Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles on new developments on Quad Cities-area downtowns. When you have a lot of dreams, it's sometimes difficult to prioritize them. Karen Pohl didn't have to.
There are a lot of festivals that piggyback a culture or holiday to cash in. This weekend's Ya Maka My Weekend, though, isn't one of them. The Jamaica-themed festival in The District of Rock Island has the seal of approval of the Jamaican Tourist Board.

Taming Cable

The current franchise agreement between the City of Davenport and the city's provider of cable-television services was drafted in 1974. Nixon resigned that year. Pong was a state-of-the-art video game. Of course, nobody had even heard then of terms such as fiber optics, digital cable, or the Internet, or had any conception of how they would impact the way people watch television or communicate in the 1990s and beyond.
In its third year, organizers of the ArtStroll street festival have stopped making predictions. After drawing an estimated 2,000 people at the inaugural event two years ago, planners expected 4,000 last year. They think they ended up with about 5,000.
This is the situation that Linda Downs is jumping into. When the Davenport Museum of Art began raising money for a new facility, it bypassed the charitable Friends of the Davenport Museum of Art for the job.
A look at Linda Downs' career shows one thing for certain: She knows how to stick with her jobs. After getting her Master of Arts in art history at the University of Michigan in 1973, she was an adjunct faculty member in that field from 1976 to 1989 at Wayne State University.
When public-radio station KUNI finished last month's "Drive to Survive" having raised $106,000 over five days, it didn't see the total as a failure even though it fell far short of the massive budget cut it was about to endure.
It would be easy to forgive the Bix Memorial Jazz Society if its leaders were looking past this weekend's Bix Memorial Jazz Festival. After all, next year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, and the society has some big things planned, including a Caribbean Bix cruise in November 2003 and what's sure to be a blowout centennial festival next summer.

A Rare Insight

The photograph on the cover of Retrospective 1982-2002, the new overview CD by Cedar Rapids’ Gayla Drake Paul, might at first seem to be a concession to modern marketing. The photo, dating from 1988, shows Paul in a tank top and unzipped jeans, her hand reaching under her shirt, exposing part of a breast.
An administrative law judge last week ruled that the Davenport Community School District board followed state guidelines in its controversial decision in April to close Grant and Johnson elementary schools. Parents, led by Alan Guard and Brenda Jordahl-Buckles, had appealed the district's January 28 and April 22 votes to close the schools.

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