Cheers & Jeers

Posted Online: Jan. 04, 2013, 11:28 am
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The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus
Cheers to the late Ron Quay, the executive director of Churches United, who was taken from his loving family, friends and community much too young and too soon.

The Rev. Quay, 68, of Moline, was struck by pneumonia and died Dec. 27 at Trinity Rock Island even as he was exploring options to battle a rare form of leukemia that had only recently been diagnosed.

Though he led Churches United for only a single decade, he made amazing strides in bringing together Quad-Citians of all faiths.

Rabbi Henry Karp of Davenport's Temple Emanuel told our Leon Lagerstam following Rev. Quay's death last week, "I don't think anyone in the Quad-Cities has done more to make this community more compassionate and understanding than Ron did. He was tireless in his efforts to make this community a better place to live for all people, regardless of faith, race, gender, or sexual orientation. He was not interested in the things by which people choose to divide us, instead choosing to find ways to unite us, for the betterment of all.''

Added family friend and colleague Chaplain Cathy Bolkcom, "Ron's greatest legacy -- what he was most proud of -- was the interfaith connections he built here in this community."

Those connections among faiths as disparate at Jewish, and Muslim, Christian and Hindu, were used to help the poor and disadvantaged throughout the Quad-Cities. Under his leadership Churches United and its 136 partnering churches have done amazing things in all parts of the Quad-Cities.

Rabbi Karp could have been speaking for all the churches in the Q-C when he said last week. "The entire community has absorbed a great loss this day," Rabbi Karp said last week.

May his wonderful contributions serve as an inspiration to us all.

Jeers to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett for making a terrible decision to challenge in court NCAA sanctions that were brought against Penn State after astoundingly horrible child sex abuse revelations.

Opting to ask a federal judge to toss out the harsh, but well-deserved punishment for the university's athletic department's long history of turning a blind eye as young boys were abused by Jerry Sandusky is likely to please nobody but the most zealous Penn State supporters.

And that is no doubt the point behind the anti-trust lawsuit he brought against the body that governs college sports.

Gov. Corbett, you may remember, had said from the beginning that Penn State should shut up and take the medicine handed out by the NCAA which included a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban for Penn's football program, a big reduction in athletic scholarships and the surrender of a number of the Nittany Lion's titles.

When asked if his own re-election bid and the angry reaction of Penn State supporters who also are voters had played a part in his change of heart, Gov. Corbett told reporters at a press conference, "We're not going to get into the politics of this." Clearly, we already are.

Perhaps the governor didn't read the report detailing the university athletic program's serial enabling of Coach Sandusky's transgressions, including by now-disgraced coach Joe Paterno. The university says it is playing no role in the suit. It doesn't have to with Gov. Corbett to champion it for them.

The NCAA called the governor's suit an "affront" to Jerry Sandusky and the university's countless victims. Whatever happens with this antitrust suit, we hope Pennsylvania voters will remember that fact when they go to the polls next year.

Cheers to the many agencies and organizations who are adding some excitement and educational opportunities to our area in the dreary post-holiday period via Bald Eagle Day activities.

The feature celebration is, of course, Bald Eagle Days set this year for Jan. 11-13, at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island.

Tourism officials tell us it is the "largest event in the Midwest dedicated to the United States' national symbol of freedom." The hours for this year's event are Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for kids.

But it's not the only event that centers on "our" eagles. Indeed, Clinton's Bald Eagle Watch is from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at Lock & Dam 13 in Fulton, with additional indoor exhibits at Clinton Community College for indoor exhibits.

Don't miss the chance to soar with the eagles in January or February.


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

(More History)