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October 2014

September 2014

50th anniversary celebration planned Saturday for Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Robert Lee RecreationIOWA CITY, IA. -- The Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center will take a step back in time this weekend as it marks its 50th year in the Iowa City community. To commemorate its golden anniversary, City Recreation staff have planned an anniversary celebration on Saturday, October 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. that will take attendees back to October 15, 1964, the day that construction on the facility was completed.

People are encouraged to don their best 1960s attire and come prepared to dance to "Twist and Shout," a band that will perform 1950s - 60s tunes live in the Social Hall, where light refreshments will also be available. Music from the era will also be played for roller skaters in the gym, where Limbo, Four Corners, Wipe Out, and Twist contests will be held. All events on Saturday will be free of charge, including swimming in the Robert A. Lee pool. When the recreation center first opened, a pass to the pool required dropping a dime into a turnstile to gain access, but on Saturday, all patrons will be allowed to swim at no charge.

The public will also be able to view the newly released master plan for the facility's Edible Landscape project, a joint effort between Parks and Recreation and the local nonprofit, Backyard Abundance. This project will extend the Discovery Garden, located on the north side of the building, down the west side on Gilbert Street, creating an environmentally beneficial landscape that will provide healthy food and wildlife habitat.

The 44,000 sq. ft. facility was built after the original American Legion Recreation Center burned to the ground in 1955. Bob Lee, who served as Superintendent of Recreation for the City of Iowa City from 1951 to 1983, immediately got to work on building a new center on the same site at the intersection of Burlington and Gilbert Streets. In 1962, a bond issue for $490,000 passed with 87% approval. An additional $225,000 was raised from fees and donations to complete funding for the $715,000 structure. When Bob retired in 1983, the City Council voted to name the facility the "Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center" in his honor. Lee died on October 17 last year at the age of 95.

Numerous changes and upgrades have been made to the building since it first opened in 1964. Over the past 50 years, air conditioning was added, an access ramp and elevator were installed to meet ADA requirements, and two dressing rooms were converted to office space. A gun and archery range that existed on the lower level was removed years ago, and today that space serves as a training room for gymnasts. After sustaining tornado damage in 2006, all the building's windows and exterior doors were replaced, and the damaged roof repaired. The pool has undergone numerous upgrades, and a rock climbing wall has been installed in the pool area. Other recent projects include a redesign of the east-side entrance, relocation of the information desk and exercise equipment to the lobby area near the pool, and relocation of the game room to an area off the gym.

While changes have been made to meet Iowa City's ever-evolving needs and interests, for 50 years the building has stood the test of time, providing a welcoming place for the pursuit of recreational activities for all ages and all levels of ability.

For more information, contact Chad Dyson, Recreation Superintendent, at 319/356-5102 or

Report: Obama Has Missed over Half His Second-Term Daily Intel Briefings

A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.


Iowa City VA says Legionella bacteria not harming patients - KWWL

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - When you take your loved one to the hospital, you want them to get better which is why it may be scary for some to learn Legionella bacteria -- which causes Legionairres' Disease -- has been found in the water system at the VA in Iowa City.

"When it's detected at very low levels, the risk to the patient is very low," said Stacey Klutts, Staff Pathologist. "What we're wanting to do is prevent situations where there would be a lot of this bacteria."


Iowa Economic Development Authority Awards Incentives To Seven Firms - Area Development

CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: This is not a proper role of government. Government isn't supposed to "award" taxpayer money back to taxpayers at pennies on the dollar.  Government isn't supposed to pick winners and losers.  Local government shouldn't be spending even more taxpayer money in pursuing these kinds of things.  It amounts to a shell game and this is just another example of more than $1 million in taxpayer money that should have never left the communities it came from. Next week, if not tomorrow, there will be another story similar to this.... A million here, two million there, five million over there.... All money, taxpayer money, that unnecessarily gets sent to Des Moines.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to seven companies throughout The Hawkeye State to promote job creation and expansion projects.

In Burlington, Iowa, Shearer’s Foods, a national contract manufacturing and private label supplier in the snack industry in North America, plans to expand its production facility. Shearer operates eight manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. Because of the recent acquisition of a private label cookie and cracker business, Shearer’s proposed a $33 million project that willinclude the addition of a new cracker line including equipment for bulk materials, mixing, baking, production, receiving and warehousing. The board awarded the company, which plans to create 83 jobs, tax benefits. The project also received benefits via the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program.


Tuesday Quick Hits: A review of the local newspaper coverage

The Iowa City DePressed Citizen vs. The Gazette

The big story today, Tuesday, September 30, 2014 is the news of the body of missing ISU student Tong Shao being found by the Iowa City Police.  Both papers gave it front page coverage.  It was The Gazette's top story, but not for the DePressed Citizen, which gave it the right margin.

Iowa City Press-Citizen:

The Gazette

THE top story for the DePressed Citizen was driven by their parent company, Gannett, and the Iowa Poll conducted by the Gannett owned Des Moines Register.  The Iowa Poll tells us what we already know, Terry Branstad is going to defeat Jack Hatch in the Governor's race, and rather handily.  The article:

Understandably, The Gazette did not run a story about a competitor's poll, but they did run a story on page two pertaining to the Governor's race, a report showing how Jack Hatch likes to complain about Terry Branstad, rather than promote his own record and vision for the state of Iowa.  The article:

Now here's a truly BIG national story that got coverage in The Gazette, but is glaringly missing from the Iowa City DePressed Citizen.....   The White House Intruder....

When the fence-jumper story first broke, we were told the Secret Service apprehended the guy just after he got through the front door.  Turns out that wasn't true, not even close, we were lied to.  The guy got deep inside the White House.  It's flat out frightening how badly the Secret Service failed on this.

That's BIG news, but does the Iowa City DePressed Citizen care to report it?  Nope, it's a story that makes Obama and his administration look bad/incompetent. 

A big THANK YOU to The Gazette, which actually performs their journalistic obligation and REPORTS the news.  They care about their readers and so when they can't actually cover the story, they find a source that did, in this case they ran a Washington Post story, which The Gazette ran on page 3:

This story is rather alarming, and the Iowa City DePressed Citizen CHOSE not to run it.

Once again, the DePressed Citizen fails to properly report things to its readers.

Transgenderism Is A Mental Illness, Not A Civil Rights Issue - John Hawkins

If someone came to a doctor and asked him to cut off a perfectly healthy arm because it just felt "wrong" for the arm to be there, should the doctor do it? This isn't an idle question because this does happen with a mental illness called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). People who have it feel as if they're not supposed to have a certain body part, like an arm or leg. As a general rule, doctors won't remove a healthy body part; so some of these poor deluded people crush, mangle, burn, or otherwise deliberately destroy their own arms or legs in order to get a surgeon to slice them off.

This raises a question: Are surgeons who refuse to remove healthy limbs from people with BIID doing them a service because they're mentally ill or are they denying them their civil rights? MOST of us would say that a surgeon who refuses to cut off a healthy leg is doing the right thing.


After a beheading in Oklahoma, debate over what to call it - The Washington Post

CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: This wasn't "workplace violence" this was flat out an act of terrorism. It's irresponsible to call it anything but terrorism.

The gruesome beheading in Oklahoma last week was, by any reasonable measure, horrifying. Police in Moore said that after Alton Nolen, an employee at a food processing plant, was fired on Thursday, he went to another part of the facility and attacked another employee with a knife. He killed Colleen Hufford and “severed” her head, according to a statement from Sgt. Jeremy Lewis. Nolen, who turned 30 last month, then attacked another co-worker named Traci Johnson.

Mark Vaughn, the chief operating officer of Vaughan Foods and a reserve deputy with Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office since 2010, confronted Nolen and shot him. Johnson and Nolen were both taken to the hospital in stable condition. Nolen has not been charged yet, though it is expected that he will be charged with murder. His mother and sister have apologized for the murders.


Real Estate Agent Beverly Carter's Body Found in Shallow Grave - NBC

The body of missing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has been discovered in a shallow grave, investigators said early Tuesday. Carter, 49, went missing Thursday from a home she was showing near Little Rock. Police say Arron Lewis, 33, admitted to kidnapping Carter after 12 hours of questioning on Monday but would not divulge her whereabouts. However, police obtained information that led to the discovery of her remains buried on a property in Cabot, Arkansas.


Police ID body as missing ISU student - The Daily Iowan

While Iowa City police have identified the body found in a trunk of a Toyota Camry as that of missing Iowa State University student Tong Shao, 20, the investigation is running into a few obstacles.

After an autopsy on Sept. 27, the Iowa City police released a statement Monday that said, “through investigative means, the body located in the vehicle has been positively identified as Tong Shao.”