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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

July Editor’s Notes


During June, many wonderful images created by clouds greeted us from clear blue skies along the trail at May Watts Park, reminders of how simple life used to be. Send in the clouds!

It’s no secret that since early 2020, our communities have faced complicated challenges. Sometimes it’s been tough to be upbeat.

Sometimes when we or some of our contributing columnists try to address local issues with critical thinking, readers chide us by saying, “But you’re ‘Positively’ Naperville.”

That’s when we become slightly definitive. “Positively” means “absolutely.”

“Positivity” means positive or optimistic. Yet, whatever the interpretation, PN admits its bias toward the bright side of life, seeking solutions. Attitude is everything.

Liberty and the First Amendment

We’d be remiss during this month of America’s birthday not to address the value of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, adopted in 1791, the first of 10 Amendments to the original U.S. Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We emphasize the five liberties the amendment protects— speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. Those five guarantees together likely are the reason most Americans cherish the First Amendment the most. Think about it.

For nearly 20 years, PN has recognized our community’s shared can-do spirit, humanity and challenges that unite us. Our freedom has been to embrace our city’s rich history while getting to know its generous leaders and active followers. While moving forward, we’ll continue to focus on previewing future events that benefit trailblazing initiatives in the works.

Yet, recent events, conversations and sometimes misinformation remind us that much work remains for all of us to listen and respect others for their opinions as they/we try to be true to core values and inalienable rights.

At first glance, nobody knows what’s in someone’s heart or all of their life’s experiences.
The road toward true equality likely will remain bumpy. Yet, many of us seasoned, enterprising citizens who have endured the ups and downs of long lives recognize every day how far we’ve come. And some of us have read F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom.”

We’d better pay attention. Everyone has the right to live, to be free, to feel safe and to be protected.

Summer reading

Looking toward our wall lined with shelves and packed with books (We’re bookaholics.), dozens of volumes tell Naperville stories. Some are history books. Several feature local families. Others showcase the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Naperville Municipal Band, Century Walk and how to “Live and Laugh” in Naperville.

A more recent title, “Fans,” written by Vermont resident Larry Olmsted, could be about Naperville. This time of year, the ball fields in all the parks are filled with the joyful noises of youngsters learning to compete. According to Olmsted, watching sports makes us “happier, healthier and more understanding.”

Case in point, when we arrived to babysit our 3-year-old granddaughter in late June, she was wearing her blue soccer uniform. As she recapped her practice scheduled that morning, she began to run and demonstrate how to kick the ball in her front yard, explaining that at first she didn’t like playing soccer with so many rules to learn. And she didn’t know all the kids. We watched her play for several minutes. And when she wrapped up thoughts of her memorable morning, she proudly proclaimed, “At the end, I did great!”

– Stephanie Penick, PN Publisher

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.