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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: Knowing nothing as an art form

It often seems political leaders and business titans have all graduated from the Schultz Academy of Prevarication. Named for the legendary character Sgt. Schultz on the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes,” academy graduates can easily be identified whenever confronted with an allegation of wrongdoing. “I know …

Kadner: A battle for change in Harvey

Listening to the praise by the mayor and aldermen and the applause of a crowd at a Harvey City Council meeting, you would think the police department is universally admired in the suburb. Yet, aldermen voted 5-1 this week to ask the Cook County sheriff’s …

Kadner: Fire union says politics behind possible far-reaching lawsuit

The state’s largest firefighters union claims that a lawsuit filed by North Riverside to terminate the village’s fire union is motivated by politics, not financial problems. “Over the last 10 years, North Riverside hasn’t made a single full payment into the union pension fund,” said …

Kadner: Willing investors, maybe, for South Suburban Airport

Is there anyone, other than the state of Illinois, who wants to invest money in a South Suburban Airport? That was the question that the Illinois Department of Transportation was trying to answer Tuesday at the Tinley Park Convention Center as building contractors, financial investment …

Mayor: Railroad rolling over suburb

Richton Park, like many communities over the years, is fighting what appears to be a losing battle with a railroad line. The village has obtained a state grant of $205,000 to construct sound barrier walls along a Canadian National Railway line that passes within a …

Kadner: Abuse of women is not just an NFL problem

I keep listening to all the stories about NFL players and domestic violence and wondering, “How is this helping anyone?” There’s been a lot of talk about the athletes and what they did and very little about their victims. Criticism of the NFL for how …

Kadner: Two big settlements on the table for Crestwood

Crestwood would pay a $50,000 fine but admit no guilt for the tainted drinking water scandal that has resulted in dozens of lawsuits under a tentative settlement with the Illinois attorney general’s office, according to Mayor Lou Presta. Presta said the village board will vote …

Kadner: North Riverside suit could have big impact for south suburbs

In a lawsuit that could have repercussions in several south suburbs, North Riverside is seeking to terminate a firefighters union contract to privatize its fire department. The lawsuit, filed by Evergreen Park attorney Burton Odelson on behalf of the village, contends that North Riverside no …

Kadner: Think you know football? Don’t bet on it

The Chicago Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 on Sunday night. And that’s why you have to be demented to bet big on NFL games. Early last week, with the 49ers favored to win by 6.5 points over the Bears, I told friends I …

Kadner: Mike Madigan problem can’t be ignored

What does Gov. Pat Quinn suggest we do about the Mike Madigan problem? Of all the questions that have been asked so far in this campaign for governor, that may be the most important, yet it goes unaddressed. Madigan was first elected speaker of the …

MWRD to address flooding in Burbank

Hundreds of residents packed into the Burbank City Hall to voice their anger and frustration over decades of flooding that they claim has gotten worse in the last five years. People said they had been forced to vacate their homes, described extensive damage to personal …

Kadner: Hope blooms in a field of quicksand

This state is a mess, and I doubt that either candidate for governor can do much about it. That’s my take after watching an online video of Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, go at each other during a Chicago Tribune editorial …

Kadner: Judge says election board can’t hear term-limits challenge

Mayors, aldermen and other locally elected officials cannot rule on challenges to referendums that are placed on the ballot by a vote of a city council or village board. That was the ruling of Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva last week in a …

Kadner: Quinn whiffs on pension question

It seemed like a simple question for the governor of Illinois. Tony Denovellis, market president for Midland States Bank in New Lenox, said his wife is a retired schoolteacher and is worried about her pension. Could the governor say something that would make her stop …

Kadner: Rauner’s outreach to black ministers

By the time I arrived at the meet-and-greet between Bruce Rauner and African-American ministers in Harvey, the Republican candidate for governor had left the building. I wasn’t surprised because I had gotten a late notice about the Thursday morning gathering. “Rauner didn’t put out a …

Kadner: Oak Forest marijuana shop gets initial approval

Despite vocal objections from a few businessmen and residents, Oak Forest’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 on Wednesday night to grant a special-use zoning permit to allow a medical marijuana dispensary in the city. The city council will vote Tuesday night on both the …

Kadner: The privileges of membership in the club

(A conversation at a wine club somewhere in Napa Valley, California). “I say, this is a fine proprietary red.” “I believe it’s the 2006. A blend of power and elegance.” “You still raising cattle out in Wyoming or was it Montana?” “Actually, I have a …