Our Views: Thumbs up/down for Monday, July 17

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Thumbs up to capturing father's bitter-sweet moment. One of this year's most touching photographs appeared in The Gazette on Tuesday, Page 3A. It shows Bill Conner listening to his daughter's beating heart—inside the body of a Louisiana man, Loumonth Jack Jr. Conner's daughter Abbey Conner was a UW-Whitewater student who died after a mysterious incident while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico. Her organs were donated, with her heart going to Jack. Connor met Jack on Father's Day, and the photograph of the two embracing as Connor holds a stethoscope to Jack's chest overflows with emotion. The photo, taken by Caroline Ourso of The Advocate (Baton Rouge), speaks to humanity's fragility and capacity for compassion, revealing silver linings amid the depths of even our most unimaginable grief. Another message is the importance of being an organ donor. Your organs aren't helping anyone in the grave. Make them available in the event you no longer need them.

Thumbs up to Mercyhealth. The health care provider is donating one its employees to head fundraising for the downtown ARISE initiative. That's the sort of public-private partnership we love to see. Mercyhealth will loan its recruitment director, Kelli Cameron, for up to 18 months to help raises as much as $10 million. The ARISE initiative is picking up momentum as evidenced by the construction crew building a town square on the Rock River at the Court Street Bridge. It's still a ways from completion, but if you visit the site, you can imagine how the town square could become the downtown's focal point, especially with a pedestrian bridge connecting it to shops and restaurants along Main Street. Cameron also lives downtown, and so she has a personal interest in seeing the downtown thrive. For that matter, all of us have an interest in the downtown's future. A revitalized downtown makes for a revitalized Janesville.

Thumbs down to paying high prices for prescription drugs. What a shame an Edgerton couple, featured in a story Wednesday about drug prices, felt they had to keep their names out of the story because they bought cheaper drugs from Canada, which is illegal. Nobody should feel like a criminal for seeking a fair price on medicine. Critics of the Canadian health care system decry it as socialism, claiming the free-market model in the U.S. is far superior. Yet, those on the U.S. side of the border pay more for medicine, while Canadians have access to many of the same drugs at a fraction of the price. Who's the sucker under this setup? Hint: It's not the Canadians.

Thumbs down to tax breaks for Foxconn. The race is on to lure Foxconn, and the company would be wise to pit different states' offers against each other. If it plays its cards right, Foxconn can get out of having to pay any taxes, ever. OK, we're being sarcastic here, but in all seriousness Wisconsin needs to be careful in offering financial incentives to the smartphone maker. Tax breaks can be an economic development tool, and all levels of governments use them to entice companies to move into their backyards. But the Foxconn situation is unusual in the amount of publicity it has generated and the number of politicians taking an interest in winning a plant that could bring as many as 10,000 jobs. As we highlighted in an editorial Sunday, winning Foxconn won't be all peaches and cream. Governments need to keep a level head in courting the company.

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