Wednesday, December 9, 2015

NIMBY in the ‘Wild, Wild West’ of Elwood, Ill.

Our family once owned a house that sat one well-launched football away from an Arkansas state highway.

As the area developed from cow pasture to cookie-cutter subdivision, our town did the usual dance and jig – signs posted restricting Jake brakes within city limits, followed by the attorney-prompted sign editing to “engine exhaust brakes banned.”

But we’d hear many an engine brake (nice try, lawyers) rumble through the night as trucks entered the area and were met by hundreds of passenger cars clogging the two-lane highway.

Neighbors complained to the city, but police were as busy with local accidents and evolving gang threats at the high school as they were with noise complaints.

But with each new subdivision came increased wrecks, slower traffic and more engine braking. The highway’s eventual expansion helped traffic – though I hear complaints still pour in.

Most professional truck drivers have likely seen some form of NIMBY – which stands for not in my backyard. One Illinois town with a history of high interactions between police and drivers is taking NIMBY to another level.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rearview: From Independence (Mo.) to Kaneohe Bay

Editor’s note: We’re looking “in our rearview” to bring you some of our favorite stories, columns and items from Land Line’s 40-year-history. In honor of the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we’re sharing a piece from Dec. 7, 2010, by Editor-in-Chief Sandi Soendker, whose father was a Navy veteran and among those dispatched to Hawaii following the attack. 

The day that Pearl Harbor was attacked, my dad was a 19-year-old air combat crewman in the U.S. Navy, stationed in San Diego. He had enlisted in May 1941 and was in training as a bombardier. On Dec. 7, 1941, the training ended. The real deal was on.

Dad grew up in Independence, Mo., a town that has gotten plenty of national attention, thanks to Harry S. Truman. Harry would, of course, become vice-president for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and then president when FDR died in April 1945. But that’s another war story.

The boy from Independence soon found himself on the way to Kaneohe Bay, on the east coast of Oahu. Kaneohe was the site of a major Navy patrol seaplane base and home to three Patrol Squadrons. Dad was a bombardier for Patrol Squadron 102.

His attachment to the squadron ran deep. He told us how Kaneohe had been heavily damaged when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Dad said dozens of PBYs were on the ground (or in the water just offshore) when the Japanese planes came. The raid destroyed most of them.