Character Project Invites You To Be the Positive Change

There is a Buddhist saying that goes: “What you think, you become.”

What do you want your community to be? You can vote on that issue in the Community of Character project directed by the Coalition for Healthy Communities.

The project involves the selection of six characteristics to make the Zion-Benton community as safer and friendlier place to live. In essence, the objective is for ZB residents of Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor and Zion to form a consensus around a six-word core of values.

CHC has opened the process to residents after determining the first three words: respect, responsibility and integrity. A poll that encourages input from the participation of all segments of the ZB community will determine the other three words that receive the three highest vote totals.

Voting can be done online at the Coalition for Healthy Communities web site, or by paper ballot at participating businesses, the three municipal centers, two township halls, all ZB-area schools, Winthrop Harbor and Zion police departments, Zion Park District and the Zion-Benton Public Library. Smart phones can scan a QR code to cast a vote.

The effort will culminate in a “community walk” in Zion on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. led by the participating businesses and agencies to show the community at large that a grass-roots resident movement is advocating for positive change in the area.

Forming a Community of Character by first selecting six values is not just an exercise in community boosterism. Organizers from Zion and Benton townships believe these values will lead to positive outcomes that will benefit all residents, including a decrease in property taxes and cost of living in this area.

Improving the quality of life and intrinsic value of the commuity will pay out dividends in real economic benefit for everyone.


Posted in ZB Library

ZB Library’s Online Resources Serve the Whole Community

As one of the partners in the Zion community school movement, the ZB Library offers a valuable cache of online resources freely available to all residents of Zion, Winthrop Harbor and Beach Park.

These resources and services can meet the needs of ZB-area students and families in ways far beyond the classroom – and the library’s building.

This little-known collection is found at the “eResources” tab near the top of the ZB Library web site. Think of them as fully-downloaded, free apps, or life hacks, that only require a library card and Internet connection to access.

They include resources providing educational assistance for any student of any age in just about any subject, adult learning and education, college prep, vocational and career guidance, archives of thousands of popular culture, educational, research and current events publications, legal library, and numerous encyclopedia and reference collections, including a virtual reference library.

All these and other resources are available in the collection. As an example, suppose a parent seeks reliable information on how to provide healthy meals for the family on a tight budget. Here is how the library’s e-resources collection can help:

  • Proper nutrition is a health issue. From the “Health” category, select MedlinePlus, the site of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Once at the home page, select “Health Topics.” The page shows topic organized by categories, including “Health and Wellness,” which shows a link for “Food and Nutrition”
  • Selecting that link brings up a page listing health and wellness topics in alphabetical order. The “Diet” link is a cross-referenced link to the “Nutrition” page.
  • The “Nutrition” page displays general information at the top and a short list of links at the bottom, including “,” which seems like a good choice for someone seeking information on healthy meals.
  • Hit that link and you’re there: all kinds of information on healthy meals on a budget and much more.

You don’t have to go to the library to use its resources and services. The library can go to you through its online e-resource collection.

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Cyber Attack At Local Hospitals Steals Patient Information

Residents who in the last five years received medical services from the two hospitals in Waukegan might have had personal information stolen by foreign hackers.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on August 18, Community Health Systems reported that its computer network was the target of a cyber attack by a group originating in China in April and June.

CHS is the corporate owner of Vista Medical Center East–formerly known at Victory Memorial–and Vista Medical Center West–formerly known as St. Therese. The company operates 206 medical facilities in 29 states, including the Waukegan hospitals and seven others in Illinois.

CHS suspects it was targeted by an “Advanced Persistent Threat” group. According to a post at Re/code, an independent tech news web site, APT groups within the Chinese Army have been involved in previous attacks of Western corporations since 2006.

According to the SEC regulatory filing document, CHS reported the data breach affected approximately 4.5 million individuals who, in the last five years, were referred for or received services from physicians affiliated with the company.

Although the stolen data did not include patient credit card, medical or clinical information, it did include patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers.hack 1

Located in the ZB Library’s e-resources collection, Infotrac Newsstand provides reports on this news from newspapers across the country. After accessing the site using your library card number, search “community health systems” in the search box.

Search within that initial lishack 2t of articles by typing “vista” in the search box on the left column to get a shorter list of articles that include both those search terms.

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ZB Municipalities Should Plan Together for Power

Zion is updating its comprehensive plan, which outlines a vision of the city’s future and provides a framework for the preservation and enhancement of community assets. The plan guides development and investment decisions in the best interest of community residents.

Given the unique nature of the relationship between Benton and Zion townships, in which Zion Township’s borders are the same as the city of Zion’s and is located within Benton Township, it’s counterproductive to residents of Beach Park, Zion and Winthrop Harbor to pursue separate comprehensive plans. Officials of all three municipalities should consider some planning aspects involving issues related to the three communities.

Zion is currently using its comprehensive plan adopted in 1992 and expects a new plan will be ready for adoption next April. Its Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is seeking community input and offering an online survey at

The typical comprehensive plan guides a community towards its vision over a 10- to 20-year time period. Although the Plan is a long-term visioning document, it also functions as a day-to-day guide for land use, development, and policy decisions. Municipal officials refer to a long-term plan on a regular basis. The best comprehensive plans are flexible and adaptable to changing conditions, and the plan can be updated at any time to match local needs, interests, or opportunities.

There are some big issues hovering on the horizon, such as climate change from global warming and serving constituents in the realm of digital media.

The City recently submitted a successful request for Local Technical Assistance to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to update our Comprehensive Plan.  It is anticipated that this new plan will take about a year to complete.

The process is in the public comment phase now. Residents can take a survey to provide input on what should be in the plan.

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Kenosha Road Realignment Removes Dangerous Intersection

State transportation officials are recommending the realignment of Kenosha Road near Green Bay Road to improve traffic safety in the area.

The latest Illinois Department of Transportation newsletter regarding the Green Bay Road expansion and construction project proposes a perpendicular intersection approximately 1,000 feet north of 29th Street where Kenosha Road ends at Green Bay Road.

The current intersection at Kenosha Road and has been the location of serious traffic accidents, with Kenosha Road intersecting Green Bay Road (Illinois Route 131) at an angle next to 29th Street coming out of a curve, which impairs visibility for motorists approaching the intersection.

The preferred alternative identified by citizen comments and endorsed by the Lake County Division of Transportation will create a three-legged intersection a safer distance north of 29th Street.

The proposed solution is included in the latest issue of IDOT’s IL 131 Project newsletter, which states a perpendicular intersection is preferable to the current configuration and should improve traffic operations, capacity and safety.

In another local issue involving the project, IDOT performed a traffic signal warrant analysis at 131 and 33rd Street and found that a signal is not warranted at that location.

The purpose of the project’s engineering study is to improve safety and functionality along Route 131 from Russell Road at the state line to Sunset Avenue in Waukegan. Improvements to this segment are intended to address issues of roadway and intersection capacity and efficiency; enhance vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle accommodation and safety; and bring Route 131 into compliance with current IDOT standards.

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