Make way for our new, entertaining lineup

Posted Online: June 01, 2013, 11:00 pm
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Roger Ruthhart,
We are excited to be able to introduce some new features for our readers. We think we offer an awesome lineup of information, entertainment and commentary but we always are looking for an upgrade. In these features we think we have made several.

First out of the box are two new columnists – both female.

Lenore Skenazy will regularly appear on our Viewpoints page. She was featured in our paper some time ago and we are happy to bring her back.

As much as readers appreciate her sense of humor, they also appreciate her reporting skills honed over a 20 year career in journalism. She has won many awards, offered opinions on National Public Radio and wrote "The Dysfuncional Family Christmas Songbook."

Her biography describes her as "a wise-cracking, truth-seeking, eye-rolling, run-on-sentence-crating everywoman not afraid to ask the tough questions." She also is a wife and mother.

Jessica Leigh, who writes an advice column titled Questionable Advice, also is new to our pages. She takes an edgy, less traditional approach to advice, admitting "advice is questionable – questionable in the sense of community and discussion; questionable in the sense of certitude."

"Concensus isn't always right and neither is the lone wolf. Sometimes there is no right. Sometimes what someone wants even more than right, is attention, compassion, corroboration, information or to have their head yanked out of their derriere," she said.

While studying literature and screen writing at the University of Texas at Austin, she said she worked for the American Lung Association. "They caught me smoking in the parking lot. Some things shouldn't require an advice columnist."

She is an editor, writer and races go-karts. She lives in Austin and California with her two dogs, "neither of whom listen to me either." Her home in our paper is Mondays in the Neighbors section beginning Monday, June 10.

New cartoonists

We also are excited to have added two new editorial cartoonists to our stable.

Andy Marlette is a real up-and-comer that we are excited about. We love his artistry, his topics and his pedigree.

Mr. Marlette graduated from the University of Florida and became staff editorial cartoonist at the Pensacola News Journal in 2007. He received a priceless editorial cartoon education while living with his uncle -- Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette. His uncle's award-winning cartoons appeared in our newspapers until his tragic death in 2007.

The older Marlette had a fierce and faithful devotion to the art form of editorial cartooning as a cornerstone of American free speech. With this in mind, Andy said he works daily to uphold the disciplines and values passed on to him by his late uncle.

Mr. Marlette's editorial cartoons have become both hated and adored by daily readers. His work has been awarded Best Editorial Cartoons on State Issues by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. Former Governor Charlie Crist has referred to himself regularly as Marlette's biggest fan, despite the fact that he was also one of his biggest targets.

He has been working for the Pensacola Fl. News Journal and now is reaching out to a more national audience and we are excited to be one of his outlets.

Finally, back in the saddle is another former contributor, Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Reuben award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 2006. It was his second Pulitzer, having also won in 1995 and being runnerup in 1987.

He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Washington who worked for newspapers in Greenville, South Carolina, and New Orleans before moving to Atlanta. His cartoons now appear in more than 350 daily publications. He and his wife have four children.

Ask Mr. Know-It-All

Another new feature that will begin next Sunday isAsk Mr. Know-It-All, a Q&A column by Gary Lee Clothier in which he answers readers' inquiries on entertainment and other trivia topics. From movies and television to sports, pop culture and every bit of trivia in between, Ask Mr. Know-It-All has the answers to satisfy readers' curiosity and settle friendly bets.

Several old columns have fallen by the wayside as a result of our additions, but we're guessing you won't even miss them.

Roger Ruthhart is managing editor of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus. He can be reached at


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2014. There are 71 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The weather is discouraging for our great Democratic rally tomorrow, but never mind that. Let our Rock Island people show they can make a big procession themselves, rain or shine.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Apparatus arrived for drilling an artesian well on the premises of George Warner's Atlantic Brewery.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The German army continued its attacks on the allies line near the Belgian coast.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Zachert northwest of Buffalo Prairie, burned to the ground.
1964 -- 50 years ago: WVIK-FM, noncommercial educational radio station at Augustana College, will return to the air tomorrow. The station operates at a power of 10 watts at 90.9 megacycles on the frequency modulation band. The station is operated with a staff of 92 students.
1989 -- 25 years ago: An avenue of lights, 13 Christmas trees strung with more than 44,000 sparkling lights, will expand the Festival of Trees beyond the walls of RiverCenter in downtown Davenport in mid-November.

(More History)