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posted: 4/19/2014 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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  • Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserve DistrictA wood frog with eggs.

    Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserve DistrictA wood frog with eggs.


A joyful 'ribbit':

Is there anything more serene than the sound of frogs in wetlands? Thanks to biologists from Lake County Forest Preserve District and Lincoln Park Zoo, the mating croaks of a wood frog are being heard again. The frog was reintroduced starting in 2008, then officials waited. The frogs have survived to breeding age. Nature finds a way.

Heart of a champ:

Our story this week about a Lakes High School athlete's involvement in "Lakes Eagles Buddies" program is heartwarming. Pairing athletes with special needs students is a win-win for everyone. With support from school administrators, teachers and coaches, the program is creating a remarkable bond. Every school needs something like this.

We just shake our heads:

Whose bright idea was it to close off the west 800-900 blocks of St. James Street in Arlington Heights for tree trimming on Tuesday? We don't object to the tree trimming. But we question the timing. Tuesday was tax day. And St. James is a prime access to the post office. Not everyone files online.

Naperville's benefits angst:

No one can accuse the Naperville City Council of failing to give the issue of benefits for the mayor and council members a proper airing. In recent months, the council has debated, then eliminated, cellphone and Internet stipends and pension eligibility. Health insurance is on the May 6 agenda.

Benefits angst, Part 2:

One argument in favor of dropping the benefits is they vary in value and aren't taken by all council members. Councilman Steve Chirico suggests a bump in salary -- from $12,500 to $24,000 a year -- and elimination of all benefits would be more transparent and fair.

Benefits angst, Part 3:

But such an increase defeats the whole purpose of the exercise, says council member Grant Wehrli. "It's a last-ditch effort to maintain the status quo." Perhaps. But we like the idea of all the pay being above board and equal for all. Maybe the council should focus on an appropriate salary, eliminate the benefits and move on.

Champions in the making:

Many congrats to Chicago Wolves head coach John Anderson for notching his 700th win this week as his team heads into the playoffs for the 16th time in 20 seasons. What a remarkable run.

Nice to see Ditka back in town:

Mike Ditka, or at least his restaurant chain, is returning to Arlington Heights this summer. As old-timers will remember, he started with Ditka's Trackside on racetrack property in the 1980s. OK, maybe you don't have to be that old to remember. Now the building will hold both the Trackside and a Ditka's, a welcome combo.

A universal mission statement:

Think of how life would be if every business adopted this as a mission statement: "Ultimately, our job is to make the world a little bit better place."

Hold onto that thought a second:

Now think of what life would be like if each of us adopted that personally as our life's mission. Not so much to single-handedly remake the world, but to make a positive contribution to it.

Finally, a question:

What will your contribution be?

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