Don’t forget: new fireworks regulations are in effect

Don’t forget: new fireworks regulations are in effect

Last year, the Riverdale City Council passed some revisions to the City Code about the use of fireworks. While fireworks are not prohibited for celebrations like the 4th of July, there are some rules you need to know.

Please keep in mind that people are restricted from having “Display Fireworks” which includes fireworks “containing any explosive or flammable compound” which are not considered to be “Consumer” or “Novelty” fireworks (e.g. firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, sparklers, spinners, etc.). In short, to commercial-grade fireworks.

It is against the law for people under the age of eighteen to discharge a firework without parental supervision. And you can only discharge a firework at your own premises or at another premises where you’ve been given permission. Finally, it’s important to understand that if you discharge a firework, you assume all responsibility for what happens when it goes off.

With specific regard to this weekend’s activities, fireworks can only be discharged during July 3rd and July 4pm between the hours of 2pm and 11pm.

Please be safe, have fun and post photos and videos of your fireworks display to the Riverdale Residents page on Facebook.

 

Water fighting in Riverdale

Water fighting in Riverdale

On June 13, the Riverdale Fire Department hosted their annual water fight competition. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it was the first water fight that many of the departments invited were actually able to attend, so it was an impressive turnout of firefighters and their friends and families having a good time.

The competition was re-named this year as the “Analiese Chapman Memorial Waterfight.” In addition to naming the competition after Analiese, who passed away earlier this year from Cystic Fibrosis, the department also unveiled new #TeamAnaliese decals that will be on all RFD apparatuses.

The event was also covered by WHBF and KLJB TV:

There are two (or more) sides to every issue …

There are two (or more) sides to every issue …

Thanks in large part to outrage expressed by some members of the biking community on social media, Riverdale has found itself, once again, in the media’s spotlight. This time, the controversy swirls around the City’s decision to erect a barrier fence along the Mississippi River Trail behind some homes on Wisteria Lane and across a city-owned lot with a cement path that connects the MRT to Kensington Street. By blocking this path with the fence, Riverdale effectively cuts off access to a public road that bikers and pedestrians can take between the MRT and the Duck Creek Bike Trail which terminates in VanGundy Park just a few blocks away.

Members of the Quad City and Des Moines bike riding community seem to think I’m a tool.

Even though this has been a major subject of discussion at Council Meetings and Town Hall Meetings for the past two years, the snow fence erected while Kensington and Wisteria road resurfacing work caught many in the bike community by surprise. The City’s reluctance to remove the snow fence as the road project reaches its conclusion has pushed more outspoken members of the bike community well beyond surprise to indignation.

I’ve included some of the comments made by bike riders in this post so you can see what people are saying to me and about Riverdale during all of this. And while I’ve had to remind a few residents to tone down the rhetoric a time or two, Riverdale residents, by and large, are asking good questions and expressing their points of view fairly openly.

That includes a resident or two who don’t necessarily agree with the City’s decision and have made a point of calling that out on social media as well.

And that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

So here’s mine.

According to some bikers, I lie for a living. And as for the north side of State Street – I’m not shifting responsibility there to them – the north side of State Street between Duck Creek and Brenny’s is in Bettendorf.

I, quite literally, don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m the mayor of Riverdale and a user of the MRT and DCBT. I’ve used the connector at Kensington and I’ve had a bike rider who wasn’t paying attention hit my car with his bike while I was waiting for him to pass over my driveway to get onto State Street (fortunately neither the biker nor my car were injured).

I have a lot of friends who bike on the trails. Some of them understand the frustration of the Riverdale residents most affected by the bike and pedestrian traffic using the connector trail to go up and down Kensington, some of my friends do not. But because they’re my friends, they’ve taken the time to reasonably and patiently explain their positions to me.

And, of course, I have lots and lots of friends in Riverdale. Several live right down there in the Havens Acres neighborhood and have had to deal with what all of them (to a person) say is a major inconvenience to the “quiet enjoyment” of their life in the neighborhood. I understand that. I used to live in the McClellan Heights neighborhood in Davenport and although the Bix 7 race was fun every year, dealing with the straggling joggers and walkers doing the “Bix at Six” training runs a month or two before the big race could be a real hassle.

So, it’s as mayor of Riverdale that I approach this problem. And as the mayor, it’s my job to be the point-guy to take the questions and to reach out to those affected most to see if we can work out a solution that will work for everyone in a way that reassures people the roads they travel are safe and that their property rights are being respected.

What that probably means is that NOBODY is going to be 100% satisfied with the solution that eventually results. So, now you’re warned.

I’m a person who tries to deal fairly and from a position of fact and knowledge. That’s a little unusual for someone who trades in emotion, humor and rhetoric for a living, but it’s who I am. And maybe because I work with words and with journalists, I really don’t like exaggerations made to make a point and I abhor intentional misstatements of truth. Those are shenanigans that decrease the power and potency of the person making the claims in my book … and there’s been plenty of that in this latest tempest.

What Do People Have Wrong?

There are incorrect, inaccurate and possibly intentionally misleading claims being made by some people in the bike community that don’t help their argument and undercut the offers to help made by leadership from community bike clubs who want to help us find a solution. One news report showed a member of the bike community say that Riverdale was not allowing people to ride on Kensington Street. “Any cyclists who are using the Mississippi River Trail can no longer use this public street,” said James McAdams to WQAD’s Bianca Reyes.

So, I’m guessing if there’s a lawsuit over this issue, we’ll have the Quad City Bike Community to thank for it.

That’s not true. The streets in Riverdale are public thoroughfares and can be used by anyone. What Riverdale is restricting is access across city-owned property at the end of Kensington Street.

But this is just one of several incorrect portrayals of what’s really going on. I’ve also found references made by members of the bike community to Riverdale’s intention of cutting off or blocking the MRT. Again, that’s not true.

In fact, we want people to use the MRT. As it was originally designed. Ride in at 42nd Street and Duck Creek, peddle behind the Havens Acres neighborhood to Bellingham Road, cross State Street at the federally-approved bike crossing that’s there and then continue down the MRT back into Bettendorf.

But trail users want to be able to make a connection between the MRT and the DCBT and for them, the option of turning left at Brenny’s when they cross State Street isn’t a good option. Some – including the board of the Quad City Bike Club – feel the crossing at State Street isn’t safe.

That’s understandable. It’s common sense that going under a road is safer than going over a road. But to me, this is more about making a desperate argument to forestall the inevitable fence and gate that will be installed over the connector at Kensington Street than it is about safety.

In the nearly 2-1/2 years I’ve been mayor, I’ve received 0 complaints from bike riders or pedestrians about the safety of the Belligham/State Street intersection. During the same time, I’ve received over 400 calls from residents in Havens Acres complaining about bike and pedestrian traffic on Kensington. Recently, I was told that on a good day now, residents in the neighborhood are seeing between 500 and 1,000 people bike, walk or jog up and down Kensington Street.

And therein lies another problem.

Anecdotal claims are interesting, but not necessarily helpful. Is there a lot more bike and pedestrian traffic on Kensington when it’s a nice weekend day? I don’t doubt that. How much more? I don’t know.

I will tell you this, though, I’ve seen bike riders ride through a resident’s yard to get from the MRT to the street. I’ve seen the disrespect shown both directions. And I’ve seen glass and broken rock put on the connector between Kensington and the MRT.

And I’ve seen how the bike community talks about the residents of Riverdale on social media.

None of those things are helpful or acceptable.

So, What Do We Really Know?

Here is a message I sent to a resident who was “ashamed” of Riverdale’s decision. I understand her point. She says she worked with the residents who managed to bring the MRT into reality nearly ten years ago and she’s a frequent user of both bike paths and the connector between them on Kensington Street. But just as she’s questioned residents about the claims they’ve made associating neighborhood crime with the MRT, she makes similarly questionable claims of her own.

All I have to go on is what I’ve seen first-hand and the people I’ve spoken to, personally. These are the things I think are fairly certain about this situation:

1. There has been persistent trespassing by people using the trails:

•  I’ve spoken to bike riders who have apologized for cutting through the city-owned lot before there was a cement connector path for about 3 years.

•  The existence of the connector trail, itself, speaks to the persistent trespassing across the city-owned lot. I’ve spoken with our maintenance man, George Miller, who recalled being instructed on multiple occasions to re-seed and restore the goat path/cow trail the bikers and pedestrians had created on the city-owned lot. He said the City finally had Kenny Mahler just pave the path to cut down on the mud and debris being left in Kensington Street.

•  I’ve seen photography of tire tracks across Mike Steen’s yard from the MRT to Kensington (or, possibly the other direction)

•  I’ve personally witnessed a biker pedal across someone’s yard on Wisteria to make his way from the MRT to the city street.

2. There are not good records of the intentions or plan for the MRT or for the connector path in the City’s archives. According to what I’ve been told by previous mayors, there has been long-standing reluctance to document things because of the City’s history of litigation.

3. The QCTimes report on the original extension of the MRT in 2012 documented the Havens Acres neighborhood’s resistance to the path and their request for a fence to keep people from cutting through the city-owned lot at the end of Kensington.

4. That same article quoted the mayor at the time (Jack Franklin) saying he recommended the fence, but the City Council didn’t vote for it.

5. I personally witnessed previously-elected officials disparaging residents in the Havens Acres neighborhood as being poorer, unintelligent and not worth the effort when it came to dealing with this issue.

8. Home values in the neighborhood have not changed appreciably in the 8 years since the MRT was put in. In fact, the City’s assessed property values have not changed significantly in either direction since the total elimination of the state’s M&E tax in the early 2000s.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I will continue to meet with the Quad City Bike Club and other area bike clubs to make sure they understand that Riverdale will work with them to address the concerns of their members when they’re in our city. That’s an obligation of any elected representative and it’s the right thing to do. One of the first things we’ll be working on is improving and replacing signage for trail users so they have a better understanding of how to make the connection between the trails safely and efficiently.

I will also meet with Bi-State this week to discuss setting up a traffic study at the connector between the MRT and Kensington Street so we can get an accurate count of peak traffic volumes using the connector (and Kensington Street) between the two trails. This will be an inconvenience for residents in Havens Acres (again) for a period of time, but the data collected is really important.

The City has good relationships with both the City of Bettendorf and the Iowa DOT. If there is going to be any work performed on alternate connection routes, those parties need to be a part of the conversation. The north side of State Street (between Duck Creek and Brenny’s) is in Bettendorf and the sidewalk on the south side of State Street (between the Pancake House and Bellingham) is almost entirely within the Iowa DOT’s right of way for Hwy 67.

And here’s the thing, the very first question they’re going to ask is: “How many people are we talking about, anyway?” If we want to make sure something happens, we need hard numbers, not anecdotal claims that opposing sides will question whether they’re accurate or not.

I will continue to reach out to the businesses affected by this decision. There is an impact felt by both the Duck Creek Pancake House and My Place – and we need to be a constructive partner in helping find and develop a solution.

And finally, we need to realize that we have an obligation to work through this issue in its entirety. We can’t just build a fence and call it a day. We need to understand and respect the concerns raised by bikers and walkers on the MRT – and if there’s a way to help them feel safe making the connection between trails while they’re in Riverdale, we owe that to the community at-large. But, by the same token, I am responsible to the City and its residents to make sure our homeowners feel safe in their homes and to reduce or remove nuisances that make the “quiet enjoyment” of their neighborhood difficult.

Nobody is happy now. Nobody is likely to be happy once we’ve worked out a solution. But then again, maybe that’s how we know things were handled equitably?

More Comments from Unhappy Bikers

Here are some of the comments I’ve seen in the past day or two. There are new ones out on Facebook now, more misstatements and misinformation. Some of it, I’m sure, is unintentional (it’s not a particularly easy subject to research and understand if you don’t live here already). But a lot of it is just trying to wind people up.

So, spoiler warning, a lot of these comments say nasty things about Riverdale, Havens Acres residents and me. If that is likely to upset you, don’t waste your time reading them.

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

(From a Facebook Post by Council Member Anthony Heddlesten)

Thank you all so much. Truly, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Today, CJ, pretty much my favorite person in the whole wide world turned 5. Unfortunately, the whole wide world is a mess. I’m going to attempt to cover the greatness that has occurred over the past few days:

1) I saw a cool birthday parade and asked if Riverdale Fire Department would do something like that in our town. Brian Ballard, our assistant fire chief, got it all planned out and said we were good to go.

2) I shared the plan on our Riverdale Residents group page and another family pointed out they had a birthday coming up, so we got a whole group together and did a birthday parade last weekend for another little boy down the street.

3) Birthday cards started flowing in this week (my piano is fully covered) Neighbors, friends, and family members filled our mail box with love from afar. Thanks to Dorla Dubbels, Stacey Christensen, Lisa Mintz Kotter, Darold Heddlesten, Yvonne Heddlesten, NaNa Pugh, Melissa Roling-Maher, Jimmy Maher to name a few.

4) Last weekend, our preschool teacher stopped by and dropped off a present and said hello.

5) Friday, Miss Taryn, another preschool teacher met up with me and gave us a present since she couldn’t get to the parade this weekend.

6) This morning, while CJ was sleeping in, our neighbors (Amy Walker Kramer) snuck into the yard with a giant inflatable birthday cake.

7) Ky (Anthony’s wife) and I got some great 5 year old photos of our favorite little guy and then walked down the street to get some additional pics with his new best friend, and Riverdale Heights favorite, Molly Curran.

8 ) we got a fun good morning happy birthday message from cousin Ben.

9) we had a zoom birthday party and got WAAAAYYYY too many LEGO.

10) Just before the parade was supposed to start we got to have a birthday party with the other side of the family.

11) We got a message from another YWCA of the Quad Cities daycare teacher that she is in a Quad Cities Jeep group that’s just driving from party to party. Several Jeep owners, who we’ve literally never met, even provided some cool Jeep related presents. (Keep an eye out for the minion mobile QC!)

12) I GET A PARADE TOO?!?! CJ exclaimed as RFD and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office rolled by tooting their horns and flashing their lights. Followed by neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc.

13) Many of the drivers threw out additional surprises (cards, candy, a minion doll, even toilet paper!)

14) Facebook messages galore have come in throughout the day.

15) A few friends also trickled through after the parade singing happy birthday, wishing us well, hosting an impromptu Wisconsin Jump Around equipped with New Glarus beer, and reminding us how fortunate we all are.

So, again, thank you. Today was more than we could’ve hoped for. So much more. CJ is in seventh heaven today.

Yes, we are still trapping coyotes in Riverdale.

Yes, we are still trapping coyotes in Riverdale.

Several residents have complained about coyote activity in the wooded area to the northwest and north of the Woods Estates Subdivision and in the wooded area owned by the City to the west of the Circle Drive area, north of Fieldcrest. As a result, the City has asked Jason Harkness and his team at River Valley Wildlife to move the snares they had set in the wetlands near the Arconic facility to locations along the north edge of the Woods Estates Subdivision.

Developer Seth Woods was contacted and gave permission to the City and its contractor to set up snares on the land owned by Woods Development.

Photographic surveillance of the area over the last four weeks showed a significant amount of coyote activity in the area and specific paths coyotes were using to travel through the ravine. Harkness and his team have set snares in the area.

When an animal is caught in a snare, River Valley Wildlife is notified and they check the trap – releasing any animal that isn’t a coyote. This includes domesticated dogs as well as rabbits, possum and other woodland creatures. Coyotes on the other hand, are euthanized and then disposed of after their vital information is recorded.

Why Trap Coyotes?

Click here to download “Solving Problems with Coyotes” from the Humane Society of the USA.

Coyotes have been in the area for a long time and, in all likelihood, will remain here permanently. But reports of conflicts between coyotes and domesticated dogs are on the rise in the area. Residential areas provide food, water, shelter and space for coyotes – many of whom come to rely on garbage, pet food and yard compost as food sources.

The coyotes in Riverdale, Bettendorf and other urban parts of the Quad Cities can’t be relocated to “where they belong.” They were born and raised in urban areas and have adapted to the relatively easy life cities provide. In fact, coyotes often thrive in urban environments.

Studies show that coyote relocation is not effective. In fact, a relocated coyote will often travel long distances (up to 300 miles in some cases) to get back to their capture site. Relocation also facilitates the spread of disease from one location to another.

How Do We Deal With Coyotes?

Trapping coyotes is a short-term fix. Trapped coyotes must be killed once they are captured, but this is not a permanent solution. A community has to remove the “attractants” in order to remove the problem. This means educating ourselves about coyote behavior and modifying our own behavior when it comes to feeding our pets outside, allowing dogs and cats outside on their own, leaving garbage out, and reacting in a more aggressive way when we see coyotes in order to discourage them from interacting with people or pets (a process known as “hazing”).

Here’s a link to a book about coyote management from the Humane Society. If there’s significant interest among residents to deal with this problem more aggressively, bring your thoughts to a Town Hall meeting so we can get the process going.

Not Sure Where We’re Trapping?

Here’s a map provided by Jason Harkness and his team at River Valley Wildlife Specialists showing where they are setting snares to capture the coyotes. Please stay clear of these areas and allow Jason and his crew to do their job for the city.

Weekend weather wrecks havoc on Riverdale.

Weekend weather wrecks havoc on Riverdale.

Riverdale residents were drenched Friday night with nearly 4 inches of rain in a very short span of time, causing basements to fill with storm water, flash flooding over saturated lands and hillsides, and mounds of mud and debris at intersections along Hwy 67 throughout the City.

Here are my notes (Mike Bawden) from the 3 hours I spent checking out various spots in the City …

Fenno Road/Hwy 67

Water was standing in ditches, with trash and other debris obstructing many of the culverts that would allow water to pass under the highway and make its way toward the river. No word how businesses located south of State Street (Schebler, Arconic and others) fared or were handling the runoff. The neighborhood up and on top of Fenno Hill appeared no worse for wear although we didn’t have a chance to speak to any residents.

SCC Entrance (College Drive)

The entrance to Scott Community College was buried under nearly 8 inches of mud which seems to have come up from the storm water pipes located under the road. Mayor Mike Bawden worked with SCC Dean Matt Schmidt to get a crew from the college out with a skid loader to scoop the entrance out so cars and bicyclists using the MRT could pass.

Arconic Learning Center

There appears to have been a washout under the eastern entrance to the Arconic Learning Center, resulting in the driveway collapsing. The MRT running from the SCC entrance to Manor Drive had standing water on parts of it (and didn’t appear to be draining) but was otherwise passable.

Manor Drive/Circle Drive

Residents living on top of Riverdale Hill reported that their sump pumps were running throughout the night. Some escaped with little to no damage while others had nearly a foot of water standing in their basements when they went down to check on things in the morning. Add to these problems the recent announcement by Republic that it was suspending bulky waste pick-up for the foreseeable future, and there are issues the City will have to deal with on Monday morning.

Woods Estates

Developer Seth Woods was on his tractor first thing in the morning, scraping mud out of the Gwyneth/State Street intersection and putting it back into the development. While the seeding and matting Woods Development had done on the north side of Gwyneth held firm, the bare land left by contractors installing gas and electric lines created an opportunity for the minor mud-slide Woods and his employees had to deal with.

To his credit, Woods was on the scene before the site was inspected by the City. He also had his employees work on parts of the MRT that were covered with mud and debris so bikers could continue to use the trail rather than ride in the street.

Brenny’s Motorcycle Clinic

The Brenny’s complex weathered the storm in fine fashion, although some erosion appears to have taken place under the drainage pipes leading from the new building. Mayor Mike Bawden stopped by to check on Mark Brenny and his crew who were still hard at work, doing business in spite of the recent challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and extreme weather.

Havens Acres

Inspection of Havens Acres showed this neighborhood showed it weathered the storm as well as expected – many of the homes in the area were already dealing with a river and creek at or near flood stage. Pumps were moving water to the street and storm water system. Much of the work that will be done on the roads in the neighborhood this summer will address the catch basins and drainage areas in addition to the street surface and driveway entrances. Some work (behind the curbs) will begin in the next month (weather permitting).

Belmont Road

Taking a quick look at the state of Fox Creek (which runs from by SCC and then under Belmont Road toward the river), there was a lot of debris and the water levels ran high overnight, but we didn’t see any major damage. Flow through this area has increased significantly due to parking lots and other development by PVCSD and SCC. I did not have a chance to speak to residents up by the bend in Belmont Road to see if there were any unique problems.

Photos from my “disaster tour” of Riverdale can be found below:

Flood preparations begin

Flood preparations begin

Plans to deal with spring flooding in the Havens Acres neighborhood of Riverdale began this past week with the order of 1,000 sandbags as part of a countywide order coordinated through the Scott County Emergency Management Agency (SCEMA). City staff has asked the Bettendorf Public Works Department to hold the bags in reserve and assist in filling them should they be needed to help hold Duck Creek in its banks as it crests throughout the spring.

To further prepare for coming rains and floods, the City will be holding a meeting with concerned residents to discuss flood preparation, plans for distributing sand bags and pumps (if needed) and after-flood cleanup activities. The date for the meeting has not yet been set and will depend upon flood forecasts received from the National Weather Service and Army Corps of Engineers.

“There are supplemental funds in the City’s budget to cover the cost of pumps, sandbags and dumpsters if they’re needed this spring,” explained Mayor Mike Bawden. “Residents were involved in the planning last year and we hope to build on what worked well with that arrangement for this year as part of an annual ‘flood mitigation’ strategy for the Havens Acres neighborhood.”

Affected residents will be notified of the time and place for the flood meeting once a reliable forecast is in hand and preliminary arrangements for materials have been made. Current forecasts say the chance of a major flood currently stand at 50% although there is no projected date for when that flooding is expected to occur.

Quad Cities Red Cross is giving away smoke alarms

Quad Cities Red Cross is giving away smoke alarms

The RED CROSS is currently providing free smoke alarms to residents in need of new or replacement alarms. You can book one today by going to www.getasmokealarm.org or by calling the Quad Cities Red Cross: 309-277-4040.

The alarms and installation are free. Appointments to install the alarm only takes 20-30 minutes.

So, why should you install a smoke alarm?

A typical smoke detector will last 10 years. If yours is older than that, you should consider replacing it.

(From the Consumer Product Safety Commission) … Every year in the United States, about 2,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. In a fire, smoke and deadly gases tend to spread farther and faster than heat. That’s one reason why most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not from burns. A majority of fatal fires happen when families are asleep because occupants are unaware of the fire until there is not adequate time to escape. A smoke alarm stands guard around the clock, and when it first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm. This often allows a family the precious, but limited, time needed to escape.

About two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire and could reduce by almost half the risk of dying from a fire in your home.

Riverdale flies the RFD flag at half staff today. Here’s why …

Riverdale flies the RFD flag at half staff today. Here’s why …

The flag for the Riverdale Fire Department will be flown at half-staff today to honor the life of Firefighter Analiese Chapman. The Celebration of Life Ceremony for Analiese will take place at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf today at 1pm. The event is open to the public, but please keep in mind that seating is limited.

Fire trucks and other emergency service vehicles are expected to travel from the convention center to the cemetery in Le Claire where Analiese’s remains will be interred. That journey will take them up State Highway 67 (State Street) past the Riverdale Fire Station.

By proclamation of the mayor, the department flag will continue to fly on the pole at City Hall for the remainder of the month of February to honor the service provided by the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department.

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Riverdale bids goodbye to Firefighter Analiese Chapman who passed away on February 2 due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. A visitation is planned for Friday (02/07) and a Celebration of Life service on Saturday (02/08) at the Waterfront Convention Center. Both the visitation and the Celebration of Life service are open to the public, but seating is limited.

Fire departments from Riverdale, Le Claire and around the greater Quad Cities will join together to celebrate a life taken too soon.

Visitation will be held at the Waterfront Convention Center (2021 State Street in Bettendorf), starting at 3pm on Friday, February 7th.

The first responder community in the Quad Cities has shown their solidarity with Riverdale and Le Claire fire departments for their loss already and are invited to participate in the visitation on Friday. Fire departments and other emergency service providers attending in their service vehicles are asked to stage their vehicles at 6:15pm at the convention center. Service personnel are encouraged to participate in a “Sea of Blue” starting at 7pm and continue until all personnel have had an opportunity to express their condolences.

A Celebration of Life service is planned for 1pm the following day (Saturday, February 8th) at the Waterfront Convention Center, as well. Dennis Glew, a Riverdale resident and the RFD’s chaplain, will speak at the ceremony. A luncheon is planned following the service and will be held at the Le Claire fire station (201 North 15th Street in Le Claire, Iowa).

The City of Riverdale will commemorate Analiese’s passing by lowering the flag for the Riverdale Fire Department (located at City Hall) to half-staff again on Saturday, from sunrise to sunset. The flag was also lowered on Tuesday to mark Analiese’s return home to the Quad Cities from Iowa City where she was undergoing care.

The City will continue to fly the department flag throughout the month of February in honor of the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department who set a great example for all residents with their love and compassion for their 20 year-old colleague. A Mayoral Proclamation will be presented and read into the record at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting to commemorate the events of the past week.

More information about Analiese, her journey and the shared memories of friends and family can be found on her online obituary page. Donations can be made to the Team Analiese Memorial Fund. For more information about that fund, please check out the Team Analiese Facebook Page.

Images from Analiese’s Celebration of Life Service

Check out this gallery of pictures from Tim Olk, a photographer from Chicago who came to the Quad Cities to shoot photos of the event and share them with the Riverdale Fire Department and our community. Thanks, Tim!

Riverdale mourns loss of firefighter Analiese Chapman

Riverdale mourns loss of firefighter Analiese Chapman

You can download this memorial graphic (righ-click and save) and add it to your social media profile.

Riverdale firefighter, Analiese Chapman, passed away from complications related to Cystic Fibrosis on Sunday, February 2, 2020. Analiese was a twenty year-old from Le Claire, Iowa and was remembered by her brothers and sisters at the Riverdale Fire Department for her spunk and great attitude.

“She joked around with everybody and pulled pranks on people,” Assistant Fire Chief Brian Ballard told Linda Cook, reporter for the Quad-City Times. “She was a very, very strong girl, probably the strongest girl I’ve ever known.”

“Her optimism really affected the department,” recalled Mayor Mike Bawden. “The guys and gals who make up the Riverdale Fire Department family were solidly part of ‘Team Analiese’ – showing their support and love for this young woman and her family in a truly extraordinary way.”

“It’s just one more thing that makes the Riverdale Fire Department a vital part of who we are here in Riverdale,” the mayor explained. Even though most of the fire department’s volunteers live outside of the City (like Analiese did), the RFD provides a shared “home” for everyone – and it’s been that way for over fifty years.

In a related story on the KWQC-TV website, reporter Courtney Spinelli, shared some footage of Analiese from an earlier story, detailing her fight against Cystic Fibrosis and her brave recovery attempt.

The statement provided by the Riverdale Fire Department announcing Alanliese’s passing, issued on Sunday afternoon, read:

It is with great sadness that the Riverdale Fire Department shares with the community that Riverdale Firefighter Analiese Chapman passed away on February 2, 2020 from complications related to Cystic Fibrosis.  Firefighter Chapman has been a member of the Riverdale Fire Department since November 2017.   Firefighter Chapman was blessed with a lung transplant in 2019 and unfortunately became ill this past December.  Firefighter Chapman will always, and forever be a firefighter and part of the Riverdale Fire Department family.  We ask everyone to please keep the Chapman family and the brothers and sisters of the Riverdale Fire Department in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  Funeral arrangements will be released in the upcoming days. 

The City will fly the Riverdale Fire Department flag at half-staff in her honor on Tuesday, February 4. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Riverdale to work with The Schebler Company to address traffic concerns

Riverdale to work with The Schebler Company to address traffic concerns

Located on Fenno Road, south of Hwy 67 (State Street), The Schebler Company employs dozens of workers who have to turn on and off of the busy state highway on their way to and from work every day. Late last year, Jim Anderson, the CEO of The Schebler Company asked for help from Riverdale, Bettendorf and the Iowa DOT to address what he saw as a growing safety concern for his employees and other motorists on the highway. 

Friday, Mayor Mike Bawden and Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter, met with Mr. Anderson and his team as well as representatives from IDOT, the City of Bettendorf, the Bi-State Planning Commission and the Quad City Chamber of Commerce in an attempt to quantify the issues at hand and discuss possible solutions. As a result, Riverdale will initiate requests with IDOT to conduct an independent study of traffic on that section of State Street and to identify possible traffic control solutions such as lights, barriers or other construction that will help make the intersection safer for motorists.

Riverdale and Bettendorf will also work together to increase enforcement of the speed limit on that section of State Street. Although the limit is set at 55 mph, cars are frequently traveling at higher rates of speed which makes it difficult for drivers attempting to cross traffic to evaluate whether or not it’s safe to venture across lanes of on-coming traffic.

Touring the plant

Following the meeting, Mr. Anderson and Lance McDanel, Vice President at The Schebler Company, gave a personal tour of their manufacturing facilities and offices to Mayor Bawden and Administrator Kotter.

Mayor Mike Bawden and Jim Anderson, CEO of The Schebler Company located on Fenno Road, south of State Street in Bettendorf.

The Schebler Company has been located next to Riverdale since 1990 and has grown to include a large custom fabrication operation in addition to its industrial chimney and HVAC fabrication operations. They aggressively invest in manufacturing technology and training to keep them competitive in the markets in which they operate. Products manufactured at their Bettendorf location are shipped to customers throughout the US and some international destinations.

According to material provided by the company:

Schebler has a reputation for exceptional workmanship and a relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, which sets them apart from their competition. Each of their products and services offer a unique value proposition through product design, delivery period, customer support, engineering, quality and/or manufacturing capabilities. Whether delivering a product or a service, Schebler strives to provide individualized solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers.

Riverdale is proud to have The Schebler Company as a good neighbor and looks forward to an on-going, mutually beneficial relationship in the coming years.