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The [Monday] Papers

"The outcry over jet noise from O'Hare International Airport that reached a fever pitch over the last year and a half is likely to intensify further this summer when takeoff and landing simulation data becomes available ahead of a new runway opening this fall," Jon Hilkevitch writes for the Tribune.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected within the next four months to release a preliminary report based on thousands of computer-generated flight simulations involving what will become O'Hare's fifth east-west runway and a subsequent runway that the city plans to open in 2020.

The testing also takes into account the closing in August of one of O'Hare's four diagonal runways.

All this work, however, might not bring relief after a record year for O'Hare jet noise complaints. The simulations are aimed in part at finding the best way to squeeze in hundreds more daily flights at the airport.

If only there were another way to squeeze in hundreds more daily flights in and out of Chicago.

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"The runway is part of the city's O'Hare Modernization Program, the overall goal of which is to increase the airport's capacity to at least 1.2 million flights annually, or to roughly 3,000 daily, up from an average of about 2,400 flights a day now."

That's a 25 percent increase.

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"Officials hope to reach the threshold without a continuation or worsening of the chronic delays that two runways built since 2008 have failed to eliminate."

How? Direct flights to Fantasyland?

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"FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro acknowledged the brief window for the public and local governments to digest the information and offer input."

Hey, Tony: Acknowledge this.

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Meawhile, Rahm Emanuel says he's already attended the meetings!¹

1. Rahm admitted in The Phil Ponce Debate that he had not met with residents about airplane noise, just seconds after repeating the claim that he had, which he also made in the previous debate. In fact, Rahm has rejected more than a dozen meeting requests from residents. And yet, even after having been caught in the lie, the New York Times repeated it again two days before the election.

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"City aviation officials declined interview requests for this story."

As always, I would prefer "City aviation officials refused to answer questions about O'Hare's future and its impact on residents after consulting with the mayor's office."

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"The city is also pushing ahead with another east-west parallel runway, which city aviation officials say would cost an estimated $1.7 billion and in five years could be the sixth and final east-west runway under the airport modernization program.

"Chicago has told the FAA that construction will begin in 2018, officials said, even though American Airlines and United Airlines have long said and continue to say demand doesn't warrant it and the city hasn't said how it would be financed."

It's not a question of demand - the demand is there. It's a question of the airlines' not wanting to provide more supply to meet that demand and risk dampening profits. Behold the free market!

*

"O'Hare spokeswoman Karen Pride on Friday confirmed that simulations are underway involving the proposed airstrip, which would be north of the passenger terminals, but she said the city can't discuss the results until they are complete.

"The ongoing simulation work is described as an 'experimental design' in internal documents prepared by the city's contractor, Ricondo & Associates Inc. The documents are labeled in a way that shields them from Freedom of Information Act requests, which the Tribune has filed, and other public scrutiny."

I also filed a FOIA request and this is what I got back.

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"U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago [and a Rahm supporter], whose district includes the O'Hare area, said he opposes the runway scheduled for 2020 and that his top priority concerning O'Hare is the jet noise problem.

"Realistically, I don't see a need in our lifetime for that runway,'' Quigley said.

There is a need for that runway - it just shouldn't be at O'Hare, which is already overbuilt.

To wit:

"Last year, for the first time since 2004, O'Hare ranked No. 1 in the world in terms of total flights, at 881,933 aircraft movements, according to the FAA. But O'Hare also took last place for on-time arrivals among the 29 busiest U.S. airports, and second-to-last place (ahead of Midway Airport) for departures, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics."

Meaning there is no room at Midway either.

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"Last year's record number of jet noise complaints also came with public skepticism about the transparency of the process to increase flights at O'Hare."

"Public skepticism about the transparency of the process" is a meaningless phrase to most readers without this link. Why be coy?

"[M]any residents inundated with noise from low-flying planes since O'Hare flight patterns were altered in late 2013 say they are especially wary about the upcoming changes because of the limited information released in the run-up to the first round of air-traffic modifications."

Again, what does that mean to most readers? Nothing! Just come out and say it: The FAA was caught in a web of deception. It's objectively true.

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"Pride said: 'O'Hare is committed to being a good neighbor by balancing the economic benefits for the region with quality of life for Chicago's neighborhoods.'"

Great. Pride can say that all day long. In her backyard or at the office water cooler. It has no place in a news article, though, because it's non-responsive to any question that could possibly have been asked (except "Are you committed to being a good neighbor?") and is a content-free piece of tripe.

If someone doesn't say something meaningful, you are under no obligation to quote them just to show they were contacted.

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"The forthcoming runway will be used for arrivals and departures, according to city aviation officials. The flight path off the east end of the runway will be between Irving Park Road and Montrose Avenue.

"It was originally chosen to be the last runway built when in 2005 the FAA approved the plan submitted by the city aviation department under Mayor Richard M. Daley. The initial computer modeling done beginning in the early 2000s to assess how the airport would perform, on measures ranging from safety to efficiency, was based on the original sequence of runway construction.

"But the ordering was later reshuffled. Soto, the Bensenville village president, said he believes the far south runway is being built now to justify Chicago's forced annexation of several hundred acres in Bensenville for the expansion project and avoid the prospect that the properties on which homes and businesses were demolished would never be used for a runway."

Fascinating - and bearing more scrutiny. That demolition project was a Daley Special - as was the installation of Soto, who perhaps has seen the light.

"If they went ahead with the original plan and built the other runway first, there would have been a perception that they did not need (the Bensenville runway),'' Soto said. "So they switched to counteract a perceived impression.

"I am hoping Mayor (Rahm) Emanuel appreciates the fact that what he inherited and how it was done may have not been in the best interests of not just the neighboring communities, but also Chicago,'' Soto said. "I hope it sends a message that a lot of people are unhappy.''

See also: The 'Action' at O'Hare: The Corruption of the Public Policy Process Leading To O'Hare Expansion.

*

It's not just O'Hare, either; new flight paths to and from Midway are also causing headaches.

From a Trib commenter: "I think if you conducted a polling of the residents living at the end of the Midway runways, I'd expect you'd find they don't like the noise or safety hazard."

Link mine.

Again, if there were only an alternative - one whose economic benefits could help close the inequities of our metropolis; one which every policy-making body agrees on. If only.

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The Cub Factor: Spicoli & The Robot
Marty Gangler is back!

With gems like these:

"Once we actually win the whole thing people will think it was funny that they peed on themselves."

"The Cubs come home for six games - three against the Reds and three against the new look Padres. Should be interesting to see if they play all six because, well, you know."

The White Sox Report: Like Lourde
Not Yet Royal.

SportsMonday: Controlling Kris Bryant
If the Cubs have to assert control over Bryant in 2021, they will have blown it.

World Penguin Day At The Milwaukee Zoo
Waddle on over.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in production!

The Beachwood Radio [News] Hour #52
Is in production!

The Beachwood Radio [Sports] Hour #46
Wither Chicago sports?

Beachwood Sponsorship Opportunity
Want to sponsor the new power cord I had to buy for my laptop? Do so here!

Everything is up for grabs. We can do better than this. Who wants their name on me?

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Catching Up With John Oliver
* Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Native Advertising.

* Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: McDonald's Ad Campaign.

* Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Civil Forfeiture.

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BeachBook
* Mexican Consulate To Open In Milwaukee.

* 'Respectability Politics' Poisoning Race Debate.

* ICYMI: What's Wrong With America's Newspaper Columnists In One Chart.

* ICYMI: Jeff Tweedy Does The Weather.

* When Radio Was Like The Internet And The Same Idiots Were The Same Idiots.

"I'm sorry, your free five songs are up. Subscribe now!"

* How Fed Policy Helps Private Equity At The Expense Of Workers.

Featuring Rahm's pals at Chicago-based Madison Dearborn.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Republicans funded digital strategy.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Your name here.



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Posted on April 13, 2015


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