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posted: 9/2/2017 1:00 AM

The Soapbox: A gem in Elgin, a 'bully' in Long Grove, a marvel in Wheaton and more

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  • Mike Butirro, co-owner of Chooch's Pizzeria in downtown Elgin, decided to close but waited until all his employees found a new job.

      Mike Butirro, co-owner of Chooch's Pizzeria in downtown Elgin, decided to close but waited until all his employees found a new job.
    Elena Ferrarin | Staff Photographer


Positive tone

A historic change in the state's school funding formula at last is complete. No one got all they wanted; all sides had to take something they disliked. Yet, the response from all the key leaders was generous and constructive, as it should be. As the issues develop, as they surely will, let's hope the debates recognize and reflect the power of compromise.

Thinking of others first

Mike Butirro, co-owner of Chooch's Pizzeria in downtown Elgin, decided in November to close after his brother and co-owner, Dan, suffered a stroke. Butirro, however, waited until last week to close because he first wanted to ensure all his employees found another job. And Butirro helped with that, too. This guy's a gem.

No controversy here

Teasel came to America from Europemore than 300 years ago, but there's no controversy today in the fight against this invasive plant species. As teasel surges near Long Grove, the Lake County Forest Preserve District is trying to mobilize residents to eradicate the tall spiny plant they call an "obnoxious bully." Be on the lookout.

Breathe easier

Kudos to officials who took a step toward making Elmhurst's parks smoke free. The park district board approved plans this week to ban tobacco use at parks with two exceptions the Sugar Creek Golf Course and during paid rentals at Wilder Mansion. The board is expected to make this welcomes move official on Sept. 11.

Man-made marvel

A historic hurricane. A celestial sensation. For good and ill, it's been a summer of natural wonders. But we were treated to at least one man-made marvel, too. When engineers picked up the 729-ton House of Seven Gables in Wheaton and moved it 300 yards virtually without a scratch ... well, all we can say is, "Wow."

A calling to provide

Lisa Fisher just wanted to help. It was one student at first. When that student moved away, Fisher still felt the need to make a difference. Three summers later, 340 people were served by Antioch Traveling Closet, a not-for-profit providing necessities at events held three times a year. Good work, Lisa, though it sounds more like a labor of love.

Times are achangin' - too fast

When we drive on Higgins through Busse Woods, we see trees that are already turning. In fact there is one very vibrant red branch on the north side that one can't miss. Too soon!

Taekwondo champion

Best of luck to 15-year-old Jackson Sigalove of Glen Ellyn, who is competing in taekwondo as part of the United States Junior National Team in the Pan American Championships in Costa Rica. Jackson won his division in the U.S. National Taekwondo Championships in Detroit earlier this summer.

Best wishes, Judge Maki

We wish the best to Bill Maki, former village president of Arlington Heights, on his retirement after a quarter century on the bench.

Remembering Coach Cregier

The impact a coach and teacher makes on a community has never been more apparent than in the large throngs that poured out this week for services for Ron Cregier of Hoffman Estates, who died unexpectedly in a downstate car crash. We wish comfort for all those who loved this good man.

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