect for all residents wishing to touch a firearm or ammunition except for those possessed by nonresidents in accordance with state law. Suppressors are not permitted in Illinois, though a bill to change that is currently before the legislature. Short-barreled rifles are not allowed. At the point of sale, there is a three-day waiting period before picking up a handgun, and a 24-hour waiting period is applied to all long guns. The state has strong use-of-force laws, and all tactical rifles are legal outside of municipalities such as Chicago and Highland Park…

To expand on that bit about “all tactical rifles are legal outside of municipalities such as Chicago and Highland Park,” Don Babwin reported on The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois) website back on July 20, 2013:

According to the Illinois State Rifle Association, at least 16 municipalities – including Chicago – enacted ordinances banning or regulating assault weapons. Every one of them was in the Chicago metropolitan area. Around 30 other municipalities took up the issue but voted down the bans.

The list of towns that took action includes places such as Evanston, Highland Park, Hazel Crest and Calumet Park…

So that’s Illinois. How about north of the state line where I pursue the bulk of my outdoor activities (when I have the time, that is)? From the article:

25. Wisconsin

Life improved markedly for gun-owning Wisconsin residents when former Gov. Jim Doyle was replaced by Gov. Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s hard-won CCW law gets good marks for strong reciprocity and very limited “gun-free zones.” The state has a Castle Doctrine statute on the books and doesn’t restrict NFA items or tactical-looking firearms. A bill to repeal the state’s 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases was recently signed by Gov. Walker, yet another step forward for gun owners. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is about as outspokenly pro-gun as it gets, which is a rare thing in a major metro area…

Nearby Indiana, by the way, actually placed 16th in this year’s rankings. Nice job.

Where does your state fall in the 2015 list? Head on over to the Guns & Ammo website here to find out.

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

Source:

Babwin, Don. “By deadline, few Illinois towns pass assault weapons bans.” The State Journal-Register, 20 July 2013. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20130720/News/307209909). 23 July 2015.

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Chicago Board Of Education Authorizes Another Billion Dollars Of Debt

On June 24, I blogged about the Chicago Board of Education approving plans to borrow more than $1 billion to meet its financial obligations .

And then I found out the Board of Education was seeking yet another cool billion to help pay the bills. Lauren Fitzpatrick reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday:

Chicago’s newly constituted Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to authorize up to $1.2 billion in long-term bonds so the district can pay for ongoing capital projects, fees on past borrowing and some costs of refinancing old debt.

That’s on top of the $1.1 billion the board approved last month in short-term lines of credit — and it won’t stave off about $200 million in cuts and 1,000-plus layoffs the district already announced

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

All this brought to mind the lyrics of an Aerosmith song my buddies and I used to listen to back in high school:

It’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friend…

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

Source:

Fitzpatrick, Lauren. “Chicago Board of Ed votes to approve $1.2 billion in borrowing.” Chicago Sun-Times. 22 July 2015. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/814622/cps-seeks-permission-borrow-1-2-billion). 23 July 2015.

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Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 Debt Crisis, Education No Comments

Downtown Chicago Diners Could See 11.25 Percent Sales Tax In 2016

Back on July 16, I noted the total sales tax rate in Chicago and the rest of Cook County looks to rise to 10.25 percent again in the coming year, making it one of the highest rates in the nation.

But diners of certain downtown Chicago eateries could be hit by an even higher sales tax rate. Pointing out an additional sales tax (“McPier tax”) downtown that tacks on an additional 1 percent to food/beverage bills, Lauren Choolijian reported on the WBEZ 91.5 website yesterday:

For restaurant patrons that dine south of Diversey Parkway, north of the Stevenson Expressway, east of Ashland Avenue and west of Lake Michigan, the Cook County proposal means an 11.25 percent sales tax will be added to their tab in 2016. The McPier tax affects all food and beverage purchases prepared for “immediate consumption,” and that includes soft drinks and alcoholic beverages…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Actual and proposed fee, fine, and tax increases are making the headlines quite often these days in the Chicago area. If my suspicions prove correct (these hikes are just the first of many due to steadily eroding financial conditions), Chicagoland residents, workers, and prospective visitors will increasingly seek alternatives (for example, dining out closer to home as it concerns the above), local government revenue collection will plummet, and public services will continue to be scaled back.

Anyway, check out Choolijian’s piece on the WBEZ site here for the full details of the 11.25 percent sales tax hit.

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

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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 Fiscal Policy, Government, Taxes, Tourism No Comments

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Authorizes National Guard To Carry Weapons On Duty

I try to spend as much time as I can at my family’s place in Wisconsin. And it’s my opinion that these days, Illinois could learn a thing or two from its neighbor to the north, particularly as it concerns combatting terrorists- both foreign and domestic. From a press release issued today from Wisconsin’s Office of the Governor:

Madison – Governor Scott Walker today issued Executive Order #168 allowing Wisconsin National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty.

“Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga,” Governor Walker said. “Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members.”

A copy of Governor Walker’s Executive Order is attached.

I’ve read similar directives have been issued in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

As for Illinois?

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

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Military, Public Safety, Terrorism 2 Comments

Chicago-Area Military Training Being Conducted In Tinley Park

Tinley Park is one of the Chicago-area locations where that ongoing military training exercise I first blogged about on July 13 is taking place. Dennis Robaugh reported on the Tinley Park Patch website Sunday:

For three nights beginning Monday, July 20, the Department of Defense and regional law enforcement agencies will use the grounds and buildings of Tinley Park’s shuttered mental health center at 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue to conduct urban-training exercises.

The choppers, including the famed Black Hawks, will use the village’s helipad off 183rd Street, too. Operations, which will include explosions, are expected to end by 11 p.m. each night…

Robaugh added that similar exercises were held in the south suburb in April and July of 2013.

For more information, head on over to the Patch website here.

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

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Military, Public Safety, Training No Comments

Crain’s Chicago Business: City’s Rising Fees, Fines, And Taxes Look To Continue

Chicago readers of Survival And Prosperity might want to read two articles that recently appeared on the Crain’s Chicago Business website concerning rising fees, fines, and taxes in the city. In a piece entitled “Chicago’s expanding appetite for new taxes,” Thomas A. Corfman wrote Saturday:

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel has held the line on property taxes, revenue from other local taxes has climbed nearly 20 percent since he took office.

A strengthening economy explains much of the surge. But Emanuel has fueled the growth by raising taxes on things such as cable TV and parking…

Keep in mind that “line on property taxes” may soon be breached. Significantly. Corfman added:

While property tax revenue has fluctuated slightly since 2011 after accounting for new construction, that’s likely to end soon. The badly undercapitalized police and firefighter pension funds are supposed to receive a state-mandated $550 million payment next year. Property taxes will likely account for the bulk of the increase, says Ald. Roderick Sawyer of the South Side’s 6th Ward

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

This comes on the heels of another Corfman article entitled, “How much could Chicago pension payments jack up your property bill? Try 30%”. He wrote on July 4:

Even as Mayor Rahm Emanuel warns about a property tax hike of up to $250 million for the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools, another big wave of increases likely is coming to rescue the pensions of police officers and firefighters.

A massive payment due to those retirement plans next year could drive up Chicago property taxes by more than 30 percent, according to a Crain’s analysis. And if the current logjam in Springfield continues, it could be a lot worse

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As I wouldn’t steal Crain’s thunder, you can read Corfman’s July 18 article here and his July 4 piece here.

And as always, my intention is not to scare Chicago residents/businesses by blogging about such material. Rather, as a former Chicagoan this is something I feel my former neighbors should be made aware of, especially if they plan on staying in the “Windy City.”

Got to figure out some way to keep ahead of those rising fees, fines, and taxes and eroding public services.

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

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Interactive Map: Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses

The other day I came across an interesting feature on the Chicago Tribune website. On July 10, Tribune Graphics uploaded an interactive map of Illinois Concealed Carry License data. In addition to depicting “Active concealed carry licenses per 1,000 people,” when one clicks on a specific county, the following information is also displayed:

• Active concealed carry licenses
• Denied licenses
• Revoked licenses
• Suspended licenses
• Population
• Licenses per 1,000 people

For example, selecting Cook County shows:

• Active concealed carry licenses: 29,926
• Denied licenses: 566
• Revoked licenses: 80
• Suspended licenses: 32
• Population: 5,246,456
• Licenses per 1,000 people: 5.70

Not surprisingly, downstate counties have more active CCLs on a per capita basis.

Interesting stuff. Check out the map on the Tribune website here.

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

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Friday, July 17th, 2015 Firearms, Self-Defense No Comments

Upcoming REI Survival-Related Classes In The Chicago Area Thru August

Chicago-area readers- below are survival-related training classes from REI for the rest of July thru August:

Map and Compass Navigation Basics, REI Oakbrook Terrace (west suburbs- Oakbrook Terrace), July 21, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 5 spots left
Introduction to Backcountry Skills Class, Blackwell Forest Preserve- McKee Marsh (west suburbs- Warrenville), July 25, 9 AM-2 PM, $60 member/$80 non-member, 12 spots left
Map and Compass Navigation Basics, REI Lincoln Park (city north- Chicago), August 5, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 11 spots left
Wilderness Survival: 3-Season Skills, Palos Forest Preserve- Wolf Rd. Woods (south suburbs- Willow Springs), August 16, 9 AM-2 PM, $65 member/$85 non-member, 7 spots left
Introduction to Backcountry Skills Class, Deer Grove Forest Preserve- Grove 5 (northwest suburbs- Palatine), August 22, 9 AM-2 PM, $60 member/$80 non-member, 4 spots left
Map and Compass Navigation Basics, REI Northbrook (north suburbs- Northbrook), August 27, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 12 spots left

REI membership is still available for only a one-time fee of $20. For more information about REI, visit their website here.

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

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any third-party instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from Survival And Prosperity and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Thursday, July 16th, 2015 Emergencies, Preparedness, Training No Comments

Size Of Cook County Sales Tax Hike Necessary?

No surprise here. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website yesterday:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle persuaded just enough commissioners to approve a 1-percentage-point sales tax increase Wednesday — the culmination of a major political about-face, but a move she said was needed to bail out the county worker pension system.

Following weeks of one-on-one lobbying sessions by Preckwinkle, nine of the 17 commissioners voted to raise the county share of the sales tax to 1.75 percent. Add up the state, city and public transit portions, and the total sales tax rate in Chicago once again will hit 10.25 percent — one of the highest rates in the nation

Preckwinkle first rose to power in 2010 on a campaign pledge of repealing what remained of an identical sales tax increase under predecessor Todd Stroger…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Opponents of the sales tax hike claim the County didn’t perform enough belt-tightening before approving the measure. County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (10th District) penned on the Tribune website on July 1:

Don’t get me wrong, the county has a serious budget and pension cost gap, predicted to be $479 million. The proposed 1 percentage point increase in the sales tax would raise some $474 million annually.

But $130 million of the deficit goes away with pension reform. An additional $50 million in savings has already been identified by the budget staff. Yet another $50 million is in reach if we are finally willing to consolidate our redundant taxing bodies and duplicative services…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on December 5, 2013, I pointed out Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country at 6,963 local governments (U.S. Census Bureau).

It’s been reported Cook County is home to 1,300 of these taxing agencies alone.

The sales tax hike goes into effect starting January 1, 2016.

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

Sources:

Dardick, Hal. “Cook County Board votes to raise sales tax.” Chicago Tribune. 15 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-cook-county-sales-tax-increase-met-0716-20150715-story.html#page=1). 16 July 2015.

Gainer, Bridget. “Commentary: Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer: I won’t vote for a sales tax hike.” Chicago Tribune. 1 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-cook-county-tax-preckwinkle-gainer-perspec-0702-jm-20150701-story.html). 16 July 2015.

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Latest On Chicago’s ‘Routine Military Training Exercise’ Over The Next Week

This Monday, I blogged about Chicago hosting a “routine military training exercise” over the next two weeks.

Here’s the latest on the event, per the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications website earlier today:

The City of Chicago is providing continued support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area over the next week. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments overseas, as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming deployments worldwide.

As part of this training, residents can expect to see increased aircraft activity, including helicopter flights. All training activities have been pre-coordinated with federal, state and city officials, and these locations have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public and the sites will be secured to ensure the safety of residents and the participants.

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

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Thursday, July 16th, 2015 Government, Military, Training No Comments

Becoming An Outdoors-Woman Workshop To Be Held In September Near Grafton, Illinois

This past weekend, I read a great article on the Chicago Tribune website about this state’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. Never heard of BOW? From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website:

Becoming An Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is a program designed to give women introductory experiences and instruction in various outdoor activities. Activities range from the shooting sports to outdoor recreation to nature crafts and skills. Program instructors emphasize the basics in instruction while providing information on equipment, associated clubs and/or organizations, and additional training opportunities.


“Becoming an Outdoors-Woman 20th Anniversary”
YouTube Video

According to that Tribune piece, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are offered in 39 states and six Canadian provinces, with Illinois having hosted the events since 1995.

The IDNR website shows the next BOW workshop in the state is scheduled to take place from September 25 to 27 at Pere Marquette State Park outside of Grafton.

As of today, 65 of 85 spots have already been filled.

One look at this workshop’s itinerary helps to explain why:

• Archery
• Backpacking
• Canoeing
• Firearms and Firearm Safety
• First Aid (Wilderness)
• Fishing
• Hiking
• Hunting
• Leather Works
• Native Peoples Skills
• Native Plants and Landscaping
• Nature Jewelry
• Orienteering
• Parasailing
• Photography (Outdoors)
• Power Tools
• Rappelling
• Shooting Sports
• Survival Skills
• Woodcarving
• Zip Lining

Those lucky ladies!

The workshop fee is $175, which “includes class instruction, program materials, giveaways, use of class equipment and supplies, six meals and lodging.”

Head on over to the BOW page here on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website for more information and to sign up for the September workshop.

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

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any third-party instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from Survival And Prosperity and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

Source:

Cary, Joan. “Outdoor life very becoming to this group of women.” Chicago Tribune. 12 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-outdoor-women-seminar-met-20150712-story.html#page=1). 14 July 2015.

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The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In Late July

The Green Suite of Chicago (first blogged about here in January 2014) will be offering instruction in “window farming” and solar electricity in the coming weeks. From the Facebook page of Nick Conrad and the school on July 9:

So happy to be teaming up with The Shift for our July classes! I will be teaching both my Hydroponics for Beginners (July 21st) and DIY Solar Electricity (July 28th). We still have a few spots left in both classes. Get them before they’re gone!

Per the The Shift’s website for the hydroponics class:

Window Farming for Beginners

$20 Purchase required to enroll

Tuesday, July 21
6pm – 8pm
Led by Nick Conrad

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is an inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1 hour introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming, and seed cultivation followed by a 30 minute workshop in which you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you!

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle (12-32oz is best).

Regarding that solar electricity class:

DIY Solar Electricity

$20 Purchase required to enroll

Tuesday, July 28
6pm – 8pm
Led by Nick Conrad

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

For more information about the instruction and how to enroll, head over to The Shift’s website here under “Events.” And to learn more about The Green Suite, visit their site here.

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

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any third-party instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from Survival And Prosperity and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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>Food Insurance 25% Off All Campfire Meal Pouch Bundles; Free Bug-Out Bag With Select Long-Term Meal Plans
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>Nitro-Pak Free Family Water Storage Package With Ultimate-Pak Food Reserve ; Clearance Sale Up To 70% Off
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>Pyramyd Air Christmas In July Sale
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>Tractor Supply Co. Free UPS Ship To Store
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NEW! Advertising Disclosure HERE
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Free UPS ship to store on all Tractor Supply Company orders! Shop now! Tractor Supply Co. Review Coming Soon
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BullionVault BullionVault.com Reviewed HERE
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Nitro-Pak--The Emergency Preparedness Leader Nitro-Pak Reviewed HERE
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MyPatriotSupply.com Reviewed HERE
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Food Insurance Reviewed HERE
CHIEF Supply Reviewed HERE
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BulletSafe Reviewed HERE
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M48 Tactical Tomahawk BUDK Reviewed HERE
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PyramydAir.com Reviewed HERE
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Airsoft Megastore Reviewed HERE
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Survival Titles Save 20% Paladin Press Reviewed HERE
 

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