Melissa Coulter was thrilled when she was asked to direct a show at Ghostlight Theatre. What she didn't yet know was that the show, Das Barbecü, is actually a musical comedy loosely based on Richard Wagner's four-hour Ring opera, is performed in country-western style, and calls for a fairly large cast of about 15 people.

Add the justices of the Illinois Supreme Court to the long list of politicians who have been bested by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The governor has a way of bringing out the worst in his fellow politicos, and the Supremes were no exception last week.

The office of Steve Bahls, the new president of Augustana College, is filled with images of Themis, the goddess of Justice. That's no surprise, because Bahls came to Augustana after nine years as dean of the Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.

At the end of an interview last week, Bahls showed off one particular image: a print of Justice by Pieter Bruegel the Elder from the 16th Century. In it, Themis - blindfolded and holding her scales - is surrounded by all manner of bad behavior, including torture. "She has no idea what's going on," he said of Themis.

Bahls wants to ensure that the same can't be said of Augustana College, the private Lutheran liberal-arts college in Rock Island. The new president, who replaced retiring President Thomas Tredway on July 1, is committed to making Augustana College, its faculty, and its 2,200 students active participants and leaders in the community. There will be no Augustana ivory tower on his watch.

Bahls' tenure at the Capital University law school, also a Lutheran institution, suggests that he'll stay true to that vision.

Quad City Music Guild's Kiss Me, Kate boasts an ensemble of twenty-some gifted performers, including a tap-dancer whose photograph belongs alongside the likes of Gene Kelly, and singers that demonstrate excellent unity in rhythm. The musical is an entertaining, humorous, colorful, and energizing romp through the onstage and back-stage lives of performers in a Shakespearean play, and this production shouldn't be missed.

After months of publicly jabbing the General Assembly for its hidebound ways, Governor Rod Blagojevich is now aiming his sharp political elbows at his fellow constitutional officers, including his most likely re-election rival.

Recent comments from individuals and the Quad-City Times editorial last week have raised false choices.

While the city council is working hard to try to avoid service cuts, that may not be possible.

• Almost as iconic as Mr. Rogers' trademark cardigan is the green striped rugby shirt worn by Steve on Nickelodeon TV's Blue's Clues. After six years as the show's original host, he's been replaced by another soft-spoken actor, and it felt unsettling to deflect "Steve is dead" rumors from my seven-year-old and find Steve Burns the post-blue-dog serious actor portraying a creepy killer on Law & Order.

• John O'Donnell Stadium renovations have started. The first phase of the renovation includes the closing of Beiderbecke Drive from Gaines Street around the Peterson Pavilion in LeClaire Park. This will facilitate the construction of the earthen berm that will encircle the outfield and protect it and the facility from damage during a flood as well as create a grassy, park-like seating area.

In a world of pervasive apathy, where citizens feel politically powerless to effect change in their communities, comes a group of real live civic heroes to prove that nothing could be further from the truth; the power is still most definitely with the people.

In two weeks, the Davenport city council will take a largely symbolic vote on the mixed-use development with the romantic-sounding name Prairie Heights, on the land formerly known as 53rd and Eastern.

That will be one of the earliest - and easiest - steps in what's expected to be an arduous process for the city council.

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