• 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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