My 2,478-page Random House Unabridged Dictionary stays open to the page with the last word I looked up. The big book sits on an antique wooden display piece I purchased back as a young single adult living in New York City. Right now it’s opened to the page that defines “thanksgiving.”

I started, however, by looking up “objective.” The sixth definition states that objective means “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretation or prejudice based on facts, unbiased: an objective opinion.”

Then came “opinion” defined as “a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty; a personal view, attitude or appraisal.”

And I compared both to fact.“ A fact is something that actually exists; reality; truth or known to exist or to have happened.”

Certainly, this publication presents our opinion that we prefer to look at the bright side, highlighting the good things that help this community move forward and address unmet needs. That’s a fact.

Since 2001, our pages have offered space to dozens of local writers to provide their perspectives with a plethora of themes, based on their experiences or works in progress.

Certainly, I’ve learned from many of them who have experiences and interests I’ve never known.

Opinions are not necessarily facts, often formed depending on where someone sits in a room or stands outside.

So it would seem nearly impossible for an opinion to be “objective” or always factual. PN, nonetheless, has trusted columnists to tell the truth.

No one can be every place to observe the truth as it happens. Heck. Even attending public meetings and later seeing what’s reported in the news often can be a huge surprise. That’s why we urge folks to watch public government meetings, many saved online for transparency. That way, rather than someone’s interpretation, you can draw your own conclusions of how your elected officials represent you.

And so it goes. So much to do. So little time. Think about it.

Vote by 7PM Nov. 6

Then there’s General Election Day on Nov. 6 when Naperville citizens have a chance to elect hopefuls to serve them in DuPage and Will counties, Springfield and Washington, D.C. Every day our web editors count the influx of readers visiting PN’s Voters Guide at We’re not soothsayers, but we predict interest in PN’s Voters Guide and the long lines of early voters mean high voter turnout by the end of Election Day.

Here and there

During our travels across this nation, your PN editors are fortunate to report we have found most Americans to be tolerant, accepting and caring. Americans are eager to tell their stories and show off their communities. The same goes for many folks who’ve settled in Naperville.

We’re blessed to live in a community that puts public safety among its top priorities, where our first responders help us stay vigilant with constant reminders that “keeping our community safe is everyone’s responsibility.”

This publication aims to fight darkness with brightness, good news and the truth. During this month with so many reasons to show gratitude, I reminisce about the slow fade of dementia that presented itself to my devoted mother during her last years, oftentimes making her so angry that she lashed out at the people she loved the most. I recall singing with her, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”

While standing at the dictionary, I also looked up “thanksgiving,” lower case “t.” Thanksgiving was defined as “the art of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors; a public celebration or acknowledgement of divine favor or kindness.”

Thanks for reading. Local matters.

– Stephanie Penick, PN