The Barrington Hills Park District Advisory Committee meets this evening at 7PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Explore request fo motion activated flood lights around exterior of RC – suggestion for solar powered
  • Explore Request for security camera outside: parking lot, tractor shed, stall aisles, outdoor arenas. mounted as high as possible. *Signs* that call out video surveillance could be a deterrent.
  • Explore request for Panic alarm suggested: at either end of barn aisle, two in the arena. A phone with direct line to 911 would be an alternative, and
  • Explore possibility of a better time for Riding Club on weekend

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.  Instructions for attending the meeting via Zoom can be found here

Chef Fabio

Chef Fabio Viviani cooking in the kitchen of his Barrington Hills home.

Chef Fabio Viviani’s 7-acre estate in Barrington Hills is expansive. The lawn is so big, a helicopter can land on it—and has. The wine cellar boasts 3,500 bottles, and he has one of the largest private spirits collections in North America. Add to that caviar, truffles and other indulgences flown in from around the world, and Viviani has crafted a recipe for exclusivity.

Chicago executives are more than willing to pay for a taste.

The celebrity chef—who moved to the United States from Italy in 2005 and captured America’s attention on “Top Chef” in 2008—launched his Private Estate Dining Experience to the public earlier this year. The members-only dinner series turns Viviani’s high-end home into a restaurant for the evening. A required $10,000 in dues covers two in-person dinners a year with wine pairing, four virtual events and six additional events at Viviani’s venues, plus concierge service. It’s another $2,500 to bring a plus-one. 

The dues might be out of range for the average diner at Bar Siena or one of Viviani’s other restaurants, but membership is alluring to companies looking for a place to wine and dine clients. The memberships are also being offered at a time when companies are re-evaluating how they spend their travel and entertainment budgets in the wake of pandemic-era restrictions. 

Roughly 80% of 2022 members were corporate executives, Viviani said, though he declined to say which companies have signed up.

“I have banks, we have legal firms, I have financial offices, software companies. . . .They buy 10, 15, 20 memberships,” he said. “They can invite their top-performing clients and customers, and that’s how they entertain.”

Read more here.


Members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education called on district parents to talk to their children about tolerance after a Black mother asked the board for help in the wake of her 11-year-old son being subjected to racial slurs at school.

The mother, who identified herself only as Charlize, confronted the board at its Nov. 15 asking for help and change for children who are being traumatized by racial slurs. She said she reported to school officials that her child had been racially profiled and she has repeatedly asked for help, as have other parents, but feels like she’s been dismissed.

She said she has missed work to take her son to therapy to deal with how other children are treating him in school. She did not disclose which of the eight K-5 schools in the district her son attends. Charlize did not specifically state what has been said or done to her son indicated it has been detrimental.

“My son is 11 and this trauma has changed him in a manner of two months of school — my child is a different child from when he walked through these doors,” Charlize said. “I’m asking for change at every level, kindergarten through senior year. Racial slurs should not be used, children shouldn’t feel like they’re not safe or that they have to look over their shoulder because they don’t know what’s coming next. It’s not fair, they’re children.”

SD220 enrolls about 8,100 students from pre-K through 12th grade, across 12 schools. According to student demographic data provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, 59% of the students in the district are white, 18% Hispanic, 17% Asian, 4% bi- or multi-racial and 2% African American.

In total, according to ISBE data, there are 129 Black students enrolled in the district — which also has two middle schools and one high school. Six of the elementary schools do not have a count of the number of Black students enrolled and the number is listed as “redacted.” One school is listed as having zero Black students. At Sunny Hill Elementary School, there are 13 Black students, representing 4.7% of the student enrollment there, according to ISBE.

Read more here.

Editorial note: The recording of the November 15th Board of Education meeting seems to begin when the meeting was already in progress. They happen to begin as Charlize was speaking, and the link can be found here.

1525 S Grove

1525 South Grove Avenue

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Approval of purchase and sale agreement for real estate for purchase of 1525 S. Grove Avenue, Unit 104, Barrington, Illinois
  • Consideration to Approve Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Barrington for Access of Digital Images from District Cameras, and
  • Consideration to Approve BHS Athletic Program Donation Agreement

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

Related:District 220 to lease office space for program helping high school grads with special needs

Lake Barrington Village

The Lake Barrington village board will meet Tuesday to discuss potential changes to the rules for short-term residential rentals.

The meeting is set for 7 PM at village hall, 23860 N. Old Barrington Road.


Democrats and gun control groups are aiming to ban certain types of weapons in Illinois. A gun store owner says if that happens, they’ll file a lawsuit immediately.

Lawmakers aren’t back until after the new year, but there is already an effort to ban the sale of semi-automatic firearms and certain types of magazines.

A plan by state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, could come up as early as next month in the new legislature when a simple majority is all that’s needed for an immediate effective date.

“It’s time for Illinois to ban assault weapons,” Morgan said on Twitter announcing House Bill 5855. “Since the [July 4, 2022 Highland Park] mass shooting, I’ve spent months meeting with victims, policy experts, community leaders and more. Thanks to their feedback and perspectives, I’m confident that this comprehensive approach gets at the root of the gun violence epidemic and will save lives.”

The measure does various things, including defining “assault weapon” to include a variety of semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles. It also defines “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” as “more than 10 rounds.”

If passed and signed by the governor, the prohibition on certain types of magazines could go into effect immediately. A future date would be set for owners of certain types of guns to register them with state police. All future sales would be prohibited.

More here.

Esther Wojcicki

Esther Wojcicki is an educator, journalist, and bestselling author of “How to Raise Successful People.”

By Esther Wojcicki, Contributor, CNBC • Published December 3, 2022

Developing skills like curiositykindness and emotional intelligence at a young age will help kids succeed as adults. But there’s one skill that parents aren’t teaching their kids enough of today: self-regulation.

When kids learn to self-regulate, they better understand the importance of time and how to manage their own behaviors and actions.

This was something I prioritized teaching my daughters when they were young, and it contributed to their success. Susan is the CEO of YouTube, Janet is a doctor, and Anne is the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe.

All three rose to the top of competitive, male-dominated professions.

Kids need to learn self-regulation now more than ever

Twenty years ago, children would meet up with friends in person, play outside, do puzzles and read books.

Things have changed a lot since then. We are constantly on electronic devices. And kids are tech-savvy. I’ve seen second graders demand cell phones from their parents to take photos or go on social media.

But it’s not so much the access kids have that worries me. It’s the lack of self-control and self-efficacy regarding the access. How much time should kids have on a digital device? How often should they use it? What should they be doing on it?

Self-regulation isn’t just about screen time. It ultimately helps them become more capable and confident in all aspects of their lives.

Read more here.

Platt Hill

Platt Hill Nursery is located at 2400 Randall Rd in Carpentersville. 

Editorial note: No purchase is necessary, and The Observer received nothing for posting this.  Platt Hill is pet friendly all year, and they’re providing keepsake photos, so that’s all the incentive we needed to share.  

VBH Water

Barrington Hills homeowners in Cook County saw the highest median property tax increases in 2022 thanks to (wait for it)…

About a quarter of homeowners in North and Northwest suburban Cook County saw their property taxes decrease in 2022, while only 7.8% of commercial properties experienced declines.

An analysis by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office shows commercial properties bore the heavier burden of the nearly $94 million increase in property taxes in the North and Northwest suburbs this year.

Four Northwest suburbs saw their median residential tax grow by more than $200 this year:

  • Barrington Hills, where the median increased by $259 to $15,251.
  • South Barrington, where the median rose by $233 to $15,631.
  • Prospect Heights, where the median grew by $228 to $4,853.
  • Barrington, where the median rose $207 to $8,246.

Barrington Unit School District 220, which overlaps three of those municipalities, voted to increase its total tax levy by $5.4 million for the current academic year.

Read the full Daily Herald story here.


Co-founder Lisa Shade watches Richard Rothamel create a meal at Bredwell in downtown Barrington. The business specializes in custom meals for dogs. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

After walking into Bredwell, you might mistake it for a familiar fast-food franchise.

You might even be tempted to bark out an order.

Meats, garnishes and other ingredients sit in trays at a food bar, ready to be mixed into a meal. Above the serving station are helpful ordering instructions.

The difference is that this restaurant caters strictly to canines

Located at 140 S. Cook St. in downtown Barrington, Bredwell is, in the words of co-founder and Vice President Lisa Shade, a “Chipotle for dogs.”

The business opened in mid-November and will host a dog-friendly grand opening from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

It offers locally sourced, nutritious meals tailored to each dog’s individual needs and preferences. Patrons can customize and purchase individual meals at the store or order a two-week supply of meal kits at www.bredwell.com.

Read more here.

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