June 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement on the future of the Big 12 Conference. 

"I am dismayed by the proposed breakup of the Big 12 Conference and the expansion of the Big Ten.  These are two well settled conferences that have historic rivalries.  Fans and alumni like myself count on those rivalries and look forward to the games, so I question the motivation of schools looking to leave the Big 12.

"Long-standing tradition, school pride and the spirit of teamwork are at the heart of college athletics.  Universities should not send a message to students that chasing dollars weighs more heavily than those values."


Floatzilla has a new challenger. On Saturday, June 5th, Pittsburgh hosted Paddle at the Point, an event organized around an attempt at the Guinness World Record for the "largest raft of canoes and kayaks." The event was reported as a success with an unofficial count of 1,800 canoes and kayaks, thus significantly raising the bar over the previous record of 1,104 achieved by One Square Mile of Hope in Inlet, New York. This new record, however, falls short of Floatzilla's ambitious attempt to rally 2,010 canoes and kayaks on August 21st, 2010. Floatzilla offers the Quad Cities a unique opportunity to trump Pittsburgh's impressive accomplishment less than three months after Paddle at the Point and to demonstrate the resources and vitality of a thriving Midwestern community.

The Quad Cities is a premier place to live, work, and play, and is home to a wealth of paddling opportunities on the Mississippi River and its many smaller tributaries that rival some of the best anywhere. Floatzilla isn't just a record attempt put a celebration of our community and its waterways and River Action welcomes paddlesports enthusiasts near and far to join us on August 21st as ambassadors of the sport and to share the experience of this epic event. Floatzilla is an unparalleled opportunity to encourage family, friends, co-workers, and any other interested party to give paddlesports a try and take to the water with thousands of other participants.

Grab your paddle and register today at www.floatzilla.org. The registration fee is $10/paddler, which includes one Floatzilla t-shirt, commemorative boat sticker, registration wrist band, one ticket to "River Roots Live", free parking, and free shuttle to off-site parking for "floats." Premium registration is available for $20 and includes the basic registration package plus coupons for local hotels, restaurants, and retailers.

Floatzilla is coordinated by River Action, Inc. For additional information please call 563-322-2969 or email riveraction@riveraction.org.

Play it safe on the road!

3 Easy and Practical Steps to take to be safe on your motorcycle this summer!

1. Make sure you are wearing proper gear. Many people choose to skip their helmets and other basic safety gear. This can be a fatal mistake. Make sure your helmet is properly rated. Leather jackets also help and look cool at the same time.

2. Confirm all your lights are working and you have other reflective striping on your bike. Cars have a harder time seeing bikes and you want to take every advantage you can to ensure they can catch a glimpse, especially during the night.

3. Drive Passively - although fun to zip in and out of traffic and especially when in a hurry, it's easy to forget the basics. Please don't. It's better to arrive a few minutes late and yield your right away to a car or truck - eventhough it's really frustratin. Give them the benefit of the doubt and don't assume that they are out to cut you off. Remember - you're the one on the Harley enjoying life properly. They are couped up in a the vehicle and it's no wonder they are stressed out.

Enjoy a 44-mile ride along the Mississippi scenic river valley with the Muscatine Melon City Bicycle Club and the Quad-City Bicycle Club!!!! Help us make the MRT (Mississippi River Trail) the place to be! This ride begins and ends in Muscatine.

A special 44-mile Muscatine-Buffalo-Muscatine ride will be held on the same day as Ride the River, Father's Day, June 20th, 2010. This MRT event will help to highlight the need to complete the Iowa MRT section of the trail from Muscatine to Buffalo. Riding on Highway 22 dictates that our participants be avid cyclists, at least 18 years of age, and capable of riding 13 mph and up. The $10 fee includes a t-shirt and a midpoint pancake breakfast in Buffalo. There will be a SAG stop in Wildcat Den on the return leg. The group will depart from the downtown Muscatine riverfront bike path at 7 a.m. on June 20th. Register for the MRT Ride at the River Action website: www.riveraction.org.

You can learn more about the Mississippi River Trail up and down the Mississippi by going to www.mississippirivertrail.org.

Thanks for helping River Action promote the expansion of our wonderful Mississippi River Trail system.

For additional information about the Muscatine-Buffalo-Muscatine ride, contact Dean Mathias at 309-737-8429, Harper's Cycling and Fitness at 563-263-4043, or River Action at 563-322-2969.

Mayor Bill Gluba, hosted elected and administrative city and county officials for a brisk walk, bike ride or even skate board activity today in recognition of Quad City in Motion Week.  Officials met at the Lindsay Park Marina and proceeded along the Mississippi River Trail to lunch at the Boat House on foot, bike and skate board.  Elected participants included Bettendorf Mayor Mike Freemire, Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley, Moline Mayor Don Welvaert, Rock Island County Board Chair Jim Bohnsack and Scott County Board Chair Chris Gallin.  Administrative officials included Craig Malin, Davenport City Administrator; Dee Bruemmer, Scott County Administrator, John Phillips, Rock Island City Manager and Denise Bulat, Bi-State Regional Commission.

The rain stayed away and the overcast conditions were perfect for the informal outing which offered the opportunity to enjoy the Quad City area trail system.  QC in Motion Week is a week dedicated to healthy living and our environment.  It celebrates movement through alternative transportation, employee health walks, informational bike rides through our local parks and many, many more great activities.  The week has focused on promoting ways of incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, highlighting the importance prevention plays in maintaining a healthy & productive workforce and increasing awareness that a healthier environment leads to a healthier community. Area residents were encouraged to minimize car use during the week and participate in as many of the week's activities as possible.


Davenport, IA, May 20th, 2010:  Effective May 20th, all three Davenport Public Golf Courses will be rolling back greens  fees a decade!  The special will only last until June 30th, so reserve your tees times today at Emeis Golf Course, Duck  Creek Golf Course, or Red Hawk Golf & Learning Center!

For questions regarding event, please contact 563-326-7812 or www.golfdavenport.com

May is National Bike Month and during this time I encourage Iowans to explore, exercise, enjoy the weather and take advantage of all benefits of riding your bike.  As the thousands of Iowans who participate in RAGBRAI every year already know, cycling can be extremely rewarding.

Since 1956, May has been recognized as National Bike Month.  And during this month we also recognize Bike to Work Week.  According to The League of American Bicyclists, the national organization for cyclists, more than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace.  Unfortunately, many Americans are deterred from commuting by bike because they are not aware of all of the benefits - and the benefits of biking are many.

Not only is biking an enjoyable and efficient mode of transportation, but it can also be an important part of a healthier lifestyle.  In fact, employees who are more active tend to be more alert, take fewer sick days and are often more productive.

Children are also encouraged to join along in the excitement and fun of bike riding.  Introducing a bike routine in a child's daily activities has shown to boost morale and inspire healthy living.  Lack of physical inactivity is one large factor contributing to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States and biking to school or with friends and family can help reverse this dangerous trend.

Biking to work and school can also have a positive impact on our environment and the air we breathe.  It is efficient, economical and ecological - helping to reduce your carbon footprint and relieve traffic congestion while also saving you money on gas.  Automobiles are the largest source of air pollution in the United States and according to the League of American Bicyclists, on short auto trips, an average car would emit 3.6 pounds of pollutants into the atmosphere for every mile of the trip, while a bike has zero emissions.

In order for Americans to make the decision to leave their car at home and bike instead, it is important that our streets, intersections and trails are designed to be easy and safe to use.  As it is, Iowa leads the nation in Rail to Trail conversions and has over 1,200 miles of extensive, interconnected multi-use trails - but there is even more we can do.  That is why I introduced the Complete Streets Act, which promotes the design of streets that are safe for all that use them.  And in the wellness portion of the health reform bill that was signed into law earlier this year, we included community transformation grants to encourage healthier living and create safe spaces to exercise and get outdoors.  When people have access, the possibilities for improving healthy living are endless.

For more biking tips, a step-by-step guide on how to organize a bike to work event in your area, or safety tips, please visit www.bikeleague.org.  For a list of bike trails in Iowa please visit www.bikeiowa.com.


DES MOINES, IA (05/18/2010)(readMedia)-- Summer is finally here and, with Memorial Day around the corner, now is the perfect time to start the summer off right with a worry-free weekend in the great outdoors. The Iowa State Fair Campgrounds has plenty of space available through mid-July with country comforts alongside big city style and excitement.

Ranked among the most beautiful in the Midwest, the 160-acre Iowa State Fair Campgrounds are home to century-old trees, woodland flora and small wildlife. The Campgrounds houses over 1800 sites fully equipped with water and electrical hookups, 600 sites with sewers, and three large bathhouses outfitted with clean showers, toilets and sinks.

In addition to the excellent facilities, the Campgrounds offers 24-hour security and affordable rates: $23 per night for sites equipped with water, electricity and sewer; $20 per night for sites equipped with water and electricity; and $18 per night for sites without utilities.

Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds office at 515/262-3111 x284. Campers without reservations are welcome as well. Enter through one of the Fairgrounds' main entrances off East University Avenue or East 30th Street and follow the signs into the Campgrounds.

The Iowa State Fair Campgrounds are easy to find and conveniently located just off Interstates 80 and 35. Just minutes from Des Moines-area attractions like Adventureland Park, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, the East Village and endless dining and shopping options, the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds are the perfect place to enjoy the comforts of home and the excitement of the city at a manageable cost.

The Iowa State Fair is set for "Non Stop Fun" August 12-22, 2010. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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Running 13.1 Miles for Charity

Davenport, Iowa (May 11, 2010) - Local student and resident Holly Scaro will be putting her body to the test when she tackles the 13.1 mile Chicago Half Marathon for the first time on September 12, 2010 for a local Quad Cities charity, Non-Profit Chiropractic Organization (NPCO).

Scaro has a personal story for running the Chicago Half Marathon. Her aunt recently passed away from cancer, so this will be on her mind as she runs her race. "She will be the person I'm thinking about as I keep on pushing to the finish line," she explains. "Cancer has been a great challenge for the women in my family, and doing the Chicago Half Marathon is a great way for me to encourage myself and the rest of my family to be healthy."

As a first time runner, Scaro is excited to finish something that she has never done before. "I'm glad that I can run and support chiropractic healthcare, which is something I'm very passionate about," she said. Scaro is currently in her 5th trimester at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa pursuing her Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

Holly will be joining doctors, students, patients and supporters of chiropractic from around the country that will all be "Running with a Vision for a Healthier Tomorrow" this fall for Non-Profit Chiropractic Organization (NPCO). All money raised will go towards opening up new non-profit clinics that provide chiropractic healthcare in third-world countries. This year NPCO has chosen to open an eco-friendly, sustainable clinic in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

To find out more about Holly's upcoming run or register as a runner or supporter, please visit her personal fundraising website at www.active.com/donate/NPCOMar/HScaro. She has set a fundraising goal of $1,000 to reach within the next few months. No matter how much you can give, she encourages anyone and everyone to donate to her cause of providing a healthier tomorrow for others.

Holly is the May Featured Runner for Team NPCO. Please visit www.NPCO.org to read her complete Runner Profile or to find out more information about NPCO and Team NPCO for Chiropractic.


Prepare for Floatzilla - Find it! Loan it! Register it!

If you haven't already heard, something big is coming to the Quad Cities, and it's called FLOATZILLA! Now is the time to prepare for Floatzilla and help put the Quad Cities on the map by breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest canoe and kayak raft!

Do you need a boat? Or maybe have one or more kayaks and/or canoes in storage?  In order to break the record, we need every kayak and canoe (only hard shells, no inflatables) in the Quad Cities - so take inventory and do one of the following as soon as you can:

· Find it -Want to find yourself a boat? Or get rid of the one you have? Or swap it for another model? Then bring yourself and your boat to the River Action Canoe/Kayak/Bike Swap on Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 9am - noon at the Credit Island Lodge, Davenport, located at the end of Credit Island Road. The swap will allow people to sell, purchase or swap canoes and kayaks (and bicycles). If you plan to bring a boat for sale or swap let us know by calling the River Action office at 563-322-2969. Just showing up is okay too!

· Loan it - You have a boat, but are unable to participate? Why not loan it to someone you know who would like to participate, but doesn't have a boat? Don't know anyone like that? Loan it to River Action and they will pair available boats with able bodied record breakers! Call them at 563-322-2969 or e-mail riveraction@riveraction.org

· Register it - If you have a boat and plan to participate in Floatzilla, please register now at www.floatzilla.org or call the River Action office at 563-322-2969.

Floatzilla is an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest canoe and kayak raft scheduled for August 21, 2010 at Sunset Park in Rock Island, Illinois. Floatzilla expects to draw over one-thousand paddlers to the Quad Cities. To break the record, Floatzilla participants will have to link hands, paddles, or hold on to adjacent boats to create and maintain a single interconnected raft for 30 seconds. The current record of 1,104 boats was set on Fourth Lake, Inlet, New York on September 13, 2008.

River Action Inc., a non-profit group dedicated to fostering the environmental, economic and cultural vitality of the Mississippi and its riverfront in the Quad Cities. Please contact Jeff or Mik at 563-322-2969 with any media inquiries. Additional information can be found at www.riveraction.org or www.floatzilla.org.

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