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posted: 11/23/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Don't be the next tragedy:

After a Nov. 6 house fire killed three women, Arlington Heights is doing more than just urging people to test their smoke detectors. Too old to get on a ladder? Starting in December, "Project Katie" will assemble volunteers to check detectors for any resident. Call (847) 368-5104 to get on the list.

Oh, brothers:

When the Bears play St. Louis Sunday, guard Kyle Long may find himself trying to block his older brother, Rams defensive end Chris Long. Their father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, can only hope both end the game in good health. It may not get TV ratings of a Manning or Harbaugh showdown, but it should be fun for the rest of us to watch.

Eating right:

Thanks to an innovative Kane County program that allows low-income residents to use their Link card at farmers markets in Elgin and Aurora, families with young children have had better access to local produce this year. Now, if only there were a program to get all kids to eat their vegetables.

More than a game:

In high school sports, much is made of the rivalries between teams. But rivalries also create powerful bonds, as seen with teams and communities from downstate Normal and Springfield offering assistance to Washington High's football team. From meals to uniforms to water to buses, they offered help after Sunday's tornado. The perfect audible.

Kids out of shape:

A new study shows that today's kids -- around the world -- take an average of 90 seconds more to run a mile than kids did 30 years ago. That's a sad commentary on the state of kids' health. But it's bound to prompt some parents to snarkily note that on top of being faster, they ran uphill both ways.

Humane compromise:

The city of Wood Dale seems inclined -- humanely, we think -- to negotiatite with a woman ticketed for keeping too many dogs in her home. Lisa Spakowski was caring for at least 10 pooches with tick-borne diseases. Three is the limit. But this week the city acknowledged her effort to reduce the number to five and indicated it will consider a compromise.

Buckle and sober up:

Buckling up and driving only when sober should be standard practice all year round, but police across the suburbs are giving motorists added incentive to do so over the Thanksgiving weekend. Officers will be putting in extra patrols over the next week to get drunk drivers off the roads and make sure people are wearing seat belts. Be smart. Be sober. Be safe.

Read the fine print:

Have you noticed how some gas stations advertise a low price for regular that turns out not to be that low? It's the price you'd get if you also bought a car wash. That sign for that price is much larger than that of the gas-only price, often 20 cents a gallon more. Perfectly legal, but something seems not quite right about that.

Museum that cares:

The Volo Auto Museum is dedicating its display of KITT, the modified Trans Am from the 1980s TV show "Knight Rider," to a severely disabled Wisconsin woman. The museum dropped its plans to sell the car after hearing Dawn Kennison, 19, had developed a strong bond to it and the show. "Their story was very touching," museum Director Brian Grams said. So was the museum's gesture.

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