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Best of the Quad Cities: Civics & Media PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Local News
Written by Jeff Ignatius & Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 03:05

Community-service organization

1. American Red Cross


3. United Way


American Red Cross project Crises bring people together, so it should come as no surprise that after Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities saw a sharp rise in volunteerism. More than a sharp rise, in fact. "This is the most volunteers that we've ever had," says the organization's director of communications, Leslie Anthony. "We had a lot of volunteers that came through after Hurricane Katrina ... over 250, actually, that signed on to be disaster volunteers." In all, 2006 saw 340 Quad Citians joining the chapter's volunteer force, for a combined 992 area volunteers aiding what voters considered 2006's "best community-service organization." Anthony says that in addition to disaster-relief efforts, the organization is delighted with the success of its Armed Forces Emergency Services Project. "If you have a military serviceman or -woman serving overseas," she says, "and you need to get an emergency communication to them - the birth of a baby, the death of a family member - we facilitate that communication." And she adds that "we have a very strong youth program right now - seven Red Cross clubs that are active in local high schools, doing different community-service projects. That's something that we're really proud of, because as our volunteer age base gets older, we need to make sure we have volunteers that can step up in the future." Kudos to the American Red Cross - and those 992 Quad Cities volunteers - for so successfully stepping up in the present. - Mike Schulz


Not-for-profit fundraiser

1. Race for the Cure

2. Gilda's Club Week of Laughter

3. United Way


Thing the Quad Cities needs most

1. New and improved bridges

2. More live music shows and venues

3. Better-paying jobs


Reason for optimism in the Quad Cities

1. Friendly, good-hearted people

2. Economic growth and development

3. Downtown/riverfront development and revitalization


Public servant

1. Phil Hare

2. Lane Evans

2. Mark Schwiebert


Staff Pick - Jeff Adamson


Jeff Adamson Jeff Adamson is not a public servant in the conventional sense; he doesn't work for a governmental agency. But as a performer, entrepreneur, and advocate, he embodies the spirit of public service in the Quad Cities, both a doer and a talker. A fast talker. "I'm Mr. Cheerleader," said Adamson, co-owner of both ComedySportz and Mama Compton's in The District of Rock Island, as well as the latter organization's current president. He's also an in-demand auctioneer for not-for-profit organizations such as MidCoast Fine Arts, Gilda's Club, and Playcrafters Barn Theatre. Adamson said it was 1990 when he decided to be more than a worker bee. "I'm 38," he said of that time, when he was employed by Deere & Company. "What can I show everybody that I did?" So he got involved with Playcrafters and the fledgling ComedySportz. "I always was a theatre person," he said. You can hear his enthusiasm for the Quad Cities seep into his discussion of the upcoming ComedySportz national tournament, which will be held July 11 to 14 in the Quad Cities. ComedySportz licensees bid for the tournament, Adamson said, and his pitch includes the low cost of living in (and visiting) the Quad Cities, as well as the slate of summer festivals in The District. This year, the downtown organization has scrapped its Hornucopia festival and replaced it with a comedy-and-local-bands extravaganza the same weekend as the national tournament. It's that kind of reinvention that will serve the community well, and Adamson has lots of ideas for keeping Rock Island at the forefront of the Quad Cities. He wants, for example , to have murals painted on each of 17 mostly blank building façades in downtown Rock Island, starting with ComedySportz. His vision for that structure: a half-completed paint-by-numbers mural - a highly appropriate symbol for the improvisational comedy within. "We want to be the Avis of the Quad Cities," Adamson said of Rock Island. "We always want to try harder." - Jeff Ignatius


Waste of public funds

1. Sky bridge

2. Speed/red-light cameras

3. Figge Art Museum

3. Road rebuilding/repairs


Public-works project

1. Greenup

2. Rock River Bridge

3. Davenport skatepark

3. Improved roads

3. Sky bridge


Greenup on Credit Island The William Wrigley Jr. Company's 2005 Greenup Contest - wherein the company would "paint, plant, and play" to help improve a community "eyesore" - was, according to Reader readers, responsible for 2006's "best public-works project": Assumption High School's artful refurbishment of a public restroom on Davenport's Credit Island. (Assumption High was one of only nine Greenup contest winners nationwide.) Thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of Assumption's science and art clubs - including what Assumption science teacher Wendy Martin calls "a core group of about 10 students that actually wrote the proposal" to the Wrigley company - what began as a small community-service project eventually blossomed into a full-fledged painting party; Martin says that the May 14 event "probably had - between students and parents and grade-schoolers - almost 500 people" in attendance. "We got there at seven in the morning and didn't leave until seven that night. Everyone was given a duty, and we just had people all over the place." The colorful restroom mural - with "Greenup" emblazoned on the brick - is a beautiful renovation for Credit Island, and while Wrigley hasn't announced a future Greenup contest, Martin says that she and her students "would definitely jump on board" if the company did. "I mean," she says, "it was outstanding. All of the input and all of the people that were there helping out with it. It was a fun day. A lot of planning, but a fun day." - Mike Schulz



1. Davenport

2. Moline

3. Rock Island


Local TV-news anchor/reporter

1. Paula Sands (KWQC)

2. Terry Swails (KWQC)

3. Theresa Bryant (KWQC)


Local TV news station

1. KWQC channel 6

2. KLJB channel 18

3. WQAD channel 8


Radio station

1. KCQQ 106.5 Q-106

2. WXLP 96.9

3. KBEA B-100


Q 106.5's Julie Jameson I first met Julie Jameson in the fall of 1999, long before she became a DJ for KCQQ's 106.5 FM, voted the Reader's "best radio station" for 2006. (This was also before she became a Jameson; when I knew her, she was still a Lindskog.) And while she and I certainly would have considered many artists in Q106.5's current rotation - The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen - "classic rock" back then, groups such as U2, Van Halen, and The Cars weren't classic quite yet. They are now, though, and Jameson says that's the key to the station's appeal. "People love that they can maybe hear a Bon Jovi song and then hear Led Zeppelin right next to it," she says, adding that, for listeners of a certain age, the station's selections "take them back to specific times in their lives - good times, high-school times. And I love that songs that I loved listening to in high school withstand the test of time. Like, you can put on ‘Nothin' But a Good Time,' and you're ready to go for a Friday or Saturday night." But isn't the fact that Poison is now considered "classic rock" a little, you know, depressing? Nah. "I think everything gets better with age," she says. "We're like wine, right? We get better." And Jameson sums up with an analysis that could reasonably apply to both our age demographic and Q106.5 itself: "We're classic. Not antique," she says with a laugh. "We are classic." - Mike Schulz


Local radio personality

1. Dwyer & Michaels (Q-106 in 2006)

2. Pippa Glenn (River 104.9)

3. Jim Fisher (WOC 1420)

3. Red Hot Brian Scott (B-100)


Local Web site

1. Quad-Cities Online (

2. River Cities' Reader (

3. Quad-City Times (


Local blog

1. The Air Strange (

2. Complacency Chronicles (


Local ad campaign

1. Rock Solid Rock Island

2. Diamonds on the Avenue

3. Good's Furniture

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