Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

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Cheers ... to Joy Boruff, the longtime CEO of the Moline Foundation, who is retiring. A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Boruff has worked to make the Quad-City region a better place for decades.

She was involved in the "Vision for the Future" efforts back in the days of the farm crisis, and in 2001, she was appointed as the first full-time employee of the foundation, which distributes $800,000 a year in grants. In an article about her retirement this week by Jonathan Turner, Boruff said, "I want to help people fulfill their charitable dreams."

In the process, she and the foundation have helped to fulfill a lot of our community's dreams, among them Western Illinois University's riverfront campus in Moline.

Boruff's impact has been significant. She not only has had an ability to see a need and match it with resources, but she's also served as a resource to people who sought counsel on a wide array of projects.

We wish Joy well in her retirement, and all in this community should be grateful for her contribution.

Jeers ... to the increase in vaping marijuana by America's teens. The 2019 Monitoring the Future survey at the University of Michigan said that vaping marijuana has increased dramatically among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-grade kids.

The survey asked about 42,000 students at nearly 400 schools about their use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, and their related attitudes. The recently published survey said 21% of 12th-graders, 19% of 10th-graders and 7% of seventh-graders had vaped marijuana in the past year. For 12th-graders, that's 7.7 percentage points higher than the year before; for 10th-graders, the 19% figure is 7 percentage points higher.

These are alarming figures, given the spike in lung-related illnesses and deaths associated with vaping what some public health officials believe is black market THC.

The new numbers accompany figures that also show a dramatic increase in nicotine vaping by teens.

The Trump administration announced a ban on Thursday of most flavored e-cigarettes that are popular with teens, which is good. Still, it was a less than the total ban he'd promised earlier. The new rules allow menthol and tobacco flavors.

Some adults have found vaping to be helpful in kicking the cigarette habit, so we understand the caution. However, the new data from the Monitoring the Future survey shows that we're clearly not doing enough to keep kids from picking up the habit.

Jeers ... to yet another departure from the upper ranks of management at the City of Moline. Scott Hinton, the city's engineer, is leaving for a post in Kewanee.

Hinton declined to say why he's leaving, but reporter Sarah Hayden noted he'll be paid less than what he was making in Moline. His is the latest in a string of high-profile departures; among them was that of ex-City Administrator Lisa Kotter, who was forced out in September.

Alderman Dick Potter, 4th Ward, says he's worried.

"I'm very concerned about our ability to retain professional help," he told Hayden. "I'm wondering what the rest of the community feels. Do you think this is a good way to run the city?"

We can answer that — no, we don't think this is good.

We're not sure what's going on, but it's pretty clear that top managers just don't want to work for the City of Moline. This kind of thing can get contagious, and we, like Potter, are worried about the city's ability to attract talent.

A truthful explanation for the departures is in order.

Cheers ... to members of our area's congressional delegation, as well as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, for sticking up for minor league baseball. Reynolds was the most recent politician to pen a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, raising concerns about the plan to dramatically pare the number of minor league teams.

The Midwest League teams in Clinton and the Quad-Cities have been on published lists of teams considered for contraction, although Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has said he's been assured the Quad-Cities is not on the list.

Frankly, we're happy to see the support. As Reynolds put it, the teams are job creators and support local business — and they're magnets for attracting people to our area.

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