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Feeding Young Minds: Making School Lunches Fresher (and More Local) Isn’t Easy, But It Can Be Done PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 13 May 2010 05:04

When Jodee O'Tool's son entered kindergarten in the Bettendorf Community School District in 2008, she was troubled by the meals the school offered.

"I started looking at the menu," she said. "I am in the field of nutrition, so that's something that's important to me.

"It's mostly processed food," she said. "Not much fresh food. ... A lot of it is hot dogs. ... A lot of chicken nuggets. Fried food ... ."

The Bettendorf elementary menu for May is a good illustration. The 20 lunches include three meals anchored by chicken nuggets, one with popcorn chicken, and one with a breaded chicken patty. One entrée is a hot dog; another is breaded mozzarella sticks.

On the fresh side are days with orange wedges, bananas, apple slices, watermelon wedges, grapes, celery sticks, "carroteenies," and freshly made salads.

While these meals meet federal nutrition standards, O'Tool said they're not particularly good for students overall. And she's trying to change the way the Bettendorf Community School District feeds its children.

 
The Speakeasy of Dancing: A. Rhythmic Time Hosts Its Second-Annual Swing-Dance Workshop Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Dance
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 07 May 2010 06:00

A. Rhythmic Time's Brenda and Rick ThamesA note for future first-time visitors to the A. Rhythmic Time dance studio: If you find yourself nearing your destination but are pretty sure you're lost, don't panic. You're probably right where you're supposed to be.

"When we got this place," says Rick Thames, who co-owns the Moline studio (at 5447 Third Avenue) with wife Brenda, "we finished renovations in the winter [of 2008], when it was too cold to paint the outside of the building. And, you know, it's an industrial area, and you have to come down an alley, and there's a dumpster outside ... . So we'd just tell people, 'Look for the blue door.'"

Yet when you do find that blue door to the Thameses' converted-warehouse space, don't be afraid to walk in: Despite the venue's somewhat off-putting exterior, inside you'll find a lovingly designed, 35-foot-by-100-foot, honest-to-goodness ballroom.

 
Follow the Character: Author Daniel Woodrell, April 15 at Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 08 April 2010 08:59

Daniel WoodrellOne thing you might notice picking up Daniel Woodrell's novel Winter's Bone is how thin it is -- less than 200 pages.

And when you start reading, you might be struck that it's been carved incredibly lean. While relatively plainspoken, the sentences are dense, with a mix of dialect from the Ozarks and artfully turned idioms that feel instantly right. One has to sip Woodrell's language.

"I do like to make it apparent to the reader that you need to probably read everything," Woodrell said in a phone interview this week, promoting his reading at Augustana College on April 15. "'I won't put in any flab, but you have to read what's here' is kind of my deal with the reader. ... Pay attention to the sentences."

 
Best of the Quad Cities Spring 2010 Winners PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:09

Here you'll find the Best of the Quad Cities in 63 categories, including articles on 11 winners. Voting was open from mid-January to mid-March, and our readers submitted nearly 500 valid ballots. (Reasonable responses to 20 of the 63 questions were required.) The winter balloting covered the areas of Food & Dining; Civics & Government; Media; and Recreation. (Summer balloting will cover the areas of Arts, Culture, & Entertainment; Night Life; Shopping & Services; and People.)

For winners from previous years, check out our Best of the Quad Cities archive.

 
Bringing Out the Dead: Minda Powers-Douglas Offers a Visual History of Chippiannock Cemetery PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 18 March 2010 07:57

Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island has its share of impressive monuments, from the elegant resting place of the Cable family to the massive 30-ton boulder (for Edward Burrall) and the six-ton polished-granite sphere (for Dean Tyler Robinson).

But for Minda Powers-Douglas, author of the new Chippiannock Cemetery book in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series, it's the modest, handmade grave markers that mean the most.

 
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