Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Chris Lauzen should return to the State Senate

In this hectic election year, Illinois Republicans within the 25th Senate District have the opportunity to re-elect Senator Chris Lauzen, based on his leadership on a number of issues.

The property tax assessment two-year rollback and freeze is one. It is similar to the well-regarded California Proposition 13.

Chris Lauzen has had certain problems with the rest of the Republican legislators. When you have certain standards that you refuse to compromise on, even if the consensus wants it, there is an understandable problem.

I would call it a way leadership is being practiced. Horse trading with the other side for short-term gains may be OK, but using the strength of heading up your own party successfully in the legislature is another name for practicing leadership. Lauzen has led the successful 5-percent pay cut for politicians legislation. This program is desirable because it needs to be shown that the General Assembly can lead by example on the need for spending cuts.

Some in the legislature resisted this, but it takes gutsy leadership to get it passed.

He is just the kind of person that we want to return to the State Senate. The 25th Senate District team of state legislators rank fourth out of all senate districts in the 2009 Road Fund Report. Please give Chris your vote in the Feb. 2 primary. We want him back.

Chuck Barr Jr.
St. Charles

Letter: Do your homework before election day

If you are voting in the Republican primary this year, you’d better do your homework. We have six candidates each for (federal) senator and lieutenant governor, and seven candidates for governor. Your local district may have other hotly contested races. If you simply walk into the booth with no preparation, you’ll probably have no idea who to vote for in the state’s most important contests.

If you live in Kane County, go to www.kanecountyelections.org, and get an advance copy of your ballot (elsewhere you can get a list of candidates from www.evoter.com. Then find all these candidates’ websites and do your homework. It will take you a few hours, but it will be worth it to know what you’re doing when you vote.

David Ziffer
Batavia

Letter: Dave Rickert has earned your vote

As an elected official at Kane County, I have personally worked with Dave Rickert and witnessed the many improvements he has made to the Treasurer’s Office.

Automating many of the office functions has increased efficiency, and the taxpayers can be proud of the work that has been done with the investments. He is a Certified Public Accountant committed to serving the citizens, and I encourage you to vote for Dave Rickert for Kane County Treasurer on Feb. 2.

Sandy Wegman
Elgin, Ill.
Kane County Recorder of Deeds

Letter: Kay Hatcher keeps her promises

I am 96 years old and have lived most of my life in the Fox Valley. I have heard a lot of promises from a lot of political candidates over the years. I’d like to tell you about someone I know who keeps her promises—state Representative Kay Hatcher. She is a woman I trust and am supporting for re-election.

I am a fiscal conservative. I know that Kay is concerned about our taxes, and voted against the 50 percent tax increase. She’s part of the Illinois Budget Reform Taskforce, going through our state’s spending line by line to create a more responsible state.

I am a retired teacher. Kay’s commitment to learning has gained her the endorsement of education leaders in the 50th District.

I am a senior citizen. I have seen firsthand Kay’s life-long dedication to our senior citizens and her devotion to our issues. She is serving on the Illinois Aging Committee to protect our rights, and sponsored legislation to help make us safer.

I am a Republican. I have seen the positive effects of Kay’s leadership as state president of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women and as a Lincoln Fellow. I believe, as most people do, that decisions that create a balanced, healthier community are best made with men and women working side by side.

I am a voter. Please join me Feb. 2 in voting for someone who puts our best interests at heart—state Representative Kay Hatcher.

Identa Austin
Aurora

Letter: When is enough money enough?

When the voters sent Dennis Hastert to Washington to represent us, he had an approximate net worth of $350,000. When he quit Congress with less than six months left in his term to take a very lucrative lobbyist position—costing the taxpayers of this district hundreds of thousands of dollars for a special election—his net worth was in the millions.

This vast accumulation of wealth while in Congress was partially derived from such things as taking money from crooked lobbyists like Jack Abramoff and creating special projects like the Prairie Parkway, from which he and his friends have all made millions of dollars.

He now wants his son, Ethan Hastert, to follow in his footsteps and represent the district in the same manner. Ethan Hastert has already admitted at a Kendall County Republican Central Committee meeting that, if elected, he plans on taking money from lobbyists. It is also no secret that, if elected, he plans on getting the Prairie Parkway project going again so that the Hasterts and their friends can make millions of dollars more.

A bypass around cities such as Yorkville could be accomplished like Aurora did with by-pass Route 30, which diverted truck traffic, and in this case, could save the taxpayers almost a billion dollars, not to mention how much it would deprive the politicians.

When is enough money sufficient for the politicians so that they start representing people rather than their pocketbooks? We need someone in Congress who will represent the interests of the people, not the interests of the Hastert family. It appears Randy Hultgren is that person.

Jim Wilson
Yorkville

Letter: Ethan Hastert can help turn around our economy

While Illinois’ unemployment rate surges over 10 percent and the economy stagnates, Congressman Bill Foster and the Democrat-controlled White House continue to propose temporary gimmicks where meaningful reforms are needed.

Recently, President Obama proposed generous tax credits for Green technologies, once again demonstrating his belief that jobs can only be created by massive government subsidy. Tax credits can encourage investments, but why is the government picking winners and losers? Why just green technologies? Wouldn’t an environment of lower taxes for all Americans make more sense?

During the same week, Bill Foster, whose votes subsidize the USPS to the tune of $4 billion annually, delivered packages on a UPS truck but failed to learn the lesson of how free enterprise works.

Unemployment has been skyrocketing since Bill Foster took office. 3.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since the Obama/Pelosi Stimulus Package was implemented. Bill Foster and the Democrats are out of touch with the average family, and their economic policies are products of the same failed entitlement schemes of the past.

In order to turn around the economy, we must first adopt an atmosphere that rewards healthy business practices and encourages entrepreneurship. We cannot tax and penalize American industry with new energy taxes, overregulation and trade barriers, and expect job growth.

America needs to embrace policies of economic vibrancy, not stagnation or decline. As Republicans, we know the solutions are not higher taxes, more regulation or bigger government. The Democrat Health Tax, Cap and Trade and Card Check are a lethal combination to small businesses. Vote for Ethan Hastert (IL-14) in the Republican primary. Early voting is now through Jan. 28 at selected locations.

Allen Skillicorn
East Dundee, Ill.

Letter: Bob Janes: A man of compassion, fairness

I have known Bob Janes for 25 years. For 12 years, he was my attorney before spending the last 13 as an Associate Judge here in Kane County. For the entire time, Bob and his wife Mary, along with their sons Dan and Steve, have been my friends.

While receiving the highest recommendation available from both the Kane County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association shows what his peers think of him, and his endorsements from newspapers and elected officials has shown he is held in high regard by his contemporaries, it’s the number of lifelong friends he has that shows his true character.

I know no man to be more compassionate, and I know of no judge more committed to fairness and the simple concept of right and wrong.

On Feb. 2, I ask all of you to join me in voting for Judge Robert L. Janes.

Joe Stanton
Geneva

Letter: John Dalton is a man of character

During this primary election season, there will be a few candidates on the ballot for various elected positions in Kane County, and one race in particular Kane County citizens may look at is the Democratic running for Kane County’s Resident Judge.

The two Democratic candidates people will see are John G. Dalton and Michael C. Funkey. When deciding who to vote for, they will base their decision on who is better qualified and who will be the most fair when it comes to making a sound judgment when hearing a case.

John Dalton is a man of character. He is a man of integrity, but most importantly he is a man of professional and sound judgment. I would like to take this opportunity to speak on what kind of candidate John G. Dalton is.

Mr. Dalton is an accomplished individual who can bring professionalism and experience to the bench when hearing a case. His experience in problem solving, leadership, organization, communication skills and non-partisan integrity is what Kane County needs when selecting its next Resident Judge.

Mr. Dalton will bring more than 20 years of law experience and 10 years of arbitration experience to the bench. With 16 years as a trial lawyer, and now taking the reigns of private practice, is an indication he is ready to take that next step in his professional law career.

Mr. Dalton is doing something that none of the others candidates are doing and that is, he is not accepting campaign contributions from fellow lawyers as this he feels will bring a conflict of interest when he hears each and every case. He also believes that judges who sit on the bench to hear cases should be non-partisan, for he believes partisanship does not belong in the courtroom.

If the citizens of Kane County want a courtroom where both sides of the story are heard and all of the facts are presented and all cases are judged fairly, then John G. Dalton is the man suited for the job.

David J. Ham
Elgin, Ill.

Letter: In support of Keith Wheeler, Chris Lauzen

The Illinois Primary Election is nearly here. It has been a long campaign season, but it isn’t over until your vote is counted on Feb. 2.

Difficult times bring forth the people needed to correct problems. Never have I seen so many excellent new, young candidates willing to serve our state as have come forward this year with the new ideas, abundant energy, and strong moral backgrounds we need to return Illinois to its rightful place as one of our nation’s most prosperous states.

Keith Wheeler is one of these young men. Keith is founder and owner of a small business, a family man with two young sons who wants to rebuild Illinois into an economically strong state, a state which his sons are proud to call home. I know Keith and find him to be a quiet man of deep thought and great moral strength. Keith is the right choice to be our representative in the 50th District.

For Illinois Senate, Chris Lauzen continues to win my vote. Chris has been the moral voice of the Illinois Senate. He has suffered many attacks from Springfield insiders because he believes it is the right of Illinois’ taxpayers to expect honesty in state government.

Chris is that rare legislator who answers letters, e-mails and phone calls. He is truly “the people’s senator.” Please join me in re-electing Chris on Feb. 2.

Dennis C. Ryan
Elburn

Letter: SGUMC accepting offering for Haiti Sunday

The Republic of Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake last night in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. This is the city where one of our missions, International Child Care’s “Grace Children’s Hospital”, is located. Our church has been there several times with mission teams over the years.

Sugar Grove United Methodist will respond this Sunday with an emergency offering for earthquake relief in Haiti. Checks may be payable to “SGUMC” noting “Haiti” in the memo.

Please pray for those who are trapped in fallen buildings, those who are grieving loss of life and home, and those who are aiding victims with rescue efforts, clean water, and medical help.

Anyone may contribute by sending checks to:
Sugar Grove United Methodist Church
176 Main St.
Sugar Grove, Illinois 60554

Thank you for your compassionate responses.

Pastor Steve Good

Guest Editorial: Budget cuts are necessary to equalize services, funding

by Charlie McCormick
Kaneland Superintendent

Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, recently made the following observation: “The country faces a fundamental disconnect between the services the people expect the government to provide … and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services.”

While Mr. Elmendorf’s perspective is national, his observation is applicable to all levels of government and government-funded services.

The financial conditions Mr. Elmendorf mentions—less revenue than needed to support current services—are no stranger to our local communities. They are evident through job losses, underemployment, home foreclosures, homes for sale and difficulty getting loans. They are also apparent in the form of shrinking government budgets and services. The latter is the case for Kaneland.

For many years Kaneland has operated on a very conservative and efficient fiscal footing. The district has traditionally carried relatively small fund balances from year to year, believing that the community did not want the district holding significant sums of money in its accounts. In the face of the current perfect financial storm we all face, this means that Kaneland has practically no reserves for absorbing the loss of revenue. Perhaps in the future, the approach of operating with very limited fund balances needs to be reconsidered.

Kaneland has encountered tight financial circumstances in the past and has taken this situation to the community in the form of Education Fund referendums. No one assumes that this is a possibility now or that significant additional state or local revenue will magically appear in the near future. And so, these current financial challenges can only be addressed through budget cuts, just like in your homes or at the businesses where you work.

The administration has undertaken a line-by-line review of the School District’s budget. As we continue to work with staff to review the budget and set priorities for next year, it is becoming increasingly clear that the decisions that will be required to balance the budget will have undesirable effects on students, staff members and parents. These negative effects will come from the elimination of specific costs from the budget or in changes as to how school programs and services are provided.

The budget cannot be balanced without this being the case, given the magnitude of overall cost reduction that is required—$3,000,000 for the 2010-11 budget. And, this is the case with the district having already eliminated costs and positions from the budget of more than a million dollars from last year to this year.

What is being considered for possible cost reduction or elimination? The simple answer to this question is that everything that contributes to cost is being considered—programs, services, extra-curricular activities and athletics, support service positions, teaching positions, administrative positions, salaries, insurance costs, staff development, refreshments, travel, bussing, utility costs, books, equipment, supplies, etc. As we review the budget line-by-line, we are asking why every cost is essential to the core functions of the schools and School District.

We have reviewed specific budget cuts with an eye toward their impacts and their relationships with one another. The administration’s goal is to bring the board a general and preliminary recommendation as to how the budget for 2010-11 can be balanced in January. While we intend to be as open, transparent and caring in this process as possible, we recognize that the resulting budget cuts will be painful and frustrating for many people. Due to the legal requirements regarding staffing decisions, this process must be resolved by the end of February.

It is important for the community to be aware of pending budget cuts as they may have significant impacts on various aspects of the school’s operations, programs, services, students and staff. It is also important for you to know that we are resilient. And while things cannot and will not be the same in the short term as we make the decisions necessary to function within the resources available to the School District, our students will be OK.

Things go in cycles and this has occurred in the past. The district may in fact be a better organization for having had to engage in such a detailed cost analysis. Please know that all of us at Kaneland will keep our focus on continuing to offer the best we can for Kaneland students. The times will be tough, but so will we.

Letter: The current health care push is unconstitutional, and a disgrace

With the insistence of the president, Congress is attempting to authorize the government of these United States to insert itself between physicians and their patients, under the guise of “National Health Care.” Attempting to justify their actions, they point to the disastrous socialist medical plans of Canada, as well as Britain and other European countries as precedents for their action.

Talk of precedents, and precedents drawn from foreign countries? They don’t apply here. We have a written document, our Constitution, which is meant to constrain our national government from meddlesome actions just such as this. Its Fourth Amendment states the right of the people to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures, yet is not the government’s desire to interfere in a citizen’s right to choose, or not choose, his own health care an infringement upon this Amendment?

The 10th Amendment states that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States or to the people. Nowhere in the Constitution can I find a clause delegating to the government of the United States the authority to meddle in the health concerns of an individual citizen.

As to the Democrat majority in Congress, I understand well those gentlemen are not free to vote otherwise. They are coerced by the power and authority of the Presidency. They attempt to ease their consciences by claiming this to be the will of the people, but we know that it has been done according to the dictate of the White House. President Obama himself, with that vast amount of political clout and media sycophancy he manipulates, and the many false expectations he is able to hold up, has obtained these votes despite public outcry, yet this is said to be “the voice of the people.”

The voice of the people? Can we ignore the voices, the thousands of meetings, the millions of letters, phone calls and e-mails in protest of this legislation? Is it any more constitutional simply because the president commands that it be done? How different is this from the conduct of kings, tyrants and dictators, such actions of which this nation was founded to escape?

And then, to perpetuate this action of the Senate, the passage of this “Health Care Bill,” in the gloom of night, and on Christmas Eve at that, when the very public they claim to serve is distracted by the celebration of the holiday, is the ultimate disgrace.

Dennis C. Ryan
Elburn

Letter: Thank you, Lions and Leos

My family has recently been greatly blessed by the Elburn Leos and Lions Clubs. This past fall, we contacted them to inquire if they could help us find a trainer and/or possibly help with funding to purchase a puppy to be used as a service dog for our son with special needs.

Pam Hall, of the Lions, went over and above this request by insisting Max deserved a “real” service dog. I had tried this route for two years with seven service dog organizations, but due to our son’s dual-diagnosis (cognitive and physical impairment plus hearing impairment), one company after another let us know they could not meet his needs.

It was a sad and disappointing time as we knew that a service dog would be a wonderful companion for our son, but more importantly would help keep him safe outdoors as he is prone to wandering off at times. We’d had some scary instances with him getting lost in the corn field, as well as finding him down at the pond on his own.

While my expectations were very low, Pam Hall was not deterred for one minute. She got to work, and in less than a week found an organization, 4 Paws for Ability. We got the wonderful news that they were more than able to train a dog for us and that it would be ready in about one year.

These dogs undergo extensive training (behavior interruption, search and rescue, ambulation stability, etc.) and therefore require a large donation to be made to the organization prior to a dog being trained for a family. Pam took care of that too, and went to the Leos Club on our behalf. After presenting what she called “The Facts About Max” to the Leos, they voted to make the $14,000 donation to 4 Paws in Max’s name. It is quite something to have a group of kids, who have worked very hard to raise every single dollar, decide your child’s independence, happiness and safety are so valuable that they want to donate their funds to help out.

But wait—their generosity did not stop there. Max spent some time with a dear man named Ron during the Leos meeting we attended, where the kids got to tell Max about his new dog. Max must have made quite an impression, as a few months later, Ron encouraged his fellow Lions to use their Candy Day funds to help our family with the hotel expenses when we travel to Ohio for two weeks this August for the mandatory training with the service dog prior to its placement with our family. We got the news of this just prior to Christmas … blessing on top of blessing.

We want to thank every Lion and every Leo. Your support means the world to us, and your generosity blows us away. We asked for a small amount of help and you gave and gave and gave some more. Wow. Thanks also to everyone who attends the Lions functions, such as Elburn Days, Holiday Meat Raffle, Bingo, Draw Downs, Candy Day and the dozens more that take place right in town each week all year long.

Not only are their events a great time, but the funds raised stay right here in the Kaneland area whenever possible.

Gene, Carrie, Riley, & Max Capes
Maple Park

Letter: In support of D.J. Tegeler

I’m writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of my attorney, D.J. Tegeler, as well as my friend for the past 12 years.

As a representative, he has handled all of my legal needs nonjudgmentally and with compassion.

In my opinion, he would make an outstanding candidate for the position of judge. He has handled numerous notable situations with great skill.

As a person, he has demonstrated high moral standards and he treats every individual with fairness and respect.

Lani Johnson
Aurora

Letter: Chris Lauzen leads in word and deed

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government … it is their Right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Illinois politics is in a state of upheaval. It is time to clean up this mess.

Senator Chris Lauzen is one of the very few we can trust with his extensive education and past and proven experience. My father taught me to judge people not by what they say—rather judge them by what they do. Chris Lauzen’s words match his actions, and that is why we need to re-elect such a leader.

John Carey
Sandwich

Letter: Chris Lauzen walks the walk

In this time of greatly reduced personal spending, we should think about some people who never seem to stop spending—namely our Illinois state legislators.

Despite a seemingly endless list of schemes to collect more money from you (lottery, cigarette and liquor taxes, casino taxes, sales of paid-for state assets) our state government never seems to have enough. And despite this year’s spending increase, which like all other years far outstrips the rate of inflation, we are basically bankrupt and shutting down state services.

Despite a mere 10 percent population increase, our state spending is up 236 percent since 1994. That’s an average annual spending increase of 5.9 percent, almost twice the inflation rate, which means that our inflation-adjusted spending has increased by 54 percent over the past 15 years. What would happen to your family if your personal spending was on this path? If our state government were a person, we’d have to sign it up for an “intervention,” and we’d have to sign ourselves up too, since we’re the “enablers”.

This Feb. 2, you have an opportunity to help stop this catastrophe. Every political candidate claims to oppose government “business as usual,” but Chris Lauzen, our state senator in the 25th Senate District, actually walks the walk. His pro-taxpayer voting record is simply astounding.

The big spenders in our legislature have amassed plenty of money to attack Chris this year. They would love nothing more than a clearer path to your wallet so that they can enrich themselves even more.

You can stop them with a vote for Chris Lauzen, State Senator for the 25th Senate District.

Dave Ziffer
Batavia

Letter: Chris Lauzen is a man of principle

I‘ve known Senator Chris Lauzen for many years. Never has he ever voted against his principles. He is one of those who cannot be controlled, so to speak.

This time, Sen. Lauzen has an opponent. Personally, I never could understand why anyone would run against an incumbent who was doing all the right things for his constituents. It would appear those type of opponents are only out for power.

Senator Lauzen has been in Springfield for all of us. Now, it’s time that we stand behind him.
I hope you’ll cast your vote for him on Feb. 2.

Eunice Conn
Polo, Ill.

Letter: In support of John Dalton

I take my right to vote seriously. I don’t recall missing an election since I became of voting age. That said, I am embarrassed to say that most years I have walked into the voting booth with little or no information about the individuals running for judge.

This is ironic, because I believe that judges occupy some of the most important roles in our society. If judges are not intelligent, impartial and thoughtful, then how can we have justice?

I believe that John Dalton has these qualities and that he will make a fine judge. He is a person of great integrity and—to my knowledge—is the only candidate who has refused to accept campaign contributions from lawyers or organizations that represent lawyers.

Most of us have the good fortune not to have to appear before a judge on matters of great seriousness. If I were to be in such position, I would want John Dalton on the bench.

Fran Cella
Elgin

Letter: John Dalton has been a benefit to community

The primary election is coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and we are being asked to elect a new Resident Judge for Kane County.

This is not always an easy task, as we generally know much less about a judicial candidate then we do about a candidate for a state legislative position. So we stand in the voting booth trying to decide which judge would be the best, or we simply do not vote for the judicial candidates

However, this time there is a candidate that is well known in the Elgin community, John Dalton. John has been a resident of Elgin for the past 13 years, and in that time, he has made a real impact on the community, whether it is as a lawyer, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a business owner, an attorney or as a volunteer.

I have known John for 10 years and am still amazed by his kindness and generosity. There is no task too large or small that he will not undertake if asked. He has worked with the Elgin’s Heritage Commission, founded and worked with Elgin’s Speak Out Against Prejudice and was a board member of the YMCA. In addition to these public positions, John has been very active in the northeast neighborhood where he lives.

John has been an attorney for 23 years. He has worked for large law firms, major corporations, as a local attorney and as an arbitrator. John is by far the most qualified candidate I have seen for judge in a long, long time.

So when you stand in the voting booth on Feb. 2, please remember to vote, and look at the candidates for judge. Rest assured, voting for John Dalton will ensure that a fully qualified person will become a judge.

Susan Lovingood
Elgin

Letter: In support of Keith Wheeler

While it is easy to complain about our state government—and our current group in Springfield has given us just cause—it is much harder to identify a true leader who can provide solutions to the myriad of problems we all can recognize.

I am convinced that Keith Wheeler is that leader for those of us who live in the 50th District. Keith exemplifies the true spirit of our community with a combination of common sense and traditional values that is rarely seen in politicians. A successful small business owner, Keith knows how to make tough financial decisions.

Wheeler will put that experience to work for us in Springfield, to help develop a sound economic strategy for Illinois that won’t bankrupt our children’s futures. His plan is simple and straightforward. Create an economic climate that helps existing Illinois businesses to thrive and encourages new business to invest within our state, which will both save and create jobs—Illinois jobs. Taking our citizens off the unemployment roll and putting them on the payroll is the key, and it yields multi-level benefits.

The state spends less when unemployment is reduced. Workers earn wages, pay income taxes and generate sales tax revenues. We don’t need tax increases. We do need to put people back to work, and to develop a fiscally responsible, balanced budget. Keith Wheeler has the right solutions, he is the right leader, and the time to put him to work for us is right now. I enthusiastically endorse Keith Wheeler to be my next State Representative in the 50th District.

Terry Hunt
Big Rock

Letter: In support of Fred Morelli

I want to mention something people in your area might want to know. I recently became aware that a lawyer who has been helping our group pro-bono in our fight to save the Fox River Valley is running for judge there in Kendall, Kane and DeKalb counties. His name is Fred Morelli.

Leaving a meeting, I happened to see the sign on the side of his car and asked him about it. He told me he is running for a Circuit Court judgeship.

I personally know he has spent countless hours, including trips to Springfield and Chicago, on our behalf, and has charged us nothing. He cares about our cause very deeply, and is trying to help us prevent Ameren from running a large transmission line through the forests along the Fox River. I know he has done some late hours in the office making up for the time he spent on us. It is a worthy cause, but there are lots of them, and not everyone takes the time to help. He has a fine ability to focus and sort through the issues. Fred Morelli has represented us well, and his straightforward and honest approach to this struggle has been inspirational.

I think he would make a fine judge and would be fair and even-handed in his approach to administering justice. I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t think so. As I have gotten to know him over the last eight months of our battle, he has been at every single meeting and inspired us to keep going. We are winning, by the way, and a large part of the victory will be because of Fred.

I heartily endorse Fred Morelli’s candidacy, and thought I would let you folks up there know how he has helped us. I think he will make a good judge. Please consider Fred Morelli when you vote, and please do vote.

Twila L. Yednock
Ottawa, Ill.

Letter: In support of Chris Lauzen

Is there a representative who’s honest, approachable, responsive and willing to “face the giants” at personal cost?

He does exist, and his name is Chris Lauzen. We consider ourselves fortunate to have Senator Lauzen’s 25th District representation in Springfield.

We have needed his assistance several times; he has personally responded to those requests. Senator Lauzen continually fights to reduce taxes and works to maintain high ethical standards for elected officials of either party.

Craig and Mary Stough
Elburn

Letter: The 14th Congressional District race

My husband and I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with Ethan Hastert on a number of occasions.

Ethan has new and improved ideas for Illinois. He believes our existing infrastructure needs improving, and he would like to look into new ways to improve our transportation system. Ethan is not in favor of bringing the Guantanamo Bay detainees to Illinois or allowing non-citizens into the military just to gain citizenship.

I would suggest you take the time to meet and talk to Ethan Hastert yourself. I’m sure on Feb. 2, Ethan will have your vote as he has ours.

Wendy Kaczmarek
Montgomery

Letter: Ethan Hastert is the right choice

We need representatives who understand our concerns, and respect our values as residents of the Fox Valley community. That is why Ethan Hastert is the right choice for congress on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Ethan is a resident of our community; he and his family have put down roots here, he shares our values. He is extremely knowledgeable on the issues that matter most to the people of this area. He understands that a one size fits all big government approach does not meet the unique problems that the community and the country face. He listens, and has fresh solutions.

I believe that it is vital for representatives to know the people of their district to listen to their constituents, and to fight for their community. I can say without reservation that Ethan Hastert knows and understands that the people of this district are his first priority.

We need a fresh face with fresh ideas in congress. That is why I am voting for Ethan Hastert on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

David L. Anderson
Elburn

Guest Editorial: Remembering Dutch Phillips

Editor’s note: Kaneville resident Lou Roenna gave the eulogy at the recent services of his neighbor, Dutch Phillips. Lou then submitted that eulogy as a letter to the editor. We are happy to share his thoughts on his good friend in this space in our paper.

Today we are here to say goodbye to an amazing person, Dutch Phillips, a very well respected and much loved individual.

It shows in the love and support he has received over the last two years, as he battled the insidious disease that claimed his life. It was never more apparent how much Dutch was loved and how highly he was regarded as it was over the last few weeks as his time with us grew shorter. The outpouring of love, prayers, and well wishes that he received from the dozens of family and friends who felt compelled to visit, write or call, was something to see.

We all wanted Dutch to know how much it had meant to have him in our lives, how much of an impact he had in our lives, how much we had learned from him. This was a testament to a life well lived, by a man who knew his priorities and clung to his principles no matter what obstacle life presented to him.

Dutch had that farmer’s common sense and practicality that you get from being raised on a farm. He always seemed to be doing exactly what he should be doing at exactly the time he should be doing it. He treated this disease with that same common sense. Use the time you have left for what is important, and Dutch knew what was truly important.

He loved his family dearly, his brothers and sisters, his children and grandchildren, and Jane, his beloved wife of 45 years. He was so proud of all of his family, he would just light up when he spoke about who was playing baseball, who was in what grade now, how great his children were doing. All of you meant the world to him and he loved you all dearly. He had hundreds of friends, but then Dutch made friends everywhere he went. He had a warmth about him, an ease with conversation, you always seemed to walk away feeling better after spending time with Dutch. He was the type of person that when you met him for the first time and talked for a while you felt like you had known him your whole life. That’s how it was when I first met him, like we had been friends forever. He personified an old saying I remember, “Treat your family like friends, and treat your friends like family.” He started calling me his kid brother shortly after we met; I am just one of many “kid brothers” he had adopted into his family.

To say Dutch was an avid gardener is a bit of an understatement. He was more like a farmer in need of a farm. As most of us know, he literally turned his whole yard into a vegetable garden. What wasn’t a vegetable garden had fruit trees, raspberries and strawberries. One of Dutch’s mottos was any time spent in the garden is time well spent. And quite a garden it was, with rows as straight as could be, always well kept, the plants just thriving. His excitement was contagious as he walked you around for the 25-cent tour and showed you the beans, the broccoli, the tomatoes.

How many new friends he made of strangers who passed by and told him what a great looking garden he had. “How do you do it?” “They would ask. “Do you have a minute? I’ll give you the tour,” he would tell them. Then they would get the 25-cent tour; they would also leave with a sack full of corn and other veggies. They would be strangers no more. They would be part of Dutch’s ever-widening circle of friends. They were touched by the warmth of his personality, the gesture of friendship, as all of us have experienced.
One of my favorite memories of Dutch is one that speaks to his character and how he valued people, even strangers. I was sitting on Dutch and Jane’s front porch one summer night a few years back. We were waving at the cars going past on Main Street, just enjoying a nice night. All of a sudden a car pulls up in front of Dutch’s house with a man alone and asking for directions to the nearest gas station.

He tells Dutch he is lost and his car is just about out of gas. Dutch is trying to find out what direction the man needs to go to send him in the right direction, but the man is really quite nervous because his gas tank is just about empty and he is not really being too clear about where he needs to go. So Dutch says please wait here, I’ll be right back. Off Dutch goes down his driveway, he comes back in a few seconds with a five-gallon gas can and proceeds to open the gentleman’s gas tank and pour a couple of gallons into his tank. Instantly this man who just a few moments ago was ready to have an anxiety attack calmed down. He finally was able to tell Dutch where he was trying to go. The stranger went into his pocket and pulled out a couple of dollars to give to Dutch for the gas, and Dutch in his firm but gentle way told the stranger, “No thank you.”

What Dutch said stuck with me; he said, “Please you go on; if you see someone on the road who needs help or assistance, please stop and help them; that’s how you can pay me back.” And once again someone who came in as a stranger left as a friend because of their encounter with Dutch.

We spent many nights on the porch waving at the cars as they went by, talking about life, the day’s events, plans for the future. One night I wondered out loud how many people live in Kaneville. I was looking for a number like 375 or 400. Not realizing Dutch was a counter, he starts at Harter and Main going towards Sugar Grove and starts naming the people in each house and how many people are in each house. You have the Ross’s, then the Rizzi’s, then the Ottosens, across the street you have the Alfrey’s.

I couldn’t stop him once he started. Luckily Jane was on the porch with us and stopped him before he got to the subdivision. We may well have been on the porch ‘til day break. Dutch would count anything, rows of corn, cars passing by on Main Street, how many trick-or-treaters came to the house on Halloween. But what’s funny was he knew the names, the families, and the history of the whole town. He not only named who lived in the house now but who used to live there.

We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot about gardening and even more about life from my friend Dutch. About having a set of values and living them. Finding out what’s truly important in your life and making that your priority. He was a terrific friend, a wonderful family man, a great teacher who taught not so much by what he said but by how he lived his life. He had a gentle but firm way about him. He thought through what was to be said and how it was to be said. When he learned he had cancer and how serious it was, he called me up to come over and talk. He made sure we were alone so I could feel free to cry, and I did.

But not Dutch; he was clear-eyed and as strong as I had ever seen him. He had worked it out in his mind. That farmer’s common sense and practicality kicked in. He was going to do what needed to be done, when it needed to be done. He told me how lucky he was in this life. His children were healthy and living well, he had wonderful, healthy grandchildren; he was still in love with his childhood sweetheart. He told me that he was glad it was him and not his wife, or children, or grandchildren. Why be angry, it’s here, that’s the reality of it. Why add to the weight of the disease with anger and resentment. What time is left needs to be used for what’s really important. Like taking family trips, visits with friends, making new friends, renewing old friendships, oh, and of course, working in the garden.

I thought about how I would react if the roles were reversed. My good friend grew in stature that cold January morning almost two years ago. I just have to believe that it was his attitude and courage that helped him get almost two more great years and countless more memories for all of us.

It was odd when Dutch found out he was sick. He was retiring, bought his dream farm in Missouri; he was making plans to leave the town he’d lived in all his life. When he told me his time would be short, I could only think of another old saying that man makes his plans and God sits back and laughs. I thought then that Dutch’s work was not done here. He was going to do the next right thing. He was going to teach us how a man faces a fatal disease with courage and garners the most out of the time he has left. He filled us with two years of memories we may not have gotten if he were a different kind of man. In that respect he will never leave us; he has impacted us in a way that will stay with us the rest of our days.

I’ll end with this; some people just pass through your life … others, come in, leave footprints on your heart, and you are forever changed. Dutch was just such a person.

Letter: John Dalton is a man of integrity

As we enter another campaign season, once again the call for campaign finance reform resurfaces, particularly from candidates seeking voter support and votes.

Typically, once elected, these candidates’ highly verbalized intention to advance critically needed campaign finance reform fades until the next election cycle, when they again need support and votes for their own re-election. And so it continues to the detriment of our democracy, to the disempowerment of voters.

This seemingly endless cycle of false hopes for real campaign finance reform makes it all the more exceptional for Democratic candidate John Dalton to actually take action now, while he is still a candidate. Seeking election to fill a new judgeship for Kane County, Dalton has intentionally declined donations of any size from fellow attorneys to ensure his focus as judge will be on the facts pertinent to the case rather than alliances formed from an attorney’s financial support to his campaign. It is precisely this type of common sense integrity which Kane County voters should enthusiastically support.

It’s a vital step to cultivating a culture of unbiased justice, within a judicial system desperately in need of real reform. By bringing this essential element to our courts as well as the electoral process, Dalton distinguishes himself above all other candidates.

This noble measure to vigorously step up to actually create the true campaign finance reform without imposed regulation, coupled with many stellar qualities John Dalton possesses as a qualified candidate of superb integrity, is why I am unreservedly supporting his campaign for Kane County judge. It is also the reason all voters in Kane County, regardless of party affiliation, should enthusiastically lend their support, voice and vote to Dalton.

Barbara Zaha
St. Charles

Letter: Randy Hultgren brings people together

I have been very excited to be involved with my first political campaign—that of state Sen. Randy Hultgren, who is running for Congress in the 14th District.

Randy has been a friend since we went to school together. I was a freshman and he was a popular upperclassman. Do you know what I remember about Randy?

As a freshman you know how it is, you get teased and picked on and all the rest by those cool guys who know all the ropes. Randy was different. He treated me with respect and encouragement, as an equal. That spoke volumes to me about his character and care for other people.

As a state Senator, Randy has done the same, calling people to integrity and kindness through example. I am convinced that he will offer Republicans and Democrats that want to see change and a new spirit in Washington the best representation possible.

That is how Randy lives his life. Randy also has the proven ability to bring people together, and he has worked for real legislative reforms in Springfield that have reduced government waste and lowered taxes. We need people like Sen. Hultgren with strong values and demonstrated leadership to stand up for us.

Rev. Matthew Elliott, PhD
Geneva
President, Oasis International

Letter: Elburn Baseball & Softball thanks National Bank & Trust

Elburn Baseball and Softball would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the National Bank & Trust of Elburn for including our organization in this past summer’s Baseballs on Parade community art project.

Baseballs on parade celebrated the village of Elburn, past and present, and America’s pastime with local businesses and individuals decorating concrete baseballs to display throughout the summer. The project concluded with the baseballs being auctioned off during the Elburn Days festival with proceeds benefiting scholarships at Kaneland High School and the Elburn Baseball & Softball organization.

Elburn Baseball & Softball is a nonprofit organization made up entirely of community and family volunteers. Without the assistance of our great sponsors, like National Bank & Trust, the baseball and softball program would not be possible.

Thanks again to the National Bank & Trust.

Jeff McDonald
EBS President

Letter: A Christmas blessing

2009 has been a struggle for many, and I am certainly looking forward to a great 2010. With the new year upon us, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Al Negri, Elburn’s Jewel store director, for his compassion and assistance on the morning of Christmas Eve.

In the midst of a power outage and many other crises happening that busy morning, I was loading my groceries and discovered my car key was missing. I searched the store and was just standing there wondering how I was going to get to my job and how in the world I lost my key.

I must have looked quite perplexed as I was approached by a very kind store employee offering his assistance. He didn’t hesitate to offer a ride to get my spare keys and quickly found another nice Jewel employee that responded right away.

I found this act of kindness and generosity way beyond the call of good customer service. I later received a call from Jewel that my key was found. I asked the name of the very kind man (Jewel employee) and was told he was Al, the store manager.

I visit Jewel regularly and have been treated well by many Jewel employees, but this was my first opportunity to meet Mr. Negri. This true act of kindness made for a very special Christmas this year. I am sure that many others besides me have had a tough year, but I am so grateful for the wonderful people, like Al, who have made this year brighter.

Thank you so much, and happy new year.

JoAnn Colby
Elburn

Letter: Health care legislation does not follow Constitution

I am amazed at the state of our society. Our founding, the cause for people to leave the comfort and security of all they knew, was the promise of freedom.

Many people left their countries of origin in search of religious freedom. Others left their countries because they had a spirit of adventure and a need to discover something they had never seen or experienced. Before becoming a sovereign country, we were an oppressed people who were governed by a monarchy in a far off country with no understanding of what was happening in the growing colonies. From these great people, two documents were created that formed the backbone to the greatest country to ever grace this world—the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

These founding documents are the stricture by which our country was developed, not a living document that evolves with the times and can be adjusted to the current socio-economic precepts of the current political class. As such, I just re-read both documents and, as usual, found what I needed to counter what is currently being proposed for our “urgent” healthcare needs.

Starting with the Bill of Rights, Amendment 10 is as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, after reading this, the first and only logical path to follow is to consult the Constitution to see if there is anything that describes healthcare and, following further into the issue, the way to pay for it if it is something that is the providence of the federal government. I only found one part of the Constitution that might be construed as meaning that the federal government should have any part in healthcare.

The following is from Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States (as written in the original Constitution).”

The “general Welfare” portion of the Constitution I believe is being “interpreted” for the progressives push to have the federal government take over healthcare. Make no mistake, the end goal of this, all the way back to when Ronald Reagan made an incredibly prescient speech in 1961 about the evils of what the liberals are proposing right now as then, is for the takeover of one-sixth of our economy by the government and an encroaching on our basic freedoms through the supposed concern for our welfare.

Incredibly, the same portion of the Constitution that is attributed to these suppositions is also a source for a questioning of our basic taxation system and how the liberals are proposing to pay for this new entitlement.

How can we have the new “excise” if it is geared to tax more heavily on those “Cadillac” plans? Moreover, how can we have a taxation system that taxes more heavily on those that earn more? And, since we are talking about taxation, how can we tax those that pass on? There is no clearer call for a flat tax than from the Constitution itself. What is a flat tax other than having a tax that is “… uniform throughout the United States”?

But I am leaving my point. Nowhere in the Constitution or in the Bill of Rights does it state that the federal government should provide me or my fellow Americans federally paid healthcare. I would like to state right now that the same yearning for freedom that inspired our ancestors is the same inspiration that should be in every American to fight the federal takeover of our healthcare system.

Like it or not, healthcare is a business, and Americans should yearn for free enterprise in any business system. If not, then our individual freedoms are compromised by a governmental system that is now concerned by the minutiae of how we care for ourselves and with the power to dictate everything from diet to exercise to how we live our lives.

I don’t know about all Americans, but I relish my freedom and do not wish to be told, for instance, that the steak and potato I had for dinner is no longer acceptable because it could endanger my health and is therefore no longer acceptable under the new healthcare precepts laid down by the federal government.

I could also talk about price, but the $2.5 trillion over 10 years is nothing at all compared to the cost of the freedom I would be losing.

And, on top of that, what country would I run to recapture the freedom I would be losing? The America I love, that all hopeful people continue to run to today, will be gone if this bill passes, and the last vestige of hope and freedom will be lost to this world.

David Selenis
Maple Park

Happy holidays from the Elburn Herald

From all of us at the Elburn Herald to all of you, merry Christmas and happy New Year.

The year 2009 has been one of challenges for many—a difficult economy has led to an increase in unemployment and stress; and the uncertainty for the future can lead to a bittersweet holiday season.

Yet, we found that as the challenges of the year progressed, we found more and more instances of people focusing more on true value, rather than merely on money and “stuff”—we found stories about people focusing on family and friends, neighbors, those in need—in other words, more people are placing more focus on people and relationships, rather than just on things.

So, as people sit around their holiday dinner tables or gather for their New Year celebrations, we understand that underneath the good cheer there may be a measure of stress or worry.

We hope that many of the stories and people that have shown up in our pages this year can help inspire you to overcome those potentially negative feelings the same way they inspire us. They help remind us what is important, and that true value is not something that is merely measured with numbers.

We hope that as you enjoy your holidays and celebrations, the knowledge of why you are celebrating and the thoughts of what is truly important take center stage.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Letter: Richard Temmerman and students deserve our thanks

Something awesome happened at the Elburn & Countryside Community Center on Friday, Dec. 4, at the Elburn Christmas Stroll. Richard Temmerman and his students held a black belt demonstration to raise funds for the operating expenses at the Community Center. This group of people banded together and raised over $1,200 and donated it all to the Elburn & Countryside Community Center.

Owner of Mid-Town Martial Arts, Master Temmerman has been a tenant in our building for many years. His loyalty has been consistent throughout his years here. Always looking out for the center and looking for ways to improve it, he has been an active participant in keeping the Community Center a vital part of Elburn and the surrounding communities.

Because we are a nonprofit, privately funded organization, help like this is exactly what we need. We as a volunteer board of directors strive to continue to offer programs and activities to the community. With the economy such as it is, it is not always an easy task.

We are extremely grateful to Master Temmerman and his students, parents and everyone else that was involved with this fundraiser.

We welcome and appreciate any and all efforts offered to us through fundraisers, donations and volunteerism.

Once again, we would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Mid-Town Martial Arts, Master Temmerman, students, parents, donors etc. We are certainly inspired by all of you.
Pat Leyden
William Brauer
Kathy Johnson
Jack Hansen
Dan Hanneman
Clara Stonecipher
Elburn and Countryside Community Center
Board of Directors