WBEZ | Pete Visclosky http://www.wbez.org/tags/pete-visclosky Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en EPA hopes to spring life into Gary’s lakefront http://www.wbez.org/story/epa-hopes-spring-life-gary%E2%80%99s-lakefront-92965 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/cameron davis.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Marquette Park Lagoon is an oasis of tranquility in Gary, Indiana.&nbsp;Just off the shores of Lake Michigan, the lagoon attracts migratory birds and is home to a number of unique plants. But something is killing birds that visit the lagoon.&nbsp;One theory is that the birds are eating contaminated fish.</p><p>But this lagoon isn’t alone. Birds throughout the Great Lakes region are dying off in similar fashion. At a press conference Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s providing nearly $1 million in funding to find the cause of the die-offs.&nbsp;Scientists in Milwaukee, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Northwest Indiana will use the money to conduct the research, which will be led by the U.S. Geological Service.</p><p>“This funding will provide a great opportunity for us to keep Great Lakes beaches clean and healthy for the public, and increase our understanding of threats to fish and wildlife such as such as botulism and bacterial contamination,” said Dr. Leon Carl, Regional Executive for the USGS Midwest Area. “We are also pleased that we will create jobs for over 20 unemployed workers who will help accomplish this effort.”</p><p>The U.S. EPA on Friday also announced funding for a second project. This one will dredge the Marquette Park Lagoon to make it deeper and healthier. About $1 million is committed to the project.</p><p>“These investments will help fulfill our commitment for a new Great Lakes standard of care; our work is no longer about limiting damage and minimizing harm to the ecosystem. It is about proactively working to make the Great Lakes healthier for the next generation,” said Cameron Davis, EPA’s Senior Advisor on the Great Lakes. “Each project we’re announcing will produce immediate, direct ecological benefits and will help to put unemployed people back to work.”</p><p>U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Indiana) said the work is greatly needed.</p><p>These latest projects are part of a multi-million dollar effort called the Marquette Plan. The mission is to remake vacant industrial land into public uses along Northwest Indiana’s lakeshore.</p><p>“The work being done at Marquette Park and across the Great Lakes is putting people back to work while protecting a vital natural resource and building a better future for our region,” Visclosky said.</p></p> Fri, 07 Oct 2011 23:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/epa-hopes-spring-life-gary%E2%80%99s-lakefront-92965 Indiana lawmaker questions wisdom of closing waterways to stop Asian carp http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-lawmaker-questions-wisdom-closing-waterways-stop-asian-carp-88834 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-07/Asian Carp_Flickr_Kate Gardiner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the region struggles to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan, a leading candidate for Indiana governor has joined calls for a review of how closing Chicago-area waterways would impact industry in Northwest Indiana.</p><p>Indiana U.S. Rep. Mike Pence is seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for governor. He says closing the Chicago-area shipping canal would endanger thousands of jobs in Northwest Indiana and calls Asian carp a "serious but manageable threat to the Great Lakes region."</p><p>Rep. Pence and Democratic Indiana U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky filed a bill Wednesday that would mandate an impact study by the Army Corps of Engineers.</p><p>The <em>Times</em> of Munster reports that BP, ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel are among area industries that use the canal system that links Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 15:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-lawmaker-questions-wisdom-closing-waterways-stop-asian-carp-88834 LaHood talks high-speed rail in Indiana http://www.wbez.org/story/high-speed-rail/lahood-talks-high-speed-rail-indiana <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said Northwest Indiana is poised to be a major player in the development of high-speed rail.</p> <p>LaHood said enthusiasm is high in Indiana for high-speed rail projects because it can bring jobs and money to the state. A line between Chicago and Detroit could have a stop in Northwest Indiana.</p> <p>But in Indiana, Republicans control the Statehouse and the governor&rsquo;s office. Republican governors in other states have turned away billions of dollars&nbsp; from the federal government for high-speed rail projects.</p> <p>LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, said he doesn&rsquo;t anticipate a problem like that in Indiana.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of enthusiasm and energy and support for transportation not only in Northwest Indiana but all over the state,&rdquo; LaHood said at a Thursday luncheon at the Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Indiana. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure those voices will be heard.&rdquo;</p> <p>Some states such as Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida have turned away billions in federal money for high speed rail projects. <br />LaHood says those funds now have to be distributed elsewhere and some of it could end up in Illinois. That&rsquo;s because Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has committed to provide matching funds for high-speed rail projects.</p> <p>LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois 18th district, said the funds might as well go to his home state which is committed to high speed rail.</p> <p>&ldquo;Right now the dominate player, to be honest with you, and I&rsquo;m obviously is very happy about this, is my home state of Illinois because the governor there [Quinn] has stepped up,&rdquo; LaHood said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why they&rsquo;ve gotten over a billion dollars.&rdquo;</p> <p>LaHood was invited to speak before the pro-business group, the Northwest Indiana Forum. Mark Maassel, president of the Forum, said a high-speed rail stop would work perfectly at the Gary-Chicago International Airport.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it would be an opportunity to really enhance the flexibility for our transportation system and allow people to move easily,&rdquo; Maassel said.</p> <p>LaHood was joined at the event by U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, a Democrat from Northwest Indiana. Visclosky said the federal government&rsquo;s role is to promote job growth. Promoting high speed rail, he said, falls into that.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have to make an investment in transportation. There is a fundamental role of government to create jobs,&rdquo; Visclosky said.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 01:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/high-speed-rail/lahood-talks-high-speed-rail-indiana