The Soapbox: Inspiration in Naperville, a 'beautiful legacy in Elgin, good neighbors in Schaumburg and more.
Thoughts and prayers:
The tragedy in Dallas Thursday night demands more reflection than a brief note can provide. But in the immediate aftermath, let's all agree to offer thoughts, prayers and condolences to those suffering because of senseless violence -- and gratitude to the men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe in all kinds of circumstances.
Naperville swimmer an inspiration:
Born with a disorder that causes stiffness, poor mobility and muscle fatigue, Alyssa Gialamas, 21, claimed a spot on the U.S. women's Paralympic swimming team headed to Rio. We hope she brings home some medals, of course, but win or lose, she and her fellow competitors are sure to be an inspiration.
OK, maybe she just did what she was trained to do, but you still have to admire the composure and skill than enabled 15-year-old lifeguard Katie Karcz to save a drowning boy at a Villa Park pool -- on her first day on the job. It's a great reflection on her and on all the lifeguards busily watching out for us and our kids in the summer heat.
Unfortunately, it's time (because it's necessary) for another friendly reminder concerning pedestrian pathways throughout our park districts and nature preserves. Bicycle riders, please slow down to a safe speed when approaching walkers and joggers. We are no danger to you; you are a potential danger to us ... and yourself.
Going out proud:
Reflecting on the "beautiful legacy" her family created four generations ago and the last days of Haeger Potteries, Lexy Haeger Estes told our Lauren Rohr, "I know my ancestors are proud." We're sure they are, as are all of us familiar with the Haegar story. Sad, of course. But proud also.
Thank you, Grand Victoria:
The Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino sent $3.21 million to Kane County, of which $897,239 will be given to local groups, nonprofits and towns seeking assistance. All 59 applicants couldn't be accommodated, but at least 40 could. We're happy for all of them and for those they serve.
Kudos to the young man in Schaumburg who noticed a dog by itself along a busy road and took the time to find the owner. Turns out the dog had escaped the back yard and was playing in front of the owner's home. A small act of thoughtfulness may have prevented a tragic accident.
The price of tollway bridge safety:
Illinois tollway workers are installing new bridge beams at various locations along the Jane Addams, forcing overnight closings of some roads like Busse Road in Elk Grove Village. Busse is already painful at its intersection with Oakton and Higgins every rush hour because of seemingly permanent lane closings. We'll be glad when it's all done.
Farewell, and thanks:
Abner Mikva died this week at the age of 90, ending decades of service to the suburbs, the state and the nation. His career included several terms as an Illinois lawmaker and positions in all three branches of the federal government. He will be missed.
What better place to bid a public farewell to longtime Maine West Coach Derril Kipp than the spectator gym at the school? Kipp, the fifth winningest girls basketball coach in state history, died this week at 71. A ceremony in his honor begins at 2 p.m. today, and will include an opportunity for sharing stories about the coaching legend's impact at 4 p.m.