Estimated Tax

Government’s newest source for income

Change Tax Code, but don’t warn anyone,

Escalate retiree’s

Estimate penalties

On quarters with varied lengths of run.

— Robert Bagby

Rykhus Withdraws From CASE Board


I am announcing the resignation of Richard Rykhus from the Evanston Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE) board of directors.  Mr. Rykhus cited a desire to avoid any perceived conflict with his future duties on the District 65 School Board. 
Richard has been an invaluable member of our board for the last two years.  His personal experience as a parent of a child with special needs and his deep concern for the rights and well being of children in general made him a sensitive and committed member of our advocacy efforts.
CASE has successfully advocated on behalf of families with special needs for the past four years and Richard’s direct involvement with our organization will be sorely missed. 

We are happy that District 65 will gain a strong voice for our children as Richard takes his place on the School Board.  Evanston CASE remains committed to helping ensure appropriate educational opportunities for children with special needs, who are among our community’s most vulnerable.  Mr.Rykhus’ resignation will be effective as of April 30, 2011.

— Cari Levin, LCSW, Founding

Director Evanston CASE

Caring Stranger


My friend and I were walking through Dawes Park on Tuesday and came across a brick with the photo [of a caring stranger]. We were very intrigued by the interesting picture and decided to take a picture of it.  And today we happened to stumble upon your article – what a coincidence. Very interesting.

— Joe Elliott

North Shore Mosquito Abatement District


When was the last time you heard of a taxing unit of government that was so efficiently run that it could consider returning some of its tax revenue back to taxpayers? If the amount was only a very small portion of your tax bill, would you still consider it important? Would investing
in environmental projects, such as solar energy, be an acceptable alternative use of reserves? At the May 7 public meeting of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) Board of Trustees, we will be considering these options. We welcome public input.

Over the last few years, the NSMAD has witnessed growth in its reserves. The NSMAD has always requested the maximum property tax revenue allowed by law. Yet, expenses have continued to run below revenue. At the end of April, reserves are estimated to surpass 1.5 times annual expenses.

The NSMAD Board of Trustees is undecided about what to do about the growth of reserves. A procedure exists by which the District could decline revenues from the second property tax installment and use reserves instead. On my property tax bill, I would save about $10. The Board is also considering various environmental capital projects for District headquarters, like solar energy panels or a permeable parking lot. Or the Board could do nothing but continue to watch expenses while
requesting the legal limit in revenue.

The NSMAD is proud of its recent record as a small unit of government.
After a scandalous period about 10 years ago, the NSMAD has been reformed into an effective and cost-effective agency combating mosquito borne disease and nuisance. In 2002, there were 158 cases of West Nile Virus in the District. The 2010 summer’s mosquito counts were the worst since 2005, yet only 2 cases of WNV were reported, one of the lowest rates since record keeping began.

In addition to being effective, the NSMAD has been frugal. The number of full time employees has declined over the past few years. Employee health and retirement benefits have been modified to better reflect private sector standards. Capital maintenance has not been neglected.

Equipment has been regularly updated and an investment in building insulation resulted in significant utilities savings.

The Trustees of the NSMAD are appointed, not elected. We welcome your
feedback. Our next meeting is 9am, May 7, at 117 Northfield Road, Northfield. Please visit us at for additional information.

— John Zbesko Trustee, North Shore Mosquito Abatement District

Presbyterian Homes Plans


I wanted to publicly state my heart-felt opposition to the Presbyterian Home’s plans to subject Northwest Evanston to 20 years of construction on its site as it destroys existing cottages and replaces them with new housing that is simply too massive and too dense for the land involved.

While the home has argued for several years (discussions about this date back to 2008) that it is reducing the number of independent living units it will have with this project from current levels, that is a misleading and misinformed statistic to point to. Its plans to build 54 2,100-square-foot to 2,600-square-foot duplexes costing in the $660,000 price range will more than double the mass of structures on the site (existing units are 1,100 to 1,600 square feet each) while also bringing in a significant number of additional cars since each new structure will have a two-car garage and the home staff has said repeatedly that new owners will have two cars each. That does not include cares for domestic staff new homeowners will likely employ as well.

Children play on open space at the home today; that open space will be drastically reduced and traffic in and out of the facility will also increase, subjecting children on neighboring streets to increased hazards.

Twenty years of planned construction, the home has said it will replace existing units as residents move out and so do only a few each year, will mean constant construction hazards and poor air quality for those same children who will grow up and be followed by succeeding generations being subjected to the same unhealthy conditions over that 20-year cycle. Aside from the Deep Tunnel project, I can not recall any massive construction project in the area that has been allowed to go on that long. The environmental and human damage of such a project is incalculable.

At a recent plan commission hearing, several residents of the home testified what a caring institution it is. I hope that is true because I call on it to care about the children who surround it, to care about its neighbors, and to care about abiding by past agreements it has made with Evanston to maintain green space on its site.

Reduce the number of planned units, reconfigure them so traffic that enters and leaves does not funnel past areas where children are likely to congregate, and revisit the construction period to create something that will not still be going in two decades. I am 57 years old; I do not want to suffer a premature death from cancer caused by your construction dust and debris.

The next planning commission meeting to discuss this is May 11th, it appears likely a vote may occur at that time, so I urge all my neighbors, and anyone in Evanston who cares about the quality of life here for us and our children, to attend and voice your opposition to this plan.

— John N. Frank