48.4 F
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Reviewing the positive stuff of 2012


The following is a very, very brief review of a few people of many who have made a difference and other inspiring stuff from 2012, in no particular order.  Have a great 2013.

square dupage childrens mueum

Dupage Children’s Museum celebrated 25 years

The DuPage Children’s Museum, located at 301 N. Washington St., turned 25 in June, 2012 and  began a  year-long celebration.  Founded in 1987 by Louise Beem and Dorothy Carpenter, two early childhood educators from Hinsdale,  the purpose of the DuPage Children’s Museum has been to provide open ended, interactive learning experiences for young children focusing on math, science and art and where they intersect. After first opening in other locations in DuPage County, the museum found its permanent home in Naperville in 2000.

North Central College President announced retirement

North Central College President Harold (Hal) Wilde will retire at the end of the 2012 calendar year after nearly 22 years at the helm of the 3,000-student private comprehensive liberal arts college. He was the ninth president in the history of the 150-year-old institution and announced his plans to the College’s Board of Trustees on Fri., Feb. 17, 2012.

American Legion presented Pam Davis with 2012 Citizen of the Year Award

This past April, the American Legion Post No. 43 selected Pamela Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Naperville’s Edward Hospital, to receive its 2012 Citizen-of-the-Year Award. The award is presented annually to recognize a local citizen’s extraordinary service to the Naperville-area community or to the nation.

Naperville Sun columnist Tim West receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Tim West
Tim West

Naperville Sun columnist Tim West was heralded as the 2012 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award during the fifteenth annual Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Awards in May. Over the years, West’s work and dedication to journalism have been recognized with numerous statewide and professional awards. He has been at the Sun since 1973.

Videographer paddled 1200 miles through Vermont and Canada

Kyle Sauer and crew, whereabouts unknown

Naperville North alumni and videographer, Kyle Sauer, in a crew of ten paddlers, embarked on a 1,200 mile canoe trip last May, beginning in the backwoods of Vermont.  They paddled  north through Canada, finally reaching St. James Bay towards the end of June.  Sauer documented every aspect of the trip and wilderness territory with video and photography.

A heated Ribfest 


The Naperville Exchange Club celebrated its 25th Ribfest this past summer—with record heat.  Most days reached into the nineties with high humidity. Ice cream vendors reported higher than normal sales!

Naper Settlement’s long time leader announced retirement

Peggy Frank, President & CEO of the Naperville Heritage Society and Naper Settlement, announced her retirement from Chicagoland’s favorite outdoor history museum after 33 years of leadership this past August.  She was recently recognized by the Naperville City Council for her service to Naperville and its vibrant history.

Healing Field of Honor 2,012


This past November 8 to 13, the Naperville Field of Honor at Rotary Hill welcomed  2,012 American flags on 8-foot poles.  Many area families were attracted to Rotary Hill where they took photos, paused to reflect and honor America’s service men and women, and read heartfelt messages of gratitude on the yellow commemorative tags tied onto the flag poles with yellow ribbons.

Dry July and ash trees

Due to dry weather conditions this past July, The City of Naperville asked residents who has received a new or replacement parkway tree in spring to water it! Watering trees in dry weather is necessary to improve new tree health and ash trees that were treated to rid infestation by the Emerald Ash Borer. Giving a tree approximately 10 gallons of water per week greatly improves a new tree’s health, and even well established trees benefit from deep watering.

An oath to good Barley

John Barley of Solemn Oath Brewery
John Barley of Solemn Oath Brewery

Solemn Oath Brewery opened its doors in May. It is Naperville’s first production brewery since Stenger Brewery, which was boarded up in 1917. Joe and John Barley, a pair of brothers with a perfect last name for the craft beer business, with head brewer Tim Marshall, launched their beer business and tasting room at 1661 Quincy Ave. behind the Cadillac Dealership.




Remembering Rita, ‘The Cock Robin Lady’

Rita Harvad’s  legacy includes Cock Robin, Fredenhagen park and a graceful touch for service.

Over the years, I got to know and love Rita. She’ll always be remembered as lovely, gracious and the most positive person I’ve ever met.

—From PN columnist Ed Channell’s My Girl Friend

There’s a lot happening to Main St.


Main Street Promenade plans to grow with Phase II and Phase III expansions along S. Main Street between Van Buren and Benton avenues, opening in 2013 and 2014 respectively. BBM Incorporated, which developed the 127,000-square-foot Main Street Promenade, has new plans for what’s often called the “gray box on stilts.”  The four-story Promenade East, a $30 million project, is expected to begin in early 2013, adding 100,000 square feet of space connected both to the Van Buren parking garage and the original Main Street Promenade.

North Central College named new President

Dr. Hammond and his family
Dr. Hammond and his family

Dr. Troy D. Hammond, a scientist, teacher and entrepreneur, was named North Central College’s next president, only the 10th in the school’s 151-year history.  The 45-year-old scientist, originally from Kokomo, Ind., earned his Ph.D. in experimental atomic physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1996 where he was mentored by Dr. David Pritchard and Nobel Laureate Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle.

NCC and City to turn downtown eyesore into park

During Homecoming festivities in October to dedicate the Riverwalk Gateway to North Central College, President Harold R. Wilde made a promise. He said one of his last official duties before he retires on Dec. 31, 2012, would be to get rid of the eyesore next to Burger King along Washington Street at the entrance to downtown Naperville.

NCC photo

To a rousing round of applause during the City Council meeting on Dec. 18, the community learned Wilde had kept his promise. The good news was announced that North Central College and the City of Naperville indeed were partnering to convert the property into a public park and an additional entryway to campus, the Riverwalk and downtown Naperville.

While we’re promoting a few good things…

Thanks to a smart web editor, this past March PN launched a new website (this one!) that is “smart” device friendly.  Now uniquely organized, the site has a handy “search” tool in the upper right, just below “About PN” on the navigation bar. Try it. You might like it. We also adopted a new slogan, “Printed Monthly. Digital Daily.” The above stories and hundreds more are posted on this website and easy to find with a search..

What’s more,  to help handle the deluge of event listings, event planners can now “submit events” themselves by clicking on the the prompt at the bottom of every PN web page. As review and consideration by our web editor, the events typically are posted “live” within 24 hours.

Positively Naperville  is an independently-owned very small local family business aimed to bring readers an abundance of good news while urging all citizens to pay attention and to do their part in keeping our community safe.. Thanks for reading both online and in print and for spreading the word about our passion to promote independents, private enterprise, freedom and peace every day. Thanks for shopping, dining , banking , entertaining  and enjoying the great outdoors locally whenever possible. Invite friends and family to come visit!

—Stephanie Penick, Positively Naperville Publisher

PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.