STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS
At an emergency hearing 2 P.M. this afternoon, Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Maki entered a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District doing any further demolition to Meigs Field.
The case for the plaintiffs, including the Friends of Meigs Field, the Meigs Action Coalition, and the Illinois Association of Air and Critical Care Transport, was argued eloquently by Steve Novack of Novack and Macey. His eloquence was all the more remarkable for the fact that he and his entire staff was up all night preparing the brief.
After the judgment was reached, Rachel Goodstein, president of the Friends of Meigs Field told the assembled media, "I'm tickled by our success. We have a long way to go to reopen Meigs Field, but this is an important first step."
A hearing was scheduled for Friday, May 16, but lawyers for the City and Park District indicated in court that they may move for a dismissal earlier, perhaps by next week. This may be the next challenge on the road to reopen Meigs.
On a related and bizarre note, shortly after the hearing concluded at 3:10, Friends of Meigs Field received word that the Meigs Field control tower staff had been abruptly dismissed and sent home and the control tower closed, apparently permanently. At this time, it is unclear who made this decision, but what is clear is that such a move would adversely affect air safety in the busy lakefront VFR flyway.
Earlier in the day, Friends of Meigs presented the press with an audio recording of an incident only 2 days prior, in which fast action by the Meigs Tower controllers apparently averted a near mid-air collision or worse.
On another front, AOPA President Phil Boyer was in Chicago to meet media and announce AOPA's strong 12-point attack plan in the battle to reopen Meigs Field. Read more about it atwww.aopa.org.
With this success, it will become even more important to start building our defense fund. If you want to help save Meigs Field, visitwww.friendsofmeigs.org, join our letter campaign, sign up for e-mail updates, and make an online pledge to the Meigs Defense Fund.
With the tragic events of the "Sunday Night Meigs Massacre," the future is very cloudy for the "Coolest Little Airport on the Planet." We'll need all the help we can get.
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