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updated: 3/3/2014 5:52 AM

Saturday Soapbox

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He is Ironman:

Best wishes to Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson on his recovery from heart surgery. The uber-fit mayor showed up in pieces to a village board meeting after a calamitous bicycle wreck four years ago, so we were somewhat surprised when he missed his first meeting in 17 years. Good that you heeded your wife, though, Mr. Mayor.

Not the best bet:

Carpentersville is looking for ideas from residents on how to spend an expected $32,000 tax windfall from the eight video gambling sites in town. Not a bad idea, and we especially support officials' goal to avoid getting into a position of relying on that money. Gambling revenues can be capricious.

Brrring on spring, please:

Well, we've made it to March, and how's that going so far? It's time for all of us to make a collective vow: During that first stretch of scorchers to arrive this summer, absolutely no complaining.

Come on, folks. We can do better:

Dirty tricks always have been a part of American politics, but that doesn't make them any less blameworthy. Whoever's behind a deceptive website attacking 8th Congressional District GOP candidate Larry Kaifesh -- his opponent and a founder of the super PAC linked to the attacks say it's not them -- should shut it down and campaign with some class.

Nothing nerdy about saving:

Huntley residents can smile about being named the top city in Illinois for homeownership, based on affordability and availability. Algonquin, Bartlett, Lake in the Hills, Romeoville and South Elgin also made the top 10 in NerdWallet.com's ranking. (If the list didn't get your attention, the name of that website should have.)

Make the best of it:

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn returned this week from a National Governors Association meeting where state leaders from both parties agreed that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, so it's best to try to make it work. It's a forward-looking, pragmatic approach.

New venue in town:

By all accounts, last weekend's Big & Rich concert inside the expo center at the Lake County Fairgrounds was a hit. The crowd size of 2,700 included fans from as far away as Rockford and Wisconsin, and the sound quality was better than expected. What's next? More big-name music acts would be another nice entertainment option.

Future stock:

A Naperville fifth-grader won a nationwide essay contest that challenges students to study stock options and make financially sound recommendations. Katherine Smirnov of Fry Elementary School won in InvestWrite's elementary division. Hey, state of Illinois, this would be someone to pay attention to.

New path to jobs:

A new Education and Work Center in Hanover Park is aimed at helping students make the transition to college-level courses that will lead them to good jobs. Harper College and Elgin Community College's joint effort also is likely to add life to the aging strip mall where they're setting up shop. Sounds like a win-win-win.

And, for the record:

Once again suburban schools are putting the "community" in community college.

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