Mandeville new taxpayer ombudsman
He was the first person Gov. James R. Thompson asked to join his administration in 1977, and Robert Mandeville has been director of the governor's Bureau of the Budget ever since. That will change, however, on July 15 when Mandeville moves to the Department of Revenue as the state's first taxpayer ombudsman.
Created as part of the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, which became effective January 1, the post of ombudsman will have investigative powers as well as the ability to stay the enforcement of collection actions by the revenue agency if they might result in irreparable harm to the taxpayer. The ombudsman will also have a toll-free number for taxpayers with complex legal problems and for those who are dissatisfied with the actions of the department's taxpayer information and problems resolution offices.
Besides creating the ombudsman's post, the bill of rights generally protects the property and privacy rights of Illinois taxpayers. The bill of rights is included in most department mailings and was printed on the back of the 1989 IL-1040 income tax booklet.
Mandeville, now the slate's longest serving budget director, joined the bureau's budget and fiscal analysis division in 1969 right after Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie created the bureau. He left in 1973 and served as deputy comptroller for four years before joining the Thompson administration.
Mandeville's appointment to the six-year ombudsman's post must be confirmed by the Senate.
LaPaille new Democratic state chairman
Ending a sometimes divisive campaign, Illinois Democrats in April elected Gary J. LaPaille, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan's (D-30, Chicago) chief of staff, as their new state party chairman. Until the day before party members met to elect a leader. LaPaille was op-
posed by then-chairman Sen. Vince Demuzio (D-49. Carlinville). Demuzio, who had been seeking a second four-year term as chairman, was the first state Democratic party leader from outside the Chicago area for more than 40 years, and the race between him and LaPaille from the outset was characterized as a Chicago versus downstate confrontation.
Party unity was the word of the day, however, after Demuzio announced that he would withdraw. Both men called on all state party leaders to work toward victory in November. In an effort to foster such cooperation, the new state party chairman planned to hold regional meetings around the state.
LaPaille is a former special assistant to Comptroller Roland W. Burris. He was elected to the state central committee from Chicago's southwest side's third congressional district.
Internal Audit Advisory Board
The Fiscal Control and Internal Auditing Act, signed by Gov. Thompson last September, requires state agencies to institute full-time internal auditing programs to monitor fiscal and administrative activities. Part of the act also calls for an 11-member Internal Audit Advisory Board that will be responsible for keeping state auditors up-to-date about professional standards and ethics and for coordinating training and peer review activities.
The governor appointed six members to the board in April: Jan Hamilton of Chicago, chief internal auditor with the Department of Employment Security; Brad Hammond of Springfield, chief internal auditor of the Department of Conservation; Sharon Stanford of Hudson, director of internal auditing at Illinois State University in Normal; Don Thannen of Springfield, audit manager at the Department of Transportation; Dick Traver of Champaign, chief internal auditor for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: and Ben Zemaitis of Chatham, chief internal auditor for the Department of Revenue. All appointments are effective immediately, pay expenses only and do not require Senate confirmation. The terms of Hammond and Stanford expire February 1, 1991; Traver's and Zemaitis' expire February 1, 1992; and Hamilton's and Thannen's February 1, 1993.
Other legislatively mandated members of the board include the chief internal auditors of the Department of Central Management Services and of the offices of the comptroller, secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general.
• Terrv J. Peck of Godfrey was appointed deputy director of the Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse's (DASA) planning, research and development bureau in mid-April by agency director William T. Atkins. Peck joined DASA in 1988 as Region III (central Illinois) field services manager. Prior to that he spent six years as executive director of the Madison County Mental Health Center.
• At the Illinois Farm Bureau, John Hawkins is the new news services manager. In the post since March 1, Hawkins had previously spent 11 years as farm news director and news anchor for two Springfield radio stations.
• Two new trustees joined the Chicago Academy of Sciences' board in February. Appointed by the sitting trustees were Laurie C. Ashcraft and Dr. Lawrence Z. Freedman, both of Chicago. Ashcraft is senior vice president of Custom Research Inc., a company she founded about six years ago, and national vice president of the American Marketing Association's research division. Freedman is a research professor emeritus in psychiatry at the University of Chicago and chairman of the Institute of Social and Behavioral Pathology.
The Chicago Academy of Science is dedicated to promoting scientific literacy through its publications, outreach programs, educational center, camps and activities.
• William K. Murphy, acting director of the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, has been named to serve on the Developmental Disabilities Task
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Force of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). He was appointed to the post by Lee Daniels, NCSL president and Illinois House minority leader (R-46, Elmhurst).
The NCSL represents legislators and stalls in every U.S. state, commonwealth and territory. The conference seeks to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures through improved comunication and cooperation and through a strong voice in the federal system.
Pollution Prevention Awards winners announced
The fourth annual Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards were presented to 10 Illinois companies and organizations in April in recognition of their successful efforts to reduce hazardous and solid waste. Administered by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources' Hazardous Waste Research and Information Center (HWRIC), the awards go to businesses and/or organizations that exhibit a strong commitment to reuse materials and to reduce wastes. Winning entries generally adopted broad-based approaches that combined innovative technologies and employee education. HWRIC hopes that the awards will signal industry that waste reduction translates into greater efficiency and real savings.
In the small business (150 employees or less) category, winners included —
• BASF Corporation of Chicago. As a manufacturer of packaging ink for the printing industry, BASF uses a number of hazardous solvents. By implementing a number of pollution management techniques. BASF reduced its overall waste flow by 34 percent in 1989.
• Four Star Tool Inc. of Rosemont. Substituting an oily extract from the rinds of citrus fruits for one of its toxic degreasing agents (trichloroethane) enabled Four Star to eliminate 1,350 gallons of the chemical per year.
• Itel Rail Corporation of Danville. Through a training program for employees conducted by the Danville Area Community College, Itel was able to improve its application of industrial paints and coatings. Installation of an on-site distillation unit allowed Itel to recover 25 percent of its waste solvents in 1989. The company projects a 75 percent reduction in waste this year through solvent reclamation and the better application of paints and coatings.
In the medium-sized business (150-500 employees) category, winners included —
• Interlake Company Inc. of Pontiac. Interlake was able to reduce waste solvents and used paint filter media by 49 percent through onsite distillation of solvents and compaction of paint filter media.
• Ohmite Manufacturing of Skokie. Ohmite reduced toxic air emissions by 52 percent through a more efficient degreasing operation and through chemical substitution.
• United Technologies Automotive of Wheeling. The degreasing process was modified by changing equipment and raw materials. Fugitive emissions were cut by 81 percent.
In the large business (more than 500 employees) category, the winners were —
• Caterpillar Inc. of Joliet. By modifying its chrome-plating techniques, CAT was able to recover and reuse chrome and to reduce the volume of waste plating sludge. Its government-regulated waste treatment sludge was reduced 91 percent, from 177 cubic yards per month to 16 cubic yards per month.
• Motorola Int. of Arlington Heights. The electronics giant is recycling waste freon and investigating its alternatives in cleaning circuit boards. Motorola anticipates a 20 percent reduction in freon consumption per unit of production.
• Searle & Company of Skokie. Searle has employed worker training, fuel blending and recycling in its program to reduce both the volume and the toxicity of its waste stream.
The not-for-profit category winner was —
• Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City. Located west of Peoria, the park has introduced
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a comprehensive recycling/reuse program targeting food wastes and discarded construction materials.
Hubbell honored for efforts to save wetlands
In 1818, Illinois had approximately 8.2 million acres of wetlands. Now it has only about 920,000 acres. That 90 percent loss of the state's wetlands was the result of public policy encouraging the drainage of these areas. Illinois has a new public policy on wetlands: No net loss is allowed.
The guiding force behind drafting and passing the policy in the Illinois Interagency Wetland Policy Act in 1989 was Marvin Hubbell, wetlands program administrator for the Department of Conservation. He was nationally recognized on May 17 by the Environmental Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Association of State Wetland Managers for his outstanding individual contribution to wetland conservation. Hubbell refuses to take all the credit: "Although I was identified as the person to receive it, there have been literally hundreds of people" involved with securing protection for Illinois wetlands.
The act, which was defeated by the legislature four times during the 1980s, is only the second of its kind in the U.S. (Maryland passed the first one) that establishes a no-net-loss policy toward wetlands: If wetlands are destroyed in one area, they must be restored or created in another. Wetlands help capture and store run-off water, thereby reducing flooding problems in both urban and rural areas. They filter and purify the water that recharges underground aquifers, thereby ensuring the safety of these water reserves. They serve as spawning areas for aquatic life and provide important habitat for a vast array of plant and animal life, including 40 percent of Illinois' endangered and threatened species.
Hubbell finds it ironic that Illinois — the state that has lost one of the greatest percentages of wetlands in the Midwest — is the first state in the region to promote protection of these areas.
Four honored for assisting the elderly
Four Governor's Awards for Excellence were presented at the 1990 Governor's Conference on Long Term Care in mid-March. The winners were selected by the Department on Aging and, according to agency director Janet Otwell, "have demonstrated a sincere commitment to serving Illinois' older population." They included —
• Illinois Power Company. The Decatur-based utility company received the first Gatekeeper Program Award for its two years of active participation in this national senior referral program. More than 2,000 IP employees are trained to recognize signs that an older person may need help. Nearly 400 seniors have been referred to Department on Aging programs and services. IP was also recongized for its consistent efforts to help the elderly through customer assistance and public education programs.
• Kellogg Respite Care Project. Based in Evanston, this volunteer program provides assistance to more than 100 families who care for older family members in the home or in a hospital, allowing these caregivers some relief from the demands of continuous care. The project also sponsors community education and outreach activities.
• Meals-on-Wheels America Program. Sponsored by the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the program provided Thanksgiving dinner for more than 2,300 elderly throughout Illinois. Usually meals are delivered to seniors at home only on weekdays (not holidays nor weekends). The department and the association hope to continue the holiday meal delivery practice.
• Rush University's Gerontological Nursing Program. Initiated by the nursing faculty, this program has trained over 300 nurses who work with the elderly at home or in nursing homes. Nurses are trained to encourage independent rather than passive behavior in older patients.
Five of Illinois' small schools win national honors
The plight of education in Illinois has been extensively documented and debated during the past five years. While gloom and doom have colored many of these exchanges, particularly for the smaller school districts with problems of funding, enrollment, teacher quality and adequate facilities, five of Illinois smaller districts won national recognition for their quality educational programs. They were among the 10 winners in the third annual Competition for Exemplary and Small School Programs, a national competition sponsored by the National Rural and Small Schools Consortium:
• Christopher High School District 38 was recognized for its "Educational Technology: A Total Commitment"/STAR Schools program. Emphasizing the expanding role of technology in education. District 38 has 140 of its 275 students enrolled in computer programming and word processing classes. Students then use their new knowledge in the media center working on production projects for teachers. Computers, with the aid of satellites, have allowed Christopher to participate too in the TI-IN United STAR network which offers televised courses in subjects that otherwise could not be offered. Currently, 11 students are enrolled in courses such as anatomy and Japanese: 15 students are
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enrolled for next semester. The computer also has allowed the school to greatly expand its access to library systems throughout Illinois.
• Cornell Elementary School District 426 was honored for its "Enrichment: A Learning Experience Through the Arts" program. Started as a way to meet state requirements for instruction in music, art, drama and dance without taking time away from the regular school day, the program also helped compensate for the students' limited access to cultural centers. What's unique about the program is that all grade levels participate at one time. The exchange between the various age groups has had positive effects: Younger students are looking up to older ones as role models, and the older students are learning to respect the younger ones' abilities and creativity.
• Hamilton County School District 10 in McLeansboro was honored for its "Excellence in Education" staff developmenl program. Started in 1986, the program emphasizes improved teaching strategies. Classes cover how kids learn, verbal and nonverbal clues to behavior, instructional strategies, teacher expectations, enlisting the community in tutoring roles and new teacher training. Teachers who participate receive credit from Southern Illinois University.
• Minooka Elementary School District 201's award resulted from a five-year research and evaluation program. The program, which uses two psychological inventories to assess learning traits, has been applied to everyone from school board members to students. While other schools have used these inventories. Minooka distiguished itself for its extensively documented follow-up analysis of data. Minooka is part of a virtual pilot program for one of the surveys, which only about eight schools in the nation are using.
• Oblong School District 4 was recognized for its high school scholastic bowl. Using a game show/team format, the competition tests students' general knowledge. Oblong's teams have earned several conference titles.
Illinois teacher named McAuliffe Educator
An Illinois teacher is one of five 1990 Christa McAuliffe Educators selected by the National Education Association's National Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE). Larry Scalctta, chair of the mathematics department at Thornton Township High School in south suburban Harvey, is the first Illinois teacher recognized by the three-year-old program that honors the memory of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died in the Challenger explosion.
The annual award program recognizes teachers who have demonstrated professional skill and innovation in applying technology to the diverse learning needs of their students. Scaletta, an algebra teacher, developed a schoolwide computer instructional system that helps even mathematically marginal students get "up to speed" in math skills.
McAuliffe educators receive a $5,000 cash award and a Macintosh computer. This year's winners also are helping to design a week-long teachers symposium. "Preparing All Students for the 21st Century: Using Technology to Restructure Schools." The symposium will be held in August at Stanford University in California.
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Illinois job training programs recognized
Two Illinois community-based training programs were recognized by U.S. Labor Secy. Elizabeth Dole at the annual Job Training Partnership Act Presidential Awards competition in March.
Decatur's Center for Academic Enrichment received a special award for serving economically disadvantaged youth in Macon and DeWitt counties. The center is fighting the area's high dropout rate by helping students at risk with basic reading and math skills. Open five and a half days a week, the center has a full-time staff plus community volunteers and peer counselors who have already gone through the program. Area school administrators feel that Decatur's dropout rate — currently around 25-27 percent — would be much higher if not for the center's work.
The Grundy-Livingston-Kankakee Private Industry Council, which oversees the federal job training program in this three-county area, received an honorable mention for exceeding federal program standards for the fourth consecutive year.
SIU-C's Russo wins Guggenheim
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale English professor and novelist J. Richard Russo received a 1990 Guggenheim fellowship in April. Although Russo plans to use the cash award to begin work on his fourth novel, he will maintain his involvement in SIU-C's graduate program in creative writing, scheduled to begin this fall.
This was Russo's second national award this year. In January he won the Qualify Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award for his second novel, The Risk Pool. Russo was on leave this last academic year to finish his third novel.
Guggenheim fellowships are awarded to scholars, scientists and artists based on their past work and on their potential for future work of the same caliber. The 1990 awards attracted 3,218 applicants, of which 143 received fellowships totaling $3,763,000.
• An article about hiring people with disabilities netted its author, Oak Lawn Community High School junior Margie Melaniphy, this year's top Illinois prize in the National Journalism Scholarship Program. Held annually by the Presidenfs Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the competition is sponsored in Illinois by the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). Although she did not win the top national award, Melaniphy, who plans to study journalism in college, did receive a plaque and $250 so that she could attend the committee's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
At that meeting, DORS' public affairs unit received a media award. Dru Fernandes, Bettie Johnson, H.B. Koplowitz, Melissa Skilbeck and Lisa Wolfe were recognized for a media packet they assembled for National Disability Employment Awareness month last October.
• Melissa Records, a cartographer in the geography department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received an outstanding achievement award for design from the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping during the group's March conference in Denver. Records' map, "Historic Illinois Places," was one of four winners in the thematic map category and was judged on overall design as well as typography, color and craftsmanship. Published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Illinois State Historical Society with a grant from True Value Hardware, the map depicts historically significant buildings and sites around the state and provides descriptions. It is available free of charge from the Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield.
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