Monday, April 16, 2012

Pro, Anti-Peotone Airport forces plan separate events

Residents of eastern Will County are planning a celebration of their rural life, agriculture, and Mother Earth on the day before the designated Earth Day, on April 21.

It will be at the site of the proposed Peotone Airport. Their celebration will include a 'stop the airport rally' and a parade.

Coincidentally, that just so happens to be the same day that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is planning what local residents deem a "fake groundbreaking," on the site of what Jackson hopes will one day be the Abraham Lincoln National Airport.

, member of the United States House of Represe...
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While Jackson hopes, the residents plan to rally around the realty that eastern Will County is farm country. It has been rural in character since Illinois was settled. Their hopes are that the land which has sustained them for many generations will remain rural.

In addition, the folks in eastern Will County didn't cotton well to Jackson's recent comment that there was nothing in eastern Will County but tumbleweed. It is their hope Jackson will notice that they are not tumbleweed.

Joining Jackson, will be his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, some south suburban clergy, who have virtually no ties to eastern Will County, as well as other airport boosters who want to "occupy" Peotone.

"The Jackson entourage wants to 'pray for the destruction of our homes, communities, and farmland to make way for an unneeded airport,'" say the folks who already "occupy" Peotone.

While Jackson's purpose for his "ceremonial groundbreaking" for an airport that remains unapproved by the Federal Aviation Administration and has not been proven necessary by that agency, is trying to pressure Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to turn over state-owned land to Jackson's self-created airport authority, ALNAC, (Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission).

The residents hope to convince Quinn that Illinois citizens want to protect farmland and rural communities.

"We are opposed to wasting precious taxpayer dollars on this boondoggle when the State of Illinois is $131 billion in debt!"


  1. April 18, 2012 Algernon H Penn wrote:
    We are being told The Great Recession is over and job growth has been increasing, albeit slow but increasing. Many may applaud this, but many still wonder if jobs will ever return to the Chicago Southland. That is unless you are speaking about building a $700 Million airport. This almost two decades old discussion is going to crystallize on April 21, 2012 with the People’s Groundbreaking of the Abraham Lincoln National Airport near University Park, IL.

    So-called anti-airport activist George Oschenfeld of Shut This Airport Nightmare Down (STAND) is upset about peaceful gathering of many who are still looking for jobs. Oschenfeld stated that, "(Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.) is planning a make-believe groundbreaking for his make-believe airport on April 21. We have decided that this is a good time for a celebration of our quality of life in Eastern Will County.” He also stated that the proposed airport as unwanted and a waste of taxpayers' money. He’s wrong on all fronts. Clergy and residents of the 2nd Congressional District will host the groundbreaking and blessing of the land. Not Congressman Jackson. We believe the airport is necessary. So does the town of Monee where Mr. Oshenfeld is resident. They passed a referendum two years ago supporting the airport.

    Oschenfeld seems to look at other residents of the 2nd District and determines only he knows what’s best for them, that only his quality of life matters and only his good paid taxes have been wasted. This old tactic has been used to segregate people based on narrow perceptions. Rosa Parks and African American citizens paid taxes for buses to run in Montgomery Alabama just like everyone else, but were told where to sit or risk being arrested! I question the ‘real’ undergirding of Oschenfeld’s call to have a ‘counter-protest’ against clergy and residents who are coming to pray,are from the 2nd District and whose taxes have paid for the land.

    Oscshenfeld’s message to ‘stay away’ or ‘stay where you are’ has been heard before. It also says, ‘Go elsewhere’ to find jobs. Oschenfeld isn’t the only one who feels this way. Unions in Will and Kankakee Counties have historically denied African-Americans, Latinos and women the chance to support their families. This mindset must be changed.

    Building the airport is about JOBS and the quality of life for all in the Southland. IDOT has told STAND that an airport is going to be built. End of story. We know that where there are jobs, the unemployed will come. People of all races will want to live close to where they work.

    71% of 2nd District voters believe this is a movement for jobs. Mr. Oschenfeld and local unions want to lock others out. They are the new minority in the 2nd district. We shall pray for them, but we will not be deterred. This is now a movement.

    Algernon H. Penn
    Friends of ALNAC

  2. What does segregation have to do with jobs? Everyone has a right to work. So if we are the minority of opposition, then "the second district" is doing the same "segregation" to all of us residents. I recall that the minorities had a problem with being left out or segregated off. This is just a power struggle and a strong arm effort to destroy the beauty of lands that is now dwindling due to supposedly we need more jobs in the wrong places. It's funny when this airport was proposed years ago, how in the world did we have jobs since then? Guess what, we did. The airport movement is only a band-aid in an effort to mask the real issues of a failing economy. Yes the economy and jobs are hurting, but we need to stop cutting pensions, laying off state workers, cutting programs in all areas. It is funny to think the people would actually want a unnecessary airport instead of jobs that we had before? The state keeps cutting funding and raising taxes, laying workers off, and cutting programs, but they have 700 million dollars for another airport? It really seems the state is setting us up for a even quicker debt death. It is a rural area for a reason. Let's leave it that way.

  3. Obviously, Jackson doesn't have a clue what tumbleweed is. Let him come to New Mexico. I'll show him tumbleweed. Let him roll in it!

  4. Ryan, Jean, You are so right, but I fear this is only one of the things Jackson doesn't know about rural living.


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