Category Archives: Connections

Connections – November 27, 2013

By Dolores Bader

The Girl’s Volleyball Tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids prompted me to Google the details about that facility. Since the recently completed renovation the facility now seats about 6,900 for ball games or 8,600 for concerts. Even if I were a part of the generation who cares I would not want to be in that building with 8000 people! It was my first time in the facility since the restoration and for me it was uncomfortable. I heard enough comments from others to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Comments:

“These steps are too narrow.”

“The seats are too steeply stacked.”

“I hope no one falls over those skimpy railings.”

“The Ice Arena was a better place.”

The Center originally opened in 1979 at a tag price of $8 million dollars which included the parking ramp. Plans for the renovation were in play before the floods of 2008 filled the arena. The recent renovation cost over $25 million. It is a multi-use facility and will become home for the Cedar Rapids Titans, members of the Indoor Football League in 2014. Good for CR! I hope they use and enjoy; as for me I have a totally new appreciation for the UNI Dome and Gallagher Bluedorn Center for the Performing Arts. Both of these arenas are user friendly and very comfortable.

When you consider the fact that Iowa is one of the eight states that has not doubled its population in the last century – in fact it’s the only state that has not grown by 50 percent in that time period – you can see why serious thought needs to be given to public facilities. In Waterloo we are watching the slow death of the malls and the sprouting of mini-malls everywhere. Change is always the name of the game. I won’t live to see it but I will make a prediction anyway: the next U.S. Cellular renovation will remove seats, elongate stairways and raise rails to heights that can be touched without bending over.

Connections – November 20, 2013

By Dolores Bader

The Girl’s Volleyball Tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids prompted me to Google the details about that facility.  Since the recently completed renovation the facility now seats about 6,900 for ball games or 8,600 for concerts.  Even if I were a part of the generation who cares I would not want to be in that building with 8,000 people!  It was my first time in the facility since the restoration and for me it was uncomfortable. I heard enough comments from others to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Comments:

“These steps are too narrow.”

“The seats are too steeply stacked.”

“I hope no one falls over those skimpy railings.”

“The Ice Arena was a better place.”

The Center originally opened in 1979 at a tag price of $8 million dollars which included the parking ramp. Plans for the renovation were in play before the floods of 2008 filled the arena. The recent renovation cost over $25 million. It is a multi-use facility and will become home for the Cedar Rapids Titans, members of the Indoor Football League in 2014.  Good for CR! I hope they use and enjoy; as for me I have a totally new appreciation for the UNI Dome and Gallagher Bluedorn Center for the Performing Arts.  Both of these arenas are user friendly and very comfortable.

When you consider the fact that Iowa is one of the eight states that has not doubled it’s population in the last century – in fact it’s the only state that has not grown by 50 percent in that time period – you can see why serious thought needs to be given to public facilities.  In Waterloo we are watching the slow death of the malls and the sprouting of mini-malls everywhere. Change is always the name of the game. I won’t live to see it but I will make a prediction anyway:  the next U.S. Cellular renovation will remove seats, elongate stairways and raise rails to heights that can be touched without bending over.

Connections – November 13, 2013

By Dolores Bader

The white shaving cup with gold lettering is just one example of my addiction to antiquity, but it is far and away a favorite! The cup is emblazoned with gold lettering that tells me it belonged to H.B. Lizer. It was Lizer who was the editor of the Progress Review in 1904 when it was consolidated with another local paper, the La Porte City Press. This community’s first newspaper, the La Porte City Progress, was published in 1870 by J.T. Metcalf. I didn’t have a clue who Lizer was when I paid  fourteen dollars for that cup at a Russ Miszner auction on Commercial Street in 1984. I just knew it had my name as next owner on it. Information on the bottom of the cup, also in gold lettering, tells me it was “Decorated By Koken Barber’s Supply Co. of St. Louis, Mo.”

Lizer was more than a newspaper editor.  Professor Lizer was also the principal of the new La Porte City school erected in 1894. He was in charge of a staff of seven and a student body of 346. That building was a new beginning for this community. It cost about $20,000 and incorporated about 450,000 bricks. A few of those bricks now border my flower beds. I love the idea that the building that housed the presses for the first PR is now the home of Shelley and Dave Hopkins PRIMitive and Proper Antique Shop.

There are a lot of bits of history floating around this community. There are the Mayme Gill plates with a variety of local pictures. A tiny pin dish and a miniature ceramic basket feature the original high school. Both of those pieces are white with gold trim. There are the paintings of Lela Briggs and Lucille Arthur. This community has a rich history (well documented by the local museum) and we need to make sure that the past inspires the present.

Where am I headed?  To Main Street. The Syndicate Block hails back to 1881. Dear Hearts, THIS IS A TREASURE that many communities would love to center on. Big Creek is a quiet beauty. We need to stop being the last town in the county and start claiming our place as a progressive community with the best in schools, churches and public services to be found in any Midwest community.

Connections – November 6, 2013

By Dolores Bader

Sweeping floors in any fast-food establishment would be preferable to being president of this country! One minute you are top dog and the next, low man on the totem pole. A small “O” obamacare is bound to be an addition to new versions of Webster’s Dictionary. What would newscasters have to talk about without the current fiasco? As 2013 plays out, we need to touch base with reality. According to Mr. Webster, part of the function of government is “direction, control and management.” Those are also commendable attributes in parents, teachers and business leaders. The problem isn’t the individual functions, the problem is in the application.

This is the month we recall, and celebrate, the birth of this nation. What were our forefathers pursuing? Oh yes, “liberty and justice for all.” Would good old George crossing the Potomac ever dreamed we’d be in a war of words over who is going to pay whose medical bills? Could Columbus sailing the waters blue have envisioned a land where billions are spent on Halloween and sports betting while segments of the population head for bed hungry? Have we lost touch with reality? Is Lincoln smiling his quiet smile as people post their stupidity all over the internet for the world to see?

What would happen if we were cast back on the resources of those first settlers in this land? Would we survive? It’s a sure bet that setting foot on the sailing ships was a lot easier than taking the first steps in the barren land they found on this side of the ocean. This month is the perfect time for reflection. What are our goals? Who is really running the show? We are on the brink of another election year. We dare not go forward without careful consideration. We need people in public office who have concerns beyond private agendas. It is time for wisdom and fortitude to prevail.

 

Connections – October 30, 2013

By Dolores Bader

Finally! Are you aware of the fact that there are people working to provide this community with an ice skating rink? The preceding exclamation mark comes from years of wondering why this town could not provide a winter facility to accommodate one of the season’s most gratifying activities.

At a recent ball game Ron Crooks asked me if I played ball in high school. The answer was quick and easy…Heavens No! I was the kid who carried a book to ball games just so I could say I had been there. But there was one sport I dearly loved: Ice Skating! I have watched over the years as LPC youngsters skated (not wisely) on the crust of Big Creek. Site for the proposed rink is the empty lot next to the car wash. Perfect! As a community we CAN make this happen. You don’t have to be a hockey player or figure skater to appreciate this idea, but I’m sure kids inclined in those directions will be thrilled.

On a totally different subject – on a quiet country road in the middle of Iowa sits a white clapboard building that hides an interior as beautiful as any cathedral in the world. In the close knit community of Jubilee the building that houses Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church is a magnificent work of art! There was a time when Jubilee was a thriving small community with small businesses and their own school. Much of the community’s history was well documented by the late Joan Schreiber, who moved several of the old buildings to her farm to insure their preservation. The architecture and art work inside that church are both beautiful and inspiring. Renee Jesse at the magnificent organ and her sister-in-law Chris Jesse’s beautiful voice reflected their surroundings.

Another complete theme switch: Make sure you vote next Tuesday. This is an important election for LPC. In addition to the mayoral contest, the election of two new City Council members is very important to the future of this community. Make sure your voice is heard, that your ballot is counted.