Friday, December 28, 2007

Obama at the RiverCenter

Not a huge crowd, but I suspect the weather had something to do with it. I'll post or link to additional images/movies in the morning sometime Saturday.

Again, I remind folks that I'm registered Independent, and am not endorsing any kind of national candidate.

I'm always just glad to see politicians in Davenport that don't pose with cornstalks or hay bales.

Updated: None of my pictures turned out well, but fortunately Pioneer98 was there as well and took some much better ones. They can be found here.

One thing that I have to hand to the Obama supporters, is that they're the only folks to come to my door trying to get me to caucus for their candidate. They also came around during the three worst storms we've had this winter, including Friday's snowstorm. Of course, I had to explain to them that while caucusing does sound interesting, I'm not willing to register a party affiliation. The last guy was really insistent, making me wish I'd just told him I was a hardcore Republican to be rid of him.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Coming soon: 2008 QC New Year's wishes

Here is a link to my 2005 wishes. (I didn't do it in 2006)

To summarize, they were:

5. Reduce Crime (possible success?)
4. Help Prairie Heights Succeed (houses coming this Spring)
3. Continue the downtown "momentum" (slowed, but continuing)
2. Redevelop the former cinema/hotel property on North Brady (FAIL)
1. Follow Fly's Rule #3 (FAIL)

I could pretty much use the same 5 again, but I'm going to come up with a revised list sometime in the next few days.

What would you folks put on a list of New Year's wishes?

Also, I hope all of you had as busy and enjoyable of Christmas as I did.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmastime Assortment

R.I. gets down to six choices for Armory Park -QCOnline
(Make sure you check out the PDF of the plans linked to in the article)

Rock Island is moving forward with their post-casino plan, and it would sure be nice to say Davenport was able to do the same. Personally, as I've said before, I don't think RI's riverfront needs an amphitheater or bandshell, since Davenport's already has one, with an amphitheater planned for Crescent Park as part of River Vision. Rock Island needs to do their own thing instead of going after the same stuff that we already have. Out of the 6 options, I definitely prefer the no-Armory plan with the Arc Concept. Fortunately, it appears to be one of the 2 options moving forward with the RI council. Its great to imaging Davenport and Rock Island each having a beautiful redeveloped, casino-free riverfront, both connected via water taxi. Unfortunately, America's-most-screwed-up-state-candidate, Illinois, has found a way to possibly screw RI out of their hard fought casino money. If people thought Davenport's council needed a clean slate, I think Springfield needs to throw away the whole slate and get a new one.

Group musters support for Chicago-to-Quad-Cities passenger rail route -QCTimes
I just can't say enough about how important rail service is, but once again we're relying on the State of Illinois. A little over 3 hours, non-stop, into downtown Chicago sounds like a pretty big amenity for potential residents or companies looking at our area, not to mention those of us already here. If you haven't already, join the QC Passenger Rail Coalition to show your support.

River City dealership shut down -QCTimes
The New River City Ford wanted to redevelop the old Montgomery Wards Auto building at Northpark, but someone tattled to the city that an obscure law prevents it. I suspect the law, which bans cars from being sold from property not owned by the vehicle owner, was meant to stop impromptu car lots from sprouting up around the city. Something tells me the folks responsible for reporting this violation may be the very same folks who have been displaying cars in the mall without "selling them" for years. Hopefully something can be worked out to renovate that long-vacant building.

Eddie Bauer to close its doors in the Quad Cities -QCTimes
This isn't really anything of importance, but I just wanted to point out the other piece of information revealed in the article. Famous seller of overpriced pre-ruined clothes, Hollister, is replacing Eddie Bauer at Northpark. This officially kills my dream of them coming downtown to lure teenyboppers and their money to what could be a new "cool" shopping area. On the other hand, it speaks well of how healthy Northpark is (unlike Southpark) that a new store is basically waiting to take the spot of an exiting one.

And if you can't find something to comment on out of all that, you're not trying very hard.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A long read, but a good one

Robert Brownell's 5 days at the YMCA -Des Moines Register

This article is the story of a Polk County Supervisor, Robert Brownell, and his experience staying at their downtown YMCA residence hall for 5 days. Its long, (over 12,000 words), but in my opinion, very much worth reading. He's an excellent writer, and doesn't worrying about being PC or not offending anyone. At least in this article, he appears to tell it like it is, discussing both sides of the issue. He doesn't only talk about this specific problem, but also relates his experiences in discussing this with people out in Denver who are attempting to eliminate homelessness in their city.

For background, the downtown Des Moines YMCA has an 8-story residence hall attached to it. Because of its prime location along the up-and-coming Riverwalk, developers have shown interest in the property, and others have shown an interest in removing the "type" of men that hang out around the YMCA from their booming downtown. The first attempt was to move it to a residential neighborhood, which was met with a response that can be best compared to an 8 story Cobblestone. Here's a quote from the article regarding this:
"They set out to put their residence hall into a traditional neighborhood. There, they encountered modern government’s Maginot Line…someone else’s backyard. The place where nothing is permitted. Really, the only difference between this figurative Maginot Line and France’s famed Line is that the Germans figured out how to breach France’s. The one I speak of, cannot be breached. Oh, that the French had had our neighborhood associations and their line of defenses. Rommel would’ve been last seen in northern Germany sitting atop a Panzer scratching his head."
Now, before anyone jumps on me for posting this anti-NIMBY statement, the author eventually comes around and realizes that this kind of project in fact, doesn't belong in a traditional neighborhood. Like I said, read the article.

The only things I'm not comfortable with are his statements about how posing as a homeless person doesn't cost anyone anything, as long as he follows his rules. For example, he wouldn't stay at the YMCA if it was full, wouldn't interfere with anyone else's recovery, etc. However, we all learn that you can't observe something without affecting it, and even the few minutes of time he took with case managers and employees could have been spent with people who didn't have a nice home waiting for them. On the other hand, I've often thought of encouraging something like this in Davenport, for someone to see what the homeless/non-profit situation really is from the inside, instead of from an outside perspective, or based on what the agencies involved want to tell us.

So make up your own mind on whether this is the right way to look into something, and whether the Housing First policy is remotely realistic, but definitely read the article. Also, ask yourself if any of our local elected officials could write something this good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

JOD to become Modern Woodmen Park

Modern Woodmen Park Unveiled

So the new owners managed to sell naming rights in less than a month, whereas Krause could never find anyone to pay what he apparently wanted. It could definitely have been a worse name (Lunchable Stadium?), and its nice that its a QC-based company as well.

The better news is that the new owners are planning to lower ticket prices for the upcoming season. Between dumping the unpopular name and decreasing ticket prices, hopefully they can generate enough community goodwill to start packing the stands again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Overreaction Open Thread

Now, I'm not saying the streets are dry and you can drive normal speed, but at least as of 6:15 this morning they weren't as bad as they've been several times already this year. This time though, half the town and all the schools seem to be shutting down. Maybe they're still predicting all of this to freeze later, but right now its more slush than ice. I did a lot more stepping in 3 inches of slush or water than I did slipping on ice. The forecast shows the temperature going up slightly, so I can't image its going to get less slushy. I didn't hear many weather-related problems on the police radio last night either. I wish they canceled school this easily a decade ago.

But, since all of you teachers, students, etc have the day off today, I figured I'd post an open thread. I'm working on a post about my feelings on the Promise thing, so feel free to discuss that, or anything else.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Menards Stuff

From the first time I heard that Menards wanted to move to the Alta-Vista site, I wondered how that could possibly be enough room, especially considering their reason was "to expand." The weather tonight is not ideal for walking the site as Alderman Meyer suggested in the previous thread, though that sounds like a good idea if the property owners consent. Tonight though, I decided to compare the sites from space, using Google Maps. I was definitely shocked to see how much bigger the new site is than their current location, although I'm not sure how much of this area is actually owned by the nursery, where the moved frontage road will be, building orientation, etc. Here are the raw pictures, with my estimate of the areas involved highlighted in red.

Current Menards area (with clouds, unfortunately)
Proposed new Menards area
Make sure to note from the slider on the left that these are the exact same scale, and I'm not trying to fool with anyone. I don't have a lot of opinion on either side of this issue. Businesses wanting to expand is generally good, but I personally also like Menards' current store and don't know what more they need. I'm just trying to get information out there, especially if other people have the same misconceptions about the 65th Street area that I did.

My biggest concern is what happens with the current store, as I can't image that building being useful for anything besides a Menards. How many other uses need a lumberyard and a glass elevator?

The Great Wall of Menards

Davenport Council: Menards rezoning clears first hurdle -QCTimes

A few interesting quotes from this article:
After the vote, neighbors said they were disappointed but not surprised. Several said they think the deal has been in the works since the city’s comprehensive plan was updated more than a year ago to designate the land along Brady Street for future commercial zoning.
I've been hearing rumblings about Menards on that property for quite a while, so I could easily see this part being true. Personally I think it makes more sense to locate on the southeast corner of that intersection, but I don't think the neighbors have much of a case here either. I don't see how anyone would move in there with the expectation that a plant nursery will continue to be the use for that busy intersection property for all time.
Since it first proposed the rezoning, the company has agreed to build a 50-foot “green space” barrier between its property and the neighbors in addition to an 8-foot-high earthen berm, a row of trees and a 14-foot fence, all designed to limit noise and create a visual barrier between the store and residences. Rohlfs said his family has offered to plant mature conifer trees from the nursery along the berm.
Hey, can we get a minefield and some coils of razor wire thrown in as well? I find that this is pretty funny in relation to yesterday's conversation of the previous post about connecting retail and residential. Now, I know you're probably not going to walk to Menards and walk back carrying 10 sheets of plywood and an air compressor or something, but I guess the Muscatine store does have a grocery section. Maybe they'll leave a gate or checkpoint in the 14-foot fence. It just seems a little excessive. Instead of living next to a home improvement store, it'll be more like living next to a prison.
The concerned neighbors got some legal advice from Meyer. He recommended that they continue to do their homework and make note of city staff errors in case they decide to challenge the pending rezoning in court.
“We do a lot of things wrong in the city, especially from a legal standpoint,” he said.
When Meyer asked interim corporate counsel Tom Warner if he could give the neighbors advice, Warner told Meyer it is typically not city policy to assist potential litigants looking to sue the city.
This one pretty much speaks for itself. Is it January yet?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Prairie Heights Progress Picture Post

Why, what is that skinny strip of blacktop in the image to the right? I do believe that would be the very first alley North of Kimberly. Garages face the rear alley? This means that the residents of this neighborhood will look across the street and see houses facing them instead of 3 car garages. It must be Prairie Heights, Davenport's first attempt at New Urbanism. I've got a map of the neighborhood at the bottom of this post if you're curious how its supposed to work. It wasn't exactly a nice sunny photo-friendly day yesterday, but I still went out to check out the progress.

If you click on the above image I took facing south towards 53rd, you can see the baseball diamonds shown on the map to the right. The road connecting the neighborhood to the park (possibly called Country Lane) ends in the foreground of this image. I assume it is to be completed sometime in the spring. The plan to the right is outdated, as you can see from the map below, but it kind of shows the relationship between 53rd, the park area, and the neighborhood. I may try to acquire a more up-to-date plan for the whole project, and post it later.

The plan, last time I saw it. It may have changed since then, although after driving these streets I feel its still fairly accurate. Yes, those are 30' wide lots, and again, yes, those are alleys.

Over on the other side of the railroad tracks, I took this shot looking East from 65th behind the old cinemas. The controversial 65th/67th Street connection looks to be graded and ready for paving in the spring. This should really make the 65th and Brady intersection (where Menard's is going) look a lot better to potential developers. Hopefully one will come along who's interested in redeveloping the old cinema and hotel properties.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Storm Approaches: Open Thread

It sounds like we may actually get something out of today's storm, unlike the Thanksgiving Eve false alarm. Seems like a great to stay inside and blog, or in my case, sleep. Here are a couple of headlines from this week that caught my eye.
(EDIT: Obviously the storm is pretty much past, so I'll try and have a new post this afternoon evening Whenever)

New York firm proposes hydroelectric stations in Davenport, Muscatine -QCTimes
This one has got to be one of the strangest articles I've ever read relating to Davenport. Some random company is hoping to build a hydro plant that "would measure 245 feet long by 160 feet wide by 60 feet high" somewhere near the Lock and Dam in Davenport, but doesn't bother contacting the city? I don't know how far away from the source of water this could be built, but I don't think anything like this belongs south of River Drive. If they could build it underground, it could be turned into some kind of green energy tourism attraction under the riverfront, but that doesn't seem possible with the floods. Who knows!

Davenport-made 'Sugar' to premiere at Sundance -QCTimes
A movie that may be about a minority struggling to play minor league baseball in the evil, racist, oppressive city of Davenport? Is this even a good thing? Hopefully that's not the theme of the movie at all, but its what I'm hearing. This is Davenport, people, a city with a fairly diverse population, not some hick town where we've never seen non-whites. I wonder if this is related to the hurry to change the Swing's name.

And to finish things off, an assortment of random images. (Note: I found a fix for the images, which requires me to edit html code. Not doing that is one of the things I like about blogs vs a website)

Here we have Black Friday madness. On the left, the moon hides behind Barnes and Noble before dawn. On the right, Menard's enthusiasts park everywhere but in lanes of traffic. Good times!

Here are a couple of shots from the jail tour, which was overtaken by Holiday Balloon Parade images a couple Saturday's ago. The image on the left is the new way visits are conducted, which is through a closed circuit TV system, and the image on the right is one of the "day rooms" where most inmates will spend their days. It may look nice, but try spending a month there. Its no hotel.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

3rd Street Mark Liquor License Revoked,
Business still open

Shelley forwarded me this ruling about the 3rd Street Mark liquor license. You can read the decision here, if you're into that sort of thing. I'll post the good part:

The Administrator hereby ADOPTS the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the Decision and Order proposed by the administrative law judge in this docket.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the Decision and Order in this docket are hereby AFFIRMED in their entirety. The application for renewal of liquor license number LE0001172, issued to F & S 3000, Inc., d/b/a 3rd Street Mart in Davenport, Iowa is hereby REVOKED.

Unfortunately, as of 5:15 or so this evening, the place was still very much open for business.

Update at 7:15am: Here's the QCTimes article

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The downtown Davenport progress slideshow

Davenport Progress -a slideshow of before and after images

I'm sure that many of you saw this either at the Downtown Stakeholders Meeting or on, but if you haven't, its definitely worth seeing. I may post more of the images later for those of you who may have problems with the slideshow website. Its basically a collection of stuff like this before and after shot I made a couple years ago during one of the many battles over whether the Crescent Lofts are a good thing. When viewing the slideshow, keep in mind how many of the changes have happened just since 2000.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Infill Standards: A Reminder

I know others have posted this info, but I'm going to throw it out there as well. This could be an important move in the city's pro-neighborhood efforts. Check out more info about this, including some of the proposed standards, here on the city website. (Click the link down at the bottom of that page for the proposed standards.) Hope everyone had a great weekend, and for those in retail, I hope you survived.

Neighborhood Infill Design Standards - Public Informational Meeting

Infill development refers to new construction of residential buildings in established neighborhoods. In response to community concerns about the quality and design compatibility of infill development in Davenport, the Staff of the Planning/Land Use and Design Center of the Community and Economic Development Department has been researching alternatives on addressing the issue.

Staff has developed a preliminary set of standards and has ideas on how they might be applied. The challenge remains establishing a set of criteria and approval process that protects the character of established neighborhoods while promoting infill development at the same time. Questions also remain concerning the level of detail and how the review and approval process might work.

Prior to specific proposals are shared with the Plan and Zoning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission and City Council, a public informational meeting will be held to share ideas. The meeting will be held:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
5:30 p.m.
City of Davenport Design Center
102 E. Second Street (Across from the Radisson)

If attendees have photographs of infill development in their neighborhood, both good and bad, please bring them to the meeting. Everyone is invited!

For more information contact:
Matt Flynn

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

If you haven't looked outside this morning...

... it doesn't look like this. However, it may look like this outside later today, so don't forget your hats, gloves, and ice scrapers.

If I don't manage another post, have a good Thanksgiving everyone. I'm thankful that in the Quad Cities, despite our flaws and problems, we have been fortunate enough to be free of wildfires, earthquakes, typhoons, bridge collapses, invasions, and other catastrophes that happen around the world. I'm also thankful that Davenport and Rock Island have made it another year without declaring the first Iowa-Illinois War. You never know.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another new blog, and an open thread

Another new QC-related blog has started up. Its continuing the tradition of long-dead historical figure running blogs, we now have Thomas Paine, and his Davenport Growing Paines blog. His first two posts are very well-written, so hopefully we've got a keeper here.

I've added a link on the link bar, but otherwise the blog can be found at

The QCTimes had a few things that made me laugh last night.

Rogue cell phone in Iowa continuously calls 911 -QCTimes
As you can see in the screenshot to the right, this used to say "rouge cell phone." A commenter pointed it out, and it was changed.

Iowa's three biggest cities are fairly according to analysis -QCTimes
For one... fairly what? The title of the article(at least as of 1:13am) is missing a word, and I assume the missing word is "safe". When you read the article, you find out that the AP has somehow forgotten the existence of Davenport, and refers to Sioux City as Iowa's 3rd largest city. Unless 15,000 people moved into Sioux City yesterday, or some horrible catastrophe lowered our population by over 10%, I don't believe that's correct.

Don't worry though, you're still my favorite local newspaper website.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Parade 2007 Images

It was a great day for a holiday parade. The sun was shining so brightly that I actually wished I had dressed less warmly at one point.

Some returning favorites from last year, the Soldier and Bob the Builder.

Rhythm City may be screwing us in every other way, but they at least sponsored the coolest balloon in the parade.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Davenport: 100 Years

I got a chance to walk through The Davenport apartment building downtown today, on its 100th anniversary. She's definitely looking great for her age.The Davenport, as seen in a 1922-postmarked postcard from my personal collection.
The Davenport: Today
Like urban views? Here's one. I wish the people reading about pigs running the streets could see this view of Iowa.

The view from the apartment featured in the QCTimes article, and the former fountain in the lobby. As you can see, and as the article mentioned, its been converted into a seasonal planter.

This building is often overlooked as part of the downtown housing rebirth, as it was rehabbed a decade and a half before any of the recent stuff. Much like the market-rate units in the newer projects, it has pretty much no vacancies. According to the staff, none of the 70+ units stay available for long at all. This makes sense to me, because if people are willing to spend a grand a month on the Alexander properties, I'm sure there are even more people willing to spend less to live in a beautiful historic building across from the library.

The apartments that were shown as part of the open house were extremely well-decorated, and seemed in great shape as well. I hope a lot of you folks got an opportunity to check them out if you're into this kind of thing like I am. Thanks to the staff of The Davenport for showing me around and helping keep residents in downtown Davenport.

New blog for QC bar enthusiasts

I got an email telling me about a new blog, It appears to be just starting out, but so far it has a good collection of drink specials from around the QC for any given night. I'll add it to the link bar, so check it out next time you're going out for a drink or two.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weekend Events

I'll resurrect my practice of listing weekend events, at least for this weekend. There are a bunch.


Annual Downtown Davenport Stakeholder Meeting
7:30AM at the River Center North, Iowa Rooms

100 Year Anniversary Open House
11AM-2PM at The Davenport, 324 N. Main St

Festival of Trees
12PM-4PM in the River Center


Festival of Trees
9AM-9PM in the River Center

Festival of Trees Holiday Parade
11AM in Downtown Davenport

Tours of the new Scott County Jail
10AM-2PM at the Jail, 400 W. 4th St

Great Train Expo
10AM-4PM at the QCCA Expo Center

Lighting of the Commons
3:30PM-6:30PM on the John Deere Commons

Quad City Symphony Holiday Pops Concert
7:30PM at the i wireless Center


Great Train Expo
10AM-4PM at the QCCA Expo Center

Festival of Trees
10AM-7PM in the River Center

Monday, November 12, 2007

Downtown Davenport: 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

2 Steps Forward (more like 5)

The cement plant at 4th and Iowa is slowing being demolished, as seen at the right.

The old building at 2nd and Ripley that Bill Wundram calls "Willie's place," is being renovated into a "tavern restaurant." As far as I know this is without public funds. Hopefully it's a bit classier than some of the bars downtown. Its already looking better than I remember it during my lifetime.

The QCTimes articles from this weekend point out that work will be beginning soon on even more downtown residential, in the form of the former Salvation Army building. Having this occupied should really make the under-renovation Freight House seem less isolated. One of the articles also mentioned that the Alexander Company is looking at starting on Phase 3 of the Crescent Warehouse District. More residents downtown means more chance of retail taking a chance on the area. Which brings us to...

The Putnam/Parker buildings renovation and remarketing as One Putnam Centre. This is also being done with private money, and the QCTimes article states that they're looking for the type of retail that downtown residents need.

1 Step Back (More like 2)

And now the negative. My favorite restaurant in the QC area, Centro, is closing at the end of this year. I will have to go a couple last times by New Year's. While all the articles say how it wasn't failing, we all know that if the place and been a great success it wouldn't be closing. I do agree with some of the quotes in the articles that they weren't hurting that bad for customers. It seems like whenever I was in there, weekend or weeknight, it was decently busy. Unfortunately, I also never saw it overflowing to where anyone had to wait outside. Why this is, I have no idea. Olive Garden is packed constantly, and I know I'd rather pay a couple extra bucks per meal (and that's all the difference is) to eat at a unique, Iowa-based restaurant rather than the image of corporate dining.

Savitri's also bit the dust, and the planned "Red River Steakhouse" never made it past the "Coming Soon" stage. This one isn't that much of a surprise, as the one time I was in there I only saw one other table in use. The only way I ever heard people describe Savitri's was expensive, and if you're looking for fine dining downtown we already had Duck City. If only a Mexican place would go into that building! Downtown has a variety of food, but that's one of the missing pieces.

Still moving forward:
So a couple of restaurants didn't make it, and a new one's already replacing one of them. According to some, its one more indicator that downtown is a failure. According to most, its something that happens, and is more than balanced by all the progress happening down there. One thing that Centro's failure demonstrates to me is that downtown has an image problem. People are willing to fight Kimberly traffic and park over by Office Max to go to Olive Garden, but not willing to park diagonally across the street in the free parking lot for Centro? Are some people still holding onto the false feeling that downtown is dangerous? Come on folks, 2nd and Main has got to be one of the safest and cleanest intersections in town. I hope that the incoming Woodfire Grill is supported at least as well as any similar NoLo restaurant.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Morning Open Thread

I drove down to Wildcat Den earlier this week to see what was left of the fall colors. I knew I was late in the season, but had hoped for some good images anyway. I got a few, which I may post later, but it was clear that I was a couple weeks late.

I also swung through Muscatine, and was very impressed with some of the progress happening in their downtown. I'll have to return (possibly in the Spring) and take a walk around to see more.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Some election tidbits

The highest turnout in Davenport was in Precinct D63 (35.80%), which is the area from Kimberly to 53rd, and from a mixture of Eastern and Jersey Ridge over to the Bettendorf border.

Riverdale, the only place around here with more of a city hall circus than us, had 61.56% of their registered voters come to the polls yesterday.

The only precincts with lower turnout this year than in 2005 were D21 and D53. In a true demonstration of consistency and stability, if not voting for the right guy, D52 had the exact same number of voters (188) that they did in 2005.

Overall in Davenport, voters increased from 15,548 in the 2005 election to 17,031 this year.

The ward that increased turnout the most was the 1st ward, followed by the 6th and 2nd. Sadly, the 3rd Ward had the lowest rate of increase in voter turnout.

Within the 3rd Ward, the D33 Precinct (Downtown Davenport) increased by the highest percentage and highest number of additional votes. This doesn't really explain Keith's 126-vote deficit, however.

Possibly more to come, but for now I'm going to bed. Consider this an election rehash open thread.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Your 2008 Davenport City Council

The results, as of 9:45PM

Courtesy of the Scott County Auditor's Election Returns site
Winners are in bold, and the candidates are listed in order of my endorsements.

Bill Gluba 62.35%
Phil Yerington 37.07%

Ian Frink 30.59%
Gene Meeker 29.36%
Jennifer Olsen 28.36%
Tina Gillispie-Clawson 11.31%

1st Ward:
Nate Brown 61.95%
Pat Gibbs 37.91%

2nd Ward:
Thomas Carnahan 25.11%
Shawn Hamerlinck 74.61%

3rd Ward:
Bill Boom 56.09%
Keith Meyer 43.40%

4th Ward:
Lisa Lewis 48.18%
Ray Ambrose 51.7%

5th Ward:
Doug Cunningham 42.07%
Bill Lynn 57.93%

6th Ward:
Jeff Justin 60.15%
Dale Gilmour 39.72%

7th Ward:
Barney Barnhill 64.48%
Marcia Patch 35.40%

8th Ward:
Mike Matson 59.51%
Becky Schabilion 40.31%

Some Results Already!

It looks like all precincts are reporting for the 3rd Ward, 5th Ward, and 6th Ward.

From what I can tell, winners in these wards appear to be:

Bill Boom
Bill Lynn
Jeff Justin

It also appears that turnout is up over 2005.

Absentee Ballot Results

The QCTimes pointed out that the Absentee Ballot results are up for Scott County, although the County website doesn't identify them as such. They call it the November 06, 2007 Municipal Elections Summary, which makes it sound like the final results. Its kind of strange really.

If these results match the final in-person voting results, my predictions are spot on. We will see.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Davenport Election'07 Endorsements

Just for reference, here are Cruiser's preferences, the QCTimes endorsements, and my endorsements from 2005.

Mayor: Bill Gluba
I'm not 100% in favor of either of these candidates. Yerington just brings too much history, and I disagree with much of what he would like to do as Mayor. Let's not forget the witch-hunt group, Citizens Against Political Abuse, which is much more recent evidence that Yerington will not shy away from controversy. Unfortunately, Gluba seems to be using the same kind of feisty speech that you would expect from a partisan politician. Hopefully he can settle down and run a (relatively) calm council.

At-Large: Ian Frink
I'm only endorsing one candidate for At-Large, for two reasons. I think that Jen Olsen or Gene Meeker will do an alright job, but I have some issues with each of them. Frink is a clear choice, as he's done his very best to stay above the fray of our current council, as difficult as that has been. Aside from his (and others') recent screwup on the rent-to-own consent agenda item, he does his research, travels to learn more about things that could benefit Davenport, and asks the important questions of staff in private instead of grandstanding on TV.

1st Ward: Nate Brown
After endorsing Gibbs in '05, I learned that his personal life hasn't been so great since being Mayor either. Obviously he would have been better than Van Fossen, but fortunately for us a new choice has arrived. Nate Brown is very well-spoken and thoughtful, and he's doing his best not to be on either "side" of the council. He's someone that I believe even people who disagree with his vote will be able to respect.

2nd Ward: Thomas Carnahan
Unfortunately, this is pretty much a vote-against. Shawn Hamerlinck is also thoughtful and well-spoken, but he also tells people what they want to hear rather than what may be the right thing for Davenport. His desire to micromanage city staff concerns me, as I shudder to think of 10 elected amateurs trying to run the day to day operations of a city of 100,000. We have this system of government for a very good reason. Our current 1st Ward Alderman demonstrates it well.

3rd Ward: Bill Boom
Both a vote-for and a vote-against. Can't ask for an easier choice than that. Alderman Meyer has been scaring away not only potential residents and businesses, but potential council members. As I've said before, a council meeting should not be awkward and uncomfortable to endure. Bill Boom intends to create a mini-council, or a 3rd Ward Council, made up of people from different areas of the ward. He's well-spoken and able to understand the way cities work in the real world.

4th Ward: Lisa Lewis
This ward could really use a change, but I don't know if they know what they're missing out on. As the Times and others have said, any candidate who shuns computers doesn't have a place in sitting on a Davenport City Council in 2008. Lisa Lewis brings the new perspective of someone who has recently returned to her hometown, hopefully with equally new and helpful ideas.

5th Ward: Doug Cunningham
Bill Lynn is probably the only person on the existing council who I sometimes wonder if he really has Davenport's best interests in mind. Hamerlinck, Meyer, Ambrose, etc... even when I disagree with them, as I frequently do, I know that they just have a different idea of what's best for our city. The sneaky ways that Lynn has been doing things over the last 2 years, and the shady people he is so strongly defended by, should give anyone pause before reelecting him. As Cunningham has said, if you feel that the 5th Ward has improved lately, vote for Lynn. If not, vote for change.

6th Ward: Jeff Justin
I like Dale Gilmour, but I don't think he would vote in a way that I would like. It seems like he's shifted away from his place between the two sides where I felt he sat in 2005 when I endorsed him. I must say that he would make an excellent and I believe honest spokesperson for the Lynn/Hamerlinck side of the council. Jeff Justin has been in this community for decades, and will be a professional and intelligent member of the council. He seems to represent the feelings of the 6th Ward better than his opponent.

7th Ward: Barney Barnhill
While he may come across badly sometimes on TV, if you actually listen to what Barnhill says at council meetings, much of what he says is good stuff. My opinion of him has actually increased over the last 2 years, and I've heard that he provides good service to those living in his ward. I'd like to see Marcia Patch stay involved and maybe gain some name recognition and participate in local politics a little more before she runs again.

8th Ward: Mike Matson
He actually believes that Davenport is a good place to live already! I agree, and I think that more people in Davenport feel this way than we hear on the blogs. Either of the candidates for 8th Ward sound like they would do a good job, but I'm going with Matson because I know he will keep pushing for a higher quality of life in Davenport.

Who I think will win tomorrow

These are my predictions of who I think will actually be elected tomorrow for Davenport City Council and Mayor. They have nothing to do with who I think should win, which will be my next post. Hopefully I do better than the 6 out of 11 I got right 2 years ago.

Mayor: Bill Gluba
Our last Mayors have been Charlie Brooke, and Ed Winborn. I feel that the city as a whole recently has been voting for dignified older businessmen more than the younger, feistier cops we elected in the 90's. I think among people who don't follow city hall that closely, Gluba has less of a negative connotation. Its strange to go from two Republican candidates to one definite Democrat and one (current or former?) Democrat. I would say that goes to show that it doesn't matter what national political party you belong to in local politics.

At-Large: Frink and Olsen, in that order.
I know she came out and dominated in the primary, but I think Jennifer has a good following among the types of political junkies and involved people who vote in primary elections. I pretty much feel that both of these are definites; its just a matter of which order they go in. Obviously the only potential upset would be Meeker squeaking in.

1st Ward: Nate Brown
I think this will be one of the closer elections, but I wouldn't be shocked if either of them runs away with it. Nate has been getting out there and meeting people like crazy, but Gibbs has lots of name recognition and people probably feel bad for picking VanFossen over him last time.

2nd Ward: Shawn Hamerlinck
This one's easy. He tells the folks in the 2nd ward what they want to hear, holds ward meetings, and votes the way they seem to want. One of the few races I'd be willing to bet some money on.

3rd Ward: Bill Boom
Yes, I said the same thing last year and he lost, but Alderman Meyer has had some troubles recently, and the primary results didn't look good for him either. Some of this will depend on how much Boom has gotten out the vote among the young professionals moving into downtown.

4th Ward: Ray Ambrose
Maybe Jen Olsen just rubbed the 4th ward the wrong way last time, but I feel like if a longtime neighborhood activist can't dislodge Ambrose, a relative unknown like Lewis is going to have a tough time. On the other hand, it does seem like she has been out there trying to win people over, and we have no primary results to base any guesses on.

5th Ward: Bill Lynn
In the 5th ward we do have primary data to go off of, and more people voted for him than against him. The recent illegal attacks against him aren't going to help Cunningham's side, which brings out the tinfoil hat theory that they came from Lynn's own side... but I doubt it. There are definitely some rabid anti-Lynn folks out there (and who comment around here) who are probably capable of the foolish attacks. Looks like another 2 years of Lynnomics.

6th Ward: Jeff Justin
Come on... its the 6th ward. Despite Gilmour's activism, participation in dozens if not hundreds of meetings, and decent name recognition, I just don't see this D1 stronghold going for someone like Dale. The primary data pretty much confirms this.

7th Ward: Barney Barnhill
He never loses! Seriously though, this could be a close one. Barnhill only got about half the votes in the primary, so it seems to me that half the people who voted felt it was time for a change. Of course, I used that theory in the 3rd ward last time to little success.

8th Ward: Mike Matson
I don't know all that much about either of these candidates, or what efforts they've been putting in out in the 8th ward. Because of that, I'm just going to go with the Primary winner.

For those among us who worry about council voting strategy, this would leave Frink, Brown,
Boom, Justin and Barnhill as at least a bloc of 5 on one "side", with Matson/Shabilion potentially being the 6th. Either way, if Gluba is Mayor that would give us (at least) the familiar 5-5 with the Mayor breaking the tie. I think the side I generally disagree with is going to be angry after this election. First and Third wards will be the ones to watch.

Coming later today: Predictions and Endorsements

Where have I been? Having fun with Halloween, visiting friends in Indiana, upgrading my computer, taking it easy... Pretty much everywhere but here reading all the nasty comments, rumors, and other pre-election junk that's been flooding the local blogs. Its the kind of stuff that makes me want to quit doing this, so I've just been sitting this week out. Reading some of the attack comments on the other blogs bothers me enough without having them on my own.

However, I'm not completely giving on up election discussion. Later today I should have both who I think should win and who I think will win in Davenport Election '07 posted.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Trick-or-Treat Day

Living in Davenport my whole life, I've gotten used to defending our unusual night-before Halloween custom, but one thing I'd never really thought about was our city-provided schedule. It just seemed like common sense to me that the city would specify hours for trick-or-treating, but talking to folks from other parts of the country, especially big cities, I found out that many cities don't designate specific times for the kids to be out begging for candy. Just something I found interesting. Considering how much Davenport residents already get hit by out-of-towners on our separate Halloween, I can't even imagine if it were allowed to go on past 3 hours...

Just the facts:
Davenport Trick-or-Treating: Tonight, 5PM-8PM
(Sunset is scheduled for 6:00PM)
Davenport Halloween Parade: Tomorrow night, 7PM

If you have to go out, drive safe tonight folks. Watch our for little ghouls and goblins, or more likely Hanna Montanas and Harry Potters.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sewer Open Thread

Sewer tunnel project called vital to the city -QCTimes

To those of us that read blogs, go to meetings, and really get into boring stuff like infrastructure and city planning, this is old news. That leaves about 98% of the city of Davenport that probably couldn't tell you what this "west side diversion tunnel" that all the candidates mentioned even is, at least prior to this article. Its interesting to see some of the less sexy topics covered in the Times as well, and a sewer tunnel is high on the unsexy list. Its good to hear that everyone is agreeing on the need, but I also hope we can plan potential west side sprawl better than was done in the Elmore area. Mostly I'm intrigued by the ideal of big distribution center-type industry along the I-280 corridor. We're in the perfect spot for that kind of project, at least judging by our centrally located position in the US.

I know I've been slow on posts lately, but hopefully that will improve soon. Consider the rest of this an open thread and feel free to discuss non-sewer topics.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The American Queen at Oneida Landing

From this QCTimes blurb:
The American Queen, the world’s largest steamboat, will stop at Oneida Landing in Davenport from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Public tours of the boat will not be available.

The 418-foot-long boat holds 436 passengers and is furnished with antique furniture, vintage artwork, photographs and books. Launched in 1995, the boat has a dining room with chandeliers, a two-story saloon with private box seats on the mezzanine, a ladies’ parlor, gentleman’s card room and more.

For more information about the boat, go to
Obviously it arrives before 8am, as all was quiet around 6:30, with the boat already tied up along side the river wall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


A guest post from the Fly:

You may recall the "Rule #3 Party" in 2005. In the unlikely event that everyone showed up, there was a protocal in place for me to out myself and it relied on Charlie. I wrote to him that I would edge up to him and whisper in his ear "How 'bout a beer, big boy?". Odds were, no one would beat me to that. When I suggested it, Charlie responded "You'd better not be a guy."

I wish I'd seen this coming and had had a way to whisper that in his ear. He earned it. I frequently didn't see eye-to-eye with him, but I think it was clear I respected him. He was certainly a guy you coulda had a beer with. Probably that's part of where the idea came from. Funny thing is though - never much cared for beer. To share a round with him though, it would have been worth it.

Charlie had his faults, but who doesn't? Truth is, he helped make Davenport a better place, just like everyone else who gets active and is motivated by public service.

Thanks, Charlie. Next round's on me.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A couple 7th Ward happenings

First, here are a couple images I took at the scene of the police chase car crash at 29th and Bridge that happened on Saturday. I never saw an article in the paper, but here's what KWQC said about it. I'd like to see a statement from the police on what happened, but maybe I just missed the QCTimes article about it? This is the unfortunate side of chasing criminals. Sometimes they crash, and sometimes those crashes involve innocent folks. However, as we saw a few years ago, even when police break off the chase, the suspect may continue to drive at high speeds, and could still kill someone. To my knowledge, we've had more deaths in the last 5 or 6 years from broken-off chases (1) than we have from actual pursuits (0). That doesn't even take into account the number of crimes that were later committed by people who police were forced to let get away. As we saw Saturday, chasing criminals is dangerous, but I believe its less dangerous than letting them escape.

Secondly, and in less sad news, I saw Gene Meeker out campaigning the old fashioned way Saturday, also in the area of Garfield School. He was wearing down the shoes, knocking on doors, and handing out fliers himself. Hopefully some of the people who imagine him as some stuffed shirt former D1 bigwig met him and saw that he's a fairly regular guy. Jennifer Olsen's donation to Phil Yerington's campaign (in addition to issues I've mentioned before) has got me thinking twice about her. She's got a lot of good stuff going for her, but you also have to look who people's friends are. I can honestly say I haven't decided who my second At-Large vote will be for.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A few news article links

Renowned da Vinci exhibit opens Nov. 9 at Putnam -QCTimes
I just never get tired of reading about how the Quad Cities get events, concerts, art shows, golf tournaments, airshows, etc, that tend to go to metro areas considerably larger than ours. As I said in the Great Places post, we need to remember how good we have it in the Quad Cities more often. This exhibit sounds like something most definitely worth checking out.

SAU seeing record enrollment -QCOnline
I'm not sure how they afford it, but more and more students seem to be choosing St. Ambrose. As the college continues to grow, I (and others) would really love to see the Harrison Street area turn into more of a campustown atmosphere. It could possibly happen in conjunction with the corridor enhancement.

Divided, forum fails -Sioux City Journal
The GOP counterpart to our Davenport debate didn't end up working out. I guess we should be glad we got the one where most candidates showed up.

Aldermen call on teens for help in drafting cell phone ban -QCTimes
An interesting thing for the council to be spending time on. Here's one quote:

David Whalen, a Central senior and member of the student government, said he appreciated the aldermen reaching out to students.
“It’s pretty cool that they respect and value our opinion,” he said. “We’d like to see (the ban) extended to everyone. Just because we’re younger doesn’t mean we’re any worse on cell phones than any other driver would be.”

I'm pretty sure that various studies have shown that younger drivers are indeed worse at driving while on the phone. I am curious whether this will go anywhere.

The second anniversary of the QuadCityImages blog has come and gone without me even noticing. It would have at least made a good title for my last open thread, if I'd noticed...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bloggers Block Open Thread

Sometimes I get in a rut where I can't get excited about putting together a post or two. This is one of those times, so I'm just going to call this an open thread.

What's going on this weekend?

Anyone else ready to just have the 2008 election this November and be done with it?

In this article about Bettendorf's sprawl (I mean "growth") I found one of the quotes somewhat humorous:
Blunk said he doesn’t believe those who opposed the rezoning of land at Devils Glen Road and 53rd Avenue are opposed to all commercial development. “What it basically boiled down to is they did not want the bright lights and hubbub and late hours.”
Don't worry Bettendorfers, I don't think you'll ever have to worry about bright lights, hubbub, or late hours.

Anyone else notice how happy QCOnline is to report on the troubles of former Internet Revealed customers? Its almost like QCOnline owns a competing internet provider... hmm....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gotta agree with Alderman Meyer on this one

Buried within the article about the rent-to-owns, is this blurb:

In other business Monday, 3rd Ward Alderman Keith Meyer made a motion to ask i wireless Center officials to not reschedule a concert by T.I., a rapper whose Sunday night show was canceled at the last minute because the artist was arrested on weapons charges in Atlanta.

Bettendorf and Davenport police ended up breaking up a fight between unhappy concert-goers who ended up outside Penguins Comedy Club near the Isle of Capri Bettendorf early Monday.

I pretty much have to agree with him on this particular item. If a non-celebrity was charged with this stuff, the QC area wouldn't be welcoming them back with open arms. What good does a person like this bring to the community?

I don't know if its Davenport's place to ask the i wireless Center not to reschedule the concert, but I hope that Moline or the iwC itself makes that smart decision. Considering how much security they had for the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert last January, I can't even begin to imagine how much they would need for the T.I. concert. In addition to patting down attendees, they'd have to check the performer as well.

Another unfortunate piece of info out of this is that Penguins, where the after-non-concert party/fight ended up, is the comedy club that's moving into the Freight House this winter. Hopefully they can keep stuff like this from happening.

Also, how did the people that showed up at the iwC for the concert not hear or read any news in the preceding days? I guess as a news junkie, I can't understand people who are that out of touch with current news.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great place? One of the greatest

Iowa designates Davenport a 'great place' -QCTimes

The early version of this article garnered the usual QCTimes commenter reaction: negativity. They felt it was a joke that Davenport is considered a great place. I think they couldn't be more wrong.

I rarely go a day without telling someone what a great place Davenport is, and how much greater we're striving to become. Let's congratulate ourselves for once.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Some interesting reading

Well, Phil Yerington may not have his election disclosure form on the website yet, (whether it was filed or not, I don't know) but Taxpayers United has their form online. For those that don't know, the names involved with the Taxpayers United PAC read like a who's who of QCRPA members.

The filing can be found here.
If that link doesn't work, you can go here, and then select City PAC, Taxpayers United, and then the bottom, most recent filing. It is an interesting read, to say the least.

Their filing confirms that they gave $500 to Friends of Phil Yerington for Mayor. Not really a surprise, as Phil didn't deny that charge when Gluba pointed it out.

What I don't really understand are all the other expenditures that seem to relate to fixing up a house. From what I can figure out through some internet searching, it almost looks like the QCRPA/Taxpayers United bought a house in Bettendorf at a tax sale, fixed it up using PAC money, and sold it, with the profits going back into the PAC. That seems strange, at the least. I'm sure one of the autodialin' cronies will be on here within minutes to explain this. I'm curious to hear it.

Of course, I've never run a smear campaign. Maybe carpet, windows and siding are normal requirements.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some more Primary '07 Stuff

Apparently when you change your voter registration along with the address on your driver's license at the DOT/County Store on West Kimberly, they aren't at all timely in getting that info to the Auditor. A friend of mine moved and got his new license over a month ago, and was told his Voter Registration card would be sent within 10 days. It wasn't received, and he wasn't on the list. I know of at least 2 more people this has happened to, and the poll workers I talked to said something along the lines of "Oh, it takes forever when they do it at the license place." Fortunately the people were able to get ballots for their new precincts, but it was quite an ordeal. Does anyone think that the DOT should either A. Submit voter registration in a timely manner, especially before upcoming elections? or B. At least tell people that it may be months before their registration is changed. I will probably email Karen Fitzsimmons about this. When people show up at the polls and have all these problems, it only contributes to the already-low desire of people to vote.

Lots of surprises in the 7th Ward. I don't know that anyone was surprised that Barnhill made it through the primary, but who would have predicted that Doc Davis would get the least votes? Marcia Patch really came out of nowhere, but her anti-Skybridge rhetoric kind of turns me away. I'm going to have to read more about her now that she's made it to the general election.

Total voters increased in all of the wards that had primaries both this year and in 2005, EXCEPT for the 3rd Ward. What happened? Last time we made impressive gains, at least during the general election. It will be interesting to see how many people vote in November.

Speaking of the 3rd Ward, I believe that Keith is done for. It seems like Alderman Meyer's fans are dedicated enough to him to vote in the primary, but we'll see if a fresh crop of them comes out to vote next month. Consider last election's slim margin with Meyer beating Boom in the primary, I have to think that Boom winning the primary looks good for him.

I suspect that Gluba is safe for Mayor. Unless Jamie really did bring out Republicans to vote for her, who are then going to be faced with a choice of two Democrats, I think most of her voters will go for Gluba.

Looks like Hamerlinck will be back in 2008, doing his best to micromanage the city. Apparently that's what the 2nd ward wants.

We all need to do whatever we can for Cunningham in the 5th ward, but its definitely not looking good at this point. How can anyone support the landlords when they continue their negative autodialers, instead of just admitting that they support candidates? Our circus is bad enough without mudslinging.

I still want to know if anyone else got autodialer calls that were listed as being from public schools on Caller ID. Something seems very fishy about that.

Last, but not least, Jamie Howard. She has taken far more crap on the blogs than she deserved. At her best, she can be a very classy lady. At her worst, she has definitely contributed to the City Council Circus. I hope she does stay involved in the community. One thing is for sure though, I would have much rather seen her run a clean campaign and lose honorably than sell out to the Victory garbage-factory and run the Republican playbook for dirty elections. Not how I'd want to end my time on the council, that's or sure.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The results are in

Some upsets for sure. Here's the link to the early summary.

Update: Later today I'll have some additional thoughts on the primary.

Making it into the primary: (Candidates in order of votes received)

Bill Gluba
Phil Yerington

Jennifer Olsen
Ian Frink
Gene Meeker
Tina Gillespie-Clawson

1st Ward:
Nathan Brown
Pat Gibbs

2nd Ward:
Shawn Hamerlinck
Thomas Carnahan

3rd Ward:
Bill Boom
Keith Meyer

4th Ward: (No Primary)
Ray Ambrose
Lisa Lewis

5th Ward:
Bill Lynn
Doug Cunningham

6th Ward:
Jeff Justin
Dale Gilmour

7th Ward:
Barney Barnhill
Marcia Patch

8th Ward:
Mike Matson
Becky Shabilion

Primary Vote-Fors and Vote-Againsts
..and the Queen of Election07

I have no problem endorsing candidates. After all, all an election really consists of is people telling you who they think you should vote for. I did it last election, and I'll do it for the November election. However, since today is only a primary, I'm going with 3 candidates I feel definitely deserve to survive the primary, and 3 who I feel shouldn't. I'm not bothering with non-candidates like Swanson who have little to no chance of making it to the general election. There are other candidates who I support (or don't support), but didn't make the top 3.

Vote-Fors: (Not in order of deservedness)

Bill Gluba -This is a combination of a vote-for and two vote-againsts. I like a lot of what Gluba has to say, and I dislike a lot of what Yerington has to say. Obviously Yerington's ties with Lynn, landlords, and the "If there's anything bad going on in Davenport government, call us" group makes me think that he would be just as controversial as he ever was. Howard wouldn't be the end of the world, but she's definitely part of the current circus problem.

Ian Frink -He's been our At-Large Alderman for 2 years, yet he's gotten very little press. Why is this? Its because he's been doing his job in a professional manner and staying out of the scandals. He asks a lot of the same questions of city staff that people demand, but he doesn't do it during council meetings for the benefit of the cameras. I've heard people who generally agree with each "side" of the council say that Ian deserves reelection. I very much agree.

Nate Brown -I wouldn't characterize him as being on either "side" of the existing council, but my one in-person conversation with him left me impressed. He knows what's going on, and he knows how to make positive changes without scandals and fighting. The first ward will be a huge turnaround if it goes from VanFossen to Brown.

(Not in any particular order, except maybe the first one)

Bill Lynn -So many reasons, but I want to keep it to only a paragraph. Lynn supporters are pointing to the Guardian Angels in droves as his big accomplishment, but Jeremy Boots seems like the guy with the original idea. Don't let this one issue distract you from everything else that's happened in the last 2 years. He is in the pocket of landlords, which is a very small group to work for, and some of them aren't even Davenport residents. He makes silly statements like comparing construction costs of a handicapped-accessible public restroom in floodplain to a residential home. He was against downtown design guidelines that were supported by downtown businesses. Etc, etc.

Keith Meyer -Watching a city council meeting shouldn't be an uncomfortable ordeal. There should not be confrontational demands about city staff's personal yardwaste sticker locations, or minutes taken to explain the meaning of the phrase "rhetorical question". Why can't all these questions be asked prior to meetings, in a way that doesn't make the city council look like a circus. Keith puts a lot of time and effort into this job, but I think its starting to be to his personal detriment, as well as the city's. His statements that downtown is a failure and that people who make $60k a year wouldn't want to live in Davenport are just icing on the Vote-against cake.

Phil Yerington -Landlord autodialers, and an admitted truck of baggage. There are 2 main reasons not to vote for Yerington. He seems to be in with the Lynn-Landlord crowd, and the landlords are running their usual negative attack garbage that I so despise. One thing I wonder is whether Victory Enterprises runs the attack ads both for and against Jamie Howard. The other reason to pass on Phil is his excessive history of scandal and controversy. It would practically take Mother Teresa to ignore all of his past conflicts with various people. While it does seem like Phil has matured and calmed some, I don't think he's gotten to the Mother Teresa level yet. I'll be curious to see if he stays involved even if he's defeated.

The undebatable Queen of this election for her tireless work in informing the voters when the rest of us bloggers didn't get the job done?

Thanks for everything she has done.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Quad City Flames

What a great night for hockey in the Quad Cities. The crowd was big, and very excited and involved in the game. If baseball fans would get that into minor league baseball, it would really be something. The attendance was 7,548. Just for comparison, the Iowa Stars vs San Antonio Rampage only drew 5,895 to the 13,000 seat AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Flames game was in the upper half of attendance rankings last night in a league that includes cities like Providence, Milwaukee, and Portland. Lets hope the crowd excitement and winning team snowball into another year like we had when the Mallards first arrived.
I'd say between half and two-thirds of the people wore red to participate in the River of Red. The parent team in Calgary has the "Sea of Red."
Look, people are actually paying attention to the game, and jumping up when something happens. Take note, local minor league teams, somehow make this happen!

Even though these are 2 brand new teams of players, they seem to have inherited the QC-Rockford rivalry. Here is one of the many fights or near fights, and believe it or not, the penalty box. I don't know that I've ever seen 7-8 players at a time in there before. And to think people were worried about the AHL not being as physical as the UH!

Unrelated Note: The only downside of the night was outside of the hockey world. Despite my usual opposition to the Cubs winning, I was really rooting for them tonight. I had tickets to Sunday's playoff game at Wrigley, and it would have been nice if the Cubs had managed to stay in it long enough for me to watch them lose. As they say, maybe next year...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mayoral Forum Open Thread

I finally got around to listening to the audio recordings of both of the Mayoral Forums. Both the D1 event and the QCTimes event at Mojo's are available on the QCTimes website.

I was pretty much impressed with all 3, and I'm less worried about the possibility of someone other than Gluba winning than I was. I mean, depending on how the council ends up, the Mayor could theoretically never vote on anything anyway. They all talk about grand plans, but we have to keep in mind that its the Aldermen that really do the deciding. One of the questions that I wish had been asked at one of the events was about the use of vetoes. That's the one way besides breaking ties that the Mayor can really affect the council business. I'd be curious about each of the candidates willingness to veto decisions made by the majority of the council. Aside from that, none of them seemed like they would be an embarrassment to the city.

A few other thoughts:
-I actually thought all 3 did better at the Mojos debate than the D1 one
-My preference towards Gluba hasn't changed, but I was disappointed that he came after Howard and Yerington about the Republican and Landlord things, respectively. I don't disagree with his attacks on these issues, but I think he would have been better off staying above that stuff.
-But since he brought it up, what IS with Howard advertising her party? Is it, as someone said, just the Victory Enterprises playbook for GOP candidates?
-Landlords support Yerington? Enough said.
-I did like Yerington's diplomatic answer on Craig Malin
-Since the Mayor is sometimes more of a ceremonial position, I also like Gluba's enthusiasm for Davenport. I definitely consider it part of the job description to be a cheerleader for our city, and he seems up to this task. Too many people in Davenport seem to think we're living in this craphole of a city, and I for one see a lot more good than bad when I look at Davenport.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Who I think will make it through the primary

I'll throw my hat into the guessing ring, and post my best guesses (and some of them truly are guesses) as to who will make it through the Davenport primary election.

These are who I think WILL make it, not who I think SHOULD make it. I may do a post on that later. No explanations on these yet, and feel free to make your guesses in the comments section. If you want the fame and glory of guessing the closest, you might want to log in or at least use a nickname. Here are my predictions.

Gluba and Yerington

Frink, Olsen, Meeker, and Combs

1st Ward:
Gibbs and Brown

2nd Ward:
Hamerlinck and Gaghagen

3rd Ward:
Boom and Meyer

4th Ward:
Ambrose and Lewis
(If we were playing Bingo, this would be the center square)

5th Ward:
Lynn and Cunningham

6th Ward:
Gilmour and Justin

7th Ward:
Barnhill and Davis

8th Ward:
McDonnell and Matson

Picks that I'm the least sure of:
Gaghagen, Justin, Matson

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Where in the QC is this? #18

I haven't been much up for blogging the last week or two, but I'm going to try and remedy that over the next few days.

Until then, my usual cop-out. Where in the Quad Cities is this? And for once its not Davenport.If no one's gotten it by this afternoon, I'll probably give another clue.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Don't Forget! Promise Meeting

Davenport Promise Meeting
Thursday, October 4th
in t
he Genesis East Heart Institute auditorium

Whether you're for it, against it, or for or against various ways of funding this potential program, you should try to attend one of these meetings. People around here have a history of not going to the meetings where things are decided (RiverVision comes to mind) and then getting all upset later when the results start coming out. If you don't go to any meetings, you lose your right to complain later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Two quick pieces of good news from the city website

1. After much complaining by Bill Wundram and many others, the city is going out for bids on the Dillon Fountain renovation. At this point we'll be lucky to see it working by next spring, unfortunately. Its about time the city got on this. I might have to update my signature picture if they get it up and running again.

2. Trick-or-treating will be from 5pm-8pm on October 30th. According to the US Naval Observatory, (the authority on this kind of stuff) sunset will be at 6pm that night. So 2/3rds of the trick-or-treating will be in the dark, as it should be. Thank God they aren't trying that daylight hour junk again this year.

Consider the rest of this an Open Thread.