Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Thank you for participating in our Memorial Day services

The Maple Park American Legion would like to thank the Kaneland High School band, under the direction of Aaron Puckett, for participating in our Memorial Day services on May 31. As usual, the band performed flawlessly and added a special touch to the services. Thank you also to our guest speakers, Paul Gardner and Patricia Kahl. Their thoughts were both sobering and thought-provoking and very appropriate for a Memorial Day service honoring fallen veterans.
Commander Bob Neisendorf
Maple Park American Legion Post 312

Editorial: Time more valuable than money

With the economy continuing to struggle, and state and local governments falling further into debt, budgets are tight to the point of breaking for most people and organizations.

One local organization that is not struggling financially is Elburn Baseball and Softball. Yet, the group that includes approximately 400 children and 34 teams, may still fold next year due to lack of community support—not financial support, but volunteer support.

The type of support that is free to give but invaluable to those benefitting from their time and effort.

Elburn Baseball and Softball Board member Pete LaSalle submitted a letter to the editor to the Elburn Herald—the same letter the board sent to the parents of the children in the program.

The letter stated that due to extremely low parent volunteerism, the organization will be without many key positions when the current crop of volunteers’ positions end, with no volunteers in place to replace them. Those current vacant positions include president, vice president, field maintenance coordinator, concessions coordinator, registrar, and arbiter (the individual who reschedules rainouts).

According to LaSalle, the group has enough money, equipment, coaches and fields. What it lacks is the group of people dedicated to working behind the scenes to help ensure the organization not only runs effectively, but even runs at all.

LaSalle wrote that the group begins organizing for the next season in August or September. If there continues to be no volunteers willing to step up, the league will fold.

Its next league meeting is Thursday, July 1, at 7 p.m. at the Town and Country Public Library. If you can’t attend that meeting, contact the league through its website at www.elburn.com/baseball.

We hope that enough volunteers step up to allow this league to continue to grow and give local children a place to play and learn how to function as a team.

Given the economy, we could certainly understand how a league might have to fold due to insufficient funds. For Elburn Baseball and Softball, that is not the case. It is much more difficult to understand if it has to fold due to insufficient volunteerism—something that only costs time to give.

Between the two—time and money—the one that is free also is the one that has more value.

Letter: To all Elburn Baseball and Softball families

Our community baseball and softball league has come upon some sad times.

As of July 20, 2010, we are without a president, vice president, field maintenance coordinator, concessions coordinator, registrar, arbiter (reschedules rainouts), to name just a few.

This year, we had 34 teams, approximately 400 boys and girls, and a skeleton crew of about 10 or so of the same people running our program. These few people consistently execute their appointed duties (plus take on numerous others due to lack of involvement) to give our community’s kids a great league to play in year after year.

Since these people have kids aging out of our program, they will not be returning to help us out for next year. We have continually asked for help through e-mails and at our meetings this past year-and-a-half, but to no avail. It is up to the people in this community who still have kids in the program to step up and help us continue and improve upon the foundation left to us by these and past individuals.

Elburn Baseball and Softball has enough means, equipment, coaches and fields to have another successful season next year, but without any behind-the-scenes people, there will not be any baseball and softball in Elburn for 2011.

The few of us that are left have already made the decision to fold the league entirely for 2011 if we cannot get enough involvement by the community soon. We typically start organizing for the next season in August/September.

If there are not people to do this, next season will not happen. This will be a big let down for all of our kids in Elburn and other neighboring towns who look at us as the example.

We will be holding our next league meeting on Thursday, July 1, at 7 p.m. at the Town and Country Public Library in Elburn. Please make the effort for our kids now so they can play ball later. If you would like to help in any way, please contact the league or contact any of the remaining board members on our website, www.elburn.com/baseball.

Thank you to everyone who has put time in this and past years to make our program what it is today. We can only hope that the community responds and is willing to help us support what you have done and let it continue for another season.

Pete LaSalle
Elburn Baseball & Softball board
www.elburn.com/baseball
elburnbaseball@yahoo.com

Letter: Scout Pack 107

Thanks to Elburn’s Scout Pack 107, downtown Elburn is beautiful for the spring and summer seasons once more.

On May 6, Den Leader Tracy Leach, Assistant Den Leader Brian Blad, and a number of parents led Wolf Den 11 in filling the potters at the business fronts of downtown Elburn. This pack includes David Bradbury, Parker LaSalle, Zachary Beatty, Evan Blad, Hans Griesinger, and Michael Hardy.

These potters are now filled with a variety of flowers and greenery which were made available to us through a generous discount from our friends at Wasco Nursery. We also received a much appreciated supply of soil and mulch from Kane County Landscape Material & Supply. These two businesses were very helpful and patient with us as we ran to them in our last-minute hour of need.

Big Thanks to Elburn Hill Church, who generously donated several perennials. Also, a huge thank you to Kristen Damolaris of American Bank and Trust and Stacy Ashton of A Salon for planting around the flagpole at North and First streets.

Potters are still available for adoption. Please contact Tracy Leach with Produce This! at (630) 913-3229 for more information regarding Adopt-A-Pot volunteering. Tracy will be heading up the Community Outreach Committee.

Again, thanks to the members and parents of Wolf Den 11, Elburn Hill Church, Wasco Nursery, and Kane Country Landscape for all of their donated time, hard work, and generosity.

Jessica Impson
Administrator
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Letter: Another oil-drilling prediction

A few months ago, I wrote an article in regard to global warming. I strongly suggested that promoting off shore oil drilling was not smart, and we were headed for a catastrophe.

Well, I have another prediction. We will get a lot of finger pointing and the taxpayers will pay, not only environmentally but at the pump. Our government will reassure us that this will never happen again, but again off shore drilling will continue. Once again, they will sell out to the oil industry for 30 pieces of silver.

This is what I would like to see: BP pays for all of the destruction to our environment and livelihoods. Secondly, BP, Trans Ocean, and Haliburton should be required by law to purchase and install a solar panel on every roof in this country.

I would also like to make one more pitch for conservation. If we wait for the government, it isn’t going to happen. We must make it happen.

Earl Montgomery
Sugar Grove

Letter: Elburn chamber, leads group sets donation record

For the past several years, the Elburn Chamber of Commerce has worked in partnership with its leads group to donate as much money as possible to the Elburn and Countryside Food Pantry. This money has then been disbursed throughout the year and used during the times when it is most needed by the pantry.

A donation has been collected by the leads group and then matched by the Elburn Chamber. This year, a total of $1,370 was donated, which is the most that the chamber has ever contributed.

The leads group is just one of a number of benefits of chamber membership. Membership in the leads group is open to anyone who is a member in good standing of the Elburn Chamber of Commerce. The group is business category exclusive. New members are always welcome. For more information about the chamber and its leads group, contact the chamber office at (630) 365-2295.

To learn more about food distribution hours and how to donate to the Elburn and Countryside Food Pantry, call (630) 365-6655.

Jim Shalek
Elburn Chamber Leads Group

Letter: Support the 2nd fireworks pork chop dinner

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce thanks all of you who supported our first pork chop dinner in March to raise funds for the The Day in the Park Fireworks. Forty-two tickets were also purchased for the Food Panty, bringing the total to 540—a great help.

However there is still a little way to go. A second pork chop dinner is planned for Wednesday, June 23. As the hot days start to roll in, this will give you at least one night to have a great barbeque with all the trimmings without even having to start up the grill, and for hardly more money than buying the groceries yourself.

You will not only be supporting the fireworks, however. The Lion’s Club benefits as well. Their work with the blind is well known. Taking the money you would normally spend anyway for dinner and buying a pork chop dinner ticket will not only support a great fireworks Day in the Park on Sunday, July 11, but at the same time provide funds that go to helping a portion of our community that we as individuals could normally do very little about. How’s that for multi-tasking?

Tickets are $12 apiece and can be purchased from any chamber member or by calling the chamber itself at (630) 365-2293. Buy a couple for your family and maybe one for the food pantry if you really like multi-tasking.

Gary Augustine
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Editorial: Herald earns advertising, editorial accolades

The Illinois Press Association recently recognized the Elburn Herald in the organization’s annual advertising and editorial contests.

We are proud to receive recognition from the industry, and while our biggest reward comes from our connection to our communities and our readers, it is still nice once in awhile to acknowledge our recognitions.

In the Best Ad Designer category, Design Director Leslie Flint earned a first-place award. The judges commented that she utilizes “Good use of graphics and layout.”

Flint also earned a first-place award for Best Ad Less Than Full Page. “Unique business logo combined with colors and highlighting brand names makes ad stand out to the target audience: teens,” said the judges comments.

The Elburn Herald won first place in the Best Annual Special Section category for the 2009 Summer Guide. “Great concept—wonderful pictures and the daily calendar and activities was useful to the reader,” the judges said.

The newspaper won second-place honors in the Best Niche Publication, Best Classified Section, and Advertising Excellence categories. In addition, the Elburn Herald earned third place in the Best Community Focus Special Section category.

In the editorial contest, Assistant Editor Ben Draper earned a first-place award for Best Web Site.

The Elburn Staff earned first- and second-place honors in the category Best Special Section. Reporter Susan O’Neill earned a third-place award in the Best Business/Economic Reporting category. Sports Editor Mike Slodki earned an honorable mention in the Sports News category, and Editor Ryan Wells earned an honorable mention in the Local Editorial category.

While it is nice to be recognized by those in the industry, there is no comparison to knowing that week in and week out, we work as hard as we can to help serve our Kaneland communities.

The fact that you read us each and every week is, ultimately, the recognition we value most.

Letter: Are you a Benton?

On June 13, Kaneville is hosting the Firemen’s Breakfast and Historical Society’s open house.

Both the Farley house and the Benton house will be open to tour. This year, the historical society is featuring the Miner family and the Benton family.

Gilbert and Jemima (Seavey) Benton settled in Kaneville in 1843. Through the long covered wagon ride from New York, Jemima sat upon her rocking chair. They established a homestead south of Kaneville and began farming.

Gilbert died in 1860, so Jemima, with the help of her son Simeon and two youngest sons, continued to farm the land. Jemima lived to be almost 99 years old.

While the Benton name is no longer a common one in this area, there are still many Benton family members around. So far, the genealogy search for descendants of Gilbert and Jemima (Seavey) Benton has located over 600 descendants. You might be a Benton if your ancestor’s names are: Bastian, McNair, Reynolds, Bloss, Meredith, Sheldon, Davis, Myers, Smith, Edwards, Needham, Snow, Gregory, Nichols, Underwood, Keieleber, Nickels, Wilson, Lakin, Raymond and Warne.

There are many more family names, so if you don’t see an ancestor’s name that looks familiar, you still might be a cousin. If you are not sure if you are related, we will have a searchable database to see if we can link you to the family.

We would like to have a Benton family gathering to meet and greet as many cousins as we can. We also need to update the family tree. The last extensive updating was done about 30 years ago.

If you have any Benton memorabilia, data or pictures to share, we would love to have you bring them along. This would be a great time to tour Gilbert and Jemima’s house and see some of the family items. We will be taking a family picture at the Benton house in Kaneville at noon.

We hope to get as many family members together as possible, so we hope to see you there.

Martha Baldridge
Kaneville Historical Society

Letter: Plant sale thanks

Elburn Hill Church would like to thank all of you who came to our fourth annual plant sale.

Each year we try to increase the varieties of perennials, and we have appreciated your input. To those patrons who have become regulars, we particularly thank you for continuing to make this event possible and successful. To those of you who were first-time guests, we will be back again next year on Mother’s Day Weekend.

Gary Augustine
Pastor
Elburn Hill Church

Guest editorial: Do not forget

It is embarrassingly easy for many of us to forget that our nation is currently fighting two wars. We may “know” it, but it is all too easy to forget about the loss of life and limb that occurs virtually every day in defense of our nation.

It is embarrassingly easy to forget about the countless drops of blood, sweat and tears that have been shed through the generations by the very best of us, on behalf of the rest of us.

It is embarrassingly easy to look at Memorial Day as simply a day off work; a time to have a picnic or barbecue with family and friends; a day to spend relaxing.

A day of remembrance was first officially proclaimed in May 1868 by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. It was first observed on May 30, 1868.

“The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit,” the beginning of the order states.

After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to remember Americans who had fought and died in any war. When Congress passed the National Holiday Act of 1971, Memorial Day was officially set as the last Monday in May.
We urge all local residents to take part in their local Memorial Day observance, and furthermore, to never take for granted what has been bought and paid for with the ultimate sacrifice.

“All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

—General John Logan,
National Commander
Grand Army of the Republic
General Order No. 11

Elburn
In Elburn, Memorial Day observances Monday, May 31, will begin with a parade at 9:15 a.m. It will start at Elburn Lions Park and end at the Blackberry Cemetery.
There, members of the Elburn American Legion, local Boy and Girl Scouts, and members of the community will take part in a ceremony, including guest speaker Bill Foster, congressman representing the 14th Congressional District.
Following the ceremony, the Legion will offer coffee and refreshments at the Legion Hall.

Sugar Grove
Sugar Grove’s Memorial Day services will begin at 9:15 a.m. at Jericho Cemetery on Mighell Road. Participants will then proceed to the Sugar Grove cemetery on Merrill Road at 10 a.m., where a ceremony will take place.

Maple Park
The village of Maple Park’s Memorial Day program will begin with a parade that will be at the following locations at the following times:
• 9:10 a.m. Pierce Cemetery—Owen Road and Pritchard Road, Troxel
• 9:30 a.m. St Mary’s Cemetery—County Line Road South of Route 38
• 9:45 a.m. Gardner Cemetery—Route 38 East of County Line Road
• 10 a.m. Van Vlack Cemetery—Thatcher Road east of Maple Park
• 10:15 a.m. Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery—Meredith Road South of Virgil
• 10:30 am South Burlington Cemetery—Ramm and Snyder roads, west of Peplow Road
• 11:15 am Ceremony at Post Home—Main Street, Maple Park

Kaneville
The Kaneville Township 115th Annual Memorial Day Program will be held at 10 a.m. in Kaneville at the Dave Werdin Community Center.
Guest speaker will be former resident Evan Mahan, a veteran from the Iraq War. Guest musician will be local folk singer, Lee Murdock. There will be a special seating section for veterans, who will be recognized during the program.
Following the program, there will be a parade to the cemetery for a rifle salute and decoration of the graves. Refreshments will be served at the Community Center upon return from the cemetery. Old flags, to be retired, will be collected for disposal by the American Legion.

Letter: Micro-management or ineffective leadership?

The Sugar Grove Library Board Meeting of May 13 was attended by a number of community residents who had concerns about recent board actions.

These included possible efforts to change the bylaws without appropriate feedback and community involvement, and the board’s reported micro-management of day-to-day library operations.

A number of attendees expressed their opinions and concerns, making a concerted effort to deal with this situation in a supportive and constructive way.

That being said, I would like to make some additional comments about the actions and demeanor of the board.

At times it was difficult and unpleasant to see how this board meeting was being conducted. I saw an enormous difference between the way Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes treated the board and the way she was treated in return.

Beverly’s communications were professional, polite, well organized, cooperative, transparent and helpful. Her recommendations and responses to questions showed extensive professional knowledge and a very detailed understanding of library operations and expenditures.

In contrast, the board’s communications toward Beverly were generally bullying, blaming, nit-picking and demanding.

Micro-management is probably too polite a term for the types of directives and questioning demonstrated by the board.

Why is the board subjecting the library director to extensive questioning about minor library expenditures? Janitorial supplies, embroidered shirts (worn by the board at the library dedication), a pizza dinner for staffers who worked until midnight assisting with the library relocation, a Walmart purchase for Christmas tree lights. And, having received satisfactory answers, now demanding a detailed accounting of petty cash? Are they implying mismanagement, or is this the role that they see for themselves?

When the director suggests a summer replacement for an employee who will be out on maternity leave and states that this person has extensive volunteer experience and is currently pursuing a teaching degree, why is the board president questioning Beverly’s judgement? What additional library experience does he expect for a position that is temporary and pays something in the neighborhood of minimum wage?

At two separate times I saw Beverly provide good, positive information to the board and saw the negative, blaming responses she received in return.

When she informed the board that she had identified several library expenses that could legitimately be reclassified and should be paid out of the building reserve fund, she was scolded by the board president for not informing him of this sooner (referring to a conversation that he recalled but Beverly did not).

Improvements to the library website (intended to fulfill board objectives and completed free of charge) drew a negative remark from the board vice president that she “had never seen this before” Beverly’s presentation to the board. To Beverly’s credit, she responded in a helpful and constructive way, offering to facilitate additional development and future communication directly between the board and her website development volunteer.

The Library Board has enormous challenges and responsibilities, and I do not envy their job in the least. But I think they are failing to provide the vision, direction and support that the community has every right to expect from them. It is certainly possible that the cause is a lack of knowledge and experience. And if so, I would hope that the board would receive and accept appropriate mentoring from community leaders.

I hope that at the very least the board takes a hard look at its focus and that it attempts to improve communications toward and treatment of a library director who is well-liked and highly regarded by the community.

Catherine J. Rady
Sugar Grove Resident

Letter: Don’t come home until your job is done

In ancient Sparta, Spartan mothers commanded their soldier sons, “Come home victorious, or come home on your shield.”

This was the old version of the British Empire’s declaration, “Victory or Death.” The modern Illinois version of this refrain is contained in hundreds of recent e-mails, letters and calls to my office from recently concerned Illinois constituents. Citizens and editorial boards warned, “Don’t leave Springfield until you produce a responsible balanced budget.”

So, what did the ruling majority do? In the Senate, the same folks who have brought us this chaos and misery over the past eight years passed the Adjournment Resolution at 6:44 p.m. on May 7, 2010—and headed home with 24 days of work left before the rules change, giving more power to the minority.

Knowing my 250,000 constituents’ sentiment, I publicly requested an on-the-record rollcall of those who agreed that we should adjourn. I voted “Heck No.”

Here is where we stand: On May 6, 2010, at 8 p.m., the Ruling Majority presented its FY 6-30-2011 2,300-page budget; just one hour later, at 9 p.m., they convened the Senate Appropriations Committee to answer questions and hear concerns.

I asked the sponsor of the budget, whom I like and respect as a person, “Senator, have you read this budget?” No. When I asked members of the Ruling Majority sitting across from me, “Have you read this 2,300-page budget?” Again, no. “Has anyone on this committee—or in this room—read this budget?” The answer was, “No.”

On the brink of bankruptcy, another contortion of fiscal irresponsibility.

During the senate floor debate that raged with unusual rancor until 1:15 a.m. the next morning, as gently and politely as possible, I reminded my fellow legislators, “We each swear an oath to uphold the Illinois Constitution. That Constitution contains a provision that requires us to adopt an annual balanced budget. This budget is not anywhere close to balanced, i.e. the expenditures are not less than or equal to the projected revenues.”

While people back home desperately struggle with their finances, putting terrible strains on their families, while 225,000 more Illinois jobs have been lost in only the past year, while public policies produce 12.4 percent unemployment in our state, the governor and ruling majorities propose that the state government spending upon itself will increase next year by $1.8 billion. According to the budget sponsor’s testimony in committee and on the Senate floor, total spending will increase from $32.1 billion in 2010 to $33.9 billion in 2011.

One of my colleagues mumbled under his breath, “This all stinks.”

Although I staunchly disagree with their conclusion to ultimately raise income taxes by 67 percent and to raise sales taxes by billions by applying sales tax to many services for the first time in state history, I respect that senate Democrats at least took action during this General Assembly consistent with their philosophy. Despite the chants of 15,000 protesting public employees earlier this year, “Raise my taxes. Raise my taxes,” the consistent feedback from the majority of my constituents is, “Live within your means without a tax increase—just like I have to do.”

So, you would think that the proposed budget would contain substantial spending cuts, as Governor Quinn has claimed. However, again according to the senate budget sponsor, there are only $356.7 million in reductions on total spending of $33.9 billion—only 1.05 percent. Said another way, they think they’re running state government almost 99 percent efficiently. Come on.

The next and different governor, if the majority of our neighbors and friends will wake up to what’s being done to us, will need to rein in the explosion under Blagojevich/Quinn of Medicaid eligibility (Illinois spends $1,700 million ($1.7 billion) more than the national average); apply to current employees the common sense public employee pension reforms already passed for new hires of raising the age for collecting benefits from 55 to 62 years old and capping benefits at a whopping $106,000 (saving tens of billions over the next 30 years and restoring solvency to the system); and, taking a careful scalpel to every line in the budget, every program, every bureaucracy to prune fiscal abuses like cars for legislative leaders, grants for legislator’s sister for “inspirational” skits, hip-hop exercise classes, and a thousand other examples of waste and fraud.

We must begin by paying our darn bills on time to schools and social service agencies. I am ready to work all day, every day until we put together a self-disciplined solution to our state’s financial problems. To do anything else just sounds Greek to me.

Chris Lauzen
State Senator (R-25)

Thank you for helping the Maple Park library

Thank you to everyone who helped the library when we replaced the carpeting and repainted recently.

It was a huge task to move everything out of the room and then put it back in place. I could not have done it without help. It looks wonderful.

Thank you Kyle Anderson, Deb Armstrong, Richard Boulay, Myrna Cebulski, Deborah Helfers, Jacob Helfers, Afet Ismaili, Micah Johnson, Joe Lavendar, Allen McPhee, Kaylee McPhee, Laura McPhee, Chuck Miller, Charlie Owens, Chris Rasmussen, Kent Signorella, Jessica Stott and James Thorne.

Kimberly Martin
Library Director
Maple Park Public Library District

Letter: Attend the opening Sugar Grove farmers market

Please join us for the opening of the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market, which we will share with the village of Sugar Grove and its Community Open House, on Saturday, June 5 (rain or shine) from 8 a.m. to noon at the Sugar Grove Village Hall, located at 125 Municipal Drive (Route 30 and Municipal Drive) in Sugar Grove.

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

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

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

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

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

Mari Johnson, Don and Terry Meisinger,
Tina and Andy Cella, Karen Cinto,
Sheri Baum, Beverly Holmes Hughes,
Pat and Dan Graceffa
Sugar Grove Farmers Market volunteers

Letter: Poppy Days a success thanks to veterans

The members of the Daniel Simpson American Legion Auxiliary No. 630, Elburn, wish to thank the community for their generosity toward our Poppy Days on May 14 and 15.

Your show of support for this important program is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank the many Legion and Auxiliary volunteers that put in hours on the streets: legionnaires, Commander Wiley Overley, Al Anderson, Jerry Lonigro, George Morris, and Lloyd and Marie DaMask; auxiliary members, Key Swift, Janet Herra, Kathy Jackson, Robin Harley, Marleah Anderson, Cheryl Krauspe and Carrie Petrie; and junior auxiliary member, Abby Bartel.

Many thanks go out to the area businesses that allowed us to be inside or outside of their buildings, Jewel/Osco, Mobil Gas, Elburn Kountry Kettle, Papa G’s, Ream’s Meat Market, Elburn Post Office, Walgreens, Blackberry Inn, and Metra. Thank you for all courtesies extended to our volunteers.

All the proceeds of Poppy Days go toward veterans and their families. Elburn Auxiliary donated more than $2,000 to veterans programs this past year. The Elburn unit hopes to continue to help with the needs of our veterans who have and are currently giving so much for our country. I hope everyone will enjoy their Memorial Day and took some time to reflect on the reason for the holiday—remembering our veterans.

Cara Bartel
Poppy Chairman
Daniel Simpson Unit No. 630
Elburn

Summer building projects slated

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on May 24 reviewed all of District 302’s summer projects, including door replacements at both the high school and middle school, replacement of the high school’s roof, and the creation of an athletic and maintenance storage facility at Harter Middle School.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie-Ann Fuchs presented the summer project schedule, and also announced that there will be about $1,047,934 remaining in the District’s capital projects fund after all projects are completed.

All summer projects are expected to be finished sometime in August with the exception of the storage facility, which is expected to be completed in January 2011.

Guest Editorial: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Guest editorial
by Nina Finch
National Alliance on Mental Illness

At times, having a mental illness leads you to feel that your life is hopeless. It is at these times that people with mental illness need to hear that even though their lives may be challenging, they are certainly not hopeless. It is important for them to hear it from those who love them and work with them, but it is also important that society believe in their recovery.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as part of the observance, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is reviewing the positive changes in mental health treatment. Not that long ago, persons suspected of having a mental illness could be locked away, overdosed with drugs to subdue them, and removed from the lives of their loved ones. There was not much hope that professionals could offer to someone with a serious mental illness.

Although stigma remains and mental health services are under-funded, there is good news. Between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.

In fact, mental illnesses are more treatable than some diseases, such as heart disease. According to a report by the surgeon general, “With proper treatment, the majority of people can return to productive and engaging lives.”

When people with mental illnesses begin to recover, they want to be part of society, get jobs, and make plans for their future. It is more difficult to do these things if society treats them as never really having a future. If coworkers focus on the extra days that the mentally ill take off because of illness, they may not see the extra work done on other days. Coworkers may not believe that the mentally ill can handle the responsibilities of managing others, and may not include them in social activities for fear of unpredictable behavior.

Mental illnesses are serious medical illnesses. They cannot be overcome through will power and are not related to a person’s character or intelligence. It is not a matter of believing in the power of positive thinking, although changes in thinking may often be involved in the treatment process. What does help overcome mental illness is a consistent support system that does not change every election year, as well as a society that believes enough in recovery that they are willing to give the mentally ill the chance to prove that recovery is possible.

Families often feel a sense of hopelessness. They see the errors in judgment in the mentally ill, and they are afraid they will have to deal with this the rest of their lives. They don’t know where to start in getting help or even how to talk to people about what is happening. Support from friends and family reinforces recovery, and this is where NAMI comes in.

NAMI is a grassroots organization that provides support, education and advocacy for people with mental illness and their family and friends. NAMI DeKalb, Kane County and Kendall Counties (NAMIDKK), the local affiliate in this part of Illinois, started as a small group of family members looking for ways to help their loved ones. People needing help with mental health issues often reach out to NAMI because NAMI members can relate to what is happening with them.

When someone calls NAMIDKK, he or she reaches people who have been through similar experiences. The leaders of the support groups and the educational classes are all family members of people with mental illness who have been trained by NAMI to be leaders.

The leaders know what it is like to struggle to find help or experience frustration in navigating the system. The leaders of the support groups for people with mental illness have felt hopeless at one time also, but now they see that recovery is possible. They want to share that with others.

People find NAMI on the Internet, by word of mouth, or by referrals from professionals.

To find out more about NAMIDKK, visit namidkk.org or call (630) 896-6264.

Letter: Thank you for supporting library plant sale

Thank you to everyone in our community who supported the Friends of the Town & Country Library 7th Annual Plant Sale fundraiser, May 7 and 8.

We had over 100 dozen locally grown geraniums, gerbera daisies, tuberous begonias, ivy and coleus.

The proceeds from this sale benefit the library’s summer reading program for adults and children, as well as new materials. Over 1,300 people participated in the 2009 summer reading program. Our library continues to be a great place for everyone to expand their knowledge with a variety of media.

The Friends are a 501 (c) 3 volunteer organization created to support our library’s programs and services. Come check us out and be a “Friend.”

Joan Hansen
Executive Vice-President
Friends of the Town & Country Public Library

Letter: Frasz deserves our thanks

On Tuesday, May 11, members of the Kane County Board voted to remove the county ban on video poker machines in the unincorporated areas of the county. Western Kane County townships, including Big Rock, Blackberry, Campton, Kaneville, Sugar Grove and Virgil, comprise most of unincorporated Kane County.

The general attitude in the 10 townships of western Kane County opposes video gambling, but we are represented by only two members of the board. The other 24 board members represent the six Kane townships located along the Fox River. During the meeting, Elburn resident Jim MacRunnels noted that three of those river town board members have received campaign contributions from the pro-gambling interests, and he asked them to recuse themselves from voting.

I won’t take the space here to list how all board members voted. However, I will note the votes of three:

Bob Kudlicki of Hampshire, one half of our two-member representation on the board, voted for video gambling in November, and again on May 11.

Drew Frasz, the other half of the western Kane townships’ two-member representation on the County Board, stood up against immense pressure put upon him to vote no on placing video gambling machines in our neighborhoods.

Mike Kenyon, board member who is also chairman of the Kane County Republican Party, voted for video gambling on May 11. This is the same Mike Kenyon, who, in 2008, was a member of the Illinois GOP Platform Committee that opposed any expansion of gambling in this state.

Thank you, Drew Frasz, for voicing our concerns and defending your friends and neighbors against the pressures of the County Board and other outside interests.

Dennis C. Ryan
Elburn

Letter: Open letter to Sugar Grove

I live across from the Sugar Grove Post Office, and for at least four years have watched the drainage problem at the parking lot get bigger and bigger. The water has gotten so large that I now refer to it as the “Post Office Pond,” or the “Federal Wildlife Area.”

I have heard for years that the drainage problem will be fixed, but we still have standing water in the Post Office parking lot. I am elderly and on medication for infections, and do not need to get West Nile Virus.

If the pond is not fixed, will you, the village or the post office, be responsible for mosquito spraying?

Karen McCannon, Sugar Grove

Guest Editorial: Thank our troops

Guest Editorial
by Martin C. Boire
Chairman, Support Our Troops®
Armed Forces Day 2010

May 15, 2010, is Armed Forces Day. Right now, volunteer men and woman are everywhere protecting we civilians here at home. And in honor of the troops who do so much to protect us, hundreds of troop support groups across America ship thousands of care boxes each year to them all over the world.

Over 90 percent of Americans have never served in the military. I am one of them, representative of the rest. And on behalf of all of those they protect, I thank the troops for preserving our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses. Even though the borders of this country are penned with their blood, and even though we don’t keep our national house in order, they go forth each day to protect it and give us more time. Let’s hope in the end we can all make them as proud of us as we are of them.

Showings of support means a lot to them, and here is an inkling of their gratitude for the bonds between us.

• “I wanted to say thank you so much for sending out the care package to my airman. She received the box today and she was literally in tears and could not believe that there are people who cared enough to send her a box. She said she felt like it was Christmas or better because she has not had a Christmas since she was younger. It was great seeing her tell everyone who walked in the office about the box. Again, thank you and your team for taking the time to think of us over here and we truly do appreciate your support!“ —SSgt Leticia.

• “Thank you, thank you, and thank you so very much for the packages we received. We, the 2025th Transportation Company, want you to know how appreciative we are for the phone cards, games, magazines, books, music CD’s , DVD’s, toiletries, the food and all the other goodies that were sent to us yesterday … It is a hard road for us over here especially during the holiday season. Being away from our families is really tough, but with the goodies and gifts it made everyone feel like getting into the holiday spirit. From the 2025th Transportation Company Family, we would like to extend our heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for all of your support. We will always have a place in our heart for you. Thank you.”—Major Earnes

Since her inception, America has been unique among nations of the world. We go further to do more good than any other nation on earth—as acts of freedom, not dominion, which is why so many foreigners want their pictures taken with our troops when they encounter them in transit.

I periodically receive emails from people in other countries pining that they wished their people did for their military community the way Americans do for theirs. You see, America is a charitable nation, with a majority who believes in the personal responsibility of doing good at the individual level. Hence, a voluntary military, and hence, the voluntary support for its members from us.

Indeed, hundreds of charitable groups have arisen to support the troops’ morale and well-being while they are deployed. Are there amazing people in this country or what? You will find these groups listed at SupportOurTroops.org. 

So, for Armed Forces Day this year, go out and find an event to participate in, or send a care package, or make a donation. Find the core moral satisfaction in stepping up for those who step up for all of us.

And to all the troops from all of us here at home, I say thank you, and may God bless and keep you safe.

Guest Editorial: Thank our troops

Guest Editorial
by Martin C. Boire
Chairman, Support Our Troops®
Armed Forces Day 2010

May 15, 2010, is Armed Forces Day. Right now, volunteer men and woman are everywhere protecting we civilians here at home. And in honor of the troops who do so much to protect us, hundreds of troop support groups across America ship thousands of care boxes each year to them all over the world.

Over 90 percent of Americans have never served in the military. I am one of them, representative of the rest. And on behalf of all of those they protect, I thank the troops for preserving our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses. Even though the borders of this country are penned with their blood, and even though we don’t keep our national house in order, they go forth each day to protect it and give us more time. Let’s hope in the end we can all make them as proud of us as we are of them.

Showings of support means a lot to them, and here is an inkling of their gratitude for the bonds between us.

• “I wanted to say thank you so much for sending out the care package to my airman. She received the box today and she was literally in tears and could not believe that there are people who cared enough to send her a box. She said she felt like it was Christmas or better because she has not had a Christmas since she was younger. It was great seeing her tell everyone who walked in the office about the box. Again, thank you and your team for taking the time to think of us over here and we truly do appreciate your support!“ —SSgt Leticia.

• “Thank you, thank you, and thank you so very much for the packages we received. We, the 2025th Transportation Company, want you to know how appreciative we are for the phone cards, games, magazines, books, music CD’s , DVD’s, toiletries, the food and all the other goodies that were sent to us yesterday … It is a hard road for us over here especially during the holiday season. Being away from our families is really tough, but with the goodies and gifts it made everyone feel like getting into the holiday spirit. From the 2025th Transportation Company Family, we would like to extend our heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for all of your support. We will always have a place in our heart for you. Thank you.”—Major Earnes

Since her inception, America has been unique among nations of the world. We go further to do more good than any other nation on earth—as acts of freedom, not dominion, which is why so many foreigners want their pictures taken with our troops when they encounter them in transit.

I periodically receive emails from people in other countries pining that they wished their people did for their military community the way Americans do for theirs. You see, America is a charitable nation, with a majority who believes in the personal responsibility of doing good at the individual level. Hence, a voluntary military, and hence, the voluntary support for its members from us.

Indeed, hundreds of charitable groups have arisen to support the troops’ morale and well-being while they are deployed. Are there amazing people in this country or what? You will find these groups listed at SupportOurTroops.org. 

So, for Armed Forces Day this year, go out and find an event to participate in, or send a care package, or make a donation. Find the core moral satisfaction in stepping up for those who step up for all of us.

And to all the troops from all of us here at home, I say thank you, and may God bless and keep you safe.

Letter: Elburn fireworks still needs help

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who made the Pork Chop Dinner on March 31 such a great success. Through the generosity of the Elburn Community and its friends, we were able to raise just under $1,400 which will go towards the Day in the Park fireworks display for this year. Through the 540 tickets sold, we were also able to donate 41 meal tickets to the Elburn Food Pantry.

At this point the chamber has reached their half-way point of the $10,000 goal. So it will take a joint effort of the community and the businesses to keep Day in the Park alive. We only have two months left, and could really use your help.

The next Pork Chop Dinner will be on Wednesday, June 23, with pick-up from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore St., Elburn. Tickets are available now at the chamber and select Elburn businesses for $12 each. Our goal for this dinner is 800 tickets, and I think with your help, we can easily reach that goal.

All profits go towards the fireworks. If you are unable to purchase Pork Chop Dinner tickets, but would like to donate money, please call the Chamber office.

Every little bit helps.

We are also looking for volunteers to join the Day in the Park committee as well. It is a great way to share ideas for fundraising ideas, or volunteer your time. The next Day in the Park meeting, will be at noon on Monday, June 7, at American Bank and Trust in downtown Elburn. Anyone interested in joining should e-mail me at ads@elburnherald.com or call (630) 365-6446.

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer-driven organization committed to serving local businesses and helping to foster a spirit of community in the Elburn area.

For more information on the Pork Chop Dinner or the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, feel free to call the Chamber office at (630) 365-2295 or e-mail us at info@elburn.com.

Leslie Flint
Day in the Park Committee Chairman
Elburn

Editorial: No easy answers—but a couple of questions—in Elburn’s budget crunch

Like just about every family, business and unit of government in the state—if not the nation—the village of Elburn has had to try and tighten its belt to navigate through the current, difficult economic climate.

And tighten its belt it has, in many ways.

Over the past several months, village officials have spent a large amount of time looking at virtually every nook and cranny in the budget, both from a revenue and expense perspective.

On the revenue side, the village raised the water and sewer rates, adding a projected $450,000 annually to the village’s finances—although this additional revenue can only be used for water and sewer expense.

Other than that decision, the village has focused more significantly on the expense side.

To control costs, the village implemented a wage freeze for village employees. Recent staff cuts include saving $42,000 after eliminating a secretarial position, as well as some additional savings from the elimination of a part-time Police Department secretarial position and a voluntary reduction in the hours of an administrative assistant.

During the search for savings, officials also considered things like reducing staff-support hours, eliminating life-insurance premiums for village employees and eliminating take-home vehicles for some village employees.

These ideas, some of which would save as little as $14,000 a year individually, might seem small when looking at the bigger picture, yet when combined with other, “smaller” items, can prove significant in terms of cutting costs while the village still faces a budgeted $700,000 deficit for fiscal year 2010-11.

The challenge for the village is, as Village Administrator Erin Willrett said in early April, that if the village makes any additional staff cuts, a reduction in resident services will result.

Add to that a possible reduction in state funding, and the table is set for a cash-strapped time. Thankfully, Elburn has approximately $5 million in a reserve fund designed to be used for emergency infrastructure projects and other unexpected expenses. However, if the village draws from that reserve fund too much or too often, there will be few if any options should an immediate emergency arise.

“God forbid that we have a catastrophe—where is the money going to come from?” Village President Dave Anderson said in mid-April.

Given all of this, village officials should be applauded for considering just about any and every idea to trim from the budget, including the “small-ticket” items like saving an estimated $14,000 per year by eliminating life-insurance premiums for village employees, a measure they decided against.

Yet, if the village’s finances are in such dire straits that officials are worried about funding during emergencies and are considering virtually every “small-ticket” item, why is the village essentially paying more than $190,000 for village administrator duties?

To deal with growth issues, the village created a new staff position in the beginning of 2008—the community development director. In May 2009, that position was changed to assistant village administrator.

After Monday’s annual staff appointments, the three appointed positions include the village administrator ($97,788.58 annual salary), chief of police ($80,817), and superintendent of public works ($78,500). The assistant village administrator’s salary—not an appointed position—is paid $93,343.64 per year.

Given the budget deficit and the months of searching for savings in every nook and cranny in the village’s finances, it strikes us as odd that the village would pay more than $190,000 for village administrator duties, especially given that the second position was originally created to deal with the growth pressures that no longer exist.

Anderson and Willrett have repeatedly referred to this year’s budget as a “bare bones budget,” but is that really the case?

If to be successful, the village administrator requires an assistant that is paid the second-highest salary in the village, is the current administrator the right person for the job? And if so, is there a need for an assistant administrator that makes over $12,000 more than the village police chief?

It appears that the village risks being top heavy, and facing a $700,000 annual deficit while saying any further staff cuts would require a loss of resident services—as well as saying this is a “bare bones budget”—does not make sense.

Letter: Thank you for the support

We would like to thank all of our customers that have supported us over the past 33 years. The decision to close Viking Office Supply earlier this year was a hard one to make.

The past two months have had a lot of mixed emotions for us. But the support and heartfelt words we have received from all of our customers made us realize even more, how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful community.

Our local economy is important in making our community special. If it was not for our local merchants, all of our local charities and schools would suffer greatly without their donations and support.

As we go into our final weeks of our store closing sale, please stop in and say hello, and remember to support your other fellow local merchants to keep our community strong.

Weldon Johnson
Anne Shaw and the
staff of Viking Office Supply

Letter: Vendors, supporters made event a success

The staff at Ellis House and Equestrian Center would like to thank the following vendors for participating in the first annual Earth Day Event on April 24th: Open Range Southwest Grill, The Care of Trees, Belfry Bees & Honey, Three Rivers Public Library, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Becky’s Flowers, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Voluntary Action Center, Contrary Mary’s Green House, The Catering Gourmets, Cutting Edge Catering & Events, Positive Body Care, The Office Works, Inc.

Despite the weather, we had a good turn out and we couldn’t have done it without all of you.

A special thank you goes out to Timber Creek Inn & Suites who sponsored the event. Please visit their website at www.timbercreekinnandsuites.com to virtually tour their facility.

She was beautiful music to our ears … Autumn Selover, Harpist. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent.

Thanks to Joliet Tent for keeping us dry and to Uncle Bub’s for the mouth watering barbecue.

Our appreciation to Lights of Learning for donating the Earth Day raffle basket valued at $150.

Countless thank you’s to the volunteers here at Ellis, you should be proud knowing we would not exist without your generosity of time and talent.

Kendall County Board, Forest Preserve Staff and Voters for the vision of “Conservation through Recreation”.

Finally, to all the folks who braved the weather and came out to participate and celebrate Earth Day with us.

Tina Villarreal
Event Coordinator
Ellis House and Equestrian Center
Kendall County Forest Preserve

Letter: Friends, volunteers, residents support library

The Sugar Grove Library Friends would like to thank our Library District residents and those who joined us from surrounding communities in helping to make our National Library Week Used Book Sale a tremendous success by purchasing the reading materials offered at our sale.

We also thank everyone who has thought of the library with their generous used book donations since our new library opened eight months ago. A special thank you to the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, especially Lt. Brendan Moran, for hosting several used book drives.

Thank you to our hard working Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes and her incredible staff for assisting us with the preparations needed for the sale throughout the several weeks of preparation. Waubonsee softball coach Perry Clark, village trustee Mari Johnson and the Sugar Grove Park District are so appreciated for helping the Library Friends with transportation, securing tables and volunteers and so much more.

Without the strength of the Women’s Waubonsee softball team and Kaneland High School Knights wrestler’s coach Jeremy Kenny, Zack Ganz (junior) and David Barnhart (freshman) and David’s mom Suzanne Barnhart, we could never have moved so many of the heavy boxes of books from our storage unit and on to the sales tables.

Local businesses like Heartland Commercial Properties LLC, American Heartland Bank-Trust, Nick Bumba, Nick’s Custom Furniture, The Book Nook Cafe, and Pepsi were all responsible in different ways for helping with the book sale, and we hope residents remember to support these local community members.

Support from the Library Friends of the Batavia Library and the Elburn Town and Country Library Friends is also appreciated.

This newspaper allows us always to get the word out in the press releases they published on the sale.

I would like, last but not least, to thank the Library Friends, the amazing volunteers who help us with every used book sale, all of our events and in our used book store.

All donated items are sorted and go to our library first to be put on a library shelf or to replace a book which may be worn that is currently on the shelf. Books not used are turned over to the library volunteers to be sold in the used book store or at a book sale, and the proceeds are returned to the library for reading materials and programs.

Remember to help your community library and also help the earth by donating your current reading materials. Current books, CDs and DVDs are a simple way for taxpayers to help the library curb its costs, resulting in a huge savings for our communities.

Pat Graceffa
Library Friends President
Sugar Grove

Letter: Chamber names scholarship winners

Every year, the Elburn Chamber of Commerce hosts a Winter Dinner and Silent Auction. The proceeds from this event go toward a scholarship fund that the Scholarship Committee awards to an applicant from Kaneland High School.

This year, the success of the dinner and auction allowed the committee to award two $1,000 scholarships to KHS seniors Natalie Swieca and Kevin Szatkowski.

Natalie will be attending Aurora University in the fall, while Kevin will be heading to the University of Iowa. Congratulations and best of luck to these two college-bound KHS graduates.

Niko’s Lodge in Wasco did a great job in hosting these events this year on Feb. 20. All items that were in the silent auction were generously donated by our Chamber members. Without them, this could not have been possible.

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer driven organization committed to serving local businesses and helping to foster a spirit of community in the Elburn area.

For more information on the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, feel free to call the Chamber office at (630) 365-2295 or e-mail us at info@elburn.com.

Jessica Impson
Administrator
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Letter: Legion thanks residents for support at drawdown raffle

The Elburn American Legion Post No. 630 would like to thank everyone who supported our raffle ticket drawdown.

The $100 winners are Steven Itman of Maple Park, Mike Swederski of Elburn, Terry Lamb of Elburn, Milt Johnson of Elburn, Ann Lambert of Lily Lake, Penny Griesman of Batavia, Dennis Moutray of Maple Park, J&R Herra of Elburn. The $2,500 winner was Froehlich Lupee of Elburn.

We hope to have your support again next year.

Dennis Richmond
Raffle Chairman
Elburn

Letter: Help Fill the Boot

The Elburn Fire Department will host a fill-the-boot campaign to help raise money for The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp “I AM ME”.

Your Elburn firefighters, paramedics and EMTs will be taking donations at the corner of Route 38 and Route 47 on May 7 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Please stop and help us support this very important camp for the children that have experienced injuries from burns.

Matt Hanson
Elburn Fire Department