It never ceases to amaze and inspire me that Davenport, for all its troubles, has real civic heroes living among us. This time it is Bill Ashton of Ashton Engineering with his well-established experience in riverfront development to caution the City of Davenport against the Isle of Capri's proposed 11-story casino hotel on downtown Davenport's riverfront, between Brady and Perry Streets, south of River Drive.

Last June, the Davenport City Council approved a $48-million development agreement with the Isle of Capri to build an 11-story casino hotel with a five-story adjacent parking ramp on downtown Davenport's riverfront, after less than a month of formal review that included the public.

What does it say about Davenport's city council when three senior citizens, who have been active participants at its bi-weekly meetings for many years, are compelled to file a lawsuit in protest of the council's runaway spending, asking the court to intervene, barring any further action until the new council was seated on January 2?

On December 9, plaintiffs I.

Municipalities enjoying growth tend toward comprehensive, pro-active land-use planning that prioritizes sustainability, capitalizing on geographic strengths and uniqueness, and employing land-use policies and ordinances that advocate harmony of use for a strong sense of place.

I'll say it again: By casting your vote in next Tuesday's election (November 8), you contribute to enlarging the political playing field for future elections. What this does is force the candidates to deal with a broader range of issues that more accurately reflects the public's concerns.

Navigating the City of Davenport's Web site (http://www.cityofdavenportiowa.com) for basic information is not without its challenges. It appears to be selectively filtered and purposely obscure.

River Vision, the joint study conducted and adopted by leaders of Rock Island and Davenport, calls for a multi-year, multi-million-dollar, bi-state effort to continue revitalizing and enhancing our respective riverfronts.

I recently invested in a comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary and have been reacquainting myself with words whose traditional meanings and usage might have been lost, or at least grossly distorted within modern-day politics.

For many in the Quad Cities, the Villa de Chantel in Rock Island was a mysterious old castle-like building tucked away and protected from the public eye. But for some of us, the Villa represented a powerful influence educationally, socially, and, in no small measure, spiritually.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private economic development.

The court's ruling in the case, Kelo v.

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