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Two Rivers Nation chief says thanks for making Family Fun Night successful

I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all of the members of the Two-Rivers Nation that worked so hard on a very successful Family Fun Night at the Madison Meadow Pavilion on Sept. 8.
Once again, we had a wonderful kick-off to our program year of parent/child activities. It was enjoyable to see many friends and to meet many more new people interested in the programs we offer families.
Through the collective efforts of the Village of Lombard, the Lombard Park District and the Two Rivers Nation’s many volunteers, we shared a night of food, fun and games. Due to this community support, the local Indian-themed parent/child programs which started in 1966 will continue to grow and provide lifelong memories for many families to come.
If you attended the event, thank you. All of our programs are run by parents who want to have fun and memorable experiences with their children. Everyone is welcome. If you were unable to attend but are interested in what our programs are all about and how you can become involved, please call me at 630-853-6172 or visit our website at: www.tworiversnation.com for more information.

John Goodhart
Two Rivers Nation chief

Constitution Day is worth honoring, commemorating

Sept. 17 was Constitution Day. Why is that significant to modern, 21st century Americans whose rights have already been fought for, won and well-established?
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 brave men on Sept. 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.
As citizens of the United States of America, we are diverse, ethnically, culturally, and religiously. Our nation isn’t even 250 years old so our common heritage is still a nascent one. We may not always have a lot in common, yet our Constitution groups us all together as, “We the People.”
The Constitution assures us that the government exists at our pleasure, serves to protect the rights of all citizens, and may not deprive any citizen of his or her rights without due process of law.
What a precious guarantee. The globe abounds with tyranny and oppression, yet here in America—the land of the free—we are blessed with an iron-clad promise, that we the people are in charge.
What future could those “founding fathers” have envisioned when they signed the document that began, “We the People of the United States …”?
This is the document that President James Madison called “a miracle,” author Stephen Covey labelled “inspired,” and Sen. Henry Clay proclaimed “was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.”
Almost every American president has lauded this foundational root of democracy. Gerald Ford stated, “Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws.” Calvin Coolidge declared, “To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
The beauty of the United States Constitution is one of comprehensive, non-discriminatory largess. It protects those whose views we share and those with whom we disagree.
It is wholly, uncompromisingly, and blindly fair. It possesses not Edmund Burke’s “cold neutrality of an impartial judge,” but rather the all-knowing, forgiving compassion of a mother who loves all her children with equal passion. Almost all the world’s constitutions are modeled after ours.
These timeless and universal principals are worth honoring, both on Sept. 17, Constitution Day, and always.

Lori E. Solyom

Despite budget, Rauner continues degrading life for people in need
After nearly 1,000 days, Gov. Rauner shows little inclination in helping Illinois’ people in need, even with the recent budget passed over Rauner’s heartless veto with help from responsible Republicans.
Ponder state home health care workers, the poorest paid of all state employees at a near poverty level $13 an hour. Rauner refuses to sign off on a measly 48-cent an hour increase authorized by the legislature but which Rauner has power to delay. This has prompted a lawsuit by the Service Employees International Union to force a guy who made $90,000 an hour last year to throw a few crumbs at folks who add much more value to society than Governor Bruce.
How about social service programs for autism therapy, after-school programs, immigrant integration assistance and burial for the poor? Many agencies providing these services cut back or closed entirely while Rauner promoted his businessman’s holiday agenda.
Rauner has signaled they will get less than the legislature’s budget has authorized. Autism Program of Illinois closed its doors in June and will be hard-pressed to function even if Rauner releases desperately needed funds.
As former program director Russ Bonanno lamented, “I’m not sure what will come back. It’s not like a light switch that you can cut off, then start up later expecting to pick up where we left off.”
Consider Illinois’ staggering $15 billion bill backlog. Rauner has yet to issue bonds at lower interest rates to save $2 million a day in late payment penalties; $6 billion in savings overall. Rauner demands hundreds of millions in cuts, many affecting critical social services, before such borrowing. Delay cost since the budget passed? $120 million.
How the governor sleeps at night escapes me. Apparently, you can lead Gov. Rauner to a sensible budget serving the people, but you can’t make him govern.
Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Technology transforming everyday life, future

Superintendent, Glenbard Township High School District 87

Technological disruptive change is becoming a compelling force in our society. Every public institution and economic sector must accept and embrace the need to be adaptive and flexible to embrace technological advancements as opportunities. The pace of change is fast and no one wants to be left behind.
Experts use the phrase disruptive change to describe how advances in areas such as technology change the way people have always done things. Just what are the technological disruptive changes, taking place now, that will shape our future? Listed below are a few that we need to be aware of:
1. Adaptive manufacturing—Also known as 3-D printing, this technology uses a digital map to print solid objects in layers of many materials. Individuals can use a 3-D printer to make household objects. A 7-year-old girl who was born missing three fingers on one hand is looking to make history by throwing out the first pitch at every Major League Baseball game—using her 3-D printed hand. This 3-D printing will cut construction time for some structures from years to months.
2. Artificial intelligence—Human intelligence processes such as learning, reasoning and self-correction will be facilitated by machines. This will allow for virtual assistants or advisors who will act as knowledgeable workers.
3. Autonomous vehicles—Tech and car companies are promising to deliver self-driving consumer vehicles by 2025. While traffic infrastructure, safety and legal restrictions will slow changes, this no doubt will disrupt longstanding transportation sectors such as trucking and taxis.
4. Digital currencies—Known as Bitcoin, this virtual currency—money that exists mainly as computer code—is being used for person-to-person online transactions.
5. Machine learning—This type of artificial intelligence enables computers to learn without being programmed. It adapts and evolves, just by being exposed to new data and information. Examples include speech and handwriting recognition to self-driving systems that recognize objects and topography on the road.
6. Next-gen genomics—More precise science will be used for imaging the units that make up DNA with rapidly advancing computational and analytic capabilities. This could potentially improve health and human longevity.
7. Software robotics—These office robots will automate tasks that humans normally do, such as analyzing entries, writing responses, booking tickets and conducting research. Armed with voice control, they will be efficient office assistants.
Because technology and automation is disrupting much of our traditional framework of work skills, our talented public school teachers are challenging students to think and develop in-depth understandings as they apply their academic learning.
Career success in the future will depend less on what students know and more on their creative skills and dispositions. Because much of manual work is being automated, students are learning to be creators, inventors, designers and entrepreneurs. They are learning the value of taking risks, being resourceful and exhibiting ingenuity and enterprise.
We’re not just preparing students for careers that don’t exist yet; we’re preparing them to be adaptive and skilled at changing their work as technology makes new frontiers possible.

David F. Larson, Ed.D., is superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.