Pulse: No ‘Tea’ at Fab Lab stop in Joliet
August 18, 2013 9:58PM
Genny Boesen (left), executive director of the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium, and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-11th), were on hand Monday to kick off a three-day Fab Lab stop at Joliet Junior College. The state-of-the-art mobile lab is designed to encourage hands-on experiments and innovation. | Cindy Wojdyla Cain~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 20, 2013 6:02AM
There was some confusion at last week’s Fab Lab event at Joliet Junior College when Tea Party supporters showed up for a town hall meeting and instead found U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Joliet, and Joliet and college officials kicking off the mobile science lab’s stop in the city. But one Tea Party supporter insisted on peppering Foster with questions about Obamacare.
“This is a discussion about the high-tech Fab Lab,” Foster said as he stood in the JJC parking lot.
But the woman wasn’t dissuaded.
“I was told this was a town hall,” she insisted. “It was on the Internet.”
When a Foster staffer tried to get the woman’s contact info, the woman refused and said, “There are death panels, there are death panels out there.”
to day jobs
It’s a good thing Will County Executive Larry Walsh is a farmer and Jim Murphy runs a public relations firm. Both men were among the first to test the Fab Lab’s state-of-the-art fabrication equipment and 3-D printers during the Aug. 12 event.
“We weren’t very innovative,” a chagrined Walsh admitted. “We only made a key chain. ... We didn’t create anything really, really earth-shattering.”
A man of decision
It was a 1-1 tie between Roger Powell Sr. and Lorraine Guerrero as commissioners at the Housing Authority of Joliet were voting for their new chair. Still to vote were two commissioners: Powell and Guerrero.
Guerrero was called upon to vote first and obviously was agonizing over the decision as her face twisted in deep thought for quite some time before saying, “With all due respect, I decline the position of chairman.”
Powell apparently had plenty of time to think while waiting on Guerrero’s vote. For when he was called on to vote next, Powell did not hesitate: “For myself, of course.”
Powell became the new chair. Guerrero then was voted vice chair.
Good news, bad news
Robert Lewis, the hired bond counsel for Joliet Junior College, noted before the board voted last week to issue $70 million in bonds for construction and debt restructuring that, even with recent upticks, interest costs are at historic lows.
Unfortunately, for Joliet Junior College and other local government bodies in Illinois, they are paying more because of the state government’s widely recognized financial problems.
“Anybody who sells bonds in the state of Illinois is perceived to be in a riskier market,” Lewis told the board.
Quote of the week
“He done wrong and he’s going to have to serve his punishment for what he did.” — Will County Executive Larry Walsh commenting on the sentencing of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. for misusing campaign funds.
Cindy Wojdyla Cain contributed to Pulse.