Spot Checks™ Tip Sheet

You know more or less about more or fewer Winnetka Village issues than the next guy. We want to help make you smart, but not insult your intelligence. So if you’re not familiar with our format, here's how to get the most out of your Spot Checks.


What type of reader are you? News junky? Researcher? A little of both? Somewhere in between? We use links - lots of 'em - to give you the type of reading experience that works for you. Links let us - 

  • Define terms
  • Give you background/history of an issue, or its pros and cons
  • Send you places – like the Village Videos – for taped live discussions of an issue
  • Reassure you we've done our homework. 

We spend a lot of time sourcing this information. Usually, but not always, you can get the basic info without clicking or tapping the links. But always, links will give you a richer reading experience and a more complete picture of an issue.  

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Tip: A lot of our readers topline their Spot Check when it first arrives. Later, they'll pull it up again to drill down and fill in their understanding of an issue. To make it easy to do that, we archive Spot Checks here.


Some are stylistic, some – like TIF or DMP – are because these terms are going to be in the Village’s vernacular for a long time and they’re a whole lot easier to say than “tax increment financing,” or “Downtown Master Plan.” Again, click or tap on the links associated with these terms to get smart. 

Point of View

We don’t do it very often. We pride ourselves of giving smart people smart info, so that you can make up your own mind. That way your POV is yours. Trust us, with so many people trying to sell you their point of view, you’ll thank us. It might even be a bit refreshing. (PS - Trust us though: you'll know when something drives us crazy!)


Sometimes we report what’s going on – other times we open up issues for discussion. A recent example is the “parklets” section in this Spot Check. The seeming darlings of municipal planners everywhere, we wanted to know - and thought you might too - what they looked like, how they worked, and with parking supposedly at a premium, if they have a place in Winnetka. We gave you the first two, and left the last up to you.   

Calls to Action

Every Spot Check closes with stuff to do next. Contacts, further reading, other sources for info. Anything we think you might need to continue making yourself smart about things going on in the Village. 

Happy reading!