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posted: 10/5/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

No storming the barricades:

What a relief that a long-planned trip for Chicago-area veterans to visit the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., could go on despite the government shutdown. Though other groups earlier in the week had to remove barricades to see it, by Wednesday the 90 Honor Flight travelers had no trouble getting in.

Keep looking, Corps:

We have to appreciate the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to drop the idea of a water reservoir on Didier Farms in Buffalo Grove in the wake of great public opposition, but the Corps' focus on reducing flooding along the Des Plaines River is the right one. We hope the Corps keeping looking for sites where water can be stored.

New era for ESO:

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 64th season tonight, now under the leadership of internationally acclaimed music director Andrew Grams, 36, the fourth director in the symphony's history. With seven new musicians, we wish them all a successful season unhindered by the distracting financial issues it has faced.

Job well done:

Mundelein detectives arrested a suspect two days after the abduction of a 3-year-old from an apartment complex entryway. The main clues they had to work with? Witnesses said he had a black compact car whose license plate started with a 7. It's impressive what determination, creativity and tedious data analysis can do.

Finally, The Return:

The long-awaited return of Derrick Rose comes tonight when the Bulls open the NBA preseason at Indiana. All the talk about whether he should have returned sooner was wasted energy. Careers are too short for pro athletes, so let's forget the ad campaigns and the recovery debate and just enjoy the moment.

Demolition day:

The beginning of the end for old Gurnee Grade School was bittersweet for those at a ceremony this week. Many fondly remembered their time at the school. But they all knew the frequently flooded building had to come down. The site, being transformed into a park, soon will make new memories.

Classroom help:

No telling how many teachers dip into their pockets to help equip their classrooms. It was nice to see a couple of them get some help. Julie Schubert at Hawthorne Elementary in Wheaton and Renee Urbanski at Johnson Elementary in Warrenville won $1,000 worth of school supplies from OfficeMax.

Let's hoof it:

Next Wednesday is National Walk and Bike to School Day. Where it's safe, where it's possible (and if the weather cooperates), wouldn't it be great for our kids' health and the environment if more students got to school on foot, even for one day?

No tempura tonight:

Those in environmental science circles are agog about the discovery of a Mississippi grass shrimp in the Des Plaines River -- the first of its species to be seen in Cook County -- because its presence likely signifies dropping pollution levels in the river. But that's it. Don't expect them to show up on a Red Lobster menu.

Hug a local newspaper:

National Newspaper Week begins Sunday. We're biased, but we think newspapers still matter. We hope you think so, too. If you do, spread the word!

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