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updated: 6/3/2011 6:12 PM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

We've got the fireworks:

It's a shame that Chicago will not have a fireworks extravaganza this Fourth of July weekend, but all the more reason for people to find out what the suburbs have to offer. We'll still have them, and those who venture out will discover that in many cases the suburban shows are better than Chicago's anyway.

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Thanks for the laughs:

The suburbs lost an entertainment venue last week when Zanies comedy club in Vernon Hills closed its doors. For 20 years, comics took the stage there and made us laugh. We're sorry to see the club close and wish owners luck in bringing a new Zanies to Rosemont.

On the same side:

Community Unit District 300 administrators and the local teachers union deserve pats on the back for vowing to put aside an "us vs. them" mindset. Fresh from difficult negotiations that resulted in a one-year contract, representatives of both sides will join a Collaborative Council meant to improve relations and communication. It's a great first step; let's hope their resolve stays strong.

What's the message?

Should high school athletics be different from the pros or high-pressure college programs? Consider this scenario: Elk Grove beat West Chicago 1-0 in the softball semifinals by intentionally walking one of the best hitters in the state three times -- once with a runner on. The gamble worked, but it's a shame Mary Connolly didn't get to swing the bat in her final game.

Mixed messages:

We usually don't criticize our competitors, but when distracted driving is such a menace, we must say we were taken aback by a half-page ad in the Tribune that promotes its news app by displaying it on a huge iPhone superimposed over a car with the heading "Driving the News." Get your news in a lot of places, but don't get it driving down the road.

A message that bears repeating:

We've said it once, but let us say it again: The legislative and congressional redistricting maps Democrats in Springfield have given us -- the legislative map signed by the governor Friday -- are a travesty and an affront to the suburbs and to the electorate. Something must be done about the process.

Speaking of redistricting, Part 1:

To state Sens. Don Harmon of Oak Park, Linda Holmes of Aurora, Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge, Terry Link of Waukegan and Arthur Wilhelmi of Joliet, and to state Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia of Aurora, Fred Crespo of Hoffman Estates, Keith Farnham of Elgin, Rita Mayfield of Waukegan, Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg, Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook and Carol Sente of Vernon Hills, how about some explanations for your crassly political "yes" votes?

Speaking of redistricting, Part 2:

We're not happy that state Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin and state Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo voted for the legislative maps, but at least they voted "no" on the congressional ones.

Remembering Paul Splittorff:

They held funeral services Tuesday for Paul Splittorff, the Kansas City Royals pitching legend who got his athletic start at Arlington High School in the 1960s. Marty Maciaszek's story revealed he was much more than a ballplayer. As a Yankee killer, he struck out the game's best. Splitt's humility, however, was truly striking.

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