Suscribe to Weekly RiverCitiesReader.com Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Why Rodney Blackwell Thinks He Has a Play in the Davenport Casino Game PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:28

Local developer Rodney Blackwell clearly got the Davenport City Council’s attention with a $250-million casino-development proposal on September 7. But from the outset it didn’t appear there was any path forward for it.

The Isle of Capri (IOC) has, through October 15, an exclusive negotiating agreement with Dan Kehl’s Scott County Casino company to sell its Rhythm City property. And, as Blackwell readily admits, even if it didn’t, the Isle wouldn’t want to negotiate with him and his partner, the Canadian company Clairvest Group.

So the city council’s 9-1 vote on September 11 to table a development agreement with Kehl appeared to be little more than a delay. Kehl has said he’ll complete the sale by the October 15 deadline. And the Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) – which holds the Rhythm City gaming license – on September 16 approved an operating agreement with Kehl’s company. (All these agreements are steps toward actually building the casino, and beyond them is approval from the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission.)

The message of Kehl’s comments and the RDA’s action is that the train has left the station, and Blackwell isn’t on it. As RDA Chair Gary Mohr told the Quad-City Times: “The RDA will keep its commitments. I don’t know if people don’t understand it or they just don’t like it.”

But Blackwell thinks he has a play. He said in an interview last week that he believes the city council can kill the Kehl deal, and that it further has the leverage to force the Isle of Capri to negotiate with him and Clairvest. Alternatively, the city could use its power to push Kehl to make a larger investment than the $110 million he has pledged to spend on a new casino and hotel complex. (Kehl said the three-phase development will total $200 million.)

 
Licensed to Kill: The Growing Phenomenon of Police Shooting Unarmed Citizens PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:25

Here’s a recipe for disaster: Take a young man (or woman), raise him on a diet of violence, hype him up on the power of the gun in his holster and the superiority of his uniform, render him woefully ignorant of how to handle a situation without resorting to violence, train him well in military tactics but allow him to be illiterate about the Constitution, and never stress to him that he is to be a peacemaker and a peace-keeper, respectful of and subservient to the taxpayers, who are in fact his masters and employers.

Once you have fully indoctrinated this young man (or woman) on the idea that the police belong to a brotherhood of sorts, with its own honor code and rule of law, then place this person in situations where he will encounter individuals who knowingly or unknowingly challenge his authority, where he may, justifiably or not, feel threatened, and where he will have to decide between firing a weapon or – the more difficult option – adequately investigating a situation to better assess the danger and risk posed to himself and others, and then act on it by defusing the tension or de-escalating the violence.

I’m not talking about a situation so obviously fraught with risk that there is no other option but to shoot, although I am hard-pressed to consider what that might be outside of the sensationalized Hollywood hostage-crisis scenario. I’m talking about the run-of-the mill encounters between police and citizens that occur daily. In an age when police are increasingly militarized, weaponized, and protected by the courts, these once-routine encounters are now inherently dangerous for any civilian unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 
Proposal from Pension-Reform Committee Faces Major Obstacles PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 September 2013 05:45

Several members of the Illinois General Assembly’s special pension-reform committee told me last week that they believed a final proposal would emerge within the next week to 10 days.

The conference committee has been working on a solution to the state’s pension problems since June, after urgings by Governor Pat Quinn to find a way around the spring legislative session’s pension-reform gridlock. For the past several weeks, the committee – made up of three Democrats and two Republicans from each chamber – has been working on “tweaks” to ideas they’ve discussed behind closed doors.

As I write this, there was no word on what the final proposal will look like, but there is real concern among Democrats I spoke with that the Republicans might decide not to go along. While the Republicans appointed to the committee have strongly indicated they were committed to finding a solution, three of the four are running for higher office: Senator Bill Brady (governor), Representative Jil Tracy (lieutenant governor), and Representative Darlene Senger (U.S. House).

 
Leadership Vote Bodes Well for House GOP PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Monday, 09 September 2013 12:35

After the Illinois House Republicans met late last month in Springfield to elect a new caucus leader, several members gathered at a local watering hole to toast their top dog, Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).

Notably, several members who backed the candidacy of Representative Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) showed up as well and heartily shared in the festivities.

And so a leadership battle that for a while looked to be heading down a bitterly negative path ended with smiles all around. Durkin managed to pull off the impossible.

 
Learning to Listen to Stories PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 10:40

A short course in learning the language of transition is soon to be offered in the Quad Cities, and it’s one to attend if you’re encountering changes in your life. Present or past, all can be reviewed with careful guidance. Listening is a powerful source of learning, growing spiritually, and sustaining relationships, whether with spouses, family members, friends, or associates. Specifically, listening to another’s life stories, composed of a vast array of experiences and emotions contributing mightily to our individual self-images and well-being. Our stories are often the means by which we convey our identities to each other, a process of self-revelation.

The Reverend Canon Marlin Whitmer, a retired hospital chaplain, believes profound healing comes while listening to stories. He discovered this over 40 years of experience, listening to patients at St. Luke’s Hospital after establishing The Befrienders in 1966. His program began with three people from Trinity Cathedral who were members of the Auxiliary of St. Luke’s Hospital. They were to provide patients with in-hospital visits from non-medical volunteers whose sole purpose was to listen to the patients. The following year and thereafter Befrienders were trained to continue these visits. This legacy continues today at both Genesis and Trinity hospitals and has been recognized as a contributor to improving quality of life in the Quad Cities.

 
<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next > End >>

Page 12 of 204