Column: Cheesecake and asparagus doughnuts

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on May 5, 2010

I hated cheesecake as a child. In my mind, it was an abomination to sweets.

Cheese with cake? Are you kidding me? While you’re at it, why not put asparagus with doughnuts? Cheesecake was just crazy talk.

Then I tried my first slice.

Simply put, heavenly. I had wrongly rejected something before trying it. An important lesson for any young person. (Despite this, I still wouldn’t try asparagus doughnuts.)

In my role, I find myself at large lunches and dinners from time to time. On Friday, I went to the Illinois Press Association awards dinner – in which we won awards in legal media coverage, feature writing, spot news photography and headline writing. And on Tuesday, I attended the Kane County Update lunch hosted by the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce.

At about every one out of two of these events, I get cheesecake with strawberries. Again, heavenly. As for the events themselves, well sometimes they’re cheesecake. And sometimes they’re asparagus doughnuts.

Tuesday’s Kane County Update lunch was more cheesecake than asparagus doughnut, however. (Being served actual cheesecake certainly helped.)

Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay and County Board member and Kane County Forest Preserve President John Hoscheit spoke at the event about what’s going on at the county level, I learned a few new things from them, and – to top it off – I got some story ideas for my reporters.

• • •

A brief synopsis of some of the main points in McConnaughay’s speech:

• Maybe red-light photo enforcement isn’t the best idea. Let’s at least talk about it. (My take: Nothing wrong with talking.)

• Your property taxes probably didn’t change much this year unless there are a couple of foreclosed homes in your neighborhood. (My take: In which case, you have other problems, such as home value.)

• The state is not paying its bills on time. (My take: Not much surprise from the audience on this one.)

• Pension and health care costs are hurting the county. (My take: Again, not much surprise.)

• The population of Kane County still is increasing and is expected to be more than 800,000 in 2040. (My take: As a reference point, the population was 6,501 in 1840. Whoa.)

• If the federal government gives the county money for road construction, you bet we’ll use every last dime of it. (My take: I had the same attitude with arcade tickets growing up. Do I need 37 tootsie rolls? Probably not. But I’m certainly not leaving any of these tickets behind.)

• • •

We’ve made a change to our website in regards to how comments are viewed.

Readers now will need to click another button to see all of the comments with most stories, thus allowing readers to decide whether or not they wish to see the comments with a story. Not everybody wants to read others’ comments with stories, and now those readers have that option.

We’ve also made it easier to print and e-mail stories, as well as to post them to Facebook and Twitter.

You can see all the changes at http://www.KCChronicle.com.

• • •

Mel Mazuc, a senior at Kaneland High School and lifelong resident of Elburn and Maple Park, has been interning with us since early April. You might even have seen some of her bylines in the paper the past few weeks.

Her passion, though, is column writing, so after having her write a few sample columns – which were quite good – we’ve decided to give her some space in the Kane County Chronicle.

The soon-to-be University of Missouri journalism student will be writing a column for us through the rest of her internship that will be running on Thursdays. Be sure to look for her column on our opinion page starting this Thursday.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at jgrace@kcchronicle.com or call him at 630-845-5368.

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