Kenny on "Hardware Wars," River Cities' Reader Issue 588, July 5-11, 2006:

What is interesting here is the reasons they need the incentive. The developer, Mr. Raufeisen, stated that in order to get these business (Panera and Ace) into the property, they needed lower rental rates than he could offer, given the price of the land. The land price is clearly over-inflated by the land owner, who in Mr. Raufeisen's words "knows what he has."

So, it seems, to get this deal closed, and keep all the developers in profit, the City of Rock Island will spend our tax dollars to pay the difference. That difference is the fat profit to the landowner, and the developer.

Maybe the site business case doesn't wash?

The developer could not care less what happens after the deal goes down. He will have made his money in one shot. While there is nothing wrong with making money, I do have a problem with Rock Island favoring this developer at the expense of two established businesses. Why do it?

It also seems that the city will need to circumvent the law to even make it happen. That is not right.

If this is such a good thing for Rock Island, and Mr. Raufeisen is concerned at all about the future of the city, let him or the landowner take less profit and make it happen without spending tax money that is needed for schools and firefighters.


Glad You Didn't "Pan" Superman Returns


Chris Hughes on "Superhero Worship," River Cities' Reader Issue 588, July 5-11, 2006

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Before I saw this movie, I made the fatal mistake of reading way too many reviews, mostly negative and lukewarm. The Roger Ebert review was particularly brutal ... ouch.

Anyway, as I left the theater, I was perplexed about all the negativity. In fact, it seems to me like most reviews were almost "reverential" over the Donner films and that Singer had really blown it. Whatever.

Indeed, I remember those movies (Superman: The Movie and Superman II) as joyful childhood moments (like recreating the action sequences from Superman II in my living room with the Soundtrack blaring! Hey, I was 9 years old!). I couldn't agree with you more about the "airplane-saving sequence." How cool was that!!! As he set the fuselage down in the middle of the baseball field, my heart raced again like that nine-year-old. Like who out there has never imagined what it would be like to be Superman just for one day? Anyway, I left the theater happy to know Singer hadn't screwed anything up, more than entertained me, and will hopefully pull out all the stops for the next directorial installment of the series.


Montessori or NAEYC?


Michael Callahan on "PK-3: Building a Bridge to a Brighter Future," River Cities' Reader Issue 589, July 5-11, 2006

Will the program follow NAEYC guidelines? Does it use a proven Montessori model?

Curricula should not be pushed on such young children; neither should we start testing or assessment at such a young age. It is good to interact with parents. Also, it would be good to develop a program that would support and allow more poor and lower-middle-class women/men to be a stay-at-home parent. The home can be the best educational environment for a young child. In most two-parent, one-career families, it is the best. The state should support the best options.

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