Save gas

May 31, 2008

Doc sent us a news release on how to beat the high cost of gas. Sounds
like a neat way to beat the summer heat, and save gas money-

IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE

Gas prices got you down? Think you got to have gas to have fun?

Recreation on the Mississippi River need not be expensive, noisy or
fumy. Lake Davenport Sailing Club has the best of most worlds:
Recreation, River Action,

socializing, nature enjoyment, money saving, quiet movement, no gas
and more, all while enjoying and practicing the art and science of
sailing a boat on the river.

If recreation is what you are looking for and don’t have the dollars
for the gas, oil and other costs, Sailing may be the answer. Come
down and see for yourself

what a wonderful time you can have being a member of LDSC located at
1255 E. River Dr. in Davenport. Learn how to sail; to slow down; enjoy.
How peaceful

and relaxing can sailing be? Come and see for yourself. For more info
on sailing go to LDSC. Many members have been with the club
for over 20 years.

You could get a lot of experience sailing just talking to members of
LDSC. What are you waiting for a miracle on how to have fun without
the expense? Come on down and relax.

For more info call Doc at 563-650-5645.

For something different, here’s a link to an online game.
You begin by clicking on one of the boxes, & then a question appears.
If your answer is correct, that box will get an X.
If incorrect, an O.
When you get 3 X’s in a row, you win.
THE QUESTIONS ARE FAIRLY HARD
Warning…this is addictive!!!
Click
here to begin.

That’s our post, comments on just about anything are welcome.


Local perception rant

May 29, 2008

We had the scanner on yesterday and heard a call to West 1st. Street about a big fight with pipes, chains, baseball bats, and golf clubs. First we chuckled that at least some sports were involved. But that got us thinking how other folks must see our town. The QC Times is running an online poll about crime. As of yesterday 51% said our crime rate is high in the Quad Cities. 38% said they believe crime is on the rise, and only 6% said it has stayed steady. What’s that going to do for tourism?

Our City Leaders had better get on this before it becomes a real problem. Why are some people afraid to go downtown? We know people are leery of coming to our house because of shootings within a block of our place, but we don’t feel crime is that bad right now.

Any action on the zoo was tabled at the last meeting. We still say leave it alone. Don’t make any more “destinations” until the perception of our crime rate is changed. You won’t get too many tourist if they think there’s a shooting every day. If our city is percieved as a rowdy wild west setting, most people will go elsewhere.

Speaking of making our city a destination, have all the street sweepers broken down? In some places there is so much muck people couldn’t walk if they wanted to.

And grafitti. Nothing says “destination” more than seeing grafitti sprayed on signs, overpasses, vacant houses, and walls throughout the city. That’s our rant for today, comments on this or any other subject are welcome.


Up in smoke

May 28, 2008

What would you guess the following men have in common? Wael Wahid
Abdelaziz (aka “Tony”), Ziad Mahmoud Alaslameh (aka “Zee” and “Ziad
Mahmoud Al Batainch”), Haleem Hamoudeh Hamoudeh (aka “Mike”), Mohammad
Diab Al-Rafati, and Suleiman Bhojani. If you guessed trying to sell
cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps in Texas, you’d be right. They
tried to sell in excess of 60,000 cigarettes with phony tax stamps. And
authorities siezed over $800,000 in cash. Some of these people owned
convenience stores where the smokes were going to be sold. We wonder if
they were going to sell them at discount. For more on story, you can go
to
this pdf file.

Since it would appear these people were not born here, we have to
wonder if they’ll be deported after serving their senteces. Comments
are welcome.


Some crime news

May 27, 2008

The following are some federal cases we’ve been keeping up on, along
with a history lesson, and some missing children.

Kirk Wright of Marietta, Ga., was found guilty of mail fraud, securities
fraud, and money laundering in a nine year scheme diverting money from
investors accounts for his personal use. The $150 million scheme allowed
Wright to flash cash, buy jewelry, make house renovations, have a half-
million-dollar wedding, buy 6 luxury vehicles, and buy several pieces of
real estate.

In 2006, as his company was going belly-up, he withdrew a half million
dollars in cash and dissapeared. His story reads better than fiction.
To read more go to
the DOJ website.

A little closer to home, 15 face federal bribery charges in Chicago.
The bribes were alegedly made to expedite building permits. Who’d have
thought something like this could happen in Chicago? To read the details
go to
that DOJ website.

May 23 was National Missing Children’s Day 2008. While we’re a little
late on that, you can still see pictures of some missing children. To
do so go to
that page.

74 years ago this month, Bonnie and Clyde were killed. For a little
history on their brief crime spree you can read a short article
here.

And to see how the DOJ’s Sex-offender, Sentencing,
Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) program is
doing with 7 recent cases, go to
the pdf file.

That’s what some of the bad guys, and girls, have been up to, comments
on just about anything are welcome.


Drug Threat Assessment 2008

May 26, 2008

The National Drug Threat Assessment 2008 is out. While some things
didn’t surprise us, some did. These are the latest findings from the
the National Drug Intelligence Center about the problems we may see
this year.

We’ll start with cocaine. Though the supply of cocaine has slowed on
the East Coast, anylists believe that won’t be a problem this year.
With South America increasing it’s cocaine production, and the Eastern
Pacific route smugglers use, it’s believed that the cocained trafficking
through POE (points of entry) in Texas will increase. There is a lot
more on the
website

Heroin seems to be more of problem in the larger metropolitan areas,
but also growing in the suburbs and rural areas. Most herion is used
in our Eastern states is South American. Heroin from Asia is minimal.
Some law enforcement officials are concerned in the abuse of cheese
heroin; a combination of Mexican black tar herion and over-the-counter
pain relievers that contain diphenhydramine (HCI) which is being found
in a small number of areas.
Retail purity of South American heroin is decreasing, while retail
purity of Mexican heroin is increasing. South American heroin used
to higher retail purity, but the decrease of their purity and the
purity getting better in Mexico the gap has narrowed. For more info go
that page.

Marijuana trafficing and abuse is rising. There has been an increase in
cultivation in Mexico, Asia, and Cuba, along with domestic crops grown
here. This may be due to the demand for high-potency marijuana as well
as the increase in cultivation. Marijuana potency reached its highest
recorded level in 2006. There is a growth of indoor grown marijuana as
an attempt to avoid discovery and increase potency. It is being outside
in the eastern states by Mexican trafficers to avoid heightened pressure
from law enforcement in the western states. In Mexico they are choosing
more remote areas to grow their crop, and Asians are becoming more
involved with trafficking in every area of our country. To learn more go
here.

Methamphetamine use has stabilized and domestic production of meth has
decreased drmatically since 2004. Asia has been a steady supplier, it
appears Mexico has ramped up production, and in Canada, outlaw biker
gangs and Asians expand their position in Canada. Particularly with meth
tablets sold as MDMA. Mexico maintains large-scale production, Canada
has increased production and is intended for distribution in U.S. drug
markets, while sustained law enforcement pressure continue to drive
down productin here. Availabilty is mixed with some western markets
reporting sporatic shortages, while other markets reported stable to
increasing availability. For more on this problem go
here.

There are other drugs listed, MDMA, LSD, PCP, and GHB to name a few.
If you would like to check on these, go to the main page and click on
what you want to know about-

Here is the first paragraph of the West Central Regional Overview. Iowa
is in this region.

Regional Overview
The West Central Region is composed of large metropolitan areas as well
as expansive, sparsely populated locations that include public and
Native American tribal lands within 11 states; the region also shares
an international border with Canada. The West Central Region is
populated by approximately 22.6 million people; more than 50 percent
reside in metropolitan and urban areas. Traffickers distribute large
quantities of illicit drugs from St. Louis, Kansas City, Des Moines,
Omaha, Denver, and Salt Lake City. These cities facilitate access to
markets in the West Central Region and the rest of the country,
primarily because of their geographic locations along major interstate
highways and other transportation systems. If you want to see the
entire overview, go here
and scroll down; it’s the last section on the webpage.

That’s what they’re saying, comments on this, or just about anything
else, are welcome.


Memorial Day

May 26, 2008

Looks like we’re going to have bad weather for the first part of Memorial Day. Please take a little of your time today to remember all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The American G I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.


Our take

May 24, 2008

We’ve been through this before. As usual reactions are over the top.
Yes, we have had shootings lately. Doesn’t this happen every summer?
While everyone is bickering over race, whether or not a good person
got shot, and voting judges out; the clock is ticking. Once the news is
out; on the web, in the newspapers, on the TV, it can’t be stopped. And
the perception of our city is changed almost instantly.

Would you visit a city if all the news sources were covering Pachino
Hill, shootings outside of school, in our neighborhoods, and at a very
popular restaurant? This has to be a broadside hit to the tourism trade
and to future residents. How many residents will we lose over this?

While all this is going on, we feel the black community has dropped
the ball also. Where is the vocal debate over the shootings? Where is the
NAACP, the local Churches, and other groups voicing their outrage? Do
they condone such action? We haven’t heard anyone of color voice their
disapproval of such actions publicly.

On that same note, the race card is being played again. And somehow,
we, the white community, have missed some things. Most notable seems to
be that good people are getting shot. While criminal records are
involved, some blame it on past mistakes. In our teens and early twenties
we make mistakes. From mid-to-late twenties, we make choices. If you
commit crimes into your thirties and forties, you have chose to be a
criminal. And you have made bad choices all your life. We don’t like to
see anyone lose their life, but sometimes lifestyles shorten life expectancy.

People say they are having problems in their neighborhoods. We would
almost bet they haven’t told the police department about it, or called
their alderman about either. If you don’t tell people about problems in
your area, it’s your problem. When you tell the police or alderman, or an
agency that’s willing to help, then it becomes their problem also. They
can’t be expected to help if they don’t know there’s a problem.

And all this talk about the city not being safe isn’t helping either.
The one fatality was the intended victim. No innocent bystanders have
been injured. For the most part the victims knew their assailants. That
being said, it would appear we have a lot work to do. We don’t know
the answers, but we certainly hope someone does. We also hope that
things get put into motion now to stop this violent problem before it
does get out of hand.

That’s our take on it; you’re welcome to agree, disagree, or bring
up something else. Comments are welcome.


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