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A Barrington Area Unit District 220 survey shows positive trends such as more sleep for students and reduced unscheduled nurse visits since later start times were enacted for high school and the middle schools in 2017-18.

District 220 took its first poll of the students, employees and teachers toward the end of the 2016-17 academic season to establish bench marks for results before the first year of the later start times.

In 2017-18, the high school and the two middle school students were shifted to later start times, with the younger children beginning earlier, in a move that officials hoped would boost academic performance and student well-being. Barrington High moved its start time from 7:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and District 220’s two middle schools shifted to 9 a.m. from 7:55 a.m.

When asked whether they were getting an optimal 8½ to 9½ hours of sleep per day, 24% reported doing so in 2018-19, compared with 15% before the later starts. The most recent survey distributed toward the end of May also shows 402 unscheduled nurse visits by the students in 2018-19 compared with 483 in 2016-17 before the shift.

Read more here.

Barrington’s White House 2019-2020 season launches at 7:30 PM Saturday, Sept. 14, with an “Opening Night” benefit concert featuring the Grammy-nominated and internationally renowned Lincoln Trio.

Two generous donors stepped forward to underwrite the majority of the costs of the season-opening event, according to the village. As such, tickets are now $75 or two for $150, which include both the concert and a 6 PM cocktail party. All proceeds from the concert will go directly to support cultural programming at Barrington’s White House for the 2019-2020 season.

Bringing together performing experience spanning the globe, each member of the Lincoln Trio is an artist of international renown. Hailed as “one of the hottest young trios in the business,” pianist and Barrington native Marta Aznavoorian returns to Barrington’s White House joined by Desirée Ruhstrat on violin and David Cunliffe on cello.

More information and tickets for all events can be found here.

Crabtree Nature Center invites the public to the annual Art in Nature: Color the Preserves event, hosted from 11 AM to 3 PM on Sunday, September 15, at 3 Stover Road, in Barrington Hills.

“During this free event, attendees can enjoy a variety of activities including painting with watercolor, drawing with colored pencils, sculpting with clay, and other art forms to capture and reflect the beauty of the forest preserves through art,” said Jeff Rapp, director of Crabtree Nature Center.

Throughout the event, there will be also be live music and dance programs, and art, painting and jewelry making demonstrations. Additionally, visitors can view and purchase art throughout the event.

For information on the event or the nature center, contact the Crabtree directly at (847) 381-6592.   A complete listing of all special events and programs is posted to the Forest Preserves’ events website at fpdcc.com/events with seasonal brochures that can be downloaded.

David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) announced last week that he will not seek reelection. Instead, he said he’ll likely be making a 2022 statewide bid for either US Senate against Senator Tammy Duckworth or Secretary of State if Jesse White retires.

He may not be a household name, but Representative McSweeney has been a huge thorn in Republican leadership’s side since he first ran for the Illinois House in the 2012 primary.

He took on Representative Kent Gaffney, who had been the House Republicans’ Appropriations director for a decade, and was appointed to the seat after the untimely 2011 death of Republican Representative Mark Beaubien. At one point during the campaign, Representative McSweeney claimed House Republican staff had violated the law by doing political work on state time and tried hard to get Representative Gaffney kicked off the ballot. He won a three-way primary and then went on to defeat Representative Beaubien’s widow, who ran as an independent in the general election.

In other words, he did not arrive in Springfield well liked by the people who ran his own party. And he hasn’t tried to ingratiate himself with them at any point since then.

Read this interesting commentary in the River Cities’ Reader here.

This Saturday, September 14 from noon to 4 PM, PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest No Kill humane organization, will bring the faces of Chicago’s homeless animals to businesses in the heart of Downtown Barrington.

This event will feature adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from PAWS Chicago, and seven local shelters and rescues along Main Street, Applebee Street, Hough Street, Station Street, Cook Street and Barrington Commons Court.

For more information, please click here.

Spring Creek Road

Autumn is a great time to ride a bike. The air is fresh but not too cold yet, the suburbs have plenty of good places to ride — and there will be a lot of colorful foliage to see.

So where are the best places to ride for fall colors? Here’s the Daily Herald’s top five:

At the very top of the list of the Herald’s suggestions for, “Ride around the neighborhood or on longer, bucolic roads on the outskirts?” Spring Creek Road:

“A tree and biking-road paradise. Check out Spring Creek Road; getting there is wonderful, too, but residents ask that you stay single file, please.”

Read the full Daily Herald article here,

Paula Jacobsen

The latest Village newsletter came out recently, and it mentions the results of the latest Village annual audit among other things. The sound financial position of our Village is noted, but what is absent of any narrative is how earlier this year, first term trustee Paula Jacobsen caused a potentially damaging accusation that caused the auditor to investigate that accusation.

One question Jacobson was asked to answer during the audit was:

“In your opinion, are there any areas of operation of the Village that do not receive enough oversight of management or board, or any particular weaknesses in internal controls?” 

Jacobsen checked off “Yes.” As a Trustee, she could have taken the opportunity beforehand to gather specific information and to offer a detailed explanation or perhaps even actual facts, but instead submitted her vague audit questionnaire on March 17, 2019 (perhaps hoping to disrupt the April 2 election?).

Jacobson had a wealth of resources at her disposal for weeks before if she had any questions whatsoever on completing her forms from the audit firm. She could have easily gathered information from the Village Treasurer, Director of Administration, Clerk or even the Trustee assigned to Finance, but she did not avail herself of those ample opportunities according to recordings. She could have provided an answer to the question she was asked instead of repeating an anonymous rumor told to her by some residents.

Instead, when asked why she answered “Yes” to the audit question, her initial answer was:

“While I don’t know that it is considered fraud, but some residents have claimed that contracts are being given to certain members of family of the Board, however, that is not evidence of guilt. I don’t know that we have a clear process to evaluate this if in fact this is happening.   I’m not aware of any contract awarded to a Board member.” 

The first thought that came to our minds upon hearing this was that of an immature four-year-old who answers the question “why did you eat those cookies?” with, “Someone said I could.”

Though asked repeatedly, Jacobson would not, or more probably could not offer any specificity to her unsubstantiated allegation, and at times her answers to Trustees questions on her inexplicable answer changed from one minute or meeting month to another.

For example, before the auditor was asked to read back her answer to the question in the presence of the Board, Jacobsen denied checking the “Yes” box repeatedly. She also denied making any claim or charge of process or fraud issues, and she only began to recant her statements once the village president asked the auditor to read them into the record.

Jacobson also stated on more than one occasion that she understood that her responses to all audit questions were private and would be kept anonymous.   Those wishing to listen to the recording of this exchange can do so by clicking here.

She followed up at the June Board of Trustees meeting by reading a written statement that actually reversed her position in May. She stated she believes that fraud and processes have been violated at the Village, and further she made a secondary allegation that the auditing firm was not independent thereby impugning the reputation of the village treasurer, the independent auditor and the finance chairman Mr. Croll and the Village board.

If this sounds pathetic, it is, and it goes on (and on). Rather than continue with what is basically transcribing her lunacy from recordings, we have a better solution for all involved.

The solution to this problem will be for the village to spend further taxpayer dollars to “investigate” the rumor that someone repeated to Jacobson, and then hopefully follow that by providing educational information to Jacobson on the importance and serious nature of the annual financial audit so that in the future she may confidently answer the audit questionnaire with facts instead of vague, unfounded rumor.

-The Observer

Related: Flip, Flop: What changed your minds Trustees Messer, Meroni, and Selman?  (August 30, 2011)

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