Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Young players help KHS athletics

Kaneland High School is having a great year in sports for the athletics. The varsity football team nearly made it to state, and the varsity basketball squad is off to a hot start. I think this is a big part of Kaneland. Sports are all we have as far as I’m considered, and we need to dominate each team that we play against.

The varsity football team nearly made it to state with an All-Conference receiver in Blake Serpa, who has verbally committed to Central Michigan and led the Knights to victory in a majority of games. His teammates, Quinn Buschbacher, Joe Camiliere, Sean Carter and freshman wide receiver Daniel Helm playing up also helped lead the Knights to victory. Other players playing varsity as a freshman are Alex Snyder (offensive line) and Matt Rodriguez (kicker). I think it’s a big step from freshman to varsity, and the kids who stepped up as freshmen did a terrific job. As for basketball, Drew David and Daniel Helm are some of the many stars out there. Both players start as freshman and are paving the way for the Knights to have an outstanding season.

All in all, I think Kaeland has had a great 2010 sports season so far. They have played their hardest ball, and a lot of freshmen have been stepping up. I think it is important to have young kids on your team because having younger kids playing varsity will only make them better players in the long run. It is also a way to see who your leaders are out there on the court. If freshman are leaders as a freshman, they will make a great player/leader as they mature.

John Pruett
Freshman, Kaneland High School

Letter: Obama broke too many promises

As we have all constantly heard about, it’s been Barack Obama who is putting our country in a horrible situation. His promises to put money back in peoples’ wallets was a complete lie, along with his promises to bring our soldiers home in 16 months.

A huge controversy between the nation is about the health care system. He is causing stress and difficulties for the hardworking people trying to make a living by forcing them to pay higher taxes to cover the less fortunate. I’m not saying that poor people shouldn’t have the right to health care, I just don’t believe personally that our president should rely on wealthier people to cover them. As president, that should be his job, and the government as a whole.

I could sit here all day and name his broken promises, which is scary to think about. Obama is setting America back, and with his way of running things our childrens’ children will be paying for what he has done. He not only has put our country in an extreme amount of debt, but he also sets a bad example for everyone he’s poorly representing.

I hope for nothing more than Obama’s impeachment, because America cannot progress with him as president. It’s only a matter of time before enough people get fed up with his presidency. Obama did a great job at fooling people, but he didn’t fool me. He actually taught me what a president shouldn’t be.

Cheryl Gaston
Senior, Kaneland High School

Editorial: Long-term plan needed for Sugar Grove, Kaneland School District

Last week, we reported that the village of Sugar Grove voted to extend its Intergovernmental Agreement with the Kaneland School District for one year.

The agreement, which was set to expire in January, creates a scenario in which the village would charge a set of agreed-upon impact and transition fees to developers, collect them and then turn them over to the Kaneland School District. These fees exist to prevent current residents from subsidizing the costs of new growth. Because it can take up to 18 months for new growth to pay for itself, the fees are there to provide the funding that fills in that gap of time.

The key to this agreement is that every village within the district, of which there are many, complies with the same schedule of fees. If one of the villages fails to join the agreement, then the agreement may as well not exist, because incoming developers can play one village off the others to get the best deal. And if one of the villages chooses to be aggressive in that hypothetical competitive scenario, those school fees could ultimately be eliminated entirely.

To prevent that situation from occurring, Kaneland had reached a new agreement with every municipality other than Sugar Grove, before its officials pushed to reduce the impact fees—which go to “brick-and-mortar” activities—and eliminate the transition fees—which go toward school operations.

Rather than negotiate the new terms beyond the life of the current agreement, the parties agreed to extend the current agreement for one more year while they negotiate for the future.

We are glad to see that this compromise was reached, since having no agreement in place at all could prove disastrous to all School District residents in the future. For example, if Sugar Grove had reached an annexation agreement with a developer with no intergovernmental agreement in place at the time, the potential reduction or elimination of school fees would be in place for the life of that development. For many large-scale developments in the past, that could mean for as long as 10 years and hundreds of homes—as well as hundreds of new students—and current Kaneland residents would have to foot the bill to cover the 18-month gap.

While we are glad that this compromise was reached, we hope that during the upcoming negotiation on the new agreement, local officials refrain from sacrificing the long term in the hopes of gaining a short-term benefit.

From an economic standpoint, there are few thoughts more frustrating than the idea that as our local residents begin to emerge from our current economic doldrums, they suddenly get hit with new costs as they subsidize a new round of growth because there were not adequate impact fees to protect against it.

Letter: A thank you to everyone who helped the Kaneland football team

It has been a tradition to “feed the varsity football team” before each game for many years.

This year was no different. Thank you to all the senior parents who so eagerly signed up for each regular season week. During the postseason, we would like to thank the football coaches and all the varsity parents who helped out with food, drinks and desserts for the dinners.

A special thanks goes out to Elburn and Sugar Grove businesses for their contributions as well—Elburn Lions Club, Fireside Grille, Harner’s Bakery, Restaurant, & Catering, Open Range Grill, Papa G’s, Ream’s Elburn Market, Scarpacci’s Pizza, Schmidt’s and also the Kaneland boys basketball team.

Another special thank you to Mrs. Glad, who delivered “championship cookies” to the team for many weeks as well.

We would also like to thank Joe Kovalick of Ben’s Giant Pumpkins for carving a huge pumpkin with the Northern Big 12 East Conference Champions logo on it and bringing the pumpkin to all the postseason games.

A thank you also goes out to the cheerleaders for their support during the season and for decorating many store windows in support of the team. Thank you to the businesses for allowing them the opportunity to decorate.

A thank you to the Sports Boosters for the wonderful atmosphere at Bruce Peterson Field, and for their support of the team by providing buses for the players, cheerleaders and students to attend the Vernon Hills game.

Lastly, we would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the entire Kaneland School District, high school band, “rowdies” and community for their support, awesome game attendance and well wishes during this great season. Go Knights!

Tom Fedderly
Head Football Coach
2010 Kaneland Varsity Football Team

Letter: Firefighters Burn Fund not affiliated with SG Fire Department

The Sugar Grove Fire Protection Department has received information from concerned citizens that they have received a telephone solicitation from Firefighters Burn Fund asking for donations to their fund. This company indicates that your donation will directly benefit the Sugar Grove Fire Department.

The Sugar Grove Fire Department has no affiliation with this group and we receive no funding. If you are contacted by this company and they state they are representing the SGFD, we suggest you don’t commit to a donation and contact us at (630) 466-4513.

Marty Kunkel
Fire Chief
Sugar Grove Fire District

Letter: Illinois teacher benefits are a problem

My mother and father-in-law are both retired teachers from Michigan with 30 years of service, and they get life retirement from age 55 on. Plus, they get Social Security.

For your information, they only get 40 percent of pay. Chris Lauzen, our State Senator, told me recently that if Illinois could dial the benefits back to 45 percent of ending pay, we would have no unfunded liability and teachers could still retire at 55.

The entire financial problem of Illinois is that our teachers think they are twice as valuable as Michigan teachers. It isn’t enough that no one in the private employment arena has a benefit anywhere near as good as the Michigan teachers. Our folks want double.

JL MacKenzie
Kaneville

Guest Editorial: We need to do better working with our youth

Guest editorial
by Mark D. Hassakis
Mt. Vernon
President IL State Bar Association 2010-11

When I was inducted in June as president of the Illinois State Bar Association, I made a commitment to work closely with our association members to reform our woefully inadequate juvenile justice system. Sadly, our state spends far more annually to incarcerate youth (a staggering $100 million) than it does on youth prevention and intervention programming (a mere $3 million).

As we look towards the coming year, I propose a resolution to get serious about the problem of juvenile crime.

Illinois has two model programs that could be expanded. The Redeploy Illinois initiative receives state funds to provide comprehensive services to delinquent youth in their local communities. In the 23 counties which have Redeploy sites, it is working successfully, especially in St. Clair County where it has dramatically lowered the percentage of youths who are incarcerated. A relatively small increase in Redeploy funding could have a big impact.

The other state program is the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Initiative, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Some 66 percent of youths in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable psychiatric condition. Based on the program’s initial success—it grew from four to 34 counties—it should be expanded even further.

Shifting financial resources to community-based programming will be a real gift, not only to our youth but to our communities. It will produce better outcomes for youth in conflict, ultimately reduce the tax burden of incarcerating youth, and make our communities safer. It can be a win-win for everyone.

Letter: SG Village should take a cue

I am curious … I noticed in the Sugar Grove newsletter (December 2010) that the Village Offices are closed on the 23rd and the 26th for “Winter Holiday.”

Is it a coincidence that those holidays fall at the same time as our Lord’s birth? I think they call it “Christmas.”

Come on. Even Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sears, Wal-Mart and Target have given in trying to ignore the fact that it is the the birthday of Jesus. Why can’t our village?

Jim Pullano
Sugar Grove

Letter: Looking for lost letters

I am a teacher at Kaneland High School, and one of the projects I have my students participate is in writing a five-year letter. The students write a letter about themselves, their families, their goals and their present thoughts of their lives. I take the letters, put them away for five years and mail them back to the students to show them how much they have changed and developed.

I mailed off the letters for the sixth time this past November. Unfortunately, I have received some letters back. I was wondering if you would post an article to see if anyone knows where these people moved so I can forward these letters on to them.

The names of the students that I am looking for are: Alicia Stark, Zach Schoenberg, Cecily Seals, Kathryn Pickett, Lydia King, Courtnay Fiedler, Charles Kahl and Brittany Bradley.

If any of these people would still like their five-year letter or know where these people are, they can contact Judy W. Fabrizius at Kaneland High School by e-mailing jfabrizi@kaneland.org or calling (630) 365-5100.

Judy Fabrizius
Kaneland High School

Letter: Lazarus House provides shelter, hope

This past week, the Kane County Coroner’s Office officially declared the cause of a recent Geneva death a suicide. How sad that one of our neighbors could feel so hopeless that they would make the decision to end their life. Yet, as the economy continues to bottom out, many people are losing hope. What can we do as a community to help our neighbors who are suffering, often in silence?

First and foremost, we can create a culture of permission where it’s safe and comfortable to openly admit that all is not well. The best way to do that is for each of us to talk about how tough things are for everyone, and share a personal story about how you or someone you know has been affected by the economic downturn. If people hear that others are having difficulty too, they may be much more willing to share their story and be open to help.

Secondly, please talk about the fact that there is hope and help available in the community by calling the Lazarus House at (630) 587-5872) or the Salvation Army at (630) 377-2769. While we don’t have unlimited resources or all the answers, we do have access to some grant funding that may help people stay housed, and we know who to put folks in touch with to get help with things such as utility or prescription assistance. Many people in our community have never before had to ask for help, and so they are very embarrassed and don’t know where to turn. We need to help our neighbors know that their community understands and cares about them, and that their situation is not hopeless.

Should it not be possible for folks to stay in their housing, our neighbors need to know that Lazarus House is here to give them a safe, warm temporary home with good food and lots of support services that can help them get back on their feet. If they have children who are attending school in a neighboring school district (Geneva, Batavia, Kaneland, etc.), it is both a federal and state law that, once the family officially becomes homeless, the children can continue to attend their school, and the school districts are responsible for transporting the children door to door without cost to the family.

We must do all we can to assure that another of our neighbors doesn’t fall into despair and decide to end their life because they feel the situation is hopeless. Let us strengthen our resolve to work together as a community to care for one another, and please assist us in getting the word out that Lazarus House is here to help.

Darlene Marcusson
Executive Director
Lazarus House

Letter: Why civil unions now?

Nearly 10 percent of Illinois workers are unemployed, home foreclosures are at all-time historic highs. Our budget is unconstitutionally and catastrophically imbalanced, state pension plans are bankrupt, social services decimated, education on its knees. We are the “incompetence” laughingstock of government mismanagement with misplaced priorities … and Illinois one-party leadership spends our time on homosexual civil unions.

Some people now claim that Bill Brady lost the governor’s race because the opposition saddled him with social issues, despite his protests to the contrary that we should be first-and-only focused on jobs, the budget and restoring confidence. Yet, here we are forced to debate an issue that may be “political payback” to a small but politically powerful special interest group.

Several years ago, I offered representatives of the homosexual community to confirm that decisions made between loved ones, medical decisions, healthcare necessities, asset transfers upon death, etc. would be allowed under Illinois contract law and power-of-attorney statutes. I even offered to work on consolidating these statutes in one place so that they could be used more easily.

My offer was sincere and genuine. However, to this date years later, I have never heard back again from these representatives.

Perhaps this call for compassion and common sense middle-ground is really smoke screen and charade. The Chicago Sun-Times, which recommends civil unions as an “important step” to initiating homosexual marriage, reported on Nov. 10, 2010, “Of the 5 states plus D.C. that now allow (homosexual) marriage, four began with civil union laws.”

So, at the risk of some awkwardness and what many of our constituents should consider grossly misplaced priorities, we now engage in a conversation concerning the most basic questions about the “facts of life.” Yes, we end up talking about sex.

For those who don’t accept doctrine from thousands of years of religious tradition of “one man, one woman,” and for those who don’t accept the public health arguments confirmed by many CDC studies about the dangers of homosexual practices, let me confine my evaluation of civil unions and subsequent homosexual marriage to a natural law platform and ask the first question: Why does government have any valid reason to regulate emotional relationships among people?

It is true that marriage is, in part, an emotional union. And it is also true that spouses often take care of each other, thereby reducing the caregiving burden on other people. But neither of these truths is the fundamental reason for marriage. The reason marriage exists is that sexual intercourse between men and women regularly produces children. If intercourse did not naturally produce vulnerable children, who add to the population of a country, neither society nor government would have much reason, let alone a valid reason, to regulate people’s emotional unions.

Government does not regulate nonmarital friendships, no matter how intense they are. My goodness, if the purpose of marriage is to care for parents and siblings, to establish inheritance order, or provide hospital visitation procedures, why are we not regulating inter-family relations and calling them civil unions? No, what the institution and policy of marriage aims to regulate is the sex, not the love and commitment.

Marriage exists to solve the major challenge that arises from sexual intercourse between men and women, but not from sex between partners of the same gender; for example, what to do about its potential generation of vulnerable children. That does not mean that marriage is worthwhile only when it yields children—the law has never taken that view. What a healthy marriage culture does is encourages adults to arrange their lives so that as many children as possible are raised and nurtured by parents who have the greatest natural incentive and instincts to permanently protect them.

We wonder why there is so much chaos, pain, and even expense in our society for raising healthy children. Look at new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau showing the largest increase in poverty in U.S. recorded history. An additional 3.7 million Americans fell into poverty in 2009. Buried in this Census report are startling figures revealing the principal cause of child poverty is the collapse of marriage. Single-mother families are almost five times more likely to be poor than are married couples with children. Nearly 70 percent of poor families with children are headed by single parents and less than 8 percent of new single moms are under 18 years old.

Stop experimenting with traditional marriage. We are already deeply trapped in the consequences of poor individual choices and public policy decisions. Our focus must return to self-discipline, self-sacrifice and the exercise of traditional virtue.

Senator Chris Lauzen
25th District

Letter: SG Fire donation warning

The Sugar Grove Fire Protection Department has received information from concerned citizens that they have received a telephone solicitation from Firefighters Burn Fund asking for donations to their fund. This company indicates that your donation will directly benefit the Sugar Grove Fire Department.

The Sugar Grove Fire Department has no affiliation with this group and we receive no funding. If you are contacted by this company and they state they are representing the SGFD, we suggest you don’t commit to a donation and contact us at (630) 466-4513.

Marty Kunkel
Fire Chief
Sugar Grove Fire Protection District

Editorial: Kaneland communities kick off holiday season

For many, the Christmas holiday season starts right after Thanksgiving ends—for some, it begins barely after the tables have been cleared and the plates cleaned.

Yet, in our Kaneland communities, the season kicks off this weekend, when Elburn, Sugar Grove and Kaneville each feature their Christmas celebrations.

The first event is Elburn’s Christmas Stroll on Friday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. (see related story on page 1A). The event is held throughout town, with stops at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, the Town and Country Public Library, as well.

Highlights at the library include Santa and Mrs. Claus, with the Kaneland Madrigal Singers and others providing the entertainment. Downtown, businesses will offer various treats and activities for families, including the annual Kandyland at the Elburn Herald office. The community center will play host to a variety of activities, including a Christmas Tree Auction that will provide bidders a chance to support the community center and take home a pre-decorated tree or wreath.

The following morning, the village of Sugar Grove will kick off its Holiday in the Grove event at 7:15 a.m. with a Breakfast with Santa at the Community House. Events will be held throughout the day at the Community House, Kaneland John Shields Elementary School and the Sugar Grove Public Library.

Santa will be busy in the Kaneland area that day, as he will also appear at the fire barn in Kaneville as part of the village’s holiday festivities also on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Between events at the Kaneville United Methodist Church, the community center, fire barn and the library, there will be plenty of holiday fun to be had throughout town starting at 9 a.m.

Each of our towns will kick off their holiday season with a group of events to bring our communities together, and we urge each of you to recognize that if you live in one of the Kaneland communities, you belong to a broader community than just your own. So, if you are a Kaneville resident, we hope to see you at the Elburn Christmas Stroll. And if you are from Elburn, we hope to see you the next day in Sugar Grove and Kaneville.

As the Kaneland community’s hometown newspaper, we believe these types of events are essential in helping build relationships within individual communities, as well as between the communities that call Kaneland home.

Letter: Thanks to RF Houtz & Son

Hi from a very snowy northwest Ontario, Canada.

I am just leaving this quick note to thank one of your local business outlets. This company went out of its way to help me with a problem with my Cub Cadet Yanmar tractor.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to RF Houtz & Son. They are a credit to your community and set a fantastic example of customer service, even though that customer is hundreds of miles away.

Thanks, Rob, for all your hard work.

Gary Turner
Ontario, Canada

Letter: Veteran says “thanks” to local Daisy Girl Scout Troop

On Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010, I had the honor of participating in the Elburn American Legion’s Annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony at the Veteran’s Park in the village. Following the ceremony, a young girl came up to me and other veterans and presented us with beautifully decorated cards, thanking us for our military service. I was very touched to have received the card and wish to express my sincere thanks to her and the other girls of Daisy Girl Scout Troop 4387, serving Virgil, Elburn, Maple Park and surrounding communities.

Robert J. Britz
Law Firm of Ottosen, Britz, Kelly,
Cooper & Gilbert, Ltd, Elburn.

Letter: A ‘thank you’ from Kaneland Youth Soccer

As the Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization (KYSO) Fall Soccer Season has come to a close, on behalf of the KYSO Board Of Directors, I would like to send out a big thank you to all of the individuals who helped make this season a success.

First, we could not have a program without our dedicated players who come out week after week in the rain, wind, and often times, unfavorable conditions to practice and play weekly games. Our players not only brave the elements, but also play with a lot of heart and soul each week.

It is all worthwhile when you can see the teams grow throughout the season, going from virtual strangers to well-oiled machines by the last game of the season. This would not be possible if we didn’t have the amazing group of volunteers that we have had this season. The KYSO went out on a limb by implementing, for the first time, a volunteer fee at the beginning of the season. As volunteers stepped up to the many volunteer opportunities the organization provided, parents took the challenge and went above and beyond the expectations the board had at the start of this new program.

Our volunteer coaches, as always, did an amazing job teaching soccer skills to the kids, along with teamwork and positive attitudes in regards to winning and losing the games. Parents went above and beyond by not only getting their players to the fields each week, but helped by doing a lot of dirty work, including striping the fields each week, painting and organizing the storage shed, breaking down equipment bags and first aid kits, as well as preparing for the spring session by making and handing out flyers.

The final group of volunteers that deserve special recognition is the KYSO Board of Directors. This group of men and women have dedicated themselves to turning this organization into the fantastic program that it has become. The program serves so many needs of the community by providing a quality soccer program to youth ages 4 to 17, the TOPS program serving special needs players, and travel teams that offer programming to players looking for a bigger challenge.

A last and final thanks to Hill’s Country Store who provides a concession stand each Saturday. Coffee and snacks on those cold and windy mornings sure takes the edge off for many of us parents.

Thank you from the KYSO board and all of the volunteers once again for a very successful fall soccer season 2010. It could not have been a success without everyone working together.

Michelle Moser
Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization
Director of Publicity

Letter: Fire Department supports Elburn Food Pantry

This holiday season, the Elburn and Countryside Fire Department will once again be collecting canned foods and other nonperishable items to be donated to the Elburn Food Pantry.

We encourage anyone who is able, when you might be driving by, to stop in and leave something for someone less fortunate this holiday season. If you aren’t able to stop in, give us a call at Station 1, (630) 365-6855, and we will pick up your donation for you. Thank you in advance for your continued help in taking care of our community.

Matt Hanson
Elburn Fire Department

Editorial: Community leaders need to agree on a school fee structure

Residents within the Kaneland community may face additional financial pressures once the struggling economy begins to ease up if our local leaders fail to reach a consensus by Jan. 1, 2011.

That is the date the existing intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between Kaneland and the nine municipalities within it—Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park, Kaneville, Montgomery, Aurora, North Aurora, Virgil and Cortland—is set to expire.

The IGA establishes a fee schedule of impact, transition, and land-cash fees that the municipalities agree to charge developers when new growth comes into the School District.

The idea behind the fees is to develop a way for residential growth to pay for itself.

Because Illinois school districts are funded primarily with local property taxes, and because Illinois property taxes are paid in arrears (at the end of the tax year, as opposed to the beginning), there is a significant delay between when new growth occurs and when the property taxes from that new growth make it to the School District.

The impact, transition and land-cash fees are designed to provide the funding to fill in that gap, without asking the current residents to subsidize the incoming ones.

With Kaneland being among the geographically largest school districts in Illinois, and much of that land being undeveloped farmland, there is potential for high volumes of growth as the economy begins to improve. Our area already experienced this in the 1990s and early 2000s, when our population doubled multiple times and our region was among the fastest-growing in the nation.

If no mechanism is in place for growth to pay for its own way, current Kaneland residents will be hit with higher-tax pressures to pay for new growth at the very moment that the light at the end of the tunnel is upon us.

The IGA was on the verge of being extended for another three years until last week. Prior to that, Kaneland had reached agreement with all municipalities except for Sugar Grove. At the Nov. 16 Sugar Grove Village Board meeting, Sugar Grove released a revised version of the IGA, which essentially cut the impact fees in half and reduced the transition fees to zero. Sugar Grove’s trustees decided to hold off on a decision on the IGA until a consensus could be built.

The difficult thing for those not in Sugar Grove to understand, us being included in that list, is that the only thing that prevented a consensus on the originally proposed IGA was the village of Sugar Grove.

Clearly, Sugar Grove’s leadership seeks residential growth as a way to draw in commercial growth, which would strengthen the community’s tax base and ultimately reduce the property tax pressures on its residents. With the economy struggling, they feel there is a need to provide incentives to prospective developers, and among those incentives would be a reduced school fee table.

While there are elements to Sugar Grove’s philosophy that may appear logically sound, the element its leadership is either not recognizing or disregarding is that if the school fees are significantly reduced or eliminated, current residents will feel more fiscal pressure. In effect, they would be subsidizing new residential growth until enough of it occurs to draw in suitable commercial growth, which is designed to ease the very fiscal pressure made worse by the plan.

In other words, the cure is potentially worse than the disease.

No one expects everyone to blindly sign off on every proposed agreement for the sake of solidarity. However, our community should be able to expect its leaders to work together and find a way to prevent current residents from being forced to subsidize new ones.

The deadline is Jan. 1. We urge our community leaders to make something happen before then.

Letter: Dr. Rob used ‘Hogfan’ funds for new treatment

I just wanted to let you know that we went to Ohio to give the check to Dr. Rob this weekend.

We found out that with only $2,800 of last year’s donation, he and another research scientist were able to combine some drugs that they thought might work to destroy tumors caused by PTLD, which is caused by the virus Jason had, and it worked in eight patients so far. They all only had a couple of months to live, and the new treatment worked in all of them, and they are all cured; no sign of recurring tumors—they are totally cancer free.

Dr. Rob told us that they were able to submit this as a new treatment for PTLD of the brain, and it will be in all the medical/oncology journals around the world, and he put that this was the result of a donation by The Friends of Jason Gould Foundation of Illinois.

So if you donated, you just saved eight lives this year, with many more to follow. This is just amazing to think that even though we are not major donators, as an independent foundation, he is able to use our money to create treatments that would not otherwise have been done because of cancer-funding cutbacks. In other words, this is beyond our wildest dreams. We are saving lives that are someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, wife, husband, etc.

All four of us that went were simply awestruck by the brilliance of these researchers. They have created so many new cancer treatment protocols at Ohio, and Dr. Rob has a brilliant future—and we helped.

Every single dollar that we raised went to him, and he has already discovered some other new treatments in addition to the PTLD (lymphoma) vaccine going to clinical trials soon.

We need to do this for him. I had no idea how directly and immediately our donations were saving people’s lives. We need to continue on. We need more people to come forward to help, to donate, whatever, this year. Please consider helping on any level. Join the committee, be a volunteer at the Hogfan Party on Sept. 10, donate $10, $20 or any amount this year. We need you.

Jason would be thrilled.

Sandy Gould
Friends of Jason Gould Foundation
Oswego

Letter: Elburn Leos invite community to fight hunger

The Elburn Leo Club is inviting all community residents to participate in a food drive on
Sunday, Dec. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon at Elburn Lions Community Park, 500 Filmore St., in conjunction with their annual Breakfast with Santa.

This event is part of the Relieving the Hunger Campaign, a Leo Club global campaign taking place during the months of December and January that focuses on hunger and malnutrition.

Leos everywhere share a common belief: community is what we make it. During the Relieving the Hunger campaign, Leos are fighting hunger in their communities, while raising awareness of this global problem. Over one billion people do not get enough food to be healthy. Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger, and many hunger relief organizations are finding it difficult to keep up with demand.

For the Elburn Leos, organizing this project gives us a chance to help families in our community who don’t have enough to eat or can’t afford to buy nutritious food giving us the opportunity to build a stronger, healthier community.

The Elburn Leos challenge you to help your community by collecting non-perishable food items, paper and personal hygiene products from now until the date of the food drive. From Nov. 27 through Dec. 5, a drop box will be available for your convenience at Jewel Osco in Elburn. You can purchase an item at Jewel and leave it in the drop box labeled for the Elburn Leo Club Food Drive.

You could also consider organizing your neighbors, family and friends or ask your employer if you can place a box out at work, label it for donations for the Leo Club Food Drive and drop off all you have collected on Dec. 5 at Elburn Lions Park. All items donated will benefit the Elburn Food Pantry.

In addition to the club’s upcoming Relieving the Hunger service event, the club will host a Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves will be mingling with the guests and chatting with the children about their Christmas wishes. Bring your camera and take home a memory.

All-you-can-eat pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, orange juice, coffee and milk will be available. Cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and younger.

The proceeds from this event will benefit Elburn Leos Charities.

Leo clubs are groups of boys and girls ranging in age from 12 years to 18 years old who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Elburn Leo Club, please contact Pam Hall at (630) 365-2620 or pamh@elburnlions.com

Check out our website at www.elburnlions.com and get involved in helping your community.

Pam Hall
Elburn Leo Club Advisor

Letter: Thank you for supporting Blackberry Creek Fun Fair

We would like to thank all the people who attended and helped make our third annual Blackberry Creek Fun Fair and raffle a success.

The Fun Fair and raffle came about because we wanted to combine our fundraising efforts with a community-wide event that families and kids would enjoy. We want to thank our numerous volunteers; parents, grandparents, teachers, school staff, all the middle school helpers, Girl and Boy Scouts.

We also want to express our sincere appreciation to our local businesses who donated prizes and goods: Paisano’s Pizza, Bryan Cicchon DDS of Randall Ridge Dental, Cici’s, Delnor Health and Wellness, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fresh Market, Froots, Hair Cuttery, Hill’s Country Store, Jewel-Osco, McDonalds, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Sandy’s Air Conditioning and Heat, Shady Hill, Subway, Target, Town and Country Library, Vertical Endeavors and Walgreens. We hope you will support these businesses as they have supported us.

Thanks for bringing the community together,
Tracy Healy, Robynn Pawlak,
and Cindy Stair
Elburn

Letter: Thank you, Kaneland community

I would like to take this opportunity to thank friends throughout the Kaneland community for answering the call to help the Between Friends Food Pantry.

After hearing of the ever-expanding need that the pantry has been experiencing, I posed a “Thanksgiving Meal Mail-in Challenge.” The response was tremendous.

Between various Facebook and e-mail friends, we were able to generate over $1,500 in two weeks time. Congrats to all.

I cannot list everyone in this note, but please know how important your contributions have been. When turning in the funds, I became aware that the Thanksgiving Meal needs had increased to nearly 60. I hope that everyone will continue to assist the local food pantries with donations of non-perishable food items, household items such as toilet paper, diapers, shampoo, etc., and most of all, cash donations. The cash donations allow them greater spending capacity at the food bank.

I will continue to accept any donations that are mailed to me, and they will be reserved for Christmas dinners for the families. We have crossed the first hurdle of the holidays with the Thanksgiving Meal, let’s continue to support our families throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Mari Johnson
Sugar Grove

Guest Editorial: The Illinois Freedom of (Some) Information Act?

by Emily Miller
How quickly we forget.

In the wake of scandal and corruption at the highest levels of government, Illinois lawmakers passed a law in 2009 bolstering the Freedom of Information Act—a move designed to give everyday people access to important government information.

This year, however, lawmakers are having second thoughts and are trying to whittle away at this newly arrived accountability era by making it more difficult for the public to root out mismanagement, waste and corruption.

There’s no more glaring example of legislative backsliding than HB 5154, a measure passed by both the House and Senate last spring that flies in the face of reformers’ efforts to make Illinois government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers.

If the measure passes, the public will no longer have access to government employee performance reviews. This proposed law prevents government watchdog groups like the Better Government Association and the ACLU, along with investigative news teams, from accessing vital records that indicate whether Illinois is demanding the highest level of performance from its public servants.

Access to information about how our government spends our money is vital to uncovering waste and misconduct. Arguments to conceal performance evaluations hinge on fears that making those evaluations public will discourage managers from giving honest evaluations, or that the evaluation process will be used as a method of public humiliation to retaliate against unwanted employees. But these reasons only highlight the dysfunction of our personnel system, and do not speak to the legitimacy of the peoples’ right to access information about their government.

If the government gets to pick and choose, taxpayers will never know what’s really going on behind the curtain. Exempting performance evaluations from the sunlight of transparency does not serve the public good.

Gov. Quinn had the chance to veto the bill entirely, putting the public’s right to know how its tax dollars are spent first, but he did not. Instead, he used a legislative maneuver that sends the bill, with an amendment, back to the General Assembly to be heard next week.

No amendment could make this bill work for the public good.

We urge lawmakers to vote no on HB 5154 as it makes its way back through the General Assembly during the upcoming veto session.

Emily Miller is the Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator for the Better Government Association.

Letter: SG drainage project meeting

Dear residents of Mallard Point, Rolling Oaks and other interested parties.

A meeting concerning the drainage project in the Mallard Point/Rolling Oaks and adjacent areas will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Fire Department, 25 S. Municipal Drive. All residents and other interested parties are welcome to attend. This meeting will be hosted by Kane County, the Rob Roy Drainage District and the village of Sugar Grove. Mr. Paul M. Schuch, P.E., Director of the Kane County Water Resources Division, will facilitate the meeting. 

The preliminary agenda for this meeting is to share information on the existing drainage, the proposed drainage improvements, preliminary costs, Kane County Recovery Zone Bond Program and the proposed next steps. After the presentation, questions from the audience will be allowed. I will send a reminder along with the final agenda closer to the meeting date. 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Cynthia L. Galbreath
Sugar Grove Village Clerk

Letter: Fair and balanced?

Conspiracy: a plan agreed on; planning and acting together for a harmful purpose. The big radio and TV stations pulled it off better than I have ever seen before. Until you got to the polls, most voters didn’t even know it was a four-way race for the U.S. Senate seat. The missing news story was that the Libertarian Party was on the ballot. Total blackouts do not happen by accident.

The supposedly conservative talking heads on the radio do a good job in keeping, the public abreast of their liberal competitors decline in listeners and readership. This last election, though, has me wondering if they really deserve their ratings. Are they really conservative or just another bunch of Republican rinos (Republicans in name only)?

How do you overcome the Internet? Controlled knowledge. The party name and candidate could not be mentioned for fear a listener might check out their website. Even after the polls closed, recognition of the fourth party was omitted in reporting the election results. The Republicans were desperate to elect Mark Kirk. Both parties worked to keep the Libertarian Party from obtaining permanency on the ballot.

“Fair and balanced” news coverage was exposed as a fraud, just a slogan to fool listeners. To be fair, there were others that cooperated in this conspiracy of silence. Some pro-life groups remained silent for fear of hurting the election of a a Republican to the Senate, a man they openly despise. The Illinois Rifle Association endorsed a write-in candidate who was not even eligible to be on the ballot. Their commitment to the Second Amendment needs to be investigated. This is not a first-time offense for the IRA. And who got to the Tea Party? I thought it was the economy, stupid.

The conspiracy of silence was a success. Who was hurt by it? The public, the voters. Morality and the Constitution were also big losers in the Senate race. Tuning out the major media outlets won’t be so hard to do. There is nothing to be learned from those we cannot trust.

Joan Solms
Aurora

Letter: Thank you, residents of the 14th Congressional District

To the voters:

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support. Over the last 14 months, I have worked hard to spread my message of fiscal sanity, and the Nov. 2 victory was a testament to America’s desire for a return to prosperity and an enduring belief in freedom and limited government.

But I couldn’t have done it without the people of the 14th District; I am truly in awe of the incredible outpouring of support my family and I received during the campaign. This victory was my supporters’ even more than it was mine. They believed in what I stood for, and they fought hard for it. I remain amazed by the countless people who volunteered who had never been politically active before. People like these constantly reminded me how important this election was for the future of our nation.

I will never lose sight of the fact that all of you, the residents of the 14th District, are my boss, and this is your Congressional seat. I look forward to working for all of you, and I will always listen to you. Public service is a sacred trust, and I will always expect to be held accountable.

Randy Hultgren
Congressman-elect, 14th District

Letter: How do you thank an entire county?

During my judicial campaign, I met thousands of residents, and I was overwhelmed with the warm reception I received.

Tens of thousands voted for me on Election Day. Hundreds volunteered their time. Many more donated directly to the campaign—in the midst of a terrible recession. Nearly 100 endorsed me. How does one ever repay that?

If I live to be 100, I will never forget the outpouring of support I received from friends, neighbors and total strangers. I will remember forever the 65 folks that served on my committee, the folks that put 100 car magnets on their cars, put 1,700 yard signs (some as big as eight feet long) in their front yards, sent out 6,000 friend-to-friend postcards, wrote letters to the editor, hosted or attended coffees, hosted or attended fundraisers, phone banked two nights a week, helped produce our TV commercial or the YouTube videos, helped build our parade float, performed on our float or marched with us in parades, canvassed for us, wore one of the 1,000 buttons or 250 T-shirts, used e-mail or social media to help get the word out, put me on the radio, helped me install or take down signs, invited me to speak to their club or group, or simply voted for me.

So many people did so much for me over the course of the past year and a half that I’m sure I’m not even listing all the myriad ways in which they expressed their support. Rest assured that everything done was appreciated. Deeply appreciated.

I’m an optimist. I believe the only thing in the world of lasting value is human relationships. During the course of the campaign, even though we got less votes than the opposition, I made countless new friends and deepened my relationship with countless current friends. As far as I’m concerned, that makes me a winner. If you see me on the street, at the store or around town, give me a holler. I’d like to collect more of my winnings.

John G. Dalton
Candidate
16th Circuit Court Judge

Letter: Zonta Club raises funds to advance the status of women

The women of the Zonta Club of St. Charles-Geneva-Batavia and Zonta West-Illinois held their annual fundraising auction, Helping Women Bloom, on Nov. 9 at Prairie Landing Golf Club in West Chicago and raised more than $23,000.

The evening featured silent auction items with 75 wonderful gift baskets, as well as a plated dinner. The 130 guests were treated to a wonderful presentation by each of the Tri-city mayors: Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, St. Charles Mayor Don DeWitte and Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, with each mayor auctioning a basket they donated to the club from their respective cities, and also offering opportunities for local kids to dine with the mayor and ride to school on a fire truck. The ladies of Zonta wish to extend a very heartfelt thank you to Mayors Burns, DeWitte and Schielke for their enthusiastic participation and support.

Thank you so much to sponsors, guests and fellow Zontians. Proceeds from this event enables Zonta to provide scholarships to women and girls in the Fox Valley community and to support local service organizations.

For more information, contact Christie Plotzke at (847) 931-2292 or visit www.zontawest-sgb.org.

Christie Plotzke
Elgin

Letter: Legion Auxiliary thanks supper attendees

The Elburn American Legion Auxiliary Unit 630 would like to thank everyone who attended the American Legion Auxiliary spaghetti supper Oct. 21. We appreciate your loyalty and support for out fundraising dinner.

Many thanks to the members who worked and/or donated desserts, and 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 spring.

Cara Bartel, treasurer
Elburn American Legion
Auxiliary No. 630

Letter: Thank you Sugar Grove blood donors

You answered someone’s need through your much-needed blood donations on Sept. 13. A huge thank you for a successful blood drive to the Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, the Sugar Grove Fire Department, the Heartland Blood Center staff and all of our extra volunteers.

A special thank you to our awesome donors: Jane Alabastro, Debbie Booton, Heather Brasch, Samantha Burrows, Charles Crisci, Gina Cumiskey, Efrain Davila, Patricia Davis, Jim Eckert, Ed Fowler, Aaron Frasz, Shelby Fredericksen, Melissa Gooch, Mark Goress, Robert Haglund, George Hannemann, Anna Henricks, Mike Janco, Kelly Janulis, Laura Keske, Ben Kramp, James Magnuson, Sally McClellan, Janelle McCornack, Suzanne McCracken, Margaret Metzger, Sean Michels, Nancy Mickelson, Joe Miller, Brandon Mires, Marisa Tenoria-Mires, Millie Molitor, Russell Molitor, Darin Norman, Erin Novotny, Luke Ressler, Judy Rios, Kelly Ryan, Brian Schiber, Damon Schultz, Albert “Bo” Smith, Jake Smith, Andrea Strobert, Colby Suits, Renee Tonioni, Michael Tovrea, Linda Wray, Sherry Young, James Zablock and Scott Zaeske.

We deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove blood drive is scheduled for Monday, March 7, 2011.

Joy Rubo
Blood drive coordinator
Sugar Grove

Letter: Newly elected circuit judge thanks supporters

I am humbled and honored that you, the people, have selected me to serve you as your Resident Circuit Judge for Kane County. My earnest prayer is that I will always be worthy of the trust that you, the people, have placed with me.

I want to thank my very loyal family and friends that have helped me so long and often, and to all of you who have supported me in my campaign for Circuit Judge and my previous campaigns. My life has been richly blessed with associations with good people that I have served with and that have helped me along the way.

I always felt it was the measure of a person to pick themselves up after loss and adversity. I am truly glad my family, friends and supporters stuck with me, even in defeat. I will always retain the memories of the wonderful help I received in my efforts for election, both successful and otherwise, and I am glad to win this last one for them.

Thanks again to all those that have allowed me to fulfill one of my dreams.

David Akemann
Elgin, Ill.

Guest Editorial: Illinoisans among those willing to march to the sound of the guns for our country

Guest Editorial by
William L. Enyart
Major General
The Adjutant General of the
Illinois National Guard

First Sgt. Johannes S. Anderson ran into enemy fire—his boots kicking up dirt, bullets whizzing by his body, heart pounding, sweat pouring out. But the 33rd Infantry Division soldier had to stop the machine gun that was killing his men. He leaped into the machine gun nest, killed the German crew, captured the weapon, and turned on the enemy. He returned to his wide-eyed troops with 23 prisoners of war.

Anderson received the Congressional Medal of Honor for those actions on Oct. 8, 1918, near Consenvoye, France. A little over a year later, in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first Veterans Day as Nov. 11. We celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, a war that was fought primarily by the National Guard.

The scope of our Veterans Day observance has changed, from remembering the dead from one war to a day in which American veterans from all wars could be honored. Since 1636, the National Guard has been protecting our communities from both enemies and natural disasters. We were the Minutemen that fought in the Revolutionary War and the citizen soldiers that fought in every major national conflict since.

This Veterans Day, our nation has been at war for the past nine years. We defend our freedoms from terrorism. We honor and celebrate veteran’s service in past conflicts, and recognize today’s warriors.

The Illinois National Guard has nearly 1,000 soldiers and airmen deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Sinai, Egypt. We also have approximately 3,000 soldiers that returned from Afghanistan last fall who were part of the largest overseas deployment from Illinois since World War II. Eighteen of those soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice.

Since Sept. 11, 34 Illinois National Guard members have given their lives in defense of this nation. Overall, Illinois has lost 261 servicemembers since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This country has been blessed with citizens who have taken their civic responsibility seriously and have taken up arms and marched to the sound of the guns. First Sgt. Anderson, whose Congressional Medal of Honor now resides in the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield, is part of a proud tradition of service that has protected this nation, its communities and its citizens for hundreds of years.