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Editorial/Opinion - page 41

Letter: Thanks to supporters

in Letters to the Editor by

A heartfelt, but humble, Thank you to all the folks who encouraged and supported me through the election process and honored me with their vote on April 5.

I look forward to serving you for another four years.

Bill Grabarek

Guest editorial: People with disabilities need fair housing protections

in From the Editor's Desk by

Guest editorial
by Jennifer H. Gelman
Project Manager
Fair Housing Education Project
Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

James, who uses a wheelchair, wants to rent an apartment in a building with stairs in the entryway. Linda, whose depression is eased by the companionship of her dog, faces eviction for violating her landlord’s “no pets” policy.

Housing is a basic need. Yet, finding and holding onto a place to live can be challenging for everyone. For people with disabilities, finding suitable housing presents additional problems of accessibility and acceptance.

April is national Fair Housing Month.

Since April of 1968, discrimination in housing transactions on the basis of race, color, religion and national origin has been unlawful, due to the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act.

In 1974, Congress amended the law to prohibit discrimination based on sex. Finally, in 1988, the Fair Housing Act extended its protections to people with disabilities (either physical or mental) and families with minor children.

A landlord violates fair housing laws if he rejects (or treats with disfavor) a tenant because he is in a wheelchair, because he currently suffers from or has a history of mental illness, or because of any other disability.

The law provides additional protections to people with disabilities, including the right to reasonable modifications and reasonable accommodations.

A reasonable modification is a change to the physical structure of a building—a change that is necessary to enable a person with a disability to live on the premises.

As a prospective tenant who uses a wheelchair, James could ask his landlord to build a ramp at the entrance to the apartment building. Under fair housing law, James bears the expense of the construction, but the landlord must allow the change to be made.

Housing providers must also grant reasonable accommodations (changes to rules or policies) to people with disabilities. Linda, who suffers from depression, has a right to ask her landlord for an accommodation to the “no pets” policy, so that she can stay in her apartment and continue to manage her disability by keeping a companion animal.

Disabilities, especially developmental and emotional disabilities, are varied and complex. The range of potential reasonable accommodations ought to be equally diverse. Creative thinking about accommodations by people with disabilities, their advocates and their housing providers could keep many people in their homes.

The Fair Housing Act is broad. Its provisions extend beyond the question of disability. The FHA protects everyone from discrimination because of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or the presence of minor children in a household.

Illinois state law expands fair housing protections by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of military status, age (over 40), marital status, sexual orientation or Order of Protection status.

The fair housing laws alone, however broad and strongly worded on paper, cannot end wrongful discrimination without the participation of our communities. Housing providers must know their obligations under the law, and victims must know their rights and how to assert them.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free complaint process to resolve allegations of illegal discrimination. HUD investigates, mediates and, when necessary, litigates on behalf of victims and orders remedies at no charge to the complaining party.

Housing discrimination victims should contact HUD (1-800-669-9777 or online at www.hud.gov) or the Illinois Department of Human Rights (1-800-662-3942) within one year of the discriminatory incident.

If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination, call HUD. Prairie State Legal Services also provides free legal advice on housing matters to low-income persons. Prairie State’s Fair Housing Education Project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Editorial: Failure to do the work should equal failure to receive paycheck

in From the Editor's Desk by

As the hours ticked by Friday evening, Americans waited with a growing tension as a potential government shutdown approached.

Military families were scrambling, trying to figure out the exact impacts of having to go without pay for an undetermined amount of time.

The same held true for the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who would have to take furloughs, otherwise known as unpaid days off.

Meanwhile, those employees who would remain were determining how to help provide those essential services with a vastly reduced workforce.

The negotiations in the weeks, days, and even minutes before the midnight deadline neared leave plenty of room for legitimate debate in terms of how each side conducted itself, how each side communicated, and the manner in which the negotiations progressed.

Similarly, the compromise deal reached in the final moments Friday night also leave room for legitimate debate—some say the cuts were too much and some say they were too little. There should be a discussion on the nuts and bolts of our federal finances, but we want to reserve this space to the bigger picture.

That bigger picture is the fact that this near-shutdown only occurred because the previous congress failed to pass a budget for the current fiscal year. And because of that failure, the money nearly ran out and the political game of chicken concluded Friday.

So, regardless of where you fall in the political spectrum, regardless of who you feel conducted themselves well or poorly in those final moments, and regardless of your views of the compromise deal, we should all be able to agree that this near-shutdown should never have occurred.

Our representative in Congress, Randy Hultgren (R-14), introduced on April 8, H.R. 1454, the Congressional Pay Accountability Act. In essence, the bill would require that the salaries of members of Congress be held in escrow if they fail to pass a budget and all regular appropriations bills prior to the relavent fiscal year. Members of congress would not receive their pay until those bills are passed.

In a statement released Wednesday, Hultgren explained the rationale behind the bill.

“In Washington, we’re finally wrapping up work on a budget for this year,” said Hultgren. “We’re doing this because the last Congress never bothered to pass a budget. This is outrageous to me—and I know it’s outrageous to many of my constituents as well.”

The lack of a a budget and an ensuing near-government shutdown should be outrageous to everyone, regardless of party or political affiliation. Similarly, this bill should not be a partisan issue, and we urge everyone from both sides of the aisle to support it.

“This simple legislation will require Congress to pass a budget and all appropriations bills— ensuring that the government is fully funded for a given fiscal year—by the beginning of that fiscal year,” Hultgren said. “If we don’t, we simply won’t get paid. Outside of Washington, getting paid only when you do your job would sound like common sense; unfortunately, that’s not the case here.”

There are many tough decisions that need to be made in the coming months and years, and there will be legitimate, difficult debates that go along with them. The budget and fiscal issues should be among those things; but while what is inside the budget should be debated, the fact that a budget should exist should not.

If Congress—controlled by either party—fails to do its job, its members should not receive a paycheck. That seems simple enough to us, and hopefully, regardless of your political persuasion, you agree.

Letter: A thank you

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I wanted to thank all of you who supported me during my campaign for village trustee.

It was a lot of hard work since the late fall. I visited over 1,000 homes in Sugar Grove since late February, and it was great talking to you. It gave me a chance to understand your issues and concerns, and it provided an opportunity to share my vision for the village. It was great to hear the passion for the village from the residents, and how they want to make our town a better place to live and work.

I realize the importance of bringing in new businesses into the village and making sure any new opportunity makes sense for the residents. The good news is there are businesses coming to our village that will provide needed tax revenues, and they will also provide full- and part-time jobs.

I also realize the need to have much needed street and sidewalk repairs. Providing safe streets and sidewalks is a priority, and I will do all I can to help provide a resolution.

I also welcome our residents to keep active with your government, and assure them that I am here to listen to your concerns. Having open government is critical, and your voice is important.

I am looking forward to representing you for the next four years, and working with Tom Renk, Mari Johnson, Bob Boehler, Rick Montalto, Kevin Geary and President Michels. We are all dedicated to making Sugar Grove a success.

Thanks again for all of your support.

David Paluch
Sugar Grove

Letter: Thank you for your support and votes

in Letters to the Editor by

I would personally like to thank everyone that supported me and voted for me in the Elburn Fire District Trustee election.

Special thanks to Dennis Ryan for all his help, and Shelia Hatch Lange and family for their articles of support in the paper. I also want to thank James R. Feece for his many years of dedicated service as Fire Trustee for the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District. I am looking forward to serving the citizens of the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District.

Brian K. Schopp

Letter: Thank you for your vote of confidence

in Letters to the Editor by

Thank you for your vote of confidence in me,I shall do my best for all of you. Also a thank you to all of the many candidates who ran to support our community in the many contests.

Mike Fagel
Sugar Grove

Guest editorial: KC State’s Attorney joins in ‘Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past’

in From the Editor's Desk by

guest editorial
by Joseph H. McMahon,
Kane County State’s Attorney

The week of April 10-16, 2011, is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to honor victims and the advocates of victims’ rights. This year’s theme, Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past, evokes victims’ past struggles and our nation’s duty to help them rebuild stronger lives.

For victims, reshaping the future means confronting many challenges. After a crime, victims need to know what rights and resources they can count on. They might need money to bury a loved one or pay medical bills. They might want information on the criminal justice process, their rights to be present or heard in court, and to be notified about court proceedings and offenders’ whereabouts. We are proud that in Kane County, victims of violent crimes find the help they need.

For victim advocates, reshaping the future, particularly in these financially stressed times, means finding ways to do more with less. It means locating resources for victims who want them and helping new victims, such as the millions harmed by financial fraud, to restore their credit and financial security. Reshaping the future requires meeting present and emerging challenges.

It also requires understanding how crime has marred the past. The last several months, for example, the death penalty has been a topic of discussion in Illinois as the Legislature debated its future and Gov. Pat Quinn pondered how he would act. This discussion, although important, had unintended consequences. The families of many murder victims again were forced to relive the horrific, violent crimes that robbed them of loved ones.

Honoring the past also means recalling a time, not too many years ago, when victims had no voice in the criminal justice system—when murder victims’ families were excluded from courtrooms and assault victims paid all their own medical bills. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors the victims and advocates who confronted such injustices and helped produce a nationwide system of victim compensation and victims’ rights. It also reminds us that failures to enforce these laws or to fund programs for victims jeopardize the success of these reforms.

Crime victims are not limited to violent crimes. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office employs 12 victim advocates in several units to help victims of a variety of crimes, and offers resources and proactive services to help people from becoming crime victims. The advocates work in:
• The Victims’ Rights Unit
• The Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Unit, which assists victims 60 and older, and the mentally and physically disabled
• The Domestic Violence Unit
• The Child Advocacy Center
• The Juvenile Delinquency Unit

These advocates give crime victims information and guidance through the criminal process. They also provide outreach information and connections to outside agencies that can assist specific victim needs, such as domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, senior services, police departments and hospitals.

Our office will always make every effort to defend and advocate for crime victims. We have a responsibility to put a face on every case, and to make sure that we adhere to the Victims’ Bill of Rights, not because we are bound by law to do so, but because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and ideas on how to serve victims of crimes in Kane County, please call Judy Bland, director of the Victims’ Rights Unit at the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, at (630) 232-3500.

For information resources available to help crime victims, visit the website of the Office
of the Illinois Attorney General at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

Letter: Thanks to ‘Knight of Fun’ contributors

in Letters to the Editor by

The Spring Fundraising Committee of the Kaneland High School Sports Boosters would like to extend a big thank you to all the contributors, helpers and attendees to our “Knight of Fun” event, held March 5 at Lions Park.

It was a huge success, and we were able to hit the $12,000 mark for the first time in spite of the economy, which shows the extreme generosity of our Kaneland community.

Some of our donors included: Waste Management, Leyden Electric, Division One, Harris Golf Carts, Hill’s Country Store, Burgin Farms, Farm Direct Black Angust, Elburn Market, Elburn Car Wash, Elburn Liquors, McDonald’s, Schmidt’s, Fireside Grill, Golden Acres, American Tree and Turf, Sugar Grove Health Center, Delnor Fitness Center, Action Graphix, Von Jaeger Kennels, Reuland Food Service, West Physical Therapy, Jewelry by Design, Let’s Talk Cafe, Castle Bank, Old Second Bank, Vision Plus, Ed Saloga Design, Source Therapeutic Massage, Shane Kuipers Salon,Terra Ayres, the Krauspe’s, the Andrews, Bliss Creek, Hughes Creek, St. Charles Sportsman Club, Matt Harvell, Kirhofers’ Sporting Goods, USA Fitness, China Garden, and many more. Thank you so much for supporting our high school athletics.

Mari Johnson, Jeanette Jorgenson,
Carolyn Komel, Melanie Kuhar and
Brenda Ross, Boosters members

Letter: Thanks for support during these difficult days

in Letters to the Editor by

The loss of a loved one is always a difficult time, especially when it is sudden. The only thing that helps a family through a situation like this is the outpouring of love shown by friends and family members. We have been truly blessed by all the expressions of love shown to us since our mother (Dorothy McAdams) passed away peacefully on March 22. It would be impossible to mention each of the people, each of the meals, each of the kind words and each of the expressions of love that have showered us during this difficult time. We would be remiss if we didn’t thank each of you one more time for blessing us. It has been obvious during the past few weeks that our mother was a woman loved by many. If you ever visited our mom, you know that she expressed her love through her food. She loved her family, she loved her friends and she loved food. There was a thin line between those she counted as family and those she counted as friends. To her if you were a friend, you were family. Either way, you knew you were loved when she went to the refrigerator and started pulling out food. Her legacy is her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild. Her legacy is her family. Her legacy is her love of cooking and feeding those she loved. Thank all of you again for all you have done during this difficult time in our lives. Please don’t be afraid to share stories with us when you see us. It helps to share memories of the people mom loved. Thank you.

Cindy Heyob, Julie Little,
Steve McAdams, and our families
Maple Park

Letter: “You decide …” That’s what SB35 (the old SB600) is all about

in Letters to the Editor by

If you think it’s OK for Republican State Central Committeemen to give thousands of dollars and serious support to Mayor Daley, Governor Blagojevich and other Democrat politicians, if you think it makes any sense at all to have Jim Oberweis, who has spent more than $10,000,000 to lose five major elections, advising Republicans about how to win political campaigns, and, if you think it is in any way appropriate for the Republican State Central Committee to threaten Republican precinct committeemen with punishment for not supporting every single Republican candidate on the ticket, no matter how corrupt or opposed to the Illinois Republican Party Platform they are, do not support fundamental reform and change. No need to read further.

SB35 provides for direct election of Republican State Central Committeemen. Proponents want the right to vote for their leaders, just like Republicans had for more than 50 years, before Governor Thompson and his allies took it away through legislation. We want what Democrat primary voters have continued to enjoy.

If Republicans were in good shape in Illinois, I would say it doesn’t make any difference how we elect our leaders. However, Democrats have been slaughtering us with nine years of corrupt or incompetent governors and nearly veto-proof majorities in the State House and Senate. This gross mismanagement has led to a staggering 67 percent personal income tax increase, a redefinition of marriage in homosexual “unions,” constant threats to our right to self-defense, the obvious bankruptcy of our state through crippling spending and debt, and now the protection of murderers, terrorists and rapists from the death penalty.

Illinois Democrat strength, in large part, is due to Republican establishment weakness. Our top leadership’s weakness is due to their detachment from their grassroots base. We correct that deficiency by restoring the direct empowerment of the grassroots to hold Republican leadership accountable.

I am embarrassed by Republican Party establishment’s resistance to direct democracy and the grassroots’ right to determine the future of our party. Our Constitution begins “We, the People”, not “We, the Politicians at the Top”. The Declaration of Independence clearly states “All men (and women) are created equal …,” not like in George Orwell’s parody of Communism, “Animal Farm,” “… but some are created more equal than others.”

When will “We the People” reassert our authority over the power of our own Republican Party?

In the most peculiar way, Republican Party leadership reaches out for the energy, volunteer work and money of Tea Patriots. It’s like they’re embarrassed to acknowledge that we know them well enough to vote for them. Yet, those who have run the party into the ground have detached themselves from legitimate grassroots, and have elevated themselves to a type of elitist privilege, refuse to give every Tea Patriot the respect of a vote. They take what they’re not willing to pay for.

SB35 (the old SB600) empowers Republican precinct committeemen, the backbone of serious effort in our party.

My wife, Sarah, who serves as our neighborhood precinct committeeman, says, “Chris, how can I ask any of our neighbors to help me build the Republican Party when the party won’t demonstrate its respect enough to give them a voice in a vote?” And, the only practical way that a candidate for State Central Committee can effectively run for this office without spending lots of money is to make his/her appeal to the various precinct committeemen, who then recommend a vote for that candidate in their precinct letter to their neighbors.

All these candidates for State Central Committee become additional recruiters of precinct committeemen, in addition to the county chairmen, because they have good old-fashioned self-interest of gathering allies in every neighborhood of the state of Illinois to help their campaigns.

Unfortunately, we are now told by friends that, in place of our individual right to vote, we should be satisfied with the grand concession of “County Chairmen will no longer vote vacant precincts.” This practice was an unconscionable abuse of power. This insufficient proposal was announced like it represents a great victory.

This is not “too little, too late”. It is an insult to our intelligence and a lack of acknowledgement that this former practice was an unconscionable abuse of power. “Voting vacant precincts” was an incentive to not recruit independent-thinking neighborhood precinct committeemen. The worse job they performed, the more power they had at county conventions. We are advised that discontinuing this practice (even with a secret ballot) should take the place of each of us maintaining the dignity of our individual vote.

The passage of SB35 (the old SB600) and the future of the Republican Party is really up to you. I recommend two actions:

Call your state senator/representative and request that they co-sponsor SB35—to just vote for it is insufficient.

Run for precinct committeeman or help a neighbor run for this office, so that you can change the Republican Party from within, in case the establishment is successful again in frustrating the will of the people to vote and determine their own futures.

Chris Lauzen
(R-25) Aurora, IL

Letter: Blood drive was huge success

in Letters to the Editor by

We answered the need for an immediate shortage for every blood type. The March 7 Blood Drive in Sugar Grove was a huge success, with 83 donors. We deeply appreciate all the hard work provided by the Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, the Sugar Grove Fire Department, the Heartland Blood Center staff and all of our extra volunteers.

A special thank you to our awesome donors: Carolynn Abruzzo, Jane Alabastro, Randall Banker, Kate Boehmer, Steve Boehmer, Penny Boose, Tom Brouch, Chris Cooper, Charles Crisci, Gina Comiskey, Patricia Davis, Jon Diaz, Sue Diaz, Bill Durrenberger, Jim Eckert, Bob Farley, Nancy Felella, Aaron Frasz, Melissa Gooch, Denise Goress, Lori Hamilton, George Hannemann, Dustin Hawkins, Jack Holleran, Katie Hughes, Melinda Jackson, Mike Janco, Jeremy Jorgensen, Erica Kelly, Chris Kovacic, Dave Kriceri, Kim Kriceri, Ed Malert, Robert Mathews, Suzanne McCracken, Margaret Metzger, Nick Michaels, Joe Miller, Millie Molitor, Russ Molitor, Kimmie Montalbano, Amy Nitsche, Erin Novotny, Tom Oliveria, Pat Perez, Nika Plattos, Stephanie Reilly, Jodie Rubo, Brian Schiber, Erin Schiber, Meghan Schiber, Stan Schumacher, Christine Seawall, Clyde Smith, Christine Steenwyk, Jeff Steenwyk, Kyle Straughn, Jamie Tausch, Renee Tonioni, Patricia Torza, Stephanie Turner, Alicia Weiss, Christy Wittbrodt, Annette Wood, Ally Woody, Linda Wray, Sherry Young and Scott Zaeske.

We deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove Blood Drive is scheduled for Sept. 12.

Joy Rubo
Blood Drive Coordinator
Sugar Grove

Editorial—Remember: All the candidates wish to serve their communities

in From the Editor's Desk by

This week, we provided extensive coverage of the contested races within the Kaneland communities.

We chose to publish our election coverage in Q&A format, in order to give for the candidates the opportunity to describe themselves and their views in their own words.

We did as little editing as possible, mostly for space and grammatical reasons.

What you will find in our election pages, then, are the words as written by a broad group of people with a broad range of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and philosophies.

Yet, one thing they all have in common is a desire to serve; a desire to see our communities improve.

Elections can get heated, as those who support candidates begin to argue and debate the legitimate differences that separate the candidates from each other. This is true whether the election is at the national or local level.

We have seen past elections that run smoothly, with the legitimate differences debated—sometimes vigorously—but with all sides remaining respectful of the other parties. We have also seen the uglier side of local elections in the past, with flyers left in public, anonymously attacking a candidate, or individuals posting comments full of personal attacks on our website, or the rumor mill started up with little to no basis in fact.

As the final days approach prior to the Tuesday, April 5, election, we have yet to receive word that anything untoward has occurred, and we hope that the trend continues. We hope that people can discuss and debate the differences between the candidates without emotions boiling over and without the ugly side of elections coming through.

Democracy often is not pretty, and there is a need for issues to be debated and argued, and there certainly is a need for candidates to be thoroughly explored prior to a vote being cast. Even as unattractive as it can appear at times, the sometimes seemingly chaotic discussions that precede an election are a vital component to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to express their views and explore the candidates, their backgrounds and expertiese, and their philosophies.

That being said, we urge our readers and viewers to remember—especially if in the midst of a heated discussion—the one thing in common each candidate has, as mentioned above, is despite the differences you may have with a candidate or a candidate’s views, remember that they seek office to serve and help make our community a better place.

Letter: KEA endorsement of School Board candidates

in Letters to the Editor by

The Kaneland Education Association, in partnership with the Citizen’s Advisory Committee, hosted a School Board Candidate Forum on March 10.

We would like to thank those who participated in this event: organizers, candidate participants, audience members, and those who could not attend and accessed the Candidate Forum video on the Kaneland website (which is still available).

Having seven candidates for four School Board seats is a testament to the level of investiture of our community in the educational health and operations of our School District. As those on the front lines of meeting the educational needs of Kaneland children, the Kaneland Education Association listened to the questions and answers from the viewpoint of what would ultimately be best for Kaneland students.

There were five candidates who KEA believes will work to maintain the quality level of programs we have, will support initiatives professional educators identify as necessary to the future growth of our schools, and will cast an informed and realistic eye toward fiscal responsibility. KEA is proud to endorse any of the following five individuals for election to the Kaneland School Board in the April 5 election: Jim Oberweis, Teresa Witt, Deborah Grant, Gale Pavlak and Pat Denlinger.

Linda Zulkowski
KEA President

Letter: Endorsement for Deborah Grant

in Letters to the Editor by

Please vote for Deborah Grant to represent residents of the Kaneland School District 302.

Deborah is highly qualified in many ways, including her expiring term on the board. She has demonstrated her abilities to cautiously debate issues of importance to all taxpayers.

Deborah is highly educated, holding, at least a Masters Degree, which becomes evident in her mannerisms, demeanor and professionalism. I have attended many board meetings (probably more than most candidates currently running for office) to observe the board in action. Such attendance allows me to more fully represent the residents of the district with my membership on the Citizens Advisory Committee.

It also, in my opinion, allows me to endorse one who I believe will continue to represent all of the community. She has stated the proper education of the students is not all about test scores but more importantly about their preparation for the future.

I have had the pleasure of working with Deborah on a project in our community. She writes very well, is articulate and extremely professional. She assisted me with a fundraiser to the betterment of the community without demanding any recognition. What more can one ask for as a continuing member of the Board of Education for Kaneland School District 302?

Please vote for Deborah on April 5. Thank you.

H. Jack Hansen

Letter: Support for Grabarek

in Letters to the Editor by

William C. Grabarek moved to Elburn in 1978. Over the past 33 years, Bill’s contributions to our community have been immeasurable.

As a volunteer leader, Bill has done voluminous work on behalf of Lazarus House, the Fox Valley Wildlife Center, and the Friends of the Town and Country Library. Because of this work, the Illinois Humanities Council honored William C. Grabarek with its Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award in 2006.

As an appointed village official, Bill chaired the village of Elburn Planning Commission for eight of his 10 years of service, culminating in 2003. That same year, Bill was first elected to our Village Board, where continues his dedicated service to this day.

Bill has the commitment, energy and willingness to continue to represent a historical perspective and institutional knowledge of the Elburn Village Board.

When times are tough, I know I can count on Bill Grabarek to preserve Elburn’s past, protect our present and plan for the future.

Please join me in supporting William C. Grabarek for re-election as trustee to the Elburn village board.

Dr. James L. Willey

Letter: It’s got to be Schopp

in Letters to the Editor by

It is with sincere gratitude and enthusiasm that our family can endorse Mr. Brian Schopp for Elburn Fire District Trustee.

Mr. Schopp knows first-hand with his experience and dedicated commitment at both Station I in Elburn and Station II on Hughes Road. He has learned and is familiar with the latest equipment and the best state-of-the-art engineering and procedures in our county and state.

Mr. Schopp comes with true integrity and with a real sense of determination and positive attitude. Brian will be there for us, keeping up with the newest rules and regulations, equipment needs, and negotiations with our board and its leaders.

Thank you, Firefighter Schopp. You are our voice and one of Elburn’s very own.

Sheila Hatch Lange & Family
Maple Park

Letter: In support of the Forest Preserve referendum

in Letters to the Editor by

I am writing in support of the Kane County Forest Preserve Land Acquisition and Preserve Improvement Referendum on April 5.

Within my memory, Randall Road went from a sparsely-traveled country road to a high speed north-south route through the county that has become overcrowded, busy and slow. The congestion on Randall Road is a stark reminder of the rapid changes that Kane County has undergone in recent years, to the point where we are worried about increased flooding, depletion of our underground water supplies, the shortage of open space, and the high taxes we pay for our schools.

Now we have the opportunity to make a very small investment—around $1 per month for the average homeowner—that will pay big dividends in our quality of life while increasing wildlife habitat, lessening flooding, increasing aquifer recharge, and providing outdoor recreational space. With numerous willing sellers and the lowest land prices in decades, this is an excellent time to add 1,500 to 2,000 acres to our forest preserves in order to expand and connect existing preserves as well as to add trails, public access and other amenities.

With this “breather” in the unsustainable growth rate, and while land prices are at bargain levels, it is with a sense of urgency that I suggest that now is the time to catch up to the other counties in the Chicago Metropolitan area, all of which have more forest preserve land than Kane does. Please join me in voting yes for the Kane County Forest Preserve Land Acquisition and Preserve Improvement Referendum on April 5.

Jack Shouba
Campton Hills

Letter: In support of Pat Denlinger for School Board

in Letters to the Editor by

I’ve lived in Elburn for over 20 years now, and during this time I’ve been active in youth athletics, School District referenda and the Kaneland Foundation.

I’ve come to know most, if not all, of the people running for the Kaneland School Board, as well as many of its current members. We have some outstanding candidates running in April, and I will support them as my fourth and last child graduates from Kaneland this May.

I write this letter to support one candidate in particular and someone I’m proud to call my friend—Pat Denlinger.

Pat and I have interacted as part of Elburn Basketball and then the Kaneland Cagers for the past 10 years. We’ve also sat next to each other over the years as fans watching our sons play basketball and football. Pat coached my son, Matt, in basketball for many years. I can’t think of a more level-headed person of integrity better suited for a School Board position than Pat.

Although I no longer will have children in the district’s schools, I know many of you who will. These are important times we’re heading into. We have a fairly new superintendent and brand new principals at many of our district’s schools, including the high school.

Now is a good time for change, and change is most definitely needed, especially at the high school. We need to elect people who are not afraid of change and are not afraid to lead that change. We need people with principles and the conviction not to veer from their principles when times are tough or others disagree.

Pat is one of those people. Please support Pat Denlinger in the upcoming School Board election. You will not be disappointed.

Joe Spitzzeri

Letter: In support of Grabarek

in Letters to the Editor by

I am writing this letter in support of Bill Grabarek’s candidacy for trustee of the Elburn Village Board.

Bill has been an outstanding trustee on the Elburn Village Board for the past eight years and prior to that, served on the Elburn Planning Commission for 10 years. He has served with vision and integrity, always supporting whatever is in the best interest of the village of Elburn. Bill has lived in Elburn since 1978, and he and his wife are co-founders and have been faithful supporters and members of the Friends of the Town and Country Public Library in Elburn since its formation nearly 10 years ago.

I have known Bill personally for more than 20 years and have always been impressed with his honesty, kindness and willingness to serve. Bill has gladly donated huge amounts of his time and legal expertise to charitable causes, something not every attorney would do.

Bill is very qualified and has been endorsed by the Daily Herald and the Kane County Chronicle. He has a real heart for Elburn and its citizens, and I fully support him and his candidacy. On April 5, I urge you to vote for Bill and the experience and expertise he brings to the position of the Elburn Village Trustee.

Darlene Marcusson

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