Thumbs up to Hailey Beles. We hope Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld read Friday's front-page story, "A promise kept," about the 20-year-old's recovery from heroin addiction. He has questioned drug court's benefits, but Beles' recovery should be all the proof he needs to support the program. Beles couldn't have beaten her addiction without drug court and the tough love she received from Judge David Reddy, who sometimes scolded her and sent her to jail. In the end, she was grateful and at her drug court graduation Thursday thanked the judge for giving her a "kick in the ass." Drug court has an important place in the judicial system, and Wiedenfeld would be wise not to interfere with its continuation.
Thumbs up to The Venue. The city of Janesville cited violations for rotting wood and peeling paint at the wedding and event hall last year, and the downtown building's owner, the Grafft family, could have done the minimum to satisfy inspectors. But the family is going farther, according to City Building Director Tom Clippert, who called work there a “complete exterior restoration.” Building operator Britten Langfoss said plans are to repair and tuck point original brick on the building’s south and east sides and replace and repaint ornate woodwork around windows and the roof line. With several downtown buildings crumbling from neglect or barely passing city inspections, this project sets a higher standard. The downtown deserves better than the minimum.
Thumbs down to tailgating epidemic. Tailgaters' antics are more than annoying. They've contributed to several multiple-vehicle crashes in the past month on Wisconsin Interstates, including some near Janesville. Not surprisingly, construction areas along I-90/39 and I-94 have been accident hot spots. Distracted driving compounds the dangers of following too closely. Too many drivers are sneaking peeks at their smartphones while tailgating and speeding. These folks are a menace to themselves and everyone around them. If ever there was an argument for launching automated, self-driving cars, tailgaters are it.
Thumbs down to buying bandwidth you don't need. Savvy marketing has conditioned many people to believe they need faster internet speeds to be able to stream music and videos, especially when streaming on multiple devices. But a new Wall Street Journal study debunks myths about bandwidth, concluding most households only consume a fraction of their bandwidth capacity. The Journal conducted stress tests at different internet speeds and discovered speeds as low as 15 megabits per second (Mbps) could handle streaming up to seven devices simultaneously. That's because streaming services use only tiny amounts of bandwidth. Watching Netflix, for example, took up only an average of 3.5 Mpbs in the study and YouTube only 1 Mpbs. So the next time an internet provider claims you need faster internet, remember this: Slower speeds work perfectly fine for most households.