Thumbs-up: To city of DeKalb officials for taking a serious look at cutting their budget by 5 percent across the board in order to avoid increasing taxes. At a joint meeting Thursday of the City Council and Finance Advisory Committee, the public heard that making such spending reductions would add up to elimination of nine full-time and 11 part-time positions by the city, affecting every department, including police, fire and public works. But the reality is that government has to spend within its means, and in Illinois, communities have to work to hold the line on taxes if they are to have any hope of growth. We’ll be following the process as it unfolds.
Thumbs-up: To raising cancer awareness and remembering a local teacher. Students and staff at DeKalb High School are growing beards for “No Shave November” in memory of Ata Shakir, a well-liked social studies teacher at the school who recently died from colon cancer. No Shave November is a web-based, nonprofit organization devoted to growing cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research and education. Hopefully those who participate can raise some money for a good cause while remembering a former colleague and comparing who can grow the finest, fullest beard in the school.
Thumbs-down: To the strange threat posted on Twitter that left Genoa-Kingston School District 424 parents on edge this week. Genoa police alerted the public that a threat to blow up Genoa-Kingston High School on Monday had been made to a G-K teacher on Twitter. The account that sent the message didn’t identify who sent it, and police later said that the threat actually was intended for a school in Washington. There are so many ways people have of communicating today that it’s too easy to make these kind of threats, even if you’re not bright enough to know which school you’re threatening. Unfortunately, given the tragedies in our country’s past, police must take precautions in response. We hope the person behind this episode, wherever and whomever they are, is held accountable for causing distress in our community.
Thumbs-up: To a holiday giving tradition. Hundreds of turkeys were donated to The Salvation Army in DeKalb on Friday as part of WLBK’s “Let’s Talk Turkey” campaign to help families in need. The Salvation Army will distribute turkey meals with all the fixings to about 800 families Tuesday and Wednesday, just in time for Thanksgiving. “We wanted to help out as many families as we could,” Ali Allsup said as she dropped off 10 turkeys at the event. “It’s nice to sit down with your family and know other families are taken care of too.”