Thumbs-down: To snow in May. The snow started early in the morning and was all melted away before noon, but there it was, sticking to car windshields, lawns and flowers during the morning commute. It’s been worse, of course. The latest recorded snowfall in the Chicago area was June 2, 1910, which must have been a real bummer. But the way 2014 has gone weatherwise, who’s to say that record’s out of reach?
Thumbs-up: To new beginnings for graduates. Northern Illinois University sent its latest crop of more than 3,100 undergraduates out into the world last weekend, and this weekend, still more high-school and college graduates will get their diplomas from Genoa-Kingston, Indian Creek and Sandwich high schools, as well as Kishwaukee College. Sycamore High School will have its graduation May 25 and DeKalb High’s will be June 7. We congratulate all graduates on their accomplishments and wish them good luck in the next phase of their lives.
Thumbs-down: To the legislature spending money it doesn’t have. Despite not taking action on an extension of Illinois’ income tax increase, the state legislature this week was passing spending bills that presumed the state will continue collecting income tax at the higher 5 percent rate in 2015. House Speaker Michael Madigan said it is a way to “convince people” to vote to extend the income-tax hike that is required by law to roll back Jan. 1. But planning to spend money you have not yet approved collecting is irresponsible, and a backward way of doing things.
Thumbs-up: To celebrating together. When Sycamore School District 427 orchestra director Ken Tonaki realized 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the district’s orchestra program, the program scheduled an anniversary concert. In a unique twist, members of the district’s various orchestras, from grades four through 12, played along with orchestra alumni who returned to play on a Sycamore stage one more time. Alumni, students, and Tonaki agreed it was a little nerve-wracking to put musicians of such a varying experience levels together – particularly because they couldn’t all rehearse together – but all said it was an exciting way to celebrate their shared experience with the program.
Thumbs-up: To the first DeKalb County Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Service, which was held Thursday in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore. The event included a memorial candle-lighting, a 21-gun salute and a message delivered by law enforcement trainer David Smith. The event was a nice way to honor local law enforcement and remember all they do for the community.