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Feature Stories
Going Up: Meet Rodney Blackwell, the Developer Behind the $40-Million Kone Project PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 02:58

Reader issue #715 Rodney Blackwell insists that he did not make the difference.

"It wasn't me, I'm telling you," he said last month.

We are discussing Kone Centre, the planned 18- to 20-story building with approximately 130,000 square feet that will change Moline's skyline, ensures that 375 Kone employees will remain in the Quad Cities for 15 years, and completes - with an exclamation point - the major components of the Bass Street Landing initiative that was supposed to be finished in 2003.

 
Promises, Promises: Eight Reasons the Davenport Promise Is Upside-Down PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 02:45

Now that the Davenport City Council has approved a March 3 referendum on the Davenport Promise proposal, one can be certain that the coalition that has been built over the past year-plus is being mobilized to demonstrate broad community support.

It will not be technically affiliated with any major community player, but it will include a lot of familiar names and faces behind the scenes. It will undoubtedly feature "real," everyday citizens, so voters won't feel like they're getting bullied by the heavy hitters. And the campaign will basically argue that there's no sensible reason to vote against the Promise, that there's no way the program could fail, and that the risk of voting the proposal down is too great.

That style of PR push was the successful approach of backers of River Renaissance in 2001. And the work in 2007 and 2008 of a Promise exploratory committee and a Promise task force has looked less like objective analysis than propaganda.

But don't mistake the marketing for unanimity.

 
Responses to Economic-Growth Questionnaire PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:37

Included here are the responses we received to our economic-growth questionnaire, which was sent to 20 representatives of local governments and economic-development organizations.

 
Is Growth Good? Yes. It Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and Nicer PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:36

Reader issue #709 It might seem like asking why the sun rises in the east, but: Is economic growth good?

The knee-jerk response is: Of course it is. And that's almost certainly correct broadly speaking.

But it's worth exploring why it's true, and when it's not. The assumption that economic growth is both good and essential drives much of our policy at the local, state, and national level. The news last week that the national economy shrank in the third quarter - confirming for many people that we're in a recession - underscores the importance we place on economic growth.

 
What’s on Tap?: A Consumer’s Guide to Quad Cities Water PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 02:47

There are plenty of people who drink tap water without thinking about what might be in it. There are others who buy water filters without considering whether it's a good match for the water that's being filtered. And there are still other people who refuse to drink tap water, preferring bottled water.

A wiser strategy is to spend some time with your community's annual water-quality report, which is required to notify the public of performance compared to federal and state standards.

 
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