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.
Come on, Davenport! Think "positive" for once! Where does all this negative anti-development craziness come from? A major national (and international) company offers to build a classy $40-million-plus hotel project on our riverfront - to replace the rather hokey gaming vision that presently occupies our riverfront.
I had the pleasure of visiting Davenport recently. I admired the downtown view of the river and the eagles soaring. I walked to the Rhythm City Casino. In the front lobby there is a big TV screen with a presentation and a petition to build a big hotel on its current site at the river's edge.
My name is Paul, and I'm an employee at the Bettendorf Hungry Hobo. I have to say I was very disappointed to see that our stores didn't make number-one deli (see "Best of the Quad Cities 2004," River Cities' Reader Issue 518, February 23-March 1, 2005), but the people have spoken, and we never give up.
Here is one simple and very powerful idea to help economic development in Iowa: The currently high ordinary income tax on business capital gains needs to be replaced with a capital-gains tax to provide an incentive for entrepreneurs to create more jobs in our state.
On February 2, I attended an open-mic session run by Ellis Kell at Mojo's Café in the River Music Experience. My tour through the music museum beforehand was both enlightening and entertaining. Earlier that day I had read in the Reader of both the center's change in focus and the subsequent change in directors.
A quick note to the everyone at the River Cities' Reader. I was shocked to read the articles on the RME issues. (See "River Music Experience's New Direction Dashes Dreams" and "Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes," Issue 513, January 26-February 1, 2005.
As another in a series of opportunities for citizens to play a part in Davenport's success, the City of Davenport is creating a High Performance Government Work Group. High-performance local governments are distinguished by their ability to develop productive relationships with stakeholders, build capacity across traditional boundaries to effectively work together, and address difficult policy problems collaboratively.
I am a federal employee and long-time investor in the Thrift Savings Plan. During my career, I spent nearly 14 years as editor of the Target, the newspaper serving the Rock Island Arsenal, and I became very familiar with the Thrift Savings Plan both through personal experience and by researching and writing numerous articles on the subject.
I would like to submit a counter-proposal to the riverfront hotel casino complex now being lobbied for by Isle of Capri interests with the City of Davenport. That is: Develop the Hotel Blackhawk as the axis for a casino convention center complex.

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