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Phil Kadner biography

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Phil Kadner’s column appears five times a week in the print edition of the SouthtownStar.

He was named the 2013 Illinois Journalist of the …

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Kadner: Chicago water hikes spur suburban revolt

There is apparently no independent agency monitoring the skyrocketing cost of Chicago water in the suburbs. While the Illinois Commerce Commission must approve rate increase requests by ComEd and Northern Illinois Gas, there is no entity with regulatory authority over the cost of Lake Michigan …

Kadner: Rauner vs. Quinn: Round 1 no draw

In the first face-to-face confrontation between Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican opponent in November, Bruce Rauner, I thought Rauner came away the winner. The two men appeared on the same stage Friday before an assembly of the Illinois Education Association, the largest teachers union …

Kadner: Blaxican a portrait of American greed

Eric Jaglicic telephoned the other day to say he was going to be featured on a TV show called “American Greed.” And the fact that he would boast about appearing on a show that features scam artists tells you all you need to know about …

Kadner: Why term limits may not help Illinois

I would like to run a private equity firm and play with hundreds of millions of dollars. You’re probably thinking, “That’s cool. But what the heck is private equity, and what do you know about it?” Nothing. Not even sure what the words mean, although …

Kadner: Seeking justice for her stepfather

When people become news stories, you often don’t get a sense for who they really were. John Wrana died last summer at 95 during an altercation with Park Forest police at an assisted-living center in the village. He was hit five times by beanbag rounds …

Kadner: Hospital sale should help mentally ill

Nearly half of any money generated from the sale of the shuttered Tinley Park Mental Health Center would have to be spent for mental health services in the Southland under legislation proposed by state Sen. Mike Hastings. Under current law, the proceeds from the sale …

Kadner: How ‘angels’ defeated the demons

Ignorance and fear. These often are the partners that combine to thwart what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” And yet, sometimes, perhaps more often than not, they falter when confronted by ordinary people of extraordinary goodwill. On Friday, the Crisis Center …

Kadner: A mental illness in the family

The shootings at Fort Hood this week again have focused the nation’s attention on mental illness. But most Americans who suffer from a mental disorder (more than 50 million people 18 and older, according to the National Institute of Mental Health) live ordinary lives. Too …

Kadner: A new plan to finance the schools

At long last, someone has proposed changing the antiquated, unfair and confusing school funding formula in Illinois. Unfortunately, no one is certain what the proposed changes would actually mean. The legislators supporting the funding reform legislation contend that they have simplified and streamlined the process …

Kadner: Bridge in The Island may reopen

A key bridge in Blue Island that has been shut down for five years could reopen in 18 months, according to state Rep. Robert Rita. Rita, D-Blue Island, said the Illinois Department of Transportation has approved a $500,000 grant to launch an engineering study of …

Kadner: Rita serious about state-owned casino

A surprising silence has greeted a plan for a state-owned casino in Chicago. It has been three weeks since state Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, proposed legislation creating a state-owned mega casino in Chicago, and Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have yet to …

Kadner: Sen. Hastings’ bill would extend Crestwood TIF

State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Orland Hills, said he supports extending the length of a special taxing district in Crestwood. Crestwood is seeking a 12-year extension on the 135th Street and Cicero Avenue TIF district, which is set to expire in 2025. The village failed to …

Kadner: A sheriff’s crusade for mental health

As Gov. Pat Quinn was explaining why Illinois needs more money, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was testifying before a U.S. congressional committee in Washington on Wednesday. “The unfortunate, undeniable conclusion is that, because of dramatic and sustained cuts in mental health funding, we have …

Kadner: School, taxes and a little truth

“For too long, Illinois has underfunded its schools and overburdened its property taxpayers,” Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday. Well, it’s hard to argue with a man who repeats a message that I’ve been sending to readers of this column for 20 years. The property tax …

Kadner: Metra repairs Richton Park station

Metra officials have made several repairs to a Richton Park commuter train station where water leaked through a roof onto commuters’ heads, according to a spokeswoman for the transit agency. One other repair to the roof may be done this weekend, weather permitting, she said. …

Kadner: Living in a house that disappeared

Tom and Mary Lou Riley have lived in a house since 1978, but at some point it disappeared. Well, it didn’t actually physically vanish from the face of the Earth. But the 1,500-square-foot, single-story frame house in Hazel Crest disappeared from the records of the …

Kadner: If millionaires are happy, others are not

Here’s what Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said when asked if millionaires would leave Illinois if the state passed a 3 percent surcharge on incomes of more than $1 million a year: “If they’re in Illinois today, they are probably so much in love with …