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The [Thursday] Papers

"Federal officials released incorrect and incomplete information about how new O'Hare International Airport flight paths would affect residents during a legally required period of public comment, the Chicago Sun-Times has found," the paper reports.

"Nearly three-quarters of the figures in one key table - on the now-contentious issue of what percentage of traffic each runway will carry - were quietly changed online months after public hearings ended, the Sun-Times discovered."

Um, what?

"Some changes doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the percentage of flights the runways were predicted to direct over Bensenville, Wood Dale, the city's 41st Ward and Schiller Park by the time the $8 billion O'Hare Modernization Program is completed."

Holy freakin' cow. Well, that explains a lot.

Not addressed in the article: What did Rosemarie Andolino know and when did she know it?

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Back to this infuriating story:

"The Sun-Times found that the Federal Aviation Administration had the figures to calculate the actual number of flights each runway would carry but never produced those numbers at the legally required public hearings in 2005 on its draft environmental impact study of the project."

So are the current flight paths illegal? The entire O'Hare overhaul? Lawsuits to come?

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"The Sun-Times' discoveries help explain why some city and suburban residents now contend they were blindsided by the blitz of planes that greeted them after the Chicago Department of Aviation completed the first phase of its O'Hare overhaul and finally launched a dramatic change in flight paths last Oct. 17.

"The big switch shifted air traffic from mostly diagonal runways to mostly parallel ones that now bring far more jets over city and suburban areas directly east and west of O'Hare. Another parallel runway is due to open in 2015. A second runway, as well as a runway extension, is being planned for completion in 2020, but funding is uncertain.

"The findings emerge after the Sun-Times reported last week that the FAA did not hold any of its legally required public hearings in areas due for the worst jet noise."

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"FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the original runway percentage table was ultimately 'corrected' but he could not explain why it was changed or say for sure how it was referred to at February 2005 public hearings."

He could not say because he's just a spokesperson, not a policy- or decision-maker. Put his boss on the phone!

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"If the FAA had released the predicted number of flights before its required hearings, the meetings would have been mobbed, [Jac Charlier, a leader of the Fair Allocation in Runways coalition] said . . .

"Instead, even the FAA conceded hearing turnout was 'very light.' Held in two areas due for less jet noise and a third unaffected by FAA noise predictions, the hearings resulted in comments that were as much as four-to-one in favor of the city's proposal, according to FAA calculations."

So the hearings with fake data were held in locations getting the best end of the deal and residents who attended, probably bussed in by the FAA, were in favor!

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"Molinaro said a resident who had questions about [a fake noise counter] map could have asked experts standing near it."

You mean the residents from areas set to get less noise according to the fake data? What would they have asked the experts standing by - if this was fake data they were being presented?

Go read the whole thing.

Carrot Top Was Here!
Asking for his airplane charts back.

But no, seriously, he was here.

The Insider Trader's Daughter
Plus: A Chicago singer's perfect song, a new local pop scene, a Tribune photographer with a very good question, how a recording studio here saved the Guess Who, a new Chicago (the band) album, and more, in Local Music Notebook.

BeachBook
* Angry Outtakes From Mike Ditka's 1993 SNL Appearance.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: On time, under budget.



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Posted on June 19, 2014


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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Land After Frac Sand.


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