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posted: 8/13/2011 4:00 AM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

A super mistake?

What's done is done, the congressional supercommitte is formed, but imagine what might have been. Sen. Mark Kirk told our editorial board he would have preferred Democrats choose the Republicans and Republicans name the Democrats for the panel tasked with trimming the deficit. If they had, we'd be more optimistic of real progress.

Dangerous dams:

Dams are picturesque focal points for some river towns, but they also claim lives like that of Randy Suchy, who drowned in the Fox River trying to save a 12-year-old boy in Geneva. Altering dams might not be feasible now, but towns need to ensure buoys and warning signs are up-to-date, and people must be cautious along riverbanks.

Found money:

Think you'd never lose track of your money? Tell that to the rightful owners of $1.5 billion in unclaimed cash that has been turned over to the Illinois treasurer. A new law sends unclaimed paychecks to the state after one year instead of five, but owners can still get the money back. Check to see if any of it is yours.

Let the countdown begin:

In less than two weeks, high school football kicks off with the first games of the season. While the networks closed the playbook on the fictional "Friday Night Lights" television show, the real show continues on suburban football fields this fall. You won't want to miss it.

A drink and a nod:

The American Academy of Pediatrics said this week kids are not as vulnerable to heat stress as once thought, and it has loosened its guidelines on playing sports in hot weather. Still, coaches and band leaders holding practices outside must be attuned to students' needs: push the water, allow breaks and know first aid.

Driving us crazy:

If 50 is indeed the new 40, maybe it also can be said that stop is the new yield. As for yield, well, they might just as well take all those road signs down.

Now call it Springinsgood Road:

Final asphalt layer done, final striping already beginning to appear on Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg, well ahead of schedule. All along, the inconveniences were minor, compared with what we endure elsewhere. Nice work.

Nice surprise on Olmstead Drive:

Meanwhile, in Hoffman Estates, it was a nice surprise to see Olmstead Drive getting repaved. It was on the village's 2011 street improvement list, but still, it was shocking to find this short little road finally made smooth. It had been torn to virtually cobblestones before. Glad that's over.

A bit more openness:

Glen Ellyn Park District board members are considering televising their meetings and posting video on the district's website. The cost is reasonable. Several commissioners campaigned on a pledge of more transparency, and they should follow through on this.

A happy ending for residents:

Few residents would want a commercial tour bus trolling the streets to the neighborhood castle, and such an incident is causing a stir in Fox River Grove. We can hardly blame homeowners near Bettendorf Castle, a private historic home, for their outcry. The village's decision to issue citations to future violators of an ordinance prohibiting such buses was prudent.