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Homecoming

The 2022 Barrington High School Homecoming parade is tomorrow morning:

“The BHS Homecoming Parade gets underway at 10:15am on Saturday, Oct. 1. All participants will leave from the METRA Station and march down Main Street to BHS. Alumni floats line up behind all the high school student entries, with the exception of the 50th Reunion Class which will take their place in the front of the parade.”

Since resurfacing construction continues along the most of the parade route, trust us when we write there is little that cannot be accomplished in downtown Barrington before 9:00 AM. So, unless you’re participating in or viewing the festivities, we strongly suggest getting an early start tomorrow.

A list of 2022 Homecoming activities can be found here. Enjoy.

ethics

Last Winter, the Village of Lake Barrington published the following in their seasonal newsletter:

Lake Barrington’s Ethics Commission

Did you know that the Village has an Ethics Commission? The independent commission adds to the overall transparency of our government and serves to investigate complaints alleging violations of the Ethics Chapter of the Village Code. We are proud to report that this 3-member Commission has never once had to meet regarding a violation!”

Their Municipal Code actually devotes a chapter to ethics, and the main page of their website contains a link to, “Report a Concern.”

As previously chronicled in this publication, if one searches our Village Code, keying in the word “ethics,” the result reads, “No Matches Found.”

Our Village needs an Ethics Commission.  How else could parties involved in complaints present their respective cases to determine if ethics violations did, or did not, occur? Listed below are typical practices that might arise in our Village, and in our opinion, may warrant investigation, understanding that there are no implications as to guilt or innocence of any on the list:

  • Should expensive legal battles, possibly precipitated by actions of elected and appointed Village officials, be investigated?
  • Should the hiring and retention of Village paid staff positions by elected family members be investigated?
  • Should contracts with vendors who maintain personal and professional relationships with elected Village officials and their families be investigated?
  • Should the solicitations of funds and hand selection of vendors by family members or close friends of elected Village officials, absent oversight by appointed Village committees, be investigated?

For these and other reasons, our Village needs to appoint an Ethics Commission to act as ombudsmen, when any question of potential maladministration or ethics violations is considered or occurs.

Candidates for this proposed commission could come from existing appointed Village bodies, ones whose objectivity would be unquestioned.

The perfect candidates for this roll are the incumbent members of the Board of Heath.  They are highly qualified, underutilized, and would prove to be an effective force in maintaining ethical governance of the Village of Barrington Hills.

Related:Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Better Government Association Commends Passage of Chicago Ethics Ordinance–Sees More to Do,” “What happened to ethics reform in Illinois government? Why watchdogs have some hope,” “Meanwhile, One Barrington Hills makes amends, extinguishes website and turns the volume down,” “Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom,” “Agreed

BCB

Buffalo Creek Brewing co-owners Josh Czarnik, left, and Mike Marr, right, pose with Alex Bersin during the brewpub’s 2019 Oktoberfest. The fest returns this weekend to the Long Grove brewery.

Goebbert’s Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 30 at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch 40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, goebbertspumpkinfarm.com. Both locations offer animals, corn stalk mazes, wagon rides, pig races, fall food, produce and more. South Barrington offers a duck derby, giraffe barn, a magic show, pony and camel rides, a pumpkin-eating dinosaur and a haunted house. Tickets are $18 on weekdays, $22 on weekends and holidays; $12 seniors; free for kids 2 and younger.

Randall Oaks Fall Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 30, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Weekend activities include pedal tractors, pumpkins for sale, and on weekends, hayrides for $3 and animal shows. $4.25 for residents, $5 for nonresidents, and free for kids 1 and younger and U.S. military with ID. dtpd.org/randall-oaks-zoo.

Buffalo Creek Brewing Oktoberfest: Noon to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove. Family-friendly fest features traditional beer and food, Bavarian music, open-air performances, competitions and more both indoors and outdoors. Free admission. buffalocreekbrewing.com.

Bushel of Apples Fall Fest: 3-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich. Phase Three Brewing Company releases their Bushel of Apples collaboration with Affy Tapple. Family-friendly activities, live music, food trucks and a fall photo booth. $5 donation for a wristband and free entry for kids and those not drinking. Benefits Gigi’s Playhouse. (847) 749-6639, info@phasethreebrewing.com or phasethreebrewing.com.

Stories by the Campfire: 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at Randall Oaks Park community shelter, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Cowboy Randy Erwin sings and tells stories of cowboy life and demonstrates rope tricks. Free. dtpd.org.

Algonquin Harvest Market: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Main Street Algonquin, 220 S. Main St., Algonquin. A wide variety of vendors including farm-fresh produce and crafts, food, entertainment, giveaways and more. Free admission. AlgonquinHarvestMarket.com.

Fall-A-Palooza: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Lions Park, 1200 Silver Lake Road, Cary. Annual Cary Park District event featuring hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, crafts, pumpkin patch, DJ, Touch-A-Truck, trick-or-treat trail and more. $13 for kids 3 and older; free for adults and infants. carypark.com.

Northwest Celtic Fest: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Now Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. Celtic-themed event features family-friendly activities such as Celtic music, children’s games and activities, a Celtic Marketplace, animal meet-and-greet opportunities, Celtic-themed food and drinks and more. Free admission and parking. facebook.com/NWCelticFest.

Fishing Derby: 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Fabbrini Park, 1704 Glen Lake Road, Hoffman Estates. Bring poles for the annual catch-and-release fishing derby. Participants have three hours to catch as many fish as possible for awards and prizes. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Fishing rods can be borrowed for derby. Registration required. Fee per person. heparks.org.

More opportunities can be found here.

Christmas Taxes

Happy holidays, Cook County homeowners! The second installment of your property tax bills will arrive around Thanksgiving. They won’t be due until after Christmas but before New Year’s.

Cook County residents can expect their property tax bills to arrive around Thanksgiving with an estimated return date of Dec. 31, 2022, leaving just enough time for Illinoisans to claim federal deductions, a county spokesperson said.

The second installment of property taxes will likely be mail out more than three months after the bill typically comes due Aug. 1. The delay follows a flood of new appeals and computer complications at the assessor’s office.

Cook County Board spokesman Nick Shields on Sept. 26 said the more than $16 billion in backlogged bills will be collected by “the end of 2022.”

“As each step in the process is completed, we will better understand the bill’s mail date and, subsequently, the due date,” Shields told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We remain confident that their commitment to a due date of 2022 will be realized.”

County leaders said appealing, reviewing and mailing these bills to homeowners could still take more than a month to complete as the county assessor finishes final appeals. Taxpayers will then have a minimum of 30 days to pay once their bill is received.

Issuing these property taxes in late November leaves Cook County homeowners with little more than a month to pay the taxes and claim the local deductions on their 2022 individual federal tax returns.

Second installments were paid by Aug. 1 in every year since 2011, until the onset of the pandemic. The first installment of property tax bills in 2023 is expected to be due March 1.

Illinois was home to the nation’s second-highest property taxes in 2021. Now rampant inflation is giving local taxing bodies the power to raise rates by 5%.

Property owners face another tax threat on Nov. 8: Amendment 1.

Read more here.

Eastern Screech-owls

Eastern Screech-Owls by Matthew Zuro – Bemis Woods

In this issue:

  • Partnership Adds More Accessible Programs
  • “Bird the Preserves” During Fall Migration Season
  • 2022 Photo Contest Winners
  • Explore Thatcher Woods
  • Latest News: Learn Five Fun Facts about Bullfrogs, Save the Date: 69th Annual Powwow October 7-9, Fall Trout Fishing Season Opens October 15, Forest Preserve Foundation Offers Alternative Way to Give Back for National Public Lands Day
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Click here to view the newsletter.

FP Tax Hike

Cook County property owners would be asked to pay about “$1.50 more a month in taxes” toward the preserves, which became a haven during the pandemic

A referendum on the ballot this November will ask Cook County voters for a property tax hike to support and grow the county’s vast forest preserves.

The referendum in the Nov. 8 general election would ask property owners to contribute on average about $1.50 more in property taxes per month toward the preserves, or around $20 a year. About $3 to $4 of a homeowner’s current property tax already goes to the forest preserves each month.

The question before voters comes as the forest preserves became a haven of green space during the pandemic. The number of visitors skyrocketed as people sought a respite from sickness, isolation and boredom. The county’s forest preserves are one of the largest in the U.S., with nearly 70,000 acres of natural areas where people can hike, fish, bike, camp and even zipline. There are nature centers, and a massive set of stairs where exercisers flock that take your breath away.

“If there is a silver lining in a really difficult time for everybody, it’s that people were able to get out and rediscover nature,” said Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

County officials and more than 150 organizations also tout the environmental benefits of the preserves, such as absorbing rainwater during storms and creating cleaner air.

Jean Franczyk, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, which sits on forest preserve district land, lays out what’s at stake: “A set of green lungs for the region.”

If approved, officials estimate the tax increase would generate just over $40 million in additional funding a year. They say the extra cash would help the county address ambitious goals, like acquiring nearly 3,000 additional acres to protect it from development, restoring some 20,000 more acres over the next 20 years and paying for workers’ pensions.

Read more here.

Snap

Police arrest a student who was found with a replica gun inside Barrington High School on September 16. | Photo via Snapchat

A student who was found with a pellet gun at Barrington High School earlier this month, prompting a hard lockdown, was petitioned on charges to juvenile court, authorities said.

The school went into a “full building lockdown” on September 16, according to a message sent to parents from Barrington 220 administration.

The lockdown occurred just before school started around 8:30 a.m. School officials said a group of students notified administrators about another student carrying a gun in one of the bathrooms.

The school was put on immediate lockdown “out of an abundance of caution.” The Barrington Police Department responded to the school.

The school resource officer was the first to locate the student, who was carrying a pellet gun underneath their clothing, according to the school. The student was taken into police custody and the lockdown was lifted.

Parents were seen picking up their children from the school following the lockdown. A photo posted on social media showed a classroom door barricaded with tables during the lockdown. Officials said there was no threat at Barrington High School and classes resumed after the lockdown.

More here.

Related: “Police arrest student who was found with replica gun at Barrington High School,” “District 220 issues ‘incident update’

WNV

The Lake County Health Department announced Tuesday that they have identified the first human case of West Nile virus in Lake County in 2022.

Lake County Health Department spokeswoman Emily Young said the case was found in a Lake County man, who is in his 60s.The man became ill in early September.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported on August 30 that the first human case and death of West Nile virus in Illinois for the year was a Cook County resident in their 70s who became ill at the beginning of August.

West Nile virus was a contributing factor in the Cook County resident’s death and laboratory testing at the CDC confirmed the diagnosis.

“Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites and West Nile virus,” said Mark Pfister, the Lake County Health Department’s Executive Director. “Even as the weather gets cooler, mosquitoes will remain active until the first hard frost,” Pfister said.

Read more here.

52

State Representative Martin McLaughlin and Mary Morgan

The League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area will host the first in a series of upcoming nonpartisan candidate forums for Illinois House District 52 at 7 PM Monday, October 3rd.

The newly drawn 52nd District includes Algonquin, the Barrington area, Fox River Grove, Inverness, Island Lake, Volo, Wauconda, and western portions of Libertyville and Mundelein.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Martin McLaughlin faces Democratic challenger Mary Morgan in the November 8th election.

To register in advance for Zoom link to view the forum, visit https://balibrary.librarycalendar.com/event/candidate-forum-illinois-house-52nd-district.

All candidate forums are run by trained moderators, who are members of the league and do not live or vote in the districts for which they are moderating the forum. Equal time is given to all candidates to answer each question. The candidates will have two minutes to present an opening statement, in turn, by number drawn. All LWPA Candidate Forums will be recorded and made available on its website for voters to view later.

Hart Bridge

Construction crews continue working on a new Hart Road bridge over Flint Creek in Barrington. The road remains closed until early November. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

Crews are making progress on the Hart Road bridge project in Barrington.

The road was shut down last June between Lake Cook Road and Northwest Highway. The Lake County Division of Transportation $3 million project consists of removing three aging metal culverts and replacing those with a bridge over Flint Creek.

An 8-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path will also be added to the structure.

There is currently no through traffic on Hart Road from Northwest Highway to Lake-Cook Road (Main Street), though local traffic will be allowed on either side of the creek.

The closure impacts nearby Barrington High School. Access to the school and the athletic complex can be made from Lake Cook Road.

According to Lake County’s Sept. 12 update, current work includes pouring concrete on the south approach slab, north side excavating and grading the approach footing and building the road base on the south side of the bridge. Wetland plants were also planted along the creek.

More here.

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