Hearing the organ music

July 23, 2015

Here on the east coast of Iowa we have yet another
drama unfolding. It isn’t to point we’re hearing
circus music, but it’s close.


Residents have been complaining about the state of
our streets for some time now and a while back the
Public Works director said it would cost something
like $700 million to fix them all. Our mayor even
declared a war on potholes. The potholes appear to
be winning.

Now, an out-of-state lawyer for a labor union has
said the city is violating state code because our
city is repairing too many streets. He even said
he’d go public on the issue if it wasn’t stopped
until a meeting with city leaders.

The Iowa code state cities must seek bids for said
repairs if the cost of labor and material exceeds
$72,000. Public Works say they haven’t went over
that threshold because the city doesn’t do things
for profit and thus can do it cheaper.

In our city if you get a building permit and are
doing the work yourself you have to get a permit at
the cost of a contractor doing the work and not
your actual cost. Shouldn’t the city be held to the
same standard.

Just because they can do it cheaper in house does
not necessarily mean the project doesn’t cross the
cost threshold. I don’t see much good coming from
the union making this public. The public wants the
streets fixed!

We don’t know where this is going, but it sure does
make living in this river city interesting. After
all, who has more fun than us river folk. This
isn’t quite up to calliope level but we definitely
hear the organ music.
Comments are always welcome.

More bike path answers

October 4, 2012

The Riverfront Recreation Trail, sometimes
called the bike path, came up in a comment
from Shabonee recently and stuck in our

Alderman Edmond answered most of the
questions in his comment in our ‘Stop the
nonsense rant’ post.

Our inquiring mind wanted a bit more
information so we asked more direct
questions of Craig Malin.

He in turn had CIP Project Manager
Steve Russell get the information. We
thank them all for their efforts, and
here are the answers.

According to the City website, the
bike path had been closed Oct 2. We have
been told all work should take about 2

The following is Mr. Russell’s reply-

While the surface of the bike path appeared to
be in good condition, this was not the case for
a major portion of the bike path. Recent flood
events of the past few years had destroyed the
sub-base to the path and the drainage system
for it. The contract work includes complete
replacement of the bike path section where the
subsurface has failed, a concrete section
connecting the bike path to Credit Island,
resurfacing of the remainder of the bike path
using the same mix design, inclusion of a drain
system to reduce water ponding from rain
events, and a bollard system to try to prevent
vehicles from accessing the path.

General Asphalt Company is the construction
contractor for the project with a project cost
of $209,135

Steve Russell, P.E.
CIP Manager
City of Davenport

We guess the bike path has been their longer
than we thought.
Comments are always welcome.

Leaves and an auction

March 26, 2012

One week from today the free yard
waste pickup will start. It will
run from April 2nd to April 13th,
2012. We’ll post again on this.

For those who knew Norm Miller,
or like to attend auctions, his
estate will be auctioned off this
year. Here are some dates and links
to what is being auctioned.

On April 6th, Stenzel Auction will hold
the first of three auctions. This first
auction will include a 51′ Chevy sedan,
a 59′ Chevy pickup, a 74′ Ford pickup,
an engine lathe, an air compressor, and
lots more.

For directions and a full list just go
the link above.

On July 22, an auction
that will include Norm’s collection
of Star automobiles along with a lot more
will be held. The parts list is too long
to mention here, but is listed in the
link above.

We are told, but cannot yet confirm,
that a 3rd auction will be held on
August 26th. When we get facts we will
post what we find.

You may remember Norm died January 16
of this year. He ran Norm’s Antique Auto
Supply from the 60’s until his death.

These are a few upcoming things we felt
we should post today instead of waiting
for friday.
Comments are always welcome.

Getting rid of the trash

December 21, 2010

Since Christmas is almost here we thought it time to remind
everyone about how and when to get rid of the extra garbage
and Christmas trees. This will be for people who live in
Davenport. If you live in another city it could be different.

December 27th through December 31st we can set out up to
three extra bags of garbage without stickers. The city asks
that the bags not weigh over 50 pounds apiece with one bag on
top of the garbage bin and up to two more within 4 feet of
the bin.

If you wish to dispose of your real tree, you may do so
until the yard waste collection ends for the season on
January 15, 2011. If you procrastinate and don’t get around
to it until after the 15th, you will have to take the tree
to the compost facility to drop it off. Doing this will
cost you $1.

When you put your tree out for disposal, don’t wrap it in
plastic and remove all decorations. Don’t forget to remove
the tree stand. If you have wreaths or garlands to get rid
of, they can be put in the garbage cart.

If you have any questions call Todd Jones at 563-326-7732.
We’d like to thank our friend who sent us the information
and appologize for not getting this done sooner.
Comments are always welcome.

Bonus local rant

June 5, 2008

We’ve been quiet about local politics lately, so we thought we’d do
a post on the subject. We are sad to announce that the zoo is dead. It
has joined our good friend, Common Sense, who died of neglect here
several years ago.

The zoo is gone, to be replaced with a handicapped-accessable Ecopark
at a future date. Funny how when Credit Island first opened, it was a
nature park with walking trails and wildlife running all over. Then
came the needed amenities; the roads, the golf course, the clubhouse,
the tennis courts and restrooms. And the wildlife all but disappeared.

Then at Fejervary Park we had Monkey Island and a zoo. The monkeys
left first, we think they’re in a bar in Panama trying to figure out
Midwesterners. And now the zoo is going to close, and the wildlife is
going to disappear.

Since it passed our City Council, and the Mayor was all for it, we
have a question or two. The most obvious is; how much is it going to
cost us? Since the city claims it doesn’t have the couple-hundred-
thousand dollars to restore the zoo; is the Ecopark going to be less
money? We notice nobody was willing to put a price tag on this
wonderful destination of the future. Or do we wait until an exploritory
committee is formed and comes up with a total.

We’re not even sure what an Ecopark is, or why we need one to bring
people here. We figured we’d help the city out and give them a starting
figure. We’d guess the total to rehab will run $1.4 million.
we believe this to be an accurate, low end, figure. Depending on the
number, and quality of amenities, it could go higher.

We would suggest our City Leaders take care of other things first-

1. Look into how to bring our population back up to what it was 25
years ago. For those who wear rose-colored-glasses; population growth
measured in tenths of a percent is not growth, it is stagnation. We
would like to see Davenport with a bigger population than Cedar Rapids.
We did years ago.

2. Do damage control on the perception that crime is rampant in our
city. Just stating we have a ‘zero tolerance on crime’ is not enough.
We’d like to know what has been implimented to make it happen. Doesn’t
zero tolerance imply that if you commit a crime you will get some sort
of consequence for you actions?

3. Get busy and repair the potholes. It should be budgeted for some
streets to be repaved completely as opposed to patched. The streets
aren’t going to get better on their own.

4. Tighten up, or at least clarify some of your actions. Contract sales
of houses comes to mind. Are there people slipping through the cracks
and renting? When is a rent to own, a contract sale? And do we have
anyone who looks for fraud?

That’s our little extra rant of the day. Comments on our opinion, or
anything else are welcome.

Weekend ramblings and a cruise

October 12, 2007

A lot of recalls out there. DaimlerChrysler seems to lead the automotive pack. There’s also a ton of children’s products being recalled, for various reasons; death, severed finger, lead paint and the like. Unfortunately, the list goes on. To learn more go to-  http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/recallsdesc.htm

 A week from today,  the FBI will release its annual Hate Crime Statistics on their website at 9 a.m. at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#hate 

 In 10 days free yard waste pickup will start. Solo had a post about on his blog. http://solodavenport.blogspot.com/

 We’re going to take the weekend to finish the yardwork and then get the vehicles ready for winter. I’d rather do it now than in the snow.

 Lastly, there is a Cruise-in tomorrow night at Southpark Mall hosted by the Quad-Cities Cruisers. It starts at 6 pm, and goes until the oldfarts get too cold. This is the last big event of the season to our knowledge so try to make it. It’s usually a big deal before everyone puts away their toys for the year. So, if there’s not much going Saturday night, stop over for some neat cars, nice people, and good music.

Accident waiting to happen

August 7, 2007

 Mismanagement and climate change are shrinking clean water supplies worldwide.
Studies done by government and utilities agree that cities and towns will need
to spend $250 billion to $500 billion more over the next 20 years to maintain
the drinking water and waste-water systems we equate with modern living. We have
the lowest price for tap water in the world at $2.50 per 1,000 gallons. While
some people believe water is free, it cost money to treat, move, store, and
distribute it to our homes.
  In America there are 250,000 to 300,000 water main breaks per year, and that
number is increasing as the infrastruture ages. The real problem is utilities
are subsidized and don’t charge us the real cost of doing business. The answer
may lay in a tax on bottled water or toilet paper. Federal funding  for drink-
ing water and waste-water treatment has declined 24% since 2001.
 Atlanta may have the answer. Over the past 5 years, Atlanta tackled a water
system in crisis with a $3.9 billion improvement program. The city doubled the
water rates, and voters approved a 1% sales tax to help turn around a system
in which raw sewage spilled into waterways, and dangerous street sinkholes
and advisories to boil water were a regular occurance due to watermain breaks.
 Some experts agree it will take a catastropic infrastructure failure causing
widespread illness or death to spur action. Water main breaks are a warning
of this event. Most systems are at least 70 years old and are nearing the end
of their usefullness. Will it take a catastropic failure? I certainly hope not.
Conservation is part of the equation, bringing the systems into the 21st Century
is the other. I can only hope something is done before a major failure.
For the whole story go here-

 I would like to thank U.S. News and World Report and Marianne Lavelle for doing
this story in the June 4, 2007 edition of the magazine. All comments are welcome.

Sweepers and a Car auction

April 22, 2007

Someone mentioned about not being able to find the webpage for the street sweeping schedule.
For a look at the City Street Sweeping schedule page go here.week1.jpg   week2 week3 week4

Earlier I mentioned an upcoming auction with over 100 cars and tons of parts. The Lloyd May collection is being auctioned off July 27, 28, and 29 in Neponset, Illinois. The parts auction and preview will be Friday July 27, 2007, at 10 am.

LLoyd is an old stockcar racer and quenched his need for speed by collecting cars and Hi-performance parts for over 30 years. Many rare and sought after Fords, including 5 R code Galaxies, Chevrolet, MoPar, Buick and an assortment of HiPo parts including multiple Ford 427’s, a RARE Ford 1966 SOHC Hemi “Cammer” motor, 427 2-4bbl set-ups, and much more. The cars range from a 1915 Ford Model T touring to a 1968 Chevy Nova SS, built strictly for racing that has nitrous.

If you go to website you can learn more at
Vanderbrink Auctions