Thursday, August 27, 2009

McKesson Lofts Images

The grand opening and open house of the McKesson Lofts in downtown Rock Island was last night. Here's the QCTimes article about it, and here are some images I managed to get while I was there.

Here's the exterior of the renovated building. The balconies were added, and some of the environmentally friendly features include geothermal heating/cooling, and a green roof. The 2nd and 3rd floors are condos, half of which are already spoken for.

Good views all around. The river-facing units have a great view of Davenport (it'd be better without the casino there) and the future location of Armory Park, while some of the other units face over towards the District and all that urban activity.

This is one of the more unique features, in my opinion. The common areas on each floor have cutouts in the floor to allow light from the skylights above to make it all the way down to the main floor.

A lot of open floor plans, studio style bedrooms, and laminate flooring. Like a lot of these converted buildings, very few condos' floor plans are alike.

The lobby on the 1st floor. Some of this floor is unfinished space planned for commercial use. The stairwells and elevator are keyed to limit access to the residential floors, which is always nice. As fast as this building is filling up, maybe developers will consider some condos in downtown Davenport? Anybody?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A bit of election stuff

This Thursday is the filing deadline for the 2009 City Election. If anyone wants to have a chance at enduring constant scorn from a vocal minority of the public for every decision they make, there's still time.

Here are the numbers of signatures required on petitions to run for each ward and Mayor.

Mayor 338
At-Large 287
1st Ward 41
2nd Ward 36
3rd Ward 20
4th Ward 49
5th Ward 30
6th Ward 65
7th Ward 49
8th Ward 45

A few years ago the 3rd ward only required 13, so obviously voter turnout is increasing downtown.

There's a new blog following this election, which can be found at I've added it to the links over on the right. So far it seems very fair-handed, possibly because it also seems very concise in its posts, unlike this blog and its occasional novel-length posts.

In the At-Large race, it looks like this Jason Gordon will be the mainstream candidate to beat, although Ortiz and his illegal signs will be giving him a run for it. If Keith Meyer is really running for At-Large, I think he'll have quite an uphill battle. Niky showed the popularity (or lack-thereof) of wrench-in-the-gears-style candidates over the city as a whole.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Backwater Gamblers Images

While the British Car Show is one of the QC's hidden treasures, I would say the biggest thing we have that not enough people know about is the Backwater Gamblers waterski team. I grew up going over to their shows every year, but I had missed the last 2 or 3 years' shows. Fortunately I was able to make it over to see last night's show. They were great as always. This team took 5th in the Show Ski nationals, yet there were locals in the crowd that had only recently heard about them. There is still time to make it over there this season, as they have 7 shows left. They are every Wednesday and Sunday night at 6:30 PM. Their website has directions to their area on the Rock River in Rock Island. Best of all, admission is free, although they do pass the bucket for donations during intermission. I could easily see paying $10 per person to see this show and feeling it was well worth it. Here are some images from last night's show:

Towboats 1 and 2 bringing a bunch of skiers directly towards the beach.

It was tough to get good shots of the high speed jumps off of the ramp in the fading light, but here's one of a skier going underneath 2 jumpers.

Four 3-tier pyramids get pulled off the dock already on each others shoulders.

A large line of skiers gets pulled off the dock, leaving only one behind. This takes a lot of boat power, which is why they have two 225 horsepower outboards on each of the main boats.

The show always finishes with their most impressive pyramid. In this case, a triple-wide 4-tier pyramid that required 2 boats to pull everyone off the dock.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

British Car Show Images

Here are just a few pictures I took at the Heartland British Auto Fest this past Sunday. I'm not necessarily a car guy, but I always like this event. I suppose its partly genetic, as my dad used to be a British car guy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A few words about Terry Lunardi

I have been busy enjoying the many events in the area the last week, so I have a good amount of stuff to blog about, but I first feel like I have to say something about the sad loss of Terry Lunardi.

I mostly know him by reputation and the news coverage, because I didn't actually know him personally. I saw him a lot though, because whenever I showed up at the events, forums, and meetings that I've attended over the years, he was there. He put in an amazing amount of time into making the QC a better place.

The area that I do have some personal connection with is his contribution over the years to Garfield School. I was a 6th grade student at Garfield in the final year that Davenport elementary schools had 6th graders, which I believe would have been the '93-'94 school year. At that time, a lot of exciting things were happening at Garfield. A new addition had just opened (which has since been joined by several more additions), we were starting an AM radio station (later upgraded to FM), and we had 3 business partners. They were Lunardi's, KRVR (a long-gone radio station) and I believe Junior Achievement. The Garfield radio station's call letters were KLJG, which stood for KRVR, Lunardi's, Junior Achievement, and Garfield. Even though we were only in 6th grade, we felt like we were actually involved in helping make our school better. From what I remember, a bit part of this was made possible by the contributions of Terry Lunardi. Most schools back then didn't even have "business partners," much less their own radio station. Right around that time Garfield was named a Blue Ribbon school. I don't know how Mr. Lunardi got involved with this particular elementary school, but I know that my years there were better off because of it.

We could use a lot more like him, and I'd like to add my name to the long list of people who will miss his contribution to Davenport and the Quad Cities.