Gun play?

March 31, 2007

Seems like there was potential trouble brewing around Central High School today. A disturbance call to an alley around the school led to the arrest of 4 teenagers for unauthorized possession of an offensive weapon. The four were charged as adults with the felony. A sawed-off shotgun was found in their vehicle after they were removed. One of these jerks was on weekend furlough from Eldora Juvenile Detention Center. Three were 17 and the 16 year old was at Eldora for a weapons charge. My question would be how do you get a furlough from a juvenile correction center when you’re doing time on a weapons charge? Let’s hope if they’re found guilty they don’t get a furlough from Fort Madison. Your comments are welcome.

Sore open thread

March 30, 2007

 It’s that time of the week again where we get ready to start hurting. This Saturday, from 1 to 4 pm, the Guardain Angels will train at the Friendly House gym. That will be followed by demonstration patrols at 5, 7 and 11 pm. Meeting place will be announced. We have been going through our training manuals all week trying to learn everything we can to be Guardian Angels. I honestly didn’t think there was this much to it. As with other weekends since we got involved with this group, we will be busy. I will check in as often as possible, and if I have something to report, I will.

It also appears that red light cameras are going to be illegal in the state of Iowa. The state legislature will start working on this soon. The half million dollar restroom has been pared down $450,000.  Those are a few ideas, consider this an open thread and post your comments.

Pellet gun death

March 30, 2007

 A 7 year old boy is dead after hunting rabbits with his older brother and friend with a pellet gun. The family has our heartfelt sympathy. The loss of a child is something I wish no parent had to deal with. Add to that the older brother who accidently shot him, and I hope they all consider grief counseling.

Details are still a little sketchy, but it appears he was accidentally shot in the eye and died later. If you’ve ever been to Low Moor, Iowa, you know it’s not a big town. We know of it because the town hosts a car show every year. Though pellet gun deaths are rare, about 4 happen every year to children under the age of 16. Over 21,000 injuries due to pellet guns are reported each year.

 This child who got shot was in the 2nd grade. What a tragedy.

Short story

March 29, 2007

 A while back I asked people to comment on what they wanted to see in this blog.  Something that came up was posts about a business that went the extra mile. Last year I was headed to a car show at the Fairgrounds. As I took off accross West Locust street a vacuum line came loose on the motor and I only had low gear to drive in. Bad enough in a regualar car, but in a 1940 Plymouth with a modern V-8 and automatic transmission, sometimes it’s hard to find someone who knows about modified vehicles. I limped the car into Autozone on West Locust, diagnosed the problem, and went in to hopefully get some help. When I explained my problem, and the fact that I didn’t need a foot of hose, I expected tha worse. I was willing to pay for a foot, that’s how they sell it, but I only needed about 6 inches for the repair. Two of the counter people went through a junk drawer and found a piece of hose and gave it to me. We all went outside while I did the repair and one employee noticed the hose was a little loose on the metal tube. He went in again and came out with two hose clamps and a screwdriver. When all was said and done, and the car fixed, these guys wouldn’t take a dime. Not even a soda. I remember that, and being a car guy, I go to their store often. To you guys at Autozone who helped me out, thanks again.

One more time open thread

March 28, 2007

There have been a lot of rumors and untruths being spread about the Guardian Angels by people who honestly have never been to a training session, or on a patrol. My question for them woud be; how can you be so judgemental when you don’t even know what we do, or how we do it? Below is the Guardian Angel mission statement, as taken from the handbook. I’m sure some people will read more into than others, but I think it’s self-explanitory.

Guardian Angel mission statement-

To safeguard neighborhoods, schools, and cyberspace from crime and violence, through partnerships with educators, corporations, and community leaders, via programs that heighten risk awareness, foster character development, provide peaceful solutions, and empower individuals, especially our youth, to lead positive, productive, contributing lives.

 Now what do the Guardian angels really want? From one of the handbooks, I will use this excerpt.

  The Dream of the Guardian Angels-

That all children will enjoy a safe environment in which they can rise to their full potential, and can acquire idestructible self-esteem, confidence and pride of accomplishment achieved throught their contirbution and commitment to society.

 Now if any of these naysayers actually cared about the truth enough to show up at a meeting, training, or patrol, they would know we are being taught non-violent ways to resolve things. Self-defense is taught, but with equal amounts of physical conditioning. If these people went on a patrol they would know that walking 8-10 miles in an evening isn’t easy if you’re not in shape. Add to that the running involved by some to check on members, catch up after talking to people who have questions, or if there is a problem, and it’s a workout. There are also two other areas where training hasn’t started; CPR and first aid, and the law. In case you wonder why we need that training, Guardian Angels were among the first volunteers to show up at the World Trade Center on a certain September 11th, and one of the last volunteer groups to leave. The law training will not make us want to go out and do citizen’s arrests as it will cover our rights as well as those of the criminals. I know which part of that will be shorter. So there you have the basics, the reasons my son and myself volunteered. As you know your comments are welcome.

Candidate for Mayor

March 27, 2007

 I thought I’d try something a little different and put some facts out about someone who is running for Mayor in the upcoming election. Dr. Jim Davis has been a Davenport resident his entire life. He has been married for 32 years, and he and his wife have 3 children. He has been a local Doctor of Chiropratic for 23 years.

EDUCATION: Kindergarten at Washington, Sacred Heart Grade School, Davenport, Assumption High School – graduated 1969, St Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa – graduated 1973 with a B.S. Degree in Biology and Minor in Chemistry, Doctor of Chiropractic – D.C. Degree – at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa. Other education in the workforce includes: United Parcel Service, John Deere at the Harvester Works in East Moline, Student Teaching Program through Scott Community College, taught Genetic Science at Assumption High School (one semester), Realtor, in Real Estate Sales, for three Davenport Real Estate Companies, one being J.P. Davis Real Estate, Inc., Loan Officer experience with The Morris Plan Company of Iowa.

 POLITICAL EXPERIENCE/PUBLIC SERVICE:  Past Treasurer of Davenport JayCee’s, Past Member of Moline Kiwanis.

TOP ISSUES: Gangs, Crime, Violence, Bullying in the schools, School Drop-Outs, Health Care and its costs.  I have been a resident of Davenport all my life. At one time, to me, to my friends and the people I have talked with recently, Davenport was a shiny and radiant place to live – like the Emerald City of Oz. It was fun and exciting because of the downtown businesses, the Mississippi River, all of the parks overlooking the city and the river, the hilly streets and valleys, the schools, teachers, friends, neighbors and residents. All of this has somehow changed over time; it has become dulled and there is a feeling that somethings are missing. The easy days are gone and are replaced with concerns; concerns about gangs and drugs, violence and crimes, school drop outs, lack of jobs, bullying, not only in the schools but also in the work place, and there are concerns for health care, not only in treatment and choices, but also in expense. I support the Guardian Angels and what they stand for. When you go to their website at, you get to envision Davenport rising once again, with the direction and help from this organization. We cannot just continue doing what we have been doing and expect thing to improve, because it hasn’t. We can enhance our tools of community involvement by allowing an experienced organization to help us, by training us to help ourselves, just like they have other cities throughout the world for over 28 years.

 Our loved ones require our time, energy and imput to get along in life. They need guidance and a vision to inspire them. We all can gain valuable insight with the help of the Guardian Angels, not only through their Safety Patrol Program, but through their Violence Prevention Program, Anti-Bullying Program, Gang Recognition and Suppression Program, Diversity and Cultural Awareness Program, School Safety Program for Safety and Security Professionals and their new Internet Safety Cyber Angels Program. Working Together and laying a new foundation for Health and Safety, we will benefit all the Quad Cities and not just our Davenport.     

Scare open thread

March 26, 2007

My son and myself survived the weekend of life, training for the Guardian Angels, and demonstration patrols. The wife worked one night, but I think I’ll see if I remember what she looks like. We are lining up parts to start rebuilding our 48′ Chervrolet sedan. It’s going to be safe before I give it to my son next year. We also finally fixed the lights on my old pick up truck and can say they work now. A lot of talk about the Guardian Angels and we have one too. I didn’t go on the last patrol, but my son did. I told him to take my cell phone in case anything happened. Three times the phone rang and nobody answered when I picked up, at 2:30 am.  I went in the other room to check caller I.D. and it was my cellphone. I tried to call the cellphone back and got the voicemail. Then my wife called from her job in Clinton to say my cellphone had also called her cellphone. I was going to jump in my truck to find our son, but didn’t know where the patrol went. I made myself wait because I realized I had no idea where in Davenport he would be. After 20 minutes, that seemed like 3 hours, our son walked onto the porch. Needless to say I was very happy to see him. We will get the phone checked over tomorrow so this doesn’t happen again.

 I also won’t post on the old blog anymore. I will leave it up for a short while until I close it for good. I felt it was time to move on and I have. As usual your comments are welcome.

Angel update

March 25, 2007

 Now that I can rest my weary body, I figured I’d update the Guardian Angel patrols and training. Last night we met at 11 pm and patroled until 2:45 am. It felt like we all walked 20 miles, but it was actually 10. Then at 1 pm this afternoon we had a self-defense class. For anyone interested there will be two more patrols tonight. One starts at 7 pm, and the other at 11 pm. Both demonstration patrols will meet at the Radisson on 2nd and Brady. If all that doesn’t disable me, we have work to do around the house tomorrow and the daily grind again Monday. So far it’s been an enjoyable experience. Your comments are welcome.

Wet weekend open thread

March 23, 2007

 It’s going to be a busy weekend, so I’ll put up a few thoughts and have another open post. I’ve now heard that tonight is going to be a demonstration patrol for the Guardian Angels. Meet at the Radison Hotel downtown at 11 pm. This is to be the meeting place, the area of patrol will be announced and probably run until around 3 am.

 Another thing on a lot of people’s minds is flooded streets. The wife informed me that 15th. Street at Bridge Street was flooded, which I thought odd, but she doesn’t lie. There has to be a way to keep this from happening every year. The trash problem is still with us; is somebody importing this stuff? Since daylight savings time started 3 weeks early maybe the city ought to move up the free yard waste pick-up. Lastly, we’re about a month away from the first cruise-in of the year. I’m thinking of doing an open thread once a week, you can comment on these things or bring up whatever you want. As always, your comments are welcome.


In the River Cities Reader, Volumn 625, is a good story on the Guardian Angels. If you get a chance pick up a copy and it’ll probably answer a lot your questions. Or you can go to and read it online.

Pre-fab vs built here

March 22, 2007

Some questions were raised that if the pre-fab are $200,000 each then the other building isn’t out of line. As with all things there are two sides to every tale. So, with a nod to Alderman Meyer, here is what the City Finance dept. thinks should be done-

The CXT product line is heralded as durable, with promotional material indicating that it is all but impervious to any calamity; natural or man-made. Unfortunately, the product line has two other characteristics that require further consideration. The first is that some (or most, depending on your viewpoint) structures of the product line have all the charm of a facility one would find in a prison yard. Spartan and durable has its place, but whether this place is a neighborhood park or Davenport’s cherished riverfront is something to be considered.

Secondly, while the product line does offer some savings on a square foot basis, the Council may consider whether a better approach would be to spend tax dollars locally, with structures that are locally designed, and locally built. Pending options selected, the CXT products can cost in the range of $225 – $275 per square foot. They have been designed and would be constructed by a company located in Spokane, Washington. They would be trucked to Davenport, and placed on a foundation that represents the only substantive, local value added component to the project. Once placed on site, they will sit in their austere imperviousness for perpetuity, monuments to taking the easy path to a solution (picked from a catalog) rather than supporting local design and construction.

Capital improvements are a Council decision, but my recommendations are as follows:

Delete the purchase of the CXT Precast Products restrooms from the agenda

Approve an amended proposal with Gere / Dismer and Missman Stanley to design the Centennial Park building and restrooms for Junge and Garfield Parks. The amended proposal (attached) specifies a not to exceed $300 per square foot cost for the three structures, with a final design fee capped at 10% of the building construction cost. As part of the design process, Gere / Dismer will investigate the viability of design and construction of all three structures as LEED certified buildings.

That’s their take on it, as always comments are welcome.