Tax sale answers

June 30, 2009

I just recieved 2 emails from Craig Malin about the tax sale. The second email was forwarded by a Cathy Hult. These are explainations I recieved when I emailed about the tax sale.

Alan Guard would be able to provide better details, but here is my understanding:

We are not directly responsible for paying property taxes on the Adler Theater as it is owned by the RCPA, LC. However, we do have some agreement with the RCPA that obligates us to help reimburse them for their operating losses – this arrangement was in exchange for them taking on the renovation of the building. So, if there is a loss we will be making a payment to the RCPA and thereby indirectly paying the property taxes.

I checked the Scott County website and noted that the taxes for parcels L0008-21B and L0008-21D that comprise the Adler Theater were sold on June 15, 2009 (roughly $75,000 total plus interest and costs). Alan will need to follow up with the RCPA.

Parcel L0008-21D was part of the Mississippi Hotel that was split from the hotel and added to the theater in order to accommodate the stage expansion. I believe that is the genesis for the incorrect statement that the hotel is not paying its taxes.

I received the documents. The tax sale is nothing to be overly concerned about at this point. Basically, you have two years in which to either resolve the taxes with the taxing authority or pay this off before there are any dire consequences (other than interest accruing). Below is a summary of the law.

Iowa Code Chapter 446 covers tax sales. The buyer holds a certificate of purchase (446.29) which can be redeemed by the owner for a certain period of time. The certificate holder has paid the taxes and is earning interest at 2% per month. The owner can redeem at any time by paying the treasurer the amount of the taxes paid plus the interest and costs of the certificate. Redemption of tax sale certificates is covered under Iowa Code chapter 447. After 1 year and 9 months have passed from the date of sale the holder of the tax sale certificate can send a written notice to the owner that the right to redeem is set to expire and that they are going to request a deed. The notice must be sent regular and certified mail to the person who gets tax notices. After 90 days have passed from service of the notice, then a tax deed may issue and then, the owner has lost the property.

Please note the date of the sale on your calendars (JUNE 15, 2009). We will have the tax appeal resolved before a tax deed is a concern (2011). However, please keep a very close watch on the mail and notify me immediately if you receive any documents/letters/etc. which refer to the expiration of a right to redeem or to a tax deed.

If you have any questions please call.


Comments are always welcome.

2009 Drug threat

June 30, 2009

The National Drug Intelligence Center recently released their “Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis 2009”. Seven states are included in this study; Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Illinois only has one county listed, Rock Island County. Iowa shows the counties of; Black Hawk, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Pottawattamie, Scott, and Woodbury.

Before everyone gets all exicited, all counties in Iowa and Illinois are listed as secondary, not primary, drug trafficking areas. Widespread methamphetamine distribution and abuse are the greatest threats to the Midwest HIDTA region and well-established Mexican traffickers are supplying sufficient quantities of ice methamphetamine to meet demand for the drug in most HIDTA cities.

Crack cocaine is also a threat. Mexican DTOs supply local African American street gangs with powder cocaine that they convert to crack in the area; these gangs control retail distribution of the crack that they manufacture. Additionally, African American street gangs based in Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, transport powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and other illicit drugs to Midwest HIDTA markets in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Of course it wouldn’t be a drug threat ananylis without the mention of marijuana. The most prevelent marijuana used is Mexican commercial-grade, but locally grown is available along with high-potencty Canadian. Most Canadian pot just goes through our area heading for other U.S. markets.

Heroin is mostly limited to around the St. Louis area where white powder and Mexican black tar are the main forms of the drug on the streets. There are various other drugs available and I’ll post a link at the end for those who wish to learn more.

Our fine city gets mentioned in one part of the report-
“Chicago-based African American street gangs such as Gangster Disciples, Black Peace Stone Nation, and Vice Lords operate in several HIDTA cities, including Cedar Rapids; Columbia, Missouri; Davenport, Iowa; Fargo; Omaha; Sioux City; Sioux Falls; and Springfield, Missouri; however, these gang members typically travel from Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, and other markets in order to distribute crack cocaine and then return home.”

So although it has slowed down, it looks like our area will still have a drug problem in 2009. In our defense, being next to so many interstate highways could be some of the reason we keep making the list. As mentioned above gangs from larger cities also have access to these highways to get them here and back. For the entire
report go here.

The quote about Chicago gangs coming here to deal their drugs might explain the shooting in the east end. This is getting old.
Comments are always welcome.

Weird science

June 28, 2009

I’ve been thinking about how our population seems to have exploded lately and how our lifestyles have changed. Our country didn’t see 100 million population until 1900. Also in 1900 50 percent of our population were on farms raising the food to feed the other 50 percent. Today only about 2 percent of our population live on farms and feed the rest of us better than ever.

A little over 100 years later we’ve tripled that number and in less
than 30 years it is expected to rise by another 100 million. Obviously technology played a big part in this, but when people migrated from the farms they took careers of all sorts that helped our country prosper. But what is this going to cost us?

We could control our population in several differnt ways. One way would be to limit the number of children a woman could have, which would lead to a society with a larger percentage of older people. We could euthanize the eldest in our country and thus have a larger percentage of younger people. Or we could strengthen and enforce our laws on immigration. Sound crazy? I’ll explain.

Population grows with a combination of more births than deaths, greater longevity, and immigration. One measurement of the birth rate is TFR for Total Fertility Rate, or total babies per woman. A population will replenish itself with a TFR of 2.1. In 2007 America had a TFR of 2.0. While this sounds high, Japan, Russia, and all of Europe had a TFR of 1.3 in 2007.

In 2007, life expectancy was 77.7 in the U.S., 81.2 in Japan, and 78.7 in Germany. That year experts also said life expectancy is increasing at a rate of around 3 months per year internationally. Our life expectancy in America has risen from 49 years of age in 1900 to 77.7 years of age in 2007.

Based again on 2007 data the immigration rate into the U.S. was at 3.5 per 1,000 residents according to the Center for Immigration Studies. That number is down from a 150 year average but up significatly from the 2.0 of the ’50s and ’60s.

So far we seem to be doing ok with this setup; but will it last? With 400 million residents in 2030 and the percentage of our population growing our food shrinking there could be problems. With the over 65 crowd the numbers look good. While Germany is supposed to have 27 percent of it’s population over 65 by 2030, and Japan 30 percent, America will only have 19 percent of our population over 65.

So we may have some hard choices ahead. We could pass laws that women could only have a certain number of children which would shift us to an aging population. We could get rid of our elder citizens which since I’m knocking on that door isn’t an option. We could break tradition and restrict immigration which would get a lot of people screaming. Or we could take a wait and see approach and work toward a solution that makes everybody happy. I’ll choose the last option.
Comments are always welcome.

In the dark II

June 28, 2009

For the second weekend in a row we were without power. This time it was only a little over three hours so it was bearable. During the outage I walked around a bit and saw quite a few people also out walking. I stopped by an older neighbors house and we chatted for about an hour.

That proved to be an instructive hour. I found out that in our little one block area we have 6 rent-to-own properties and one vacant home. I also got way more information than I needed on an eviction from one of those rent-to-own homes. It still amazes me how people can keep the yard up but live like animals inside a house. I won’t go into details other than to say the sewer was backed up for a month.

I decided to walk some more in the dark to see if I could find what areas had power. Once again north of Locust had power and it appeared from Brady west had power also. I didn’t see any lights on 10th street or over on Grand Avenue either. I did notice that some areas had trees down again while other didn’t. The worse we got was flattened ferns but the hostas did just fine.

I wouldn’t know if there were an abundance of police calls or not because my scanner runs on electricty. We didn’t hear many sirens so I’m assuming there wasn’t a bunch of break ins. After the tsunami left the area it was actually nice out. Let’s hope we don’t get a repeat of bad weather next weekend.
Comments are always welcome.

A couple things

June 27, 2009

We just got back from the monthly car club breakfast where we heard
some news. Gene Price was in a single vehicle accident Thursday and
is in pretty bad shape at Trinity West. I don’t know the extent of his
injuries but got the impression he may be in the hospital for a while. Get well soon Gene.

The rable rousers must not be able to take the heat because last
nights patrol was really quiet. Other than hearing the sidewalks bake
there wasn’t much going on. The ballpark was busy again, and the
fireworks were noisy, but the bike path and other areas of town
seemed quiet when we walked through.

Last night was National Pick on Thunder night so Repo and myself
gave him a hard time the whole patrol. He handled the ribbing better
than I would have. Now we just have to figure out how to get that
camera away from him and it will be smooth sailing. He took more
pictures of me last night than my wife has in 22 years of marriage! Lets just say I’m not a camera hound and don’t care to get my picture

I’m going to get busy today to get ready to be busy tomorrow, but
I am working on a couple posts for next week. Until then, keep the
shiny side up.
Comments are always welcome.

Wistful thinking

June 26, 2009

I am really getting amused lately. I’ve been hearing rumors about the soft drink tax and the more I read the more I laugh. If the people thinking these things up are considered intelligent, give me strength.

This is another opinion piece and should be taken as such. Nothing is
written in stone yet, and if you add a few bucks to my opinion you can still buy a soft drink in some joints. Might want to hurry though before the price goes up.

At a time when soft drink sales are trying to work their way out of a 13 year slump some scientist has declared “soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply”. How long can it be before these junk science pushers are telling us it’s making America obese?

Some have heard one cent per ounce tax and think that isn’t bad. I think it is. It would add $1.44 more to the cost of a 12 pack of cans. How about the bottlers who have had to increase the price of their product to cover the rising cost of production? And the reason for this new tax? To pay for the Obama Health Care plan of course.

Once again the government figures they can get $17 billion a year from this tax and reduce our soft drink consumption by 13 percent. With the healthcare expected to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years I’m left again with questions. Like what tax are they going to think up to cover the other $133 billion per year, not including interest. And if people do use less at their stated rate, in less than 8 years no tax would be coming in. Again,that means another tax to cover the tax that was supposed to cover health care.

I’ve said it before but people don’t mind us smokers getting taxed up the wazoo. Now that it looks like Coke and Pepsi are next will you be so understanding? Of course once they wean us off the dreaded deadly colas they will look for the next hazard. Could it be our red meat, hot dogs, fast food, or ice cream?
Comments are always welcome.

Goodbye Farrah

June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett died this morning in her hospital room. I’m sure there are a lot of middle age men who were once young lads with her poster on their wall.
She lost her battle with cancer at age 62.

Hope to rant

June 25, 2009

For a long time we have been hearing about hope. Our elected President ran his campaign on hope, and most of us hope for various things. The following mini-rants are my audacity to hope. They are based on my opinions of how I feel our country is doing and where we’re heading. As such I imagine some discussion will follow.

Some call our President Obamassiah while others call him the Obaminator. I fall somewhere in between. I believe he is a highly educated man with good intentions but no experience in dealing with issues of the magnitude he has had to cope with. I believe he is a legend in his own mind and because of that convinced others.

I hope our President doesn’t get us into a war with a nuclear capable country. Talking is not going to keep us out of conflict with North Korea, please don’t kill our children with your huge ego. Some countries will not become friends just because you let them know it is your wish.

I hope that when we get older we can afford health insurance to keep us healthy. The wife and I have pre-existing conditions and if some half-baked health care plan is passed we feel those in charge of the Obama Health Care system will tell us we aren’t valuable enough to society to merit the health care necessary to extend our lives. We do not wish for or intend to get involved with this costly excercise in futility.

I hope that as a member of a minority of citizens who enjoy older vehicles we are not legislated into oblivion. We car enthusiasts do more than just own an older vehicle. We support a vast aftermarket industry, give to numerous charities,support different religions, and contribute to our communities. We do not need nor do we want a clunker bill. We do not need nor do we want electric powered
mini-coffins for our daily commute.

My last hope today is that when the inflation hits we middle income Americans can withstand the hit. After all we are the ones who see our paychecks shrink and taxes grow. If you’re not scared, you should be. If you believe this deficit is going to end any time soon just look at the National Debt clock for a dose of reality. It is a realtime clock and it is running wild.
Comments are always welcome.

The meeting II

June 24, 2009

As I predicted the meeting ran long last night. I saw this is a good thing because when we walked out after the meeting it was getting dark and had cooled down a lot. Most of the meeting was about the Davenport NOW and Davenport NEW which are two different programs. Mr. Roy Dewitt patiently talked on both programs and I almost got some of it. If I understood it correctly the Davenport NEW would be a group of city departments working as a one to help our neighborhoods. I actually like this plan as described.

Davenport NOW is the property tax rebate plan to draw people to Davenport. It is claimed this plan will not cost taxpayers any money. This plan has me a little leary because if it doesn’t work we can’t get out of it for 20 years.

The discussion on the sewer lateral problem was interesting, believe it or not. Several options were discussed but I favored Alderman Lynn’s original plan of just adding $2 or $3 to the quarterly sewer bill and having the city take care of sewer collapses. We’ve just had ours done and believe me this would be a deal.

Nitro repeated what was said at the news conference before the meeting. He is setting up a Junior Angels and Urban Angels chapter for the Davenport Guardian Angels. Junior Angels is for children 7-11 years old and the Urban Angels if for ages 12-16. The group is awaiting a package from New York before beginning these programs.

The local Guardian Angels are looking into placing a few members in the Cyber Angels. This is the world’s largest online safety group and a
different type of training. We will also be announcing a fundraiser of two in the near future.
Comments are always welcome.

Craig Malin emailed me this morning that the Davenport NOW does a sunset of 3 years. At that time the City Council could stop it. At the
meeting I don’t remember the issue being discussed.

Short note

June 23, 2009

The heat is going to be brutal for at least a few days. Please be careful, even those in good heatlth can have problems if they push themselves too hard. We haven’t been able to find out where the cooling centers are but we do have the malls, the Senior Citizens Centers, or even hospitals for short term relief. We who have air-
conditioning could invite elderly and/or frail neighbors in for a bit to cool off.

On another note, I’ve mentioned the 5th Ward meeting this afternoon in an earlier post and covered what I thought Alderman Lynn would bring up. I felt it only fair to mention a few things the Guardian Angels want to address. Since the first of the year the Guardian Angels have assisted the police in the apprehension of 35 criminals;we have gotten 5 guns off the street, two of which were stolen; we won the startup
chapter of the year from the International Alliance of Guardian Angels with 80 groups in the running, and we will announce the formation of two new chapters in Davenport. So although the Davenport chapter has been recognized as the best startup chapter, we feel we can do better.
Comments are always welcome.