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The Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals has posted their July 8th meeting agenda, including the following:

SPECIAL USE

SU-20-01 Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District has petitioned the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use in the R-3 Single Family Residential District. The Special Use is requested to construct a Fire/EMS Station. The subject property is located within the 15th District, with the common address 1004 S. Hough Street, Lake Barrington, Illinois 60010.

The public hearing will be at 10:00 AM, and will be conducted remotely. A copy of the complete agenda can be accessed here.

Written public comments on this item will be accepted until 3:00 PM on July 6, 2020, at ZBA.Emails@cookcountyil.gov All comments will be read aloud at the meeting with three minutes allotted for each commenter, though every effort will be made to read statements in their entirety.

Related: Village posts unofficial notice of Cook County Zoning Board public hearing regarding proposed Hough Street fire station,” “Here we go again!, “New Fire Station to Help Save Lives, Protect Property

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Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council
Front row: Terry Guen, Laurel Ross, Peter Ellis. Back row: Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Wendy Paulson, Michael DeSantiago, Sylvia Jenkins, Mark Templeton, Emily Harris, Arnold Randal, Commissioner Stanely Moore. Not pictured: Rob Castaneda.

Nature has never been more important than it is right now. People are looking to it to reduce stress, stay healthy and find solace. Many in the Chicago region are flocking to our greatest natural asset, the Forest Preserves of Cook County. We applaud President Preckwinkle, General Superintendent Arnold Randall and his team for their commitment to keep the preserves open just when they are needed most and when many other public spaces are closed. At the same time, we are troubled by reports of illegal and unacceptable behavior by a very few — crowding, going off trail, picking wildflowers, trampling sensitive vegetation, letting dogs run rampant.

We are so glad people are discovering — or rediscovering — these extraordinary landscapes and the more than 350 miles of trails they include. The ability to be active and outside with family members is a blessing. But the privilege of free access to the Forest Preserves carries a responsibility, too, especially in this time of extreme and necessary social guidelines.

That means respecting the space of other visitors, obeying preserve rules and honoring the habitats of animals and plants for whom the preserves are home. It’s an opportune time to visit a less well known preserve — maybe a place you’ve never been before — or to visit at a less crowded time. Check FPDCC.com before you go.

We invite you not only to visit, but to join us in protecting and restoring the natural habitats of the preserves. (See, for example: https://fpdcc.com/volunteer/ or https://northbranchrestoration.org). Once we emerge from this challenging time and restrictions are lifted, consider joining thousands of volunteers who give their time, energy and expertise to help make nature in our preserves even more healthy, diverse and welcoming.

Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council

Wendy Paulson, Chairman

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s plan to build a fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street in unincorporated Barrington marks the next step in a multi-year effort to provide more effective fire and emergency medical services throughout our 48-square mile jurisdiction.

In fact, the property is ideal for achieving the following goals:

Improve Service & Response Times

Currently, we operate from two fire stations located in Lake Barrington and Barrington Hills. We’ve long sought to build a third station that would greatly improve our ability to provide rapid emergency response to the north- and southeastern sections of our District – Inverness, South Barrington, and unincorporated Barrington.

Despite more than a dozen automatic aid agreements with surrounding fire departments, we still have concerns about consistently achieving optimal response times of under six minutes to residents and businesses – nursing homes, fitness centers, automotive dealerships, and more – in these particular areas.

In 2019, the BCFPD responded to 653 emergency calls to these sections – nearly one-third of our total call volume. Our third fire station will allow us to respond to these calls far more effectively.

Moreover, in situations where we are responding to multiple calls inside our district, it sometimes takes up to 20 minutes for neighboring departments to respond. From a public safety perspective, that is unacceptable.

Lower Homeowners’ Insurance Rates

Beyond public safety, a third station at this location will also help maintain affordable insurance rates for BCFPD homeowners. Our Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating – which helps determine what homeowners pay for insurance – is currently a 3/4. A third station in this location will prevent our ISO rating – and your insurance rates – from increasing.

Avoid Tax Increases

The BCFPD’s commitment to fiscal discipline, combined with long-term planning initiatives, will allow us to build and staff this new fire station without raising taxes on the residents who fund our operations.

Focus on Public Safety

The need for a third fire station is driven by data and facts:

  • Rapid response to fire and emergency medical situations is critical for saving lives and protecting property. In our profession, the difference between success and failure, or between life and death, can come down to mere minutes.
  • Patients suffering from cardiac arrest symptoms usually have less than 4 minutes before brain death begins. Rapid intervention and treatment by trained EMS professionals greatly improve the odds of survival.
  • A small flame can turn into a major fire in less than 30 seconds. And it takes only minutes for thick black smoke or flames to engulf a home or business.

The BCFPD is a public safety entity dedicated to the well-being of our entire community. Our ability to respond most effectively to medical emergencies and dangerous structure fires depends on our proximity to their locations.

Our new fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street will vastly improve our ability to protect our constituents.

Sincerely,

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Trustees

Related: Here we go again!

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Property owners may still get their August bills in the mail soon but the county won’t penalize late payments until after Oct. 1.

Employees at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office later this month are expected to begin preparations to mail out property tax bills for homes and businesses throughout the county.

Most years, taxpayers who missed the August deadline were penalized late fees. But this year taxpayers will have through Oct. 1 to pay the bills, a move made by the Cook County Board to ease the financial hardships many residents are facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although taxpayers will have two extra months to pay, the second installment due date remains Aug. 3. That means Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office still must print, prepare and mail bills on the same time schedule as every other year and her staff must do so amid a global pandemic.

“If I had a statute that said that I could do this, I would just tell everybody your bills are on the internet,” said Pappas, who suggested in April that the county board approve the financial assistance measure. “Unfortunately, the statute says I have to mail them out.”

Read more from the BGA here.

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The Village of Barrington issued the following rally update via Facebook:

RALLY SITE CHANGED TO CITIZENS PARK

Yesterday we let our community know about a peaceful rally planned for Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. In order to accommodate the rally safely, the organizers have changed the location to Citizens Park.

As we stated yesterday, the Barrington Police Department is in ongoing, positive, and constructive dialogue with the organizers, who are current and former Barrington High School graduates. They have assured us that the intent is to host a contained, peaceful rally during a closed timeframe. While we realize that there is always a chance of outside influencers infiltrating rallies such as these, we have been heartened to see in recent days that peaceful rallies have indeed occurred in other similar communities near us, including in Lake Forest and Lake Geneva last evening. We also believe that the chances of escalation are lower due to the event being held during a contained timeframe in the afternoon.

As we also indicated yesterday, it is important for our community to know that the Barrington Police Department is fully prepared for the rally and has put robust plans in place to monitor the event and to ensure that the rally remains peaceful at all times.

The plan includes significant police resources that will be on site and throughout the community, with backup resources in place that can be called upon to immediately protect the community and businesses should the event unintentionally escalate. At this point there is no reason to believe that this daytime, contained rally at Citizens Park will escalate. We will of course provide updates should the situation change.

Please also be aware that there are other rallies happening in other communities on Saturday as well.

We continue to encourage everyone to maintain a peaceful mindset at all times on Saturday and in the days leading up to the rally”.

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Peaceful Rally Planned for Memorial Park on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The following release was posted to the Village of Barrington Facebook page:

“A Message from Karen Darch:

We would like to let our residents and our businesses know that we are aware of a peaceful rally planned for Memorial Park on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Barrington Police Department has been in touch with the organizers, who have assured us that the intent is to host a contained, peaceful rally during a closed timeframe. There has been ongoing dialogue between the BPD and the organizers, which has been very positive and constructive.

It is important for our community to know that the Barrington Police Department is fully prepared for the rally and has put plans in place to monitor the event and to ensure that the rally remains peaceful at all times.

The plan includes significant police resources that will be on site and and throughout the community, with backup resources in place that can be called upon to immediately protect the community and businesses should the event unintentionally escalate. At this point there is no reason to believe that this daytime, contained rally will escalate. We will of course provide updates should the situation change.

It is also important to note that this rally is similar to other peaceful assemblies that were or are being held in similar communities, including Buffalo Grove, Grayslake, Addison, Lake Zurich, Elk Grove Village, and others. We encourage everyone to maintain a peaceful mindset at all times.”

Thank you,

Karen Darch
President, Village of Barrington

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Driver services facilities operated by the Illinois secretary of state’s office will begin reopening Monday, with the first two months reserved for new drivers, people with expired driver’s licenses or ID cards and vehicle transactions.

Due to current events, more than 700,000 expired driver’s licenses or ID cards and 1.9 million expired vehicle registrations in Illinois according to Secretary of State Jesse White.

Once the offices reopen, people will have 90 days to renew expired driver’s licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations. People now have until Oct. 1, 2021, to get REAL ID driver’s licenses.

For more information, visit cyberdriveillinois.com.

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In regards to the closing paragraph of letter writer Gerald Aleksy on May 18: “The governor keeps saying these draconian rules are determined by the scientists and the data. If this is true, then why doesn’t he have the scientists step up to the podium and answer how science came up with these ridiculous rules.”

Donald Trump has had the leading National Institutes of Health scientist speak almost daily, at length, to the American people since the president decided Americans were at risk. This renowned man is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He explained many times how these rules have been arrived at and also how and why the rules continue to fluctuate. Our newspapers and national + local TV news have as well, for nearly four months now.

This is another reason why it is so important to not rely on only one news source for information and definitely not “partisan” news media. WGN, ABC, NBC, CBS are all nonpartisan television stations that will give you unbiased news as well as up-to-date health and pandemic information. Scientists and doctors are on these channels every news cycle. These same stations have national news coverage at 5:30 p.m. that also relays nonpartisan coronavirus coverage. Our own Daily Herald has done a fine job laying out the whys and wherefores so that the average American reader can understand just how threatening and dangerous COVID-19 is. We elect our leaders to Lead. That is exactly what J.B. is doing. Some people may not agree with following science and data in order to survive this, but the majority do and will follow the rules.

Read the complete letter to the Daily Herald from a Barrington Hills resident here.

 

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“The pushback builds. And that levee is just about to break.”

“If you’d told me six months ago that the governor of Illinois would declare churches ‘nonessential’ and shut them down, while liquor stores are ‘essential’ and open, I’d have asked what blend of weed you were smoking,” Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society told me.

What we’ve been smoking? Fear. It’s all been tightly rolled in the scraps of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. We’ve been inhaling deeply for months.

And the leaders of the lockdown party — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — are on the verge of losing control. Rookie politicians make rookie mistakes.

Pritzker’s initial stay-at-home-order, in March, did not consider worship services as essential. But after the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit on behalf of a church in Lena, Illinois, the governor scrambled to modify his order. Pritzker allowed worship services but imposed social distancing guidelines and limited the free exercise of religion to only 10 or fewer people at a time.

Read more here.

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To maximize participation, the state should mail a ballot to every registered voter. At the same time, it will be critical to preserve and protect in-person voting options.

This year’s primary election season will go down in history as the time American voters braved the threat of a deadly virus in order to cast their ballots. 

Amid rising calls for the public to stay home and avoid crowds to stem the coronavirus outbreak, some states chose to delay their elections while others forged ahead. Fear, anger and confusion reigned, regardless of the decision. With November fast approaching, this much is clear: We must rethink our democracy’s reliance on in-person Election Day voting.

Illinois dealt with widespread confusion on its March 17 Election Day, from poorly communicated last-minute polling location changes to a shortage of poll workers and cleaning supplies. These inefficiencies created long lines and big crowds, heightening the risks for poll workers and voters alike.

In a March 30 poll, roughly two in three U.S. adults said they were uncomfortable with the idea of voting in person. Yet voters in Wisconsin were forced to stand in line for hours to vote on April 7, after Gov. Tony Evers’ last-minute order to delay the election was blocked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At least seven cases of coronavirus in the state have now been linked to Election Day.

Wisconsin’s experience makes it clear that last-minute changes can disenfranchise voters and put the public at risk. It’s impossible to rule out a lingering COVID-19 or a resurgent second wave, so it’s urgent that we prepare for November’s consequential election like the emergency that it is. Illinois will need to do more to ensure the safety of in-person voting, to promote alternative voting options and to prepare election authorities for increased demand for such alternatives.

So what’s right for Illinois moving forward?

Read the Better Government Association article here.

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