WBEZ | Peotone airport http://www.wbez.org/tags/peotone-airport Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Lincoln Effect: Are we taking advantage of Honest Abe’s good name? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-02/lincoln-effect-are-we-taking-advantage-honest-abe%E2%80%99s-good-name-105682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 12.09.09 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Tbzfvef0aE0" width="853"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80375342" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>This month many Americans celebrated what would have been the 204th birthday of Abraham Lincoln.</p><p>But if recent popular culture is any indication, our 16th president is still alive and well.</p><p>Daniel Day Lewis&rsquo; strong performance as the president in <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTA5rdz51XI"><em>Lincoln</em></a> may help Steven Spielberg&rsquo;s film sweep the Oscars -- it&rsquo;s up for 12 awards.</p><p>Ford brought him back to sell cars. In <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NklipvTBf64">the ad,</a> which premiered at the Superbowl, Lincoln strides out of the mist, wearing tinted shades, with his coat tails flapping in the wind.</p><p>And in a <em>Saturday Night Live</em> skit, comedian Louie C.K. depicts Lincoln as a henpecked husband, running late for the theatre. You can watch the entire segment above.</p><p>Now maybe it&rsquo;s just the view from Illinois, but doesn&rsquo;t it feel like we&rsquo;ve gone too far?</p><p>Do we really appreciate Honest Abe? Or are we taking advantage of him?</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that he&rsquo;s in the public domain doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean we should use him as a poster child for, you know, a sale for clothing or furniture in February,&rdquo; says Carla Knorowski, CEO of the <a href="http://alplm.org/">Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.</a></p><p>As a person charged with protecting his legacy, Knorowski said Lincoln needs an agent, and in fact she already considers herself the &ldquo;self-appointed agent of Abe.&rdquo;</p><p>But Knorowski says it&rsquo;s not just her. Everyone can find something to like in Lincoln, the everyman.</p><p>She gave me a laundry list of his attributes: That he was &ldquo;self-taught, had a sense of fairness, and honesty&rdquo;.</p><p>She also referenced his skills as a poet, inventor and &ldquo;one of our greatest humorists&rdquo;.</p><p>Still, some of our tributes to Lincoln can seem kind of funny, like we&rsquo;re just adding his name to something to make it sound better.&nbsp;</p><p>I&rsquo;ve deemed it the &ldquo;Lincoln Effect.&rdquo;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s an example.</p><p>In 2004, Donald Peloquin, the longtime Mayor of Blue Island, tried to get a bunch of southwest suburban municipalities <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280320_1_home-rule-municipalities-sales-tax">to actually secede from Cook County.</a></p><p>He and his band of rebels thought Cook was too big, too wasteful, and neglecting suburban taxpayers.</p><p>So they wanted to break off and create a new county. To help sell this controversial idea, he decided to call it Lincoln.</p><p>I asked Peloquin why, and he told me the answer was simple.</p><p>&ldquo;The State&rsquo;s motto is the land of Lincoln. And there&rsquo;s no Lincoln County. 103 counties and not one of them named Lincoln&rdquo;.</p><p>So naming his county Lincoln would help people get on board with the idea?</p><p>&ldquo;Well, I...yeah sure, partially,&rdquo; Peloquin said &ldquo;But the big thing is the credibility and the honesty and integrity that go with the name&rdquo;. He added, &ldquo;I think the ability to say we&rsquo;re going to start a new county and create it on the basis of what Lincoln promised and that&rsquo;d be honest and truthful government&rdquo;.</p><p>Peloquin&rsquo;s secession bid was a non-starter. But another effort he supports, which also has a Lincoln connection, is still up in the air.</p><p>For decades people have been talking about building a third airport in the southern suburbs.</p><p>But politics, environmental concerns, and competing airport proposals always got in the way.</p><p>Then in 2005 it became the pet project of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.</p><p>Last year, Jackson Jr. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/water/will-county-pushes-peotone-action-while-jacksons-absent-101654">led a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site</a>, even though no plans for the airport have been finalized.</p><p>Still, in his comments Jackson Jr., said &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s turnout clearly shows that the will of the people is to build our own future by constructing the Abraham Lincoln National Airport.&rdquo;</p><p>Well, we all know what happened to Jackson, and so far, invoking Honest Abe hasn&rsquo;t helped the airport either.&nbsp;</p><p>So is it a stretch to keep Lincoln&rsquo;s name attached to it?</p><p>When I put the question to Donald Peloquin he said &ldquo;I guess if you look at it that way. You know I look at it as it&rsquo;s for the people. And he was always for the people&rdquo;.</p><p>Sure. <a href="http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/gettysburgaddress/pages/default.aspx">And of the people and by the people.</a></p><p>But arguments for airports or state pension fights are a long way from Lincoln&rsquo;s high ideals and stirring oratory.</p><p>When you look at the state of Illinois politics you have to wonder are we really hitting the Lincoln bar all that often?</p><p>Maybe not but Peloquin says it&rsquo;s still worth conjuring the spirit of Lincoln &ldquo;because we have to turn it around.&rdquo;</p><p>Peloquin is not the only one looking back to Lincoln for a political fix. Spielberg&rsquo;s movie projects the same fantasy.</p><p>But maybe, even in the land of Lincoln, it&rsquo;s time to move on.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Alison Cuddy on <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison">Facebook</a></em></p></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-02/lincoln-effect-are-we-taking-advantage-honest-abe%E2%80%99s-good-name-105682 United CEO: Peotone airport would damage Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/united-ceo-peotone-airport-would-damage-chicago-98404 <p><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; ">United Continental Holdings Inc. CEO Jeff Smisek said Thursday a third airport in Chicago would bring the city more harm than good. </span></div><div style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">His remarks came just a few days before US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. plans to hold an event at the potental site of an airport in Peotone, to show local support of the project.</span></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; ">Smisek said he didn't see and airport being built in Peotone because with an airport like O'Hare, there's no demand for a third.</span></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; ">"</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">When you start diluting a hub, you damage the city. And whatever purported benefits a new airport would bring would be vastly overshadowed by the damage to the hub itself," he said.</span></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">Jackson's been working on a Peotone airport for years, as he believes it will give the South Side some much needed access to jobs and economic growth. He's planning on bringing a group of people to the site this weekend for what he calls a "people's groundbreaking." </span></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">The airport has been a recent point of contention between Jackson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">Though the mayor endorsed Jackson in the recent primary elections, he doesn't support the airport plan. Instead, the mayor has proposed expanding O'Hare International airport, saying it would be like adding a third airport without actually building a new one.</span></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">Smisek was quiet on the subject of O'Hare's expansion at first, saying he looked forward to the talks with the mayor. When pressed, he explained that investment would only come if there was also demand.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">"We're committed to Chicago, we're Chicago's hometown airline," he said. "We hope that the demand will be such that we can grow Chicago, and we certainly have the ability to grow Chicago if the demand is there."</span></div></p> Thu, 19 Apr 2012 17:39:05 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/united-ceo-peotone-airport-would-damage-chicago-98404 Jackson on Peotone groundbreaking: ‘Bring your own shovel’ http://www.wbez.org/story/jackson-peotone-groundbreaking-%E2%80%98bring-your-own-shovel%E2%80%99-97782 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-30/RS5195_Petone 1a-scr.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>There are many types of ground-breakings. There are the unceremonious ones with no politicians in sight, and there are others where politicians line up to synchronize their shovel-holding for watching cameras. And then there’s the kind that Jesse Jackson Jr. wants to have on April 21. This one, which Jackson calls a “people’s groundbreaking,” is a symbolic move to regain traction on his drive for an airport in Peotone.</p><p>Jackson has spent years trying to transform a farm in Will County into a massive national airport named after President Abraham Lincoln, and he hopes some showmanship will break a political logjam.</p><p>“We will be there symbolically maybe with dozens — maybe even with a couple of hundred — people who agree that it’s time for us to move forward on this project,” Jackson said.</p><p>Politically speaking, Jackson is feeling confident and it may be as good a time as any for him to revive the long-standing airport issue. He handily won this month’s Democratic primary in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, an area that was redistricted recently and includes the site for the proposed airport.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-30/RS5196_AP120320153840.jpg" style="float: left; width: 253px; height: 350px; " title=""></p><p>Jackson points out that the state of Illinois already bought more than 2,000 acres of land for the project, and, he claims, he’s nearly finished with lining up private financing.</p><p>Jackson says with some political will, the jobs and economic growth should start soon.</p><p>“For the first time the global economy will be on the South Side of Chicago and the South Side of Chicago will have access to the global economy and that’s where the jobs are,” Jackson said. “Right now, the global economy is out by O’Hare and beyond. And so these are the hopes and dreams of a region.”</p><p><strong>Would groundbreaking end political fight or rekindle it?&nbsp;</strong></p><p>From another vantage, Jackson seems to be jumping the gun with his “people’s groundbreaking.” The federal government hasn’t approved a new airport for Peotone and it might not weigh in for at least two years.</p><p>And, it’s not clear where things stand politically. If Will County’s own politicians have any say, the airport will come later — much later.</p><p>“This idea of coming in and having a groundbreaking I think is just disrespect to the citizens of eastern Will County. It’s disrespectful to the municipalities out there,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. He especially scoffs at Jackson’s claim that construction could start soon, maybe even by June.</p><p>“You know, making those kinds of statements is just irresponsible,” he said. “Nobody is going to begin construction of an airport.”</p><p>Walsh also points out that the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t officially ruled on the question of whether the area actually needs a new airport.</p><p>Still, the paramount issue is one of control: Walsh wants state lawmakers to authorize an airport board made up of people primarily from Will County itself. Jackson’s plan includes outsiders, including representatives from Cook and Kankakee counties.</p><p>“Our Will County residents are going to be the ones most affected by this,” Walsh said. “Their quality of life is going to change. Some of these people, their families have been around here for a 150 years, and I have a responsibility to represent them in their quality of life for the development of this airport.”</p><p>So, where is Springfield in all of this?</p><p>The state of Illinois has been behind a Peotone airport for years, but the pace has been glacial, with progress coming in fits and starts. Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn is offering major moral support.</p><p>“We have a metropolitan area of Chicago that’s an underserved area of the south. Having an airport in Peotone is important and we shouldn’t forget it,” Gov. Quinn said.</p><p>But Quinn’s statements don’t come with concrete, financial backing, and there’s a new wrinkle in the discussion about regional airports. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now pushing plans for a fourth runway at O’Hare, which is already expanding. The proposal, which Emanuel laid out earlier this week, is to boost O’Hare’s capacity by 300-thousand passengers and reduce delays by 80 percent. The mayor argued that expanding O’Hare would be cheaper than the other alternatives. Not so with Peotone.</p><p>“I’m opposed to it,” he said. “That’s why I want to make sure that O’Hare is modernized.”</p><p><strong>How big could it really be?</strong></p><p>One thing that hasn’t come up so far is whether Jackson’s vision of a mammoth airport is realistic. Airlines are experiencing rapidly increasing fuel costs, and they’ve already questioned whether there’s enough demand at O’Hare and Midway, let alone Peotone. Plus, there’s another airport in Gary, Ind., that’s already running. It, like O’Hare, is already undergoing expansion.</p><p>All of this has Dr. Joseph Schwieterman of DePaul University questioning how much more airport capacity we need.</p><p>“There’s just no question that Peotone and Gary are really fighting for part of the same piece of pie and probably both can’t succeed,” Schwieterman said. “The market’s just too tough. Southwest expanding, Milwaukee and O’Hare’s being enlarged. There just isn’t enough market to go around for everything.”</p><p>But all those things don’t necessarily knock Peotone out of the airport sweepstakes. Schwieterman says a massive airport in Peotone might be out of the works, but, “the good news for Peotone is a micro small airport is in the realm of possibility, something very small: one runway, a couple of gates.”</p><p>Rep. Jackson is not buying the idea that Peotone should shoot for a small project, and he’s more than willing to draw out some heavy rhetoric for his cause.</p><p>“A generation ago there were those who blocked schoolhouse doors to stop progress. You really can’t stop progress,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t work. History is replete with figures who stood in the way of social, political and economic progress and that’s exactly what this airport represents.”</p><p>Jackson said he’s undeterred, and invites everyone to come to Peotone for his so-called people’s groundbreaking on April 21. He does say, though, that people should bring their own shovels.</p></p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 22:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/jackson-peotone-groundbreaking-%E2%80%98bring-your-own-shovel%E2%80%99-97782 Sniping begins in Halvorson-Jackson primary fight http://www.wbez.org/story/sniping-begins-halvorson-jackson-primary-fight-92905 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-06/photo.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The mudslinging has begun in a fight between Democrats for Illinois' 2nd Congressional seat.</p><p>Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson on Thursday formally kicked off her campaign against current U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. They've disagreed for years over who should control a potential airport in Peotone.</p><p>"This has been his pet project for 15 years. Where is it?" Halvorson said at a press conference in south suburban Chicago Heights. "I want to make it happen, too, but we've got to do it right, and we need a congressman that doesn't have ethical distractions. Maybe that's why he can't get anything done anymore."</p><p>Halvorson refused to fully explain that remark, while noting the House ethics committee has investigated Jackson. That stems from his lobbying to be appointed to the U.S. Senate by then-Governor Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>The ethics panel has deferred action, citing a request from the Justice Department, and Jackson has denied wrongdoing.</p><p>Jackson's spokesman wouldn't make him available for an interview Thursday. But in a statement sent by his congressional office, Jackson defended his airport plan, and said, "People today want more jobs and less political infighting."</p></p> Thu, 06 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/sniping-begins-halvorson-jackson-primary-fight-92905