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Saturday Soapbox: Full of irony
Daily Herald Editorial Board
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Published: 4/26/2008 12:07 AM

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David Murray's brush with death last week was drama of the highest degree -- and with no small amount of irony. Thrown from his motorcycle and holding on for dear life to the fender of the SUV that hit him from the rear, Murray readily admits the helmet he just started wearing probably saved his life. And maybe it's time to put in a good word for smokers -- often vilified, and now under the new smoking law, forced to take their habit outside. It was several of these people outside the Avalanche Pub in Glendale Heights who didn't hesitate to run to Murray's aid. Some helped stop the still-moving SUV after the driver abandoned it; others tackled its two occupants, who police say were trying to flee. Small wonder Murray, only a day out of the hospital, was eager to return to the pub to meet and thank his new friends.

Make it a priority

Can a heavily used bridge in a well-off Chicago suburb fall into such disrepair that school buses and fire trucks can't traverse it anymore? Yes, and it did in Wheaton. The Manchester Road bridge -- which is awkwardly designed to begin with -- can't support vehicles weighing more than five tons. This couldn't have happened overnight, and it's not going to be an overnight repair job. But get it fixed.Œ

Students getting involved

For the last six years, Wheaton Academy has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help relief efforts at a village in Zambia, Africa. Now a group of 20 students, faculty and staff from the West Chicago school are planning to travel this summer to the village. The fact that students are going on the two-week trip is inspiring. A teacher pointed out that one goal is to spur the young men and women to action. We hope that happens. Have a save trip.

A homecoming for Cujo

Certainly there are crimes more heinous, more evil. But there was something about the story of Cujo the pet Chihuahua -- stolen out of a car from a Hanover Park family doing charity work, then recovered two months and miles and miles away in south suburban Dolton -- that just restores a little bit of faith in humanity in a cynical, trying world. No one really believed Cujo would ever be recovered unharmed, but the dedication of a single Chicago police detective made it happen. And being able to share in the simple joy of a child being reunited with a lost pet should warm the coldest of hearts.

Disappointing development

When Heidi's Brooklyn Deli opened in Winfield in 2006, the village hoped it would the first of many successful businesses to open up in its new town center. But now it appears Heidi's has closed up shop. A disappointing development in Winfield's ongoing efforts to improve the fortunes of its downtown. Here's hoping that whatever replaces Heidi's will be the kind of place that draws lots of visitors, for a long time, to town center.

Fighting the (trans) fat

With obesity in children becoming more of an issue, it's strange that Elgin Area School District U-46 would balk at the idea of having to serve healthier lunches in schools. Illinois legislators would like to see trans fats outlawed in school lunches by 2010. But school officials in U-46 think the proposal goes too far. School Board President Ken Kaczynski said he thinks the district is doing what it can to ensure healthy lunches for students. The district instituted a "wellness policy" and promotes healthy choices for students. But perhaps not only promoting it but making sure the kids have the healthiest options possible is the best way to look out for them.