Thumbs-up: To the long-awaited opening of the Sycamore Forest Preserve.
The newest addition to the DeKalb County Forest Preserve District’s holdings opened this week, and if you didn’t already know, you might never guess that the 60-acre property off Route 64 east of Sycamore used to be home to the oft-flooded Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park.
County officials blamed red tape at the Federal Emergency Management Agency for delaying the property’s opening by about a year, but they decided to buy their own insurance to operate the property and open it Monday.
We’re glad the public can enjoy the benefits of the new open space, which includes a new trailhead for the Great Western Trail, along with being a new nature preserve.
Thumbs-down: To Illinois being eliminated from the pool of potential sites for a new auto assembly plant planned as a joint venture between Toyota and Mazda.
The two automakers were being courted by more than a dozen states seeking to host the plant, which could create up to 4,000 jobs.
Both DeKalb and Rochelle had been mentioned as candidates for the plant, but a state official blamed the state’s lack of “shovel-ready” sites and lack of a right-to-work law as key factors in Illinois falling short.
As neighboring states succeed in landing large employers, Illinoisans continue to hear that the high cost of doing business here makes our state unappealing. How much more will it take before legislators take action?
Thumbs-up: To those who braved some dreary weather to fight hunger in our communities and around the world.
On Sunday, members of DeKalb and Sycamore churches, Northern Illinois University students and others gathered at DeKalb’s Westminster Presbyterian Church to participate in the Sondra King Memorial CROP Hunger Walk.
The CROP Walk raises money for local food pantries and nonprofits that help fight hunger in third-world countries.
Although local food pantries receive the most donations during the holiday season, hunger is a year-round problem for people in DeKalb County and around the world. Thanks to those who helped raise money for a good cause.
Thumbs-down: To the end of the Cubs season.
The Cubs had a successful year, winning their division for the second year in a row and winning a playoff series against the Washington Nationals, but they looked overmatched against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who eliminated the Cubs from the playoffs this week by taking the National League Championship Series, four games to one.
The Cubs had some glaring deficiencies in their game in the postseason, including a general lack of offensive production and a shaky bullpen.
But they still have some of the game’s most talented players, and with the right offseason moves – and a few breaks over the course of a season – should be a contender again next year.