In an ashtray-half-full/half-empty way, the state of Illinois this week lamented making $138 million less than expected on the $1-a-pack cigarette tax. So were 138 million fewer packs smoked in the state (2.76 billion cigarettes), or were stalwart smokers buying from over state lines? The former is preferable, of course, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
For our story about the Des Plaines Theatre hosting the Summer Silent Film Festival this year, a spokesman for the Silent Film Society of Chicago was not available for comment. There's a joke in there somewhere.
A smart deterrent:
Attorney General Lisa Madigan and others are right to call for makers of smartphones to develop a "kill switch" to render devices useless if stolen. Perhaps it would deter thefts. Her office notes that last year, 1.6 million Americans were victims in these crimes, including Megan Boken, 23, of Wheaton, who was shot and killed in St. Louis.
A lot of care for turtles:
So far this year, experts at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn have treated 54 turtles hurt while crossing suburban roads looking for their usual nesting spot. Does that mean that many people have brought the hurt turtles in or consulted with the center on them? Such impressive caring.
Speaking of turtle care:
"There's very little going on in the brain of a turtle other than, 'I've got to dump these eggs,'" said Kevin Luby, a naturalist with the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. So if you see one on the road and put it back where it came from, it'll just try again. You should therefore move it to the other side of the road. Good to know.
The right thing to do:
Kane County Coroner Rob Russell led an effort to properly lay to rest the unclaimed cremains of 161 people whose ashes were sitting in boxes in the coroner's office and St. Charles funeral homes. "Hopefully, this brings a little more integrity and respect back to the office," Russell said. "You do what's right because it's right. Everything else will fall in place." Good call.
Keep patient on Schaumburg Road:
The construction on Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg has moved west to around Springinsguth Road, and the lane shifts have been confusing. But we should have patience, because the crews have been making their repairs and moving along quickly. The road is improving.
No more B-roll:
The men's race of the Cycling Classic in Elk Grove already is televised. Now the women's race will be, too. Great news -- but you can't beat watching in person.
We reported this week on a Schaumburg resident who mowed the words "Go Hawks" into his lawn. Seeing how well the Blackhawks are doing, we might think about mowing "Reform pensions" into the grassy area outside our Arlington Heights offices.
Wisdom from a Vietnam veteran:
"When you're young, you work to fill your wallet. When you're old, you work to fill your heart," said Bob Dobek, a site manager for the Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington that stopped at Bensenville this week. He was speaking about meeting fellow veterans as part of his job and how fulfilling it is. It's great wisdom.