Cheers & Jeers

Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2013, 2:37 pm
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The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus
Cheers and thanks for your unfailing generosity to the host of readers who donated to our Dispatch Good Fellow Argus Santa campaign.

As we get ready to close the door on the 2012 campaign, we are pleased to report that we are 96 percent of the way to our $40,000 goal. We just need a few more last-minute donations to get us over the top. Remember, planning for next year begins almost as soon as the last year's gifts are given. That's why we accept donations year round.

We're gratified that once again our readers generously responded to the need in our community as they have throughout the 105-year history of our program to brighten the holidays for the less fortunate.

Thanks to you, this year, we helped 372 families with more 1,000 children, plus 251 low-income seniors and disabled persons. The job for 2012, however, is not yet done. To ensure that we can help as many families as possible this year, we need help to close the books on 2012. So if you have given to Good Fellow/Santa, accept our thanks. If you haven't, please consider doing so. Donations can be made in four convenient ways:

-- Make a secure donation online at
-- Send a check to Good Fellow, c/o Dispatch/Argus, 1720 5th Ave., Moline, IL 61265.
-- Drop off a donation at the Dispatch/Argus customer service counter, first floor, 1720 Fifth Ave., Moline.
-- Use the drive-through window at the circulation office at the corner of 6th Avenue and 18th Street in downtown Moline.

Jeers to the federal prison revolving door reserved for Illinois politicians. This week, influence-peddling King of Clout William Cellini reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Ind., to do a yearlong sentence for trying to extort money from the producer of the film "Million Dollar Baby."

While there, he is sure to meet up with former Illinois governor George Ryan. The Kankakee pol is readying to make his exit through that door on his way to a halfway house to finish out a six and a half year sentence. Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is also tied up in this mess, even though he's serving HIS 14-year sentence for corruption in a Colorado prison. It was on his behalf that Mr. Cellini attempted to shakedown the contribution which led to his conviction.

We'd love to believe they will be the last Illinois officials to do time. But with so many investigations in the works, the feds would be wise to keep Illinois' revolving door well oiled.

Cheers to Amelia Martens, Miss Rock Island County Fair Queen, who captured the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen title last weekend.
The 20-year-old Orion High School graduate is attending the University of Illinois, majoring in agricultural communications. She's also a member of The Dispatch/Argus family. Readers may know her name and her work from her days as a Viewpoints guest columnist winner, later as a writer for South of 20 or now as a freelancer.

Ms. Martens called the crown "a dream come true," and thanked her parents, friends, the Rock Island County Fair Board and pageant director, Shauna Learn.

Cheers, too, to Miss Mercer County Fair, Emily Mills of Milan, and Miss Henry County Fair Kaci Storm of Geneseo, who were among the 15 finalists for the title as they, too pursued a dream. Congratulations to all three of these amazing Quad-Cities young leaders.

Jeers to Sammy Sosa, the former Chicago Cub slugger who continues to refuse to accept responsibility for the doping that marred the end of his career.

In an interview on the website, he not only said he and fellow slugger Mark McGwire belong in the Hall of Fame, he thinks the Cubs should retire his number. Oh, and he might run for president of the Dominican Republican.

No one would have laughed at any of those ideas before evidence of the use of performance enhancing drugs tarnished that magical summer when Sosa and the St. Louis Cardinal's McGwire chased the Major League home run record. Quickly, and sadly, their record-setting season was eclipsed by another suspected cheater, Barry Bonds.

So far, that slugging trio has been denied entry to Cooperstown's Hall of Fame. Sosa appears to suggest enshrinement is just a matter of time. But it a small group of sportswriters who will decide such things. Cub fans can do nothing about it.

They can, however, influence how the Ricketts family, the owners of the Cubs, choose to treat the disgraced all-star.

Chairman Tom Rickets recently told fans that the club might try to re-establish a relationship with Sosa. Cub fans should let the usually responsive Ricketts know just what they think of that idea.


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.

(More History)