Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Downtown Park Groundbreaking

From the D1 Downtown Partnership E-Newsletter:
Bechtel Trusts and Foundation and the Downtown Partnership Cordially Invite You to a Groundbreaking Ceremony

When: Thursday, June 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Located on the southeast corner of Iowa and Second Streets at the former site of Judy’s Antiques

Why: Please join us for the groundbreaking ceremony of our newest downtown park that will greatly enhance the eastern gateway to our city and improve our community for years to come

RSVP: Abby Owens, DavenportOne, at or call (563) 823-2678.

Here's the area they're talking about, next to Iowa Pawn at 2nd and Iowa. I just read this email today, so that doesn't leave me (or any of you interested folks) much time to RSVP...

Camera Stuff

As I've said all along, I'm not wild about the speed cameras, but I don't think they're horrible either.

What I find extremely comical is the number of people writing letters to the editor explaining how they got a speeding ticket or a red light ticket, and how they're going to do this or that, or boycott Davenport, etc.

They use words like "fleecing motorists" and other things to make it sound like Davenport has issued a toll on Kimberly Road. Yet strangely enough, out of myself, my family, and close friends, none of us have gotten a ticket.

I wonder why this is? Oh yeah... we must not be BREAKING THE LAW.
There's room for debate over whether the cameras are the right or wrong thing for Davenport, but I just don't understand how someone can complain that they were caught doing something that is illegal. Laws aren't written with a clause that says police have to be sporting about catching people.

There's an exceedingly simple way to avoid speeding tickets in Davenport, without boycotting anything. Don't speed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Monday-ish Tuesday Open Thread

What do people want to talk about?

Here's a picture of construction going on last week on our new gateway to Davenport at the bottom of the Centennial bridge. According to this QCTimes article from a while back, it will eventually include replicas of a statue and fountain that were once on that location. Also, for you bridge to nowhere people, the 3 new Davenport signs together are costing about 75% as much as the City of Davenport paid towards the Skybridge.

Monday, May 29, 2006

We're all in the wrong business

Cameras boost city revenues -QCTimes

Apparently our speed cameras are the most profitable thing since the Niabi Zoo train. It was previously estimated that they would take in $120,000, and they've actually taken in $220,000 in 6 months. Considering that I haven't gotten any red light or speed camera tickets, I should be happy that people who are either in too much of a hurry or don't read the newspaper are paying the city more money than I. However, I still can't get over the 10mph over maximum allowable speed. Many people occasionally drive that speed, and its probably through a combination of luck and knowing where the cameras are that have keep people like myself from getting tickets.

If the city has taken in almost twice as much as they expected, I believe they should raise the minimum speed for ticketing to 15mph over and see what effect that has on revenues. I would say that takes away the threat from people who drive the "usual" 10mph over, but I suspect that there would still be PLENTY of tickets given out. The city could try it for a month, not end up mailing a single ticket, and still be ahead of estimates. I vividly remember reading an article in the Times a few years ago talking about changing the speed limit on 53rd where someone from the city was quoted saying that speed limits are set with the assumption that people drive 10 over.

I'd also be curious to know the rate at which they are successfully collecting the fines for these offenses. Hopefully better than the parking ticket payment rate.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Any buyers for the painted-on Black Hawk sculpture?

The building with the 5 story optical illusion mural (artsy folks would call it Trompe l'oeil) of Black Hawk painted on it can be yours for the low, low price of three quarters of a million bucks.

See the Ruhl&Ruhl Commercial listing here. Maybe they'll give me a referral bonus if one of you buys it.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Police Off-Duty Work

My take on this, as previously discussed on Solo and the Colonel's blog.

First a little bit of my knowledge of the Mississippi Valley Fair incident. People who were involved are welcome to correct my facts. The way I have heard the story told, Cpl. Welke saw Mr. Williams getting ready to hit someone, and took him to the ground. The QCTimes published copies of the police reports here. Unfortunately for Mr. Williams, Al Welke is a big guy, and Williams apparently has weak hips. He ended up with a broken hip, and then of course sued the fair, Welke, the DPD, etc. Strangely enough, he won the case, and that's the cause of all this hoopla. The situation was not helped by the fact that the DPD assumed the MVF would be liable, and the MVF assumed the DPD would be. Based on this alone, I can see why Chief Bladel would not want to continue the DPD's relationship with the fair.

Regarding off-duty work in general, I divided my opinions into Pros and Cons of allowing this practice.

Pro: While officers are working off-duty, they are essentially acting as a police officer, only being paid by a private business. This theoretically could take some of the strain off of on-duty officers, as they would have to respond less frequently to locations where an off-duty cop is stationed. Its like having a beat that consists of HyVee, only without the city paying the cop to patrol it.
Pro: Allowing off-duty work serves as a further benefit of the job, hopefully allowing the DPD to attract better qualified officers without actually increasing pay or benefits. Last I heard, most off-duty jobs pay $25 per hour and above.
Con: Liability. If the officer gets involved in an incident while in uniform and acting as a Davenport Police Officer, the city may be liable. (i.e, the Fair) I'm no lawyer, so here I'm just going by news articles.
Con: Officers may take on too much off-duty work (sometimes almost as much as on-duty) causing fatigue or decreased job performance in their actual police job. This could probably be decreased by closer monitoring of off-duty work.

Overall, I'm undecided at this point. Taking away all off-duty work would be similar to a pay cut for most officers, and some locations, such as the water company, require an officer for homeland security. On the other hand, the liability issue could cost the city big bucks if something worse than a broken hip ever happens.

What do you hardy souls who read through this whole post think about the issue?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Frink's blog and old

I'm late in adding Alderman Frink's blog to my link bar, but its there now. He recently added his reactions to day one of the neighborhood conference that he's currently attending. Hopefully he continues to update his blog this regularly.

Also, while driving past the former McDonalds on Brady Street, which I believe was the site of the first McDs in the QC (a bit before my time) I noticed some construction activity. Now today's QCTimes explains what's going on. Here's the article, and its good news for Brady Street, and Davenport. A local couple is opening a bar and grill, and plans to have an outdoor dining area overlooking Duck Creek. When I saw that the old deck had been torn down, I was disappointed, but it appears there will once again be a place to stop along the bike path and get a burger.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

At least you'll be able to spot them...

I haven't seen any mainstream media news about it in the last few months, but it looks like the DPD is going forward with Bladel's plan to switch to black and white squad cars from the all black squads they have been using. The all black cars were chosen by officers for the ability to avoid notice by criminals, but I guess that isn't as important as the "professional look" that the black and whites supposedly provide. I for one have never looked at the black DPD cars and thought, "how unprofessional!"

If you go to the city's site and click the Latest News and then click Purchasing Bids, you see one for 22 police cars. Within that pdf is this requirement:

Color: Exterior Black and White (Option Code SP212 white doors and roof) with Charcoal Gray Interior

Here's a fan website for the Andy Griffith Show that demonstrates the modern and professional look that our Crown Victorias will soon be sporting.

The QCI-mobile?

I had the opportunity to get my current favorite car, the new version of the Dodge Charger, as a rental car, and even in my preferred color of midnight blue.

See Cruiser's post about new versions of old muscle cars.

It was a joy to drive, despite having the small 2.7 liter engine only available to fleet buyers and Canadians. I can only imagine what the 6.1 liter Hemi-powered version is like.

If anyone has a spare one laying around, I'd be happy to accept donations.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

QCI's return

I come back to you now - at the turn of the tide.

Actually I doubt its the turn of any tides, but I am back from vacation, and bonus points to whoever knows what movie that's from.

There's a lot going on, from officers being banned from working the fair, to officers getting almost shot, new I-74 bridges designs, Ian Frink's new blog, and even our own local spelling whiz winning all the marbles. (Edit: It was a geography bee this time, not spelling)

For now, an open thread, partly to see which of those things people are interested in discussing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bean to Nowhere

Cloud Gate

SBC Plaza is home to Cloud Gate, a 3-story, 110-ton steel sculpture that has been dubbed by residents as "The Bean". The sculpture is the work of world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor and is the first of his public art in the United States. The piece was privately funded and the total cost was $23 million -- up from the original estimate of $9 million.

Over twice as much as our skybridge. Half as much as the entire Figge. Think of the outrage. Except for the 2 magic words: Privately funded.

Would people around here still be opposed to something like this if no city money was involved? If Davenport hadn't thrown half a million towards the skybridge, would it still be the "Bridge to nowhere?"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

QCI: On the road 2 & Colonel D Returns

Colonel Davenport has un-retired faster than Michael Jordan. I'll be glad to have his inside info and knowledge back around the QC blog scene. His new blog can be found here, and over on my link bar.

Its a bit outside my jurisdiction, but I'll have a few more Chicago pictures to post tomorrow. This one is of the Sears tower peeking out from behind other buildings, taken from the L station at Adams and Wabash.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Prairie Heights Commercial Development

Buried within this QCTimes article it was mentioned that the Request For Proposal for developers to purchase 17 acres along 53rd for commercial use did not get any proposals back from the 13 developers the RFP was submitted to. According to the article, it was only submitted to 13 local developers because the small size of the property wouldn't attract much interest from outside of the area. The entire RFP can be found here, about a page and a half down on the city's Latest News page.

Its been suggested that the next steps should involve contacting the 13 who did not show interest, and finding out what issues prevented them from submitting a proposal. This seems like a good idea to me, as the property is located at a pretty hot corner of the hottest street in Davenport real estate. Either the commercial market is getting saturated, or developers were turned off by some of the special requirements in the RFP. I didn't feel any of the parameters were that constraining, but I could see how developers would prefer no constraints at all.

Here are a couple of examples of general guidelines for this development (I believe they are subject to negotiation) from the RFP:
8) Structures that are located on, or adjacent to, a square or plaza shall be a minimum of two stories.
10) Buildings shall avoid long, monotonous, uninterrupted wall or roof planes. The facade of a building should be divided into distinct modules no longer than 100 feet.
11) Generally, structures shall align with build-to lines. In the case of long commercial rows or residential row houses, units may step back and forward returning to the build-to line to help articulate the facade.
Obviously, these kind of things are going to provide ammunition to the anti-Prairie Heights crowd, but the fact is that the new urbanism idea was agreed upon with a large amount of public process. The problem is that not much of the public got involved in the process, but now some of them want to criticize. Also, I don't know how many of these types of specific constraints are present in normal zoning laws, but I know there are some. It isn't completely out of the ordinary for the city to specify things like this.

Here's a site plan taken from the RFP. I have heard that the library will be located north of the church, but I'm not sure how far north. I put my guess at a possible location on the map, but one of the Aldermen that read this could provide a better pinpointing of where that will be. It was going to be located along 53rd, until Aldermen decided that a branch library doesn't need to have frontage on the hottest commercial street in Davenport. A logical decision, and one that I believe both "sides" of the council agreed on. Also, when viewing the image below, keep in mind that the commercial layout is just a possible design of the development.

(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

QCI: On the road

A few images from my semi-vacation from blogging.The Mississippi, as seen from Eagle Point Park in Clinton.
A few turtles checking out their reflections at the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque.
The Fenelon Place Elevator, also in Dubuque. A unique experience, especially for those of us who aren't into heights.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hamerlinck Meeting Saturday

I'm sure most of the folks interested in attending already know, but I figured I'd post the info here also. After all, the more participation in politics, the better democracy we have.

2nd Ward Meeting w/ Alderman Hamerlinck
Saturday, May 20th 9:00AM
Fairmount Library (not sure which room, plus it's probably subject to change like last month)

Unfortunately, I'll be in Chicago that day, so I'll be missing out this month. I'm sure some of you will let us know how it goes.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Beaux Arts Pictures

Who says nobody goes downtown?

These Photoshop-brightened versions of my images were sent to me by helpful reader Bumamongus.

As I took these I was already planning to say they were taken during one of the longer stretches without rain during the weekend, but as I got to Pershing it started raining again. Let me tell you, the walk down there seemed a lot shorter on the way down when it wasn't pouring.

Despite the weather they seemed to have a pretty good turnout, and I overheard at least a couple people say they were going to go check out Bucktown for the first time. Considering how many people were willing to brave the rain and find parking on a festival day downtown, Bucktown really needs to get the word out that they're a year-round, indoor Beaux Arts Fair. Also, lets hope for great weather for the fall Beaux Arts, because we got our share of rain this time.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Is the Beaux Arts lost?

I was under the impression that the entire reason for moving the Beaux Arts Fair from its great location below the Putnam and former DMA was to be next to the new Figge Art Museum. There's a large paved "front lawn" which could accomodate a number of vendors, and then 2nd Street could be closed from Main to Harrison, or even Brady to Harrison. Closing a block of Main for a weekend wouldn't be the end of the world. The lot next to the Mississippi Plaza office building could also provide vendor space. I thought that the construction forced it to the other side of Brady, but the construction on the Skybridge, RME, and Figge is completed now.

Yet, the festival continues to be in its location 2 blocks away from the Figge. Its closer to Bucktown, which is an amazing venue, but I guess I just don't get it. Anyone know why its not in front of the Figge?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Projects Starting & Friday Open Thread

It sure was foggy the other morning.

Malin's courting the designer of Chicago's giant drill bit for our pier. QCTimes article

The skatepark appears to have broken ground, or at least the grading has begun. I'll try to get some boring earth-moving images up sometime.

Surveyor's stakes have appeared at the soon-to-be park at 2nd and Iowa, where the Genesis Christmas tree is planted. Last I heard they were planning to raise the ground level of that block and create a small park, and I don't believe its even city money. That will help fix one of the gateways to Davenport. I suppose our world-record size welcome signs will take care of a couple other gateways.

Any thoughts on what kind of restaurant would go well in the former Don's Big 10?

I'm curious what semi-libertarian Ambrose Fulton thinks of the recent NSA stuff... however, I don't delve into national politics around here.

Hopefully it will be a decent weekend for the Beaux Arts.

Next week I'll be doing a bit of traveling and stuff, so posting and moderating will be minimal. Even unpaid bloggers need a vacation.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Where in the QC is this? #6 (Guest image)

This week's mystery image came to me courtesy of Pioneer98.
Its probably too easy, but I'm leaning towards going to every other week for this feature, because its difficult to find images that are hard to guess but not impossible.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Those Dam Lights

I didn't get the Skybridge view, which was probably one of the better views, but I looked at the dam lighting demonstration from both Davenport and Rock Island. There were 3 trial sections, and the one nearest to Davenport was clearly the worst in my opinion. It used much dimmer, yellow-er lights, and just looked bad. Either of the other two looked pretty good.

Despite all the outrage about these over on the QCTimes.comments on the article about it, I don't think this is much of a big deal. Considering the decorative lighting on this building, and the CityView apartments, both of which are pretty bright, I'd say that these lights must not cost a fortune. Split $100,000 among 2 cities, D1, some RI groups, and private donors and you've got petty cash.

Alderman Frink's Meeting

Last night I attended a public meeting and input session sponsored by Alderman Frink at the Roosevelt Community Center. In typical QCI-style I was a couple minutes late, which was not helped by the fact that 2 of the 3 doors into the former school were locked. Alderman Meyer (also late) was having a similar problem, but fortunately I was there to let him in. Alderman Barnhill also attended, and so did Clayton Lloyd and some additional city employees. I'd say there were about 20 or 25 community members present also. This is slightly more than Alderman Hamerlinck got at his first meeting, and now he gets over 100, so hopefully attendance will continue to grow at these as well.

When I arrived, Alderman Frink was showing some information about tonight's test/demonstration of the potential lighting on Lock and Dam 15. (Article about the test in the QCTimes) People were generally asking why we were considering doing such a thing, and Ian talked about the importance of first impressions on visitors, and how we tend to take the river and its surroundings for granted. It may have been discussed before I got there, but I hope someone asked whether the installation and maintenance costs would be shared with Rock Island and/or the Corps of Engineers. This downtown topic sparked a discussion of whether we should be spending money on projects downtown, but it wasn't nearly as confrontational and accusatory as I expected the meeting to be.

The other main topics of the meeting were the automated garbage collection, and the NEO changes. It was pointed out that the NEO will be going away at the exact same time that they are most needed when all the kinks are being experienced with the new garbage system. Very few people at the meeting seemed in favor of the changes to the NEO, with a possible exception of Alderman Meyer, who defended it as "not a final plan." Its clear that with less than 2 months to go before the changes take place, that many things are still up in the air. I felt bad for Frink because he was somewhat on the defense about the inspection changes, despite the fact that it was Alderman Lynn's idea.

There was also quite a bit of discussion of what we can do to attract more businesses here, and some talk about the reasons that Triumph isn't an option for northwest Davenport. (Not big enough sewers) During the talk of Triumph I didn't hear anyone say that they wouldn't have wanted them here anyway, so I suspect that they would have faced less opposition in Davenport. Silvis wouldn't have been the wrench in the gears at least. There were lots more smaller issues discussed, and any of you that were there feel free to post them or your general reactions to the meeting in the comments. I may make another post as I remember more, but generally I thought it was a pretty good meeting.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Coming Tomorrow: Frink meeting thoughts

It wasn't quite the accusation-frenzy that I imagined, but it wasn't a tame crowd either. More tomorrow morning.

A few things

Someone got stabbed at the Ledo (Shricker) Apartments

Not much of a surprise there. The QCTimes probably has premade articles set up for that, where they only have to insert the victim's name and pick between shot, stabbed, hit with baseball bat, etc. That building has so much bad history and bad vibes I would certainly never want to live there, no matter how renovated it was. It should be condemned.

Don's Big 10 Closes -QCTimes

I noticed this a couple mornings ago, so it was nice to find out what happened. It was a good example of what a downtown bar shouldn't be. Supposedly the building it was in, next to the burned out Linden, is going to be fixed up. Hopefully it can help fix up the worst intersection in downtown Davenport, 3rd and Western.

What's going on with the Linden anyway?

Don't forget Alderman Frink's meeting tonight from 7-9 at the Roosevelt Community Center. If you live in Davenport, he's your Alderman.

QCI the Blogger turns 1

It was a year ago today that I posted my introductory post on DDP. Its been quite a year, and although blogging has taken up a lot of my free time, it has been worth it, and enjoyable. I enjoy meeting other people with a passion for Davenport politics and the healthy debate that occasionally rages on the blogs.

I'll now reprint my original post from DDP. The things in blue weren't in the original post.

New blogger unveiled,
Critics unimpressed

This is my first post as a contributor to Daily Davenport Politics. I'll mention a few things about myself and then you should all get back to reading today's other posts. (They're that good) I am not focused on being anonymous. The only reason my posting name isn't my actual name is because hardly anyone one else is using their real names. If anyone really cared enough to ask, I'd surely tell them. I'm young (23 in a couple weeks)(24 in a couple weeks now) and I live downtown in the Davenport Lofts. I've always tried to participate in Davenport development stuff, and especially downtown planning. I don't go to council meetings (much), though I should, but I do attend special meetings such as RiverVision, Davenport2025, and the ill-fated "Riverfront Casino Hotel/Not a hotel/Meeting/Not really a meeting" sessions last week(year). I've been working exceedingly slowly on my website, Someday it might be a good tourism page, right now it should barely be made public. I graduated from Western Illinois Unversity (Macomb campus) with a degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, minoring in Political Science. If anyone has any other questions about me personally, this is the thread for them.

Now for my soon-to-be-unpopular views. (I was certainly right) While I rarely like the process, I generally believe Davenport is on the right track. This should put me in position as an automatic devil's-advocate on a lot of issues discussed here. I believe Davenport's budget problems can't be solved without either cutting services or raising income. Whether that's a tax increase, or a fee of any sort is immaterial. Either more money had to come in, or everyone start enjoying 20 minute response times to your next police emergency. I think a lot of people are going to get elected to city council on the "No new fees or taxes" rallying cry, and then immediately find out that in the real world of city finance, new taxes are sometimes necessary.

I support downtown development. I supported River Renaissance with a vengeance, because it was an excellent starting point. Momentum isn't just a funny catchphrase, it can actually happen. I support bringing in more downtown residents, and I've done my part by moving down here myself. I also support the proposed casino plan, even though it literally blocks some of the river view from my living room windows. What's there now is a disaster, and if IOC allows the public up to the 10th floor of the hotel, it will provide views never before available. Currently the riverfront promenade is interrupted by both the casino and the former Dock restaurant. An on-again, off-again promenade is not what RiverVision pictured.

Please don't just judge me on those 2 unpopular views, because I'm sure I have many more unpopular views to share with the readers. Just remember as Fly says, debate is healthy. Listen to what ALL sides say, and try to understand why they say it.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Leclaire leads the way on streetscaping

LeClaire plans $2M downtown makeover -QCTimes

Consider the population difference, that would equal $68 million in streetscaping and beautification. I'm not advocating anything like that, and honestly, Davenport has been doing streetscaping for years. Right now street lamps and other sidewalk features are being expanded into the loft district, and 2nd street is well-lit through most of downtown.

I'm just impressed that a smaller town like LeClaire can propose spending that much to improve their image. Now if only the QC could promote LeClaire, the East Village, downtown Moline, RI, and Davenport all together as a regional destination area.

Davenport Summer Concert Series

This is from the City's Latest News on the website:

City of Davenport
Summer Concert Series
Levee Improvement Comission

Sunday, June 4 Jim Markum Swing Band - 30’s and 40’s music
Sunday, June 11 D.D.J - Rock and roll
Sunday, June 18 Tewanta and Company – QC jazz featuring
Manny Lopez
Sunday, June 25 Traditional Irish Concert
Sunday, July 9 Celebration Iowa
Sunday, July 16 Mayflies - Mixed bluegrass, gospel
Sunday, July 23 Dixie Cats - Variety band
Sunday, August 6 Metrolites - Spy/surf/noir/ lounge rock band
Wednesday, August 16 Central High School—Jazz and marching bands
Sunday, August 13 Rain date for all concerts

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Skybridges, Proms, Destroyed Jeans

Last night I was walking around downtown with a couple of friends, and one of them hadn't been in the Skybridge at night, so we headed up there. When we got up there I started to wonder if North was having their prom in the Skybridge instead of the RiverCenter. There were over a dozen prom-goers hanging out in the middle of the bridge and taking pictures and having their pictures taken. It was clear that younger generations don't have such a problem with Davenport's "bridge to nowhere." It was also neat to see all the people strolling around downtown in prom dresses and tuxedos.

It reminded me of one of my ideas to get people downtown. It goes back to the days before Abercrombie & Fitch opened in Northpark, and people had to drive to Iowa City to buy their $50 tshirts and ruined hats. I figured if they were willing to drive almost an hour to Coral Ridge, they'd be more than willing to drive downtown and find a parking place. They would practically walk across hot coals. Now, as those of you with kids of that age know, there's a new store selling $60 ruined jeans (Seen at right) and ruined hats: Hollister. One may already be headed for Northpark, but if not, I think that the Parker building would be an excellent place for a trendy store such as this. Toss some incentives Hollister's way, and suddenly a whole new generation of people are doing their shopping downtown.

Where in the QC is this? #5

Ok, here's one that people can probably actually guess.The Where in the QC is this #4½ picture was taken in the alley between 4th and 5th street, between Pershing and Iowa, near Phase 2 of the lofts. Not too many people pass through there, so it was unfairly difficult. This week's is probably too easy.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bigger cranes every day

I should be going to bed so I can get back up this afternoon and find a new Where in the QC? picture, but instead I'm watching this Cattani crane outside my window.

Another alderman: Even less of a wrist slap

As Fly once said, "People will want to talk about this."

Van Fossen gets deferred judgement -QCTimes

A year of probation and some fines. Why no token few days in jail like McGivern got? Van Fossen was actually in an accident because of his; that seems slightly worse to me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Freight House Discussion

QCTimes Freight House article

Obviously anyone who's read this blog for more than 2 days knows that I support the Freight House market idea. I don't blindly support it, however, and I always had issues with the huge amounts of development that would come from it that were thrown around the press, with no real explanation.

However, I believe that the Freight House project was simply a different kind of incentive, as I've said before. People complain constantly that Davenport is unfriendly to businesses, but when we try to offer incentives (the public market) to get development (renovation of the Builders Sand and Gravel building across River Drive) people throw a fit.

I think we've sent a clear message how "friendly" we are to business around here.

Where in the QC is this? #4½ (Extra Difficult)

I didn't get any good "Where is this?" images this week, but I'm still going to try and get one either Friday or this weekend, and put up Where in the QC is this? #5 as soon as possible. However, since its Thursday and there's supposed to be one today, I'll give you folks this one to chew over. In my opinion, its much harder than last week's, even though it shows more detail. Bonus points if someone gets this one.No clues for this one; I'll give the answer hopefully tomorrow or Saturday when I put up the real #5.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cranes Cranes Cranes

At one point this morning I could see 5 cranes working from my living room window. Two (seen in the upper left of the picture) working on the Adler expansion project, one (center) working on Phase 2 of the Davenport Lofts, and 2 (1 barely visible on the far right of the image) working on the police station and courthouse/jail projects.

Sunrise or Sunset for Swing?

Kevin paid a token amount yesterday towards the $400,000+ he owes the city. Malin says that no deal for a payment plan was made, and if the rest isn't paid today, there will be trouble.

Will Kevin pay? Will the city cave? Will RBI come in and buy the team?

We'll probably know tonight, or find out if the gates are locked for Thursday's game.

P.S. The image is of sunrise, of course, and hopefully that's what this disagreement can become for baseball/city relations.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Frink does meetings too

Alderman Frink asked me to pass this along:

TUES. May 9th, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Question/Answer Session, Followed by Idea Session
QUESTIONS - 563-508-2842


Could be pretty dang interesting if it gets a similar crowd to the one that attends Hamerlinck meetings.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The other other casino hotel project

Jumer's accelerates RI project -QCTimes

Instead of doing the project in multiple stages, starting with the casino, the Rock Island project will now all be built at once. According to the article, they hope to be done by late 2007.

Here's a longer article about it at QCOnline, but it'll probably be unavailable to non subscribers before any of you get a chance to read it.

Also, on the QCTimes online article, the comments have started out with 2 for the project and one against it. The one against it seems to underestimate how much people want to gamble, and acts as though no one would come from Chicago to here to go to a casino. In reality, quite a large number of people come down here for gambling. The problem is getting them to do something other than gamble.

Suggestion Monday

Any suggestions of ways to improve this blog?

As always, I prefer that suggestions don't start with "Go to h..."

Any features that people would like to see? (Keeping in mind that this is unpaid and I already spend too much time on it...)

I'll hopefully be checking out the rehab going on at 822 Gaines soon, as was discussed over on SoLo.