The Moline Foundation announces February 16 as the deadline to apply for the Clem T. Hanson scholarship. Residents of Moline School District No. 40 are eligible to apply for the four year college scholarship based on scholarship, financial need and extracurricular activities. Students should contact their counseling office at Moline High School, Alleman High School or Black Hawk College for an application. The three Hanson scholarship award winners will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and notified of their selection by May 1, 2011. They will receive $1,500 annually for the next four years with an annual renewal based on satisfactory progress in their post-secondary education.

Since 1985, over 100 students have received the Hanson Scholarship Funds as a result of an endowment fund established through the generosity of Clem T. Hanson (1901-1985), a former Moline businessman and community leader. He was the founder of Hanson Advertising Agency in Moline and was a co-founder of HON Industries in Muscatine. Mr. Hanson also served as president of Moline Rotary in 1952 and was a volunteer for Boy Scouts, Arrowhead Ranch and United Way. The Clement T. Hanson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established with the Moline Foundation by his family, following the death of Mr. Hanson on July 17, 1985.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Joy Boruff, Executive Director, at (309) 736-3800. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has assets of approximately $15 million.

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A grants submission deadline has been announced by the Moline Community Foundation. Non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply if they serve the citizens of Moline and the surrounding region, including the Quad Cities.

All materials necessary to receive funds are due in The Moline Foundation offices by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 31, 2011 or must be postmarked by or on Monday, January 31, 2011.

Any non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, including those who have never received Moline Foundation funding in the past, is welcome to apply.

An application should consist of eleven copies of a written request stating the name and address of the organization, its mission, names and addresses of Board members, financial statement, balance sheet, and the specific purpose for which any money received would be used including a project budget. The name, telephone number, and email of a contact person must also be included. The requested materials should be mailed according to the above deadline.

The Moline Community Foundation offices are located at the Deere-Wiman House, 817 11th Avenue, Moline.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, workforce development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area, including the Quad Cities region in both Iowa and Illinois. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and works with citizens to achieve their dreams to improve the community.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking member of the Finance Committee, today joined the committee chairman in releasing a committee report detailing ties between a Maryland doctor who is accused of implanting hundreds of potentially unnecessary cardiac stents and his ties to the drug company that manufactured the stents.  The doctor is said to have accepted payment for at least two social events at his home paid for by the device maker, including a pig roast, and became a paid contractor with the company, Abbott Labs, to promote its stents in China and Japan.  Grassley is the co-author of the provisions enacted through the new health care law that will require drug companies and medical device makers to disclose their payments to doctors.  The payments will be publicly available on Sept. 30, 2013.  Grassley made the following comment on today's report and future payment disclosure.

"It's standard operating procedure for drug and device makers to give doctors honoraria or pay for dinner parties or travel to promote certain products.  That's all legal, but it's been disclosed to the public only in limited cases, either voluntarily by the drug companies or as part of lawsuits.  For the most part, people scheduled for surgery don't know if there's a financial relationship between the doctor implanting a device and the maker of that device.  Starting in 2013, that will change.  The public will have access to the financial information.  There will be transparency.  I hope that bringing this information out of the shadows will help rein in the most questionable cases.  It's common sense that doctors should choose medical devices because the devices will help their patients, not because the device makers paid the doctors to give a speech about their product.  Also, Medicare and Medicaid can't spare a penny for procedures that aren't medically necessary.  Limiting abuse in this area will help program finances.

The Finance Committee report released today is available here.

An article in the Baltimore Sun, which broke the Maryland stent story, on today's report is available here.

A series of articles about Grassley's work on payment sunshine is available here.

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement this evening after the President's press conference on reaching a deal with Senate Republicans on an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

"To say that I am disappointed with the deal the President laid out tonight is an understatement.  Senate Republicans have successfully used the fragile economic security of our middle class and the hardship of millions of jobless Americans as bargaining chips to secure tax breaks for very wealthiest among us.  With record unemployment and millions of Americans falling off the benefit rolls just as we near Christmas, America faces an emergency situation, and under these circumstances the validity of extending unemployment benefits and tax rates for the middle class stands on its own.  The same cannot be said for extending tax breaks for millionaires - they face no immediate hardship, such a move will not spur economic growth, and doing so will only add hundreds of billions to the deficit.  In addition, by extending tax rates for two years but unemployment benefits for only one, we almost ensure that a Republican-led Congress will be able to block a further extension of unemployment benefits if they are needed.

"I've asked this question before, and tonight I ask it again - Have the Republicans lost all sense of fairness? Have they lost all sense of justice? Have they lost all sense of what's right and wrong? They can fight for their tax breaks for the wealthy, fine. But to say that we cannot extend unemployment benefits for people out of work without giving tax breaks to the wealthy - that's a moral outrage."

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Statement of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance

Framework of Tax Relief Agreement

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Republicans support tax relief across-the-board, including the middle class, and have fought for it.  The middle class and the unemployed need job-creating policies that expand the economic pie, not shrink it.  Growing the economy expands the tax base.  Jacking up taxes would be a sure-fire way to deep-freeze hiring and kill the fragile economic recovery.  Job-creating small businesses storing up capital have been reluctant to create jobs and take on new payroll obligations, not knowing what their taxes will be in January.  Part of the blame is attributable to the uncertainty over the direction of tax policy.  Tax incentives that create jobs in renewable energy have been expired for a year, with no action, costing jobs.

"The current leadership is starting to face the reality of last month's elections.  Americans want Washington to stop overspending and overtaxing.  Contrary to what a lot of Democratic leaders have said, raising taxes is not the magical cure that will shrink the deficit.  Higher taxes give big spenders a license to create new layers of government and put taxpayers on the hook for even more entitlements.  Higher tax rates siphon money out of the private sector and shrink the Gross Domestic Product.

"During the lame-duck session of Congress, arguments have been made that seem to say letting taxpayers keep the same amount of their own money is like handing out 'bonuses.'  Iowa families who are worried about less take-home pay in January don't consider preventing a tax increase on them a bonus, a windfall or a handout.  Tax revenue comes from taxpayers' hard-earned money.  It doesn't grow on Christmas trees, no matter how fanciful the rhetoric gets about millionaires versus the unemployed."

Tax Revenue Doesn't Grow on Christmas Trees

by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

When an Iowa family gathered around the Thanksgiving table in November, the conversation between a retired farmer and a young attorney in the family evolved into a discussion about death and taxes.

A time-sensitive predicament in federal tax policy seems to turn a philosophical observation often attributed to Mark Twain on its head: "the only two certainties in life are death and taxes."

That's because unless Congress extends federal estate tax relief by December 31, the farmer's children and grandchildren gathered around the Thanksgiving table would be liable for up to a whopping 55 percent of his lifetime's worth of assets (less a $1 million exemption) starting New Year's Day. So in addition to the lifetime's worth of income, investment and property taxes the farmer has already paid throughout his career, his family would be liable for what amounts to a confiscatory tax known as the federal estate tax.  Come January 1, farmers and small business owners who have scrimped, sacrificed and saved their entire lives to build up a family business might see that Uncle Sam entitled to more than half of their estates if this Congress doesn't act.

In fact, across-the-board tax hikes set to go into effect on New Year's Day would be the largest tax dollar increase ever imposed on the American people and U.S. businesses, including small businesses where 70 percent of the jobs are created.

Partisanship in Washington is slowing down an agreement that must be reached by New Year's Eve.  Otherwise, the lowest marginal rate will climb from 10 percent to 15 percent and the highest will jump to 39.6 percent from 35 percent.

Big spenders like to gin up the politics of class warfare, pitting high-income taxpayers against those with lower-incomes. While it may score cheap political points, the time-worn tactic comes at the expense of the public good.

Contrary to what the Democratic leaders in Washington portray, raising taxes is not the magical cure that will shrink the deficit. Raising taxes gives big spenders in Congress a license to create new layers of government and put taxpayers on the hook for even more entitlements. Bumping up tax rates siphons money out of the private sector and actually would shrink the Gross Domestic Product. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the GDP would grow as much as 1.4 percent higher in 2011 if all the tax relief is made permanent.

Lawmakers need to support pro-growth, job-creating policies that expand the economic pie, not shrink it. Growing the economy will expand the tax base.

Economists widely agree that raising taxes right now is a bad idea, especially considering that unemployment is breathing down the neck of our struggling economy.

Jacking up taxes is a sure-fire way to deep-freeze hiring and hijack the fragile economic recovery.  Businesses storing up capital are reluctant to create jobs and take on new payroll obligations, especially when they don't know what their tax obligations will be starting in January.

Part of the blame is attributable to the uncertainty over the direction of U.S. tax policy. If Congress fails to extend the marginal tax rates, small businesses will take a big hit.  No wonder the unemployment needle inched higher in November according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Businesses don't know if they can afford to expand their payroll.

The mid-term elections delivered a clear message. Americans want Washington to stop overspending and overtaxing the people of the United States.

As Iowa's senior U.S. Senator, I've taken this grassroots message to the lame-duck session of Congress. Incredibly, some lawmakers seem to think that letting taxpayers keep more of their own money is like handing out "bonuses."

Something tells me that Iowa families who are worried about less take-home pay in January don't consider extending the current tax rates a bonus, a windfall or a handout.

Some lawmakers just don't get it. Tax revenue comes from their constituents' hard-earned money. It doesn't grow on Christmas trees, no matter how fanciful the rhetoric gets about millionaires versus the unemployed.

Call it a hunch. But I have a feeling the retired farmer and his family will have an even livelier discussion come New Year's Eve if Washington doesn't do the right thing and vote down the biggest dollar tax increase in U.S. history.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vander Veer Botanical Park Conservatory presents it's annual Holiday Floral Show with Poinsettias and Lights, this year featuring a "Conifer Christmas" with dwarf conifers from around the world. Now through mid-January. Admission is only $1 for 16 years and older. Hours are Tue - Fri from 10am - 4pm, and Sat and Sun from 10am to 7pm.

Vander Veer Botanical Park 
215 W Central Park Ave 
Davenport , IA 52803

DUBUQUE, IA. - The winter installment of Art Gumbo, a quarterly soup dinner that supports local art projects with community-supported micro-funding, is scheduled for Thursday, December 16, 6-8 p.m. at the Dubuque Museum of Art, 701 S. Locust Street.

Art Gumbo is an independent community-based initiative that funds local arts projects using money collected at quarterly soup dinners. During each Art Gumbo funding cycle, artists and arts organizations are invited to submit a brief project proposal that demonstrates an impact on the Dubuque community. The public is invited to attend and vote for their favorite proposal. A $10 donation at the door entitles the attendee to a soup dinner prepared by Driftless Market of Platteville, Wisconsin and the opportunity to review all submitted proposals and to vote for their favorite. The Art Gumbo fund's nightly proceeds will be awarded to the proposal that gets the most votes. Art Gumbo sessions will be hosted at new locations each quarter featuring soup by a regional food source.

Art Gumbo soup dinners are an independent effort initiated by local arts activists Paula Neuhaus and Megan Starr. The project's mission is to bring artists together with art patrons to explore and fund projects, create working relationships, and build a network.

"This is an affordable way for anyone to become a patron of the arts," says Art Gumbo co-founder Paula Neuhaus, "It serves as an accessible way for artists to get the smaller funding they need to bring a project to fruition quickly."

Metal artist Gene Tully was awarded Art Gumbo's inaugural mini grant during the September soup dinner. Tully used the funding to install four, eight-foot metal grotesques on top of a concrete water tower standard at 801 Jackson Street. This public art piece entitled Warehouse Grotesques: Hatred, Greed, Violence and Addiction, was created for the "Voices From The Warehouse District: Transitions" exhibit and serves, says Tully, "As a testimony to the strength of arts in the district." Tully will present a discussion of his completed project as part of the December 16 soup dinner fulfilling the artist's "final report" portion of the funding program.

For more information visit artgumbodubuque.blogspot.com or contact Paula Neuhaus or Megan Starr at art.gumbo.dbq@gmail.com.

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DubStar Presents: Minute To Win It

Fundraiser for The Quad Cities Autism Center (QCAC)
Join us for a night of fun, family entertainment... and compete for prizes too.
Saturday, January 8, 2011 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Uptown Neighborhood Bar and Grill

2340 Spruce Hills Dr
Bettendorf, IA

Fifteen challenges using household items.
...60 seconds on the clock.
15 Prizes on the line.
Think you can do it?
You've got a Minute to Win It.

• Event cost will be $10 at the door, all proceeds from the door will be given to the Quad Cities Autism Center.
• Each paid admission will enter audience member into random drawing to play the Minute To Win It Games.
• Fifteen audience members will be drawn at random to play the Minute To Win It Games.
• After being drawn to compete, contestants will choose 1 of 15 prizes to play for from the prize board.
• 1 of 15 random games will be chosen for each of the fifteen contestants to play.
• Contestants will have 2 chances of 60 seconds to complete their game in order to win.
• Winning contestants will keep their prize card in order to receive their prize.
• Losing Contestants must return their prize card to the board, and any future contestant can chose to play for it.
• Raffle Tickets will be sold through out the event. Any prizes left over after game play will be eligible for raffle.

Hosted by comedians, Jesse and Justin Tuttle, who have been with us for Comedy For A Cause and Take The Plunge.

Prize Packages

And 7 more prize packages to come...

Other prizes provided by Village Inn, Sam's Club, Power Wash, The Quad Cities International Airport, The Bettendorf Family Museum, Davenport School of Yoga, and Kneaded Escape..

DES MOINES, IA (12/03/2010)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald's office awarded a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account in Pella today. Deputy State Treasurer Karen Austin was on hand to administer the award. The award, courtesy of the College Savings Iowa BABY 529 Giveaway, is given once a month to put one lucky baby on the right path toward saving for college. Baby Laurelei, born at Pella Regional Health Center, was this month's winner. The baby's parents, Lauretta MacCready and Shawn Melendrez, received information about the giveaway program before leaving the hospital after their child's birth.

"Little Laurelei may not be able to study yet, but she's already got a jump start on her college savings, and it will continue to grow right along-side her," stated Fitzgerald, plan administrator. "I encourage families with young children like Laurelei to put time on their side and start saving for college early. Anything they can put away today will offset what may need to be borrowed in the future."

Treasurer Fitzgerald and Deputy Treasurer Austin thank Pella Regional Health Center for helping them spread the message about the importance of saving for college. By participating in the College Savings Iowa BABY 529 Giveaway, the hospital provides new parents with information about saving early and a chance to win a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account for their baby. "We are pleased to have you as part of our team working to increase public awareness about the benefits of saving for college from day one," stated Fitzgerald.

Dr. Vande Zande, D.O., Marcia Schut, OB RN, Karen Westercamp, OB Manager, and Yvonne O'Brien, CNO were on hand to congratulate the family.

About the College Savings Iowa BABY 529 Giveaway

The BABY 529 Giveaway awards one $1,000 College Savings Iowa account each month to a randomly selected baby. All babies born in participating Iowa hospitals are eligible to win if they register for the monthly drawing. Seventy hospitals currently participate in the program and provide college savings materials to families before they leave the hospital. To learn more about the program, please visit www.iowababy529.com.

About College Savings Iowa

College Savings Iowa is a state-sponsored 529 plan designed to give families a tax-advantaged way to save money for college. Investors can choose from thirteen Vanguard investment options. Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $2,811 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2010,* and there are no income or residency restrictions. Withdrawals used to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition; books, supplies, and room and board are free of state and federal taxes. Funds can be used at any accredited college, university, community college or technical training school in the United States or abroad.** For more information on College Savings Iowa, visit www.collegesavingsiowa.com or call 1-888-672-9116.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

** Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

About The Vanguard Group

The Vanguard Group, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is one of the nation's largest mutual fund firms and a leading provider of 529 college savings plans. Vanguard manages nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. mutual fund assets, including $25 billion in 529 plan assets invested in 25 plans in 23 states. Vanguard offers more than 150 funds to U.S. investors and more than 50 additional funds in foreign markets.

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