September 29-October 26, 1993 Premiere Issue The River Cities' Reader's premiere issue is 32 pages, with advertisers Evergreen Art Works, Kimberly Chrysler, Eldridge Bike Shop, Davenport Museum of Art, Day Dreams Furniture, Galvin Fine Arts Center, The Faithful Pilot, Rascals, Licata Interior Gallery, The Children's Museum, Hancher Auditorium, Mike (Comic for Hire), Huckleberry's, Cox Cable, Co-op, and Jumer's Casino Rock Island.

Todd McGreevy and Kathleen McCarthy wrote: "The decision to start this newspaper was easy. There is a need here for a publication that ties the Quad Cities and surrounding river cities together. Why? So we can share the best of what we have with each other. Most of the communities in the area are large enough to attract exciting entertainment and quality events, yet small enough to enjoy the attractions of neighboring communities. A purpose of the River Cities' Reader is to provide feature stories and entertainment information that include all of us in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. There are scores of different activities available through the efforts of many. This publication is designed to help inform the public of these events, giving you a variety of venues to choose from. By participating together, we will get to know each other better. The River Cities' Reader extends to each person an open invitation to communicate your thoughts, feelings, and interests to us. We will make every effort to respond to you. We are anxious for your involvement. It is our hope that you will enjoy a freedom with this publication that might be new for you. All viewpoints, opinions, and feelings are welcome. Our intention is to give room to all sides of arguments, debates, issues, and controversies as best we can. We invite you to explore and exchange new ideas so as to enlighten, stimulate, and inform you, the reader. It is our intent to learn from one another; together we will move to the future inspired to grow and prosper."

Features include an exploration of the pros and cons of the North American Free Trade Agreement by Kathleen McCarthy; an interview by Mike McCarty with science-fiction writer Frederik Pohl; reviews of The Fugitive, True Romance, and Man Without a Face; a story on the sixth year of Riverssance; and a feature on musician Patrick Hazell.

November 1993

The cover story dealt with urban-renewal efforts in Rock Island and Davenport: "The impartation of new life and vigor, sometimes called revitalization, is pursued through downtown development of new and old office buildings, warehouses, medical and educational complexes, shops, hotels, art centers, restaurants, bars, parking complexes, convention centers, and sports arenas. Locally, The Mark of Moline, Davenport's RiverCenter, and the Rock Island District ... are three fine examples of inner-city renewal. Riverboat gambling casinos and green space with bicycle paths along the Mississippi River are further examples of this conversion."

The issue also features fiction, "The Shower" by Jesse Kahler.

January 1994

"Real Astrology" by Rob Brezsny debuts but will only run for four months.

A feature story on beer quotes Front Street Brewery owner Steve Zuidema: "Competition between brewpubs, such as the planned Brewbaker's in Moline or Crooked River Brew Pub in Rock Island, can be healthy."

February 1994

Fritz Miller (against) and Robert Yapp (for) face off on the issue of drug legalization. Both are prominent local restoration experts.

March 1994

"Two years ago not many people would have guessed musicians like Jackson Browne, John Hiatt, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and Rod Stewart all would be performing in the Quad Cities within a four-week time span. ... The double bill of concerts on Friday, March 25, is a good example of feast or famine for those of the 'alternative' mindset in Davenport. Chicago's quickest-rising musical media meteor, Smashing Pumpkins, will be performing at Palmer Auditorium ... . And on the same evening, the Col Ballroom will play host to one of Arizona's best rock bands, the Gin Blossoms."

April 1994

The first appearance of the "Top 10 Censored" story feature.

June 1994

The cover touts "Over 800 Calendar Listings!"

The issue includes a four-page insert, "The River Cities' Reader Guide to Dining & Drinking: Your Comprehensive Guide to Entertaining in the Quad Cities, Eastern Iowa, and Western Illinois."

July 1994

The feature story deals with the issue of castration for sexual offenders. The "Words from the Editors" section notes, "The primary goal we have with regard to our feature articles is to present a balanced overview of subject matter to the reader." Yet the issue includes two pro-castration articles, including one by an incarcerated pedophile: "I am scared for your children. When they have nightmares, let them be about the ghouls they see in horror movies or on the Saturday morning cartoons. They shouldn't have to have nightmares about me. My next parole date is June 1995." The editors justify the decision: "We decided to let you look more closely at the reality of a self-confessed pedophile. We also chose to examine the arguments for chemical castration because most of us know very little about this subject."

September 1994

The Reader's first anniversary.

February 1995

The Reader's current logo makes its debut.

March 1995

Mike Schulz's debut as Reader film critic. Schulz correctly predicts Oscar winners for the six major categories.

April 1995

The beginning of a feature called "News Shorts: Local & National News Bits, Clips, & Some Things in Between." This is an early version of the current City Shorts column.

May 1995

Todd McGreevy faults Quad City Arts' Crazy Art Thing (CAT): "Besides not supporting local talent, CAT has failed to generate a new audience as well. One of the most important reasons that CAT has been unable to generate the 'cappuccino crowd' is because of its profit-driven budget structure."

June 7-20, 1995

"Beginning June 21, we will publish the Reader every Wednesday. ... Beginning the 21st, the Reader no longer will be distributed in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque."

June 21, 1995
Reader goes weekly

The Reader features the first version of its Live Music page.

June 28, 1995

The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival makes its first appearance on the River Cities' Reader cover.

July 25, 1995

"Iowa, the 11th windiest state, has many wind projects already spinning electricity in the communities of Spirit Lake, Nevada, Waverly, and Allendorf."

July 19, 1995

Winners of the Reader's first writing contest are published.

July 26, 1995

Bix Beiderbecke makes his first appearance on the Reader cover: "Like Hendrix, Bix had an unorthodox approach to playing his instrument. Bix wiped his mouth dry instead of wetting his lips as recommended by instructors of brass instruments. And he depressed the valves of his cornet to get the tones he wanted, not knowing his fingers were in the exact opposite position from the accepted norm."

Jeff Ignatius, a staff writer at Illinois Times in Springfield, makes his first appearance in the Reader. He would become a staff member five years later.

August 9, 1995

"The Quad Cities' downtowns grew in an era when car ownership was rare and most people used mass transportation. Today, when consumers drive to the downtowns, they are visiting an area that was originally designed for a far smaller volume of cars than it is now expected to handle."

August 23, 1995

The Reader's "Fall Arts Preview," the first of the paper's quarterly arts guides, features the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

Kathleen McCarthy writes: "Two weeks ago, the Reader published a story about parking the downtown districts of Davenport, Moline, and Rock Island. It seemed an appropriate time to do an editorial on Davenport's meter reader #948, who has created a great deal of controversy with her Rambo style of ticket-writing. The following Sunday morning after the editorial ran, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the Bettendorf Police called my 83-year-old grandmother in an attempt to reach me at home. Upon waking her, they informed her that there was a warrant issued for my arrest for unpaid parking tickets in Davenport."

September 6, 1995

"A petition is being circulated among the voters of Davenport that could change the city's municipal voting. In an effort led by the Davenport Chamber of Commerce, this petition would call for a referendum vote to do away with all partisan elections in Davenport."

"The Quad City Mallards are kicking off their inaugural hockey season as an expansion team in the Western Division of the minor-league Colonial Hockey League, which is beginning its fifth year of play."

"Enter Kim Allen Kluge, the new conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. ... In response to ... apathy he organized a concert series called 'Bach to Rock' for young audiences. With a young professional group he demonstrated that the building blocks for music are the same, no matter the style: jazz, pop, rock, classical."

September 13, 1995

"Descending upon the town of Davenport and surrounding areas will be thousands of doctors of chiropractic from around the world and their guests. The gathering marks the chiropractic profession's Grand Celebration commemorating 100 years of chiropractic."

September 20, 1995

"There was a time in the history of the Quad Cities when a major-league team did inhabit this area and played for the enjoyment of local fans. The proof is in the small town of Canton, Ohio, on a plaque dedicated there in 1983 that reads, 'On this site September 17, 1920, was organized the American Professional Football Association, which was the forerunner of the National Football League.' ... Among the football powerhouses listed as charter members were ... the Rock Island (Ill.) Independents."

September 27, 1995

The Reader's second anniversary.

"Planned Parenthood, a national organization, and The Emma Goldman Clinic, based in Iowa City, are making preliminary plans to locate women's health clinics in the Quad Cities."

October 11, 1995

"Two weeks before his death on July 20, 1993, White House Deputy Counsel Vincent W. Foster went into a deep funk. The official cause of death, given by Independent Counsel Robert Fiske Jr., was suicide driven by depression over, among other things, some newspaper editorials. But Vince Foster had a much bigger and darker reason to be seriously bummed out. He had just learned that he was under investigation for espionage."

October 25, 1995

"[Dean] Schroeder conceived of a year-round windows program ... . Why not create artists' exhibition spaces out of the empty storefronts in downtown Rock Island? ... 'What AWWW [Art Work Window Walks] did was take the art out of the museums and galleries and put it onto the street,' explains Schroeder."

November 1, 1995

"Last issue, thinking that we were doing our readership a service by warning them of this grave danger, the Reader published the piece 'Beware: E-mail Virus!' ... Since then, the Reader has learned ... that the 'Good Times' virus is a hoax ... ."

November 22, 1995

"Thirty years ago, Arlo Guthrie was arrested for littering, and that event eventually inspired Guthrie to write a song called 'The Alice's Restaurant Massacree.' ... Since then, many have wanted to know more about the actual person, Alice Brock, and her restaurant, so we contracted one of Alice's old cooks and friend Faye Wolfe ... who lives in the Dubuque area ... ."

December 20, 1995

"A new ordinance that has been discussed by the City of Moline's public-works committee will put a tighter control on how the only tattoo and body-piercing parlor in Moline - as well as any future parlors in the city - conduct their business. ... Perhaps the most controversial provision, unique to the proposed Moline ordinance, is that it prohibits all types of body piercing in licensed parlors with the exception of ear and nose piercing, even in the case of adults."

January 24, 1996

"The audience at last Wednesday's [Davenport] city-council meeting watched quietly as the council voted 7-3 in favor of an ordinance requiring minors seeking an abortion to notify their parents of their intentions."

February 7, 1996

Michael LoGuidice makes his debut as an art critic for the Reader.

May 8, 1996

Headline: "Mississippi Valley Welcome Center Opens New Mid Coast Fine Arts Gallery"

"[Dean] Schroeder ... happened to be one of the founders of the Quad Cities' newest group of art presenters, the Cultural Enhancement Organization, or CEO. So when [Mississippi Valley Welcome Center Director] Pam Black approached Schroeder to see if CEO was up to organizing, curating, and displaying rotating artworks from local and regional artists at a facility that will greet over 100,000 visitors this year, the fit seemed ideal."

May 22, 1996

Mississippi Valley Blues Society's Blues News inserted for the first time in the River Cities' Reader.

June 5, 1995

"The main person who oversees the decision-making process of who receives funding [from the Riverboat Development Authority] has the ability to wield some serious influence, which usually translates into power. This position is presently held by an intensely committed, community-spirited matriarch, Mary Ellen Chamberlin, who is strictly a volunteer and an enigma to most who can't fathom doing a job of her magnitude for free."

June 19, 1996

"The Reader's garden column by[ Terence Hernstrom...] takes a walk through the history of the Quad City Botanical Center Foundation, the many uses of the proposed Botanical Center, and its plans to break ground in 1997."

July 17, 1996

The first ballot for the River Cities' Reader Best Awards is published.

July 24, 1996

"Over the years, the business of Bix has become a substantial enterprise in the Quad Cities, and a wonderful tribute to a young musician from our area. When asked how Bix's family was involved in all the activities, the Reader learned that, according to nephew Bix, he, nor any member of his family, has ever been contacted by the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, nor by organizers of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 race, ... or by FirstStar Bank, all of whom utilize the Beiderbecke name and benefit financially from doing so."

August 14, 1996

"'It's not official, but Trip Master Monkey has been dropped from the label,' said Chris [Burnat]. According to him, their representative label, Sire/Elektra, quit working their latest album, Practice Changes, midway through their West Coast tour in June and denied financial support for the tour. All expenses came out of their own pockets."

August 28, 1996

"Recently, a new Quad Cities-based organization, Ecumenical Housing Development Group [EHDG], and independent homeowners have gone head-to-head over a multi-family housing project that is slated to be built on the borders of the [Davenport] Gold Coast. Homeowners are worried about their property values, while EHDG members are working hard to provide much-needed affordable housing."

October 2, 1996

"Lalo Schifrin, a world-class composer and conductor, will perform his world-premiere Rhapsody for Bix, a piece commissioned by the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society ... . Schifrin will conduct the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, along with jazz giants Louie Bellson, James Morrison, and Dave Carpenter. ... 'I feel very humble in the shadow of Bix,' Schifrin said. 'I think it [Rhapsody for Bix] is very important or I wouldn't present it to the public, especially in Davenport. I intend to play with all my reverence and my honesty.'"

October 30, 1996

"Despite the fact no third-party candidate since the Civil War has ever come close to winning a presidential election, and none since George Wallace in 1968 has even carried one state, third parties do have a history of shaping policy: abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, civil rights, and today's focus on balancing the federal budget are all the result of third-party influence."

December 27, 1996

The first Best Awards are published.

January 8, 1997

The debut of Joe Collins' "City Shorts" column.

"Like cancerous cells, adulterated censored CDs are proliferating in Wal-Mart's bins, in many cases without being identified as such. In some cases, CDs are altered to bleep out 'bad' words. Wal-Mart won't carry Sheryl Crow's new record because she chides the company for allegedly selling guns to children. The figures of Jesus and the Devil flanking John Mellencamp on the cover of his new record ... are airbrushed out of copies available at Wal-Mart."

January 15, 1997

The Reader's 100th issue.

February 12, 1997

"For the past eight months, ITA [Independent Truckers Alliance] has sponsored cutting-edge all-ages shows at the Cavern featuring some of the nation's most promising indie acts, such as Varnaline, Trans Am, Low, The Rachels, [and] A Minor Forest, not to mention providing a great opportunity for local bands to open shows for these signed bands. ... They can no longer promote or hold concerts at Sam's Cavern and appear to have found a new venue in Moline."

February 19, 1997

Jeff Wichmann writes: "Over the past seven months, Iowa's 'only professional ballet company' has mysteriously lost their newly hired business director ... . In addition, the company's prima ballerina ... recently resigned, along with two other dancers, and it is reported that several of the company's board members in Des Moines have resigned as well. The company's international tour of Europe and Russia has been postponed. They no longer maintain an official presence in the Quad Cities - a requirement of a grant they received from the Riverboat Development Authority - and they are no longer represented by the Quad Cities advertising and public-relations firm Bawden & Associates. Finally, they have failed, so far, to work with the Quad Cities ballet community as promised. But even more alarming is Ballet Iowa's pattern of incurring debt without satisfying past liabilities that amount to thousands of dollars, then severing ties with those creditors ... ."

April 23, 1997

"On April 3 ... the Federal Communications Commission bestowed upon the nation's broadcasters up to $70 billion worth of the prime spectrum real estate - free of charge. 'The government turned over a huge chunk of the public's resources - the airwaves - without putting any real demands on broadcasters,' explains [Kevin] Taglang, communications policy analyst for the Washington-based Benton Foundation."

May 28, 1997

Chicago radio personality Garry Lee Wright makes his first appearance in the Reader pages: "News or Baywatch, television is about ratings. And that dirty word only means people get to watch what most of them want to watch."

June 4, 1997

"The present 13th Amendment reads as follows: 'Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.' But it seems there was another version of the 13th Amendment, an original version that has quietly, without due process, disappeared from the U.S. Constitution and been replaced with the one we know and respect today. This original amendment read as follows: 'If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any Title of Nobility or Honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatsoever, form any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States and shall be incapable of holding any office or trust or profit under them, or either of them.'"

June 11, 1997

"Giving people what they want isn't easy when the gift is a $42-million NASCAR-ready racetrack that [John] McChurch and his two partners acknowledge they can't afford to build. Still, they're not letting that stop them. Relying on the sound of McChurch's mellifluous voice, a good idea, plenty of smiles, and a famous name, the partners hope to create a racetrack out of smoke and mirrors. But the group is missing deadlines [and] payments, and the smoke is quickly clearing. What lies beneath is startlingly insubstantial."

July 16, 1997

"Since the INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) raids two weeks ago, much has been mentioned in the press about IBP's [Iowa Beef Processors'] hiring practices. A standard statement made by sympathizers of the 142 immigrants arrested by the INS is that employment at IBP is undesirable, something only immigrants would even consider. ... So I applied for a job at the Joslin, Illinois, IBP plant. ... I wanted to know why IBP had such a bad rap among the working class."

September 3, 1997

Amy Alkon's advice column debuts in the Reader.

September 10, 1997

"A bitter dispute between the Quad Cities River Bandits and the City of Davenport is at the heart of what threatens the future of baseball here. The dispute focuses on renovations that are badly needed at John O'Donnell Stadium. Both parties have disagreed, argued, and traded accusations for the last four years, resulting in very little negotiation and virtually no progress in that time. But perhaps even more important is that the lease for the stadium, between the River Bandits and the City, runs out at the end of the 1998 season."

October 22, 1997

MidCoast Fine Arts' Great Mask Auction, in its fourth year, makes its debut on the Reader cover.

October 29, 1997

The Reader's first (but not anywhere near last) cover story on Davenport's 53rd and Eastern development.

November 5, 1997

The Quad Cities' new Riverfront Shakespeare troupe performs Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs at the Capitol Theatre.

January 14, 1998

"For over three years, the Davenport Museum of Art has been in the planning stages for expanding its current facility ... . Last year, museum officials began evaluating the efficacy of building a brand-new structure at a separate location for an estimated cost of $11 million. ... Three proposed sites made it to the top of the selection list: Lindsay Park, Duck Creek Park, and downtown Davenport. After a mid-morning public demonstration last Wednesday and a disapproving word from the city council, museum officials announced that afternoon ... that Lindsay Park had been dropped from the list."

February 18, 1998

Devin Hansen, now the proprietor the Quad Cities Brew & View, wrote: "Area jails are overflowing with inmates, so Scott County and Rock Island County criminal-justice officials have proposed expansion projects to accommodate the increasing prison populations. Rock Island County officials are planning a new $9-million minimum-security annex to be added onto the existing prison, while Scott County officials are planning on building a new $48-million jail to replace the 100-year-old prison that they presently utilize."

May 13, 1998

"The future of Davenport's 53rd and Eastern multi-use development project is meeting stronger resistance from a group of citizens, who are taking legal action against the city. Despite this, council members passed a resolution approving a land-use plan for the 53rd and Eastern multi-use-development project. In a press release this week, Mayor Phil Yerington threatened to veto the council's decision."

Iowa gubernatorial candidate Tom Vilsack responded to a question about economic development: "Another thing to do is invest in quality-of-life initiatives to make Iowa a much more attractive place, and keep young people here."

May 27, 1998

"The Davenport City Council last week voted to override Mayor [Phil] Yerington's veto of the resolution for revising the land-use plan for 53rd and Eastern with a vote of 8-2."

July 1, 1998

"A citizens group called Citizens United for a Responsible Vision (CURV) has made good on a promise to sue the city for using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund the controversial 53rd and Eastern Multi-Use Development Project."... [CURV member Rick] Schloemer explained the group's suit: 'We aren't against the project; we are against the [Tax Increment Financing, or TIF] funding of this project because we find it very detrimental. We feel that they have pushed the envelope in terms of what one can do with the urban-renewal law, section 403 of the Iowa code. Therefore, the lawsuit is based upon that, to the extent that they are not properly utilizing the TIF district.'"

July 8, 1998

"The Fully Informed Jury Association has just one goal in mind: to protect individual rights and secure citizen control of government by informing jurors of their right to not only judge the facts of a case as they apply to the law, but to judge the law itself."

July 22, 1998

"The Bent River Brewing Company has a full-service bar and will soon be making their own beer."

August 5, 1998

Longtime distributors Jay Strickland and Jason Stuart begin delivering the River Cities' Reader.

August 12, 1998

"Gallery Hop will hit the streets of downtown Rock Island this Friday night, only this time around, MidCoast Fine Arts is at the helm. The last time Gallery Hop happened in Rock Island, Quad City Arts - who played a vital role in developing the event - was the organizer, but since that time, the organization has passed the reins to MidCoast Fine Arts due to staffing changes."

September 2, 1998

"The event, River Relief '98, hopes to raise funds to benefit local river environmental activist Chad Pregracke's Mississippi River Beautification & Restoration Project. ... Since beginning the project this past March, Pregracke has attracted much media attention for his efforts to keep the Mississippi River clean and was featured on CNN Headline News, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and most recently in the July issue of Life magazine. He recently received a letter commending his work from Vice President Al Gore."

September 9, 1998

"The first annual Liturgical Arts Festival will take place in the Quad Cities throughout the month of October. As the name suggests, the festival is a celebration of creativity combined with spirituality."

September 23, 1998

"On Saturday, October 3, the newly opened Quad City Botanical Center joins in [horticulture expert Jack] Kramer's efforts to liberate these women's talents by announcing the opening of the Women of Flowers: A Tribute to Victorian Women Illustrators exhibit ... ."

October 14, 1998

The cover touts Jimmie Jones as "the Quad Cities' own walking, talking jazz museum." The story begins: "Jimmie Jones, age 74, has been a member of the jazz community since he invited himself in: one summer when he was a teenager."

October 28, 1998

"Despite the 'all or none' choice that voters have to make next week, the Scott County jail issue is a complex series of facts, figures, studies, interpretations, emotions, and agendas. For purposes of this coverage the Reader will focus on the following three areas: 1) Does the county need a 500-bed facility? ... 2) Is $48.3 million in costs reasonable? ... 3) Is Downtown Davenport the best place to build such a facility?"

November 4, 1998

"The ... $48.3-million bond referendum to build a new 500-bed jail in downtown Davenport was voted down by more than half of the voters in Scott County yesterday. Despite the defeat, county officials' morale was high on Tuesday night at the courthouse. Scott County Board member Tom Otting exclaimed, 'We'll get 'em next time!' as he high-fived Sheriff Mike Bladel."

November 25, 1998

"In August 1998, Davenport taxpayers, via the City of Davenport, loaned Brammer Manufacturing $500,000 through an economic-development grant for the expansion of Brammer's kitchen-cabinetry-manufacturing facility. In return, Brammer agreed, among other things, to maintain their workforce of 175 full-time positions and increase that number to 245 within three years. Three months later, after accepting the $500,000, Brammer appears to be closing its doors."

January 9, 1999

The Reader celebrates its 200th issue.

March 3, 1999

"By last week, the Iowa Utilities Board had all but signed off on the buyout of MidAmerican Energy, Iowa's biggest power producer" by CalEnergy. "The only loser seems to be Iowa."

March 17, 1999

"Last year, while Quad City Arts was busy celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Visiting Artist Series (VAS) was busy celebrating its 25th. But even more importantly, the VAS was the recipient of the prestigious 1999 William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence. On top of that, the VAS also received a substantial grant for $30,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts. That's a triple double in the cultural arts field."

June 30, 1999

Rob Brezsny's astrology column returns to the Reader, this time for good.

July 21, 1999

"Until now only industry could be associated with East Moline. All that is about to change, though, thanks to business and city officials coming together to launch The Quarter, a riverfront development that hopes to bring East Moline out of the shadow of the Quad Cities into a tourism attraction all her own."

"The Davenport Museum of Art Architectural Selection Committee has finalized its review of 54 responses to its Request for Qualifications for design of a new facility. The Davenport Museum of Art plans to build a new facility of approximately 65,000 square feet on the site bounded by Harrison Street, Second Street, and River Drive in downtown Davenport."

August 4, 1999

"This year marks the 20th anniversary for one of the most successful nightclubs in the Quad Cities. When the Rock Island Brewing Company opened its doors two decades ago, the Quad Cities was about to help elect a former movie star into the presidency and disco was very, very 'in.' But that didn't stop two brothers, Dan and Jerry Carmody, form opening a live-music bar in downtown Rock Island. Jerry Luden, now owner of O'Meara's Pub in Bettendorf and a college friend of Dan's, served as manager."

September 22, 1999

Headline: "Mac's Tavern Celebrates 65 Years in Downtown Davenport"

"Nowadays, it seems the only things older than Mac's are the Chicago Cubs' championship drought and Strom Thurmond."

September 29, 1999

"In the spirit of growth against sprawl, the Campaign for Smart Growth is hosting its first Quad Cities Smart Growth Conference: Planning for Our Future, on Saturday, October 2 ... ."

"One of the biggest and most advanced theatres on the planet is coming to Davenport. In a press conference Wednesday, the Putnam Museum of History & Natural Science revealed their intention to build a new facility in the Museum Hill area for the state-of-the-art theatre, IMAX."

October 27, 1999

Todd McGreevy writes: "I ... get the sense that that established local artists desire a connection to the DMA [Davenport Museum of Art] that they feel was there years ago when adult studio arts thrived and renowned visiting artists took up short residencies at the DMA."

January 5, 2000

City Shorts: "A law set to take effect in 2001 requires the tracking of every foreigner entering the United States. Supporters of the law are being bolstered by recent arrests of suspected terrorists in states bordering Canada. Lawmakers and the Canadian government contend the law will create long lines at border crossings, restrict trade, and deter tourists. The law, Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996, requires the Immigration & Naturalization Service to devise an automated system to track the entry and exit of all noncitizens. The Senate has voted three times to repeal the law, but the House has yet to go along. Last year, the White House and congressional negotiators agreed to delay the implementation of the law until 2001 to allow time to develop a workable system."

January 19, 2000

Headline: "Top 10 Career Patrons"

"George W. Bush: (1) Enron Corporation, Houston, $550,025."

February 23, 2000

Moline Mayor Stan Leach wrote: "As it stands today, Moline is out of land but has the financial resources to fuel future development. East Moline has available land but lacks financial backing to bring development to fruition. A marriage of the two is certain to ensure long-term stability."

March 22, 2000

Kathleen McCarthy writes: "To show you how naïve I am, I actually expected this present Davenport city council to embrace the opportunity to settle the suit with Citizens United for Responsible Vision (CURV) over the city's 53rd Street/Eastern Avenue Mixed-Used Development."

April 5, 2000

Rock Island Mayor Mark Schweibert writes: "As part of the overall project of making it easier to get from one side of the Mississippi to the other, an important step will be underway this year and next as we move toward removing tolls from the Centennial Bridge."

April 26, 2000

Garry Lee Wright wrote about the stock market: "And when the bubble finally burst, the little guy got killed. Now, am I talking about 1929, or am I talking about next year?"

Kathleen McCarthy, on the "recent rulting by Judge Gary McKendrick in favor of the Davenport school board in an action brought by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) for an injunction to keep the board from demolishing the Crawford Sugar Bowl. ... Ruling in favor of the school board is not the objection, however, as unfortunate as it might be. The really disturbing issue here is what those in attendance at the hearing described as a predisposition on the part of the judge that favored the school board but was openly contemptuous of the HPC ... ."

May 10, 2000

93 Rock DJ Karla Palmer said, "When you get millions of people sharing CD-quality files, then there really isn't a reason for anybody to go out and buy the album. It hurts the artists, and it hurts radio stations to a point, too."

The cartoon Red Meat makes its first appearance in the Reader.

May 17, 2000

Headline: "Moline First Illinois City with Stormwater Management Utility Fee"

June 21, 2000

Kathleen McCarthy, writing about the Davenport city council in its dispute with CURV about the planned development at 53rd Street and Eastern Avenue, says: "I rationalized setting aside my discouragement over their lack of leadership by telling myself that they will do the right thing in time. Well, time is about up and still there is no action regarding the settlement agreement between the City of Davenport and CURV. ... The net result of this agreement would be to wipe the slate clean and start over with economic development in that project area - a strategy that eight of the 10 aldermen/women were elected on. Since the election, the eight, including two aldermen who were re-elected, appear to have abandoned their constituency, as well as CURV, out of a lack of understanding (because of the complexity) or fear (because of the controvery)."

July 19, 2000

Jeff Ignatius joins the River Cities' Reader staff.

July 26, 2000

"Most impressive about the ArtStroll premiere is the level of involvement. More than 20 different arts organizations and businesses have helped put the night together, and more than two dozen artists are participating."

August 9, 2000

Mention the District of Rock Island and one thinks of music festivals, art galleries, restaurants, and brewpubs. But quietly tucked away among the city's nightlife and arts is eServ ... , a new company that is part of a wave of businesses that have discovered the benefits of blending emerging technologies with traditional business practices."

August 16, 2000

"The people who are going to be left in the cold are those on fixed incomes, as well as senior citizens with high medical bills. Natural-gas prices have nearly doubled in the past five months. ... MidAmerican estimates that the average family will pay between $160 and $200 more this winter for natural gas than last winter."

"A change in management won't significantly improve bus service in Davenport. That's because CitiBus has many problems, and management by MetroLINK is just one of them."'If we want to do it correctly,' said Davenport Mayor Phil Yerington, 'we're going to have to put the money in.' ... CitiBus has too few buses, for one thing, and that causes more shortcomings than anything else: poor maintenance and too few routes running too infrequently."

September 27, 2000

"The Davenport City Council last week tentatively approved a $3.7-million incentive package for Sentry insurance to relocate from Moline, claiming that without the deal the company might have left the Quad Cities altogether. But that scenario was unlikely, and the city is handing over a lot of money to a company that promises new jobs but plans to lay off as many as 100 workers, too."

October 25, 2000

"Cities are beginning to experience the epiphany that sprawl is a waste of tax dollars. They are questioning why, while they may be experiencing physical growth, they are not experiencing a corresponding growth in city revenues."

December 6, 2000

The Reader's 300th issue.

January 17, 2000

"Even though MidAmerican tried to put its best spin on the record-high prices for natural gas - more than twice as high as they've ever been - the company could have done more to protect consumers. And they're not alone. De-regulation at the federal level and ineffective regulation at the state level have contributed to the problem."

February 7, 2001

Rick Martin begins working for the Reader.

April 11, 2001

"At the heart of the city's application [Davenport's $180-million Vision Iowa submission] is a new, ambitious, and somewhat speculative concept: an AgTech Venture Capital Center that could re-define the Quad Cities' economy, backers say. While most of the other communities being considered for vision Iowa money plan to construct arenas or exposition centers to chase tourist dollars, Davenport, is trying to build a more vibrant arts community and establish itself as a center for a new economy, helping finance and guide new businesses in the agricultural-technology field."

May 9, 2001

"The City of Davenport is poised to give the developer, THF of St. Louis, and Wal-Mart a major tool to develop a new store, even though THF and the city have clashed about the developer's obligations in the past; even though the legal agreements to protect the city aren't finalized; even though studies to demonstrate need and impact don't exist; and even though the retail stores planned for the area provide nearly exclusively low-wage jobs."

May 30, 2001

"What's shocking is that much smaller communities have exhibited some or all of the independent pictures we've never gotten the chance to see. ... So why, in a community with more than 300,000 people, is it so hard to see a good independent movie on the big screen?"

June 20, 2001

"It's instructive that as much progress as Moline's riverfront area has made over the past decade - from The Mark to the soon-to-be-open John Deere Collector's Center - the downtown still hasn't generated much development without government assistance."

June 27, 2001

Tom Swanson joins the Reader staff.

August 1, 2001

"Does minor-league baseball have an economic impact on the local economy? The answer: Not really. [As one study states:] 'Despite growing scholarly evidence that professional sports teams do not contribute significantly to a community's economy, supporters ... persist in using the promise of substantial stadium-induced economic activity as a rationale for them.' ... "

October 10, 2001

"A lot of movie theatres give lip service to independent and foreign-language movies, but few actually follow through. The new Nova 6 theatre in Moline is making a six-week, 11-film commitment to art-house movies ... and it features nearly every noteworthy 'little movie' of the summer."

October 17, 2001

"On October 23, Scott County voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against a $5-million county contributions to River Renaissance that in turn will help guarantee $20 million from the state's Vision Iowa fund."

November 14, 2001

"As [Dan] Carmody describes it, Rock Island is trying to 'woo technology workers and create an environment they can work within, play within, and live within.' That means housing options, which the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation is helping to provide with 52 new loft-style apartments in two downtown buildings."

December 19, 2001

"Marycrest International University will close following its spring semester, the school announced on Monday."

April 10, 2002

"The Davenport Museum of Art last week unveiled the final design of the $30-million Figge Arts Center ... ."

"The Putnam's continued viability, to a large extent, hinges on whether the IMAX draws new people to the museum."

April 17, 2002

"Although the [Davenport] school board has not yet determined the fates of Johnson and Grant [schools], parents are already bitter and entrenched, expecting the worst of the seven-member school board when it votes April 22 on the issue of closing the two schools."

April 24, 2002

Political columnist Rich Miller makes his first appearance in the Reader.

May 1, 2002

Cheryl Phoun joins the River Cities' Reader staff.

May 8, 2002

Renaissance Rock Island has identified eight pieces of the city's heritage that it wants to spotlight through art in conjunction with infrastructure improvements."

June 12, 2002

The Reader publishes its first Music Guide.

July 24, 2002

"The departure of former director Steven Bradley last year left the [Davenport] Museum [of Art] without a leader at a crucial time ... . More importantly for [newly appointed director Linda] Downs right now, it's impossible to say whether she will be leading a municipal museum ... or a private one, and whether she will have a board and two fundraising organizations ... or a single board overseeing everything. ... In addition, Downs will be asked to foster community ownership of the new Figge Arts Center ... . And she'll be expected to turn an organization that has averaged fewer than 33,000 visitors a year into one that attracts more than 180,000 annually ... ."

September 18, 2002

"At its annual meeting on September 19 at The Mark, the [Illinois Quad City] Chamber [of Commerce] will be celebrating the 'Art of Business,' and the theme isn't just lip service. In an effort to create a high cultural awareness among the business community, the meeting will feature displays and performances from a dozen arts and cultural organizations."

September 25, 2002

"The bad news is that fewer and fewer candidates are filling out the [Project Vote Smart] survey, and the numbers are lower in Iowa than anywhere else in the country."

"The Midwest Writing Center was once an idea and an organization without a place. It's definitely a place now ... ."

October 16, 2002

Headline: "Davenport Crime Climbs Again. Meanwhile, Crime Rates in Other Quad Cities Continue to Fall"

November 13, 2002

The Reader's 400th issue.

April 16, 2003

The Reader runs the winners of its short-fiction contest.

June 18, 2003

"More than the name has changed for the property at 53rd Street and Eastern Avenue. What was once planned as a golf course and high-end residential development has been envisioned as a 'new urbanist' haven in Davenport. ... It is first and foremost meant to show the Quad Cities a new way of doing development."

June 25, 2003

"The final chapter of a Rock Island County saga wraps up Saturday, June 28, with a public auction of the contents of Poplar Grove. The secluded riverfront tavern was operated for nearly 80 years in the same location by the Bernard family of Moline."

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