Thumbs up: To another Sandwich Fair. The 126th annual fair opened Wednesday and continues through Sunday. Generations of locals and those from around the area have come to know and love the Sandwich Fair, an authentic country fair expected to attract 160,000 to 180,000 people. The fair is a tradition that makes DeKalb County proud.
Thumbs down: To the State of Illinois’ puzzling decision to pay $670,000 for three sets of copper-plated wooden doors at the Capitol building in Springfield. The doors are part of a $50 million renovation project on the building, which is a National Historic Landmark. No doubt the building that houses the seat of state government should reflect its importance. But in a state with about $100 billion in unfunded pension obligations, a months-long backlog of unpaid bills and many other worthy projects wanting for funds, there is no excuse for such unnecessary extravagance.
Thumbs up: To Heartland Bank in Genoa for allowing Assistant Vice President Charmaine Cornwell to bring her dog to work. In fairness, Jewel is not just any dog – the golden retriever puppy is being trained as a comfort dog, a special service animal that travels to disaster sites to offer emotional comfort to people in crisis. Her twice-weekly trips to the bank with Cornwell are intended to help socialize her. Jewel and the people she will someday help are fortunate Cornwell’s employer is willing to accommodate the endeavor.
Thumbs up: To fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Parsons for bringing Little Free Library to North Elementary School in Sycamore. Little Free Library is a national program that provides small house-like structures to schools, community groups and individuals. Groups fill the receptacles with books and rely on the honor system to lend books to children and adults free of charge. Four minilibraries were installed at the school, each for a different age group. Starter books were donated by teachers and staff. What a great way to get books in more students’ hands.
Thumbs up: To officials finishing the next step in the Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park relocation project. Land Acquisitions Inc. has gathered information from almost all of the residents of the roughly 130-unit park. The company has drafted a relocation plan that is being evaluated to determine whether it is within the project’s budget, and officials will hold an informational meeting for residents in late September or early October. Buying trailers from the residents, relocating them and subsidizing rent will allow county officials to return the area, which has been plagued by flooding, to open space. The process is slow, but the results will be worth it.