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Fall 2011 Best of the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 December 2011 08:50

For many years, we asked our readers to fill out surveys to determine the best of the Quad Cities. We gave them categories and lines on which to write, and we tallied the results, and the winners were the top vote-getters in each category.

Our approach this fall was different. We reduced the categories to 20 and asked people to submit Tweets, videos, and short essays in support of their nominations. The aim was to give voice to individuals over the masses, and to allow people to argue for their favorites instead of merely noting them. The ultimate goal was to get past the obvious and automatic responses that seemed to often rise to the top in past surveys – to spotlight hidden gems in the Quad Cities.

 
Media Manipulation and Ron Paul PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Thursday, 08 December 2011 06:01

(Editor's note: This is one of three articles on Ron Paul in the December 8 issue of the River Cities’ Reader. The package also includes Kathleen McCarthy’s “Ron Paul Personifies Iowa GOP Party Platform” editorial and Dave Trotter’s “Electability: Ron Paul Soundly Defeats Obama for These 11 Reasons” cover story.)

Voters memories’ are getting shorter and shorter, emboldening the mainstream media (MSM) to utterly fabricate information in order to manipulate public opinion regarding Ron Paul’s popularity and electability.

At the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference – an annual multi-day event of speakers presented as quintessential conservatives (Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Donald Trump all spoke at this year’s convention held in February in Washington, D.C.) – Fox News edited the footage it broadcast by inserting booing during the announcement that Ron Paul had won the straw poll (for second year in a row), when in reality he was getting loud cheers. Fox was called out quickly by direct observers and had to issue an apology, stating, “It was clearly a mistake; we used the wrong videotape.” Said Fox’s Bill Hemmer, “It’s an honest mistake. We apologize for the error. We look forward to having representative Paul back on our program very soon.” (RCReader.com/y/media1) How is deliberately altering footage, replacing fact with fiction, an “honest mistake”? What possible explanation could there be for altering any news footage in the first place? It begs the question: How much of this “editing” is going on in other parts of the news?

 
Study Vs. Reality: Why Consolidated Dispatch in Scott County Won’t Save Money PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 06:20

Emergency-response dispatching console, located inside the Scott Emergency Communications Center building at 1100 East 46th Street in Davenport.

Leaders in the consolidation of Scott County emergency dispatch and record-keeping claim a number of benefits: that it has been and will be a good deal for taxpayers; that it has resulted in better interdepartmental communications between emergency responders; and that it will eventually reduce the amount of time between when an emergency call is made and when appropriate personnel are dispatched.

But is it, as originally advertised, saving money?

The answer to that question depends on how you look at it, but for property owners in Scott County, the bottom line is that their tax rates are higher as a direct and indirect result of the consolidation.

The Scott County overall tax-levy rate rose by 90 cents per $1,000 of valuation in Fiscal Year 2011, as the levy for emergency management rose from 5 cents to $1.05 – nearly all of which is funding consolidated emergency dispatch. Scott County dropped its levy rate outside of emergency management, and Davenport and Bettendorf have also lowered their property-tax rates, but the net financial effect of consolidation has been property-tax rates that are anywhere from 65 cents to 90 cents higher depending on where one lives.

 
Kitties in the Christmas Stocking: Local Author Connie Corcoran Wilson Releases a New Children's Book for the Holidays PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 21 November 2011 06:00

Connie Corcoran Wilson with granddaughters Ava and Elise WilsonSome grandmas, during the holiday season, will give toys as presents. Others will give clothes.

Connie Corcoran Wilson, though, is giving her granddaughters a book ... that she wrote and published herself.

“It’s my Christmas gift to the girls,” says Wilson of her new children’s book Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, the second self-published work by the much-published local author. “I wrote it for them, and thought it would be a nice present.

“Of course,” she says with a laugh, “marketing-wise, I didn’t think it would be such a dumb thing, either. You might not rush out to buy it in July, but in December ... !”

 
“Go Back to China”: Bo Caldwell, November 30 at St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 17 November 2011 14:34

Bo CaldwellGiven that her November 30 lecture at St. Ambrose University is titled “Finding Faith & Fiction in China,” it seems odd that author Bo Caldwell has never actually been to the country.

Once you know her story, though, the title of the lecture (being presented as part of the school’s academic-year-long China Project) makes more sense. Caldwell might not have found faith and fiction in the physical China, but she did in a China that has disappeared – the place where her grandparents and uncle lived and worked in the first half of the 20th Century.

“I was writing about a China that was long ago,” Caldwell explained in an interview last month. “And the country and the city of Shanghai have changed so dramatically. ... I didn’t feel like it would help me that much to go there.”

She added that “China has a connection in a home-like way. That’s where my grandparents spent much of their lives. It’s where my mom and her siblings grew up. Chinese things when I was a kid felt like home in a weird way.”

The Distant Land of My Father was published in 2001 and follows the outline of her uncle’s life in Shanghai – how he lost his wealth and almost his life during a tumultuous time. Last year’s City of Tranquil Light is based on the experiences of her missionary grandparents in China.

That makes clear how Caldwell found fiction in China. But faith was a function of breast cancer and its treatment, both of which changed the nature of the book that would become City of Tranquil Light.

 
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