Amazon is a prime example of flawed tax system


Opinion Originally published February 20, 2019 at 4:00 pmUpdated February 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm You pay more in federal taxes than Amazon, thanks to GOP Congress. By David Horsey Guest cartoonist Amazon and other giant corporations got huge tax breaks in the Republican tax-cut bill. Amazon, in fact, paid no federal taxes in 2018.…

TASTE Podcast 44: Ori Menashe & Genevieve Gergis


The Los Angeles food world has the most low-key power couple. And they are cool with that. Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis are the chefs and owners of two of the buzziest and most influential restaurants in the city: Bestia and Bavel. They are also the authors of a cool new cookbook: Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the […]

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Developer shows interest in Ottawa’s waterfront plan


The city of Ottawa continues to look toward the water when it comes to future development.

Discussions are ongoing about the city’s effort to extend the downtown to the waterfront, a plan that was put together in 2013 and approved the following year, but the interim time has been spent fine-tuning the project at the former Central School site and the surrounding area, which includes a harbor and amphitheater.

“I’m really excited,” said Mayor Bob Eschbach on Wednesday. “This is a wonderful plan but it takes the private investment as well as the public.”

It may soon pay off as the city has been working with CL Real Estate, the same company involved in the Jackson Street and Woolworth building projects, to bring the first portions of the plan to life.

Eschbach said the project will require the work of both the city and private developers.

“And they both depend on each other,” Eschbach said. “No one will spend millions to build unless there’s this wonderful attraction (referencing the harbor and amphitheater) and that can’t be built without private developments.”

CL Real Estate is particularly interested in parcels of land to the north of Central School site, which are currently listed on the waterfront master plan as being future “mixed-use development.”

A more formal design plan will likely be made public soon as the city also works on what sort of agreement it will make with the third-party developer to get development moving.

Until then, the area has already seen some interest from the Ottawa Y, which is considering a new facility at the former Central School track to the south of the Knights of Columbus, 401 W. Main St.

Ottawa Y Executive Director Joe Capece previously told The Times that being a part of the city’s waterfront development plan was a key incentive of the new location and also fits in with the city’s desire of having a “community facility” west of the green space and harbor.

The project is expected to cost around $6 million in total, which includes digging out the harbor and raising the ground enough to avoid flooding concerns.

Decontamination work is also expected to be done just east of the Central School track.

The track was cleaned in the late 1990s after coal tar was likely deposited after the operations of a coal gasification plant decades ago, but the area to the east where the market street is planned will require cleanup.

Decontamination is expected to begin in the spring and continue into 2020.

Other components of the plan such as the conservatory, play area, northeastern hotel and restaurants remain potential future additions if the project is successful and generates increased interest in the area.

The specifics of the plan remain in flux as the city council determines the final specifications and cost-saving changes.

Eschbach said he looks forward to seeing future momentum on the project.

“It’s an economic development driver. It’s not just a pretty thing and something to enjoy,” Eschbach said. “To have that kind of investment is really important.”

“And it’s all a part of the revitalization of downtown and I think it’s an appreciation people are having for downtowns and to get away from the cookie-cutter,” he added.

Group pushes for bill to pay caretakers $20 an hour


Although Illinois is on a path to a statewide $15 an hour minimum wage, some state lawmakers want to raise pay for publicly-funded home care providers for the disabled to more than $20 an hour.

Jail Blotter 2-21-19


The following is provided by the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, listing those processed at the jail, with their age, day of processing and pending charge(s):

Manuel B. Baez, 24, DePue, Wednesday, hold for McHenry County.

Brandon D. Capell, 24, La Salle, Wednesday, hold for Cook County.

Michael A. Kuster, 39, Ransom, Wednesday, domestic battery.

Mariah H. Miller, 23, Peru, Wednesday, credit card fraud.

Police Blotter 2-21-19


The Times relies on reports furnished by police in our coverage area. If you know of a police matter but do not see it reported in The Times, contact us at 815-431-4050 or


Stacy L. Heth-Blackwell, 40, Norway, was cited Wednesday at Columbus Street and Oak Ridge Drive on a complaint of no valid driver’s license. Heth-Blackwell was given a court date.

Dena L. Comer, 40, Ottawa, was arrested Wednesday at Walmart, 4041 Veterans Drive, on a complaint of retail theft. Comer was taken to the county jail.

Lucas P. Waddell, 26, Ottawa was cited Thursday at Norris Drive and Polar Street on complaints of driving while license suspended and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Waddell was given a court date.

Noel E. Hojnacki, 33, Ottawa was cited Wednesday at State and Van Buren streets on complaints of driving while license suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and operating a vehicle with expired registration. Hojnacki was given a court date.


Streator police responded at 5:49 p.m. Wednesday to the 1300 block of East Elm Street for a complaint of battery. Complainant was gone prior to arrival.

Streator police responded at 6:19 p.m. Wednesday to Kroger Grocery Store, 2399 N. Bloomington St., for a complaint of a man stealing two packages of soda. The incident remains under investigation.

La Salle County

Carolyn Horn, 48, Naplate, was cited Wednesday while driving southbound on Route 23 in Farm Ridge Township on complaints of driving while license suspended and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Horn had passed another southbound vehicle and lost control of her vehicle on ice. Horn’s vehicle struck a ditch. No injuries were reported. Horn was given a court date.

Ottawa Weather

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