Archive for the ‘News Media’ Category

Wasted Contributions

Brian Cecola, David Riff, Laura Ekstrom and Tom Strauss

For the second quarter in a row, the One Barrington Hills (OBH) Committee comprised of Brian Cecola, David Riff, Laura Ekstrom and Tom Strauss, failed to meet the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) deadline for filing quarterly financial reports due this week. The committee’s 4th quarterly report was due on Tuesday, January 18th, but instead was filed just yesterday afternoon.

Their 3rd quarter report was filed a week late on October 22nd, 2021, and that was likely due only to The Observer bumping them with our friendly reminder post that day.

In their latest filing, OBH reported it had $4,432.86 in donor cash available.  A copy of that report can be viewed here, however this is before the ISBE assesses any civil penalties as they no doubt will now.

We spoke with a representative of the ISBE earlier this week, and they indicated sometimes first committee violations are stayed.  However, if a second violation occurs, they will assess the fees for both violations. Noteworthy is the ISBE has increasing penalties for multiple committee violations, which will now be in play. A copy of, “Section 125.425 Civil Penalty Assessments,” may be viewed and downloaded here.

Current Village President, Brian D. Cecola, is listed as chair of the OBH committee, and David Riff is listed as treasurer according to the ISBE website. It’s likely both will have some penalty paperwork to fill out, some checks to write, and they’ll likely have to appear at a ISBE hearing to account for their negligence.

However, we submit all four members of the OBH committee bear some responsibility, and we believe their missteps go deeper than that we’ve just reported.  Starting next week, we’ll begin revealing why based on FOIA files we’ve obtained in the last year and audio recordings.

Meantime, any concerned donors to the OBH 2021 campaign can always seek refunds by contacting them at Team@barrington-hills.com. While it may seem premature to some now, perhaps what’s reported next week may change that thinking.

Related:(Most) Village candidate committees report Q-3 financials

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Drivers Services

Don’t expect to get to the Secretary of State’s office to conduct business in person until Jan. 24.

The agency said it is continuing to stay closed over concerns of COVID-19, while some services are available online.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced before the new year that Illinois driver services facilities would be closed for two weeks because of increased COVID-19 cases. Offices were set to reopen to the public on Jan. 17.

“After careful consideration and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to extend the closures of offices and Driver Services facilities an additional week, with a reopening date set for Monday, Jan. 24,” White said Thursday. “The health and safety of employees and the public remains my top priority, and face-to-face transactions potentially increase the further spread of the virus.”

Read on here.

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BARRINGTON HILLS: Businessman and fiscal hawk, State Representative Martin McLaughlin, announces his candidacy for the 2022 election to the 52nd district. Mclaughlin, a Republican is halfway through his first term which ends in January 2023. McLaughlin is noted as an outspoken advocate for his constituents and for his limited government approach.

McLaughlin was Mayor of Barrington Hills from 2013 to 2021 where he was able to bring business reforms to the government and lower the tax levy 8 times. He has a 30-year career running pension businesses and helping businesses and governments close their funding gaps and taking the pressure off workers and taxpayers.

Mclaughlin who has been recognized for his direct leadership skills by both sides of the aisle is looking to forward to bringing sensible reforms and legislation addressing public safety, property taxes, and pension reforms desperately needed to fix a broken Springfield legislature. McLaughlin has provided an independent voice to the legislature reaching out to both sides of the aisle and working for solutions.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of the 52nd district and with the assistance of a great staff, we have provided solid constituent service to thousands of people in our community. Much of that service has involved navigating the myriad of government rules, regulations, and sometimes an incompetent bureaucracy. In our system of government, the people are in charge not the other way around,” said Representative Martin McLaughlin.

“Much of what I do in Springfield involves trying to bring some common sense to the legislative process by pointing out the consequences of some of the legislation that is being put forth. I am an advocate for more transparency and assessment of proposed legislation so that we don’t have to spend the next legislative session cleaning up poorly-written bills that have had unintended consequences on our constituents,” said McLaughlin.

Martin McLaughlin is married to his wife Kathleen for 30 years and they have five daughters ages 28 to 15.  He has participated in many philanthropic and social organizations including the Lions Club, Barrington Area Council of Governments, MCOG LCML League as well as coached youth sports in Cary, Elgin, and Barrington.  For more information about his campaign please contact him at Martyforillinois.com.”

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There is a Winter Weather Advisory issued for our area starting at 1 PM in effect through 9 PM.  Freezing drizzle or light freezing rain is expected with total ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch.

While we very rarely post weather forecasts, we’re doing so now in light of the fact our Village Board voted late last Fall (save for one trustee) to discontinue contracting Village road plowing and salting service with Cuba Township Road District in favor of engaging a private concern, Mac’s Property Management, based in Wauconda.

Our first snowfall this season found a few Village roads ignored while kinks were worked out, and the second larger snowfall on New Year’s Day left some wondering why roads were not salted. Thus, until things get ironed out between Mac’s and our Roads & Bridges Committee, we advise readers to be extra cautious when driving this afternoon and evening.

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Signal Hill, NSDAR

U.S. 6th District Congressman Sean Casten addresses those gathered at Evergreen Cemetery for Wreaths Across America Day, sponsored locally by Signal Hill, NSDAR, of Barrington.

Submitted by Jacqueline Marcus

On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Barrington community and members of the Signal Hill Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution honored the more than 730 veterans at rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Barrington.

Following brief remarks from several dignitaries, including U.S. Congressman Sean Casten, representatives from former VFW and American Legion posts, Veterans of Lake Barrington Shores, a representative of Children of the American Revolution, and members of NSDAR, the speakers joined the attending community to place wreaths on previously identified graves throughout the cemetery.

The Signal Hill Chapter members worked at underwriting the purchase of wreaths for this year’s event by raising donations from private individuals, chapter members, and other sources so that members of the Barrington area could participate in this national event.

Nearly 200 individuals registered to attend the ceremony, and a good percentage of that number came to honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military members.

Wreaths Across America Day is a national event, with more than 3,000 participating cemeteries throughout the country. Many civic, religious and philanthropic groups gather volunteers and financial support to participate. This was the third year that Signal Hill, NSDAR, sponsored and organized the event.

For information about the Signal Hill, NSDAR, visit signalhilldar.com. For information about Wreaths Across America, visit WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

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Mary Hallan FioRito

By Mary Hallan FioRito

On the Friday afternoon before Christmas–as families prepared for the holiday–Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave Illinois parents a terrible present. It was not wrapped, but he put his name on it:.

Pritzker signed the bill repealing the Illinois Parental Notification of Abortion Act, a commonsense law requiring abortion providers to notify parents or guardian that an abortion would be performed on minor girls.

It was active since 2013, intended in part to thwart the human sexual trafficing of young girls, many who were pulled into the sex trade and had lost contact with their parents.

And Pritzker killed it for Christmas with the help of his Democratic House and State Senate majorities.

The law that Pritzker killed had nothing to do with  parental consent. All it did was mandate that parents or guardians be notified–by the abortion provider–-before an abortion would be performed.

Dr. Brook Bello, an advocate for victims of sex trafficking–and who was herself raped as a child and trafficked as a teenager and lost contact with her parents during that gruesome experience–had something to say. :

“I can only imagine what my father or mother would have done if they at least received notification that I was having an abortion at 15 that they did not know about. They assumed I ran away and stayed away on my own free will. It only makes the work we do to lessen and prevent human trafficking that much harder,” Dr Bello said.

There is a remarkable degree of consensus about parental notice of abortion. A Tarrance Group poll of Illinois residents found that 72% of Illinois voters wanted to see the law remain in place — that statistic includes 55% of respondents to the same poll who identified as “pro-choice or strongly pro-choice.”

Governor Pritzker’s statement on his signing the repeal was deliberately misleading, implying that the law required a minor girl who was a victim of abuse or neglect to notify a parent or guardian. It did not.

Read more from johnkassnews.com here.

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CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced Friday that expiration dates for driver’s licenses and ID cards have been extended for an additional three months.

Driver’s license and ID card expiration dates had previously been extended to Jan 1, 2022. Now, expired driver’s licenses and ID cards will remain valid until March 31, 2022. The extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and CDL learner’s permits.

“During the pandemic, my office has continued to serve the public, including face-to-face transactions, in a safe and responsible manner,” said White. “This extension is necessary as my office continues to address the heavy customer volume caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through expanded online services and the introduction of appointments at select Driver Services facilities.”

White said this would be the final extension.

The Secretary of State’s Office said it has expended remote renewal for driver’s license and ID card holders. Letters have been sent to eligible customers with expired driver’s licenses and ID cards requiring them to renew online, by phone or by mail.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.

For more information about online driver’s license or ID renewal, and to find out if you qualify to renew online, visit cyberdriveillinois.com and click on “Read more on how to renew your driver’s license or ID card online” near the top of your page.


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Press Release:

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the unions representing teachers and support staff in 52 school districts across Illinois will file a motion to intervene in a Sangamon County lawsuit in an effort to protect the safety of the workplaces and the health and lives of students and employees by keeping the governor’s student mask mandate in place.

In October, attorney Tom DeVore filed a lawsuit against 145 school districts across the state on behalf of parents and their children at a price of $5,000 per district, plus filing fees. Those cases have all been consolidated into one in Sangamon County in front of Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow.

The suit asks that the students not be required to wear a mask or be excluded from campus, and that students not be excluded from campus if they were “close contacts” with a COVID positive person, without the local health department weighing in on each individual case.

The court filings today were made on behalf of 75 IEA-affiliated locals, which represent more than 29,000 members of the Illinois Education Association who serve more than 214,000 students. Each of those locals made the independent decision to intervene in the lawsuit.

“Almost all of our members are vaccinated or complying with the vaccinate-or-test order. We are all wearing masks. We want students to wear their masks and stay home if they were close contacts of someone with COVID. We believe in keeping staff, students, all of the families of our staff and students and all of our communities safe,” said Andrew Frey, president of the Triad Education Association. “Things were looking good for a while, but here we are again. This is a worldwide pandemic. We are not immune in Illinois just because we want to turn our heads. So, we won’t. And, we’ll work to keep our schools safe.”

A status hearing is set in the case for next week. Should the judge grant the IEA locals’ motion, they would be able to take part in that hearing and in court proceedings going forward.

“We have been saying all along that it is our goal to keep students and staff in buildings as long as it is safe,” said Kathi Griffin, president of the IEA. “Our locals are respectfully asking the court to respect the educators’ wishes who have asked their local to intervene on their behalf, to ensure that we can continue in-person instruction in a safe and healthy environment. We believe the governor has worked hard to provide a safe educational environment for students and that districts have been following his executive orders because they are guided by science and are focused on keeping our students and staff safe. That’s the best we can ask under these circumstances.”

As of Dec. 9, nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, of which nearly 400,000 are under the age of 20. There have been 30,000 confirmed or probable COVID deaths. At least four Illinois public school employees died of COVID during the 2019-20 school year, at least eight in the 2020-21 school and at least one this school year. Currently, there are 163 active “youth outbreaks” in the state. Between June and August of this year, the Delta variant resulted in a five-fold increase of child hospitalizations, and between July 3 and Oct. 30, the case rate for those under age 20 increase from 17 per 100,000 to 142 per 100,000.

As of Dec. 9, all 102 counties in Illinois are coded red for high transmission on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Community Transmission Map – the most critical rating.


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BHBB Obese

Obesity rates continue to rise across the county and in Illinois.

That’s according to a new report from Trust for America’s Health, a non-partisan organization with a stated mission to promote optimal health for every person and community and to make the prevention of illness and injury a national priority.

The report found more than half of adults in every state were either overweight or had obesity in 2020, the most recent data available. Since 2000, the adult obesity rate in the United States has increased 39%.

“Obesity is a continuing health crisis in the country,” said Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health. “Obesity rates actually worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. What the data show are that 16 states now have adult obesity rates at or above 35% and that’s four more states than in 2019.”

Illinois ranked in the middle of the pack, with more than 32% of adults in the state considered obese, up more than five points in the past decade. Among black adults in Illinois, that number shot up to 41%.

“You can see some gender-specific patterns,” Gracias said. “You also see gender-specific patterns across race and ethnicity. What we know is when you look at disparities, there are higher rates of obesity among women of color.”

Read more here.

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220 Propoganda

Last month, Barrington 220 was named, “a Top Workplace in Chicagoland,” by the Chicago Tribune.  The list of other honorees can be viewed here.

No other public or private schools or districts made the list this year, and this is the third time Barrington 220 has been selected by the Tribune.

What we want to know is what has Barrington 220 done to deserve this distinction?  We’re not knocking 220, but we’d really like to know the objective criteria used considering so many other suburban schools/districts are consistently ranked higher.

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