Thumbs up: To Oaken Acres Wildlife Center leaders for planning ahead for “baby season.” The Sycamore area center fosters injured and wayward squirrels, raccoons and birds, among other critters, and leaders say their busiest time of the year is the spring. They are hosting their first Babies Gone Wild fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. March 2 at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward St., Sycamore. Call 815-762-3532 for more information. We applaud the center for the painstaking work its members do, and wish them the best with their new litters of little ones.
Thumbs up: To Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe for his plan to reduce first class mail delivery to five days, eliminating Saturday delivery. The Postal Service lost $15.9 billion in the past budget year. Action is needed to get costs under control. If the Postal Service were a private business, the hard choices and changes would have been made years ago. Unfortunately, the Postal Service has to submit to control by a dysfunctional Congress interested in serving special interest groups instead of acting in the best interests of citizens. There will be adjustments that need to be made, and for some the change will be inconvenient. The volume of mail delivery has dropped considerably as email, texting and other electronic communication sources have gained traction. It’s time to face reality and fix the Postal Service’s financial problems.
Thumbs down: To DeKalb residents who continue to criticize the DeKalb Park Board over the vegetation along the Nature Trail. It undoubtedly is disappointing that ComEd contractors cleared the trees and brush from around the power lines late last year, but park board members and ComEd representatives, among others, have created a panel to discuss replanting those areas. One park commissioner said he had been called a liar and a ComEd lackey over the matter, and one person engaged Park Board President Joan Berkes Hanson for about 15 minutes during Thursday’s park board meeting. Public input on public issues is important, but the rhetoric on this issue is a little off-base. It’s time to support those working toward a solution.
Thumbs up: To the DeKalb County Genealogical and Historical Society for compiling a new history book focusing on DeKalb County. “Acres of Change: A History of DeKalb County, Illinois 1963-2012” involved a dozen or so residents, including Daily Chronicle columnist Barry Schrader and former Daily Chronicle managing editor Kate Schott. It has 304 pages of photographs and information on local agriculture, religion, education and government. It is available for pre-order through March 15 for $34.99 by calling 888-263-4702 or through www.mtpublishing.com. Checks also can be mailed to P.O. Box 295, Sycamore, IL 60178, or dropped off at 103 E. State St., Sycamore.
Thumbs up: To iWatch, a smartphone application the DeKalb Police Department plans to launch this spring. The free app will allow people to report crimes or suspicious activity, in any one of more than 30 languages. It also allows police to ask specific questions from a tipster without knowing the person’s identity. Police can’t be all places at all times. Leads and information from the community are vital to promoting a safer DeKalb. Hopefully the convenience of the app, combined with its ability to break language barriers and protect anonymity, will help people feel more comfortable contacting police.