..."Friends" Ever Hopeful...

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Against those pretty much unbeatable odds, the Friends of Meigs continues to live up its Churchill-inspired motto (Never, never, never, never give up) and used the anniversary, under the umbrella of a new community group, to promote its compromise plan for the site. The "Bessie Coleman Skypark" would revive the airport but also set aside part of the land for park use. A beach, nature walks, fishing stations, and an artificial scuba reef and aviation museum would share the space with the airport, but the Park District has dismissed the idea. The Park District "is not in the aviation business," parks spokesman Julian Green told WBBM Newsradio. The Friends of Meigs has found support in its fight in a newly formed group called the Committee for a Better Chicago. Group spokesman Bill Walls came out swinging at Daley on the anniversary, calling Daley a liar and scorning the destruction of Meigs' runway as "the day democracy died. He lied ... again and again. And then, after the runway was destroyed and there was nothing anyone could do about it he admitted he lied," Walls told the Tribune. Daley's press secretary Jacquelyn Heard refuted Walls' assertion, saying it's no secret Daley has always pushed for a park on that site. "But at the time the airport was closed, security was the prevailing concern," she told the Tribune. Political grandstanding aside, the courts have so far been on Daley's side and have consistently upheld the city's right to close the airport.