The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To the Sage YMCA and Sage Chairman and CEO Vince Foglia for all of the progress made toward the $18.2 million improvements to the facility. When completed late this year, it’s expected to be one of the finest YMCA facilities in the country. McHenry County is fortunate to have some excellent health club facilities, and the renovation of the family-friendly YMCA will be a great complement and a valuable resource for Crystal Lake and the county.
Thumbs down: To the IHSA, which continues to maintain the contracts it makes regarding public high school athletic events, down to the ball used, should not be public information. The IHSA has not responded to inquiries regarding HR 895, which aims to – among other things – make those contracts public information and open back up public high school sports playoff webcasts to all. IHSA media relations liaison Matt Troha posted his personal response publicly on Twitter on Friday morning, calling it a “potential state takeover” and questioning state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia’s motives. He also said that the pay-per-view money made on playoff events goes to the school and the provider, without acknowledging that the IHSA makes its money off a contract with the webcast provider, which is the only reason those royalties are split as such. The House resolution’s motive, transparency, is simple and necessary.
Thumbs up: To Landmarks Illinois for making Camp Algonquin one of the most endangered historical places in the state. Although we don’t like that it’s gotten to this point, Camp Algonquin’s inclusion on the list could help lead a revival to a century-old Fox River destination, if the community wants to support it.
Thumbs down: To a proposal to raise the state’s gas tax to help fund road construction projects. Illinois residents already pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the country and are overtaxed. Now the Transportation for Illinois Coalition is proposing a 4-cent increase in the gas tax and higher vehicle registration fees. Again, Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.