Names Illinois State Police Director Jon Monken to Head State's Disaster Preparedness Agency

CHICAGO - February 14, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today named Jonathon E. Monken as director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Monken is a decorated military Veteran who since 2009 has been charged with protecting the public's safety as director of the Illinois State Police (ISP).

"I salute and thank Jon Monken for his service to the Illinois State Police, which he has led with honor and distinction - most recently during a major winter storm," said Governor Quinn. "His strong leadership on the battlefield and in keeping Illinoisans safe makes him perfectly suited for preparing our state for disasters, and helping us recover from their aftermath."

A former U.S. Army Captain with the Multi-National Corps-Iraq Civil-Military Relations, Monken served as Executive Officer for the Corps' staff that coordinated all Civil-Military Operations nationwide in Iraq. As a Tank Platoon Leader, Monken led more than 100 combat missions in the "Sunni Triangle" of Iraq without losing any soldiers. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device for valor. Monken graduated in the top 1 percent of his military class at West Point.

Most recently, Monken led the ISP as they worked around the clock during a major winter storm that affected most of the state. The ISP worked alongside the IEMA, the Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Military Affairs to rescue thousands of of motorists stranded on roads and highways throughout Illinois.

Patrick Keen will serve as the interim director of the ISP. Keen is a more than 25-year ISP veteran and currently serves as Deputy Director for the Division of Administration.

Current Interim IEMA Director Joseph Klinger will resume his role as the agency's assistant director. Klinger has served as the agency's interim director since May 2010, when Andrew Velasquez III was appointed by President Barack Obama as regional administrator for FEMA Region V. Klinger has served as the agency's assistant director since 2007 after working for the state's nuclear safety program for more than 20 years.

"I thank Joseph Klinger for his strong commitment to ensuring the safety of the people of Illinois, particularly his work to coordinate the state's response to the recent winter storm," said Governor Quinn. "I look forward to his continued service to the people of Illinois."

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is responsible for preparing the state of Illinois for response and recovery from any natural, manmade or technological disasters or acts of terrorism. During disasters, IEMA coordinates with state and federal agencies on response efforts. IEMA, through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, develops and implements the state's homeland security strategy and administers federal preparedness funding.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made the following comment on the President's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012 released today.  Grassley is a senior member of the Budget Committee and the Finance Committee.  He is former chairman and ranking member of the Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over tax policy.

"The President said families have to live within their budgets, but his proposal makes a mockery of that statement.  Over 10 years, the debt balloons from $14 trillion today to more than $26 trillion. On any measure of debt, his budget makes things worse, not better.  Instead of tax reform, there are the same scattershot tax increases used to pay for new spending.  The President isn't using his bully pulpit to develop a national consensus on any issues that require leadership and the use of political capital.  President Bush stuck his neck out on entitlement reform, and it seems to me this President is avoiding a national debate on entitlement spending.  It's hard to reconcile the President's stated goal of getting the economy moving with his preference for tax increases.  Businesses have been crystal clear on tax increases and excessive regulations being the enemies of job creation.  You add all that up, and the President's budget is very disappointing."

CHICAGO - February13, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today received the first set of recommendations from the Illinois P-20 Council. The council's report was released to the Governor and the General Assembly, and it provides a number of suggestions aimed at improving student success in Illinois.

"Ensuring that all of our students receive the highest quality education and are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow is key to Illinois' long-term economic growth," said Governor Quinn. "I would like to thank the council members for their hard work, and I look forward to reviewing their proposal for further improvements to education in Illinois."

The council's report includes recommendations pertaining to all levels of the state education system. Its primary goal is to increase the proportion of Illinoisans with high-quality degrees and credentials from the current level of 41 percent to 60 percent of the working-age population by 2025.

Members of the P-20 Council include business leaders, teachers, parents, civic groups, and officials from universities, community colleges and schools. There are four legislative members on the council and six ex-officio members from state agencies. Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle serves as chair.

To read the council's full report, please visit


February 11, 2011

(MAQUOKETA, IA) Maquoketa Art Experience is hosting a "Create-a-Painting" Workshop led by artist and writer Sandra Principe of Hanover, Illinois on Saturday, March 12 from 12-3 p.m. at the Maquoketa Art Experience studio located at 124 S. Main Street in Maquoketa.

Principe has created a painting event for anyone who is interested in exploring work with acrylic paints. In this class, participants will create a portrait of a cresting wave during a three-hour session led step-by-step by Principe. This class is designed for beginners or for anyone who wants to try something new. The registration fee is $35 for the three hour session. There is an optional materials fee of $15 that covers the cost of supplies if you choose not to bring your own. The registration form and materials list are available at For further information or to request a registration form contact Paula at Maquoketa Art Experience, or call 563.652.9925.

In her work Sandra Principe's oil paintings capture light and are reminiscent of the American painter, Martin Johnson Heade and are included in numerious private and corporate collections.  Her work has been shown in solo shows across the country, from West Palm Beach and Vero Beach, Florida to Laguna Beach, California. She is represented by Meghan Candler Gallery in Vero Beach, Florida; and Brio Gallery in Galena, Illinois. View Sandra's paintings at

# # #

First Annual


February 19. 2011

From 11.00am to 5.00pm

Sponsored by

The Moline Commercial Club


The Moline Club Ballroom

 1539 Fifth Avenue

Moline. Illinois 61265


 The Elevator is located through the 513 16th Street entrance.

The SHOP LOCAL Expo is for local Merchants, Manufactures and Farmers Business and Services of our area.

Call early to ensure a reservation for your table.

 Email networking of over 5000

Entry on the Moline City Center website

 Charge for a table: $ 50.00

You will get 1 table and 2 chairs

 Lunch is available.

 no entrance fee for visitors

8th Annual Quad Cities Henry Farnam Dinner

Celebrating Railroads and Railroading



Friday evening, March 11, 2011

Radisson Quad City Plaza, 111 East 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa

5:00-6:30 Displays/Cash Bar; 6:30 Dinner; 7:30 Program



The featured speaker at this year's event will be Henry Posner III, Chairman of the Railroad Development Corporation, an international railway investment and management company, and the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS), a 592-mile (954 km) regional carrier connecting Chicago, the Quad Cities, and Omaha. More information on Mr. Posner can be found here:


Posner will give an illustrated presentation on:


A Bridge to the Future

Iowa Interstate, the Quad Cities, and the U. S. Rail Industry

Iowa Interstate's predecessor, the Rock Island Lines, has a rich history (including the first railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi and Abraham Lincoln defending the railroad). Recent railroad history has been even more dramatic with the transition from regulation and bankruptcy to deregulation and sustainability. From the ashes of the Rock Island, the IAIS was formed at the grassroots level by rail users and state transportation people. The company today stands as an industry success with rebuilt infrastructure, new locomotives, and a broad portfolio of customers, many locating on the line precisely because of its status as an independent railway company. The proposed Amtrak passenger route to the Quad Cities is possible because the IAIS survived as a freight carrier.

Posner's presentation will be preceded by a pictorial history recalling the golden age of passenger rail service in the Quad Cities by Curtis C. Roseman and John Wetzel. The event will also include a variety of railroad-related displays.

Each person registered for the 2011 Farnam Dinner will receive a free pass to the Figge Art Museum exhibition Tracks, which features railroad photographs from the George Eastman House Collection. A raffle will be conducted; prizes will include tickets for railroad excursions to be held in association with the July 2011 Train Festival in Rock Island.


2011 Henry Farnam Dinner

Registration Information

Dinner and program $40 per person; $375.00 for a reserved table of ten


Register online at:

or contact the Farnam Committee:

Curtis or Libby Roseman 309 764 6122 or




2011 Henry Farnam Dinner Supporters:


River Action

Figge Art Museum

Train Festival 2011

Dispatch/Rock Island Argus

City of Rock Island

Chippiannock Cemetery Heritage Foundation

Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley will be in Clinton, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren counties next week to hold town meetings, visit an Iowa workplace, speak with service club members, and answer questions from students.

These meetings are part of Grassley's annual 99-county tour, which is one of the things he does to stay in touch with Iowans.  Grassley has held a constituent meeting in all of Iowa's 99 counties every year since he was first elected to the United States Senate in 1980.

"These meetings give me a chance to talk with Iowans face-to-face.  I answer their questions and listen to what they think about the issues.  I work for the people of Iowa, so I want this feedback.  Constituent meetings are very important when it comes to taking common-sense views to Washington," Grassley said.

Details of Grassley's schedule are below.  Grassley will be available for media interviews for approximately 15 minutes following each event.  Grassley is a guest at these events.  Please contact the organizations for additional information.

Monday, February 21, 2011

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.          Meet with Jackson County residents, Jackson County Town Meeting, Hurstville Interpretive Center, Community Room, 18670 - 63rd St., Maquoketa

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.        Meet with Clinton County Residents, Clinton County Town Meeting, DeWitt Community Center, 512 - 10th St., DeWitt

Noon - 1 p.m.             Speak at "Lunch with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley" sponsored by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and Iowa Quad City Area Rotaries, Steeplegate Inn, 100 W. 76th St., Davenport

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.          Meet with Scott County Residents, Scott County Town Meeting, Eldridge Community Center, 400 S. 16th Ave., Eldridge

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.          Meet with Muscatine County Residents, Muscatine County Town Meeting, Wilton Community Center, 1215 Cypress St., Wilton

6 - 7 p.m.                    Speak to Columbus Junction Lions, Columbus Community Senior Center, 115 E. Walnut St., Columbus Junction

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

9 - 10:15 a.m.             Meet with students and staff at Keokuk Christian Academy, 1578 Hilton Road, Keokuk

Noon - 1 p.m.             Speak to Burlington Host Lions, Comfort Suites, 1780 Stonegate Center Drive, Burlington

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.          Meet with Van Buren County residents, Van Buren County Town Meeting, Village Cup and Cakes, 202 Main St., Keosauqua

6 - 7 p.m.                    Speak to Wayland Lions, Wayland Community Center, 218 W. Main St., Wayland

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

7:30 - 9 a.m.               Tour and meet with employees at Whirlpool, 2800 - 220th Trail, Amana


(Feb. 11, 2011) - Citizens from across Iowa participating in Humane Lobby Day 2011 will meet with lawmakers Tuesday at the capitol to urge them to oppose SF 83, which would allow the shooting of mourning doves. The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Iowa Federation of Humane Societies are sponsoring Humane Lobby Day.

Attendees will urge their representatives to oppose SF 83, which is sponsored by Sen. Dick Dearden, D-Des Moines. This legislation would allow the shooting of mourning doves, which have been protected in Iowa since 1918.  If this legislation is passed the birds would essentially be shot for target practice, not for food or management.

Animal welfare advocates will also take this opportunity to introduce themselves to their representatives and discuss the importance of animal welfare in the state.

Rep. Jim Lykam, D-Davenport, and Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines will be on hand at the event to receive HSUS Humane Legislator awards for their work on the 2010 puppy mill bill.

WHO: Carol Griglione, The HSUS' Iowa State Director

Ann Church, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations

WHAT: Iowa citizens will meet with their state legislators to lobby for animal welfare legislation.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 15

11 a.m.

WHERE: State Capitol

1007 East Grand Avenue - Level 1

Des Moines, IA



Iowa funds K-12 education through a funding formula referred to as allowable growth.  Think of allowable growth as a percentage of change of the base amount of state aid offered for the education of each student in the state.  In reality, the vote for or against allowable growth is many times more complicated and it is debatable whether or not those who vote on the bills understand the full implications.

Though there are many variables, think of the state as funding roughly $5800 per student who attends our public k-12 schools.  House Republicans have announced, through House File 185, their intentions of funding this amount at 0% allowable growth which means this number will not change.  Senate Democrats in Senate File 166 and Senate File 167 have approved, through the committee process, that this number should be increased by 2%.

A short look at history shows how legislative promises in February failed to come to fruition after school districts certified their budgets in April.  In FY 2009 the legislature approved 4% allowable growth then after the realization of overspending, the Governor cut state expenditures across the board by 1.5% resulting in a$32 million cut to schools.  In FY 2010 the legislature again approved a 4% allowable growth promising schools increases then realized due to over spending they cut the expenditure in May by $31 million and in October of the same year Governor Culver cut state expenditures to schools by another $238 million.  In FY 2011 schools were promised 2% allowable growth in February then cut in May by $156 million.

No matter where you stand on the issue, there is a realistic problem between the funds which are promised and the follow through of the legislature.  In the past four years our schools have had $459.7 million taken away from them resulting in $445.6 million of that spending authority falling on your property taxes.

Each year allowable growth is a political football which offers two weeks of media sound-bites.  Somewhere in the noise you will hear our local school leaders pushing common sense requests.  If the legislature promises something then follow through.  If the legislature mandates something, pay for it.  If the legislature appropriates money in February, make sure it really has the money in May.

While in the subcommittee on the 2% allowable growth bills I asked where the additional $64 million appropriation and backfill $266 million would be coming from.  One of the floor managers of the bill said, "Maybe cash reserve," and the other gave the most honest answer, "I don't know."  While you ponder this issue also take into consideration Iowa's top three expenditures of Medicaid, school aid and salaries will eclipse total revenues to the state in FY 2013.

Shawn Hamerlinck
State Senate District 42

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 11, 2011 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after learning that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned.

"Today is an historic day on many levels, but none of greater significance than for the people of Egypt, who have clearly spoken.  It seems that the departure of President Mubarak is a step toward democracy.  But despite their intent, I cannot help but be concerned over the role of the Egyptian military in this transition.  There must be a transition to stable, civilian governance - something that will honor the Egyptian people's will - not just another strongman."