Council Bluffs Business Association

CBBA May Meeting

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm at The Mile Away Hall, 20270 Old Lincoln Highway. Sheriff Danker has agreed to attend. The candidate will have time to introduce himself and then take questions from the audience. The public is invited to attend.

CBBA April Meeting

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm Hilton Garden Inn Next to the Horseshoe Casino: Guest Speaker; Al Ringgenberg Candidate for Iowa State Senate from Council Bluffs.

Business Links

LinkCoralville Credit Downgraded

From the Des Moines Register. Public/Private Partnerships

LinkProperty Rights and China

Interesting story and photo of a Chinese Landowner Resisting Incredible Pressure to Move

LinkHow Property Rights Solve Problems

David Henderson at Library of Economics and Liberty

More Links

LinkIs State Spending to Entice Data Farms Worth It?

Council Bluffs bar owner likes what Google has done so far. From The Des Moines Register.

LinkThe Coolest Interactive Guide to Census Information

From The New York Times. (HT to DA)

Business Links

LinkSupreme Court May Take Up Rent Control

An opinion piece by Richard Epstein. The article gives a good idea of the negative effect of trying to set prices and how it relates to the takings clause of the U.S. Constitution

LinkNew Development Has Iowa Cities Debt Piling Up

From The Des Moines Register. A good article on shifting debt from private to public guarantees.

LinkCall This Number if This Tag is Missing

Thankfully, this story is not from Iowa

Quote of The Day

From House Speaker Kraig Paulsen's opening day speech;

"Once again, we will attempt to overhaul Iowa's property tax system, saving money for all Iowa property owners. Now is the time for real and substantial property tax reform. Over the last ten years, the amount of property taxes paid by Iowans has increased by 1.75 billion dollars. Local budgets have grown by as much as 74 percent during this time. Iowa families and Iowa employers are struggling with this burden and furthermore, it is impeding job growth. It is time for the Governor, the House and Senate; Republicans and Democrats to work together to provide Iowans with meaningful property tax relief."

More Links

LinkIowa Bankruptcies Decline; Trouble May Not Be Over

From The Des Moines Register (A good read)

LinkShort video describes regulatory capture

Basis for many unintended consequences of regulation (Video is about 2:30)

Morning Links

LinkAmazing Short Stories Describe Entrepreneur's Insight

From Forbes Magazine, inspiring stories for small business owners.

LinkGet a 22,000% Return On Your Investment

This simple investment advice brought to you by NPR. Will it ever end?

LinkCivics Quiz (33 Questions)

How many can you get right? American Civics Quiz puts knowledge to the test. (Interesting and fun)

Weekend Update

LinkAtlas Van Lines 2011 Moving Migration Patterns

Click on individual states to see long term data.

Business Related Links

LinkAn English City Finds Brick Sidewalks Unsustainable

Perhaps there is a reason our Grandparents embraced concrete.

LinkFBI investigates House Demolition by City of Buffalo

Government Protects Life, Liberty, and Property,... except when it doesn't.

More Info

Link15 Businesses That Offer A Funny Combination of Services

These pics explain our need for flexible zoning rules. Businesses do not necessarily end up where they started.

Thursday's Links

LinkHave Farm Prices Peaked?

From Yahoo Finance. Farm Auction in Iowa

More Info

LinkSears/K-Mart Plan To Close Stores (No list yet)

Will Council Bluffs Lose a Store? (From The Des Moines Register)

LinkBerkshire Hathaway Now Owns The Nonpareil

Warren Announces Finalized Deal (From The Sioux City Journal)

LinkThe Magic and Miracle of The Marketplace

Prices of consumer goods from 1964 compared to prices today, adjusted for inflation. From Carpe Diem (scroll up to top of page)

CBBA Raises $4900 for MDA

CBBA members and families raise over $4900 for the MDA. Thanks to everyone who contributed to "get us out of jail."

Updated Links

LinkLincoln City Council Rejects Request to Move Up Mandate for High Effeciency Furnaces

Story describes Department of Energy rule to force northern tier states to end use of less effecient furnaces.

LinkCasino Takes Over at The MAC

Can taxpayer costs be reduced?

Migration and a Costly FOIA

More Links

LinkLand Owner Meets Urban Planner

5 min. video (Australian I think?) explains how urban planning costs some people more than others.

LinkRoads Fit for People

A curious experiment where the removal of traffic signals improved conditions. (about 4 min.)

LinkStop, Drop, and Roll

An economist looks at how prestige may play a part in determining firefighter pay.

Pottawattamie Potential

New Council Candidates

LinkLink to The Nonpareil Election Coverage

Walsh, White, Watson, and Branigan elected.

City Council Election Nov. 8th

Two Year Seat: Matt Walsh (unopposed) Four Year Seats: (Choose Three) Lynne Branigan, Ron Cleveland, Jim Nelson, Scott Porter, Sharon White, Nate Watson

Updated Links

November 2, 2011

LinkIs Our Infrastructure Really Crumbling?

Charles Lane at The Washington Post Doesn't Think So

LinkThird Quarter Shows Largest Gain in Homeownership Since 2004

Mark Perry at Carpe Diem says Housing Market may be Improving

Tuesday Links

October 25, 2011

LinkCoffee Shop Owner Spills The Beans

An interesting story about how hard it is to run a business.

LinkPower Swings Back to America

The article is rich with information about the ever increasing energy production in the U.S. as well as the shrinking advantages of moving a business overseas. Worth a look.

Rainfall Totals for Missouri River Exceed Hurricane Irene

October 13, 2011

Sunday Browser

October 9, 2011

LinkIowa Homeownership rates and Vacancies

From The Des Moines Register (Hat Tip to CL)

More Links

October 3, 2011

LinkTop 20 Countries with the Most Debt

The list may surprise you.

Next CBBA Meeting September 28 at The Hilton Garden Inn

Keeping in line with our tradition of promoting public information, we will host the candidates for city council positions next Wednesday. Sam Curly has agreed to host. Starts at 7:00 p.m. 9-28-2011 at the Hilton Garden Inn behind the Horseshoe Casino. Hope to see everyone there.

Epilogue to the Kelo Case

September 21, 2011

LinkConnecticut State Supreme Court Judge that ruled against Kelo apologizes.

For those of you who follow, Kelo v New London was the case SCOTUS ruled on that allowed governments to use eminent domain for private use.

Wednesday Links

September 14, 2011

LinkFour Charts from Focus Explaining the Small Business Credit Crunch

The article does an outstanding job depicting part of the hold up to an economic recovery.

Link30 Year Mortgage rates, 1978-2011

Could rates get any better?

LinkStudy About Bass Pro Shop and Subsidies

This study was forwarded to me about Taxpayer investments into Bass Pro. Scroll down to read the brief section on the C.B. deal

Afternoon Connections

September 9, 2011

LinkSchools in Need of Assistance: Iowa

Enter Council Bluffs into search box. Yikes

LinkMeasuring Teacher Effectiveness: Credentials Unrelated to Student Achievement

Manhatten Institute Study. Worth a look before the school board election.

LinkTwenty Bullish Charts on the Economy

Not to seem Pollyanish, but this blogger finds good news and doesn't think we are headed for a double dip recession.

Today's Links

September 6, 2011

LinkI Have Never Known About Forensic Engineers Until Now.

Could Council Bluffs Benefit from This?

Link90% of all jobs in U.S. were in farming 210 years ago

Scroll down for the chart. (For Cory)

Of Interest

September 2, 2011

LinkHUD: Iowa Landlord Wouldn't Accomadate Sick Child

Can a pet be classified for emotional support only when associated with a disability?

Some Links

August 28, 2011

Cool Pic

August 15, 2011

Getting A Beer in Iowa

August 12, 2011

Interactive Chart Showing Owners of US Debt

Iowa State Tax Revenue Down $46 Million in July

August 4, 2011

Lemonade Stands Closed in Coralville

August 2, 2011

Coralville shuts down lemonade stands during RAGBRAI. Do permit fees discourage competition?

Corps to Reduce Gavin's Flow

July 29, 2011

Corps of Engineers announces Gavin's Point flow rate to be reduced to 90,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) by the end of August. Further reduction to 40,000 cfs by the end of September. Hang in there.

Cool Visualization of Our Federal Debt

July 25, 2011

Leland Christiansen Sandbags for Two Weeks

Leland Christiansen (center) completes two weeks of sandbagging for the city on Friday. At 81 years young, he thinks sandbagging is good exercise. Leland is a retired carpenter. I thought his efforts were noteworthy. He is joined by his twin brother and a friend along with Frank and Eric from CMET.
Leland Christiansen (center) completes two weeks of sandbagging for the city on Friday. At 81 years young, he thinks sandbagging is good exercise. Leland is a retired carpenter. I thought his efforts were noteworthy. He is joined by his twin brother and a friend along with Frank and Eric from CMET.

Sandbaggers Contribute to River Fight

July 22, 2011

More than 25 members, staff, and families fill sandbags in the summer heat.

Owners, managers, staff and family members filled thousands of sandbags Friday. Some of the companies represented were; CMET, Riley Plumbing Inc., Accurate Lawn Care, C & T Investments, Legacy Homes, Jim's Hauling, I-80 Liquor, Bluffs Service, and Glory Days. Many thanks to all who attended and to all of our members who continue to contribute to the city's flood mitigation efforts through their individual sacrifices.

Return From The Dams

July 23, 2011

I apologize for the absence... but I return from South Dakota with some video of Gavins Point and Fort Randall. Weak stomachs be warned, the Fort Randall video can induce vertigo.

Adventure Seekers Wanted

July 15, 2011

Adventurous individuals needed for a CBBA sandbag filling squad. July 22, 2011 8:00 a.m. at the Mid America Center until noon. Close toed footwear, leather gloves and shovels if you have them, if not, there are some available. Red Cross volunteers have water on site. Please contact me at the e-mail or call so I can inform the city how many will attend.

Our goal is to help give a boost to community efforts aimed at flood mitigation. Let's help put them over the top.

Iowa 2006, 2010 School Assessment Comparison

July 12, 2011

Comparison of test results at the local public schools. (Thank you Des Moines Register)

More Old Time Photos

Photos of New York City from the 40's to the 60's from the Business Insider. Worth a look.

Good Video About Economic Freedom

July 1, 2011

Quote of the Summer

June 27, 2011

"The big cities, Omaha, Kansas City, Council Bluffs, I think are O.K." Brigadier General John McMahon, Commander, Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division. He went on to say, "I'm not anticipating any issues with the big cities' levee systems."

River Watch

June 27, 2011

River depth at the I-480 Bridge; 35 feet.

Gavin's Point: 160,000 cfs

Great Rumor Control

June 23, 2011

Updating a link to the City of Council Bluffs Facebook page. This is an outstanding myth debunking tool for all of the flood rumors.

Another River Update

June 21, 2011

Heads up, Corps of Engineers announces new forecast release amount at Gavin's Point; 160,000 cubic feet per second. This is up from our current 150,000cfs and is predicted to be achieved by Thursday.

River Elevation at 8:00 p.m. is 34.68 feet at the 480 bridge.

Some reports of basement water from seepage but pumps are working well so far. The additional pumping power brought into the city helped weather the last two rains o.k. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Informative Links About Flooding

June 20, 2011

A link from the National Weather Service with continual updates about river depths at Omaha and a Facebook Page from the City of Council Bluffs with good rumor busting efforts.

Levee Description

June 14, 2011

A short (about 3 minutes) video describing a levee. Council Bluffs levee uses relief wells.

River Update

June 17, 2011

River Depth: 33.12 (7:00 a. m.)

Gavin's Point: 150,000 cfs

This looks like it is it. The river should stay within a few inches of its current reading without a large amount of precip. The release at Gavin's is the maximum planned amount. Barring any change in activity, I will refrain from adding to the River update for a while.

June 14, 2011

Missouri River Depth at 9:30 a.m. : 32.76 feet

Gavin's Point at 150,000 cubic feet per second

June 13, 2011

Missouri River depth 7:00 a.m. : 32.13 feet

Gavin's Point rate of flow: 145,000 cfs.

June 10,2011

Missouri River depth 480 bridge at 7:45 a.m. : 30.95 feet

Gavin's Point flow: 140,500- 145,000 cfs

9 June, 2011

Missouri River Depth at Omaha: 30.5 feet (This is above the highest level set in 1993)

Gavin's Point: 140,000 cubic feet per second.

June 8, 2011

Missouri River depth measured today at 6:00 a.m. : 30.3 feet

Gavin's Point flow rate this morning: 125,500 - 129,000 Estimated cubic feet per second.

June 7, 2011

Missouri River depth measured today at 6:00 a.m.: 30.1 feet

Gavin's Point flow rate this morning: 115,500 cubic feet per second

Helpful Illustration of Missouri River Reservoir System

June 6, 2011

Reservoir levels are from June 4, 2011

River Depth and Gavin's Point Flow Rate

June 6, 2011

Missouri River measured at Omaha, 6:00 a.m. today: 29.9 feet.

Discharge from Gavin's Point Dam today estimated at 104,000 cubic feet per second. Could be 145,000 cfs by end of week.

Levee Breach Near Hamburg

June 5, 2011

Missouri River levee breach in Atchison County, Missouri
Missouri River levee breach in Atchison County, Missouri

Debunking Rumors

June 5, 2011

Sioux City paper is running a column trying to respond to rumors about the flood. Worth a look.

Flood Maps (Potential)

June 2, 2011

Some detailed maps from The Corps of Engineers. The maps are detailed and take a looonnngg time to load. The cross hatching over the maps indicate the area in Council Bluffs is protected by a levee system. Interesting.

Iowa Tax Revenue Higher

May 31, 2011

Tax receipts up year over year. Higher revenue from; Individual Income tax, sales tax, fuel tax, and insurance taxes. Lower revenue from; Corporate income tax, gambling taxes and cigarette taxes.

First Quarter Home Prices Fall 4.2%

May 31, 2011

According to the S&P Case Shiller data, home prices are down 4.2% for the first quarter.

LinkA look at an interactive guide to home prices in major metropolitan areas.

Interesting how all home prices are down except those in the Washington D.C. region.

Retired Air Force Officer May Run Against Mike Gronstal

May 25, 2011

Al Ringgenberg doesn't live within the district, but will move if he has to.

FYI: River Will Rise Higher Next Week

May 25, 2011

Heads up everyone. Gavin's Point will be releasing record amounts of water on Monday. Takes about three days to arrive here in Council Bluffs. The expected water level rise is between three and four feet from current heights.

The resevoirs are full. This release of water may increase the likelihood that ground water will rise. For those of you with businesses in the basement of a building in the west or south end, you may want to plan on preparing for ground water.

LinkMore on the expected rise of the river from The Omaha World Herald.

The article is under the "premium content" title, so I do not know if the story will pop up or not.

FDIC Insured Banks Returning to Profitability

May 25, 2011

Some good news for a change.

Parking Fine Reduced if Citizen Behaves

May 24, 2011

Follow up to the story on high parking fine

Not Exactly Business

May 23, 2011

This isn't exactly business, but they are competing for customers, no?

LinkMarketing is important in every part of our lives.

At least the Catholics have a sense of humor

Really Cool Color Pics from Great Depression

May 23, 2011

Worth a look. Rare color photos from the '30s.

Manufacturing Renaissance for U.S.?

May 23, 2011

Labor costs are rising rapidly in China and India. Faster than the rise in labor costs in the United States. A Boston Consulting Group is predicting a rapid rise in manufacturing demand for the U.S. as China and India lose the disparity in labor costs over the next few years.

Couple the increased wages with rising energy costs to transport goods, and the future looks even brighter for manufacturers.

LinkThe whole story on Mark Perry's Blog.

Worth a look if you are searching for good news.

A wise use of space?

The zoning board would not approve of such efficient use of land.

CBBA Holds Second Public Meeting

On May 11th , the CBBA Held their Second Public Meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn Council Bluffs, an estimated one hundred people attended the second public meeting the Council Bluffs Business Association has held. The interim executive director, Tom Riley, hosted the event. The purpose of the meeting was to announce the interim board members, and to discuss the findings from the questionnaires filled out by attendees at the meeting April 27th.


Plurality of stores in a downtown development in Charlottesville

This story posted by S. M. Olivia on the Mises website Click for Website Has an interesting response to a reader complaint about the plurality of stores in a downtown development in Charlotesville. A relevant part of the response;


Meeting Held April 27th to Discuss Reactivation

More than 125 business men and women attended the Council Bluffs Business Association informational meeting held Wednesday night at the Hilton Garden Inn. The purpose of the meeting was to determine the level of interest in reactivating the CBBA. Information was also solicited to determine the main issues impacting business in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County


April 15, 2011

A group of local business owners and operators may reactivate the Council Bluffs Business Association


Some Interesting Info

Submit a Questionnaire

In order to be a positive force for change in the City of Council Bluffs, citizens and business leaders must come together and support each other. We are asking you to take a few moments to fill out this brief questionnaire to identify any issues, either positive or negative, that you feel are affecting the members of our community.



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