The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To the IHSA for going through a proper process, gathering information from experts in all areas of football, and installing standards for fall high school football practices. The organization promised to move forward with new standards when legislation to limit contact in practices was shot down and it followed through in a prompt, yet proper, way.
Thumbs up: To the city of Crystal Lake for its plans to add 6 to 7 miles of new biking lanes. A proposal to create five new bike paths is being considered, with 80 percent of the funding coming from a federal grant. The city says many of the new routes are designed to direct bikers off busier roads and toward residential roads to reach popular destinations. Being a bicycle-friendly community has health and environmental benefits, and we applaud the city for going in this direction.
Thumbs down: To Senate President John Cullerton and all Illinois senators who passed a union-endorsed pension bill that would do nothing to fix our state’s worst-in-the-nation public pension systems. Underfunded by more than $90 billion, our state’s five public pension systems need an overhaul. Excuse the cliché, but Cullerton’s bill, which would give new retirees the choice between accepting a 3 percent annual cost-of-living increase or state-paid health insurance, amounts to nothing more than rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic. We are particularly disappointed that one of our own senators, Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry, voted for this bill.
Thumbs up: To Huntley High School District 158 for educational initiatives in expanding a blended learning curriculum to students where they get more opportunities to work independently by using some classroom time along with work to be completed on the students’ own time with some online components. Getting students in the habit for using their own time valuably is great preparation for college, where most of the work is completed outside of classrooms. The delivery methods of education will change as workplaces change, and preparing students for college and the workplace is what high school should be about.
Thumbs down: To those who continue to focus on Derrick Rose during the Bulls’ playoff run. Let’s face it. He’s not returning until next season. Instead of worrying about Rose, Bulls fans should appreciate the hard work, tenacity and dedication of this short-handed Bulls team. They likely will fall short against the Miami Heat, but that doesn’t diminish what this team has accomplished.