Civic News & Info
Help Determine the Design Aesthetic of College Hill District PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jill Doak   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:11

Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

South Park Presbyterian Church, 1501 30th Street, Rock Island

 

Business and property owners, residents, community leaders, and college and high school students are invited to participate in a Visual Preference Survey Workshop designed to gather instantaneous electronic opinions from participants that will eventually be incorporated into conceptual streetscape designs for the College Hill District.

The City of Rock Island has been engaged in a planning process with College Hill business stakeholders to create a future vision for this eclectic neighborhood business district centered around two nodes along 14th Avenue at 30th and 38th Streets. The City has commissioned The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm, to help craft a Visual Preference Survey and facilitate a community Open House.

The purpose of the Visual Preference Survey is to introduce community character concepts that can influence streetscape and building facades and gauge stakeholder opinions regarding aesthetics of various elements and ideas. The survey will take the form of a PowerPoint presentation, using electronic key pad polling to create an interactive process with instantaneous results.

The survey will focus on the following design categories and/or elements:

  • Overall District Character
  • Streetscape/Landscape Design
  • Building/Façade Improvements
  • Building Height, Bulk and Setbacks
  • Traffic Calming/Pedestrian Realm
  • Public Spaces
  • Branding/Signage and Identity

Following the survey, the consulting team will facilitate small group discussions concerning the character of the College Hill District and the preferences of the participants.

In addition to the conceptual streetscape designs, The Lakota Group will prepare a summary report of the findings that will help guide decisions about future College Hill District improvements. These elements will be incorporated into the College Hill District Revitalization Plan that is expected to be completed in late fall or early winter.

Support your neighborhood businesses, bring your ideas, and help mold the future of the College Hill District.


 
Courts Uphold Right to Film Police PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Darryl W. Perry   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:59
When one hears the term wiretapping, normally one thinks of secretly recording phone calls of others; some may have thoughts of Watergate. However, under some crafty interpretations of the legal definition of wiretapping, several people have found themselves as suspects of this offense for filming their encounters with public officials. Most people familiar with the Free State Project are aware that Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller (aka Ademo Freeman) were recently acquitted of the felony wiretapping charges in Massachusetts. Some people may even be aware that the 1st Circuit Court ruled that filming public officials while on duty is a “basic and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”

While, the 1st Circuit Court ruling only applies to the States that are part of that Court's jurisdiction, it was cited by a judge in Illinois as a “pervasive authority” for ruling on similar cases. Specifically the case of an Illinois man, Michael Allison, who was recently convicted of five counts of felony eavesdropping and sentenced to 75 years in prison. The Illinois law makes it a felony to record a conversation without consent of ALL parties involved, regardless of the circumstances. Allison's troubles began when he recorded his encounters with police who were seizing cars from his front yard. Allison then attempted to record his court appearance and was arrested for supposedly violating the Judge's privacy. However, there is good news for Mr. Allison, another Judge (David Frankland) dismissed the charges against Michael Allison and ruled, “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusion into a citizen's privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right to privacy in their public duties... Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather information.”

Additionally, the ACLU is challenging the Illinois law in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the court expected to issue a decision in the next month. And a Chicago jury recently acquitted a woman for secretly recording a conversation with police regarding a sexual harassment complaint she was attempting to file against the department.

It seems police officers have no issues if they are filmed during parades or doing something good, such as getting a kitten out of a tree; it's only when the officer is being “less than cordial” that it becomes an issue. Why should someone film a police encounter? Doing so, and presenting the film as evidence during his trial, helped Dave Ridley win an acquittal for trespassing at a public event in New Hampshire.

It's good to see courts, and juries, recognizing the fact that filming cops is not a crime. I encourage everyone to carry a camera (or two) just in case the need arises to film an encounter with a “public servant.” You may be able to hold them accountable, and possibly protect yourself from jail.


--
In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry
Chair Boston Tea Party National Committee
http://BostonTea.us
Owner/Managing Editor Free Patriot Press
http://FreePatriot-Press.com
2016 candidate for President of the United States of America
http://dwp2016.org


Darryl W. Perry is an Activist, Author, Poet & Statesman. Darryl writes a weekly article for the Mountaineer Jeffersonian, a monthly article for The Sovereign and has appeared on various alternative media talking about his books, political career and goals. Darryl is the Chairman of the Boston Tea Party National Committee and Owner/Managing Editor of Free Patriot Press.

 
Constitution Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Michael Elliott   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:42
Man-made law must base its authority on natural law to allow true peace. The first law of nature is self-preservation, defined by three branches of an individual’s natural rights: Life, Liberty, and Property. When man-made laws defend against violations of these rights, peace and justice can prevail.

On the other hand, when laws place collective force at the disposal of those who would use it to exploit others, injustice prevails and there will be unrest in society. It does not matter if the exploitation applies to health, labor, education, safety, or religion. The law becomes legalized plunder, blurs society's understanding of justice and injustice, and disguises anarchy as order. Since people naturally rebel against injustice, unrest ensues.

True peace can be achieved only when man-made law obeys natural law, when justice is blind, and individual natural rights are protected

 
Harkin Announces More Than $300,000 for Housing Assistance in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 19 September 2011 08:44

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that $308,634 will be awarded to four housing centers across Iowa.  The funding comes from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funding will be used to hire Service Coordinators for housing centers that assist elderly and nonelderly individuals with disabilities who live in or are assisted by HUD housing to help them live independently. Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds housing initiatives.

“This funding supports some of the most vulnerable in our community, allowing them to thrive and live independently, while also supporting jobs,” said Harkin.  

Details of the funding are below.
Bettendorf-Spruce Hills Village $79,532
Dubuque- St. Mary’s Apartments $92,250
Nevada-Meadows Apartments $67,026
Waterloo-Liberty Manor Apartments $69,826

 
Governor Quinn Vetoes Senate Bill 1652 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Friday, 16 September 2011 08:16

Action Stops State’s Electric Utilities from Imposing Billions in Rate Hikes Following Summer of Major Service Disruptions

CHICAGO – September 12, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and advocates from across the state to fulfill his pledge to protect Illinois consumers from massive electric rate hikes. The Governor today vetoed Senate Bill 1652, which would have allowed Illinois’ utility companies to impose billions of dollars in automatic rate hikes every year for the next decade, while eroding more than a century of consumer protections.

“More than 1.5 million people and businesses have had to deal with power outages and services disruptions this summer,” Governor Quinn said. “Now these same utilities are trying to change the rules to guarantee themselves annual rate increases and eliminate accountability.  I will not support a bill that contains sweetheart deals for big utilities, which could leave struggling consumers to pick up the tab for costs such as lobbying fees and executive bonuses. We can ensure innovation and investment in our electric grid, and create new jobs, without compromising core safeguards for Illinois consumers.”

The legislation would strike more than 100 years of Illinois consumer protection law and weaken the oversight ability of the Illinois Commerce Commission to reign in excessive rate hikes that will heavily burden consumers and disproportionately harm seniors, minorities and low-incomes households. Without adequate oversight and effective performance metrics, Illinois ratepayers will be forced to pay billions in rate hikes, while potentially receiving the same subpar service they have for many years.

“This bill would have been devastating for Illinois consumers,” Attorney General Madigan said. “At a time when people are already struggling to pay their bills, the utilities want to make an end run around the regulatory process and stick consumers with huge annual rate increases for unproven technology—all so they can guarantee their profits for the next decade. That’s not a proposal I can support.”

Senate Bill 1652 also gives unprecedented advantages to Illinois utilities that have less-than-stellar records for providing reliable service. Recent storms in the Chicago area exposed significant service shortcomings when more than 1.5 million people suffered through lengthy and widespread outages. Local businesses and consumers who depend on regular, predictable electricity suffered enormously.

The stated purpose of the bill is to allow the implementation of Smart Grid technology, which the Governor and many advocates support in concept as part of an overall strategy to make Illinois a leader in the clean energy economy. But Senate Bill 1652 puts too heavy of a burden on consumers at a time when they aren’t getting the service quality they are already paying for each month. In addition to locking-in extremely high profits in exchange for lower risk by the utility, the measure also includes provisions that have nothing to do with improving service and could stick ratepayers with the cost of executive bonuses and lobbying fees.

Today’s action was supported by AARP, the Citizens Utility Board, Citizen Action/Illinois, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and many business and consumer groups. Along with the state’s other leading consumer advocates, Governor Quinn and Attorney General Madigan are urging consumers to contact their legislators and convince them to uphold the veto.

The Governor also announced his support for reforms proposed by the Illinois Commerce Commission that move Illinois towards the goal of modernizing the electric grid, reforming the regulatory system and protecting rate payers. House Amendment # 3 to House Bill 14 represents a good faith effort toward modernizing the grid, reforming our regulatory system, and protecting Illinois’ ratepayers.

For more information on how to get involved in stopping rate hikes, visit www.SayNoToRateHikes.org.

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