Little things like piles of trash cluttering empty lots, crumbling sidewalks, broken playground equipment and weeds overrunning public right-of-ways might not seem like a big deal all by themselves.
But they contribute to the urban blight that makes a community a less attractive place to live, work, play or visit.
They can be big eyesores, like graffiti spray painted on abandoned businesses. Or little ones like faded campaign signs or consistently overflowing dumpsters that send trash flying on the least whisper of wind.
Over the years, we've shared some of those problems here and sought our readers' help to make our community look on the outside as good as it does on the inside.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the bully pulpit works. It can be an effective incentive for someone to fix a blemish by widely advertising its existence. Shame is a powerful weapon. We've also found it's equally effective to broadcast it when we can catch folks doing good.
Such is the case with the people associated with Rock Island's Memorial Christian Church. The cornerstone of that 1896 structure across from the Rock Island County Office Building and nearly at Rock Island's front door had been removed years ago to uncover a time capsule. The Dispatch/Argus' took the before photo that accompanies this editorial back in 2010; it shows a board holding up the corner of the building. That gaping hole remained that way for some time. While recently out on assignment, eagle-eyed photojournalist Paul Colletti noticed the eyesore had been repaired and paused to chronicle it. We don't know when the cornerstone was replaced. But we salute those who made it happen.
As you can see from the after shot, the improvement to the public landscape was instant and dramatic.
Our reasons for sharing it here is in the hope it also will be inspiring to others who, for whatever reason, have similar problem spots that need attacking and to be sure not all of the eyesores in our community are willfully ignored. Sometimes the owner lacks the wherewithal to do the right thing. We suspect, however, that help is available to those who want it in some surprising places. Others might not know about the blight or are unaware of just how bad it appears to others and need your help to point it out. Toward that end, today we are asking our readers to help ferret out other things we need to do to improve the way our community looks.
With spring at last upon us weather-wise, the excuses for not addressing urban eyesores -- public or private -- rapidly are disappearing.
So, if you see a particularly egregious example of urban nastiness tell us about it. You can comment on this story at QCOnline.com, drop us an email at email@example.com or send a letter to Viewpoints, 1720 5th Ave., Moline IL 61265. If you are the owner of an eyesore, we suggest you clean it up today or risk having it turn up here.
Just maybe, if we give the worst eyesores a good public airing, the owners of those properties and others will be inspired to do what the folks at Memorial Church did without prompting.
How to help:
To report a Q-C eyesore
Comment on this story at QCOnline.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org Or write to Viewpoints, 1720 5th Ave., Moline, IL 61265
Today is Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2013. There are 21 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: We give "the government" the benefit of our circulation free of charge, for two advertisements for mules, horses and forage. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The official board of the First Methodist Church voted to build a new church. 1913 -- 100 years ago: W.A. Reid was elected commander of Siboney Bay Camp No. 8, United Spanish War Veterans. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Blanche S. Osborne, of Rock Island, is the only woman in the city who is a member of the American Legion. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Rocket Barbershop Chorus, under the direction of Howard Mesecher, will present a concert of barbershop songs at the December meeting of the Woman's Club of Moline at 2 Saturday afternoon in Scottish Rite Cathedral. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Helen A. Stone, of Moline, traded her organ's bench for a seat in the pew when she retired as church organist of Union Congregational Church, Moline, recently. She's been playing either piano or organ for the church for 61 years.