The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To Scott Commings for winning season 12 of “Hell’s Kitchen.” The Woodstock chef defeated Chicago chef Jason Zepaltas in the finale and won a $250,000-a-year job at one of host Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. Commings has worked hard to get to this point, and it’s great to see a local resident excel in his craft.
Thumbs up: To The Salvation Army’s Stuff the Bus event and the many area programs like it that help gather school supplies for needy kids. Government can’t solve all of society’s problems, but it’s important to show kids that the community cares about them and their education. The Salvation Army’s Stuff the Bus event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Crystal Lake Wal-Mart.
Thumbs down: To Gov. Pat Quinn, Speaker Michael Madigan and other officials in Springfield, who continue to do nothing about the state’s devastating fiscal woes and poor jobs climate, all while more Illinois children slip into poverty. A report released earlier this week said the number of children living in areas of high poverty in the state has increased by about a third – to 347,000 – since 2000. Nonexistent leadership and job-killing fiscal policies are having dramatic effects on the state’s most at-risk residents.
Thumbs up: To the unemployment rate in McHenry County falling to a new post-recession low. According to preliminary figures from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, June’s unemployment rate in McHenry County was 6.1 percent – nearly 3 percentage points lower than the 8.9 percent rate in June 2013. In May, the county’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.