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posted: 11/5/2011 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

Leading by example:

Avon Township residents watching their budgets got some tax help from Supervisor Sam Yingling and five political allies who recently presented a check for $16,633 to the board. State law prohibits them from revoking their annual pay raises, so they have returned the money each year since Yingling was elected 2009. That's public service.

First the good news:

DuPage Sheriff John Zaruba's office put out a news release 7:33 a.m. Monday briefly announcing that a multicar accident forced the closing of a stretch of Winfield Road in Winfield. At 11:52 a.m. came an update with one new fact. The road was reopened.

Now the not-so-good news:

No further details were available that day on how the accident occurred or whether any tickets were issued. Only after repeated inquiries was the Daily Herald told that three people were injured seriously enough to be taken to an unnamed hospital.

Even worse news:

On Thursday, Zaruba's office put out another release with the scarcest of information about a home invasion near Willowbrook in which a masked intruder broke into a house, subdued the homeowner and stole something. Again, no further details -- such as whether anyone was hurt and/or if a suspect was in custody -- were available.

It's a cliché, but ...

... doesn't the public have a right to know some of these details -- especially if a masked robber might be trolling about the neighborhood?

Safer, smoother ride:

The reopening of New Wilke Road between Algonquin and Golf roads in Rolling Meadows is welcome on two fronts. First, the relief of a smooth drive on what was perhaps the top off-roading simulation in the Northwest suburbs. Second, the end to turning lanes that were nearly impossible to navigate during construction.

A voice worth hearing:

Geneva's $100 fine for underage drinking isn't taken seriously, Zachary Ploppert, a former alderman candidate, told elected officials in his push to have the fine raised to $250 and require public service for offenders. He should know. At 21 years old he has close ties to the age group he's talking about. Geneva should listen to him.

Give them your opinion:

If no one shows up to a Metra public hearing about rate increases of 20 percent or more, can Metra officials assume the public's OK with them? At this week's Arlington Heights meeting, attendance was minimal. Surprising, in light of the complaints we've heard. The board's vote is Nov. 11.

Fond farewell:

Lake County Undersheriff Charles Fagan has decided 39 years in law enforcement is long enough and announced this week he'll retire. It's an impressive career that includes working some of the most high-profile criminal cases in county history and being a founding member of the elite Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

Remembering Dorothy Rodham:

We offer our condolences to the family of former Park Ridge resident Dorothy Rodham, who died Tuesday at 92. It takes a special mom to be able to raise a secretary of state and presidential candidate.

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