Archive for the ‘Topics Of Interest’ Category

Long Grove Fest

A scaled-down version of Long Grove’s annual chocolate festival returns to the village’s historic downtown May 14-16 featuring sweet treats, vendors, performers and more. To control crowd sizes, advance ticket purchase is required.

Organizers of For the Love of Chocolate — Long Grove’s Bite-Size Celebration have announced new details on several key attractions at the festival, which takes place May 14-16.

While historic downtown Long Grove may be hosting a smaller-scale chocolate event this year in compliance with COVID health and safety guidelines, in no way is it skimping on the chocolate treats, activities, and entertainment.

Advance registration and tickets, which are mandatory, are available now through longgrove.org/festivals/for-the-love-of-chocolate.

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CN 2008

The Canadian National Railway’s proposed takeover of the EJ & E Railroad prompted protests by community members in Barrington in 2008.

A replay of a 2008 battle to stop the Canadian National Railway from acquiring another railroad is emerging in the suburbs with similar concerns about spiraling freight train traffic.

There’s a twist this time, however, as both CN and its rival the Canadian Pacific Railroad are vying to merge with the Kansas City Southern Railway, a major freight carrier whose reach extends to Mexico.

Any merger, regardless of whether it’s CN or CP, would require approval from federal regulators, but the prospect of Canadian National joining with the Kansas railroad is already raising hackles in suburbs from Barrington to Bartlett.

A number of communities are asking the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to carefully scrutinize CN’s proposal before taking any action.

There is potential that “CN’s freight trains will further burden the Chicago area with increased road network congestion by adding a significant increase in freight rail volumes,” Bartlett Mayor Kevin Wallace wrote the STB on behalf of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Executive Board, of which he is chairman.

In 2008, CN received STB approval to purchase the smaller EJ & E, which passed through the northwest and southwest suburbs.

Attorney Richard Streeter, who is representing Barrington, characterized the new proposal as a “traffic congestion nightmare” in a letter to the STB.

“EJ & E communities have now been left coping with longer and slower trains, which would only increase yet again with the proposed merger,” Streeter wrote.

Read more here.

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This 1976 Buick Riviera belongs to Kevin Kauppi, director of the Chiwaukee Border chapter of Buick Club of America, who will showcase it at the Classic Collectors Car Show taking place June 26 in Barrington. (Courtesy of Kevin Kauppi)

Barrington has had “cruise nights” with cars on display in summertime for years, but the car show next month will be a much more formal affair, with a requirement that car owners be approved in advance.

Suzanne Corr, president of the (Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce), said there’s a “high concentration” of classic car collectors in the greater Barrington area. The goal is to bring them out for a community event that also will boost small businesses and Main Street retailers, she said.

“Collecting classic cars is more than a hobby; it is about preserving a story and a piece of history,” she said. “Owning classic cars can be irresistible and emotionally compelling for the stories they represent. They capture the art and history of engineering and design.”

Another car show participant will be Kevin Kauppi, director of the Chiwaukee Border chapter of Buick Club of America, which includes northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. Kauppi, 60, of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, will display his red 1976 Buick Riviera, a family heirloom.

“My parents purchased it in fall 1975, and it’s been in the family ever since. I received my driver’s license driving this car. I went to prom dates in the car. And now, here, years later, I’m showcasing it and displaying in my parent’s memory,” he said.

Kauppi spends at least an hour per week detailing the car so he can take it to car shows, including national meets where he’s earned awards, he said.

Read more here, or visit the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce website here.

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32W939 Algonquin Road

The Zoning Board of Appeals will be meeting remotely this evening at 6:30 PM to hold a public hearing followed by a public meeting regarding a text amendment petition for a, “Canine Daycare and/or Doggy Daycare with Grooming, Training and Boarding,” facility at 32W939 Algonquin Road.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Big changes could be coming to admissions at public universities in Illinois after two expansive bills cleared the state Senate Higher Education Committee in recent days.

The two pieces of legislation aim to make a degree more accessible: The first would allow residents to apply to any of the state’s 12 public universities without submitting SAT or ACT scores, while the other would guarantee well-performing community college students a spot at the University of Illinois.

Both bills, which already passed in the House, were elevated out of committee and could next proceed to a full Senate floor vote. The governor must also sign the bills before they become law, which is far from certain.

State Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Centreville, presented the test-optional admissions bill, known as the Higher Education Fair Admissions Act, and said it was based on research showing that high school GPAs are a better predictor of college graduation than ACT or SAT scores. The bill calls for all four-year public universities to implement test-optional admissions by January.

“We know children have test anxieties and they don’t do well on these standardized tests, and so to take a snapshot of a person’s high school years and reduce it down to a test … and to put that kind of weight on that test, we just don’t think it’s fair,” Belt said.

Under the bill, students would still be able to submit test scores if they want. Admissions offices also consider GPA, difficulty of high school courses, personal essays and outside activities.

Read more here.

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The Balloon Race is one of the many rides set to reopen at Santa’s Village Azoosment Park this weekend in East Dundee.

Christmas is coming early to East Dundee.

After being closed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa’s Village Azoosment Park will reopen Saturday in a return of the suburban icon that first opened in 1959. Even with capacity currently limited to 25%, it’s a breath of fresh air after a rough 2020.

“The hardest thing for us last year was watching restaurants and other businesses opening,” said Brian Wright, marketing director for Santa’s Village. “We kind of felt like we were last on the list.”

Wright said that while there were furloughs over the last year, much of the staff was able to remain by working on improvements to the facility. Ownership also started an offshoot company called SV Enterprises that concentrates on landscaping, snow removal and holiday light installation.

Some staff members returned late last summer when the Santa Springs water park opened for seven weeks, allowing officials to implement the safety protocols that will be in place this year.

Reservations are required so the park can monitor crowd size, although the system allows for season ticket holders to visit anytime without a reservation. Social distancing should be maintained and masks are required.

Read more here, or visit the Santa’s Village website here.

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MD21What a year this has been. Now more than ever would be a time to treat Mom to a brunch or dinner on Mother’s Day — this year Sunday, May 9 — to show her just how special she is.

Here are a few local suggestions…

Broken Oar

614 Rawson Bridge Road, Port Barrington, (847) 639-9468, brokenoar.com/events. At Broken Oar, Mom can enjoy the Mother’s Day brunch buffet on the skydeck or in the upper level dining area from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, May 9. Nosh on made-to-order omelets, sliced honey-glazed ham, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, French toast, fruit, pastries and more. Plus, free flowers for all moms. It’s $19.95 for adults, $8.95 for kids younger than 10. Reservations required.

Cooper’s Hawk

Locations in Arlington Heights, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Naperville, South Barrington, St. Charles, Wheeling; chwinery.com/. Enjoy a special Mother’s Day menu for four for $159.99. The dinner includes Mother’s Day salad, pretzel bread, eight Parmesan-crusted medallions, a choice of entree (pistachio-crusted grouper, bourbon lacquered barbecue pork, Dana’s Parmesan-crusted chicken), Mary’s Potatoes and lemon butter cake. Order by Friday, May 7, for pickup on Saturday or Sunday, May 8-9.


Locations in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bolingbrook, Elmhurst, Lake Forest, Naperville, St. Charles and more; miafrancesca.com/. The special Mother’s Day to-go meal features filet mignon, a choice of three sides or salads and New York style cheesecake. It’s $109.95 for two and $214.95 for four. Add-ons include the mimosa kit for $29.95 and shrimp cocktail ($17.95-$34.95). Order by noon Friday, May 7, for pickup from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 9.

The Hampton Social

100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (224) 633-5414, thehamptonsocial.com/events/celebrate-mothers-day. Fete Mom with a sparkling glass of rose all day on Mother’s Day.


Locations in Barrington, Bartlett, Chicago, Crystal Lake, Fox Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake in the Hills, Mount Prospect, Rosemont, Schaumburg; morettisrestaurants.com/. Moretti’s will be serving up Mother’s Day specials, including surf and turf ($27.95), grilled jumbo prawns ($24.95), macadamia nut-crusted Alaskan halibut ($29.95) and the Italian combo (lasagna and chicken Parmesan for $19.99). Available for dine-in or delivery. Reservations requested.


1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323; 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700 and 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300; pinstripes.com/. Make Mom’s day with Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Try dishes such as the slow-roasted prime rib, smoked salmon flatbread and kids’ bunny waffle. Reservations required.

Ruth’s Chris

933 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, (847) 498-6889, and 100 W. Higgins Road, Suite U-1, South Barrington, (847) 551-3730, ruthschris.com/. Bring Ruth’s Chris home this Mother’s Day with a feast for four for $180. Dine on a starter, two sides, roasted beef tenderloin and cheesecake. Order 48 hours ahead of pickup on Sunday, May 9.

Shaw’s Crab House

1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 517-2722, shawscrabhouse.com/schaumburg/. This year, Shaw’s is offering a $55 four-course plated brunch featuring French toast bread pudding flambéed tableside, oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, chilled mussels, lobster bisque, candied bacon, steamed crab legs, mac and cheese, a choice of mini dessert (chocolate cake, creme brulee, Key lime pie or ice cream) and more. The kids’ brunch plate is $12. Brunch is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 9. Reservations required.

Find more options here.

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SG SaleSmart Farm of Barrington will hold its annual plant sale from 9 AM to noon Friday, May 7, and 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, May 8, at Smart Farm, 490 W. Route 22, in Barrington, just west of the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital campus.

The sale includes a large variety of vegetables and herbs, heirloom varieties. Masks and social distancing are required. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted. For information, (847) 875-2060 or smartfarms.org.

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Another IDOT road project kicks off Monday at the border of our Village near Crabtree Nature Center.

A 4.8-mile stretch of Palatine Road from Algonquin Road in South Barrington to Roselle Road in Inverness and Palatine will be under construction from now through October according to IDOT.

Officials say the projects will require daily, intermittent lane closures. Access to residences and businesses within the work zones will be maintained throughout construction.

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When Shirley Rounds Davis moved to her home on the Far South Side decades ago, she could see a maple tree through the window. Over the years, she watched it grow.

“And the birds would come,” Davis said. “In the morning, they would wake me up, and my children too, they’d wake us up with their song in the morning.”

The tree reminded her of the mulberry tree she passed by on the way to Bible class growing up, with berries sweet enough to eat — until the day it was cut down.

“I grew up loving trees,” Davis said.

Recently, she watched the last ash tree go. Now, she’s hoping the invasive tree of heaven, which has taken hold across the street, doesn’t reach her home.

Davis is one of many Chicagoans caring for the trees that make up the regional canopy coverage, which has increased by 2% since 2010, according to a new tree census from the Morton Arboretum. But that finding comes with some caveats.

A jewel-toned beetle fond of ash trees is killing Chicago’s canopy. An invasive tree is eclipsing other species. Some neighborhoods continue to enjoy tree-lined sidewalks while others long for shade as temperatures climb and climate change threatens more warmth.

Like the layers of a forest, the view from the top doesn’t tell what’s happening below.

Read more here.

Related:Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs

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