Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Holiday hope serves as light during our darkest hour

Throughout the history of the United States, there have been too many examples of horrific, senseless violence resulting in the deaths of innocent people. These are the kinds of acts that shock people in this country to their very core and force them to reconsider everything they think they know about the world around them.

Many of us remember the anguish and horror we felt when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed on April 19, 1995. Many of us—students and parents alike—were forever scarred by the murderous events that transpired at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on April 20, 1999. Many of us felt time stand still when the Twin Towers and Pentagon were attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. Many of us gasped in horror when Virginia Tech University experienced a mass-shooting tragedy on April 16, 2007, and were reduced to tears when Northern Illinois University—an institution right in our own backyard—experienced a similar tragedy 10 months later.

Those same feelings crept up again last summer when a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., transformed into a mass-shooting nightmare. And then those feelings came slamming back without warning last Friday when Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., became the setting for a horrific and simply unspeakable shooting spree that took 26 innocents lives—20 of whom were children no older than 7 years of age.

The Sandy Hook tragedy occurred at a time when this country is typically readying itself for Christmas and the holiday season as a whole. In the wake of such a heartbreaking event, many of us are no longer thinking about Christmas and New Year’s, presents and party hats, pie in front of the fireplace and champagne at midnight. How does one celebrate the holidays when they know there are families in Colorado and Connecticut who are now dealing with the reality of life without their child or loved one? How could we celebrate anything—much less a time of year built on cheer and goodwill—under these circumstances?

On the contrary, we believe that this country needs the holiday season now more than ever as an opportunity to begin the healing process by way of spreading both holiday hope and genuine kindness. This is a time when we should all stop and take a moment to appreciate everyone—family, friends, neighbors, even enemies—in our respective lives. At a time of year when the shopping is hectic and tempers are toxic, we must forgo the angry and petty behavior and instead strive to be the person who can help get others through a dark time such as this. At a time when finances can run slim, we need to take a step back and realize how fortunate we are to have our loved ones either within arm’s length or just a phone call away. There are people in this country who, as of last Friday, can no longer enjoy such a seemingly simple pleasure.

We’ll certainly see several debates come about as a result of the Sandy Hook tragedy—debates regarding gun control and practices concerning mental disorders. Those debates are bound to be hot-button issues. However, they shouldn’t prevent us from being decent to each other. In fact, nothing at this point should prevent us from being decent to each other.

At a time like this, the relationships we keep shouldn’t just be the most important thing—they should be the only thing. And that’s why it’s so important to use this holiday season as a time to heal, regroup and get in back in touch with the things that really matter in life.

Here’s to a happier 2013.

Letter: Elburn Leo Club helps serve veterans

The Elburn Leo Club recently served a Veterans Day dinner for our local veterans, and provided 86 care packages for veterans currently receiving treatment at the Hines VA Hospital.

The Elburn Leo Club is an extension of the Elburn Lions Club. We are a youth group of service-minded individuals ranging in age from 13-18 years old. We also have junior Leo Club members ranging in age from 8-12 years old. Our mission is to make a difference through leadership, experience and opportunity.

We are continuing with our appreciation to veterans by adopting a platoon of approximately 300 Navy sailors. We need your help with this service project to benefit the deployed troops. We are seeking donations of products, as well as cash donations to help offset the expenses associated with purchasing and shipping the items requested. Donations will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 31.

We are seeking donations of the following items: coffee grounds or Keurig pods, single flavor packets for water bottles, candy, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks, Ream’s Elburn Market beef jerky and sausage sticks (set them know it is for the troops so they can package it properly), etc.

If you will be making a cash donation, please make checks payable to Elburn Leo Club.

We also would like to send well wishes from home and support for their service. Please consider writing a letter with words of encouragement and support for the troops. We will enclose the personal letters with the care packages to show our appreciation for their service and dedication to our country. Mail donations and letters to: Elburn Leo Club, Attn: Pam Hall, 500 Filmore St., Elburn, IL 60119.

Call (630) 365-6315 to make arrangements to drop off donations at Elburn Lions Community Park (500 Filmore St., Elburn).

To learn more about our group, visit www.elburnlions.com or email pamh@elburnlions.com.

Pam Hall
Elburn Lions Club president,
Elburn Leo Club advisor

Letter: Illinois public schools achieve despite challenges

As the leaders of organizations representing public school administrators, principals, teachers and school board members in Illinois—the education professionals and the people working on the front lines in our public schools—we feel it is important to respond to the recent “report card” issued by the private group Advance Illinois.

While we agree with Advance Illinois that we need to continue to strive to improve public education, we do not agree that an arbitrary “grade” of C- is an accurate depiction of what is going on in our public schools and, as such, it inappropriately erodes public support for education.

More than half of Illinois schools serve concentrations of at least 40 percent disadvantaged students, up from 35 percent 10 years ago, and the report notes “in the face of this demographic shift, Illinois’ academic performance improved modestly in the core subjects of reading and math” across all demographic and economic groups. The report states that Illinois has improved its national ranking as other states facing similar demographic change declined.

Included in the data but never mentioned publicly is this fact: When it comes to the percentage of students demonstrating college readiness on all four benchmarks on the ACT test, Illinois was No. 1 among the nine states in the nation that administered the ACT to all of its graduating class of 2012. It’s apples to oranges to compare Illinois with states where the test is mostly taken only by college-bound students, but even compared to that group Illinois ranked 12th in the nation.

The U.S. Department of Education released its graduation report just last week for the 2010-11 school year, and Illinois ranked 10th nationally with a graduation rate of 84 percent, just 4 percent from the top spot.

We would be the first to say that we must improve on closing the achievement gaps in Illinois. Having said that, the new federal report showed that, with regard to graduation rate, Illinois ranked eighth for Black and African American students (74 percent), seventh for Hispanic/Latino students (77 percent), seventh for White students (89 percent), 11th for Limited English Proficient students (68 percent) and ninth for Economically Disadvantaged students (75 percent).

This has been achieved despite the fact that Illinois ranks at or near the bottom in the nation in state funding for education, and has suffered an 11 percent cut in General State Aid and a 42 percent cut in transportation funding in the past three years.

We agree with Advance Illinois on many of the issues facing public education, such as the value of a strong Early Education program and the fact that the growing poverty problem is one of the biggest issues facing public education. We hope that the education reform package and Common Core Standards will be thoughtfully implemented to support, not just rank, principals and teachers so that teaching and learning improve.

Regardless of the arbitrary grade we are given, or even if we rank No. 1 in a particular category—as we do in the percentage of the graduating class of 2012 that meets all four ACT benchmarks for college readiness—we know we have more to do. As the names at the bottom of this letter attest, administrators, principals, teachers and school board members jointly remain committed to improving the quality of education for the children of our state.

Dr. Brent Clark
Executive Director
Illinois Association of School Administrators

Dr. Michael A. Jacoby
Executive Director
Illinois Association of
School Business Officials

Jason Leahy
Executive Director
Illinois Principals Association

Roger L. Eddy
Executive Director
Illinois Association of School Boards

Cinda Klickna
President
Illinois Education Association

Daniel J. Montgomery
President
Illinois Federation of Teachers

Letter: A thank you from the Pazin family

We would like to thank the greatest family, neighbors, friends and strangers for their thoughts and prayers through this most difficult time these past weeks. It means so much to us.

As far as our daughter Erin, we are thankful she is here with us today. We know that faith, hope, love, time and, of course, the continued prayers and support we have received, will be the only thing to get her through this.

And most of all, please continue to keep Zach’s father and mother, Mike and Dee Dee Bingham, in your prayers.

May God bless Zach. We love you and we will miss you.

Barry, Patty, Julia, Shannon and,
most of all, Erin Pazin

Editorial: A thank you to residents for making Kandyland 2012 a success

The Elburn Herald would like to say thank you to everyone who participated in the Kandyland event during the Elburn Christmas Stroll on Friday evening. This was our first Kandyland at our new location in the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, and we were unsure of how local residents would respond to a world of life-sized candy and wonder in the Community Center’s dance studio.

That sense of uncertainty proved unnecessary, as public turnout for the event was phenomenal, making it one of the most successful Kandylands in recent memory.

The change in venue actually turned out to be an excellent perk, as many residents were able to attend the Holiday Bazaar in the Community Center gymnasium, and then scoot over to play Kandyland next door. Location wasn’t the only change made to Kandyland this year, either. New wrinkles in the Kandyland experience, including a green “instant win” piece and a white “wild card” piece, made the game a little fresher and more fun. These changes were clearly popular with the kids who participated, as the expression on their face was as joyous as ever.

Those expressions are absolutely the reason we continue to host Kandyland each year. To know that we’ve helped make the Elburn Christmas Stroll a little more fun for local residents—children and adults alike—gives us a feeling of warmth, appreciation and purpose that lives on long after the Christmas Stroll ends and our Kandyland trees and props are put away for the year.

We would like to give a special thank you to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center for helping us continue on the Kandyland tradition within our new digs. The staff here was incredibly helpful and supportive from set-up to tear-down, and we couldn’t have done it without them.

A very special thank you goes to Elburn Herald Design Director Leslie Flint, who always strives to put together the best Kandyland yet. Flint puts countless, grueling hours into coordinating and staging Kandyland each year, and she is absolutely the heart and soul of the event. We shudder to imagine what Kandyland would look like without Flint’s input and design know-how.

As the Elburn Christmas Stroll gives way to the rest of the holiday season, we prepare ourselves for Christmas and New Year’s while also keeping an eye on December 2013. Needless to say, we can’t wait for the next installment of Kandyland.

Guest editorial: Celebrating the First Amendment

by Ken Paulson, president and CEO of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University

The hardest line to sing in the “Star-Spangled Banner” is also the most important. “O’er the land of the free …” with its character-building high note, has been the bane of even professional singers.

That’s probably appropriate. Becoming “the land of the free” wasn’t all that easy, either.

On Dec. 15, America will commemorate the 221st birthday of the Bill of Rights, the most extraordinary and influential guarantee of individual freedoms in world history.

Every school kid knows that this nation was founded on freedom, but sometimes we lose sight of the details. Building a nation from scratch, promising a democracy and ensuring certain inalienable rights were all both ambitious and unprecedented. And though we declared our liberty in 1776, it wasn’t until the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 and the commitment to specific individual freedoms in the Bill of Rights in 1791 that we were truly on our way to a more perfect union.

Over time, the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, press, religion, petition and assembly helped abolish slavery, secure the vote for women and establish equal protection for all. Yet surveys show that only 4 percent of Americans can identify all of these core freedoms. A majority, when asked, can come up with only freedom of speech. That is particularly disappointing when you realize how rare these guarantees are globally.

In recent weeks:

• In China, a tweeted joke about a popular horror-movie series and an upcoming Communist Party Congress led to an arrest on charges of supporting terrorism.

• In India, the Information Technology Act criminalizes the posting of “any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character.” The restriction was applied last month to two women for a post and “Like” on Facebook.

Repression, censorship and attacks on minority faiths are commonplace worldwide. Even nations that regard themselves as free and open societies often fail to protect controversial ideas and viewpoints.

In the U.S., our guarantees are so vibrant and effective that we tend to take them for granted. Unfortunately, complacency isn’t good for a democracy.

In an effort to build greater appreciation for First Amendment freedoms, a coalition of educators, journalists, artists and others have come together to form “1 for All,” an educational campaign. The First Amendment Center, Knight Foundation, American Society of News Editors, McCormick Foundation and the Newseum have teamed up to help a new generation of citizens more fully appreciate these freedoms.

Part of that effort is a scholarship competition which began on Saturday and will continue through Saturday, Dec. 15 (the First Amendment’s birthday). Students are encouraged to tweet about their favorite of the five freedoms, becoming eligible to compete for a $5,000 scholarship. Details can be found at 1forall.us.

The next time you hear the national anthem wind down to that final line, and before you restore your cap and pick up the beer cup, you might want to say a quiet thanks for the many who made “land of the free” more than a hard line to sing.

Whether fighting on our front lines or taking a stand for equality and justice, whether carrying a rifle on a foreign shore or a protest sign on Main Street, millions have made this land of freedom possible through their sacrifices and commitment.

Now that’s something worth singing about.

Letter: Disagrees with Kaneland tax levy resolution

Susan Ericson, director of tax extension for the Kane County Clerk Office, recently indicated that she and her staff employ almost the exact 4.3 percent formula, as stated by Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, Kaneland assistant superintendent for business, to determine 2012 tax extensions.

I find Ericson’s office to be fair, high degree of integrity, and honorable in deployment of their duties to all entities within our community—taxpayers and districts alike.

Now comes Kaneland District 302 tax levy resolution of Oct. 29, 2012. This document requests a capped levy/extension of $42,004,470, which equates to an 8.62 percent increase from 2011.

Without much analysis, it is easy for the reader to see 8.62 percent is twice Dr. Fuchs’ estimate of 4.3 percent, and well above the 5 percent PTELL Cap. This resolution will also raise my District 302 Personal Property Tax Bill by 11.8 percent, or a little less than triple the 4.3 percent quoted. My 2011 District 302 tax extension presently represents 71 percent of my total Personal Property Tax Bill.

Such disparity of quoted targets to taxpayers vs. actual ending levied dollars must damage the envelope of trust and integrity expected of Kaneland public officials and education administrators. Only the deployment of unlawful taxation techniques of “manual override” and “balloon” can account for such (“we must maximize”) variation.

The deployment of such logic toward taxation, impact fees, intergovernmental agreements and bonding now begs the question of what other elements of public education administration are being manipulated beyond inflationary normalcy? What impact does it have on small business and jobs within our community? A person or families living on fixed incomes cannot absorb such gouging of the taxpayer.

Request: Reduce Kaneland School Board of Education’ Tax Levy Resolution of Oct. 29, 2012, to the quoted 4.3 percent overall increase in total taxes due. Stop exorbitant hedging of the taxation system.

Jerry Elliott
Aurora

The right way to ring in the Christmas season

Of all the great debate topics in this country (Pepsi or Coke, Bears or Packers, G.I. Joe or Transformers, etc.), perhaps the most underrated is the question of when the Christmas season should officially commence.

Some people believe Christmas becomes a priority the moment they begin putting away Halloween decorations; others wait until the day after Thanksgiving to tee off on all things Christmastime. Neither date is technically wrong (though it’s certifiably weird to hear Christmas music in McDonald’s on Nov. 1). However, we believe November should belong to turkeys and autumn colors, not snowmen and mistletoe.

And that means the Christmas season should officially dawn in early December, which just so happens to be the time when Elburn and Sugar Grove host their Christmas Stroll and Holiday in the Grove festivities, respectively.

Holiday in the Grove will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 a.m., and offer plenty of family-friendly activities at the Sugar Grove Community House and John Shields Elementary School.

Santa will be on hand at the Community House to have breakfast with children and adults alike at 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Games and crafts will also be available. Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, meanwhile, will feature fun crafts and a Holiday Shoppe where kids can stealthily get their Christmas shopping done.

The Sugar Grove Public Library will get in on the holiday action at 9 a.m. with teen-approved crafts, face-painting, pizza and holiday movies, a chance to read to therapy dogs, and afternoon performances by Western Lights and Kaneland Madrigals.

Six days after Holiday in the Grove, Elburn will get a chance to spread some holiday cheer with its annual Christmas Stroll on Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. throughout downtown Elburn.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will appear at the Town and Country Public Library and have their picture taken with children in attendance. Elburn Fire Protection District will offer a safety house and tree-burning demonstrations. Conley’s annual “Blessing of the Manger” dedication will take place at Route 47 and Pierce Street. Elburn Hill Church will present a Christmas Cafe, and the Citizen Emergency Response Team Trailer will be on the Main Street in front of American Bank & Trust, offering up balloon creations. Participants can also head over to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, where Jewel-Osco employees will be on-hand to enjoy some cookie and wreath decorating for the kids.

Plenty of fun will be had at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, with a Holiday Craft Bazaar presented by the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, as well as our own life-sized Kandyland game for children, adults and everyone in between. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to travel to dwell in Kandyland and feel dwarfed by giant-size decorative candy bars, this is absolutely the game for you. Best part: every participant is a winner.

A visit to either (or both) of these village events should be enough to convince anyone that December is the right month to commence dreams of a winter wonderland. And with the turkey and Black Friday super-doorbuster deals in the rear view mirror, it’s officially time to focus on ringing in the Christmas season.

Letter: Kick off your holiday season with the Elburn Christmas Stroll

Start your holiday season off by attending the annual Elburn Christmas Stroll on Dec. 7, hosted by The Elburn Chamber of Commerce.

The stroll will consist of a number of Elburn businesses participating by having activities at their establishment for the holiday season. The Elburn and Countryside Community Center will host the Holiday Bazaar and a silent wreath auction. Many business located in the community center are also putting on special events, such as Kandyland, hot chocolate stations, Santa Train and much more.

During the stroll, you can find Santa at the Elburn Town and Country Public Library for a photo.

Visit www.elburn.com for a map of all the activities. For more information, call (630) 365-2295 or email info@elburn.com.

Jamie Jump
Chamber office administrator

Letter: A thank you from the Elburn Fire Department

The Elburn Fire Department would like to thank our community for the support shown last weekend at our annual food drive. With your help we collected a truck full of food.

As the holiday season continues, we will offer food drop-off locations at Elburn Fire Station No. 1, 210 E. North St. (630) 365-6855, and No. 2, 39w950 Hughes Road (630) 262-9911.

If residents are not able to get out and need a pick-up, please contact either station and we will do our best to pick up your donation. All items collected will be taken to the Elburn Food Pantry.

Matt Hanson
Lieutenant, Elburn Fire Department

Editorial: Many reasons to give thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s funny how one’s perception of Thanksgiving will develop during their life.

For many children, the Thanksgiving holiday represents a nice, long break from school, as well as the opportunity to consume some pretty tasty food in honor of the pilgrims who dined in Plymouth almost 400 years ago. Maybe these kids will get a chance to see a movie and do some shopping with their parents on Black Friday; maybe they’re excited to see the holiday parades that typically take place the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

For teens and young adults, Thanksgiving can take on an entirely different life. There’s still a mighty long break from school, but with the great food comes the opportunity to watch a Detroit Lions loss (in horrific fashion, typically; sometimes to the extent that their players have no choice but to repeatedly stomp on players from the opposing team), and a flavor-of-the-week act performance during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys game. If these teens and young adults are hardcore football fans, they’ll resist post-dinner sleepiness just enough to watch the third game of the day. Otherwise, they’re either off with friends for the night or planning out an unbeatable Black Friday shopping strategy with family members.

At some point, however, a person will realize that, while it’s nice to spend Thanksgiving overdosing on football, turkey and ‘80s film marathons (no truth to the rumor that TBS is legally obligated to air “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Adventures in Babysitting” on the fourth Tuesday in November each year), the true meaning of Thanksgiving lay in the company we keep on that day.

Thanksgiving, stripped to its core, is about more than simply giving thanks for what we have; rather, it’s about giving thanks for those who we have in our lives—the people who help us keep perspective and understand that friendship is indeed the richest currency in existence. This was what the pilgrims celebrated when they dined on that fateful day in 1621, and it’s an example that still carries validity centuries later.

Friends and family make it possible to endure a heavily edited airing of “The Breakfast Club.” Most important, they make it OK to overeat and then overeat some more.

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to appreciate the most important people in your life, and revel in the fact that your loved ones appreciate your presence in their life, as well.

After all, your friends and family aren’t coming over to watch the Detroit Lions lose, they’re coming over to spend the holiday with you.

Letter: Kane County recycling extravaganza a ‘thundering success’

The Kane County recycling event on Nov. 10, in celebration of America Recycles Day, was a thundering success. Close to 150,000 pounds (an equivalent of 75 tons or 10 semi-trucks full) of material was collected for reuse and recycling from over 1,600 residents throughout the six-hour event.

Materials brought in for reuse and recycling included: five semi-trucks of electronics and scrap metal; two box trucks of shredded documents; a 20-foot roll-off of latex paint, one semi-truck each of styrofoam and books; 57 bikes; two wheel chairs; lots of crutches; a large box truck of clothes, shoes, hats, and toys; an SUV-full of reusable office and school supplies, and a few musical instruments.

The free confidential document shredding service was hugely popular, with over 17,000 pounds of paper shredded and recycled.

There will be another event in the spring, so if you didn’t make this one, keep your eye on the Kane County Recycles website, www.countyofkane.org/pages/recycling, for the April event announcement.

Jennifer Jarland
Recycling coordinator, Kane County

Letter: A thank you to Kaneville residents

Thanks to everyone in Kaneville who has contacted Rep. Randy Hultgren to ask for assistance in our campaign against the 50 percent reduction in window service in our Kaneville Post Office, which USPS has proclaimed will take place some time in 2013. We have been met with much impatience by the congressman’s staff, who told one visitor to the Geneva Office that our congressman “is busy with bigger issues,” and seems to feel that our letters, calls and visits do not warrant a response of any kind.

So now we are taking our campaign to the U.S. Postmaster General, and to the Central Illinois District office of the USPS. We are also asking Kaneville residents to send letters to our two senators.

Please stop in to the Purple Store (Hill’s Country Store) in Kaneville and pick up a copy of our suggested letter. Add your own comments and send this letter to all four addresses. It is imperative that we make our voices heard. The issues and points raised at the USPS town meeting in Kaneville on Nov. 1 were not properly conveyed to the powers that be: reducing the service hours in Kaneville will result in insignificant savings because our overhead costs are extremely low and will simply be moved to other less-efficient offices; that the township provides space, utilties and buildout at minimal cost, and the USPS is taking our community funds to support other operations; that the Kaneville office has special needs due to the way that mail is addressed; that we are a growing community in a large population county, and more.

Kaneville is a small but strong community, and we have shown strong financial support and community support for the post office. It will be impossible for the post office to provide mail service and counter service in our office with only four window hours.

Join us in asking for further review of our unique situation, for six window hours, if not eight window hours, per day, and for an extension of our full eight hours of window service until the end of 2013, with a review at that time.

Let’s not take a cynical action. Our voices can be heard.

Joann Murdock
Kaneville

Letter: Consider chiropractic treatment

Earlier this year Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls injured his lower back and missed quite a few games without finding any pain relief. He finally received chiropractic treatment from a chiropractor in Bannockburn, Ill., and received great benefit. More recently, Jonathan Toews, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, suffered a severe concussion prior to the 2012 NHL playoffs. Without finding relief, he went to the Carrick Institute at Life Chiropractic University in Merietta, Ga., where he was treated by a chiropractic neurologist. He stated he is “feeling really good now” and the treatment got him “back to ground zero.”

As a doctor of chiropractic who has practiced over 30 years in Elburn, I am very happy with these results. My only regret is that I did not get a chance to treat either of these gentlemen in my own office.

On behalf of the thousands of chiropractic physicians who provide effective care on a daily basis to the citizens of Illinois, it would behoove many patients to strongly consider chiropractic care as a first choice, even for conditions that are not associated with the spine.

It is my great hope that both of these athletes can now surpass these injuries and be able to excel at the pinnacle of their sports.

Dr. Kenneth Baumruck, D.C.
Elburn Chiropractic and Accupuncture

Guest Editorial: November is National Diabetes Month

by Julie West, West Physical Therapy
Did you know that here are 23.6 million children and adults living with diabetes in the U.S.? Of these, an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed, and 5.7 million are unaware they have the disease.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into the energy necessary for daily life. While the cause of diabetes is unknown, factors such as obesity and lack of exercise play important roles. Diabetes can result in conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease (neuropathy), amputations and problems with the skin, including ulcers and infections.

Managing your diabetes can lower your risk of resulting health issues. Management includes controlling your blood sugar (glucose), lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising. Physical therapists are experts in restoring and improving human motion, and can play an integral role in the management of diabetes by establishing and, as needed, supervising exercise programs and providing treatment of complications.

Diabetes that is not well controlled leads to problems in blood vessels and nerves, often in the legs. Low blood flow to the legs can create cramping pain when walking or lead to sores on the legs or feet.

Diabetes can affect the nerves, which can result in tingling in the feet and may progress to complete numbness. This numbness can cause damage to the skin or joints because of the lack of pain sensation. These problems can lead to difficulty with daily activities, limit the ability to exercise, and also result in very serious consequences to one’s health. It is best to take action to prevent complications, but if these problems occur, physical therapists can help restore your quality of life.
Physical therapists can:
• Use special tests to check the sensation in your feet
• Help decrease cramping pain during walking
• Evaluate and care for skin ulcers and sores that are slow to heal
• Improve your walking ability by adapting shoes or orthotics
• Show you how to protect your feet if they have lost sensation
• Recommend shoe wear or assistive devices if needed

A physical therapist can create an exercise program to help you achieve better health safety. You should see a physical therapist to help you with physical activity if you have:
• Pain in your joints or muscles
• Numbness or tingling in your feet
• Calluses or sores on your feet
• Pain or limping with walking
• Used an assistive device such as a cane or crutches
• Had a stroke
• Questions about what type of exercise is best for you

For more information, go to www.apta.org, or www.moveforwardpt.com.

Letter: Sugar Grove Food Pantry Holiday Book and Toy Drive

It is holiday time once again. In an effort to help the many struggling local families here in our community, we are doing a Holiday Book and Toy Drive to help alleviate the financial stress that is associated with this time of year.

All parents and grandparents would like an opportunity to provide for their loved ones during the holidays, and our efforts should help them.

Please drop an unwrapped new toy or book for children of the ages of birth to 18 years of age. The pantry has needs for children of all ages.

Six locations are available for drop off. For more information on these locations, email patdangraceffa@msn.com. A box will be provided for dropping off items between Thursday, Nov. 29, and Friday, Dec. 7.

Thank you in advance for your help in making these local families’ holiday a tiny bit brighter. All items will be dropped off at the pantry by Sunday, Dec. 9.

Pat Graceffa
Sugar Grove

ISBA Illinois Law Now Q&A for November 2012

Question: Is there a law which requires the purchaser of a home
to do a radon test?
Answer: No, but many home buyers are concerned and now have a radon test conducted at the same time they do their home inspection. If the radon test exceeds normal levels, the buyer will usually require that radon remediation be done and that a second test be conducted before the closing.

Question: Even though I signed
up on the federal government’s
do-not-call registry, I still get
several robocalls. Do I have
any recourse?
Answer: Unfortunately, placing your phone number in the do-not-call registry will not stop all telemarketing calls. Also, be aware that political solicitations and calls from charities are not covered by the registry. However, if a third-party telemarketer calls on behalf of a charity, you may ask not to receive any more calls from that specific charity.
Complaints to the government on unsolicited phone calls are up significantly since the do-not-call registry was established. The best thing to do is either hang up or not return the call. Another option is to contact your phone provider and ask them to block the number, but be sure to ask if there’s a charge for that service. You may also want to report the incidents to the Federal Trade Commission and the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Question: As the owner of a small company, can I deny employment based on criminal convictions?
Answer: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advises businesses to assess a job candidate with a criminal history on the severity of his/her crime, and to give job applicants a chance to explain their background, taking into consideration references and rehabilitative efforts. They also suggest documenting in writing the justification for employment decisions made for those with criminal histories.

Question: What Illinois laws
govern the hunting of various
types of game?
Answer: Illinois law allows hunting of various types of game, including deer, turkey and small game such as squirrels. Waterfowl and doves are also considered fair game. All hunting in Illinois is subject to seasonal restrictions and specifications. Also, the proper Illinois hunting license must be obtained prior to any hunting activity. An applicant must have resided in the state for 30 days prior to submitting an application. Hunters born after January 1, 1980, must have completed the Hunter Education Course as provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Question: How can I be sure
that I am complying with all the
driving laws with regards to
texting and phoning?
Answer: In Illinois, there are numerous laws that restrict the use of cell phones while driving. Recently, the Governor signed three new laws that prohibit specific types of phone use while driving. One law bans most hand-held phone use within 500 feet of emergency scenes. Two other acts, which will go into effect January 1, 2013, contain similar bans on all roads for commercial drivers and for all drivers in construction and maintenance speed zones. Information about traffic laws can be found at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

Question: I have a serious issue with my latest credit report and am afraid that unless it is resolved, I will be denied credit altogether or be forced to pay higher interest rates. What are my options?
Answer: It’s good that you are aware of your credit history. Approximately 96 percent of free reports are unclaimed, according to some sources. If you disagree with some of the information it contains, you should request a correction in writing. If that action is unsuccessful, you may want to hire an attorney. A letter from an attorney can often get results.

Question: My grandchild is a huge fan of a certain pop star and has registered on his website. How can people be sure that the information those sites collect doesn’t violate the children’s privacy rule?
Answer: The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires operators of these sites to alert parents and obtain their consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information about children under age 13.

Question: May I deny visitation rights to my ex because he
stopped paying child support?
Answer: The non-payment of child support cannot be a factor in allowing or denying visitation. However, the failure to comply with a visitation court order is a criminal action and could subject the offending parent to a fine and possible jail time. Any parent who violates the child visitation agreement without cause, or falls behind inexplicably on payment of child support, could be held in contempt of court. Your best bet is to consult with an attorney.

Question: What is an employer’s responsibility with regards to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act?
Answer: Among an employer’s responsibilities, he or she must obtain compensation insurance, post a notice in each workplace that lists the insurance carrier and explains workers’ rights, keep records of work-related injuries, and report to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission any accidents involving more than three lost workdays.
Employers may not harass, discharge or refuse to rehire an employee for exercising his/her rights under the law. Finally, an employer may not charge the employee for workers’ compensation insurance premiums that the employer is required to pay. More information about workers’ compensation laws is available at http://www.iwcc.il.gov/

Question: With the holidays right around the corner, I’m thinking of buying some gifts at one of the online auction websites. What should I know?
Answer: While many online auction sites offer excellent deals, they are ripe for scams. Even if an auction site is legitimate, a seller on the site could take your money and never deliver the goods. Before making any purchases, visit the sites and familiarize yourself with how they operate. Talk to friends about the experiences they’ve had with different online auction houses.

Generally, the person who placed the highest bid for an item will be contacted by the seller to arrange payment and delivery. Most legitimate sellers will accept credit cards or use a third-party escrow agent for payment. Be cautious if a seller asks you to pay by check, money order or cash. If you become a victim of fraud, it will be extremely difficult to get your money back.

For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.

Editorial: Kaneland District, community make strides toward bully-free environment

At the Kaneland School Board meeting on Sept. 24, Kaneland parent and Elburn resident Leigh Ann Reusche read a letter on behalf of Knights Against Bullying (KAB), a self-described “group of concerned parents, teachers, former students, and community members coming together for the purpose of addressing the issue of bullying in our schools, and in our communities.”

In the letter, Reusche asked the School Board to implement five recommendations: make bullying prevention a priority; assign a prevention coordinator; form a task force; develop or adopt a comprehensive, multi-faceted district-wide plan; and implement, maintain and evaluate the plan.

It appears Kaneland was listening.

After meeting with KAB on Oct. 9, the school administration on Oct. 29 unveiled a district-distributed work update and response identifying bullying prevention as a goal in the Superintendent Plan of Work.

The plan also designates assignment of a prevention coordinator and gathering of a task force. Dr. Sarah Mumm, director of educational services K-5, and Erika Schlichter, director of educational services 6-12, will coordinate the work group revising the district’s current bullying prevention plan. Once revisions are finalized, focus will move to student services.

We applaud KAB and community members for having the courage to stand up and speaking out against a difficult issue like school bullying. Likewise, we applaud the Kaneland administration for having the good sense to listen to the community and work with KAB in order to move forward and hopefully put an end to the bullying issue in District 302. As School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said following the Sept. 24 meeting, “One bullied child is too many.”

We also ask that School Board members stick together, communicate with the administration and realize that board unity is absolutely essential when taking on a stubborn issue such as school bullying. After all, it’s probably counterproductive to point fingers and stare down members of the administration in attendance—tactics that could be considered bullying in their own right—while working to make the School District a safer institution for students.

Emotions can run high when it comes to troubling topics like bullying, but if School Board trustees and administration can stay the course and continue to work with the community, Kaneland School District will be a better place for students and parents alike.

Letter: Corn Boil Committee shares proceeds with local organizations

All the bills have been paid, the seed money for the 2012 event is banked, and the committee is pleased to share the proceeds with local organizations.

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee is proud to be able to give back $13,700 into the community after a successful event this summer. On Oct. 18, 2012, Corn Boil President Jean Lindsey presented the donations to a variety of community organizations. The Corn Boil meeting and presentation ceremony was held at the Sugar Grove Senior Center on Snow Street in Sugar Grove.

This year, we’re pleased to recognize and present a financial donation to the following organizations: Between Friends Food Pantry Big Rock Park District, Calvary West Church, Clown Ministry, Elburn Boy Scouts Troop No. 7, John Shields Elementary School, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Kaneland Drum Core, Kaneland First Responders, St. Katharine Drexel Church, Sugar Grove American Legion No. 127, Sugar Grove Community House, Sugar Grove Historical Society, Sugar Grove Lion Club Fireworks, Sugar Grove Park District, Sugar Grove Township Senior Center, Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, Sugar Grove Veteran’s Park, Village Bible Church of Sugar Grove and West Town Human Services Network.

The next Sugar Grove Corn Boil will mark the 46th anniversary of this annual event. Please support your community by helping to plan this special event in 2013. Beginning in January, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil meetings will be held the third Thursday of every month. The Corn Boil is a volunteer-run community event, featuring three family-friendly and fun-filled days.

For more information about the 2012 Corn Boil, visit www.sugargrovecornboil.org, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Fairel Rank
Fairel Anne Design, Ltd.

Editorial: Two ways to help

Become informed, then vote
Because the state of Illinois is considered safe for President Obama for the presidential election, there may be some who do not feel the need to vote on Election Day because either their vote “won’t count” or their candidate is already certain to win the state.

However, there are many reasons why everyone eligible to vote should still do so by Tuesday, Nov. 6.

While the vast majority of news is focused on presidential politics, the reality is that the presidential race represents two positions (president and vice president) within the same branch of the federal government. It does not address U.S. House or Senate races; it does not deal with state-level races; it does not deal with local races.

It can be argued that local politics matter a lot more to the daily lives of citizens than do presidential politics. The more local one gets, the more direct impact one will feel from those elected to office.

If you need to deal with the local court system in any way, you are impacted by the actions of local elected officials. If you have a county zoning question, or need help with information about a local issue, that help is provided by either a local elected official directly, or someone working for that official.

Most of the situations in which you interact with the “government” in your day-to-day lives, you are interacting either directly or indirectly with local elected officials. Even the broader, federal policies that are passed require the votes of local, elected officials.

Given that, no matter what your view is in regards to presidential politics, the importance of your vote can not be over-stated. At the county level, there are a number of offices that will be filled by a newcomer, no matter which candidate wins. In other local races, there are newcomers with fresh perspectives facing incumbents who want the chance to finish the work they’ve started.

You owe your community your time to become informed, as well as your time to vote. You do not even have to dedicate a portion of Election Day to the process, there are still opportunities to vote at your convenience before then.

The early voting period ends Saturday, Nov. 3, and the absentee voting period ends Monday, Nov. 5. The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

We are warm and safe; millions are not
The devastation from Hurricane Sandy is mind-boggling. As of Wednesday morning, dozens passed away, an unknown amount suffered injuries, millions remain without power, and economic loss estimates range from $10 billion to $50 billion.

The worst part of the situation is that it is still not over. Weather.com reported Wednesday that the storm is weakening, but also lingering, in the northeast. Meanwhile, a winter storm is taking control of the atmosphere, with an estimated three feet of snow dumped in certain locations that had just been battered by the hurricane. Additionally, arctic temperatures are flowing into the ravaged areas, many of which continue without power.

It is an awful situation, and you can help.

According to the American Red Cross, there is an immediate need for blood donations. Due to the scope of the storm, the organization said that 300 blood drives have already been cancelled, with more to occur in the future. This will put a strain on already-strained resources. Additionally, blood continues to be needed to help those injured from the storm itself.

Additionally, the Red Cross is asking for monetary donations, as those are the best, fastest ways to provide assistance to those in the storm-ravaged areas.

To find out how and where to donate, or how else you can help, visit redcross.org.

The worst of the storm has past, but the disaster will continue for some time, and help from those of us not affected by the disaster will prove vital to the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Letter: Supporting Pierog for Illinois Senate District 25

I am writing to encourage people in the Illinois Senate District 25 to vote for Corinne Pierog. Corinne is a resident of St. Charles and serves on the St. Charles School Board. She also is a local businesswoman, as well as the founder and president of Sustainable Leadership Solutions, a consulting company that advises nonprofits and government agencies on fundraising, management, economic development and executive transitioning.

As a School Board member, Corinne is of course an advocate for our schools, but as a businesswoman, she also knows what it’s like to start up a business. She understands the problems facing our economy. That’s why her main reason for running is to put people back to work. Some of her solutions include providing tax incentives for small businesses—not just large corporations—and providing help to schools, colleges and training facilities so they can better educate our residents for existing jobs and those of the future. She wants to bring manufacturing plants back to Illinois, and encourage research and development institutions to locate here.

Corinne is not a “politician.” She is a local businesswoman who wants to work to fix the problems in Springfield. She cares. That’s why I am giving her my vote.

Chuck Sutcliff
Yorkville

Letter: A loving thank you

A loving thank you to Deanna, Bob and Bailey Cates, and Kathryn and Herbert Moeckel, for making our 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 20, 2012, an unexpected surprise with loving memories that we will always cherish.

Also, a thank you to all who sent cards and wishes on our special day.

Charles and Joan Gregg
G-ma and G-pa, and many friends of
near and far
Elburn

Letter: In response to SG Board’s decision regarding video gaming

In response to the Sugar Grove Village Board’s decision to table video gaming, all I have to say is this: I am a veteran and a legionnaire, and we saved this country’s fanny. Now the board says we can’t have any enjoyment.

As far as gambling is concerned, very little of it goes on with these machines. However, they pay taxes. The establishment couldn’t pay the taxes if not for these machines.

If it wasn’t for us vets, you might not even have a country.

This decision will kill the Sugar Grove Legion. Now they won’t be able to pay their taxes.

Gilbert Nickels
Elburn

Letter: A thank you to Drew Frasz

I would like to take the time to publicly thank Kane County Board member Drew Frasz for his help and support of our community. I serve as a member of the Rob Roy Drainage District No. 2 in southern Kane County, as well as the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District’s Board of Trustees.

As an engaged member of our village, I have witnessed first-hand the tireless efforts of Drew as he helped our community solve a decade’s old water and drainage issue with the support of the Kane County Board and Water Resources Department.

Drew stood up for the “little guy,” the taxpayer, the members of our community.

I can think of no finer representative for the people of his district.

Thank you, Drew, for all of your help!

Michael J. Fagel
Sugar Grove

Guest Editorial: Kaneland Hall of Fame nomination

by Jeff Schuler, Kaneland Superintendent
To celebrate and commemorate the many accomplishments and achievements of Kaneland graduates, Kaneland District 302 has formed the Kaneland Hall of Fame. New Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted at the Academic Awards Ceremony in the auditorium on May 6, 2013.

All community members, staff and friends of Kaneland are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups for one of the Hall of Fame categories. The categories include:

1.) Service—Kaneland High School graduates who have contributed significantly to their community, state or country and have been out of school for at least ten (10) years.

2.) Personal Achievement—Kaneland graduates who have been honored or recognized by their college/university, profession or peers for their success and achievements and who have been out of school for at least 10 years.

3.) Extra Curriculars—Former extra-curricular participants in non-athletic or athletic activities who were recognized for excellence by their organization or team for at least two years. In addition, the participant(s) received honors in one or all of the following: All-Conference, District, Sectional, State or American. These nominees must have graduated from Kaneland High School and have been out of school for at least 10 years.

4.) Commitment—Past or present staff members who worked at Kaneland for a minimum of 10 years and who, through their employment at Kaneland, have demonstrated their deep commitment to Kaneland students, parents, and/or staff.

5.) Friend of Kaneland—Those who have given meritorious service to Kaneland and/or one or more of its schools for many years, or have been a loyal friend to Kaneland and/or one or more of its schools. Kaneland staff members are not excluded from this category. However, nominations of Kaneland staff members in this category shall be for something other than what they achieved as an employee.

6.) Athletic Teamwork—A Kaneland High School team or organization that demonstrated outstanding achievement, which may include record status or state recognition, at least 10 years prior to selection.

7.) Individual Athletic Achievement– Former athletic participants who were recognized for excellence by their organization or team. In addition, the participant(s) received honors in one or all of the following: All-Conference, District, Sectional, State or American. These nominees must have graduated from Kaneland High School and have been out of school for at least 10 years.

8.) Special Recognition—Any member of the community, alumni or staff member can submit names for nomination to the committee. The submission deadline date is Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. A nomination form can be obtained from Beth Sterkel at (630) 365-5111, ext. 109, or at www.kaneland.org/d302/hof.

Individuals making nominations should send the nomination form, resume and/or biography of the individual or group and their achievements or contributions to: Hall of Fame Committee Kaneland CUSD No. 302 47W326 Keslinger Road Maple Park, IL 60151

Editorial: Celebrate Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31

Looking for a great way to promote drug prevention in your community? Look no further than Red Ribbon Week, which will take place from Oct. 23-31.

This year will mark the 27th installment of Red Ribbon Week. The week-long celebration is the largest and longest-running drug prevention campaign in the United States, and urges teachers, parents, students and community members to wear red ribbons as a way to signify their commitment to raising awareness about the negative effects of drug use.

A contest in which kids promote awareness in neighborhoods and enter for a chance to win a $1,000 drug prevention grant for their schools or an iPad will also take place during Red Ribbon Week this year.

According to a Red Ribbon Week press release, this is how the contest works:
• Students must bring the Red Ribbon Week message home by working with parents to decorate their front door, mailbox, fence, etc., with this year’s theme, “The Best Me Is Drug Free.”
• Take a picture that includes both your family and the message, then upload the pic to www.redribbon.org/contest or www.facebook.com/RedRibbonWeek by Friday, Nov. 2 (must be over 18 years of age to upload photos).

• Let the voting begin. Feel free to ask family and friends to vote for your entry at www.redribbon.org/vote anytime from Nov. 2-16. There will be 10 winners from regions across the U.S. Winners will be announced in December.

“Students will once again take Red Ribbon Week’s message of prevention home to their neighborhoods with this national contest,” said Peggy Sapp, volunteer president of National Family Partnership. “By decorating their homes together with this year’s Red Ribbon theme, families carry the message to their communities.”

According to the press release, studies indicate that substance abuse risks lessen when parents talk to their children about the dangers of drugs, and that is the goal of this year’s contest: to encourage families to talk about prevention.

Red Ribbon Week is also in honor of former DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was abducted and murdered in Mexico in February 1985. In the words of DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, Camarena “made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe.”

The DEA will co-sponsor the national contest this year.

“Take the Red Ribbon Week pledge across America to help children grow up safe, healthy and drug free,” Sapp said.

Letter: Senate candidate Pierog supports tax relief

People today are struggling to find jobs, to pay bills, to keep their homes. When they are hit with high real estate taxes, it can put them under water. Many residents in District 25 are faced with this problem. They need relief.

Illinois is ranked as the seventh-highest property taxed state, and Kendall County is the 24th-highest taxed county in the nation. In order to address this tax burden, Illinois needs to rebalance the revenue it receives from property, sales and state income taxes. It also needs to look at ways to save tax dollars. One place to start: cut the number of taxing bodies within the state. Illinois has more local governmental units than any other state—6,994. This can lead to duplication of services and higher property tax bills.

However, the primary recipient of local property tax dollars is our public schools. There are over 800 school districts in Illinois, and 50 of them rely on the state for more than 60 percent of their funding. In 2013, lawmakers cut the level of the state’s contribution from 92 percent to only 89 percent of the $6,119 that is mandated per student.

Illinois ranks 49 out of 50 in its level of funding support for public education. Education funding can either support or slam the door on our residents’ economic futures. We’ve been promising to repair the way Illinois funds its schools for over a generation.

It is now time to live up to our pledge.

Corinne M. Pierog
Democratic candidate for Illinois State Senate District 25

Letter: Kentucky coroner supports Tao Martinez

This coming November, the citizens of Kane County have an important decision to make in determining whom they want to be their coroner.

The coroner’s position is not to be taken lightly; the coroner needs to be honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable and willing to learn. The coroner also needs to be understanding and compassionate. I have been a coroner in Kentucky for 20 years, (as well as) past president of Kentucky Coroner Association and regional director of Kentucky Mass Incident Response Team. I have dealt with Tao Martinez on a professional and personal level. I believe he has all the qualities it takes to make your county a great coroner. He has a wiliness to learn and a compassion for people that is second to none.

I endorse Tao Martinez for Kane County Coroner.

Mitchell Lee
Marshall County Coroner, Kentucky