Thumbs up: To the Great American Novel on the silver screen. With the premiere of the latest Hollywood remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” happening nationally this weekend, perhaps watching the film (which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as his love interest, Daisy Buchanan) will spur some to read one of the great works of American fiction of the 20th century.
Thumbs down: To lax safety measures around nuclear warheads. That would seem to be a no-brainer, but the U.S. Air Force had to remove 17 of its launch officers from duty at a nuclear missile base in North Dakota this week because of poor attitudes among the officers. The Associated Press reported this week that one of the commanders at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., complained of “such rot” among the officers that willful violations of safety rules – including a possible compromise of launch codes – were tolerated. Obviously, for the safety of all mankind, such blasé attitudes are not acceptable when it comes to our country’s nuclear arsenal, and we hope that the situation will be dealt with swiftly and permanently.
Thumbs up: For plant sales at local high schools. At both DeKalb and Sycamore high schools, the horticulture programs pay for next year’s crops by holding a plant sale in the spring. It’s a great model – help sustain a fun and educational program by selling what it produces.
Thumbs up: To Sycamore School District 427 staff who hosted a two-mile solidarity run for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. The run was held Monday near North Elementary School. The event raised $2,840 that will be donated to The One Fund Boston Inc., a fund created to support the families of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. Staff members decided to host a run of their own after reading online about other people organizing races in support of the victims.
Thumbs up: To local foster parents. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reported nearly 15,000 children in Illinois were placed in foster care, group homes or institutions last year, while about only 1,700 are adopted each year. More than 100 of the children placed in foster care in Illinois live in DeKalb County. That’s a lot of children who need extra love, and we’re glad there are DeKalb County residents with the love to spare.