Thumbs up: To the Sycamore History Museum and its “Why Sycamore Works” exhibit, which recently received the Award of Excellence from the Illinois Association of Museums. The exhibit explores the who, where, what and how of Sycamore’s industrial history. According to the Illinois Association of Museums, “Why Sycamore Works” represents a work of excellent quality and uses available resources well, is creative and meets professional standards. Better check it out soon because the exhibit closes Sept. 22 to make room for a new exhibit titled “Play.”
Thumbs up: To making it easier for people to stay healthy. Most clinics, pharmacies and health care providers offer flu shots this time of year. Home Bound Healthcare will travel to seniors and people with disabilities to give them the vaccine in their home. The service is available to anyone older than 65 or younger people with disabilities that limit mobility, whether or not they are Home Bound clients. The shots are covered by Medicare. Seniors are among those most at risk of suffering complications from influenza, and making it easier for them to avoid it deserves a thumbs up.
Thumbs down: To “Drew’s Law.” We think the jury ultimately got it right when they convicted Drew Peterson of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, but the way the conviction was obtained raises serious concerns. The trial was the first of its kind in Illinois history, with prosecutors building their case largely on secondhand hearsay evidence thanks to a new law, dubbed “Drew’s Law,” tailored to Peterson’s case. That hearsay, prosecutors had said, allowed Savio and Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, “speak from their graves” through family and friends to convict Peterson. Hearsay is any information reported by a witness that is not based on the witness’s direct knowledge. The precedent set by crafting a law to meet a specific set of circumstances to obtain a conviction is dangerous and could lead to abuse. We understand the desire to stop and convict a killer, but we have a hard time trusting legislators with the power to make up new rules to convict specific people.
Thumbs up: To Grant and Ross James for visiting their former school, Jefferson Elementary, in DeKalb this week. The James brothers, who competed with the men’s eight rowing team at the London Olympics, stopped at the school and handed out autographed pictures of their team rowing. It’s great to see local people achieve success in a high-profile way, and even better when those people return to inspire those who will come after them. The James brothers just missed a medal in London, but they plan to try again in 2016 in Brazil, and if they do, we’ll be cheering them on again.
Thumbs down: To the first human case of West Nile virus being reported in DeKalb County this week. Although we’d been able to avoid the disease appearing here for the past couple of years, the early onset of warm weather and discovery of infected birds in the area made it only a matter of time. The disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The DeKalb County Health Department, which reported the case this week, advises people to take precautions to avoid being bitten, including wearing long sleeves, using insect repellent outside and eliminating standing water in and around your home.