The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To the leaders of the Crystal Lake Sparkle Squad cheerleading program, for ensuring that special needs children have a place to compete and join a team. The program, which began its ninth season Tuesday, has been an uplifting experience for many participants and will continue to be in the future.
Thumbs down: To the latest news about what information local, state and the federal government are collecting on innocent people. After outcry over telephone and Internet data mining, this time it was revelations about license-plate scanners that police use to store information about millions of citizens’ movements. The scanners are also attached to bridges and buildings, and the information is stored, sometimes indefinitely. It’s time for serious discussion about exactly what information citizens should allow government to collect.
Thumbs up: To the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, for receiving the Triple Crown Award from the National Sheriffs Association. The award is given to agencies accredited simultaneously by three major agencies: Commission on the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections of the American Correctional Association, and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare. Only 35 other sheriff’s offices out of 3,080 nationwide have received the honor. To become accredited, the Sheriff’s Office was inspected on hundreds of criteria. The honor indicates the Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to improving and providing the best service possible to county residents.
Thumbs down: To unused vacation time. Almost half of employed Americans didn’t use all the vacation days available to them in 2011, according to a survey by Kelton Research. Getting away from work is important. It’s good for your health and recharges your battery. There are a number of excuses as to why vacation time gets unused. Shelve the excuses, and use your vacation time.