Lake Michigan wind farm would harm migrating birds
Referring to “Lake Michigan Wind Farm Touted for Southeast Side,” pushed by State Rep. Marcus Evans and State Senator Bob Peters, I propose the following: Of the five Great Lakes, only Lake Michigan is a migratory highway for migratory birds. The placement of turbines would be a death sentence for them.
Because of this, the plan will fail an environmental impact study. I draw your attention to the “Free to Roam” photo op of North America in National Geographic September. Chicago’s Burnham Wildlife Corridor is cited as preserving the native ecosystems used by 3 million migrating birds along the city’s lake.
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I beg Chris Wissemann of Diamond Offshore Wind to get out of this business. Twelve years ago, I was chosen to investigate the possibility of placing 40 wind turbines east of Northwestern University. Me and another person submitted a minority opinion against pursuing this before Evanston City Council. The state owned the bottom of the lake. We didn’t have a deep water port, our streets were compromised, electricity had to be brought to Skokie, etc. Birds weren’t even a problem back then. Needless to say it cracked.
This effort should also be abandoned.
Fred J. Wittenberg, Evanston
Chicago must have safer streets
The recent tragic murder of Samuel Bell by a belligerent driver proves once again that Chicago must make street safety a priority. As a pedestrian and cyclist, I constantly avoid reckless drivers.
Recently my child and I were nearly hit by a car which suddenly slammed into the Halsted Street cycle lane. Countless times a day I see cars jumping stop signs and making illegal turns. We desperately need slower speed limits, as well as safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. I’m just sick of having to fear for my life and the lives of my children every time I use the street.
Andrei Pohorelsky, Lake View East
Put a stop to presidential pardons
The Constitution (in Article II, Section 2) gives the President absolute power to grant pardons. Unfortunately, this authority has sometimes been blatantly violated by presidents of both parties (see, for example, Democrat Bill Clinton’s pardon of his brother) and Donald Trump promises a pardon for the Jan. 6 insurgents if re-elected.
Some restraint should be imposed on this authority. One possible solution could be to amend the Constitution to require the advice and consent of the Senate for presidential pardons and/or commutations of sentence. Such notice and consent is required for some presidential appointments, so why shouldn’t it be required for, indeed, an acquittal? The president would still have the right to initiate the clemency process, but that would put a stop to the abuses we have seen in the past and may experience in the future.
William Gottschalk, Lake Forest
Fairly compensate disabled veterans
Our disabled veterans are grossly underpaid. The consequences for all of us could be disastrous.
In 2022, a totally disabled veteran with no dependents is compensated at the ridiculous rate of $39,984.72 per year. The National Average Wage Index (NAWI) for 2020 was $55,628.60 per year and the median income for 2020 was $67,521. GDP per capita in 2020 was $63,416. This rate of compensation for disabled veterans is deliberate and cruel.
They have been asking various administrations and Congress for fair compensation since the end of World War I in November 1918. That was nearly 104 years ago. Where is he?
In my opinion, the fundamental reason for this gross undercompensation is that they are only compensated for the expected loss of wages due to their disability. They are not compensated for their low quality of life.
I call for legislation this year to compensate them fairly, especially the totally and permanently disabled, who should be compensated at least at NAWI level.
It is now a national security issue.
George Avery, Chicago