The Soapbox: The Soapbox: Fighting heroin in Lake County, a feel-good story in Villa Park, flooding in Arlington Heights and the passing of a friend.
A program that allows Lake County law enforcement officers to carry the overdose reversal medicine naloxone is credited with cutting drug-induced homicides to two in 2015, down from six, and saving 44 lives. That's good news. But we agree with Undersheriff Raymond Rose, that a complete approach is needed that also puts people in treatment to get help. Amen.
How bad will price tag be?
When the recommendations to curtail neighborhood flooding in Arlington Heights are unveiled and discussed this coming week, we expect serious sticker shock. But the studies had to be done -- officials and affected residents have to know what it's going to take to alleviate the problem. We can only hope the cost isn't beyond what can reasonably be done.
Back to nature
"Suburban Cook County" and "great outdoors" don't seem to a natural pairing, but perhaps they can be. That's the goal of the Cook County Forest Preserves' Gateway Initiative to improve the entrances at 30 sites -- including Elk Grove Village's Busse Woods and Palatine's Deer Grove -- and draw more people into nature. Let's hope it succeeds.
The passing of a respected coach:
Funeral services will be held today for Rich Sanders, 59, the former St. Edward High School football and baseball coach who passed away Jan. 11 after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). Sanders' five children all played sports at the Elgin school where their dad was one of the most respected coaches of his time. Our condolences.
Rallying around Elise:
A feel-good story: The Villa Park community is rallying big time around a schoolteacher Elise Boni, who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Friends hoped to raise $30,000 but topped that in less than two weeks.
How you can help:
If you'd like to help with Boni's recovery effort, visit her YouCaring page at youcaring.com/elise-boni-490513.
More Metra options:
Good for Metra for increasing the appeal of commuter trains by loosening bike regulations and, now, allowing small pets in carriers on weekends. But we'd still love Wi-Fi on the trains.
The future is now:
A few young state legislators are trying to start something called the Illinois Future Caucus intended to develop a bipartisan approach that focuses on cooperation rather than conflict. If that's the true aim, we encourage all suburban legislators to jump on board.
On the bright side:
The Bears may have missed the NFL playoffs, but not everything is gloomy in Chicago sports. The Blackhawks are playing like Stanley Cup contenders again, Jimmy Butler is amazing for the Bulls, the White Sox hired a promising TV announcer, and the Cubs could sell out 10 fan conventions if they wanted.
Food not fines:
We love the thinking that allowed people who got parking citations in Hanover Park to donate 10 cans of food instead of paying their $30 to $50 fines. The effort collected 1,600 food items for the Hanover Township Food Pantry.
Remembering Gerry Alger:
We shed tears Friday on the passing of a special friend, Gerry Alger, content manager for our Town Square Publications and a colleague who began working in our newsroom more than 30 years ago. She taught us both love and courage.