Lake Michigan wind farm would harm migratory birds

SHARE Lake Michigan wind farm would harm migratory birds
A bill in the Illinois Legislature would create the potential to build an offshore wind energy farm in Lake Michigan.

A bill in the Illinois Legislature would create the potential to build an offshore wind energy farm in Lake Michigan.

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Referring to “Lake Michigan Wind Farm Touted for Southeast Side,” pushed by state Rep. Marcus Evans and state Sen. Bob Peters, I offer the following: Of the five Great Lakes, only Lake Michigan is a migratory superhighway for migratory birds. Placement of turbines would be a death sentence for them.

Because of this, the plan will fail under an environmental impact study. I direct your attention to the “Free to Roam” pictorial of North America in September’s National Geographic. Chicago’s Burnham Wildlife Corridor is cited as preserving native ecosystems used by 3 million migratory birds along the city’s lakefront.

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I beg Chris Wissemann of Diamond Offshore Wind to bow out of this venture. Twelve years ago, I was selected to review the possibility of 40 wind turbines being placed east of Northwestern University. I and one other person submitted a minority opinion against proceeding with this before the Evanston City Council. The state owned the lake bottom. We had no deep water port, our streets were compromised, the electricity would have to be conveyed to Skokie, etc. Birds weren’t even an issue then. Needless to say, it tanked.

This effort should also be abandoned.

Fred J. Wittenberg, Evanston

Chicago must have safer streets

The recent tragic killing of Samuel Bell by a belligerent driver proves again that Chicago needs to make safe streets a priority. As a pedestrian and cyclist, I am constantly dodging reckless drivers.

Recently, my child and I were almost struck by a car that suddenly plowed into the bike lane on Halsted Street. Countless times a day I witness cars blowing stop signs and making illegal turns. We desperately need slower speed limits, as well as an infrastructure that is safe for cyclists and pedestrians. I’m simply tired of having to fear for my life and the life of my children every time I use the streets.

Andrei Pohorelsky, Lake View East

Put a check on presidential pardons

The Constitution (in Article II, section 2) gives the president unfettered authority to grant pardons. Sadly, that authority occasionally has been flagrantly abused by presidents of both parties (see, for example, Democrat Bill Clinton’s pardon of his brother), and Donald Trump is promising pardons of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists should he be re-elected.

Some restraint should be imposed on that authority. A possible solution might be to amend the Constitution to require the advice and consent of the Senate for presidential pardons and/or sentence commutations.

Such advice and consent is required for certain presidential appointments, so why should it not be required for, effectively, acquittal? The president would still have the right to initiate the pardon process, but it would put restraints on abuses that we have observed in the past and may suffer in the future.

William Gottschalk, Lake Forest

Compensate disabled veterans fairly

Our disabled veterans are grossly under-compensated. The consequences for all of us could be dire.

In 2022, a totally disabled veteran with no dependents is compensated at the ridiculous rate of $39,984.72 annually. The National Average Wage Index (NAWI) for 2020 was $55,628.60 per annum,, and the median income for 2020 was $67,521. The per capita GDP in 2020 was $63,416. This rate of compensation to disabled veterans is deliberate and cruel.

They have been asking various administrations and Congress for fair compensation since the end of WWI in November 1918. That was nearly 104 years ago. Where is it?

In my opinion, the basic reason for this gross under-compensation is because they are only compensated for projected loss of wages due to their disabilities. They are not compensated for their low quality of life.

I ask for legislation this year to compensate them fairly, especially the totally and permanently disabled, who should be compensated at least at the level of the NAWI.

This is now a national security problem.

George Avery, Chicago

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