The January 27, 2001, Des Moines Register article on both Davenport's and Cedar Rapids' decision to censor "Public with Business" is a great example of how the media can misguide the public. The reporter gave no context for any of the pertinent aspects of the story.

Last week marked the darkest day in Davenport in recent history, and by many accounts the beginning of the end for Davenport's current city council. To the horror of the public, our only champion, Mayor Phil Yerington, turned tail and joined five aldermen (Moritz-1st Ward, McGivern-6th Ward, Sherwood-At-Large, Englemann-8th Ward, and Brown-7th Ward) in censoring the "Public with Business" segment of city council meetings from being broadcast on our community cable channel.

On Wednesday evening, January 17, 2001, during the year's second formal council meeting, Mayor Phil Yerington announced the council's plan to censor the "Public with Business to Present" (PWB) portion of all future council meetings (committee, committee of the whole, and regular council) by no longer televising them for public viewing.

I spoke too soon!!! In a recent editorial (Reader issue #304, January 3, 2001), I lauded Davenport's City Council for continuing the policy of airing council meetings on public television. However, during its annual goal-setting sessions, which took place last Sunday and Monday, January 14 and 15, this same council voted 8-2 in favor of censoring the last portion of their meetings, commonly referred to as "Public with Business (PWB)," by purposely withholding it from an ever-growing viewership.

Across the board, education is at the top of what appears to be a bipartisan agenda for Iowa's 2001 legislative session. The 79th General Assembly convened Monday, January 8, and will continue for 110 calendar days due to the year's odd number.

Happy New Year to all! Some consider this year the true beginning of the Millennium. 2000 went by like wildfire, and things occurred in a blink of the eye, especially at Davenport's City Hall. The Council has now served its first year, and their actions, or lack thereof, can be evaluated.

I am constantly frustrated at the lack of due diligence when it comes to the Davenport city council's proceedings protocol. As I understand it, the council is given green sheets that are brief overviews, item by item, of the coming week's city business.

The Economic Development Department of the City of Davenport held a workshop on Economic Development Tools and TIF on December 9, 2000, at City Hall. City leaders, aldermen and local activists attended to learn, discuss and debate the merits of TIF and development principles in general.

The identification of improper zoning relative to at least 83 properties in the City of Davenport could be just the beginning of serious legal consequences for the city. In 1997, the Iowa Legislature amended Iowa Code 380.

Dick Cheney Censors the Media During Battle
I recently read a most interesting article in the American Journalism Review ("Collective Amnesia" by Jaqueline Sharkey; October 2000) about then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney's censorship policy during the Panama invasion and the Persian Gulf War.

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