Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Letter: Kinzinger doing nothing to help separated families


Letter: Kinzinger doing nothing to help separated families

10:29 pm

To the Editor:

Is anyone else besides me in the 16th Congressional District of Illinois livid with Adam Kinzinger for doing nothing about the children at the border?

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump are separating children, (some younger than 4 years old, some only months old), from their mothers and fathers. They are not even being told for how long.

How can anyone stomach that?

Children, we are told (according to a New York Times’ June 7 article), cry themselves to sleep every night, and moan all night long. The caregivers are complaining, saying they’ve never seen anything like this. Some shelter workers are quitting, dismayed by the inhumanity.

Morning comes, the children wake up, they cry, “Mama, papa,”all day long.

How can anyone stomach that?

Meanwhile, back in Washington, D.C., what is our U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, doing about it? Answer: Absolutely nothing.

The real question to the 16th District is this: Are you OK with that?

Adam Kinzinger is a GOP foot soldier who does what he is told.

Sixteenth District, are you OK with that?

Deb Legorreta


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Kinzinger expects immigration solution, opposes separating children

Political opponent says congressman has not done enough

By Derek BarichelloEmailFollow

June 19, 2018

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he is looking forward to a "spirited discussion" with President Donald Trump on Tuesday regarding immigration policy, and fully expects Congress to act on a solution this week.

Kinzinger's Democratic opponent in the 16th Congressional District Sara Dady, an immigration attorney from Rockford, said the congressman has not worked hard enough to protect children known as "dreamers" as national attention builds around the Trump administration's immigration policy, saying Kinzinger has not co-sponsored the Dream Act.

The Associated Press has reported nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

The policy change was meant to deter unlawful crossings — and Sessions issued a warning last month to those entering the U.S. illegally that their children "inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions," according to the Associated Press.

Kinzinger, who co-sponsored the Recognizing America's Children Act, has said he believes undocumented children who have only known the U.S. to be home deserve the opportunity to be in the country legally.

"I do not support separating children from their parents, and I am alarmed by these recent reports," the Channahon Republican said in an email statement Monday to questions from The Times.

The current holding areas have drawn widespread attention after journalists gained access to one site Sunday. At a McAllen, Texas, detention center hundreds of immigrant children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets, according to an Associated Press report.

"Separating children and parents in order to deter people from securing protection in this country is completely unprecedented," Dady said in a phone interview Monday. "This type of policy has never been used by any president's administration in my 10 years of practicing immigration law. I have never seen such an immoral action. In the U.S., we do not use the suffering of children to punish parents; that's something criminals do."

While Kinzinger supports the protection of children, he is more selective when it comes to their parents. He supports a border wall between Mexico and the United States.

“I also am not supportive of parents putting their children in danger by illegally crossing the border," Kinzinger said in his statement Monday. "These parents are putting their children at risk for human trafficking, amongst other dangers. I hope my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, will support the compromised package that increases border security, provides a permanent solution for the Dreamers, and makes the necessary immigration reforms that will reduce these border crossings."

Dady said it is lawful to ask for asylum in the United States as a refugee and was critical of the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy.

"On a warrant issued by the attorney general, an alien may be arrested and detained pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States," Dady said, citing law 8 USC 1226. "It says 'may,' it doesn't say 'shall' or 'must.' Congress put 'may' in intentionally to leave it in the discretion of the attorney general, and if Congress knew the attorney general was going to use it in this manner, it would not have passed this law.

"It's unbelievable Congress can't trust the attorney general and the president to make moral decisions to not hurt children."

Trump defended his administration's border-protection policies Monday, rejecting criticism the policy has resulted in inhuman and immoral conditions, as well as faulting Democrats, according to the Associated Press.

"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility," Trump said. "Not on my watch."

While Congress members have focused on a targeted fix, the White House signaled it would oppose any narrow fix aimed solely at addressing the plight of children separated from their parents under the immigration crackdown. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's priorities, like funding a border wall and tightening immigration laws, must also be fulfilled as part of any legislation.

"We want to fix the whole thing," she said. "We don't want to tinker with just part of it."

Dady was critical of Congress for letting the immigration issue get to this level. She said Congress has had six years to pass the Dream Act and has failed to do so, despite bipartisan support.

She said immigration reform is needed to give a clear path to citizenship for 5,000 Illinoisans, which will create more taxpayers.

"The Senate had no problem passing (the Dream Act), but Speaker (Paul) Ryan will not call it," she said. "Kinzinger will not co-sponsor it. He's an empty suit. He pays lip service, but he doesn't solve any real problems."

Kinzinger recently said during a radio debate in May he supports a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. He wants the immigration process to be “generous” but ultimately based on job skills.

“That brings the kind of people we want here for the jobs we need filled in this country and the innovation we need in this country as well as family-based immigration,” Kinzinger said.

The congressman's office said they will release a more detailed statement Tuesday, after a scheduled House conference call.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Boone County and Solar Farms




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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Vacancy at District 100 Board of Education

Board of Education Member Vacancy Notice


Belvidere Community Unit School District #100 has a seat available on the Board of Education for a term ending April, 2019.  Legal qualifications include:

1. Citizen of the United States for at least (1) year;

2. 18 years of age or older;

3. Resident of the State of Illinois and District #100 for at least one (1) year;

4. Registered voter;

5. Not holding the position of school trustee or school treasurer; and

6. Candidate cannot reside in Belvidere Township.

Such persons may be ineligible for Board of Education membership by reason of other public office held or certain types of state or federal employment.

Interested persons should submit the following:

1.Letter of interest indicating why they would like to be considered for the vacancy on the Board of Education; and

2.Resume outlining the qualities they would bring to the Board of Education.

Please submit letter and resume to Mr. Robert Torbert, President, Board of Education, Belvidere Community Unit School District #100, 1201 Fifth Avenue, Belvidere, Illinois 61008.

The deadline for receiving letters is June 29, 2018.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Environmental Law Clinic at U Of Chicago sues Trump Tower


State records obtained by the Tribune show the president’s glass-and-steel skyscraper is one of the largest users of Chicago River water for its cooling systems, siphoning nearly 20 million gallons a day through intakes so powerful the machines could fill an Olympic swimming pool in less than an hour, then pumping the water back into the river up to 35 degrees hotter.

Like other large users that draw water directly from rivers or lakes, Trump Tower is required to follow federal and state regulations detailing how facilities should limit the number of fish pinned against intake screens or killed by sudden changes in pressure and temperature.

Yet of the nearly dozen high-rises that rely on the Chicago River for cooling water, the decade-old skyscraper developed by Donald Trump is the only one that has failed to document it took those measures, state records show. Trump’s Chicago managers also haven’t conducted a study of fish killed by the luxury hotel and condominium complex — another step required five years ago by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in a permit for the building’s water intakes.

Estimates of Trump Tower fish kills likely won’t be available anytime soon. A draft of the state’s latest permit gives building managers another three years to complete the ecological study and confirms state inspectors failed to ensure the skyscraper has complied with the fish-protecting regulations.

“I can’t keep a library book checked out for more than two weeks without getting a fine,” said Albert Ettinger, an environmental lawyer challenging the permit on behalf of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River. “Why should Trump Tower get special treatment?”

Citing the state’s lack of enforcement, Ettinger and Mark Templeton, director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago, notified Trump Tower’s managers on Friday that the nonprofit groups are preparing a federal lawsuit accusing them of repeatedly violating the 1972 Clean Water Act.

Questions raised by the lawyers already appear to be having their intended effect.

Kim Biggs, an Illinois EPA spokeswoman, said agency officials granted Trump Tower a four-year permit in 2013 and proposed renewing it this year based on limited information from building representatives. But the agency is planning to revise its draft “to address a number of issues” regarding the skyscraper’s cooling intakes, Biggs said, and will hold a public hearing to discuss the changes. “Your references to the January 2018 draft permit may no longer be relevant once the new draft permit is put to notice,” she said in an email.

Trump Tower representatives did not return telephone calls.

The fact that lawyers are invoking an obscure provision of federal law to protect fish in the Chicago River is another sign of the improving health of a sluggish prairie stream that city leaders once treated as little more than an industrialized sewage canal.

Engineers reversed the river away from Lake Michigan more than a century ago to keep the city’s waste out of its source of drinking water. Advances in sewage treatment and multibillion-dollar stormwater diversion projects have cleaned it up enough that kayaks can be rented along the popular Riverwalk and other spots that draw people to the water’s edge.

Federal and state biologists found nearly 30 types of fish swimming in the murky green water during the past four years, including largemouth bass, bluegill, white perch and walleye. In October, a boy fishing on the Riverwalk a block away from Trump Tower caught the first American eel ever seen in the river.

Most of the fish arrived naturally and appear to be growing in number, based on periodic surveys by federal, state and local officials. Another species found downtown is channel catfish, a relatively easy catch for anglers that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources stocked in the North Branch four years ago after building artificial nesting cavities to encourage reproduction.

Chicago River

A city of Chicago Fleet and Facility Management boat makes its way down the Chicago River near Trump International Hotel & Tower on June 6, 2018. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

“A politician once told me fish don’t vote,” said John Quail, director of watershed planning at Friends of the Chicago River, a nonprofit group that has pushed for decades to change how the waterway is managed. “But the city and others have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the river, banking on the idea that it’s going to continue to improve.”

A diverse fish population in the river might not mean much to a tourist looking down at the water from the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Quail said, but it is an important indicator of progress in meeting the Clean Water Act’s goal of “fishable and swimmable” waterways throughout the nation.

Trump Tower’s developers initially failed to get a permit for a new cooling-water intake on the former site of the drab, low-slung Chicago Sun-Times Building. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office filed a complaint in 2012, three years after Trump opened his glistening Chicago high-rise at 401 N. Wabash Ave., and a year later the corporation in charge of the hotel and condo tower agreed to follow the law and pay a $46,000 fine.

In settlement documents, the state said the fine would “serve to deter further violations and aid in future voluntary compliance.”

All of the other users of river water have filed documents with the state outlining how their cooling systems limit fish kills. Most draw substantially less water than Trump Tower and slow the velocity of their intakes to increase the chances fish can swim away safely, records show.

One of the most extensive collections of documents is for 300 N. LaSalle, a 60-story office building that uses about 2 million gallons of river water a day, compared with the nearly 20 million gallons withdrawn daily by the 98-story Trump Tower built during the same period.

Building engineers at 300 N. LaSalle are required to check the water intakes three times a day. The vast majority of the 183 fish found during the past five years were dead, records show.

Most other downtown buildings, including many on the river, rely on different methods to keep cool.

Some have cooling towers connected to the public water system. Others tap into an underground network of pipes that deliver chilled water from a handful of “ice batteries” scattered around the Loop. The facilities act like massive radiators by freezing water-filled coils at night when electricity prices are low, then circulating the cold water to more than 120 buildings during the day through a closed-loop system that returns hot water to be frozen again at the ice plants.

The federal regulations at issue for Trump Tower were prompted by a Clean Water Act provision intended to help restore lakes and rivers by forcing polluters to significantly reduce their water withdrawals. Enforcement was spotty at best until a 2007 court order required the U.S. EPA to revise its regulations, which the agency concluded most users could meet either by installing cooling towers or reducing the velocity of water intakes.

Energy companies are the chief targets of the regulations. The Tribune reported in 2011 that dozens of old power plants on the Great Lakes kill hundreds of millions of fish each year while sucking in massive amounts of water to cool equipment.

As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly condemned environmental regulations and vowed to abolish the federal EPA. The anti-regulation agenda he has pushed since taking office is carried out in part by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma attorney general scaled back enforcement of environmental laws and sued the federal agency 13 times to block or delay clean air and water rules.

Last year the American Public Power Association urged the Trump administration to add the cooling intake regulations to its list of environmental rules to overhaul or abolish.

For now, at least, the rules are still in effect.

Twitter @scribeguy

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

U.S. judge orders EPA to limit pollution into New York, Connecticut

By Jonathan Stempel


ReutersJune 13, 2018

EPA Administrator Pruitt testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington

FILE PHOTO: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 Environmental Protection Agency budget in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take steps to curb ozone pollution that blows into New York and Connecticut from five other states.

The decision by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan is a victory for New York's and Connecticut's attorneys general, Barbara Underwood and George Jepsen.

Their offices sued EPA administrator Scott Pruitt in January, accusing him of ignoring his responsibilities under the federal Clean Air Act to reduce pollution.

Koeltl said the EPA acknowledged having missed an August 2017 deadline to arrange plans to reduce smog from Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia that travels eastward into New York and Connecticut.

Those plans had been required under the "Good Neighbor" provision of the Clean Air Act. Koeltl set a December 6 deadline for compliance.

"Given the prior violations of the statutory deadline by the EPA, it is a reasonable exercise of the court's equitable powers to require the EPA to do the minimal tasks it has agreed it can do to remedy its past violation of the statute," Koeltl wrote.

An EPA spokeswoman said the agency intends to propose this month, and make final by December, "an action that will address any remaining good neighbor obligations related to the 2008 ozone standard for these and other states."

Ozone is a colorless gas that can be created when pollutants react to sunlight. It has been linked to asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and other health problems.

Underwood's predecessor, Eric Schneiderman, had been a vocal critic of the EPA and the Trump administration prior to his resignation last month.

"As many as two in three New Yorkers are breathing unhealthy levels of smog," Underwood said in a statement. "The court's decision is a major win for New Yorkers and our public health, forcing the Trump EPA to follow the law."

Jepsen, in a separate statement, said he was gratified by the decision, and plans to keep working with New York to hold the EPA accountable when it ignores its legal obligations.

The case is New York et al v Pruitt, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-00406.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Chicago picks Elon Musk company to build high-speed transit tunnels between Loop, O’Hare

Chicago Tribune

Chicago picks Elon Musk company to build high-speed transit tunnels between Loop, O’Hare

Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 9:43 PM CT

Autonomous 16-passenger vehicles would zip back and forth at speeds exceeding 100 mph in tunnels between the Loop and O’Hare International Airport under a high-speed transit proposal being negotiated between Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s The Boring Co., city and company officials have confirmed.

High speed transportation from downtown to O'Hare proposal

This video offers a conceptual look at The Boring Company’s loop technology, which it plans to use for high speed transportation between downtown and O’Hare International Airport. The high-speed underground public transportation system would transport up to 16 passengers at a time on self-driving electric vehicles built on a Tesla chassis. The vehicles, called “skates” by Boring, would top speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, traveling the 17 miles between an underground station at Block 37 and one at O’Hare in 12 minutes.

This video offers a conceptual look at The Boring Company’s loop technology, which it plans to use for high speed transportation between downtown and O’Hare International Airport. The high-speed underground public transportation system would transport up to 16 passengers at a time on self-driving electric vehicles built on a Tesla chassis. The vehicles, called “skates” by Boring, would top speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, traveling the 17 miles between an underground station at Block 37 and one at O’Hare in 12 minutes.

Bill Wolf passes away



William A. Wolf   1930-2018

Wm A. (Bill) Wolf was born June 14, 1930, in Rockford, IL.  Son of CJ (Doc) and Mabel Frances Wolf.  He graduated from Belvidere High School in 1947 and was a member of the undefeated 1946 football team.  He attended Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL where he met his wife, Sara Tyson Wolf.  They were married shortly before graduation on April 26, 1952.  Bill served his country with Army Military duty and was stationed at Fort Bliss, El Paso, TX.  He and Sara returned to Belvidere in 1954 to begin working in the family automotive business, Wolf Chevrolet Sales Inc.  He became the dealer operator in August 1962.  Bill was involved with the Illinois Automobile Dealer Association (IADA) serving as board president in 1988, the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA) serving as the elected state of Illinois representative for 19 years.  Bill received the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award in 1993 and served on the Chevrolet National Dealer Council.  Bill and Sara were active volunteers and very involved in their Belvidere community.  Bill was a founding member of the Boone County Conservation District and the Sister Cities Association.  He served as Belvidere Chamber of Commerce president and was honored to receive the Chamber’s Doctor of Civic Betterment Award in 2011.  Bill was elected and served on the Boone County Board and took an active role in building the Belvidere Public Safety Building.  Bill was an active IOU Club member for 64 years and a past president.  Over their 66 years of marriage, Bill and Sara enjoyed traveling together with many friends.  He was a lifelong faithful member of St. James Catholic Church in Belvidere.

Bill is loved and will be missed by his family; children, John (Candy) Wolf, Michael (Joyce) Wolf, Callie (Jim) Marrs, Chris (Norman White) Wolf; grandchildren, Janna (Dan) Earley, Scott (Katie) Wolf, Nickolas (Sarah) Wolf, Joseph (Char) Wolf, Frank Wolf, Mitch Wolf,  Matthew Wolf, Mary Wolf, Katie (JC) Fanning, Greg (Katie) Marrs, Lisa (John) Liebgott, Jeff (Kelly) Marrs, Stephen Wolf, Aaron Wolf, Alex Wolf; great-grandchildren, Alice Earley, Maeve Earley, Kendall Wolf, Kyle Wolf, Ethan Wolf, Kiley Fanning, Ally Fanning, Henry Marrs, Nora Marrs, Amelia Marrs, Evelyn Marrs, Sawyer Marrs, Griffin Marrs; brother Jack (Peggy) Wolf.  Bill is preceded in death by his wife, Sara; parents; son, Thomas; grandson, David and sister, Susan.  The family would like to acknowledge special home / caretaker, Betty and the kind service and staff of Agrace Hospice.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, June 18, 2018 in Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, 218 W. Hurlbut Avenue, Belvidere, IL with Rosary being prayed at 7:30 p.m.  Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in Saint James Catholic Church, 402 Church Street, Belvidere, IL, with Rev. Brian Geary Celebrating.  Burial will be at St. James Catholic Cemetery.  In Lieu of flowers, memorials can be given in Bill’s name to St. James Church, Boone County Conservation District, Agrace Hospice.  To share a memory, please visit

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