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Barrington Hills officials are exploring whether changes are needed in the village’s open burning regulations after hearing from residents on several sides of the issue.

Resident Nina Chandel recently told the village’s public safety committee the ordinance for residential property needs a definition for habitat restoration open burning. She also suggested a modification for approved habitat restoration open burning days to be available based on wind speed and the air quality index.

Chandel said the current burning policy is hindering her ability to restore 4 acres of forest to natural health near her home.

“I now have masses of invasive brush on my residential property that cannot be removed or chipped or mulched,” Chandel said. “And it cannot reasonably be burned within the three-hour, five-foot single location limits that are in the current ordinance. Right now, this massive invasive brush presents health and safety hazards for the forest plants and wildlife and for us.”

Resident Justin Pawlik questioned Barrington Hills’ 10 p.m. cutoff time for a fire during the village board’s public safety committee last Thursday.

Read more here.

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The Village posted the following notice today on their website:

Zoning Board of Appeals of Cook County
Notice of Public Hearing*

A special use petition is the subject of a public hearing to be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 10:00 AM.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the ZBA will be holding virtual meetings until further notice.  Attendance at this meeting is required by remote means only.

PREMISES AFFECTED: 1004 S. Hough Street, Barrington, IL 60010

SUBJECT: Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District has petitioned the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use in the R-3 Single Family Residential District.  The Special Use is required to construct a Fire/EMS Station.

Permanent Index Number: 01-01-308-039 & 01-01-308-040

In compliance with President Preckwinkle’s Executive Orders 2020-11, attendance at this meeting will be by remote means only.  Written public comments on this item will be accepted until 3:00 PM on July 6, 2020, at ZBA.Emails@cookcountyil.gov All comments will be read aloud at the meeting with three minutes allotted for each commenter, though every effort will be made to read statements in their entirety.

Copies of the Agenda for the July 8, 2020 ZBA Public Hearing and items to be considered at this meeting will be made available electronically on the Cook County website on June 29, 2020, at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/agency/zoning-board-appeals-0.

Note: County Administrative Building, 69 W. Washington St, Chicago IL 60602 will be open to the public starting July 6, 2020, under COVID-19 Guidelines consistent with the State’s “Restore Illinois Plan.”

*This is not the official notice.  For the exact information, please refer to Cook County’s ZBA website or call the ZBA directly at 312-603-5040.

Related: Here we go again!”, “New Fire Station to Help Save Lives, Protect Property

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“This afternoon the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year.

This 60-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the 2020-21 school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process.

Right now, we don’t have all the answers to those questions, as this document was released to school districts at the same time it was released to the public. Therefore, we kindly ask for your patience as Barrington 220 reviews this detailed guidance and implements the suggestions into Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening, which is based on the five-phase Restore Illinois plan.

As you may know, last month Barrington 220 formed a committee which has already been discussing options. The committee consists of district administrators, teachers and support staff. In addition, administrators will be meeting with parents in the next couple of weeks to gain their feedback. Those conversations, along with the ISBE guidance, will help Barrington 220 put forth a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff while maintaining a dynamic learning environment.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year. We plan to communicate Barrington 220’s comprehensive Roadmap to Reopening next month.”

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Umpire David Baker watches as players take the field at a youth baseball game at Kimball Hill Elementary School in Rolling Meadows. Youth sports can resume under Phase 4 of Illinois’ reopening plan but with restrictions.

As the state makes a giant leap forward Friday when movie theaters reopen, youth sports resume and other activities curtailed by COVID-19 return with restrictions, health experts warn residents to take it slow.

Illinois is meeting all the health metrics, including declining hospitalizations and a 2% average positivity rate for COVID-19 testing, that will propel it out of the Phase 3 limitations.

But don’t toss your face mask, given that COVID-19 is spread mainly through droplets when people sneeze, said physician Michael Bauer.

“It is not all fine. It is not back to normal,” Bauer said. “Everyone wants it to be, but we are still in the midst of this pandemic.”

The Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital medical director, for one, doesn’t plan to watch a movie anytime soon, for example.

“To me, personally, I would have no desire to sit in an indoor space like that,” Bauer said.

Read more here.

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Unless something dramatic happens between and Friday, everything from restaurants and bars to day camps for the kids will be opening for more widespread business. Examples include:

  • Offices
  • Retail and service counters
  • Theater and the performing arts
  • Zoos
  • Health and fitness centers

To view the complete list of operations and guidelines, click here.

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“In his superintendent report at the June 16 Board meeting, Dr. Harris shared Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening for the 2020-21 school year. The district is preparing educational plans based on Restore Illinoiswhich is a five-phase reopening plan. The district intends to finalize detailed guidelines for each plan next month. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, it is possible the district will be in several of these phases over the course of the 2020-21 school year. The state of Illinois is currently in Phase 3.

  • PHASE 1 (Rapid spread): All Distance Learning, which would include more rigorous guidelines based upon feedback from Spring 2020. Essential staff on site as necessary.
  • PHASE 2 (Flattening): All Distance Learning, which would include more rigorous guidelines based upon feedback from Spring 2020. Essential staff on site as necessary.
  • PHASE 3 (Recovery):
    -10 people or less in a designated space

    -All Distance Learning, which would include more rigorous guidelines based upon feedback from Spring 2020.
    -Essential staff on site as necessary
    -Some groups (such as special education programs) on site
    -Staff members on site as necessary
    -Follow IHSA and IESA guidelines for athletics
  • PHASE 4 (Revitalization):
    -50 people or less in a designated space
    -All students return to school with public health guidelines in place,

OR

-Grades PK-6 return every day and grades 7-12 return on a rotational schedule
-Plan Distance Learning for some students
-Follow IHSA and IESA guidelines for athletics
-All staff members on site

  • PHASE 5 ( Restored): Return to “normal” with new public health guidelines in place

The district expects the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) to release guidelines soon for the reopening of schools in the fall. In addition, Barrington 220 has created a committee made up of school administrators, teachers and support staff, which is meeting over the summer to review reopening plans. School administrators are also meeting with parents over the summer to gain their feedback.” 

Click here to listen to Dr. Harris explain Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening at the Board meeting.

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SPRINGFIELD – Anyone who cast a ballot in the last three years or who registered to vote or changed addresses after the March primary will be sent an application to vote by mail after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill expanding the program Tuesday.

In a news release, Pritzker’s office said the program is aimed at ensuring “safe and active participation in the 2020 general election during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1863 and House Bill 2238, which also expands early voting hours at permanent polling places and makes election day a state holiday.

Local election authorities must mail or email the applications to voters who cast a ballot in the 2018 general election, the 2019 consolidated election or the 2020 general primary election, as well as voters who registered or changed addresses after the March primary. Any eligible voter who submits an application by October 1 will receive their ballot by October 6.

Read more here.

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Anticipating a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrington School District 220 school board members agreed to trim the district’s budget for next fiscal year by $1 million.

The move, approved at the June 2 board meeting, would put a hold on filling vacant positions and cuts about $300,000 from budgets for supplies for the district’s schools. District officials said the cuts were necessary to prepare for a likely decline in property tax revenue as a result of the stay-at-home order and business shutdown due to the pandemic. 

Specifically, the budget cut puts a hold on six flexible teaching positions the district relies on to deal with larger class sizes. SD220 has also put a hold on filling 12 vacant support staff positions, including teacher’s aides and non-teaching positions, said Superintendent Brian Harris.

Read more here.

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This morning there were less than ten cars in the Barrington Metra parking lot at 10 AM. Things have not changed since we published this photo in late May.

Riders slowly are trickling back onto the Chicago area’s public transit systems, and so far at least, they’re pleased with what they’re finding.

Passengers on sparsely populated CTA and Metra trains say they find the interiors mostly clean and the riders mostly masked. It’s usually possible to keep at least 6 feet from other passengers, although buses tend to be more crowded, passengers and agency officials report.

Daily ridership on Metra tumbled about 97% at the start of the pandemic, but it’s starting to slowly come back and is now 95% below normal levels, said Metra spokeswoman Meg Thomas-Reile. Other transit agencies, including CTA and Pace, report a gradual uptick in passenger traffic.

Read more here.

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People listen to a speaker during a protest supporting Black Lives Matter, held at Citizens Park in Barrington Saturday. (Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer)

A large crowd gathered at a Barrington park Saturday afternoon to call for an end to racial injustice and police brutality in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The Black Lives Matter protest, organized by a group of Barrington teenagers, drew hundreds of people to a field at Citizens Park near Northwest Highway and Lake Zurich Road.

For nearly an hour and a half, the audience — many holding signs — heard from speakers, chanted slogans and remained silent for more than eight minutes in memory of Floyd, who died May 25 while he was on the ground in handcuffs with a police officer kneeling on his neck.

During an emotional speech, the Rev. Zina Jacque, pastor of the Community Church of Barrington, said she’s furious because it took a video for the country to believe that “the problem my community has seen forever” is real.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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