It might be the stars aligning, hard work and good planning, or just the essential goodness of most people. But here are some bright spots on the local landscape and the thank yous that go with them.

With Chicago and other communities cutting back on 4th of July festivities, and picture perfect weather on Independence Day, it was not a surprise that record crowds turned out in the village on July 4. 

The park district threw a day-long party and put on a fireworks display that still has people buzzing. Each aspect of the day was great, the crowds were huge and park staff planned well.  We commend the park district on a job well done.

The police department deserves equal credit for its security efforts on the 4th. The surge in crowds, both locals and visitors, presented many policing challenges. Again, plenty of advanced planning, including adding police presence from other communities, insured a strong and positive police presence. Fewer than a dozen arrests were recorded, said Police Chief Jim Ryan, and those mostly for knucklehead behavior. The department deserves credit for its good work.

This week the focus turns to health and kids. Under- and non-insured kids are the focus of the Ronald McDonald Mobile Clinic, which the park district has hosted since June. It will continue to do so, every Thursday, until the end of July.

But this week, the effort expands with a kids’ health fare at the park that is being put on by the village, the community center, and District 91 schools, in cooperation with various local, state, and federal agencies. It will feature mobile medical and dental clinics, among other activities. Diane Dormeyer, an organizer, said the campaign is an effort, not only to provide treatment, but to advocate healthy living among kids, too. 

Treatment is free, the All Kids state-subsidized healthcare program and Medicaid will reimburse incurred costs, so we urge anyone who has delayed routine treatment for his or her child or children (physical exams, immunizations, etc.) to please stop by.

Finally, kudos to the village council. Two straight meetings where civility mostly ruled. There were a handful of sarcastic jabs but for the most part board members got along, asked questions, worked cooperatively. There is no good reason, no acceptable reason that this shouldn’t be the norm.