Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 March

Innocuous Photo? No - Deadly Serious

DigitalGlobe Image DigitalGlobe.com

North Korea's missile on the launch pad at Musudan Ri, North Korea. This missile has U.S. West Coast capability.

DigitalGlobe Image

Corrected perspective -

DigitalGlobe Image

03:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Catfish Bend Casino


Here’s the only review I could find about Catfish Bend Casino on the web.

“Good slot variety. Have not done the table games. The food sucks and the place is full of old people smoking while hooked to their oxygen machines, etc”

Sounds like Burlington to me.

02:29:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Grand Tour


Did Slagle tag along with Hinkle during his Italian junket? Maybe trillions in debt doled out to lower levels means all City of Burlington employees will get to go along next time.

Junket like you're the President.


02:27:00 - SPIKE - No comments

30 March

Schools A Symbol of Decay


The highest school dropout rating for Burlington Community Schools is a
direct reflection of the quality of life in Burlington. Also, aren't
students that dropout of GED part of the failed system in the first place;
so why shouldn't they be counted.

Everyone in GED points a finger at a failed system both for the schools
and the quality of life for the city. Actually, it tends to point to the failed
families now residing in Burlington. Where are the parents?

Burlington is basically a failed city as witnessed by its failed schools,
failed leadership, loss of its industrial base and failed tax funded
entities such as the Chamber and SEIRPC. There is just no quality
leadership in Burlington anymore as there was decades ago. The one party
system has failed to provide the city with leadership.

The city council and mayor have proven over and over again that the one
party system is one of failure and those that are skeptical should just look
at the condition of our city and the disastrous decisions made by the city
council and the school board. All the new schools in the world will not
improve the ACT or SAT scores of one student. The Manor is enough to
illustrate the incompetence of the city council and its former loser city

The voters are also to blame for this failure because they are the ones that
have filled all positions in Burlington and Des Moines County with loons,
losers and misfits. Those voters not belonging to the Democratic Party in
Des Moines County know what's wrong while those that voted for the
democratic candidates haven't a clue.

Until the one party system is gone nothing will improve for those with
common sense living in Des Moines County. This also goes for the city
school board which has never made a common sense decision.


09:59:14 - SPIKE - No comments

Educating to Grow Greater Burlington


The word is out. Burlington is not only Iowa's fastest shrinking city, it has Iowa's highest percentage rate of school drop outs. This is great news.

How many of those who go on for a college degree ever return to Burlington? Damn few. There is nothing here for them. Why waste money on those who leave?

A good job requires a good education. There are no good jobs in Burlington. There is lots of cheap, bombed out housing and of course welfare. No education fits the bill for what Burlington has to offer.

The uneducated tend to reproduce rapidly, especially with public assistance. Couple the drop out rate with an increased birth rate and imagine the possibilities. Hinkle and Tapp's vision for our future will not require importing the unskilled from Chicago. We will grow enough of our own.

Senator Courtney and the local single party political system are achieving their dream. The unproductive and the ignorant are their base of support. They will rule Burlington forever.

Burlington is truly slipping into the abyss of blissful ignorance.


09:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

First Place & No Future


When I read the paper Friday morning I was glad to see Burlington is first at something, high school dropouts. With all the new schools we have been building you think we'd be a little future down the list.

Do you think that due to Brian Tapp with all his efforts bringing people to Burlington might have helped us to first place? I see we have to hire a new demolition manager. Can't we just bring John Mercer out of retirement? He has always done a good job for the city and I don't think that he is deer hunting right now,

I see where the trial for the casino tax appeal has been delayed for six months. I don't know if Randy Winegard is planning on leaving Burlington but he has just purchased a $3.6 million dollar property in th Phoenix-Mesa Ariz. area.

Jeff Abell of the Hawkeye was advised about this he either didn't think this was important or Delaney told him he couldn't print it. With the money Randy is spending I don't know why he hasn't paid the city back for the water park. You have to hand it to Randy, he sure knows a good deal when he gets it.

Maybe we just need a few more good teachers to get us off the dropout list and find a few good business people.

Leonard Johnson

The day Randy Winegard retires is a day no one in this town has thought of. Without any preparation or planning I can hear the wind whistlin' up the goat's butt now.

And see the tumbleweeds rolling down Roosevelt Avenue.


09:52:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Pot Hole Survey


If your readers would like to look at a destroyed road surface look at the intersection of Dehn and Sunnyside. The surface looks like waves during a storm.

One could rip the hell out of the underside of the vehicle should they not notice the destruction by the stop sign.

It was patched less than a year ago and now it's even worse. The surface under the pavement is just destroyed and the city failed to repair it properly last year.

Those people living in the area should storm city hall with complaints about this intersection.


You mean to tell me our street department failed to fix something correctly? The same street department led by No-Fix Knoke? Tell me it ain't so.


09:49:18 - SPIKE - No comments

27 March

Burlington's Pothole Prayers Answered

"KFC has sent off a letter to the nation's mayors, offering to patch their potholes for free. Well, the company will leave behind a stenciled brand on the patch informing people the road has been 'Re-Freshed by KFC.'"

"In honor of our "Fresh Tastes Best" campaign, we want to come and Re-"Fresh" your roads!" KFC president Roger Eaton says in the letter. "Every patched pothole comes with the Colonel's very own stamp of approval."

The company estimated that U.S. roads are plagued with more than 350 million potholes. "That's one mini-canyon for every man, woman and child in America."

KFC Corporation photo / March 24, 2009

11:33:08 - SPIKE - No comments

Slum Lords


Here’s exactly what happens in Burlington that creates ghetto type areas:

People from the past that owned large homes find they can no longer afford to maintain them let alone pay Burlington’s high taxes and utilities. This leads to the house being subdivided into several apartments which last the owner for a few years until again he or she can’t afford the maintenance and higher taxes loaded on here every year in Burlington.

Now the building is in decay and decent working people won’t even consider renting the apartments. Now the landlord must sell to a slum landlord or enter the area classified as a slum lord himself and rent to anyone that can at least pay the first month rent with the possibility of a couple of more months before defaulting and being kicked out of the apartment.

We now have the makings of a slum neighborhood brought about by the cities high taxes and the cost of utilities forcing the landlord to rent to those at the bottom of the food chain leaving the taxpayer to pick up the rent, in most cases. Although the neighborhood originally was classified as a decent area we now have trash scattered around the apartment, loud and foul mouth people disrupting the area; so those left in the neighborhood can’s even let their children go outside anymore.

This has happened to my neighborhood during the last several years and it just makes me sick to see a decent neighborhood going to the dogs because of high taxes, utilities and those that don’t want to work basing their whole lives on living off the taxpayer. These are mostly people that don’t bother to get married and have several children dependent on the taxpayer. What kind of a life do kids from this type of relationship have in life? I think their doomed from the start because the parents have no real relationship or commitment to each other. Some of these mothers have children from several different fathers who have just walked away from them forcing the taxpayer to pick up for their laziness and irresponsibility.

Just look around Burlington on North Hill, South Hill and West Hill the entire city is falling down around us and our city leaders are doing nothing but wasting tax dollars on dreams of grandeur such as the RecPlex, Huck’s, Manor and numerous other worthless projects.

Makes Me Sick

02:32:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Grow Greater Burlington With Body Armor


What price to Grow Greater Burlington? Will bullet proof blankets be next to maintain growth and keep the body count down?

The perpetrators of public policy in large part responsible pursue distraction. Run a ridiculous real estate scam as a side show to draw attention elsewhere. Call it all regional economic planning.

Kudos to neighborhood mothers drawing attention to the problem. Their children are at risk asleep in their beds. Fathers, where are you? The safety of your children is not just their mother's concern.

Raise hell until public money is denied those who threaten our community with such dangerous and irresponsible economic development.

Kev Lar

Deflect, defend, duck, cover, hide like spineless little worms.


02:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Miracle of Displacement


I hope you enjoyed your day off. How nice to take Supervisor Heland on a levee inspection at Oakville.

Thanks for the photo.


How'd you know we named our elephant Heland? We towed Heland all afternoon. Tried to leave him in Oakville. He followed us home.


02:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Feeding the Addiction


"Drug addiction is a powerful biochemical force. Studies have shown cocaine, for instance, can warp the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which governs a person’s reasoning and judgment."

Our federal tax dollars have been used to provide addicts with drugs to study the effects. Chemicals are not the only dangerous substance the feds have been doling out. Cash deemed free also destroys a person's reasoning and judgment.

Local tax and spend addicts are awash in free cash. The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission is craving 75% of a bigger building purchase with free federal grant money. Look for more irrational behavior from more government and quasi government agencies as trillions in debt transmit traumatic deviation from reality.

Voters need to cut off the supply. Tapp, Hinkle and others need to go cold turkey on their free money addiction affliction. Free money addiction is not a victim-less crime.

Taxpayers will be turned into homeless beggars if something is done to stem the flood of free money.

H. Horse

02:11:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Bailout for Derailed?


Bailing out failing newspapers is absurd. If the Advertiser is included, what a joke.

Spike, you need to get some of that "free" money.


02:04:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 March

Today Is A Day Off

The family had to take our elephant water skiing today.

Back tomorrow.


16:42:27 - SPIKE - No comments

25 March

A Self Inflicted Image Nobody Else Will Change


"And that's the problem. General perceptions of these Rust Belt cities--that they're backward, dilapidated and cultureless--are often too harsh. And that's why, over the last decade, these areas have seen the biggest decreases in population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Reputations die hard," says Kathryn Foster, director of the University at Buffalo's Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth."

Burlington is often sited as among the faster, if not the actual fastest, shrinking city in Iowa. This reputation is not unfair, not unjustified and certainly accurate.

Burlington has suffered from near sighted, incompetent, and at times,self serving to the point of corrupt leadership. Importing a large metropolitan area's cast offs is not the route to a brighter, better future. Hinkle and Tapp are poster children for the problem.

Changing the world's perception of Burlington will require nurturing from within. Those with the ambition and ability to effect positive change should be encouraged to stay and not be driven out by smaller minds viewing their betters as a threat.

As with a self inflicted bullet wound, healing must start deep and be covered and protected until it fills the void. The world at large will not save our insignificant community. Recovery, like charity, begins at home.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Bill Would Let Newspapers Operate as Nonprofits

Congressional Lunacy Ramps Up Way Past Bizarre

- from the Wall street Journal

"Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin introduced legislation that would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofit organizations, a move that follows several of the nation's newspapers folding in recent months.

...The economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy," the senator said.

Under the legislation, newspapers would operate as nonprofits, having 501(c)(3) status. This equates to newspapers operating for educational purposes, similar to public broadcasting. Doing so would prevent papers from making political endorsements, but they would still be allowed to openly report on all matters, including political campaigns."

Great newspapers are gone and more are leaving. Where was bailout then?

How absolutely absurd. Could we get free newspapers if this happens?


02:33:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Courtney for the Persecution


If in trouble, hide behind the bar. Senator Courtney needs a white wig, black robe and a white bow tie to fit his self assigned role as judge, barrister and jury.

Iowa's anti-smoking law is bad law. This law was done to demonize a group of people engaged in a legal activity as a pretext to selectively tax. In addition, Iowa's anti-smoking law was badly crafted. This crime of poor craftsmanship is in no small part Senator Courtney's.

Our courts waste far too much time cleaning up the messes made by incompetent legislators. Senator Courtney's attempt to avoid blame by hiding behind the results of his incompetence is indefensible .

Senator Courtney deserves to be expunged from the Iowa Senate.


If anyone wants meaningful dialog from the Nitwit he scrambles off for bushes, never to be heard from again for 3-4 months just like Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumber.


02:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 March

Are Newspaper Publishers Stuck in the Age of Steam?


Are newspaper publishers idiots? Some critics think so.

What once was the standard means to meet a demand for news is no more. The vehicle of delivery is rapidly and dramatically shifting. Many in the news business are not adapting.

Trains still rumble through town. Railroad locomotion is not what it was 80 years ago. None of the locomotive builders that dominated 80 years ago are around today. They could not adjust to technical change that ran counter to their traditional culture.

People still demand to know what is going on in the world. That need will be met. Will we get a better product once those stuck in the past are removed from the field?

M. Baldwin

Like the train, it might be late. But it's still coming.


11:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Three More Is A Council


Here’s what John Adams had to say, “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.”

How about substituting the law firm the city uses along with the city council? We could add them both to "Congress" and get a good match right here in Burlington.

Also, the following quote fits the Advertiser perfectly, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper your are misinformed.” Mark Twain knew what he was talking about when he said that one.


11:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Gambling with Debt


Casinos need help too. Senate Majority Leader Dirty Harry Reid is upset gambling has been denied stimulus funds. Dirty Harry should move to Burlington.

Burlington's City Council has given aid to a casino. It's called Huck's Hole. Like all one armed bandits, Huck's Hole never pays out. None the less, public money keeps being poured into this hole. This scheme duly dribbles a few coins only when the note comes due.

Borrowing your way to prosperity makes as much sense as believing there is a pot of gold at the end of every row of slot machines. It is only fitting that when throwing trillions of borrowed dollars into the wind some should land on the craps tables.


It pays out at election time.


11:36:39 - SPIKE - No comments

23 March

Courtney's "Pending Litigation"

Publisher Steve Delaney took Mumbles Courtney to task over his silence on the smoking issue. It's about time.

Oddly, Delaney tries to makes a correlation between Courtney's so-called political position as Whip in the Iowa senate and supposedly being an important political "player." Ask anyone in Des Moines, Courtney was given the job to keep his dumb ass out of trouble. Nobody listens to him. Just like Fraise, totally impotent.

Courtney is a whip. Dip-Whip. Puffed up self importance in a little container full of excess chest beating until a noise is uttered forth. If "pending litigation" is the biggest sack of crap lie he can dream up, it should pave the way Hoschek to fill his shoes. All things being equal.

And nothing more.


01:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

SEIRPC and Housing Authority Split


What's up with this? The Hawkeye article seemd to be a series of conflicting info with hints of hostile environments followed by working together. Sounds like there's much, much more to the story.

I kept reading the article, thinking that the housing authority was going to be one of Tapp's tenants in his Gear Avenue Taj Mahal.


The words hostile work environment should alert everyone to litigation avoidance. Reminds me of TIm Hoschek and his court house tirades using the "F" word.

What I thought was interesting was the commingling of housing authority and regional planning. If Scott Power is involved, conflicts of interest and commingling of bank accounts run rampant. Some of the regional court documents involving Power are extremely interesting reading.

Only monument builders revel in their accomplishments. Brian Tapp's revelry resulted in a crime wave. His latest monument idea is indicative of what happens over a church pew.


01:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Crime of Honesty


"An Iowa school custodian, a labor union activist who was job-shadowed by presidential candidate Joseph Biden during the campaign season two years ago, was arrested Thursday after a lobbyist witnessed an apparent theft at the Iowa Capitol."

A public employee union activist was arrest for stealing other people's money at the State Capitol. His crime; failure to follow proper procedure.

You make contributions to elected officials. You hire lobbyists. You turn out your troops on election day. The Iowa Senate Majority leader and his friends will introduce legislation making your cash grab legal.

A few dollars pilfered from a few wallets is nothing compared to the millions to be had by following proper procedure. Never try to keep the middlemen from getting their cut.

Unlike politicians pandering to pressure groups with other people's money, one must admire the "criminal" suspect in this case for his honesty.


01:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

When May We Expect Another Junket?


When does Hinkle leave on another overseas trip? Do you think Burlington will get to see Hinkle or does Beijing? Is there anything left here to sell out?


01:29:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 March

The American Chocolate Company


Mortgage Backed Securities are like a box of chocolates. Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds.

Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor's rated these boxes of American Chocolates AAA Investment Grade Chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors.

Eventually, somebody bit into a turd and discovered the crime. Now, nobody trusts American Chocolates anymore Worldwide.

Hank Paulson made the American taxpayers buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 Billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal.

Meanwhile, Hank’s buddies, the Wall Street Criminals who stole all the good chocolates are not being investigated, arrested or indicted.

Mama always said: “Sniff the chocolates first, Forrest.”

Forrest Gump

We have a city council to taste test the Doug Worden Chocolates. They're the same recipe as the Bruce Slagle Chocolates but only fresher turds.


02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Scott Power's Deceptive Billing Practice

Burlington's Prime Example of Financial Mismanagment by Staff & Council


Do you have any idea how we are paying the city attorney now? He hasn't been paid in the city claims for two to three months.

His law firm used to mentioned in there monthly. Do you think they have found another way to pay him?

I see in the city claims the Burlington Bee's were paid for advertising for the RecPlex.

I think people ought to pay more attention what the city pays and to whom. It's no wonder this town is in the shape it's in.

Property Owner

Iowa's Losingist Lawyer Scott Power's bill is always lump summed together and sent in without any detail. We had campaign promises from Scott and Thomas that they would see that there was detail on the Power theft of taxpayer money. But that was four years ago in another time of campaign promises.

But we might have missed Power's bill. They have a habit of placing his claim out of alphabetical order to confuse the citizens looking for his looting.

Plus the city had budget considerations and no one wants the public to see how much money is spent on this loser lawyer.

Let us know when you see it.


02:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Criminal Nancy Blames Bernanke

Criminal Speaker of the House Queen Nancy Pelosi is now blaming Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke for the AIG debacle.

"Rep. Pelosi said that House Democrats had nothing to do with it." And I'm the Pope.

Seems to me the Democrats led the charge to spend and the Republicans sat back without much control and let the ever-so-wise Pelosi lead the charge to "fix" the economy.

Good job Queenie!


02:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Brian Tapp's Taliban Transit to the Rescue


Thanks President Obama, some of the Club Gitmo crew may be looking for a new home.

Many with few skills and even less education will need a job. Many may know how to drive a camel, but not a car. Where will they go?

Burlington needs diversity to grow and develop. The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission may have what the newly freed will desperately need; a job and and a ride with no questions asked.

Has anybody from the SEIRPC alerted the warden of Gitmo?


We haven't heard if anyone alerted the warden at but Brian Tapp has put in for a grant to transport and house the Gitmo folks at his new building in Trousilgrad.


00:59:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Training to Grow Greater Burlington


I see local law enforcement is staying current with the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission's vision to grow greater Burlington.

Burlington is becoming more like Baghdad every day. The photo of security personnel in full combat gear storming the bus was most appropriate.

Tip your hat to Mr. Tapp and rest of the Grow Greater Burlington tribe.


00:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 March

Silence From Downtown Over Regional Planning Move


Why haven’t we heard from Billups and the downtown crowd about regional planning moving to the country? I thought Billups was very vocal when DHS wanted to move to the old Hy-Vee building. Now, we hear nothing from the downtown group.

Seems awful strange unless they want Tapp out of downtown.

Do you suppose it has to do with Tapp’s crime wave?


09:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Culver's Spending Plan for Southeast Iowa

For a look at Culver's spending plan, click here.

Scroll though the data and you will see how aggressive Keokuk, including the Keokuk school system has been in their quest for dollars.

Struggle as I do, I can't seem to find any request from the Burlington School District for some dough. With all these new schools planned, you would surely believe there is a need.

Here's the full, unedited version if someone wants to dispel this apparent misstep. Click here.

09:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Sue Amtrak


"Unless a coordinated plan is well implemented, hello Quad City Rocket."

With history as our guide, one can just imagine Burlington's well implemented plan to save Amtrak.

Pull out an old document signed by James Wilson Grimes relating to passengers alighting from Burlington and Missouri River Railroad trains onto city property. Sue Amtrak for breech of contract.

Claim it is all about protecting jobs and retaining Amtrak. Make the decision to sue in an illegal City Council meeting. Invite Senator Courtney to bash Amtrak at said meeting. Ask for monetary rewards instead of return of service. Money, or jobs? Never answer that question.

Power for the plaintiff. Say it will cost $50,000 to save jobs and protect hundreds of thousands in economic spin offs by retaining Amtrak. Spend $500,000 to find out you have no merit, let alone a mind.

People will grumble. Create a diversion. The City announces a new development to save downtown Burlington. It will be the greatest thing since gazebos blocking Jefferson Street..

Tear the depot down and say it will be a new shopping center. Scrap the old locomotive monument as the price of "Growing Greater Burlington." Watch for weeds after the Nigerian developer hastily leaves for Lagos just ahead of U. S. Marshalls.

You have not been able to ride the Rocket north, or south out of Burlington for over 40 years. With local leadership's inability draw up, coordinate and implement a plan beyond lunch, ditto the Zephyr east, or west.

C. Davenport

09:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Just Like Detroit, Only Smaller


A record of Detroit's relics has been posted on the web. Has anybody done the same for Burlington?


09:42:35 - SPIKE - No comments

18 March

Serendipity or Sleazy Timing?

Crime Wave Came From SEIRPC Tapp's Mindless Tyson Contract

SEIRPC Trying To Deflect Issue With New Building Or Is Tapp Really That Dumb?


If all you read were the Ad Vertiser, what a wonderful organization is the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission. Tapp's organization has been like a godfather handing out goodies all around the neighborhood. "Free" money for flood victims and new home owners.

How coincidental all this fluff on Santa Tapp appears as he announces his need for bigger workshop. Whatever happened to crime coming to Burlington with Tapp's tax subsidized bus riders? Enquiring minds still want to know how greater crime will Grow Greater Burlington. Maybe the Ad Vertiser will get back to these stories after Tapp gets his buddy's building bought.

Sorry if this sounds sarcastic, but I have seen this ploy pulled too many times to buy into it.

Ho Ho Hell!

Where are the contracts for the Tyson bus rides? Why hasn't Publisher Steve Delaney followed up on his request for those documents? You'd think since Tapp had his nose up Crooked Bruce Slagle's butt all those years Delaney would know that an office fire is imminent.


05:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

AIG's Lies Uncovered By New York Attorney General

If you want a clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding the AIG bonuses and how far the media has gone to misstate the facts, read the letter the New York Attorney General sent to Barney Frank.

AIG had a choice and it wasn't cast in stone.

And this nonsense about recovering the bonus money through taxation? If Congress tries that, everyone damn one of them needs to be thrown on the street. Not only is it illegal, most of the hedge fund traders responsible for this mess are British citizens.

Pre-eminent, squawking, hand ringers fed by lobbyists.

05:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Washington Deflects Taxpayers' Scrutiny of AIG

"...The U.S. government is now in the business of distributing foreign aid to offshore financiers, laundered through a once-great American company.

The politicians also prefer to talk about AIG's latest bonus payments because they deflect attention from Washington's failure to supervise AIG. The Beltway crowd has been selling the story that AIG failed because it operated in a shadowy unregulated world and cleverly exploited gaps among Washington overseers. Said President Obama yesterday, "This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed." That's true, but Washington doesn't want you to know that various arms of government approved, enabled and encouraged AIG's disastrous bet on the U.S. housing market."

This all sounds like Eminent Domain Mall. Deflect the people away from politicians' screw ups. Blame it on someone, anyone, else.

Grassley had it right. There is no shame for poor job performance in America at any level. Wall Street needs to fall on the sword or the Justice Department needs to spear them like olives in a martini.

Or turn Chuck loose with his pitchfork.


05:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Elected Officials Have No Shame


I’ve often wondered how many of Burlington’s elected officials can sleep at night knowing they’ve stolen the taxpayer’s money for their personal dreams of grandeur and self importance. Of all those people they threw out of their homes in the Manor we have only an empty tax less nothing, a black hole just taking up space and producing nothing of value.

The loser they had as a city manager led the council around like sheep to the slaughter and we’ll all be paying the price for this complete and damaging incompetence.

Anyone on the council then that’s still on the council should be thrown out if they voted for that damn Manor mess created by Slagle the city manager imposter Burlington hired. Believe it or not I hear he still lives here in Burlington, the city he destroyed with his lack of management skills and substandard economic planning skills.

All of these blunders will catch up with us and the city has not done one thing to reduce its cost that I’m aware of. What are they doing about the money crisis? How many mandatory days off has the city work force been given, management as well as hourly? The city management failed to negotiate a fair union contract for the people they represent and did nothing but sell out the taxpayer by giving the union raises while the private sector employee gets nothing. No raises should be given to unions unless the taxpayer has a vote on it. We can no longer trust city management to be honest and fair when it comes to union wages here in Burlington where all they do is sign on the bottom line when it comes to union wages and benefits.

Burlington is a loser city,


It all started with Springsted 's Crooked Bond Salesman and former city manager Bruce Slagle's quest to cover up the railroad lawsuit debacle. And he had a lot of ass to cover up.

From Ground Zero of the railroad lawsuit the city council just followed like mindless sheep.

And here we are today, the taxpayers having their cash sucked out the door like the ex-mayor sucked Miller Lite; cases at a time.


05:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Pelosi Gonna Save The San Francisco Chronicle


""We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the news gathering and analysis that the American people expect," Pelosi wrote."

The mainstream, liberal press is dying. "Our news organizations," means terror runs rampant amongst the tax and spend political parasites. They owe their positions in large part to a dying, compliant and biased press. To hell with anti-trust laws these liberals claim to love.

If Pelosi gets her way, how low will this go? The death of newspapers is not just in the Bay Area. It is headed this way.

The local single party political system works with their hand maidens at the Ad Vertiser. If the San Francisco Chronicle must be saved to save the Speaker of the U. S. House, what about the Majority Leader of the Iowa Senate?

Will Senator Courtney do everything and anything down to outright tax subsidies to save the Ad Vertiser, himself and the rest of his party comrades?


It's OK. The Chronicle is her political partner newspaper.

Pelosi never raised a finger for the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle P-I to ease the competition. She is no leader. She's an incompetent, old hippie lawmaker and lawbreaker that lies through her dentures every time her mouth flies open.


05:33:00 - SPIKE - No comments



Amtrak could possibly move to Iowa City. It would not be a great thing for Burlington or the citizens that do use this service. In fairness to Amtrak, they are probably going to look at what is best for their customer base and potential passenger increase.

Look at a few facts that are against us.

1) The population is decreasing in our area
2) The Depot is not a very attractive and welcoming place to use. It should have had an entire makeover or have been torn down and built a new building. The City always has the funds to get the things they want, wage and benefit increases, but let the Depot, Cascade bridge and our streets deteriorate. Poor planning and poor priorities!
3) Iowa City will offer a better building
4) Iowa City offers a larger population, when including the 25,000 college students. The college students will increase ticket sales.
5) The direct Chicago, Quad Cities, Des Moines, Omaha makes sense.
6) Maybe our elected officials that were going save BNSF from leaving here can save Amtrak.

Let's just hope they don't sue anybody else for a while. We can't afford any more dumb ass decisions.

Burlington Citizen

Burlington will have one shot at it. Competition from cities on the northern route is fierce. They WANT Amtrak service.

Unless a coordinated plan is well implemented, hello Quad City Rocket.


05:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike - Threat, Menace, or Beelzebub?


"In her final State of the City address, Salisbury Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman warned residents of what she sees as a great danger to the city: malicious bloggers."

If the kitchen is too warm, leave. At least the Mayor of Salisbury, MD did not throw her gavel at anybody.

If Mayor Parsons thinks censorship is the key to security, she should consult and console with Senator Courtney.


05:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Ottumwa Bar's License Suspended Over Smoking Ban


Did you see where the Keg in Ottumwa lost its liquor license for 7 days and was fined $1000 for violating the smoking law?

It's about time more of these people were made to pay for violating the law including Duncan. And the lawmakers need to change the law to include casinos. We've stopped going there too.

I can only imagine if I broke the law how long it would take everyone to boycott my business.


05:09:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 March

02:48:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Oelwein - Success Through Fundamentals


"While Oelwein waged war on meth, the city's 15-year, $31 million investment in infrastructure, economic development and quality of life projects began to pay dividends, Murphy said."

A small Iowa town in the middle of nowhere faced economic decline. The town's role as a railroad center was history. The massive railroad shops closed. It's infrastructure was crumbling. Drug use was exploding.

While you may think Burlington, look north to Oelwein. Compare Oelwein's local governmental response to the challenges and the results.

Oelwein did not:

Claim all was well and living in the past would work forever.

Block their Main Street with gazebos and call it downtown redevelopment.

Sue the railroad for pulling out.

Look to gambling as economic salvation.

Pump public money into an unprofitable amusement park next to a casino.

Provide tax supported bus rides to a distant packing plant and attract new residents from crime ridden inner cities.

Deny there was a problem with drug related crime.

Elect local leaders of limited abilities whose personal misbehavior was an open embarrassment.

Etc. Etc.

Oelwein did:

Acknowledge all was not well.

Elect capable local leaders who sought a cure rather than simply masking the symptoms of decay.

Coordinate aggressive regional law enforcement that targeted removing criminals from the community.

Update infrastructure overall to support private economic activity rather than government directed subsidies to a few targeted projects.

Quality of life expenditures were for projects with a broad based community appeal.

Oelwein did nothing glitzy and glamorous. Oelwein stuck to the fundamentals. When it comes to results, dare to compare.


02:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Resource For the Unthinking


I remember reading here that if the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission must move, they should consider the old Des Moines County Home. Evidently, one in a position of authority read the same.

Supervisor Heland later made a public statement advocating Tapp move to the old County Home. What a coincidence.

Heland has never been noted for original, let alone creative, thinking. Has Heland learned to learn from those who do?


Were not so sure Large Mouth Heland read it here. Keep in mind he asked the sidekick applicants on the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM what they knew about regional planning.

Besides, if Large Mouth read BurlingtonDerailed.com he might realize what a fool he is and at least try to fix it.

Ground Hog Day!


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Phoenix From Newsprint


The Rocky Mountain News is dead. Long live the inDenverTimes.com?

A venerable Denver institution may be morphing to a new medium. The old rocky Mountain News had real editors and reporters. They won awards. Their attempt at a new beginning is worthy of observation.

Could this trend come to Burlington?

The Burlington Hawk-Eye and it's award winning staff are long a thing of the past. The Ad Vertiser has single party shrills and Jimmy Olsons. There is no stopping change.

What anybody care to give odds on the Ad Vertiser online only being successful?


01:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

16 March

Seattle P-I to Publish Last Edition Tuesday

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer will roll off the presses for the last time Tuesday.

The Hearst Corp. announced Monday that it would stop publishing the 146-year old newspaper, Seattle's oldest business, and cease delivery to more than 117,600 weekday readers.

The company, however, said it would maintain seattlepi.com, making it the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product.

They just keep dropping.

14:33:09 - SPIKE - No comments

No Plan - Just Big, Bad Ideas From SEIRPC Brian Tapp


I didn't hear any plan from Brian Tapp or our commie mayor. All I heard was Brian Tapp wants a big building, has no tenant and can only pay for it with a grant of taxpayer money.

What is also troubling is the size of this building has seemed to change. First it was 69,000 s.f. Then it was 60,000 s.f. Now it is 30,000 s.f. Just how big is this bad deal?

Did our elected officials see any proforma for the costs to operate such a big building? What are they? Maybe Trousil can answer that. He has the answers for everything else!

What about this church angle? Does the owner of this building go to Brian Tapp's church or not? If so, how has Tapp taken steps to keep this building at arm's length since his #2 guy also goes to the same church. Who negotiated the deal? How do we know Tapp isn't getting a kickback?

This whole idea is big and bad. Who in their right mind would want to go to an office building in the middle of a mud hole, manufacturing facility? What kind of impression is that?

Mr. Tapp, go find a building you can afford, isn't owned by your buddy and something that demonstrates SEIRPC's development skills instead bankrolling your buddy's retirement.

Fed Up 2

06:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

An Axis of Waste and Tyranny


"Flanked by West Burlington Mayor Hans Trousil, a SEIRPC board member, Tapp reviewed the agency's plan to purchase the former offices of Raider Precast Concrete, now Iowa Prestressed Concrete, located at 211 N. Gear Ave. in West Burlington."

Tapp and Trousil; the wastrel and the tyrant appear to agree. What a scary prospect.

The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors must stop funding Tapp. Voters in West Burlington so far refuse to acknowledge what Burlington City Councilman Tim Scott openly stated and do the right thing.

Will anybody stop the madness?

Taxed Poor

05:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Discovery Launches

Looking like a sun riding a column of smoke, space shuttle Discovery hurtles into the evening sky on the STS-119 mission. Liftoff was on time at 7:43 p.m. EDT Sunday evening.

Photo credit: Courtesy NASA/Scott Andrews

Photo credit: NASA/Fletch Hildreth

05:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 March

No Newspaper is Not News Here


"At least Denver, Seattle and Tucson still have daily papers. But now, some economists and newspaper executives say it is only a matter of time — and probably not much time at that — before some major American city is left with no prominent local newspaper at all."

Our obscure little town has not had a daily newspaper for a long time. We do have a daily Advertiser.


We haven't had a daily newspaper since John McCormally. And from the looks of Friday's paper, the Ad Vertiser is day-to-day.


09:24:42 - SPIKE - No comments

13 March

Burlington Deadbeat Council Deaf and Dumb


I think the real story of the casino/Fun City needs to be clearly told. Apparently, our city deadbeat council is deaf and dumb along with the newspaper.

The casino folks have had 14 quarters to make and pay a profit to the city of Burlington.

The casino has lost money in 12 of those quarters.

Both of those quarters Doug Worden reported the profits to the council using hand written notes made on a legal pad.

The only 2 quarters where a profit was reported was right before the city council decided to extend the loan agreement to the casino.

Most companies would be in serious financial trouble or bankrupt after 14 quarters of financial loss. Would Garry Thomas and Tim Scott be able to continue their businesses if they had this kind of loss? Would any local bank loan someone money with a track record of failure?

Hell, the local banks won’t loan any business any money unless they have 100% collateral, in cash or bonds and really don’t need the money anyway.

If all of this is so really simple to see by us plain folk, why can’t our myopic city council get it through their thick heads? Are they listening to the casino's good customer, supervisor Heland?

Had enough stupidity to last a life time, and I'm old

02:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tax and Spend - Pack and Flee


Business has a solution to excessive taxation; leave. This is nothing new.

Senator Courtney, Supervisor Heland and the Burlington City Council love tax and spend. Look at Iowa and especially Des Moines County. Businesses and the opportunity they create avoid this area like a small pox epidemic.

So goes Des Moines County. So goes the nation.

E. Jenner

02:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Wave Good-Bye to Amtrak


"Along with $1.9 billion for new intercity routes in the regular Amtrak budget passed last fall, that's moved a proposed Amtrak route between Iowa City, the Quad Cities and Chicago from something-nice-to-have-someday to attainable reality.

To build local support, the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a public meeting on the proposed service at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at its offices at 325 E. Washington St."

All that "free" federal money means Amtrak across Central Iowa is gaining steam.

Unlike Grow Greater Burlington, the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce is doing more than lunch and a golf outing. Politicians in Des Moines are mumbling Des Moines as the next western terminus. Omaha is not that far west of Des Moines.

It will not be long before riding Amtrak from Chicago to Omaha will not involve Burlington. And the Nutty Professor will cut the ribbon.


02:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Going to Ground Like Lead Type


The High and the Mighty are getting their wings clipped. The New York Times is selling it's corporate jet. Their red ink runneth over.

Has the Advertiser started selling off any assets to delay crashing?


They sold the Nash. And Publisher Steve Delaney's golf clubs.


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Silence of the Vassals


"The law is meant to stop negative comments about the monarchy that “might affect the very security of the kingdom of Thailand”"

Never say anything bad about the royals of Thailand. You could end up in jail.

If Senator Courtney gets his way, you better not say anything that might affect the very security of the local single party political system. He has tried to end anonymous free speech before. Will Senator Courtney try it again?

As long as you shut up and read only the Advertiser, you have nothing to fear.


Comply!! Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated!


01:26:00 - SPIKE - No comments

12 March

Heland on KCPS Looking For The Answer


Not to pick on DMC supervisor Jeff Heland, but I just about choked on my Cheerios listening to him on KCPS Wednesday morning. Heland called in and asked Fred's two sidekick tryout guys (I think Jimmy and Fuzz were their names) what they knew about regional planning. When neither knew much, Heland asked them if they cared about the taxpayers and why they wouldn't know much. Then he wanted to brag about his arm wrestling ability. Like we care.

This is the same Heland that raised the property taxes on all the property owners in DMC so he could give pay raises to the employees, free health insurance (including his) and was against Cahill's furlough suggestion that would have held the taxes down just a little.

Heland isn't looking out for us that is for sure! If he keeps raising taxes, and he will, businesses will hurt too, because of Heland and politicians like him. I hear they gave him hugs and kisses at the courthouse when he raised our property taxes and saved their one day a month furlough.

ATTA BOY JEFF, you are for the folks!

paying more

You can pick on Heland all you want around here. Heland quizzed the sidekick applicants because he doesn't know what the hell regional planning does.

Heland arm wrestling? That'd be like grabbing a big ol' flappy side of congealed bacon grease from all those Grand Slam Breakfasts. If Heland keeps eating like he has been, he won't be around to huff and puff, gasping to make his point about his re-election for the great screwing we all got.

Talk about a county liability. Imagine the health care costs when he goes face down with the big one.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Regional Planning Utterly Insane


I can’t imagine anyone making the leap to a 69,000 s.f. office in this economy and then hoping for a tenant. How utterly insane! How can they afford to pay the utilities?

And what about this issue of Tapp and the seller being fellow church goers? What’s that all about? How cozy!

Fed Up

They will pay this by writing more grants funded by you, the taxpayer.

02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

DMC Tax Increases


According to the Hawkeye article, Lee County lowered their tax levy. The article accurately stated that because of the tax rollback increasing this year, that Lee County will still have a tax increase. However, unlike Des Moines County, Lee County did not raise their tax levies.

DMC's tax levy increase of .75 per thousand is ridiculous, along with the tax increase from the rollback going up. DMC is becoming one of the highest taxing counties in the State. It's hurting everybody except those who stand to benefit financially.

That isn't responsible or fair government.

Concerned Citizens

02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Losers Subsidizing Losers


Blended bio-diesel is a losing proposition. When more money is needed for Iowa's roads, you give a fuel tax break to an inferior product to make it "competitive." Such logic makes sense only to loony losers.

Senators Courtney and Fraise signing off on bio-diesel is no surprise. Those two loons seldom make any sense.

Losers bailing out fellow losers with other people's money; Southeast Iowa's contribution to the Iowa Senate.


01:37:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Death With Dignity


At the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, employees are preparing for the worst. On its website, the paper is inviting readers to share memories of the 146-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning paper.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is nearing collapse. It looks like the obituary is being prepared.

The Advertiser's death rattle of dyslexic local news reporting and fluff keeps dragging on. Will the Advertiser ever be sold and made well, or just put down? How much longer must the embarrassing death watch continue?


With a 50% increase in the daily cost to deliver their ads, it won't be long.


01:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spying on Spike?


It is safe to assume you are considered a terrorist at City Hall and by Senator Courtney and company. Have you made the feds list? Is your computer being used as a telescreen by thought police at the highest level.


Nobody cares what we have to say. Except the perpetrators of the crimes.


01:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

11 March

Courtney & Fraise's Next Dumb Ass Move

Courtney & Fraise Back Mandatory Bio-Diesel Blend


I see our mindless Senators are doing everything they can to kill every small truck driver in Iowa. We can't afford another 3-5¢ a gallon for anything. Not to mention that my 2008 truck warranty will be voided if I use bio-diesel.

What's wrong with these people? Are they totally brain dead?


What do you expect? Courtney has a brain fart and Fraise just nods.

We'd be far better off taking that grain and feeding China and working off the debt and trade deficit. That's economic stimulus.


02:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Cheeky Council Vote


A City Council meeting was halted to clear the air. This City Council meeting was at least public record.

Does anybody know how voting is conducted at illegal City of Burlington Council meetings? Did Senator Courtney raise his "voice" advocating suing the BNSF? He was there.

The illegal closed meeting deciding to sue the railroad was a real stinker. Silent, but deadly.

M. E. Thane

Lost Keys Ell and Large Mouth Heland have already transcended the wind break. Their mics are as good as the ones on the video above. But a stinker by any other name is still a stinker.


02:38:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Apes Smarter Than First Thought

How Do We Stack Up?


"These observations convincingly show that our fellow apes do consider the future in a very complex way," said the author of the report, Lund University Ph.D. student Mathias Osvath. "It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events."

Our simian cousins are apparently smarter than we thought. They are able to plan attacks against primates with larger brains who point and laugh at them.

Researchers are fascinated with what they are observing. How long until an alpha chimp conceives a Manor Mall?


Better question is how long before the citizens collect their rocks and march on city hall?


02:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Obama A Huge Disappointment


Seems our new president is intent on pushing his left wing socialist agenda at record breaking speed while the economic crisis continues to worsen. On top of that he invites people to the White House every Wednesday to party and feast on Kobe Beef at $100 per pound.

What kind of message does this send to the American people who are hurting and he’s living a king’s life at taxpayer’s expense. I doubt he’s spending any of his own money on the food or anything related to the partying.

On top of all this he tries to shove special interest agendas such as the union Free Choice Act down our throats when union’s only represent 10% of working Americans. Anyone in congress that votes for this outrage should be voted out of office on the next election cycle.


02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

How Did Local Governments Respond to the Great Depression?


Long before my time, how did local governments respond to the Great Depression nearly 80 years ago?

Did everybody on local government payrolls get raises and more benefits? Was there an expansion of staff? Were taxes increased?

Burlington pulled through. None remain who actually made the decisions to meet the crises. Has anybody examined the records to see what actions they took?


First of all, they had moral fiber for fiduciary responsibility and common sense.

That leaves everybody out of the equation today.


02:13:21 - SPIKE - No comments

10 March

Labor Bill Faces Threat in Senate

Employee Free Choice Act In Trouble

from the Wall Street Journal -

"The battle over the "Employee Free Choice Act" -- expected to be introduced Tuesday -- is seen as a power struggle among labor unions and businesses, as well as a test of whether moderate Democrats and Republicans will push back on Democratic congressional leaders and the Obama administration.

At least six Senators who have voted to move forward with the so-called card-check proposal, including one Republican, now say they are opposed or not sure -- an indication that Senate Democratic leaders are short of the 60 votes they need for approval."

This is just as bad as catering to special interests can get. And bad for any economic recovery.

01:31:00 - SPIKE - No comments

09 March

Taxpayers Feed Monument Builders


Dennis Hinkle and Brian Tapp must be so far out of reality that I don't know if they know what's going on in the country.

The stock market has dropped 50% of its value and laid off workers could hit 10% this year of the population, People have been laid off and lost a lot of money out of 401k and the stock market. Mr. Tapp has lost all track of reality in what’s going on in this world.

He wants to purchase a building with 69000 ft. of office space. And he said grant money will pay for this. Where do they think the grant money comes from if it isn’t the taxpayer?

The city council and city manager, Grow Greater Burlington, SEIRPC and the school board think they are all doing great things for Burlington. All they have done in the past years just put us deeper in debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off.

I will say one thing for Mr. Davidson on the council, when he voted against the water park which should never have been extended again. Dan Cahill is trying to help the taxpayer but he needs a lot of help.

I would suggest the taxpayer get out and drive around Burlington. Look at the houses in disarray, the downtown area, the streets and we have all this to do too with the city government that we have now.

The only gains in the workforce this year they say will be in education, health and government. I don’t really see where this will help us much here in Burlington.

Instead of city and county employees getting a five percent pay raise at this time in the economy is ridiculous. They should have been willing to take a 5% cut in their pay just to keep their jobs. I know a lot of people who would have.

Burlington is known for its new schools and not much else. This trend needs to be reversed.


10:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Property Tax Increases Hidden By Tapp Debacle


Tapp sure is taking the attention off the property tax increases that are coming.

With the tax roll-up, our taxes will increase if the taxing bodies do not lower their tax levies. The City is remaining the same, 14.92 so the City tax will increase about 3.5%, The County will be up 3.5% also, plus a 75 cent per thousand increase. Not sure what the school district will do yet.

It's just ridiculous in these times when we had zero inflation rate.

One of the council members stated at the council meeting that he was happy that the City was not raising taxes. I don't think they all understand the formula.

I do remember in the past, when the roll back went down from the State, the tax levies increased to offset the rollback. Should the levies be lowered this time? Gotta pay for those pay raises and free health insurance's that they are entitled too.

It is a shame that elected officials (past and present) could agree to these contracts that kill the taxpayer for life. Take more and more money from the average citizen and give it to them.

It's legalized robbery.


10:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

06 March

Cahill Could Use Another Good Man 2


I agree with MH's assessment of Cahill's need for help. Bob Beck needs to step into this regional planning and end Des Moines County's support for regional planning funding. Stop this wreck before it happens.

I read the Des Moines County News story on this meeting and it was far different than the advertiser's. Their reporter writes a news story. Not a sensationalized version of old news.


13:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tapp's Radicalism Is Killing the Tapayer


I read your site everyday but have never written.

I don't know Brian Tapp or really what his regional planning group does. What I do know is that it seems like buying a building that is way bigger than what his group needs with the hopes that they can find a renter is a problem with Tapp and his lack of leadership.

Look at all of the economic problems we have and Mr. Tapp wants to speculate on real estate? The Burlington city council let Bruce Slagle ruin 50 family's lives because he bullied his agenda. Now, we are faced with paying for that disaster for a long time. I'll bet we don't have the Manor rebuilt in 10 years either.

I am concerned that there is conflict with the seller going to Tapp's church. Was that disclosed to his board? If it was, why didn't they question that arrangement? And why would the planning board agree to such an out of the way place? Don't they need the exposure?

It seems to me regional planning needs to stay where they are. They are in a building that is already tax free. Or at least, stay downtown. The buildings at 6th and Jefferson would make a wonderful addition to downtown.

In the end, we just can't afford these outlandish projects that make us taxpayers foot the bill every time there is a failure.


13:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

"Obama's Radicalism Is Killing the Dow"

From the Wall Street Journal -

"Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs."

12:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

05 March

Tapp Is Incompetent - Manor Mall Deja Vu

Brian Tapp, Executive Director of Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission is incompetent.

Oh, here goes Spike again on this incompetency issue. Again, not so fast there Tapp lovers.

Tapp told the Ad Vertiser that he is going to buy the Raider Precast building and divide 69,000 square feet of office space into a 10,000 square feet for SEIRPC and the rest for a tenant that he might somehow entice to letting Tapp be their landlord.

How utterly ridiculous. Or, ridiculous.

To take 69,000 square feet and divide the HVAC (heat and air conditioning) into two systems along with the electricity and other utilities, would cost at least $75,000 - $100,000. At a minimum.

Tapp has no 49,000 s.f. office tenant. Never will have. Besides, who wants to have that kind of business arrangement? And without a tenant, this smells like Eminent Domain Mall.

And we all know how that turned out.

Competent, professional planners would never get involved in a dumb ass deal like this.

Case closed.


01:55:00 - SPIKE - No comments

West Burlington Declared a Communist Country

Tim Scott was on the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM this week and when asked, "Have you ever been in a communist country? Scott replied, "Yes, West Burlington."


01:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Cahill Could Use Another Good Man


Cahill has the balls to tell Tapp the truth. It's about time somebody on the Board stood up to these grant grubbing spendthrifts. Cahill needs company.

Beck usually votes right, but often does not articulate the problem very well and sometimes refuses to stand and fight. At least with Cahill, solid citizen Beck is now half of an improving team. The odd man out is a still a threat in need of removal.

Heland is an absolute joke. Heland will spend our money like a drunk on pay day to promote himself for any public office. Just look at his pandering to public employee unions. No wonder he has been a total failure in the productive, private sector.

Heland must go. The problem is, how do we get rid of him?


01:49:00 - SPIKE - No comments



Tapp and the SEIRPC attempt to buy the Raider mansion out in the boonies is ridiculous. Tapp is too big for his britches and it has been allowed to happen. This is an issue that The Hawkeye and BurlingtonDerailed are sure to agree on.

Actually, there shouldn't be such hard feelings between the two. Both venues serve the public. BurlingtonDerailed has posted some things first that were facts from their readers. If I were The Hawkeye, I would appreciate the leads that BurlingtonDerailed often exposes the truth and facts.

I understand the Hawkeye needs to investigate before they report. They should investigate and report more than they do. Too many things around here are swept under the rug by local governments.

The public should be able to trust it's own government. That is not really the case anymore. There needs to be more accountability. The Hawkeye and the blogs can do that together.

Just a thought.

01:47:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tapp Power Hungry


I think Mr. Tapp is power hungry and trying to build his ego by moving to the Raider “Taj Mahal” building. This guy is a lose cannon and lets all hope he eventually moves on up to Louisa County or better yet to some other state. This just goes to show his allegiance is not for the betterment of Burlington but for his self imposed egotistical agenda.

It probably won’t be long and he’ll be moving on having built up his resume at the expanse of the people of Southeastern Iowa. For some reason the Burlington area always ends up with losers in positions that do nothing but ruin our city from within.

Out of all the elected officials in Burlington there are only about two or three that have any management skills at all, the rest are just taking up space adding no value to the citizens of Burlington or anyone else.


01:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

War on Crime - Move Tapp to the Trenches


Tapp wants to move. Move Tapp should. Clear off some the trashed housing on South Hill. Give Tapp experience with the city center decay from which he demands more tax money to run away.

Pull in a couple of worn out FEMA trailers. Gravel enough of the lot for Tapp's Tyson gimmes on wheels. Do not fence, nor security light the site. Let Tapp deal with his 'hood like anybody else.

When the bus windows are broken, run them anyway for a few days. Put up interior advertising with Crime Stoppers phone number. Some of the riders may receive inspiration on a cold, rainy day to share what they may know.

When the bus tires are slashed, too bad for a day. How do the neighbors without a subsidized bus ride deal with getting to work when their personal vehicles are vandalized? Hello, Crime Stoppers.

When Tapp's FEMA wheel deal of an office gets ransacked, it's just the price of change to Grow Greater Burlington. Hinkle's office has already been burglarized. Go cry on Hinkle's shoulder. Commiserate mutual misery over another three hour lunch.

Giving people something for nothing and shielding them from any responsibility solves nothing. It only creates more problems. Spend a little money. Make Tapp run head first into the mess he has helped create.

Tapp may run, but never let him hide.


01:43:00 - SPIKE - No comments



It’s time this governor started cleaning up the lopsided wages and benefits paid state employees. We need the cost of government in Iowa reduced to a level of wages and benefits equal to what the private sector receives. Iowa government employees are known as the “Privileged Class” because of their excessive wages and benefits when ranked against other states. Iowa government workers receive at least 40% more than do working Iowans when performing the same work. This is largest spread in the United States between the private sector and government employees.

Just what has the governor done to reduce this huge cost to working Iowans? Actually he’s done nothing but try to push union causes that would cost all Iowans untold amounts of money and now he wants to delete the federal tax deduction at a time when the people of Iowa are hurting. What he wants to do is put a tax on a tax, a typical low life suggestion brought about by government mismanagement and special interest groups.

Remember the governor is trying to pay back the unions for giving him campaign money even though the unions only represent 10% of working Iowans but the governor will keep trying to screw 90% of Iowans in order to pay back the special interest 10%. This governor has no shame as he continues to push union causes that will screw Iowa business and cost all Iowans more money to survive.


01:41:00 - SPIKE - No comments

04 March

SEIRPC Building Purchase

$53,000 in Tapp's Tax Loss


Cahill let everyone know where he stands on the proposed move for SEIRPC at Tuesday's Supervisors meeting. He described it as a "bad idea" and gave the tax figure on the building alone at $53,000 per year, which would no longer flow into the County and WB coffers.

When the Regional Planning rep who was at the meeting said more than half of the cost was expected to come from a Federal grant, Dan asked where he (Regional Planning guy) thought those dollars came from.


You mean grant money isn't free money? I hope Cahill tells Large Mouth Heland about this!


04:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Bob Saar Excluded From Sidekick Search

As you all know Fred from the Big Show KCPS 1150 AM is interviewing for a new sidekick.

On Tuesday, Fred had Bob Saar from the back page of the business section of the Ad Vertiser sitting in a high chair trying to mimic Old #7’s role in the morning show. In a voice used only in a low lit, smoke-filled bar with a ratty floor boards while swapping information from a Corn Flakes decoder ring, Saar chastised a listener for reading BurlingtonDerailed.com.

The KCPS caller said he came here to read the real story. And we thank him.

Also, it just goes to show ya Bob what the difference is in Spike being in Who’s Who and you being Who’s He!

Our readers know where to go. And at 75¢ for the Ad Vertiser Death Spiral Edition, more and more of your readers will be found here reading the news. Without ads and for free.


04:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tapp Gets Hammered


Tapp got hammered in this letter to the newspaper. Mr. Heckenberg's letter is required for those of you not willing to spend 75¢ for the daily bird cage liner.


04:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tapp - The Great White Elephant Hunter


Tapp is the classic example of a useless bureaucrat. Tapp's stated goal is regional development and improvement. He delivers waste and crime. He lives off taxes and grants so generated. It is going to get much worse

Washington is spreading around $2 trillion in money the do not have, but invented out of thin air. Local bureaucrats will end up with a lot of this. They are drooling over the prospects.

Tapp's 60,000 sq. ft. temple to taxation's waste is but the first local white elephant bred from deficit do gooding. "Free" federal money will take the vacant property off local tax rolls. Local taxes for decades must feed Tapp's albino absurdity.

Monkey see. Monkey do. If Tapp pulls this one off, look for others like him to start clamoring for real estate, equipment, more staff and whatever else they wish for. "The federal government will pay for 75% of the cost. If we don't take the money, somebody else will get it. Etc."

If local taxes were 100% financing Tapp's palace, he would be laughed at. With "free" federal money, Worden wishes him well. No doubt City Hall is not far behind in the "free" money feeding frenzy.

When considering taking the money, keep in mind the bill will come due. Will we still be able to maintain our "free" projects in the face of increased taxation and/or inflation to pay for what Washington do gooders are "giving" us?

If there is no real need for something, we need it not.

Joseph Merrick

04:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Bonnie and Clyde


Without a doubt Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the Bonnie and Clyde of our legislature in Washington. We could also throw in Barney Frank as the bag man for the group of three losers. These three people should be tarred and feathered before being run out of Washington while we still have a government to run them out of.

How can three wrongs possible make a right?

Sick of Them

We'll throw in Brain Tapp for free as the wheel man and Barney can ride shotgun.


04:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

An Old County Home for Tapp


If the waste makers at the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission need more space, why spend nearly $2 million? Is there room for Tapp and an expanding staff at the old Des Moines County Home?

There is certainly room to park Mr. Tyson's transit buses. The landfill is nearby for any shredded documents to quickly become beyond recovery, let alone reconstruction.

Even if the old brick home lacks enough space, you can throw up a sufficient steel building for a lot less than $2 million. The old facility is not on the tax rolls, so no lost support base results.

Tapp needs to live within our means; not his dreams.

Tired of Paying for It

04:06:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Council Arrogance Not Unnoticed


It’s well known that the city council represents only the union personnel of the city and themselves. The council low life’s will do anything to pacify the unions which means giving them constant raises and free benefits while screwing the taxpayer to pay for it.

Our water rates have increased 100% since the early 90’s and nothing with the water has gotten any better; so why have the rates grown exponentially. Personally, I would guess the cost of government has increased the tax burden beyond anything imaginable having witnessed raise after raise for city employees while the private sector employee has dropped off the charts in comparison.

It may be time to sell off the loser taxpayer owned entities to bring cost under control. The city should sell off the water, streets, RecPlex, Water Park interest, swimming pool, golf course and any other taxpayer owned burdensome out of control departments. We’ve got to get the unions out of government and now’s the time to start. The city should never have been involved in business ventures because they don’t have the talent to run them, (the Manor for instance) or deal with the cost of unions.

Government on the local level has far outlived its usefulness and is the major cause for the failure of Burlington to bring in new livable wage employment or anything else on a positive note. On that note the Chamber and SEIRP should both be run out of town for failure to perform any service to the taxpayer.

All we need once their all gone is an office with a few personnel to take care of the books and records. We can let the private sector run the city entities where wages will be more in line with the majority of the private sector here in Burlington as well as the benefits. We’ll also need an honest people orientated city council with brains to guide and make recommendations.

If Burlington continues to be run by the unions and the current management it’s life as a city will decay into a ghost town because all those that can be employed elsewhere will have left leaving those that have no intentions of ever working and government employees dependent on themselves for survival.

The current city council and past board of supervisors have been screwing the taxpayers for years and making decisions in back rooms and alleys all over town. Selling out the taxpayer by sinking taxpayer monies into fly by night business ventures with no sound evidence they’ll ever turn a profit. These are entities run by city employees whose wages and benefits guarantee failure because of the bloated cost associated with unions and city management.

Wake up Burlington, time is running out and letting the current crop of idiots run the city is dangerous, to say the least.


04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Council Arrogance


I listened to the KCPS show on Wednesday when Tim Scott was on. He sure was arrogant for helping put this city into so much debt and giving the employees a 5% raise.

What's the matter with him? Is that the way he runs his own business?


03:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

03 March

Tapp, What a Gem


If Tapp cares to explain the $500 jeweler's bill, perhaps he can also make public the bus contract with Tyson's.


The Tyson contract is no longer of interest to the Ad Vertiser. Everybody else wants to know. But, who are we to want accountability.


03:26:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What About The Lost Property Taxes for Regional Planning


I'm have to admit that I'm not informed on just what all SEIRPC actually does. I do question why they would need to go from a 3500 sq. ft. space to a 60,000. sq. ft. building. 17 times larger! This seems quite excessive.

It seems everybody thinks the federal checkbook is wide open with no checks and balances. I would be surprised if this grant would be approved, if this square foot increase is caught by the Feds.

I would assume this would also take this building off the tax rolls. They would leave a tax free building, and create another?


Maybe Dan Cahill or Jeff Heland can describe the exact loss of tax dollars when a $1.9 million dollar property is removed from the tax rolls.

How much?


03:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Republican House Cleaning Party Needed


I totally agree with every thing you said in your response to Tom Broeker, especially cleaning house with all of the current leaders in party right now!

You can see where they are going from where they have been, no where! And they need to stop bringing up WW 2 on current problems! We are living in 2009, not any other time, so stay focused is the message if they ever want to get Des Moines County and Burlington on the right track again!

The unions and the Dems have the area sewn up right now, but they are destroying the area and the lemmings will figure this out eventually! The Republican leadership has to improve considerably in all areas, and get some good ideas to help business and the citizens out of this recession!


03:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

New Water Rates Already Being Billed


This town never ceases to amaze me. A neighbor of mine got his water bill Sat. and it already has the raises on it that the council is supposed to approve tonight at the city council meeting.

I'm wondering if Hucks Harbor has received their new water bill for which the taxpayers are paying. The council must have passed this ahead of time at a secret meeting at Gator's.

It will be interesting to see what they have to say tonight.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

02 March

Is Tapp's Regional Planning Real Estate Deal at Arm’s Length?

Dear Spike,

Maybe some of your readers can answer my questions. I heard that the owner of the Raider precast concrete building that Brian Tapp from SEIRPC is buying for $1.9 million is owned by a member of the same church Tapp attends in Oakville. Is this true?

If this is true, how can this be an arm's length transaction? Shouldn't it be if it cost $2 million to build the building and Tapp and SEIRPC paid $1.9 million for it. This just seems like an awfully good deal for the seller in a severely depressed economy.

All this is real suspicious to me and I’m sure a lot of your readers since the last business deal Brian Tapp and SEIRPC brought to this town was a crime wave no one can fix.

When is this craziness with this guy going to end? Not to even mention why in the world they need 69,000 square feet of office space.


03:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Regional Planning Spends $500 at Rhodes Jewelers


In the legal section of Friday’s paper Southeast Iowa Regional Planning authorized payment of a December claim for $500 to Rhodes Jewelers.

It seems awfully suspicious that regional planning would spend exactly $500 at a jewelry store in December for anything they use on a daily basis and there is no detail about this expense.

And I also see that Brian Tapp still uses that no good crook Scott Power for their lawyer.


03:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Where's Dan Cahill?


Where’s Dan Cahill on this Brian Tapp regional planning West Burlington white elephant?

When the Supervisors were going to leave his building in Downtown Burlington and move DHS out to the old Hy-Vee building on Agency Dan Cahill cried like a baby over all those jobs leaving downtown and his building.

So now that Cahill sold his building to an out-of-town sucker, what does he have to say about all those regional planning jobs moving out of downtown?

Surely he is concerned about this high cost move?


I'm sure he would have to agree that this move is ill-conceived and will harm downtown Burlington.


03:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Where’s Bob Brueck?


Downtown Bob Brueck has made plenty of noise about jobs leaving downtown when DHS was headed out on Agency. How does he feel now that regional planning is sucking their jobs out of downtown?

When will his voice be heard along with Billups and Downtown Partners?

Where are you now?

03:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Fire Hinkle & Tapp


I have a question for you, who has the power to get rid of Dennis Hinkle and Brain Trapp? Is it the mayor, supervisors, who?

I see where SEIRPC wants to leave downtown and go to the Raider building in West Burlington. That would be a real savings for the taxpayers, a 69,000 sq. ft. building! No more than what they do for Burlington they ought to work out of a closet somewhere.

Thanks to the deals they have made with Columbus Junction the people on South Hill are afraid to be out at night and it's getting to be the same way on North Hill.


Not much way to get rid of either one. Tapp and Hinkle have to be to be fired by their respective boards. And both have filled their respective boards with people that don't look for accountability. Or, if they are are concerned they are too worried about retribution if they buck the system.


03:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Temple for Tapp


The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission is looking to move. They need bigger and better digs. 60,000 square feet of room for ever more grant squandering bureaucrats is a work of art.

The money for the Tapp's Tahj Mahal is not a problem. 75% of it will be "free" federal dollars. Worden is not worried about the City of Burlington losing a tenant. There are new government agencies of doubtful value popping up every day. They too need incubator office space.

The old rule about location, location, and location probably applies in Tapp's desire to move. Fewer will notice the exodus to Flint Hills over back roads when attending fair weather economic development meetings. It's a few minutes closer to Columbus Junction.

Consider all the wonders Tapp and his booming bureaucracy have done for Southeast Iowa. They deserve to move. About 1/4 mile east of their current location would be appropriate.


02:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Iowa Court System Misses Judges in Layoff


After reading about the Iowa Supreme Court Judge sentencing all the court employees to mandatory layoffs I wonder if the Judges shouldn't spend time off too. The legislators can mandate that savings.

What’s good for the worker bees is good for the Queen.


02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Special Interests Catered To


It is the truth what "Screwed again" said.

With the way the economy is I can't see how they gave raises to the city employees. With the way they are raising taxes maybe the five percent is just taking care of their taxes.

The city should be in no way in business with the private sector because they would not know a good deal if it bit them in the butt. Our children and grandchildren really have a lot to look forward to living in Burlington.

What we need to do before the next election is to have some town meetings and get some who are qualified to run for city council. Also we need the taxpayers to get out and vote these bums out.

Also, the policeman that went to work for the city I wonder if he's the one that let Bruce Slagle go on his OWI? Maybe that's how he got his job now?


02:24:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Courtney Twins Hold Summit Conference

Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumber Hold Court


The Courtney twins were in Mt Pleasant on Saturday telling us how to live our lives. Did you attend?


Absolutely not. Neither one of those clowns add anything to our lives other than special interest union issues and taxes.


02:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Thanks for Posting Memorial Notice


Thanks for posting this again. The advertiser must have got word of it as THEY CALLED me for an interview on the story. We got the needed advertising after all.

God is good.



02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Paul Harvey Will be Missed


Though Paul Harvey was not on my station of choice here locally, I always admired him for telling us "common folk" what-was-what in the real world of news and information. He had no fear of retribution from the political horse traders, or other media BS artists because he told it as it is -- in his opinion, and not someone else's.

I'll miss Paul and can only hope that his torch is passed to his Jr. to help ensure the continuation of solid, honest reporting of relevant current events in the future.

Rest in Peace, Paul Harvey.


Grateful Listener

01:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Steak Fry Still Cookin' and Still Broek


You asked to hear specifically how you mischaracterized the steak fry incident. Fair enough, let me put it in context.

The incident at the steak fry was both unfortunate and regrettable, but it was not unprovoked. The gentleman in question, let's call him Joe (not his real name), is a former Burlington resident who lives about 100 miles away and belongs to that county's Republican Central Committee.

The steak fry is the Des Moines County Republicans' only regularly scheduled fundraiser, it also serves as a social event and speaking opportunity for Republican candidates. It is not a party meeting and has never served as a venue for party debate. It is a mischaracterization to refer to the steak fry as a party meeting, that's like comparing a company picnic to a departmental meeting.

Joe arrived at the steak fry and immediately began handing out literature attacking some of the leaders of the state party. As you aware, there are a number of hot button issues regarding party officials and policies at the state level. Des Moines County Republicans represent a variety of views and these issues are discussed and debated at both county and state level meetings, as they should be.

Joe’s actions were intended to offend some of the attendees (including both local and out of town guests) and we repeatedly asked him to stop. I personally can't imagine going to another county's fundraiser/social event, passing out literature attacking some of those in attendance, and then continuing to pass out literature after being asked to stop numerous times.

When it finally became apparent that Joe was determined to disrupt the event, we insisted that he leave. Someone put a hand on Joe's arm, and Joe reacted like a small child before finally agreeing to leave. Again, it was unfortunate, embarrassing, regrettable, and I certainly wish none of it had ever happened. That said, Joe gave us very few options short of calling the police. Could it have been handled better? I’m sure it probably could have, but I'm not exactly sure how. As hosts, we had the responsibility to maintain order.

The other mischaracterization is the use of emotionally charged phrases like "Steak Fry Erupts In Violence" and "physically assaulting". In the response to my letter, you told your readers that the incident consisted of grabbing someone's arm, but the colorful language previously used to describe the incident conjures up quite a different mental image.

The Republican Party is comprised of a wide variety of views at the local, state, and national level. Personally, I’m a libertarian.

I'm no fan of Ms. Lehman either, I originally voted for her because I didn't want to vote for her opponent. I realized that my vote was a mistake shortly thereafter. I sent a letter last fall to both Ms. Lehman and members of the State Central Committee expressing my regret in voting for her and calling for her resignation.

Good point about the Federalist Papers, but the Federalist Papers dealt with issues, not personalities.

Thanks for your time,

Tom Broeker

Well, when you grab someone’s arm that is criminal assault especially when it was done unprovoked without any threat of violence or harm from Joe. Hell, it might have been a felony if Joe felt in fear of his well being which might have been since he felt threatened enough to leave your joyous occasion without incident.

You have sent no copy of this mysterious, subversive material allegedly being handed out. How harmful was this material? Was it slanderous? Or was this material more of a huge embarrassment to the screwed up Republican right wing Christian nut job leadership of the Iowa Republican Party? You said, "Joe’s actions were intended to offend some of the attendees." Who?

From what I see of the local Republican Party, there needs to be a wholesale cleaning of leadership to effect change.

And it starts by not trying using the length of someone’s hair as a prerequisite for party support. On appearances alone, it seems the priorities of a few are the priorities for all of the Republican Party. And when we are being told that, like those crooked Democrats that run Southeast Iowa do, it is worse.

We’ll stand behind every word and the descriptive language used to convey the outrageous behavior of Massner at the steak fry. He’s a wannabe thug that needs to be replaced and is no different than our drunk ex-mayor running around the bars with a pistol in his boot. And when Massner professes religion in the guidance of his life, doesn’t this seem slightly disingenuous?

As for your comment about the Federalist Papers, this incident is all about issues. The issue of free speech and its role in government.


01:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments