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December 2011

What the Shelter House should be doing instead of excessively costing taxpayers

By Mike Thayer

Here's an idea, instead of building $4 million facilities equipped with commercial grade kitchens for culinary training and operating budgets of $1.4 million annually, the Shelter House should turn itself in a Homeless Temp Agency.  Call it Shelter House Temps, Inc.

Hey homeless guy, want culinary training?  Sorry we don't have that here.  But if you want a bed for the night, a few meals to eat, OK, we'll give you that if you agree to clean litter and debris out of ditches on the behalf of the city and state.  We also contract with local businesses looking for people to sweep floors, clean bathroooms and take out the trash.  

Gee, a temporary situation that benefits the homeless, small business owners, government and the taxpayer - what a concept!

Iowa City DePressed Citizen names Crissy Cannoli Person Of The Year for bringing more homeless to the area

By Mike Thayer

Crissy Cannoli is named the person of the year for bringing more homeless to the area and Karen Kubby is a finalist for*successfully* getting a tax hike in place for downtown businesses.

Wow.  Talk about a lack of common sense by the DePressed Citizen Editorial Board.  Rewarding a homeless magnet and a socialist.  Isn't that great?

The DePressed Citizen has been issuing their "Person Of The Year" award since 1997.  Past recipients include the Englert Civic Theatre Group in 2000, Rudolf Juarez in 2006, and Atul Nakhasi in 2007.   How is a group a person?  And isn't that the same 'Englert' person that begs the city of Iowa City for money every year despite promises they wouldn't?  Rudolf Juarez wants Iowa City to become a Sanctuary City.  Atul Nakhasi's big "Person of the Year" accomplishment was fighting a proposed city ordinance that would have raised the entry age to Iowa City bars from 18 to 21 after 10 p.m.


Given who the DePressed Citizen decides to give this *award* to annually, it doesn't deserve much credibility.

This year's recipient, Crissy Canoli, is the Executive Director of Shelter House, a homeless magnet.  She has a record of compounding the homeless problem in the Iowa City area.   She doesn't work to reduce the number of homeless, she works to make things more attractive to the homeless, to draw more homeless people here.  Hey, pssst, Iowa City is a better hangout than Cedar Rapids....

The DePressed Citizen gave an award and recognition to a person that mismanages and literally compounds a problem as opposed to reducing the severity of it.

Does that make sense to you?  That's journalism?

Look, people complain and rightly so when a corporate CEO mismanages a company; bad decisions make production costs go up; the demands on employees increase; as a result the profit line remains stagnant or in many cases even declines.  And yet the CEO still gets a big annual bonus.....  Rewarding substandard performance and failure makes sense?  Nope.

But these same people for some illogical reason don't complain when a homeless CEO mismanages the mission; her bad decisions result in public subsidy costs going up; demands to address larger *needs* (results of more bad decision making) increase; more homeless come to the area because of the new, bigger, has-more-features-and-subsidized-offerings $4 million facility  (build it and they will come);  feared dangers about a growing number of homeless have become reality.  And yet the homeless CEO is praised and rewarded?  How is the poor management of Shelter House Executive Crissy Canoli any different than the poor management of the hypothetical corporate CEO above?  Mismanagement is mismanagement.  Rewarding substandard performance and failure makes sense?

The DePressed Citizen's Person Of The Year story rewarding Crissy Canoli for failure was their Front Page story, that's understandable, a person of the year story....  But the person they selected is not understandable.  The DePressed Citizen is guilty of overkill too, not only did they plaster their front page with homeless *needs* propaganda, they carried the story over to page 8A, the entire page,  above the fold and below the fold to tell us how what Crissy does is soooooooo important.  Heck the DePressed Citizen even used their Opinion page to further paint a sympathetic story to Crissy's plight in helping the homeless.   The DePressed Citizen is sympathetic to Crissy's liberal-minded approach and agenda. 

Question:  Compounding a problem is helping?   Another Question:  Issuing a puff piece of propaganda is journalism?

And all that article content and we're not told how much money Crissy makes to compound the area's homeless problem?

Think about what the DePressed Citizen did here....   

They're saying "Thank you" to a person who mismanaged a 29 person a night homeless facility, that provided more "features" than a regular shelter, which in turn attracted more homeless causing overflow issues, causing additional stress to area resources and services.   Are you following this so far?  This "Person Of The Year," who mismanaged the old facility and the mission, somehow convinced people into letting her mismanage a new $4 million 70 person a night facility, that added even MORE features, attracting even MORE homeless to the area, that only after six months of operation started experiencing overflow issues, resulting in additional and continued stress to other area resources and services, this person now wants to re-open the old 29 person a night shelter and she wants more funding.........   We're as a community supposed to be thankful for that and reward Crissy Canoli?

She builds a homeless magnet for crying out loud.   Taxpayers would be better off making rent subsidy and mortgage payments to keep people in their homes - I'm not advocating that at all, but it would be cheaper than what Crissy Canoli does. But no, then the Shelter staff couldn't justify their jobs.  

The mission isn't to build more shelter space with added features and bells and whistles resulting in attracting more homeless to the area, the mission is to reduce the number of homeless.  Crissy has completely lost site of that and so has the Iowa City DePressed Citizen.  Crissy  isn't building an effective tool to address the homeless problem, she's constructed a house of cake and confectionery, with window panes of sugar.  Of COURSE homeless people are going to come for that!   

And you have to 'love' that name huh?  Shelter House.   The place used to be called the Community Housing Project.....  But Shelter House sounds so much warmer and fuzzier don't you think?  That's what liberal-minded folks do, forget the substance, make it sound warm and fuzzy....  It's more important the focus for the football team be a big stadium and look good in expensive, flashy uniforms, rather than teach players to execute the fundamentals and play well.  For those of you who live in University Heights, the afforementioned is called an analogy.

And why is one of the Shelter goals to GROW the organization?  Shouldn't it be to minimize its need?  Isn't Canoli doing the exact opposite of what she should be doing?

And before you liberal-minded folks start disparaging me and claim that I don't care about the homeless, think before you speak.  I care, I really do, I believe in helping people truly in need and do what I can at the drop of a hat.   My family practices it.  But what I'm seeing in the Shelter House is coddling and job justification, it's an approach that fails to address the root problem.  When tough love is needed for example - here's a bed to sleep in, now tomorrow I've arranged for you to go over to the ABC restaurant and sweep floors and if you prove yourself moving forward you might learn some cooking skills - Crissy instead gives us a taxpayer subsidized Shelter House commercial grade kitchen and culinary training. 

PROMO:  You too can attend the Crissy Canoli Culinary School for the Homeless!   There's no enrollment fee, no tution!  FREE food!  Learn how to make delectable dishes to go!  Take advantage of our drive-thru program!   Here at the Crissy Canoli Culianary School for the Homeless, if you don't like having to work at life that's OK!  If slicing potatoes isn't your thing, don't worry!  You can drop out, go back to running the circuit of area homeless shelters, travel to Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, and come back to re-enroll anytime you like, we'll fix another meal for you!  You don't even have to push a broom! 

I contend that back in the '90's, before the arrival of Crissy Canoli, the then more aptly named Community Housing Project more appropriately served the community need to address the homeless problem and they did so with less.  Demand wasn't created, it was addressed.

Crissy Canoli's approach to addressing the problems of the homeless is counter-productive.  And the Iowa City DePressed Citizen has once again demonstrated that newspaper journalism as we once knew it, is dead.

If you're a Tea Party member, or a conservative, how can you endorse Newt Gingrich with legitimacy?

Steve Deace has endorsed Newt Gingrich.

Does that make sense?


If you're a member of the Tea Party, if you are a conservative living life based in core values, then you believe in lower taxes, less government, you believe in getting back to Constitutionally based governance. 

Newt talks about such things, and yes a reduction in taxes is part of his record, but is he really about less government, is he really about getting back to the basics with Constitutionally based principles?


Newt can best be described as taking progressive/populist ideas, like government-run health care, and putting a conservative spin on it.  The problem with that is, you still end up with something that's not a proper role of the federal government.

That's not good enough, especially now.

But that's Newt's record.  Take a serious look at it.  Yes, he's done some conservative things, but he's also done some very NOT conservative things to put it in layman's language.  He takes a progressive/populist issue, and puts a conservative spin on it.  He voted to create the Department of Education.  Until he started running for president he believed in human caused global warming and an individual mandate for health care.  What happened to core values?  His top three favorite presidents of the 20th century are either Democrat or progressive.   That's right, Ronald Reagan is not in Newt's top three.

There are much more appropriate candidates out there suiting Tea Party and conservative needs than Newt, so the endorsement of Steve Deace just flat out doesn't make sense, it's inconsistent.  It makes me wonder if Deace is just trying to work national media exposure.

Related Story:

I'll Tell You Why

SteverathjeWith 45,000,000 Americans affected by an ‘ongoing’ recession, 21,000,000 unemployed, a $15,000,000,000,000 debt, a nearly $1,700,000,000,000 deficit, and NO budget, the American economy is no doubt our main focus of concern in 2012. I feel it safe to say there will no doubt be a lot of new candidates all across America, that if they haven’t already, will soon be flying out of the woodwork to run for federal office. Not because they’re qualified, as some will most certainly be, but because they smell blood in the water and they see this as their one opportunity to prefix their name with the letter ‘R’ and become someone important. I won’t question their patriotism; I will however question their motives and qualifications, as I hope you will as well.


I’ve been very adamant about my reasons for not electing more lawyers to federal office and by no means does that imply they’re not good people. It simply means that for what problems we have, and the experience required for fixing them, they, for the most part, are simply not qualified. I am not beating up on the legal profession, and although there are some I believe less than human, there are others I consider good friends. Unfortunately all have become something of a required commodity thanks in part to they themselves for creating the laws, rules, and regulations we find ourselves dealing with on a daily basis. Because of those laws, my company has to have a corporate attorney as well as a tax attorney, and I have to have a personal attorney. All are costs that I have no choice but to pass on to my customers and to be very frank, I can think of at least ten other places (grandchildren) I’d rather spend my money. So why on earth would I want to hire someone to do a job that’s going to complicate my life even more than it is already, and end up with the same litigating nightmare we’re dealing with now.


I feel the same way about people in my field posing as job creators that haven’t a lick of experience whatsoever. I’ve learned through the years how various candidates tout their business experience and expect us to believe that because they’ve signed a paycheck or two (maybe only their own) they are somehow qualified for the job they’re seeking, that they be considered experts in the field of job creation and economic recovery, yet haven’t a single plan put together for balancing a checkbook let alone a federal budget. When asked where they’d make cuts in spending and taxes, they have no real answer other than what we’ve all heard on FOX News. Is it know wonder we have the problems we deal with today? Everyone wants to be something to somebody rather than that which our country so desperately needs; leadership. Leadership at ALL levels of government, made up of the best we have to offer rather than those we choose based on friendships, looks, gender, and political party. You wouldn’t hire me to litigate a lawsuit, so why on earth would you hire those lacking ‘real’ business experience to do what’s necessary to get the economy on its feet and get the American people back to work again?  


If you’re not frightened by the prospect of electing (hiring) the right people for the job, you most certainly should be. I know I am!   

Steven R Rathje Founder/CEO
International Procurement Services, Inc.
and The Genesis Group, Inc.

Are the majority of those that 'have,' really greedy? Or are those that 'have not,' just jealous?

The fact is that regardless of how hard the so-called ‘haves’ work for what they have and the amount of risk they take to achieve it, the left will always blame them for being greedy and use it against them in an effort to achieve their socialist agenda. My goal on the other hand is to educate, not insight. I want nothing more than for everyone that has the ability and ‘desires’ more from life, to do what it takes to achieve it rather than ‘blame’ someone else for the decisions that they, themselves, have ‘chosen’ to make. What belongs to you, regardless of how much or how little belongs to you and no one but no one has any right to decide what you do with it, let alone redistribute it for the sake of ‘social justice!' If you want more from life then go get it, and if you ‘haven’t’ the ability I’m willing to help, but I get to decide how, not the government!  

Steven R Rathje Founder/CEO
International Procurement Services, Inc.
and The Genesis Group, Inc.

In up and down year for cable news, Fox dominates

NEW YORK (AP) - It was a good year in the ratings for cable news networks. Or a rough one. It depends on your perspective.

Fox News Channel continued its dominance, with an average viewership that exceeded CNN and MSNBC combined in prime time and for the entire day, the Nielsen ratings company said Wednesday. Fox typically had 1.87 million viewers in prime time this year. The top 13 programs in cable news all aired on Fox.

Yet Fox was alone among the cable news networks in losing viewers—down 8 percent in prime time and 5 percent for the full day, Nielsen said. The 2010 midterm election year was particularly engaging for Republicans, who make up a big part of Fox's audience.

Read On.....

Orange Bowl Preview

On Wednesday, January 4th, the West Virginia Mountaineers will duke it out against the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl. Who will come out on top? Join Spencer Tillman and Jason Horowitz as they take a look at this upcoming game.