The Great Debate:
It's fun to hear fans debate whether the 2013 Blackhawks season was more impressive than the 1985 Chicago Bears, or the 72-win season by Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. There is no wrong answer, of course, but it's great to see another franchise be part of the conversation.
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A lesson in winning:
The Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship produced three classy memories: The series-ending handshake between the two teams (a great tradition); Jonathan Toews' decision to let three veteran players hoist the Cup first; and owner Rocky Wirtz's full-page ad in Boston to praise their team and fans. Very classy, very impressive.
We love a parade:
And thanks, Blackhawks, for letting us put whatever troubles we have aside for a few hours to join your party in Chicago. The parade and rally were colorful, emotional and inspirational, much like your performance during the playoffs. And thanks to social media, the memories will be with us for a long, long time.
It's really not so ruff:
Yes, you know your dog is friendly and safe. Your family knows it, too. Maybe even your neighbors do. But those of us running and walking along nature trails and pathways don't know it, so please keep the dogs leashed. Then we too will know it's safe.
Chew on this:
Nice to see operators of Graue Mill in Oak Brook were able to find a quick and relatively inexpensive way to meet this season's demand for cornmeal. A backup grinder cost $6,000, but the test of the DuPage Forest Preserve District's commitment to the historic mill comes next week when it faces a possible $20,000 repair bill for the gear system and heavy wooden supports of the 161-year-old mill.
A teacher in many ways:
Former students of Martin "Marty" Powers at Kimball Middle School in Elgin, where he taught and coached for 24 years, were devastated by news of his death this week at age 50. Powers was an author and amateur film critic, but he never stopped teaching -- to former students and to the many friends he made at Gail Borden Library while working on his novel and elsewhere.
Closing a school building is never an easy decision, but Lake Villa Elementary District 41 board members felt they had to make it this week. The victim was J.J. Pleviak Elementary, which was built in January 1910. It will close after the 2013-14 school year because of a $1.8 million budget gap and declining enrollment. Let the reminiscing begin.
Speaking of tough decisions:
Every year of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's tenure has been marked by steep cuts in spending. That's not how politicians generally like to lead, but it's an approach the county has long needed. Already Treasurer Maria Pappas has signed on to Preckwinkle's call for more personnel cuts next year. Let's hope others follow.
And, a musical note:
Never has Jim Cornelison's voice carried so well or given us the shivers so dramatically as it did to lead off Friday's Grant Park celebration. Thanks again, Hawks.