Archive for the ‘Topics Of Interest’ Category

Most of the north and northwest suburban communities have canceled their traditional Fourth of July celebrations – which usually include parades, firework displays and more – because of concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Barrington is finding ways to celebrate virtually, socially distanced or both.

Barrington residents are encouraged to organize vehicle parades July 4 in their neighborhoods to show their patriotism and also hear a virtual concert. The village traditionally has an Independence Day parade on Main Street. This year the village is encouraging people to hold neighborhood car parades between dubbed “take the parade to the people,” according to the village website.

Police cars and the village’s antique fire truck are scheduled to join the activities intermingling with the events as well as Bob the DJ, according to the website.

Village President Karen Darch said in an email to Pioneer Press that celebration of the Fourth of July should not be diminished because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

Related: “Barrington cancels July 4th parade and fireworks while postponing other summer events,” “Good questions deserve answers.”

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Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council
Front row: Terry Guen, Laurel Ross, Peter Ellis. Back row: Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Wendy Paulson, Michael DeSantiago, Sylvia Jenkins, Mark Templeton, Emily Harris, Arnold Randal, Commissioner Stanely Moore. Not pictured: Rob Castaneda.

Nature has never been more important than it is right now. People are looking to it to reduce stress, stay healthy and find solace. Many in the Chicago region are flocking to our greatest natural asset, the Forest Preserves of Cook County. We applaud President Preckwinkle, General Superintendent Arnold Randall and his team for their commitment to keep the preserves open just when they are needed most and when many other public spaces are closed. At the same time, we are troubled by reports of illegal and unacceptable behavior by a very few — crowding, going off trail, picking wildflowers, trampling sensitive vegetation, letting dogs run rampant.

We are so glad people are discovering — or rediscovering — these extraordinary landscapes and the more than 350 miles of trails they include. The ability to be active and outside with family members is a blessing. But the privilege of free access to the Forest Preserves carries a responsibility, too, especially in this time of extreme and necessary social guidelines.

That means respecting the space of other visitors, obeying preserve rules and honoring the habitats of animals and plants for whom the preserves are home. It’s an opportune time to visit a less well known preserve — maybe a place you’ve never been before — or to visit at a less crowded time. Check FPDCC.com before you go.

We invite you not only to visit, but to join us in protecting and restoring the natural habitats of the preserves. (See, for example: https://fpdcc.com/volunteer/ or https://northbranchrestoration.org). Once we emerge from this challenging time and restrictions are lifted, consider joining thousands of volunteers who give their time, energy and expertise to help make nature in our preserves even more healthy, diverse and welcoming.

Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council

Wendy Paulson, Chairman

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Barrington athletes work out in small groups by following along with a video on the screen inside the stadium. The IHSA has approved small-group workouts as part of its return-to-play initiative.

Similar to many restaurants and businesses, local high school athletic departments have cautiously waded back to work this summer. The new normal, as permitted by the IHSA, allows for schools to offer voluntary strength and conditioning workouts. Sports-specific drills are not currently permitted.

Athletes have their temperatures checked at the start of each session and are asked if they have any specific symptoms. When training begins, they are required to maintain a social distance of 6 feet and train in groups of no more than 10 people, including the coach.

Glenbrook South athletic director Steve Rockrohr estimated 500 students are participating in workouts. At Barrington, about 225 students are participating, according to athletic director Mike Obsuszt. At both schools, the groups of 10 are co-ed and feature athletes from a range of sports. Rockrohr and Obsuszt said they think more students would have participated had additional sessions been feasible. 

Pioneer Press contributor Ryan Nilsson spoke with Rockrohr, Obsuszt and Timothy Christian athletic director Jack LeGrand to learn how the conditioning workouts were going. Stevenson athletic director Trish Betthauser answered the same questions via email.

Read more here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials have created a new staff position to lead equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives.

The district plans to have the administrator hired in time for the 2020-21 academic season. Applications are being accepted for the job, which officials say was made possible through a restructuring of administrative positions and will not increase the size of the staff.

As part of the official job description, the director of equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives will have duties including promotion of an inclusive school climate and fostering healthy youth development.

In addition, the administrator will provide leadership regarding the development, coordination, facilitation and delivery of diversity-related programs, services and support for students and employees across District 220.

Another essential job function will be to lead a focus on social justice initiatives and cultural awareness.

Read more here.

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Take your pick. The pandemic, the police killing of George Floyd, the presidential election. Protests, looting, calls to “defund the police.”

Any one of such similar events historically has been enough to push some people off the fence, prompting them to finally buy a gun or add to their collection.

But with a wave of crises crashing across the country, more than 40,000 Illinoisans applied for a gun permit in a little more than two weeks this month, more than 500% over this time last year, according to Illinois State Police.

Gun sales are soaring at Mark Glavin’s gun shop in Elgin, from an average of 10 a day last year to as many as 200 a day this year. With so many gun purchases, he said, ammunition also can be hard to find.

“Take a full glass of coronavirus, shake in a shot of riots and another of this defund police notion, and everything goes crazy,” said Glavin, owner of Fox Valley Shooting Range. “Not to mention the backlog on background checks.”

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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Since 2018, the North Shore has gone chicken crazy, with big fat hens popping up on real estate billboards and in backyards from Highland Park to Lake Bluff.

For homeowners like (Matt) Hendrick preparing for first-time chicken ownership, the initial learning curve includes questions about what kind of coop to build or purchase, how to feed and maintain the chickens, and which breeds to purchase.

To get there, Hendrick read books, visited websites and talked to chicken owners who had years of experience raising the birds.

“You really do learn a lot by talking to others who have chickens,” says Helen Sheyka, who has been raising chickens in Barrington Hills since 1994. To share what she learned over the years and learn from others’ experiences, Sheyka began hosting a small chicken club.

“We would all get together and bring an egg dish and talk chickens. It really grew fast,” says Sheyka. At last count, the Barrington Chicken Club had more than 100 attendees from around the North Shore and northwest suburbs.

Read the full unedited story in the Daily North Shore here.

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During these challenging times, we’re doing all we can to provide Library materials, services, and expertise to you and your household. While the Library building remains closed until further notice, we’re expanding and enhancing the ways we serve you digitally and in person.

Try our new Parking Lot Pick-Up service!

Parking Lot Pick-Up is an easy, convenient, and safe way for you to borrow books and other materials from the Barrington Area Library. Here’s how it works. 

  1. Search the online catalog for books and movies.
  2. Place requests on items you’d like to borrow. If you already have items on hold, those requests will be automatically changed to Parking Lot Pick-Up requests. Note that items may only be picked up at the main Library at this time. Also, Interlibrary Loan service is unavailable until further notice.
  3. Watch for an e-mail or text notification when the items are ready for pick-up. Come to the Library during Parking Lot Pick-Up hours: Monday – Friday, 1 – 5 PM.
  4. Park in a designated pick-up spot (near the book return), call the number on the sign, and tell us the number of your parking spot. Have your Barrington Area Library card number ready when you call. Walking or biking, or don’t have a mobile phone? Come to the pick-up table outside the building and follow posted instructions.
  5. A staff member will check out your materials and deliver them to your vehicle.
  6. Enjoy your Library materials, and rest assured: our building has been disinfected to EPA standards, and our staff equipped with PPE/social distancing training and equipment. Health and safety remain our highest priorities.

Questions? E-mail or chat with our Customer Service representatives, Monday – Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM. .

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The Village posted the following notice today on their website:

Zoning Board of Appeals of Cook County
Notice of Public Hearing*

A special use petition is the subject of a public hearing to be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 10:00 AM.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the ZBA will be holding virtual meetings until further notice.  Attendance at this meeting is required by remote means only.

PREMISES AFFECTED: 1004 S. Hough Street, Barrington, IL 60010

SUBJECT: Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District has petitioned the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use in the R-3 Single Family Residential District.  The Special Use is required to construct a Fire/EMS Station.

Permanent Index Number: 01-01-308-039 & 01-01-308-040

In compliance with President Preckwinkle’s Executive Orders 2020-11, attendance at this meeting will be by remote means only.  Written public comments on this item will be accepted until 3:00 PM on July 6, 2020, at ZBA.Emails@cookcountyil.gov All comments will be read aloud at the meeting with three minutes allotted for each commenter, though every effort will be made to read statements in their entirety.

Copies of the Agenda for the July 8, 2020 ZBA Public Hearing and items to be considered at this meeting will be made available electronically on the Cook County website on June 29, 2020, at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/agency/zoning-board-appeals-0.

Note: County Administrative Building, 69 W. Washington St, Chicago IL 60602 will be open to the public starting July 6, 2020, under COVID-19 Guidelines consistent with the State’s “Restore Illinois Plan.”

*This is not the official notice.  For the exact information, please refer to Cook County’s ZBA website or call the ZBA directly at 312-603-5040.

Related: Here we go again!”, “New Fire Station to Help Save Lives, Protect Property

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“This afternoon the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year.

This 60-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the 2020-21 school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process.

Right now, we don’t have all the answers to those questions, as this document was released to school districts at the same time it was released to the public. Therefore, we kindly ask for your patience as Barrington 220 reviews this detailed guidance and implements the suggestions into Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening, which is based on the five-phase Restore Illinois plan.

As you may know, last month Barrington 220 formed a committee which has already been discussing options. The committee consists of district administrators, teachers and support staff. In addition, administrators will be meeting with parents in the next couple of weeks to gain their feedback. Those conversations, along with the ISBE guidance, will help Barrington 220 put forth a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff while maintaining a dynamic learning environment.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year. We plan to communicate Barrington 220’s comprehensive Roadmap to Reopening next month.”

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Umpire David Baker watches as players take the field at a youth baseball game at Kimball Hill Elementary School in Rolling Meadows. Youth sports can resume under Phase 4 of Illinois’ reopening plan but with restrictions.

As the state makes a giant leap forward Friday when movie theaters reopen, youth sports resume and other activities curtailed by COVID-19 return with restrictions, health experts warn residents to take it slow.

Illinois is meeting all the health metrics, including declining hospitalizations and a 2% average positivity rate for COVID-19 testing, that will propel it out of the Phase 3 limitations.

But don’t toss your face mask, given that COVID-19 is spread mainly through droplets when people sneeze, said physician Michael Bauer.

“It is not all fine. It is not back to normal,” Bauer said. “Everyone wants it to be, but we are still in the midst of this pandemic.”

The Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital medical director, for one, doesn’t plan to watch a movie anytime soon, for example.

“To me, personally, I would have no desire to sit in an indoor space like that,” Bauer said.

Read more here.

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