THUMBS UP! To new buses. Decatur has added 14 to its public transit fleet, replacing buses that outlasted their expected lifetimes of 15 years or 500,000 miles. The average replaced bus had lasted 17.4 years and all but one went over 700,000 miles.
THUMBS UP! To being back among the nation’s elite, and staying there. The University of Illinois basketball team returned to the Associated Press top 25 men’s basketball rankings earlier this month. It’s the first time the Illini have been ranked since December 2014, and they’ve posted a pair of wins and risen in the top 25 since. There’s reason to pay attention to what’s going on in Champaign.
THUMBS DOWN! To the money spent by Illinois politicians on lawyers’ fees. At best, optics on the payments are horrendous. At worst, they expose the top layer of a rotting system. If our representatives in Springfield were taking care of their own houses legally, there would be more business of the people.
THUMBS DOWN! To miserable weather, and miserable forecasts. We’ve done well enough in dealing with our odd weather patterns, dealing with ice, snow, rain and sunshine, often in 36- or 24-hour stretches. But the most recent forecast for spring -- wet -- is adding insult to injury, especially for farmers. Corn and soybean production dropped last year, the wettest January to June in state history. The news needs to be significantly better in order for farmers to keep their optimism up.
THUMBS UP! To the National Archives for doing the right thing, albeit a little late. The National Archives altered the signs on a 2017 photograph from the Women’s March on Washington, blurring or erasing text. The original excuse for blurring anti-Trump signs was that the National Archives is a “non-partisan, non-political federal agency.” An immediate outcry led to the removal of the photograph and an apology. When we start altering photographs, we crawl deeper into the horrors George Orwell described in his dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
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