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RCBH

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their September, 2021 newsletter. One of the sections provides an “update” on the August meeting of the Village Equestrian Commission regarding, Equestrian Trail Licenses:

“The Equestrian Commission met on the 19th of August to discuss the continued need for the Equestrian Trail Licenses issued by the Village for the purpose of riding on the Village deeded easement trails. 

By Ordinance in June in 2005, certain trails traversing private land in the Village exist as easements recorded in favor of the Village. The easements are generally in and around the newer subdivisions in the Village where the Village and the Equestrian Commission worked successfully with developers subdividing tracts of land to protect the continuity of the trail network and to maintain the unique character of the Village. Easement trails are maintained by the RCBH.  As set forth in Title 6 and Section 8-5 of the Village Code, equestrian use of easement trails is allowed solely by licenses issued by the Village of Barrington Hills. 

There is an ongoing discussion with a need for further information. As soon as the Equestrian Commission has that information a date will be determined for the next meeting.”

In other words, they’d rather not reveal anything that was discussed. No surprise.

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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bhpd-logo-2-2021The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in-person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Outdoor arena bid status
  • Review of IGA/Horizon Farms status, and
  • Review final draft of Fox River Valley Hunt’s Cooperative Agreement with the Park District

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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Labor Day

A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country.

The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation. Alaska and North Dakota took the top two spots as the hardest working states. New Mexico came in at No. 50.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said workers in downstate Illinois likely helped the state’s ranking.

“That is where we see a leveling of the work week,” Gonzalez said. “In Chicago, we typically are seeing a shorter work week, and places where they are heavily relying on agriculture, we see a longer work week.”

Americans put in an average of 1,767 hours per year as of 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. That is 435 hours per year more than Germans work, but 357 fewer than Mexicans do.

Alaska has the longest hours worked per week at 42, which is 14% longer than in Utah, the state with the shortest week at 37 hours.

The category that pushed Illinois down in the rankings was the lowest annual volunteer hours per resident, in which Illinois ranked 47th in the country.

Read on here.

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Village Hall

The Village Equestrian Commission meets this evening at 6:30 PM.   Topics on their agenda include:

  • Equestrian Trail License
  • 9th Annual The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival

The chair has submitted her summary of the “Equestrian Trail License” topic beginning on page three of the agenda which can be found here.

We have our own perspective(s) on the license matter, but for now, we’ll sit back and observe.

Related:Riding Club August newsletter released

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JB Masks Christian Schools

Timothy Christian Schools planned to make masks optional, despite a statewide mandate Aug. 4 that both private and public schools had to enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s rule to mask students.

Superintendent Matt Davidson posted a video Aug. 11 explaining Timothy Christian in Elmhurst, Illinois, would exercise their own set of COVID-19 precautions. Those did not include enforcing Pritzker’s mask mandate.

“Our goal is to stick with the Timothy Health Plan, and thus, remain mask optional,” Davidson said in the video. “We’re not ramping up for some big fight. Speaking personally, I’m not comfortable with that approach and I wouldn’t support it. The issue of masks in schools is still, categorically, a recommendation, and not a requirement, from the CDC.”

The state quickly responded, with state Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala issuing a letter to school superintendents, threating the “force of law” regarding the Illinois school mask mandate. Ayala warned both public and private schools, “noncompliance is not an option.”

Defiant schools or school districts would become “unrecognized.” That’s what she did to Timothy Christian Schools.

Becoming “unrecognized” by the Illinois State Board of Education means the school’s low-income students cannot receive scholarships from the Invest in Kids program, that student athletes cannot compete in Illinois High School Association sports and that seniors will be at a disadvantage when applying to colleges. Colleges will likely penalize students for not having an accredited degree, college admissions expert Perry Kalmus said on Fox 32 Chicago.

The pressure ended Timothy Christian’s effort to let parents decide about masking their children.

Read more here.

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JB Flip Flop

Gov. J.B. Pritzker promised to respect local school boards and private school autonomy, until too few were doing what he wanted. So he reversed himself, mandating masks for both private and public Illinois schools.

Nearly 17,000 Illinoisans told the General Assembly in May they opposed a proposal that would have given the state more authority over private schools, and lawmakers listened.

Then Gov. J.B Pritzker essentially backed those parents when he said masks and other COVID-19 protocol should be a local decision, left to local school leaders being advised by local health departments.

“Families should be involved in making decisions for their own families. And, school districts and school boards will make decisions for the schools within their districts,” Pritzker said July 17.

But that was before so many school districts were exercising their freedom to choose and making what Pritzker considered to be the wrong decision.

“Far too few school districts have chosen to follow the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prescription for keeping students and staff safe,” Pritzker said during a press conference Aug. 4. “Given the CDC’s strong recommendation, I had hoped that a state mask requirement in schools wouldn’t be necessary, but it is.”

So when Illinois students return to school in a few weeks, they will be wearing masks, by order of the governor. His statewide mask mandate covers all students, staff and visitors in both private and public schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Read more from Illinois Policy here.

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BHS

The 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 6:30 PM at Barrington High School located at 616 W Main St.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Please note the agenda states the following:

“Public Comment can be made in one of two ways:

  • By 12:00 pm (noon) on July 21st leave a voicemail message at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the January 21st board meeting.
  • By making a public comment in person at the meeting.

This meeting will also be transmitted virtually at bit.ly/220schoolboardlive. Please click on the July 21st meeting, which will appear on the site when the meeting actually begins.”

As “public comment averse” as some on the board are, it should not be assumed comments communicated by email or print will be accepted by this board.

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The District 220 Board met last week, and we are here to report that the wheels are coming off the Ficke-Bradford, Collister-Lazzari, Altshuler and Chan Ding, Covid “Fear Mongering Foursome” cart.

If you didn’t attend or watch the meeting(video can be viewed here), it was primarily centered on discussions on Covid Protocols for the upcoming school year. Discussions that D220 parents have anxiously been awaiting so they can decide whether they will leave their kids in the tax funded District or pull them in favor of private, charter or home schooling.

Following are our takeaways from the meeting. We are focusing on the discussions surrounding the masking of your K-5 students, as a majority of the Board gave direction to the Superintendent to come up with a Mask Optional approach for the 6-12 students.

Most disturbing was Chan Dings’ reasoning behind denying parents of grade school students the right to choose whether their children should wear a mask, citing her own fears for her unvaccinated grade school child and wanting her to have an approved vaccine prior to sending her to school without a mask:

“Those parents with kids like me, who are 11 and under, I have one who is in the process of getting vaccinated, I have one who cannot yet get vaccinated, I would like to eventually vaccinate her, but until she is vaccinated, I’m not comfortable with her not wearing a mask while she’s indoors…”

Wang clarified Chan Ding’s comments, stating your daughter can still wear a mask. Chan Ding responded:

“She can still wear a mask but she’s extra vulnerable if unvaccinated kids are around her…”

Putting aside the fact that Chan Ding promised throughout her campaign that she would be an independent voice (…and we all know how long that lasted the minute she showed obvious collusion with Ficke-Bradford, Altshuler, and Collister-Lazzari within seconds of being sworn into office to destroy the decades old tradition and sided with the 3 of them to vote Wilcox out of any officer position on the board despite her 6 years of dedicated and impeccable service to Collister-Lazzari & Altshuler’s 2 years), last we checked, one is sworn to put aside personal motivations when acting on behalf of a community while serving on a school board. Ignoring the voices of in excess of 500 for ones self-serving interests is reason alone to call for a recall of Chan Ding.

We will have to keep a very close eye on Chan Ding moving forward as it appears she is in deep doo-doo with her campaign supporters. Some communications between Chan Ding and a person named Kyla were shared by Kyla on social media and it is apparent that Chan Ding is in major back pedal mode as a result of her position at the last meeting, assuring Kyla that:

“It has been a huge help to receive emails from people with your perspective, as we were getting crushed by emails from anti-maskers… we still need to know there’s a segment of the community that’s behind us doing responsible things… The anti-maskers are incredibly well-organized… This Wednesday, there will be the opportunity to call in a voicemail or show up in person to show the Board and the media who cover the meeting that the other side is just as passionate (and I hope, more respectful).”

It’s obvious now that Chan Ding is not the independent voice she promised to be. She believes there are sides, and she has taken one. She believes that those who asked her for mask choice are “anti-maskers”. She believes that those who came before her last week to advocate on behalf of their children are disrespectful. And she has also advised Kyla that “volume matters” and to encourage people to email and show up to address the Board on a mask mandate.

Graphic 1

Graphic 2

Perhaps most disturbing was the very palpable orchestration by Ficke-Bradford to manipulate the votes of Altshuler, Chan Ding, and Collister-Lazzari, when they failed to be able to closely adhere to what was obviously discussed by the four of them prior to meeting.

The pre-meeting discussions were as much admitted to by Chan Ding and reinforced by her jumping in at the very beginning of the discussion to seek a “compromise”. For those not familiar with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), discussions by board members are to be held in front of the public that they represent. Any discussion outside of the public by more than 3 members is a violation of the OMA. While there are ways around this, we doubt that these members are savvy enough to adhere to them.

So, how else could Chan Ding be seeking a compromise at the beginning of the meeting unless she’d already determined that there were members who weren’t in agreement with her? It seems the “Fear Mongering Foursome” was thrown off when the Board was provided four different options to pursue:

  1. Universal Masking
  2. Non-Vaccinated Masking
  3. Phased Masking, and
  4. Mask Optional

Ficke-Bradford reinforced the coercion of the Fear Mongering Foursome, re-directing the opinions of Altshuler and Collister-Lazzari who clearly desired Non-Vaccinated Masking, repeatedly saying each time after they voiced their opinion: “…it sounds to me like you are leaning towards phased masking…” which Chan Ding was in favor of for K-5 students.

“I’m for non-vaccinated masking for 6 to 12 and for masking for elementary, and then for phased masking for all of them…” Collister-Lazzari repeatedly stated, with Ficke-Bradford re-directing, because they had already lost the 6 to 12 discussions when Chan Ding agreed to Mask Optional for those grades with Karam, Wang and Wilcox. While the crowd did become boisterous on occasion, Collister-Lazzari showed herself to be completely incapable of living in reality:

“I don’t think it’s fair to blame the school board for closing school last year… for having kids be at home… I think there was a pandemic and school was closed all over the world…”

So, the inability to open D220 schools is our fault due to Covid and not the school board that she was a member of and that voted to keep schools closed? Yet the new Superintendent came from a school district that remained open during the spring semester, so it can’t be Covid, can it?

According to Collister-Lazzari, we should be rejoicing those kids are going back to school. But she fails to mention that the decision to do so came amidst a mandate from the Illinois State Board of Education that schools return to in-person learning this fall. I think we all know where Collister-Lazzari’s vote would have been on the issue absent the mandate.

Altshuler “shared his heart…” admitting there were hundreds of emails and he was not capable of responding to all of them, in favor of Mask Optional. We know that any insinuation that there was a vocal pro-mask population out there before the meeting was false when Karam responded to Collister-Lazzari’s claim that people in favor of masking may have stayed home to attend the meeting online (as Collister-Lazzari commanded all critics of her and her band of maskers should) sharing that the BOE members had received only seven (7) communications advocating for masks compared to the countless ones requesting the BOE to make masks optional.

Altshuler, further sharing his heart, stated

“… if we say no masking, or mask optional, then I feel like we are prejudiced against the people who want to mask…”

What?! Offering a choice is a sign of prejudice? When questioned by the crowd that it was clearly not prejudicial since people would have the option, pointing out that Altshuler himself was wearing a mask at his own discretion, he responded:

“I have a mask on because I’m not feeling well and I don’t want to get everyone else sick. I’m trying to be a good citizen…”

Yet we know this ‘good citizen’ was not wearing a mask before the public meeting, having seen him walking around inside the building prior to the meeting without one. Rumor has it he didn’t have one on in closed session either.

Perhaps Altshuler was suddenly overcome with sickness when he saw that hundreds of parents and children of D220 had shown up to speak their voice on allowing mask choice to the students of D220? Whatever the cause, we know from Alshuler’s public comments during meetings and on his social media pages that he admonished people to “Stay home if unwell” and “Stay home when we are not feeling well,” so the ‘good citizen’ doc should have followed his own advice and removed himself from the meeting as soon as he was not feeling well. (See Facebook posts of Barry Altshuler – 220 School Board on January 9 and March 5, 2021).

After all, what was the point of his presence when there was no formal vote on the agenda and everyone on the Board seemed to already know that he is in favor of keeping the District, possibly the world, in masks? At one point in discussing a future meeting on the subject, the new Superintendent leaned over to Altshuler and said to him:

“Well let’s be honest, your vote is not going to change… your vote is not going to change to vote unmasked…” and our resident pediatrician responded, “I cannot get to unmasking…”

So, finally some honesty from the ‘good citizen’.

It appears that Ficke-Bradford has lost more than just control of the room (has anyone ever banged a gavel more), she has also lost control of the Fear Mongering Foursome, despite her constant attempts to re-phrase their opinions and to direct their ‘votes’ … “it sounds to me like you are leaning towards…”

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Masks JBP

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced June 10 that Illinois will move to a full reopening on June 11, but mask mandates and social distancing will remain a mainstay in Illinois schools.

Pritzker said it is critical that schools and day cares use and layer prevention strategies. The two most important ones are universal and correct use of masks, and physical distancing, which he said should be maximized to the greatest extent possible.

Pritzker has enforced COVID-19 mandates by issuing 18 disaster proclamations, a practice that is now under fire from some state lawmakers.

“We are operating and moving down a dangerous path if we allow governors either today or in the future to declare emergency declarations as long as they want without input from the General Assembly,” state Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-St. Charles, said.

Ugaste has House Bill 843 that would amend the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act to require the governor to get legislative approval of consecutive disaster proclamations.

State lawmakers are also examining other COVID-19 fallout, including failings by the Illinois Department of Employment Security and their offices remaining closed, millions spent on hospital leases that were rarely or never used, and the severe backlog of Firearm Owners’ Identifications that doubled in the past 18 months.

Read more here.

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SAPS

After nearly 17,000 Illinois parents opposed a bill to impose state health mandates on private schools, and state lawmakers let the effort sit, it seemed the fight was over. Not quite. A teachers union lead lobbyist pledged to keep pursuing it. (Photo courtesy St. Anne Parish School)

Nearly 17,000 Illinoisans made it clear they did not want over-reaching state health rules governing their private and public schools, and state lawmakers appeared to listen as they left the union-backed House Bill 2789 on hold as they adjourned.

Now a top teacher union lobbyist is promising the bill created by the Illinois Education Association will return as a priority.

“Unfortunately, due to a very, very well coordinated misinformation campaign, House Bill 2789 did in fact stall,” Sean Denny, IEA director of government relations, said in a video. “However, I want to assure everyone that we are going to continue pushing that issue. We’re going to continue pushing it during veto session in November and December.”

The bill would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to set rules for in-person instruction at public as well as at private schools. State rules would govern masks, cleaning, occupancy, social distancing and handling of positive cases. It would give the state the power to shut down private as well as public schools, taking away the local health department control used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private schools were able to safely keep students in classrooms during the pandemic while many teachers unions fought to keep public schools closed. Opponents saw HB 2789 as a power play by public unions and as punishment for schools that had served parents and students well through a global pandemic. Plus, the proposed rules defied direct guidance from federal health officials who said young students rarely transmitted the virus when proper protocols were in place.

“The end result of this language is that private schools could have any of their facilities shut down by state authorities,” said state Sen. Donald DeWitte, R-West Dundee. “My private schools had a stellar record, many even stayed open. I’d hate to compare that record with the public schools – many of whom told me they had no guidance at all.”

Read more from Illinois Policy here.

Related:St. Anne Parish School in Barrington welcomes students back to their classrooms,” “Temperature scans, symptom checks welcome Saint Viator students back to school

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