- 2015-11-27 15:19:05
Harlon Katz on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: Well, the Nobel committee gave Obama the Peace Prize - THAT really turned out well. [Read More]
- 2015-11-27 10:55:43
Elizabeth Everly on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: I wondered if Aaron Brooks was a member of this SCFFAC, since that would perhaps explain why he claims the middle-school idea was part of that process. I looked him up.
It doesn't seem to be the case, unless the roster at the District website is wrong.
Yet, a web search does turn up Aaron is an employee of Baker Tilly, the firm that does the auditing for 112.
That may not be a conflict of interest, but he should freely disclose that. Otherwise, how can we trust what we read on the internet?[Read More]
- 2015-11-27 10:33:55
William Miller on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: George Bush and Dick Cheney thought invading Iraq was the best option available.
"Our community has analyzed this long enough and it is time to act on the best option available."
That turned out well![Read More]
- 2015-11-27 10:32:05
Sara on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: Aaron: are you serious that just because someone can search the web and find and article supporting either side that one should suspicious of what is on the web? It's hard to follow most of your logic, but I think you are trying to say that just because it's online, doesn't mean it is true.
I think most people would agree, but responses on these issues should deal with content, and not the above.
You then say you will not debate Bob, but that you will. You can't have a cat roll over and play dead at the same time. You are either engaging or not.
I don't agree with all of Bob's letter, but I think he is saying that our administration is spending too much of their time and our resources on advocating for the referendum rather than working on educational issues. How much money has been spent on this in the last year or two--consultants, staff time, etc? Those are real issues.
Just because you have 3 children getting a good education doesn't mean that the "administration is doing an incredible job educating our children." Teachers teach your children, not the Superintendent. You are really twisting Bob's points, and worse, using anecdote to counter.
I think you are right: let us not believe everything on the internet.[Read More]
- 2015-11-27 10:30:36
Robert Bernat on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: Mr. Brooks’ reply is designed to obscure the facts. Having been a member of both the SCFFAC and its predecessor, the SCFAC, I can represent and warrant that the only options endorsed by the SCFFAC in its report to David Behlow, PhD, the former NSSD112 Superintendent, included two middle schools. (See, Making Informed Choices To Ensure A Sustainable Future – Your Voice Our Future, Report Prepared by the Superintendent’s Citizen Finance and Facilities Advisory Committee, North Shore School District 112, February 2014, p. 13.) Furthermore, in the community survey conducted by the SCFFAC community sentiment was made clear. Such survey stated, “As shown in Figure 5, the highest ranked option for all survey participants was to reduce the number of schools to six K-5 elementary schools and two 6-8 middle schools.” (See, Superintendent’s Citizen Finance and Facilities Advisory Committee, Report to the Superintendent, May 6, 2014, p. 12.)
However, Mr. Brooks asserts that during SCFFAC deliberations certain unnamed members of the SCFFAC favored a single middle school. Of course he is unable to backup such assertion with any SCFFAC report. He then states, “Given this public assertion by many members of the SCFFAC, I feel it is irresponsible for any SCFFAC member to state that this model goes against the recommendations of the committee overall.” This statement makes no sense whatsoever. Mr. Brooks clearly has failed to read the SCFFAC reports.
Furthermore, Mr. Brooks takes issue with the characterization of Jasculca Terman as a PR firm. However, a review of the Jasculca Terman website is instructive. Under its recitation of services are the following four headings: Public Affairs, Crisis Communications, Event Management and Digital Strategies and Engagement. Under the appropriate heading, Public Affairs, it is stated, “JT Public Affairs takes a campaign-style approach to issues and crises. This means moving quickly to seize the initiative: crafting the ri[Read More]
- 2015-11-27 10:21:25
Wendy F. on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: The SCFFAC presented its recommendations to the Board. Those recommendations call for two middle-school. It doesn't matter how many of those 60 (and how many, really?) SCFFAC members stated that a middle-school campus "was certainly discussed as part of the process."
Where are the minutes so the public can see under what context this was "discussed"? Why is it not in the recommendations
Why should we spend _years_ engaging the public in a committee process if we are free to interpret, amend, and change those recommendations without community input later on. Even if the outcome were right--and it's not here--the process is wrong. The process ended with recommendations agreed upon by those who served.
I'm voting "No" on this plan for a giant middle school. When schools close and boundaries are redrawn, I'll be ok with that. That's probably the most sensible plan, and doesn't require borrowing $198 million dollars.[Read More]
- 2015-11-26 19:26:51
Joe snith on Loyola Gold's O'Grady having a 'grand' time: That's a great article , but Loyola gold played my sons team this morning in this tournament and Loyola's player cheering section was the most embarrassing thing I've witnessed.Its to bad because there team was good .Seemed like a bunch of entitled rich kids who lack parenting. [Read More]
- 2015-11-26 10:51:57
Nancy Brankis on One Year In, A Most Happy Thanksgiving: I read your publication daily. During contentious times, I can count on the Daily North Shore to provide accurate and unbiased reporting. Congratulations on your success. [Read More]
- 2015-11-26 08:37:44
sherri nichols on One Year In, A Most Happy Thanksgiving: Thank you to Adrienne Fawcett and team for keeping us all informed and up to the minute on the most important news and events in and around LF/LB. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Waking up to the DNS keeps us all in the know and we appreciate your work! [Read More]
- 2015-11-25 12:52:47
Aaron Brooks on 10% Solution No Cure For D-112: I could not disagree more with this opinion piece. Everyone in town is entitled to an opinion and Bob Bernat is no different. One can do a simple Google search these days and come up with an article or opinion piece written on the 112 situation that will support their stance - does not make their stance right just because one can read it online.
I am not going to debate the points Bob makes in his opinion piece as it would be fruitless to do so. I will make comment on a couple of his opinions that I vehemently disagree with.
No school district is set up to communicate the status of a reconfiguration such as this to an inquiring public like the one we have in our area. Those that have continued to attack the District for bringing in additional communication resources are being completely unfair in my opinion - these are the same people that would complain if the district did not communicate status. To say they are performing a PR function that is somehow improper without proof of this is irresponsible and unfair at best.
Bob's opinion piece states that that the district will theoretically reduce district costs - yet the district performed a painstaking staffing exercise that built up exactly how the new school would be staffed and the related budget impact - and the savings are at least $4 million annually. These people certainly understand how to staff a school - It is fair to say these are certainly realizable savings as the exercise to arrive at the estimate was scientific.
The administration is doing an incredible job of educating our children - and I have 3 of them in school to prove it. To imply they are not doing their jobs and are not focusing on the education of children is unfair and unnecessarily inflammatory for no reason. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in town that would say that the education our children receive isn't top notch.
Many members of SCFFAC have stated that a single middle school option was certainly discussed as a[Read More]
- 2015-11-25 07:46:17
B. Friedland on Dold Gets Speaker’s Ear: Many thanks for Bob Dold on this Thanksgiving weekend! [Read More]
- 2015-11-25 01:53:05
Ariana Pup on HP's Black Friday Bonanza: See the Full Downtown HP Black Friday Deal List here: http://downtownhp.com/trending/black-friday-deals/ [Read More]
- 2015-11-25 00:56:50
Scott Holleran on Sowing the Seeds of Shermerville: I'm glad you enjoyed the article on Northbrook, Ms. Fasano. This is part of a series on histories of towns on the North Shore, so look for more to come. Yes, I'm still in Southern California. [Read More]
- 2015-11-24 16:07:11
Peggy Fasano on Sowing the Seeds of Shermerville: Sounds as if you live here, Scott. Are you still in California? Enjoyed the article; having arrived in Northbrook in 1959, I can attest that there were indeed farms still close by. [Read More]
- 2015-11-24 15:26:44
Charley on From Opera Tenor to Restaurateur: FYI there's no N in Restaurateur [Read More]
- 2015-11-23 15:19:41
hzs on D-112 Address Questions At Community Meeting: Couldn't agree with Disappointed Resident's comments more.
I too support the call for a meaningful debate in front of a live audience at a neutral site. A forum open to the HP community where each side can present their views and answer questions in real time. Just like our students do at school debates. Certainly, it would be an excellent learning opportunity for them to see how things work in a democratic society where citizens and community leaders are free to state their views and ask questions.
Perhaps the League of Women Voters could be contacted to host 2 or 3 debates at the Community House once the referendum is announced.[Read More]
- 2015-11-23 13:50:36
Scott Holleran on Lake Forest: A History: Thank you, Mr. Miller. I'm glad you find it useful. This is one of a series I'm writing for The North Shore Weekend about the history of towns along Chicago's North Shore. [Read More]
- 2015-11-23 07:54:51
Arthur H. Miller on Lake Forest: A History: Thanks to the author and interviewees for this readable and valuable summary of Lake Forest's distinctive history. [Read More]
- 2015-11-22 06:46:24
Enrique on D-112 Takes Pause With Full-Day Kindergarten: This is just a ploy by the board and their PR machine to gin up support for their abysmal plan that will force busing for 95% of students. 2 schools already have full time kindergarten and even if this folly passes, the rest of the schools wouldn't get them next year anyway, nor the year after that, or the year after that...Hey board, HP residents see right through your dog and pony show. The board thinks we are lemmings that will just fall in lock step to their delusions of grandeur - but do they have another thing coming. They have their own agenda that is out of tune with the community at large, and by spending our money - 7 figures already on PR firms and architect fees - shows they can't be trusted to be fiscally sound with our money in the future. [Read More]
- 2015-11-21 18:17:10
Harlon Katz on LF Explains Tax Increase: Wow - the city sure is looking smart after having drive out Costco, and then Whole Foods. We somehow didn't the the multi-millions that Costco would have generated, but now they have to raise our taxes. [Read More]
- 2015-11-21 09:50:58
Carl Noble on LF Explains Tax Increase: "Staying on top of the issue" and "consistently looking for ways to reduce expenses". Impressive vigilance. How about "Spending Less" Novel concept, I'll admit. Maybe have a board meeting to discuss it. Tricky concept. Lots of nuances. [Read More]
- 2015-11-19 21:35:24
Wendy F. on D-112 Takes Pause With Full-Day Kindergarten: C'mon 112--we waited months for you to tell us the same things you told us about full-day kindergarten months ago. Your planning for this was understandably disrupted by the enormous amounts of time you are spending forcing a mega school down out throats.
We don't want a 2000-student prison. We want full-day k. We don't want it 5 years from now after you break the bank and underfund maintenance of our schools in the process.
How many of these administrators will even be here when any of this actually happens. They can move on with their shiny resumes, while we're left paying the bill.[Read More]
- 2015-11-19 21:32:33
Jeremy Rosen on D-112 Takes Pause With Full-Day Kindergarten: What's really outrageous here is the fact that the inter-governmental agreement was ever in question. The district told the Park District that any renewal of the agreement was dependent on the PD agreeing to sell West Ridge to 112 for the big box middle school.
Yes, that's right. A governing body tried to blackmail another governing body by linking together summer camp and their ridiculous land grab.
I'm glad the agreement has been signed, but Michael Cohn has a lot of nerve to express his concerns about security after reading his ultimatum to the PD a few weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, I support security, but the Board wants you to think they are far-thinking visionaries, when really, recent events show them to be craven politicos.
- 2015-11-19 21:28:32
Sara on D-112 Takes Pause With Full-Day Kindergarten: Jane Mordini's comment is telling:
"“It seems like we’re jumping the gun a little and need to wait until after March to see what direction we’re going in terms of configuring this district and financially supporting this district,”
She has been perhaps the biggest cheerleader for the middle school campus. She sees a green future where kids will ride in eco-buses and where for $117 million dollars, four less acres of wetlands/greenspace, and less open parkland for the entire community, our children will stare into nature and after there 45 minutes rides and realize that she's some sort of visionary.
Yet, like most of the Board, she is not conversant with the financial facts of this situation. The referendum for this mega school does not solve the financial problems of 112. This point is made effectively by Dan Littmann, former of co-chair of the committee that recommended a referendum for two middle schools:
"My endorsement of reconfiguration and investment has always been contingent on a responsible plan that protects the district’s long term fiscal heath in addition to addressing facilities issues. Unfortunately, the administration’s current plan spends beyond our means while failing to address the more serious long term funding and budgetary issues."
There's more, but 112 will do a thousand dog and pony shows to stop you from asking questions.[Read More]
- 2015-11-19 12:47:02
Low-tech Rob on Affordable Housing Plan Dropped: Thank you for your coverage of the proposed affordable housing development in Wilmette. Based mostly on your coverage to date, the opponents of the plans submitted by HODC seem to lack much sympathy for the intent of the plans. The negative overreaction seems based on fears, bias, and lack of community spirit.
I welcome your continued close coverage of this issue.[Read More]
- 2015-11-19 09:25:11
Disappointed Resident on D-112 Address Questions At Community Meeting: Frankly, its too bad they have taken the "conversation" out of the community conversations. The district has turned what was supposed to be a forum to discuss multiple options, into a sales pitch. These meetings have turned from an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns and opinions, engage in meaningful debate, and get real answers, to a dog and pony show. The meetings are structured to spread the attendees among small tables where there are teachers, administrators, or board members at the table to steer any conversation back to the districts talking points. Of the two hours provided for in the meetings, the administrators sell and what felt like a filibuster for about 95% of the time.
When real questions are asked, rather than giving direct answers, they spin the questions and go off on a tangent to make sure they are reinforcing their sales points. Someone at the meeting asked the CFO how much interest would be paid, rather than simply answering her question, he went on and on about 30 year inflation and cost escalation... it was a simple question with a simple answer. I left a meeting feeling like no meaningful answers were provided.
How can I be fully informed if I am not given the full story? There are advantages and disadvantages to such a large school, research says as much, but all we are sold is pods and teaming - measures to reduce the down side to such a massive school? They still haven't told us if this will be a $150M referendum or a $200M referendum. They haven't answered questions that Dan Littman wrote about last week, indicating that this project is too expensive and won't actually solve the district's financial issues.
Claims are made that anyone questioning this are misinformed, but really isn't the district providing misinformation in the form of non-disclosure? They are selling a shiny big box, with ethically questionable scare tactics and threats to our education programs. I want to be fully informed, I wa[Read More]
- 2015-11-19 06:33:30
Richard on HP Parks, D-112 Schools Sign Pact: This is good news, but does not explain District 112s bad behavior in asking the park district to sell the West Ridge Center as a condition of renewing this agreement.
That was the situation that caused the Park District the initially refuse to negotiate. While this renewal of the IGA is good for everyone, this press release pretends that everything is on the up and up.
Really, we are seeing the endpoint of 112s failed bluffing game. They continue to ignore community feedback in their rush to supersize our district with a plan for a giant middle school. Now watch them tell us how great the school will be, even without west ridge.
Go back to the drawing board 112! And act with integrity while you are at it.[Read More]
- 2015-11-19 06:19:37
Shiela on D-112 Address Questions At Community Meeting: We need a two middle school plan that actually solves our financial problems. If not, we need a new school board!
We need to vote no on the ridiculous big box school.[Read More]
- 2015-11-19 06:17:43
William on D-112 Address Questions At Community Meeting: The great 112 sales pitch, organized to minimize discussion, funnel the audience toward the desired outcome, and justify the absurd amount if district resources being spent to push a giant middle school of 2000 students. [Read More]
- 2015-11-18 09:55:44
bill gretz on Housing Plan Was Wrong For Wilmette: it might be helpful to the reader if the writer adhered to the two rules of acronyms. (1 always use the full words the first time mentioned, followed by the acronym. (2 never use acronyms. thank you bill gretz......the Wilmette hodc......the what ???? [Read More]
- 2015-11-18 09:40:36
Chantel Beauregard on Glenview Named 'Village of the Year': Congratulations Glenview! [Read More]
- 2015-11-18 09:33:29
Carl Noble on Lake Forest Moves Toward Tax Hike: Ah, "Tax hikes are involved in all of the proposed solutions". Only government folks make simple things hard. If a 2.93% increase will fix things, then a 3% (gives some wiggle room) DECREASE in all expenses will also do it. Just announce that all cash payments will be discounted by 3%. If folks/vendors/pensions, etc. get upset then they get zero -- even better. Keep you legal troops busy dealing with the screamers.
OR, just find one of the "one-percenters' to cover the shortfall.
- 2015-11-18 07:06:08
Rachel Remington on Pastor Indicted In Teen Sex Abuse Case: I think there is more to this story about Pastor Sam Kee. Obviously the leadership of the church was onto him and he confessed to the crime in the attempt to lessen the repercussions. Usually in these cases there are other victims. Please keep some pressure and exposure to the case so that the detectives do a thorough investigation and prosecutors pursue appropriate charges and Kee doesn't get off with a slap on the wrist only to popup at another church in a few months and do it to another poor young child. Members of Christian churches don't like to see stories like this in the media. Before the digital age, things like this were swept under the rug and never discussed again. I trust that someone with journalistic integrity will pursue this story with some passion. Best Regards Rachel [Read More]
- 2015-11-17 06:11:55
Debbie Harris on The Art Center-Highland Park to Expand: One of its kind. No apostrophe. [Read More]
- 2015-11-16 22:53:33
Amy on Affordable Housing Developer Speaks Out: While I appreciate the writer wanting to take all views of this situation, this is a very long and one sided "conversation" with the developer. It would be more balanced if a few comments from the many people in opposition were included to ensure there is a full balance of information. [Read More]
- 2015-11-16 20:48:24
Bonnie on North Shorts: The Trip: I have enjoyed Mike Lubow's North Shorts ever since he started contributing to The North Shore Weekend. And "The Trip" was no exception. I got caught hook, line and sinker that he was traveling on a plane. Very funny twist. I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you Mike. [Read More]
- 2015-11-16 16:26:30
Knl44 on Ravinia BBQ & Grill Closing: I am sure your long term employees truly appreciate the "lovely" thoughtfulness of almost a whole two weeks notice that their employment is ending right before the start of the holidays. [Read More]
- 2015-11-16 14:22:38
David Barnum on League: End The Deadlock, Illinois: The League of Women Voters claims that Governor Rauner and the State Assembly are holding Illinois "hostage to political ideology". First, I hope readers know that the League of Women Voters "political ideology" resides on the far left. This uninformative and whiny opinion piece never mentions why there is a budget impasse. The pensions of the public sector are grossly underfunded. This has created a structural debt in the state and at every level of government down to school districts in which, in the not too distant future, over 50 cents on the dollar of our tax money will go to public sector retirees. So, for example, less than half of the money we spend on our local school will actually go to the class room. The other half will go to pay people who don't work there anymore.
The left wing League of Women Voters should call out public sector union bosses as "hostage" takers. They are the key players in the drama occurring in Springfield. Who do you think Michael Madigan takes his orders from? But the leftist League of Women Voters will not ever do that. Why?
But as predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow they demand "sufficient revenue and no additional cuts...". In other words raise taxes and ask for zero sacrifice from the public sector. Governor Rauner, please teach our children that this state will not burden them with their parents irresponsible and unaffordable pension plans.[Read More]
- 2015-11-16 11:33:45
Sue Carlosn on Affordable Housing Developer Speaks Out: Heather is correct--this is an excellent interview where Richard clarifies many of the confusing aspects of his presentation and proposal submitted to the Village. Thanks to Emily for setting things straight about this great opportunity for Wilmette and its residents. [Read More]
- 2015-11-16 06:22:58
William on Memo From D-112 RE: School Configuration: More propaganda from 112s pr firm. How much taxpayer money is being spent on the endless videos?
Why doesn't your fact sheet indicate how the park district publicly refused your offer to buy the west ridge center?[Read More]
- 2015-11-15 20:09:30
Lynne Grenier on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Private property
Pretty sheep autumn day read
the signs, blotter-boy [Read More]
- 2015-11-15 13:09:48
Judi L. on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Blankets of sheer mist
Weigh lightly in sheep's meadow
Protecting with fog [Read More]
- 2015-11-15 10:28:08
Mary Lewis on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: clouds blanket wet earth
pull scarf up over my nose
smell of rain soaked wool [Read More]
- 2015-11-15 07:38:51
LFHS parent on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: Have your freshman ask around. It's an on line survey. I have seen it myself. No one should be fooled by the administrations denials. This is a real plan. I don't know Mrs Nuebauer either, but she deserves credit for being on watch. [Read More]
- 2015-11-14 18:45:47
Michael Farley on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Morning in Fall's rain
Shelterless sheep's wet white wool
So softly grazing [Read More]
- 2015-11-14 13:45:11
Lynn on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: Why wouldn't the Daily North Shore publish Jennifer Neubauer's letters? Are you trying to control free speech? Aren't we all entitled to our opinions? Just because the small number of liberal elites in this community do not want to hear from her, I can assure you the majority of us do. Thank God someone is paying attention around here! We have a school board who doesn't respect our community, and now we are stuck with Simeck and Holland who are both extremely liberal, pushing their social agenda down our throats. As for your claim that "a real reporter" published a "real story substantiated by facts", you cannot possibly be serious! Because Simeck claims he is not behind this, we are to believe him? No, I'm sorry, but he has proven to be untrustworthy, and most definitely does not have the best interests of our community or students in mind. [Read More]
- 2015-11-14 09:59:30
Enough Already on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: I just reread Ms. Neubauer's letter to the editor to determine what you found to be offensive. It seems at this point you simply feel she doesn't have the right to an opinion because it does't coincide with yours. I don't know Ms. Neubauer, and I have no reason to defend her. Five of her seven paragraphs seem extremely objective to me, and had a "real reporter" written an article on his/her observations of the school board meeting, how different would that article have looked? Paragraphs six and seven hardly seem like she's trying to incite an uprising. Just because YOU think something, find something else to do, doesn't make your opinion the only truth. Frankly, she's got a lot more courage than either you or I do, rolling up her sleeves, showing up to gather information, and putting her name to her words, while you and I hide behind our pen names. Thankfully, we live in a country where we can speak our minds and not fear beheading. That includes the 3 of us!!
As an aside, my freshman son has "no clue" about a survey distributed to all students regarding the possibility of a new logo. He has been at school every day this year and his grades thus far would reflect that he's not checked out so I don't know who got the survey among the LFHS students. [Read More]
- 2015-11-14 09:06:19
Cathy Spencer on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Soft gray soggy sky
Can you hear the sheep chorus
Singing in the rain? [Read More]
- 2015-11-14 07:52:06
Aimee Messner on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Cloaked with a yearning
For pastoral connections
Autumn's expanse heals [Read More]
- 2015-11-14 07:11:49
Lynette Foss on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Contented sheep graze
In the misty pasture green.
Lake Bluff or Ireland? [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 20:57:31
Jack on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: Latest development. The high school sent out a survey to all students. The survey questions were clearly slanted to result in the logo change desired by the administration. The survey indicated that it was the principal leading this activity.
Makes you wonder, doesn't our principal have more important things to be concerned with....or is this all part of the agenda she came to town with?.[Read More]
- 2015-11-13 16:50:26
Marjorie Rissman on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: English countryside
No abbey in sight today
Wet wool smells instead [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 15:31:58
Jeff on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Early November.
The Lake Bluff turkey dares not
visit his sheep friends. [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 15:16:11
Richard Short on What’s Up With LFHS Logo?: My father taught at LFHS. He was on the administration. He was athletic director. The sports programs were quite successful. The school spirit flourished. The Scouts flourished. Why the need to make everything so politically correct? I was, and still am, proud of the varsity letters I earned as a LFHS athlete. I am also proud of the diploma I received as a student. To me, this fiasco diminishes the memories I have of the school! [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 13:55:58
Adrienne Fawcett on Write A Caption ... In Haiku: Sheep graze in the rain
Chicago seems worlds away
People get fleeced too [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 11:23:42
Alice Moulton-Ely on FEAST Dinner at Elawa Farm: Not just you. I have an ingrained pattern of driving now on Deerpath that avoids them. [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 10:25:45
Kent Woloson on FEAST Dinner at Elawa Farm: Is it just me or are the sewer covers on Deerpath Road like driving over land mines? It's like a game of chess avoiding them. [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 08:21:04
ATB on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: Adam - Finally a reasonable comment.....this is the type of open minded thinking that - in my opinion - will get our community to the solution we all need. While we may disagree on some things - I for one appreciate the clearly thoughtful way you are looking at this. Enjoy your weekend. [Read More]
- 2015-11-13 07:07:59
Jack on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: For those endearing who is behind this movement, Dr Simeck has said it is not him. And this all started this year. Who or what has changed in LFHS administration this year? Hmmmm. Let's see, first we will get rid of AP classes so everyone is treated the same, next we remove the scout name because it's not PC, ...what's next
Our community and school has a proud history. We need people in charge that we build on that history not tear it done. Enough already. Time for someone to stand up[Read More]
- 2015-11-13 06:53:51
Find something else to do on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: Why does the Daily Norrh Shore continue to publish Ms. Neubauer's letters? As evidenced by the real story you published today (written by a real reporter and substantiated by facts), there is no real basis to her letter. Perhaps some editorial leadership at your shop will prevent these types of issues in the future. Honestly, each time you publish a "letter to the editor" from Ms Neubauer most of the community just sighs and wonders why. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 22:01:50
Enough Already on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: I have a great solution. Let's give everyone in Lake Forest a copy of The Giver, and a roll of duct tape in case heaven forbid, a Jonas is among us. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 19:56:54
ASK on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: Aaron and Bennett, while I respect your opinion and support of this plan, I take issue with a few things that the district has asserted:
I have heard from several sources that it was the school's unwillingness to decouple the IGA from the discussions at west ridge. If this is true, it was inappropriate, as the IGA should be extended continually for the maximum amount permitted by law without discussion. There are too many school and park programs that are dependent on each other's facilities. As far as west ridge, the park district has its own mandates and directives, and I trust their business judgment has determined the last offer was not in its best interest. The school can proceed with its plan on the merits, and if it succeeds I'm sure the kids will use the park property the same way they do now at red oak.
While I can appreciate the administrators and board's opinion that this is the best option, it is nothing but an opinion. There are many intelligent and educated individuals and educators that disagree on this means of delivering education, and it isn't based solely on nostalgia. There seems to be plenty of reasons educationally to be weary of this plan, without regard to the unbelievable amount of money that will be spent on the building.
You want other plans, look no further than the district architect. He provided several viable options. The district seemingly arbitrarily selected OP-EW over other viable options, and when that didn't pan out, rather than selecting EW-NW or EW-SW, they moved forward with the only plan several of them were going to consider from the beginning. Both of those two middle school plans would cost the same or less than the campus plan, and while they offered slightly less annual savings, they both met the financial sustainability and educational improvements the district has sought.
When this plan fails, I will be very disappointed in the district if it simply pouts, starts closing buildings and cutting progr[Read More]
- 2015-11-12 17:29:04
hzs on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: Just to be absolutely sure. It is grossly inaccurate (and surely disturbing to less informed readers of your letter) to state the park district has the ability to deny any citizen in HP the opportunity to vote on the referendum. The park district has no authority to deny anyone's right to vote on the referendum. Period. The 112 school board will present the referendum in December and the vote will be held in mid-march. The entire community will have the opportunity to vote. Thank goodness I will have the opportunity.
And by the way, why should use of school district schools for park district summer camps have any connection to school reconfiguration? These are two entirely different issues. The park district is sticking to park district business. I wish the school district would get out of the parks & recreation business. I've been to 3 meetings hosted by the 112 school district this week. When asked about renewing the reciprocal arrangement - Dr. Bregy has danced around it every time. He's offered the vague comment that "our discussions are ongoing". What is that all about? Why can't he state unequivocally - "the park district will have the use of 112 buildings & properties for summer programs regardless of the outcome of the referendum". That's what I and many others want to hear. Period.[Read More]
- 2015-11-12 16:49:10
Bennett Lasko on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: I keep hearing the opposition demand a different plan, but when it comes to the substance, I haven't heard anything but wishful thinking. A lot of community members have spent a lot of time with this issue - with no pre-conceived agenda and no axes to grind. The reason that we proposed the current plan is that we think it is the best plan.
The District is in a very complex situation, in part because prior leadership indulged two decades of denial and resistance to change. There are too many buildings and it is not optional that some of them are going to have to be closed. We can do that in a thoughtful, pro-active way, or we can argue ourselves into paralysis and do nothing until it is too late. We should be thankful to have a school board and an administration that stepped up to take this on.
If someone has a better plan, I sure would like to see it. Until then, I am supporting the plan proposed by the District.
- Bennett Lasko[Read More]
- 2015-11-12 16:41:41
ATB on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: John - Not so sure this is such a small group my friend. This list could have been much much longer but there was not time to gather additional names as we wanted to get the letter out. I am amazed by how many people think that the majority of people in HP are against this plan. This is simply not the case - however the folks that are against it have certainly been the loudest.
Number one - many of the signers live in SW HP and are clearly for the plan. Many of the signers - including me - have kids in our schools and many have little kids in our schools - many are second generation HPers.
I am not sure how people can feel that the school district "bullied" the park district. The school district offered to purchase West Ridge - which the Park District has gone on record as not wanting to continue to operate. They offered to continue to allow the park district to use school district facilites rent free for at least 5 years (which would of course be longer given the track record of these governmental bodies working together). The Park District are the ones that walked away from the negotiating table. They then sent a press release stating that they had "substantive concerns, both substantive and procedural, with NSSD 112’s plans for West Ridge" - however my understanding is that these concerns were not addressed in meetings between the parties. Is this the best way to work together in the best interests of our community?
Do you really believe that the school district would "prevent 1500+ children from accessing School District property"? Seriously?? The language itself is ridiculous and inflammatory and in my opinion highly politicized.
Anyone can argue the numbers - however no one can argue that if substantial changes are not made it is the kids that will lose. My own kids have commented that it seems like the adults in our community are talking about all of these things that have nothing to do with the kids - and this is what this is all about. The k[Read More]
- 2015-11-12 11:29:54
Concerned Alumni on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: This is a travesty. As an alumni I am offended by the sheer notion that such a strong and proud symbol of our school is threatened, not by the majority, but by a few agenda toting officials whom seem hell bent to destroy the tradition and identity of an amazing academic community. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 10:49:50
Enrique on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: Dear President Meyers and Board Members,
I thank you for doing the right thing and not letting Bregy and the school district bully you into continuing the MOU. There is overwhelming support in the District 112 community to find a different option than the current plan - one that does not raze parkland and forces frivolous long-term spending beyond our means while building another high school size complex in far southwest HP.[Read More]
- 2015-11-12 09:21:18
Lynn on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: I would also like to know. Please out this person! I'm tired of the minority wielding so much power around here. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 09:15:02
larry on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: How many of those signing the letter to Mr. Meyers President of the HPPD live on the west side of HP,k also how many of you that signed this letter have children in the elementary school system? Probably less than none of you that can answer the above [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 08:42:36
RJK on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: The parks will work with the schools the same way they have for the last several decades. They will extend the IGA permitting the rent free use of each other's properties, which will provide for the continued use of fields and other spaces for students in the district. That this extension should be conditioned on transferring land to the school is absurd and inappropriate. As the park district indicated, this folly will be determined on its merits by the voters, and the fact that the park district won't transfer land is besides the point. There will be fields available in the same manner that are available today. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 08:24:13
kukes on Fighting Heroin on the North Shore: Strange how much cheaper and pure heroin is now that when I was on the police dept over 20 years ago. Think of all the jobs it creates. From the dealer, police officers, paramedics, lawyers, judges, JAILS, nurses, doctors, REHAB PROGRAMS, counselors, pharmaceutical companies…. If that doesn't make you wonder who all is profiting from it…. Follow the $$. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 08:19:46
kukes on Fighting Heroin on the North Shore: There is a reason that Cook County does not keep track of heroin deaths. Ask any ER medical professional, police officer or paramedic. The number is staggering! [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 08:07:10
Lisa Watters on Antiques Roadshow At Crab Tree Farm: The Crabtree segment actually features at 23:00 minutes. [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 08:01:42
Lisa Spano on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: WHO was it ? [Read More]
- 2015-11-12 06:28:34
John on HP Parks Should Work With Schools: This is the opinion of a small group that will destroy the current Sherwood and Red Oak neighborhood and Weat Ridge Park with it, to build a giant middle school that the community doesn't want.
The Park District greenprint plan has a stage 2 vision for the park, without the west ridge center, that is far from the so called enhancements of school athletic fields.
The Park District has done exactly the right thing in refusing to be bullied by 112, which tied its land offer to a threat to stop summer campers from using 112 facilities.
The letter writers need to take a step back, and realize the the different governmental bodies are under no obligation to enable the scheme of another.[Read More]
- 2015-11-11 22:31:01
Joe Passini on Visions of Green for HP Parks 2024: The former lakefront B'nai Torah temple four acre site meets all the criteria to fulfill Highland Park residents most desired recreational needs and wants. Which are clearly stated in the district's "Green Print 2024 plan". They include small neighborhood parks on the lakefront. Residents also desire nature and walking/ biking paths, miles of these paths adjoin the temple property. A nature center was also high on the list. This could easy be achieved by re-using the recently constructed temple school that overlooks the lake. This is a win win re-use for the temple property. This small park would be a jewel that all residents could enjoy for generations to come. What is the Park District waiting for? [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 20:19:08
Hank Slingerland on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: Dr. Holland was ostensibly hired, in part, for her sensitivity to students. My daughter, a sophomore, has not heard of this movement, doesn't like it, and hopes it never happens (certainly until after she graduates).
At what cost would this change be, in terms of dollars and tradition? To what benefit? New uniforms, repainting of gyms and vehicles, cost of procuring a new logo, loss of goodwill,... these things are disruptive and do not come cheap, 100's of thousands of dollars I suspect. Please, school board, you're supposed to husband our tax dollars, leave my Skippy alone![Read More]
- 2015-11-11 17:44:18
Jason on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: I live in Lake Forest resident and am Native American. (I’m a card-carrying member of the Choctaw Tribe.) As a Native American I am incredibly offended this plan to strip these proud names and symbols from our schools. Incredibly offended. If there are any Native American residents of the school district who support this then let’s hear from them, but how dare the school administration try to transpose their views and social agenda on us yet again. This sounds like more of Mr. Simeck shenanigans. [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 13:06:10
LFHS Dad on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: This notion to remove the Scout as a mascot is not only damaging to the spirit of the school but also an insult to the heritage of the natives who made this land their proud home for multiple centuries before it was occupied by non-native settlers for only the last century and a half. Honoring those who came before us is not aligned with contemporary times? Says who? Under what authority? What kind of cosmic bunny hole did we fall through to end up in this Orwellian effort to ERASE HISTORY? I defy the principal to produce a single "harmed party" that would warrant such a Board discussion. This subject is important enough to occupy the board's time over other subjects? Nero displayed better judgment when he picked up the fiddle. [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 10:10:24
Heather Hehman on Affordable Housing Developer Speaks Out: This is a refreshingly accurate source of our information about this contentious subject. Thank you for providing us with "the straight scoop." [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 09:53:34
LFHSMom on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: All of this has been brewing behind the scenes since the start of school. The Swim Team was chastised for ordering team gear with the traditional Scout/Brave logo, and told it was going away ( by fiat apparently). As an American of Native American descent, I am not, and have never, been offended by the LF Scouts logo. I am, however, deeply offended by someone telling me/us that an image of bravery, strength and courage is instead, racist. And the previous comment is spot on: doesn't Ms. Holland have more important educational items to focus on? Please write the LFHS board members and demand public imput. [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 09:26:53
Danielle L on Fighting Heroin on the North Shore: I completely believe there is a heroin issue within the Northshore and the surrounding areas. As a student that went to an esteemed high school and elementary school district, I have to disagree that students are not being educated about drugs throughout their schooling. I don't know if D.A.R.E is still going on in elementary schools, but that was the beginning steps of learning about drugs in an appropriate fashion for young kids. In both middle school and high school students are required to take health classes where drugs and their effects are always a major subject at some point within the class, where the realities of heroin and other drugs are brought to light in a more realistic worldly manner. I believe students are educated, but for those who begin to use drugs, they are looking for their next high or a better way to numb out. At that point they aren't considering the education they received. Whether it be the accessibility or the social acceptance of those they surround themselves with, I dont believe it is fair to say kids/teens aren't educated. I completely agree that there is always more to improve education and providing education for parents and families is a wonderful idea. Heroin is a major issue, but it's important to note that people are ignoring the education they receive and not that there is no education being given. Again, once people go down the path of using drugs and go from prescription pills to finally heroin they aren't in the place to remember or think about "oh we learned in health that..." they are beyond those thoughts and are focusing on numbing themselves and finding a way to avoid withdrawal symptoms. For some reason, saying that's there is no education for students struck a cord with me. I completely respect this story and hope that it gives families in the area a realization that there is a problem and it does need to be talked about. The author is clearly coming from a good place and looking to provide support, I just believe w [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 08:36:03
Melissa on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: I think you need to look within the community at WHO started the conversation in the first place. It wasn't the administration. [Read More]
- 2015-11-11 07:20:31
Jack on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: Shouldn't the superintendent and principal worry more about educating our kids.? I find it laughable that we have to change the name of our school because of a new athletic conference. That is just silly. This is simply another move for political correctness Next up we wont be able to say Merry Christmas in Lake Foresr or say God bless when someone sneezes. Enough already. Let's get some people in charge to worry about important things, like educating our children [Read More]
- 2015-11-10 19:43:57
Jacob on Fighting Heroin on the North Shore: "Access to medical marijuana is associated with 25 percent fewer prescription drug overdose deaths each year compared to states where medical pot is illegal, according to findings published Aug. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine."
- http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20140825/fewer-painkiller-deaths-in-states-with-medical-marijuana-study [Read More]
- 2015-11-10 17:46:06
Joe Passini on B’nai Torah Back To Square One: I have lived across the street from the temple for over 50 years. That is not that unusual for the Moraine North neighborhood. This project does not belong in a single family home neighborhood. It would have been a burden, famlies would have moved away. If this project would have gone through our lakefront would have been up for grabs to the highest bidder. I invite everyone to walk the Open Lands walking path at the corner of Walker and Oak Street. Bring your kids and pets, take pictures and post them. Why? Because the simple quiet beauty of nature along the path has to be shared. The closed temple would be the prefect site for a public park with a Healing Garden of wild flowers and benches. Where people could meditate and pray over the life changing events that we all go through. This would be an appropriate use for the former temple property. [Read More]
- 2015-11-10 14:52:22
Harlon Katz on Rout the Scout or Save the Brave?: If they require a change, change the "Scouts" to be those of the settlers that moved west - may a coonskin cap, or one of the early military caps, as an example.
We can remove any reference to Native Americans - except, oh no, we are called "Illinois".[Read More]
- 2015-11-09 11:59:17
Janita Reehl on Fighting Heroin on the North Shore: I hope you will amend your article and include links to your excellent previous series on heroin, which ran in GazeboNews in 2013. I have referred friends around the county to that series of articles, which was my first awareness that heroin is in our midst, no matter where we live.
Thank you.[Read More]
- 2015-11-09 10:43:28
Michael on Thumbs Up ... For Two Paws Up: Thank you for the great service and wonderful open house! We will be returning with our new puppy when we get him! The training space is beautiful and fun! [Read More]
- 2015-11-09 09:26:00
Just Observing on Gun Protest Movement Grows: === If all the risk of harm from a concealed carry accident was borne solely by the individual choosing to carry, I’d have no problem with the practice. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders are also put at risk and have been harmed by a stranger’s decision to carry. ===
If all the risk of harm from a vehicle accident was borne solely by the individual choosing to drive, I’d have no problem with the practice. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders are also put at risk and have been harmed by a stranger’s decision to drive.
If all the risk of harm from drinking alcohol was borne solely by the individual choosing to drink, I’d have no problem with the practice. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders are also put at risk and have been harmed by a stranger’s decision to become inebriated.[Read More]
- 2015-11-08 10:37:21
Adrienne Fawcett on Who Ya Gonna Call?: oh dear -- what is a flying squirrel? i hope you got rid of the problem! [Read More]
- 2015-11-07 17:49:47
Joan Cordeniz on Gun Protest Movement Grows: No matter how low the accident rate for concealed carry may be, I can assure you that the number of people accidentally shot by those NOT carrying guns is lower - zero, to be exact. If all the risk of harm from a concealed carry accident was borne solely by the individual choosing to carry, I'd have no problem with the practice. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders are also put at risk and have been harmed by a stranger's decision to carry. Where in the Constitution does it say that the second amendment right to bear arms supersedes anyone's first amendment right to life?
If you read the "gun fail" compilations that can be found on line, you will find that even gun owners that have far more than average training (police officers, shooting instructors, etc) have made mistakes that have caused injury and death. If trained professionals can make mistakes, so will the lesser-trained amateurs. It's not a question of if, but a question of when and where. Apparently the managers of Sunset, Heinens, Marianos and Jewel are assuming none of those mistakes will happen on their premises. In today's litigious society, if I owned a retail business, I wouldn't be comfortable with the assumption that "it won't happen here."[Read More]
- 2015-11-07 14:00:24
Tami on Who Ya Gonna Call?: Flying Squirrels....how do I know we had the same issue last fall. We trapped but never caught anything. If you catch one please share the photo - they look so "cute" on the web :) [Read More]
- 2015-11-07 13:21:56
ASK on D-112 Can't Afford 12 Schools: We have been told 12 buildings is not affordable for well over a year now, that isn't the issue right now. This letter, no doubt drafted by the PR firm again ,completely misses the mark.
The issue at this point is the egos and stubbornness of the board is getting in the way of a real solution. A Plan B, that shouldn't have even been needed as a plan B if they had listened to the community for the last year and developed a well thought out, proactive two middle school option. Two months ago, rather than prematurely moving forward with the one middle school at the exclusion of other options, they could have finished pricing out a two middle school option (I don't want to hear about Olson Park being unavailable - the difference between and OP-EW, SW-EW, or NW-EW models) are almost non existent from the work of the architects - they only had a couple more buildings to price out.
They can keep moving forward down this path which seems to be spiraling further and further into a devastating lost referendum, or they can do right by the community, honor its wishes and craft a real plan that will not further delay the improvements they advocate. Educators themselves have said there is virtually no distinguishable difference between the quality of education that will be delivered in a one or two middle school model.
You've made your point, reconfiguration is for the greater good, now put forth a plan that can actually pass and move forward towards achieving the overall goals of the district - educational and financial improvements and excellence.[Read More]
- 2015-11-07 10:47:11
Randy on HP Parks: D-112 Talks Hit 'Impasse': One more aggrieved party to the disingenuous NSSD 112 approach. The same approach which has given us an expensive, unneeded, unfair plan based on an imagined crisis. An approach which ignores the preferences of the community, which will bus 7 year olds across the city, create unimaginable traffic issues, destroy the concept of neighborhood schools all for just a few hundred million dollars.
This plan which emerged on the advice of an architectural firm with no experience or ties to HP and which stands to gain substantially from a financial viewpoint based on the size and scope of the product after community meetings which never suggested this model, all unconditionally supported by a superintendent here for less than a year, all from a school district which hires PR firms using taxpayer funds to sell the project.
Thank you PDHP for your courage to stand up for the needs of citizens and honor your mission.[Read More]
- 2015-11-07 10:22:13
Sara on D-112 Can't Afford 12 Schools: I have a big problem with NSSD112's recent attempt to force the HPPD into a land deal. They threatened to not renew the agreement with the Park District that allows park district summer camps to use 112 schools.
No matter what you think of the mega school idea, that's just bad behavior. I am glad the Park District didn't cave to that type of craven political posturing.
112 has some explaining to do. Don't hold summer camp hostage for you poorly-managed reconfiguration plans.[Read More]
- 2015-11-07 09:54:44
arthur on D-112 Can't Afford 12 Schools: Shame on 112!
It's clear 112 has problems, but the most recent turn of events is really troubling.
The Park District terminated talks with 112 to possibly swap/sell West Ridge to 112 to facilitate the middle school campus. Why? Because 112 threatened to not renew a long-standing intergovernmental agreement that allows PD campers to use 112 facilities---unless the PD agreed to the deal.
In the real word, that's called "blackmail".
Good for the PD for refusing to cower to 112's shameless attempt to ram this ridiculous plan down the throat of our community.
I call on 112 to immediately renew the agreement for PD campers to use the 112 space. I call on 112 to develop a two middle school model that we can support, and if they can't, it's time for the current Board to resign.
I cannot believe that 112, the steward our of children, would engage in a game like this with summer camp facilities for our residents...[Read More]
- 2015-11-07 09:30:03
David Barnum on Gun Protest Movement Grows: Wow, nine old hippies protesting! Looks like a really growing movement. Liberal media narrative and agenda is at work here. [Read More]
- 2015-11-07 04:19:09
Dominick Ahrens on Gun Protest Movement Grows: Quite a list you've compiled.
Now let's compare that to the number of people licensed to carry concealed firearms - 13,987,469 by recent counts - and see what the accident rate per 100k people actually is. You might find it's surprisingly low.
Guns certainly aren't toys, and they are serious business. So is the obligation we have to provide for our own self defense under established case law for the past 159 years. And while it's far more likely that one might need such protection in Englewood more than Highwood, there have been enough incidents in "good" communities to prove that money and location don't guarantee freedom from crime or violence.[Read More]
- 2015-11-06 17:31:41
David Waldman on Gun Protest Movement Grows: “Guns do not accidently discharge when they are concealed,” Pearson said.
Unless they do. As one did recently for this "expert," who couldn't keep his hands off his still "concealed" pocket pistol, and ended up shooting himself in the middle of a Salina, KS movie theater.
Last gunshot wound from a gun dropped in a grocery store? Ancient history! Way back on October 23, in Hazel Green, AL.
Then there's the August incident in Denver at King Soopers.
And in the Richland Township, PA Giant Eagle store.
Or the Winn-Dixie in Tuscaloosa.
Or the Hamlin Township, PA Minit Mart.
Or the Reading, PA C-Town Supermarket.
Or the Meijer store in Allen Park, MI.
Or the Plymouth, MN Rainbow Foods.
And that's just supermarkets. Nevermind the 40+ accidental shootings in recent years at Walmarts, alone. Nor dozens of others at hardware stores, office supply stores, auto parts stores, fast food restaurants, etc., etc. etc.
It's always nice to believe there's something magical about your own neighborhood, but given that these things can and do happen, it's a little less than comforting to say, well, it hasn't happened yet near Chicago.[Read More]
- 2015-11-06 13:41:58
marnie beilin on Wilmette Affordable Housing Project Draws Crowd: I am in favor of this development! However, someone mentioned family’s the opportunity for great schools. The building as stated in the article is to be only studios and one bedrooms - that does not house more than one or two people per unit. So a 2 person family w/a single school aged child can take opportunity of the schools and if that is the case there will be a better chance they will stay here a lot longer, and if so most likely it won’t be transient building as one stated as a concern which is also a legitimate and a major concern as well as home values. (if that was a valid survey stated) If there is guest parking within the building offer a parking area on a first come first seven basis for guest, not extra parking for residents to park.
I would assume code would make there be one spot per unit, but I do not know building codes in Wilmette, but each tenant should get one designated spot with a sticker permit to park, and guest passes for the guest spots, that way no one will have to fight for a spot, it’s designated and there os a sticker on the car so if left in guest parking it can be towed if there beyond the time that the owner (s) of the building will allow.
I have no idea if the parking can accommodate more parking, but if so that would help to eliminate a bit of the where-to-park-guest and overcrowding-of-neighborhood-streets parking concerns. That being said, studios and one bedrooms do have more turn over, but if one is getting a nice deal in what is considered a nice area, and if the building is maintained well, they will stay longer if they can, at least that is the trend in the city as a broker who has been in real estate in the city for 29 years.
I think it’s a great idea if it does not effect negatively. If someone buys next to a townhouse and then feels it’s a value killer, then why would you buy there? You should have been educated on pricing during negotiations of your home purchase. If they were not built when you bou[Read More]
- 2015-11-06 12:45:57
JSK on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: For the most part, I think the team does a pretty decent job, though they don't have nearly a high enough bar for what constitutes good research / evidence. What concerns me - as I mentioned before - is that educational success gets wrapped up in the individuals who are currently present. As people come in and out of the district, the potential to sustain a small-school-within-a-larger-school most likely weakens, in my opinion.
In other words, I think that the large single school moves us closer to what Border's was to small bookstores. Lots of efficiencies, but inability to really customize to the local population. Right now, I'm disappointed with how the schools are customizing (there are lots of services for lower-achieving kids, but very little for the other end of the spectrum). I believe it will get worse as we move towards these efficiencies.
Two other issues I'll throw out there. My understanding is that the district is saying that teachers will be assigned to cohorts, teaching across grades 5-8. (I could be wrong about this.) If so, then how will they deal with the fact that middle school teachers are required by law to have different certifications? Presumably, our teachers wouldn't be required to get re-certified. I suspect that would violate some part of the contract. They'd probably get grandfathered in, thus having less training than required for, say new hires. That would concern me, but that's just speculation on my part... I should ask the district point blank.
The other question is how the new information about the borrowing limits affects this. It was just released that the district's borrowing limit is substantially higher than previously thought. I would be very willing for the district to spend more of my tax dollars to keep more neighborhood schools. If that is now a feasible financial option, I think we should see a plan that keeps the neighborhood schools in tact but that might require more (or just different) borro[Read More]
- 2015-11-05 16:23:00
ATB on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: JSK - thank you for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate reasonable dialogue on this subject.
I agree that there are many out there in our community that are indeed informed but that are against this plan or have questions and this is understandable. However - there are many, many people who are not informed and jump onto social media without the facts which I feel is dangerous to this process. As for the educational aspects of this model I have taken the time to sit down with educators from outside the district - and I have shown them the model, the way classrooms would be configured to allow for teaming and collaboration and they all get excited for us - they want to teach in a school such as this - and these are educators. At the same time in talking with teachers in the district I have also found them to be excited about this model and what it will provide them as educators to allow them to do the best possible job in educating our kids. We cannot expect teachers to continue to teach in some of the terrible facilities they are forced to teach in today. I also believe in getting to know Bregy, Ferrari, Schroeder, and their people there are no better people to make this a reality!! I agree that there is not only one option - but this is an option that works financially, works from a staffing persprective, and in my and many other people's opinion is a phenomenal model educationally. I will continue to talk with others and learn more - but the more I learn the more I like this model and the more others seem to as well.[Read More]
- 2015-11-05 13:31:13
Open Communities on Winnetka Posts 'Idea Boards' In Town: Some of our supporters walked by to add their ideas!
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=892915154134149&id=344383882320615 [Read More]
- 2015-11-04 18:50:07
Just Observing on Volunteers Seeking Volunteers: This is absurd. This is one party rule. Among the governments that believe one party rule is healthy for democracy include China, Cuba, North Korea, and Lake Forest. Essentially the Caucus is claiming to have a better approach than pesky elections with ballots and voting. They are saying that the election is a formality, but its best if there is no competition on the actual ballots. I also question the legality of the City of Lake Forest handing over the duties of selecting/nominating committee and commission volunteers to a private, political party like the Caucus. The Lake Forest Caucus is nothing more than a political party which has convinced the community that they are a "system." There is nothing wrong with political parties but they need to come clean and admit they are a political party. [Read More]
- 2015-11-03 17:09:13
JSK on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: ATB,
Your continued assertion that those who dislike this plan must be misinformed is incorrect. In fact, there are many of us who are well informed and who dislike this plan. (E.g., those of us who have had one-on-ones with Bregy and staff, have been regularly involved with lots of school planning issues, have reviewed district financials closely, etc.)
The current plan is simply not the only good option. It is the one that the district has chosen, but let’s not pretend that there’s only one possibility. Others are out there, but the district just doesn’t feel that they are as good. Many of us disagree. I for one think it is unconscionable to keep Ravinia and Braeside – a handful of blocks from each other - both open while removing an elementary school from West HP.
You correctly note that people have got to stop harping on the PR firm. Of course the district was right in hiring them. That’s the best way to effectively communicate. So, people, lay off the PR firm hiring. Without it, you’d have less idea of what was going on, and that would be bad.
The educational benefit of the small-schools within a big-school model is highly uncertain and risky. While it could be good, it is very highly dependent on the buy-in and talents of existing administrators and school board members. With just one change of board member or superintendent, the decision could very quickly be made to gain even greater financial efficiencies by going to the big-box model (that is, with no smaller schools). The geographical separation of schools is a buffer to the eventual big-box-ness, which many of us fear would be the eventual endpoint. This has happened elsewhere.
Unfortunately, interactions with the district are often not satisfying. For instance, there are no such things as universal “best practices” in education. The few times that research has shown educational programming to work (however you want to define that), it is almost always for large, aggregated[Read More]
- 2015-11-02 11:04:41
ATB on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: Ok Enrique......please explain how to sustainably finance this? The district has looked at over 50 different combinations and this plan is the one that allows the district to deliver on its mission in a sustainable way long into the future.....otherwise we begin to run out of money and schools will close and programs will be cut.....have you ever actually talked to him or his cabinet?
To say you have heard him loud and clear is not the question....have you had an actual conversation? If you feel passionate enough to post here why not attend a meeting and speak with him and his team first hand...give them a chance to address your concerns. The teachers and educators are excited about this model as well.....can they teach anywhere? Of course they can....they are excellent teachers. However the teachers I have spoken with are really excited about this plan as it provides them the best programs and facilities in which to teach for many years to come. Keep in mind the district does not need community permission to close schools, redraw boundaries and cut programs. They cut programs in our district in the past on the 1990s and will be forced to do so again.
So....... Our district is going to change one way or the other.....either proactively or reactively. After looking at 50 different configurations and kicking the can all the way to the end of the road this is an incredible opportunity for our district. Residents should take the time to gather real information rather than formulating opinions based on what they read online.[Read More]
- 2015-11-02 05:34:14
Enrique on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: Why would we want to sit down with Bregy. We have heard him and the board loud and clear. He has already drawn a line in the sand and said there is no way forward other than this terrible big box plan. It's obvious he and the board have boxed themselves into a corner with this plan and their big time PR firm however no one except them wants this plan. We want at least 2 middle schools and want community elementary schools. Period. If the district wants to ruin our school system then we will fight this tooth and nail. [Read More]
- 2015-10-31 19:58:41
Beth Norman on Daily Grind To Reopen at Market Square: Rick - Missed you so much! Need those beautiful gluten-free Sicilian sausages back. And my Easter menu wouldn't be complete without your leg of lamb. Made my week to read this news!! [Read More]
- 2015-10-31 14:45:58
John on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: No one wants a single middle school. Give us a two middle school plan that we can get behind, and we will vote for it! This electioneering, and ridiculous PR firm messaging is getting out of hand.
We need new school board leadership.[Read More]
- 2015-10-31 14:24:11
ASK on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: Although a well crafted response, they have yet to demonstrate how this big box school will provide any educational benefits over two middle schools in the district. In fact their marathon presentation last month and the teachers that showed up stressed the value of the teachers and not the buildings to quality of education students will receive. It is sad that the district continues to put out its own misinformation to sell this plan that the community does not want.
I am not voicing my opposition to any consolidation or reconfiguration, just this plan.[Read More]
- 2015-10-31 13:12:55
ATB on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: Larry.....the post invites you to host a conversation or actually HAVE a conversation with Bregy, any member of the administration or the Board where no PR or communications firm is involved. One on one communication - an opportunity for you to go straight to the source rather than jumping to conclusions without going to the source. My suggestion to our community is that rather than continuing to attack the very people who are trying to fix the challenges in the district maybe the energy would be better spent actually engaging with people who are offering to engage. The communications firm needed to be hired as there is no school district in the country that has the resources to provide the necessary day-to-day communications to parents as well as keep a community informed of a project such as the reconfiguration. Attacking the administration for hiring this firm is completely unfair as the community would be up in arms if they were not kept informed. Again - damned if they do and damned if they don't. Funny how no one mentions the numerous Freedom of Information Act requests from members of the CARE Group (read at the last Board meeting as is standard practice) - these requests - while completely a taxpayer's right - utilize precious district resources and do not seem to be in the spirit of partnering to find the best solution to a complex problem. I am much more concerned with this continual stream of wasteful requests than I am of the District spending necessary money to keep the community informed over the coming months. [Read More]
- 2015-10-31 11:16:18
Nancy Funk on Former Mayor Pro Tem Pans D-112 Plan: Please tell me what actions I can take to help support Michael Brenner's position.
Nancy Funk[Read More]
- 2015-10-31 10:57:09
Marcy Toney on Roundup: Field Hockey: Thanks so much for the Illinois Field Hockey coverage! Even the IHSFHA site is out of date. Could not find the info about who made the finals anywhere!!! Appreciate the coverage of such a great sport. [Read More]
- 2015-10-31 07:48:03
Larry on D-112 Responds To Brenner & Belsky: Very professional post done by the $12,000 Public relations firm hired by Bregy and the board [Read More]
- 2015-10-30 14:27:05
anonymous on Sunset Ridge: Demolish Or Renovate?: parents in SRS29 just received this update
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT UPDATE
The new school is being designed with input from staff, students, and District 29 community members to be a warm, welcoming, state-of-the-art environment for children to learn and grow. There are clearly many “interest groups” (e.g., athletics, performing arts, traditional academics, aesthetics, historians, student services, business services, maintenance) with a proverbial seat at the design table. Our goal is to appropriately balance the needs represented by each group, with a clear focus on the betterment of the educational experience for students. In an effort to quell rumors circulating in social media about our capital improvement project, I also wanted to clarify some basic facts:
1. The cost of the project is on target with the original budget, and the plans posted on the District website reflect that budget. The current design is not “estimated at $37 million.”
2. The District is financing the project through a combination of Fund Balance reserves and capital lease certificates. The District is not “weighing the possibility of a referendum” for the project.
3. The District is seeking private financial donations to help with certain aspects of the design that could enhance the functionality and/or aesthetics. In addition, we always welcome financial support to supplement our budget for the project. However, the District has sufficient financial resources to construct the core designs as presented on the website.
4. The District is examining options to preserve some meaningful components of the existing Sunset Ridge School (e.g., historical architectural features, student murals and artwork, photographs, and furniture). More specific ideas to accomplish this goal will be explored during the next phase of the project.
Architects from Wight have already updated the original design based on feedback they’ve received. We will post the updated designs on ou[Read More]
- 2015-10-30 10:06:41
B. Friedland on Daily Grind To Reopen at Market Square: A great addition to Market Square, and my futile search for quality bones for "bone broth" is finally over! Can't wait! [Read More]
- 2015-10-30 09:34:40
Jennifer Neubauer on Daily Grind To Reopen at Market Square: This is the best news we've had in this town in a long time. The sheer quality in product and dedication to his craft has set Rick and the The Daily Grind head and shoulders above anywhere else on the North Shore. And the icing on the cake is his daughter, waiting in the wings, to continue the tradition after Rick retires (not soon, we hope). Great news! [Read More]
- 2015-10-30 07:11:56
Bill and Betsy Conrad on Daily Grind To Reopen at Market Square: Congratulations, Rick and Carrie-we've missed you! We can't wait to buy your great steaks again. We also loved the cool background music that you played in the Lake Bluff store! [Read More]
- 2015-10-29 14:08:08
Dennis Fey on Survey Favors Indoor Market for HP Theater: Below is the "eloquent speech" referenced for which apparently only the City officials' reactions merited reporting:
My name is Dennis Fey, Neighborhood Coordinator for the neighborhood directly affected by the theater/ORI S Lot proposals. Like the City, I too, have conducted an unscientific survey. Here’s a few soundings from my neighbors:
" I live in the neighborhood affected by these proposals, just steps from the old theater. It is nice and quiet, my kids are safe playing outside and neighbors say Hi every time they see each other. These proposals don't seem to factor in at all the current neighbors of the theater and the impact they will have on us. "
"Lack of clarification as to impact for residents abutting the area proposed. Clearly apparent the City of Highland Park would like to release the albatross with little, or no, consideration for the immediate neighborhood."
"I want to keep HP from turning into another cookie cutter suburb filled with corporate stores and restaurants but no character. "
"When I first saw downtown Highland Park, east of the railroad tracks I was stunned. It was wintertime and there was a light snow fall. The lights were all lit and the theater gave the scene the feel of a beautiful small town lost in time. The thought of losing both that wonderful thing that is the heart of our city as well to introduce an already twice failed experiment in building high density condos and retail space stuns me. This is our shared home. Our commons. There are so many ways that we all could benefit from the shared space and community."
What is failing us here?
Behold our predicament: Here we are convened in THIS theater, staging “The City” and “The Public”--structured in our roles and relations under the law, connecting but not conversing, mostly under the play of procedures, nominally conforming to due diligence, the rubrics over which we unavoidably struggle f[Read More]
- 2015-10-29 09:57:46
Forest Barbieri on D-112 Looks at Alternative Plans: Twisted logic and Ok, the scare tactics kick in. If you do not support our plan and referendum the sky will fall and your child will be illiterate and not have air conditioning. Oh, wait...we already do not have air conditioning and do not teach the multiplication tables or meaningful geography.
I think the board and administration do not hear us:
We agree that action needs to be taken and are even willing to put money on the table...perhaps not $200,000,000 in the state and countries highest taxed community, but nonetheless, a substantive amount. What we do not agree is that your single minded plan is the right one!!!! You will find that out when the referendum fails as it shall!
Perhaps now is the time to rethink before we travel down this single lane highway. Let's close a couple of schools as we do not have the students to make maintaining all of our buildings. *Side note: this fiasco is keeping many young families from wanting to move here, Taxes are killing us and many have their homes up for sale, Aspen Co is 1/3 our taxes, Many of us have opted for private schools and hundreds more will follow if this stays on its current course.* Let's come up with a sensible retrofitting or reconfiguration that provides an acceptable and sustainable brick and mortar environment. Lets cut administrative costs and increase a teacher centric model and use some millions to improve our education processes.
Vote No[Read More]
- 2015-10-29 05:43:20
Naperville IL jewel on Tennis Roundup: Lake Forest: state-of-the-art [Read More]
- 2015-10-28 19:24:05
JSK on D-112 Looks at Alternative Plans: ATB,
I don't think too many people are suggesting that Dr. Bregy would intentionally hurt our kids. Rather, many disagree that this is the best plan.
Those of us who are informed, but who don't like this plan have a variety of reasons (at least, I would imagine - I can only speak for myself). I don't happen to believe that the various downsides of this plan are worth the upsides. The educational benefits could be great, but they also have a very non-trivial likelihood of failing. I know of many cases of school reform getting a lot of momentum and community buy-in, and then failing for a variety of reasons (e.g., they're overly dependent on the ups and downs of individual teachers and administrators rather than being embedded within the district's entire hiring and retention structure).
It's dangerous to refer to what "the community" wants. The community doesn't act as a monolithic whole, but as individuals. I personally believe it's crazy to keep both Ravinia and Braeside schools (approx 1 mile from each other), while getting rid of the only primary school in West HP. But, many people from Ravinia and Braeside find this very objectionable. "The community" doesn't want anything (though the majority will rule the ballot box, of course). Individual people do, and there are some very good reasons for believing that this plan isn't not so hot.
So, I hope it's understood that reasonable people can disagree. There are many of us who have deep experience in education, care deeply about our community, are knowledgeable about this issue, and have put forth recommended plans of action. I'd love to see other, better plans on the table, and I think if the referendum doesn't pass, we are likely to see some of those generated. They don't seem to be appearing otherwise.[Read More]
- 2015-10-28 15:52:10
Steve Lindsey on Sunset Ridge: Demolish Or Renovate?: Ouch. My eyes!
Keep the old one[Read More]
- 2015-10-28 15:39:22
anonymous on Sunset Ridge: Demolish Or Renovate?: link to details of school plan on district website:
http://www.sunsetridge29.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=5YUAAI&dasi=4GYAY [Read More]
- 2015-10-28 15:01:46
ATB on D-112 Looks at Alternative Plans: You know.....it seems in our community you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.....I would hate to be an educator in this community as you simply can't win.....
I have lived in HP during my childhood and moved back here to raise my family. I am very familiar with the history of our schools as well as how our school district got to this point. I am also well educated on the direction that education is going and the direction education needs to go in order to allow our children to compete in the future. In addition I have made it my business to attend most every Board meeting over the past year and a half and those i have not attended I have watched online. I have talked with Dr. Bregy personally many times - he always returns my calls and I have also engaged directly with members of the Board who are ALWAYS willing to engage - these people are not hiding from the public nor are they hiding from the true financial picture in our District. Bottom line is that fixing our District is going to be expensive REGARDLESS as the can has been kicked all the way to the end of the road - it can't be kicked any farther
The community did want 2 middle schools - this is true. However the fact is that the District has looked at every conceivable scenario and there does not seem to be a model that will work as it relates to available land, buildings, or a scenario that would work financially to allow this to happen. They came up with a model with middle schools at Edgewood and Olson and the community went into an uproar about losing green space, traffic, etc. The Park District would not allow it anyway. The District listened to the public last year - postponed the referendum to give themselves AND community members time to consider other options. They went so far as to ask the community to submit ideas themselves. I believe they received one idea that turned out not to be feasible.
If you take the time to understand the true holistic financial situation, the opportun[Read More]
- 2015-10-28 14:49:55
Steve Lindsey on Sunset Ridge: Demolish Or Renovate?: Old school has a humane scale to it. Very friendly.
I'm sure the proponents of the new building are hopping up and down, flapping their arms and making noises. There is no doubt the new will reflect the latest fads in school design. But there is wisdom with what our forebears did. Respect them. Stability and tradition is something that can have a calming effect in these volatile times....
- 2015-10-28 13:50:50
Melissa Casey on Sunset Ridge: Demolish Or Renovate?: This article is ridiculous. There is nothing "controversial" about the awesome plans for a new school! You don't even live here anymore, but out of nostalgia you don't want MY kids to have modern classrooms or MY home value to benefit from a great new school?
Keep your opinions to yourself and stop trying to make it seem like others agree with you.[Read More]
- 2015-10-28 00:19:44
Jinx Hack Ring on William "Bill" Moran: Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Carol. Eternal rest , grant unto him ,O Lord, and May perpetual light shine upon him. May you and your family find strength and comfort in all the friends who surround you during this very sad time! [Read More]
- 2015-10-23 09:11:27
RJK on D-112 Looks at Alternative Plans: This article fails to acknowledge one of the first points made the other evening, which is what will happen if no changes are made and no referendum is passed over the next 5-7 years. There is no immediate threat to any of the programs or to the district's finances. All financial projections are based on pure speculation. The only threat to programs would be if the board decided to cut programming as a means of bullying the voters to pass a referendum. All of this are just concerns and in no way an immediate result of this community's rejection of a single middle school.
When the referendum fails, rather than discussing the dire implications and threatening cuts, maybe the board should do what the taxpayers asked them to do in January when they postponed the referendum - find a better plan with two middle schools. When it fails the board better learn why it failed -
Maybe the board will realize that this community has been supportive of change and spending, but has simply rebuked their pie in the sky ideas of a single middle school in the far southwest corner of town.
Maybe the board will learn that this community isn't in favor of spending $200 million on buildings, and that they will have to find a more economical solution.
When the referendum fails it in no way means programming will be cut, it is simply a lesson to the board as to the what the community wants... maybe for the first time, they will listen... and if not, well, many board terms expire at the April 2017 election.[Read More]
- 2015-10-23 06:55:13
Sara on D-112 Looks at Alternative Plans: This is shaping up to be a referendum not only on this silly Big Box middle school idea, but it's a referendum on the Board itself.
They need another plan, and not threats and "the sky is falling" actions to scare the community into passing their mega plan.[Read More]
- 2015-10-23 06:53:47
Sebastien on D-112 Looks at Alternative Plans: There is a big problem with the assumptions behind this. The articles states these are possible outcomes if the "middle school consolidation" fails. If that happens, and it's very likely given the increasing absurdity of this plan, 112 needs to present _alternate_ models to voters.
The community called for two middle schools and this plan gives us one. It's a 2,000 student monstrosity completely out of scale with the community, way in the SW corner.
Hey 111: Before you give us the doomsday report, why not give us better options the community can support?[Read More]
- 2015-10-22 20:13:07
B. Friedland on Opinion: What's Next For Deerpath Golf Course?: Deerpath Golf Course is a lovely asset that I hope we don’t lose. Yes, there are those who use other golf courses, but the Deerpath Golf Course looks like it has great attendance during the season. Perhaps it isn’t a huge “money maker”, but we have a good number of assets that are worth keeping for the added price. I don’t like snakes, but I’m glad we have the Wildlife Discovery Center. Those who don’t have children in the schools still appreciate having good ones in the community. I would vote to “stay on course” ! [Read More]
- 2015-10-21 19:40:37
Adrienne Fawcett on Halloween Happenings: Wilmette to Glencoe: Thank you for letting us know! Please submit this event -- and others like it! -- to the Daily North Shore calendar: http://dailynorthshore.com/events/community/add [Read More]
- 2015-10-21 17:20:37
claire on North Shorts: Hi Mike,
I very much enjoy your musings every week. Especially this post! And my thoughts would be meaningless if I didn't tell you! Ha!
Claire M. [Read More]
- 2015-10-21 17:10:35
Jason Bussell on Halloween Happenings: Wilmette to Glencoe: Wilmette also has a Pumpkin Walk, where kids can trick-or-treat at businesses in Linden Square (by the 'L' stop) on Saturday October 24th, from 11a-1p. [Read More]
- 2015-10-21 04:33:17
Harlon Katz on HP Stores: Please Post 'No Gun' Signs: Typical anti-gun crowd - blaming the tool instead of the criminal.
Do they not realize that many (most?) of the recent mass shootings happened in "gun free" zones? News alert - criminals do not obey those little signs - in fact, it seems they may target those areas as they KNOW they are less likely to encounter any resistance.
Here is an example of what happened to an armed robber in a Waffle House:
You won't find this mentioned much on the mainstream news as it does not fit the gun-confiscation narrative.
Also, as a reminder, most of Chicago is / was a gun-free zone - very difficult even now to LEGALLY possess a handgun. For some strange reason, it does not affect the CRIMINALS.[Read More]
- 2015-10-20 16:24:37
Enrique on D-112: Notes On Reconfiguration Plan: Note that nowhere do they talk about the destruction of our community fabric: shuttering schools and paving over parks, no elementary schools in the entire of west HP, forced bussing across the highway and two sets of tracks for 95% of students, and the massive debt this will leave with taxpayers.
Perhaps the board members can afford the inflated taxes, reduced home values, and increased transportation times. The average HP, Highwood and Fort Sheridan family cannot.
And with the burden we will have with this disaster, who is going to want to move here? Get real school board - stop wasting our money on PR firms to further your agenda. Repair and update our existing schools. Vote no on the BIG BOX mega-school school.[Read More]
- 2015-10-20 13:42:11
MA on HP Stores: Please Post 'No Gun' Signs: This is a great recommendation. Although I suspect you won't see many act on it. Probably because for many their home isn't and will never be "gun-free". [Read More]
- 2015-10-19 17:39:28
gf on HP Stores: Please Post 'No Gun' Signs: I would prefer that all those who sign the petition and all the members of the Joint Action Committee of Public Affairs of Highland Park first put a sign on their front lawns that their home has no guns and is a 'Gun Free Zone' .
Please first practice by example what you want others to practice..
I do not see any 'Gun Free Zone' signs on front lawns or in front windows.[Read More]
- 2015-10-19 14:53:41
Alan Veenstra on The Couple Behind HP's Medical Marijuana: “Medical” Marijuana is the law of the land and millions will be made happy. I am OK with it. Nevertheless, I am appalled to see North Shore Weekend’s headline story about the opening of a marijuana dispensary (Oct 18). What I object to is that the sale of mind-altering drugs is not just another business. It is the result of highly controversial legislation, affecting the lives of people in ways that are still unknown.
I expect that NSW would exhibit a greater level of sensitivity. Our children do not need to see a front page article (complete with genial images, no less) which suggests that marijuana distribution is no different than the opening of a new ice cream store. Alas, the founders of an ice cream parlor would never make the front page.
Finally, does anyone really think that the happy couple’s real motivation is to relieve the pain of cancer patients? If that were true, they could do so quietly from a small plot in their back yard. The truth is that the real money will come as the list of 39 ‘eligible’ afflictions increases and/or the drug is completely legalized. Will that become another front page story?
Alan Veenstra[Read More]
- 2015-10-19 08:42:31
Josh McNattin on HP Stores: Please Post 'No Gun' Signs: What does concealed carry have to do with any of those 88 shootings a day? Concealed carry is an effective means of putting an end to unwarranted violence. You can see several examples published in reliable media sources at keepandbeararms.com, under Operation Self Defense. [Read More]
- 2015-10-19 06:45:54
Bill on D-112: Notes On Reconfiguration Plan: The southwest corner of Highland Park has less park space that any other part of town. This mega school is really reduce that size.
Sure, they can tell us that there will still be playgrounds, but a park owned by 112 with limited access rules is very different than a public park.
Also to fit in these kids playgrounds, they've already compromised on the athletic fields. The three current middle schools have a total of 6 soccer fields. Here, we have 1. We also add 5th graders into the mix. There's one baseball diamond.
You can stagger people from now until the cows come home and there is not way this plan add up to more parkspace or more athletic opportunities for our kids. Berms and barriers are just that--new obstacles to open space and open thinking.
Vote no on this plan! 112 needs a better one.[Read More]
- 2015-10-19 06:26:53
Sara R on D-112: Notes On Reconfiguration Plan: Wow! Unbelievable logic.
They claim that this giant school will improve the woods and wetlands, but let's think this through....a new building could be constructed in an environmentally appropriate way, but that's not necessary for the environment to be improved.
That's like saying that we're going to build a big box store on a site where it doesn't fit, in a community that has a great series of smaller shops that need improvement, and it's going to be great because along with the traffic problems and new roads, the years of new constructions, the maxing out of borrowing capacity we'll pull out some buckthorn at the same time.
But don't worry, because "district staff and architects have met with several jurisdictional authorities"
Jurisdictional authorities? Give me a break. 112 is so far from respecting community values that it's comical at this point.[Read More]
- 2015-10-19 06:17:00
Sebastian on D-112: Notes On Reconfiguration Plan: The "DNS contributor" who authored this article is revealed at the end to be "Submitted by North Shore School District 112," which means this is public relations piece written as part of 112's $12,000 per month contract with Jasculca Terman and Associates.
The quality of the prose and organization of the information is better than what 112 normally puts out on its own, and yet all the rhetorical bells and whistles in the world can't dress up a bad idea that the community is against.
The translation here: There's lot's of bad (traffic, loss of wetlands, etc), so let us tell you about why all this bad stuff isn't as bad as is could be once we build the largest middle-school on the north shore!
Vote no on this plan, or we'll pay the price for decades.[Read More]
- 2015-10-16 13:24:24
Dave on An Evening of Art, Artists, and Awareness: A friend had a copy of this story that appeared in your print version. Is there any way to get copies of that one? Thanks! [Read More]
- 2015-10-15 11:47:53
B. Friedland on Non-profit Aims to Rid Mental Health Stigma: Thank you for this informative and useful article. Mental illness will be treated like high blood pressure the minute it is covered by all healthcare plans in the same fashion. The high cost of psychiatry and psychological therapy makes it difficult for most people to take proper care of the illness. Healthcare should and must cover psychological illness as well as physical. [Read More]
- 2015-10-15 08:33:13
Harold A. Maio on Non-profit Aims to Rid Mental Health Stigma: Each time you consent to direct a stigma, or accommodate someone who does, you do direct harm. [Read More]
- 2015-10-14 16:47:56
Bradley Williams on Film Highlights Death With Dignity: Beware Illinois
The loopholes and more work with each other to eviscerate intended safeguards.
By all these OR model laws all family members are not required to be contacted, hold that thought. A single predatory heir is allowed to steer the sign up and then execute the lethal process without a witness.
A witness is not required to confirm that the dose was so called “self administered” (you remember this was one of their lead selling points).
Even as the law provides immunity for all involved and demands the falsification of the death certificate (impossible to track trends for good public policy) it actually prohibits a public inquiry of any kind (remember the family members who were not contacted).
These loopholes and more are in the OR, WA, and CA’s laws and expand the scope of exploitation by predators. However, it serves the health insurance corporations very well.
There is the Oregon Tami Sawyer Thomas Middleton case of abuse for assets.
Oregon and Washington should amend their initiative-sound-bite driven dangerous laws. California’s should be vetoed.
Also note how the promoters of assisted suicide cling to their verbally engineered polls that claim a majority is in favor. I polled thousands of Montanans one-on-one as I served 60 days at fair booths across the state. Once folks knew about the loopholes in all of the Oregon model bills, 95% were not for them. So much for their verbally engineered polls. [Read More]
- 2015-10-14 01:23:57
Jane bell on A True World-Beater on the Rackets Court: Great article on Geoffrey Atkins in April 2015. Geoffrey is not only a champion but a kind, generous and charming Englishman and a good friend to me and my parents. Cheers. Jane Fair (Australia) [Read More]
- 2015-10-12 14:03:39
Holly Marihugh on Pastor Mike Woodruff & Amazing Grace: This story is very inspiring. What an example of taking one of the worst life events, learning from it, and using the lesson to empathize with and help others. [Read More]
- 2015-10-12 09:26:21
Rick Alan Ross on Kabbalah Finds New Spiritual Home: The Kabbbalah Centre has been called a "cult" and has no standing with the organized Jewish community or credibility with recognized mainstream scholars of the Kabbalah. It is an authoritarian group run by Karen Berg and her sons Michael Berg and Yehuda Berg. The organization has a long history of bad press, complaints and problems in Israel, the United States and the UK. If someone wants to study Kabbalah they should consult a local synagogue, Jewish Federation, Educational Bureau or university, not the Kabbalah Centre, which offers more of an idiosyncratic composite of philosophy per the Bergs rather than historic Kabbalah study. Also, the title of "rabbi" is often questionable when used within the Kabbalah Centre. Most rabbis have an accredited undergraduate degree from a recognized university or college and post-graduate degree from an accredited seminary. Many of the "rabbis" at the Kabbalah Centre have no such credentials. [Read More]
- 2015-10-12 09:21:20
Joel Lerner on Church On A Mission ...: I've had an overwhelming experience at Christ Church. The community there is so welcoming and humble. I've alway felt welcome. The Friday morning program of Men's Fraternity and the Alpha program are so well done and I found the Spirit with their help.
Pastor Mike is so intelligent and speaks to us in a way that is on the level of the people who attend. We are all broken, no matter what our background. I'm proud to say I've come to faith with the guiding hand of Christ Church. [Read More]
- 2015-10-12 03:08:24
Ron on U.S. High Court Mulls HP Gun Ban: In heller and mcdonald, the supreme court established and clarified two different categories of arms, one of which received full protection of the 2A, the other does not.
They established what they called "weapons of common defense" and "weapons of uncommon defense" (also known as offensive weapons).
They built this classification system so that they could limit the 2A in a way as to give it some commonsense, so that people aren't out buying nuclear weapons, explosives, howitzers, etc...makes sense. It was also an effort to ensure that their ruling didn't strike down the automatic weapons ban.
But they were VERY clear (particularly in Mcdonald when they deliberately talked about why handguns are common defense) that semi automatic firearms are not "dangerous and unusual."
So to meet the definition of a weapon of common defense it really has to meet the following criteria, 1) does it provide discrimination of effect/targeting? 2) is it widely available, and widely used and accepted?
The answer for the AR15 is yes, on both regards. Semi automatics are distinctly different from fully automatics because they allow for discrimination of effects. Thus they are inherently LESS dangerous than their full auto cousins... In military lexicon, automatic weapons are for area targets, where as shooting in semi auto is for precision targeting (which isn't necessarily a military function, you need precision targeting for hunting for instance).
Finally, they used police officers as the decider as to whether something was a common weapon. With handguns, the court ruled that these weapons were their predominant weapon of self-defense. They serve no other purpose for the police officers. Thus, knowing that people face the same threat police officers do, it makes sense for them to also carry these weapons. Plus the amount already on the market, means that they are very common.
I believe the court will pick this case up, and I believe they will not make the Obam[Read More]
- 2015-10-10 19:31:02
lake county voter on Dold Floats Coalition Speaker Idea: Dold is covering his tracks. He says things like this to sound moderate, and then he sides with GOP leadership whenever it matters.
Just look at how many times he's voted to repeal Obamacare since 2010.[Read More]
- 2015-10-10 12:33:14
Sara on D-112 Mulls Consolidation Plan: This is bad news for Highland Park and District 112. There are so many problems with this plan. From traffic to questionable educational value to the fact that this is not what the community called for.
I can't believe that we are here after all these years without a real two middle school option. Why do we want to max our our borrowing capacity to build a school far from so many of the students it's supposed to serve?
All the education research says this is bad news...if we wanted to put our kids in a massive mega school, we'd live somewhere else.
I'm voting NO![Read More]
- 2015-10-10 10:22:06
Taxpayer on Medical Marijuana Treats Conditions, Not Disease: Doctor: Such a joke. You can buy a gun or a case or barrel of beer but you can't buy weed to treat symptoms of ailment. So backward. And then they have a panel of doctors warning of the effects? Why don't they do this for alcoholism? Or how about the leading problem right now in America: guns. Someone help me understand why this is. [Read More]
- 2015-10-10 10:19:34
Sebastian on D-112 Mulls Consolidation Plan: A Board member asks for a Plan B, when there is barely a Plan A here!
This mega school is so wrong for District 112, and it's unbelievable that these people have convinced themselves that there is no choice between the status quo and the Big Box school. Really? That's like saying we have no choice in restaurants between having no McDonalds or having a mega McDonalds.
Our community deserves a real plan for change we can get behind.
If this fails, they need to GO BACK and come up with something new. Instead, they'll probably cut art and music and tell you the sky is falling so you vote for this thing again the next time.
I do not want fries with that! I don't want fries at all!
No giant middle school for HP!![Read More]
- 2015-10-09 09:55:14
Mrs. Charles on When A Murderer Says 'I’m Sorry' ...: Of course she forgives him. Biro cannot brutally kill her sister, niece or nephew and brother in law again so Ms. Bishop has nothing to lose. This is not the same as bravery or compassion.
Praying for peace for all involved.[Read More]
- 2015-10-08 02:14:09
Peter Geyer on Winnetka's T.L. Fritts To Close: T.L. Fritts was one of the best places in the world for a Winnetka kid with a love of all sports. I bought my first bicycle, a couple of baseball gloves, more than a few football mouthguards, and countless other things there. I wish you a happy retirement Mr. Fritts. You have had a positive impact on young lives, and there is no higher praise than that. [Read More]
- 2015-10-06 10:59:50
Sherry Adams on LB Runner, 79, Helps Marathoners Finish: Julian- You are such a roll model!! I remember I ran my first and last marathon with you in 1991!! Way to keep going!! The LF/LB Running Club is very proud of you!! [Read More]
- 2015-10-06 07:07:25
David Barkhausen on LB Runner, 79, Helps Marathoners Finish: You're an inspiration to us "youngsters," Julian. [Read More]
- 2015-10-05 23:28:47
Observing Too on Civic Group Applauds LF Caucus 'Open Call': The simple answer as to "why go through the expense of a divisive campaign" is because that is the democratic process in a free country.
The idea that a relative handful of people who supposedly 'know best' should vet and 'elect' our community representatives before an official election always struck me as arrogant. I have lived in LF for over 20 years and watched many of the same people cycle in and out of these positions.
I think it's time to form another such 'caucus' to provide more choices and let intelligent residents do their own vetting at the polls. Who's with me?[Read More]
- 2015-10-05 16:12:47
Jennifer Neubauer on Civic Group Applauds LF Caucus 'Open Call': If the Lake Forest Caucus follows its Bylaws (found at http://www.restorethecaucus.com/explanation-of-bylaws.html) in vetting candidates for Alderman and School Board, if it publicizes the Annual Meeting at which these candidates are slated, and if Lake Forest registered voters show up and vote at the Annual Meeting (Nov. 17, 2015 at Gorton), then the Caucus slate is formed.
I suggest that any person who has not been interviewed or who believes he or she will not be slated for an Aldermanic position this November and who nevertheless seeks the office should attend the November 17th meeting with his or her supporters and make his case as to why he is the better candidate than the one the Caucus Committee recommends. Note—this costs nothing. The only people showing up and voting at the Annual Meeting are the registered voters who truly care about good governance and they’ll make the call as to who is on the Caucus slate and who isn’t. If a person isn’t slated, he has yet another bite at the apple and can run against the Caucus slate in the general election. But why go through the time-consuming expense of a divisive campaign if you don’t have to?
Of course, the vibrancy and legitimacy of the Lake Forest Caucus System rests entirely on the extent to which the Bylaws are followed. These call for candidate vetting, an open meeting on the recommended slate, the ability to vote up or down on the recommended slate and the ability to do so by written, secret ballot. If the Bylaws’ material provisions regarding the Annual Meeting (and other public meetings) are not followed, then the public may rightly view the Caucus System as something untrustworthy, relegate it to the dustbin of history, and resort to an endless string of divisive, municipal elections. If the citizens of Lake Forest care enough, we can avoid that result but also elect fully vetted, good people to these offices. The choice has always been ours: the only enemy is apathy.[Read More]
- 2015-10-05 09:17:54
Just Observing on Civic Group Applauds LF Caucus 'Open Call': The best way "reinvigorate participatory democracy in Lake Forest" or any community with a "caucus system" is not to buy into the falsehood that a "caucus system" is good for democracy.
1. The vast majority of these North Shore "caucuses" are not true caucus systems set forth by state statute.[Read More]
2. They are simply political parties that falsely perpetuate the notion that they are somehow official systems.
3. There is nothing wrong with political parties, but the Lake Forest Caucus should simply identify themselves as being a political party.
4. Why is there a need to "elect" candidates prior to the election? Just hold the regular election.
5. Only in North Shore towns with "caucus systems" and in China and Cuba are non-contested, single-party rule considered beneficial.
6. Interested citizens should run whether or not they seek and/or obtain the faux-cus endorsement. Many candidates in other fake caucus towns have easily beat out the "caucus" often coming in first place.
- 2015-10-04 11:40:24
Jim Moss on Big Pig Little Pig Sweeps Ribfest: A huge thank-you to Christian Erzinger. Tom Zillner, the 19 teams and the many others that make this day happen. It is events like these that truly make Lake Bluff a fun community and not just another town. [Read More]
- 2015-10-04 08:18:08
Tracy Sachman on Love is More Than Grand Gestures: Hi Joanna:
I love all of your articles and this one "Love is More Than a Grand Gesture" just seemed to strike the right chord with me.
My husband and I have been married for 42 years and almost every morning he leaves me a little note, whether it's reminding me to do something that day or just to say I love you, but it's the way he does it that makes it so special and touching....he always draws a stick figure picture of himself with whatever it is he has to say..
These small gestures are what make our love so strong.
Just thought you'd like a good example of one of the many small gestures that make our grand love what it is.
Best always,[Read More]
- 2015-10-03 09:16:45
m temkin on North Shorts: Actually, I just re-read a book I read more than 40 years ago. While I didn't exactly remember the plot, I never forgot the heroine's name and her spunk. For 99 cents on Kindle, I decided to buy it. Rereading it again with 40 years more life experience under my belt provided a completely different perspective than the first time around, and that indeed was worth the re-read. I'm glad you said why not? [Read More]
- 2015-10-02 13:25:46
Linda Kroll, Therapist, Mediator, Attorney on Can You Divorce-Proof a Marriage?: Thanks, Joanna, for your wonderful article on creating a peaceful divorce. I have spent the last 20 years helping people to create one - or even better - to learn a new way to communicate so that they can even create a new and better relationship together!
It is a vitally important topic that needs to be addressed so that children can be spared the shrapnel of their parent's animosity and families can be peacefully and respectfully re-structured. Thank you so much for bringing attention to this important topic. We can change the face of divorce, one heart at a time!
My book is coming out in December on Compassionate Mediation™ - How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce. I would love to talk with you and offer whatever I can to your readers. [Read More]
- 2015-10-01 18:47:39
Carla on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: David - Beautifully stated. I agree with everything you wrote. [Read More]
- 2015-10-01 14:05:45
David Seidman on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: I just received the D112 email blast. The irony is choice: The lead story is that Lincoln School had the highest rate of participation in the Fun(d) Run for the second straight year. I am very proud of my fellow Lincoln School families and the community we have built together.
The District considers Lincoln School's achievements to have no value in the next paragraph of the email. And it has never really cared about the positive value of neighborhood schooling. Our strong sense of community has undoubtedly improved the quality of education provided at Lincoln School. But that is secondary to a spending plan that makes no sense as my fellow commenters have explained already.
Neighborhood schooling for my family and so many others is one of the best things about HP. That is why we moved here. Taking away the ability to walk to school and spend time with fellow parents (and teachers) at the playground while our children play hurts everyone involved.
Yet the District prefers to bury and destroy what makes a school and a community a special place. It is this fact that is truly unacceptable.[Read More]
- 2015-10-01 09:03:08
Nicki Snoblin on D-65 & LB Library Welcome Knollwood: This is really great news for families in Knollwood. Residents in most of Knollwood (the exception is the far west part) don't pay taxes to any library district and therefore are not "by default" members of a library. By state law, they may purchase a nonresident card at the Lake Bluff Library at the same rate Lake Bluff residents pay through their taxes. The nonresident cards provide full library privileges.
With this intergovernmental agreement, all students in District 65 are ensured the same access to the library's resources as their peers, regardless of whether their family is willing or able to purchase a library card. Many thanks to District 65 and the Lake Bluff Library for finding a way to make this work![Read More]
- 2015-10-01 07:06:43
Lake Forest Schools Watch on LFHS Principal: In Her Own Words: Lake Forest Schools Watch and Restore the Caucus invite supporters to Gorton on Saturday, October 10th from 6 pm to 8 pm. to enjoy an informative multimedia event and afterward to share information, insight and discussion about the future of Lake Forest High School with supporters of the LFSW Mission. Supporters will not want to miss this lively event!
While LFSW had earlier scheduled a concert for this event, recent input from supporters and their interest in an extended discussion of the challenges facing LFHS stakeholders necessitated changing this event.
Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with light snacks, beverages and informal discussion, followed at 7 p.m. by a brief presentation and audience discussion of how supporters can further the LFSW Mission. This event is free, but we appreciate an RSVP for seating purposes.
Link to website: www.lakeforestschoolswatch.com.[Read More]
To RSVP: email@example.com
- 2015-09-30 22:05:42
Paul Dukes on Trampoline Slashed: Well i just dont understand why they did that ? Have you found out who did it? [Read More]
- 2015-09-30 19:32:01
Davis Schneiderman on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: For those asking why don't we come up with a two-school model, you might be interested in Adam Kornblatt's Letter in to the Editor from September 30:
Adam asks why 112 insists on a polarizing option, when many people would back a two-middle school plan.
Also, he reminds us, wisely, that voting no in March does not mean you are against change. It simply means you want a different plan.
If the referendum is defeated, we can hope 112 will come up with a plan that better fits the values of our community.
I hope so, and that's why I plan to vote against this middle school campus.[Read More]
- 2015-09-30 11:09:43
Adrienne Fawcett on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: This is a good time to remind everyone about the Daily North Shore comment policy, which begins:
Daily North Shore encourages comments, but we have specific guidelines. A general principle of our policy is: Do not state anything in a comment that you would not say in public and do not state anything about another person that you would not say to his or her face.
We highly recommend that you use your real name, but following the lead of the journalism industry’s Poynter Institute, and most other daily news websites, Daily North Shore allows anonymous comments as long as the discussion remains civil and the comment is in line with our guidelines.
For more on our comments policy and guidelines, please visit http://dailynorthshore.com/daily-north-shore-comments-policy/[Read More]
- 2015-09-30 08:10:41
Richard R. on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: This statement is NOT true: "through the SCFFAC process in cooperation with the architect the middle school model idea evolved – and many SCFFAC members were very intrigued and wanted to learn more. "
SCFFAC ended its work with a report to the Superintendent in the spring of 2014. From there, the Superintendent accepted the recommendations, and the new Super formed a Site Feasibility Committee.
There were only a handful of SCFFAC members on that group, and membership applications were not taken from the general SCFFAC population. There were something like 19 112 administrators/employees/board members on the group, and 8 or 9 SCFFAC members.
The SCFFAC process ended, and other people decided that a giant middle school is the way to go. That's not the same thing at all, and highly misleading to tell people.[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 23:05:12
Nancy on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: I don't know who Aaron Brooks is, but I agree that we can't just take people saying: "it's a good idea because we trust our administrators."
That's crazy. We need good people to implement ideas, but the merits of an idea must stand on, well, the merits of an idea.
Why would anyone want to stuff a mega school in the SW corner of Highland Park and eliminate all elementary schools west of 41? Have these people completely lost their minds? I can't believe we're even considering this...why would anyone want to move to 112? And don't tell me it would be for some shiny new mega school with 1,800 students. That's completely ABSURD.[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 21:23:38
Eric Shoesmith on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: 1. The savings to the district does not address the value proposition. Spending $198 million to save $2.5 to $4 million is at best a 2% return on investment. A terrible investment in light of the destruction to the community.
2. There are only a handful of SCFFAC members such as Len Tenner, Bennet Lasko and Sara Sher who have come out in favor of this plan. Others, like Bob Bernat, have called the process out for the sham it was, that the SCFFAC was a poor implementation of the SCFAC and failed to address the root causes of our problems.
3. It is false to conclude that the only option absent a single middle school is increased class sizes. There are other options that address the cost concerns that certain board members, such as Michael Cohn, have discussed at Board meetings. Scare tactics such as increased class sizes and cutbacks to art are exactly that, scare tactics argued from a weak substantive position.[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 19:52:01
Aaron Brooks on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: I am not going to get into a back and forth debate with anyone who feels a need to take a disrespectful tone as it will get us nowhere. My posts - and those on Facebook are indeed my opinions and I stand by them 100% - you are welcome to respectfully disagree. As you can see I have used my full name here and welcome other people's opinions, however I vehemently disagree. This will be my last comment here.
I choose to agree with the $4 million savings number for the middle school model because it was quantitatively developed using a staffing model as I stated in my post - in other words it was built scientifically. This extensive work was done prior to the September board meeting. I believe the computed savings were ~$2.5 million in the 2 school model and ~$4 million in the single middle school model - this is what I remember and what I believe the district is publicly stating. You are welcome to disagree with these numbers and I respect this - but I know how the numbers were developed so I choose to believe them.
Everything I post represents by personal beliefs and I stand by them 100%. I do believe that questions should be asked - I never said that people should not ask questions - I have asked many and have gotten a satisfactory answer each time. I also believe that when people put out a petition saying "Save West Ridge Park" - and state that it is going to be paved over - when this is not the case - this is wrong and dangerous to this process. This is wrong for our community and will not - in my opinion - allow us to get to the right answer. I believe the person that started the petition thought West Ridge needed to be saved and had the best of intentions - but as Scott Meyers - Park Board President stated publicly this could not be further from the truth. West Ridge is not being paved over - and the proposed plan would preserve green space and have a playground as the district has stated. I realize the playground is not in the architectural renderings - h[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 17:27:23
Aaron Brooks on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: 1) I agree that the estimated savings have fluctuated - it was not possible for the district to provide an accurate estimate until they completed the staffing models around the proposed models which was just done before the September board meeting. I believe the yearly savings number for the 2 school campus was ~$2.5 million and the savings for the middle school campus was over $4 million - so $4 million should be a conservative estimate. This savings is all related to staffing - so it should certainly be a realizable and realistic number. They did not include any savings related to other buildings related operational efficiencies which would only add to the savings.
2) I agree that SCFFAC came out of their meetings desiring (2) 6-8 schools. However through the SCFFAC process in cooperation with the architect the middle school model idea evolved - and many SCFFAC members were very intrigued and wanted to learn more. From that time forward this model has been being developed by the educational experts in our District and the architects. The educational experts - who are EXPERT in educating kids - are very excited about this model as are many, many former SCFFAC members - Sara Sher is a SCFFAC member, former district teacher, grandmother, and taxpayer and is clearly passionately behind this model. Also - the District, administrators and architects determined that the only plan that would work for 2 middle schools would be one at Edgewood and one at Olson - and the Park District does not want to give up Olson so this will not work.
3) I agree that the school is one building - I did not say it was not. The district has been clear about how it would be configured - from the District website "The middle school campus will have two completely separate wings, each with separate entrances and parking. One wing will serve about 900 students in grades 5 and 6, and the other wing will serve about 900 students in grades 7-8. The building will be designed to feel like two[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 16:40:57
Sara on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: There are many false assumptions in the response by Aaron Brooks below.
Let’s take a few:
Brooks: “The educators in District 112 are some of the best – and I can attest to this based on how well all three of my children are doing here academically and socially as compared with our experience in private school in Chicago and in the Winnetka public schools. Would these experts look to implement a model that will fail? “
Assumption: This suggest that people who don’t like this plan think the administrators are misguided idiots who can’t administer out of a paper bag.
Fact: That’s ridiculous. No one has accused the District of not having good intentions. Just because people are committed to their work doesn’t mean every idea is a good one. I watched that long meeting where the teachers said “we can do this good work in any school configuration.”
Brooks: 1) The affordability in this plan comes from the operational savings of approximately $4 million per year that is related to staffing savings – so these savings should be completely realizable given that the District took the time to create a complete staffing model for the new configuration. I know people will question this – as I say below – people always question numbers that do not support their position.
Assumption: People who don’t like this plan will say the numbers aren’t real, for no other reason than to oppose.
Fact: the $4 million number has changed on more than one occasion. Brooks claims that because a staffing model was done that we must not question why that number changes. That’s also nonsense. If people “always question numbers that do not support their position,” Brooks is well in that camp.
Question for Brooks: what makes the $4 million a more real number than $2.5 million? Don’t say it’s because a “model” says so, but defend why one model is more accurate than another.
Brooks: 2) The District and residents spent years – years analyzing potential options. Running a school i[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 15:14:21
Eric Shoesmith on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: Unfortunately some of the commentators below do not have their facts correct. Just to clarify and cite the factual basis:
1. Spending $198 million to achieve a (projected) $4 million in annual savings is a terrible investment for the community. First, the savings estimate has bounced around from $2.5 million to $4 million. Second, the amount of economic damage in lost housing values due to closed schools easily outweighs any savings. You can see how the amount of "savings" varies dramatically by reviewing the previous estimates and projections on the 112 web site.
2. The SCFFAC recommended two (2) 6-8 grade middle schools. Not one 5-8 grade middle school with 2,000 students. You can read this for yourself under the SCFFAC Report to the Community on page 18.
3. The single middle school is one building with shared facilities like gyms and lunchrooms and fields. You can see this for yourself on the architect's latest presentation to the board with the proposed middle school layout.
4. Class sizes will rise to 25 students per teacher in the proposed middle school (cohorts of 150 with 6 teachers) from less than 18 now. That is a 38% increase in class sizes under this plan. See the ISBE website for 112's current statistics and class sizes.
Hope this helps.[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 13:07:10
Aaron Brooks on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: Having attended most every Board meeting over the past year and a half, having talked with numerous educators both in and outside our District, and having kids that have attended 3 different school districts I came into this with an open mind and have concluded that this plan is a great one for many reasons.
When I was considering coming back to Highland Park with my three young kids 2 years ago I was thinking about the educational quality of our schools both now and into the future. I was thinking about my kids getting a well-rounded education that included social and emotional considerations. I was thinking about them going to school in a diverse environment that mirrors a world that becomes more global and diverse every day.
I was NOT thinking about traffic, proximity to parks, time on a school bus (I rode a bus to school in HP and did just fine!! - met a bunch of people I am still friends with - good social time for kids). As this school is developed and becomes known for an even better quality education than exists currently - I future north shore home buyers will be clamoring to send their kids to a school such as this. The educators in District 112 are some of the best - and I can attest to this based on how well all three of my children are doing here academically and socially as compared with our experience in private school in Chicago and in the Winnetka public schools. Would these experts look to implement a model that will fail? Of course not.....would make no sense. If we do not address things now class sizes will rise and programs will go away - and the buyers of the future will go elsewhere where their kids can get a more diverse and future ready education that will be possible in HP.
A couple of things:
1) The affordability in this plan comes from the operational savings of approximately $4 million per year that is related to staffing savings - so these savings should be completely realizable given that the District took the time to crea[Read More]
- 2015-09-29 07:45:59
Rachel Eindhoven on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: Talking with friends and neighbors we all agree: no one wants a huge zoo school. Our children should not be crammed into untested "pods" of 150 students with only 6 teachers to manage them all. It is a recipe for disaster with 5th and 6th graders at the mercy of the 8th graders in the hallways and lunchrooms. And who thinks that putting almost all of our middle schoolers on a bus to ride to school, when obesity is on the rise nationwide, is a good idea? Most kids can walk to school in 5th grade, why take that away? [Read More]
- 2015-09-29 07:44:50
Joan Fishman on Lad & Lassie: 62 Years & Counting ...: Nice story about a favorite Wilmette shop. I often get compliments on something I'm wearing from L & L. [Read More]
- 2015-09-29 06:56:19
Nancy on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: "The Middle School Campus solution is affordable and exciting."
Agree completely with those who say we need a different plan. This middle school campus would be bigger than anything on the north shore and isn't even close to affordable. The dollar figures keep moving, and even when up $8 million at the last airing.
Sher may be excited about these changes, and good for her for giving so much time to 112, but really, a good education is not connected a specific number of buildings. We can do right by our children in 1 middle school or 2. Except we have warnings in much literature on the topic that large schools are not good for students.
And so the "costs" of one building are about a lot more than dollars. Why don't we have any options between keep everything the same and build a big box school? If the district can't give us that, they aren't doing what the community wants.
And we shouldn't vote for it![Read More]
- 2015-09-29 06:44:34
Harold on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: I attended the recent NSSD112 school board meeting, and have followed this process closely. After the District's presentation about the educational aspects of reconfiguration, a group of teachers clearly stated that they could provide excellent education for our children in one middle school, or two.
It's a joke to call that a plan hat borrows 150 million from taxpayers, plus 40-50 million in District borrowing as "affordable."
We can't AFFORD a 1800-2000 student middle school in the southwest corner of of our district. It's bad for home values, bad for neighborhood schools, and not at all what the community members who volunteered their time actually called for. Those 100 people the letter writer notes--and the last group had 60--called for two 6-8 middle schools.
If you want higher taxes, lower home values, and our kids to be bussed for ridiculous amounts of time, support this plan. If you want no elementary school west of 41, support this plan.
If you think that we can do something between "nothing" and "borrow 198 million to build a big box school," then let's look for another way![Read More]
- 2015-09-27 12:48:17
Monica on D-112 Configuration = Opportunity: FINALLY someone addresses THE EDUCATIONAL aspect of reconfiguration! That is the issue before us: What is best for children. Those of us who are afraid/outraged/uninformed/nostalgic for their past/love a cause no matter how misguided need to ask and need to know: What is best for our children's education?
No educator or administrator shows up for work and says to themselves "Now, how can I screw this up today?" Not one.[Read More]
- 2015-09-27 06:37:44
Julie on Holocaust Survivor Receives NT Diploma: What a heartwarming story! [Read More]
- 2015-09-16 15:02:18
Bob Desmond on Tickets Rise As Willow Road Clears: Classic Northfield, $27mm for 1 mile of road, lower the limit to an impossible to maintain 30mph and then give out over 150 tickets in first few days after people have been inconvenienced for the last 2 years! Goal of the 4 lanes was to speed up traffic, now you intentionally slow it down for the purpose of helping to pay for it. Oh, and now Kraft is giving up on their headquarters, taking millions in property and sales taxes away, and eliminating the need for the expansion in the first place.
I wonder how the owners of Bess hardware, Mariano's, the new Dunkin Donuts and the dry cleaner feel?
This should be a case study in local government incompetence. Would love to know how it looks vs budget. While we're at it, let's take a hard look at the red light camera program and the graft and fraud involved with that.[Read More]
- 2015-09-16 10:16:25
bill gretz on Sip & Stroll in Lake Bluff: your note on "sip and stroll" in lake bluff has, either the wrrong date, or the wrong editor. the announcement is for an event dated september 16th ! [Read More]
- 2015-09-16 07:39:19
Charles Mulstein on What To Do About Uninvited Wildlife ...: Luckily none of my visitors have gotten into the garage, or the house yet. Sounds like you had a crazy experience with a cornered one! I think I'll go out today to get a couple live animal traps. I don't know if they'll work. Perhaps I'll duct-tape the trash closed tonight, and leave a treat inside the trap. Thanks for sharing your experience! [Read More]
- 2015-09-15 08:22:49
Carl Noble on Used Book Sale To End All Used Book Sales: If we could just get these folks that run the book sale to take over our governments (city star, national, world -- why not!) we'd all be better off. The is truly an amazing operation. How can they put in a floor, some 170 tables, shelves for 150,000 books (all sorted into 120 or so categories) and then move the books in. All in one and a half days. Yet they do it -- every year. MBA's should study this operation!
- 2015-09-14 17:53:04
Harold A. Maio on Walking To Get Out of the Darkness: ====“remove the stigma associated with suicide,”
Unlike you, I do not associate one, nor do I accommodate anyone who does, so I cannot help you. You will have to help yourself.
Where did I learn my lesson? Re-visit the Women’s Movement and the claim “rape/stigma”. You have forgotten.[Read More]
- 2015-09-11 09:12:29
Adrienne Fawcett on Real Ordinary People: Irv and Doris Abramson: Thank you, Jen. It was such a treat to meet Irv and Doris and share their story. [Read More]
- 2015-09-11 08:53:01
Jen Pen Richards on Real Ordinary People: Irv and Doris Abramson: Adrienne,
This is a beautiful article about two lovely people.
August 24, 2015 was my 30th wedding anniversary! It's obviously a great day to get married!
I love your use of dialogue quotes!
Keep up the great writing!
Jen Pen [Read More]
- 2015-09-10 03:22:20
Jake on D-67 OKs Teachers Contract: At the end of the day we need to make sure that our children have quality education, which means quality teachers. If we do that through performance based pay rises or fixed pay rises I am not sure, but we need to do something to ensure or kids future learning. [Read More]
- 2015-09-10 03:16:34
Sally on Weight room pays off for MacRitchie: Nice write up of a very talented young women, good luck at college Madi. [Read More]
- 2015-09-07 13:36:14
Joan Cordeniz on D-67 OKs Teachers Contract: Thank you for that comment Mr Ebner, I agree with you whole heartedly. I am not a teacher, I have never been a teacher, and I have no problem with the wages paid to our teachers. With college costs and student debt spiraling, we can't expect salaries to remain stagnant. If it's such an overpaid cakewalk, why aren't more people flocking to it? When almost every day brings another article about teacher shortages, how do critics of this contract expect to attract and retain the good teachers our district demands? [Read More]