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Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Civics and Government PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30

Local elected public official

1. Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert

2. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba

3. U.S. Representative Phil Hare

 

Best local elected public official

Mark Schwiebert

A bold prediction: Mark Schwiebert will not win this category next year.

The Rock Island mayor since 1989 (and a city council member for eight years prior to that), Schwiebert opted to not seek re-election this year, and his last day as mayor will be May 4. And he promises to take a "six-month sabbatical" from boards and commissions, he said last week.

Best local elected public official - Rock Island Mayor Mark SchwiebertBut you should take that with a grain of salt, as Schwiebert was appointed to Governor Pat Quinn's Taxpayer Action Board in March, and he attended its first meeting on Friday. Methinks that perhaps Schwiebert isn't the retiring type.

He's been immensely popular in Rock Island: In his first campaign for mayor, he garnered 72 percent of the vote in the general election, and since then he's never gotten less than 82 percent.

Asked about his accomplishments, the mayor cited things both inside and beyond Rock Island: the regional partnerships that advocate for the Quad Cities as a whole, public/private partnerships such as the city's revolving-loan fund and the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, and the reinvention of downtown.

He struggled when asked about things that didn't get done, but he eventually expressed disappointment that Rock Island's population hasn't grown as much as he would have liked.

He acknowledged that The District of Rock Island - formed in 1992 - might need to reinvent itself again because of the difficulty in satisfying "a constant appetite for something new."

But he stressed that city's downtown has done amazingly well for an amazingly long time. "It's really had a good run," he said.

And, of course, the same could be said about Schwiebert.

- Jeff Ignatius

 
Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Media PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30

TV news station

1. KWQC-TV6

2. WQAD Channel 8

3. WHBF CBS 4

 

Local media personality

1. Paula Sands, KWQC-TV6

2. Jessica Tighe, KWQC-TV6

3. Pat Leuck and Dani Howe, WLLR 103.7 FM

 

Local TV news anchor

1. Gary Metivier, KWQC-TV6

2. Jessica Tighe, KWQC-TV6

3. Jim Mertens, WQAD Channel 8

 

Local TV reporter

1. Fran Riley, KWQC-TV6

2. Jessica Tighe, KWQC-TV6

3. Chris Minor, WQAD Channel 8

 

Best local TV reporter - Fran RileyBest local TV reporter

Fran Riley

Raised in Boston, KWQC-TV6 reporter Fran Riley says he grew up "wanting to be a play-by-play guy" for Major League Baseball. "I realized if I wasn't going to be the next Mickey Mantle, the next best thing would be the next Curt Gowdy." Those interested in a reporting career, meanwhile, would do well to strive to be the next Fran Riley. Voted "best local TV reporter" in the Reader's poll, Riley - who joined Davenport's KWQC team in 1994, after 14 years with Rock Island's WHBF - graduated with honors from Boston's Emerson College in 1975, and has been a broadcasting success ever since: Among his accolades are a United Press International Award for "best feature sports story" and "best sports reporting in Illinois," an Associated Press citation for "best feature reporting," and, with KWQC, two awards for religion-themed stories, given by the prestigious Wilbur Foundation. "Faith, and my beliefs as a Christian, are very, very important to me," says Riley, "so it means everything to have been able to do some of these stories and be recognized for them." With daily shooting assignments for Channel 6's newscasts, there's "not a lot of time to fool around," but Riley finds the demanding job intensely rewarding. "You get opportunities to meet some absolutely fascinating people," he says, and in covering such news events as last summer's flooding, "you also see things that really cause a lot of heartache in people's lives. I'm always amazed by people's determination and resiliency, and their desire to bounce back. It's rather uplifting." As for advice for those considering their own reporting careers, Riley says, "The more you can do in terms of versatility, whether it be news, sports, operating a camera ... the more you can offer a business, the more valuable you are to them." Thank you, Mr. Riley, for being valuable to Quad Citians for 28 years and counting. For more on Riley, visit the reporter's biographical page on KWQC.com.

- Mike Schulz

 
Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Recreation PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:30

Bowling alley

1. Bowlmor Lanes

2. Miller Time Bowl

3. Fargo Dance & Sports

3. Milan Lanes

 

Best bowling alley

Bowlmor Lanes

True story: During my first week of full-time Reader employment, our publisher - a truly radical guy - treated the staff to a late-afternoon get-together at Davenport's Bowlmor Lanes, voted the area's "best bowling alley." It was a great surprise and an even greater time, though you're probably already well aware of Bowlmor's charms, as the venue has been a Quad Cities institution now for nearly 70 years. "My grandfather built it in 1940," says owner Trent Lorfeld, who has worked in the family business since 1975. "You know, we just try to keep the place clean, and to keep it interesting for everyone." Mission more than accomplished. With brightly colored bowling murals above the 20 available lanes (brand-new lanes were installed last summer), and niceties such LCD screens, newly improved electronic scoring, and 10 big-screen TVs against the back wall for "media bowl" ("On Friday and Saturday nights, we'll play either sports or dance videos"), Bowlmor is a much-loved destination for all ages and talents - "families, neighborhood people, league bowlers, college kids ... everyone," says Lorfeld. (Bring your IDs, though, if you want to enjoy the warm, inviting lounge.) And whether you bowl your best in the morning, afternoon, night, or late night, Bowlmor's hours - opening at 9 a.m. most weekdays, and staying open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday - make for ideal entertainment anytime, "especially in a down economy," says Lorfeld. "You can bring your family here and have fun and not spend a tremendous amount of money." Bowlmor Lanes is located at 2952 Brady Street, and more information is available by calling (563)324-3595.

- Mike Schulz

 
The Can Can: Great River Brewery Debuts Its Beers, but Bottles Aren’t on Tap PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 12:33

Great River Brewery's Roller Dam Red

If you ask brewmaster Paul Krutzfeldt about bottling his beer, prepare to be dismissed.

"Speak of that no more," he said in the "brewer's lounge" of the new Great River Brewery, near the foot of the Arsenal bridge at 332 East Second Street in Davenport.

It's not that Krutzfeldt doesn't want his brews available in stores or bar coolers. It's just that he's a fan of the can.

"Cans are where it's at," he explained. "You have less oxygen tolerances, so the beer won't go bad. No light gets in. And you have a lot more accessibility to take them places - boating, camping. They're more easily recyclable."

Brewmaster Paul Krutzfeldt

He later cites the slogan of the Minnesota-based Surly brewery: "Beer for a glass, from a can."

This is the summary of what Krutzfeldt said is a trend in the suds industry: good beer being delivered in a container that has historically been the marker of bad beer.

He said he's not concerned about the association of cans with bland, watery, mass-produced beer. "What good beer have you had the opportunity to buy in cans?" he asked.

But the can is the wave of the future because of the protection it offers and its portability, Krutzfeldt said: "Cans are becoming king."

Although he said that he expects cans to eventually represent the bulk of his business, for the time being he's filling kegs.

 
Under the Radar: The Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009 PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 08:11

720-coverthumbEach year, Sonoma State University’s Project Censored produces a list of the most “important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the U.S. corporate media,” according to its Web site (ProjectCensored.org).

Below is the list of the most-recent choices, with selected excerpts. The full summaries, including sources, are available at (ProjectCensored.org/top-stories/category/y-2009).

 
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