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The seedlings closeup.

From the Barrington Area Library:

The Seed Library opens on Wednesday, February 1, beginning at 10 AM!

Drop in on Feb 1 to see what’s available in the Seed Library this season (or plan in advance by visiting our Seed Library website). Master Gardeners will be here to answer questions and share seed starting tips. Learn how to make custom garden items with the laser cutter, help us create painted rocks for our fairy garden (and for you, too!), and pick up Take-And-Make Kits for kids and adults.

Take-And-Makes, info tables, and activities run from 10 AM – 4 PM on February 1; after 4 PM tomorrow, the Seed Library will be open during all regular Library hours. While supplies last. Seeds are organic and non-GMO.”

Hunt Ohio

220’s Dr. Robert Hunt appeared to be all smiles as he was welcomed yesterday at Upper Arlington Schools.  A well liked Facebook post reads:

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Robert Hunt to UA! Please join us this evening for a community open house to meet Dr. Hunt.”

Related:District 220 Superintendent gives notice

Nasa Green Comet

This graphic released by NASA shows the path the “Green Comet” will take across the solar system. (NASA)

A “once-in-a-lifetime comet” that hasn’t been seen in the solar system for 50,000 years is set to reach its brightest moment this week as stargazers will be able to spot it with just a telescope or binoculars.

According to Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, the comet, informally known as the “green comet” recently made its closest approach to the sun, after having traveled tens of thousands of years from the far fringes of the solar system.” It is expected to be brightest around Feb. 1 as it reaches its closest point to Earth.

The comet will be “just slightly brighter than 6th magnitude,” the planetarium notes, meaning the comet will be at the “faintest an object can be seen without optical aid in a very clear, very dark sky.”

But it won’t look like what many might imagine a comet to look like – even in photos.

“It will be more like a faint, fuzzy glow or smear of light,” the planetarium reported. “Under a city or suburban sky, you’ll need binoculars or a small telescope to actually see this comet. Even far from city lights, you’ll likely still need binoculars because when the comet is brightest, the bright Moon will be in the sky at the same time, making viewing more difficult.”

Discovered less than a year ago, the harmless green comet already is visible in the northern night sky with binoculars and small telescopes, and possibly the naked eye in the darkest corners of the Northern Hemisphere.

Source

Election 2023 Chicago Mayor

Chicago Teachers Union lobbyist and mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson unveiled his ‘tax-the-rich’ revenue plan, including $800 million in new taxes on suburbanites and those who come to the city to work or play.

Mayoral challenger Brandon Johnson Jan. 23 introduced his “tax-the-rich” revenue plan for the city of Chicago, calling for $800 million in new taxes on those who come from the suburbs and elsewhere to work and play, or those in the city he deems “wealthy” that the details of his plan show are actually middle-class workers.

Johnson proposes reinstating the $4-per-month employee “head tax” on large Chicago businesses, imposing $100 million in new user fees for areas “frequented by the wealthy, suburbanites, tourists and business travelers,” and raising the real-estate transfer and financial transactions taxes for a combined $200 million.

“The suburban tax base utilizes Chicago’s infrastructure to earn their disproportionately higher income, yet their taxes fund already wealthy towns,” the plan states. “A Metra ‘city surcharge’ will raise $40 million from the suburbs.”

The Chicago Teachers Union organizer and avowed Socialist said his plan would also increase the Chicago hotel tax – which is already the highest in the nation – to generate an additional $30 million. He wants to make “the big airlines pay for polluting the air” in Chicago neighborhoods to the tune of $98 million.

More here.

Cuba

“Take it slow out there today. This is going to be a long duration event. Remember to always give the plow trucks plenty of room and to always drive with your lights ON for safety!”

Editorial note: This from professionals who know what they’re doing. Too bad they no longer service our roads.

HuntJanuary 27, 2023
“Dear Barrington 220 Community:

Since my family and I moved from Ohio to Barrington in 2021, I have had the absolute privilege of becoming a part of this community and serving as the Superintendent of Schools for Barrington 220. You have welcomed me with open arms, which is why this message is difficult to write.

On Monday, January 30, the Board of Education for Upper Arlington Schools in Ohio will consider entering into a contract for me to become the next Superintendent of Schools. This decision is based on what is best for my family, as I will be moving back to Ohio.

Upon approval at Upper Arlington, I will resign my position as Superintendent of Schools of Barrington 220 effective June 30, 2023.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31 the Barrington 220 Board of Education will hold a special meeting in closed session to discuss next steps. I am fully confident in the Board’s commitment to ensure that there is no disruption to the great work happening within our school district. We will communicate more information next week, following the special meeting, about the search for Barrington 220’s next Superintendent of Schools.

Please know that this was a personal family-based decision, and it was a very difficult decision to make. I am truly grateful for all that you have done to welcome my family into this school district and for the community’s support for Barrington 220. We have important work ahead during the second half of the 2022-23 school year. I look forward to continuing to serve as your Superintendent of Schools and will work to ensure an effective transition in district leadership.”

Editorial note: Smart man…

220 Ticket

Tuesday evening, during the District 220 school board meeting, member Collister-Lazzari once again claimed that when she called in remotely to vote at the December 20th Board of Education meeting on the controversial $170M tax levy she was on a 3 week “work” trip in New Zealand!

Collister-Lazzari has filed a Statement of Candidacy and of Economic Interest wherein she identifies her ‘Job Title’ as ‘School Board Member’ and stated ‘Not Applicable’ in response to the question regarding the source of any income “in excess of $7500 required to be reported during the preceding calendar year.” Are we to believe, then, that her jaunt to New Zealand was on the taxpayer’s dime in pursuit of Board of Education business?

After searching for alternative potential employment, the only position she seems to hold is with SHP Holland, Inc., an apartment complex in Holland, MI. What business could someone with real estate holdings In Michigan be conducting in New Zealand?

Thanks to the Overseas Investment Amendment Act of 2018, you must be a resident of New Zealand to purchase property, so that’s ruled out. Instead of addressing the issue and explaining exactly what ‘business’ she was conducting during her extended sojourn in New Zealand that caused her to be away for two board meetings, but, coincidentally, only calling into the one with an important vote implicating your tax dollars, Collister-Lazzari deflected with a call for “trust” among board members.

Trust? A person who kept our kids out of school and behind masks?

The community deserves clarity around this issue. What type of ‘business’ trip turns into a three-week vacation, in a country that doesn’t allow foreigners to purchase property? This does not follow the policy laid out for remote participation in school board business. And Collister-Lazzari and Ficke-Bradford, who colluded in this farce, know it.

Flock

Barrington officials are expected to decide next month whether to purchase license plate-reading cameras like this one and install them at 12 locations in town. (Courtesy of Flock Safety)

Barrington police soon could have an additional tool at their disposal to help catch suspected criminals.

The village board is expected to vote Feb. 13 on a plan to install license plate reading cameras at 12 locations in town, where they would take snapshots of passing vehicles to capture their make and model, license plate information and any unusual or unique features.

Under the proposal, Barrington would sign a two-year, $70,250 contract with Atlanta-based Flock Group Inc. for the cameras, which are solar-powered, motion-activated and work in all weather conditions.

Police Chief David Dorn said the system would read the plate and, if the vehicle has been reported stolen or there is a warrant associated with it, a real-time text would be sent to a watch commander.

The Flock cameras also would be linked to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center federal and state hotlists, which are updated at least every 24 hours.

Read more here.

Editorial note: Cameras of this type are in use throughout our Village, and have been for some time.

Switzerland Davos Forum

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is making free college a priority in his second term. Tuition is driven up by pension costs, which Pritzker routinely ignores.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is making affordable college a priority in his second term, but so far he’s ignored the surest way to ensure it can happen: pension reform.

“It’s also our obligation to make college more affordable by removing financial barriers. That’s why we need to bring down the cost of higher education. Since I took office, we’ve increased scholarships by more than 50%. Now let’s focus on making tuition free for every working-class family,” Pritzker said.

The biggest barrier to affordable college in Illinois is pensions. Rising pension costs push up Illinois tuition, forcing students to pay the difference.

Pension Costs Education

It’s why Illinois has the fourth-highest in-state tuition and fees for public universities in the nation at $14,455 a year. Pritzker boasts increased scholarships, but scholarships are like a coupon: they help people but do nothing to change the price tag.

Other big states keep their universities affordable. Public colleges in California, New York, Texas and Florida all cost under $9,000 a year for residents.

Read more here.

Porsche Oops

A Porsche stolen from Motor Werks in Barrington crashed outside of the dealership on Dundee Road while fleeing from police Sunday morning. | Photo: Benjamin Lundquist

Two have been charged after multiple high-end cars were stolen from a car dealership in Barrington, which resulted in four separate crashes, including a police car that was rammed.

The Barrington Police Department responded around 8 a.m. Sunday to the Motor Werks, located at 1475 South Barrington Road in Barrington.

Several vehicles were stolen from the business, which is a collection of dealerships including Porsche, INFINITI, Honda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Officers were notified about suspicious activity at the business, police officials said.

Officers arrived and observed numerous offenders stealing vehicles from the Motor Werk’s car lot. The security gate had also been opened.

An officer positioned his squad car across the exit to the dealership to block the suspects.

One of the offenders, identified as Tavarius Jackson, 27, of Chicago, was in a stolen vehicle attempting to exit.

More here.

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