Posted by Keith Reed
President Chuck Norton called the meeting to order around 12:15 PM.  There were 24 members present on  Zoom, plus guest speaker Chris Rintz.  Due to Chris’ schedule, he spoke first on the topic of future “challenges and opportunities facing Winnetka.”
Chris reported that the financial picture in the Village has been fairly stable considering the impact of the virus and other restrictions.  He said that the various departments in the Village have found ways of cutting costs, and with the $150,000 received under the CARES Act, the Village’s budget is close to being balanced.
Regarding closing and opening of local businesses, Chris reported the following: the Village and the Union Pacific are considering development ideas for part of the Indian Hill parking lot and the train station; someone is pursuing the idea of a restaurant to replace the closed gas station on the SE corner of Green Bay Road and Winnetka Avenue; Buon Giorno in the Laundry building is closing but is opening a “grab and go” food service in a nearby location; a Mexican food restaurant, LaTequiza, will move into the old Buno Giorno space; a housewares store will probably replace the Starbucks store; the Savocchi space has been purchased by owners of Mino’s for another restaurant; the owner of Sophia’s in Wilmette is looking at another location on Spruce; Little Ricky’s and Café Aroma both closed due to rental costs, but Home Town Coffee is planning on taking the Café Aroma space and Little Ricky’s will probably be filled by a Taco/Tequila type restaurant run by someone with involvement in similar Naples restaurants, as well as PFChang; there is a pain management service moving in on Lincoln Avenue; Chris reported that the West Elm “street scaping” project has worked out very well with the residents using both the businesses and the new benches—he said that a similar “street scape” project has been approved for the East side of Elm Street in the near future.
In Hubbard Woods the former Antique Mall is being replaced with a vegan restaurant and the Boris building will also be getting a new restaurant from someone who has similar operations in Chicago’s West loop area; there may be a Japanese restaurant going into the former O’Neils restaurant location and a furniture design operation may be taking over the old Crème de la Creme space.
In response to questions, Chris  reported that the Village restaurants Tocco, Local 501 and Fred’s have done very well so far this year; that the Village Music Fest is still being considered for later this Fall or maybe postponed until next summer; that Kaehler Luggage does have a rental dispute with its landlord and they are in negotiations trying to keep Kaehler from moving out of the Village; that there is a “tax rebate” program now in effect for local businesses in the amounts of $2500 to $10,000 and that local businesses should check to see if they would be eligible for same.
Chris was asked about the One Winnetka project and basically he reported that it is a very complicated problem with tough legal, loan, foreclosure and creditor issues that will eventually be decided in the courts. In answer to a question about clearing the entire area until these issues are resolved, he quickly said that is not an option because of what it would cost the Village and its residents.
The members were very appreciative of Chris’ informative presentation and then returned to the regular agenda.
BIRTHDAYS: Terry Dayson was not present but became one year older notwithstanding!  Robert Mardirossian not only celebrated a birthday but his wedding anniversary is 2 days after his birthday and he therefore contributed $100 to the Club.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Connie announced that her employer, CIBC, is reopening its Winnetka branch next week. Barb announced an interactive program with a partner volunteer center in England where 3 categories of residents (groups for 60, 70 and 80 year olds) will correspond/communicate with similarly situated people in this Country  (similar to the old “pen pal” programs, but with computers).  She needs the names of those members interested by the week of Sept. 21, if possible.
HAPPY BUCKS:  Patti  donated due to her recovery from illness  and how much she appreciates her Rotary friends.  Rich donated in honor of Bill Gates Sr. who recently passed away and who made major contributions  to Rotary’s project of eradicating polio worldwide.  Rich also noted that a Wheeling Rotarian (Jack Blane) was instrumental in getting Gates’ support for the polio project.
DIG N GRIN: Wes made us older members all feel better by listing several advantages of getting old: e.g.  we don’t have to buy new clothes because our old ones will never wear out;  we are finally getting our money’s worth for all the health insurance premiums we’ve paid in the past; and if captured by terrorists we’d be the first hostages to be released!!
The meeting ended at 1:10 PM with Chuck reciting the “4 Way Test”.