RAGBRAI- the end

RAGBRAI riders celebrate the end of the trek across Iowa by dipping their tires in the Mississippi River along the Muscatine riverfront on July 30, 2016. The ride started in Glenwood on Sunday, July 24.

BETH VAN ZANDT/MUSCATINE JOURNAL

Thumbs up to all the candidates taking part in next month's school board elections.

A veritable slew of candidates are jockeying for a handful of seats in Davenport, Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley.

The three districts face important, if different issues. In Davenport, funding is a concern. In Bettendorf, internal political spats have rocked the district.

At the end of the day, any election is only as good as its slate of candidates. In this event, the widespread interest is noteworthy.  

Thumbs down to a continued slump at Quad-City International Airport.

The combined number of passengers boarding and arriving at Quad-City International in July fell another 11 percent compared to the same month last year, said airport director Bruce Carter. It's part of a prolonged slide in service that, if left unchecked, could ultimately threaten flights at the airport.

Such a loss would be a massive blow to the regional economy.

No amount of support can guarantee airport use, which is closely tied to local and national economic variables. Still, bolstered funding could make for a more attractive setting to patrons and airlines alike.

At present, just a handful of townships in Illinois fund the airport. That should change. The Quad-Cities needs a bi-state port authority that would permit funding from the entire region.

Quad-City International is a vital regional resource. We should all support it. 

Thumbs up to Davenport's quest to again host RAGBRAI.

Davenport City Council is expected to vote next week on a resolution to request the annual cross-state bicycle ride make Davenport its ending location in 2018 and 2022. Davenport hasn't been a RAGBRAI host city since 2011.

The event would, very likely, roll into town during the BIX 7. RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz said that he's worked well in the past with BIX officials and the annual run poses no additional roadblocks. 

What is unquestionably true is host-city status -- particularly as the end site -- would pump millions into the local economy and make an already good party downtown even better. 

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