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Archive for the ‘BACT’ Category

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When Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin volunteered to participate in a dunk tank during the recent “The Hills are Alive Fall Festival,” he did so with a village police officer in mind.

Shortly after he situated himself in the dunk tank on Sept. 30., youngster Susie Bongiorno hit the target and dunked McLaughlin into the water below.

Proceeds this year from the dunk tank, as well as food and beverage sales during the village’s annual fall community festival, went to an ongoing effort to raise funds for Jeremy Hensler, a police officer in Barrington Hills who recently was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“(Bongiorno) threw a strike. I coached her on our softball team,” McLaughlin said of the dunk tank experience, adding how an estimated crowd of 600 attended the festival. “We think that’s pretty good attendance for a village with 1,100 homes.”

But the featured element of Barrington Hills’ sixth annual fall festival was supporting Hensler, who also is a member of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System — a group of suburban police departments in the Chicago area, officials said.

“He was one of our highest-trained, well-qualified officers,” McLaughlin said of Hensler.

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McLaughlin said the Dunk Tank ended up generating about $500 in proceeds. Organizers also collected donations through vendors’ food and beverage sales at the event, he said. Timmerman’s Equestrian Drill Team, of Island Lake, also performed for the festivalgoers.

Other activities included a climbing rock wall, an interactive animal show and a make-your-own ice cream area, organizers said.

The entire Barrington Courier-Review article can be seen here.

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Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 7.28.02 PM Barrington Hills’ Sanfilippo estate is a popular venue for elegant, charitable fundraising parties, but Tuesday it was all about scientific research in the property’s spring-fed creek by Shedd Aquarium experts and a local nonprofit conservation group.

In collaboration with the Sanfilippo family, the Barrington Area Conservation Trust organized the monitoring of Spring Creek to sample fish populations to determine abundance, density and species composition. Conservation trust Executive Director Lisa Woolford said the organization is helping the family legally protect a “big stretch” of its land from development in perpetuity.

“So, part of what we do is we identify as many plant, insect and animal species as we can as part of the project,” Woolford said during a break from slogging through Spring Creek in waders. “And we put it into a nice, big, hefty report so we know exactly what it is we’re preserving.”

To read the full text of the Daily Herald feature, click here.

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 “NO TRESPASSING” signs have been posted at the entrances to the largest new forest preserve in Cook County.

“Forest Preserve of Cook County does not have possession & has no right to enter this property or permit others to do so,” the warning reads on a locked gate at Horizon Farm, a rolling, 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills.

The notice was posted by Rich and Meryl Squires Cannon, who assert they are the true owners of the land after they won an Illinois Appellate Court decision in a long-standing legal battle over the prized property.

The court ruled that there is a legitimate question as to whether the Cannons were fraudulently pressured into the mortgage that led to foreclosure of their property. As a result, a lower court must reconsider whether the Forest Preserve District can foreclose on the property.

The shutdown is the latest development in a yearslong feud between the couple and the district. It could be years more before the dispute and the fate of the land is resolved.

To read the full article in the Chicago Tribune, click here.

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Audio recordings from the July 17th Meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals have been posted to the Village website, but the link is incorrect. To access the full meeting recording at Soundcloud, click here.

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Looking to do their own part to address a nationwide issue, Barrington Hillsofficials are considering an environmental project that would help restore habitats for monarch butterflies, which recently have been declining in numbers.

Village officials are exploring whether to create a five-acre way station on the east side of Route 25 in Kane County that would feature milkweed plants and different nectar sources – two areas that monarch butterflies rely on to live and thrive, according to Barrington Hills Village Administrator Robert Kosin and officials with the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.

The project would require Barrington Hills to designate public land as a way station for monarch butterflies, as well as conserve habitats already suited for monarch butterflies and other plant pollinators, Kosin said.

Village officials recently started planning for the project after turning a smaller garden at Barrington Hills Village Hall into a way station for the migrating butterflies, he said.

To read the entire Chicago Tribune story, click here.

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Recently the Observer published links to some of the websites for candidates in the upcoming April 4th village election. In reviewing those sites, we noticed some glaring omissions and dare we say it – “lack of transparency” about their community involvement and their positions on some of the most important village issues.

Let’s begin with a look at Elaine Ramesh, who is seeking “re-election” as Village Trustee, although she has not been on the Board since 2013. Her choice of words already comes across as a bit deceptive.560_brookdaleopen2

  • EXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP/EXCELLENT RESULTS?  Ramesh’s Facebook page displays her credentials and governmental involvement, obviously focusing on her time as trustee four years ago. Despite the list of “excellent results” and “eye on the bottom line” that she includes, readers will recall that she routinely disregarded input from residents and tended to view issues only from her personal point of view. She rarely spoke up in discussions during Board of Trustees meetings, and members of the Board and audience were routinely surprised by many of her votes, given that she seldom gave any rationale for her decisions. Ramesh’s lack of explanations did a disservice to both her constituents who deserve accountability from their public servants, and to her fellow board members, whose opinions on various topics might have been swayed if she had offered her personal insights publically. It is because of this reticence that some have labeled her “the Silent One”.
  • “I’M NOT RUNNING ON ANY PLATFORM”  “Basically, I’m not running on any platform, but just offering myself as a volunteer to serve my community,” Ramesh said of her current campaign. (Barrington Courier Review March 8, 2017)  As we have previously stated in our article Ramesh repeat? We hope not, Elaine seems to have intentionally omitted mention of her extensive involvement in the equestrian community, instead focusing on her membership and support of conservation groups. It’s hard to understand why someone who clearly loves horses and the equestrian way of life would omit ANY mention of horses in her campaign. On her campaign site, she shows off her adorable cat and dog, and is pictured jogging in the village or volunteering with the Girl Scouts. But there are no horses, ANYWHERE? Strange. We would call that a lack of transparency.elaine  But Elaine is not just a competitor in hunter/jumper events with her own horses, and isn’t just a member of numerous equestrian organizations (Riding Club of Barrington Hills, American Horse Council, Equine Land Conservation Resource and the United States Equestrian Federation). To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with owning horses and enjoying them – it is a wonderful part of the fabric of our Village. But Elaine Ramesh has held, and currently holds, significant leadership roles in several high profile equestrian groups with very narrow agendas which she is not being forthcoming about. Here’s just a partial list:
    • President of the Riding Club of Barrington Hills, 2015
    • Founder & Chair of the Equestrian Coalition of McHenry County, a regional organization to unite various local equestrian groups to pursue common goals regarding equestrian land use.
    • Past Board Member Illinois Equine Research and Promotion Board, whose mission statement is is to enhance the Illinois equine industry through self-funded programs, projects and activities. http://www.iepb.org/index.html
    • Second Vice President of the Horseman’s Council of Illinois http://www.horsemenscouncil.org/leadership  HorsesFirst_HCIHere’s a graphic from the Spring 2016 issue of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois Courier newsletter that should give you an idea of their mission statement.
  • COMMUNITY ACTIVISM  We’d also like to remind readers of Elaine’s talk presented to the McHenry County Horse Club in March 2012, entitled “Community Activism — Equestrian Style.”
  • “DEFENDED ESTATE CATEGORY OF ZONING IN McHENRY COUNTY ” We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge Ramesh’s participation in advocating for the inclusion of the Estate Category of Zoning in the McHenry County Unified Development Ordinance and for opposing “conservation design” as the county’s only model for future subdivision development. Those are important elements to help preserve the natural ecology of the county and to help safeguard against dense small-lot housing as being the norm for the county.  But Elaine herself is remiss when she does not also mention her strong defense of the equestrian heritage of McHenry County and her desire for promotion of the equine industry in the county in the same document.

 The Village’s 2010 press release on the topic included Ramesh’s entire submission to McHenry  County, which can be seen here.  We would like readers to pay particular attention to how she signed her remarks.

RameshEquestrienne

…Equestrienne…

Readers will have to judge for themselves if Ramesh is, in her own words “not running on any platform”, only seeking “to help protect our healthy outdoor lifestyle, pastoral viewscapes and heritage”.  Or is she an equestrian activist with a hidden agenda that she doesn’t want voters to know about? We think the facts speak for themselves.

(In case you’re curious to see Elaine’s campaign platform from 2009 when she first ran for trustee, click here to see the PDF.  At that time she said that “she works to help preserve the residents [sic] rights to participate in all equestrian activities”.

 

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BACTThe Barrington Area Conservation Trust will hold its annual Concert for Conservation on Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM at Rolling Oaks Farm in Barrington Hills.  The annual outdoor concert is a major fundraising event to support the Trust’s mission to preserve our community’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations.

This year’s entertainment will be provided by Anne and Mark Burnell with the Brill Building singers, that include Glenn De Michele, Bob Ojeda, and Ernie Adams, and local singer-songwriter Pat McKillen.   Pack a picnic, blanket, lawn chairs and enjoy live music while you support local efforts to preserve the environment.

Tickets are $75 per person and are tax deductible.  Admission is free for children under high school age.

To purchase tickets, or for more information on this event, including group pricing and sponsorship opportunities, click here.

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