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The Cingular Deal: What Could Have Been PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Local News
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 03:34

The announcement last week that Cingular Wireless has selected Davenport for a 510-job call center was great news, but with a big asterisk.

There's no denying that the jobs (which will pay an average of just over $21,000 a year) are welcome. They probably won't attract new people to the Quad Cities, but they will provide a substantial number of people with higher incomes.

And a $3.4-million loan from the City of Davenport - to be repaid through taxes from increased property values at the call-center site - seems a fair incentive, given the magnitude of the project and the fact that the jobs will actually be new.

But the location of the call center combined with the size of the incentive gives me pause. These jobs might merit millions of dollars in assistance, but that money should be used to encourage development where it wouldn't happen otherwise. In other words, this is a project that deserved tax-increment financing downtown, but not at the northern-Davenport site Cingular is considering.

Speaker Urges Separation of Public Policy from Religious Rhetoric PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Local News
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 02:38

Susan Jacoby Both Democrats and Republicans are doing harm to society by invoking religion, author Susan Jacoby argued in a November 29 lecture at Augustana College.

Jacoby's lecture, "Whose God, Whose Trust? Religion, Secularism, & American Patriotism," offered a historical perspective on what she called the "great American paradox" - the separation of church and state. She said that the conflict between secularism and religion is at an all-time high, and that both liberals and conservatives cross a moral boundary when using religious rhetoric to influence the general public or public policy.

The Season of Giving PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Local News
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 02:35

During this season of giving, please remember the many charitable organizations that assist people who are less fortunate. In addition to or in lieu of gifts to friends and family, consider a donation of money or needed items to one of the organizations listed below, or to any group that's trying to improve the community. Also consider volunteering at one these organizations.

The Impending Gambling Arms Race PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Local News
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 03:15

Last week's announcement that the Rhythm City Casino's parent company, Isle of Capri, was reconsidering its contentious casino-hotel project on the Davenport riverfront tells you all you need to know about the future of casinos in Iowa: It's bleak.

In Quad-City Times articles on Friday, Isle of Capri officials claimed that competition from the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort - which opened south of Iowa City on August 31 - has dramatically cut into admissions and revenues at the Isle's two Quad Cities properties. The Isle of Capri in Bettendorf and Rhythm City in Davenport saw their combined adjusted gross revenues drop by nearly 12 percent in September and October compared to those months in 2005.

From here gaming companies will engage in casino arms races in which they will need to continually build bigger, more extravagant facilities merely to maintain market share.

RME Public Statements PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Local News
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 02:31

Editor's note: The following was posted on the River Music Experience (RME) Web site in the days after the organization's president and CEO, Lon Bozarth, resigned.


Over the past 20 months, there has been a purposeful transition of the RME from a museum-based tourist attraction to a mission-based organization that supports the idea that original and diverse live-music performances are a needed component of a modern community.

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