The Soapbox: A few darts, a few laurels

Lessons on drug addiction were heard:

A drug-awareness forum presented by the Kane County sheriff’s office drew only parents who had children already victims of drug addiction. Undersheriff David Warner said he was “preaching to the choir.” But our coverage and the forum’s lessons were followed — Our article on the event was among the most read on our website Wednesday.

Ready for anything:

Overheard this week in Schaumburg: a crossing guard talking to a child about Santa Claus making his rounds no matter what. “Santa has to be ready for all kinds of weather,” she said. So, it occurs to us this week of wildly diverse weather, do crossing guards, and we salute them.

What a week:

Golf on Wednesday. Snow boots on Thursday. Hey, this is Illinois. And this is January. Be thankful for the golf.

Setting a public safety example:

Seen in Schaumburg this week: a police officer driving while talking on a cellphone. We know the police have a tough job, but given the dangers of distracted-driving, we think they should consider banning the cellphone use in an effort to role model safe behavior.

Sad cuisine news:

Another legendary suburban restaurant is gone with word that Country Squire in Grayslake has joined such notables as Don Roth’s Blackhawk and Hackney’s in Wheeling in shutting the doors. Country Squire hosted celebrities and politicians, as well as weddings and athletic banquets. It’ll be missed.

Government at work:

For all the cynicism people have, government does do worthwhile things, as an announcement from various officials demonstrates. The Cook County Metropolitan Water Reclamation District will oversee a $38 million project to control flooding along the Des Plaines River. The effort also will reshape a Wheeling Park.

Common problem:

The Barlett Village Board wisely opted to seek residents’ involvement before it decides whether to allow video gambling in town. But its reasoning shows the Hobson’s choice in which towns sometimes feel caught. If they don’t accept a bad deal, their neighbor might. That’s a sad way to have to make decisions.

Speaking of gambling:

The news from Des Plaines had to get your attention: A large enough take in six months of operation to give the state a little increase in annual revenues for the first time in four years. What we’d really like to know is how much of that was “new” revenue and how much just shifted from neighboring gambling ventures.

Good idea, wrong forum:

Lake County Board Chairman David Stolman is right that county residents, rather than the state, should decide how the county’s chief executive is elected. But state Rep. Jack Franks has a point with his proposal to have the Lake and McHenry County Board chairmen elected directly. Lake and McHenry residents should give it some thought.

Let’s hear it for the subs:

It could have been a tough week in Chicago sports. Rose out with a bad toe. Patrick Sharp out with a broken wrist. But in step John Lucas for the Bulls and Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw for the Hawks, all with big games. Fun to watch.

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