I am a resident of the area in which the John Lewis Coffee Shop (JLCS) is planning on building a low-income housing development (12th and Myrtle) in Davenport. The development plan was made without contacting the neighbors in the area, and the organization is planning on moving forward despite neighbor opposition. The plan is one that includes 20 "homes" - they are actually four townhomes connected. There apparently will be five big complexes and a community center offering social-work type services. John Lewis is stating that the program is for low- to moderate-income working people who cannot afford the American dream of owning a home in Davenport. The residents will rent the townhomes for 15 years and then they have the option to buy them or take their money and buy a home in a different neighborhood. The plan resembles Arsenal Courts with the exception of the rent-to-own part. The neighbors are concerned for the preservation of the already-marginal area. Jefferson School personnel are opposed as well as the Kahl Home director, and of course the neighbors are livid.

I attended a meeting May 23 at the Friendly House to discuss the matter. No neighbor was there in support. The property is too small to fit 20 units, and the access to the development will be one that resembles Horizon Homes and the like, in which there is only one way in and one way out.

You might think that I am just a person who has a "not in my neighborhood" attitude, but that is far from the truth. I am a law student as well as an ex-social worker of 12 years. My husband and I bought our home from his father and have worked hard to fix it up, and our neighbors have done the same to make our immediate neighborhood nice and kid-friendly. We are worried about the neighborhood at 14th and Gaines and do not want to sell our home but cannot raise our children in a neighborhood with such drug activity. The Cobblestone Terrace (sounds like a housing project) is a concern because it is just the type of development that has been proven to increase crime activity.

The residents of this project according to JLCS have the American Dream of owning a home, but what JL is apparently missing is that the American Dream is not owning a home in a low-income housing project. The plan does not make sense for the marginal neighborhood or the residents of the townhomes. What JL should do is offer these people low-interest loans to purchase existing homes in Davenport or perhaps build 10 freestanding home in the spot and run the program in that manner. The people who move in may then have their dreams realized, and our neighborhood may flourish.

Jennifer Olsen
Davenport

"As the world turns"


As 10 million to 30 million people marched on seven continents in opposition to a Bush war on Iraq, plans were being drawn to "shock and awe" Baghdad. As the U.S. military secured the Iraqi oil fields, its museums and hospitals were looted and ransacked. As Halliburton, Dick Cheney's oil company, maneuvered its closed-door decision to administer Iraqi oil to the tune of $7 billion, the war hawks chimed that "it's not about oil." As the brute invasion of a foreign country was justified by removing "weapons of mass destruction," a lingering question remains: Just where are those weapons? As the spineless Democrats sat by in mute silence, Hollywood and rock-and-roll were voices in the wilderness, only to be called anti-patriots and given the McCarthy treatment.

So as the world turns, an unjustified war unfolded in front of our eyes. While North Korea blatantly pushes forward with its nuclear goals, and the U.S. economy lingers in despair, I feel that we as a collective nation must question and hold accountable our elected (or unelected in this case) political leaders. History will and shall be the judge of this dynamic era we live in.

Jeff Konrad
Rock Island

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