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posted: 4/21/2012 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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What happened to that balmy, early spring weather we've come to love -- and expect?

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Al fresco in Lombard:

Lombard's long-running challenge has been to revitalize its downtown. Sometimes the simplest of steps can be effective. Lombard trustees this week began considering new guidelines that would make it easier for outdoor dining. It's the "No. 1 thing" residents and businesses would like to see downtown, Trustee Peter Breen said.

Drawing power:

Is it some sort of social comment on the meaning, or lack thereof, of celebrity, that folks started lining up Friday morning for a Friday evening appearance by two of the three Kardashian sisters at the Sears store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg? Sears used to draw a crowd when its Craftsman tools went on sale. Now Kim and Khloe beat crescent wrenches hands down.

A thought for your pennies:

Canada dumped its penny last week. It costs too much to make. Then a 1792 U.S. "experimental" penny sells in Schaumburg for a million bucks. Who wouldn't mind finding that among the gum wrappers and popcorn hulls under the sofa cushions?

High-five for coaches:

Next Saturday, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association will induct a new class into its Hall of Fame. A standing ovation, please, for these suburban honorees: Mike Bailey (Chicago, Dundee Crown); Andy Nussbaum (Naperville Central, Wheaton North), Chuck Ramsey (Warren), Todd Sutton (Neuqua Valley), Joe Majkowski (St. Viator), Paul Runyon (Downers Grove South), Robert Scarpino (St. Edward, Westmont, Wheeling, Hersey) and Bill Wandro (Leland, Fremd, Hoffman Estates). Well done, coaches.

Nothing but net:

Those coaches have given a lot to the game, but they also needed talent and support in the community. Among the suburban players to be inducted: Henry Domercant (Naperville North, EIU), Bryan Mullins (Downers Grove South, SIU), the 2002 College of DuPage men's team, and a friend of basketball, John Mizener (Downers Grove South).

Full-court coverage:

Of course, it takes more than coaches and players to enjoy the full basketball experience, and our own Marty Maciaszek will be inducted, along with longtime suburban officials Steve Scholten and Peter King. Marty, who joined the Daily Herald in 1995, will be welcomed by previous inductees Bob Frisk and John Radtke. Congrats to all.

Babies and bath water:

Buffalo Grove trustees were understandably frustrated when a member of the community ignored commenting limits with a recent rambling 20-minute verbal attack. But new rules moving commenting to the end of meetings penalizes all residents. A better solution: make speakers follow existing rules.

Learn to save a life:

A parent who knew CPR and an athletic trainer with a portable defibrillator are credited with saving a volunteer coach who had a heart attack during a Schaumburg High School girls softball game. When was your last CPR and lifesaving class? Might be time to sign up.

Auld lang syne:

New Year's Eve won't be the same without you, Dick Clark.

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