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From the Editor’s Desk - page 3

Editorial: Get an early jump on the holiday spirit

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The month of October is hardly an appropriate time to discuss anything related to Christmas (are you listening, Wal-Mart?). Nevertheless, we want to mention that a fundraiser for Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove 2014 will take place later today.

The pork chop/chicken dinner, catered by 5-B’s, is available from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in the Sugar Grove Walgreens parking lot. This drive-thru event will benefit Sugar Grove’s upcoming Holiday in the Grove event and festivities, scheduled to take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Sugar Grove Community House and Public Library, among other locations.

Holiday in the Grove features several timeless activities, including Breakfast with Santa, Mrs. Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, arts and crafts, a gift shop, as well as several vocal and instrumental performances at the library. The entire event is a hit year after year, and continues to run annually thanks to community interest, outstanding attendance and fundraising. So this evening’s 5-B’s dinner really is just a way to ensure that Santa has enough magic in his sled to make it to each and every breakfast session the morning of Holiday in the Grove. And without Santa, Mrs. Claus would be far too grouchy to host her Sweet Shoppe.

If you don’t already have dinner plans this evening, consider taking a trip to Sugar Grove Walgreens for a pork chop or chicken (or both) meal. The cost is $10 for a one-meat dinner, $11 for a two-meat combo, and $4 for a kids hot dog meal.

The old Christmas adage “it’s better to give than to receive” will always prove true, but with tonight’s Holiday in the Grove fundraiser, you can do both. Tis the season … sort of.

Editorial: Consider donating to the Beverly Holmes Hughes fund

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We often use this editorial space to identify key activities happening somewhere within the Kaneland community. This week, we’d like to take a moment to direct you toward an incredibly important cause currently taking place in the village of Sugar Grove.

Beverly Holmes Hughes is someone who needs no introduction around these parts. She served as Sugar Grove’s longtime library director, was the village’s 2010 Citizen of the Year, and has been involved in everything from the Corn Boil and the Chamber of Commerce to the Farmer’s Market. Simply put, when we think of Sugar Grove, she’s one of the first people to come to mind.

Hughes last summer was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme—an aggressive brain tumor with a dire prognosis. The diagnosis is even worse when you consider that she is the sole financial provider for seven people: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

Several of Beverly’s friends have joined together to host a fundraiser for her and her family, called “Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer.” Organizers have set up an account at Castle Bank at 36 E. Galena Blvd. in Sugar Grove, and they are asking area families to drop off checks made out to the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund. Donations can also be dropped off at a number of locations throughout Sugar Grove (for more details, see the “In the company of family, friends” story).

Unsurprising is the news that Beverly is still working despite her illness. Since she is the only one in the family with a job that provides health insurance, she must continue working, even though the tumor is affecting her ability to walk and the chemo has sapped her strength. She currently serves as the director of library services for DeVry University in Addison, Ill., and though the library has allowed her to do some of that work from home, she must still go in regularly.

After years of selflessly and continuously giving everything she has to better Sugar Grove, we kindly ask that the local community help give back to Beverly during this time of great need. Items of need range from grocery cards and easy meals, back-to-school supplies and clothes (for her children), to paper towels, liquid soap, Lysol wipes, trash bags and hand sanitizer. Gifts of fun family activities are also welcome, as Beverly is trying to spend quality time with the children while she can.

If you’re able to donate anything to the Beverly Holmes Hughes fund, we urge you to strongly consider doing so. Even if it’s the tiniest of donations, you’re still contributing to the most worthwhile of causes.

Editorial: Reflecting on the events of Sept. 11, 2001

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It’s hard to believe that today marks the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, and United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Stoneycreek Township, Penn. And while some historic events can lose a little bit of their cultural impact as time goes on, there’s absolutely no doubt that the horrific and terrifying images associated with Sept. 11, 2001, are as fresh in our minds today as they were 13 years ago, when an ordinary Tuesday morning turned into one of the most surreal, tragic sequences in the history of the United States of America.

This week’s Letter to the Editor section features a heartfelt, must-read entry from Mike Fagel, who was deployed as a first responder to Ground Zero in New York City for nearly 100 days following the Sept. 11 attacks. In his letter, Fagel states that he visited Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania just two weeks prior to the terrorist attacks, and had actually copied the Gettysburg address into a small pocket notebook that he eventually carried with him while deployed to Ground Zero. That address contains a particular sentence that rang especially true for Fagel as he aided the relief effort in New York City.

Further, the Kaneland community today has an opportunity to hear a firsthand account from someone who survived the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Joe Dittmar, one of the survivors of the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, will again share his story, this time at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.

The special presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.waubonseetickets.com.

The session will offer those in attendance the chance to not only hear from one who witnessed and felt the terrorist attacks firsthand, but to remember the events of that day and reflect upon what they still mean to us today.

Dittmar was on the 105th floor of 2 World Trade Center (the south tower), attending a routine business meeting with representatives of other insurance companies when terrorists piloted an airliner into the north tower, 1 World Trade Center. He later learned he was one of only seven survivors out of 54 in attendance at the meeting on the 105th floor that morning.

While Dittmar’s presentation is steeped with facts and observations of historic proportions, it also incorporates reflections on what was learned that day and the lessons we should continue to teach.

Thirteen years later, the wounds left by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are still fresh. So when we look back on that fateful Tuesday, it’s as important as ever to remember all of those who lost their lives as a result of the attacks. As Mr. Fagel stated in his letter, “Never forget.”

We won’t.

Editorial: Enough is enough

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We were as surprised as anyone last week upon receiving word that Kaneland interim superintendent Dr. Ken Sorrick had resigned from his position just one day after the School Board voted to hire him. We were also confused by the resignation, as Sorrick’s statements during the meeting suggested that he was eager to go to work for the Kaneland School District.

“I hope I can help out (and) help the district out,” Sorrick said on Aug. 25. “Really, I think the main goal that the district has is to find a permanent superintendent. And so I’m going to help them out with that search and get that process going. And I think it will bring more stability to the district once you have that position filled.”

Such a statement is the last thing you’d expect to hear from someone ready to bolt the altar at the absolute last possible moment. And so we began to wonder just what could have inspired Sorrick to go from “all in” to “somebody please get me out of here” in the span of roughly 24 hours. Did he get cold feet? Did he prefer to stay retired? Did a conflict of interest suddenly arise?

The answer is none of the above.

Upon receiving Sorrick’s letter of resignation last Friday, we realized that his decision to hastily change course was due to a “certain personality on the board,” according to the letter.

“The way a certain board member disrespects you, disrespects the superintendent, disrespects the assistant superintendent, disrespected your union representative and disrespected me would make it difficult or impossible for me to accomplish some of the basic tasks of being a superintendent,” Sorrick wrote in his letter of resignation. “He does not function in a business-like manner, and he turns concerns into personal attacks on others. He does not want to solve problems; he wants to create problems.”

We’re quite certain we know who Sorrick is referring to in his letter, as this is a familiar tune we’ve heard all too often from this School Board member the past three years. This is the same trustee who stands up for what he believes is right by interrupting and even sometimes insulting fellow trustees and district staff—he called longtime School Board member Elmer Gramley a “rubber stamp” during a meeting in September 2011; and during a meeting in March 2012, he repeatedly tried to talk over an active board vote by repeating the phrase “point of order,” and attempted to shout down a fellow board member.

Dr. Sorrick’s near-immediate exit last week is just another indication that this over-the-top behavior cannot continue. Enough is enough, Tony Valente.

Looking at this situation objectively, one can see how trustee Valente is simply trying to play devil’s advocate with the School Board because someone needs to ask the tough questions, and he’s clearly willing to do just that. And that would be a perfectly acceptable role for him to fill if not for the crude dialogue and unfair statements that often rear their ugly head whenever Valente feels it’s necessary to challenge an item or point during a School Board meeting.

It’s certainly not impossible to ask the tough questions and double- and triple-check facts while remaining friendly—or at least civil—with the rest of the School Board. Take former board trustee Joe Oberweis as an example. He was relentless when it came to details and understanding each and every concept present on the meeting agenda, but he used that approach because he felt he owed it to every student enrolled in the Kaneland School District, as well as the taxpayers. And he was always respectful and courteous, even when he disagreed with a fellow board member.

Maybe you can say the same about Mr. Valente when it comes to caring about students in the Kaneland district, but his actions during meetings completely undermine whatever good ideas and intentions he brings to the table. And that’s a shame.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Ask Dr. Sorrick.

“Having a board member walk out of an executive session when we are talking about the superintendent search and accusing us of unethical behavior is not the way I want to start a job,” Sorrick wrote in his letter of resignation. “I understand that he is just one board member, but he is not interested in advancing the educational process; he is interested in sabotaging the organization. I do not want to work in such a hostile environment.”

Normally we’d end an editorial of this nature by politely asking the person in question to tone down the harsh behavior. However, we requested as much from Mr. Valente in March 2012, so we’re long past that point. Instead, we’ll go with this: if you truly want to improve the School District and the educational experience for every student enrolled in it, start by improving yourself—lead by example, ask the tough questions, be relentless when it comes to the small details; but do it nicely, and with the compassion and respect that has become a sort of rallying cry in the Kaneland community. We don’t want you to agree with every agenda item or suggestion that comes down the pipeline; we simply want the circus-like behavior to stop.

And if you can’t do that, maybe it’s time to find someone who can.

Editorial: Take the ‘labor’ out of Labor Day weekend with Maple Park Fun Fest

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We’ve reached that time of year when kids are back to school and Labor Day weekend is staring us in the face. And that means, yes, summer—for all intents and purposes—is over. Kaput. Fin.

Well, summer’s not “completely” over. We still have one more local summer festival—Maple Park Fun Fest—to enjoy before officially bidding adieu to summer 2014. And anyone who knows what Fun Fest offers each and every year knows that it’s a great way to send off the summer in style (likely to return only after we endure another polar vortex).

This year’s festival will take place Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Maple Park.

The festival will feature its annual run/walk, the Romp in the Park, and its annual Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament, which can be found throughout the weekend at the Maple Park Civic Center field. Meanwhile, the popular crafters and vendors show will take place on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The third annual Bags Tourney will take place at the North Park in town, across from Washington Street, at 10:30 a.m. The food and beer garden will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Just for Kicks Dance Group will perform a dance routine on Main Street at noon on Saturday. And the annual bike parade for kids will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Main Street.

Following the bike parade, a Kid Zone craft table will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. on Main Street. The annual Toilet Bowl Challenge will commence on Saturday, 1:30 p.m. on Main Street. If you haven’t yet seen this event, make some time to go and check it out on Saturday afternoon. The team names are typically both clever and hilarious, and some of the toilet-mobiles (or whatever you want to call them) are surprisingly quick. Believe us, you won’t be disappointed.

Of course, free events are an important part of Fun Fest, and balloon animal artist Andrew Noyszewski will be on hand at the Fun Fest on Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m. on Main Street.

The annual Maple Park Fun Fest Parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Main Street.

Musical entertainment is always a big part of Saturday’s activities. Several bands are scheduled for Saturday’s mainstage, including Not By Chance at 3:30 p.m., Chemically Imbalanced at 5 p.m. and headliner Red Woody at 9 p.m.

Sunday will feature an abundance of activities, as well. The American Legion Breakfast Buffet will be held from 7 a.m. to noon.

And there’s the Fun Fest Car Show, which will take place at 10 a.m. on Main Street.

The Maple Park Fire Department will host a Water Challenge at the Fire Station at 1 p.m. A number of bands will also perform Sunday on the mainstage, including Party Doctors at 2:30 p.m., Shooter Whiskey at 4:30 p.m. and Back Country Roads at 7 p.m.

Fun Fest raffle winners will be announced at 8 p.m., followed by Fun Fest’s tour-de-force fireworks show at 8:30 p.m. We continue to be amazed by the pyrotechnic displays put on each year by Sugar Grove, Kaneville and Maple Park during its respective summer festivals. So if you for some reason missed out on Kaneville Fest’s jaw-dropping fireworks show last Saturday, atone for that mistake by taking a trip out to Maple Park for the Fun Fest fireworks on Sunday night. It’s always an outstanding show.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate (or mourn) the end of summer than with a weekend spent at Maple Park Fun Fest. So make sure you get out there this Saturday, Sunday and Monday for what is certain to be a great time.

Editorial: A big thank you to the community

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photo 4

Photo: Mike Schramer tried something new with his Bobcat this year. He helped build berms around each court to contain the water that Chief Kelly Callaghan (below, right) provided. Without the continued support of the community and these volunteers, programs and events like the mud volleyball tournament wouldn’t be possible. We thank them for all they do. Photos by Ben Draper

Another Elburn Herald Mud Volleyball Tournament is behind us, and by all accounts, it was our best one yet. We had around 350 players on 48 teams, spanning six courts, playing upwards of six hours.
Thanks to our players, the Elburn Herald raised enough money to fully support two scholarships for Kaneland students.

While we are grateful that so many came out to play volleyball while digging, bumping and diving in the mud, we are even more grateful to the numerous members of our community who helped make it all happen.

Our biggest thanks goes to the Elburn Lions Club, who lets us come in and dirty the place up on the Sunday of Elburn Days every year. The tournament would have no home if it wasn’t for the Lions, so we owe a huge thank you to everyone on the club.

The ground would be in horrible, unplayable shape if it wasn’t for the effort of Dale Pierson and his son Trent of Kaneville. As soon as the truck and tractor pull ends on the Saturday of Elburn Days, they bring out their disc and tractor to help set the stage for all of the work that follows.

New this year were individually-graded courts. Thanks to Mike Schramer in his bobcat tractor and Kyle Hall with his grade laser, each of the six courts was individually leveled, surrounded by berms. This helped each court retain more of its water, which of course translates into more mud and more fun.

Dale Pierson takes his time to make sure the courts are disc’d up and ready for play.
Dale Pierson takes his time to make sure the courts are disc’d up and ready for play.
Of course, those newly designed courts would only look nice and remain dry if not for the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District. Thank you for all of that water, which transforms those courts into a muddy playland for all of us who can’t resist letting our inner child out to play in the mud with about 350 of our closest friends.

The tournament wouldn’t happen at all if not for the organization and significant efforts of our own Leslie Flint. She has spent countless hours over the years transforming the tournament from a “what if” idea into a reality, then turning that reality into the event it has become. This year was the best yet, and we owe her a thanks for everything she does. She’s always the first one to begin working on the tournament (months in advance), and the last one to finish the clean-up of all the equipment after everyone else has gone home.

In addition to the above, there are a number of people who helped in a wide variety of ways, from making the shirts (thank you, Steve Gliddon at GTP Activewear), to supplying the music all day long (thank you, Tim Sivesind at Prism Light DJs), to helping set up the courts and nets (thank you, Carly Shaw, Ben Draper and Charlie Snow), to helping things move forward on the day of the tournament itself (thank you, Natalie Malczyk, Carly Malczyk, Carly Shaw, Ben Draper and Keith Beebe). And, there were a number of players themselves who helped keep the courts mud-filled as the day wore on; especially Corey Shaw and Dan Ralston, who took time out in between games to do some on-site digging by hand.

Like all successful community events, it requires a large number of people to come together and do their part to make things happen. To each and every one of you who helped, who played, or who just came and watched, thank you for making the 2014 Elburn Herald Mud Volleyball Tournament its best yet. We can’t wait to make the 2015 version even better.

Celebrate the 85th installment of Elburn Days

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Elburn Days website >>

Elburn Days on Facebook >>

Schedule of Events >>

The 85th installment of the Elburn Days festival will take place this weekend, Aug. 15-17, at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore Ave., Elburn. This year’s event will include entertainment, a 5K run, a car raffle, mud volleyball, a carnival, a beer tent, live entertainment, a parade and so much more. And if it’s anything like previous Elburn Days events (and it will be), Elburn is in for quite a good time this weekend.

Ensuring that said good time goes on without a hitch is pretty tedious work, however. Preparing anything at the scale of Elburn Days, which draws an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 visitors, is a logistical challenge. The festival lasts just three days, but the Lions spend an entire year preparing for it. Elburn Days is their largest fundraiser of the year and raises the majority of the organization’s funds for its charity work with the visually impaired.

More than 50 chairpeople plan various events, from the beer garden to the pie-eating contest to the sanitation, attending monthly meetings and sending regular email updates to Dave Broz, this year’s Elburn Days chairperson. Hundreds of people from the Lions Club and the community also volunteer to work the actual festival.

As for the hot dogs and brats—another popular food item available at Elburn Days—they come from Ream’s Meat Market in Elburn, which is making about 2,800 brats and 3,000 hot dogs for this year’s Elburn Days installment.

Ream’s makes hot dogs and brats in batches of 100 pounds each, he said, and the order for Elburn Days is about 1,000 pounds and takes 10 batches. Just making that many takes a couple of mornings, he said, before they go into the smokehouses to cook.

Mainstage entertainment is a big part of Elburn Days, and this year’s lineup includes Back Country Roads on Friday, Arra on Saturday, and Mike and Joe on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of Sunday, the Elburn Herald’s mud volleyball tournament will take place at noon, with check-in at 11:30 a.m. The event will feature 48 teams on six courts, battling for mud volleyball supremacy. The event is just as fun to watch as it is to actually do, and that’s a good thing, as the event is sold out in terms of participating teams.

A parade, good music and food, a 5K run, a carnival, mud volleyball and countless other activities. What more could a festival goer ask for? We’ll see you this weekend at Elburn Days 2014. Enjoy the event, everyone.

Reaffirming our objectivity

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We’ve recently fielded some public comments regarding our stance (and perspective) on the situation involving the Kaneland School District and Superintendent Jeff Schuler, who will become the superintendent of schools in the Wheaton-Warrenville School District on Sept. 2. Therefore, we’d like to use this space to explain our philosophy when it comes to reporting on any topic, regardless of whether controversy is present.

When it comes to reporting, our stance at the Elburn Herald is this: we don’t have a stance. It’s our duty to report everything that happens in the Kaneland community, but it’s not our place to tell our readers what to think or how to feel about a particular issue. Rather, we’re here to simply pass on the facts to our readers so that they can make up their own mind and draw their own conclusions. That’s also why you won’t see us endorse candidates at election time. We want our reporting to be the written equivalent of Switzerland: neutral, objective and mercilessly honest.

Of course, the irony here is that we’re using the editorial page—an actual forum for opinion—to reaffirm our objectivity. But all we’ll do here is simply state that we hope the Kaneland School Board can forego the fighting and finger-pointing currently found at its meetings, and instead hunker down and work together to identify a new superintendent and continue to improve Kaneland’s budget concerns. Because everyone who serves on the Kaneland School Board should have the same goal: to help put forth the best-quality education possible for every child in the district.

And if you can do that without shouting, even better.

Our name is mud at Elburn Days

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The 85th annual Elburn Days festival is just a month away, and with it will come great food and drink, fun carnival rides and kid activities, first-rate musical entertainment and, last but not least, the Elburn Herald’s Mud Volleyball tournament.

This will be our sixth year sponsoring the Mud Volleyball tournament at Elburn Days, and it will take place Sunday, Aug. 17, at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore St. Check-in will begin at 11:30 a.m., and fun, muddy chaos will soon follow.

As usual, the Mud Volleyball event will feature six courts, and there’s room for 48 teams, which equates to somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 players. Teams are co-ed, six-to-eight players, with at least two females. All team members must be at least 18 years of age.

First- and second-place teams are recognized in the single-elimination tournament.

The Mud Volleyball participation fee is $85 per team if registered before Friday, July 25. A limited number of T-shirts is available for teams that register early. The fee will increase to $110 after July 25.

For more information, email Leslie Flint at ads@elburnherald.com. To register, visit www.elburnherald.com/volleyball, download the form and return it with payment to the Elburn Herald office, 525 N. Main St., Elburn, IL 60119.

We’ll see you next month at Elburn Days. Enjoy the food, rides and music, and then get ready to enjoy volleyball in the mud with your friends and family.

Editorial: Hit the links this Friday in Sugar Grove

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Looking for an alternative to your usual Friday afternoon plans? Consider donning your best golf attire and heading over to Bliss Creek Golf Course for the Sugar Grove 2014 Community Golf Outing.

Hosted by the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this year’s golf outing will kickoff at 11 a.m. on June 27 with a nice buffet lunch, followed by a shotgun start at approximately 12:15 p.m. The event is open to the public, and is intended to bring together Sugar Grove residents and local civic and business leaders for a day of golf, fellowship and friendly competition, with the goal of raising funds for the Chamber Scholarship program and various chamber projects. So even if your short game needs a lot of work (or is flat-out terrible), at least you’ll be able to enjoy an afternoon of golf with friends. Better yet, you’ll be supporting the village of Sugar Grove. That’s pretty much the equivalent of shooting under par, as far as we’re concerned.

Not familiar with Bliss Creek Golf Course? You should be! It offers beautiful, tree-lined fairways, well-placed water hazards and a challenging 18 holes of golf that can most often be played in less than four hours.

For more information about the Sugar Grove 2014 Community Golf Outing, or the Chamber of Commerce Scholarships, contact Chamber Executive Director Shari Baum at (630) 466-7895 or visit the chamber website at www.sugargrovechamber.org. And don’t forget to go easy on your pitching wedge.

Guest editorial: Three simple things you can do today to feel better tomorrow

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by Harold Valentine, News and Experts
“Imagine you’re a spider with just one leg,” Dr. Frank King said.

“You put forth immense effort to try to haul yourself around and not only does it wear you out, it’s frustrating and you don’t get far.”

King is a chiropractor and doctor of naturopathy specializing in homeopathic remedies, and author of “The Healing Revolution”

“It gets a bit easier with two legs and easier still with four legs. But it’s not till you have all eight legs that you can really dance.”

Dr. King explains that the eight legs represent eight essentials we need for optimum mental, physical and spiritual health: empowering your human spirit; water; nutrition; fitness; sleep; nature; relationships; and hands-on techniques (touch).

“It would be overwhelming and self-defeating to look at all eight areas and think, ‘I have to make significant changes in every area immediately,” Dr. King says. “You don’t have to, and who could? I know from my experience with countless patients and friends, and even in my own life, that you can see immediate results by making a few small changes at a time.”

Dr. King describes three that are easy to make and will have you feeling better quickly.

Drink half your body weight in ounces of spring or well water every day

If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water (about 9 cups).

“Many of us walk around dehydrated without realizing it and that can have a significant effect on our health and how we feel,” Dr. King said.

Dehydrated bodies trap toxins and encourage water retention—a natural defense against the chronic “drought.”

“Our bodies need the steady flow of pure, spring or well water. If you don’t like the taste, try mixing up to a teaspoon of sea salt into a quart of water,” he said.

A simple test for dehydration is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for three seconds. When you release, if the ridge from the pinch remains for more than a second, you’re probably dehydrated.

Take at least a few minutes every day to connect with nature
Nature brings perpetual revitalization and ongoing renewal, especially when experienced through multiple senses: the smell of freshly turned earth or evergreens in the woods; the touch of cool stream water on your face or feet; the sight of birds on the wing and budding blooms.

“These are not just pleasant little gifts to experience—we need them for restoration, renewal, revival and rehabilitation,” Dr. King said. “The more disconnected we become from the Earth, the more we inhibit our body’s natural ability to heal.”

Take a brisk, 10- to 20-minute walk every day
Walking is the simplest, most natural form of exercise. You might walk a nature trail, walk to the store instead of driving or take your pet for a stroll.

“Three brisk 10-minute walks a day are as effective at lowering blood pressure as one 30-minute walk,” Dr. King said, citing an Arizona State University study.

“Outdoor walking is preferable to walking on a treadmill or other machine, since the uneven surfaces and changing directions of natural walking will engage more muscles and tendons.”

Swing each arm in synchronization with the opposite foot to strengthen your cross-crawl functionality and mind-body balance.

Editorial: Witnessing the power of the Healing Field

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At the Kaneland Healing Field ceremony, a mother and her son spend some time among the 1,000 flags.

Two weeks ago we used editorial space to provide further information to our readers regarding the Healing Field ceremony and display near Kaneland High School, scheduled to take place Memorial Day Weekend.

Well, if you happened to drive past KHS any time between Friday and Monday, you certainly noticed the sprawling display of American flags, neatly lined up in rows, in the field directly east of the high school.

That was, of course, the Healing Field: 1,000 flags representing patriotism and honoring servicemen and servicewomen who fight to defend this country and its freedoms.

The really fun thing about the Healing Field display is that individuals and businesses could purchase flags for it. A single flag cost $35, while a small business sponsorship was five flags for $500, and a corporate sponsorship was 10 flags for $1,000. The flags could also be dedicated to a specific individual and feature a personalized message.

All proceeds went to the American Legions in Maple Park, Elburn and Sugar Grove.

We’ve received a large amount of positive feedback regarding last weekend’s Healing Field, as well as the question of whether the patriotic display will return next year. Unfortunately, the Healing Field is really a traveling exhibit, which means it takes place in a different location every Memorial Day Weekend. The Healing Field in the past has been held in locations such as the West Aurora School District.

But even though the Kaneland community can’t play host every year to something as extraordinary and powerful as the Healing Field, we can all take pride in the fact that this area, for a weekend, put on as moving a patriotic display as we’ve seen. The rows of flags in the Healing Field appeared to be endless, and many featured tags with a personal dedication. In a word, awesome.

If you were unable to witness the Healing Field last weekend, we encourage you to check out this week’s feature story on the event—complete with accompanying photos—found on pages 1A and 6A.

After all, for one weekend, no area took more pride in Memorial Day and this country’s servicemen than the modest field east of Kaneland High School. And we’d hate for our readers to miss out on what was a very special weekend in the Kaneland community.

It was truly a Healing Field.

Editorial: Honoring the veterans through the Healing Field

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We ran a story last week detailing the upcoming Healing Field events that will take place at Kaneland High School over Memorial Day Weekend. We’d like to use this space to elaborate a little bit on next weekend’s Healing Field activities.

In the days leading up to Memorial Day Weekend, the field to the east of KHS will become a Healing Field, boasting over a thousand American flags sitting upon 8-foot-tall flagstaffs.

And that’s where the public comes in, as it will have an opportunity to sponsor a flag in the Healing Field. Individuals and businesses can purchase a single flag for $35. A small business sponsorship is five flags for $500. A corporate sponsorship is 10 flags for $1,000. All proceeds will go to local American Legions in Maple Park, Elburn and Sugar Grove.

The flags honor the veterans and military who have sacrificed their time and talents—and even their very lives—in defense of this country’s freedom. Also, each sponsored flag has a story and honors a hero who is identified by an attached name tag. And once the Healing Field display has concluded, the sponsored flags may be taken home and displayed as a continuing reminder of service to this nation.

Flag tagging will take place during the Healing Field opening ceremony on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. The Memorial Day ceremony will take place Monday, May 26, at noon.

The Healing Field itself will take place from Friday, May 23, to Tuesday, May 27.

This Memorial Day Weekend, consider becoming a sponsor for the greatest of causes. If you’re interested in sponsoring a Healing Field flag or helping with next weekend’s ceremonies, contact rudy.keller@kaneland.org or visit healingfield.org/kaneland14/. Remember, when it comes to honoring those who have served this country, every little contribution counts.

Editorial: Don’t forget the flowers this weekend

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Looking to buy some flowers for Mother’s Day this Sunday? We know of a way in which you can get flowers while also helping out the Friends of the Town and Country Public Library. Hey, we’re all about multi-tasking here.

The Friends will host their annual plant fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 9, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 10. If you’re interested in finding some fresh geraniums, gerbera daisies and tuberous begonias, you’re in luck—they’ll be available for a donation of $3.75 each, or three for $11.

The plant sale will take place indoors at the library, 320 E. North St., Elburn. If you want to pre-order your flowers, you can do so by stopping by the library or calling Joan Hansen at (630) 365-9217.

The fun won’t end there, either. The Friends of the Library will also hold a Gardener’s “Green Thumb” raffle through May 10. The featured deluxe garden cart was donated by Vicki McGuire of Elburn. The Friends also donated raffle items such as a combo pack of garden tools, large planter pots, rainbow straw hat, garden pad for potting plants indoors/outdoors, garden note cards, selected gardening books and much more. So not only will you be able to buy flowers from the Friends, but you might also come away with new tools to tend your garden.

Gardener’s Green Thumb raffle tickets are $1 each, or six for $5. The drawing will be held at noon at the library.

So there you have it. You can satisfy your Mother’s Day to-do list, support the Friends of the Library and possibly score some nifty gardening instruments, as well. Not a bad haul, if you ask us.

Good luck, and happy gardening.

Editorial: Elburn Herald content places in multiple IPA categories

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Last June we talked at length (OK, we bragged) about the awards we received from the Illinois Press Association, including top marks for Best Sports Photo and Enterprise/Feature Writing, a second-place nod in General Excellence, a third-place award for Newspaper Design and an honorable mention for Local Editorial.

We had an impressive showing in IPA’s Advertising category, as well, taking second place in General Advertising Excellence, and first place and third place in Best Full Color Ad. Our Kaneland Guide took first in Best Annual Special Section, and our Summer Guide took fourth place in Best Community Focus Special Section. We also placed as runner-up in the category of Best Ad Designer.

Last year wasn’t a bad haul for us in the hardware department, and we’re pleased to say that the Elburn Herald is again poised to take home some awards from this year’s IPA awards. We’re nominated in the categories of General Excellence, Sports News (Mike Slodki), Enterprise/Feature Writing (Susan O’Neill, Cheryl Borrowdale), Spot News Photo (Kimberly Anderson), Feature Photo (Mary Paulson) and Sports Section. We won’t know our place in the above-mentioned categories until June 13, but we’re nonetheless proud of the Elburn Herald writers and staff who were nominated in this year’s competition.

As always, we view IPA nominations as a reflection of our ability to provide our readers with the best news and photos possible. And because we earned two additional editorial category nominations this year, we’d like to think we’re improving our ability to serve everyone in the community.

Congratulations again to the nominees. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for good news come mid-June.

Editorial: Help support Kaneland’s upcoming service trip

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A screening of the film “Murph the Protector” will take place in the Kaneland High School auditorium on Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m. to help raise funds for a June service trip to famous World War I and II sites.

Students and adult chaperones who participate in the service trip will work with the American Battlefield Monuments Commission to preserve and maintain American military cemeteries in France.

Admission to the April 25 event is free. Monetary donations to help defray the cost of the trip will be accepted.

The film “Murph the Protector” tells the story of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, the leader of the four-man SEAL team depicted in the recent film “Lone Survivor.” Murphy in 2005 was exposed to enemy fire on a mountain top in Afghanistan while attempting to call in a rescue of his team. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by then-president George W. Bush in October 2007.

We’ve covered Kaneland service trips in previous years, including the school’s 2011 trip to Northern Virginia and its 2012 trip to Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. This time around, the travel is intercontinental, and will take a number of Kaneland students to places that served as stages for conflicts during the first two world wars.

The trips are far from sightseeing ventures, however. Kaneland students in 2011 worked with the National Park Service (NPS) and did some restoration at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania national battlefields. The group stayed in 1930s-era Civilian Conservation Corps cabins in Prince William National Forest during the trip and cooked for themselves to keep costs down.

In 2012, the service group worked with NPS rangers at Antietam Civil War Battlefield in Maryland. That September marked the 150th anniversary of the battle, so students helped prepare the park for commemoration ceremonies.

In order to minimize costs on the 2012 trip, the group stayed at a youth hostel where sleeping accommodations were “bunk house” style. Students made their own meals in the kitchen.

The service trips are coordinated by Kaneland Social Studies teacher Javier Martinez. For further information regarding the June 2014 service trip, you can reach Martinez at Javier.Martinez@kaneland.org.

Editorial: A thank you to local candidates

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It was three weeks ago when we concluded our coverage of the 2014 General Election Primary, and we’d like to use this space to thank all of the local candidates who took time out to complete an Elburn Herald questionnaire.

It was a privilege to interact with candidates in the races for U.S. Senate, Kane County Clerk, Kane County Sheriff, Kane County Board District 5 and 50th District Representative, and we look forward to furthering communication with the nominated representatives in the weeks leading up to this fall’s election. It’s sure to be an exciting time for Kane County and nearby districts.

We’d also like to extend a thanks to the candidates for 16th Judicial Circuit 3rd Subcircuit, as they also took time out of their schedule to complete our questionnaire. Unfortunately, we were unable to feature their entries in the paper due to space constraints. Still, it was a pleasure to get to know the four candidates who ran for their respective Republican nomination earlier this month, and we look forward to seeing them in action in November.

Lastly, we want to thank you, the reader, for allowing the Elburn Herald to bring you comprehensive coverage of this spring’s election. Our goal was to leave no stone unturned while researching the field and gathering information from each featured candidate, and we’d like to think we succeeded in that regard. And if not, we hope to do better next time around.

After all, you deserve the best election content available. And the Elburn Herald feels honored to have an opportunity to further introduce local candidates to the Kaneland community and additional portions of Kane County.

So thank you to this March’s election candidates, and thank you to those who took time out to visit the polls and vote on March 18.

Editorial: Don’t ask us about our bracket

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“How’s your bracket?”

It’s a question that serves as a popular conversation starter this time of year, for both sports nuts and the casual observer. And it’s something very few of us want to hear or discuss.

The “bracket” in question refers to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (aka March Madness), cultivating in April’s Final Four weekend. And every spring, our friends, relatives and co-workers put forth countless tournament pools for us to join. It takes no more than 10-15 minutes to complete a standard NCAA tournament bracket, and it takes even less time for it to be demolished by upsets, buzzer beaters, bizarre gaffes and just about anything else that can possibly affect a college basketball game.

And so questions about one’s bracket typically are answered with something along the lines of “don’t ask” or “I hate (insert name of eliminated national powerhouse).” Seriously. You could venture out to a Buffalo Wild Wings or any sports bar right now and actually hear those exact responses. Rarely will you meet someone who can brag about their bracket once the tournament’s opening weekend has concluded. And if you do find that person, give it a week. Chances are they’ll be singing a much sadder tune. Misery indeed loves company.

That’s why billionaire Warren Buffett recently offered a $1 billion reward to the person who could predict every game within the tournament. That’s right—$1 billion dollars to the bracket correctly calling all 63 games. Seems a little lopsided until, of course, you factor in the odds of authoring a perfect bracket: 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s a lot of commas. And now Buffett’s offer seems plenty lopsided, just in the other direction.

Fortunately, it only takes a halfway decent bracket to win a pool. If you can pick a few early upsets and correctly call at least three of the teams that will land in the Final Four come April, you’re in business. And if you can prognosticate just how those final three games turnout, you might be in the driver’s seat, depending on how many people are in said pool—if it’s over 50 people, you’ll need to be much more accurate with your picks; that means you’ll have to embrace both logic and risk while filling out your bracket.

Oddly, the emotion teams exhibit on the court during March Madness (players screaming their heads off after draining a game-winning shot; players crying inconsolably while curled into the fetal position on the hardwood) is often matched by those who’ve placed the fate of their bracket on those teams. It’s kind of sad to watch someone’s bracket go down in flames, but it’s kind of comforting, as well, especially if our bracket has long since bitten the dust. Again, misery loves company.

Here’s a deal: don’t ask us about our bracket and we won’t ask about yours. And when Florida, Michigan State, Arizona and Louisville (the popular Final Four picks this year) eventually lose to schools with vastly inferior rosters, we can share a glance that means only one thing.

“Bracket? What bracket?”

Editorial: Clarifying the Sugar Grove Public Library limited rate increase referendum

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It came to our attention recently that there was a bit of confusion regarding our recent coverage of the Sugar Grove Public Library limited rate increase referendum. Because it’s our mission to bring you the clearest and most accurate information possible—especially the information you use in the voting booth on Election Day—we’d like to take an opportunity here to revisit and clearly define the limited rate increase item.

The Sugar Grove Public Library hopes to increase its limiting rate an additional $2.14 per month, or $25 more per year (for a home valued at $100,000), through a referendum on the March 18 ballot. The library needs additional funds to maintain the facility and grounds, support a number of current programs, departments and new programs it would like to add. The additional money would help the library afford the purchase of more materials in physical and downloadable formats, as well as the purchase of new computers to replace aging ones.

The library has attempted to raise the limiting rate in the past to no avail. The one-time increase would provide adequate funding to operate and maintain the library in its larger facility now and into the future.

“If the limiting rate passed during the referendum, we could have the library open every day with consistent hours,” said Library Director Carol Dolin. “We want to avoid being open some mornings and some evenings so people can remember when we are open more easily.”

The library staff is concerned with the library’s current budget.

“We need more funding to be open more hours, to provide more physical and downloadable materials, and to care for the building,” Dolin said. “We will survey the public to get input on how to prioritize those areas of the budget. Finally, with adequate funding, we may be able to refinance the building bonds to save tax payers money as we pay off the debt.”

The Sugar Grove library currently has the lowest limiting rate in the area, with Kaneville, Oswego, Elburn, Aurora and Batavia all possessing higher rates. With a vast amount of services offered, the library staff hopes that the public will vote to pass the referendum to ensure that the library can continue to offer a large variety of programs and materials.

Should the referendum pass, the library staff will survey the public to understand their needs and expectations for library hours, programs and materials.

Editorial: It’s that time of year once again

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Believe it or not, it’s actually early March right now. And we can confirm as much in this week’s issue of the Elburn Herald, as it features the first part of our coverage regarding the spring General Primary Election. Of course, this is a spring election season in name only. We still have icicles on our vehicles, and we’re certainly not fans of Punxsutawney Phil right about now. Maybe we’ll eventually refer to this time of year as “Polar Vortex election season.”

This week’s Elburn Herald issue will give you a closer look at the Republican nomination candidates for Kane County Sheriff, 50th District Representative and the County Board District 5 seat. We had a great time working with said candidates to create the content found in this week’s election section, and we hope you’ll have just as good of a time learning more about them.

We’re also featuring a closer look at the three referenda available this spring: the “Show You Care Kane” public question; the county’s authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program; and a proposition to increase the Sugar Grove Public Library’s limiting rate. You can find out more about all three ballot items in this week’s issue of the Elburn Herald.

As always, we seek to bring you the best election coverage possible, and we’re honored to bring you more information about the candidates you’ll find on the ballot this March. It might not feel like spring election season right now, but we’re less than two weeks away from voting day. So allow us to introduce you to the players in Kane County’s contested races later this month. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, March 18.

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