Archive for the ‘Resident Spotlights’ Category

2023 Seats Up For Reelection

Angela Wilcox, Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler

Angela Wilcox, current and second longest serving 220 Board of Education member, recently withdrew from the race for another term on the board.  This week, the district’s superintendent, Dr. Robert Hunt, announced his departure only eighteen (18) after his installment (as an aside, the BOE under former President Kazmier and then VP Ficke-Bradford spent nearly a year and Lord knows how much in taxpayer dollars searching for Hunt in 2020).

In light of these two recent events, we think it’s time to take a good look at the candidates running for 220 Board of Education in the upcoming April election.

Incumbent Barry Altshuler, a pediatrician who espouses on his professional website to believing in ‘holistic’ care, routinely advocated for vaccination of students, to keep students remote and masked. Altshuler voted to keep Gender Queer in the District’s libraries, saying, “kids need the book,” and he “wished that book was around when (he) was in middle school.”  For reference, the book is recommended for ages 16 and up.

Altshuler was also heard violating the doctor/patient HIPPA confidentiality when he discussed his patient, Alex Strobl, publicly during BOE meetings surrounding the controversy of Strobl dropping from the 2021 BOE election.

Incumbent Leah Collister-Lazzari voted to keep students remote and masked.  Collister-Lazzari also wrote emails micro-managing Dr. Hunt, such as asking him to tell BHS basketball coaches to make sure the kids were properly masked while playing sports.

In December, Collister-Lazzari voted remotely for an increase in the levy while on a purported ‘business meeting’ in New Zealand, yet also advocated in favor of the District increasing the parental cost of kindergarten enrichment and voted against keeping the fees at their current rate in favor of raising them.

During the D220 strategic planning meetings she brought a 3×5 card with Ficke-Bradford’s equity statement written on it and advocated to have the equity statement put into the D220 mission statement.

Most egregiously, in the opinion of the Observer, in 2021 when three new members of the current Board were sworn in for their first BOE meeting, Altshuler and Collister-Lazzari colluded with Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Erin Chan Ding to oust Member Wilcox from any position as a Board Officer. Wilcox was 6 years into the position, to Altshuler’s and Collister-Lazzari’s 2, and had an exemplary record as the Treasurer of the Board in preceding years.

In addition, the public had made it clear to the BOE Board that Wilcox was preferred to succeed to the position of President surrounding controversial actions of Ficke-Bradford and Kazmierz and their treatment of Alex Strobl who withdrew as a candidate in the 2021 election following their strong-arm tactics.

For these reasons, and more to come, we urge voters NOT to vote for Barry Altshuler and Leah Collister-Lazzari.  They do not deserve to continue on our 220 school board.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Tonight is a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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The former Woodland Elementary School in Carpentersville will be the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township’s latest impact center. The center will provide STEM programs and other services to about 300 middle and high school students. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

When the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township’s CEO headed to Washington last year to seek funding for a new center in Carpentersville, he figured $250,000 was the most his organization would get.

At the time, most community project grants topped out at $250,000. Drew Glassford made his best pitch and returned to D.C. with some of the youth his organization serves to make his case a second time.

It worked — in a big way.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi stopped at Perry Elementary School in Carpentersville to see one of the organization’s impact centers and deliver a $2 million check to help build out a new center at the former Woodland Elementary School, located a few blocks away.

“Because of the compelling nature of this program, because of the needs of this program, because of the incredible positive blessings that it confers on the community, I decided to go all out,” the Schaumburg Democrat said during Friday’s presentation.

Last fall, the Dundee Township Park District agreed to purchase the former school from Barrington Community Unit School District 220. The park district will keep the land around the school, but the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township, which is paying for the property, will keep the school building and the parking lot for the new Woodland Impact Center.

Read more here.

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Cleanup would allow Longmeadow Parkway to open next year. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

The Longmeadow Parkway project will not open to traffic in 2023, but Kane County officials believe they now have a solution to, literally, get the lead out.

The county board’s transportation committee gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a $14 million contract with Bartlett-based Bluff City Materials Inc.  to remove a mound of lead-contaminated soil just beyond the eastern edge of the Brunner Family Forest Preserve.

The $135 million Longmeadow project saw decades of planning to create a new crossing of the Fox River, ease traffic congestion and spur development on the northern end of the county. The project moved forward, despite late opposition from residents along the construction path, which bisected the Brunner Family Forest Preserve.

The project is funded through a mix of bonds and government funding, including some state money that might reduce, if not eliminate, the toll bridge aspect designed to pay off the bonds and support future maintenance.

The project is complete except for a small stretch just east of the Fox River. A pile of soil contaminated with lead sits there. Figuring out what to do about the lead has delayed the project’s completion for the past two years.

Read more here.

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Arthur Laffer (Courtesy of Barrington’s White House)

Economist Arthur Laffer, a onetime policy adviser to former presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, will be the keynote speaker for the sixth annual Barrington Town-Warming on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Laffer is known as the “Father of Supply Side Economics,” as well as the namesake for the “Laffer Curve,” which illustrates the theoretical relationship between rates of taxation and levels of government revenue. In 2019, Laffer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Laffer will appear virtually at this year’s event, which also will feature in-person panel discussions on the future of energy and the future of our social institutions, including work, family, religion and education. Among those scheduled to appear are WGN radio personality John Williams, Peter Alter, the chief historian at the Chicago History Museum, and poet John Maxwell.

The Barrington Town-Warming is a re-creation of a robust lecture series held in town during the post-Depression era. Since its revival, keynote speakers have included former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

The theme for this year’s gathering is “Our Own Roaring ’20s: What’s Happening in the Present and What We See for the Future.” It will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the ballroom of Barrington’s White House, with a cocktail reception to follow.

The Town-Warming is a fundraiser for the Barrington Cultural Commission. Tickets are $150 and include continental breakfast, boxed lunch and cocktail reception. Seating is limited. For tickets and information, go to www.barringtonswhitehouse/events.

The presenting sponsor is Northern Trust; audiovisual sponsor is Kim Duchossois.


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While most Illinois College students are focusing on a new semester and catching up with friends after a long holiday break, Janean Corriveau’s daughter is anxious about returning to campus after a violent incident occurred early Dec. 14 in a dormitory.

With only two days left before Christmas break and the end of finals week, the sophomore was with her boyfriend in his room in Mundinger Hall when, according to Corriveau’s account, a man armed with a “dagger and a machete” entered the room. The man said he intended to harm her daughter, her boyfriend and his roommate.

However, as Jacksonville police officers arrived about 4:45 a.m., the man withdrew and was arrested.

Prior to the incident described by Corriveau, a man identified as Devin C. Hall, 26, had entered another room in the dormitory and forcibly stole two cellphones, according to Jacksonville Police Department.

Hall is charged with four Class X felonies and is in the Morgan County jail on a $500,000 bond. At a hearing Jan. 3, Hall pleaded not guilty to the charges and requested a jury trial, which has been set for March 14. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 8.

Class X is the most severe class of felony in Illinois, short of first-degree murder. A Class X felony is punishable by six to 30 years in prison, with a possible extended sentence of 30 to 60 years. Class X felonies generally are aggravated or armed offenses.

According to charging documents obtained from the Morgan County State’s Attorney’s office, Hall faces two charges of armed robbery and two charges of home invasion.

Hall, of Barrington Hills — a village about 40 miles northwest of Chicago, no longer is a student at Illinois College, the college confirmed. If he were to bond out, he would be required to wear GPS monitoring before leaving jail, not be within 1,000 feet of the Illinois College campus and not have any contact with the victims.

Read more here.

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Prosecutors in a case involving Michael Madigan say they have wires of the former Illinois House speaker acknowledging operatives “made out like bandits” in a scheme involving utility ComEd.

In 2020, federal prosecutors and Exelon subsidiary ComEd reached a deferred prosecution agreement. As part of the agreement, the utility admitted it paid $1.3 million in jobs and contracts to associates of Madigan over nearly a decade to influence the former House speaker. ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine.

Madigan was later charged with 22 corruption-related counts in the case. The four others charged are Michael McClain, a former state lawmaker and ComEd lobbyist who was one of Madigan’s closest associates; former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore; former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker; and former ComEd consultant Jay Doherty. They’ve all pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection in the case against the four excluding Madigan begins March 7. Madigan’s trial begins in April 2024.

A filing ahead of the March case details corruption charges against the three former ComEd officials and McClain.

Tuesday’s ‘Santiago Proffer and Motion to Admit Evidence’ filing totals 126 pages.

Read more here.

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Leah Collister-Lazzari

Leah Collister-Lazzari

A Cook County electoral board opened hearings Thursday on challenges to the nominating paperwork of two candidates for the Barrington Area Unit District 220 board.

Barrington resident Timothy O’Donnell filed the challenges to the candidacies of incumbent board member Leah Collister-Lazzari and newcomer Diana L. Clopton.

O’Donnell, who described himself as a concerned citizen, said both candidates’ statements of economic interests were faulty.

The electoral board assigned all matters, including the District 220 case and other challenges, to hearing officers, who will conduct evidentiary hearings before making recommendations to the electoral board.

The board will meet again on Jan. 12 to assign additional cases for status updates and then on Jan. 18, when rulings will begin to be issued.

Collister-Lazzari declined to comment Thursday. Clopton could not be reached for comment.

Read more here.

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Following are the eleven (11) most viewed posts published in The Barrington Hills Observer in 2022:

  1. Controversial ‘Gender Queer’ will remain on the shelf at Barrington High, school board decides
  2. Woman bit her daughter’s finger off during altercation in Barrington Hills, prosecutors say
  3. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1)
  4. Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom
  5. Special Village Board meeting this afternoon
  6. Resident tells 220 Board of Education what they needed to hear (but did they listen?)
  7. Barrington Hills man severely injured in crash
  8. Some observations on tonight’s Appropriations public hearing
  9. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 4)
  10. District 220 goes too far (again)
  11. Petition started to “Filter Adult Obscene/Porn Content & SB818 Opt Out,” in D220 Schools

For those wondering why eleven and not an even number, we simply couldn’t end the year without reminding readers where we’ve been in 2022 by omitting #11.

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Mr D

Arlington Racecourse owner Richard “Dick” Duchossois with his masterpiece in the background. (Daily Herald File Photo)

An iconic businessman who helped put the Northwest suburbs in the national spotlight. A fiercely independent politician who fought for scientific advancement and human rights. A restaurateur whose name is synonymous with the unique fare and atmosphere he offered. A sports broadcasting legend whose knowledge was second only to the loyalty of his audience.

As we prepare to turn our calendars from 2022 to 2023, let’s take a look back at the influential and memorable people we leave behind.

Richard L. Duchossois

A decorated World War II hero, renowned businessman and noted philanthropist, Duchossois died Jan. 28 at his Barrington Hills home. He was 100. “Mr. D” was best known as the longtime owner of Arlington Park, the suburban jewel that brought the world’s best race horses to the Northwest suburbs. After serving under Gen. George Patton during World War II, Duchossois returned to his native Chicago and built a business empire. But among his many holdings, Arlington Park was the crown jewel. After a 1985 fire destroyed the old grandstand, Duchossois rebuilt the facility into one widely acclaimed as the finest on American soil. Duchossois’ 100th birthday came 12 days after the final race at the track, which now is being sold to the Chicago Bears.

Clyde Slocum

The former longtime superintendent of Barrington Community Unit School District 220, Slocum was remembered for combining a zest for life with a mastery of school administration. As the district’s top administrator from 1979 to 1992, he oversaw substantial growth in enrollment and facilities. After retiring, he worked for international and defense department school accrediting agencies, taking trips to Pakistan, Africa and the Middle East. Slocum died July 3. He was 92.

Frank J. Morgan

A longtime businessman who helped make Gatorade an iconic beverage, Morgan served seven years as president and COO of Quaker Oats. He was part of the team that acquired Stokely-Van Camp, Gatorade’s initial maker, for $226 million. After retiring from Quaker in 1990, Morgan served on the nonprofit boards of Glenwood Academy, Loyola University, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. The Barrington resident died Oct. 15 at 97 years old.

Read more here.

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