DES MOINES, IA (07/14/2011)(readMedia)-- Iowa State Fair's free grounds entertainment line-up will fill the Fairgrounds with family fun August 11-21. These grounds acts are just part of the more than half a million dollars of entertainment available to Fairgoers free with gate admission. "Nothing Compares" to this mix of art, music, comedy and animals that is sure to provide fun for all ages!

As the Fair prepares to celebrate 100 years of the Butter Cow, several grounds entertainment artists will pay tribute to the buttery Iowa icon. The Butter Cow will be the focus of a sculpture in the Varied Industries Building by Canstruction, Inc., a group that creates art from canned goods before donating their sculpting material to local food banks. Also sculpting works in honor of the Butter Cow will be the sand sculpting team of Sandscapes in the Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center and chainsaw artist A.J. Lutter in Heritage Village.

Several new entertainment areas on the Fairgrounds will provide more entertainment options to Fairgoers. The new Kids' Zone will be packed with kid-friendly food, entertainment and activities for the youngest Fairgoers. Located north of the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center, Kids' Zone includes the Blue Ribbon Kids Club Tent, the Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show, the Butterfly House and the interactive Little Hands on the Farm.

The Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show will wow families with its four-legged stars who execute big air stunts, compete in grand prix-style agility racing and soar to new heights in the Extreme Canines High-Jump Challenge, all in addition to performing amazing tricks like jumping rope, dancing and turning back-flips. Shows are daily at 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.

New in 2011, Fairgoers won't want to miss the fun and excitement found in the family-friendly entertainment area located west of the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center. This new area will feature the Swampmaster's Gator Show and the Fearless Flores Thrill Show several times daily.

Starring Swampmaster and native Iowan Jeff Quattrocchi and his band of playful alligators, the Swampmaster's Gator Show provides thrills, laughter, fun facts and edge-of-the-seat entertainment for all. For those looking for even bigger thrills, the Fearless Flores Thrill Show is sure to deliver. From the explosive flight of the human cannonball to the heart-stopping thrills of the Spacewheel and the Motorcycle Raceway in the Sky, this daredevil show is a must-see.

Fairgoers can also enjoy an impressive array of fun family shows across the Fairgrounds. Shenaniguns Wild West Show, a slapstick send-up of the Old West, follows the antics of Sheriff Hoppalong Casually and Deputy Leon P. Jones. This off the wall comedy is sure to provide light-hearted fun for all ages. Shows are daily at noon, 2 and 5 p.m in Walnut Square.

Bandoloni, the one man band, will be strolling the Fairgrounds to impress audiences with his harmonious multitasking. Fairgoers will want to join in the fun as he belts out familiar family favorites while playing guitar, harmonica, tambourine, high-hat, kick-drum, snare and more - all at the same time!

Rounding out the free grounds entertainment, Hedrick's Petting Zoo will allow kids of all ages to get up close and personal with many animals that may not be found in the typical Iowa barn.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or


DUBUQUE, Iowa (July 13, 2011) - Thirty-two Clarke University student-athletes have been named 2010-11 Daktronics - National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Scholar-Athletes. The following area students were named Daktronics - NAIA Scholar-Athletes:

Davenport, IA
Megan Chitty;

In order to be a recipient of the Daktronics - NAIA Scholar-Athlete Award, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for the honor.
Clarke is a member of the NAIA and the Midwest Collegiate Conference.

Local Students Named to Dean's List, Honor Roll at University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, Colo. (July 13, 2011) - The local students listed below have been named to the Dean's List of Distinction (Dean's List) or the Dean's Honor Roll (Honor Roll) in recognition of their outstanding scholarship for the 2010-11 academic year at the University of Northern Colorado.
Dean's List (3.75-4.0 grade point average*)

Honor Roll (3.50 to 3.74 grade point average*)

Bettendorf, IA
Honor Roll, Kathleen McNamara;

Rock Island, IL
Dean's List, Margaret Conroy;

Independent Scholars' Evenings:

July 14th. 2011


What is Propaganda?

How does it influence us?

What is the Truth? What is a Lie? 

In this evening, we will discuss how difficult it is to discern truth from lie when special interests dominate society's opinions. 

We will investigate ways on how to recognize the face of propaganda and how to navigate through it. 


Michael Grady

Michael Grady has been an Independent Scholar since 2003, having given or facilitated presentations on diverse subjects such as love, fertility, marriage, German culture, aging, alternative physics, alternative psychology, alternative biology, alternative spirituality and holistic healing. 

He is the inventor of a water curing kit that he claims can cure many diseases while dramatically reducing the effects of aging, even with a regular diet. Grady refers to himself as a "Thalasopher" in response to his discoveries of the many miracles that can be found in cured water. From 2007 to 2010, Grady operated the nation's first water healing balneotherapy spa, called "Atlantispa", in Davenport. Grady continues to maintain that there is nearly no disease that cured water alone cannot heal.

Grady has lived in five countries, and is married to his Indonesian-born wife of 26 years, Lina, who is an Independent Scholar in classical Chinese Feng Shui. He grew up in Quincy, Illinois and after many years, returned to the river from where he came. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.


7.00 p.m

second floor of

The Moline Commercial Club

1530 Fifth Ave. Moline.

309-762-8547 for the Moline Club

309-762-9202 for The Institute.

light refreshments, wine and beverages are served.

The event is free and open to the public.

doors open at 6.30

Independent Scholars' Evenings are sponsored by

The Institute for Cultural and Healing Traditions, Ltd. Is a 501(c)3 at state and federal level since 1996.
WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today gave a statement on the Senate floor explaining that tax increases historically have not reduced budget deficits, only fueled more federal spending.

Video of his speech and the speech text follow here.

Prepared Remarks of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Senate Floor Debate on S. 1323, the Millionaires Tax Resolution

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

As the President and Congressional leaders continue to debate how best to reduce the deficit, it seems that my friends on the other side of the aisle continue to demand tax increases as part of any deal. For sure, any discussion on reducing the deficit should include a discussion on tax reform.

However, what is being discussed currently is tax increases on targeted groups supposedly because they can afford it. This is not tax reform.

Professor Vedder of Ohio University has studied tax increases and spending for more than two decades.

In the late 1980s, he co-authored, with Lowell Galloway also of Ohio University, a research paper for the congressional Joint Economic Committee that found that every new dollar of new taxes led to more than one dollar of new spending by Congress.  Working with Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal, Professor Vedder updated that research last year and came to the same result. 

Specifically, they found, and I quote, that "Over the entire post World War II era through 2009, each dollar of new tax revenue was associated with $1.17 in new spending."

So history proves tax increases result in spending increases and so we know that increasing taxes is not going to reduce the deficit.

History also shows that tax increases don't increase revenues. This chart here shows that revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product hovered around 20 percent as far back as the post-World War II years.  This chart also shows the highest statutory tax rates for those same years.

During the last years of World War II we had a 94-percent top rate. From 1950 through 1963, the rate hovered around 90 percent.

Then, President Kennedy reduced it to about 70 percent.

It stayed around 70 percent until President Reagan brought it down to 50 percent. As a part of tax reform in 1986, it went down to approximately 30 percent.

Then, the first President Bush reneged on his promise to not raise taxes and the marginal rate went back up to almost 40 percent.  It stayed there until the tax relief enacted under the second President Bush.

During all of these tax increases and decreases, the amount of revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product stayed the same.

So, everybody thinks that if you raise the marginal tax rates, you will bring in more revenue. But the taxpayers, workers, and investors of this country are smarter than we are. We've had a 93-percent marginal tax rate -- then 70 percent, 50 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent and now a 35-percent marginal tax rate. But, regardless of the rate, we get the same amount of revenue.  Higher tax rates just provide incentives for taxpayers to invest and earn money in ways that result in the least amount of taxes paid.

In other words, taxpayers have decided they are going to give us politicians in Washington just so much of their money to spend.

And, it works out to be about 18 percent of gross domestic product.

We ought to have some principles of taxation that we abide by. I abide by the principle that 18 percent of the gross domestic product of this country is good enough for the government to collect and spend. That leaves 82 percent in the pockets of the taxpayers for them to decide how to spend.

This benchmark of 18 percent of gross domestic product is good and it has been consistent throughout recent history. It is a principle we should keep in mind while we debate tax code changes.

There is another principle we should keep in mind.  That is the purpose of the tax laws. Those who support resolutions like the one we are currently debating assume that a key objective of the federal government, through the federal income tax laws, should be to ensure that income is distributed equally throughout the country.  In other words, these folks believe that the federal government is the best judge of how income should be spent.  

Resolutions, like the one we are considering today, assume that the 535 members of Congress know how to best spend the resources of this country.  

It assumes that government creates wealth and should therefore spread it around like they do in Europe.  

In fact, government doesn't create wealth - it consumes it. Only workers and investors and people who invent and people who create, create wealth.  

Yet, as history shows, there is evidence that tax increases lead to more spending and that revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product pretty much stay the same - even when the marginal tax rate is high.  

It would be one thing for me to vote for a tax increase if it went to the bottom line.  

It is another thing to vote for a tax increase that just allows more spending and raises the deficit instead of getting the deficit down.  

The Resolution before us now in the Senate requires us to concede "that any agreement to reduce the deficit should require that those earning more than a $1,000,000 or more per year make a meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort." The Resolution does not state that such a "meaningful contribution" would be accomplished through tax increases. But how else would these folks make such a contribution?  

Let me make clear that I do not support this resolution and will vote No on its adoption.  However, I believe it is high time we've had a debate about this issue.   

It is clear that those who support this resolution believe that those earning more than $1,000,000 or more per year are not paying their fair share.  Note, however, that just last year, they believed that a single person who earned $200,000, or a married couple that earned $250,000, wasn't paying their fair share.  

In evaluating whether people are paying their fair share, experts frequently look at whether a proposal retains or improves the progressivity of our tax system.  

Critics of lower tax rates continue to attempt to use distribution tables to show that tax relief proposals disproportionately benefit upper income taxpayers.  We keep hearing that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.  This is not an intellectually honest statement as it implies that those who were poor stay poor and those who are rich stay rich.  

In 2007, the Department of Treasury published a report titled "Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005."  The key findings of this study include, and I quote:  

  •  ·          There was considerable income mobility of individuals in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period as over half of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile over this period.  
  •  ·          Roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom income quintile in 1996 moved up to a higher income group by 2005.  
  •  ·          Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996 - the top 1/100 of 1 percent - only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005. Moreover, the median real income of these taxpayers declined over this period.  
  •  ·          The degree of mobility among income groups is unchanged from the prior decade (1987 through 1996).  
  •  ·          Economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most taxpayers over the period from 1996 to 2005. Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation. The real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period. In addition, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those initially in the higher income groups.  

Therefore, whoever is saying that once rich, Americans stay rich, and once poor, they stay poor, is purely mistaken. Internal Revenue Service data supports this analysis.  A study of the 400 tax returns with highest income reported over 14 years - from 1992 through 2006 - shows that in any given year, on average, about 40 percent of the returns that were filed were not in the top 400 in any of the other 14 years  

The so-called "shared sacrifice" resolution before us now does not acknowledge these trends.   

It presupposes that anyone making over a $1,000,000 should be contributing more to reduce a deficit that they likely did not create.  The resolution assumes that the folks in this income category have always made more than a $1,000,000, that they haven't paid their dues on their way up the ladder of success and, as a result, should pay a penalty for their current success.  The resolution also assumes that these folks will continue earning what they are earning now.  

As I just noted, however, the Treasury report and IRS tax return data contradict this position. I welcome this data on this important matter for one simple reason: it sheds light on what America really is all about -- vast opportunities and economic mobility.  

Built by people from all over the world, our country truly provides unique opportunities for everyone.  

These opportunities include better education, health care services, and financial security. But most importantly, our country provides people with the freedom to obtain the necessary skills to climb the economic ladder and live better lives.  

We are a free nation. We are a mobile nation. We are a nation of hard-working, innovative, skilled and resilient people who like to take risks when necessary in order to succeed.  

We have an obligation as lawmakers to incorporate these fundamental principles into our tax system.  

During this deficit reduction debate, we have also heard much about "closing loopholes."  Let me just say that if there are, in fact, loopholes to be closed, I would support closing them.   

During my tenure as Chairman and then Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, I worked with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to cut off tax cheats at the pass. 

The American Jobs Creation Act signed into law in October 2004 included a sweeping package to end tax avoidance abuses such as corporations claiming tax deductions for taxpayer-funded infrastructure such as subways, sewers, and bridge leases, corporate and individual expatriation to escape taxes, and Enron-generated tax evasion schemes.     

One of the tax avoidance provisions that the Jobs bill shut down was so-called corporate inversions.  Average workers in America can't pull up stakes and move to Bermuda or set up a fancy tax shelter to avoid paying taxes. Companies that do this make suckers out of workers and companies that stay in the United States and pay their fair share of taxes.  

We also closed loopholes used by individual taxpayers.  The Jobs bill contained a provision that restricted the deduction for donations of used vehicles to actual sales price.  

Prior to that fix, individuals could claim inflated fair market values.  

Then, in the Pension Protection Act, which was signed into law in August 2006, I championed reforms to deductions for gifts of fractional interests in art as well as donations to charities that were controlled by donors.  In both cases, individuals were taking huge deductions for donations without providing equivalent benefits to the charities to which they donated.   

In addition to ensuring that income and deductions are properly reported, I also supported giving the Internal Revenue Service more tools to go after tax cheats.   

The Jobs bill contained provisions that required taxpayers to disclose to the IRS their participation in tax shelters and increased penalties for participating in such tax shelters as well as not disclosing such participation to the IRS.  

I also authored the updates to the tax whistleblower provisions that were included in the Tax Relief and Health Care Act, which was signed into law in December 2006.  There was a whistleblower statute before 2006. But, because of the low dollar thresholds, it encouraged neighbors to blow the whistle on their neighbors.   

The 2006 changes I championed increased the awards for those blowing the whistle on the big fish - individuals and businesses engaged in large-dollar tax cheating through complex financial transactions. The first pay-out under this new provision was made in April of this year and recovered $20 million for the taxpayers that otherwise would have been lost to fraud.  

These are just a few examples of my support for provisions to stop abuses of the tax code to make sure everyone pays their fair share.  If and when we get around to considering comprehensive tax reform, I would look forward to shutting down any other abuses that might still exist.  But first we need to be clear on what a loophole is.  

Itemized deductions may be tax expenditures but they are not loopholes.  Similarly, deductions and tax credits that enable a corporation to zero out its tax liability are not loopholes.  The question of whether deductions and credits should be limited is a question that should be answered in the context of comprehensive tax reform.  Eliminating deductions and credits for certain taxpayers should be subject to extensive review and debate.  And taxpayers shouldn't be targeted for tax increases for political sport, as the Resolution before us does.   

Let me finish by restating my three key points.  First, tax increases don't reduce deficits and they don't increase revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product.  Second, we ought to have some principles of taxation that we abide by.  Limiting revenues to the historical average of 18 percent of gross domestic product should be one while ensuring income equality should not be one.  And last, but not least, it is right to consider tax reform when discussing deficit reduction.  However, the proposals put forth so far, including the current resolution, are political proposals -- not reform proposals.  Tax reform requires Presidential leadership and we have not seen that yet.  


ROCK ISLAND, IL (07/12/2011)(readMedia)-- 884 students have been named to the Dean's List at Augustana College for the 2011 spring term. Students who have earned this academic honor have maintained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a four-point scale for courses taken during the term.

From your area, students who have earned this honor include :

Lauren Carver from Bettendorf, Iowa, a senior majoring in biology.

Peter Wessels from Bettendorf, Iowa, a senior majoring in business administration finance and accounting.

Fenner Hengst from Bettendorf, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in graphic design.

Anna Tunnicliff from Bettendorf, Iowa, a junior majoring in history.

Tyler Cowherd from Bettendorf, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in liberal studies.

Moselle Singh from Le Claire, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in anthropology.

Anna Smith from Davenport, Iowa, a senior majoring in biology and psychology.

Regina Jarrell from Davenport, Iowa, a senior majoring in art.

Thomas Harris from Davenport, Iowa, a junior majoring in biology.

James Wiebler from Davenport, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in biology.

Kelsey Lovaas from Davenport, Iowa, a junior majoring in business advising.

Gaetano Iaccarino from Davenport, Iowa, a senior majoring in music and anthropology.

Anthony Ash from Davenport, Iowa, a junior majoring in accounting and business administration finance.

Jasmine Brooks from Davenport, Iowa, a junior majoring in political science.

Audrey Waner from Davenport, Iowa, a senior majoring in art.

Anna Rusch from Davenport, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in business advising.

Grace Drenth from Davenport, Iowa, a junior majoring in psychology.

Anita Cook from Davenport, Iowa, a senior majoring in art.

Zain Dada from Davenport, Iowa, a senior majoring in biology and French.

Cristina Stan from Davenport, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in biology and pre-medicine.

Kylie Koger from Davenport, Iowa, a sophomore majoring in liberal studies.

Manisha Kumar from Davenport, Iowa, a junior majoring in pre-medicine and biology.

Jillian Gibbs from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in biology.

James Sales from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in biology.

Josephine Swanson from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in biology.

Clare Kilbride from Rock Island, Ill., a junior majoring in communication science & disorders.

Angela Bahls from Rock Island, Ill., a junior majoring in communication science & disorders and psychology.

Samuel Anderson from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in computer science and math.

Nathaniel McDowell from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in English, classics and philosophy.

Andrew Shaffer from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in honors history.

Abigail Ledford from Rock Island, Ill., a sophomore majoring in liberal studies.

Katherine Rea from Rock Island, Ill., a sophomore majoring in liberal studies.

Angela Ledford from Rock Island, Ill., a sophomore majoring in pre-medicine and biology.

Sheila Ahuja from Rock Island, Ill., a sophomore majoring in pre-teaching English.

Brianna Dyer from Rock Island, Ill., a senior majoring in teaching English.

Elaine Guthrie from Coal Valley, Ill., a senior majoring in biology.

Crystina Mayfield from Coal Valley, Ill., a senior majoring in French and Africana studies.

Erica Aten from Coal Valley, Ill., a senior majoring in psychology.

Kelsey Winter from East Moline, Ill., a sophomore majoring in biology.

Matthew Kustes from East Moline, Ill., a senior majoring in business management information systems.

Emma Burgess from East Moline, Ill., a senior majoring in psychology.

Astrid Tello-Rodriguez from Milan, Ill., a junior majoring in psychology.

Kayla Papish from East Moline, Ill., a senior majoring in teaching math and math.

Laurel Williams from Milan, Ill., a senior majoring in communication science & disorders and English.

Dalinda Widdop from Milan, Ill., a sophomore majoring in liberal studies.

Allison Brown from Milan, Ill., a sophomore majoring in pre-teaching English.

Brian Stone from Milan, Ill., a senior majoring in teaching math and math.

Darshan Hullon from Moline, Ill., a sophomore majoring in biology and pre-medicine.

Deanna Zwicker from Orion, Ill., a senior majoring in business administration finance and economics.

Kayla Ferguson from Orion, Ill., a junior majoring in liberal studies.

Alyssa Zwicker from Orion, Ill., a sophomore majoring in psychology.

Ryan Brummet from Port Byron, Ill., a junior majoring in math.

Douglas Peters from Port Byron, Ill., a junior majoring in neuroscience.

Jonathan Wallace from Port Byron, Ill., a senior majoring in political science.

Emma Thompson from Port Byron, Ill., a first year majoring in Spanish.

Alexandra Jones from Sherrard, Ill., a sophomore majoring in biology.

Megan Lecander from Sherrard, Ill., a senior majoring in business administration management.

Janelle VanWatermeulen from Silvis, Ill., a senior majoring in business administration marketing.

Chelsea Vickerman from Silvis, Ill., a junior majoring in business advising.

Randi Johnson from Silvis, Ill., a senior majoring in communication science & disorders.

Jennifer Youngs from Taylor Ridge, Ill., a senior majoring in psychology and political science.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

State Prepared to Assist Communities in Recovery From Major Power Outage

CHICAGO - July 12, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today said state emergency management officials are coordinating with communities affected by Monday's violent wind storm to ensure they have the resources needed for public safety.

"Yesterday's storm left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity," said Governor Quinn. "Power crews are working around the clock to restore electricity, and we thank them for their diligent efforts. In the meantime, the state is prepared to step in and quickly provide any assistance communities need to ensure the safety of their residents."

Gov. Quinn said staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have been working closely with emergency management agencies in the affected areas since shortly after the storm to determine if state assistance is needed to protect public health and safety. That assistance includes heavy trucks, equipment and correctional inmates to assist with debris removal, generators, portable lights, law enforcement support and more.

In addition, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is continuing to coordinate with ComEd to put a high priority on restoring power to critical facilities, such as nursing homes.


The German American Heritage Center will host a program entitled "Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin" at 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 24 at the Center. 712 West 2nd Street. Davenport. IA

"Count Ferninand von Zeppelin and His Airships" will be presented by Werner Zarnikow. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1017) first came to the United States in 1863, sent as a war observer of the Northern armies by the King of Baden. He received a permit to pass into the battlefields by President Lincoln after being recommended by then General Carl Schurz. In a few months he was to leave the war zone, explore the American frontier and experience his first balloon. Up, up and away to a new career and a new world. The presentation will also feature a popular song from Zeppelin's peak career years "Come Take a Trip in My Airship" sung by Barbara Kuttler and accompanied by Mark Prebyl on the vintage German piano.

Werner Zarnikow is a GAHC member and a frequent volunteer in our archives, where he provides language translation assistance. He has been fascinated by Zeppelin's career since the latter's flight over Davenport when Zarnikow was a young lad. His collection of Zeppelin's memorabilia will be on display on the 4th floor of GAHC during July.

Cost: Adults $5.00; Seniors $4.00; Children 5-17 $3.00; Children under 5 and GAHC Members are free.

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released thefollowing statement after reports came out that Governor Branstad and his staff have continuously pressured Iowa's Workers' Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey to resign his independent office:

"Historically this has been a non-partisan agency whose focus has been putting Iowans back to work. Chris Godfrey is highly qualified. He was first appointed in 2006 and re-appointed in 2009 to fulfill a six-year term after being confirmed 49-0 by the Iowa Senate. He serves in a capacity that is independent of the Governor and the political climate. The Governor has injected politics into this, leaving workers and employers hanging in the balance. It's highly unusual for the Governor to pressure a Commissioner of this type into resignation. It's one thing to surround yourself with staff of your choosing, it's another to conduct a clearly political witch hunt against a qualified and competent employee."


Annual funding to housing authorities a down payment toward addressing

$25.6B backlog in large-scale repair, renovation costs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $5,118,535 to public housing authorities in Iowa.  The funds will allow these agencies to make major large-scale improvements to their public housing units.  View a full list of public housing authorities receiving funding.

HUD's Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.

"While this funding will certainly help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements, it only scratches the surface in addressing the deep backlog we're seeing across the country," said Donovan.  "Housing Authorities need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes safe and decent for families, but given our budget realities, we must find other, innovative ways to confront the decline of our public housing stock.  That's why we introduced our new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) as part of our comprehensive strategy to keep these homes on firm financial footing."

Sandra B. Henriquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, added, "Unless we transform the way we fund our public housing authorities, local managers will be increasingly forced to choose between repairing roofs, replacing plumbing, or worst of all, demolishing or selling their properties.  We simply can't afford to let that happen."

Earlier this month, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a study that updated the national estimate of capital needs in the public housing stock in the U.S.  The study found the nation's 1.2 million public housing units are facing an estimated $25.6 billion in much-needed large scale repairs.  Unlike routine maintenance, capital needs are the large-scale improvements required to make the housing decent and economically sustainable, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.  This study updates a 1998 analysis and includes costs to address overdue repairs, accessibility improvements for disabled residents, lead abatement, and water and energy conservation that would make the homes more cost effective and energy efficient.

Over the last 75 years, the Federal Government has invested billions in the development and maintenance of public and multifamily housing - including providing critical support through HUD's Capital Fund. Still, the nation continues to lose thousands of public housing units annually, primarily due to disrepair.  To protect the considerable Federal investment and respond to the growing demand for affordable rental housing, the Obama Administration has proposed a comprehensive strategy to preserve this inventory. HUD's Transforming Rental Assistance Initiative will allow housing authorities to leverage public and private financing to address capital needs and make public housing units affordable for the long term.

In FY 2012, HUD is requesting $200 million for a Transforming Rental Assistance demonstration to rehabilitate federally subsidized affordable housing, including public and multifamily housing units.  The Rental Assistance Demonstration would allow owners to continue to make standard life-cycle improvements to this inventory, modernize or replace obsolete units, and stem the loss of stock from private sector partners choosing to opt-out of affordable housing programs. The funds used to bring 255,000 properties into a reliable, long term, project-based rental assistance contract will enable public housing authorities to raise more than $6.1 billion in private financing to reduce the large backlog of capital repair needs and in the process, support significant job creation in communities across the country.