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Hundreds attend the Festival of Trees Santa’s Special Stars event Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, at the RiverCenter, in Davenport. Santa’s Special Stars is an annual event dedicated exclusively for persons with disabilities. 33rd Annual Festival of Trees, a benefit for Quad City Arts, runs November 15-25, 2018. The 26th Annual Holiday Parade will take place in downtown Davenport, Saturday, November 17th at 10:00am.

Thumbs Up…..to all of the people over all the years who have made the Festival of Trees a unique and much-anticipated annual tradition in the Quad-Cities.

Forged in the mid-1980s, when this area was in the throes of an economic bust that threw thousands of people out of work, the festival couldn't have come at a better time. It opened its brightly lit doors in 1986 and for more than 30 years, it has been a hallmark of the holiday season.

A fundraiser for Quad-City Arts, the festival features a wide range of holiday attractions, with the brightly, and creatively, decorated trees as its centerpiece. The festival involves the work of 3,000 volunteers and hundreds of designers, entertainers and sponsors, and over the years it has raised millions of dollars for local arts.

Festival of Trees is truly a unique Quad-City attraction. This year’s event began Thursday and it will last through Sunday, Nov. 25, with a Thanksgiving Day break.

As always, we congratulate the people who make this happen every year.

Thumbs Down…...to the people who continually circulate hateful flyers aimed at stoking racism in our community. A Moline woman reported this week that she'd found one on Wednesday while walking her dog.

The flyer, from the Tennessee-based white supremacist group National Alliance showed a picture of a young white woman, with the words "love your race."

The first of these types of flyers began circulating last year, with literature expressing worry about "the future for white children."

The Quad-Cities responded with rallies to denounce the racial hatred these extremists represent.

It is unfortunate that the few who seek to sow division and fear among us continue this activity. But we know that they are outnumbered by a people who are not afraid, who see in each other virtue and who live by the teaching that all people have worth. Perhaps, someday, we will be rid of these flyers. In the meantime, we should continue to alert one another when they appear and then put the offending literature where it belongs: In the trash.

Thumbs Up……to the Humane Society of Scott County, which helped to rescue up to 170 dogs that had been confined in what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called a puppy mill in Manly, in north-central Iowa.

Representatives from the local humane society were among the roughly 30 animal welfare workers who helped remove the dogs from the facility. A monthslong investigation led Worth County authorities to execute a search warrant at a commercial breeder early Monday. There, officials found the animals in filthy and dangerous conditions.

The Globe-Gazette newspaper in Mason City reported earlier this week that charges were pending against the breeder, and that the dogs were being cared for.

To all the animal welfare organizations and representatives who helped out, along with law enforcement and government officials, we thank you for your efforts.

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