Friday, June 26, 2009

Airline influx may spell fare war

If Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport is a viable alternative to O'Hare Airport, why expand O'Hare?

Read how Milwaukee hopes to compete with the nation's worst airport.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get ready for higher taxes at O'Hare

You may not have noticed, but legislation is working its way through Congress that would allow Chicago to raise its ticket tax on airline passengers to $7, from $4.50.

How nice, a higher tax on city, suburban, business and leisure fliers to fund a dangerous redesign of O'Hare Airport, when Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley for years had promised that it wouldn't cost taxpayers anything.

By the way, when you notice the tax applied to tickets at other airports, you should thank of Daley. He conceived it years ago as a way to expand O'Hare, and other airports quickly picked up on the idea.

The story is here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

FAA takes new look at O'Hare noise | Crain's Chicago Business

The Federal Aviation Administration is launching a review of its longstanding airport noise standard after the new runway at O’Hare International Airport routed more departures north of Chicago, prompting complaints from residents and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) reports Crain's Chicago Business.

Isn't that just wonderful. Schakowky shows her concern after the first runway is built. Can't do anything to upset the boss, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, ya know.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hey, Chicago! Want a free airport?

Take the "Gary/Chicago Airport," please. Read how to unload this white elephant (which has been subsidized for years by Chicago). Read it at nwi.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chicago plans to move cemetery to expand O'Hare runway, Bensenville church fights back

It ain't over until it's over. An update on Chicago's plan to dig up and move St. Johannes Cemetery.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Roskam not reversing O'Hare expansion stance - yet

Northwest suburban Republican congressman still finds problems with the expansion plan, despite changing political winds.

Daily Herald

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Longtime O'Hare expansion foe ends fight after state drops Busse plan

Elk Grove Village wins its long-time fight against highway route that would destroy its industrial park. Read it in the Daily Herald |

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wither O'Hare expansion opposition?

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson vows to continue airport fight without Geils, according to the Daily Herald

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Big Victory for Daley in Suburban Elections

By Dennis Byrne
Chicago Daily Observer

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley wasn’t on the ballots in Bensenville or Des Plaines, yet he won resounding victories in the northwestern suburbs when his candidates for town leadership swept away their competition.

Daley’s successful assault on the towns now leaves serious questions about the viability of any remaining opposition to O’Hare Airport expansion. For the Chicago Boss, it has to be a sweet climax to his decade-long campaign to silence elected suburban opposition to the $16-billion-plus airport enlargement.

In Bensenville, he broke the back of O’Hare Airport expansion opposition by vanquishing President John Geils and in Des Plaines, he strengthened his pro-expansion tentacles with the mayoral election of the pro-expansion Martin Moylan.

Read more in the Chicago Daily Observer

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bensenville, DesPlaines: Chicago's new 51st and 52nd wards?

Daley is muscling into suburban elections near O'Hare, according to critics cited in a Chicago Tribune story.

A Daley spokeswoman said she didn't know any of the political operatives involved, although they worked for him politically. Sorry, Richie, the line that you've got no interest in the suburbs near O'Hare--where opposition to the airport expansion is strong--just doesn't work anymore.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant

This a must read.

Peotone airport: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's budget offers hope for backers of proposed Will County facility

But, the political battles continue, with Will County officials wanting to run the new airport, and a opposing, more rational proposal coming from the Abraham Lincoln Airport Authority.

There should be no question what route to take: The Abraham Lincoln group has lined up two major international developers will to plan, finance, build and operate, at no cost to taxpayers. The Will County group would depend on more uncertain public funding.

The Chicago Tribune article is here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"GOP-linked front group using O'Hare expansion to smear stimulus plan"

This may be the wackiest explanation ever made for why people oppose O'Hare Airport expansion. To link the opposition to Karl Rove, Republican big-wigs, neo-cons and--this is rich--opposition to the stimulus plan is goofy in the extreme and an affront to the facts.

Truth is, the airport is backed by a coalition of Democrats and big-business, county-club Republicans, including the convicted former Illinois Gov. George Ryan and Illinois GOP establishment central committee chairman. Truth is, the opposition is much more grass-roots that the expansion's supportors. Truth also is that among the leading opponents are environmentalists, who consider O'Hare expansion a major threat to health and quality of life. Truth is that the grass-roots opposition rose from hundreds of owners and renters who have been booted out of their homes in an affordable, blue-collar neighborhood to make way for the expansion.

The article lays out a conspiritorial, paranoid view of the long-fought battle over O'Hare expansion. The fact is that the political connections of whoever is publicizing the opposition is immaterial to the substance of the debate. If whoever wrote this nonsense had bothered to acquiant himself with a few of the facts, instead of being guided by whatever ideological agenda burns fevorishly in his head, he would have noticed that the long-standing grass-roots opposition has more in common with the green agenda than the politically-connected and wealthy expansion proponents.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has quashed every reasonable alternative to relieve the mess at O'Hare because he cannot tolerate the billions of dollars of jobs and contracts going to anyone else but his cronies and his corrupt political machine.

The true solution to aviation capacity problems in the Chicago area is reasonable improvements at O'Hare (e.g. improved controller systems) and the construction of a south suburban airport.

Stifling an Opportunity

Someone from the national media finally notice the folly of delaying the south suburban airport.

Read it here and here

More propaganda from Gary

This article renews some tired, old talk about expanding Gary Airport, as if it could be the third major Chicago airport, or a substitute for the proposed South Suburban Airport. Although the article suggests that Gary is further ahead in its planning, it should be noted that the Federal Aviation Administration and the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin previously considered the idea and rejected it.

Gary's problems were many: It lacks the size to become a major airport and is too constrained by nearby industrial, commercial, residential and transportation activities. Expanding it into Lake Michigan would create major environmental problems. It biggest problem, though, is that's airspace would conflict with O'Hare Airport's, the same problem that killed Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's lunatic proposed airport in Lake Calumet.

Chicago taxpayers, who are facing another financial crisis, need to be constantly reminded that Daley has funneled millions of dollars into the "Gary/Chicago Airport," in an attempt to kill the South Suburban Airport. It should be noted that the same FAA/tri-state study that ruled out Gary had settled on two sites as the preferred location of the new airport: a "bi-state" site that straddled the Indiana-Illinois border and the--guess what--the South Suburban site. The Indiana governor at the time vetoed the idea, so it came down to the South Suburban site.

Planning and development work had begun on the south suburban project until Daley, as the newly elected Chicago mayor who was indignant that the any jobs and contracts should go to the suburbs and not his cronies, politically "put a brick" on its development.

As anyone who uses O'Hare can tell you, we have been paying for it ever since in terms of diminished Chicago-area aviation capacity.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More "ringroad" news

Wait, didn't Chicago assure everyone that the "ringroad" around O'Hare Airport would go on airport property? I seem to recall that assurance being issued whenever Elk Grove Village warned that the only place that it could go would be through its industrial park.

Now we read here that the Illinois Department of Transportation is showing that an "alternative" route could go through the industrial park.

Hey, DuPage County President Bob Schillerstrom, what do you think about the expansion, now that you and other county governments are about to loss tax revenues from the expansion. That didn't seem to be a problem when you switched sides and pushed through the board a resolution favoring the expansion.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ill. hasn't sought transit stimulus cash - Chicago Breaking News

But we know that Mayor Richard M. Daley wants $50 million for his O'Hare Airport expansion. Read it here .

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chicago gets FAA approval to spend $182 million on O'Hare expansion design

The FAA blows your money on a pie in the sky expansion of O'Hare. Aside from the questionable legality (the ticket tax was intended to be used for actual construction, not for plans), there is the sight of $182 million going down the drain for a project that the airlines say they don't even want. More proof that the FAA continues to be in the tank for Richard M. Daley

Details are here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dist. 214 To Host Special Meeting On O'Hare Ring Road

You mean that after years of hemming and hawing, O'Hare expansion enablers are finally going to tell everyone where the ring road around the airport will go?

Here it here

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who will govern region's 3rd airport?

Here is some background on the fight over the construction of a south suburban airport, which is an important part of the O'Hare Airport expansion saga. It describes the contest between a group of south suburban suburbs that has the better plan and a late-coming Will County group for control over the new airport.

What the story doesn't mention is that the Will County group is a stalking horse for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who didn't want the the realistic prospect of a third regional airport challenging his screw-loose plans to expand O'Hare Airport and the jobs and contracts that would go with it.

The South Suburban Airport Authority was well on the way to locating two major international public works contractors to plan, finance, build and operate the airport at little or no cost to the public. Earlier, Daley had scared off another major builder who was interested in participating in the privatized airport project; the contractor did business with Chicago and Daley threatened to yank away that business.

Still, for more than a year, the South Suburban Airport Authority (affiliated with Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Elk Grove Village) made significant enough progress to worry Daley.

First, he used his influence in Springfield and Washington to "put a brick" on the development of the airport by stalling necessary legislation and administrative action.

Then in the next election, in alliance with the Daley political machine, Democrats made significant strides in Will County (with the help of Chicago patronage workers).

It is important to note that Will County had shown no interest in the airport until Daley became involved. His goal has already been partially achieved: The squabbling for control of the airport has stalled it for an unconscionable long time. If not for the fight (and Daley's intervention) the first stage of the airport could have been up and running today, bringing relief to O'Hare delays.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Opponents of O'Hare expansion unveil new campaign

More details on the ad campaign and the failure of the expansion plan are found in the Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Daley hoping to land funds for O'Hare -- chicagotribune.com

Maybe Mayor Richard M. Daley can explain while he's asking for this money, why he needs it when he and his administration time after time assured us that the money was there to move ahead on this absurd expansion. Maybe he should be required to explain to American taxpayers why they should be called upon to fix his mistakes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's that? Only $50 million short?

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley reveals that his federal stimulus package wish list includes $50 million to make up a "deficit" in the O'Hare Airport expansion program. Without the money, he said, the project won't be completed on time, in 2014.

Good one, Richie.

While you're in D.C. begging, why don't you ask for the billions of dollars that the program lacks, because the airlines won't commit to financing the second phase. Well, at least you're finally admitting that you're short some dough, even though it's just a tiny fraction of what you're truly lacking.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stimulus Sparks Debate Over O'Hare Expansion - MarketWatch

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. argues that the stimulus package should not be used to fund the $20-billion white-elephant, O'Hare Airport Expansion. The south suburban airport would cost only a fraction of that--$500 million, funded by private sources--and solve the region's aviation congestion problem better than expanding O'Hare.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pat Quinn, Illinois' new governor, opposed O'Hare expansion

Will he continue to? It will be a test of his independence from the bi-partisan combine that runs Illinois

Daily Herald | What Gov. Quinn means for the suburbs

Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama staff inquires about potential Gary airport landings

This would not have been a problem if Mayor Daley had not blocked the south suburban airport. It could have been up and running already, and there would have been no problem about "disrupting" traffic at O'Hare or Midway.

Chicago Threatens Religious Rights Across the United States - MarketWatch

One small cemetery stands in the way of Daley's big plans. Read here

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Park Ridge stirs

After the village dropped out of the organized O'Hare expansion opposition a few years ago, Park Ridge citizens may have an opportunity to decide whether to re-enter the battle. A referendum may be placed on the ballot to spend money to examine the environmental impact of the new runway on the town.

Read it in this link

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Insanity

USATODAY.com

Milwaukee's airport gains at expense of O'Hare

While O'Hare and Midway airports are losing business, Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport is enjoying new growth. You can thank Mayor Richard M. Daley for that.

Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport posted record increases in 2008 compared with 2007, for the 17th straight months of record growth. The reason? O'Hare is a mess and for many travelers in northern Illinois, Mitchell has become a viable alternative: lower fares, few of the delays that choke O'Hare.

Daley's obsession with expanding O'Hare with an unworkable plan has led to this bad news for Chicago. Instead of a more reasonable plan, and a state-of-the-art south suburban airport to relieve O'Hare, Daley has pursued an expansion plan whose main objective is not a better, more efficient airport, but more jobs and contracts for loyalists.

Milwaukee should send a big "thank you" to Daley for the business.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh, gee, another $163 million no one noticed

Chicago will pay United Airlines $163 million to move a cargo facility that stands in the way of the next, new runway at O'Hare Airport, according to the Chicago Tribune. In the over-all scam, err, scheme of a $15 billion airport, that's not much. But did anybody bother to ask where the $163 million is coming from?

Who would have thought? By the way, did you notice that there's no mention of where the new facility will go? That's either more piece-meal planning or another attempt to keep the plans secret. Why the latter? Because the new location might have something to do with where the promised by-pass road will go--on or off airport property. Either location has serious problems, which is why everyone still is waiting to see what the answer is.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Delta, AirTran could move flights from Atlanta if can't reach suitable new lease agreement

Is this necessarily good news for O'Hare Airport?

Not really. The airlines are chaffing under the high costs of doing business at the Atlanta airport. If they can't maintain competitive costs on fees they pay, they will have to take some of their business elsewhere, according to the Associated Press.

The reason this isn't good news for O'Hare is that to support the cost of its expansion, the city will have to raise the fees its charges airlines, to perhaps the highest in the nation. The fees will be so high that the price of tickets for flights at O'Hare will have to be raised, making the airport less competitive. Undoubtedly, this also will play into airline calculations determining which airports they want to us.

Economic Woes Don't Touch O'Hare Expansion

CHICAGO, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As city workers fear job cuts and suffer furloughs, the O'Hare Modernization Project is still moving forward. The city of Chicago is facing one of the worst economic situations ever and is more than $450 million in the red. The project, which needs an estimated $20 billion worth of taxpayer funding, is behind schedule and under-funded.

In addition to the city's budget woes, Cook County's budget is also stretched, and the board is considering $740 million in new bonds - on top of the massive sales tax increase enacted last year.

Read more

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A heart-rending view of a murdered neighborhood

Here you will find a video of the homes and businesses in the peaceful, well-maintained neighborhood that will be destroyed by Mayor Richard M. Daley's O'Hare Airport expansion. This is highly recommended, if you have any sense of compassion.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicago whines

Chicago says that a fair hearing in court for Bensenville and its residents will cost Chicago time and money. Gee, too bad. Chicago's assault on Bensenville has cost the village a lot more.


O'Hare homes not dead yet

Read it in the Sun-Times