Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category


Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District broke ground on a $5 million fire station at 1004 S. Hough St.

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District broke ground in late May for a new Fire Station 39 — the district’s third fire station — at 1004 S. Hough St. in an unincorporated area near the village.

Fire Station 39, at a cost of $5 million, will be the district’s third fire station. Officials said it will allow the district to respond to more than 90% of all emergency calls in six minutes or less.

“Today is a very exciting and important day; one that is seven years in the making,” Fire Chief Jim Kreher said.

The station is slated to be funded by reserves, though there has been some discussion about possibly financing a portion of the project — all without a tax rate increase, officials said. The station also will help reduce insurance premiums for some property owners, particularly in the eastern section of the district, officials said.

The project includes the work of Chicago-based Studio 222 Architects and Pepper Construction (of course) of Lake Zurich.


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two-horsesThe Equestrian Commission meets this evening for the first time in a year at 6:30 PM. The agenda the commission submitted (and NO, we are NOT kidding) is as follows:

  • Public comments
  • [Vote] Minutes – June 1, 2020 (None providedas of this posting)
  • Old Business As presented (None presented as of this posting)
  • Old Business As presented (None presented as of this posting)
  • Adjournment

Click here to view and download the agenda as submitted.

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JB GerrymanderingThis decade’s redistricting process in Illinois has been marked by stumbles and self-serving partisanship.

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the Census Bureau from providing the detailed count of populations needed to accurately apportion districts of equal population, as required by the state and federal constitutions. But the Illinois General Assembly went ahead anyway, drawing predictably partisan maps.

Despite his repeated promises to veto any partisan maps, on June 4 Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed both the gerrymandered legislative and judicial maps lawmakers sent to his desk.

Legislative map

The Illinois Constitution establishes deadlines for the General Assembly to pass a plan for redistricting their own districts. Members must pass a plan by June 30, or the responsibility is delegated to a bipartisan commission made of four Democrats and four Republicans.

If that commission cannot approve a map with five votes by Aug. 10, a tie-breaking ninth member is chosen at random from the names of one Democrat and one Republican by Sept. 5. The expanded commission then has until Oct. 5 to file a redistricting plan approved by five members.

With the complete census numbers delayed until mid-to-late August and the tabulated numbers not available until the end of September, Illinois Democrats are left with a choice: draw the maps in the General Assembly without the complete census data, or let constitutional deadlines pass and send the redistricting responsibility to a bipartisan backup commission, and ultimately to a 50-50 chance of a Republican tiebreaker. The Democrats chose to use incomplete data.

Democrats in the General Assembly revealed their proposed maps after working behind closed doors. According to public hearings held on those maps, in lieu of complete census data Democrats used data from the 2019 American Community Survey. Those estimates are based on surveys of communities over the course of five years.

Read much more here.

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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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BHS 2021

In an effort to social distance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Barrington High School held four graduation ceremonies May 29, 2021 for the more than 700 Class of 2021 graduates. Students are pictured as they tossed their caps at the 10 a.m. commencement held on the school’s athletic field in Barrington. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)

After not being able to have a live graduation ceremony for last year’s graduating class – due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, this year Barrington High School held four in-person commencements on the school’s athletic field for the more than 700 Class of 2021 graduates.

“They were resilient, they were ready for any change – and we changed many times throughout the course of the year,” retiring Superintendent Brian Harris said about this year’s class of graduates. “They’ve just been remarkable and we’re very proud of them and happy to celebrate their graduation.”

School officials said the graduating class included 703 seniors. The ceremonies were held Saturday May 29 at the BHS football stadium.

The outdoor commencements were held at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to help ensure the public health safety for participants and attendees as the pandemic continues, officials said.

Harris told Pioneer Press at the first ceremony of the day that the graduating seniors are “set for a college or career of their choice and we’re very proud of that.”

Saturday marked the last graduation Harris will preside over (thankfully) at Barrington High School as superintendent due to his upcoming retirement.

Read more here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7 PM at the District Administrative Center. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The livestream of the meeting is viewable via the Board’s YouTube channel.

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A rendering of the new Global Terminal at O’Hare International Airport, expected to be completed by 2028. It will replace Terminal 2.

The Federal Aviation Administration is scrutinizing Chicago’s monumental plan to build a new global terminal at O’Hare International Airport, punch a hole in its west side and add two new concourses.

The review will assess whether the proposal is likely to significantly affect the environment — and you have an opportunity to chime in. Comments from the public are being accepted now through July 9.

The result could trigger a more detailed environmental impact statement or the FAA could conclude there’s no significant issues.

Known as the Airport Terminal Project, its blockbuster feature is a $2.2 billion Global Terminal that will accommodate domestic and international airlines with customs and immigration services. The billowy, Y-shaped design, created by a team led by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, incorporates glass, wood and steel and will be twice the size of Terminal 2, which it’s replacing.

A tunnel will connect the Global Terminal to two concourses on the west side of the airport, intended to be double the size of existing ones and able to fit wide- bodied planes. Overall, the construction should add 22 gates to O’Hare with the airport’s capacity expected to increase by 25% to 100 million passengers by 2026.

Also included are two new hotels, one at Terminal 5 and a second to be built as a multiuse complex off Mannheim Road.

Read more here.

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BHS 2021

Graduates await their turn to be called to the stage during the presentation of diplomas at the 10 a.m. graduation ceremony at Barrington High School Saturday.

South Elgin, Elgin, Larkin, Bartlett and Streamwood High Schools held their class graduation ceremonies yesterday an the Now Arena in Hoffman Estates. Wheaton North, Wheaton Warrenville South and Carmel Catholic High Schools held their ceremonies outdoors as a class on school grounds.

Barrington High School seniors had their ceremonies segregated into four (4) shifts at Barrington Community Stadium. The four separate ceremonies were recorded and will be made available for viewing here.

To see images from all events, click here.

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DD Edgar

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, pictured in 1994 with then-Arlington Park owner Richard Duchossois, says he thinks the 99-year-old billionaire today has “got to be disappointed” about the pending closure of the track. “Arlington was his baby. He loved that place,” Edgar said.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar — a longtime racehorse owner and breeder — says Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state leaders should exert pressure on the owner of Arlington Park in an eleventh-hour attempt to save the historic racing venue and the struggling Illinois horse racing industry.

In an interview with the Daily Herald, the former Republican governor — who has been racing horses since leaving office in 1999 — also expressed disappointment in Churchill Downs Inc.’s decision to sell the track after refusing to add slots and table games the corporation had long sought to boost its horse racing business.

Despite Churchill’s determination to sell the prime 326 acres it owns in Arlington Heights, the two-term former governor said he’s still hopeful Arlington could once again be a viable racetrack, turn a slight profit and be an asset for state agriculture jobs.

“I think the entity that really has the real leverage is the state, and that comes from the governor’s office,” said Edgar, during a phone interview from his farm just outside Springfield. “When you’re giving out (casino) licenses, you’ve got to think what’s in the best interest of the state. And if an entity has not really done what’s in the best interest of the state, I’m not sure why you’d continue to give them more licenses.”

Edgar was making reference to Churchill’s pending bid for a new casino in Waukegan and its interest in a potential Chicago casino. But he also pointed to state regulators’ March 2019 approval of Churchill’s majority ownership stake in Rivers Casino in Des Plaines that in hindsight, Edgar said, was a mistake.

Read more here.

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Barrington Village HallArlington Heights, Barrington and Elk Grove Village are the latest Northwest suburbs to issue proclamations ahead of Pride month in June.

Approval of the Respect in Barrington Pride proclamation Monday came after an April meeting in which advocates called for such a declaration following acts of vandalism targeting the LGBTQ community in recent years.

“I believe Barrington has sent a clear message to the local community, especially in light of recent homophobic incidents, that everyone is accepted here,” said Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison of Mount Prospect, the first openly gay member of the county board. “I think about all the young LGBTQ people in Barrington, and I think about what this proclamation means to them.

“I think about them because I was one of them,” he added. “Growing up in Elk Grove Village, I never thought I would get the opportunity to serve my community as an elected official simply because I was in the LGBTQ community.”

Read more here.

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