Our government was set up with the idea that people could govern themselves by each person having one vote. By voting we elect our representatives, be it the president, members of Congress, the mayor, an alderman, or a county supervisor. We communicate our concerns and wants to them, and the majority rules. Recently this process has not worked so well. For example, when this administration held public meetings and accepted written comments on how we should manage our national parks and forests, thousands of comments against opening Yellowstone to snowmobiles were ignored. Thousands more wanted logging in national forests reduced or ended. Nearly 70 percent of these comments were in favor of no snowmobiles and less logging. These comments, too, were ignored.

When the City of Davenport wanted to build a skybridge to nowhere, citizens objected. An overwhelming majority of objections fell on deaf ears. And when the City of East Moline invited public input about its plan to allow the building of the world's largest hog slaughterhouse in the Barstow area, hundreds of folks packed the meetings to voice their disapproval. They wrote letters to the newspapers and they put up signs. One would think that with so much interest and input that the mayor and council members would have listened. But part of listening should include a response.

There has been no response from the mayor addressing the honest cost to the community and surrounding homeowners about increased flooding, decreasing property values, and the effect of increased enrollment at East Moline area schools. Environmental concerns have been ignored. This "just trust us and everything will be all right" attitude is unacceptable.

I'm sorry to say I have no solution to the problems facing our government in Washington or East Moline, other than these guys were elected and that their terms will expire. In order to make our system work, we all need to do our part, even if it only is to vote these bums out of office. And we can do more than that. We need a lot more people to make a lot more noise, and the more attention we get, the better.

Jerry Neff

Chair, Eagle View Group, Sierra Club

Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Airport Staff Stepped Up

An unexpected turn of events occurred at the Quad City International Airport in Moline on Tuesday, December 27, due to terribly foggy conditions in the state of Iowa. Reduced visibility at the Cedar Rapids and Des Moines airports caused many commercial aircraft to divert to the Quad Cities. Visibilities at these two airports were between an eighth of a mile to a quarter of a mile, and airlines need at least one-half mile of visibility to land. Delta Connection, United Express, Northwest Airlink, and American Eagle were the carriers that utilized our airport. Buses were called by the airlines to take the displaced passengers to their final destination throughout the afternoon.

Then at about noon, the airport received a call that two Miami Air 737s were going to divert here from Des Moines. We found out very soon that these two airplanes were chartered to take the Houston Bowl-bound Iowa State Cyclone football team and entourage to Texas. Airport authority staff quickly outlined a plan of attack to accommodate eight busloads of passengers that would have to fit in with the other local airline passenger traffic for this record-setting passenger enplanement day.

We found out on Wednesday that 2,400 passengers passed through the screening checkpoint on December 27, when a normal day is around 1,200. Airline workers, federal TSA employees, local restaurants, and airport authority staff assisted with an all-out effort to quickly check in the Cyclone group at the ticket counter, pass them through the security system, and get meals and beverages passed out to everyone. After a long and stressful day for the Cyclones, the team departed from the Quad Cities at 6 p.m., and the other half of the group (154 to be exact) departed just after 11 p.m. I cannot say enough good things about the airport participants that worked together on a moment's notice to assist with this unexpected event. We were especially impressed with the polite and patient manner of the team players, the entire athletic staff, and the families (many with children) as they waited for their flights at the airport. Once again, when a task comes to our attention, I know that we will handle it professionally and efficiently. I wish you all a safe New Year!

Bruce Carter

Director of Aviation,

Quad City International Airport


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