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Doug Lindner

Fall on the sword GOP

Not so much

It’s been morbidly fascinating to watch.
First, full disclosure: I’m a registered Democrat and I skew to the socialist side. I have my gray areas, but I’m mostly shading toward the line in left field.

. . . . . Full story available to subscribers only. . . . . .

Gun control

Not so much

According to author Bill Bryson in his wonderful book “A Sunburned Country,” Australia has more things that will kill you than anywhere else.
“Of the world’s 10 most poisonous snakes, all are Australian,” Bryson wrote. “This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip.”
So it’s a good thing that humans in Australia can no longer be counted as a mortal threat, at least when it comes to mass murder.

Council kicks in $500 for splash pad promotion

Fundraising committee to recruit help at June 29 Music on Main

SOLON– City council members agreed to prime the pump.
A splash pad committee is seeking to raise over a half-million dollars for a municipal water playground at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area, and the city has agreed to contribute $500 to help boost upcoming fundraising efforts.
The decision was made at the city council’s June 15 meeting.
The volunteer effort dates back to a 2012 survey of residents conducted by the Solon Parks and Recreation Commission seeking guidance for possible capital park improvements.

Big Grove, Newport and Cedar townships, Solon sign service agency charter

Fire station and equipment to be deeded over

SOLON– On the surface, it will appear as if the Solon volunteer fire department is operating as usual.
Behind the scenes, however, there will have been some major changes.
At the conclusion of a special city council meeting June 6, representatives of the City of Solon and of Big Grove, Newport and Cedar townships signed a charter agreement to create a new fire service agency.
The Solon Tri-Township Emergency Response Agency will in turn establish, by resolution, the Solon Tri-Township Fire Department and oversee its operation beginning July 1.

DNR proposes alcohol ban at Lake Macbride

Public hearing July 26 at Palisades-Kepler State Park

SOLON– If a proposed rule change goes into effect, alcohol will no longer be allowed at the Lake Macbride State Park beach.
But the process for approval is such that it may be October 2017 before the recommended changes take effect.
At a meeting Thursday, June 9, members of the Iowa Natural Resources Commission voted to approve a notice of intended action to amend the administrative rules governing state parks.

RJ’Z Express reopens with new Godfather’s

SOLON– Randy Walter is happy to be back open.
The co-owner of the RJ’Z Express convenience store waited five months to reopen his new building, and now it’s here.
Walter and his partners John Himmelsbach and Tom Zumsande made the decision to tear down the existing building in order to expand its retail and food opportunities.
“Being locally owned, we wanted to serve the Solon community better,” Walter said.
The business closed at the end of November and the walls came down in December.

Saving St. Mary’s

130-year-old church needs new roof, siding

NEWPORT– There used to be a village of Newport along the road halfway between Solon and Iowa City.
St. Mary’s Church of Newport is just west on Newport Road, and if funds for its preservation are not raised, it may soon become a memory from the distant past, too.
The 130-year-old structure no longer serves a Catholic congregation as it did for the first 110 years of its existence. Even its role as a precinct polling place has fallen along the wayside.
The church bell, added in 1891, now tolls only a few times a year to mark the consecrated nuptials of a just-wedded couple.

Saving Sugar Bottom’s hardwood trees

Bur Oak Land Trust launches campaign to purchase more Big Grove timber

SOLON– Imagine you’re in the heart of Iowa City on a busy day– cars, people and concrete.
Now think about being 7 miles away, standing in the middle of the Bur Oak Land Trust’s Big Grove Preserve, a centuries-old forest populated with tall hardwoods– calm and quiet, broken only by the occasional songbird.

Setting the table for outdoor dining

Council gets first look at proposed Main Street policy

SOLON– The vision for outdoor dining on Solon’s Main Street came into a little sharper focus at a May 4 city council meeting, but it’s still a little blurry around the edges.
In March, Red Vespa Pizzeria and Wine Bar owners Aziz and Angie Longou asked the city to consider allowing seasonal outdoor service by leasing a Main Street parking spot in front of their business.
In April, council members agreed and directed city staff to develop guidelines to allow sidewalk and street seating for Main Street eateries.

Density rising: More units, more cars, more complaints

Developer agrees to more parking stalls, but site plan still tabled

SOLON– The site plan submitted by Mike Bails and Jeff Mekota for two eight-plexes in the Fox Ridge subdivision met all of Solon’s requirements and was recommended for approval by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Spartan Structures developers had already scaled back from 24 to 16 residential units based on city input and the site plan was on the agenda for council consideration at an April 20 meeting.

Spartan upgrade for water tower?

Harrington seeks to raise $10K to add school emblem

SOLON– It’s all about that Spartan pride.
It would cost just shy of $10,000 to add a Spartan logo and a black stripe to the Solon water tower.
And, that’s what rural Solon resident Alan Harrington has proposed to the Solon City Council.
Their response?
Sounds great if you have the cash.
“Do they have the money to pay for it up front?” asked council member Mark Krall.
Back in March, council members approved spending an extra $9,800 to enhance the lettering on the city’s water tower when it’s painted later this year.

Council says yes to outdoor service

City to develop policy for eateries wanting to expand onto Main Street

SOLON– Evening parking is already a problem on Main Street.
Losing a couple of spots on a seasonal basis probably won’t make a difference, argued Solon City Council member Steve Duncan.
With that in mind, council members directed City Administrator Cami Rasmussen and City Attorney Jim Martinek, at an April 6 council meeting, to develop a set of guidelines which would allow Main Street restaurants to temporarily lease on-street parking spaces for use as outdoor dining areas.