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Our View: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up: To providing motivation. For the second year in a row, members of Sycamore’s Zakk Attakk hope to be the top fundraisers for the ninth annual Race to Wrigley 5K run benefiting Chicago Cubs Charities and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Their motivation is 5-year-old Zakk Carrier, who has gastroschisis, a rare defect that caused him to be born with his intestines outside his body.

The team is hosting a fundraiser at 2 p.m. today at the Sycamore Veterans Home, 121 S. California St. The suggested admission fee is $10. 

Thumbs down: To leaving out key details. In his budget speech in Springfield on Wednesday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn talked a lot about giving homeowners a “historic” $500 property tax rebate. He left out the fact that the rebate would actually replace a credit that wage earners receive on their income taxes, equal to 5 percent of their property tax.

The average amount of that credit is $250. So for many working homeowners, that $500 rebate is even less of a boon than it appears to be.

In the meantime, Quinn wants to make the income-tax increase that was suppose to roll back next year permanent.

Talk about political sleight of hand.

Thumbs up: To supporting local business.

The DeKalb/Sycamore Chamber of Commerce Community Expo showcased more than 100 local businesses Thursday at the DeKalb High School field house. Participants could experience free spray tans, cars and exercise demonstrations, and likely learn something new about local products and services.

About 2,500 people attend each year, organizers said. Such numbers are indicative of a healthy local business community, and we congratulate organizers on a successful event.

Thumbs up: To NIU’s plans to extend Lucinda Avenue all the way to the west side of campus. A straight, easy way to get from one side of the campus to the other is sorely needed.

The extension requires demolishing Douglas Hall, an old residence hall that contains asbestos and has no air conditioning or elevators. Even with Douglas gone, NIU will still have an excess of residence hall beds available. The plan to tear down the dorm and extend the thoroughfare comes with a $4.5 million price tag, but there will likely be some cost savings over the years in not having to maintain the outdated building.

Thumbs down: To lost manufacturing jobs. General Electric announced this week that it would close its DeKalb motors plant.

The company had run a manufacturing operation in the city since 1946, but decided it will exit the area by the first quarter of 2015, despite a plan submitted by the unions representing workers to find ways to cut costs. Although almost half the workers are eligible for retirement benefits and others will receive plant closing benefits, the loss of 94 local jobs is disappointing and painful.

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