Editorial: Cheers and Jeers
Editorial

Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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Cheers … to the Scott County Health Department, which has distributed seven wheelchair charging stations, including one at the county courthouse and one at the county administrative center. The initiative was powered by state funding, with the money being part of its healthy living initiative.

In addition to government offices, there are stations at Scott County Park, with the goal of making those sites available to people with disabilities.

We're told the stations also are weather-resistant so they will be available in the winter months, too.

We applaud the county and the state for taking the initiative and devoting the resources to make this possible. We’d love to see more of this across the Quad-Cities.

Jeers ... to the thieves who broke into the Genesius Guild's storage space behind the Lincoln Park Classic Theater in Rock Island, making off with all sorts of equipment the organization uses to put on free live theater. Ladders, lights and other items were taken — and since they were taken from city property, officials say insurance won't help.

As a result, Guild members have started an online fundraising campaign. We wish them well, and we hope the police catch the thieves.

Cheers ... to the Embrace Race lunch on Tuesday at St. Ambrose University. Organized by Tracy White of the African American Leadership Society and sponsored by Kent Pilcher and Estes Construction, the meal connected African American students with Quad-Cities business leaders ready to mentor and support them.

Last year was the inaugural lunch, where 50 young men met with a handful of businesses. This year, the Rogalski Center was packed with business leaders, and 100 young men attended. Special credit goes to John Anderson, chief executive of Quad-Cities Bank and Trust. The bank pledged to sponsor an internship for a high school student and full scholarship at St. Ambrose.  

It’s widely known that African Americans continue to struggle in the Quad-Cities. As Alma Gaul reported this week, only 53% of African American children here are ready for kindergarten and only 43% read at grade level by third grade, according to United Way of the Quad-Cities.

Any step toward helping lift them up deserves our celebration and support.

Jeers … to the possibility of a french fry shortage in the United States. Bloomberg reported this week that cool weather conditions in October crippled some potato harvests with frosts, and that’s caused some concern.

The losses were especially notable in Canada, but potato-producing states in the U.S. are feeling it, too. The USDA predicts that potato output will fall by 6.1 percent this year to its lowest levels since 2010.

We Americans love our french fries, even if we have had our touchy moments with the country whose name they bear. And we love them despite the fact they are not good for us. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate fried potatoes two to three days a week were at higher risk of mortality than those who ate un-fried potatoes. Which also aren’t the best vegetable for you, either. This same study noted that potatoes are linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So perhaps, we shouldn’t be bummed at the idea of not having fries after all. Still, a green leafy salad just doesn’t sound as much fun, even though it may help us live longer.

Cheers … to Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf for being one of four schools in Iowa to have more than 90% of its eligible students registered to vote. Secretary of State Paul Pate highlighted Rivermont on Wednesday, along with Prairie High School and Isaac Newton Christian Academy in Cedar Rapids and Newman Catholic High School in Mason City.

Reaching the registration threshold qualifies the four schools for the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, which the secretary will bestow next spring. The office noted eight schools in the state have surpassed the 50% mark. The deadline to qualify for the award is next April 1.

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