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Our View: Thumbs-up, thumbs-down: Kudos to deal that expands DeKalb park

Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014 12:17 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, April 28, 2014 9:07 a.m. CST

Thumbs-up: To adding to DeKalb’s park land. This week, the DeKalb Park District and DeKalb Sanitary District announced they had reached an agreement for the sanitary district to give four acres of property bordering Hopkins Park to the park district. In exchange, the sanitary district will receive a strip of park-owned land near Hollister Avenue that it will use in expanding its water treatment facilities. The trade-off seems to work well for both governments, and as park board President Phil Young said, “Whenever we get the opportunity to add more green area, we want to.”

Thumbs-down: To the killing of Good Samaritans. On Thursday, Chicago pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos was one of three Americans killed when an Afghan security guard opened fire at a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. Umanos was dedicated to helping poor children, and his love for the war-torn country ultimately cost him his life. His wife, Jan Schuitema, said that the incident “should in no way negatively impact people’s feelings about the country or about the people in the country.” There is a nobility in having such capacity for forgiveness. Unfortunately, many people see terror crimes such as these as a compelling reason for the U.S. to continue to disengage from the country.

Thumbs-up: To regional water planning. The DeKalb County Stormwater Management Committee has been working since 2009 on ways to alleviate water quality issues and flooding. Committee members released their initial findings Thursday, with the study slated to be finished in June. Committee members expect to look for grants to implement their suggestions, which could include adding stormwater detention basins in the flood plain, planting vegetated strips near streams and removing structures from the flood plain. It’s important work for the long-term health of our ecosystem.

Thumbs-up: To resilience. The Boston Marathon fielded its second-largest group of runners in its history on Monday, as people paid tribute to those killed or injured in last year’s bombing of the race. Race organizers lifted the recent cap of 27,000 to make room for more than 5,000 runners who were on the course last year and couldn’t finish because of the explosions and for friends and relatives of the victims of the attack. Peter Riddle, who was at the finish line last year, said for runners, running is therapy in itself. “I did a lot of talking this year, but running has helped me resolve a lot of things in my head,” he said.

Thumbs-up: To local nonprofits coming up with new ways to raise money. More than 40 area nonprofits are taking part in an online donation drive May 6 called Give Local DeKalb County. It’s part of a national event, Give Local America, marking 100 years of community foundations across the country. Donations must be at least $25 and people can choose which agency they want to support. The DeKalb County Community Foundation will match $20,000 in donations. The website to donate is givelocaldekalbcounty.org.

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