Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Letter: Special thanks from Elburn American Legion

The Elburn American Legion wishes to express our gratitude for the voluntary labor and masonry skills that were given for repairs to our Main Street building. Two back-breaking days of hard work and extraordinary masonry skills were donated. Our thanks go to the owners of Big Red Masonry, Inc. and Patzer Masonry. Skilled labor was also provided by Kurt Bettcher, Danny Van Whye and Andy Padilla.

Giving so much of themselves to honor the veterans of our post is appreciated beyond words.

Wiley Overley
Elburn American Legion Post 630

Letter: Please return money lost at Elburn Jewel

On the night of Aug. 4, a blue bank bag was left at the Jewel-Osco in Elburn. In it was cash totaling $3,400, as well as check books for personal and business accounts.

Why so much cash?

My dog, Jak, was diagnosed with lymphoma in June, and the money was for his treatment. He is a lively 7-year-old mixed breed with a heart of gold; and his medical expenses are racking up.

I thought a little town like Elburn still had very honest and proud residents, but I was very wrong and hurt by this little town. I know times are tough right now for everyone, but to steal money?

Please return the cash and contents without prosecution, to any bank in Elburn.

Kristin Damolaris and Jak
Campton Hills

Letter: Thanks for support at SG Corn Boil

Kettley Realtors of Sugar Grove would like to thank all the people that stopped by our booth at the 2009 Corn Boil. We had a great turn out and would like to thank everyone that stopped by to say “Hi” and sign up for the raffle prizes.

The winners are:
• $100 gift card—Donna Burton
Donated by Irv Ochsenschlager, attorney; Herbert and Eckburg, attorneys; Linda Leask, attorney. These attorney’s also donated all the kid’s raffle prizes.

• Digital Picture Frame—John Kupar
Donated by Jeff and Linda Koehling, First Centennial Mortgage.

• Girl’s bike—Keasy (last name not available as of press time)
Donated by Sam Jones, Americal Home Inspections.

• Boy’s Bike—Tim Rosko
Donated by David Ward, Quality Assurance Home Inspections.

Thank you to all.
Lori Moore
Kettley Realtors
Sugar Grove

Letter: Thanks for attending our barbecue

Thanks to all who made Sunday’s barbecue at Lions Park a great success. Those attending met and heard Illinois State senators Chris Lauzen and Kirk Dillard, state Rep. Kay Hatcher, and judges Ann Jorgensen, Mary Schostok, Karen Simpson and Kevin Busch.

We had a star-studded assembly of candidates as well: Governor candidates Kirk Dillard, Adam Adrzejewski and Dan Proft, captured audience attention with bold, no-nonsense speeches. Also speaking were candidates for Illinois 14th Rep. District Jeff Danklefsen, Ethan Hastert and Mark Vargas, U.S. Senate candidates Bill Lee and John Arrington, and judicial candidates Robert “Bob” Pilmer and Donald “DJ” Tegeler.

Appellate Court Justice Ann Jorgenson’s speech was a civics lesson concerning how Appellate Court decisions create legal precedent, thus becoming law. A good dinner and an entertaining and informative evening was had by all.

Special thanks to host and master of ceremonies T.R. Smith, and to Elburn Lions Club for the success of this event.

Dennis C. Ryan
Western Kane County Republicans

Letter: Having a garage sale? Be careful of counterfeits

Please be wary, it’s garage and yard sale time.

I want everyone out there to be aware of counterfeit bills. Yes, they are out there and they’re good looking ones, too.

I went to my bank to deposit the money from my sale only to find out some were counterfeit. I was in shock.

Garage sales and yard sales are to find bargains and treasures; boy did someone get a bargain.

Please purchase a “counterfeit pen” before your sale. My teller says they are sold at office supply stores.

I’m out the money, but I just want to save others from the same. It doesn’t matter the amount lost, it’s the principle.

Chris Hochsprung

Letter: Legislature needs to face up to its fiscal responsibilities

The recently passed budget sent to Gov. Quinn has the potential for being a disaster for the residents of south Kane County who have mental illness, developmental disabilities or substance abuse disorders. For cuts of 14 percent to be considered to a community service system that already ranks 51st in the country is unfathomable. Do these residents rank so low on the priority list for state legislators? Are we saying that, as a state, we are incapable of caring for our most vulnerable citizens? Should we be advising these neighbors to move to Wisconsin or Ohio? I’d really like answers to these questions.

The budget passed by the legislators is totally inadequate to serve the residents of Illinois. Borrowing money is not the answer. Putting off paying your bills is not the answer. It is outrageous that the state’s vendors, many of them not-for-profits who have to borrow money to meet payroll, are floating $3 billion of the state’s debt. One time fund transfers are not the answer. Cuts to human services are not the answer. The entire DHS budget is only one third of the state’s deficit. You do not need to be an accountant to figure out that more revenue is necessary.

What is needed is a legislature that is willing to face up to its fiscal responsibilities to adequately fund public services, regardless of the political consequences. The passing of this totally inadequate budget, the consequences of which aren’t even known yet, is far from the best work done in Springfield in recent months.

The families of the thousands of residents in south Kane County rely on these services to live “normal” lives. They will remember this summer of 2009 as the “Lost Summer.” The summer they lost services. The summer they lost their independence. The summer they had to change their lives because the state legislature couldn’t agree on a fair budget. The summer their loved one lost measurable quality of life. This Lost Summer will be remembered vividly by these families and their friends when primary elections roll around this winter. Memories of their summer will last a long time.

Jerry J. Murphy, Executive Director
Mental Health &
Mental Retardation Services, Inc.

Letter: Current Kane County Government fails western townships

The July 23 Elburn Herald carried two letters detailing problems within this county’s government.

It is to the great credit of the Herald, as a local, independent paper, that these letters were printed. Too often the regional newspapers will not print such statements for fear of losing “access” to government officials.

Though both letters dealt with different topics, they identify some long-standing problems which affect all Kane County residents, but are of special concern to residents of the 10 townships of western Kane County. I believe these problems come directly from the lopsided structure of the County Board itself.

The Kane County Board has 26 members, plus its Chairman Karen McConnaughy. Of this total of 27, 25 represent the six Fox River townships, but only two members are allotted to represent 10 western townships, the largest portion of Kane County’s land area. Because of this imbalance, our interests and problems are not understood by Board members representing the “river towns” of eastern Kane County.

KCSO President Dennis Carroll well states that cutting Kane Sheriff’s Deputy staffing will have an impact on police operations, but the greatest impact will be felt in the 10 western townships. The urban communities located along the Fox River have their own municipal police agencies, but much of western Kane County—mostly rural—must depend on Sheriff’s deputies for accident and crime investigation, traffic control and patrol security. The Sheriff’s Department also has numerous court and civil duties, and its manpower is already stretched thin. I believe this is not understood (or is ignored) by those 25 urban County Board members who will not experience the delays in police response in rural areas that will be caused by planned cuts in Sheriff’s deputy staffing.

Another letter, from Circuit Court Clerk Deborah Seyller, details additional problems confronting Kane County’s justice system if further budget cuts are imposed. Her office is the nerve center of our court system—processing court orders, warrants, summons and trial records—all of which are duties mandated by law, and required to be performed in an accurate and timely manner. In short, budget cuts in the Court clerk’s office also affect the ability of the Sheriff’s Department to perform its duties, and of the courts to operate efficiently.

Ms. McConnaughy, County Board Chairman, states that “arrogance” prevents elected county department heads from making additional budget cuts, but has displayed her own arrogance by summoning them to a public meeting to explain why they haven’t made the cuts, as directed by her Board. As elected officials, they have accepted the responsibilities of their offices as defined by Illinois law. They have become knowledgeable experts in the duties and responsibilities of those offices. Yet, they are labeled “arrogant” for holding on to the funds and staffs necessary to perform their state-mandated duties. So, with these facts, I leave it to you to decide where true “arrogance” exists in Kane County government.

Kane County’s 10 western townships have a huge interest in the policies of our County Board. Unfortunately for us, the imbalance of the Board’s membership favors the Fox River communities, leaving us over-taxed, over-regulated, under-served and under-represented. One of the few strong voices we have comes from the Western Kane County Republican Organization which represents GOP voters in nine of the 10 western Kane townships. The organization has delivered the majority of Republican votes in recent County elections, and can choose to support, or not support, candidates for elective office.

If any improvement is made in this county’s government, it is the duty to both political parties to select “good government” candidates to get the job done. The election season is upon us. Candidate ballot petitions will soon be available. This is your county government. You pay for it. Work to correct it.
Dennis C. Ryan

Letter: What we need in this area is jobs

I believe in America. I believe we can overcome almost anything, if we’re given an even playing field. I was a Republican for all but the last nine years of my life. Now I’m a Democrat. Nine years ago America voted in a team to the White House who took out our fair playing field, and tipped it to the Communist Chinese.

They put in incentives for businesses to invest money and jobs to lower the prices of goods sold here. The Communist Chinese have subsidized the manufacturing of all goods. All while the other countries in the world put tariffs in place, we did not. The tariffs put a tax on the Communist Chinese product that forces its price to be even with the lowest price for the same product made in the European Common Market or the South American Market Association. If there are no comparable products made, then the Communist Chinese are allowed to sell at whatever the market will bear. They do.

The Communist Chinese have a plan. If they eliminate all the manufacturing ability of a product, they will multiply the price to whatever they can still sell it at. That means when we have lost our ability to produce a product, they will multiply the price to sell it at whatever they can. Do you know what percentage of bullets that we are currently forced to buy from the Communist Chinese? I believe in the right to bear arms. I refuse to buy ammunition that states “made in China.”

The second thing that happened to change my mind about the Grand Old Party’s new administration was its dependence on the rich oil ministers to dictate policy here. We went to two wars, with no plans but to fight. These wars were fields filled with reservists, national guardsmen and active duty personnel dying for an oil industry filled with tribesmen seeking to conquer each other. We were whipsawed into wondering who were the good guys. Sunni-Shia-Kurds? All the while the administration was signing non-competitive contracts with their backers. Hundreds of billions of our taxpayers’ money spent with contractors in the war zone. Using contractors instead of our own troops led to a weakened American armed force. This further caused the war to seem like the lawless wild west.

Do you know that Haliburton cannot account for over $18 billion of our taxpayers money? How do you lose that much money? While this is going on, we’re going bankrupt—but, rich oil ministers saw the price of their oil triple. Remember $1.25/gallon gas? That was just before the last administration.

So I believe in a fair playing field—jobs for Americans; and no more corruption.

With that in mind, I am giving consideration to running for the Illinois House seat in the 50th District. I have brought 200 jobs to Aurora. I will continue to try to bring jobs to my district. I will fight against corruption. And I will probably be the poorest state congressperson you have ever had, because the lobbyists don’t fund an honest politician.

I have supported, and been supported, by my friend and cohort in manufacturing, the honorable Congressman Bill Foster. I also claim my friendship, support and respect for my fellow reservist, the honorable Congresswomen Linda Chapa LaVia. I also supported and worked to get re-elected my fellow survivor, the honorable Mayor Tom Weisner. With their support and the support of my family and friends, I hope to become the first majority party state representative from this district. I feel with the input from each and every one of my constituents, and the support of the majority party, I can bring jobs to the district, and will not let corruption in.

Ed Nendick
Aurora, Ill.

Letter: So many people “looking out for us”

We are so fortunate to have so many people looking out for our best interests these days.

Ethan Hastert has decided we need a change. He wants to fill the seat his dad walked away from, forcing us to pay for a special election after he decided to not honor his commitment.

Bill Foster has been a refreshing change. He actually takes the time to listen to his constituents and so far, he seems thoughtful and committed. Dennis Hastert didn’t listen to anyone when he conspired with the pharmaceutical companies to force taxpayers to pay premium non-negotiable drug prices for Medicare recipients and covered up the real cost to taxpayers and his colleagues when he twisted arms to ram the bill through Congress.

Kay Hatcher has saved us all from a tax increase. We wouldn’t want to fund any of the state’s responsibilities or debt. Let’s balance the budget on the backs of the poor and disabled even though this won’t make a dent. We would all prefer to pay unlimited property taxes to fund the schools so the state doesn’t have to carry this burden. All the people about to be laid off because of unfunded state programs shouldn’t be a burden on any of the struggling taxpayers. Thank you so much Kay.

And Chris Lauzen—thanks for the “bridge” budget. Why bother to do the job right the first time when you can come up with a mediocre partial solution that really doesn’t solve anything? When you, Kay, and the rest of the do-nothing politicos are called back for yet another special session because you won’t do your jobs, I hope you’ll all fondly remember the folks you have all shafted when you get your extra check. I hope you are all at the front of the line when the state is paying its bills, because I’d hate to think that someone who really needs or deserves the money might actually get it.

Last of all, I’d like to thank Pastor Augustine and Dr. Kim for warning us about the satanic event held at the Elburn Community Center. “A Day With Your Angels” certainly sounds like a scary event. I guess it didn’t occur to either of you that if people were really concerned, they might just—uh—stay home. Occult practitioners might rob people of their time and savings, but I’ve seen churches do the same. I hope the human sacrifices were kept to a minimum at this event. We certainly wouldn’t want to attract the attention of the national media.

Robert B. Morgan

Letter: Union warns Kane County citizens of the impact of Sheriff’s Deputy staffing cuts

The Kane County Board is scheduled to permanently jeopardize the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to provide sufficient police services to the citizens of Kane County, especially those living in unincorporated areas, by reducing the number of sworn deputies that provide essential and required police services.

The Sheriff’s Office current staffing level set by the County Board is 96 sworn deputies to carry out the law enforcement and other legal requirements of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office has been operating well below that number for several months to meet budget restrictions imposed by the County Board and compounded by an increase in deputies out of service due to injuries. The County Board’s desire to further cut Sheriff’s Deputy staffing doesn’t take these issues into consideration. Staffing studies have shown consistently that the Sheriff’s staffing level should be 112 sworn deputies, 25 short of what the County Board is proposing to cut.

The voluntary reduction in staff by the Sheriff from 96 to 90 deputies has placed a significant burden on the deputies policing this county by reducing the number of deputies patrolling and responding to calls for service, increasing response times to calls for service and causing deputies to have to travel farther and faster to get to emergency calls at an increased risk to themselves and others on the roadways.

The citizens of Kane County, especially those in unincorporated areas who rely upon the Sheriff’s Office for their primary police service, are paying more in taxes and getting less service in return. Sadly, the County Board may also be placing citizen’s lives at risk by reducing the number of available deputies to respond to emergency calls for help.

The Policeman’s Benevolent Labor Committee—Kane County Sheriff’s Office (PBLC KCSO) recognizes the seriousness of the economic times and has been enduring the reduction of staff to 90 which has been difficult at best.

The Sheriff’s Office is currently awaiting the results of a federal grant for the retention and hiring of up to eight deputies. Recipients of that grant are expected to be notified in September of this year. An award of any number of additional deputies would provide much needed relief to the staffing and budget issues for the Sheriff’s law enforcement.

In the event that the County Board continues its plan to reduce the number of sworn deputies to a maximum of 87 from 96, and the Sheriff’s Office receives the federal grant for eight deputies, then it appears that it is the County Board’s intention to take the federal money for retaining and hiring new officers but to do neither? This would not be the intention of the federal government and would not be ethical and certainly not responsible to the citizens of Kane County.

The County Board’s insistence to exacerbate the problems at the Sheriff’s Office by further reducing the Sheriff’s sworn staffing is essentially a layoff of police officers. If we are in financial dire straits in this county, then we must examine the fiscal actions of this County Board and their failure to act in a timely and responsible manner to a crisis that they admittedly had early warning signs of.

The PBLC has made recommendations to the Sheriff and Board members on ways to save county dollars and not jeopardizing public safety. The Sheriff has proposed other funding sources and cost-cutting measures to the County Board in lieu of layoffs but the County Board has not acted upon the recommendations. The PBLC KCSO questions why it is only Kane County of all the other metropolitan counties that is in such a position that they would entertain reducing police officers, instead of other available budget cuts, program changes and potential revenue sources such as the RTA sales tax allocation that could support Sheriff’s operations and staffing rather than hindering them.

The PBLC KCSO warns the County Board, and all of the citizens of Kane County, especially the 70,000 or more people living in unincorporated areas, that the Sheriff’s Office cannot sufficiently provide police services with a staffing level of 25 deputies less than it should have. We implore the citizens of Kane County to contact their County Board members and demand that alternatives to jeopardizing public safety be acted upon.

Dennis Carroll
PBLC KCSO Union President

Letter: Lazarus house is here to help those in need

The staff at Lazarus House was very saddened by the recent death of someone known to us who lived down the street from Lazarus House. In situations such as this, we are sometimes asked why we didn’t help. Lazarus House is here to help all our neighbors in need, but we are unable to help those who will not seek or accept appropriate help.

I’m writing this letter as an appeal to anyone who is making choices today that aren’t in their best interest. There are three ways these life choices usually end: jail, death, or clean and sober. Of those three, it would seem that the last choice, the choice of being clean and sober, is the only one that gives folks the good life they deserve. If you need help, or if you know someone who does, please reach out today. Call Lazarus House at (630) 587-2144 if you need to know where you can go for help. We answer our phone 24/7 and we really want to help. It’s important for everyone to understand that help is available for everyone, regardless of their financial status.

Recent events make it clear that no one is immune to death if their lifestyle choices are not healthy. If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol, reach out for help today; tomorrow may be too late.

Darlene Marcusson
Executive Director
Lazarus House

Letter: County cuts hinder mandated services

I recognize that Kane County is experiencing significant drops in revenue. At the same time, I have had concerns on delivering services mandated by law. Every individual County Board member received my concerns.

Asking for counsel was portrayed as a desire to sue the County.

Rather, it was an attempt to have a serious discussion with the board as my efforts to do so without representation have not resulted in meaningful discussions.

County government should be open and transparent, and those in charge of budget appropriation decisions should talk to those in charge of performing the county’s business. With regard to the proposed budget cuts, there were no budget hearings and no budget process involving the officials, appointed or elected. My concern is that there has been no consideration of what services are mandated by law and what services in the county are discretionary, and whether a 5.5 percent cut was appropriate for any given office in light of the type of service being performed.

The board announced that development revenue was down over 80 percent; it would therefore seem to be a logical conclusion that there would be a workload reduction in that entire segment of services in a correlating percentage. In contrast, the workload for the court system and the Circuit Clerk’s office, among other departments, has risen in response to the current economic situation, with increased demand for services. It does not seem to be a good business decision to dictate an equal cut across all offices and departments when non-mandated service demands are down and mandated services are up.

Transparency demonstrates confidence that one is governing fairly. My office’s transactions are open to the county. Even though I have no requirement to submit a line-item budget, I choose to do so for all five budgets.

There are no discretionary programs in my office; county funds are for mandated services. As an elected official I have statutory duties that have time mandates for performance imposed by either Illinois statutes or the Illinois Supreme Court. Every action taken by my office affects the lives or livelihood of our customer citizens.

For example, a disposition on a criminal case affects the criminal history records used by law enforcement nationwide or for job verifications. A time delay could potentially allow a criminal to obtain a prohibited position, such as with a school, or affect the severity of charges that should be filed upon a later arrest. A delay in correcting an error could keep a person from getting a job. A traffic ticket not reported to the Secretary of State could allow a driver that should be suspended to continue to drive, putting others at risk. A delay in correcting a ticket reported inaccurately could cause a suspension of a driver’s license or cause increased insurance costs.

The Circuit Clerk’s Office is central to the judicial system and critical to the workings of public safety. Our entry of filings, sentencing, process papers (warrants, summons, attachments), and so on is relied upon by Court Services, the Judiciary, and the State’s Attorney to perform their own duties; delays in my office will increase costs throughout the judicial system. Arresting agencies rely on our records, rely on our ability to get the warrants and warrant recalls to them. Daily research requests with short deadlines are received from Homeland Security, FBI, Immigration, Department of Corrections and others. Accuracy is critical. Timeliness is mandated.

In 2006, the County Board spent thousands of dollars on a consultant to compile the revenue sources and match them to the services performed. Called the Service Inventory Matrix, the survey included identifying which services were mandated, and while it failed to identify which fund covered the mandated services, it would have been a good place to have started budget hearings.

For the 2009 budget year (starting Dec. 1, 2008) there was an across-the-board budget cut of 1.5 percent from the amount funded in the previous 2008 fiscal year budget. That 1.5-percent budget cut was actually a 16.88-percent cut for our office in order to meet union contractual obligations. As a result we experienced a reduction in staff by eight people. For the mid-year cut of 5.5 percent, we cut another 3.5 percent, including dropping two more people, which is the maximum reduction that I believe we are capable of providing.

Staff was at 108 people when I took office in 1996. Thirteen years later, with caseloads that have grown significantly, we are now at 112, only 82 of which are funded by the county’s general fund. The mid-year figures for court cases filed overall is up 17 percent from June of last year, and we have dropped 8 percent of our staff in an effort to meet the county’s budget cuts.

There is an assumption that the county funds the entire budget of the Clerk’s Office. In fact, there are four other funds, called Special Funds, which are funded by user fees and reduce the burden on the county. The funds are established by law for a special purpose, and expenditures are limited to the purpose for which the funds were established. For the expenditures to be for personnel, the staff must be performing functions established under the specified purpose.

Another example is the assumption that my office receives funding from the county to cover the projects that help bring technology to the courts. Instead, those projects are funded from the Court Automation and the Document Storage funds. The resulting financial savings from these projects can show direct benefits in costs to the county’s General Fund as there is then need for less staff to perform mandated services despite increased workloads. We continue to work toward implementing more technology that will have the same results.

The board’s stated top goal is to “reduce balances in special funds.” In working with the board this year and in previous years, I have pushed the limits of what is qualified to be funded by the Special Funds to the point of vulnerability.

There are non-mandated services and expenditures currently being made by the county. Even though these discretionary expenditures may be desirable for various reasons, the county’s financial situation may require the county to cut those optional or discretionary costs by more than 5.5 percent in order to make sure statutorily required services in other offices are continued.

I look forward to a constructive dialog with representatives of the county in order to reach a solution that achieves both the delivery of legally mandated services and lowers the county’s overall costs.

Deborah Seyller
Kane County Circuit Court Clerk

Letter: Open letter to Reps and Senators

Please, please, please do not vote for this health-care bill. Vote against it. Multiple times if necessary.

The American people are extremely tired of the taxes we already pay, and the stupid waste of our taxes. If our taxes were used for good and right purposes there would be plenty for all to have health care. There would be enough money for all programs that are good and just.

The American people are extremely tired of the giveaway programs to those who insist on not working, but feel it’s okay to collect money from those who do.

The American people are extremely tired of our taxes being used to give those who do nothing “free” cars. Research for smelly pigs. In fact, we are extremely tired of bailouts of any kind, pork of any kind, printing money when the country is already in much too much debt. The American people are extremely tired of those we vote for being more interested in the power and greed than in what is good for America and the American people.

We are extremely tired of the huge salaries and perks awarded to all of you, and those in the White House.

The American people are extremely tired of those who have life terms in their jobs. We want only two terms for each and all. Even that is too much for some in important positions.

Representatives and Senators—get back to basics. Tell us the truth. Do what you promise. Give us reasons to admire and respect you rather than wish we had not voted for you. Give yourselves the same reasons to admire and respect yourselves.

Americans, please copy this and send to your Reps and Senators if you do not have to compose your own letter. Do it now. This should have been done before the first bailout. Do it now. So something for this wonderful America. Do it now. Do it for yourselves.

Jacquelyn Dibble

Letter: Here we go again

On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed HR-2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (also known as the Waxman-Markey Energy Bill, or the Cap and Trade Bill, or the Global Warming Bill, or whatever you wish to call it).

This bill will dramatically raise taxes on oil, gasoline and electricity. It will also prevent us from selling our homes unless we comply with Federal Energy standards on appliances and windows to ensure that our old homes are energy efficient.

As a small business owner, the extra taxes this bill will bring at a time when we are hurting could be devastating to my business.

This was yet another 1,200-page bill that no one had time to read. It passed by only seven votes. Eight of those votes were cast by Republicans. Only one Republican was from Illinois—Mark Kirk.

Mark Kirk is from the US 10th Congressional District in Lake County. Though he is not my congressman, he has recently started to ask me via e-mail for campaign contributors. That is very odd. I suspect he is planning a run for the Senate in 2010.

In Illinois, we have a history of trying to choose between two candidates from two political parties who think the same on most issues. I for one am very tired of this. I would like a discernable choice for the U.S. Senate in November 2010. How about you?

Dick Hourigan
Rochelle, Ill.

Letter: Help make suicide prevention a national priority

Approximately every 16 minutes, a suicide occurs in the United States.

This number has increased since 2003, when it was every 18 minutes. One in two teens will attempt suicide. An attempt of suicide is made every minute of every day.

Those statistics are terrifying to me as a teen, and my mom as a parent.

That is why I prepared to participate in the “Out of the Darkness” walk. This walk is to make suicide prevention a national priority.

Along the 20-mile walk that started at dusk and ended at dawn, I raised money. The funds I raise will further the mission of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

AFSP is the leading nonprofit organization essentially dedicated to understanding and restraining suicide through research and education. It also reached out to people with mood disorder and those strongly impacted by suicide.

Although I hardly knew him, Andie Christoffel’s suicide really upsets me. It pains me to know that he could still be with us now. This might not be the last suicide I have to deal with in my life, but I am praying it is. I wanted to do this walk to show people with thoughts of suicide that it is not the only way out.

My mom did the walk with me. Please consider helping us raise awareness of this tragedy so others can be spared the pain of suicide. Please visit and type in Riley or Michelle Phillips as participant name, and any donation you can make can help prevent another’s family or friends from experiencing this sort of loss.

We thank you for your time in reading this and your support in our efforts.

Riley Phillips

Letter: Remembering Dorothy James at the sale

Thank you to all of our neighbors for their patience with the extra traffic during our marathon yard sale on First and Nebraska streets. We missed having Dorothy James with us this time. She always enjoyed sitting on the porch or in a shady part of the lawn greeting friends and neighbors. It was more about the friendly conversations than the sale of her merchandise. She loved a good sale, but she lived for the kind word and hugs she got from the many people she knew in and around Elburn. She will be greatly missed as a friend and neighbor.

Could the nice young woman from Elburn who agreed to purchase a glass front oak cabinet at our sale come back and pay for it? I’m sure it was an oversight. Aaron and Shane loaded it into the truck, securing it to prevent damage in transport, and then no one remembered to collect the money. Unfortunately, this cabinet belonged to a friend of ours, so the $55 is owed to him. Please contact us at (630) 365-2014.

Jim and Debbie Wilhelmi

Letter: Thanks from Kaneville basball and softball

I would like to thank Dick and Annette Theobald of Paisano’s Pizza and Grill for hosting our BBQ Fundraiser for the Kaneville Boys Baseball and Kaneville Girls Softball teams.

It was a huge success, raising over $500 for our association.

I would also like to thank all of the parents, family and friends that supported our pizza and candybar fundraiser. That was also a huge success.

Thank you again Dick and Annette for your time and generosity.

Pat Hill
Fundraising Chairperson
Kaneville Baseball

Letter: National Association for Letter Carriers’ food drive a success

United Way of Central Kane County, the National Association for Letter Carriers, and the National Rural Letter Carriers expresses their appreciation to all who donated food and volunteered their time.

In St. Charles and Elburn over 12,300 pounds of food was donated. Volunteers from the Tri-Cities Salvation Army assumed the task of picking up and sorting food.

“We did it the United Way…working together,” said Food Drive Coordinator, Mike Stetar. “This food drive is essential in helping those families suffering from hunger during these tough economic times. This year we collected more food than last year. In these tough economic times, the generosity of others is appreciated. Their support helps to fill the shelves of our local food pantries”

Paula Yensen, Ph.D.
Executive Director
United Way of Central Kane County

Letter: A friend remembered

A heart attack ended the life of Joseph L. (Joe) Matalone on June 29, 2009. Joe is survived by his wife (Joyce), a son (Joe Jr.) and his family, and a daughter (Michele) and her family. Included in the Joe Jr. family is a grandson (Joe III).

I have known Joe as a political activist, project promoter and investigative photographer.

If you were a candidate supported by Joe Matalone, he would display your magnetic sign on his car, place your yard signs at many locations and distribute your political mementos to friends and acquaintances.

Joe would always help a friend in need. When I broke a bone in my knee, Joe was my driver to the surgery, doctor visits and physical therapy. I could not have survived this ordeal without the help of Joe Matalone.

A few years ago, Joe was diagnosed with dementia and now his troubled mind is at rest. I pray that a merciful God will judge him to be worthy of eternal rest and everlasting peace.

William F. Keck
Sugar Grove

Letter: A thank you from Steel Beam Theatre

Steel Beam Theatre (SBT) is a professional, non-equity theater in historic downtown St. Charles across from the Hotel Baker. Founded in 2001 by Executive and Artistic Director Donna Steele, SBT produces quality live entertainment at an affordable price for over 10,000 people annually.

Recently, the Batavia Mothers’ Club and the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club made monetary donations to fund scholarships for tuition fees for the children’s theater. Because of these two generous organizations, four children have attended the SBT Summer Camps and have learned confidence, poise, team work, as well as public speaking and acting skills.

On behalf of the SBT Board of Directors, I would like to thank the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club and the Batavia Mothers’ Club for realizing the significance and importance of Steel Beam Theatre and the positive impact of its educational programs on our youth.

Dana Teichart
SBT Board President

Letter: My night at Hesed House

On a recent Friday night, I had the opportunity to share in a unique experience. The staff and supporters of Hesed House staged a camp out on their front yard, showing passersby and those gathered what the future of the homeless could look like if the proposed DHS budget cuts take place.

We listened to the success stories of those people whose lives have been changed by Hesed House. We shared stories around a makeshift campfire, helping children as young as five make s’mores, knowing that later their mother would be taking them inside Hesed House, their “home” for the night. Most of us then retreated to our tents and sleeping bags except for two young men who chose to sleep under the stars, experiencing fully the concept of having no roof to call our own.

At 58, I had some reservations about sleeping on the ground in an unfamiliar urban setting, but I could think of no better way to show my support for Ryan Dowd and the staff of Hesed House. I’m really glad I did. I got to know Ryan and his terrific staff. I got to see firsthand the respect and care they have for their guests. I got to hear their stories. I got to eat the same breakfast they received that morning. Then I got to go home, shower, go about my Saturday not having to worry about where I would sleep that night.

Unfortunately, the future of Hesed’s guests is very much at risk. We need our elected leaders to get to work to fix our state’s budget problems so that people like the guests at Hesed House, the women and children at Mutual Ground, the men and women in recovery at Gateway and the rest of our communities’ most vulnerable residents can continue to receive the services they need. It is time our leaders need to realize that this system is broken and needs to be fixed.

My daughter asked me if my overnight experience on Hesed’s front yard was an “eye opener?” I knew, before Friday, what Ryan and his crew do on a daily basis. What the experience did do was give me a greater appreciation for all those who serve the neediest among us. Thank you to Hesed for the opportunity. I would invite all our leaders to spend a night at Hesed House or an evening at Mutual Ground before they get back to work on the budget and see for themselves what those dollars actually mean in peoples’ lives.

Jerry Murphy
Executive Director, MH & MR Services, Inc.
Mental Health and
Mental Retardation Services, Inc.

Letter: Spelling Bee a success

The Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging and I recently teamed up to sponsor a centuries-old celebration, a community spelling bee. A large room full of people cheered the friendly rivalry between the contestants, many of whom remembered the glory of grade school successes and just wanted to see if they were still on top of their game. Boy, were they ever!

American Idol had no edge on the tension that grew as the words became increasingly more difficult. Open to those 50 and over, the event was a testament to the importance of a strong, core education and life-long learning.

There are many folks to thank for the day’s success. All the brave contestants, of course; Bob Ament, Ruth Cleary, Pat Feeley, Bob Jones, Susan O’Neill, Kathleen Ramsey, Bette Schoenholtz, Barbara Weber, Bob Wyngard and Claudia Wyngard.

Chief Marty Kunkel welcomed us to the Sugar Grove Fire Station. Librarian Beverly Hughes provided the largest dictionary ever seen. Jenkins Trophy provided the awards. Superintendent Dr. James Rydland taught us all the many pronunciations of every word.

It was a great event, and everyone agreed we’d do it again in 2010. First place winner Susan O’Neill and second place winner Barbara Weber will advance to a regional competition. Those winners then have a mega spell-off at the Illinois State Fair.

I’ll be rooting for them.

Kay Hatcher
50th District State Representative

Letter: Think local, support the SG library

Transparency, accountability, responsibility—actions we all seem to desire from our federal and state governments. Depending upon who you talk to, we are told by our government representatives that we need or don’t need bailouts, tax increases and more spending. Listen to both points of view on the same subject discussed for a half hour and soon you truly do not know who is correct and what they are right about. But the one real truth is that the individual tax payer has little control on exactly how their federal and state tax dollars are being spent today.

On a local level though, we are allowed to have referendums. This great democratic process, allows us to argue a specific question back and forth among ourselves for things that may or may not truly help our own towns and counties. We finalize the question when we choose to vote.

Several years back, over 2,000 voters chose to build the Sugar Grove Public Library but since that time those same voters have not stepped up to vote for the separate referendum required by our state to fund the new library. This library will serve over 15,000 library residents who live in Prestbury and other parts of Aurora, parts of Montgomery, all of the Village of Sugar Grove and most of the Sugar Grove Township residents.

If it is truly transparency, accountability, and responsibility that you want, then it is Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes and her staff you should thank for figuring out new convenient patron hours, resolving staffing issues and figuring out how to build a well-laid out, energy efficient, community minded building well within the voters budget.

Meetings regarding every step of building this building were advertised and the public was invited. Every decision made for the new library was done so at public meetings and publically recorded, every dollar spent was accounted for and the bookkeeping is available at the library for anyone who cares to take a look.

So please remember when your federal and state taxes are being increased and the funding for branches of your local government (the library, schools, park districts, fire and police departments, etc.) are further decreased by those who have the power to do so in Springfield and Washington, remember that your local tax dollars are spent by local people you know and trust and the results of their hard work make your community an even better place to live.

Naming opportunities and donations to the collection are available, and needed, now. The current Secretary of State has said that a new library would not be built in Illinois with an operating rate as low as that of the Sugar Grove Library. The operating rate—.08—has not been raised in over 30 years, yet people still complain about transparency, accountability, responsibility when it is really still alive and well in your local government!

Patricia Graceffa
Sugar Grove Library Friends President

Letter: Thanks for supporting benefit dog wash

We at the Elburn Animal Hosptial, on behalf of the Fox Valley Wildlife Center, would like to thank all of those who participated in our fundraiser on June 13.

Thank you to all the clients and non-clients alike who generously brought their dogs in for us to wash, knowing all money raised would be donated to the Wildlife Center.

We would also like to thank our staff members who so graciously donated their time to help make this fundraiser possible—we could not have done it without your help.

We were able to raise more than $400 to help take care of our wildlife friends.

Dr. Susan Cechner, Elburn Animal Hospital

Letter: Christians in Elburn should bear responsibility for “A Day With Your Angels” event

The appropriate title for the event planned in Elburn should be “Spend a Day with Your Fallen Angels.” 

How sad it is to see how far we have come from the truth and how little we love the truth.  While most Americans affiliate themselves with a protestant Christian community, too many do not know what this means. 

Too many do not understand what it means to be a Christian, and do not realize the spiritual battle that is being waged in and around our lives on a daily basis, especially in these last days before Jesus returns.

Like Pastor Augustine, I am disappointed that an overtly Satanic event is being held in Elburn. I also agree that the public practice of the occult especially around young children, may not be in the best interest of the community. 

This may sound offensive to some, but communicating with the supposed dead is merely communicating with demons.

The Bible is clear, that the dead know nothing. But that is part of the problem. Instead of studying the Word of God for ourselves, too many of us take the word of others, including our priests and pastor, and do not prove it in the scriptures.

The mention of a pendulum as a tool is a dead giveaway of the practice of paganism, and it is currently a divination tool used in witchcraft, new age practice, psychics, and every other form of the occult. 

From ancient times, pagans have communicated with demons (fallen angels). With the founding of ancestor worship by Nimrod, up to our present day, every civilization of the world, except for the Jews and the early and protestant Christians, have spoken with demons.

For those who believe that mediums and fortune tellers are harmless forms of entertainment, look a little harder. At best, these occult practitioners specialize in robbing people of their time and life savings. At worst, they fill people with false hopes and false fears.

At the height of their influence, practitioners of the occult led all the nations of the earth to practice human sacrifice, telling them that it was necessary for salvation. This led to the massacre of untold numbers of children and adults.

Only the Jews and later Christians did not participate in this practice. Of course, Christians do believe in the human sacrifice of Jesus as the only one necessary for our salvation. As Christianity spread around the world, human sacrifice disappeared. Just as the truth set people of past generations free, the same truth needs to be upheld in our day so that people who are imprisoned by the lies of witches, sorcerers, mediums, new agers, and all who rely upon self instead of God, are freed from their bondage. 

It is not right to prevent the free practice of religion, unless this practice involuntarily diminishes the free will of others. On the surface, it may seem that the occult satisfies this requirement, but it inevitably results in the ruin of those who become shackled by the lies it peddles.

However, the community and especially the Christians of Elburn must bear some responsibility for this event. If significant demand for this event did not exist, it would never have been offered. This begs the question, what are protestant Christians doing in Elburn. Are they searching the scriptures? Are they witnessing to their family and neighbors? Are they educating the community regarding the biblical state of the dead, or are they also practicing pagan traditions regarding this matter?

Are they watching television shows like “Medium,” “Crossing Over” or other spiritualist propaganda? It is high time that we set the right examples in our communities so that people will not resort to lies rather than the truth.

Dr. Joseph Kim
Sugar Grove
Head Elder
North Aurora Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Letter: “Bridge” budget needed to get by

Because the General Assembly remains at a tragic budget impasse, I propose (along with other members of the Senate Republican Caucus) that we adopt a temporary “bridge” budget to last one or more months, until those who have been firmly in charge for seven years resolve their differences.

This “bridge” budget would allow state government to continue to function and help Illinois avoid the deep and devastating cuts to human service programs while legislative leaders work toward a solution to the state’s economic crisis.

The Republican Minority has made it clear that for this state to move forward, we must first pass much-needed reforms that include common sense controls on Medicaid costs, a solution to the crisis of the state’s “bankrupt” public pension systems, votes on real campaign finance and ethics reforms as proposed by the Governor’s Reform Commission, and an anti-gerrymandering amendment to encourage more fair elections in Illinois.

The Democrat Majority continues to play political games among themselves by passing a budget that dangerously and unnecessarily cuts funding for programs and providers serving our most vulnerable populations in the state. Those in control of Illinois government have already placed the most vulnerable in jeopardy, refuse to responsibly prioritize spending, ignore the need to require Washington to provide flexibility in spending the huge federal “stimulus” windfall billions, but demand that Illinois taxpayers reach deeper into their pockets to even further subsidize politicians’ addiction to money, power, waste and corruption.

A “bridge” budget represents an alternative to the irresponsible draconian cuts and devastating lay-offs in human service programs.  

Christopher J. Lauzen
State Senator
District 25

Letter: Good intentions not enough when it comes to at-risk wild animals

OK, one too many calls about a person who found a wild animal and decided that it was a good idea to give that wild animal to a farmer—just because.

While I understand that some farmers will know how to raise cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, or whatever their specialty, that doesn’t make them the appropriate place for an orphaned or injured wild animal. In addition, the only people who can legally care for injured or orphaned wild animals are wildlife rehabilitators who hold state and, for birds, federal licenses.

These licenses are not easy to come by. Wildlife has special needs that pet owners and farmers are probably not aware of. The last orphaned fawn I received came from a good-intentioned farmer whose relative thought they were the right place for this orphan. Ten days later, the fawn isn’t doing so well and, oh, did I mention that scrape on the top of its head?

That “scrape” turned out to be multiple, deep puncture wounds filled with maggots and pus. Coyotes probably attacked it when it was weak and vulnerable. A licensed rehabber would not have missed those life-threatening wounds. The fate of this particular fawn is still in doubt. Good intentions are not enough.

This is not an isolated incident. This happens dozens of times each year. Please do these animals a favor and find a licensed rehabber in your area.

Kathy Stelford
Oaken Acres Wildlife Center, Sycamore

Letter: Getting things off his chest

The last thing this town needs is another bar, bank, pizza place, hair cuttery—too many of the same thing here.

What the village really needs to do is attract something useful to the area, and for years I have been saying, “Let’s get a hardware store.” I really don’t care what it is, just get one.

I’m getting darn tired of having to drive to St. Charles or Batavia for a box of screws, lumber, nails and so on. I have talked to many others that would also like a hardware store.

It’s a darn shame the Northern FS went under and Ace didn’t step in. Then they tear it down and build another bank! How many banks or bars does a small town need?

We need something more useful in this town than more bars and banks and pizza places, and a hardware store would be just wonderful.

We also need something for these kids to do, but nothing ever came from this, either.

I have been wondering why we have none of the following: skate park, community pool, park district?

Summer is here, and kids roam all over the place with nothing to do except roam up and down the streets. Is it their fault? Not really.

There are no jobs in this town for them to apply at.

Then there’s the roads on the south side, and that horrible train crossing with the big, deep dip at South First Street—I was wondering where to send the bill for my broken front-end suspension repairs for my car—to Elburn or the Union Pacific Railroad? I’d say Elburn, as U.P. already told me it wasn’t their problem.

Then there’s the police force—why the heck do we need SUV’s to write tickets in? Is it maybe to give yuppie violators a more comfortable ride to jail? I see no need for them. They suck gas, and how many tickets do we have to write up to pay for them and the fuel they use? Taxes are high enough already.

Heck, you have to call 911 to file a complaint to say a dog is crapping in your yard or something that petty, and when the cops do get there from whatever gas station they have been sitting at, Kane County comes with them, seeing as they have no jurisdiction half the time in parts of this town, so half of the arrests can be made by bicycle, saving the tax payers a ton of money—looks like half the force could use some exercise anyway. Get rid of the SUV’s! We don’t need them!

Looking at all the vehicles at the police station, you would think you were in a town as big as St. Charles, and with that said, we could probably use a 24-hour on-call person to answer the phone at the police station when there are minor disturbances, instead of driving the 911 dispatch nuts with non-emergency calls.

This town has issues, and they need to be addressed. Let’s see what the new village government can do—I’ll give you some time to adjust first.

It would be nice if there was an e-mail address for the new mayor to address concerns. As of last week, there was nothing.

It’s been a while since I’ve written and had to get some of this off my chest—and I’m sure this won’t be the last time, either.

There is plenty I have to say, but enough for now.

Joe Gallagher

Letter: Thanks for making blood drive a success

Thank you Elburn community for supporting our recent blood drive. Forty five people came out to donate and we collected 36 pints of blood. We would like to give a special thanks to the following American Legion Auxiliary members who volunteer faithfully to make sure the drives go off without and glitches: Carrie Petrie, Cecelia Lund, Kay Swift, Ann Lambert and Helen Johnson. Of course, a gracious thank you to Heartland Blood Centers for making this service available for us. Lastly, we want to thank Paisano’s Pizza for providing pizza for the donors and staff at the drive.

Out next drive will be Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009 at the Elburn Legion hall. Please mark your calendars. We are always looking for new donors. From registration to refreshments, it only takes about an hour to give a pint of life-saving blood. Hope to see you there.

Kay Swift
Elburn American Legion Auxiliary

Letter: Quinn is out of line with cuts

Why is Gov. Quinn balancing the state budget on the backs of the homeless, mentally ill and disabled?

Illinois is on the edge of crisis. Our legislature must pass a balanced budget, putting people before politics. The Senate passed a tax increase but the House failed to do so. And now, DHS (Department of Human Services) has told human service providers that they have only been funded at 47.3 percent of their total annual budget. On a local level the social service system support network will be decimated. People in our local community will lose their housing, employment, employment support, day support, etc. This will effect young and old, families of and those with disabilities, people in substance abuse programs and children in foster care. This is a small sample as the list goes on and on.

Cutting these programs will not save the state money. People will be put out on the street and will fill the courts, jails and emergency rooms. The state prisons and institutions will become flooded with people. Illinois will be blasted back into the dark ages.

It is immoral to do this, and I request that our legislators cut the fat and corruption in our state to achieve a balanced budget in Illinois. Please tell the leaders to stop putting politics before people. We elected them to represent us and make hard decisions. Now is the time to act.

Tens of thousands of people who work in the social services industry will be left unemployed. In the middle of a recession to lay off this many people is irresponsible and will cost the state even more in lost tax revenue and more welfare support.

Why do I care so much about this issue? First, I am one of the founders of Parents As Advocates, an Elburn-based support group for special needs families. More importantly, I am raising two wonderful sons. The youngest is 9 years old and was born with a genetic mitochondrial disorder and hearing impairment. This boy can light up a room and melt anyone’s heart. Parenting and loving him has changed me for the better and while I would not change a thing about him I do strive each day to make his life easier and more independent. His daily care, while rewarding, is stressful and exhausting on a good day. Although in the past we tried our very best to meet his needs, we knew we were failing him and each other. Our home life was extremely stressful and Max’s sibling often was denied the attention he needed. After a two-year application and appeal process, our family was finally accepted into the state’s Home Based Support Program in 2007. We receive funding to employ skilled workers to assist us in our home. They help my son with physical therapy, speech therapy, homework, self care skills, community integration, social skills, and toilet training. They absolutely saved our family and today I can honestly say we are able to meet the needs of our sons, enjoy one another, and I finally sleep well at night.

Thanks to Gov. Quinn and our corrupt state government, our program will be cut on July 1, and our family and thousands like us will be at risk once again. Additionally, our home support funding is matched by the federal government. So, by cutting this program, Illinois will lose the exact amount in federal dollars. This makes no sense to me to cut a worthy program that in the end is free to Illinois taxpayers.

Please help by visiting to assist you in identifying your legislators and composing a letter to them explaining why these cuts to human services are unjust. It will take less than 10 minutes of your time.

Carrie Capes
Maple Park
Parents As Advocates

Letter: Thanks from the Homuths

Dear Elburnites,
Arvid and I would like to thank the people of Elburn for their well-wishes at our farewell gathering at the Elburn Herald office, as well as the gifts.

We want you to know that Elburn will always be our “home.”

All of you have been wonderful and your gift of yourselves in assisting us when it came to transportation during winter-time, and helping getting groceries, etc.—we wanted to let you know we appreciate your concerns.

We will have happy memories of Elburn!

Many thanks and wishing everyone the best.

Arvid and Mary Homuth
St. Charles, Ill.

Letter: More funding needed for ALS research

How much is a human life worth? According to the United States government, mine is not valued very highly.

In 2003, I began experiencing symptoms later diagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that weakens and destroys motor neurons, causing paralysis and death. There is no cure or effective treatment. In the 150 years we have known about ALS, science has unveiled few answers as to its cause or progression.

Approximately 35,000 people in the U.S. live with ALS at any given time, including an alarming number of recent veterans. As ALS is relatively rare, I was disappointed, but not surprised to find pharmaceutical companies uninterested in funding research, but was shocked how government supports ALS research compared to other conditions.

I found the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends billions of dollars for research—the vast majority targeting preventable, treatable, and non-life threatening diseases. The sample below provides perspective of how much money the NIH is willing to spend to prevent each death in the following diseases (2008): HIV/AIDS: $198,263; substance abuse: $162,353; sexually transmitted diseases: $40,833; ALS: $7,167.

I shared my statistical analysis with Rep. Bill Foster. He was impressed by the manner in which these statistics highlight inequities in NIH grant allocations and believes hard statistics help legislators make good decisions about how and where to direct federal funding.

Don’t misunderstand me. The targets of NIH research dollars are deserving. However, I believe government’s main role in health research should focus on basic research and on areas deemed unprofitable by private industry.

July 4 marks the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech and many ALS awareness activities are planned to commemorate this occasion. Please help raise awareness of ALS by sharing this information with their elected federal officials and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Steven Heronemus
Batavia, Ill.