Thumbs-up: To a new event honoring those involved in community service. At the Kishwaukee YMCA’s inaugural Y Community Awards Dinner on Thursday, awards recipients included outstanding local youth Erin DeWitt and Maddie Suter; Dan Kenney received the community leader award, and KishHealth System was honored as an outstanding local organization. The evening also featured informative presentations about ways the Kishwaukee YMCA helps local people live healthier, more fulfilling lives through its programs and outreach, and an inspirational presentation by 5-time Olympic gold medalist, speedskater Bonnie Blair. The event was well done and we appreciate all those who work to make themselves and the community the best it can be.
Thumbs-down: To trying to stop voters from having a voice. A lawsuit filed by a lawyer for the state Democratic party – a longtime ally of House Speaker Michael Madigan – has filed suit to block having proposals to impose term limits on Illinois lawmakers and to change the way state legislative district maps are drawn. The contention is that both go beyond the constitutional limits for a voter initiative. The challenge is not unexpected, but is disappointing. More than 500,000 signatures were on petitions submitted by supporters of both initiatives. Let Illinois voters have a say on them in the fall.
Thumbs-up: To the faithful members of Waterman Presbyterian Church who have kept their church thriving during its 150-year history. The church is celebrating its anniversary this year by holding special services every Sunday in May and honoring five members who have a collective 343 years of membership between them. Jeanetta Boughton will be honored for 65 years of membership; Wilma Carrol, 77 years; Florence Hipple, 73 years; Marcella Monteiro, 65 years; and Floyd Hunt, 63 years. Congratulations to the church and its longtime members.
Thumbs-down: To higher pork prices. A rapidly spreading virus has killed about 30,000 DeKalb County pigs and more than 7 million of the animals nationwide in the past year. That has led pork prices to rise for consumers and the prices could go even higher later this month, when pigs that died would have been brought to market. Local farmers said this week that they are taking precautions to keep the virus from spreading and it is expected to be less of a threat as the weather warms up. However, a pound of bacon now costs about $5.39 on average in the Midwest. Federal authorities are spending millions to research a vaccine, one we hope they develop soon, both for farmers’ and consumers’ sake.
Thumbs-up: To supporting victims of violence. Safe Passage’s annual Take Back the Night march and rally does more than raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence. Such events send the message that these acts are not acceptable in our community, which may help victims feel less afraid to come forward. Domestic and sexual violence are generally underreported; empowering victims to get out of dangerous situations and hold perpetrators responsible is a step in the right direction.