Staffing for a Blue Wave

Donna Crowder is expecting a blue wave.
She is staffing the Democratic headquarters in Campustown leading up to the elections Nov. 6.
Waves have flipped Congress in 1994, 2006 and 2010. The president’s approval rating is in the low 40s, and midterm elections have been known to dole out a “shellacking.”
Crowder expects a blue wave to take back Democratic seats locally and nationally. Critical to success, she said, is getting people registered and voting.
She remembers walking into voting booths as a child with her grandfather who was a precinct captain in Chicago. She was reared in a household that stressed voting.
“Not voting harms us all,” she said.
She understandings working families with several part-time jobs and little time.
“I was a single mom with two part-time jobs,” she said. “Not voting could mean after-school programming could be cut, or preschools could be cut.”
She cited these issues that should drive people to the voting booth: early childhood education, a progressive income tax, GED programming, unions, SNAP (food stamps), mass incarceration, justice reform, reentry programs, job training, mental health programming, homelessness, expungement programs, health care and Medicaid.
“People can only do what they know. The more we know, the more we understand change is needed,” Crowder said.

Dozens Voice Concern at Hearing about Edwards Coal Plant

From the Sierra Club:

PEKIN, IL — Wednesday night, dozens of local residents and pollution experts voiced concern at a public hearing held by Governor Rauner’s Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) regarding an operating permit for Dynegy-Vistra’s E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant near Bartonville. The IEPA issued an initial draft “Title V” Operating Permit for E.D. Edwards in 2005. However, the permit was then “stayed” and has not become effective due to the State’s administrative review process; in other words, since 1990 the Edwards coal plant has never received a finalized Title V operating permit as required under the Federal Clean Air Act.

“The Federal Court found that this plant has violated the Clean Air Act thousands of times. After that ruling we’ve seen what appear to be thousands of more violations. . We need a strong Title V permit, that includes a plan on how the company will bring the plant back in compliance with the law, in order to hold Dynegy-Vistra accountable for this pollution.” said Faith Bugel a lawyer for the Sierra Club.

See chart outlining violations >>>
Photo of E.D. Edwards plant >>>

“I testified to make sure that the IEPA really regulates with residents like me in mind, not just the interests of big coal companies. The people have made themselves clear. It’s time for the IEPA and Dynegy-Vistra to listen up. E.D. Edwards must follow the rules.” said Nancy Long a local resident and Sierra Club member.

In 2013 public health and environmental organizations filed a lawsuit for thousands of violations of the Clean Air Act at the E.D. Edwards plant between 2008 and 2013. In 2016, a Federal judge ruled that indeed the plant had violated the Clean Air Act thousands of times. Since then the plant has continued to exceed pollution limits thousands of times from 2014 forward. These violations resulted in pollution levels unsafe for human health. Instead of holding past and present owners of the plant accountable under Federal and Illinois law, the IEPA and the Pollution Control Board (PCB) granted these corporations, who lacked lawful operating permits, pollution bailouts in 2012 and 2013. IEPA proposed yet another bailout in a 2017 rule that is currently under review at the PCB with a decision possible in early October.

The IEPA is accepting public comments on the permit until Oct. 19. You can either email epa.publichearing.com@illinois.gov or send a letter to 1021 N. Grand Avenue East PO Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794.

To find out more about the permit visit http://www.epa.illinois.gov/

The costs of CAFOs

Read Dale Goodner’s comments about CAFOs in the October issue of Community Word, slated for distribution Sept. 26.
CAFOs are combined animal feeding operations. The Union of Concerned Scientists calculates the hidden cost of CAFOs is in the billions of dollars each year.
There are nearly 20,000 CAFOs in the United States and an estimated 300 in Illinois. Goodner retired after decades with the Peoria Park District and moved to Algoma, Wis. He writes that he and his wife Mary cannot sit outside their home some evenings when the air is acrid with the waste from nearby CAFOs.
According to an article in Investigate Midwest, the number of CAFOs in Wisconsin grew from 233 in 2011 to 315 in 2017. Illinois saw a decrease from 500 to about 300 during the same period. Iowa, however, saw explosive growth from 1,648 to 3,588 during that period.
Goodner wrote:
I took these photos earlier this month. I’m concerned about the impacts of CAFOs on water quality. This stream used to be clear.
Just look what’s happened to those CAFOs in North Carolina as hurricane Florence inundated the area. What a horrific mess for tax payers to be stuck with. Socialized costs.
People need to understand this nonsense about factory farms is just that… nonsense. We need a total reorganization of agriculture. If just tax support were redirected to small operations, we’d see those industrial CAFO’s quickly go out of business. They are dependent on tax subsidies. It’s a weird kind of socialism… privatize revenues, socialize costs. As ridiculous as it is unsustainable.

Peoria’s Labor Day Parade

Peoria’s Labor Day Parade started with sirens and horns and progressed down Main Street lined with children and cheering supporters. An annual parade favorite is Ironworkers Local 112 with a member climbing up and down a towering steel beam.
Members of Peoria Federation of Teachers drew applause and cheers following two years of tense teacher strikes in West Virginia and around the country.
Despite hostility from the current administration and the Supreme Court, unions are making a comeback and garnering more public support.
Statewide candidates marching in the Peoria parade included gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker, his running mate Julianna Stratton and attorney general candidate Kwame Raoul.
On the national level, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka warned President Donald Trump that NAFTA negotiations should include both Mexico and Canada.

Labor law tackles NFL owners

BY BILL KNIGHT
As Community Word published in the September issue distributed Aug. 29, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s case is a labor issue, and an arbitrator appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed the next day.
The ruling by Stephen Burbank said that Kaepernick’s lawyers showed enough evidence that the league and its owners colluded to keep the free-agent quarterback off the field, and that the case can continue to a full hearing. The decision – permitting lawyers to question league officials, owners and others in the trial-like format – hit the NFL like an official’s penalty flag.
Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October 2017, accusing owners of conspiring to deny him a job because of his decision two years ago to kneel during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.
“You have people who came back after being associated with drugs, rape charges and so forth … but a man who violated no league rules, who committed no crime, who has statistics that Colin Kaepernick has cannot play in the league,” said Kaepernick adviser Harry Edwards. “That is not Kaepernick’s problem; that is the league’s problem.”
Indeed, Burbank ruled there was sufficient proof that the NFL “violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA (union).”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has said he admired Kaepernick for protesting during the national anthem, and that the 30-year-old QB who played six years with the 49ers and led them to the Super Bowl in his second season deserves a spot on an NFL roster.

GATHERING OF VETERANS POW WOW

SEPTEMBER 21 –23, 2018
SEVEN CIRCLES HERITAGE CENTER
8817 W. SOUTHPORT RD.
EDWARDS, IL. 61528

FRIDAY 6:00 P.M. READING OF THE ROLE CEREMONY FOR ALL THOSE YET TO COME HOME.
SATURDAY 11:00 A.M. VENDORS OPEN
12:00 NOON GOURD DANCING
1:00 P.M. DANCER GRAND ENTRY
4:30 SUPPER BREAK WITH SPECIAL ATTRACTION TO BE ANNOUNCED
6:00 P.M. GOURD DANCING
7:00 P.M. SECOND GRAND ENTRY
SUNDAY 11:00 VENDORS OPEN
12:00 NOON GOURD DANCING
1:00 P.M. DANCER GRAND ENTRY

JOIN US FOR THIS FUN AND EDUCATIONAL FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT. SHOP OUR NATIVE STYLE VENDORS.
HEAR SOME OF THE BEST DRUM GROUPS IN THE MIDWEST.. WATCH DANCERS IN FULL REGALIA. SAMPLE THE BEST INDIAN STYLE FRYBREAD , TACOS, BLANKET DOGS, AND OTHER FOODS.
BRING YOUR LAWN CHAIRS. 50 / 50S & RAFFLES.
FREE PRIMITIVE CAMPING. KIDS CRAFT AREA.
NO ALCOHOL, FIREARMS, OR ILLEGAL DRUGS ALLOWED.

EVENTS AT SEVEN CIRCLES ARE SPONSORED IN PART BY
THE ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL
FOR MORE INFORMATION PHONE 309-241-7487

HAS RIVERFRONT PARK BEEN SAVED FOR PUBLIC USE? NOT YET, BUT PERHAPS

  • FRIENDS OF RIVERFRONT PARK
    On July 2, the city of Peoria terminated the development agreement to build apartments in Riverfront Park.
    Friends of Riverfront Park (FORP) thanks all who helped get to this point to save the park for public green space. The city of Peoria has posted the notice of termination on its website at
    http://www.peoriagov.org/content/uploads/2015/11/Rivertrailtermination_1531158130_add.pdf
    But concerns remain:
    1. The City’s application to the National Park Service (NPS) to sell the parkland for apartments must be withdrawn. We ask supporters to contact their council representatives and city manager asking them to immediately withdraw the application. Withdrawal places the parkland under the protection of federal regulations and continues its use as a public park.
    2. FORP’s research found deficiencies in a prior land conversion of Southtown to Rocky Glen, completed in 2012. The National Park Service (NPS) agreed, and determined that the city has a likely shortfall in fair market value of the converted land. The city has stated that it will “work with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service to resolve the issues related to the Rocky Glen conversion, in order to close out any outstanding issues with the Land and Water Grant,”
    http://www.peoriagov.org/content/uploads/2015/11/River-TrailUpdate6.29-July-6_1531158088_add.pdf
    The city therefore needs new appraisals for these properties to determine their fair market value.
    The city SHOULD NOT PURCHASE additional land to correct an anticipated fair market value deficit until the appraisals are completed and accepted by NPS showing a deficit.
    Despite its extreme fiscal crisis, the city is proposing purchase of park replacement land that may cost more than its appraised value, creating excess fair market value. FORP does not want a set up for a future Riverfront Park conversion for development. The land purchase is likely to be on the council agenda for July 24.
    Ask council members to reject the proposed purchase and look for other solutions, such as properties the city already owns in Southtown, which could be made into pocket parks. A public decision process also should be in place before replacement land is purchased. – 30 –
    More information: email peoriaforp@yahoo.com
    Karrie Alms, 309-258-7762
    * * *

Peoria Rally for Immigration Rights

Despite brutally hot temperatures, about 300 people attended a rally Saturday in downtown Peoria to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and demand America honor the human rights of people seeking asylum –– a basic human right established by the United Nations. The Rev. Marvin Hightower, president of Peoria NAACP, urged everyone to not only vote but to encourage and assist others in the voting process. 

Guest Opinion: If only they’d come the right way….

BY ZACHARY GITTRICH

A common refrain among the anti-immigrant crowd is “Well, if only they’d come the right way, they wouldn’t have these problems,” referring to the threat of deportation/removal by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). As if this absolves the Federal government of kidnapping children from their parents.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated immigrants, documented or not, will be detained for deportation on the mere suspicion of a crime. Not convicted–not innocent until proven guilty; merely suspected of a crime. Nor has ICE wasted any time enforcing such a policy.
In Los Angeles, Jose Luis Garcia, a law-abiding legal permanent resident whose lived for 50 years in America legally was detained by ICE for deportation. Their reasoning: 20 years ago he was involved in a domestic incident. Apparently, it was irrelevant that he had served his sentence and had not committed any crimes since. In Cincinnati, a 22-year old mother of two who has legal status, was detained when she went to an ICE facility to bail out an inmate. In February, 7 people were detained when they went to federal buildings for the express purpose of fixing their status; they were there trying to “come the right way.”
One of the most common objections to a welcoming ordinance is that it promotes undocumented immigration–it’s unfair to legal immigrants. This was an objection of Councilwoman Akeson’s. She knows several immigrants that “came the right way,” they work for her, and over time she’s built a good working relationship with them (and she pays them very well, according to her).
They believe it’s unfair to help the undocumented when they had to do it “right,” and for this reason the councilwoman opposes an ordinance. But with the recent actions by this administration what would happen if these friends of Councilwoman Akeson’s were working at her house and ICE bursts through her gates with the intention of arresting someone who had recently been arrested for a petty offense– disorderly conduct–not convicted, just arrested. Would the councilwoman run out of her house, imploring ICE to halt their activities because her friend has legal status, he has due process rights that should not be infringed upon? And if they detained this friend of hers anyway, would the councilwoman rush to their aid procuring them an attorney to help them get bail while they await their court date in order to continue working? Certainly, even the councilwoman would view this as an injustice perpetrated by an overbearing government?
But if they’d only come the right way.
On Flag Day, our resident servant-leader, Councilman Oyler (who also opposes a Welcoming Ordinance), displayed a Gadsden Flag at City Council– the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. A classic image of Americana, dating back to the War for Independence, symbolizing the people’s struggle against tyrannical government that doesn’t respect civil rights like due process of law, right to an attorney, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. Since 2012, nearly 2,000 American citizens–not undocumented, not legal-permanent residents–citizens were detained by ICE, some for up to three
years. Three years… that’s a lot of years. If that is not the definition of a government treading I don’t know what is. Why would anyone–citizen or immigrant–trust going to the police if a simple mistake in their name being recorded in a Database could lead to being unjustly detained in blatant violations of their rights to due process? Aren’t relationships between the community and police strained enough already? Why would any elected official who believes in loving thy neighbor and inalienable god-given
civil rights want their police affiliated with a big government agency committing such unlawful acts?
But if only they’d come the right way.
I’m sorry to tell you, but the current administration doesn’t care about the right way. And, it is for this reason that a Welcoming Ordinance for Peoria is so imperative.

Fly-in and Pancake Breakfast Saturday

The grass landing strip at the Havana Regional Airport will be a busy one on Saturday, June 23 when the local flying club hosts their 12th annual Fly In and Pancake Breakfast. The airport is just six miles south of Havana on Route 97,

The public is invited to come and enjoy a breakfast of pancakes and sausages and to come see the display of aircraft that have been invited to be part of the day.

Among them will be the St. John’s Saint’s Flight helicopter.

Just for the kids there will be a junior flight simulator, and for the scientifically minded there will be a cutaway motor to inspect.

An aerobatic homebuilt RV-4 was among the special visiting aircraft last year and is expected to return again this year.

In addition to airplanes, visitors will also enjoy an encampment of World War II re-enactors.

Visitors will see a wide variety of aircraft take off and land, ranging from big Air Tractors that provide aerial spraying to the smallest home-built gyrocopters.

The event is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and pancakes and sausages will be served from 7 to 10:30 a.m.

Commercial-rated pilots will be offering rides for a fee and will provide their passengers with a bird’s-eye view of the area for those interested in a ride that day.

The airport is located about six miles south of Havana, just off Route 97. Watch for signs.

The event is hosted by the local EAA Chapter 1420, which has named the event in honor of one of their members, the late Harvey Tapscott.