The Soapbox: Stop the hand-wringing

If it did, Illinois' deficit would be long gone. Instead, the state's pension imbalance actually grew last year. Senate President John Cullerton insists change is unconstitutional — even as House Speaker Mike Madigan and Minority Leader Tom Cross are reportedly exploring options. The acrid smell of Illinois politics is in the air, but one thing is clear. Doing nothing is not an option.

Peering around the corner:

Rosemont dismantled its outdoor ice-skating rink this week. Mount Prospect's Capannari Ice Cream opens for the season next weekend. The first chipmunks are out of hibernation. Saying it might jinx it, but it's starting to look like ------.

Are we getting burned?

Wisconsin's budget deficit is $3.6 billion. Illinois' is $15 billion. And state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, an Evanston Democrat, wrote legislation that would ban anyone under 18 from using a tanning bed. Is it just us, or are we in need of an adjustment of our priorities?

Thank you, Spivak family:

The Spivak family of Buffalo Grove suffered a great loss this week with the death of their son, Michael, who fought to help troubled youth after surviving bullying due to his sexual orientation. We share in your loss but thank you for raising such a courageous man. The hate and bigotry that has oozed to the surface since his death is proof that what he was doing is vital.

Stay calm, everyone:

Amanda Thies, a teacher at Mundelein's Fremont Intermediate School, has her second- and third-graders self-soothe and de-stress each day through short relaxation techniques. There's a lesson we grown-ups could take note of.

The online bye:

When you buy online, how often have you followed up to submit payment of the Illinois sales tax you owe? We thought so. This hurts suburban retailers, who have to collect the taxes, as well as the state. Lawmakers passed a bill to address both issues, but a deadline is approaching for Gov. Pat Quinn to sign it. What can be the holdup?

Fostering stability:

Libya is close to self-destructing. Closer to home, things seem stressed at every turn as governments face painful cuts. But zoom in closer and you see stability in the world from the most selfless suburbanites, like Schaumburg resident Rich Denman, a 25-year foster dad who provides a home to once-homeless Richie Lemus, 18, for no remuneration whatsoever. You lift us up, Mr. Denman.

Not in it for the money:

Is it difficult for us to believe that newspaper reporter Jim Newton would end his 27-year career serving the community for a seat on the Lake County Board with an annual salary of $42,480 plus benefits? It's something we don't see in our business much. But difficult to believe? No, no it isn't.

Not in it for the money, Part 2:

For a month now, we editors have been meeting hundreds of candidates running for village or school board seats, and once again we're reminded of the dedication, skills and hard work they bring or are willing to bring to the job — for little to no compensation, plus headaches.

About those endorsements:

Wondering when they'll run? Our choices for local races will be published over a span of about two weeks starting Sunday.