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Article posted: 5/11/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox


Au natural:

How refreshing that the city of Chicago will turn to goats to tame 120 acres of hard-to-reach grass at O'Hare International Airport rather than resorting to mechanical or chemical means. It's important to keep the grass trimmed to keep birds away; while goats don't pose a danger to airplanes, our feathered friends sure do.

Hearing is believing:

A recent message on a Schaumburg municipal sign offered this advice: "You need all of your senses, so don't use earphones while biking." Those are wise words not just for bicyclists but for anyone behind the wheel.

A show of good form:

The state Senate has approved a new ethics form on financial disclosure for candidates. The previous form was so vague that many candidates -- 87 percent of nearly 22,000 in Cook County last year -- could reply "Not Applicable" to every question. This one should give a better idea of candidates' interests that could affect public decisions. Next stop, state House.

Jumping right in:

Well into 2013, some state and national candidates for office have thrown hats into the ring for the 2014 election. But 2015's? This week a Naperville councilman officially stated he'd like to be the next mayor. Nothing wrong with a jump start, but in all these cases our greatest concern is that there might be more campaigning than serving the public.

Culinary star:

Can a gig on the Food Network be far away for Tyler Raineri? The Lake Zurich man collected a $50,000 prize for being one of three finalists in a nationwide contest to create new Lay's potato chip flavors. Although his sriracha chip didn't win, he gets the cash consolation prize and his chip flavor will make a cameo appearance on store shelves this summer. Tasty.

Thanks for the clarity:

The Wrigley Field saga feels almost as long as the Derrick Rose saga. One week the suburbs are in play, the next week they aren't. But we all know you never say never, so the suburban carrot to build a new stadium will always be there. At least Tom Ricketts is honest that his heart is with Chicago first.

Grammar grinders:

Comment heard at Woodfield Mall that always makes us grind our teeth: "It's déjà vu all over again." It was funny the first time, like a quarter century ago. Enough already. And another thing. Why do people say, for example, "seven different colors." Isn't the "different" unnecessarily extraneous? See what we did with "unnecessarily" there?

Classless acts:

By now, most Bulls fans have seen the photograph of a Miami Heat fan giving the finger to Bulls center Joakim Noah. Shameful. It's just as embarrassing that Noah got tossed for challenging the refs, and that teammate Taj Gibson was fined $25,000 for "verbal abuse" of an official. No one deserves that treatment.

Courageous battles:

Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady and wife Julie have had more than their share of tough fights lately. He against challenges stemming from his calls for the party to open up on social issues, she in a two-year battle against cancer. Julie's fight now has become most important, so Pat stepped away from his to help her. It's a loss for the party, but the right decision. Good luck to both.

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