Thumbs Up: To McHenry resident Dan R. Aylward, for paying the county treasurer’s office his first installment of property taxes – all $5,734 of it – in dollar bills. Yes, it was a stunt. Yes, we feel bad for the people who had to spend the time counting that out. But we have to applaud Aylward’s spirit and message against the high property taxes in McHenry County. It certainly was a different way to protest.
Thumbs Up: To McHenry Township firefighters and McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies who acted quickly to rescue a 90-year-old woman from a kitchen fire in her home near McHenry Monday morning. With good cooperation between the agencies, firefighters were able to raise a ladder to the woman’s window and bring her to safety.
Thumbs Down: To the local taxing bodies that continue to raise residents’ property taxes despite the fact that Illinoisans pay among the highest taxes in the nation. When homeowners face tougher financial times, they cut spending to balance their personal budgets. School districts, municipalities and other local taxing bodies should be doing the same.
Thumbs Up: To Garden Connect, a pilot program that teaches Crystal Lake Food Pantry customers to grow their own vegetables in community gardens. The volunteer-run program promotes healthy eating and exercise while teaching families new skills. “To paraphrase an old expression,” Brenda Dahlfors, Master Gardener Program coordinator and Garden Connect volunteer, said in a news release, “give a man a vegetable, you have fed him for today; teach a man to garden, and you have fed him for a lifetime.” If successful, organizers eventually hope to expand the program to all 13 counties served by the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Thumbs Up: To former Jacobs pitchers Reilly Peltier and Brenden Heiss for the work they put in to get drafted in last week’s Major League Baseball draft. On Tuesday, Peltier flew to Arizona to sign with the Texas Rangers organization after a successful season at McHenry County College. Heiss, a recent graduate, has yet to announce a final decision between the Chicago Cubs and playing at the University of Arkansas, but he seems to be leaning toward going to Arkansas for now.