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posted: 2/16/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

A touching tribute:

It's been five years since a gunman took the lives of five Northern Illinois University students and injured others, and it's heartening to see how the vast majority of students who weren't there to live through the horror are remembering their fallen predecessors.

A keeper:

Schaumburg is always buzzing with shoppers from near and far, but a new proposal would create a buzz you can really hear. If it's done right, we like the idea of a "community bee yard" to create a haven for the ecologically important insects.

All's well that ends well:

A group in Sun City Huntley that mistakenly gave its $1,080 donation to the wrong food pantry got the money back Thursday. The money was intended for the Grafton Food Pantry but was given to the Grafton Township Food Pantry. When township Supervisor Linda Moore balked at giving the checks back, the full board took up the matter and did the right thing.

Young philanthropists:

Third-graders at Oak Grove School in Green Oaks was so moved by what they saw at the November opening of the Feed My Starving Children facility in Libertyville, they got involved by turning 2,000 bookmarks into a $700 donation. The group's CEO was so impressed, he visited the school to say thanks.

Nothing to say:

Perhaps it's a no-win situation, but the silence from DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba is deafening. A federal jury this week awarded $1 million to a deputy who claimed she had been passed over for promotion because of political favoritism. As is often the case in controversial situations, the sheriff wasn't available to make a comment. Sure seems a good time for one.

Snow kidding:

While we've avoided, for the most part, a snowy winter, the recent storms provide an opportunity for some reminders: Don't shovel snow into the roadways. Do remove snow from sidewalks. And do clear the white stuff off the top of vehicles. Nobody wants sheets of this icy hazard flying into their path.

A long time coming:

Gurnee Elementary District 56 officials are, pardon the pun, awash with relief now that Lake County has cleared the way for the sale of the flood-prone Gurnee Grade School. Even if the process seems to have taken longer than it should have, the direction to look now is forward.

By the sea, by the sea:

The good news out of the Gulf of Mexico this week was that, after a week aboard a crippled cruiseliner, some 4,000 vacationers and crew arrived home without a single major injury. And we do marvel at how much attention a ruined vacation can attract.

Even happier homecoming:

Then there's 11-year-old Kayla Wolf, who was surprised at a Ridge Circle Elementary School assembly in Streamwood by her father returning after a year in Afghanistan. Kind of puts that whole sacrifice-and-homecoming thing in perspective, doesn't it?

And happier still:

Nor can we ignore the kindness of strangers. Timothy Brennan has much to thank Jaime Maldonado for. Maldonado, a valet at Des Plaines Rivers Casino who barely knew Brennan, donated a kidney to save his life and get him off dialysis. In the process he gave us all a reminder of what it's really all about.

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