Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Road to Nowhere

Problem: 90% of accidents occur near Fremont Twp Rd. Solution: Move the road. The Route 53 Extension lies smoldering upon the ash-heap of history, but Lake County is all like: OK, Dr Evil may be gone, but what about Mini-Me?

In this case, Mini-Me is a plan to realign and extend Fremont Center Road. Running parallel to and not far from the proposed Route 53 Extension, Fremont Center Road crosses Fremont Township in the locked & loaded heart of Lake County.

A price tag has not been announced, but it is believed the project will cost considerably less than a $3 billion Route 53 Extension.

LCDoT documents indicate the current road is not well configured and the scene of 202 accidents between 2010 and 2014. Fremont Township officials are urging immediate action:
"This project is desperately needed as soon as possible. Our residents are unable to access Route 60 safely at the intersection of Fremont and 60 and Erhart and 60 due to the angle of the existing road," Fremont Township Supervisor Diana O'Kelly said.
Lake County road plan continues with or without Route 53
One fiscally minded public servant, however, told your LakeCountyEye: "If safety is the only concern, they can save themselves the $30 million by just setting up some DUI checkpoints, instead."

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Friday, May 27, 2016

A License to Vote?

mmmm ... down-ballot races If Google can make a self-driving car, then why can't drivers be automatically registered to vote at the DMV? The Illinois Senate thinks they can, and passed an Automatic Voter Registration Bill.

Surprising no one, the Daily Herald was none too pleased:
What is the benefit to democracy of increasing voter turnout if those added voters in large part may be uninformed?
Editorial: The pure politics behind automatic voter registration
To find out what drives this debate, your LakeCountyEye contacted Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, Adjunct Driving Instructor at the College of Lake County.

"Ya, no ifs ands or buts about it." said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "The filthy voters should not be permitted to do their business in the public voting booths."

The filthy voters?

"The great unwashed, if you will." explained Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "When these people show up to vote, they pull the levers on all the machines, and spread their diseases. Ebola Virus, Zika Virus, Amstutz Virus. Care for some hand sanitizer?"

Rather than framing the issue in terms of voter hygiene -- isn't this really a question about a well-informed electorate?

"Donald Trump won the Illinois Primary by double digits." snorted Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "If the Daily Herald is really afraid about the misinformed showing up in droves to vote -- well that jackass already left the barn."

Are there any positive solutions?

"You can't have a well-informed electorate without freedom of the press." observed Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "But the local newspapers all keep a paywall around their websites. If the Daily Herald took down their paywall, the voters would have seen that the Herald endorsed John Kasich for President. And none of them would've voted for Trump."
Endorsement: Kasich as Republican for U.S. president
Too funny. Were there any serious solutions being considered?

"No one is going to publicly admit it, but all these uninformed voters live in Chicago." said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "So any solution would have to include improving the Chicago Public Schools. The Illinois Senate passed what some are calling a Bailout Bill for the Chicago schools. Money from suburban school districts would be redistributed to the Chicago Public Schools. The Daily Herald could endorse the Bailout Bill."

Your LakeCountyEye could not shake the feeling of having been punkd. Did Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi have any parting advice?

"Tell your operatives to get to a Secretary of State office and automatically register to vote. As early as possible. And often."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Out of Commision

Make America Rich Again Note to Lake County commuters: If your tolls go up, that's because no one represents you anymore on the Illinois Toll Authority. This week Lake County Commissioner Nick Sauer vacated his seat on the Tollway Board. Toll Board Members meet once a month and are given $31,426 for what can be charitably described as a part-time job. Sauer has not stated a reason -- he perhaps resigned from the Board because $30,000 simply doesn't go as far as it used to?

It is believed that Nick Sauer was appointed to the Tollway Board last year to be a strong advocate for the Route 53 Extension.  At the time, Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor headed the Route 53 Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee, which reports to the Illinois Tollway Board. This week both Lawlor and Sauer, abruptly and in succession, cut their ties with the Toll Board.

Even before Sauer could clean out his locker at the Tollway Authority gym+spa, Governor Bruce Rauner appointed a Bartlett resident to fill the vacancy:
Lake County's representative on the Illinois tollway board, Nick Sauer, is stepping down after a brief tenure and will be replaced by Neli Vazquez-Rowland, co-founder of an alcohol and drug addiction recovery program, a state official said. Sauer was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner a year ago as he revamped the tollway administration.
Sauer exiting tollway board in midst of Route 53 angst
Neli Vazquez-Rowland is a Rauner political ally and President of A Safe Haven Foundation. In 2014 ...
Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced the members of ten new transition teams Wednesday. Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President of "A Safe Haven Foundation," was named to Rauner's Health and Human Services Committee. Her husband, Brian Rowland, CEO of "A Safe Haven LLC," was named to the Veterans Committee.
Note to Ops: If you are an elected official and must cope with a sudden loss of income, it may pay to investigate the Job Training and Placement Services at the Safe Haven Foundation. Just sayin!

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Sauer Note

You might as well just tie a yellow ribbon around the Route 53 Blue Ribbon Commission.  Nick Sauer is the latest well apportioned Lake County Board Member to back out of the plan to build a Route 53 Extension. Aaron Lawlor was the first Lake County Board Member to pull his support, this week, from the project, confirming the adage ...
If Lawlor goes, can Sauer be far behind?
The Route 53 Extension enjoyed substantial public support -- until it became clear that the project came with a price-tag upwards toward $3 billion. The massive public works project is now regarded as a political concrete albatross.

Nick Sauer, the Daily Herald says ...
was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner a year ago as he revamped the tollway administration. The Lake County Board member is running as a Republican in the November election for the Illinois House seat held by outgoing state Rep. Edward Sullivan of Mundelein.
Sauer exiting tollway board in midst of Route 53 angst
Your LakeCountyEye cannot recall witnessing breathtaking reversals of conviction like these, and for the sake of political expediency -- at least not since Donald Trump ran for President.

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Double Crossing the Route 53 Extension

taxed enough already? Someone must've told Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor that this is opposite day. That's because Lawlor threw the Route 53 Extension under the bus.

Haha, according to the Daily Herald ...
Monday's stunning announcement by Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor that he's withdrawing support for the Route 53 extension and suggesting instead officials concentrate on a "greenway" corridor leaves the Illinois tollway in the odd spot of championing a project dropped by a prime backer.
Lake County's Lawlor pulls Route 53 support; study still on?
Lawlor (who is believed to have been advocating for the Route 53 Extension since before he learned to drive) chairs the Route 53 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council. With his abrupt pull-out, Lawlor leaves the Illinois Tollway Authority holding the bag -- a bag with a $50 million hole in it to cover the cost of a planned Environmental Impact Study.

Your LakeCountyEye observes that this is an election year. And Aaron Lawlor discovered he was on the wrong side of a suddenly unpopular public works project. And with the certifiably crazy Donald Trump atop the GOP ballot, many local Republican office holders fear for their jobs. A rising tide may lift all boats. But these boats are moored inside the men's room of Trump Tower.

Note to the Illinois Tollway Authority: Elected officials do what they need to do to stay elected officials.

Nuff said?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

One No Trump

sample ballotIf you see Robert Dold with a sharpened #2 pencil, he is heading to the voting booth. That's because Dold -- Lake County's serial congressman -- says he will write-in his choice for President:
Dold plans to write in a presidential candidate when he votes in November, although he hasn't decided who it will be.
House Republicans fear Trump effect
Dold can opt to go rogue and write-in a candidate, but the task is easier said than done. Your LakeCountyEye recalls one Operative who, after given a ballot that said ...
write in, if any
... wrote in:
if any
A write-in is usually a protest vote, but a good protest candidate is hard to come by. Mickey Mouse has been written-in a million times already, and -- note to Representative Dold -- anyone who does risks getting hit by Disney with a copyright suit.

Of course choosing a write-in candidate not on a preselected list is a job in itself -- simply because the eeny meeny miny moe voting system doesn't work here. So to get the upper hand, sources tell your LakeCountyEye that Robert Dold has already narrowed the field down to a shortlist of ten:
Robert Dold's
Best 10 Write-In Candidates
for President
  1. Lizard People

  2. Bill the Cat

  3. Ted Nugent

  4. Brad Schneider

  5. Deez Nuts

  6. Bob Dole

  7. The Orkin Man

  8. Nobody

  9. Bernie Sanders

  10. Donald J Trump
Don't forget to write-in your LakeCountyEye at a poll near you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Final Decision

Last year at this time I wrote about a conflict in Ingleside over riparian rights and property assessments.  One principal who played a leading role in the story appealed the assessment of his Wooster Lake home to the State and sent me the decision:

This homeowner regards the favorable decision as a defacto ruling that his and other homes on Wooster Lake are not legally bound to restrictions stated in a local homeowner's covenant.

Whether or not he is right or if this is the end of the story remains to be seen. But I post this update for those who are interested.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Q the Eye/05.08.16

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Long time reader, first time troller.

How do I tell which parts are supposed to be jokes and which ones are real?

Senator Jack S Phogbound
Dear Cartoon Congressman,Ὥρος Hōros

It absolutely is getting hard these days to tell where political satire ends and the political campaign rhetoric begins.

But, sirrah, your LakeCountyEye takes offense at the suggestion that this blog purveys anything less than 100% factual truth.

For instance, two weeks ago your LakeCountyEye predicted that Donald Trump will choose Illinois US Senator Mark Kirk to be his Vice Presidential running mate ...
Second Banana?

Or reality-based reportage?

Skeptics should take note: CNN has reported that ...
Whether he likes it or not, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk has a new running mate: Donald Trump.
Donald Trump looms large in Illinois Senate race
In an interview about Trump, Kirk was upbeat about his new running mate's chances:
"He won the Illinois primary, in this case we have seen the Republican vote up and the Democratic vote down, so it looks like it's a net benefit."
Donald Trump looms large in Illinois Senate race
Now that a Trump/Kirk Presidential ticket is a done deal, your LakeCountyEye can predict that 2016 will be the final year that Mark Kirk represents Illinois in the US Senate. Take it to the bank.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...LakeCountyEye@gMail.com

Thursday, May 5, 2016

RINO Plasticity

No hos?  Oh noes! There is an old saying in Lake County:
As Indiana goes, so goes the nation.
Haha, Donald Trump is now officially the President of Indiana. And Lake County's single US Senator, Mark Kirk, is scared witless. According to Politico ...
Sen. Mark Kirk isn't just distancing himself from the rest of the GOP — he's fleeing from it. From the Supreme Court vacancy battle to gay rights to criminal justice reform, the moderate Illinois Republican is sounding more like a Democrat with each passing day as he fights to save his political life in an overwhelmingly blue state this fall.
Kirk goes full RINO to save Senate seat
The most endangered Republican senator in the country is sounding a lot like a Democrat these days.
Mark Kirk, in fact, is sounding so much like a Democrat these days that the Illinois State Board of Elections has legally enjoined the Senator to change his ballot name to Dick Durbin.

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.