According to the online Chicago Tribune, the beach will close at Independence Grove this year and a beer garden will be coming to the park. According to a member of the Lake County Forest Preserves District Board of Commissioners, "The beach has been losing money over the last several years and if beach sales kept pace with expenses, the beach would be left open." All board members voted yes to close the beach and open a beer garden at Indy Grove.
I have no issue with the beer garden, they’re trying something new to help support the park and perhaps some local brewers will benefit from this garden. Having said that, why would the board not try to keep the beach open and try an alternative? Are board members unaware of the opportunity for swimmers and triathletes to use the lakes at Indy Grove as a way of getting exposed to open water swimmers? There are about 115 acres of waterway at the park, has the board considered a designated spot for beachgoers and accomplished swimmers to share some of this waterway?
Have the Lake County Forest Preserves District Board of Commissioners considered adding lap lanes beyond the swimming area where summer open water swimmers could train there (including athletes)? I'm not saying that the beach area should continue to lose money, that's just a poor business strategy but were different ideas considered to improve the beach area or develop a new beach and swimming area? Imagine now that one of the largest inland lake areas in Lake County does not allow the ability to "cool off" during the hot summer months?
One other thing, I sense some members of the board over the last few years have had their focus on eventually eliminating the beach. It wasn’t something they decided necessarily during Covid. It’s not a difficult choice to make from a budgetary perspective, but still, is it the right thing to do without considering creative ways to improve the beach area to attract more visitors?
Indy Grove could be a training ground for triathletes – there are bike and running trails and of course, plenty of water so why not use some of it for actual swimming? To not allow any swimming or the ability to be cooled off in summer is just something missing in such a large park with so many different lakes and channels?
Before the beach area was closed and eliminated by the board, were there any changes or improvements done to the beach area? Did any of the board receive feedback from the public on what improvements could be made to make it more palatable? Or again, was it on the radar or some board members that, instead of improvements, let’s just let it die a very slow, painful death?
Good Old Chuck Grassley
According to Politico, “More than half of Iowans hope that Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, their state’s senior senator, decides against running for reelection next year, according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.”
I don’t think you can always rely on the electorate to do the rational thing. Senator Grassley is 87 and is unsure if he’ll seek another term and more than half of Iowans hope he doesn’t run for reelection next year. He’s served in the U.S. Senate since Carter’s last year in office, and there’s still a portion of the election that wants him to run again. Either these people are delusional, like his persona, or like the pork he brings home. Iowa likes pork and Iowa likes pork -- which is fitting because we are talking about a state that cares a lot about its pigs.
Politico reported that the Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll showed Grassley’s favorability rating at 48 percent, holding steady from recent polls dating back to June. However, compared to previous Iowa Polls going back to 1998, his favorability in the state has been on a slow but steady decline, dropping 12 points since 2019. However, the former one wants him to run again so if he decides to run (strong chance), he’ll have the backing of the owner at Mar-a-Lago.
Ok, so his favorability in Iowa has been on a slow but steady decline since 1998, which is at least 22 years. Perhaps that’s a perfect example of why we need term limits in the Senate, limits of 3, 6-year terms or no longer than 18 years. He’s become less popular over the years but he still has enough clout and power within the Iowa and national Republicans that he can win the next race, even if it means, over the years, he’s lost support among the electorate.
Chuck, the writing is on the wall. You’ve represented your State in the U.S. Senate for over 40 years, isn't it time to allow someone much younger to represent Iowa? The country is changing and I’m hopeful, regardless of the party, Iowa can elect a younger senator, someone who's more in tuned with today's demographics and culture, and able to address many of the issues facing America.