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News/Features

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QCA Today: September 18, 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...

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

Our challenged-books-themed “I’m with the Banned!” short-fiction contest drew 52 entries, and we’re pleased to present 22 of our favorite stories here. Authors were required to include one of 20...

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

It’s long been an article of faith with me that the seemingly perpetual growth in the number of state-sponsored gambling outlets is poor public policy. Common sense says that the amount of money people...

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

The July 9 Rock Island Argus/Moline Dispatch article announcing a verdict for Benton Mackenzie on drug charges began like this: “Even as the 12 jurors shuffled into the courtroom to announce their verdict,...

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

On Monday July 14, 2014 Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba hosted a roundtable discussion at the Davenport Public Library. The purpose of the meeting was to address the influx of migrant children coming in from...

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

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

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

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Commentary/Politics

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Common Core Curricula Have Core Problems

The next generation of top-down central planning for a federal K-12 education curriculum, Common Core, is now in full swing in Iowa and Illinois public and private school systems. Despite the rhetoric...

Democrats Learning from GOP with Message, Timing

The Illinois House Democrats launched their direct-mail and TV program weeks earlier than the House Republicans in an attempt to knock GOP candidates down before they even had a chance to stand up. The...

Teachers’ Union Endorsement Curious – but Perhaps Smart

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) has always leaned more Republican than its Illinois Federation of Teachers counterpart, but the IEA’s endorsement of one GOP candidate raised a few eyebrows this...

Holding My Nose for Term Limits: They’re Lazy and Misguided, but They Would Also Solve a Real Problem

Bruce Rauner changed my mind on term limits. Probably not in the way he intended, but given my longstanding dislike of them, it’s still quite an accomplishment. The Republican nominee for Illinois...

Rauner’s Promises Are Budgetary Fantasies

“We should have billions of dollars every year as part of our budget process ... [to] maintain and expand our infrastructure,” Bruce Rauner said last week, according to the Chicago Tribune. Rauner...

Quinn’s Best Shot Lies with Minimum-Wage Efforts

Edgar Gives Rauner an Unexpected State-Fair Boost

Backtracking Was the Right Move in Ford Prosecution

Davenport’s Planned News Site: A Bold, Unworkable Idea, Repackaged PR, or ... ?

Quinn Campaign Spitting in the Wind

Frerichs’ Treasurer Campaign Beset by Gaffes

What I Don’t Like About Life in America

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

Rauner’s Lead Looks Safe from Tax Controversies

Medical Marijuana in Iowa Is Long Overdue

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Movies

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Now Playing: Friday, September 19, through Thursday, September 25

Now Playing: Friday, September 19, through Thursday, September 25

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...

Tony Soprano and a Pit Bull Walk into a Bar ... : "The Drop," "Dolphin Tale 2," and "No Good Deed"

Tony Soprano and a Pit Bull Walk into a Bar ... : "The Drop," "Dolphin Tale 2," and "No Good Deed"

THE DROP Tom Hardy, by this point in his career, has had enough major roles in enough major movies to qualify as a familiar face. And a good thing, too, because if we were forced to rely on his voice...

The King, and More Royal Subjects: "The Identical," "Locke," "Only Lovers Left Alive," "The Normal Heart," and "The Spoils of Babylon"

Director Dustin Marcellino’s The Identical is for anyone who ever wanted to see a fictionalized account of the birth of the Elvis-impersonator movement. Or anyone who’d enjoy Presley’s songs more...

Midnight Below Paris: "As Above, So Below" and "The November Man"

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW Sometimes, because our expectations for it are usually so low, all a horror film needs to get by is a really juicy setting. Of course, it helps if there’s also some talent involved,...

Gridiron Man: "When the Game Stands Tall" and "If I Stay"

WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL Inspirational sports dramas, particularly inspirational high-school-sports dramas, can boast many virtues, and even the crummier ones can be a lot of fun. But one thing they’re...

Noir Is the Dullest Color: "Sin City: A Dame to Kill for" and "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar"

They’re Getting Too Old for This S--- : "The Expendables"

Limp Woody: "Magic in the Moonlight," "The Giver," and "Let’s Be Cops"

Time Flies: "Boyhood"

Brain, Brain, Go Away: "The Hundred-Foot Journey," "Into the Storm," "Step Up: All in," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

One for the Funny, Two for the Shows, Three to Get Red-Eyed, and Four – Just Go: "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Get on Up," "Wish I Was Here," and "A Most Wanted Man"

Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger by the Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," and "Snowpiercer"

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

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"

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

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Music

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A Voice Found: Muddy Ruckus, September 19 at Rozz-Tox

A Voice Found: Muddy Ruckus, September 19 at Rozz-Tox

By design, the opening three tracks of Muddy Ruckus’ self-titled debut are meant as an introduction. But it might be more accurate to say that they’re a reintroduction – particularly for the...

Another Level of Vulnerability: Janiva Magness, September 11 at the Redstone Room

Another Level of Vulnerability: Janiva Magness, September 11 at the Redstone Room

Vocalist Janiva Magness is a four-time recipient of the Blues Music Award for “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year” and the 2009 winner of the “B.B. King Entertainer of the Year” citation,...

Happy Bummers: Ruby the RabbitFoot, September 7 at Rozz-Tox

Given her foibles, Ruby Kendrick’s decision to give up visual art for music seems like a brambled path. In a phone interview promoting her September 7 performance at Rozz-Tox (under her band name...

Breaking Some Shackles, Burdened by Others: The Dawn, “Waiting for the Storm”; and Jordan Danielsen, “Old Soul”

I’ve written about four releases from Sean Ryan over the past six years – as a solo singer/songwriter, as part of Jim the Mule, and as the leader of the Dawn (and Sean Ryan & the Dawn). I’ve...

Natural Flexibility: Los Lonely Boys, August 16 at River Roots Live

For the fact that Los Lonely Boys are around to headline this year’s River Roots Live festival, some people might thank God – and the trio of brothers Garza certainly does that. But bassist/singer...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Theatre

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It's a Grandma Night for Singing: "Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through November 1

It's a Grandma Night for Singing: "Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through November 1

Thank goodness for second acts, because Saturday's production of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother, with its first act that almost put my own mother-who-doesn’t-look-like-a-grandmother...

Fiancé What? : "Marrying Terry," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through September 21

Fiancé What? : "Marrying Terry," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through September 21

Reading through the program for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Marrying Terry filled me with eager anticipation for Friday’s performance, as the cast is mostly composed of newcomers to either the...

The (White) Elephant in the Room: "'Art,'" at the QC Theatre Workshop through August 30

I love Yasmina Reza’s 'Art.' My infatuation with the playwright's script started four years ago when the piece was produced by the Curtainbox Theatre Company, and it brought me great delight to hear...

Drag of a Kind: "Leading Ladies," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through August 24

Thursday’s audience certainly enjoyed the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Leading Ladies, judging by their loud snorts and uninhibited guffaws. Ken Ludwig provides plenty of fodder for laughter, as do director...

You Know You Make Me Want to ... : "Shout! The Mod Musical," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through August 24

Shout! The Mod Musical is not only the most tolerable musical revue I’ve seen to date, but also the most enjoyable. With more substance than The Taffetas and less forced plot than The Marvelous Wonderettes,...

Cinema Scope: "Blame It on the Movies," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through August 28

Sturdy with Fringe on Top: "Oklahoma!", at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 17

Going Carrolling: "Alice in Wonderland," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 17

Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," at the District Theatre through August 17

Hear the People Sing: "Les Misérables," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through August 10

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

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

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

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

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

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Art

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

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

One is a potter, one a painter. Megan and Kristin Quinn are sisters living and teaching on opposite Mississippi River shores of the Quad Cities. Their paths to art were different, and their chosen media...

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.) Joaquin Espejo’s photograph...

Art in Plain Sight: The Arsenal and Wells Fargo Clocks

The impressive clocks atop the Rock Island Clock Tower building (at the western point of Arsenal Island) and the Wells Fargo building (at 201 West Third Street in Davenport) are highly visible landmarks...

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

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:...

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”

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”