A few things

February 28, 2009

Broadcaster Paul Harvey died today. We’ve enjoyed his take on things
for many years. Even though he is gone I’m sure we’ll hear the Rest of the Story.

On another note, when the stimulus bill passed it did so without the cash for clunkers bill in it. The SEMA Action Network sprang into action and stopped the bill. I am proud to say that I am a member of this group.
This is the at least the third time SAN has worked to successfully defeat this bill. We hope it is the last.

We have the vote on the Promise coming up Tuesday. If you haven’t voted early, please vote on Tuesday.
Comments are always welcome.

Say what?

February 27, 2009

We recieved the mailer from the Friends of Davenport Promise. The glossy front hass a nice picture of high school graduates with captions about how the Promise will allow them to go to St. Ambrose, Scott Community College, Capri, the University of Iowa, and an undisclosed nursing school. Having an inquiring mind, I thought I’d find out just how much it actually cost to attend some of these colleges.

From the St. Ambrose website I located the cost page and this is what it provided for undergraduate costs.
Tuition and fees- $21,610
Housing per semester-$1,800
Meals per semester- $2,025
Plus textbooks and supplies.

The University of Iowa website broke it down like this for in-state students-
Tuition and fees- $6,824
Room and board- $8,004
Books and supplies-$1,090
Personal expenses- $2,630
Transportation- $890
For a grand total of $19,438 per year.

The Scott Community College website broke it down like this for a computer course for in-state students-
Tuition and fees- $6,528
Books and supplies-$1,500
This comes to a grand total of $8,068 per year.

Would these kids on the front of the card be smiling if they knew this? Each site I visited had at least one webpage devoted to student aid. Scott Community College claimed there are no less than 3 federal loans, a pell grant, and several scholarships available to students. I wonder what recieving money from the Promise would do to the grants for students from lower income families.

The last paragraph on the flip side says: “The Cost? Great news, nothing new! There will be NO tax increase. If the Promise vote passes, up to 30% of the existing one cent City sales tax will be used to fund the program. The remainder of the penny will go towards supporting police and fire and our infrastructure needs.”

I don’t like the sound of that. I thought it WAS 30%, not up to 30% for the Promise. I also thought we were voting on 30% for the Promise, 10% for public safety, and the remainder to be used as it always had. Am I wrong? Are the Friends of Davenport Promise wrong? Has somebody shuffled the numbers without telling us what we’re voting on? Inquiring minds do want to know.
Comments are always welcome.

One more time

February 27, 2009

We are another day closer to voting on the Davenport Promise. I still can’t see why people think this is a good program. The proposal has so many red flags in it someone should call the National Guard.

I don’t like using tax monies meant for another purpose to fund it. If this really is the best thing since sliced bread; why aren’t private monies rolling in to fund it? And where are the funds going to come from to cover the 40% reduction for the original use?

Something else I don’t like that is mentioned often is a statement that the citizens of Davenport are getting older and poorer. As an older citizens of this burg who has been paying taxes for years I get offended. Excuse me for living! We are not poorer but we do pay taxes and spend our money here. Is the city going to pass a law that says nobody over 60 can live here unless they own a bank?

And to those who can’t figure out why our schools are losing students; can you say 75% graduation rate? I’ve noticed at some of the informational meetings that some have said these numbers are misleading. Well then; does that mean that the schools in surrounding areas also have a higher graduation rate than the study shows, or just us?

Adding public safety to the Promise appears to be nothing more than an attempt to make us who vote against it feel guilty. But, the mayor has been saying that the monies for public safety will go into a general fund. If it goes into the general fund, will any of it ever trickle down to public safety?

Those who back this program say the administration of the Promise will be funded with private donations. But our mayor went to Washington, DC, to beg for money for the administration of the Promise. And don’t forget kids, Ken Croken said that it would be four years before any adjustments could be made to the program.He felt it could be a learning curve, but at what cost?

Then we have statements that this program will bring families with children to our city. To quote a city leader “if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.” That same city leader is now claiming “if the Promise passes, taxes will go down”. I’ve been saying for some time, find out why people aren’t moving here and fix it. Don’t expect a program backed by flawed studies to improve a problem it wasn’t
intended to fix.

Lastly is something my Dad told me years ago when I wanted my first car. He told me that while he could afford to buy me a car, he wouldn’t. He told me that if I worked and bought it with my own money I’d appreciate more. At 15 I thought he just enjoyed ruining my life. Later I saw the wisdom of his words.

Tuesday we will go to vote and by Wednesday most of us will be talking about another subject. Regarless of what position you have on this issue, you should vote on Tuesday. If you don’t vote your position, you have no right to bitch later on. Please vote on Tuesday if you haven’t already.
Comments are always welcome.

Dogs, writers, knees, and the vote

February 27, 2009

There’s a few things I want to mention before I get really busy. The
first is that the dogs have found a good home and are still together.
A friend of the dogs family said the response was amazing.

The Midwest Writing Center will honor the 11 best writers in a recent
contest. Writers were given 24 hours to write a fiction or non-fiction
story, or a poem. They were given one sentence to start with. “Why do they always have to be red?” Davenports own Keith Meyer came in second in the fiction division. Congratulations.

There will be a celebration tonight at the Bucktown Center starting at 7 pm. The Bucktown is located at 225 East 2nd. Street in Davenport. The winners are scheduled to read their winning entry in the “Iron Pen Contest”. The galleries will be open, there will be a chili cook-off and free libations.
Sounds like a good time, I wish I could make it.

Next week is going to be hectic as the wife is having knee replacement surgery on Tuesday. I don’t like hospitals and I especially don’t like hospitals at 6 am. If my posting is a little a sparse next week, bear with me.

Lastly, the vote on the Promise is just around the corner. If you haven’t yet made up your mind on how you are going to vote, please get informed. On Tuesday the polls will open and I hope everyone votes.
Comments are always welcome

Can you help?

February 26, 2009

We have a family with a problem who is asking for help. They don’t
want money or donations; they want someone to give their dogs a good home. They are moving from an house to an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. They want to keep the two labs together because they have have been raised since pups together. We’ll let them tell their story-

As many of you know, we are moving in just 2weeks.Unfortunately, I have still not been able to find a good home for Cookie and Coco .
We’re not able to take our beloved doggies with us and I’ve been
desperately trying to find a home for both of them ‘together’.
They were raised together and pine without each other. The Lab rescue have already said that they would probably separate them, so this is my last resort.

Recently I tried to take Coco out in my car alone and she
TOTALLY refused to even get into the car without Cookie…..!!!! She
absolutely pulled back on her haunches until Cookie was by her side. Both doggies are in great health, have been spayed and have ID chips
implanted under the skin.

Cookie turned 3 December 10th and Coco will be 3 April 1st.
Cookie is my mellow-yellow, and just loves her tummy rubbed. Coco is adorably funny and lives for her “ball”. She also loves the water….. Cookie loves lots of attention. Both doggies are loyal and love to walk. They have been raised with my 3 kids running around all over the place, and have survived Sammy’s constant hugging and love of ‘dress-up’, so they are fantastic family dogs. This is by far one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, but under the circumstances I have no choice.

Please, Please forward these pics to all you know and help me
find a great home for these fabulous doggies. They are just adorable
and it’s heartbreaking to let them go. In a perfect world, I hope that we could find someone local so that we can still keep in touch and visit them. I pray that someone, somewhere can help us keep Cookie and Coco together, and love them just as much as we do. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

If you know someone who could help, contact me at cruisinblog@yahoo.com and I’ll get you in touch with them.
Comments are always welcome.

More Promise

February 25, 2009

The Promise vote is almost here and there seems to be a meeting every night discussing the issues. According to the QC Times there were even a handful of people at the last meeting who were undecided. We hope they get enough information before they vote to make up their minds.

I recieved another email that involves Genesis. I am told that the CEO Doug Copper posted on the Genesis employee blog. I don’t know the url of the blog, or the length of the post, but the unanymous concerned citizen was bothered by one papragraph and sent it along. The paragraph from the CEO to the employees goes as follows:
On March 3, Davenport voters will go to the polls in the “Davenport Promise” referendum. If passed, this program will reallocate existing sales tax revenues to attract more people and jobs to Davenport. This will increase our patient volumes significantly and strengthen our staff recruitment efforts dramatically.

While this makes it sound like he really has the best interests of our city in mind, we have to wonder. If he is such a supporter of our fine city, why is he having a huge new house built in Pleasant Valley?

Chicago police have made an arrest in the shooting last friday of three teenagers. It is not known yet if more shooters were involved with the drive-by shooting. If you want to read the latest on the story go to
the story.
Comments are always welcome.

Some thoughts

February 23, 2009

The Davenport Promise is the issue of the day. Todays QC Times ran another large article on the program complete with charts. To me the article was pretty much a pep rally to vote for the Promise. This is fine since the paper has made it known from the beginning they think it’s a good idea. Since myself and others disagree, I’ll point out a few reasons why I’m against it.

Before I get to that, the people behind Promise Davenport have put their final report on their webpage. Also on the website is
a link to the No More Promises group. If you’ve read the article in the Times and would like to see what these groups are saying, it’s worth a look.

I’ve said all along I believe that public monies should not be used for this program. Especially at the expense of property tax relief and other areas. Then of course we have the administration end of the program which may or may not be paid for with public monies.
Will the administration be paid for privately or with stimulus money?

We also have the fact that the program is basically welfare in that it costs many for the good of a few. Add to that the fact that the less wealthy members of our city may actually lose grants if they take the money to help them through school, and it just doesn’t make sense.

There is also the fact that assessed values would go up which would mean an increase in taxes, and that this program could actually hurt the city’s bond rating. Public Safety was also tacked on this I feel to make those who oppose the program appear to against public safety monies. Such is not the case, and I believe even if the Promise
is passed it won’t equate to more police and fire.

At the 5th Ward meeting, Mr. Croken wanted us to forget about the Upjohn report, and forget about details. I don’t think so. I do agree that this is an important issue, but I don’t think it’s a good deal in its present form.
Comments are always welcome.

Missing signs

February 22, 2009

We don’t know what’s going on or whose to blame, but we’ve gotten several emails about ‘Vote No Promise’ signs being stolen. It started with a sign on West Loucust and has spread. Now two four foot by eight foot signs have been stolen. One was on Brady St. and the other on 46th. If you took one of these signs, please put it back.

When someone puts the time, effort and money into a sign in their yard, it should not be stolen. The Promise is an important issue that we will soon be voting on and these people thought enough of their decision to back it up with a sign. Rather you disagree with what these signs say is irrelevent, they are not your property.

So leave the signs alone, they’ll only be up a short while anyway. To inject some good news into this post, I have not recieved any emails concerning ‘No Promise’ buttons being stolen.
Comments are always welcome.

Promise funding

February 21, 2009

It never ceases to amaze me that a person can read something and not catch some piece of information that they should. Today, I am that person. An article in the QC Times by Tory Brecht was the something. I read it and didn’t notice anything I thought was out of place until I recieved an email. It pointed out one sentence that didn’t fit what we’ve been told about the Promise program.

“The mayor talked to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about getting money to help administer the Davenport Promise if it is approved by voters on March 3.” I thought, and had been told, the administration of the Promise was going to be funded with donations. This does not sound like private monies to me, but more public money going into this program.

This leaves me once again with more questions than answers. Is the administration of the Promise going to funded with private or public money? If it is funded by federal tax dollars and said taxes are raised, is it considered a tax increase? And lastly, if this was the plan all along and we’ve been lied to, what else is going to get changed and at what cost?
Comments are always welcome.

More senseless violence

February 20, 2009

Three kids were murdered today on Chicago’s south side. The kids were fatally shot near East 87th Street and South Exchange Avenue. Not a news story there you say? How about the fact that the victims are 13, 15, and 17 and an assault weapon was used.

The 13-year-old was indentified as Johnny Edwards and Monday would have been his 14th birthday. Some of the three may have been gang members, but relatives claim they weren’t active members. There was an earlier fight in which none of the boys were involved. They were waiting for a friend when the shooting started at 3:15 pm.

It would appear the problem is getting worse according to comments made. Instead of bailing out banks perhaps the government should take care of our gang problem before more kids end up in coffins.

To read the whole story please go here.
Our condolences to the families.
Comments are always welcome