Wednesday, March 31, 2010

News News News

Aside from the news that I'm actually posting something, there were a lot of interesting things in the news today.

First, has got to be the crime wave we're currently suffering through. By my count the QC has had 4 people killed in the last week, and that's terrible. Last night's shootings and the ensuing chaos at both hospitals, combined with the 2 fatal stabbings over the weekend, seem to bode badly for this summer being a quiet one.

In downtown Davenport news, we have an article in the QCTimes and a Downtown Davenport Facebook update both revealing that Restoration St. Louis has finally begun work on the interior of the Forrest Block building. The article mentions early next year as a completion time, so it will be interesting to see if they get to keep all their incentives and such. This article also says that the Blackhawk should be done yet this year.

oday is WIU:QC's groundbreaking. After reading about Deere donating the riverfront land to the school while I was still attending the Macomb campus, it seems like its been an eternity to get to this point. I'm hoping to attend, and the weather should definitely cooperate. If you're interested in witnessing the historic moment, the event starts at 1PM, with parking and shuttle available at the iWireless Center. Hopefully I'll have some pictures later.

I'm happy to see that some are pushing for RAGBRAI to return to the Iowa QC, or even Davenport itself. Considering the few hotels in LeClaire, you have to figure that most of the people stayed in Davenport and Bettendorf in 2008, so obviously we can handle both that and the Bix. It would be a heck of a celebration downtown, that's for sure.

Airport News:
Demolition starts renaissance for municipal airport -QCTimes

Quad City Air Show 2010's website is now up. It looks like no Blue Angels or Thunderbirds this year, but instead we'll have what's shaping up to be a huge collection of WWII warbirds. Hopefully along with the Tora Tora Tora display they can bring back the pyrotechnics that have been lacking the last few years.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Parade Images

Here are a few shots from today's parade. The weather was better than some years, worse than others. Overcast, misty, almost Irish weather...

Third Street, before the parade.

You never know what you're going to see in a QC St. Patrick's Day Parade. Irish Santa, and the weinermobile made appearances today.

And the parade joins into the 3rd Street bar area festivities. This block, at this exact hour of the year, has got to be one of the liveliest places in the QC.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Menards Update

It turns out that the QCTimes articles about the Menards dark store agreement were a bit inaccurate. This article said, "Worried that the 53rd Street store would sit empty and be an eyesore for months or years, Davenport aldermen demanded the company have a buyer or renter for its existing store before starting construction on the $15 million project." When I read that, I thought that it wasn't how I remembered it. There are indeed requirements, but none of them explicitly disallow Menards from building their new store before finding a new use for the old one.

Here's a PDF that you can download of the actual agreement from both 2005 and 2007. The first one was regarding Menards potentially moving to Elmore, and the second one has to do with the site on North Brady.

Download the actual pdf here:'s DarkStore Agreement.pdf

Monday, March 08, 2010

Menards and Museums

Davenport may kill Menards 'dark store' deal to spark construction -QCTimes

As someone mentioned in the comments earlier, the council is considering changing their mind. Shawn "Property Rights, sometimes" Hamerlinck helped pass a set of requirements having to do with the current Menards in order to rezone their future site near the intersection of Brady and 65th. At the time, there were a number of potential businesses going in out in that area, and the economy was humming right along. Now, a couple years later, things are a bit different. It appears that much of the council is willing to have an empty Menards on 53rd in exchange for a larger Menards spurring development in a new corridor and providing construction jobs. I don't know that they're wrong, but I do worry about the old Menards sitting empty for a long, long time. I can think of one possible use, but I'll do a post on that later.

Deal with city, schools creates a short-term boost for Putnam -QCTimes

This one gets pretty complicated, but the end result is the Parks and Rec department moving out of the old Davenport Museum of Art building, the Putnam giving up their claim to the building, and the Davenport Community School District preschool program moving into it from the former Eagles near the Fairgrounds. Having a school as part of the "museum campus" makes perfect sense, and in an ideal world the Putnam board can bring in some new tenants to their buildings downtown before using up the 3 year influx of money. We'll see. My main concern is with the Putnam in the future. If they do manage to turn things around and somehow have plenty of money again, where are they ever able to expand to in the future? They had always hoped to be able to expand into the former DMA building, but never had the cash. With this deal, that option goes away. I always hate to see the QC sell the future short during present difficulties. It does explain the sudden interest in the Parks department moving into the River's Edge (QCSC) building on the riverfront though. I wonder where the Community Services Division will go?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Blogging will resume shortly

I have fallen into my usual late winter slump. If I were Wundram, I would have flown off to somewhere interesting. I didn't. I should get back to normal QC-related stuff soon. First though, something completely different.

In the spirit of the just-finished Canadian Olympics, here's a video of a lady that has to be one of the neatest mayors in North America. She's 89 years old, and has been the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario for the last 31 years. I'd vote for her.

I know these widescreen YouTube videos kind of break the blog formatting, so I'll turn it into a link later today. (FIXED)