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posted: 7/21/2012 5:30 AM

The Soapbox

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Tribute to Jeanine:

Jeanine Nicarico is back in the news, but this time for a reason that will offer hope to abused children. A new DuPage County Children's Advocacy Center will be named for the 10-year-old Naperville girl who was abducted and killed in 1983. It is fitting that Jeanine's legacy will be one of helping protect children from tragic fates like hers.

In the heat of training:

100 degrees? To some amateur athletes it doesn't matter. We've driven in our neighborhoods or past parks and forest preserves and seen people cycling, skating, even running during the hottest hours, sun blazing. To them, first, you're amazing. Second, you really should do that in the early morning or at least at dusk; we worry about you.

Eye on the future:

If the Lorax could speak for ash trees, he'd be outraged that Barrington and other towns have decided against trying to treat those threatened by the emerald ash borer and instead will remove them. It hurts to lose trees, sure, but Barrington is wise to use its resources to begin a reforestation program.

He fought the lawn and the lawn won:

Credit Naperville Councilman Steve Chirico for knowing when to stop. As the city cracked down on landscaping laws, he was pushing for mowing limits, thinking of the disturbance for neighbors. But after the chamber of commerce and homeowners had concerns, Chirico backed off. Seems the occasional roar of mowers trumps overgrown grass.

Why are you turning red?

Are we spoiled by traffic light sensors or is it really annoying when a traffic light especially at a side street turns red during off-peak hours when there are no cars approaching on those streets? Woodfield Mall lights on Golf Road or those down Schaumburg Road come to mind. Can we get sensors?

Super honor:

Grant High School District 124's longtime Superintendent John Benedetti kicked off his retirement in a big way. District officials renamed the 3-year-old athletic field house in his honor. Benedetti oversaw growth in enrollment and academic programs and building improvements, including the field house, on the Fox Lake campus.

Yes, we've got talent!

The suburbs are not the cultural wasteland that the stereotypes suggest. There are plenty of examples to support our argument, but to check out the latest, take in the semifinal round of the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition Sunday night at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. These contestants are good!

Awaiting the rain event:

Does anyone else find it annoying to watch a dark rain cloud travel too far north or south to reach the yellow front lawn you're standing on?

Our aching hearts:

Nostalgia is part of who we are, and so it was nice to see Ozzie, Big Z and Mark Buehrle back in town this week. Thanks, guys, for the thrills and for the memories. That being said, the past is the past. Anthony Rizzo and Youk have our hearts now.

Speaking of heartthrobs:

We're excited to hear that Justin Timberlake will visit the suburbs as the Ryder Cup Team U.S. ambassador, almost as excited as we are that the Medinah Country Club is hosting golf's mega event this September.

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