Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fire District puzzled by Orland Mayor’s criticism of fighting drug abuse

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Fire District puzzled by Orland Mayor’s criticism of fighting drug abuse

Orland Fire District rebuffs criticism from Orland Park Mayor McLaughlin and urges government agencies to work together to fight rising drug use

Parents and students packed an Orland Fire Protection District community-wide meeting on drug and substance abuse Tuesday July 15, 2014
Parents and students packed an Orland Fire Protection District community-wide meeting on drug and substance abuse Tuesday July 15, 2014
The Orland Fire Prevention District is puzzled and surprised that Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin would criticize the Fire District for hosting a program to raise awareness among parents about drug and substance abuse in the suburban region. 

The program was held on Tuesday night (July 15) and has been hosted annually for the past four years. It was widely publicized, showcasing student role models and parents whose children and families have experienced the tragedy of drugs and substance abuse.

McLaughlin issued a press release Friday that falsely accused the Fire District of disseminating “inaccurate information” about drug use. It implies there is no heroin or substance abuse problem in Orland Park or the immediate suburbs and contradicts public statements made only four weeks earlier by Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy.

“We are deeply disappointed McLaughlin would issue his criticism without even contacting us to discuss the issue, or even attending the event which was widely publicized in the media,” Orland Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey said.
Brian Kirk, The HERO Foundation
Brian Kirk, The HERO Foundation

“The mayor’s press release was filled with inaccurate and irresponsible statements. I am deeply disappointed when public officials show more concern for their public images rather than for the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Hickey said the information disseminated at the Fire District’s public meeting was accurate and correctly defined the threat of heroin and substance abuse as serious concerns that must be addressed by an educated community.

“It would be shameful to believe public officials would bury their heads in the sand and pretend there is no drug abuse problem in our region. The data shows a frightening increase in heroin and opiate abuse in this region and it needs to be addressed,” Hickey said. “That’s the only conclusion I can make from the mayor’s actions.”

Hickey said McLaughlin overreacted to a newspaper article which may have unfairly characterized the school district as being unresponsive, but the fact is there hasn’t been a concerted effort to address the rising drug problems.

“Drug use isn’t a problem that plagues ‘bad neighborhoods’ or ‘poor communities.’ It’s a problem everywhere and responsible public officials should do everything they can to educate and inform the public. That’s what the Fire District has and will continue to do,” Hickey said.
Fire Chief Ken Brucki, Bat Chief Michael Schofield, Brian Kirk, Sandburg athlete Pat Brucki, Denver Broncos draft pick Michael Schofield, US Olympic Ice Hockey Medalist and Sandburg Graduate Kendall Coyne, Tami O'Brien, OFPD Board President Jim Hickey, OFPD Trustees Chris Evoy and Jayne Schirmacher.
Fire Chief Ken Brucki, Bat Chief Michael Schofield, Brian Kirk, Sandburg athlete Pat Brucki, Denver Broncos draft pick Michael Schofield, US Olympic Ice Hockey Medalist and Sandburg Graduate Kendall Coyne, Tami O'Brien, OFPD Board President Jim Hickey, OFPD Trustees Chris Evoy and Jayne Schirmacher.

The Fire District is more than willing to meet with Mayor McLaughlin, Police Supt. McCarthy and officials from the local schools, Hickey said, to work together and develop a unified stand against drug abuse in a more appropriate manner rather than through public criticism from officials who didn’t even attend the meeting.
Tami O'Brien
Tami O'Brien

The Fire District program was not funded by taxpayer dollars and was conducted by volunteers who included three current and former Sandburg students, Michael Schofield, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist Kendall Coyne, and Patrick Brucki a current Sandburg student athlete. The three students reached out to the more than 100 parents and students who attended the two hour long seminar.

Their message was clear: “Drugs are not fun. They are dangerous. And students must resist the temptation to hang around other kinds who are using drugs.”

The meeting included the experiences of two parents whose children were involved in drugs and substance abuse, including the father of a high school senior who died of heroin use. They related how their children made the “wrong choices,” destroying their lives and their families. Tami O’Brien and Brian Kirk represented the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) and The Hero Foundation.

The program, cohosted by In the Blink of an Eye Foundation headed by OFPD Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, was widely publicized for six weeks. It attracted many community leaders including Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, and Village of Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello.

The information reflected firsthand data as experienced by emergency medical personnel and first responders from the Fire District.
Kendall Coyne, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist
Kendall Coyne, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist

“Firefighters are oftentimes the first people at the scene of a drug or substance abuse incident. We are called to save their lives,” said Fire Chief Ken Brucki.

“Helping parents understand what is involved and what can be done can help save more lives. That’s why we continue to host this program and will host it again next year.”

Data clearly shows an alarming increase in heroin use in Orland Park, in the Fire District, and in the suburban region.

During the presentation, Brucki said he spoke about drug use among elementary school children “throughout the region,” not specifically or just in School District 135 or with respect to the local schools.

“At no time did we criticize the Village, the Police or the school districts. We noted the drug problem is growing not just in Orland Park but in neighboring suburban communities,” Brucki said.

Brucki cited an article in the local media on Friday July 18th that highlighted the success of the HELPS program started in Will County which has created "a phenomenal downturn in heroin related deaths" and which works to combine efforts from various branches of community leadership.

“We have most recently had a great relationship with the leadership of local school districts, including District 135, on education and prevention and we want that to continue,” Brucki said.

Hickey said that last month, Police Supt. McCarthy told local media that heroin use was a problem. He announced police will carry Narcan (Naxalon) in their vehicles to respond to drug abuse issues. Narcan can reverse the effects of opiate and heroin overdoses.

McCarthy’ was quoted as saying he “first noticed” an increase in heroin use in 2009, noting last year “Orland Park had 13 drug overdoses and six deaths, including five that involved heroin.” This year, McCarthy said, the department has seen eight overdoses and one death.

Hickey said McCarthy’s observations only reinforce the need to bring government officials together to address this growing problem.

Orland Park is only one community in the Orland Fire Protection District, which serves 75,000 residents in 33 square miles, including in Orland Hills and areas of unincorporated Orland Township.

The Fire District released the following incident report which shows a steady increase in heroin and opiate use since 2009. The figures do not include substance abuse incidents where Narcan was not administered.

“The incidents involved patients who displayed extreme drug seizures, were visibly unconscious, or were facing an extreme danger to life, such as experiencing a Heroin or opiate-like overdose,” Hickey said.

2009: administered Narcan 47 times, with 22 positive results.
2010: administered Narcan 49 times, with 23 positive results.
2011: administered Narcan 49 times, with 33 positive results.
2012: administered Narcan 63 times, with 32 positive results.
2013: administered Narcan 59 times, with 30 positive results.
(Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District.)

Here’s the video of the public community program:
Here is a link to a story broadcast about the meeting by WBBM TV (CBS) Tuesday night.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Liz Gorman sails to 4th term victory

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Liz Gorman sails to 4th term victory

By Ray Hanania

Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman
Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman sailed to a 4th term election victory representing the 17th Cook County district over rightwing Tea Party challenger Barbara Bellar.
Gorman, who has played an instrumental role in building the candidacy of Bruce Rauner as the Republican Party's choice for governor, was projected to win with a heavy landslide margin of 60 percent, based on early voter returns. The Rauner race was still close, as early numbers showed him leading State Sen. Kirk Dillard by about 3 to 5 percent, although the numbers were still early for the governor's race when Gorman claimed victory.
A champion of taxpayer rights, Gorman attributed a part of her victory to the "sloppy, garbled robocall" that former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica made on Bellar's behalf Sunday night. Some voters said that hearing Peraica's voice reminded them of everything that is wrong with politics, and pushed them to vote for Gorman, giving her the extra voter boost.
Voter turnout was projected as being extremely low statewide, but Gorman said that she appreciated all the support she received from voters.
Gorman made a name for herself as a champion of taxpayers when she singlehandedly led the fight to repeal the repressive Todd Stroger 1 Cent Cook County Sales Tax increase. Stroger won the tax hike with a large majority of support from the county board, despite Gorman's opposition. But Gorman continued to push for a repeal of the tax introducing several resolutions to demand it be withdrawn.
While most commissioner simply fell in line with Stroger, Gorman showed voters that it was possible to repeal the tax which cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands in added sales taxes each year. And as public opposition to the sales tax hike grew as a result of Gorman's efforts, other commissioners joined in untilt he sales tax was removed in two steps.
"I want to thank all of the voters for the mandate they have given me," Gorman said early Tuesday night. "I promise to continue to fight to represent the rights of the taxpayers."
Gorman also credited her victory over Bellar and Tea Party extremists to her refusal to respond to Peraica's and Bellar's campaign mud-slinging.
"Their robocall showed how desperate they really were. Voters don't want to listen to candidates who throw mud. They want their candidates to talk about the programs they plan to implemented when elected and that's what I focused on," Gorman said.
Gorman had received endorsements from every major newspaper, including one from the Chicago Tribune that acknowledged her role in repealing Stroger's hated sales tax increase. Click to read that story.
The night before on Monday, Gorman organized a huge rally at the Lexington House on 95th Street for Rauner that drew more than 500 attendees. Click her to view that story and video.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter an columnist. He is the editor of the Illinois News Network

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rauner ignites crowd at Gorman organized rally

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Rauner ignites crowd at Gorman organized rally

By Ray Hanania

2014-03-17 18.59.31More than 500 supporters attended a rally at the Lexington House banquet Hall on 95th Street Monday night, St. Patrick's Day, organized by Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman on behalf of gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.
Supporters packed the room as Gorman introduced leading members of the Cook County Republican Organizations including Cook County GOP Chairman Aaron Del Mar, Palos Republican Committeeman Sean Morrison, and other Republican officials from the region. Rauner had the crowd on their feet as he walked in like a rock star at a Rolling Stone's concert to music, lights, and a crowd of television news media reporters.
He continued his pummeling of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who many are saying is losing momentum and will have a tough fight on his hands to hold his office in November. Rauner has surfaced above a crowded field of qualified Republican rivals including State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, State Sen.Kirk Dillard and State Senator Bill Brady.
IMG_4986Gorman was duking it out with rival Barbara Bellar during the past few days as Bellar turned to controversial former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, who did a robocall blasting Gorman in a mumbled voice that many described as laughable. And Bellar, the darling of the Tea Party extremists, claimed in her own robocall that she was the "Republican" endorsed candidate for the Cook County Board seat which Gorman has held form 12 years. Gorman pounded Peraica in her own robocall and brushed off Bellar as "nothing more than nun-sense," alluding to Bellar's false claims that she was a former nun.
But while Brady, Dillard and Rutherford concentrated their punches against Rauner, Rauner focused his powerful right hooks at Quinn, even though the General Election is seven months away. Here's the video. Ray Hanania, http://www.OrlandParker.comhttp://www.SuburbanChicagoland.com
Here's the video: 
(Ray Hanania is an award winning for Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is the managing editor of the Illinois News Network at
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bellar throws mud with her “nun-sense” and phony sainthood

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Bellar throws mud with her “nun-sense” and phony sainthood

By Ray Hanania

Barbara Bellar sent a letter to my home the other day, but I didn’t know if she was asking for prayers as a former Nun (as we all know, she never was a nun), or just making a pitch for Obamacare as a Medical Doctor.

Turned out the letter was just a huge mud ball Bellar is throwing at taxpayer champion Liz Gorman, the Orland Township Republican Committeewoman and the Republican Cook County Commissioner who almost singlehandedly overturned the oppressive 1 percent sales tax imposed by ousted Democratic County Board President Todd Stroger.

It was a single page with text on both sides of the page, like one of those legal pitch letters from a credit card company filled with empty promises and exaggerated service claims.

All Bellar did in the letter was attack Liz Gorman and claim that she is too cozy with the Democrats. Are you kidding me?

The truth is that if anyone was sucking up to the extremists in the Democratic Party, it is Bellar.

RuthBaderGinsburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In a letter to the Chicago tribune, Bellar praised Obama. And when she met with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the left wing Democratic liberal and former president of the ACLU, Bellar praised Ginsburg saying she admired her.  Maybe that’s when she was hoping the Democrats would give her a job.

Bellar is attacking Gorman for hanging around Democrats? Are you kidding me. It’s all more “nun-sense.”

By bashing Gorman, Bellar wants you to believe she is a Republican Messiah of sorts, although honestly like most of you, I’ve never heard of her before. And that is a testament unto itself, considering I have been covering Chicagoland politics for more than 35 years. Where was she and what did she ever do for the taxpayers?

She’s done nothing for the Republican Party or for Cook County taxpayers. But she sure wants that public government job. The letter she sent reflects the kind of disrespect false Messiahs show when they don’t know anything about what it means to be a struggling taxpayer. It’s just a desperate attempt hoping you’ll put her on the public payroll for doing nothing.

Bellar says she cares about you because you are overtaxed. Well, at least she knows what the problem is for most residents in Chicagoland. But when she assaults Liz Gorman she reveals her true lack of knowledge and exposes herself as another self-righteous false prophet.

In a prior failed race for the 18th Senate District (she is working overtime trying to put herself at the banks of the public trough) in 2012, she claimed in her literature that she was a Catholic Nun. But many columnists and journalists who covered that race point out that in fact, that’s not true. Which is quite a quagmire since Nuns are supposed to not lie. But then, she isn’t a nun so maybe a lie is in character?

Her campaign slogan was “there is ‘nun’ better.” Well, at least the first part of that sentence was true.  There is none! It was all “nun-sense.” Turns out Bellar, the wealthy medical doctor, was never a nun. Just a wannabe nun like the wannabe elected government official she desperately wants to be.

As I read through the blah, blah, blah of her letter, and all the mudslinging she is throwing at Gorman, it reminded me about how much Liz Gorman has actually done for the taxpayers.

I won’t lie. I like Liz Gorman. It’s pretty hard to top what Gorman did, almost singlehandedly repealing the Stroger 1 Cent Sales Tax increase that was a true burden on the taxpayers that Sister Bellar doesn’t seem to think is important. In fact, this past week, the Chicago Tribune endorsed Gorman spotlighting how Gorman led that battle almost by herself to succeed in repealing the Stroger Sales Tax.

Wealthy doctors don’t know much about how the average person has to deal with taxes. But they love to talk about how much they would do if you would just give her your vote.

Well, Liz Gorman doesn’t have to tell us what she “plans” to do if elected because what she has done is more than most others have done.

The Stroger Sales Tax was the most repressive tax ever imposed on Cook County residents. Instead of fighting it, other county commissioners shockingly tried to increase the tax to 2 cents. When Stroger was finally tossed out of office by angry taxpayers, a lot of the commissioners who supported the tax increase reversed and jumped on the Gorman bandwagon to reluctantly repeal the Stroger Sales Tax.

Gorman wasn’t reluctant. She was persistent. She introduced the resolution three times to repeal the Stroger Sales Tax. Most other commissioners would have given up when the first effort failed. But not Gorman. She just kept on going.

And that makes Bellar’s letter look even more stupid, especially when Bellar writes, “Liz Gorman was close with the Todd Stroger team.”

You’re no Nun, Doctor Bellar. Instead wasting the time trying to win public office, you should go back to Church and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness for lying. Forgiveness for never lifting a finger to help the over-taxed homeowners of Cook County. And, forgiveness for mailing out a sleazy campaign letter that spends every drop of ink slandering a good person like Liz Gorman but never once offering a single fresh idea on what you would if you ever happen to stumble into public office.

Someone needs to rap your knuckles with a ruler, Sister Bellar. But I think that slam is coming in the Republican Primary Tuesday, March 18.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tribune endorses Liz Gorman in 17th Cook County District Race

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Tribune endorses Liz Gorman in 17th Cook County District Race

LizGormanThe Chicago Tribune has given Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman an enthusiastic endorsement in the March 18 Republican Primary election.
Gorman, who was first elected to the Cook County Board in 2002 and has been re-elected with overwhelming district support two more times in 2006 and 2010, seeks her 4th term in office in the General Elections, to be held November 4, 2014.
Gorman has received widespread support for standing up the extremists not just in the Republican Party, but the extremists it he Democratic Party, too, embracing a "centrist" approach to regional government that focuses on defending the rights of taxpayers, homeowners, senior citizens and fighting unnecessary tax increases.
Gorman led the fight in 2008 to repeal the 1 cent sales tax increase imposed by then Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Although today many commissioner claims that the "led" the repeal fight, Gorman was the only commission to support the repeal each of the three times it was introduced. It was the final, third repeal motion that received majority support from the county board. But Gorman refused to drop the issue when initial efforts failed to win board majority votes. That persistence is recognized by the Chicago Tribune in their editorial March 12, 2014, in which the editors wrote:
17th District (Southwest, west and northwest suburbs): The lone GOP board race pits Barbara Bellar, a physician and attorney, against incumbent Elizabeth Doody Gorman. The Tribune has endorsed Gorman often and does so again here. Unlike board members who see taxpayers as the handy solution to Cook County's problems, Gorman has focused on keeping metropolitan Chicago attractive to employers. Proof: She worked tirelessly to exterminate Stroger's sales tax increase.
Although extremists in both parties have targeted Gorman over the years, her signled-minded focus on fighting for taxpayers' rights have earned her enormous support and election victories.
Recently, Gorman was instrumental in leading a group of centrist Republicans in Illinois to endorse the candidacy of Bruce Rauner in his battle for governor against challengers Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard and Dan Rutherford. The winner of the March 18 Gubernatorial Republican Primary is expected to face Democratic governor Pat Quinn.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rauner plans pre-election Night/St. Patricks Day Rally March 17

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Rauner plans pre-election Night/St. Patricks Day Rally March 17

IMG_4986Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois, has scheduled a pre-election night, St. Patrick’s Day celebration for Monday March 17 at the Lexington House banquet hall, 7717 W. 95th Street in Hickery Hills in Chicagoland’s Southwest Suburbs.
The event is co-sponsored by Rauner backer Cook County Commissioner and Orland Township Republican Committeeman Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman.
Gorman has been a major supporter of Rauner’s candidacy, which has picked up major steam over the past few months.
The event is open to Rauner supporters and will run from 7 pm until 9 pm with free beer, wine and food for attendees.
“We’re expecting a strong crowd to send a strong message that Illinois residents are ready for change that will improve the economic situation for families, seniors and young people in our state,” Gorman said.
Last week, Gorman hosted a rally for Rauner in Orland Park that was attended by several hundred voters. (Click here to view that story and video.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rauner wins debate over decent performances by Brady, Dillard and Rutherford

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Rauner wins debate over decent performances by Brady, Dillard and Rutherford

Seal of Illinois. Center image extracted from ...
Seal of Illinois. Center image extracted from Illinois flag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To read my initial analysis of the Rauner-Brady-Dillard-Rutherford debates on WLS AM Radio, go to the Illinois News Network website and read the story there.

Click here

Rauner won mainly because he did what the other debaters refused to do, stay focused on the issues and what is good for Illinois. Rauner refused to criticize the others while Dillard and Brady were eager to criticize him and others. Rutherford did his best to stay focused but seemed bruised by the attacks.

During the debate Dillard said that Rauner had more friends in federal penitentiaries that Illinois has had governors. But one might point to veteran Illinois politicians like himself (a great guy, a witty comment, but so open for response and criticism) have more colleagues in federal prisons than some states have politicians.

What was great about the debate was that beyond those few moments with Dillard and Brady attacking, the focus was on issues. Rauner contributed significantly to keeping that positive focus, despite the efforts of his opponents Dillard and Brady.

All four did make good suggestions, offered great ideas and it was one of the best debates I have seen in a long time.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Suburban Orland Park's ethnic diversity comes out at Taste of Jerling event

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Suburban Orland Park's ethnic diversity comes out at Taste of Jerling event

A woman came up to me who has been reading my columns since the 1980s said she has been living in Orland Park more than 35 years, and that during that time "It really has changed."

I was at the Jerling Junior High school "Taste of Jerling" event which featured food samplings from 17 ethnic groups, including "United States," which I thought was cute.

"When we first moved here, it was all White. All Irish, some Poles and Italians and maybe a few Koreans," she said. "Now there are so many Arabs, Mexicans and Asians. Indians. It's really changed."

We talked. She wasn't being racist or bigoted. She was just remarking about the reality of Orland Park that the community had changed, and become more diversified. And in truth, she was right. Orland Park has changed over the years. I noted that I moved in 30 years ago, too, and jokingly said, "It seems like there are more and more White people living here, don't you think?"

I was being facetious, of course. In a nice way. I mentioned that when I moved in, people stayed int heir homes and you didn't hear or see them. Now, as the population has become more and more diverse, you see more and more White people rising up and speaking out about it.

Maybe for some, this would be an uncomfortable conversation. But it was genuine. The woman I spoke with honestly was not being racist, and neither was I. She was just noting a fact. And she was so excited to see all the different cultures and taste their foods which were on display in the Jerling Gymnasium Friday night.

The event was held to celebrate the "rich cultural and ethnic diversity" of Jerling and the community. There were 17 ethnic groups represented at the Taste of Jerling. China, Croatia, France, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Phillpines, Poland, Serbia and the United States.

I told my wife, who is Jewish, that I was proud to see three Arab cultures represented, Jordan, Palestine and Morocco.

Sandburg students joined in to provide some ethnic entertainment. Students performed traditional dances from Lithuania, Mexico and India.

It was really nice to see all the parents and the kids attend to show support. Each of the food displays included some ethnic artifacts that represented their culture. Some of the kids did extra-credit work and completed a survey of each display and wrote down something important about what they learned from the ethnic cultural displays. One student wrote down, "In their culture, they give away wives." And he wasn't talking about my ethnic group. Apparently, the host of one of the ethnic groups had said that in their country, women are not allowed to chose their husbands and the wives and chosen for the husbands.

It's not a racist thing to say, I thought. It is a fact. A fact in several of the cultures. The reality of our world. Why shouldn't kids know that?

Of course, as a Baby Boomer, it's hard to identify with today's young kids Their world is so much different from my world. But I can identify with the adults.

I wanted to explain to the woman who observed that it appeared that Orland Park has changed with so many new ethnic and cultural groups moving in, that the reality is that the numbers don't support that conclusion.

I understand why, though. Arabs, for example, are among the ethnic group that has moved into Orland Park over the past 30 years. Most are Christian Arabs, something many Americans don't even realize exists (especially based on how Americans ignore the plight of Christians in Israel and the Arab World). But many are Muslim and some of the Muslim women where Hijabs, head coverings that are very similar to the head coverings Polish women would wear in my old neighborhood on Chicago's South East Side. So they stand out, even though there are only a few of them. They appear like there is an invasion, even though there are really not that many.

Darker skinned cultures, too, have increased. And again, even though there are really not many, they stand out. Years ago when the community was nearly all White, culture was not noticeable. That's what I had meant by how there seems to be more White people today than before. It's not until you get diversity that you actually start to see everyone. Some, more than others, even if the numbers don't match the perceptions.

Here are some numbers about Orland Park's diversity.

The population, according to the 2012 U.S. Census, is 57,392.

86.1 % of that population is White. That's a big population number, folks.

1.7 % are African American. While that is negligible, it is noticeable.

6.2 % are Hispanic.

4.9 % are Asian.

That leaves 1.1 percent of "Other," which according to the U.S. Census which does not include "Arabs."

Has Orland Park really changed that much over the past 35 years?

Not really. And not enough.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. Reach him on his website at
For more on diversity, visit

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Patch activist joins up with Bellar to oppose popular Gorman in March primary

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Bellar & Patch activist join in vicious attack against popular Gorman in March primary

By Ray Hanania

I was reading the slop that passes for "journalism" these days on the Patch, a web-based platform that just as often reports news as it engages in partisan political activity.
English: Chicagoland map
English: Chicagoland map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most recent attack is from Barbara Bellar, the Tea Party nut-job whose friend happens to be an editor at the Tinley Park Patch. Bellar is challenging Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Gorman in the March 18 Republican Primary.

The Patch gave Bellar a self-serving bully pulpit to repeat a litany of distorted accusations against Gorman, who is by far one of the most responsible leaders of the Republican Party and a champion of the taxpayers.

Bellar's invective drips with anger, hatred and lies against Gorman because, frankly, she has no idea about what the taxpayers of Cook County need or want. It's all about getting herself into a position of authority.

Never mind for a moment that the Patch should be ashamed of itself for allowing Bellar to use the Patch as her own campaign platform. But worse is that Bellar, in her rundown of some of the most vicious and ignorant accusations ever published in Chicagoland regional politics, doesn't have one idea on how to make Republicans and taxpayers stronger.

Professionally, the Patch should be ashamed of itself for throwing away its credibility and being used for a selfish political agenda.

Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman
Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
She'll attack me, I'm sure, but at least I am upfront. I am a former journalist (many awards -- some the editor probably never heard of or will ever hope to win) and today I work as a media and political consultant, always upfront about who I work for. I don't work for Gorman, though. I just happen to be believe she is one of the best elected officials in the Chicagoland suburbs, and a role model for what Republicans can be if they turned away from the fanatics and started to listen to what voters want, instead of to themselves.

Yet, I'd rather be aligned with Liz Gorman as a friend, than to be so tackily associated with a pathetic activist like Bellar, who based on her attack against Gorman doesn't have one intelligent idea to help make the situation of taxpayers better. Not one idea in her rant that includes 16 of the most obnoxious, ridiculous assertions any political candidate can make about another candidate. Not one idea.

Gorman has fought for taxpayers. Her battle to stop and then rescind the Todd Stroger Sales Tax hike is legendary. Neither Bellar nor her Patch pal would know what the taxpayers need.

Bellar's most obnoxious accusation is to falsely claim she was assaulted by Gerry Gorman, Liz Gorman's husband. No, Bellar, a nut case who claims to have been a "Nun,"is lying because she has nothing else to say. Yes, Bellar filed a complaint that police totally ignored because it was so clear that it is untrue. It was so politically motivated, it was a waste of police manpower.

Bellar claims to be pro-Choice. For a self-proclaimed "Nun?" Wow. Bellar is a political activist from the lowest rungs of the political ladder, and only with the help of her whacky friends, she is trying to distract voters from her own past.

Click here to read Phil Kadner's column on Bellar, which should pretty much tell you everything about Bellar. Kadner wrote:
"I wrote a column about Bellar during last fall’s election season because on her campaign literature and website she used the slogan there’s “Nun Better,” a reference to claims she made repeatedly in pubic that she had been a Catholic nun. 
"But when I checked into her background, I discovered that Bellar had only been a postulant in the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago and could find no evidence that she ever took vows of fidelity and obedience. 
"Bellar refused to answer my repeated inquiries about the discrepancy between her campaign claims and information provided by the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago."
The real issue is why would the Patch run this false slop without checking it?

Most voters are smart enough to see past these kinds of cheap lies. For a Nun, Bellar can't even come up with one positive thing to say that she would do if she were ever elected to public office. But she can't because she has no ideas. All she can do is throw mud.

No one cares about Bellar's religion. No one cares about Bellar's vicious attacks. All the people care about is what will their elected officials do to ease the burden of taxes on their families. Gorman has done more for the taxpayers and suburbs than anyone.

Bellar says she wants to debate Gorman, but I would urge Gorman to ignore this nut job and continue to do what you are doing, working hard to champion the needs of the taxpayers. Bellar is a goof who has shamed the Tinley Patch. There's nothing to debate. Bellar wants a debate obviously so she can repeat all of her stupid claims. And they are stupid.

Bellar proves that there is no contest in the race for the Cook County Board in the 17th District. Liz Gorman is the best candidate for the job and there is no doubt, based on the overwhelming support she has already received from voters, that she will earn another term.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and president is his own media and political consulting firm.)Related articles
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