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QCA Today: March 27, 2015

This feature collects articles published online by the following Quad Cities-area media outlets: Quad-City Times, Rock Island Argus/Moline Dispatch, River Cities’ Reader, KWQC, and WQAD. It also includes...

A Band-Aid for Roads: Iowa’s Gas-Tax Hike Is a Short-Term Fix for a Long-Term Problem

A Band-Aid for Roads: Iowa’s Gas-Tax Hike Is a Short-Term Fix for a Long-Term Problem

When Iowa’s motor-fuel tax increased by 10 cents a gallon on March 1, it represented a road that was both brave and opportunistic. It was also stupid, for two key reasons: Raising the gas tax doesn’t...

A Free Market by Force? The FCC and Net Neutrality in (Mostly) Plain English

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on rules that would reclassify broadband Internet as a public utility. The stated goal is to give the commission the authority...

Undoing the Arab Spring: Amaney A. Jamal, February 9 at St. Ambrose University

Since 2005, the Arab Barometer project that Amaney A. Jamal co-founded has interviewed ordinary people in the Arab world about their views on (according to ArabBarometer.org) “governance, political...

Nacho Radio: Dave & Darren Rescue Themselves from the Airwaves

On his morning show on January 14, Darren Pitra asked with mock exasperation: “Haven’t we learned enough?” Just a year ago, the answer to that question would have been simple: Absolutely. Pitra...

No Easy Answers: Jessica Lamb-Shapiro on Self-Help and Self-Discovery, January 27 at Augustana College

Art to Heart: Drew Starenko Wanted to Teach Art. Instead, He Became a Local Pioneer in Heart-Bypass Surgery.

Small Solutions for a Big Problem: Sheryl WuDunn on the Oppression of Women, October 21 at St. Ambrose University

“I’m with the Banned!”: Winners and Favorites from Our 2014 Short-Fiction Contest

The Shrinking Gambling Pie: Jumer’s Boosted the Local Casino Market – but It Can’t Hide the Quad Cities’ Decade of Decline

The Forest for the Trees: Lessons from Newspaper Coverage of the Benton Mackenzie Trial and Rock Island County Government

Video: Mayor Gluba Hosts Roundtable on Housing Immigrants in Quad Cities

Enter the Reader’s 2014 Short-Fiction Contest: I’m with the Banned! Deadline September 2!

Squeezing the Craft-Alcohol Industry: How Archaic Booze Regulations Hinder Small Producers

Cops and Cons: Dominic Velando and Jarrett Crippen at the QC Planet Comic & Arts Convention

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Commentary/Politics

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“Dark Money” Group Looks Like Rauner Front

A newly formed group of self-described “center-left” Democrats claims to have secured $20 million in commitments to spend on state legislative races in Illinois. But that $20 million apparently isn’t...

Secret Service Incident Highlights Double Standard

Imagine the following scenario: You’re driving along one fine evening, pretty thoroughly drunk, and ram your car through police tape and into a barricade. Suppose further that the barricade you’ve...

Child-Care Savings Based on “Magic Assumptions”

Buried deep within Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget plan for next fiscal year is yet another claimed “savings” that might not actually save any money, and could easily wind up costing the...

Total Recall: Bad for the Working Poor

It seems like a common sense, life-saving proposal: U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) want state motor-vehicle agencies to require completion of automakers’...

Rauner Gets Frigid Reception for “All or Nothing” Budget-Fix Demand

Governor Bruce Rauner has met with dozens of state legislators both individually and in small groups since his election. By all accounts, every meeting has been cordial, and he has scored lots of points...

Forced Blood Draws, DNA Collection, and Biometric Scans: What Country Is This?

Rauner Makes Huge Mistake with Budget Address

Don’t Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol – Keep Government Out!

Despite Promises, Rauner Presents a Booby-Trap Budget

Help Restore the Power of the Grand Jury

Rauner Flexing His Muscle – to Uncertain Ends

1984 and Counting

Laughter at Rauner Signals Rough Waters

The Best Defense (for the Welfare State) Is an Expensive Offense

The Political Class’ War on Immigrants Is a Diversion

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Movies

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The Woods Beckon: Bluebox Films’ "Nightlight," Available on VOD March 27

The Woods Beckon: Bluebox Films’ "Nightlight," Available on VOD March 27

Only six actors appear in writers/directors Scott Beck’s and Bryan Woods’ supernatural thriller Nightlight, and the film’s most inventive performance, by a considerable margin, is given by its lead....

Now Playing: Friday, March 27, through Thursday, April 2

Now Playing: Friday, March 27, through Thursday, April 2

For show schedule information, visit: Cinemark Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Davenport FilmScene, Iowa City Putnam Museum, Davenport Regal Moline Stadium 14, Moline   (Hyperlinked titles take...

Dire to Be Different: "Insurgent," "Do You Believe?", and The Gunman"

INSURGENT As was destined to happen at my well-attended-by-teenage-girls screening of Insurgent, I heard plenty of nervous titters when Shailene Woodley and Theo James finally unzipped their faux X-Men...

Bibbidy-Bobbidi Boon: "Cinderella" and "Run All Night"

CINDERELLA Given its sumptuous production design and its array of multi-hued gowns so breathtaking that costumer Sandy Powell should just be sent her inevitable Oscar via express mail, Disney’s new,...

RoboCrip: "Chappie," "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," and "Unfinished Business"

CHAPPIE The sci-fi-action-comedy-thriller Chappie is the tale of an insentient creature who gains a soul and learns to love, just like Pinocchio and WALL•E and Short Circuit’s Number 5. But this...

Now You See It, Now You Want to See It Again: "Focus," "The Lazarus Effect," and "Deepsea Challenge 3D"

I'd Like to Thump the Academy … : Notes on the 2015 Academy Awards Telecast

Running, DUFFing, Tubbing: "McFarland USA," "The DUFF," and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2"

Forgotten, but Not Gone: "Still Alice" and "The Last Five Years"

Whip Lass: "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Old Fashioned," and "Kingsman: The Secret Service"

He Swoops, He Scores: Predicting "Birdman" and the Other 2015 Oscar Winners

Blow It Out Uranus: "Jupiter Ascending," "Seventh Son," "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," and "Two Days, One Night"

Qualms Before the Storm: "A Most Violent Year," "Journey to Space 3D," "Black or White," "The Loft," and "Project Almanac"

In Too Depp: "Mortdecai," "The Boy Next Door," and "Strange Magic"

Wrestling with Demons: “Foxcatcher”

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Music

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Promises Nearly Fulfilled: New Releases by Local Bands Culture Coup and Milk Duct Tape

Promises Nearly Fulfilled: New Releases by Local Bands Culture Coup and Milk Duct Tape

Culture Coup, Blue Faith Sunrise Music rooted in reggae has an inherent warmth, and that’s certainly true with the Quad Cities quintet Culture Coup on its debut album, Blue Faith Sunrise. But it...

Keys to the Kingdom: The Quad City Symphony, February 7 at the Adler Theatre

The pieces in the Quad City Symphony’s fourth Masterworks concerts of the season would seem to have little in common: modern post-minimalism, a Mozart concerto, and a symphony rooted in religious faith....

An Anything-Goes Tapestry: All Them Witches, February 15 at Rozz-Tox

All Them Witches hails from Nashville, and the combination of name and hometown gives you a pretty good sense of a split personality. The moniker hints at a band in thrall to Black Sabbath, and the...

Roots Seller: The Musical Journey of Area Icon Ellis Kell

(For a sidebar on Ellis Kell’s efforts in music education and community programming, click here.) What can you say about Ellis Kell? Better question: What can you not? He’s the director of programming...

Invigorating Isolation: A 2014 Album

For the past eight years, I’ve compiled a year-end album of favorite songs released in the 12 preceding months, with no artists repeating from previous years. I’ve done it again. Beyond the artists...

Illuminating a Musical Masterpiece: The Quad City Symphony, December 6 at the Adler Theatre

Unchained from the Plot of His Own Life: Counting Crows, December 16 at the Adler Theatre

Not-Too-Late Bloomer: Quad City Arts Visiting Artist J.M. James, December 12 at the Redstone Room

Rekindling the “Fire”: Ben Sidran, December 9 and 10 in Davenport

The Whole World Opened Up: The Soil & the Sun, December 4 at Rozz-Tox

Season of the "Which?": Three-Dozen-Plus Holiday Concerts and Events in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas

Break-Up Artists: Madi Diaz and Christian Lee Hutson, November 21 at Rozz-Tox

A Helping Hand Through Difficult Music: The Quad City Symphony, November 1 at the Adler Theatre

Killing the Band for the Better: Darlingside, November 12 at the Redstone Room

Releasing the Party Band Within: The Candymakers, “Ridiculicious”; October 31 at the Redstone Room

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Theatre

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The Wonderful Whizzers of Odd: "Urinetown," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through March 29

The Wonderful Whizzers of Odd: "Urinetown," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through March 29

Urinetown is one of my top-five-favorite musicals, due to the many songs with memorable, singable melodies by composer/lyricist Mark Hollmann and lyricist Greg Kotis, as well as Kotis' sharply funny, self-referential...

Copping Attitude: "A Steady Rain," at the QC Theatre Workshop through March 29

Copping Attitude: "A Steady Rain," at the QC Theatre Workshop through March 29

I want to see Thomas Alan Taylor bomb on stage, and actually fail to portray a role well. This isn’t said out of disdain or schadenfreude, but because, to date, I’ve seen no evidence that he can do...

I Saw a Londoner, I Saw France, I Saw the Lead in His Underpants: "The 13th of Paris," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through March 22

Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s romantic comedy The 13th of Paris leans more toward the romantic than the comedy, yet remains charming. Director Dana Moss-Peterson handles playwright Mat Smart’s examination...

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: "The Mousetrap," at the District Theatre through March 22

Agatha Christie’s whodunit The Mousetrap is among my favorites in the genre, mostly due to the humor the author wrote into it, as well as the clues she included that make it possible to actually discern...

Cinco de Marzo: "2015 Playwrights Festival: One-Acts," through March 15 at the Village Theatre

New Ground Theatre's 2015 Playwrights Festival: One-Acts was, for me, a mixture of “Ha ha ha!” and “What the hell?!” I either laughed heartily during the five debuting works or sat confused as...

You Can Go Home Again: Dana Moss-Peterson on His Acting Career and Directing "13th of Paris," March 13 through 22 at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre

Star-crossed Lovin': Ballet Quad Cities' "Love Stories featuring Romeo & Juliet," February 27 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral

The Wind in Their Sales: “Glengarry Glen Ross,” at St. Ambrose University through February 22

On the Side of the Angels: "Angels in America: Perestroika," at the District Theatre through February 8

Jack and the "Being" Talk: "Things Being What They Are," at the Village Theatre through February 7

Rome and Bard: "Caesar," at the QC Theatre Workshop through January 31

Merci Beaucoup!: "Les Misérables," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 21

Inheritance Vise: "Barely Heirs," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 18

A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene

"Carol" of the Bells, and Chains, and Door Slams: "A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol," at the Propsect Park Auditorium through December 7

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Art

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Featured Image from the Quad Cities Photography Club

(Editor’s note: The River Cities’ Reader each month will feature an image or images from the Quad Cities Photography Club. Click on the image for a larger version.) The Quad Cities Photography...

Art in Plain Sight: Black Hawk Mural

Art in Plain Sight: Black Hawk Mural

The height of the five-story Black Hawk mural in the Rock Island District is what first catches our eye. Our attention continues to be held as we begin to realize that much of the mural is a painted...

Remembering Bruce Carter

When Bruce de Gouveia Carter died on November 24 at age 66, he left the Quad Cities art community with a gaping hole. He was a visual artist, a teacher, and an art-store manager. But his largest legacy...

College Collage: Student Artists of the "2014 College Invitational," Opening November 8 at the Figge

For the seventh year in a row, Davenport’s Figge Art Museum will host its College Invitational exhibition, a celebration of visual artwork by students from area institutions Ashford University, Augustana...

Art in Plain Sight: Halloween Decorations

Against the unknown, Halloween is our brave face. It confronts the lengthening nights and approaching cold of winter. It laughs loudly in the face of death. Today, Halloween is often perceived simply...

Concentration and Synergy: Despite a Pending Sale, Bucktown Is Poised to Thrive

Different Paths to Similar Ends: Megan and Kristin Quinn Honored with Riverssance’s Harley Award

Art in Plain Sight: The Arsenal and Wells Fargo Clocks

Hearts of Glass: Artisans and Students Make Hot Glass in a New Davenport Studio

Short on Legends, Loaded with Innovation: “Innovators & Legends,” through September 7 at the Figge

Art in Plain Sight: “Cadence of Diversity”

Timeless Treatments: Three Artists at the Quad City Airport Gallery Through June

Winners from the River Cities’ Reader’s 2014 Photo Contest

Art in Plain Sight: Blues Brothers and “Watching the Ferry”

Art in Plain Sight: Lindsay Architectural Sculpture Park