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Article posted: 7/27/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

By

Happy hundredth:

For 100 years, Mooseheart has been working in Batavia to protect children and strengthen families. It's an inspiring story. As part of its celebration, the agency breaks ground today on a $10 million renovation of its school building. It's a great time for us to say congratulations -- and thanks.

Sad reminder:

This week's fatal attack by a pit bull on a smaller dog in Wauconda should be a wake-up call to dog owners to take responsible steps to control their animals. That includes keeping a dog on a leash in public. The death of someone's pet and the legal problems are steep prices to pay for being irresponsible.

When you put it like that ...

Regarding a brief flap over his pending contract talks with the Bears, kicker Robbie Gould noted, "Is football a game? Sure. It's a lot more of a business than it is a game of football." Guess we all know that, but the truth always hurts a little bit more when it's stated so bluntly. Wouldn't it be great if it were the other way around?

Friends indeed:

Witnesses and emergency crews tried to save Henry Laseke when his car went into a pond near his Arlington Heights home Friday. One neighbor, Rick Geiger, says he'll "never be comfortable with the fact I didn't get him out." A terrible tragedy would only be compounded if the people who risked their safety to help went through life feeling they had failed. Thank you to all for your efforts.

Talking the talk:

We admire Carol Stream Village Manager Joe Breinig, who has declined raises since 2008. He makes a typical manager's salary of $173,097. But Breinig is the rare top administrator to set such a striking example during tough times. It's tough, he says, to "talk the talk of things being difficult if you're not willing to put yourself out there."

Shame and politics:

Gov. Pat Quinn appears ready to sign legislation today that makes important changes to the state Election Code, including online voter registration. Sneaked into the bill was an unwanted, politicized extra layer of government to manage elections in Lake County. Quinn could have removed the chicanery but apparently chose not to. What a shame.

That's true empathy:

Floodwaters don't pick favorites. Even the Fox Waterway Agency -- responsible for dredging the Fox River to prevent, yes, flooding -- had to move its employees after its headquarters were filled with 2 feet of water, leaving a mold problem. "The irony that we have been flooded out isn't lost on me," Executive Director Ron Barker said.

Know your exemption status:

With Cook County tax bills due next week, it's a good time for residents to double check their homeowner exemption status. A new law will penalize those who claim undeserved exemptions -- whether they are aware of them or not. The county expects to save up to $65 million a year.

Thank you, Bill Devore:

A tip of our cap to Bill Devore for all his service leading the College of Lake County Foundation for almost two decades, prior to stepping down this summer.

A final note:

No question, they're ugly little things, but we just love the sound of cicadas on these early evenings!

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