The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To The Salvation Army and its red kettle campaign. By now you have seen bell-ringers and the kettles at various locations around McHenry County. Hopefully, you placed a dollar or two into a kettle while you were out shopping on Black Friday. The Salvation Army hopes to raise $150,000 from McHenry County red kettle donations, with a total holiday fundraising goal of $425,000. Half of the organization’s budget comes from the two months before Christmas. If you can’t help financially, please consider donating your time. The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to help with bell ringing in full-day, half-day or two-hour shifts. To volunteer, call 815-455-2769 or visit www.salarmycl.org.
Thumbs down: To Illinois’ continued backlog of unpaid bills that could climb to $9 billion by the end of December. That figure has increased by about $2 billion since the start of the fiscal year in June. Hopefully, next week the pension reform bill will be behind us. The $100 billion pension debt crisis has been the much bigger financial issue in the state. But with pension in its rearview mirror, we’d expect state leaders to focus on other serious financial issues with more creative solutions than raising taxes.
Thumbs up: To the Chicago Bears for putting together a donation of $210,194 to the Red Cross through their Tornado Relief auction. That included $32,857 raised in the auction and $22,240 in cash donations. More than $9,000 of the auction amount came from bidding on a luxury suite donated by the Rams. The Bears matched all money raised and then made a $100,000 donation toward the effort on top of that.