Mark Brenny of Brenny's Motorcycle Clinic has been building the annual Sturgis on the River festival into the Quad Cities' best showcase for local bands. And this year he's topped himself. For last year's event, Brenny booked roughly 40 bands on three stages.
June 19 is Father's Day. In the last few decades, that has come to mean much more than it once did. Dad used to be just the guy who worked and kept the bills paid, while Mom took care of the home and children. But in recent years, dads have come to play a much more important role with their children.
I read the review of New Ground Theatre's production of Boston Marriage with interest. (See "New Ground Turns Mamet's Marriage into a Massacre," River Cities' Reader Issue 530, May 25-31, 2005.
The Davenport City Council has been hearing from opponents of the hotel on the riverfront since at least the fall of 2003. Many, many meetings have been held. A hotel somewhere on the riverfront has been mentioned periodically for 20 years. The vast majority of the opponents have been very vocal in their opposition for at least a year. The council has been studying the issue for over a year. The opponents have had ample opportunity to oppose and speak and petition and lobby and they have done so. There is no rush and no hurry. There is an attempt to delay and postpone the decision by the opponents, however, in the hope that this idea, like many others offered and studied in past years, will just fade away. They are right, because if Davenport delays making a decision, the business making the proposal, the Isle of Capri, probably will say the heck with it; if Davenport can't make up its mind, they can get a better return on their investment in Bettendorf (which signed its contract with a five-minute meeting no one attended and not even having discussed the exhibits) or Waterloo or anywhere else. It is time to decide and move forward.

Charlie Brooke
Mayor, City of Davenport

We Deserve Better Than Curent Proposal

Some supporters of the Isle of Capri's hotel proposal believe that business-development proposals must immediately be supported and granted assistance on their own terms. Based on the history of casino gambling in Davenport, the city should be more skeptical.

Of all the projects in Davenport over the past 15 years, this one requires the biggest concession, because the riverfront is our most valuable asset. The city should not accept the IOC's position that because it wants to be on the riverfront no alternatives need be considered. The IOC hasn't demonstrated that it needs the downtown riverfront or, frankly, that they deserve it.

This is a tough vote for Davenport's council, particularly given the fall elections. It's all the more objectionable, then, that the IOC has not begun the lengthy process of applying for an environmental permit. Given the proposed location of the project, it's not a slam-dunk. Why, then, is the council being hung out to dry?

Casinos are garish–look at pictures of the Isle's other facilities. The Bettendorf casino hotel, designed to attract moths at night, is no Westin or Marriott. Is it likely that the Isle would break with industry norms and build something truly classy on the Davenport riverfront? Moreover, once built, additional riverfront casino expansion will be difficult to refuse.

Davenport has momentum. We need no longer be the beggar. We deserve better than the current proposal.

Len Adams
Once again the Toyota Motor Company, as reported by the Bloomberg Company, has announced plans to expand its manufacturing capability in the United States, to the tune of $12 billion, in response to continuing favorable economic conditions and demographics.

Not So Fast

I would like to separate the casino-hotel issue into two separate components, regarding the casino anxiety about permanence and the hotel placement on the riverfront. Regarding the casino: There really is little concern.
When exactly did our leaders stop referring to us as "citizens" and start calling us "consumers"? When did the "public square" get replaced in political discussions by the "marketplace"? These are questions I have been pondering for the last several years as a community activist.
• Reggae legends are visiting the Quad Cities. Bob Marley's backing band, The Wailers, will be performing on Friday, April 15, at Quad City Live. Since Marley's death in 1981, the band has been touring regularly and issuing sporadic recordings.

Photo Synthesis

From time to time, we'll publish the photography of Scott A. McMeekan, with the goal of showcasing his images and prompting new artwork. We'd like our readers to respond to his work in some form. We plan to publish the best responses alongside the original photograph in a future issue.
Welcome to the Best of the Quad Cities 2004! Nearly a decade old ... and growing. The River Cities' Reader Best of the Quad Cities poll is now in its ninth year, and reader response continues to get better.