The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To Marengo High School, for continuing to honor former basketball coach Homer “Bill” Barry. Assistant football coach Rob Kruse painted a mural this summer of Barry on the wall of the school’s gymnasium, which already was named for the former coach. Barry died in March 2008, about six weeks after the gym was dedicated to him. He is an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer, holding a 573-211 record in 29 seasons at Marengo.
Thumbs down: To Gov. Pat Quinn and his amendatory veto of the concealed-carry bill. Quinn’s action is nothing more than a political stunt to garner support as he heads into what likely will be a tough Democratic primary for governor in 2014. If Quinn had specific ideas and demands for the bill, he should have worked with lawmakers when the bill was being crafted instead of standing on the sidelines and watching.
Thumbs up: To AdvantaClean, for cleaning up for free the flooding damage at the Midwest Center for Children’s Development, a Crystal Lake nonprofit that uses horses and other therapy techniques for children with disabilities. The facility sustained heavy flooding in late June after thunderstorms dropped several inches of rain in the area in a short time. Employees thought they might not be able to stay open after the flooding, or pay for its cleanup. JT Maier, president of AdvantaClean, said he did it because “it was the right thing to do.” We couldn’t agree more.
Thumbs down: To McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham for sentencing a Crystal Lake man facing his fifth DUI charge to probation. Ronald Horst Abt pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison. Prosecutors were seeking a six-year sentence, but Graham decided on three years’ probation and 180 days in the McHenry County Jail, half of which are stayed if Abt complies with his probation. Our prisons are overcrowded and the state is broke, but when someone continually risks the lives of others by driving under the influence, something more than probation is warranted.
Thumbs up: To all of the organizers and volunteers who helped put together the fantastic fireworks displays all over the area, which are a huge part of Fourth of July festivities. These displays are expensive, and with tight municipal budgets many have figured out creative means to fund fireworks displays for an entire town and its visitors to enjoy.