Peoria!

ADM! The smell of success!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This is how I feel today....


So, we are all surprised about the news in the local rag (PJS)  that the Civic Center is losing money....again.  We were told by the pundits and city leaders that while the taxpayer would need to support the new Civic Center, in time it would make money.  Hence the birth of the HRA Tax.  We were also told by our city leaders that the Museum would have great numbers.  It's not.  Good Lord, we are also told by our city leaders that the new hotel will now be a big draw.  That has yet to be seen but considering the management and funding problems that have surfaced already, don't hold your breath.  I mean, we all want nice things and a good looking city, but in order for that to happen, we must have priorities. If you build a house in the middle of a cesspool, it's going to stink. Priorities!  Get rid of the cesspool, and the building of the house will happen.

3 big developments that 2 are failing and maybe a third but....

 .......let's not forgot about the ballpark and the millions spent putting a zig and a zag in Jefferson Street and the lawsuit to move a dry cleaners that cost us millions.  The new ballpark was supposed to spurn bars and restaurants like a small Wrigleyville in Chicago.  That never ever happened but the TIF, used to help along business,  kept quietly going and collecting money until the city almost got away with shifting that money to the Warehouse TIF. If TIFs adjoin, money can be legally shifted between them. (which is why 90% of Peoria is a TIF) But the south town residents got wind of that money and fit a bitch at a red faced council meeting.  Remember that?  Well that money went to a new roof for  privately held recreation center, a church's food pantry, and ornamental lighting to a now councilwoman's iron fenced neighborhood. The rest went quietly into the Warehouse District anyway.  (TIFs were first created in California and because of the corruption and shifting of monies for pet projects, they are now outlawed in that state)

I can also add that probably the fifth dumbest thing this city did was Main and University intersection. But so goes how business is conducted in this city and yet, we all seem to re-elect the same people back in every cycle.  We even reelect has beens from councils past. So, nobody should be surprised that the Museum, the Civic Center, the new hotel,  the ballpark (yes, it is privately held but it gets taxpayer relief anyway) are all under achievers.  Throw in Midtown Plaza, the Gateway Building, and now the rotting "PAD" on the Riverfront and it's a regular side show.  Of course, this sideshow is at taxpayer's expense.  (Rotting Pad you say?  Check out the huge jacks put in place to hold the damn thing up. How much is that going to cost us, even though a developer owns it?) (pic on left)


The Civic Centers problem started way back why it was first envisioned. The Arena was to be much much larger with nicer seats so as to attract big name entertainment. It was thought then that this area couldn't support a bigger venue and the CC would surely lose money and cost that taxpayer. The HRA tax was supposed to be a temporary tax.  (like the garbage fee) Through the usual process that has always been our city council, cuts were made and it was greatly downsized in capacity. The Quad cities had a bigger venue and thus got the bigger acts. Here in Podunk, our Arena isn't quit big enough for some acts and when we do get a big name, the tickets are well over $100 a seat for the Arena.  

No amount of adding on, improving, or adding glass, will fix our Civic Center. The number of seats it can hold has never increased over the years and can't be increased, and that is what kills it.  

So it goes.....Peoria has some nice things.  We do have the seasons which I am glad our council can't dick with. The Zoo is half decent but can be expensive for a young family of 4 or more. We have some very nice local bars and restaurants, some of which are Peoria only icons.  If you are into chains, then East Peoria spouts a chain faster than rabbits can reproduce.
Look,  all I am saying is that Peoria needs work.  It needs to have people who have priorities set as you can't move the cart with the horse tied to the rear.  We have to stop returning the same people to our front office.  If we don't, then we will get the same results.  Tell me I'm wrong.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Here's a surprise!


According to the paper of record, Peoria Journal Star, the new hotel developer, Gary Mathews is being sued by former property owners where the new hotel now sits for default on a multi-million dollar loan ($3+ Million) that hasn't been paid back.  (read mostly likely Big Al, another millionaire this City has made, doing the suing) They will have to get in line to sue Gary Mathews as he is being sued by various others  (http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140822/NEWS/140829655)

The real surprise in this? The City of Peoria is named in the suit. Yet another lawsuit the taxpayers will have to pony up for and the Twitter suit is still out there.

Can't wait for our elected city leaders to tell us the Garbage Fee has to go up again. (Remember the holy words of Councilman Turner 3:25: "We shall not raise the Garbage Fee ever!  This is a temporary fee!")  Oh right? A fee paid by only property owners in the City of Peoria, but not by businesses or non profits.  Of course least we forget.....The Garbage Fee was ORIGINALLY imposed on the public as a way to pay for extra police to make our neighborhoods better and would never be raised as it was...according to Tuner 4:17; "It is hardship on people with fixed incomes and the elderly."  (Originally $72 a year.  Now, $168 a year) 

But but...if it's the Garbage Fee and it goes to police protection then why is it called the garbage fee when the collection of garbage is included in the property taxes and then why not called it the police protection fee and......on and on.  Confused?  Indeed many were but like sheep that we are, we continued to vote in rehashed rejects from council's past (read Grayeb) and recycle the same people on the Council and paid the damn fee.  What did we get?  Mandatory rental of trash totes and told that the Garbage Fee is now going towards garbage collection so it can be raised as after all, their millionaire friends at PDC need the money.  Police and crime?  Read a book!  May I suggest "Don't Shoot"?  I regress....

So, the new hotel is starting to smell?  Worse than ADM. There's a surprise right? 

Is that new intersection killing people?????

You can argue both sides but here is a letter from the PJS forum (http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140822/OPINION/140829676/10971/OPINION) that suggests that their grandmother might have had a chance to survive if they didn't have to wait on an ambulance being delayed because it couldn't get thru the University and Main intersection.  Part of the reason, is the idiotic system of when a person pushes the Walk Button to cross, all traffic in all directions is stopped so the people can leisurely stroll across the street or diagonally through the middle of the street.  (Remember the old days? When you crossed with the green light?  Worked for decades without a problem.  I am surprised the city didn't install a rope so people too stupid to cross a street could use the rope.) That is when traffic backs up.  According to the letter writer, this happened during the am on a Saturday morning. You know, light traffic???  

I guess the Bradley students and residents of the Uplands lives are more important.  After all, Bradley students stay here about 4 years, (or 7 kegger parties, whichever comes first) and then they leave, seldom if ever coming back. So as a community, we all should care what they think right?

Of course there are the residents of the Uplands who mostly alone support the fine businesses there. Well, they would like you to think that but we can't have those fine people spilling their coffee or lattes while strolling what is now the beautiful Main and University area can we? But, as I have had a full supporter of the intersection design,  and resident of the area tell me; "If you don't like the new intersection, then go fuck yourself and stay away!"  Nice huh?

I guess what he meant was, I and others who used that intersection to access Peoria north and other areas including to access I 74 from the south end and from Bellevue areas, that we can drive 2,3, or even 5 miles out of our way and go another route so as not to disturb a few people, who bought homes in that area. Well I do just that whenever possible and I avoid the businesses there also.  My money apparently isn't green enough for them. All are public streets and we all have the Right as licensed drivers, and the Privilege, to drive on any public street any time we want lawfully. But....I guess if you don't like it, well fuck off.

At any rate, now we have a family blaming the death of their loved one on this very intersection. Plausible? Maybe.  Maybe not.  If it could be proved, I am sure the City would have yet another lawsuit against it. Sad anyway you look at it. I just hope that, and I doubt this will occur, if there is a lawsuit over that intersection involving the City of Peoria, they divide the costs of such suit,  between the residents and the business of that area only and spare the rest of the tax payer money because after all....we can go fuck ourselves. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wonder Where the NRA is...

With all that trouble down in Missouri and indeed all over the country concerning the police. I have to wonder....Where is the NRA????

This is the organization that once called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) a bunch of "Boot jacked thugs". While claiming hate for "big government".

So with the way police these days love to dress up with more gear than a solider going into Iraq, to so call.."protect us", one has to wonder if this country is slowly becoming a police state. The very fabric I thought the NRA hated.  The reason they always say..."Go out and exercise your 2nd amendment Rights and buy guns!."  "The govermint is coming for you!"

I really didn't expect to see the "Clive Bundy" militia types show up and fend off the police in Ferguson Missouri and point their weapons at police officers like they did in Nevada. For two reasons.  One, and this is the biggest, these groups are chicken shit assholes who hide behind their wives and daughters, and Two, just as big, these people in Ferguson aren't their favorite color.

This is why the NRA is so silent on this crap.  I mean they are always "you need a gun to live anywhere in America today as someone will break into your house at any minute or you'll be shot without one on the streets" bullshit organization.  You see....you'll see more black faces on an episode of the Dukes of Hazard, than you will at an NRA convention.

Meanwhile, on the ignorance of Americans, gun manufactures continue with record profits, and the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, counts his cash and continues to play on the low information voter and ignorant American.

It is really sad when you think that a lot of Americans today don't fear the thug on the street, but fear the cops on the street.




ed note: please see my disclaimer under my name on the right. These are my opinions. Feel free to click your mouse and get back to your porn.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sit City, sit.....

Have you all had the chance to drive the new ZIG ZAG on Columbia Terr.???  It's right off of University? You zig one way and then zag the other way.  Sort of like NASCAR warming their tires for the race. Not to worry, a fire truck can simply run over the signs as they pop back up.  Try it! I have.

Please! Who in the Uplands has the nude pictures of the four way at the last City Council Christmas Party? They must exist. How could anyone explain how so much resources, energy, taxpayer money be spent so fast on one neighborhood?  Ever need something done by the city? Then you know it moves like a glacier in northern Canada.  But when the Uplands squeaks, response is as instant as Nestle's Quick.  

I mean are Upland's cut through problems are worse now than at any time in the last 70 years?  Are they? Gee, I wonder why.  Could it be because of the City re-making one of the busiest and heavily traveled intersections in Peoria into a one lane glorified bike path almost overnight? I mean this same city spent longer to re-build Forrest Hill than the Egyptians spent building the Great Pyramid of Gaza. Yet,  in weeks, this intersection was transformed into a Bradley University street poster. 

Well it's done. We have to live with it.  Some people are avoiding the area completely. That has to hurt some of the businesses there.  I wonder in a few years of ice, snow, salt, heat, trucks turning and hitting the curbs, and even the traffic, how much the taxpayers are going to have to cough up to repair the intersection?  Remember the expensive stairs at the Pad on the riverfront?? 

And also, if the Uplands can get this service from our city government, then will other neighborhoods see lightning fast responses to their traffic problems?? Will I se some enforcement of the 25 mph speed limit on my street?  Or are the kids who walk my streets not as important as the youths in the Uplands? 

Really. Thinks about it for a minute.  Lower speed limits and better side walks are great for walking safety and children playing in neighborhoods.  But I think the City has gone over the edge with the Uplands, short of just gating off the entire neighborhood and posting "Keep the Fuck Out" signs. Zig Zagging is no the new thing, with 20 mph speed limits (don't apply to bikes) and stop signs every 20 feet with a police car watching for enforcement. I sure hope jay walking on Main is now enforced. I'd hate to see that taxpayer money wasted on lighted unused crosswalks. I also would hate to see people crossing Main at University without waiting for the white cross light. 

I just want to see the same service by this city to other neighborhoods in Peoria.  That is all.  

There has to be those nude pictures somewhere!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Remember the Bottom Line....

If you all will recall, right after the worse attack on America, 9-11-2001, the Bush/Cheney Administration  told the American people that to keep on shopping and continue as normal because "We will keep you safe"! Remember that safe bullshit?  "Bush has kept us safe!"  (of course this doesn't work for Obama who has kept us safe) Many of us waved the flag and even plastered them on our cars buying them from Casey's General Stores  ( the same business that jacked gas to $4.50 a gallon on 9/11) and making RONCO or some company rich selling plastic flags at 10 bucks a pop or yellow "We Support Our Troops!" ribbons which in effect didn't support any troops, just made some people feel good as they slapped them on their Lexus 350 SUV and some distributor rich. 

Then came the huge creation of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which cost us billions and plunged the country further in debt.  But in those days, Republicans weren't worried about the national debt or how our dear children and grandchildren would have to pay up for wild big government spending.  Yes under Bush/Cheney, government got even bigger. But what was glossed over was the fact that the Bush/Cheney administration with the DHS as cover started to rescind our basic Rights as citizens all for the protection of our country.  You can and still can be arrested without cause and held basically forever without charge if the police think you might be a terrorist. Yes even if you are American. All to "Keep Us Safe"  Did we care?  Ah hell no! We wanted blood for 9/11 and many Americans didn't care what the hell we bombed to get it.  

That was all Bush needed.  After all...what American can tell the difference between an Arab and a Muslim and Bush had a hard on for Iraq because of his daddy, Bush I.  So lies were told and we went after the wrong country, billions were spent, the national debt went through the roof, our economy crashed and we never actually got the person who was responsible for 9/11 in the first place.  (until Obama got in office) We all remember what happened (well except for some Republicans and tea baggers). This country was in the basement. Wounded vets from a unneccesary war overwhelming an already under funded VA, thousands dead, the economy in the trash can, 750,000 jobs a month being lost.  People losing their investments, their retirements, their savings and even their homes. This is how Obama got elected.  A black man and many in this country wanted change. The Republicans in effect are responsible for Obama winning the election....twice!!  People were fed up and tired of war and lies. 

So as Iraqi war was ended, by a Bush signed treaty that mandated it end and all troops had to pull out of Iraq, Obama obeyed the treaty and did just that. (another memory failure for many Republicans) Hence military equipment no longer used was brought home and via Congress, (again controlled by the GOP) allowed this military equipment to be given free to police departments all over the country. The same type of police who were already paranoid that Mayberry might be attacked by Iran. This equipment was grabbed up by police departments all over big and small. Wonder why St Louis Police need a armored vehicle with a machine gun mounted on top?  Maybe in case Arkansas decides to invade Missouri with their grenade launchers? So when you hand that much equipment to the police, the testosterone is gonna flow.  After all, the new American poster boy isn't Justin Bieber, it's  a man dressed in military flak jacket cradling a military semi automatic weapon with one arm. That is so cool! 

Before 9/11, police around the country needed to dress up like the military only for special cases of an extreme nature maybe a 1000 times a year.  Now, these police dress like this military occupying army a 1000 times week.  Have an argument with your wife and the neighbors call the police, you got maybe two officers to come out and tell ya to calm the fuck down.  Now? You get an entire Swat Team dressed like they are going into Fallujah instead of your front door.


We all brought this crap on ourselves.  We slept like sheep while we let the police grow and fester into something more and more people fear rather than respect. Fear the police? Yes, it is happening in the Land of the Free and we the people allowed it. It is out of control.  Police are shooting and beating citizens without cause all over the country. Hell even in Peoria, we have had the police kick in doors for simply making fun of the Mayor. (crude as it was) 


When we see this type of injustice. These shootings, we are appalled. But like the good Americans we are, we go about our shopping, our dinners out, and we yawn; "Oh! Another killing by the police?How sad."  Then we hear our lame media, our talking heads, and politicians. They say they are outraged at the senseless deaths on our streets but do nothing and then they lay blame on the people in those streets who, like the very police we have to protect us, show civil disobedience. Then we hear; "It's those poor peoples who loot and riot and we need to do something about those peoples."


No.....we don't. We need to do something about that fat necked, hell bent, out of control police departments around this country. We need to demilitarize these police departments. We need to remember this....


BOTTOM LINE.......you may not like his color, the way he is dressed, or even what he believes in, but an unarmed American citizen was shot and killed in the streets of America by the very sworn people we should trust, the POLICE for no reason other than he was in the street. This is happening every day every place in THIS country. 


That my friends is the bottom line.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Questions??

So....with the new speed limit of 20 whole mph on Moss and I assume on other streets throughout the area including the Uplands, which you can bet your ass the police will be enforcing, I have to ask: why was all that taxpayer money spent on speed humps, fancy crosswalks with signage when I have to goose the gas to get the car over one at 20 mph? 
Seems like a colossal waste of time, resources and money.  The speed humps now seem as useless as a rack on a Nun. Why didn't the city simply lower the limit to 20 in the first place?  Will the police enforce this new speed?  You bet!  Why then, didn't the police simply enforce the speeds and laws (re: jaywalkers) in the first place and save us millions? Why will enforcement be so great now? Anyone?

Was it because after hundreds of thousands spent (taxpayer money) and resources, that speed humps don't work? Why does this city seem to jump like a Mexican bean on a hot highway to pacify a few in neighborhoods that have been around for over a hundred years?  Why has the city made it damn near impossible for people who drive from Bellevue, south end, Hanna City, and Bartonville to access other parts of Peoria via a core intersection?

Moss Avenue has always been a route to cross the upper bluff as is Western is used for people trying to get to north Peoria via University.  Now, if you drive Moss, you will surly risk a speeding ticket if you travel over 20 mph never minding that bicyclists will pass you as you try and drive that limit.  Are the bicyclists going to be ticketed for speeding also?  


As it stands now to avoid the madness that is Main and University  one must travel down Farmington Rd hill then up Park to a new 4 way stop sign at Nebraska.  How long before Park is slowly worn out from the excess traffic? As it stands now, it will be another season before Sterling is done and Farmington Rd has always had heavy traffic. It's just two lanes. 


Yes, Main and University isn't always backed up but it has been at peak times and Bradley isn't even back in session yet. Just wait until they start pushing that WALK button.  I have seen accidents, with injury already at this new intersection and one even at 6 am on a Sunday morning. The traffic Cams bear this out. I have seen people actually pass on the right, when there aren't cars parked there and even seen a driver go straight through the light at Main from the left turn lane.   The confusion coming off I 74 and heading onto south University has been a nightmare as some drivers aren't aware (yes sigange is posted) that the right lane ends. Even after Columbia Terr. I have seen cars get in the right lane (which doesn't exist) and think they can turn right at Main only to stop and then squeeze back in coupling this with people trying to exit Avanti's parking lot. 


People are creatures of habit.  I do believe this will piss off enough people to simply avoid the area completely.  That is what the Uplands and Moss hope for but I know for a fact, a few businesses in that area don't wish for this and in fact sales have dropped for one by 15%.


Really want to know how people feel about this new intersection and speed limits?  Simply stop by Joe's Barber shop and listen to the talk.  I did last week and couldn't believe the ear fill I got and it wasn't good either.  Also, listen to two Bradley professors discussing this also at a Campustown business and they were simply in awe at the stupidity of it. Amazing.


Well, we can sit here all day and go back and forth on this issue, he said she said, over and over. Time will tell.  Winter will tell.  We shall see.  We shall see....