Tag Archives: aviation

Railroading a Corridor of Hegemony


Railroading a Corridor of

Hegemony

a Corridor of Hegemony

a Corridor of Hegemony

Berlin to Baghdad

Cedar Rapids to Iowa City“The railway from Berlin-Vienna-Constantinople led through Belgrade, Nish and Sofia. The control of Servia, as of Bulgaria, was, therefore, essential to Germany for carrying out the Hamburg to Baghdad project, the very core of Pan-Germanism.”

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/de-berlin-baghdad-3.htm

“But what about that idea of a Cedar Rapids-Iowa City rail line? It would give the thousands of people who commute daily on Interstate 380 another option and possibly ease congestion on the crowded roadway.

It also would provide a boost to public transportation, the environmental movement and the Creative Corridor initiative calling for more regionalism.”

http://thegazette.com/2013/07/07/eastern-iowa-commuter-rail-proposal-on-slow-track/

Studies and just a cursory observation show that restoring passenger rail service between Cedar Rapids currently makes no economic sense. Still, those crying for a Corridor Empire and their Forth Estate friends dredge up once more what should be a non issue.”Unified government in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor has been discussed at various times, most recently by Pat Baird, former president and CEO of AEGON USA (now Transamerica).

Baird, who facilitated a November meeting of  Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development Group investors, said unified regional government models should be explored. The backers met to discuss issues involving the two economic-development groups working better together.”

http://thegazette.com/2013/01/20/economic-development-population-spurred-by-unified-government/

The Counts and no counts of Cedar Rapids Downtown District royalty have made no secret of their plans. An empire of “regionalism” with Cedar Rapids Downtown District as its imperial capital is what they hope to command.
A money losing Lionel layout is not wasteful. Money pursuing their imperial ambitions is never wasted, as long as it is not theirs.Empty trains and even more are what the great mass of unwashed taxpayers must pay for. One stop shopping for all their Tax Increment Funding treasure hunts and assorted tax abatement ordinances demands a larger empire to exploit.

Be prepared to confront the Cedar Rapids Downtown Districts race for new colonies. If not, be prepared to be tied to the tracks.
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Mt. Trashmore Trail do you use it?


Mt. Trashmore Trail

I’ve been thinking about checking out local trails and rating them but I haven’t figured out DSCN9488a rating system or whether or not people would even be interested.
On June 1, 2013 the Cedar River flooded. One trail that was underwater was the trail along the dump also known as Mt. Trashmore. I saw a video last week that had me sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time here’s the video!

Riding the Mt. Trashmore Trail while it is underwater is dangerous. Thankfully, this man knows this trail and how rivers work but I wouldn’t suggest doing anything like he did to anyone. I enjoyed the video.

Checking the water line at Mt. Trashmore

Get up to 5 new .COMs, $5.99 per year for the 1st year! I wanted to see just how high the water got and so my friend, Jim Pate, and I went down there to get some footage of the flood line and the Mt. Trashmore Trail on June 12, 2013.

Mt. Trashmore review

We saw a lot of people using the trail and knew that they smelled the same things we did. The Mt. Trashmore Trail has got to be the most vile smells of all smells in Cedar Rapids, Iowa next to the ADM plant. The Mt. Trashmore Trail is not a trail that I would suggest to anyone, especially a newcomer. I just wonder if you use the trail and if so, why?


The City of Cedar Rapids, IA, Did Not Ensure a Competitive Procurement Process and Did Not Properly Execute Its CDBG Disaster Recovery-Funded Contracts


information

Lisa Kuzela

PRESS RELEASE —-

From Lisa Kuzela to Cedar Rapids to local media –

Attached is the May 6, 2013 HUD Office of Inspector General Report.

It states “The State did not monitor the City’s voluntary property acquisition program in accordance with its approved Disaster Recovery action plans. Its monitoring checklists did not include all of its procurement requirements, such as cost reasonableness and all required contract provisions.”

In other words, the City of Cedar Rapids has done whatever they wanted, and the State turned a blind eye. Could it possibly have something to do with the local relationships at the state level?

I don’t care to know why you didn’t cover this huge issue; I just want our local news media to start informing the public on what is really going on in this town.

Once the fraud and illegalities crash in on our town, our local media will be viewed as accomplices to this corruption. Many of us have told you over and over, but the media chose to ignore the facts.

Worse, our newspaper continues to take even proof of wrongdoings by our city and spin it into something positive. Case in point: the October 2012 HUD OID Report.

Rick Smith reported statements of deceit by Mayor Ron Corbett. He included Corbett as stating “there is no fraud.” The report never even eluded to such, but by including the Mayor as stating so, Smith led the public to believe everything is fine.

Office of Inspector General

Office of Inspector General

Smith further misled the public by not including something as simple and informative as the subject title of the report:

The City of Cedar Rapids, IA, Did Not Ensure a Competitive Procurement Process and Did Not Properly Execute Its CDBG Disaster Recovery-Funded Contracts.”

The question is: are you going to continue to ignore? Are you going to continue your denial and worse – chastise those of us speaking out with the truth as “naysayers?”

OR are you going to do what they taught you in journalism school and report the news?

This is only the beginning!

(This must be why Karr, Swore, Shields and Corbett bullied me at the May 14th, 2013 council meeting. They were angry at me about this Report that came out several days earlier.)

Please please consider donating to this cause. http://www.gofundme.com/disasterrecoveryreform

You can donate anonymously, if you’d prefer.

The funds pay for public information from the City and State who have increasingly set up roadblocks for me by increasing costs (by increasing the estimated amount of time it takes them to get me the information.)  I do not pay myself out of this account. But, public information is not free and funds are running low.

Please help me continue these investigations! You can pay online or drop by my home or mail to:

Disaster Recovery Reform
c/o Lisa Kuzela
341 Carter Street NW
Cedar Rapids, IA  52405

 

 


Flood Watch 2013


Flood Watch 2013

We had a flash flood the day before yesterday and a flood similar to the flood of 1993 that is to crest tomorrow, June 2, 2013.  I have lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa most of my life and one thing that stays the same during each of these floods and that is the water has to have somewhere to go.  A few feet could make all the difference in the world for people who went through and continue to have water problems since the 2008 flood.

Flooding in Cedar Rapids

I don’t think we would have the sewer problems we have if the city would just work with the DNR to dredge the riverIf the city council worked as hard for flood protection as they have to acquire and demolish homes and businesses we would be so much better than we were before the flood of 2008. 

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Flash Flooding in Cedar Rapids


Flash Flooding In Cedar Rapids

First Avenue Bridge

1st Avenue Bridge

Do you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? If so, do you live in a flood zone? Was your home impacted by the 1993 floods? How about the 2008 floods?
Yesterday, May 30, 2013 a fast moving storm caused some flash flooding in Cedar Rapids. The city is frantically working  to prevent flooding, or so they claim.

Current Flood Warning

There is currently a  flood warning in effect.  KCRG reported last night that “several homes on 1st Street NW will be impacted”. Problem with that statement is there is only one home on 1st Street NW and “the basement is still dry.” The storm and flash flooding certainly impacted drivers though!

Flood Lessons

Like the city, homeowners also learned valuable lessons from the 2008 flood. Always trust your instincts and have a plan. I will be watching the river and updating my findings.  Flash flooding and river flooding are different types of flooding. The river rising is a drawn out event and predictable but flash floods happen quickly without much notice.  Both are potentially dangerous. If flood water is already starting to come up through your basement drain you might want to consider disconnecting your furnace and moving it to higher ground. If you don’t know how to do that call for help.
I
am no expert on the city but living on 1st Street NW as rebuilt homes were demolished after the 2008 flood I have a unique perspective on how things operate around here. I do not blame the city workers for doing things backwards because they are only following orders. I hope that a city worker who understands the frustrations of the people who live in the core neighborhoods will step up and run for city council.
We have got to get this city back to operating without any agendas but to equally serve and provide essential services to it’s citizens.
Everyone I’ve spoken to agrees that the city should have focused on flood protection before buying and selling Real Estate. Flood protection should have been the city’s first priority since the 2008 flood but it hasn’t been. Nope, instead of focusing on the real issues the Cedar Rapids City Council squabbled with people all over the city over buyouts in the name of flood protection while giving downtown players “sweetheart deals” for riverside property on the east side.

When we voted for the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) it was supposed to help rebuild flood impacted property and flood protection. FEMA did not require we move the Public Library and spend millions of our disaster dollars to acquire and remodel the event center three blocks from the river the city council did.  FEMA did not require properties be bought out the city did. Remember the buyout program was a voluntary property acquisition after the 2008 flood.

 


Freedom of Information Doesn’t Mean Free Information


Freedom of Information isn’t Free

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
May 26, 2013
How much did taxpayers pay to rebuild, purchase and demolish those buildings on 1st Avenue and 1st Street SW in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Too much! But, the only way that the people who paid for it can find out about it is by obtaining public information.

How many people think that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) means free information? You would think that freedom of information would mean free information but it doesn’t; it only means you’re free to ask for the information and pay for said information.

That’s right, if you want any real information you will have to pay for it!

The equivalency of the Federal’s FOIA is the State of Iowa and City of Cedar Rapids’ “Open Records” law and ordinance, respectively.

But, just how “open” are these records?

information

Lisa Kuzela

Lisa Kuzela:

Lisa Kuzela was the Vice Chair of the Local Option Sales Tax Oversight Committee (L.O.S.T.) when she asked for pertinent public information regarding where some of the funds from the L.O.S.T. account had been appropriated.

Kuzela asked for a list of the homes purchased with the L.O.S.T. funds and was told that it would “cost her $110 for six hours of time to compile the data”.

They then used the excuse that it was a “privacy issue,” even though the same requested information for properties purchased with FEMA and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds had already been publicly listed. So, why not make available those purchased with L.O.S.T?  There was never any justification for their excuses.

Don’t take my word for it go check it out yourself!
Click here for information about The City of Cedar Rapids Greenway Area Address List.
Click here for information about The City of Cedar Rapids Construction Area Address List.


Assistant City Manager, Sandi Fowler, discusses Fees for Public Information

Kuzela is often charged for information requests from the City. On top of the research hourly fees, she is charged for scans – yes, scans! She is charged twenty-five cents per page to scan even though there is no ink or paper!

This clearly violates Iowa’s Open Records Law, State Code 22.3(2): “The fee for the copying service as determined by the lawful custodian shall not exceed the actual cost of providing the service. Actual costs shall include only those expenses directly attributable to supervising the examination of and making and providing copies of public records. ”

Kuzela states “when I pointed this out to the City, they said that the reason they have to charge the same for a scan as a hard copy is that the machine counts the scan the same as a copy. I told them I’ve never heard of such a thing and no one should have to pay for something when there’s no expense for it. However, I’ve gone along with this absurdity and been paying $0.25 per scanned page so I could get the information.”

If a citizen cares enough to request information they should not be charged for it if they are not requesting a hard copy of said information!

Kuzela goes on to say that within the past week, “they suddenly claim that the documents are off-site, so if I want the information, I have to pay them the time to go to another location to retrieve the documents at $20 per hour. This is over and above their hourly fee for the time it takes to scan (even though we have automatic feeders, now). This, too, is in addition to $0.25 per page to scan.”

What is wrong with the efficiency of our city if this information isn’t readily available – especially in the day of digital? Who are these people working for if they can charge taxpayers for public information – especially at a higher cost simply because they haven’t been well-organized in storing it?!

Aren’t we already paying them to do their job, and isn’t this part of their job? This all just sounds absurd to me!

But, it even gets worse!

Kuzela explains that “even though they’re emailing me the information (and therefore no supervising of staff is necessary while I review the information), they are now also saying that I have to pay a fee for ‘supervising the examination.’ So, does that mean I have to pay for an employee to supervise another? They haven’t responded to this question.”

I’m simply not buying that in this day and age when everything is digital that they don’t have this information scanned already and easily accessible! It’s obvious that the goal here is not to help the taxpayers get information, so they can oversee how their money’s being spent, but to prevent it. The City continually comes up with different excuses to make it as costly as possible in order to deter Kuzela from obtaining public information.

Click here for a link to Lisa Kuzela’s fundraising page.
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Time Check Maternity Roost – 2013 Bat Diaries






http://www.empowernetwork.com/almostasecret.php?id=beverlydittmar

TCMR

Time Check Maternity Roost Cedar Rapids, Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013
62°Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Southeast, 6 MPH

Sunday, Apr 28, 2013
62°Fair
Wind: North, 0 MPH

A couple rows of one layer in the house opposing the river
Two in the house facing the river

Monday, Apr 29, 2013
72°Fair
Wind: Southeast, 10 MPH

Thought I saw a couple babies in there one for certain
All three chambers on the house opposing the river are full while there are only a couple of bats in the house facing the river

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013
87°Fair and Breezy
Wind: Southwest, 21 MPH

Houses seemed less populated today but still three chambers full of bats!

Talked to man from Iowa Department of Natural Resources this morning about getting more bat houses down here to monitor them.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
63°Partly Cloudy
Wind: North, 13 MPH

2:46 pm
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
74°Fair
Wind: North, 4 MPH

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
66°Fair and Windy
Wind: North, 26 MPH

Thursday, May 2, 2013
38°Overcast and Breezy
Wind: North, 20 MPH

Thursday, May 2, 2013
37°Overcast
Wind: North, 19 MPH

I didn’t see any bats in the east house but the west house has at least two chambers full all packed together tightly. There was no bat chatter in the house It’s cold out there!

Check out my in depth blog on the bats here:  Time Check Maternity Roost Cedar Rapids, Iowa

 


Modern Day Alamo FREE TEXAS


April 21, 1836 -is the most important date in Texas history.  San Jancinto Day  is a state holiday and a day that has been reenacted for the last seventeen years at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in La Porte, just east of Houston.  This reenactment is the largest in Texas.
Having lived between Texas and Iowa throughout my childhood I have always consider myself ‘part Texan’. I attended 4th grade at Nolanville Elementary in Central Texas during the Cold War in the 80s. This was a time of great tension between the United States and the USSR.
free texasloveOrganizers of the 2013 festivities have “nixed” the Texas Nationalist Movement presentation at San Jancinto Day festivities.  The movement in Texas that has been working towards succeeding from United States of America. Organizers of the festival have also denied the Texas Nationalist Movement a booth to disseminate their materials because they are “too political”.  When I heard about this decision the Texan inside me became outraged! It would seem to me that these festival organizers would want to embrace the Texas Nationalist Movement and their message because they portray the very spirit that San Jancinto Day celebrates!
Aren’t these festivities held in a public place funded by public money? Is this public money not some how funneled to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and their  San Jancinto Day organizers by politicians?  I don’t want to seem petty but I would like to know!  Additionally, why are the festivities  being held a day early, on Hitler’s birthday, instead of the date in which it was declared a state holiday, April 21.
I fully support my friends and family in Texas who are ready to break free from this tyrannical government. I get it. I hope that the Texas Nationalist Movement is successful so other states may follow suit. Succeeding from the United States of America is the right thing for Texas to do.The loss of our sovereignty to move towards a “one world government” is not the way our founders envisioned America! Texas could be a beacon of hope for the rest of our country.
Don’t think Texas is tyrannical?  Ask parents of the  12-year-old girls who were forcefully vaccinated for HPV against their will and without parental permission how they feel. I couldn’t imagine what my mother  would have done if the school would have tried to give me a shot to vaccinate me for a sexually transmitted disease before I ever became sexually active!  When I attended Nolanville Elementary my teacher threatened to spank me  with a paddle for  losing my book .  I told my  mother I lost the book and that the teacher threatened to paddle my behind if I didn’t find it.  She went to the school and confronted the teacher and she told him if he ever talked to me that way again that she would beat him with a paddle herself.  Those were the days.
Texans fought and won the battle of the Texas Revolution becoming an independent Republic.  In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state’s annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in 1846.  In my opinion, denying  the Texas Nationalist Movement the opportunity to distribute their information goes against everything that the holiday stands for.  Independence is deeply ingrained in the character of the people of Texas and I hope that the  Texas Parks& Wildlife Department and their “festival organizers” will reconsider allowing the Texas Nationalist Movement to give their presentation.  I also hope that the organizers will allow Texas Nationalist Movement a booth at the San Jancinto Day festivities so that they may express the freedom that is being celebrated.


RE: Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force


Letter to the city council and the Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force

I know the Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force meets tomorrow and that they are in charge of selecting the site for the Time Check Recreation Center replacement and I want to make certain my concerns are heard if I am unable to make it to the meeting.
Is the plan still to build on this “preferred” spot that just flooded?

559739_10151293993466370_810435224_n

The “preferred” site for the replacement of the Time Check Recreation Center

“Sina said the city might need to cut down 600 trees to make way for the recreation center on the Q Avenue NW site” http://thegazette.com/2011/09/26/panel-recommends-ellis-for-rec-center/
Couldn’t we instead appeal to FEMA to go with the Ellis Blvd site by Time Check Park? At least it doesn’t flood “every year”. I would be willing to write in favor of that site but I will fight tooth and nail against anything being built in Ellis Park especially after the last few days!
Here’s a video I made today hoping to have input (even though we already went through the neighborhood planning process and had our opinions asked over and over until we’re blue in the face). I am concerned that our input as a community still hasn’t been taken seriously. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecckNCbx1Dk

Please take this into consideration when choosing the site.
This ice jam flood reminded many of us who went through the 2008 flood just where the river fed into the neighborhoods before coming out of it’s banks! Please train someone to run the dam to control this better in the future.
Thank you,
Ajai Dittmar

 


Iowa Drone Update


From: Ajai Dittmar~https://cedarrapidsactivist.wordpress.com/ [mailto:sibzianna@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 1:40 PM
To: Hogg, Rob [LEGIS]
Subject:

Where do you stand on the drone issue? We don’t want any drones over us!
hogg

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 3:16 pm
RE:
From Hogg, Rob [LEGIS] [LEGIS] Rob.Hogg@legis.iowa.govhide details
Ajai-

Thank you for your email regarding Senate File 276, a bill about the use of drones over Iowa. I appreciate hearing from you. I apologize for sending you a standard form response, but due to the volume of emails I have received on this issue, it is necessary.

I personally support regulation of drones that strictly limits their use and imposes meaningful safeguards on any use. Unfortunately, SF276 is a poorly drafted bill that would actually allow widespread use of drones now, and unlimited use of drones beginning July 1, 2015. You can review the bill in the “bill book” at http://www.legis.iowa.gov.

Here are several specific problems with the bill:

1. The bill, as drafted, has no penalty for the illegal use of “unmanned aircraft systems.”

2. The bill, as drafted, does not state which agency would be responsible for enforcing regulations on “unmanned aircraft systems.”

3. The term “unmanned aircraft system” is not defined. Iowa has never had any drone regulations, so the bill would leave it up to an unspecified agency or the courts to define what “unmanned aircraft system” includes.

4. The bill, as drafted, only applies to unspecified state agencies and agencies of political subdivisions with “jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement.” This would clearly not cover drone use by individuals, businesses, or state agencies like the department of natural resources, the department of transportation, the department of human services, or the department of public defense. By implication, those uses would be allowed.

5. The bill, as drafted, expressly allows the use of “unmanned aircraft systems” for disaster situations, amber alerts, and search-and-rescue operations, and by implication would allow the use of those systems for training for those purposes. The bill, as drafted, would allow agencies to determine for themselves when these situations exist as well as how much training for those situations could be done. Again, if the agency violated the law, there would be no enforcement or penalty.

6. The bill, as drafted, only regulates “unmanned aircraft systems” through July 1, 2015. It is my understanding that drone use for commercial purposes is expected to increase significantly after that date due to changes in federal regulations. It is unclear why the sponsors of SF276 chose to limit the proposed regulation only through July 1, 2015.

I believe passing this bill now would do more harm than good for those who want to limit and regulate drone use in Iowa. I wish advocates had contacted me earlier in the session when there would have been time to draft a proper senate judiciary study bill, but no one contacted me before late last week, and the deadline for bill requests has now passed.

For advocates who want to limit drone use now, the best course is to make sure Governor Branstad does not allow his state agencies – DPS, DNR, DOT, DHS, etc. – to use or encourage drones. For example, his economic development agency encouraged the manufacturing of drones in Iowa with an award of $175,000 in incentives to a drone manufacturer to locate in the state. If you would like to share your concerns about drones with Governor Branstad, you can call his office at 515-281-5211 during work hours.

Finally, to help you get involved in the legislative process so we can actually pass good legislation next year, I want to invite you to attend a public meeting on drones Wednesday morning, March 6, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., in Room 22 behind the Senate chamber at the Capitol to discuss the issue.

I hope to see you there.

Rob

State Senator Rob Hogg

State Capitol

Des Moines, IA 50319

(515) 281-3371 (switchboard)

http://www.robhogg.org