Hopkins Park gets dumped on - literally
Thursday, Jun 24, 2010
* If this story doesn’t disgust you, nothing will.
A very prominent Kankakee-area businessman was indicted by the US Attorney’s office this week on five felony counts. The businessman, Michael J. Pinski, allegedly hired people to strip asbestos out of one of his buildings. They then dumped the highly toxic material into a field in Hopkins Park.
Hopkins Park, you will remember, is an almost all-black, exceedingly poor town in Kankakee County. The last time we checked in with that community, the county board chairman hadn’t even bothered to ask that the town be declared a disaster area after a big tornado tore through. Gov. Quinn had to step in and unilaterally declare the county a disaster area or they never would’ve gotten any help.
* Pinski is a local real estate developer and owner of Kankakee County Title Co. Both are pretty major K3 concerns. My dad says Pinski’s father was my
According to the indictment, Pinski allegedly hired Duane O’Malley, who runs a fire protection company, at a price that was “substantially less than a trained asbestos abatement contractor would have charged to remove the asbestos insulation.” And then they allegedly stuffed the asbestos into 127 large plastic garbage bags and dumped them all in that Hopkins Park field.
* Huge news, eh? It’s not often that a bigtime Kankakee businessman is indicted by the feds on five felony charges that each carry 5-year prison terms. Throw in the racial and class angle, and it’s a truly hot item.
So, how was it covered? I give you the complete Kankakee Daily Journal story…
That’s it. Nothing more.
A check of past issues shows the Daily Journal has interviewed Pinski several times. They talked to him about the Kankakee mayor’s race and how he’s surviving the economic downturn. They did a big puff piece on Pinski a few years back while he was developing the Dearborn Business Center downtown. But now that he’s under indictment? A little more than passing mention.
Pinksi and his cohorts allegedly endangered the health of who knows how many people by disgustingly dumping asbestos - of all things - in an open field, and it gets four grafs in the only paper in town.
Maybe now you’re getting a better idea of why Hopkins Park has always been on the short end of the stick. It’s a dumping ground for the area’s prejudices and, apparently, its dangerous pollutants. And nobody, including the newspaper, appears to care.
Frankly, I hope the feds throw the book at those clowns. And I hope that someday, somehow, the people who run the Kankakee Daily Journal will finally take just a wee bit of notice at what’s really going on around them. Shame on them. And shame on this entire state for letting it get this far.