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posted: 9/14/2013 11:41 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Core values:

At a visit to Chippewa Middle School in Des Plaines this week, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel praised the school's effective collaboration among teachers and administrators to meet Common Core State Standards. The result, he said, will be higher-performing students. A worthy -- no, critical -- goal.

This is progress?

Hispanic residents of a Wheeling mobile home park claim discrimination in a lawsuit against the village stemming from a dispute over protection from flooding. Is that really going to lead to safer homes? Seems more like an expensive distraction than a solution.

A 'war zone.' Really?

Some neighbors of the Parkside Apartments in Glen Ellyn are not happy the village is not including the complex in a tax increment financing district. They keep calling the complex "a war zone." In light of what's happening in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, even parts of Chicago, there's really no place in Glen Ellyn that should be called a war zone.

Hub of activity:

Lucky are the residents of Glendale Heights who are being introduced to a $12 million overhaul of the Sports Hub, the village's recreation center built in 1978. Upgrades include an expanded fitness center, playground, party room, bigger gym and more. A grand reopening is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at 250 Civic Center Plaza.

Appreciate the warmth:

Whew! That was sure one hot, sticky few days to get through, but we made it. In a few months, remember just how "uncomfortable" that was when you can't put enough layers on to stay warm to go out to your car and scrape ice off the windshield so you can navigate a trip that takes three times longer than now.

Protect the children:

A Skokie cabdriver who transported schoolchildren in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties got jail time this month for failing to disclose a 1993 sexual assault conviction that barred him from school grounds. Job applicants often hide the truth, but for those who will be driving kids it seems there should be a way to check them out better.

A different vote:

Palatine has made an exception for a group home for brain injury victims that wants to add one patient above what's allowed by village code in a residential neighborhood. The approval is generous, even commendable, particularly in light of the council's recent rejection of a badly needed apartment building for disabled residents.

Building momentum:

Lake Zurich officials are trying to inject some life into the village's long-stalled downtown redevelopment plan. Tonight's Rock the Block street party aims to show off the downtown's potential. It comes on the heels of a village board decision to spend $115,800 to tear down five village-owned buildings and spruce up those sites.

Shine on:

Once again, a golf event attracts the national spotlight to the suburbs. Once again, the suburbs shine. And with the help of cooperative temps and outstanding play by the game's biggest names -- already including a record-tying first-round performance by Brandt Snedeker -- the BMW Championship in Lake Forest looks to be a bright spot all around.

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