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.

In her fifth month as director of the River Music Experience, Connie Gibbons is working against time. There was the time she's missed - more than a year of planning and community discussion - and the time still ahead, 12 months to the museum's anticipated opening in the renovated Redstone building on Second Street between Main and Brady in downtown Davenport.

The old adage "It's not what you know; it's who you know" may certainly apply in the case of Mike Powell, chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and, coincidently, the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell.

In the classroom of the 42-foot-long barge/houseboat that serves as the operations center of Living Lands & Waters, the 40 or so teachers assembled in the Quad Cities last Friday were naturally disappointed when told at the beginning of the day that Chad Pregracke would not be joining them just yet.

State legislators are rebelling just about everywhere.

You've heard about the Texas Democrats who fled to Oklahoma to kill a Republican redistricting bill.

In Arizona, the Republican Senate rejected the Democratic governor's budget, then put together its own plan.

• Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, one half of Handsome Boy Modeling School with Prince Paul, has been busy lately with two noteworthy production duties. Look for his signature style to show up on the upcoming Galactic album and as one of a handful of producers on the upcoming Cheap Trick album, Special One, which also features knob twisting by Steve Albini.

Governor Rod Blagojevich has spent less time in Springfield than any governor in memory.

Instead, he's either stayed close to his Chicago home or gallivanted around the rest of the state holding press conferences touting his programs and blaming his problems on a General Assembly that has, in reality, mostly tried (in vain) to work with him.

Is Davenport Alderman Ray Ambrose expecting to be re-elected over the dead bodies of our pets? It's hard to believe that such a seasoned politician is serious about arming Davenport citizens against the perceived threat of mammalian anarchy.

Say what you want about Governor Rod Blagojevich, but he's sticking like Super Glue to his top priorities.

Unfortunately, the guv's highest priority is running a permanent campaign. Pundits always used to accuse Bill Clinton of that very same thing, but Clinton was, of course, re-elected.

The Iowa state legislature should be applauded for undertaking the ambitious task of overhauling Iowa's property-tax system. Few will disagree that the change is needed. Unfortunately the outcome of the proposed legislation needs considerably more discussion from all corners of the state.

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