Saturday, October 15, 2016

Letter to Editor of Beloit Daily News—GLB RR




Featured letter: The not-so-great Great Basin Railroad

Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2016 10:00 am

The privately funded railroad that is projected to run from Indiana, through Illinois, and up to Milton, Wisconsin is still being considered even though the proposed path up through Boone County was defeated. The newly proposed path is shown to go west of Rockford and Rockton and into Wisconsin. A map of the new route can be accessed at

The rail line is to be privately owned by big investors, (as yet unnamed), and can best be described as a toll road for trains. The managing partner, Frank Patton, states that it will save time in getting trains through the Chicago bottleneck. It is highly likely and believed by many to be routing oil and hazardous material through the countryside. It should be noted that Mr. Patton, the chief promoter has no experience with the most complex transportation system in the world, America’s rail network, according to Great Lakes Basin Rail: News and Views newspaper; One has to question the probability of success if the promoters have no experience in the rail business.

The rail corridor is to be 200 feet wide and includes a 50 foot wide area for future use for pipe lines, utility company use, or other profit generating means for the rail line investors. The length of the corridor has been quoted as being 244 miles, 278 miles and 260 miles. Every mile taken represents 24 acres of land taken from current owners and about 6,000 acres in total, gone. Kankakee County is opposing this venture in part because a rail port or yard taking up 15,000 acres is proposed by the promoters.

Up to 110 trains per day are projected to run on this line. This means that a train will pass by every 15 minutes. Planned speed is 70 miles per hour on a one percent grade and 1 to 3 degree turns. This means filling in wetlands near rivers and impounding water. To achieve the 70 mile per hour speed, many roads will have to be terminated at the rail line. Some of our farmland floods frequently and this will slow receding water and delay field work. Farm fields will be bisected, homes and buildings will have to be moved and some fields will be too small for present day equipment to farm.

Our farm is located less than a mile from the proposed route which would have 3 road crossings: Meridian road, Moody Road and Rockton Road, all within approximately one half mile.

My understanding is that a Federal Quick Take eminent domain action does not allow or require any local government approval. It has been requested that a new comment period to the Surface Transportation Board be opened since a new route has been proposed. If granted, property owners and concerned citizens need to provide written comments to this board.

Promoters claim that they will pay $20,000 per acre for land and grant free electricity to affected houses adjacent to the purchased land. If Federal eminent domain laws are used, you must sell your land and by law they can only pay fair market value.

Illinois has some of the most productive farmland in the United States. We can’t afford to continually remove this land from agricultural production if we expect to feed an ever growing population. Various groups lament the near extinction of snail darter fish, a desert rat, spotted owl, and other fauna. Where are they when it comes to protecting farmland?

By what logic can billionaire investors be granted approval by our Federal Government for this privately owned rail line that takes land owned for generations of families and creates financial and emotional hardship for them.

The online comment appears to be still active. Please submit comments either online at or mail to: Dave Navecky, Surface Transportation Board Docket No. FD 35952, 95 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001.

Last week, over four hundred people attended an informational meeting at the Rockton Township offices to hear speakers and pick up information on this project.

Dean G. Mohring

Farm owner

Rockton Township Trustee

Above is from:

Former model alleges Trump put hand up her skirt; ‘Apprentice’ star says he groped, kissed her


Michael Walsh


October 14, 2016

Two more women came forward Friday with new allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump, one a former model who says the Republican nominee once put his hand up her skirt and the second an “Apprentice” star who charges he kissed and groped her without consent.

In a televised press conference with star lawyer Gloria Allred Friday, “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos came forward with charges that during what she expected to be a business meeting with Trump, he forcibly kissed her, groped her breast and thrust his genitals toward her.

“He came to me and started kissing me open-mouthed as he was pulling me towards him,” Zervos said in the presser. “He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again, very aggressively, and placed his hand on my breast.”

Later, attempting to repel his advances, Zervos said, “I pushed his chest, put space between us and said, ‘Come on man, get real.’ He repeated my words back to me, ‘get real,’ as he began thrusting his genitals.”

Zervos appeared on Season 5 of Trump’s popular reality show, which aired in 2006, and was the first contestant to be “fired.” She said the alleged sex abuse took place in 2007 in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel during what she thought would be a meeting to discuss a job with his organization.

Trump issued a statement Friday evening saying he "vaguely" remembered Zervos, but he denied the incident she described had happened and called the accusations "unfounded."

"I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life," the statement read.

Trump accused the media of "creating a theater of absurdity" and reporters of "throwing due diligence and fact-finding to the side" in publishing the varied accounts from accusers.

The candidate also attacked his accusers as "horrible liars" and sharply rebuked the media at rallies Thursday in West Palm Beach , Fla. and Friday in Greensboro, N.C., charging news outlets that ran stories of alleged sexual abuse were pushing an agenda to "elect crooked Hillary Clinton."

Hours before that press conference, the Washington Post published an interview with former model Kristin Anderson, who said that Trump put his hand up her skirt and touched her vagina through her underwear one night in a Manhattan night club in the early 1990s.

Like several of the women who have come forward with claims of sexual misconduct by Trump, both Zervos and Anderson said they were compelled to share their stories after hearing Trump brag about sexually assaulting women on a now infamous 2005 hot mic recording in which he said he could “do anything” to women because of his celebrity status.

“The reason that I’m saying this now and not before — where I didn’t think it was consequential to talk about before — was basically the bus tape that is so disgusting, really,” Anderson said in a video interview with the Post. “I watched this woman who could’ve been me, it could’ve been anyone, walk in and shake his hand. And that was just nauseating because she has no idea what she’s walking into and what could possibly happen to her.”

Anderson, now 46 and working as a photographer in Southern California, was in her 20s and living in New York City to pursue a modeling career at the time when she says Trump, whom she had never met, pushed his hand up her miniskirt and touched her crotch.

These two stories move the tally of alleged incidents of Trump touching women without their consent to at least nine. They also emerged less than a week after the second presidential debate, during which Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he had never touched a woman without consent.

Trump defended his lewd remarks to then “Hollywood Access” host Billy Bush in the leaked 2005 hot mic tape (in which he brags about grabbing women “by the p****) as “locker room talk” and “just words,” however Anderson’s allegations suggest that he has, in fact, done exactly what he described in that conversation.

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the TV show The Apprentice, is embraced by lawyer Gloria Allred (L) while speaking about allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump during a news conference in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 14, 2016. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)

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Summer Zervos is embraced by lawyer Gloria Allred while speaking about allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)


Zervos broke into tears during her press conference as she recalled her experience, saying that upon her father’s advice she decided to meet Trump at one of his golf courses the day after his alleged groping because she was still interested in getting a job with Trump’s organization.

A few days later, she says she was offered a job at the golf course for half of the salary she had been seeking. She called Trump, she said, to tell him she felt as if she had been penalized for not sleeping with him.

“Mr. Trump said he was golfing and could not discuss it at that time,” she said. “In a subsequent conversation about the job, Mr. Trump told me that I should never again use his private number and that if I wanted to reach him I should contact him through his office.”

Zervos said she was given “the runaround” and ultimately did not get a job within his organization.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

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Donald Trump at a rally in Florida on Thursday. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)


Anderson said she felt the need to speak up after reading a story published in the New York Times in which Jessica Leeds told her story about Trump allegedly groping her on a New York-bound airplane and Natasha Stoynoff’s article in People magazine about him allegedly pushing her up against a wall and “forcing his tongue” down her throat.

“I was in a fortuitous position. I could just get up and move, but what if I hadn’t been,” Anderson said. “After that, I was like, ‘OK, you know what? Let me just back these girls up! You know, that’s not OK.”

Including these two new allegations, at least nine women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct: Leeds and Stoynoff’s claims are detailed above. Rachel Crooks told the New York Times Trump kissed her on the mouth outside an elevator at Trump Tower in 2005. Mindy McGillivray, in an interview with the Palm Beach Post, said he groped her at Mar-a-Lago in 2000. Cassandra Searles said he groped her buttocks in a hotel room, according to a report on the Washington local station K5 News. Temple Taggart said he kissed her on the lips at the Miss USA pageant in 1997, NBC News reported. And Jill Harth said he groped her in his daughter Ivanka’s bedroom in 1997, as reported in the Guardian over the summer.

At the time, Anderson said, she brushed off her encounter with Trump as inconsequential, but now knows it’s important to talk about it.

“If you’re letting someone stick his hand up your skirt who one, did not even introduce himself. You weren’t even speaking with them,” she said, “they’re sort of groping you on the side, on the fly, like you’re some sort of stuffed animal on the couch, that is really not OK.”

Allred said Trump’s view and treatment of women is particularly chilling because he is seeking the highest office in the country. She said the American people deserve better than a president who feels entitled to grope women.

“Donald, before you can become president of the United States, you must first learn how to treat women with respect,” Allred said. “Your words and your alleged actions convey the exact opposite. Your words alone as captured on tape are disgraceful and suggest a belief system that is far below the dignity of the office that you seek. The White House is not a locker room.”

Trump’s campaign has repeatedly denied the accusations that he has made unwanted sexual advances on women.

Above is from:  This address also includes a five minute statement by Ms. Zervos

Trump and Russia




By Dana Priest, Tom HamburgerThe Washington Post

Former senior U.S. national security officials are dismayed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's repeated refusal to accept the judgment of intelligence professionals that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.

The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia's role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were "confident" that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks.

"It defies logic," retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, said of Trump's pronouncements.

Trump has assured supporters that, if elected, he would surround himself with experts on defense and foreign affairs, where he has little experience. But when it comes to Russia, he has made it clear that he is not listening to intelligence officials, the former officials said.


What's This?

"He seems to ignore their advice," Hayden said. "Why would you assume this would change when he is in office?"

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Top Hillary Clinton aide links Trump campaign to Russian email hacking

Top Hillary Clinton aide links Trump campaign to Russian email hacking

Several former intelligence officials interviewed this week believe that Trump is either willfully disputing intelligence assessments, has a blind spot on Russia, or perhaps doesn't understand the nonpartisan traditions and approach of intelligence professionals.

In the first debate, after intelligence and congressional officials were quoted saying that Russia almost certainly broke into the DNC computers, Trump said: "I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?"

During the second presidential debate, Trump ignored what a U.S. government official said the candidate learned in a private intelligence briefing: that government officials were certain Russia hacked the DNC. That conclusion was followed by a public and unequivocal announcement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security that Russia was to blame.

"Maybe there is no hacking," Trump said during that debate.

"I don't recall a previous candidate saying they didn't believe" the information from an intelligence briefing, said John Rizzo, a former CIA lawyer who served under seven presidents and became the agency's acting general counsel. "These are career people. They aren't administration officials. What does that do to their morale and credibility?"

Former acting CIA director John MacLaughlin said all previous candidates took the briefings to heart.

Trump dismisses Pence's hawk talk on Russian-backed Syria

Trump dismisses Pence's hawk talk on Russian-backed Syria

"In my experience, candidates have taken into the account the information they have received and modulated their comments," he said. Trump, on the other hand, "is playing politics. He's trying to diminish the impression people have that [a Russian hack of the DNC] somehow helps his cause."

On Thursday, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said information she received has led her to conclude that Russia is attempting "to fix this election." She called on Trump and elected officials from both parties "to vocally and forcefully reject these efforts."

Trump has consistently adopted positions likely to find favor with the Kremlin. He has, for instance, criticized NATO allies for not paying their fair share and defended Russian President Vladimir Putin's human rights record.

"It's remarkable that he's refused to say an unkind syllable about Vladimir Putin," Hayden said. "He contorts himself not to criticize Putin."

Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said in the vice-presidential debate last week that the United States should "use military force" against the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Trump disagreed. Rather than challenge Assad and his Russian ally, Trump said in the second debate, the United States should be working with them against the Islamic State. "Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS. Iran is killing ISIS," he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State. Russia and Syria have mostly been targeting opposition groups as well as civilians trapped in Aleppo - not the Islamic State.

"That's the Syrian, Russia, Iranian narrative," Hayden said of Trump's assertions.

The Washington Post's Greg Miller contributed to this report.

Above is from: