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updated: 5/20/2011 6:35 PM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

Encouraging news:

It's easy to get jaded in this business -- and lose hope for the next generation. But this week, as we write about Lexi Youngberg, the St. Charles teen who lost a leg in an accident and has worked her way back on the soccer field, as we write about Larkin High School dancers who include a partially paralyzed 5-year-old who loves to dance with them, and as we pore over entries for our Academic Teams, we can only smile at the prospect of these kids taking care of us in our old age.

A valid complaint:

Some Sun City Huntley residents are upset about homes of the same model being assessed and taxed differently. The variation results from the different ways Rutland and Grafton townships assess properties. One uses a three-year history, the other just a one-year. The dispute points to the mind-boggling property tax processes in the suburbs.

Thumb and thumber:

So it has come to this: Suburban police having to use trickery to catch lawbreakers still texting behind the wheel. Do we really need our police spending their time like this? Apparently so, since too many drivers continue to create their own distractions. How about this? Just stop texting while driving, already.

When life give you lemons:

Students who for three years had hoped to visit Japan through Streamwood High School's World Languages Academy were disappointed that this year's trip was canceled due to the earthquake. But rather than sulk, they sent some of the funds they had raised to the victims. That's making the best of the situation. The 18 students will get to join next year's group.

In honor of cyclists:

A pro bicycle racer was killed in a major Italian race last week. Such a thing is scary, too, when a cyclist is injured or killed in the suburbs. A "Ride of Silence" through Arlington Heights Wednesday honored cyclists who've been killed on public roads. Part of the message: Be careful driving around them -- and cyclists must be careful, too.

The long, eventual arm of the law:

The Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company treasurer accused of stealing $260,000 is the latest example of a community group's treasurer charged with skimming. Treasurers aren't always caught quickly because finance confuses many people, but treasurers must know: Someone will catch on soon enough.

Notices fit for royalty:

Schaumburg sent out notices to Springinsguth Road residents about construction starting next month. We say here, here, for redoing the road rather than just filling potholes; it needs some serious work. But four-color, trifold brochures to tell residents about it? Not so sure that's necessary.

Wind + grilling =

One homeowner near Fox Lake learned the hard way it can add up to an extensive fire recovery bill. Embers were kicked up and landed on an outside deck, causing a blaze last week that damaged the house and led to a firefighter's injury. Never leave a grill unattended, especially on windy days.

A good run:

The nation's eyes are directed elsewhere now, but Haley Reinhart's success on "American Idol" brought an exciting focus to the Northwest suburbs for the second year straight. Ya done good, Haley. And we'll be looking for more from you.