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posted: 6/28/2014 5:01 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Remembering Depke:

In the 1980s when Lake County was divided along growth or no-growth lines, everyone knew where Bob Depke stood. The former county board chairman, whose funeral is today, had a firm pro-development stance, earning him the nickname "Bulldozer Bob." His vision and role in shaping the county will be felt for generations.

Dibs, suburban style:

Nothing says "family holiday" like two grown-ups screaming over a patch of parkway grass along a July 4 parade route. In 2009, tired of the arguments between squatters laying tarps and homeowners, Arlington Heights banned watchers from "reserving" spots until 7 p.m. on July 3. It's a good practice for all suburbanites. Play nice, people.

Responsible government?

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell shut down the morgue after staffers discovered mold. He and county board Chairman Chris Lauzen, tussling over spending on the morgue, each hired a different mold testing company; both concluded the mold was minor. As Russell and Lauzen bicker about money, was spending on two tests necessary?

Theater future still murky:

Two potential suitors for the Des Plaines Theatre, the wonderful old movie and former vaudeville house in need of much repair, have come forward. We applaud their interest, as well as the city's help to owner Dhitu Bhagwakar as he sorts through the issues to arrive at the best solution -- for him and for the theater.

The force is with us:

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas' decision to build his museum here will be a boost to Chicago's economy, but also to the entire region's pride.

Better late than never:

Barrington and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District finally have settled on an automatic aid agreement -- two months after a major house fire that had Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie complaining his firefighters could have reached the house in half the time it took Countryside to get there if Countryside had called them. Now they will.

Corruption rank:

A new Indiana University study that looks at public corruption in relation to state spending calls Illinois the fourth most-corrupt state. Not flattering. Is there consolation that Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee look worse?

A public building?

Maine Township High School District 207 is studying a proposal to build a $9.3 million addition to the existing gym at Maine West, but officials say they won't allow photos to be taken of the inadequate existing facilities until the board considers the project in November. Really?

No place for evil:

"This kind of evil should not happen in Arlington Heights, Illinois," Judge Martin Agran said in sentencing to life in prison without parole Matthew Nellessen, who beat with a baseball bat then stabbed his restrained father to death. Let's take that a step further: Such evil shouldn't happen anywhere.

Switching tracks:

Longtime state Sen. Kirk Dillard will face many challenges in his new role as RTA chairman, but he'll have personal experience to guide him. He has commuted using transit for many years from his DuPage County home. Good luck, Senator; you've served your constituents, the suburbs and the state of Illinois well.

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