Monday, October 20, 2014

I&M Canal NHC at 30: Marseilles

Continuing west on the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor we reach Marseilles. The LaSalle County town was named for France's second largest city. Our Marseilles was founded in 1835, the locals pronounce it "Mar-sales."

This is one of the two Marseilles murals I found. This one includes the canal path and the I&M Canal, which was dry when I was there two weeks ago. I also saw the Marseilles Montage, a much more detailed wall painting, but when the sun was at a bad angle for me when I tried to take a photograph of it.

The Doc Sutton Clock on Main Street. Sutton, although he was never a Major League Baseball player, seems to have been the Moonlight Graham of Marseilles.

That's a canal, but not the I&M, it's the North Mill Race, a semi-circle canal constructed to supply power for a hydroelectric plant that closed in 1989.

That's the old Marseilles Hydro-Plant, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

A cyclist rides west on the old towpath trail.

In the distance you can see the old power plant. This photograph was taken from the south bank of the Illinois River at Illini State Park. I don't know what those cylindrical objects in the river are, although there is a lock just upriver from them.

Illini is pretty much just a big campground and picnic area, albeit a first-rate one. It consists of a onetime golf course and a former youth correctional facility.

There are some structures at Illini State Park built by Civilian Conservation Corps workers, including this one.

As well as this concession stand.

Back to town--the old Marseilles Rock Island Line train station/

The little red caboose is the home of the Illinois River Area Chamber of Commerce.

Next: The Middle East Conflict Wall Memorial

Earlier I&M Canal NHC at 30: posts:

No photo ID needed this time: Early voting begins today in Illinois

In a sleazy one-time attempt t by Gov. Pat Quinn to gin up his dwindling base of voters, Illinoisans who wish to vote early, unlike in past elections, will not required to show a photo ID when they do so.

Early voting begins today across Illinois is village halls, public libraries, and similar such places. It continues until Saturday, November 1

Patriots: Please vote, whether early or on Election Day. In its first endorsement editorial in three years, the Chicago Sun-Times says, "On Nov. 4, voters will decide if Illinois is to grow and charge ahead, reclaiming its place as one of the great states in the Union, or to settle — once and for all — for defeat and decline."

The Sun-Times, along with every other newspaper so far in Illinois, is urging a vote for Republican Bruce Rauner.

Get out and vote. Bring your voting age teens, bring your grandparents, bring your right-thinking neighbors.

Vote prosperity. Vote Republican. This is the most important local election of our lifetime.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

War on women: Bill Clinton coming to Illinois to campaign for Quinn

Pat Quinn's Illinois flag
Since the 2012 presidential election, the Democrats have fumed about an imaginary war on women being waged by the Republican Party.

But former President Bill Clinton, who committed perjury when testifying about his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, has also been accused of sexual assault by Kathleen Willey, a volunteer White House aide, and Juanita Brodderick, who was the recipient of "unwelcome sexual advances" from Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas.

Now that's a real war on women.

And that warrior, Bill Clinton, will be in Chicago on Tuesday to campaign for inept Illinois governor Pat Quinn.

From Da Tech Guy blog: Illinois governor’s race, Rauner sweeping newspaper endorsements

For my weekly entry on Da Tech Guy blog, I comment on the plethora of media support building for the Land of Lincoln's Republican nominee for governor, Bruce Rauner: Illinois governor’s race, Rauner sweeping newspaper endorsements.

To follow Bruce Rauner on Facebook, click here. To follow him on Twitter, click here.

To contribute to the Rauner campaign, click here.

News-Gazette endorses Rauner for Illinois governor

University of Illinois Student Union
The Champaign-based News-Gazette is also endorsing Bruce Rauner for governor.

From its Sunday endorsement:
Illinois voters face a stark choice in the race for governor, embracing the policies that have failed in the past or going in a new direction.

One of the definitions of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again with the expectation of different results.

Already on its knees and a national joke, Illinois simply can't afford to continue to pursue the same ruinous policies in the future it has in the past.

For that reason, The News-Gazette endorses Republican Bruce Rauner in the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election.
I love that bit, "One of the definitions of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again with the expectation of different results." It precisely describes Illinois liberals. As far as I know, no Land of Lincoln newspapers have endorsed Chicago Democrat Quinn.

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Peoria Journal Star endorses Rauner for governor

Grandview Park in Peoria
Yes, Bruce Rauner is playing in Peoria.

From the Peoria Journal Star:
Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state. It also retains title to the highest unfunded pension liability. Its overall business climate and actual economic performance rank 46th among 50, its economic outlook 48th. Illinois' unemployment rate is near bottom of America's barrel. Food stamp enrollment has outpaced job creation by nearly two-to-one. The state's share of public education funding on a percentage basis puts us 47th. If we're a leader, it's in the number of residents who have left or want out. Illinois used to be an economic powerhouse. It is no longer.

Rauner is right, “we can’t fix anything ... if economically we’re a low-growth state.” Which of these two has the best chance, given their backgrounds, of turning that around? We trust Rauner, the entrepreneur who’d model himself after former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, does.

To be sure, business and government are not the same, and sometimes we think it doesn’t make much difference who the governor is in a state where Speaker Madigan seems to call all the shots. Rauner’s potential relationship with legislative leaders is a cause of some worry, though he’s worked well with the Democratic mayor of Chicago and promises to be a more visible, hands-on presence in the capitol, on the floor "like Jim Thompson was."

If you believe as we do that state government — the whole culture of corruption and incompetence — really has to change and that single-party control just isn't cutting it, then our best bet is with an independent candidate of the opposite party who emphasizes that “I don’t owe anybody anything.” Bruce Rauner is endorsed.
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Belleville News-Democrat endorses Rauner for Illinois governor

The endorsements keep rolling in for political newcomer and Republican Bruce Rauner.

After sweeping the major media endorsements in the Chicago area, the Rauner juggernaut picked up another one tonight in downstate's Metro East area.

From the Belleville News-Democrat:
Illinois desperately needs a new direction and that's why we are endorsing Bruce Rauner for governor. This isn't an "anybody but Quinn" recommendation, however. Rauner is a smart, effective business leader who is running because he seems to genuinely care about the future of Illinois.

Quinn has spent a lot of time attacking Rauner for being rich. But his success is exactly what makes him such an appealing alternative.

Rauner demonstrates a firm grasp of the issues facing the state, including in the metro-east. He understands that for Illinois to rebound, the No. 1 priority has to be bringing in businesses and jobs, which in turn would generate new tax revenue to fund government services. Broadening the tax base makes so much better sense than higher tax rates.

To make Illinois more inviting to business, Rauner supports many reforms, such as finishing reform of workers' comp. He offers the example of Caterpillar, which creates most of its new jobs next door in Indiana because that state's workers' comp costs are so much lower than in Illinois. Quinn knows the burdensome costs remain a problem yet has said the reforms already enacted go far enough. They don't.
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Unhappy Halloween: Sharpton planning "Michael Brown Weekend" in St. Louis

Notorious race chiseler Al Sharpton is planning a four-day Michael Brown weekend in St. Louis. The horror begins on Halloween and will drag on until the following Monday.

Sharpton should stay home in New York. Haven't the people of Ferguson suffered enough already?

Back to New York: The very-liberal New York Times is reporting that the "gentle giant" Brown struggled with police officer who later shot him and that the cop "was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life."

Chicago Sun-Times strongly endorses Rauner for governor: "We're all in"

The failure that is Illinois government is so severe that it has compelled the Chicago Sun-Times, three years after it vowed it would no longer endorse political candidates, to get back into the game.

Illinois' second most-read paper says that the Land of Lincoln "has just about run out of time for a comeback."

More from that Sun-Times endorsement:
Today we are endorsing Bruce Rauner for governor. Today we are putting our chips — we're all in — on an extraordinarily capable businessman who just might have what it takes to break the stranglehold of uninspired, self-serving, one-party rule in Springfield.

We look across Illinois and we despair. We see struggling small towns and an antiquated tax structure, monstrous pension debt and population decline, government incompetence and public corruption.

We see an entrenched political class bereft of fresh ideas, basic business acumen, and independence from unions and other special interests. We see professional politicians, beginning with Gov. Pat Quinn and House Speaker Mike Madigan, who have failed to do what must be done before all else — promote economic growth and help create many more new jobs. We see a political status quo that is ruining Illinois.

Then there is Bruce Rauner. In him, we see everything the current occupant of the Governor's Mansion is not — a smart businessman, skilled executive and born leader beholden to nobody but those of us smart enough to vote him into office. We see that rare candidate who has but one agenda, to get Illinois roaring again for the sake of us all. It's not like the man needs the money.
Any person who votes for failed governor Pat Quinn is either a hopeless ideologue, a fixer with a stake in the game, or someone who is terribly misinformed.

Save Illinois: vote for Bruce Rauner.

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(Photo) American toad

Despite its name, the American toad is not an all-American toad, since its habitat is covers only the eastern half of the nation.

This one hopped past me in Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods on Wednesday, In front of it is a walnut husk.

The toad's color varies from black to gray to brown or as this one is, olive green.