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Cameras (again), Being Iowans, and Period (space space)

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Good Morning!
The starts of my day gave me another gem from my son.
JT was asking Sally to wake me up this morning after he got out of bed. Sally told JT that I was at work and that they would have to “call Daddy”. JT proceeded to scream, “DAAADDDDDYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!” I’m not sure he’s clear on the phone concept yet…but we’re working on it.

To the News:
Cameras (Again)
Windsor Heights is talking about putting up those speed cameras on I-235 and a mobile speed camera in various locations around the City.

In the wake of that news, I got a call on our newsline. The woman was looking for Jan Mickelson’s voicemail…Anyway she wanted to tell me that these cameras were simply about Big Brother infringing on her freedoms.

I’m sorry, I know the argument about these cameras being about safety is bogus, but the other extreme doesn’t hold the answer either. Infringe on what? Your freedom to speed? Is someone arguing that the City is taking down data about your car or your movements or where you buy eggs? I doubt it. A City that can’t even staff the streets with enough people to control speeding isn’t exactly a candidate to track your personal movements.
There’s a simple answer to this. It IS about money. the City needs it and you don’t want to pay more in taxes. This is a way for Windsor Heights to get people from Des Moines and Urbandale and Altoona to pay for services in Windsor Heights.
There’s also an easy solve here. Don’t speed, and don’t run red lights.

Being Iowans
There’s been a lot of talk about an article in The Atlantic about living in Iowa. It was authored by a University of Iowa Professor who’s lived here for 20 years (though living in Iowa City is NOTHING like living in the rest of Iowa).
Read the article and draw your own conclusions. Here are a few of mine:
He makes some points that are hard to refute. That said, I am wondering what his article has to do with the lead-off Caucuses? You can write the same article about any State in the Union. Each would have characteristics that make it a less than ideal place to hold first in the nation influence in the nominating process. What the author misses in the fundamental argument for the Iowa Caucuses. There is no other place in the country where a less well-known candidate could come and succeed. The cost in any other state would be prohibitive and then we’d all complain only the truly well-funded candidates could win.
I’d also argue that Iowa is unique in that the voters here, Republican and Democrat, take the responsibility seriously. Name another state where voters would be as engaged in the process. Name another place where employers would give employees time (and a place) to hear the candidates speak during the work day. Name another place where you can go to a neighbor’s house and talk to a man or woman who might be President some day. You can’t do it.
Iowa’s size is EXACTLY the reason it should remain first.
As for Iowa’s diversity, I seem to remember the pundits talking about how forward thinking Iowa voters were when Democrats gave President Obama a Caucus win.
Iowa opens the process to a broad field. That isn’t always comfortable for some people. But shining light on the fringes of the political spectrum is good for the conversation overall.
If you’ve got a better system, I’m all ears, but it’s going to be hard to convince me that any other state could handle the responsibility of being first like Iowa does.

Period (space space)
I just wanted to admit I’m doing it wrong…or at least this article says I am. says we shouldn’t put two spaces after each period in a sentence. One of the fundamental rules of my childhood is apparently wrong. So I guess it’s one space from now on. I don’t know how long it will take to break me of this rule. I will try harder tomorrow.
Feel free to comment…
Have a good one


  • Anthill_Goddess

    I agree with Ann Marie!

    Period space space FOREVER!!

    And, Patrick, you are correct that living in Iowa City for 20 years is totally different than living in the more rural parts of the state. He should try 20 years in Minburn. Totally different perspective, I believe.

  • Rusty

    I recently overheard a Windsor Heights city council member say that they do hope the city gets the speed cameras because it is a “great revenue maker”. So Patrick, you are right, this is absolutely about MONEY, and has nothing to do with safety. That would be like saying the smoking ban is about health (wink wink Prairie Meadows) The city is making money, but making it off of the backs of their own and surrounding citizens by fining them, and that is just not right.

    Patrick, I let out a groan when I read your statement “Just don't speed”. I can't stand it when people make this as a justification for letting the cameras happen. The fact of the matter is that there isn't a speeding problem in Windsor Heights. The ENTIRE city is 25 mph, and it is like a slow moving train driving through.

    I argue that speed cameras will cause even more traffic issues. You know what happens when people see a mobile speed camera? The slam on their brakes. Same things happen when driving underneath the camera on 235 East. Everyone is moving along smoothly, and as soon as they reach the sign that the cameras are mounted on they hit the brakes and nearly cause an accident.

    I have never received a speed ticket from a mobile camera, and these speed cameras still make me FURIOUS. Soon enough every single city (Urbandale, Clive, West Des Moines, Waukee, etc. ) are going to have these cameras. It will never stop because each city will see how much money the previous has made, and they want that cash grab too.

  • James

    Rusty-I hope every city has speed/traffic cams. Thousands of dollars of damage plus loss of life occur all the time because people refuse to follow simple traffic rules. I think every intersection should be covered. This leave the police to solve other more serious crime.

  • Patrick Dix

    Thanks for the comments…and I'd be more upset about the cameras if they were being strict about the speed limit. Not only is it as simple as, Just don't speed; it's as simple as, don't break the limit by ten MPH!
    Do you really need to do 75mph on 235?
    As for the 25mph limit in Windsor Heights…each city can set it's own speed limits and WH wants you to go slow along University. It's frustrating for sure. If someone wants to see it changed…get on the Council and do it.

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