Letter: I oppose the state income tax increase

A recent writer left the impression that legislators ignored their constituents’ pleas for fiscal sanity and voted for the largest tax increase Illinois has ever endured. The majority of the legislature did. I did not.

Seeking the opportunity to serve the public is serious business, and I have done my best to earn your trust.

The Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan budget watchdog, has given my voting record a 100 percent rating, reflecting my efforts to represent my constituents’ best interests through responsible decision making.

I strongly opposed the recent tax increases and believe that any budget solution needs to include a line-by-line review of state spending with significant reforms to prove to our taxpayers that we are spending their hard-earned money wisely. The tax increases are only adding to our burden. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring House Bill 175, which would immediately repeal the increases passed by lame-duck legislators in January.

Repealing these hurtful increases will be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle that can be won if we work together. Please contact my office at (630) 553-3223 to sign a petition, or contact kay@kayhatcher.us to help circulate these petitions in our communities.

With your support, I and fellow legislators will present the petitions to Speaker Madigan and Governor Quinn and seek legislation to repeal the increases.

State Rep. Kay Hatcher
Serving Kane, Kendall
and LaSalle counties

Letter: Thank you for going above and beyond

On behalf of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District, I would like to thank the following people and/or companies that went above and beyond to assist the Fire District during the Blizzard of 2011:

Chris Vierthaler of Superior Painting, Rod Feece of Blackberry Township, Scott Hayes of Elburn Jewel, DuKane Snow Trackers members Kevin and Cody Anderson, Darin Williams and Jerry DuBruyne, and Vince Kelley of M.T. Kelley Electric, LLC.

Your assistance plowing so we were able to respond to calls, donations of food to feed individuals temporarily residing at our warming center, and willingness to brave the elements in your snowmobiles to check on stranded residents and bring many to shelters were greatly appreciated.

We’d also like to thank the county and village employees that continue to serve the community by working countless hours to keep the roads clear and maintain equipment so our residents have the basic services they need to go about their daily lives.

With the support of these dedicated individuals, the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District was better able to provide medical and fire services to residents in their time of need during the blizzard.

Kelley Callaghan
Fire Chief
Elburn and Countryside
Fire Protection District

Letter: P.E. accidents deserve more attention

I just want to start out by saying accidents do happen. It’s understandable that when kids get into fights or mess around, someone may get hurt. The problem is that accidents also happen in students’ physical education classes.

If someone gets injured in P.E., it’s the teacher’s duty to prevent more damage from happening, to ask the child if he or she is okay, to check for injuries, and then to send the kid down to the nurse. My little brother is just one of the children who didn’t have this happen and, I can tell you, my mom is not happy.

Her question: what were they thinking? My brother came home from school on Wednesday with a gash in his side about two inches in size. His story: gym class, accident, no nurse. He thought that he just had a bruise.

Now, I may be a freshman and therefore seen as inexperienced, but I’m pretty sure they should have done something about it. My mom thinks they should have done something, and I agree. Teachers, please protect the kids.

Morgan Buerke, Freshman
Kaneland High School

Letter: Community blood drive a success

I would like to thank everyone that made the Elburn community blood drive a success on Feb. 10. Forty people came out on a very cold day to donate, and we were able to collect 39 pints of precious blood. What a great gift to those in need.

Thank you also to Paisano’s for donating pizza for the workers and donors—it was delicious. And thank you, Elburn American Legion, for the use of the hall.

Our next blood drive is Thursday, April 14. Please mark your calendars, and let’s make it an even bigger event. Thank you.

Kay Swift
American Legion Auxiliary
Post 630

Letter: A thank you to the Elburn Fire Department

This letter is to express my gratitude to the gentlemen of the Elburn Fire Department. They are absolutely awesome. I was stranded in the blizzard the night of Feb. 1, and my son was unable to get to me as he was in Yorkville and couldn’t get through. A policeman took me to the Elburn Fire Department, where I spent the night as we were unable to get through to my home.

What could have been an absolute disaster turned out to be a pleasant experience due to the care and consideration the men of the Elburn Fire Department showed us. They gave us pillows and blankets, fed us and were friendly and funny and made us laugh—all while they were working under stressful conditions and with no sleep.

Thank you, guys—the residents of our community are extremely lucky to have men of your caliber caring about us.

Jane Garman
Elburn

Letter: You are invited to meet the candidates

The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry has as its focus the fostering of relationships and creating opportunities through which our members can add value to the community. With the interests of members and their community in mind, the chamber has hosted a “Meet the Candidates Night” during several previous spring elections. This year is no different.

As president of the chamber, it is my honor to invite the community to “Meet the Candidates Night” on Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Sugar Grove Public Library, Meeting Room C, 125 S. Municipal Drive, in Sugar Grove.

The doors will open at 6:45 p.m., and the event begins at 7 p.m. Individuals seeking office with the village of Sugar Grove, Sugar Grove Library, Sugar Grove Fire District, Sugar Grove Park District, Sugar Grove Township, Waubonsee Community College and Kaneland School District have been invited to attend the event.

The race for village trustee is a hotly contested one, with four candidates vying for three seats. These candidates will be asked a series of questions related to Sugar Grove and the tough decisions that need to be made as a trustee.

The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, March 8. Early voting runs March 14 through March 31, with April 5 being election day. This event is being held prior to early voting to allow everyone the opportunity to hear from the candidates before casting their ballot.

Admission to the event is free. Light refreshments will be served following the program, and community members will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the candidates at that time. Candidates will be allowed to display and distribute political materials.

I look forward to seeing you in attendance.

James F. White, Attorney
Chamber President

Guest Editorial: Report at Beginning of 97th General Assembly

Guest editorial by state Sen. Chris Lauzen 25th District
I am generally a gullible person, typically believing what people tell me. Age is tempering my natural inclination by teaching me that it is wiser to watch what people do, rather than to immediately believe what they say.

I hope that I am not being naive to be encouraged by several developments within the swamp of Springfield events. My constituents can barely endure discussing the state’s current political and financial situation. They avert their eyes from the train wreck. They shake their heads, throw up their hands, and finally stick out their tongues. They instinctively realize that bankruptcy is the most severe failure of financial trust. And, Illinois is bankrupt.

Our problems have not gone away just because the governor, the ruling majorities and voters seem to be in denial. But, the election is over. Even with a staggering 67 percent income tax increase that is driving employers with jobs and seniors with assets out of Illinois, our appropriations staff has calculated a projection that shows our deficit of unpaid bills will triple within five years at our current spending and borrowing patterns. (Call my office at [630] 264-2334 if you would like a copy).

Days after the election, I went to visit Quinn’s budget director and his chief of staff, who both are friends. I gave them three sheets of paper detailing nearly $6 billion of annual spending cuts and revenue increases, and asked for five to 10 minutes with the governor to discuss them. I have called more than eight times to follow up, but no word back. Maybe they don’t need help …

Here’s what encourages me. Republicans in the Senate realize that the situation is so serious that there is no room for playing games. They won’t be offering just one “spending cut” plan, but rather three, i.e. Senator Kyle McCarter’s plan, a Caucus Consensus, and one at the same spending levels where we were the last time we were paying our bills in 30-45 days.

There is also a growing maturity among “middle-management” Senate Democrat leaders. Senators John Sullivan and Heather Steans are competent, hard-working and less partisan appropriations chairmen. Senator Don Harmon is a smart bond attorney who understands the harsher realities of financial markets and enjoys the confidence of the clever Senate President John Cullerton. Even Speaker Mike Madigan has shown, by his recent actions of meeting with minority leadership in the House, that if we don’t tackle pension and hospitalization benefit levels for current state employees and teachers, the former $33 billion savings account for rank-and-file teachers in the Teachers Retirement System will vaporize to zero and taxpayers will be further exhausted.

The dark shadow on a horizon of hopeful but difficult potential solutions is the lack of truthful information coming from the governor’s own Budget Office. Remember how “lottery money will go toward education” and “tollways will be freeways when the bonds are paid off?” Well, now we’re expected to believe that Governor Quinn has cut $3 billion from state spending when, from his own Budget Report to New York bond bankers in January 2011, state spending has increased from 2009 to 2011 by $1.3 billion. Not a cut, but rather an increase in spending.

He and his local enablers said that the crippling 67 percent income tax increase would go to pay off our past due bills. However, if that is true, why is Quinn proposing an additional $8.5 billion in borrowed debt? Instead, the tax increases and borrowing are actually going to prop up continued gluttonous state spending that he guaranteed to the public employee unions during the campaign.

Legislators who voted for the tax increase cost my typical constituent family approximately $1,000 each year that they simply don’t have. There’s only one response remaining for any responsible public official: “Show me the spending cuts.”

Springfield, show me the cuts!

Regina “Renee” Rae Lowe (Eaves) Kivisto

Regina “Renee” Rae Lowe (Eaves) Kivisto, 68, of Aurora passed away Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at McCauley Manor in Aurora.

A long battle with cancer, kidney failure and congestive heart failure brought her to the angels above.

Renee is survived by her life-long soul mate Wallace (Walter) Kivisto, married for 24 wonderful years. She had previously been married to Garry Eaves of Mendota and had three children, Steve (Kristi) Eaves of Plano, Ill., Joel (Lisa) Eaves of Sugar Grove, and Amy (Eric) Eaves Larson of Plano; stepsons, Todd (Grace) and Troy Kivisto; grandchildren, Steven (Mookie) Eaves, Ross Kivisto, Rory (Tiffany) Kivisto, Jordan Eaves, Erin Larson, Tony Larson, Taylor Eaves, Zack Eaves, Scott Eaves, Shane Eaves, Katya Kivisto, Rider Larson and Josie Larson; brothers, Clifford Lowe and his partner, Laura Cadena; nephews, Chris Lowe and his adored children, Amanda and CJ (Christopher), Chad (Chani) Lowe and their adored children, Lulu and Rocco, and Ed (Cathy) Lowe; nephews and nieces, Ryan Lowe, Renae Lowe and Raquel Lowe; and great-grandchildren, Eili Kivisto (daughter of Rory and Tiffany Kivisto).

Additional family members include Walt Kivisto of Streator, Ill., brother to Wally Kivisto; Daryl and Chris Mathews of St. Cloud, Minn., brother to Wally Kivisto.

Regina was born and raised in Aurora. She graduated from West Aurora High School in 1960. She worked for Western Electric/Lucent Technologies/AT&T for 32 years. She had a passion for cooking, and when she retired from AT&T, she wanted to start her own catering business.

A diagnosis with breast cancer put this dream out of reach. Regina enjoyed making birthday dinners for family and friends; in addition, making sure everyone close to her had a birthday cake or dessert. This included neighbors, coworkers and restaurant employees, who she enjoyed so much, the dialysis center patients and employees, and even gas station attendants. She always went out of her way to make people feel happy and loved.

Regina also loved to travel. Regina and Wally went on a total of nine cruises, traveling the Artic Circle in 1996, California, Florida and trips to Minnesota. She enjoyed fishing in Galesburg, Ill., with family and would never give up; sometimes from sunrise to sunset without ever a bite.

Regina also loved gardening. She had a huge garden in her back yard and would sometimes plant over 20 tomato plants. These fresh vegetables and herbs would be used in her cooking. Always fresh herbs, never store bought.

Regina was a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and mother-in law. Regina made friends whereever she went, and her smile encouraged you to be a better person. Once you met Regina, you would never forget her.

A memorial service and celebration for Regina will be held Friday, Feb. 18, from 3 to 8 p.m., with a small service to be held from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at the Orchard Community Church, 101 Barnes Road, Aurora, Ill., 60506.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Aurora Dialysis Center of Aurora ( in memory of Regina Kivisto), 455 Mercy Lane, Aurora, Ill., 60506, payable to Aurora Dialysis.

John J. Machias

John J. Machias, 81, of Elburn, passed away Friday evening, Feb. 11, 2011, at Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles.

He was born Nov. 30, 1929, in the Bronx of New York, the son of John J. Sr. and Edith (Nikkenen) Machias.

He grew up in the Bronx, where everyone called him Johnny. When he was 9, the family moved to Joliet, Ill., where he graduated high school in 1948.

Following graduation, he attended Lewis College in Lockport, Ill., for a time.

Johnny enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge on May 10, 1952, Johnny began working for various companies in various sales and marketing positions, spending the last 18 years at U.S. Tsubakimoto, retiring in 1992.

Johnny met the love of his life after returning from the service. Coral Hock stole his heart, but gave hers in return, when they were united in marriage on Oct. 25, 1953, in Joliet.

They began their new life together in Joliet for a short time before moving to Aurora in 1955 and began raising a family. They traded the city streets for the country life in Nottingham Woods of Elburn in 1975, where Johnny felt right at home in the great outdoors and socializing with neighbors, many of whom became very close friends.

Johnny was one of the first members of Hughes Creek Golf Course when it opened, and he spent time on the links nearly every day thereafter. He and Coral were also members of the Kaneville United Methodist Church in Kaneville.

Johnny was a salesman at heart, even in retirement, and he enjoyed working part time for S.E.S. Construction Equipment in West Chicago, Ill. He also loved to travel with Coral to Brownsville, Texas; Ludington, Mich.; and Machias, Maine; among many others, making memories with every mile. In 1986, they travelled to Hawaii and sampled the island life.

Johnny also had a standing “play-date” every Friday with his grandchildren for many years. He was an avid golfer but also loved to fish and camp and played couples bridge for 40 years with the Pierson’s, Snyder’s and Johnson’s.

Johnny also gave of his time and heart to the Salvation Army, once travelling to South Dakota, where he helped to care for flood victims. Locally, he served as an election judge for Blackberry Township. Johnny loved to cheer for his Chicago teams, but no one cheered louder when he attended his daughter’s sporting events, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to surprise her.

He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Coral Machias; his son Jeffrey Machias of Illinois, one daughter, Lea Ann (Tim) Brei of Cortland; five grandchildren, Jessica Machias of Texas, Willis Brei, Johnny Brei, Emmett Brei and Timmy Brei, all of Cortland; one sister, Barbara Machias of Joliet; two sister-in-laws, Lois (Leonard) Perretta of Joliet, and Beverly Suhadolc of Joliet; one brother-in-law, Jack (Charlene) Wagner of Shorewood, Ill.; and he was a favorite “Uncle Johnny” to 11 nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death in by his parents.

Visitation was Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Kaneville United Methodist Church, with a funeral service following the visitation. The Rev. Mark Harkness, pastor of the church, officiated, and interment will followed at Kaneville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “John Machias Memorial” and mailed in care of PO Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or at www.conleycare.com.

Merger keeps people reading

by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Every day, three to five large canvas bags arrive at the Elburn Town and Country Library. They are filled with books that patrons have ordered through interlibrary loan. As part of the DuPage Library System, Elburn has access to many more books, videos and other materials than it could possible afford to stock on its own shelves.

As of July 1, 2011, the DuPage system will merge with four other northern and central Illinois library systems to form a single library system. The new system will provide services to more than 1,500 public, private, university and school library members. The consolidation of the five systems is hoped to reduce administrative costs, streamline operations and improve the coordination of resource sharing services.

“We don’t know right now what will happen,” said Mary Lynn Alms, Elburn Town and Country Library director. “We’re not sure how it will work.”

At this time, the DuPage system coordinates van delivery of books five days a week. According to a survey of member libraries, the number-one priority for the system is to coordinate the statewide delivery service. Since July 1 in Elburn, 8,838 books and materials have gone in and out of the library.

“The volume is huge,” said Circulation Manager Kathy Semrick. “We’ve had 6,300 requests (to borrow from other libraries) and 2,500 (requests to lend books to other libraries) that we have filled.”

The library system also provides consulting services for questions that come up regarding policy and procedures. They offered continuing education for the staff on topics such as interlibrary loan, customer service and reference.

“We’ve already seen some effect (of the impending merger). They have let a lot of staff go that provided us with consulting services,” Alms said. “They used to host a lot of free and low-cost classes, but now there are none at all.”

On June 30 the switch-over will take place. Everyone is counting on it being smooth.

“They say there will be no lag time; that it will be seamless. We’ll see,” Semrick said.

Fitness business obtains planning commission approval

Elburn—The Elburn Planning Commission approved an application to allow a fitness business to open. OLAF Fitness Training will open in Columbine Square Industrial Park at 609 Thryselius Drive, Unit D.

The business will provide fitness training for the public in personal training classes of no larger than 10 clients. It will use the CrossFit strength and fitness training methods. This type of training is used in military, fire and law enforcement services.

Kaneland announces Students-of-the-Term

Kaneland—Kaneland named the following students as Students-of-the-Term: CTE (Business), Alejandra Salinas; CTE (Orientation to Family Consumer Science), Erich Turk; English, Brianne Strobel; Fine Arts (Foreign Language), Katelyn Dray; Fine Arts (Music), Anna Novotny; Math, Luke Kreiter; Physical Education/Health, Adam Grams; Science, Melissa Schmidt; Social Studies, Kelsey Gould; Student Services, Charles Amato.

Students who exemplify the type of effort, commitment, character, leadership qualities and academic effort, including achievement, improvement and contributions, that are desired of all Kaneland students are recognized as Students-of-the-Term. They will receive a certificate, t-shirt and plaque.

“Fit Kids 2020” outlines strategies to reduce childhood obesity

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department announced the release of “Fit Kids 2020 Plan,” a 51-page document that outlines the strategies required to reverse childhood obesity in Kane County over the next decade.

This document is the result of the work of more than 80 community members who worked over a period of six months, contributing more than 1,000 hours of volunteer time in nine sector-specific workgroups to develop the plan.

In Kane County, one in five kids is overweight, and in some communities that number is an alarming one in three kids. As these kids get older, they are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, suffer bone and joint problems, and suffer other serious health problems.

“We are recommending that all agencies and groups throughout Kane County adopt the relevant strategies outlined in this plan and adjust them to fit their needs so that we can work together to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Health Executive Director Paul Kuehnert.

“Fit Kids 2020” was developed by parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation ex-perts, faith leaders, local policy makers and many more. “Fit Kids 2020” provides the framework to make the systems, environmental and policy changes needed to accomplish the goal by 2020.

“Fit Kids 2020” is made possible by the Making Kane County Fit For Kids Funders Consortium: The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, United Way of Elgin, the Kane Forest Preserve District, the Kane County Office of Regional Education and Kane County.

The “Fit Kids 2020” plan is available for download on the Making Kane County Fit For Kids Web site at www.makingkanefitforkids.org.

The plan
According to the plan, the Make Kane County For Kids strategies can be boiled down to 18 key points:

Local government can:
• Preserve green space and land for farming
• Develop community plans to
promote walking and biking
• Build infrastructure, such as sidewalks and
streets, that make it easier to walk and bike
• Set aside space for community gardens

Employers can:

• Offer programs and health benefits to
promote physical activity and better eating
• Adopt healthy food policies for
food served at meetings
• Provide Opportunities to be physically
active during the work day
Schools can:
• Achieve Gold Award Distinction for
Healthier U.S. School Challenge
• Promote walking and biking
• Build more physical activity
into each student’s day

Faith-based organizations can:
• Offer healthy foods at all community events
• Plant or sponsor a garden
• Take steps to make healthy food available
to those in need
• Create a health and wellness committee

Families can:
• Plant a garden
• Walk your child to school
• Play outside with your children
and grandchildren
• Take action in your community
to promote health

Elburn child uses birthday party to help feed the starving

Photo: Celebrating a good cause while in good company, Blythe Lundgren and her friends gather during her birthday party at Feed My Starving Children on Jan. 28. Courtesy Photo

by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—Blythe Lundberg celebrated her eighth birthday by having a party and asking her friends to bring supplies for the Animal House Shelter in Huntley, Ill.

For her ninth birthday, in January, Blythe took the goodwill even further by inviting 15 of her friends and their families to pack food at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) in Aurora.

Blythe and her party attendees helped pack more than 80 boxes of food, which translates to 17,000 meals that will be shipped to over 70 third-world countries worldwide.

Not bad for a 9-year-old’s birthday party.

“My daughter has really been on a spree of wanting to do good,” said Blythe’s mother, Melissa. “This year, she wanted to do a service project, and she invited her friends to come pack meals. Some parents and some siblings of her friends came, too, so she had almost 20 kids there.”

Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit Christian organization with two locations in Illinois (Aurora and Schaumburg), three locations in Minnesota and a temporary site in Tempe, Ariz. The organization’s website states that a single packed meal costs only 24 cents to produce.

The packed meal is essentially a soy rice dish that includes a chicken protein and dried vegetables.

“The whole process lasts about two hours, and they (pack) the meal in this order: chicken, veggies, soy rice. And they say it over and over when they’re doing the packing,” Lundberg said. “And there are usually about 90 people on a shift, so my daughter’s group took up about a third of that shift, (which means) we didn’t do all the work ourselves. But we were a part of it.”

Lundberg said the children were excited to pack meals because of the video shown to them by FMSC to give the kids an idea where the food will be shipped.

“A lot of children aren’t exposed to that. They were shown a picture of an 8-year-old boy who weighs basically nothing-like, 19 pounds. And then six months later he was up to almost 70 pounds,” she said. “You see where the food is going and what it’s doing, then after you’re done serving, they show you a thank you video where more of the children are eating, happy and healthy. I think the children were very excited about that.”

Lundberg said her family would like to do more work in the future for FMSC.

“We have served at Feed My Starving Children with our church twice in the past, and I am sure that the next time (they) offer an opportunity to serve there again, we will,” she said. “(The church) is where (Blythe) got the idea to have a birthday party at FMSC, and the staff even sang (happy birthday) to her.”

FMSC packs food six days a week through four different shifts of volunteers.

Mr. Kaneland 2011 pageant

KANELAND—Mr. Kaneland 2011 will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, in the Kaneland High School auditorium.

The Mr. Kaneland event is a male pageant created by Kaneland Peer Leadership to raise money for the Delnor Center for Breast Health. This event has raised more than $10,000 for the Delnor Center for Breast Health since it was first held in January 2007.

Members of the 2011 Mr. Kaneland court include: Matt Berland, Michael Caballero, Joe Camiliere, Kyle Clausen, Brock Feece, Tom King, James Lim, Sam Meyer, Nathan Rehkopf, Kendall Renaud, Jake Rosko and Andrew Tobin.

Each member of the court will complete in a formalwear, talent and casual-wear segments, as well as a question-and-answer portion. Each of the contestants can earn points in these categories, but most points are earned in the fundraising category. The boys have been collecting donations around school and town to benefit the Delnor Center for Breast Health. The boy to earn the most points will be crowned Mr. Kaneland 2011.

This year’s ticket will once again be a bracelet, but it will be a thicker black band, printed with a pink Kaneland Knights. Each bracelet is $5 and allows entrance to the event and helps to support both the Knights and the Delnor Center for Breast Health.

Community members and their families are invited to join in the fun. Bracelets may be purchased from any of the Mr. Kaneland Court, members of Peer Leadership, or by contacting Beth Trafton at Beth.Trafton@ kaneland.org.

Doors to the auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, with ticket sales beginning at 6 p.m. outside the auditorium.

Lion’s announce calendar raffle winners

Elburn—The Elburn Lion’s Club announced the winners of the Calendar Raffle for January and February.

The January winners are Dan Holtzinger of Naperville, $500; Stephanie Kames of Batavia, $25; Ben Durbala of Elburn, $25; Elburn Seniors of Maple Park, $25; Nancy Faber, EFD of Elburn, $25; Joyce Ackermann of Melbourne, Fla., $25; Willie Verbrick of Menasha, Wis., $50; Pete Dwyer of Park Ridge, $25; Michael Wurtz of St. Charles, $25; Dixie Zander of Sycamore, $25; Jim Loukota of La Grange, $25; Bob Yessa of Elgin, $25; John Sharkey of Elgin, $25; Kelly McCullough of Batavia, $50; Jeri Ott of Hinckley, $25; Patty King of DeWitt, Mich., $25; Kris Ingold of Batavia, $25; Gordon Dierschow of Elburn, $25; Nick Schweirsthal of Elburn, $25; LeRoy & Carol Herra of Elburn, $25; Doug Pankow of Geneva, $50; Tar & Chip of Elburn, $25; Bill Zahn/co of Don Zahn, $25; Tar & Chip of Elburn, $25; Jerry Ward of Cary, $25; Nick and Lynne Carter, $25; Ken Probst of Maple Park, $50; Tammy Jobelius of New Franken, Wisc., $25; Maxwell Ruppert of Orion, $25; and Mike Harmon of Rochelle, $25.

The winners for February are Larry Cornell of Elburn, $25; James Gillett of Elburn, $25; George Brennan of Bartlett, $25; Whillem Pietsch of Geneva, $50; Michelle of Geneva, $25; co of Tom Reynolds of Elburn, $25; Meghan Cairns of Carol Stream, $25; Floyd Matheny of Las Vegas, Nev., $25; Stella Bedell of Clarksburg, Wisc., $25; Mike Few of St. Charles, $25; Tar & Chip of Elburn, $50; Wilma Korth of Elburn, $25; Tracey Pankow of Geneva, $25; Ben Smith of Constantine, Mich., $100; Jim Loukota of La Grange, $25; Kiger of Darien, $25; Jerome Leifheit of Plano, $25; Matheu Poust of Maple Park, $50; Scott Karas of Elburn, $25; Steve Steel of Aurora, $25; Shelia Wilming of Elburn, $25; Andy Barshinger of Lee, $25; Susan Sartain of Oswego, $25; Stan Andrie of Muskegon, Mich., $25; Rob & Tom of Elburn, $50; Floyd Fielitz of West Chicago, $25; and Paul Malinawski, $25.

Commission says no, sort of

Elburn—The Elburn Planning Commission voted against recommending the approval of an application to allow a dog daycare facility in Welch Creek Business Center at 630 Herra St.

Commission members voted the application down on one finding of fact: the effects of such elements as noise, glare, odor, fumes and vibration on adjoining properties.

“It presents as a ‘no’ vote,” Planning Commission Chairman Jeffrey Metcalf said. “We’ve never had a situation like that before. It’s such an unknown. But the Village Board can override it.”

Metcalf said that the vote was more or less a technicality. The board offered conditions that would make it more likely to be passed, including following the noise ordinance, that there be no odors, fewer than 40 dogs at one time, predominantly indoors and communication with the neighbors. The board suggested a 12-month review process to see how things are going.

The application will be referred to the Village Board for a vote on Feb. 22.

Blood supply dangerously low due to winter storm

AURORA—The recent severe winter weather and dropping temperatures have affected blood inventories for patients being treated in area hospitals.

Heartland Blood Centers is reporting an urgent need for blood donors to rebuild blood inventories that have plummeted due to the winter storm. Heartland, like most organizations, was closed Feb. 2, and as a result lost a full day of blood collections, yet continued to ship blood products to hospitals which further depleted blood inventories. To compound the problem, Tuesday collections were very low due to the weather, and Heartland reported numerous cancellations on that Thursday, as well. Heartland needs 600 volunteer blood donors every day in order to meet the transfusion demands of patients in their 38 member hospitals.

All healthy community members who are eligible to donate blood should reschedule their cancelled appointments. All other eligible donors are asked to make an appointment as soon as possible. Go to www.heartlandbc.org for a complete listing of blood drives in your community, and the 17 Heartland center locations.

“We are pleading for all eligible donors who can safely make it to one of our centers or community blood drives to please do so immediately so that others may get the treatment they need,” said Ann McKanna, vice president of marketing and new business development. “If you have never given blood, or have not done so in the past few months, please consider giving blood now for those in your community who need your help.”

Donors can schedule a time to give by calling 1-800-7 TO GIVE. Donors can also visit www.heartlandbc.org to schedule an appointment and find listings of blood drives in the community and the 17 Heartland center locations. Blood drive sponsors and donors also have the opportunity to join Heartland’s Four Seasons Club or Lifesaver Club and earn premium gifts on Heartland’s website.

To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years old or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland at 1-800-7-TO-GIVE to determine eligibility.

Aftermath of the storm

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—By 11 a.m. on Wednesday, the snow had stopped falling and the process of digging out began.

“Our main goal was to make one pass on every street,” Public Works Director John Nevenhoven said. “We wanted to make every street passable for firefighters or cops to get through.”

But the real work is a long and tedious process. With drifts as high as five feet in Blackberry Creek subdivision, the only way to move the snow is with a front-end loader.

“Scoop and dump, scoop and dump, in order to cut a path. We can’t move the snow without lifting it. We can get it off the road, but we don’t have any place to put the snow,” Nevenhoven said.

The village’s equipment is adequate for snowfalls of six to seven inches, but one of this size challenges the three large plows, four small ones, and one front-end loader.

“We have about 2,000 houses in Elburn. Imagine how long it would take to dig out every one? The snow is three feet high out to the street. We can’t move it all at one time. We have to take a piece at a time, and a piece at a time,” Nevenhoven said.

The three to four plows have been out on the streets working nine-hour days since the snow fell.

“We can’t get to everybody first. It will take longer to get to certain parts of time. We work one section at a time,” Nevenhoven said.

Preparation helps village handle record snowfall

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove village officials intent on keeping local roads clear and village residents safe during wintertime had their work cut out for them last Tuesday and Wednesday, thanks to over 20 inches of snowfall.

Despite concerns about whether the village had enough personnel to man snowplows to handle the intense snowfall—and whether residents would heed the village’s warning to stay off the roads—the village was able to get through the storm’s aftermath without any serious incidents, which is a testament to how prepared the village was for the dramatic snowfall.

“You have to give Public Works Director Anthony Speciale credit. He wanted to be prepared for the big snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, so he started putting (employees) on 12-hour shifts on Monday,” Village President Sean Michels said. “Those guys were out throughout the whole night (on Tuesday).”

“I thought we were well prepared for the storm. We had snow chains installed on our front-line ambulances and our rescue squadron engine on the Tuesday morning before the storm, and they helped tremendously with what we had to deal with,” Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said. “We cover 34 square miles, and it’s all wide-open spaces. We were really busy during the heavy period (of the snowstorm) between 7 p.m. (Tuesday) and midnight.”

Kunkel said the department had three ambulance calls during that five-hour span, and then stranded motorists started to arrive at the Fire Department, which served as a warming center during the snowstorm.

“We ended up with 20 people spending the night here,” he said. “We weren’t really prepared to have them spend the night—no cots or anything—but we provided them with blankets, water, pop, a warm place to sit, and then we went and got breakfast for them in the morning. The last person probably left around 4 p.m.”

According to Michels, there were a couple of instances during the storm when plow truck drivers had to deviate from their route and lead police and ambulances out to Route 56 in order to bring in stranded motorists.

“I think they picked up three people on one trip and then picked up two people on another,” Michels said. “A few of the motorists were stranded right by the Galena Boulevard ramp.”

A family from Canada was stranded overnight on Dugan Road, north of Route 30. However, that family was in a camper and wasn’t in any serious danger.

“They were extremely happy to see the plow truck pull up,” Michels said.

There was also a stranded motorist who was rescued by DeKane Sno-Trackers snowmobilers
Michels hopes to meet with Kunkel, Speciale and Police Chief Brad Sauer to talk about the possibility of having snowmobiles on standby for when the village needs to go out during a winter storm and search areas where people could be stranded.

Michels also wants to suggest the addition of light bars onto the Dodge Dakota pickup trucks that serve as vehicles for the Public Works Department. The Sugar Grove Police Department used the trucks during the storm.

“We might want to get some lights on those trucks so that they can be used either as police vehicles or rescue vehicles,” he said. “Right now they don’t have any high lights on them.”

Kunkel said the Fire Department will look into having snowmobiles on standby, but he doesn’t believe they were necessary during the storm.

“I’m not sure (snowmobiles) are the best way to go, but we’ll certainly look at that,” he said.

Kunkel is also asking all Sugar Grove residents with a fire hydrant on their property to shovel out around the hydrant if it is in any way blocked or covered with snow.

Above and beyond

Public service becomes priority during blizzard
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Elburn firefighters, police officers, snow plow drivers, neighbors, Good Samaritans and a guy on a snowmobile rose above and beyond the usual to help those in need during Tuesday’s blizzard. They rescued stranded travelers, responded to emergencies that may have saved lives and kept the roads passable as long as possible during Tuesday’s blizzard.

The snow started falling Tuesday around 2 p.m., and by 9:30 or 10 p.m., the roads were too dangerous even for the snowplows. But Metra was still running, and a late train was due to arrive.

“We knew we had to keep the roads open as long as possible,” Public Works Director John Nevenhoven said. “We stayed out longer than the county and the state because we knew people were coming home from work.”

When the plow tried to keep the Metra access road open, it itself got stuck with cars backed up behind.

“It became a bit of an ordeal. We couldn’t let people onto the access road, so what do you do with the people getting off the train? We opened up the emergency access off Kansas and escorted them to the warming station at the Fire Department,” Nevenhoven said.

He drove carefully up the hill at 10 mph, keeping from going off the embankment by the streetlights that shone through the winds and snow.

According to Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan, about 15 to 20 people took shelter at the station in town, and five to six people at Station 2. Many spent the night. One man was not able to leave until Wednesday afternoon, when his road was finally opened up. Jewel donated food to the warming station.

“I was one of a group of ‘refugees’ that were stranded after arriving late at the Metra or were simply forced to abandon their vehicles,” Sycamore resident Dennis O’Sullivan shared with the Elburn Herald via e-mail. “All of the firemen were extremely welcoming and helpful during the storm that required their full attention. I can only hope they know our appreciation for the use of their fire house, the food and the gallons of coffee.”

The firefighters not only warmed stranded travelers, one, with the help of a member of a local snowmobile club, rescued a couple in their home in the middle of the blizzard. Nick Webb and his fiance Courtney were awakened in the middle of the night by their Golden Retriever, Dusty, and discovered their house was filled with carbon monoxide gas. They quickly opened all the windows and called the Fire Department.

“I thought for sure we would never see the Fire Department, or at least not for a few hours or the next day. It was between three and four o’clock in the morning with windows open and the snow blowing through the screens into our home,” Webb said. “Then in less than half an hour an Elburn fireman named Joe-I believe a 24-year old on call-and a member of the Elburn snowmobilers club came racing down the middle of the street.”

The couple was told to leave the house because the levels of carbon monoxide were three times the acceptable level.

“We are so fortunate, and so grateful to the firefighter and the snowmobiler that came out immediately. Thanks again to everyone involved. I can’t say enough,” Webb said.

Another woman is grateful for the snowplow driver, Andrew Stratton, who came to her rescue when she fell down outside her home on Conley Drive as it was getting dark on Wednesday.

“He (Stratton) saw an elderly lady lying at the end of her drive and stopped the plow to come to her assistance,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “He put his jacket on her, got her into her house, called the paramedics and waited until they arrived. He may have saved that lady’s life. Their job is to drive the trucks and plow snow. That shows the character of our employees.”

Eventually that night, even the rescuers needed to be rescued when one of the fire trucks got stuck.

“People helped get us out. One guy plowed a path to get us back to the station,” Callaghan said.

Anderson attributes the efforts to the small-town values that Elburn is known for.

“The cooperation of the Fire Department, the Police Department, the village employees, those who ran the plows and those who didn’t was awesome. That’s the small-town feel. You can have a small town even in a large city. Small town is an attitude,” Anderson said.

Board amends annexation agreement

Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday evening voted 5-0 to approve amendments made to the Village’s Meadowridge Villas Annexation Agreement with DRH Cambridge Homes, Inc.

According to a document from Community Development Director Richard Young, the amendments include removal of various requirements, including exterior chimneys erected at full height, brick masonry and sunrooms offered as an option upgrade.

The document also states that the village will waive a $460 per unit Village Commercial Impact fee for DRH Cambridge, with the understanding that the developer will participate in the village’s tree consortium program, as well as use architectural shingles as a standard feature.

Feb. 11 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.

Sugar Grove
• Wencelad Gonzalez, 26, of the 5700 block of Kostner Avenue in Chicago, was charged with driving without a valid drivers license and speeding shortly after 3 p.m. on Feb. 5. Sugar Grove police stopped Gonzales after observing him travelling 74 mph in a 55 mph zone on route 56 near Golfview Drive.

• A resident of the 300 block of Hampsted Drive in Sugar Grove reported $412.85 of charges had been made on their debit card between Jan. 27 and Feb. 3.

• A resident of the 0-100 block of McCannon Street in Sugar Grove reported someone accessed her e-mail illegally Feb. 8, indicating that “(The resident) had moved to the United Kingdom and needed money.”

Elburn
• Ashanti O. Jones, 19, of the 1200 block of Blackhawk Road in DeKalb, was charged with mandatory insurance suspension, driving while her license was suspended and disobeying a stop sign shortly after 8 p.m. on Feb. 6. A court date is scheduled for March 4 at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles.

• Michele L. Hanson, 40, of the 48W000 block of Beith Road in Maple Park, was charged with DUI and improper lane usage after Elburn police stopped her on Route 47 near Route 38 on Feb. 6 at 12:15 a.m.

Church news for Feb. 11

Taize Worship scheduled
ST. CHARLES—St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave. (Route 25), St. Charles, invites the community to experience Taize Worship on Sunday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m.
Taize, a monastic community in central France, is a service of light and shadows, chants and silence, readings and quiet prayer.
Other information is available at www.stcharlesepiscopal.org or by calling (630) 584-2596.

Concert at Immanuel Lutheran Church
BATAVIA—Organist Jonathan Mueller and the St. John Ringers will present the next Second Sunday concert at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 950 Hart Road in Batavia. The program will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, in the sanctuary. The performers are from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wheaton.
The concert is open to the public, and an offering will be taken. This is the second in a series of four Second Sunday programs at the church.

Bethany Lutheran
offers dinner dance

BATAVIA—The public is invited to Bethany Lutheran’s annual dinner dance, “An Evening in Paris,” on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m.
A gourmet dinner will be enjoyed by Chef Jim Smigo. Dancing and atmosphere provided by Bethany’s Congregational Life Committee.
The price per person is $23. Make your reservation by calling (630) 879-3444. Bethany Lutheran is located at 8 S. Lincoln St. in Batavia.

Care4Caregivers
Support Group Hosanna!
Lutheran Church

St. Charles—Hosanna! Lutheran Church will hold its monthly Care4Caregivers Support Group meeting on Saturday, Feb. 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
This next meeting will feature a presentation by Pam Sebern on the differences between normal aging and dementia. Sebern serves as Executive Director of Arden Courts in Geneva and has been in this position for the past eight years.
All in the community are invited to attend this free presentation. For more information, call (630) 584-6434, e-mail at Welcome@HosannaChurch.com or visit www.HosannaChurch.com on the “Where We Serve—Caring” webpage. Hosanna! is located at 36W925 Red Gate Road (entrance just east of Randall Road) in St. Charles.

KHS wrestlers execute winning combination, take 2nd place at regional

Photo: Kaneland’s Cody McGinnis (160 lbs) executes a take-down during the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Sycamore on Saturday. McGinnis won this match against Wheaton Academy. Photo by John DiDonna

SYCAMORE—When KHS wrestling coach Monty Jahns mentioned that his team had an eye on the postseason and may be better equipped for tournament settings, he wasn’t kidding.

Despite only nine wins in dual meet competition, the Knights wrestling roster stepped up its collective game just in time. A 205-point output at the IHSA Class 2A Sycamore Regional on Saturday was good for second place in the eight-team regional.

Kaneland advanced 11 out of 14 wrestlers to Saturday, Feb. 12, and the Rochelle Sectional.

Sycamore, with a total of 231.5, took the regional. After Kaneland, Rochelle finished third with 113 points, and Burlington Central finished fourth with 104 points. Dixon (76), Hampshire (67), Freeport (43.5) and Wheaton Academy (25) rounded out the bottom four.

Regional champs for Kaneland began with 103-pound Stephen Gust, who beat Hampshire’s Alex Feltz in a 3-1 encounter to take the title.

Sonny Horn, at 125-pounds, beat Hampshire’s Tyler Espino in the final by a 3-2 score. Teammate Dan Goress took the 130-pound final over Dixon’s Kylain Lally by pinfall in 1:52.

Nick Michels, at 171-pounds, won the grouping thanks to a 5-3 overtime win over Sycamore’s Michael Madden.

Jimmy Boyle rounded out the first-place finishes with a 4:48 pin of Rochelle’s Nate Rodefelt.

Other championship finalists included Esai Ponce at 119 pounds, who was defeated by Christopher Kerwin of Sycamore, 7-3. Chris Sabal made it to the 145-pound final, where he lost to Steven Lalowski of Sycamore in 1:03. Keagan Mattes rode to the finals but lost to Sycamore’s Jake Davis in 3:52.

Cody McGinnis, at 160-pounds, beat Rochelle’s Kane Rodrigue, 3-2, to finish in third. Teammate Ben Kovalick beat Rochelle’s Logan Sutton by 15-2 final.

Andrew Essex also finished fourth in 140-pound action.

Rivalry Saturday tips to Kaneland boys

Photo: Kaneland’s Trever Heinle tries a junior skyhook in recent boys basketball action. File Photo

KANELAND—For the Knights, good things have come in fours lately.

The Kaneland boys improved to 13-8 (5-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) with a 48-38 win over the visiting Sycamore Spartans on Friday in Maple Park.

For Kaneland, the last setback occurred on Jan. 18 against Hampshire.

Unique to the clash of rivals was the fact that only four Knights entered the scoring column, as well as only four Spartans.

Leading the way for KHS was Chaon Denlinger with 16 points, followed by Trever Heinle’s 13.

The Knights went seven-of-nine from foul line territory.

Kaneland led 13-10 after one quarter and 23-16 at the half, before taking a 37-28 lead at the end of three frames.

The sophomores improved to 20-1 with a 50-43 win over the Spartans.

On tap for KHS is hosting DeKalb on Friday, Feb. 11.

Strang to keep running at St. Joseph’s

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Those that compete in college cross-country and track compete at a higher level.

That being the case, Kaneland High School senior Andie Strang has been doing that since 2007.

Strang officially committed to run cross-country and track for Division II St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind.

Housed in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, St. Joseph’s College was home to the Chicago Bears summer training camp from 1944-1974.

Now in the midst of basketball season for the Lady Knights, Strang has an eye on the future, ready to duplicate her success for Puma athletics.

Strang has also zoned in on her future career.

“I want to go into pre-medicine,” said Strang. “They have a tremendous program. The first thing I was looking for was majors, and it was definitely positive with that school.”

Strang has been a reliable entry for Kaneland athletics and has often found herself in the postseason thick of things in the fall and spring.

The senior qualified for the State final in cross-country her freshman year, and has qualified for State in track, competing in the 800 meter run three times and the 4x800m relay twice.

“I love the 800 here, and I think I’m going to have to do something a bit longer, just because I don’t have enough leg speed for 800 to be my specialty. I think I’ll have more success in something a little bit longer,” Strang said.

Strang is well aware that things will be different in Puma-land.

“It’s a whole other level of competition. Being a D-II school, I’m excited to see what it has, and they compete against a lot of smaller schools. I think it’ll be fun, though,” Strang said.

Strang feels St. Joseph’s is a great venue and feels like home.

“I love the coaches, I love the campus, I love the girls on the team. It’s a small school and that all came together.“

Wasco fastpitch ready for ‘11

WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball (WGFSL) has begun registration. WGFSL is a recreational softball league open to all area girls grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays, so parents can attend and participate. Players may register at www.wascofastpitch.com, or call the hotline at (630) 513-1200 for a form.

Registration ends Feb. 28. After that date, players will be placed on a waiting list. Fees are the same regardless of where you live, with no out-of-district fees. Spring Training and pitching/catching clinics will be in April and take participants through numerous stations, age-appropriate drills and conditioning. Space is limited. Visit www.wascofastpitch.com.

KHS bowlers see season end in Roselle

ROSELLE—When DeKalb and Lake Park are in your bowling sectional, it could make for a long morning.

Despite a valiant effort and amassing more pins than five other squads, Kaneland’s bowling season came to an end on Saturday in Roselle at the Lake Park Sectional.

Advancing to State was Lake Park (5,693) and DeKalb (5,670). Kaneland finished 13th out of 18 units with a total of 4,175, 14 pins better than Streamwood. The Lady Knights finished 12th out of 18 a year ago in Sycamore.

The top overall bowler was Lake Park’s Jessica Fuja with 1,311 pins felled. Out of the Northern Illinois Big XII schools, DeKalb senior Brandi Underwood left with 1,252 pins.

The State gathering is on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11-12, at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford, Ill.

The Lady Knights bid farewell to seniors Colleen Ryan and Holly Thomas, with the end of the 2010-11 season at hand.

Maple Park diamond sign-up

MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Baseball, Softball and T-Ball Registration is still open for the 2011 season. It offers teams for kids ages 4-14 from Little Sluggers on up to Pony League.

Maple Park Baseball, Softball and T-Ball offers a multi-player family discount. The registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 15. For registration information, go to mapleparkbaseball.net.