Thumbs-down: To Sycamore playing mostly against teams from ... Chicago? The IHSA will reorganize its football teams into districts for the 2021? season. A recent projection by Joliet Herald News Sports Editor (and Shaw Media prep football guru) Steve Soucie included Sycamore in Class 6A, in a district that included Kaneland as well as Riverside-Brookfield and five Chicago schools. DeKalb, on the other hand, would be grouped with Class 7A schools in Moline, Rockford, Rockton, Algonquin and Yorkville, more manageable for the most part. Genoa-Kingston would play in 4A in a division with many current and former Big Northern Conference schools, while Hiawatha in Class 1A would be playing schools from all over. It's only conjecture at this point, but that kind of division grouping wouldn't be very convenient for Spartans and Knights fans.
Thumbs-down: To building homes in a floodplain. The village of Kirkland is seeking a loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that will create a more suitable water retention area near the Kirkwood subdivision. Part of the reason the project is needed is because homes have been built in a high-risk flood plain area. Village President Ryan Block said this week that IEPA officials told the village not to allow any more homes to be built in the area in the early 1990s – but building continued. Now, the village needs to undertake a project that will create new wetlands and cause the flood plain boundaries to recede away from several homes. If the village gets the loan, all water customers will pay almost $15 more every two months to pay for the project in installments. Why did houses continue to be built in a flood plain? More information is expected later this month on that.
Thumbs-up: To some new state laws. Among the more than 250 laws that took effect in 2019, some do make sense. There's a law that will require the Illinois Department of Corrections to document and report violence and inmate segregation in prisons. Another requires any company that wants to do business with the state of Illinois to have a policy for addressing workplace sexual harassment. Stalking laws will be expanded to include people who use social media to shadow and intimidate, and businesses, churches and other places of worship, and schools can seek restraining orders against stalkers. Health-care facilities will be required to provide a free copy of medical records for homeless veterans if they need them to apply for disability benefits.
There are more than 250 new laws that took effect in 2019, and while some of them represent the dreaded "unfunded mandates" that state government places on businesses and local governments,
Village President Ryan Block said the village is looking to receive a water pollution control loan to create a better water retention area by Bull Run Creek in the Kirkwood subdivision.
Block said homes were built on the marshland when they really shouldn’t have been, and village officials were told by the state’s Department of Natural Resources and IEPA in the early 1990s to stop building in the high-risk floodplain, which is between the creek and Malta Road in Kirkland.
“For whatever reason, they just kept building houses,” Block said.