Find Your Candidates for the April 9th Elections

The April 9th consolidated elections are just two weeks away. Local elections may not be as exciting or glamorous as the big national elections, but they are just as important. So in order to make it as easy as possible for you to find out information about who will be on your ballot we have put together this helpful guide. We are focusing our attention on the 26 communities that make up the Moraine Valley Community College District and that are predominantly in Cook County, so if you live farther away and need information you may need to check out your local county website. (Will, DuPage)

First off, to find out who will be on your ballot you can go to the Cook County Clerk’s website and find your sample ballot either by using your last name and address or by using your last name, birthday, last four digits of your social security number and/or a state ID number.

Address Search
Address Search
Birthday Search
Birthday Search

Next you will find a number of tabs of information beginning with the Registration Status tab which will show you the location of your polling place. Clicking on the Sample Ballot Candidates tab will give you a list of all the candidates you will choose from when you go to vote. Clicking on the Sample Ballot Referenda tab will show you any local issues being put to a public vote.

Voter Information
Sample Ballot

Now that you know who you have to choose from on your ballot, how do you find out information about the candidates to help you choose? On your sample ballot, if you see a candidate’s name show up as a hotlink (i.e. blue and underlined) you can click on it to see a Candidate Statement. This statement may also contain links to additional information about the candidate. But not every candidate will have a statement. Additional information is sometimes available through local news sources. For example, the Southtown Star has questionnaires answered by the candidates in its readership area. But, again, not all candidates submitted answers to the Southtown Star’s questionnaire.

If you live in a community with a local Patch website, you might find more information there as well. Here are a few of the local Patch election sites that I was able to find.

Finally, if all else fails you can try your hand at using Google, Bing, or another search engine. Try putting the candidate’s name inside quotation marks and adding the word Candidate to your search. Most importantly, we hope you get out on April 9th and cast a ballot.

Tomorrow Chicago Welcomes Home the Veterans

592335_422858364446671_904719216_nIf you have time, I encourage you all to make it down to Grant Park for the Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes parade, tomorrow at noon.
It has been 1 year since the end of the Iraq War, let’s give our soldiers a well deserved welcome home.

Read my previous post about the Parade, from August and November.

Juvenile False Confessions in Chicago

This past Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes had a show false confessions in Chicago (see below). They noted that Chicago has the highest rate of false confessions for juveniles in the entire country. Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez was interviewed. In the past, Ms. Alvarez has spoken in our library for Hispanic Heritage Month. You can hear her lecture on our Podcast page–Volume 3 Number 2 or you can download the MP3 here.

The 60 Minutes piece also discussed the The Innocence Project. Here’s a link to an article in Ebony (September, 2012), Free at Last, that discusses the Innocence Project and recently exonerated men.

Chicago: The false confession capital (December 9, 2012)
Description: It’s hard to believe people would confess to a heinous crime they didn’t commit, but they do — especially teenagers — and there is no place in the U.S. where this has occurred more than in Chicago. Byron Pitts reports.

Chicago Welcomes Home our Veterans

After every war in modern U.S. history, we as a nation have honored our Veterans with parades, and now that the Iraq War has concluded, we want to recognize and honor this current group of Veterans…”

Last August I wrote a post here, about this welcome home parade coming up in Chicago.  There are now more details it will be December 15, 2012 at Noon, on Columbus Drive between Balbo Avenue and Monroe Street (essentially through Grant Park).

A veterans resource festival follows the parade at Navy Pier. Don’t forget, they may need Volunteers, Donations, and to follow them on Facebook.

Continue reading “Chicago Welcomes Home our Veterans”

Gov Quinn vs the Media on Prison Openness

Last year, we had several discussions around local media and journalism (see Hyperlocal or Just Hyper? Future of Journalism). A recent battle between Governor Pat Quinn and WBEZ in Chicago highlights the role of local media in informing the public. This debate has arisen around access to Illinois’ prisons. The Quinn administration has (in the opinion of WBEZ) severely limited media access, so that the public does not have a way to monitor conditions. Here is the radio piece from WBEZ:

Quinn’s half-measures on prison openness
A new prison access policy offers tours to reporters, but not the ability to report well. And it took the threat of a federal lawsuit to get that much.

For an additional view, there is a report from CBS 2 Chicago, Quinn Rethinks Ban on Reporters at State Prisons.

The Werewolf Gene & Our Local Werewolf

Since is the Halloween season, I thought it might be worth posting about our local haunting. Rumor has it (although I am having trouble documenting this) that a werewolf lives in Sacred Heart Cemetery just up the road from MVCC. I have driven up Kean Avenue for many years, and I have never come across a werewolf. But, what if the local werewolf was just a guy with a genetic defect? Author Lisa Seachrist Chiu’s book,
When a gene makes you smell like a fish– and other tales about the genes in your body
discusses this is her chapter entitled “The Werewolf Gene.” It may be more exciting to think that our neighborhood has its own werewolf, but the science may not support it.

Valley Inn (our neighbor) to Be on Restaurant Impossible

This bit of news caught my eye. MVCC’s neighbor, the Valley Inn just down the street from the college’s main campus (on 107th street) will be featured on the Food Network’s show Restaurant Impossible. Valley Inn’s episode is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. p.m. (CST) Wednesday, October 10th, 2012.

You can read more about this here at the Palos Patch: Valley Inn Restaurant Set to Appear on Food Network Show This Week

You can also check out this page from the Food Network: Restaurant Impossible: Valley Inn

West Nile In the SW Burbs from @palospatch

The Palos Patch is reporting an increase in the number of West Nile Virus cases in the Southwest Suburbs of Cook County (see
New Cases of West Nile Virus Reported in Southern Cook County). Cases of the disease are on the rise nationally. This is part of  a larger trend where globalization & climate change are crossing. If you find this as interesting as we do, take a look at some of these resources from our library’s collection: