Archive for the ‘FUBAR’ Category

VBH Village HallOur Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

This month’s agenda now has two options for residents to attempt to listen in to tonight’s meeting:

Audio OptionsWould those with the time and inclination try listening to both options and report back which one sucks less in terms of sound clarity?  It would be ever so much appreciated!

Read Full Post »


The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM. Their agenda reads as follows:

  1. Call To Order
  2. Recognition Of Commissioners
  3. Recognition Of Visitors
  4. Approval Of The December 2022 Park Board Meeting Minutes
  5. Approval Of The December 2022 Treasurer’s Report
  6. Advisory Committee Report
  7. Facility Rental Requests
  8. Trainer Registrations
  9. Facility Maintenance
  10. Action To Be Taken On Discussed Items
  11. Old/New Business
  12. Adjournment

In other words, pure boilerplate. Not even a heads up on the public hearing scheduled next month. However, the way they operate, practically anything can be discussed and voted upon tonight.

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

Read Full Post »

220 Admin

“Pursuant to School Board Policy 2:150, the Board of Education may establish committees to assist with the Board’s governance function and, in some situations, to comply with state law requirements. Each committee reports directly to the Board of Education. Committee members may include both Board Members and non-Board Members depending on the committee’s purpose. Committee appointments are made at the organization meeting of the Board that is held following the consolidated election in April of odd numbered years. Committee meetings are typically held once per month.

The purpose of the Policy Committee is to review existing policies, recommend changes where necessary, and propose new policies for consideration by the Board.”

Some of the, “Policies Ready for First Review by Policy Committee,” items include:

  • 5:250 Leaves of Absence
  • 5:280 Duties and Qualifications
  • 5:330 Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays, and Leaves
  • 6:15 School Accountability
  • 6:250  Community Resource Persons and Volunteers
  • 6:255 Assemblies and Ceremonies
  • 6:260 Complaints About Curriculum, Instructional Materials, and Programs
  • 6:310 High School Credit for Non-District Experiences; Course Substitutions; Re-Entering Students
  • 7:50 School Admissions and Student Transfers To and From Non-District Schools
  • 7:285 Anaphylaxis Prevention, Response, and Management Program
  • 7:290 Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention

The meeting begins at 8:00 AM at the District 220 Administrative Center located at 515 W Main St.  A copy of the agenda can be found here. Public comments are allowed.

Read Full Post »


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.

Read Full Post »

SWA Grinch

Travelers wait in line for Southwest Airlines luggage services to recover their luggage after major service interruptions at Midway International Airport on Dec. 27, 2022. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

The airline with the ticker LUV, now a far cry from its early customers-first days under co-founder Herb Kelleher, ruined countless holiday reunions over the past week. Southwest Airlines marooned not just passengers but also its own crews and landed tens of thousands of its customers in a Sisyphean holiday-week bog from which there seemed to be no escape to anywhere but the filthy bathroom or the knee-deep bar.

Canceled flights were rescheduled to other canceled flights. Pilots deadheaded to nowhere. Stressed-out travelers searched for overpriced planes, trains and automobiles. Even the airline’s shareholders got burned as the reputation-searing meltdown caused the company’s stock to fall, the market having deduced Southwest was about to lose much of its pricing power and brand affection.

Chicago was at the epicenter of this mess. Unless you’re going to Mexico or Canada or a couple of minor Allegiant frontiers, you’re almost certainly flying Southwest out of Midway, whose luggage-strewn floors looked more like a refugee camp this week. Allowing one massive airline to so monopolistically dominate a publicly owned airport, designed to serve the people of northern Illinois, looked like utter folly. No wonder local politicians started making statements.

Sure, there was a very bad storm. But any frequent flyer knows that airlines love to trot out the liability-shielding word “weather” when a more honest reason for a delay is a chronic staff shortage, as was clearly the case in Denver for Southwest; no backup plans; or, in this instance, problems with an archaic, off-the-shelf phone and crew-scheduling system that buckled under pressure even as every other airline quickly got back to normal.

Read more of the Chicago Tribune commentary here.

Read Full Post »

BAL Closed

“Please note that the Library will remain closed on Friday, December 23, due to severe winter weather conditions. The Library will also be closed on the weekend of Dec 24-25 for Christmas.

Remember, we are a fines-free library, so please stay safe and warm at home and do not worry about returning library materials at this time. Take care, enjoy the holiday, and come see us next week.”

Editorial note: If you happen to see a Library Board of Trustees member out and about today shopping, be sure to please flip them the Barrington Hills Observer sign of peace and friendship (the “bird”) for closing today.

Read Full Post »

BCFPD Hummer

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) Board of Trustees meets tonight at 6:30 PM at 22222 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington. Topics for discussion and possible approval include:

  • Consideration and possible approval of 2022 Tax Levy Ordinance, and
  • Discussion and possible approval of 2023 Compensation

We do know the 2021 levy was $7,008,000, however we cannot report what the 2020 levy was for comparison since the District website does not provide that information.

As far as compensation is concerned, minutes from the November 2021 District meeting state, “Trustee Long moved to increase the salary of 3 acting officers from $75,000 to $85,000 and 6 preceptors from $65,000 to $70,000.”  

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Read Full Post »

Home Alone

Unlike parents in the Chicagoland Christmas classic, Illinoisans could end up under investigation, arrested or even lose custody for leaving their eighth graders unsupervised this holiday. Parents in 30 other states get to decide for themselves.

Illinoisans who stop by the neighbors’ for eggnog this December will need to find someone to watch the kids, or they could find themselves under investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Unlike the parents in the Chicagoland Christmas classic “Home Alone,” Illinoisans can face investigation, arrest and even loss of custody of their children for leaving an eighth grader home unsupervised.

State law considers it neglect or abuse when “any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor’s welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety, or welfare of that minor.”

However, Illinois law doesn’t define “an unreasonable period of time.” Is an hour unreasonable? Two hours? It’s completely up to the interpretation of government employees, opening potential to abuse the rule.

Wilmette mother Corey Widen experienced this nightmare scenario firsthand. In 2018, she let her 8-year-old daughter, Dorothy, walk their dog, Marshmallow, around the block. A neighbor noticed her walking alone and called the police, who saw no grounds for negligence.

Illinois DCFS soon after opened an investigation into Widen’s family over the allegations of parental neglect. Agents visited her home and interviewed her children, her relatives and the family’s pediatrician before determining the case was unfounded.

Read more here.

Read Full Post »

Members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

Members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

Members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board is requesting improvements to their offices from the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission.

The five-member board, also known as PTAB, provides an unbiased forum for taxpayers and taxing bodies dealing property tax challenges. A taxpayer unhappy with an assessment decision before their county board of review can appeal to PTAB.

The most recent audit released earlier this year showed the agency “did not allow for the speedy hearing of all appeals,” among other findings. 

PTAB Executive Director Michael O’Malley told the audit commission that more resources are needed for agency workers to keep doing their jobs.

More here.

Read Full Post »

Long Grove

A school bus damages the Long Grove covered bridge in 2020. (Long Grove Village President Bill Jacob)

When motorists travel along Robert Parker Coffin Road in north suburban Long Grove, they become subjects in a fascinating psychological test.

Before them sits a charming covered bridge that would fit right into a Robert James Waller novel. The only difference is the large yellow sign affixed to the wood that reads “8-foot-6,” a height significantly shorter than the average school bus or box truck.

Do the drivers of such vehicles heed the numerous warning signs before arriving at the bridge? Do they take a last chance to turn onto a side road? Or do they size up the opening and take their chances?

Roughly twice a month, a driver makes the wrong bet.

The top of their vehicle grinds along the steel skeleton that reinforces the bridge, gouging the roof, knocking off ladders and smashing overhead lights. Or, far worse, the vehicle gets wedged inside and needs a tow truck to yank it free.

“I thought I would make it,” a box truck driver who momentarily got stuck last summer told the Tribune. “I seriously went 2 mph through there.”

Read more of the in-depth Chicago Tribune report here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: