Thumbs-up: To the opening of the DeKalb County History Center's new location. Saturday will mark the grand opening for the new countywide history museum at 1730 N. Main St. in Sycamore. The center has been more than a year in the making. The featured attraction will be the traveling "Crossroads: Change in Rural America" exhibit, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The exhibit will remain until June 22, but the center itself will continue to be a part of promoting the county's history and rural heritage for years to come. Organizers have not sought to replace the area's many local history museums, but hope to help promote them. The new exhibit space will also make it possible for larger traveling exhibits to come to Sycamore, and with both the museum and county archive organization the Joiner History Room under one roof, it will be a great place for events, gatherings and self-directed research aimed at learning more about our area's past. Congratulations and thanks to all who have donated time and money to the effort.
Thumbs-down: To the continued march toward more taxes and fees. This week, the Illinois Department of Revenue announced this week that Illinois collected $1.5 billion more than it expected in tax revenue in April. They also announced that they were increasing their projection for tax revenues the state would receive in the next fiscal year by about $800 million, largely because of improved economic conditions. More people are working and earning money both through wages as well as stock dividends and other forms of income. Although this is welcome news, it seems to have done little to slow the march toward plans to raise more tax revenue, be it from taxes on tobacco, plastic bags, gasoline, income tax changes or other means. In fact, this unexpected windfall is a tremendous gift, and one that should make it easier to produce a balanced budget with moderate spending cuts, rather than start a new fiscal year with a raft of tax and fee increases for Illinois citizens.
Thumbs-up: To the Chicago Cubs for taking swift action this week to indefinitely ban a fan who appeared to flash a white power hand sign behind TV analyst Doug Glanville during Tuesday's broadcast. The Cubs announced the ban in a statement Wednesday after a review of the fan's social media accounts, according to Crane Kenney, the team's president of business operations. "An individual seated behind Mr. Glanville used what appears to be an offensive hand gesture that is associated with racism," Kenney said. "Such ignorant and repulsive behavior is not tolerated at Wrigley Field." Racist behavior has no place in society, and we commend the Cubs for taking a public role in the discussion.