October 16, 2015

Rain gardens are taking root in Gary’s Aetna community.

Progressive Community Church in Gary’s Emerson neighborhood is installing solar panels on its building, and is considering ways to develop a solar farm on the surrounding vacant lots.

Controversy in Hobart, Indiana over mowing lines at the oak savannah at Fred Rose Park continues to make news. Hobart Park Board president Tom Ehrhardt claims not to see any damage from recent mowings of the savannah, but a recent visit of our own revealed a poorly and unevenly cut soggy mess (pictured above.) Shame that such a beautiful natural resource is threatened by immature small-town politics.

After twenty years of failing stop-gap measures, a drainage system in Hobart, Indiana built for 10 homes and now handling 200 will be studied.

A failed septic system on Swanson road in Portage, Indiana is necessitating an extension of the city’s sewage system. The city’s Utility Services Board also declared an emergency to handle a large sinkhole create by the collapse of “a couple hundred feet” of pipes laid less than five years ago at Willowdale Road and Meadow Court.

Crown Point, Indiana will soon be in compliance with state and federal mandates on reducing untreated sewage entering the watershed. And at a cost of $20 million less than anticipated.

Pavilion Partners, LLC. has until October 21 to appeal the rejection of their liquor license for a proposal banquet center at the Indiana Dunes State Park. Amid speculation if they will exercise an opt-out clause in their contract with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Pavilion Partners stated they’ve invested $1 million to the project so far.

A 137-acre parcel of woodland in Pine Township, Indiana will become the seventh Porter County Park. The property was passed through generations of the same family, who farmed a small portion. Thanks to grants from the Coastal Estuarine Conservation Land Program, the Bicentennial Nature Trust, and The Conservation Fund the land will be restored and preserved as a bird sanctuary.

The town of Highland, Indiana is asking users of the Little Calumet River Trail to keep watch for an aggressive hawk. A woman and her Chihuahua were harassed by the bird near Homestead Park last week.

Zookeepers at South Bend, Indiana’s Potawatomi Zoo took great cautions to secure a leopard cage after a young cub went for its freedom.

The Chicago Region Trees Initiative wants the oak canopy to dominate again.

Volunteers in Chicago’s Hyde Park community planted 20 oak and catalpa trees, to begin replacing the estimated 1000 trees decimated by the emerald ash borer.

Plants of Concern has spent this autumn monitoring plants that grow only in Northern Illinois.

Chicago residents can now get emailed updates on water and sewer main projects by registering at www.buildinganewchicago.org.

The Chicago Park District approved a 99 year lease for 7 acres of lakefront property for $10 to the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Friends of the Parks called the announcement a sham and are looking forward to their day in federal court.

The Chicago Tribune architecture critic wants Lakeside Center (that brutalist behemoth in McCormick Place) torn down.

Consultants to the city of Waukegan, Illinois have a seemingly unpopular idea to better connect the downtown and lakefront areas: close and remove the Nelson Amstutz bypass.

Members of Chicagoland Oil By Rail protested for stricter safety rules outside the Canadian Consulate in Chicago.

The People’s Climate Movement held a rally and march in Chicago, Illinois on Wednesday. Mainstream media completely ignored it. A rally in suburban Arlington Heights, Illinois made the news.

“10 to 15” plastic packages discovered near the Congress Park Metra station in Brookfield, Illinois on Monday afternoon, halting rail travel on the BNSF line for four hours, delaying 36 commuter trains to and from Chicago. Initial reports offered no information on the natural of the situation. The following day officials announced the suspicious material was an unknown lubricant, and not a threat to the public.

The village of Downers Grove, Illinois is hoping a DuPage County Community Block grant will allow them to alleviate flooding along St Joseph’s Creek. A single family house and adjacent lot at 5631 Webster St. would be the 10th former home and 13th property in the floodplain purchased by the village. More than 1000 home and business owners in the village reported damage during April 2013 flooding.

A three-foot reptile, possibly a caiman or a small alligator, living in a retention pond in Manhattan, Illinois has been captured and relocated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The town’s police chief seemed rather frustrated by the affair, “It gets more ridiculous. Several of the residents have been feeding it apples the last three or four days. Nobody thought to call the police, literally 20 yards from crosswalk from the grade school.”

Waste Management is hoping to expand a 200 acre landfill in Joliet Township, Illinois, with a plan to receive 3 million tons of waste a year, including contaminated soil and industrial waste, by 2018. The application is open to public comment and viewable at the Will County Clerk’s website.

The village of Crestwood, Illinois is finalizing a $9 million bond sale to cover $15 million in lawsuits brought about by 40 years of deception from village officials over toxic drinking water.

The expansion of Elkhart, Indiana’s riverwalk is nearly complete, and on Wednesday the project was formally dedicated by Mayor Dick Moore.

The town of Merrillville, Indiana may approve a horse-oriented subdivision on its undeveloped southeast side.

Horse shit has sparked a vigorous social and political debate in northern Indiana.



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