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posted: 8/30/2014 1:01 AM

Saturday Soapbox: Talking politics, chickens, baseball and more

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

And they're off:

It's Labor Day weekend and the real racing begins. This November, we'll select a governor and other state officers and legislators; we'll elect a U.S. senator and we'll determine the balance of power in Congress. That's not to mention county races and tax referendums. Be engaged. Take part in setting the course for the next several years.

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No upstaging

Meanwhile, it says something about the race for governor that the two candidates would both appear to air their views Thursday at a Metropolitan Planning Council lunch in Chicago, but they would not appear on the stage at the same time.

Playing chicken:

Add Elgin to a growing list of towns legislating the raising of chickens. A city council committee voted 6-3 in favor of a test program allowing up to 15 residents, first-come, first-served, to keep hens -- no roosters -- in the backyards of houses -- no apartments -- in city limits.

Fitting tribute:

A memorial for the late Lombard Village President William "Bill" Mueller should be completed soon. A gazebo and other amenities will be installed at the Victorian Cottage Museum. The village's longest-serving mayor, from 1993 until his death in 2012, Mueller loved his fellow Lombardians, so this type of memorial seems just right.

Cutting and more cutting:

The Kane County Board, faced with a $2 million budget deficit, has found $1 million in cuts and new income to get things moving in the right direction. Chairman Chris Lauzen campaigned on a flat tax levy. So far so good. The hard work is ahead.

Sugar Grove's gem ignored:

The Sugar Grove Library director is quitting because she needs more pay and medical benefits. The library is open 50 hours a week. Closed on Friday. Voters have turned down a tax increase 13 times in a row. The roof leaks. No new books are being purchased. People need to respect the gem in their midst.

Baseball's alive and well:

If you think Jackie Robinson West's Little League World Series run is the only evidence of good baseball in Chicago, you haven't been looking hard enough. The Kane County Cougars set a franchise record with their 89th victory of the season Thursday. They beat the 2001 mark set by a team that included Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez.

Baseball lives Part II:

In Schaumburg, the Boomers are trying to repeat as Frontier League champions. On Thursday, they became the first team in the independent league to clinch a playoff slot. The Boomers (56-34) had won eight straight heading into Friday night to equal a franchise record, and Thursday's victory tied a league record with their 37th win at home.

Hotel quest:

Fox Lake's on-again, off-again quest for a hotel seems to have some new life. Mayor Donny Schmit said a developer has filed a plan to build an 80- to 100-room hotel. The village has been courted four times since 1988, but nothing materialized. Maybe this will be the real deal.

Bill Granger and a box of popcorn:

"The November Man" is one movie we're going to make a point of taking in this weekend, and we're going to enjoy it no matter how well done (or not) it may be -- our way of remembering the delightful Granger, the late Daily Herald columnist whose spy novel has finally been adapted for the silver screen.

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