Skokie has moved the bar significantly for bird-strike mitigation

The Village of Skokie intends to use the Carvana tower project as a pathway to writing a local ordinance that may be a model for other communities.

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This image roughly shows what the Carvana Tower in Skokie would look like. The pictured version is nine stories; the current proposal calls for 14.

This image roughly shows what the Carvana Tower in Skokie would look like. The pictured version is nine stories; the current proposal calls for 14.

Provided

A Sun-Times editorial regarding the land-use project in Skokie for construction of a multi-story Carvana dealership acknowledged there is no state or local ordinance regulating land use and its effect on migratory birds.

The editorial suggested the time has come for such laws and ordinances. I couldn’t agree more and, in fact, the Village of Skokie has moved the bar significantly in that direction with the multiple mitigations required on this project.

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No other project in the state of Illinois has required such mitigations as this one, and the project should stand as the standard baseline for future local and state legislation on the subject.

In fact, the Carvana mitigations exceed requirements in Portland, San Francisco and Toronto — three cities known for progressive bird-strike mitigation. Skokie leaders even went further and have required a study be conducted by an independent research group to monitor bird strikes for at least one year on both Carvana and the adjacent Optima high-rises. The results of this study will guide the village in future policy decisions, and we plan to share the findings with regional and national interests.

This story is not an end; it’s only the beginning. The village intends to use this project as a pathway to writing a local ordinance that may be a model for other communities.

Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen

Stop hindering unvaccinated students’ learning experiences

I hope Chicago leaders will reconsider the COVID-19 restrictions for students in Chicago Public Schools. During the first two weeks of the year, unvaccinated students were excluded from in-person learning, which significantly affects their school performance.

Students benefit and learn best when they are in the right environment and not in their mom’s kitchen, where there are many distractions, or in their bedroom, designed for resting.

My children are diverse learners and need paraprofessionals to be successful academically. At home it is very difficult for the school to provide that service. I firmly believe we can adjust to the pandemic without sacrificing achievement and students’ right to a quality education. It is important to focus on solutions, so that during the pandemic we can reinforce the importance of education.

Schools can make accommodations for unvaccinated students by staggering attendance during the week and making agreements with teachers who wish to instruct the students, giving decision-making power to the principal and teachers to ensure our students have the quality education they deserve.

Lilia Guevara, McKinley Park

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