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posted: 7/5/2014 5:01 AM

The Soapbox

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Joining soccer's growth:

After the U.S. team's World Cup showing, it will be interesting to watch Major League Soccer attendance. With seven of the team's starting 11 playing in MLS, perhaps new soccer fans will take a look. Locally, it would be nice to see the Fire sign a top-tier player, as Orrin Schwarz noted in his column this week.

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Low-cost housing needed:

Arlington Heights will consider a proposal for a downtown tower with 42 percent of the apartments reserved for affordable housing qualified tenants. While such a percentage isn't required, we encourage officials to look favorably at this. The area is lacking in affordable housing, and the need is great.

The other Berkshire:

There was some confusion online this week after we posted our story about Portillo's restaurants being sold. Some read Berkshire and thought of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Nope, just Berkshire, a Boston-based firm. Still, it would have been fun to see Warren switch from his everyday McDonald's cheeseburgers to a Portillo's beef.

Requiring shooter drills:

The new law requiring the state's 1,800 private schools to conduct "active shooter" drills won't change what most in the suburbs already were doing, but it seems a good idea to have the practice in writing. Similar legislation was passed last year for public schools, but, again, many schools already were ahead of the mandate.

Get well, Benjamin:

Our hearts go out to Benjamin Hernandez, 15, of Elgin, injured earlier this week in a freakish accident. The car driven by his mother, a newspaper carrier, plunged into a sinkhole on a rural road near Burlington. He sustained a spinal fracture, broken rib and broken jaw.

First steps:

On the encouraging side, the day after the accident Benjamin was able to walk from his bed to a chair. It was only then that his mother, San Juanita Pineda, fully realized the extent of her own injuries. She missed Benjamin's walk because she was being treated for chest injuries.

A countdown worth watching:

It seems we are seeing more countdown walk/don't-walk signals in the suburbs. They're a good warning for drivers and pedestrians so those on foot don't try to dart across the street just before "don't walk" kicks in.

Honoring a war hero:

Allen J. Lynch, a decorated Vietnam veteran from Gurnee, collected another honor this week. Signs now mark the Allen J. Lynch Medal of Honor Overpass at Grand Avenue and the Tri-State Tollway. Lynch hopes the signs bring attention to those serving in the military. "We (as a country) owe a debt that cannot be paid," he said. Spoken like a hero.

A salute to caring businesses:

Thanks to Peterson Roofing and other companies, we were reminded this week of how suburban businesses look out for others in the community. The Mount Prospect roofer selected WWII veteran Henry Blim as the winner of its free roofing contest. Other suppliers will chip in. Such goodwill goes a long way.

Wisdom from a lifelong Elgin man:

We took video of Ernie Broadnax, part of an Elgin Area Historical Society civil-rights documentary, who has lived all his life in the "the settlement," the neighborhood where for decades most of the city's black residents lived. He offers perspective on evolving race relations in the suburbs: "It's been a big, big, big, not always happy, pleasant ride, but we're trying to reach toward the end so it ends up a good ride."

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