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July 27, 2008

What has been done to correct this?

July 25, 2008

Chicago Boaters suffer thanks to Daley's Gas Taxes

Save Gas Chicago.jpg This is a picture of my daughter water skiing of the back of my Mastercraft boat named "Deep Water". I purchase my gas in Wisconsin because of lower gas taxes. The Cook County and City of Chicago gas taxes really add up. Whenever possible, make sure you fill your tank up in Indiana or outside of Cook County. I am also lucky to have three young sons that paddle like crazy to reduce fuel consumption. I see a depression heading towards Chicago, so save your money. Click below on the Boating Story from the Chicago Sun-Times. Photo by Patrick McDonough. In dock, or in hock YACHTS STAY ANCHORED | Boaters with gas pains try dinghies, cut trips BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter/mdudek@suntimes.com There's Big Cuban Pete and Little Cuban Pete, and they both float in Belmont Harbor. But the six horses that power Little Cuban Pete, a dinghy, consume a fraction of the gas it takes to feed the 360 horses on its 25-foot counterpart. So for Pete Zamora (you can probably guess his heritage), it's cruise in the dinghy and party on the bigger boat. "A lot more guys are using their dinghies," he said. "I cringe when I fill up my boat," said Zamora, a Norwood Park native who pays about $600 to top off -- nearly $200 more than he paid last year. "If these boats go out, most go as far as Navy Pier, that's it -- unless they have a sail." Despite slips being at a premium at Chicago's nine harbors, gas sales have dropped about 15 percent this year. This week, gas cost $5.19 a gallon at Belmont Harbor. A year ago, it cost about $4.40, said Scott Stevenson, who manages the harbors. Gas costs have made using auxiliary crafts a trend. "It's pretty typical. Many of our boaters have Jet Skis or dinghies they keep with their bigger boats . . . even though gas is expensive, boaters are finding ways to make the best of it," said Stevenson. Going slower and slashing long trips in favor of dropping anchor close to home are other ways boaters are conserving fuel. Some rarely leave the dock. "They come down and use their boats kind of like a summer cottage," Stevenson said. The average boater uses his boat about 33 days a year -- a number that has remained constant -- said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. New powerboat sales are down 16 percent, he added. Chicago's charter fishermen are hurting, too. "My business is down about 50 percent," said Allen Skalecke, who runs Captain Al's, one of a handful of charter fishing operations in the city. His costs are 20 percent higher than last year because of gas, resulting in a fuel surcharge. "I'm just bumping along, hoping next year might be different," he said. Wendella Boats, which offers river architecture and lake tours, has mostly avoided price increases to stay competitive. But gas costs bite into the bottom line. One bright spot on the water is Chicago Water Taxi, also owned by Wendella. Business is up 70 percent over the last two years as public transportation has become more popular, company spokesman Gregg Pupecki said.

July 17, 2008

Chicago Clout honors "Clout Kids" investigation at MyFox Chicago

Make sure you watch a special by Dane Placko a famous Chicago Fox News personality and fan of Chicago Clout. I spoke with Dane today as he was interested in some stories on Chicago Clout. It is no secret Patrick McDonough has friends on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Most of these commissioners do a fine job. Frank Avila Sr. is an outstanding leader at the MWRD. I also like Terry O'Brien the President. I do not like Alderman Patrick "Phat" Levar back at the trough slopping up jobs again. Levar has clout jobs at the airport and a nice job for family at the Sauganash Park in Alderman Laurino's ward. "Phat" Levar has been missed at the North District Yard since the Hired Truck Program came to a screeching halt. Make sure you watch this special to conclude tonight. Click here to catch up on the story, http://www.myfoxchicago.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=6981859&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1 Patrick McDonough.

July 15, 2008

Donald Tomczak deposition at Duluth Federal Prison Camp Today

Federal Prison Camp Donald Tomczak.jpg Patrick McDonough, the Whistleblower of Mayor Daley's "Hired Truck Scandal" had an awkward moment this morning with Donald Tomczak former czar of the City of Chicago Department of Water Management. I was with my famous attorney Frank Avila who is in the picture. Donald was in green prison garb at the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth Minnesota. We looked at each other and I was surprised by the timid nature of Mr. Tomczak. This was not the large and in charge Donald Tomczak of just a few years ago. I hope all those that got a "better life and promotions" manage to visit this lonely man. Many of you will not because you quickly forget the favors and clout that got you the up the ladder. That is the nature of the Chicago City Worker and we must change that. Chicago sent an army of lawyers to watch the videotaped event; I wondered who is picking up that tab? Donald Tomczak knew and liked my father Michael McDonough a former licensed Plumbing Inspector with the Department. I hope you know more Chicago City workers are having cots made for them at this nice facility. Thank you to Frank Avila and the law firm of Loevy and Loevy which is helping justice become available in Chicago. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

July 3, 2008

Mayor Daley should help the poor, even if they are not related

chicagodowntownhomeless.jpg Michael McDonough gave some money to a lady that was in need downtown Chicago today. This lady had no friends and family with millions of dollars of profitable contracts with the City of Chicago. This lady had no friends to take Mayor Daley to see the world and stay in the best hotels. Mayor Daley lives like a king and the subjects starve. If this lady was related to Mayor Daley she would be in European palaces with four star services. America was founded by doing the right thing, have we forgotten? If the Chicago economy gets any worse, we all might be in the same boat. Please help the needy in Chicago! Photo by Patrick McDonough.

Chicago Homeless Need Our Help Now

chicagohomeless1.jpg I took Patrick McDonough downtown Chicago today to see problems the Newspapers have hidden. In Chicago, we have many people that do not have a home or bed to sleep in tonight. I hope when you see a person beg for some change, you give. Chicago should not have a homeless problem with our high taxes. Chicago should not worry about the Olympics when people starve. Teach your children young to help someone in need. God Bless you this July 4, 2008. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

July 1, 2008

Chicago O'Hare Spending out of control

Chicago Airport.jpg Photo by Patrick McDonough Lofty O'Hare plans EXPANSION | City pushing forward despite drop in airline traffic June 30, 2008Recommend (5) Neither record oil prices, nor airline cutbacks, nor falling O'Hare passenger numbers can keep Rosemarie Andolino from her appointed rounds. Andolino, the ebullient head of the O'Hare Modernization Program, plans next month to formally ask the feds if the city can spend $200 million in future passenger ticket tax revenue on the design for the second phase of the multibillion-dollar expansion project. ยป Click to enlarge image Mario Pineda works on a new runway at O'Hare earlier this month. The runway is scheduled to be operational in November. (Jean Lachat/Sun-Times) RELATED STORIESMoney for transit: Feds give, state takes away No new station for Bellwood UP rejects Bellwood bid Trains for the big show She'll ask, even though she suspects cash-strapped United and American airlines won't like the proposal. She thinks the Federal Aviation Administration will OK the city's request anyway, because the expansion must get done. The revenue is generated by a $4.50 ticket tax on each departing passenger. "The airline problems are not going to prevent us from going forward," Andolino said. Spokeswomen for United and American say only that they continue to talk with the city. The two airlines control most of O'Hare's gates. As Chicago moves toward opening a new runway in November, O'Hare traffic is falling. Flights in and out of O'Hare dropped 4.62 percent through May of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the city's Aviation Department. The airport saw 1.8 million fewer passengers January through May. Some of that drop is attributable to American's repair troubles this spring, which caused hundreds of cancellations. But O'Hare traffic is expected to fall even further by 2009, as both United and American slash capacity to deal with oil prices. The $200 million design cost is the first step toward Phase Two of O'Hare modernization, which will cost another $5 billion on top of the $3.2 billion planned for Phase One. The city wants the second phase, which includes a runway extension and a new western terminal, to be done by 2014. The city says the total improvement plan will be around $15 billion. Opponents put the cost higher. Airport revenue bonds are funding much of Phase One. Andolino won't speculate on whether O'Hare's airlines will support future airport revenue bond issues for Phase Two. The city will also consider third-party investors, although the city doesn't have any in mind yet, Andolino said. Joseph Karaganis, a lawyer for suburban communities that oppose the O'Hare expansion, thinks the third-party notion is unrealistic and that the expansion will never happen. "Does she know a Russian billionaire?" Karaganis scoffed. "Chicago's claim they can fund this stuff without the airlines won't hold water on analysis." He worries that taxpayers could be on the hook for construction funding if airlines can't pay. Airline industry analyst Mike Boyd agrees with Andolino that despite airline cutbacks, O'Hare expansion is still a good idea. "You have to constrict a whole lot to get to the point where that extra runway won't be used," Boyd said, noting that O'Hare delays affect flights around the country. "We need as many as you can build." But Boyd said the city must show airlines that the expansion will bring their operating costs down before they'll put up more money. "They don't want to pay for anything extra they don't need," Boyd said. The current bonds are stable despite the airline's troubles, said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Joseph Pezzimenti. If airport activity goes down too much, airfield and landing fee rates will go up to meet debt payments. Pezzimenti said the city still must work to get airline approval to finance Phase Two. "That's the key thing for them to move forward," he said. Andolino compares airport improvement to investing in a mutual fund -- the market goes up and the market goes down, but over time air traffic will keep growing, so the investment will pay off. "You buy in for the long haul," Andolino said. Despite the industry's current troubles, people will still want to fly, she said. "You can't get across the ocean in a car."