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November 2007 Archives

Every day it seems there's another new twist and turn to the saga of the missing wife of former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson. There's the story of the blue barrel and whether he used it to dispose of the body of wife #4 Stacy Peterson. Then there's the story of how, according to Stacy's pastor, she said that Drew had confessed to her that he had killed wife #3 Kathleen Savio. And, Drew Peterson has been formally named a suspect in the mysterious bathtub drowning death of Kathleen Savio. All of this looks pretty bad for the 53-year-old ex-cop. And every night much of cable TV is obsessing on and dishing the latest details on whether he killed wife #3, wife #4, or both of them. However, there's still a Constitution in this country which says you're innocent until proven guilty. Has there been a rush to judgment with Drew Peterson or is there just too much circumstantial evidence floating around to resist judging him? What do you think?

Tough love

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Friday's Sun features a story about Sandy Fink, who will talk at the 95th Street Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday about how she enrolled her son in a lockdown residential treatment program in a last-ditch bid to get help for his drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Now that the nation's largest Planned Parenthood clinic is operating just outside Naperville's walls, a couple of Naperville City Council members plan to introduce a resolution asking the state to enforce a 1995 law that requires parents be notified before underage girls undergo abortions.

Imagine being a fifth grader and studying hard for a test...maybe even staying up past bedtime studying for it. Then you go do your best and, like all kids, breathe a big sigh of relief that the exam is over. Hopefully, you did well. But then you're told you have to take the test again! What is this, the Twilight Zone? No, that's exactly what happened to a bunch of fifth graders in Dist. 204. It may sound unbelievable in this digital world of instant communication, but it turns out that the test results were lost in the mail. Not the U.S. mail but from a national delivery company with all those high-tech tracking systems. And, it gets worse. It wasn't a run-of-the-mill geography or spelling test, but a big deal test to determine placement in programs and things of that nature. Wouldn't you hate to be one of those fifth graders and have to take the exam all over again? So who should be held accountable for this disastrous turn of events - Dist. 204, or the national carrier that lost the tests (nice tracking system, by the way)? It sure isn' fair to the kids.

Over a long and illustrious career, John Drury was the television newsman millions of Chicagoland residents - Naperville included - turned to for their daily dose of news and current events. Indeed, it often seemed that Drury was for Chicago what Walter Cronkite was for the nation - someone to turn to in moments of unspeakable tragedy and in joyous times, too. Now, at age 80, John Drury is gone after losing his valiant struggle with an ultimately unbeatable foe - Lou Gehrig's disease. Drury battled the illnes with exemplary dignity, courage and grace, traits that he so often embodied in public life and in the handsome face that lit up TV screens night after night all over Chicago. If you have anything to say about his passing, any words you want to express to his family, or even comments about news events that John Drury related to you in a memorable way, we'd like to know about them.

By halftime it was pretty much over down in Champaign - all but the cheering for Naperville North's winning of the state title in a 46-19 trouncing of Glenbard North. It's quite a feat, being the state champ and deservedly so for Jordan Tassio and his crew who clearly had the title in their sights from day one of the prep season. Naperville has a long and storied past with high school football achieveements. But on the basis of sheer athleticism, drive and that indomitable will to win against all odds, could it be that this year's Naperville North football squad is the best ever in the history of Naperville. How about you be the judge? Let us know.

Another shoe dropped last night in the case of Councilman Dick Furstenau's lawsuit against the city he represents. The CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce - on behalf of the organization's 2,000 members - read a letter which basically questioned the ability of the Council to govern fairly under the cloud of this lawsuit. The Chamber's letter, in part, read: "Our concern is whether this specific lawsuit has created a conflict of interest between the city and our elected representatives, and if the process of governing can continue in an impartial and fair manner..." In reaction to the statement, Furstenau said he was "not intimidated" while acknowledging that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, what about the opinion of the 2,000 members of the Chamber of Commerce? That's a lot of opinions and they certainly must matter to a lot of the Naperville community. Also, last night it was acknowledged that the city is seeking outside counsel to handle the Furstenau case. Outside counsel doesn't come cheap. Is this the kind of government that's "for and by the people?" Thoughts, anyone?

This summer it was the turtles, porpoises and all those other whimsical sea creatures that graced downtown Naperville for the sea-themed United Way sculpture fundraiser. And, last year it was the dragons that made great photo-ops for kids to hang all over as mom and dad snapped away. Themes are tough to think of every year so for this coming summer the United Way is seeking the community's input as to what kind of scuptures should be commissioned for the fundraiser. It' s a tough one - but we're sure there are plenty of creative Napervillians who might have a notion what to do next? For starters, how about scuptures of prominent Naperville figures? You could have life-size City Councilmen sprinkled around various street corners, or maybe Mayor Pradel (back when he was on the force) giving out a traffic ticket? That's just one idea but the United Way wants to hear about plenty of others. Tell us what you think would make for good sculptures next summer and we'll be sure to pass your ideas along to the United Way.

Here's the plan

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Naperville School District 203's administration is recommending the school board ask voters for a tax hike to fund improvements, including an $87 million renovation of Naperville Central High School. Now the question becomes, will the typical Naperville homeowner agree to pay another $82 a year for 20 years?

The Naperville School District 203 board and administration is considering redistricting--or redrawing attendance boundaries for some elementary schools--as a way of avoiding a costly expansion that would be needed to relieve overcrowding at Mill Street Elementary School. Many parents are upset about the plan because their children would have to switch schools. Is redistricting a better solution than expanding Mill Street?

In a story in Wednesday's Sun, District 204 School Board President Mark Metzger and Superintendent Steve Daeschner said they are negotiating with three landowners for a new site for the new Metea HS, given that the price of the original Brach Brodie land came in at such a high cost. The officials did not disclose the locations of the three sites being considered and said an announcement would be made when a deal is done. A new site also will likely mean new high school boundaries - something residents will remember as a very grueling process when it last took place in 2006. The question to be asked is do we need more public comment and input on the new sites, or should it be left up to the officials to just make an announcement after a "done deal." As also stated in the Wednesday Sun article, public comment at meetings is now held at the end of the given evening's agenda, forcing residents to stick around for as long as three hours before they can make their voice heard. Combine this with the "executive sessions" (closed to the public) that the board has been having on the location of the the new HS, is the public being given a real opportunity to have its say? After all, the residents of 204 are the ones who are going to have to live with and educate their kids in the new HS. Are they getting enough say about this critical issue? We'd like to know.

Looks like starting next year parents will be able to take advantage of all-day kindergarten in District 204. This $7 million investment seems like a welcome development for parents, kids and the district. For families where both parents work, it certainly eases the strain on where to put their little ones; for the kids, it's a good way to introduce them to school and, let's face it, kindergarten is fun so having them in all day is no big deal; for the district it would seem that all-day kindergarten would give them a better handle on enrollment figures for the next year which would certainly help in facilities preparation and things of that nature. A generation or so ago all-day kindergarten seemed to be the norm across the country and it's good to see that it's coming back. The question is - why just Dist. 204? What about Dist. 203? It certainly seems to have the money to fund the all-day program. And shouldn't it be made available to all Naperville families, not just the ones in 204?

It's here, finally, the interstate link between Bolingbrook and New Lenox. Will it put those towns on the map, like I-88 did for Naperville, or the first part of I-355 did for Woodridge?

Sunday is Veteran's Day, a day to thank and salute those family, friends and even strangers who have served - or are serving - a cause much greater than themselves. The sad thing is that our holidays now seem to rush from one right into the other. Before the Halloween decorations were down it seemed that Christmas music was already on the radio, not to mention holiday decorations appearing in the department stores. Is this a product of an overly-materialistic society, or are we just moving too fast as a nation and, in the process, forgetting to properly recognize a holiday that was paid for in blood from the beaches of Anzio to the sands of Ramadi. Are our veterans getting the short end of the stick? What do you think - and what are you doing for Veteran's Day?

Good news for Naperville motorists heading in or out of Bolingbrook. As of today, the village has suspended its controversial "red-light" cameras, those automated eyes-in-the-sky that monitored drivers on camera and issued tickets for traffic infractions. The decidedly unpopular program - which infuriated several Naperville drivers who claimed they were being ticketed unfairly - will be suspended upon further evaluation at least until spring. Were you a victim of one of these camera tickets? If so, we'd sure like to hear what you think now. The bottom line here is do these cameras actually work in the area of traffic enforcement where, conceivably, a cautious driver may cross a white line to get a better view of oncoming traffic while trying to make a turn and be rewarded with a fine for his or her efforts? Or, do you need the eyes of an actual police officer to address individual situations with common sense. Perhaps it's good riddance to these annoyiong cameras or, maybe, they're just going to work out the kinks and reinstall them.

Before the proceedings got underway at Tuesday's City Council meeting a real shocker was announced - City Manager Peter Burchard is packing it in after being at the helm in Naperville for 10 years. Under his stewardship, Burchard has managed the city during a time of explosive growth and daunting challenges. Widely respected mong government officials and the public alike, he's got shoes that will certainly be big to fill - especially now, with a whole host of development projects on the plate of Naperville's city government. What can we all make of it? He'll be a tough guy to replace. Will the city act fast in replacing him, or will we see a lonng, drawn-out selection process? Weigh in on what you think of this sudden news and tell us if you've had any memorable meetings, personal experiences etc. with the man who, often quietly and behind the scenes, helped make Naperville what it is today over the course of the last decade.

DuPage County is poised to cut some 20 percent from its budget. If the axe falls, it will slash funding for sheriff's police, the state's attorney's office, the health department, the juvenile detention center and plenty of other programs that serve the public. How did we get here?

Cut away all the other stuff about sneaking in a recreation center, booting out shooters and gardeners and Scouts, and all the other possibilities that complicate the potential reuses of the Martin-Mitchell property debate and it all boils down to this: Should Naperville School District 203 remodel or rebuild Naperville Central High School?

Transit doomsday is averted with another 11th-hour Band-Aid on a bullet hole. Now we wait to find out if the buses to the Naperville train stations will run come January. Don't you just love this state?

The Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation is opposing a development proposed for Water Street that would see five-story buildings sprout up along the south side of the Riverwalk. Would the project forever destroy Naperville's charm?

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims that "in January of 2006, the Naperville police orchestrated the false arrest of their No. 1 political enemy, Naperville City Councilman Richard R. Furstenau." Do you think that's true?

Naperville Potluck

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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