Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

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Thumbs Up … to the Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation for offering opportunities to see the Colonel Davenport House on Arsenal Island this weekend and next. Usually, the house, built in the 1830s, isn’t open in the winter. But the foundation is opening it up for people to visit.

The house is one of the Quad-Cities’ most important structures. Col. George Davenport was the first permanent European resident in what is now the Quad-Cities, and his house is a local historic treasure.

Thumbs Down … to the federal government for preventing the use of marijuana in public housing even in states where it’s legal. Like Illinois. The Chicago Housing Authority informed residents of this fact recently, and in reports we’ve seen the consequence for violating the prohibition could lead to eviction.

We understand the federal government looks at marijuana differently than some states. But it strikes us as unfair that a person who lives in public housing – and whose health might benefit from marijuana use – could only get that help if they moved out of their home. It seems as if there should be some accommodation for this circumstance at the least. We also don’t see the fairness in preventing a low-income person from having the same legal rights in the state as a person with greater means.

We would hope the federal government would look at these questions and find a solution.

Thumbs Up ... to the 11 fire departments who responded to the fire Monday afternoon that destroyed one house and damaged two others. Fortunately, no people were injured in the fire. But it was significant. Smoke could be seen as far away as Davenport. Also, the two people who saw the fire and alerted authorities are to be commended. Mace Martin and Randy DeDecker, both of Silvis, said they tried to make sure nobody was in the house and did what they could while firefighters were on the way.

Thumbs Up ... to Bob Vogelbaugh and all his crew of volunteers, who once again served a Thanksgiving meal at SouthPark Mall. It was the 49th such event, and Mr. Thanksgiving was playing hurt, as columnist John Marx put it a couple weeks ago. It turns out that Vogelbaugh had a fall at his home and has to have surgery. But that didn't keep him from doing so many times before: carrying on a holiday tradition that is one ingredient making the Quad-Cities the place it is.

Thumbs Down ... to the apparent demise of the Hennepin Canal pathway in Milan as the location for the Mutt Strut, a 1.5 mile walk for families and their dogs.

Linda Cook reported this week that the organization that puts on the event walked away after being confronted with state-mandated fees. The pathway is state property and, for such events, a flat fee is charged along with a share of the proceeds at such events. The Quad-City Animal Welfare Center, which organizes the strut, is working with the Village of Milan on where to hold the event next year.

An official with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the fees that are paid help the agency to offset costs incurred from events. We certainly understand that, especially given the state's fiscal condition.

Still, the animal welfare center has a small budget.

We were happy to hear the state official say the agency is reviewing its policy. We hope, whatever happens, the strut continues in the same tradition as it has in the past.

Thumbs Up ... to the Scott County Board of Supervisors, which appointed Angela Kersten to be the new county engineer. Kersen has 19 years of experience and she's been the assistant county engineer since 2010. She will replace Jon Burgstrum, who is retiring effective Dec. 31. Board Chairman Tony Knobbe noted the board was able to promote an internal candidate with a range of experience and qualifications.

We agree. It's important in government, as it is in other endeavors, that a strong pipeline of talent be developed to maintain quality services and retain the kind of institutional knowledge that also adds value.

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