Burlington Derailed The Continuing Story

29 January

Supervisors to Vote On Meth Ordinance Tuesday

Time for Change

On Tuesday, the Des Moines County Supervisors will vote whether or not to impose a county wide law governing the sale of meth precursors. If you want to buy an ephedrine based product you will have to provide a photo ID and sign a logbook.

Some people think that is a privacy intrusion and a loss of personal freedom. It's not. This is about stopping a monumental epidemic that costs taxpayers huge amounts of money. And it's not about withholding treatment. These addicts need our help.

During the week of January 17th, Des Moines County CPC admitted 3 people to treatment for meth addiction. That cost the taxpayers $15,000 per month per patient, or $45,000. $45,000 Per Month for just 3 patients, for several months. Then it drops to about $10,000 per month. It takes at least 18 months to break the habit. Just imagine the costs to the taxpayer.

A reader wrote - Benjamin Franklin said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Benjamin Franklin didn't have the foresight to imagine the plague that meth is. Besides, he's dead. He doesn't have to deal with it.

So it's not about privacy or freedom or Benjamin Franklin. It's just business. We don't need to be in this business.

Email Your Support to the Des Moines County Supervisors before Tuesday's meeting.

Ed Blow

Bob Beck


16:35:44 - SPIKE - No comments

27 January

Burlington's Lawsuit Breeds Questions

Every Tax Payer Should Demand Answers to These Questions

Something Smells Here and It Ain't The Cheese

Studying the land agreements Burlington has claimed are relative to their lawsuit with the BNSF, a series of very pointed questions have arisen.

We've heard about the 1853 and 1858 land agreements.

Wasn't there any other agreement executed by the railroad and the City? Not even one?

It is very hard to believe that during the last 146 years there haven't been any other agreements executed by the City with the railroad for property.

Maybe during construction of the south boat dock or the sewage plant expansion? Wasn't that during the 1980's?

Did the City buy the old Rutherford potato building from itself? Who does Matteson Marine Service and the elevator pay rent to?

Surely, there has been at least one agreement. Someone needs to ask these questions and demand a no BS answer corroborated with proof.

Lots of proof.

23:24:17 - SPIKE - No comments

25 January

New BNSF Paint Scheme

Photo Courtesy of BNSF
All Rights Reserved
13:18:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 January

No More Burlington In Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Railroad Drops Burlington

Would The Lawsuit Have Anything to Do with It?

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company became BNSF today. The name has always been shortened by the railroad and shippers alike.

But, do you wonder whether or not Burlington's asinine lawsuit has anything to do with it? I would imagine so. The BNSF has always acknowledged with pride the long railroad heritage. The railroad has painted their locomotives in Heritage paint schemes. But it only takes a catalyst for a change.

And if you were wanting to project a positive corporate image, why would you want Burlington involved in your corporate branding? Answer Is? You wouldn't.

So goes the idea a certain Burlington City official (not any Stooge, just one of three) dreamed up asking the BNSF for a royalty for the use of the word Burlington in their company name. Maybe he can make his request for railroad now. Darn, that's taken too. The lawsuit revenue stream is running low.

Funny thing, no one has asked how the City plans on funding this lawsuit. Maybe a tax increase? Does anyone care?

Photo Courtesy of BNSF
All Rights Reserved
18:18:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 January

Boondoggle Railroad Lawsuit Costs Are Rising at Faster Pace

Burlington City Attorney Getting Richer Everyday

Smith Engineering also Reaping Financial Benefits in This Lawsuit

During the January 3 Burlington City Council meeting another claim was paid to the City Attorney's law firm in the amount of $11,312.75. No one knows how much of this bill is directly related to the City's lawsuit against the BNSF. Maybe $11,000+?

Also paid during the same meeting was a $5,069.30 claim to Smith Engineering "for legal." We want to know who authorized these expenditures for this "legal" engineering work? Did Smith bid for this work or is it just a case of cronyism?

So the total spent so far is about $46,000+ on this lawsuit.

Where is the money to pay for this lawsuit coming from? We've heard that it is coming from the City's economic development fund. The one where we tax motel/hotel visitors.

If this is true, the users of the new water park visiting for the weekend will be paying for the railroad lawsuit. Hope we have some big crowds. I'll bet that will be a great advertising gimmick-Family Fun for Legal Fees.

Suppose it's even legal to use earmarked City funds for other purposes, like the lawsuit?

Another thing, how does this affect the City's bond rating?

Maybe Senator King would like to tell us about the source of funding for this boondoggle lawsuit in detail.
00:31:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 January

Spike Has Mail

MPC's Theory of Evolution

MPC writes:

J.F., my fellow e-mailer, I only meant that sources such as the Hawkeye never change. They will beat a right wing "issue" to death. It's time for this community to EVOLVE or we will be destined to be an 'ol has been rivertown. It's time for new ideas, new ways of doing business, and to stop all the petty grudges that certain "important" people hold. Grow up and grow outward. It's really not that difficult. Kudos to people like Spike, Fred, Seven, and Tommy for not being afraid to address issues that need to be discussed. What's everyone scared of........ the truth.

Shazam!!! You mean the Hawk Eye is some sort of mind control apparatus? They have spread so much manure for so long even they believe we all ride around town in a turnip truck and worship/read their paper. We don't allow no free thinking here. We'll shape your mind for you. You will be assimilated, resistance is futile.
23:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 January

Spike Has Mail

The Hawk Eye - Conservative?

"Left-leaning Liberal, Elitist, Anti-Capitalist, Pro-Beaurocratic Dinosaurs"

JF writes:

I'm afraid fellow e-mailer MPC is mixed up on his definition of the "Old Guard". The Hawkeye, like much of the printed media, are left-leaning liberals not conservatives. They are elitist, anti-capitalist, pro-beaurocratic dinosaurs who are in denial that a new media exists.

Don't be too hard on MPC since I actually wrote MPC's headline. Your plethora of eloquent dinosaur connotations makes me think you should be writing the headlines.

Old Guard, when used in reference to Burlington, means the old guys at the city limit sign that won't let anyone with good ideas into town and try to run anyone with new or controversial ideas out of town.

I take it you don't have a subscription to the Hawk Eye, either?
23:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

MPC Suggests Ballet Lessons for Old Guard

11:57 pm
mpc writes:
Way To Go Spike!!!!!
Spike, God bless you for creating such a fervent message to Burlington. It's about time someone broke through the conservative/"good old boy" politics. Now people know that there is a different opinion than the one "created" by such newsgroups as The Hawkeye. Keep 'em on their toes.

15:58:00 - SPIKE - No comments

15 January

Incomprehensible Is The Only Word

Economic Development Roadmap Isn't Even In The Car

Where were Brian Tapp, Dennis Hinkle, Mike Brouwer, Lowell Junkins, et al for 6 Months? Playing dodgeball?

I guess I wasn't the only one that picked up on Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack's offer to initiate a Southeast Iowa Summit for economic development. Apparently the Iowa Governor invited Southest Iowa's economic development "leaders" to meet with him in order to form a strategic alliance hoping to better Southeast Iowa's economic development opportunities.

The Governor made the invitation 6 MONTHS AGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder everyone looks upon Southeast Iowa with disdain.

According to Friday's Hawk Eye story the only economic development official willing to even acknowledge the invitation was made is Lowell Junkins, Lee County Economic Development Director. He wants to develop a plan. Isn't SIX MONTHS enough time to do that?

Grow Greater Burlington/Chamber Director Mike Brouwer said he didn't know anything about it. So, maybe the Governor forgot to invite Burlington? I don't think so, Mike. Or maybe you didn't know? Or do you need to clear it with Burlington City officials?

You clowns better buy the Governor lunch and apologize for being so indifferent. That is if he will take your phone call.

And one more thing. Take those clown noses off before you meet with him. The Governor already knows.

16:26:32 - SPIKE - No comments

14 January

Spike Has Mail

Who's Going To Pay For All This?

8:47 pm
CT writes:
Good question, who will be left to shop at the new hobby store. I have a question. Who has the money to build a new dwelling off of the new Mason Road subdivision or the new sub off of Sunnyside? Where are all of these jobs to support all of this growth? Will the city keep giving TIF away as if it were a blank check? If someone has the money to develop, they dont need welfare,(oops) TIF.
22:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hobby Lobby Coming to Town

Hobby and Craft Giant About to Land in Burlington

Where was Grow Greater Burlington in this Project?

Hobby Lobby is coming to Burlington. Although we welcome new businesses, it is going to be a hard blow to the Ben Franklin Store next door, The Hobbycraft Shop, Stoermer's and others selling craft and hobby items.

Grow Greater Burlington was noticeably absent in the recent article in the Hawk Eye. How come? I suppose they were more worried about their tax bill for their opulent office space or a new marketing director.

But a better question is who is going to be left in Burlington to consume these goods?

Is somebody going to do something or are we going to wait for the railroad lawsuit to bring hundreds of jobs to town?

Quick, everybody take a deep breath and hold it.
02:02:43 - SPIKE - No comments

BNSF Galesburg Plans Rolling Along

Go East Young Man, Go East

Lots of big things happening in Galesburg with the BNSF. Lots of expansion and lots of hiring. Rumors are running wildly beyond expectations. If it's half true it's huge.

Galesburg came real close to the Burlington Blunder, though. Knox County was thinking about suing Maytag over repayment of economic development tax incentives.

Good thing somebody had the sense to rethink how stupid that could have been. And happy they aren't so quick on the draw.

01:51:10 - SPIKE - No comments

11 January

Spike Involved in CIA Mystery Airplane???

Chicago Tribune's Reporter Utilizes Quirk-Like Questions?

Spike Disavows Any Knowledge

Spike Thought CIA was Culinary Institute of America

Where is Leonard T. Bayard? Who is Leonard Bayard? Does Leonard Bayard even exist?

Sounds like the intensive questioning brought about in the Hawk Eye's Round 1 & 2 of Who is Spike? Where is Spike? Does Spike even exist?

According to the Chicago Tribune there apparently is a Gulfstream V corporate jet, allegedly owned by a Central Intelligence Agency front company, wandering the world doing CIA work.

The airplane is registered to an Oregon company. The Tribune journalist found that there is suspicion surrounding the business activities of the plane's owners. Phone calls are being forwarded to Langley. The Oregon Secretary of State says the paperwork is questionable.

After a blistering question and answer period Spike commented, "I thought the CIA was the Culinary Institute of America. I don't know who Leonard T. Bayard is. I have no knowledge of any of these events and have not been involved. But it does sound like Jim Quirk has been feeding questions to the Tribune reporter."

So much for mysteries. Back to reading the railroad land agreements.They're more fun.

Buck, Cross
03:03:00 - SPIKE - No comments

10 January

Spike Has Mail

CNH Resolution No Closer

Alternatives Are Getting Slimmer

CH writes

With a combination of cold weather, and the fact they have been required to remove their tent. It seems to have taken the wind out of the sails of the CNH striker, locker outers. I drive a truck in and out of Case once or twice a day, Monday thru Friday. Before their tent was removed they could be a pretty rowdy bunch depending on which group was down there. They don't yell obscenities and flip me the bird much anymore, they seem too busy just trying to stay warm.

I would like to see them get their jobs back, but I think there is a slim chance of that. CNH already has replacement workers, trucks are still going there, and most, if not all the outside contractors still do their thing for CNH.

I think a big issue with this mess is that maybe the union priced the workers out of a job. With the way things are, CNH could put an add on KCPS or in the Hawkeye. The add could state CNH is hiring 300 production workers starting at $12.50 an hour. The result would be you would have about half the town applying for that job tomorrow morning. It does not look good for the locked out group.
23:07:27 - SPIKE - No comments

04 January

Railroad Land Grants and Spirit of the Law

There Were Spirits Involved - Maybe Eggnog

Spirit of the law was once defined as what was going on in everybody's head when they did whatever they're now fighting over in court.

From the AAR:

Railroad land grants were used in the western expansion to help develop the cities and towns.

These land grants helped construct a national transportation system to meet the economic, political and defense of our rapidly growing nation.

Railroads were required to compensate the government for the value of the land received and did so through the use of reduced freight and mail rates.

Two congressional studies, one in 1943 and later in 1977 concluded the federal government had been more than fully reimbursed for the land.

In 1945 Congress released the railroads from their reduced- rate obligations stating, "..the federal government has gotten all and more than it bargained for in the original land grant transaction... the time has come for the government to close its books on this transaction... (and) relieve the railroads of the injustice of being required to make payments on a debt that has long been extinguished."

In 1951 a Senate committee observed that land-grant aid "has been repaid several times over."

The US Supreme court noted "land grants were not public aids but, in effect, prepayments for the (transportation) services....part in land and the balance paid in money."

Burlington claims that the railroad owes them additional funds for use of the City's property. So much they want us to believe that the railroad will be forced to bring those jobs back to Burlington.

So this brings us to a question:

What was going on in everyone's head when Burlington sued the railroad?

It looks like not very much!

12:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator King Clears Air

Spike Declared "Enlightening and Entertaining"

3:59 pm
Although I do enjoy reading your daily blog, I did want to shoot you a quick note letting you know (and all your followers, of course) that I have never written an e-mail to this site...from this account or otherwise. Apparently the beauty of anonymity cuts both ways "Spike". Rest assured though, any comments you receive from "Senator" Chris King will have my name attached and you can post my e-mail address whenever you like. Keep doing what you're doing...we all need hobbies and I find your enlightening and entertaining!
Happy New Year to all!
Chris King

Now we are "enlightening and entertaining." How did we get to be such good guys? Reviled by a few, hated by a couple and cheered by all the rest. Now we have reached a new plateau - "enlightening and entertaining." Thank-you, Senator.

But, like Little Red Riding Hood said, "Beware of the wolf dressed as a fisherman. Anonymity might not be as transparent as it seems.
12:13:00 - SPIKE - No comments