Editorials
Commentary, editorials from Reader staff.

Industrial Spot Zoning Would Carry a Hefty Price Tag for Scott County PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 08:36

Every now and then, an issue arises locally that poses a real threat to our natural resources and subsequent standard of living. This time it is in the form of an amendment to Scott County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) that currently protects our most precious asset – the richest soil in the world.

Residents will have an opportunity to be heard on this matter during a public hearing scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, in the Scott County board room on the first floor of the Scott County Administration Building at 600 West Fourth Street in Davenport.

The amendment, called an “Industrial Floating Zone” and recommended by the county Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission, would permit spot zoning for large-scale industrial operations anywhere in the unincorporated areas of Scott County (outside city limits). At a July 2013 meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission was told by Planning & Development Director Tim Huey that the Board of Supervisors was interested in reviewing and updating the CLUP to better reflect the county’s strategic-plan goals – with a focus on language for commercial and industrial zoning to further economic-development objectives. This was in response to losing the $1.4-billion Orascom fertilizer plant to Lee County because of the Agricultural Preservation Zoning District that protects ag land and prevented this industrial intrusion into dedicated farmland.

 
Demand That Scott County Provide Transparency by Recording Meetings PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 08:47

Scott County Board of Supervisors Chair Jim Hancock needs a stern reminder of whom he serves as a supervisor: the public. Clearly he has forgotten, evidenced by his tirade during the February 9 Board of Supervisors Committee of the Whole/budget meeting after Supervisor Diane Holst again proposed recording the county’s meetings. Hancock vehemently objected to recording meetings, this time citing cost as his objection. This is a red herring considering that no cost for recording meetings has been proffered to date.

In fact, the county already has the capacity to record meetings to cassette tapes, and it does so during all its closed sessions. So what stops the supervisors from hitting the record button during any of their other proceedings, considering current technology eliminates any barriers to converting this system to simple MP3 files that can be posted to the county Web site? Hubris and an unacceptable disregard for transparency. It begs the question: What do they have to hide? It should be noted that Holst records most meetings and posts portions of many of them to her Web site for public consumption as part of her ongoing commitment to more-transparent government.

 
900 Issues and Counting ... PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 21 January 2016 05:05

When a locally owned and operated independent newspaper publishes its 900th issue, it’s worth taking note. Remarkable as this 22nd-year milestone might be, given the Quad Cities’ over-saturated media market, what makes the Reader’s longevity truly extraordinary lies with its small staff. Our dedicated team has consistently infused the publication with original ideas, creative story angles, in-depth analysis, exhaustive inventorying of our area’s culture, self-deprecating humor, and mad skills in generating effective client advertising. And the Reader’s availability on the stands is ubiquitous (some say maybe taken for granted) thanks to a distribution force to be reckoned with. As a wordsmith, I can tell you there are none adequate to express the gratitude, admiration, respect, and undying affection we have for our team.

A mainstay for these 900 issues has been to cover topics under-reported in the mainstream media, informing readers about critical issues and perspectives otherwise absent in conventional coverage. Such topics that deserve deep scrutiny in 2016 are many and varied. Here are some to kick off the next 900 issues.

 
Beware Dangerous Weed, Unless You Have Paid Permission PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Thursday, 10 December 2015 05:46

This issue’s cover story on the business of medical marijuana brings into focus just how hypocritical and duplicitous state government can be when donning its cloak of benevolence. Many people I know were cheering about Illinois making “pot legal for medicinal purposes,” seeing the move as a harbinger of more state-government largesse to come. Re-legalizing self-medicating with a plant that one can grow on one’s kitchen windowsill, anywhere in America, is really the auctioning of privilege that politicians and bureaucrats will use to fortify their fiefdoms and power structures.

 
A Quick Guide to Islamic Definitions for the Unstudied PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 05:07

Below is a very rudimentary primer on Islam concepts and definitions for the average American who does virtually no research – without which most opinions are grossly uninformed – beyond mainstream newspapers and broadcasts.

It is essential to understand that Islam is a beautifully rich and spiritually lofty religion, whose precepts most Christians, Jews, and people of other faiths would gladly embrace because they have far more similarities than differences. Controversies arise from vastly different interpretations of small parts of Islam that take on epic proportions inside the Muslim community (Ummah) as well as the outside world.

 
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