To the backers of the Davenport Promise initiative, the developer of the model on which it is based has some words of caution:

The Promise is not a sure thing. It's not a silver bullet. And it needs to be part of a larger community-improvement push.

Jeff Speck Jeff Speck doesn't expect to be a popular person among government officials.

"It will be a little bit controversial," Speck said of his July 9 lecture at the Figge Art Museum. "I will attack your public-works department and your fire chief - never having met them."

The City of Davenport has more than $66 million in the bank. One committee within city government hopes to make that money work harder for the city as a whole by encouraging banks to reinvest more in the community.

Bike Lanes The week of May 12 through 18 is "Bike to Work Week," but if you're a casual cyclist, good luck.

The Quad Cities have a great trail system along both sides of the Mississippi River - which one day is expected to form a loop on each side of the river. Yet that system is geared more toward recreation than transportation - getting you from home to work. And very few drivers are good at sharing the road with bicyclists in a way that makes both feel safe.

Enter "complete streets."

Be forewarned the following commentary is a shameless effort to provide publicity for the River Cities Rumble Disc Golf Tournament, a sporting event the Reader co-founded last year with the Quad City Disc Golf Club (QCDGC).BarretWhite.gif

Just over a year later the QCDGC (started in 1999), led by tournament director Chad Eng, has succeeded in securing a couple significant milestones for the second-annual River Cities Rumble.

If you wonder about the durability of stereotypes, ask Solo Greene. A member of the Nez Perce Native American tribe and an education specialist with an environmental group on the tribe's reservation in Idaho, he began going into elementary schools five or six years ago to speak to students.

"I thought it was just because they were young," he said in a phone interview, in advance of his fifth-annual appearance in the Quad Cities as part of a cultural exchange with Black Hawk College. "Some of the questions that they asked me ... were: Where did I come from? ... How is it living in a tipi? Did I have to get a pass to get off the reservation?"

625-cover-thumb.jpg Sixteen years ago, Jeremy Boots heard about the Guardian Angels, did some research on the public-safety organization, and wrote to its New York City headquarters. The group, best known for patrolling neighborhoods and public-transportation systems with teams of unarmed volunteers, sent him its newsletter and then tried to recruit him.

"They were wanting me to start a chapter up" in Davenport, he said.

Film incentives in Iowa are likely to become law this legislative session after being approved by a house committee last week.

But it remains an open question how much of a boost House File 411 - which would create three types of incentives for film production in Iowa - would provide to the state's motion-picture industry, and whether the state would benefit financially from the incentives.

Reader issue #622 Welcome to the first official Reader "Business Issue." While we are keenly aware of our own 13-year record of covering business issues important to the community, it's no secret that the Reader is often (especially among our Davenport-based critics and competitors) dismissed as "anti-business" or "anti-growth" "againsters."

So if our coverage is "anti-business," what would "pro-business" coverage look like?

Don Henry wants to be judged on jobs.

As the director of the Northwest Region Entrepreneurship Center, the only criterion that matters, he said, is the number of new jobs his organization helps create. Even though the State of Illinois provides the bulk of his budget, Henry isn't bogged down by odious regulations or reporting requirements.