Ravenswood Metra stop, Chicago. Another broken water main.
Posts tagged chicago.
Sinkhole in Chicago neighborhood swallowed three cars this morning. As usual, this one was caused by a water main break. The water eroded the soil and rock under the road, creating a void and ultimate collapse. We’ll hear a lot more of these incidences in the coming years. America’s infrastructure is in rough shape, and water, sewer, and gas lines average close to 50 years old. Replacements costs are extremely high - most cities wait for a break to happen before replacing pipes, which is more expensive and dangerous over time. But, cities around the country are deferring maintenance due to a dwindling tax base. Via NBC.
New seasons with new names
I have watched with a kind of petrified fascination in recent years as the world creeps closer to what looks to me like disastrous climate change. The poles are melting. Ocean levels are rising. The face of the planet is torn by unprecedented natural disasters. States of emergency have become so routine that governors always seem to be proclaiming one. Do they have drafts of proclamations on file?The political responses to this condition seem to fall along party lines. Democrats think legislation is needed Republicans don’t want the feds interfering with private enterprise. Vested interests weigh in. Pork barrel projects are protected by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Washington fiddles. Earth burns.
I get stirred up more than many people, because I see so many documentaries. Yes, they’re “biased.” There’s much less motivation for an “unbiased” documentary. Docs are usually made by people who have something they think you should know. There is little motivation for objectivity, something people forget when yet another doc comes along. And there are so many causes! Genetically modified crops! Chemical fertilizers! Trademarked genomes! The downside to wind power! An explosive-blowing doc like Chasing Ice comes along, and hardly causes a stir.
I write an entry. It rounds up the usual comments. We’re stuck. Just today, however, a glimmer of hope shone on the political front. I read on Bloomberg:
“President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.”
“Consider.” Not the most electrifying word I can imagine. Yet consider the response. I read on: “It’s got us very freaked out,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Southern Co. The standards, which constitute guidance for agencies and not new regulations, are set to be issued in the coming weeks, according to lawyers briefed by administration officials.
“Freaked out.” You know what has me freaked out? I consider it a real possibility that millions now living will die as a result of the interests of the National Association of Manufacturers and its 11,000 members.
Drought has caused water levels on Lake Michigan to drop to lowest levels in recorded history. The lake feeds several rivers, which have also dropped levels and flow. Impacts include slowed shipping and nasty sewage backup. In fact, instead of the water flowing from the lake into the Chicago River, the river could actually reverse flow and empty into the lake. The Chicago River btw is “70-percent sewage.”
Drought could reverse flow of Chicago River
Water levels on Lake Michigan are the lowest in recorded history. If the level continues to drop, the Chicago River could reverse itself and send untreated sewage into Lake Michigan.
“We’ve been monitoring since 1918 and this is the lowest Lake Michigan and Lake Huron have been,” Roy Deda, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said. “There would be some potential water quality impact to the Great Lakes if we were to continue to lock vessels when the river is higher than the lake.”
“Our river is 70-percent sewage. I think we need to recognize that. This is an open sewer. It depends upon gravity to go away from us. If that gravity does not work with the lake going down, it goes the other way, and we have done nothing to deal with the contaminants that we need to actually invest in fixing,” Henry Henderson, Natural Resources Defense Council
The Army Corps of Engineers said it is carefully monitoring the situation, and if lake levels continue to drop, they may have to modify how they operate the locks to limit the amount of water that goes into the lake, which would have an impact on recreational boats and barge traffic.
Good reporting by ABC local WLS-Chicago
“At 24.5 acres, Millennium Park is the largest green roof in the world. It covers two parking garages, a railway, and an opera hall.”
Great photo essay at PBS on the green roofs of Chicago.
Hope those tickets are refundable.
(Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong / AP)
The Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago was suspended and tens of thousands of fans were evacuated to shelters on Saturday as the city braced for dangerous storms with high winds, organizers said.
Organizers stopped at about 3:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. ET), and many of the fans were told to go to one of three underground parking garages designated as “emergency evacuation shelters,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Chicago and the Gulf Dead Zone: NRDC Lawsuits Address Downstream Damage
The popular legend is that Chicago’s jazz tradition arose from a migration of musicians from New Orleans up the Mississippi River in the 19th century. It seems Chicago is now returning scat to New Orleans back down the Mississippi, but I don’t mean the vocal kind.
The Chicago area’s sewage has been found to be the biggest single contributor to the “Dead Zone” that has emerged in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River – an area larger than the State of Connecticut where the oxygen levels in the water are so law that it can’t support life. The sewage contains phosphorus, a pollutant that acts like turbo-charged fertilizer fueling the growth of oxygen-depleting algae in the Dead Zone and elsewhere. - Read more in Ann Alexander’s Switchboard blog.
photo: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory
“Obama for America is looking for talented writers and editors to join our digital team.
Our writers and editors will help tell the story of the campaign over email, social media, our blog, and online ads.
We’re looking for seasoned, scrappy writers who can capture the feeling of a moment in an email that will compel people to take action or put a person’s life story into a moving 300-word blog post. You should be able to write the way people talk, and to do it quickly and concisely — sometimes in 140 characters or less. Ideally, you’ll also have a head for online organizing and campaigning, strong attention to detail, and experience managing complex projects.
We’ll be hiring people at all levels, from team directors to junior staffers. So whether you’re a seasoned digital veteran or are new to the field but hoping to apply your skills to a worthy cause, we hope to hear from you.
If you’re right for this team, the following should all be familiar to you:
- - Email, blog, or social media copy-writing
- - Online organizing
- - Project management
- - Basic statistical analysis
- - HTML and online content and constituent relationship management platforms like Blue State Digital, Convio, Expression Engine, or Drupal
Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications; we also offer a benefits plan.
Obama for America is committed to diversity among its staff and recognizes that its continued success requires the highest commitment to obtaining and retaining a diverse staff that provides the best quality services to supporters and constituents. Obama for America is an equal opportunity employer and it is our policy to recruit, hire, train, promote and administer any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity or physical disability, or any other legally protected basis. OFA will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination and any such conduct is strictly prohibited.”
Sweet sweet bike lanes in Chicago. Go Rahm go!
In his campaign for mayor, Rahm Emanuel pledged to make Chicago a more bike-friendly city. And in office, he set his sights high, aiming to construct 100 miles of protected bike lanes in his first term.
His team wasted no time. Chicago DOT installed the city’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street before Emanuel’s first 30 days in office were over. Leading Emanuel’s DOT is former Washington, DC DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, who clearly understands the connection between safe streets and the health of a city.
I LOVE infrastructure stories. I didn’t know Rahm started to replace the city’s pipes. That’s some beeg dollaz tharr Rahmee… I suppose it’s best to get the hard projects out of the way early in his career.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched a $4.1 billion initiative to replace his city’s dilapidated water infrastructure last month, spinning it as a plan to create 18,000 jobs over the next decade. The rub is that by 2015, most Chicagoans would pay more than double their current water usage fees. “The work here, in my view, is essential for Chicago’s economic future,” Emanuel said at a construction site where crews replaced piping dating to 1886.
Unsurprisingly, most Chicagoans are unhappy with the rate hike. But their city has at least a thousand miles of water line that’s 100 years old or older, so the upgrade is a must. And Chicago’s not alone. Built mostly during the late 19th and early 20th century*, much of the country’s water infrastructure—from wells to dams and reservoirs; from storage tanks, aqueducts, and treatment plants to pipes and valves—is rapidly failing.
The problem is most troubling in cities, where dense and increasing populations put greater demand on already-strained systems that municipal governments generally lack the funds to upgrade. Without robust, urgent action, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nearly half the nation’s pipes will fall into the “poor, very poor or elapsed” categories by 2020, risking widespread failures and a considerable threat to public health.
““People in Chicago are going to want to move after this winter,” long-range meteorologist Josh Nagelberg said.
Forecasters also predict that the Chicago area, not New York, will endure the worst winter in the nation this season.”
Source: Chicago Sun Times
Can anyone confirm?
The Chicago Board of Trade puts up sign, “We are the 1%”