Project Vote Smart should be a godsend for citizens who want to learn more about candidates running for office. The nonpartisan national organization collects information on races from the White House to the statehouse, and surveys each candidate with detailed questions on important issues.

But for voters in Illinois and Iowa, Project Vote Smart is not nearly as useful as it could be because response rates from candidates continue to decline.

The fifth Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley opened last month in the Roosevelt Community Center in west Davenport. The Roosevelt Club, as this group is called, held its grand opening on September 15. Unit Director Cliff Sims said the club fills a need in Davenport's west end because "many kids had nothing to do after school in this area."

The club, located at 1220 Minnie Avenue in the former Roosevelt Elementary School, is open Monday through Friday from 2 until 6 p.m. It opens one hour earlier on Wednesdays, because Davenport schools let out earlier that day.

Reader issue #600 When Sue Gabel's mother got sick two years ago and had a stroke, the doctor told the family that she would need to move from independent living to assisted living. Gabel and other family members scouted various facilities in the Quad Cities and selected one that told her they had a room for their mother.

When she arrived, though, the situation was different. "They put her in an empty room that had absolutely nothing in it but a bed and a table," Gabel said. They further told her that they still needed to evaluate her mother before placing her, and that they had a room in an Alzheimer unit that would cost an additional $1,000 to $1,200 a month.

"I didn't know what to do," Gabel said. "She is going to go absolutely nuts if she's in that [bare] room any longer."

Writers are often taught to "show, don't tell." People marketing the Quad Cities are doing exactly that.

Most marketing is done through "telling," such as television ads. "Showing" involves giving people an experience, such as free samples at the grocery store.

This weekend's RiverWay collection of events - running Thursday through Sunday - is all about "showing" the Quad Cities rather than "telling" about them.

AmeriCorps "Help! Help! This stranger is not my father!" was the cry of nearly 40 children at summer camp last month.

The children were safe, but the scene is a normal, almost weekly event for Cindy Richard, an AmeriCorps member at the American Red Cross in Moline. She was teaching children the "Stranger Danger" program so they would know how to protect themselves from people who might be trying to abduct them.

Richard helps teach health and safety to both children and adults in the Quad Cities area, on topics ranging from weather safety to HIV/AIDS to first aid.

She's scheduled to end her service in October. So are 23 other AmeriCorps members in the Iowa Quad Cities.

589 cover Last month, a group of 27 business leaders from the Quad Cities sent a letter to the chairpersons of the area's four largest economic-development entities. That, in itself, is noteworthy, but the letter is full of curious features:

Mike and Mark Creger of M and M Hardware Mike Creger, at the front counter of M&M Hardware in Rock Island, warned a customer this past Friday: "I need big bucks from you."

The total: $2.73.

The Avati Brothers The Quad City Development Group announced last week that a feature film by the Italian brothers Antonio and Pupi Avati will be partially shot in the Quad Cities this year, with an expected local impact of several hundred thousand dollars.

On Thursday,  June 15, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the following news release:

"Rhythm City Casino Permit

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VII; the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; the State Historical Society of Iowa; and the city of Davenport, has issued a permit to relocate the Rhythm City Casino riverboat to an area upstream of their current location on the Mississippi River in Davenport., Iowa.


Issue 584 cover Last month, the public got a peek at four finalists for the design of the Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River, and it was an important milestone. For the first time, people could actually visualize what the new bridge might look like, eight years after it first became one the area's top transportation priorities.