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posted: 10/15/2011 4:00 AM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

At last, remembrance:

More than 1,000 people are expected in Des Plaines today to dedicate a memorial to the victims of the crash of American Airlines Flight 191. Such an outpouring 32 years after the tragedy shows why such remembrances are important. As a woman who lost her parents that day said, "We are all at different stages."

Who shall lead them?

The memorial culminates the efforts of many people, but who cannot be impressed by the sixth-graders of Decatur Classical School in Chicago who began in 2009 and lobbied two years to see this through. Man, these kids today.

Food and Homeland Security

Want to see your tax dollars at work? Self-guided tours are available from 1 to 4 p.m. today at two of College of DuPage's unique new facilities: the Homeland Security Education Center and Culinary & Hospitality Center. Student ambassadors also are on hand to provide tours of the Student Services Center at the Glen Ellyn campus.

Keeping the peace:

Elgin's get-tough proposal to stop early morning brawls at a local bar is an example of good government intervention. Any establishment allowed to sell liquor until 4 a.m. should take some responsibility for their patrons' actions. Elgin officials are targeting Afterset, whose owners are wise to work with the city as well as local police.

Better than a lullabye:

If there's one group of public workers one would hope are rested enough to perform their jobs, it's firefighters. Thanks to business donations, Countryside Fire Protection District station in Vernon Hills has a new set of furniture -- including mattresses. Kudos to Steinhafels Furniture and Simmons Bedding Co.

Pledging for their lives:

Just in case the no-texting-while-driving law slips students' minds, Elgin Area School District U-46 is offering a way to keep it in their psyches. The district has teamed up with AT&T to encourage students (prizes are involved) to take a pledge they will obey the new law. Of course, parents should be the first to set the example.

A sad and messy thing

Perhaps U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh eventually will show he doesn't actually owe his ex-wife $117,000 in back child support, as he insisted in court documents this week. But his response definitely proved at least one thing -- divorce is just a sad, ugly business, especially if it has to play out in public.

Hail, Pumpkin Man

The end of an era arrives later this month when 91-year-old Goodmon "Bud" Goodmonson packs away his alter ego forever. He's been Pumpkin Man to school kids and neighbors, who for 50 years came to his Lake Zurich-area house for candy and to hear wisdom and wisecracks from the voice of a pumpkin head. Goodbye and good luck.

That's the ticket

Kudos to the Chicago Wolves for holding the line on ticket prices for the fourth straight season. That's a franchise that understands fans have a difficult time stretching their dollars in this economy. For $9, the pregame fireworks alone are worth the price of admission.

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