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|Ozone Season Begins|
|News/Features - City Shorts|
|Tuesday, 17 April 2001 18:00|
• The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has resumed monitoring ground-level ozone, often called smog. State and local agencies use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index to provide general information to the public about air quality and associated health effects.
The Quad Cities generally experience index ratings of good air quality. However, the area has had episodes of unhealthy levels of smog within the past three years. The Quad Cities Air Quality Task Force is working locally to maintain good air-quality ratings by increasing awareness about ground-level ozone and promoting individual actions that can help reduce air pollution. You can keep track of air-quality status on the Web at (http://www.epa.gov/airnow) and at (http://www.uhl.uiowa.edu/Services/ambientAir.html). You can keep track of local ozone-reduction efforts by contacting the Bi-State Regional Commission at (309)793-6300 or by visiting its Web site at (http://www.bi-state-ia-il.org). This Web site also has easy-to-understand information about ozone – what it is, how it is produced, and its effects.
• All Augustana education students taking the Illinois Teacher Certification Test last year passed the state’s basic-skills exams as well as the state exams in appropriate academic-content areas. Aspiring Illinois teachers are required to take the state’s basic-skills exams and the academic-content-area exam for the fields in which the student wishes to be certified.
• Friends of New Parents Program, an organization providing home visits to families bringing a new baby into the home, is looking for volunteers to do home-visiting. The organization is seeking individuals who want to help make easier the sometimes-difficult transition of bringing a new baby into the home. If this sounds like it might interest you, call Volunteer Coordinator Colleen Willman at (563)884-4658.
• Here’s an idea from the man who’s in line to be the country’s next surgeon general – tax deductions of up to $1,000 to “encourage Americans to take care of themselves.” It seems that Kenneth H. Cooper, a Texas physician who is the odds-on favorite to replace Surgeon General David Satcher when his term expires, has presented a 15-point national health agenda to the Bush administration. The tax-deduction plan involves a $250 deduction if you keep your body-mass index under 25, a $250 deduction if you don’t smoke, a $250 tax deduction if you keep your cholesterol under 200, and a $250 tax deduction if you keep your blood pressure under 140 over 90. Cooper obviously is missing the point that none of us probably wants some computer in the IRS keeping track of our cheeseburger consumption, and that this suggested encroachment amounts to a tax on unhealthy behavior.
• Late last year, DavenportOne approved an agreement to provide administrative services to the Greater Davenport Redevelopment Corporation (GDRC), and management and marketing services for their Eastern Iowa Industrial Center. The search for a senior staff member began in October and has been filled by Kathy Evert, a Certified Economic Developer and Certified Economic Development Finance Professional. She began her duties as vice president of economic development at DavenportOne on March 19. Evert will be responsible for the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center and additional economic-development programs outlined in the DavenportOne Initiative. Fundraising for the initiative is nearly complete, and specific actions and tactics are being developed for implementation.
• CitiBus has begun operating from the Charles Wright Transit Center at the corner of Second and Harrison streets in Davenport. The customer-service counter will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Staff will be present to assist passengers with route information. Monthly “flash passes” and tokens will be available for sale in the near future. A new telephone number is now in service at (563)888-2151. The City of Davenport recently severed its relationship with MetroLINK – which had been running the CitiBus bus service – and hired an outside firm to manage it, First Transit, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
• Iowa House File 448 would help establish a level playing field for sellers of bullion, coins, or currency by exempting them from sales and use tax. Illinois, as an example, doesn’t have sales tax on coins, currency, or bullion, and not having to pay sales tax provides an unfair advantage for Illinois dealers. By the way, you can keep track of legislation at the Iowa General Assembly Web page at (http://www.legis.state.ia.us).
• Because of the internal nature of depression and loneliness, thousands of youth who appear to be happy are screaming silently in the deepest emotional pain, and far too many decide to take their own lives. The Yellow Ribbon Program is based on the premise that suicide is not about death but about ending pain, and that it’s okay to ask for help. Yellow Ribbon cards are distributed and carried as a simple tool to ask for help when feelings of suicide arise. The card has proven to be a lifeline because it is a reminder to young people that they have permission to ask for help. It helps them speak when they might not have the words, and it tells the recipient of the card how to help the suicidal person. You can find out more by looking on the Web at (http://www.yellowribbon.org). The site includes information and links on teen suicide, the program, discussion forums, people you can talk to, and information about local chapters.
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