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posted: 4/7/2012 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Creative solution:

It might have been tempting in the throes of budget cuts for Indian Prairie Unit District 204 to just scuttle its middle school soccer program. Instead, the district is looking at a public-private partnership with Wheatland Athletic Association. Students would wear their school jerseys, and more teams are available. That's problem solving.

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Every vote counts:

Fox River Grove officials breathed a sigh of relief on election night when a ballot measure to raise the sales tax a quarter percentage point passed by two votes. They no doubt were gasping for breath when they learned this week that a count of provisional and absentee votes made it a tie. Which means the measure fails.

Proud pals:

A round of applause to former Daily Herald copy editor and all-around smarty-pants Elisabeth Carrel for winning $25,000 on "Jeopardy!" during her two-day run this week.

Time consuming:

Naperville Unit District 203 has decided to take more or less a year to find the replacement for Superintendent Mark Mitrovich, who is resigning after three years on the job. There's no telling how long the next superintendent will last. But doesn't a year to find someone who will be in office perhaps for only three years seem a bit of a stretch?

The other extreme:

Jason Slowinski announced he was leaving his acting village manager post in Des Plaines on a recent Thursday, and by the next Monday the city council voted to replace him. A hire for the top post in three days? As Alderman Jim Brookman said, an interim appointment and a full search might have led back to their original pick, but more due diligence would be reassuring.

Nice surprise:

While making preparations for the annual Libertyville Days festival, organizers were surprised -- pleasantly -- to learn the event turns 100 this year. They think that anniversary will add a little more spirit to what is already a popular community festival.

Sorry to see the trees go:

Cook County crews have cut down trees in Busse Woods to fight the emerald ash borer. Big trunks lie off to the sides of the bike trail; you can stop and count the rings. Soon all of them willbe picked up. The forest has plenty of trees left, but it still looks like a nature war zone. Sad.

Stay healthy . . . and safe:

While we did have a stretch of summer before spring this year, it's still a good time to remind bicyclists to stay safe on our roads. Helmets are a must. Proper lights/reflectors, too. Not a good idea to be using headphones. And while you do have rights just as motorists do, be smart. Stay clear of traffic and out of harm's way whenever possible.

Leading by example:

Great news that after two years Prospect Heights' police station again is open to the public daily. Thanks to the 14 volunteers who were trained to work the front desk to make this possible. And kudos to Police Chief Jamie Dunne, who will be joining them from time to time. That's leadership by example and a terrific way to keep in touch with residents.

Fake pot, real threat:

Kudos to St. Charles School District 303 for its proactive stance -- and keeping its discipline policy in line with the latest threats facing students -- in targeting synthetic marijuana and Internet threats.

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