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updated: 7/1/2011 6:05 PM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

Leave it to experts:

Yes, you've heard it often, but it's time again for that annual reminder: Leave the fireworks to the experts. They put on a much better show anyway. Enjoy this patriotic holiday weekend, but enjoy it safely.

Gone fishing:

Thomas Job got a year in prison and must pay thousands in fines for his part in manipulating a time clock at his Lake County Health Department so he and another man could collect tens of thousands of dollars of unearned pay. But we still wonder how a supervisor could shirk his job duties for hours each week for two years without someone noticing.

Second best:

Chicago seems unimpressed that its new marketing slogan "Second to None" has been in use by Illinois' second-largest town, Aurora. It seems the slogan may have been more of a political gimmick for Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, but we credit his spin on the gentle disagreement: "We are 'Second to None' if we have a big city like Chicago copying (us)."

Ditka for treasurer:

If the government needs a new economic stimulus plan, it might look to Mike Ditka. Already a national figure with his NFL analysis, Ditka has his name on restaurants, wine and food, medical products, resorts, Arena Football, cigars and real estate. Now he has boosted Hollywood with an episode of "Entourage." No recession for Da Coach.

Parker's perspective:

Naperville's Candace Parker, the WNBA's most valuable player in 2008, hasn't had much luck since that rookie season, missing 33 of 68 games the last two years. Now she'll be out six weeks with a knee injury. She does have a healthy perspective, however: "God never gives you more than you can handle." Get back soon, Candace.

Upside to the downturn:

The Kane County Forest Preserve District's first purchase of land in its $30 million open space initiative is the very same land that had been planned for a densely populated Elgin subdivision. The plan prompted incorporation of Campton Hills as a buffer between from Elgin. That buffer is now complete with a massive forest preserve.

Pay it forward:

Our hat is off to 14-year-old Stephen Cohn of Buffalo Grove, who decided to help those who helped him by donating four boxes of books and DVDs he collected to the Puerto Rico hospital where he was airlifted in March for emergency surgery when he suffered bleeding ulcers while on a cruise ship at sea.

Serious business:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle keeps showing how it's done. This week, she fired an "inept" manager and ended his program. And, she told her department heads that from now on, they have to get their spending plans in earlier and prepare to see them corrected if they don't meet her goals. Anybody in Springfield watching this?

And Washington, too?

The folks on both sides of the aisle in Washington could benefit from a little tough love, too. We are not amused by either side's apparent willingness to play chicken with the nation's credit rating and an economy that is struggling to get a foothold on recovery. Surely, leaders of both parties can find a path to cooperation rather than confrontation.