...Friends Look For Bright Side

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Chicago officials have vigorously defended Meigs' closure and the relatively small fine isn't going to change their minds on the future of the airport. However, Meigs supporters did their best to draw what encouragement they could from the announcement of the investigation. "It's good there will be an investigation and the public will hear about it," said Rachel Goodstein, president of Friends of Meigs (FOM). The group also hopes the investigation will raise the profile of an alternative plan they've devised for Meigs that would include a park and an airport. The group's Parks and Planes effort attempts to reconcile the city's (Daley's) desire for a park with a functioning airport. The FOM is proposing a meadow, walking trails, fishing spots and even an artificial scuba reef to share Northerly Island with the airport. Even with the runway and terminal buildings, the FOM claims the resulting greenbelt would be bigger than any other waterfront park created in the last 50 years. Supporters of the plan are urged to submit comments to the Chicago Park District, which is inviting public input on the design of the park.