Thumbs up: For the start of football season. Many local high school teams play their first games of the season today, as well Northern Illinois University kicks off its season at 2:30 p.m. today against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Meanwhile, the Bears will play their season opener at noon Sept. 8 at Soldier Field against the Cincinnati Bengals. We have high hopes that the Huskies and Heisman hopeful quarterback Jordan Lynch can deliver another exciting season, and would love to see one of our local teams playing at Huskie Stadium the weekend after Thanksgiving when DeKalb hosts the IHSA state football championships for the first time.
Thumbs up: For this year’s Corn Fest. Many people are pleased to have the festival back in downtown DeKalb after five years at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. We’ll wait to see how the new location and the new weekend work in terms of parking, and attendance. Corn Fest, billed as the largest free music festival in Illinois, continues through Sunday. See you there.
Thumbs down: To former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who this week on his Chicago-based radio show decided to make his own “I Have a Dream” speech. During his rant, Walsh said “I have a dream” and then went on to recite many problems that he – a white man – sees in the black community. Aside from bastardizing a famous piece of American oratory, Walsh’s comments also make it seem as though the problems in black communities – having children out of wedlock, drug use, gang violence, and reliance on government assistance, among others – are somehow unique to black people and black communities. That’s untrue and unfair.
Thumbs up: To proactive educators. Somonauk High School’s ag education program recently received a $10,000 grant to buy 36 laptops for students. It was the third grant the school’s ag program received this year, thanks to the work of teacher Toni Saso. Somonauk Superintendent Dawn Green said Saso has brought in $14,000 in grants this year, including one she used to attend a training program that makes Somonauk’s ag program one of only four schools in the state to receive national certification. In the future, that could open even more doors for students.
Thumbs up: To the volunteers at First United Methodist Church in DeKalb, who provided a summer-long meal program for children and their parents every weekday. Casseroles were sent home with families each Friday for the weekend. Organizers say they served about 7,000 meals. Local businesses pitched in by donating food and church volunteers entertained the young guests in two activity rooms. The church plans to continue and expand the program next summer and plans are under way to provide additional services this fall.