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Who knew that freedom meant buying toxins online?!
By Amy Mack | Daily Herald Columnist

Sleepy Hollow invites everyone to join in for its 50th anniversary and Fourth of July celebration Friday for a scene similar to what Jenny Postal of Algonquin and fiance Bill Soukup of Crystal Lake saw from the top of their truck two years ago.


Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

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Published: 7/2/2008 12:06 AM | Updated: 7/2/2008 6:13 AM

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It's pretty chilling to learn one of our Fox Valley neighbors was stocking up on a lethal toxin, isn't it?

No matter what Edward F. Bachner's ultimate intent was when he bought tetrodotoxin - a powerful poison that causes paralysis and death - it's hardly the stuff anyone wants in any neighborhood. Innocent, of course, unless proven guilty, Buchner's Monday arrest by FBI anti-terrorism agents at his Lake in the Hills home gives "Neighborhood Watch" a whole new meaning.

It also gives us plenty of fodder for chatter during those Fourth of July festivities. Most of us, after all, sure treasure the freedoms and rights guaranteed by our founding fathers - but do we really want people to have the right to buy on line lethal toxins that are deadly at one milligram?

Dog run

No more legal, but certainly very much in evidence, lots of our neighbors have already been playing rocket man with plenty of illegal fireworks rattling our rafters lately. Wendy MacCarthy has a plea on behalf of her mixed breed, Minnie, and our other furry friends. Minnie's family was surprised when she bolted from their yard into a rainstorm the other night, not returning until the next day. They were surprised, that is, until they saw the remnants of bottle rocket covering their yard and street the next morning. Glad her dog wasn't hurt, Wendy asked me to help pass the word to keep an extra eye on our puppy dogs the next few days as some among us celebrate our nation's birthday with a bang.

Does anyone have a suggestion to help those doggies not be scared when the big booms go off Friday? It's not, of course, like those puppies understand why we celebrate. Send your suggestions to and I'll share your thoughts in Friday's column.

Big booms!

Wayne Eischen and the entire Sleepy Hollow Service Club hopes we'll come their way to enjoy some mighty fine - and legal - fireworks Friday night. Sleepy Hollow is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and promise to do it up right. May I suggest you get there early? The gates open at 7 p.m. and the fireworks are at dusk in Sabatino Park. Take Route 72 to Sleepy Hollow Road and go south to the village hall. They'll direct you in from there. Bring your chairs or blankets or just stay in your car - you'll have a great view, guaranteed.

Hidden heroes

An anonymous Sleepy Hollow resident called Tuesday to tell me she considers those hard-working Sleepy Hollow Service Club members unsung heroes for all the good they bring to that tight-knit community. "Those guys are wonderful and they do so many things," she said, noting the Easter egg fun, Halloween in the Hollow, Fourth of July and 50th anniversary events as well as many other community projects. Way to go, Service Club!

On parade

Don't forget the always-impressive Fourth of July parade through downtown Elgin. The parade starts at Slade and Douglas Ave. at 9 a.m. Friday and ends at Highland Ave. It kicks off a full day of fun, including the Blooze Brothers, AC Rock and more from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Civic Center Parking lot.

More entertainment starts at 7 p.m. at the Elgin Sports Complex, 709 Sports Way with fireworks at dusk.

Amy R. Mack's column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. She can be reached at (847) 931-5725; by fax (847) 608-0849; via mail at 385 Airport Road, Suite A, Elgin, IL 60123-9341; or by e-mail: