Thumbs-up: To student-athletes on the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op girls swim team, who despite unsettling news this week that their coach had been arrested on charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse, elected to continue with their season. News about the arrest of swim coach Leah Eames shocked the community this week, and no doubt shocked the swimmers as well. Eames, an eighth-year coach who is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise, has been placed on leave from her position as swim coach and as a math teacher at Sycamore High School. Other adults have stepped in to handle coaching duties, and we hope the girls can put the distractions aside and give this season their best effort.
Thumbs-down: To legislators pushing for statewide regulation on ridesharing companies. On Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed two proposals that would have required background checks and insurance requirements, and required any drivers who work more than 36 hours over a two-week period to have a chauffeur’s license, with all drivers required to carry commercial liability insurance. The proposals, which were pushed by lobbyists for traditional taxi companies, would have hamstrung a nascent industry that many say provides better service than taxis do.
Thumbs-up: To cool Corn Fest uniforms. When the Northern Illinois football team took the field in their season opener Thursday, they were wearing special uniforms commemorating Corn Fest, DeKalb’s signature community music festival. Corn Fest organizers are auctioning the jerseys online today through Friday at www.cornfest.com, and proceeds will benefit the Voluntary Action Center, Boy Scout Troop No. 33, and the Canaday family. The auction was conceived as a way to showcase the improved relations between the city of DeKalb and NIU, and the proceeds will benefit worthy causes.
Thumbs-up: To U.S. Little League champions the Jackie Robinson West All Stars of Chicago. Through their hard work and grace, the 13 boys on this team reminded America that there is more on the South Side of Chicago than the crime we hear about in news reports. The boys were stellar ambassadors for the city, and provided a ray of good news.
Thumbs-up: To progress on the Evergreen Village Mobile Home buyout. As of early this week, county leaders had purchased all but seven of the 121 mobile homes in the flood-prone park just outside Sycamore. Leaders have until June 30 to restore the area to open space as part of a long-term, grant-funded plan, but relocating before school started was in the best interests of the families with students. County leaders have been planning this project for so long that it’s gratifying to see the project so close to its next milestone.
Thumbs-up: To community traditions. DeKalb’s annual Corn Fest celebrating the city and welcoming Northern Illinois University students to town is happening this weekend. Events include something for everyone – lots of music, a carnival, a vintage car show, a bike rally and a free corn boil. Let’s hope the weather holds this year.