Sympathy to the friends and family of Jasper Farina, who was a familiar face around town many years ago.

Congratulations to Joan Steinbach, whose artwork will be on display at the Oak Park library for about a month. Maybe the Forest Park library would be interested in displaying the work of Joan and some other local artists.

Speaking of the library, congratulations to Shirley Christell and Betty Gilchrist, who were honored recently by the Friends of the Library for jobs well done. The ladies were honored with gifts, a cake and an appreciative speech by library director Rodger Brayden.

Betty had been treasurer for more years than anyone can remember. She held that post at a crucial time, which most members are unaware of now. The statute of limitations has run out by now so it can be talked about without anyone getting into trouble. It was a time when Betty’s meticulous record keeping was a big factor in avoiding a problem that almost involved the Attorney General’s office. Specially earmarked funds had been transferred from the Friends’ account to the library’s account without anyone signing those funds away. Without Betty’s impeccable records it could have been a loss of much of the Friends’ money.

Rose Everson is a most worthy successor to Betty and everyone wishes her the best of luck in carrying out a tedious job.

Hertha Orszullo is also a worthy successor to Shirley Christell in the office of president. Best wishes to Hertha, also. (In the photo, that’s Hertha in the background humbly arranging cake plates). Betty is wearing a hat so you can’t see her beautiful, snow white hair.

What’s this about Team Blonde? One of the classiest shops on Madison Street may have to leave because of some relatively new rule. Five hundred feet from a similar establishment? What about the taverns on Madison Street? There is barely one foot between some of them. And I never saw anybody walk out of Team Blonde and throw up on the street. Please, please everyone, let’s rally behind these smart young women (Jayne and Heidi) and do whatever we can to keep this attractive business in town. At a time when there are almost as many vacant storefronts as occupied ones, this decision seems like not such a good one.

In case you missed it in the paper, your 2010 donation to Haitian relief can be deducted from your 2009 income tax. The senate took a voice vote last week and the legislation is on Obama’s desk for signature, the last I heard. Several local doctors and nurses are waiting for clearance to go over there to help. It’s the logistics that are slowing things up.

Do you need cheering up in this dismal, gray freezing January? Well, here’s a ray of hope: On Jan. 10 the sun rose at 7:18 a.m. and set at 4:19 p.m. On Friday, Jan. 29, it rose at 7:06 a.m. and set at 5:02 p.m.! We gain more time at the end of the day than we do at the beginning. But at least we’re into the five o’clock range. By the time you get this paper, we’ll have almost an hour more of daylight.

Birthdays this week: Ashley Mendea, Stacey LoCascio, Ann Spence, Cherise Stewart, Michelle Rubio, Mike Lyons Jr., Eleni Collis, Marilyn Gotsch, Corinna Jantz, Karie Schlichting, Kirsten Cursel and Paul Stahlke. Anniversary greetings to Pam and Todd Bower.