Thumbs Up ... to those who are working to keep an African-American literature course part of the curriculum in the Rock Island-Milan School District. For a half hour at Wednesday's board meeting, the public urged the district to reconsider its plans not to offer the course at Rock Island High School for the 2020-21 school year.
Administrators say the class, and a few others, had suffered from low enrollment. But, as Nicole Lauer reported Thursday, district administrators are putting together a plan to retool the class and offer it as a credit, rather than an elective course.
Superintendent Reginald Lawrence said no decision has been made on the course for the 2020-21 school year, but he thanked people for their feedback.
It seems to us, particularly at this moment in our nation's history, this course would be a worthy pursuit. We wish school officials success in retaining the course.
Thumbs Down ... to the people who harassed and bullied a 17-year-old girl with autism in the Illinois town of Chillicothe.
In a video that has since gone viral on social media, a group of teenagers and an adult harassed this girl as she tried to deliver candy to a friend.
To watch the video is heartbreaking. "I'm trying to walk away, but I know you guys are going to hit me if I do," the girl named Makenna told her harassers.
Police in the small town north of Peoria acted quickly, according to local news reports. They arrested six teenagers and an adult.
We agree with the local police chief, who called it a sickening and disgusting display. The news reports say the community stepped up to support the girl and her family, but it is sad that this kind of harassment occurs — and far too often.
Thumbs Up ... to the Rock Island County Board for voting to sell the Hope Creek Care Center to Infinity Health Care Management. We won't belabor the history of this matter. We've said our peace on this issue several times. We'd just like to thank the board members for doing the right thing. Most did. Only three members voted against the sale.
Thumbs Up ... to the creativity and responsibility that the folks at the Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse are exhibiting with plans to offer shows from the top of the theater's marquee.
Bottoms Up Quad City Burlesque numbers will be livestreamed from the Speakeasy stage to outdoor screens, and audience members will enjoy it all from tables arranged in the street.
The tables will be arranged at least six feet apart, and people sitting at each table must be from the same family. With COVID-19 and its remaining restrictions, "you really have to think outside of the box," Brett Hitchcock, Circa's director of audience development, said, according to an article by Laura Anderson Shaw.
They certainly did that.
All across the Quad-Cities, venues and promoters are struggling to figure out how to keep their patrons safe. For some, the crowd sizes are so big it's not possible and events have been cancelled.
We're glad to see that Circa found a way to move forward.
Thumbs Down ... to the disappearance of the no-wake zone on the Mississippi River near Lock and Dam 14 in LeClaire.
The quiet little spot has been a haven for boaters for years. However, the buoys that have always served notice to boaters of its status have been removed, because, we are told, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which established the zone, no longer has the funding or the authority to maintain the designation.
An official from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says that boaters are still observing the tradition, but there is rightly concern over making sure this continues to be the case. The little area can get quite busy at times, and safety is paramount.
Jeff Harrison, state conservation officer with the DNR, told us that he is working on seeking permission from the Iowa Natural Resources Commission at its July 9 meeting to put in place a temporary no-wake zone until a more permanent designation can be established. (A permanent fix apparently will take several months to work through the state's administrative rules.)
We hope the effort is successful. Harrison says he doesn't know of anybody who would oppose a no-wake zone here.
We would urge the DNR and the commission to take swift action to re-establish the no-wake zone.
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