Archive for the ‘News Media’ Category

Real EstateWhen Deb Cohorst reached retirement age, she didn’t expect to face possibly leaving the rural town she’s loved for close to 40 years. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s tax hikes have not helped.

“I have lived in Illinois for almost 40 years. My husband was born and raised here in Effingham, and we like it here. We feel like this was a great place to raise our kids, but frankly, I’m worried how much longer we can stay here because we are both retired. And with the rising property taxes and gas taxes, it’s becoming harder to survive on a fixed income,” Cohorst said.

In 2019, Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly passed 24 tax and fee hikes, including a doubled gas tax. During Pritzker’s term, the average family has seen a net tax hike of $2,165 and faces the second-highest property taxes nationally, leaving fixed-income retirees such as Cohorst wondering if they’ll ever see relief.

“Property taxes are another thing that we’re really worried about, and it scares me we may have to move. I have friends in neighboring states, and they cannot believe what we’re paying in property taxes,” Cohorst said. “I am paying more for the property tax on my half-acre lot than my three out-of-state friends’ property taxes combined.”

Effingham, Illinois, is located just southeast of Springfield. The median household income is about $52,551 and 19% of residents such as Cohorst have reached retirement age. The average home value in Effingham is $136,000 and families pay $2,328 in property taxes, or an effective tax rate of 1.7%, which is higher than the national average of 1.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It’s not tens of thousands like some other families pay. But when you’re on a fixed income – and the people in this area don’t earn like what they earn in Chicago or some of the bigger cities, at our wage level, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up as property taxes keep increasing and we’ve seen the effect that’s having,” Cohorst said.

When property taxes cost roughly 4.4% of your income, Cohorst and other retirees have trouble finding spare cash to sustain never-ending tax hikes.

Read more here.

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District 220: “Families are highly encouraged to have their students ride the school bus or carpool”

“As many of you are aware, Hart Road is currently closed from US Route 14 (Northwest Highway) to Main Street (Lake Cook Road) until November.

In order to ease traffic in the area and make sure students arrive safely to school this fall, the district is working with the Village of Barrington, Barrington Police Department, and Barrington Transportation Company, in order to provide the option of shuttle buses and permitted parking spots for Barrington High School students at various locations throughout the village. BHS will send out more details to families next week.”

Earlier this week, the Daily Herald published:

Gridlock alert

Barrington Hills drivers should expect delays on County Line Road between Haegers Bend Road/Elgin Road and Hart Road as crews resurface pavement and construct new sidewalk ramps. Work wraps up in early December.”

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Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx

In Chicago, homicides and shootings are surging while carjackings and shoplifting are rampant. The town is becoming more like the Wild West – no law and no order. And much of the blame falls on its chief law enforcement officer, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Foxx’s record is blotted by botched cases and improprieties (e.g., Jussie Smollett) and public tension with her law enforcement and city partners (i.e., Chicago Police, the City Council and Mayor Lori Lightfoot) who have all bemoaned her conduct and public safety policies. Even Foxx’s longtime chief investigator has had enough and resigned last month to keep his “integrity, morals, and ethics intact.”

While the State’s Attorney has a lot of adversaries, she has one very well-heeled friend: George Soros. Based on campaign donations, the billionaire loves Foxx – lavishing cash on her with $2.7 million poured into her two campaigns to be chief prosecutor.

That money came in the form of two PACs funded almost exclusively by Soros. In 2016, Illinois Safety and Justice PAC spent $708,000 on Foxx with $408,000 coming direct from Soros and the rest via another PAC that Soros finances, Civic Participation Action Fund. In 2020, Foxx got another $2 million from Soros before her heated Democratic primary.

As crime soared and cases crumbled, Foxx has spent weeks away from Cook County on junkets across the country with fellow Soros-backed district attorneys including Los Angeles’ George Gascon, Philadelphia’ Larry Krasner, and the now-former DA for San Francisco Chesa Boudin.

Our study – examining campaign finance reports across the country – identified over $40 million in campaign spending by Soros to elect progressive prosecutors including Foxx. At least 75 Soros-linked prosecutors hold office today – stretching from Orlando to Seattle, Los Angeles to the Washington, DC suburbs. Those district attorneys preside over 40% of homicides and represent jurisdictions covering one in five (72 million) Americans.

Read more here.

Related: “George Soros and his Soft-On Crime Prosecutors: the Johnny Appleseeds of Urban Anarchy,” “Time To Recall Kim Foxx, For Jussie Smollett, And More

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July 25 Delay Notice

A portion of Route 59 in Barrington will be down to a single lane, weather permitting, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 28.

A project to repair two storm sewers on Route 59 (Hough Street/Barrington Road), between Hillside Avenue and Main Street/County Line Road will require lane closures, down to a single lane with flaggers, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Access to local businesses and residences will be maintained.

Find more information about traffic and road conditions at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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City Council passage of improvements to Chicago’s government ethics ordinance is a welcome step toward reform–with more work yet ahead, the Better Government Association said Wednesday. The research and policy arm of the 99-year old civic watchdog organization assisted Ald. Michele Smith and the city’s Board of Ethics in drafting the reform measure.

Among other changes, the new ordinance:

  • Broadens campaign finance restrictions on city contractors to include contractors for sister agencies such as the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools
  • Strengthens conflict of interest provisions to prohibit city employees from exercising official powers on behalf of a relative, spouse, or domestic partner
  • Prohibits lobbying on the floor of City Council, including by prior members of Council
  • Requires specific and complete disclosure of the conflict of interest in cases where members of City Council recuse themselves from a vote due to conflict of interest
  • Expands conflict of interest provisions to cover all city officers.
  • Requires independent contractors who work for City Council or its committees to complete required ethics training and file annual financial interest statements, including a record of which committees or other bodies they contract with.
  • Strengthens fines for ethics violations, including granting the Board of Ethics the ability to levy fines equal to the value of any monetary gain from wrongdoing.

“Passage of this ordinance is important for the city, and it’s important for voters and other residents who have a right to expect honest, transparent government,” said David Greising, president of the Better Government Association.

Read the full statement here.

Note: A keyword search for “ethics” on our Village Code web page resulted in “No Matching Records” as seen below:


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BARRINGTON — Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie, the 33-year old, family-owned gourmet bakery at 710 W. Northwest Hwy, Barrington, is now under new owners. Co-founder Deborah Rivera has sold the gourmet bakery destination to Ambrosia’s long-time assistant manager and its husband-and-wife chef team.

These three new owners have collectively more than 45 years of experience serving Ambrosia’s customers in Lake and McHenry counties and from all over the Chicago metro area. Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie has tens of thousands of devoted fans, many of whom travel long distances to enjoy the patisserie’s famous bakery, pastry and specialty items such as Ambrosia Rolls, buttery sweet and savory croissants, pecan rolls, delicious and elegant wedding and celebration cakes as well as coffee and specialty beverages.

Rivera, who co-founded Ambrosia with her late husband Richard Rivera in 1989, said she is happy that the devoted leaders on her staff will continue the Rivera legacy for excellent customer service and superior gourmet products.

“It’s time to pass the baton of ownership and allow Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie to continue to evolve under a new generation of leadership. You have likely seen and spoken to the devoted manager and chef-bakers who are your new owners. These familiar faces care passionately about the future of Ambrosia. Already, they’ve introduced many creative techniques and bakery items to you, while honoring the recipes and commitment to quality ingredients that have made Ambrosia a Chicagoland destination,” said Rivera.

The employees who assumed ownership of Ambrosia are:

  • Ben Sigler, Ambrosia’s Chef and Kitchen Manager for more than 12 years.
  • Elise Gibbons Sigler, Manager and Pastry Chef for more than 8 years.
  • Melanie Duke, who has provided high quality customer service and has served as Assistant Manager for more than 25 years.

Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie is a highly acclaimed Barrington destination for gourmet bakery, pastry and dessert lovers. The patisserie has more than three decades of service and giving back to the community. Rivera says she is grateful to the passionate and devoted customers and employees, who helped the bakery survive during the Covid pandemic, and whose loyalty has helped Ambrosia emerge from it even stronger.

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Editorial note: The following opinion is featured today on the Northwest Herald website.

Scott Reeder

A horse tenderloin provided a delicious meal for author Scott Reeder on a recent trip to Iceland. (Scott Reeder)

By Scott Reeder

“If you eat horsemeat, Daddy, I’m going to throw-up right in front of you.”

So decreed my 14-year-old daughter this month as we sat across from one another in a restaurant in Iceland.

I’d never tasted horseflesh before. But over the years I’ve written quite a bit about the debate in the Illinois General Assembly on whether to outlaw horse slaughter. Fifteen years ago, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the legislation ending the practice.

I’ve long been curious: “What exactly does horsemeat taste like?”

I grew up on a hog farm. My father was a farmer and a livestock veterinarian. And I showed cattle at fairs, knowing that eventually they would end up on someone’s dinner plate. And mind you, those calves were companions. They came when they were called, loved to be petted and were taught to walk beside me better than any dog I’ve ever taken on a leash.

I can remember eating steaks at the dinner table with my folks and my dad would ask for the platter of meat by saying, “Pass Charlie over here, would you please?” Yep, our food had names.

When you are a farmer, you live close to what you eat.

The waitress who stood over me in the Icelandic restaurant cooed, “You have to try horse, sir. It is three times more tender than beef and it tastes so good.”

Read more here.

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By Steve Huntley

July 20, 2022

The covid-19 pandemic left a lot of wreckage in its wake. High on the casualty list is a growing loss of confidence among middle class parents in public schools.

When schools shut down, moms and dads got a peek at zoom classes. They watched with disbelief, then anger as they got a closeup look at how too many public schools promoted an unsettling agenda of political and cultural indoctrination to pupils.

Radical racial ideas distorting American history and sowing division. Nonsense about kids born guilty of oppression because of the color of their skin. Theories about the “fluidity” of gender identity trafficked under the banner of sex education. All that taking priority over math and language instruction.

And that was just the beginning.

When the covid emergency receded, school unions and the school boards in their pockets resisted reopening in-person learning in classrooms. Chicago parents saw the city’s teachers union go on strike for five days to try to keep from returning to the classroom.

Union defiance to in-person learning came even as evidence mounted that computer screen classes knee-capped learning in pupils. Reading and math scores fell across the board, but especially plummeted for low-income kids.

Then there was nonsense like the far-left San Francisco school board that, rather than open classrooms, worried about schools being named for famous heroes of history like Abraham Lincoln.

Steve Huntley’s commentary continues here.

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mosquitoes test positive

Health officials are warning the public after a batch of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus for the first time this year in McHenry County.

A mosquito “pool,” also known as a batch of mosquitoes, was sampled on Tuesday in Lake in the Hills and tested positive for West Nile virus.

The McHenry County Department of Public Health said this mosquito pool is the first confirmed indicator of West Nile virus presence in McHenry County in 2022.

Four birds were submitted for testing from McHenry County so far this year and all have been negative for the virus.

Officials in nearby Lake County recommend the public practice the “4 Ds of Defense” to protect themselves and family from mosquitoes:

  • Drain: Drain standing water from items around your home, yard, and business.
  • Defend: When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undecanone, or IR3535 and reapply according to label directions.
  • Dawn and Dusk: Protect yourself all day and night, and wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
  • Dress: Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes when outdoors to cover your skin.

Read more here.

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Thursday’s Daily Herald editorial read in part,

“…losing the (Catlow) theater would be a blow to Barrington and the entire suburban arts community. Movie houses like the Catlow are increasingly rare; seeing a film there was something special.

That’s why we wish O’Connor the best of luck in finding the right buyer should he choose to sell — someone who shares his sense of the community, who understands the entertainment industry and who respects the Catlow’s unique legacy. And we hope village officials do what they can to make that happen.

The Catlow is a suburban treasure, one we hope to enjoy on its 100th birthday and beyond.”

The full editorial can be found here.

There is absolutely no disagreement here!  None whatsoever.

However, the Herald and many others fail to acknowledge fact that lack of available nearby parking is one of the primary reasons for the Catlow’s woes, and has been for too many years.

The parking lot signs next to the Catlow Theater behind some Main Street stores where movie patrons used to park now read, “DO NOT PARKING ’THEATER’ CUSTOMER.” We made a special trip to capture the picture seen above, since try as we can, we just cannot make this up.

Signs in the main Jewel parking lot state, “ONE HOUR PARKING 5PM to 10PM – Per Village Ordinance.” Apparently, it’s OK to park at Jewel all day long when commuting downtown via Metra, so long as you leave their lot before 6PM (Per Village Ordinance). However, parking at Jewel for more than an hour during certain times to enjoy an evening movie could result in a fine.

We can cite other parking issues, but why bother? The fact is the Village of Barrington and some local businesses purposely abandoned the Catlow’s ownership and supporters years ago, and that’s inexcusable.

Related:Owner of Catlow Theater in Barrington looking to sell historic venue

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