Thumbs-up: To a new use for an old school building. DeKalb-based District 428’s Chesebro Elementary School building has been used primarily for storage space since 2011, but that could be about to change if the district can work out a lease agreement with a Texas-based alternative school provider. Camelot Education would like to to start a therapeutic day school program in the building and lease it for the next 10 years. Provided the district and the company can come to an agreement, this could be a benefit not only for taxpayers but for students who need the services Camelot provides. Given the difficulty in finding uses for former school buildings, finding another educator that wants to use the property could be a good solution.
Thumbs-down: To presidential tweets reaching still-lower lows. This week, after New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, called for Trump to resign over sexual abuse allegations, Trump fired back on social media. He said Gillibrand, "would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump." Many people took the “do anything” in that tweet as sexually suggestive, which is doubly damning considering he’s being accused of sexual harassment by women. Some newspapers have called for Trump to step down; that’s not happening. Perhaps just as futile is to wish he would act more presidential, and stop firing childish insults at political adversaries on social media and at public appearances. Nevertheless, we persist.
Thumbs-up: To an increased rating for the DeKalb Fire Department. The department announced this week that the Insurance Services Office, which evaluates public fire protection services, has awarded the DeKalb Fire Department a Class 2 rating, placing it in the top 4 percent of departments nationwide. The increased rating could result in savings for homeowners on their insurance premiums, fire officials say. For a house insured at $150,000, a homeowner could save between $12 and $25 if their policy and broker use ISO as a rating method, according to Hicks. We welcome not only the potential for homeowners to save some money, but the improved level of fire protection that the department has worked to provide for all. Congratulations to the DeKalb department and thanks to our local firefighter/paramedics for their work in helping keep citizens safe.
Thumbs-down: To holiday package thefts. With online shopping comes package delivery to your doorstep, but that also can attract thieves. There have been some incidents reported locally, with one person arrested and another sought. Police say there are steps you can take to protect your deliveries during the holidays and year-round, including using the tracking systems offered by shipping companies, having packages delivered to a trusted friend or neighbor if you know you’ll be away, and leaving your porch light on when there are night-time deliveries. Here’s hoping that increased police and public scrutiny will dissuade anyone from trying to take packages that don’t belong to them this holiday season.