Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Chicago: Population Trends

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

U.S. Census estimates that Chicago metropolitan area lost 19,570 in 2016 fiscal year. The period from July 2015 through June 2016 showed a slight dip in the population of the counties that make up the Chicago metropolitan area, from 9.53 million to 9.51 million. Although the decline during this twelve-month period was only 0.2%, it ran counter to the overall pattern of growth in the population of the United States. The decline coincided with patterns of stagnant job creation in Illinois as a whole, with significant outmigration by many demographic categories of former Illinoisans to other states. Groups leaving Illinois include young adults searching for employment elsewhere.

The 9.5-million Chicago metropolitan area, as defined by the Census Bureau, is a 16-county region that includes small sections of Indiana and Wisconsin. Centering on Cook County, the area is defined by the federal government for business and identity purposes. Of the 10 largest metro areas in the United States, however, only the Chicago area lost residents.

Suburbs: Illinois Tollways

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Illinois Toll Highway Authority plans to eliminate plastic coin-collection buckets. In another move intended to discourage the payment of tolls in cash, the Illinois tollway authority plans to remove the familiar plastic bucket cones into which motorists can throw coins. The cones, which are posted on tollway cash pay lanes, feed coins into electromechanical coin-counting machines. They will be replaced by new electronic touch screens that will accept credit cards, bills, and coins.

The new pay screens will be more convenient for many users than former pay lanes that required exact change in coins. However, many Tollway users have mounted small I-PASS transponders in their cars and they no longer pay cash tolls to the highway agency. This switchover will not affect I-PASS users. The Tollway Authority prefers I-PASS use because of administrative costs of handling cash as opposed to electronic payments. On Monday, Feb. 27, the Authority told the press that they still had 100 coin-counting cones deployed on their network of highways, mostly at unmanned tollway exit ramps.

Holiday Assistance Program Begins; Can You Assist?

Friday, November 11th, 2016

U.S.S. Illinois

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Navy holds commissioning ceremony for submarine honoring Illinois. The U.S.S. Illinois, a nuclear-powered attack submarine, has completed its sea trials and is ready to enter active service. The U.S. Navy held a commissioning ceremony for the submarine on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Groton, Connecticut. Now that the sub has received its commissioning pennant, it is able to call itself a “United States Ship” (U.S.S.).

377 feet in length, the U.S.S. Illinois is powered by a nuclear reactor. Like other attack submarines, the vessel is not designed to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles. It is armed with Tomahawk missiles and torpedoes. The torpedoes can be used against potential enemy ships, and Tomahawk missiles can be precision-guided to strike enemy land-based strongpoints. The submarine has a crew of 134 officers and personnel when on active service. The ship’s crest brings together a trident for the Sea Service and two broadaxes for the president from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln. The U.S.S. Illinois’s hull number is SSN-786.

The U.S. Navy has long named its capital ships after U.S. states. Many readers will know the state names of the battleships at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The surface dreadnaughts are all retired now, and the Navy has decided to use the 50 states to name its attack submarines. The submarine “Illinois” is almost exactly the same length as the last battleship named “Illinois” (377 feet versus 375 feet), but the 2016 submarine cost much more ($2.7 billion) to build than the 1901 battleship.

U.S. Census Shares Halloween Facts

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Facts for Features

Halloween: October 31, 2016

Trick or Treat!

41.1 million

The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2015 — children ages 5 to 14 — across the U.S. Of course, many other children — older than age 15 and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Population Estimates, PEPASR6H

Trick or Treat

118.3 million

The number of occupied housing units across the nation in the second quarter 2016 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Table 8

Hauntingly Delicious



The number of people employed by U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2014. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $16.0 billion, up from $15.2 billion in 2013.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 Annual Survey of Manufactures, NAICS 311351, 311352

Candy corn


The number of people employed by U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced nonchocolate confectionary products. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $8.2 billion in 2014.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 Annual Survey of Manufactures, NAICS 311340


The number of U.S. confectionary and nut stores that sell candy and other confectionary products, employing 22,086 people in 2014.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS 445292

Places to Spend Halloween

Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood:

Tombstone, Ariz. (estimated population 1,312)

 Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. (estimated population 10,242)

Kill Devil Hills, N.C. (estimated population 7,058)

Transylvania County, N.C. (estimated population 33,211)

Slaughter Beach, Del. (estimated population 230)

Casper, Wyo. (estimated population 60,285)

Scarville, Iowa (estimated population 71)


Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Today, Halloween has evolved into a celebration characterized by child-friendly activities, such as costumes, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.

Dressed to Thrill

A sampling of occupations that one may dress up as for a Halloween costume:


The estimates of athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers and detectives and criminal investigators are not statistically different from one another.



The number of motion picture theaters (except drive-ins) in the U.S. in 2014 where one could possibly enjoy a horror movie. California (511), Texas (326), New York (265) and Florida (195) had the most of such establishments. There were 219 drive-in motion picture theaters in 2014 — Ohio had 23, and California and Pennsylvania each had 19 drive-in motion picture theaters.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS 512131 & 512132


The number of acres of pumpkins harvested in the U.S. in 2015, with a total estimated production value of $90.2 million. Of the top six pumpkin-producing states, Illinois led the country by producing an estimated 318.0 million pounds of this vined gourd, followed by California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York. Pumpkins are frequently carved as decorations around Halloween. Source:U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Page 8

Carved Pumpkin
$1.04 Billion

The estimated construction spending on theme/amusement parks in 2015. Halloween events at theme/amusement parks can be frighteningly fun. For more information about construction spending, visit <>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Value of Construction Put in Place Survey


The number of formal wear and costume rental establishments in the U.S. This industry had 6,611 paid employees across the nation in 2014 (for the pay period including March 12, 2014).   Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS 532220


The number of broom, brush, and mop and casket manufacturing establishments (for the more authentic witches and vampires). Combined, these two industries employed 12,627 people and had a total value of shipments of $3.6 billion in 2012.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census, NAICS 339994 and NAICS 339995

$1.03 billion

Dollar value of U.S. fresh apples exported in 2015. Whether bobbing for or dipping in caramel, apples can be a fun treat around Halloween.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics, Commodity Code 080810

Who You Gonna Call?


The percentage of households that had a cellular phone in 2011, compared with only 36.0 percent in 1998. The percentage of households with a cellular phone only (no landline) rose from less than 1.0 percent in 1998 to 28.0 percent in 2011.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2011

Park District to resume prescribed burns Nov. 1

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Beginning Nov. 1, the Fox Valley Park District will resume its program of prescribed burns at selected park sites and natural areas.

For decades, the FVPD has conducted these specialized burns for their ecological benefits. Fire plays an essential role in creating healthy ecosystems by reducing the abundance of invasive, non-native plant species.

Prescribed burns create a setting for beneficial native plants and wildflowers to flourish. Burning also releases nutrients into the soil, encourages new seed growth and opens woodland floors to allow increased sunlight that spurs vibrant growth and promotes plant diversity.

“Fire has occurred naturally for thousands of years, and plays an essential role in healthy, native ecosystems,” said Monkia Kastle, Natural Areas Specialist. “Burning creates greater biodiversity and the positive effects are beneficial to woodlands, prairies, wetlands and the wildlife that inhabit these areas.”

Prior to conducting a prescribed burn, trained staff survey the burn area to create a detailed plan of action. Sites are burned according to dryness of vegetation, wind direction/speed and other variables, so exact dates and times for specific burns are dependent upon conditions. Most times, it is a day-of decision.

Following is a list of potential sites targeted for burning between Nov. 1, 2016, and May 15, 2017:

First Priority

  • Aurora Prairie
  • Blackberry Trail Park
  • Cheshire Lake Park
  • Church Road Park
  • Eola Hill
  • Orchard and Prairie (VG Trail)
  • South Broadway
  • Stuart Sports Complex
  • Waubonsie Lake


Second Priority

  • Arrowood Park
  • Galena Blvd. bridge (VG Trail)
  • Hoscheit Park
  • New Haven
  • Propernick Park
  • Simmons Park
  • Stonegate Park
  • Willow Lake
  • Wingfoot Park
Third Priority

  • Barnes Road
  • Blackberry Farm
  • Chesterfield Park
  • Golfview Park
  • Lippold Park
  • Meadow Lake Park
  • South Island Park
  • Splash Country Water Park
  • Tanner Trails Park
  • Turnstone Park








View locations for these sites on the interactive parks map. The FVPD makes every effort to notify neighboring residents as to when a prescribed burn will take place. For the latest details and announcements, check the Park District website ( and Facebook page. For questions, please call 630-897-0516.

This Week’s Aurora Chamber Newsletter

Monday, October 17th, 2016
October 17, 2016
In This Issue


Quick Links

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Tribune Media Group
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Endiro Coffee
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189



Join Us for Our Fall Lunch
with Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti
This Week: Friday, Oct. 21, at 11:30 a.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora

Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti
Join us for our Fall Membership Lunch on Friday, Oct. 21, featuring Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti. Sanguinetti has been instrumental in the governor’s initiatives to reform state government, including efforts in government consolidation and school funding reform.

She is proud to serve the residents of the State of Illinois as their 47th Lieutenant Governor. She is a wife, working mother of three, and an attorney by trade. She was formerly an adjunct professor of law and a Wheaton City Councilwoman.

As Lt. Governor of Illinois, Sanguinetti is committed to fighting for all Illinois residents. She applies the same passion to her role that has propelled her throughout her life, from humble beginnings in Hialeah, FL, to becoming Illinois’ first Latina Lieutenant Governor.

Sponsored in part by BMO Harris, Old Second Bank, and Waubonsee Community College


Economic Development Overview
Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, from noon – 2:00 p.m.
Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 North Broadway, Aurora

Presented by Jim Schultz, Chairman/ CEO, Illinois Business & Economic Development Corporation. Invest Aurora and The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce would like to formally invite you to the INTERSECT Illinois Economic Development Overview. Learn about the decisive focused action INTERSECT Illinois is taking to put Illinois back on the path to economic growth and prosperity, based on the national best practices for economic development.

Aurora’s future depends not only on attracting new business, but also on retaining and nurturing businesses, like yours. We value the investment you have made in our community. The cornerstone of ensuring Aurora’s future economic success is a strong collaborative partnership with the business community. Invest Aurora serves to strengthen the partnership by building a bridge between the business community and the City of Aurora.

Presented by Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, Invest Aurora, and Valley Industrial Association


Legislative Breakfast: Hon. Keith Wheeler
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at 8:00 a.m.
Orchard Valley Restaurant, 2411 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora

Join us for the first Legislative Breakfast of the Chamber’s fiscal year as we welcome Hon. Keith Wheeler, Illinois state representative of the 50th district.

Wheeler is a sixth-generation resident of Kendall County and lives in Oswego with his family. He grew up in Oswego, graduated from Oswego High School, and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For the last 24 years, Wheeler has been a successful small business owner with offices in Oswego and Chicago. He has served the community as the chairman of the National Federation of Independent Business Fox Valley Area Action Council for Small Business, as well as former treasurer of the Oswego Bears Youth Football and Cheer Pop Warner programs.

Perhaps most importantly (editor’s note), more recently, Wheeler served as Board Chairman for the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. He states, “I am very proud to have served in (this position) as we must work hard to improve the jobs and business climate in Illinois.”

Join us for breakfast and conversation with our elected official. We’ll hear what he is working on in Springfield and have discussion on the needs of business and employers in the greater Fox Valley.


Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Multi Chamber Business After Hours
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
K Hollis Jewelers, 147 S. Randall Rd., Batavia

Membership Luncheon. Lt. Governor Sanguinetti
Friday, Oct. 21, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora

Intersect Illinois
Monday, Oct. 24, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora

Farewell Open House for Mayor Weisner
Monday, Oct. 24, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Paramount Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Oct. 27, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora

Legislative Breakfast: Hon. Keith Wheeler
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, at 8:00 a.m.
Orchard Valley Restaurant, 2411 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora

Annual Celebration of Membership
Thursday, Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m.
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie Street, Aurora

WYNTK: Personnel Policies & Changes for 2017
Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 8:00 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Holiday Celebration
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora

WYNTK: Cybersecurity in Light of ‘Leaks
Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8:00 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Did You Know?
Did you know the Aurora Regional Chamber’s website member directory had more than 69,000 searches last year? And Member Page hits registered nearly 757,000 clicks? People are looking for your business. Can they find you? Make sure you login and check your business profile and add all the keywords that relate to your business and services you offer. This will ensure that visitors to the Aurora Chamber directory find you. If you need a login link sent to you, please contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership. Our website is working for your business 24/7.
Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Pensions: Possible Payment Delays

Outmigration: Illinoisans Leaving the State

Health Care: Affordable Care Act

Budget: Debt Refinancing

Voters Overwhelmingly Support ‘Lockbox’

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

CIS to Hold Turkey Fest; Supports Adolescents with Services

Community Invited to Farewell Open House for Mayor Tom Weisner

Aurora City Council Nominates Alderman O’Connor as Acting Mayor

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |
This email was sent by Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Henning Appointed National Chair Institute for Organization Management

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has appointed Joseph Henning, IOM, CAE, ACE, President and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, as chair for the National Board of Trustees. As a member of the trustees, Henning will help set the strategic direction of Institute and will take an active role in advancing Institute’s standard operating and curriculum policies.

“Our National Board of Trustees has a rich history of non-profit experience providing Institute with a wide range of perspectives on the challenges facing our industry,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, vice president of Institute for Organization Management at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “These volunteers chart the course for Institute and ensure the program remains on the leading edge of executive level professional development.”

Since its commencement in 1921, the Institute program has educated tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members, and become strong business advocates.

Institute’s 24-member National Board of Trustees serves in an advisory capacity to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has policy-recommending responsibilities. Each trustee is nominated by their peers.

Starting in 2009, Henning has held numerous leadership positions within the Institute program. Henning graduated from Midwest Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. He served as chair of the Midwest Board of Regents in 2013 and 2014. Henning has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012.

Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.

Community Invited to Farewell Open House for Mayor Tom Weisner

Friday, October 7th, 2016

The Aurora community will have a final opportunity to wish Mayor Tom Weisner well prior to his retirement.

A public open house will be held on Monday, October 24, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd.

During the open house, Mayor Weisner and Mrs. Weisner will welcome and speak with visitors. Guests will also have an opportunity to watch a scrolling pictorial review of some of the highlights of Mayor Weisner’s administration since he first took office in 2005.

“Marilyn and I are very humbled by all of the love and support that we’ve received over the years and the outpouring of well-wishes after my decision to step down early,” said Mayor Weisner. “I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to help lead Aurora for nearly three terms, and we are both looking forward to being able to say thanks to everyone at the open house.”

To fulfill the multiple requests from the community, there will be limited opportunity at the open house to make presentations to the mayor. Organizations, agencies, churches and businesses that want to make special presentations to Mayor Weisner may submit a request via email to

As the City documents the impact of Mayor Weisner’s administration, community members will also have an opportunity to be a part of the process. During the open house, Aurora Community Television will record one-minute video reflections. Anyone that would like to share their comments can sign-up onsite. A compilation video will be presented to Mayor Weisner and shown on ACTV and the City’s social media sites.

Mayor Weisner’s Retirement Open House is free and open to the public.

Aurora City Council Nominates Alderman O’Connor as Acting Mayor

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Last Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Aurora City Council voted to nominate Alderman-at-Large Robert J. O’Connor to serve as Acting Mayor for the City of Aurora when Mayor Weisner steps down early. Per state law, the City Council must select an Acting Mayor from among its members to fulfill the remainder of Mayor Weisner’s current term, which ends in April 2017.

“As I shared previously, I have had the good fortune to work with City Councils composed almost entirely of good and honest people who have had the best interests of all of Aurora’s people at heart,” said Mayor Tom Weisner. “Bob O’Connor is one of those people who has served selflessly with dedication and dignity. As he finishes his 8th term, Aurora will be in great hands with Bob as Acting Mayor during this interim phase. He knows City Hall, but most importantly he knows the people of Aurora and will always look out for the greater good of our city.”

Alderman O’Connor was first elected to the City Council in 1985. Currently in his eighth term, he presently serves as the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the City Council.

“I have been honored to serve on the Aurora City Council for nearly 32 years,” said Alderman O’Connor. “It is the utmost honor to be elected by the people of Aurora and an equal honor to be nominated by my colleagues on the City Council to serve as Acting Mayor of our city. We have made such great strides and improvements over the years, and I look forward to working with the City Council, City staff, and the residents of Aurora to keep that momentum going. While my time as Acting Mayor is finite, the commitment and care I have for the City of Aurora is beyond measure.”

A graduate of East Aurora High School’s Class of 1962, O’Connor graduated from the University of Illinois in 1966 and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1969. He is an attorney in Aurora and practices law in the areas of estate planning, wills, trusts and real estate representation.

In addition to serving on the Aurora City Council, O’Connor serves as a director on the boards for the Exchange Club of Aurora, Aurora Police Foundation, State of Illinois Council on Aging and Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging. He and his wife, Mary, who is a retired elementary school teacher, have raised two sons, Tom and John, in Aurora.

Last month, Mayor Weisner announced his decision to step down early to focus on his health. His last day in office will be Tuesday, Nov. 1, where he will lead his final Aurora City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting beginning at 5 p.m. at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place.

After Mayor Weisner adjourns the meeting, a special City Council Meeting will be called to order during which the appointment of Alderman O’Connor will be confirmed by the City Council and he will be sworn-in as Acting Mayor.