The Soapbox: Keep driver’s ed fees local

Daily Herald Editorial Board

Keep driver’s ed fees local:

If a school district wants to charge more than $50 for driver’s education, it needs a waiver from the state. A new legislative proposal would end that requirement. It’s time to let schools set the fee, not Springfield. The numbers show that the $50 charge doesn’t begin to cover costs, says state Rep. Sandy Pihos, a Glen Ellyn Republican and bill sponsor.

America’s heartland?

We don’t have a coast, but at least Illinois has been the mean center of the population in the United States for a half-century or so. New census figures, though, are likely to put that spot in southern Missouri, just north of Arkansas, as population continues to build in the southwest. Now, that’s depressing.

Choosing sides:

Getting approval for a new hospital is about who stands beside you at the state hearing. McHenry County supports both Mercy’s plan for a Crystal Lake hospital and Centegra’s plan for one in Huntley, while Kane County is trying to decide whether to support, oppose or remain neutral on Huntley (the village straddles the counties) to protect interests of two Elgin hospitals.

No rush?Des Plaines has postponed a decision whether to dissolve the 48-year-old Civil Service Commission, which protects city workers#146; rights but hasn#146;t been used for 10 years. The council said further study was needed. In light of the union backlash north of our border #8212; and since there are no costs involved in keeping the panel on the books #8212; delaying the vote might not be a bad idea.Ups downs in sports:Momentum changes so quickly. Cubs attendance is down, but its fortunes rise with reports of pitching woes for Milwaukee and St. Louis. Sox fans are down about Dayan Viciedo#146;s injured thumb but excited for Jake Peavy#146;s return. NFL labor talks are depressing, but the draft just around the corner gives hope. For some fans at least.More ups downs:For Benet Academy#146;s boys basketball team, the first loss of the season was painful, but the season on the whole was an amazing ride to finish 29-1. Likewise, Flyers fans may be unhappy the season#146;s over before it started, but perhaps baseball#146;s future in Schaumburg will be stronger with a new plan and team.Even more ups downs:Blackhawks have 2 losses after 8 straight wins, but the White House trip was exhilarating. Bulls fans aren#146;t worried about Carlos Boozer#146;s injury #146;cause they#146;ve seen this team handle adversity. Now, if only our college basketball teams could turn things around . . .Bark vs. bite:With warmer temps and sunshine (hopefully) becoming the norm, we#146;ll see an increase in walkers and joggers in our parks and on our sidewalks. So, please, if you have a dog, keep it leashed. You know your pet is the nicest, sweetest dog ever, but it can be unnerving for those who don#146;t.Patchwork of celebrations:Now that Des Plaines will have no fireworks but is keeping its July 4 parade, and Wheeling has revived its fireworks but still has no parade, we predict a lot of event-hopping that day.Keeping perspective:Images of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis sure make our long winter seem insignificant now.