What Does Al Gore’s Beating Out George Ryan for the Nobel Peace Prize Have to Do with MCC’s Baseball Stadium?

This year’s cause cause du jour beat out one from the past.

The august judges of things Nobel have decided that fighting global warming is more important that fighting the death penalty.

The news came into my computer at 4:43 AM this morning.

One can count on the Nobel Peace Prize committee to focus attention on the liberal idea of the moment.

Me, I’d rather worry about something where I could make a real impact.

The more local the effort on things political, for example, the better the chance that one’s actions might make a difference.

That’s why I don’t usually get involved in presidential campaigns. (I was a delegate for Jack Kemp in 1988, but he dropped out the week before the Illinois primary after losing the Iowa caucus. Doesn’t that illustrate my point as well as anything could?)

So I prefer trying to make a local impact.

Something like stopping McHenry County College from putting a baseball stadium in Crystal Lake’s watershed.

Or forcing MCC to put up a parking garage that wouldn’t cover as much of the watershed as a parking lot would.

Or banning phosphorus on the watershed, even on row crops owned by the Crystal Lake Park District or MCC.

Or banning the use of sale on city streets and parking lots (like MCC’s) in the watershed.

Or encouraging the college and other local governments and churches to build eco-friendly, super-insulated buildings by Solarcrete, rather than the traditional energy-leaking material that is planned for MCC’s four new basketball courts, fitness center, staff offices and classrooms.

So, now that all my liberal readers and hot and bothered about my Al Gore comments, I suggest that the ones in Crystal Lake pick up the phone and call all of your city council membes, including the mayor.

We could all be little Al Gores before next Tuesday’s 5:30 PM Crystal Lake City Council zoning vote on the baseball stadium.

1. Tell council members you want them to vote to reject McHenry County College’s attempt to put a baseball field on the watershed when there are plenty of nearby gravel pits that need improvement.

One old gravel pit, in the Vulcan Lakes Tax Increment Financing district, already has a planned focus on entertainment.

I’ll bet a baseball stadium could even be designed so that fans could see the water.

Then again, the Harlem-Irving investment group that won the $115 million potential subsidy probably is more savvy than to invest in a minor league baseball stadium.

2. Tell them that traffic is too bad already.

3. Tell them that you think MCC will have to

  • ask us taxpayers to bail it out,
  • raise tuition or
  • cut services,

if the baseball team goes belly up.

Give the council folks any reason that you want, just make the call.

The phone numbers are here.

And, do they want to hear from you?

I mixed up two digits on one council member’s phone number and got an email asking that it be corrected. Shortly thereafter, calls started coming and were appreciated.

One final thought.

Al Gore has proven that there is life after politics.

As someone in a similar, albeit less glorified position, that makes me all warm and fuzzy.

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