Archive for the ‘Resident Spotlights’ Category


From the VBHPD at 6:05 PM:

“The Barrington Hills Police Department would like you to be aware of a 5K run occurring tomorrow morning on Brinker Road between County Line and Otis and on Otis Road between Brinker and Old Sutton.

These roadway sections will be closed to through traffic between approximately 8:30 and 11:00 AM. Residents residing in these specific areas will not be restricted from ingress or egress; however, it is advisable to avoid travel during the event, if at all possible.

Your understanding and cooperation are greatly appreciated.”

Don’t shoot the messenger for the late notice…

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There will be a charity 5K run or walk tomorrow, May 20th, starting at 9 AM at Presbyterian Church of Barrington, 6 Brinker Road, Barrington Hills. The race will start just east of the church on Brinker Road.

Hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Barrington to benefit the organizations the church supports. $35. (847) 381-0975 or pcbarrington.org.

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Oakwood Farm Operation

The Daily Herald recently reported, “After 8-year fight, judge says Barrington Hills horse boarding law is constitutional.” We’ve learned before that article was published, another commercial horse boarding related suit was filed in Cook County on April 25th, and it can be found here.

Ordinance 16-22, referred to in the filing, can be found here. Audio recordings of the Trustee’s discussions prior to approving that ordinance can be heard here.

Related:After 8-year fight, judge says Barrington Hills horse boarding law is constitutional

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Village of Barrington Hills Board of Trustees 2023 (L-R): JC Clarke, Darby Hills, President Pro Tem/Trustee David Riff, President Brian Cecola, Laura Ekstrom, Thomas Strauss, Jessica Hoffmann

From our Village website:

Congratulations to our newly sworn Trustees: Darby Hills, Jessica Hoffmann and John Carpenter Clarke or as he prefers, “J.C.”!

At a special Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, May 8, 2023, the newly elected were sworn into office and took their seats among the sitting Board, commencing their four-year term.  President Cecola called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM at which time the new Board discussed the business at hand.

Congratulations to Trustee David Riff who was unanimously voted as President Pro Tem by his fellow Board Members!

President Cecola then read the proposed Trustee Committee assignments followed by a vote from the Board.  Who was assigned to which Committee? Visit our website to find out: Barrington Hills Village Board of Trustees

Editorial note: It’s been brought to our attention that Trustee Riff had a very important bowling league tournament to compete in immediately following Monday night’s ceremonies, thus explaining his attire.

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The April 24, 2023 meeting of our Board of Trustees marked the unofficial end of Trustees Colleen Konicek Hannigan and Bryan Croll’s multiple terms in office.

Public comments expressing appreciation of their time, efforts and dedication in office were made by friend and family, and the outgoing Trustees shared their personal reflections on their experiences.

To listen to the meeting recordings, click here.

Editorial note: Trustee Riff mentioned at the March 21st Board of Trustees meeting that, “Buildings & Grounds met and made improvements to the audio system (presumably in the MacArthur Room).”  Based on the poor sound quality of the recordings from the April meeting, we strongly encourage Riff give it a second effort (or as many as is needed). In the meantime, perhaps the Village should engage a court reporter to document meetings.

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Marking a significant step in the Chicago Bears’ proposal to move to Arlington Heights, the team Wednesday filed paperwork to begin demolition of Arlington International Racecourse.

The team said the first phase would begin with gutting the interior of the grandstand, and that any exterior demolition would come later.

Team officials emphasized that this does not mean they’re going ahead with the $5 billion plan to build a new enclosed stadium with housing, bars and restaurants on the site. The team has asked to first determine what taxes it would be paying and has said it needs a public subsidy to help pay to build infrastructure like roads and utilities, before it could go forward.

The Bears bought the 326-acre former horse track this year for $197 million.

The demolition announcement comes a day after Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the Cook County assessor raised the assessed value of the property to roughly equal the purchase price.

If approved by taxing authorities, the increase would likely raise the annual property tax to about $16 million, though it was only about $3 million when the near-century-old track was operating, before Churchill Downs Inc. closed it in 2021.

While the demolition is underway, the Bears will be making their case to the county’s Board of Review that the former Arlington Park’s assessed land value is too high. But fearing a whopping property tax bill, the Bears are asking the Board of Review to knock that assessment down to $37.2 million, which the team argues was the land’s appraised value. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for early June.

Read more here.

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Does living in a Wright home live up to the architect’s lofty reputation? Photo: James Haefner

By Katherine McLaughlin

When I first moved to New York in 2018, my dad drove me straight from Indiana to Brooklyn, making just one stop in between: Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. Arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic residential design, I spent most of the tour admiring the cantilevered rooms, listening to the sound of the waterfall below, and wondering what it would be like to live in a home designed by the American architect. Though my experience was confined to a 1.5-hour tour, even in that short period, I felt like something shifted. I could only imagine what his work would inspire when it became part of one’s daily life.

For some people, this is their reality. Every morning and night, Wright’s work shelters and comforts them—and has profound impacts on the ways they view the world. Below, AD speaks with seven homeowners about living in a Frank Lloyd Wright house and how the experience has shaped them.



It took the McArdles two years to restore the Frederick house. Photo: James Caulfield

When Dave McArdle and his wife, Joyce, first met in high school, their dates often consisted of touring Frank Lloyd Wright homes throughout Oak Park and River Forest. Later, when they eventually got married and were looking for a home to start a family in, they learned that Wright’s 1901 Frank Henderson house was for sale in Elmhurst, Illinois. Though it needed a lot of work, it was within the couple’s budget. “During the renovation, we discovered that there was a real need for a formal way that Frank Lloyd Wright homeowners could share their experiences and resources to maintain and restore their homes,” Dave says. “Along with other Wright homeowners, we founded the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.”

The pair sold the Henderson house after five years and spent the next 20 or so years in a custom home designed by E. Fay Jones (a previous Wright apprentice) in Illinois, before eventually moving to Florida. Then, “One of our real estate colleagues in Illinois contacted us about a Wright home for sale in Barrington Hills, the Fredrick House. Our colleague had heard of rumors of plans to bulldoze it,” Dave says. Sensing another Wright opportunity, the couple bought the home in 2016 and spent two years restoring the dilapidating home.


The exterior of the Frederick house. Photo: James Caulfield

“As lovers of architecture, Joyce and I always get a certain rush of excitement when we tour a great architectural home,” Dave says. “However, actually living in a work of art affects how you see and feel details on a daily level.” The couple say they constantly notice the way Wright played with light and it makes them look deeper at the element even when not in the home. “Since every element of a Wright home is integrated with all other building elements and with its surroundings, we notice other patterns and rhythms in life and are more aware of when things become ‘out of sync,’” Dave adds. However, the pair say that—aside from living surrounded in beauty—they appreciate the community they’ve met of fellow Wright aficionados. “Especially when [we meet] the few remaining original owners who met and worked with Wright. The stories of this creative genius are so fascinating.”

Read more here.

Related: Local Couple Gets Nod For Wright Home Restoration

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HOPE’S IN Co-Founders, Ashley and Courtney, and two Student Volunteers were featured on ABC 7 News Thursday night.

CHICAGO (WLS) — A high school trip has now inspired a years-long passion for two women from Barrington.

“I actually got an internship when I was 16 years old and I was in Guatemala City,” said Courtney McGovern. “Just being there taught me such a huge lesson about how dignified housing is a human right.”

That trip inspired Courtney and her twin sister Ashley to do something. They formed a fundraiser called “Hope’s In Style,” a fashion show.

“I knew after Courtney came back we had to do something,” said Ashley Quigley.

Now, the sisters have a nonprofit called HOPE’S IN, which works to empower families living in Guatemala City.

This weekend, the group is hosting its annual Hope’s In Style fundraiser. You can learn more here, and watch the ABC7 video segment here.

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A Cook County judge has ruled a Barrington Hills ordinance allowing commercial horse boarding at Oakwood Farms and other places to be constitutional, rejecting arguments that conspiracy and corruption were the basis of its adoption. (Daily Herald file photo, 2011)

A Cook County judge has called constitutional a Barrington Hills ordinance permitting commercial horse boarding as a home-occupation business in the historically equestrian-friendly village, rejecting claims of corruption.

The 8-year-old litigation that resulted in a 21-day trial was born of a neighbor dispute that dominated local politics in Barrington Hills for a time about a dozen years ago.

“I believe it vindicates a number of people,” said attorney James Kelly, who represented a party of intervenors in plaintiff Jim Drury’s lawsuit against the village. “I think it was a good decision.”

Drury — who lives next door to Benjamin and Cathleen LeCompte’s Oakwood Farms, where a 60-horse commercial boarding operation existed — argued the facility’s imposition on his residential peace and quiet clearly was forbidden by existing village code regulating home-occupation businesses in 2011.

Drury tried through lawsuits, newspaper advertisements and official testimony to suggest village officials at that time were refusing to acknowledge this and instead were pandering to the Riding Club of Barrington Hills and other equestrian interests.

While Drury conceded the LeComptes had the right to keep 60 of their own horses on the 130-acre property, he said the number of employees and clients that visited his residential neighborhood most days clearly marked Oakwood Farms as a commercial enterprise.

In claiming political motivations in the village, Drury pointed to $5,000 donations LeCompte made to each of the trustee candidates then-Village President Robert Abboud supported in the 2011 election — Joe Messer, Karen Selman and Patty Meroni.

That money was returned to LeCompte when the State Board of Elections determined he had not been properly identified by the candidates as the original source of the funding.

Read more here.

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ComEd AP

After six weeks of trial, 12 jurors are considering the merits of the case that ended former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s record-breaking grip on power.

Federal jurors have begun to deliberate the case against four former political power players who were labeled Tuesday “grand masters of corruption” for their alleged conspiracy to bribe former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan to benefit ComEd.

The deliberations come after six weeks of trial. Jurors heard from about 50 witnesses. And they heard a cache of secret FBI recordings resulting from an aggressive probe dating back to 2014 aimed at the once-powerful Southwest Side Democrat.

Now, the fate of four people who once had special access to Madigan is in the hands of 12 jurors, who will consider the merits of the case that ended Madigan’s record-breaking grip on power.

Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty are accused of arranging for jobs, contracts and money for Madigan allies. The feds say the decade-long conspiracy amounted to an illegal bid to sway Madigan as legislation crucial to ComEd moved through Springfield.

Madigan is charged with racketeering in a separate indictment and faces trial in April 2024. He gave up the speaker’s gavel in January 2021, two months after a grand jury handed up the indictment that triggered the current trial.

Jurors retired to begin their deliberations at 3:01 p.m. Tuesday after listening to roughly eight hours of closing arguments. The final pitches were made Tuesday, first by attorneys for Hooker and Doherty, and then by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu, section chief of public corruption and organized crime.

Read more here.

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