Thumbs up: To the Sycamore Performing Arts Academy, which will host its third annual Sycamore Ballet Company fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. The Fall Festival appeals to children and adults of all ages. Attendees can spend the afternoon dancing, playing, learning and creating. The Fall Festival will be held at the Sycamore Performing Arts Academy, 504 N. Main St. in Sycamore. Education and events centered around the arts are important and vital parts of the community.
Thumbs up: To the DeKalb Firefighters Historical Foundation. The new foundation, created by DeKalb firefighters, seeks to preserve the history of the 143-year-old department. A number of department artifacts – including the first chief’s badge, an early 20th-century alarm system and a couple of antique trucks – already are in the possession of the department. The foundation is looking for more and hopes eventually to raise enough money to display them in a local museum. It’s an interesting piece of local history that memorializes heroes from days gone by and helps us to appreciate how far emergency services have come.
Thumbs up: To finally seeing some relief at the pump. The price of gasoline has been falling locally, and the national average price has seen a sustained decline that is expected to continue for weeks as refiners switch to cheaper fuel blends, refinery problems are fixed, and demand drops. This week, an expert with the Oil Price Information Service told the Associated Press that declines are expected to continue for the next three weeks and prices should be at or below last year’s level for the next several weeks. Anything that helps people save a few dollars, especially ahead of the holiday shopping season, is welcome news.
Thumbs down: To the decline in voter registration around Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Elections reported this week that about 7.4 million Illinoisans were registered to vote, a decline of almost 5 percent from 2008. Whether the decline signals a drop in enthusiasm for Illinois’ President Obama, or whether other factors are to blame, less participation at the polling place means fewer citizens will have a voice not only in the race for the White House, but perhaps more importantly, in who represents them in Congress, at the state level, and what happens in their local communities.
Thumbs up: To a new partnership between the Sycamore Park District and Sycamore School District 427 that will help a local student pay for college. A new park district scholarship will award $500 to a senior at Sycamore High School looking to enter the fields of horticulture, forestry, landscape architecture, turf management, sports management or golf course management. The scholarship will be funded through the Charitee Hole-In-One Golf Program, which gives golfers who donate to the program a chance to win $1,000 if they hit a hole-in-one. It’s great to see local groups working together to help students.