Category Archives: Local News

What is going on in your town

Volunteers: the lifeblood of the Corn Boil

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is a volunteer-run community event, featuring three family-friendly and fun-filled days.

On the schedule this year are a carnival, fantastic bands, local talent, arts, crafts, Bingo, great food—including tons—literally tons—of corn—and of course the fireworks. Save these dates: July 24, 25 and 26, for the Sugar Grove Corn Boil: where friends and family come together to have fun.

The proceeds from the sweet-corn sales help to meet the expenses for the event, are reinvested to planning the next year’s Corn Boil, and are distributed among several local organizations assisting in the preparation and sale of the food.

Past recipients include the Sugar Grove Methodist Church, Calvary West Church and the Sugar Grove Historical Society. Purchase corn, hot-dogs and ice-cold water at the Prairie Building. Also available at this location is the “Buy the Slice” sales by the Sugar Grove United Methodist church ladies, from their variety of fresh-made pies.

The Sugar Grove Lions Club has long been the sponsor of the fireworks for the annual Corn Boil. The Lions are known for their programs to test and give assistance for people with vision difficulties. Donations from the Corn Boil allow the Lions to maintain their support of these vital programs while also providing the very popular fireworks displays. Donation cans are available throughout the community, at Farmers Market on Saturdays, and by sending sending contributions to Sugar Grove Lion Club c/o Corn Boil, P.O. Box 225, Sugar Grove, IL 60554.

Shucking ears of corn on a Friday afternoon was taken on as a Service Project by Boy Scout Troop 7 of Elburn without thought of compensation. The Corn Boil donation received by the troop in previous years has been used to add, repair and update equipment used for their monthly camping excursions. These excursions promote planning, teamwork, physical activity and developing skills and knowledge in many areas for the boys, often leading towards rank advancements.

The Sugar Grove Fire Fighters Association has sold beer at Corn Boil for years. The Corn Boil is a critical fundraising source for the organization. Funds generated at Corn Boil are put to use in the sponsoring of community fire safety awareness programs; supporting burn victim summer camps; and enhancements to Fire Department equipment. This year the beer tent sales run Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The sales area is west of the Prairie Building. Alcohol beverage purchase requires separate purchase of a daily $1 wrist band. Consumers are reminded to follow the “no alcohol on school property” law and keep the drinks on the north side of the sidewalk and snow fence.

Added to the Corn Boil in recent years is the Bingo tent. Located near the school gymnasium, the Bingo tent has several host organizations. This year on Friday from 4 to 11 p.m., the tent is sponsored by Kaneland McDole Elementary PTO; on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kaneland Music Boosters, and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Kaneland Peer Leadership group.

The Sugar Grove Park District sponsors the Corn Boil 5-K. This is a 3.1-mile (USATF certified No. IL-04086-JW) course on residential streets with the finish in front of the library. The race is electronically timed with traffic control. There will be a first aid station and refreshments. An award ceremony will take place after the race. All runners will receive a commemorative race T-shirt. Awards will be presented to the first male and female finishers as well as first, second and third place in each age division. Park District programming benefits from the proceeds of this event.

The Sugar Grove Firefighters Association Auxiliary is offering a pork chop dinner on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Proceeds from the dinner help the Auxiliary to provide benefits to the community in many ways. Among them are:
• Filling the stockings of needy children at Christmas
• Providing gifts for Sugar Grove Firefighter children at the annual Christmas Party.
• Holding a pizza party for the Kaneland Elementary School South children’s class with the highest number of blood donors at the Sugar Grove Fire Department blood drive.
• Providing flowers or memorials in the event of the death of a family member.
• Purchasing an ice machine for the Sugar Grove Firefighters Association to save the expense of buying ice for fire calls.
• Providing meals for firefighters at training sites.
• Purchasing film and providing development of fire department photos of fire and accident scenes.
• Providing a snow cone machine for community events during which the Auxiliary provides free snow cones to children at the Kane County Safety Fair, Fourth of July parade and the Kaneland John Shields Elementary Fun Fair.

The Sugar Grove Library Friends will hold their annual used book sale in the Mutipurpose room of Kaneland John Shields Elementary School Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The sales enable “Friends of the Library” to:
• Recruit members of the community
• Focus public attention on library services, facilities and needs
• Stimulate use of library resources and services
• Encourage gifts, endowments and bequests to the library
• Support development of library services, education programs and facilities
• Provide funds for the purchase of materials and equipment

The Corn Boil is still looking for volunteers to set up, work during the Corn Boil, and clean up. If you would like to volunteer, please call (630) 466-5166. The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is held in Volunteer Park, west of Route 47, just off Main Street in downtown Sugar Grove behind the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School. For more information about the Corn Boil, call the Sugar Grove Events Hotline at (630) 466-5166, listen to WSPY 1480 AM and 107.1 FM or visit

contributed by Beverly Holmes Hughes
Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee

Festival is free thanks to sponsors
This event has free admission thanks to the support of our sponsors. Stage Sponsor: The Solheim Cup; Platinum Sponsors: Castle Bank; The Daily Herald; Engineering Enterprises, Inc.; The Elburn Herald; Genoa Pizza; Harris Golf Carts; Hinds Trucking; J & S Construction; The Chronicle; Metrolift, Inc.; Old Second National Bank; Provena Mercy Medical Center; Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Sugar Grove Firefighters Assoc.; Sugar Grove Lions Club; Sugar Grove Fire District; Sugar Grove Police Department; Sugar Grove Public Library; Village of Sugar Grove;; Waste Management, Inc.; and WSPY TV/Radio.

District to fill in gaps due to contract limitations

by Susan O’Neill
The administration made the choice to hire an interim high school principal when Tony Valente resigned in June, after most potential candidates had already signed contracts for the upcoming school year. An interim principal will allow the district to fill the position with an experienced individual, while leaving the administration adequate time to perform a successful search for a long-term principal.

However, under the Teachers Retirement System contract, Dr. Greg Fantozzi may only work 120 days during a given school year. Schuler recommended filling in the gaps by spreading out some of the administrative responsibilities in the following ways with the associated costs.

• Special Education Department Chair (currently with a reduced teaching load): perform staff evaluations, serve as administrative representative in all special education meetings and assist in supervision of school activities ($10,000)

• Seasonal assistant athletic directors (current athletic director performs additional general administrative duties): one person per season to provide additional supervision of athletic programs and contests ($16,000)

• Two teachers: (either hire part-time teacher or add to work load of two current teachers) to temporarily assist the Dean’s Office with the overflow of disciplinary issues ($30,000)

According to Schuler, these costs plus the cost of hiring Fantozzi at a daily rate of $600 for 120 days, for a total of $128,000, would be the same budget cost to hire a full-time principal including salary and benefits.

The board unanimously approved Schuler’s recommendations. He will come back to the board in August with recommendations for specific individuals to fill these responsibilities.

“We have to very carefully look at job descriptions and define a clear chain of command and absolute accountability, within the athletics department and in general, to make sure nothing falls through the cracks,” School Board President Lisa Wiet said after the meeting. “We don’t want to miss a beat in providing a good education. At the same time, we want to ensure a safe and comfortable environment.”

KHS lands former Geneva principal

Fantozzi will serve as interim KHS principal as long-term search continues
by Susan O’Neill
Former Geneva High School principal Dr. Greg Fantozzi will take over as interim principal at Kaneland High School this fall.

During the two years since Fantozzi retired from school administration, he has been a principal mentor, a role in which retired principals provide guidance to principals in their first year on the job.

Fantozzi mentored former high school principal Tony Valente for both years, learning a great deal about Kaneland in the process.

“It was a real natural choice,” Kaneland Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler said.

Fantozzi was the top candidate out of five the administration interviewed. He was the principal of Geneva High School for seven years before he retired in 2007. Prior to that, he was the principal at Thornwood High School. Fantozzi began his career at Glenbard East High School as a teacher, coach, dean and assistant principal.

In his recommendation of Fantozzi, the Thornwood District superintendent cited his ability to foster an educational learning environment through shared leadership, building collaborative relationships and creative problem-solving, according to Schuler.

Fantozzi said he will work more of his time at the beginning of the school year. After that, he will work out a two or three-day-week rotation, depending on scheduled meetings and other responsibilities (see related story).

Fantozzi was actively involved with school sports while at Geneva High School, and often attended games. Several of the Kaneland School Board members wanted to make sure he knew where his loyalties should lie while he is employed by Kaneland. Deborah Grant suggested he might want to add some Kaneland clothing to his wardrobe.

Fantozzi promised to be truly supportive of the Kaneland Knights, and to root for Geneva only when they are not playing Kaneland.

“It’s a neat opportunity,” Fantozzi said. “I can still learn things after 36 years of doing it.”

Board examines its effectiveness

by Susan O’Neill
The Kaneland School Board will participate in a self-evaluation process for its members to determine how the board is working as a team, define its strengths and weaknesses, and to make plans for improving its function.

The group taking part in the self-evaluation includes the board members, Kaneland School District Superintendent Charlie McCormick and Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler. Each member will complete a survey, which will be sent to Barbara Tonie, a representative of the Illinois Association of School Boards. Tonie will facilitate the session with the group on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Board President Lisa Wiet said the session should help the board gain clarification of a school board’s role and how it is adhering to that role.

The session will not be open to the public. The Illinois Open Meetings Act allows boards to meet in closed session for the purpose of self-evaluation when it meets with a representative of its statewide association.

Three state grants in jeopardy

by Susan O’Neill
Three state grants that support Kaneland School District programs are in jeopardy until the budget for the Illinois State Board of Education is approved.

The Kaneland School District received an e-mail recently from the State Board of Education that cautioned it not to spend money for the following grants prior to the state budget’s approval: Reading improvement Block Grant, $112,429; Career & Technical Improvement Block Grant, $31,364; Carl D. Perkins Grant (supports technical education), $151,200.

These grants, totaling approximately $195,000, support the reading improvement program and the career and technical education program with supplemental supplies, material and equipment, as well as a portion of the teachers’ salaries. In lieu of the state grant money, the district will have to use local money to fund these salaries.

If these programs are not cut when the state finalizes its budget, the district will be reimbursed from the state. Legislators went back to Springfield on Tuesday.

AAA launches new senior safety and mobility website

AURORA—AAA announced the launch of its new senior safety and mobility website,

The website, which includes content and resources based upon extensive research, provides families of older drivers with valuable information related to senior mobility challenges and tools to help extend safe driving, and assist in difficult discussions about transitioning from driver to passenger.

“According to our research, many adult children of older drivers—the ‘sandwich’ boomers—are unaware that resources exist to effectively address the safety and mobility challenges of senior drivers,” said Brad Roeber, AAA Chicago’s Regional President. gives seniors and their families the tools necessary to create an action plan to help seniors manage the inevitable consequences of aging, continue to drive safely or transition to alternative modes of transportation, and remain independent.” provides advice about how aging affects one’s ability to drive safely. Visitors can find a step-by-step guide on how to begin a conversation with an older driver about working together to develop a plan for the transition from driver to passenger. Additionally, visitors will find a variety of tools and resources, from educational brochures and driver improvement courses, to tips on choosing a vehicle, to skill assessment tools and free community-based programs.

“Many adult children, grandchildren and seniors will at some point be faced with a difficult decision about a mature adult’s ability to drive safely,” said Dr. Alexis Abramson, one of the nation’s leading gerontologists. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to be proactive in developing a plan of action based on factual, compassionate and objective information, such as that found at”

People who are 65 or older represent the fastest growing segment of the country’s population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in four drivers—more than 30 million—will be age 65 or older by 2030.

“With more Americans remaining active and living longer than ever before, the AAA senior driver safety tools and resources found on are designed to keep seniors safe and mobile as long as possible,” Roeber added.

AAA Chicago has represented roadway interests for motorists and pedestrians and serves as a leading advocate for various traffic safety and travel-related issues for more than a century.

For more information on any aspect of AAA Chicago, visit, or call toll-free 1-866-968-7222.

Recall targets Colorado-based ground beef

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department is advising residents that JBS Swift Beef Company, a Greeley, Colo., establishment, is recalling approximately 41,280 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

These beef products were produced on April 21 and 22, and were shipped to distributors and retail establishments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. No illnesses have been reported.

The list of products subject to the recall is available at

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

More information about food safety is available on the Health Department’s website,

Residents can help shape region’s future at meeting

SUGAR GROVE—The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) will host a “GO TO 2040 Invent the Future Workshop” on Wednesday, July 15 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Academic and Professional Center on Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. The event is open to the public, and registration is not required.

Meeting attendees will share their opinions and help make decisions about the future of the Chicago area by using interactive software and keypad polling. Issues will include transportation, land use, housing, environment and natural resources, economic development, and human services.

CMAP is the regional planning agency for the seven-county area that makes up metropolitan Chicago. “GO TO 2040” is the agency’s official comprehensive planning campaign. For more information, visit

Batavia man dies in Route 38 accident

A Sunday evening accident at the intersection of Route 38 and Anderson Road led to three injuries the death of a Batavia man.

Robert G. Schipp, 74, of Batavia was killed in a two-vehicle accident when Schipp’s southbound Toyota Prius was struck broadside by a Ford Freestar van that had been traveling westbound on Route 38.

Schipp’s passenger, Mary B. Schipp, 68, along with the van’s driver, John G. Steele, 74, of West Chicago and his passenger, Rita K. Steele, 68, were all treated for injuries at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva.

The Elburn Police Department reported that the Route 38 was closed several hours during the investigation of the crash. The Elburn Police Department was assisted by the Kane County Sheriff’s Department, Campton Hills Police, members of the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team and members of the Kane County Emergency Management Agency during the investigation.

The Elburn Police Department reported that this was the second fatal crash at that intersection in the past seven months.

From Elburn Police Department press release

Know dangers of backyard pools

American Leak Detection encourages pool safety with tips for proper pool maintenance
There may be no activity more synonymous with summer fun than the “splish, splash” of swimming in a backyard pool.

Unfortunately, however, there are hazards lurking in and around most pools that area families often overlook. In order to keep pool safety top of mind, American Leak Detection Serving Northern Illinois is offering local residents tips to prevent pool-related injuries. Whether you have a pool and spa or your family enjoys cooling off in a community pool, this information shouldn’t be missed.

“People tend to think that proper swimming skills can keep them safe when they’re enjoying a swim, but the reality is that there are dangers hiding within the mechanical components of the pool,” said Paul Roe, owner of American Leak Detection Serving Northern Illinois. “In particular, improperly maintained drains in swimming pools and spas can lead to serious injuries and even death. When it comes to protecting your loved ones, there are essential steps that need to be taken to ensure a pool does not pose any threats.”

Roe notes that while people of all ages and sizes are susceptible to the dangers of faulty pool drains, young children tend to be at the highest risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one in four drowning victims are children age 14 and younger. For every child who has died from drowning, another four have received emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

“The summer season is a carefree time of year, but that does not mean that area residents should take a carefree approach to proper pool maintenance,” said Roe. “In addition to following these tips, adults must remember to supervise children at all times when they are in the pool. Rescue equipment and a phone to use in case of an emergency should also be on-hand.”

For more information about American Leak Detection, serving Northern Illinois, call (815) 652-1000.

Safety precautions
• Replace old flat drain covers and never use a pool or spa with a missing or broken drain cover.
• For public pools, install anti-vortex drain covers. A simple retrofit to install anti-entrapment covers will protect both children and adults from body and hair entrapment in the suction outlets.
• Have a professional regularly inspect the pool or spa for entrapment or entanglement hazards. Ask them to clearly mark the location of the electrical cut-off switch for the pool or spa pump.
• Install a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) to automatically shut off a pump if a blockage is detected.
• If someone is trapped against a drain, immediately turn off the pump. Pry a hand between the drain and the person’s body to break the seal instead of trying to pull the person away from the powerful suction.

T&C Library offers local programs

“Read on the Wild Side” prizes and program continue
ELBURN—The library continues to offer many programs for patrons this summer. Below are two special children’s programs.

Visit the website,, to view a complete list of summer programs. There are still many prizes available for both children and adults.

The library will give a Hubert the Lion cookie jar from Harris Bank to the 1,000th child that registers for the summer reading program.

Magic show and workshop
Magician “Amazing” Tim Adamz will visit the library to present his “On the Wild Side” magic show at 1 p.m. on July 15.

Join Amazing Tim on a non-stop and hilarious adventure into the world of a reading safari. After his magic show, Amazing Tim will present a magic workshop at 2 p.m.

Fire safety day
The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District will present a Fire Safety Day for children at the library on Friday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Firefighters will show their fire truck, ambulance and fire protection equipment. They will also have several activities for all the kids that morning.

The Town and Country Public Library is located at 320 E. North Street, Elburn. Contact the library at (630) 365-2244.

Rep. Foster votes to increase funds for vets

Foster votes to enhance health care of women veterans and to shore up VA funding

STATE—Rep. Bill Foster (D-14) voted recently in favor of legislation designed to aid wounded veterans and the families of those killed in service.

“As the cost of everyday items like food, housing and medicine increase, it is important to ensure that the veterans benefits earned by those who have been wounded or the families of those killed in battle can keep up with the prices of basic necessities,” Foster said. “Making sure benefits match current living expenses is simply the right thing to do for our veterans and their families.”

Foster voted in favor of S. 407, the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which provides for an annual cost-of-living adjustment to veterans survivor benefits and disability compensation.

Foster also voted for H.R. 1211, the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act. This legislation would expand and improve health care services available to women veterans. Some of the provisions of the bill include an assessment of women’s health care programs, medical care for newborn children of women veterans, enhancement of PTSD treatment for women, and the establishment of a pilot program for child care services.

“Our veterans have bravely fought to defend our country, and they deserve the support and resources they need to succeed back here at home,” Foster said. “With soldiers facing difficult conditions overseas, it is of the utmost importance that we provide both men and women with quality medical care and services so that they can lead healthy and prosperous lives.”

In addition, Foster voted for H.R. 1016, the Veterans Health Care Budget and Reform Transparency Act, which provides Congress with greater ability and incentive to develop appropriation bills that best anticipate future demand for VA services. The legislation would ensure that the VA and other veteran care givers have peace of mind and stability in their budgets, allowing them to anticipate their future veteran care.

Village releases Bike to Metra Guide

ELBURN—The Village of Elburn, in cooperation with the League of Illinois Bicyclists, recently released its Bike to Metra Guide. The guide contains a map with preferred bicycle routes around the Metra Station, as well as bicycle and railroad safety tips.

“This is another way that the village can encourage alternative transportation use,” said Erin Willrett, Elburn Village Administrator. “By providing a guide with a map and safety tips, we are giving the residents the tools they need to achieve a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.”

The guide was funded completely by the Public Education and Enforcement Research Study grant from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

To obtain a copy of the map, visit Village Hall at 301 E. North Street, or visit

Lions announce raffle winners

ELBURN–The Elburn Lions Club announced its July 2009 raffle winners.

Marilyn Gould of Elburn won $250.

Winners of the $50 raffle were Tom McCartney and Jim Gillett, both of Elburn; Vince Allegra of Hinsdale, Ill., and Ken O’Brien of Luxemburg, Wis.

Winning $25 were Dana Battles, Rob & Tom, Emil Weiss and Jeff Miller, all of Elburn; Trudy/Walley; “Elburn Seniors” of Maple Park; Marilyn Fidler of Aurora; Julie Long, Hailey Gladd, Amy Steenson, all of Batavia; Eva Wood, Ryan Wessel and P. Mike Sheahan, all of Geneva; Brian Hauser and Jason & Jaclyn Cornell of Hinckley; Duncan Gilkey and Jenny Stanek of DeKalb; Kindra and Kristen Schumach of Yorkville; Autumn Conn of St. Charles; Bob Holland Jr. of Plainfield, Ill.; Joel McGuuire of New Lenox, Ill.; Katherine Chron of Northbrook, Ill.; Jim Gilliam of Arlington Heights, Ill.; Stan Andrie of Muskegon, Wis.; and Jr. English/Leslie Bunn of N. Charleston, S.C.

Fashion for your inner gypsy

Local designer making name for himself
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Joshua-Paul Angell has always had a creative streak. Growing up in Kaneville, he wrote poems, drew pictures, and was an editor for the Kaneland Krier while in high school.

“He was always thinking up something,” said his mom, Judy Angell.

When Josh was about 20 years old, he left Kaneville for Austin, Texas. He lived there for eight years, working as a home-care hospice nurse.

When he moved back to the area, he worked in retail for a time. Last winter, he decided to try making some extra money creating tie-dye shirts and selling them at a flea market.

He said his technique is different from that used to make other tie-dye clothing, in that he uses hemp rope to tie the clothing and does it all by hand.

“It takes me a long time to do it, but no one can duplicate my design,” he said.

He said that before long, people began asking for dresses, gowns and other types of clothing. While driving home from work about four months ago, he listened to his favorite singer, Stevie Nicks, sing “Gypsy.” Her words about freedom and feeling no fear seemed to click with him.

“Go with it, take a risk,” Nicks seemed to be saying to him, he recalled.

He called his district manager, quit his job on the spot and listened to “Gypsy” all the way home.

“I never felt better,” he said.

Since then, things have opened up for him. He has a website, and he has begun to get offers from local boutiques to place his clothing in their stores.

“He’s getting a great response,” said his uncle and fashion photographer, Michael Kostopoulos.

Kostopoulos has worked in the fashion business for more than 30 years. He has been able to provide some exposure for his nephew, dressing his models in Angell’s clothing for a few of his fashion shoots.

Recently, Angell was asked to design an outfit for the cover of Salon News, a magazine that circulates to 250,000 readers. The issue hit the newsstands this week.

Although his uncle was able to open a few doors for him, Angell is working hard to make his own opportunities, as well. He had more than 100 visitors to his booth at the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles last weekend.

He said attending local markets such as this is good exposure. He sells some of his original pieces for a reasonable price, while getting his name out there about the highend nature of what he does.

He currently has his line of clothing in the largest wholesale distributor in Chicago and a children’s boutique in Homewood, Ill. In addition, he said a number of beauty salons and designer consignment stores are looking at his designs to feature in their stores.

“Things are falling into place for him,” his mom said.

Models of all ages love to wear his creations. Although 6-year-old Maple Park resident Emma Bales is technically not a professional model – her mom let Angell use her pictures for his website—she had a great time and loves to wear the clothes from the photo shoot.

Emma Bales
Emma Bales
“I’ve never seen tie-dye like that before,” Emma’s mom Mindy Koz said. “He goes all-out, and it’s very unique.”

Angell plans to have a booth at the upcoming Kaneville Fest in August, where his former neighbors can get a first-hand look at his designs. He said he will also do a charity show in Bensenville, Ill., and the Threshing Bee/Steam Show near Burlington.

Koz said that she is glad to have Angell back in town.

“He’s always been enthusiastic about whatever he does,” she said. “It’s hard for you not to get excited with him.”

Courtesy photos

Younger Hastert wants new generation of Republicans to show themselves

Federal budget woes spur 31-year-old Elburn resident to run for Congress
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The name “Hastert” is familiar to most local residents, as the last name of the Congressman who served District 14 for two decades.

It is also the surname of an Elburn resident running for the same Congressional seat in 2010, his son, Ethan.

Ethan Hastert, 31, moved to the village from an apartment in the West Loop. Ethan and his wife, Heidi, said they needed more space after the birth of their son, Jack, and liked Blackberry Creek.

“It wasn’t that Ethan thought one day, ‘Oh, let’s move to Elburn so that I can run for Congress in District 14,’” Heidi said.

Ethan said they chose Elburn because it is close to the Metra station and to his parents, who live in Plano.

“I wanted to be near my folks and near the train,” said Ethan, who commutes to his job as an attorney at Mayer Brown in Chicago.

His other major recent decision—to run for Congress as a Republican—also relates to family, not just his but those throughout the country, whose futures are threatened by financial decisions federal lawmakers have made this year, he said.

Hastert said he didn’t wake up one morning and decide to run for Congress, but that it was a gradual process stimulated by his concern at the beginning of the year by the level of spending coming out of Washington.

“Basically, in January, you saw the national budget go from a little under a trillion dollars to more than three trillion,” Hastert said. “I used to think it was going to fall on me and my generation to pay off the national debt. But now, I look at my 2-1/2-year-old son, and I realize it’s going to be him and his generation paying these debts off.”

Hastert is concerned that rising national debt, which could eventually exceed $20 trillion, will result in inflation that could financially cripple families, he said.

“For you, me, my wife, my son, every single one of us, what that equates to is, every individual in the United States shares $37,000 worth of debt,” Hastert said. “The only way to pay that off is to either grow the economy, and make $20.5 trillion look paltry, or you inflate your way out of it, so that means paying $150 for a loaf of bread.”

Hastert said the nation’s budget should not be excessive when families and businesses do not have that luxury.

“As a nation, we’re currently borrowing 50 cents on every dollar we spend,” he said. “If you or I ran our household or business like that … we wouldn’t be around very long. That’s very simple.”

For example, at his home, he would love to build a deck but said it wouldn’t be prudent spending.

“I would like to have a lot of things here. But right now, that is not my top priority,” he said. “I have other bills I have to pay. I don’t get everything I want. We have to start treating our national budget that way.”

Aside from his concern about the federal debt and inflation, another reason Hastert is running is to ensure a strong Republican Party in the future that includes young lawmakers.

“People are ready for the next generation of Republican leadership to start showing themselves,” Hastert said.

Some might say Hastert’s inexperience could work against him in his pursuit of such an ambitious goal—a U.S. Congressional seat. Hastert said he considered seeking a state lawmaker position but said he likes the people already in place.

“We have a fine complement of state legislators—two Republicans (Kay Hatcher and Chris Lauzen) who are doing a good job fighting the same problems in Springfield that we are having on the national level,” Hastert said. “So I have no interest in running there.”

For most of Hastert’s life, his father was a Congressman, which spurred his interest in national issues.
“It’s not to say that I don’t follow state or local policies or politics; it’s just a matter of my personal interest,” Hastert said.

He was 9 years old when his father became a Congressman in the late 1980s. But he was just 2 when his dad first ran for the Illinois Legislature, where he served as a state representative for six years.

“And my son is 2 now, as I get ready to make a run,” Hastert said.

As an attorney commuting to Chicago, Hastert is away from home for 12 or more hours each day. That work schedule does not give him much time to hunt, fish or cook, which are among his favorite hobbies. Lately, he devotes his spare time to his family and to getting out and meeting voters. He said he might take a leave of absence from work to devote himself to his campaign.

Hastert started reaching out to the public even before his June 5 announcement to the Elburn Herald that he intended to run. He attends a public event nearly every day, whether a parade or a city council meeting, to introduce himself to voters and find out what issues are important to them.

“I like to think that I generally know what concerns people, but I don’t know everything,” Hastert said. “You learn more by listening than talking.”

He said bringing more fiscal responsibility to government will not be the only focus of his platform. However, overspending by lawmakers is a concern that stands out in the conversations he has had with District 14 residents.

“The top thing on everybody’s mind is the economy,” he said.

Local candidate’s background

Ethan Hastert, 31, a Republican candidate in the race for 14th U.S. Congressional District in 2010, lives in Elburn’s Blackberry Creek with his wife, Heidi, and their son, Jack, 2.

Hastert received an undergraduate degree in business administsraton from University of Illinois in Champaign, where he met his spouse, and earned a law degree at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.

He currently is employed as an attorney at Mayer Brown in Chicago. In his early 20s, he was an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

He is the son of former District 14 Republican Congressman and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who resigned in 2007 and was succeeded by Democratic Rep. Bill Foster, through a special election in 2008.

PHOTO: U.S. Congressional candidate Ethan Hastert enjoys some down time in his backyard with his son, Jack, his wife, Heidi, and their golden retrievers, Atlas and Odin. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Board moves forward with Mallard Point project

Approves step to establish future SSA
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday approved a $14,000 contract with engineering company Trotter and Associates to conduct an on-site field tile investigation for the Mallard Point Subdivision and the adjacent Ogle property.

The unbudgeted project will be paid for with village funds, but may end up being charged back to the Mallard Point residents through a possible future SSA (Special Services Assessment).

Village officials and members of the Rob Roy Drainage District Board have been working for several months on a plan to resolve recurring groundwater and drainage issues in the Mallard Point Subdivision and the properties surrounding it.

The board also passed on Tuesday a resolution of intent regarding the establishment of an SSA in the Mallard Point Subdivision. The vote was 4-2 in favor of the resolution, with trustee Kevin Geary and Tom Renk voting against the resolution. Village President Sean Michels was not at the meeting.

Village attorney Steve Andersson explained that the resolution of intent does not establish the SSA, but gives the village the authority to establish one. He said that the resolution also starts the time clock, which allows the village to recapture funds already spent on projects related to the flooding and drainage issue, as long as they were spent within the last 60 days.

The village paid $10,000 in February for Trotter and Associates to inspect the retention basin and wetlands within Mallard Point. However, because this expense was prior to the 60 days, the village will not be able to recoup this from Mallard Point residents.

The current project’s cost of $14,000, as well as a previous one to complete a drain tile concept plan for the area south of Mallard Point to Jericho Road at a cost of $10,000, would be allowable expenses for the village to recapture through the SSA.

The resolution sets a maximum amount that could be reimbursed through the SSA at $100,000.

Although the resolution starts the time clock, there are a number of steps the village would have to take before an SSA could be established. Board members proposed Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a public hearing regarding the SSA.

However, according to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, the village will likely not have an answer by then to the biggest question residents will have—how much is it going to cost them?

“No one can say how much this is going to cost,” he said. “The earliest will be this fall, when studies are done.”

He added that the other unknown variable is how the costs for the various projects will be spread among how many residents. He said the village could be a year away from knowing the answer to that question.

Additional projects related to the flooding problems could be conducted by the Rob Roy Drainage District, which encompasses the Mallard Point Subdivision, the Ogle property and other property owners south to Jericho Road. These costs could then be recaptured by the district through an additional tax on the Drainage District residents.

Sugar Grove Public Works Director Tony Speciale tried to put the SSA question in perspective. He said that every subdivision the village has approved in the last five years or more, including Windsor Pointe, Windsor West, Hannaford Farms and Settler’s Ridge, has an established SSA, should any need to use it.

Although Eichelberger said that no one at this point knows how much these projects will cost each individual, he said it is more reasonable to say that it would be in the hundreds of dollars per year range, as opposed to thousands of dollars.

Montalto, who lives in Mallard Point, said passing the resolution was the fiscally responsible thing to do. He said he hoped the public hearing would be a good forum in which to address any misinformation that people are getting.

Trustees Mari Johnson and Melisa Taylor attempted to reassure the several Mallard Point residents who attended the meeting.

“Everything will be done in a step-by-step process,” Johnson said. “We want to get the right thing done.”

“We will not spend money frivolously,” Taylor said. “We will criticize every expense.”

Montalto informed the residents that both he and trustee Kevin Geary live in Mallard Point, and will be personally affected by the board’s decisions.

“We are managing this,” he said.

New committees can’t start without ordinance

Document not ready for trustees’ vote as expected
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—New village committees that Maple Park President Kathy Curtis formed after being elected in April cannot begin meeting until the Village Board approves an ordinance allowing for government structure change.

One of the new committees, Personnel and Communications, met June 22. During Tuesday’s Village Board meeting, trustee Terry Borg asked the village attorney, Pat Bond, whether the new committees could legally operate before the board approves the ordinance.

“No, unless you establish them as special committees,” Bond 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 Tuesday’s meeting, Curtis said.

The village is expected to prepare the ordinance for trustees to vote on at their next board meeting, Tuesday, July 22.

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

Under village ordinance, the village may have six committees: Finance, Streets, Water and Sewer, Parks and Grounds, Police and Planning. In place for the past several years, they have not functioned since Curtis announced their disbandment.

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.

Proposed Maple Park Committees
• Personnel and Communications
• Finance
• Public Relations and Development
• Infrastructure

Train-whistle blares won’t subside until at least August

Delay due to wayside horn company’s late paperwork
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn residents throughout the village will continue to hear train whistles blaring regularly for up to six more weeks, since alternate safety devices—wayside horns—were not installed at the end of June as Elburn had expected.

The project start was delayed because the installer, Railroad Controls Limited (RCL), was late in submitting documents to the Illinois Department of Transportation needed for permission to bore under Route 47, Community Development Director David Morrison said.

RCL obtained the permit this week and likely will start the installation Monday, July 13, Morrison said.

Village officials decided in 2008 to install the horns as a safety measure so that trains do not have to blow their whistles while rolling through town. The measure received Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approval last year: With the wayside horn installation, the FRA will allow Elburn to be free, for the most part, of the train whistles heard throughout the village since locomotives started coming through in the mid 1800s.

The wayside horns will direct their sound only toward the immediate area of pedestrian and vehicular traffic near the crossings. Both the First Street and Route 47 crossings will have two wayside horns each, as well as a flashing “X” sign posted at a height of 20 feet.

The approximately 10-day installation will be followed by a 30-day waiting period, during which Union Pacific (UP) railroad will confirm the visibility of the flashing X sign to train engineers, as well as to make sure the wayside horn’s audio component is performing properly, Morrison said.

After the wayside horns are up and running, trains will still will blow their whistles if the “X” is not flashing, indicating wayside horn malfunction, or if the locomotive engineer sees a safety hazard, according to a letter from UP Public Affairs Director Thomas Zepler.

The village agreed in April to pay RCL $124,125 for the horns and installation at the First Street and Main Street crossings, with contract approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission and UP, which owns the crossings.

Among the many safety measures village officials studied for the past several years to meet federal regulations allowing for a whistle-free zone, the wayside horns was the least expensive, village officials said. Other ways they considered included installing a center barrier of pylons at the First Street crossing, for $400,000.

Ready to roll

Makenna Sikon, 6, was among more than 50 children who decked themselves and their bikes out in red, white and blue for a bike parade on July 4 in the Prairie Valley area of Elburn. The parade started in the 800 block of Shepherd Lane, and was led by a Kane County Sheriff's officer in his patrol car. Photo by Martha Quetsch
Makenna Sikon, 6, was among more than 50 children who decked themselves and their bikes out in red, white and blue for a bike parade on July 4 in the Prairie Valley area of Elburn. The parade started in the 800 block of Shepherd Lane, and was led by a Kane County Sheriff's officer in his patrol car. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Walgreens will be 2nd drug store for Elburn

Pharmacy expected to open within two months
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The new Walgreens in Elburn will open at the northeast corner of routes 38 and 47 sometime in August or September, company spokesman Robert Elfinger said. He said the fact that Osco is right across the street did not deter Walgreens from deciding to locate in there.

“We compete with other pharmacies, whether kitty corner or on the same block, all across the country. It’s not unusual,” he said.

Until 2007, Elburn had one drug store, Gliddons, located in downtown Elburn. Gliddons closed that year and since then, Osco has been the only pharmacy in the village.

Trustee Gordon Dierschow is excited that the village will have a second drug store, due to the sales tax it will bring and because it will be another local shopping option.

“It will have everything from soup to nuts,” Dierschow said.

Aside from pharmacy items and a drive-through lane, the store will feature a one-hour photo lab and a food section.

Walgreeens announced more than two years ago that it planned to locate in Elburn. The developer, National Shopping Plazas of Chicago, broke ground last November. The store was expected to open sooner, but Elfinger said the construction process, from obtaining permits to building, is not always predictable.

The closest Walgreens to Elburn are in Geneva, Batavia and St. Charles.

Stimulus money sought for public works project

Alternatives include applying for low-interest state loan
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park village officials hope to obtain federal stimulus money for a future water main replacement project in the village. However, they are not optimistic about their chances, so they have a backup plan.

Village engineer Ralph Tompkins said the village submitted its application to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program in April. He estimated that the ARRA program received 1,700 applications for project funding, and that 50 to 75 percent would be approved.

Trustee Terry Borg said another possible source of funding for the water main project is a low-interest (2.5 percent), 20-year loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The Village Board on Tuesday agreed to continue pursuing the IEPA loan along with the federal stimulus money, at Tompkin’s advice.

“These are state-revolving funds. There is no guarantee you will get it. But I would not recommend withdrawing the application,” Tompkins said.

Borg said a third option for paying for the $828,000 water main project would be using village funds, but that is the board’s last choice, since the project is not an emergency.

Village approves wind moratorium on energy

Officials want to study the issue for six months
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday approved an ordinance for a six-month moratorium on windmills, wind turbines and other electricity-generating wind devices.

According to village officials, the purpose of the moratorium is not to prohibit these potential energy sources, but rather to take the time out to study the issue.

“Passing the moratorium in no way says the village is against wind-generating devices,” Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said.

Trustee Kevin Geary had brought the matter before the board in recent meetings, due to questions from several heavy-power-using industrial businesses in the village.

With the move toward more green and sustainable energy sources, as well as a 30 percent tax credit in the recent federal stimulus package reducing the cost to implement the technology, more communities are taking a look at this issue, according to Community Development Director Rich Young.

Trustee Bob Bohler raised some concerns about the potential for excessive noise generation and other problems.

“This gets complicated really fast, and the technology keeps changing,” Bohler said.

Trustee Melisa Taylor said the issue may also be complicated due to the airport nearby.

“There is no way we can sit here and say today what may or may not be appropriate,” Eichelberger said. “We want to encourage it, but encourage it in a responsible way.”

The moratorium may be extended longer than the six months, if the Village Board determines it needs more time to study the issue.

Forest Preserve District sponsors summer bike safety clinics for kids

COUNTY—The Forest Preserve District of Kane County is encouraging its youngest citizens to ride safely this summer, by hosting two “bicycle rodeos,” designed to teach bike safety to children.

The first bike rodeo is Saturday, July 11, at Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora. The event will take place at the lower shelter, nearest the lake. Oakhurst Forest Preserve is located at 1680 Fifth Ave. The second bike rodeo is set for Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Great Western Trailhead, south of LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles on Dean Street. Both events are from 1 to 4 p.m.

The rodeos will include helmet-fitting stations, bike safety checks, tips on how to see and be seen on a bike, how to watch for potential hazards, and use of hand signals. The rodeos will include a riding course to teach young riders how to be safe and test their skills. Bike rodeo participants must bring their own bikes and helmets to participate. Forest Preserve officers will teach the course along with volunteers from local trail and rider groups and bicycle shops.

Each child who completes the bike rodeo will receive a certificate of completion. Plus, the district will give away free back sacks to the first 50 kids who complete the rodeo at either location.

“Families should bring their bikes and helmets and enjoy our wonderful trail system with the kids, after the rodeo course,” Police Chief Mike Gilloffo said.

There is no charge for this event, but please RSVP. Call the Community Affairs Department of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County at (630) 444-3064.

SG library becomes reality

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The outside of the new Sugar Grove Public Library building is nearly finished.

On Tuesday, the project manager from Cordogan, Clark & Associates, Inc., Therese Thompson, and Sugar Grove Library circulation services manager Michelle Drawz went through the final details on the building’s interior.

One could almost visualize a library patron curled up with a good book near the fireplace in the quiet room, a group of high school students discussing a shared project in a study room, wide-eyed children listening to a story in a special room just for them, or two friends taking a moment for a cup of coffee in the Book Nook Cafe.

Thompson shared the credit for the amenities the building offers with the community. She said there was a great deal of public input about what residents wanted in a new library, as well as feedback from the library staff.

“This building is fantastic,” Drawz said. “You could fit four of our old libraries in here.”

The 27,430-square-foot building, located at Municipal Drive and Snow Street, replaces the old 6,000 square-foot library at Main and Snow streets.

Therese Thompson
Therese Thompson

“This building is fantastic.
You could fit four of our
old libraries in here.”

Michelle Drawz
Library Circulation Services Manager

New building:
27,430-square feet at
Municipal Drive and Snow Street

Old building:
6,000 square feet at
Main and Snow streets
“Nooks and Crannies Tour”
of the new building on
Saturday, Aug. 1

Grand Opening
on Saturday, Aug. 8
Old library will close on
Saturday, July 11

SG Fire Dept. loses deputy chief

Fire Chief will take on duties
by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—Deputy Chief Dave Adler left the Sugar Grove Fire Department last month, and Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said there are no plans to replace him.

“I will absorb his duties and responsibilities,” Kunkel said.

Although Adler’s contract had been renewed, Kunkel said the department is in a very tight budget year and everyone is looking for ways to trim expenses.

“We’re all in difficult times,” he said. “Next year’s going to be tough.”

Kunkel said that Adler moved to California to visit his daughter and to explore the opportunities there.

“He’s a great loss for us,” Kunkel said. “We’re going to miss him.”

Adler was in charge of training and operations for the township fire department.

Editorial: Make a difference for our soldiers serving overseas

As belts continue to tighten in the midst of a struggling economy, the level of philanthropy is suffering along with budgets.

Yet, for many, the things that can make the most difference cost little, if anything.

For example, Fox Valley Troop Support, based in St. Charles, offers support to U.S. military service members deployed overseas by sending care packages and letters to them.

The organization offers a program to help families learn how, with just the time spent to write a handwritten letter, they can make an immeasurable impact on the days of our troops serving overseas.

The program, set for Tuesday, July 14, at 7 p.m., “will guide participants on how to write a heartfelt message to brighten a soldier’s day and will provide information on how citizens/students can help prepare care packages to troops stationed overseas.”

The event will be led by the organization’s co-founder, Sarah Giachino. According to the group’s website,, Giachino became active in supporting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan after discovering the impact letters from home had on her father as he served in WWII. The site says that in 2001, she discovered hundreds of love letters between her parents throughout her father’s deployment from D-Day through the Battle of the Bulge. Recognizing the impact remaining connected to home had on her father, she began sending hundreds of letters and care packages to the veterans currently serving overseas.

The group’s other co-founder, Kathy Tobusch, became active in her support of our troops after her sons were deployed to Iraq. She regularly sent them letters and care packages, and through them, learned about the many soldiers serving our nation that never received anything from home.

Once the two women learned of each other, Fox Valley Troop Support was born.

Visit the site, and it will take but a minute to realize how little has to be spent to make a tremendous difference in the lives of those willing to make the greatest sacrifice on our behalf. A few extra items thrown in the shopping cart, a few minutes to write a letter, and you have made a difference in someone’s life.

Making a difference does not have to require a budget-breaking donation or a time commitment beyond what you are able to make. Oftentimes, literally a few dollars and a few moments of time—and the act of spending that time telling someone, “I’m thinking of you, and wanted to say thank you” can have an impact that goes beyond dollar amounts and formal volunteer activities.

For information about the July 14 event held in the Community Room at the Geneva History Center, 113 S. 3rd Street, Geneva, call (630) 232-4951. For information about the group itself, other volunteer opportunities, or how you can turn just a few dollars and a few moments of time into a soldier’s brighter day, visit

Letter: A thank you from Steel Beam Theatre

Steel Beam Theatre (SBT) is a professional, non-equity theater in historic downtown St. Charles across from the Hotel Baker. Founded in 2001 by Executive and Artistic Director Donna Steele, SBT produces quality live entertainment at an affordable price for over 10,000 people annually.

Recently, the Batavia Mothers’ Club and the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club made monetary donations to fund scholarships for tuition fees for the children’s theater. Because of these two generous organizations, four children have attended the SBT Summer Camps and have learned confidence, poise, team work, as well as public speaking and acting skills.

On behalf of the SBT Board of Directors, I would like to thank the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club and the Batavia Mothers’ Club for realizing the significance and importance of Steel Beam Theatre and the positive impact of its educational programs on our youth.

Dana Teichart
SBT Board President

Letter: My night at Hesed House

On a recent Friday night, I had the opportunity to share in a unique experience. The staff and supporters of Hesed House staged a camp out on their front yard, showing passersby and those gathered what the future of the homeless could look like if the proposed DHS budget cuts take place.

We listened to the success stories of those people whose lives have been changed by Hesed House. We shared stories around a makeshift campfire, helping children as young as five make s’mores, knowing that later their mother would be taking them inside Hesed House, their “home” for the night. Most of us then retreated to our tents and sleeping bags except for two young men who chose to sleep under the stars, experiencing fully the concept of having no roof to call our own.

At 58, I had some reservations about sleeping on the ground in an unfamiliar urban setting, but I could think of no better way to show my support for Ryan Dowd and the staff of Hesed House. I’m really glad I did. I got to know Ryan and his terrific staff. I got to see firsthand the respect and care they have for their guests. I got to hear their stories. I got to eat the same breakfast they received that morning. Then I got to go home, shower, go about my Saturday not having to worry about where I would sleep that night.

Unfortunately, the future of Hesed’s guests is very much at risk. We need our elected leaders to get to work to fix our state’s budget problems so that people like the guests at Hesed House, the women and children at Mutual Ground, the men and women in recovery at Gateway and the rest of our communities’ most vulnerable residents can continue to receive the services they need. It is time our leaders need to realize that this system is broken and needs to be fixed.

My daughter asked me if my overnight experience on Hesed’s front yard was an “eye opener?” I knew, before Friday, what Ryan and his crew do on a daily basis. What the experience did do was give me a greater appreciation for all those who serve the neediest among us. Thank you to Hesed for the opportunity. I would invite all our leaders to spend a night at Hesed House or an evening at Mutual Ground before they get back to work on the budget and see for themselves what those dollars actually mean in peoples’ lives.

Jerry Murphy
Executive Director, MH & MR Services, Inc.
Mental Health and
Mental Retardation Services, Inc.

Letter: Spelling Bee a success

The Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging and I recently teamed up to sponsor a centuries-old celebration, a community spelling bee. A large room full of people cheered the friendly rivalry between the contestants, many of whom remembered the glory of grade school successes and just wanted to see if they were still on top of their game. Boy, were they ever!

American Idol had no edge on the tension that grew as the words became increasingly more difficult. Open to those 50 and over, the event was a testament to the importance of a strong, core education and life-long learning.

There are many folks to thank for the day’s success. All the brave contestants, of course; Bob Ament, Ruth Cleary, Pat Feeley, Bob Jones, Susan O’Neill, Kathleen Ramsey, Bette Schoenholtz, Barbara Weber, Bob Wyngard and Claudia Wyngard.

Chief Marty Kunkel welcomed us to the Sugar Grove Fire Station. Librarian Beverly Hughes provided the largest dictionary ever seen. Jenkins Trophy provided the awards. Superintendent Dr. James Rydland taught us all the many pronunciations of every word.

It was a great event, and everyone agreed we’d do it again in 2010. First place winner Susan O’Neill and second place winner Barbara Weber will advance to a regional competition. Those winners then have a mega spell-off at the Illinois State Fair.

I’ll be rooting for them.

Kay Hatcher
50th District State Representative

Letter: Think local, support the SG library

Transparency, accountability, responsibility—actions we all seem to desire from our federal and state governments. Depending upon who you talk to, we are told by our government representatives that we need or don’t need bailouts, tax increases and more spending. Listen to both points of view on the same subject discussed for a half hour and soon you truly do not know who is correct and what they are right about. But the one real truth is that the individual tax payer has little control on exactly how their federal and state tax dollars are being spent today.

On a local level though, we are allowed to have referendums. This great democratic process, allows us to argue a specific question back and forth among ourselves for things that may or may not truly help our own towns and counties. We finalize the question when we choose to vote.

Several years back, over 2,000 voters chose to build the Sugar Grove Public Library but since that time those same voters have not stepped up to vote for the separate referendum required by our state to fund the new library. This library will serve over 15,000 library residents who live in Prestbury and other parts of Aurora, parts of Montgomery, all of the Village of Sugar Grove and most of the Sugar Grove Township residents.

If it is truly transparency, accountability, and responsibility that you want, then it is Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes and her staff you should thank for figuring out new convenient patron hours, resolving staffing issues and figuring out how to build a well-laid out, energy efficient, community minded building well within the voters budget.

Meetings regarding every step of building this building were advertised and the public was invited. Every decision made for the new library was done so at public meetings and publically recorded, every dollar spent was accounted for and the bookkeeping is available at the library for anyone who cares to take a look.

So please remember when your federal and state taxes are being increased and the funding for branches of your local government (the library, schools, park districts, fire and police departments, etc.) are further decreased by those who have the power to do so in Springfield and Washington, remember that your local tax dollars are spent by local people you know and trust and the results of their hard work make your community an even better place to live.

Naming opportunities and donations to the collection are available, and needed, now. The current Secretary of State has said that a new library would not be built in Illinois with an operating rate as low as that of the Sugar Grove Library. The operating rate—.08—has not been raised in over 30 years, yet people still complain about transparency, accountability, responsibility when it is really still alive and well in your local government!

Patricia Graceffa
Sugar Grove Library Friends President

Elburn Police blotter

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

• Viviana Arias, 22, of the 600 block of Sheridan Street in Aurora, was arrested at 10:07 a.m. July 5 for driving while her license was suspended. Police stopped Arias for speeding, as she traveled north on Route 47 near South Street in Elburn.

• Someone shot an arrow into the garage door of a residence in the 700 block of North First Street in Elburn sometime between 2 p.m. July 3 and 4 p.m. July 4. The home’s resident found the arrow, a light blue Thunder Express with a 3-foot shaft, embedded in the door.