General Info
New FSBO Site for the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Devin Hansen   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 09:01

Rock Island, IL – After 16 months of development and testing, QCFindaHome.com has officially launched in the Quad Cities real estate market. QCFindahome is a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) site operated by Borderless SEO LLC, with an office located in downtown Rock Island.

QCFindaHome.com is an innovative website, that introduces new real estate tools to buyers and sellers in the area.

1) QCFAH is the first “responsive” FSBO website, which means it will work properly on any mobile device, without an app. It will adjust its layout and aesthetics, depending on the device a person is viewing it from, be it an iPhone, iPad, or other tablet or smartphone.

2) QCFindaHome.com also offers free yard signs, which have a unique number, so buyers can view a home’s information sheet, simply by typing that number into the site on their smartphone.

3) Perhaps the biggest innovation by QCFAH, is that they  also syndicates all of their listings to major real estate search engines, such as Zillow, Trulia, AOL, MSN Real Estate, HotPads.com and many more. This is the FIRST and only FSBO company in the area to do this.

The website was developed by Devin Hansen and his team at Borderless SEO LLC, as a result of a recent home search. Hansen found it difficult to view FSBO sites on his smartphone while searching for a home, so he developed it to be responsive, and easy to user for people driving around town looking for a house.

QCFindaHome.com currently employs two people, and hopes to expand to a team of five by the middle of this year.

 
Creepy, Calculating and Controlling: All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 13:56

By John W. Whitehead
February 16, 2015

“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.

Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, jaywalking across the street, and letting their kid play hookie from school once in a while. Of course, that was before the era of speed cameras that ticket you for going even a mile over the posted limit, red light cameras that fine you for making safe “rolling stop” right-hand turns on red, surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software mounted on street corners, and school truancy laws that fine parents for “unexcused” absences.

My, how times have changed.

Today, there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home. That’s because technology—specifically the technology employed by the government against the American citizenry—has upped the stakes dramatically so that there’s little we do that is not known by the government.

In such an environment, you’re either a paragon of virtue, or you’re a criminal.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re all criminals. This is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state: the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears. A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. As I point out in my book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

For example, police have been using Stingray devices mounted on their cruisers to intercept cell phone calls and text messages without court-issued search warrants. Thwarting efforts to learn how and when these devices are being used against an unsuspecting populace, the FBI is insisting that any inquiries about the use of the technology be routed to the agency “in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise.”

Doppler radar devices, which can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, are already being employed by the police to deliver arrest warrants and are being challenged in court. One case in particular, United States v Denson, examines how the Fourth Amendment interacts with the government’s use of radar technology to peer inside a suspect’s home. As Judge Neil Gorsuch recognizes in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling in the case, “New technologies bring with them not only new opportunities for law enforcement to catch criminals but also new risks for abuse and new ways to invade constitutional rights.”

License plate readers, yet another law enforcement spying device made possible through funding by the Department of Homeland Security, can record up to 1800 license plates per minute. However, it seems these surveillance cameras can also photograph those inside a moving car. Recent reports indicate that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been using the cameras in conjunction with facial recognition software to build a “vehicle surveillance database” of the nation’s cars, drivers and passengers.

Sidewalk and “public space” cameras, sold to gullible communities as a sure-fire means of fighting crime, is yet another DHS program that is blanketing small and large towns alike with government-funded and monitored surveillance cameras. It’s all part of a public-private partnership that gives government officials access to all manner of surveillance cameras, on sidewalks, on buildings, on buses, even those installed on private property.

Couple these surveillance cameras with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology and you have the makings of “pre-crime” cameras, which scan your mannerisms, compare you to pre-set parameters for “normal” behavior, and alert the police if you trigger any computerized alarms as being “suspicious.”

Capitalizing on a series of notorious abductions of college-aged students, several states are pushing to expand their biometric and DNA databases by requiring that anyone accused of a misdemeanor have their DNA collected and catalogued. However, technology is already available that allows the government to collect biometrics such as fingerprints from a distance, without a person’s cooperation or knowledge. One system can actually scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away.

Radar guns have long been the speed cop’s best friend, allowing him to hide out by the side of the road, identify speeding cars, and then radio ahead to a police car, which does the dirty work of pulling the driver over and issuing a ticket. Never mind that what this cop is really doing is using an electronic device to search your car without a search warrant, violating the Fourth Amendment and probable cause. Yet because it’s a cash cow for police and the governments they report to, it’s a practice that is not only allowed but encouraged. Indeed, developers are hard at work on a radar gun that can actually show if you or someone in your car is texting. No word yet on whether the technology will also be able to detect the contents of that text message.

It’s a sure bet that anything the government welcomes (and funds) too enthusiastically is bound to be a Trojan horse full of nasty surprises. Case in point: police body cameras. Hailed as the easy fix solution to police abuses, these body cameras—made possible by funding from the Department of Justice—will turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras. Of course, if you try to request access to that footage, you’ll find yourself being led a merry and costly chase through miles of red tape, bureaucratic footmen and unhelpful courts.

The “internet of things” refers to the growing number of “smart” appliances and electronic devices now connected to the internet and capable of interacting with each other and being controlled remotely. These range from thermostats and coffee makers to cars and TVs. Of course, there’s a price to pay for such easy control and access. That price amounts to relinquishing ultimate control of and access to your home to the government and its corporate partners. For example, while Samsung’s Smart TVs are capable of “listening” to what you say, thereby allow users to control the TV using voice commands, it also records everything you say and relays it to a third party.

Then again, the government doesn’t really need to spy on you using your smart TV when the FBI can remotely activate the microphone on your cellphone and record your conversations. The FBI can also do the same thing to laptop computers without the owner knowing any better.

Government surveillance of social media such as Twitter and Facebook is on the rise. Americans have become so accustomed to the government overstepping its limits that most don’t even seem all that bothered anymore about the fact that the government is spying on our emails and listening in on our phone calls.

Drones, which will begin to take to the skies en masse this year, will be the converging point for all of the weapons and technology already available to law enforcement agencies. This means drones that can listen in on your phone calls, see through the walls of your home, scan your biometrics, photograph you and track your movements, and even corral you with sophisticated weaponry.

And then there’s the Internet and cell phone kill switch, which enables the government to shut down Internet and cell phone communications without Americans being given any warning. It’s a practice that has been used before in the U.S., albeit in a limited fashion. In 2005, cell service was disabled in four major New York tunnels (reportedly to avert potential bomb detonations via cell phone). In 2009, those attending President Obama’s inauguration had their cell signals blocked (again, same rationale). And in 2011, San Francisco commuters had their cell phone signals shut down (this time, to thwart any possible protests over a police shooting of a homeless man).

It’s a given that the government’s tactics are always more advanced than we know, so there’s no knowing what new technologies are already being deployed against without our knowledge. Certainly, by the time we learn about a particular method of surveillance or new technological gadget, it’s a sure bet that the government has been using it covertly for years already. And if other governments are using a particular technology, you can bet that our government used it first. For instance, back in 2011, it was reported that the government of Tunisia was not only monitoring the emails of its citizens but was actually altering the contents of those emails in order to thwart dissidents. How much do you want to bet that government agents have already employed such tactics in the U.S.?

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government officials deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, privacy as we once knew it is dead.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers. This is the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction lesson that is being pounded into us on a daily basis.

Thus, to be an individual today, to not conform, to have even a shred of privacy, and to live beyond the reach of the government’s roaming eyes and technological spies, one must not only be a rebel but rebel.

Even when you rebel and take your stand, there is rarely a happy ending awaiting you. You are rendered an outlaw. This is the message in almost every dystopian work of fiction, from classic writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury to more contemporary voices such as Margaret Atwood, Lois Lowry and Suzanne Collins.

How do you survive in the American police state?

We’re running out of options. As Philip K. Dick, the visionary who gave us Minority Report and Blade Runner, advised:

“If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.”

This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

 
DATES ANNOUNCED FOR FREE FIRESIDE CHATS WITH GIRL SCOUTS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Abigail Kreun   
Monday, 16 February 2015 16:21

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois is pleased to announce dates for free Fireside Chats – programs designed to provide girls and their families with information about outdoor opportunities.

Fireside Chats will explore three different types of camp opportunities offered through the Girl Scouts.

“Camps are a supportive, safe environment where girls can try new things, expand their horizons and make new friends,” said Stacy Conforti, Director of Outdoor Programs.

Through camp activities like horseback riding, swimming and archery, girls learn about teamwork, leadership, and self-confidence – skills they’ll use for a lifetime.

All girls and their families are invited to attend a Fireside Chat to learn more.

“There are no NON-Girl Scouts, just girls who haven’t become Girl Scouts yet,” said Conforti.

The dates for Fireside Chats are as follows:

Feb. 21 from 10 – 11 a.m.: Rock Island, IL – Program Center

Feb. 26 from 6 – 7 a.m.: Waterloo, IA – Hartman Reserve Lodge

Feb. 28 from 10-11 a.m.: Danville, IA – Camp L-Kee-Ta

March 2 from 6 – 7 a.m.: Cedar Rapids, IA – Human Services Conference Area

March 7 from 10 – 11 a.m.: Epworth, IA – Camp Little Cloud

Camp opportunities can also be viewed online: www.GirlScoutsToday.org

###

About Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois: Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development program for girls where girls can have fun, make new friends and learn new things in a safe all-girl setting. Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois serves approximately 18,000 girls in 38 counties. For more information, visit GirlScoutsToday.com or call your local Girl Scout Leadership Center at 800-798-0833.

 
4 Tips Seniors Should Remember To Avoid Misfortune In Money Matters PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 13 February 2015 15:27
Investment Rules Change As You Move Into Retirement, Financial Advisor Says

After a lifetime of deciding out how to get the best return on their investments, people nearing retirement could think they have this money thing figured out.

But they could be mistaken, says financial advisor Dave Lopez, a mathematics and computer science major who applies his analytical mind to solving retirement challenges.

 â€śWhen people move into retirement, all the rules change,” Lopez says. “What worked for them in their investments during their working years may not work as well when they reach retirement.”

It’s also important that people have a comprehensive retirement plan that includes income planning, legacy planning, long-term care planning and growth, he says.

“When you are trying to build a retirement plan, you need the right tool for the right job,” Lopez says. “Once you identify your goal, then you can fund the tool to get there.”

Lopez, founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.theilg.com), suggests four key points to keep in mind as you plan for, or move into, retirement.

•  Recovery time has shortened. If the market takes a dramatic downturn when you are in your 30s, you have plenty of time for your investments to make a recovery. You likely draw a paycheck and have little or no need to dip into that money, taking a loss. But that’s not the case when you are in retirement and living off those investments. In later years, your investing strategies need to adapt so you aren’t as subject to the whims of the market.

•  Hanging on to what you have. “You don’t need great returns if you can avoid great losses,” Lopez says. Sure, you might like to plow a huge chunk of money into the latest trendy stock that could take off and send the value of your portfolio soaring. But those kinds of investments come with risks that might be too great at this stage in life. By the time you reach retirement, it’s less important that you see huge earnings on your investments than that you keep safe what you have. A modest return at that point is fine. “The belief that the stock market is the answer for beating inflation in retirement may be disastrous,” Lopez says. Once again, it comes down to that recovery time, he says. You just don’t have much.

•  One and done. “You won’t get a second chance to get your retirement planning right,” Lopez says. That’s why you need to plan carefully the first – and only – time around. He’s known people who had no plan, or whose planning relied on a specific chain of events that might or might not come about, such as assuming their lives would be shorter than they turned out. Essentially, instead of taking a mathematical approach, they were doing little more than hoping everything would work out.

•  Seek a specialist’s help. It’s important to get advice from someone with expertise not just in finance, but in retirement planning, Lopez says. That person can help you understand what pitfalls you need to plan for and what tools you can utilize. “You wouldn’t use your primary care physician if you needed heart surgery,” he says. “Likewise, when moving into retirement, you need a specialist.”

About Dave Lopez

Dave Lopez is the founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.ILGFinancial.com) and has been working with individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area since 1986. He specializes in strategies that enable his clients to potentially build a retirement nest egg that they can rely on and can never outlive. Lopez has his Bachelors of Science degree from James Madison University with a major in mathematics and computer science. He is an investment advisor representative of AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

 
Davenport Jaycees Annual Community Awards Nominations PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Joan Kranovich   
Friday, 13 February 2015 15:11

The Davenport Jaycees are asking for the community’s help in nominating outstanding young professionals in the Quad Cities area.  Every year, the Davenport Jaycees host a Community Awards Banquet at the Davenport Jaycee Hall to honor the achievements of young leaders under the age of 40 in the categories of Young Community Leader, Young Religious Leader, Young Educator, and Young City Servant.  A Davenport Jaycee Member of the Year, as well as Jaycee Rookie of the Year are also awarded at this banquet.

Young Community Leader- This award recognizes an individual whose leadership has made a significant impact in our local community. This work could include societal or civic issues, address health or environmental concerns, or promote arts and humanities.

Young Religious Leader- This award recognizes an individual whose religious leadership has made a significant impact on our local community.

Young Educator- This award recognizes an individual whose leadership in the classroom and/or within the educational setting has made a significant impact on our local community.  This individual works to educate the whole student, works creatively to achieve excellence in learning, demonstrates leadership at their educational institution, and is a positive role model for all ages.

Young City Servant- This award recognizes an individual whose city leadership (elected or appointed office, administrator, police, or firefighter, etc.) has made a significant impact on our local community.  This individual is a hard worker that strives to be helpful, honest, and fair while striving to make our community better.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit nominations for the respective award categories before Friday, February 27, 2015.  Award recipients will be notified during the first week of March & will be recognized at the Community Awards Banquet on Friday, March 13, 2015. The nomination forms & descriptions of each are available online at www.davenportjaycee.com under Community Resources.

This year’s Banquet & Awards will be held on Friday, March 13, 2015 from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Davenport Jaycee Hall, 2940 Brady Street.  Besides the awards, the Davenport Jaycees will induct new members & board members and celebrate successful events from 2014 including the annual Bridal Expo, Rebuilding Together, Brew HaHa, and Jaycee Santa.  The cost is $10.00 for members and $15.00 for non-members.  This cost includes dinner and cocktails. RSVP is required.

The Davenport Jaycees are in their 81st year as an organization. The Davenport Jaycees are a membership organization otherwise known as the Junior Chamber, a worldwide organization of young professionals that is not affiliated with any particular religion or political party. Jaycee members are men and women between the ages of 21-40, who meet regularly in local chapters to build connections and community. Members of the Davenport Jaycees work toward four main goals:
Individual Development - Public Speaking, Job Interviews, and Personal Development
Community Development - Community Action and Charity Fundraising
Management Development - Management Training and Leadership Development
International - Global Action and Involvement

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 8 of 491