Thumbs-up: To the new Genoa Area Community Food Hub. The opening of the 2,300-square-foot community kitchen, food pantry and education center at 415 W. Main St. in downtown Genoa marks the realization of a longtime goal of DeKalb County Community Gardens and Executive Director Dan Kenney. The hub will offer local people a chance to get fresh produce, grocery and household items, as well as classes on how to prepare items such as squash and other vegetables you might get from one of the gardens’ 57 plots around the county. We wish the new food hub and Director Haleigh Hunger success in their mission to provide education and fight food insecurity in DeKalb County.
Thumbs-up: To celebrating those who make a difference in Sycamore. On Thursday, Sycamore School District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman received the Chamber’s Clifford Danielson Outstanding Citizen Award in recognition of her years of contributions, not only as a leader in the city’s schools, but also with organizations including the Kishwaukee YMCA, where she is a board member. Chamber Director Rose Treml called Countryman “Sycamore’s champion.” Kudos also to Paul and John Schwartz, who opened PJ’s Courthouse Tavern, a revered local establishment known for hosting and supporting community organizations such as the Goodfellows and the Sycamore Music Boosters, including with the boosters’ recent “Flannel Fest” event. The Family Service Agency also won accolades as the Business of the Year – its second chamber award in as many weeks – Waste Management and Vaughn Kirshner were named the Chamber Champion, and the Sycamore Park District was named the Diamond Discover Award winner in recognition of its many public improvement projects. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to them for making Sycamore a true hometown community.
Thumbs-down: To the programming error in the Illinois Secretary of State’s new automatic voter registration system that allowed more than 500 non-citizens to become registered to vote. While we support efforts to improve voter participation in elections – and making it easier to register to vote is one of them – the sanctity of the election process must be preserved at all costs. In this instance, it wasn’t. According to the state Board of Elections office, 15 people who were not U.S. citizens voted in the 2018 and 2019 elections. It’s a small number, to be sure, but every vote counts. There have been several examples around the state where elections have been decided by a single vote, or even by a coin flip after a deadlock. State officials say the problem has been fixed. We certainly hope so. But they also said this wouldn’t happen in the first place. We think this program should be suspended until a thorough investigation is conducted by state legislators.