The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To Crystal Lake’s Lucas Urbanski, who finished tied for 19th in this week’s 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee. This is the third consecutive year that Urbanski qualified for the national bee, after winning the McHenry County Spelling Bee in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Immanuel Lutheran student did progressively better at nationals with each competition. He finished 51st last year. He received air time Thursday on ESPN2 during the semifinal round, the first time he’s made it to national TV. For McHenry County spellers hoping to earn the trip to nationals next year, be prepared. Urbanski has one more year of eligibility and will be seeking his fourth straight crown.
Thumbs down: To more frivolous legislation in Springfield. State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, filed a Senate resolution May 15 that proposed a chess tournament between the Illinois House and Senate. The Senate adopted it Thursday. Even if it was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek comment on the state of politics in Illinois – or just a way for Oberweis, who served as president of the Illinois Chess Association for two years, to promote a game he loves – now is not the time for such pointless measures. The last few days of session should be spent on helping the people of Illinois.
Thumbs up: To the Chicago Blackhawks for overcoming a 3-1 series deficit against their historic rival – the Detroit Red Wings. The bad third-period call and overtime win in Game 7 was a fitting way to end of one of the longest division and conference rivalries in professional sports as the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference next year.
Thumbs down: To the continued absence of cameras in McHenry County courtrooms. While the county moves at a snail’s pace to bring better access to the judicial process to the public, another neighboring county recently was given the OK to have cameras in its courtrooms. The Illinois Supreme Court has signed off on Kane County’s plan for cameras. Cameras were already allowed in Lake County, DeKalb County and Boone County courtrooms.
Thumps up: To the Prairie Ridge girls soccer team for reaching the Class 2A state final. Competing for a team title is a goal of nearly every high school sports team across the country. Reaching that goal is a true rarity. The Wolves did it through teamwork, effort and solid defense. For that, they should be commended.