Thumbs-up: To work progressing faster than expected. Sycamore Park District Executive Director Dan Gibble said this week that some new amenities under construction on Park District property might be open sooner than originally expected. The wet summer has helped grass grow in more quickly at a yet-to-opened dog park at the south end of the district’s Legacy Campus off Airport Road, which now might open as soon as May. Meanwhile, construction has gone faster than anticipated on the sled hill being built on the Legacy campus. The hill was expected to open for sledders in December 2019, but an earlier opening could happen, Gibble said. Now all we’ll need is some snow. We’re pleased to see the Park District getting these facilities, which were paid for in part through a tax-increase referendum, open as quickly as possible so that people can start enjoying them.
Thumbs-up: To more than three decades of helping people with disabilities. Lane Kapela recently was honored by Open Door Rehabilitation Center of Sandwich for his more than 34 years of service on its board of directors, including 25 years as the chairman of its golf outing fundraiser. Open Door was established in 1963 to provide services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The organization fills a critical need because disabled adults no longer have programs available to them through public schools. Their mission and the joy it brings to many people is an important one, and we join Open Door in thanking Kapela for his years of advocacy and service in a worthy cause.
Thumbs-down: To the failures alleged in documents and allegations uncovered in wake of the hostage-taking at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in 2017. An email obtained by the Kane County Chronicle showed that Kane County Sheriff’s corrections officers had been warned that Tywon Salters, 21, who was at the hospital for surgery after eating parts of his shoe, was an extreme risk who was desperate not to be in custody, and warned that Salters should be restrained at all times. Yet somehow he was able to disarm the one person assigned to guard him. Authorities have withheld details about how the guard was disarmed. But the end result was a police standoff, two women taken hostage and beaten and one of them sexually assaulted, before a Kane County SWAT officer shot Salters to death. A grievance against Kane County Sheriff Donald Kramer, who declined to comment this week, alleges there should have been more guards at the hospital. Also, a lawsuit has been filed by four nurses in connection with the incident. We regret what the victims had to endure and hope that this episode, at a minimum, will prevent a recurrence of any similar incidents in Kane County and at other area hospitals in the future. Inmates must not be denied medical care, but dangerous ones must be closely guarded for the safety of their caregivers.