Thumbs up: To the four candidates who have announced their plans to run for mayor of DeKalb. There may be more candidates to come, and we will applaud their interest, too. We are glad to see multiple people from various backgrounds throwing their hat into the ring. It is often difficult to get people to step up and run for public office, especially for a role such as DeKalb’s mayor. The mayor’s job is very time-consuming, puts a person in the middle of numerous contentious issues, and requires a deep commitment to DeKalb’s citizens. The job is increasingly done in the public eye, and the mayor is the subject of nearly constant scrutiny and criticism. The rewards can be great, but the path is often rocky. Now it becomes the job of DeKalb’s residents to shake off the apathy that has prevailed in recent nonpresidential elections. Get to know these candidates and their positions on DeKalb’s critical issues. Be informed and vote.
Thumbs down: To the clear-cutting going on along the Nature Trail between Sycamore Road and First Street in DeKalb. ComEd began an operation to remove all the vegetation around its power transmission lines this week. The work caught many residents and others who use the trail by surprise. Although we understand the need for power lines to be protected from falling trees, this degree of deforestation came about with little notice to residents and trail users, leaving many people feeling confused and angry.
Thumbs up: To Santa Claus making appearances in DeKalb County. Santa was in downtown DeKalb for the “Santa Comes to Town” event to hear local children’s Christmas wish lists, he’ll be appearing this weekend at Waterman’s Holiday Lights Train, and there should be many other appearances to come before Christmas Eve is here. Unlike retailers, at least Santa has the good sense to wait until well after Thanksgiving before ushering us into full-on Christmastime mode.
Thumbs up: To Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in Sycamore for taking care of Frosty, a snowy owl found dehydrated and malnourished last month on the ground near the intersection of First Street and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb. Snowy owls are rare in this area. They generally live in the Arctic, but will fly south if they can’t find food. “They’re not common animals in this area, so it’s been a privilege to work with this one,” said Christy Gerbitz, operations manager at Oaken Acres. We wish Frosty a speedy recovery so he can be successfully released in the spring.
Thumbs up: To the men who decided to volunteer as “big brothers” during the Big Brothers Big Sisters push for male mentors last month. We commend those volunteers for making the time to be a positive influence in young DeKalb County residents’ lives and hope more will follow suit. The organization has about 30 boys who have, on average, been waiting for a year for male mentors. Most little brothers are between 7 and 13 years old and come from single-mother homes. For more information on applying, call 815-758-8616 or visit www.realsolutionstoday.org.