Q: Have the speed cameras on East River Drive in Davenport been recalibrated to the new 25 mph speed limit during the construction there?
— Nate, Bettendorf
A: The speed camera on East River Drive near Mississippi Avenue won’t be adjusted to account for the slower 25 mph speed limit during construction, according to Davenport police. The camera has been deactivated for some time during construction, Sgt. Joe Blake said. The city’s speed trailer that tells drivers their speed but doesn’t ticket has been used in the construction zone from time to time.
Speeding isn’t an issue during rush hour because traffic is bumper-to-bumper, but Blake advised drivers to be alert to avoid rear-end collisions.
“If they stay off their cellphones and are not texting and focus on their driving, they’ll be OK,” he said.
Q: Regarding the Chicago teachers’ union strike, one of the biggest sticking points with the union is the new evaluation process for teachers. But the new evaluation process is one that is mandated by state law. The Illinois Legislature changed the rules on how teachers are to be evaluated and it’s a state law to be followed in all the districts, Chicago to the Quad-Cities. Is the teachers’ union trying to negotiate away a state requirement?
A: The two sides in Chicago are negotiating the weight of student growth in these evaluations. In Illinois, districts are to form joint committees (equal district/union) to establish a new district evaluation plan that includes student growth as required by Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) of 2010. The state has set a statutory minimum, or floor, of student growth comprising at least 25 percent for the first two years and 30 percent thereafter for implementation. But if the joint committees can’t come to an agreement, they must accept the state model which is 50 percent, EXCEPT in Chicago, where the union must accept district’s last, best offer. Chicago Public Schools wanted to begin above the minimum 25 percent but now may be agreeing to start at that level.
Here’s a link to the rules governing this matter: http://qctimes.com/schoolrules1
Here’s a link to the School Code Chapter 24A: http://qctimes.com/schoolrules2
Q: Can you explain the difference between a lobbyist and a person or organization attempting to bribe a lawmaker?
A: Lobbying involves trying to persuade lawmakers and influence government using argument, while bribery uses cash or other valuables.
Q: Where can I write the Sy-Fy channel?
A: Write to NBC Universal, Sy-Fy Channel, 100 Universal City Plaza, Bldg. 1400, Universal City, CA 91608, or send email through the website at www.syfy.com.
(Answers provided by Times reporters Kurt Allemeier and Kurt Erickson and Call the Courier from the Waterloo Courier.)