Thumbs-up: To a local couple who have been longtime contributors to the Voluntary Action Center. Ron and Anita Mullen plan to retire
Nov. 22, having each spent more than 20 years working with VAC. Ron Mullen, who started with VAC after retiring from a 30-year career, has become the face of the Meals on Wheels program. Volunteers who deliver meals have been greeted by Ron for years, as he tells them what bags to take, where they're going, and answers questions that may come up on their route. Ron's wife, Anita, also started working with VAC after she retired, and has been instrumental in the organization's annual fundraising effort. Our community is better for the efforts of Ron and Anita Mullen. We appreciate their work.
Thumbs-up: To the demolition of the fire-ravaged apartment building at the St. Albans Green complex in Sycamore. Crews were at work tearing down the U-shaped Building A, once home to about 120 people, on Friday. It was a traumatic event for the community, seeing so many people displaced with their homes destroyed, and the outpouring of community support for them was impressive. However, those who live elsewhere in the complex and in homes nearby have been staring at the burned wreckage of the building since late July. We were impatient to see the site cleared as well, but if three-plus months seems like a long time, consider that the Wendy's restaurant on Route 64 in Sycamore, which burned in January 2015, remained standing for six months before it was finally demolished. Property owner Jim Mason says he has plans for townhouses on the site, and we hope the property soon will be returned to productive use.
Thumbs-down: To accommodating racists. Police reports from Naperville seem to show that a racially motivated incident that occurred Oct. 26 at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant could have been avoided if staff there had been less willing to accommodate a racist regular. When staff members asked a group of 18 black and mixed-race people to move their seats away from the racist customer, it wasn't at his request – but their own decision. According to the Associated Press, police reports also showed that the racist customer had sent food back to the kitchen in the past because it was not delivered by a "Caucasian employee." Such a request should have resulted in the man being banned from the restaurant. Instead, staff continued to welcome him, and to avoid offending his racist sensibilities, embarrassed and angered a large group of people. Buffalo Wild Wings is a franchise operation, and the workings of one location are not a direct reflection on all. Overt racism should not be tolerated in any business, however – it's toxic.