Gazette Chicago 01 06 2017 E Edition Page 1 Untitled

See page 3. See page 8. Continued on page 18 See page 24. Use TIF money to help Fulton St. homeless, say business owners. See page 10. Medical District Apartments expansion talks continue. See page 12. Supporters fear Maxwell Market still in jeopardy. See Letters on page 22. Continued on page 16 An independent community newspaper since 1983. Near West/Tri-Taylor University Village West Loop South Loop West Haven Bridgeport/Armour Square Chinatown Bronzeville East Pilsen Heart of Chicago Other highlights: Clifford the Big Red Dog visits Women's Park. Read Around the Neighborhood. Activists express concerns about oil freight trains Continued on page 6 Wentworth Connector improvement project. By Johnny Figel As the United States has become increasingly urbanized, the coun- try's rail system has remained unchanged. For many Chicago residents, this antiquated infrastructure has left them directly in harm's way, according to the Southeast Envi- ronmental Task Force (SETF). For Tom Shepherd, SETF direc- tor, this danger makes it imperative to raise awareness about crude oil- carrying trains that traverse the city 40 times a week. "It's something that has alarmed a lot of people," Shepherd said. Peo- ple "see the [use of] oil trains are increasing going across the coun- try." Meanwhile, "our infrastruc- ture continues to crumble." SETF has gathered a group of stakeholders and community members to educate the commu- nity about potential disasters from transporting crude oil on outdated rail lines in densely populated ar- eas. The group discussed the po- tential for explosions from fire or derailment and the areas a crude oil blast would affect; it also toured rail yards. SETF has hosted four meet-ups and rail yard tours, with one to come in North Chicago. Shep- herd said the meetings have raised awareness but allowed that com- munication challenges remain. "It's pretty difficult," he said when asked about the amount of media coverage the crude oil topic generates. "We don't get a whole lot of attention, judging from our press releases and press conferences." Potential accidents Shepherd fears lack of interest may change only when the next accident occurs.

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