Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Letter: A thank you from the Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary PTO

The Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School PTO would like to thank these local businesses for their donations to and generous support of our school’s PTO. We sincerely appreciate the kindness extended by these businesses that give back to our community and support our children’s education:

• Elburn: First Street Photos, Fox Valley Wildlife, McDonald’s, Paisano’s Pizza, Protege Pilates, Shady Hill Gardens, Something’s Cooking Custom Catering

• Kaneville: Mr. Paul Ross, Ross Electric

• Geneva: Buffalo Wild Wings, California Pizza Kitchen, Delnor Fitness, It’s a Girl Thing, Jersey Mike’s, JoAnn Fabrics, Potbelly, Tom & Eddie’s

• St. Charles: Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, Tony & Friends Art Studio

• Batavia: Chili’s

The KBC PTO Executive Board
Kathy Webster, Susan Hazen, Lola Salamon, Brandie Kottmeyer and Laura Gampfer

Letter: Concern with Elburn Forest Preserve entrance

On Wednesday, June 6, a child was almost hurt on the Eastwood Trail at the Elburn Woods Forest Preserve by a semi truck driving down the Eastwood Trail. There were no signs, flag men or Kane County Forest Preserve employees present. A complaint was made to the Kane County Forest Preserve. The Kane County Forest Preserve feels the safety situation will be addressed with additional “ orange & black” construction signs.

I can’t think of any reason why it would be OK to mix children with semi-trucks on a narrow, winding, low-visibility trail. Yet, that is what Kane County Forest Preserve Director of Operations Mike Holan has deemed proper. Mr. Holan has also indicated there will be no sign at the Read St. Elburn Forest Preserve entrance. This is where many of the unsupervised children from Elburn enter the Forest Preserve on bicycles.

Please take whatever action you deem necessary to ensure the safety of people that enter the Elburn Woods from the Read St. entrance.

Mark Snyder
Hampshire, Ill.

Letter: FFA Leadership Conference

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

This summer, for seven weeks, more than 2,200 students will attend our Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. This seven-week event helps students develop leadership skills, identify personal strengths, develop awareness of societal differences and human needs and strategize how they can help others through community service. Each student develops a community-service initiative for their local community, with the intention of students returning home and implementing their plans.

Students come to the conference wanting to learn how to make a difference in the world. They leave knowing they can – and will. That’s exactly what Sierra Coulthard did last year.

After last year’s event, the Wisconsin high school FFA member returned home and immediately connected with Nashville-based Soles4Souls, which since 2005 has secured more than 17 million new and gently used shoes for people throughout the world. The charity shipped her a supply of shoe boxes that she placed throughout her home town of Neillsville for donations. Nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes were given to the “Sierra’s Shoes” drive.

And last month, Coulthard had the opportunity to personally deliver shoes to deserving children in Haiti.

I believe students are generally aware of global problems like hunger and poverty but many are sheltered and disconnected from what’s happening in the world. During their time at our conference., FFA members experience real-world problems and take critical steps toward personal growth and developing leadership skills they’ll need to make a difference in people’s lives, starting in their own communities.

The conclusion of each weekly session of the Washington Leadership Conference is a Day of Service, where students work together on a real, hands-on community-service project. Last year, through each week’s Day of Service, students contributed a total of $85,283 worth of volunteer labor. Students packed, sorted and distributed more than 29.5 tons of produce and shipped more than 100,000 meals overseas. This year, FFA members will volunteer more than 9,500 hours to pack and ship thousands of meals to Nicaragua to help the third-world country battle hunger.

Today’s FFA is thriving and deeply committed, through opportunities like the Washington Leadership Conference, to developing students’ potential and become leaders in our country’s No. 1 industry – agriculture.

W. Dwight Armstrong, Ph.D. CEO
National FFA Organization

Letter: Flag Retirement Ceremony

On Flag Day, Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m, the Officers of the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion will have a Flag Retirement Ceremony.

The public is welcome to attend and are welcome to bring any worn, tattered or otherwise unusable flag for retirement.

We take great pride in the flag of our country and perform this ceremony in accordance with Legion directives to ensure proper retirement etiquette. Flags are collected throughout the year, both at the American Legion Post and at Village Hall, and are retired every year on Flag Day.

Cliff Barker
Chaplain, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 1271

Letter: Cancer Survivor Day Celebration

LivingWell joined the community to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday. This special day was a treasured annual worldwide Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities throughout the United States and many other countries. A cancer survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer—from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. Cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, friends, and healthcare professionals will unite in this symbolic event to show the world that having an active, productive life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.

As a community-based, community-funded, not for profit organization, LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is privileged to provide 55 free programs and services that help people live well through cancer. Programs include professionally-led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and stress reduction classes—all free of charge.

Each year, more than 1,500 individuals attend programs at LivingWell and learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and enhance the quality of their lives.

Our unwavering commitment is to ensure people facing cancer and their families feel empowered with knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by the supportive community created at LivingWell.

Strong scientific evidence demonstrates that LivingWell’s programs and services reduce anxiety, pain, fatigue, and depression, help patients adhere to prescribed medical treatment and support their return to daily activities.

LivingWell Cancer Resource Center salutes cancer survivors for their courage, fight and determination to live full lives and stands ready to help anyone in our community affected by cancer.

For more information, visit www.livingwellcrc.org or stop by for a tour of facility located at 442 Williamsburg Avenue in Geneva.

Nancy Vance, Executive director
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Geneva

Letter: Sugar Grove French Market open

Please join us for the annual Sugar Grove French Market, which will be held in the Sugar Grove Village Hall parking lot on Saturdays (rain or shine), from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Sugar Grove Village Hall is located at 125 Municipal Drive (Route 30 and Municipal Drive) in Sugar Grove.

Farmers are a vanishing breed. When you make a conscious decision to support your local farmers market or local farm stand you help insure that future generations will have access to the nourishing and abundant crops which our Illinois farmers work so hard to bring to our communities.

Veggies, fruits and eggs harvested within a day or two of a farmers market are fresh, crisp and loaded with flavor and nutrients. Today more than ever, it is so important to understand where and how your produce, eggs and meat have been grown.

Fruits and vegetables shipped to us from other states, and today mostly from other countries, must have tough skins that survive packing and shipping and also require the ability to have a reasonable shelf life. Only a handful of hybrid plant varieties have these characteristic so there is little genetic diversity in commercially grown plants compared to the large number of varieties our local farms still grow so as to provide us all with an array of great tasting crops all season long.

Heirloom plants used by our farmers may even someday provide the genes needed to create crops which will thrive in changing climates. Locally grown food preserves genetic diversity, and if you are opposed to eating genetically modified fruits and veggies, you can rest assured that our farm produce was bred the old fashioned way, as nature intended–GMO-free.

Buying from our local farmers preserves our open space, keeps our taxes in check and community farms support a clean environment which benefits not only us, but all area wildlife. As you build a relationship with the farmers you deal with at the market, you establish friendships based on understanding and trust.

Join us Saturdays, June through September.

Pat Graceffa,
Sugar Grove

Letter: Shocked by tax bill

My wife and I received our tax bill last week. We were shocked, to say the least. We got a $1,500 increase from our last tax bill. We couldn’t believe it. We’re on a fixed income, and got that for an increase? Really? Many words went through my mind, but none that can be printed.

Most of my adult life I worked as a drywall finisher. This was hard, physical labor that required me to have a knee replacement and, soon, a shoulder replacement. This was just part of the job, and I accept and understand it. However, I don’t understand the reason for this non-elective colonoscopy that I just received. Upon retiring, life changed. No more getting up at 4 a.m. to go to work. The other change was to watch how we spend. There is less going out to dinner, and more having dinner on our deck surrounded by nature. There are those that retire making as much, if not more than they did when they worked—all on the taxpayer’s dime. I’m all for it if they paid for it, but not on the taxpayer’s dime. Our founding fathers didn’t make a career out of politics.

I have heard that the reason we got nailed with the maximum tax hit is that loans have come due. We didn’t have the population explosion we were supposed to have, and the bottom fell out of the job market. You should have voted for the other guy, but that’s another story. What would be wrong with re-negotiating the loans? Go to these institutions and have them re-negotiated. After all, things have changed. Boy, have they ever. Oh, I almost forgot … what if they refuse? Give the buildings back to them, and see what they do with them. I have even been told that my wife and I could get hit again next year for the same amount.

Change is coming to my wife and I again. We may have to sell our house and downsize just to live in this area. Is it really worth it to live in one of the most broke and corrupt states in America? Don’t forget to vote this fall.

Chris Halsey
Sugar Grove

Letter: Help the Kaneland Foundation

The Kaneland Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has contributed for decades to the educational needs of the students of Kaneland District 302. Our mission is to support academic excellence through innovation.

Please consider joining us at the Kaneland Foundation’s Knight Run on Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. The 5K and 1-mile runs will cover a flat cross country course entirely on the Kaneland High School campus.

A registration form with more information is on the Kaneland website and web store (for electronic registration).

Sponsor donations of $200 or more will be recognized on the event T-Shirt provided to all participants and volunteers who register prior to June 15. In addition, sponsors will be publicized through recognition at the event.

For more information about the Knight Run, to make a donation, become a sponsor or have a registration form mailed or e-mailed to you, contact Beth Sterkel at (630) 365-5111, ext. 109, or email or beth.sterkel@kaneland.org.

Jeff Schuler
Superintendent of Schools
Kaneland School District

Letter: A thank you from DeKalb County Hospice

DeKalb County Hospice would like to thank everyone who participated in our Tag Days on May 11 and 12. Because you gave so generously of your time and your money, you have once again made this a successful fundraiser by raising over $5,000.

Thank you to the following merchants who allowed our volunteers to stand in front of their businesses to receive donations: Hy-Vee, Brown’s County Market in Sycamore and Genoa, Ollie’s, Culver’s and Walgreen’s Drug Store in Sycamore, and Jewel-Osco in DeKalb.

Thank you to all the volunteers who gave freely of their time to collect funds, made phone calls and helped in the office. A big thanks to all of you.

Finally, thank you to the people of DeKalb County. Your support of DeKalb County Hospice through your generous Tag Day donations is very much appreciated. Your support helps us to continue to provide services to our patients and their families and friends.

Diane Hance and Val Heintz
Tag Day coordinators, DeKalb County Hospice

Letter: We have choices

Whew! What did you think about your most recent property taxes? Mine went up nearly 12 percent, and I don’t like it.

We have choices about how much we get taxed, but only if we’re willing to do something about it.

In harder times, it doesn’t matter if our assessments go down … because the rate just goes up. In better times, it doesn’t matter if our rates go down … because the levy still goes up. Property taxes are directly correlated to government spending.

Our taxes constantly go up because government spending constantly goes up. Until we elect people who pledge and deliver to either freeze or reduce the spending levy, there is no hope to avoid being taxed out of our homes. Property values have substantially decreased, but our property taxes continue to increase.

I defend our county, appreciate our forest preserves, enjoy our park districts, and deeply respect our public school system. However, I will not forfeit possession of my home in exchange for spending growth in any of these government agencies.

Again, until we elect leaders who at least pledge to freeze or reduce spending that drives the property taxes, you will be taxed out of your homes—that means county board chairman, every county board member, every school board member, etc. Get county board members committed to you in writing before the election, and I will make sure that we keep the promise to live within our current means without coming to you for more.

That is at the county, Fox Valley Park District, and forest preserve levels of government. The school districts are up to you and those we elect to school boards.

I am the only candidate for county board chairman who has unambiguously pledged to freeze the county’s property tax levy. And, I enthusiastically seek the challenge to do the county administration work and will not turn this responsibility over to another unelected, highly paid government employee.

The choice is yours.

Senator Chris Lauzen
Aurora

Letter: Time to work together for the good of Elburn

I have had a PO Box for years in the town of Elburn. Now I see a problem that needs to be resolved in the best interest of all.

Four areas are to be considered in this problem. The town board, the business owners, the church in question and the customers.

First, I have heard it all: that the mayor does not really care. I happen to have known Mayor Dave Anderson for many years from school years to present day. I know him to be a fair and honest man who is concerned about the town. I also know that the town board has the responsibility to make decisions and vote on them. The only time the mayor has a vote is if the board ends up with a tie vote.

Second, the business owners: I am told many have offered to pay whatever the insurance and maintenance cost is to the church until such time that the parking lot is purchased or sold. No business owner is going to write a letter like this and possibly become a target for retaliation. They are willing to take money out of their own pocket to make this work.

Third, the church involved, I am told, is asking over $200,000 for the purchase price of the parking lot. As we all know, it (the parking lot) has been fenced off with post and cable. They claim that there is too much liability if they leave it open. My question there is what if someone in the dark of the night trips and falls over the low, looped cable and is injured? There is liability. Also, I am told that the property has been appraised at much less than the asking price.

Fourth, the customers (after all, they do pay the bills): How do you expect seniors, handicapped and others to walk a far greater distance in the rain, wind and heat of the summer to do business In downtown Elburn? Let’s not forget that Route 47 is going to be worked on, and that means less parking on Main Street during this work period.

The churches that I belong to have always worked to help in any way, shape or form, the members, other people and the community in God’s name. My request to all involved is that you bring to the table a willingness to arrive at a blessed compromise and continue to carry on that town of Elburn’s good name and reputation.

Lee Newtson
Elburn

Letter: No deals to reduce school impact fees

On page 6A of last week’s Elburn Herald, there is an article of the Elburn Village Board’s consideration of a reduction in impact fees for a Shodeen construction project.

I would like to make known that I am animatedly opposed to any concession of any kind, and further believe no reasonable person could come to any other conclusion. These arrangements are poison for the community. Anyone who would complain about their property tax bill can singularly point to these agreements that are entirely the source of the problem. These agreements produce little in terms of individual cost differences and have cost the community hundreds of millions of dollars, which amount to nothing less than a cash subsidy for millionaire builders. And then, Sugar Grove and Maple Park will also feel equally compelled to join in the race to shower builders with their own deals. It’s like a bad drug.

Our property taxes are higher than any surrounding community. Over the past decade our taxes have risen at an average 11 percent a year, twice the theoretical 5 percent limit because capital expenditures are exempt from the limit.

The economy has nothing to do with this, it is quite simply a wealth transfer from the taxpayer to Shodeen. Every ounce of the reduction will wind up funded by the school district, police and fire departments, park district, library and every other local authority. It gets aggregated, and then the soccer moms get in gear and ask us to pay for it. Someone will pay for it, rest assured.

Shodeen shuttles himself around in the Gulfstream Jet, which cost something like $35 million to buy and $10,000 an hour to fly. I feel like I have paid for it. Thank you very much, but the district and the entire community should say no to all of this in no uncertain terms.

No concessions; not one dime.

I would like for the Elburn Village Board to consider delaying any decision unless it is no, until we can have a chance to generate more public comment on this subject. There isn’t even an accounting of how many housing units, number of expected school children, and aggregated financial burden which is to be absorbed by the School District published here. How can we understand it without a cost assessment? And how much more will every other municipality feel they are entitled to?

Jeff MacKenzie
Kaneville

Letter: Kaneland John Stewart says thanks

Kaneland John Stewart Elementary would like to graciously thank the following businesses for their generous donations to our Spring Basket Auction.

Kaneland John Stewart Parent Teacher Network uses all proceeds for student activities. Your donations help fund school assemblies, field trips, ACE classes, playground equipment, holiday shoppe, and much more.

Here are the local generous business that provided donations this year: Elburn Car Wash, Subway, Schmidts, Chico’s Tacos, Papa G’s, Salon 132, Dave’s Barber Shop, Paisanos, China Garden, LaVoda Salon, Elburn Liquors, Delnor Health and Wellness, Hair Directors, Hot Dog Canine Apparel—Kristy Simon, A Salon, Vertical Endeavors, Green Mountain Coffee, P & M Sewer and Water—The Casey Family, Pound 4 Pound, Kraft Foods.
Julie Allen
Elburn

Letter: Thanks from the Elburn American Legion

The Elburn American Legion Post No. 630 wishes to thank everyone who supported and participated in our annual raffle draw-down on April 27. Also, a special thank you for a great meal provided by Northside Pub.

Seventeen winners were drawn. The $50 winners were Lee Singer, J. Peterson, Helen Johnson and Gerry Swiderski, all of Elburn; Ron Hartman of Elgin, Ill.; Rob Blough of Batavia, Paul Gardner of Belvidere, Ill.; and Vernon Shedd of Ludlow, Wis. The $100 winners were Ed Maass of Elburn, Pete Filipos of Maple Park, Bob Hashimoto of Aurora, and Ted Campbell and Dan Koeble. The $200 winners were John Reese of Elburn and Janet Herra. The $300 winner was Russ Ruh of Big Rock. The $1,500 winner was Allyson Laackman of Chicago.

Dennis Richmond, Raffle Chairman

Letter: Fine Arts Creative Center taking next steps

Fine Line Creative Arts Center has a long history in the Fox Valley community. Located on five acres in rural St. Charles, our campus is comprised of two buildings set in the midst of a beautiful prairie.

Our century-old barn houses the business offices, a supply shop, textile studios and the Dempsey Gallery. Our newer facility, the Kavanagh Building, includes four spacious teaching studios and a large, open, light-filled gallery space.

Primarily an education facility, we offer classes and workshops in textiles, painting, ceramics, metals, and glass, taught by our talented faculty and nationally recognized visiting artists. Fine Line has operated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts center at its current location since 1986. We are located in a residentially zoned area, and operate via a special use permit restricted by Kane County. This permit dictates our days and hours of operation, as well as the number of students we can accommodate. We have grown, but because our access is through a subdivision, we have not been able to expand the special use permit.

The purchase of a piece of property to the south of us has recently been completed, with the land intended for use as a new entrance to Fine Line off Bolcum Road. With this plan in place, we petitioned Kane County for a revision to our permit allowing for extended hours, a larger student population and new signage at our entrance (on front cover). This request received unanimous approval.

Now, the only thing holding up use of the new permit is completion of the driveway.

The property is purchased, zoning is secured, now we need the capital to complete the project. This driveway is more than just new paving; it is a key that unlocks a world of new opportunities to fulfill our mission.

The driveway is just phase one of our ultimate goal. Phase two includes restoring more prairie space, connecting to the Fine Line Prairie and Conservation Area, plus creating an outdoor sculpture gallery.

For more information, please visit www.fineline.org.

Robin Kittleson
St. Charles

Letter: ‘K-Train’ derails Bulls

Watching Derrick Rose’s knee give way was heartbreaking. Franchises struggle when the franchise player goes down. Let’s see … and there was (also) the toe, the knee, the groin, the ankle and the back. Can’t anyone connect the dots or, rather, body parts? Only two possibilities could have occurred … maybe both together.

The K-Train or Kinetic Chain was weakened. That is the coordinated movement that naturally occurs in synchronized moving parts. The foot/toe is connected to the ankle bone, connected to the leg bone, which is part of the knee, connected to the thigh bone, which is connected to the hip/groin, which is connected to the back bone. The old song had it right. What they didn’t sing about is when one joint gets out of timing with another, something is going to give. This is a common occurrence regardless of age, and it’s not just for athletes.

Foot and ankle injuries can migrate up the chain to the knee. Foot and ankle problems can move all the way up to the back eventually. However, the back injury, even if it is just stiff or sore, can migrate down the whole leg (Kinetic Chain). The back is the engine to the lower limb K-Train Chain.

Eventually, some joint (the knee in this case) will give out. The point being, this is a common occurrence. It occurs in high school students during a season, or in seniors over decades. The K-Train goes off the rails one car at a time. Focus is on the immediate derailment if no one connects the dots, and other cars go off the rails.

The other reason is incomplete healing of any part of the chain, setting the person up for the next injury.

The result can be more cars off the rails and rails mangled (Rose). Then you’re done for the season or for the playoffs. Maybe you end up with a trick knee from cheerleading or football.

Ten years later it’s a back problem; 20 years later you go to a podiatrist for a foot problem, and 40 years later you have a hip replacement. Really? Connect the dots.

Dr. James W. McCoy, D.C.
McCoy Chiropractic, Sycamore

Letter: McDole PTO to host trivia night

The McDole PTO in Montgomery will host its first annual trivia night at Open Range Southwest Grill in Sugar Grove on Saturday, May 5, at 6 p.m.

Like every organization trying to raise money in this financial climate, the need to think outside of the box to raise money to support our school has become increasingly challenging. The PTO struggled for weeks trying to think of something really intriguing for its spring fundraiser, and inspiration knocked on the door one night during a PTO meeting. The PTO, the fourth-grade teachers and school administration came up with a plan that would be fun, unusual and get people to come out and raise money for the PTO: trivia night.

From trivia night’s inception, the fourth-grade teachers started pounding the pavement seeking silent auction donations. McDole Assistant Principal Kevin Gordon offered his services as the evening’s emcee, and trivia night was well received by the rest of the staff and administration at McDole.

Open Range in Sugar Grove jumped on board immediately, offering the PTO a place to host the event, staff and even a percentage of the profits, for which we are extremely grateful. The community at large has generously donated items to our silent auction, and table reservations have been filling up.

I have always been proud to be co-president of the PTO and to work closely with the PTO Board, the administration and the school staff, but this event has reinforced for me that McDole is a special place for our kids, and when we all work together we can do great things for them. I would like to thank each and every person who has spent their coveted time working hard to make this event a success, and the almost 60 businesses and individuals who have donated so many items to be auctioned off in our silent auction.

Our principal, Martne McCoy, donated the students’ most desired auction item, “Principal for the Day” package. Other auction items include Cubs tickets, Kane County Cougar tickets, golf at Mill Creek, pampering items (Massage Envy, Hair Cuttery, emily kay Salon, Great Clips, Ziza nails, Mary Kay), Stephanie Hulthen Photography session, garden products (Midwest Ground Cover, We Grow Dreams Greenhouse), sports (World Gym, Fit Mama, Finish Line), kids items (Family Fun Center, American Girl, a kids electric ride-in car, collectible toys and Barbies), home party packages (Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Thirty One Bags, Creative Memories, Longaberger, Barefoot Children’s Books and more), food items (Fireside, McDonald’s, Jimmy Johns, Schmidt’s, Graham’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, All American BBQ, etc.).

We have everything in place for an amazing night. Now we are asking the community to come out and support our event. Come out and play trivia, bid on a basket, play 50/50 games or just get a drink.

For more information or questions, email info@mcdolepto.org. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to what we hope will be a great night!

Michelle Moser
McDole PTO co-president

Letter: Sugar Grove talks trash

The village of Sugar Grove and Waste Management were pleased to roll out the expanded refuse contract, which now includes a refuse toter. The delivery of the toters to all village residents is complete; however, it appears they have created several questions.

1. Will there be an increase in the monthly charge for refuse?
2. What do I do with my old refuse containers?
3. What if the containers is too large for my household?
4. Who owns the toters and what do I do if they break or are stolen?
5. Why did I get this toter?
6. How do I dispose of items properly?
7. Will there be an increase in the monthly charge for refuse?

1. There is no increase in the village’s rate for refuse service. The rate for 2012 will remain at $20.50 monthly. Additionally, for those of you who have been renting a toter from Waste Management, that charge will no longer be assessed.

2. There are a few options for your old refuse containers. You can put a note on them for the refuse hauler to dispose of them (they will be recycled), or you can label them with a permanent marker or a label (available at village hall) and use them for landscape waste.

3. If you received a large toter and are a senior or live alone and would like a smaller one, call Waste Management at 1-800-796-9696 to arrange to have it exchanged.

4. Both the recycling and the refuse toters are owned by Waste Management; please do not write your house number on either. If you move, please leave both toters at the home.

If a toter breaks due to normal wear and tear, Waste Management will repair or replace the toter. Residents can call 800-796-9696, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for routine repairs or exchanges. Toters that become damaged through misuse or negligence will be replaced at the homeowner’s expense.

5. The wheeled refuse toter was chosen for a few reasons. They will keep the village cleaner as they do not tip easily or have separate lids. This will help contain refuse on windy days and keep the wildlife out. They will also help keep costs down as they are automatically emptied, eliminating the need for Waste Management personnel to lift the toters, thereby preventing injuries. Additionally, as the toters are larger and hold more they will reduce the number of containers that need to be emptied, saving time.

6. Disposing of items can be confusing in part due to disposal regulations. Electronics must be recycled; white goods have long been banned from landfills; yard waste has to be disposed of at a composting facility; and not all items that appear to be recyclable are. If you are confused about what type of container to use, what you can recycle, wonder how to dispose of electronics (or what the difference between a white good and an electronic device) please check out the links below.

• Refuse should be placed in the Waste Management toter with the Green Lid
• Recycling should be placed in the Waste Management toter with the Yellow Lid
• Landscape waste should be placed in brown paper yard waste bags, or a container clearly labeled yard waste. Brush and branches must be in bundles no longer than 4 feet and tied with biodegradable string or twine; no wire
• White goods are picked up 2 times a year. Watch the website and the village newsletter for dates
• Electronics—see the list published by Kane County. Do not place them in with regular recycling

Make sure all your refuse, recycling and yard waste is at the curb by 6 a.m. on your regularly scheduled pick-up day. Please note that Waste Management generally will return for a missed pickup; however, a return fee may be assessed.

Cindy Galbreath
Village clerk, Sugar Grove

Letter: Thanks from the Kaneland Foundation

The Kaneland Foundation wishes to thank Cooking for Kids sponsors Engineering Enterprises, Inc., Ross Electric, Inc., Fox River Foods, Inc., the Elburn Herald and the Kane County Chronicle, along with the Kaneland madrigal singers and featured chefs Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, KHS Principal Chip Hickman II, HMS Principal Bryan Zwemke, Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels, Elburn Mayor Dave Anderson, Maple Park Mayor Kathy Curtis, Ream’s Elburn Market, Chico’s Tacos, Eldon and Sandy Gould, Paisano’s Pizza and Grill, Hughes Creek Golf Club, Dr. Harry Krauspe DDS, Hill’s Country Store, Made from Scratch, and Muchie P’s Eatery.

Thank you for making this fundraising event an enjoyable and worthwhile event for chefs and participants. All monies raised benefit the students of Kaneland District 302.

Beth Sterkel
Kaneland District Office

Letter: Thanks for giving the gift of life

The Elburn American Legion Auxiliary of the Daniel Simpson Post No. 630 would like to thank everyone who gave the gift of life on April 12, 2012. It is gratifying to see these people, time after time, donating blood for our community. When you see them, tell them “thank you” for a job well done.

The donors were Arthur Anderson, Wesley Anderson, Craig Bahe, Dr. Ken Baumruck, Barbara Blank, Linda Bubser, Leroy Bubser, Allison Buri, Mary Coffey, Suzanne Dillon, Patrick Duffy, Albert Frohling, Sandra Gould, Eldon Gould, Ken Gustafson, Steven Hall, Deborah Hannemann, Daniel Hannemann, Steven Hauser, Larry Hemmelgarn, Janet Herra, Dawn Kuefler, Peter Kuefler, Joseph Lanthrum, James Long, Mark Lund, Patricia Mills, Matthew Orzolek, Patricia Pattermann, James Schnaitman, Nancy Schnaitman, Larry Schramm, Grayce Seablom, Albert Smith, Kayla Staley, Rebecca Staley and Robert Weihofen.

Also, a thank you goes out to the Auxiliary Committee that coordinate with Heartland Blood Centers: Carrie Petrie, Kay Swift and Helen Johnson.

Please mark your calendars for the next drive on Thursday, June 14. We would love to see more volunteers rolling up their sleeves and donating blood.

Thank you.

Kay Swift
Elburn American Legion Auxiliary
Daniel Simpson Post No. 630

Letter: 13 years in a row

The village of Elburn has again been qualified as a 2011 Tree City USA. Thanks to the support of the village trustees and the work of the village Tree Board, this is the 13th consecutive year that this honor has been bestowed on the village. The Tree City USA program is a nationally sponsored certification program created and managed by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

Our village is committed to preserve the quality of life and the welcoming vistas along our neighborhood streets, which are only made possible by the many stately trees that line them. The community is also very supportive of continuing efforts to maintain trees in our open space and park areas, where families can gather and recreate. Trees are the defining elements that make these open spaces and parks so enjoyable, and they offer many benefits, not only to the users of the space, but the overall environment. The Tree City USA designation awards is a reflection of commitment of tree preservation, tree education and tree health throughout the village.

There are seven important reasons to plant trees: they conserve energy, help clean the air, provide habitat for songbirds, can increase your home’s value, help keep our rivers and streams clean, fight global warming, and enhance the aesthetics of our community.

Join us Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. at the Prairie Park, located on the corner of North Street and 3rd Street in Elburn, to celebrate Arbor Day and the importance of trees in our everyday lives. Join your village officials, the Tree Board, the Cub Scouts, and others in planting two trees in the park. There will be a short ceremony reading the Arbor Day proclamation, Joyce Kilmer’s famous poem about trees, and an explanation of the importance of Arbor Day.

Erin Willrett
Village Administrator
Elburn

Letter: Thanks for attending the April 19 dinner

The Elburn American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 630 would like to thank everyone who attended the American Legion Auxiliary spaghetti supper on April 19 at the Elburn American Legion Hall. We appreciate your loyalty and support for our fundraising dinner.

Many thanks to those auxiliary members and volunteers who served as cooks, servers, cashier, cleaners, and thanks to those who donated desserts. Thanks to the Elburn American Legion members who gave us assistance, also.

Without your support and help, we could not donate to the important programs that help so many. We look forward to seeing you again in the fall.

Marleah Anderson, Public relations
Elburn American Legion Auxiliary No. 630

Letter: Thank you for coming together to help Illinois tornado victims

Wow! What can I say but thank you. I would like to thank everyone who came out in support of our Tornado Relief Fundraiser at Hill’s Country Store a couple of weeks ago. We raised over $2,150.

Each family received their check and box of Easter presents for their children in time for Easter. They were overwhelmed by our generosity. Thank you especially to everyone who donated baked goods and purchased raffle tickets.

I especially want to thank Dave Kovach and the Kaneville Volunteer Fire Department for allowing us to sell tickets at the egg hunt, Lee Newtson for letting us know about the families in need, and especially my mom Pat and my brother Tyler for helping me organize and run the event.

A very special thank you to all of our very generous sponsors: Northside Pub, Russell Automotive, Bob Jass Chevrolet, Hill’s Country Store, Ream’s Elburn Market, American Bank and Trust, Old Second Bank, Panera, Rich’s Auto Service, Sam’s Club in Batavia, Schmidt’s Towne Tap, Oberweis, Bootleggers Pizza, Handmade Jewelry By Mary Niceley, Paisano’s Pizza, Blackberry Inn, The Swissotel in Chicago, and to our numerous anonymous donors. Thank you once again for supporting the Lane and Wynn families of Ridgway and Harrisburg, Ill. They will be forever grateful to all of us.

Alexa Hill
Kaneville

Letter: Thanks for attending local ribbon cutting

As Ambassador and Ribbon Cutting Event Coordinator for the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, I thank everyone that responded to my request to celebrate the ribbon cutting for Chico’s Tacos in Elburn.

There were many chamber members, village officials, customers and casual visitors, some of whom were just curious to know what I had been raving about.

Thank you, each and every one of you.

Would you like to become a member of the Elburn Chamber of Commerce? You do not need to be a business or work for a business; you can become an individual member. You do not even need to be a resident of Elburn. Attend one of our monthly meetings (they are free) to view, first hand, everything that makes the chamber a dynamic organization. You will be enlightened and want to become a member. You can sign up right there for a membership. Our next meeting dates are noon on May 3, at Schmidt’s Tavern, and 7:30 a.m. at the Town & Country Public Library on June 7.

H. Jack Hansen
Elburn

Letter: Help! Your votes are needed to help a very special young lady

I have entered a special needs student of mine in a contest. Kiley has cerebral palsy and currently suffers from daily seizures, which makes life very difficult for her at times. The winner of the contest receives a three-day trip to Morgan’s Wonderland, which is an adaptive amusement park. This would be an experience of a lifetime for Kiley.

The contest is sponsored by PCI Education, Dell, Morgan’s Wonderland and an online community called WeAreTeachers. The winner is picked through online voting.

So if you have a moment, we’d really appreciate you going online and voting for Kiley. You can vote one time per e-mail address; vote from every e-mail address you have. Have your friends and family vote; the more votes she has the better chance she has to win. It would really mean a lot to us to have your vote and support. So pay it forward and just go to www.weareteachers.com/morgans-wonderland, and follow the directions. Search by student—Kiley—or teacher—Poterek. The contest runs through April 24.

Sue Poterek
Special Education Teacher
Kaneland Harter Middle School

Letter: Syverson thanks voters for re-election support

I would like to thank the voters for the confidence they placed in me in our recent Illinois primary election. I also express gratitude to all the volunteers who worked so hard in helping get our message out: that Illinois needs a leaner, smarter and more responsible government, since it was “American Exceptionalism” which made our country and this state great—not government.

If Illinois is to become the economic engine it once was, then it can only happen by improving our jobs climate and growing our way out of the financial difficulties we find ourselves in. For that to happen, responsible and difficult adult decisions need to made in Springfield, and that’s what I am committed to do.

Senator Dave Syverson
34th District

Letter: Yellow school bus may become endangered species in Illinois

Remember when we walked three miles to school every day, uphill both ways through snow, sleet, hail and torrential rain? School children in Illinois may soon return to those good old days. The bad news is we no longer live in “Leave It to Beaver” times, and safety is the overarching reason for public schools to continue providing bus transportation for students.

The yellow school bus may become an endangered species in Illinois, considering the 42 percent cut to state funding for public schools transportation in the past three years and the ominous clouds forming over the state’s education budget for next year. No one can argue with the emphasis on maintaining funding for the classroom, but the ability to safely transport children to school remains a basic fundamental of educating students.

From a purely political standpoint, cuts to school transportation clearly have far less impact in Chicago than they do downstate where many school districts cover more than a hundred square miles. Even in the state’s largest cities, the path to school often includes railroad crossings or busy highways, not to mention child predators.

There are those who believe it’s the responsibility of parents to get their kids to and from school. Setting aside the fact that many families depend on both parents working full time, there are logistical factors that make parents dropping their children at the school door virtually impossible in many school districts.

Most schools were not designed for hundreds of vehicles dropping off children; most were designed with lanes for relatively few buses. Factor just 30 seconds for a parent to pull up, say goodbye and drop off their children. How long would that process take for just 100 cars? 200? 300? Also consider the safety concerns with that much traffic while children are arriving or departing school.

From an overall economic perspective, the cost of bus drivers, fuel and insurance is less than the fuel cost for hundreds of vehicles making that daily trip.

The notion that local districts should shoulder more of the transportation costs ignores the fact that local taxpayers already pay a portion of the transportation bill. The state already has cut General State Aid to schools, and leaders in the House and Senate are talking about shifting the state’s portion of pension costs for teachers to local districts. Illinois already ranks among the nation’s highest in local school funding and among the lowest in state funding for public education.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has proposed changing the formula for transportation from the current reimbursement formula to an “efficiency” formula based on either per-student or per-mile funding. Recognizing that this is an attempt by ISBE to retain at least some funding for transportation in the current political and economical atmosphere, this would be a paradigm shift in funding that would result in “winners” and “losers” among school districts. Still, it is something that should be carefully considered if it rewards efficiency.

The ISBE proposal also allows for school districts to charge parents a fee to transport their children, and ISBE data indicates the cost for transporting one child for a year averages about $500. Realistically, what school board would want to assess such a fee on parents who already pay school taxes? Districts could not even assess the fee on families whose students are enrolled in the free-and-reduced lunch program, a growing population in many districts.

Certainly, districts should look at all feasible options to lower costs, and most districts have been involved for years in cost-cutting initiatives like bid purchasing, contract bargaining and shopping for the lowest insurance costs. Districts that have not already done so may need look at more of a mass transit business model. For example, door-to-door service may need to be replaced by establishing bus stops at strategic locations. In some districts, that could result in fewer buses, fewer miles and fewer drivers.

There was a recent story about a school district in Missouri (Bayless School District near St. Louis) that eliminated its bus transportation two years ago only to see 150 students move to neighboring districts that provide bus transportation. The district actually ended up losing more money in state aid than the bus transportation cost.

The story underscores how important school transportation is to parents. The yellow school bus long has been a fundamental, vital part of our public education system. It is not a luxurious benefit for children or parents. It remains the safest, most efficient way to transport our children to school.

Brent Clark, Ph. D.
Executive Director
Illinois Association
of School Administrators

Letter: Congrats to Republican nominees

Congratulations to the Republican nominees in the contested March 2012 Primary, representing Kane County or parts thereof: Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, Auditor Terry Hunt, Circuit Clerk Tom Hartwell, Coroner Rob Russell, State Senate District 25 Jim Oberweis, State Senate District 33 Karen McConnaughay, State Senate District 35 Dave Syverson, Board District 2 Sal Abbate, Board District 10 Susan Starrett, Board District 11 Mike Donahue, Board District 16 Mike Kenyon, Board District 19 Kurt Kojzarek, Board District 21 Rebecca Gillam, Board District 22 Doug Scheflow and Judicial Subcircuit 2 John Walters.

These nominees will join nominees from uncontested contests to form the local Republican team in the general election. For the candidates who were not successful, there will always be opportunities in the Republican Party.

William Keck
Kane County Auditor
Sugar Grove

Letter: More vigilance is needed

We need to be more vigilant as to what is happening around us.

When we’re not looking, our legislators seem to pass another law limiting our civil liberties all in the name of safety. Yes, it does anger us when a driver is holding up traffic at a traffic light or on the roadway while they are talking on a cell phone, putting on make up or eating. Some of us will think that this is a distraction from driving; it is, but is it worth a new law limiting our civil liberties?

Look at some of the other recent infringements upon our civil liberties. Police can now issue a ticket for driving a little past a white line at a traffic light; police can file charges if we record voice or take a photo while they are issuing a ticket; police can now indiscriminately set up road blocks, pulling vehicles over to check to see if the driver has their papers (insurance) in order or if the driver is wearing a seat belt. Almost everyday we read about another camera being installed at a corner.

Let’s spend more time on safety education and less time legislating away our civil liberties. I’m not sure anymore if its safety our legislators are concerned about or if it is power that they are after.

If you and I are not concerned about what’s happening today, tomorrow we might find that we will receive a ticket, have to pay a fine or even go to jail for not giving the Gestapo salute.

Russell Johnson
Sugar Grove

Letter: Warm welcome to Chico’s Tacos

If you were a contestant, an observer or a volunteer participating in the Dewey Dash last year (an event sponsored by the Town and Country Library), you will remember the fantastic delicious tacos donated by Chico’s Tacos. They received rave reviews from everyone.

Now, we have the privilege of welcoming the Lopez family with the opening of their new location at 107 Valley Drive Suite E in Elburn. A Ribbon Cutting is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, at 10 a.m. Chico’s Tacos is the first Mexican restaurant for Elburn.

Chico’s Tacos is a family owned business, and the whole family, Felipe, Juanita and their sons, Alex, Junior and Joshua (his nickname is Chico, thus the name of the business), are involved. The Lopez’s make everything fresh each day from family recipes handed down from their parents and, believe me, you will want to stuff yourself “till kingdom come” once you’ve had a taste. I have had Mexican food in Mexico and from one end of the USA to the other, and Chico’s Tacos is at the top of my list, and will be yours, too, once you’ve tasted their offerings.

As an ambassador and the Elburn Chamber of Commerce’s Ribbon Cutting Event coordinator, I invite and encourage everyone to be a part of this celebration. The Lopez’s have shown their commitment to Elburn with their participation and donations (I understand they have already made a commitment for a donation at this year’s Dewey Dash). We can show our gratitude for their dedication by attending their Ribbon Cutting. Put the April 5 date on your calendar now.

H. Jack Hansen
Elburn

Letter: Acknowledging omitted contributors to ‘Knight of Fun’ fundraiser

Our recent advertisement thanking our wonderful donors was missing four important donors. Waste Management, 101.9 WTMX The Mix, Shanne Kuipers and Teresa Panico. They should not have been omitted, because they each were an important part of our success at our recent “Knight of Fun” fundraiser. My sincere apologies to all these donors for the regrettable oversight.
Carolyn Komel
Kaneland High School Sports Boosters

Letter: A thank you to those who donated blood

You donated the “gift of life.” We and Heartland Blood Center thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, Sugar Grove Fire Department and Heartland Blood Centers staff and all of our extra volunteers worked hard on a successful blood drive and deserve a big thank you.

A special thank you goes out to our awesome donors: Randi Bader, Susan Bader, Patricia Bergman, Emily Bingley, Dean Campbell, Chris Cooper, Gina Cumiskey, Matthew Curtain, Jon Diaz, Sue Diaz, Tony Dibella, Kari Douglas, Jim Eckert, Bob Farley, Aaron Frasz, Melissa Garza, John Girolamo, Melissa Gooch, Denise Goress, Mark Goress, George Hannemann, Dustin Hawkins, Jacquelyn Hindi, Kim Jablonski, Louis Jaeger, Jeff Jorgensen, Jeremy Jorgensen, Laura Keske, David Kriceri, James Magnuson, Sharon Marcellis, Bonnie Mateas, Sally McClellan, Tara McCann, Suzanne McCracken, Margaret Metzger, Nick Michels, Sean Michels, Nancy Mickelson, Joe Miller, Scott Miller, Brandon Mires, Lisa Molitor, Jennifer Mourousias, Larry Nolan, Nika Plattos, Jan Ray, Stephanie Reilly, Judy Rios, Monica Romero, Nina Romero, Brian Schiber, Stan Schumacher, Clyde Smith, Ted Smykowski, Christine Steenwyk, Jeff Steenwyk, Andrea Strobert, Colby Suits, Marisa Tenorio, Earl Thompson, Patricia Torza, Stephanie Turner, Alicia Weiss, Annette Wood, Ally Woody, Linda Wray, Sherry Young, James Zablocki and Kelley Zablocki.

We deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove blood drive is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 10.

Joy Rubo
Blood drive coordinator, Sugar Grove