Thumbs-up: To the two newest inductees to the Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame. Jerry Taylor, a member of the Class of 1946, has had a long career in music including recording a country album and singing in the St. John’s Lutheran Church choir for 71 years. Christine (Wild) Monteiro is a 1987 grad who has performed in choirs and ensembles and received multiple awards in her career. Sycamore High has a great tradition of honoring graduates who have gone on to set an example through success and through service. We’re glad to see the school’s music hall of fame gain two more inductees who we may see in the future in the display case outside the high school auditorium. The inductees will be honored at the Sycamore Music Boosters’ annual A Note to Remember event from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 10 at Blumen Gardens, Sycamore.
Thumbs-down: To the loss of another local retail outlet. Bon-Ton Stores Inc., announced this week that it would close seven Illinois Carson Pirie Scott stores, including the location at 2550 Sycamore Road in DeKalb. The local store will be liquidating its inventory over the next 10 to 12 weeks, the company said. It is yet another sign of how Americans’ shift toward online shopping is changing the face of the marketplace. Although consumers’ preference for convenience and low price is an undeniable and likely unstoppable force, we’re left to wonder what future businesses will fill the void left by stores that have anchored commercial areas for decades. What’s more, some of us still enjoy and rely on an in-person, try-before-you-buy shopping experience.
Thumbs-down: To six more weeks of winter. From the Woodstock Square to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, groundhog prognosticators have reported emerging, seeing their shadow and retreating with the prediction of six more weeks of winter. Concerns about our planet’s warming climate aside, we could do with an early spring. But if the snow in this weekend’s forecast is any indication, the groundhogs might have it right this year.
Thumbs-up: To raising money to help the homeless. Last weekend, Hope Haven’s annual Sheltering Hope Hoedown fundraiser collected $75,000 for the nonprofit organization, which provides shelter and services to homeless people with disabilities as well as children with troubled pasts. The organization, with its largest location at 1145 Rushmoore Drive in DeKalb, is responsible for about 100 people a night, officials said. Like many communities, ours has a lot of people in need, and it’s inspiring to see people coming together to support Hope Haven’s mission.