All posts by Elburn Herald

The Elburn Herald has been serving the Kaneland communities since 1908. To reach our editor, Keith Beebe, email, or call (630) 365-6446, ext. 105. To reach our owner/publisher, Ryan Wells, email, or call (630) 365-6446, ext. 107.

Immanuel Lutheran schedules Holy Week

Holy Week services at Immanuel Lutheran Church are scheduled from Saturday, April 4, through Easter Sunday, April 12.

Saturday worship is at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Traditional Palm Sunday worship will be at 8 and 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary; a contemporary worship is at 10:45 a.m. in the Family Life Center.

Holy Week devotions will be at 7:15 a.m. Monday, April 6, through Friday, April 10, in the chapel.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services will be at 3:45 and 7:15 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Easter Eve worship will be at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Easter worship will include a sunrise service at 6:30 a.m.; traditional worship at 9 a.m. and contemporary worship at 11 a.m. All services will be in the Family Life Center.

For information, call the church office, (630) 879-7163, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Seder, prayer for sick

A Passover Seder experience will be presented by Chosen People Ministries at Evangelical Fellowship Church (EFC) in Elburn on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. The last supper of Jesus and his disciples will be explained, giving prophetic insight to the Jewish Passover tradition.

EFC, in cooperation with Faith Assembly, Community Congregational and Hope Anglican, will follow the presentation with a city-wide interchurch hour of prayer for the sick, unemployed and hurting. Everyone is welcome, especially those who are in trouble.

There will be a free-will offering taken for Chosen People ministries.

Marengo man dies in 2-car crash near SG

Elburn driver ticketed just before accident
by Martha Quetsch
An Elburn woman involved in a fatal crash March 20 near Sugar Grove was ticketed for improper lane use less than nine minutes earlier on Route 38 and Pouley Road, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the two-vehicle fatal accident on Route 47 near Merrill Road that was reported at 5:36 p.m. Sheriff’s deputies, along with Sugar Grove Police and Kane County Forest Preserve Police, responded to the scene, where individuals were reported trapped in the vehicles, Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said.

The initial investigation indicates that a yellow Chevy S-10 pickup was traveling south on Route 47 and crossed into the oncoming northbound lane of traffic colliding head on with a Ford Windstar, Gengler said.

The driver of the pickup, Linda L. Knotts, 44, of the 300 block of Dempsey Drive in Elburn, was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove with apparent non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Ford, William J. McKenzie, 54, of the 400 block of North State Street in Marengo, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Route 47 was closed temporarily between Scott and Harter roads for the investigation. The Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team is assisting SheriffՉ۪s Detectives with the investigation.

It is unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, Gengler said.

Between the time of Knotts’ first ticket and the crash, at 5:34 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department received a call about someone driving recklessly in a yellow pickup southbound on Route 47 near I-88, Gengler said.

After the accident, Knotts was ticketed for illegal passing, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and driving in the wrong lane.

The charges against Knotts are not a proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Sheriff’s Department asks that anyone with information relating to this crash to call Detective Sal Rodriguez at (630) 208-2030.

Alvarez pleads guilty to felony gambling charge

Former Emma’s Pub manager could face 6-year sentence
Michael A. Alvarez pleaded guilty March 17 to running an illegal gambling operation at the former Emma’s Pub & Cantina in downtown Elburn and at Miguel’s on the Fox in St. Charles.

Alvarez Sr., 53, of the 39W block of Hogan Hill, Elgin, pleaded guilty to one count of keeping a gambling place, a Class 4 felony in this case because of a prior conviction on the same charge.

Alvarez faces a sentence of probation, one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections or up to six years if the judge rules that Alvarez is eligible for an extended term based on his prior convictions, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

A Kane County Grand Jury indicted Alvarez in April 2008 for running a Super Bowl pool between Sept. 1, 2006, and Feb. 28, 2007, at Emma’s and at Miguel’s, both owned by his wife, Kathleen Alvarez.

The Elburn Police Department participated in the investigation that led to the indictment. Two days before the indictment, Police Chief Jim Linane issued a complaint to the village’s liquor commission that Emma’s had violated its liquor license terms by holding illegal gambling on the pub’s premises.

Before the liquor commission hearing scheduled for April 29, 2008, on the matter, Kathleen Alvarez voluntarily gave up Emma’s liquor license and closed the restaurant soon afterward.

The gambling pool had a total value of $60,000 at $600 per square. Alvarez also was running smaller pools at the taverns, according to the State’s Attorney’s office.

Alvarez’s next court appearance is at 1 p.m. May 12 in Kane County Judicial Center Courtroom 217, for sentencing.

Alvarez has prior state and federal convictions on gambling offenses and has served prison sentences in IDOC and the federal penitentiary.

Alvarez remains free on $10,000 bond. He did not return phone calls from the Elburn Herald regarding his guilty plea.

Kane County Associate Judge James C. Hallock accepted the plea. Assistant State’s Attorneys Greg Sams and Adam Katz prosecuted the case.

Living his dream

Children’s book illustrator challenges students to find their special skill
by Susan O’Neill
Children’s book illustrator Wendell Minor told Kaneland John Shields Elementary School students that he knew he wanted to become an artist by the time he was in fourth grade. Although his art teacher encouraged him, his other teachers and fellow students did not take his desire seriously, he said.

During his presentation at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School March 11, he said he had to work hard and persist in his goals, overcoming the skepticism of others to make his dream a reality.

He encouraged the students to find something they really enjoyed, something they were special at.

“Listen to yourself, if you really enjoy something,” he said. “I liked to daydream and look out the window and paint nature, and I managed to make a whole living out of it. I still love it.”

Minor said he started drawing in kindergarten. Four years later, when his friend Ed looked at a picture of a buffalo he had drawn, Ed thought he had traced it. This is when Minor knew he had something special.

“If someone tells you you’re really good at something, listen to that person,” he said.

Minor began his career doing cover illustrations for all kinds of books, from biographies to cook books. He started doing illustrations for children’s books in the 1980s. He has since completed more than 45 books and won more than 200 awards for his work.

His paintings are featured in the permanent collections of the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Library of Congress. He has illustrated books for award-winning authors, including Diane Siebert and Jean Craighead George.

The Kane County Farm Bureau in 2008 picked his book, “Heartland,” for its first annual Spring Program of Reading Outreach to Urban Teachers and Students (SPROUTS). SPROUTS brings agriculture into the classroom through volunteers reading agriculture-related books to third-grade students throughout the county.

SPROUTS’ choice of Minor’s book gave Shields literacy coach Terri Konen the idea to invite him to the school to talk to the students. Minor is from the area, having grown up in Aurora.

Konen obtained a grant from the Kaneland Foundation to fund his visit. Minor arranged his visit to coincide with a children’s literature conference at Northern Illinois University he was attending, which took care of his travel expenses.

Konen worked with teachers at Shields to help ensure that students learned more in addition to his discussion. Students signed up to go to the school library to read his books. In computer classes, they learned how to toggle between Minor’s website and a Word document to create questions for him.

In music classes they put the words of his book, “Cat What is That?” to the melody of the song, “The Erie Canal,” and created their own chants to go between the verses. In literacy classes, they read each page without the pictures and sketched their own ideas of an image to support the words.

During presentations to groups of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, Minor showed slides of his work as he talked about his experiences and the process by which he does his work.

He showed them several initial sketches, which is how he begins paintings. He told them he finds models to pose for him, reaching the final result after several cycles of refining his work.

“I’m never satisfied with what I do,” he said. “It just makes me try harder next time.”

A nature enthusiast, many of Minor’s books are about wildlife and the natural environment. He researches his subjects extensively, often traveling to the places to see for himself what he will commit to paper.

He has traveled to the Grand Canyon to observe wolves and other animals he would draw for his book, “The Wolves are Back.” For another of his books, “The Everglades,” he flew in a helicopter above the Everglades to get a perspective on the scene below, as a bird would see it.

After many years, he began writing and illustrating his own books, including several that he wrote with his wife, Florence. Their book, “If You Were a Penguin,” is Pennsylvania’s 2009 choice for its One Book, Every Young Child Program.

He told the students he was more than 50 years old before he wrote his first book. When he was younger, he had dyslexia and struggled with reading. On his website, he credits his teacher, Mr. Gilkey, with helping him overcome his struggles.

After he developed his reading skills, he found he had many interests. History, science and biology were some of his favorite subjects, and these are the things he writes about and draws today.

He recently contacted astronaut Buzz Aldrin to see if he would be interested in working on a book with him to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first two men to walk on the moon.

The collaboration resulted in the book, “Reaching for the Moon.” He said he had a great time with Aldrin signing copies of the book at the Air and Space Museum. They autographed 1,250 books.

They recently completed another book together called “Look to the Stars” that will be out in May. He told the students that by the time they grow up, they will be able to ride around the back of the moon.

Minor said he learned his work ethic from his grandfather and his father, which still serves him well today. His grandfather was a farmer, and his father worked a factory job.

During a break with the teachers, he told them his first job was at the North Aurora Packing Company at the slaughterhouse.

“Nothing was going to motivate me more than that,” he said. “I looked at that as on-the-job training for what I didn’t want to do.”
Now, he told the students he often works from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but it doesn’t feel like work.

“If you find something you love to do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” he told the students. “Time just flies by. I only hope that for you.”

But he said that they won’t get there without studying and working hard. He told them they had a wonderful librarian and a wonderful library.

“Use it please,” he said. “Books can take you anywhere, even back in time. You can visit dragons, fly to Never-Never Land and go to the moon and back.”

For more information about Wendell Minor and his work, visit

Photo: Illustrator Wendell Minor speaks at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School March 11. He encouraged students to find their “special skill.” Photo by Sarah Rivers

Civic Center hosts Meet the Candidates Night

The public is invited to a Meet the Candidates Night to hear from the candidates running for the Maple Park village president and village trustee positions in the April 7 election.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, at the Maple Park Civic Center.

Voters will select three individuals for village trustee positions, as well as vote for the village president.

At the March 31 event, each candidate will be given an opportunity to outline their qualifications, accomplishments and future vision for Maple Park. There will also be a question-and-answer period.

Call (630) 650-0201.

Youth Football Cheerleading

The next registration date for Kaneland Youth Football and Cheerleading will be on April 18 at Kaneland High School Cafeteria from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Information: Flag Football: Ages 5-6, Cost $50; Football: Ages 7-12, Cost $200; Cheerleading: Ages 6-13, Cost $150.

An additional $25 volunteer fee per family will be collected at registration. For further information, contact Cyndi Regnier at (815) 827-3033.

Elburn police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the Elburn Police Department. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Elburn accident with injuries
At approximately 11 p.m. on Monday, Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies and Elburn Police were dispatched to the area of Route 38 west of Route 47 for a traffic crash with injuries.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2005 Nissan Maxima was traveling west on Route 38 from Route 47, and for an unknown reason, crossed the center line of the roadway and struck a semitrailer truck that was traveling east on Route 38. The crash occurred in front of 46W159 Route 38.

The driver of the Maxima, Christine Bowens, of the 300 block of North Cardinal Street in Cortland, was flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove with apparent non-life threatening injuries. She was issued citations for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, improper lane usage and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

The driver of the semi, Donald J. Maus, 60, of Lisbon, Iowa, was not injured.

Criminal property damage
At 11:15 p.m. March 12, police discovered that someone had punched a hole in drywall at the drive-up window area of the Walgreens building under construction at 1001 N. Main St., Elburn. Inside the building, police found graffiti, including gang-related symbols and lettering.

At 4:59 a.m. March 15, police discovered that the plywood that had been placed over the hole in the drywall at the Walgreens building was knocked down. Officers also smelled natural gas, and the Elburn firefighters confirmed a possible leak from hoses and valves connected to the gas meter. They called Nicor to check the building.

Lady Knights lose to Milledgeville

Lady Knights softball suffered a 3-2 late-inning loss to visiting Milledgeville-Polo co-op on Monday.

Kaneland’s record dropped to 1-1. The Missiles broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the seventh inning, and took advantage of seven Lady Knight errors.

Mallory Huml took the loss, while striking out three and walking two. Sara Rose smashed a double and Jordan Herra hit a triple for the extra-base knocks.

The RBI’s were had by Rose and by Andrea Dimmig-Potts.

In lower-class action, the freshmen crew lost to Milledgeville 7-4. Sarah Kitz went 3-for-3.

Varsity waits until Saturday, April 4, to battle host Oswego at 10 a.m. and goes to Sandwich on Monday, April 6.

Fire Department hosts annual breakfast

The Maple Park Fire Department members will hold its annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at their fire station, 305 S. County Line Road, Maple Park, on Sunday, April 5, 7 a.m. to noon. Cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 10. Children under the age of 3 eat free.

The department will use this year’s proceeds to help purchase Advanced Life Services equipment for an ambulance, as it plans to provide ALS service beginning November 2009 with its front-line ambulance. The public is invited to show support and see the new engine the department put into service in August 2008.

Residents invited to help with habitat restoration work day

A habitat restoration work day will be held on Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, located on Bliss Road in Sugar Grove. Please meet in the main parking lot.

People interested should bring gloves and dress in layers. All people are welcome, but children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be provided. Volunteers will cut and stack invasive brush.

For more information, please call Mary Ochsenschlager at (630) 466-4922 or e-mail at You can also call Julia Bourque at the Kane Forest Preserve Office at (630) 232-5980.

Real estate firm sponsors food drive

RE/MAX All Pro in Sugar Grove is sponsoring a food drive to benefit the Kaneland Food Pantry, in response to community need.

Items needed include nonperishable foods, cleaning supplies and paper goods.

Donated items may be dropped off at RE/MAX All Pro 330 Division St. Sugar Grove (next to Aldi on Route 47) during March. Donations may be dropped off between Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call Karen at (630) 391-4800.

Clifford returns to library; New evening story times start at the library

Town & Country Public Library
320 E. North St., Elburn • (630) 365-2244

Clifford returns to library
Clifford, the big red dog, a favorite children’s book character, will visit the library again on Friday, March 27, at 11 a.m. Children will hear stories about Clifford’s many adventures. As with previous book character visits sponsored by Barnes & Noble of Geneva, there will be time after the program for kids to hug Clifford and for parents to take pictures. Clifford will have a gift for each child present. This event is open to all children in the Fox Valley. Please register your child at the library.

New evening story times start at the library
Come to the library and meet Miss Judy. She is a library patron who is volunteering to read to children in the evening. Miss Judy will visit the library the first Monday of each month. The first Story Time is Monday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Silo. Preschool children through elementary school students are all welcome. A special treat will be given to kids who come to the first evening story time. Evening story times are open to all children in the Fox Valley. Please register your child at the library.

Homemakers group gathers April 2

The April meeting of the Country Cousins Unit of the Kane County Association for Home and Community Education will be held Thursday, April 2, at the Elburn Town and Country Library. The meeting will convene at 12:30 p.m. with hostesses Jenny Klotz and Shirley Olson. The lesson for the day will be “Landscaping on the Wild Side.” A silent auction will be held with the theme “Make It, Bake It or Grow It.”

For more information, please call (630) 365-2209.

Letter: Quilting can be beautiful hobby, way to give back

On the third Saturday of every month, Gwyneth Johnsen brings sewing machines and fabric to the Town and Country Library for the purpose of creating quilts to be given away.

The main reason Gwyn does this is to teach quilting to anyone over the age of 8 who is interested in learning the art of quilting. All the proper steps are taken from the very beginning. The group chooses the pattern, the fabric, cuts the pieces and begins construction. If anyone is unfamiliar with the sewing machine, Gwyn teaches how to use it properly.

Many beautiful quilts have been made since the group called “Cover the Country Quilters” began seven years ago. These have been baby quilts, lap quilts, twin bed quilts and larger. They are all donated to the Lifespring Center, where women and children are given shelter and assistance by the Wayside Cross Mission in Aurora.

More volunteers are always needed, and the satisfaction of learning how to make something beautiful, and at the same time, doing something for others, is a very pleasant feeling.

Margaret Ritchie

Letter: In support of Michels, Heineman and Bohler

I am writing in support of Sean Michels for re-election as President of the Village of Sugar Grove, and also in support of Mary Heineman (as a write-in candidate) and Bob Bohler for re-election to the trustee positions that they presently hold.

I have never written a letter like this, or taken any active part in assisting anyone seeking an elective office. I have simply voted for the candidates of my choice, and let things go at that. But things are substantially different for me with regard to our upcoming municipal election here in Sugar Grove. In addition to writing this letter, I find myself going door-to-door for these three fine people, talking to my neighbors and friends and others in the community, passing out literature, playing yard signs and more.

All elections are important, of course, but our Sugar Grove election this year is particularly so. Our current economic recssion has halted growth in much of our country, Sugar Grove included. We know this will eventually pass, and when it does, the growth will begin again. We need to make sure that wise, sensible people with solid, genuine connections and concern for our town will be guiding us at that time. This election is also unusually important because we have a contest for the office of President of our community. The winner will have tremendous influence over the future of Sugar Grove; we must pick the best person for this important position.

My wife and I have lived in this wonderful village for the past 19 years. We have raised our four sons here, putting them through the Kaneland schools, local scouting and sports activities, etc. I’ve been privileged to have had many opportunities to serve as a scout leader and a soccer and baseball coach over the years. In addition, since June 2003, I have had an office in the village for my small business. My father was a career Army officer, and consequently I moved every year or two while growing up, attending 10 different schools by the time I graduated from high school. For most of my life, I have dearly wished for a “hometown.” I have one now, and perhaps because of my past, I love and appreciate and care about this place more than I can adequately express.

It is because of my love for this community, and the special importance of this particular election—and one other factor—that I have suddenly changed from a political couch potato who merely votes, into a determined, independent advocate for those candidates who I believe will best serve us in the future.

The additional factor that got me up off the couch and out into the streets is the fact that I know both Sean Michels and his opponent fairly well—particularly with regard to those factors that are most relevant and important to the office of President of our village. By any measure you might choose—a true connection with our town and a genuine concern for its future; the necessary experience and ability; an appropriate vision for development; personal integrity and character—Sean Michels is clearly and substantially the superior candidate.

Sean Michels is a good and decent man, with long-standing, deep and true connections with Sugar Grove. He has lived in the Kaneland area since 1969, attending Kaneland schools from which he graduated in 1981. He attended Waubonsee Community College and was recently recognized by that institution as one of its 40 top graduates. He has resided in Sugar Grove with his wife and four children (who attend our Kaneland schools) for the past 19 years, and he has absolutely no intention of going anywhere else after this election has concluded, win or lose. He has served as president of our village for the past nine years, during which time Sugar Grove has received numerous awards and recognitions.

Our village is in excellent condition and remains a truly great place to live. Sean loves this town as much as I do, and his desire to continue as our President is based upon his genuine concern for its welfare. I have never doubted for an instant his good intentions or his feelings of caring for our community. Sugar Grove is as much a part of him as it is of any other person.

I got to know Sean’s opponent during his recent tenure as the Director of the Sugar Grove Economic Development Corporation while that agency was located in the same building as my business. His office was right across the hall from mine. I saw him several times a week for the past several years, and I have always had a very cordial relationship with him. As generally happens in such situations, we had many conversations over the years about a lot of different issues. Also, I have numerous clients and friends who have had dealings of various sorts with him over the years. I know the man—and I know about the man—quite well.

All of us who live in Sugar Grove can agree that our recent growth has been concentrated in residential development, and that we now need to work on balancing that with other appropriate and desirable development. But the approach of Sean’s opponent (and the trustee candidates that support him and are critical of our present leaders) would be to lower the impact fees and open space requirements that we have worked so hard to put in place at the present, appropriate levels; say “Come on down” to every residential developer within 500 miles; and grow the population of this nice, still relatively small and quiet community as soon as possible in order to attract commercial and retail businesses. On numerous occasions in recent years, I’ve heard Sean’s opponent say, “To get more businesses, we need more rooftops.”

We don’t need more rooftops. We’ve got plenty for now. And once the economy picks up, Settler’s Ridge alone will increase the size of the village all that we need for the near term.

What we really need are experienced, intelligent people like Sean Michels, Bob Bohler and Mary Heineman, who have common sense and a genuine concern for, and connection with, our village, to consider very carefully all future proposed development in our area. We should not—we must not—rush to grow as fast as possible. Growth of all kinds is on its way; we will get to that, whether we want it or not. What we must do while this is occurring is to take charge of this growth and control it in a manner that preserves the essence of this great village that has grown so much in recent years, precisely because folks recognize what a desirable place this is to live.

To those of you who have some dissatisfaction with Sean Michels or Bob Bohler or Mary Heineman, let me say this—I also have not agreed with everything that has taken place in our village in recent years. But we must keep in mind that elected officials attempting to do right by their constituents make easy targets for our criticism. Human nature being what it is, it’s a simple matter for us to complain that our government is not doing what it should, or not doing things quickly enough, or in what we feel is the appropriate manner.

It is an entirely different matter, however, were we to be the ones on the inside trying to accomplish our desired goals. I’m sure that President Obama feels acutely aware of this facet of life right about now. Elections, of course, are not about choosing the perfect candidate. That candidate simply doesn’t exist. Rather, elections are about choosing the best of those folks who step forward to seek office, and in our current circumstances, Sean and Bob and Mary are the best.

We find ourselves at a critical juncture in the history of this town. How are we going to move forward once things start moving again—rampant growth for growth’s sake—or careful, balanced, controlled development in order to keep this village as much as possible the nice place that attracted all of us in the first place? We should keep in mind the old saying that sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. If we take a step back and look at the “forest” that is the village of Sugar Grove—not getting caught up in the trees, we see that Sugar Grove remains truly a great place to live and work and raise our families, and a large part of the credit for that must go to Sean Michels, Bob Bohler and Mary Heineman. Let’s keep these good people in office so that we can say the same thing about Sugar Grove several years down the line.

Bill Durrenberger
Sugar Grove

Letter: Republicans need to support SB600

All Republicans should be concerned about how party leaders like Kjellander and Cellini have absolutely ruined the party in our state. You only need look at who currently holds all of the power in Springfield to understand how impotent Kjellander and Cellini have been. However, they have been masters at making fortunes for themselves at our expense.

Now these same arrogant idiots are trying to prevent the citizens from regaining their right to elect party leaders by fighting against Senate Bill SB600. This bill would restore the voice that was taken from us by former Governor Jim Thompson.

I urge the Elburn Herald and members of the Senate to take a stand in support of SB600 that gives power back where it rightfully belongs.

Ken Kreft

Letter: I want to give my time as a village trustee

I have been a long-time resident of Elburn for 37 years and currently reside in Blackberry Creek. My wife Lonna and I have been married 44 years and raised our three children, Jim, Kevin and Kelly Durbala in Elburn. We have always been proud of Elburn, being such a safe and friendly community.

Now that I am retired, I would like to give my time to the village as a trustee. I was elected to the village board in 1987 but was forced to resign because of conflict with my employment. I am presently on the Zoning Board of Appeals and have been a member of this board for 12 years.

I am a 30-year-plus member of the Elburn Lions Club, the St. Charles Moose and a member of St. Gall church. I would like to be a part of Elburn’s growth and prosperity. If I am elected, I will pursue the Anderson Road bridge and development around the Metra station. We need to link the Metra station with our downtown area. We need to revitalize and update our Main Street with new businesses.

If I am elected, I will give 100 percent of my time as a trustee. I urge everyone to vote April 7.

Jerry Schmidt

Letter: Let’s play by the rules

I have just read the letters in the Elburn Herald, and I find the letter written by Jim Friedrich from Kendall County very interesting about Mr. Rotter, our current tax assessor.

Mr. Rotter—what are you thinking by using taxpayers’ money for your brochures and distributing them on township time, and using Blackberry Township vehicles, of which several Elburn residents have seen you driving in? Shame on you. This is truly unfair to everyone who are taxpayers in the township and for all other persons running for office.

As a hardworking taxpayer in this township, I feel it is very unfair what you are doing.

As a tax assessor in Blackberry Township, (your) being a part-time fireman on the Elburn Fire Department is a conflict of interest also. Taxpayers beware: If you need to call the Fire Department for a fire inside your home, Mr. Rotter, your tax assessor, would be the person freely coming inside your home as the fireman, aka the tax assessor.

Melodee Snow

Letter: Parent representation needed on the current School Board

My name is Pedro Rivas, and I am a 2009 candidate for the Kaneland Board of Education. I have been a resident of Sugar Grove for 16 years and have two sons, one at Kaneland John Shields Elementary and one at Kaneland Middle School.

I believe strongly in the importance of community involvement. I have volunteered as a basketball and baseball coach for the Sugar Grove Park District for five years, and my other volunteer work has included Jr. Achievement, Special Olympics, Habitat For Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America.

I feel strongly that any school board should be made up primarily of parents of active students in any given district. This is a must for me if the best interests of the students and their families are to be served. Parents should be involved at all levels, especially the decision making one. The existing Kaneland Board of Education is not made up of parents of active Kaneland students. Only one board member has children currently attending Kaneland schools.

Like many Kaneland residents, I have wondered “why?” throughout the years. Why is the district in a financial crisis? Why are our registration fees higher than other districts? Why are some grades “blocked” while others are not? Why is our grading scale different from all of the surrounding communities? Why are our ISAT scores not higher? Why do we not formally introduce the concept of “grades” to fourth and fifth graders in order to prepare them for middle school? These are just some of the many questions that I have had, and have heard from those around me.

Rather than continuing to ponder, I’ve decided to get involved. Those voting for me will be getting a concerned and involved parent to represent their interests. It’s time for a change, for a fresh look and a fresh opinion. I look forward to and am excited about the challenge, and with your help, hope to soon be a fresh face on the Kaneland Board of Education.

Pedro Rivas
Sugar Grove

Letter: Dave Anderson is ready to lead

I am writing today to give my full endorsement to Dave Anderson for village president.

I had the privilege to serve on the Elburn Village Board from 1999-2007. In that time period we accomplished a great deal in Elburn under the awesome leadership of Jim Willey and an amazing group of very dedicated village trustees and village staff.

It’s time for change in our community, and I feel that Dave Anderson is ready to lead. He has an enormous amount of governmental leadership experience unmatched by any other candidate running for this office. He also has the unique distinction of a family involvement in this community for many years.

We all knew Dave when we popped into the local grocery store to pick up a few items. Dave has a pulse on the community like none other. I would also share a personal note: Dave was my landlord for my growing business over the years. My company occupied the second floor of the grocery for several years.

Dave was always supportive of my small business. Even though we were always able to pay the rent on time, if we were there now under these economic times and might be a bit late, I know that Dave would be willing (to) work with us. Dave is a true friend of small business.

Our community has grown a lot over the past number of years. Our revenues have declined dramatically over the past couple of years, as have most communities across Chicagoland. Economic stewardship is required now more than ever. What better person to do that than someone who has met a payroll and understands budgets and how to manage them.

I love this community with all my heart. My wife and I just built a new house in Blackberry Creek. I tell her that they will have to carry me out of our dream house, and that’s the truth. When I look at Elburn and what is going to be required over the next coming years to help guide our village, Dave Anderson is a slam dunk in my view.

I hope that you will agree. Please be sure to vote on April 7 for village president, as well as filling three very important village trustee positions.

Jeffrey Metcalf
Former village trustee

Letter: Wilcox has the experience, knowledge

I am writing to support Bonnie Wilcox for Blackberry Township Assessor. She has over 20 years of experience in property assessment, so she understands the current housing market turmoil and the effect it has on assessments. Given her previous experience as a deputy assessor, she is also familiar with township government.

Bonnie has called Elburn home for over 10 years and truly cares about the village and its residents, and has consistently been a concerned community volunteer. She has volunteered countless hours, and walked many miles, to raise money for the American Cancer Society, the Delnor Walk for Women’s Health, and previously donated her time to being Assistant Committeeperson for Blackberry Township Precinct Three.

Given her qualifications and concerns for the community, I would encourage everyone to elect Bonnie Wilcox as the next Blackberry Township Assessor.

Laura Nejedly

Letter: Thank you, Dave, for your service

This letter is to thank Dave Anderson for his 14 years of service as Supervisor of Blackberry Township. During his tenure, Dave has significantly advanced the township and the position of supervisor to a new level of professionalism.

Some of the important items that he has accomplished were to improve the communications, finances and services within the township. He did this through his common sense, small business experience and friendly attitude developed during his lifelong residence in our area.

We will miss his stewardship. However, we have respect for him for moving on to pursue another leadership role within our community, with his commitment to run for the position of village president of the Village of Elburn.

Jim Michels
Trustee, Blackberry Township

Giving seniors a hand

by Gwen Allen
Seniors looking for a little boost, especially in today’s economy, will find not only a warm, nutritious meal, but also a helping hand from one of the country’s oldest organizations.

The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) works toward the social, physical, nutritional and economic betterment of senior citizens.

According to the MOWAA, of seniors 60 years and older in America there are more than 5 million that are experiencing some form of food insecurity (i.e., were marginally food insecure). Of these, about 2.5 million are at-risk of hunger and about 750,000 suffer from hunger due to financial constraints.

Seniors in Kane and surrounding counties who cannot shop or prepare food for themselves can get assistance from Meals on Wheels through the Salvation Army Golden Diners. Barbara Liden, community liaison and volunteer coordinator, said seniors in need are provided with one well-balanced meal a day through the program.

Though each meal costs roughly $8 to prepare, she said donations through the Salvation Army and the United Way allow the Golden Diners (Meals on Wheels) program to provide seniors with meals at minimal cost to the recipients.

“We ask for a donation of $3.50 a meal, but we don’t turn anyone away if they cannot pay, and there is no income criteria,” Liden said. “I once had a woman ask me to stop her meals because she couldn’t afford them anymore, and I said, ‘Oh no we don’t want you to stop them, we want you eating,’ so we continued to send them.”

She said situations like this are common and that most seniors would rather starve than become a burden.

“There is a lot of pride in seniors; they will try to drop it (meals on wheels) if they don’t have the money, but we work to discourage that,” Liden said. “It’s sad, but a lot of them just wouldn’t eat (without assistance).”

The Salvation Army Golden Diners serves Kane and McHenry counties, where at least 20 to 25 percent of those accepting help are at or below poverty, through home delivery and congregate sites.

“I would estimate that we now deliver around 1,000 meals a day, and there are between 600 to 700 home deliveries,” Liden said. “We do this with the help of over 300 volunteers.”

She said the meals are government regulated to fit dietary requirements, include either 2-percent milk or juice and are low fat, low cholesterol and have no salt added. Diabetics are offered a fruit substitute for dessert.

For seniors who accept home delivery, she said there is an added benefit.

“We also do a well-being check when we deliver the food,” Liden said. “We make sure they come to the door and look OK. If a second day passes with no answer and they do not call in, then we call in Senior Services to check on them.”

Excluding the Yorkville and McHenry location, she said the congregate sites require a call-ahead reservation, but that there is plenty of room in most locations due to a rise in home deliveries.

Despite this, she said there are plans to add a restaurant location (to be determined) in the Aurora area in the near future.

Seniors seeking more information can contact The Salvation Army Golden Diners in Geneva at (630) 232-6676.

Photo: Volunteers Anna Jackson and Fred Hendershot (above) prepare meals for seniors in Kane County. They are volunteering at the Salvation Army headquarters in St. Charles. The Salvation Army Golden Diners serves Kane and McHenry diners. Photo by John DiDonna

Salvation Army
Golden Diner locations

San Pablo Lutheran Church
555 E. Benton St.
(630) 820-3450
Riverain Point Apartments
200 N. Island Ave.
(630) 879-1790
Geneva (deli)
400 Wheeler Drive
(630) 232-3692
St. Charles
Salvation Army Corps
1710 S. 7th Ave.
(630) 377-2769
Salvation Army Corps
316 Douglas Ave.
(847) 742-5749
Bill’s Restaurant
Union and Montgomery Road
Yorkville (deli)
Kendall Country Senior Center
908 Game Farm Road
(630) 553-9971

Source: Senior Services
Aurora (630) 897-4035

Saving money at casual dining

By Sam Erickson, MultiAd
Today, everyone is on a budget. People are buying fewer things, going fewer places and using less gas. One of the easiest choices people are making is to eat at home. It’s easy, cheaper and can save time. However, there are some days when the only thing you want is to have someone else doing the cooking and the dishes. You can still eat out, as long as you go casual. Casual restaurants are less expensive and less time-consuming. If you follow a few simple tips, you can save even more money.

Eat early. Many restaurants will have a happy hour menu, usually starting at 4 p.m. Appetizers, drinks and even full entrees are available for as much as half price. You can also head out on Mondays or Tuesdays, which are less busy and often feature specials to draw in diners.

Watch for specials in your newspaper. Many casual dining restaurants are aware of the current economic climate and will be working hard to get you into their door. The Sunday newspaper is a fountain of coupons and deals that aren’t advertised anywhere else. Casual dining restaurants will often have unpublicized specials when nearby retail outlets are having large sales, so look for this crossover savings.

Go for brunch. Brunch can often be had for less than a regularly priced meal, and you can use it in place of both breakfast and lunch. Many restaurants will have brunch buffets, and these are an absolute jackpot on the weekends. You can take the family, make a day of it and enjoy a leisurely meal without worrying about what’s going to happen when the check comes.

Split your meal. Despite the economic downturn, restaurants are still serving the same large portions. Splitting a meal can be a romantic affair with someone you love. It can also be a way to save the cost of having a child’s meal that goes uneaten. The larger your group, the more advantageous this is. If you gather a group of 10, for example, you could get six or seven entrees instead of one for everyone. This would make for a much more family style meal, giving everyone a chance to get a lot of different tastes and sample new treats.

You don’t have to completely forgo your favorite restaurant just because things are a little tight, but you do have to be aware of ways that you can save. Watch out for special deals at your local restaurant and be savvy about when you go. You can actually get what you want; you just have to be smarter about it. Casual dining restaurants are the way to go to meet all of your needs.

Local student earns academic honors

Savanna Lacey of Maple Park was recently named to the College Academic Dean’s List at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill. Savanna is among 233 Trinity students to receive this recognition for the university’s fall 2008 academic semester.

The Trinity College Academic Dean’s List is an honor presented to all full-time college students who achieve a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Lacey is majoring in English—Secondary Ed.

Local resident becomes a ‘mover and shaker’

Lena Bouzein of Elburn is a member of the Movers and Shakers at Ashland University. She is the daughter of Gus and Renee Bouzein and is majoring in political science.

Movers and Shakers is a group of Greek life members who assist incoming freshmen move in during the orientation weekend at the beginning of each school year. They help with carrying boxes and other items from the car to the dorm and assist the new students on where to locate the different facilities on campus.

Jessub Carson Hardy

Judd and Alicia Hardy of Maple Park are happy to announce the birth of their son, Jessub Carson, who was born Feb. 18, 2009, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. He weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

The proud grandparents are Kenneth and Patricia Brown of Maple Park, Rob and Marlene Davy of Maple Park and John and Gayle Hardy of Rockford.

Jessub was welcomed home by his sisters Mackenzie, 4, and Teaghan, 2.

Jean S. Weihofen

Jean S. Weihofen, 67, passed away at Delnor Hospital, Geneva, surrounded by the love of her family on Friday, March 20, 2009. After many months of battling illness, her spirit is finally free and at rest among the angels.

She was born May 30, 1941, the daughter of Orville and Mary (Hedeman) Smith in Franklin Park, Ill.

Jean grew up in Wood Dale, Ill., and attended local schools.

She graduated from Fenton High School in Bensenville, Ill., in 1959. Following graduation, Jean went to school to become a beautician, a career to which she would dedicate over 20 years.

Jean’s life changed forever when she met Bob Weihofen, who was also a student at the same school, though a few years younger. They eloped and were married in July 15, 1963, in Urbana, Ill. They began their new life together in Bensenville for a time until they settled in Streamwood, Ill. Jean worked at several area beauty shops before they built one especially for her in their basement.

Bob had been traveling through Elburn for his work, and when it was time for a change, they moved there in 1976.

Jean found work helping to edit the Elburn Herald in the early 1980s, working with Louise Cooper. Later, she worked for Dr. Larry Johnson as a medical assistant until she retired to concentrate on the joys of her grandson.

Jean had an artistic soul and she poured it out over 50 canvases that decorated her home and the homes of her family, friends and a few employers. She also found a talent in decoupage and constructing Swedish Love Knots out of miles and miles of sisal. Her talents in the kitchen never were disappointing as even her failures were edible, and her signature lasagna could knock your socks off. She always cooked for an army, even if only a few “soldiers” came to feast.

Easter brought many types of decorative eggs, including those that she emptied and painted with the most realistic depiction of the rock band KISS you’ve ever seen. She baked lavish cakes for special occasions, made an infinite variety of personal sized cheesecakes and was especially talented in use of marzipan.

Music ran through her soul as well. At an early age, Jean took lessons on the accordion and taught herself how to play the organ. Instruments weren’t the only outlet as she sang in the church choir as well as an award-winning acappella group that went to Washington D.C. Nothing thrilled her more than to be with family, especially her grandson Robert. He filled her heart with joy and her lap with popcorn and treats whenever they went to a movie. Though now living amongst the angels, Jean’s love and memory will be sorely missed but will never diminish in the hearts of her family.

She now leaves her loving husband, Bob; her son, Ron (Linda) Weihofen and their son, Robert, of DeKalb; one brother, Jim (Ainia) Smith of Ariz.; one aunt, Jean (Elmer) Dahl of Florida; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.
She now joins her parents who preceded her in death.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. with a remembrance service to celebrate her life to follow at 12:30 p.m., Friday, March 27, 2009, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, 60119. A Internment will follow at Arlington Cemetery, Elmhurst, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit the National Wildlife Federation Fund. Checks may be made to the “Jean Weihofen Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through