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Water Under the Bridge??

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at the Chicago Yacht Club we have a prime spot from which to report on this year's Venetian Night at Monroe Harbor.  As I look across the water, I notice a huge Chicago 2016 banner down the side of the nearby Columbia Yacht Club (the large ship permanently docked at Randolph and the Lake).  

Last summer we reported on concerns voiced by many Chicago boaters that the Olympic Games would be too great an inconvenience.  The area between Monroe Harbor and the Shedd Aquarium would be closed for 1-2 boating seasons, according to Chicago 2016 -- 3-4 if you believe Olympic skeptics.  At the time, some boaters were raising red and blue flags on their vessels as part of a "don't give up the ship" campaign meant to protest Olympic displacement.  That's why I'm a bit surprised to see the pro-Olympic signage flying from the Columbia Yacht Club.  It may be water under the bridge for them... but not for everyone.

Today friendsofmonroeharbor.org says concerns still exist:

the proposed Chicago 2016 Olympic rowing venue will displace more than 1600 Monroe and DuSable boats, the Columbia Yacht Club and tens of thousands of Chicago area boaters for an estimated minimum of 3-4 years.

As an alternative, the Legacy Plan has been developed with the goal of creating a sustainable social, environmental and economic legacy, post Olympic games, with minimal disruption to our harbors before and during the games.

Friends of Monroe Harbor want Chicago 2016 to change its plan to avoid the temporary shutdown of the harbors and boat slips (see the plans at www.friendsofmonroeharbor.org and www.chicago2016.org ) Negotiations continue. As for Columbia Yacht Club's "we back the bid" signage suddenly sprouting up, I'm told that's a result of political pressure, perceived or real.


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