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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:17pm
Wed Feb 4, 2015

Ethics Group Files Complaint Against Schock Over His Downton Abbey-Inspired Office Decor

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-IL,18) flashy new office decor could land the ab-baring congressman in hot water.

Earlier this week, Washington Post reporter Ben Terris wrote up a piece detailing the pheasant feathers, black candles, chandelier, red walls and gold picture frames and wall sconces that adorn Schock’s new office. It turns out that the room’s dramatic decor was inspired by Downton Abbey, a fictional, British TV show set in the early 1900s. At least that’s the story Terris got from Annie Brahler, the interior decorator who morphed the dreary Capitol Hill office into an eye-catchingly, bold Hollywood knock off of the popular PBS show.     

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:58pm
Tue Jan 20, 2015

Environmental Concerns Swirl Around Mission Hills Development Plan, Opponents Urge Cook Co. Board To Delay Vote (UPDATED)

Residents of Mission Hills Country Club Village in unincorporated Northbrook want Cook County commissioners to delay a vote on a new housing development proposed for their community.

Northbrook-based Red Seal Development wants to build a 137-unit housing development that includes town homes, duplexes and single-family homes on about 44 acres of land at Mission Hills, a complex that currently features 781 condominiums and town homes as well as a separately-owned, 18-hole golf course.

Red Seal is seeking approval from the Cook County Board for zoning changes that would pave the way for the project, which would involve building on half of the existing golf course.

The Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted unanimously to advance Red Seal’s proposal back in December. As a result, the Cook County Board’s Zoning and Building Committee is slated to consider the project at its meeting on Wednesday morning. If the committee approves the project, it could go before the full Cook County Board for consideration later in the day.

Mission Hills Openlands, a group of residents leading the effort against the proposed development, claims the project would threaten the environment and property values in the community and lead to more flooding problems, among other concerns.

“What they’re doing is an environmental travesty,” stressed Mission Hills Openlands founder Karen Jump. “They would be clear cutting about 500 trees and taking 44 acres of open lands and putting it under asphalt and concrete. And we’re in a very short distance to the Des Plaines River, and there’s flooding all around us.”

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