The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To Cary-Grove volleyball player Delany Bayer, who continues to play volleyball at a high level while managing Type 1 diabetes. Bayer, a sophomore libero, has to constantly monitor her blood sugar sure to ensure she is at a safe level. While doing that, Bayer has helped educate her teammates about diabetes as well.
Thumbs down: To Judge Neil Cohen for ruling Thursday that state lawmakers can get paid. In July, Gov. Pat Quinn struck from the state budget the money to pay state representatives and senators because of their inability to pass pension reform. Quinn voluntarily gave up his pay. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued Quinn, saying his line-item veto of the salaries for lawmakers was unconstitutional. Vendors who have been waiting months to be paid are still out of luck. We still don’t have pension reform. But thanks to this judge, lawmakers are about to get the two months of pay they missed – plus interest – for continually not doing their job.
Thumbs up: To teacher Holly Latas’ fifth-graders at Alden-Hebron Elementary School, who have committed themselves to the cause of organ donation awareness. The students gave a presentation to Alden-Hebron High School students this week after studying the issue and learning about the need for more organ donors. They are planning another presentation for the school board. What a great citizenship lesson these kids have learned and demonstrated.
Thumbs down: To inadequate conditions at juvenile detention centers in Illinois. A report released this week found a number of troubling problems at the state’s juvenile detention centers, including juveniles being improperly medicated, routinely subjected to more solitary confinement than necessary, and several being kept at prison facilities after release dates because state officials could not find them outside housing. A second report found that conditions at a mental health facility in Kewanee have been complicated by an influx of maximum-security inmates after the closure of another facility in Joliet. More than 800 juveniles are housed in these facilities, and it is in everyone’s best interest to help rehabilitate these children. That can’t be done in inadequate conditions.