Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

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Thumbs Up ... to the Davenport Police Department and the U.S. Justice Department for teaming up in a new campaign to warn people if they use a gun in the commission of a crime it could open them up to federal charges.

"We're not going to bring federal charges in every gun case, but we're going to do as many as we can," U.S. Attorney Mark Krickbaum said in an article by Times reporter Tara Becker-Gray.

The initiative is not only aimed at sterner enforcement but at prevention, with billboards going up in areas where there have been high levels of gun crime.

Given the problem Davenport's had with shots-fired incidents, this and other stepped-up efforts are good to see.

Thumbs Down … to all the Washington, D.C., politicians and others who are trying to screw up the economy by politicizing the Federal Reserve. Just this week, former Fed official Bill Dudley wrote that, arguably, the 2020 presidential election could fall "within the Fed’s purview" because Donald Trump’s reelection might threaten the economy.

That prompted U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis to propose an investigation into the Fed’s independence. Tillis is up for re-election next year, so this could be simply toadying up to Trump and his base. But the idea that a Senate investigation could be prompted by the remarks of a former member is ludicrous.

We think it was dumb for Dudley to suggest the Fed should factor in an election when setting policy. We think he was right, though, in saying the Fed should not enact policy to provide a backstop to Trump’s damaging trade war.

To be clear, all this recent bullying of the Fed began with Trump himself. He has been blasting Jay Powell, the Fed chairman, for not catering to his ever-changing whims.

To his credit, Powell has steered the Fed out of political waters. But it’s getting harder. It’s too bad that too many bad actors are trying to run the Fed, and perhaps the economy too, aground.

Thumbs Up ... to the rise in vaccination rates in Iowa. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says Iowa’s vaccination rate for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough in 2018 was 94 percent, up from 93.4 percent in 2017. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced the results this week. The national average for Tdap vaccinations is 88.9 percent.

This is welcome news given the recent outbreaks of disease driven by the phony scares over vaccines. It's also a reminder that Iowans need to stand strong against legislative efforts to undermine this life-saving practice.

Thumbs Up … to all those who took part in getting the Anderson 400 near Princeton to the status of "green development site."

Gov. Kim Reynolds was in Scott County on Wednesday to mark the designation. The certification, by the state’s economic development agency, lets developers know the site is ready for business.

That kind of thing is valuable for developers and corporations who want to move quickly.

Iowa’s certification program has 26 sites, and the Anderson location is only the second green-certified site in Iowa. The other is in Woodward, in Dallas County.

To win green certification, the site had to meet certain criteria, like preserving natural features such as wetlands. About 285 acres of the 400 acre Anderson site is available for development.

Thumbs Up ... to the $18 million renovation at Black Hawk College, which was highlighted Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Construction on Building 1 on the campus in Moline included a new two-story wing, designed in a modern style, with 20,000 square-feet and 8 new classrooms.

The changes were begun in 2017. Renovation to the existing three floors, totaling 68,000 square-feet, included refurbishing 29 offices, 23 classrooms, a new HVAC system, LED lighting and a fire suppression system, among other changes.

Congratulations to Black Hawk College, its students, faculty and staff.

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