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 a necessary project. As it is, the road leading visitors both to the park district’s sports complex and its community center is narrow and rough, with crumbling shoulders. 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-up: To new grads. 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. We offer best wishes to all who put in the work to reach graduation day, and hope some of you will stay and share your talents in our DeKalb County communities.
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 didn't stop his wife, Julie Milby, from owning one. Nor did it stop their son, Matthew Milby Jr., from bringing it to school 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 on topics including how students should enter or exit the building and creating a culture of kindness. These students, some of whom will graduate this weekend, provided a valuable perspective on safety and school culture. It’s a shame students have to worry about being a target of domestic terrorism in America, but ignoring the problem would be irresponsible. As graduating senior Jake Nienaber said, “The best way to deal with that fear is to do something about it.”