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News/Features

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QCA Today: July 30, 2014

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...

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

For our 2014 short-fiction contest – co-sponsored by the Bettendorf Public Library – we’re celebrating banned and challenged books. Our 20 prompts are all drawn from famous (and sometimes infamous)...

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

Steve Zuidema, the co-owner and brewmaster at Davenport’s Front Street Brewery, called the byzantine state laws regulating alcohol distribution “laughable now. But getting them changed is going to...

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

If you’re the parent of a child who’s a voracious consumer of comic books, don’t make the mistake of worrying that he or she won’t grow up to be anything. That child could, after all, grow up to...

The Girl with the Dragon or Two: River Readings at Augustana Presents "Seraphina" Author Rachel Hartman, April 28

Rachel Hartman, the April 28 guest in Augustana College’s River Readings at Augustana series, is the author of the 2012 young-adult novel Seraphina. It’s a fantasy tale of royalty and knights and the...

Spring in Their Steps: Ballet Quad Cities' "Spring Is in the Air" at the Adler Theatre

Fostering Failure – in a Good Way: The Putnam’s New Science Center Opens April 12

"Coffee" First, Tragedy After: Ballet Quad Cities' "Carmen," February 14 and 15 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral

A Prescription for Local Television News: What Ails Our Newscasts, and Some Suggestions to Fix Them

That Galumpha Thing: Quad City Arts’ Latest Visiting Artists Present Dance, Acrobatics, and Human Architecture, January 25 at St. Ambrose University

A Portrait of Hunger – and Generosity: A Robust Network Fights a Growing Problem in the Quad Cities

Hope Creek’s Conundrum: Will Taxpayers Agree to Save Rock Island County’s Nursing Home?

Personal Science: Sandra Steingraber, October 22 at St. Ambrose University

Fangtastic: Ballet Quad Cities' "Dracula"

Emerging from His Fantasy World: Augustana Professor Kelly Daniels’ Lean, Thoughtful Memoir

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Commentary/Politics

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Frerichs’ Treasurer Campaign Beset by Gaffes

Back in January, state Senator Michael Frerichs formally kicked off his campaign for Illinois state treasurer and posted a video online touting the fact the he’d ended “free, lifetime health care for...

What I Don’t Like About Life in America

There’s a lot to love about America and its people: their pioneering spirit, their entrepreneurship, their ability to think outside the box, their passion for the arts, etc. Increasingly, however, I...

Rauner’s Plan Polls Well – but Only in Broad Strokes

“This morning,” 1,063 respondents were told the evening of July 17 during a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, “Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner released an economic plan for Illinois....

Rauner’s Lead Looks Safe from Tax Controversies

A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found Republican Bruce Rauner leading Democratic Governor Pat Quinn 51 to 39 percent. That’s pretty much the same margin the pollster found for another client a...

Medical Marijuana in Iowa Is Long Overdue

On Monday, July 7, before the jury was brought in for his trial, Benton Mackenzie collapsed in the courtroom and was taken to Trinity Medical Center in Bettendorf. On Tuesday, however, the Long Grove,...

Illinois Supreme Court Sinks Pension-Reform Law

Poll Shows How Rauner Risks Being Trump-ed by Quinn

The Libertarian and Catholic Social Teachings

Media Ignore Real Problems with Remap-Reform Petition

Has the Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?

Rauner Offers Magic Money Instead of Promised Savings

Charles “Big C” Edward High Remembered and Celebrated (1950-2014)

Just Shoot: Turning Search Warrants into Death Warrants and SWAT Teams into Death Squads

Legislative Session Produced a Few Winners

“Kick the Can” Budget Plants a Time Bomb

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Movies

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And a Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes on Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," and "Lucy"

And a Little Cub Will Lead Them – Notes on Yet Another Quadruple Feature: "Pandas: The Journey Home," "Hercules," "And So It Goes," and "Lucy"

Friday, July 25, 12:30 p.m.-ish: I take my seat for the latest big-screen edu-tainment at the Putnam Museum, and can’t imagine a better way to begin my third quadruple feature of the month. For one thing,...

Now Playing: Friday, July 25, through Thursday, August 31

Now Playing: Friday, July 25, through Thursday, August 31

For show schedule information, visit: Cinemark Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Davenport Putnam Museum, Davenport Regal Moline Stadium 14, Moline   (Hyperlinked titles take you to Mike Schulz's full...

Mike and the Bearable, Horrible, Not-Good, Fairly Bad Day – Notes on Another Quadruple Feature: "Planes: Fire & Rescue," "Persecuted," "Sex Tape," and "The Purge: Anarchy"

Friday, July 18, 10:30 a.m.-ish: My 3D glasses in place, I prepare to watch the animated sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue with surprisingly vivid memories of its precursor, probably because it was released...

Optimus Primate: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Following a brief, artful prelude introducing us to the film’s post-viral, post-apocalyptic setting, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens with an extreme closeup on the...

Four-of-July Weekday – Notes on a Quadruple Feature: "Deliver Us from Evil," "Tammy," "America," and "Earth to Echo"

July 2, 10:40 a.m.-ish: My screenings begin with the demonic-possession thriller Deliver Us from Evil, and I notice, during the “found footage” prelude, that the action begins on the Fourth of July....

Dismayed in Hong Kong: "Transformers: Age of Extinction"

Mike Schulz with Dave & Darren on ROCK 104-9

Under the Streetlamp: "Jersey Boys" and "Think Like a Man Too"

From Sequel to Shining Sequel: "22 Jump Street" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2"

The Kids Aren’t All Right: "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Edge of Tomorrow"

Horns Aplenty: "Maleficent" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West"

Quicksilver Takes the Gold: "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

Adam and Evil: "Blended" and "Chef"

Godz Not Dead: "Godzilla" and "Million Dollar Arm"

Fraternity, Leave!: "Neighbors" and "Moms' Night Out"

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Music

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Back in the Taverns: The Fat Babies, July 31 through August 3 at the Bix Fest

Back in the Taverns: The Fat Babies, July 31 through August 3 at the Bix Fest

Beau Sample, the bassist and bandleader of the Fat Babies, has said he doesn’t want his Chicago-based septet to present the jazz of the 1920s as either a caricature or museum piece. By all accounts,...

2014 Blues Fest: Schedule, Ticket Info, Interviews, and Biographies

2014 Blues Fest: Schedule, Ticket Info, Interviews, and Biographies

The River Cities’ Reader is proud to present the official guide to the 2014 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, taking place July 3 through 5 on Second Street between Main and Ripley streets in downtown...

An Excellent Foundation: The River Monks, July 2 at Rozz-Tox

The band’s moniker comes from the likely source of the Des Moines River’s name (the French Rivière des Moines – “river of the monks”), and TinyMixTapes.com declared that “the River Monks...

2014 Blues Fest: Breaking “Bad” – George Thorogood & The Destroyers (Friday, July 4, 11 p.m., Bandshell)

George Thorogood’s parents encouraged him to pursue a music career, but to hear the guitarist/singer/songwriter tell it, they didn’t have much choice. They didn’t see any more-conventional options...

2014 Blues Fest: Blues Brother – Curtis Salgado (Saturday, July 5, 9 p.m., Bandshell)

If you’re of my generation – the generation that, as grade-schoolers, used to stay up long after bedtime to watch the early years of Saturday Night Live – there may be two names you most associate...

2014 Blues Fest: The Sibling Ring – The Westbrook Singers (Sunday, July 5, 3 p.m., Tent)

2014 Blues Fest: Obsessed with an Honest Genre – Jarekus Singleton (Saturday, July 5, 6 p.m., Tent)

2014 Blue Fest: Making His Mark – Roy Book Binder (Friday, July 4, 6 p.m., Tent)

2014 Blues Fest: Watch What Happens – Margaret Murphy-Webb (Friday, July 4, 4:30 p.m., Tent)

2014 Blues Fest: Thursday, July 3, Bandshell Bios

2014 Blues Fest: Thursday, July 3, Tent Bios

2014 Blues Fest: Friday, July 4, Bandshell Bios

2014 Blues Fest: Friday, July 4, Tent Bios

2014 Blues Fest: Saturday, July 4, Bandshell Bios

2014 Blues Fest: Saturday, July 5, Tent Bios

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Theatre

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Dough, a Deer, a Female Seer ... : "Love, Lies, & the Lottery," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through September 6

Dough, a Deer, a Female Seer ... : "Love, Lies, & the Lottery," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through September 6

Maybe you’ll need to have seen a lot of stage farces, or feel like you’ve seen every stage farce, to appreciate what writer/director Jim Hessleman is doing in the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s world-premiere...

That's the One That's Not a Planet Anymore, Right?: "Plutus," at Lincoln Park through August 3

That's the One That's Not a Planet Anymore, Right?: "Plutus," at Lincoln Park through August 3

Every so often, Genesius Guild's end-of-summer comedy isn't the traditionally silly, over-the-top production that mostly forsakes a story-driven plot. Such is the case with this year’s comedic romp Plutus....

New York State of Mind: "Wonderful Town," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 2

Wonderful Town is one of the few musicals whose soundtracks I love without ever having seen the stage version. That is, until Thursday night’s performance at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, and what...

The Devil "Made Him" Do It: "Doctor Faustus," at the QC Theatre Workshop through July 26

There were moments during Friday’s performance of the Prenzie Players’ Doctor Faustus in which I was creeped out, but with a fascination that had me begging for more. Director Jake Walker, sound designer...

Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner: "Rumors," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through July 26

The cast of the Timber Lake Playhouse’s Rumors does its best to squeeze out every bit of humor from playwright Neil Simon’s clichéd farce. Some of the actors are wildly successful, eliciting laughter...

Separated at Berth: "Twelfth Night," at Lincoln Park through July 20

Green Piece: "Shrek: The Musical," at Bettendorf High School through July 20

Delta Nu Attitude: "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 20

Georgians on My Mind: "Second Samuel," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through July 20

And the Oscar (Madison) Goes to … : "The Odd Couple," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 20

The Baum-Diggity: "The Wizard of Oz," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through July 20

Bolts and Nuts: "Young Frankenstein," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through July 13

"Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects on Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career

Mask Appeal: "The Suppliants" and "The Persians," at Lincoln Park through July 6

Scentsational: "StinkyKids: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through July 12

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Art

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

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

When you first walk in the doors of downtown Davenport’s recently opened Hot Glass art studio, there are a few things you might notice right off the bat. Initially, your eye is drawn to the vibrant...

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

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

It is as if a Jimi Hendrix concert outfit collided and merged with great-grandma’s doily and potholder collection in the 2009 Soundsuit by Nick Cave, part of the exhibition Innovators & Legends:...

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.) Scott Nagel’s image of two...

Art in Plain Sight: “Cadence of Diversity”

Cadence of Diversity is a joyful mural – rich with expressions of many cultures that are balanced with an underlying theme of connectedness. The 100-foot-long mural is painted on a concrete wall...

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

Recently at the Quad City International Airport art gallery, two travelers were bluntly musing about twisting sculptures cantilevered off the display wall. “Normally, this would be considered a pile...

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

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

Parrots and Cats and a Pageant for Bunnies: "Video Art from Israel," May 4 at the Figge

Art in Plain Sight: Lindsay Architectural Sculpture Park

Enter the River Cities’ Reader’s 2014 Photo Contest! May 9 Deadline!

Art in Plain Sight: The Col Ballroom

Art in Plain Sight: Davenport’s Skybridge

Art in Plain Sight: “The Gossips”

Art for the Quick and the Dead: Exploring the Sculptures of Quad Cities Cemeteries

Art in Plain Sight: LeClaire Park Bandshell and Bix Sculpture