Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 January

U.S. Chamber Wants To Cut E-Verify - A 96.6% Effective Program

Chamber of Commerce Tries to Derail Illegal Immigrant Program

"E-Verify, a 96.6% effective electronic system enabling employers to determine if their workers are legally authorized was supposed to become mandatory for all major federal contractors January 15. But in one of the Bush administration's final acts, the rule was delayed until February because of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce lawsuit. Now, one of the Obama administration's first acts is to delay E-Verify even further, until late May, to review the program. The Homeland Security Department called it a proven tool seven months ago.

...We invite you to call your elected representatives, tell them, and to e-mail them to save the E-Verify program, the most important, as we said, and effective government program against illegal immigration. E-Verify should be a requirement, according to Senator Sessions, and Senator Nelson, of any federal program and contracting with the federal government.

To contact your Congressman and senators, we invite you to call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to loudobbs.com where you'll find more information about how to call or to e-mail your representatives and senators.

How stupid can these Chamber people be? A program that is 96.6% efficient and they want to scrap it? They should hang a medal on its designer!

Keep this in mind when Dennis Hinkle is waving his bonus bucks in one hand and Columbus Junction bus tickets in the other.


02:42:02 - SPIKE - No comments

Robbing Hoods


"At another point, Blagojevich asked "how can you throw a governor out of office who was acting to protect the lives of senior citizens and infants and trying to find ways to be able to help families?""

Senator Courtney couldn't have said it better while he is picking your pockets.


02:28:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Hi-Ho Hiccup, Away!


Operating a horse on a public highway while intoxicated has landed a man in jail.

Assuming he considers a Gene Autry costume proper business attire, do you think this man could move to Burlington and become the mayor? I hope his horse learns the way home in a hurry. Those 3:00 A. M. calls for a ride can be problematic if Spike finds out.


How dare you blaspheme Gene and Roy! The local Republicans need to say a prayer for you. And your horse. As soon as the wrestling match ends.


02:21:32 - SPIKE - No comments

Another One Rides the Bus


The former Governor of Illinois in all probability will end up doing a far, far better thing than he has ever done before. Making license plates and by doing so, reduce the tax debt the Democrats are going to impose to restore their souls.

What to do with Blagojevich after he pays his debt to society?

Will the Hinkle praised, Tapp Transit travesty still be running then? It may well be. Nobody appears able to make public the bus deal with Tyson's.

Put Blago on the bus to Burlington when his term is done. This guy has talents in excess of what is called for at Columbus Junction. The real issue is where to place such a special case, penal system veteran from Illinois.

The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, Grow Greater Burlington, City Hall, The Iowa Senate, where do you think Blagojevich's talents could best be put to use for Burlington?


Has anyone seen the Tapp Transit documents yet?


02:17:27 - SPIKE - No comments

Bye, Bye, Blago


The Monty Hall of Illinois is out of a job. Making deals is how the political game is played. You are not supposed to set your friends up as ringers from the crowd and make certain they know the clinker is behind door number one.

Ravishing Rod has been removed from office. He will not be able to pardon himself, at least on state charges. A crook doing a disservice to the public in public office has gotten what he deserved.

What of those doing a public disservice at the west end of the Great River Bridge?

To our knowledge, our local elected have done nothing worthy a federal investigation of Blago's magnitude. There is no law against being ignorant and incompetent.

It is a crime that Senator Courtney, Mayor Ell, et al. are perpetually re-elected. To that indictment, the majority of local voters must plead guilty.

E. Ness

02:14:41 - SPIKE - No comments

30 January

Rec Plex Losses Are Still Losses


Since the RecPlex brings in so many visitors how about them paying the yearly losses incurred since it opened its doors. In 2007 the RecPlex posted a $149,937 loss after depreciation of $107,500. I think the motel/hotel tax should cover the RecPlex losses on a yearly basis. The taxpayer in Burlington has been hooked for over $1,000,000 since the place opened its doors. One can figure a good $100,000 per year minimum loss for the place not counting depreciation.

Had it not been for depreciation in 2007 the losses would have exceeded $257,437 for the RecPlex alone, not counting the losses incurred with the sewer fund, parking fund and the golf course which had losses of $72,145 with $60,017 in depreciation.

I still think the city should sell off the RecPlex to private entities and get out of the sports business that’s proven a loser year after year and besides city employees just plain cost too much and are provided costly benefits at taxpayer expense. City government should do what they do best here in Burlington and when someone finds out what that it is, please tell them. Hell city government can’t even find a few ball park lights they dismantled; so how could they ever run a business, let alone a city.

Oh, and what happens to the other RecPlex employees during the winter shut down months? Does any one employed by the city know or does the taxpayer just keep paying them every payday, wouldn’t surprise me.


10:35:36 - SPIKE - No comments

Exxon Mobil Posts Record Profits

Exxon Mobil Corp. today reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from a year ago.

The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world's largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007.

What's wrong with this picture?


10:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

They Should Have Learned from Our Mistake


More villages' idiots. More more public money to burn chasing railroads. The result is the same.

Uncle Sam does not like his lessers playing games with trains.


The communities involved had to fork over $7,500 and think they are going to achieve results. These fools are going against the wealthiest railroad in North America and have no clue what is coming; legally or historically.

CN is going to invest over $100 million dollars in phase 1 to build bridges and trenches to preclude train vs car problems while avoiding noise. This is a huge solution to a problem.

But the Illinois folks are just like Burlington's city council. They bitch like a bunch of little pick pockets caught stealing the drunk's pocket change. This case is what makes Scott Power sleepless in Burlington just dreaming over stabbing his client with a bill for a case with no merit.


10:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

For English - Press 1 / To Get Screwed - Vote Loebsack


Congressman Loebsack was crowing to the Advertiser about the wonders of the economic stimulus bill he voted for. It gives money to illegal aliens.

I am impressed all to hell my frozen wages are being taxed to support people with no damn business being here. Why are people dumb enough to think this guy is tending to their business in Washington?

I guess if all you read is the Advertiser, you will never be any the wiser.


01:26:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Stop Nit Picking


You should not pick on some of our local office holders. No matter how irritating they may at times be, who knows what wonders unknown they may contain.


01:11:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Labor Management or Not?


Labor Management?

Every day we hear about illegal workers taking our jobs. Every day we hear the politicians asking each other "How do we close the borders?" Why do we spend millions on fences? And especially how do we balance the budget?

We have laws that prevent illegals from working. They are not enforced well but, they are there.
We have laws which require wage earners to support their government through taxes. They are not enforced well but, they are there.

We use these laws to penalize businesses that are trying to do it right but, make mistakes. We don't investigate those that are doing it wrong for profit. The way around taxes is to be paid cash or pay workers as "subcontractors". Is this the American way?

If you report your taxes and make a mistake you receive a penalty, interest and your assets are frozen until you pay your due.

If you don't report your income you can get food stamps, free medical care and housing assistance.

Not only are we not collecting the tax due from workers, we are paying them not to play the tax game.

I asked the state why there was no enforcement of these tax laws. The head of Iowa Workforce Development responded that due to budget cuts they had to cut the enforcement positions.

We are loosing millions of dollars in taxes and paying millions more in medical expenses to qualified workers that are not reporting their income and not paying taxes. So we build a fence.

Why would a worker report income? No one is looking.

Enforcement of these laws would provide funding. Qualified investigators need to be hired.


00:36:00 - SPIKE - No comments

29 January

06:52:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Des Moines County's Dr. Zhivago


"I don't intend to vote in favor of this," he said. "This is an employee benefit. These implications go way beyond this room."

Heland is terrified. The implications of Cahill denying himself a free lunch do indeed go way beyond the County Board Room. Cahill's actions shake the very core of the local single party belief system.

Unlike Heland, Cahill is capable of independent, intelligent thought. Cahill's mind was trained to think some place other than a picket line. Cahill can decide for himself what serves his personal interests and the interests his constituents. A paternalistic government is not necessary.

The whole solidarity herd slim of wits will be down on Cahill for this. Leaders at the Union Hall/Party Headquarters are probably plotting Cahill's down fall. How dare Cahill think for himself. He is supposed to do as he is told.

Beck strayed from dogma on this issue only once. He has since learned to sing like Heland and survive. Will party leaders at the County Kremlin make Cahill pay?

Heland will never be called to task. Control of the single party primary is in the hands of the Courtney collectivists. The only reason Cahill made the cut was the Hoschek embarrassments.

Heland and the local politburo have no reason to fear a general election. Their primary settles who will hold office. There is no need to offer intelligent candidates whose first priority is to the electorate at large instead of the party inner circle.

"Yuri also understood that his fate was sealed. He was convinced he was doomed, because he was not believed to be "red enough"."

As long as there is only one political party in Des Moines County, Cahill could be headed to Siberia.


It would seem to me there is no vote to take. If Cahill wants to opt out, he opts out. To hell with Heland and Beck. Maybe they should do the same!

Come to think of it, if Heland is covered by insurance at Dresser Rand under his wife's policy, why did Large Mouth Heland accept County insurance?

Or, did he pocket the premium for a little gambling money. A grand a month plays some good black jack hands.


06:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Rec Plex


I'm responding about rec plex employees. I asked the manager out there what he did during the winter months. He told me that was when he was busiest. He is arranging tournaments for the weekends in the summer. He is working hard to bring state and regional tournaments here. From what I've seen out there during the summer he has very well filled each weekend. These tourneys bring in out of towners who in turn spend money and fill our hotels.

I believe the Rec Plex built Comfort Suites and helped initiate the water park.

A few years ago I was talking to a family from Minnesota whose daughter was playing at a tournament. He said they were staying in Mt. Pleasant because there were no rooms available in Burlington. I thought 'Gee if I had the money to invest I think a hotel with a water park like the one in Dubuque would go over well especially if it was near the Rec Plex. A year or two later the hotel and water park appeared.

Don't get me wrong I don't like waste in government but the Rec Plex does bring in money it just doesn't out there, but in other areas. I think some of the Hotel motel tax should go to support the Rec Plex. I look at the Rec Plex as a loss leader for the community. It brings people in the door now we need to get them spending money on other things.


We can't afford loss leaders in this economy. Where are the other 8.5 employees during the winter months?

Apparently, the value of Fun City last summer was less than what might be expected to drive business to town given the council's myopic view of another loan extension to Fun City based on revenues. And I would imagine if the city would produce the a certified copy of the water park's financial statement, you would find that it produced less money than you think.

But all we get for a certified copy of the water park's financial statement is Mini-Crook Worden's scratchings on a yellow pad. The real certified copy of the water park's financial statement is kept in Slagle's desk drawer.


06:28:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Lee County Sheriff


I see Lee County Sheriff Bucky Boy Jones wants to hire two new officers. If he was a certified law officer himself and able to do the job he was elected to do, this would not be necessary. How can the powers that be in Lee County ignore the fact that this man is unfit for the job?

If a road worker for the county loses his drivers license he is deemed unable to do his job and is dismissed. If a deputy officer were to be de-certified, he would be fired.

Would someone please explain to me the difference between a lowly road worker, a deputy and Bucky Boy? He has no right to collect his salary because he is unfit to perform his job. No matter what he uses for an excuse for signing the papers so his ineligible son could be a certified law officer, he still did it. If he is so stupid that he did not know his own son was ineligible he is not fit to hold office.

I was also wondering. If Bucky Boy is not a certified law officer can he still legally drive a police vehicle? Are there loaded weapons in his vehicle? It is illegal for a mere citizen to have loaded and uncased weapons in a vehicle. Is it illegal for a mere citizen to have access to police radios? Can he still legally run background checks on citizens?

Just exactly what can he legally do if he can't wear a uniform,arrest someone or carry a gun?



Wondering Why Lee County Citizens Put Up With This

You raise some interesting points about the what rights he has an uncertified peace officer. He has an FCC license to operate a police radio but it probably is only valid in his duties as a valid peace officer. That seems to be the biggest question you raised.

I guess he has given himself a concealed weapons permit so the uncased weapons would be a stretch. Driving a cruiser might be an issue if the insurance company says only a certified police officer in the discharge of his duties may drive the vehicle.

But the real reason he is still in office is because he was elected to office. The supervisors have no real control over him.

So he can do pretty much whatever he wants. Unless he has violated the rules.


06:19:46 - SPIKE - No comments

Father Seeks Mercy Killing of Three Retarded Sons

And we let reprobates like Pelosi and Reid set our world stage? Apparently, the U.S. hasn't been held in as high regard as we think so as to influence other people about our values of life and human rights.

Maybe Kim and the right to life Christian Republican Party can weigh in on this, too.

06:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

28 January

"Damn It, So Go Away" - What An Idiot!

"Public works says it's not feasible to repair it. You still have people in the community saying, 'Why can't you repair it?' We need to answer that question. If it's not possible, then we say we can't do it, damn it, so go away," Worden said in a telephone interview Monday."

There you have it folks, Doug Worden, a 30-year retread employee with an attitude that is so prevalent in Burlington City Hall. Citizens go to the council meetings and are met with this same asshole attitude from the mayor and most of the council. No wonder no one cares.

Mini-Me "Bruce" Worden is a joke. His direction for Cascade bridge is a good example. There is no direction. He has no direction. He was last choice for the city manager's job.

How can we expect more?


03:07:41 - SPIKE - No comments

Pick a Pair of Six Packs - Vote for Bud


Music has always been an effective way to sell a product. Be it suppositories, or politicians, an appropriate, happy jingle makes cash registers and voting machines go ka-ching.

From the "Land of Sky Blue Waters" has inspired many a blue sky promise of "Happy Days are Here Again" from our local leaders. The resulting Manor Mall hangover will take more than a hand full of aspirin and half a day to go away.

Burlington's 2009 City Council election is already making news with drop outs and indecision among incumbents on seeking another term. When it comes to replacements, will the only choice be another pink elephant stampede to breed more white elephants?

The past track record of our "#1 Blue Ribbon" political winners is a disgrace. Local taxpayers better beware of another another hard right to the jaw.

We could use a new Burgermeister. By the time we pay our taxes, a lot of us maybe living in cardboard boxes.

Valentin Blatz

03:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments



I just read the Layoffs Loom article on your site. The entire country's workforce will feel the pain with either layoffs, pay freezes or pay cuts and more contribution to our health plans. It is just reality.

Why do the government employees believe they should be exempt from all of this? Governments are continuing to give pay raises and contribute nothing or very little to their health plan. This is a slap in the face to the citizens and businesses that are "FORCED" to pay the government payroll.

Our local government elected officials need to have the guts to initiate pay freezes and layoffs and get rid of their 10 MPG gas guzzlers. I thought the City was going Green!

Local businesses are making adjustments and local governments should too.

Thank you for allowing my comments.

Burlington Citizen

02:59:37 - SPIKE - No comments

Mike Sweet - We're Waiting


Mr. Sweet has been exceptionally quiet about the new secretary of the treasury, a known tax cheat and liar. Also, he hasn’t said anything about Liza P. Jackson new head of the EPA, a known socialist sometimes referred to as a communist. Its obvious Mr. Sweet probably promotes Ms. Jackson because she thinks along the same lines as he does but why he remains quiet about Tim Geithner is beyond reason, maybe he keeps quiet because Tim is a democrat.

We say, come on Mike, there's plenty of democratic fodder for your pen or are we to think you’re editorials are not fair and balanced? Let us read your editorials about Obama’s many choices for high office that are shrouded in deceit.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Green Reality: "Regulations Won’t Stop Until The Wooly Mammoth Returns"

"IDC, the Framingham, Mass.-based research firm, was pleasantly surprised in a survey of 372 U.S. companies to find that the vast majority—72 percent—stated that green/sustainability issues were important to senior management."

"Much of the interest, however, is being driven by regulations—a key factor in doing business. As one survey respondent put it: Regulations won’t stop until the wooly mammoth returns.”

02:08:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Don't Fence Me In


Our federal taxes have nearly completed a fence to keep people from fleeing a corrupt, economically depressed mess they no longer can tolerate calling home.

When will Hinkle instruct local politicians to erect a fence around Burlington for the same reason?

Guy Massey

01:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 January

Rec Plex Employees Missing - In Storage With Ball Park Lights?


Does anyone know what happens to the 9.25 city employees that work at the
RecPlex in the summer when it shuts down for the winter? Specifically what
happens to the manager and other salaried employees should there be any
others and are the hourly absorbed somewhere else within city departments?

Also, is their any city employees assigned to the water world thing out at
the Winegard facility and what happens to them in the winter?

I've always wondered where these personnel disappeared during the winter
months and what its costing the taxpayer. Here in Burlington the sun never
shines on this type of information although all these people are working for
the taxpayer and we have a right to know where they are and what their
doing, as long as their on the payroll.

The local newspaper would never print information concerning public
employees and what their doing. The paper only prints their salaries once a
year along with the names which is only partially what the public should
know about their public servants.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What's Next?


Caterpillar laid off 20,000 workers worldwide, do you think Case is next? Or do you think the 3 million the state and city gave them will keep them open?

How about Champion or GE or the car lots? Do you think its a good time to give raises or build an indoor rec center? The leaders in Burlington are insane for even thinking of crap like this!

They all need fired for being ignorant, and arrogant to even make statements like this at a time like this! And the taxpayers need their heads examined not to speak up and throw them out!


02:37:00 - SPIKE - No comments

You Won't Have Thomas & Scott To Kick Around Anymore


All the talk of stepping down and some actually saying they will not seek re-election to our City Council, why? Have you been that mean to these people?

Now that Slagle is no longer City Manager, is all the fun gone? I wonder if Slagle is still doing gratis campaign management, or was Jr. Murray his last hurrah?


02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Plutocrats & Polutocrates


Well now that Barry, Harry, Nancy and Barney (I get Barney mixed up with that Sweet author who writes for the advertiser) are in control. They want to give away $850 billion TAX dollars more or less that have NEVER been collected to stimulate the economy. What a responsible way of putting the economy back on track.

The responsible way is to create incentives for businesses to keep and put people to work. This has always been a positive way of keeping our economy healthy. The plutocrats and unions have never wanted business to be successful even though they employ union workers. Unions want their employers to be bankrupt, not make a profit, but still employ workers and pay big pensions. Go figure.

On another note I do hope that Barry will not let all the terrorists free that are locked up in Cuba to attack America again as it appears in the executive order he has placed this week.

I would like to hear from those who voted for him on that! Convince me that is the right move.


02:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Blagojevich Emphasizes Greatness - Where's Mike Sweet?

Democratic Governor Blagojevich said on Monday he felt he was in the company of Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Teddy Roosevelt and Gary Cooper.

Blagojevich is the 8th person about to join this exclusive list of impeached U.S. governors: William W. Holden, David Butler, William Sulzer, James E. Ferguson, John C. Walton, Henry S. Johnston and Evan Mecham.

When convicted he will be the 4th of the last eight Illinois governors like Otto Kerner, Dan Walker and future cell mate George Ryan.

Blago also characterized his foibles to Jimmy Stewart’s character in the Frank Capra classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, saying he's fighting against a "political industrial complex."

The closest thing Blagojevich relates to is Elwood Dowd and Harvey the Rabbit.

02:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The PEW Charitable Trust on Global Warming

From the PEW Charitable Trust -

"The world’s leading scientists agree that the planet is warming and that human activities—especially the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests—are a big part of the cause.

In a 2007 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international group of scientists charged with reviewing, validating and summarizing the latest research concluded that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal. They stated that it is 90 percent certain that human-generated greenhouse gases account for most of the warming in the past 50 years.

Many published scientific reports have documented the actual observed impacts of a warming planet—including dramatic melting of the Arctic ice cap, shifting wildlife habitats, increased evidence of wildfires, heat waves and more intense storms. Americans are now seeing the impacts of global warming in their backyards. The warming trend poses serious risks to the economy and the environment."

02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Layoffs Loom In Economy

01:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 January

New City Jobs? None - All Were Filled With City Retirees w/Benefits


I was listening to a national talk show this week. They had a nationally known guest that will be speaking in Washington soon. I can't remember her name, but she was very smart and straight forward. She was discussing the economy, job situation, stock market declines and retirements. A couple of things that she was concerned about that we have already seen locally and State wide.

She said the private sector individual will be working longer because of the market declines. The citizens who are retired have had to make adjustments because their funds have declined. She said the thing that is wrong, is government employees have this guaranteed pension that is often 80% of their pay promised to them, along with annual pay raises.

The State pension funds will not be able to keep up. She said the citizens that have already taken a hit, will be taxed even more to provide the high government pensions. She said this will be a large problem in many States as governments look for ways to get more of our money. Sound familiar? New local income tax, higher property taxes and take over the Lottery?

The second thing she said that is wrong and unfair. The new government job openings often go to other family members that have the connections or a Government retired person that is allowed to work in another government body. Sometimes the spouse or their children may get the job. This sounds like Burlington and Des Moines County.

Thursday's Hawkeye printed the City of Burlington's payroll. There were several retired City employees on the payroll. A former police chief's son who has a local business, is now employed by the golf course and earned $31,000 for a seasonal job. Must have needed the benefits.

How about the new airport manager? Did they have inside connections? What do you think?

Did others get a fair chance for this equal opportunity? Did they follow the law?

There are more and this needs to stop. The City council is wrong to have allowed this to go on. They can't honestly believe that this is right.

One local very successful business owner told me last week, they are a bunch of greedy hogs. Maybe he is right.

equal opportunity?

Greedy hogs in sloppy manure.


10:40:31 - SPIKE - No comments

County Gives Raises - Then Taxes Must Go Up To Cover The Raises!

Heland Economics Takes Over The Courthouse


Today, Friday Jan. 23, 2009, I heard on 107.3 the new mix Bob Beck says that they are not going to meet their budget and will have to raise taxes!

These idiots knew this earlier this week and gave raises out to the County Dept. Heads, and I call this leader ship failure, and failure to have fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Des Moines County!

Do you call this Stupid or Dumb or Both?! The leaders in Burlington can never change because the same people are on too many boards and have too many conflicts of interest, and the citizens who do vote are joined at the hip with these morons!

This area is controlled by the minority because, in every election, how many people turn out to vote? 10% or less I call that a minority and you see what you get with the out come corruption and failure like Heland , Beck, and Cahill!

I am mad as HELL because of the raises and it shows what kind of leaders the SUPS are! Now people should be furloughed a week at a time at the county and cuts should be made to make the budget! And all raises should be FROZEN just like the governor did to the state workers!

People we are in a %$#$#%!@ Financial DISASTER. All of our politicians act like we're not. They're a bunch of &^%# MORONS! Do you all think OBAMA is going to make it OK? And send money or we can just raise taxes and fees to cover it all!

I do not think it is going to turn out that way, it's going to be a soup line if I say. If you got a dime you can get some soup!

People, you need to purge the leaders first and foremost of all the elected positions, and get people with common sense who will start making wise decisions that make sense and not embarrass the taxpayers and put them in debt so far they will never see daylight!

Fed Up With It All

10:36:09 - SPIKE - No comments

Prosperity is Just a Tax Increase Away


Beck is buying into more tax and spend. What about the rest? Heland, of course raise taxes. Heland loves taxes. If Cahill objects, thee to two, who needs you?

Get used to it. The Republicans in Des Moines County are incompetent and impotent. Heland can laugh all the way to the next level higher.


The Republicans went a prayer vigil and a Central Committee meeting broke out.


10:30:05 - SPIKE - No comments

R. I. P. Advertiser? Newspaper Death Watch


Nice site. How prophetic. I liked the future of print news spin.

The Slammer is growing. I bet they would really cover the Drunk ex-Mayor's ride home in no time.


10:27:09 - SPIKE - No comments

Death Tax Looms


The city wants to borrow about the amount of debt incurred for the infamous Manor Mall. But they say the debt is for infrastructure. What happens when the big payments need to start flowing on Manor Mall? Another bond sale from Bruce Slagle?

It's either that or taxes have to go up.

Taxes will be the death of me yet

10:24:18 - SPIKE - No comments

City Floods


Why in the world would the city after 176 years decide we need flood protection? It never bothered anyone before and we’ve had plenty of floods during those 176 years or since the Corps of Engineers with the blessing of the government decided we needed dams and higher, unsafe levees.

Private firms that continue to get flooded should pick up their own tab for building in a flood plane. I’m sure that on maps, past and present, reference is made to the area west of the river as a flood plain. Why should the taxpayer pick up the tab?

If my basement floods will the city pick up the tab for protecting me in the future?

Disgusted Again

No, they will hand you a plastic bag and charge you 20 times what they paid for it.


10:19:28 - SPIKE - No comments

Supervisors' Pay


The county of Clinton has four or five supervisors working full time for a salary of $35,000 and change plus benefits, while we in Burlington have three part-time supervisors earning the same money and getting as good as or better benefits, with the exception of Dan.


10:17:14 - SPIKE - No comments

Debtors Prison


The City of Burlington is talking of increasing our debt burden. We now are told we must borrow roughly equal to the amount of debt incurred for the infamous Manor Mall. Infrastructure is being sold as to why our taxes must increase to deal in debt.

Who will feast on our pound of flesh this time around? Will Burlington's increasing misery benefit the butcher responsible, Burce Slagle Springsted Bond Salesman?


10:16:22 - SPIKE - No comments

24 January

Pot Holes


I might suggest the fathers of Burlington start a pot hole hot line. Where can people call in to report a new pot hole in town. They could win a prize for the biggest pot hole reported in town for the month. I saw this being done in the QCA on channel Six.

The cost of patching the pot holes and giving the winner of the contest a prize, could be paid out of the monthly sales tax from the Manor Mall.

I heard this from a good source that so far there have been NO lay offs at the Manor Mall due to the union contract. And no new employees because no one will work overtime.


Get that $37,000 part-timer answering the phone.


06:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Taxes & All Else


Having settled with the city on my property in the manor was a mistake. The attorney that was representing me against the city attorney and his appraiser Mr. Pallord, which Randy Wingard brought to town, to lower the taxes on the casino.

Now my attorney has hired Mr. Pallord to get the taxes lowered on General Electric. When I found about this I dismissed my attorney but I asked him if Mr. Powers would be representing the city in this. He said he did not know for sure but he thought it would be the city attorney.

So in the process of settling with the city I asked Mr. Power about it and he told me he did not have the expertise. in this matter and he would not be handling the case. He also told me that he had told the city to hire a firm out of Cedar Rapids.

I don't believe either one of these should have their taxes lowered. If they do, what's to keep Lowes, CNH, Champion Sparkplug or any other business in town from doing the same.

There needs to be some accountability in this town and if the people that write these letters to you would just get together maybe we would get some answers. I would be more than happy to meet with these people anytime. We talk about this all the time but we never end up with answers, lets go to the people in charge and get some.

They say what goes around comes around and I believe Burlington is long overdue.

Leonard Johnson

Everybody has the right to challenge their tax bill. Corporate challenges to the tax bill is standard everyday event. Whether or not they get anywhere is another matter. It seems the casino pays a fair tax and their idea of value is tarnished by the 2nd hand smoke.

As for Scott Power being incompetent, that's true. He needs to be fired and go away. Power has reeked enough damage from his secret billing arrangement with Doug Worden. BTW - Worden, you are a disgrace to fiscal management. All the good you ever tried to do, non-event. You condoning Power's grasp on this city is your downfall. You are as rotten as Slagle.


06:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

23 January

City's Contingency Plans - I Don't Mean Sandbags


The city of Burlington should start making contingency plans for loss of revenue through reduced taxes before the bottom drops out.

They should start now by giving personnel time off without pay for a week at a time on an alternate basis. If they wait too long they’ll be forced to lay off personnel; so a week off once a month or what ever they decided would be the best alternative.

They should at once stop unnecessary spending and wasteful management such as four day work weeks with five days pay instituted by Burlington’s worst manager Bruce Slagle several years ago.

Selling off city owned non-profitable businesses would be another way of reducing waste of taxpayer money. Two come to mind right off the bat, namely the RecPlex and the water park partnership with Winegard.

All plans for unnecessary bond issues should be curtailed. Paying employees for not taking insurance should also be stopped and that money returned to the general fund. Bonuses should be stopped and basically never reinstated because these are public servants and not “privileged people” as has been the norm for many years.

Retired city employees should be dropped from the city payroll and new “need a job” private sector employees should replace them. Double dipping by ex employees should be stopped.

Part time employees should not receive benefits anymore than what the private sector provides, which in most cases is nothing. A reduction in days off should be dropped to nine similar to the private sector. Public employees have around thirteen paid holidays compared to eight or nine for the private sector.

Of course all raises should be put on hold until the congressional generated economic crises has been resolved. If the union doesn’t like any of these approaches then I suggest they be terminated and replaced by someone that wants the job.

The time for action by the city is now and not weeks or months from now. Some sacrifice now my save some jobs further down the road.


We're buying the 15 year flood bags now with borrowed money. How much more planning can these over-educated no-practical experience geniuses do?

Flood bags! Borrowed money! Part-timers making $37,000 A YEAR WITH FULL BENEFITS.

"It's time to march on city hall with torches and pitch forks."


07:08:39 - SPIKE - No comments

City/County Insurance


Just read Sick of It's letter. Couldn't agree more.

People in the community are talking about this. Heard two gentlemen in a downtown bank talking about this. It may even be more than $500.00 per month. This is the biggest legalized scam that I have ever seen.

And to think that we trusted these people for all these years. It's almost unbelievable that this was ever allowed to happen.

Even if they change it now, some have already filled their accounts over the years. This should be against the law to even do this. Charge taxpayers $1100.00 for employee health insurance and they take it for another retirement fund.

Unethical, you bet. Do they care? Nope!

paying the taxes

Read the next post? Criminal is the word for pay to play. Bring home the union vote and you get a free ride on the taxpayers' back. And Gas Bag Heland is right in the middle of it along with Junior Murray.


06:52:44 - SPIKE - No comments

$37,000 A Year Part Time Job

Falcon has a story this morning that those of you outraged about the county and city health insurance debacle should read. I want a $37,000 a year PART TIME JOB WITH FULL BENEFITS. Are any or all of these part-timers double dipping on retirement insurance and pocketing the dough?

OK, Heland, Cahill, Beck, Murray, Davidson, Scott, Thomas; let's see what you're moral convictions really are about correcting these outrageous expenditures.


06:45:59 - SPIKE - No comments

"Who's Going to Do All This Hard Labor?"


If things get bad enough, you maybe amazed who will be picking up a shovel.

The old timers talked about local bankers, clerks, etc. being toughened up clearing land for the 9' Upper Mississippi River navigation system. That was over 70 years ago. There were bulldozers back then, but hand labor was utilized as necessary to make work.

Since then, we have suffered from a "Great Society." Cut this welfare net and it may inspire some of its long term catches to cut trees with a two man saw. Some of those new to the dole due to economic change may have a mind capable of learning a valuable, skilled trade.

The cream of our local Jimmy Olsons able to hook up their own computers and home entertainment systems may become passable electricians. For editors and the rest, there is always the saw and shovel.

If it as bad as they keep telling us, there is no telling what they may end up doing to survive the disaster of a liberal, "Great Society" style home lending program so many once advocated.

Harry Hopkins

06:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What a VISTA is Burlington


It is nice to see Microsoft is out to correct the error of their ways and trash VISTA. Like the Edsel, New Coca Cola and Bruce Slagle's resume, VISTA is all hype without a hope in hell of performing as promised. VISTA begs comparison:

What do the Hindenberg and VISTA share in common?

Both are bloated and hard to handle.

What is the difference between the Hindenberg and VISTA?

The Hindenberg flew more than one hour without crashing.

Why did the Advertiser "update" to VISTA?

Jimmy Olson's constant rebooting makes visitors think he is actually working.

What is the difference between the Burlington City Council and VISTA'S design team?

XP worked. VISTA designers can not blame what went before.
The Burlington City Council has not functioned for years. Take a nap and blame your predecessor.

Why is Senator Courtney introducing a bill requiring all computers in Iowa, except his, to run on VISTA?

Nobody will be able to read anything but the Advertiser.

What is the difference between Burlington's City Engineer and a VISTA Software Engineer?

The VISTA Engineer no longer has a job because of his actions.

What is the difference between Microsoft and the majority of voters in Burlington?

Microsoft knows when to ditch a loser and start over.

Sick of Both

05:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 January

Ever More Liberal - Ever More Elitist - Ever Smaller


News magazines have lead the way as ink on paper declines. Time and Newsweek are shrinking and pandering to increasingly smaller audience of ideologues. The same trend is becoming noticeable in newspapers.

If this is the survival strategy in national and major metropolitan markets, what of rural county seat criers? What about Burlington?

The Advertiser may imagine itself an effete information source, but it has not put out a quality product in a long time. As far as a local liberal elite, those who imagine themselves such are by in large a laughable lot.

When it comes to the size of a local elitist circulation base, you could print more copies than needed on a $50 computer printer and never need change an ink cartridge. There is no way a small market will support pandering to liberal elitists.

Technology is providing choices never before possible. You either adjust to the law of natural selection, or disappear.

C. D.

The majority of new voters that the liberal media pandered to in the last election, including the newspapers, are the very people that have no interest in seeing news on paper. If fact, they don't have much interest in news at all.

They've never heard about biting the hand that feeds them. They just bite. They don't care about the news. Only the next hand out.

2009 is going to shake down newspapers like never before. The Ad Vertiser could make it. If it wasn't for Publisher Steve Delaney and his minion editors fostering their archaic agendas of elitist, one party, good for all, one flavor, slop, lazy ass journalism.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Who's Going To Do This Hard Labor Work?

The post above raises a pointed question to all of these stimulus handouts our great, great, great, grandchildren are going to pay for. Who's going to do the hard labor work of building and rebuilding our infrastructure? All the older Americans that know what hard work is already have a job. Or maybe 2 or three jobs to make ends meet.

Congress is going to create millions of jobs. Who's going to fill these jobs? Illegal immigrants?

How many unemployed software engineers, game programmers or mortgage brokers are going to go work a concrete job to pay the bills? How many of those jobs will be found in a metro area where the unions control who gets a job? How many of those hired have the work ethic to work hard at manual labor?

Most of the people that do hard work have a job or will be employed under these various government handout programs. But where are the other million or two workers going to come from?

When people like the drunk ex-mayor endorse sending jobs away from Burlington because the union members would have to work 6 days a week, how can this new direction ever succeed?


02:44:00 - SPIKE - No comments

County Insurance All Not As It Appears


I know for a fact because a county employee told me the county was putting, as I remember about $500 into a retirement fund for him every month because he had health insurance and declined the county insurance benefit. Just think, this guy was already drawing a retirement and benefits from a local company and the county was putting taxpayer money into a personal fund for him, money that should go back to the account it came out of in order to reduce our taxes.

If I’m not mistaken the city steals taxpayer money in the same manner should an employee decline the insurance provided because a spouse or past retirement pays for his or her insurance or their on Medicare.

Government entities have been stealing from the taxpayer for years in order to live the good life and it’s time it ended. The entire community should back Dan in his drive to end this stealing of taxpayer money. It goes much deeper than the county employees and it needs to be stopped in its tracks. Just figure, in a year’s time how much taxpayer money is stolen to double dip for government employees by the city and the county.

I also think they have too many holidays when compared to the private sector. I think they have thirteen versus nine or less for private sector employees. Just think what this four or five days cost the taxpayer.

Sick of It

01:49:12 - SPIKE - No comments

Lance Reopens Archway Cookie Plant


Lance bought Archway Cookie and reopened the Ohio plant. This is one story to read about corporate responsibility.


That's the difference between a crooked private equity firm owner and a real company that buys a company and plans to operate it.


01:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Fair or Free Speech


Interesting site this week. If Free speech should not be allowed and replaced by Fair speech, who decides what is Fair speech, the newspaper?

Now that's scary!

4 Free Speech

01:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

21 January

Ad Vertiser's Bob Saar In Monmouth, Not Washington DC As Thought?


I'm pretty sure I saw Bob Saar on Tuesday at Burger King in Monmouth. I know the newspaper printed a story that said he was in Washington, DC. But I think I saw Bob in his Jeep parking at the new hotel across the street from Burger King.

Not sure. But makes you wonder.

What's True?

Are you sure you didn't see the drunk ex-mayor in his Jeep in the BK parking lot? They both look alike except Saar is smarter than the drunk ex-mayor Mike Edwards and can carry a tune without slurring his words.


02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

To Our Loss, Integrity No Longer Matters


Decades ago, the Hawkeye discovered it was a victim ghost written letters to the editor. A group with an agenda and many supporters of doubtful literacy was behind the effort.

Leaders literate were writing letters to advance their agenda. These letters were than given to the unthinking faithful for their signature, or mark, and mailed to the Hawkeye. The Hawkeye discovered what was going on.

The organization responsible received a strong rebuke on the Hawkeye's editorial page. The program ceased. Shortly after being exposed, the organization responsible saw their agenda suffer greatly on election day

The guilty party was the Democratic Party of Des Moines County.

Another time has been described as another place. It certainly describes Burlington when it had an honest newspaper instead of the Advertiser.

Long Enough to Remember

02:27:00 - SPIKE - No comments

"Fair" Speech is More Important Free Speech


Everybody who posts here knows nothing. They are ignorant because they remain anonymous. The Advertiser is virtuous in their non signature editorials. These are collectivist works promoting greater collectivism. Those touting the single party line in their letters to the editor are great philosophers by virtue of identity.

Senator Courtney knows the importance of identity in defense of the single party line. In order to punish running dog revisionists, you must first identify them. Senator Courtney introduced legislation to end anonymous free speech for individual Iowans, but not newspaper editorial staff.

The Supreme Court has no business protecting such free speech. Those who wrote the Federalist Papers were idiots because they never signed off with their real names. Naturally, Senator Courtney will tell you he promotes "fair" speech.

You are unfair in your attacks on the Advertiser. Duplicity in defense of the single party line is no vice.

Stan (Guess who)
Burlington, IA
Monterey, CA
02:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Official Party News Agencies


"The Korean Central News Agency is the state-run agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It speaks for the Workers' Party of Korea and the DPRK government."

You may have hit up something suggesting merging the Advertiser with the Korean Central News Agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (KCNA). Think of the synergy.

The KCNA is honest about their purpose. From such honesty, there should be no confusion concerning the validity of information offered and spiked. The Advertiser could learn from the KCNA in this regard.

Both the Advertiser and the KCNA are struggling adjusting to Internet delivery. Both are still stodgy and stingy, but just look at the KCNA local news page. Bad as it is, the Advertiser could teach the KCNA a few basics like putting at least one photo on the opening page.

When do the Advertiser's top editors leave for Moline on the first leg of their journey to Pyongyang? One small step for small minds. One giant leap for creating minds of one kind.

Ink Done Dung

01:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Infidel Cahill


Supervisor Cahill is making sense. Public employees are not a class above the rest. That will not make many in Cahill's party happy.

There is no cause for alarm. Heland still follows the party line. People exist to serve government and those employed by it. Heland will waffle and hope his savior, the Obama, will make "free" health care a priority and thus end the issue.

The Hoschek/Heland majority is no more. The economy sours. Money will not be there to curry favor with public employee unions. Health benefits are only the beginning. If Heland wants to climb the political ladder, he can blame Cahill instead of economic realities.

It was less than 15 votes that removed the weak link bordering on being the missing link from the County Board of Supervisors. The election that corrected the gap was a single party primary. For Heland to go away, Des Moines County's political link that has been weak/MIA for almost two decades needs to be rebuilt. It will take a Republican to remove Heland.

Literal pursuit of scripture above all else has delivered the political equivalent of drinking poison and handling venomous serpents in the Republican Party. There is currently no viable political party option in Des Moines County. If a few people care to get involved and make some changes, making this corner of the world better would be a lot easier.

As long as Cahill keeps making sense, we all better pray he is not excommunicated for party line heresy.


I went to a a Des Moines County Republican fund raiser and a revival meeting broke out... It is time to change the way the Republicans do business. And these local Republicans have to learn you can't run the party the way you've run your business because disaster will follow regardless of religion.


01:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

County Health Insurance - Overfed From The Taxpayer Trough


In response to WK. Group plans do not require everybody in the work place to take the insurance. I just talked to 4 different people who have group plans at their employer and one of them was in the insurance business. All of them said they are able to decline the health insurance. Every one of them said they pay a portion of the monthly premium.

Maybe it's time to replace the insurance board if that is what they negotiated. Do they ever bid this out? I don't think Dan Cahill is wrong for saving tax dollars. If someone is upset with Cahill because it brought media attention to this very expensive free benefit, that's their problem.

It shows the true character of some of these city and county employees. They know it is not right and they continue to milk the taxpayers. They think it is OK to fill their second retirement accounts with tax dollars that are collected for health insurance.

The bible says, it will be easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle, than it will be for a rich man to get through the gates of Heaven. Maybe this is an example.

If everybody knew how much money some of these employees have in these accounts just from FREE health insurance money, they would be outraged. They don't want anybody, including Cahill to expose the truth. They are very protective of their entitlements.

Life is short, if they want to continue taking advantage of everybody, then so be it. We'll live with crumbling infrastructure and high property taxes so they can have more money and a better life for them.

That's all they care about anyway.


01:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Davenport Newspaper Announces Crushing Revenue Drop

"Davenport-based Lee Enterprises reported preliminary results for its first quarter ended Dec. 28, saying net income available to common shareholders was $8.4 million, down 62 percent from $22.1 million a year earlier....Lee owns 49 daily newspapers including the St. Louis Post Dispatch, which it acquired in 2005. In Iowa, the company owns newspapers in Davenport, Mason City, Muscatine, Sioux City and Waterloo."

00:56:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Democrats Bail Out of Inaugural Parade


I see the Democrats all bailed out of the inaugural parade yesterday. About half way through the reviewing stand just emptied out. What a show of disrespect and callous disregard for the people that came to Washington at great expense, stood for hours in brutal cold, only to be peforming for 8 people.

Pelosi and Reid had to get home to change so they could go slop in the lobbyist money. Harry Reid was quoted to say that America needs lobbyists because they are "someone's father, mother, sister, brother." He was drinking and eating when he said it. I guess that is why Heland is so robust in his direction.

Not Surprised

Just goes to show when the goin' gets cold, the Democrats get going - home. Pelosi was in the reviewing stand before Obama left the Capitol, had her photo op with her grand kids and then poof, she was gone. Just like the Wicked Witch of the West with Harry Reid riding double on her broom.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 January

Hawkeye Loses All Ethics

Publisher Steve Delaney Succumbs to Slovenly Ways

How Can We Believe Anything They Print?


The following letter to the Editor to the Hawkeye appeared on January 19th sent by Stan DeYoung of Burlington:

Food choices

"This has not been a good year for the meat, dairy, and egg industries.

It began in February, with USDA's largest ever recall of ground beef produced by California's Westland-Hallmark Meat Packing Co.

In April, Archives of Internal Medicine published a 25-year study of 88,000 women finding that those who ate lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains were 24 and 18 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack and stroke, respectively, than women addicted to more typical American diets. A review of dietary habits in 52 countries in the October issue of Circulation reached similar conclusions.

In May, the American Institute for Cancer Research warned consumers that grilling of meat or fish raises the risk of colon cancer. A National Cancer Institute study in the November Proceedings of the National Academy of Science confirmed that consumption of meat and dairy products elevates the risk of cancer.

Last spring, the prestigious Pew Charitable Trusts and Johns Hopkins University called for a phaseout of factory farming. In November, 63 percent of California voters agreed by requiring that animals raised for food have space to turn around and spread their wings, possibly wiping out the state's egg industry.

Let's make 2009 a really good year for ourselves by exploring the rich variety of veggie burgers, dogs, deli slices, heat-and-eat dinners, and soy-based milks, cheeses, and ice creams in our local supermarkets. This is one new year's resolution that's easy and fun to keep.



The EXACT same letter was submitted to The Monterey County Weekly on January 8th 2009 by a Mitchel Corbett VERBATIM:


"This has not been a good year for the meat, dairy and egg industries. It began in February, with USDA’s largest-ever recall of ground beef produced by California’s Westland-Hallmark Meat Packing Company.

In April, Archives of Internal Medicine published a 25-year study of 88,000 women finding that those who ate lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains were 24 and 18 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack and stroke, respectively, than women addicted to more typical American diets. A review of dietary habits in 52 countries in the October issue of Circulation reached similar conclusions.

In May, the American Institute for Cancer Research warned consumers that grilling of meat or fish raises the risk of colon cancer. A National Cancer Institute study in the November Proceedings of the National Academey of Science confirmed that consumption of meat and dairy products elevates the risk of cancer.

Last spring, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Johns Hopkins University called for a phaseout of factory farming. In November, 63 percent of California voters agreed by requiring that animals raised for food have space to turn around and spread their wings.

Let’s make 2009 a really good year for ourselves by exploring the rich variety of veggie burgers, dogs, deli slices, heat-and-eat dinners, and soy-based milks, cheeses and ice creams in our local supermarket. This is one New Year’s resolution that’s easy and fun to keep."

Mitchel Corbett | Monterey

The exact same letter also appears in the Memphis Flyer today “penned” by a Mike Potter out of Memphis, and there are a dozen or so more examples out there.

My point is why would newspapers allow people to put their names to a “Letter to the Editor” that they themselves did not compose? Back in school, we called it “plagiarism” and to maintain integrity and accountability we had to provide a direct reference to any quotes and/or material that were not of our own original making, or be called to task for doing so.

Again, who composed this original letter, and why are newspapers allowing people who did not compose the original to sign their name to it as if they had?

I’m losing faith in journalistic integrity.


First, there is no journalistic integrity down on South Main Street. Hasn't been for many years. And surprise, there is no Stan DeYoung in the local phone book either.

But what the hell is really going on here? Syndicated Letters to the Editor? Slovenly lazy editors? No editors? An agenda put forth by some mystery syndicate generating drivel? Do they pay for this agenda of ruse and ripe lies?

But the real question remains. How can we believe anything Publisher Steve Delaney and his minions print because we sure know they didn't write it?


03:32:01 - SPIKE - No comments

County Insurance Foolishness


I agree that the level of coverage seems a little excessive because most employees are paying a portion of their insurance or at least a portion of their family coverage and the premium level indicates it's a good policy.

That being said, I would add two things. First, to my knowledge, group plans that are offered to employees require everyone who works there to take the coverage. That rule was written by the insurance companies, who want a few enrollees that they know will never file a claim. Those people help pay for the individuals who get the coverage, despite having a plethora of pre-exisitng conditions that will cost the insurance company a great deal.

In some cases, proof of another group plan will allow one to opt out, but apparently Medicare doesn't fit that. Too bad the insurer can't simply pay his Medicare Supplement Plan premium.

My second point is I find it hard to believe that Mr. Cahill wasn't aware of this insurance ploy that's been in effect for some time. Sounds like a little chance to grab some publicity.


03:06:53 - SPIKE - No comments

Supervisor's Insurance & Insurance Plan Out Of Control


Dan Cahill is correct. He shouldn't be forced into the health insurance. Jackson said Cahill could take some of the money from the single coverage plan. Cahill is single and only qualifies for single coverage.

What about the other supervisors? If they are married, they qualify for the free family $1100.00 per month coverage. If they already had coverage, which Heland surely did, how much money are they allowed to take for their retirement account? This wouldn't be a small wrap around plan. This would be several hundred dollars per month. A couple hundred thousand dollars over 30 years in their bank accounts?

Isn't it a conflict of interest for the members on the insurance board to allow the employees and "themselves" to take the money rather than the health insurance? This seems very unethical.

I agree, they do have a racket going. I lost respect for them.

They are collecting a lot of tax dollars that they are keeping for themselves with these cozy benefits. It sure is detrimental to our services.

03:04:07 - SPIKE - No comments

Folding Newsprint Into a Beggar's Basket


The New York Times, liberalism's great bastion of ink on paper, is looking for a savior. Hard times at the Times are getting worse. The layoffs are not enough. Will a Mexican money mogul ride to the Times rescue?

As this trend continues, what of the the Advertiser? Are there any foreign sources of capital willing to bail out a small market, official single party newspaper? If so, from what Country? Do you think Cuba, North Korea, or some other small worker's paradise will render aid and comfort?


Kim Jong-il would have an interest. Little man, little ideas, supressing the truth.

Oh wait, that's what's going on now. It would be a seamless transition.


03:00:54 - SPIKE - No comments

19 January

County Health Insurance Foolishness


Good for Dan Cahill! An elected official with some brains and common sense. Why should the County have a stupid rule that the employee cannot opt out of the health insurance and save the taxpayers money?

I was surprised that their base policy for family coverage is $1100 per month = $13,200. per year. WOW! That is no base coverage. That is a very good plan and free monthly premiums.

Back when the insurance was cheap and the City and County employees were lower paid compared to the private sector, it was not a big deal. Now, their wages are higher than most, their retirement is a large percentage of their pay and free insurance to boot. This is too costly for all of us taxpayers.

The employees sit on the insurance board and they make the rules to benefit the employees. The elected officials go along with it because they want reelected and won't fight it. Those that take the money because a spouse covers them, get two retirements. How much of the $1100.00 can this employee put into retirement accounts? They know they have a racket going and it won't be changed.

I don't know how they sleep at night when they legally rip off the taxpayers the way they do. Some poor family or senior citizen can't afford their food or medicine, but we raise their taxes so the government employee can have everything free. The families in DMC suffer because their money is taken from them to give to these government employees. I don't think the government employees realize how some things have changed for everybody else. It's not fair for them to change?

Good job Hawkeye, keep asking questions.

Hawkeye Customer

11:13:11 - SPIKE - No comments

18 January

Miracle On The Hudson Video

Splash down video.

Coast Guard video of the USAir water landing.

Ultimately, this will go down in the history books as one of the most remarkable aviation incidents ever.

00:15:19 - SPIKE - No comments

16 January

"Miracle On The Hudson"

03:09:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Atlas Shrugged - "The Looters and Their Laws"

from the Wall Street Journal -

"For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title."

02:23:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Regretable, Avoidable Cost of Doing Business


"IBM said it selected Dubuque for the delivery center, in part, on the city and state's "positive public-private partnership" toward business development."

The Des Moines Register article on IBM locating in Dubuque was interesting. Dubuque has a positive over Burlington attracting this kind of employer. Count the number of institutes of higher learning located in Dubuque.

When it comes to attracting any kind of business, there is one negative Dubuque lacks. State Senator Courtney does not represent Dubuque. Senator Courtney has vowed to get even with business.

Unfortunately, State Senator Tom Courtney represents Southeast Iowa. Senator Courtney was overwhelming re-elected after making his pledge of vengeance. It is fortunate for Iowa that not all of Senator Courtney's party comrades concur with him.

No sane person responsible for locating a major business would ever do so around here as long as Senator Courtney "represents" us.

And it doesn't take much due diligence to see there is no "positive public-private partnership" in Southeast Iowa. It is nothing but a sea of amateurs led by a newspaper clearly designated as the biggest detriment to economic development.


02:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Did Tapp or Hinkle Know?


Do you think Hinkle or Tapp had any clue IBM was looking for a new location?


None! They were both at lunch and not much more. Except for trying to cover their collective asses for the Tyson Food busing debacle.


02:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

1300 IBM Jobs to Downtown Dubuque


I see that IBM is bringing 1300 jobs to downtown Dubuque. The location will be former Roshek Brothers Department Store.

If only Burlington could do such things!


It will never happen. There is no leadership and no one to execute a plan if someone pulled it out of their, uh, "ear."


02:13:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Bonding for Flood Barriers? Are These Fools Totally Nuts?


I can't believe the city council is going to borrow money for flood barriers. What in the hell are they thinking? Are these fools totally nuts?

No one seemed to have any trouble buying them when we had a flood. Why would they think the city needs to buy them in advance and fill the auditorium basement with them?

What if Knoke winds up storing them with the ballpark lights? We could be years looking for them especially if we had to account for them to the bonding company.


Seems like Junior Murray is calling for a premature ejection of taxpayer money. Oh, I forgot. He has our best interests at heart.

What a load! If he did have our best interests at heart he would spend the money when we needed it and not when he thought of it.


02:09:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Shouldn't We Hire a Real Engineer?


Does anyone else think the city should hire a REAL bridge engineer to evaluate Cascade Bridge? I doubt if the city engineer in charge of blight really knows much about a bridge. From past performance I doubt if anyone is competent in city hall to make educated, professional decisions.


02:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Supervisors Overpaid?


Why in the hell are we paying part time supervisors $35,295? What in the hell are they doing that’s worth $35,295? Who do they report to? How many hours a week do they actually do county work? What do their benefits cost the taxpayer? How many other part time jobs pay over $35,000 and provide benefits here in Des Moines County?

This is an outrage and just goes to show how ignorant the voters in Des Moines County truly are. I for one am just sick of the way this county and city operate when it comes to wasting taxpayer money.

Don’t worry; I won’t let the door slam on my way out of this rat hole of a county.


02:03:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senate Resolution 15


Why would Fraise and Courtney be involved in Senate Resolution 15 when they can’t even contribute to a fair and balanced Iowa Senate? I don’t know much about Fraise but Tom “The Ostrich” Courtney is another story. Isn’t he the guy that’s supposedly represents the citizens of the 2nd district? The same guy that makes promises to appear and fails to show up? The same Courtney that just fills space in Des Moines while doing nothing to better the lives of those in the 2nd district.

Surly, they wouldn’t have the balls to send that nitwit resolution to Washington; hell most of those senators out there can’t even read or comprehend what to do about anything. Maybe Washington would be a good place for both Fraise and Courtney; we could kill two birds with one stone by sending them out there and make Iowa a better place.


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Concerns About Lee County Sheriff - Time To Resign


You seem to think Burlington has a monopoly on crooked politicians, but Lee County can hold it's own in competition with you.

We have a Sheriff that can't wear a uniform, carry a gun or make an arrest. Do the county supervisors plan any action against him? No, he's one of the ruling cabal therefore he is above the law. His defense when confronted with the evidence that he falsified his son's application to be a reserve officer was to blame his deputies for giving him papers to sign that he didn't read. In the first place, signing papers that he didn't read is dereliction of duty. If he didn't know his son was ineligble to be a reserve deputy he's not smart enough to be sheriff.

On another matter as has been the practice with previous Lee County sheriffs, Bucky Boy doesn't think the public has a right to be informed of police blotter information. When was the last time you saw an accident, incident report or arrest published from the sheriffs office? While I hold Bucky Boy responsible for this, the various newspapers bear responsibility for this also. I have been told by one local paper that they don't want to upset Bucky by pushing the issue.

I do not wish to to sign this with my real name because I have heard too many stories about retaliation by the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Lest you think I have an axe to grind I have never had been in trouble with the law other than a couple of speeding tickets none of which were issued by Lee County or in the last 20 years.

I know there is no chance of it happening but I am hereby calling for Bucky Boy to do the honorable thing and resign.


Tired Of The Same Old BS in Lee County

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

15 January

Dubuque Lands 1,300 Jobs While Hinkle Has Lunch

Mike Blouin, the man who wanted to be Iowa's Governor, landed 1,300 high paid tech support jobs in Dubuque.

How many staff members Blouin had played no role in the site selection.


10:53:13 - SPIKE - No comments

Wondering's Comments About Hinkle


I have to agree with Wondering's question as to available workforce in the Burlington area. I find it hard to believe we're going to attract any new residents with the "promise of a good job" when we can't seem to close on most deals involving new employers of worth.

I also believe we have more than enough "bodies" to fill any and all job openings in the Burlington area. Unfortunately those individuals know just how easy it is to live off the rest of us who do work and thus contribute to the governmental handouts.

If we could simply get rid of the deadbeats who have never held a legitimate job in their lives and those who never intend to we'd be much better off. I worked at the mall during the holiday season in a second part-time job, and was amazed at the number of people in that typically employed age group who seemed to be at the mall instead. Do any of these people work? I doubt it.

On a non-related topic, I found Burlington School Board member Gary Imthurn's reluctance to offer an insurance benefit to retirees somewhat ironic, seeing as how Mr. Imthurn is likely taking advantage of that little perk - or if not, currently did in the past.

How quickly we forget once we're on the other side of the table.

Wondering Too

You can bet Imthurn is getting his bread buttered somewhere with taxpayer butter.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Cashier Hinkle & Tapp


Grow Greater Burlington and the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission have perpetrated a cruel hoax on our community. Hinkle and Tapp claim we need workers and their bus ride plan will grow Burlington. The truth is, Tyson duped them and they are trying in turn to dupe taxpayers stuck with the bill.

Burlington is being used as a catch basin for Columbus Junction.

Packing plant labor is tough and dirty. Look at the turn over rate in the industry. Some people will hack it. Many more will not. Those who can hack it will not be in Burlington long term.

Who wants to spend two hours a day commuting to work? The commute keeps parents away that much longer. The worst time of day for juvenile crime is after school before parents return. Once those who stick with the job get on their feet, their first order business should be finding a home closer to work. Besides, how long will Tapp's transit tribulation last?

How many who signed on for the free to move paradise actually report for work? What happens to those who can not hack the work? How many have worn out their welfare welcome where they got on the bus? Where will these people remain?

Sure, Burlington's population will experience rapid growth. Hinkle will get his desired vast pool of unemployed, unskilled labor. Being largely uneducated, how many entrepreneurs will emerge from this pool of immigrants? Cancer is rapid growth with similar consequences for the host.

Economic development by government strikes again. Figure the total cost to the community. Welfare, crime, etc. added up will make the Manor Mall look like spare change. What will the final cost be to Burlington?

Grow Greater Burlington and SEIRPC must be cut off from any further public funding. Using tax dollars to create a social sink hole demanding even more tax dollars has resulted in change. It is change that fits the definition of insane.


All that Columbus Junction water flows downhill.


02:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Next Crime Forum Should Cover Manor Mall


The next Crime Forum should be about the abuse of the Tax Dollars by the city council. MANOR MALL MANOR MALL. Who on the council will lead the way????????

By the way. The crime is down a lot at Manor Mall. Be proud of that council.

Have another drink at the Som for that great decision of running people out of their homes. You need to drink to live with yourselves for that decision. OH, and everyone who reads this, when you drive by the Manor Mall, remember it was more important to invest TAX DOLLARS in this property than the Cascade Bridge.

It is an election year and people need to get interested in running. HONEST PEOPLE is what the sheep of Burlington need to be thinking about for a change to run the city. It's not too late and there are people in town who can make a difference rather than more of the same. Talk about change? Could be in the air?


While we're having another crime forum we should throw in the ballpark lights as a bonus question.


01:59:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Waterlog Follow Up


The gas station (mini-mart in W. Burlington) is responsible for the water in their customer gas tanks. Contact information for their insurance company is: American Family Attn: Marcie 1-800-260-1369 ext. 41217. Claim # 221134776. Fax # is 1-866-746-03534.

They will need proof of purchase, copy of the repair bill, and copy of rental car expense if needed. So far they have both been good to work with, I hope they resolve the situation quickly.


I'm glad to hear they stepped up. So many gas stations always give their customers the run around and deny any responsibility forcing the costly repairs back to the victims.

Kudos to the West Burlington Mini-Mart.


01:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 January

Hinkle Out to Lunch


Just what jobs is Dennis Hinkle referring too when he says, “Workers are needed to bolster the city's shrinking workforce.”

What firms in the Burlington area are short of workers? The Burlington population is going down because of job loss not job fulfillment problems. His so called “replacement workers” are for an entirely different county that has nothing to do with Burlington per se.

Maybe he means Burlington needed them to fill up the vacant rentals scattered around the city. Or we needed them to bolster the democratic voter losses brought forth through the loss of union jobs. What benefit have all these new people done for city of Burlington? Is there anyone that can answer that simple question?

Maybe it was done to bolster the Grow Greater Burlington, Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Iowa Regional Planning organizations all of which are dependent on taxes to survive, especially the Chamber of Commerce the big promoter of illegal workers in America.


It's all about tax revenue and SEIRPC grant administration revenues. It's the essence of their existence. Nothing more.

Pig Farmers Hinkle and Tapp have so many people covered in crap no one smells it.


03:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Misses Being Listed


Burlington failed to make Pravda's Ten Most Horrible Places on Earth list. Do you think we can do better someday?


Why would the mother country disfavor a satellite city full of Socialist Democrats led by the likes of the drunk ex-mayor?


02:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Waste Unabated Flows Down Honey Creek


Unknown to most Iowans there is a black hole project in Appanoose County know as Honey Creek Resort that our state government has been pouring taxpayer money into for several years.

The state let out 50 bids on the project and out of the 50 only two bids for the project were received, expected cost was $14.3 million and the bids were for $21.6 million, an increase of 51 percent more than the state estimate of $14.2 million.

Due to the increased cost there was not enough money to build the family cabins; so our governor and the Iowa legislature appropriated and additional $8,000,000 of taxpayer money to build the cabins in 2008. The family cabins were expected to cost $4 million, and income from the cabins was required to help pay the bond payments, which was critical to the overall profitability of the resort.

Under the original bonding documents the construction of the cabins was required, but there was not enough money to do so. Anyway, providing the project ever finishes it will cost the working Iowan $167.00 per night for cabin rental at the resort, a fee that most Iowans can’t afford unless they work for state government and are college graduates.

Below is a summary of the cost overruns that show the extremely poor management and wasteful ways of our Governor, the Legislature and the Department of Natural Resources, a department that now wants to up the fees to hunt and fish in Iowa by 34 percent a decision that will make it cheaper for Iowans to hunt deer in Wisconsin rather than in Iowa, and further reduce the number of licenses sold in Iowa.

Iowa government has shown its inability to make sound financial decisions and continues to waste taxpayer money year after year while failing basic economic teachings.

Our state government pays itself, on average 40% more than the private Iowa workforce. The state brags that it must hire many more college graduates than the private workforce which accounts for the huge wage spread. This is a fact that has never been proven and from the Honey Creek Project we have proof that our colleges are apparently nothing more than a prep school for getting on the Iowa government payroll or leaving the state for real jobs not to be found in Iowa. Economics apparently isn’t taught to college graduates or at least to the ones working for the Iowa government.

The DNR is a classic example of incompetence here in Iowa because of higher fees in the past hunting and fishing licenses are down and the DNR answer is to raise it again, a move that will reduce the number of licenses even further.

If the state is so concerned about Iowan’s health, why are they spending the “Tobacco Money” on the Honey Creek Resort and other non-health issues related to smoking?


Data taken from the Iowa Public Interest Institute
02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

It's About Expanding Government, Stupid


Global warming is drawing from a natural trend to achieve your own ends. It is about creating more government. In the end, you lose your freedom.

The elites advocating and hoping to lead government without end promised to make everything better. The old Soviet Union delivered Stalin and economic despair. In Burlington, expanding government has produced Senator Courtney and the Manor Mall.

Since they have proven they can not deliver paradise, they have created a great scare. Global warming will kill us all. Surrender your wealth and freedom, or else.

The reason the sun comes in the morning is because of government. Kings and all knowing priests in their service demand sacrifices. Pay more taxes, or the sun will go away. Believe it at your own risk.


01:57:00 - SPIKE - No comments

13 January

Take a Bite Outta Crime - Take a Bite Outta Hinkle

"Greater Burlington Partnership President Dennis Hinkle said an influx of new residents may have spurred some criminal activity, but argued workers are needed to bolster the city's shrinking workforce.

"From the Chamber's perspective, we need more people in the community," he said."

Dear BP,

Before you leave our Chamber of Commerce sponsored free fire zone, you could do us a favor. It is a favor we could all do ourselves. Stop doing business with those whose membership supports Hinkle. Look for the Chamber Membership plaque displayed in the office area of many retailers.

Let the business know you are not happy they support the ongoing destruction of this area. Make them aware you are ready to plan your needs and drive elsewhere. Follow through on your promise. They will get the message.

Supervisor Heland obviously has.


03:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

State Union Workers Out Of Control


I was reading the Des Moines Register article about the State Union employees wage request. They want a 5% pay raise and increased benefits. They can't be serious.

There are employees all across the State, including private sector employees in Burlington and Des Moines County that are facing layoffs and wage freezes. Why do these government employees think they are entitled to pay increases every year? Where do they ever top out? Why don't our elected officials do something about this? Their benefits are far superior than those that are paying the bill.

Citizens and businesses cannot afford this anymore. Do our elected officials here in Burlington and DMC plan on giving pay increases again this year or will there be salary and wage freezes?

If you look at our infrastructure, it has deteriorated over the years because they said they didn't have the money to do general maintenance. Over the same time period, wages and benefits continued to rise at high levels. They had the tax dollars just not the priorities.

It is time to put the entire community first for a change.

Fairness for a Change

I would like to hear how these folks believe they have contributed to the citizen's well being to the tune of a 5% wage increase. Have them write their own job evaluation and let the citizens vote on it.

They only get these exhorbitant wage increases because of the Democratic candidates needing their votes. The word extortion comes to mind.


03:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Send Our Idiot State Senators to the State Department


Senators Fraise and Courtney's wisdom should be shared with the world. They have shown a talent for foreign affairs with a resolution they sponsored in the Iowa Senate. If we had followed Senators Fraise and Courtney's advice, Al-Qaeda in Iraq could well be rendering aid and comfort to Hamas in their hour of need.


What wisdom? The bonehead brothers can't read a map? Where are they goin'?

Fraise's colleagues may not miss him; voted least effective 2 years in a row. We sure as hell won't miss Hide-Out Courtney.

We could only hope the GPS quits along the 38th Parallel.


03:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Still Waiting For Regional Planning


"As of Tuesday, a copy of the transportation contract between regional planning and Tyson has not been released to The Hawk Eye."

This should be public record. As of the following Sunday, where the hell is this document? It should be scanned and posted on the web for all to see. Has it joined the illegal Burlington City Council meeting minutes on an open fire?

Has Jeff Abell again asked for this document? Has he been told by his superiors should he do so, he will be fired? That is how freedom is so often dealt with in Burlington.

Is there somebody in the audience who is retired, or otherwise in position of less fear? Would they please go to Tapp's office and politely ask for a copy. Take a portable recording device and let the guilty see it as you make record of their response.

If you are given a copy of this document, please scan it and send it to Spike. If they refuse, please inform by posting here. If refused, the story should not end there. Tell some people who may get the information out.

The Iowa Ombudsman's Office knows very well how things are suppressed in Burlington. Their report was most unkind concerning the dubious legality of the meeting State Senator Courtney attended behind closed doors when the City decided to sue the railroad.

Never judge all small town journalists by the Advertiser's editors. There are some who still do their job and realize the importance of doing their job well. The Iowa Freedom of Information Council may render assistance.

The details of the deal Tapp reached with Tyson must be made known. If Tapp wants to save himself a lot of grief, he can post the contract on the SEIRPC web site. In addition, send emails to all local news outlets, that includes KCPS, Falcon, and Spike, informing the address to view.


What could possibly be contained in those documents Brian Tapp is hiding from public eyes? What kind of crooked ass deal did he pull off now?

What else could it be? Legal advice from the Crookedest Lawyer West of Third Street?


03:09:00 - SPIKE - No comments

No Longer in Printed Form


"In no case will Hearst continue to publish the P-I in printed form" once the 60 days are up, Hearst said."

Your site has some company. If nobody buys the dinosaur, the once mighty Seattle Post-Intelligencer joins Derailed as being web only.

If the Advertiser wants their meager offering to have life after ink, they better do something about their once every 11:00 A. M. delivery time.


03:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

10 January

Beethoven's 9th From a Gas Bag?


It is unbelievable. Heland is standing by his statement against turning Burlington into Iowa's version of Gary, IN. Are Tapp and Hinkle worried Heland may do something to derail their debauched plan for our future?

Are we witnessing a metamorphosis? Is a dull, moronic slug of a caterpillar becoming a monarch butterfly? Is it instead a fluke of probability?

An example was given on probability. The odds were from here to another galaxy. Monkeys were shown pounding typewriter keys and odds were given of one producing Shakespeare's "Hamlet." One monkey did. Rename that Cheetah Jimmy Olson and get thee to the Advertiser.

If more neurons are connecting between Heland's ears, he may not keep his job. Those unseen pulling Tapp and Hinkle's strings will not be pleased. For well over a century, the goal of Burlington's Chamber of Commerce has been wage suppression.

In times past, non-local, forward thinking, well paying companies, were kept at bay. The Chamber got their way. The resulting decay is now driving too many natives away. It has gotten to where the puppeteers could end up cutting their own grass.

Bring in the unskilled and morally challenged by the bus load. Send the bill to the tax payers for more bus drivers, cops, parole officers and social workers.

For the first time in his unremarkable political career, Heland's mouth is making music we need to hear. Spike, are you a betting man? Would care to give odds on Heland being a one note wonder?


03:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

5 Shot Outside Chicago High School


Is this what we have to look forward to all for the sake of growing our population number in Burlington and S.E Iowa?

I'm already looking for another zip code to call "home."


Not if you believe the preachers and police chief.


00:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

09 January

I Can't Believe Heland Said It


"This community cannot be home to all the low-income workers for 75 miles," Heland said. "I stand by my comments about this community having to come to grips with this."

From whom one would least expect wisdom it springs forth. Will Heland's words be translated into action? The County Board can take action by de-funding the guilty.

"As of Tuesday, a copy of the transportation contract between regional planning and Tyson has not been released to The Hawk Eye."

Will this end up as the local fallacy of a free press protecting a free peoples' right to know? Where can we read Slagle's Manor blight study and minutes of should not have been secret City Council meetings?

"From November 2007 to June 30, 2008, Tyson was billed $49,500 or half of the cost to transport workers, according to Tapp. The remainder was paid to SEIRPC through a grant program promoting reverse commuting."

As with this whole ill conceived growth scheme, Tapp is a creature of taxation. Stop feeding the beast. Put SEIRPC out of business. The same goes for any tax money given Hinkle and "Grow" Greater Burlington.

Give me Liberty, or give me death. Give us your promised, sustainable, desirable economic development, or your pathetic bureaucracies deserve death.

Why should our taxes be supporting a Fortune 500 firm? Does Tyson pay any property taxes to speak of in our community? Were it not for the "free" money bus grant, would Tyson be working to settle low skilled workers in Burlington, or nearer Columbus Jct.?

Race has been dragged into this and Heland is taking heat. It is a distracting side show and nothing new, "Irish need not apply." Red herring hatred plays to the aims of those responsible who profit from resulting problems we all are paying to create and re mediate.

If Heland thinks he rates a chapter in his hero's "Profiles in Courage," show us some leadership resulting in positive action.


06:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Bankruptcy by Railroad Lawsuit Strikes Elsewhere


"The Vision of the Village of Barrington is to preserve and promote its unique small town heritage, preserve its distinct ecological and historical character, provide a moral and safe environment, maintain a high quality of life through the efficient use of community resources, and respond to future challenges through citizen participation in all civic, social, and cultural endeavors."

Unlike Burlington, Iowa, Barrington, Illinois is a community of largely well educated and wealthy residents. Like Burlington, Barrington wants to keep everything as it always has been. Barrington is also willing to take a large railroad to court to achieve this vision.

Like the BNSF, Canadian based CN (Canadian National) is a mega railroad. In an effort to avoid Chicago's increasing railroad congestion, CN is buying a bypass line that runs through Barrington. CN plans to get their money back through utilization. Bottom line; lots more trains through Barrington. Barrington is not happy with this change.

Lawyers find Luddite losers profitable. Barrington's deep pockets would make counselor Power green with envy. Barrington has already blown $2 million with no victory in sight. Barrington must decide if spending anymore is without merit.

If Barrington wishes to save face by losing in court rather than cutting their loses now, it can be bought for only another $500,000. You can find Power's phone number in any online directory.

Barrington's bucolic longing to remain small town is bankrupting their city. The people of Barrington should learn from Burlington. First, being a rural Midwestern village is not at all romantic. Second, city governments playing without merit legal games with trains larger than Lionel get run over.

City leaders in Barrington need to type a few key words into Spike's search engine. Drunk Mayor covers a lot of territory. More specifically, railroad lawsuit, BNSF shops, Power, and without merit would be good starting points.

Something Burlington never seems to learn is that outside forces bring about change in your little world, whether you want it, or not. If Barrington ever figures this out, please, would somebody post here how it was accomplished.

If Barrington can learn from Burlington's mistakes, the reverse would be appreciated.


06:38:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way

from the Chicago Tribune -

"So the Chicago Way hauled off and slapped the U.S. Senate in the face—one of those backhands with the knuckles to unsuspecting lips—and guess who blinked?

It wasn't Chicago.

It was the Senate.

Get used to it, America. And it won't be the last time either.

Roland "Tombstone" Burris, the amiable Illinois Democratic political hack who is being called eminently qualified by the national Democrats—perhaps because he's from Illinois and he hasn't been indicted—has almost reached his goal of being addressed as "Yes, sir, Senator."

Now Tombstone has President-elect Barack Obama behind him, muscling Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in a phone call earlier in the week. So much for transcending the old politics."

05:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

08 January

The Guilty Hope You Never Learn to Think


"Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington, sat on the other side of the table from his House colleagues. Serving as a school board member for almost a decade, Courtney said working through the "Bill Clinton years," he had to go through relatively few cuts.

"The hard part of that is nothing in education can be cut, should be cut, because everything affects kids," Courtney said. "(Companies) can raise the price a little bit of their product. You can't do that in education. You can't raise the price. Your product is the kids.""

Senator Courtney and his ilk took control of Iowa government in 2006. They went on a spending spree increasing expenditures by 20% in two years. Couple budgets by spend thrifts with an economic dip and what do you expect?

Bill Clinton not being president has nothing to do with this mess. Courtney's crude attempt to shift blame does not hold up. Courtney's purple haze nostalgia for the era of a stained purple dress ignores a fact. Senator Courtney and his buddies were not holding the purse strings in Des Moines.

"For the children" is another shop worn slogan of that era Courtney rehashes. If Courtney and his friends were so concerned about the kids, why did they not think about setting realistic budgets rather than paying back their special interest supporters? Don't worry. They will find the money.

Courtney and company can not directly raise prices like "evil" companies. Have no fear. These folks can and will raise taxes to cover their errors. Pity the kiddies, but don't blame us. It is their opening round to raising our taxes.

Courtney's lack of education shows in the transparency of his excuses. It is no wonder our State Senator has been M. I. A. lately at local public forums.

Fraise and Cohoon are just as guilty. Their sheep skin polish shines through avoidance. Those two know what to say and when to shut up.

I learned in school and the college of hard knocks you can not have everything you want. If the rest of us handled our personal finances like these people handle public money, our kids would be going to school naked and hungry.

Until we educate ourselves to the perils of electing such people, we face threat of being naked and hungry after paying our taxes. No quote Poe's Raven, "Never more."


And you know, if the school board wasn't building their testicular monument to the adverse, unrepentant regard for public opinion, we wouldn't find it so hard to swallow Courtney's myopic view of the world.

Sen. Tom Courtney is a loser. Always has been. Always will be.


11:56:03 - SPIKE - No comments

Taxpayer Is Right


Taxpayer is right about government workers being grossly over paid and 'benefitted." These “sacred cow” government workers need to face reality and feel some of the effects of living and working in the real world.

In Des Moines County the taxpayer pays government employees the insurance costs when they refuse to accept the insurance. This sum can amount to several hundred dollars a month put into their fund accounts which over a period of 20 to 30 years can add up to over $150,000 of taxpayer money given to them for nothing.

We have part time supervisors drawing a salary and insurance and I’d like to know the number of companies in Des Moines County that pay part time employees over $30,000 per year plus insurance for part time jobs.

City, county and state employees in Iowa along with education are both budget back breakers in Iowa. As for education, Iowans continue to throw good money after bad with little to no return on the investment. Here in Burlington the school board thinks new schools are the answer while the high school graduates less the 80% of its students. None of the Burlington schools rank very high when it comes to quality education. It cost more money per student in government schools than it does for private schools in Burlington and why is that.

Government has just about screwed up everything that once made our country great.

Tried of It

11:47:46 - SPIKE - No comments

52601 Political Contributors


I did see your name on this list. Did you give to your favorite politician at the office?


I never gave at the office or used a company check. Did the others?


11:46:05 - SPIKE - No comments

07 January

Manor Update Long Overdue


We still have not heard much of an update from Mayor Bill Ell on all of his Hot prospects for the Manor. Last winter in a council meeting Ell said the delays would only be a few months and a new developer would be chosen. He had about 12 very interested developers. The whole council seemed to agree.

Where are they? Or was this just another time when they have trouble being truthful? The Manor may sit for at least 5 years and maybe 10. They should come up with another plan than the one they have now. Put a sign on Roosevelt and hope they come?

It is really sad how they rushed those tenants and home owners out of their homes. What kind of stupid contract did we enter into that we required so little down and then Muir got their money back?

Why would you retain the same attorney? Has the council lost all control of our City government or do they just make stupid decisions?

And now they are supporting a local income tax? How ridiculous.

They need to do what businesses and families are doing. Cut spending, layoff employees and live within your budget. Businesses do it everyday.

Maybe they should not have made all these promises to contracts that give raises every year when we don't have the money. The retirements are more than most employees earn working. Maybe this is why the City doesn't have money for proper street and bridge maintenance and they are crumbling. Because they use our tax dollars for themselves.


01:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Disaster Recovery Commences


"Recently sworn-in Supervisor Dan Cahill did not return a call for comment Monday. Last week, Cahill said he was on the fence regarding the matter. "I haven't made up my mind. I will say that Tim has really left us with a mess as far as this goes," he said."

As far as messes go, Supervisor Cahill is dealing with the first of who knows how many left by his predecessor. The legacy of the less than capable is always the first concern of their successor. Cahill at least has prior experience to guide him in lifting rugs and sweeping out the bodies.

It will take Supervisor Cahill a period of getting reaquainted before moving forward. Beware of sitting on that fence post. Dally too long and irritated hemorrhoids have a way of becoming an ugly, smelly abscess like the one voters lanced last year.

If voters want to make their embarrassing pain go away and stay away, ballot pens must be sharpened for Heland.

Prep. H.

01:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Iowa - An Ice Cube on a Hot Stove


Political junkies agree, one less U. S. House seat for Iowa after 2010. Some have gone so far as drawing speculative maps of the redistricting. Relative to the rest of the nation, nobody wants to live here.

Keep raising taxes and increasing restrictions on personal liberty. Senator Courtney vowed to get even with those create jobs and wealth. Senator Courtney is getting what he wants and those with any sense and the ability to do so are fleeing his nightmare.

When Heland runs for congress in 2020, his district may stretch from here to Sioux City. If Heland is Iowa Senate Majority leader before running for congress, the whole damn state maybe down to one congressional district.

Rand McNally

01:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Rec Plex on Winter Layoff?


I wonder what happens to the 9.25 Rec Plex personnel in the winter when the place isn’t open. Are these people laid off or are they kept on as a tax burden? Is the manager on the payroll during the winter months, what does he do, does anyone know?


01:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Legacy of American Liberals' Housing Policy


The roots of our current economic depression can be traced to federal housing policies beginning roughly 30 years ago. The craftsmanship of those responsible is making itself manifest in more than just balance sheets.

01:16:00 - SPIKE - No comments

06 January

Just Say Moo to More Taxes


"Call this one of the newest and innovative the ways your government has come up with to battle greenhouse gas emissions."

Terrify, vilify and tax, tax, tax. It started with cigarettes. Senator Courtney and his friends raised tobacco taxes in Iowa's last legislative session. Of course, it was for our own good.

Why stop there when you can wring more money out of a good scare?

Global warming is killing us all. Bovine methane will make earth a burning hell, so tax cows to hell and back. Keep on taxin'. This is such a wonderful idea, why not a tax on those who raise taxes.

Many of Burlington's most brilliant political decisions have had there origins in post City Council meeting meetings. Fueled with beer, resulting decisions of truly bovine brilliance have had consequences beyond the obvious. Mortifying methane vapors so generated are burning us to death literally as well as financially.

It is time to save the world by imposing a dollar a bottle beer tax on our local decision makers.

Elsie Borden

Elsie Borden
02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Case Jobs 4


Hard to believe Burlington lost 300 good jobs because of a union contract restricting mandatory overtime. Just goes to show how ignorant some union contracts can be.

The city now loses the benefit of 300 working citizens through no fault of its own.

Sometimes unions create problems through stupid contracts that are written to pamper their egos but in turn really hurt the company and communities where they exist.

Whatever bad luck that befalls Burlington is usually caused by dimwitted elected officials or stupid union contracts.

We haven’t a chance.


02:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Harry Reid Crime Partner Pelosi Missing On Meet The Press


KW was right about Harry Reid but he forgot about Nancy Pelosi who belongs in the same category as Reid. Both of them are jerks and totally inept when it comes to representing the American people.

I wonder who picks up the tab for Nancy running home to California by jet every weekend, I hope to hell it’s not my tax dollars.

I wonder if the Advertiser is picking up the tab.


You're paying for Nancy's plane rides.


02:34:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Unfit for Retail Occupancy


In time, the container of vodka-and-grapefruit she long carried in her purse got the better of her. "Hard liquor was my downfall," she said.

Reading your posting from the Wall Street Journal about the $103,000 real estate investment we are paying for brought to mind Burlington's public private joint venture investment in commercial real estate. Warm and fuzzy feel good public policy mixed with arrogance, greed and Bud Light stuck us with the Manor Mall.

Using 20/20 hind sight, Burlington could have dumped the whole Manor mess on the feds. If everybody in the Manor had been given loans for seven or eight times the worth of their property and defaulted, nearly 300 million people would be paying for a vacant lot. 26,000 and shrinking citizens of Burlington, compounded by an increasing lesser percent age actually producing anything, are paying the bill.

To be fair to the Clown Prince of Burger Palace Parking Lots who was then King and his fellow party hearty single party comrades, there was probably not time. Senator Courtney did what he could, but that Iowa Senate amendment gave only a few months to pull it off. Burlington's then City Manager never even had time to complete his promised blight study to justify the whole scheme.

There are some lessons to be learned. Maybe if we elected local leaders a little less foolish and fond of fruit of the vine they could stiff the whole country for our stupidity.


Some admit to their downfall. Others sleep it off.


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Ice Growth Slows; Arctic Still Warmer Than Usual

from The National Snow and Ice Data Center

"Arctic sea ice extent during the 2008 melt season dropped to the second-lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979, reaching the lowest point in its annual cycle of melt and growth on September 14, 2008. Average sea ice extent over the month of September, a standard measure in the scientific study of Arctic sea ice, was 4.67 million square kilometers (1.80 million square miles) (Figure 1). The record monthly low, set in 2007, was 4.28 million square kilometers (1.65 million square miles); the now-third-lowest monthly value, set in 2005, was 5.57 million square kilometers (2.15 million square miles).

The 2008 season strongly reinforces the thirty-year downward trend in Arctic ice extent. The 2008 September low was 34% below the long-term average from 1979 to 2000 and only 9% greater than the 2007 record (Figure 2). Because the 2008 low was so far below the September average, the negative trend in September extent has been pulled downward, from –10.7 % per decade to –11.7 % per decade."

Arctic warming accelerates.

01:58:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Water In The Gas? Consumer Information


This is some information for your readers if they happened to purchase gas (full of water) at the Mini Mart in West Burlington from around Dec 29 2008 to 12-31-08.

A call needs to be placed to Bulk, the company that delivers the fuel, to get your name on a call list once they determine fault. That number is 262-242-4800. If you had to take your vehicle to a mechanic to have repairs done (tank drained, fuel filter drained) the invoice should say it was related to water in the fuel and you will need a receipt proving the gas purchase as well.

If the fault is that of the store, they will need to file a claim at the store. Both the store and the delivery company have insurance to cover any losses regarding water in the fuel.

Apparently the company that delivers to the Mini Mart in W Burlington, also delivered to the Gas Land on Mt Pleasant St. around the same time frame. It appears the claims will go to the # listed above, when my mechanic called me with the bad news, he asked if I had purchased the fuel at GasLand.


01:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

05 January

The Tapp Hinkle Bus - 260 New Residents Per Trip

02:18:57 - SPIKE - No comments

Would You Pay $103,000 For This House?

Would you pay $103,000 for this house?

Well, you're going to.


02:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments



First thing I do every morning is check this site.

I love it.


02:07:45 - SPIKE - No comments

CNH Jobs


On the subject of the jobs at the Case plant in Burlington, those 300 hundred jobs were sent away because there is no mandatory overtime at this plant and the union would not allow there to be.

Another thing we have to look forward to in the coming months there may be some more jobs leaving Burlington from Champion spark plug.

Just wait and see. Just another day in Burlington


02:05:23 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator Harry Reid - What a Sleeze Ball!


I just watched Harry Reid on Meet The Press. What a sleeze ball. No wonder the Democrats are such crooks.


02:04:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Mike Sweet's Silence Won't Last


Mike Sweet will continue to blame any little thing that goes wrong on Bush. That is the way these liberals work, everything is someone else's fault.

Don't think for one moment that the Anti-American Mike Sweet will run out of material to write on. Long after Bush is dead, the Democrats will still be blaming him for anything wrong. He will now blame the Republican minority for any legislation that smells of socialism that does not pass.

Sweet has too much hatred for conservative views that he won't be quiet for long.


02:03:15 - SPIKE - No comments

Something in the Water Moving Downstream


The specter of bankruptcy closing down daily newspapers is getting closer to Burlington. Lee Enterprises is in trouble. If Lee goes down, so goes the Muscatine Journal and the Quad City Times.

The quality of the Quad City Times has been declining noticeably. It is still not as bad as Burlington's Advertiser. If the Quad City Times and Muscatine Journal shut down, will the Advertiser try selling their rag upriver?

The octopus controlling the Advertiser appears not publicly held. None the less, the Advertiser's glaring decline in quality is an indicator needing no auditor's report. Some will go sooner than others if they can not adjust to market changes.

When the Advertiser goes, do you think there will be much warning?


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

04 January

A Show That Springer Couldn't Even Conceive


Since Mike Sweet is nowhere to be found to report on the Illinois governor/Blagojevich scandal, I though you might like a to read this one from today's Chicago Tribune.

"Roland "Tombstone" Burris goes to Washington this week as part of the Illinois political freak show, and many of us back home will watch it and feel like cringing, at least at the beginning.

Who among us could not wince at the prospect of Tombstone standing before news cameras, his head bobbing, smiling amiably, chattering nonsensically as is his way, insisting he feels no shame. All he wants is to become a United States senator, and he kissed a tainted hand to get there.

His fellow Democrats may be ready to bar his entrance to the Senate chambers, and politicians will be ready, even eager, to play the race card again. If this happens, the man who sent Tombstone to Washington, Gov. Rod Blagojevich will glory in his opportunity to speak directly to his future jury pool.

So I wouldn't bet against Gov. Dead Meat holding holding a news conference Wednesday, standing with a gospel choir, leading them in "We Shall Overcome," a single tear rolling down his cheek, a tear that will be referenced again and again by his lawyer Eddie Genson at Dead Meat's jury selection.

Such high emotions. Such low expectations. Such bad actors."


Are you sure it was a "tainted hand" that the Democrats kissed? And something about never bite the hand that taints you?


15:53:43 - SPIKE - No comments

02 January

Next Stop - Burlington


Do you think Hinkle and Tapp have gotten a Federal Government grant request written up for a few of these?

M. G. Kelly

04:53:50 - SPIKE - No comments

Another Grand Italian Tour for Hinkle?


When does Hinkle make another economic development expedition to Europe? Can Worden go along? Bring back lots of pictures to show the folks who pay for it all.

Or better yet, the video from your last trip.


04:46:16 - SPIKE - No comments

Why Not Send Them to Burlington?


The Gitmo goal is closing down. Too bad. What to do with all those homeless victims of President Bush.

Hinkle and Tapp should have rolled out the red carpet. As they kill hogs in Columbus Jct. no doubt few would seek employment there. No problem. Just go on the welfare state that much faster. So what if they are not citizens. Same day voter registration means they can vote for Senator Courtney and his friends.

The Advertiser could do big fluff pieces on diversity in action. Mike Sweet can tell us all how former President Bush is to blame if any basement bomb factories detonate.

Dare say nothing against such a plan. Doing so makes you intolerant and racist. Burlington needs many more such people to expand our base of unemployable citizens.


04:44:11 - SPIKE - No comments

Mike Sweet


Mike Sweet probably won't have a job after Bush leaves office because his
messiah will then take command and all will be perfect, according to Mike
and there'll be no need for his hate mongering columns.

How could anyone be as hateful as Mike Sweet while he can on occasion write
interesting articles, usually about the past and his personal experiences?

We'll probably hear nothing but good about Obama from Mike even when he
fails to make many or all of his campaign promises. Mike will dream up
excuses for every one of Obama's failures. Of course the democrats will
never be blamed for their lies and misdeeds.

The ignorant will find out about their foolish voting pattern once Obama is
in office. He's like Al Gore and most other democrats and that is, "when
their lips are moving we have a sure sign their lying."

I can never remember reading a column written by Mike about the total
failure of the democratic city government here in Burlington. In his skewed
way of thinking they must be a well tuned political machine.


04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Government Aid for the Advertiser?


Newspapers are dying. There are those in government who want to put them on the dole. This is starting out at the state and local level. It is already happening in Connecticut. Could it happen here?

""You can't expect a watchdog to bite the hand that feeds it," he said."

The Hawk-Eye Gazette was a watchdog. The Advertiser is a neutered hamster. The role of a free press, in the form of a local newspaper, protecting a free people has been moot in Burlington for too long. For this reason, look for a bail out attempt should the Advertiser face what it deserves.

Check the Advertiser's endorsements. Where did you first read about how the incumbent Mayor at the time got home from Burger King? These are but a few examples of the Advertiser at work. From Governor Culver, through State Senator Courtney, right down to Jr. Murray, these people have been able to depend on the Advertiser for praise and suppression when it comes to information.

It is bad enough we are being taxed to death for Vision Iowa white elephants and local messes like the Manor Mall. The last thing we should ever be taxed to support is a propaganda arm to make more such blunders possible.


01:47:00 - SPIKE - No comments

01 January



I can remember the spread in the Advertiser about the 300 new jobs planned
for Case; so why doesn't anyone know what happened to them down at the
Advertiser or better yet why doesn't anyone in city hall know where those
jobs went.

Sounds like the shell game involving the missing ballpark lights the city
continues to cover up. Or like the number of city officials that have been
given immunity for drunk driving in Burlington. Through the police
department that covers the offense up by not reporting it and by giving the
offender a ride home or calling the spouse to come get them. I wonder where
the buck stops down at the police department?

Could be Case just didn't want to get further involved with a city that is
plagued by debt, cover-ups, irresponsibility and absolutely no


13:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Today Oakville - Tomorrow the World!


Heland, "We've kinda adopted it (Oakville)."

Heland adopts what is in Heland's own interest. As Sandell forced Heland to admit, Oakville is not in Heland's current domain. Who is to say Oakville may not be in Heland's expansion plans?

Oakville is in Senator Courtney's District. Senator Courtney has been avoiding voters. Is Senator Courtney not planning to run again? Heland considers himself too important not to be shared with the greater world. Heland for State Senator?

It appears Des Moines County taxpayers will be subsidizing Heland's bloated ego. Mileage for Heland's bulgemobile to be driven on "good intention" junkets to Louisa County are crap. Taxes are not supposed to used for campaign appearances, let alone personal feel good forays.

Of course, the Advertiser will look the other way. Ditto the Des Moines County Attorney.

The best way to make Heland go away is his defeat for re-election to the Board of Supervisors in 2010. As long the Republican Party of Des Moines County continues its' decade plus pursuit of theological purity including physical and personal assaults, Heland has nothing to worry about.


Don't forget the required Standard Republican Christian Party Haircut.


13:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments



I see on Falcon's site the state is talking about letting cities have an income tax. If that happens I'll be moving to Illinois in a flash as I've been thinking about it for years now because it cost far too much money to live in Iowa.

Iowa government along with entitlements has gotten so large the state no longer has any fiscal responsibility. We could probably let 30% of the state employees go and nothing would change in our daily lives.

When will Iowans stand up and put a stop to this rotten state government?


That is the most stupid dumb ass idea I have ever heard in my entire adult life. If there is anything that will foster an exodus from this state, on par with Moses from Egypt, I wouldn't know what it could be.

One thing about it. Anyone (like Courtney, Cahoon, Fraise) that goes along with this idea will be run out of office. We would have a fresh start.


13:08:57 - SPIKE - No comments