Thumbs-up: To moms this Mother’s Day weekend. Being mom is the hardest job in the house. Although many mothers now work outside the home, a 2017 study found that women who are married to men generally still end up doing more of the cooking, childcare and housework than their male partners. Moms keep the household running. Let’s celebrate them this weekend.
Thumbs-down: To the newest way kids are getting hooked on nicotine. A nicotine-vaporizing product available at a store near you called “Juul” has proven popular with high schoolers. Unlike the days of smoking in the restrooms, vaping products are much more easily concealed, can be charged via a computer USB port and come in “kid-friendly” flavors such as “creme brulee,” “fruit medley” and “cool cucumber.” Generations of young people have been lured into tobacco use by marketing and peer pressure, but the newest ways of consuming a highly addictive substance are a concern because they are cheaper than traditional cigarettes and are easier to hide.
Thumbs-up: To providing children in need with books. On May 5, 50 children between the age of 3 to 5 in local Head Start programs received their own bookcases filled with anywhere from 35 books to 40 books apiece. Each bookcase had a child’s name engraved on an attached brass plate. The gifts were provided by the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project. The nonprofit group hosted a special ceremony for the children at Faranda’s Banquet Center. Former DeKalb Mayor John Rey started the DeKalb/Sycamore Bookcase Project seven years ago after learning of a similar program in Arkansas. Since then, the local program has been providing children with books as a means of promoting literacy. It’s good work that we hope Rey and other community volunteers will continue for years to come.
Thumbs-up: To Americans being freed from North Korea. Early Thursday, three Americans who had been held captive for more than a year by the regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un returned to the U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and first lady Melania Trump were on hand to welcome them and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington. We’re pleased that American citizens Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song are free from one of the world’s most brutal regimes. We have not forgotten that college student Otto Warmbier was not so lucky – he returned home in a coma, dying days later. The release of these hostages represents real progress toward peace on the Korean peninsula. We hope Trump can negotiate a deal with Kim at their June 12 summit to create lasting positive change in the world.