Sunday, July 30, 2017

On the Wrong Side of the Tracks

How to cut your property tax.
What are the chances an exploding oil train will explode in Lake County? One bookmaker told your LakeCountyEye that the exact odds would depend on the over/under. So your LakeCountyEye took a measuring tape to Round Lake Beach and observed the over/under there to be about 13 feet & 6 inches:
In fall 2015, what turned out to be the largest road-improvement project in Lake County history provided a Canadian National Railway overpass at Rollins Road, along with additional lanes and a modified intersections at Rollins and Route 83, which eased flow to an estimated 41,500 vehicles per day.
Lake County, IDOT hit with $7.1 million judgment in Rollins Gateway lawsuit
Haha, to build the overpass for the Canadian National Railway, Lake County had to seize property. The owner sued:
Lake County and the Illinois Department of Transportation must pay $7.1 million to the owner of a Round Lake Beach shopping center as compensation for land taken and other damages as part of the Rollins Road Gateway Project.
Lake County, IDOT ordered to pay $7.1 million to Round Lake Beach business owner
A knowledgeable insider explained how the Lake County Treasury operates: "One $7 million wrongful eviction lawsuit here, one $7 million wrongful eviction lawsuit there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Note to Railroad Ops: Always build your tracks over the road. Railway underpasses are subject to floods. Just sayin!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mr Curran Goes to Springfield

An actual unretouched screengrab from the Daily Herald website:
According to the Herald story ...
DuPage County Board Vice Chairman John Curran has been appointed to replace the state senate seat left vacant by Christine Radogno, a Lemont Republican, officials said Saturday. Curran has served as a DuPage County Board member since 2008, most recently as vice chairman since 2012.
DuPage County Board member appointed to state Senate vacancy
Curran no doubt should be thrilled at his appointment to the State Legislature. By anyone's estimation this counts as an out-and-out promotion. Curran's tenure as a County-level elected official reaches back to the mid 2000's. And one does not often see a public servant leapfrog out of County government and straight into the Springfield Capitol dome. Your LakeCountyEye sends hearty congratulations to State Senator Curran!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Grade on a Curve

... tick ... tick ... tick ...
Some people would rather take clean-up detail after a catastrophic flood than be asked to solve a story problem. If you are that guy, here is this week's story problem:
An exploding oil train, measured from the tip of the cowcatcher to the tail of the caboose, is 27 miles long. And you would swear it was moving along no faster than ¼ mile per hour. How much time would you have to kill at the crossing before this train rolled by?
Answers must be submitted in a SASE. Please show your work.

SPOILER ALERT!

The correct answer is:
108 hours
(27 miles ÷ .25 mph = 108 hours = 4½ days)
Coincidentally, 108 hours is also the duration that the CN rail crossing in Mundelein will be down this week:
Route 60/83 at the Canadian National Railroad tracks in Mundelein closed Monday morning as work began on repairs to the grade crossing there. The crossing is scheduled to remain closed until 6 p.m. Friday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Repair work begins on Mundelein crossing
Note to Ops: This is why you had to learn algebra.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Missed the Boat

Make up your own poopdeck joke here.
Your LakeCountyEye just rowed in from Waukegan Airport. And boy are your LakeCountyEye's arms tired!

Haha, If you haven't received your FEMA disaster relief money yet, the check is in the mail, your LakeCountyEye has learned. Or as the case may be, in the mailboat.

The delay is attributed to Governor Bruce Rauner's reluctance to declare Lake County a flood disaster area:
Rauner is getting trounced in the local media for failing to visit, fly over, make a statement — or even send a tweet — after an unprecedented amount of rainfall in northern Illinois caused flash flooding, leaving subdivisions under water, shutting down a major amusement park, flooding a community college and even prompting the evacuation of a local hospital.
Rauner stumbles on Midwest flood response
For the record, there is no truth to the rumor that Rauner fell overboard while surveying the floods and has been missing at sea ever since. That is because Billionaire-Governor Rauner did declare Lake County a flood disaster area, the very minute it became a political liability to not do anything.

Note to Ops: If a Coast Guard Cutter weighs anchor on your front lawn, you can tell them to call off the search & rescue operation.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Same Name Different Lake

An actual unretouched screengrab from the Daily Herald website:
According to the story, which is attributed to the Sun-Times ...
A haggard-looking Dennis Hastert can be seen in a booking photo released Wednesday -- the first public image of the former House speaker after his 13 months in federal prison for scheming to cover up his sexual abuse of boys. The image comes from the Lake County sheriff's office, where Hastert, 75 -- called a "serial child molester" by a federal judge -- was processed after his release from a Minnesota prison.
Lake County sheriff to electronically monitor Hastert
Sparing no expense, your LakeCountyEye conducted a thorough analysis of public records and can now report that there is a Lake County in Minnesota. Also there is a Federal Prison in Lake County Minnesota. And that former US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was incarcerated in that Lake County Federal Prison. In Minnesota ...

Lake County, Minnesota
Note to Ops: If Hastert owes you money, this means you won't be able to collect in Waukegan.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Lake County Bailout

Demonstrating a keen grasp of the obvious, Governor Bruce Rauner declared Lake County a disaster area. The News-Sun said:
Gov. Bruce Rauner toured flooded areas in Lake County on Friday as officials warned that the worst is yet to come in some areas, with the potential for record flooding along the Fox and Des Plaines rivers. While some anticipated the governor might declare the county a disaster area when he went to Gurnee around 10:45 a.m. to survey the damage and meet with local officials, he initially did not, drawing criticism from two local Democratic legislators and others. Hours later, at about 5 p.m., Rauner reversed course, issuing the disaster declaration not only for Lake but for Kane and McHenry counties as well.
After tour of flooding, Rauner declares Lake, Kane, McHenry counties disaster areas
Illinois Billionaire-Governor Rauner was not quite as stingy in the past when it came to doling out the flood disaster declarations, as this 2016 press release attests:
A state disaster declaration makes a wide variety of state resources available that can help communities respond and recover from flooding. Such resources include sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks, inmate crews and other assistance to ensure public safety.
Governor Rauner Adds 11 Counties to State Disaster Proclamation for Flooding
Note to Ops: do not try to be reimbursed for repairs to your leaky cabin in the Dells.

To be sure, along with the great power of a disaster declaration comes great responsibility. Declaring Lake County a disaster area has consequences -- consequences mandated by the State of Illinois, and having impacts as far-reaching as they are wide. Well, no more than 10 of them, by your LakeCountyEye's count:
Spoiler Alert:
What to Expect When Lake County is
Declared a Flood Disaster Area
  1. Illinois Beach State Park will be moved to McHenry County.

  2. Scoop the Loop host to classic Land Yachts as well as Sea Yachts.

  3. All wrongful convictions henceforth decided under Maritime Law.

  4. Lake County sinkholes will be registered as inland lakes.

  5. The Race to Mackinac Island to start from Hawthorn Woods.

  6. Asian carp are now eligible to vote.

  7. No more jokes about why it's called Port Barrington.

  8. The Lake County Joint Action Water Agency would be rebranded as the Lake County Water Abatement District.

  9. Goodbye: Route 53 Extension
    Hello: Route 53 Suspension Bridge

  10. Lake County will be renamed: No-Wake County
Look for your LakeCountyEye dowsing near you.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Flight from Liquidity

If the mission of the Lake County Joint Action Water Agency is to bring Lake Michigan water to the homes of Lake County, it may be time to rethink that mission. As of late, most Lake County homes are under Lake Michigan.

Haha, Illinois Billionaire/Governor Bruce Rauner found time to be in Lake County today. Your LakeCountyEye got this snapshot of the Governor surveying the floodwaters:

You've been served, Gov. Rauner
While the Governor was earning his sea legs, he may not have seen these Tweets:
"Lake County residents have been working to pick up the pieces after major flash floods hit the area. The governor has not declared a state of emergency for Lake County, so residents with devastating property damage and no flood insurance have been unable to get access to low-interest loans that help people rebuild."

"Today, the governor will be in Lake County touring flood sites. The devastation experienced by our constituents over the last few days needs to be seen to be understood. Clean up from this historic flooding is going to take all of us working together."

"With more flooding expected to occur this weekend, we urge Governor Rauner to do what Governor Walker has already done, declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard to provide much-needed relief to flood victims. Lake County residents need this help immediately."

'Asleep at the wheel': Yingling, Bush call on Rauner to issue disaster declaration for Lake County
A spokesman told your LakeCountyEye: "The Governor is an old-hand when it comes to filling sandbags. The Bruce Rauner Turnaround Agenda has been sandbagging the State of Illinois since 2014!"

[h/t: Crain's]

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Damn Over the Water

aquaholics anonymous
There is no truth to the rumor that a leaky Lake Michigan water pipe in Grandwood Park is responsible for the flooding in Lake County. As a matter of fact the widespread floods were delivered by storms of global warming Biblical proportion.

The News-Sun got the scoop:
Torrential rains pounded Lake County overnight Tuesday into the Wednesday morning commute, with flash flooding closing major roadways, shutting down Six Flags Great America and the College of Lake County, swamping basements and forcing the evacuation of residences from Mundelein to Fox Lake.
'It just didn't stop' — flooding sweeps Lake County during series of storms
One spokesman told your LakeCountyEye: "This is the third or fourth hundred year flood we've seen this century. And it's only 2017. The truth in advertising statutes may obligate us to change the name of Lake County to Flood County."

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Water is the New Oil

a two cents plain
Lake County got some new pipes. Has there been a spike in medical marijuana sales? Nope, these pipes disperse Lake Michigan water:
An often overlooked part of daily life in the 1,900 homes and businesses that comprise Grandwood Park changed last week as Lake Michigan water began flowing from taps, showers and hoses.
Lake Michigan water flows into new areas of Lake County
There is no truth to the rumor, your LakeCountyEye learned, that the water is for a new bottling plant that will truck bootleg, tax-free soda into Cook County.

In reality, the pumps are running dry. The Daily Herald talked water with Grandwood Park resident and Lake County Board member, Steve Carlson ...
he supported the need for a new source after the well system basically dried up years ago during a drought. "It's something we had to do," Carlson said.
Lake Michigan water flows into new areas of Lake County
Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Lifestyle of the Party

survival of the fitness
Note to Ops: unless your lifestyle approaches the lifestyle of the rich and famous be prepared to lose your health insurance. Lake County Congressmen Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren both voted to repeal your Obamacare. And you're to blame. That's because it's your unhealthy lifestyle that is driving up everyone else's insurance premiums.

Haha, the GOP figured out they can keep their premiums low by excluding from Trumpcare those who make poor life choices. And since your LakeCountyEye has never met an Operative who did not maintain the lifestyle of a college sophomore, they mean you!

Despair not, however. Trumpcare is all about choices. You may choose to pay a lot of money for a junk policy. Either that or you can make some existential choices, live healthy, and forgo health insurance entirely. Either way and whether you like it or not, the GOP will make you adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Despair not, however. Your LakeCountyEye has surveyed the best healthy-living clickbait the Internet has to offer. Not only is a healthy life within reach, but you can get there in 10 easy steps:
Ten Lifestyle Mistakes to Avoid in Lake County
Don't Try Any of This ... ... Unless You're Ready for Some of This!
1.Living Near the Route 53 ExtensionLung Disease, Heart Attack, Stroke
2.Living Near an Exploding Oil Train TrackExploding Oil Trains
3.Living Too Far from Cook CountyMuffin Tops, Bat Wings, Turkey Wattles and Tax-Free Soda
4.Living Too Close to McHenry CountyYou May be a Redneck
5.Jogging in a LCFPDEbola Transmitting Mosquitoes
6.Driving Your CarLake County Sinkholes
7.Getting Out of Your CarTicks!
8.Fourth of JulySee: Exploding Oil Trains
9.Substitute Beer for SunblockSPF Zero
10.Blow Off the Boss's Rubber Pizza Re-Election FundraiserUnemployment Insurance
Look for your LakeCountyEye living it up near you.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Boom or Bust

The Lake County exploding oil train did not explode in Lake County yesterday. In fact it failed to explode.

WLS-TV reports that ...
Emergency crews are on the scene of a freight train derailment in far southwest suburban Plainfield Friday evening. The derailment happened around 7:30 p.m. near Rte. 59 and Riverwalk Court. No injuries have been reported. About 25 cars derailed, police said. Police said about 40,000 gallons of crude oil have leaked from three cars. Firefighters have barricaded off the leak and prevented it from reaching the DuPage River. They are also taking all possible precautions to prevent a fire from starting. The Canadian National train was traveling northwest at the time of the derailment.
About 40,000 gallons of crude oil leak after derailment
The CN train that failed to explode in Plainfield is the same Canadian National line that crisscrosses Lake County:
One spokesman with his ear to the rail explained the misfire: "The train derailed in Plainfield and not in Lake County for the same reason Canada observes the Fourth of July on July One: Canadians operates on their own time schedule."

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.