Friday, August 31, 2007

Open Thread, but I know what it will turn into...


Meyer walks out of meeting after stormy session -QCTimes

At this point Keith has lost all effectiveness. He's accusing people of lying, slamming his usual allies, and just generally acting like there's a huge anti-Keith conspiracy. I can't imagine another 2 years of this if he were to get reelected.

The RCReader continues to defend him, and I'm sure many blog commenters will too, but in my opinion he's really lost it over the last 2 months. Make sure and read Keith's 2am post on the QCTimes comments.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More genius suggestions from "The Professor"

Davenport eyes turning to Meskwakis to run casino -QCOnline

We can all agree that having Isle of Capri owning 2 casinos in the same market is causing one of them (us) to be constantly screwed over. I think many of us are ready for a different operator for Davenport's gaming license.

So here's Alderman Lynn's solution: In order to fix the problem of our casino being owned by a company with another casino in the same market, we need to switch to the Meskwakis, who ALSO OWN ANOTHER CASINO IN THE SAME MARKET. If anyone doubts we're in the same market, just remember how much the profits increased while Tama was closed. In addition to making no sense, it sounds like its not even legally feasible.

This is almost as ironic as supporting Yerington to calm down City Hall, or allowing rent-to-own tenants to be exempt from rental inspections, or an Alderman owned by landlords eliminating the very section of government charged with keeping track of landlords.... Oh wait, I'm seeing a pattern here.
My opinion of St. Ambrose as an educational institution is decreasing.

Lego My RiverCenter

Blackhawk hotel focus of casino input meeting -QCTimes

I finally made it to one of the new round of casino elections, and it was pretty interesting.

The meeting started out with Clayton recapping the previous meetings, and giving some revised money figures, as mentioned in the QCTimes article. Basically there's a real difference between what IOC would like to pay and what the RiverCenter is actually worth. Keep in mind that its the city coming right out with this info, and not claiming its only worth what IOC wants to pay or anything sneaky like that.

After the recap, the representatives from Restoration St. Louis presented, and were especially impressive. That is the company that has been chosen to renovate the Blackhawk. Someday. Hopefully. They showed off some of their 100+ projects in the StL area, and some were very similar to, and actually in worse shape than the Blackhawk. They also showed some artist's renderings and possible floorplans for the Blackhawk, including a possible mix of hotel, residential, retail and office. Even the anti-gambling folks who were constantly making rude comments and saying how gambling should leave Davenport were impressed by the Blackhawk plans. The only problem is that IOC is having second thoughts about giving away the building for $1. There was a definite consensus that this group needs to be allowed to get started on their project.

During the Q&A section, it became very clear that probably none of the people at the meeting thought the casino moving into the RiverCenter was a good idea. There were a lot of people that wanted it to move out of downtown entirely. Unfortunately city staff failed to point out that in addition to the questionable RSM McGladrey study's claim that it would be more profitable downtown, there is also an incentive for the city to keep them down there as leverage for the riverfront CAT grant. A number of people seemed against gambling entirely, but that really had no relevance at the meeting since gambling has been approved by voters several times. Finally Keith Meyer came up to the microphone and asked a rambling "question" that pointed out that he tried to get the SCC Culinary Arts program into the RiverCenter, and asked whether the city had explored the option of moving eServ into the RiverCenter, since the appraisal showed it being worth less than they're planning to spend out on 53rd. Apparently he pictures hundreds of cubicles laid out across the vast floorspace of RiverCenter South. After finishing speaking, I'm pretty sure I saw him storm out of the building.

Following the somewhat confrontational Q&A section, all the tables were given maps of downtown, along with Legos representing parking, casino space, convention space, and hotel rooms. The image on the right shows the current situation. White was parking, gray=hotel, red=casino, and yellow=convention space. We were supposed to place them wherever we wanted around downtown, as a design exercise. This caused another outbreak of anger because people were only given a map of downtown, and many don't want the casino downtown. My table consisted of myself, Joe Taylor, and Jen Olsen. Kind of an interesting mixture of opinions, although we agreed on more than I would have expected. I built my previously stated dream plan out of Legos, and they both seemed ok with it, so I presented that during the time the tables reported back to the main group. The group as a whole seemed fairly receptive to the idea, since it adds more to downtown without taking anything away. If you haven't read my post on that plan, I suggest you do. Here's the link.

A video of the whole session will eventually appear here on the city's website, in addition to on the cable channel. I urge you to watch that to at least see the Restoration St. Louis section.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't Forget!

Third meeting on casino relocation is today -QCTimes

5:30PM, RiverCenter South

"The meeting will focus on urban design, including the style and type of desired downtown buildings and the renovation of the Blackhawk Hotel."
I plan to actually make it to this one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Candidate announcement: Jeff Justin

I was sent this candidate announcement for Jeff Justin:

Jeff Justin is a candidate for the 6th Ward seat on the Davenport City Council

Saying he is “a listener with proven leadership experience who cares about his hometown,” Jeff Justin announced his intentions to run for the 6th ward council seat currently held by Charlie Brooke.

“I will use my education and business experience to promote growth and recruit good paying jobs so our children have opportunities at home,” Justin said. “Davenport is my hometown and it is important to me that we continue to build on the many positive attributes of our city.”

Jeff was born and raised in Davenport’s 5th ward and is actively involved in the community. He was co-chair of the city governance committee, is a current member of the parking advisory committee, and is the Davenport community contact volunteer for his employer, MidAmerican Energy. In addition, he has been involved in United Way, Junior Achievement, Knights of Columbus, the Midwest Energy Association, the Bettendorf Chamber and DavenportOne, is on the board of the Davenport Kiwanis, and completed the Leadership Davenport curriculum through St. Ambrose University in 2002.

Jeff has worked for MidAmerican Energy for 27 years, and serves as Manager of Performance Support in the downtown office. He graduated from Central High School in 1978, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from St. Ambrose University in 2000, and his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2003. He graduated with honors from both universities and his education and professional experience will be an asset to the council and to the residents of the 6th ward.

Jeff has been married to his wife Susan since 1994. He has received support from the business community, city leaders, former aldermen, and many 6th ward residents who want him to bring his business experience and leadership to the council.

”We must continue to focus on infrastructure, crime, and fiscal responsibility,” Justin stated. “With the limited resources and variety of demands placed on local government, the City of Davenport, particularly the City Council, needs to set priorities, work together in a civil manner, and focus on including citizens and community stakeholders in achieving these priorities.”

“A successful and healthy community has a diverse growth plan that includes both public and private partners,” Justin added. “The Council hasn’t been able to work together to set priorities and work with community stakeholders in a progressive and aggressive way to achieve growth in our tax base. The confrontational style has also alienated key community partners who make significant investments in our community including private business, non-profits, and other government entities. Sound and efficient basic services, a solid capital investment plan to maintain and improve what we have, and innovative partnerships with our stakeholders to expand our tax base are key elements to growing our community. We must govern with the integrity, maturity, and intelligence that Davenport deserves.”

Please visit for more information. You may contact Jeff by e-mail at

QCI Around Town

Former Savitri’s restaurant put up for sale again -QCTimes
My slow blogging blew a chance to beat the mainstream media to this "story," because I took this picture last Monday night after the downtown residents' meeting. Its pretty unfortunate, and it kind of says that maybe we're not "fancy" enough to have more than a few high end restaurants. Hopefully whatever comes in next is a little more accessible.

In better downtown restaurant news, the former 225 at the Figge restaurant has reopened as the Riverview Cafe, with very reasonable prices. Unfortunately its only open for lunch! I didn't notice a story about this in the QCTimes, but before I say they only point out the negative, I'll just assume I missed the article.

An AbsoluteDSM member pointed out that crews were drilling the geothermal system for the McKesson Building in Rock Island, and I believe I got a picture of them in action. Here's some more info on that project. A deer that my girlfriend spotted as we were driving through Duck Creek Park. It was right up near the Duck Creek Pavilion parking lot. Maybe it was planning on wandering over to the 14th hole, which was always one of my favorites.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Week-old News: Downtown Residents' Meeting

The meeting last Monday was technically a meeting about the Downtown Living Strategy, which is basically what it sounds like.

The official purpose of the Downtown Living Strategy is as follows:
  • Analyze the current market of housing in Downtown Davenport
  • Survey downtown residents on why they choose to live Downtown
  • Identify constraints and opportunities in the housing market
  • Propose strategies to increase the attractiveness of Downtown as not only a great place to do business, entertain oneself and enjoy the magnificent Mississippi Riverfront, but to live as well
That is taken from the PowerPoint that was shown at the meeting. If you would like to download the PowerPoint file, I've uploaded it here. Just click where it says "Click here to download DowntownResidentMeeting.ppt." The demographic stats suffer from the fact that the last Census was done before any of the new downtown projects got off the ground. Between 1990 and 2000 there were 250 residents added to downtown. Between 2000 and now, at least 200 new residential units have been added, so we're probably growing faster during this decade. The PowerPoint also has the early results from a survey that's being taken of downtown residents, although not many have been turned in yet.

One of the key discussions during the meeting was about incentives. Currently, most of the residential projects downtown have been taking advantage of lower/middle income tax credits, but these come with many Federal and State strings attached. It was debated whether the city should provide incentives to encourage other income levels, in order to create a more financially diverse downtown population. Cities giving incentives or providing cheap space for grocery or convenience stores was also mentioned, since this could leverage more private residential development. Right now its kind of a chicken/egg conundrum, with residential waiting for more shopping options, and retail waiting for more residents. Another issue was that currently I believe there is a total of 1 condo for sale downtown. Some people would like to live downtown, but want to buy their home instead of rent. Right now, unless they want the Bucktown Loft, those people are out of luck.

This led to another discussion that took up much of the meeting. As you would guess, most, if not all of the people at the meeting were pretty pro-downtown Davenport. Several people there wanted to live downtown, but were unable to find market rate apartments or condos. It was pointed out that the market-rate units at the Crescent Lofts, Mississippi Lofts, and CityView all have virtually no vacancies. I wondered why developers, or banks, seem unwilling to build and finance new market rate residential downtown. I used my usual example of the $150,000+ condos behind HyVee on Eastern. I feel that a project like that (3-4 stories $150-200k condos), redesigned to fit downtown or on the edge of downtown, would be a huge success. So did most of the people at the meeting. The area in between the Crescent Warehouse District and the CityView would be perfect for something like that.

What ended up coming out is that we were all pretty confident in the downtown housing market, but it doesn't seem like the money people (banks and developers) are willing to take a risk and deviate from their safe suburban developments. I feel that once someone gets the nerve to lead the way, things will go rapidly from there. If one developer builds a market rate apartment building downtown, and its full within 6 months, other developers will take note. The same goes for condos. Then retail and restaurants will also take note, and then things could really start to snowball. We all felt like downtown Davenport is right on the edge of that kind of success, but it just needs that last little nudge.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What it takes to run

I stopped down Friday and picked up an election packet, (NOT BECAUSE I'M GOING TO RUN FOR ANYTHING; I'M NOT) but so I could see how many signatures are required on the assorted petitions. The number is determined by taking 2% of the already-small number of people who voted in the last city election.

Here's the list for Davenport:
Mayor ------309
1st Ward----35
2nd Ward---32
3rd Ward---19
4th Ward---45
5th Ward---29
6th Ward---59
7th Ward---44
8th Ward---41

All offices in Bettendorf and Eldridge require 25 signatures.

These are kind of interesting. Looking at the 6th ward, you can see one reason that many of our Mayors and At-Large Aldermen have come from there. They vote more than the rest of us. Someone from the 3rd ward would need a massive 19 signatures, but I am pretty sure that's up from the 17 that were required last time. Maybe those 2 extra names will keep us from having 10 people running for 3rd Ward again. They've also made some changes to the absentee ballot system, possibly in response to the scandals they ran into last time.

So if any of you are considering throwing your hat in the ring, there's still time. I got shuffled around City Hall so much trying to find these that I was sure someone would have posted that they saw me picking one up... For the record, no matter what the lady at the front desk tells you, the packets are in the Administration Office, not the Mayor's Office.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday night festivities open thread

It was a hot time on the ol' police scanner last night. Some problems in the 3rd street bar area early on, and later an incident at 315 W Locust. I've driven past and seen several squad cars in the alley behind the Kwik Shop there before, so apparently that house is a trouble spot. Apparently a crowd of folks were hanging around outside, and the cops converged on the area on foot. At least one person ran and I heard one call of a gun being spotted, although I never heard anything further about the gun. The person that ran was caught, and found to be wanted. Another criminal off the streets courtesy of the DPD. Sometimes I think we should be putting blue ribbon magnets on our cars for these folks out there in their own local war zone. Hopefully when we get our new Chief we can dump the no-chase policy and really start cracking down.

Believe it or not, all this arguing really wears me out. I don't turn back from a comments-filled debate, but sometimes they cause me to write few actual posts. I'm still working on a post about the downtown residents' meeting last Monday, and still gathering facts about the East Village thing. And of course spending too much time debating in the comments.

Also, I hope Rudy doesn't judge us by our food, because everyone knows the best Magic Mountains are the hash brown ones.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A few things

Mayor blames Meyer for leak- QCTimes

He really stepped in it this time- Barb Ickes (QCT)

Although I'd prefer this whole thread didn't revolve around it, considering at least 3 other blogs already have posts about it, I'd be remiss in not mentioning this article. As I do every 1 out of every 10 columns are so, I agree with Barb on this one. It seems like Keith has been going downhill recently. I have previously discussed how he had improved so much during his time on the council, but lately he's kind of worrying me.

Q-C Airport sets boarding record -QCTimes
The QCI Airport continues to do better and better every year. There is nothing but good news here. Someday they'll get that non-stop to Phoenix...

Nomination papers filed so far -City of Davenport website
The city doing this kind of makes Gluba's decision to announce his intentions in September a little pointless. By then we'll already know if he's filed or not. Also... who are some of these people?

Parking department looking for downtown signage plan -City RFP
If you're a signage/wayfinding company reading this, you've already missed your chance. According to Tom Flaherty, they want signs to let people know that there's parking downtown, where it is, and how to get to it. This seems like a good idea, and many other cities, including Des Moines, are doing similar things to show visitors and citizens where parking is available. The parking signage is supposed to work together with the hopefully upcoming Corbin wayfinding signs, although not really be part of the Corbin system.

And I'm still working on the rest of those posts I said I was planning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Skybridge Silliness

Davenport Council: Skybridge will not get cameras, for now -QCTimes last week

Why not?

I don't see why this is even a debate. The debate should be why they weren't included in the original plan. We built a beautiful glass structure, open to the public 24/7.... whatever could go wrong with that? Most public places have security cameras to make the police department's job easier when something happens. I believe the RiverCenter has cameras, and probably the new library too. You can't sneeze in Chicago without it being recorded, although I believe that city provides a good example of cameras going too far. Practically every retail store has cameras, and almost none of them are monitored around the clock.

I mention this because apparently the problem with cameras is they won't be monitored 24/7. Does this mean that Keith and the others would have approved of it if we paid someone $6 an hour times 8760 hours a year (more than $50,000) to monitor them? I like his volunteer idea, and there's no reason not to implement that as well, but I doubt we'll ever get 24/7's worth of volunteers. A better idea would be an actual Skybridge patrol, much like the VIPs occasionally do. Just the presence of witnesses would prevent a lot of stuff from happening.

In the mean time cameras can serve as our witnesses, and allow more of the vandals to be caught and prosecuted. Hopefully the council reconsiders and installs the cameras. It seems like common sense, but as we all know... that's no indicator of what this council will do.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Where in the QC is Phil Yerington's memory?

Yerington: 'I'm running' for mayor -QCTimes yesterday

Apparently, Phil Yerington would like a lot of people to forget a lot of things. He's also forgetting a lot of things himself. A Google search is not his friend.

People like me, who support things like River Renaissance and a lot of what happened with downtown during his time as Mayor, should forget/ignore all the stuff he's saying now. Now he's against that kind of stuff. Of course, its not his fault, because he claims that River Renaissance got magically changed between his being for it and it actually being built. According to him, as he says in his opinion column for the Dispatch/Argus, it was "butchered." To the right is a very early rendering of River Renaissance. Sorry about the glare, and the fact that I didn't get the whole poster in the shot. It shows 2 parking garages, a (different looking) skybridge to the casino/riverfront, the River Music History Center (RME), an uglier Figge, and the AgTech Center (New Ventures Center). Hmm... how is that different than what we ended up with? I fought hard for River Renaissance, and it turned out damn close to what it was planned to be. Yerington is banking on people not remembering his "get off your barstools" comment, and his rabid support for RR. For people who do remember, he's claiming it didn't turn out the way he wanted it.

In his same column, he suggests the casino move to the 53rd and Eastern land, forgetting that some of it has already been sold to developers, and much of it is currently being turned into a park and branch library. There's that bad memory again.

In the QCTimes article announcing that he's running, Mr. Yerington makes the jaw-dropping statement of “The current aldermen have spent too much time fighting among themselves and have forgotten there’s a town to run,” he added." Speaking of forgetting, he's apparently forgotten being sued by Niky Bowles, trying to get Gibbs fired from the PD, getting rid of former PD Chief Lynn and hoping to get himself hired as the new Police Chief, and many other things. So for those who want city hall to be less of a circus, Phil would like you to forget most of what happened while he was Mayor last time. He would apparently also like people to forget the half-dozen controversies he's been involved in since leaving the Mayor's office, some of which have never even come to light.

For people on the "other side" from me, Mr. Yerington would like you to forget plenty of things also, or at least believe that he's changed his mind about almost everything. For those of you who generally find yourselves agreeing with the Lynn/Hamerlinck/Meyer side of the council or supporting Niky Bowles-types, Yerington would like you to forget the following:
  • That he hired Craig Malin (but he's sorry now!)
  • Him calling Niky Bowles "evil" and "a cancer"
  • His aforementioned support of River Renaissance
  • Him being mentioned in the same sentences (and lawsuits) with Bob McGivern
  • His statements that he'd run if Bill Lynn didn't
  • His earlier statements that he wasn't going to run for city office at all
The only good thing I see about him running for Mayor is that if Lynn also runs, at least one of the 2 of them will be out after the primary.

In short, whether you support downtown, don't support downtown, want city hall to be more of a circus, or want city hall to be less of a circus, you all have reasons to forget voting for Phil Yerington.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Open Thread

Here are a few of the posts I'd like to write in the next few days. I've started on a few of them already.
  • Yerington
  • The East Village porch "controversy"
  • Photos from around town
  • Downtown residents' meeting on Monday
  • New downtown signage?
  • Skybridge silliness
  • And, of course... whatever else pops up
Until I get some more written though, I've gotta call this an Open Thread.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday morning election rumors

Normally I don't put much stock in rumors, but here are a few I've heard from a fairly reliable source:

1. Bill Gluba is in

2. Bill Lynn is getting signatures to run for Mayor

3. Doc Davis may be dropping out and endorsing Lynn, confirming my worst fears about him.

4. Alderman Barnhill is probably just running for reelection in the 7th

5. At least 3 people will run in the 6th ward

So the big three so far for Mayor are Gluba, Howard, and Lynn. Who gets out of the primary between those 3? And who else may still throw their hat in? I believe Yerington said he wouldn't run if Lynn does, but I may be mistaken. I suspect if Yerington and Lynn both ran, they'd divide their base, probably to the benefit of Gluba and Howard. The same would probably go for Davis. What do you loyal(?) readers think?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where in the QC is this? #17

The 17th installment of this little feature is a tie in with all the local mainstream media coverage of our area bridges and their conditions. I never heard mention of this little wood structure, so I guess its in fine shape.

This is an easy "Where" image, so I expect it will be guessed within minutes or hours. I'm working on a couple of posts though, so that's fine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

QCTimes misses the point

Bet on the sure thing: Q-C Habitat for Humanity -QCTimes Editorial

I find it strange that the Times picks this issue to really take Alderman Meyer to task, but you never know what side they're going to take. The editorial never once mentions the fact that if Habitat built houses that look like this image I stole from Alderman Frink's blog of a new old-looking house, a lot fewer people would be resisting. Instead they build houses that would be the worst in almost any neighborhood in town, much less semi-historic ones.

I would also buy their arguments against renovation a lot more if they didn't own a store full of old house parts.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A few early Election '07 thoughts

These are just a few of my early thoughts and opinions of a random assortment of the candidates and potential candidates:

Phil Yerington
A top priority for Davenport should be making city council meetings less entertaining and circus-like, and more professional and businesslike. Yerington has got to be in the top 3 most controversial and scandal-plagued Davenport politician from the last decade. We have enough problems with the politicization of the police department as it is, without bringing him back with his baggage and potential vendettas. The "clean slate" some are calling for shouldn't include figures from the past.

Doc Davis
In what I'm sure will be a surprising opinion to most of you, much of what Jim Davis has said sounds pretty good to me. Everything on his website is very common sense-based, and he doesn't appear to automatically oppose everything. Hopefully all Guardian Angels aren't closely tied with Bill Lynn, because that is one thing I don't want in a candidate for any position. The other worrisome thing is his opinion on the skatepark bathroom/picnic pavilion. His website states: "We can have installed around the perimeter, 9 tables (or a few more) with concrete slab for each and a 2-pole V-shaped corrugated roof for the much needed shade at this park for a lot less than the $375, 000.00 that is currently being entertained at City Hall (bids would be accepted). Here's my bid: $25,000.00. We could hook up to the city and have a block and mortar restroom built if need be later."
While I do suspect that these shelters would be cheaper than a quarter million dollars, for him to suggest that any handicapped-accessible structures in the floodplain could be built by the city, with all legal requirements and bidding process seems pretty unrealistic. I just hope he's not one of these politicians who thinks that in 2007 you can throw down a public restroom for $10,000. It cost over $50,000 just to build the handicapped curb ramp near the Adler. Even if these shelters could be installed that cheaply, they don't solve the bathroom/concession issue, or provide utilities for the rest of Centennial Park. In addition, this money has already been approved anyway, so its really a moot point. A mayor needs to have a realistic idea of what things cost in this day and age.

Jen Olsen
I saw somewhere that Mrs. Olsen wants to remove some of the circus atmosphere around city hall, but then she jumps headfirst into the Malin circus by saying that she'd work to fire him. I don't know that going after certain city staff is a good thing to run on. Aldermen need to work with city staff more than against them. I'm also not sure how much appeal she has in the heavy-voting 6th ward.

Ian Frink
Right now, Frink is the only person from the current council that I 100% believe should be reelected. He actually comes up with ideas, and asks a lot of questions, although not always at council meetings. He's stayed out of controversy as best as he can, and was one of the few council members who took steps towards removing Alderman Van Fossen. I was definitely glad to see that he chose to run again.

Bill Gluba
He would probably would make a good mayor, although its yet to be seen if he could "stand the heat" of the council chamber "kitchen." His comment about not running if Winborn did is encouraging to me, because I feel that Mayor Winborn has done a much better job under difficult (circus-like) circumstances than he's given credit for. Many people hate him because of his tie-breaking votes, but that's the way that our city's democratic system is set up to work folks. If Gluba could maintain or improve on this, he'll probably get my vote.

Mike Matson
I'd really like to know more about his positions, and his newly-posted website is very vague so far. However... he doesn't mention "sitting on the council like a bump on a log" as one of his plans, so he's probably ahead of Dumas for me.

Nathan Brown
I was able to meet Mr. Brown at the Sunderbruch Park opening, and he really seems to have his act together. I think he has the support of some of the folks working hard to make the Garden Addition and Roosevelt Community Center area a success, and he would make a well-spoken addition to the council. Best of all, he didn't drink, crash his car, assault or sexually harass anyone while I talked to him! This election should bring the 1st Ward back from 2 years of shameful representation.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Who will be the new Clayton Lloyd
(Open Thread)

Davenport reveals finalists for economic development job -QCTimes

Part of their test should be putting all 4 candidates in a room with Alderman Meyer, Susie Bell and company, Niky, the Eglys, the RCReader folks, and a selection of online commenters and see which candidates come out alive.

And, the Swing are getting a new name, probably back to the River Bandits if you ask me.

Other than those weighty topics, this is an open thread.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday Assortment

Celebrate Q-C's RiverVision Wednesday -QCTimes
At least 2000 of you should come out for the Swing game today, as the first 2000 fans will be getting in free to celebrate Davenport and Rock Island's selection as the most livable cities under 100,000 in the nation. Of course, hopefully not all 2000 are taken before I get there, and that the weather holds. It'll be interesting to see if a big crowd shows up for the typically deserted noon game.

No one at meeting approves of turning RiverCenter into casino -QCTimes
Well, when you only get 20 people at a meeting, you can pretty much expect it will be 20 people against whatever the meeting is about. That said, I think IOC has generated so much ill-will and negative feelings about themselves that a majority of Davenport citizens probably do oppose giving them the south side of the RiverCenter. I just urge people not to judge the feelings of Davenport off of blog commenters and 20 meeting attendees. If that were an accurate barometer we'd be talking about Niky's landslide win in 2005. I'm still not in favor of the RiverCenter idea, I don't instantly despiseit as many seem to. I'm waiting to see the whole plan.

Habitat project is delayed for further scrutiny -QCTimes
This is one of the areas that I most agree with Keith Meyer. While I personally respect Habitat's mission, I see no reason (besides saving maybe a few thousand bucks) to build houses that stick out like sore thumbs in the neighborhoods where they are built. It seems like when a low income person is trying to become an established homeowner, why start them out with the stigma of living in a clearly different style of house? With the Habitat ReStore, I would think that Habitat has enough supplies to either renovate an existing home, or build a new home that fits the character of the neighborhood. It can be done, and in the article they even mention that they're doing it in Rock Island. Do it here Habitat. Also, I'm with Keith and many others as far as being horrified by the garage-looking houses on Main. This is why neighborhood design guidelines are good, whether it be the Village, downtown, or Main Street.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Forrest Block and Bridges

Forrest block project delayed, not dead -QCTimes

I know there were a lot of people wondering what was up with this project during Bix weekend. It would have been nice to have had an article in the Bix Sunday paper explaining to all the out-of-towners what the deal was. I was pretty sure this project was still on track, but its nice to see more official confirmation.

And in the random links category, thanks to Ask QCOnline for pointing out a pretty cool website, Bridges of the Upper Mississippi. I spent almost half an hour checking out bridges between Red Wing, Minnesota and Cairo, Illinois. Seeing some of the neat designs really makes you wonder how they managed to pick such a boring bridge for the I-80 crossing, considering the number of vehicles that use that daily. The design for the new I-74 bridge puts most of them to shame at least.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Great Mississippi Valley Fair 07

One more event in the busy summer schedule of festivals and fairs. "The fair" is also another thing that we probably take for granted. I've heard that it compares pretty favorably with many state fairs.

There's always plenty of food to be had. Since I skipped the Louisiana things-on-a-stick vendor at the Bixfest, I had myself a Pork-on-a-stick last night, which was delicious. There's also a trailer with enough ice cream treats to be a traveling Dairy Queen, so I sampled some of that too. The diving show has a different theme this year, and its also quite a bit smaller and shorter than last year. I'm not sure what happened there, but its still worth the 20 minutes to watch it. Its at least more exciting than the slow-paced chain saw art that I spent a while watching. Maybe someday they'll get some grandstand acts that I care to see...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

One Open Thread Centre

Looks like the Putnam building has a new marketing campaign. Maybe its just me, but the website listed doesn't seem to work yet. That doesn't seem like an ideal message to bix visitors who may have gone home and tried to look into this building. I'll check again later today; maybe it was just a typical internet outage.

Update: The website works now, although as Snarky pointed out, its unfinished at this point.

My busy times are slowly winding down, so hopefully I can return to daily posting soon. For today though, this will be an open thread.