WOAM 1350 radio is returning and so is “Breakfast with Royce and Roger.” My long-time friend and nationally known comedian Royce Elliott and I have agreed to terms with WOAM’s new owner, (Larry) Nelson Multi-Media. The station will resume operations from Windsor Square on North University in late July. Royce and Roger and their friends will be offering the same programming that will include music, interviews with local and national personalities, news and weather, plus sports.
You can count on hearing the wit and wisdom of people like Pete Vonachen, Mike Dentino, Jim Maloof, George Shadid, Phil Jordan, Mayor Jim Ardis, and others. On the national scene, our good friend Jonathan Winters will be a regular guest by phone from his home in Montecito, California. Our sports people will once again consist of Ed Murphy, Phil Salzer, Harry Whitaker, Alicia Butler and Bob Sulaski. Music on our show will feature the standards; songs that have stood the test of time but are simply missing from the local radio scene.
On our morning show and throughout the day and night, you’ll hear favorites by the Carpenters, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Barry Manilow, Johnny Cash and so many others. National news will be provided by ABC and there’ll be plenty of local news coverage as well as local programs. WOAM will be true “community radio” and not just a slogan. We hope you, your family and friends, will join us at 1350 on the AM radio dial.
It should happen any day according to my sources. Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons will be named Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit. He replaces the retired Judge Rich Grawey. We hear that attorney Jerry Brady will be selected to replace Lyons as state’s attorney. Brady served as an assistant state’s attorney a few years ago.
State Senator Dave Kohler has announced he’ll seek election to Congress from the newly created 17th District. This district encompasses much of what was the old Lane Evans area some of which includes Peoria. Meanwhile, there’s a political rumor circulating that a relative of Colleen Callahan’s will oppose Kohler. And there’s a rumor County board member Al Mayer, who’s been in more races than Sea Biscuit, will make a run for Kohler’s state senate seat.
Change is needed for the process used in the redrawing of district lines every ten years. It’s just too politically influenced regardless of the party in power. Democrats certainly proved the necessity for a non-partisan (if there is such an animal) blue ribbon committee for determining boundary lines. I’ve seen it happen at the county board level and we witnessed the debacle statewide with the way.
Democrats drew the lines. Shameful.
Political insiders are smiling about the story that Peoria County board member Brian Elsasser is telling people. Brian claims he placed second behind Darin LaHood in the vote to replace Dale Risinger for the 47th District. Yeah, when pigs fly. Pardon the pun.
Speaking of the county board, Democrats are recruiting someone to oppose Brad Harding in next year’s election. And Mike Mason, who years ago resigned from the board, is talking about a come back. But the biggest political news is the report that Republican Carol Trumpe has changed her mind about retiring. We hear she’ll run for re-election and again seek to be elected chairman of the board. If Carol does decide to run, she’ll win and many feel she has a good chance to win the chairmanship even with a 10-8 Democrat majority.
While we’re in the Courthouse, some Democrats and Republicans say the most impressive newcomer to the board is Mary Ardapple. And happy birthday to County Clerk Steve Sonnemaker. Steve celebrated with some friends at the S & S Supper Club, better known as East Peoria’s Steak and Shake. Money bags Bobby Spears, Circuit Clerk, picked up the tab for Steve and his friends. By the way, Bobby puts on a spectacular fireworks show every year for Republicans and Democrats. A real one …without politics.
If you want to see high rolling celebrities, the place to be is the Spotted Cow on Glen near Sheridan Road. In the world of politics you might see Republicans Aaron Shock and Ray LaHood on one day and another day bump into federal Judge Jim Shadid and his father, former State Senator George Shadid. In the world of sports, Jim Thome’s father, Chuck, frequently can be found at a table enjoying the great food prepared by owner Frank Abdnour. Abdnour is a die-hard White Sox fan.
WAS I WRONG?
Stealing a line from Royce Elliott, the only time I was ever wrong was when I thought I was wrong. A reader took me to task over my support for Jon Leman’s effort to develop a go-kart race track at Exposition Gardens. She lives quite a distance from the proposed track, yet believes the sound of the karts would be a noise nuisance. I’m not sure how she knows what the karts would sound like since city officials refuse to even let Leman do a test run in order to check decibel levels. There are times I wish some city officials would be required to take saliva tests. What harm would come from a test run? No harm no foul.
The proposal is still alive despite strong neighbor protests. Despite my respect for the reader, I wasn’t swayed by her unsubstantiated arguments. If the city prevents the track for kids, they could lease the land for a slaughter house or a stockyard. I understand a company is looking for available land.
Taxpayers voted to approve millions for the renovation and expansion of downtown’s Peoria Public Library.
I don’t think they voted to allow what I think is a left-wing political organization to promote its ideology. The same argument could be made if the John Birch Society wanted a special display. That’s one of the reasons I objected to the library board allowing the celebration of the Peoria chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in the new building. On the day of the grand opening there was a 1:00 p.m. dedication of a display case honoring the leadership of the local ACLU and its causes.
It’s my opinion the ACLU has done more to harm American education and religious freedom than any group or individual in this country’s history. Not surprising, among those waving the ACLU flag was former Peoria Journal editorialist Tom Pugh and current writer Mike (Beetle) Bailey. And they wonder why the newspaper’s circulation continues to plummet like falling rocks at the Grand Canyon. If the library board is going to allow left-wing groups like the ACLU to promote itself, I urge other political groups to request display cases for its self-promotion. We can start with local Tea Party organizations and build from there.
Allowing the ACLU or any political group to have a permanent display is wrong. I would like to see a church ask to display a statue or portrait of Jesus in the lobby. Guess who would be the first to object.
Over 25 years ago while visiting my sister in California, I noted that West coast TV stations would begin their telecasts with the weather. I often wondered why Peoria stations didn’t do the same. Well, wonder no more. WMBD-TV starts its newscasts with the weather. With weather so unpredictable, due to the Al Gore global warming concept, I think most people enjoy hearing weather news at the beginning.
Meanwhile, all of the television stations have the same news formats. If you watch the news at 6:00 p.m., expect to hear about 80% of the same script and accompanying video at 10:00 p.m. It’s hard work to do rewrites and video editing, but would make for greater 10:00 p.m. interest.
SEASON IS OVER
Hate to say it as a long suffering Cub fan, but Chicago’s season was over at the end of May. All the signs were there beginning with more poor and expensive acquisitions. In review, note that the Cubs changed managers, coaches and even ownership as well as players. The only thing they haven’t changed, as they head for the bottom of the division, is the general manager who’s responsible for everything going into the toilet. Jim Hendry has to go down as the worst in Cub history and that’s saying a lot. He spent more and got less than anyone I can remember. If Hendry worked for Caterpillar or Komatsu he would’ve been fired years ago for non-production. Maybe it’s time to change the name from Chicago Cubs to Des Moines Cubs. Heck, Chicago Browns has a nice ring since I remember how bad Bill Veeck’s St. Louis Browns were.
IT’S A SHAME
More money is rolling in for Peoria High. It’s still hard to understand. Millions have been spent renovating Central, the oldest of the city’s high schools, and lo and behold, the District 150 school is set to receive more while the closed Woodruff sits idle, for the most part. Displaced Woodruff students are being bused all over the city as another example of an inept school board that foolishly closes one school after another. So much for the concept of neighborhood schools. As owner of apartments, you would be amazed at the number of people I talk to who want nothing to do with District 150 for their children. The people who’re promoting the charter school system think it’s going to make a difference. I hope so.
CHAOS AT RICHWOODS?
A well-placed source tells me some teachers at Richwoods High School are irritated because administrators failed to include them in the decision to buy new text books. The source says some of the books being replaced are only 3-4 years old. Apparently inclusion is no longer part of administration/teacher relations in District 150.
MARK THE DATE
I hope you’ll mark the date and then plan to participate in the “Walk for the Mind,” Saturday, September 24, at the Riverplex. Money raised for the walk is used to support the American Brain Tumor Association and its continuing research to find the cause of brain tumors. This year’s honorary chairpersons are Diane and Doug Oberhelman. Registration is just $20.00 and participants receive a T-shirt for the walk along the riverfront that will start at 9:00 a.m. I’ve had the honor of serving a honorary chairman and emcee for the past two years. My wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2001 and was doing fine until two years ago when she was confined to a wheelchair. In addition to the physical changes, she’s developed neurological changes as well. There are several theories about the causes of brain tumors. One thing is certain. They’re devastating. I hope you’ll join us for the walk.
“It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you.”