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 majesticamericaline.com.
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.