Local Editorials

Our view: Old Firehouse Assistance Center in Woodstock an important resource

Old Firehouse Assistance Center guests Vik Berkeris (left) and Thomas Shaw are served lunch by volunteer and Centegra trauma registrar Gloria Kessler on April 13, 2017.[]

Thumbs-up: To the Woodstock City Council for approving an extension to the Old Firehouse Assistance Center’s lease. The center has been a one-stop shop for resources for the homeless since it opened in January 2016. It has moved more than 50 people out of homelessness and into permanent housing since it opened.

Although we don’t see this as a permanent solution to homelessness in the community, if it can get 50 more people out of homelessness in the next year, we think that’s a good thing.

Thumbs-down: To golf ball-sized hail that hit northern McHenry County on Wednesday night. The storm left behind damaged siding, screens and roofs in its wake. Richmond Fire Chief Rick Gallas said he hadn’t seen anything like it in 65 years. Wednesday also was the first time Richmond used its new sirens to warn of an emergency situation. As more storms come our way, we hope residents heed Gallas’ warning and go inside, close their windows and bring their pets inside if they hear the alarm.

Thumbs-up: To Community High School District 155’s first lacrosse games being played on school campuses. The club teams will be joining IHSA competition next school year, and the four schools – Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove – also will make the move to on-campus games more regularly. Of course, thunderstorms postponed Wednesday’s first attempt, but Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove got their match in Thursday, and Crystal Lake Central and Crystal Lake South rescheduled for this coming week. Lacrosse is a growing sport, and we’re excited to see our local schools embrace the game.

Thumbs-down: To another midair scare for Southwest Airlines passengers. On Wednesday, a Southwest flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, had to make an emergency landing in Cleveland after a window on the plane cracked, alarming the 76 passengers aboard.

One of those on the airplane was Rich Robinson of Sandwich, who described how startled passengers cleared out of two rows near the cracked window. The incident occurred only two weeks after a passenger on a Southwest Boeing 737 plane died after being sucked out of a window that was broken by debris from a failed engine.

We’re grateful no one was hurt, and expect Southwest will take necessary measures to ensure the safety of passengers.