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posted: 11/30/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Taking aim against heroin:

Stunned by the record-breaking 43 heroin deaths in DuPage County this year, the county board has set aside $100,000 for a public education campaign for preventing heroin use. The program, which includes a website and social media providing timely information, is much needed for the middle and high schools students it targets.

Obsessed with Rauner's wealth:

OK, we get it. Bruce Rauner is rich. Can we all just agree on that point and spend a bit more of the governor's race talking about why the state is nearly bankrupt?

Remembering Jean Banchet:

The suburbs lost a culinary great this week with the death of Jean Banchet, the French-born chef who many credit with bringing fine dining to the Chicago area. Banchet opened Le Francais in Wheeling in 1973, changing the culinary landscape. Though Banchet and his famous restaurant are gone, their legacy lives on.

Celebrate small business:

Everybody is familiar with Black Friday (although we think Green Friday would be a better description), but Small Business Saturday receives less attention. It deserves more. It's all about patronizing the small businesses that make a local community vibrant. It's today, and we encourage you to get into the spirit of it.

Early Christmas at post office:

If you were buying stamps Monday for last-minute Thanksgiving or Hanukkah cards, Christmas-themed stamps were what you could get from the vending machines at the post offices. If you weren't ready for that on your envelopes and didn't plan ahead, your option was to stand in line and hope for the best.

But there's a purpose:

Certainly the U.S. Postal Service had a reason to load up its machines early with Christmas-themed stamps. There are people who prepare well ahead of time for all their Christmas cards. Is it early for that? Let's simply salute the organized.

Hats off to our Rhodes Scholar:

When it was announced that Vinay Nayak of Oak Brook was named a Rhodes Scholar, the former co-valedictorian at Hinsdale Central said he "was really speechless." We feel the same way. What an impressive achievement. What an impressive young man.

Thankful for good vibes:

One more thing to be thankful for: positive messages on church signs. On the Schaumburg Church of Christ sign on Schaumburg Road earlier this week: "Take a moment to laugh. It is the music of the soul."

Keep hands on the wheel:

In New York, state troopers have taken to driving tall, unmarked SUVs to peer down at motorists for a better chance to get dangerous texters off the highway. Whatever it takes, but the big question remains: Why do people still insist on texting while driving, especially at highway speeds?

Early wish for the New Year:

As we prepare for months of candidate brochures, campaign stops and debates leading up to the March primary election, here's our thought: We want to see candidates stick to the issues. We want them to come prepared to offer concrete plans and ideas to help solve critical problems facing residents. Is that too much to ask?

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