Joining Illinois Sierra Club Members in Lake and Northeastern Cook Counties

Fall 2008, Issue #61

In This Issue

Environmental Candidates for November 4
  Go To Article Amanda Howland for IL 51st State Representative
  Go To Article Peter Grant for Lake County Board 1st District
  Go To Article Bob Sabonjian for Lake County Board 8th District District
  Go To Article Pat Carey for Lake County Board 11th District
  Go To Article US Congress 10th Pending
Go To Article SMC Update
Go To Article Locally Grown Food – Right in Your Backyard!
Go To Article Gas Prices
Go To Article YouTube Presents: Into the Watershed 3
Go To Article More Club Endorsements Coming, Switch to E-Mail
Go To Article Vote for the Woods & Wetlands ExCom
Go To Article 403 kBPrintable, Portable W&W News
Go To Article Next Issue of W&W News
Go To Article Previous Issue of W&W News
  Previous Editions

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


Return to TopAmanda Howland for IL 51st State Representative

In Lake County, we're excited about Amanda Howland's hardcore green attitude. She's running for State Representative in the 53 District, which runs from Buffalo Grove and Long Grove north to Wauconda, Vernon Hills and Libertyville. Formerly a teacher and principal, she's now a lawyer and child advocate. By extension, Amanda is also an environmental advocate, to protect our natural world for both kids and adults.

As an Illinois State Rep, Ms. Howland will fight for renewable energy, energy conservation, clean cars and mass transit as ways to halt global climate change. She'll work to protect our remaining natural areas and endangered wildlife. And Amanda rejects urban sprawl and the kind of overbuilding that could easily ruin the natural character of Lake County.

Specifically, Howland will support legislation (HB3424) that will require cleaner cars in Illinois, and limit statewide carbon emissions. She supports additional state wetlands legislation and increased funding for state land acquisition. And, importantly, she worked against the plan to site the 2016 Olympic equestrian events within our forest preserves.

Amanda Howland as our new state representative will bring a new focus to environmental issues. If you live in the 51st District, please vote for Amanda in the November!


Return to TopPeter Grant for Lake County Board 1st District Representative

As a 22-year resident of Antioch, Peter Grant knows the people in District 1 and he understands the culture of the lakes region. We feel he can do a good job of representing this community, not as a professional politician, but as a family man who has seen the need for change. Change in the way we do business here in Lake County. By empowering the community to literally change the face of politics in northern Lake County.

Peter believes we can make Lake County a greener county through public policy starting with stringent energy-saving measures adopted by all county-wide agencies. We can save the county plenty of money by implementing simple energy saving strategies and setting an example for the residents of the county to follow.

Peter feels that the health of our lakes is becoming more and more an issue as more development comes to the 1st District. He strongly supports protecting the health of our lakes for the sake of the businesses that depend on the recreation that the lakes provide. He also accepts the responsibility that we have to care for our lakes as part of our heritage in Antioch and all of District 1.


Return to TopBob Sabonjian for Lake County Board 8th District District

We have repeatedly and proudly endorsed Bob Sabonjian since his initial County Board run in 1998. Over the years, Bob has consistently stood up for the environment, often taking tough stands when others lacked the courage.

This year is no different, and we were pleased when Bob voiced concern and reserved support for the plan to site the Olympics in our Forest Preserves. Bob has earned our endorsement once again, and we ask Waukegan voters to give him your vote.

Return to TopPat Carey for Lake County Board 11th District

Pat Carey is a 25 year resident of Grayslake and is running for Lake County Board District 11. District 11 includes Grayslake and Wildwood. Formerly Mayor of Grayslake, Pat now has responsibility for economic development with the Village of Arlington Heights. Pat is also a member of the Sierra Club and the Liberty Prairie Conservancy.

Pat started her career in government as a citizen leader in the battle to save Picket Fence Farms from development. Today this property is the 1,225 acre Rollins Savanna, one of the jewels of the Lake County Forest Preserve. She will bring a strong focus to the environment, moving to create a position in the County to coordinate all environmental initiatives, including moving the County’s fleet of cars to hybrids, implementing LEED certified development & building practices, and establishing Lake County as a “Cool County”.

As a new member of the Lake County Board, Pat will bring a commitment to the environment in everything she does. Please vote for Pat Carey in November if you live within Lake County Board District 11.


Return to TopUS Congress 10th Pending

In the 10th Congressional district, incumbent Mark Kirk has demonstrated a fine voting record on environmental issues, earning ratings this past Congressional session of 90 from the League of Conservation Voters and 92 from the Illinois Environmental Council -- the best environmental voting record in the Illinois delegation and as one of only six Republicans nationwide who worked this consistently to protect the environment. Representative Kirk has cast tough votes on the Club's highest priority bills on ANWR, energy conservation, renewable energy, and better CAFE standards, and supports our position on crucial upcoming global warming legislation such as carbon cap and trade. He has been a true leader on Great Lakes issues, including the Great Lakes Regional Collaborative and the Great Lakes Compact. Representative Kirk also effectively led the complex effort to preserve as open space the scenic bluffs and ravines of the Fort Sheridan base.

Many Club activists support challenger Dan Seals, however, and as this issue of Lake&Prairie goes to press, our endorsement decisions have not yet been completed. Watch for Environmental Town Hall Meetings with these candidates, and learn about any late-breaking endorsements on the Illinois Chapter web site under   (


SMC UpdateReturn to Top

By Evan Craig, Chair

Five W&W ExCom members attended the July 10 Stormwater Management Commission board meeting to deliver our concerns about muddy runoff from the Osmond Sports Park this Spring. County Board member Stevenson Mountsier, who chairs the SMC Board, once again posted an armed sheriff in the meeting room. Apparently the threat of deadly force is necessary to confront the problem of polluted stormwater in public.

Several commissioners were unconvinced by Antioch’s attempt to dismiss our concerns, and Commissioner Ann Bassi asked for a full response to the points we raised from SMC staff. Commissioner Bonnie Carter agreed that the people of Lake County are growing increasingly impatient with stormwater polluting our lakes and streams. Commissioner Ann Maine called for a review by the Technical Advisory Committee of practices we described as “risky.”

SMC staff, who have shared responsibility for the OSP project, characterized the problems we raised as “minor.” This might arise from the fact that SMC has not adopted a standard for the permissible muddiness (NTU) of stormwater runoff from construction sites, so it’s subjective. They also lack measurements during peak discharges from the site, in particular the intentional one conducted by Antioch without their knowledge in April.

In the requested follow-up document SMC staff disagreed that problems occurred, even though the problems are clearly documented in their own reports. Refer to our website for the documents we received. We had to invoke the Freedom of Information Act before SMC would show them to us. But at least they did. Antioch defied our FOIA request, refused to share the plans with us, and deleted the names and signatures from the documents they provided, preventing accountability for their personnel. It’s strange that a law intended to assure access to public documents is regularly wielded by our government to block it. At the last SMC meeting Commissioner Mountsier suggested that members of the public would have to file a FOIA request to view the follow-up document as it was being discussed. Thanks to Commissioner Steve Carlson, who gave us his copy. On an earlier occasion I was asked to fill out a form and pay $3 to receive an e-mailed document I had just reviewed at SMC offices, a clear FOIA violation.

Meanwhile, Antioch police have been intimidating our volunteer who monitors the site, although it’s public property, and there is no ordinance prohibiting it. As their October recertification hearing approaches, we expect these shenanigans to continue.

The good news is that the risky stormwater practices of mass grading, and building roads and ponds in buffer zones will be reviewed.

Please plan to attend the next SMC meeting on Thursday, October 2, at 7:00 p.m. at SMC offices, 333 Peterson Rd., Ste. D conference room, Libertyville, and send us a note saying you're coming. We've asked to have this issue put on the agenda, and will present our best information then.


Return to TopLocally Grown Food – Right in Your Backyard!*

By Chris Pado

We’ve all been hearing about the benefits of locally and sustainably grown food. But, getting to farmer’s markets can be difficult and CSA’s often provide too much food or delivery times and places can be inconvenient. So what’s a dedicated Sierra Club member to do? Why – grow your own, of course!

Reverence Gardens
Richmond, Illinois

Reverence Gardens is a sustainably managed farm specializing in heirloom varieties of vegetables. Check out our website for information on available products, pricing, growing methods, and much more. Please contact Chris Pado for information on pick-up sites and times in Grayslake, Richmond, Northbrook, and Mundelein.

OK, OK! I hear you – not enough time, you hate to weed, you don’t have a tiller and don’t want to have to bust through sod to create a garden. Well, I am here to tell you that it can be much easier than you think (not effortless, of course, but easier…)

The answer lies in a no till layered mulch approach to gardening. You’d be amazed at what you can grow in a single 4 x 20 garden plot. The trick is to start planning now. Here are the easy steps:

  • Watch where you have shade during the day – pick a sunny weekend day and watch where the sun shines – you will generally need at least 6 hours of direct sun for most crops.

  • In the fall, mark out your 4 by 20 plot (or larger, or smaller – it’s up to you) and cover the grass with cardboard or several thick layers of newspaper. (Don’t use glossy colored pages.) Water the cardboard or newspaper thoroughly.

  • Now start layering organic materials on top of the cardboard until you have about 18 inches of organic materials layered up. This can include grass clippings, straw, leaves, hay, or even vegetable scraps. Alternate layers of green and brown mulching materials (this is similar to building a compost pile). Water well after each layer. Finish with a layer of straw or hay. You do not have to build the 18 inches all at once, my first layered garden was built over several weeks.

That’s it – over the winter the grass will die and the organic materials will cook down several inches. Come spring, you can plant seed or transplants directly into your rich soil. When it comes time to harvest you’ll be eating really local and really great tasting food! For seed sources visit These companies offer an array of heirloom vegetable seeds, many varieties of which are organically grown.

Return to TopGas Prices

By Donnie Dann

President Bush has called for expanded oil drilling off our Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and in Alaska and it is has become a major issue in the presidential campaign.

Here are some problems with expanded coastal drilling:

  • Mr. Bush said we have an “addiction to oil.” Is an addict’s problem solved by feeding him/her with more of their addiction?

  • Oil companies already have permission to drill on 68 million acres of land with known oil reserves and they are only using 18 percent of that land. This proposal is really for more OCS leasing and not more oil drilling; it lets the oil companies lock up more lease tracts, but they are not obligated to do production, or even exploration.

  • Bush’s Department of Energy found that gaining access to coastal energy deposits would not add to domestic production before 2017 and even by 2030 would only increase domestic output by 7%. Further, because oil prices are determined on the world market the impact of our increased supply on gas prices would be “insignificant.” The estimated price reduction for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is 4 cents per gallon.

  • According to the Coast Guard and other government sources, storms in 2005 caused 146 oil spills in federal waters, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita alone completely destroyed 113 oil rigs and damaged 457 pipelines; the resulting spills were large enough to be seen from space.

  • The oil companies claim they can drill in an environmentally safe manner but the record demonstrates that ‘environmentally safe drilling’ is an oxymoron.

  • Does it make sense to foul our coastlines from resources we may not have to be using 10 to 20 years from now, especially if by then we have shifted from oil to other sources of fuel and power, including renewables, and greater energy efficiency and conservation?

As a Congressman in 1986, Dick Cheney introduced a bill to impose a tax on imported oil, saying “let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States.” Can $4+ per gallon of gas really be good for the United States? It might be, in the sense that it discourages the importing of foreign oil, lessens global warming, reduces road congestion and traffic deaths, promotes public transportation, encourages clean energy alternatives, diminishes rainforest destruction, and eases air and water pollution.

Unfortunately, in the short term the only way for the American consumer to avoid gas pump pain is through fuel efficiency and conservation, and politicians who argue otherwise are pandering. Gas prices will remain high until we shed our fossil fuel dependence, and more drilling is no answer, short term or long term.

In 1939 Albert Einstein wrote to Franklin Roosevelt urging the president to start the Manhattan project which produced an atomic weapon in 6 years.  President Kennedy’s 1961 announcement of the Apollo program to place a man on the moon in 10 years came to fruition in 8. Is the technology to design cars to get at least 2 to 3 times higher gas mileage, or otherwise have greater energy efficiently throughout our economy, really more scientifically challenging than creating a weapon from an atomic chain reaction or manned lunar space flight? Plug in hybrids, all electric cars, fuel cells, are all within reach.

If America’s leaders summon the political will to wholeheartedly devote our technological and scientific wizardry to this goal, in an effort no less than Manhattan or Apollo, isn’t it more than likely that we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and avoid having to drill off on our coastlines, and do it before 2030? Look at this link by Tom Friedman, for an example we can follow:


Return to TopYouTube Presents
Into the Watershed Part 3

This is one of the short films we showed at our winter W&W Film Festival. It's about the water in Lake Macatawa, MI, but it applies to the lakes here in our territory too. Click once to activate it, and again to start the video.

Return to TopMore Club Endorsements Coming, Switch to E-Mail

By Evan Craig

To make sure this newsletter gets to you in time to get involved, even if the US PO delays, we’re mailing it early. But some of our endorsements are still not yet complete, and many had to be left out of the print edition. See . Meanwhile, the cost of postage just keeps going up.

Our solution? Sign up to get your newsletter by e-mail. It’s fast, and it’s free! We’ll send you these same great stories and events, with better pictures and richer content - in time to respond and participate! To sign up, address an e-mail message to


and then include the following commands in the body of the message :

SUBSCRIBE IL-WWG-ALERTS firstname lastname

(inserting your first name and last name).

Be sure to follow up with the town where you live, or your membership number.

If things don’t improve, we might decide to stop printing and mailing, and rely solely on e-mail and our website to get the news to you. So don’t miss out! Subscribe now. Be sure to follow up with the town where you live, or your membership number.

Worried that you might have missed an issue? We post this newsletter here on our website too. Bookmark our website:

Return to TopVote for the Woods & Wetlands ExCom

By Evan Craig

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.

It’s a dead heat this year, which means that we could use some more members taking an interest in leadership. Please consider attending our ExCom meetings to decide whether you’d like to fill one of those seats. If not, at least let us know you value what we do by voting. Below are members who have decided to run this year.

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 on only the outside of the envelope, as the return address, not on the inside. Mail the envelope to: Sierra Club W&W Elections P.O. Box 876Grayslake, IL 60030. Or just go to website: to vote on-line.

Vote by December 2.

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. 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 876
Grayslake, IL 60030.





Barbara Bell (incumbent) After joining the Outings Committee Barbara became an outings leader and enjoyed taking people to unusual wildlife areas in our region. She also helped organize the Winter Blues parties. Now that she has finished her law degree, she will have more time for the Club. She thinks most members are frustrated to lose our special spaces, and would like to help W&W become more effective protecting them by arranging more fun ways for members to get involved.

Larry Marvet (incumbent) Larry looks forward to a third term as an officer in our Group. He’s been arranging all the general meeting programs, and hopes you have attended some of them. Additionally, as Vice Chair he has frequently contributed you the Sierra Club perspective on our local issues in this newsletter, and on the W&W Blog. Larry promises more great meetings this Fall, and more hard hitting commentary.

John Massman (incumbent) John has been active in W&W for the last 13 years. He remains very concerned about the impacts of rampant development of northwestern Lake County’s watersheds. He frequently reports on W&W’s campaign to improve water quality and protect the Sequoit Creek watershed

Doug Ower (incumbent) Doug is completing his first term as the Recording Secretary for Ex-Com and is looking forward to a second term. He is concerned about the Zion Nuclear Plant decommissioning. He enjoys being involved in the Political Committee, Conservation Committee, and lobbying for Sierra Club issues.

Vote on our website: to vote on-line.

Vote for our ExCom members by December 2.



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 :



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

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 194 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. This issue of the W&W News is also found in print as part of Volume 49 #4 » of the Illinois Chapter's Lake & Prairie newsletter. It's 2.8MB.

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 #60 » .

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