Thumbs up: To the DeKalb/Sycamore Goodfellows, which continued the organization’s decadesold tradition of delivering Christmas gifts to children on Christmas Eve. This year, the Goodfellows raised $30,000, enough money to buy clothing for 915 children from 362 local families. The organization focuses all of its effort on Christmas and does a great job spreading cheer among the people they help and the volunteers themselves.
Thumbs down: To confusing airline fares. These days, it’s hard to know what an airline flight is going to cost, even after you’ve paid for the ticket. Most airlines now charge you for checked luggage on domestic flights, but some have begun charging for carry-on baggage as well. In some cases, the cost is more than to check a bag. The U.S. Transportation Department is considering requiring airlines to disclose all of their fees so consumers can make accurate price comparisons when shopping, but some airlines are fighting it. A decision is expected in May, and we hope the government will do what’s right and protect the traveling public from being misled when booking air travel.
Thumbs up: To all the fans of the Northern Illinois University football team making the trek to Miami for the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day. Although those of us staying behind are a little jealous that you’ll be enjoying the warm weather and a big-time football game, NIU needs all the support it can get while making its debut in a BCS bowl game.
Thumbs up: To DeKalb library leaders for seizing the opportunity presented by the unexpected $8.5 million state construction grant. Library leaders still need to figure out how much local money they need to raise to secure the matching grant and how to divide their overall expansion plans into smaller phases. DeKalb leaders applied for the same grant this summer unsuccessfully, so this latest development could give traction to long-term plans stymied by lack of funding.
Thumbs up: To the DeKalb Kiwanis Club for encouraging the community to take more ownership of Kiwanis Park. The club has promised to match community donations, up to $10,000, for park improvements if government leaders secure it as green space. The park had been slated for eventual development through a land-swap proposal between DeKalb School District 428, which owns the park, and ShoDeen Construction. As the school board switches courses to discuss transferring the park to the DeKalb Park District, we applaud the Kiwanis Club members for their willingness to invest in the community.