Tag Archives: CRSMELLS
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.
I am excited to report that the garage I’ve complained about to the city, my family, friends, and neighbors on the 1400 block of 4th Street NW is finally gone. It will no longer serve as a convenient dumping ground and I will never have to wake up to the sound of demolition again. The demolitions are done around me! The only remaining structures are blocks away from my house and I hope that I don’t have to hear them.
You would think I would be happy that this is almost over and that these rotting structures will finally be gone and I am. But I am still very unhappy about what happened to the west bank and I wonder how many people felt like they went from evacuation to eviction?
Before the flood we were undergoing intense inspections by the city because our community was approved for Weed and Seed money from the Community Capacity Development Office out of the Department of Justice. My neighbors and I were working hard to have everything perfect for the city inspectors but then flood came on June 11, 2008. Our final inspection was supposed to happen on June 17, 2008 but it never did and we were denied volunteers from the Weed and Seed program by Bruce Vandersanden, program coordinator at the Sixth Judicial Department of Correctional Services. I was on the Weed and Seed Committee as a representative from my neighborhood association when I complained to Gary Hinzman about the houses that have been denied all help at an unrelated board meeting where he told Bruce to “make it right”, but that never happened. In fact, in front of a room full of people Bruce told me that “it wasn’t ever going to happen”.
Operation Weed and Seed is a joint federal, state and local coordinated law enforcement and community initiative that aims to prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. The Weed and Seed strategy recognizes the importance of integrating law enforcement with social services and the private sector on federal, state and local levels to maximize the impact of existing programs and resources.”
Sponsored by the United States Department of Justice and under the local leadership of the United States Attorney, the strategy involves a two-pronged approach. First, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime, gang activity, drug use and drug trafficking in targeted neighborhoods. Second, “seeding” brings a variety of human services to the area, restoring it through social and economic revitalization.”
The city lied to all of us about flood protection, they lied to us about the buyouts, and they continue to lie to us about being bound by FEMA. The city applied for the buyout program. The buyout program was voluntary . If we were truly in danger FEMA would have declared our city unsafe and there would have been an “involuntary buyout”. FEMA did not destroy our city- city officials destroyed our city and used FEMA money to do it! In a Gazette article labeled: Property owners refuse to leave Cedar Rapids flood plain dated August 16, 2009 it said: “They plan to use $27 million in federal money to buy out property owners and create a city park or wilderness trail along the river. A levee built by the Army Corps of Engineers will separate remaining neighborhoods from the greenway and provide protection from another surge.” They also claim in the same article that: “The city has said it won’t use eminent domain to force the property owners off their land. But the Army Corps of Engineers could designate the properties as risks to the flood-protection system and force the owners to sell for pre-flood assessed values plus improvements. Fournier said that would be a last resort.”
What the Gazette didn’t report at that time was that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) did not approve any flood protection for the west bank because it didn’t meet the required guidelines. There is no property left on the west bank of the Cedar River therefore it does not meet the monetary specifications that are required for the USACOE to approve flood protection. The specifications include a cost to benefit ratio. Because the neighborhood was flattened there is no property value to protect therefore, no flood protection.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers also told me directly and on record (in a questionnaire) that they were not interested in buying our home now or ever. At a different United States Corps of Engineers meeting the I attended I informed one of the men from the United States Army Corps of Engineers that we were told by the city and news outlets that they needed our houses out of the way so that they could implement flood protection for the west bank. I was told by this man that this was not only wrong but it’s illegal. He said “saying that qualifies as coercion in a voluntary property acquisition” by FEMA.
Another thing that the Gazette failed to report is that “eminent domain” can “never” be declared because it was a “voluntary property acquisition”. Question number seven on the “Corridor Recovery” site clearly states this as a fact:
7. Is the City going to force me to sell my property?
No. This is was a voluntary property acquisition process. When using FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the City cannot use eminent domain to acquire properties.
The five year anniversary of the flood is coming up and that is a huge milestone for some of us. There is a small group of us in the greed-way that stuck it out and decided that the city’s buyout offer was not only ridiculous but it is a farce! Who in their right mind would want to take a $66,000.00 loss because of one flood? The city offered us $14,000.00 for our property and $0 for the house! This was the first flood my house has ever been through and we have flood insurance why would we sell out? The National Flood Insurance Program which is also known as FEMA and anyone who received money from the National Flood Insurance Program or FEMA was required by the City of Cedar Rapids to “pay back” any and all FEMA money they received in the buyout. Meaning a lot of people took losses.
If you’ve never heard of the term Disaster Capitalism I suggest you look it up. In a neighborhood meeting Chuck Swore was confronted by Mike Augustine who asked him where all the money was coming from for all these projects because the city seemed to be spending federal tax money like it was free money.
In summarizing his statement Chuck Swore said that we’d probably be alright without FEMA but since the money was there and available to the city, “they used it as if it were free money”. FEMA money for communities is not meant to be used in the way it was used in our community. Those of us who dealt with FEMA and the city were told “not to expect FEMA to “make people whole” yet, everything was ripped down to make way for new and supposedly with FEMAs blessing. Communities that have been hit by disasters of their own have called on Cedar Rapids to ask for recovery advice and that’s not good. Communities impacted by disasters would be better served if they were required to follow the Property Acquisition Handbook provided on FEMAs website. Had FEMA handed these guides out to victims in Cedar Rapids when they were in town it would have saved America millions and millions of dollars.
Houses that were rebuilt and lived in after the flood continue to find their way to the dump while the city complains that there isn’t enough affordable housing. If there isn’t enough affordable housing then why are renters being relocated so that the affordable housing we do have can be demolished? What is going on around here?
We must demand reform or FEMA will systematically allow a few people to exploit them while destroying everything in it’s path!
Outside Investors Locomotive Throttles Up
Will Cedar Rapids Gambling Station’s Smaller Local Investors Be Left Hanging?
How Heavily Leveraged is Cedar Rapids Gambling Station?
When Does the Outside Buy out Come?
“Tickets Please” for
Linn County Gambling
Do the other two guys own a house and are they panhandling for money to buy land? One lady from my Facebook page thinks they might have a house over by Kennedy High School (which is a nice part of town).
Do you give money to panhandlers?
The Cedar Rapids Downtown District Great East Iowa Co Prosperity Sphere Eyes Southern Territories for Conquest
The Cedar Rapids Downtown District Great East Iowa Co Prosperity Sphere Eyes Southern Territories for Conquest
Cedar Rapids Downtown Elite Plan an Economic and Political Polo Event
“He (Dennis Tallman) suggested that the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance — itself a new entity that combined Priority One, The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Cedar Rapids Downtown District — merge with groups such as Iowa City Area Development and the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce.”
The Cedar Rapids Downtown District Ministry of Information has announced the need for new territories. Having assimilated the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce and converted adjacent communities to near vassal states, the Cedar Rapids Downtown District is eying new fruits of empire to the south.
The Business 380 Division of the Cedar Rapids Downtown District Ministry of Information went into further details in an article of total praise(Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, December 30, 2012, 1D).
Downtown Cedar Rapids fifth column is already active in the coveted territories. “We need to rethink how we do economic development,” C. E. O. of Cedar Rapids Downtown District Ministry of Information, Past Chairman of the Board of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce and current Iowa City Area Development Group Board Chairman Chuck Peters.
The political subjugation of conquered peoples was surprisingly admitted in the Business 380 article. Retired Aegon C. E. O. Pat Baird was saying a regional identity may involve merging more than economic development groups. Pat Baird gave an example, “Jerry Abramson, the former Mayor of Louisville and now Lt. Governor of Kentucky, told me that Louisville did not move to city-county regional government (in January 2003) to reduce taxes. It was done 100 percent for economic development, and he was able to get the votes needed to approve it.”
Cedar Rapids Downtown District has never had a problem funding campaigns to maintain a compliant Cedar Rapids City Council. Ballot issues are another matter. As leader of the first (2011) failed attempt to extend Cedar Rapids local option sales tax, Mr. Baird should know that.
To pay for its massive cost over runs hotel and convention center and a host of other friends of the Downtown District, 15 in 5 projects, Cedar Rapids Downtown District has desperately tried to maintain a local option sales tax. Two vote yes sales tax extension campaigns were financed by roughly a million dollars largely from those with ties to the Downtown District. Those opposing the sales tax extension spent less than ten thousand dollars.
The oppressed masses of Cedar Rapids revolted by twice voting no on the sales tax extension.
Those in peril to the south, take note. The Cedar Rapids Downtown District is running out of resources and needs new territories to fund itself. Those who know best those who plan your Co Prosperity Sphere assimilation trust them least.
Despite their rhetoric of a shared economic paradise, the proceeds largely go to Downtown Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids streets crumble outside its Downtown District. A potential water shortfall due to a lack of wells has been admitted. Etc. Etc. In short, basic infrastructure that is local government’s primary chore has been ignored. Downtown, there are TIFs galore.
Cedar Rapids Downtown District will cry flood recovery as camouflage. This pattern started long before the flood. The flood massively poured outside disaster recovery money in Cedar Rapids to fund what Cedar Rapids Downtown District already had planned. Of course, they say it is to benefit all of Cedar Rapids and adjacent communities will share therein.
There are great benefits to had from fair and just co-operation among neighbors. Examine the record of the Cedar Rapids Downtown District proposing to yoke Johnson County into their East Iowa Co Prosperity Sphere.
They come not to co-operate, but to conquer.
Around 1:20 a.m. at the Casey’s General Store, 1201 First Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids. Aman wearing dark clothing and a black ski-mask entered the store, showed a handgun and demanded cash from the clerk, officer said early this morning.
He then ran away with an unknown amount of money.Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call police at (319) 286-5491. Tips can also be left anonymously by calling Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-CRIME (272-7463).
We have got to get a grip on the crime taking place in this city!
Westdale Mall Sale in Cedar Rapids Sets up Partial Demolition
Byers, a Realtor at Gibbs Lamb Drown Commercial in Cedar Rapids and developer of the successful Marketplace on 1st retail center across First Avenue East from Lindale Mall, cautioned that a few details need to be worked out before his investor group closes on the property purchase.
However, Frew, president/CEO of Frew Development Group and the project manager of the city’s downtown convention complex and hotel projects, said Friday that he and his group have signed the land lease deal with Byers, adding, “Our company is certainly expecting the project to happen.”
“I think it’s all going to come together,” Frew continued. “At long last we’re in a position to move this project forward.”
Frew, who is based in Denver, Colo., came close to buying the mall earlier this year before last-minute problems over existing tenant leases caused him to set his purchase offer aside.
Frew said the current redevelopment plan is the same as the earlier one. That is, to create a “multiuse destination” around the mall’s anchor stores with a development of apartments, condominiums, retail stores, offices, restaurants, a park and a hotel.
The site, he said, will come to be known as Westdale, not Westdale Mall, and he said it will not be unlike the transformation that turned Southglenn Mall in the Denver area into The Streets at SouthGlenn.
“It will be a city within a city, a place where people shop, eat, work, play and sleep,” Frew said
Interesting idea, wonder where they came up with it.
Thrift Store Raises Money For Senior Citizens In Linn County
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A new Cedar Rapids thrift store is using their sales to help seniors in need. Changing Hands Thrift Store will raise money for a organization called Seeds 4 Seniors. That organization was started by the Neighborhood Church in Cedar Rapids and provides food and medical supplies to needy seniors in Linn County.
The store is located at 2737 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids, next to the Dollar General. If people would like to donate unwanted items they can drop them off at the store anytime during business hours. The store is open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.. On Mondays and Thursdays, all senior citizens receive an additional 50 percent discount in the store.
Support our local seniors and check out the thrift store!
“Desirae A. Daniel, 27, was shot by police on the morning of Dec. 4 following a police chase and died at a hospital a short time later. According to police, Daniel was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in the 200 block of 27th Street NW after the chase when she pulled a gun as officers were approaching the car. Police said a handgun was later recovered from the car.”
The State Police have finished their investigation but they aren’t going to share any details. County Attorney Jerry Vandersanden is reviewing the case but doesn’t want to rush it. “Something like this, you don’t want to rush,” Vander Sanden said. For those of us who know how things work in Cedar Rapids this is a open and shut case that will find these police officers heroes in the end.
According to police, a 17-year-old girl was walking in the 500 block of 12th Avenue SE around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday when she noticed a man in a gray car looking at her. The man had his window rolled down and was yelling at her to come over to talk to him, but she ignored him.
The girl told police the man got out of the car and chased her for a short distance, before he gave up and returned to his car. The girl, who was not hurt, had never seen the man before, police said.
Police said the girl and her mother went back to Metro High School, where she is a student, to report the incident before calling the police later in the afternoon.
The suspect was described as a black man in his 30s wearing blue jeans and a coat. No arrests had been made by Thursday morning.
Kudos to the teenager who ran from this stranger! We’ve had enough heartache this year! I hope the police find this person!
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Think back seven years.
The 2005 “15 in 5” Project:
1. Jobs Goal – We should establish a goal to retain, expand, and attract jobs that pay living wages and health benefits, such as a net addition of 1,000 manufacturing and food processing jobs over five years.
2. Entrepreneurial Development Fund – We should establish a local $1 million-plus Entrepreneurial Development Fund to help promising new businesses that have a quality business plan with small grants of up to $20,000.
3. Business Incubator – In partnership with the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and Kirkwood Community College, we should create a business incubator to provide a physical space for new businesses and non-profits using university research and technology or other public business assistance.
4. Early Childhood Education – We should support the Birth to Five Initiative led by Linn County Community Empowerment to end the current waiting lists and to make low-cost, quality child care and preschool available to all families, especially those families with incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
5. After-School Programs – To improve community safety and education, we should provide after-school programs – such as the “After School Academic Challenge and Enrichment Program” at Polk Elementary School – for every student who needs them, especially in our five core neighborhoods (Mound View, Wellington Heights, Oakhill Jackson, Taylor Area, and Northwest Area).
6. Summer-School Opportunities – In partnership with area businesses, retirees, and colleges (e.g., Kirkwood, Mt. Mercy, and Coe), we should make summer-school remedial and enrichment programs available in reading, math, science, computers, foreign language, business, and vocational education.
7. Student Community Service Goal – In partnership with area nonprofits and the Workplace Learning Connection, we should establish a goal that 50% or more of our high school students will participate in regular community service.
8. 211 First Call For Help – We should maintain and improve the 211 First Call For Help program, and the agencies that provide assistance through that program, to meet the basic needs of children, seniors, and others in need.
9. Housing Improvements – We should identify and reduce by 50% or more the number of vacant and dilapidated houses in the five core neighborhoods (Mound View, Wellington Heights, Oakhill Jackson, Taylor Area, and Northwest Area).
10. Energy Conservation And Efficiency – We should establish a goal of reducing energy use per capita by 10% over 5 years, develop measures to monitor progress toward this goal, and encourage conservation and efficiency to achieve the goal.
11. Highway 30 To Clinton And Ames – We should advocate a plan to expand Highway 30 to four lanes from Clinton to Ames for completion by 2015.
12. Light Rail Transit To Iowa City – Given the potential for congestion on Interstate-380 and rising gasoline prices, we should develop and begin implementing a plan to establish a light rail line from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City by 2015.
13. Joint Land Use Plan And Trust Fund For The Technology Corridor – We should develop a joint land use plan and environmental and recreation trust fund for Linn and Johnson Counties to identify, protect, and improve existing and future park land, recreational facilities, natural areas, agricultural land, and open space.
14. Recreational Trail For Cedar Rapids, Iowa City & Amana – We should complete a recreational bicycle trail to connect Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Amana.
15. Cedar Bend Project – We should complete the Cedar Bend project, including recreational use of the Cedar Bend Lake, extension of the Sac and Fox Trail to the Cedar River Trail, construction of a new Witwer Senior Center to house senior organizations and activities, construction of a new market space, and conversion of the existing landfill to public open space.
What do you think of the goals?
Bringing the Riviera to the Rapids on the Cedar
Monte Carlo Marcia
“CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Opponents of a proposal to build a gaming casino in Cedar Rapids or the metro area are organizing and are on the move as the local petition drive by casino backers pushes ahead with a May 7 target date for a referendum on gaming in Linn County.
In recent weeks, the opposition has surfaced by way of a phone survey designed to assess how voters in Linn County felt about the Cedar Rapids casino proposal of an investor group led by Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Gray.”
Those who control those who claim they represent you in local government want to open a casino. Of course, the Linn County Board of Supervisors and Cedar Rapids City Council have voted to support a casino. More is involved than heeding their masters voice.
Like the mob during the golden age of Vegas, local government will get to skim the take. There are some things money can’t buy.
Those backing a Cedar Rapids casino have been used to compliant, local government governing boards doing their bidding. The Cedar Rapids Downtown District crowd has drawn two deuces when what they want requires a referendum. Will their casino end up like their extended sales tax?
“Most upsetting, Rogers said, was a question that pointed out that Steve Gray had been an executive at the former McLeodUSA telecommunications firm at a time more than a decade ago when shareholders lost millions of dollars.”
Marcia Rogers is leading Vote Yes this time. Marcia gets mad if you point out any unpleasant facts. Will Marcia Rogers friends and family in local government and the Chamber make the casino referendum a yes?
Well funded players have come to town for Cedar Rapids big casino game. They are not selling watered stock. Their checks will not bounce.
Those locals have used a shaved deck to help themselves to taxpayer’s money. Those ruling Cedar Rapids may get trimmed on a referendum again.
Political Patronage: The practice or custom observed by a political official of filling government positions with qualified employees of his or her own choosing. For the legal definition go to “The Free Dictionary”
Here is a textbook example of Political Patronage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa just last week:
Todd appealed to the politicians as a former politician understands the decisions that our current council are being criticized for. Todd has no respect for free speech or our Constitution as he appeals to the council as one politician to another. He has that “you understand how these CAVE (Citizen Against Virtually Everything) people operate” mentality. Dale Todd expressed the view that free speech is a nuisance that people like Hatch and Todd have to put up with.
“Todd is a habitual liar. He said “We did not know about it”. If he and Hatch do know what is going on, they are damn poor project managers. City Council delivers projects and free land to proven poor managers! Many of us in this community have witnessed this Council condone criminal trespass, illegal use of City land, and denial of neighbors property rights.”