Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wine, Art, Balloon & Jazz Festival

The Wine, Art, Balloon & Jazz Festival with be held on Saturday, May 28 at Manito, Illinois' Memorial Park, 400 E. Southmoor Street from 11AM-8PM. There will be 3 jazz bands throughout the day, various artists, potters, craftworkers and others displaying and selling their wares. Last year, 11 different wineries throughout Illinois participated and many have already responded that they will return for this years festivities. There will also be several food vendors on site with a wide range of culinary delights.

Tickets are $10 per person which includes a souvenir glass and five tasting tickets.

The bands will be: 11am-2pm Joe Metzka & Friends 2pm-5pm The Purdue University Jazz Combo 5pm-8pm Sally Weisenburg Trio.

For further information, call Willett's Winery & Cellar at 309-968-7070.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stop HR 1161

A new bill has been introduced that will once again try to further take away the ability for wine, beer and spirit lovers to obtain those items from out of state sources should those item not be available in their home market. Our esteemed Congressman, Aaron Schock, was a co-sponsor of the law in IL that has already stripped these rights from Illinoisans and was co-sponsor of HR 5034 which would have done about the same thing as HR1161, but was defeated. Write Aaron and tell him NOT to support this bill.

How HR 1161 Will Hurt Consumers
by StopHR1161 on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 11:40pm

Wine consumers are the ultimate target of HR 1161. HR 1161 gives states the power to pass otherwise unconstitutional laws that reduce consumer access to wine, to wine over the Internet and to smaller production beers and spirits.

HR 1161 gives states the power to follow the advice of alcohol wholesalers and forbid wine lovers from purchasing imported wines, wine of the month clubs, rare wines and auctioned wines that they can't find locally. It does this by allowing discriminatory bans on shipment of wine from out of state retailers, who are the ones that sell imported wines, offer wine of the month clubs, auction wines and most often sell hard to find and rare wines.

If you want a sense of what kind of wine laws wholesalers favor, consider that they have

-opposed shipment of wine from in-state wineries

-opposed shipment of wine from out of state wineries

-opposed shipment of wine from out of state wine retailers

-opposed shipment of wine from out of state wine of the month clubs

-opposed wine being sold in grocery stores.

-opposed retailers' being able to buy directly from out of state wineries.

All these things give consumers better access to a larger variety of wines. But wholesalers have opposed them all. Wholesalers, who are behind HR 1161, oppose these policies that promote consumer access to wine not for any altruistic reasons having to do with minors accessing wine or the state being able to collect taxes. They oppose them because in each instance the sale doesn't go through the wholesaler. (In other words, if the liquor distributors in your area or state, don't want to, don't feel it is profitable for them or don't have the distributorship power to be a distributor, you won't have access to a particular wine, beer or spirit).

There is no reason to believe that once HR 1161 passes wholesalers won't continue their legislative crusade to take wine choices out of consumers hands.

Here is pretty much the text of HR 1161:

H. R. 1161

To reaffirm state-based alcohol regulation, and for other purposes.


March 17, 2011

Mr. CHAFFETZ (for himself, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Mr. COBLE, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. DEUTCH, Mr. JORDAN, Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California, Mr. ROSS of Florida, and Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To reaffirm state-based alcohol regulation, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2011’.


The purpose of this Act is to recognize and reaffirm that alcohol is different from other consumer products and that it should continue to be regulated by the States.


The Act entitled ‘An Act divesting intoxicating liquors of their interstate character in certain cases’, approved March 2, 1913 (27 U.S.C. 122 et seq.), commonly known as the ‘Webb-Kenyon Act’, is amended by adding at the end the following:


‘(a) Declaration of Policy- It is the policy of Congress to recognize and reaffirm that alcohol is different from other consumer products and that it should continue to be regulated by the States.

‘(b) Construction of Congressional Silence- Silence on the part of Congress shall not be construed to impose any barrier under clause 3 of section 8 of article I of the Constitution (commonly referred to as the ‘Commerce Clause’) to the regulation by a State or territory of alcoholic beverages. However, State or territorial regulations may not intentionally or facially discriminate against out-of-State or out-of-territory producers of alcoholic beverages in favor of in-State or in-territory producers unless the State or territory can demonstrate that the challenged law advances a legitimate local purpose that cannot be adequately served by reasonable nondiscriminatory alternatives.’.


The Act entitled ‘An Act to limit the effect of the regulations of commerce between the several States and with foreign countries in certain cases’, approved August 8, 1890 (27 U.S.C. 121), commonly known as the ‘Wilson Act’, is amended by striking ‘to the same extent’ and all that follows through ‘Territory,’.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Biters and Boneheads

The spring emergence of the East Bluff Lolly-gaggin Jaywalker apparently was just the precursor to two more irritants that arrive with spring. Now we have Biters and Boneheads.

The Biters...yeah, can ya believe it? I was the "all the blood you can suck" buffet at The Old Country Mosquito Buffet. You think I owed them child and spousal support for how they were trying to bleed me dry. March is for Madness, not mosquitos.

The Boneheads. I'm seeing the "Start Seeing Motorcyles NOW!" signs. I saw ol'Crockrocket Knievel zoom up on my ass on War Drive today, switch lanes quickly to see if the car I just started to pass would move any faster and when it didn't, WENT BETWEEN US!! After that stunt, he was zooming (in way excess of the speed limit) in and out of traffic. Yeah, he got stopped by the Sheridan light, which caused hysterical laughter on my part. Sorry, I just can't look out for Jackhole dummass motorcyclist like this.

So, now you have a trifecta of Springtime fun to keep you occupied.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Every year there seems to be some unwritten contest who sees the first robin of the spring. That seems like ages ago. However, today I spotted the East Bluff Lolly-gagging Jaywalker. In fact, I saw many. There were a few lonely strays as I noticed most were traveling in groups. I couldn't quite decipher whether they were moving slower than usual as they are awakening from their winter hibernation of X-Boxing and couchpotatoing or it was their usual swagger. Regardless, it was annoying as it usually is. I would check out to see if any of our local automotive stores have good deals on brake shoes as they seem to be getting an early start to their reckless abandon of indiscriminate wanderings this year.