WBEZ | Hoffman Estates http://www.wbez.org/tags/hoffman-estates Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Sportsmanship spelled out in a sign http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/sportsmanship-spelled-out-sign-105404 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_he_sign2.jpg" style="width: 350px; float: right; height: 467px" title="Hoffman Estates Park District spells out sportsmanship. (Cheryl Raye-Stout)" />Have you ever watched a kid&rsquo;s game and been totally embarrassed by another adult&#39;s antics? Or maybe you got caught up and were out of control?&nbsp; Some coaches will address the adults; some coaches are the guilty party. Most people agree that it has gotten out of hand.</div><p>My son plays in a Saturday soccer league for fun. It is not a club or travel league, it is really just to play the game. The arena has the players on a surface below and the stands for viewing are above the field.&nbsp; A few weeks ago, an adult was perched over a railing hurling insults at the referee. It was incessant and unwarranted. At one point the on-looker said, &quot;Where&#39;s the whistle?&quot; The ref didn&#39;t look up, just raised his whistle in his hand and said, &quot;Right here.&quot; You would think the heckling would have stopped. It didn&#39;t.</p><p>A few days later on Facebook, I came across a picture taken of a sign that had instructions on behavior for the on-lookers at a hockey rink. The photo didn&#39;t have a location, but it does now. The <a href="http://www.heparks.org/">Hoffman Estates Park District</a> Ice Rink has the sign that has gone viral. The man behind the sign is Jeff Doschadis, General Manager of Ice Operations. Here is what the blue sign with white lettering says:</p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>Please remember</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>1. These are kids.</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>2. This is a game.</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>3. Parents should cheer for everyone.</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>4. The referees are human.</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>5. You and your child do not play for the Blackhawks.</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 135pt"><strong>If you don&#39;t understand this, please contact the ice dept. at (847) 781-3632. We would be happy to explain it to you.</strong></p><p>Jeff doesn&rsquo;t take credit for the origins of this sign, he saw it at another venue, but his sign has caught the attention across the United States and in other countries.</p><p>The Hoffman Estates Park District has an anti-bullying campaign and this is an extension of their policy. The sign was put up in September when there was a tournament with teams in the U.S.A. and Europe playing at the arena.</p><p>However, last month pictures and news about this sign spread. There wasn&rsquo;t anything out of the &ldquo;norm&rdquo; happening in Hoffman Estates.</p><p>&ldquo;As a Park District, we have seen our share of things happening involving kids, parents and referees, not just hockey, baseball, soccer any youth sports,&rdquo; Jeff said. &ldquo;It happens thoughout Chicagoland, the nation and worldwide.&rdquo;</p><p>This sign must have resonated with other parents and leagues. They have contacted Doschadis throughout the US, Vancouver, Winnipeg, even London and New Zealand. Some want to copy the sign for their own use.</p><p>When I asked Jeff if this is a bit sad, that a sign has to point out the obvious in youth sports participation, he didn&rsquo;t think so and added, &ldquo;Anything that can bring pause, make someone think about is not a bad thing.&rdquo;</p><p>Right now it is located at the two entrances to the ice rink. One line&nbsp;reminds everyone the kids are not the Blackhawks. In fact, the NHL has sent this information about the sign to all their teams, since they sponsor youth leagues. Jeff has received gratitude from officials of the Illinois Youth Hockey League, mainly for sticking up for the referees. Doschadis pointed out that most of the refs are just kids themselves, ranging from 14-16 years old. They have a lot to deal with officiating a game, let alone a belligerent parent or player.</p><p>It was compelling to me that Jeff would post the phone number, just in case someone doesn&rsquo;t get it. You know people know it is wrong, but this was putting a contact number to almost challenge the reader. There has not been one negative response, everyone knows what they are supposed to do&mdash;they sign is an effective reminder. When spring arrives, Jeff will post signs at the other park districts sporting locations,</p><p>&ldquo;Anything that would allow a parent, kid, official a moment of clarity at a youth (and high school) event and remember why they are there,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame </a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 Feb 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/sportsmanship-spelled-out-sign-105404 The post-recession apartment class abandons suburban office parks http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/post-recession-apartment-class-abandons-suburban-office-parks-101669 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/iDanSimpson.jpg" style="height: 334px; width: 620px; " title="An office park in Barrington, IL (Flickr/iDanSimpson)" /></div><p>Once upon a time, there were thousands of young Illinoisans actively looking for jobs in the suburbs with good schools for their kids or soon-to-be-kids, low taxes, and jobs they could drive to easily. They spawned the birth of the office park, large, heavily landscaped campuses with gyms and cafeterias that, before the recession, were often filled to capacity.<br /><br />But now, in many towns, those campuses stand empty. With an inkling that the recession might be behind us, those companies seeking to reopen or expand are looking at downtown offices. It&rsquo;s not just that more business is happening in denser urban areas these days, although that&rsquo;s true. According to <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> reporter David Roeder, it&rsquo;s also an issue of image. People would rather work in, &ldquo;a spiffy downtown address in a building of note.&rdquo;<br /><br />Others say the trend is potentially temporary. While it&rsquo;s true the rising professional generation does by and large prefer the apartment lifestyle, the bottom line is that yields are higher in the &lsquo;burbs where property comes cheaper, according to the <em><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304584404576442121473072328.html">Wall Street Journal</a>. </em><br /><br />A turnaround would &nbsp;be good news for the towns that sprung up around these office parks. Hoffman Estates, about 30 miles from downtown Chicago, recently lost both Sears and AT&amp;T. They were the village&rsquo;s number one and number two employers, respectively. Areas that rely upon office parks housing pharmaceutical companies and other industries that require space have more insulation, says Roeder, but not much. He suggests that those communities left with thousands of square feet of real estate consider converting them to community colleges or hospitals.<br /><br />There&rsquo;s no way of knowing now if the trend will last, but Chicago will see Motorola Mobility make itself at home downtown in the next few weeks, and rumor has it that Sara Lee is considering a move back as well. Roeder, along with Elk Grove President Craig Johnson, will stop &nbsp;by <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> on Monday to talk about what&rsquo;s happening to suburban office parks with WBEZ business reporter Niala Boodhoo.</p></p> Mon, 13 Aug 2012 08:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/post-recession-apartment-class-abandons-suburban-office-parks-101669 Sears tax arrangement draws questions from Hoffman Estates schools http://www.wbez.org/story/sears-tax-arrangement-draws-questions-hoffman-estates-schools-93842 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100223_san_72657_Sear_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Supporters of a northwest suburban school district are worried a plan to give tax breaks to Sears could hurt their district for the next 15 years.&nbsp;</p><p>There's a one-of-a-kind tax district in Hoffman Estates called an Economic Development Area - or EDA. It was designed in the late 1980s to keep Sears in Illinois until 2012 by giving the company tax breaks.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/97/SB/09700SB0397ham002.htm">An amendment filed Monday</a> for the state Senate bill aimed at retaining big companies like Sears would also extend the EDA.&nbsp;</p><p>The EDA's land is in school district 300 and they are thus eligible for property tax money. Allison Strupeck is the Director of Communications for the district. Although her district's schools are not located in Hoffman Estates, she said of the roughly $16 million dollars in school property taxes paid by businesses within the EDA, only $2.9 million actually goes to schools. She said more money should be making it to schools, but that millions are instead going to the Village of Hoffman Estates.</p><p>"We want to make sure that any legislation does not give unnecessary and inappropriate funding to the Village of Hoffman Estates which manages this Economic Development Area," Strupeck said. "Nobody really knows what the Village of Hoffman Estates does with the $5.5 to $6 million dollars that it gets every year in school property taxes from the EDA."</p><p>Strupeck said parents and concerned citizens have filed Freedom of Information Act requests to learn how the Village spends the money it receives, but so far they have not been successful in getting information.</p><p>Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod called district 300's complaints a smear campaign. He said the the EDA gets yearly audits and is regulated by the state. He said audit information is freely available on <a href="http://www.hoffmanestates.com/index.aspx?page=560">the Village's website</a>. He also said money the Village gets from the EDA goes to maintaining the area.</p><p>Both the district and the Village want Sears to stay in Hoffman Estates, but the district is lobbying for additional oversight of the EDA written into the current legislation.</p><p>The House is expected to review the bill Tuesday morning.</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of the story misidentified the school district lobbying against the EDA legislation. </em><em>District 300 does not operate any schools in Hoffman Estates.</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 13:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/sears-tax-arrangement-draws-questions-hoffman-estates-schools-93842