Thumbs-up: To new grads. This is a transitional time for many people, who have just completed one journey and are set to embark on the next one. This weekend will bring graduation ceremonies for students at Sycamore and Somonauk high schools, with DeKalb students to graduate on June 2. Students already have graduated at Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College, along with some area high schools. This is a time of speeches and parties, of turning tassels on mortarboards and posing for photographs with family members. For all those who have earned diplomas and degrees, it should be a time of great pride. We offer our best wishes to all who have put in the work necessary to reach graduation day and with you good luck in your next adventures. We hope that some of you will stay and share your talents in our DeKalb County communities.
Thumbs-up: To an upgraded road to go with a new community center. Sycamore city officials have approved a $1.1 million plan to resurface and widen Airport Road from Route 64 south to past the entrance to the Sycamore Park District’s new community center. The work is scheduled to begin in July and should take a few months. This is definitely a necessary project. As it is, the road leading visitors both to the park district’s sports complex and its community center is narrow, with a bumpy surface and crumbling shoulders. It’s not equipped to handle the increase in traffic that the community center will bring to the area. The project approved by the council this month will create 12-foot lanes of traffic in each direction along with a new roadway surface. Repairs and upgrades can’t come too soon.
Thumbs-down: To ineffective laws on keeping guns away from people with criminal history. Convicted felons aren’t supposed to own guns in Illinois, but their spouses can – and that’s how authorities say a teen got a rifle he brought to graduation practice at Dixon High School. Matthew Milby Sr. is a convicted felon who isn’t allowed to own guns. But that doesn’t prohibit his wife, Julie Milby, from owning them. Nor did it stop their son, Matthew Milby Jr., from getting his hands on the weapon, bringing it to school and firing it on May 16. It’s pretty easy to see how a felon who wanted access to guns could get around the prohibition of owning them – just have your spouse buy them. That’s a problem people often point out about gun-control laws – while law abiding people will follow them, others will find ways to get around them.
Thumbs-up: To Sycamore High School students who took the time to share their views about safety with members of the District 427 school board this week. Several members of a student-led safety committee spoke Tuesday with board members about how students should enter or exit the building, scanning IDs each time they leave and enter, and creating a culture of kindness at Sycamroe High School were among the topics they addressed. These students, some of whom will graduate this weekend, provide a valuable perspective on safety, school culture, and their hopes for the next group of students. It’s a shame that students have to worry about being a target of domestic terrorism in America, but ignoring the problem would be irresponsible at this point. As graduating senior Jake Nienaber said in our story on Wednesday, “The best way to deal with that fear is to do something about it.” We agree.