Have you read the one about corporations planning to charge you hundreds of dollars a month for your tap water? Or the one about military "psychological operations" specialists manipulating viewers of CNN? What about the highly skilled programmers in Silicon Valley who, because they are immigrants, are laboring under sweatshop-like conditions?

If none of these stories rings a bell, it's not because you've missed the latest e-mail hoax.

Moline

• After a judge struck down the city's truancy ordinance in February, Moline has been unable to prosecute people who skip school. A new truancy ordinance - one that capped at 18 the age at which one could be prosecuted for being absent from school - was offered for consideration on first reading at the city council's April 10 meeting.

Part two of two

The press conference last month announcing Davenport's completion of an application to the Vision Iowa program was filled with bold statements. In explaining the name River Renaissance, Davenport Community and Economic Development Director Clayton Lloyd invoked the Renaissance of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Davenport

• County Attorney Bill Davis, legal counsel for Mike Meloy, has asked the city council to consider a settlement agreement in executive session after the regular council meeting (4/4) to avoid litigation over the untimely, unprofessional, and highly controversial dismissal of Mike Meloy as city attorney.

Is anyone else getting tired of the world-according-to-the-armchair-quarterbacks-at-the- Quad-City-Times? Case in point: "Keeping Score in the Quality of Life," published on Sunday, March 25. Drawing on "the observations of hundreds of Quad Citians, scores of reports, and visits to other similarly sized U.

If you believe the hype, the futures of entire communities hinge on decisions that will be made in the coming months.

For the past year, the board of the state's Vision Iowa program has set rules and procedures and reviewed applications for a big pile of state money that was set aside last year for projects to boost tourism and improve quality of life.

• The Iowa House of Representatives will be looking at a proposal to raise the state's sales tax to 6 percent and use the money to pay for school construction and repair. Inspired by the success of a 1998 law that allowed counties to pass a 1-cent sales-tax increase to pay for school capital projects, the bill aims to provide property-tax relief and tax equity statewide.

Rock Island

• At a study session on March 26, the Rock Island City Council received a report from the Sylvan Slough Task Force, which is charged with updating a 1989 plan for the area. The new report recommends, among other things, expansion of the Quad City Botanical Center to the area just east of Government Bridge for a children's garden; development of the Sylvan Slough as a "naturalized exhibit (river and woods) and an extension of the Botanical Center"; creation of a "railroad museum" along the Iowa Interstate and Burlington Northern railroad yards; development of a "public access site to the river" in the industrial area behind and to the east of the QCIC plant; and creation of a baseball stadium for Augustana College between 5th and 6th avenues and 39th and 40th streets.

• The Bettendorf City Council recently
approved a budget that includes purchase of a new $600,000 fire truck but doesn't include any money for new personnel. This is despite an $85,000 study last year that recommended adding at least four paid firefighters and a captain to the department, which currently has 37 volunteers and 18 paid members.

For the fifth consecutive year, the River Cities' Reader offers the results of our annual Best of the Quad Cities poll. The ballots were printed in December of last year, and the results reflect our readership's views on what was best in Y2K.

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