Guest Editorial: Trying to make a difference every day

by Kevin O’Boyle
CASA Kane County volunteer

When I retired in February of 2010, I thought about one of my favorite videos that my company would show to new management featuring Lou Holtz. At the end of the video, Lou said that the bottom line was at the end of the day everyone had to ask themselves, “Did I make a difference today?”

During my last year at work, everyone would ask me what my plans were when I retired, and I would respond, I am not sure but I just want to be able to make a difference. I feel very blessed to have found an organization like CASA Kane County, where all of us are helping to make a difference in the lives of children.

The first child assigned to me in my role as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) has had a huge impact on me, and I would like to share a small part of his story. When Kyle, age 10, was assigned to me, he had been admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Cognitive Disorder. When I read his history and the abuse he had suffered, it was no surprise to me that he was diagnosed with these disorders. CASA Kane County provides excellent training, but I didn’t know how I could help him since I did not have any training to help me deal with these specific disorders. I decided that when I met Kyle, I would just do the best I could.

Kyle was released from the hospital before I had a chance to visit him, and he was sent to a group home. When I planned my first visit, I did not know what to expect. What I found was an articulate and intelligent child who enjoyed creative and artistic activities. I also found that since Kyle was not allowed any contact with his family, for a variety of reasons that he had no control over, he had an immense desire for a relationship with others, especially his CASA.

Over the past two years, I have developed a great relationship with Kyle. A lasting memory of mine is when I visited him on Thanksgiving. One of the kids in the group home was sitting while the other kids were playing basketball. I went over and introduced myself, and he said, “I know who you are, you are Kevin, Kyle’s CASA, and he talks about you all the time.” He then looked at me with his big brown eyes and said, “Could you be my CASA?”

When I had Thanksgiving dinner with my family later that day, I shared that story with my family. I can honestly say it was the most meaningful Thanksgiving I have ever had. That is what is so great about being a CASA. We get as much, or more, out of the experience than the children we are helping.

As for Kyle, I am happy to report that he is doing great. The group home staff said that since Kyle had improved so much in all areas, they were recommending that he was ready to be placed with a foster family. Kyle moved in with a wonderful foster family in the middle of November.

What a difference a year can make if the child has hope for their future. That is what CASA’s do—we give children hope for their future. As one of our CASA volunteers said, “It is about helping a child replace a life of hurt with one of hope.”

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Last year, CASA Kane County served 512 children who had been either abused or neglected. The organization’s goal is to always have a CASA volunteer for every abused and neglected child. CASA Kane County attends many civic events, and its volunteers speak at several local churches. Many people approach our volunteers afterwards and say that they appreciate the great work that we do, but they don’t think they could do it. If you ask any CASA volunteer, they will tell you they also had concerns in the beginning, but now that they have made the decision to serve as a CASA volunteer, it has been one of the best decisions they have ever made. It is truly a life changing experience.

If you or anyone you know would like to help make a difference in the life of a child, please contact CASA Kane County at (630) 232-4484. You can also get more information about CASA Kane County by visiting their web page at www.casakanecounty.org.

Letter: Thanks for giving the gift of life

The Elburn American Legion Auxiliary of the Daniel Simpson Post No. 630 would like to thank everyone who gave the gift of life on April 12, 2012. It is gratifying to see these people, time after time, donating blood for our community. When you see them, tell them “thank you” for a job well done.

The donors were Arthur Anderson, Wesley Anderson, Craig Bahe, Dr. Ken Baumruck, Barbara Blank, Linda Bubser, Leroy Bubser, Allison Buri, Mary Coffey, Suzanne Dillon, Patrick Duffy, Albert Frohling, Sandra Gould, Eldon Gould, Ken Gustafson, Steven Hall, Deborah Hannemann, Daniel Hannemann, Steven Hauser, Larry Hemmelgarn, Janet Herra, Dawn Kuefler, Peter Kuefler, Joseph Lanthrum, James Long, Mark Lund, Patricia Mills, Matthew Orzolek, Patricia Pattermann, James Schnaitman, Nancy Schnaitman, Larry Schramm, Grayce Seablom, Albert Smith, Kayla Staley, Rebecca Staley and Robert Weihofen.

Also, a thank you goes out to the Auxiliary Committee that coordinate with Heartland Blood Centers: Carrie Petrie, Kay Swift and Helen Johnson.

Please mark your calendars for the next drive on Thursday, June 14. We would love to see more volunteers rolling up their sleeves and donating blood.

Thank you.

Kay Swift
Elburn American Legion Auxiliary
Daniel Simpson Post No. 630

Letter: 13 years in a row

The village of Elburn has again been qualified as a 2011 Tree City USA. Thanks to the support of the village trustees and the work of the village Tree Board, this is the 13th consecutive year that this honor has been bestowed on the village. The Tree City USA program is a nationally sponsored certification program created and managed by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

Our village is committed to preserve the quality of life and the welcoming vistas along our neighborhood streets, which are only made possible by the many stately trees that line them. The community is also very supportive of continuing efforts to maintain trees in our open space and park areas, where families can gather and recreate. Trees are the defining elements that make these open spaces and parks so enjoyable, and they offer many benefits, not only to the users of the space, but the overall environment. The Tree City USA designation awards is a reflection of commitment of tree preservation, tree education and tree health throughout the village.

There are seven important reasons to plant trees: they conserve energy, help clean the air, provide habitat for songbirds, can increase your home’s value, help keep our rivers and streams clean, fight global warming, and enhance the aesthetics of our community.

Join us Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. at the Prairie Park, located on the corner of North Street and 3rd Street in Elburn, to celebrate Arbor Day and the importance of trees in our everyday lives. Join your village officials, the Tree Board, the Cub Scouts, and others in planting two trees in the park. There will be a short ceremony reading the Arbor Day proclamation, Joyce Kilmer’s famous poem about trees, and an explanation of the importance of Arbor Day.

Erin Willrett
Village Administrator
Elburn

Letter: Thanks for attending the April 19 dinner

The Elburn American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 630 would like to thank everyone who attended the American Legion Auxiliary spaghetti supper on April 19 at the Elburn American Legion Hall. We appreciate your loyalty and support for our fundraising dinner.

Many thanks to those auxiliary members and volunteers who served as cooks, servers, cashier, cleaners, and thanks to those who donated desserts. Thanks to the Elburn American Legion members who gave us assistance, also.

Without your support and help, we could not donate to the important programs that help so many. We look forward to seeing you again in the fall.

Marleah Anderson, Public relations
Elburn American Legion Auxiliary No. 630

Edward David Zak

Edward David Zak, 90, of Horseshoe Bend, Ark., was born on Sept. 17, 1921, in Chicago, the son of Edward Casimir and Sophia Zak. He departed this life on April 10, 2012, at Fulton County Hospital in Salem, Ark.

Edward was united in marriage to Lillian B. Nawara on Oct. 10, 1942, in St. Louis. He spent his working years as a repairman for Sears and served his country in the U.S. Marines during WWII. Edward was a member of the St. Mary of the Mount Catholic Church in Horseshoe Bend, Ark.

He leaves to mourn his passing three sons, Donald E. Zak and wife Rebecca of Foley, Ala., Daniel Zak and wife Jill of Naperville, Ill., and Edward D. Zak of Elburn; one daughter, Sandra L. Franciskovich and husband Dennis of Eagle River, Wis.; one sister, Elizabeth Kross; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and nine brothers and sisters.

Interment was in the St. Mary of the Mount Memorial Garden Columbarium in Horseshoe Bend, Ark., on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Memorials preferred to the charity of your choice.

Garth L. Glader

Garth L. Glader, 52, of Geneva, passed away on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, after an extended illness, surrounded by family and friends. He was born April 21, 1959, in Minneapolis, Minn., the son of Nancy and Richard Glader.

Garth was the former president of Anasco Incorporated.

Garth is survived by his mother, Nancy Glader; his son, Ben, and his mother, Maggie of Geneva; his brother, Gregg Glader of Geneva; his sister, Gretchen and Jay Schuette and their children, Ann, Sam and Joe of Sugar Grove; as well as numerous cousins and friends.

Garth was preceded in death by his father, Richard.

A visitation was held on Friday at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove, and was followed by a service. Pastor Andy Morgan officiated. Interment will be private.

For further information, call (630) 466-1330 or visit www.healychapel.com to leave an online condolence.

McDole offers trivia night

Kaneland—McDole Elementary PTO in Montgomery will host a trivia night event. Entries for the event are due by Friday, April 27, and the event itself will be held at Open Range Southwest Grill in Sugar Grove on May 5, at 6 p.m.

The competition will be accompanied by a silent auction and provide contestants the chance to walk away with cash and prizes. In addition, Open Range will donate a percentage of its profits from the event back to the PTO.

Proceeds will benefit the McDole PTO.

Space is limited, and event organizers request that you gather a team of eight-to-10 players and sign up. The cost for each player is $15. You can pre-register your team or ask any questions via e-mail at info@mcdolepto.org.

To register your team, please include a contact person, phone number, e-mail and number of team members.

Elburn resident brings Hunger Resource Network to Fox Valley

Photo: On March 24, the Hunger Resource Network distributed more than 61,000 pounds of chicken to more than 40 food pantries and homeless shelters. Elburn resident Wynette Edwards is a director with the network, and has been instrumental in expanding the network into the Fox Valley area. Courtesy Photo

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Elburn resident Wynette Edwards, a director of the Hunger Resource Network, was part of an effort in March to distribute more than 61,000 pounds of chicken to more than 40 agencies. Thanks to Edwards, those agencies included the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry, the Elgin Food Pantry, the Kendall County Food Pantry and the Salvation Army in St. Charles.

Edwards, who has lived in Elburn for about seven years, is one of a small group of individuals who started the Hunger Resource Network three years ago. The network makes connections between suppliers and volunteer organizations that want to help with food banks, pantries, homeless shelters and other agencies that help those in need.

The distribution of the chickens was a great example of how the network brings together generous and hard-working people and businesses with organizations during the Hunger Resource Network Community Outreach Day on March 24.

Whole Foods Markets customers and associates in the Evanston area donated more than $26,000 raised during several collection campaigns the two stores sponsored. Miller Poultry in Indiana, a supplier of Whole Foods, offered their antibiotic-free Amish whole chickens at a greatly reduced price, and network directors arranged for the purchase of the chicken and its distribution to area soup kitchens, food pantries and homeless shelters.

“We gave it out in three hours,” Edwards said.

The network has a great model for the distribution of food and other items that people need, she explained.

“Logistics are especially important when you are distributing frozen food; you have to get it there quickly,” she said.

Another part of their model involves matching farmers markets with food pantries. Volunteers show up at the farmers markets at the end of the day, obtain unsold fresh produce and make sure that it gets to the pantries while it is still fresh.

“I can’t see things being wasted,” Edwards said. “The food needs to be eaten. I like to keep it out of the landfills and in people’s stomachs.”

The network’s volunteer organizations have included churches, service clubs, students with their school service projects, and even a book club. Volunteers are always needed, whether it is to help with the distribution of food, raising money or making calls to food pantries to find out about their needs.

Sometimes agencies call the network with their needs, and the directors make the necessary connections to fill that need. Hesed House was on the receiving end of this when they asked for and received a refrigerator.

For more information about the network, find out how to help or how to receive help, visit the website at www.hungerresourcenetwork.org.

Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouts with Disney

Photo: A rock-climbing wall will be one of many activities available during the Girl Scouts’ Centennial Celebration on Saturday, April 28. Courtesy Photo

Girl Scouts host celebration with Radio Disney
DeKalb—In honor of 100 years of Girl Scouting, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) will host a family-friendly Centennial Celebration on Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NIU Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb.

The Radio Disney AM 1300 Road Crew will provide interactive entertainment that includes music, dancing, prizes and more. The event will also feature a live stage performance by pop group Savvy, stars of the TV series “The Wannabes” on STARZ Kids & Family Channel. State Street Dance of Geneva will choreograph a dance designed especially for the event, celebrating Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary.

Admission includes parking, performances and all activities:
• Rock-climbing wall
• Play zone with DJ, inflatables and photo booth
• Hands-on activity zones including environmental, financial literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), healthy living and Girl Scouts through the years

Tickets are $10 per person; $12 per person day of event. Children ages 2 and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased at the NIU Convocation Center box office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 or at Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Shops. Tickets purchased at the Girl Scout Shops can either be purchased in person or by phone. Tickets purchased by phone will be available for pick up at the will call window on the day of the event. All ticket sales are final.

Mazan performs ‘Dying To Do Letterman’

GENEVA—Comedian Steve Mazan will provide an evening of laughter and inspiration as he performs his comedy show, “Dying to Do Letterman,” at the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 30.

This program will celebrate the pre-opening of the LivingWell’s new building, located at 442 Williamsburg Ave. in Geneva.

Mazan is a comedian, Emmy winning writer, and the subject of the award-winning documentary “Dying to do Letterman.” In 2005, Steve was diagnosed with cancer and given a worst-case scenario of five years to live. Rather than slow down, Steve decided to use whatever time he had left to chase his ultimate dream: to perform his comedy on The Late Show with David Letterman.

This program is open to the public and is free of charge, although registration is required by Wednesday, April 25, as seating is limited. Please call (630) 262-1111 to register.

This event will take place at the new LivingWell facility, 442 Williamsburg Ave., in Geneva. Regular programming will begin at the new facility on Monday, May 7.

Kane County Health Department community garden plots now available

Kane County—Plots in the Kane County Health Department’s community gardens are now available, just in time for the start of the growing season. There are more than 1,300 community garden plots available throughout Kane County, primarily in the various Park District locations.

The prices and availability vary, but check out the website of your Park District for details.

“The best way to add fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet is by growing your own,” said Paul Kuehnert, Health Department executive director. “Besides having the satisfaction of growing it yourself and the savings you’ll see on your grocery bill, we know that a regular diet of fresh fruits and vegetables helps battle chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. That is why increasing access to and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is a priority in the Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan, recently adopted by the Board of Health.”

Plan your garden with your family. Not only will your children enjoy the family activity, they are more likely to try produce they helped grow. And you’ll enjoy the fresh air activity.

For more information on starting a garden, check out the University of Illinois Extension guide, “Ten Steps to a Successful Garden” at web.extension.illinois.edu/vegguide/tensteps.cfm.

West Nile Virus testing begins earlier than normal

Mild winter, warm spring pushes up WNV surveillance
SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will accept birds submitted for West Nile Virus testing two weeks earlier than normal.

The department began accepting dead birds on Monday, as opposed to May 1, the date when West Nile Virus surveillance began in years past.

“The earlier submission of birds is an effort to help detect any early West Nile Virus activity prompted by the unusually warm weather this winter and spring,” said Dr. Arthur F. Kohrman, state health department acting director.

Surveillance for West Nile Virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile-like disease symptoms. People who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing.

The first West Nile Virus positive results in 2011 were collected on June 8 and included two birds from LaSalle County. Last year, 19 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile Virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case. A total of 34 Illinois residents contracted West Nile Virus disease, and three died.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile Virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile Virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Precautions include:
• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
• When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
• Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Public health officials believe that a hot summer increases mosquito activity and the risk of disease from West Nile Virus.

Additional information about West Nile Virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.

Michels’ State of Sugar Grove

Village President cites development, future projects
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—At his State of the Village of Sugar Grove speech on April 12, Village President Sean Michels discussed recently completed projects, as well as projects he expects will be completed in 2012 or the next few years. His message was clear early the presentation: things in Sugar Grove are pretty good right now.

“We’re bringing in new businesses, as you can see. It’s a variety of things. That’s why I use the word “it”-it’s not just fast food, it’s not just commercial businesses, it’s not just industry … and things are going pretty well,” he said. “We’re able to take this time and plan for the future and put in some key infrastructure for when the residential boom does occur.”

Michels identified the groups and businesses that have arrived in Sugar Grove since his 2011 State of the Village of Sugar Grove address, including McDonald’s, Scot Industries, Producers Chemical, West Suburban Bank, emily kay salon, Cutz & Stylz hair salon, Jimmy John’s and St. Katherine Drexel Church. Michels called Jimmy John’s “the surprise of the year,” as Sugar Grove the last few years had been told it just wasn’t the right fit for a Jimmy John’s restaurant because the village “didn’t have the rooftops or traffic.”

“Each year, we keep updating our numbers, our rooftops, our traffic patterns, average household income, all of that. Finally, last year, we heard rumors that Jimmy John’s was going to come (to Sugar Grove), but we didn’t know when,” Michels said. “Come August (or) September (2011), we heard that the lease was signed, and then they pulled the building permit … and then it just sort of sat, so I included (in the presentation) they weren’t freaky fast in their opening … but now they are open. I stopped in (there) the other day, and they said it’s going very well.”

Michels said these businesses collectively brought in more than 125 employees to Sugar Grove.

“That’s significant. When you think of the multiplier effect that an employee brings to the community, it’s not fact that they’re just working here-typically they are buying gas or running to the Jewel or to one of the fast food restaurants to buy lunch or buy dinner,” he said. “Maybe they are going to the salon after work to get their hair done. It really starts to take off, and then with some of the other projects we have coming up down the road, I think you’ll see this multiplier effect really start to multiply.”

Those “other projects” include: a Walgreens slated for construction on the northwest corner of Galena Boulevard and Route 47 and expected to open in October; Hampstead Court assisted-living center, a 104,400-square-foot facility with 150 beds and 70 employees; completion of the Mallard Point/Rolling Oaks drainage project, which will involve the use of pipe-30 inches in diameter and 8,800 feet long-to convey water from the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions to the Drainage District ditch located near Jericho Road and Route 30; and improvements to the intersection at Cross Street and Route 47.

Michels’ presentation also touched upon future projects, such as an I-88/Route 47 interchange, widening of Route 47 south to Kendall County (phase 1 to be completed this fall), improvements to Bliss Road and Route 47, and Honda Jet delivering a jet aircraft to Sugar Grove in 2014.

“I am really proud of the fact that we are thinking for the future. Even though the growth is not here today, it’s coming, so we need to make sure that our infrastructure can handle it,” Michels said.

Michels said a $10,000 surplus is projected for the 2012-13 budget.

“If it comes in much more than that, we’ll probably just put it into roads,” he said.

MP continues work on energy aggregation

by David Maas
Maple Park—At Tuesday’s Maple Park Committee of the Whole meeting, Arnold Schramel of the Progressive Energy Group was once again present to update the board on the ongoing energy aggregation process, as well as to present his company’s recommendations for their Plan of Governance.

The Plan of Governance will act as a guide to all of the prospective energy suppliers as to what the village wants in their contracts, which will ultimately impact the rate they will receive.

“There are seven questions that a municipality should answer in their plan,” Schramel said. “We make recommendations on what we think will be the best for this village.”

After hearing the recommendations, the board advised Schramel on how to continue work on the plan. Among the decisions, the board decided against anything that would increase the rate they would receive, including reimbursement for administrative and legal fees, and not writing in a cancellation fee for residents who leave the service.

“If we write reimbursement in, it will increase the rate for the residents, we are trying to get the best rates possible,” trustee Suzanne Fahnestock said.

Along the same lines, the board agreed with all of Schramel’s recommendations that would benefit the village, as well as get them a lower rate.

“Although there are 33 licensed suppliers we could go to, we are only going to be looking at 13 distinct suppliers,” Schramel said. “These suppliers are further licensed to bill on the existing ComEd bill, making it easier for residents.”

Other decisions included having one rate for residential and small commercial customers, and choosing to aggregate with other surrounding municipalities to receive lower rates.

With these decisions from the board, Schramel will write up the Plan of Governance, which the board will approve after the second public hearing, scheduled for May 1.

“Things are looking good for Maple Park right now,” Schramel said. “It is a very healthy market for Energy Aggregation in Illinois.”

Village approves contract for comprehensive plan

ELBURN—The Village Board on Monday approved a contract with Images, Inc., a Wheaton-based firm, to assist the village with an update of its comprehensive plan. The project is funded through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the official regional planning organization for northeastern Illinois. The budget for the project is $100,000. The completion date is June 30, 2013.

Spring into employment

Frances Jerman of Aurora (right) reviews information at Waubonsee Community College’s annual Spring Job/Internship Fair on Friday. Local job seekers were able to connect with 80 area employers at the event, which took place on the Sugar Grove
Campus.


Precious Eboh of Aurora (above) introduces himself to Emily Sharp, Staffing Consultant for Dreyer
Medical Clinic, at WCC Spring Job/Internship Fair on Friday.

Courtesy Photos

Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival is almost here

KANELAND—The Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will continue its tradition of showcasing the artwork of Kaneland students, as well as celebrating the professional visual and performing arts, on Sunday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Another tradition of the festival is the free admission, along with the ability to participate in workshops and experience the arts.

This year’s roster of performing artists include a dixieland jazz band, an ensemble of mimes, a Zydeco band, classical and folk guitars, comedy troupes, and a barbershop quartet. Workshops, available to all ages, include a music and movement workshop and an opportunity to become a mime. The visual artist roster includes the art mediums of batik, jewelry, oil pastel, photography, sculpture, woodturning and collage. Bring home a balloon animal or have faces painted by the KHS art club. Little ones who are not yet in school can enjoy storytime, as well as music and movement opportunities.

For information, contact Maria Dripps-Paulson at maria.drippspaulson@kaneland.org or (630) 365-5100, ext 180, or visit www.kanelandartsfestival.org.

Kane County announces final multiplier

SPRINGFIELD—Kane County has been issued a final property assessment equalization factor of 1.0000, according to Brian Hamer, director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The property assessment equalization factor, often called the “multiplier,” is the method used to achieve uniform property assessments among counties, as required by law. This equalization is particularly important because some of the state’s 6,600 local taxing districts overlap into two or more counties (e.g. school districts, junior college districts, fire protection districts). If there were no equalization among counties, substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.

Under a law passed in 1975, property in Illinois should be assessed at one-third of its market value. Farm property is assessed differently, with farm homesites and dwellings subject to regular assessing and equalization procedures, but with farmland assessed at one-third of its agriculture economic value. Farmland is not subject to the state equalization factor.

Assessments in Kane County are at 33.23 percent of market value, based on sales of properties in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The equalization factor currently being assigned is for 2011 taxes, payable in 2012. Last year’s equalization factor for the county was 1.0000.

The final assessment equalization factor was issued after a public hearing on the tentative factor. The tentative factor issued in December 2011 was 1.0000. The equalization factor is determined annually for each county by comparing the price of individual properties sold over the past three years to the assessed value placed on those properties by the county supervisor of assessments/county assessor.

If this three-year average level of assessment is one-third of the market value, the equalization factor will be one (1). If the average level of assessment is greater than one-third of market value, the equalization factor will be less than one (1). And if the average level of assessment is less than one-third of market value, the equalization factor will be greater than one (1).

A change in the equalization factor does not mean total property tax bills will increase or decrease. Tax bills are determined by local taxing bodies when they request money each year to provide services to local citizens. If the amount requested by local taxing districts is not greater than the amount received in the previous year, then total property taxes will not increase even if assessments increase.

The assessed value of an individual property determines what portion of the tax burden a specific taxpayer will assume. That individual’s portion of tax responsibility is not changed by the multiplier.

Be prepared


Members of Elburn Boy Scout Troop 7, working on their Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, participated in a mock “search and rescue” exercise held at Elburn Forest Preserve the morning of April 14. The exercise was a coordinated effort between Troop 7, the Elburn Police and Fire Departments, the Elburn Explorers and the Elburn Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The participants located, built a stretcher for (out of sticks and sweatshirts), applied a leg splint (using sticks and socks) and rescued the lost child in under two hours (three hours were allotted). Here, Elburn Police Sergeant Ron Brandenburg addressing the Scouts to explain the scenario (a child lost in the woods), and the proper procedures to be followed for search and rescue. Photo by Patti Wilk

Police blotter for April 20

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.

Elburn
• William C. Lamar, 49, of the 700 block of Russell Road in DeKalb, was arrested on April 13 and issued citations for improper lane usage, illegal transportation of alcohol by a driver, driving without a valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Sugar Grove
• Samantha Brungart, 18, of the 2200 block of Garden Road in Aurora, and Elizabeth Rogers, 18, of the 1100 block of Plum Street in Aurora, were arrested on April 17 and issued ordinance violations for possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. Brungart was issued an additional citation for possession of alcohol by a minor.

Board approves farm lease agreement

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve an agreement to lease 14 acres of agricultural land for one year.

A document from Anthony Speciale, director of public works, and Geoff Payton, streets and property divisions, states that the village currently owns 19.44 acres of agricultural land, 14 of which are suitable for farming. Each year, the village of Sugar Grove enters into a contract for the lease of agricultural land for farming purposes. By leasing the property for farming purposes, the village will keep the land tillable and also receive an income of $1,200 from this lease.

Board approves withdrawal from Natural Gas Consortium

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village Board members on Tuesday voted 6-0 to approve withdrawal from the Natural Illinois Municipal Natural Gas Franchise Consortium.

According to a document from Finance Director Justin Vanvooren, the board approved membership into the consortium, and authorized an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) for a natural gas model franchise, at its meeting on Dec. 1, 2009. The document states that the joint effort was meant to provide participating municipalities “greater negotiating power with the natural gas utilities and reduce the cost to each municipality of drafting, negotiating and finalizing a new gas franchise.”

These natural gas utilities still haven’t come to terms on any proposals in the draft agreement.

The village paid $500 to enter the consortium and has since paid $2,921.03 toward “consortium activities.”

According to the document, village staff feels that continued membership in the consortium is not warranted and recommends withdrawal.

And they’re off!

The 8th annual Dewey Dash was held on Sunday. It included a one-mile walk/run and a 5K race.
There was a large turnout, and the kids (right) just enjoyed being out and running around.


This year’s race was titled “Full Throttle Thurber.” Scott Metcalfe (right) stretches before the star of the 5K race. Some people (below) got a free ride
during the Dewey Dash on Sunday.

Photos by Mary Herra

Church news for April 19

St. Charles Episcopal
hosts rummage sale

St. Charles—St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave., St. Charles, will hold a rummage sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.
The building is handicapped accessible, and there is no admission charge. Proceeds will fund the church’s ministries to Hesed House and Trinity Soup Kitchen in Aurora, the church’s Youth Group Mission Trip, projects of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, and other outreach activities. Find home furnishings, toys, kitchen items, sports equipment, adult and children’s clothing, books and more. For information, visit www.stcharlesepiscopal.org or call (630) 584-2596.

Grace UMC of Maple Park
presents VBS Kickoff

Maple Park—Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park invites interested families to its VBS Kickoff on Friday, April 27, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the church, 506 Willow St., Maple Park.
At the kickoff event, kids can learn what to expect at this year’s VBS. In addition, they will be able to do some crafts, receive a music CD of this year’s VBS songs, learn one VBS song, and meet some VBS characters, as well as get to enjoy some desserts.
Registration will also open that night for VBS week, which will be held July 23-26 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Additionally, the church will launch its annual mission project, Build Up Our Backpacks, in which the church collects school supplies for the Kaneland School District.

Sugar Grove UMC hosts
Benefit Spring Buffet

Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove United Methodist Church will host a spring buffet on Saturday, April 28, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St.
A variety of delectable dishes will be prepared and served by congregation members, with free-will donations being used to support mission outreach programs. Everyone is invited to come and join together for food and fellowship. Call (630) 466-4501 with any questions.

Paul Colman
concert at KUMC

KANEVILLE—Paul Colman, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/entertainer, will perform a concert at Kaneville United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 29, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $17.
For more information, call (630) 557-2483.

Two Guys
and Free Spaghetti
celebrates 3 years

St. Charles—Two Guys and Free Spaghetti will celebrate its third anniversary from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave., St. Charles.
The free dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread, and homemade dessert will be accompanied by live music.
Started in 2009, the monthly dinner welcomes all guests to enjoy the fellowship and food. Carry-out is available, and the building is handicapped accessible. For more information, call Joe at (630) 890-6586.

Heads up: Helicopter training planned for Wednesday

Elburn—The Kane County Office of Emergency Management Agency and the Elburn Fire Department will conduct Helicopter Landing Zone Safety training within the village of Elburn on Wednesday, April 25. The training will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. and last until approximately 8:30 p.m.

A landing zone will be established immediately behind the village of Elburn Veterans Memorial Tank on East North Street. As an alternate location if conditions do not permit, a second landing zone could be established in the dry retention basin just to the northwest of Elburn Public Works and south of the Meadows Senior Housing Complex on Dempsey Drive.

While the helicopter is landing and taking off, which there will only be one touchdown, KCOEM and Elburn Fire personnel will keep the actual landing area secure and keep bystanders at a safe distance.

Downtown Elburn parking lot closes

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Although the Community Congregational Church closed its parking lot on Sunday as promised, Elburn village trustee Jerry Schmidt asked the question anyway during Monday’s Elburn Village Board meeting.

“Does the (Village) Board have any interest in purchasing the lot?” he asked.

“Not without money,” Village President Dave Anderson responded.

The village received the same e-mail from the church announcing the closing of the lot as did the other businesses in downtown Elburn.

Citing insurance liability reasons, church moderator Sharon Lackey wrote that the decision was hard to make, knowing that the businesses in town could use the parking for their customers.

“We had hoped that the village of Elburn would see the value of the parking lot to the viability of the downtown businesses and make an offer for the lot so that it can continue to be available for public parking. This has not occurred, so the lot will be closed as planned on April 15,” Lackey wrote.

The church’s asking price for the lot was $250,000. The Elburn Chamber of Commerce paid for an appraisal of the lot, which was delivered to the church last week.

According to village trustee Jeff Walter, the village would only be able to offer the appraised amount.

“That’s all we can borrow against,” Anderson said.

The village declined to provide the results of the appraisal.

“That would only be made public if we would have made an offer,” Anderson explained.

There is a downtown parking lot owned by the village, located on the southwest corner of North and First streets, Anderson said. Employees from NAPA Auto Parts were parked there on Monday morning.

“It’s been a village lot for 15 years,” he said.

End (of negotiations) in sight for Elburn Station development

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Village officials and Shodeen Construction representatives continue to work through the details of the annexation agreement for the Elburn Station development, with a special Village Board meeting set for Monday, May 14, to vote on the agreement.

Village President Dave Anderson suggested adding 5 or 10 percent to the fees annually, just to make sure the village is covered. However, Shodeen President David Patzelt said that the amount arrived at has already been negotiated as an average of three sets of numbers, and the amount the fees will increase annually has been set at the consumer price index for each year.

“We’ll work it out,” Anderson said after the meeting.

Also still to work out are the intergovernmental agreement between the Kane County Transportation Department and Shodeen regarding the right-of-way for the Anderson Road bridge, and the Kaneland School District fees.

Shodeen and School District officials have met, together, with their financial consultants, and discussed several points. However, School District administrators told Patzelt that they wanted the village to negotiate the fees. This will be the first school impact fee agreement a municipality in the Kaneland School District will enter into with a developer since the dissolution of the district-wide agreement.

Patzelt said that land/cash fees, transition fees and the number of students generated per household were part of the discussions. He said that, based on certified appraisals for the Anderson Road right-of-way, the district agreed to come down from $80,000 per acre for land/cash fees to $34,000 per acre.

Also, according to Patzelt, the district agreed to waive the transition fees for up to the 300th building permit within one year, with fees charged for building permits above that number per year. In addition, he said that the number used for how many school-age children are generated per household will be updated, using Kaneland’s current numbers.

Rather than an individual agreement with the School District for this particular development, Village Adminstrator Erin Willrett suggested the possibility of an intergovernmental agreement between the village and the School District for development in general.

Trustee Jeff Walter questioned cutting the impact fees in half for multi-family units where there are more than 10 units per acre. However, Patzelt said that is a very common practice, because with higher-density developments, fewer services are typically provided.

Shodeen will be back next week with “cleaned-up fees,” Patzelt said.

Head rush

Photo: Kaneland soccer defeated East Aurora, 3-0, on April 11 at the West Aurora Blackhawk Invitational, won by the host school. Here, Madi Jurcenko executes a backward head pass. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland soccer enjoying unbeaten stretch
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In spite of injuries, Kaneland soccer is remaining a tough team to battle.

Needing to rely on underclassmen more than ever with the injury bug infesting the roster, the Lady Knights still suited up and bested East Aurora on April 11, tied Dixon on Saturday and trounced Marengo on Monday.

That accompanied a 1-0 win over the visiting Lady Barbs on Tuesday.

The current stretch leaves KHS at 5-3-1 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Kaneland traveled to the Blackhawk Invitational stomping grounds of West Aurora High School to finish the tournament. West Aurora’s plaque went Kaneland’s way two seasons ago, and sent the Lady Tomcats reeling with a Madi Jurcenko goal just three minutes, 29 seconds into the contest.

“It’s very crucial, because it puts you ahead of the game,” Jurcenko said. “When you have that one step ahead in the beginning, it helps you play better.”

With a younger lineup of which Jurcenko is involved, winning seems to be the cure to any jitters.

“It definitely helps when we win because we’re such a young team and we haven’t played together that much, scoring really helps our confidence.”

Melissa Bohorquez found the net on an assist from Katie Taylor with 13:51 to go in the half for a 2-0 lead.

Finally, Emily Eckert put a cap on the afternoon with a goal due in part to a Nicole Hanlon assist with just 2:19 remaining in the contest.

Despite West Aurora winning the tournament for a second consecutive year, KHS coach Scott Parillo saw encouraging developments, almost by necessity.

“That first goal was huge,” Parillo said. “That doesn’t always happen, and it kind of set the tone. I was real happy. Fifteen of these players are freshmen and sophomores, and that’s pretty impressive.”

In NIB-12 crossover action, the Lady Knights benefitted from a goal from Brittany Olson on a Courtney Diddell assist 14 minutes, 19 seconds into the match, but surrendered a second-half goal to the Duchesses—one of three shots on goal to deadlock matters.

Against the Lady Indians on Monday, Katie Taylor broke through with two goals with 27:17 and 10:40 left in the first half, and set up the final goal by Taylor Opperman with 5:30 to go in the half.

The lone goal against DHS was an Olson goal with a Jurcenko assist with 31:43 left in the contest.

Frosh/soph action included the Lady Knights improving to 4-3-1 with a 1-1 mark in conference play. They have a 5-1 win over Marengo to thank for that, with Emily Grams finding the net four times, and Eckert scoring once.

Kaneland was set to partake in more crossover action, this time on Thursday, April 19, in Ottawa.

KHS Boys track visits Ottawa for a second

KANELAND—Anytime and anywhere, Kaneland boys track serves to be a threat against area competition.

With depth and talent serving the Knights well, they continue to be near the top on days of action.

Such was the case during Saturday afternoon’s Ottawa ABC Invite in which the Knights put together a 221-point performance, compared to 236.5 from champ Metamora. Bolingbrook was third with 202 points. Lincoln-Way East took fourth with 146 points. Host Ottawa was 11th of 12 with 55 points.

The boys also solved Rochelle in Maple Park by a 104-51 final.

Separated to A, B and C flights in Ottawa, the Knights saw their share of hefty first-and-second place finishes.

Dylan Kuipers took second in his pole vault group with a mark of 12 feet. Eric Dillion, at 5-10, finished second in his high jump flight, and Tanner Andrews lept 18-06.25 in the long jump for a second place.

Firsts came the way of Seth Weiss in the 110m high hurdles with a time of 16.91, and Brandon Cottier at 12.11 ticks in the 100m dash.

Andrews came back with a second in the 300m low hurdles with a mark of 46.84 seconds, and Brock Robertsen took a second in his 300m low hurdles group at 42.68. Teammate Dylan Nauert’s 40.51 time was good for king of 300m hurdles “A” competitors.

Against the Hubs, multiple firsts were garnered by Cottier in the 100m dash (11.3) and 200m dash (23.3). Additionally, Marshall Farthing took firsts in the triple jump (39-7.5) and high jump (5-10). Nate Dyer went ballistic in the shot put (47-03) and discus (145-3.5).

Coming next for boys track is a familiar event: the Peterson Prep on Saturday, April 21, at 10 a.m.

Girls track gets fifth, dual win

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Windy conditions abounded, and whomever emerged from Saturday’s Jenni’s ABC Meet in Maple Park would have to do so by force.

Kaneland girls track would be the fifth-best to do so, behind four capable outfits.

The Ottawa ABC meet on Friday saw KHS earn second place with 190 points, behind Burlington Central’s 225.

With 346.5 points, Huntley took the Jenni’s meet crown.

Kaneland leapfrogged Mercer County, Lemont’s Mt. Assisi Academy and St. Edward to complete the eight-team skirmish.

The Lady Knights saw strong performances, which gave the group encouraging thoughts with the Kane County Invite just two weeks out.

Sydney Strang led the way in the 1600m run “A” race with an effort of five minutes, 25.5 seconds, while Gabby Aguirre took second in the high jump “A” event with a jump of 4-08.

Kaneland had its share of good fortune in other events, thanks to personnel like Elle Tattoni, who threw a 31-05 in the shot put “A” flight for second place to go with an 88-06 discus “C” toss; Jessica Kucera, who ran a 400m dash “B” race in 1:07.9 for second place; and Maggie Brundige, who finished second in the 1600m run “B” flight at 5:44.8.

Lady Knight Shannon Wallace finished second in the pole vault “B” group at 7-06, and Nicole Ketza continued to excel in the field for KHS girls track by winning the shot put “B” group with a heave of 30-10.

Ketza feels she’s having a strong 2012.

“Coach Ecker said to just take one throw at a time and not think about it and not rush,” Ketza said.

Lady Knight Ashley Cottier produced a second-place discus toss with a mark of 84-05. Abby Dodis did well on the track with a 5:50.10, first-place run in the 1600m run “C” race.

In Ottawa, the shot put went well, with Ketza (33-01) and Tattoni (34-06) nabbing firsts in their flights. Wallace took first in her vault with a 7-06 effort, while the foursome of Strang, Jen Howland, Kucera and Amanda Lesak took the reins of the 4x800m relay “A” race at 10:17.90.

Other firsts in Ottawa included Carolina Tovar (14:19.66) and Brundige (12:40.49) in the 3200m run events, along with Rachel Steinmiller in her 100m hurdles try (19.19).

Kaneland took care of Rochelle in dual action on Tuesday, and saw Kaltrina Ismaili (200m dash and 100m dash), Ashley Castellanos (triple jump, long jump) and Ketza (shot, discus) take firsts.

Sluggers trounce Rochelle, vanquish DeKalb

Photo: Mike Tattoni makes the turn at second base in recent action. File photo

More action for State champs includes two setbacks
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If only the Kaneland Knights could put up double-figure run totals in every contest.

While they enjoyed wins over conference rivals, the Knights could have used them in two losses this past week.

A week with split fortunes saw a 17-0 win over the Hubs on Thursday, followed by a trip to Woodstock, Ill., and a close 6-5 loss to Marian Central Catholic on Saturday. Northern Illinois Big XII action continued on with a 6-2 win in Barb-land on Monday and a 4-3, 12-inning marathon loss to DeKalb on Tuesday in Maple Park.

Kaneland now sits at 10-7 (4-1 NIB-12).

In the five-inning rout of the Hubs, Trevor Storck (5 IP, 1 H, 2 K) earned the win, while John Hopkins had a double and three RBI in the effort. Tyler Heinle joined the party with two doubles and three RBI. Kaneland’s 10-run second inning made it 11-0 after two innings.

Against the Hurricanes, Kaneland’s 3-1 lead went by the wayside as MCC scored three in the bottom of the fifth. KHS tied it in the sixth before the hosts’ two-run sixth sealed the result.

Joe Pollastrini took the loss in relief, while Tom Fox went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI.

In DeKalb, the Knights’ four-run second and two-run fifth buoyed the visitors.

Hopkins took the win with a complete-game, six-hitter. Quinn Buschbacher jacked a grand slam, and Heinle went 2-for-3 with a triple and walk.

On Tuesday, DeKalb scored three in the fourth, with Kaneland’s three-run sixth tying the game until the Barbs’ one run in the 12th.

The loss went to Bryan VanBogaert, who went 7.2 innings in relief, while Fox went 3-for-6 with two doubles.

The Knights finish the series with DeKalb in a road contest on Thursday, April 19, before hosting old rival Geneva on Friday, April 20.