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May 2012

Iowa City Landfill Fire Update - May 31, 2012

The fire at the Iowa City Landfill continues to burn over an approximately 7.5 acre section of the City's newest landfill cell. While the intensity of the fire has diminished over the last few days, City officials believe the area will continue to burn into next week. It is estimated that the equivalent of nearly 1.3 million tires are burning in the 7.5 acre fire area.

Protecting the health and safety of the public and workers onsite continues to be the number one priority for the City and all cooperating agencies. Also of primary concern is keeping the fire from spreading to adjacent landfill cells and to a portion of the new cell that was successfully isolated in the days following the fire's ignition. As weather conditions permit over the next several days, crews will begin to remove the over two hundred truckloads of shredded tires that were successfully isolated.

While the primary strategy remains to allow the fire to self-extinguish, the Fire Department continues to test various extinguishing methods including the use of various specialized wetting agents and burying the smoldering tires with ground cover. The effectiveness of these techniques, as well as the environmental ramifications of applying them to the entire 7.5 acre site, will be carefully reviewed before any larger-scale extinguishing efforts are pursued. The Fire Department has sought out and is applying methods and techniques for shredded tire fires that have been documented by the United States Fire Administration, which is an entity of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

City officials also continue to focus on containment of the runoff created by the burning tires. As the tires burn, they produce an oil-based liquid that is being captured in the landfill's drainage system. This runoff is being safely captured and temporarily stored on-site as City officials, in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, identify external facilities that are equipped to process this material.

The Johnson County Health Department continues to monitor air quality in the region and offers the following precautions to the general public:

Persons in the path of the smoke plume should avoid exposure to the smoke as much as possible. Persons who have respiratory, heart or other conditions which may be aggravated by smoke, pregnant women, and the young and elderly should shelter in places with outside sources of air shut off. Most home air conditioning units recirculate air from the interior and should be sufficient. Businesses and other structures which draw in outside air should close outside air sources if the smoke plume is present. Avoid outdoor activities such as exercising if the smoke plume is present. Nursing homes, day cares and other businesses which care for the elderly, very young, and persons with respiratory diseases should take special care to monitor the health of clients and to minimize exposure to the smoke plume.

Household refuse collection continues to be uninterrupted by this incident. Residents are encouraged to follow normal protocols for placing trash and recyclables at the curbside for pickup. Access to the landfill is limited to municipal and commercial haulers, as well as contractors with construction waste.

More information on the status of the fire is available on the City's website at On that website there is a continually updated Frequently Asked Questions section and copies of media releases. A photo gallery will soon be posted. The public can also track the event through Facebook by linking through the City's website or searching for Iowa City Landfill Fire. Updates are also available on City Channels 4 and 5.

Jobless claims increase by 10,000 to 383,000

By Mike Thayer

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits went up for the week ending May 26.

The Labor Department's latest report shows unemployment claims rising 10,000 to 383,000, demonstrating what I've been saying for quite some time, that this economy is sour.  Anytime the figure is around 400,000, things aren't good.

In related news, the U.S. gross domestic product number has been revised.  The GDP grew at a slower pace in the first quarter than was first reported by the Commerce Department last month.  The number has been revised to an annualized rate of 1.9%, down from 2.2%.  Anything less than 3%, not good.

King Obama and his court aren't giving you the truth.

'Hatfields & McCoys' is a hit, but Kevin Costner is missing

Not only is History's miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys" a smash hit, but it's earned star Kevin Costner glowing reviews while giving his career, which has hit a few bumps in recent years, new life and vibrancy.

But Costner is not exactly basking in the acclaim. In fact, he's doing just the opposite.

Read on....

Trying to protect their taxpayer funded gravy train, Planned Parenthood spends $1.4 million to attack Romney

By Mike Thayer

Planned Parenthood officially endorsed President Barack Obama today, gee, do you think it's because Obama will continue funding abortions with taxpayer money?  

Along with proclaiming their endorsement of Obama, Planned Parenthood also announced a $1.4 million ad buy targeting Mitt Romney.  The ad will run in Florida, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Iowa, criticizing Romney's statements to end federal funding for the group.

Seriously now, how is funding abortions a proper role of the federal government?  Now that I've asked the question, let me answer it.  It's NOT a proper role of the federal government.  No taxpayer dollars should go towards Planned Parenthood at all, zero, nada, ziltch, none, zippo.

View the ad below and ask yourself, "How much of this ad buy is funded with taxpayer money?" 

Polish Prime Minister Demands Obama Address Nazi Gaffe

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk angrily demanded Wednesday that President Barack Obama explain his reference to "a Polish death camp" during a high-profile White House ceremony a day earlier, saying the remark smacked of " ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions" and amounted to "a distortion of history."

"When someone says 'Polish death camps,' it is as if there were no Nazis, no German responsibility, as if there was no Hitler - that is why our Polish sensitivity in these situations is so much more than just simply a feeling of national pride," the prime minister said.

Read on....