Teacher sues Kaneland for discrimination

updated July 2, 2010 at 9:23 a.m.
by Martha Quetsch
KANELAND—McDole Elementary School teacher Richard Scott and his wife, Debi Thomas, are suing the Kaneland School District and three of its administrators for discrimination.

In the complaint they filed in U.S. District Court on June 22, Scott and Thomas allege that the School District, former superintendent Charles McCormick, and former assistant superintendent Jeff Schuler (now superintendent), discriminated against Scott because of his gender and his disability.

Scott, a fifth-grade teacher at McDole in Montgomery, is the only male teacher at the school. He has been a teacher in the Kaneland School District for 14 years. His complaint states that he has been diagnosed with severe attention deficit disorder and major depression.

The complaint alleges that Scott consistently received excellent performance evaluations until three years ago, when Martne McCoy became assistant principal at McDole and began lowering his performance evaluations. According to the complaint, she continued to lower them and severely criticize his teaching after she became principal in 2008.

Scott’s complaint alleges that McCoy scrutinized his performance more rigorously than the performance of female teachers at McDole. The complaint also alleges that the School District did not provide reasonable accommodations for his disability, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Specifically, Scott alleges that the district denied his requests to transfer him from McDole to the junior high school as a way to accommodate his disability.

The district’s denial of his requests caused him to become so depressed that he required an in-patient hospitalization, continuing treatment and multiple leaves of absences from work, the complaint states.

The couple is seeking a judgment in excess of $75,000 plus court costs and attorney’s fees.

In the complaint, Scott’s wife alleges that the School District’s refusal to accommodate her husband’s requests caused his depression to become so severe that it impaired her marital relationship.

“The district is aware that the lawsuit has been filed in Federal Court,” Schuler said in a statement released Monday. “Because Mr. Scott has brought this into litigation, the district will not make specific comment on the issue, other than to say that the allegations are false. The district remains committed to the fair treatment of our employees and to providing a quality education for our students. This has been, and will continue to be, a core value supported by the work of our administrative team.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Glink, has yet to respond to messages from the Elburn Herald seeking comment.

Bodyweight exercises more affordable than gyms

The average American male can bench press only 135 pounds without risking injury, and women can typically only bench press about 60 pounds, so why does everyone feel like the only way they can work out is with a 500 pound weight machine from a gym?

That’s the question asked by Donnie Gorsuch, a woman who didn’t have the time or money for a gym, but wanted to exercise in the comfort of her own home. Her logic flew in the face of the popular notion that if you don’t belong to a gym, you need to buy gym-style equipment to work out.

“Gyms and the health club industry have created in the popular consciousness a type of ‘gym dependency,’ which has convinced millions of people that the only way to really get a good workout is with gym equipment,” she said. “But I didn’t have the time or money to join a gym, and I didn’t have room in my house for a giant workout machine. That’s when I discovered the practice of bodyweight training, which uses your own weight to provide the resistance for muscles that gym equipment provides.”

Gorsuch is not only a practitioner of bodyweight training, but she also developed with her husband a simple brace for bodyweight trainers called The Power Platform (www.powerplatformfitness.com). The platform folds up and fits just about anywhere, and comes with instructions on how to perform basic and advanced bodyweight exercises.

“Bodyweight exercises don’t require weights, so they are ideal for people who can’t afford or don’t have time for the gym,” Gorsuch added. “In this economy, most people are of one of two extremes. They either have two or more jobs trying to make ends meet, or they are among the millions who are unemployed or underemployed. Bodyweight training is perfect for these people, because it’s neither expensive nor time consuming.”

The practice has been around for decades, and is used by the military, the space program, and even Olympic athletes, according to Gorsuch.

“People have become slaves to their gym, and when they are forced to quit because of time or money, they wind up buying an expensive piece of equipment from a late night infomercial than ends up taking up space, or better, becoming a staging area for folding clothes or a work bench for household fix-it projects,” she added. “Bodyweight training has always been around, but because of the unique challenges facing most people in today’s new economy, it looks like the practice will finally gain the mainstream acceptance it deserves.”

Barn fire on Meredith Road

MAPLE PARK—A barn caught fire at 12:30 p.m. Monday at 5N596 Meredith Road, and local firefighters doused the flames within half an hour. No people or animals were in the barn at the time of the blaze, and no one was injured.

The fire started when the wind blew sparks from a rubbish fire that a farmer was conducting near the barn on his property.

“The wind picked up and got the sparks flying,” Maple Park Fire Chief Kevin Peterson said.

The farmer was allowed to burn debris at that time of day under Kane County ordinances, Peterson said.

Peterson called nine other local fire departments to assist Maple Park’s with the fire in case they were needed, but just five departments including approximately 25 firefighters were able to put out the blaze.

“Luckily we didn’t need them all,” Peterson said.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters spent an hour and a half checking the barn to make sure no sparks or hot spots remained, Peterson said.

Fire damage was mostly to the old wood roof and was estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000, Peterson said.

Elburn Chamber of Commerce craft show and flea market participants wanted

ELBURN—The Elburn Chamber of Commerce is looking for crafters and vendors to join their annual craft show and flea market.

For those who wish to a vendor for the flea market or sidewalk sale, the dates are Friday, Aug. 20, and Saturday, Aug. 21. The Sidewalk Sale will take place in downtown Elburn.

For those who wish to join in on the festivities as a crafter for the craft show, the dates are Saturday, Aug. 21, and Sunday, Aug. 22, and will be held at Lions Park.

Applications are available at www.elburn.com, by clicking on the Elburn Days link.

For more information on the craft show and flea market, or about the Elburn Chamber of Commerce, call (630) 365-2295 or e-mail info@elburn.com.

State Public Health Director encourages Illinois men to take charge of their health

STATE—Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director and a prostate cancer survivor, is urging men throughout the state to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups.

Dr. Arnold reminds men that along with regular screenings and checkups, men should eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, reduce stress, keep alcohol consumption to moderate levels and reduce or stop using tobacco.

Here are some health statistics men may not be aware of:
• On average, men live approximately five years less than women
• 1 in 4 men have high blood pressure
• 1 in 5 men can expect to have a heart attack before the age of 65
• 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer
• 1 in 12 men can expect to develop diabetes
• 1 in 22 men will suffer from depression some time during their lives

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer. Prostate cancer accounts for about 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in men. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates approximately 9,030 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2010 and an estimated 1,330 Illinois men will die from it. Across the United States, approximately 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer are expected this year. One in four African-American men will develop the disease, those with a family history of prostate cancer are at an even higher risk.

For more information on Men’s Health, visit www.illinois.gov/menshealth. The website includes information about getting screened, self checkups, the top 10 diseases that affect men, tips for healthy living, frequently asked questions, and additional resources.

Geneva offers new Power Soccer Camp

GENEVA—The camp will be taught by Fox Valley’s own Bonnie Young, the former New York Power and Chicago Red Stars player.

Along with Bonnie, the camp staff includes current and former college players, licensed coaches and well-trained elite soccer players. At every level Fox Valley Soccer Club (FVSC) Power emphasizes development of the whole player concentrating on the Power Principles of excellence, desire, discipline and integrity while inspiring confidence, character and teamwork. Bring a soccer ball, water, shin guards, cleats and a sack lunch for extended camp players.

Ages 6-14— $150 residents and $160 non- residents at Persinger Recreation Center from Monday, July 26 through Thursday, July 29, from 9 am-noon.

Ages 11-14 Extended Camp—$225 residents and $235 for non-residents at Persinger Recreation Center from Monday, July 26 through Thursday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lauzen announces several General Assembly Scholarships

AURORA—Eight one-year General Assembly Scholarships have been awarded by State Senator Chris Lauzen (R-25, Aurora) to eligible college students in the 25th District.

The Scholarship Committee, including local business, healthcare, education and community leaders from Kane, Kendall and LaSalle Counties, reviewed the applications to select eight students who plan to attend one of the state’s public universities, or to attend the University of Illinois. Academic achievement in high school (or college, if applicable), community service, and financial need are among the criteria considered by committee members.

“There are many qualified young adults in the 25th District. This is never an easy decision for the committee,” said committee chairman, Jeri Steinmetz.

The 2010 scholarship recipients who will be attending the University of Illinois are: Tara Czepiel, Sugar Grove; Matt Johnson, West Dundee; Lauren Michels, Aurora; Jake Petit, Geneva. The scholarship recipients who will be attending other distinguished universities in Fall are: Sarah Bohr-Walsh, Plano (NIU); Kate Abell, Aurora (NIU); Peter Vilim, Sugar Grove (UIC); Nicole Hanna, South Elgin (ISU).

“Although I have voted and have sponsored legislation to discontinue the scholarship program because it represents a ‘perk’ of public office, I’m proud that the committee fulfills our responsibility by awarding these scholarships on merit rather than politics,” Lauzen said. “Although we have always kept the process open and available to every student who meets the criteria, this will be the last year that our office participates in this program.”

Rose among best in Skyway softball

SUGAR GROVE—A trio of Waubonsee Community College softball players recently received post-season honors. Lady Chiefs’ third baseman Sara Rose, centerfielder Bridget Kennedy and middle infielder Sam Palucska were all named to the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) First Team. In addition, Rose was selected to the NJCAA All-Region IV Division II First Team.

Rose led the Lady Chiefs in almost every offensive category this past spring, and ranked in the top-40 among NJCAA Division II softball players in home runs (23rd), triples (25th), on-base percentage (28th), runs batted in (39th) and batting average (39th). The freshman from Kaneland High School set a new Waubonsee single-season record with 10 home runs, including a single-game record of three. The right-handed hitter finished the year with a .456 batting average with 49 runs batted in, hitting .529 with runners in scoring position. Rose smacked 42 singles, 11 doubles and five triples en route to compiling a lofty .799 slugging percentage and tallying 119 total bases. She also stole 23 bases in 24 attempts and led the team with 41 runs scored in 49 games played. Additionally, Rose struck out just 10 times in 173 plate appearances for an average of once every 17.3 times at the dish.

Kennedy, a sophomore from Aurora Christian High School, batted .318 on the season as Waubonsee’s leadoff hitter. The switch-hitting speedster swiped 30 bases to finish tied for 16th nationally in stolen bases. Kennedy was second on the team with 54 hits and 38 runs scored, and led the team with 170 at bats in 49 games played.

Palucska, a freshman from Wauconda High School, batted .259 with 21 runs batted in and 24 runs scored in 47 games played. She hit four doubles, a pair of triples and a home run during the season, to go along with six stolen bases in seven tries.The Lady Chiefs’ middle infielder finished the season with a .921 fielding percentage, while not making any throwing errors all spring.

Storm chaser

Thrill and goodwill are motivators for Elburn man’s hobby
by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—Brad Hruza was fascinated by clouds and storms while growing up in Iowa. And his interest in inclement weather only grew stronger when he was exposed to an abundance of lightning and tornadoes after moving to Illinois in 1985.

“I’ve always loved bad weather, and I spent a lot of time in my youth following the rain,” he said.

Hruza’s fondness for stormy weather eventually led him to his ultimate labor of love—storm chasing, which he has done for the last 15 years. While most people will try to find shelter below ground during a severe storm, Hruza prefers to get dangerously close to storm clouds and tornadoes to take pictures of them.

Hruza also became a National Weather Service-certified storm spotter last spring.

Not everyone understands his unusual hobby.

“People ask why I (chase storms) and what the point is,” Hruza said. “My only response is, if I can save just one life by helping to get a 10-second-earlier warning to them, then that makes every second I have ever chased worth it. I do it to help save lives and property.”

One thing Hruza doesn’t chase storms for is money. He volunteers, without pay, to get up close and personal with disastrous weather for the Skywarn Spotter Network. And he currently has plenty of time to spot and chase storms, having a disability since January 2009 when a 616-pound entertainment center fell on his foot while he was helping a friend move.

Hruza originally wanted to become a meteorologist but managed to sit through only one class at Northern Illinois University before deciding meteorology wasn’t going to work out for him. Hruza wanted to see storms and twisters in-person, not just on radar.

Hruza, now 34, moved to Elburn in 2005. Living in the area has given him the opportunity to chase some formidable storms, one of which was a tornado that swept through Dwight and Streator, Ill. two weeks ago.

“I traveled down there to see the devastation. I actually walked around taking photos right in the middle of the destruction,” he said. “It was heartbreaking. People just didn’t know what to do.”

“My first thought in Dwight was that their situation was horrible,” Hruza said. “Not only did (the tornado) hit a populated area, but it was dark out. No one could see it coming. Thankfully, no one died.”

Hruza also found a particular memento in Dwight that perfectly embodied how a dangerous storm can change everything in a few moments.

“I looked down at my feet and there was a ripped-in-half picture of a newborn baby. My first thought was how people always say there are things that can never be replaced, and this is what they meant by that,” he said. “I took the picture, telling myself that this is one memory someone lost that I could not let be lost forever.”

While there is plenty of goodwill in Hruza’s storm-chasing motives, he admits he really enjoys the scary, thrilling aspect of the work, too.

“It’s a definite rush, and it’s really hard for me to explain exactly what it feels like,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing, though.”

Village grants Mediacom temporary contract extension

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board on Monday temporarily extended Mediacom’s now-expired cable T.V. franchise agreement until September while the village negotiates the company’s next contract. But not all board members were in favor of the extension.

Trustee Jeff Walter said he did not want the village to extend Mediacom’s contract even temporarily unless it were changed to require better customer service.

“Their (Mediacom’s) service is not what it should be,” Walter said Tuesday.

The village is working along with Sugar Grove on negotiating their next contracts with Mediacom that they hope include better cable rates and more channels for residents. Both villages hired cable consultant Stu Chapman to negotiate the contract. Village Administrator Erin Willrett said Chapman is expected to negotiate the longer-term contract by September.

She added that it was Chapman’s recommendation to extend Mediacom’s contract into September, while negotiations on the next contract are finishing up. Willrett agreed with his advice.

“We could do nothing, but the possibility is, do we want them (Mediacom) to walk away?” Willrett said.

Walter said he would like to see village staff more actively pursue another vendor. He added that he would like to meet Chapman and talk to him about the issue.

“I would like to find out why we are in this position,” Walter said. “Everybody seems to think they (Mediacom) have us over a barrel, but I don’t know that I agree.”

A 2009 village survey in Elburn indicated many residents are unhappy with their cable service from Mediacom. Village officials said they plan to renew the company’s franchise contract, however, because they have no other option since no other cable providers have sought the Elburn franchise.

Village officials said Chapman has asked other cable companies to come into the village, but was told installing new lines is cost prohibitive.

Trustee Ken Anderson said Elburn may not be able to attract another cable provider because its population is too low.

Mediacom has held the village’s cable T.V. franchise for more than 10 years. In recent years, some residents have chosen to obtain service through a satellite dish rather than from Mediacom. Approximately 51 percent of Elburn households currently are Mediacom subscribers. Mediacom currently does not provide service to some areas of the village, including Blackberry Creek.

Any company providing cable service in Elburn must be franchised by the state or the village. AT&T has the state franchise for providing cable, but so far has chosen to offer cable service in more populated areas than Elburn.

The Sugar Grove Board on May 4 also approved temporary extension of the village’s cable franchise agreement with Mediacom, through Sept.7.

Piacere! at Acquaviva

Established vineyard now offers Italian bistro, wine tastings, deli, gift shop
by Paula Coughlan
MAPLE PARK—Piacere is an Italian greeting that asks you to enjoy yourself and also is the name of one of the wines at the Acquaviva Winery in Maple Park, owned by the Vito Brandonicios family.

Visitors to the winery, which opened to the public in May, become part of the family and are virtually transported to the Italian town of Aquaviva dela fonti, located at the heel of the boot-shaped Italy, where Brandonicios’ grandfather had vineyards.

The winery features a bistro, a wine-tasting bar, and a delicatessan and gift shop with a variety of sausages, cheeses, olive oil, Italian brands of flour and noodles, sauces, canned tomatoes, wine glasses and utensils, plus a selection of eight family wines and gift baskets.

In the bistro, the casually elegant atmosphere encourages the Italian tradition of lingering to enjoy friends, food and family. Small meals, called assaggini in Italian, are tied directly to the taste of a certain wine.

Wines are listed on the menu with the meals that go best with them. Selections include thin Italian pizzas with fresh ingredients, antipastos, pastas, chicken, filets and shrimp, along with salads, breads and dipping sauce. Among the desserts, made on site, are tiramisu, cannolis, lemon ices and spumoni. Additional seating is available on the patio.

Wine is available by the glass or bottle. At the wine-tasting bar, patrons may sample different varieties.

Vito Brandonicios arrived in Chicago from Italy at age nine. As an adult, he moved his family to Maple Park in 1984 where he began recreating his beloved grandfather’s vineyards. When they constructed the winery building, at first the family was not sure how they wanted to use it.

“We began to design it bit by bit, starting with the ceilings,” Vito’s son, Joey said. “Then we put in the deli, and decided to have a wine tasting bar.”

Then they hired Russian artist Andre Zabella to create a vast domed ceiling of Italian winery paintings at the entrance, a work which took four months to complete.

“We couldn’t do any other construction while the artist was working because the dust would have gotten into the paint,” Joey said.

Acquaviva Winery began posting “open” signs along Route 38 in mid May and the response from the public was immediately positive, the Brandonicios said. As a result, the business will add more parking.

Future plans for the winery also include a downstairs meeting room and possibly a cigar room and space for special events such as weddings. The family also hopes to expand the outside seating area, and offer entertainment and winery tours.

From the vine
Acquaviva Winery produces several different varietals of wine in its Maple Park vineyards, which it must maintain on a daily basis, especially when a lot of rain has fallen, said Joey Brandonicio, of the family-owned business.

“Our vines do well in the Midwest region, but grapes will start to absorb too much water and if they do they can start to split open,” he said. “That is when pests and disease will find them. We inspect the vines regularly as lack of vigilance could loose an entire crop.”

The family was pleased when their first entry into wine competitions at Fingerlakes, New York, resulted in all of their wines winning silver and bronze medals. They have also won gold medals in Illinois competitions.

The winery
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday;
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday;
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
47W614 Rt. 38, Meredith Road, Maple Park
(630) 365-0333

Photo: A tasting bar at Acquaviva is just one of the features at the winery, which opened to the public in May. The winery also features a bistro, delicatessen, gift shop, outdoor patio and its own vineyard. Courtesy Photo

Elburn Farmers Market won’t open this year

ELBURN—The Elburn Farmers Market will not take place this summer because not enough vendors signed on for the weekly event at Lions Park, said coordinator Jim Gillett of the Elburn Lions Club.

For the past three years, the Elburn Farmer’s Market was open every Sunday from mid to late June through early October.

The event’s profits contributed to operation and maintenance costs for Lions Park.

Serving up variety

Outdoor market features more than fruits, veggies
by Paula Coughlan
SUGAR GROVE—If you’re in a hurry to see what the Farmers Market in Sugar Grove offers, it’s all right to skip breakfast. A new booth at the market serves that first meal of the day.

Visitors who have already eaten breakfast may choose other edibles to purchase such as egg rolls, popcorn, cookies, pies and specialty breads including banana nut.

Aside from those products and a variety of fruits and vegetables, the market offers homemade sauerkraut, fresh eggs and popcorn, and non-food items such as house plants, t-shirts, jewelry, crocheted items including afghans, homemade soap and children’s clothing.

“We encourage variety to try to attract more people and make it more fun and interesting,” market volunteer Pat Graceffa said.

Hosta plants, a shade groundcover, is for sale to raise money for a new handicapped facility in Sugar Grove.

If you need a massage after carrying all of your purchases to the car, a chiropractor is at the market to provide massages.

Graceffa and another volunteer Mari Johnson said the market will have continuing and changing events every Saturday through Sept. 25.

On July 23, the market will hold a 50/50 raffle to raise money for the Sugar Grove fireworks. The winner need not be present.

For information or to add your name to the Sugar Grove Farmers Market newsletter mailing list, e-mail Pat Graceffa at patdangraceffa@msn.com.

SG Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon
Sugar Grove Municipal Center.
Rt. 30 west from Rt. 47 to 10 Municipal Drive

Special events
July 10—Live demo day. Vendors such as Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and Tupperware will do cooking demos.

Aug 14—Dog Days of Summer. Bring along your faithful friend. Sponsored by
Millie Pet City.

Sept 4—Pie baking contest. Come have
a taste. Village trustee Bob Miller has been
the winner for the past two years.

Sept. 18—Plant exchange.
Bring one, take one.

Sept. 25—The Harvest Market’s final day this year. The market will be open one hour later for this final day. Pumpkins and kids’ crafts.

Students design new village sign

by Tammy Swanson
KANEVILLE—A visitor’s first impression of a community often is its sign, a unique statement of welcome. The sign may show a town’s history, where it has been and where it is going, and what makes it special.

When the Kaneville officials decided they wanted a new village sign, they invited Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) students to enter a competition for its design. The winning entry would be the sign best reflecting the community’s hospitality along with its rich farming history, commerce and culture.

“We wanted something that reflected the … core values of the village,” Weiss said. “We’re proud of our little community.”

The village also wanted a sign that was easy to see and not too detailed, so that it would be easy for people to read as they drove by it.

FVCC instructor Nicole Larsen’s graphics arts class obtained the design parameters from the village. Later, about 30 students sent back their suggested designs. Village officials were impressed.

“Everything was unbelievable,” Village Clerk Sandi Weiss said. “They were so good.”

With so many strong entries, the village committee making the decision had a difficult time choosing the best sign design.

“They couldn’t make a decision. There were two of them that everybody liked and couldn’t decide between them,” said Weiss.

The committee decided on two winners: Liz Hylland and Shanna Pack. The final sign will combine both of their designs.

Hylland, a Kaneland High School senior, based her sign design on how much Kaneville means to its residents, which she knows about firsthand.

“My Aunt and Uncle used to live in Kaneville. I go to church there. I know a lot of people that live there,” Hylland said. “I know how much the town means to everyone that lives there. I just tried to make it (the sign) represent how cool the town really is.”

Both of the students’ sign designs have a rural theme.

“I definitely wanted it to be a farm kind of thing so I put a barn and silo and the life of corn. It (the corn) was smaller and went bigger kind of like the town,” said Hylland.

Village officials met with a contractor this week to discuss final plans and materials for the sign, which will be posted along roadways at the village limits, possibly within two months.

“We would like to have a couple of them up before Kaneville Fest which is the end of August,” Weiss said.

The village presented each sign-competition finalist with a small trophy and gave all the graphic arts students who participated cookies and fruit.

Photo gallery: A caring place to live

A benefit for the family of Steve and Carol Herra, who is battling lymphoma, took place last Saturday at the Elburn Lions Park.
The well-attended event featured raffles, a pig roast, and a live auction. Cheryl Lee (left) holds a potted plant while it is offered at
auction. Photos by Mary Herra

Village: Property may be used for cemetery

ELBURN—The property adjacent to St. Gall Cemetery on Main Street may be used to expand the cemetery, since the Elburn Village Board on Monday amended the village zoning ordinance to allow it.

St. Gall had asked the village for the zoning change, from single-family residential (R-1) to residential estate district (R-E), with a special use for the cemetery. The property is owned by the Hall family, which also requested the change. St. Gall plans to purchase the property from the Halls for the cemetery expansion.

The vacant property is located immediately south of the existing cemetery, just north of the Elburn & Countryside Community Center.

KC Sheriff’s Dept. takes part in national ‘Click It or Ticket’ program

COUNTY—Last month the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, along with more than 500 other Illinois law enforcement agencies, participated in the national “Click It or Ticket” Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization. The increased enforcement was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic Safety.

Between May 14 and 31, 108 safety belt citations, six child safety seat citations, five uninsured motorist citations, and 10 speeding citations were written. In addition, two drivers were arrested for suspended or revoked license, one felony arrest and one drug arrest was made, and one subject was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

A special emphasis was placed on seat belt enforcement at night, when the risk of a fatal crash increases significantly.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone to always buckle up—not only is it the law, it also saves lives.

June 25 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.

• Chester M. Kopacz, 38, of Aurora, was arrested at 9:55 a.m. June 20 for unlawful affixation of a temporary registration plate. Police stopped Kopacz after he made a U-turn in the 100 block of Main Street in Elburn.

• A resident of the 0-100 block of Neil Road, Sugar Grove, reported unauthorized charges had been made on their debit card June 22. A charge of $845.55 made at a Best Buy store in Homewood, Ill. on June 4, and a charge for $5.49 made at a Payless shoe store in Topeka, Kan., on June 5, were made before the victim learned of the fraud June 6.

• A resident of the 700 block of Black Walnut Drive, Sugar Grove, reported to Sugar Grove police that someone destroyed a statue that was located in their front lawn sometime between 7 p.m. on June 16 and 7 a.m. June 17. Police found the statue in a neighbor’s front lawn. The statue was valued at $250.

• At 11 p.m. June 15, Kane County Sheriff Department deputies responded to a report of shots being fired at signs in the area of 44W Wheeler Road in Sugar Grove. While en route, a deputy observed a vehicle matching the description of one seen leaving the scene. The officer stopped the vehicle at Bliss and Hankes roads and after observing an empty semi-auto magazine and spent shell casing inside the vehicle, the officer arrested the driver, Gabriel M. Carpenter of Sugar Grove. He posted 10 percent of his $40,000 bond on June 22 and has a court date of July 13, 2010.

Guest editorial: E.M. Forster and Facebook

Guest editorial
by Tina Dupuy
Courtesy of caglecartoons.com

“Big Brother” is watching you in a very “Orwellian” way. Has been for years. People who have never heard of George Orwell know of the term “Big Brother.” In many ways, his dark vision of what the year 1984 would look like is prophetic. For example, his novel 1984 takes place during a never-ending war while technology is aiding an over-reaching government. I read that in the New York Times yesterday.

Orwell was right. He was dead on. Spooky.

E.M. Forster is best known for his novels “Howards End” and “A Passage to India.” Not as well-known is a 12,000-word science fiction allegory about technology titled “The Machine Stops,” written in 1909.

Forster’s gloomy tale takes place in a future where all the world’s people have become hermits, content with no longer physically touching others, opting instead to live in solitary with the aid of The Machine. “There are no musical instruments and yet…this room is throbbing with melodious sounds,” he writes. The protagonist Vashti lives in a small, climate-controlled room, illuminated by neither lamp nor window. She has thousands of friends. She even lectures on “Music during the Australian Period.” It all takes place through The Machine. The catalyst is when her son wants to see her in person instead of through the “blue plate.” People don’t travel above ground anymore. The atmosphere is barren and brown. And Vashti doesn’t care for “air-ships.”

Basically he predicted central air, the Internet, video conferencing, television, radio, global warming and commercial air travel.
Forster was right. He was dead on. Spooky.

“The Machine Stops” was penned a hundred years ago. From a historical perspective, the first radio was not installed in the White House until 1922, yet a Victorian like Forster imagined modernity amazingly close.

I first read this short story 10 years ago. It was before I became a telecommuter, before MySpace—before Google was a verb. Now I have days where I feel like Vashti, isolated in my pajamas revering The Machine. “The Machine feeds us and clothes us and houses us; through it we speak to one another, through it we see one another, in it we have our being,” wrote Forster.

But the story is also a poignant criticism of technological advancement. The current struggle between “old media” and “new media” is one of reporting verses the digesting news. One hundred years ago a lecturer in Forster’s tale pronounces, ”Beware of first-hand ideas! First hand-ideas do not really exist … Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from the disturbing element—direct observation.” It’s a rundown of blogging verses journalism.

It’s not just that Forster foresaw the Internet, but he guessed rightly how it would be used. In this fable of the future, ideas are valued most—they are the new commodity. Talking to her son Kuno about his desire to see her in person is private, until Vashti turns off her isolation switch on The Machine. “The room was filled with the noise of bells and speaking-tubes. What was the new food like? Could she recommend it? Had she any ideas lately? Might one tell her one’s own ideas?” He’s describing online communities. He’s describing Facebook. He’s describing Twitter.

“We created the Machine, to do our will, but we cannot make it do our will now,” Forster wrote. “It has robbed us of the sense of space and of the sense of touch, it has blurred every human relation and narrowed down love to a carnal act, it has paralyzed our bodies and our wills, and now it compels us to worship it. “ Of course, as I write this, my “machine” chimes with the siren call of new emails, IMs and tweets tempting me to distraction. To quote Vashti as she tried to comfort herself while on the air-ship, ”O Machine! O Machine!”

Kane County Xplosion 16U Red wins tourney

County—The 16U-Red Kane County Xplosion team was in action over the weekend at the 25th Annual Oak Lawn Senior ASA/USSSA qualifying tournament. The Xplosion went 5-1 overall and captured the tournament title by defeating the Lisle Slammers 10-8 in the championship game. The Slammers came out playing small ball and held a commanding 8-0 lead early in the contest. Keeping in step with the wet weather, the Xplosion opened the flood gates and plated 6 runs in their half of the 5th inning. The Xplosion tightened their defense and plated another 4 runs in their half of the 6th inning.

Leah Valesh went 3-0 and Alexa Caputo went 2-0 in the circle for the Xplosion, with Valesh getting the complete game championship victory. For the weekend, Valesh had 8 hits, including 2 triples, Alysha Guy, Taylor Velazquez and Lauren Rhodes each had 7 hits, with Rhodes getting 3 doubles and 7 RBIs. Devin Turner lead the team with 3 stolen bases.

The tournament victory now qualifies the Xplosion 16U-Red team for the ASA Nationals in August.

The Xplosion are in action this weekend at the Elgin Sports Complex for the Northern Illinois Lightning Summer Bash Friday through Sunday.

Given a boost

The Kaneland Sports Boosters offers four $500 scholarships to graduating seniors each year (two male/two female). The students write an essay with the theme ‘Lessons Learned in Victory and Defeat.’ These scholarships were awarded at the Senior Athletic Banquet sponsored by the boosters and the athletic office on Wednesday, May 26. The winners this year were (from left) Danilo Bruno, Megan Gil, Tara Groen and Logan Markuson.
Courtesy Photo

Letter: Thanks to Jeannette at The Art Room

We want to publicly thank Ms. Jeannette Rehmel, art instructor to The Art Room, for all of the time and effort that she has put into the current art show on display at the Sugar Grove Library. Our son is only one of the many, many students she guides in art techniques and styles; over 15 adult and student artists have their work on display to showcase their efforts. Miss Jeannette has dedicated herself to nurturing Adam’s interests in painting and sculpture, but also encourages him to try new medium.

While he takes weekly lessons with her, she also offers weekend workshops, summer classes, and themed sessions for both children and adults.

Feel free to contact her at (630) 365-2247 to talk to her about her summer workshops, get some artistic inspiration and ask to see her first-place painting! Jeannette is the winner of this year’s Kaneland Fine Arts Festival Juried Art Show! Supporting local artists while exploring creativity is a great thing. The classes our son takes from Jeannette does this, and we are very appreciative of all that she does! Thank you Miss Jeannette!

Mark and Jenny Wold

Lettow, Moneypenny to wed

Al and Vicki Lettow of Sugar Grove announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacy Lettow, to Zach Moneypenny, son of Jack and Sue Moneypenny of Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

The bride-to-be is a graduate of Kaneland High School and Edgewood College in Madison, Wis.

She is employed as a nurse at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.

The future groom graduated from Park High School in Racine, Wis., and the University of Wisconsin.

He is employed as a computer programmer with Intuit.

The couple will marry in August 2010 in Madison.

Letter: Thank you from Kaneville Baseball/Softball

A big thank you goes out to all who helped make this year’s Kaneville Baseball/Softball Cookout a great success.

We especially want to thank Rob and Myra Ottoson, Nick Turk, Nick Garifalis, Keith and Cindy Koester, Dawn Schleifer, Mary Scholl, Kristin Davidson, Angie Bateman, Nancy Steers and Steve Bill. We also want to thank Ream’s Elburn Market for loaning us their grill.

We had a great response from our team players and the community. We all do this for our kids and the future of Kaneville Baseball/Softball.

Dick and Annette Theobald

Church news for June 24

SGUMC holds
vacation bible school

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove United Methodist Church invites all children age 3 up through fifth grade to “Galactic Blast: A Cosmic Adventure Praising God!” vacation Bible school.

Board the starship Galactic Praise to see our awesome universe and our awesome God in a whole new way. The fun begins from 6:15 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 12 through Friday, July 16 at Sugar Grove United Methodist Church located at 176 Main St. in Sugar Grove.

Each galactic mission includes a Bible story in the Good News Galaxy, along with science activities at the Orbital Observatory, music at Moons & Tunes, art projects at Cosmic Crafts, games at Rocket Rec. and a snack at the Astro Bistro.

To be a part of all the excitement at Galactic Blast: A Cosmic Adventure Praising God call the church office at (630) 466-4501 or visit sgumc.net.

Lord of Life collection donations for Haiti
and Chile relief

LA FOX—Lord of Life Church is accepting donations of supplies for the Haiti and Chile earthquake relief fund through June 26.

Donations will be accepted daily at the church from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the main front entrance.

Volunteers are also needed for this event. For a listing of items to be accepted or to volunteer for this event, visit www.lolchurch.net/ haiti or call the church office at (630) 513-5325.

Lord of Life Church is celebrating 21 years of connecting people with Jesus and each other. Sunday morning worship services begin at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Nursery Care is available during both worship services and Sunday school is available for school aged children during the 10 a.m. worship service.

The church is located at 40W605 Route 38, Elburn.

SGUMC all-church
picnic June 27

SUGAR GROVE—The annual Sugar Grove United Methodist all-church picnic will be Sunday, June 27, at the Harter Road property.

An assortment of food, games, conversation and entertainment will be available, and maybe even a water balloon or two.

Attendees are asked to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to pass.

The meal blessing will be at noon. Although seating is available in the pavilion, lawn chairs are welcome. Beverages and table service will also be provided.

Couples night out at UCC
NORTH AURORA—Union Congregational Church will host a Couples Night Out on Saturday, June 26. This is an open invitation to all couples in the community.

If you have children, free child care will be provided. Children must be dropped off at 4:45 p.m. The couples meet at 5 p.m. for a short and fun Rally Time, where there will be discussion about teamwork before the couples head out on a date. The place to meet is at 405 W. State St., North Aurora.

Contact the Rev. Matt Gruel at (630) 897-0013 for more details, or register at www.unioncong.com.

Mom’s Conference
June 26

LA FOX—Lord of Life Church invites the women of the community to the 2nd annual Moms Conference from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 26.

“No Such Thing as Perfect People” is the theme of this event, which will feature keynote speaker Amy Rienow, mom and wife of Visionary Parenting founder, the Rev. Rob Rienow. The cost for this event is $25 person and includes lunch. Reservations can be made online at www.lolchurch.net or by calling the church office at (630) 513-5325.

The church is located at 40W605 Route 38 in Elburn. For more information on this event, visit www.lolchurch.net.

Union Church of North Aurora announces VBS
NORTH AURORA—Sunlight Nature Camp vacation bible school, presented by Covenant of Grace Church and Union Church will be from July 19 through July 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The camp is for children ages 5 through 11 and the cost is $1 per child. There will be Bible lessons, nature lessons, snacks, and arts and crafts with an ice cream social on Friday evening.

The church is located at 405 W. State St., North Aurora.

Call (630) 906-9661 to register.

Sycamore Speedway weekend results

Sycamore Speedway
(815) 895-5454
15 miles west of St. Charles on Route 64
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Point Standings
Super Late Models
1. Dave Engelkins, Morrison—61
2. Pete Hatch, Gilberts—53
3. Bill Perkins, Sycamore—52
3. Charlie Olson, Kingston—52
4. Jim Klingel—39
Late Models
1. Paul Ermel, St. Charles—80
2. Paul Jackowiak, DeKalb—63
3. Steven Gardiner, St. Charles—58
4. Eric Newhouse, Millington—57
5. Danny Allen, Elgin—43
1. Tim Ludke, South Elgin—14
2. Jimmy Stephens, Richardson—10
3. Michael Brancecum, South Elgin—7
4. Kevin Memoli, Carol Stream—6
4. Chris Ricker, Elgin—6
4. Robby Moore—6.
Powder Puff
1. Danielle Heath, Kingston—11
2. Stacy Roach, Kingston—10
3. Megan Decker, Palatine—8
4. Mallory Jackson—6
4. Amy Memoli, Carol Stream—6.
1. Chad Askeland, Sycamore—8
2. Erik Grosch, Arlington Heights—7
3. Derek Walker, Marengo—7
4. Kyle Kosmel, Sycamore—6
5. Scott Vetter, Union—6.

Marie E. Frasz

Marie E. Frasz (nee Gullidge), 90, of Geneva died peacefully in her home on June 17.

She was born Aug. 18, 1919, in Hobart, Tasmania.

She met her late husband, Dr. Edward Frasz, a naval officer during World War II in Sydney, Australia, and they corresponded for the duration of the war. After losing her two brothers in the war, she traveled to San Francisco to marry Ed on Sept. 10, 1945 and became a U.S. citizen.

They started their life together in Chicago before moving to Geneva in 1950 where Marie raised a family and assisted in running the office of Ed’s Geneva dental practice for 30 years.

Marie was a curator, docent and resident at the Fabyan Villa for 12 years, a volunteer at the Geneva History Center, and had a life long passion for flower arranging and was proud of her status as a senior member of the Geneva Garden Club.

She is survived by her two sons, Geoffrey (Margie) of Las Vegas, Andrew “Drew” (Gail) of Elburn, and a daughter, Paula of Plano; also her grandchildren, Laura, Aaron Frasz, Sephanie, Samantha, and Jerry Henrickson.

She was preceded in death by her husband Ed in 1983, and a son Noel in 1954, and her parents, two brothers and a sister.

Marie would say “Have a long, wonderful life. I sure did !”

Visitation was held Sunday, June 20 at the Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva. Burial took place Monday at Oak Hill Cemetery, in Geneva.

Huber, Zafar inducted into NIU honor societies

Linda Huber of Sugar Grove was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, an international honor society for juniors and seniors, at Northern Illinois University’s Honor Day ceremonies held in April.

Sofia Zafar of Sugar Grove was inducted into the Pleiades chapter of the Mortor Board Senior Honor Socitiety, one of the most distinguished honor societies in higher education. Induction into the Mortor Board signifies high achievement in scholarship, leadership and service to the community.