THUMBS UP! And welcome back, James Reynolds. The Decatur native has taken the long way home, coming here from Wilmington College in Ohio. He assumes the presidency at Millikin during a frantic time, and will have to be at the center of any number of important and impactful decisions. Along with our welcome, we wish Reynolds good fortune. We’ll also wish a fond farewell to outgoing president Patrick White. If Reynolds leaves with a fraction of the adoration and progress White oversaw, he will have done a good job.
THUMBS UP! To all of us. We’ve made it to phase four of Gov. Pritzker’s Reopen Illinois plan, a place that seemed impossibly far away when he first announced the plan on May 5. Some have suffered more than others, and there’s always going to be room to second-guess or justify any decision made in response to COVID-19. A quick look at any positive case chart shows some states have had success. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and, yes, Illinois have charts decreasing in new cases. Other states, notably Florida and South Carolina, are spiking in the opposite direction.
THUMBS DOWN! To even more procrastination about the 2020 census. We know this isn’t the first time anyone reading has seen the word “census” and it certainly won’t be the last. If the census isn’t the most important thing presently shaping our next decade, it’s second behind “COVID-19.” Every area of life in America is touched by census results, from national Congressional representation to distribution of federal funds.Be sure to fill out the form at 2020census.gov, and encourage others to do the same.
THUMBS UP! To Young Leaders in Action.The group distributed 300 $50 gift cards in two appearances at Decatur’s north side Aldi. The students had plenty of chances to interact, and even had their dose of life in 2020 the first week, when some customers thought they were protesters. As Community Foundation of Macon County President Natalie Beck said, it’s never too soon to learn.
THUMBS UP! To the Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic and tournament director Chuck Kuhle. The event will be the first professional men's tennis tournament held in the U.S. since the coronavirus shutdowns. It’s backed up two weeks from its traditional weekend. It’s now Aug. 17-23 at Fairview Tennis Center. Kuhle has precious few details. As is the case with many sports working on plans to come back, instructions from sanctioning bodies will be the first thing to address. With the tournament, Decatur gets a chance to be a part of the international return of sports.
THUMBS DOWN! To fireworks. Enough already. There’s a time we can reluctantly look away from the obnoxiousness, and that time is the evening of July 4. Not from the evening of Father’s Day forward. Fireworks shooters are burning a lot of good will when they put a spark to a fuse.
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