Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 July

Not In My Backyard

King's Reelection Will Continue Discontent

Burlington Councilman Chris (Senator) King says, "Not in my backyard," when it comes to the First Amendment and freedom of speech.

King's new website, burlingtonontrackcom, is self-labeled as "An alternative, responsible news source for the people of Burlington, Iowa." But if you wish to comment on any of King's slanted views on what is going on in the city you must register with his site.

Doing such leaves identifying information about you on King's web server. And you can just ask

King what people can do with personally identifying information from a web server -- King claimed his bank accounts were hijacked early this year (quoted on The Big Show KCPS 1150AM). Before you register with King's website ask yourself this, "Can I really trust him with my information?"

King makes all kinds of rules on what you can and can't post to his forum. He asks for you to treat others with respect and then calls fellow councilman Mike Campbell wrong for voting his conscience on an issue. Campbell believes that, even though state code permits, a governmental body should not have closed session meetings for matters that will affect the people the body represents.

King continually tries to flex his muscles over Campbell, fellow Council member Mary Baker and even Mayor Mike Edwards (just watch any televised council meeting to see him steamroll the mayor or have the last word on a topic). King seldom stands up to Councilman Bill Ell for some reason at which we can only guess.

King stated that the burlingtonontrackcom website will not be used to further his re-election campaign. But watch and you will see him work in the despicable manner we've seen the last three and a half years. King continually tries to make himself look better by criticizing others. And all we get is discontent.

As long as you vote, register with his site and agree to his solutions, you aren't going to have a problem. So I guess he has no respect for 1st amendment rights as written.

A reader sent us a quote from King regarding Scott Power. King said, "...(Scott Power).... has never, to my knowledge, witheld pertinent information from me, or any member of Council." I think that is a blatant misrepresentation. If the 1985 agreement with the railroad wasn't "pertinent" to voting on entering a lawsuit, there can't be much that ever would be after that mind slip. Other than the lawsuit is about jobs.

As far as I'm concerned, King can try to explain and explain and explain. His voice is falling on deaf ears. The ears of the voters that are going to bounce him out of office. These steamroller tactics aren't going to work.

12:51:25 - SPIKE - No comments

STS-114 MCC Status Report #11


Sunday, July 31, 2005 – 3 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #11

The transfer of equipment and supplies from Discovery to the International Space Station and preparations for Monday’s planned spacewalk by Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson were the focus of today's activities in space.

Noguchi, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Robinson, along with remaining Discovery crewmembers, Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialists Andy Thomas, Wendy Lawrence and Charlie Camarda, worked on moving items from the Shuttle to the Station. They were helped by International Space Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA ISS Science Officer John Phillips.

Approximately six tons of hardware and equipment, including the 600-pound Control Moment Gyroscope (CMG) that will be installed on the exterior of the Station during Monday’s spacewalk, will be moved from Discovery to the Station. Just over three and a half tons of material, including the replaced CMG, will return to Earth aboard Discovery.

Noguchi, Robinson and Thomas prepared for Monday’s spacewalk by setting up some of the tools they will use to install the new CMG outside the Station. Thomas will once again serve as coach and monitor inside Discovery during the spacewalk. Working from aboard the Station, Kelly and Lawrence will use the Station’s Canadarm2 to maneuver Noguchi between the two spacecraft during the removal and installation of the CMGs. In preparation for that activity, Kelly and Lawrence “walked” the Station arm into position on the Destiny Laboratory. All nine crewmembers also participated in a review of spacewalk activities near the end of their working day.

Collins, Kelly and Camarda talked with reporters from ABC News, Fox News and NBC at about 5:40 a.m. CDT. About 7:25 a.m. Collins, Noguchi, Robinson and Phillips talked with CBS News, CNN and Discovery Channel.

Engineers and mission managers continued to analyze information about Discovery's thermal protection system. They have cleared the orbiter's tiles and a decision was expected later today on the analysis of reinforced carbon-carbon protection for the nose cone and wing leading edges.

Mission managers continue to look at two gap-filler areas. These coated-fiber gap fillers are used to keep hot gas from flowing into gaps in the thermal protection, in these two cases, in tile-protected areas. Two gap fillers are protruding, and teams are working to determine whether any action is required by the crew.
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STS-114 MCC Status Report #10


Saturday, July 30, 2005 – 11:45 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #10

Transfers of additional water and supplies to the International Space Station will continue Sunday as the crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery begins Flight Day 6. The STS-114 mission was formally extended by one day as mission managers Saturday decided to spend one more day docked to the ISS.

Two additional collapsible water containers holding more than 10 gallons each are expected to be added to the cargo transfer list before the Shuttle leaves, bringing to 17 the number that will be left behind, a substantial increase in the amount of available water.

ISS Program Manager Bill Gerstenmaier said in a Saturday news conference that the program was very happy to have the additional supplies and that the station’s consumables status had improved considerably with Discovery’s visit.

Mission Manager Wayne Hale said Saturday that the added mission day will be added to the crew’s schedule after the third spacewalk day.

Hale also noted Saturday that Discovery’s protective tiles and thermal blankets passed review and are cleared for entry. Analysis continues on the reinforced carbon-carbon areas and two protruding gap fillers.

Also Sunday, astronauts will make preparations for the second spacewalk of the mission scheduled for Monday. Discovery’s cabin pressure will be reduced to 10.2 psi to prepare Mission Specialists Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for their work outside the spacecraft.

Space Shuttle and Space Station crewmembers will participate in two separate in-flight interviews. Shuttle Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialist Charlie Camarda will talk to reporters with ABC News, Fox News and NBC's "Meet the Press" at 5:49 a.m. CDT. Collins, Robinson, Noguchi and NASA ISS Science Officer John Phillips will speak with CBS News, CNN and Discovery Channel reporters at 7:39 a.m.

Discovery’s crew was awakened at 11:11 p.m. CDT by the song “I’m Goin’ Up,“ by Claire Lynch for Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence. The Space Station crew was awakened about the same time by a tone onboard.

The crews of Discovery and the Space Station are scheduled to go to sleep about 2:09 p.m. CDT.

Flight Day 6 Schedule
Sunday, July 31 (Flight Day 6):

11:09 p.m. ISS crew wakeup
1 a.m. Flight director update
5:49 a.m. U.S. PAO event
7:39 a.m. U.S. PAO event
9 a.m. Mission status briefing (flight control team video replay follows)
9:09 a.m. Andy Thomas crew choice downlink
11:09 p.m. Shuttle / ISS hatches closed
2:09 p.m. Crew sleep begins
3 p.m. Flight day highlights
5 p.m. Post-MMT briefing
9 p.m. MMT briefing replay
10:09 p.m. Crew wakeup
10:39 p.m. ISS crew wakeup
04:31:38 - SPIKE - No comments

29 July

First Spacewalk Day Arrives for Discovery Crew

Discovery Pilot Jim Kelly, left, confers with Mission Specialist Charlie Camarda on the Shuttle's flight deck. Credit: NASA

The Space Shuttle Discovery crew is focusing on the transfer of cargo to and from the International Space Station today. Supplies and equipment carried to the Station in the Raffaello cargo carrier will be stowed on ISS, and water generated by the Shuttle's fuel cells will replenish the Station's supply.

Flight controllers in Mission Control, Houston, awakened the STS-114 crewmembers at 12:11 a.m. EDT with a musical wakeup call, "I'm Going Up" by Claire Lynch. The song was chosen in honor of Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence, who is the chief of transfer operations during the mission.

Mission managers announced Saturday that Discovery's scheduled stay at the Station has been extended one day. The additional day, which will be added after the day of the third spacewalk, gives the crews more transfer time.

STS-114 Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson completed the first of their three spacewalks Saturday. Today they will spend some time preparing for the second spacewalk, which they will conduct Monday.


Saturday, July 30, 2005 – 4 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #09

Space Shuttle Discovery’s heat protective tiles and thermal blankets have been pronounced fit for entry after engineers reviewed the imagery and other data to judge their health. Analysis remains on the reinforced carbon-carbon wing leading edges and the protruding gap fillers identified earlier. Aerodynamics experts are evaluating the effect on surface heating that the gap fillers may cause to decide whether any work is necessary to reduce their size.

Mission managers today also decided to extend Discovery’s mission by one day to spend more time docked with the International Space Station. Astronauts are busy transferring more water and supplies to the ISS in case the next Shuttle mission is delayed. An additional 10 gallons of water was transferred along with a pair of laptop computers and other supplies.

Astronauts Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency wrapped up a successful 6-hour, 50-minute spacewalk at 11:36 a.m. Saturday, completing a demonstration of Shuttle thermal protection repair techniques and enhancements to the Station’s attitude control system.

For the repair demonstration, they worked with tiles and reinforced carbon-carbon intentionally damaged on the ground and brought into space in Discovery's cargo bay. They tested an Emittance Wash Applicator for tile repair and Non-Oxide Adhesive eXperimental (NOAX) for the reinforced carbon-carbon samples.

Helped by Astronaut Andy Thomas, who served as a coach and monitor from Shuttle's aft flight deck, they also installed a base and cabling for a stowage platform and rerouted power to Control Moment Gyroscope-2 (CMG-2), one of four 600-pound gyroscopes that control the orientation of the Station in orbit.

CMG-2 has been healthy, but a faulty circuit breaker interrupted its power supply in March. Since that time the Station had operated successfully on two CMGs. About 9:20 a.m. Mission Control told the astronauts they saw power again flowing to CMG-2. Plans call for it to be spun up to its 6,600 rpm operating speed over the next several hours and subsequently put back into the attitude control mix. Another gyroscope, CMG-1 which failed in 2002, is to be replaced Monday on the second of three spacewalks. They also replaced a faulty global positioning system antenna on the Station.

The spacewalk began at 4:46 a.m., after deliberate preparations delayed the planned start. The Station crew, Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips, had moved the orbiting laboratory's Canadarm2 into position to help Noguchi and Robinson's work. Discovery Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence ran the arm, helping the spacewalkers install the stowage platform base.

The spacewalkers had time for some get-ahead tasks near the end of their spacewalk, bringing in two experiments that exposed a variety of materials samples to the harsh vacuum and extreme temperatures of space. Noguchi also photographed some insulation on the port side of Discovery's cabin.

Hatches between the Station and Discovery had been closed in preparation for the spacewalk. Once hatches were reopened, remaining crewmembers, Eileen Collins and Mission Specialist Charlie Camarda, went about other tasks, including transfer of cargo from the Shuttle to the Station.

Among those tasks was another survey of parts of Discovery's thermal protection system by the Shuttle's robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. Kelly and Camarda, operating the arm, focused their attention on seven areas of interest along the leading edge of Discovery's port wing.

After analysis of many images taken of Discovery during and after its launch, including information from previous surveys like the one done Saturday, no damage that would threaten a safe landing by the Shuttle has been identified. About 25 dings have been seen on Discovery, compared to a mission average of 145 in missions before Columbia's loss. NASA News

This is a landmark day for STS-114 Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson, who will be performing their first spacewalk when they emerge from Space Shuttle Discovery's airlock today.

The spacewalkers will test thermal protection system repair techniques before turning their attention to International Space Station assembly tasks. The excursion is scheduled to start at 4:44 a.m. EDT.

Other Shuttle and ISS crewmembers will support the spacewalkers' activities and transfer materials from the Raffaello cargo module to the Station.

Mission Control in Houston awakened the Discovery crew at 11:43 p.m. with a Japanese song performed by a youthful chorus that included Noguchi's children. NASA News


Friday, July 29, 2005 – 11:45 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #08

Astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson will step outside for their first spacewalk, and the first of this mission, early Saturday. The six and a half hour spacewalk is scheduled to begin from Discovery's airlock at 3:44 a.m. CDT.

Discovery’s crew was awakened at 10:43 p.m. CDT by the Japanese song "Sanpo," sung by a group of children, including Noguchi's. The Station crew was awakened at 11:09 p.m. CDT by a tone onboard.

Noguchi and Robinson's spacewalk preparations, including a pure oxygen pre-breathe and exercise procedure, will get underway at 12:39 a.m. CDT, with Intravehicular (IV) crewmember Andy Thomas' assistance. The procedure will purge the spacewalkers' blood of nitrogen to prevent the painful symptoms of “the bends” while wearing their low-pressure spacesuits.

About the same time, Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips will maneuver the Station's robotic arm into a position to support the spacewalk. At 12:55 a.m. CDT the pair will "walk off" Canadarm2 from the Mobile Base System to the Destiny lab and change its operating base. The arm will be operated by Shuttle Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence during the spacewalk to help install the External Stowage Platform-2 (ESP-2) Attachment Device (ESPAD) onto Station.

After the excursion begins and the spacewalkers have completed about an hour of tool setup, the first task is to test thermal protection system repair techniques. Noguchi and Robinson will work side-by-side in Discovery's cargo bay at a pallet of purposely damaged orbiter heat shield samples. They will practice the Emittance Wash Applicator (EWA) repair of tile samples and the NOAX (Non-Oxide Adhesive eXperimental) repair of Reinforced Carbon-Carbon samples.

After the testing is complete, the pair will move on to their Station assembly tasks. They will install the ESPAD and associated cabling on the Station’s Quest airlock so that the ESP-2 can be installed on top during the third spacewalk.

Next, Noguchi will replace a Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna on the Station's truss structure. At the same time, Robinson will retrieve tools for the second spacewalk's Control Moment Gyroscope-1 replacement and swap connectors to restore power to the Station’s CMG-2. The last job will be for both crewmembers to route cabling for the ESP-2 installation on the third spacewalk.

Once the spacewalk has begun and the Station's airlock's hatch is opened as an emergency door, the hatches between Discovery and Station will be re-opened so the crews can work together to support the spacewalk and continue transfer work. Commander Eileen Collins, Mission Specialist Charlie Camarda, Krikalev, Phillips and Lawrence will continue transferring water and other equipment to the Station from Discovery and the Raffaello cargo module. The hatches will be closed before the end of the spacewalk again to allow the crew to re-enter the Shuttle airlock. Once the crew is inside and the Shuttle’s airlock is repressurized, the hatches will be re-opened.

At 8:09 a.m. CDT, Kelly and Camarda are scheduled to perform additional surveys of Discovery's wing leading edge Reinforced Carbon-Carbon with the Shuttle arm and Orbiter Boom Sensor System. They will use the sensors to focus on seven areas of interest along the port wing.

The crews of Discovery and the Station are scheduled to go to sleep about 2:39 p.m. CDT.


Friday, July 29, 2005 – 6 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #07

Space Shuttle and International Space Station crewmembers installed the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and began unloading the pressurized cargo carrier Friday. They also carried out a survey of selected areas of Discovery's thermal protection system and continued preparations for Saturday's spacewalk.

Engineering analysis continues on the imagery collected so far, but no apparently serious problems with Discovery’s heat shield have been noted. Mission Manager Wayne Hale said in a Friday afternoon press conference, “We’re feeling very good about Discovery coming home.”

It was a very busy day for the crewmembers, Discovery Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Steve Robinson, Andy Thomas, Wendy Lawrence and Charlie Camarda, and the Station's commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips.

Raffaello was unberthed (optimized for high speed internet) from Discovery's cargo bay just before 1 a.m. CDT Friday by the Station's Canadarm2, operated by Lawrence and Kelly and attached to the Station's Unity Node. Hatches were opened a little after 10 a.m. Transfer of its cargo to the Station began soon thereafter. Crewmembers had begun transferring Station equipment and supplies from the Shuttle's mid-deck earlier.

Preparations for the targeted survey of Discovery's thermal protection system began with Kelly and Phillips attaching the end of Canadarm2 to the Station's Mobile Base System. They subsequently detached the other end from the Destiny Laboratory so the arm could be used in its new position to provide situational awareness views of the survey with its cameras.

Camarda and Kelly used the Shuttle’s robot arm and the 50-foot Orbiter Boom Sensor System to look at six areas to determine if they had sustained damage. Mission managers said there was no indication of serious damage in early looks at downlink from that survey and earlier images. Detailed analysis of images starting with Discovery's Tuesday launch and continuing through Friday's survey was continuing.

Noguchi and Robinson will make three spacewalks at the Station, and today they continued preparations for the first, scheduled to begin at 3:44 a.m. Saturday. They reviewed spacewalk procedures and checked out the SAFER, or Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue, a rescue device to help a spacewalker who goes adrift return to the spacecraft.

Hatches between Discovery and Station were closed as the Shuttle’s cabin pressure was reduced to 10.2 psi for the pre-breathe period, during which spacewalkers became gradually acclimated to the lower pressures of space suits to avoid formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood. The excess air from the Shuttle was transferred to the Station to replenish its atmosphere.

Collins and Thomas talked with reporters from the Associated Press Radio Network, National Public Radio and the CBS Radio Network beginning a little after 5:20 a.m. CDT.

Saturday, July 30 (Flight Day 5):

11:09 p.m. ISS crew wakeup
12:39 a.m. First spacewalk preparations begin
1 a.m. Flight director update
1:29 a.m. SSRMS grapple of Destiny
2:29a.m. SSRMS walkoff from MBS to Destiny
3:44 a.m. Spacewalk begins
4:19 a.m. Shuttle / ISS hatches open
4:49 a.m. Thermal protection system (TPS) detailed test objective (DTO)
7:59 a.m. Control moment gyroscope (CMG) 2 patch panel reconfiguration
8:09 a.m. OBSS survey of TPS experiment box in payload bay
8:45 a.m. CMG 2 startup
9:24 a.m. Shuttle / ISS hatches closed
10:14 a.m. Spacewalk ends
10:24 a.m. Shuttle / ISS hatches open
11 p.m. Mission status briefing (flight control team video replay follows)
2:39 p.m. Crew sleep begins
3 p.m. Post-MMT briefing (may be combined with earlier mission status briefing)
9 p.m. MMT briefing replay
10:39 p.m. Crew wakeup

April Rollout Of Discovery to Pad 39-B

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao used a digital camera April 6 to photograph the rollout of the Space Shuttle Discovery at NASA's Kennedy Space Center from an altitude of 220 statute miles. Chiao captured the rollout at 4:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time as the Station flew directly over the launch site. Visible in the image are the Shuttle's two launch pads at Launch Complex 39. Discovery's launch pad, 39-B, is on the left. Image Credit: NASA/JSC

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Today's News Follows These Great Photos

Today's local news will be found below these great Discovery photo and the latest NASA Status Report later today.

Out For A Spin

STS-114 Commander Eileen Collins, center, is joined on Discovery's flight deck by two of her crewmates. To the left of Collins is Mission Specialist Steve Robinson, and Pilot Jim Kelly is on the right. Credit: NASA

Space Shuttle Discovery, as seen from International Space Station (ISS) during rendezvous and docking operations on the morning of July 28.

This is an image taken by International Space Station (ISS) NASA Science Officer and Flight Engineer John Phillips of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it approached the Station and peformed a backflip to allow photography of its heat shield. Phillips used a 400 mm lens for this photo. Discovery was about 600 feet from the Station. Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and Phillips took photos for about a minute and a half as Discovery Commander Eileen Collins guided the spacecraft through the flip. Krikalvev used an 800 mm lens. The photos will be analyzed by engineers on the ground as additional data to evaluate the condition of Discovery's heat shield. NASA Photo

Discovery was about 600 feet from the International Space Station (ISS) when Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and Station NASA Science Officer and Flight Enginner John Phillips took photos for about a minute and a half as Discovery Commander Eileen Collins guided the spacecraft through the flip. Krikalvev used an 800 mm lens. The photos will be analyzed by engineers on the ground as additional data to evaluate the condition of Discovery's heat shield. NASA Photo

The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station just prior to docking earlier today.The round item is the docking collar that connects the Discovery to the space station. NASA Photo

NASA Photo

The Space Shuttle Discovery's cargo bay and MPLM payload as seen from the International Space Station just prior to docking earlier today. The Large silver item is Rafaello the MPLM or Multi Purpose Logistic Module carrying 15 tons of supplies, food and parts to the ISS. It was lifted to another docking bay on the International Space Station by the robotic arm that is at the top of the photo. NASA Photo

One of Space Shuttle Discovery's Solid Rocket Boosters rests at Kennedy Space Center after being recovered from the Atlantic Ocean. NASA Photo

Thursday, July 28, 2005 – 11:00 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #06

The first full day of joint Space Shuttle and International Space Station operations will be highlighted by installation of a cargo transportation module, additional orbiter heat shield inspections and spacewalk preparations.

Discovery’s crew was awakened at 10:39 p.m. CDT by the song “Vertigo“ by U2 played for Pilot Jim Kelly. Capcom Shannon Lucid noted during the wakeup call that Kelly, whose nickname is “Vegas,” was promoted to Colonel in the U.S. Air Force recently. The Station crew was awakened at 11:09 p.m. CDT by a tone onboard.

In this upcoming flight day, Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence and Kelly will guide the Station’s robot arm, Canadarm2, to pluck the Multi Purpose Logistics Module from Discovery’s cargo bay and install it on the Station. The MPLM, called Raffaello, will be attached to the Station’s Unity module. While the crew was asleep, the Station flight control team verified Unity’s attach mechanism is ready for the addition.

Kelly and Station Flight Engineer John Phillips will walk Canadarm2 off of the Destiny lab beginning at 4:39 a.m. CDT., onto the Mobile Base System for situational awareness views from its cameras for the survey. Mission Specialist Charlie Camarda and Kelly will begin additional focused inspections of Discovery’s heat shield using the Shuttle arm and Orbiter Boom Sensor System shortly after 6 a.m. Central time.

Once the MPLM is in place, Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence and Station Commander Sergei Krikalev will begin activation of the module about 7:49 a.m. CDT and will enter about two hours later, at 9:49 a.m. CDT.

Commander Eileen Collins and Mission Specialist Andy Thomas will participate in interviews with the Associated Press Radio Network, National Public Radio and the CBS Radio Network at 5:19 a.m. CDT.

Additional preparations for Saturday’s first spacewalk of the mission by Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson will continue during the day with a review of EVA procedures and a checkout of a small rescue device known as SAFER, for Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue, designed to allow an astronaut outside a spacecraft to return safety if they become untethered and separated from the spacecraft. Hatches between Discovery and Station will be closed as the Shuttle’s cabin pressure is reduced to 10.2 psi for the pre-breathe period, during which spacewalkers will become gradually acclimated to the lower pressures of spacesuits.

The crews of Discovery and the Station are scheduled to go to sleep about 2:39 p.m. CDT.

Friday, July 29 (Flight Day 4) All times CDT:
11:09 p.m. ISS crew wakeup
12:44 a.m. Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) grapple by Space Station remote manipulator system (SSRMS)
1 a.m. Flight director update
1:14 a.m. Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) unberth
2:09 a.m. MPLM installation on Unity begins
4:39 a.m. SSRMS walkoff from Destiny to mobile base system (MBS)
5:19 a.m. U.S. audio-only Public Affairs Office (PAO) event
6:09 a.m. OBSS thermal protection system survey (if required)
9 a.m. Mission status briefing (flight control team video replay follows)
9:49 a.m. MPLM ingress
11:44 p.m. Shuttle / ISS hatches closed
12 p.m. Video File
2:39 p.m. Crew sleep begins
3 p.m. Flight day highlights
5 p.m. Post-MMT briefing
9 p.m. MMT briefing replay
9:39 p.m. Crew wakeup
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You Have To Accept Free Speech Without Conditions

With Conditions, It Is No Longer Free


Outstanding pictures of Jim Kelly and the shuttle. Thank you!

KCPS Big Show's Tommy announced this morning that he was upset by an E-mail this week to Burlingtonderailed. Tommy said he was not going to ever call in the Big Show again because he got criticized on this web site.

Tommy claims he was slandered by this site. Tommy is wrong! Tommy criticized people that write letters to the Hawkeye and express their opinions and viewpoints on various issues. Tommy always gives his opinion to the talk show when he calls in.

Sometimes Tommy has some very good points and sometimes he doesn't know what he is talking about, but he still has his right to his opinion. That's great! Not everybody wants to be a regular caller to a talk show and would rather express their opinion in a letter to the editor in the Hawkeye.

This isn't the first time that Tommy has called the letter writers names. He has done it before and he has that right to his opinion. Tommy seems to think it is OK for Tommy to give his viewpoints on a regular basis to an open talk show, but has a problem with someone writing a letter and signing their name to an open forum in the Hawkeye. With his announcement that he is done calling in because he got criticized with the truth, makes him look like he can dish it out, but he can't take it.


That’s the premise of free speech. We can speak speak out whether it is spoken or the written word. One man’s poison is another man’s sugar. But when that speech contains conditions, it is no longer free.

It’s like Senator King’s statements the other day. According to King, you need to vote before he will address your problem. You need to register to use his blog. He won’t address your problem or concern because he doesn’t know who you are. In that vein of thinking, if you have low water pressure in the water mains that protect a school, too bad unless you vote, sign in and King knows you.

We occasionally get chastised for being too “harsh.” Earlier this week Tommy criticized us for being too harsh. We don’t like to hear that. We don’t want to be “harsh.” We want peace and love and harmony.

But this isn’t a dream. This is a city and county that have serious problems that need “harsh” action to resolve. None of the people that got us into these messes think they have done any wrong and they want to cover it up. That is a problem.

Tommy will be back. It’s his morning aphrodisiac. Besides, there is a little portion of him that is beginning to believe. And the longer we hammer at things, the more he is going to believe.

The truth will come out.
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28 July

More Launch Day Photos

NASA Photo

NASA Photo

NASA Photo

NASA Photo
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Today's News Follows This Great Photo

Today's local news can be found below this great Discovery photo and the 4:30 pm Status Report.

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Eyeball To Eyeball

That's Jim Kelly looking out of the left cockpit window.

NASA Photograph

Thursday, July 28, 2005 – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STS-114 MCC Status Report #05

The Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station smoothly and right on time Thursday morning, after doing a planned back flip so Station crewmembers could photograph its thermal protection system.

Discovery Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim Kelly flew Discovery through the rendezvous pitch maneuver about 600 feet below the Station about an hour before docking. The photos taken by Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips were transmitted to the ground before docking occurred at 6:18 a.m. CDT.

Discovery, the first Shuttle to visit the Station since late 2002, and the orbiting laboratory linked up over the southern Pacific Ocean west of the South American coast. The photos from Discovery's approach and many others from ground, aircraft and Shuttle and Station cameras are being carefully analyzed by a team of about 200 people to ensure Discovery's thermal protection system is safe for re-entry.

After the initial hugs and handshakes Krikalev gave a safety briefing for the new arrivals, Collins, Kelly and Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Steve Robinson, Andy Thomas, Wendy Lawrence and Charlie Camarda.

Among early tasks for the joint crews was preparation for additional robotic arm surveys of the orbiter. Tomorrow’s schedule includes time for additional focused inspections.

Kelly and Lawrence, with help from Phillips, used the Station's Canadarm2 to lift the Orbiter Boom Sensor System from Discovery and hand it to the Shuttle arm. Camarda and Thomas steered the Shuttle arm, which cannot grasp the boom directly with the Station in the way.

Robinson and Noguchi, who will make three spacewalks at the Station, spent about an hour and a half getting equipment ready.

Tasks on the spacewalks Saturday, Monday and Tuesday include testing thermal protection system repair techniques, replacement of one of four Station control gyros (which control the orbiting laboratory's orientation in space) and restoration of power to another. The spacewalkers also will install an external spare parts carrier on the outside of the Station’s Quest airlock.

Crewmembers were briefed on the loss of a piece of foam insulation from the external tank shortly after launch. The foam, seen by a camera on the tank making the first Shuttle flight in that position, did not appear to touch the orbiter. Shuttle managers determined that the cause of the foam loss needs to be understood and the problem fixed before Shuttle launches can resume.

Discovery and Station crewmembers began scheduled sleep periods about 2:40 p.m. CDT.

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Des Moines County News - World Class Reporting

Accurate, Unbiased, No BS, Responsible Reporting

If you want to read the most accurate account of Tim Hoschek’s continual irresponsible behavior without the local paper’s usual controversial editorial spin, read this week’s Des Moines County News. You talk about accurate, no BS, unbiased, responsible reporting, this is it. No government/political reporter in Southeast Iowa tells it this well.

Everybody else that reports controversial news in Southeast Iowa could learn volumes about how to do their job better from this writing style. That is, if their editors would let them. But good news reporting doesn't sell advertising. The local paper started as The Burlington Advertiser in a merger 169 years ago. History has come full circle to repeat itself.

11:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Still Not Reading Claims – Never Prepared

Stomps Out Of Tuesday’s Meeting Before Adjournment

Probably At The Fair With Sore Arm and Brown Nose Looking For Handout

In one article (today's paper) Tim Hoschek once again demonstrated how immature and unqualified he is to hold public office. Hoschek wants everyone else to carry his load and not do anything for his $32,000 a year. No wonder he didn’t make it as a bricklayer, truck driver, construction worker, conservation officer, et al. All he does is sit around and bitch about it while someone else does the work.

Hoscheks’s immature, irresponsible behavior is getting real old. I would expect that in the coming weeks there will be more and more details concerning Hoschek’s recent job performance that will ultimately end in a recall election. It’s about time.

Voters got hoodwinked back in November. And those same voters are getting real tired of his nonsense.

11:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle Docks With Space Station - Day 3

Flight Day 3 News

Discovery Docks; STS-114 Crew Enters ISS

Ring 'Em Aboard

Space Shuttle Discovery’s seven astronauts entered the International Space Station at 8:50 a.m. EDT today, where they were greeted by the Expedition 11 crew. On the ground, NASA officials provided reporters an update on today’s activities and imagery analysis.

Discovery docked with the International Space Station at 7:18 a.m. EDT. During the approach to the ISS, the Shuttle crew performed a maneuver to allow the Station crewmembers to take more imagery of the Shuttle's heat shield.

Unprecedented imagery of the Shuttle from a variety of sources continues to provide NASA with valuable data for the safety of this flight and future flights. A team of about 200 people across the country is working to analyze these photos. Foam loss from the external tank indicates a need for more improvements to the tank's insulation. Shuttle managers have said they will deal with the problem before flying another mission.

NASA's Mission Management Team Chair Wayne Hale said Wednesday that according to data reviewed so far, Discovery appears to be in good shape for a safe return home. However, more detailed analysis will follow over the next few days to be sure, he added.

1:00 a.m.
NASA News Update
It's docking day for the STS-114 crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery and the Expedition 11 crew on the International Space Station. The Shuttle crew was awakened Wednesday evening at 10:39 p.m. CDT to the Louis Armstrong classic "What a Wonderful World."

The terminal initiation burn, which aligns the Shuttle with the Station's docking port, is set for about 4:40 a.m. Before docking, Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim Kelly will send the orbiter into a backflip maneuver, enabling the Station crew to photograph Discovery's outer protection system. The imagery will focus on areas of missing tile pieces.

Discovery is scheduled to dock to Station at 7:18 a.m.

Mission imagery continues to provide NASA with valuable data for the safety of this flight and future flights. A team of about 200 people across the country are working to analyze Discovery's first photos. Foam loss from the external tank indicates a need for more improvements to the tank's insulation.

NASA's Mission Management Team Chair Wayne Hale said Wednesday that according to current data, Discovery is in good shape for a safe return home. More detailed analysis will follow over the next few days to be sure.

Thursday, July 28 (Flight Day 3): All Times Central Daylight

12:39 a.m. Rendezvous operations begin
12:54 a.m. Playback of Ku antenna / OBSS clearance video from RMS
1:09 a.m. External tank handheld video downlink playback
1:30 a.m. Flight director update
3:40 a.m. Terminal initiation burn
5:08 a.m. Rendezvous pitch maneuver
6:18 a.m. Docking with International Space Station (ISS)
8:19 a.m. Hatch opening
8:54 a.m. OBSS grapple by Space Station remote manipulator system (SSRMS)
9:30 a.m. Mission status briefing (flight control team video replay follows)
10:44 a.m. SSRMS handoff of OBSS to Space Shuttle remote manipulator system (RMS)
1 p.m. Video File
2:39 p.m. Crew sleep begins
3 p.m. Flight day highlights
5 p.m. Post-MMT briefing
9 p.m. MMT briefing replay
10:39 p.m. Crew wakeup Day 4


Wednesday, July 27, 2005 – 4 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 07.27.05

STS-114 MCC Status Report #03

Discovery crewmembers completed a camera survey of the heat shields of the leading edges of the orbiter's wings and its nose cone Wednesday. They also began preparations for Thursday's docking with the International Space Station and the mission’s spacewalks.

Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialists Soichi Noguchi, Steve Robinson, Andy Thomas, Wendy Lawrence and Charlie Camarda downlinked imagery taken of the External Tank after launch. The crew also photographed the Orbital Maneuvering System pod tile areas and sent down those files. Most of the heat shield survey, taking a close look at the reinforced carbon-carbon of Discovery's wings and nose was sent down live. The rest was sent down before the crew went to bed about 2:40 p.m. CDT.

The data was gathered by the new Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) laser-scanner. Kelly, Thomas and Camarda, with some help from other crewmembers, operated the Discovery's Canadarm and the 50-foot boom extension at its end for the survey. The OBSS was reberthed and Canadarm and its cameras were used to survey the tile area around the crew cabin.

Preparations for docking included a checkout of rendezvous tools, and the extension of the Orbiter Docking System ring that will make first contact with the Station. The approach will include the first Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver, a slow back flip by Discovery about 600 feet below the Station immediately before the 6:18 a.m. CDT docking.

The maneuver will allow Station Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips to photograph Discovery's thermal protection system with 400mm and 800mm lenses. The images, taken through windows in the Station's Zvezda Service Module, are expected to be downlinked before hatches between Discovery and the Station are opened.

Today’s imagery and laser scans will be compiled with other imagery taken during launch, and with data collected by wireless impact sensors in each panel of the wings’ leading edges. Downlink of both preliminary and raw data from the sensors also was completed today. A team of about 200 people across the country are working to analyze imagery from the early part of Discovery's mission, the most photographed Shuttle flight in history.

The crew also completed the checkout of tools and two spacesuits to be used during the mission’s three spacewalks. Two suits were also prepared for delivery to the Station for future Quest airlock spacewalks.

02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Horace Mann Closure Decision Wrong Move?

Jim Kelly Middle School

Before the school board hurriedly decided to close down Horace Mann Middle School, did they ever consider that one of Burlington's most successful citizens attended this school? Mr. Jim Kelly attended Horace Mann, and look at where he is now. The school should be rebuilt and be considered a local landmark. This is just my opinion, what do you think?


02:26:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Reader Attempts Objectivity

Thanks for the updates about the space shuttle. I joined the other website burlington on track. It seems all the posts are from Mr.King himself. I will read both to be fair. Although I really enjoy your site more. I missed where you said that King was drunk in the fountain. Would you display it again? Also on King's site you have to give your email and stuff. Not like yours.


Thanks for your comments.
All stories are available:
1. by scrolling down the page
2. clicking on Archives in the left column, select month, and click - all stories for month will appear
3. or use the Search box and enter "King Fountain" without quotes and the posting will appear
02:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 July

Where Was Hoschek During The Permit Process?

For That Matter, Where Was Metzger?

Why Doesn't Hoschek Pay Taxes?

Hoschek is upset. Upset that the world has stopped spinning under his control. And now, upset because things are moving too fast for him. What does he want?

According to the morning advertiser and political endorser of Hoschek, it seems the construction manager for the new county care facility hadn’t arranged for the final building inspection by Burlington’s code cops. Hoschek is complaining and he isn’t even a Des Moines County taxpayer. Never mind he could help resolve the problems and help the County save money.

Then Hoschek wandered off into the harassment territory towards the CPC Director. All he has to do is read the Woodbury County Iowa legal case that clearly defines that responsibility falls on the shoulders of the county supervisors for harassment or a hostile work environment. Something that Lee County is now faced with in a similar matter. I guess Hoschek just doesn’t understand that he can’t keep abusing his position to intimidate county employees. That’s harassment and that’s wrong whether Des Moines County or Lee County is involved.

Finally, Hoschek is upset because the Des Moines County Deputy Auditor does her job, without Hoschek’s input or blessing.

So, I am perplexed. Hoschek isn’t a taxpayer and he is upset. Metzger is the construction manager but doesn’t get the proper permits in time on 2 separate occasions and now he doesn’t want to pay for his mistakes.

Shouldn’t the taxpayers be upset about this? Shouldn’t Hoschek be more willing to prove his commitment to the taxpayers by paying taxes in Des Moines County? Seems like all Hoschek does is stir up trouble instead of working to get things done.
22:33:40 - SPIKE - No comments

Broken Neck In Steamboat Days Accident

Sounds like Negligence To Me

This has been bothering me since Steamboat Days, and I was wondering if anyone has heard of what happened to a man that was hurt at the auditorium helping to get ready for Steamboat Days. I was on the grounds that day, so I do know that it happened, and I know that he did suffer a broken neck, among other injuries.

He was looking for something in the kitchen area, and opening a door, thinking it was a closet, stepped in, and fell down 12 cement steps.

How could this happen? How can a stairway be so dark that you can't see that its there? Why was this door not marked or lighted?

Its a miracle this fall did not end this poor man's life. I would like to know if any of our city leaders have bothered to visit this man to see how he is?

I would guess its a big fat ZERO!! How is the city going to compensate this man for what he and his family have been through because of this? Someone is to blame, and I don't think it sounds like the poor man should be, all he was doing was try to help.

I would think a closed door would be a closet, not a hidden stairway. Please, if anyone else knows of this, and what has been done, I would really like to know.

Thanks, and keep up the good work Spike!!

OK group, what happened? Why haven't we heard about this? It seems like something wasn't properly identified, marked, lit and covered up.

17:18:35 - SPIKE - No comments

King’s Website – A Place For King To Answer Criticism and Not Much More

A reader sent us a clip of Senator King’s new website content. In that content King alludes to BurlingtonDerailed.com’s post about King dancing while being “intoxicated” at Steamboat days. King seems to be mounting a posse to hang Spike for slander and libel.

Slander and libel are only that when you make a statement with malice. Actual malice means that a statement was made with knowledge that it was false, or with a reckless disregard of whether it was true or false. Reckless disregard means a high degree of awareness of probable falsity, or that the publisher entertained serious doubts as to the truth of the statements. Sounds more like the local paper than anything BurlingtonDerailed.com has ever posted. We can make mistakes. I don’t think we have in this case or any other matter we have posted regarding your conduct as a City Councilman.

We don’t print slanderous or libelous statements, as you are so quick to portray to your readers. I believe my source is far more credible than you. If your dancing is that bad then maybe it was libelous to say you were dancing.

After all Senator, you told us the BNSF lawsuit was about jobs, then you told us it was about money. Then you told us the closed session meetings were about one subject then admitted with Slagle that they were about another subject. That’s against the Iowa law. Plain and simple.

What was more troubling is that just days into your blog’s mission statement, you have already politicized it and contrary to your statements on KCPS, you are perpetuating controversy instead of dealing with it responsibly.

For a marketing guy that has new ideas why couldn’t you come up with a better blog name than one that seems to answer BurlingtonDerailed.com? Seems like dead end marketing.

I don’t think we need to worry about our credibility. We’re not having problems with keeping our facts straight.

And trying to go head-to-head isn’t going make Burlington better. Accepting responsibility for your screw-ups will help make Burlington better.

12:47:08 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle Update

From www.NASA.gov
Inspections of Discovery's heat shield that began this morning were completed early afternoon. Crewmembers used cameras and a special boom on the robot arm to inspect Discovery's wings, nose cap, and crew cabin. Also, crewmembers used handheld cameras to inspect tiles on the Orbital Maneuvering System pods.

Engineers on the ground are using the imagery and data from today’s inspections and from Tuesday's launch videos to determine the health of Discovery's heat shield. The engineers continue to evaluate two debris events that were captured by video as Discovery climbed into space.

The crew also prepared for Discovery’s arrival at the Space Station tomorrow morning. Discovery is scheduled to dock to the ISS Thursday at 7:18 a.m. EDT.

Inspecting one of Discovery's wings Image below: Here is a view from a camera inspecting one of Space Shuttle Discovery's wings. The camera is attached to a boom attached to the Shuttle's robot arm. Image credit: NASA TV

12:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Emails Are Flying This Morning Throughout Southeast Iowa

We are inundated with emails this morning due to the local paper’s news stories. They will all appear below the NASA news story below. We are going to keep heroes where they belong, top center.
04:55:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle Day 2 Schedule

The crew of Space Shuttle Discovery was awakened this morning at 12:39 a.m EDT to start its first full day in space. As the orbiter spends the day chasing the International Space Station, the crew will use Discovery's robot arm to inspect the vehicle's exterior.

Unprecedented imagery captured during Tuesday’s ascent to orbit enabled engineers to see two so-called "debris events." A camera mounted on the external tank caught what appeared to be a small fragment of tile coming from Discovery's underside on or near the nose gear doors.

A later image about the time of Solid Rocket Booster separation showed an unidentified piece departing from the tank and exiting away, apparently not striking the orbiter. The crew was notified of these observations and told that imaging experts would be analyzing the pictures.

Mission managers will review the information gathered yesterday and today to help determine the health of Discovery's thermal protection system over the next four days before it is cleared for landing later in the flight.

Discovery is slated to dock with the ISS at 7:18 a.m. EDT Thursday.

04:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Councilman King Out Of Of Touch


Thank you for allowing the space for freedom of speech. I don't always agree with everything you say, but you are much more in tune than Chris King. Everyone has a right to their viewpoints and opinions.

I know you are not a fan of the Hawkeye, but I don't think they do a bad job. Their coverage this morning on the Shuttle deserves credit as did the pictures on Burlingtonderailed.

Chris King's comments about the letters to the Hawkeye somehow got turned into future terrorist. That was about as ridiculous as it could possibly get.

And Tommy on KCPS does a good job on the radio and he has a good radio voice, but where does he get off calling people that write letters to the paper idiots and are quick with the pen. Tommy picks up the phone and calls the KCPS talk show on about every issue. Then sometimes he rambles on and on. Is Tommy any different, but just doing it on the radio rather than writing a letter to express viewpoints and opinions?

King's web site is his last own dagger. And you're right about Heyland, he has all the answers for everybody and wants to tell us how we should live. He tries to dominate the conversation when he calls into KCPS. Fred usually has some good rebuttals though. Heyland seems to be campaigning for something. He is a tax and spend politician that we really don't need right now!


Rumor is Heyland is posturing for a Des Moines County Supervisor run. Too bad he didn't want to help oust Hoschek. Bad week to be on vacation.
03:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator King Dancing In City Fountain?

That's A Vision I Don't Want In My Head

Dear Spike:
Since I just heard Chris King tell 7 and Tommy on the Big Show about things the citizens aren't aware of and the fountain at the auditorium I wanted to write you for the first time. I guess he's right. I'm pretty sure it was an intoxicated Chris King we saw dancing in the empty city riverfront fountain during Steamboat Days. A good example of what we should know. Keep up the pressure. They're melting.

02:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Former Mayor Heyland Calls Us Gutless Wonders

Former Mayor Giddily Playing Mary Had A Little Lamb

Former Mayor Jeff Heyland was deliriously ecstatic when he called Tommy and 7 on the Big Show this morning to comment on King’s new website calling BurlingtonDerailed.com “a bunch of gutless wonders” while playing Mary Had A Little Lamb on his telephone keypad.

I guess that explains why he is referred to as “Former Mayor.”
02:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

King Sends Spike An Invitation To Join His Website

I guess in the Senator’s quest to include everyone in his blog, he wants jackasses to help make Burlington better. I think we are doing that now in helping pave the road to the future with a new City Council this fall devoid of his presence.
02:38:00 - SPIKE - No comments

We Salute Space Mission While Hoschek & King Go Nuts!!

I Swear, We Try to Be More Positive

These 2 Poor Examples Even Ruin Our Day Off

What is wrong with Hoschek and King? I guess neither of them will ever learn until they find themselves in a courtroom staring down the Judge’s gavel when their big mouths get them in a lawsuit.

King will explain Iowa law regarding illegal closed session meetings to the judge. Hoschek will be explaining his continued harassment of the CPC Director.

We originally wrote our headline with Jim Kelly’s name in the same line as these 2 clowns. They don’t deserve to have their names in the same line as Jim Kelly. They are part of Burlington’s disgrace.

They aren’t heroes. And they surely aren’t leaders.
02:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator King Launches Re-Election Website

King Breaks Own Website Rules – Tells Voters to Chastise Campbell

King Likens BurlingtonDerailed.com To Spread of Terrorism

All the taxpayers can get out their delete key. Senator King has decided he is coming out of the closet and is going to tell us all about whether the BNSF lawsuit is about jobs or about money and then explain all the of the lies he has told the public about the lawsuit and closed session meetings on his new website.

King said in an article in today’s paper “misinformation gets old…that’s how terrorism spreads…. nobody wants to take responsibility for their words or actions.” Have you ever looked in the mirror, Senator? You have never accepted responsibility for your actions in City matters. You just talk about it.

You have spoon fed this community 4 years of nonsense - one big mouth full at a time all the while rubber-stamping anything that your mentor, Bruce Slagle and Power shove under your nose.

The constitutional right for the public to privately air their concerns without the fear of retribution will not be infringed at BurlingtonDerailed.com. We aren’t going to disclose our readers’ names just to pacify King’s desire to know who wrote what letter.

If you can’t stand the heat Senator, get out the kitchen. We haven’t even lit the stove yet. And our contributors will gladly turn up the heat. Anonymously.
02:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 July

Beans For Everybody

Burlington Iowa's Jim Kelly Flies

All Photos and Data Courtesy Of NASA
09:29:32 - SPIKE - No comments

22 July

Anti Monkey Butt Powder Hits Burlington Butts

Keeps Butts Cool and Dry – And In This Heat, That’s Important!

Fred and 7 in their quest to find the products Burlingtonians need most in this 100ş weather had a caller on Thursday’s KCPS 1150 AM Big Show promote Anti Monkey Butt Powder. The finest powder for glutorial harmony.

So when you’ve had enough of the Burlington City Hall crowd, grab the big 6 pack or a convenient 6 oz. bottle and don’t let them see you sweat.

For answers to all your Anti Monkey Butt Powder questions, click here.

Coming To A Neighborhood Near You Soon.

Photo Courtesy of Antimonkeybutt.com
02:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

21 July

Original #3003 Whistle In 1978

Reader Sends Photo From 1978 Showing Correct Whistle in Proper Location

Is it a match?

22:59:02 - SPIKE - No comments

#3003 Whistle Has Returned

It looks like someone returned the whistle to the #3003 steam engine down at the depot sometime in the last 24-48 hours.

I just hope we got the whistle back that was taken and that nothing was broken or missing. Now tack weld it in place.

Good job somebody.
18:27:06 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Unprepared Again – Abstains From Vote

Hoschek Wants Other Supervisors To Overlook County Attorney’s Advice

At the meeting of the Des Moines County Supervisors on Tuesday, Supervisor Tim Hoschek was caught again, unprepared to make a decision.

Cady Insurance submitted a $22,024 bill to the supervisors for some unknown coverage that they have failed to adequately explain after the 2004 fiscal year ended June 30. Even though Supervisors Ed Blow and Bob Beck asked for an explanation, Cady has failed to provide sufficient information to the supervisors and Des Moines County Attorney Pat Jackson.

Hoschek abstained from the vote denying the claim even though he had all of the same information that the other supervisors had to form a decision. Including the recommendation from County Attorney Jackson that the claim should not be paid.

That should have been enough for Hoschek to form an intelligent opinion and vote with conviction to deny the claim. As always, Hoschek wanted more time.

Time for what? Even if Cady walked in with the documentation Hoschek thinks is going to magically appear, the deadline for the claim to be filed and approved has passed.

I just don’t know how the other supervisors deal with this incessant whining and the gutless indecision from Hoschek. If he can’t make a decision on a simple matter like this, what can we expect when he has to make a decision on something important like granting tax incentives to lure new businesses to the area?

For not being a Des Moines County property taxpayer, he sure has a warped sense of responsibility.
02:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 July

What Would Monthly Payments Save The City In Bond Payments?

What Did First 2 Years Interest Only Payments Cost Us For Bonds?

The City selected a biannual payment schedule for repayment of the $5,000,000 bond issue. If the City had selected a monthly payment schedule over the term of the bond, the savings would have been about $30,000.

That's a city employee's salary. That's a lot of money.

The City will only be making interest payments for the first 2 years. That is a significant cost.

I guess it's not significant when the city manager gets his fat pay raise and all the taxpayers get are the bills.
19:13:35 - SPIKE - No comments

What Did Those Bonds Cost The Burlington Taxpayers?

On Monday the Burlington City Council obligated the taxpayers to $5,000,000 in new bonds. Have you wondered what those bonds really cost the taxpayers?

We know that the City sold $5,000,000 in bonds at an average rate of 3.78% and they will make two payments per year. Each of the items (new fire truck, garbage truck, ambulance, street repair and auditorium rehab) account for a portion of the capital expenses. We don’t know the term of these bonds so we calculated 7-year, 10-year, 15-year and 20-year repayment periods just to get a feel for what these costs amount to.

7-Year Repayment Period
14 Payments
Payment amount: $409, 819.24
Total Interest Paid: $737,469.24
Total Amount Repaid: $5,737,469.36
Interest As Percentage of Principal: 14.749%

10-Year Repayment Period
20 Payments
Payment amount: $302,547.23
Total Interest Paid: $1,050,944.60
Total Amount Repaid: $5,737,469.36
Interest As Percentage of Principal: 21.019%

15-Year Repayment Period
30 Payments
Payment amount: $219,887.12
Total Interest Paid: $1,596,613.60
Total Amount Repaid: $6,596,613.60
Interest As Percentage of Principal: 31.932%

20-Year Repayment Period
40 Payments
Payment amount: $179,271.09
Total Interest Paid: $2,170,843.60
Total Amount Repaid: $7,170,843.60
Interest As Percentage of Principal: 43.417%
02:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 July

City Spends $5,000,000 Without Question

King Challenges Interest Rate and Speed Limit On Central Street

King, "I Guess The Answer Is Always As Much As You Can Get Away With"

Monday evening the Burlington City Council unanimously passed the sale of $5,000,000 in bonds to cover a myriad of things including a new fire truck, ambulance, garbage truck and money for Memorial Auditorium. Never mind we have a $1,000,000 budget deficit. All of it coming out of the taxpayers' pockets.

Former Councilman King questioned an employee from Piper Jaffray, the lowest bidder for the City's bond sale, about the City's interest rate. Instead of just pulling the guy aside and having it explained before the meeting, King wanted us to hear him explain how much he doesn't know about obligating the citizens for $5,000,000. Or how interest is calculated (that was worth the whole TV dinner). Or how much interest there is on $5,000,000 over an extended period of time. Or how profitable being in the bond business can be. "Let's open a bank," King said.

But the mind set behind his questions was made clear earlier in the evening during the call-in session. King responded to Councilwoman Mary Baker's question about the speed limit on Central Street at Valley.

King opined, "I guess the answer is always as much as you can get away with."

Seems like a very profound campaign motto for King and Edwards.
00:07:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 July

What Is Going On At The Local Paper?

Saturday's Paper Carries Friday Date

BNSF Lawsuit Story Relegated To Page 3 Lower Left Against The Fold

I guess things are hectic this summer at the local paper. A wrong date and an unreadable article, what is happening here?

Granted, the lawsuit filings are hard to write about. But even I could not make heads or tails out of Saturday's article.

At least we should be glad they aren't rerunning stories like they used to when they needed to fill space.

02:24:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 July

Burlington's Answer To BNSF Counterclaim

Something's Missing - Where's The Preponderance Of The Evidence?

What you will find different in the City's Answer to the railroad's Counterclaim from that of the railroad's Answer to the City's original claim, is the City doesn't cite any relevent case law to support their defense. Just a lot of irrelevent diatribe.

16:34:35 - SPIKE - No comments

BNSF Counterclaim Filed June 23, 2005

13:18:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 July

City Files Reply To Railroad’s Counterclaim Thursday

I Smell The City’s Goose Cooking

On Thursday, Burlington filed their answer to the BNSF’s counterclaim. It reads like a short novel. The only thing apparent is a fat case of wallet for Power and crew.

A lot of the filings found in civil lawsuits are done on a routine basis in an attempt to coerce the court that there really is a case worth trying. All kinds of issues are raised when the Defendant doesn’t really have a defense. Most of it is hopeless rhetoric aimed at making the client feel good.

Such is Burlington’s faltering position. Hopeless rhetoric reinforced by absurdity.

On July 8 we talked about preponderance of the evidence and its importance when combined with solid case law to win at trial. I mentioned that the City should be most concerned that “a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended.”

Well baby, that party boat is here. And Power doesn’t have an oar in the water. The boat isn't even in the water.

We’re going to post the entire filings for everyone to read later. Here are a few tidbits by paragraph referenced to the City’s Answer.

5. The City argued prior that the Iowa District Court had jurisdiction in this case. Now the City agrees that Federal court does have jurisdiction. What did that zaniness cost us?

7. The City now denies that the property in 1985 isn’t the same as the property they now claim in the lawsuit. Has anyone seen a rail yard moving around downtown?

8. The City now says it never sold the property to the railroad. Then what did the City do with the money?

15. The City admits that it resolved the dispute over certain portions of the real estate in question, but not all of it. Wouldn’t you want to resolve all of your differences at one time rather than let them fester for 20 more years?

16. Here’s where “a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended” (preponderance of the evidence) just put another hole in the City's rowboat. The written agreement is going to take precedence over what the City thinks they were doing in 1984.

20. And a few paragraphs later, BOOM, preponderance of the evidence strikes again.That dreaded written agreement punches another hole in the City rowboat.

22. The City denies that the railroad is using their property for railroad purposes. Have they seen the trains and railroad cars? Big shiny orange and yellow engines?

Power and his crew will all sit and laugh about us picking their Answer apart in a non-legal manner. But when the bones are scattered after trial in April, there won’t be any meat left for the buzzards to pick. Power and his legal fees will have eaten all there is.

23:48:10 - SPIKE - No comments

Is King Still In Diapers?


Councilman King has a lot of guts to call anyone, including you a Jackass.
His behavior is so immature for someone that is a city council member and
representing this city. He'll grow up someday! Is he still in diapers?

14:55:11 - SPIKE - No comments

We're Way Past A Sit Down With These People

City Staff, Council and City Attorney Work Best In Shadows


Long time reader, first time writer! :)

I just wanted to let you know that I agree with some of the things you write. However, I was wondering...have you ever spoken with the Fire Chief, City Manager, or Council members about any of your concerns or do you only post them on this site hoping they will see them?

Thanks for taking your precious time to give us another viewpoint!



Even though we post our concerns, believe me, they read this website. That's why everyone is in such a tizz. They're just waiting for the other shoe to fall to find out whether or not their name is on it.

We post almost all of our information for several reasons. First, the concern for retribution. It became very apparent over the last few years that the people we criticize have been more than capable of vindictive behavior. And they have been vindictive and enticed others to be vindictive. We don't post crackpot diatribe.

Several people have written to us suggesting that our anonymity is best because if people knew who all was behind this website we would incur the wrath of their members. That's a concern even though we extensively track all of our emails.

Since we have seen abuse of power by several of the parties to our posts, we know they are fully capable of creating unfounded problems. They freely spread rumors and heresay just to try to discredit our postings.

Equally important, is the fact that these people have transgressed various lines that are not going to be resolved by discussion. They have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar and they know it. The public needs to know it and I have no confidence that the local paper will adequately cover the story, if at all.

Example: In the matter of the closed session council meetings the council violated a state law. I would guess that after the railroad lawsuit is over, the State Ombudsman will come looking for the answers as to why they did that.

City Manager Slagle and City Attorney Power acted as if they didn't know that the law existed. That's their job to know the law. They didn't do their job. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The City Council blindly followed Slagle and Power without question. No one even confronted them on the disregard for the closed session law. They just go golfing and drinking together and the lines of authority get blurred.

I believe these people are experts at deceiving the public and hiding the truth. As long as we can motivate the electrons, we're going to keep hammering at them.

13:24:46 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator King Wants To Explain

No Apology - Spike Still A Jackass

I Try, I Swear, I Really Do Try – King Is Just Never Going To It

Senator King writes:
Subject: My Mouth

I just wanted to let you know, the reason I did not know the information being read was from someone other than Spike (aka: Jackass) is because I had just tuned in and I assumed it was authored by you. I admit to the error in popping off my mouth before knowing for sure the entire story. You may now crucify me for it. I would epect nothing less. However, I figured you, of all people, would want to know the "truth".

One other point, regarding the entry from "MD". I know for a fact that very few "qualified" people chose to run for City Council, at least in part, because they do not wish to be subjected to the criticisms of this site, The Hawk Eye, or others. I have spoken with no fewer than 6 people who made comments to that effect. I assure you, the things I read on this site and in the paper more often than not, do not make me feel "good".

Thank you for your time.

-Chris King

PS - I don't hop on this site first thing every morning. Usually it is only after I use the restroom. :)

I guess you leave me almost speechless. But not quite and this is getting real old.

You almost had credibility for your apology until you now claim that your “jackass” comment was a knee-jerk reaction to the letter Fred read on KCPS’s Big Show. That’s one of your problems. Your repeated open displays of contempt for those that might criticize you.

Like many other times, you were too quick to assume the facts surrounding the letter. I have told you and others what the 1st 3 letters in assume are.

I didn’t hear you say “jackass” on your KBUR talk show visit Wednesday. So why would you get on KCPS and do it?

I don’t care about what you think. I care about what you know and what you do for my benefit as a citizen of this community. And we don't run this website to make you feel "good."

If your 6 possible candidates want to run for office they shouldn’t fear seeing their names up on this website if they do the job the voters elect them to do. Everybody gets a fair and equal opportunity. Even if they have trouble doing the job, they have nothing to fear from us.

The local paper is another thing. You’re going to get it from them whenever you do something they don’t agree with, understand or take time to research. They thrive on controversy. They are in the business of selling advertising, not news and haven't been for a long time.

If your 6 candidates lie to the public, conceal the truth from the public, let the city get involved in fiasco lawsuits, lose scope of their duties, never challenge the City staff, rubber stamp everything staff wants, become belligerent to their constituents or call citizens “jackasses” on a radio program, then they can absolutely expect to see their names on this website. Just like you have seen your name here.

You’re not in this job to make you feel good. You’re in this job to make me and the rest of the citizens happy. When you do that then you can take pride in the job you’ve done. That’s the only real reward of public life.

Otherwise, don’t tell me anything. I’m tired of hearing it. Learn to listen.

02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

13 July

King's Apology Questioned

Burlington Has Good Things To Offer


I believe it is correct for Councilman King to apologize for his immature outburst towards Fred on KCPS. However, after he was orally spanked by some of the callers and former Mayor Sandell, he decided to apologize, but told Fred, Sandell and the listeners that he (King) thought the letter was from Spike on Burlingtonderailed.

Fred was very clear when he read the letter on KCPS, that it was to Spike from GP giving his opinion and thoughts on the low water pressure issue. If King was listening at all, he should have known the letter was not from Spike.

My point is, I don't think King is being truthful in his apology. He called the writer and citizen a Jackass for writing to Spike and not contacting King. Is he not being truthful by saying he thought the letter was from Spike? I do agree with King, that citizens should be able to contact their elected officials with concerns. Some of them don't seem to want to listen too well, unless you agree with their viewpoints.

We do have many good things going on in this community. The RecPlex is one of the finest facilities in the Midwest and it has an economic impact every weekend. Community field is a fine asset and anyone that hasn't been there yet, go see it. Our river front looks good and downtown partners are doing their best to improve the downtown. The Chamber and GGB have done a nice job and have been successful with the business park. The Burlingtonderailed web site needs to point out these things too.

Our streets are nothing to be proud of. They are falling apart. Citizens want some good basic services.

Lately, we always hear at budget time that there is no money and services must be cut or prices raised. Then after the budget is completed, the pay raises are handed out with our money and we get a property tax increase, garbage tag increase, water/sewer increase. This should be a concern.

The local government and school district are putting more financial strain on everybody, just so a select few can have more money for higher wages, pensions and health insurance. Some of these people in office that are supposed to be representing us, don't seem to care. This is what happens when we all sit back and just take it.

We have some council members that are more concerned about being drinking and golfing buddies with the city manager and his staff. This is not a good practice and they become ineffective at being good council members and doing the job that they were elected to do.

They are not smart enough to know that Slagle and his bunch want to be golfing buddies so he can control them. They become too good of friends and that has an impact on their (council) decisions.



Your letter hits a lot of things that deserve attention.

I thought King's apology was contrived. When King spoke with Fred, he first said our posting was still on BurlingtonDerailed.com "just scroll down,"(King said to Fred) then moments later King said, "I haven't checked it (Derailed) this morning." I'll bet you the first thing King does each morning is jump to Derailed to see if he is the subject of any story. Especially the day after his belligerent outburst on KCPS.

And there was no sincerity in King's voice. He wanted us to hear what he had to say. That's been one of his major faults. He always wants to tell us something. His job is to listen to the citizens and then go get something done to the best of his abilities.

Burlington does have some really good things going for it as outlined in your letter. I think the RecPlex is a good thing. The City just needs to properly account for it when it does its budget.

We need to have more people email us with the good things. We can't cover it all. We have a basket of slippery eels in City Hall that need monitoring because they don't like being in the basket.

Email us your thoughts. Email your friends. Get the word out.

We can make Burlington better. One vote at a time.

11:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Reader Calls For Pro Growth Agenda From New Leaders

Apathy Has Hit Record High

Dear Mr. B.D. Railed,

I very much share your interest in a new and better city council. I read with regret of Tim Scott’s and his janitor, Garry Thomas’ plans to run again for council. It seems as if our council attracts the unemployed and aimless rather than those with a plan for growth. I have nothing personal against those people, but we can certainly do better.

We desperately need a new pro-growth agenda for Burlington. I view with great sadness the school district planning for continued decline in population. Everyone here is busy planning for Burlington‘s death.

We need entrepreneurial people with experience in administration and personnel supervision. We need people who are about teamwork rather than lone wolf types.

I know that the problem is that these quality people are busy with work and family.

Should we have a pro-growth/reform civic organization with the express purpose of recruiting quality candidates? This organization could then function as a campaign committee and then as a support group.

It is very sad how few citizens pay attention to the activities of the council, school board, Chamber, SCC. Of course, that is exactly how the power elites want it.



You raise very valid points. We need significant, major changes. But it is hard to get good people willing to subject themselves to the controversy-based local paper that has shaped everyone's mind so far as to reach total apathy saturation. If they could get by the paper, then they have to face off with Power and Slagle that are only shopping for rubberstampers.

It will take candidates that realize they will be in charge of the city and are willing to smack these boneheads with their shoe when they don't comprehend who the boss is.

Tough times demand tough measures. And tough times are here.

09:27:00 - SPIKE - No comments

King Changes Mind – Only Spike Is A Jackass

King Attempts Feeble Apology to Our Reader - But Neglects My Vote

No Respect Shown For Citizens By King

Tuesday morning Senator King tried to make amends for his belligerent outbursts Monday on KCPS’s Big show by apologizing to everyone but Spike.

Listeners heard from Fred, Seven and former Burlington Mayor John Sandell as they tried to impart reasonable thinking upon the Senator. It really didn’t sink in. They explained to him any complaint, regardless of its source or method of exposure, should be addressed. All I heard was King’s usual yeah-but instead of listening to the voters. Yes Senator, even Fred, Seven and Sandell are voters.

In the course of this conversation BurlingtonDerailed.com received some comments about the way we conduct business on this website.

It was said we are “too harsh, not elegant, controversial” and have a “grudge against the city.”

We didn’t start this website to pussyfoot around being a politician, telling our readers whatever they need to hear to feel good just to gather votes. We don’t sell advertising even though some of our listeners have made money from the controversy this website has generated.

We’re going to continue to uncover and expose anything we think the citizens and taxpayers in Burlington need to know. We aren't going to rely on the wannabe son of the Burlington Shopper to tell the story. Our favorite targets of criticism are those that need the most criticism.

The targeted elected leaders don’t do their job for the people that elected them. And they don’t accept any responsibility for their actions. A school burns, the City has no water pressure and former Councilman King’s only concern was his mistaken belief that BurlingtonDerailed.com had taken him to task. Do we need another school to burn before he gets the message?

So, for Chris King to offer his feeble apology now is just too late for him to escape our vise grips. And the pressure is going to continue on all of them including Edwards, Ell, Slagle, Power, Hoschek, Tapp and Courtney.

We’re no different than Crime Stoppers. Except we don’t pay any rewards. Our reward comes from exposing these people to the citizens for what they are. And contrary to King’s ideas that what we say is slanderous, what else can he say in election year to misdirect the voters.

King needs to learn a lesson from Mark Twain. “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly and I did. I said I didn't know.” from Life on the Mississippi

Then apologize to all of the citizens and taxpayers of Burlington that he called "jackasses."

After that, go find out where the whistle is off the #3003.

02:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

12 July

Former Councilman King Says His Constituents "Aren't Jack"

Burlingtonians Need To Heed Chris King's Mantra For Reelection

Everybody in Burlington should heed Chris King's mantra for reelection. Especially those of you named Jack.

During King's beligerent "jackass" tirade on KCPS's Big Show yesterday, King said city residents having a problem that don't bring them to him directly, "aren't Jack." I guess it wouldn't matter if you took your complaint to any other council member.

This is just the type of behavior that exemplifies the attitude of King, Edwards, Ell, Slagle and Power. They don't care what the voters have to say. As King so eloquently stated, we "aren't Jack."

We may not be Jack and we may be jackasses in their eyes. But we can all vote.

And we're all going to vote to teach you a lesson in manners. Don't sass the boss and we're your boss.

And if you don't like that, quit.
02:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

11 July

King’s “Jackass” Statement Can’t Dismiss City's Potential Liability

Responsibility For A Portion of The Horace Mann Loss Could Shift To City

As crazy as King’s “jackass” nonsense is, it has illuminated another serious consideration. Since the City was slow to respond to the Horace Mann fire because of a known water pressure problem, it might open a serious discussion between the school system’s insurance company and the city's insurance company.

Residents notified the City of serious water pressure problems. The City apparently failed to act even though they knew it affected Horace Mann’s fire protection capability.

If the insurance company had known of the existing water pressure problems, they probably would have rated Horace Mann in a higher insurance category or maybe even denied coverage altogether. Insurance carriers take great umbrage with inadequate water supplies. Especially at schools.

I think a member of the City Council should ask the Iowa Attorney General to conduct an independent investigation to see if any there has been any negligence on the part of the city staff. Someone is responsible and they should be held accountable.
18:00:27 - SPIKE - No comments

King’s “Jackass” Comment Just Might Be A Cover Up

Former Councilman Asked Senator King About Water Problem

According to GP’s letter to BurlingtonDerailed.com, former Councilman Jeff Heyland brought the low water pressure problem in the vicinity of Horace Mann to former Councilman King’s attention several weeks ago.

If that’s true, why did King say to Fred and 7 on KCPS’s Big Show this morning, “lots of it (GP’s letter and our reply) is factually wrong? And I’m not going to get into it right now because he (GP) didn’t come to me (King) with the problem.”

When Fred continued to quiz King, King became more belligerent towards Fred.

What is King covering up? Or, whom is he covering for? Slagle? Can Power sue somebody - just anybody?
13:38:25 - SPIKE - No comments

Former Councilman Chris King's Thoughts On Complaining Citizen

Senator King Has Inserted His Foot As Far As It Can Go

King labels local citizen and BurlingtonDerailed.com writer "jackass."

There is more to the buffoon story. Stay tuned. No, 7, buffoon, not bassoon.
12:38:47 - SPIKE - No comments

Councilman King Calls Voters "Jackasses" On KCPS Morning Show

KCPS's Fred and 7 Uncover The Senator's Irrational Immaturity

Are All Voters Jackasses? Or Just Some Of Us?

No Apology Can Affect His Demise At The Polls Now

I was listening to Fred and Seven on the KCPS Big Show this morning. Fred read a letter that was written to Burlingtonderailed concerning the low water pressure issue in the Horace Mann area. Although I don't know any facts on this issue, I have heard that there is a problem in this area. Apparently, according to this person, some neighbors have voiced their opinion about the low water pressure in the past.

Councilman King called in and criticized Fred for reading the letter. King should have had some information on this issue, but he said he didn't really know anything about it. He should have had some information by now because Jeff Heland asked him a few weeks ago what he was going to do about this. Heland, a former council member told King that it was important for this issue to be checked out. King blew his top with Fred and said that the citizens that commented but didn't come to him were jackasses!

If there is a problem, the city should not try to cover it up. They should be honest with their citizens. If they don't have the money to fix it, they should say so. Should we be surprised? We have no money for services, but lots of money for higher wages. This council is good at giving other people's money away. I'm voting for Scott! Thanks KCPS



I have a few preliminary thoughts. I will post more after I listen to the KCPS Morning Show recording.

I get criticized for occasionally clearly defining my descriptive opinions of Senator Chris King, "Lost Keys" Ell and "Leaderless Edwards" skills, lack of ability and moral backbone or any backbone for that matter.

I am not surprised by this immature outburst at all. Chris King is never informed although he would like us to believe that he is. King could have read the local advertiser (not Shopper Spree) and would have gotten more information than he feigns ignorance of now.

Chris King was recruited to run for council by Bruce Slagle. Slagle needed a rubber stamper. He got it. And less.

10:46:47 - SPIKE - No comments

10 July

Did Horace Mann Have To Burn?

"Low Water Pressure A Major Obstacle To Fire Fighting" Firefighting Handbook 101

Catastrophic Fire Equipment Failure Also To Blame

Children and Neighbors Were In Harm's Way

Why has the city council and the Hawkeye been silent about the Horace Mann Middle School fire? All the residents in the area were well aware how bad the water pressure is in this area. Residents had signed a petition to get it fixed long ago but the city council did nothing.

The word on the street is that BFD could not get enough water from the hydrant to do anything worthwhile. It wasn't until the WB Fire truck arrived 20-minutes later with water to fight the all ready out of control fire.

Did Slagle's inaction on this matter warrant him a pay raise?


I can say without reservation that what I heard on the scanner the afternoon of the Horace Mann fire was of great concern. There WAS no real water pressure for quite a while. Fire crews were severly hindered by the lack of water pressure and volume. Hoses were laid long distances to get water.

Then there was the huge issue of one fire truck taking a total dump that afternoon. I wonder how that happens. If our over paid City Manager had established a preventative maintenance program for the city equipment, it seems that this type of failure would be far less likely to happen.

Everyone has complained about the low water pressure in that neighborhood for years. Bruce Slagle has never done anything about it. The local advertising paper (not Shopper Spree) raised all of the controversy they can to sell papers then, so now they don't care anymore. Unless there's more controversy.

To answer the real question, Bruce Slagle did not deserve a pay raise given his lackluster Peter Principle performance and the city's chronic financial position. Mayor Edwards' leaderless comments clearly illustrate how gullible they all are.

"We'd have to pay that amount of money just to find a new city manager." What a pile of crap. The city hired Slagle for less money. We can find someone else well qualified to take his place that might be more concerned about infrastructure and fire protection; instead of his golf game with "Lost Keys" and filling the city council with a bunch of rubber stampers.

What we all need to put in perspective is that the City knowingly put our children (and neighbors) at great risk by not providing sufficient water pressure and volume. And they have done that for a long time without any accountability.

Clean house this fall. Vote Edwards, King and Baker out of City Hall. Before we have another big fire in Burlington and get caught flat footed, out of water and broken down.

14:43:00 - SPIKE - No comments

08 July

Preponderance Of The Evidence

The Ugly Side Of Civil Law – No Reasonable Doubt Here

When Burlington finally gets its day in federal court it will be up to City Attorney Scott Power to make a strong case to the judge or jury.

Burlington made the complaint against the railroad so Burlington has to clearly state their claims and present evidence supported with relevant case law to show that using the preponderance of the evidence, the judge or jury would rule in the city’s favor.

As defined by law.com
preponderance of the evidence
n. the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence.

Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended.

What should be real troubling for our city leaders is contained within that definition, “or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended.”

I’ve seen nothing yet that remotely resembles a case for the City. Let alone a case that the City can win. The City can’t present a preponderance of the evidence to make any case other than paying Power's legal bills.

And I think the lid will come off this mess when the court gets to the 1985 Agreement. That’s preponderance of the evidence.

Again, something Burlington doesn’t have.

02:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 July

Remedial Course In Railroad Land Grants

For Power, Slagle, “Lost Keys,” Senator King and “Quiet As A Mouse” Mayor Mike Edwards” That Missed Our Prior Post

No More Excuses

Our misguided “leaders” and their so-called “legal counsel” seemed to have forgotten our post from January 5, 2005. Never mind the 1985 agreement and its implications. Let’s just review land grants in brief.

From the Association of American Railroads:
Railroad land grants were used in the western expansion to help develop the cities and towns.

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

Railroads were required to compensate the government (Burlington) 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 (including Burlington) 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."

The AAR goes on to say, “Everywhere else in the economy, after an asset is transferred and paid for, all subsequent appreciation (or depreciation) in value accrues to the new owner.”

If our city leaders and legal counsel don’t get it now, they never will. This is real simple stuff unfortunately fueled by Slagle’s greed to cover his $1,000,000 budget debacle.

No more excuses. Now, or in the future when Edwards slips in the council race at the last minute trying to avoid having Spike’s crew exposing his lack of leadership skills to the voters.

Make sure you tell Edwards and King at the voting booth. Vote No!! to King and Edwards.

21:22:10 - SPIKE - No comments

06 July

City Manager's Pay In Question

Let's Compare Apples To Apples


I went through the cities in Iowa that have close to the same population as Burlington but I was unable to find out what their city managers earn.

Below are the results and I would like any information you may have on where I can find out what each city manager earns, provided the city has a city manager form of government:

Burlington 25966
Clinton 27437
Fort Dodge 25917
Marion 28756
Marshalltown 25860
Mason City 28274
Ottumwa 24697

These are the only cities close to Burlington's population's from 2003.

Our city council always states that our city manager is under paid relative to cities of comparable size in Iowa. I know there are other factors but I just want to know if our city council is telling the truth where they mention, comparable size cities.

Thanks Spike,
17:50:45 - SPIKE - No comments

05 July

Reader Sees King Clearly

Let King's Past Behavior Guide You In The Voting Booth

Chris King probably means well. He will probably be on his best behavior in the coming months before the election. Voters need to remember what his behavior on this city council has been in the past 3 1/2 years.

He hasn't treated citizens that have spoken before the council with much respect. He has been immature on numerous occasions. His language and disrespectful comments in public, all in an attempt to be funny and draw attention to himself, should be remembered when we enter the voting booth.

He has forgotten who he represents. He has forgotten who put him in office.

King doesn't have much chance of winning, unless nobody runs. He is so full of himself it's almost funny.

It will be interesting to watch him take credit for the new library. I'm sure he will try and take some credit for the water park at Pzazz, which we all know the brains, finances and vision were from Randy Winegard. They were not from the city manager or any of the council. They rode his coattail. They simply offered some tax incentives as they did the motel south of town.

It's funny how the politicians like to take credit for some of these things. Citizens need to pay attention and then get out and vote.

14:40:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Where Are Power's May and June Bills?

Costs Considerably Higher Than Reported

Last week the local paper(no longer a newspaper) reported the costs of the BSNF lawsuit. What was interesting is the lag time for Power to submit his bills to the City.

Power has not submitted his billing for the months of May and June. It seems to me there are certain deadlines for claim submittal so that they can be included in year end numbers.

We'll be back with answers.
13:05:02 - SPIKE - No comments

04 July

KCPS’s Big Show Crew Grills Senator King

Fred, Tommy and 7 Make More Sense Than Babbling Buffoon

On Friday, Senator King announced his bid for re-election on KCPS’s Big Show. I spent the last 45 minutes trying to decipher Senator King’s political platform for his run for re-election. I am sorry to say I wasted 45 minutes of my holiday weekend. All I could hear was the Senator’s relentless yapping.

Apparently, the Senator likens himself to Superman regarding the railroad lawsuit, truth, justice and the American way. It was more like slogging mushy, milk-soaked Wheaties around your bowl.

The most intelligent remarks came from KCPS’s Tommy. Tommy tried to pry King’s idea for the rationale and economics behind filing the lawsuit. King appeared stunned and offended that someone could out figure the council’s charade or question his "Save Us Oh Valiant One" motives.

But 7 hit the nail on the head. “There won’t be a scrap of meat left on your bones,” 7 said when speaking of the City’s chance for winning the lawsuit.

I particularly liked King’s idea that the city didn’t need a railroad specialty attorney to litigate against the BNSF. King said that he “didn’t believe in outside experts.”

King said, “Power is a good attorney.” Senator, if Power is such a good attorney, why has Power made so many mistakes? Why are we litigating over matters settled in 1985? Why did Power have the council meet in closed session to avoid Iowa law? Why did Power lie about the motives behind the lawsuit? Or, were you too busy telling us to pay attention?

King's comments clearly a make him a good witness for the railroad when he launched into discussion about “protecting the agreements.” King clearly stated he wanted to protect the rights afforded by the “agreements.” He’s just real confused about whose rights he’s protecting. Senator, have you actually read the agreements? Do you understand them? Or, did you have Power "interpret" them for you?

We don’t need somebody so gullible on Burlington’s City Council. Vote “No” to Senator King at the primary. He didn’t make sense Friday, he hasn't made sense before and he won’t make sense in November.

14:59:27 - SPIKE - No comments

01 July

Senator King's Field Of Dreams

Vote No! In November To Senator King - Send Him Packing

On KCPS this morning Fred and Tommy grilled Senator King about the BNSF lawsuit. It became abundantly clear why Burlington is in the middle of this lawsuit.

Senator King has absolutely no grasp of the legal ramifications of this lawsuit. King proclaimed doing research. He didn't do much or he wouldn't have made the statements he did. The Senator better get a job detasseling corn.

We're following up on this interview as time permits. We will keep everyone posted on King's nonsense.

10:22:50 - SPIKE - No comments

#3003's Whistle At Old Threshers - Was It Broken In Removal?

Somebody Removed The Whistle

Thanks for the privacy, here is some more info on the whistle:

Last summer a volunteer at the Midwest Central RR in Mt. Pleasant asked for permission to gain access to the #3003. Without any further questions, the city granted a key to the gate. This same person removed the whistle (possibly without permission) and it was on the #9 Shay engine at Old Threshers during last years reunion. It was discovered through the grapevine that it was broken in the process.

A local railroad historian spoke with the city planner and advised that it needs to be returned as it is very valuable and has historical significance to local people in this community.

Obviously, the city doesn't care, as it can be clearly seen that it is still missing. Maybe it's in someone's personal collection by now. The city needs to tighten down and enact a sign in/sign out process for anything removed from the engine. Who knows what else is missing by now?



I hope that the whistle wasn't broken. That would be a travesty to local history. And irreplaceable.

Why did the whistle go to Old Threshers? How did it wind up on their engine? Did anyone test that whistle before applying full steam pressure to it? Lots of questions.

I cannot believe that the City would just give the whistle to anyone for any reason without clearly written intentions, signed documents and photographs to cover the transaction. Surely, the City has records of this transaction.

We had heard that there was an effort to remove asbestos and other minor cosmetic restoration. I know that I personally saw a service truck from the asbestos abatement company in Dubuque parked alongside the engine.

The whistle does not belong on the #9 Shay engine at Old Threshers except for the actual operational meet in September IF it is in good mechanical condition. Otherwise, it belongs in a locked box or TACK WELDED to the #3003.

However good the intentions were of the people doing the work, there are people that would destroy those good intentions with nefarious activity. If that whistle has been broken it needs to be returned as is, no questions asked.

Then the City needs to contact a professional to restore the whistle to its original condition. Then it needs to be tack welded back where it belongs - on #3003.

We also heard that someone wants to restore the #3003 to operating condition. If you have about $1,500,000 to do it and about $100,000/year for insurance, then you need the blessing of the BNSF to operate it.

I don't think that is coming anytime in this century.

10:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Whistle Is Missing Off Steam Engine At The Depot

Where Did The 3003's Whistle Go? Has It Been Stolen?

a cloaked writer:
I am sure not many people have noticed, but the steam whistle on the #3003 at the depot is missing!

I wonder if the city sold it to pay for the railroad lawsuit? If "Lost Keys" Ell had anything to do with it we won't know what happened for 7 months.

We'll dog this. You have our assurance any information about this will be kept strictly confidential. Like most donated steam engines, the BNSF probably still owns that engine. I wonder what they would say.
08:29:40 - SPIKE - No comments