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River politics: Mullady on Kankakee basin

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From more than half a century of publishing the Sportsman's Letter and a lifetime of caring for the Kankakee River, Ed Mullady offers his views on what he sees as good politically for his beloved area.


I agree partially and struggle mightily with some of his supports. My reactions are at the bottom. Here's his take on the races that impact concerns of his relating to the Kankakee River.

Election time is upon us, and many of us have found who really cares about the Kankakee River and who doesn't! It is important for all to consider things that could hurt our river system in Illinois. You may look at this different than I do.
GOVERNOR QUINN has approved 100 million dollars(from capital funding) to buy land for the Peotone-Beecher Airport. In addition, he also approved another 10 million dollars in order to achieve imminent domain so if the airport people ran into a problem with a landowner not wanting to sell his property....our Illinois government will take the land the way they want to.
Keep in mind the FAA hasn't even okayed the building of this airport!
Those for the airport tell us it would create jobs while it is being built. Many of us think the money could be used for more important more school teachers, police, road repair, working on improving railroads, better check of our sewage plants and correction if needed.
I want to stress to you that if this Peotone-Beecher airport is built, it will mark the end of 3 or more all important tributaries that flow into the Kankakee River. They will end the prime spawning and nurturing areas for such fish as smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, pike, croppie and many of the creeks and river aquatic food species.
The creeks nature terrorists would do damage to would be Forked Creek, Rock Creek(into the State Park), Black Walnut Creek, Exline Slough(becomes Baker Creek). It is very likely Farr,Pike and Trim Creek near Momence would be used as pollutant gathering problems.
Effluents from the airport, from the planes,the runways, additional roads, would all be potential disasters for our ecosystems.

My vote for governor will be Rich Whitney on the Green Party.
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For the IL 79th District in Illinois: The present representative, Ms Lisa Dugan, has been a big promoter of the Beecher-Peotone Airport. She voted for 100 million dollar capitol funding and was one of the sponsors of the bill for 10 million dollars eminent domain backers.
Republican Candidate Nick Been also in the 79th District is AGAINST this airport.

My vote for Rep. For the IL 79th District will be for George Ochsenfeld, Peotone, IL, who has been fighting this airport since it was first brought to light. George is a leader of the group STAND(Shut This Airport Nightmare down). He states "he wants to represent ordinary people and not special interests". Sounds good to me!

For all of the Kankakee County Board, District 6 voters, I ask everyone who cares about the river to vote for Ms. Ann Bernard, who has been fighting for the Kankakee River for years. Ann Bernard is very knowledgeable about the Kankakee River and is for programs that will help the welfare of our area's greatest natural resouce.

The reason I am going over these political comments is because I know more has to be said about our Kankakee River, more protection for it is needed, or future generations will never know what a great river we have. Our local daily media has not talked at all about the welfare of the Kankakee River in this coming election.
Believe me, I would rather be talking about fishermen catching more bass, walleye, catfish or how the deer hunting is going rather than political matters that are important to saving our streams.
Keep in mind that my comments are strictly my own and not necessarily those of this radio station or its sponsors!

A couple things stick with me.

1) Gov. Quinn has a long strong record on conservation, so I am baffled by his stance on the proposed Peotone Airport. It doesn't jive and doesn't sit well with me.

2) I vote regularly for third-party candidates, but never in close elections. I am in the 79th. But, as much as I want to vote for George Ochsenfeld (he has years of fighting the righteous fight against that stupid Peotone Airport idea), I am still wavering because the election will likely be close.

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Voting for third parties when the election is close is EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than at other times. If politicians know that you'll withhold your support only when they don't care about your support, that'll you'll only leave them when they don't need you anyway, they'll never shape up and do the right thing.

Thanks for the great column.

Troy, I understand your point about making a point by voting for third-party candidates. But there are times when that positive is outweighed by the necessity of making sure somebody I truly dislike doesn't get elected because of votes diverted by third party candidates. I am really struggling with the possibility of voting seriously for a third-party candidate this time, not just as a statement. It may be only time in my life where I will not decide on a couple races until Tuesday morning in the booth, and it may depend on my blood sugar levels or blood pressure.

A couple things here.
As for the airport, we have yet to see a governor that does not support the idea.
Quinn's support is quite frankly stunning.
Baffling beyond belief.
But my viewpoint comes from fighting against that boondoggle for years, against all odds.

As for the Kankakee River?
Efforts are underway to once again focus on river issues on both sides of the state line.
Some folks in Indiana actually have a solid plan in place to benefit IL.
The problem?
As long as J.R. Black is still breathing, he will never support anything brought to the table from them.
In charge of protecting this river for decades, and on the wrong side of every ecologically sound idea to save it.
Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it has gotten worse on his watch.
That's all we need to know about politics when it comes to this river.
I'm not accountable to politicians or anyone else, and will call at as I see it, every time.

Mike Clifford is right on the money. The Illinois River Partnership is in the position to make the changes upstream that will benefit the river in Illinois. Sue Indiana if you have to.

The solutions include upstream restoration on the Kankakee, the Iroquois, the Yellow.

The aiport is an upstream issue as is the garbage to ethanol plant in Schneider and the quarry in Lowell.

Why hasnt the Partnership taken a position against these projects and worked for upstream restoration?

It has been my understanding there were questions regarding the refuge and access. A couple minor items that were also addressed adequately and assurances given. The KRBC in IL knows this, yet no official response is given. Some obvious politics involved they would rather the stakeholders are kept in the dark regarding.

As for the airport, again....politics and money, pure and simple.
The folks dishing out the cash to the KRBC under C2000 were also in support of the airport. So the projects funded by the monies wouldn't mean squat if the airport is built, but so long as everyone looks good and is doing something, then everybody goes home happy while the river continues on it's journey to certain death.
There is a "Roundtable Group" in IL, and I have an update statement here in front of me that reads "Subjects such as Green Scene, Global Warming, REFUGE and working with unknown splinter groups seem to derail the effort."
So there you have it, fellow stakeholders.
They struck us off their list of important guardians, as I will do the same in return.

Had to know you were gonna get opinions on this one, Dale!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 27, 2010 11:07 PM.

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