My name is Jim Maloney. I am a resident of Rock Island and use a wheelchair.
My favorite Quad Cities event is the Taste of the Quad Cities, which I've attended for the past five years. In previous years, I had no problems with wheelchair accessibility at the Taste. However, this year my visit to the Taste of the Quad Cities was ruined due to changes made that totally ignored the needs of persons who use wheelchairs.
The most unbelievable action taken by Taste planners was blocking the accessible curb cuts at the Centre Station in Moline, across from The Mark. I complained to Centre Station staff that this did not give me access to the Taste. Finally, they directed me to ride a block away in my wheelchair where Taste staff had to lift fencing up for me to enter the event underneath it.
After going through all this, I then could not find a wheelchair accessible restroom on Taste grounds, nor an accessible tent where others who use wheelchairs could enjoy their food.
I did speak with an individual at the Taste named Cindy, who was introduced to me as the event planner. She encouraged me to use a portable toilet near The Mark, but this was also not accessible.
Cindy told me she was sorry and that this would not happen next year.
I also want to make sure it doesn't happen again next year, but in the year 2006 this shouldn't have happened in the first place. How can an event of this size not take into account the issue of accessibility?
I finally had to go home without even participating in the Taste. In past years, food booths were set up in a straight line and were very easy to access. Also in previous years, persons in a wheelchair had easy access to the accessible restroom in Centre Station, but for some reason this effective style of planning was disregarded for this year's event.
If I recall, there were some past concerns about profitability of The Taste. All I can tell you is that I was prepared to spend at least $25 at the Taste and was not given the opportunity to spend my money. I would think it would be important for the planners of any event to give everyone - everyone - as many opportunities as possible to spend money at their activity.
I would like to ask the residents of the Quad Cities and neighboring communities to advocate for a return to an accessible Taste of the Quad Cities for 2007.
Who Is the Master?
Every day our citizens make thousands of contracts for goods, services, or other reasons. Each party to the contract is expected to abide by it.
However, there is one contract that seriously affects every citizen, and very few pay attention to it. It is the U.S. Constitution, a contract between our citizens and the federal government. The president, vice president, all members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, cabinet secretaries, and others take an oath to abide by it - but few if any do.
We are creating a police-state type government by allowing the many violations of this contract. The USA PATRIOT Act is a good example. It trades some of our freedoms for a false sense of security. Go to (http://www.thenewamerican.com/focus/patriotact/) for details of how this is happening.
Permitting our servant - the federal government - to restrict any of our constitutionally protected rights implies that we accept it as our master. Governments are happy to assume that role. Ours certainly is, and it will continue to do so until enough citizens pay attention and demand that the Constitution be strictly adhered to.
Recent Comments from the Reader Web Site
Contessa on "Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet," River Cities' Reader Issue 591, July 26-August 1, 2006
This article is fantastic - and yes, I read the whole thing! Thanks for such deep research and beautiful descriptions of Bix's playing. The only information missing is how Bix's type of jazz relates to ragtime and Dixieland styles of music - but I guess that's a topic for another article. There's a strange synchronicity reading about Bix being so famous everywhere but Davenport and then reading the piece about the SoundBoard organization, especially knowing the outcome of the Davenport referendum yesterday. (The proposal for four-year terms got defeated = change is automatically bad. Which is the reason that so many genius artists are rejected by their hometowns until long after the artists' deaths.)
Derek on "In a Twist," River Cities' Reader Issue 590, July 19-25, 2006
Countryside Community Theatre is lucky to get the publicity. Oliver! was a horrible show. The exclamation point should have been replaced with a question mark.
Tbalsar on "In a Twist," River Cities' Reader Issue 590, July 19-25, 2006
Mike, I am glad to see (after reading several of your recent theatre reviews) that you don't just pick on community theater. Next time you decide to write such a review, I hope you take pause for just a moment to consider that, although not perfect, the performers (and their families) have devoted countless hours to their creation, and not every director will have the same interpretation as you. Oliver!'s cast was made up of many children who are experiencing theatre for the first time. I'd say that, alone, made this production worth seeing.