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Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down
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Editorial

Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

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Thumbs Up … to restoration of the 32 stained glass windows at Sacred Heart Church in Moline. If you saw the pictures in this newspaper last Sunday and online, they are stunning. The window restoration at the historic church is part of a larger capital campaign. "The parishioners really embraced the project," Rev. Mark DeSutter said in an article written by Claudia Loucks. "We have had every window adopted by either a parish family or parish organization and they provided the money for the repairs."

COVID-19 precautions have changed the church’s original plans to celebrate the restoration, but there will be a "Blessing of the Windows" at all Masses the weekend of Oct. 10-11, and a socially distanced walk-through tour from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11.

The work was done by Bovard Studios in Fairfield, Iowa.

In the words of the church's facilities manager, Don Lewis: "To see the windows before we started the project and to see them as they have been replaced is a joy,"

Thumbs Up … to the progress being made on redeveloping East 2nd Street in downtown Davenport. As Alma Gaul recounted this week, there are a number of projects in the works, including a 5-story apartment building just south of the RiverCenter; resurrection of a new business in the old Great River Brewery location, which was closed by the 2019 flood; and a film house with three movie screens across the street.

"By the fall of 2021, East 2nd Street is going to look completely different …," said Kyle Carter, executive director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership.

The $8 million mixed-use development south of the RiverCenter is especially notable. The space has long been underutilized, and the project by Merge Urban Development Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is exciting. In addition to 56 market rate apartments, it will have 6,000 square feet of commercial space. The project was helped by being in a part of the city designated a Qualified Opportunity Zone. The 2017 federal tax cut set aside some funding to encourage investment in such zones.

This project isn’t the only new housing going up. At the corner of West River Drive and Ripley Street, an $8 million apartment building under construction will create another 55 market-rate apartments.

There are other projects brewing, too.

We’re happy that, even with all the economic uncertainty, downtown Davenport continues to make progress.

Thumbs Down … to the loss of Nala, the 17-year-old African Lion, which had to be euthanized at Niabi Zoo earlier this week. The female lion had advanced bone cancer.

Nala, who came to the zoo when she was just a year and a half old, has been a favorite of zoo-goers for years. A second African Lion, 18-year-old Savanna, remains at the zoo.

Thumbs Down … to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A week ago, the CDC posted new guidance saying that aerosol transmission of the novel coronavirus might be the more common way for the deadly virus to spread. Some in the scientific community have urged the federal government to take this position for quite a while now, and they praised the CDC for the apparent change.

However, just days after the guidance went up, it was gone again. The agency said it was a draft that was posted by mistake. Replacing it was the CDC’s long-standing position that warned about spread of the virus by respiratory droplets.

This is no small matter. Learning how this virus spreads it key to understanding how to minimize our risk of being infected.

It’s unfortunate these errors continue. It was only a week ago that the CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, and the White House were at odds over when a vaccine might be widely available to the public.

The American people deserve better than this.

Thumbs Up ... to ongoing discussions in Davenport about policing reforms. Earlier this week, members of the council appeared receptive to changes. But, as Tom Barton pointed out in an article, there still are a lot of unanswered questions.

We are encouraged that talks are ongoing, and we're pleased to see the city's civil rights commission taking up this cause.

As Barton reported, Police Chief Paul Sikorski said the department has already formed a working group with the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens and other community members to review police policies.

One topic of discussion is a civilian review board to review complaints, but questions remain. If it is to work, we would think, broad representation in the community would be a necessity, not, as one alderman suggested, just elected officials. But there still are a lot of unanswered questions about how it might operate.

Still, we are encouraged these ideas are being discussed. The key, of course, will be when this becomes less vague, when concrete proposals are put on the table.

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