You are browsing the archive for 2013 January 10.
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Simply Sensual shop next to a Laundromat and a Mexican grocery store in a west-side strip mall doesn’t seem like your old-fashioned adult bookstore or strip club long ago relegated in Cedar Rapids to a few spots in or near industrial areas away from residences, schools, day cares, parks and churches.
Even so, shop owner Patricia Edmonds finds herself doing battle with the city’s Building Services Division, which has concluded that her mix of retail merchandise qualifies her business as an “adult entertainment establishment.” And as such, the shop is violating the city’s zoning ordinance because its sits in the wrong zoning area and is too close to a residential area, church and day care, city officials say.
“I’m just trying to run a nice, clean lingerie store,” Edmonds said on Wednesday from the shop she opened in July at 2129 Wiley Blvd. SW. “We do carry some sexually oriented items, but it’s such a small part of what we do.”
Edmonds, 47, said the city is incorrectly characterizing her business, which she said is a haven for women older than 40 who want to buy lingerie from a similarly aged woman and not from a teenager working in a high-traffic shopping mall store.
Among her merchandise is the erotic novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which sits at number one on the New York Times’ paperback fiction best-seller list and fourth on the newspaper’s combined print and e-book fiction best-seller list.
“You can buy it at Walmart or Barnes and Noble, take your pick,” she said.
She said “Fifty Shades of Grey” represents “the gray area” between past and present and between the sort of mature merchandise that should be heavily regulated and the sort that is acceptable in a strip mall in today’s world.
“There is a difference between being sensual and being sexual,” Edmonds said.
In addition to lingerie, her store offers massage oils, cosmetics, jewelry, candles, costumes, purses and novelty items.
At the same time, her store does sell adult magazines, videos, sexual toys and similar fare, though she emphasized that those items sit behind a walled off area at the rear of the store.
The city’s zoning ordinance defines “adult entertainment establishments” as places “having as a substantial or significant portion of its business the offering of entertainment, stocks in trade of material, scenes or other presentations characterized by emphasis on depiction or description of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.”
Raymond Nees, the city’s assistant manager of building services, said some of Edmonds’ merchandise like lingerie doesn’t change the fact that she is selling items that in his determination aren’t permitted for sale but in adult establishments that are only allowed in specific areas of the city.
Nees confessed that he sometimes get stuck in a lingerie store looking “silly” as he wife looks around.
“So I know the difference between a lingerie store and what Ms. Edmonds is offering for sale,” he said.
On Monday, Edmonds will appear in front of the city’s Board of Adjustment to appeal the city Building Services Division’s call for her to stop selling adult items.
Edmonds said she will make the case that her shop does not qualify as an “adult entertainment establishment” under the city’s definition, and in any event, that the city’s determination that a “substantial or significant” portion of her business consists of the sale of adult products is a vague measure impossible to fairly enforce.
CEDAR RAPIDS – A 23-year-old man, who coerced two girls, ages 15 and 16, into sending him sexually explicit images of themselves using threats, was indicted for sexual exploitation and possession of pornography in a second superseding indictment unsealed Wednesday in federal court.
Lucas Robinson of Cedar Rapids was indicted in U.S. District Court on one count each of sexual exploitation of children, receipt of child pornography and extortion, and two counts of possession of child pornography. According to the indictment, he possessed, received and attempted to receive images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct through the internet and his cell phone.
According to pretrial detention documents filed in November 2011, Cedar Rapids Police Officer Corey Peiffer testified they started an investigation of Robinson when Benton County law enforcement told them he admitted to sexual contact with a 16-year-old “runaway” Benton County was investigating. Robinson admitted to possessing images of the 16-year-old and receiving images from her.
Robinson also told officers he possessed sexually explicit images and a video of a 15-year-old girl.
The 15-year-old told officers she communicated with Robinson by phone and through Facebook, according to pretrial documents. The girl said she sent sexually explicit images of herself to Robinson and that he threatened to send those images to others if she didn’t continue to send new photos. The girl said Robinson also threatened bodily harm to her and her family if she didn’t send the photos.
Law enforcement seized Robinson’s computer and found the photos and video of the two girls and 25 images of females, eight who were identified with the youngest being 12-years-old, according to the pretrial document. Officers also found the threats Robinson made on his computer and in text messages, and recovered a Facebook communications with a woman who warned Robinson that his actions could result in criminal charges. Robinson in response wrote he intended to wait and see what happened but if charged, he might kill himself.
Robinson was detained after the detention hearing and remains in jail pending trial.
His arraignment is set Jan. 16.
From Iowa sports info:
2013 American Football Kicking Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
Augusta, GA (January 10, 2013) - Prokicker.com and the Augusta Sports Council will induct three outstanding kickers and punters into the American Football Kicking Hall of Fame on January 17, 2013.
The 2013 inductees include Fred Mitchell, Dr. Stephen O’Neal and Reggie Roby. They will be honored during the All-Area Football Banquet presented by the Augusta Sports Council and The Augusta Chronicle, on January 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm in Augusta, Georgia. Also honored during the banquet will be 2012 Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech and members of The Augusta Chronicle’s 2012 All-Area Football Teams.
“These men epitomize what the American Football Kicking Hall of Fame is all about,” says Rick Sang, executive director of ProKicker.com. “Their contributions have impacted the game tremendously and with their induction, they will continue to do so for years to come.”
The American Football Kicking Hall of Fame was created in 2008 to recognize the individuals who excelled as kickers, to educate the public on the historic contributions of the kicking game, promote the advancement of kickers as strategic playmakers, and provide an arena to honor the players who put the “special” in special teams. The Hall of Fame features two categories – athletes and contributors. Contributors can be a coach or any other individual who has greatly contributed to the success of kicking in American football.
2013 American Football Kicking Hall of Fame Inductees
A published author, Chicago Tribune sports columnist, philanthropist, inventor, and namesake of the Fred Mitchell Award are just a handful of accomplishments to describe the range of Fred Mitchell’s contribution to the world of writing and sports.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mitchell grew up in Gary, Indiana. While attending Tolleston High School he earned letters in baseball, track and football and graduated with honors at the age of 16. From there he attended Wittenberg University in Ohio where he became the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker. At Wittenberg University, Mitchell lettered in football and track and was named to the Lutheran College All-America team in 1968 after setting the NCAA College Division record for career kick scoring. He was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
After college, Mitchell coached and taught English at Grove City High School and also played semi-pro football in Columbus and Chicago Heights. Mitchell joined the Chicago Tribune in 1974 as a beat writer covering the Cubs, Bulls and Bears, becoming the only reporter in Tribune history to handle the three major sports as a main assignment.
Named in his honor, “The Fred Mitchell Award” is an annual national award that is given to an outstanding kicker during the National Football Foundation ceremony. The award recognizes excellence on the football field, as well as community service.
Mitchell lives in Chicago with his wife, Kim, and son, Cameron.
Dr. Stephen O’Neal
In 1966 Stephen O’Neal accepted a track scholarship to Texas A&M, only to discover that he also had a talent for punting a football. During college he lettered in both football and track, and became a first-team All-American as a punter.
After college he was drafted by the 1969 New York Jets where he ended up making NFL history. During his second ever professional game, O’Neal lined up deep in his own end zone and made the longest possible punt in football, 98 yards, a record that still stands today. O’Neal played for the Jets for a total of four years and later played for New Orleans.
During his 6th year in the NFL, his career ended due to a tore cartilage in his knee. Needing only ten weeks to graduate from dental school, O’Neal decided to continue his education and graduated from the University of Tennessee Dental School 1974.
Today, Dr. O’Neal is a fulltime dentist in Bryan, Texas and a lifelong Aggie. He and Judy, his wife of 37 years, have two daughters.
Reginald “Reggie” Roby (1961-2005) excelled in both football and baseball while growing up in Waterloo, Iowa. He played both sports while attending Waterloo East High School and was later drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as a pitcher but instead he chose to attend the University of Iowa and play football where he would later become an All-American punter. In 1981, Roby set a record for average punting distance with 49.8 yards, helping lead Iowa to its first winning season in 20 years, and a share of the Big Ten Championship.
After college, Roby was a sixth-round pick in 1983 by the Miami Dolphins, where he played until 1992. During the 1980’s he was selected as punter for the NFL’s All-Decade Team and attended 3 Pro Bowls. After playing for the Miami Dolphins, Roby continued his career with the Washington Redskins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was with the Oilers for their final season in Houston and their first in Tennessee, and then wrapped up his career in 1999 in San Francisco.
Before his death in 2005, Roby was the marketing development director for Backfield in Motion, a non-profit organization that combines athletics and academics to inspire inner-city boys to reach their maximum potential and become significant contributors to society.
Trucking firm CRST Inc. has received an economic-development incentive from the Cedar Rapids City Council in trade for what the company says will be a $3 million investment to expand its facility at 3930 16th Ave. SW.
The expansion will add 9,012 square feet of space to an existing training facility that is 22,867 square feet in size. The expansion will provide overnight accommodations to employees.
The city’s tax incentive is an urban revitalization tax exemption that will give the company an estimated 44 percent property tax break over 10 years on the new tax revenue coming from the increased value of the property.
Over the 10-year period, the increased property value is expected to provide an additional $242,000 in new property-tax revenue to the city with an additional $190,000 in taxes exempted.
Mayor Ron Corbett, who is a special projects manager at CRST, was out of the city and did not attend Tuesday’s council meeting.
An Off-Broadway comedy written by comedian Steve Martin, a Grammy-award winning ensemble and an exhibit of photography from the 1980s to the present, headline Kirkwood’s Performing Arts Spring 2013 season. Eleven concerts, two theatrical performances and three art exhibits fill the schedule, from January through May.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” February 7-10, is written by Steve Martin. This long-running, Off-Broadway absurdist comedy places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism. In his first comedy for the stage, The New York Times said this about the popular actor and screenwriter, “Mr. Martin works in a range of styles … the playwright finds genius something to laugh about as well as to celebrate.”
The Spring play, “Eurydice,” finishes the theatre performances with shows from April 11-14.
The New York Voices, a Grammy-winning vocal quartet, performs during the Vocal Jazz Festival Concert with Kirkwood’s Jazz Transit and RSVP groups, on Friday, February 22, at 8 p.m.
The New York based vocal jazz group first formed in 1987, signing a record deal in 1989 and releasing its first album that year. The band received rave reviews and quickly earned national and international recognition in the jazz world. A recording with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1996 led to a Grammy Award for the groups (“Live at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild”).
The Boston Herald said, “New York Voices lives up to its reputation as the most exciting vocal ensemble in current jazz, to collect such quality voices in one group is rare enough, yet the real trick of New York Voices is how well they mesh.”
The Kirkwood Jazz Combos Concert, Jazz Fest, Vocal Jazz Concert, Chorale Concert, Concert Band, and five recitals round out the musical season.
Local artist John Paul Schafer kicks off the Spring Performing Arts series on January 14. Following his exhibit will be a collection of photographs from the 1980s through the present. This show includes the work of four local photographers, including Kirkwood photography professor Helen Grunwald. Closing out the art exhibits is the Kirkwood Student Art exhibit, which runs from April 1 through May 3.
The Iowa Hall art gallery is free and open to the public. Concerts and plays are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors or non-Kirkwood students, and free for all Kirkwood students with a school ID. Tickets go on sale two weeks prior to each performance and advance purchase is recommended. Please call 319-398-5899 ext. 4331 for further information.
Theater and musical concerts are all held in Ballantyne Auditorium. The art gallery is in Iowa Hall. For program information and a to view the full Fine and Performing Arts 2013 Spring season events, go to www.kirkwood.edu/performingarts or call 398-4956.
With the most credit programs of any community college in Iowa, Kirkwood Community College boasts more than 25,000 annual college-credit students, while maintaining one of the lowest tuitions in the state. All students are eligible for financial aid and the college offers $2.4 million in scholarships each year to students from all walks of life. Kirkwood is a convenient, innovative and visionary educational leader that strives to remain affordable and accessible.
And you thought switching to a more visible affiliation didn’t make a difference? Not so, if you judge by the interest in this year’s Cedar Rapids Kernels’ Hot Stove Banquet.
Here is a release from the ballclub:
17th Annual Hot Stove Banquet approaching a sell-out!
Cedar Rapids, IA – Fewer than 75 tickets remain for the 17th Annual Hot Stove Banquet and Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan, scheduled for Thursday, January 17th at the Cedar Rapids Marriott Hotel.
The 17th Annual Hot Stove Banquet will include a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia and local items, the first Cedar Rapids appearance of the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan as well as the induction of the Class of 2013 into the Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame. This year’s Hall of Fame Class includes Alex Monchak, Pat Harmon, Casey Kotchman, Trevor Hoffman and Jim Curran.
This is the first time the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan has visited Cedar Rapids and will feature Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and bench coach Terry Steinbach; Twins mascot TC Bear; shortstop Brian Dozier; 2013 Kernels manager Jake Mauer; a roundtable discussion with Q&A sessions and autographs. Dick Bremer, the Twins play-by-play broadcaster on Fox Sports North, will emcee the Twins Winter Caravan.
Proceeds from this event help the Kernels Foundation accomplish its vision of ensuring that all youth in Eastern Iowa have the opportunity to experience the thrills and life-enhancing lessons that come from engaging in athletics and recreational activities.
Tickets for the Hot Stove Banquet are $35, with advance tickets sales ending Monday, January 14th. Tickets will be available at the door for $40. Tickets can be purchased at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium during regular business hours 9 AM to 5 PM, on-line at www.kernels.com, or by phone by calling (319) 363-3887.
KCRG TV-9 and Cumulus Media stations KRNA, KHAK, KDAT and KRQN are proud media sponsors of the 17th Annual Hot Stove Banquet.
Following backlash from some school board members and the public, an Iowa City school board meeting on a controversial diversity policy has been changed to a “listening post” on Saturday.
That means the board will not vote Saturday on the policy, which would require schools to be within a specified range of each other in the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch. The policy also sets capacity requirements on high schools and junior high schools before more secondary schools can be built.
The listening post will last from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the district’s headquarters, 1725 N. Dodge St. in Iowa City. The second reading of the policy, which will include the first vote, is scheduled for Jan. 15.
It was not immediately clear if the board would schedule a special meeting after Jan. 15 to hold the final vote on the diversity policy. Board President Marla Swesey has said she wants the votes to occur as soon as possible and in advance of a Feb. 5 special school election on a funding document.
Swesey did not immediately return phone and email messages Thursday morning.
The policy, and Saturday’s meeting, has divided both the public and the board. Swesey on Tuesday said she had called for a 9 a.m. special meeting Saturday to get a vote in on the policy, but three board members objected and said their schedules would not allow them to attend. The three – Patti Fields, Jeff McGinness and Tuyet Dorau – also have raised the most issues with the diversity policy. The other four board members appear ready to support it.
An online petition calling for a vote on the policy to be delayed had been signed by more than 550 people as of late morning Thursday.
Also, the Iowa City Education Association Executive Board and Building Representative Council voted Wednesday to ask the school board to delay the vote. The ICEA is the local teachers union.
In a news release, ICEA President Tom Yates said the union supports a “workable diversity policy” but faulted “the lack of transparency in the creation of the policy by the Board, the lack of clarity in the language, the timing of the Board’s decision, the potential logistics problems of implementing the policy, and the speed of the Board’s decision-making process.”
At this time, the current draft of the policy is not publicly available. Four board members met Monday and made revisions to the initial draft, but the district’s administrative office said Thursday that edits were still being made to it. The policy has been primarily written by board members
If I had just finished managing President Obama’s 2012 re-election effort in a hotly-contested battleground state such as Ioway, I’d probably be home now trying like heck to remember the names of my family members and where it was I lost my marbles.
Instead, Brad Anderson has decided to launch the 2014 campaign season in Iowa. In January. 2013.
Anderson announced that he’s running for secretary of state, hoping to unseat Republican Sec. of State Matt Schultz. Radio Iowa was on the scene and has audio:
“Today marks the first step in a long, but important campaign,” Anderson said during a statehouse news conference. “…We take our right to vote seriously. We help pick American presidents and we even invented the computer, but recently too many eligible voters have been intimidated, our state’s technology has gone dormant and our tax dollars have been wasted on fruitless investigations. We can and must do better, which is why I’ve made the decision to run for Iowa Secretary of State.”
The secretary of state is Iowa’s top election official. Current Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Republican, was first elected in 2010 and in the past year Schultz has led an effort to review voter registration records to check for ineligible voters, like felons or illegal immigrants. Anderson calls that “offensive” voter intimidation. Anderson suggests an already-existing electronic system that verifies a voter identity at the polls would be a cheaper option.
I have to respect getting “dormant” and “fruitless” into the same sentence.
Republicans greeted the news by pointing out that Anderson is a senior partner with LinkStrategies, which also employed a a guy who was charged with trying to steal Schultz’s identity. Yeah. The Iowa Republican used an understated and nuanced headline: “Dem with Ties to Electoral Shenanigans Wants to be Iowa’s Chief Vote Counter.”
So, from a political theater standpoint, this could be the race we want. But is it the race we need?
Iowa Democrats should nominate a candidate for secretary of state in the Mike Mauro mold. An experienced county auditor who has run elections can make a strong case against Schultz. Auditors understand the administrative work involved and are better-suited to remove the Secretary of State’s office from the partisan political arena.
I don’t think Anderson stacks up well against Schultz’s record. He knows a ton about elections, but Republicans will have no trouble caricaturing him as a tool trying to stack the deck for Democratic candidates. It doesn’t help that Link Strategies employed Zach Edwards, arrested in January 2012 for hacking into Schultz’s e-mail. Jeff Link immediately fired and distanced himself from Edwards, who later pled guilty to a simple misdemeanor. Do you think that will stop Republicans from running tv ads about Anderson’s buddy who committed a crime in order to smear Schultz?
Yeah, we had a good secretary of state in Mauro, someone who actually wanted to do the job, even the tedious parts, and not simply use it as a springboard for grander political ambitions. His four-year tenure was a nice break between Chet “celebration of voting” Culver and now Matt “show me your ID” Schultz.
Anderson’s background in political strategery doesn’t suggest he’d break that spin cycle. But we’ll hear him out. Plenty of time. Lots.
Personally, I’m looking for a secretary of state candidate who promises to never call a press conference, who won’t slap his or her massive portrait or name in Ambition Bold 48 point all over everything, who vows to seek a minimum of five terms and who states, openly, often, that he or she would make a monumentally lousy governor, senator or U.S. rep.
Who were the refs in the best-officiated football game you ever saw? Don’t recall? Perfect. That’s what I’m talking about.
“So-and-So for Secretary of State. Capable. Quiet. Who?”
Yeah, I know. I should go look for my marbles.