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1.24.22 Agenda

Our Village Board of Trustees meets tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit to Allow an Addition to Countryside Elementary School, 205 W. County Line Road Ordinance 22 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Adopting an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Cook County Assessor’s Office to Facilitate Access to GIS Data Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Plan Commission Appointment: Maggie Topping, term expires 2024

A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Darch curious-questions-logo

WELL? WE’RE WAITING….

Despite increasing pressure from residents who want him to take a stand against Cook County’s proof-of-vaccination mandate for restaurants, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said he and village officials are leaving enforcement up to the county and decisions about compliance to individual businesses.

“What we’re doing, like many other communities are doing, is leaving it up to our businesses, because they are the ones who are going to be cited and fined and perhaps shut down if they don’t comply,” Hayes said. “But I believe in freedom of choice and freedom of businesses operating their businesses as they see fit. They should be the ones to decide whether or not they comply or how they comply and take the risk if they don’t comply.

“We’re taking a very measured and balanced approach that is consistent with what most other communities are doing in the Chicagoland area.”

Hayes made the comments during an at-times testy village board committee meeting Monday night, when about 50 people, some holding signs, encouraged the mayor and trustees to defy the county health department order. It requires people 5 and older to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter restaurants, bars, movie theaters, fitness clubs, concert halls and other entertainment venues serving food.

Casey Deja, one of eight speakers during the board’s public comment period, expressed frustration with not being able to visit local businesses or participate in athletic and recreational activities. Deja said she is not comfortable getting vaccinated because she has a history of blood clots.

“We can’t take our kids to eat. We can’t take them to the movies. We can’t take them bowling. I had to quit my volleyball league. I can’t go to the gym. I can’t take my kids to open gym that the coaches are telling them to go do. How do you explain that to a 9- and 10-year-old?” Deja said. “To think this is a minor inconvenience for us is fine. I’m more worried about what we’re teaching our children — that the vaccinated are entitled to freedoms but the unvaccinated are not?”

Read on here.

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MM State House

State Rep. Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) argues Gov. J.B. Pritzker still has much to learn when it comes to getting a handle on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and it starts with seeking other perspectives.

“At a time of crisis, I believe true leaders ask for more input from their Council, their commissioners and legislators and not less,” McLaughlin, who served as Barrington Hills’ village president up until assuming his seat in Springfield last year, said at a recent news conference on the issue. “We stayed open throughout the COVID crisis without incident using common-sense safety measures. As a mayor, I had a unique perspective of witnessing firsthand exactly how the viruses and the mandates were affecting local businesses.”

McLaughlin argues Pritzker’s new COVID-19 proof-of-vaccine requirements for businesses and park districts across state demonstrate his ignorance.

“I have been fervently advocating for common sense and local control since May of 2020,” he said. “As mayor in my town I was offered the same emergency, unilateral control opportunity from legal counsel, but I rejected it.”

Across Cook County, the proof-of-vaccine rule will apply to everyone age 5 and older and include such establishments as restaurants, bars, gyms and other venues like sports and entertainment arenas, NBC5 reported.

McLaughlin argues it only serves to increase suffering for many Illinois residents.

“The executive mandate from the county forced our citizens to stay within their homes, out of our schools, out of our places of worship and closed an assortment of businesses,” he said. However, big box stores were allowed to remain open with record profits while devastating our main-street businesses in our community. As we enter 2022, the mayor of Chicago, the Board President of Cook County and Gov. Pritzker continue unconstitutional use of these mandates on private citizens.”

Read more here.

Related:Citing vaccine mandate, Bob Chinn’s Crab House to pause operations for a month in Wheeling

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BOT 1.7.22

The Board of Trustees will be holding a special meeting this afternoon at 3:00 PM.  Topics for discussion and vote include:

  • [Vote] Remote Participation Rules
  • [Vote] Resolution Opposing Cook County’s Newly Enacted Covid-19 Mandate
    Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Provide Advice and Consent, and to Approve the President’s Appointment of Darby Hills to Fill the Unexpired Term of Trustee Debra Buettner, Whose Death Created a Vacancy in the Office of Village Trustee

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and saved here.

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MMCS

Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Ken Meyer Tuesday talks about the vaccine mandate. Separately, state Reps Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, Chris Bos, R-Lake Zurich, and Marty McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, criticize the mandate.

Republican state lawmakers are demanding an end to Cook County requiring businesses to deny indoor accommodations to anyone over 5 years old who doesn’t reveal their vaccine status.

Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Ken Meyer on Tuesday said they’ll enforce the mandate that went into effect this week.

“BACP will investigate complaints received through Chicago’s 3-1-1 system,” Meyer said at a news conference.

The mandate requires businesses with indoor dining, gym service or indoor entertainment to deny service to anyone 5 years old or older who does not show they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The mandate is expected to mean large swaths of the population won’t be allowed to dine indoors, go to a gym or take in indoor entertainment.

Republicans demanded to see the science and data supporting the mandate. A spokesperson for Cook County didn’t immediately respond with such information.

State Rep. Marty McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, has businesses in suburban Cook County that want to speak out, but fear retaliation.

“I find it reprehensible that you need less information to vote or enter the country, it seems, than to go to a local pancake restaurant in Cook County,” McLaughlin said. “I’ve had enough frankly of elected officials acting as part-time epidemiologist telling us ‘it’s either vaccine or ventilator.’”

McLaughlin said he’s not anti-vaccine, but wants there to be attention on therapeutics too. He also said the mandate makes no sense.

“We need to live with this virus and any future virus in a better way,” McLaughlin said. “A person can have vaccination status, be COVID positive, and go into any of those establishments. How does that make any sense at all?”

Read more and watch the video here.

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Hunt-o-gram“January 4, 2022

Dear Barrington 220 Community,

My hope is that you have been able to enjoy time with family and friends during this winter break. On behalf of our Board of Education and the entire staff, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year.

As you are aware, there has been a consistent rise in COVID-19 transmission in recent weeks. Throughout winter break we have monitored community transmission, as well as staff cases, and evaluated recent changes to guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). We feel it is appropriate to provide an update at this time as we plan to welcome our students back for in-person learning on January 10, 2022.

On December 27, 2021, the CDC updated recommendations for quarantining for those who test positive and those who are considered close contacts. However, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) informed schools that while the IDPH has adopted the CDC’s guidance for the “general public”it has not applied this to the school setting. Therefore, students and staff will continue to follow IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance, which means we will continue to follow the same quarantine protocols we followed prior to winter break. We are hopeful that new guidance will be released by the IDPH soon and we will update you when we receive additional information.

MITIGATION EFFORTS
District leaders and the Board of Education have established that the primary goal for this school year is to do everything possible to provide in-person learning, as this best supports our students’ academic, social and emotional growth. To that end, we will continue to implement the following layered mitigations that were in place prior to winter break:

  • Symptom screening
  • Designated entrances for students/visitors
  • Physical distancing
  • Universal masking
  • Hand sanitizing
  • SHIELD, BinaxNow, and PCR testing
  • Limited visitors
  • Seating charts and assigned cohort seating in lunch (PreK-8)
  • Physical education outside whenever possible

Due to the recent increase in cases, the district has added the following mitigation efforts:

  • All students and staff are encouraged to test prior to returning to school on Monday, January 10, 2022. The district will be offering testing to any interested students and/or staff members in the Barrington High School cafeteria from 9:00-3:00pm on Thursday Jan 6, 2022 and Friday Jan 7, 2022. Please enter through Door 45 off Lake Cook Road. Please bring your student or staff ID badge. Participants are consenting to the results being viewed and maintained confidentially by the school district.
  • Students who have not been participating in SHIELD testing may choose to opt into SHIELD testing when school resumes. If you are interested, please contact the front office at your child’s school beginning on Monday, January 10, 2022.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing in all lunch rooms.
  • Install bipolar ionization units to improve air quality.
  • Review and reinforce mitigation measures including hand washing, masking, and social distancing during the school day.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The current trend in cases with staff and students, as well as the continuation of current quarantine recommendations, places our primary goal of providing in-person learning at risk. Although there have been divided opinions throughout this pandemic, there has been consensus around the importance of keeping students in school. It is in this place of agreement that I ask you to assist the district in doing everything possible to maintain in-person learning.
  • Complete a COVID-19 test prior to returning to school on January 10.
  • Review and reinforce the importance of the above mitigation strategies at home.
  • If your child has not been vaccinated or received the booster, consider this option in consultation with your pediatrician.
  • If your child has received the COVID-19 vaccination, email a copy of the vaccination card to districtnurseoffice@barrington220.org.”

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Chicago Speed Cameras

Chicago speed cameras in 2021 sent out a ticket every 11 seconds, meaning that by the time you finish reading this article there will be 21 more drivers unaware they have a rude surprise coming in the mail.

City speed cameras issued 2.3 million tickets through late October, slapping drivers with nearly as many speed camera violations in 10 months as the city issued in 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined. The spike came March 1, the start of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new policy to ticket drivers going 6 mph over the limit.

And the spike was big. Speed cameras churned out eight times as many tickets per day: $250,000 worth.

Grand total for the first 10 months of 2021: $73.8 million in speed camera fines. So in 10 months, Chicago made about $30 million more than it had in each of the prior three years.

Vanessa Ortiz was among the drivers caught under the new policy. One time she was making what became a very expensive coffee run.

“I’ve lived in Chicago for 13 years overall, starting in 2005, and I have never been pulled over by CPD or Illinois State Police for speeding,” Ortiz said. “The last time I received a speeding ticket was 15 years ago.”

“But there was one day where I went to go get coffee and I got a ticket on the way there and on the way back. It was a $70 cup. And of course, I didn’t know that until afterward when I got the notice for the two, I already received nine speeding tickets from the city.”

“And the max ticket was allegedly 38 miles an hour.”

Read more here.

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Barrington logo

“In an effort to inform the public, yesterday we posted communication about the upcoming Cook County Department of Public Health vaccine mandate that will go into effect on Monday, January 3, which will affect food and beverage and fitness facilities in Cook County. As a result, we received some questions from the community about the Village’s role in enforcing the mandate.

Consistent with the role the Village has played since the beginning of the pandemic, as a public service we will continue to inform and communicate the directives from the Cook County Department of Public Health, as well as other state agencies, including the latest vaccine mandate. We recognize that because the Village of Barrington resides in both Cook and Lake Counties, this can cause inconsistency and confusion on the part of the public when one county creates a mandate and the other does not.

It is important for the community to understand that this mandate has been created by the Cook County Department of Public Health (not the Village) and is applicable to restaurants, fitness facilities, and the other venues listed in the order. It is also important for the community to understand that ultimate enforcement of the mandate on Cook County businesses resides with the Cook County Department of Public Health and its inspectors. They can be reached at https://cookcountypublichealth.org/.

We hope you all have a safe and happy New Year.”

Related:Barrington issues notice on 1/3/2022 Vaccine Mandate

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TP

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

 

Cook County issued new rules effective Jan. 3 requiring people to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter county restaurants, fitness centers, and bars or entertainment and recreational venues serving food to reduce spiraling cases.

“Earlier this year, we had hoped that we were on a path to finally put the pandemic behind us,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Thursday.

“But unfortunately, with the dual threat presented by the Delta and Omicron variants, and with cases, hospitalizations and deaths rising to new heights across Cook County, we must once again reassess and realign our strategies with what the science is telling us.”

On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 16,581 new COVID-19 cases. It’s the second highest daily count since the pandemic began.

Contributing to the latest virus surge is the omicron variant, which is extremely contagious and causing about 73% of new infections in the U.S., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot instituted similar rules.

Read more here.

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Bison

The goal of the bison grazing partnership is to utilize bison as another tool to manage prairie and grassland habitat for the benefit of breeding birds and other wildlife. The District is committed to advancing its conservation goals through data-driven, conservation-oriented farm management using practices that protect soil and water resources, conserve wildlife habitat, and regenerate ecological function. We continue to seek innovative ways to accomplish these goals through new partnerships.

Bison are a native species that historically played a keystone role in the ecology of prairies and grasslands, and they are an excellent management tool for prairie ecosystems. They help keep the balance of habitat structure and species composition of the prairie. Their grazing and wallowing behavior creates a mosaic of microhabitats for grassland birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. Bison are also more selective in their grazing habits, which promotes a more diverse plant community.  It is important to the prairie habitat to have grazers part of the land management.  The bison are doing the work of managing the prairie, and in a far more natural and beneficial way for wildlife.

In 2021, the Conservation District entered into a 15-year lease agreement on 180 acres of pastureland at Pleasant Valley Conservation Area in Woodstock to Ruhter Bison LLC  to raise young bison (age 1-3 year-old animals). Liberty Prairie Foundation was instrumental in finding and connecting the two entities, which developed into a successful match for the District to begin a bison grassland grazing program.  The Conservation District is using a low stocking rate and rotating the herd to manage the habitat. Ruhter Bison is dedicated to wildlife conservation and protecting natural resources.

“The bison will do the work of managing the prairie in a far more natural and beneficial way for wildlife,” said Brad Woodson Manager of Natural Resources, McHenry County Conservation District. “It is so important to prairie habitat to have grazers as another restoration tool in land management. Grazers like elk, deer or bison are essential to enhancing the diversity of a grassland habitat – they help keep the balance of habitat structure and species composition of the prairie.
We are looking forward to seeing the result!”

“When used in conjunction with prescribed burns, to manage grassland habitat, bison are a native species that historically played a keystone role in the ecology of prairies and grasslands. Their grazing and wallowing behavior creates a mosaic of microhabitats for birds, pollinators, small mammals, and other wildlife,” stated Brenna Ness Agricultural Ecologist, McHenry County Conservation District.

Grassland bison grazing is something McHenry County Conservation District has looked at establishing for many years, but there were few opportunities where the conditions were just right. The opportunity presented itself when the previous tenant, who utilized the land as a combination of agriculture and cattle, no longer wished to re-new their farm lease.

Read the full McHenry County Conservation District article here, watch their video and ask yourselves how great it would be to replicate this initiative in a portion of Horizon Farm?

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