Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Letter: Elburn Chamber is renewing effort to welcome new businesses to town

Elburn Chamber of Commerce is embarking on a renewed effort to welcome new businesses to Elburn, as demonstrated by the recent grand opening and ribbon cutting of Made From Scratch Pastries.

New businesses will be invited to announce their arrival by having a grand opening and ribbon cutting event. Elburn Chamber of Commerce will assist with their efforts.

Over the past couple of years, businesses have not received their due welcome to the community. These latest efforts hope to correct that. Any business opened or relocated within the past year will be invited to ask the chamber for grand opening and ribbon cutting help. We plan to play a bigger role in welcoming new businesses.

H. Jack Hansen
Chamber Ambassador,
Grand Opening Event Coordinator

Letter: Thanks for supporting food drive

The Elburn Fire Department would like to thank the community for the generous support we have received this holiday season in collecting food for our local food pantry.

The community at large has been active in bringing food donations to both fire stations in Elburn, as well as making our food drive Saturday, Dec. 17, at Jewel-Osco in Elburn, a huge success.

Thank you to Jewel-Osco also; Jewel-Osco allowed our firefighters and members of Explorer Post No. 1357 to stand outside their doors and encourage shoppers to help us collect items needed by the food pantry. The members of the Elburn Fire Department are proud to serve this community, and wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.
Lt. Matt Hanson
Elburn and Countryside
Fire Protection District

Letter: What about small business?

In January of this year, Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton passed the largest tax increase on business and working families.

This week, Sears and the CME Group were the latest employers to receive special tax breaks from the state. The state of Illinois is picking winners and losers. There has been considerable gnashing of teeth by free market types like me over favored tax treatment for some, at the expense of others.

As the owner of a LubePros franchise for almost 20 years, I think it would be unfair for the state of Illinois to give my competitors a special tax break.

While Sears and CME are doing what is legal to improve their bottom line, I conclude that the Chicago Democrat bosses who control state government are not interested in comprehensive tax relief for all Illinois businesses. They are interested only in serving potent business constituents while keeping as much of the tax rate increase as possible.

Perhaps if the Chicago bosses hear from enough businesses, they will reconsider raising taxes on everyone and giving special breaks to some.

Every small- and medium-sized business in Illinois should contact the office of Governor Quinn, Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton and tell them, “I’m a small business owner, and I’m ready for my tax relief.”

Contact Gov. Pat Quinn at (312) 814-2121 or

Contact House Speaker Mike Madigan at (773) 581-8000; he has no public e-mail as he prefers to speak to you on the phone or in person.

Contact Senate President John Cullerton at (773) 883-0770 or John@SenatorCullerton .com.

Dave Richmond
Candidate, 25th District
State Senate

Letter: Thanks for supporting us

We live in a very caring community, and that was demonstrated on Dec. 17 when the Elburn Fire Department, Elburn Jewel-Osco and its customers generously donated non-perishable food items to the Fire Department’s food drive, which benefitted the Elburn Food Pantry.

The response was overwhelming and we are deeply grateful for all the donations. We especially want to thank the Elburn Fire Department for organizing and to everyone who participated.

Rita Burnham
Elburn Countryside Food Pantry

Letter: In support of Chris Lauzen

In an area newspaper in the end of November, Kevin Burns was directly quoted as saying, “I think those who have a vested interest in Kane County will decide that this race is the most important one on the ballot this spring. Whoever wins the race is going to have the chance to set the tone for county government for years to come.”

As he runs for County Board Chairman, Burns obviously believes that those who are already financially benefitting by the high salaries and political appointments in Kane County ought to continue with the status quo. State Sen. Chris Lauzen is running to reform all this “insider” establishment politics, beginning with the freezing of the county property tax levy.

We finally have a qualified candidate for the chairmanship of the Kane County Board. Chris Lauzen will make the best chairman we have had in a very long time. Chris Lauzen is a seasoned veteran of the wars on high tax rates. We are in need of Chris’ expertise on tax rates as our newly elected head of the County Board.

The Kane County Chairman’s office has been a very expensive office to maintain. Chris Lauzen will reduce the expense of the office from the start of his tenure. Chris also wants to freeze the tax levy in Kane County.

I have watched the price of Kane County government go up and up for years. I look forward to Chris Lauzen’s conservative politics for Kane County. Both my wife and I have known Chris since his first run in state politics and have been proud of the stances he has taken in Springfield.

Chris Lauzen is a man you can trust to be the chairman of Kane County. His background in accounting, as a CPA, is impeccable, and he has no financial interest in Kane County on a personal level, only an interest in serving the taxpayers of the Kane County.

A vote for Chris Lauzen for County Board chairman is a vote for stability in Kane County.

Richard “Dick” Sharp

Letter: Elburn Chamber thanks Lions Club for Pork Chop Dinner

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a great thank you to the Lion’s Club for the wonderful pork chop dinner provided to our community.

We would also like to thank all the residents who purchased tickets for the fundraisers, the volunteers who helped make this happen and, of course, all the chamber businesses who sold tickets for this fundraiser. Because of the generous support of many businesses, the chamber was able to donate 20 tickets for meals to the Elburn Food Pantry. Thank you, everyone.

Cindy Gurke
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Letter: Thank you for supporting fire safety education

As participants in the Elburn Christmas Walk, the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District Fire Prevention Bureau would like to thank everyone for their support.

This year, the weather was perfect for some family fun, as well as education in fire safety. Annually, we host an open house that includes a live and artificial Christmas tree burn to demonstrate the need for smoke alarms and sprinkler systems in residences and businesses. This has been quite a popular attraction in years past, and we are happy to say it was again this year.

Our desire for education in fire safety requires assistance from local businesses and residents to be successful. The Fire Prevention Bureau would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their donations of live trees, artificial trees, Christmas lights, wrapping paper and building materials: Home Depot of Geneva C/O Bob Brockman, Kuiper’s Family Farm, Lee’s Trees, Oswego Building Supplies C/O Bill McCartney, Rich Wrap, Spring Bluff Nursery, Greg Algrim, Monica DelMedico, Ian Engberg, Bill and Sue Hall, Bob Lennon, James Lloyd and John McCafferty. Your support of the Fire Prevention Bureau is greatly appreciated.

The Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District would also like to thank district personnel for volunteering their time to make the demonstrations possible. Your dedication and strong desire for education in fire safety is what makes our Fire Prevention Bureau such an asset to the community.

All of us join in saying thank you and we wish you a happy, safe and healthy holiday and fruitful new year.

Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan
and the officers and members
of the Elburn & Countryside
Fire Protection District

Letter: Sugar Grove Corn Boil wraps up 2011 and prepares for the New Year

As we head into colder weather and the holiday season, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil is probably the furthest from most people’s minds. However, for the year-round Corn Boil elves, the festival is always on our minds. In wrapping up the past event while preparing to send out our requests for sponsorship for the 2011 Corn Boil, we wish to take this moment to thank all of our past sponsors.

We encourage you to shop with and support our retail sponsors, and they will be able to continue to support us in the future.

The following is our list of all of our 2011 generous sponsors (not all are retail): We thank WSPY TV/Radio, Mediacom, The Daily Herald, Genoa Pizza & Genoa Italian Concessions, Hinds Express, J&S Construction, Kane County Chronicle, Metrolift Inc., Provena Mercy Medical Center, Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, Sugar Grove Police Department, The Village of Sugar Grove, Waste Management, The Elburn Herald, Harris Golf Cars, Hix Brothers Music, Volkman Insurance Agency, Blue Peak Tents, Castle Bank, Healy Chapel, McDonalds, Mickey Wilson Weiler Renzi & Andersson, P.C., SignFX, Waubonsee Community College, Advanced Realty, Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Old Second National Bank, The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Holiday Inn-Aurora, Hollywood Casino, Jewel Osco, KB Sales Inc., Microtax, Delnor Glen Senior Living, Flow -Technics, Beacon News, Dave & Deborah Paluch, NICOR, Pepsi Beverages Co., St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, Sams Club, Lynfred Winery, JA Flight Svcs, Aquascape, Chicago White Sox, Papa Saverio’s Pizzeria-Aurora, Jewelry By Design-Louise Coffman,, Wiedner & McAuliffe Ltd., Zanies Comedy Club, Bliss Creek Golf Course, Hollywood Blvd, Paramount Theatre, Bristol Renaissance Faire, Fox Valley Winery, Lumanair, Source Therapy, Play N Trade-Aurora, Ziza Nail Spa, Whirly Ball, Fireside Grille, Volkman Insurance-Dave Ritchey, Colonial CafО, Miche Bags-Audrey Ritchie, Chicago Wolves, Tinseltown Theatres, K. Hollis Jewelers, Burgin Farms, Sears Portrait Studio-Aurora, Buffalo Wild Wings, Kane County Cougars, and last but definitely not least, Patrick’s Fine Food & Spirits.

The next Sugar Grove Corn Boil will mark the 45th anniversary of this annual event. Please support your community by helping to plan this special event in 2012. Beginning in January, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil meetings will be held the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Library, 125 S. Municipal Sugar Grove. The dates for the next event are July 27, 28 and 29.

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is a volunteer-run community event featuring three family-friendly, fun-filled days. For more information, please visit , follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or you may call the Sugar Grove Events Hotline at (630) 466-5166.

Beverly Hughes
Corn Boil committee member

Letter: Elburn Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll was a great success with over 1600 people participating. We would like to thank all the businesses who helped make this happen.

A special thanks goes out to the following businesses who donated the prizes for the scavenger hunt: Mardi Gras Lanes, Los Rancheros Mexican Restaurant, Old Second Bank, DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau, China Garden (Wasco), Luau Coffee, China Garden (Elburn), Old Towne Pub and Eatery, Subway, Jalapeno Nacho, Little Caesars Pizza, Noodles & Company, Panda Express, I-Hop Restaurant, Chipotle Mexican Grill, DeKalb Dairy Queen, Wasco Dairy Queen, Paisano’s Pizza, Hy-Vee, Inc., LaFox Martial Arts, Walgreens, Schmidt’s Towne & Tap, Northside Pub and Ream’s Elburn Market.

We could not have done this without the support of these businesses. Thank you.

Cindy Gurke, Administrator
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Letter: SG Library to hold public forum regarding search for new director

The Sugar Grove Public Library will hold a public forum on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. in Library Meeting Room C to gather public comments on the search for a new library director.

This forum is open to all Sugar Grove Public Library District residents and will be facilitated by Alice Calabrese-Berry, the consultant hired by the Board of Trustees to assist in the search process. Ms. Calabrese-Berry will outline the steps in the search process and seek citizen input on the characteristics desired in a new library director.

Also, the regular board meeting will be held at the library on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. This meeting will address the serious cuts that will need to be made at the library because of the deficit we are facing.

It is the Christmas season and we are all very busy in our regular everyday lives, but if you can attend either of these meetings or both if possible, it would truly be helpful. Your library is in serious trouble and truly needs the help of every resident in our community.

Pat Graceffa
Sugar Grove

Letter: A thank you from the Between Friends Food Pantry

The Between Friends Food Pantry wants to thank the surrounding community for its extreme generosity.

The first Door Step Food Drive brought 187 bags of needed food to restock the shelves in the pantry. Without your generosity our doors would be closed. Thank you for being aware of others’ needs.

We would also like to thank the drivers, runners and sorters that work so hard to make the Door Step Food Drive a success. You kids are awesome. There are some pretty great kids in the Kaneland schools. We have kids from elementary to college helping us, and without them we would be “tired, old adults.” Thanks, kids. We love you.

Throughout the year the Food Pantry runs with food donations from local pick-up points and monetary donations from the community. However, the Door Step Food Drive helps with the increased need during the holidays. And for this we want to thank you for sharing with your neighbors and friends that are in need. Thank you so much for making our Food Drives so successful.

Karen McCannon
Sugar Grove

Letter: Blessing of the Manger tradition carries on

The Conley Funeral Home and Conley Outreach Community Services invite the Kaneland community to join in our annual Blessing of the Manger on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. on Conley Corners.

The life-size manger scene has been a Conley tradition since the early 1950s, when Chuck Conley built the first one on the funeral home lawn. Now located on the corner of Pierce and Main streets, the manger features hand-painted figures and a motion-activated recording of the Christmas story, narrated by Bruce Conley and other Conley staff. The blessing, which takes place each year during the Elburn Christmas Stroll, includes short readings, the Kaneland Madrigals and candle lighting. We hope you will make the Blessing of the Manger part of your Elburn Stroll experience.

Carol Alfrey
Conley Outreach
Community Services

Letter: The Church on the Perch (i.e. Elburn Hill) In gratitude for those who helped in 2011

The church had bare walls and dark halls like old malls
And Darcy the farmer could not leave it like that
Her friends needed something to read while they sat.

She brought in some banners of bread and of wine
Of Easter and Christmas and blessing divine
And hung on the walls in perfect straight line.
All who came in said they liked it like that.
As they read what it said, they thought while they sat
“What gift could we give her? O maybe a hat!”

But she wasn’t done, she said, “Let’s have some fun”
And threw us a party on Weidner house run.
But said “There’s a problem, two helpers we lack!”
And then out came Joan and husband Vidlak

Joan cut up the bread and poured out the juice
And helped in the nursery where kids all ran loose
While Lance set to painting, tree trimming and fixing
Vince Chidester said, “I’ll start cement mixing
I’ll put in some windows and maybe a door
I’ll get cousin Jim to help us some more
But nursery room teaching is just woman’s chore.”
Pauline with Mary from the piano stage nook
Shushed Vincent her husband by a look, what a look!
Then made us all happy with a hymn from her book

But the work was not done, there’s more work to do
You can’t always count on Thing One and Thing Two
So the Kasaps replied, “We’ve got children galore”
Jenny can sing, read scripture and more
And John and Josh can bribe teens in the door
And Jordan and Lydia are what powerpoint’s for
And Lauren’s so cute we all can adore
“We’ll help at the banquet, we’ll come to the group
We’ll play all the parts in the Best Christmas troupe”

Then in came the Knorsts with a bang and a clang
“Hey, don’t forget us! We’re part of this gang
We can do slides and sing on the team
Do nursery and Facebook and Herdmans redeem!”
As Kendra and Galina put on a show
Chloe joined in and then Katy Vo

Chloe filled in wherever was needed
And Kate’s Imogene was thoughtfully treated
Then Tom made a website we thought highly rated
But kept trying to tell us it must be updated
So all of us waited and waited and waited
Till came to our rescue Melissa and Noah
And helped us on line to come out of our coma

Rudy and Kathy said, “Wait just a minute!”
It can’t be all play and all fun and all fidget
Food pantry needs food and not just a snippet
Let’s bring in the bags till we fill up the closet
Who cares it’s so much that we bust through the budget

But Pamela yelled, No! it can’t be like that
That’s opening the bag for the Cat in the Hat
You cannot be giving and tithing from nothing
Budgets make sure that our giving is something

And everyone yelled “Hurray! it’s well said,
We all can do something, we’re surely not dead
Let’s all band together, do something instead
Sue Swanson decides we need yellow and red
And Steven puts lights in the hall overhead
And Kevin is building a brand new tool shed
And Andy and Georgia post sermons t’ our web

Heather and Alison and Ian the brother
Took pictures of fathers and children and mothers
While Melissa played bass with Alex her brother
And Mike plays guitar when he has what he druthers

And last but not least to man-up with the boys
There’s Michael and Christi and Celia with toys
There’s Gary the pastor who talks till you drop
But that’s what he’s paid for, he’s unlikely to stop

But even with all the tripping and skipping
It’s quite a nice place for quipping and sipping
And it couldn’t ‘ve been done without help from above
It comes from God’s Son in a package of love
He meant what He said, and He said what He meant
Jesus is faithful one hundred percent

Gary Augustine
Pastor, Elburn Hill Church

Letter: Help add some history to Christmas in Kaneville

Aprons, in the past, have been a very important part of work in a kitchen. The Kaneville Township Historical Soceity will spotlight the history of this important part of life in the past at its Farley Open House during the Christmas in Kaneville event on Saturday, Dec. 3.

A display of old and newer aprons and kitchen utensils will emphasize the importance of special food during the winter holidays. Whether from recycled feed sacks or treasured handwork, aprons will bring back memories to everyone.

If you have a Kaneville apron or utensil that you would like to loan for the day, please call (630) 557-2202. Men’s work aprons are welcome also. The display will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Lovell Street at the 1840 Farley House by the firebarn in Kaneville.

Lynette Werdin
Kaneville Historical Society

Letter: Thank you for donations during fundraiser

On behalf of all the members of the Kaneville Fire Department, we would like to sincerely thank everyone who donated during our photo fundraiser. The purpose of this fundraiser was to purchase new gear to replace some of the old (and well worn) gear that the firefighters are using. We have purchased five new sets of gear, and they are already in use at the department.

Thank you so much for your continued support of the Kaneville Fire Department.

David Sigmund
Fire Chief Kaneville Fire Protection District

Letter: We honor our veterans on Nov. 11

“With solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”

President Woodrow Wilson used those words on Nov. 11, 1919, to explain the purpose of this country’s first Veterans Day, then called Armistice Day. Created originally to commemorate the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, Veterans Day no longer focuses attention just on World War I, but since 1954 has broadened its scope to commemorate not just the deaths, but the service of all our veterans in all our wars, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Through all of these conflicts, the men and women of the Armed Forces have continued to serve selflessly, to defend what we and they as Americans have always valued so highly—our country, our values, and our freedom.

As a former search-and-rescue specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard, I am proud to have been able to play a small part in this tradition of service. I was fortunate to have returned home to my family safe and sound. That was not true for many others. My service brought home to me just how much I owe to all those who have given their lives, who have been wounded or captured, who have suffered to keep us all free.

On this Nov. 11, 2011, I sent my sincerest appreciation to all of our veterans who have stood firm and valiantly to keep us safe through the life of our country. And I also continue to send my appreciation out to those who are still serving. Many things have changed since 1919, but our solemn pride remains.

“Freedom is not Free.”

Dave Richmond, Batavia
Blackberry Township Supervisor
Candidate, State Senate, District 25

Letter: Elburn Fire Department holiday food drive

The Elburn Fire Department will collect food for the Elburn Food Pantry again this holiday season.

We would encourage anyone that is able to help us stock our local food pantry, to drop food at either Station No. 1 at 210 E. North St., or Station No. 2 at 39W950 Hughes Road.

Our local food pantry is in particular need of items such as macaroni and cheese, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, canned pasta meals, bar soap and things of this nature. If you are unable to stop by the station and wish to help out, give us a call and we’ll gladly drop by and pick up your donation. Thanks in advance for your help.

Matt Hanson
Elburn Fire Department

Letter: Conley Outreach and Salvation Army bring Christmas kettles to area

Look for the familiar red Salvation Army kettles this December throughout the Kaneland/Big Rock area. Conley Outreach, the local Salvation Army representative, together with local scout troops, businesses, 4-H clubs, church groups and Community Care Team volunteers, will be collecting donations on Saturdays and the days just before Christmas outside various local businesses.

Every year Conley Outreach receives about $3,500 from the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division to help needy families pay for rent, heat, food, clothing or other necessities. Because of the current economic conditions, this money has been depleted. The Christmas Kettles enable Conley Outreach to raise additional money to replenish this fund. One-hundred percent of all the money donated in area kettles on Saturday will stay in our local Salvation Army fund. All local kettles have a sign stating that the money stays in the Kaneland/Big Rock area. This past year over 50 families have received assistance from this fund. Many more need help.

Please consider making a donation when you are out shopping this month. Donations can also be sent to Conley Outreach/Salvation Army Fund, PO Box 931 Elburn IL 60119. If you have a group that would like to staff the kettles one Saturday morning, contact Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880.

Carol Werdin Alfrey
Executive Director
Conley Outreach Community Services

Letter: KYSO wraps up fall 2011

The fields are empty, the nets are down and hopefully the league players and the coaches are getting a little extra sleep these last few Saturdays now that another season is over.

Looking back over the season, I realize how hard so many families and individuals worked to make the Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization (KYSO) season happen. From the Recreational League to the Tops Program, and also our Kaneland United Soccer Club, the KYSO is an organization that makes a lot of teams possible for a wide spectrum of player ages and abilities. The only thing left to do this season is express gratitude for a season well done and send a huge shout out to everyone who made it possible.

First, I would like to thank the players and their families who signed up to play in the league. Without our players, we would not be a successful league. Without our parents who coach, assistant coach and come out two times a week to practices and games, our teams would not be complete. And what would we do without our biggest fans every week? The parents, siblings, grandparents, etc., sitting on the sidelines each week and cheering the players on is what makes our games so much fun. Rain or shine, hot or cold, they come out each week with their lawn chairs, blankets, umbrellas and often wearing mittens and hats. Our spectators make the kids feel special and watch the players grow as individuals and as teams throughout the season.

Our parents go above and beyond in regards to our established volunteer program. Our parent volunteers help each week moving goals and nets, manning tables, picking up trash and assisting our busy coaches. The refs also need to be acknowledged—they come out each week to call the shots and keep the games moving along.

I can’t forget to thank Hill’s Country Store, who faithfully offered our players and fans a great assortment of treats and drinks. A final thank you goes out to KYSO Board members who work diligently all year long meeting, planning and making improvements to the league so that each season is better for our players and families. Thank you all and we look forward to doing it again this spring.

Michelle Moser
Publicity chair
Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization

Letter: An open letter to the Elburn village president

I have a question in regards to Elburn’s 25 percent tax levy increase: are you out of your minds?

Raise taxes to pay for pensions. Where the heck is all the money going now? You are going to make enemies with this one; and not just a couple.

Did I get a raise at work? Heck no. Not in five years. I wonder why; we are barely making ends meet here. But then again, who has received a raise? Yes, I know it’s tough all over, but it does not make it any easier raising taxes with high fuel costs, high food prices and no jobs. Everybody has their hand in my wallet, and I am sick and tired of this mess.

Did I pay into my 401K? No, I can’t afford to pay in because I live in Elburn and get nothing in return. Streets suck. Water sucks. Schools suck; kids learn nothing. Did my taxes go up again last year? Yes, that’s all they do, and escrow falls short again. Oh, shucks!

What’s my house worth? Not much, but my taxes would make you think it was worth a heck of a lot more than it is. What I am saying is you pay and get nothing for it, and this is the wrong time to keep shoving all this up our noses. Have you looked around and seen all the houses for sale? Good God, there are tons of them, and all the people who use to have good jobs now either have a job with no pay increase in years and an increase in medical and dental every year with $5,000 deductibles, or have nothing at all.

Do we need this increase? The answer’s simple: no.

Let the cops pay for their own pensions just like the rest of us have to. It sucks, but it is what they need to do until time is once again on our side, and I do not see that happening any time soon. Get rid of the police union. With the money saved from union dues, you can then apply it towards a 401K. Unions do nothing but take, take, take.

Don’t do this, Dave. This is not good at all.

It’s hard enough living in this town. The gas stations gouging us every chance they get, and the grocery store is so darn high, as is everything else in this town—water, sewer and so on. They should rename this town “Taxville”—population unknown, due to high taxes. People are leaving. Can’t get a correct count.

You should be trying to bring business in here and not scaring them away. I can’t count all the empty store fronts we have in town. You would think the landlords would want to fill them; have someone pay the rent.

We need a hardware store and some other form of business other than fast food. By God, if I want pizza, no problem. We have many to choose from.

We need business. We need help with this debt. We need to create jobs. The town cannot survive on bars and fast food alone. Do you see all the kids wandering the streets with nothing to do? There is no hope when you have too much idle time on your hands. With idle time and no jobs, there is crime. Bring in some businesses that are useful to our town. Has anyone ever approached you on this, Dave?

This town is a mess. This country’s a mess. We don’t need to pay any more taxes. People are going to leave. I don’t know about you, Dave, but I am not getting any richer. Are you? I can’t afford to pay attention.

This tax increase is a bad, bad, bad idea; come up with something else. You have bled us way too long. We are a sinking ship and going down fast. Let’s try to stay afloat as long as possible, but you’re not making this easy at all by weighing us down with more taxes.

See you at the meeting … if there’s any room for all of us in town who want to fight this nasty tax.

Joseph P. Gallagher

Letter: A letter from Kaneland boys cross country coach Chad Clarey

It was fitting that our 15th state team qualifier for boys finished in the top 15 this year. Losing great seniors a year ago, we may have surprised some people by earning our third team berth in the last four years.

Sophomore Kyle Carter (53rd overall, 15:45) led our charge again this week. He put himself out in the mix of top 40 runners and raced very well for his first time in the state finals. He will go down as the fastest Kaneland sophomore to ever run at state, and just 20 seconds from our school’s best time, set by Trevor Holm a year ago.

Kyle has been a busy young man, not taking a single weekend off of racing since Labor Day. That’s a long grind for any runner. He never complained; just laced up his spikes and gave it his all.

The best of friends, John Meisenger and Conor Johnson, finished in a near-dead heat, with Conor outleaning John for 79th and 80th overall places, respectively. Very nice to see Conor back up in a scoring role, he helped us with for much of the season. His smile at the end may have been one of the highlights on the boy’s side of the Kaneland day. Meisenger passed plenty through the final two miles, using his surges very well. His consistency and toughness are key ingredients to what we will bring next fall.

Junior Brandon Huber (108th, 16:16) has been a special “find” this year. He found out early on that he could compete with Johnson and Meisenger. He hangs in there so well and gives us a consistent punch with the top four. He was brilliant on a weekly basis, and we look forward to what he’ll do as a senior.

Our fifth scoring runner, Miroljub Marin (159th, 16:40) completed our tally with a strong finishing kick. In his first year out for the team, he learned a great deal and helped give us the chance to compete at finals. He cares a lot about his teammates, and he is a very dedicated athlete. His leadership was always present, and we are fortunate to have had him.

Runner No. 6 Luis Acosta, a sophomore, gained very valuable experience today. He used his great speed at the end to close on Marin in the end, and pushing the score up on six other teams. We hope he has turned a corner on his thoughts about running these distances. He’s a super 800 runner and young, but this is his second state meet, and the experience will pay huge dividends later in his career.

Senior Clayton Brundige (190th, 17:04) was a rock-solid veteran leader who has been to this meet before. A two-time alternate, he gleaned a great deal of understanding about leadership from the Valles, Markusons and Reusches of his early years. To cap his cross country career with his entire family in tow was special. Clayton is as nice a young man as you can meet—sincere, yet a heck of a runner. I hope he has a huge track season and goes out in style at state.

We return five of seven runners next fall. Experience was a big factor for us in today’s race. We got it. They are motivated by it. To do more, we’ll have to give more in training and all the other sacrifices a great team makes. There’s no question we were blessed this year, and losing our senior class, including Nate Rehkopf and others, will be a blow. But this team has a hunger now, which will only be satisfied by making a return trip to Detweiler.

Well done, Knights. You’ve made our program shine once again.

Chad Clarey
KHS cross country coach

Letter: The 2011 Boy Scout Camperall

On the weekend of Oct. 14-16, the Boy Scouts of Sugar Grove Troop 41 and other Scouts from Three Fires Council all came together for the 2011 Boy Scout Camperall at the Sandwich fairgrounds. There is only a camperall every three years.

On Friday, Oct. 14, the Boy Scouts gathered at the Sandwich fairgrounds. On Saturday, the Scouts woke up and made breakfast. At 9 a.m., all the Scouts gathered at the grandstands for the opening ceremony. There were many activities for the Boy Scouts to have fun at, like several bounce houses, a radio demonstration, an Order of the Arrow village, a disability awareness center and many other events. Then at sundown, the Scouts again gathered at the grandstands for the closing ceremony and a really cool fireworks show. Then in the morning, the Boy Scouts packed up and left.

For information on joining Boy Scouts, please contact Scoutmaster Dave Seraphin at (630) 466-4913.

Mark Wojak
Sugar Grove

Letter: People-watching cities

The village of Sugar Grove has become fun to watch, coming in second to “Dancing with the Stars.” As the stars are dancing on TV, the local officials are devising their next move to compete for top billing.

One day it is the Library Board’s reckless firing of their administrator, and the next day it is the Village Board doing a great big Tax Increment Financing deal. It certainly seems in the best interest of local citizens to be involved with local administrators at this time, although it is aggravating to tear one’s self away from the “Dancing.”

The new Sugar Grove Library building is something to make a person proud. The present Library Board designed and spared no cost in the construction of this beautiful facility—large parking lots, too many trees to count, bronze statutes, 11 chandelier light fixtures at $11,000 each … and failed to provide funds for book inventories. Taxpayers must have realized the real library purpose was overlooked, as noted by their continuous tax referendum rejections to increase operating revenue.

Now, the Library Board has again behaved outside the realm of good judgment. The interim director they have hired has prudently realized the library’s financial dilemma, thus voluntarily reducing her own $72 per hour salary to $50. Unfortunately, the reduced salary will not be enough with legal costs and the board’s inability to efficiently operate the library.

This last week, I was invited to Sugar Grove Village Hall for a meeting with the village administrator. The subject of the meeting was the announcement of a new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program. The village president made a short visit to express the need for taxing district cooperation within the community. I wasn’t clear on the cooperation request other than the last Aug. 16, 2011, $128 million, 1,824-acre TIF proposal to the community, rejected by taxing districts and local citizens in a vocal display worth your TV watch time. In that meeting, the village administration and trustees took a public accusation of a conscious conflict-of-interest $9 million relationship with a local engineering firm with family ties to the village president. Cooperation and trust by all were damaged a little at this point.

The village, now two calendar months later, is presenting a new No. 2 TIF program to the local citizens. The No. 2 program will be two separate projects: the first one is called Area No. 1, and is 324 acres located along Route 30, southwest of the Aurora Airport; the second project, to be enacted immediately following Area No. 1, is Area No.2, which 643 acres located west of Route 47, to the north and south of Wheeler Road. Both of these TIF projects are scheduled to be board approved this year for (I am guessing) about $68 million in total. No matter the exact million here or million there, the local Sugar Grove property tax owner is allowing the village to self-authorize the issuance of municipal obligations up to $68 million against your ability to pay property tax for the next 23 years. The financial power that is being asserted by the village administration to its taxpayers is too big to imagine.

Again, the Sugar Grove taxpayer is being asked to cooperate by providing more money. One can only hope by trusting our present “trustees” that the community will receive the best of care and avoid any additional embarrassing historical events tied to a political group’s embellished and empirical actions. Our community is our home and our chosen safe-haven for reasonable government and taxation.

As my mother-in-law says, “If you could take some people’s brain out and put it in a grasshopper, it would soon be jumping backwards.” She wouldn’t clarify if she meant the Sugar Grove taxpayers or their politicians.

Jerry Elliott
Sugar Grove

Letter: KHS students displeased with STEP

Most students’ favorite parts of the day are when they get social time, and STEP has become the opposite. Instead, it’s a time when they’re supposed to be getting work done quietly if they don’t need help with anything. Some teachers are lenient with what the students can do within their class, but others have stricter rules; sitting quietly or not being able to travel to anywhere that does not involve educational help.

This change in STEN has even stopped some of the clubs from gaining new members, because students have other priorities after school. I think it’s just as important to be active within the school as it is to get good grades. I also think that if the students in STEP don’t need any immediate help, then they should be allowed to join clubs that should be allowed to run during that period of the day.

“STEP was changed so the students will have more academic time during the day,” M&M Coordinator Beth Trafton said.

The problem with STEP is that most students seem to be bored. They finish their homework and are left wondering who in the room is interesting to talk to.

“I honestly think STEP is like a waste of time and we come here to do nothing,” junior Alyssa Nahley said.

STEP is definitely a big help to all the students who would like their grades raised, but other students who are OK with their grades would rather be spending a little time with their friends. I think that’s why most Kaneland teens dislike STEP.

But the student population still has lunch and time in the hallways to talk to their friends. I feel we all can spare a little of our free time for the better of the student population.

Some freshmen need the time in the morning to study and get their bearings. It’s a new year and a new school, and STEP is like a study hall—something they’re all familiar with, and something they ‘took with them’ from last year.

Looks like everyone will have to adapt to STEP and do what they’re supposed to do. As much as I prefer social time over schoolwork, there are other students that need help more than anything and it’s important to keep our grades high so we can have a bright and enjoyable future.

McKayla Helm
KHS freshman

Letter: St. Gall’s dinner/dance raises money for new church

St. Gall recently held its annual Gala Dinner Dance, Silent Auction and Live Auction. This was an extra-special celebration this year, as our parish is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary or 100 years as a parish in the Rockford Diocese. The Gala is the largest fundraiser the parish and the capital campaign funds are for a new church, which will be located on the corner of Hughes Road and Route 47 in Elburn. Without all the generosity of local businesses, events like this would not be possible! Thank you to each and every person who donated items or services for our Gala Dinner Dance. God Bless You.

Rev. Karl Ganss, Pastor, St. Gall Church

Letter: Civic Committee’s match questioned

For years now, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a small but very wealthy group, has been railing against public pensions. Last spring, they tried to pass a plan that would cut the pension benefits for teachers, firefighters and other public employees on the promise the plan would save taxpayer dollars.

However, the math of the Civic Committee’s plan is flawed, and the committee knows it. SB512 would have cost taxpayers more than $34 billion in additional money over the next 15 years. And it would have killed the state’s pension systems, leaving hundreds of thousands of teachers and retired teachers in a lurch.

Teachers don’t earn social security. For most, their pension is their life savings. And, they’ve paid for it—9.4 percent of every one of their paychecks has gone toward their retirement plan, a plan they believe is guaranteed by the state’s constitution.

As much as the Civic Committee, a group of Chicago-area millionaires, wants to blame the problems the pension systems are facing on public employees, the committee is wrong.

No, it wasn’t the employees who siphoned money from the pension system. It was lawmakers. In their zeal to end the pension system, has the Civic Committee thought about the future? If the pension system is killed off, what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of teachers who do now or will rely on it for retirement income? They have no social security to fall back on.

Then what? Then what will the Civic Committee do? They act as if public employees are the enemy of this state. We are not. We are representatives of the majority of working people in Illinois. We are the middle class.

We are in every community working diligently to improve our schools and to help our students. We care about the future of our students and their families, and taking away our earned retirement security sets a wrong example. We should all be working to build up the economic status of families, not tear it down.

We are not the enemy. We are Illinois.

Cinda Klickna
Illinois Education Association

Letter: Kane transportation department commended for Bliss Road work

Thank you to Kane County’s Division of Transportation’s John Guddendorf, and the many different crews working with John, for the excellent road work done on Bliss Road starting just south of Interstate 88 and extending past Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.

John kept the community informed throughout the entire project and listened to what each resident had to say about the job. The crews all worked hard in some pretty hot weather, kept delays to a minimum, and kept a safe and clean roadway at all times.

Thank you to John and to all involved in this project for proving that local government can get the job done quickly, efficiently and leave us with a beautiful roadway.

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Graceffa
Sugar Grove

Letter: The last, best chance for the Sugar Grove Library

Finally, after four months of community outrage, the Sugar Grove Library Board has taken a turn toward restoring sanity to the precarious financial situation and acknowledging the possibility they made a mistake.

With the library on the verge of bankruptcy, the board has just voted to engage in mediation with the former director, Beverly Holmes Hughes.

The board, specifically Joan Roth, Art Morrical, Bob Bergman and Julie Wilson, terminated Holmes Hughes in a surprise coup last June—despite her 20 years of service, being named the 2010 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year and the high regard of the whole Illinois library world. This action resulted in three consequences:

First, the community outrage was immediate, grew and has continued at every board meeting since. Second, as an immediate result, the board began spending funds that not only were not budgeted for, but will not be available unless drastic service cuts are made. Interim directors were paid at twice Holmes Hughes’ rate. Lawyers racked up huge fees. Consultants and search firms are on the hook. Third, the board action caused the disbanding of the essential financial support group, the Friends of the Library.

There now exists the very real possibility the library will not continue to exist this year as we have known it. Something has to give—this board has tried to overspend their way out of their mistake. Programs may be reduced or eliminated, hours (or days) may be cut, staff may be laid off.

At the last board meeting, the three trustees who have been trying to bring fiscal responsibility to the library—Bill Durrenberger, Dan Herkes and Anthony Oliver—were joined, in an act of community selflessness and some courage, by Julie Wilson to begin a mediation process with Holmes Hughes.

Mediation will not necessarily result in rehiring Holmes Hughes, but will force the cabal that terminated her to defend their actions and bring out into the open their questionable excuses.

Of course, a professional and competent board would have attempted mediation before Holmes Hughes was terminated. But that was not on the agenda of Roth, Morrical or Bergman. Given their public statements of reasoning and intentions, it is likely these three will make every effort to sabotage mediation. In the past four months, in addition to turning deaf ears to their community, they have engaged in questionable ethics, conflicts of interest and manipulation of facts. It is to be expected they will bring excruciating pressure on Julie Wilson for her turn toward common sense and respecting her community.

For everyone who is concerned about how this board has wasted taxpayer funds, who is concerned about the financial health of the library, who is concerned about the very existence of their library—please make your views known. This might well be the last chance to stop the bleeding, restore the community reputation and begin mitigating this obvious mistake.

Voice your support for the efforts of Trustees Durrenberger, Herkes, Oliver and Wilson. Attend the next Library Board meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27.

Douglas Hartman
Past president
Sugar Grove Library Board

Letter: A thank you to SG Library Board

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the four members of the Sugar Grove Library Board (Bill, Dan, Julie and Tony), who voted in favor of mediation in the matter of the dismissal of the former library director.

As a taxpayer and a library user, I applaud the effort to save the Library District thousands of dollars of our money and to get the library management and support back on track. These trustees actually listened to the public, which they report to, and have taken the first step to heal a fractured community.

It’s time that the three other trustees (Joan, Art and Bob) set their egos aside, actually listen to what their neighbors have been saying for months, and resolve the personnel matter like it should have been done in the first place—through discussion. Trustees are supposed to listen to their constituency and act accordingly for the betterment of the community.

Congrats to Bill, Dan, Julie and Tony for doing the right thing. Their courage is inspiring.

Jerry Murphy
Sugar Grove