Tag Archives: Cedar Rapids Iowa
Ajai Dittmar Michelle, I had to call the water company the other day and it made me think of you. WOW, I am not happy with them at all. Made me wait on hold for ten minutes and the music was horrid! All I could think about was your situation with them and how much worse things are going to get. Later, I found my so called “notice” on the ground face down!
Frank King I would like to personally Thank Ajai for having the courage to run against a group of politicians who have unlimited money to support them Remember it was the street construction companies who funded the Vote Yes campaign and of course it will be those same companies who overcharge us for the work when it is done. Again I want to Thank You Ajai and tell you how much I admire you for trying to make a difference.
Michele Bowers Vileta West dale parking lot , that just made me laugh. ,, maybe 1 of those 600 people that just got a job under Corbett Can fix the streets. ,, Are those the people that are going to demolish it? 1st ave sucks at about 32 N.E. O ave. n.w. Johnson ave the right lane. On both sides. , and the list goes on.
Worship Those Who by Taxation Falsely Profit
Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The new city gateway sign is 42 feet long and features an 18-foot-tall vertical panel of a downtown skyline, Cedar Rapids’ name atop an image of one of the downtown bridges and stone formations and native plantings at its base.
It’s hard to see the stone and landscaping for the chain link.
The taxpayers of Cedar Rapids paid over $156,000 to erect a monument of misplaced faith. Praise be to the forces of nature that keep obscuring it with weeds.
The sign is not representative of the entire community. Nowhere on this sign does it say welcome. When visitors come to Cedar Rapids, they are not welcomed. The spires of Downtown stand as temples telling all where they should worship the powers that be.
All that matters to the elite ruling Cedar Rapids is the Downtown District. Downtown has become a holy relic not unlike the mummified foreskin of some ancient saint.
Iconic views of the holy must be presented to the ignorant traveler. May they know to bow their heads when passing the altar upon which local taxpayers are sacrificed.
Woe be unto heretics. Those who blaspheme the sacred writ of ancestral swamp sand trust funds handed down through the ages must be punished.
Be they ejected from chamber of the City Council priests who serve their Chamber Pot lords. If still learn the heathen rage, far worse shall befall them.
As it was in 1920, Cedar Rapids Downtown District shall be forever and forever. Sales tax increase without end. Tax and spend. Tax and spend.
Railroading a Corridor of
Berlin to Baghdad
“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.”
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.”
Mt. Trashmore Trail
I’ve been thinking about checking out local trails and rating them but I haven’t figured out a 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
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
PRESS RELEASE —-
From Lisa Kuzela to Cedar Rapids to local media –
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.
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:
- Freedom of Information Doesn’t Mean Free Information (cedarrapidsactivist.wordpress.com)
- Despite Fights, Cedar Rapids Police Say No Rise in Violence (kcrg.com)
Story Created: Jun 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM CDT (Tuesday)
Story Updated: Jun 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM CDT
Police were called to The Vault, 208 Second Ave. SE, at 1:44 a.m. Sunday for a large disturbance. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said responding officers encountered several large fights – involving more than 100 people in total – going on and one man on the ground who appeared to be injured. Police said the ongoing brawl made it difficult to get to the injured man.
“I think it sends a nice statement to our community that we want to be a vibrant and lively town. Nobody wants to live in a drab, boring town. They want to have some life in a town. And I think that complex (the Downtown District’s multimillion of taxpayer’s dollars hotel/convention complex) is helping, along with other investments that we made, create that life and vibrancy.’” CRST Special Projects Manager and Mayor of Cedar Rapids Ron Corbett.
It was truly an exciting weekend for Cedar Rapids Downtown District. The repeatedly failed hotel taxpayer’s purchased and the if you rebuild it pray they come events center were open for business. The Downtown District located dominant local media swelled with pride. It was evident when pulp hit front porches on Sunday morning.
Unlike the huzzahs for the patched up hotel, another bit of Downtown excitement was not foretold in a press release.
Nearly 100 people were fighting in the streets early Sunday morning within blocks of the hotel and “Your 24 Hour News Source.” Yes, the news never sleeps.
All those out of town guests asleep in their pricey, nearby hotel rooms may not have known what they missed. Unless a freight train rumbling by yards away, or sirens woke them, they learned nothing from local media as they packed their bags and left town.
It is doubtful many guests hung around until nearly noon Tuesday to hear the history of Sunday’s Gettysburg on the Cedar. Unless the out of town tourists live within the Cedar Rapids media market, they will probably never what they missed.
What a shame.
You all come back now, hear.
- Police: 100 people involved in downtown Cedar Rapids brawl (thegazette.com)
- Downtown Cedar Rapids Fight Involved 100 People; Five Arrested (kcrg.com)
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.
I don’t think we would have the sewer problems we have if the city would just work with the DNR to dredge the river. If 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.
- Flash Flooding in Cedar Rapids (cedarrapidsactivist.wordpress.com)
- Cedar River Expected To Hit Nearly 20 Feet in Cedar Rapids (kcrg.com)
- Cedar River Approaching What Had Been Historic 20-foot Level in Cedar Rapids (kcrg.com)
- Cedar Rapids expects 11th highest Cedar River crest in history Saturday (thegazette.com)
- Edgewood Road bridge could now close tonight, Cedar Rapids officials say (thegazette.com)
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.
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!
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.
- Cedar River Expected To Hit Nearly 20 Feet in Cedar Rapids (kcrg.com)
- KCRG-TV9 Viewers Submit Flash Flood Photos (kcrg.com)
- Video footage from the flood zone (CRSmells.org)
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?
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.”
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.
- Critical Months Ahead For Cedar Rapids Casino Plan (kcrg.com)
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa City officials not happy about property-tax relief (thegazette.com)