Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 December

"Losers Attract Losers"


I was searching derailed posts and find May 4, 2006 most memorable.

"Like Trump said, “Losers attract losers. And I don’t like losers.” We have a whole bunch of losers. And they are running amok in City Hall."

Pretty well sums it up.

Fed Up

15:45:32 - SPIKE - No comments

Power Canonized - Accomplices Go Free


The article this morning about Scott Power made me sick. I was sicker when I searched Derailed to find the account of his lies, deceit and squandering of the taxpayers’ money. When I searched other records I find Power’s behavior is not so stellar including allegations of his misuse of his notary seal to file false documents in court.

If I were a loser at work like this guy I would be fired in the parking lot. For the city council to tolerate his total lack of job performance is explicit approval of Power’s deceit and corruption.

Power cost this city well over a million dollars in the railroad lawsuit and the city is getting what it deserves; screwed by the Elected Eunuchs in city hall. Instead of booting this guy, they canonize him.

This city will never be anything other than a doormat for jackasses like Power and his accomplices run by drunks, amateurs and misfits that tell us one thing to get elected and then fall flat on their ass when it’s time to deliver.

Keep up the good work Spike. We will take this city back from these morons. One day at a time.


I only have 2 comments today. No credible attorney EVER submits a lump sum invoice. And only disingenuous Mindless Lemming Schmucks pay a lump sum attorney bill.


15:32:34 - SPIKE - No comments

30 December

Lost Keys Ell Golfing


Lost Keys Ell couldn't show up for two council meetings because he either couldn't find the keys to the van or gas prices have gone beyond his reach.

But he found enough time and money to go golfing in Mississippi.


02:00:52 - SPIKE - No comments

Answers For School Confusion


Confused brought up a good question relating to the swapping of the alternative school(at Washington) and North Hill School for the upcoming school year.

Possible answer, the Alternative High School only requires a place for free day care to be provided and easy access to leave school property for a smoke. We need to keep graduation rates up under No Child Left Behind/Every child reads so we don't lose that Government funding.

I would assume the move is for the parents, teachers, and students of North Hill. The thought process being, how can we teach effectively while they are constructing a new school in close proximity?

Parking would be eliminated, access extremly limited(for busing), and a playground of heavy construction equipment, and construction debris for the 300+ children during recess. And, most recently the structural integrity of North Hill. Which also begs the question - how sound is Washington?

A better question is, why isn't the alternative High School at the High School? How many kids are in attendance at the Alternative School? Does it make sense to have an entire building for a handful of students? If so, then why didn't we house the school at the old Central Ave school?


Or, is it because we don't care as much about the attention span of the Alternative High School students as we are the grade school kids?

Now I'm confused. I need some liquid administration. It's the only kind that works and pays a dividend.


01:57:50 - SPIKE - No comments

Just Another Quick Blight Thought!


Just wondering how the manor can be so blighted it the city inspectors issued rental permits. If the place was that run down and blighted as the God all mighty Slagle says, wouldn't the city have made the landlords bring the property up to code?


So, are you saying the Manor was good enough blight to live in? But now it's not?


01:52:46 - SPIKE - No comments

Is Burlington A Real Tourist Destination?


In case your readers fail to recognize the difference between tourist towns and non-tourist towns please view the comparison photos attached. One is obviously a tourist town while the other should focus on jobs and stop pretending it's something it isn't.

Can Burlington really compete with a real tourist environment to support its tax needs?


Would You Travel To Be Here?

Or Here?

01:47:51 - SPIKE - No comments

29 December

What in the World?

Spike -

I don't know if you caught this in the Sunday 12/24 Hawk Eye story regarding the falling bricks at North Hill School:

In the fall, School Board members agreed to use North Hill Elementary School as a temporary location for the Burlington Alternative High School while a new North Hill Elementary is built on adjacent ground. The alternative school has been housed in the former Washington Elementary School building,

The Washington building will be used during construction by North Hill students for the 2007–08 and 2008–09 school years.

So they will move the North Hill elementary kids to Washington School where the alternative students currently study and move the alternative students to North Hill? What am I missing in this chess game? Why is it necessary to have this swap take place?


It's just Higher Education! We couldn't begin to understand; it's an administration thing- it takes more administration. Don't ask common sense questions again!

You tell me the nuts are all falling beside the tree and I’ll show you they’re all nuts and what they can do with the tree.


05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

School Superintendent Too Chummy With No-Win Power


I see our overpaid school boss calls no-win Power by his first name. Ain't that a chummy little wad.


04:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What of Slagle's Blight Study?

No Blight = No Blight Study = Lies

When the City of Burlington pulled a Sudatenland on the Manor, Herr Slagle told us the Manor was 75% blighted. Slagle wanted to reassure the public the blight requirement of the new state law restricting land confiscation by government was being met in the Manor. We were promised a study proving the Manor was 75% blight.

What became of Slagle's blight study? Did I miss it? Not that it makes any difference in the City's scheming to remove low income housing from the approaches to Mr. Big's new casino.

The interesting thing about a blight report on the Manor is how they would go about declaring any area they wish to confiscate in the future as blighted. If the rich and powerful of Burlington wish a neighborhood destroyed for their viewing pleasure, it would be nice to know how their servants at City Hall will go about it.


No blight = no blight study. That was just more of Slagle’s famous smoke and mirror deflection, lies and evasion maneuvers. Jimmy Olson forgets about the details and Slagle just skates.


04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Local Government a Reflection of the Decay


Local government is a reflection of the community it governs. This is certainly true in Burlington and Des Moines County.

Most of those born here with brains and ambition are now elsewhere. Who remains? Largely the old and the uneducated. There is insufficient economic energy to retain, let alone attract, the brightest and the best. The elected political leadership reflects it.

A drunk for a Mayor. A County Board of Supervisors now dominated by a mouth and a moron. The local masses have spoken and elected jackasses.

The result compounds the decay. Union thugs with elected titles vowing to get even with those their small minds perceived as responsible, brought you the BNSF lawsuit disaster. What a reason for outsiders to never do business in Burlington.

For all their class warfare rantings, the local elected idiots never challenge the local inbred elite. They never look at closer to home for the cause of the rot.

How many people have been able to gamble their way to prosperity? Has any elected official in this town had the balls to tell Randy Winegard gambling will not be underwritten with taxpayers’ money?

As long as the majority keep demanding the past be perpetuated by whatever pipe dream sounds plausible, fools will run the political system and the decay will continue to accelerate.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Get Rid Of The Whole Bunch!


Just what way do we go about getting rid of the bunch including our over paid legal idiot? I am not even sure we could remove them from office if we wanted to.

I would say start with Slagle as he cost a ton of cash with no return. Can anyone explain the removal process to a average tax paying person?


There are very compelling arguments about Slagle, Edwards, Ell and Power knowingly lying to the taxpayers. Edwards’ Burger King sleep over could be grounds for his fitness to remain in office.

Removal is tough. Recall may demand a bond to be posted before the court would hear the arguments.

There is also a way to sue the city for not disclosing the financial details of Power’s bills. A lady here in Iowa just sued a small town for not disclosing the financial details for some questionable city transactions. She won and the city had to pay the legal fees (doesn’t that sound familiar).

All we have to do is be patient. They are going to screw up. And then we pounce.


04:37:00 - SPIKE - No comments

40 Seconds in Denver Snow

These webcam photos are 40 seconds apart. That was mighty fine driving for the car going the wrong way westbound on Colfax. By the way, snow removal costs from last week's snow storm at Denver International Airport was $12 million dollars.

03:55:22 - SPIKE - No comments

28 December

Eminent Domain Shopping Center Contract


Slagle was to have a contract the first of November, then the end of November, then two weeks ago, then the end of December, now January 15th. He won't have it then either.

The lawyer meter is running all this time. Should we trust any of these guys anymore?

The manor property purchases went well at first. The easy ones go down easy. The next batch won't be as easy as they thought. Wait and see!

No TIF dollars will come in to the city until the buildings are up and the tax statements are received. That could be 2 or 3 years.


Would a bank do this deal? Would they loan you money for no reason?

Hell no they wouldn’t and why should we?

Slagle has no credibiity. Remember the railroad lawsuit. Was it about jobs or money?


05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Another Perspective of Burlington's Future

Hi Spike

What is the future for Burlington? I am an average guy and I think I know what an average guy likes. And one thing I like is what SF has wrote on your site about all of the community elected heads who make the decisions that affect all of us.

It seems the heads have been making decisions that benefit the haves at the have not’s expense, how else would you explain $50 million in city debt, increased taxes, decreased services, streets and buildings falling down, The city looks like skid row, The school system is God awful, low paying jobs for the rest of the have not's.

But I do want to look at the glass as being half full. We do have a casino, a library, three golf courses, too many to count restaurant's and an abundance of retirement condos.

But it does not seem like we can get decent jobs.

Jobs that will retain our youth and give them a decent living wage. That is what is missing and the heads know this but they work around this situation instead of focusing on this alone.

If they had spent $5 million on this instead of a strip mall for the haves they would be repaid back 100 times what they are going to be paid back from a mall.

Bad decisions from incompetent, arrogant and ignorant people we have as elected heads are the problem. They were elected because they are part of an organized clique of people who have loud voices; call people nattering nay bobs and negative people when we say something that is only pertaining to common sense.

I think the cliques are associated with the rich crowd and if Burlington wants to survive they need to get rid of this bunch and all of its cronies and elect average JOES who care about the city and their neighbors and not just the haves and their CLIQUES.

Thanks Spike.

04:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Lost Keys Is Still Lost


Why doesn't Ell just resign from city council. He missed another meeting. I don't count attendance by telephone as meeting the citizen's needs for representation.

If he is sick he should tell us he is sick. If he is on a golf vacation he needs to come home.

He hasn't been in city hall in over a month.


He can't find the keys to his van.


04:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Honesty & Integrity


I read the articles about Ed Blow and Hoschek's sour grapes. Sour grapes because Hoschek knows he has no integrity, ethics, morals and is dishonest.


04:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 December

Bear No Responsibility - Call For The Ambulance


I believe in every instance of a request for emergency medical care the responding police officers should request an ambulance. They should not make any other decision. To do otherwise may involve them in a civil lawsuit.

Remember the Burlington Fire Department fiasco and lawsuits the city lost?

But that is just my opinion.


13:49:46 - SPIKE - No comments

Trousil Out Of Control - It Must Be The Water


I see our out of control mayor genius has less reason for depriving our community of ambulance service than Burlington did for suing the railroad.

$70 per ambulance call is a lot cheaper than a $20 million wrongful death denial of service lawsuit. Do you think Trousil gets his advice from your drunk mayor? They're blood brothers.


I've thought the Burlington water may be responsible for many local problems. Slagle must have the water company dump stupid juice in everybody's water as a precautionary move. How else could these flawed decisions continually be made?

We filter our water to prevent becoming a Slagle Drone. You should too.

As to the lawsuit, it's coming. Trust me. And for the community, it's time to unconditionally support the West Burlington Fire Department. The next step to Lord Trousil's ministrations will be, "Do you actually see a fire or do you just smell smoke?"

Me, I smell monkey turds and dandruff shampoo.


13:43:05 - SPIKE - No comments

Condescending Little Ass Hoschek


I see that condescending little jackass Hoschek says Blow "did the best he could" do as county supervisor. Sounds like Little Timmy fell in the well and Lassie ran away to a new family.

Blow did more for this county in his years than Hoschek and and his accomplice Diewold did in 12 years. Neither one of them could name 3 things they've done worthwhile except raid the taxpayers' billfolds. Neither one have held any real job for more than a few weeks. Now that Heland is headed to the county trough to supplement his need for cash flow we might as well just hand over the deed to the farm.

I'll bet if the advertiser had interviewed David Miller they would have heard the same story as Blow told about Hoschek. Hoschek is impossible to deal with and is dumber than a brick bat. But that's just my guess.

Disagreement among politicians is one thing. Stupid is stupid regardless of disagreements. And we're about to get the cream of the Democratic Party boot scrapings in the court house.


13:24:38 - SPIKE - No comments

Questions Surround Fort Madison Prison Assault

Spike -

The local rag hid this story about the Fort Madison prison from us. Looks as if SE Iowa has more problems that cannot be resolved.



13:09:48 - SPIKE - No comments

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

"But Mommy, there are no decorations!"

"Yes, Johnny there are no decorations. We had to pay for a railroad lawsuit, Mr. Slagle's pay raise and Mr. Power's retirement."


09:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What is The Future For Burlington?


I’ve never in my life seen such low down, poor city management on display for the whole state and nation to view. We, who live in Burlington are under-serviced, overtaxed, constantly lied to by local officials and just plain unrepresented in local government.

Burlington is becoming a replica of Newark, New Jersey and if you don’t believe me just drive around town and look at the dilapidated housing and run down infrastructure. The hopes and dreams of the city are being based on gambling and drinking and if you don’t believe this just look around.

Don’t look to the Chamber, Grow Greater Burlington or any other of these entities for help because they have there own agendas. One of which is to raise the taxes of the working man here in Burlington while reducing it for business. These groups represent business people and have no interest in the working man’s income. Who do you think runs these organizations; is it Joe Blow working at Winegard or CNH?

Burlington has also been deluged by the entitlement crowd that adds no value to the city other than keeping the crime rate statistics up while driving up taxes for those that manage to eek out an existence for their families.

The high school graduates something below 75% of its students while approximately 50% of the students are on free or subsidized lunches. Just what does this tell one about life in the city of Burlington? The school superintendent decides to build a middle school on the far western side of town that will necessitate most, if not all, students be bused. Now is this a wise decision for the few taxpayers remaining in town?

Someone on the board must have ulterior motives for making these types of bonehead decisions. I don’t even think there are sidewalks out in that part of town. This is just another example of poor judgment and incompetence of elected officials here in Catfish Bend. When looking up school facts on the Internet you will not find Burlington information listed because Burlington facts are just not found on the local school website. The information can only be found on state education sites. It’s probably a good thing in the long run or the few that come here surely wouldn’t if they actually knew how the schools were doing.

As far as gambling goes Burlington isn’t exactly a hot spot and gambling will only support its employees slightly above the welfare threshold at best. Of course there are some that may earn a real living but that’s the exception.

The average working person’s pay will most likely be somewhere between $12 and $25,000. Is this the Burlington dream or what?

This city is basing its “jackpot” hopes on the ruination of others through their losses or why else would gambling be in Burlington? Just who are the winners when it comes to gambling? Livable wages are something over $12 per hour here in Burlington. Will gambling provide livable wages here in Burlington?

Des Moines County and Burlington are in the top ten when it comes to taxes and low paying jobs in the state of Iowa and when gambling doesn’t provide livable wages we’re all losers

Of course the city goes along with this because all they look at is the motel taxes and other taxes they can collect to maintain their yearly raises which are not based on any resemblance of performance.

Burlington taxpayers should hire a consulting firm to tell us how to get rid of the local elected and appointed officials because voting here doesn’t work. Straight ticket voting insures the continued reelection of the same losers time and time again. This explains why nothing ever changes with the exception of increased taxes and fees. In other words less service for more money syndrome.

As the population of livable wage working people decreases, entitlements increase and the cost of government becomes more excessive which drives those few remaining working people away and eventually the city ends up with high paid government employees and the entitlement crowd with no tax base left to support them.

I don’t think it’s the rich or the entitlement crowd that’s been leaving this city. Does anyone think that? Actually there’s a very thin line between entitlement and government both of which walk the same path here in Burlington.


As long as the Chamber and Grow Greater Burlington are found under one incestuous roof they will never accomplish anything. The members that do command respect are minnows afloat in a sea of jackasses.

So few people really know how hard we are being hit by the out-of-state entitlement crowd. Burlington is the first train stop across the state line from Chicago. And a cab ride will get you 2 checks.

Gambling will never pay any real wages. The business model is built on minimal wages. You’ll make more money at Kohl’s.

While you might not be very surprised to find out who the investors in Catfish Bend are, you would be shocked how much money they make.

Two things are going to implode in Iowa, ethanol and gambling. Ethanol will tank out first and when it does, gambling will be right behind it.

Both are non-sustainable growth industries.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Wedding Business In Trouble?

Well Spike,

Once again it would appear you are right. I saw a slug of police cars at a wedding store here in town Tuesday. I don't know what's going on, but unless an officer was there trying on his wedding duds with some of his crew, there is something afoot!

I bet you get tired of being right!! You must have more sources than Tyrone the crackhead!!

The other BB

Our sources make our news accurate. We are merely the messenger.

Like they say, “You know its probably going to be a bad day when you see your name on BurlingtonDerailed.com.”


01:24:22 - SPIKE - No comments

West Burlington Lost To Lawyers


We no longer need to worry about TIF malpractice in West Burlington because there won't be anything left after the Mayor and City get sued stupid over an ambulance call.

I think you were right the other day. It has to be the Burlington water.

Or maybe the good mayor is getting his advice from our derelict drunk Burlington mayor. Come to think about it, any good lawyer will sue Burlington along with everyone else.


Sounds to me like a Slagle/Power/Lost Keys Ell approach to ineffective management. Drop the load on the guys doing the work and then try to hold them accountable.

if I were a West Burlington citizen affected by this potentate decision I would chase the money. I will guarantee you there was money received from a fire department/EMT grant somewhere that will provide the solution to stop this before it gets somebody killed.


01:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 December

What In the Hell Is Going On In West Burlington?

Don't Have a Medical Problem & Need An Ambulance

Falcon has uncovered yet another misguided attempt to rule the kingdom by the Lord Mayor of West Burlington.

It will only take one lawsuit with real attorneys to straighten that whole situation out.

I wonder if the Lord Mayor had the balls to hand deliver that memo restricting emergency health care. And whether or not the funding sources for various fire department grants are aware of this restriction.

I smell lawsuit. Let's hope no one pays with their life to prove the Lord Mayor is a capricious ass.

12:36:37 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington or No Burlington


We the people of Burlington need to make a decision now. Its time to defend our city or turn it over to the men we elected.

I believe we have made many mistakes and one of those mistakes is letting the elected official run amok with our city. I feel it is time for the people to admit our mistake and take charge and change things.

Just a couple of the things that have been done wrong including allowing the council to reject the peoples’ wishes for many answers of where the money that we pay in taxes goes. I, for one, would not take the job of council but I am very sure there are many people that can and would do a much better job.

Every council member sitting on the council now, all claimed when they campaigned they would listen to all. Now they all want to run their idea down our throats and spend our money because they feel they can.

Again, now is the time for change while we still have a chance to recoup from all of the poor decision making. Thanks all for the time to vent and maybe make a difference.


05:03:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Downtown Decorations Down To The Dregs


Downtown Burlington's Christmas decorations are the dregs. I’ve come home for the last three years thinking that the light bulbs would be replaced, the Garland repaired and new things added.

This year there is next to nothing.

You folks have spent thousands of dollars on reports trying to improve the image of the city and bring new business to the community but you can't find enough money to repair the Christmas decorations to bring shoppers downtown.

I think you have bigger problems than what you realize, and you'd better take care of those first. And then fix the Christmas ornaments.


You're right. We're a community that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on economic development reports, bond tax receipts we don't have defined the eminent domain shopping center, pay our city manager $100,000 more than he is worth and pay a city attorney an exorbitant sum of money to be totally incompetent.

And we can't even get the Christmas decorations right.


04:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tumble Down School

Brick by brick we all fall down.

04:41:00 - SPIKE - No comments

25 December

Public Safety Announcement - Web Safety

Don’t let holiday goodwill and cheer relax your guard. You must remain ever vigilant to safeguard your family’s web surfing activities.

If you ever want to know who might be out there, click here. This link will load an image with partial nudity and is rated PG-13.

It is not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

Happy Holidays

Spike & The Gang

16:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Sandpaper and Speedos


If Slagle is going to be decked out in the Fun City Speedos his employer better buy a box of sandpaper to cut the rough edges off the fixtures.

If he snags his Speedos he will spin like a top when that Spandex lets loose.


00:19:06 - SPIKE - No comments

23 December

Anonymous Visitor Questions Our Kohl's Sources Part 2

message from anonymous visitor


But are the sources credible enough to list?


Our sources are credible enough to list if that was the way we worked. Our sources stay anonymous. Much like the games on smile.com. Go to your friends at the Ad Vertiser and see if they even have any sources.

Why play email games? Let's see who is right.


16:32:44 - SPIKE - No comments

Things Went Boom!

Hey Spike,

My daughter was in class on the top floor at North Hill when the building crumbled. She indeed heard a 'boom', and she said the windows did shake. One room was evacuated, the room directly below the fallen portion.

My daughter's teacher even said the 'Hawkeye' was outside.


I guess the Ad Vertiser's photographer forgot their memory cards. Better get Moffit out of retirement with his Argus C3. And with Lloyd you'd also get a readable story thrown in.


12:58:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Crumbling Buildings


First Daisianna's, now North Hill School. I wonder why the Hawkeye did not have coverage on the school?

Tip for the reporters - Large pieces of the building fall onto the roof and shake the building; ask questions, report accurately.


08:53:29 - SPIKE - No comments

Day Off Doesn’t Pay – North Hill School Crumbles Down

I take one day off and miss building #2 crumbling down.

Friday, a portion of North Hill School came a crumbling down. Seems everyone in town knew it except Demolition Expert and City Planner Chris Nosbisch and the Ad Vertiser’s crack news team.

I knew it, but I was shopping in Davenport spreading my disposable income into the arms of merchants more attuned to customer service rather than the you-owe-me mentality.

08:52:44 - SPIKE - No comments

Anonymous Visitor Questions Our Kohl's Sources

message from anonymous visitor


What sources?


More credible sources than an anonymous visitor. Our sources are very credible. The only question that could ever be raised is whether the information they obtained is accurate.

I hope you're not suggesting that the Burlington power fuzz would mislead our sources. THAT would be an excellent story and worthy of exposure.


07:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

West Burlington Leash Law Conundrum


I have a 15’ boa. I can only use a 15’ leash.

If my neighbor has his gerbil on a 15’ leash I could be almost 45’ from them going nose to nose.

I’m worried about my snake. What can I do?


Get a muzzle for the neighbor’s gerbil.


07:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 December

Ad Vertiser Questions Kohl's Decision

Two days after we announce Kohl's is going to build in West Burlington the Ad Vertiser leads us to believe that there is no decision contrary to what was reported on "blogs."

When the dust settles let's see who is right. I believe our sources.

Kohl's, welcome to town.

13:21:23 - SPIKE - No comments

West Burlington Leash Law

I see from Falcon that West Burlington has been afflicted with the effects of drinking Burlington water. West Burlington is poised to pass a leash law for any animal species.

I enjoyed Falcon's take on the "snake" leash.

I wish I would have thought of that for Burlington. Lord knows we have our share of snakes including snakes that give snakes a bad reputation.

13:18:01 - SPIKE - No comments

City Could Take Over Fun City


As scary as it may be, GH might be right about the city taking over the Fun City waterpark. It seems that a certain Colorado city took over their city financed adventure. However, I could be wrong.


I hope something happens to fix this deficit cash flow problem that Mini-Me Worden suggests is a good thing.

Slagle would be better off running Fun City. He could empty Winegard's saddle bags for years before it mattered. And since he has tapped out the Burlington taxpayers, he will need to move on to greener pastures.

I just don't like the vision of Slagle in Fun City Speedo's.


04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Fun City Security Dismisses Brawl As Non-Event


I heard that there was more trouble at Fun City this week involving a group of young adult minorities confronting and threatening teens from West Burlington. For his own safety, one teen was told by staff that he should leave and they escorted him to his car. Another teen wasn't so lucky and was blocked from leaving in the parking lot and received a broken nose.

Security was nowhere to be found and when contacted by one of the parents, they told them that Fun City doesn't have a security problem and it was a non-issue.

How long will it be before one of these non-issues results in a shooting or stabbing? As for me and my family, we will have fun elsewhere.


How long? As soon as the new teen hangout opens and 5-0 is checking the casino for underage gamblers.

A broken nose may be a non-issue for a barroom brawl when the police are called but the place is called Fun City for families and kids.


04:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Christmas Present


I only wish Santa Claus would bring Scott Power being firing before we shut the doors. I didn't believe you for a long time about how badly infected this town has become with his foolishness. I was wrong.

He just tells lies and the city council just lets him.


04:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Sidewalk Program


There was an old Burlington priest who got sick of all the people in his parish who kept confessing to adultery. One Sunday, in the pulpit, he said, "If I hear one more person confess to adultery, I'll quit!" Everyone liked him, so they came up with a code word. Someone who had committed adultery would say instead that they had "fallen."

This seemed to satisfy the old priest and things went well. Many years later the priest passed away at a ripe, old age and a new priest was assigned to Burlington.

A few days after the new priest arrived, he visited the mayor with a very important concern.

"Mayor, you have to do something about the sidewalks in town. When people come into the confessional, they keep telling me they've fallen."

The mayor burst out laughing, realizing that no one had told the new priest about the code word. But, before he could explain, the priest shook an accusing finger at him and shouted, "I don't know what you're laughing about, because your wife has already fallen three times this week!"


04:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

21 December

The Year Ahead In Review


Lots of those in the instant History business love to run year end recaps. In Burlington, this ends up being a collection of abuses and absurdities that never cease to amaze. With the past as a guide, readers should be encouraged to present predictions for the year ahead.

If I may offer a few:

A meteorite destroys City Hall. The insurance company claims it is an "act of God" and refuses to pay. Counselor Power, with the Council's blessing, files suit against every church in Burlington. "If God fails to appear in court, we will win this one," declares the confident City Attorney.

A mild shift in the earth near New Madrid, MO. results in mostly minor damage through much of the Midwest. Only Burlington reports deaths and injuries as three un-inspected downtown buildings fall into the streets.

After another unprofitable summer, the casino view water park declares bankruptcy. Manager Slagle advocates the City taking over the property and the Council votes to do so. "We must give the young people of Burlington something to do and educate them on the value of gambling to one's economic well being," slurs Burington's Drunk Mayor.

Comrade Tom Courtney, Iowa Senate Majority Whip, introduces and railroads through legislation outlawing blog sites critical of Iowa elected officials. Waving a strait jacket on the floor of the Iowa Senate with "Spike" scrawled on it, Courtney argues, "Only an insane person would be critical of we who work to raise the masses taxes." Governor Culver signs the bill into law.

As the year ends, local enforcement continues to claim it is only a matter of time until they bring Spike to "justice."

Case New Holland and General Electric announce their local manufacturing operations in Burlington will cease before January 1, 2008. Local economic development officials announce another golf outing to attract potential employers.

In October, Burlington's Mayor leaves a re-election rally/dance arts tour in Gulfport at three in the morning. The Mayor's vehicle is totaled when it slams into the limestone after Heland fails to stop at Bluff Road. The uninjured Mayor is ticketed for faulty brakes after investigators discover brake fluid on a few of the empty beverage containers littering the scene. An unidentified party is seen leaving Heland's car mumbling something anout "keys."

In November, the Mayor and all other incumbents are re-elected to the City Council.

Harris Enterprises announces the sale of the Burlington Advertiser to Marvel Comics. Other than more visuals to aid increasingly incoherent text, readers are told to expect few changes.

What is your take on the coming year? Send it to Spike. I can not wait to read it.


I wanted to retire next year. So much for that idea.

You did forget the part about Hoschek and several other Democratic Party members being fitted for new orange clothing.


05:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Burma Shave

A Manager Caesar be
When Loser Keys fails to oversee
The taxes rise
The people flee
from Burlington

A poor man owns not his home
When rich man wants mall to own
The Council funds this tyranny
Creating homeless refugees
In Burlington


05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle Discovery Update

ISS014-E-10063 (18 Dec. 2006) --- Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr., STS-116 mission specialist, works with the port overhead solar array wing on the International Space Station's P6 truss during the mission's fourth session of extravehicular activity (EVA). European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang (out of frame), mission specialist, worked in tandem with Curbeam, using specially prepared, tape-insulated tools, to guide the array wing neatly inside its blanket box during the 6-hour, 38-minute spacewalk.

ISS014-E-10058 (18 Dec. 2006) --- Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr., STS-116 mission specialist, works with the port overhead solar array wing on the International Space Station's P6 truss during the mission's fourth session of extravehicular activity (EVA). European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang (out of frame), mission specialist, worked in tandem with Curbeam, using specially prepared, tape-insulated tools, to guide the array wing neatly inside its blanket box during the 6-hour, 38-minute spacewalk.

S116-E-06991 (18 Dec. 2006) --- Anchored to the International Space Station's Canadarm2 foot restraint, astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr. and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang (left), both STS-116 mission specialists, work with the port overhead solar array wing on the station's P6 truss during the mission's fourth session of extravehicular activity (EVA). The spacewalkers used specially-prepared, tape-insulated tools, to guide the array wing neatly inside its blanket box during the 6-hour, 38-minute spacewalk.

S116-E-07153 (19 Dec. 2006) --- Backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, the International Space Station moves away from Space Shuttle Discovery. Earlier the STS-116 and Expedition 14 crews concluded eight days of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 4:10 p.m. (CST) on Dec. 19, 2006. Astronaut William A. (Bill) Oefelein, STS-116 pilot, was at the controls for the fly-around, which gave Discovery's crew a look at its handiwork, a new P5 spacer truss segment and a fully retracted P6 solar array wing. During their stay on orbital outpost, the combined crew installed the newest piece of the station's backbone and completely rewired the power grid over the course of four spacewalks.

All NASA Images

On Wednesday, the STS-116 astronauts conducted a final inspection of Space Shuttle Discovery’s heat shield and began preparations for their return to Earth.

STS-116 Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Bill Oefelein and Mission Specialist Nicholas Patrick used the shuttle’s robotic arm and boom extension sensor system to check the heat shield for any micrometeoroid hits that may have occurred while the orbiter was docked to the International Space Station.

Mission Specialists Bob Curbeam, Christer Fuglesang, Joan Higginbotham and Thomas Reiter stowed items in preparation for the return to Earth. Discovery is slated to touch down at 3:56 p.m. EST Friday.

Small scientific satellites were deployed from the payload bay Wednesday night. The Microelectromechanical System-Based PICOSAT Inspector (MEPSI) will demonstrate the use of tiny, low-power satellites to observe larger spacecraft by testing the function of small camera systems and gyroscopes.

The Radar Fence Transponder (RAFT) satellite is a student experiment from the United States Naval Academy that uses picosatellites to test the Space Surveillance Radar Fence.

Discovery undocked from the station Tuesday, ending an eight-day stay at the orbital outpost. While there, the crew continued the on-orbit construction of the station with the addition of the P5 spacer truss segment during the first of four spacewalks. The next two spacewalks were devoted to the rewiring of the station’s power system, leaving it in a permanent setup. A fourth spacewalk was added to allow the crew to retract solar arrays that had folded improperly.

Discovery also delivered a new crew member and more than two tons of equipment and supplies to the station. Almost two tons of items no longer needed on the station will return to Earth with STS-116.

02:10:57 - SPIKE - No comments

20 December

Kohl's Confirms West Burlington

We have learned that Kohl's is going to build in West Burlington. Two stores are looking at the Eminent Domain Shopping Center, there is an interested buyer for the spec shell building in the industrial park and there is an interested party for the Wards building.

Still no signed agreement from the developer for the Eminent Domain Shopping Center even though Slagle said there would be 3 weeks ago.

17:45:13 - SPIKE - No comments

19 December

Shuttle Viewing Times For Tuesday - Saturday

Updated Times

03:51:32 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle Update

S116-E-06753 (17 Dec. 2006) --- The docked Soyuz 13 (TMA-9) (foreground) and Progress 22 resupply vehicle are featured in this image photographed by a STS-116 crewmember from a window on the International Space Station while Space Shuttle Discovery was docked with the station. The blackness of space and Earth's horizon provide the backdrop for the scene.

ISS014-E-09782 (14 Dec. 2006) --- European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang, STS-116 mission specialist, waves to the camera as he participates in the mission's second of three planned sessions of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station. Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. (out of frame), mission specialist, also participated in the spacewalk. The station's Canadarm2 end effector is at left.

S116-E-06279 (14 Dec. 2006) --- With his feet secured on the Canadarm2, European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, STS-116 mission specialist, works to relocate one of the two Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) carts during EVA 2 on Dec. 14. Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr., who is sharing two spacewalks with Fuglesang on this flight, is out of frame.

S116-E-06645 (16 Dec. 2006) --- Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., STS-116 mission specialist, participates in the mission's third planned session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station. Astronaut Sunita L. Williams, (out of frame), STS-116 mission specialist, also participated in the 7-hour, 31-minute spacewalk. A blue and white Earth provides the backdrop for the scene.

All NASA Images
03:48:43 - SPIKE - No comments

18 December

Nosbisch's Youthful Indiscretions


I see Slagle's junior understudy Chris Nosbisch is flexing his mini-muscles with the owners of Daisianna's. Forcing a building owner into making a crucial business decision just to pacify a greenhorn city planner is just bad business.

I'm sure Nosbisch will have his arrogant attitude reined in when he gets to the Des Moines suburb. They won't tolerate his youthful indiscretions of dictating mandate without the real-life experience.


12:02:08 - SPIKE - No comments

Wedding Scares

Dear XX:

I presume none of this should be disclosed. It could make it a real disaster if this is true.

Suppliers LOVE to sell merchandise but HATE COD's when the dealers refuse delivery because there is no cash. When it gets to COD - Cash Only, it's a crap shoot whether or not you're going to get a return. Distributors can't stay in business very long when lying to dealers.

In order to save the day, scramble to get the dresses directly from the supplier. IF the dealer has a conscience they will make arrangements to accommodate delivery for you. If not, you better find a new dealer. And do that TODAY! You can litigate in small claims court later. Just get 'er done today.

You can get tuxes from dealers in Davenport the same day. Demand a copy of the size records for everyone involved. Then call Davenport to see what they can do on short notice.

Just some thoughts. You need a contingency plan right now.

11:53:13 - SPIKE - No comments

16 December

Promoting Burlington Ala Burma Shave


For the elderly among your fans, the Burma Shave signs are a personal experience memory. For the young, check the link.

Perhaps readers of Derailed could submit slogans in a similar vein, extolling what goes on locally. While it is doubtful these would be posted along roads within 100 mile radius of the site, seeing them on the internet may encourage outsiders to stop, gawk and leave wealth in their wake.

A sorry lawyer
Who never wins
Elsewhere be fired
But City hires
In Burlington

With buildings old
Economy grim
Facades fall down
And crush your crown
In Burligton

11:49:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Lee County Bridge Might Work


I like Cleat's bridge. I doubt if Burlington's Drunk Mayor would. To be denied access to consort with performing arteests in Ft. Madison would be devastating to such a sensitive patron of the arts.

If it would be less expensive, US 61 could be restored to its original width and routing up Jollyville Hill. The Mayor impaired would doubtless find it impossible to navigate. The problem is Jollyville Hill put a lot of undertakers’ kids through college. Too many innocents would be sacrificed.

If Lee County's elected criminals hold their liquor better, they are less of a threat to the innocents with a vehicle than Des Moines County's crew. When it comes to corruption, it maybe a wash.

Auditor Ann and her merry band in Lee County have proved they can hold their own with the "best" Burlington has to offer. All concerned in both counties share a common, single party, political belief with their Shining Path soul mates in Peru.

Far less expensive and more beneficial to the economic future and general welfare of S. E. Iowa than building fortresses would be for voters to wise up. As long as political power keeps being handed to socialists, shyster lawyers and the drunk politicians, nothing will improve.


11:44:27 - SPIKE - No comments

Police Station Building & Eminent Domain


Check me if I'm wrong. If memory serves correctly, the city took the police dept. building from NRB through eminant domain. And then stuck a load of money (millions?) into it to make it work.

Was that good planning? The building was in bad shape when they first got it.


That effort was led by building preservationists, not realists. This is what you get with that mentality.


11:38:24 - SPIKE - No comments

Walking Tour Hard Hats Needed?


What of the safety of tourists who wish to view the ruins of ancient Burlington? Has anybody thought about their protection.

The Iowa Welcome Center has been providing visitors with self-guided walking tour brouchures of downtown Burlington. Should the Welcome Center issue hard hats to any who wish to take such a tour?

Will unsafe sections of the ruins need to be closed to the public? Such is the case with Rome's Coliseum and Egypt's ancient tombs. Will the West end of Jefferson be open by special permisssion only to serious scholars of fallen civilizations?

Since Burlington has no future, peddling its past to draw tourists has been the accepted, third world strategy of generating wealth. The tourist is a fickle creature that fears greatly for its personal safety.

If the City wishes to keep generating wealth off visitors, this problem can not be ignored. Someone must act.


11:36:17 - SPIKE - No comments

Some City Vehicles Belong At Hy Vee


I can't speak to the issue of a city vehicle being at Wal Mart but I can explain why citizens may see a firetruck or ambulance at a grocery store. The current minimum staffing levels in the fire department do not allow a single firefighter/paramedic to go to the grocery store in a pickup or utility vehicle.

Remember they are working 24 hours and shop for what they need the entire around the clock shift. If that one individual would take the pickup truck to the grocery store, he/she would leave the citizens without the protection of one of the engines or ambulances.



And I'm sure our readers have absolutely no problem with that. At least I hope not.


11:34:21 - SPIKE - No comments

Snow Plow Sparks Might Set Grass Fire


I understand why Mr. Thomas would defend the city about Mr. Crowner's comments. When the city resurfaced the streets of 13th and Central, rock and oil was used. On 12th st. which is in between, asphalt was used. Guess who lives on 12th St.?

Anyway on the day of the snow, around 6 pm there was a plow pushing sparks on Burlington Ave. in the Industrial Park. When some other streets in Burlington could have used some clearing.


11:31:25 - SPIKE - No comments

Wedding Expressions

We are getting some disturbing information about Wedding Expressions. Anyone have more information?

03:44:00 - SPIKE - No comments

15 December

Sue The Railroad Again - They Did It


When will the City of Burlington claim years of vibrations caused by passing trains and their obnoxious whistles are causing buildings to collapse in downtown Burlington?

I am waiting for the announcement and a subsequent press conference featuring counselor Power who will claim a legal remedy is at hand. The railroad will be sued for damages which once won, will create good paying jobs rebuilding downtown.


Don't you think for one minute these jackasses wouldn't try it. This is a prime example of how out of control City Hall is. And an extremely good example of how flawed their thinking is.


05:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Commencing the Rape & Pillage of Des Moines County


Is Power the vanguard of a force of invading barbarians who have sacked City Hall and are looking to do the same to Des Moines County? With Ed Blow gone, will Heland throw forth the gates so these Huns may haul off the County treasury and ravish the blindfolded maiden of justice?


When Scott Power is involved, there is no maiden of anything. The abuse has just begun.


04:52:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Graffiti Solution


The city could also check with Aspen Grove about methods of removing graffiti since the same bottom feeders have defaced tombstones many times.


04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hand Me The Keys To The Dozer


Are you arguing that every decrepit old building in Burlington should be demolished? Do you include every old house or just commercial buildings?

You sound like you are running for school superintendent!

I have a better idea. Let us have respect for our history and preserve our old buildings and homes where possible. It is actually less expensive than spending tens of millions on prefab replacement buildings.


No, I'm not arguing that every decrepit old building in Burlington should be demolished.

We have some great buildings and great architecture in Burlington. There is nothing pleasant about watching the decay of these buildings. But great buildings and great architecture demand spending great sums of money to preserve them. Building maintenance in downtown Burlington is a last resort item for most property owners and usually consists of the building owner scrambling around with an arm full of caulk tubes laying down caulk in 3" wide cracks and smoothing it with their elbows.

What happened yesterday in downtown Burlington is indicative of what's to come with these old buildings. We had an enormous amount of rain followed by frigid weather. That is a death knell for brick and stone buildings. All the cracks fill with water, then freeze, then thaw, while the sun warms the other side of the brick. From the looks of the pictures it appears the building just shed its veneer.

As for running for school superintendent, I'm not a monument builder. What was at issue was the public outcry to save downtown Burlington by locating DHS into the furniture building. Obviously, the public didn't have the proper perspective. Just as they still don't have the proper perspective on the police station. If you have any doubts, just walk around the police station and tell me where you can find a vertical wall. Personally, I'd rather have my Police Department and County Attorney offices in one of those brand-new prefab buildings on one floor.

When it comes time in a building’s life where they can no longer be preserved without these huge ransfusions of cash, hand me the keys to the dozer.


04:44:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Perks


Does anyone know why the city council gave Slagle a gasoline perk? Why would a person making his kind of money need to have the taxpayer pay for his gas?

I wonder what other city employees are getting taxpayer supported perks other than the guy living at Perkins Park?

These underhanded perks are never made public by the city council and only after someone questions these "gray areas" of city mismanagement does the city come forward and offer an explanation.

When one sees city vehicles at Hy Vee or Wal-Mart does this mean the taxpayer is supporting city employee shopping transpiration or does it mean "city business?"

The cityand county deposit health benefit money into a money fund for its employees who refuse medical benefits rather than return the money to the taxpayer to reduce taxes. What private sector company gives its employees the money for health benefits? Should they refuse the benefit? The city and county should put a stop to this type of taxpayer extortion; which is exactly what it is.

Sick of it

Oh yeah, Mr. Incompetent was astute enough to get the city to pay for his gas in his private vehicle that is also subsidized by the taxpayers. So rest assured taxpayers that every trip to the golf course is being funded by your money.

I can see both sides of the health care issue and can listen to the arguments. Whether anybody likes it or not, the city should be run like a business. And in the real business world this doesn't happen. And it shouldn't.


04:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Proposed New Skunk River Bridge


Through the Fredom Of Information Act I was able to uncover this artist's concept for the new Skunk River Bridge on Highway 61.

All us folks down here in Lee County would just as soon you keep all your thugs and drunk politicians in Des Moines County.


04:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Heland Already Telling Us


I heard that wind bag Heland on the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM this morning talking about graveling the roads. Heland said, “I know more about it” and words (to the effect) it wasn't the case of granting the county engineer the right to gravel class B roads without supervisor approval in every case.

According to the resolution passed by the supervisors that's exactly what the resolution was all about. Didn't you read the resolution, Jeff? Or were you too busy listening to that dummy Hoschek?

The next thing you know Heland will tell us a straight beats a Royal Flush. Something he should know a lot more about, but doesn’t.

And a Royal Flush is what we’re going to get starting January 2.


I think Heland was tabulating the results of his handouts when the real discussion was going on. The myriad of “studies” has begun.


04:27:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Building Dead Pool


Has anybody started a pool on when a collapsing downtown Burlington structure will require a passerby to be admitted to a hospital, or worse?


It sounds like a good idea since it is only a question of when, not if. I would suggest that this pool be started at the Sombrero. That way, the Ad Vertisers' writers will almost be on scene for the event.


04:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

DNR Response to Otter Island Timber Sale


Here's the latest information I received from the DNR. Looks like things may be above board at this point.



After your Email and my initial response concerning the proposed timber sale at Otter Island, I talked with Phil Collier the Parks and Recreation Dept Director with the City of Burlington.

He told me that the City is planning to hire Geode Forestry to assist them in preparing and monitoring the proposed timber sale at Otter Island. Geode Forestry is operated by Bob Petrezelka, a professional forester with many years of experience. Although the City will have to pay some administrative costs to Geode Forestry, I feel confident that Geode Forestry will devise and implement a sustainable forestry plan, mark/tally the trees for sale to maximize revenue through a competitive bid process with State Bonded Timber
Buyers and monitor the logging operation for compliance.

Although our District Forester in the area can assist the City with timber sale marking - our services are limited, we often have a 3-6 month back log of requests and we can not monitor the logging operations. We recommend to private woodland owners that hiring a consulting professional forester will guarantee a successful logging and development of a sustainable forest.

Let me know if you need additional information.

Thanks John

At first blush, this sounds good. While I still want to know is how is Geode Forestry going to indemnify the city and the taxpayers from any damage or harm caused to the heron rookeries? Endangered species habitat remediation is an extremely costly process. It will make the railroad lawsuit look like a parking ticket.

I would also like to hear from the DNR. Their feelings about the safeguards suggested by Geode Forestry to preserve this habitat because we sure as hell won't have any concerns demonstrated by City Hall until it is too late. And the only guy to get rich then is Scott Power.


04:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 December

Selling The Farm for County Gravel


'm selling my farm and buying a quarry. If I can sell gravel for $750.00 a ton to Des Moines County I’m going to be filthy rich. This is better than a $500 toilet seat and $4.00 corn.


Don’t sell just yet. I think Jimmy Olson had his decimals misplaced.


05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Power Is Untrustworthy Thug - You Better Wake Up Burlington

After voting "no" to allow Burlington City Attorney Scott Power to become a special assistant poobah of the Des Moines County Attorney’s Office, Supervisor Ed Blow was asked why he voted no.

“I wouldn’t trust Power with anything,” Blow said.

Well said and truthful. Power has a long history of deceit and deception towards the city council and the taxpayers. He just can't seem to openly tell the truth.

Anyone that tries to intimidate local elected officials including Blow, County Attorney Pat Jackson, then West Burlington City Manager Greg Mansager and others with having a “Silver bullet with each and every one of your name’s on it” is more than untrustworthy. He’s a tinhorn thug.

Hoschek doesn’t know any better. Beck should have thought harder than to endorse this conflict of interest. It may be legal. But it smells to high heaven and there are alternatives to having this guy riffling through unlocked desks like Hoschek.

Besides, why do we need to exercise eminent domain for a school that requires early retirement of our teachers in order to save money so that we can afford to build it and keep the top heavy administration well fed?

04:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Library Paint Removal


Why should the library have to call an expert to find out what will remove paint from brick? With a brand new library - let alone the inter-library loan program - there should be a REFERENCE BOOK available on their shelves!

- Observer

Don’t forget that bank of computers to do an internet search by every man, woman and child in Burlington. No need for rational thinking and common sense seems more like it.


04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Is Bart Simpson an Editor for the Advertiser?


"The new tank will serve businesses along Roosevelt Avenue and other properties on the west side of Burlington. Borden said the tank, which was in the works before city officials ever heard of FunCity, is not being built to meet water demands of a casino under construction next to FunCity." The Advertiser 12-9-06.

Why in an article about an on the job accident would you print a denial the project is being done to aid Mr. Big's casino/amusment park that has trouble paying its debt to the taxpayers? When you stretch to issue a denial when none is called for, what are you trying to hide from the public for the benefit of whom?

To quote Bart Simpson, "Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove a thing. Nobody saw me......"


No, but Bart Miller is.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Re: Road Photo


The road photo reminds me of the stretch between Cheap Charley's and The Feed Store in Ill.


00:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Future Des Moines County DHS Office Crumbles

For all you folks that argued that the reuse of a downtown building for the Des Moines County Department of Human Services Office was a good thing, we present our argument.

Now just envision the Police Department building with its bowed out walls. I can hear Slagle now, "Oh no, that would never happen."

Spike Photo

00:49:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Parts & Panels

New Parts

NASA Image

ISS014-E-09479 (12 Dec. 2006) --- The International Space Station's new P5 truss section awaits installation following the hand-off from Space Shuttle Discovery's Remote Manipulator System (RMS) robotic arm. The truss section was handed to the station's Canadarm2 and remained suspended over Discovery's port wing overnight, awaiting installation in the first of three planned spacewalks on Dec. 12.

Space Station Solar Panel Wrinkle

NASA Image

S116-E-05789 (13 Dec. 2006) --- This digital still image was taken by a crew member aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery of a kink that occurred in the port-side P6 solar array during the first attempt to retract that array on Dec. 13. The crew later extended the array and cleared this kink. The slow retraction of the array was then begun again with similar retraction and extension cycles repeated as the day progressed.

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

13 December

Architects? Ask a Local Paint Expert!


Did anybody at City Hall think to call Diamond Vogel, or Riley Bros.? These folks manufacture paint and should have chemists who could recommend a product for graffiti removal.

I am surprised the City did not call Power for an expensive, "professional" opinion on how to remove paint from the library.


That is totally uncalled for. Please do not display any rational thinking again.

In fact, Diamond Vogel or Riley Bros. might just have a product specifically formulated to remove graffiti like most real paint stores. How novel would that solution be? And they would even be buying locally.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle & Space Station Sighting Times

Here are the times the Shuttle Discovery and the International SPace Station will be visible in Burlington. For our out-of-town visitors click here to start the search for your regional information.

The viewing times begin on Friday.

The best day to see the longest shuttle fly over will be December 20 at 5:15 p.m. CST. The shuttle will pop up about 75% above the Southwest horizon and disappear slightly above the horizon in the Northeast.

But keep in mind December 20 is the scheduled landing day so you might not have this opportunity.

Take every advantage to see this. It is truly a remarkable sight.

04:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Line of Least Resistance


The photo of the shoulder warning stripe bending around a piece of debris says it all about local government. Rather than take a moment to move it and do it right, you take the crooked path.

When it comes to Des Moines County and the City of Burlington, government of the crooked, by the crocked, screwing the taxpayer, shall not perish from the earth.


You mean like cockroaches?


04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Check Your Restaurant's Health Inspection

It's That Time Of Year

With holiday season in full swing you might want to check out your favorite bar or restaurant's health inspection results.

It seems the Des Moines County Health Department is keeping everyone in relatively good compliance.

03:29:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Falcon Catches Ad Vertiser 1/2 Bake Account

Things must not be going well for Delaney and his crew at the Ad Vertiser. Miller must be in the eggnog because his geese are a layin'.

It seems the Ad Vertiser rewrote the factual account about a comment made by West Burlington Councilman Rod Crowner regarding Burlington's street conditions.

Apparently the writer only transmitted a portion of Crowner's comments to Burlington Councilman Garry Thomas when asking Thomas for comment about Crowner's remarks. Thomas was only told a portion of the facts and then chastised Crowner for his snow plow comments.

Read about it over at WestBurlingtonCity.com

Somebody hide Miller's 'nog cup.

03:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Recent Shuttle Highlights

NASA Image

S116-E-05364 (11 Dec. 2006) --- As seen through windows on the aft flight deck of Space Shuttle Discovery, the payload bay is featured in this image photographed by a STS-116 crewmember during flight day three activities. Pictured in the payload bay is the shuttle's docking mechanism (foreground), Spacehab module (partially obscured), the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) robotic arm (right), and the Remote Manipulator System/Orbiter Boom Sensor System (left, in stowed position).

IPods Travels In Space – Find the 2 IPods

NASA Image

S116-E-05405 (11 Dec. 2006) --- Astronaut Nicholas J. M. Patrick, STS-116 mission specialist, holds food packages near the galley on the middeck of Space Shuttle Discovery.

Sara Lee Danish In Space - Find the Sara Lee Cinnamon Danish

NASA Image

01:31:28 - SPIKE - No comments

12 December

Re: Roadside Photo


It is obvious to me that this photo is depicting a roadway anywhere else but here in Burlington. How can I tell, elementary my good man.

First, the road is newly surfaced. Second, it is of uniform material. Third, it is not full of potholes (craters to most of us), or as Mayor Edwards likes to think of them, keep me awake and alert enough to drive in a drunken stupor home!


And no fresh oil! You could be right. Today, Slagle did overstate the obvious there is no road program in Burlington.


14:43:45 - SPIKE - No comments

Ad Vertiser Can't Connect The Dots


I read this morning's editorial in the advertiser about the graffiti spray-painted on the new library and have some thoughts. For some magical reason known only to Delaney and his crew, the graffiti crosses the line of all public decency to the point the advertiser refuses to report the subject matter of the graffiti.

If it wasn't for Falcon, we'd never know what was written.

The editorial writer states, “It's an unfair connection of the dots.” How would the editor know since they can't connect the dots any other time?

In the first paragraph of the editorial, the editor states that the graffiti was, “quickly removed.” Later in the editorial they admit the graffiti had to be covered with cardboard because it couldn't be removed. Everyone is so stymied about how to remove the graffiti that they're going to call in the architect. I wonder if that will be another $60,000 bill?

The irresponsible writer of the editorial also suggests that the graffiti writer probably wasn't from one of the communities that has failed to pay the library's from extortion fee. How bizarre. That's like suggesting a newspaper employee did it.

The unsigned editorial goes on to say that the library should consider installing video cameras. Wouldn't you think that you would already have video cameras on a brand spanking new $12 million building to protect the citizens and the employees?

While I do not condone the graffiti or the destruction of public property in any form, I have to believe that while this is the first, it probably will not be the last time that someone uses the Library walls to express their graffiti skills.


13:45:21 - SPIKE - No comments

DM County Landfill Caught In Failure to Plan

Morton Wants To Fight 14 year Old Rules - Power Ready To Tackle EPA?

Ad Vertiser Tells Usual Half The Story

Spike –
I read in the local ‘lets write half the story’ newspaper last week that Hal Morton, Des Moines County Regional Solid Waste Agencies Director is out recruiting Mayors from neighboring counties to help him take on the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the new regulations that his landfill must comply with starting October 1, 2007.

I say that the local rag only wrote half of the story because, like usual, they do not complete due diligence when it comes to supporting the truths about the subjects that they write articles on.

If you go to the IowaDNR.com website and click on Land Related Issues, then click on Waste Management, then click on Solid Waste Planning and Permitting, then click on Rules and Policies, then click on MSW Rules and Revisions you will find a letter that was written to IDNR Director Jeffery Vonk that was received October 22, 2004.

In this letter it states that the EPA promulgated the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria on October 9, 1991. For 14 years these rules have been in place with the EPA and the EPA strongly supports implementing the liner design upgrade requirements within the Iowa’s draft timeline proposed for the summer of 2006. The letter also states that Iowa is the last state in EPA region 7 to comply with these regulations.

Since the program began in 1980, there have been 5 landfills that have had Superfund actions and the estimated costs are $4,300,000. There have been 17 Superfund actions in Region 7 that have had an estimated cost of $12,304,000. Superfund actions are cleanup or remediation actions that are imposed by the United States EPA and these costs are paid for by us, the United States taxpayers.

In a letter received April 21, 2005 by the IDNR Director, the U.S. EPA agreed to extend a revised timeline to the Iowa landfills to comply with the RCRA Subtitle D liner requirements to October 1, 2007.

Which brings about the question. Why does Hal Morton think that his landfill is not subject to these RCRA Subtitle D standards?

The standards clearly state that an engineered design that include a poly liner is a superior design and is the design of choice by engineering professionals. Yes, the cost is high. It will take approximately $2.5 million dollars to construct a five-acre cell. This cell will last the Des Moines County landfill approximately 5 years. The EPA landfill standards have been in place for 15 years.

All other states in the union have accepted them and have found alternative means of paying for them. E.g. let recycling businesses handle the recyclables, a need for only one Director who will stay at his desk and do his job instead of making many trips to Des Moines to entice legislators, DNR bureaucrats and staff to listen to him talk about how intelligent he is and that his degree in geology is one that makes him a know it all.

To no avail, they should know (I say should because you have to put Courtney and Fraise in this group of lawmakers who will do what they are told) that an Environmental Engineer applies science and engineering principles to improve the environment (air, water and/or land resources); to provide healthy water, air and land for human habitation and for other organisms; and to remediate polluted sites. Negative environmental effects can be decreased and controlled through public education, conservation and regulations, and the application of good engineering principles.

A geologist is a person that applies the science and study of the solid matter of a celestial body, its composition, structure, physical properties, history and the processes that shape it.

It should be said that Mr. Morton needs to stick to his rock hunting and leave the intelligent world of engineering of landfills to those that know what they are doing by the way that they were trained and educated.

This community needs to become better educated in the local landfill issues and changes that are looking at them in the face before this Director tries to entice an attorney like Power to take on the EPA like he tried to take on BNSF with the City of Burlington. A no win case!!!

Don’t be duped into thinking that it is just trash and that we are stupid residents that will pay for his failure to plan. What he has done is hide these important documents from his elite Board members and then at the last minute is saying that he does not know where this is coming from and we will fight it. Good luck. This information is all over the Iowa DNR website and the EPA can back it up with proof of letters that were sent out.

This guy needs to be put in with the monkeys at the Burlington City Hall and Southeast Iowa Regional Planning office. They all need to go before they cost us taxpayers a fortune.



We don’t need any more lawsuits. We can’t pay for the ones we lost and the ones were going to lose let alone the ones Power has a vision about – “I have the same credentials as those EPA lawyers, I know Federal Judges, this is a winnable case, trust me, I have a silver bullet.”


03:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Shuttle Discovery Arrives

Crew Inspects Wing, Prepares for First Spacewalk

STS-116 and Expedition 14 crew members take a moment for a group picture Image above: STS-116 and Expedition 14 crew members take a moment for a group picture shortly after the hatches opened between Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA TV

The STS-116 crew members conducted an inspection of Space Shuttle Discovery’s port (left) wing and prepared for Tuesday’s spacewalk.

The crew used a camera on the International Space Station’s robotic arm to inspect the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panels 19-21 on the wing. Leading-edge wing sensors registered a minor disturbance in this area of the wing. Engineers will analyze the imagery captured during the inspection.

During tonight’s Mission Status Briefing, Mission Management Team Chairman John Shannon said that engineers have completed the first review of Sunday’s inspection of the orbiter’s heat shield. “The team has looked and gone through and done their first pass on all of the wing leading-edge RCCs and the nose cap,” Shannon said, “and has identified no issues. It is a very rigorous process.”

Shannon also said the team started the analysis of imagery of Discovery's underside. The imagery was captured by the station’s Expedition 14 crew as STS-116 Commander Mark Polansky guided the orbiter through a back-flip maneuver prior to docking. Discovery arrived at the station at 5:12 p.m. EST today and the crew entered the orbital outpost at 6:54.

Meanwhile, STS-116 and Expedition 14 crew members have transferred to the station spacesuits and tools that will be used during STS-116’s three spacewalks. The first excursion will take place at 3:42 p.m. Tuesday.

Mission Specialists Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang will perform the spacewalk. To prepare for the spacewalk, the duo will conduct an overnight “campout” in the station’s airlock where the pressure will be lowered to the pressure normally found on Earth 10,000 feet above sea level. The airlock “campout” at a lower pressure protects against decompression sickness as Curbeam and Fuglesang go to the even lower pressure of spacesuits on Tuesday.

The main objective of Tuesday’s spacewalk is the installation of the P5 integrated truss onto the station. STS-116 crew members used the shuttle’s robotic arm to lift the P5 out of Discovery’s payload bay to hand it off to the station arm.

Other post-docking activities included a crew-member exchange. STS-116 Mission Specialist Sunita Williams will replace Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter, who will return to Earth with STS-116. The crew transfer becomes official when Williams’ custom-made seatliner is installed into the Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked to the station.

01:36:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Discovery Payload Bay

NASA Image

S116-E-05208 (10 Dec. 2006) --- As seen through windows on the aft flight deck of Space Shuttle Discovery, the payload bay is featured in this image photographed by a STS-116 crewmember during flight day two activities. Pictured in the payload bay is the Spacehab module and the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) robotic arm is at left. The shuttle's docking mechanism is visible in the foreground.

Spacehab Module

NASA STS-121 Press Kit

01:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Discovery Liftoff

NASA Image

TS116-S-011 (9 Dec. 2006) --- Against a black night sky, the Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B occurred at 8:47 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 9, 2006 in what was the first evening shuttle launch since 2002.

The STS-116 crew linked up with the station on Monday, Dec. 11, to begin a complex, week-long stay that will rewire the outpost and increase its power supply. During three spacewalks and intricate choreography with ground controllers, the astronauts will bring electrical power on line generated by a giant solar array wing delivered to the station in September.

01:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

11 December

Whose Street Crew?

Anybody recognize this location?

10:37:37 - SPIKE - No comments

09 December

Where In the World Is Waldo Ell?

Burlington's own game of find Councilman Ell


Since he's never available for the Advertiser, I think we should have the readers e-mail in where they've seen Lost Keys (the Sombrero doesn't count). Maybe if we can develope a pattern of travels, the Advertiser will be able to locate him when they need another brilliant quote.

I saw him this morning 12/9 @ Hy-Vee on Agency 7 AM. Undoubtedly returning home after giving Edwards a ride home from Sams.


22:12:50 - SPIKE - No comments

08 December

Re: Burlington Eminent Domain Situation and WB Kohl's Imminent Arrival


I wish I was an artist so I could create a satirical cartoon depicting these two situations –

Just east of the Roosevelt/Agency corner are Burlington City Council members along with Slagle on their way into the Eminent Domain Courthouse for their day in court, while only a few blocks west on Agency would be pictured Mayor Trousil and the WB City Council at the ribbon cutting for the new Kohl's with construction on an adjacent strip mall in progress.

Burlington may have lost this one big time, because if landowners in the Manor area do fight the city, all the construction in WB will be long over, with the first shine off the Kohl's Department Store floor before Burlington's City Fathers make their way out of the court room.

I doubt the developer they've supposedly got on the string will be too excited about coming to Burlington by then.


Don’t forget the one needed character in the Burlington Eminent Domain Courthouse scene: Scott Power telling everyone, “This is a winnable case, we’ve done everything right, we will prevail, I know Federal Judges.”

I've wished more than once we had a cartoonist on staff.


05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Is There Enough Dough to Support Kohl's?


Kohl's is a nice operation. They tend to be upscale and carry higher end merchandise. Are there enough around Burlington with the dough to support a Kohl store?

Public employees paid 1/3 more than those in the private sector for similar work may be Kohl's market. Government grows as everything else shrinks around here.

If everybody is working for the government, who is going to pay for it?


I guess we're about to find out. There are a ton of people that travel to Davenport to shop at Kohl's. I think a lot of people will scribe to the Kohl's business plan, which has been very sucessful.


04:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Otter Island Update


I received the following message from Councilman Tim Scott. The paper only printed part of the story and skipped the part about how they would do it. Why wouldn't they report the rest of this story?


I want to know why the city hired this expert in forestry management when the Iowa DNR Forestry Unit will do all of this for free. Seems like a needless expense and it is far too cozy arrangement for a management company that has 21 bidders that might suppress the fair market value. No, I'm not paranoid. This crap happens everyday in the timber business.

What is really troubling is the DNR email that claims part of Otter Island "has a heron rookery and possible threatened and endangered species concerns" according to the following email from the DNR.

What steps have been taken to protect the taxpayers from the nefarious actions of loggers when they destroy "possible threatened and endangered species" habitat? Who pays that fine? Who writes the insurance for the their actions?

As for the Ad Vertiser not reporting it? Standard procedure for telling us what is important.


Tim Scott Email -


The city has hired a firm that is well qualified in forestry management. They have laid out a harvest plan and will send it out for bids. They have 21 lumbering companies that they do business with and several of them are experts in harvesting timber from river islands.

I understand the concerns of the public, I do not know why this information was not reported by the media in a way that expressed the detail in how the city went about preparing for this project.


DNR Email -

-----Original Message-----
From: John Walkowiak
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2006 6:41 PM
Cc: Jeff Bergman; Paul Tauke; Stanley Tate
Subject: Re: Otter Island

In talking with our District Forester located in Wapello Stan Tate – he indicated that he assisted the City of Burlington with a timber sale on Otter Creek in the past - approximately 15 years ago. The timber management plan was developed and Stan assisted the City in making sure that the forest regenerated.

Both Stan and I were unaware of the current planned timber sale on Otter Island. Stan knows the property well and indicated that the Island possesses some good quality silver maple and cottonwood, plus has a heron rookery and possible threatened and endangered species concerns.

Would suggest that you inform your city council of DNR forestry assistance (no cost) to help set up a successes timber harvest and the need for a bidding process for maximizing revenue. Stan Tate is located at (edit) or give his supervisor Paul Tauke a call at (edit) as Stan is retiring at the end of the month.

John Walkowiak, Forestry Bureau Chief
(Iowa DNR)

04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Not My Idea of A Special Prosecutor


How can Scott Power become a special prosecutor? Power lied to us, misrepresented the facts in the railroad lawsuit not only to the city council but the taxpayers as well and threatened elected officials with a “silver bullet” for each of them?

Power doesn’t represent my idea of a special prosecutor in any way, shape or form.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Where for art the King of Local Comics?


When it comes to stupid human tricks, Mayor Edwards has been missing in action lately. He is creating an entertainment void on the local scene.

Who could ever forget last year's classic Burger King phone home to mommy routine? I thought by now we would at least have a 3:00 A. M. parallel parking on the sidewalk for City Hall and the Advertiser to gloss over.

The Drunk Mayor cannot have stopped drinking to excess. I expect the river to run uphill before that happens.

On issues before the Council, I have not seen any quotes even worthy of a smirk. The Drunk Mayor can butcher English with the best of them. Grammar aside, sometimes the Drunk Mayor can issue statements that go beyond a lack of experience and education. Edwards mouth can betray his total lack of innate intelligence.

Will it take another labor dispute at Case to bring out the "best" of the beast that represents the City of Burlington? Mayor Edwards gives cause for the rest of the world to point and laugh.

The Mayor's recent failure to provide comedy is fueling a sense of dread. Is the Drunk Mayor on better behavior in search of another term? Worse yet, is there a state office in the offing?

I pray the Drunk Mayor's next OMVI performance has Highway Patrol officers in the audience instead of only Burlington police. Knowing the Drunk Mayor is performing only to a captive house of fellow captives in Ft. Madison would be the ultimate comedic relief.


We hear that our Ambassador Of Liquidity is buying it 5 cases at a time in Gulfport. Buy regionally, keep that interstate commerce moving.


04:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Fred & 7


Do you know if KCPS sells Fred & 7 merchandise?? Wouldn’t the local politicians love to see Fred & 7 t-shirts everywhere!

Maybe Slagle would find one in his stocking.


04:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 December

Uncooperative Weather Forces Launch Postponement to Saturday

The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery was scrubbed tonight after poor weather conditions spoiled the attempt at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Earlier in the day a cold front moved in over the spaceport, bringing clouds and winds into the area. The cloud ceiling proved to be too low for a safe launch, prompting NASA to postpone Discovery's flight.

NASA officials have set the next launch attempt for 7:47 p.m. CST on Dec. 9.

The STS-116 mission is the 33rd for Discovery and the 117th space shuttle flight. During the 12-day mission, the crew will continue construction on the International Space Station, rewiring the orbiting laboratory and adding a segment to its integrated truss structure.

23:02:54 - SPIKE - No comments

Set For Launch 8:35 PM CST - Weather Delay Possible

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Space Shuttle Discovery is bathed in light on Launch Pad 39B after rollback of the rotating service structure after midnight. Beneath Discovery's wings are the tail masts, which provide several umbilical connections to the orbiter, including a liquid-oxygen line through one and a liquid-hydrogen line through another.

Seen above the golden external tank is the vent hood (known as the "beanie cap") at the end of the gaseous oxygen vent arm, extending from the FSS. Vapors are created as the liquid oxygen in the external tank boil off. The hood vents the gaseous oxygen vapors away from the space shuttle vehicle.

Below it, also extending toward Discovery from the FSS, is the orbiter access arm with the White Room at the end. The crew gains access into the orbiter through the White Room. Discovery is scheduled to launch on mission STS-116 at 9:35 p.m. today.

On the mission, the crew will deliver truss segment, P5, to the International Space Station and begin the intricate process of reconfiguring and redistributing the power generated by two pairs of U.S. solar arrays. The P5 will be mated to the P4 truss that was delivered and attached during the STS-115 mission in September. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

18:47:11 - SPIKE - No comments

Falcon Digs Out Details

According to yesterday's post over on WestBurlingtonCity.com ol' Falcon scoops another notch out of the Burlington Manor Shopping Center.

It seems Kohl's is in active negotiations to move to West Burlington. And a 10 year sliding property tax scale is pretty reasonable since Kohl's has to buy their property at fair market price and not steal it from the unfortunate.

Just watch for the next big give away from Developer Slagle. A million here, a million there, another million for Power and Slagle's retirement fund. Pretty soon, you have all the taxpayers' money.

05:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spread The City Legal Work Around


Why should the City Attorney Scott Power's firm receive all of the legal work in the Manor? This is ten's of thousands dollars of legal work that many local attorney's can do. It only seems fair to bid this work or at least spread it around.

Power's firm earned plenty on the railroad lawsuit job, especially when we look at the results and the fees that the local citizens paid. There is more than one law firm in this town. Let's at least be fair.


Why should we hire a professional real estate attorney to do the work when we can get by with a misfit and do it 2 or 3 times until we get it done right?


04:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Special Prosecutor? Power?


Special Prosecutor? Power? The teller of false tales in the railroad lawsuit?

Is Perry Mason Power for the prosecution some sort of sick joke? Like a sadist, does Power get some perverse enjoyment out of squandering public monies.

Is there more here than twisted satisfaction to be found in throwing poor people off their property? The County Attorney is charged with prosecuting criminal activity. Do the criminals at City Hall and the single party political system want a mole in the County Attorney's Office?

Advance notice of an indictment may gave one time to transfer resources to a Cayman Island bank and plan an extend visit with one's money.

Is the fate of Ed Blow being dangled in Jackson's face to play along? I hope Jackson has the brains and courage to squash this idea.


If I was Pat Jackson I'd be buying new door locks. And sending a memo to the staff not to "Buzz" Power into the office without armed intervention available.


04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Santa Slagle and the Christmas Bicycyle


I would like to get a young man a great bicycle for Christmas. I want a machine with a frame made of fighter plane composites. The derailleuers and other operating components must be the lightest and finest available. The problem is I can't more than $20.00.

If I kiss Slagle's backside, will he let me fish through the unclaimed bikes at the police department and take pick of the litter for the value of an unclaimed Montgomery Ward brand single speed? I realize the bike I want may bring over $150.00 at public auction, but that is not how things are done in Burlington.

Every day is Christmas Day for the right people in Burlington. As an under employed tax supporter of this system, all I ask is one item to make one day special for someone else.


Sorry, you'll have to get by with the old, used, rat trap bicycle like the rest of taxpayers. Slagle already granted that wish to his buddy Power.

Another recurring holiday housecleaning tip - when you fire Slagle, have Slagle take that bum Power with him.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

KCPS Big Show 1150 AM Best Snow Coverage


I can't believe the city Council was in such a wad over KBUR's coverage of the recent snowstorm. Everybody I talked to from mailman to school bus driver knows that Fred and Seven on the Big Show 1150 AM do the best job of reporting school closings and weather related problems. I guess because the city was silly enough to align themselves with KBUR as the go to station for emergencies only to find the system isn't working right, it becomes a problem.

I hear that Slagle canceled the city's radio advertising over at KCPS because they were critical of the way Slagle conducted business on the Big Show one day.

Me, I'm going to keep listening to the boys over on KCPS. I don't play golf, anyway.


From what we hear not only did Slagle cancel the advertising with KCPS, Slagle personally visited the radio station to demand Fred & 7 quit criticizing his work.


04:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

06 December

Power Wants To be Special Prosecutor

I guess Scott Power must be looking for a job. According to this morning's Ad Vertiser Power wants to be designated a special prosecutor for the Des Moines County Attorney's office in order to seize property is a manor.

It looks like nothing more than a ploy for Scott Power to add to his resume "special prosecutor" along with his "federal magistrate" (parking ticket taker at the IAAP) moniker.

There are plenty of attorneys to handle eminent domain work that don't think they need to be special prosecutors. Power has hosed the citizens of Burlington long enough. Why pay Power for 3 hours work at $115/hour when one good attorney can do it in an hour for $250?

If I was County Attorney Pat Jackson I would be deeply concerned about the liability this jackass would bring to my office even if it is legal. It's another gamble, one Des Moines County doesn't need.

11:13:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Ell Is Missing Yet Again - Why Don't You Resign?


I see in the Tuesday Burlington fishwrapper on-line edition a story about the vicious animal ordinance (does this include certain city officials on drunken rampages?) and other council business the following line was repeated yet again in the pages of the fishrapper : “Councilman Bill Ell was absent.”

Color me shocked Spike. Bill Ell is no where to be found. He's missing from a city council meeting or he's unavailable for comment....such is the reoccurring motif in the life of Bill Ell. Lost,missing and hiding out. No one can find him. Maybe he can't find himself.

If the man cannot be reached to respond to his constituents or respond to the media and if he can't be bothered to show up at city council meetings he needs to resign from his position. He's not fulfilling his obligations as a councilman and if the fishwrapper won't call him on it his constituents need to start a petition to begin recall proceedings against him if such a thing is possible. He needs to go. Now.

Bill Ell - Resign. You can't be bothered to show up or be responsive to the media or constituents. For whatever reasons you're obviously not interested or capable of being on the city council. Nor does it appear from your performance and statements while serving on the council that you have the intellectual interest or curiosity to serve in such a capacity. Do Burlington and it's citizens one final service and just resign.


Always keep in mind Ell "lost" the school keys for 7 months and deceived the city council while he did it. And then supported a city lawsuit argued by "Winless" Scott Power to a the usual taxpayer result, needless expense.

The mere thought of Ell not being able to find “himself” is truly scary and a picture I don't want to envision.


11:03:13 - SPIKE - No comments

Tim Scott Tells Us The Facts


BB and taxpayer are asking questions about the rent I pay at the airport for the portion of the old city property maintenance I rent. I pay $150.00 a month, this includes utilities.

I have no heat, except for a small electric heater that I use to heat a small room inside the shop to keep certain items from freezing. There is a furnace in the main area of the shop but the pilot light is not lit and has not been turned on for as long as I have rented this space. There is no air conditioning. There is a hot water heater. I do pay for water that is metered.

I have made roughly $4000.00 worth of permanent improvements to the space I rent over the past 3 years. This is the same rate that others that rent portions of this building and other buildings at the Airport are paying. They did increase the rent 50% the first of this year.

The two vans that I use for my business were never property of the city. One was purchased from Deery Brothers; the other was purchased from Hy-Vee on Agency. The old dark blue crown Victoria that is often parked next to the shop is owned by my son-in-law, who is also my employee. He purchased it from a man in Blandinsville, that had purchased the vehicle at auction in Monmouth. It was never the property of the city of Burlington. My POV is a 1999 Pontiac Montana and was never the property of the city of Burlington.

If you have any question of me, feel free to email at Scotty291(at)aol.com or scottt(at)burlingtoniowa.org .

Tim Scott

Thank you for emailing us Although you weren't required to answer our readers' emails, it clears any perception of conflict of interest our readers may have or think, exist.


10:55:16 - SPIKE - No comments

It's The People - Not The Dogs

Hi Spike

I know no one cares about the new vicious dog ordinance, but what wording did the chief change to eliminate a person's right to due process of the law?

I know a vicious dog is a person's property and if a person wants to challenge the ordinance they should have the right to due process.

I have this feeling that the city is doing away with another service they used to provide to the taxpayers. Now if this is good or bad, I do not know yet. What do you think?

I know the city is broke and they are cutting services everywhere they can, and raising fines and fees everywhere they can. But can they eliminate the right to due process of the law?

They say they are going to set up a board of citizens, but you know the city! It will be a board full of conflicts of interests; another words corrupt. And a person will not stand a chance against them.

Something just smells funny about this to me, like it's not right, but it might be the best thing for the city, who knows?

Thanks Spike


Unfortunately, the Ad Vertiser has not covered this story in any detail.

At first blush, this ordinance appears to be 100% better than the first proposed ordinance. In that ordinance, the police department became judge and jury for a suspected vicious animal.

Under this new ordinance, a citizen committee will make that determination and not the police department. This is the way it should be to protect the citizens' civil rights.

In the event, the citizen committee decides the vicious dog should be destroyed, the dog's owner still has the right to petition the local court to review the case. If this process is followed to the letter of the ordinance, due process will be afforded the dog's owner.

The points that Councilman Scott raised regarding the appointment of a veterinarian and a representative from the Humane Society to the citizen committee is extremely valid. You need people that have experience with animal behavior. There should be no representative from the police department. The police department is here to enforce the law, not interject their opinion.

Quite frankly, the police have guns and are trained to use them if threatened or attacked by a vicious dog; just as it should be. There has probably only been one questionable/unjustified police shooting of a dog in the city in the past 10 years. But unless you were there, you can't say for sure.

What disturbs me most is the typical knee-jerk reaction to add additional laws to the books to govern human behavior, indirectly. This new city ordinance should be a coincidental ordinance to another ordinance that deals with the human side of this problem.

The vicious dog ordinance should include a companion ordinance for keeping a vicious dog and imposing the maximum penalties and fines available on a local level basis to the offending owner. Further, if you keep a vicious dog, your behavior involves the trade or trafficking of drugs, use or possession of illegal drugs, alcohol or other substance abuse or dog fighting, the penalty inflicted should be severe.

People make dogs vicious for a variety of reasons. If you want to stop vicious dogs, control the vicious people and throw their bony asses in prison. You do that, you won't need a vicious dog ordinance.


10:49:53 - SPIKE - No comments

05 December

Re: Ethanol Give Away


The first deal with the ethanol plant was struck by a previous board of supervisors with Hoschek, Miller and Diewold as members, I believe. They did offer them a juicy incentive package, and then for whatever reason no real signed deal with an end was ever signed.

Ed Blow was one of the local leaders instrumental in seeing that a signed deal was secured which did not allow any further real estate tax incentives. Too bad so few people bothered to thank him with a vote during the recent election. I wonder what will happen now with such matters with Heland on the board along with Hoschek.


The original ethanol plant incentive package was approved by Hoschek and Diewold when Miller was out of town according to documents we obtained. The only record of this agreement was the minutes from the supervisors' meeting. No portion of the agreement was ever committed to a written contract.

When former supervisor Chairman David Miller and Ed Blow went to the ethanol plant to negotiate the development agreement they found that Hoschek had renegotiated the number of jobs the ethanol plant had to create had been lowered from the number the supervisors had agreed upon earlier.

Hoschek signed this amendment without the other supervisors knowing it, agreeing to it or voting for it. So technically, the original incentive package was a moot point and there was no legal obligation on the part of the county to honor the incentive package.

This change in the number of jobs to be created was orchestrated by Dennis Hinkle and Brian Tapp. If you remember, Hinkle cried like a baby telling us the ethanol plant was going to move to Illinois. Tapp’s office handled the paperwork for the project including the revised agreement lowering the number of jobs the ethanol plant was required to create.

The ethanol plant project will go down in the annals of Iowa economic development history as a premier example of what happens when amateurs and misfits become involved in economic development.

If it hadn't been for the taxpayer funded incentive package just how successful would the ethanol plant have been?

You would think the apparently ungrateful, extremely successful ethanol plant would be very willing to support the fire department that fights their fires, support the schools that educate their future workers and support the library to provide a better community. Even the casino barge donates a very minor portion of their profits back to the community.

The Des Moines County taxpayers stepped up to help make the ethanol plant successful. Now it's time for the ethanol plant to step up to the taxpayers before we give it any more incentives for their plant expansion.


05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Owned Buildings


The information on this site, which is true, about city hall employee Nosbisch and council member Scott renting City owned or airport owned buildings, should raise a red flag at the Hawkeye. Did the City OFFER these buildings to anyone else? Do they pay all utilities? Is it really market rent? It doesn't look good.


Why won’t the Ad Vertiser touch it? They’re scared to death they might lose 10¢ in beer money. This all might be above board (except for the $350/month Nosbisch pays in rent) but it would be a lot better if it were openly disclosed in advance.


04:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Straight Party Voting


Here in Des Moines County if someone were to sign up a monkey as a Democrat and pay the fee for he or she to run for office, I would guarantee the monkey would get elected and the sad part is the results would probably be better than those we are experiencing with our current elected officials.


And the monkey would be better looking than Edwards, Ell, Courtney and Anderson.


04:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

STS-116 Set For Launch Thursday Night

The STS-116 launch countdown began at 11 p.m. EST Monday at the T-43 hour mark. Included in the countdown are nearly 28 hours of built-in hold time prior to liftoff at 9:35 p.m. launch on Thursday.

STS-116 Crew Gathers Near Pointy End

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On the 195-foot level of the fixed service structure on Launch Pad 39B, STS-116 crew members gather for a photo in front of the white solid rocket boosters and external tank of Space Shuttle Discovery. They have just completed a simulated launch countdown and emergency egress from the orbiter, part of the terminal countdown demonstration test. From left are Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot William Oefelein and Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Robert Curbeam, Christer Fuglesang, Joan Higginbotham and Sunita Williams. Fuglesang represents the European Space Agency. Williams is traveling to the International Space Station on Discovery and will remain behind as a flight engineer with the Expedition 14 crew. The STS-116 mission is No. 20 to the International Space Station and construction flight 12A.1. The mission payload is the SPACEHAB module, the P5 integrated truss structure and other key components.

01:12:54 - SPIKE - No comments

04 December

No More Ethanol Handouts


I read the success story in Sunday's paper about the local ethanol plant. I was shocked to see that the ethanol plant pays almost nothing for the corn they use to make ethanol because they sell the byproduct for the same price as they paid for the corn. So the ethanol is free!

I've heard the ethanol plant wants more tax breaks for their expansion. I'm against that. If they're making this much money they can afford to pay taxes.

The new ethanol plant in Des Moines will pay the city $1.5 million in taxes each year and additional fees for the new project. Why weren't we smart enough to do the same thing?

We can't afford to give away any more taxpayer money to a very successful, profit-making company.


13:17:49 - SPIKE - No comments

A Disease Afoot on Otter Island?


I am glad SF has written the Department of Natural Resources to investigate the City of Burlington's timber sales. The DNR may find something not right not directly related to forestry management. The DNR may say something about it.

The single party relationship between those who running Burlington and Des Moines County extends to the Attorney General's Office. If the DNR announces it has discovered an outbreak of corruption and cronyism related to havesting timber on Otter Island, the Attorney General may no longer be able to look the other way. A Disease Afoot on Otter Island?


The disease is commonly referred to as SIVs - Slagle Incompetence Virus. Although variants are known in other communities, this particular strain has the mind numbing lobotomy effect on elected officials' brains and produces violent vomiting for taxpayers when they open their tax statement.


11:22:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Chamber of Commerce Agenda


Falcon has brought my attention to the agenda published by the Iowa Chamber Alliance and the local B/WB Chamber of Commerce.

These people want to reduce business taxes and raise property taxes, which completely ignores the root cause for higher than normal taxation in Iowa. The root cause of the high taxes is the high cost of city, county and state government. The elimination of this problem, the root cause, should be their number one agenda rather than just shifting the burden from one over taxed entity to another.

Here's a good example of stealing from the taxpayer; here in Des Moines County - a county employee who declines the health insurance gets the same amount of money anyway because the county deposits it into a fund for the employee rather than leaving it in the bank or reducing taxes. Can anyone think of a local business that will take declined health insurance monies and just give it to the employee? Does GE or Winegard deposit declined insurance monies into a fund for their benefit declining employees?

State employees receive 45% more pay than do persons performing the same job in the private sector. Now this is something the Chamber and its Alliance should have on its agenda and pursue all the way to the state house. We need state employee wages and benefits more in line with the private sector and put an end to the current "Privileged Class" system, which is the largest spread between government and private sector pay in the United States. The pay and benefits for government employees in Iowa is a disgrace and an injustice to those taxed to death to cover the cost.

We need to reduce the number of county seats from 99 down to about 20 because the original 99 were a result of distance based on the use of horses for transportation. For instance it took by stage coach 13 hours to travel from Burlington to Mt. Pleasant. Now this same trip would take no more than 30 minutes by automobile; so why do we still have all these county offices?

It's time for Iowa to wake up and get out of the horse and buggy style of state government. How many county jobs could be eliminated by consolidating county governments? Iowa could also reduce its employee count by having 77 less counties to scrutinize. Mt Pleasant should be the center of county government with all counties boarding on Henry County conducting their county business in Henry County. This would mean the following counties would have their county seat in Mt. Pleasant: Lee, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Washington and Louisa. Iowa did it with schools; so why not county government?

Here in Burlington we have debt to the tune of $2000 for every man, woman and child living within the city limits. Actually, it's much more because of the higher than normal number of those on entitlement programs coupled with low wages that predominate in this part of the state.

Also, the local government here in Burlington has put all of us in harms way through their complete incompetence at being fiscally responsible. The sad part is straight ticket voting keeps putting the same misfits back in office.

11:19:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Re: Politicians Make The Best

Re: Politicians Make The Best from December 1


"I" was referring to the collective braintrust at city hall. Of which, Jeff Heland is, undoubtedly, a nitwit emeritus.

Sign me: Still a perturbed taxpayer!

11:08:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Free rent

Spike--keep up the good work.

I just thought I would drop a line about this idea of city employees getting a house owned by the city to live in. Some employees of the Des Moines County Conservation Department get a free house to live in as part of their "package". At Starr's Cave there is a house back there--not much of one I might add--and at the present time the Naturalist lives in it. One of the park rangers lived in it for quite awhile.

And up at Big Hollow there is another house that a park ranger lives in. Mark lived up there for over 20 years and then Jeff Bergman bounced him out (I don't know why) and moved Pat Rogge up there. Pat used to live in the house at Starr's Cave. I'm sure part of this idea was that there was a employee "on site" in case of problems.

Don't get me wrong here---I'm not saying that anything is wrong with this arrangement---just letting you know for general background.

Thanks for all your information and I hope you will continue.


I don’t think Nosbisch offers much onsite support to Perkins Park, if any. And I seriously doubt his hands have held a toilet brush for the Perkins Parks loos...


11:05:35 - SPIKE - No comments

01 December

Spike On Snow Delay

Due to the heavy snow and treacherous driving conditions, Spike will be on a 10 minute Snow Delay.

03:44:00 - SPIKE - No comments

$350 Per Month Including Toilets


It seems Mr. Nosbisch has been living in a house on Perkins (city) property. Nosbisch was paying $350.00 per month rent but must also clean the restrooms at the Perkins Park.

City employees have been renting that house for a long time. Probably one of the best housing deals in town for a person earning big city bucks.


$350 a month rent would be an excellent solution for one of the displaced families from the Manor.

Maybe the city should have a lottery drawing for the lucky family. That would be a nice Christmas present for someone losing their home in the middle of winter.


03:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Property


If I remember correctly… Years and years ago, the city provided a house in the parks for the park employee that took care of the park, mowing etc. These were lower paid jobs back then.

Now we have a house available and a high paid city hall staff member lives in it. I don't know how they choose who gets to live there or how they determine the rent. They probably want to keep this a secret too.

Maybe you can e-mail a council member. When the council members ran for office, they communicated with this site.

They should sell the house and put it on the tax roll. Just so they don't take the proceeds for higher wages.

If they are selling off the trees, I would think they would sell their rental property. But what do we know? We are just citizens.


I think there is a better chance of logging Crapo Park than selling off city-owned residential property. I still want to know why the city owns residential property and is a landlord.


03:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Pigeon Holed

Hi Spike.

Correct me if I'm wrong. Communism is when the Government takes control of all public and private property.

Fascism is when the Government and Business work together to control public and private property.

Whatever happened to "shop downtown Burlington?" There are more buildings there that should be torn down because they look like ^#%&holes to me.

Manor residents, fight City Hall tooth and nail, you are not alone.


By using "^#%&holes" above did you mean pigeon holes?


03:33:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Hall Like Poison Ivy - Covered Roots


Let’s not forget the vans and cars that Tim Scott drives around in are former city vehicles. And the building Mr. Scott works out of? City owned. How much is HIS rent?

Someone needs to spend a little time and uncover all these connections. It reminds me of poison ivy. There are so many different vines buried beneath the surface, it's damn near impossible to kill! Although, if you move enough dirt, you will eventually find all the connections.


03:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Otter Island


I emailed the DNR Forestry division the other day and informed them of the Otter Island deal with Slagle and asked them to make sure everything was above board with the methods used by the city and give the deal their blessing.

Hopefully others emailed them also, which should raise their suspicions and generate some form of reaction.


03:29:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Politicians Make The Best


Five surgeons are discussing the types of people they like to operate on.

The first surgeon says: "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second responds: "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says: "No, I really think librarians a re the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers...those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the ass are interchangeable.

Sign me - Perturbed taxpayer!

Are you referencing our Ambassadors to the Golden Trough, Tim Hoschek and Jeff Heland? Or our collective brain trust over in City Hall?


03:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

No Trumpeting for the Second Coming of Senator King


He who would be King being appointed to a City Board of any sort I thought would make for interesting reading. A check of the Internet graveyard lead to great disappointment.

I expected to read grand pronouncements of great expectations. Perhaps an audio of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus would suddenly issue forth from my speakers as I read the joyous news.

All to be found in the graveyard was a nearly two month old bitch about Spike. Is this lack of self aggrandizement due to self doubt based on honesty? King's ruinous reign on the City Council displayed a great proclivity to wasting public resources, not conserving them.

Putting King on a City Board in search of economies makes as much sense as appointing Richard Speck to the Illinois Board of Nursing Examiners.

To his credit, he who would be King has yet to resurrect his morbid web site to promote false hope.


I thought we were rid of him. Why did you bring his name up? Do that again and you'll be banished to his website.


03:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Speck and The Mayor

Fellow aged one:

The young may not remember Richard Speck. As I recall, Richard Speck liked to hang out in Gulfport. I guess such is the path to greatness. You could become a mass murderer, or Mayor of Burlington.


03:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments