Bottoms Up!

"All right, let's get started. This meeting of Underage Alcohol Marketers Anonymous will please come to order. And remember, no last names."

"Can I go first?"

"Fine."

"Hello, everybody.

I've known Mike Dassie for well over 20 years. Mike passed away last Thursday, June 28, after 57 years of a truly great presence on this earth. Mike was manager of the Davenport Country Club for thirteen years, owned O'Meara's Pub in downtown Bettendorf for five years, and then went on to operate his own successful catering business.

Q: I hear Congress still can't agree on that patient bill of rights. What's the problem?

A: Nothing's more complicated than health care in America. The latest stumbling block was when several Senators realized that checking into a hospital and hiring a prostitute both started with the same question - "How much money do you have?" - and ended with, "All right, lie down and give me your underwear.

Democracy is more than a spectator sport; for it to survive and flourish, we all must become active, engaged citizens. This is the message I heard from 86 students representing 12 Quad City-area high schools, who recently participated in the Close Up Foundation government-studies program in Washington, D.

On June 16, 2001, the world dimmed when my friend, Chris Wightman (50 years young) passed away. Chris was not your average bear. He was the epitome of kindness, gentle compassion, and true friendship. As one acquaintance put it, "Chris was a blue chip guy.

On Monday, June 18, Davenport Mayor Phil Yerington announced that a candidate has been chosen to fill the vacant position of city administrator. Craig Malin, currently the Douglas County Administrator in northern Wisconsin, has a long list of favorable credentials responsible for a unanimous recommendation from the 14-person search committee appointed by the mayor to find the best candidate for the job.

Father's Day

Of all the holidays generally recognized in North America, Father's Day has the most potential for confusion and complication, if not outright concussion.

Thanksgiving, by contrast, is a snap. Everyone in America sits down to the same exact meal, then nods off as the L-tryptophan kicks in and the Lions game lurches toward halftime.

Hopefully, the public has been watching Super Wal-Mart as it has proceeded, at times allegedly unlawfully, toward its ultimate conclusion. The last leg of this development travesty was the "dark store agreement" conceived and perpetrated upon Davenport taxpayers by Alderman Bob McGivern, who only further demonstrated his lack of understanding of business matters so crucial to the proceedings.

Now that the Mississippi River has receded and the sandbags are being removed, federal, state, and local leaders need to address more than the cost of cleanup after the flooding.

We need to determine why floods occur more often and at higher flows than predicted and address the root problems that have led to the more frequent flooding.

We live in strangely searching times. We look inward, outward, all around for a fresh clue why surprising things happen, and why most of them are bad.

We might seek out that annoying woman on late-night TV with the Jamaican accent whose tarot cards uncannily confirm that your husband, who's been working late for the past 27 years, is actually having an affair with the security guard.

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