The Original CRSMELLS team! Anyone else claiming to be us just plain STINKS!
The Money Tree
“You’re a bad man.”
“You’re a very bad man!”
“A concerned Mayor Ron Corbett met with our editorial board this past week.
He’s concerned about the low quality of public discourse, and contends that providing space on our opinion page for letters and columns depicting harsh misrepresentations of city decisions is a contributing factor.”
Todd Doorman, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 25, 2012
“Also on Tuesday we’ll launch major changes to online commenting at TheGazette.com. The new Daily Conversations section will feature three fresh conversations a day on topics of local interest that we believe people are or will want to talk about. Conversations will remain active for 72 hours, and then commenting will be closed. By the end of the week, we’ll have nine daily conversations at a time to choose from.
We’ll provide a little background and links to information on each topic to help users familiarize themselves with the conversation so they can offer insightful commentary. All comments will be moderated, meaning no comments appear until a moderator approves them. Moderation will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., so you’ll likely see a batch of comments post each morning from the overnight hours.”
Zach Kucharski, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 2, 2012
There is a monster loose in our community. It is not an individual. It is a group of individuals used to demanding and getting what they want.
They are spoiled. They are powerful. They are angry at twice being denied a tax they once had, but squandered.
Think only Pacific Institute positive thoughts about their city, especially its Downtown District. Only bad thoughts will be banished to the cornfield…..for now.
Keep your thoughts positive. Keep voting until you vote right. Keep your wallet open. Prepare yourself to once more
The Tax Blight Zone
If You Yearn for the Good Old Days of the Good Old Boys Running Linn County as Their Private Club
Elect Rejected Former County Supervisor Jim Houser County Auditor
On the Street Where You Live?
“There’s no reason, Sanford says, that cities can’t do more than one thing at once. Streets can be fixed in residential neighborhoods even as downtown’s are being revitalized, he (urban planning consultant Sanford) says.”
Even with a record municipal debt and $millions in downtown cost overruns residential streets are being repaired. Ask the Mayor when your street will be fixed.
when will it end ?? (blowup !)
THE COVER-UP COUNTDOWN CLOCK STARTED AT 2:00 PM, 4-13-12
The C. R. Gazette absolutely refuses to report anything about Liz Mathis’ $20,000 vehicle accident.
DID THEY FINALLY FOLD?
HOW CAN ANYONE NOT KNOW WHO SHE IS?!
“They did not know who I was,” Mathis said. “They asked me where I worked and I said I work over at Four Oaks, and that’s where I was coming from.”
Wait for the light to change before hitting the gas
SENATOR LIZ MATHIS’ $20,000 VEHICLE ACCIDENT COVER-UP
Greetings, Senator Liz Mathis—
When you answered a 4-22-12 newspaper inquiry into your vehicle accident with “no comment”–and when you ignored Iowalive’s inquiries about your accident for nearly 2 weeks–serious doubts about police favoritism, a cover-up, your integrity, and the integrities of others, were immediately raised. Your sudden admission of the accident, within a matter of hours after it was known Iowalive had a copy of the accident report–does not transcend the nearly 3 week cover-up with your silence and stonewalling–while the accident not reported in the Gazette.
Had the police done a better job, and had you used much better judgment, you could have honestly answered:
I was the cause of an accident 3 cars and $20,000 of total damages.
There is no one to blame but myself
I was given a blood alcohol test at the scene and (passed or failed) it
I was given a traffic ticket for reckless driving
I was checked for texting and found I (was or was not) texting at the time of the accident .
There (were, or were not) serious injuries to the other vehicles’ occupants
Such an answer would have eliminated reasonable suspicions of police favoritism or a cover up.
According to the Cedar Rapids police accident , case #201205305, the accident occurred at 2:00 P. M., on Friday, 4-20-12!!
You were cited, but given no ticket, for following too closely and striking and seriously damaging a vehicle stopped at an intersection–and forcing it into damaging a third vehicle, also stopped at the intersection. Total damage to 3 vehicles was estimated at $20,000 in the accident report.
Do you find it strange you were not given a blood alcohol test at the scene of the accident ?
Do you also find it strange you were not given a ticket for crashing into the rear of an automobile, that was in plain sight, in your lane, and legally stopped at an intersection?
Do you find it strange the Cedar Rapids Police and The Gazette treated the crash as a minor fender bender in a parking lot? It is appalling the Gazette didn’t even report it–and likely won’t–even though a state senator was involved, in whose judgment Iowan’s placed their trust to govern the state!!
Do you think people should believe the bill board caused the accident–as you claimed in the accident report?, posted on website: http://iowalive.net/mathispolicereport.htm
Do you have friends in high places in Cedar Rapids, such as City Hall and others?
Your answers to the above 5 questions could be most helpful in recognizing and reporting the events and putting the accident to rest.
The following table presents the Integrity Index Scores for the accident and for some related events.
COVER-UP OF SENATOR LIZ MATHIS’ ACCIDENT VERY TROUBLING
THE CEDAR RAPIDS POLICE AND THE GAZETTE TREATED SENATOR LIZ MATHIS’ $20,000 VEHICLE DAMAGE ACCIDENT AS A MINOR FENDER BENDER IN A PARKING LOT. NO TICKET, NO BLOOD TEST AND NO NEWSPAPER REPORT !
DESCRIPTION OF KEY SENATOR LIZ MATHIS ACCIDENT
INTEGRITY INDEX SCORE ON SCALE OF 0 TO 100 TOPS
SENATOR LIZ MATHIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN A TICKET FOR RECKLESS DRIVING THAT CAUSED $20,000 TOTAL DAMAGE TO 3 CARS–2 OF WHICH WERE LEGALLY STOPPED IN THE PROPER LANE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT
SENATOR LIZ MATHIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN A BLOOD ALCOHOL TEST AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT
THE POLICE REPORT CONTENTS AVG. INTEGRITY SCORE
POLICE DEPARTMENT’S HANDLING OF THE ACCIDENT
SENATOR LIZ MATHIS’ JUDGMENT AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT
SENATOR LIZ MATHIS’ CLAIM WAS LOOKING AT A BILLBOARD AND THAT CAUSED THE ACCIDENT, AS STATED IN THE ACCIDENT REPORT
SIGNIFICANT INTEGRITY STARTS AT 30
ANYONE CLAIMING TO HAVE BETTER NUMBERS IS ASKED TO PROVIDE THEM.
Cedar Rapids Downtown District’s Second State Senator’s Secret Car Wreck
Body Shop Makes Final Repairs to Tin Horn Liz’s Tin Lizzy
What Will the True Cost of the True North Library Be?
As Cedar Rapids Streets Turn to Mud
Mayor Corbett & Mayor Pro Tem Vernon Promise More Money for Bicycle Trails
With Only One Leg to Stand On After Two Sales Tax Disasters
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett Vows to Attempt Re-election
Riding a Bicycle Down Rutted City Streets
Their Local Option Sales Tax LOST – Again
Fill the Chamber’s Pot with Record Downtown Benefits Debt
Banish the Bourbons Before They Bankrupt Us All
World Renown for its Bio Smells
Cedar Rapids Stench Grows Stronger
The Engineering was supposed to turn waste into wealth
What was delivered was wealth into waste
Financial Engineering Assistance Provided by The Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce
“Call me a senator, NOT a lady!”
Picked to Make Four Oaks Look Good
Picked in a Back Room by Party Bosses to Run
Picked to be Downtown Cedar Rapids Second State Senator
Make a better pick this November
Victory is Ours!
Lisa Kuzela Hugs Eric Rosenthal as the LOST defeat flashed on television.
The Bourbons have beaten themselves again.
“It’s all for housing,” council member Monica Vernon explained as the council unanimously passed the resolution. Gazette 2009
“You will vote until you vote right”
What part of no can’t they understand?
CEDAR RAPIDS SCHOOL DISTRICT DOES NOT KNOW HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO OPERATE ITS NEW $44.5 MILLION DOLLAR ADMINISTRATION BUILDING—THE TAJ MAHAL AKA the “Shrine”
I called Laurel Day, School Board Secretary, and asked her what the costs were going to be for the brand new administrative building for one year. Here is what she emailed me back:
“Thank you for your patience as it has taken me time to discuss your request for information with appropriate District personnel. Per District Procedure 1008a “Request for Public Records”, I’d like to inform you that there will be a fee associated with the retrieval, and potentially copying fee, of records requested detailing the line item costs for staff and operation of the new administration building for one year. The information is not readily available in an existing public record; therefore, District staff would be required to extract, assimilate and/or interpret information/data. At this time, after visiting with our staff, we are estimating up to 1-2 hours of their time to generate the information. Please review the attached document and let us know how you’d like to proceed.”
They want me to pay for information they should already have on hand? Are they of their minds? Do they really think we are that stupid? I mean I may have been schooled in the public school system but I was lucky enough to be schooled in the Cedar Rapids Public School system when the schools were still good!
I think we need to compare the cost of operating that administrative mansion with the cost of operating our neighborhood schools that the district wants to close. I wonder if all four of the schools can be operated at less than the cost of that shrine that they built for themselves?
Got some answers and here are the numbers:
What If There Were No FEMA?
“I reiterated that we were about three-quarters of the way done with flood recovery, and that we need a little more help on a few more projects.” the mayor said he told Obama.”
“Corbett says he wants to tell Obama about the “significant progress” the city’s made since the flood with the federal government’s help, including rebuilding its library and a downtown theatre. But he says he also wants to ask for the president’s help with a few of the lingering funding disputes the city has with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
Where would True North be without all that money?
Would the $7.5 million Cedar Rapids Library deal have have been possible without FEMA?
Who else in the Downtown District needs “help?”
FEMA can’t do it all.
That is what a local option sales tax forever is for.
Vote No March 6th
What is going on here?
Will the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce Sacrifice Mayor Corbett?
The Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s legacy media voice, Sourcemedia, did an excellent expose’ on the Agsugar fiasco.
What a shame such investigative journalism has not been done on the prospects of the Downtown District’s hotel and convention center, the New Bohemia year round farmer’s market and other projects the Chamber demanded. Sourcemedia endorsed City Council members are taxing us to pay for them all.
Agsugar smells so bad; a bottle of public relations perfume would not mask the stench. Agsugar needed aired out. Of course, the Chamber was involved along with the City and State of Iowa. Who made the error?
With the Agsugar report, an article was run on Mayor Corbett’s investment portfolio. This was interesting considering the non-reporting of questionable connections between local government and the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, or whatever it has changed its name to today.
Is Mayor Corbett being to set up to take the blame?
Will the Mayor’s investment pay off?
Yes, Virginia, CR $mells
it doesn’t look good when things like this are being built and schools are being closed down” ~Ajai Dittmar
It doesn’t matter where the money comes from—what matters is how it looks to the people— and it doesn’t look good!
Tax Funded Yuppie Puppy U.
No Thank You
“The state of Iowa has only eight charter schools. Teacher Gretchen Price would like No. 9 to be in downtown Cedar Rapids.
“It feels like the right time and place, sort of a perfect storm,” she said.”
“Thank you for your continued support for and/or interest in bringing a charter school to the downtown Cedar Rapids area. The Downtown School development team would like to take this opportunity to respond to the recent statement released by the Cedar Rapids Community School District School Board regarding their refusal to “collaborate with any group requesting a charter school in the district” at this time.”
“The Cedar Rapids school board isn’t in a position to collaborate with any group requesting a charter school, according to a statement read by Board President John Laverty Monday night.”
“Supporters of the four Cedar Rapids elementary schools under consideration for closure — Harrison, Madison, Monroe and Polk — took to the microphone Monday night to address the Cedar Rapids school board.”
The Cedar Rapids School District is facing a perfect storm. Shifting population patterns and the need to economize have brought elementary school closings to the forefront. The Board’s past decision on a Downtown charter school lends credibility to their ability to decide responsibly.
“SourceMedia company President Chuck Peters has articulated this effort and is committed deeply to it. It is part of the transformation of the media industry he has shared publicly. “
The Cedar Rapids School Board was under great pressure. The power of Cedar Rapids dominant local media was brought to bear as, “Transforming education in Iowa.” The site of Downtown’s school was to be the current offices of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Sourcemedia has been open on its intent to vacate this property.
That was then, what about now?
Chuck Peters is still the CEO of Sourcemedia. Though no longer Chairman of the Board of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Peters is still on the Chamber’s Board of Directors as an officer. If the Cedar Rapids Gazette building is still available, contact Sourcemedia for an answer.
The Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce has obfuscated its name, but not its game. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance remains active in its efforts to promote Downtown Cedar Rapids above all else.
Web sites advocating a Cedar Rapids charter school are still active. Do they still seek a charter school, or a downtown school?
If the need is so great, the charter school crew should consider going private. It would not be in Downtown Cedar Rapids, but there may soon be some Cedar Rapids school real estate available for a reasonable deal.
Unlike Cedar Rapids City Council, the Cedar Rapids School Board has not been Downtown myopic. The Cedar Rapids School District stuck to its responsibility to best serve all students in its District; not just Downtown Cedar Rapids elite few.
The Cedar Rapids School Board is currently facing some tough decisions on school closings. Simply raising taxes and throwing money at whoever wants something is no solution. That is what Cedar Rapids City Council would do.
Whatever decision the Cedar Rapids School Board makes, it is bound to make some unhappy. That is the price for doing the right thing. The School Board’s past courage gives hope what is in the best interest of the whole will be their choice.
Iowa Live writes:
Greetings, Todd Dorman, Gazette Columnist–
From your comments in today’s Gazette it appears you slept last night and did you not watch the Iowa caucus vote counting debacle unfold! If you slept, you missed the “rest of the story”. As a homosexual marriage and homosexual sex advocate it is understandable you would have faint praise for Santorum, who was strongly supported by non-homosexual marriage and non-homosexual sex voters—and who might have won with an accurate vote count. But you completely missed the vote count inaccuracies and the lost ballots.
At 1:30 AM, long after Romney and Santorum had finished their post-election speeches, without knowing who had won–nationwide viewers on FOX NEWS were told the vote count inaccuracies in Story County had supposedly been corrected, the ballots were not on a truck that couldn’t be found, and the Clinton County Romney and Santorum supporters had been found and gathered to reach an agreement on what they remembered were the election results there.
Romney’s 8 vote election win was determined on a political bargain—sans ballots.
Iowa’s GOP caucus officials made Iowa look like a hick state once again. Can’t you hear the foul cries in four years when you and Iowa’s political hacks shamelessly tout Iowa’s validity for holding first in the nation caucuses—with lost votes and political bargains thrown in, at no extra cost??!!
Sincerely willing to wait for 4 years!
Look at the chart below and you will see an accurate forecast of the election winner. It’s operators were not “confounded” by the complexities involved, as you surmised.
Greetings, Governor Terry Branstad—
Kudos to Rick Santorum and to The Real Money Futures Market, operated by the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business–where people bet their money, not their mouths. As shown in the following chart, they picked Romney to get the most caucus votes, and he did. However, Santorum surprised them, as well as others, but not the Iowa Evangelicals.
This is how Iowa politics looked at 6:15 PM Jan 3, 2012, As Posted on http://iowalive.net/
According to The Real Money Futures Market operated by the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business–where people bet their money, not their mouths!
BOO HISS to the Iowa GOP for fumbling the ballots and vote count. It should not take from 8:00 PM to 1:30 AM the following morning to collect and accurately count 122,000 ballots. It was a huge embarrassment to Iowa to have FOX NEWS and Karl Rove sort through the mess at 1:00 AM and report inaccurate vote counts in Story County and lost ballots in Keokuk and Clinton Counties—as the problem.
Matt Strawn, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and head of the caucus, ran and hid and left reporters at FOX NEWS and a national audience laughing at the Iowa GOP vote count debacle, until he finally appeared at !:30 AM and tried to ignore the problem.
So what will Governor Branstad, head of the Iowa GOP do about it?
Branstad will shamelessly hold a press conference on Friday Jan. 6 and unveil his proposal on how to run Iowa’s public schools!!! The Iowa GOP can’t run a political caucus but that doesn’t stop them from trying to run Iowa’s public schools—or from ignoring Judy Hintz, at Educational Resource Associates in West Des Moines, who could run them.
Is this Heaven? NO! It’s Iowa!!
Iowalive A growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa.
The City of Cedar Rapids is asking for public input on new welcome signs to the City of Five Local Option Sales Tax Referendums. An online survey is being conducted by Vernon Research. Thank you, Mayor Pro Tem and Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Monica Vernon.
C R Smells has some suggestions. We posted ours below what are yours?
Click here to and follow the Yellow Brick Road and take the survey
Wait and see if Mayor Pro Tem and Cedar Rapids Chamber Commerce Board of Directors member Monica Vernon will agree to the public input preference, or pulls a True North deal as she did with the Library Board.
By Lisa Kuzela, Vice Chair of LOST Oversight Committee
December 5, 2011
On November 12, 2011, I requested from the City of Cedar Rapids a list of all properties purchased by the city with our Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). Please also note that I am a member of the LOST Oversight Committee, as well as the vice chair of the committee.
Drew Westberg, (one of City Manager Jeff Pomeranz’s assistant) said that the City charges $20/hour for staff time after the first half hour and ProSource estimated it will take SIX HOURS to compile this information. He told me that I will have to pay $110 upfront to get this information,
I can wait to make the request at the next LOST Oversight Committee, which now meets only every other month. The next meeting at the time was not until a month later (on December 8, 2011) – that is, IF we have a quorum (in October, we did not). Then, ONLY IF the rest of the committee also requests this information, then the City will supply the information, but not until the following LOST Oversight Committee meeting that will not be meeting until two months later on February 9, 2012.
I am an avid researcher of the flood issues, as well as a vocal representative of the taxpayers (in general, as well as) on the committee, overseeing the LOST as I was appointed to do. I was also the co-founder and main organizer of the We Can Do Better CR campaign that defeated the 20-year LOST extension in which the elite of our city spent $450,000 to pass. Those who support the upcoming election for more LOST, do not want any information publicized that may hurt the upcoming vote. This includes not only the City, but most (if not all) the members of the LOST Oversight Committee.
The City knows I am not requesting this information for my own curiosity, and therefore, is doing everything they can to prevent me from getting it. – Lisa Kuzela
This is the email correspondence:
From: Lisa Kuzela [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2011 2:20 PM
To: Westberg, Drew E.
Subject: LOST Aquisitions
Please email me the entire updated list of properties that were acquired with Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). I anticipate this list within a week. I am asking you for this information as a member of the LOST Oversight Committee as well as the Freedom of Information Act.
Thank you again,
Don’t just talk about it. DO SOMETHING.
In a message dated 11/18/2011 4:58:01 P.M. Central Standard Time, D.Westberg@cedar-rapids.org writes:
The City has a policy in regards to information requests that require staff time to generate new documents. Per the policy, the first half hour is free with the subsequent hours billed at $20 per hour. For charges over $25, the City needs the fee up-front prior to beginning the work of creating the record.
ProSource estimates this request will take approximately six hours to complete. As there is no charge for the first 30 minutes, the request will cost $110 to complete.
If the LOST Oversight Committee requests this information at a future meeting, staff will work to provide that information for the Committee’s review at the subsequent meeting. However, such a request must come from the Committee during an open meeting.
If you would like to continue with this request, please provide the necessary payment to initiate the process of fulfilling this request.
Drew E. Westberg
City of Cedar Rapids
Special Assistant to the City Manager
3851 River Ridge Dr. NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
Phone: (319) 286-5349
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2011 09:25:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: LOST Aquisitions
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
This is total b.s., and you know it! All you have to do is bring up the database and click on those properties that were purchased with LOST, cut and paste into a new spreadsheet. If it’s “privacy” you are concerned about, I don’t need the homeowners’ names. This is all public information.
I am fed up with this city claiming you have “transparency” and then when someone asks for something – that is at your fingertips – you don’t come right out and say you won’t provide it, because that is against the law, but you use a devious political stategy: you discourage providing the information by throwing out the “$20/hour” cost.
If the city or its third party administrators can’t pull this info up from a database in 5 minutes, than both the city and the third party administrator need to be fired and hire someone who does have these organizational skills for such crucial information. This it the day of computers and software that does this in a simple and quick manner. And “six hours” is not only insane, but unacceptable! I’m sure you guys were cracking up sending me this email.
There is no rule in our bylaws or by the city that requires a citizen committee to wait until a meeting of that committee to request any information. We meet every two months now, and I will not wait until a meeting to request it. Besides, I have requested information within meetings, only to be ignored and/or not provided the information until the NEXT meeting and/or provided the WRONG information when it is provided. This is all a stall tactic in order to NOT provide information requested.
I expect this information ASAP, and if I don’t receive it by next week before the holidays, I will go to my next step to get it – and without the ridiculous charge.
Quit making up excuses to not provide information! We are all fed up with it. It looks like I will have to run for city council next term, just so I CAN get information from this city. Won’t that be great being able to use the bully pulpit and media to expose the truth of this city?
Don’t just talk about it. DO SOMETHING.
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 03:09:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: LOST Aquisitions
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
I am still waiting for the very simple information I requested. Please send me the list of properties acquired with LOST funds by Wednesday 12 noon.
If I do not receive this via email in whatever form you decide (.pdf, Excel, Word), I will be stopping by City Hall to film your reluctance of providing public information that, (if you are doing your job correctly), is at your fingertips. This is a five minute job if you’re doing it right.
This secrecy and attempts to block public information needs to end. I have put up with enough from the staff and elected officials of this city for over three years now, as well as my own personal flood battles that this city has intensified by deliberate actions. Your excuses will not be tolerated anymore.
Don’t just talk about it. DO SOMETHING.
Their bellies already tax dollars bloated, the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Downtown District eagerly anticipate a fat decade ahead. On March 6th, tell their CREST (Chamber Robbery by Eternal Sales Tax) hired hands no more trough time.
Some background on OccupyCR Critics:
The City Will NOT Give LOST Info to Vice Chair of LOST Oversight Committee
Background of the people posting negative comments about the OWS and the recent Cherry Building action on the Drone Factory; Doug Wagner, F. John Herbert, Rich Dana
Doug Wagner; was staff assistant to former Mayor Paul Pate. Wagner’s wife has a studio in the Cherry Building. When Developer Scott Olson (now on City Council) went to City Council to get a 10 year tax break for his Watertower Condo project, concerned citizens spoke out about $250,000 t0 $400,000 condos with zero property tax. Even though the City Council had not voted yet, Pate shouted to the citizens; “This decision is already made, so you can just sit down”. Single moms and families with limited income a block away in Oakhill neighborhood pay 100% of their property taxes, as their affluent new neighbors go tax free for ten years on expensive condos. The 1% win, and the 99% are screwed. After the flood, I attended every City recovery meeting. A group of the CR elite/developers stated openly; “We control 90% of the money in town, so we will make 90% of the decisions about how we rebuild this town”. Doug was on the Local Option Sales Tax Oversight Committee with absolutely no authority and he was on the “Protect Cedar Rapids Committee” and hasn’t been to a meeting since! -AD -LK -MR
I attended the Watertower Open House. I personally saw a group of Cedar Rapids real estate developers looking out of the window of Watertower at black kids from next door “OSADA” playing in the outdoor playground below. The exact words of one developer to his friends were; “We will never sell these Condos, with those kids out there.”
Shortly after that, Doug Wagner was appointed as Executive Director of MAHP. All exterior maintenance of OSADA ceased. Many Interior maintenance staff were fired. All external trash bins were removed. OSADA started to go downhill fast with this extreme action. The Gazette ran a front page article that blamed the tenants for the deteriorization of OSADA affordable housing. I was in a meeting with staff in the City Building/Zonning Office, and the director called the African/Bosnian immigrants that lived in OSADA “animals”. Four Oaks was hired to forcibly evict all OSADA residents and was given City funds to pay for the trucks and crew to haul all furniture out of OSADA. At the time, CSPS co-directors, F. John Herbert and Mel Andringa had been long term OSADA tenants. Mel Andringa publicly denounced the outrage in neighborhood meetins, calling the whole OSADA eviction process “Ethnic Cleansing”. -MR
8 million dollars of Federal, State and City funds were paid to build OSADA as “affordable housing”. After the above eviction, OSADA was sold to “insider” developer Fred Timko at a fire sale price for a little over 1 million $and provided with other city subsidies for the development. Each new owner was provided a downpayment subsidy, no matter how high their income. Gazette President Chuck Peters and City Manager now live in OSADA, renamed bottleworks, as former low income OSADA residents were trucked out to Four Oaks apartments.
Fred Timko then became the CSPS Board member to help carry out the 6 million dollar publicly funded overhaul of CSPS. (Mel Andringa’s concern about Timko and OSADA “ethnic cleansing” seems to have vanished.) CSPS co- director F. John Herbert has been very vocal in his criticism of Occupy CR on both the Occupy facebook page and comments to Gazette news articles. Cherry Building owner David Chadima has also served on the CSPS Board. Cherry Building co-owner, Li jiun Chadima is on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce. Lijun Chadima and Fred Timko sit on the board of the Southside Investment Board. (Michael Richards had sat on Southside Board, but was forced offf the Board when he raised the issue of misuse of public tax money.) Former City Council Member Dale Todd, said that only people who agree with the Developers plans can be on the S.I.B. Board. The other active critic of Occupy CR is Rich Dana, who the Chadimas have hired as a building contractor to prepare space for the Cherry Building tenants. The drone factory is the newest tenant of the Cherry Building.
Perhaps this gives some perspective to recent comments from these various folks. It is a very tight circle.
Our veteran’s fought and died to protect our Constitutional liberties.
20 jobs is not worth the lives lost to defend our American freedoms.
The drones violate our Constitutional rights. Namely, Amendment IV “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
So it’s okay that Block by OOPS I missed a Block store all their stuff on city property without any permission at all whatsoever but some common unconnected people come together and use public land for what it’s supposed to be used for and they are the ‘bad people’ who needs to get their junk off city land. ACLU agrees the city is in the wrong on the issue.
Occupy Cedar Rapids is officially on the map
The city called on the “League of Cities” to get advice this is how disconnected this city is from it’s people.
HOW MAY WE USE OUR OPEN SPACE?
For the most part, you can use your newly acquired open space however
your community wants to use it, as long as you maintain it as open space.
Wetland restoration, Greenway, Recreational area for athletic fields, hunting and fishing areas, trails,etc. Campground (provided adequate warning and evacuation time exists), Community farm or garden, Wildlife refuge, Bird sanctuary, Environmental and ecological education center. As you can see, your newly acquired open space can be used in many ways. Usually, you can combine uses. For example, you can restore property to wetlands and establish an educational center where people can learn about the impact of wetlands on the environment and ecosystem.You can establish a greenway with a trail that leads to an existing park or historic site. You can develop a recreational area complete with baseball and soccer fields and playgrounds. You can establish a campground complete with fishing areas, hiking trails, and canoeing. The possibilities are endless.
*NOW’S YOUR CHANCE TO VOTE THE ESTABLISHMENT OUT OF OFFICE!*
DO NOT VOTE FOR SCOTT OLSON, ANN POE, or MONICA VERNON
At-large candidate Ann Poe has raised the most among candidates — $20,465 from 111 contributors. Next is District 2 candidate Monica Vernon, the only incumbent in the three races, who has raised $18,600 from 166 contributors to go with $619 she had on hand from her last City Hall campaign. District 4 candidate Scott Olson has raised $17,870 from 97 contributors.
Cedar Rapids self appointed enlightened have opened their wallets. Our elected representatives have already committed well over one hundred million in tax dollars to build their Downtown Shangri-La on the Cedar. They demand still more.
Not that these self chosen few would invest much of their money in such a project. They better than most know a fiscal rate of return in the negative when they see one. Their unprofitable desires are not their responsibility. That is what the mass of unwashed taxpayers are for.
To the link’s credit, an objective story concerns the money invested in Cedar Rapids city council candidates. Opinions expressed in response below the article may prove a path to even greater enlightenment regarding decisions we must make November 8th.
I’m sorry to start your morning off with a complaint regarding a (Cedar Rapids) city council candidate (Scott Olson).
I had previously noticed that he did not file his DR-1 until 9/22/11.
I was waiting until this DR-2 filing deadline to check it out, and as I thought, I was right…He raised and spent WELL over the $750 amount over a month PRIOR TO the date he filed his DR-1.
First, do you see the same problem? Second, what will be done about this? I’d like it to be VERY public, if that’s possible.
Also, I’d like to know what the status is of city council candidate Monica Vernon who did not file her DR-2 on time. Any penalties? I’m sure Rick Smith (of the Gazette) will tippy foot around this one when he writes his article about the reports! And I’m certain he doesn’t even see Olson’s issue of not filing when he raised/spent $750. If he did, that will also be ignored.
If there’s something smelly going on here, we taxpayers in Cedar Rapids can only count on your office to raise the attention to it. Our town’s newspaper won’t. Thanks! We appreciate what you’re doing.
It does appear that Scott Olson failed to file his statement of organization within ten days of crossing the $750.00 threshold. An admonishment will be sent to the candidate. The admonishment will be a public record and displayed on our website. These are the only actions that we take. It will not be in a press release or anything like that. I know that you are feeling that your local paper shows favoritism but we cannot make this case any more public by going beyond our standard procedures.
I believe that Monica Vernon filed on time. Her report was submitted at 3:55. Let me know if you have any other questions or if I did not address all of your concerns.
(515) 281-4104 phone
(515) 281-4073 fax
Here is a brief chart of the flow of disaster recovery money and the people in control
One billion dollars of public city, state federal money is being spent in post disaster Cedar Rapids. As taxpayers and citizens, these funds belong to the 99%
FOLLOW THE MONEY;
City of Cedar Rapids Mayor Corbett (Paid Management CRST freight company
Affordable Housing Network/Four Oaks
(private “Third Party Administrator” hired by City of Cedar Rapids to manage millions in disaster relief funds)
a. Jim Ernst C.E.O.
b. Liz Mathis “PR” director (control of public information about Four Oaks/Affordable Housing Network) Former KWWL and KCRG anchor (Iowa Senate dist 18 candidate)
c. Mark Mathis, Liz Mathis spouse, “Board of Advisors” Four Oaks/Affordable Housing Network Former KWWL manager
d. Scott Olson Four Oaks Board of Directors (Skogman Realty, present candidate for Cedar Rapids City Council)
Scott Olsen founded OPN architects that was hired to “design” the $176,000 per unit “rehab” of the subsidized/low income Brown Apartments
e. Kraig Paulsen Four Oaks Board of Directors (R) Iowa Speaker of the House, paid corporate attorney for CRST
f. Former City CR City Councilman Jerry Mc Grane, Four Oaks- Affordable Housing Network Board
(while in office received “triple subsidy” on his new home; a. down payment assistance from Four Oaks-Affordable Housing Network, free lot from city gov,
“builders” subsidy from Skogman Builders (Scott Olsen’s employer) Scott Olsen is now a city council candidate
9. Emily Meyer, AHNI/Four Oaks Board member, Real Estate Developer for Ryan Company, General Contractor for the $176,000 per unit “rehab” of the Brown Apartments. Ryan Company is the most active contractor in political patronage building projects flowing out of Governor Culver’s 3/4 Billion Dollar “I-Jobs” fund. ($140 million of I jobs funding is taking place in Cedar Rapids on “pet projects” for the City and Chamber of Commerce.
g. Senator Jack Hatch of Des Moines -paid consultant for tax shelter strategy and public funding for “The Brown Apartments” -the Four Oaks project that was funded with
City, State, and Federal funds that paid $176,000 per unit to rehab apartments in an existing structurally sound building.
Hatch then organized local, state and federal funding for “post flood” housing that paid $190,000 per unit $19,000 million) for Hatch Development Oakhill Brickstone Project)
10. Former City Council Member Dale Todd hired by Hatch to “make things work with the City Government” for Hatch Development. Some private “tax sheltered” funds are used
for the Oakhill Brickstones, however major amounts of Federal, City and State public funds are included in the financing. State funds for “Brown Apartments” Brickstones flowed through State Of Iowa “Iowa Finance Authority” (Joe O’Hearn Exectutive Director) O’Hearn has now been hired as the Lead Manager for Flood Recovery funds in Cedar Rapids City Government. Even though major public funding is used, Hatch Development, Senator Jack Hatch, is the private developer/owner)
CRST former President/primary owner John Smith donated $1 million dollars for Jim Ernst/Four Oaks-Affordable Housing Network to launch the flood recovery housing initiative “Block by Block”. Block by Block then recieved $7 million dollars of mostly public tax funds (some private foundation money also from the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.) Clint Twedt Ball and Courtney Ball, husband and brother in law of Cedar Rapids Community Foundation acting Presdident Karla Twedt Ball were then hired to manage Block by Block. The City Government has now given away scores of lots and houses to Block by Block for $1 each. Skogman Realty, operated by City Council Candidate Scott Olsen’s boss Kyle Skogman also has had flooded lots and houses purchased with public city funds given to Skogman Realty for $1 each.
Jim Ernst/Four Oaks and Kyle Skogman have now formed a new entity for “Rent to Own” housing.
The circle of control is held by a very tight group. Anyone that challenges their “entitlement” is derided and attacked as you observed on the air when former City Council member Dale Todd of Hatch Development called in to the radio show. Dale Todd attacked us as “Black Helicopter watchers. Dale Todd told an outright lie on the air when he stated that Senator Jack Hatch “gave Michael Richards two houses for $1.” To make the real estate transfer legal, Richards paid the $1. The actual facts are that Hatch was ready to pay to demolish these two homes to clear the lots for his Oakhill Brickstone subsidized housing. The post flood cost of demolition is $15,000 to $30,000 each. $30,000 to $60,000 total) Hatch paid Michael Richards $5 thousand each to move them, saving Senator Hatch $20 thousand to $50,000 in projected demolition costs. Richards has since invested $100,000 in his private money to rehab these flooded houses.
Every night at 6:30 pm there will be a General Assembly at 1029 3rd Street SE!
New smells in Cedar Rapids Beware the city will stink for the next couple of months! Like that’s anything new! Don’t believe me? Watch this! 2:55
Taylor Nelson closed stressing the need to address ignored streets Monica Vernon during a special opportunity respond to
to and other infrastructure in District #2, not downtown her relationship visa via True North
Debate at Washington High School
Children should be seen and not heard.
Shut up and pay up. I’ve got a hotel and convention center to bail out.
The “pots” are being cleared from street corners!
Where did these pots come from and who paid for them?
Click here to read the history behind the pots and how much the pots cost. The pots came from Block by Block and The Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation
Cedar Rapids Police were out “cracking down on yard signs again” when the legality of these ‘pots’ was brought to my attention. Not only are these pots in violation of city code they had yard signs stuck in them that police did not pick up!
I wrote an email to the police department asking why Block by Block was allowed to have their flower pots on the sidewalks, on sewers, and next to the street signs while they were “cracking down on yard signs again” and my question was sent to Tom Peterson City Traffic Engineer/Division Manager-(319) 286-5847
Tom Peterson replied saying “I and other staff members been investigating the background information regarding the “history” of the flower pots as this was initiated a few years ago, before I was here. We’ve been trying to determine if there was any type of adopted ordinance or resolution that allowed the flower pots to be placed in the public right-of-way.
After an extensive search, we did not find any official approval at any level. From the information that staff have been able to find, there had been initial contact by the Block by Block group/Mathew 25 ministries in 2009 inquiring about the possibility of doing this project.
City staff had several questions regarding a number of concerns that needed to be addressed before further consideration could be given. As you may know, the city has allowed enhancement projects such as decorative trash containers, pedestrian benches and overhead street banners in the downtown area before as a means to enhance the appearance and promote the downtown area, as an example.
The paper trail seems to end there with no documentation of follow up or implied approval. So it is unclear where the Block by Block/Mathew 25 ministries received any indication that they could proceed with the installation of the flower pots which I believe are in the second year of display.
After review of the available information, it has been decided by staff to request the pots be removed for now and if the Block by Block group wants to continue this program, it would have to go through a thorough process of review and consideration at the staff level and at the policy-maker level for approval, if the City wishes to allow it in the future.”
Mr. Peterson Thank you ‘cultivating hope’!
Why are we paying to have this building demolished JUST TO TURN AROUND AND BUILD NEW?
WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS!
While the city runs around making up tickets for citizens, their friends right next to Public Works (at the tree service owned by an INSURANCE LIABILITY
company) continues to FALL APART!!!!
If FEMA agrees to building brand new for this department there will be a great number of people who will advocate to end FEMA altogether. Some are already doing so.
THE COUNTRY IS BROKE STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY FOR THESE PET PROJECTS WE DON’T NEED!
The video shows the tree service and Public Works building right next to each other. The photo is the latest picture that I have taken of the tree service (that isn’t in service at all, it has sat empty for MANY YEARS). While our city is out measuring people’s grass they IGNORE this PROBLEM they have right next to them! PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE ANYMORE MONEY!
Does anyone know if this is “normal”?
I mean I have never seen a tractor used in this way!
Doesn’t the city own tree removal equipment?
MORE Double standards
Click on the photo for compelling news about the Convention Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Downtown Cedar Rapids has abused flood recovery to make things bigger and better than they were before the flood of 2008. It is the money pit. FEMA even going to help to restore the “toilet brush”. According to the Gazette Editorial Board “no taxpayer money other than about $42,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency toward repairing lighting and electrical damage is involved.”
FEMA is BROKE but the Cedar Rapids elites don’t care
Our taxes are spent to pay CR Area Chamber of Commerce $11,510 per year for membership! Seems THEY should be paying US since the Mayor, Council, and staff all seem to really be working for THEM!
Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerc0000002431 Council & Mayor 00450248 76515 2011-08-01 Membership Dues 9/1/11-8/31/12 0 $11,510.00
“Streetcar seats are awful narrow
Ain’t we got fun?
They won’t smash up our Pierce Arrow
We ain’t got none
They’ve cut my wages
But my income tax will be so much smaller
When I’m laid off,
I’ll be paid off Ain’t we got fun?”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2011
Public Art Installation Begins This Week at Community Services Building
of Linn County
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — Installation of Linn County’s much-anticipated public art begins this week in the new Community Services Building of Linn County, 1240 26th Ave. Ct. SW in Cedar Rapids. This building is Linn County’s first new construction project to open following the 2008 flood. The building opened to the public last month.
Our original website was hijacked but we aren’t going to let that stop us from attaining our goal: EXPOSING THE TRUTH FOR ALL TO SEE! All of the country is broke but Cedar Rapids, Iowa is spending like there is no tomorrow! While studies have linked political corruption to FEMA funding. Our city leaders claim don’t misuse tax payer’s money and we aim to prove they do.
Starting over gives us the ‘opportunity’ to do something better. For those of you who know the political overtones in the word ‘opportunity’ and live in the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa the word ‘opportunity’can take on several different meanings.
Here is a list:
The Preferred Plan
The local match for flood protection
David v. Goliath
Forever Tax Parody (commercial)
Flood houses-who’s getting them the answer will shock you!
Virgil and Joyce Elsbury
Time Check Recreation Center
It will take some time to get the site back where we were last week before we were so rudely interrupted but we will. If we are missing something or there is something that you would like to share here please e-mail: Ajai at email@example.com
Ajai Dittmar~Blog Deviantart~Youtube channel
Lonn Whitford Sr.
We Can Do Better-Grassroots group of community members who know we can do better
Judicial Reform-Judicial accountability
Hot issues in Linn County-Conservative Satire
Local News Stations:
KCRG Gazette/Source Media
Neighborhood Network News
Iowa Live-A growing network of volunteer citizens & Professionals for improving Iowa
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement-The only solution to any problem is to get to work on it
Iowa Politicians on the Issues-Click on Representative to see their stance on issues
Burlington Derailed-The Continuing Story
The Bean Walker-Republican blogs, stories, etc…
The Fallon Forum- Local Talk Radio
Redefining Safe- Paul Harrison talking about re-entry issues
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