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Best of the Quad Cities Fall 2010 Winners PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 09:04

Here are the winners in our fall 2010 Best of the Quad Cities balloting, covering four categories: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment; Night Life; Shopping and Services; and People. 

(For the winners of our spring competition – covering Food and Dining; Civics and Government; Media; and Recreation – click here. Our Best of the Quad Cities archive – with 10 years of winners – is here.)

In this round of voting, we had 581 valid ballots, and we required participants to provide reasonable answers in at least 20 of the 63 categories. In all, 17,829 votes were cast on valid ballots.

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Local Band
1) Dani Lynn Howe Band
2) Funktastic 5
3) Wicked Liz & the Bellyswirls

Local Cover Band
1) Dani Lynn Howe Band
2) Funktastic 5
3) The King’s Kiss

Venue for Live Music
1) Redstone Room
2) RIBCO
3) i wireless Center

 
Sean O’Harrow’s Exit Interview: Figge Executive Director Accepts University of Iowa Museum Position PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:02

Sean O'Harrow in 2008In Sean O'Harrow's telling, the Figge Art Museum is gaining an ally as much as it's losing an executive director.

It was announced last week that O'Harrow has accepted the directorship of the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA), at which he'll start on November 15. A national search for O'Harrow's replacement is expected to take at least four months.

"It is my faith in this region that is keeping me here," O'Harrow said in an interview Friday. "I think there's a lot that eastern Iowa can achieve. There are a lot of great museums and great cultural offerings which I think need to be better promoted, to a certain extent organized, maybe coordinated."

And he said that after three years as executive director, he's leaving the Figge in good shape. "It's a very stable institution right now, and it's offering some very high-quality programs," O'Harrow said. "And if I can help the UIMA, I think that would be a very powerful pairing ... . It was important for me to offer my services."

 
“A Law Unto Themselves”: Jury Nullification and the Deck Stacked Against It PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 22 July 2010 05:46

(Editor's note: "Fully Informed Juries: A New Hope for Freedom," Don Doig's commentary on jury nullification, can be found here.)

Like most people, Mike Angelos was surprised to learn about the power of juries to disregard the law. "The courts are really stacked against people," he said.

And he's trying to change that.

For more than a year, Angelos (a retired electrical engineer) and three other people have been handing out information regarding jury rights, including the power to return a verdict of "not guilty" if jurors believe that the law itself is unjust -- regardless of the facts of the case. This is commonly called "jury nullification" of laws, and the effort to spread the word about that power is known as the "fully informed jury" movement.

"The message we try to get to people is that it's the jury's right and duty to judge the law -- laws are arbitrary, bad, and misapplied -- as well as the facts of the case," Angelos said. "This was a new concept to me."

 
Bumps in the Road to Medical Marijuana: The Current Iowa Stalemate Doesn’t Change the Endgame -- Federal Legalization PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 08 July 2010 05:45

On February 17, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy voted unanimously to support a motion recommending "that the legislature reclassify marijuana from Schedule I of the Iowa Controlled Substance Act ... to Schedule II ... with the further recommendation that the legislature convene a task force or study committee ... for the purpose of making recommendations back to the legislature regarding the administration of a medical-marijuana program."

That simple, unequivocal statement followed four public hearings in summer and fall 2009, and appeared to be a major victory for medical-marijuana advocates.

But that win looks largely symbolic today, as Democratic legislative leaders last month balked at forming a study group, and the Board of Pharmacy reiterated its desire for legislative guidance.

Yet the Board of Pharmacy's recommendation remains a clear first step toward allowing medical use of marijuana in Iowa. According to the Iowa Controlled Substances Act, a Schedule I drug has "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision." A Schedule II drug has "currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions."

So a request to reschedule marijuana is an acknowledgment by the Board of Pharmacy that marijuana has an "accepted medical use." But who will make marijuana available for medicinal use in Iowa?

At this point, the answer from the Board of Pharmacy and the legislature could be drawn from that old Family Circus gag: "Not Me!"

 
Feeding Young Minds: Making School Lunches Fresher (and More Local) Isn’t Easy, But It Can Be Done PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 13 May 2010 05:04

When Jodee O'Tool's son entered kindergarten in the Bettendorf Community School District in 2008, she was troubled by the meals the school offered.

"I started looking at the menu," she said. "I am in the field of nutrition, so that's something that's important to me.

"It's mostly processed food," she said. "Not much fresh food. ... A lot of it is hot dogs. ... A lot of chicken nuggets. Fried food ... ."

The Bettendorf elementary menu for May is a good illustration. The 20 lunches include three meals anchored by chicken nuggets, one with popcorn chicken, and one with a breaded chicken patty. One entrée is a hot dog; another is breaded mozzarella sticks.

On the fresh side are days with orange wedges, bananas, apple slices, watermelon wedges, grapes, celery sticks, "carroteenies," and freshly made salads.

While these meals meet federal nutrition standards, O'Tool said they're not particularly good for students overall. And she's trying to change the way the Bettendorf Community School District feeds its children.

 
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