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ANATOMY OF AN AWARD-WINNER: Landfill yields editorial gold.

As has happened every year since 1992, three of my editorials were submitted for this years Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism. And as had happened several times in the past, I was notified by the Chicago Headline Club that I was a finalist. But this year eventually turned out different because, for the first time, the Lisagor for editorials came my way!

Honestly, I don't know how these entries were different from or better than the entries in the previous years, or if they indeed were.

The Lisagor judges said the award was for "general excellence," but they cited one editorial in particular, "Start with a smaller landfill." This editorial deals with the controversial proposal for a large Lake County landfill in a rural area. The proposal was accepted and a contract to build it signed, but then, under intense pressure from a vocal group of people whose properties were near the proposed site, the elected officials started backing away, finally even taking steps to cancel the contract unilaterally (and illegally) and kill the project.

Eventually, however, worried about a huge breach-of-contract lawsuit, the officials started talking with the landfill company to find some acceptable compromise.

In this editorial, The Times, concerned about the crushing financial penalty county property owners could be made to pay and cognizant of the foreseeable need for a landfill, suggests that the best course to follow would be to build a smaller landfill that, if necessary, could be expanded later.

This was the course that was pursued - until the officials reversed course once again earlier this year. Now the matter is being litigated.

NCEW member Krishna Kumar Gaur is editorial page editor of The Times in Munster, Ind. His e-mail address is
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Gaur, Krishna K.
Publication:The Masthead
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 1999
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Next Article:Start with a smaller landfill.

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