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Our View: SleepOut event breaks records

Published: Saturday, June 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:

Thumbs up: To the 600 people who helped raise more than $70,000 for homeless services through McHenry County PADS during this year’s fourth annual SleepOut for Shelter, which was held May 11. This year, for the first time, SleepOut for Shelter went multicounty through a partnership with PADS Lake County. All money raised by each event remained within its county. The number of participants, counties represented, and dollars raised all broke records. Many participants pitched tents or built a cardboard box shelter and spent the entire night outside to get an idea of what it’s like to be homeless while raising money to help those most in need.

Thumbs down: To the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission for automatically dismissing a plan for two three-story apartment complexes and a 12,000-square-foot retail space on the southwest corner of Bard and Huntley roads. Commissioners are worried about the project’s density. Because the project spans 6.8 acres, the density would reach roughly 12 units per acre. Study after study has revealed that there is a significant need for more affordable housing units in McHenry County. This project could help to fill a crucial need.

Thumbs up: To Cary-Grove graduate Colleen Smith, who committed to DePaul to play volleyball last week after losing a season of volleyball and ultimately her scholarship at Indiana University after suffering from life-threatening disorder Wegener’s granulomatosis. She currently is in remission from the disorder. After Indiana rescinded its scholarship, Wegener had to start the recruiting process over and actively sell herself to other schools. It looks like she found a great fit in DePaul, and we wish her the best of luck.

Thumbs down: To the Obama administration for secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of customers of Verizon ­ and likely other phone and Internet companies ­ under a top-secret order. Spying on the phone activity of millions of innocent Americans is a clear abuse of the Patriot Act and one that deserves a better explanation than the administration and the National Security Agency have provided. Or, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders put it, “To simply say in a blanket way that millions and millions of Americans are going to have their phone records checked by the U.S. government is to my mind indefensible and unacceptable.”

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