The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs down: To two Illinois State Fair managers who accepted hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars in free beer tickets in violation of a gift ban they were specifically trained to avoid. It might be small potatoes, but these are exactly the kinds of practices and attitudes that lead to bigger problems in a state where political corruption and favoritism still run rampant. Ethics starts with everyday decisions, and these were poor ones.
Thumbs up: To local state Reps. Mike Tryon and Barbara Wheeler for co-sponsoring legislation to allow schoolchildren and properly trained school personnel to give epinephrine injections to those suffering severe allergic reactions in school with parental consent. Previously, only the school nurse was legally qualified to do so. Now, more people will have access to potentially save a life. It’s common sense legislation such as this that we’re happy to see passed.
Thumbs up: To organizers of the McHenry County Fair Talent Contest, which celebrated 50 years Friday. The contest has served as a showcase for the gifts and creativity of county residents, many of whom are performing for a large crowd for the first time, helping them to develop their skills and even launch their careers. It is a highlight of the fair every year, and we look forward to another 50 years of celebrating local talent.
Thumbs down: To the majority of trail at Starved Rock State Park in Utica remaining closed because of significant damage from June 30 storms. The park is waiting for an emergency contract to be awarded for tree removal. The damage includes limbs hanging dangerously overhead, branches littering the trails and falling trees. Starved Rock is a popular day trip for McHenry County residents, and we hope the trails are fully operational soon so everyone can enjoy the entire park.