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Feature Stories
The Blue Cat’s “Blue Bastard” on 15 Years in the Beer Business PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:19

Brewmaster/Blue Bastard Dan Cleaveland

The Blue Cat Brew Pub opened 15 years ago this year, and given its institutional status in the Quad Cities, it's hard to believe that starting out, its proprietors knew next to nothing about how to brew beer or run a brewpub.

As co-owner and brewmaster Dan Cleaveland tells it, his sister Martha wanted to open a bar/restaurant, and after she learned about the brewpub model, she saw a business opportunity: There were no brewpubs in the Quad Cities.

Dan had never brewed beer. "She thought I'd make a good brewer," he said last week. Why? "I was a scientist, I guess."

 
When Summer Kisses Fall: Enjoying the Harvest from Field and Vine PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Nancy Rosetti   
Thursday, 10 September 2009 08:03

To borrow a phrase from the New York Culinary Institute: "Forgive us if we celebrate the end of summer." Sure, the bounty from the farm shines in the warmer weather; asparagus, berries, and delicate greens abound. But late summer brings its own windfall. This is really when the summer yield reaches its peak.

In the Quad Cities, there is a farmers' market nearly every day of the week, and you will find grocery stores bringing more seasonal, locally grown food into their produce sections. Taking advantage of the abundance of the harvest is a must. The following are seasonal food and beverage suggestions -- starting with the wine.

 
Apples and Oranges: Comparing the Costs, Benefits, and Convenience of Organic and Local Produce PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Emily Heninger   
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 07:34

Organic food is often praised as better-tasting and more nutritious than its conventional equivalent, and it's grown with fewer chemicals. But because it typically travels long distances to get to consumers, it has a significant environmental cost.

One alternative is locally grown food, which is of course readily available at the nine farmers' markets in the Quad Cities area.

But you'll likely have difficulty finding locally grown produce at a nearby grocery store. Some stores carry locally produced fruits and vegetables, but the labeling is often nonexistent or unclear, leaving customers uncertain whether they're buying an apple from within a few miles or from across the country.

 
Reconstructing the Lost Holocaust: Father Patrick Desbois, August 27 at St. Ambrose University PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 06:05

Father Patrick DesboisThe window is closing.

The mass graves aren't going anywhere, and neither is the forensic evidence - cartridges and bullets and bones. The archives are safe. But Father Patrick Desbois has but a few years to talk to people who saw the murders, and only they can identify the exact locations of the bodies and illuminate the problematic accounts in German and Soviet documents.

"We are in the small window I would say, because it's the end of the life of the witnesses, but it's also perhaps the only period in which ... they begin to feel free from the Soviet Union," Desbois said last week in a phone interview. "It's a short-term project. We think six, seven years maximum ... ."

Desbois, a Roman Catholic priest from France, has since 2004 conducted investigations into the "Holocaust by bullets" - the murder of eastern-European Jews by German soldiers during World War II. He will speak at St. Ambrose University on August 27.

 
Teaching the Whole Child: Longfellow-Augustana Partnership Brings the Liberal Arts to Primary Education PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Tushar Rae   
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 15:13

A classroom in the 'new' Longfellow

Students stepping into Longfellow Elementary in Rock Island this school year will notice physical changes: a new media center and library, a new cafeteria, and a renovation that has added four new classrooms. But a more important change will be the school's new formal partnership with Augustana College.

The relationship will bring a liberal-arts-based curriculum to Longfellow - a contrast to the No Child Left Behind-forced shift in primary education that emphasizes reading and math skills to the exclusion of other subjects. Though the content of the curriculum will still conform to district standards, the way that content is presented will change: The focus will move to collaboration among students, small-group and individualized instruction, interdisciplinary learning, thematic teaching that attempts to make the coursework relevant, and the fine arts.

A No Child Left Behind-influenced curriculum "doesn't have anything to do with creative problem-solving, imagination, collaboration - all of these skills we need to survive in the next millennium," said Pat Shea, an assistant professor of education at Augustana who was part of the planning team for Longfellow. "If we don't get those things taught, it doesn't matter how many facts we know. ... We are so off-target about what it means to be an educated person, and I think we as educators have the first line of responsibility to start speaking to that."

 
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