Category Archives: Local News

What is going on in your town

Ellen needs your stuff for shelter

GENEVA—Planning is underway for the 6th Annual Ellen’s Excellent Sale at 1110 Union Street in Geneva, to benefit Lazarus House.

Join 15-year old Ellen Wildman by turning extra stuff into cash for Lazarus House. Last year, this Geneva garage sale benefit raised $8,000 in just 2 days.

Ellen and family are seeking donations of furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, home decor, toys, books and tools. Clothes or computer equipment cannot be accepted. All donations are tax deductible.
The sale will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7 and 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday Aug. 8.

Donations will be accepted starting August 3rd. Call Ellen at (630) 418-7816 or Amy at (630) 414-7816 for more information or donation drop off times.

All proceeds will provide operating funds to Lazarus House, a year round shelter serving men, women and children who are homeless and connected to the Tri Cities and western rural Kane County. Lazarus House also provides grant-funded financial assistance to households at risk of homelessness.

Check withholding to avoid a tax surprise, IRS advises

CHICAGO—With 2009 half over, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds Illinoisans that there is no better time to check their 2009 federal income tax withholding levels to make sure they do not face any surprises when returns are due next spring.

The Making Work Pay Credit lowered tax withholding rates this year for 120 million American households. However, particular taxpayers who fall into any of the following groups should review their tax withholding rates to ensure enough tax is withheld: multiple job holders, families in which both spouses work, workers who can be claimed as dependents by other taxpayers and pensioners.

Failure to adjust your withholding could result in potentially smaller refunds or may cause you to owe tax rather than get a refund next year. So far in 2009, the average refund amount is $2,675 and 79 percent of all returns received a refund.

Because retirees typically have withholding from their pension payments, pension plan administrators or pension payers should be aware of the optional adjustment procedure for pension withholding announced in Notice 1036-P, Additional Withholding for Pensions for 2009, found at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1036p.pdf.

Social security beneficiaries, supplemental security income (SSI) recipients, disabled veterans and railroad retirees that receive this year’s one-time $250 economic recovery payment should be aware that the Making Work Pay credit will be reduced by the $250 payment amount. They may also want to review their withholding.

“The IRS withholding calculator on IRS.gov can help a taxpayer compute the proper tax withholding, said Sue Hales, IRS spokesperson for Illinois. “The worksheets in Publication 919, How Do I Adjust My Withholding? (found at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p919.pdf), can also be used to do the calculation. If the result suggests an adjustment is necessary, the taxpayer should submit a new Form W-4, Withholding Allowance Certificate, to his or her employer or adjust the amount of quarterly tax paid.”

In addition, the IRS reminds unemployed workers that the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits they receive during 2009 are tax-free for federal income tax purposes. People who expect to receive more than that should consider having tax withheld from their benefit payments in excess of $2,400. Use Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request, or the equivalent form provided by the payer to request withholding to begin or end.

Taxpayers should visit IRS.gov for more information about how to adjust federal income tax withholding. The Web site also has details on various tax incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as downloadable forms and publications. Free tax forms and publications are also available by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

History Center plants Victory Garden

GENEVA—Geneva History Center staff and volunteers have planted a Victory Garden in front of the building at 113 South Third Street. The garden includes three earthboxes brimming with crops such as tomatoes, Swiss chard, eggplant and more, as well as a striking sign by local artist and author Gina Olszowski.

When the United States entered World War II, the government encouraged citizens to grow Victory Gardens to help with the war effort. By the end of the war, fully 44 percent of the fresh vegetables grown in the United States were home grown in family Victory Gardens.

The Geneva History Center chose to create a Victory Garden in connection with its ongoing veterans’ exhibition. In addition, the Victory Garden serves as a reminder to citizens that locally grown food conserves scarce resources and provides a source for healthy, delicious and nutritious meals.

Those wishing to view the Geneva History Center’s Victory Garden may visit the History Center during normal business hours, Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays, noon-4 p.m. through the end of the growing season.

For more information, contact Geneva History Center Educator Margaret Selakovich at (630) 232-4951.

Time to choose mosquito repellent

As outdoor activities increase for the summer, and with concerns about West Nile Virus, many people will choose from various methods to reduce the potential for mosquito bites, such as wearing protective clothing and using repellents. If they choose to use repellents, the most effective ones contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). DEET has been tested against a variety of biting insects and has been shown to be very effective. It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control.

“The question of which DEET formulation to use often comes up,” John Church, University of Illinois Extension Educator, Natural Resources, said.

The more DEET that a repellent contains, the longer the time of protection provided from mosquito bites. A higher percentage of DEET in a repellent does not mean that the protection is better, just that it will last longer. Based on studies, a product containing 23.8 percent DEET provided an average of five hours of protection from mosquito bites. A product containing 20 percent DEET provided almost four hours of protection. A product with 6.65 percent DEET provided almost two hours of protection.

Products with 4.75 percent DEET and 2 percent soybean oil were both able to provide roughly one and a half hour of protection.

A higher percentage of DEET might be the best choice for a person who will be outdoors for several hours, while a lower percentage of DEET can be used if time outdoors will be limited. It can be re-applied if you are outdoors for a longer time than expected and start to be bitten by mosquitoes. Choose a repellent that will likely be used consistently and that will provide sufficient protection for the amount of time that will be spent outdoors. Product labels often indicate the length of time that protection can be expected from a product.

Use enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing. Do not apply repellent to skin that is under clothing. Heavy application is not necessary to achieve protection. Do not apply repellent to cuts, wounds, or irritated skin. After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water. Do not apply aerosol or pump products directly to your face. Spray hands and then rub them carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.

Always follow all label directions when using a chemical product, especially if using on children. If there are questions about a product’s safety, consult a physician or pharmacist prior to use. Persons choosing not to use a chemical repellent can wear more protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks. Non-chemical formulations of repellents are also available and some have been shown to be effective, but again vary in length of time of protection as compared to DEET products.

More information on West Nile Virus in humans and pets and the use of mosquito repellents, chemical and non-chemical, can be found at U. of I. websites, www.urbanext.uiuc .edu/westnile/repellent.html and www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/ westnile/about.html.

Protecting Fido from pests

With warm days and summer walks come a number of summertime dangers for our pets, namely fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

“Prevention is the key. Most people don’t know they have fleas and ticks in their house until it becomes a problem,” Dan Star, operator of Petland of Batavia said.

Mid-summer problems range from a flea-infested dog to a flea-infested household where carpets, bedding, and sofas provide adequate breeding grounds for the rapidly-multiplying, blood-drawing parasite. Studies show that 10 fleas can reproduce to a quarter of a million in 30 days providing breeding conditions are right—warm and moist. While outside pets may suffer more, indoor cats and dogs are not free of fleas.

“They can ride in from the outdoors on people’s pant legs,” Star said, indicating fleas are everywhere while ticks are more commonly found in heavily-wooded areas.

Lumps in your pet’s fur and excessive scratching are a couple of warning signs for fleas and ticks, respectively. Also white specks observed where your pet sleeps could be flea eggs; black specks, flea feces. Blood on your dog’s skin is another indicator.

New products, new choices
Today, there are many new products that interrupt the flea’s life cycle, preventing it from breeding. Flea products that control insect growth come in many forms. Some are pills; others come in liquid forms meant to be applied directly to a pet’s skin each month. Most of these products are available at Petland while others are prescription remedies available only from licensed veterinarians.

“While these new products have definitely expanded your flea control choices, no product alone is perfect,” Star said.
For instance, some of the new flea control products halt the parasite’s life cycle; yet fail to kill the existing flea. Some of the new flea control products do not protect against ticks. Many of the new products are different for dogs and cats.

More natural solutions?
Petland recognizes there are pet owners who prefer not to expose their pets to the systemic chemicals found in prescription liquids or pills as these remain in a pet’s bloodstream for varying lengths of time. These pet owners may prefer a more “natural” flea remedy. For instance, mixing a bit of brewer’s yeast into a dog’s food on a routine basis is not harmful to the pet, but reportedly creates an odor that fleas and ticks don’t like. Therefore, the parasites look for new hosts.

Dogs and cats housed outside also can benefit from having cedar chips in their bedding. It, too, has an aroma that repels fleas and ticks. This is one of the only methods of ridding newborn puppies and kittens from parasites as insecticides can cause serious health problems for animals less than four weeks of age.

Supplementing the brewer’s yeast and cedar chips with products like flea collars and powders that contain insecticides help mature pets during the worst part of the parasite season. But if your household and pets already are heavily infested with fleas and ticks, Petland says other measures should be taken.

“You must treat the environment first and then the animal,” Star said.

Lawns can be powdered or sprayed with water-soluble insecticides. According to Petland, there are powders and sprays safe for inside your house, too.

Pets that are allergic to insecticides may benefit from today’s technology. Electronic flea collars and pest control devices are available. These emit high-frequency sound waves reportedly disruptive to fleas, making them unable to locate their host. Electronic flea devices are attractive to environmentally conscious pet owners.

The buzzing pest you may not notice
None of us like to be bitten by mosquitoes but many times we forget to protect our pets from these buzzing pests as well. Female mosquitoes feed on blood to produce her eggs and while they often prefer birds, that does not mean our dogs and cats are not at risk. Luckily, some flea and tick medications can also repel mosquitoes.

“Protecting your pet from mosquitoes is more important than many pet owners realize,” says Star. “Mosquitoes carry larvae that can develop into heartworms, a serious condition that affects the heart and circulatory organs in our pets.”

Preventing heartworm is easy with just a trip to the vet. The vet will provide you with a monthly pill that prevents the development of larvae even if your pet is bitten by an infected mosquito. There is even an injection given by your vet that can protect your pet for up to 6 months from heartworm.

On cloud nine

Elburn resident Lilly Zwiers, 8, won a contest to meet the members of the popular music group the Jonas Brothers. The group recently performed in Chicago, and Lilly was able to meet them before the July 11 show at the Allstate Arena and have this photo taken. Courtesy Photo

Village President sells building after buyer receives liquor license

Liquor code change allowed for indirect interest in the business
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn Village President Dave Anderson sold his building at 107 N. Main St. on July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, three days after Schmidt obtained a village liquor license for the site, Village Attorney Bob Britz said.

Anderson said it was under contract for the previous two months, and under negotiation since February. Schmidt said he would not buy the building unless the village granted him a Class A liquor license for the site, so that he could open a tavern there.

Schmidt applied for the liquor license on May 13, a few days after Dave Anderson took the oath of office as the new village president.

A May 19 letter drafted by Schmidt’s attorney stated that Dave Anderson and Kevin Schmidt had reached an agreement for the purchase of the property, but that one term of the agreement between the parties was that the sale was contingent upon Schmidt being approved for a local liquor license.

On June 15, village trustees created a new available Class A liquor license but Schmidt was not granted a Class A license until July 20.

The village liquor code stated that a liquor license could not be issued to a business in which the village president or a village trustee had any direct or indirect interest.

Britz told village officials June 15 that removing the word “indirect” from the local liquor code first would need to take place, so that the local code matched the state liquor code, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said Tuesday.

The state, however, did not require the removal of the word “indirect” from Elburn’s liquor code. In addition, the village has approved other liquor licenses without changing its liquor code wording.

Britz, while he has been village attorney for Elburn, also has served as Anderson’s private counsel on legal matters including real estate transactions.

Britz and village staff then drafted an ordinance for the wording change, which trustees unanimously approved July 20. Trustee Bill Grabarek, as Deputy Liquor Commissioner, granted a Class A liquor license to Schmidt directly after the July 20 meeting, Britz said.

“I thought that with the word ‘indirect’ still in, there would have been a potential issue,” Grabarek said Wednesday. “The issue was that because the mayor (Dave Anderson) owned the building, basically we needed to knock out the word ‘indirect,’ to avoid the appearance of impropriety.”

The license Grabarek granted Schmidt was one of two available Class A licenses, another of which the board approved earlier that evening, July 20.

Youth with rare illness granted wish

By Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Sheehan family’s Elburn backyard looks a lot different than it did a month ago, when Kids Wish Network arranged for the installation of a huge swimming pool. For Caden Sheehan, 10, who suffers from a serious illness, life is much different, too.

Now, Caden and his siblings, Jacob, 13, and Brenna, 6, can cool off, swim and romp in the water anytime they want. During recent hot weather, the pool was well-used.

“We went in it every day,” Caden said.

The gift came about after the Kids Wish Network called his aunt, Liz Ruzick of Plano, a fundraiser for the organization, asking if she knew of a child who might benefit from having a wish granted. She told the fundraiser of her nephew, Caden, and his struggle with a life-threatening illness.

Kids Wish Network contacted Caden’s parents Lily and Jim Sheehan, to offer to grant his wish.

Caden has chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction, a rare disorder that slows digestion and can cause blockages. For Caden, having this disorder has meant four intestinal surgeries and constant intestinal problems. He is often nauseous and has very weak muscle tone.

“He has been in and out of occupational and physical therapy,” Lily said.

Caden has to receive 75 percent of his nutrition in liquid form through a G-tube in a portal on his chest. Luckily, the tiny portal does not prevent him from swimming.

Caden’s mom said he was thrilled when he learned his wish would be granted.

“He was like, ‘Wow, it’s terrible that I have this (illness), but then to get something like this, for them to give that to me…’ He was just very excited, very impressed,” Lily said.

Caden’s mom is glad he chose the pool. She said not only will it offer lasting entertainment for him, but a fun form of exercise to strengthen his muscles.

“It will be great physical therapy for him,” Lily said.

Jim said the organization would give Caden anything he wanted, within reason. At first, Caden could not decide what he wanted most.

“He went back and forth. He had a couple of other choices, as far as his wish,” said his dad, Jim Sheehan.

Initially Caden wanted to meet an actor from “High School Musical,” then he was thinking of going to Legoland in California, and finally he decided on the pool.

Caden decided on the pool because the fun would last a lot longer than a trip or meeting a celebrity.

“He said, ‘A pool is something that I can use all the time; if I go to Legoland, that’s just four days,’” Lily said.

Businesses helped make it happen
Several area businesses and individuals contributed time and materials last month to install the swimming pool that Kids Wish Network gave to 10-year-old Caden Sheehan of Elburn:
• Swim ‘n’ Play
• Peterson Pool Service and Supply
• W.M. Olsen Inc.
• Russell Automotive
• Martin Overstreet
• Jim and Marylin Swift
• Todd Martin
• Weiland Excavating
• Al Hint Trucking
• James Self
• KW Electric
• Lowe’s

Photo: Caden Sheehan took a dip Saturday in the swimming pool that Kids Wish Network had installed in the Elburn youth’s backyard in June. The organization granted the wish for Caden, who suffers from a rare digestive disorder.
Photo by Martha Quetsch

Developers approach Kaneville about annexation

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Long’s Meadow developers recently approached the village of Kaneville with an annexation proposal after the Kane County Development Department rejected their requests for concessions on county infrastructure requirements. However, village officials are not in a hurry to take on the potential risks such a decision would entail.

Infrastructure requirements from Kane County and the economic downturn have stalled progress on the Long’s Meadow Subdivision for the past two years. When developers presented plans for the 40-lot, 70-acre plat along Dauberman Road to Kane County for approval, county planners told them they would need to provide a turn lane into the subdivision and relocate power lines, at a cost of $500,000.

In an attempt to decrease the length of the turn lane needed, the developers requested a decrease in the speed limit along Dauberman Road from the Kane County Department of Transportation. This request was rejected, and several weeks later, the developers approached a subcommittee of the Kaneville Village Board with an annexation proposal.

The proposal included a decrease in the size of the lots, down from 1.5 and 1.25 acres per lot to 1.25 and 1 acres per lot. The resulting open two to three acres would be allocated for a public park or a ball field.

Developers also proposed a phased-in development timeline, in which three to four lots would be developed each year over three to five years. The first phase would start with lots on an extension of Locust Street, as opposed to Dauberman Road, which would have deferred the expense of the required turn lane on Dauberman Road.

However, village officials and the Kaneville Fire Department said they could not agree to only one point of entrance into the development, due to safety issues, and that Dauberman Road would still need to be used as a construction entrance.

Kaneville Village President Bob Rodney said that board members have expressed concern over the potential liability the annexation could create for the village.

“It’s highly improbable that homes would move within the next couple of years,” Rodney said. “If the developer goes belly-up, the village is still responsible for the maintenance of that property.”

Even with a homeowners association, three or four homes would not be able to afford to pay for street maintenance and mowing of the common areas should the development become stalled, he said.

Rodney said the developer is trying to remain optimistic about the future of the subdivision.

“But he doesn’t have a crystal ball about what’s going to happen over the next couple of years,” he said.

In the meantime, the property is becoming an eyesore and a potential health hazard, according to Rodney. Rodney said that although the village has requested that the developers mow the property, this has not been done, and the resulting un-maintained property has created a mosquito-breeding ground and a wildlife refuge, attracting coyotes and deer that have wandered into the adjacent neighborhoods.

In addition, he said that a farmer who owns a field next to the property has complained that the weeds are spreading to his cornfield and interfering with his yield.

The Kaneville Village Board will reach a final decision on the possible annexation at its next regularly scheduled board meeting on Aug. 20.

Residents invited to review, comment on comp plan

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Plan Commission invites residents to an open house at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, to review and comment on a draft comprehensive plan for the village of Kaneville and the surrounding planning area.

Village President Bob Rodney said the plan represents two years of hard work on the part of commissioners, who used input solicited from numerous local land owners and results from a survey sent to all village residents to create a final draft plan.

“They received some very valuable input,” Rodney said. “Nobody wants dramatic change.”

Plan Commission Chair Joe White and commissioners worked with Kane County Development Department planner Janet Hill and more recently, with Land Vision planning consultant Walter Madziarz to create the plan. The village was able to hire Madziarz with funds from a Kane County Community Development Block Grant.

The draft includes plans for land use, transportation, housing, agricultural preservation and other topics.

Kaneville Plan Commission
Open House

Residents to review, provide
feedback on draft comp plan
Thursday, Aug 13
6 p.m.
Kaneville Community Center

MP Village attorney: New committees operating legally

Trustees will vote on formal ordinance to establish them
by Martha Quetsch
Maple Park—New village committees that Maple Park President Kathy Curtis formed after being elected in April have been meeting even though the Village Board has not approved an ordinance formally creating the committees.

“The new committees have been working, as our legal counsel advised that we could,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The Village Board will vote on the official ordinance establishing the village’s three new committees at its next meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 4, Curtis said.

Curtis in May reduced the number of village committees from six to three, with the goal of streamlining work on village issues. The board planned to pass an ordinance July 7 changing the committees’ number, but because of an oversight by village officials, the ordinance was not prepared for the meeting, Curtis said.

Also during the July 7 meeting, trustee Terry Borg asked the village attorney, Pat Bond, whether the new committees could legally operate before the board approves the ordinance.

Bond said they could legally operate only if they were “special committees.” Since that meeting, a lawyer for Bond’s firm, Bond Dixon and Associates, informed Curtis in a letter July 9 that the three new committees arguably are special committees.

“Assuming the trustee members of the new committees were appointed by the Village President as provided in 1-5-6 of the Maple Park Village Code, the committees are arguably special committees and therefore could continue to function as such until the ordinance formally establishing them is adopted,” the lawyer, Keith Letsche said.

The new committees are Personnel and Communications; Finance, Public Relations and Development; and Infrastructure.

Among tasks that the new committees face includes finding and recommending a new police chief, which will be the work of the Personnel and Communications Committee: Curtis wants that to happen by Sept. 9.

The village previously had six committees: Finance, Streets, Water and Sewer, Parks and Grounds, Police and Planning.

In the letter to Curtis, Letsche also stated that any attempt to legally challenge the actions of the three new committees, on the grounds that the ordinance providing for them had not yet be adopted, would likely be unsuccessful. The reason is the creation of committees is not required or provided for by state statute, but is wholly discretionary, and committees do not take final actions on board or council matters, Letsch added.

Municipal Drive done in time for Solheim

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Village President Sean Michels will breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday, July 31, when the Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extensions open for traffic, just in time for the 2009 Solheim Cup.

“I see this as the key to our retail,” Village President Sean Michels said at the time. “We can also use it for transportation when the Solheim Cup comes.”

The project includes the extension of Municipal Drive north from Bastian Drive to Route 30 and from Route 30 to Galena Boulevard, and the extension of Galena Boulevard west to where it meets Municipal Drive.

Initiated in 2005, the project was held up several times, due to funding issues and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) requirements for additional intersection improvements.

The cost, initially projected at $8.1 million, increased to $10 million to include IDOT’s requirements for dual left turn lanes at the intersection of Galena Boulevard and Route 47 and dedicated right turn lanes on all four legs of the Route 47 and Galena Boulevard intersection.

When former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was in office, he requested $4.5 million for the project in the federal transportation bill. The bill, held up by the threat of a presidential veto because the amount was too high, was passed in 2007, and included $3.5 million for the project.

However, the federal money required a state match. When state government seemed unable to act quickly enough to provide its share of the funding, the entire project was at risk. The Village Board voted to step in and cover the local funding requirement. The majority of the balance will come from village bonds, and will be paid off through sales tax revenue.

Construction on the roads began last summer, and village officials have at times held their breath, hoping that the project would be completed in time for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup Aug. 17-23. Solheim Cup tournament director Kelly Hyne estimated that 40,000 fans per day will attend the event at Rich Harvest Farms off of Route 30 and Dugan Road.

Michels praised Geneva Construction Company for its speed and efficiency in getting the project done in time.

“They were really motivated to get it done quickly,” he said.

“With the opening of the Harter Road Middle School, the new Sugar Grove Library building and the Solheim Cup, it’s exciting to see some fresh asphalt around town,” Michels said.

In addition to easing the current flow of traffic through the village, the extensions will open up 180 acres of the area west of Waubonsee Corporate Center identified for commercial and retail development, according to Michels.

“It took three years to get the improvements completed,” Michels said. “Commercial developments don’t have three years to wait.”

Fat in sewer spoils sample

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—In testing treated wastewater at Elburn’s plant in June, village engineers found a fecal chloroform violation. Village Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said fats in the sewer system could be the culprit.

“They believe it relates back to fats, oils and greases getting into the tank,” Nevenhoven said.

The engineers, from Baxter Woodman, addressed the problem by increasing the chlorine in the wastewater, Nevenhoven said.

“We are watching it closely so it doesn’t happen again,” Nevenhoven said.

He said restaurant owners must prevent grease from getting into the sewer system by using fat traps.

“The restaurants have to pay people to haul the grease away,” Nevenhoven said.

The Kane County Health Department and licensed plumbers check the traps when they are installed to make sure they work properly.

“The grease traps are there, but if they are not cleaned, not emptied, off the grease goes,” Nevenhoven said.

The village cannot check the traps unless they are outside the restaurants and unless it hires a licensed plumber to do the check.

Village trustee Ken Anderson suggested that the village increase public education about the need to keep grease traps clean.

7/30 Police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Elburn
• Brenda Yoselin Zepeda, 25, of the 1500 block of Euclid Avenue in Berwyn, Ill., was arrested at 6:24 a.m. July 26 for driving without a valid license. Police stopped Zepeda for speeding, as she was eastbound on Route 38 west of Anderson Road in Elburn.

• Matthew G. Girard, 23, of Farmview Court in Maple Park, was arrested at 1:33 a.m. July 28 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped him on Keslinger Road west of Anderson Road in Elburn after seeing him cross the center line, fail to obey a stop sign, and fail to signal a turn. Girard also was cited for those offenses.

Sugar Grove
• Christopher R. Maykuth, 21, of the 3000 block of Roberts Drive, Woodridge, Ill., was charged with driving under the influence and with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more at 2:55 a.m. on July 25. Maykuth was driving westbound on Route 56 from Golfview Drive.

• Dakota C. Mision, 17, of the 0-100 block of Somonauk Road, Cortland, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal transportation of alcohol, and driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more at 11:53 p.m. on July 25. Mision was parked on Terry Road near Monna Street.

• Someone took several pieces of machinery from the parking lot at the Harter Middle School between July 24 and July 27. Each piece of equipment is valued at $2,000.

• Someone passed a counterfeit $20 bill through the ticket counter owned by Fantasy Amusements on July 25 at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil grounds.

Batavia production highlights Kaneland talent

by Susan O’Neill
Nearly half of the small cast of a locally produced play this summer share something in common—they are either Kaneland High School students or Kaneland alumni.

Elburn resident Lynn Meredith said she was surprised to find so many actors from Kaneland at the audition she went to for Shakespeare on Clark’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Meredith majored in theatre at Illinois State University after graduating from Kaneland High School. She was a cast member of the Chicagoland children’s theatre group Alphabet Soup during the 1990s, and continued her acting career when she lived in Cincinnati.

However, since she moved back to Elburn several years ago, she had not been on the stage.

When she saw the notice for auditions for the Batavia-based summer theatre production, she decided on a whim to try out. Meredith said she had been trained in Shakespeare, and had always wanted to try acting in a Shakespeare role.

She said that “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the bard’s lighter plays, with a fairly simple plot. She plays Titania, the Queen of the Fairies.

“The costumes are gorgeous,” she said. “As a fairy, I get to wear really fun things.”

She said the cast, although young, is very talented and the actors have a good grasp of what could be seen as difficult.

“I’ve been really pleased with how it’s turned out,” she said. “It’s a good production.”

Bryan Renaud, one of her fellow actors, graduated from Kaneland High School this year. Renaud, who soon turns 18, has been acting since he was seven years old, when he appeared in a Waubonsee Community College staging of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Renaud had roles in a number of plays while at Kaneland High School, including “As You Like It” last fall. He played Lumiere, a major role in “Beauty and the Beast,” staged at the high school this spring.

He has acted with the First Street Playhouse and performed in a number of Shakespeare on Clark productions.
Renaud has a lead role in this summer’s performance and plans to attend North Central College in the fall, where he will major in theatre performance.

“Acting is my focus,” he said. “This is what I need to be doing.”

The outdoor summer theatre is sponsored through a partnership of All Dressed Up Costumes, a costume rental company, and Batavia MainStreet.

All Dressed Up Costumes owner Julane Sullivan is also the director. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the summer theatre offering staged at Clark Island.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Staged on Clark Island in Batavia

Performances:
7 p.m. on Friday, July 31
and Saturday, Aug. 1
6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2
(75-minute act; no intermissions)

www.downtownbatavia.com
www.alldressedupcostumes.com

Cast includes Kaneland alumni
Lynn Meredith
Bryan Renaud
Nikky Prusinski

Kaneland students
Kasey Ostarello
Ben Tennant
Ryan Stasell
Kevin Krasinski

Photo: The Kaneland area is well-represented in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Shakespeare on Clark on Clark Island in Batavia. Many of the 18 members of the cast are current students of Kaneland or alumni. Pictured are some of the Kaneland students and alumni that are performing, including Nikki Prusinski, Bryan Renaud, Ben Tennant and Kasey Ostarello (Dan Bach of Batavia also pictured). The final performances of the summer are at 7 p.m. Friday, July 31, Saturday, Aug. 1, and at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2. Courtesy Photo

Editorial: Newspapers’ job not to serve as PR firm

We received some interesting feedback due to a story published on page 8A of the July 23 edition of the Elburn Herald, “Code change allows liquor license for space village president owns.”

What made it interesting was that for some, the feedback demonstrated a lack of understanding of the purpose of a community newspaper and the facts relative to this situation, or a perception of some of those involved that we have a bias that led us to write the story in the first place.

We feel that it is important for our readers to understand not only why we do what we do, but to understand how our community journalism mission applies to this specific situation.

First, our job as a community newspaper is to report what happens in our community. It can consist of stories that may be heart warming or heart wrenching. It may be an edition full of arrests and crime, or of fundraisers and examples of residents helping each other. We are not here to make anyone look good or look bad, it is the situation itself that determines that.

If those involved in the situation reported in both the July 23 and July 30 editions feel that the act of reporting what happened is inherently biased, then you do not understand the purpose of a community newspaper. We are not here to be the village’s, or anyone’s, public relations firm; and we are not here to make anyone or any group look good or bad. We are here to let our readers know what is happening in their communities

The average reader could conclude that the officials involved tried their best to avoid a conflict of interest and acted in a manner to remain beyond reproach. Likewise, the average reader could also conclude that officials used their positions for personal gain; that the building would not have sold when it did if it were not for the influence inherent in officials’ positions. The fact that the average reader could read the same set of facts and reach different conclusions means there is the existence of gray area in this situation.

One of the individuals providing feedback argued that if one were to remove the names and titles of those involved, the same result would occur, that everything would have happened in the same way and in the same timeframe as happened in this situation.

While that may arguably be true, it is also irrelevant to our coverage.

It is irrelevant because stating what, how and when something happened does not change the what, how or when something happens.

It is not the act of reporting that created a possible negative perception of what occurred, it is the event or situation being reported on.

If you do not want a negative perception to occur, you should act in a manner that does not allow for a gray area to exist.

Letter: Will no one present the other side in this horn noise issue?

Speaking as a railroad fan—I just wish to make a statement.

You take away the horn – more people will die for failure to stop and listen. With distractions built into modern-day cars it is only time until metal-to-metal—with your child in between.

Have you ever thought what it takes to stop a mile long train? They are backing up trains into Iowa. Trains cannot afford to stop. Let us thank God that there is a means to make us aware of danger.

David Compton, Elburn

Letter: Current Kane County Government fails western townships

The July 23 Elburn Herald carried two letters detailing problems within this county’s government.

It is to the great credit of the Herald, as a local, independent paper, that these letters were printed. Too often the regional newspapers will not print such statements for fear of losing “access” to government officials.

Though both letters dealt with different topics, they identify some long-standing problems which affect all Kane County residents, but are of special concern to residents of the 10 townships of western Kane County. I believe these problems come directly from the lopsided structure of the County Board itself.

The Kane County Board has 26 members, plus its Chairman Karen McConnaughy. Of this total of 27, 25 represent the six Fox River townships, but only two members are allotted to represent 10 western townships, the largest portion of Kane County’s land area. Because of this imbalance, our interests and problems are not understood by Board members representing the “river towns” of eastern Kane County.

KCSO President Dennis Carroll well states that cutting Kane Sheriff’s Deputy staffing will have an impact on police operations, but the greatest impact will be felt in the 10 western townships. The urban communities located along the Fox River have their own municipal police agencies, but much of western Kane County—mostly rural—must depend on Sheriff’s deputies for accident and crime investigation, traffic control and patrol security. The Sheriff’s Department also has numerous court and civil duties, and its manpower is already stretched thin. I believe this is not understood (or is ignored) by those 25 urban County Board members who will not experience the delays in police response in rural areas that will be caused by planned cuts in Sheriff’s deputy staffing.

Another letter, from Circuit Court Clerk Deborah Seyller, details additional problems confronting Kane County’s justice system if further budget cuts are imposed. Her office is the nerve center of our court system—processing court orders, warrants, summons and trial records—all of which are duties mandated by law, and required to be performed in an accurate and timely manner. In short, budget cuts in the Court clerk’s office also affect the ability of the Sheriff’s Department to perform its duties, and of the courts to operate efficiently.

Ms. McConnaughy, County Board Chairman, states that “arrogance” prevents elected county department heads from making additional budget cuts, but has displayed her own arrogance by summoning them to a public meeting to explain why they haven’t made the cuts, as directed by her Board. As elected officials, they have accepted the responsibilities of their offices as defined by Illinois law. They have become knowledgeable experts in the duties and responsibilities of those offices. Yet, they are labeled “arrogant” for holding on to the funds and staffs necessary to perform their state-mandated duties. So, with these facts, I leave it to you to decide where true “arrogance” exists in Kane County government.

Kane County’s 10 western townships have a huge interest in the policies of our County Board. Unfortunately for us, the imbalance of the Board’s membership favors the Fox River communities, leaving us over-taxed, over-regulated, under-served and under-represented. One of the few strong voices we have comes from the Western Kane County Republican Organization which represents GOP voters in nine of the 10 western Kane townships. The organization has delivered the majority of Republican votes in recent County elections, and can choose to support, or not support, candidates for elective office.

If any improvement is made in this county’s government, it is the duty to both political parties to select “good government” candidates to get the job done. The election season is upon us. Candidate ballot petitions will soon be available. This is your county government. You pay for it. Work to correct it.
Dennis C. Ryan
Elburn

Golf only part of fun at Solheim Cup in SG

SUGAR GROVE—Officials for the 2009 Solheim Cup announced that the tournament’s PING Pavilion tickets are sold out.

The Solheim Cup, which features 12-woman teams from the U.S. and Europe in a team match-play competition, is set for Aug. 17-23 at Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove. The PING Pavilion is a climate-controlled indoor spectator hospitality pavilion located off the 17th green with adjacent parking. It features televisions, seating areas and a complete pay-as-you-go menu.

The good news is weekly and single-day grounds tickets are still available either online at solheimcup.com or at Jewel-Osco stores throughout the state.

The Solheim Cup’s traditional “Solheim After Sundown” pre-tournament party is sold out. The event, which will be headlined by the popular Chicago-based band Maggie Speaks, runs from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, at the PING Pavilion.

Solheim After Sundown will feature a dinner and a silent auction followed by a high-energy performance by Maggie Speaks.

The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim and his family, the makers of PING golf equipment. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf. It is a bi-ennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players from the LET. The U.S. Team leads the competition, 7-3, and has never lost on home soil. The 2009 Solheim Cup will and be played at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Aug. 21-23. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Global Partners of The Solheim Cup include AIB Group and Rolex. For more information, log on to www.SolheimCup.com

IDHS announces changes in WIC food program

New foods will improve nutrition for more than 300,000 woman, infants and children
STATE—The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced changes to the WIC Program’s food packages recently.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 3, WIC participants will be able to purchase fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread and healthier baby food items. IDHS Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. said the Illinois Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program (USDA-administered Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) food packages are changing to better meet the nutritional needs of all Illinois WIC participants. The food package is the list of foods covered by the WIC program.

“The WIC program helps pregnant women, new mothers and young children eat well and stay healthy,” Adams said. “These changes will better support the nutritional needs of our WIC participants and promote the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding for our mothers and babies.”

This will be the first major change to the WIC food packages since 1980. When the program was first established in the 1970s, food packages were developed based on deficiencies in the diets of low-income pregnant women, infants and children. Targeted nutrients included Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium and protein.

Nutritional needs of clients have changed over time, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its recommendations “WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change” in 2005. IOM provided USDA with a sound scientific basis for developing a new set of food packages for the WIC program, which better address the health concerns of child obesity and chronic diseases.

The new foods align with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. New foods added to the package include whole wheat bread, soft corn tortillas, brown rice, soy milk, baby foods including fruits, vegetables and meats, and fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Reductions in juice, milk, cheese and eggs, were made in order to align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and be cost neutral.

The Illinois WIC Program currently serves 313,000 low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children across the state. Illinoisans seeking more information may contact the Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Family Nutrition, or visit www.dhs.state.il.us.

Pet vaccination is key to rabies prevention

COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department is reporting that two bats have tested positive for rabies so far this year. One was found in Elgin, Ill.; the other one in Dundee, Ill. Although both were discovered in residences, there were no human or pet exposures.

“As we head into the warm summer months, this is a good time to remind everybody about the importance of the preventative measures they can take to protect themselves and their pets,” said Paul Kuehnert, Executive Director of the Health Department. “Obviously, the most important measure people can take is to ensure that their pet’s vaccinations are up to date.”

Not only does the vaccine protect the pet, it also serves as a barrier of protection for people, Kuehnert said. Because many of the positive bats are discovered indoors, it is important to vaccinate pets even if they never venture out of doors.

Last year, Kane reported nine positive bats. Illinois recorded 113 confirmed cases of rabies in animals last year, all found in bats. Bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Illinois. A case of human rabies has not been reported in Illinois since 1954.

More information about rabies is available by calling the Health Department at (630) 208-3801 and asking for the Communicable Disease program. Exclusion remains the best way to prevent and control bats in a structure. Information about exclusion can be found by logging on to the Illinois Department of Public Health website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcbats.htm.

Rabies prevention guidelines
• Rabid bats may exhibit no obvious abnormalities, so all contact with bats should be avoided.
• Where there is a likelihood of encountering bats, such as at children’s outdoor camps, people should be instructed not to touch bats.
• People should not be allowed to occupy a room in which bats are found until it is certain that no bats remain in the room and that the room has been sealed to prevent their re-entry.
• If a bat is found indoors, the structure should be thoroughly inspected for the presence of roosting bats.
• Exclusion remains the best way to prevent and control bats in a structure.
• Keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal or exposed to a bat, seek veterinary assistance for your pet immediately.
• Call local law enforcement or animal control agency for direction as to whom to contact for the remove of contained stray animals in your neighborhood.

For information about a referral for capturing bats or for instructions on submission of
appropriate specimens for testing, call Kane County Animal Control (630) 232-3555

Waubonsee named one of healthiest companies in America

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College was recently named one of the healthiest companies in the country by Interactive Health Solutions (IHS), a company based in Arlington Heights, Ill. IHS Vice President of Business Development Joseph Furlin was on-hand at the college’s board of trustees meeting on July 15 to present the award.

In 2008 employees from more than 2,000 companies nationwide participated in health evaluations by IHS. The healthiest companies were then determined using employees’ aggregate score on IHS’ “Interactive Health Index (IHI).” Waubonsee was one of 83 companies who earned the healthiest designation.

The IHI screens for indicators of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases by measuring things like blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides. An added component of the test is a personalized set of steps individuals should take for health maintenance or improvement.

IHS is the nation’s leading provider of population health management programs, which seek to encourage preventative health care.

“We try to encourage good health and preventative care among our employees, whether it be through annual events like our Fitness Walk or Wellness Fair, or simply by providing important health tips on our intranet,” said Michele Morey, Waubonsee’s Director of Human Resources. “We’re glad to see that so many of our employees are taking such good care of themselves.”

Wilhelm surprised by Citizen of the Year honor

by Susan O’Neill

Jim Wilhelm was surprised on Friday night when he received the Citizen of the Year award at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.

“Not too much gets by me,” Wilhelm said, smiling and shaking his head.

Wilhelm’s family, friends and employees shared in the celebration with him.

“He will do anything for anybody,” his wife Stephanie said. “He’d give you the shirt off his back.”

Their neighbors agree with her assessment. When a bad storm came through Sugar Grove last summer, a couple of trees fell on Kahl and Lorainne Kinney’s new roof. Although it was a holiday, J&S Construction owner Wilhelm and his employees showed up and not only removed the trees, they came back after dark to fill in the holes left in their yard.

Wilhelm knew that the Kinney’s insurance would not cover the damage, because the storm was an act of God. When Kahl saw Wilhelm’s bill, he said, “What else do I owe you?” Wilhelm told him, “You can just wave when I drive by.”

The Kinneys are not the only recipients of Wilhelm’s generosity and hard work. The Corn Boil Committee received letters of support for Wilhelm’s nomination from the Sugar Grove Library, Village Hall, the Farmer’s Market, as well as a number of other residents.

But Wilhelm’s modestly deflected the praise.

“It’s not just me,” Wilhelm said. “It’s all my guys; my company and my friends. They do all the work.”

Friend John Guddendorf said that Wilhelm tries to bring to the community what it needs.

“He brings everybody together to get it done,” he said.

In addition to helping out his neighbors, Wilhelm has contributed his assistance and resources to many other projects, including the Little League Field in Kaneville and providing lights, heavy equipment, man power, and shuttles for the annual Corn Boil.

A 22-year resident of Sugar Grove, Wilhelm and his wife of almost 20 years have 3 daughters Samantha 19, Abbie 14, Halley 10 and one son, Shawn 8.

“He’s the best dad,” Samantha said. “He puts everybody before himself.”

The Citizen of the Year award was established in 1998 by the village of Sugar Grove and the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry to recognize an individual or group that best exemplifies Sugar Grove’s pioneering spirit.

Previous winners include Karen McCannon, Joe Wolf and Pat Graceffa.

Good attends prestigious summer percussion and steel pan program

SUGAR GROVE—Dylan Good, a musician from Sugar Grove, spent two weeks this summer studying percussion and steelpan at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wis.

Dylan is the son of Raney and Steve Good, and studies percussion privately with Ben Wahlund. He is a student at Kaneland High School.

Dylan was among only 38 musicians selected from throughout the country to attend the percussion and steel band session at the school, whose mission is to provide intensive, performance-based instruction to promising young musicians age 13-18 by immersing them in a professional, mentoring environment.

Founded in 1976, Birch Creek features a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately two-to-one. This provides students with an abundance of personal attention from their faculty mentors, who represent top music educators and performers from around the country. Students are given the opportunity to hone their technical skills and learn firsthand about all aspects of the life of a professional musician. During their two-week residency this summer, students attending the Birch Creek Symphony session performed six joint concerts with their teachers before paying concertgoers.

For more information about Birch Creek and its programs, call (920) 868-3763 or e-mail mainoffice@birchcreek.org. Details are also available on www.birchcreek.org.

Updated 7/24: Code change allows liquor license for space village president owns

updated 7/24/2009 at 2:11 p.m. CST
Village president said in July 23 email building was under contract, now sold (not rented)
Trustee’s son’s application granted, 2 others pending
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board changed an ordinance on Monday to allow a liquor license to be issued for a new tavern in a building, at 107 N. Main St., that was owned by Village President Dave Anderson, even if he has an indirect interest in the business.

“Good common sense says everyone in the village has an indirect interest in the business,” Anderson said Wednesday.

The previous ordinance would have prohibited a liquor license for a business in which Anderson or any village trustee had direct or indirect interest. The change approved by village trustees Monday removed the reference to indirect interest. Anderson said the language change in the village liquor code mirrors the wording in the state’s liquor code. Anderson said he does not have a direct interest in the tavern business planned for the space he said July 23 he sold to Kevin Schmidt.

Anderson sold the building Thursday, July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, attorney Bob Britz said.

Also on Monday, the Village Board approved two ordinances allowing for the establishment of three new liquor licenses in the village, but not granting them to applicants.

After the board meeting closed, Deputy Liquor Commissioner and trustee Bill Grabarek approved an application for one of the licenses, for Schmidt’s bar, Village Attorney Bob Britz said. The license will allow the bar to sell beer, wine and hard liquor.

Applicants for the other two liquor licenses are Michael Rafferty, for the Riley Boys Tavern planned for the former Emma’s Pub at 117 Main, and Rosati’s—for a new restaurant space near Jewel-Osco at Route 47 and Route 38. Rafferty is seeking a license to sell beer, wine and hard liquor, and Rosati’s is seeking a license to serve beer and wine.

Rosati’s and Rafferty still must sign the letter of understanding with the village before Liquor Commissioner Dave Anderson can grant them the other new liquor licenses, village officials said.

Kevin Schmidt’s father, trustee Jerry Schmidt, voted during the July 20 Elburn Village Board meeting for an ordinance allowing for a liquor code language change, and for an ordinance creating a second available Class A liquor license, one of which was obtained by his son after the meeting. Trustee Jerry Schmidt said Wednesday that he did not believe voting for the ordinances on July 20 was a conflict of interest. Schmidt had recused himself from voting for the creation of one of the two Class A licenses in June. Those licenses are not assigned to any business at the time they are created. The license is granted to the applicant only when the liquor commissioner approves the application and assigns the license.

“I didn’t think it was. I want to support my son in this project, but I have no interest in the business,” trustee Schmidt said.

He added that during his campaign before being elected in April, he was a proponent of bringing new businesses to the village to boost tax revenue.

Extreme green makeover in Sugar Grove

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—For two days last weekend, the St. Charles-based Aqua-scape, Inc. turned the Lakes of Bliss Woods Subdivision into an in-the-field classroom for its contractors. The independently-owned business owners who purchase their product from Aquascape received training in how to design and install an effective rainwater harvest system, and about 25 families received completed ecosystem ponds, rain gardens, rain barrels and other water exchange solutions by Saturday night.

“Nice, nice,” resident Brad Huggins said as he and his wife Audrey watched a crew of contractors from California, Arizona and Illinois turn the front of their house into a gurgling water feature nestled in a bed of decorative rocks.

The Huggins’ rain water system installation was part of Aquascape’s 20th annual Pondemonium, a large-scale networking, training and education event for contractors across the country and Canada to learn the latest about the company’s products.

Aquascape, Inc., which creates and markets a wide range of water gardening products, including backyard ponds and waterfalls, began looking into the rainwater harvesting concept several years ago. Aquascape’s Chief Sustainability Officer Ed Beaulieu said that 75 percent of the calls the company’s technology department currently receives are about rainwater harvesting.

Although the fountain will provide Brad and Audrey a pretty and relaxing spot to spend a summer evening, it’s what is underneath the ground that makes it more than just a nice amenity.

The RainXchange system includes a 500-gallon underground water storage tank designed to collect rain water from the roof and a booster pump that turns an everyday garden hose into a power washer for the car or a tool to water the lawn and surrounding landscape.

In the past, when it rained, it would run off the Huggins’ roof and down the drainpipe, flow through the bushes and plants and mulch, across the sidewalk and down a storm sewer in the street.

“We would always see all this water going to waste,” Brad said. “We knew we needed to do something.”

Then they received an e-mail from their neighbors Ed and his wife Ellen, who also works for Aquascape, Inc., inviting them to participate in the extreme green community makeover by purchasing a rainwater harvest system for their home.

Brad said it made sense to become environmentally conscious of the water they use, especially with the water shortages the village has experienced the past few years. Water had become so scarce that the village imposed restrictions on residents’ water use for the past two summers.

“This is perfect,” Brad said. “This is the answer to everything.”

Beaulieu came to talk to the Sugar Grove Village Board a few months ago about their project, and told them he and Ellen wanted to use the community as a model for the company’s RainXchange solutions. Their idea is to create something that can be replicated in other communities.

The response was overwhelming, he said.

Brad said he was “pleased as punch” about their system, and that it is even better than he expected.

“We’re just so lucky to have Ed and Ellen here in our community,” he said.

Lakes of Bliss Woods ponds and other water features will be part of Aquascape’s 17th annual Parade of Ponds, held the weekend of July 25-26. The tour features a variety of water features at more than 65 tour locations in the western suburbs.

Proceeds from ticket purchases benefit the Aquascape Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 3C organization dedicated to creating sustainable solutions for the world-wide water crisis.

Photo: A certified Aquascape contractor tests the water fountain on a RainXchange system during Saturday’s Pondemonium. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Team Budzyn wins again

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Branden and Ryan Budzyn enjoyed their lesson in Sugar Grove history, but it was their knowledge of navigation through longitude and latitude points that led them to the medallion.

For the past six weeks, the boys and their mom Michelle had followed the clues published in the Elburn Herald that would lead them to where the Corn Boil Medallion was hidden. This is the third year that Corn Boil Committee member Bob Carroll hid a medallion in the Sugar Grove area and created clues to lead someone to it.

They couldn’t wait to get home and open the paper to read the clues, Michelle said. The first couple of clues were more general in nature, indicating that the coin might be hidden outside the village corporate limits. The boys and their mom read the book on the history of Sugar Grove, “Sin-Qua-Sip,” to find the answer to another clue.

They learned a lot about the history of Sugar Grove, but it wasn’t until the July 16 clue that they zeroed in on the location. The seventh clue was a cryptogram that symbolized the Global Positioning System (GPS) location for the medallion, hidden in a bird house in the Sauer Family Prairie Restoration spot along Harter Road.

The Sugar Grove boys, who will enter third grade this fall, love to participate in geocaching, an outdoor activity in which players hide and seek items using navigational techniques. Their knowledge of these techniques led them off the beaten path to find the medallion.

This is Team Budzyn’s second year in a row that they found the medallion before anyone else.

“Last year they found it during a thunderstorm,” clue-creator Bob Carroll said. “They were determined.”

Last year, the boys found the medallion quickly, after only three clues. They said that Carroll should make it harder this year, and he obliged. Although it took them seven clues this year, the boys still prevailed. They are looking forward to the 25 gold coins they will each receive at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil this weekend.

Photo: Branden and Ryan Budzyn pose with the 2009 Sugar Grove Corn Boil medallion they found in a birdhouse in the Sauer Family Prairie Restoration spot along Harter Road in unincorporated Sugar Grove. This was the second year in a row the boys found the medallion. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Musical monks

A Tibetan cultural event featuring the monks of Drepung Gomang monastery took place July 17 at the Elburn & Countryside Community Center. The event, featuring traditional Tibetan ceremonial music and movement, was part of the monks’ U.S. tour to demonstrate the artistic accomplishments of Tibetan culture and to raise money for the monastery. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Company wants to sell off-road, amphibious vehicles

Planning Commission recommends village allow zoning variance
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Kane County Landscape Material & Supply owner Bruce Vajgert is seeking village permission to sell amphibious, off-road vehicles and display them outdoors on his business property, 817 E. Route 38, Elburn.

After a public hearing on Vajgert’s request Tuesday, the Elburn Planning Commission decided to recommend that the Village Board approve the special-use variance required for the vehicle sales on the property under the village zoning code.

Vajgert plans to display the vehicles next to an outdoor fireplace on the property, about 90 feet from Route 38, he said.

John Pattison, who lives near the company, asked about the possibility that the noise level would go up in the area from the vehicles. Vajgert said the vehicles have small, quiet motors.

Pattison also was concerned that the vehicles’ presence on the property could decrease the value of surrounding residences.

Assistant Village Administrator David Morrison said before the village granted the special use, it would make sure that the vehicles would not cause dust, tracks, vibrations or other adverse environmental effects.

Planning Commissioner Paul Molitor suggested that the village limit the number of the off-road vehicles that Vajgert could display, and the commission agreed to recommend that the Village Board allow no more than 10 parked on an impermeable surface.

Vajgert said it is unlikely that he will display more than one or two at a time of these specialty vehicles, which have four to eight wheels and cost up to $32,000.

The Village Board will vote on Vajgert’s request at a future meeting to be announced.