Thumbs up to researchers with Augustana College and Scott County Department of Health, for outlining with crystal clarity the pervasiveness of Davenport's lead paint problem.

Five-thousand homes within Davenport's 3rd, 4th and 5th wards are at high risk of lead paint contamination, according to an analysis conducted by Augustana professor Michael Reisner and Health Department Director Ed Rivers. Income levels and a neighborhood's racial composition were the best indicators of prevalence, they concluded. The greater the percentage of low-income and black households, the greater the risk for exposure to lead contamination.

The new information places the onus squarely on federal, state and local officials to create and fund a program that addresses the obvious health risk. Federal regulators banned lead paint in 1978 after research linked exposure to lower IQs and general cognitive impairment among children and birth defects among fetuses.

Thumbs down to the federal government's shameful response to the tragedy in Puerto Rico.

Millions of U.S. citizens are without access to power and clean water a month after a hurricane slammed the island. And yet, Americans, and their president, are more than willing to to ignore them. One Quad-City Times employee rushed home to Puerto Rico to be with his family after the disaster. Things are not improving there nearly fast enough, regardless of what the White House says.

One can't help but think how the government's response would be different if the devastation was in a state of equal population, such as Iowa.

Thumbs up to Environmental Protection Commissioner Scott Pruitt for backing off on his attack on biofuels.

In a letter Thursday, Pruitt told Iowa's federal lawmakers that he was scuttling a proposal that would have reduced the amount of corn ethanol blended in gasoline throughout the country. The move would have been a substantial blow to Iowa's ethanol industry.

For their parts, Sens. Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst and Gov. Kim Reynolds leveled all of their collective influence to beat Pruitt off the proposal. 

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