Gov. Quinn earned my vote

The current political campaign has created the most vitriolic, personal attacks, half truths, blasphemous uncivil words and behavior, than other campaigns of recent memory.

These campaign tactics have shed more heat and anger than light or insight on the very dire state of affairs in Springfield. We, the voters, need to know the true nature of our state’s problems from those who will have to make very tough decisions. I don’t think any of the campaign tactics, statements or advertisements have been presented realistically, to wake up the public and get us thinking and working together with the legislators we choose on Nov. 2.

We need to know that approximately less than one half of the state budget goes for education, human and health services and public safety. About half of the state budget cannot be used by our legislators going for costs like interest on the money borrowed, pension funds, etc. We need to realize that the state passed the first capital bill since 1999, this past session, to fix our roads, schools, bridges, power sources; all of which is crucial communication and transportation for businesses and the economy. Will it be another 10 years before we get another capital budget?

When all the requirements are met, the legislators only have about $13 billion left to solve problems, but our deficit is roughly $9.5 billion. Gov. Quinn signed off on about $1.4 billion in spending cuts after the legislature went home without meeting their responsibility for a budget, telling the governor to make the necessary cuts. It is an outright fabrication to say that the governor has increased spending, and did not cut spending.

Is there any doubt that we need better legislators who have the courage to take responsibility for this mess and tell the truth? Do you sense this problem from listening to the candidates?

The only person who has stepped up to this responsibility is Gov. Quinn, because the state legislators, responsible for the budget, refused to do their job after his efforts and sensible proposals to the legislature failed. This is grounds for firing a majority of our current legislators. Fellow voters, unite and choose carefully.

From the point of view of these observations, the only candidate who has risked telling us the real truth is Gov. Quinn. So, he gets my vote along with some new legislators to replace the ones who failed their job this last session.

Douglas Donnan
St. Charles

We need a real recall amendment, not the one on the Nov. 2 ballot

The Illinois ballot Nov. 2 contains a referendum to add a Recall Amendment to the Illinois Constitution.

Considering one of this state’s last two elected governors is in prison, and his successor is on trial, and if convicted, will also go from the State House to the “big house,” few can deny the need to add a recall provision to this state’s Constitution.

However, the proposed recall amendment on the November ballot is flawed, and is purposely drafted to be flawed, because it is a cynical attempt by the current Illinois legislature to circumvent the public’s intent. It is engineered to thwart the public’s attempt to recall an errant politician by forcing any such recall attempt to go through the legislature before being submitted to the voters.

This proposed recall provision will not allow the voters to even circulate any recall petition unless we get a signed “permission slip” from 30 legislators, 15 of them from the governor’s own party. The reality is, that until the moment he was arrested, there weren’t even close to 15 legislators from Rod Blagojevich’s party who would have signed such a permission slip. If we couldn’t have recalled Rod Blagojevich with it, what good is it? This is worse than no recall at all, because it lets politicians get away with claiming to give us a recall while they maintain the status quo of the flawed 1970 Illinois Constitution.

We need a real recall amendment, not this cynical, ineffective political ploy. Vote no on this so-called “recall amendment” and begin working for a genuine, public empowering recall amendment.

Dennis C. Ryan
Elburn

In support of David Akemann

I have known David Akemann, candidate for Circuit Judge, and his exceptional family for over 30 years through church, community and legal activities, and he has always shown mature, wise judgment and the very highest personal moral and ethical standards.

It is very unusual to find a candidate for judge with Dave Akemann’s breadth of legal experience. Dave’s work as twice-elected Kane County State’s Attorney, as a former Assistant Illinois Attorney General, and as adjunct faculty member at Judson University, have all given him deep legal and practical experience.

As State’s Attorney, he founded the Child Advocacy Center, directed the State Gang Crime Prevention Center, and developed task forces on drunk driving, domestic violence, elder abuse and environmental protection.

Dave Akemann, candidate for Circuit Judge, and his family have been deeply involved in community activities, including Children’s Theater and The United Methodist Church, and have devoted countless hours of work with homeless shelters, The United Way, school organizations, and the University of Illinois. His wife, a teacher, and his three children are a credit to the community.

David is an exceptional candidate for Circuit Judge. I know of no one better qualified or personally more committed to judicial independence and an unbiased judiciary. He even refused my campaign contribution because I am a practicing lawyer.

We have a rare chance to elect my good friend David Akemann on Nov. 2 as an outstanding Circuit Court Judge for Kane and other counties in this Circuit. I unreservedly and whole heartedly support David Akemann for Circuit Judge.

John E. Juergensmeyer
Elgin, Ill.

Akemann stands out as judicial candidate

It’s hard to know who some of these people are that are running for judge, but one name stands out to me, and that’s David R. Akemann.

I have watched his career from his two terms as State’s Attorney for Kane County and appreciate that he held tough against people that committed serious crimes. He also began the Child Advocacy Center, the Domestic Violence Program, and the 2nd Chance program to provide compassion where appropriate.

I have seen is work with Children’s Theater for over 20 years, and he is “Highly Recommended” by the Kane County Bar Association.

This is a no-brainer. Join me in voting for David for the resident Circuit Court Judge in the “Additional Vacancy A” vacancy in the general election on Nov. 2.

His common sense, tons of legal experience and no-nonsense approach are just what we need on the bench.

Nancy Bahr
Sugar Grove

Time to choose

There are now mere days left before the election on Nov. 2. It is time to choose.

On the one hand, there is the current Democratic Congressman, Bill Foster. Bill Foster is in favor of higher taxes, higher federal spending and greater regulation for businesses and individual citizens. His votes for the stimulus, Obamacare and every appropriation bill tell us all we need to know about where he stands: on the side of big government and against the will of our district.

On the other hand, Republican Randy Hultgren is running for lower taxes, smaller government, less spending and fewer regulations. When elected, Randy is committed to holding open town hall meetings in order to listen to the people of the district so he can take their ideas to Washington—not to force Washington’s ideas onto them.

The choice is clear. This election is too important to sit on the sidelines. Vote for Republican Randy Hultgren on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Kent Alcott
Batavia

Elburn’s proposed levy is preposterous

“Unconscionable, bordering on unscrupulous,” were my thoughts about the Elburn Village Board when I read a recent newspaper article published on Oct. 21 about the intended levy that is being proposed.

It is preposterous to think they would be asking for a 47 percent increase over last year’s property tax rate. According to the article, the increase in property taxes would be used to pay salaries, social security and retirement benefits. All of these items should be frozen for the next year and maybe even further.

In these times of economic hardship, they should be thinking about reducing expenses and learning to live within the property tax revenues already in place. If the employees are unhappy, let them leave. See if they can get another job in these times. Employees should be counting their blessings that they even have a job.

There are numerous homes in foreclosure proceedings and many families living “hand to mouth”. It is ridiculous to attempt to burden the taxpayers with additional taxes. These people are suffering and the village employees should suffer along with them.

Additionally, I have proposed the village president and trustees cut their remuneration in half as a gesture of their seriousness to live within the revenues received.

I’m so upset about this issue that I recommend those who would perpetrate such nonsense be ousted from the current positions, be it elected officials or staff.

I sure hope the Kane County Board reads this letter to the editor, because I propose they deny any increase tax rate for the village of Elburn until such time as the elected officials act responsibly.

H. Jack Hansen
Elburn

Akemann has everything needed in a judicial candidate

From time to time, we are lucky enough to have a candidate seeking election for Kane County Circuit Court Judge who has it all.

One such candidate asking for your vote this November is David Akemann. His eight outstanding years as Kane County State’s Attorney alone would be enough to merit his election, but he offers much more in the way of experience.

David has been in private practice representing clients in all manner of criminal and civil litigation throughout the state of Illinois. He was the former Chief of the Civil Division of the State’s Attorney’s Office, spent many years representing the kane County Sheriff and also worked for the Illinois Attorney General.

People in the legal profession respect David’s opinion, and consequently, he is sought out by lawyers needing advice on a variety of issues. He is just plain smart.

On the personal side, he is a family man who has shared his time and talents with his church and community.

In my opinion, as the former Kane County State’s Attorney and as a lawyer in private practice, you couldn’t want more from a judicial candidate. I ask you to join me in voting for David Akemann for Circuit Court Judge.

Gary V. Johnson
St. Charles

Why I am voting for Randy Hultgren

I am casting my vote to elect Randy Hultgren as representative to the United States Congress from the 14th Congressional District of Illinois.

I am voting for Randy because he will be present in the 14th District and actually listen to the opinions of the people while supporting legislation that reflects the ideals and values of the people of the 14th District—this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they framed the Constitution. This concept is what has made the United States a great nation.

But some people will vote for his Democratic opponent, Bill Foster, because they like a representative in Congress who simply toes the Democratic Party line without considering the opinions of his constituents. These supporters like the fact that Foster has scheduled appearances, but frequently did not attend them, leaving people with no chance to voice their opinions on matters such as healthcare reform or other important legislation.

I am also voting for Randy because he will support economically sound legislation that will encourage the growth of businesses and create jobs, limit the role of the federal government, and reduce wasteful government spending. Again, some will vote for Foster because he voted for the so-called economic stimulus bill—which has actually not reduced unemployment; rather, it has increased the size of government, opened the door to federal government takeover of businesses and financial institutions, and ultimately created an uncertain economic environment for all of us.

I want a representative in Congress that will fight for legislation rooted in common sense and is consistent with the values of the people of our Congressional District. I am voting for Randy Hultgren on Nov. 2.

Dr. Robert Stehman
Professor Emeritus of Physics
Northeastern Illinois University
Wheaton, Ill.

Akemann is the smart choice

Way down on the ballot are the judicial races. They are very important, because it matter a great deal who sits there.

If you’re like me, you want a person who has great common sense and a bond with real people, as opposed to a person who shows only arrogance and forgets who works for whom.

I want a judge that knows Kane County and the people of Kane County.

I worked for David Akemann and know first-hand his dedication to the public and to having people of integrity in public office. I saw him treat the rights of all sides with respect. This is what we need with a judge: a person who will respect and abide by the law and not work around the law. With this in mind, I ask that you join me in voting for David Akemann for Resident Circuit Judge in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

In short, he knows how to stick it to the bad guys and give somebody a break when justified. I saw this in his State’s Attorney days and since.

Join me in making a smart choice for judge on Tuesday, Nov. 2, or by early voting now.

Phil Carlson
Geneva

Akemann would make an excellent judge

I have known David Akemann for over 30 years, first as a colleague and then as the Kane County State’s Attorney.

I have always found David to be thorough, competent, professional, intelligent and diligent. I think that his fellow Brothers of the Bar would have that same assessment of him.

David is currently a candidate for the Circuit Court Judgeship here in Kane County. I believe that his experience, in both the civil and criminal courtrooms in Kane County, would make him an excellent judge.

I also believe that he has the temperament and composure that is required of a judge. He would be fair to all litigants coming into his courtroom, without prejudging any one of them.

I enthusiastically, without reservation, recommend David to you to be a circuit court judge herein in Kane County. Please cast your vote for him on election day.

James M. Bolz
West Dundee, Ill.

Guest Editorial: Mental illness is not funny

As the Halloween season approaches, I would like to make a request on behalf of all the families in our Kane County area that have experienced a mental illness in their family life: Please do not use or promote the image of someone who is mentally ill as a costume character.

The image of a straight-jacketed or ax-wielding “mad” man or woman only contributes to the inaccurate portrayal of those with mental illness. These images are hurtful and add to the stigma suffered by those with mental illness. This stigma often results in delay in getting needed treatment for their illness.

Most mental illness is caused by a biological chemical imbalance in the brain. Mental illness is a disease, just like cancer or diabetes. Would you favor an image or character that makes fun of those diseases? I would hope not.

It also perpetuates the myth that all mentally ill persons are dangerous. Statistically, persons with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of crime, rather than the perpetrators of it.

Lastly, these images also convince people that those who have a mental illness are hopeless. The facts show that most mental illnesses can be successfully treated. Treatment works for the great majority of people.

So please, no raving or drooling “maniacs” this Halloween. You could be making fun of a neighbor or relative. Please stick to vampire fangs and werewolf hair and have a good time this Halloween.

Guest editorial
by Jerry J. Murphy,
Executive Director
INC Board, NFP
(630) 892-5456
jerrym@incboard.org

INC Board, NFP, formerly known as Mental Health & Mental Retardation Services, Inc, is the local mental health authority for seven townships of south Kane County. The INC Board performs planning for mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services, and funds twenty-one local agencies to provide these services. For more information, go to www.incboard.org.

Encouraged to vote for David Akemann

I am writing to encourage voters in the 16th Judicial District to vote for David R. Akemann for Circuit Judge.

While there are many fine lawyers seeking positions as Circuit Judge, David has characteristics which stand out above the other candidates. First, David served as the State’s Attorney for Kane County for eight years, and was directly involved with criminal trials and the overall administration of justice.

Second, David has been a successful practicing attorney in Kane County for 32 years (excluding the eight years that he served as Kane County State’s Attorney). Moreover, David has a true love of the law. In fact, the law is in David’s blood (literally). David’s uncle, Earnest Akemann, served as a Circuit Judge in Kane County for many years and was the Chief Judge for some of those years. David’s older brother, Ernie, has been a private, practicing attorney for 45 years.

I have known David virtually all his life, and well before he was old enough to vote. I can personally attest to his integrity, honesty and absolute insistence upon being fair and impartial. I highly recommend David R. Akemann to you for Circuit Judge of Kane County.

Peter C. Bazos
Elgin, Ill.

In support of David Akemann

It’s difficult for the average elector to know who to vote for when it comes to judges. Judicial candidates can’t campaign on issues normally associated with your normal political offices; so how do you evaluate them?

The only meaningful way to evaluate a judicial candidate is by his or her legal experience, abilities, reputation and temperament. These traits are probably best known to a candidate’s legal peers, and thus, the judicial polls conducted by your local bar association certainly can help, but recommendations from fellow lawyers who know and work with these candidates, I feel, is also helpful.

Thus, the reason for this letter is to recommend David Akemann for Kane County Circuit Judge. I feel David has these qualities we lawyers look for in a judge and that he would be a welcomed addition to the Kane County Judiciary.

Irv Ochsenschlager
Aurora

Akemann should be held accountable

David Akemann is running for judge based on his record as state’s attorney. Really? That surprises me, because I think his record as state’s attorney raises questions. To put it simply, what kind of administrator was he? Let’s review some reporting on his conduct as state’s attorney:

In 2001, the Republican Kane County Auditor released a report accusing Akemann of “sloppy bookkeeping and filing in the state’s attorney’s office.” Beacon, Feb. 15, 2002. This “sloppy bookkeeping” included questionable use of both petty cash and the drug forfeiture account … additionally, “authorization documentation was missing or lost” and funds intended only for witness protection were “spent in other ways,” like travel. Courier, Nov. 29, 2001.

The auditor also indicated, “Documentation showing how money was spent (by Akemann) does not exist for approximately 126 checks totaling $96,943.” Daily Herald, Nov. 7, 2001.

The Republican-dominated County Board refused to conduct a complete audit, even though there was also a report from Bettina Gembala to the Kane County Board Executive Committee that itemized a number of serious problems in the administration of the office of Akemann, including the fact that 23 out of 27 laptops were missing, $2,100 from the petty cash fund was spent on liquor, $55,700 was paid to a consultant that used to work for Akemann’s office when time records only supported $8,000, etc. Courier, Nov. 8, 2001.

Akemann exceeded his budget by over $103,000, and members of his own party alleged that he failed to provide the County Board with adequate information or reporting. Beacon, Jan. 29, 1998.

Maybe the County Board felt these issues of “sloppy bookkeeping” could be ignored because he was not re-elected as state’s attorney, but how do his “qualifications” satisfy the criteria for the job he’s now seeking as a circuit court judge. Personally, I have a problem with the lack of detail raised by these reports. Isn’t a judge supposed to be accountable for the details?

Cliff Olson
Elgin, Ill.

Akemann deserves your vote for judge

I’m writing in support of David Akemann’s candidacy for resident judge of Kane County. I was an assistant state’s attorney for eight years during the time David was the elected State’s Attorney.

While serving with David, I came to know him as a man of fairness, sound judgment and unquestionable integrity (exemplified by his refusal to take money in this campaign from lawyers or organizations that represent lawyers).

He is a good family man, a life-long resident of the county, and his qualifications for a judgeship are impeccable. He has extensive backgrounds in both private practice and public service. I have appeared before many outstanding judges in both state and federal court. I can assure the voters that when it comes to fair mindedness and competence, Mr. Akemann will rank with the best of them.

James Guagliardo
Batavia

Time to elect Randy Hultgren

After much frustration with the state of the economy and the nation, we are exercising our Constitutional and God-given rights to help elect Randy Hultgren to the U.S. Congress. 

Randy’s great leadership skills as an Illinois state Senator and common-sense approach are what are sorely lacking in many of our current office holders. Case in point: Bill Foster. 

Mr. Foster has voted for every spending bill in Congress. He has been touted as being non-partisan by voting “No” for Cap and Trade (Washington gimmickry that will raise taxes on everything). It’s obvious the real story is that the Democrats already had the 219 votes they needed, so they gave Foster a pass. Above all, Foster has been in lock-step with the liberal Speaker on nearly 93 percent of votes in Congress. 

On the other hand, Randy Hultgren is the one candidate who will fight for real insurance reform, just as he will fight for lower taxes to get our economy working again—his record in the Illinois Senate speaks for itself. 

We cannot stress enough the importance of getting it right this time. Elect a true representative of the people—one who will be there when the town hall convenes.

Elect Randy Hultgren to Congress from the 14th District.

Sue and Les Dixon
Geneva

Here are some reasons to vote for Bill Foster

To residents not sure who to vote for in the congressional election or even unsure whether they’ll vote at all, here are some reasons to vote for Bill Foster.

Yes, Bill Foster voted for the stimulus. Why? Because it saved or created between 800,000- 2,000,000 jobs, just through 2009 (Congressional Budget Office). More jobs have been since created or saved. Small businesses have received tax breaks and grants. The stimulus is not a failure, as Republicans say. Just ask the people whose jobs have been saved or created.

Yes, Bill Foster voted for the Health Care Bill, enabling medical coverage for so many without it under the previous system: coverage that includes many college students and other young people up to age 26; coverage for the unemployed; for those with pre-existing conditions and financial relief for seniors with the donut hole in their Medicare drug coverage.

When Congress raised their own pay, Foster refused and donated his raise to a local food bank, and he opposes the Republican plan to reduce income taxes for those earning above $250,000 annually.

Congressman Foster did not vote for the cap and trade bill, part of an environmental bill strongly supported by Democrats. He doesn’t simply follow party lines. Foster voted no because he believes it’s hard on businesses and economically unfeasible. In fact, the Chicago Tribune labels Foster a “centrist” and independent. For his strongly independent voting record, the Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Daily Herald, the VFW PAC and the Illinois State and DeKalb County Farm Bureaus have endorsed his re-election.

Remember, the Republicans in Congress have no independent members. Democrats have some, including Bill Foster. With his background as a successful entrepreneur and his scientific and objective orientation (a former physicist with Fermi Lab), you know Foster’s votes will be fiscally responsible while helping those struggling with the economy and providing solutions to devastating problems. Mind and heart.

Your vote counts. Please cast it for Congressman Bill Foster of the 14th District.

Cliff and Marilyn Cleland
DeKalb

True change in two weeks

When I recently read a letter to the editor in which the author labeled Congressman Foster as “fiscally responsible,” I burst out laughing—literally out loud.

How a man who voted for the failed stimulus and the government’s greatest takeover of them all (healthcare) can be labeled “fiscally responsible” is beyond me.

Voting against a $1 million dollar potato study—as Fosters recent mailer attests—does not provide the congressman with membership in the fiscal responsibility club—certainly voting with Speaker Pelosi nearly 93 percent of the time doesn’t get him a membership either.

I also take issue with the tone of the letter which, of all things, informs all of us in the 14th District that we “…should be honored…” to have Foster as our congressman.

There they go again, liberals “reminding” us that we should be grateful for what they have done. I have grown exceptionally tired of all the deceptive rhetoric, but I am buoyed by the fact that in less than two weeks we have an opportunity to effect some actual change.

Randy Zaleski
North Aurora

In support of David Akemann

I write in support of David Akemann for Circuit Court Judge. Please vote for David on Tuesday, Nov. 2—or before.

I have been a lawyer since 1987, and I have no experience with nor knowledge of David’s Democratic opponent.

I worked for David as an assistant state’s attorney from 1992-2000. During those eight years, David demonstrated a special place in his heart for children—whether they were victims or witnesses in a sometimes dark criminal justice system.

David created the Kane County Child Advocacy Center, which works to investigate and prosecute offenders for child sex abuse and /or serious physical abuse to children. David was able to secure a $500,000 federal grant, which was used to expand the center to its current two-building complex in Geneva.

David took the initiative to propose new legislation clarifying child abandonment laws in Illinois following the “Home Alone” case.

Finally, together, we prosecuted to conviction a man accused of kicking to death a 3-year-old boy named Travis, a victim of Down Syndrome, who was later sentenced to 40 years in prison.

It is my experience that being a great judge requires many special qualities; having a special place in your heart for children qualifies as one of them. David has the experience and compassion to be a great judge. Please join me and vote for David Akemann for Circuit Court Judge on Nov. 2.

Patrick J. Crimmins
Elburn

School Board nominating petition forms available

Kaneland—Nominating petition forms for the April 5, 2011, School Board election in Kaneland Community Unit School District No. 302 are now available. Forms may be picked up from Beth Sterkel in the Superintendent’s office at 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park on any business day between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

A School Board candidate’s petition must be filed in the same office no earlier than 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, and no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20. Petition forms will not be accepted after 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20.

Candidates’ names will appear on the election ballot in the order in which their nominating papers are received in the secretary’s office. If two or more candidates file simultaneously on the first day (Dec. 13 at 8 a.m. or in the first mail received that day), the district will conduct a lottery to determine which name is first on the ballot. The lottery will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 9 a.m. at the Milnamow Administrative Center in the Kaneland District offices at 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Attendance at the lottery is not mandatory; a representative may attend if desired. Note that Dec. 28 is also the last day for filing objections to a candidate’s nominating papers in the office of the board secretary and the last day for a candidate to withdraw nomination.

Nominating petitions must contain at least 50 signatures of registered voters in the district and must be securely bound together with pages numbered consecutively. Each page must carry the notarized signature of the petition circulator. A Statement of Candidacy must be turned in along with a receipt from the county clerk showing that the candidate has filed the Statement of Economic Interest. The loyalty oath is optional.

Four seats on the seven-member Board of Education will be filled at the April 5, 2011, election. Candidates elected will serve four-year terms expiring in April, 2015. To be eligible to serve, a School Board member must be, on the date of election, a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age and a resident of Illinois and the Kaneland district for at least one year preceding the election, a registered voter, not be a child sex offender, not hold another incompatible public office, not have a prohibited interest in any contract with the district, not be a school trustee and not hold certain types of prohibited state or federal employment.

For more information about the nature and duties of serving on a school board, contact the Illinois Association of School Boards for a free booklet, “Your School Board and You.” Write: IASB, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. The booklet also is available at the Association’s web site, www.iasb.com/training/community_ resources.cfm.

WCC accepting HOF nods

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College is accepting applications for the Chiefs’ Athletic Hall of Fame.

Inductees will be honored at the school’s year-ending Athletic Banquet on May 10, 2011. Individuals or groups can be nominated for induction beginning immediately. Nomination forms are available online by going to www.waubonsee.edu/athletics or through Waubonsee’s Athletic Office on the college’s Sugar Grove Campus. Nominations can be submitted until Feb. 1, 2011.

Inductees will then be determined by a selection committee representing Waubonsee’s staff, administration and former Waubonsee student-athletes. Nominated athletes must be five years removed from competing for Waubonsee. Nominees will fall into one of five categories: administrators, faculty and staff; athletes; coaches; community supporters; and specific teams. Hall of Fame selections will be announced the week of April 4, 2011. For more information, contact the Waubonsee Athletic Department at (630) 466-2524.

WCC announces new-campus opening

Sugar Grove/Aurora—Waubonsee Community College announced that its new downtown Aurora campus, located at 18 S. River St. on the west bank of the Fox River, will open to the public June 1, 2011.

The college’s current Aurora campus, located one block away at Stolp Avenue and Galena Boulevard, will close at the end of the business day May 26, 2011, so that college personnel can move to the new campus. Students will be able to access student services online or at the college’s Sugar Grove Campus during the brief period when the Aurora Campus is closed.

When the new campus opens June 1, student services including Admissions, Counseling, Financial Aid and Registration, will be available to students. The first classes will begin June 6 with the start of the regular summer session.

The 132,000-square-foot new downtown Aurora campus will be comprehensive so that students can start and finish an associate degree entirely at the campus. Students will learn in a state-of-the-art educational environment with 52 classrooms including two science labs, 11 computer classrooms, and other specialized instructional spaces. The educational programming at the new campus will expand to include additional transfer programs, career education degrees and certificates, developmental education, community education classes, as well as the workforce development and adult education programs offered at the current Aurora campus.

In order to meet the June 1 open date, Waubonsee expects to remove the construction barricades and fencing by early November. The college will work through the winter and spring to complete the interior finishing and technology installation necessary for the operation of the new campus. The current 88,000-square-foot Aurora Campus, housed in two historic buildings on Stolp Island, is available for sale.

Sensei Carlos Carranza receives rank of 5th Degree Black Belt

Sugar Grove—Rocky’s Dojo and Gym, Inc. (Champion Karate Studio) promoted Sensei Carlos Carranza of Montgomery, 36, to 5th Degree Black Belt on Saturday, Sept. 25, at its facility in Sugar Grove.

Ron and Rocky Troutman, co-owners and Master Senseis’ of Rocky’s Dojo and Gym, Inc., have promoted more than 100 students to the black belt ranking in the past, but only two have achieved the coveted rank of 5th degree. In this esteemed black belt ranking, there are over 10 degrees, taking over five years of training between promotions, a tremendous lifetime commitment and achievement.

In 1984, at the age of 10, Sensei Carlos moved from Mexico, his birthplace, to Aurora. Carlos received his U.S. citizenship in 2001. His love of karate began in 1992, when he decided to take karate courses through Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove with his best friend and fellow 5th degree Black Belt, Sensei Chris Moore, also a student at Rocky’s.

In 1995, Carlos received his 1st degree Black Belt in Karate. After 18 years of working diligently in martial arts, Carlos earned his 5th degree black belt rank.

In 2002, Sensei Carlos earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Institute of Technology and achieved his MBA from Illinois Benedictine University, Lisle, Ill., in 2005. He currently is employed by Molex Incorporated in Lisle as a product design engineer.

Carlos commented on his love of martial arts. “Karate is one of the most mental and physical extra-curricular sports I have participated in. It has helped me deal with the stresses of life, increased my patience level, given me confidence and a higher self esteem and most certainly made me physically stronger. I am honored to have earned this degree at one of the best dojos in the country; Seneis Ron and Rocky Troutman are tough instructors, but extremely fair. I am pleased to say the sport of karate has made me an all-around better person and it has become a staple in my daily life.”

Walnut Woods sidewalk project planned

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to hire D’ Land Construction LLC to replace deteriorating sidewalks in the Walnut Woods subdivision.

The village’s construction agreement with D’Land also calls for replacing damaged driveway aprons and handicap ramps in the subdivision. In total, the village will replace 9,065 square feet of concrete and 815 square feet of asphalt in the subdivision.

The project will be finished by Nov. 30, weather permitting.

MP mulls intergovernmental agreement

Discussion with Kaneland focused on handling growth
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—A lot has changed in the six years since Kaneland School District and the municipalities in the district signed their first intergovernmental agreement (IGA). In 2004, growth was omnipresent; today, well, not so much.

The IGA is an agreement specifying that the villages will charge developers the same capital-impact, transition and land-use fees. With all district towns agreeing to a standard rate, developers cannot bargain for better impact fees in one town than in another.

“The agreement protects villages from development, especially at a time when developers are hungry,” Kaneland Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie Ann Fuchs told the Maple Park Village Board on Monday. “By uniting through the intergovernmental agreement, you are telling developers that if you come to Kaneland, you are paying Kaneland fees.”

When a family moves into a new development in the district, the students begin attending school right away. But the district doesn’t see impact fees from the development for six to 18 months. With the cost to educate every student being $9,000, regardless of what community they come from, the district wants to ensure that the villages collect appropriate fees, Kaneland officials said.

The tables in the updated agreement are the same as in the previous two agreements. For a three-bedroom, $200,000 house, the villages collect $6,148.

Five of the eight municipalities in the district have signed the agreement so far. Virgil, Maple Park and Sugar Grove are in the decision-making process.

“The School District is the equalizing force in the district, but there is great disparity among the communities,” Trustee Terry Borg said. “It’s a conversation. As we think about this conversation (among the communities), we need to have you as partners at our table, too.”

Schuler stressed that he wanted to avoid a situation where villages in the district are competing with one another for developers.

“This is the time to make the agreement, not when developers are knocking and decisions are based on emotions,” Schuler said. “What I fear is if you have seven to eight municipalities all cutting deals individually, it’s not going to fall equally. If you have a referendum, then it will hit everybody squarely.”

Trustee Mark Delaney said future impact fees must not only help the School District, but the village, too. He said development cannot take place without costly major infrastructure improvements.

“In order to build houses, we have to have a wastewater plant that will help us build the houses that will bring the kids. We’ve got a $13 million obligation on our hands,” he said.

Local youth helps fuel the cure for NF

by Lynn Meredith
SUGAR GROVE—Cole Rutter looks like any other kid, but his resiliency is tested on a daily basis. This Sugar Grove 12-year-old was born with neurofibromatosis (NF), a disease that can cause tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. It can lead to blindness, brain tumors, high blood pressure, head-aches, cancer, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain.

The Racing4-Research program of the Children’s Tumor Foundation recently named Cole an NF Hero for 2011. He joins youths from all over the United States in promoting awareness of this disorder and raising money for research.

Cole will have the chance to attend the Rolex 24 Hour Race in Daytona in January, for which race-car drivers donate their time and vehicles to race for 24 hours to raise money for NF research. Last year, they raised $422,000 in 611 laps, all of which went to medical research.

Cole became an NF Hero after attending a camp for kids with NF in Virginia last summer. He was able to meet others who struggle with many of the issues he does.

“I don’t like having NF, but I haven’t let it stop me from doing things I like to do,” Cole said. “ I love to play sports, especially baseball. I’m involved in spring and fall baseball.”

But Cole’s mom, Julie Rutter, said that life often revolves around doctor’s appointments.

“We have seven upcoming appointments,” Rutter said, as she listed the MRA’s, MRI’s, and echocardiograms that Cole faces. “We don’t just go for a check-up and not go back for two years. Life revolves around appointments.”

Cole has suffered from brain tumors, bone deficiencies, headaches, scoliosis, high blood pressure and ADD.

Aside from all their medical issues, kids with NF often have learning difficulties.

“They learn differently,” Rutter said. “They need help processing information and with executive functioning. They need more help.”

Kids with NF must learn to live with teasing and rejection from peers. They also must learn to live with uncertainty of what the future brings. At any time, tumors can begin to grow and cause complications. A few summers ago, Cole had a tumor on his jaw. It was removed, and so far there is no sign it is growing back.

“It looked like I had a giant gumball in my mouth,” he said.

Rutter said that with all the doctors her son sees, he always hopes the next appointment will be a “talking appointment.”

“A talking appointment is when there is no surgery or no IV’s,” she said. “He likes those.”

On race day in Daytona, the names of the NF Heroes will be painted on the side of the race cars. The kids can sign their names on the car and have their pictures taken with the drivers.

NF Hero
Cole Rutter on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Coles-Crew-Racing-4-Research/168337943183489
or
Cole’s donation page:
www.active.com/donate/racing4research2011/ColeRutter

Dog’s visit educates about consequences of drugs

by Morgan Buerke
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—A visit from Dakar, a police dog trained to sniff out drugs, helped Kaneland High School health teacher Cindy Miller educate students about the consequences of drug possession and use on Oct. 1.

“Drug dogs have found children (and) they have confiscated thousands of drugs,” Miller said. “They have made students and faculty aware that we are a drug-free school and that we will not tolerate the use of drugs.”

Deputy Terry Hoffman brought his canine companion to the high school library, where he gave a presentation about drug dogs to students in Miller’s Contemporary Health class. Dakar, who was born in Hungary in 2007, has been with Hoffman since last November. All of Dakar’s commands are in Hungarian so that Hoffman can command him without anyone knowing what he’s been told to do.

Hoffman said that he has to watch closely for signs made by the dog because Dakar understands what his job is better than the police do. He points his nose and stares at any drug that he finds, but Hoffman knows Dakar’s just playing when he isn’t completely focused on the drug.

Hoffman said that he trains Dakar every day.

“I spend more time with this dog than my family,” Hoffman said. “Police dogs are probably one of the most valuable tools to officers.”

Junior Danielle Micek was one of the students at the presentation.

“It was interesting. I thought the dogs were a good idea,” Micek said.

Dakar is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, building searches, evidence recovery area searches and handler protection, but Hoffman said that there were signs of Dakar being trained wrong when he went into a crime scene and didn’t bite a stationary person.

As a new method of training, Hoffman got police officers into bite suits and told them to stay completely still and Dakar would have to go bite them.

“We have to train the way we go out into the street,” Hoffman said. “I have no doubt, now, that he will bite a stationary person.”

Local Girl Scouts learn with fall product program

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ Fall Product Program gives girls the opportunity to offer gourmet food items and magazines to their family, friends, and favorite Girl Scout cookie customers. The 2010 Fall Product Program continues until Oct. 24, with items delivered after Nov. 15.

The Fall Product Program is instrumental in helping girls:
• Learn financial literacy
• Set and reach personal goals
• Develop customer service skills
• Take action to fund troop activities and service projects

While the Fall Product Program is not as well known as the Girl Scout Cookie Program, it is just as important to Girl Scouts. Both programs teach girls important skills and help them earn money for troop activities. The proceeds from the Fall Products Program help troops to fund activities and service projects that begin long before the Winter Girl Scout Cookie Program. Girl Scout Product Programs differ from traditional fundraisers by encouraging girls to work together to decide how to spend troop funds rather than dictating what the money will be used towards.

For more information
To learn how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, call 1-800-242-5591 or visit www.girlscoutsni.org.

Village obtains receptacle for retired flags

by David Maas
SUGAR GROVE—The Village of Sugar Grove recently received a donated box designed to hold retired flags.

Village of Sugar Grove Trustee Rick Montalto and Sugar Grove resident Dave Paluch had been searching for a weatherproof, outdoor container for retired flags to place at Village Hall and were seeking donations to help pay for it.

“The idea came to me when a senior citizen approached me, and asked me what they should do with their worn out flag,” Montalto said.

“They said the village acquiring such a receptacle was important to them because it would honor the U.S. Flag, as well as the men and women who have served in the military.”

Earlier this month, Sen. Randy Hultgren contacted Montalto and Paluch and expressed his interest on joining the search for a permanent outdoor container, as well as donating a specially made, temporary indoor box. He presented the box to the village Oct. 14.

The box is made of wood, is painted red, white and blue, and is about the size of a treasure chest, Montalto said.

The temporary depository box will be located inside Villiage Hall. Residents may drop their retired flags into the box. A local Boy Scout troop volunteered to be in charge of picking up flags deposited in the box and transporting them to the Sugar Grove American Legion, where Legion members will dispose of them in the proper manner.

“I think this is a good project,” Montalto said. “It involves the village, the Scouts, the legion, and benefits the citizens at no financial cost to anyone.”

Farm Bureau awards grants to FFA Chapters

Kane County—The KCFB Foundation recently awarded a $500 grant to each of three local FFA Chapters to recognize the continued contributions of students from Kane County FFA Chapters in the success of Farm Bureau programs and encourage these and other community service efforts.

For 2010, the foundation selected three programs to help promote leadership development skills in FFA members. FFA Chapters from Central (Burlington), Hinckley-Big Rock and Kaneland high schools provided volunteers for the Farm Bureau’s Ag Days at Mooseheart, Touch-A-Tractor event, and activities at the Kane County Fair. Each of the three chapters in Kane County qualified for the full grant amount of $500.

Participation in two or more of the selected programs earned FFA Chapters a minimum $250 Chapter Grant. Participation in all three earned $400, and they received $100 for completing and reporting a community service activity by July 31, 2010.

The Kaneland FFA Chapter helped feed their neighbors in need with a community service project. The chapter has a corn test plot just east of Kaneland High School to test the characteristics of different varieties of corn hybrids. It has pledged the proceeds from an acre of the harvest from that field to KCFB’s Harvest for ALL hunger relief effort and named Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove as the beneficiary.

Maple Park must revise its plan for street repairs

Village officials cite state specifications as reason
by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) changed its specifications for street repairs in Maple Park, causing the village to prioritize which streets it can repair.

The bidding process for planned repairs will go forward, but in pieces. The funds aren’t there to do everything IDOT stipulates, village officials said.

Maple Park Trustee Mark Delaney said Monday that the village previously decided to do the asphalt this year and the binder coat next year, but now cannot go forward with this plan.

“IDOT won’t let us just do a binder coat,” Delaney said during the Committee of the Whole meeting. “It’s either the whole thing or nothing.”

He said prices for asphalt and crew are $23,000, but with the binder coat added, they are $56,000. Because of weather, the village needs to do the work by Nov. 15, or wait until next May.

“We need to do it in the next 30 days, or we’re out of luck,” Delaney said.

Village President Kathy Curtis said that waiting until next year would cost the village additional engineering fees.

Delaney suggested that the village give priority to the parking lot at the Civic Center and Green, South and Mulberry streets because of the threat of water damage that has occurred in the past.

“IDOT wants us to go down to the base and build them up from scratch,” Delaney said. “We have to lower the parking lot by 3.5 inches, down below grade, and then asphalt it.”

Village officials had been concerned about another requirement from IDOT that the village make all streets 24 feet wide, something not possible on all the roads needing repair, they said. For example, Willow Street is 18 feet wide, and South Street is 14 feet wide. Widening them would have involved cutting into front lawns and removing culverts. The state dropped the requirement this week, however.