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A thought

... It is a parent's right to decide whether to have a child vaccinated against all manner of disease, but proven science and common sense should lead that decision in almost every case except religion.

The recent outbreak of measles traced to Disneyland in California points to the problem of non-vaccinations among children or adults in large groups. More than 70 guests and workers who had contact through someone at the happiest place on earth are now sick.

Those who have not been vaccinated are more at risk of getting and spreading many diseases like measles, small pox, and chicken pox, among others. Those not vaccinated should be aware of their risk and the risk they pose to others.

In the meantime, consider this a reminder to check with your doctor to make sure your vaccinations, and those of your children, are up to date.

Cheers

... to United Way of McLean County, for exceeding the amount of money collected last year during its recently completed annual campaign. 

And while the campaign did not reach its stated goal, the amount raised, $4,261,683 (6 percent more than last year) means dozens of social service agencies will not see a reduction in funding.

While organizers surely wanted to see the goal reached, those agencies are relieved that funding will be maintained.

Jeers

... to the state of Illinois, for its refusal to allow the release of an internal report on the office of former Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Rutherford and successor Mike Frerichs both promised public release of the report that looked at allegations of sexual harassment and other issues at the treasurer's office. Such allegations essentially torpedoed Rutherford's campaign for governor last spring.

The public has a right to know what happens in a public office, regardless of pending lawsuits.

Cheers

... to the artists of Marcfirst, for their thoughtful and exciting artwork being shown at the Jan Brandt Gallery, 1106 E. Bell St., Bloomington.

The Marc Making project is an opportunity for self-expression and to make a little money, since the artwork is for sale. Marcfirst works with children and adults with developmental disabilities.

The exhibit continues through Feb. 6.

Condolences

... to the Normal Fire Department and its greater family on the unexpected loss of firefighter Rob Aper, who died last Saturday.

The last several years have been hard ones for local fire departments, losing men both on- and off-duty.

Please keep firefighters — and all public safety workers — and their families in your prayers.

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