September 29-October 26, 1993

Premiere Issue

The River Cities' Reader's premiere issue is 32 pages, with advertisers Evergreen Art Works, Kimberly Chrysler, Eldridge Bike Shop, Davenport Museum of Art, Day Dreams Furniture, Galvin Fine Arts Center, The Faithful Pilot, Rascals, Licata Interior Gallery, The Children's Museum, Hancher Auditorium, Mike (Comic for Hire), Huckleberry's, Cox Cable, Co-op, and Jumer's Casino Rock Island.

Commonwealth Edison has come a long way from the bad old days when it was constantly trying to find underhanded, sneaky ways to bill consumers for its overpriced, and then-unfinished, nuclear-power plants. ComEd's service territory was infamous for having the highest electric rates in the Midwest, and the third highest rates in the country.

Those of us who live or work in Chicago high-rises have been a little freaked out lately since six people died in what at first appeared to be a routine fire at a Loop office building on October 17.

From the live television coverage, it looked like the firefighters did a good job of promptly extinguishing the blaze.

Difficult economic times have forced cities to take a hard look at their budgets, the scope of their services, and how they provide them, particularly in Davenport. For that reason, the River Cities' Reader chose to ask two direct budget-related questions of candidates running for municipal offices in the November 4 general election:

1) Build your own city budget from the following city responsibilities (listed alphabetically) by assigning a percentage.

As most consumers can't yet easily or cheaply burn DVDs, this next generation of home video has become the sizzle to bring buyers back into record stores. This season brings a mountain of cool DVD releases, on their own or as an added bonus with CDs.

Documentaries BALSEROS In the summer of 1994, a team of public-television reporters filmed and interviewed seven Cubans and their families, beginning a few days before their risky venture of setting out to sea in homemade rafts to reach the coast of the United States.

After seeing Riverside Theatre's annual monologue performance Walking the Wire during its three-day run last weekend, I'm already looking forward to next year. Rarely is a collection of monologues presented locally (with the exception of the woman-power fundraiser The Vagina Monologues, which is structured more like a play), and the Iowa City theatre's Wire provides a unique opportunity for viewers to absorb an assortment of unpublished works presented by diverse individuals. While a few of the pieces were lacking in either character believability or author voice, most of the two- to 10-minute monologues were very engaging.

The reminder that the media often reports the "news" as fed to it by those in power and ignores the relevant news - such as the reasons for the behaviors and policies - is validation of the continued existence of Project Censored, a program in its 27th year that collects under-reported stories from around the country and compiles a list of the top 10 "censored stories" as well as 15 runners-up.

• It might get getting chilly these fine fall nights, but my pick of the week is sunny-hot with the return of the Fun Lovin' Criminals and the band's new Welcome to Poppy's album, due next week on the DiFontaine/Sanctuary Records imprint.

Let's continue our look at U.S. Senate candidates. This time, the Democrats:

• Comptroller Dan Hynes - Obviously the man to beat. Hynes has lined up big-time labor support, he has the backing of most county Democrat chairmen, he has put together a good organization, and he has won two statewide elections by wide margins.