Illinois finances – Baymont Champaign http://baymontchampaign.com/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 23:03:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://baymontchampaign.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/cropped-icon-32x32.png Illinois finances – Baymont Champaign http://baymontchampaign.com/ 32 32 Reviews | When even Caterpillar flees Illinois, you know the state is in trouble https://baymontchampaign.com/reviews-when-even-caterpillar-flees-illinois-you-know-the-state-is-in-trouble/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 23:03:00 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/reviews-when-even-caterpillar-flees-illinois-you-know-the-state-is-in-trouble/ Placeholder while loading article actions Matt Paprocki is president of the Illinois Policy Institute and host of the “Stay & Fight for Illinois” podcast. When Boeing announced last month that it was moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., it sent tremors through the Illinois business community and the state capital. But last week, […]]]>
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Matt Paprocki is president of the Illinois Policy Institute and host of the “Stay & Fight for Illinois” podcast.

When Boeing announced last month that it was moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., it sent tremors through the Illinois business community and the state capital. But last week, when heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar announced it was moving its headquarters to Texas, it sounded more like a bulldozer barreling into the news.

Boeing had been based in Illinois since 2001, after leaving Seattle; Caterpillar has been in the state for nearly a century, a seemingly permanent fixture – until it isn’t.

If you’re a business owner or resident of Illinois, like me, the economy of staying is tough and the incentives to leave are plentiful. But I intend to live here until I die, and that’s why after the Caterpillar news (oh, and this The $50 billion hedge fund Citadel plans to exit Chicago), I feel particular urgency about what Illinois needs to do — finally — to fix the state’s dire finances and stop chasing corporations.

A billboard along Illinois’ Kennedy Highway sells Chicago Police officers on their move to Florida. For the past decade, Indiana has wooed Illinois businesses with billboards and print ads asking if they were “Illinoyed” or “Stillinoyed.” Michigan has targeted Chicagoans with a “Move to Michigan” campaign, offering up to $15,000 and other incentives to move.

Illinoisans Respond: According to the US Census Bureau, last year the state had the third highest loss of residents to internal migration in the country (-122,460), behind California and New York.

What to do is not that complicated; state leaders need only act instead of relying on wishful thinking and leaving the growing problems to the next generation to deal with.

A decade ago, then-Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman warned in an op-ed for the State Journal-Register that Illinois was becoming increasingly inhospitable for business. He pleaded with lawmakers to stop trying (unsuccessfully) to balance budgets by raising taxes. He called for reform of an onerous regulatory environment.

“Caterpillar is not threatening to leave Illinois,” Oberhelman wrote, but the implication of what inaction would risk was clear.

How did Springfield react? Crickets.

In 2017, Illinois lawmakers raised the personal income tax rate to 4.95% from 3.75%, and the corporate rate to 7% from 5.25%. When JB Pritzker took over as governor in 2019, he passed 24 more tax and fee hikes that cost taxpayers more than $5 billion. And about $650 million of those tax hikes were targeted specifically at businesses.

With 278,475 regulatory restrictions and requirements, double the national average, Illinois is the third most regulated environment in the nation.

The first and most essential reform needed would involve the state’s notoriously disastrous commitments to state employee pensions. Illinois owes the state more than $139 billion in pension debt since last year, and local governments owe about $75 billion, which is the main driver of skyrocketing property taxes in Illinois. Illinois, the second highest in the nation.

Lawmakers should change the rock-solid retirement guarantees of the state constitution to protect benefits that retirees have already earned while allowing changes to future benefits. Such a ‘harmless’ pension reform plan would tie all pension cost-of-living adjustments to inflation rather than a fixed rate of annual growth, saving the public $2.4 billion. state budget in the first year and more than $50 billion by 2045. Also politically popular, with polls showing enough support to pass the ballot.

Another common-sense reform: Consolidate duplicative school districts and their bureaucratic officials. If Illinois reduced its general administrative expenses for superintendents and deputy superintendents to the national average, it would save nearly $732 million that could be reinvested in the classroom or returned to property taxpayers. A bipartisan bill to that effect progressed through the legislature in 2019 and 2021 before stalling amid opposition from teachers’ unions and administrators.

State government spending needs to stop operating on autopilot. Legislators largely ignore departmental performance data and simply renew budgets whether a program has failed or is unnecessary. Adopting a spending cap would ensure that each fiscal year ends with a truly balanced budget — unlike the jury-rigged budgets that Pritzker calls balanced.

But that’s the style of the governor: pretending that everything is fine instead of admitting to problems and trying to solve them. So he didn’t seem disturbed by the news that Caterpillar was moving its headquarters from Deerfield, outside of Chicago, to Irving, Texas. He said: “So it is true that they are moving 240 of their staff, they are not manufacturing staff, they are office staff, to another location.

As he noted, the company has thousands more workers in Illinois, but for how long? They also see billboards.

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$2 Million in Home Renovations Planned for 40 North Central Illinois Homes with State Grant https://baymontchampaign.com/2-million-in-home-renovations-planned-for-40-north-central-illinois-homes-with-state-grant/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 04:45:02 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/2-million-in-home-renovations-planned-for-40-north-central-illinois-homes-with-state-grant/ $2 Million in Home Renovations Planned for 40 North Central Illinois Homes with State Grant | WALS By: 182nd Airlift Wing OTTAWA – More than $2 million will be provided to North Central Illinois to rehabilitate and rebuild […]]]>



$2 Million in Home Renovations Planned for 40 North Central Illinois Homes with State Grant | WALS














































By: 182nd Airlift Wing

OTTAWA – More than $2 million will be provided to North Central Illinois to rehabilitate and rebuild 40 homes. The Community Development Block Grant program provided $550,000 to four area communities to repair and rehabilitate ten homes each. The cities of Marseille, Ottawa, Spring Valley and Streator will each have funds available to help provide residents with safe and hygienic living conditions and help stabilize neighborhoods and affordable housing in the community. The program is only eligible for cities with fewer than 50,000 residents and counties with fewer than 200,000 residents.



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The US pension system is broken. This economist is trying to fix it. https://baymontchampaign.com/the-us-pension-system-is-broken-this-economist-is-trying-to-fix-it/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/the-us-pension-system-is-broken-this-economist-is-trying-to-fix-it/ Economist Alicia Munnell tells America it has had a retirement problem for decades, and by most measures it has gotten worse. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which she directs, calculates that half of households will have a reduced retirement because they haven’t saved enough. But unlike some economists and researchers who want […]]]>

Economist Alicia Munnell tells America it has had a retirement problem for decades, and by most measures it has gotten worse. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which she directs, calculates that half of households will have a reduced retirement because they haven’t saved enough.

But unlike some economists and researchers who want to destroy our pension system, Munnell thinks the problem can be solved by fixing what’s already in place. She says the government should shore up Social Security finances by raising taxes, not cutting benefits. She says that retirement savings plans should be available to all workers and that all workers should be automatically enrolled in them when they start a job. Finally, Munnell says a growing number of Americans are going to have to work longer to save more money in retirement and maximize their Social Security benefits.

The 79-year-old professor may seem like an unlikely advocate for working-class Americans, having grown up on Park Avenue in Manhattan and earning his doctorate. in economics at Harvard University. But a job as a researcher at the Brookings Institution when she was 23 showed her that there were people tackling important issues and she wanted to be among them. She worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and served as an economics officer in the Clinton administration before joining Boston College in 1997 and starting the retreat center a year later.

We joined Munnell in his office in Boston. His comments have been edited.

Barrons: How serious is our retirement problem?

Alicia Munnell: It’s really very serious. For people in the top 40%, the system works well. For those below, it really isn’t. 401(k) plans have proven to be good accumulation mechanisms for those who have consistent coverage and earn substantial amounts.

How could it be fixed?

Any one of us could design an ideal system, a better system. But I’m fine with the school we have what we have. And the test is to make this system work as well as possible.

The problem is twofold. First, not everyone has that second tier of retirement income typified by 401(k) plans. And, second, people aren’t putting as much into their 401(k) plans as they could.

How would you make retirement savings plans more effective?

You need to automatically enroll people and you need to have default contribution rates that automatically increase. Most importantly, we need to expand coverage so everyone has a workplace savings plan.

My colleagues and I have worked extensively to encourage state plans, where state governments have introduced a requirement that employers who do not offer a plan must automatically enroll their employees in a Roth IRA. The employee can always abstain.

Which states use them?

So we have these auto IRA programs in place and running in Oregon, California, Illinois. I think Connecticut just boarded and Maryland is about to board.

But the idea of ​​having 50 separate programs across the United States doesn’t make sense. What we really need is a federal program.

Must be a Roth?

It must be a Roth. First, being able to deduct contributions [as with plans like 401(k)s and traditional IRAs] is not very important for low-income people. And second, a Roth allows people to withdraw the money they’ve contributed when they need it. It gives them a piggy bank they can turn to. This means they have money if they get into a car accident, if their roof needs fixing, or if they have some other emergency.

How much tax increase would it take to make Social Security solvent?

If it were totally financed by a payroll tax on the current base, it would require an increase of 3.5%, half of that paid by workers, half by employers. The rate would be lower if we increased the maximum taxable income for Social Security, and even lower if we financed part of the costs through income tax revenues.

Why do you think working longer is a good thing?

Retirement is a relatively new phenomenon. People in the old days, before Social Security, really worked until they couldn’t physically work anymore.

Work provides structure. It offers social interaction. He provides money. It offers all sorts of goodies for people who have relatively attractive jobs.

I am very sensitive to the fact that the prescription to work longer does not apply to everyone. Not everyone is healthy enough to continue doing so. But for anyone who can work longer, it’s certainly the way to ensure a secure future.

Is it safe because you will save more money or have fewer years in retirement?

All the foregoing. And you get your biggest Social Security benefits if you work until you’re 70. If you work less, your benefits are reduced.

You are still working at 79. Do you plan to retire?

Yeah, I’m actually preparing to have fun and not do anything serious at all. I look forward to passing the reins of this successful institution to someone else. But of course, it won’t be for a few years.

How did you get to Boston College?

After five years in the Clinton administration, I returned to Boston. I was 55 then. I had irritated the banks because I had done a very big study on discrimination in mortgage lending which had generated a lot of attention. I had annoyed the insurance companies because I had written about the change in pension taxation.

So three people from British Columbia came and said, Would you like to have the Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management Science? So I said, ‘Yes, I have no other alternative. It just looks wonderful.

The more I said that I had no other alternative, the more they said, “She’s so modest. I was not modest. I had no options.

Your retirement home has done a lot of work on retirement assets. How much savings should a retiree have?

It depends on when you retire. For an average person, maybe 10 times their income.

How many Americans take this test?

What we find is that about half of the current workforce is prepared, meaning they have enough to maintain their current standard of living in retirement, and 50% are unprepared.

How much is the system to blame and how much are Americans to blame for the lack of savings?

It’s the whole system. People need automatic savings mechanisms. And they don’t have them. Without it, asking people to save is simply unrealistic.

Was switching to 401(k)s and abandoning private pensions a mistake?

Oh, I think it was a natural evolution to move away from the defined benefit plan. But no one would ever have designed an additional system that resembles 401(k) because it leaves so much discretion to the individual. But the old defined benefit plan, I don’t think it would have continued to work. Because it really assumes that you stay with your employer throughout your working life, and the workforce has just become much more mobile. And with a defined benefit plan, you really lose benefits when you switch careers.

House prices are skyrocketing. Could this be a retirement bailout for some?

For most middle-class people, their home is their greatest asset after their Social Security wealth. People could simplify their lives by tapping into their home equity in retirement. But people don’t think that way. They want to preserve the value of their home either to leave a legacy for their children or to have some protection in the event of costly long-term care at the end of life. So they are very, very reluctant to touch their house.

How can this be changed?

Massachusetts and other states have a property tax deferral, but it needs to be simplified and accessible to everyone. And then when you die or move, the money that is deferred is paid back with interest. If this were operational for a larger portion of the population, it would be a way for people to use some of their home equity to get heat, medicine and things like that in retirement.

I’ve long been a fan of reverse mortgages, but it seems too complicated for people. They don’t know how they work and they hate them at the same time.

Fifteen years ago, you worried that many baby boomers wouldn’t have enough money in retirement. Now many of them have retired. How did it work?

Just as we thought. They don’t have enough money in retirement.

So what are they doing?

You do what you have to do. You skimp.

You’ve been talking about the retirement problem for a long time, and in some ways it’s gotten worse. Do you keep hope?

Yes, I still have hope. Because it’s really not that hard to improve things a bit. We need to fix Social Security, and we can do it. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a political will.

We need to fix the 401(k)s. We know how to do this. We must continue to encourage people to retire later. They already do.

We need to expand coverage, and we can do that through auto IRAs. So all of this can be done. He just needs someone to pay attention and do it.

Thank you Alicia.

Write to retirement@barrons.com

Barron’s Retirement Q&A Series

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The great classic car race begins on Saturday in Warwick, R https://baymontchampaign.com/the-great-classic-car-race-begins-on-saturday-in-warwick-r/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 15:11:39 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/the-great-classic-car-race-begins-on-saturday-in-warwick-r/ Classic cars, some over 100 years old, from the United States, Japan, England, Australia and Canada, will line up at Rocky Point State Park in Warwick on Saturday for the start of a 2,300 miles to North Dakota. The 130 cars for the Grande Course will begin to assemble at 8:45 a.m. and the first […]]]>

Classic cars, some over 100 years old, from the United States, Japan, England, Australia and Canada, will line up at Rocky Point State Park in Warwick on Saturday for the start of a 2,300 miles to North Dakota.

The 130 cars for the Grande Course will begin to assemble at 8:45 a.m. and the first car will leave at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, according to the Rhode Island Sports Commission.

La Grande Course is not a speed race, but what the organizers call “a time/speed/distance rally”.

“Vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, receive precise instructions every day that detail every move down to the second. They are marked at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second ahead or behind. As in golf, the lower score wins,” the sports commission said in a press release.

Winners will receive $50,000 out of a total prize pool of $150,000.

Historical photos:Gas prices in Rhode Island

Smithfield’s Tom Laferriere is the only Rhode Islander to run for this award. He will drive the 1939 Packard Model 120 coupe his father bought in 1970 and restored by Tom, Laferriere said in a video posted to YouTube by the office of Warwick Mayor Frank J. Picozzi.

“I’ve always wanted to do this race,” Laferriere said in the video produced by Picozzi’s media coordinator, Elizabeth Tufts, noting that work and finances had prevented it in the past.

Laferriere says he will consider it a victory, even if he finishes last.

Help above:After Journal article, speaker adds money to budget to help Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island stay open

The race will visit 19 cities in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. It will end in Fargo, North Dakota on June 26.

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae. Its name comes from the 1965 film, “The Great Race”, a comedy starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. The film was based on an actual 1908 car race from New York to Paris.

“Over the 39-year history of The Great Race, the event has made its way east and west and north and south through 46 of the 48 contiguous United States,” said event director Jeff Stumb.

Ask the DMV:How do I put my daughter’s name on my car title?

Smithfield's Tom Laferriere is the only Rhode Islander to run for this award.  He will drive the 1939 Packard Model 120 coupe his father bought in 1970 and restored by Tom, according to a video the Warwick Mayor's Office posted on YouTube.

“In 2022, the Great Race will finally be able to add the final two states to the list – Rhode Island and North Dakota.”

The main sponsors of the event are Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty Drivers Club and Coker Tire.

jperry@providencejournal.com

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Envoy Announces Sale of Sole Tenant Property https://baymontchampaign.com/envoy-announces-sale-of-sole-tenant-property/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 21:35:00 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/envoy-announces-sale-of-sole-tenant-property/ Pain Center of America Pain Treatment Centers of America in Bentonville, AK sells out May 2022 This was another successful joint venture partnership and exit for Envoy. » —Ralph Cram, President NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, June 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Envoy Net Lease Partners LLC announces the sale of a 12,000 square foot medical pain […]]]>

Pain Center of America

Pain Treatment Centers of America in Bentonville, AK sells out May 2022

This was another successful joint venture partnership and exit for Envoy. »

—Ralph Cram, President

NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, June 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Envoy Net Lease Partners LLC announces the sale of a 12,000 square foot medical pain treatment property in Bentonville, AK. Envoy provided the joint venture share capital for the company. Sina Companies served as the property’s development partner. The newly developed Pain Centers of America was sold for $7,750,000 in May 2022 by Select Envoy Partners I LLC, Sina Companies and Orion Capital Partners to an undisclosed 1031 tax-deferred buyer. Michael Moreno and Rahul Chhajed of Matthews Real Estate Investment Services represented the buyer.

ABOUT ENVOY NET LEASE PARTNERS, LLC

Envoy Net Lease Partners, LLC is a Greater Chicago Area-based finance and asset management firm that acquires and finances single-tenant net lease properties. With respect to property financing, Envoy provides capital in the form of highly leveraged construction loans, mezzanine debt and equity financing to developers of single-tenant, net-leasehold properties nationwide. Since its inception in 2011, Envoy’s team of investment professionals have closed 107 transactions exceeding $325 million in total project costs for real estate developers and investors, in many cases up to 100% capital required to develop the properties. In total, Envoy has raised capital from more than 100 outside investors. To learn more, visit envoynnn.com.

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After eight years at the helm of Edmonds Chamber, Greg Urban reflects on life, fatherhood and the future https://baymontchampaign.com/after-eight-years-at-the-helm-of-edmonds-chamber-greg-urban-reflects-on-life-fatherhood-and-the-future/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 00:06:32 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/after-eight-years-at-the-helm-of-edmonds-chamber-greg-urban-reflects-on-life-fatherhood-and-the-future/ Edmonds Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Greg Urban gives last minute instructions to event staff as they prepare for the July 4, 2021 Beat Brackett 5k race. “There’s no question leaving Edmonds is bittersweet,” Edmonds Chamber President and CEO Greg Urban said as he reflected on his eight-year stint at the helm of the […]]]>
Edmonds Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Greg Urban gives last minute instructions to event staff as they prepare for the July 4, 2021 Beat Brackett 5k race.

“There’s no question leaving Edmonds is bittersweet,” Edmonds Chamber President and CEO Greg Urban said as he reflected on his eight-year stint at the helm of the organization. . “I’ve built a fantastic network of friends, business owners, community members. I have accomplished many things of which I am proud. Yeah, it’s hard to leave.

A man of many talents and skills, Urban, 45, currently splits his time between running the house full-time, chairing the board of directors of the South County Fire Commission, running two Airbnb rentals that it operates out of its Norma Beach area. at home and full-time single father to Ehle, his 6-year-old daughter. He will return to his roots by moving to his childhood home in northern Illinois.

Urban helps pick 2020 Clam Chowder Taste-Off winner

But this was no ordinary house.

The Urban family owned, operated and lived in a lakeside resort on idyllic Chain O’Lakes, an hour and a half drive from Chicago, where Greg grew up as an integral part of the management team. family. And it’s still in the family. Greg’s sister, Amanda, continues to run the operation and recently had the opportunity to nearly double in size by purchasing the neighboring complex.

Growing up, Greg was involved in both the practical and business aspects of managing and maintaining cabins, docks, boats, swimming facilities, accounting, account management and all the other duties of running a successful resort business that attracted a steady stream of devotees. visitors. During this time, the young Urban has picked up a pretty amazing set of skills – the kind that can only be learned through practice.

“In addition to day-to-day tasks like plumbing and electrical repairs, I’ve been involved in some pretty major renovations like kitchen and bathroom installations, account management, customer service, and more,” says he. “We did it all ourselves, and a big lesson I learned is that if someone else can do it, I can learn to do it too.”

After earning a degree in biology from the University of Illinois, Greg – whose father was a dentist – worked for a time running a dental supply company. But after years of being an integral part of the family resort business, Urban quickly reached his limits to operate someone else’s business. In 2001, he decided to leave the region and go into business with his brother, who had settled in Puget Sound several years earlier.

“I wanted a change,” Urban explained. “But when I got here, my brother had other things going on, and the idea of ​​going into business together kept coming up, so after a few months I decided to go it alone.”

He started with property management, using the various skills he had acquired working in the resort industry. Soon he was managing over 100 units in the college district.

The 2000s brought rapid advancements in technology, and Urban’s natural curiosity drove him to learn new skills and seek out opportunities to use them. He was particularly drawn to the way photography and graphic design opened up to anyone with a computer.

“I had a friend in the graphic design field and started working with him in the early 2000s,” he recalls. “This branched out to include a photography/video business, and for the next seven years we focused on event coverage such as corporate events and weddings. Our approach was unique in that we were able to shoot, edit and produce our video on location the same day, essentially doing all the traditional post-production work as part of the shoot itself. This meant editing video clips on the fly, putting them together and presenting a final product to the client the same day. We had a few teams working for us and we were covering 60-80 events a year. It could get pretty frantic, but no one else was doing it back then.

But the pace was frantic, and around 2010 Urban decided to stop covering weddings and events and focus more on his own freelance graphic design and property management businesses.

Now an independent local business leader, he joined the Chamber in 2010.

Urban congratulates Brian Hanchett (aka George Bracket) at the end of the Beat Brackett 5K run on July 4, 2019.

“I went to networking lunches, got to know people and was drawn to volunteering,” he recalls. “At first it was mainly for graphic design, websites, posters, etc., but I quickly included membership in the membership committee. Then, in 2012, I was invited to join the chamber’s board of directors.

He went on to explain that at the time, the chamber had staffing and management issues, which eventually led to the decision of the council to no longer be a governing body, which reviewed and decided on the day-to-day operations of the chambers. , becoming a policy board that would provide overall direction, but provide day-to-day operational authority to a President/CEO.

“It took day-to-day tasks out of the hands of the council,” he explained. “Part of that restructuring included replacing the executive director – who needed the board to approve everything he wanted to do – with a CEO who had the power to run things on the ground.”

Of course, Urban threw his hat in the ring. One of 40 candidates for CEO, he ended up as one of two finalists. While the board initially hired the other nominee, that person resigned only four months after taking office, and in May 2014 the board officially hired Urban as president and CEO of the chamber.

“My first day on the job was Cinco de Mayo, 2014,” he recalls with a laugh.

“It was hard to take over,” Urban explained. “The chamber’s finances needed to be reviewed and restructured – the books had not been reconciled for three years – so we needed a proper CPA. The membership lists were also problematic and always included members who had already dropped out but were still on the lists, some who hadn’t paid their dues – it really needed to be cleaned up. We were also paying for many services that we weren’t using – for example, we were actually paying more for the rent for our office photocopier than we were paying for renting our office space.

In his first 18 months on the job, Urban approached these issues with what he describes as “an entrepreneurial mindset,” focusing on “cleaning up things that needed fixing” and bringing back the organization on a solid base with a solid understanding of membership and finances.

“After about 18 months we were back to a level situation with numbers that I was proud of,” he added. “With what we saved by cutting unnecessary expenses, we were able to hire an additional full-time employee, increase salaries, and even add medical and dental benefits.”

Looking back on his eight years in the House, Urban considers this “general tightening of the ship” the accomplishment of which he is most proud.

With the chamber back on an even keel, Urban again felt the need to seek out new challenges and set up his antennae for something to fill that need.

“I started thinking about the political office,” he explained. “But living in unincorporated Snohomish County, I was a little limited in what I could race for. In 2019, a spot appeared on the South County Fire Board of Commissioners and I applied. I won by 34 votes out of more than 32,000 votes, without active campaigning or spending. I was elected president in 2021, and again in 2022.”

Many also remember Urban’s role in keeping the chamber afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, which required two staff members to be temporarily furloughed after many chamber events were canceled. In a press release announcing Urban’s departure, Edmonds’ chamber board noted his “consistent, insightful and determined leadership,” which has helped the chamber weather “the past few years of pandemic shutdowns.” . Through Urban’s work, the board said, the chamber “has grown strong, as a community resource and touchstone for commerce in the town of Edmonds.”

Late last year, Urban’s divorce was finalized, giving him custody of his daughter Ehle. He takes his role as a father very seriously, and he freely admits that Ehle is now “the main focus of my life”.

Urban with his daughter Ehle at the House Clam Chowder Taste-Off event, February 2018.

“I spend as much time as possible with Ehle these days,” he added. “I want to spend more, but being full time in the chamber, chairing the fire commission and running two Airbnbs away from home, my time is limited. I feel like it’s time for a change that will allow me to spend more time with her.

He gave notice to both the chamber and the fire commission earlier this year, and he and Ehle are set to move this summer to Illinois, where he and his extended family will unite to manage their growing resort.

And in typical Greg Urban fashion, he’s already thinking about ways to increase the family business. He hopes to strike a deal soon after his arrival to buy additional lakeside property with three houses that will both give him a place to live and be another jewel in the family’s crown of lakeside resorts.

“It’s hard for me to leave, but at the end of the day, family is important,” he explained. “Helping to run and grow the station will have its challenges, but I can collaborate with my family, and Ehle will be part of that.

“I’m really looking forward to teaching Ehle how to fish — including ice fishing in the winter — snowmobiling, boating, swimming, all that stuff,” he added. “It’s what I did as a kid, and it really shaped my character and my understanding of the world.”

Urban plans to stay with the chamber through Edmonds Kind of Fourth July 4 activities.

The council announced a replacement. The application period closed on June 3 and interviews will take place soon.

The chamber invites all to join them for a send-off gala for Greg at 4 p.m. June 21 at the Salish Sea Brewing Company Boathouse, 180 W. Dayton St. in the Harbor Square business complex.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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In the United States, abortion rights advocates and opponents brace for a court ruling https://baymontchampaign.com/in-the-united-states-abortion-rights-advocates-and-opponents-brace-for-a-court-ruling/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 01:45:00 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/in-the-united-states-abortion-rights-advocates-and-opponents-brace-for-a-court-ruling/ A flag reading “Don’t step on my womb” is displayed in front of the United States Supreme Court. WASHINGTON: Odile Schalit is preparing for the “worst”. Shalit is the executive director of The Brigid Alliance, an organization that helps women in the United States who are forced to travel long distances to get an abortion. […]]]>

A flag reading “Don’t step on my womb” is displayed in front of the United States Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON: Odile Schalit is preparing for the “worst”.

Shalit is the executive director of The Brigid Alliance, an organization that helps women in the United States who are forced to travel long distances to get an abortion.

And with the Supreme Court set to potentially restrict access to abortion, her group’s services may soon be more essential than ever.

A draft opinion leaked in May would have the conservative majority on the nine-member tribunal overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision authorizing nationwide abortion access.

The final decision on the highly controversial issue is expected by June 30.

In the meantime, both abortion advocates and opponents are engaged in preparations for what is being called the “post-Roe world.”

“I stopped assuming the worst won’t happen,” Shalit told AFP.

The Brigid Alliance organizes and finances trips for women wishing to have an abortion after the first trimester.

This often involves travel from states with strict abortion laws to other states.

“We’re adding more staff. We’re doing outreach,” Shalit said. “We are reaching out and trying to expand our donor base.

“We are really doubling down on all of that effort.”

The Brigid Alliance currently employs 10 full-time staff and assists some 125 women per month. He hopes to increase this number to 200 per month by adding six additional employees.

Even then, Shalit said, and despite increased donations, “we will not be able to meet the needs of every person who needs our services.”

– ‘Trigger’ laws –

Twenty-two of the 50 US states, mostly in the conservative South of the country, are prepared to ban abortion if the Supreme Court goes ahead and overturns Roe v. Wade.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, nine states, including Arizona and Michigan, have pre-1973 laws banning abortion on the books that they could immediately revive.

Others have so-called “trigger” laws that would go into effect virtually automatically if the Supreme Court goes ahead and restricts abortion rights.

Iowa, Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina are among the states that have passed laws restricting abortion after six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.

Although currently blocked by the courts, these laws could come into force if the Supreme Court changes the legal landscape.

Democratic-run states where abortion would remain legal are bracing for an influx of women seeking abortions.

Connecticut and Delaware, for example, have expanded the categories of professionals licensed to perform abortions to include nurses and midwives.

California lawmakers have allocated $152 million to facilitate access to abortion and the governor of New York has pledged $35 million.

Planned Parenthood, which performs more than a third of the 850,000 annual abortions in the United States, is expanding its network in places like Colorado and Illinois, which border states where the procedure may be banned.

Ordinary citizens are also mobilizing – and have been for some time.

Since May 2019, the online discussion platform Reddit has hosted a group called the “Aunties” which offers assistance and anonymity to women wishing to have an abortion.

Since last month, the number of users has exploded from just 45 to over 75,000.

A retired woman in her 60s in Tennessee was among those who offered to help on Reddit, saying she could drive abortion seekers to neighboring states.

“It’s amazing,” Schalit said. “More hands, it’s phenomenal.”

At the same time, she said she would rather volunteers “consider connecting with pre-existing organizations like ours, to build on what already exists.”

Abortion opponents have opened their own “emergency pregnancy centres” in recent years, where they seek to persuade women wishing to have an abortion not to have the procedure.

Abortion pills, which account for about half of abortions in the United States, are another battleground.

Readily available on the internet from overseas sites, the pills can be used without significant risk for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Several conservative US states, including Kentucky and South Dakota, have sought to cut off access to the pills by banning their mail delivery.

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Gasoline prices in Chicago top $6 a gallon https://baymontchampaign.com/gasoline-prices-in-chicago-top-6-a-gallon/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 22:00:36 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/gasoline-prices-in-chicago-top-6-a-gallon/ Illinois gas taxes mean additional pain at the pump, especially for Chicago residents. Gasoline prices in Chicago set another record on June 7, topping $6 a gallon for the first time ever, according to AAA. Among the 10 largest US cities, gasoline in Chicago is the fourth most expensive on average. Patrick De Haan, who […]]]>

Illinois gas taxes mean additional pain at the pump, especially for Chicago residents.

Gasoline prices in Chicago set another record on June 7, topping $6 a gallon for the first time ever, according to AAA. Among the 10 largest US cities, gasoline in Chicago is the fourth most expensive on average.

Patrick De Haan, who oversees oil analysis for price-tracking firm GasBuddy, said prices are here to stay. “There is no end in sight right now to falling prices.”

Higher fuel costs for businesses mean customers pay more for goods than gasoline. At $5.83 a gallon, diesel in Chicago has never been more expensive.

Antonio Rodriguez drives a van full of rugs around town daily. He said his carpet cleaning business had no choice but to raise prices.

“It’s not fair to small businesses, and it’s not fair to anyone, actually,” Rodriguez told Block Club Chicago. “As a business, our expenses have almost doubled, and that’s affecting customers a bit. Fewer people are booking services.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot considered waiving the city’s gas tax to relieve motorists, but opted for a lottery of prepaid gas and transit cards.

At the state level, Illinois ranks fifth nationally in gasoline prices and second in gasoline taxes.

New York state, where gas is cheaper than Illinois, is suspending its gas tax for the rest of the year. The only relief Illinois is getting is a postponement of the tax hike until 2023.

Automatic annual gasoline tax increases signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker in 2019 ignore inflation, which has driven fuel prices to an all-time high. Ending annual gas tax hikes is a sensible reform that would benefit middle to low income families the most.

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The madness of the rich, the poorest withdraw https://baymontchampaign.com/the-madness-of-the-rich-the-poorest-withdraw/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 14:34:34 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/the-madness-of-the-rich-the-poorest-withdraw/ NEW YORK (AP) — Americans at the bottom of the income scale are again struggling to make ends meet. A confluence of factors — the expiration of federal stimulus checks and soaring inflation on basics like gasoline and food — are driving an even wider gap between the haves and have-nots. While wealthier shoppers continue […]]]>

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans at the bottom of the income scale are again struggling to make ends meet.

A confluence of factors — the expiration of federal stimulus checks and soaring inflation on basics like gasoline and food — are driving an even wider gap between the haves and have-nots.

While wealthier shoppers continue to splurge, lower-income shoppers have pulled back faster than expected over the past two months. They focus on the necessities while turning to less expensive items or less expensive stores. And they only buy a few at a time.

It’s a reversal from about a year ago, when low-income shoppers, fueled by government money and supported by wage increases, could spend more freely.


Kisha Galvan, a 44-year-old mother of eight aged 9 to 27, was able to shop for the week and buy extras like clothes and shoes at Walmart for her children last year.

But without pandemic-related government support and near-40-year inflation, she buys more canned goods and depends on the local food pantry several times a week instead of once a week.

“I shop from meal to meal,” said the Rockford, Illinois resident, who has lived with a disability for 15 years. “Before, we didn’t have to worry about what we were going to get. We’re just going to get him.”

The deep spending divide was reflected in the latest round of quarterly results from retailers. At the higher end of the spectrum, Nordstrom and Ralph Lauren saw stronger-than-expected sales as their well-heeled buyers returned to pre-pandemic routines. Lululemon also reported strong quarterly sales of its expensive sportswear.

But at the other end, Walmart customers are turning to cheaper lunch meats and half gallons of milk from full gallons. Kohl’s, a mid-priced department store, said its customers are spending less with each visit. And Gap cut its annual financial outlook, specifically citing inflationary pressure at its discount chain Old Navy.

Dollar Tree and Dollar General, which historically benefit from lower buyer prices during tough economic times, raised their selling outlook last month. Meanwhile, discounter Big Lots suffered a sharp drop in sales over the past quarter, noting reductions in items like furniture.

“We are now in a new chapter where high inflation significantly limits consumers’ ability to make discretionary purchases, especially high-priced items,” Big Lots CEO and President Bruce K. Thorn told analysts. at the end of last month. Americans are living paycheck to paycheck again.”

The decline in low-income buyers has not affected overall spending, which is still on the rise. In April, the government said retail sales outpaced inflation for a fourth consecutive month, a reassuring sign that consumers – the main drivers of the US economy – continue to provide vital support and help ease concerns. about the proximity of a recession.

But analysts think even affluent buyers could pull back if the stock market continues to weaken. Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser at market research firm The NPD Group Inc., said the stock market is “psychologically” affecting high-income buyers and more losses on paper could reduce them.

The spending mood has changed since last October and November, when the Fed conducted a survey and found that nearly eight in 10 adults are “doing well or living comfortably” when it comes to their finances in 2021, the highest proportion. higher to say so since the survey began in 2013. For those earning less than $25,000, the proportion who said they were doing at least well rose from 40% to 53%.

But inflation has taken a bigger bite out of personal budgets and wiped out some wage gains, especially for those earning less. The national average cost of a gallon of gas, for example, rose to $4.76 from $4.20 a month ago and a painful 56% from a year earlier, according to AAA.

At the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which feeds people in 13 counties, including Galvan and his family, the average monthly number of visits rose to more than 400,000 from February to April, from 311,000 from July to September. , according to President and CEO Julie Yurko.

Economy-wide, median wages jumped 6% in April from a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. But even though it was the largest increase since 1990, it was still below the inflation rate of 8.3%.

Meanwhile, one-fifth of the poorest Americans have exhausted the savings they had accumulated during the pandemic in part through stimulus checks, child tax credit payments and higher wages, according to the calculations. of Jeffries, an investment bank. American bank accounts. The other four-fifths of U.S. households still have a large stock of additional savings since the pandemic, much of which is held by the top-fifth.

Inflation plays out differently within businesses that cater to buyers with varying income levels.

Michelle Gass, CEO of Kohl’s, said some shoppers opted for high-end brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, while others opted for lower-priced store brands. Macy’s has improved its full-year outlook based on the spending habits of its wealthiest shoppers, but its customers with median household incomes of $75,000 and below are turning more to its lower-priced brand.

The current environment makes it difficult for retailers to pass on higher costs. Macy’s, for example, was pushed back after raising prices for some casual wear and home accessories.

“We’re definitely seeing some hesitation at some price points,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts during the company’s earnings call recently. “We made adjustments there.”

For the Northern Illinois Food Bank — like many food banks — food costs are rising amid dwindling donations.

“Inflation and rising food prices mean the food bank has to make tough choices about our budget,” Yurko said. “What foods can we consistently provide and what foods can we only provide if given to us?”

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Rugaber reported from Washington.

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Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio

Follow Chris Rugaber: http://twitter.com/ChrisRugaber

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Fishing without a license is statewide this weekend | New https://baymontchampaign.com/fishing-without-a-license-is-statewide-this-weekend-new/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 18:43:00 +0000 https://baymontchampaign.com/fishing-without-a-license-is-statewide-this-weekend-new/ Today and Sunday are free fishing days throughout the state of Kentucky. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can go fishing without incurring expenses in this state. If you’re buying a tank of gas to go on an angling adventure, there’s this. Pretty much everything we do has a price the same, but fishing can […]]]>

Today and Sunday are free fishing days throughout the state of Kentucky.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can go fishing without incurring expenses in this state. If you’re buying a tank of gas to go on an angling adventure, there’s this. Pretty much everything we do has a price the same, but fishing can be inexpensive in the scheme of things.

Free Fishing Days further reduce the tax burden of related fishing activity by offering a two-day forgiveness on the requirement to have a fishing license to participate in the sport. This is not a huge saving, because a fishing license, in relative terms, is not very expensive. But that might be enough to create a barrier to the fishing experience.

That’s the whole idea of ​​free fishing days. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife grants the annual sighting as two days during which fishing licenses are not required. Therefore, those who are interested in trying their hand at fishing but have been stymied by the cost of a permit have the opportunity to sample the pursuit without shelling out for the routine permit.

The rules for fishing today and Sunday do not change whether or not one has a fishing license. Rules such as pot limits (how many fish of certain species can be kept) or minimum size restrictions are still the same.

Free fishing days also don’t change property laws. That it, permission from the landowner is still required to fish in private waters like ponds or, for that matter, public waters from private land.

The purpose of free fishing days is more than just giving people a nice gift. The KDFWR is responsible for managing Kentucky’s fisheries, and it takes a base of public support to do so. It is the licensing public that funds the management of Kentucky’s fisheries and cares most about the well-being of the fish populations and the waters in which they exist.

Managers need active anglers across the state to support the fishery, and the idea is that the best way to prepare future anglers is to give them a first taste of fishing and let the business sell itself. Managers are finding removing the hurdle of fishing license fees for sampling sessions to be beneficial, giving potential fishers the opportunity to see what they could benefit from on a regular basis for the cost of a license.

An annual license for a Kentucky resident again costs $23. For someone who both fishes and hunts, a combined annual license for a Kentucky resident costs $42.

The best deal for many anglers and jack-of-all-trades will be the sportsman’s license, which covers hunting, fishing and most licenses, including the deer license, spring and fall turkey and state permit for waterfowl and migratory birds as well as trout fishing. permit. The Athlete’s Annual License, even at $95, represents a significant savings over the total price of individual licenses and permits for the Athlete engaged in almost anything on the sporting calendar.

Remember that no fishing license is required for children under 16 years old. Parents may want to take advantage of license-free opportunities today and Sunday, but young kids always have the equivalent of free fishing days if parents or guardians just want to take them.

The best license agreement for fishing and hunting is the senior sportsman’s license, the one required for people aged 65 or over. The Senior License is the equivalent of the Sportsman’s License, plus also includes permission for unlimited additional antlerless deer licenses, and it sells for just $12 per year. But maybe you are only interested in fishing? So buy the senior license just for that.

It’s only $12, and no one is forcing you to go hunting unless you want to.

There is a similar license at the same low price for those who are classified as disabled.

Licenses and permits are available for sale at a number of retail outlets and county clerks’ offices with computer terminals hooked up to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources system.

All licenses and permits can also be purchased online at KDFWR’s website, www.fw.ky.gov.

A post-season chart from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources shows slightly fewer turkey hunters took slightly more turkey gobblers during the last spring hunting season in that state.

Illinois hunters took a total of 13,701 wild turkeys during their 2022 spring turkey season, less than 100 birds of the 13,613 turkeys harvested in spring 2021. Meanwhile, there has been a total of 81,903 turkey licenses sold, compared to 83,240 sold. in the spring of 2021.

Even the slight increase in the spring turkey crop in Illinois contrasts with that of Kentucky, where the spring crop is down more than 2,300 birds from 2021.

Kentucky’s spring turkey crop was 26,862, approaching double that of Illinois but still the lowest in 14 years for Kentucky hunters.

The best county in Illinois for harvesting turkeys was Jefferson, where 422 bearded birds were captured.

The top county for harvesting turkeys in far southern Illinois — and fifth for harvesting statewide — was Pope County with 312 reported birds tagged.

Steve Vantreese is an outdoor freelance writer. Email outdoor news to outdoors@paducahsun.com or call 270-575-8650.

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