This is in response to the letter to the editor entitled "Grant and Johnson Parents Must Accept Change," published in the July 3-9, 2002, edition of the River Cities' Reader.

I am a fully "grown up" adult who has two children, one of whom attended Johnson Elementary School.

• With Eminem's heavy nick of the Malcolm McLaren scratch-and-street classic "Buffalo Gals" on his smash "Without Me" pumping the hot air of summer, my old-school heart is yearning for those crazy house-friendly hip-hop days of the 1980s.

• The pro-life Life & Family Educational Trust has announced the opening of the newly completed Women's Choice Center at 2711 Happy Joe Drive in Bettendorf. The Woman's Choice Center is a facility - located across the street from Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa - providing information about pregnancy, fetal development, and related issues.

Speaking with grace and ease, a pensive network anchor compared the America of today with the one of a year ago. His script had the ring of media truth at the start of a new season. "How different the summer is going to be for all of us," CNN's Aaron Brown told viewers.

Crain's Chicago Business has reported that during the summer of 2000, just about everyone at Illinois House Republican Leader Lee Daniels' Chicago office was paid with state money to work on political campaigns.

Ninja-style nuns, two sets of twins separated at birth, woeful lovers, men vaguely resembling Elvis, and a society divided by religious differences. These and more are part of the annual Shakespeare festival at Riverside outdoor theatre in Iowa City, with The Comedy of Errors and Romeo & Juliet on stage in repertory through July 7.

Richmond Hill Barn Theatre in Geneseo is like something from an actor's dream. With "theatre-in-the-round" seating, high ceilings for easy lighting capability, entryways from four sides, and an intimate acting space, one would think any play could succeed with these standards. Even a weak performance can be positively impacted by quality set pieces and a connection with audience members.

If you saw John Music, the lead singer of Provoke, you would probably be able to guess he was part of the hardcore music scene, with the tattoos that peak out from his chest and run down his left calf. But looking at Terry Johnson from another local hardcore/progressive band named Transmission 13, you could never guess that they had any affiliation at all.

A lot has changed about the annual Miss America Pageant, starting at the bottom rung of a tiered process that used to elevate women for their beauty and performing talents, but now rewards them more for their community service, grasp of current issues, and career goals.

It's easy to blame the legislative leaders at the Illinois statehouse for accumulating so much power. I've done it a lot, myself.

Dozens of reforms have been proposed to curtail their influence.

The leaders raise the vast majority of all legislative campaign cash, so some reformers want to cap the amount of money they can contribute to candidates.

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