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posted: 2/2/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

A boost in school safety:

Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 says the measures were planned before the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, but it's nice nonetheless to see a school system moving ahead with comprehensive safety improvements. The district is spending $55,000 on an advanced intercom, panic buttons, more cameras and monitors -- all to be installed by spring break.

Still running strong:

While you're debating whether to enter the 36th annual Chicago Marathon, consider these numbers. The first one cost $5 to enter and drew 4,200 runners. Registration for this year's event is $175 for U.S. residents. And when registration opens on Feb. 19, it will soon reach its maximum of 45,000 runners. The 2011 race raised about $13.4 million for charities. Amazing.

Or, consider this:

The inaugural Naperville marathon set for Nov. 10 sold out this week in one day, but you still may be able to sign up for charity. Watch for details. It could add the pleasure of generosity to your sense of accomplishment.

Just put it on hold:

OK, here's the deal. When you're standing in line for fast food or a latte, put the phone down and talk to the person taking your order. It's the polite thing to do, not to mention that it moves the line along faster. This shouldn't be that difficult.

A career of accomplishments:

Mundelein Police Chief Raymond J. Rose steps down as the village's top cop and begins his retirement this week. His 20-year career in Mundelein included taking on the village's gang problem, an emphasis on community policing and the launch of a host of local programs. We're betting Rose won't sit idle, and he has hinted he may be open to other possibilities. We wish him well.

You gave us a lift:

Kudos to Gracie Gold of Elk Grove Village and Agnes Zawadzki of Des Plaines for their outstanding performances at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. With Gracie (second) and Agnes (third), the suburbs are a hotbed of skating talent. Let's hope they get a shot someday at the Olympics and follow the success of Naperville's Evan Lysacek.

Best seat in the house:

While former Fremd High School quarterback and Rolling Meadows native Scott Tolzien won't see any playing time in Super Bowl XLVII, he'll likely be on the 49ers sideline helping chart passes for his teammates. As the No. 3 QB, Tolzien doesn't get much time before NFL cameras, but he's a key figure on the scout team and another suburban success.

Straight talk:

Hurrah for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan for telling it like it is to Big Labor on its bid for a pension summit. The summit idea itself is a good one, and we like the sense of urgency. But the talks need to take place in an environment and spirit of cooperation. As Madigan bluntly said, the unions show no real readiness for that.

It's about the veterans:

Elgin Area School District U-46 is weighing whether to adjust its calendar to make Veterans Day a school day. Students and teachers currently get the day off. If officials make the change, the commitment to schoolwide recognition of veterans most definitely should be what drives their decision.

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