Monday, August 23, 2004

Do Your Homework, Barack
As much as I admire Barack Obama, he needs some educating on the matter of an airport at Peotone. First, he should be acquainted with a maxim of airports. Airports should be built when airlines ask for them, and NOT to create jobs or for similar political reasons.
"Build it and they will come" does not apply to airports. The prime example is the MidAmerica airport near St. Louis. Illinois built it and nobody came. We’re stuck with spending millions on maintenance
Those Were My Footprints
I lived four houses from the home of Suzanne Degnan when the 6-year-old child was kidnapped and killed in 1946.
I was the first reporter on the scene. That was in the days of muscular journalism and the police didn’t have a spokesman to filter information to the press.
Detectives were in the front of the house interviewing family members. I went around to the back to the window through which the girl was carried or thrown. I asked the cop if it was OK for me to take a look in her bedroom. He shrugged, and I climbed in.
The sill was about six feet above the ground. I pulled myself up and left my fingerprints all over the sill and in the room. Then I backed out and dropped to the soft ground.
Those footprints were a major clue in the investigation. I didn’t know that until weeks, maybe a month or two later when William Heirens confessed to this and two other murders.
I told the detectives those were my footprints….and ducked.
Those were interesting and fun times before the police found yellow streamers to rope off areas and keep and press out of range. They can be thwarted, though, by those incredibly powerful TV cameras which can pinpoint objects nearly a mile away.
I had one advantage over other reporters. The police plain clothes detectives traveled in black Ford sedans, all with the identifying license beginning with 323. I bought a black Ford with a driver’s side spotlight and a 323 license. I could race anywhere at any speed getting to a fire or riot or any breaking story. I tried not to abuse my privilege.
Breakfast With the Whores
I worked the midnight shift at police headquarters . We had a fair share of fires and murders, but most nights nothing much happened. At 4 a.m. we’d pile in a car to go to the cafeteria….I think it was called Powers…..at State and 22d.
The prostitutes were calling it a night at the same time. Maybe they were unionized. Maybe they just had enough of men for one night. Whatever, 4 a.m. was quitting time. It would make interesting reading if I stretched the truth and suggested some interaction with the prostitutes, but we just recognized them with a smile and said, "Hi ladies."
Fun at the Old Police Hdq.
If you happen to be dining as you read this, you’d best skip to the next item.
The Daily News night shift reporter was a likable guy named Sol Pane. Sol always followed an arrival ritual at night, i.e., first stop at the men’s room.
The night shift allows a lot of time for mischief making. One night we decided on a welcome for Sol. We removed the light bulbs in the men’s room, and placed a board on the toilet between the seat and the bowl
Delicacy requires that I let you finish the scenario.

4 Comments:

Blogger David J Dachtera said...

Jack and I have always disgreed vigorously on the Peotone Airport topic. Here are some points I consider important...

First, it is useless to compare Peotone to MidAmerica. MidAmerica was a dumb idea from the get-go. A field the size of Lambert within a half-hour's drive of Lambert was doomed from the start. Area businesses already get all services they need from operators based at - you guessed it, Lambert. The Illinois population surrounding MidAmerica simply is not enough to drive enough business to support two airports that size.

Second, there's the Chicago-Gary argument. Listen to the traffic reports regarding the Dan Ryan / Bishop Ford / 80/94 combinations on your favorite news-radio station. I'm sure no further comment is needed there.

Remember also, that Gary-Chicago is in, that's right: Gary. From the burgeoning south suburbs, traffic and accessibility are no bargain. No advantage there.

Rockford? Milwaukee? Same comments: too far to be useful, traffic hopelessly tied up in knots during key drive times.

That leaves us with - Peotone. As the south suburbs bloom into their own "micro-metropolis", O'Hare and its political corruption, patronage and lack of vehicular access may as well be in either Rockford or Milwaukee. Gee, its an hour and a half drive from where I live (Shorewood area) just to get to O'Hare! ...assuming no traffic. The southlands need a major airport for freight and passenger service just to stay competitive!

"Airlines"? At the risk of sounding Clinton-esque, it depends how one defines "airlines". If one means the major O'Hare-based carriers, their only motivation for supporting a third airport would likely be based on the government's recent actions to reduce traffic over O'Hare. If one means local private carriers, smaller commercial carriers and potential upstarts, then that is where Peotone will likely find its first users.

I'm sure I won't live to see Peotone become more than a mass of construction. I like to think that those who buy my home in the Shorewood Area after I'm gone will be able to enjoy the convenience of flying from, say Peotone (instead of O'Hare) to Flying Cloud (instead of Minneapolis) without spending hours travelling to or from the airport on either end.

Yes, fans, I'm a dreamer...

August 24, 2004 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger jim said...

"As much as I admire Barack Obama..."
I am of course hearing that a lot these days. What is there to admire about him? The media in Chicago are fawning all over him but to quote an old commerical... "where's the beef?"
He is just a retread of the same old tired liberal democrat. You can tell by his buzzwords. "lover taxes on the working man" What does that mean? I think he means that those who work and don't make so much that they are working. Those that make a little better living of course don't work for their money so they should taxed into oblivion.
I will admit though that he will win in a cakewalk. He would have to commit murder on live television for him not to win. With the dissaray the ILL GOP is in if I were him I wouldn't spend one more time on the senate election, better for him to save it for the Presidential election he is sure to be in.

August 26, 2004 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger FairNBalancedBob said...

Jack says:
"As much as I admire Barack Obama, he needs some educating on the matter of an airport at Peotone. First, he should be acquainted with a maxim of airports. Airports should be built when airlines ask for them, and NOT to create jobs or for similar political reasons."

I agree with Jack about Peotone. However, it's not fair to imply that Obama is ignorant or wrong without checking out Brother Alan's position. Could Keyes even find Gary without a handler or GPS? Does Alan have a proposal to put a reliever airport for OHare somewhere east of Annapolis? Does Alan think Peotone is some birth defect producing element of power plant emissions that only tree huggers could care about? Does Alan have some insight as to where Jesus would rather board an airplane? Much more importantly, could Alan, like Fitzgerald, tell the corruption riddled Republican machine to "shove it" and take a position in favor of what is best for Illinois' citizens rather than what is for the benefit of Republican corporate donors and Republican partisan hacks? We would be well served by a press that would look into the position of this carpet bagging extremist theocratic talking head. We might be better off giving him the 40 acres and a mule he demands, rather than our attention or our vote.

August 29, 2004 at 10:33 AM  
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