Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Dam & Fixer-Uppers

You know its flooding when the Corps of Engineers lift the dam rollers all the way out of the water because the river is the same level above and below the dam. Fortunately the city seems to be on top of the various issues, and as the media has been saying, this flood seems merely inconvenient. But I'm sure that won't stop people from complaining about the city.

I was scanning the real estate websites yesterday, and found a couple interesting ones on West 6th in the Gold Coast area. I'm sure my readers from that area know all about these, but I'll post them anyway. The images are from the Scott County Parcel Summaries.

714 W 6th
Ruhl Listing
County Assessment
Square feet: 4,412
Asking Price: $99,900

This one is already partially renovated, so I'm curious what the story is behind it. Its too bad whoever owned it before its current owner (IH Bank) couldn't finish the restoration.

726 W 6th
Ruhl Listing
County Assessment
Square feet: 5,942!
Asking Price: $145,000

I really like this one, but its enormous! Its so big that its currently split up into 11 apartments. There have to be some serious issues for something that could conceivably bring in $2500 a month to sell for $145k. Hopefully none of our ever-present slumlords go after this one.

Anyone who hasn't spent some time walking around that area should definitely do so now that our 5-month Winter has relented.


Anonymous said...

Those are both beautiful homes for sure. Thanks for the heads up on that, and the Sugar update too.

I must say though, I'm really looking forward to the B-Dorf rant too :)

I just had one of my own the other day to someone regarding how nobody takes in to account that for a myriad of reasons, bdorf benefits enourmously by dport size and closeness to them. Anyway, I'll zip it and wait to see what you've got coming.

Anonymous said...

I almost forgot, where's your Farmers Market article? I know yous support the riverfront location, but I was surprised not to see an article from you on this yet.

Anonymous said...

News Analysis
Farmers’ Income Rises, but Subsidies Stay
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Published: April 24, 2008
WASHINGTON — Americans are in sticker-shock over grocery prices, while people in developing countries are rioting over food shortages. And across the heartland, American farmers are enjoying record incomes, but losing sleep over rising expenses and turbulence in the commodity futures markets.

Here on Capitol Hill, though, it is pretty much farm politics as usual.

As Congress works toward final passage of the farm bill, it is poised to continue most of the existing farmer subsidy programs, including about $5.2 billion a year in so-called “direct payments” that will be disbursed even as net farm income is projected to hit a historic high in 2008.

The farm bill, which comes along once every five years and will cost upward of $300 billion, in fact will do little to address many of the most pressing concerns. It will not change biofuel mandates that are directing more corn to ethanol and contributing to a global rise in food prices.

It will do little to ease worldwide food shortages. And at a time of high volatility in the futures markets, it will not require tougher regulation.

In other words, Congress seems oblivious. And longstanding critics of American policy are piling on.

“It really is astounding,” said Representative Ron Kind, Democrat of Wisconsin, who has pushed for broad changes in farm subsidy programs. “It’s as if this farm bill is being negotiated in a vacuum.”

Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, which maintains a database showing how farm subsidies mostly benefit a small number of wealthy producers, blamed Congressional leaders outside the agriculture committees.

“There really doesn’t seem to be any intervention that reflects these broader crises,” Mr. Cook said. “They are sound asleep at the leadership level.”

The White House, too, has joined the criticism, sharply criticizing Congress for proposing to spend $16 billion more than was initially allocated for the farm bill — mostly for increases in food stamps — at a time when high profits would seem to allow cuts in subsidies.

“With record farm income, now is not the time for Congress to ask other sectors of the economy to pay higher taxes, in order to increase the size of government,” the White House said in a statement Tuesday calling for a one-year extension of the current farm law.

Defenders of the bill say it makes a number of crucial improvements, including a roughly $10 billion increase in food stamps and other nutrition programs, as well as expanded land conservation and rural development programs and new aid for growers of fruits and vegetables, who have never gotten assistance from a farm bill.

But even strong proponents of the bill, like Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and chairman of the Agriculture Committee, concede that farm interests are deeply entrenched and that there is little appetite for change among many farm state lawmakers, especially when it comes to the direct payment program.

The direct payments are based on the amount of land that certain farmers own, and Mr. Harkin, who has sought to eliminate the payments, said that many recipients of the money then use it to acquire more land and qualify for more payments.

“It’s like the black hole in space that astronomers talk about: everything gets sucked in and nothing ever comes out,” he said. “This is the black hole of agriculture. It doesn’t make sense, but farmers continue to get it.”

Mr. Harkin said there was not much he could do because “I don’t have the votes,” adding, “People love free money.”

QuadCityImages said...


Anonymous said...

Did you hear anything about the gunshots in Garfield Park near the school Tuesday night? The wife caught something about it on the Wednesday 9pm KLJB news. She told me the police found some shell casings and knives in the area. I guess there has also been some gang activity in the area. Getting a little to close to home for you and me. I walk my dog in that neighborhood all the time. I'm glad Barney (your alderman) is on top of all this crap in his backyard, NOT! They could sure use a security light by the new restrooms in Garfield Park, and it’s been mentioned to them. It won't be long before the restrooms have graffiti on them. I’m sure the city will put up a light after the fact, it seems they’re always more reactive than proactive.

Shelley said...

It was in Moline-Garfield School in Moline. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Who did Matt get his habit from.

pioneer98 said...

I lost all respect for farm subsidies when I learned some of my coworkers basically pay zero incomce taxes, because they can write everything off as a farm expense! The real kicker is: they don't even own a farm! They have a cousin or an in-law that agreed to put their name as co-owner of the farm. Oh, they might visit the farm twice a year. Maybe.

Slum lords do the same thing. Suddenly, everything becomes a business expense, even improvements to their OWN house! Or they go to a "business conference" in Florida and the whole trip is a write off.

Then they max out their 401K and IRA's so that they don't even have to pay income tax on interest.

Pho3niX said...

I read that Gov. Culver is basically eliminating the flat $65 vehicle registration for trucks. There's a nice poke in the eye for the Iowa farmer... but it makes sense to eliminate it considering the vast majority of pickup owners in the state have also probably never set foot on a farm.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction Shelly. I'll let my wife know.

I wish everyone could be as perfect as you, a pig comes to mind.

QuadCityImages said...

Settle down folks...

I did think that Shelley's scolding was a little harsh, but there's no need for name calling.

Its easy to confuse the Garfield Schools; I know I almost got on a bus to Moline back in Elementary School after Symphony Day downtown.

It seems like Illinois is getting hit harder with this Spring's violence.

Anonymous said...

Fried brain.

QuadCityImages said...

What is with these random comments?

Anonymous said...

At least this thread hasn't shifted toward talking about pooh like some of the other threads.

Anonymous said...

Considering the cynical and obnoxious tone of the original Garfield poster, Shelly's correction didn't seem particularly harsh to me. The later "pig" comment really showed class, didn't it.

QuadCityImages said...

The only part that seemed that that bad was the slam on Barnhill. I thought it was a decent post, despite the cynical attitude.

Maybe I've been reading Cruiser's blog too much lately, and its lowered my standards against negative comments.