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June 16, 2011 |

The good

 

About 40 volunteers helped beautify St. Vincent de Paul, 1426 6th Ave., last week during National NeighborWorks Week. Coordinated by Community Housing Initiatives Inc., (CHI) 500 E. Locust, volunteers landscaped, removed a barbed-wire fence and replaced a retaining wall along the property. Volunteers from Mercy Medical Center helped make the day a successful one. National NeighborWorks Week is held during the first week of June each year to celebrate and beautify local communities. This is CHI’s second annual NeighborWorks Week event. Last year volunteers cleaned up Time Check Park, an area in Cedar Rapids that was devastated by floods in 2008.

 

The Historic Valley Junction Foundation has been selected as one of 100 competitors in the This Place Matters Community Challenge, an award which would grant the foundation up to $25,000 to improve the community. The Foundation seeks support from the greater West Des Moines community for votes in order to win the competition. The Community Challenge kicked off at 8 a.m. on June 1 and runs until June 30 at 5 p.m. To cast a vote, go to the Foundation’s website at www.valleyjunction.com and click the “This Place Matters” link on the homepage. A valid email address is required to register and vote.

 

The bad

 

We love our cell phones just as much as anyone, but they probably have some unhealthy side-effects when over-used. After years of speculation, there is new confirmation that using cell phones can cause brain tumors in humans. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the radio frequency from cell phones as a “possible human carcinogen.” The IARC is calling for additional research into the risk factors. Meanwhile, we’ll have to resort to texting more. WTF?!

 

We owe, we owe, it’s off to work we go. Polk County Treasurer Mary Maloney recently announced delinquent property taxes are up from last year — delinquent parcels are down 5.5 percent, but the dollar amount is up by 8 percent from the same period last year. The number of parcels delinquent is 4,325, which is down 250 from last year’s 4,575. The amount owed is $9,120,820, which is up $661,273 from last year’s $8,459,547. The amount owed at the end of business May 31, 2011, is published annually in an official publication. If this doesn’t confuse you enough, the information is available online at www.polkcountyiowa.gov/treasurer under the “Tax Sale Buyer Info” link.

 

The ugly

 

Three’s a crowd. This is a story about two women, one man and a baby all living under one roof. Terrance Marbury and his child live with the mother of his child, Relichia McSorley, 24, and his current girlfriend, Angela Dawson, 28, of Des Moines. Marbury and his girlfriend were eating at Jasmine Bowl on Indianola Road when McSorley walked up to the table, shoved her child toward him and reportedly began stabbing Dawson with a paring knife. The two women had been arguing earlier that day, Marbury told police. McSorley was charged with willful injury, and Dawson was treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries. Marbury, you’re no Jack Tripper.

 

Many of the world’s most cherished works of art have featured human nudity, yet still in the 21st century, some folks can’t handle seeing the bare butts and boobs of strangers. A few Raccoon River floaters (near Van Meter and Booneville) have apparently been “offended” by nude sunbathing that’s been seen on privately-owned parcels of land along the riverbanks. They’re upset because current county laws don’t allow law enforcement to do anything about it. So the county supervisors are considering banning nudity in unincorporated parts of Dallas County — even on private land. Just because someone is in the buff doesn’t make it a sexual act. These lily white Puritans need to lighten up or find another river. CV