2015 728 Corn Boil
 

Elburn Herald | Sugar Grove Herald

 
Ream’s through May 2015
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Editorial/Opinion - page 15

Editorial: Salute the arts this Friday with Kaneland Arts Initiative

in From the Editor's Desk by

Arts-minded individuals interested in sprucing up their weekend plans should consider attending the Kaneland Arts Initiative’s Fine Arts Feast this Friday, Feb. 21, in the Pine Room at Open Range Southwest Grill, located on Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove.

This annual fundraiser serves two purposes: to encourage folks to become “patrons of the arts,” and to achieve KAI’s goal to raise over $5,000 so that the Initiative can bring professional-quality artists to Kaneland schools. And it appears the Kaneland community is interested in helping KAI with its arts-driven cause, as there are only about 50 seats still available for Friday night’s feast.

There’s no charge to attend the dinner and program, and participants will have the opportunity to get involved with the silent auction and raffles featured throughout the evening. Big-ticket raffle items include Chicago Blackhawks tickets, fine arts event tickets to St. Charles Singers and KAI events, and glass-piece and jewelry art from Lorenzo’s Designs, and the “cork pull,” which will give patrons an opportunity to win wine and a wine-themed gift basket.

As for the featured program, it’s “woven with informational bits and pieces” regarding the Kaneland Arts Initiative, as well as performances by local artists and committee members.

So if you’re free this Friday evening, head over to Open Range and get in on an arts-oriented good time. The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a cash bar and bidding on silent auction and raffle items. Program and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.

May the arts be with you this weekend as you enjoy the KAI festivities.

Letter: A thank you to Between Friends Food Pantry volunteers

in Letters to the Editor by

Many times Melisa Taylor, the founding mother of the Between Friends Food Pantry, has expressed her gratitude and love for all the volunteers. “Without volunteers, the pantry would close,” Taylor has often said.

But we all must give a big thanks to EEI for providing warehouse space for the pantry. The volunteers who are selfless and would rather remain behind the scenes need to know that they are part of a strong pantry family. People like Melisa, Judy, Julie 1, Julie 2, Julie 3, Fay, Mary, Diane, JoJo, Marty, Denise 1, Denise 2, Old Joe, John, Dan, Big Joe, Dean, Jim, Freddie, Rich, Danille, Madison, Sammie, and the great middle school and high school young people who give their time to the pantry and the food drives.

This winter has been a challenge for all of us. However, the Between Friends Food Pantry has had additional challenges to keep our clients out of the cold while waiting their turn in the pantry. So we created a “drive thru” system in order to get food and supplies to the clients during the sub-zero weather. A special “thanks” to the guys who ran food bags out to the client’s cars.

We especially need to thank the community and citizens for their generous donations that help out the pantry immensely. Through your efforts, needy families in the area are able to make it for another week.

Karen McCannon
Sugar Grove

Letter: Supporting Cosimo for 50th State Representative

in Letters to the Editor by

We would like to take this opportunity to share our choice for the upcoming election in the 50th State Representative race and to ask for your support for Dr. Julie Cosimo for this seat.

We have personally known Julie for many years. Furthermore, we can attest to her abilities, and are confident that she is the best person to serve the constituents of the 50th District. At this time, we would like to share some personal information about her that is important for you to know regarding her credentials.

Julie earned her doctorate degree in higher education and organizational change from Benedictine University, and currently serves as director of Career Development and Lecturer at the university. In her role, she sees the challenges facing job seekers as they try to enter the workforce. She works closely with employers to learn what is important to them when hiring for an open position and shares this information with those she serves—therefore, creating job opportunities and bridging the needs of the employer with the strengths of the job seekers. She is also the only candidate in this race that has extensive education experience. As a legislator, she will be dedicated to education reform, job creation and improving our communities. This is an asset which Springfield desperately needs.

Prior to entering the academic world, Julie founded and ran a small business. Because of this, she fully understands the many challenges businesses encounter on a daily basis and how regulations and the cost of doing business in Illinois negatively impact companies in our state.

She is not a career politician and believes in term limits. Julie knows that going to Springfield to represent the constitutions of the 50th is a full-time job, and once elected will leave her position at Benedictine University to serve those of us living in the 50th District.

What could be better than to have a full-time doctor in the House? As we all know, Illinois is sick.

Vote Dr. Julia Cosimo for the 50th State Representative on March 18.

Jim and Colleen MacRunnels
Elburn

Letter: Sugar Grove to host blood drive

in Letters to the Editor by

The winter blood shortage is being felt. This winter has been difficult, with many blood drives being cancelled due to snow and extremely cold temperatures. Please help us fill the shortages of every blood type on Monday, March 3.

The Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, along with the Sugar Grove Fire Department, will host a blood drive at the Fire Department, 25 Municipal Drive. You may donate from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Call Joy at (630) 466-7190, or Kathy at (630) 466-4634, for more information or to make your appointment.

Your much-needed donation is deeply appreciated. A heartfelt thank you for donating the “gift of life.”

Joy Rubo
Blood drive coordinator,
Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary

Webpoll: What do you typically do with your income tax refund?

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Webpoll/Editorial: What is your favorite Olympic Sport?

in From the Editor's Desk/Webpoll by
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The 22nd Winter Olympics are upon us
An even-numbered year indicates at least one of two things:
• It’s potentially a Leap Year
• It’s definitely an Olympic year

We’re two years away from the next 29-day February, so we’re left with the latter option. But that’s a great thing for those of us who enjoy the Olympics and all of the gala, pride, thrills and emotion that comes with each installment of the games.

This year, we’re celebrating the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia—a city that has achieved notoriety as of late, thanks to the dire condition of its hotel accomodations, and the abominable quality of its water (really, it looks like apple juice). Believe it or not, Sochi is the largest resort city in Russia, and it actually boasts a subtropical climate (difficult to come by in a country world-renowned for its unbearably frigid weather conditions). It’s also a fairly impressive destination compared to some prior Winter Olympics (Sarajevo in 1984 immediately comes to mind).

With the beginning of the 22nd winter games late last week, it appears the Olympic host city has finally taken a back seat to something more relevant: the actual Olympics. And the United States has plenty to be excited about in terms of events at this year’s games, including snowboarding, alpine and freestyle skiing, speed and figure skating, luge, women’s ice hockey, and arguably the most compelling Winter Olympic sport for the United States: men’s ice hockey.

As some of you might remember, four years ago the United States men’s ice hockey team was on the doorstep of winning gold when it lost to Canada in overtime of the Gold Medal Game. Not satisfied to take the silver medal at those games in Vancouver, the United States team could find redemption in Sochi, but it’ll have to overcome international ice dimensions to do so (rinks outside North America are 15 feet wider than a traditional NHL set-up—doesn’t sound like much, but that increased ice size equates to an extra 3,000 square feet).

Of course, outside of world-class competition on grandest of stages, the Olympics provide us with a glimpse into the cultures and scenery of its host city. Twenty years ago, we were captivated by the sights and sounds of Lillehammer, Norway, during the 1994 games. Four years later, we experienced the chillingly majestic scenery of Nagano, Japan, while the next host, Salt Lake City, impressed the world with an incredible opening ceremony. Granted, Sochi didn’t make a great first impression with its accomodations and amenities, but we must not forget that this is a European city doing its best to play host to the rest of the world. If anything, it should make us appreciate even more what the United States has to offer. We’ll certainly never look at a four- or five-star hotel the same way after witnessing Sochi’s accomodations. Still, we appreciate the city’s attempt to take on the Herculean task of hosting the Winter Olympics.

Good luck to all United State athletes competing in the 22nd Winter Olympics. And for those of you watching from home, enjoy the games, especially the events with which you’re not overly familiar. Soon, the 22nd installment of the winter games will conclude, and then we’ll have to wait another four years for the games to renew, this time in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Letter: In support of Judge Kostelny

in Letters to the Editor by

I have known Judge Kostelny for many years, first meeting her when we both attended DePaul Law School. When she was appointed associate judge, I knew that she would excel. She brings a common-sense approach to case management.

When I appeared before her in family court, she was always well prepared, and worked hard to help people solve their problems. She has an uncanny ability to get to the heart of the issue very quickly and figure out practical solutions. Her temperament, combined with her strong problem-solving skills, make her an ideal candidate for the circuit court. I strongly endorse her candidacy.

Steven Peskind
Peskind Law Firm,
St. Charles

Letter: A thank you from the Elburn Chamber

in Letters to the Editor by

If you were not at Lion’s Park on Saturday, Feb. 8, you missed out on a great evening. The annual Elburn Chamber of Commerce Winter Dinner and Silent Auction was a great success, and I do believe a good time was had by all.

I want to thank the Winter Dinner committee of Leslie Flint (Elburn Herald) and Kristen Damolaris (Elburn & Countryside Community Center) and their beautiful assistants Annette Theobald (Paisano’s Pizza & Grill/Eddie Gaedel Pub & Grill), Carrie Murphy (Edward Jones—Dan Murphy office) and Peg Bendowski (Elburn Chamber).

We had beautiful music provided by Da Capo Music Studio. The amazing Andrew Almburg provided auctioneer services for several delightful desserts. We had a variety of “derby hats” for the hat judging competition, and we had over 20 silent auction baskets to bid on.

As you are all well aware, without the generosity of time from these volunteers, this event and the others we support and sponsor would not be possible. Please keep an open mind, and if you are interested in becoming more involved, please step up and join a committee.

Karen A. Park
Elburn Chamber of Commerce President

Letter: A thank you from Family Bingo committee

in Letters to the Editor by

On behalf of the Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School PTO Family Bingo and Silent Auction Night Committee, we would like to thank everyone who generously supported the Family Bingo and Silent Auction Night Fundraiser held at Blackberry Creek Elementary on Saturday. The donations from families, community members, businesses and KBC teachers and staff will help the KBC-PTO expand and enrich our children’s education and experiences. We are grateful to live in such a caring and generous community.

The following is a list of businesses who generously sponsored and/or donated items to our event:

Adler Planetarium, Aldi, Alice’s Place, All Seasons Ice Rink, Amazing Grace Antiques, Amy Wild Hairs, Anastazia, Acquaviva Winery, Best Vac of St. Charles, Cadence Fitness and Health Center, Charming Touch Parties, Chicago Wolves, Claddagh Pub, Classis Cinemas, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Sky, Chuck E. Cheese, Cocoon, Colonial CafО, Corner Bakery, Country House, DaCapo Music Studio, Dupage Children’s Museum, Eddie Gaedel Pub and Grill, Elburn Car Wash, Egg Harbor, Energym, EYSBL, Excel Gymnastics Academy , Fermi Lab, Fit Mama, Focal Pointe, Fox Jewelers, Fox Valley Ice Arena, Fox Valley Park District, Funway, Gail VanBogaert, Geneva Commons, Geneva Park District, Geneva Running Outfitters, Goldfish Swim School, Graham’s Fine Chocolates, Grooming by Maggie, Hair Directors, Heritage Prairie Farm Hills Country Store, Hilltop Fitness, Hilton Garden Inn, Hotel Baker, Hughes Creek Golf Course, It’s Sweet, Jackie Kold Fitness and Yoga, Jeans and a Cute Top Shop, Jen Engeldahl (Thirty-One), Jewel Osco, Jersey Mikes , Kane County Cougars, Kaneland Arts Initiative, Kay Swift, Krauspe Dental, Kountry Kettle, Kuipers Family Farm, KYFL, Lou Malnatis, Lynfred Winey, M and M Dance, Margo Rinella (Thirty-One), Midwest Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science and Industry, New Balance in Geneva, Paramount Arts Center, Paisano’s Pizza and Grill, Prairie Gymnastics Club, RichWrap, Raging Waves, Reams Elburn Market, Rockford Ice Hogs, Ron’s Automotive, Rosatis in Elburn, Salon Agape, Salon 132, Soaring Heart Vintage, SciTech Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Sign FX, Skydeck Chicago, Snap Fitness in Elburn, Sports Authority, SpringHill Suites Chicago , River North, St. Charles Bowl, St. Charles Park District, Sugar Grove Park District, Swim with Bill, Sycamore Family Sports Center, The Attic in Batavia, The Lodge on 64, The O’Brien Family, The Olive Mill, The Scheibal Family, The Spice House, Tom and Eddies, Too cute by Erin Shaw, Town and Country Library, Townhouse Books & Cafe, Trader Joes, Tranquility Spa and Wellness Center, Turf Room, Under the Big Top , US 99, Von Jager Kennel, Walt Disney World, West Suburban Travelers Limousine, and WTMX The Mix 101.1.

Nicole Fleshman
Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School PTO Family Bingo and Silent Auction Night Committee

Letter: Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters’ Knight of Performances

in Letters to the Editor by

The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters is pleased to announce the second annual Knight of Performances barbecue dinner, scheduled for Sunday, March 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Kaneland Harter Middle School, located at 1601 Esker Drive in Sugar Grove.

A variety of talented student musicians and performers from both Kaneland High School (KHS) and Harter Middle School (HMS) will be on hand to provide our entertainment for the afternoon, including students who are either performing a vocal or instrumental solo or ensemble, HMS Mid-Knight Special, HMS Jazz Band, KHS jazz combos and cast members from this spring’s KHS musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

The afternoon will also include a basket raffle and pork chop or chicken dinner from 5B’s Catering in Waterman, Ill. All 5B’s dinners include baked beans, coleslaw, applesauce, dinner roll and choice of homemade dessert. Hot dog meals come with a hot dog, chips (or a dinner side), and dessert. Starbucks coffee and bottled water will be provided. Soft drinks will be available for purchase. Dinner will be served until 4:30 p.m. Carry-out meals can be purchased this year. Order forms are due by Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The Knight of Performances Committee has secured many wonderful items for the basket raffle such as tickets to see “Rent” at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora; an autographed copy of “Critical Mass” by Sara Paretsky; Elgin Symphony Orchestra tickets; many local restaurant and business gift certificates; music lessons; Thirty-One merchandise; hand-crafted jewelry and more. In addition, one lucky Kaneland High School student can win a free, reserved parking spot for the 2014-15 school year. All money raised at this event will directly benefit the students involved in the band, choir and theatre programs at KHS and HMS.

To receive a dinner order form, volunteer at the event, or to make a donation for the basket raffle, send an email to info@knightmusic.org. Legally incorporated in the summer of 2012, the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters supports the band, choir and theatre programs and directors at HMS and KHS. Our mission is to assist with and to lend financial assistance to the music and theatre programs at HMS and KHS.

For more information, contact Denise Blaszynski at (630) 365-5272 or send an email to president@knightmusic.org.

Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

Community Corner: An invitation to the Fine Arts Feast

in Community Corner by

by Maria Dripps-Paulson,
Kaneland Arts Initiative executive director

The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) would like to extend its thanks to those in the community who were able to attend the performances of “The Laramie Project” in January. It was a very special event in partnership with the Kindness Campaign, telling the story of the death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., through the eyes of the citizens of the town, as well as the people who were directly in touch with the events surrounding his brutal murder.

The event also marked the first performance held in Kaneland’s Black Box Theatre since the opening of the facility in 2005. KAI guests who attended the performance, and members of the production staff, were thrilled to be in the space. The intimate setting and the gripping performances were the perfect combination to create a very powerful message about true acceptance. KAI wishes to thank all involved, cast members, crew, the Kindness Campaign and the audience for starting many important conversations about the good we can produce through positive interactions.

This month, on Friday, Feb. 21, you are cordially invited to attend the fifth annual Fine Arts Feast and Silent Auction, to be held at 5 p.m. in the Pine Room at Open Range Southwest Grill Restaurant in Sugar Grove. This event is KAI’s fundraiser to invite individuals to become Kaneland Arts Initiative individual arts patrons.

The schedule for the event is as follows:
• 5 p.m. Cash Bar and Silent Auction opens (only persons 21 and older are invited to the event)
• 6:30 p.m. Program begins with dinner

The program will outline the mission and various programs produced by the arts initiative and will include performances by various KAI artists. KAI that evening will also announce the summer musical, held in July. Silent auction items and raffle prizes will be available to win, along with the ever-popular cork pull.

The meal is free to those who attend, and there will be an opportunity for donations to be collected for KAI. Reservations are limited, as there are only 150 seats in the Pine Room. If you are interested in attending this event, call Maria at (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, or email 10911@kaneland.org.

Upcoming events in the KAI calendar include the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival on Sunday, April 13; the rescheduled Cavern Beat performance, and the summer musical. More information can always be found on the KAI website, www.kanelandartsinitiative.org, or the KAI Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KanelandArtsInitiative.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Editorial: School’s out … for winter?

in From the Editor's Desk by
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The month of January is when students are supposed to return to school and begin their second semester, not enjoy multiple four-day weekends almost immediately following the conclusion of Christmas break. Yet that’s exactly what has happened this winter, thanks to two separate cold fronts that have turned the Kaneland community, its surrounding areas and much of the country into one giant ice cube.

Yeah, this winter has been a doozy. According to Channel 9 meteorologist Tom Skilling, winter 2014 ranks as the 12th-coldest (and fifth-snowiest) of the 143 examples on record. It has produced the second-most number of days with 0-degree-or-below temperatures (18). Of course, winter 2014 doesn’t have anything on some of the devastatingly cold winters that occurred during the 1970s, but it’s been bad enough to force four school cancellations this month. And there might be more on the way.

We recently spoke with Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler about the process that goes into cancelling school, and unsurprisingly, temperature and road conditions are the two main factors that determine whether or not school will be in session. According to Schuler, there isn’t a set temperature that forces the School District into closure for the day. Rather, the district looks at a combination of temperature and wind chill to determine whether it’s safe to open school. Road conditions are trickier to gauge, as the the Kaneland School District covers about 140 square miles.

“Clearly during snow events, we look at the conditions of the roads,” Schuler said. “If we determine that we can’t get students to school safely, then we make a decision. It is important to remember that we have about 140 square miles in our district. Weather and road conditions may not be exactly the same in all areas. When we make a decision, is is based on the safety of all students and areas.”

For those of you wondering what happens to cancelled school sessions, five emergency days (to make up for potential cancellations) are identified whenever a school year’s calendar is approved. According to Schuler, the only time Kaneland students might actually miss a day of school is if the School District uses all five of its emergency days.

“In that case, there is some language in the school code that allows you to only make up the first five days,” Schuler said.

When cancelling school, District 302 makes the decision no later than 5:30 a.m. the day of the school session. However, for the four school cancellations this month, Kaneland made the call the day prior to the school session, thanks to a weather forecast dominated by sub-zero temperatures. Ultimately, Kaneland’s goal is to give parents as much notice as possible while also helping the School District ensure that it has the accurate information necessary to make the best decision.

Still, four school cancellations in a month indicates the severity of the arctic fronts that have swept through a good portion of this country. It’s certainly unlike anything we’ve experienced, and we’re not alone in that assessment.

“This has been an interesting month. I think the weather patterns have been very unusual—something I have not experienced in my time as a superintendent,” Schuler said. “The decision to close school is not an easy one, as I understand that it impacts lots of families. However, our goal is to keep students safe, and that is always the basis for every decision we make to cancel school.”

It can’t be an easy decision to cancel an entire school day, but given the unbelievably harsh weather we’ve experienced this winter, Kaneland was right to shelve four January school sessions.

Besides, with emergency days available, why take the risk?

Letter: HorsePower Therapeutic Riding Big Bowling Fundraiser a huge success

in Letters to the Editor by

HorsePower Therapeutic Riding held our second annual Big Bowling Fundraiser at St. Charles Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 18. Hundreds of supporters with their families and friends enjoyed bowling, pizza, a silent auction, face-painting, cupcakes, and an exciting 50/50 raffle. Both sessions of bowling were completely sold out. The gathering of the HorsePower family of supporters was as much fun as it was highly beneficial to the continuing operations of our Equine Therapy program. In every way, HP shined that Saturday. It was a day to celebrate friendships, award our students with a trophy ceremony, connect with community supporters, and raise funds to further our mission.

All of us at HorsePower Therapeutic Riding are amazed and humbled by the outpouring of community support for our program. Together, we far exceeded our goal, raising over $22,000. Total sales for our 50/50 raffle were $9,350, and our lucky first-place winner, Roger Fronek, was presented with a check for $4,675. Bob Ushman won the second-place prize of an iPad Mini. The grandmother of one of our students (who wishes to keep her name private) won the 3rd place prize: a Kindle Fire. The biggest winner of the day was HorsePower with the support generated for the program through the outpouring of kindness and generous donations.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to provide equipment and scholarships for the students who benefit from our therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving programs. As a 501c3 non-profit, our dream to “turn no student away for inability to pay” is secure. HorsePower serves approximately 35 adults and children with physical, cognitive, developmental and emotional disabilities on a weekly basis. We could not accomplish our mission without your strong financial support and the dedication of over 80 community volunteers who teach, lead horses, sidewalk, and assist in support and administrative functions.

Special thanks to Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith and the Illinois Council of Police for sponsoring our 50/50 raffle. St Charles Bowl hosted the event and Pizza Hut in St. Charles delivered hot and delicious pizza for us. We would also like to thank a few volunteers who went over and above to make the event a success. Eric Kroehnert ensured the success of the raffle and sold the most raffle tickets (187). Jenn Brown coordinated an amazing silent auction. Cheri Gilson created a beautiful calendar that was well supported by corporate sponsors. Kris Dunteman coordinated a gorgeous cupcake table that was enjoyed by all. We also want to thank Arlene Hughes for donating her tremendous face-painting talents. Lastly, Meredith Milz worked for months creating blue and white rubber band bracelets that she sold at the event. Her bracelets raised $122 for HP in an effort to help the program that helps her sister, Bekah.

You did an amazing job, everyone. HP owes each and every one of you a huge debt of gratitude for making our event the huge success that it was. HorsePower is your program. Together we can continue to harness the healing power of the horse in a way that is both unique and effective for these adults and kids who make tremendous strides with their equine partners. Good work. I wish to extend a sincere thank you from all of us at HorsePower.

John Cain
Chairman, HorsePower Board of Directors

Guest Editorial: Tips for protecting your identity, money

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Harold Valentine, News and Experts
At least 110 million consumers were affected by the recent hack involving Target and Neiman Marcus retailers. Whether or not millions more will have their identities manipulated and finances ruined within the coming months due to more breaches of security at other stores is anyone’s guess, says identity theft recovery expert Scott A. Merritt.

“By necessity, I became an expert on identity theft. My information was stolen in 2006, and in repairing the damage, I learned some not-so-obvious ways we can all protect against identity theft in the first place,” Merritt said.

Merritt’s problems began quickly. While disputing financial charges and dealing with resulting business problems, in 2007 he was stopped for a traffic violation and arrested on a false outstanding felony warrant. He immediately knew why.

“I had to enlist my U.S. congressman and convince the state police, NCIC, FBI and Secret Service that I didn’t commit the felonies. For a few years, I had to prove that the prints did not match the false record in question. After legal action, however, I was able to have this corrected.”

Unfortunately, the millions affected by the recent hacks may be dealing with similar repercussions in the years ahead, Merritt said.

Before you become a victim of identity theft, Merritt offers seven ways to guard against it.

• Understand how and where it happens. Identity theft is like being robbed when you are away from home; most thefts occur in places where you do business every day. Either a place of business is robbed, a bad employee acts improperly or a hacker breaches the office through the computer.
• Secure your wallet’s information. Photocopy everything in your wallet: photos, credit cards (front and back), membership cards—everything. Put the copies in the order the cards are arranged in your wallet, staple the pictures and place them in a strong box or safe.
• Make sure your information is consistent. For all of your identity and financial documents, make absolutely sure, to the smallest detail, that all of your personal information is accurate and consistent. Discrepancies such as using your middle initial on some documents, and not others, or having different addresses, can wreak havoc in proving your identity, and can compromise your credit score.

• Secure your digital habits and data. Change your passwords at least twice a year on a non-scheduled basis—don’t be predictable. Have a strong firewall if you shop online, and only access sites that are protected by a strong firewall and high industry standards. Access accounts of a financial nature only from your personal computer.

• Protect your banking information. While in the bank, keep account numbers and other data out of sight, and avoid stating account numbers, Social Security numbers and similar information out loud. When planning a bank visit, have items such as deposits and withdrawal slips prepared in advance.
• Account for your interactions with vendors. Every time you speak to someone with whom you do business, write down the time, date, name and the purpose or outcome of the call. If an identity theft occurs on the vendor’s end, you will be able to reference these prior conversations effectively. Be sure to note any animosity or reluctance from the vendor.
• Don’t carry around your birth certificate or Social Security card. Unless it’s necessary, keep those vital items in a safe, or at least a firebox. If you know someone is going to need a copy of your tax returns or your driver’s license, for example, make the copies ahead of time. This avoids the need for a firm’s employee to leave the room with such information.

“Of course, you can greatly reduce being a victim of such recent hacks that occurred at the major retailers by using cash more often,” Merritt said. “But if you’re going to use credit, use a card from a national bank or a national credit union and never a debit card, no exceptions.”

Community Corner: Kaneland musicians, actors prepare for busy winter

in Community Corner by

by Denise Blaszynski, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters president
The excitement of winter break and stress of finals have ended. As we move through the long, dreary days of winter, our Kaneland musicians and actors are gearing up for what is going to be a very thrilling and busy few months.

This year, the Kaneland Harter Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Rebecca Andersen, was chosen to perform at the annual Illinois Music Education (ILMEA) Conference in Peoria, Ill. (See related story on page 9A.) The jazz band, comprising of seventh- and eighth-grade student musicians and one sixth-grader, will travel to Peoria on Friday, Jan. 24, to perform. Only a select few middle school jazz band are given this honor.

The students will perform six songs at the Friday concert. What an incredible honor. Congratulations to Mrs. Andersen and her students.

Four student musicians from Kaneland High School will take part in the ILMEA All-State Conference festival Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Jan. 22-25, in Peoria: Matt Alfrey, Ryan Koeppen and James Tockstein for choir, and Carter Taylor for band. Participation in this event is one of the most prestigious honors in high school music in Illinois. The students auditioned last October for the state event during district-level performances. Alfrey received the highest score in his section, so he will represent KHS as a member of the Honors Choir. Students will work with guest conductors and perform with the best high school musicians in the state. The festival will close with a concert at the Peoria Civic Center arena on Saturday.

On Monday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. is the sixth-grade band concert at Harter Middle School. This is always an exciting concert as we listen to the first band performance of these promising musicians.

For the first time, Kaneland High School will host the Eighth-Grade and KHS Choir Festival on Saturday, Feb. 8. Madrigals and Bella Voce will be teaming with eighth-grade choir students for an afternoon of rehearsals, team building activities and dinner, ending with an evening concert at 7 p.m. It is the choir directors’ hope that experiences like this will encourage eighth- grade students to continue to be involved in choir at the high school. The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters will provide dinner for the students.

In March, the Kaneland community is fortunate to once again have the opportunity to see some of Kaneland’s finest musicians and actors on Sunday, March 2, at the second annual Knight of Performances Barbeque Dinner, sponsored by the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. Beginning at 2 p.m., this event will showcase our talented middle and high school students on stage, where their music and acting abilities will shine. This annual event is held to raise funds to support the band, choir and theatre students and programs at KHS and HMS. We are seeking support from local businesses through sponsorship of the evening or a donation of an item to put in our basket raffle. If you are interested in sponsoring this event, send an email to president@knightmusic.org. The event will be held at Harter Middle School, 1601 Esker Drive in Sugar Grove.

Throughout the state on Saturday, March 8, will be the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Solo and Ensemble Contest. Kaneland will play host to this year’s high school contest, which is sure to be one of the biggest music events at Kaneland this year. The event will take place at Harter Middle School, and many adult and student volunteers will be needed to help with set-up and clean-up, runners, information table, room monitors, concessions, hospitality and the judges’ luncheon. If you would like to volunteer, send an email to info@knightmusic.org.

If you would like additional information about the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters or how you can help with any of these events, find us on Facebook or send an email to president@ knightmusic.org.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald .com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Letter: Salvation Army kettle collection a huge success

in Letters to the Editor by

Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, over $7,700 was raised this holiday season in the area Salvation Army kettles. As other groups are reporting decreases, this community has shattered its previous giving record by over $1,500.

Conley Outreach Community Services serves as the Salvation Army extension site for the Kaneland area. Each fall we receive just under $3,000 from the Metropolitan Division to help area needy families. This money is used to pay for rent, heat, food, clothing or other necessities. Because of the current economic conditions, this money has already been spent. The Christmas kettles enable Conley Outreach to raise additional money to replenish this fund. All the money collected in our area kettles stay in the Kaneland area to help local families.

Many thanks to the local scout troops, sports teams, church groups, school children, civic organizations, families and individuals who braved sub-zero weather to ring the bells. Special thanks to the Elburn and Sugar Grove Jewel stores, Hill’s Country Store and Ream’s Elburn Market for allowing us to have kettles outside their businesses this year. Because of your help, we will be able to help many more families in the coming months.

Carol Werdin Alfrey
Conley Outreach Community Services

Letter: A thank you to Road Commissioner Feece

in Letters to the Editor by

My thanks to Road Commissioner Rod Feece and his crew for their hard work and long hours keeping the roads of Blackberry Township open in the recent heavy snows and dangerously cold temperatures.

Dennis C. Ryan
Blackberry Township

Community Corner: Knights wrestling stays strong through winter months

in Community Corner by

by Michelle Parks, Knights Wrestling Club president
Snow is flying in the air, the temperatures are dropping, and as everyone else is bundling up, Kaneland wrestlers are in full swing into their season.

The Kaneland High School varsity wrestling team has made some strong showings at Paletine’s Berman Tournament, with senior Justin Diddell placing fifth, junior Tom Price placing sixth and senior Dane Goodenough placing seventh, and Sycamore’s Invitationa,l where the entire roster placed 17th or higher.

Holding various duel wins over area schools such as Plano and Rochelle, this young team doesn’t look to be buckling under the pressure. Not to be outdone, the JV Team took six wrestlers to the Dekalb Black and Orange Tournament and placed second, with two individual first-place finishers on their roster: freshman Austin Kedzie and sophomore Ben Long.

The high school is getting prepared to go into conference after this coming week, where they will host Rochelle for Senior Night, and then participate in the Kaneland individual tournament.

As Harter Middle School came to a close after winter break, some of their wrestlers merged onto the Knights Wrestling Kids Club mat. Recently, the Knight’s hosted 15 area clubs with a tournament of over 350 wrestlers for their Knights Open. Since their home meet, they have traveled to Stillman Valley, Sycamore and Crystal Lake, as well as Yorkville. Their rookies have dropped into two beginners tournaments in Marengo and Waubonsee Valley, sweeping some top places. This week, the squad will take a break before heading into their last four tournaments. They are laying down some serious miles as they travel to Batavia, Lemont and Dundee Crown in order to ready themselves for the IKWF state series.

All levels of Kaneland Wrestling will band together on Saturday, Jan. 18, 6 to 10 p.m. to host a wrestling social at Calamity Jane’s in Sugar Grove. This event is open to parents of wrestlers of all ages, as well as alumni and all supporters. There will be a silent auction, as well as door prizes.

If you know a Kaneland wrestler, you may have already been hit up for the 2013-14 raffle ticket. The earned monies will go into a split between the high school and kids club to boost both programs. The winning ticket will be pulled at the social. The cost for the event is $10 per person and will include an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, fountain pop and iced tea.

For more info on the social, visit www.kanelandknightswrestlingclub.com or call Michelle Parks at (815) 216-6007.

Editor’s note

The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at kbeebe@elburnherald.com. Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Editorial: Kindness Campaign events continue in 2014

in From the Editor's Desk by

We used editorial space last fall to preview Kindness in Kaneland (KIK) Week, as well as Kindness Campaign 2013 activities. And now that 2014 has officially arrived, we’d like to shed some light on the Kindness Campaign’s upcoming fundraisers and activities.

First off is the revival of Friday Knightlife, which began last week and will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday through March 21.

The newly reborn program will take place at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St., and Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 S. Municipal Drive, and is intended for Kaneland-area students, grades fourth through eighth. The Community Center will feature activities such as basketball, floor hockey, dodgeball, Wii, air hockey and more, while the library will feature a movie, computer gaming, board games, crafts, music and more.

Java Plus Cafe at Sugar Grove Public Library will also be open during Friday Knightlife, and will offer 15 percent off coffee and live music by some of your favorite Kaneland area musicians.

Registration for Friday Knightlife is now open at www.peakforkids.org. Registration forms also available on the Kaneland School District virtual backpack system. Each student will get a free Friday Knightlife T-shirt. Cost is $75 per student; $50 for one sibling, and no charge for all additional siblings.

Later this month, The Kindness Campaign and Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) will lead a group discussion following performances of KAI’s Winter Theatre Production, “The Laramie Project,” which will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-26, in the Black Box Theatre portion of Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“The Laramie Project” depicts the account of residents of Laramie, Wyo., following the death of Matthew Shepherd in October 1998.

Tickets are available for purchase by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, or emailing 10911@kaneland.org. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

On the lighter side, local residents will have an opportunity to bowl against bullying during the Bowling Against Bullying event on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Parkside Lanes, 34W185 Montgomery Road, Aurora.

The event is for people age 21 and older. Pizza, drinks and a raffle will be available at 7:30 p.m. Bowling will begin at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $40 each, and include bowling, shoe rental, pizza and soft drinks. Tickets for groups of 10 (two teams, two lanes) are $350 and include bowling, shoe rental, pizza, soft drinks, and a free T-shirt for each of the 10 players.

The event will also feature trivia, 50/50 games, a DJ and dancing, bowling game and raffle prizes, a speak on cyber-bullying, gutter games, a disco ball and music bowling, and a cash bar.

So there you go—a handful of great events in store for the Kaneland community, and that’s just within the first three months of 2014. The Kindess Campaign will certainly add more events throughout the year. And when they do, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, feel free to get out there and experience what the Kindness Campaign has to offer.

Editorial: Looking for a new you in the new year? Find time to pursue your passion

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Penny Carnathan, News and Experts
In January, the job search websites go crazy as people start the new year resolved to find work that’s more satisfying.

“While thousands of people are dealing with the tragedy of unemployment, many others are looking for jobs that are more fulfilling than the ones they have,” said attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young.

In January 2013, job search website Indeed.com had a record 17.3 million unique visitors—a 24-percent jump, and January 2014 will likely see a similar increase. Many of those job seekers won’t be looking for just a job, but one they’re passionate about.

“It’s great if your day job is your passion,” Young said. “But if it’s not, you don’t have to give up a position that pays the bills in order to pursue your dream. You can do both.”

Since 2006, Young has pursued her passion—writing legal thrillers—as well as her day job as managing counsel for Labor and Employment Law for Toyota Motors Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

“I enjoy practicing law and I didn’t want to leave Toyota, nor could I afford to. But I also had a burning desire to write mystery novels,” Young said.

She recently released her sixth novel, “Anybody’s Daughter,” described by Kirkus Reviews as a “fast-paced, well-written thriller that’s grounded in social issues.”

“I’ve always believed that if you have a dream, you should formulate a plan and make it happen. So that’s what I did.”

Young’s plan included rising at 4 a.m. to squeeze in some writing time before heading off to work, and turning weekends and vacation time into creation time.

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I’ve published six novels, while still practicing law,” she said. “The hard work and commitment have definitely paid off.”

Young offers these tips for busy professionals itching to pursue their own passions.
• Schedule time to devote to your passion. “On my calendar, you’ll find a few hours or full days blocked out as ‘Writing Time’ every week,” Young said. “You have to schedule time for your passion. If you don’t, the day-to-day demands of life will get in the way.”

• Put “passion” time ahead of “pleasure” time. If you’re working full-time and pursuing another “job,” you won’t have a lot of free time. “You’ll have to cut back on watching television, socializing with friends and even family time,” Young said. “Explain your goals to friends and family. People who have your best interests at heart will support you. “But do take an occasional break to relax. Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out by working around the clock.”

• Learn from others. Surround yourself with people who share your passion. Sign up for newsletters, read books and join communities of other like-minded people. “There are tons of professional groups whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and business goals,” Young said. She is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime, an organization that promotes the advancement of women mystery writers. “Not only will you get energy and inspiration from networking with others, you’ll grow.”

• Don’t put your day job on the backburner. Young said it’s important to give your day job 100 percent. “I never want my co-workers to think I’m phoning it in because I also have a writing career.” That attitude has paid off. “I have a strong support system at work. My co-workers read my books, critique my manuscripts and come to book signings.” Many of the people Young thanks in the Acknowledgements in each of her books are co-workers. Her fourth novel is even dedicated to another Toyota attorney.

“Don’t just dream about pursuing your passion,” Young said. “Make it happen.”

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