Suscribe to Weekly Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

A New Community at the Family Museum PDF Print E-mail
Local News
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 21 March 2013 05:36

(To read the main story about the Putnam Museum’s planned STEM center, click here.)

At a recent visit to the Family Museum’s new Fox Hollow, there was a robber at the grocery store, grabbing (fake) money and announcing his deed. This probably wasn’t what leaders of the Bettendorf museum wanted to happen with their renovated facility, but dictating any aspect of open-ended play is antithetical to the enterprise.

So Museum Director Margaret Kuhl laughed when told about the Fox Hollow crime wave.

“We don’t have any police officers on duty,” she conceded. “Maybe somebody from the fire department could have helped. ... We have that neighborhood concept of everybody looking out for each other.”

Southern (Ohio) Gothic: Donald Ray Pollock, April 25 at Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Friday, 08 March 2013 05:29

Donald Ray Pollock

Because there’s no rational response to a terminal cancer diagnosis, Willard Russell’s course of action following his wife’s death sentence doesn’t seem as strange as it should.

In Donald Ray Pollock’s novel The Devil All the Time, it’s a prayer log in the woods, “the remains of a big red oak that had fallen many years ago. A weathered cross, fitted together out of boards pried from the back of the ramshackle barn behind their farmhouse, leaned a little eastward in the soft ground a few yards below them.” Willard goes there every morning and evening “unless he had whiskey running through his veins,” Pollock writes, and he often takes his son Arvin.

Lest that sound peaceful and perfectly pious for a man who had little use for the church after what he’d seen in World War II, allow Pollock to set the scene as the condition of Willard’s wife deteriorates: “Maggots dripped from the trees and crosses like squirming drops of white fat. The ground along the log stayed muddy with blood.”

This is in Part One of The Devil All the Time. Out of desperation, Willard begins offering blood sacrifices at the prayer log – animals he killed or scraped off the roads. “But even he had to admit, they didn’t seem to working ... ,” Pollock writes. “There was one thing that he hadn’t tried yet. He couldn’t believe that he hadn’t thought of it earlier.” And that is when Willard decides to kill his landlord.

Hoofin' It: Ballet Quad Cities' "Love Stories: Love on the Run," at the Scottish Rite Cathedral PDF Print E-mail
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 February 2013 06:00

Ballet Quad Cities' Love Stories: Love on the RunWhile bearing the same title as 2012's Valentine’s Day-themed performance, Ballet Quad Cities’ 2013 Love Stories: Love on the Run – held on February 16 – offered several new short pieces along with “Newsflash,” one of my favorites from last year’s presentation. And Saturday night’s entertainment delivered a mixture of sensuality, flirtatiousness, and exquisite beauty, culminating in a romantic experience that left me doe-eyed with emotions linked to love.

Maximum Obfuscation: Rock Island County Asks Voters for a Blank Check; You’d Never Know It from the Referendum PDF Print E-mail
Local News
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 08:33

If a government body wants to spend tens of millions of dollars for a construction project, there are lots of ways to gauge the public temperature.

It’s hard to imagine a more roundabout approach than the one chosen by the Rock Island County Board.

Last week, the board voted to put a referendum on the April 9 ballot, and if your eyes glaze over while reading it, that might be the goal. The measure asks: “Shall the County Board of The County of Rock Island be authorized to expand the purpose of The Rock Island Public Building Commission, Rock Island County, Illinois to include all the powers and authority prescribed by the Public Building Commission Act?”

Of course, most people don’t know what the Rock Island Public Building Commission is, or that it even existed – let alone its current or potentially expanded authority.

And there’s no way to know from the words what the endgame is. There’s no mention of a new or renovated county courthouse or county office building, or of a location, or of a price tag – which could be anywhere from $13 million (the low estimate for a new court facility alone) to $50 million (the high estimate for a new courthouse and county office building in downtown Rock Island).

In short, the referendum appears designed for maximum obfuscation – a seemingly innocuous question about an obscure public body. The move could easily be interpreted as a deceptive attempt to gain public support for something the public otherwise might not support.

Cutting Through the Frankenfood Debate: Are Products with Genetically Modified Organisms Safe? And Should They Be Labeled? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 05:01

Two events in the past few months raised the profile of foods with genetically modified ingredients – and also put a spotlight on how messy the issue can be.

The first was the publication in September of a study led by Gilles Eric Séralini involving the herbicide Roundup and herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready corn (technically known as NK603) – both Monsanto products. Rats in the study developed tumors, died prematurely, and suffered organ damage.

The second was the defeat in November of California Proposition 37, whose ballot summary read that it would have required the “labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.”

There was a lot of heat with both events.

The Séralini study and its PR roll-out were met with an intense backlash from genetic-engineering apologists and much of the scientific community, and the European Food Safety Authority – among other scientific organizations – rejected its validity, saying it featured “inadequate design, analysis, and reporting.”

In California, Prop 37 opponents – including Monsanto Company, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association – spent more than $40 million to defeat the labeling ballot measure.

Yet combined and detached from the rhetoric and motivations on all sides, these two events neatly summarized the national and international debate over foods with genetically modified ingredients. Are they safe for human consumption? And should the government require the labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients – the way nutrition and ingredient labels now note the presence of allergens?

Depending on whom you ask, the answer to the first question ranges from “absolutely” to “we don’t know” to “absolutely not.” And the answer to the second question is largely – but not wholly – determined by the answer to the first.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 6 of 150