Joining Illinois Sierra Club Members in Lake and Northeastern Cook Counties

Fall 2006, Issue #53

In This Issue

Go To Article Fresh Start
Go To Article Sierra Club Endorsed Candidates
Go To Article Welcome to the W&W E-News
Go To Article The Sierra Club Endorsement Procedure
Go To Article Our Endorsements
Go To Article Vote for the Woods & Wetlands ExCom
Go To Article The Conservation Column
Go To Article Global Warming, Public Meeting
Go To Article Things You Can Do
Go To Article 403 kBPrintable, Portable W&W News
Go To Article Next Issue of W&W News
Go To Article Last Issue of W&W News

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   C A L E N D A R  
{ Meetings O Outings

Rustle the Leaf


 


Fresh StartReturn to Top

By Chuck Knight, Political Chair

The mood of the country is changing.  Global warming, an arcane abstraction to many at the turn of the century, is now a growing concern in this post-Katrina era.  High and fluctuating gas prices and uncertain of global supplies have focused attention on the necessity to conserve, to use energy efficiently, and to seek alternative energy sources which are less dependent upon politically unstable parts of the world.  In the meantime, there is growing awareness of the link between the culture of corruption and the anti-environmental extremism that has infected Congress.  "For legislators willing to sacrifice wildlands or public health to corporate profits, it's not that big a step to feel entitled to a cut of those profits. …"  (Two-Time Losers, Sierra Magazine (September/October 2006).  It is little wonder, then, that recent polls show that more than 60% of the public disapproves of the way Congress is doing its job.

Clearly it is time for a change, a fresh start, and the upcoming mid-term elections provide the opportunity for just that.  Consistent with its mission to preserve the environment though non-partisan grassroots political action, the Sierra Club has reviewed the records, the platforms, and the statements of candidates for political office in order to determine which candidates to endorse in the 2006 general election.  An article describing the Club's endorsement procedure appears in this issue.  In these pages you will find descriptions of the candidates who the Sierra Club believes will be champions for the environment.  The Sierra Club does not make endorsements in every race.  It does not endorse candidates for more than one election cycle.  It does not endorse candidates on the basis of political party.  What the Sierra Club does do is examine the words and deeds of candidates in order to determine those candidates who share the environmental concerns of Club members and who will effectively translate those concerns into public policy to protect the air that we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that we love.

For members living in Lake County there are three candidates who offer a real opportunity to depart from the politics of the past:  Bean, Bond, and Cole.  In the Eighth Congressional District, Melissa Bean is seeking re-election to her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives.  After years of malign neglect under Phil Crane, Bean's election was one of the few changes for the better from the 2004 general election.  Bean has now established herself in Washington and is already beginning to make a difference for the environment.  In State Senate District 31 in northern Lake County, Michael Bond is running a spirited campaign to succeed long-time state senator Adeline Geo-Karis who was defeated last spring in her party's primary.  Bond is a thoughtful and articulate candidate who will be a determined defender of the environment.  And in State House District 62 Sandy Cole, veteran Lake County Board member, is seeking to continue the war against uncontrolled development by going from Waukegan to Springfield.  She hopes to replace Robert Churchill who is retiring from the state house as part of his unsuccessful bid for higher political office.

Many of the faces that you see in this special endorsement edition will be familiar.  One of the best ways to preserve the environment is to reelect those officials who have proved that they will stand up to special interests that ignore science and seek quick profits from short-sighted development.  There are new faces as well.   These are candidates who give us hope for a better future.  Familiar or fresh, each of these candidates deserves your support and your vote on November 7.

 

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Sierra Club Endorsed Candidates

Lake County Board

 

Diane Hewitt

Democratic

District 2

847-244-2742

Committee to Elect Diane Hewitt

1646 Rice St, Waukegan, IL 60087

 

Steve Carlson

Republican

District 7

847-356-4167

Friends of Steve Carlson

 36235 N Mill Ct,

Gurnee, IL 60031

 

Robert Sabonjian

Democratic

District 8

847-336-5154

Committee to Re-Elect Robert Sabonjian

2302 Walnut St,

Waukegan, IL 60087

 

Carrie Travers

Democratic

District 13

847-735-8418

Travers for Lake County Board

541 Turicum Road,

Lake Forest, IL 60045

 

Carol Calabresa

Republican

District 15

847-244-2742

Carol Calabresa for County Board

821 Arthur Ave,

Libertyville, IL 60048

 

Steven P. Kirn

Democratic

District 17

847-526-7713

Steven Kirn for Lake County Board

25777 Tara Drive,

Barrington, IL 60010

 

Marc Tepper

Democratic

District 20

847-634-0547

Citizens to Elect Marc Tepper

484 Satinwood Terrace

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

Illinois State Representative

 

Karen May

Democratic

District 58

847-831-3435

Friends of Karen May

210 Skokie Valley Rd., Suite 12A

Highland Park, 60035

 

Sandy Cole

Republican

Republican District 62

847-548-0877

Citizens for Sandy Cole

1315 Osage Orange Rd,

Grayslake, IL 60030

Illinois State Senator

 

Terry Link

Democratic

District 30

847-634-0547

Friends of Terry Link

123 North Waukegan Rd., Ste. 204

Lake Bluff, IL 60044

 

Michael Bond

Democratic

District 31

847-634-0547

Michael Bond for Senate

42 N. Barron Blvd.

Grayslake, IL 60030

US Representative

 

Melissa Bean

Democratic

District 8

847-304-0056

Melissa Bean for Congress

P.O. Box 3068

Barrington, IL 60011


Welcome to the W&W E-NewsReturn to Top

By Evan Craig, Chair

I hope that you agree that this color version of the W&W News is more enjoyable than the black and white version that we printed and mailed several weeks ago. We hope that you will make the switch and read your W&W News on-line. Here’s why:

  • Environmental Impact. Printing 2300 copies of our newsletter consumes trees and energy. Delivering them uses more. Disposing of them uses still more. That information distribution system made sense before the telegraph. Now we have better options that place less stress on our environment.

  • Quality. This e-mail version offers a format and features that the paper version cannot. These include: more color, active links to more information, easy links to e-mail leaders, and a more logical layout.

  • Speed. Printing takes at least a week. Snail mail (bulk mail by the US Post Office) takes two to five weeks more. We should rename the paper version the “W&W Old” because by the time you get it it’s not really news anymore. Recently the USPO has been dropping the ball entirely and many of our members haven’t received some issues. You can receive this by e-mail almost immediately.

  • Cost. We spend most of the money we get from you, our members, printing and mailing the W&W News. Printing and postage (even at non-profit bulk mail rates) is expensive. That money would be better spent getting the environmental message to the public, and on fun events with members. Paper and postage, or preservation and picnics, it’s up to you.

  • Flexibility. We include a link to a printable version, so if you decide you want one after making the switch, just print one – or part of one – for yourself. In addition, you can easily share this with your friends, take it with you on your PDA or phone, and save it for later without cluttering up the house. We also archive them on-line.

Your W&W ExCom recently decided to send this e-mail version to you and encourage you to sign onto our ALERTS e-mail system to help us send it to you in the future. The ALERTS e-mail system will only be used to send this and other periodic e-mails from the Group leadership – and you can use the instructions at the bottom of any ALERTS e-mail to unsubscribe. Please accept this invitation now by clicking ALERTS List, entering your firstname and lastname in the resulting e-mail, and sending it in.

We also decided to begin allowing you to opt-out of the printed version if you are subscribed to the e-mail version, and will explain how to select that when it’s ready in a future issue.

We could use suggestions, and help doing all of this. E-mail me at ww-chair@illinois.sierraclub.org with ideas and offers.

 


The Sierra Club Endorsement ProcedureReturn to Top

By Chuck Knight, Political Chair

The Sierra Club's endorsement is highly prized by candidates.  It is a public recommendation by a highly respected environmental organization to vote for a candidate.  It is not given easily or in every race, and when it is given it is good only for the current election cycle.  A winning candidate cannot rest upon his or her laurels.  The candidate must earn the endorsement in every election cycle by maintaining a consistent pro-environmental record while in office.  Club Endorsements represent extensive effort and review by club volunteer leaders.  The process that the Sierra Club uses varies depending upon whether the office is a federal, state-wide, or local office, but in general every endorsement decision must be approved by a two-thirds vote at two different levels of the Club:  local group, state chapter, and national committee.  This article describes the endorsement process for candidates for local offices in the territory of the Woods & Wetlands Group, including local legislative offices in the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield.

After candidates for elective office file their statements of candidacy, the Woods and Wetlands Group Political Committee begins collecting information about them.  For incumbents the Committee gives particular attention to voting records.  For candidates in the General Assembly, "scorecard" information complied by the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) is considered, along with votes recorded on legislation pursued by the Chapter’s Grassroots Lobbying Committee.  In all races, but particularly for non-incumbent candidates who are running for an office against an incumbent and in open races, the Political Committee considers the candidates' responses to questionnaires that the Club prepares and sends to all candidates.  In many races, members of the Political Committee interview the candidates, either in person or over the phone.  The questionnaires and interviews provide a double benefit by informing the Committee about the candidate, and also informing the candidate about key environmental issues. Campaign materials, news articles, campaign finance disclosures and other public information are also considered if available and relevant.

All of the information available to the committee is evaluated according to the Club's political committee guidelines.  The guidelines offer detailed advice, but acknowledge that endorsements are more art than science.  Endorsement decisions should be guided by the candidates' environmental records and platforms after due consideration of their prospects for success— without regard for party affiliation.  The same criteria apply to candidates who are members of the Sierra Club as to those who are not.

The Woods & Wetland's Political Committee is an advisory body.  Endorsement recommendations require a two-thirds vote of its members.  Sometimes the decision-making process can be contentious, but in most cases the votes of the political committee are unanimous.  The committee's recommendation is then presented to the group's Executive Committee, which serves as the first "level" of the Club for local endorsement decisions.

The Executive Committee considers the Political Committee's recommendations, and applies its own independent knowledge of and experience with the candidates in making its decisions.  A two-thirds' majority advances an endorsement at each level.  The second level in the endorsement process is the Executive Committee of the Illinois Chapter, consisting of environmental leaders around the state.  The Chapter ExCom is likewise served by  it own Chapter Political Committee, which reviews the decisions of the Group ExComs and makes its own recommendations to the Chapter ExCom.

That is the procedure as it applies to races for the General Assembly, the Lake County Board, municipalities; and other local elective offices chosen for their environmental influence.  Like all the Club’s grassroots efforts, the process is driven by club volunteers with guidance, as needed, from club staff.  If you would like more information about the Woods and Wetlands Political Committee, please call the committee chair, Chuck Knight, at 312-578-6573 or e-mail ww-polichair@illinois.sierraclub.org.

 

 


Vote for the Woods & Wetlands ExComReturn to Top

By Evan Craig Chair

Your W&W Executive Committee consists of members who volunteer to lead our local 2300 member Group. We track important conservation issues, approve endorsements, arrange meetings, throw parties, coordinate outings, raise money, and bring it all to you through this newsletter, our website, and our e-mail lists.

Then there’s the stuff we do that doesn’t show, but which makes it all possible. Our Treasurer tracks our finances, we get together for planning meetings and track our progress with agendas and minutes. And without a Membership Chair, we all pitch in to involve you and the public.

You recently voted to increase the size of the Executive Committee from five to seven to help us do all of this more effectively. Please consider attending our ExCom meetings to decide whether you’d like to fill one of those seats. Below are members who have decided to run this year.

Once again, we’re giving you the opportunity to try a voting system that, if used nationally, would give a third party a fair chance. Instead of just voting for the least worst candidate that you think can win, vote for the best candidate first, and if that candidate loses, your second choice vote will count, and so on. To vote, rank the candidates 1 through 4 (with 1 being your top choice) by listing their names on a scrap of paper. Both members with a joint membership may vote. Put your ballots in an envelope and write your name(s) and address only the outside of the envelope (as the return address). Mail the envelope to: Sierra Club W&W Elections P. O. Box 876Grayslake, IL 60030.

 

Ballot

1  
2  
3  
4  

 

Barbara Bell (847-367-4253) After joining the Outings Committee I became an outings leader and have enjoyed taking people to unusual wildlife areas in our region. I have also helped organize the Winter Blues parties, and the Barrelhouse Chuck fundraiser. I think most members are frustrated to lose our special spaces, and I’d like to help W&W become more effective protecting them by arranging more fun ways for members to get involved.

Larry Marvet (incumbent) I look forward to a second term as an officer in our Group. I've been arranging all the general meeting programs, some of which I hope you've attended. Additionally, I am the Conservation Chair, so have been working hard on issues like the proposed Lake Forest Costco and development of the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve. Looking forward, we'll have more great meetings and in Conservation, the 120 Bypass issue and our "Most Endangered Places" will move to the front burner.

John Massman (incumbent) I have been active in W&W for the last 12 years. I am very concerned about the rampant development of northwestern Lake County. I have lead regular stewardship outings to Sun Lake Forest Preserve, and now lead W&W’s water quality sampling program to monitor and protect the Sequoit Creek watershed.

Doug Ower (847-872-8328) I have been a longtime Sierra Club member. Recently I have been working with the W&W Conservation Committee and representing the Sierra Club on the Waukegan Harbor Citizens Advisory Group. As a Zion resident I am concerned about Nuclear energy issues, northeastern Lake County development, and destruction of wetlands. I would like to become more active in a wider range of environmental issues as a Woods and Wetlands board member.

Or just go to website:

illinois.sierraclub.org/w&w/vote/ExCom2006.asp to vote on-line.

Vote for our ExCom members by December 2.

 

 


The Conservation ColumnReturn to Top

By Larry Marvet, Conservation Chair

In a perfect world, we could depend upon on any elected officials to take their position seriously, as representatives of the public, and vote the right way. Regarding environmental protection, which is widely and strongly supported by the public whether Democratic, Republican or other group, it wouldn’t matter if the R or D was elected in your county or state, because both would be interested in saving wildlands and wildlife, or protecting you from pollution.

It’s not a perfect world, so it does matter who gets elected. On a national level, we’ve had 6 years of global warming denial by George W. Bush that clearly would not have occurred under Al Gore or John Kerry. At the state level, Rod Blagojevich wrote rules to drastically reduce mercury pollution in Illinois, unlikely in a George Ryan administration. And in Lake County, opposition by many of our legislators stopped an opposing group of elected representatives from ending state and county wetland protections.

One of the reasons I joined Sierra Club was that we interview, research and finally endorse local, state and national election candidates. (Few other mainstream groups, like Audubon or Nature Conservancy, do this.) And by helping to get these people elected —whether Republican, Democrat or Independent—we can make tremendous conservation improvements.

Take this newsletter with you to the voting booth and vote for environmental protection. You may not know all those that we’ve endorsed, but our Political Committee has been working for months sorting spin from fact and politics from action to provide a group who we think are, or soon will be, environmental heroes. We don’t, unfortunately, endorse in every race and we sometimes have to make painful choices between good candidates, but you can be sure that there are dedicated Sierra Club people working to give you the best possible choices.

In the Woods & Wetlands area, we are lucky to have a great crop of green lawmakers this time. Every vote matters, so pick these if on your ballot: Lake County Board—Bassi, Calabresa, Carlson, Hewitt, Kirn, Maine, Sabonjian, Talbett, Tepper, Travers; IL Senate—Bond, Link; IL House—Cole, May, Nekritz, Ryg; US House—Bean.

Off year elections are not as exciting as presidential years, but these other elections are just as important.

 


Global Warming: Causes, Cures and ConsequencesReturn to Top

By Larry Marvet, Conservation Chair

Richard Treptow, Ph.D.
Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:45pm
Vernon Area Library

Long disputed by the oil-drilling crowd, massive hurricanes, droughts and record high temperatures have even convinced evangelical G. W. Bush ally Pat Robertson that global warming is real. Join us at our November meeting where Dr. Treptow, Chicago State professor emeritus of chemistry, will explain what’s at stake.

 

NOVEMBER MEETING
Thursday, November 16
6:45 pm
Vernon Area Library
300 Olde Half Day Road
Lincolnshire

 


Things You Can DoReturn to Top

By Larry Marvet, Conservation Chair

In a perfect world, we could depend upon on any elected officials to take their position seriously, as representatives of the public, and vote the right way. Regarding environmental protection, which is widely and strongly supported by the public whether Democratic, Republican or other group, it wouldn’t matter if the R or D was elected in your county or state, because both would be interested in saving wildlands and wildlife, or protecting you from pollution.

It’s not a perfect world, so it does matter who gets elected. On a national level, we’ve had 6 years of global warming denial by George W. Bush that clearly would not have occurred under Al Gore or John Kerry. At the state level, Rod Blagojevich wrote rules to drastically reduce mercury pollution in Illinois, unlikely in a George Ryan administration. And in Lake County, opposition by many of our legislators stopped an opposing group of elected representatives from ending state and county wetland protections.

One of the reasons I joined Sierra Club was that we interview, research and finally endorse local, state and national election candidates. (Few other mainstream groups, like Audubon or Nature Conservancy, do this.) And by helping to get these people elected —whether Republican, Democrat or Independent—we can make tremendous conservation improvements.

Take this newsletter with you to the voting booth and vote for environmental protection. You may not know all those that we’ve endorsed, but our Political Committee has been working for months sorting spin from fact and politics from action to provide a group who we think are, or soon will be, environmental heroes. We don’t, unfortunately, endorse in every race and we sometimes have to make painful choices between good candidates, but you can be sure that there are dedicated Sierra Club people working to give you the best possible choices.

In the Woods & Wetlands area, we are lucky to have a great crop of green lawmakers this time. Every vote matters, so pick these if on your ballot: Lake County Board—Bassi, Calabresa, Carlson, Hewitt, Kirn, Maine, Sabonjian, Talbett, Tepper, Travers; IL Senate—Bond, Link; IL House—Cole, May, Nekritz, Ryg; US House—Bean.

Off year elections are not as exciting as presidential years, but these other elections are just as important.

 


Join Our Free E-mail Lists! Return to Top

Members are invited to join the W&W group's e-mail lists. On the ALERTS list you will receive infrequent timely posts from the Group Chair (only), primarily on local issues. Some of these appear on this website, and if you subscribe you will learn about them in time to help. The ISSUES list allows you to share in a discussion with other W&Wers. To sign up, just visit each of these websites and click Join :

ALERTS

ISSUES

We do not share e-mail address lists, and you can remove yourself from either list at any time.


Sightings: Why Do We Care?Return to Top

by Donnie R. Dann
I've never been to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and probably will never go. Other than a handful of researchers, oil company people, and of course the Gwich'in inhabitants, most Americans have never been there either nor are they likely to go. Yet public opinion polls consistently oppose oil drilling there. Nor are many of us going to travel to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument recently protected by President Bush, or most of the other few more remote places on earth that have thus far managed to escape man’s imprint. Yet Mr. Bush’s foresighted action received near universal praise.

What is it that causes us to care about wilderness or other areas set aside primarily for the plants and animals (not the two-legged variety) of our planet. If oil rigs were allowed to drill in all of them our lives would be largely unaffected, except for a few cents drop in the price of gasoline years from now. Yet in some way we derive ‘value’ from a wild place that has little or no impact on our existence.

There are practical reasons for preserving what is wild. Biodiversity is important to the long‑term health of the planet and some plants and animals can be useful in medical research. Wild places can also serve as tourist destinations and they help keep our air and water unpolluted, all of which are utilitarian arguments for their preservation. But people seem to want to protect these places from development even without them affecting on our personal welfare. Why?

to top of next column

This question is really at the heart of our national debate over protecting wild places. Although most Americans will never visit such places, there is a large constituency for preserving them. At the same time development gives us jobs and economic growth and these are not inconsequential things. The wild America that Lewis and Clark saw is largely gone, and its sacrifice has provided us with a standard of living inconceivable to those pioneers in 1803.

Now we face the question whether an even higher standard of living is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free that still remain. Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to destroy them.

Why do we care? We care because we know intuitively how vulnerable our remaining treasures are to the powerful forces of development. We care because seeing bald eagles is more important than building another shopping mall, and the chance to find a trillium in spring is a right as inalienable as free speech. We care because we the understand value of stewardship of the planet and as the dominant species we have an obligation to protect those special places for future generations to enjoy.

If you agree, please tell your elected officials that further weakening our environmental protections simply can not be tolerated.

 


Printable and Portable W&W News Return to Top

Here's the printed version of this issue of the W&W News in pdf. It's 513 kB and you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. If you want to give a copy to a friend who doesn't have internet access, we suggest printing this pdf rather than this web page.

Another option is to take this on your PDA with AvantGo, a free service that lets you download and synch web pages with your PDA. Just have it synch this one from Woods & Wetlands News #53 .


Contributions Welcome

Contact the Group Chair to discuss the issue and how much space to take, or send your finished article directly to our Newsletter Designer.

 

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