Now that the election is over, citizens can re-focus on the more immediate local issues that require their attention. Most important is the looming yet-to-be-officially-proposed-but-secretly-discussed-with-elected-officials "concept" of an 11-story casino hotel on downtown Davenport's limited riverfront.

Our 500th issue! No question about it, it has been a labor of love from the beginning. A love of what? It might sound trite to say, but "truth" would be our faithful answer. To a person, the staff at the River Cities' Reader reflects an inherent goodness, a sense of fair play, and a commitment to the truth, individual as it may be, that binds us together in this endeavor to publish a paper that has substance and relevance.

This year's general election includes the race between incumbent Dennis Conard and former Davenport mayor Phil Yerington for Scott County sheriff. Both candidates boast long-term careers in criminal justice.

The sheriff's office has four primary areas of responsibility: jail management, courthouse security, service of all court orders, and rural-community policing.

If you enjoy reading this newspaper and like what it offers our community, please consider participating in our bi-annual Readership Survey. It's available online at (http://www.

It confounds me that many city leaders are framing the issue of a new casino hotel on Davenport's downtown riverfront as a remedy for the current riverboat casino facility, specifically the porte cochere that connects to the boat.

It is expected that Hargreaves Associates' "RiverVision Final Report 2004," which is a collaborative plan for the Mississippi riverfronts of Rock Island and Davenport, will be considered for approval by Rock Island's city council on August 9, and Davenport's council on August 18.

Every year, weather permitting, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival is held in downtown Davenport's LeClaire Park. The setting is one-of-a-kind, a picturesque complement to our notable location - the only place where the Mississippi River runs east and west.

Who knew that on any given Thursday evening, you could pack a bag at 6 p.m., board a plane around 10 p.m., and be in Las Vegas by midnight, all in plenty of time to enjoy the flash and sizzle that defines the Las Vegas Strip?

Last week, members of the Quad City International Airport (QCIA) staff, associates, and other Quad Citians making the most of $89 one-way fares celebrated AirTran's inaugural nonstop flight direct from Moline to Las Vegas, fondly deemed the "Red Eye for the Fun Guy.

Increasing Davenport city-council terms from two years to four years has some merit in terms of stability, especially when it normally takes at least that long to implement substantial capital-improvement projects.

Many Quad Citians are familiar with Bettendorf High School superstar coach Merv Habenicht and his better half Evelyn. One might think Merv gets his superstar status because of the five state championships claimed by Bettendorf's football team under his leadership, or the 10 regional conference victories during his watch, or the 15 times Bettendorf advanced to the playoffs, or his induction to the Iowa High School Hall of Fame.

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