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updated: 4/27/2014 7:09 PM

The Soapbox

The Soapbox

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Never too late:

We were a bit surprised to learn a city the size and stature of Wheaton was on the verge of preparing its first economic development plan. The city remains mostly a bedroom community, but sees promise in paying a consultant $25,000 to devise strategies to encourage property maintenance, development, reinvestment and redevelopment citywide.

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A show about nothing?

When the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan made its triumphant return 10 years ago, it did so with two shows by Bill Cosby. What a great start. Now, it's impressive that the Genesee still is scoring top-name appearances with a scheduled show by Jerry Seinfeld, who is a catch by Las Vegas standards. Good for you, Genesee. Good for us.

Get rid of 'em:

Today is Drug Take Back Day, and several suburbs and counties, including Kane and Lake, are helping residents safely dispose of unused, expired and unwanted prescription drugs. Check your bathroom cabinets and then check with your local police department for a drop-off site. Visit the DEA website for more information.

Kids without homes:

A sobering report shows that while homelessness has increased slightly in the suburbs, the number of children without homes has risen dramatically. From July 2012 to July 2013, children's use of DuPage County shelters increased from 250 to 333, and the number of homeless students in the county has quadrupled since 2006.

Sign language:

There's no disputing the visual clutter at Rand and Dundee roads in Palatine, so it's easy to understand village concerns about the addition of a proposed large message board at a McDonald's restaurant there. But it's also good to see that both the business and the village seem willing to find a safe middle ground.

Predator alert:

The aftermath of a bad hailstorm like the one the suburbs experienced recently attracts roving groups of contractors looking to replace damaged roofs and siding. Citing a "feeding frenzy," Lake Zurich officials said some contractors have printed business cards with fictional addresses to appear local. In other words, do your homework.

Watch your step:

The Arlington Heights Park District last year set up new rules on the Lake Arlington path after an accident that killed a walker. This spring, we've noticed the wheeled crowd seems to be obeying the rules, but some on foot insist on using the portion designated for bikes and roller bladers. We don't want to see a repeat of last year's tragedy,

Questionable timing, but ...:

A Chicago City Council committee has advanced a proposal to ban plastic bags at most stores, causing an outcry among retailers who fear the higher costs of paper bags. At a time when the region so desperately needs to attract business, one has to wonder about the timing, but it does emphasize the need to do something about all those bags.

One solution, for starters:

Yes, the bags that aren't recycled can become litter that is unsightly and harms the environment. But here's something we can all do right now: Ask your grocery bagger to put more than one or two items in each bag. And do they really need to be doubled that often?

Where there's life ...

The playoffs haven't gotten off to quite the start we expected for either the Bulls or the Hawks. OK, so we can live with the comeback storyline. Let's do it, men!

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