Sunday Chicago Tribune Hacks at “Chainsaw Jack” Franks’ Tree Killing Bill

Did this satirical movie poster inspire a Chicago Tribune headline?

Who could have known that the Chicago Tribune would take on “Chainsaw Jack” Franks and use “Illinois Chain Saw Massacre” in it’s editorial sub-headline?

But there it was.

A whole editorial aimed at the overreach, no, that’s too mild a word for an editorial that uses the words “chop, chop, chop” to describe the Chainsaw Massacrer from Marengo.

“To his credit, State Rep. Jack Franks, the bill’s sponsor, has pulled back his measure for refinement,” the editorial points out.

“Pulled back?”

Franks stirred environmentalists and those who just like to walk along wooded streets to white hot anger.

The McHenry County Conservation District sent a letter.

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County sent out a blast email.

Think maybe Franks’ office got enough emails to make him realized he had stepped into the Briar Patch?

Hey, a chainsaw could fix that problem, too, right?

The editorial bemoans the vague language in the bill which will allow Com Ed and Ameren to “butcher” some trees and treat others kindly depending on a utility’s “whim” and the “influence of those directly affected.”

See comment under this article of Franks’ throwing his weight around with Com Ed tree trimmers:

Jack Franks Shows Tree Killer Side

The Chicago Tribune's featured editorial on Sunday, March 11, 2012, was about "Chainsaw Jack" Franks' bill to allow Com Ed and Ameren to level every tree within 20 feet of a power line.

“Public relations’ hornets’ next” is used by the Tribune to describe what would happen if the bill passed and wooded suburban streets came under Franks’ chainsaw massacre.

Franks’ (House Bill 3884) will allow clear cutting within 20 fee of a power line, making “thousands of trees into live bait for the chain saw crews.”

No replacements necessary.

The editorial mocks Franks’ attempt to define what trees could be planted under electric power lines as those which would not grow more that 25 feet tall.

“More sawdust,” the editorial writer concludes.

The utility would have to consult the 1,300-page “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants” to figure out if the tree might grow more than 25 feet. To no one’s surprise, the maximum heights vary, depending on local conditions.

Lots of look – alike trees out there, too.

Will an arborist be assigned to every tree trimming crew?

And the new labeling requirement in “Chainsaw Franks’” bill?

A “do not plant under power lines” tag would have to be attached to every tree that might grow more than 25 feet.

Another example of what the Democratic Party is known as the Party of Regulation.

The editorial suggests that chainsaws carry the warning, “Do not apply moving blades to operator’s neck.”

“If Franks needs to build a new chopping block for Illinois trees, we hope a subsequent draft better balances the interests of utilities and nature-lovers,” the editorial concludes.

Plus asking utilities to bury more lines:

“Chain saws down. Shovels Up. Dig.”

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Allan Showalter of “Heck of a Guy” blog created the mock movie poster.


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