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posted: 4/6/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Saplings in demand:

The suburbs' battle against the dreaded emerald ash borer continues to be an uphill one. As many infected ash trees are being removed, we've learn that replacement trees may be tough to come by. Vernon Hills officials are competing with other towns to find an adequate number and type of trees to plant. At some area nurseries, demand is outpacing supply.

Long time until October:

Reconfiguration of the intersection of Golf and New Wilke roads in Rolling Meadows is among the suburbs' first major road projects to begin. For seven months, the 70,000 drivers who pass by should plan to leave early or find another route. And to all who drive: Stay tuned for more orange -- the season is young.

Kudos for Kirk:

It took a while for Republican Sen. Mark Kirk's position on gay marriage, an issue of some note in his 2010 campaign, to solidify, but with the debate stirring controversy over the leadership of his party, his commitment and his expression of it came at an important time.

Election Day, Part 1:

On Tuesday we hit the polls. If you haven't researched the candidates yet, do so. There are a number of solid resources for this, including

Election Day, Part 2:

It is not true that if you don't vote, you have no right to complain. But if you don't vote, the truth is, you're the one you should be complaining about.

We're less healthy:

The suburbs have slipped this year in ranks of the healthiest Illinois counties. DuPage County fell from third to sixth, Lake from ninth to at 16th, McHenry from fifth to 17th and Kane from eighth to 12th. Cook, which includes Chicago, was 78th. So how about it? Walk, don't drive to your polling place on Tuesday.

Speaking of healthy:

Arlington Heights Trustee Mike Sidor reminds us that letting your car idle unnecessarily wastes gas, is dangerous for those suffering from asthma, damages the exhaust system and adds to air pollution. The general rule: If you're going to park your car for more than 10 seconds, shut the engine off.

Speaking of cars:

If there are going to be cameras to fine motorists who don't come to a complete stop when turning right on red, then someone should ensure the sight lines are clear to the left. Utility boxes, shrubbery and other obstacles can make things difficult -- and dangerous. Or at least put the camera trigger stripe farther ahead. Give us a fighting chance.

So it's come to this:

Naperville Unit District 203 officials say a policy is a long ways off, but debate has started on random drug testing of students in sports and other activities. Discussion was spurred by the perception that drug use is "rampant." The district wisely will look hard at what other schools do before making a decision.

Real-time feedback:

St. Charles now offers an app to send complaints to the city. Go ahead, let 'em know where that huge pothole is. But, please, not while you're driving.

Remembering Roger Ebert:

Many obituaries were written Thursday about legendary film critic Roger Ebert, a man who changed the way we view movies. Certainly, there are many things to remember about Roger, but we will remember most his generosity of spirit. You can be successful and famous, he showed everyone, and still be kind.

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