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Your Town Now: Slouching Towards Downtown

Carpetbaggers to Iowa City have had a bit of fun with us lately after skulking away to Michigan. Stephen Bloom, who embarrassed himself in The Atlantic’s formerly admirable online presence, and Nila Haug, who sources tell me was something of a grumpy slumlord, each left our fair city with a steaming pile of thanks on the doorstep after heading off to the land of malaria, blight and the Nuge. […]

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Your Town Now: The Millar's Tale

Give John Millar this much: The man doesn’t know when to quit. Unfortunately for us, Millar–the business-development consultant recently hired by the city and the university–also doesn’t know much about working with college-town audiences. Which is a shame, seeing as the city’s Planning & Community Development Department, The Daily Iowan and Millar himself tout his […]

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Your Town Now: Here's Looking at You, John Millar

Back in March, I mentioned a presentation given by John Millar of Divaris Real Estate in Virginia Beach, VA. A press release indicated that Millar had been invited by a “coalition of businesses, developers, community members, The University of Iowa and the City of Iowa City,” on account of his being “an expert on the development of mixed-use college town centers.” Since then, the city and university have hired Millar at $55,000 as a consultant. […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was May 2011

Election Season, IC-Style Three city council members–the estimable Mike Wright, Regenia Bailey and Ross Wilburn–have announced that they won’t be running for re-election this fall. Also Mayor Matt Hayek, though he will be looking to retain his at-large seat. That means no fewer than four council seats are in play. I want you to run. […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was April 2011

Cheered on by the Melrose Neighborhood Association, a committee led by Housing and Inspection Services Director Doug Boothroy recommended that vendors not be allowed to operate along Melrose Avenue on football gamedays. The committee reasoned that, since the area is zoned residential, anything short of a ban would constitute a willful disregard… […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was March 2011

Is This Heaven…? In a memo to the Iowa City Council, Police Chief Sam Hargadine and Transportation Planner John Yapp laid out the case for traffic-enforcement cameras in Iowa City. The memo addresses fairly standard stuff–a demonstration that cameras have suppressed accidents in other cities, a list of other Iowa towns that have implemented traffic […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was February 2011

“Mural” Jackson Pollock’s “Mural” was up for sale, then it wasn’t. This was an interesting cause for Republican House Appropriations Committee Chairman Scott Raecker, but we’ve got a theory about why he felt compelled to pick this particular fight. The top donor to Raecker’s electoral campaigns is the Associated General Contractors of Iowa. The fourth-largest […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was January 2011

Four Words Worst. Prosecution. Witness. Ever. Piano Lounge Chief Revenuer Sam Hargadine wants your tipples served with a chaser of good moral character. In recent months, Hargadine has lobbied for the non-renewal of liquor licenses to several Mike Porter-owned establishments on the grounds that Porter’s financial troubles and failure to meet city building codes demonstrated […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was December 2010

Porter Agonistes The City Council decided to “defer indefinitely” a motion to decide on renewal of The Summit’s liquor license after Police Chief Sam Hargadine submitted a newly expanded chronicle of Porter’s deepening financial troubles. We’re not saying that the writing’s on the bathroom wall for the man who profited so handsomely during the go-go […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was November 2010

Moods swung and curses were muttered throughout downtown as the 21 ordinance stood the test of a public vote. The scene outside the Sports Column–which was to host a victory party for the anti-21 crowd–spoke volumes: people sulked out, a young man got to speak to reporters and the joint was empty by 11. Previous […]

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