The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs down: To vandals who’ve repeatedly damaged property at St. Patrick Catholic Church in McHenry, including badly damaging the iconic statue of St. Patrick in front of the church. Churches perform vital roles in our communities in so many ways and are funded mainly by the generosity of the congregation providing a safe and beautiful place to reflect and worship. Churches use much of their money helping the poor and for other worthy causes. It’s a shame they have to use it to make continued repairs because of vandals.
Thumbs up: To Illinois House Republicans for filing Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 43, which seeks to put a constitutional amendment in front of voters that would end lame-duck sessions of the General Assembly that often lead to votes that betray taxpayers. It was during the lame-duck session in 2011 when Gov. Pat Quinn and Speaker Michael Madigan were able to secure enough Democratic votes to increase Illinois’ income tax by 67 percent and the corporate tax by 46 percent. Quinn later awarded four lame-duck Democrats who voted for the tax increases with well-paying state jobs, including two who campaigned against the increases. Two others were awarded for their lame-duck votes with nice jobs with the city of Chicago.
Thumbs down: To teenagers’ employment rates shrinking. In Illinois, teen employment rates shrunk to 27 percent in 2012, down from 37 percent in 2006 – before the recession – according to a new report by the Chicago Alternative Schools Network. The numbers are even with the national decline. Because so many people are out of work, teenagers are being passed over for jobs, which, in turn, is stunting the development of work ethic and responsibility in teenagers.
Thumbs up: To the Hampshire girls basketball team for rallying around the three Dumoulin family members whose grandfather died Wednesday. The three Dumoulins decided to play in Wednesday night’s game, dedicating the victory to 85-year-old William Dumoulin, a 1946 Hampshire graduate who had served with the U.S. Armed Forces in 1955-56 in occupied Germany and was a lifelong area farmer.