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posted: 5/12/2012 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Just talk about it:

We echo the message court and medical leaders gave to parents at a forum about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use. "We have to talk to our kids," Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes told the crowd at Stevenson High School. "Silence isn't golden. Silence is permission."

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Ride if you dare:

While it seems like Great America adds a new roller coaster every year, some of us less-daring participants don't need something faster, louder or different to get our adrenaline pumping. Nothing against the new X Flight, but one round on the American Eagle and another on the Demon is just fine, thank you.

Painful endings:

Maybe we should consider Chicago the City of Big Crutches. Jay Cutler goes down last season, taking the Bears' playoff hopes with him. Same for Marian Hossa and the Blackhawks, and now Derrick Rose (and Joakim Noah) and the Bulls. Let's hope the team doctors can prove this trend isn't contagious.

Hopeful beginnings:

But where one season ends, another begins. Just around the corner are season openers for the Chicago Sky (WNBA), the Chicago Bandits (NPF) and the Schaumburg Boomers (Frontier League), all promising to keep you entertained for a lot less money. Pick your passion and check them out.

And don't forget:

If that's not enough, Arlington Park is off and running, and the Chicago Slaughter (IFL) and Chicago Rush (AFL) still have football games to play in their indoor seasons, and the Kane County Cougars have a lot of games to play before they host the Midwest League All-Star Game this summer. Game on.

Hats off to Pheasant Run:

The owners at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles have helped four St. Charles East High School students with special needs to dip their toes in the job market. The student workers are learning skills that hopefully will help them find employment, their disabilities notwithstanding. "They just need a chance," Vocational Coordinator Donna Wisely says. Thanks to Pheasant Run, they have a head start.

Schools standing tall:

We often pride ourselves for our quality suburban schools -- and now with more good reason. A U.S. News & World Report ranking of the top public schools puts 10 of our local schools among the top 650 in the nation. That's among 22,000 considered. Not bad at all.

Note to self:

If you work for a police department, it's best you not steal from your employer. Sarai Villareal did just that, pocketing $1,500 she took in as a front-desk clerk at the Elgin police station. The community service officer lost her job and was sentenced to probation and community service. Cops don't like it when you steal from others; they really take offense when you steal from them.

More than a job:

There are people behind those public pensions we're hearing so much about, and the time and energy they give to their communities is often priceless. Thanks to Paul Hoefert and the Mount Prospect village board for reminding us of that this week with a touching tribute to retiring Police Chief John Dahlberg. Great public servants will always be missed.

Someone's mother:

As you busily prepare to honor Mom on Mother's Day, remember that the clerk at the flower shop or the person serving you brunch could be a mother, too. Treat her kindly.

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