Claiming they had an intelligence tip about a bomb threat, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on August 14 temporarily closed down Patriotic Hall, the home of the Independent Media Center and the Shadow Conventions, located five blocks from the Democratic Convention.

WTO Debate
The International Forum on Globalization,
The Nation Institute, Public Citizen
&
The Progress Project
Present:

A Public Debate
on
Globalization and the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Tuesday, November 30, 7:30 PM
Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave.

What are we coming to when we
allow special interests like those of
Jack Bush, CEO of McCarthy-Bush Real Estate, but more importantly McCarthy Improvement Company, one of Scott County's largest builders and repairers of roads, to influence spending with schemes like the "Big Bang" theory for capital improvements needed in Davenport? How is this any different from developers, of which Bush is one, asking taxpayers to pay their upfront costs for real estate projects in Davenport? According to a recent article in the QC Times, Bush's "Big Bang" theory, in a presentation to city leaders, calls for borrowing "millions, hike property taxes and take care of the city's major infrastructure needs all at once.

Brendan Wolfe's article "The Davenport Blues" in the July 19 edition of the River Cities' Reader was interesting reading but contains numerous errors and, as Clinton's spin doctors would say, frequently gives a "false impression.

I have read with sad interest the unfolding saga of Moline Alderman Chuck Davis, the questions involving his legal residency, and the public revelation of his unfortunate financial situation.
News reports mention a pending charge of domestic battery.

Your August 2 cover story regarding predatory lending was excellent. I came to the conclusion many years ago that interest on loans above the amount necessary to provide the loan is theft. I think that would put it in a 2- to 4-percent range.

"Wow, I can't believe I'm finally here! Me, Al Gore! At the Democratic convention! And I'm the guy! The main man! No more number two! No more sitting around, hoping Bill hits his head on the bathtub! It's finally my turn! Me! Al Gore! This is so-o-o-o cool!"
"Al, it looks like we may have a little problem.

Dear Mr. News Junkie:
Will you settle a bet? My wife says that Republican convention is the only thing on the news because there's nothing else happening anywhere in the whole world. I say that's impossible.

The Scott County Community Jail and Alternatives Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, August 9, from 4:00-5:30 pm at United Neighbors (808 Harrison Street, Davenport?parking lot is just north of 8th Street). The public is welcome to attend and participate in discussion of items on the agenda that include : current jail population, jail population profile, overview of the criminal-justice system in Scott County, progress report of the Court Compliance Office, the Substance Abuse Targeted Capacity Expansion Grant, and more. It is an important discussion for the public to have with jail officials and other concerned citizens. Public safety has been identified as one of the main concerns of our community, and we should show Scott County our support and willingness to participate in efforts to achieve overall community safety. It is also an opportunity to voice our personal concerns and contribute our individual perspectives.


Later in the evening, at 7pm, another public meeting will take place at United Neighbors to discuss the draft version for the revised "Rules of Order" being proposed by Davenport's City Council. (See page 4 of this Reader issue for a draft of revisions for "Rules of Order" to be discussed at public meeting.) Rule #21 governs the Mayor's authority to form standing and special committees. There is some debate on the council whether to revise this rule to make the mayor's appointments to the five committees less flexible in the future. This action is stemming from the mayor's threat to remove several aldermen who have been "uncommunicative" about the various activities of the committees, more specifically the Community Development Committee. But, supposedly, all that discord has been settled, so the next logical step would be to drop the discussion about changing Rule #21. It would be very "unfriendly" of this council to pursue any further action that would diminish the mayor's authority in this matter, especially after he extended the olive branch and rescinded his decision to remove or reorganize the Community Development Committee. The public needs to ensure that several members of this particular council get past personal animosities and vindictive motives for directing city business by keeping a close watch and holding them accountable for their actions.


Another important item being discussed relative to the "Rules of Order" is the rule concerning public input during meetings. This is so important that the public really needs to turn out to debate this with the city staff and aldermen who will be present at the discussion. This is our opportunity to let the city know our expectations for how business is conducted at City Hall. Please attend if you can.


Attendance at the meetings, whether they are regular council meetings, committee meetings, or public hearings, acts as a barometer, so to speak, on how the council and staff should prioritize the issues at hand. If the public is absent, it sends a message to our leaders that the issue(s) aren't very important versus a large public attendance, where the message sent is that the issue(s) matter very much. Support for or against civic issues is critical to creating change. Otherwise, a handful of special interests are getting all the attention because they are always present and accounted for. It is the "squeaky wheel" syndrome at its best...or, worst, depending on who's getting the grease.

They say that people with dysfunctional behaviors that are destructive usually have to hit rock bottom before they are willing to admit they even have a problem, let alone take the steps to change. Such is the case with the Davenport's City Council.

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