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Special Holiday Edition

Special Holiday Edition



Special Holiday Edition

Special Holiday Edition



Special Holiday Edition

The trail we were riding was once part of a railroad known as the Chicago Milwaukee & Gary. Its tracks had been torn up long ago, but its roadbed remains today, paved over, providing a smooth surface on which to walk, jog, or ride a bicycle. Trains have always needed a fairly level surface on which to operate, and this route was no exception. In fact, it was rather well built. It has survived well over a century. History Corner with Jeff Kehoe

It was called the Gary by Jeff Kehoe

My reply was, “Of course! It used to hold steam locomotives weighing 100 tons, so it certainly will hold a group of bikers even though it’s old and kinda feeble. I knew the history

Not many people using the Virgil L. Gilman Trail know it was once the Chicago Milwaukee & Gary, or just “The Gary” to oldtimers and railroad enthusiasts. Built in 1905 as a route that would bypass rail congestion the Windy City, the name was

It started out as a family bike ride along the Virgil L. Gilman Trail; you know, the one that starts out west at Waubonsee Community College, runs through Aurora and Montgomery, then stops at the east end of Montgomery near Hill Avenue, and is usually a pleasant ride of about 15 miles. A popular trail, there’s lots of scenery and bridges along the way.

than helped, the growth of the Gary. The savings from not having to construct the 25-mile section between Aurora and Joliet turned out to be no savings at all for the Gary. It was doomed. Enter, the Milwaukee Road (formally known as the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railroad), who in 1922, saw taking over the smaller, weaker Gary as an easy way to get coal from mines in southern Indiana to their own coal-hungry fleet of locomotives in Illinois. The cost of acquiring the Gary, however, included the Milwaukee’s agreement to pay off a staggering $3 million of the Gary’s debt. Then, as part of the Milwaukee, the line proceeded to lose $930,000 in the first three years. As business waned and the Depression hit, the Gary was soon down to just three trains a week, hardly enough to pay for its upkeep. The last train from Rockford to Aurora ran unceremoniously on April 1 6, 1947. Then the Gary was finished in the City of Lights, officially abandoned.

Once its rails had been removed, the Fox Valley Park District stepped in to convert the old roadbed into a bike trail. Portions of the line in Kendall County owned by the EJ&E (as well as that old bridge over the Fox River) still had their tracks in place, but saw only infrequent use until they too were removed in the late 1970s.

But as we approached that old bridge spanning the Fox River near Broadway (Route 25), the youngsters who'd been leading the way for the past several miles slammed on their brakes. Standing still now, nervously looking ahead at the ancient old bridge rusting away before u they asked, “Is this thing gonna be strong enough to hold us?” of that bridge, you see.

rather misleading: It didn’t go to Chicago Milwaukee or Gary! Nor did it ever get enough business to make a profit.

Running from Rockford to Momence, Illinois (near the Indiana border): the single-track 100 mile Gary route cut a crescent-shaped curve aero northern Illinois’ prairies. Locally, it ran through Kane and Kendall Counties, but some of the track it used belonged to the Elgin Joliet & Eastern Railway. That 25mile section between Aurora and Joliet was “rented track” that required fees to be paid, much like the cost of using a toll road. So, fees coupled with tough restrictions imposed by the EJ&E on what kinds of freight could run over their rails resulted in condition that hampered, rather

As to the actual age of the rusty old bridge we rode across on that beautiful Fall day not too long ago, one account has it dating back to 1885, while others claim it more likely was built in 1923. But, had the Gary survived into the present day, the old bridge would have been replaced. Today, the line would probably be busy with trains carrying coal to our power plants, operating as its founders intended; as a route to bypass congested rail traffic in Chicago. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking about a long gone, nearly forgotten railroad once known as the Gary, now part of our local history

Job Tracker If you are motivated and driven to succeed, looking for training, growth and the opportunity to find your balance, Liberty Tax Service has some exciting options for you. Liberty people come from all walks of life looking for an exciting future. Our system of doing business is second to none. We offer flexible schedules,

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Special Holiday Edition

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Special Holiday Edition

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Special Holiday Edition

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a fun environment and dedication to treating people right! Lady Liberty is the symbol of freedom and opportunity and she is reaching out to you! When you’re guided by Liberty values, every course is a road to success. Tax Software Analyst The available position offers the opportunity to take part in researching, developing, testing, and maintaining state tax software. Responsibilities and Duties: Researching of specific state and local tax return instructions and tax laws Detailed testing of state tax software Providing suggestions for improvement of software and other areas Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, or equivalent experience Knowledge of tax principles. Strong and effective communication skills, both written and verbal Good mathematical and organizational skills Strong analytical and problem-solving skills High degree of accuracy and attention to detail Ability to multi-task Able toworkwell in a team environment

Willing to work overtime as necessary or required

Job Tracker ! At Advance Auto Parts, a Retail Parts Specialist (RPS) is part of the management team and responsible for growing the sales of automotive parts and related merchandise in accordance with company standards. The Retail Parts Specialist must be committed to inspiring our team, helping our customers succeed, and growing the retail business profitably and with integrity. This must be accomplished in a way that is consistent with Advance Auto parts 3 core values (Inspire, Serve, and Grow) Key Duties and Responsibilities Responsible for working with the General Manager to lead the store team and grow the retail business in conformity with the company’s 4 key strategies and 3 core values Maintains rapport with current retail customers in order to keep abreast of their needs Consistently provides professional, courteous and prompt customer service to both retail and commercial customers, utilizing parts experience and knowledge to insure

complete customer satisfaction. Delegates or completes the marking and storing of parts in stockroom according to prearranged system Assists in managing inventory and the appearance of Parts Department. Completes all required training materials, attends all scheduled company meetings, and meets or exceed all assigned sales goals or quotas. Utilizes a strong knowledge of automotive systems, categories of merchandise, warranties, and Company Policies to make recommendations and suggestions to customers to gain their confidence and business. Thorough understanding of automotive principles and the ability to diagnose problems and recommend solutions. Performs other assigned store duties that include, but are not limited to, stocking, cleaning, sales, customer service, cashiering, truck loading/unloading, delivering, and inventory management. Click APPLY NOW to submit your application online! The job overview may or may not reflect an active job opening at Advance Auto Parts. Please click on the Apply Now link to view active employment opportunities and submit your applicant profile online. Additional Additional


Prior Experience that Sets a Retail Parts Specialist up for Greater Success 3-5 years of prior automotive parts experience is preferred 2-3 years of previous management experience is preferred History of successful job performance Working knowledge of automotive systems Diagnostic ability to include: internal engine, suspension, brakes, electronic, exhaust, and all other related systems for an automobile. Proven ability to work in a fast-paced and highly dynamic work environment Must possess good verbal communications skills, including good salesmanship abilities

Must have a valid driver's license and be able to become fleet safety certified Bilingual English/Spanish skills a plus Job Benefits Advance Auto Parts offers a competitive compensation package, which includes: Base Salary plus generous sales bonuses 401K with matching company contribution Outstanding Benefit Package (Medical,Dental,Vision,Life Insurance,etc) Structured Training Program Tremendous Growth Potential

Coffee Shop by Brian B

What’s Your Brand? – Part 2 Social Media Branding and Your Business Today, I met a client at Starbucks who sells and leases commercial real estate, he asked “How can I use Social Media to promote my business?”. I told him that “You don’t use Social Media to promote your business… you use it to promote you!”. I continued… “Your Social Media brand may not be exactly what your traditional business brand is, because it has to be entertaining, informative and engaging.” So in the last post we talked about “What’s in a Brand“. In the next two parts we will look at how Social Media can be used in branding your business, and then yourself. Simple Truth #1 – Social Media is NOT Advertising! Unfortunately a bunch businesses don’t realize that. They see invoices, P.O.’s sales graphs. There are fall for “Get Rich Quick” concepts out there… “There’s 1 Billion Potential Sales on Facebook”, “LinkedIn Your Sales Machine”, Tweet for Cash”. But even more under the radar (and often more annoying), are people who have attended webinars and

Special Holiday Edition

seminars that convince them that Social Media is a fast and free advertising option. This could not be more further from reality (and success) with using Social Media for business. Seth Godin quips – “Traditional advertising is inherently selfish. It interrupts in order to generate money (part of which pays for more interruptions). That approach doesn’t work at a cocktail party, or at a funeral or in a social network.” Simple Truth #2 – Businesses Don’t Buy Products or Services… PEOPLE DO! Social Media is about people. It’s about building, growing, fostering, developing, and engaging relationships. Think about it? What is the most annoying thing you see in Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter… Sponsored ads? Or is it the person who does nothing but sell themselves, their products or services? Facebook is about family, friends, and clients, vendors, and prospects. How do you measure success and failure in Social Media? Some would say sales… but I say interactions! Look at the posts that have the most likes, comments, shares &


re-tweets. They all have one thing in common… EMOTION. It can be a picture of your wedding celebrating an anniversary, a joke, or even a political or religious article (which I don’t recommend doing). Ultimately, people that you connect with emotionally, will invest in your post with their time through liking, commenting or sharing. Author Chris Brogan relates “Ask yourself this: in trying to reach others for whatever your goal may be, is it facts or emotions that will win them over? Which do you think plays the bigger role?” Simple Truth #3 – Your On-Line Brand is Not About You!

Your audience wants you to be YOU… not a salesperson. Laugh, cry, learn, grow, with them. Educate, inform, entertain, engage, and commiserate with them. Do it all with a sense of creating value… value their time, opinions, successes, challenges, and ability to grow your relationship. But for the love of all things good and worthy… DON’T SELL THEM! Author John Morgan says “You should never take your audience for granted. The attention they give you is a gift. Be alert when you’re using social media. Everything you do either works for your brand or against it.” Your Business Social Media Brand

People are overwhelmed with messages. Email gets open by 25% of your audience at best. Text messages are eating up space on your phone. Google ads or snail mail post cards are considered successful with a 1-2% click through or redemption rate. People don’t log into their Social Media to be sold… They log info Facebook to be entertained, log into Twitter for news or direct conversations, log into LinkedIn to be informed, educated and connected.

Everything said in this post does not just apply to your personal brand

and posts… it applies to your business brand as well. Just because you have a personal profile, does not mean that you can ignore all of the above on your business page. In fact, you have to work extra hard there to educate, inform, and entertain. By doing so, your earn, their interest, respect and time. Then when you post a great blog, article, or funny picture that gets shared, you are expanding your audience and growing your influence. What have you learned about your on-line business brand… and how do you use it to promote your business?


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Grid Iron Report by Evie Givens

What happened after the first quarter? What happened? I mean really what happened? With 291 yards, Rodgers threw for three touchdown passes while Matthews sacked Cutler twice during the game. The Packers defense kept the Bears to just 56 yards in the first half and allowed for 134 yards in the second half. Here’s

Evie Givens

the thing, we could have won this game. What happened? Alshon Jeffery, who caught for what could have been a touchdown, got 3 offensive pass interference calls when we really could have had a chance. With the loss of 21-13 to the Packers, many think that this it is. Thanks for a good then turned to crappy season. However, we still have a slim, very slim (like trying to get on the Metra train right when it is about to close the doors) chance of making it to the playoffs. What do we need; 2 wins and lots of points. The next team the Bears play on Sunday are the Arizona Cardinals. They are 5-9 with no shot of making it to the playoffs. They have lost a total of 16 players to injuries and have switched quarterbacks 3 times. The quarterback for Sunday’s game will be Ryan Lindley who just isn’t that great. With that being said, the Bears BETTER win this game. This team and the Detroit Lions are the saving graces that the Bears need to make it

to the playoffs. Not only that, there is a very good chance that Lovie Smith and others won’t be back next

season if they don’t make it. I have been reading some of the predictions and I have seen the Bears winning

by 10 points or so. I say that the score need to be 24-3. Am I wrong? There is a good chance but now it is

Special Holiday Edition


a numbers game. We need the points and the Bears need to take advantage

of playing against a team that can’t score points.

So we shall see what happens what happens on Sunday. Go finish your Christmas shopping (cash is always

good for me) and take the kids to see Santa. Have a great football Sunday and a Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Bears regain Form by Dick Kolf

The Chicago Bears returned to form with the 28-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals keeping their playoff hopes alive . A win in the season finale against the Lions and Vikings loss will put the Bears back in post season play. Sundays game was a return to form with the Defense stepping up and creating takeaways and providing the scoring. The offense still continues to struggle under Mike Tice. The offense seems to be missing a step with blown blocks by the offensive line and the receiving core missing routes and poor throws by Jay Cutler. Equal to miss opportunities that are the story of the 2012 campaign. Even with Sundays win the Bears still have to make the playoffs with next week’s showdown with the Lions. Brandon Marshall is on pace to break 1500 yards receiving and Forte should break 1000 in rushing however statics are respectable on offense the scoring is not there. All Season long there has been little chemistry on the offensive side of the Ball. Heading into the playoffs the Bears need three things to happen. Establish - the run with Busch and Forte the Bears have not used the one two punch because of poor line blocking; If can establish the run will take pressure off the Defense. Continue to play good defense this is a no brainier with the Bears recipe for success. The third and what will make the difference is improved special teams play and creating field position for offense. This Team has handed their season away because of poor coaching and bad personal decisions.; If


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So building on that I would like to take the opportunity to wish you and your family a happy Holiday Season and invite you to become fan of ours on face book at http://www.

the Bears do not make the playoffs then look for Changes at Halas Hall.

Bulls Report by Kyle Veeder

At weeks start the Chicago Bulls sit in 4th place in the Eastern conference and continue to improve and hold their own in the tough Eastern Conference. With balanced scoring and improved play from the front court the Bulls are emerging again and with the scheduled return of

Derrick Rose this team could look like a true contender however there is allot basketball to be played and do not want to jinx the team So looking at the week ahead the Bulls will be facing Houston, Indiana and Washington; the keys for success in order to continue to hold the lead in the central Division the Bulls need to continue to improve play from the bench and the starting five. The bulls present unique matchup problems because of Noah and Boozer who are active under the boards and add scoring to the mix and there you have a recipe for success.

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Special Holiday Edition

Happy XMAS  

Have a wonderful and thankful holiday season