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posted: 10/6/2012 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

A real coyote danger:

Within 10 days, two separate coyote attacks on small dogs occurred near the Illinois Prairie Path in Wheaton. After reading our Friday story about the attacks, a Winfield woman told us of another one, also near the Prairie Path. Her dog did not survive.

Fences no safeguard:

The commonality of the coyote attacks was that the dogs were unleashed, in their backyards. Even a 5-foot-tall fence was not a deterrent in one attack, as the coyote apparently jumped or climbed it. In another case, two small terriers were surrounded by several coyotes.

Watch your dog!

The lesson for owners of small dogs and cats is obvious: Don't let them outside unwatched, even in fenced yards. Experts say coyotes can jump fences or burrow under them. Coyotes' presence in the suburbs is undeniable, especially near wooded areas. Pet owners must be diligent.

Incredible peacemaking:

Erika Scoliere got probation for causing the death of motorcyclist Frank Ferraro in South Elgin five years ago. Ferraro's mother, Arlene Calcagno, said Scoliere's parents apologized to her and said Erika Scoliere herself also gave her a hug. "Her family is very involved and I know they're hurting, too," Calcagno said. An amazing reconciliation after a tragedy.

A good long leaf year:

The leaves are beautiful now and falling quickly. Remember how this year they first arrived in March because of that warm winter? We've had the leaves a good seven months rather than the usual five. These next weeks are a last hurrah indeed.

Creepy crimes:

A pair of McHenry residents is charged with burglary. Sheriff's police say the two have admitted to targeting the homes of family members who they know will be attending wakes. That's just lower than low.

Leaving the business behind:

The legacy won't live on physically, but the memories of Marlowe's Ace Hardware in Hampshire will remain. Marge and Dean Marlowe are closing their store, which has been a downtown fixture for more than 100 years. May their own future home repairs be few.

Great places to be:

It's always nice to be noticed for something good. Inverness and Lincolnshire got attention this week when they were ranked by Coldwell Banker among the top 100 suburbs in the nation for their access to amenities, safety, proximity to good schools and homeownership.

Safe disposal:

Last week's Soapbox lamenting that the state attorney general's prescription medication drop-off sites didn't include the suburbs prompted several readers to remind us that many towns do offer a place to bring them. Call yours, and please dispose of unused drugs safely.

'Goodbye,' said the fox:

So begins an eloquent passage by Antoine de Saint-Exupery in "The Little Prince." We think of that passage today as Executive Editor Madeleine Doubek departs after more than 27 years at the Daily Herald for another venture aimed at furthering the public's welfare.

What the fox and Madeleine taught:

The fox continued, "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." Look forever rightly, Madeleine; look forever rightly.

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