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Article posted: 2/9/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

By

Acronym of all acronyms:

Congressman Brad Schneider of Deerfield introduced his first piece of legislation this week: the American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Achievement Works Act. That spells the AMERICA Works Act. Let's hope more time was spent on the legislation than coming up with words to make that acronym.

River resident:

A tiny shrimp found in a section of the Des Plaines River in southern Lake County is big news because of what it means. Local ecologists say the presence of the inch-long Mississippi grass shrimp is a possible indicator of the river's improving aquatic environment. Its discovery is a first in Lake County and a rarity in northeastern Illinois.

Holy Higgins Road!

Nasty potholes especially on the eastbound lanes of Higgins Road through Busse Woods on the way to Elk Grove Village or Arlington Heights seemed to have sprung up overnight. Watch your axles.

The missing part of speech:

After Gov. Pat Quinn's State of the State speech in which he repeatedly referred to "our Illinois" but barely touched on the state's economic problems, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka saw a chance to tweak him a bit. As quoted by Illinois Watchdog, she said, "In our Illinois, we're not paying bills. So our Illinois is a bit financially shaky, and it's really not better."

So much for a low snow record:

Last weekend ABC 7 meteorologist Phil Schwarz told us we had more snowfall over the previous week than we had all winter season up to that point. Just a week ago, we reported on suburbs finding a windfall in storm budgets from the lack of snow. Guess Mother Nature has taken care of that.

Sweet home:

Sure, it's been a trying weather week around here. But we're glad we're not in Los Angeles, the scene of shootings involving a fired police officer who's been on the lam, or out East, which has been clobbered by winter storm Nemo.

Lord of the snow:

When the idea of naming winter storms first surfaced, we thought it was no more than a marketing ploy. But we have to admit this year's storms Gandolf, Draco, Luna, Khan and Nemo appeal to our inner geek.

Why those cars look so cool:

Even the most boring cars look great under the Chicago Auto Show lights when they're perfectly clean and all shined up. Our own cars can look like that, too -- but not with the salt on the roads right now. Maybe next month. Or next June.

Take care around solicitors:

Recently, towns including Wheeling, Antioch and Carpentersville have debated whether to ban or limit charities that collect money from motorists at intersections. It can be scary for drivers to negotiate around them on busy suburban roads. The fundraising is laudable, but let's makes sure safety comes first.

Illinois looking green:

The United States Green Building Council has ranked Illinois fourth-best in the nation on leadership with environmentally sound buildings, citing among them the Northern Illinois Food Bank facility in Geneva. Gee, it feels good to be on positive end of a national ranking once in a while, doesn't it?

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