Thumbs up: To the baby boom generation. The members of this generation – people born between 1946 and 1964 – have helped bring change to American society each time they’ve reached a new stage of life. With 10,000 of them turning 65 each day, they already are beginning to change the way we think about what traditionally has been considered retirement age. Although they are getting older, many members of this generation are more important now than they ever were, finding themselves helping both their children and their aging parents.
Thumbs down: To the spreading threat against DeKalb County’s ash trees – a little green beetle from Asia called the Emerald Ash Borer. This invasive species attacks ash trees by boring into their bark to lay eggs. When the larva hatch, they burrow further into the tree, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. Ash trees grow well on parkways, but hundreds have been removed in DeKalb and Sycamore in recent years. Ash trees grow so tall that they can be expensive for homeowners to remove on their own. Another option is to have the trees chemically treated, although some experts say that does not guarantee the tree will survive.
Thumbs up: For the return of football season. This week, thee Bears opened training camp in Bourbonnais and NIU’s football team was picked to win the Mid-American Conference’s West Division at the MAC media days. In light of the disastrous baseball seasons unfolding on the north and south side of Chicago, the first football games of the season can’t get here soon enough. High school football's Friday Night Lights return Aug. 30, NIU opens at Iowa on Aug. 31, and the Bears open at home against Cincinnati on Sept. 8, in case you weren’t counting down already.
Thumbs up: To helping seniors find the answers they need. This year's Senior Health Fair in DeKalb had a record 75 booths to offer local seniors information about a variety of resources targeted to them. The fair also included vision, hearing and some health screenings. A lot is changing in the health and human services landscape, and the benefit of events like this is that people can get answers to their questions and learn about resources they didn't know existed, all in one stop.
Thumbs up: A green thumbs up for DeKalb County Community Gardens. The organization has grown from 16 garden sites to more than 40 sites throughout DeKalb County in the past year. At each site there are multiple 5-foot by 10-foot plots that provide fresh produce for those who tend the gardens. Produce also is donated to local food pantries. The organization already has donated more than a ton of food this year. We hope this program keeps growing. It is a great asset to the community.