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220

A controversial book’s inclusion on a middle school summer reading list has fueled outrage among some parents in Barrington Community Unit School District 220.

The graphic novel “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe has sparked similar debates at schools across the country, including Downers Grove High School District 99 and Antioch Community High School District 117. Earlier this year, the American Library Association named “Gender Queer” the most challenged book of 2021.

The book has been in the library collection at Barrington High School but is now undergoing a school-level review. That could result in a district-level review by a committee consisting of a parent, an administrator, a teacher and a school library information specialist, officials said Thursday.

Any district-level review and recommendation by the committee to the school board could lead to the book’s being left on the shelf, reclassified, restricted or removed from the collection.

In a letter to the school district community Thursday, Superintendent Robert Hunt said the controversy stems from an email to middle school parents encouraging students to read over the summer. The email included links to two book award lists created by the American Association of Illinois School Library Educators: the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2023 and the 2023 Illinois Lincoln Award List.

“Gender Queer,” a memoir about struggling with self-identity and coming out as asexual and nonbinary to family and friends, appears on the Lincoln list.

Hunt’s letter follows a contentious school board meeting Tuesday night at which many parents railed against the book’s inclusion on the summer reading list and in the high school library. One held up a sign with the crossed-out word “PORN” over the phrase “in our schools.”

“This is exactly (how) I would expect a pedophile to behave when approaching a child to normalize sexual behavior, to abuse them,” Nelda Munoz, who has children in fourth and sixth grades, said after reading a passage from the novel. “Stop sexualizing our kids. Stop abusing them.”

Read more here.

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220

Most of the public comments voiced during Tuesday evening’s District 220 Board of Education meeting centered around inappropriate content contained in district libraries, and in Summer reading recommendations by staff.  Here is one example:

“Good evening, I’m (name), and I have a fourteen and a sixteen year old here in the District, and I recently became aware of books available in my school to my kids, which you have discussed.

They’re titled, ‘This Book Is Gay,’ and ‘Gender Queer.’ My opposition to these books has nothing to do with their LGBTQ content, but of their pornographic nature.  They discuss in detail how two men can pleasure each other, how to give a proper hand job, and a comic book cartoon demonstrating masturbation and oral sex between men.

These books have mature content that is considered R-rated and I consider X-rated, and I would be just as upset if these books with these pornographic images had heterosexual content as well. Perhaps that’s in the school library, I don’t know.

So, children’s brains gave not developed enough psychologically or emotionally to fully interpret this mature or only for adult content. Research has shown that exposure to pornography can impair a child’s developing brain, social interactions, emotional skills as well as impulse control issues up until their mid-twenties.

Our school libraries are not public libraries. Schools are supposed to be safe environments for our kids (exasperated sigh).

This pornographic content has no place in our schools. Our younger than seventeen age kids can’t go see an R-rated movie on their own, nor should they be allowed to check out these books without parental consent.

Why are these books even in our school libraries, because they’re award winning? Well, they’re not age appropriate, and that’s what we need in our schools. And who’s responsible for putting these books into our schools so our kids have access to them?

Speaking at the High School level I would like to see a system in place where parental consent is required to check out books that would be considered R-rated. And this needs to be a simple process for our kids.

We moved to Barrington in 2008 because of its conservative family values and D-220’s reputation of academic excellence. (Recording briefly cuts out) No parent would willingly send their children to school knowing it was not a safe place for them physically, socially or emotionally. Yet, my kids have access to pornography in school.

The sexualization of our children needs to stop. We need to preserve their childhood innocence. Please, (more static).  I’m losing trust in you.”

This person’s comments can be heard here.  All public comments begin here.

The entire meeting can be heard here.

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Fireworks Ban

Illinoisans celebrate Independence Day by taking their fireworks business to other states, despite bans and threats at home, causing the state to lose out on jobs and revenue.

Red, white and blue flags, the smell of grilled burgers and hot dogs, and most of all, the familiar boom and sparkle in the sky are sure signs of Independence Day, but in Illinois freedom is quieter thanks to one of the nation’s most-restrictive laws for fireworks.

Fireworks are a long-standing Independence Day tradition dating back to the Founding Fathers. As John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” Across the United States, Adams’ vision remains alive and well: Americans in 47 states spent $2.2 billion dollars on consumer fireworks in 2021.

However, despite the Founding Father’s wish, Illinoisans do not get to partake in the patriotic practice. It is one of three states that ban all or most consumer fireworks.

In 1942 Illinois passed the Illinois’ Pyrotechnic Use Act, making it illegal to purchase and use fireworks other than novelty items such as sparklers, small noise makers and smoke bombs. Under this act the possession, transportation and use of any consumer fireworks such as firecrackers, Roman candles or bottle rockets is deemed a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by fines up to $2,500 or a year in prison.

Despite the legal consequences, Illinois license plates flood the parking lots of fireworks retailers just across the state lines on and around Independence Day each year. The fireworks ban prompts Illinoisans to take their business to neighboring states, costing Illinois both tax revenue and jobs.

Pennsylvania, which has roughly the same population as Illinois, brings in $10 million in tax revenue annually from fireworks sales. Illinois state Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, who wants to repeal the fireworks ban, argues Illinois is missing out on that $10 million in sales tax revenue each year for no good reason.

Read more here.

Related:Fireworks ban a boon for neighboring states, restricts Illinoisans

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Car Show

Submitted by Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce

Back by popular demand, the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host its second Classic Collectors Car Show from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, in downtown Barrington in the BMO Harris lot at Cook and E. Lake streets.

“The success of our inaugural Classic Collectors Car Show last summer confirmed the decision to once again host this free, family-friendly event in support of small business and Main Street Retailers,” said Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Suzanne Corr.

“We have a high concentration of Classic Car Collectors in our area and in Northwest Illinois and want to celebrate these cars by displaying them to the community.”

The event will feature a lot full of display cars, outdoor music, food and refreshments for purchase from local vendors, as well as awards for cars in the following categories: “People’s Choice,” “Best European,” “Best American,” “Mint Condition,” “Retro Relic,” and “Most Unique.”

“Collecting classic cars is more than a hobby, it is about preserving a story and a piece of history,” Corr said. “Owning classic cars can be irresistible and emotionally compelling for the stories they represent. They capture the art and history of engineering and design.”

To nominate a car for display for the June 25 Car Show, email Communications@BarringtonChamber.com and include the car owner’s name, street address and telephone number (cell); as well as vehicle information, year, make and model.

Cars must be approved and accepted in advance. No day-of registration will be allowed. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For information about the chamber, email Suzanne@BarringtonChamber.com. For details about the Classic Collectors Car Show, visit www.BarringtonChamber.com.

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220 Board 2021

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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BCFPD Photo

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) Board of Trustees usually meets on the third Monday of the month. However, no agenda is posted on the District’s website, nor is a notice of cancellation of the meeting.

If the meeting goes forward this evening, the Board should note:

“Public bodies that have a website must post the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body (i.e. County Board, Board of Trustees, Board of Commissioners, School Board, etc) at least 48 hours prior to said meeting. Any agenda of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body’s website shall remain posted until the regular meeting is concluded.”

For the recorded, this is not the first time we’ve noticed the BCFPD has neglected to post required notifications.  If an agenda appears later today, we’ll notify readers.

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JBNH

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker addressees the New Hampshire Democratic Convention on Saturday, June 18, 2022

MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire Democrats zeroed in on abortion rights during their annual convention here Saturday, bringing in Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to prop up the campaigns of Sen. Maggie Hassan and governor candidate Tom Sherman, who will likely ease through September’s primary but face tough races heading into November’s general election.

“The Republican Party is so afraid of the power and influence women have achieved in our society that they are seeking to shame and criminalize your very autonomy,” said Pritzker, who leads a state that has a law that codifies Roe v. Wade.

It’s a subject that generated the most applause throughout the day, including during a speech by Marty Walsh, Secretary of Labor and the former mayor of Boston (Massachusetts also has codified Roe). For the record, Walsh told the crowd, he’s not running for president.

Pritzker’s name, on the other hand, has popped up repeatedly as a potential future presidential candidate, most recently when it was announced he’d be speaking Saturday in New Hampshire. But the Democratic governor’s political team says Pritzker is only focused on his reelection and on helping elect Democrats across the country who support abortion rights.

Pritzker, a self-described “Ukrainian-American, Jewish, Democratic, billionaire, businessman,” was scheduled to travel to Maine after leaving New Hampshire to campaign for Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

By the end of his speech, Pritzker had won over a cadre of Belknap County delegates who enthusiastically told a POLITICO reporter that they’d like to see him run for higher office.

“I think he should be our next president,” Johnna Davis, co-chair of the Belknap County Democrats, said as a couple other delegates seated in her row nodded along. “He’s got great energy. He’s perfect.”

Oy. Read more of the story here.

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Property Taxation

A proposed change to the Illinois Constitution would effectively transfer power over taxpayer money to government worker unions. The trend of property tax hikes would likely grow even worse during the next four years.

It’s election season in Illinois, and politicians are running on the promise of property tax relief as usual, including every major candidate for governor.

Illinois’ property taxes are already the second-highest in the nation and a major reason taxpayers are fleeing to lower-tax states. That problem could be made worse on Nov. 8 when voters will be asked to decide the fate of Amendment 1, a tax hike disguised as a “workers rights amendment.”

The change would prevent commonsense reforms to reduce homeowners’ tax burdens while giving government union leaders virtually limitless new ways to demand higher costs from taxpayers. If it passes, Illinois’ trend of large annual property tax increases will likely grow faster than ever. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has failed to deliver on property tax relief during his term – the average family paid $1,913 more during his administration.

Amendment 1 would guarantee that family pays at least $2,149 in higher property tax bills over the next four years, no matter which politicians win this November or how well they try to follow through on their promises.

This is a conservative estimate, assuming the rapid growth of Illinois’ property tax burden holds steady. It’s likely property taxes would grow at an even faster rate, because Amendment 1 would give Illinois government unions unprecedented bargaining powers that don’t exist in any other state. Exactly how much faster is an open question.

Read on here.

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AirConSPOTLIGHT

“Please note: the air conditioning is currently out of service at the Library. Technicians are on site and working on a solution.

The Library will remain closed today until the system is working again. Please check our website or social media channels for details on our opening time. Thank you for your understanding.”

Editorial note:  The Barrington Area Library spends an enormous amount of taxpayer dollars on over-maintaining the library facility and grounds.  This is inexcusable.

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