Letter: Looking for a tax deduction?

While many friends and community members make frequent donations of books, videos and other materials to the Kaneville Public Library for adding to our collections, exchanges with other libraries, or for its annual book sales, many people are unaware of other tax deductible donations that can be made to the library.

Cash donations, paid newspaper and magazine subscriptions, or paying for items from the library’s “wish book” of equipment and furniture needs are obvious examples, but other in-kind contributions can be made as well.

Books, audio and video recordings, computer software and other library-related items are, of course, always welcome, and the library accepts such donations year round, not just in the weeks leading up to a book sale.

The library will accept gently used office equipment such as file cabinets, calculators, typewriters or adding machines.

Art works for inclusion in the library’s collection of paintings and prints are always considered.

Used electronics, such as televisions, video game consoles (with games and controllers), video players, cassette and CD players, computer equipment and printers are acceptable as donations, so long as they are in working condition, are particularly welcome. Non-working electronics can be dropped off at the library for re-cycling, but we ask people to call before dropping things off as storage space is sometimes at a premium.

The library does not provide appraisals for donations, but will provide donors with letters of acknowledgement to help them in calculating their donation’s worth at tax time.

For additional information, questions about specific donations or directions to the library, contact Ray Christiansen, the Library Director, at (630) 557-2441.

Ray Christiansen
Library Director
Kaneville Public Library

Experience ‘A Proper English Christmas’

Elgin Choral Union, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra combine for holiday performance
Elgin—”A Proper English Christmas” will be performed by The Elgin Choral Union in collaboration with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra. This holiday season, enjoy the unique music and song of the English to get into the holiday spirit. Students from the oldest orchestra, the Youth Symphony under the direction of Music Director Randal Swiggum, will be performing.

Two performances are scheduled: Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 3:30 p.m., in the Blizzard Theater at Elgin Community College Arts Center on the main campus of ECC, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Tickets can be purchased for $22, $17 for seniors, and $14 for students by calling the box office at (847) 622-0300, or online at tickets.elgin.edu.

Concert organizers are also asking the attendees bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the All People’s Interfaith Food Pantry located at 256 Chicago St., Elgin. The tough economic times have been felt by everyone, and food pantries are struggling to meet the needs of all who come to them. All donations are welcome. The pantry can always use canned meats, tuna, chili, ravioli and canned fruits.

Holiday magic comes to the Albright Theatre

Albright Theatre Company presents ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’
BATAVIA—The Albright Theatre Company presents its holiday production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

The performance focuses on the unruly, ill-behaved children of the Herdman family, who decide to take over the town’s church and Christmas pageant one Sunday. The Herdman children, who have never heard the Christmas story before, are cast in the pageant against the advice of fellow church members. The Christmas pageant is the most unusual one that the town has seen, but quite possibly the best one ever.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” runs Dec. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20. Performance times will be Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. The Albright Theatre is located on the 3rd floor of the Batavia government building at 100 N. Island Ave.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Receive $1 off each ticket with a donation of a non-perishable food item. The Albright Theatre will donate the food items to local food banks. In addition, $1 from every ticket sold for the Sunday, Dec. 13, 2:30 p.m. performance will be donated to Hesed House.

Due to the popularity of this show, reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations, call (630) 406-8838. For more information, visit www.albrighttheatre.com.

Christmas on the Prairie

Durant House Museum offers 19th Century celebration, open house
St. Charles—19th century-style merriment will prevail at the 1843 Durant House Museum’s Candle-Light Open House on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, from 2 to 6 p.m. each afternoon. Visitors are invited to celebrate the season while discovering the many charms of local history.

Costumed docents will welcome visitors into the candle-lit prairie homestead adorned in authentic period decor, complete with hot cider and baked treats. Fragrant evergreens, a roaring fire on the hearth, and an old-fashioned Christmas tree will recreate the heartwarming spirit of holidays past, while the museum tours will present an opportunity to savor and explore Durant House’s winter wonderland. This annual celebration also features music and dramatic performances of holiday stories for persons of all ages.

Sholes School takes part in old-fashioned Christmas celebration
Start your holidays with a step back in time to the one-room school house in St. Charles. Pioneer Sholes School will host its annual Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Visitors will see the 1872 school house swathed in 19th Century holiday decor, many of which were made by local residents. Enjoy a skit, songs and poetry performed by junior docents at 3:30 p.m. each day. Materials will be on hand for children to make an old-fashioned Christmas craft of their own to take home. While having some refreshments, visit with some students who had attended the one-room school before it closed in 1947.

Both museums are located in the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve just off Dean Street north of Route 64 in St. Charles. Call (630) 377-6424 or visit www.ppfv.org for more information.

LivingWell center offers series on stress relief

GENEVA—LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, a provider of nonmedical support at no cost for people living with cancer, will host a series of 12 programs on stress relief called Stress Relief Thursdays.

A “Crystal Singing Bowl Meditation” will be presented by Charisse Crisci and Yolanda Lozano from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10. This event is free, but registration is required. Call (630) 262-1111 to register.

The classic, frosted-crystal singing bowl creates a deep resonance which surrounds the listener like a heavy blanket: warm, comforting and healing. The December program will focus on holiday stress relief.

“Stress is a part of life, but at times can feel overwhelming,” said LivingWell’s Wellness Coordinator, Marianne Cirone. “Our Thursday night series of stress reduction programs will teach a variety of skills to reduce stress and anxiety and increase health and happiness. All of these classes can be done seated in a chair or comfortably on the floor with blankets and bolsters, as appropriate.”

The roots of vibrational sound healing can be traced from present day trends back to many ancient civilizations. Chimes, bowls, bells, gongs, drums and vocal toning, chants or repetitive vibrations are just a few of the many vibrational sound tools that have been used for healing and relaxations.

LivingWell is located at 1803 W. State St., Geneva, and online at www.LivingWellCRC .org. LivingWell is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be contacted at (630) 262-1111. LivingWell is a certified 501c nonprofit organization and an affiliate of Delnor Heath System.

Christmas Stroll a host of holiday happenings

Family-oriented event will showcase village offerings
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—This year’s Elburn Christmas Stroll, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, will offer its ever-popular holiday activities, from Santa visits to wine tastings, along with some new events, all designed to bring people into the downtown area.

More than 1,000 people typically attend the event sponsored by the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, chamber member Leslie Flint said. The event is designed to showcase the village while providing wholesome family fun.

Returning to this year’s Christmas Stroll is the life-sized Kandyland game at the Elburn Herald, 123 N. Main St., and Santa Claus at Town & Country Public Library, 320 E. North St.

The annual blessing of the manger in Elburn is scheduled for 7 p.m. in front of Heartland Counseling and Conley Funeral Home, Route 47 and Pierce Street.

Other activities coming again to the Christmas Stroll will be martial arts demonstrations and wine tastings at Elburn & Countryside Community Center, 525 Main St., and a fire-safety open house at the Elburn Fire Station, 210 E. North St.

For the first time during the Christmas Stroll, Party Animals, 108 N. Main St., will offer visitors an opportunity to decorate their own ornaments.

Another change to this year’s Christmas Stroll is a new location for the business expo, which in previous years took place at the American Legion Hall. The expo will be at Village Hall, 301 E. North St.

Participating businesses, including the new Walgreens store, will offer product information, business cards, handouts and giveaways. Village officials and staff also will be on-site, providing coffee, cider and cookies.

Committee members decided against having the expo at the legion this year because of businesses’ lack of interest in that location in previous years.

Shuttle Rides
Free rides in a heated shuttle bus
Friday, Dec. 4 • 5 to 8 p.m.
during the Christmas Stroll,
from Jewel-Osco at Route 38,
to Town and Country Public Library,
at 320 E. North St.

Fun for the family

Holiday in the Grove brings holiday cheer to Sugar Grove
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Holiday in the Grove begins early on Saturday, Dec. 5, for good little boys and girls who want to share a breakfast with Santa. The first of four seatings begins at 7:15 a.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House on Main Street, with the last seating scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Reservations are required for this popular event, and can be made on the Parent Teacher Organization website, www.ptolive.com.

Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer and Sugar Grove firefighters will cook the breakfast. Breakfast with Santa raises money for the community’s Holiday Spirit fund, a program that ensures there will be presents under the tree and staples in the house for Kaneland area families during the holiday season.

The children may pose for a free photo with Santa, available for pick-up after 12:30 p.m. Packaged photos taken by a professional photographer are available for purchase and will be ready one week from Saturday.

For an old-fashioned family experience, the Sugar Grove Park District sponsors horse-drawn sleigh rides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local farmer George Alexander volunteers his time and his horses to provide the rides through the streets of Sugar Grove free of charge.

For transportation between the various events, a heated school bus will take visitors from the Community House to the school to the library all day long.

Community House events
Residents may stop in at the Community House between 9 and 11 a.m. for Coffee with the Mayor with Village President Sean Michels.

A Fun Fair will take place at the Community House upstairs in the gym from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The children can grab a lunch of hot dogs, chips, nachos, popcorn and pop, and enjoy an entertaining clown from noon to 2 p.m. Stay for magician David Fleming’s juggling act and magic show at 2:30 p.m.

Ornament making is available downstairs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or children can participate in Noah’s Ark Stuff-n-Fluff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make a snowman, reindeer or gingerbread man.

Sugar Grove United Methodist Church
Visit Santa’s Sweet Shoppe at the United Methodist Church, across from the Community House, and purchase candies and cookies, pies, sweet breads and fudge, baked by members of the church. Be sure to take a tour of the sanctuary, where nativity scenes of all shapes and sizes will be available to remind visitors of the reason for the season.

Kaneland John Shields Elementary School

Events at the school include a crafter and vendor fair with more than 35 crafters from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Kids Holiday Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where children can do their own Christmas shopping. Inexpensive homemade craft and store-bought items are available for purchase for family members and friends.

Sugar Grove Public Library

The Library Friends will host a Used Book Sale all day on Saturday at the new library. For a head start, stop by the library on Friday, Dec. 4, to pick up a few green (recycled) Christmas gifts.

Salvation Army community volunteer bell ringers will be at the library from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Money collected on that day will be available to Sugar Grove families and service organizations.

Holiday in the Grove

Saturday, Dec. 5
7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sugar Grove Community House,
Sugar Grove United Methodist Church and Kaneland
John Shields Elementary School,
Sugar Grove Public Library.
Parking available at each location.

Sponsored by
Kaneland John Shields PTO and
other organizations

Contact Carrie Guerra at
(630) 715-9230

Library computer lab, remodeling a community effort

Donations, grants, volunteers helped with remodeling
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—With help from a DeKalb County grant, Maple Park Public Library can put the finishing touches on a remodeling project that created a new computer lab for its patrons.

The library received a $1,000 grant from the county’s Community Needs Foundation on Nov. 22. Library Board member Laura McPhee applied for the funding in September.

“With the new monies from this grant, we are looking forward to paying for some of our computer desks as well as putting in a new floor for (the computer lab),” McPhee said.

The library is located in the Community Center in a four-room space in the building’s basement. A remodeling project started in June included opening up a storage area to create a workstation for eight new computers the library purchased with a $10,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

One of the library’s new computers is an HP SmartTouch Touchscreen for patrons with special needs. The computers, all Internet-connected, also include six Dell PC’s and a Macintosh.

Wiring for the computers and new shelving also were installed last summer with help from village residents.

“Thanks to donations from The Friends of Maple Park Public Library and many hours of hard work from community and board members, we were able to complete (the first phase) of our remodeling task,” McPhee said.

The Community Needs Foundation funds will help the library finish the project by early spring, McPhee said. Among future projects the board hopes to accomplish is enhancing the library’s handicap accessibility.

The library was eligible for the Community Needs Foundation grant this fall because a large number of its members reside in DeKalb County, McPhee said. The Foundation provides grants for arts and culture, education, health and human services, and community development and civic affairs.

Photo: The Maple Park Public Library has been improved since Kimberly Martin (pictured) started as library director in May. Those changes, initiated by the Library Board and implemented with Martin’s help, include remodeling of the library and the creation of a computer lab. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Public-information access officers required under new law

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Local municipalities are reviewing the new “sunshine laws” designed to improve access to public information, readying for compliance Jan. 1.

On that date, the state’s revised Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will take effect.

Maple Park Village Attorney Kevin Buick told trustees Tuesday that the FOIA changes are “sweeping and dramatic” and encouraged them to study the revisions carefully on the Illinois Attorney General’s website.

“The Attorney General (Lisa Madigan) was key in shaping these changes, which are designed to ensure the public has broad and open access to public records,” Buick said during the Village Board meeting.

A major change in the act is that communities must appoint a FOIA officer to be in charge of receiving and responding to public information requests in compliance with the law.

Every new FOIA officer must complete an electronic training program through the Illinois Attorney General’s office by July 1, 2010.

Elburn officials recently named Village Administrative Assistant Janet McGowan as the village’s FOIA officer. McGowan received training from the Attorney General’s office in October for the position, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.

Kaneville and Sugar Grove officials have designated FOIA officers who will complete the online training program as soon as the Attorney General makes it available. They are Sugar Grove Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger and Kaneville Village Clerk Sandy Weiss.

Maple Park has yet to appoint a FOIA officer. Maple Park officials will discuss the issue at the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday, Dec. 21, Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The revised sunshine laws will require all FOIA officers to communicate closely with the state’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) to ensure that public bodies comply with FOIA and the Open Meetings Act.

Among other FOIA changes is that the public information requests will not have to be written on a village-specified form, and can be submitted in many different ways, including orally.

Buick said the new FOIA could cost municipalities more money than the previous law. Under the FOIA changes, a municipality must provide the first 50 pages of public information to a requestor free of charge, and can charge no more than 15 cents per additional page.

The new FOIA law also requires municipalities to provide public information electronically if requested, when it is available in that format; and, municipalities must respond to FOIA requests within five working days, compared to seven in the past.

Scouts community project is collective

Pack 107 picks up trash at Metra for village
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Sixty extra hands came in handy for the village on Nov. 22. That day, Cub Scout Pack 107 conducted a clean-up of the Metra station parking area, picking up trash that people had tossed on the ground instead of into garbage receptacles.

“The Cubs Scouts provided great assistance in maintaining the overall cleanliness of the lot,” Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said.

Nevenhoven said village employees empty the parking lot garbage containers nearly every day, but a lot of other trash does not make it into the can.

“Cigarette butts, soda cans, energy drink bottles, breakfast bar wrappers, etc., litter the lot, and (the village) does not have the available manpower to pick all of it up,” Nevenhoven said.

To equip the Scouts for the task, Nevenhoven provided each with a pair of gloves and a garbage bag.

Among the 30 scouts taking part in the cleanup was Nevenhoven’s son, Ryan. His job was to carry an
increasingly heavy garbage bag while other Scouts collected debris and tossed it in.

“I was feeling pretty good about it because every couple of feet there was a piece of garbage,” Ryan said.
The afternoon cleanup fulfilled a Pack 107 requirement for community service.

“Every Scout has to perform a service to the community each year as part of the Cub Scout Program,” Pack 107 Cubmaster Kurt Wachter said.

The pack typically completes one or two service projects each year, including collecting food for the Elburn Food Pantry.

Photo: Cub Scout Pack 107 members, with some of their parents and siblings, cleaned up litter scattered throughout the Metra station parking lot and grounds in Elburn on Nov. 22. The effort was one of the pack’s annual community service projects.
Courtesy Photo

Departments place more focus on reading

by Madi Bluml
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—Every Thursday, Scott Parillo, head of the social studies department at Kaneland High School, goes to a meeting to discuss with other social studies teachers how their classes can be improved. Sharing thoughts and ideas, the teachers determine how they can improve their teaching. One of the ways is by using a more writing-intensive course.

“We are working on helping our students to become more efficient writers,” Parillo said.

Students can now be required to write four to five essays per class, and juniors are taken to the library to work on a program called Keytrain, to help with PSAE testing, Parillo said.

But why the sudden change in the social studies department?

In fact, it isn’t just this one part of the high school. Many of the classes are now becoming more reading- or math-intensive, the reason being that Kaneland’s junior class did not meet one of the goals last year set by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA).

NCLBA is a federal mandate from the George W. Bush administration that requires all students to be college-ready in reading and mathematics by 2014, and it is done by raising the standards 7.5 percent every year, Ian Smith, assistant principal, said. Whether the overall school has reached the level of basic proficiency is based on standardized testing by the junior class.

“In Illinois, that test is called the PSAE (Prairie State Achievement Exam) and that’s composed, day one, of the ACT test and on day two, exams specific to Illinois that measure reading, math and science,” Smith said. “To determine if a student has met or attained basic proficiency, the PSAE combines the day one and day two math scores and the day one and day two reading scores.”

A student has to achieve a certain combined score to attain basic proficiency, and if a certain percentage of all of the juniors achieve that basic level of proficiency, then the school makes AYP, adequate yearly progress, Smith said.

“One unfortunate aspect of (No Child Left Behind) is that it’s making a comprehensive judgment of how well a school is educating its students based on their performance on this one assessment taken by the junior class,” Smith said. “It doesn’t take into account any of the other measures that we would consider that would also make for a successful educational experience, such as the number of students that are learning and growing and developing in many intangible ways through our wonderful elective programs, extracurricular, student activities, athletics and the strength of our academic program that in other ways is simply not reflective in this one assessment, nor does it take into account the number of students we have who are successful in the work force and in college and in life beyond college.”

There is a positive side to No Child Left Behind, Smith said. It makes the administration look at how it can improve the academic curriculum.

Because Kaneland did not meet one of the testing goals, there are now weekly departmental meetings during Student Teacher Educational Needs to attain cross-curricular support and to improve.

Village tables Mallard Point SSA vote

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday tabled a proposal for a Special Services Area (SSA) in the Mallard Point Subdivision to deal with the recurring groundwater issues and elevated water levels in the wetland area.

Village officials, members of the Rob Roy Drainage District Board, Mallard Point residents and Kane County Water Resources Department Director Paul Schuch have been working together since early summer in an attempt to come up with a plan to resolve the flooding issues that are affecting the Mallard Point Subdivision, as well as property to the south.

The Village Board in September decided to table a vote that would have allowed the village to establish an SSA to address a portion of the flooding issues, when nearly 150 residents attended a public hearing on the topic. Many of the residents who attended the hearing said they did not want the board to rush into creating an SSA without knowing how much the special tax will cost them.

The establishment of the SSA would only cover the cost of maintaining the retention pond, which is just a small part of the problem. Funding to repair the broken drainage tiles and lay a large drain tile from the Mallard Point Subdivision south to Jericho Road would likely end up the responsibility of property owners throughout the Rob Roy Drainage District, an area that includes Mallard Point. This would mean additional fees charged to the residents.

The board agreed to invite Trotter & Associates engineer Mark Bushnell, who has been conducting the studies of the problems, to attend the Jan. 19, 2010, board meeting, to explain where things stand on the maintenance part of the project. Residents may comment at that meeting, and the board would then vote on the SSA issue at its March 2 meeting.

“There’s a lot of unknowns,” Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said. “March is getting down to the key decision point. More than likely, we’re looking at a fall 2010 major project.”

“Obviously, no one wants to pay more taxes,” trustee and Mallard Point resident Rick Montalto said after the meeting.

However, he said, people do feel it is important to get the situation resolved.

“There’s a lot of moving parts,” Eichelberger said.

He said the village is working with the county and the Rob Roy Drainage District to see if there is any money out there to help with the costs, but he is not sure when they will even know how much the costs will be.

“I don’t know if we will have that estimate by March,” he said.


Local wildlife lives on in library photo display
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Visitors to the children’s section of the Sugar Grove Public Library may find themselves eyeball to eyeball with a Chinese Praying Mantis.

The photograph is just one of about two dozen pictures that Sugar Grove Park District employee John Clayton has currently displayed at the library. Clayton’s photos of birds, prairie plants, insects and landscapes were all taken locally.

Clayton said that a year ago, a fellow Park District staff member asked him to take some pictures of the prairie plants in the detention basin behind the Park District building.

“I got caught up in the moment,” he said. “I ended up buying a camera.”

He said he plans to drop off copies of the pictures at the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, in case the teachers would like to use it to educate their students about the wildlife that exists just outside their classrooms.

Clayton’s pictures were on display at Peck Farm Interpretive Center in Geneva during the month of October. He said he signed up to display his pictures about a year ago when he participated in the Kane County Certified Naturalist Program through the Geneva Park District at Peck Farm.

In the meantime, the library is the beneficiary of Clayton’s creativity.

“We love John’s work,” Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes said. “It’s colorful, cheerful, refreshing.”

Hughes said the library decided to display Clayton’s work partly because the content was local, but also because it was appealing and familiar, but not often seen by most people.

“It’s a cool thing to be a part of the new library,” Clayton said.

Clayton’s pictures are displayed in the front foyer of the library, leading to the board room and on the wall in the children’s section.

According to Hughes, the library is interested in displaying the work of local artists, given the appropriateness of the content, space and interest in the work. Works from the Kaneland Fine Arts Festival juried show will be on display in April 2010. Interested artists will find application forms at the library.

Photo: A Chinese Preying Mantis is among the subjects of Sugar Grove Park District employee John Clayton’s photographs displayed in the Sugar Grove Library. Courtesy Photos

Food pantry helps local families care for their pets

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Animal Hospital has agreed to serve as a drop-off site for animal food and supplies, as well as food donations that will end up on the shelves of the Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove.

Sugar Grove teenagers Danielle and Madison Taylor, who helped their mother Melisa Taylor with the start-up of the food pantry, determined that if families were having a hard time affording food, they probably needed help with the care of their animals, as well.

Sugar Grove Animal Hospital employee Julie Wortman said that they had talked about partnering with a local animal shelter to collect donations, but then they were contacted by volunteers for the food pantry. People are being asked to drop off dog and cat food and other supplies, cat litter, and of course, treats are always welcome. The animal hospital is located at 110 Main St. in Sugar Grove.

“They’re picking it up from us once a week,” she said.

The food pantry, located in the back of the Engineering Enterprises, Inc. building at 52 W. Wheeler Road, is open once a week on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. According to the website, the goal of the food pantry, which opened on Nov. 5, is “to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry, while empowering people to remain self-sufficient in these difficult economic times.”

Taylor said the food and goods are available to residents within the Kaneland School District, and all Sugar Grove residents that meet the income and eligibility guidelines set by the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB).

She said food donations are always welcome; however, monetary donations allow them to provide much more to recipients. Every dollar donated goes six times farther when the food is purchased from the NIFB than someone buying it off the shelf at a grocery store.

The Sugar Grove Jewel Osco, through donations collected from its customers, was able to provide Thanksgiving meals for 27 families through the food pantry, Taylor said. Customers who either paid an extra $1 with their purchase and/or dropped their extra change into a collection jar might be happy to know that their donations helped that many families have a happier Thanksgiving.

Taylor said she is grateful for everything that everyone is doing to help, whether it is donating time, food, services or money to help their neighbors in need. However, she cautions that the needs will continue long after the holidays are over.

“Come January, we’ll still be stocking the shelves,” she said.

Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove

52 Wheeler Road, Sugar Grove
behind EEI, Inc.
Open Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m.
For additional information,
contact Melisa Taylor at
taylormmt@yahoo.com or
(630) 466-0345 or visit the website at www.sugargrovepantry.org
Mail to P.O. Box 509,
Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Product donations needed

Toilet paper
Paper towels
Cleaning supplies
Shampoo and condioner
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Cooking oil
Ketchup and mayonnaise
Sugar and flour

Drop-off locations
Sugar Grove Animal Hospital
Green Acre Cleaners
Sugar Grove Village Hall
Sugar Grove Public Library
Old Second Bank
Sugar Grove Remax
Aurora Candlewood Suites
McDole Elementary School
Sugar Grove United
Methodist Church

Village wants more time to study wind turbines

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board extended its six-month moratorium on windmills and wind turbines for another six months on Tuesday, but that does not mean they are not interested.

According to Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young, the board passed a moratorium in July so village staff would have time to prepare an ordinance that would properly regulate the devices. Young said he and his staff have been researching the topic, including reviewing the ordinances of other communities.

“Woodstock has a good example, and the county has one that is evolving,” he said. “Although we’re asking for another six-month extension, my hope is that we’ll be ahead of the curve on that.”

Trustee Tom Renk said that he has seen wind turbines in many locations.

“They’re starting to pop up everywhere,” he said. “We do need to get in front of this sooner rather than later.”

The village has not received any requests for permits for these types of uses. The ordinance would have to go through a public hearing before the Plan Commission and then receive board approval.

Medieval carolers come to Elburn

Elburn—The Kaneland Madrigal Singers will bring Christmas cheer to the streets of Elburn during the annual Elburn Christmas Stroll on Friday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

They will be at the Elburn Library, Reams, Conley’s, Papa G’s and the Community Center.

The group will also perform its annual Madrigal dinner on Friday through Sunday, Dec. 11-13. Ticket information is at www.kaneland.org.

Fox Valley Philharmonic feeds hungry with holiday concert

St. Charles—Holiday musical magic is in the air as the Fox Valley Philharmonic orchestra prepares to present “Holiday Magic!”

The concert is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles. The orchestra continues its year-long effort to feed the hungry by requesting concert patrons to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food bank.

The Fox Valley Philharmonic is a community orchestra sponsored by The Fox Valley Academy of Music Performance, which also operates the Fox Valley Youth Symphony Orchestras and the Access to Music program for underprivileged children. Members of the orchestra represent 18 Illinois communities, including Aurora, Batavia, Carol Stream, Chicago, Downers Grove, Elgin, Geneva, Joliet, Montgomery, Naperville, North Aurora, Oswego, St. Charles, Westchester and Western Springs.

Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults, $15 for (65+) and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-838-3006. For group discounts, call (630) 879-8018.

Sheriff’s Dept. veteran named MP police chief

Michael Acosta fills position vacant since 2008
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park officials met the goal they set two months ago to hire a police chief by early December, filling the position that has been vacant since June 2008.

On Tuesday, after a closed Village Board discussion, the board voted to hire Kane County Sheriff’s Department veteran Michael F. Acosta. He will be sworn into office during the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

During the interview process, Acosta indicated that he would like to start programs in village that would foster a positive environment between the Police Department and the community, Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Curtis stated in a press release Wednesday the reason the board chose Acosta to lead the village Police Department:
“The ability to work well and positively interact with our residents was an important criteria in our hiring decision. We are excited to have Mike join the village and look forward to working with him as the new leader of the Police Department,” she said.

Acosta retired from the Kane County Sheriff’s Department in 2007. During his 31 years with the Sheriff’s Department, he served in various positions, such as Commander of Administration, Commander of Kane County Major Crimes Task Force (a multi-agency task force that responds to violent crime scenes in Kane County) and Commander of K-CART (a multi-agency task force that responds to accidents that involve serious injury or death).

Acosta serves on the Sugar Grove Police Commission and is a member of several law enforcement-related organizations.

The Maple Park Police Department has operated without an officer in charge since Officer Chuck Slater’s resignation in September. Slater had been officer in charge since June 2008, when village officials decided against renewing former Chief Steve Yahnke’s contract.

The full-time police chief position will pay an annual salary of $48,800, plus a $600 medical stipend per month.

Acosta will oversee a department of five part-time police officers, and possibly more in the future if the village carries out its plan to hire additional officers.

New chief’s ideas
During his interview with Maple Park officials, new Police Chief Michael Acosta said in the position he will make himself accessible to the community and would like to implement the following programs:

• Monthly Saturday morning
“Coffee with the Chief and Officers”
• Kid Safety Programs such as Bike Safety,
Stranger Danger, Playground Safety
• The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program
(teaches children in pre-K through
third grade important steps to take
if they find a gun)
• Cops and Kids Movie Night
• Read a Story With a Cop at the
Maple Park Library
• Neighborhood Watch

Editorial: Kick off the season with us at Kandyland

For many in the area, the Christmas holiday season kicks off with the first weekend of December, when Elburn hosts the annual Elburn Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll and Sugar Grove hosts its annual Holiday in the Grove.

This year, the Christmas Stroll is set for Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. throughout Elburn. Holiday in the Grove follows the next day, on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Both events feature a community-wide variety of family-friendly events, activities, and of course, visits with Santa.

At the Elburn Herald, we look forward to the Christmas Stroll because it gives us an opportunity to transform our office into a life-sized winter wonderland styled after the Candyland board game. Kandyland draws hundreds of children and their parents each year, and Elburn Herald Design Director Leslie Flint, the mastermind behind our decorative schemes each year, is preparing to ensure that this year is our best yet.

In addition to playing life-sized Kandyland, Santa will hold court at the Elburn Town and Country Public Library, a number of demonstrations, activities and food are available at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, and a business expo will be held in the Elburn Village Hall—not to mention all of the individual offerings available in many businesses throughout Elburn.

The following morning, Santa will be on hand for breakfast at the Community House in Sugar Grove to open the Holiday in the Grove festivities.

There are plenty of additional events throughout the day at the Community House, such as a Coffee with the Mayor, Village President Sean Michels, a Fun Fair and children’s crafts. The Sugar Grove United Methodist Church will feature Santa’s Sweet Shoppe for those with a sweet tooth, the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School will offer a crafter and vendor fair, as well as a Kids Holiday Shop, and the Sugar Grove Public Library will host its annual used book sale throughout the day.

We hope to see you at Kandyland as we kick off the holiday season, and we urge you to visit the rest of the events during the Elburn Christmas Stroll and Sugar Grove Holiday in the Grove.

See you on Friday!

Kaneland shines spotlight on fall athletes with awards

Monday saw Kaneland High School dish out their annual awards for the fall sports season.

For girls cross country, Shelby Koester and Lisa Roberson were recognized by the team as captains, while Shaela Collins and Jessica Stouffer won the most improved runners nods. Junior Andie Strang took home the Most Valuable Runner award and was also recognized for her all-Western Sun Conference nomination.

In Knights golf action, the varsity most improved player award was given to Adam Grams, while Most Valuable Player was Hayley Guyton. Rhys Childs took home the frosh/soph MVP, and Dan Miller was named the frosh/soph most improved player. Guyton was also lauded for her second-place finish at the girls’ golf State gathering.

For soccer, Kevin Szatkowski, Marcos Dorado, Joe Garlinsky and Genaro Garcia were recognized as captains, and Alex Dorado and Sam Rymarz were given coach’s awards. Jake Tickle won the most improved player award, while J.P. Minogue was named team MVP thanks to his play in goal. Marcos Dorado, Derek White and Minogue were named to the All-WSC squad, while Dorado was also named the 2009 All-Sectional team.

For the tennis troops, Randi Bader, Lindsay Jurcenko and Kelsey Lenhardt were recogznied as garnering the best individual records this season with 18-7 records. Most Valuable Player awards were dished out to Jurcenko, Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb. Bader, Webb, Megan Cline and Mel Mazuc were recognized as captains. Jordyn Withey took home the team spirit award, while Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Jess Woodward nabbed the most improved player honors.

For the State-going boy cross country, Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Dominic Furco, Matt Reusche and Logan Markuson were recognized as captains.

Trevor Holm and Reusche took the most valuable runner awards, while Levita was named most improved runner. Valle and Markuson were given the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. The Golden Knight award, given to one representative of each grade level, was given to freshman Brad Kigyos, sophomore Jake Ginther, junior Tommy Whittaker and to Furco, a senior.

Reusche and Holm were lauded for their nomination to the all-Western Sun Conference team.

John Meisinger, Ginther, Billy Hart, Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson, Holm, Reusche, Levita, Valle, Furco, Markuson, Whittaker and Clayton Brundige were recognized as State qualifiers.

For the playoff-going Knight football team, Brock Dyer, Ryley Bailey, Brett Ketza, Eric Dratnol and Derek Bus were recognized as captains, while Kyle Davidson won the most improved player award. Dratnol was named the Most Valuable Player. Bailey was named the offensive MVP and Taylor Andrews won the defensive MVP award.

Bailey, Joe Camaliere, Andrews, Tyler Callagahan, Dratnol, Ketza, Jimmy Boyle and Blake Serpa were given all-WSC honors, as mentioned in last week’s Elburn Herald.

In volleyball, Jessica Lubic was named the Most Valuable Player, while Katy Dudzinski was given the top offensive player nod. Kylie Siebert won the top defensive player nod. Tara Groen was named best server, and Meredith Ament took home the spirit award. Mackenzie Curran won the most improved player nod, and Lubic and Dudzinski were nominated for the all-Western Sun Conference roster.

Photo: Tennis asset and tri-MVP Lindsay Jurcenko was one of the many KHS athletes noted for exceptional play during the fall season. File Photo

Bowlers split first two battles

by Mike Slodki
While there were some positive indicators in Monday’s opening bowling matchup with host Morris, the end result was not what Kaneland was hoping for.

Kicking off the 2009-10 season at Echo lanes off of Route 6 in Morris, the Lady Knights lost by a final of 2,635-2,018 to fall to their future Northern Illinois Big 12 rival.

However, the Lady Knights came back to top WSC rival Geneva on Tuesday at Mardi Gras Lanes with a 2,443-2,280 victory.

KHS now sits at 1-1 (1-0 WSC).

Expected to produce big numbers for Kaneland this winner, Holly Thomas bowled a 517 series and had the top three games bowled with 185, 172 and 160 totals.

“She knows exactly what to do out there,” KHS coach Jim McKnight said. “We are also looking for improved score from girls like Jessica McHenry and Amy Kuryliw.”

Teammate Seleana Isaacs bowled a 382 series, while McHenry bowled a 378 series.

Against Geneva, Thomas came through again with a 537 series, highlighted by a 200 game. Molly Lambert bowled a 471 series, while Isaacs bowled a 371 series. Other high games were Thomas’ 179 and Lambert’s 172.

The JV crew also game away with a 1,892-1,814 victory. Jenna Bartel paced the effort with a 377 series.

KHS takes third at Strombom hoops gathering

by Mike Slodki
How’s that for an opener?

Marking the first game of the coach Brian Johnson era, the Kaneland Knights boys basketball team took roughly a quarter to find its footing before captializing on fast breaks and high-percentage shots.

The resulting offensive party lead to an 82-53 win over Aurora Christian at the opening contest of the historic Leland G. Strombom Holiday Tournament at Sycamore High School on Nov. 24.

Following that contest, the Knights lost to Hampshire in overtime, 54-49 on Friday, and beat host Sycamore in the third-place game, 58-56.

On Tuesday, Kaneland improved to 3-1 (1-1 Western Sun Conference) with a 61-52 win vs. Glenbard South.

Center Dave Dudzinski paced the opening-night effort with 26 points. The night for the Holy Cross-signee included a three-pointer and 5-for-7 from the foul line.

“Both teams were kind of butting heads for awhile, and once we settled down and found our stride, everything just seemed to start clicking for us,” Dudzinski said.

Teammates Chaon Denlinger and Ryley Bailey added 11 points each. Donovan Williams added 10 for more scoring balance.

The Knights were 8-for-13 from the line, as well.

A Bailey bucket gave the Knights a 12-10 lead with 1:29 to go before AC tied it with 49 seconds left. Williams converted on a field from Bailey with :35 left for a 14-12 lead, and then hit a trey with seven seconds remaining in the frame before Aurora Christian nailed a three at the buzzer, thanks to Ryan Suttle, to make the score 17-15.

With 6:10 left in the second quarter, a Nick Marema three-pointer put the Eagles up 23-17 and completed an 11-0 run.

Kaneland then went on an absolute tear with a 14-0 run, capped by Dudzinski’s basket with 2:31 remaining in the half for a 31-23 lead.

Taylor Andrews hit a shot with 1:04 to go for a 37-28 lead, the Knights’ biggest up to that point ,and KHS went up 39-32 at the break.

Kaneland the scored the first five baskets of the third quarter thanks to Denlinger, Bailey and Dudzinski, for a 49-32 lead with 5:41 left in the frame.

With Tyler Callaghan’s basket with 1:01 left in the third, the Knights took their biggest lead of the game at 62-41, which is how the quarter ended. The biggest lead for the game was 29 at the end of the contest.

“Once we kind of spread out the floor, we were able to get better looks,” Johnson said. “It helps to have a 6-foot-9 kid in there to create stuff, but the kids were real smart with their shot selection.”

Against the Whip-purs, Denlinger had 21 points, while Dudzinski had 14 and Bailey had 10. The game was tied after regulation at 41.

Battling the Spartans, Dudzinski had a game-high 16 points, and the Knights were a helpful 17-for-22 from the foul line.

Against GS, Dudzinski and Denlinger had 20 points each, and parlayed a 35-20 halftime lead into a win.

Soph action had the Knights win their own tournament with a 57-55 OT win over Sycamore on Nov. 25.

Friday sees Kaneland host DeKalb at 7 p.m.

Photo: Knight Sean Paulick takes to the air during Kaneland’s 58-56 win over rival Sycamore in the Strombom tourney on Saturday evening. Photo by Ben Draper

KHS grapplers manage strong start with 3 wins

by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—Why can’t every meet be like this for the Kaneland wrestlers?

While winning against every opponent for the remainder of the year is monumentally tough, the KHS crew saw at least a glimpse of what it was capable of on Saturday.

The Knights won their first three obstacles on Saturday, beating host Burlington Central 40-26, Oswego 27-21 and Freeport 35-6.

Against the host Rockets, pinfalls were had by 103-pounder Esai Ponce (4 minutes, 52 seconds), 112-pounder Dan Goress (1:38), 119-pounder Josh Kuefler (:54) and Nick Michels at 171 (3:41).

125-pound anchor Devon Scholl won a 4-1 decision, and Joe Levita took a 9-2 win at 135. Kyle Davidson, the 152-pound entry, won a 6-3 encounter. 215-pounder Ben Kovalick came out with a 3-2 victory, and heavyweight Jimmy Boyle won 3-1.

When the Knights handled the Panthers, all the wins came on points thanks to Goress (2-0), Kuefler (8-2), 140-pounder Mark Southern (4-1), Davidson (2-0) and Boyle (3-0).

“I just had to be more aggressive,” Boyle said on his win that went the distance. “I could see he was getting a little tired and I just had to keep going.”

Against the Pretzels, the Knights saw impressive wins from Goress (15-1), Dinnis Brettman (11-2) at 130 pounds and 160-pounder JT Webb (17-1).

Photo: 189-pound entry Keagan Mattes, shown wearing a bandage after his Oswego opponent was bleeding, manuevers for points on Saturday. Photo by Mike Slodki

Girls hoops splits IC tourney

The Lady Knights basketball squad would rather take the first half of their tournament at Immaculate Conception High School in Elmhurst during Thanksgiving week.

Winning the first two but losing the last two, Kaneland now sits at 2-5 on the season.

Kaneland’s first win of the season came on Nov. 24 at the hands of Luther North of Chicago by a final of 57-40, thanks to 13 points from Emily Heimerdinger and 12 points from Emma Bradford.

The Lady Knights went 25-for-71 from the field and 7-for-16 from the foul line.

Kaneland was up 17-11 after one quarter before seeing the lead shrink to 28-25 at the halftime break. Kaneland pulled away in the third to go up 42-36 before going on a 15-4 run in the fourth for the win.

KHS then nabbed its second straight win on Nov. 25 against Elmwood Park in a 41-34 affair.

Mallory Carlson was the lone Lady Knight in double figures with 15 points, as Kaneland went 17-for-51 from the field and 7-for-17 from the free throw line.

Despite falling behind 15-6 after one quarter, KHS managed to close within 22-15 at the break before outscoring its opponent 26-12 in the second half.

The last two matchups in Elmhurst provided a bit roughter as Kaneland lost to host IC on Friday, by a final of 64-17, in a game that featured a scoreless third quarter.

In the finale on Saturday, Plainfield South bested KHS by a 57-45 final despite 15 points from Carlson. The Lady Knights went 19-for-73 from the field.

The Lady Knights try to right the ship vs. DeKalb in Maple Park on Friday, Dec. 4.

Letter: OK to be upset with harder grading scale

Is it so wrong for a sophomore girl in high school who’s dealing with the stress of school, boys and zits to be a little upset that her grading scale is harder than what seems like everyone else’s? I don’t think it is.

Today in high school, it’s normal for a student to have three to four hours of homework a night. Balancing that with sports, family, extracurricular activities and friends is really difficult. So I think that if a student is doing all of their homework and actually trying, not having a grading scale that can show how hard they’re working is wrong.

Let’s say that a student at Geneva High School and I take the same exact test; we studied the same, got the same questions correct, and we both got our test back at 92 percent. The fact that she could be so excited she got an A and I’m disappointed that I got a B is simply not OK. We both did the same work, both tried just as hard and that person is rewarded with an A.

I propose that Kaneland takes on the grading scale that most every other school in the district has; not only because it would make the Kaneland students lives easier, but also because then it would finally be fair.

Kyle Prost
KHS student