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One Barrington Hills candidates Tom Strauss, Brian Cecola, Laura Ekstrom and David Riff

Four candidates are running for seats on our Village Board of Trustees under a familiar campaign banner, “One Barrington Hills.”

Second term Trustee Brian Cecola is running for Village President. Cecola is hoping to succeed the current Village President, Martin McLaughlin, who’s eight years in village office comes to a close in April.

Former Village Communications Committee member, Laura Ekstrom, along with David Riff and Tom Strauss have joined Brian on the campaign trail vying for Village Trustee seats.

To learn more, visit the One Barrington Hills website by clicking here.

Early voting begins March 25th, and the election is Tuesday, April 6th.

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A statue named Young Lincoln at Senn Park in Chicago in Winter. It is on the list of monuments to be reviewed by an advisory committee.

Abraham Lincoln and Chicago go way back, from his visits here as a traveling lawyer to his nomination for president at the 1860 Republican National Convention. His connection is one of the proudest claims of our state — official slogan, “Land of Lincoln.” Every child grows up learning his incomparable place in the history of Illinois and of the nation.

But some people think Abe’s sins cancel out his achievements. On one hand, he was elected vowing to stop the spread of slavery, waged a successful war to preserve the Union and worked to achieve constitutional equality for Black Americans. On the other, he represented a slave owner trying to recover escaped slaves, sometimes expressed bigoted sentiments and allowed the execution of 38 Dakota men during the U.S. war with their tribe.

Facts like those account for the scattered calls that he be relegated to the dungeon of America’s villains. Even Mayor Lori Lightfoot thinks he may be problematic, judging from the list of monuments to be reviewed by an advisory committee. It includes several statues of Lincoln. Also in the dock: George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley and Leif Ericson, among others.

We have no objection to periodically reassessing public monuments as new information emerges and old information gains new pertinence. Chicagoans are not obligated to defer to the judgment of previous generations. But let’s not revel in proclaiming our superiority to yesterday’s heroes.

Apparently, some critics think every person we memorialize must be perfectly blameless by the standards of modern America. In that case, we’d have to raze just about every statue. If purity is the threshold — purity based on today’s standards against the cultural and political dynamics of our ancestors — there will be no monuments. A better approach is to weigh the good done by those who have been honored against their shortcomings, and in the context of their generation, not ours.

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

Related:Column: Crime, taxes, closed schools or clogged side streets. But Lightfoot focuses on statues.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s team announced last week it will enlist federal Disaster Survivor Assistance teams to help at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cook and St. Clair counties. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency will give Cook County $49 million to help with vaccine distribution.

That’s entirely appropriate because so far, Illinois’ rollout of vaccinations has been flat-out disastrous.

It’s as if seniors across the region have had to come out of retirement to take on a new full-time job — tracking down the ever-elusive vaccine injection. They’re spending hours — and days — cold-calling potential vaccination sites and scrolling through the internet for injection appointments. Refresh. Refresh.

And how about these optics? At the same time elderly Illinoisans maddeningly scour their communities for a shot at a shot, Pritzker put state lawmakers at the front of the line. On Wednesday, members of the General Assembly were offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a state police facility in Springfield. One Tribune reader, Phillip Tutor of Schaumburg, wrote to us, “How about we have a law that no Illinois politician gets his or her COVID-19 vaccination until all Illinois residents get theirs? I then would bet that this vaccine rollout fiasco gets fixed in record time.”

The vaccine rollout in Illinois has been, well, as Tutor says, a “fiasco.” As of late last week, Illinois ranked 37th among states and D.C. in terms of rate of shots injected and that was actually an improvement. Of the vaccines it has received from the federal government, Illinois has injected 66.2% of those doses, which puts the state under the national average of 68%. As of late, distribution has been improving in Illinois, but the question remains: Why has Pritzker’s vaccine distribution management been so subpar, compared to other states? And why does he keep pretending it hasn’t been?

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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Indian Lakes Hotel, Bloomingdale

Village leaders in Bloomingdale may well be wondering what they could have or should have done to avoid the weekend mayhem that resulted in multiple shootings and one death at the Indian Lakes Hotel.

And they’re wise to examine their practices and polices — and for reacting decisively regarding what Public Safety Director Frank Giammarese described as the scene of a “drastic spike in crime” in recent years.

But they certainly cannot be faulted as having done nothing. They’ve pressed for years, by the hotel’s owners’ own description, to try to “ensure the safety and security of all guests and associates of the hotel.” And as recently as last December, they imposed fees and restrictions on short-term rental properties — including a minimum 30-day stay — following a shooting in neighboring Roselle over the summer in which one person died and six were hurt.

A short-term home rental is no hotel, of course, and the very nature of a hotel or motel complicates the actions a community can take to fend off problems from large parties. Indeed, for weddings, birthday celebrations, conventions and all manner of public events, hotels and banquet halls are important community centers.

The point is that, even so, Bloomingdale has not been blind to the potential for trouble when large gatherings occur. Nor have many other suburbs. In 2016, Lake Barrington passed an ordinance prohibiting rentals of less than three months following a shooting at a rental property in the village. Barrington Hills already had a zoning law in place outlawing parties like the one that led to a fatal shooting there last April. Naperville imposed a short-term rental ban last August, and Roselle imposed strict regulations governing short-term rentals following the fatal shooting at a short-term rental. Even Airbnb itself has announced a global ban restricting rentals to occupancy of no more than 16 people.

Continue reading the Daily Herald editorial here.

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Speakers at the 2020 Economic Summit update business leaders and the community. The 2021 Economic Summit, “State of the Greater Barrington Area,” will be held virtually from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3. (Courtesy of Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce)

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host a 2021 Virtual Economic Summit, “State of the Greater Barrington Area,” from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Village officials from 11 surrounding communities will update local business leaders and the community on current economic conditions and what lies ahead for the Greater Barrington Area in 2021.

The public is invited to attend this virtual event. Cost to attend is $10. Register at www.BarringtonChamber.com.

“We are offering our Economic Summit virtually this year so that our village leaders can speak to the effects of 2020, where we are now, and what lies ahead for our region,” said BACC President/CEO Suzanne Corr. “We will hear firsthand updates on what impacts local business, residents, and the prosperity of our communities.”

Confirmed speakers to date include: Karen Darch of Barrington; Martin McLaughlin of Barrington Hills; Greg Rusteberg of Deer Park; Nandia Black of Kildeer; Kevin Richardson of Lake Barrington; Bill Jacob of Long Grove; Eleanor Sweet McDonnell of North Barrington; Shannon Yeaton of Port Barrington; and Robert Palmer of South Barrington.

Speakers will discuss the 2020 year in review, economic development accomplishments, and goals for 2020. The BACC Economic Summit is open to the public; registration for the online event is required to receive a link.

Submitted by Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce

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Barrington Hills… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) released the following statement:

“After just two weeks in office, I am embarrassed.  I am embarrassed to call myself a member of this Illinois State Legislature.  I am ready and eager to help our state turn things around.  I spent 15 months running a campaign to change the dismal course that Illinois has been on for decades. I did it because we need to address the real problems facing every hardworking Illinoisan. The General Assembly must work collaboratively to find real solutions.  We need to reform pensions and the property tax system, and we need to come up with a major initiative to provide assistance to small businesses.  This can only happen if we are allowed to go to work!

Instead, the new Speaker has cancelled the scheduled February session days for all but one constitutionally required day to accept the House rules.  I am incredulous that we cannot meet to do our jobs. This is after 10 months of executive orders with only two packed session weeks, where we saw extensive mandates and transformative bill packages rammed through in the middle of the night with limited time for review.

Nevertheless, the new Speaker has deemed our work “unsafe”. Come on!  It is no more unsafe for legislators than it is for the checkout cashier at the Jewel, the Speedway gas station attendant, the delivery driver, the toll worker, the TSA agent, the Costco employee or the Dunkin Donut order taker.  These folks do their jobs EVERYDAY.  I could go on and on with this list, but it comes back to the sheer audacity of the majority party and their satisfaction with the status quo. 

Why are we, members of the General Assembly, so special that we cannot go do our jobs? Governor Pritzker says we should not be vaccinated early, which makes sense to him, because the longer we are away from Springfield, he has more excuses to continue to run our state into the ground by issuing illegal executive fiat after fiat. 

The people elected us to be in Springfield working on the massive problems that existed long before Covid-19 and to address the serious fallout from the many failures from the Pritzker Administration. We need to be able to work together and collaboratively. We will continue to fail our constituents if we do not get back and open the books Madigan has held closed for decades. I will continue to do my best to call out the corruption and bad behavior when I can. As always, I will continue to work tirelessly for all of us in the 52nd District.

xxx

Jack Ivansek
House Republican Staff
JIvansek@hrs.ilga.gov

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State officials have said the rise in unemployment fraud is likely due to large corporate data breaches, such as one in 2017 involving Equifax that exposed the personal data of millions of people.”

State and federal officials are encouraging Illinoisans to stay vigilant as reports of unemployment insurance fraud swell.

From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, fraudulent claims have been an issue as a record number of Illinois residents file for benefits and Congress provides additional jobless aid. Illinois has stopped more than 350,000 fraudulent claims since March 1, according to the state’s Department of Employment Security.

Reports of fraud have been so widespread — often inundating local police departments — that the FBI, IRS and several state agencies launched a task force to tackle the problem.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office has received more than 1,400 complaints since June from people who allege someone else filed an unemployment insurance claim in their name, spokeswoman Tori Joseph said.

Here’s what to be on the lookout for and what steps to take.

  • How do I know if I’m a victim of fraud?
  • Why did I receive a debit card?
  • What steps should I take to protect myself?
  • How do I avoid becoming a victim of fraud?
  • Am I responsible for funds paid to fraudsters?
  • What if I need to file for benefits?

Read the answers to these question in the Chicago Tribune here.

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“For billions of years all Life has relied on the Earth’s rhythm of Day & Night. Humans have radically changed this cycle by lighting up the night. The benefits are obvious, while the dangers go unmentioned.

Darkness interruption has a long list of dangerous negative impact. Declining insect populations, disrupted bird migration patterns, wildlife survival behavior, and even the life cycles of plants & trees are severely affected. Light pollution is also linked to Human diseases such as diabetes,  depression, obesity and cancer. 

Action you can take:  turn off lights when not needed, use soft yellow lights when possible and point them downward, keep lights away from habitats and DO NOT install lights in trees!  Get educated, raise awareness and share knowledge.

There is a lot more to this issue – and a lot that can be done by each of us to make good changes. (see CFC post here)”

Editorial note: For many of our readers this is déjà vu (all over again).  For those who weren’t around or have forgotten, our posting of, “Everything Is Deluminated,” from a November 2009 Wall Street Journal article might “shed some light” on what we mean.

Nonetheless, as light has crept back in to some properties in our Village, we applaud CFC for their message.

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Restaurant owners aren’t giving up. They’ve struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, retrenching to stay in business, investing in safety protocols, re-imagining their menus to offer takeout and delivery fare. They’ve shown indomitable spirit. Most have played by the state’s strict rules. Now it’s time for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to give them a reasonable break.

Governor, reopen the dining rooms.

Pritzker shut down indoor dining in October when the coronavirus outbreak spiked, renewing hardships on a crucial jobs sector. That spike has now tapered. Takeout food is an option for customers, but it’s not the same draw for cooped-up residents, many of whom would be eager to go out to eat, assuming all proper social distancing and hygiene rules are in place.

This is a matter of being fair, reasonable and protective of the economy. “The rules are lopsided against restaurants,” chef Brian Jupiter of Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods told the Tribune. In December, we saw shopping malls bursting at the seams and that wasn’t an issue. We are sanitizing the living s— out of everything. Wearing masks. But we still can’t operate.

Read more of the Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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For Immediate Release

SPRINGFIELD… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) enters his first term today as State Representative for the 52nd House District commencing the 102nd Illinois General Assembly. Rep. McLaughlin released the following statement:

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be sworn in today as your State Representative. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our great community in Springfield.

Today marks a new era with long time Speaker, Mike Madigan, out of the picture. I decided to run for this position because Illinois is broken and a complete fiscal disaster. I have dedicated my career to solving pension and fiscal problems, and I hope to represent all of you in the 52nd District with honesty, integrity, and transparency.

We have so much work to do in the 102nd General Assembly and I truly hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are actually ready for positive change in Springfield. Americans have suffered immensely this past year, business owners need relief, and Illinoisans need government responsibility now more than ever. I am ready to get to work! Thank you for the opportunity to be the fiscal watchdog we need.”

Jack Ivansek
House Republican Staff

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