Tribune Runs Another Story on Oakwood Hills Saturday

OH Trib 8-8-14

While the article will appear in the Saturday print edition, it showed up Friday on the internet.

The Chicago Tribune is running another story about the Oakwood Hills power plant proposal in its Saturday edition.

There is a video of an interview of an Oakwood Hills mom in which she says her family will move if the power plant is built.

Reporter Robert McCoppin capitulates the issue:

“The controversy takes to a new level the frequent ‘not in my backyard’ battles of the suburbs, those involved say.

“It pits the long-sought development of cleaner, more efficient energy sources against homeowners using targeted networking and social media to attack the plan and prevent any similar unwelcome surprises.”

After reading about the village’s consideration of a power plant early last fall on McHenry County Blog, McCoppin made inquiry. ┬áHere’s what he found:

“Last October, the Tribune asked Funk about a proposal to build a ‘peaker plant,’ a power plant designed to operate at times of peak power usage.

“In an email response, Funk wrote, ‘There are NO plans for a peaker plant in Oakwood Hills.'”

= = = = =
The article showed up on the front page and covered over half of page two.

The headline reads, "Big trouble in little Oakwood Hills."

The headline reads, “Big trouble in little Oakwood Hills.”


Tribune Runs Another Story on Oakwood Hills Saturday — 12 Comments

  1. The phrase ‘not in my backyard’ is a masterful public relations device designed to shift public attention away from victims’ rights when private, for-profit businesses seek zoning changes to enhance profits for their desired project.

    Media serves as a pawn to promote this sentiment unless they do the research, and provide insight into WHAT exactly is being forced into someone’s backyard, in contravention of current zoning.

    For one example, this power plant, if granted a zoning variance, will effectively own a water mining permit to take many millions of gallons per day of groundwater from a landlocked county entirely dependent on groundwater.

    Do Illinois residents understand that when their wells runs dry due to a neighbor’s water mining activity, they have no civil recourse?

    Does everyone understand there is no mechanism set up to effectively monitor and enforce water use limits on a power plant which can claim 11 million gallons a day as ‘reasonable use’?

    For another example, the existence of this plant will necessitate subsidization from citizens throughout the county, as property values are devastated in the immediate vicinity. (Loss of ‘water security’ may cause wider ranges of property value impact.)

    As assessed values drop in one area, but the amount of county taxes levied remains constant or higher, other homeowners must make up the difference. (The amount which power plant will pay in property taxes is around the amount which will be the immediate impact of a 7% home value reduction within 2 mile radius).

    The county and municipality (taxpayers) will inherit liability for foreseeable damages engendered by presence of a major source air and water polluter, noise emitter, as well as risk of explosion.

    Will the county need to provide infrastructure for this plant at taxpayer expense?

    Wastewater management, or a burn unit or level one trauma center within closer distance, or monitoring and enforcement of local citizen’s complaints as impacts begin to occur (research EPA and civil law to understand that citizens are largely on their own to pursue remedies for damage)?

    Astute readers, seeing the buzzword nimby, should immediately look more deeply into the particulars of the value shift being promoted:

    shifting value of current residents of an area down so that values of petitioner seeking zoning change can go up.

    See NIMBY, think ‘Follow The Money’.

  2. (Copied from Facebook and emailed to Village trustees)

    I want to reiterate something one gentleman said at the zoning hearing on July 24th..

    He said, “I have never been more proud to be a resident of Oakwood Hills than I am tonight!”…and the crowd roared in agreement!!!!!

    I have never been more proud to live is such a wonderful community!

    Yes there have been ups and downs….but I know that this is a great community full of incredible people.

    And such a great community attracts even more spectacular people who want to build here and make this their home…not just within the village limits, but for many miles.

    On Facebook, Mrs. Khushali Shah stated yesterday to a gentleman who opted not to buy a house in our area because of what is currently happening….

    “We hope you will come back, because this community ROCKS!” And it does!.

    Citizens, the most troubling issue for me in all of this is not the blatant disregard for neighbors and community by the Walneck’s and the developers, not the sneaky and underhanded dealings behind closed doors (I rather expect that because this is Illinois), and not the shoddy one sided news coverage which wont even report or investigate the unsubstantiated “alleged threats” which were supposedly made….

    The most troubling issue for me is that we as citizens have a guaranteed constitutional right of redress.

    The right to have access to our government and to information which is public.

    The indefinite shut down of the village hall, (which, by the way, there is plenty of business still being performed – lots of cars and activity….and changes to a public web site during the ‘shut down’) the shut down has stonewalled

    ALL information about what has occurred and access to all information/documentation.

    This is not right.

    This is not the way a government is to legally operate.

    This shut down happened on the exact day the PPOG, Power Plant Opposition Group requested pubic documents via a Freedom of Information Request.

    Just because there is a seemingly unwillingness to answer any questions presented by citizens, and just because all of a sudden a part-time clerk’s job may have gotten a little overwhelming….that is not a legal reason to indefinitely halt access to our elected officials, our government and public information.

    I do hope that we are all aware of our Constitutionally Guaranteed RIGHTS! The Right of Redress, (from wikipedia):

    “In the United States the right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from abridging “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

    Although often overlooked in favor of other more famous freedoms, and sometimes taken for granted,

    [1] many other civil liberties are enforceable against the government only by exercising this basic right.
    [2] The right to petition is fundamental in a Republic, such as the United States, as a means of protecting public participation in government.[1]”


    Stop decimating the citizens of Oakwood Hills, stop decimating the community and stop decimating the Constitution!

  3. This Illinois statute seems to indicate the OH Trustees have an obligation to appoint a President Pro Tem, as the President has declared her own incapacity to perform official duties.

    65 ILCS 5/3.1-35-35) (from Ch. 24, par. 3.1-35-35)

    Sec. 3.1-35-35. Mayor or president pro tem; temporary chairman.

    (a) If the mayor or president is temporarily absent because of an incapacity to perform official duties, but the incapacity does not create a vacancy in the office, the corporate authorities shall elect one of their members to act as mayor or president pro tem. The mayor or president pro tem, during this absence or disability, shall perform the duties and possess all the rights and powers of the mayor or president but shall not be entitled to vote both as mayor or president pro tem and as alderman or trustee.

    (b) In the absence of the mayor, president, acting mayor or president, or mayor or president pro tem, the corporate authorities may elect one of their members to act as a temporary chairman. The temporary chairman shall only the powers of a presiding officer and a right to vote only in the capacity as alderman or trustee on any ordinance, resolution, or motion.
    (Source: P.A. 87-1119.)

  4. This story seems to have been removed from Tribune online publication.

    Don’t know if it ever hit print edition.

  5. That is all the validation the people need to have “Funk the Slump” removed from her job.

    The people are doing such a fantastic job organizing and promoting their cause to prevent the power plant.

    Yep, follow the money.

    We have yet to see the financials on this project…

  6. Really good information from the community.

    Keep promoting your cause.

    Many people watching for justice to prevail in this situation. You all, should be very proud of the people in your community.

    Another great example of those fighting the power machine of the corruption games.

    You can do this!

  7. Would Susan please consider sending her article about NIMBY to the NW Herald?????

    Great explanation of what lies ahead

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