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Archive for the ‘News Media’ Category

J.B. Pritzker listens intently in the background as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot dictates policy in Springfield.

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of 220 schools, issued the following update Friday shortly after J.B. Pritzker announced Illinois public and private schools would closed for the remainder of the school year: 

“Dear Barrington 220 Community,

This afternoon Governor Pritzker canceled in person classes at all Illinois schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Given the current public health crisis and the need to put everyone’s health and safety above all else, I’m sure this news does not come as a surprise. However, I share your disappointment, as I know many of you, including myself, were holding out hope that somehow our students and staff would be able return to our school buildings before the end of the year.

I know this announcement brings forth many questions about how to pick up items left in our school buildings, summer school, BHS graduation and other big end of the year events, just to name a few. Please know the district has been working on a plan for all situations. More information will be coming from your school principal on these topics and many others over the next few weeks.”

What we cannot begin to comprehend is why Pritzker chose Friday afternoon to devastate the moral of thousands of students, teachers and parents. 

He makes his daily update addresses each afternoon, so what harm would have come from announcing the news today instead Friday? The answer is none, and that’s inexcusable. 

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Federal and local officials have gotten thousands of fraud complaints. Stimulus checks will create another tidal wave of fraud, authorities warn.

As opportunists and scam artists look to make a quick buck off the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of Chicagoans are inundating City Hall with complaints: $80 toilet paper, $50 hand sanitizer bottles and $15 jugs of vinegar.

And while price gouging is the most prevalent complaint, experts are sounding the alarm on bogus cures, fake deals on protective gear and con artists posing as government officials.

“This is the worst I’ve seen, and I’ve been doing this for 32 years,” said Steve Bernas, CEO of Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. “I’ve never seen a calamity that would affect so many.”

Through Monday, the Federal Trade Commission fielded more than 540 fraud complaints related to the outbreak in Illinois, according to the agency. The Illinois attorney general’s office has reported handling almost 1,300 price-gouging reports.

And in Chicago, city officials have issued two civil citations for price gouging out of more than 400 complaints filed in March through mid-April, according to a spokesman for the city’s business affairs department. In 2019, there were only two complaints of price gouging the entire year, he said.

Read more from the Better Government Association here.

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The Barrington Hills Bulletin Board claims to be, “AN ALTERNATE RESOURCE OUTLET FOR LOCAL BARRINGTON HILLS RESIDENTS TO READ, COMMENT AND REACT TO NEWS AND TOPICS WITH THE INTENT TO EDUCATE, PROVIDE AWARENESS, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO RESIDENTS IN A UNCENSORED FORMAT.”

The Barrington Hills Bulletin Board posts fabrications, typo-ridden incoherent ramblings and now offers a new feature to their minimally followed blog; censorship of comments that are posted on Facebook (“…some comments may have been filtered out”).

As for the offensive comment that was, “filtered out”?

“Paragraphs and proper grammar and punctuation would be nice.”

So much for transparency.

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I am responding and trying to keep my cool while doing so, about Pritzker’s personal war with President Trump.

I would like to tell Pritzker to shut up and let President Trump do his job, because I don’t think Pritzker is doing his. However, Pritzker is doing a great job complaining and following the lead of other states.

Marcia Chester, Barrington

A number of interesting comments in response to Ms Chester’s letter to the editors of the Daily Herald can be viewed here.

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The 6th Congressional District, held by Democrat Sean Casten

 

We don’t put editorials on the front page often.

But time is running out on representative government in Illinois.

May 3 is the magic deadline for both houses of the Illinois General Assembly to agree to put the Fair Maps Amendment on the November referendum ballot.

Here are the main reasons that probably won’t happen:

1. House Speaker Madigan doesn’t want it to, and truth be told, most other Democratic Party leaders don’t want it to either.

2. Gov. Pritzker doesn’t want any competition that might undermine his progressive income tax proposal, which already has been placed on that November ballot.

3. With the novel coronavirus necessarily occupying everyone’s attention, it will be virtually impossible to rally the kind of public uproar necessary to force the issue.

Read the complete Daily Herald editorial here.

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We have several concerns with the referendum that the Barrington School Board chose to place on the March 17 ballot, but for the sake of time, we’ll forego listing them all and get down to our primary objection, which happens to be our most timely one.

A few short months ago, District 220 issued the following press release:

“Barrington 220 is proud to announce it has been named one of the 2019 Top Workplaces in the Chicago area by the Chicago Tribune. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner, Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection. Click here to see the full list.”

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of Schools, wrote the following of 220’s top workplace distinction:

“I am very proud of our staff for making Barrington 220 a great place to work. Their dedication and passion are reflected each day in the outstanding education we provide to our students.”

In fact, District 220 is the only school district listed on the Chicago Tribune’s list of Top 150 Workplaces in the Chicago area. We think that’s admirable, but the reality sets in all too quickly for parents, students, teachers, staff and, above all, taxpayers when considering another list.

In the most recent ranking of best high schools in Illinois by U.S. News and World Report, Barrington High School ranked 35th.

Those high schools ahead of Barrington in the Chicago area were: Adlai E Stevenson HS (6), Libertyville HS (10), Hinsdale Central HS (12), John Hersey HS (13), Deerfield HS (14), New Trier Township HS Winnetka 15), Glenbrook North HS (16), Lincoln Park HS (17), Prospect HS (18), Neuqua Valley HS (19), Buffalo Grove HS (20), Glenbard West HS (21), William Fremd HS (22), Vernon Hills HS (23), Glenbrook South HS (24), Lake Forest HS (25), Highland Park HS (26), Evanston Township HS (27), Westinghouse HS (28), Metea Valley HS (29), York Community HS (30), Naperville Central HS (31), Naperville North HS (32) and St. Charles North HS (34).

When considering the two lists we’ve shared, we must ask why District 220’s board and, more specifically, Dr. Brian Harris, can be so pleased with Barrington’s lackluster rank among other high schools.

There was a time when New Trier and Barrington High Schools were the gold standards to be considered when families were relocating to the Chicago area. As one can see, New Trier is still well respected, and we challenge our Board of Education to commit to trying to improve the Barrington High School that we once enjoyed and was so widely envied.

Passing the proposed referendum will not accomplish this. Perhaps when the Board begins such initiatives, we’ll look forward to endorsing them.

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From District 220

“Based on the rapidly evolving situation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and recommendations from public health officials to limit public gatherings, Barrington 220 is closing all school buildings to students the week of March 16. In addition, all activities and events at the buildings are canceled through spring break.

However, students will be “in school” virtually and we will implement our Distance Learning Plan (click here to see FAQs) on Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19. This means students will be learning from home next week and these days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year. As you are aware, Friday, March 20 was a previously scheduled day off for students.

Spring Break will run as scheduled March 20-March 29. As a precautionary measure, next week Barrington 220 will request in a separate communication that families and staff voluntarily complete an online form, if you have plans for international travel over spring break, or during the month of April. Students and staff will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time they leave an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

We will make sure students bring home all their devices, chargers and any materials they would need to complete assignments TODAY. All K-12 students, including kindergarten students, will use their devices for Distance Learning next week. In the event a student forgets learning materials/devices at school, please contact the school next week.

As required by Board Policy 4:180 Pandemic Preparedness, Barrington 220 has created this Pandemic Preparedness Plan. This document is subject to change, as the situation develops. In addition, I encourage you to visit our Coronavirus web page for the latest information: www.barrington220.org/coronavirus

Thank you in advance for your support as we implement what is best for our students and staff during this unprecedented time. We understand this may cause challenges for some families, however we believe this is in the best interest for our school community at this time. We will consult with our local health officials over spring break to evaluate when it is safe for our students and staff to return to our facilities. If necessary, Barrington 220 is prepared to continue the Distance Learning Plan after spring break. We will continue sending out regular updates as needed.”

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