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QCA Today: December 26, 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....

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

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

The realization, Drew Starenko said, came while building a home addition by himself in the early 1990s. He was in his early 30s, he said, and “I was lugging these sheets of plywood up to this roof,...

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

The 2009 book Half the Sky is filled with stories that are heartbreaking and inspiring – and often both. The Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-and-wife team of Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn gives...

“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

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

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

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Commentary/Politics

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Nobody Appears Ready to Fill Topinka’s Role with Rauner

There’s little doubt that the late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka would’ve continued her straight-talking ways during the administration of Governor-elect Bruce Rauner. Topinka was good copy for reporters....

Comptroller Topinka Was a One-of-a-Kind Character

As you likely already know, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka passed away last week. Topinka had a stroke the morning of December 9, but that’s not what killed her. In fact, by the afternoon, she announced...

Police Should Be on – Not Behind – Cameras

Police body cameras are all the rage lately. Al Sharpton wants them used to monitor the activities of cops. Ann Coulter wants them used to “shut down” Al Sharpton. The White House wants them because,...

Blame Can Be Spread Widely for Minimum-Wage Failure

Pretty much every Statehouse finger of blame was pointing north toward Chicago for the minimum-wage-hike bill’s failure during the legislative veto session that ended last week. Chicago Mayor Rahm...

Internet-Gambling Ban: A Winner for Sheldon Adelson, a Losing Bet for the Rest of Us

Most Americans, regardless of ideology, oppose “crony capitalism” or “cronyism.” Cronyism is where politicians write laws aimed at helping their favored business beneficiaries. Despite public opposition...

GOP Legislators Overeager About Appointments

Rauner Should Be Able to Work with Madigan

Iraq War Stories: An Army Nurse’s Perspective

Quinn’s Doomed Strategy Gave Rauner an Easy Win

The FBI: America’s Secret Police

Fee for Service Is Not the Problem

Dems Put Rauner in a Bind on Abortion Issue

Holst and Narcisse Offer Unprecedented Opportunities to Voters

Rauner Traps Journalist in Appearance-of-Impropriety Web

Union Targets Rauner By Supporting Libertarian

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Movies

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True Defective: "Unbroken," "The Imitation Game," and "Big Eyes"

True Defective: "Unbroken," "The Imitation Game," and "Big Eyes"

UNBROKEN, THE IMITATION GAME, and BIG EYES Among other titles, Christmas Day brought with it the area releases of Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Tim Burton’s...

Into the Weeds: "Into the Woods" and "The Homesman"

Into the Weeds: "Into the Woods" and "The Homesman"

INTO THE WOODS “Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” – lyrics from Into the Woods   Like a lot of stage-musical fans, I’ve been wishing – patiently...

Now Playing: Thursday, December 25, through Thursday, January 1

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...

Unclean and Sober: "Top Five," "Wild," and "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"

TOP FIVE Chris Rock is on-record as being a fan of Woody Allen movies and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy, and the comedian’s funny and thoughtful Top Five – Rock’s...

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: "Annie" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"

ANNIE Sony’s last-remaining grab for the holiday box office, the much-downloaded reboot of Annie, opened this weekend, and it must be said that as a musical – especially as a musically faithful interpretation...

Holy Moses!: "Exodus: Gods & Kings" and "Whiplash"

Hawking: "The Theory of Everything"

Foreign Affairs: "Force Majeure," "Goodbye to Language 3D," and "The Pyramid"

Fight or Flightless: "Penguins of Madagascar," "Horrible Bosses 2," and "Rosewater"

Compound Fractured: "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"

Winged Crusader: "Birdman"

Stars’ Wars, and the Employee Strikes Back: "Beyond the Lights," "Saving Christmas," "Dumb & Dumber To," and "Citizenfour"

To Be Continuum-ed: "Interstellar" and "Big Hero 6"

Kill to Shoot: "Nightcrawler," "Before I Go to Sleep," "The Best of Me," "Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland," and "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden"

How the Grinch Stole Brooklyn: "St. Vincent," "John Wick," and "Ouija"

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Music

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Invigorating Isolation: A 2014 Album

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

In its December 6 concert, the Quad City Symphony checked off three important boxes – things every orchestra should strive for. It included contemporary American music, in this case a world premiere...

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

When Counting Crows visits the Adler Theatre on December 16, it will be a different band from the one that scored top-10 hits with each of its studio albums from 1993’s August & Everything After...

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

“I always feel like, in terms of my career, I’m a little bit behind,” says singer/songwriter J.M. James, whose public concert as a Quad City Arts Visiting Artist takes place on December 12 at Davenport’s...

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

(Editor's note: The venue for Ben Sidran’s December 9 lecture has changed since this article was published, and admission fees for both events have also changed.) Ben Sidran is best known as a jazz...

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

Photos from the Pearl Jam Concert, October 17 at the i wireless Center

Unparalleled (but Unsustainable) Brilliance: The Quad City Symphony, October 4 at the Adler Theatre

A Dream Season: The Quad City Symphony Smartly Marks Its Centennial

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

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Theatre

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

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

If you’re new to this almost-annual recap, what follows is my conversation with Reader theatre reviewer Thom White about the area’s stage stage over the past 12 months. If you’re not new to it,...

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

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

There are some delightful moments in Quad City Music Guild’s holiday production A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol, including composer David Wohl’s fantastic arrangements of classic carols, and inspired...

Oh, He's Stirring All Right ... : "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 27

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, at Circa's playhouse, Is a play that’s about a large, loud, stirring mouse. Bradley Hauskins plays Brierly – it's he who tells Of a rodent, our star (that role’s...

Cold Temps, Cool Shows: Winter Theatre in the Quad Cities

As someone who’s been privileged to write about local theatre for nearly 10 years now, I can’t begin to describe the sheer tonnage* of correspondence I’ve amassed from people who are curious about...

Celebration Affirmation: "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus" at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through November 23

The kids cast in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus are the best parts of the production, with Lena Slininger’s Virginia and the rest of the children lending the...

Darkness and Plight: "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," at the District Theatre through November 23

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ... : "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 28

There Go the Neighborhoods: "Clybourne Park," at the Village Theatre through November 16

Eight Is Not Enough: "Cheaper by the Dozen," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through November 16

Nuts in the Belfry: "Bat Boy: The Musical," at the QC Theatre Workshop through November 9

Body Count: "The Passion of Dracula," at Augustana College through October 26

Sherlock Gone Wilde: "Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Jersey Lily," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 12

Job Shadowing: "Working," at St. Ambrose University through October 5

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

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

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Art

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Remembering Bruce Carter

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...

Featured Image from the Quad Cities Photography Club

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.) A dewy day lily was the subject...

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

When MidCoast Fine Arts opened the Bucktown Center for the Arts nine years ago, the marketing played up its downtown-Davenport neighborhood’s once-upon-a-time reputation as the “wickedest city in...

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

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