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posted: 8/18/2013 5:00 AM

Naperville's duck tickets and other shameless news

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Sunday Soapbox. Some opinions require lots of words and elaboration. This is Sunday Soapbox, not-so-briefly stated commentary from one Daily Herald editor, and shamelessly stolen from the Saturday feature with almost the same name.

Don't duck these tickets:

The story, as I first heard it, was that park police were handing out warning tickets on Naperville's Riverwalk, the latest tactic in the never-ending battle to thwart the citizenry's quaint, but dangerous, habit. When I first heard of this, my exuberance knew few bounds. Turns out no one is calling these things "tickets" or "warnings." Nope, in inimitable Naperville fashion, these are River Wildlife Cards. The pamphlets let the populace know all the harmful things throwing scraps of bread to the ducks and geese can do. (The bread isn't nutritionally good for waterfowl, but they eat it anyway and may overeat, thus producing more poop, which isn't good for the water quality, and so forth.) Despite all these hazards, the park cops aren't quite ready to start cracking heads over this. "If we can get compliance in a polite and friendly fashion, that's our goal," Naperville parks police Chief Carl Schnibben said.

Local Hero update No. 1:

William Glass, the 37-year-old Lombard man who quit his job to walk 750 miles to raise money for Alzheimer's disease research, told staff writer Marie Wilson he was less than tech savvy. So he created Twitter, Gmail and Facebook accounts specifically for the trip to Atlanta, where his mother, who has Alzheimer's, lives. He also created a Flowers for Mom event page on Facebook. As one of his followers, I get his almost-daily emails (five on Friday alone!) on his progress. They're touching in their simplicity; this man is going it alone with a backpack, tent and no support staff. Here's the update: He's somewhere in Indiana, and one of his goals, in addition to raising $10,000, is to drum up support among election officials. His latest post came from the Indianapolis office of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats. Glass began his walk on Aug. 5.

Local Hero update No. 2:

Steve Spear, a 47-year-old Willow Creek pastor from St. Charles, has even loftier goals. He's running the equivalent of a marathon a day in a 3,243-mile cross-country run. His aim is to raise $1.5 million to provide drinking water for all 30,000 people in a Kenyan village. Sponsored by Christian humanitarian group World Vision, he left the famed Santa Monica pier in April and reached the suburbs in mid-June. He hopes to make New York later this month.

What our heroes have in common:

A long way to reach their fundraising goals. According to the World Vision website, Spear had raised less than $200,000; Glass said last week he had secured more than $2,000. If they fall short of the fundraising mark, you've still gotta admire their personal commitment.

Shameless plug No. 1:

Looking for a good time and a good cause to support today? Go to Bandito Barney's in East Dundee from noon to 4 p.m. to enjoy one of the coolest beer gardens in the area and help raise money for 3-year-old Logan Wilson, who is looking at 15 months of chemotherapy to fight seven benign brain tumors. His mother and grandmother both worked at Barney's.

Shameless plug No. 2:

The Logan Wilson benefit will include a silent auction, a dunk tank, prizes, a 50/50 drawing, arts and crafts, face painting and live music by Street Corner Blue. And, in case you wondered, the boys in the band are friends of mine. They're old guys, but they play really well.

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