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posted: 5/5/2012 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Secretive police:

For weeks, Des Plaines officials have refused to divulge much about charges brought against two police officers. Now, one of them has filed suit against the city charging racial discrimination. Sensitive personnel issues are involved here, but even some basic information would help residents understand what's going on in their police department. Silence does not inspire confidence.

Knock on wood:

After an Elgin woman was arrested on charges of trying to fake a share in the record $656 million Mega Millions lottery, Illinois lottery officials crowed about their success against deception. "We have a 100 percent foolproof way of safeguarding against such frauds," spokesman Mike Lang said. Here's hoping he never has to eat his words.

Marilyn, Marilyn:

We're not that sorry to see you go. You brought out the kindergartner in many of us ("I see London, I see France ...") and had no real connection to the city where your giant statue has stood for almost a year. Yet, your sheer scale added something to the North Michigan Avenue landscape. Let's hope for a replacement that's just as memorable.

The paths we take:

A recent report told of a suburban 18-year-old, the son of Mexican immigrants, who told his mother at age 5 he was going to Harvard. He's headed this fall to Cambridge, Mass. There also was front-page news that day of two suburban 18-year-olds arrested on charges of making easy-to-detect counterfeit bills to buy pot. Life really is all about choices.

Driving us crazy:

Please, once and for all, when the left-turn arrow changes to red, it means stop. It really does. Where is everybody rushing to anyway?

Potential peril in the cupboard:

A Palatine teen who faces charges of "huffing" from an aerosol can before getting behind the wheel and injuring several people in a crash is a reminder that DUIs aren't only about drinking and driving. Households are full of legal but dangerous chemicals that if used in the wrong way are a danger to users and those around them.

A timely meeting:

And on that subject, a forum at Stevenson High School next week will feature police, court and social services representatives talking about the consequences of adolescent drug use and providing guidance for families. With a new nationwide study showing nearly 1 in 10 teens is lighting up on pot 20 or more times a month, this couldn't come at a better time.

Fed Ex, maybe?:

No bids as of this writing (Friday afternoon) on the Mineola Lounge and Marina, posted on eBay this week with a cool $2 million starting price. The listing does offer "free local pickup," but perhaps they could widen its appeal by offering free delivery.

Winning loser:

Congrats to Michael White of West Dundee, whose impressive 84-pound weight loss over 12 weeks won him the Daily Herald's 2012 Fittest Loser Challenge. Actually, all the contestants were winners: The six chalked up a combined weight loss of almost 400 pounds. We wish them all continued success in the battle to live healthier lives.

A resolve to recover:

It's been a long four months for Sen. Mark Kirk. He's finally back home after suffering a stroke in January and undergoing brain surgery. His determination to continue his work against tough challenges is impressive. We wish him well as he recovers.

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