First of all, I want to thank you for such an awesome Blues Festival this year. Great music and a great time as usual. Thanks to everyone at the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and the sponsors who worked so hard making it happen.
Ballet Quad Cities a Jewel Thanks to Joedy Cook, we have just spent an evening revelling in Ballet Quad Cities' reviews and DVD of performances and programs of the past year. I cannot adequately share our feelings of pride, excitement, and awe of Johanne Jakhellen's choreography! While we were sad to leave the Quad Cites on the brink of the development of this extraordinary professional ballet company, it gives us great joy to see the growth of the company, the appreciation of the community for the wonderful performances, and the fabulous dancing.
In your review of Conversations with Cathy & Karl (see "Local Progressive Talk Show Debuts in Quad Cities," River Cities' Reader Issue 535, June 29-July 5, 2005), QC Progressive Radio's new Saturday-morning show, you indicated that they made typical unsubstantiated claims against Wal-mart without any facts to back them up (paraphrasing).
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is poised to lose more than 45 percent in federal funding from its 2006 budget. This is a result of a vote by the House Appropriations Subcommittee. This subcommittee vote is a result of pressure on Congress to hold down spending due to enormous federal deficits.
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.
The debate will continue over the casino and its hotel. Hopefully, our elected officials will listen to the citizens who express their visions for our riverfronts, and the debate will result in the correct answers.

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.