• The Junior League of the Quad Cities is working in conjunction with the City of Bettendorf to add a play area in McManus Park (better known as Rocket Park) just off Interstate 74 to meet the needs of children with physical disabilities.

Since losing the contract to run Davenport's bus system at the end of 2000, MetroLINK has begun to aggressively expand its services, and planned bus routes to rural areas and nearby college towns could be just the first step.

• The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has resumed monitoring ground-level ozone, often called smog. State and local agencies use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Index to provide general information to the public about air quality and associated health effects.

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.

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